Earlier this week, on the 28th of April, I travelled down to London for a day trip! As a book lover, a large part of the reason for my trip was to visit some of the large bookshops in London, but I also got to see a fantastic show, ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’, but more on that later!
After a very early start, being on a train at 7am, I made it to London at about 10am and was ready to get started looking at what the bookshops had to offer! My first stop was Waterstones Picadilly because they have a gorgeous café on their top floor, and I needed some sustenance before beginning to browse the store. Once I had had some breakfast and a drink it was onto the shopping! As always, the main part of the store I went towards was YA and I was relatively restrained and only picked up a few books! I bought the Trylle Trilogy by Amanda Hocking as this is a series I read many years ago and love but I never owned physical copies of it! I am very keen to reread this series at some point and now I have some beautiful editions to do so!
Just down the road from Waterstones is Hatchard’s and so, of course, I quickly popped in there to see what they had, and I am so glad that I did! I got two books here, because they had signed editions! I got ‘Scythe’ by Neal Schusterman’ which is a book I really wanted to pick up and as they had a signed edition there was no way I was leaving it behind! I also got ‘Hero of the Fall’ by Alwyn Hamilton. I haven’t read the first two books in the ‘Rebel of the Sands’ series yet but I am definitely expecting to love it so didn’t want to regret leaving the signed copy when I inevitably fall in love with this series.
Next I moved on to the Bloomsbury Oxfam Bookshop as I know they tend to have a lot of very interesting books as well as often having ARCs of books (obviously a book reviewer lives somewhere in the area and donates all their books there!) and I got a few exciting books! I got an ARC of ‘The Fandom’ by Anna Day, which has already been released now but I really like the ARC cover so was excited to get that! If I like it I will get a finished copy to make sure I support the author, but for now I am just going to enjoy this different cover! I also got a few other books:
- ‘White Rabbit Red Wolf’ – Tom Pollock (ARC, released June 2018)
- ‘The Chalk Man’ – C. J. Tudor (ARC, released January 2018)
- ‘Good Me, Bad Me’ – Ali Land (ARC, released January 2017)
Then it was off to the Apollo Theatre to see ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’! I had listened to the soundtrack a few times before going to see this but I did not expect it to be so absolutely amazing! I have seen many musicals but this turned out to be one of my favourite shows I have seen to date!
It follows the story of a 16 year old boy, Jamie, who wants to become a drag queen and the problems he encounters along the way. It is a story of family, finding yourself and of acceptance, both from yourself an others. The lead role of Jamie was played by John McCrea and he was absolutely outstanding! He encompassed the role so completely and was utterly endearing whilst also being sassy and quick-witted throughout. Also his voice is incredible, and the fact that he could belt in what would be considered a falsetto for most men was just amazing! His performance had me laughing from start to end whilst also managing to move me to tears in songs such as ‘Wall in My Head’. He was a shining star in this show and considering this is his West End debut in a leading role it was extraordinary to see him command the stage and audience so completely.
I also wanted to mention a few others, Josie Walker who played Jamie’s mother, Margaret, Mina Anwar who played Margaret’s friend Rey, and Lucie Shorthouse who played Jamie’s best friend Pritti. All three of these women were incredible in every way, again keeping me laughing and crying throughout! I specifically want to mention Lucie Shorthouse’s voice, which shone through especially in the song ‘It Means Beautiful’. It was just gorgeous and I am excited to see what she does after her run in ‘Everybody’s Talking About Jamie’ ends.
I very highly recommend this musical, it is so worth going to see! Also it is nowhere near as expensive as other West End musicals so if you are on a budget but want to see a show this might be a good choice! If you are in the London area definitely go and check this out!
After the fantastic show had ended the book shopping resumed! The final stop of the day was Foyle’s bookshop in Charing Cross, this is one of my absolute favourite bookshops but I was actually a little disappointed in their selection! I love this shop because they often have a lot of new release books imported from America, so I was there looking for three specific books, those being the American hardcovers of ‘Children of Blood and Bone’ by Tomi Adeyemi, ‘The Astonishing Colour of After’ by Emily X.R. Pan (I have reviewed this book already, you can find that here) and ‘Restore Me’ by Tahereh Mafi, and they did not have any of them!
This isn’t to say I didn’t find any books I wanted however, I still managed to leave with four new books! I picked up ‘Ten Thousand Skies Above You’ by Caludia Gray as when I was in Foyles in January I picked up the first and third book in this series, thinking it was the first and second book, so now I actually have the full series and can read it! I also got ‘Be More Chill’ by Ned Vizzini. Ned Vizzini is one of my favourite authors and I am also a huge fan of the musical ‘Be More Chill’ which is based off this book, so it felt right to finally read the book! The other two books I got are ‘A List Of Cages’ by Robin Roe and ‘Autoboyography’ by Christina Hobbs. I picked up ‘A List of Cages’ because emmmabooks on BookTube always highly recommends it so I thought I would give it a try, and ‘Autoboyography’ just looked interesting and cute, and that is more than enough reason to get a book!
So that about wraps up my London trip, as always I came away with far more books that I intended to buy, but I am so excited to get to all of them, although I don’t know when this will be! Also I do realise I am meant to be on a book buying ban, but with there being so many new releases I felt like I needed to have a bit of a book buying binge and now I should start getting back on track with buying less books!
– Maddie Browse