One LOVE for One Direction

Last night I watched One Direction – This is Us movie with my besties, and it was so much fun! Luckily for you, it’s been been perfectly blogged about already – you’ll feel like you were watching the film with us.

Now, as we all know, boybands are a fantastic asset to the world of popular arts. But One Direction are the best in the world right now!

One Direction have all the qualities I look for in the perfect boyband –

1. They don’t take themselves too seriously


In the This Is Us film, Niall dresses up as a disgruntled bearded Glaswegian usher at the O2 arena and rants at the fans about how much he dislikes One Direction. At one point the boys push a wheelie bin around another generic backstage area, and then Harry’s face pokes out from inside the lid.

The boys have made no secret of the fact that they think dance routines are stupid. It fun to watch them parodising typical boy band routines, which they rocked as early on as their One Thing video. In rehearsals for their world tour, their silly made up dance moves are so cute and funny to watch.

The Best Song Ever video is genius. The first time I saw it, I had no idea that the two Hollywood bigshots were Niall and Louis. And Harry in glasses is just straight up fabulous. And Zayn makes for a very hot looking lady, but we’d guessed that already.

2. Their music is really good


I’ve never been a fan of a romantic ballad. Especially a boy band romantic ballad, where during the dramatic key change, the boys in questions get up from their chairs and sing the heartfelt crescendo to the screams of the audience. Do I dislike boy and ballads because they are cliched and hackneyed? Maybe that’s a part of it, but the sad truth of it is that I find them boring. I like a song I can dance to.

So. One Direction have sung a few ballads, but unlike for example Westlife, they don’t make up the majority of their discography. They make wonderful songs that I can sing along to, dance like an idiot to, that make me feel happy. I particularly like their song Kiss You because at once it sounds totally retro but fresh, all at the same time. I like how the rhythm of the chorus is so different to the verse, I love that juxtaposition.

And the other thing that people forget is that One Direction don’t have a lead singer, like so many boy bands tend to. All of them have a go, which I appreciate. There are debates online about who has the best voice.

3. Harry Styles is a superstar


Harry, Harry, Harry.

He is effortlessly stylish. He moves around the stage in skintight jeans like a teenage Jagger. He is incredibly charming. He’s already a superstar, and he doesn’t care. I think that’s what makes him such a star. He doesn’t try too hard to be cool. You can’t imagine him analysing what to tweet next. He’s just being his adorable self at all times, and I appreciate that.

Another thing about Harry – he’s incredibly likeable. He seems to get on with everyone he meets. In the This is Us film, he goes back to the bakery where he works and has a laugh with his ex-coworkers. And the next time you read about him, he’ll be in the front row at London Fashion Week laughing the same laugh.



1. Kiss You

2. Heart Attack

3. Best Song Ever


1. Harry

2. Zayn



Ned Vizzini


4th April 1981 – 19th December  2013

It was just before Christmas when the news broke. I felt sick to my stomach. I balled my eyes out. As I never met him, I didn’t have an anecdote to share on Twitter, or a story to share on Facebook. But not knowing him didn’t make the news any less than a huge, horrible shock. I still can’t believe it’s happened. I still can’t bring myself to watch him on YouTube. It’s raw.

But I don’t want this post to be about my grief. I don’t want to get maudlin, and I don’t want to want to get sycophantic, even though that wouldn’t be impossible.

I’m going to write about what made me love Ned so much. His writing.


Be More Chill

novel, September 2005


It’s just the most ridiculously clever and funny story. Jeremy is a sort-of outcast at his high school, constantly feeling not smart enough, not funny enough – not cool enough. Then he hears about a squip, a digestible computer which will tell him (in the disembodied voice of Keanu Reeves) what to say, what to do, and how to be supercool. The voice of the squip is in bold text, making each statement shout out at you just like it is inside Jeremy’s brain. The squip’s unintentional comedy moments born out of its binary system are brilliant.

“Maybe we can hang out some time.” Say it like you don’t care about your own death.

“Maybe we can hang out some time.”

Chloe… Jesus, Chloe is looking right at me!

Don’t smile. Stay intense. And don’t think Jesus. Think fuck.


“Whatever,” Chloe finally says.

Be More Chill is more than a clever page-turner. Ned Vizzini really got into what it is like to be a teenage boy. I thought it was fascinating. And even though I read the book as a 20-something, I was surprised at how much boys can and do worry and stress about interactions with girls. They always seemed so cool when I was a teen. And I’m pretty sure they didn’t have squips, but who knows?

Ned wrote really sweet, funny columns about growing up in New York (including funny people he met on the subway, girls he met, random guys he played chess with, his love of Nintendo and Magic the Gathering)  which were published in the New York Press newspaper. These columns are all in his book Teen Angst? .. Nah! which I also really recommend.


Rutford Becomes a Man

short story, May 2004


This collection of short stories are all about how it feels to be turning sixteen. There are stories about sex, and religion and getting your driver’s permit.

Ned’s story throws you into the middle of the Wild West in 1897, where Rutford is intent on not celebrating his sixteeth birthday. However, his father has a special birthday present for him – a trip to the local brothel. After reading this one short story, I felt like I knew Rutford so well. That’s what made Ned such a great writer. His characters were effortlessly brought to life as I read. Rutford is riddled with teenage angst, apathy and atheism. He’s a nineteeth century Adrian Mole and Morrissey combination.

I want to write about what happens in the brothel because it’s the sweetest part of the story, but then that would spoil it for you, so I won’t.


It’s Kind of a Funny Story

novel, April 2007


I don’t like to use the phrase ‘life changing’ because it’s just so hackneyed – but this is a life changing book. Sorry, but it is.

It tells the story of Craig, who has anxious and suicidal thoughts that race through his mind. He is really feeling the pressure at school, and he has a crush on his best friend’s girlfriend, and he doesn’t know what will happen in his future. When it becomes too much for him, he phones the suicide hotline. He ends up checking into the psych ward at his local hospital.

“People are screwed up in this world. I’d rather be with someone screwed up and open about it than somebody perfect and ready to explode.”

Did I mention this book is really funny, too? It is. Craig’s experiences in the hospital and the people he meet are described in such a relateable and yet absurd way.

After I read the book I found out that it was based on a real life experience. Ned spent some time in his twenties in a hospital for his depression and anxiety.  He said – “It’s Kind of a Funny Story is 85% true. I actually did spend a week in the adult wing of a psychiatric hospital in Brooklyn after calling a suicide hotline in fall 2004. I was 23 at the time, however, not 15. I made the main character, Craig, 15 in the book but gave him my problems and worldview. Then I added the love triangle.”

This book has given a lot of people strength to keep living, despite everything.

Ned gave talks in colleges – “How Not to Go Crazy in College” because he wanted to help people deal with stress and anxiety. He really wanted to share his advice with as many people as possible. He told people not to sell themselves short and to remember that stress is not a real threat. It’s too sad for me to watch right now, but it gives me so much happiness too, because he really wanted for people to feel happier, more calm. I know he helped a lot of people, and his novels will continue to touch hearts.

RIP Ned.

Hello 2014

A reveller writes "2014" with sparklers ahead of New Year's Eve, in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Happy 2014!

My New Year’s resolution is to write my blog more. I love writing and I totally let it slide last year.

In 2013 I travelled to countries I’d never been to before, I went to concerts, musicals in London and stand up shows, I read tons of books, watched lots of movies and didn’t write about any of it!

This year I want to write about all the stuff I experience, plus have more guest bloggers. Nudge me if I lapse.

Sophie’s Style Icons



Nobody was as effortlessly cool than Jennifer Herrema during her time in Royal Trux. Her smokey eyes were always hidden by her amazing fringe. Just look at that fringe! The patched up, bellbottom jeans and beaded necklaces and chunky rings on her fingers show her love of the Seventies era. I love her punk rock, don’t give a fuck, girly bad ass style. She is the ultimate rocker girl. I’m pretty sure that Jennifer Herrema inspired the stylings of one of my favourite TV characters – Kim Kelly from Freaks and Geeks. As well as the rock goddess Envy Adams from the Scott Pilgrim comics.


2. MIA


Mathangi “Maya” Arulpragasam is a bad ass style chameleon. She has rocked blue lipstick, ancient Egyptian inspired headresses, cheerleader chic  – and here’s the thing – she owns every single look. MIA just commands attention whatever she wears. And she doesn’t come across as trying too hard. I can imagine her getting up and saying, I wanna put on green lipstick today. MIA isn’t scared to mix prints. I love that she’s doesn’t care if her leopard print and neon pink and polka dots don’t match. She always looks amazing. Her music is out there and incredible, too – check out her super cute ombre hair and street style in one of the best music videos ever.




I just love, love, love how much of a fuck Katie Price does not give. Look at her in this recent pic. Not only is she dressed up as a horse, but she’s dressed up as a pink horse and she’s rocking the whole look with white peeptoe heels. Of course people said, Katie Price looks like such a mess! But people were talking about her, so she got the result that she wanted. Katie obviously doesn’t listen to sensible stylists and uses fashion just for fun. She’s only in her 30s but she’s had tons of iconic looks, some of which were shown off by some male models. What a one off she is. Fuck the haters, Katie, and do what you do! (Like you weren’t gonna anyway).




Michelle Williams looks good constantly. Of all my favourite style icons, it was the hardest to choose just one picture of Michelle Williams – so I chose four! Look how off beat and amazing these dresses are! Her red carpet dresses are always the perfect combination of old school glamour and quirky vintage style, but when she is dressed down she also always looks perfect and cool. Michelle also rocks her boy short hair and always looks so girly and cute it’s insane. Michelle, I want your wardrobe.




The reason why I just couldn’t omit Gwen from this list is because she’s always had great style. She rocked the ska girl look in the 90s, as well as wearing vintage 40s dresses and bindis. She looked gorgeous with pink hair, and when she had blue hair, too. I love how now she loves to wear bold monocrome looks. I see pictures of her in gossip magazines where she’s wearing beat up jeans and punk t-shirts and she looks so laid back and chill. And then I see other pictures of her in the front row and she is a full on fashionista, rocking designer dresses and sky high heels. She always looks fabulous.


FIVE reasons why we love FIVE!

As part of ITV’s Big Reunion, lots of bands from the early 00s (when pop was at a heady height, in my humble hopinion) have reunited to play some shows here in the uk. These bands include B*Witched, who have a lot of feelings – Atomic Kitten, Blue and… Five!


(l-r Scott, Ritchie, J, Abz Love, Sean)

(I didn’t even have to Google their names just now, srsly)


Let’s face it, Five is a stupid name for a band. Even in a world where bad band names are everywhere, this one really sucks. Even if you spell it like 5ive (Which makes me think of the word sieve – anyone else want to make cookies?) But here’s the thing – J decided not to join the rest of the band for the reunion. Which, yes, means there the band is called Five, but there are only four members. This is subverting the dominant paradigm in the world of boy band pop.  Sheer genius. I love it.



When you first look at Five, you immediately see that Rich is the pretty one, With his baby blue eyes, blonde hair and cheurbuc face, you think he’d have little substance. But you would of course be wrong. When Ritchie was dating Bille Piper back in the 00s, he used to go out wearing make-up like, so what? No big. I loved that about him. Plus now he’s just arrived back from Australia where he has been living for a long time. His accent is now a bizarre amalgamation of Brummie meets Aussie, and I’ve never heard anything like it.



Five were too busy making fun music with Queen to record any boring mushy songs. I much prefer boy bands when they make songs I can dance to (I hated that song ‘Little Things’ by 1D, they are so much better when they are having fun!) and Five had so many upbeat songs. Songs which are pure joy!Their hit single ‘Keep on Movin’ is so happiness inducing, that if you don’t like it, then you have no heart!**

How early 00s is that video? Wow.***


Another firm favourite is their song ‘Slam Dunk (Da Funk)’ which we all love to sing along to. Despite, or should I say due to, the nonsensical lyrics.


Plus, the brilliant Everybody Get Up! (Except for the video which involves Five disrupting an exam. That would annoy me so much if I was prepared to sit an exam that day. At least wait till the end of the exam to play the gig! Yes I remain a NERD 4LYFE.)



This song is ALL ABOUT SEX but in a totally cute, non scary way. It’s not a love song. It’s cheeky. It’s playful and kind of quirky. I love it!



Watching them on ITV’S Big Reunion is great because they bicker and fight and swear constantly and they all love each other so much. They are like brothers. They talk about their mental breakdowns and dalliances with drugs with refreshing candour. There is, and always has been, I think, something remarkably unpolished about Five. And since they’re a boyband who were put together by pop maverick Simon Cowell, this is really something! I hope they do well out of the reunion. I think they’re really lovely genuine guys. I want to hug them all. Especially Sean, bless his heart.

Why not watch them on the Big Reunion, on the link below, if only for Ritchie and Abz Love’s amazing accents.

* Depending on your pov.

**Then again, if you had no heart, you wouldn’t be able to read this.

***The song actually came out in 1999, which means Five were even more before their time than previously concieved.