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Books I’ll Be Reading Through February

readingPhoto by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Hello there, February! Who else thought that January dragged on for way too long? I know I did and I’m glad that we have a new month ahead of us. Since it’s February I get to share with you some of the books that I’m planning on reading. I didn’t do too well last month but, if I read any book, it’s a win!

Reading isn’t meant to be a chore.

Read when you feel you can.

I’m planning on reading around 5 books, depending on my mental health. That always seems to dictate whether I have the energy to read or not.

Orion Lost (Alastair Chisholm)

There was a ship in space, lost.

The transport ship Orion is four months out of earth when catastrophe strikes – leaving the
ship and everyone on board stranded in deep space.

Suddenly it’s up to thirteen-year-old Beth and her friends to navigate through treacherous and
uncharted territory to reach safety. But a heavily-damaged ship, space pirates, a mysterious
alien species, and an artificial intelligence that Beth doesn’t know if she can trust means that
getting home has never been so difficult.

I’d never heard of Alastair before but the front cover of this book really caught my attention. It reminded me a little of Ender’s Game meets Wizard of Oz! I know that’s a weird combo but the bright green had me thinking it! I also love that it has space pirates and aliens! The Whovian in me is really looking forward to reading this!

One Of Us Is Lying (Karen M. McManus)

Five students walk into detention.

Only four leave alive.

Yale hopeful Bronwyn has never publicly broken a rule. Sports star Cooper only knows what he’s doing in the baseball diamond. Bad boy Nate is one misstep away from a life of crime. Prom queen Addy is holding together the cracks of her perfect life. And outsider Simon, creator of the notorious gossip app at Bayview High, won’t ever talk about any of them again.

He dies 24 hours before he could post their deepest secrets online. Investigators conclude it’s no accident. All of them are suspects.

Everyone has secrets, right?

What really matters is how far you’ll go to protect them.

Woooow! This synopsis really hits you and this is before you’ve even started reading the book! I don’t usually read crime YA books because they don’t tend to be my thing, but this really got my interest. Another combo feeling: The Breakfast Club meets Riverdale! You’ve got an interesting bunch of characters and you literally won’t know who the murderer is until you read.

Karen, I’m ready to be confused and on the edge of my seat!

One Of Us Is Next (Karen M. McManus)

Another year.

Another drama.

A whole new set of rules…

Bayview High is just about recovered from the death of gossip king Simon Kelleher a year ago. Now there’s a new copycat in town who isn’t ready to forget him just yet.

A school-wide game of Truth or Dare seems fun, right?

But this game is lethal. Choosing the truth may reveal your darkest secrets, accepting the dare could be dangerous, even fatal. The teenagers of Bayview must work together once again to find the culprit, before it’s too late…

You guessed it. This is the sequel ‘One Of Us Is Lying’ that I mentioned above. This only came out last month and I figured that, if I was going to read the first book, it would make sense to get the second book too. Unlike the first, this sounds a little more vague. You don’t get so much of an idea of what could happen but that tends to make a book more fun reading. It’s fun to think!

Maybe that’s why I love Sherlock! Haha!

The Star Outside My Window (Onjali Q. Rauf)

Following the disappearance of her mum, 10-year-old Aniyah suddenly finds herself living in foster care. With her life in disarray, she knows just one thing for sure: her mum isn’t gone for ever. Because people with the brightest hearts never truly leave. They become stars.

So when a new star is spotted acting strangely in the sky, Aniyah is sure it’s her mum, and she embarks on the adventure of a lifetime to make sure everyone else knows too — an adventure that involves breaking into the Royal Observatory of London, a mischievous scurry of squirrels and the biggest star in Hollywood…

I have adored Onjali Rauf’s writing ever since I read The Boy At The Back Of The Class. She has such a way of chatting about difficult subjects that other authors might not write about. I’ve heard that this book looks at domestic violence and, though it might be hard to read about, I think it’s important for children to understand that domestic violence by anyone is not right.

This sounds like it will still be a touching read and I can’t wait to see what journey Aniyah goes on.

The Flat Share (Beth O’Leary)

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy Moore needs a cheap flat, and fast. Leon Twomey works nights and needs cash. Their friends think they’re crazy, but it’s the perfect solution: Leon occupies the one-bed flat while Tiffy’s at work in the day, and she has the run of the place the rest of the time.

But with obsessive ex-boyfriends, demanding clients at work, wrongly imprisoned brothers and, of course, the fact that they still haven’t met yet, they’re about to discover that if you want the perfect home you need to throw the rulebook out the window…

Wow.

I have to admit that this sounds a little like a plot to a fanfiction but I love it!! The idea of sharing the same home and bed but never meeting is such a fun idea! Kind of wonder how they came up with this idea of sharing a flat without having met. That would seriously have me on the friend side of things questioning their sanity, but I’m intrigued!

Let’s see what happen these two! I’m predicting that they eventually meet and fall in love!

What books are you planning on reading this month?

 

Books

How To Find Time To Read During The Week

time to readPhoto by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Reading is one of the few things in my life that I couldn’t live without. It lets me travel to far off places without even leaving my flat and make friends with different people. However there are some days where I just don’t have time to read anything and that makes me sad. We should always have time to read in our day, even if it’s just for an hour. We all seem to be rush, rush, rush these days.

I can remember a young girl telling her friend that she ‘didn’t have to read a book because reading Instagram stories is reading!’. While she does have a point to a degree, NO. That’s only my opinion by the way!

Don’t worry…we’re going to find time to help you read when life gets a little too hectic.

Set aside a time after you get up or before bed

You’d be surprised how setting a reading moment after you’ve woken up or before you head to sleep is great for you. You get the chance to relax yourself, feel accomplished and have fun. It all depends what kind of person you are. Are you a morning or night-time person?

Either way you’ll be chilling with a good book!

Keep something to read on you

You know how I had a little moan about the young girl?

That doesn’t mean that I don’t accept reading other ways. There are so many ways to read these days! You could read a physical book, on a Kindle or even listen to an audiobook. If you use not having time to read as an excuse, be firmer with yourself. You don’t have to read an entire book in a short amount of time! You could just do a page or two for a couple of minutes to tide you over.

Do the Goodreads Reading Challenge

Since we’re just over two weeks into 2020, it’s still perfect time to start the reading challenge on the Goodreads website. It allows you to set a certain amount of books that you can read through the year so you don’t have to rush your reading. If you can only read 12 books, then space it out by reading a book a month.

Life can make it super difficult to read sometimes so don’t feel frustrated when you can’t do it as often as other people.

Use your commuting/travel time

If you’re like me and you don’t drive, then you’ll probably have to use public transport. We might not having the most convenient transport out there but we tend to have no choice but to use them. I know my friend Lindsey uses her commute time to catch up on some reading.

It doesn’t matter if you have only 15 minutes or an hour on the bus/train, catch up on your reading and try to ignore the delays/stress!

Exchange books with a friend

One way that pushes me to read a book is if I’m on a time-frame with it. That describes my library experience over all! I always end up being a bit late with the book because I didn’t take the time to read it when I could. I’m annoying that way to be honest.

A whole different matter when the book comes from a friend. You’re more likely to both want to make sure the book stays looking nice and return it in a good amount of time. Unless they’ve told you beforehand to take your time to enjoy. Though, if someone loans you a book from their bookshelf, don’t take that as a sign that the book is now yours and never return it.

RIP to the books I’ve lost over the years!

Read books you actually like

Have you ever picked up a handful of books that everyone seems to be loving and you don’t? That happens to me fairly often. I end up grabbing books that are on trend because I think that’s what I should be reading instead of going for ones that I know I’ll enjoy.

That’s why I don’t conform to my age group and allow myself to read YA books.

This way I will be excited about reading it and I’ll more likely put aside some time in my day to read. This system doesn’t always work but that’s just one of the things of being a reader!

How do you make sure that you have time to read?

Books

AD | Tweet Cute by Emma Lord (Blog Tour)

tweet cute

AD | This book was gifted in exchange for a review.

An author whose work I’ve fallen for is Emma Lord’s! Tweet Cute might be her debut novel but I feel I’m going to be fangirling her for a long time. I might also like her because I follow her on Twitter and discovered she’s a Hufflepuff! What? I’m not going to let my badger love take over this review. All of the opinions in this review will be all my own and completely honest.

I was graciously allowed to take part in the Blog Tour for Emma’s upcoming book Tweet Cute (it’s coming out on January 21st!!) Look at that cover! You can tell that the book is going to be ‘cute’. I was also gifted the book to read! This definitely made the start of 2020 very exciting for my little blog!

Synopsis

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming — mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese — that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life — on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate — people on the internet are shipping them — their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.

tweet cute

Paperback (21st January) | Hardback (1st February)

Review

My first thoughts on Tweet Cute?

Is it bad that I was already laughing on the first page? Pepper was just so relatable and the banter between her and her sister Paige was hilarious!

“Um, is the apartment on fire?”
“Nope, just my life.”

If that isn’t relatable, I don’t know what is. We’ve all had moments like that and Pepper showcases all of them. She is a teen who had been plucked out of home in Nashville and dropped into a private school in Manhattan! She’s completely focused on the school work (just to keep her away from the popular sharks and keep her head above water), but she had a secret.

She has a friend.

The only problem is that she doesn’t know who that friend is. All she knows is that they are a student at her school and that their username is called Wolf. I automatically got slight ‘Gossip Girl’ vibes mixed in with ‘Pretty Little Liars’. I love how quick Pepper is with her humour and how you tell that something is starting to develop between her and Wolf.

I won’t tell you who Wolf is because you’ll find out yourselves.

The other character I loved is Jack who seems to be battling with his image. He has a twin brother called Ethan who is super popular and smart and he is basically the class clown. I felt for him when I read that people initially smiled at him but then realised he wasn’t his brother.

I wish that I had had a grandma like Jack’s! Grandma Belly is so sweet and stern and sassy! Now I see where Jack gets it throughout the book.

There is so much that Emma Lord crams into this book and I love it! She’s actually teaching me bits about the US Education System that I didn’t know, though I did have to go and google a few words that I had no clue about. As a lover of Twitter and who chats using many random gifs, I love there is an intense battle over it! It’s just like every day life of anyone who uses a form of social media.

We become obsessed.

We retweet and comment to the latest trends/memes.

We respond to any viral tweets and go a little crazy when Twitter blows up at crazy real life things. It’s safe to say that it can be a scary, scary place and Emma has captured that perfectly. Tweets happen, things happen and you are made to see the people you’re reading about in a whole different light.

I think all of my blogger friends and social media people will find Tweet Cute hilarious because it is a little bit of a parody at times and you totally get what Pepper goes through. I know I’m being vague but I’m just subtly pushing you to buy the book when it comes out with each word I type!

Have you ever had a bit of a Twitter war like Tweet Cute?

 

Books

Looking Back At My Favourite Books of 2019

books of 2019Photo by Daniel Schludi on Unsplash

It’s Christmas next week, everyone!! What are you hoping to get from Santa? I actually have gifts under the tree this time and I’m super excited! In past years I’ve done wishlists, but there’s kind of no point when you know what you’re getting! I will be doing one for my birthday because it’s fun! Haha! There have been so many incredible books I’ve read for the first time this year, some old and some new. I wanted to take the time to look back at some of my favourite books of 2019!

Jemima Small Versus The Universe (Tamsin Winter)

I actually finished reading this book yesterday but I loved it so much!

Jemima Small just wants to be like other girls. She hates being called “Jemima Big”, being forced to join the school health group – aka Fat Club – and that she can’t apply for her favourite TV show without worrying everyone will laugh. But she also knows that the biggest stars in the universe are the brightest. So maybe it’s her time to shine.

Jemima is such a fun character who has to put up with so much! People can’t see past her size and see the amazing person she is. I loved how strong she was against the others and how, even though she struggled, she fought! I won’t spoil what happens but it’s so good!

She reminds me of so many of my friends who may be judged for what they look on the outside, but who should be looked at from the inside. They’re smart, beautiful, strong, determined and so much more! Tamsin, if you ever read this teeny review, please bring Jemima back for a sequel!! I will be doing a proper review in the next few days but I just had to chat about this!

Heartstopper

Heartstopper: Volume 2 (Alice Oseman)

I’ve been a fan of Alice for a little while after falling in love with her Heartstopper comic on Tumblr. When it was published last year and I knew how much everyone would fall for Nick and Charlie, I was so happy! I continued to be estactic when she announced the she was coming out with Volume 2. You never know what goes on inside Alice’s head. Some people are surprised that you can love drawn characters but the expressions and the story make it hard not to.

REVIEW | Heartstopper: Volume 2

The Paper & Hearts Society (Lucy Powrie)

You wouldn’t think that this book was Lucy’s debut into being an author! She has been such a vital voice for books on Youtube where she spoke a lot about classics! You can tell how much love and attention she put into each of her characters. I think Lucy knows how much I loved her first book and how excited for her sequel: Read With Pride! If you haven’t pre-ordered, do it!!

You won’t regret it!

REVIEW | The Paper & Hearts Society

Calling All Witches

Calling All Witches (Laurie Calkhoven)

Something that I adore about Harry Potter is the amount of strong women that we have! Yes, even Bellatrix Lestrange! There are so many witches that deserve some love and, even though half of these women are mentioned in passing, they are still awesome. My favourites have to be Luna Lovegood, Hermione Granger, Queenie Goldstein and Nymphadora Tonks.

They know what it’s like to be different and do their very best to make their way through the Wizarding World. In times like today, it’s important that everyone is loved! All women are women.

REVIEW | Calling All Witches

Five Feet Apart (Rachel Lippincott, Mikki Daughtry & Tobias Iaconis)

It must have been a crazy 2019 for Rachel, Mikki and Tobias! The fact that their book was released in the UK in January and then the film (with Cole Sprouse!) came out in the March! Insane, right?! I absolutely loved this book and Stella’s journey through it. I may not suffer from Cystic Fibrosis but I know what it’s like to have to follow a list and stress when it’s not completed just right. That and I have a bunch of medication that I have to remember.

If you haven’t read or watched Five Feet Apart, please check it out!

There are so many books in 2019 that I’ve loved but we’d literally be here for ages! I discovered yesterday that I had reached my goals for books on Goodreads and I’m pretty proud of myself. For someone who spends a lot of her time battling her mental health, 30 is awesome. Go me!

What have been your favourite books of 2019?
Did you do the Goodreads Reading Challenge?

 

 

Books

What Are My Favourite Christmas Reads?

Best Christmas Reads

One of the things I love about book shops during Christmas is the sheer number of Christmas reads that appear! Some that are true classics and others brand-new. I love getting the chance to sit down on a freezing cold day with a festive book. I’ve gone through the little list I put together over the last few weeks and picked the ones that I would personally read.

I’ve got a mixture of Children’s, YA and Adult Fiction because we all know I’m a big kid! If you’re looking for a new book to gift to someone in your family, hope these help!

The Christmasaurus (Tom Fletcher)

You might have heard of Tom Fletcher before! He’s in the band McFly and the big brother of Carrie Hope Fletcher! I knooow! They’re a talented family! You might also know his wife Giovanna Fletcher who is a well-known author too! A few years ago Tom started writing books. First he wrote ‘The Dinosaur Who Pooped A Planet’ with Dougie Poynter in 2013 and then, 3 years later, he wrote an incredible book called The Christmasaurus!

There are so many reasons why I love this book!

Not only is the main character Will Trundle in a wheelchair, the book is just full of magic that every kid needs to be reminded of at Christmas! Not long ago he even turned The Christmasaurus into a musical which was a massive hit with everyone. It has one of the best songs which is called ‘Afraid of Heights‘! I literally have played it every Christmas since Tom released it in 2017!

Is it too late to make it a Number 1? Haha!

The cover is from the sequel ‘The Christmasaurus and the Winter Witch’ and it sounds like it will be just as amazing!

One year has passed since William Trundle’s incredible adventure with the most extraordinary dinosaur: the Christmasaurus. Now, William is swept back to the magical North Pole, where he meets the mysterious, icy Winter Witch – whose power to control time allows Santa Claus to make the long journey all around the world every Christmas Eve. And when they learn that the fate of Christmas itself hangs in the balance, William and the Christmasaurus must work with the Winter Witch to protect it…

Spot’s First Christmas (Eric Hill)

Spot! I hope there are people who remember good old Spot the Dog.

He was one of the very first books I read from as a kid and still vaguely remember reading it which is great for my awful memory! I spotted this when I was in Foyles last Saturday with Ali and it just brought back so memories. It has to be in the Top 2 of festive stories for children. It’s easy to clean so you can’t go wrong with that!

Spot gets to find out about what Christmas trees are, carol singers and Santa Claus! It’s a perfect way to get your little one super excited for Christmas Day with little flaps for them to lift! Even as an adult, I still can’t resist lifting flaps or pressing buttons on noisy books!

The Night I Met Father Christmas (Ben Miller)

This was a book I hadn’t heard about until last month and it really intrigued me.

The front cover was what caught my attention to begin with since it reminded me of Peter Pan a little bit. Maybe it was the magic and the horizon of London which did it! This was illustrated, along with pictures inside, by Daniela Jaglenka Terrazzini.

The other was the name of the author: Ben Miller! You might not automatically recognise the name but he’s an incredible actor and comedian! He’s half of Armstrong and Miller, started in Death In Paradise and recently been in the P&O Cruises ads!

Jackson knows all about the flying reindeer, he knows about the elves and the secret North Pole workshop, he knows about the magic that allows Father Christmas to deliver presents around the world in just one night, but there’s one thing he doesn’t know … how did Father Christmasbecome Father Christmas?

That all changes when, one Christmas Eve, Jackson meets Father Christmas and hears his incredible story.

So begins an enchanting fairy-tale into a magical snowy landscape, where Torvil, a mean-spirited and miserly elf, is about to discover the true meaning of Christmas. This might not have been the story Jackson was expecting but, as Father Christmas tells him, no good story ever is…

A Christmas Carol (Charles Dickens)

It wouldn’t be Christmas without A Christmas Carol and hearing about Scrooch’s journey of enlightenment! I read bits of this when I was at school and it took me a while to understand all the language! I didn’t start to get what it was really about until I started seeing the films on it. They’re all pretty freaky but my favourite has to be ‘A Muppet Christmas Carol’ and I watch it every Christmas Eve!

It’s so fun, musical and actually makes the scene with Death a little easier to watch.

There is one version that scared me so much that I had nightmares about it!

Father Christmas (Raymond Briggs)

The other story in my Top 2 for Christmas Reads has to be Father Christmas!

Raymond Briggs has to be the King of British Christmas because he is the creator of ‘The Snowman’. I adore listening to the music from the film even if I was confused at first! Are you sensing a theme here? Haha.

The reason why I love reading (and watching) Father Christmas is because it’s just such a funny take on Santa. He’s not the jolly guy we usually see but a grumpy bloke with a heart of gold. He grumbles about his work and life but gives his pets presents, eats a festive lunch and clearly loves what he does! Mel Smith did the voice for him in the film and it still makes me smile hearing his voice.

The Christmas Stocking and Other Stories (Katie Fforde)

I don’t read a large amount of grown-up books but, when I do, I tend to go for romance novels with humour. My go-tos are usually Lindsey Kelk and Katie Fforde! They have such a great way of story-telling and having you want to know more about their characters!

Katie doesn’t just give us one Christmas story but a bunch of short ones!!

THE CHRISTMAS STOCKING: Romy is all set to join her boyfriend and his family in France for Christmas, though truth be told she isn’t looking forward to it very much. And then she meets Felix – and her plans for the big day suddenly become a lot more interesting.

CANDLELIGHT AT CHRISTMAS: It was meant to be the perfect Christmas – surrounded by friends and family in their beautiful home in the country. But then the lights go out, and Fenella knows she will have to work very hard to keep everyone happy …

THE CHRISTMAS FAIRY: It’s Christmas Eve in Crinan, and a young man is on his own with only his nephew and niece for company. Then Ella arrives. Dressed as a fairy, she is determined to wave her wand and give them all the best Christmas ever.

Letters From Father Christmas (J.R.R Tolkien)

You might know J.R.R Tolkien for his legendary books on Middle-Earth such as Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit and more. I’ve added this to my Christmas Reads because it just sounds such a sweet book.

According to the synopsis, all these letters arrived every December for Tolkien’s children and came from Father Christmas. He would talk about his life in the North Pole, how a polar bear climbed the North Pole and fell through his roof and other tales. They would have some illustrations with them with little notes from the polar bear or from one of Santa’s elves!

This reminds me so much of what my mum and dad used to do with me at Christmas and really got me excited for the day! It’s cool to think they did the same all those years ago.

The Nine Lives of Christmas (Florence McNicoll in partnership with Battersea)

The final book on my list is about a cat!

I love cats with a passion and, upon seeing this book, I knew it would automatically be on my festive book list! I never knew that Battersea also looked after cats until I started watching Paul O’Grady’s For The Love of Dogs and we got glimpses.

Just like the saying goes for dogs, a cat is for life not just for Christmas.

It’s Christmas at Battersea Dogs and Cats Home and Laura is desperate to find a home for Felicia, a spiky, bad-tempered moggy with a heart of gold. Her boyfriend, Rob, can’t understand why she’s spending so much time at work, but for Laura, the animals aren’t just a job – they’re her life. She needs a partner who understands that – doesn’t she?

As the December snow falls, Laura encounters nine people, all of whom need a little love in their lives and find it in new pets. Everyone needs somebody to curl up with at Christmas, and when the handsome Aaron walks in, he takes not just Felicia, but Laura’s heart too…

What are your favourite festive books to read?

Books

My Favourite Book-To-Screen Adaptations

Book-to-Screen

I can’t be the only one who can easily name a handful of book-to-screen adaptations. They’ve become more and more common which is both a great and a bad thing. If the director knows the book and stays true to it, the adaptation will be awesome. However there are some horrific ones out there that you can tell the person had zero clue about the book or the characters.

I’m going to look at some of my favourite book-to-screen shows/films and then maybe share a couple that I didn’t like. Some may surprise you!!

Harry Potter

I had to start with this because I have two particular favourites! They have to be Philosopher’s Stone and Prisoner of Azkaban. I didn’t use to like POA because it was such a different film style compared to the others and because Ron’s lines were stolen. That has changed over the years. The first one was just so faithful to the book! It had the lines I could read word for word. Chris Columbus was just so brilliant directing it and Chamber of Secrets and you could tell that he truly read the books.

Part of me wishes he would have stayed on longer but the other directors did great too!

Five Feet Apart

I only saw and read Five Feet Apart this year and I adored it!! It was such a brilliant book and I immediately fell in love with Stella and Will as characters. Hearing their voices going through such a unique situation of dealing with Cystic Fibrosis was interesting. It also helped that Cole Sprouse was cast as Will and I adored his take on him! Plus he has been incredible dedicating any wins to Claire Wineland who passed from the disease last year.

I think the world needs more YA books looking at people with certain illnesses so that people feel connected. For me I wish I could see more books looking at autism so it can teach people that we’re different yet the same.

Pride and Prejudice

I had a reason for using the book in my picture! This is automatically my mum’s fault! We used to watch the BBC version of Pride and Prejudice and it was what got me into classic books and period dramas. It had the elegance and the drama and Colin Firth coming out of a lake!

Ever since watching this show I’ve loved Mansfield Park, Emma and so many others! You have to admit that the BBC does a pretty decent job casting the right people for these dramas!

Hunger Games

Two words: Jennifer Lawrence!!

I’ll admit a faux-pas that this was one of those moments where I watched the film before I read the book. In my defence, I wasn’t a massive fan of dystopian books since they were always the same. Hunger Games was something completely different and it had my attention straight away. I loved how strong Katniss was and how dedicated she was to fighting to keep her family safe and bring honour to her District. I hadn’t seen much of Jennifer Lawrence before this and this was how I developed a girl crush on her!! She’s just so pretty and sassy! I was never overly fond of Josh Hutchinson as Peeta but he definitely got better.

Bridge to Terebithia

My heart!! This book and film broke me so much!! If you haven’t read the book, then you need to either order it now or run to your local library tomorrow! It’s such a heart-wrenching novel that had you on a rollercoaster and seeing through the eyes of a child differently. This was the film that I loved Josh in and made me fangirl Anna-Sophia Robb as an actress. Those two were just so perfect as Leslie and Jesse! Even to this day I cry when I read or watch this.

I also have Bailee Madison (the baby sister of Jesse) following me on Twitter so score! Haha!

The Princess Diaries

I’d never read a 1st person book before this but loved the style in which Meg Cabot wrote. You really felt as if you were reading someone’s diary and Mia was everything I wanted to be and more! Is it bad that I wish I could have had her cat Fat Louie? The film adaptation of this was Anne Hathaway’s first ever film!! It’s crazy to think of that and where she is these days! She was brilliant as a gawky Mia who just wanted to get through high school and who wouldn’t want to discover that Julie Andrews was your grandmother!

I’m still hoping I’ll find a connection in my family tree one day!

Simon Vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda

Love. this. book!!

Becky Albertalli has quickly become one of my favourite YA authors behind JK Rowling. She really writes relatable characters that you wish you were friends with and/or could possibly see in your therapy group. I haven’t read too many LGBTQ+ books (something I’m aiming to change!) but this was beautiful. It’s all about a young guy called Simon who is secretly gay but hasn’t told his friends or family yet. He comes out to a stranger called Blue and stuff happens. It helps that this character is a Hufflepuff and has an awesome friend called Leah!

The film version was so good! Nick Robinson was made to be Simon and I wish we could see more of him in other roles! Did you know another one of Becky’s books ‘What If It’s Us‘ is being made into a film?!

The Babysitter’s Club

Okay…this one is an oldie but a cheesy goodie! Please tell me someone else has read and watched The Babysitter’s Club! This was one of the first book-to-screens that I ever watched! I was 8 when it first came out and seeing these ‘big kids’ doing such cool things really made me want to grow up! I loved making my own little club that only certain people could join. The Lion King was the best club I did! Haha! The books were a little old for me at the time but I definitely read all of them when I could! There were so many to love! They’ve even been made into a graphic novel now!

You’re probably wondering the ones that I didn’t like. Don’t hate me but:

  • Twilight
  • Percy Jackson
  • Paper Towns
  • Divergent

What are your favourite book-to-screen adaptations?

Books

The Bookish Christmas Gift Guide

Bookish

Remember when I said that my last post was my final winter post? Well, I lied! I looked at my list of post ideas and saw that I hadn’t written my bookish gift guide. I’ve seen some amazing things online and in person to share with you! I have a lot of book lovers for friends so maybe I can convince them to treat themselves to a product or two.

As always, I hope that some of these ideas help you with some last minute gift ideas. Even if it’s not for Christmas, then a birthday or a thank you gift!

By the way, this post isn’t sponsored! I just found The Literary Gift Company when I was looking through Google and saw they had a bunch of great ideas!

Jane Austen Doormat (£20)

What I love about this doormat is that it perfectly describes a home.

At least for a book lover anyway! I much prefer staying home reading or when it’s freezing outside. It’s much comfier and I’m a social outcast! Haha! You can never have too many door mats. When your old one gets too filthy, you can throw out and use the next.

Exercise The Mind Bookends (£16.99)

HA! Is this true or what?!

The brain is a muscle, right? What else better to exercise our minds and take us travelling around different worlds than reading? If reading was considered an actual exercise, I would be super toned and practically an athlete now! Do you think it’s too late to make a recognised one?

Penguin Mug (£8.99)

Quite a lot of my book friends have at least one Penguin mug in their life.

I don’t actually mean a mug with a penguin (though that is a cute one!). I mean the book publisher ‘Penguin’ who have an amazing collection of classic book designs on them. I’d say they were pretty iconic so would make a brilliant gift. A cup of tea while you read…bliss!

Reading Journal (£6.99)

This is something I’m planning on getting for next year to help me keep track on what I read. I tried to do it with my bullet journal but I got bored trying to create my tables. The thing about this particular journal is that it has a list of the Top 100 books on Goodreads for you to tick off. It also has a reading log, place for reviews, a table of books you want to read and more!

Sounds great for all book lovers in your life!

Personal Library Kit (£9.09)

Have you ever had friends see a book on your bookshelf and ask if they can borrow it? I have and I’ve had a couple that never came back! Yes, I’m still salty!!

A great of keeping track on them is by treating your shelves a little like a library! You can put details of the book, select a date you want it back and even stamp it like a proper classic librarian. So cool!

I’m tempted to even get it for the stamp! I’m a child…

‘Draco’ 9oz Soy Wax Candle (£13.09)

You don’t have to get this specific candle (though you totally could because you would get to say that you’re smelling Draco). Haha! I’ve really been loving candles recently and I’ve been wanting to support smaller businesses. When I found Nali aka A Court of Candles on Etsy, I adored the sound of her candles! They’re all named after books, book characters or places in books!

How cool, right?!

They sound so nice and, since she has a large amount of candles for you to check out, I’m sure you’ll find one from a book you love!

‘Too Many Books? I think you mean not enough bookshelves!’ Sign (£5.99)

Ever looking for a sign to put near your bookshelves? I think this is perfect! It’s not that we buy too many books…it’s just because we don’t have enough bookshelves in our lives!

Cat Book Sleeve (£11)

The final gift for my bookish gift guide is actually something I see a lot of my favourite booktubers using. I never knew they existed until them and that is a book sleeve! There are so many incredibly talented people on Etsy who create book sleeves but, as soon as I saw cats and books, I knew this was mine!

I’ve actually ordered one while I wrote this post!

A book sleeve is basically a protective pouch you can pop your book in to keep it safe. That way you don’t have to worry about it getting damaged or dirtied while in your bag!

What bookish items have you got on your list this year?

Books

Popular YA Books I Haven’t Read

popular ya

You guys know that I love my books and could literally have the biggest bookcase, but there are some popular YA novels that I haven’t read yet. That could be for many reasons: I’ve been waiting for my library to get or I’m not fussed on the genre. I do believe in giving a book a chance to impress me but there are just some things that I can’t get myself excited for.

I’m going to look at some of the more popular YA on the Goodreads site and give some reasons for why I’ve not read these.

Divergent

You’d think that I’d be all on this! Dystopian and all that but nope. By the time that this came out, I think my mind was just set on Hunger Games. It had similiar vibes to that and seeing the film first put me off from reading the series. Maybe I’ll pop it on my TBR list to try.

City of Bones

Okay, don’t hate me!

Another fantasy book that I’d normally be on; however, no luck yet.

I’ve actually gone to pick up this book a handful of times at the library and did read a chapter, but I couldn’t get hooked. I’ve heard so many good things about this series as a whole and that it gets better with every book. It’s funny that even thought I haven’t read this, I still managed to fall for a ship!

Long live Malec!!

Lord of the Flies

This is a classic on most lists and it does sound like a good plot, but…it seems pretty boring.

The fact that it is from 1954 makes the language used in it a bit hard to understand (at least from the page I looked at) and the idea of boys being stuck on an island and then seem to go a bit crazy…okaaaay.

I did have the option of reading this for my English Literature course at GCSE and I’m kind of glad I chose Shakespeare!

The Perks of a Wallflower

THE FILM TO THIS IS SO GOOD!!

Emma Watson and Ezra Miller?! Yes please!

However, I haven’t read the book to it. I do have a valid reason why I haven’t read this yet. It touches on some pretty triggering mental health issues with one of the characters and, right now, I’m worried that it would trigger me. I want to be able to read this with a clear head and without fear so I’ll get to this eventually.

Pride and Prejudice

I’m going to be yelled at by Lucy Powrie for not reading this!

Don’t get me wrong…I absolutely adore Elizabeth Bennett being a strong, independant woman. Unfortunately this is another book trapped in the ‘language is old so difficult to read’. I do want to give Jane a chance to tell me the story in her own words. Maybe I’ll take the book and read a bit at Chatsworth House.

Who knows? I might bump into Mr Darcy while I read.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time

Oof…I’m actually annoyed at myself for not reading this.

It sounds like such an incredible book, especially since it touches on the topic of autism. I guess I haven’t looked at this yet since I’m not usually a fan of mystery novels. I loved that the author said that this book is one about ‘difference’ and about seeing the world in a new way.

If there is anything I’ve discovered since my diagnosis, it’s that we do seem to see the world in a different light to others. We notice it in more detail and spot all the little things that others miss.

Should I add that as a talent on my CV? Haha!

Watership Down

NONONONO.

I will never read this book and you can blame the original film!

What an utter mind mess this is!! I love the idea of rabbits and learning more about them but this book just has gore, crazy visions and way too much death! Not my kind of book and it can stay tucked away in a library somewhere.

That said, I do love hearing Stephen Gateley singing ‘Bright Eyes‘. *sighs dreamily*

There are so many books out there that other people love and I haven’t gotten round to reading yet. Some of them I will happily post on my to-be-read list and others…they’ll just have to stay a mystery!

Throne of Glass

I’m really not showing that I love fantasy with all these ‘haven’t read’ mentions but I swear I do love it!

You know when you hear a book that sounds amazing, it becomes super popular and then it puts you off it? That’s what happened to me with Throne of Glass. The plot sounds really captivating and I have my friend Katie that is already pushing me to read it.

I don’t think it’s a book I’ll be able to read physically so I might look into the audiobook instead to see if that keeps my attention! Not that it’ll be boring! I just know that my concentration dies after a while.

Lord of the Rings

Technically I have read this and yet I haven’t as well.

Anyone is seen the utter cinderblock that is the whole Lord of the Rings will know that it is massive!! I used to own the whole series with illustrations and all sorts! I adored it and then it disappeared when a friend came to visit. Safe to say that I sent some elves after them.

Next year I really want to sit and dedicate some time to read this.

It’s such a powerful and intense world that deserves all of my attention.

What popular YA books haven’t you read yet?

 

Books Harry Potter

Review | Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw a text yesterday saying that my order for ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: The Journey‘ had arrived! It was 3 days early! I’ve never had a book come this early before.

Waterstones, are you secretly wizards?

I’ve been a massive fan of all things Cursed Child since I saw a preview performance back in June 2016! I was in awe from the very first moment Jamie Parker appeared as Harry and remained after falling for the friendship (and romance…shhh) between Albus and Scorpius!

Everything you’ve wanted to know about the play, you’ll find inside this book.

They don’t spoil any of the magic that they do on stage which is very much appreciated but I do love hearing all the stories. Right at the beginning I was really interested in the early notes of John Tiffany and Sonia Friedman.

I was trying to squint at the writing to see if I can spot anything else.

One of the big questions I had when I saw the play first was ‘where was Teddy Lupin’? He was Harry’s god-son so you’d expect him to be involved with the family. According toJack Thorne, he said:

Teddy’s an amazing character…but we realized that we just couldn’t do service to him. Every character you use, you’ve got to use them properly.

He even said that Hugo wasn’t with his parents because he was probably being watched by Molly. It’s sad that he was the only one of the Granger-Weasley kids not to be included at all but I guess there must have been a reason.

When I saw that there was this page about the wands, I gave a little squeal!!

I’ve been wanting to know the meaning behind their designs for ages and now we get a look into all the tiny details. As you can see from Scorpius’ wand in my picture, it has little marks on the handle.

Apparently, since the wand is an extension of him, the marks are meant to the marks of his soul counting down the days until he could go to Hogwarts or even a form of self-harming. Scorpius!! *sob* With Albus’ wand, the bumps on his wand are almost like worry stones. He can rub his fingers over them to keep him self calm.

You know Scorpius’ hair?

Well, the wig is actually made of epiler hair (the white hairs taken away from natural grey hair). Since any Scorpius actor would have taken a dip at some point and there is chlorine in the water, the wig would get damaged so they needed ‘unprocessed hair’. It’s the most expensive wig out of the cast!

Anthony even wanted to wear uncomfortable shoes so he could feel as out of place as Scorpius felt.

Albus got the chance to be like his Uncle Ron since Sam came up with the idea that he would get James’ hand-me-downs. That’s why his clothes look a little too big for him. Sam said he wanted them to be a bit heavy and bulky to show that he isn’t his own person. His costumes start to change as the play goes on to show that he is changing as a person!

Talking of changes, did you know that any actor who plays Harry has 4 suits to wear?

He has a different one depending on the illusion he’s about to do. He has wand holsters, wand pockets and even the pockets in his trousers to hold his wand. I guess Mad-Eye didn’t warn him enough!

Do you love the robes that the cast wear?

Me too!! They’re actually designed to be a little like school blazers/blazer cloaks! They’ve got the collars and lapels but then have the sleeves of a robe and long at the back! They’ve even got their own personality depending on the character!

Karl Jenkins is quite trendy, and he wears skinny jeans and trainers. Yann Fredericks is very slender and a bit snobbish. He’s very neat, and a bit like Scorpius. Craig Bowker is quite lovable and cute, and he’s got baggy trousers and shoes that were clearly bought by his mum.

I know quite a few people haven’t seen the play yet so I’ve tried not to spoil anything serious, but I hope you liked my review all the same! If you want me to go detailed and make a spoiler review, then let me know in the comments! I have a lot to say still and there are loads of pictures I could include!

It was great to see some of my favourite ensemble such as James Phoon, Annabel Baldwin (She was awesome!), Tom Mackley (still gutted that I never saw his Albus!), James Le Lacheur and Barry McCarthy!

Have you pre-ordered ‘Harry Potter and the Cursed Child’ book?

Books

Review | The Good Girl’s Guide to Murder by Holly Jackson

Holly Jackson

PLOT

The case is closed.

Five years ago, schoolgirl Andie Bell was murdered by Sal Singh. The police know he did it. Everyone in town knows he did it.

But having grown up in the same small town that was consumed by the murder, Pippa Fitz-Amobi isn’t so sure. When she chooses the case as the topic of her final-year project, she starts to uncover secrets that someone in town desperately wants to stay hidden. And if the real killer is still out there, how far will they go to keep Pip from the truth?

review

Anyone who knows me (or have had me comment on one of their book reviews) will know that I’m not a massive fan of crime novels. It isn’t that the books aren’t good! They probably are best-sellers but it’s not a genre that I connect with.

That was until I started reading ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder‘ by Holly Jackson!

Almost immediately my attention was hooked!

You don’t jump right into the thick of things. You’re met with a Candidate Proposal for a project and it totally brought me back to when I was at school and had to do a similar thing. The only negative about this was that the text was super tiny and I actually had trouble reading what was written. I don’t need glasses to read, but even I would need some for this!

Looking at the story itself, I cannot believe that this is Holly Jackson’s debut novel! If I didn’t know better, I would have thought she’d written many books! I related a lot to her main character Pippa in terms of being rather serious.

She was always doing homework and having to get to the bottom of a problem.

As a kid, I tended to research way too much when it came to projects so I totally get her dedication to getting things right!

So many names are thrown at you of who could possibly be Andi’s murderer. Readers will literally have zero clue who could have done it. To be honest, I spent a lot of time jumping for one character to another on who the culprit really was. I loved that I was made to think as I read.

I’m going to apologise to Holly personally since my fangirl self couldn’t help but start shipping Ravi and Pippa! There was something about the gentle jesting they did between one another and they both seemed sassy! The way Ravi called her ‘Sarge’ and how she seemed to keep him on his toes.

If you love teen thrillers, then you need to read this as soon as possible! I love writing reviews of books that surprise me!

Have you read  ‘A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder’ by Holly Jackson?