Sunday, 14 January 2018

New Years Resolution Failure

Today is the 14th January. 13 years ago today my favourite band, Busted announced they were splitting and literally broke little 12 years heart. This is completely irrelevant to today’s blog post but I couldn’t post today and not post about it!

As rubbish as my attempt at Blogtober was, it at least got me writing about other things than what books I’m reading which is perfect as I have nothing new to talk about this week. I’ve just reread a book this week so it seems ridiculous to write a review about a novel that I’ve already wrote about previously! So instead I thought I’d do a little post about new years resolutions.

As it’s the 14th it means we are two whole weeks into January – where on earth did that time go? Which also means we’ve had two whole weeks to make a good start at our new years resolutions. I wrote abit about my resolutions and well, I have failed absolutely miserably already. I wanted to finish writing a book and yes as the 1st January rolled in, I really concentrated and started write, yet 2 weeks later I’ve been struck with a case of writing block and probably haven’t wrote anything for a week. I wanted to lose weight and yes, I am cutting back and trying to eat healthier, except yesterday I went out and ate a 3-course meal without any consideration towards choosing a healthy option and I wanted to quit Facebook. Believe it or not this has been the only one that I’ve relatively stuck to. I deleted the app off my phone and now I only check it on my PC when I get the email to say someone has tagged me in a post. Downside to less Facebook? I’m still not spending my time productively, I’m just spending a lot of time on Taylor Swift’s app, The Swift Life. However, for my mental sanity seeing photos people post of Taylor Swift is a lot happier on my brain then seeing all the people I know posting about their fake perfect lives.

Am I a failure? Potentially. I mean I haven’t given up on my goals, but the January 1st, New Year New Me euphoria has certainly gone out of the window. Perhaps just settling down on the 1st and saying yep I’m going to stop doing this, or start doing this and instantly do it isn’t the way to go as you’re going to give it up. So, I’m going to continue doing a little towards achieving things, after all a little is better than none at all. Hopefully your goals are going better than mine!

A little bit of a rubbish blog posts this week but January is that month of doom and gloom where nothing really happens. Hopefully soon I’ll be posting more interesting posts to read about.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Miss Match – Crystal Cestari

Amber lives in the world of the supernatural. Mingled in her local community are vampires, sirens, werewolf’s…top that off with the fact her mum is a witch, oh and Amber herself is a matchmaker. All Amber need a do is look into someone’s eyes and she can see someone’s soul mate, the only downside to this power? She can’t see her own happily ever after. It’s a great skill to have until she finds herself falling her classmate Charlie. He replicates her feeling but sadly Amber can she that she is not his happily ever after.
I absolutely loved the idea of this book. I think its such an interesting concept that Amber can see people’s soul mates but then goes hurdling full speed ahead towards someone who she knows isn’t supposed to be with her. 
Honestly, this book wasn’t what I was expecting. Is that a bad thing? Definitely not! I went into this novel expecting a cheesy romance novel between Amber and Charlie but this certainly isn’t what this book is – and I absolutely loved that! You’re thrown into a world of supernatural creatures and it was fascinating to read all about the weird and wonderful people living near Amber. The book really revolves around the kidnapping of Charlie’s potential step mum to be and how Charlie enlists Ambers help to find her, the romance just sort of builds up on the side. If you like me, you enjoy reading about a fantasy world where you’re living amount wizards/vampires and other ghoulies then you will really enjoy this book, the romance element is just a nice added bonus. 
Amber is a great character. She does everything she can to help people and she stands up for herself and others she cares about and for me that makes her a joy to read about. Ok, she makes she daft decisions but the way she bumbles through just adds to her character really. Charlie is wonderful too. His heart is so clearly in the right place and just like Amber he seems to do anything to help those that he cares about.
To be completely honest this book wasn’t an instant love. It did take me a few chapters to get into the story. I’m not sure if it’s because it’s a relatively slow burner but I did have to persevere a little until I got hooked. However, once I did get hooked, I found myself reading this book until far too late to be up reading books on a work night! Then once I found myself completely hooked, the book ended and I pretty much threw my kindle down with sheer frustration with how it ended! Thankfully, I have now discovered book number two so I’ll be eagerly downloaded.
If you enjoy fantasy books with a romantic element I think that you will love this book. Once you get gripped to this book, I can guarantee you will love it!
Synopsis – 
Fans of Geek Girl and Girl Online will love this magically messed-up romance.

Amber Sand has a gift. Five seconds of eye contact, and she can see your soul mate. 
She's seen it all, every kind of happy ending there is. Except for one - her own. So when Charlie Blitzman, the most-desired boy in school, enlists Amber's help, she finds herself falling for him. Problem is, her pesky gift doesn't agree - Charlie and Amber are just not meant to be, or are they?
How can Amber, an honest peddler of true love, pursue a boy she knows is not the one for her?

Monday, 1 January 2018

Goodbye 2017...Hello 2018

2017 has flown by in a blink of an eye. It seems to have been a matter of hours since last Christmas and I genuinely can’t believe I’m settling down to write a somewhat reflective blog. 

2017 didn’t start off well. I was thrown into training countless newbys at work who all left within days, some of whom had never even used a computer before and I had to sit and show them how to switch on the PC. Family illnesses happened. I had money worries. I even got very ill myself. Mentally I was completely and utterly destroyed. I couldn’t do anything, leaving the house to go to work became an effort, I picked up my Kindle only to throw it straight back down as I was never in the mood to read, I went straight to bed only for my brain to not shut up so I couldn’t sleep, I didn’t even write anything on this blog for months! I can honestly say that I’m so happy this period of my life is over.
I can’t complain about 2017 too much. I saw Daniel Radcliffe in theatre and got to meet him after. I saw the most amazingly Christmassy show, The Christmasaurus, and if that wasn’t enough I met Tom, Carrie and Giovanna Fletcher and Matt Willis before the show. I met Busted and got my favourite photo with them I’ve ever had taken which was so worth while even if Charlie did drop my brand new camera. I got to skype James Bourne…yeah 2017 was weird. 
After a god knows how many years wait I finally saw the breathtakingly amazing Harry Potter & The Cursed Child Play. Giovanna Fletcher released a new book and I laughed my way through the book event I attended – she is one funny lady! I saw dodie in concert after watching her ukulele covers since my university days. I saw Carrie Hope Fletcher on countless occasions in theatre both in The Addams Family (how brilliant is that play though!) and The Christmasaurus and every time left amazed at how much an incredible performer she is. I even braved a mystery holiday where I didn’t know where I would be going / staying until I scratched a scratch card at the airport. I ended up going on a lovely little break to Porto in Portugal and if you’re looking for abit of spontaneity in your live check out the company I went with,, they were superb and planned a great holiday for me.
I don’t want to do any of the new year, new me business as you never know what is just around the corner. Plus every year I sit here on January 1st telling myself I’m going to get a new job and coming up 5 years later I’m still at the same job so I’m well aware of how pointless new years resolutions are. So instead I’m going to do things that I’d maybe like to achieve if possible. I’d like to lose a little bit of weight, I don’t want to say I want to lose x amount, I just want to become a little healthier. I’d also like to finally finish my novel. I have no intention of ever trying to get it published but I’ve been writing it since 2014 and I keep deciding I need to rewrite it so in the space 3 years I’ve wrote about 6 novels worth of stories and never finished one. I would like to read 20 books. I normally easily do this (and often well over double this amount) yet sadly this year I didn’t manage it, so I want to be back on reading form again. Finally (and this is the biggy!) I’m going on a social media detox. I spend my life scrolling through facebook, twitter, Instagram…no lie I spend hours just mindlessly scrolling. I’m going to start off with binning off Facebook, I feel like that is the most toxic of the lot. I look at people I once knew and haven’t seen for ages and see them posting about their fake perfect lives and it bothers me that my life isn’t perfect too. So this morning the app was deleted off my phone, let’s hope I last the week! 
I hope everyone reading still reading this had a lovely Christmas and New Year! Bring on 2018!

Saturday, 30 December 2017

The Single Girl's Calendar - Erin Green

Esme’s life checklist is going well except now she’s rapidly approaching 30 she has one massive thing yet to tick off – get married. Thankfully she has a long-term boyfriend, Andrew, so she is sure that marriage is just around the corner for her. Esme plans the perfect weekend and is convinced that this is finally going to be the moment that Andrew proposes to her...except she ends up finding out he cheated on her and she breaks up their relationship instead. Her friend gives her a copy of The Single Girls Calendar which requires her to complete a different task every day for her to get over a broken heart. By taking part in the calendars tasks she finds herself moving into a house share with four male housemates within hours of breaking up with Andrew. Her life has officially changed.

I initially thought this book would just be one of the typical romance know, girl leaves guy, finds another guy then bam they live happily ever after. Boy was I wrong! This book was so much more than this. I gasped out loud, I laughed, I even cried my eyes out at this book! It was full of unexpected surprises. It was so much more amazing than I initially imagined it was going to be and I basically just absolutely loved this book. 

I loved the idea of The Single Girls Calendar. The idea that Esme completes a different challenge daily is such a great idea and works so well in the novel. I have no idea if such calendar exists but if not it really should as it seems such a fun idea and reading about how Esme completes the tasks and seeing her grow as a character the more she completes makes for a fantastic novel.

I really enjoyed reading about Esme and all her housemates. Even though Esme has just broken up with the person she thought she would spend the rest of her life with, she isn’t annoying about it. Thanks to her calendar she starts getting on with her life but her heightened emotions make for some great reading. Esme’s four new housemates are all very different personalities and what I particularly liked was how much they appear in the story without being overbearing and taking the story away from Esme. I really don’t want to write too much about the housemates as to not give away the story but they’re all very different to how I expected them to be. Again, the surprises in this novel even extend to the characters.

Honestly? I loved this book. The author has another book out which I am now very excited to download onto my kindle and read because after how much I loved The Single Girls Calendar I am sure her other novel is going to be just as good. The Single Girl’s Calendar isn’t the cliché romance novel and offers characters you actually want to read about and a storyline that captures your attention from start to finish. The Single Girl’s Calendar is released on the 1st January so I can only highly recommend that you make this book the first you read in the new year – you will not be disappointed. 

Synopsis –
A task a day to cure a broken heart. 
Esmé Peel is approaching thirty with some trepidation, but hope in her heart. If she can just get her long-term boyfriend Andrew to propose, she will have ticked everything off her 'things to do by the time you're 30' list. She didn't reckon on finding another woman's earring in her bed however, and soon she finds herself single, homeless and in need of a new plan. Her best friend Carys gives her the perfect present – The Single Girl’s Calendar – which has a different cure for heartbreak every day: 

Day 1: Look and feel fabulous with a new hair style. 

Day 2: Step out of your comfort zone and try something new. 

Day 3: Reconnect with friends and enjoy! 
Despite thinking it's a bit of a gimmick, Esmé hasn't got any better ideas, so she puts the plan into action. By the end of week one she has four new male housemates, and despite a broken heart she is determined to show Andrew she can do more than survive, she can thrive. 

Monday, 18 December 2017

Wildest Dreams Book Subscription Box

I never really post reviews of products and things like that on my blog. I may mention things that I love every so often but never a full blog post about a certain thing. Today is going to be the exception of that rule because I feel like if you read my blog you’ll love books too and if you love books you need to know about this.

Currently very few book subscription boxes (with books I’d actually want to read) exist in the UK and the ones you can import from the US, just end up costing a lot of money sadly making them not really worth the money. Now, a few months ago I heard about a brand-new UK based book subscription box called Wildest Dreams and box number one arrived the other day. I’m that excited about it, I’m having to write this post! You can’t buy this box anymore but if you have subscribed and are waiting for your box to arrive please be aware that I am going to post spoilers as to what the first box contains from here on in. 

Wildest Dreams box 1’s theme was Best Of YA 2017. I love young adult books so the theme of this book couldn’t have been better for me. I was a little concerned that I may have already read the book but thankfully this isn’t the case. The book in the box is, The Nowhere Girls by Amy Reed. To be honest I haven’t actually heard of this book before but I have had a look at reviews on Goodreads and after reading the list of endless good reviews, its safe to say I’m excited to read this book. I’ve added the book to my Christmas reading pile so expect my review of this book on my blog in the very near future. The box also came with a little note from The Nowhere Girls author, Amy Reed, which was exclusive to this box. I felt this was a nice added touch to go with the book.

When I subscribed to the box I knew very little about it other than every month I would get a book and a couple of other little treats. I had very little idea about what these other things would be so I got a very pleasant surprise when opening up this box. The first product that I have to mention and is my favourite was a Sorting Hat Bath Bomb from company, Geeky Clean. I have a slight obsession with bath bombs and I absolutely adore Harry Potter so I have actually been meaning to buy a Sorting Hat Bath Bomb for a long time now. So, I couldn’t have been happier to have opened the box and found one inside. A Sorting Hat Bath Bomb is basically a plain white bath bomb on the outside and then when you put it in your bath it dissolves and turns your bath the colour of your house. After standing at the side of my bath and repeatedly muttering not Slytherin, not Slytherin…I am very happy to reveal that my bath water turned blue and I was sorted into Ravenclaw! The bath bomb itself was great fun, smelt nice and left my skin feeling lovely which is basically everything you want from a bath bomb. I just loved this product!    

The box also contained a loose tea from Rosie Lea Tea. The tea itself was chocolate orange flavour and I have to say it was absolutely delicious. I may be a little bias as I am probably the biggest chocolate orange fanatic but oh my goodness this tea was the best tea I’ve ever had. I’m not normally a fan of flavoured teas but I can highly recommend this one so for me it was the perfect addition to the box. After all, who doesn’t love sitting down with a freshly made cup of tea and start reading a new book. Sadly, the minute I saw this in the box I instantly made the tea so I didn't take a photograph of it. 
The final addition to the box was a signed bookmark from author Michelle Kenney, whose wrote the book, Book of Fire. To be honest I’ve not heard of the book but it is being advertised as Percy Jackson meets The Bone Season, two books that I absolutely adore so I’m very interested in reading this now. It’s certainly been added to my books to purchase list.
As I said at the beginning I never do posts like this but I thought this box was great. I’ve just renewed by subscription and I am already excited for next months box which is themed, Into The Jungle. I’ll put the link for further information below but for £18.00 a box I personally am very impressed with box number one and I can only imagine its just going to get better and better the more boxes are made.
Wildest Dreams Subscription Box Link – 
Some of the contents in the Wildest Dreams Box!

Saturday, 16 December 2017

It Started With A Tweet - Anna Bell

Daisy is obsessed with being online. Daisy spends all of her spare time tweeting or uploading photos of her life onto Instagram and of course trying to sort out her love life on Tinder. However, on the way to one of her many Tinder dates she tweets something meant for her personal account onto her works account by mistake. Of course this tweet is way too inappropriate for a work Twitter account and instantly goes viral causing her to get fired from her job. Top this off with her best friend wants to kick her out of the flat she lives at, its safe to say Daisy's life isn't going so well. Daisy's sister, Rosie thinks she has the perfect plan to help Daisy - a digital detox, and drags her to a remote village with no phone signal to help her renovate her new house.

I loved this book! I think the reason that I enjoyed it so much because I saw a lot of Daisy in myself. I'm quite ashamed to admit this but I am that person whose surgically attached to their mobile phone. I tweet way too much, spend too many hours browsing Instagram, I google things quicker than you can suggest doing it, I'd never use a real map I'd just go straight to my phone to do get the idea. I was absolutely laughing my head of at certain points in this book, for example when Daisy (the most unsporty person in the world) goes hiking up a mountain just to try and get phone signal...well I have definitely done similar things before so I found it so funny to read about. Honestly, if you're even slightly obsessed with your phone you'll be able to relate with this book and find yourself in absolute hysterics at many moments of the story.

The characters are so easy to read about and are just instantly likable from the start. I was somewhat worried that the story would just be about Daisy moaning that she hasn't got her phone but it isn't like that in the slightest. Daisy is funny and likable which makes her a great lead character. I also like the fact that she does go on a journey as a character, she ends the book as a completely different person than she starts in the novel. Her sister, Rosie is equally as enjoyable to read about. I really enjoyed reading about the attempts they make at renovating the house and how they try to fit into the local community. I absolutely loved reading about how they both cope on a digital detox. The potential love interests in the form of French exchange help, Alexis and Jack, a local who lives next door. They're both so different but both really add to the story. To top it all off the resisdents of the village are brilliant. I live in a rural village and some of the characters (particularly the lady’s gossiping in the post office!) are so similar to people in my village which only added to my enjoyment.

I've read other novels of Anna Bell's and loved them so its no surprise that I enjoyed this book too. Its been along time since a book made me completely laugh out loud so much and this book certainly did. Its been one of the best books I've read of the year and I can highly recommend you buy this book as your next one to read.

Synopsis -

Can Daisy Hobson log off for love...?

Could you survive a digital detox? This hilarious new romantic comedy from the author of The Bucket List to Mend a Broken Heart is perfect for fans of Lucy Diamond and Sophie Kinsella.

Daisy Hobson lives her whole life online. A marketing manager by day, she tweets her friends, instagrams every meal and arranges (frankly, appalling) dates on Tinder. But when her social media obsession causes her to make a catastrophic mistake at work, Daisy finds her life going into free-fall ...

Her sister Rosie thinks she has the answer to all of Daisy's problems - a digital detox in a remote cottage in Cumbria, that she just happens to need help doing up. Soon, too, Daisy finds herself with two welcome distractions: sexy French exchange-help Alexis, and Jack, the brusque and rugged man-next-door, who keeps accidentally rescuing her.

But can Daisy, a London girl, ever really settle into life in a tiny, isolated village? And, more importantly, can she survive without her phone?

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Trashy Romance Novel - Jacqueline E. Smith

Whenever I get into a conversation with anyone about books they always ask me what genre of books I enjoy reading. Queue my awkward mumble of 'oh I read a lot of young adult books and um...trashy romance novels...'. I love author Jacqueline E. Smith's Boy Band novels so when I heard she was releasing a novel called Trashy Romance Novel its safe to say I got excited about reading it. It sounded exactly like a book that was going to be my cup of tea!

Trashy Romance Novel tells the story of Delaney. Delaney is quite sweet and innocent so from an outsiders point of view she is pretty much the last person on the planet you'd expect to write a trashy romance novel. Yet she has and now her novel is so popular its being turned into a movie starring some very famous actors. Delaney flies to Scotland with her best friend Gemma to go visit the movie set and watch the all star cast, which includes the rebellious Colin Ward, playboy Benjamin Wyndham and Delaney's celebrity crush Matthew Kent, film the movie. Of course in true trashy romance style, when the normal girl meets the irresistible actor - you know her summer is going to be an interesting one!

As I had such big expectations of this book I was worried that I just wouldn't enjoy it, but I'm very happy to say that I absolutely loved this book. I love the idea of writing a book and then suddenly you find yourself watching your celebrity crush who you pictured when writing it actually playing the character you wrote so for me the storyline truly gripped my attention. If you're like me and read a lot of romance novels and I can guarantee that Trashy Romance Novel won't disappoint. 

The characters were great to read about. Delaney is so down to earth and likable which makes the book that much better to read about. Her best friend Gemma is also one of the greatest things about this book. Delaney is reserved whereas Gemma is outgoing and much more forward of situations. The fact that they're both so different really added to my enjoyment of the book as some moments really made me laugh reading about how they both responded to situations. The love interests in this book are the perfect romance novel characters too. Without spoiling the book, if I had to criticise the book, my only slight issue with it, is that I would've liked to read a little more about Matthew Kent particularly as Delaney liked him so much. However, it really didn't spoil my enjoyment of the book at all so it really isn't an issue.

The book itself is wrote quite unusually. Not only does it tell the story of Delaney's Scottish adventures but it also weaves in chapters of Delaney's book in between. To be honest I'm not usually a fan of novels which switch chapters up like this as I find I get engrossed in one story and it then annoys me when it switches to another but in this particular case I felt it worked well. Delaney watches a lot of her book be filmed so its interesting to actually read segments of the story which she's there watching being filmed. I've certainly worded this in the most confusing of ways but I can assure you it works very well in the novel. 

As you can tell I thought Trashy Romance Novel was fantastic. In my opinion if you love your romance novels you have to make Trashy Romance Novel by Jacqueline E Smith the next novel you buy!

Synopsis -

It all started with a crush. 
How cliché is that? I mean, of all the things to motivate a person to do something, how often does it go back to a silly infatuation? More often than most of us would probably care to admit. 
Of course, this wasn’t an ordinary crush on a cute coworker or a charming friend of a friend I hooked up with at a party. No, I’ve never met the guy who inspired my books. 
But I’m about to.

Delaney Brooks is the author of The Queen’s Surrogate, the “sinfully satisfactory” romance novel that swept readers around the world off their feet and into the fictional embrace of His Majesty, King Malcolm. 

When her book is adapted into an eight-part miniseries, Delaney and her best friend Gemma fly to Scotland for what promises to be two months of lush green mountains, historic castles, and hot celebrity co-workers, including the gorgeous Matthew Kent, British playboy Benjamin Wyndham, and Hollywood’s hottest reformed rebel, Colin Ward.