Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Talk Of Shame – Alex Everwood

Talk Of Shame tells the story of three students in the first year at Somerville University. They’ve all got to the university in different ways and they all have very different ideas of what to get out of the university / sorority experience. The story follows them around as they start the university.

I so badly wanted to love this book. From the synopsis it sounded like such a good book however it just wasn’t overly my cup of tea. Yes, I enjoyed it but personally it isn’t going to be my favourite book. The story is told in multiple perspectives and I don’t really enjoy this in a book. For me, sadly this is what I didn’t even this about this book as I found I just couldn’t get into the story as quickly as I’d have liked. However, I did enjoy the story and I did find myself invested in the characters as the book went on, but it did take me a long time to get into the story and to figure out which character was which.

I actually did enjoy all three of the characters. It was interesting to read about how different every individuals university life can be. What I enjoyed too is that Katie, Jill and Beatrice or not two-dimensional characters. They all don’t seem to be what you initially think about them.

To be perfectly honest, this is probably one of the hardest reviews of a book that I’ve ever had to write. I really don’t want to say that it’s a bad book because it isn’t, its just that for me I didn’t really enjoy each chapter being told from a different person’s perspective. I think if you do enjoy books split like this and you read the synopsis and it sounds like a book you’d like I reckon you probably would. I mean, I enjoyed reading the story and I did feel completely engrossed in the campus life and the characters are likeable. I just didn’t enjoy the different perspectives.

Synopsis –

Goodbye, high school. Hello, Alpha Chi! 

Somerville University. For freshmen Katie Brown, Jill Everson, and Beatrice Fritch, their approach to college-and relationships-couldn't be more different. They kick off freshman year with high hopes, but life doesn't always go as planned. One thing is for sure: no one wants to get caught on the Talk of Shame Instagram feed, the university's unofficial gossip site. One unsavory pic, and your reputation is shot. Unfortunately, that's a lesson learned the hard way... 

Katie's earned admission into the private university through her hard work in high school. Her aunt is paying her tuition on one condition: Katie must join a sorority, specifically Kappa Kappa Theta (KKT.) There's just one problem. Katie was kicked out of the "cool clique" in high school. Now she's independent and afraid of losing herself if forced to become a sorority girl. But is she using independence to protect herself from forming relationships? Especially if it's with the gorgeous editor of Somerville University's student newspaper? 

Jill chose Somerville for one reason: Alpha Chi Alpha (Chi Alpha), the most beautiful sorority house on campus, boasting the prettiest girls on campus. Jill has always been the southern belle who can "wear her weight well." Her confidence and humorous personality have won her lots of friends-and quite a few hook-ups. But she has yet to have a steady boyfriend. But that'll happen automatically once becoming a Chi Alpha. Right? 

And then there's Beatrice. College wouldn't be complete without a frenemy: something that comes easy to the young, coed. A member of Chicago's wealthy elite, she wears only the best labels, drives only the hottest cars, and enrolls at Somerville-the most prestigious private university around. But her status comes at a price: lasting friendship. Beatrice has learned to manipulate others in order to protect herself, and her childhood friendship with Katie was the first one to suffer. Will Somerville give her the chance to reconcile and find her true self? 

Katie, Jill, and Beatrice champion and struggle with the ins-and-outs of Greek Row, a life filled with hook-ups, heartbreak, backstabbing, and cheating. Both in and out of the classroom. 

For fans of Bright Side by Kim Holden, Commencement by J. Courtney Sullivan, and the TV Series Gossip Girl.

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

Loserville Musical

Back in 2012, I became obsessed with the musical Loserville. I mean, the musical is co written by one of my favourite band members, James Bourne and it is jam packed full of songs from his band, Son Of Dork. Top that off with the fact that the play starred Chris Hardman (Lil Chris) who I’m pretty sure everyone loved when he released his ridiculously catching song, Checkin’ It Out. Let’s face it, I was always going to love this musical. A few months later however the show shut and it hasn’t been on a West End stage since.

Flash forward six years and Loserville came back to the Garrick Theatre on London’s West End last weekend with most of the original cast for a one night only special event. Very sadly the show was brought back in memory of Lil Chris who unfortunately suffered with severe depressing which ultimately led to him committing suicide a few years ago. Loserville was the perfect was to remember him and also to raise money for Maytree, a charity focussing on trying to help people with suicidal thoughts. Loserville was also raising money for the Youth Music Theatre UK, a company encouraging young people into performing arts.

Honestly the evening was just wonderful. I had a drinks reception with some of the members of the cast and people involved in the show and the sheer enthusiasm of every single person in that room was off the chart. You could literally feel the real buzz in the room. Everyone was so excited that Loserville was back and that really was projected onto the stage later in the evening.

The show was advertised as a concert and it really was. The audience were encouraged to sing along and we were even invited to get our phones out and light up the theatre with the torches on them at one point in the show. However, it wasn’t just a case of the cast singing the songs. It was every single line of the original West End show that was performed and it worked just as wonderfully on stage as the original show did. You could just see on stage how much every single person on that stage was absolutely loving this song being back even if due to the sad circumstances of it being performed once more.

Its sad that the show was only for one night but Loserville is such a fantastic show and it truly would be a real shame for it not to be revived for a longer period of time in the future.  

Important Links –

Obviously, the show was brought back to raise money for both Maytree and Youth Music Theatre UK. If you want to donate all you have to do is text – YMTR33 and £1 £2 £5 or £10 to 70070 

Wednesday, 17 January 2018

The Wedding That Changed Everything – Jennifer Joyce

The Wedding That Changed Everything tells the story of Emily. She has her heart broken by men and even her own mother…so it’s safe to say she’s completely and utterly done with the idea of love. However, her best friend Alice couldn’t be more opposite. Alice is a hopeless romantic who completely believes in finding Prince Charming. Alice has her love life sorted so she has taken it upon herself to find Emily her very own Prince Charming. When a spare place comes available at Alice’s sister’s wedding, Emily finds herself invited. Alice see’s the wedding as the perfect opportunity to find Emily her own perfect match.
From only a few chapters in I knew I would absolutely love this book. You know those books that you start reading then before you know it, its 3am and you’ve finished the book - this is absolutely one of those books! Everything about it just makes it a good book, I loved the story, I loved the setting of the castle, I loved the characters...I could go on!

The story is set in the most wonderfully, magic location of Alice’s family castle, Durban Castle. The descriptions of the castle and its grounds are fantastic and I found myself fully transported there whilst reading the book. I also really liked the actual storyline. I thoroughly enjoyed Alice’s attempts at trying to find a potential suitor for Emily and Emily’s attempts at trying to not get involved in any of it at all. I found myself actually laughing out loud at some of the moments in the book. However, its absolutely a romance novel and this book certainly isn’t lacking those either! Ok yes, some moments are a little farfetched but overall the story is believable and you can truly imagine yourself being in this situation.

All of the main characters are wonderful to read about. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters but Emily is a down to earth normal character which only added to my enjoyment of the book. She is funny, prone to getting lost and always up for all the pre-wedding games.

This book is everything you want from a romance novel. It’s a book you can get fully absorbed in quickly and the only bad thing about it is that it ends too soon. I’d very much like a sequel or at least something a little more as I’m just not ready to stop ready to stop reading about these characters. As you can tell, I really enjoyed reading this book and if you like the blurb then you will certainly love this book.

Synopsis –

Love happens when you least expect it… 
Emily Atkinson stopped believing in fairy tales a long time ago! She’s fed up of dating frogs in order to track down her very own Prince Charming, despite the best efforts of her matchmaking best friend…
But now she’s been invited to the wedding of the year at the enchanting Durban Castle, and perhaps bumping into a knight in shining armour isn’t as far away as she thought!
Will Emily survive the wedding and walk away an unscathed singleton – or finally find her own happily-ever-after? 

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.