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.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 31

Happy Halloween!!!!! Or more importantly...happy end of Blogtober 2017!!!!! I can now breathe a deep sigh of relief, it’s all over!

It’s been 31 long days but we’ve made it! I actually achieved Blogtober! I know quite a lot of days I copped out and wrote the biggest pile of rubbish but hey I still posted something and I’ve actually blogged something for an entire 31 days! It’s been nice in a way to do more let’s write what I feel like kind of blogs rather than just doing book reviews. I definitely won’t be stopped my little reviews on books but I didn’t think I’d ever had the confidence to write more personal things so Blogtober has help me achieve that. I now know I can post anything I want on here.

It’s been exhausting, an effort at times but on the other days some days I’ve absolutely loved writing. Honestly I knew from day 1 that deciding to do Blogtober very last minute with no planning at all, would be difficult and boy was I not wrong. I wish I’d planned ahead and had a lot of posts planned in advance so when I was ill / out and forgot to blog / generally not in a writing mood I had something ready to post without feeling pressured to write something. I completely and utterly winged the entire 31 days and somehow I’ve made it to the end - hurrah!

Would I do Blogtober again....? If you asked me a week ago it would’ve been a 100% no, however maybe with a bit of planing I maybe would do it again. I’m definitely having a break off daily blogging for a little while at least!!! 

Monday, 30 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 30

Well somehow I’ve made it to the penultimate day of Blogtober! It is also the day before Halloween! 

I’ve been to Salem in October, pretty much the home of Halloween, and sadly since then Halloween seems a little disappointing. America celebrated Halloween like you see in movies! Massive pumpkin fayres, with racks and racks and racks of pumpkins towered high, houses decorated as much as we decorate for Christmas, people in costumes etc etc. Halloween just seems just more fun over in America, it’s literally like a scene from Hocus Pocus! 

Which leads me on nicely to my own Halloween traditions. I’m British so sadly we don’t really care about Halloween. Ok, the supermarkets may sell pumpkins and various buckets of sweets to give out to potential trick or treaters but generally we don’t make that much of a big deal out of it. As I’ve got older I literally do nothing for Halloween. I just don’t care for it. Plus after being in America for Halloween, ours just isn’t the same anymore. All I do for Halloween now is hope that Hocus Pocus, The Addams Family and Casper is on tv and I’m very happy! Sadly it’s now the night before Halloween and I’ve currently only seen Hocus Pocus this year.

Sadly I don’t have much to say today. I’ve had a long day and I’m feeling exhausted. However, inevitably I won’t be blogging until late tomorrow too so I’m going to take this opportunity to wish anyone who reads this a happy Halloween!!!

Sunday, 29 October 2017

dodie - You Tour

Last night I was at Stylus in Leeds seeing dodie on her You tour. You may know dodie better as her YouTube username doddleoddle. I’ve been a fan of dodie for a number of years now but both of her headlining tours sold out incredibly fast so you have to be very lucky to bag yourself a ticket to see her - thankfully this tour I did just that!

I arrived early at the venue but it was quickly apparent that dodies fans are extremely dedicated with the queue going right around the building. Many of the queue looked like they’d been there for a good part of the day too! Definitely need to mention the crowd at this point, as despite the insanely hot temperatures in the venue I don’t think I’ve been in such a nice audience. Instead of pushing straight into your space, people were leaving it free for you whilst you went to grab water and when people went to the bar they were bringing back extra water for people stood near them etc. 

dodie came on stage to the biggest cheers / screams / applaud / chant I think I’ve ever heard at a concert ever. That noise did not falter once throughout the set with the crowd singing a lot louder than you could hear dodie a lot of the time! 

I found her set to be brilliant and she certainly didn’t disappoint. dodie preformed songs from both of her EP’s as well as a couple of songs she hadn’t physically released including fan favourite, She. dodie has a real innocent charm whilst on stage which I think comes across so well. She also manages to connect with the crowd like very few artists do. Many people stood around me were sobbing throughout many of dodie’s songs. Her realism and openness about sexuality and mental health clearly strikes a chord with so much of her audience. 

I had a great time and would see dodie live again tomorrow if I could. My personal favourites from the set were When, 6 / 10, Absolutely Smitten and In The Middle which even saw dodie playing drums! She has such a wonderful stage presence and her songs live (complete with her talented band) come across so beautifully live and I truly don’t think I’ll see dodie in such a small venue again. She’ll be for sure headlining much bigger things in the future. 

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 28

And the award to worst Blogtober writer goes to....drum roll!!! Yes I know it’s only 5pm but I’ve forgotten to blog and I’m currently waiting to go into concert so once again I’m doing a pathetic arghhh I’ve forgotten to blog post.

Tonight I’m seeing dodie in concert. Her concert tickets sell out in minutes so I’m so thrilled to finally be able to see her live. She’s known on YouTube as doddleoddle and she frequent posts ukulele covers and original songs. I’ve bumped into her randomly in a train station many years ago and I’ve been watching her YouTube videos for the last five or so years but tonight is the first time I’ve actually been able to see her live which I’m very looking forward to. Dodie is actually part of the reason I started learning to play the ukulele as she’s one of the only person that I’ve heard so songs on the ukulele and they sound like actual songs! Except I swiftly realised she makes playing it look insanely easy and when I try it sounds more like plinkerty plink plink. 

Now I’m in the queue waiting to go in and I’m feeling old. I appreciate I’m getting far too old to be watching YouTube videos, it’s definitely one of those things my niece is more into than someone in their mid twenties! That is certainly reflected in the crowd waiting to go in tonight! Despite that I’m very much looking forward to seeing dodie. I love her albums and from what I’ve seen of her performances I’m certainly in for a good evening.

So tomorrow’s blog is likely to be a little write up on tonight’s concert but sadly for today this is all I’ve got. Definitely should’ve planned Blogtober so much better than this! 

Friday, 27 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 27

Day 27 and I’m officially stumped and rapidly running out of ideas so today I thought I’d do a little short post of why I originally started my blog. 

When I was younger I used to write a lot. I watched a ridiculous amount of Gilmore Girls / Sabrina The Teenage Witch so I completely blame those for my interest in writing and my obsession with wanting to go to Harvard - but that’s a whole different blog post! Then as I got older I just didn’t bother anymore. Maybe it’s because I had to write a lot throughout my education but recreational writing / reading went down to a minimum. 

When I graduated university I quickly released I had to make more use of my spare time so began reading a lot more again. My reading a lot more is insane, I’ve always had a quick reading speed and I was reading them faster than I could afford to buy more! So I thought I’d start up my writing again and blog my reviews on books. I figured if anyone read it and bought a book based on my recommendation then job well done. Since then I’ve been fortunate enough to receive many review copies of books which I’m so thankful to have received.  

Around the same time I started this blog my interest in writing also came back. I really credit this down to one of my favourite authors, Giovanna Fletcher. She made a YouTube video on how to write a novel and really it gave me the kick up the backside I needed to start writing my own novel. I know I’ll never get published or anything but it’s so nice to be able to feel like I can write again.

Really though as much as I’m enjoying writing my blog, I know my writing is rubbish and that I’ll never be able to make a career out of it, but at least I’m well aware my writing ability is minimal. However, I enjoy writing and reading once again (more than I have in years) so I’m glad to have my blog in my life at the moment. After Blogtober though it is safe to say I’ll be going back to weekly blogging and not daily...

Thursday, 26 October 2017

The Addams Family Musical

It’s been over a month now since I went to see The Addams Family Musical and yet somehow I’m yet to talk about it on my blog, which is unbelievable considering I’ve had the US tour soundtrack cd played on loop since I’ve seen the show. It’s been a long time since I’ve been this addicted to a musical. 

The Addams Family Musical features all your favourite Addams Family members except the big difference now is that it’s set a few years in the future. The Addams are just as kooky as ever apart from perhaps Wednesday Addams who has fallen in love...with a boy from a normal family! The show tells the story of the night that the Addams Family meets Wednesdays boyfriends normal family. 

To be perfect honest I went into the show without looking at the storyline and when the show started I was abit like really? Am I actually seeing a show about Wednesday falling in love? It just didn’t seem very Addams Family to me but I was proved completely wrong! The storyline was perfectly Addams. It didn’t revolve entire around Wednesday either giving each member of the Addams Family clan chance to shine. The catchy songs along with addictive storyline meant the show went unbelievably quickly. I was even practically in tears laughing at some of the parts! 

Whoever did the casting for this musical deserves a promotion. I have never been to see a show where every single person in it was perfect for the role to the extent that I can’t even write about stand out stand out members of the cast. It truly does seem unfair to actually mention people at this pointes the entire cast was unbelievable. However, Cameron Blakely as Gomez, Carrie Hope Fletcher as Wednesday and understudy Scott Paige as Fester were particularly wonderful. Scott Paige in particular deserves that mention as when the tannoy announced Les Dennis wasn’t in the show at the start the audience I was in did do a collective groan, however Scott Paige was a incredible understudy who I think should’ve been cast as Fester anyway! Like I say though the entire cast were absolutely fantastic, from the whole Addams Family, to the Ancesters to the Beineke Family, I cannot express how great they all were. 

Sadly, The Addams Family Musical only has a couple more stops left in the UK. If it is coming near you though and you love the Addams Family films you have to go and see this musical! An all round fantastic cast, catchy songs and a great storyline - what more do you want from the musical!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 25

For today’s post I thought I’d do something a little different. 

Long story short, towards the end of last year I had an amazing writing opportunity. I had to write a lot and I had deadlines, the only thing that got me through was this writing playlist on loop. Basically I read a lot of chick lit so it’s no surprise that’s what I write too so the songs kind of reflect that I think. This has been tweaked a little as the year has gone on but I thought I’d share with you what I listen to when I write. 

Songs - 

Two Is Better Than One (Featuring Taylor Swift) – Boys Like Girls

Meet You There – Busted

Sleeping With The Light On – Busted

Easy – Busted

Last Summer – Busted

Beauty And The Beast – Disney

Step By Step – Future Boy

I Can Hear The Bells – Hairspray Soundtrack

Perfect – Hollywood Ending

The Reason – Hoobastank

One Of A Kind – James Bourne

Don’t Let It Go To Waste – Matt Willis

No Worries – McFly

The Way You Make Me Feel – McFly

Love Is Easy (Live Ukulele Version) – McFly

This Town – Niall Horan

Too Much To Ask – Niall Horan

Falling Slowly – Once The Musical

Perfect – One Direction

Infinity – One Direction

Bless The Broken Road – Rascal Flatts

I’m Movin’ On – Rascal Flatts

My Wish – Rascal Flatts

Part Of Your World – Sierra Boggess

Perfect – Simple Plan

Today Was A Fairytale – Taylor Swift

Tim McGraw – Taylor Swift

If This Was A Movie – Taylor Swift

Last Kiss – Taylor Swift

Enchanted – Taylor Swift

The Moment I Knew – Taylor Swift

SuperStar – Taylor Swift

I need background noise on when I’m writing things so this is what I use. Does anyone else have a writing playlist or is this just something that I do?

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

You know those really annoying people who when they go on holiday, spend hours googling reviews in order to book the perfect hotel, plan every second of the day, pick restaurants to eat at, go on Google street view and virtually walk around the streets....and they do all this before they even get to place they're going on holiday? Yep, I'm embarrassed to admit this but that really annoying person is me. 

Usually when I go on holiday I plan for weeks to the extent I have notebooks full of my research. Not going to lie I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to holidays. Yet despite this I booked myself a surprise holiday via company It's never been easier to book a holiday, I picked how many days I wanted to go away, chose to add additional extras of breakfast and checked luggage and that's it, I'd booked to go on holiday. All I knew about my destination is that I'd be going to a European city and that would be booking my flights and hotel for me all I’d have to do was turn up at the airport with my passport.

Believe it or not, the worst thing about booking the holiday was actually pressing the book button. Honestly, I must've bottled out of booking it a hundred times! My over planning mind was kicking into overdrive and thought of a million (some quite ridiculous...) questions that I had to know the answers to. Thankfully the lovely people at have an online chat on the website, answered all my questions and put my mind at ease. Unbelievably since I actually committed and booked the holiday I was completely stress free about it and am absolutely loved the spontaneity of it all - something which my previous holidays have been very much lacking. Even when a week before I was due to fly I got the weather forecast and a time to be at the airport I didn’t even bother to google to try figure out where I was going, at this stage I’d booked a holiday so I fully intended to keep it a surprise otherwise I could’ve just booked a holiday myself.

Going to the airport on the morning of my holiday was the oddest thing. It was such a bizarre feeling to know that you’re going on holiday but had absolutely no clue as to where. I was terrified that I’d end up in Malaga it another stereotypical party place but thankfully you can rule out places and I also added that I don’t drink in the hope that it helped choose my destination. I got to Manchester Airport a couple of hours ahead of my recommended time, sat down on the floor in the terminal, scratched the card and revealed where I was going! like to keep the destinations a surprise so in the spirit of that I’m not going to reveal where I went but I was so thrilled with the destination. As soon as I got through security I had a quick google of the hotel (it looked very fancy!), how to get from the airport to the hotel and quick look of things to do in the area but other than that my plan was just to walk and stumble across whatever I found and do things as I found them.

I struck lucky in the fact that I had glorious sunshine for all the days I was on holiday which only made my trip all the more fantastic. I stumbled across tourist attractions by complete accident rather than setting off to find them myself and I found that some of the best things I saw were down the more deserted streets. In fact, I tended to find the more deserted the street the more interesting it was! Yes I hoped on a bus tour on my last day just to tick off all of those must see places but other than that I just embraced the spontaneousness of the holiday. 

Honestly it was one of the best things that I have ever done. It was absolutely terrifying booking it but from then on it was so relaxed. The hotel was absolutely wonderful (and I’m quite fussy with hotels normally!) and it was perfectly placed for the city. Top that off with being sent to the most beautiful of places and it truly was a incredible trip. I know I can’t wait to go on my next holiday and if you’re looking for a city break I can highly recommend!

Monday, 23 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 23

You know those days where you feel like everything you’ve been holding in hits you like a tsunami so you put a McBusted dvd on to try cheer you up but that makes you feel worse so then spend the two hours of the dvd sobbing before tiring yourself out and exhaustedly falling sleep? Yep...that was my Sunday night. 

I’m one of those people who bottles things in. I keep things to myself for as long as possible and then every so often when things seem to really be getting on top on me I have a big crying blowout and that’s what I had yesterday. Then for the next day (today) I feel ridiculously emotionally drained and it takes me a good day to get back to my normal bottled up emotion self.

Really I think your place of work should allow you to take x amount of mental health days a year because my goodness did I need one today. I’ve been sat fairly quiet all day just wallowing in self pity, hoping no one would speak to me and say something that normally wouldn’t bother me but today would make my head explode. It’s a rubbish feeling to be honest. It’s so easy to try and ignore your brain and it’s thoughts and just push them to one side. Except every so often you can’t and everything you’ve pushed to one side just explodes out.

I really shouldn’t blog today as my head is completely and utterly not in the right place today. I feel horribly spaced out and not right but it’s day 23 and I really want to complete Blogtober now so sadly this is my pathetic excuse of a blog post today.

Sunday, 22 October 2017

The Creakers - Tom Fletcher

One day Lucy Dungston wakes up and her entire world has changed. All the grown ups including her own mum and dad have vanished from town! Then the night after they all disappear, she notices eyes peering out from under her bed and discovers the existence of the Creakers. Will Lucy be able to defeat the Creakers and get the grown ups back? 

The Creakers is a great story to be honest. It captures every story you’ve ever heard about monsters being under your bed and rewrites it into a whole new story which I actually loved. It’s the perfect amount of scary for kids but without it being scary enough to give them nightmares for weeks. Plus like with the Christmasaurus it comes jam packed with wonderful drawings throughout. 

I am a long shot off The Creakers target audience but I really enjoyed this book. I thoroughly enjoy the way in which Tom Fletcher writes his novels. They are so incredibly wrote for children and are constantly engaging the entire way though. I really like the fact that in this novel, the author actually talks to the reader throughout. I felt this is something that works very well particularly in a children’s novel.

I’ve said before how talented I think Tom Fletcher is and it certainly shows in this book. He’s invented a whole new set of fearsome, smelly creatures complete with their own brand new world. Honestly the whole thing is truly believable and as someone who doesn’t take much to scare I know I’ll be checking under my bed for Creakers tonight...

If you have a person whose probably around 10 you have to pick them up a copy of The Creakers for Christmas. I loved reading it and I’m way over the target age so I know for a fact that a child will absolutely love The Creakers.

Synopsis -

The darkly magical new story about the monsters under the bed, from bestselling author of The Christmasaurus, Tom Fletcher.

What silently waits in the shadows at night? What's under your bed, keeping just out of sight?

Do you ever hear strange, creaking noises at night? Ever wonder what makes those noises? 

Lucy Dungston always did.

Until, one morning, Lucy discovers that all the grown-ups have disappeared - as if into thin air. Chaos descends as the children in Lucy's town run riot. It's mayhem. It's madness. To most kids, it's amazing!

But Lucy wants to find out the truth. Lucy lost her dad not long ago, and she's determined not to lose her mum too. She's going to get her back - and nothing is going to stop her . . .

. . . except maybe the Creakers.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 21

I was browsing Twitter earlier and stumbled across a post that Carrie Hope Fletcher made about her 25th birthday tomorrow. This particular post showcased all the things that she's achieved in her 25 years, and its actually unbelievable. She's had leading roles in a variety of (my favourite!) musicals, she written novels, she has a successful YouTube career...long story short she has done a lot! And I have absolutely no doubt in the slightest that her career will just keep going from strength to strength for the next 25 years.

I am only a few weeks older than Carrie Fletcher so it got me thinking about my own life earlier. I did pretty well in school then from then it’s all just gone slightly rubbish. I did a degree that I realised shortly after I started wasn't the right one for me because I listened to too many people about it not being wise to do a media based degree - but that is a whole other blog post! And now I'm stuck in a dead end job that I absolutely hate. It’s been 4 years since I graduated and I honestly can’t think of anything worthwhile I’ve done in that time. 

Realistically it was only a matter of time before I ended up writing a blog about my job because let’s face it, I spend 45 hours a week there so it pretty much takes up most of my life. I work long days for minimum wage. Have you ever tried working so many hours and getting absolutely peanuts at the end of the week? Its soul destroying on payday and you still don’t have any money. It’s the type of place where that Secret Millionaire program would send someone on. Truthfully I don’t have many financial outgoings so it isn’t all bad but for many of my colleagues they have houses and children to support so I can only imagine how tough it is for them. 

The days are long – really long. I’m sure it’s the same for most jobs but I wake up, I go to work, I go home, eat and then it’s time for bed and before you know it the entire circle repeats again the next day. I’m not even exaggerating when I call it a dead end job either. We all are well aware there is absolutely no chance of a promotion, no chance of a better wage, no chance of more holiday days etc. Top it all off with the fact that I work in an accounts office and I absolutely hate maths, plus my current position is about as dull as you can get. For someone who spends half their life daydreaming / wakes up in the middle of the night and writes book ideas down before going back to bed / has always done education choices that offer multiple correct answers where if you waffle it enough you can be right, being in a one thing is right job isn’t exactly my career of choice.

It isn’t all bad. I mean, as much as I mumble and grumble I do work with some of the best people. We all have our moments, after all we spend a hell of a lot of time together but I know that each person in my office has their hearts in the right place and frankly that’s important. Plus, I know the job inside out now (after all I have somehow been there over 4 years now!) which only makes you feel more confident in your work.

It’s got to the point now though where myself, and pretty much every person I work with, have realised that life at my work isn’t going to get better. We’ll all be stuck in this position forever if we don’t find new jobs. So I need to get my backside into gear and get myself a new job. This certainly isn't a woe is me kind of post as I know the only person who can change things is myself. I’d love to be in a newspaper/publisher/BBC/Disney/Penguin/afford to be living in London/Busted’s assistant...kind of job. I don’t know if that will ever be possible as I have zero experience but if you don't try you'll never succeed. Though at the moment, I’d just settle for more money and holidays and hopefully doing something that I enjoy. Someone hire me?

Friday, 20 October 2017

It Only Happens In The Movies - Holly Bourne

It Only Happens In The Movies tells the story of Audrey. Audrey hasn’t had the best experience of romance, her last relationship ended badly and her parents marriage didn’t end of well either. So now, Audrey hates everything romantic. In order to get some space from her mother, whose taken her marriage breakup particularly badly, she takes a job at a local cinema. It was here she meets Harry, who she finds herself falling in love with and of course the relationship isn’t like in the movie! 

When you go into Waterstones (and probably every other bookshop) it doesn’t take you long to find one of Holly Bourne’s books on pride of place on the shelves. I’ve always been intrigued by her books as you really can’t read young adult books without having her name on your radar, I’ve just never picked one up. Then I went to an event in the summer picked up a sampler of this book and I knew the minute it was released I had to download it. Honestly, I expected such great things from this book as I loved the sampler but I’m so sad to say it wasn’t for me.

I think my biggest issue was the stories. I just didn’t like it particularly. I’m a huge fan of the adorably cute romance novels - which from the sampler I thought this was going to be but it wasn’t at all like that. So for me, I think perhaps I bought it expecting one type book and book and got something I wasn’t expecting it to be like. For someone like me who likes the cliche romance novels this book wasn’t really my cup of tea - particularly the ending! Despite everything that happens I just couldn’t believe how the book ended. I do however, like the idea of how the Audrey hates romance and the novel revolves around the the cliches of romance. 

Another one of my issues is that (sadly) I couldn’t get on with the characters. I didn’t really get Audrey. I mean she was readable enough but I just wasn’t interested in her story. The same applies to Harry. He was ok, but he does drugs, smokes, sleeps around etc etc etc and for me that made it abit of a rubbish character to read about. I appreciate that actually these two characters are probably much more similar to real life people than most book characters which is great but for me they just were not likeable or particularly enjoyable to read about.

It really does make me sad that I didn’t like this book because people constantly tell me to read Holly Bourne’s novels. I will definitely pick up another of her books as I don’t want to judge on one book and this one was readable, I just didn’t love it. I think if you’re a fan of her previous novels you’re likely to love this one but sadly it just wasn’t my kind of novel.

Synopsis -

Bad boys turned good, kisses in the rain, climbing through bedroom windows... It only happens in the movies. When Audrey meets Harry, it’s the start of a truly cinematic romance – or is it? Audrey knows that Harry is every movie cliché rolled into one. But she still chooses to let him into her heart...

Perfect for fans of John Green, It Only Happens in the Movies is a raw, intensely funny takedown of the lies we’re told about relationship

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 19

Today’s blog post is an absolute cop out. Yes I know, I’m terrible at Blogtober but hey it’s day 19 and I’m currently out and probably won’t get in until after midnight. In true me style I’ve forgotten about Blogtober until 20 minutes before the event i’m attending starts so I’m panic blogging to try and get something up for today’s post. I’m useless I know! 

Something about spontaneously being invited to things is always a great feeling. That last minute thrill of spontaneously getting dressed and dashing out of the house to do your impromptu plans. I suppose that’s one of the reasons I enjoyed my last holiday so much because I went with no plans and 100% spontaneous planning. 

Sometimes I feel that when you work 8-5, life lacks that bit of spontaneity. I eat my dinner religiously at the same time, I have toilet breaks pretty much at the same time, heck I even somehow end up doing my work to the exact same minute every single day. It’s boring, monotonous and frankly makes your life feel a little stale. The feeling of spontaneity is something that is beyond our planning control and I think as a human it’s important we have it from time to time.

Despite this you have to feel comfortable with the plans you’ve spontaneously decided to do. I tend to get quite panicky about plans I’m not 100% comfortable with or if I’m with people that I’m not too confident around and I last minute make excuses up not to go. However when I do bite the bullet and make last minute plans doing things I love with people I enjoy spending time we I always have a great time.

Sadly, this is all I’m got for today’s Blogtober! I was invited out this morning and I spontaneously accepted so here I am off to go enjoy the rest of my night! I really do think everyone needs this in their life every so often. Now I’m off to enjoy the rest of my night...I think I deserve an award for actually getting this posted up in time and with about 2 minutes to spare....

I promise tomorrow’s post will be better!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Blogtober - Day 18

I don’t think I’ve ever wrote something before that I’ve so seriously considered not posting but I’ve wrote it now so why not. Believe it or not I keep this side of my life quite hidden / I was a little worried people wouldn’t be happy with my thoughts on this. Plus combine that with the fact I actually wrote this at about 3am this morning when I couldn’t sleep...well even more reason I shouldn’t post this!

You don’t have to read that far on this blog to realise that I kind of really love the bands Busted and McFly. Yes, I can already hear the groaning, see the rolling of the eyes, the comments of are they still a thing....I get it every single time I mention them. I admit I tend to downplay how much I actually do love them to avoid peoples judging reactions! 

After I saw Busted in concert the other day I was saying how they are my favourite people to someone and I think they got a little offended. The argument they had is that they’d done more for me than Busted and that point is something that has drove me to write this blog post. 

When we walked back to our hotel, my equally obsessed Busted friend and I basically spent the whole time discussing how much we love them and it’s true we really do. It’s not a ‘oh my god I love them so much I want to marry them’ kind of way like we would’ve embarrassingly been like when we were in our early teens but now it’s in a they make me so unbelievably happy and it’s hard to imagine our lives without them in it kind of love. Like you truly feel on cloud 9 after seeing them in concert and I don’t think any other experience has come close to that feeling as of yet. 

It’s hard for people who don’t have this deep of a love of a band to understand I think but I think they have done a lot for me. I know for a fact I wouldn’t be the person I was today without them. My whole teenage life revolved almost entirely around my love of both bands...I hate to admit it but I was that annoying fangirl and my present day self would find 11 year old me so cringey. Thank god I’m now just casual about how much I love them to people and only let my inner 11 year old fangirl self out when I’m at a concert or with my Busted/McFly friend.  

But really Busted / McFly (and as solo careers / super group and whatever combination they want to come up with next) have been a part of my life for well over half of it which is crazy. I can’t actually remember my life without them being in it so it’s hard for me to hear people to say they think they’ve not been there for me. The teenage girl at school who used to come home crying, who was there for her then? Her Busted and McFly cds or her calendar marking down the days until she saw them live again. They never failed to make her happier. Who sparked off her interest to play piano and guitar? Yep Busted / McFly. Who sparked off her love of travel / London? You can’t doubt that the travelling all around the country from a young age just to see them perform didn’t play a part in that. Even most of her geography skills come from places she’d visited seeing them or they’d toured. Who gave her the first experience of heartbreak she ever had? Yep that was Busted. Who helped her become more confident with speaking to people? Yep that was them too. Knowing that people say queuing at the concert all loved the same thing that other people used to tease you for liking really helped talk to people and improve my confidence. I mean thats exactly how I met one of my closest friends now. Then you move onto the daft things like my love of Jaffa Cakes or the fact I visited Southend so much that it’s now one of my favourite coastal places to visit. My life has just been shaped by these bands. Honestly I could go on for days in all the ways they’ve been there or how different my life would’ve been without them. 

Truthfully, I don’t know what teenage me in particular would’ve done without them. They’ve always been that one constant thing in my life. Whether it was changing school, moving house, a friendship breaking down - whatever it was, the one thing that stayed the same was the fact I could always listen to my favourite music. Even daft stuff like going for a job interview now I have to listen to them to calm my nerves, the music still has that effect on me in a way that nothing else does. And still to this day nothing makes me happier than being going to see them in concert and being in the front row. 

You have to bear in mind I was at an impressionable age when all this started. Its bad to admit (but I was very young at the time) but if Tom said he liked musicals, I started becoming interested in them too (hello love of musical theatre now), if James said he liked Back To The Future I watched it - yep guess who adores those movies now. You get the idea. I just feel so lucky in a way that I was more influenced by people like them than my peers who were experimenting with smoking, alcohol, drugs, fake id etc at the time. None of that interested me as I was too absorbed in a world of McFly and Busted. I know you don’t see any part of a bands life so they were probably doing the same things as my friends were but I didn’t see them so it didn’t influence me - I think that makes sense. It’s odd as now I do things / like certain things and it’s as if they’ve always been a part of my life, but I can certainly see things like my music taste that is so clearly influenced by things they said in interviews when I was a teenager. 

Yes, I completely understand that they may not have been there for me as a person. I don’t know them, and I’m not even pretending that I do but I really do consider some of the band members to be some of my favourite people in my life. I think that my life has been heavily influenced by them over the years - probably even more than I realise! And for that I’ll always be thankful as they helped shaped me into the person I am today. I’m not denying that real life people have been there for me a ridiculous amount too but I just felt I needed to say that my love for these bands goes deeper than just liking a couple of the songs. I think that when you’re at the front of a concert the overwhelming sense of happiness you get it indescribable and even just for that reason it’s enough for me to think they’re some of my favourite people. 

This post has ended up one huge waffle but it’s something I just needed to get off my chest. Thanks to anyone whose managed to stay reading until the end! 

I’m sorry for yet another post about my favourite bands...I think I’m getting dangerously close to renaming my blog Confessions Of A Fangirl! 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Busted. Blogtober - Day 17

Last night I went to see Busted. Let’s be honest, this is going to be the worst ‘review’ you’ll ever read as I just love this band. They could come on stage, sit knitting for 2 hours I’d still come away thinking it was the best thing I’d ever seen.

A while ago Busted announced a massive one night special date at Londons, Royal Albert Hall. Then not so long ago, they added a northern date at Preston Guildhall. Same set as the Royal Albert Hall just at a slightly less snazzy venue! 

When the news hit that the Preston show was also getting the 2 set Busted show the excitement was ago! Uniquely, the band split the set with an interval in between. The first half being an intimate acoustic performance with the second being a lively electric guitar performance. It’s the first concert I’ve ever been to where that has happened but personally I thought it worked well.

The acoustic first half of the set was a nostalgic rollercoaster to say the least. Something about the band turning their songs acoustic just turns you into an emotional wreck. These are songs which I’d grown up with and have listened to during the good / bad times so hearing them stripped down was an emotional experience to say the least. Not only that but the acoustic songs really showcased the bands talents as performers. Songs such as Meet You There, When Day Turns Into Night and Everything I Knew were all part of the acoustic set before they finished the half with my one of my favourite songs, Sleeping With The Light On. I really could listen to them perform acoustically all day so for me this half was superb. 

The second half saw Busted return to the jumpy, lively performance that you expect when seeing the band. The set list was similar to that of the recent Night Driver tour with the edition of few fan favourites like Loser Kid and That Thing You Do. I don’t know if it was just because it’s been a few months since I last saw them before but I thought the set from both halves was truly fantastic and was the perfect mix of songs both old and new.

These concerts are the perfect celebration of all things Busted. Even despite seeing them rather a lot over the past couple of years, it’s still crazy to me how they’re a band again but I completely and utterly love the fact they are. Honestly if you ever slightly loved Busted give them another listen in 2017 and go see one of the live shows. I can assure you they’re even better than you will remember. I just love them and these shows with the acoustic / section were just fantastic and I’m sure they’ll be being talked about within the Busted fan base for years to come.