Wednesday, 2 July 2014

Books | Round-up & Mini Reviews

Okay so I've gotten quite behind on my book reviews lately, posting 5-6 on Goodreads at a time because I start new books before I actually write my thoughts down on the one I just finished, then I forget I haven't written it and so on. I usually aim to post a book review on this blog every Wednesday, then on other days of the week write about beauty and other things that interest me. To get up-to-date on the books I've read, I'm going to select parts from recent reviews in this round-up post which will act as mini-reviews. Hopefully then I will be able to start regularly posting reviews on the books I've just finished, straight after I've finished them. 

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

Juliette can't touch anybody because she causes immense pain, even death, when her skin touches that of another. The book starts with Juliette locked in a cell, where she has been for a great deal of time. She is then joined by a cell mate - a boy - who confuses yet intrigues Juliette but there may be more to him than meets the eye.
Shatter me was a very quick read for me and by the end of the book, I felt as though nothing had really happened. The first third of the book is formatted with strike-through lines which irritated me when reading and I didn't completely feel that they were necessary. These did seem to fizzle out as the book went on and it became more enjoyable towards the end.  It would be a lie to say that Tahereh Mafi's writing isn't unique. I've never read anything like it and her world-building skills were incredible. 
Juliette's love interest, Adam, played a strong hero role in the book and I can't wait to discover more about their relationship in the rest of the series.

My rating: 4 out of 5 | View the full review here

Anna And The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Anna and the French Kiss is about a young schoolgirl, Anna, who gets sent away from her home in Atlanta to live in an American boarding school in Paris. Anna deals with loneliness, the idea of making new friends, boys and a new city in the first book in this series. As the name suggests, the book is a romance novel - but not all the way through, which makes it a lot more interesting in my opinion. The book is multi-dimensional and kept me entertained throughout, I thoroughly enjoyed reading it from start to finish. I absolutely loved this book, it combined my love of Paris, film criticism and teenage romance. 

My rating: 5 out of 5 | View the full review here 

The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau

The Testing is about a young girl named Cia who is just about to graduate high school and find out whether or not she has been chosen for The Testing - a multi-part test to see which students will go on to study at The University to eventually become a leader of the United Commonwealth. The dystopian fantasy is set years after The Seven Stages War has left the majority of the world an unruly wasteland and Charbonneau is one of the best authors I've come across at world-building. One of my favourite aspects about this book was the protagonist. She was compassionate, had respectable values and seemed to make the same decisions that I would have made, had I been in her situation.  I really liked the book as a whole and will be picking up the other books in the series. I would massively recommend that you read this book and I'd love to hear your thoughts on it.

My rating: 5 out of 5 | View the full review here

The Program by Suzanne Young

Sloane is in the target age for the international epidemic that is suicide and with all of her friends catching the disease, it's only a matter of time before Sloane becomes infected too. The Program was developed to stop teen suicide - by withdrawing the suspected individual from their everyday life and medicating them to remove all memories of the people and things they knew before. The Program was an excellent book and I was a big fan. At times, the book was literally heartbreaking and the two main character's love was literally radiating through each page. There were times in the book where the reader had the memories and knowledge that the characters no longer had, which frustrated me no end because I just wanted to shout at the characters and make them understand. I would definitely recommend reading The Program and I will be picking up The Treatment as soon as possible, to complete the duology.

My rating: 5 out of 5 | View the full review here

Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Fangirl is about Cath, a fanfiction writer well-known in the blogging world who is just about to start college with her twin sister Wren. Or should I say, Cath thinks she is starting college with her sister, Wren has other ideas and wants to branch out and meet new people, whilst living on the other side of Campus to Cath. Cath is completely alone and has to navigate the world of the dining hall, lectures and her roommate who seems to strongly dislike her, all on her own. This book was the first Rainbow Rowell book I've read and I'm glad this was my first. Her writing is somewhat of a comfort to me, although it's difficult to explain why. Personally, I can't say I've ever read any fanfiction so I don't know the attraction, but I did find myself identifying with Cath on other levels. I would most definitely recommend that you pick up this book and I will be reading more of Rainbow Rowell's books as soon as I can.

My rating: 5 out of 5 | View the full review here

There were other books I've been reading recently, you can read my thoughts on over on my Goodreads page, I just selected a few of my favourites for this round-up post.  I'd love to hear what you've been reading lately and your thoughts if you've read any of these books too. 

Friday, 20 June 2014

Fashion | Summer Sugarhill Wishlist

Summer is the time for bright nail polish, barely-there make-up and flirty dresses. I can't believe we're already in the middle of June but Summer is quickly approaching and I've been trying to get myself in the mood. 
I've been loving Sugarhill Boutique lately and with a massive sale on the site at the moment, I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to round up some of my favourite items from the site into my perfect Summer wishlist. Although there are plenty of Sale items that I have fallen in love with, this wishlist won't feature those as they may have gone out of stock before this post goes live. 

Have you shopped at Sugarhill Boutique before? Which of these 4 items is your favourite?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Summer Giveaway | MAC, St. Tropez, Ciate, Chanel & More

With Summer just around the corner, I wanted to host a Summer Giveaway featuring some of my favourite items and some items I think you'll love. As with all of my giveaways, it's open internationally and will run until August 3rd (my birthday - yay!) Anyone can enter my giveaways but the entries will be monitored through Rafflecopter and I do moderate the entries, removing duplicates and false ones. Please enter your email in the comments so I can let the winner know.

The winner of the giveaway will receive:

  • MAC Happy Go Lucky lipstick - a bright pink perfect for the Summer days
  • The Fault in Our Stars - one of my favourite books and as the film is out this Summer, I thought it would be perfect for my giveaway
  • St. Tropez Bronzing Spray - to give you a golden glow for those Summer dresses
  • Ciate Red Hot Chilli - for those toes to look pretty in the sand
  • Forever 21 Sunglasses - to protect your eyes
  • Tania Burr Lipgloss in Afternoon Tea - for those Summer shopping days
  • Bumble & Bumble Surf Spray - to get a beach-hair look without the hassle of the sea
  • Chanel Holiday Nail Polish - for a polished Summer look

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Book Haul | May 2014

I've always loved books and always had one by the side of my bed that I delved into every now and then, but up until recently, I hadn't been obsessed with books. I'm not sure what changed that, but about a month ago, I stumbled on Books and Quills Youtube channel and although I'd never really been interested in Booktubers before, I became hooked. I'm now subscribed to a handful of Booktubers and my to-read list on Goodreads has expanded to almost 300 (it was at about 50 before). I've fallen in love with the idea of continually acquiring more and more books and starting the latest popular series has quite literally become all I think about. I've also become a lot more dedicated to reaching my 2014 Goal on Goodreads - add me as a friend if you have it! 

To document my new obsession, I thought I'd start posting Book Hauls as well as the usual Book Reviews on a Wednesday (the dedicated 'Book' day here on my blog). This month I picked up Unwanted by Kristina Ohlsson, a Swedish best-selling Mystery/Crime Thriller about a missing child, which I have already started. Before I Go To Sleep by S. J. Watson, a thriller about a woman who loses all of her memories each time she goes to sleep, which I finished last night (review to come). Cupcakes at Carrington's by Alexandra Brown looked like a light-hearted chic-lit about a personal-shopper in London so I thought it would be fun to pick it up. The Woman Who Went to Bed For a Year by Sue Townsend intrigues me because I can think of nothing better than crawling into bed and not moving for a year. I also picked up The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson because I have heard great things about this comedic author and I'm incredibly interested in Psychology and the mental health profession - this book seems to shed some light on the industry and I can't wait to start it. Alex by Pierre Lemaitre is the second book in the Verh┼ôven Trilogy - I've got the translated version and the story about a thrilling kidnapping is exciting me before I've even read the first page. 

I got sent three classic literature books from Oxford Press: Wuthering Heights, A Tale of Two Cities and Dr Jekyll & Mr Hyde and other Tales. I'm ashamed to say I've never read a "classic" before, so I thought these three would be a good place to start. Pretties is the Second book in Scott Westerfeld's Uglies Series. I loved the first book: Uglies (click to read my review) and can't wait to get my teeth into this one. Finally, the last book I picked up this month was Shatter Me, the first in a cult-series by Tahereh Mafi. I am so excited to read this book as I've heard so many good things about it and it will probably be the next book I start. 

I also picked up some new e-books on my iPhone that I tend to read when I'm out and about or when I'm reading in bed at nighttime and don't want a light on. (Sorry for the shocking picture, it's just a screenshot.)
The e-books I've downloaded in May are:
A Quest of Heroes by Morgan Rice, One Breath Away by Heather Gudenkauf, The Giver by Lois Lowry, Glass Houses by Rachel Caine, Delirium by Lauren Oliver, The Testing by Joelle Charbonneau, The Darkest Minds by Alexandra Bracken, Allegiant by Veronica Roth, The Longest Ride by Nicholas Sparks, The Cuckoo's Calling by Robert Galbraith (J. K. Rowling), Calculated in Death by J. D. Robb and finally Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling. 

I am super excited to read all of these books and will hopefully have some new reviews up soon. Please note that the reviews on my blog are often books I read a month, maybe even two months ago, as I only post book reviews on Wednesdays and a lot of the time, only post reviews on my Goodreads page. If you'd like to see what books I'm reading and my opinions as soon as I finish them, check out my Goodreads page. 

Which books have you bought recently? Have you read any from my list?

Saturday, 7 June 2014

Fashion | Cold Summer

Living in England means our Summers aren't always hot and sunny. Whilst we do have some occasional typical "Summer" days, a lot of our Summers are cold and rainy. On those rainy days, there's nothing better than curling up under the duvet with a good book or an Orange Is The New Black Series Two Marathon on Netflix. But unfortunately, sometimes life gets in the way and I have to venture outside. On those days, I like to feel warm and comfortable so I chose to show one of my typical outfits as a post. 
What do you like to wear on the winter-like Summer British days?

Shoes* - iKrush
Cable-Knit thick leggings - Unsure
Long Bandeau Top (layered underneath) - Topshop
Oversized Blue Jumper - H&M
Hooded Fur Gilet - Primark