Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Book Review: Landline by Rainbow Rowell


I am a self confessed fan of Rainbow Rowell, 'Fangirl' and 'Eleanor and Park' are two of my favourite books that I have ever read! So when I started to hear about 'Landline' as being something more adult I had to give it a go. 

The thing that I love about Rainbow Rowell's books is that she has this incredible way with creating characters which are so real and loveable that you need to read until the end just to see if they are ok. She showed off this talent even further in 'Landline' as a huge part of the book is just phone calls between the main character Georgie and her husband Neal, but even through this you feel as if they are real people as their personalities are so complete down to the minute detail. 

The concept of the story is that Georgie discovers a 'magic' landline in her family home where she can call Neal from the past which she uses to change the mess they have found themselves in in present day. I have to be completely honest and say that this just didn't work for me. I didn't really get the whole idea for a long time and thought it kind of detracted from the many other parts of the plot such as Georgie's job writing an up and coming show, her dysfunctional family and the strained relationship with her husband. The use of the phone calls was a really clever way for Rainbow to form her characters and their relationship but personally I don't really think the time travelling bit was necessary.

That being said it was definitely was it was hyped up to be: a signature Rainbow Rowell book but with an adult spin with much more adult problems. It was really enjoyable to read and to get to know these characters who were really three dimensional and interesting. 

Rainbow also has another book out called 'Attachments' which is said to be similar in the sense that it's adult rather than YA so I will definitely be giving that a go. I'm desperately trying to catch up before she releases any more so I can truly call myself a superfan which I most definitely am.

Leave me a comment to let me know if it is just me who didn't get the whole magical phone thing, or if you've read 'Attachments' and think it's worth a read!

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Sunday, 27 September 2015

Life Update: Off to Uni!!



The day has finally come, as of today I am officially an undergraduate!! I am studying English Literature at the University of Essex and I couldn't be more excited to throw myself into books and reading for the next three years. As you can tell from this blog, reading is a huge part of my life and it is so lovely to be able to learn more about it and hopefully get a job involving books. 

I am literally the last of my friends, or anyone I know for that matter, to be going so I have been getting very restless especially over this last week but I know I will be fine once I am there and settled. This is a huge shift in my life so please bear with me in terms of uploading blog posts, it is something I really want to keep up but I will just have to find a routine that works around my lectures (ahhh lectures!!!). 

So there's my little life update for now, I'm sure you will be hearing much more about my experience, I would love to do some posts giving tips for getting settled as I have found the whole process so confusing and stressful so I would love to help other people in the same boat!

Speak again soon!
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Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Book Review: Paper Aeroplanes by Dawn O' Porter


Paper Aeroplanes narrates the tough lives of two high school girls, Renee and Flo in their struggle to fit in with the crowd whilst also struggling with some quite serious problems at home. Although very different in character, the girls find comfort and friendship in each other and work together to make life just that bit more bearable.

This book was recommended to me by a friend who described it as a book that was really fun to read and reminiscent of the first years of high school. I totally agree with that but it was also pretty hard hitting, my struggles during high school were very very small compared to what these two poor girls went through. That being said there are laugh out loud moments and you really get attached to the characters which makes it all the more enjoyable to learn where their stories lead. 

Definitely give this a read if you're looking for something to make you laugh and cry in equal parts, also there is a sequel which I will definitely get around to reading at some point! Let me know if you've read this, or if you've read the sequel and think it's any good.


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Friday, 18 September 2015

Goodreads Reading Challenge Update


This is just a quick one to let you all know where I'm up to on my reading challenge. This is the first year I have properly done it and set myself a target to aim for and to be honest I am proud of how I'm getting on. 

Being a Literature student means that this is a bit easier for me as 4/20 of those books I have read have been ones I studied for my A Levels but I've still managed to fit 13 in around them! I'm also quite close to finishing 'Landline' by Rainbow Rowell who is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. So this means I am so very nearly on track to making the 30 books by the end of the year! 

I don't know if 30 is pathetic to some people but I have never actually counted how many I can get through in the space of a year, maybe next year I will try 40 or even 50! It is also a great motivator (and excuse) to stick my nose in a book, cuddle up with a blanket and a cup of tea, and just forget the world.

Let me know how you're doing with your reading challenges!
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Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Book Review: 'Into a Million Pieces' by Angela Cook

I was sent a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review, unfortunately I didn't have the time throughout exams to pick it up and read it but I'm so glad I was able to read it now. 

'Into a Million Pieces' is a YA book which tells the story of two twins who happen to be succubi. This basically means that they have been blessed with perfect looks which can turn any man to mush, but they have been cursed with the inability to kiss or have sex with any men without potentially killing them or draining their life energy meaning that their 'victim' will be passed out in bed for the next few days. One of the twins, Jade, doesn't take any notice of this and is following the path her mother took before her: flirting with each and every man within a 5 mile radius and kissing plenty along the way. The twins' mother died when this addiction became too much for her. The other twin, Allison, is very very different, she disguises her perfect body and glowing skin with black clothes, and lots of black eyeliner and lipstick. Although most of the school think she is a freak, things get interesting when Ren Fisher starts paying her a little attention. 

This book had me hooked firstly because the whole succubus subject is not one I had actually ever heard of before, let alone read about. But it is also really interesting to see two completely different ways of dealing with this curse in the form of the two twins. Angela writes in a way that is so teenage and believeable that you could easily be reading a young adult best seller. I really formed a bond with Allison who I didn't really get to begin with just like everyone else at her school, and this meant I was so invested in the book as a whole! This being said, I would have loved a few chapters from Jade's point of view which would have been really interesting as the plot develops... (hint hint, spoiler alert)

I can be totally honest when I say I thoroughly enjoyed this, even more so because it isn't a big flashy book that every blogger/magazine/tv show has read already. It was such a privilege to read something so good that was just sent to little old me, I can't wait to see what else Angela comes up with because I'm sure it will be just as great if not better.

So if you are looking for something to read that is just completely different, give 'Into a Million Pieces' a go! And if you do, or have done already I would love to hear what you thought in the comments :) 
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Friday, 4 September 2015

Dreams: Exciting or Unrealistic?

As we are growing up we all start thinking about what we'd like to do or who we'd like to be in the future. This is always a really fun thing to do as we fantasise about where we dream of ending up at the end of the long journey that is life. 

When we are younger this can be huge things such as being a singer or an artist or even a princess, and while the last one may not be something you can work to achieve (or perhaps you can), these are all things as a child we fully believe will happen. We dress ourselves up in the privacy of our bedroom and sing along to our favourite songs in the mirror, pretending to be filming our debut music video. Yet when we reach a certain age we are forced to push these dreams aside and focus on something more 'realistic'...

In my case, right from the age of about 3 years old I wanted to be a singer. I grew up performing the role of Annie alongside our VCR in my lounge, then joining ballet classes, singing lessons and doing years and years of theatre school training up until the age of about 16. 

This was the point where people started to ask me realistically what I wanted to do when I was older. When I was younger I was asked and I would always say "I want to be a singer" and people would 'aww' and tell me to chase my dreams. But when I got older and I had to start picking GCSE options, A Levels or even my degree, music and performing was seen as something unrealistic and childish. People would laugh at me and point out that it was a one in a million chance.

I am really sad to say that over the years, especially at such an age where what you do and who you are is very easily moulded by the opinions of others, I listened to these people and let go of that dream to find something that I could tell people I wanted to do without receiving a patronising response. But the problem is that I am still searching for that. For my A Levels I chose more 'realistic' options like History, Spanish and English Literature and yes I enjoyed them and found them interesting but the jobs in those subjects don't make my heart race as much as singing and performing to an audience used to. 

Even though I fell head over heels in love with books and that is what I am studying for my degree at University, at the moment I can't see what job I want at the end of it. To be honest I really feel the gap that performing has left in my life. For this reason I am really eager to join musical and theatre societies at University and perhaps start doing small gigs. In that way I feel more secure in my path but I can still get back the rush and happiness I used to have when I was on a stage in my spare time.

The point of this post is to tell you to never ever do what I have done. If you have a dream that you long for with every fibre of your being then go for it and never look back. Yes maybe it will be difficult to get in to but you will never know if you don't try. Never settle for something that other people tell you you should be doing, when you get there you won't truly be happy because you have lived your life how someone else wanted you to. 

I would love to know your dreams growing up and the dreams that you have now! Are they any different? Leave me a comment below :)

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