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    TRAVEL DIARY: 21 hours in Hamburg

    hamburg.jpgHello! Do you still remember who I am?

    I haven’t been blogging much the past month or so, while I got back into the swing of things with uni after the long Christmas break. I am now halfway through my final semester of classes in my four-year-long degree which I CANNOT BELIEVE I am even saying right now. I really love my classes this semester actually, especially my one on Victorian Gothic literature (Frankenstein, Jane Eyre, The Island of Dr Moreau, some Sherlock Holmes, SO MUCH GOOD STUFF) so it hasn’t even been much of a task making myself sit down at my desk and crack on with it. It makes such a difference to your productivity levels when you really love what you are doing, doesn’t it.

    Anyway, now that I truly have the hang of it again and am back into a good routine, my blog can return from its place on the back burner. I have missed writing on here!! I have a couple of blog posts planned for the next couple of weeks, including a book review on The Wicked King, if you aren’t sick of those already from every other book blog under the sun (although I could read people’s thoughts on Jude and Cardan all day long).

    Today though, I wanted to tell you about a very exciting and last minute trip I took a couple of weeks ago with my flatmate courtesy of Ryanair flight sales.

    Yep, I went to Germany for the day for the same price as it would cost to get the train home for the weekend.

    Warning: long post ahead.

    hamburg 1hamburg 2The week before we went, or even knew we were going, my flatmate got an email through advertising cheap Ryanair flights as part of their January sale. It started off as sort of a joke, wondering where we could jet off to, and we started looking at flight times without really caring about the destination. Most of them didn’t suit because they didn’t fit around our university classes, and since we are semi-responsible adults now we didn’t want to miss anything so close to graduation. Then we spotted one to Hamburg in Germany that meant we would only be away for a day in total, and a few minutes later we were booked. Read more

    books, currently reading, fiction, list, recommendations, WWW Wednesday

    WWW Wednesday #1

    WWW WEDNESDAY is a weekly meme hosted by Taking on a World of Words
    After randomly coming across Books and Sensibility on Bloglovin and deciding to follow Jess’s blog, I also spotted a blog post titled “WWW Wednesday”. It had a cute little graphic and so I clicked on it, to find it was a lovely little weekly post with a very simple idea behind it, and I knew I had to start doing it too.
    • What are you currently reading?
    • What have you recently finished reading?
    • What do you think you will read next?
    I am currently reading I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson. It was specially written for World Book Day 2018 and focuses on a fourteen year old girl with severe cerebral palsy. She can’t walk or talk or communicate at all, but her mind is completely intact. She can see and hear everything happening around her, something which she says people often forget. She relies on her family and her carer for everything, and knows all sorts of secrets about everyone. These are harmless, until someone tells her a secret that changes everything. I am really enjoying this so far and I love how unique the perspective is!
    I have just finished reading A Court of Thorns and Roses and A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas. I have always said I’m not much of a fantasy gal, but this has totally changed the game for me. I don’t want to say too much on this subject right now because I am planning on doing either individual reviews for the books or a series review once I have read Wings and Ruin. If you follow me on Twitter, you will know how much I have been raving about this series recently and how much I feel like I have missed out on by not reading much fantasy romance till now!
    Carrying on from that, I plan on reading book 3 in the ACOTAR series, sooner rather than later. I also want to read Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng which has had a lot of hype surrounding it recently, and The Party by Elizabeth Day.
    What are you reading at the moment?
    Help a fellow book gal out – shop your TBR list on Book Depository using my affiliate link here. Thank you so much! Will pay back in long rambly blog posts and overly enthusiastic book reviews.
    books, ebooks, list, recommendations

    8 Of The Best 99p Kindle Bargains

    Writing this post has somehow just managed to cost me £6, because apparently I am incapable of compiling a list like this without buying every single book on it minus the two I already owned. It was even originally titled ’15 of the best Kindle ebook 99p bargains’ until I realised the trend and had to stop midway for the good of my bank account. I am the worst for rationalising my purchases by saying that they were only a couple of pounds so it is no big deal. But those few pounds add up when you spend them all the time.

    Whether you are going away on a relaxing beach holiday soon, or simply enjoy the amazing heatwave we are having at the moment, there’s no better time to stock up on some books for your kindle as when there are some crackers reduced to just 99p each. I definitely didn’t need any more books after just buying a box load of paperbacks in the two for £7 deal on Amazon, but I couldn’t help myself (and I’m telling myself I’ll be thankful of it when I have ‘nothing to read’, as if that ever really happens) (also see above paragraph on excessive spending).

    I have tried to keep the list as varied as possible so that there is something for just about everyone. There is the LGBT+ novel that everyone has been talking about lately by Becky Albertalli, as well as one of my favourite books of all time in The Secret Life of Bees. Shadow and Bone is one for all you Sarah J. Maas fans out there (me included now as I have just finished book 1 in ACOTAR), and the hilarious Sarah Millican offers a non fiction option if you like biographies. If you like more of a thrill, then maybe The Missing is more up your street, or The Cows if you are looking for something heartbreaking, yet somehow still witty and entertaining.

    Have you read any of these books already?


    THE COWS by Dawn O’Porter
    THE SECRET LIFE OF BEES by Sue Monk Kidd
    THE MISSING by C. L. Taylor
    HOW TO BE CHAMPION by Sarah Millican
    book review, books, recommendations, review

    Book Review: ‘Eve of Man’ by the Fletchers

    I don’t want to say I’m a stalker or anything, but I have a very unhealthy obsession with the Fletcher family.

    Or maybe it is mainly the Fletcher kids.

    What started off as a simple follow on Instagram has become full-blown admiration for possibly the most beautiful family I have ever seen. Buzz and Buddy melt my heart on a daily basis when I make a regular sweep of Instragram stories in the hope that there is a new clip of them being adorable. I also started following Gi’s sister at the beginning of this week when I realised they were all on holiday together and there would be more videos on hers too, only to fully discover just how cute her daughter is too.

    But that is not what we are here for today – or at least it wasn’t until I started writing about them and apparently couldn’t stop.

    We are gathered here today to say a warm welcome to the best new duo to hit the literary market. In their first novel together, Giovanna and Tom Fletcher have kicked off a dystopian trilogy that I am yet to see a single bad review of. And you won’t find one here either. For the first time in a long while, I have both started and finished a book in just over 24 hours, despite spending a lot of that time sleeping and working.

    Synopsis (from Goodreads)
    All her life Eve has been kept away from the opposite sex. Kept from the truth of her past. But at sixteen it’s time for Eve to face her destiny. 
    Three potential males have been selected for her. The future of humanity is in her hands. She’s always accepted her fate. Until she meets Bram. 
    Eve wants control over her life. She wants freedom. 
    But how do you choose between love and the future of the human race?

    I absolutely flew through this book, eagerly drinking in each word. I had to keep fighting with myself not to skip over several lines at a time, desperate to absorb more. And while I don’t always mind when I do that when I am reading, every word in this incredible novel deserves attention. I don’t even think 5/5 stars is enough for this.

    I don’t want to say any more about the plot than what is in the synopsis above, because for this type of book I always think you get the most out of the wonderfully imaginative details if you don’t know too much about it beforehand. What I will say is that I loved Eve and Bram as the two main characters and love interests, particularly because you get to read both POVs, which is my favourite style. Too often we get just the female voice, or an unrealistic male voice, but Gi and Tom’s combined writing made for a perfect balance between the two. Bram, however, did just make me think of Bran in Game of Thrones every single time I saw his name, but I guess that isn’t a downfall.

    When you have read as many books as I have, it is difficult for one to sit in such high regard. One of the very few downsides to being an English Lit and creative writing student is that my brain is now wired to pick out tiny details. I often find that books I enjoyed before have little annoyances in them that I would never have noticed, but I can place my hand on my heart and honestly say that I cannot find a single fault in this book. I like to be politely critical when I am reviewing something rather than gush and gush about how wonderful it is in case I sound a bit superficial, but Tom and Gi’s amazing work deserves all the praise it can get.

    I seriously urge you to pick up this book as soon as possible. You will not be disappointed.

    (And they are already starting on Book 2!)

    books, recommendations

    Summer Reading Challenge (+ recommendations)

    I’m a huge fan of Goodreads, and I have got into the habit of getting straight online the second I have finished a book to add it to my list and see my number of books towards my 2018 challenge go up. I find so many of the books I read or add to my ever growing to-read list on Goodreads, and it is the most helpful way of keeping track of what I want to read and what is being released and when. There is nothing worse than knowing a vague description about a book but not being able to remember the title and therefore you can no longer find it.

    Upon browsing the blog section of the website, I came across their recent article featuring their ultimate Summer Reading Challenge. I have never tried to take part in anything like that before, and I definitely don’t have the focus levels to actually finish, but it seems to me like a great idea if I am unsure what to pick up next.

    So here I sit, in the exact spot as in the photograph above, mug of coffee beside me and the fluffiest slippers on my feet, perusing online to make this challenge a tiny bit easier for you. I probably couldn’t look less summery if I tried, but that’s Scottish summer for you. If you know, you know.

    Here is a list I have compiled of suggested books to match each of the categories in the challenge – so that you don’t have to! I’ve tried to keep it as varied as possible to suit all different tastes, so there should be something for everyone.




    ** All links lead to the respective Goodreads page where you will find descriptions and shopping links **


    ✺ Summer Related Tasks ✺

    1. The great wide open:
    Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour – Morgan Matson
    2. Summer activities: The Summer I Turned Pretty – Jenny Han
    3. Yellow, green or sandy cover: The Perfect Couple – Elin Hilderbrand
    4. Beach read: Deadly Summer – Denise Grover Swank
    5. Takes place on the beach: Along for the Ride – Sarah Dessen
    6. Takes place on water: Adventures of Huckleberry Finn – Mark Twain
    7. Features fishing: The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea – Sebastian Junger
    8. Features a popular summer sport: Beartown – Fredrik Backman (ok it’s not a summer sport, it’s ice hockey)
    9. Scary story: The Yellow Wallpaper – Charlotte Perkins Gilman
    10. Read in a day: Not If I Save You First – Ally Carter

    ✺ Tasks to Stretch Your Comfort Zone ✺

    1. Features falling in or out of love:
    Everything I Know About Love – Dolly Alderton
    2. LGBTQIA author/character: History Is All You Left Me – Adam Silvera
    3. Another country/culture: The Help – Kathryn Stockett
    4. Author of colour: The Hate U Give – Angie Thomas
    5. Translation: Austerlitz – W.G. Sebald
    6. Short story or essay collection: Nasty Women
    7. Poetry: The Sun and Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur
    8. Spin on a well-known fairytale: Geekerella – Ashley Poston
    9. Western: Of Mice and Men – John Steinbeck
    10. TBR pile: Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertalli
    11. Goodreads shelf: A False Report: A True Story of Rape in America – T. Christian Miller and Ken Armstrong
    12. Choose-your-own-adventure novel: (What on earth does this one mean? I have chosen a book about embracing change and adventure because I am lost) The Girl Who Smiled Beads: A Story of War and What Comes After – Clemantine Wamariya
    13. Audio book: Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – narrated by Stephen Fry

    Grab yourself a little summer cocktail or a refreshing drink, and happy reading x