Category Archives: Books and Magazines

Tuesdays are Reading days

Book/Film: Me Before You

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skshfsInvited by a friend to watch Me Before You, I went and watched this emotional film at the cinema a few weeks ago. Having not read the book, all that attracted me to the film was the trailer and the impending love story (I’m always a sucker for a love story). However, I did go home and order the book (which I finished reading today), but I would suggest reading the book first and not make the same mistake I did.

Starring a truly wonderful cast of Sam Claflin as Will, Emilia Clarke as Lou, Jenna Coleman as Treena, Matthew Lewis as Patrick, Charles Dance as Stephen Traynor, Janet McTeer as Camilla Traynor, Samantha Spiro as Josie Clark, Brendan Coyle as Bernard Clark, and Stephen Peacocke as Nathan, the film was set up perfectly. It is also pretty faithful to the book, hardly surprising when you consider that the author, Jojo Moyes, wrote the screenplay.

‘Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick. What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane. Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that. What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of color. And neither of them knows they’re going to change each other for all time’.

It’s a truly beautiful story, heartbreakingly emotional but also quite inspirational. The book and the film push the idea that life is meant to be lived and you should be grabbing every opportunity you can.

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Disclaimer – I do own the above image, it is from: http://filmmusicreporter.com/2016/04/22/me-before-you-soundtrack-announced/
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Book: Carrie Hope Fletcher’s ‘On the Other Side’

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From the title, you can see that I am recommending Carrie Hope Fletcher’s On the Other Side. Spoiler alert. This book is remarkable and once you pick it up, you’re not going to be able to put it back down in a hurry.IMG_5064.PNG

I must preface today’s recommendation by stating how incredibly biased I am, due to the fact I was already a huge fan of the author before reading her debut fiction novel. Carrie Hope Fletcher is an actress, YouTuber, singer, songwriter and author. But even being biased in favour of Carrie, I only recommend things that I truly endorse or have enjoyed and I promise that this review is entirely honest.

I managed to get my hands on the book three days before the release date by going to Carrie’s first book signing for On the Other Side. This was held in Sheffield’s Orchard Square Waterstones (my closest Waterstones while I am at university). It was held here as Carrie is currently touring with Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (in which she plays Truly Scrumptious) and as part of the tour she has been performing at Sheffield’s Lyceum theatre for the last three weeks.
Although I only got to meet Carrie briefly while she signed my copy of the book, she was so lovely and made the wait (and missing my train) so worthwhile.

On the Other Side is ‘a love story like no other’, excuse the cliché, but it’s true. Framed creatively within Evie Snow’s venture to lighten her soul after death so that she can pass through to heaven, the story is brilliantly beautiful.

IMG_5096.JPG‘Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow, some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love . . .’

Now, it’s no secret that I am a sucker for a good love story or that I am a hopeless (or hopeful) romantic. The love story in this book filled my heart with so much joy (and wet my eyes occasionally) and the ending was perfect. For those that have read the book, I will leave my spoilerific list of eye-watering moments at the bottom of this post.

The book was so well written and I didn’t want to put it down. It took me two and a half days to read (which is good for me since I’m a slow reader) and I was sad, when I was finished, that I had no more pages to read.

This is a book I’m going to try to force my friends and family to read too because it’s just too beautiful and magical (and I mean really magical at parts) not to be read by everyone. I truly recommend you, yes you, to pick up a copy. Waterstones (not sponsored) are currently selling copies half price. Click here to go to their website.

I have never had a favourite book, not really, and especially not since being a child, but with finishing On the Other Side I can finally state that this is my favourite book and will be for a very very long time.

Thank you Carrie, I cannot wait for further novels from you! ❤

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SPOILER ALERT – DO NOT READ IF YOU HAVE NOT READ ‘ON THE OTHER SIDE’.

MY SPOILERIFIC LIST OF EYE-WATERING MOMENTS FROM ‘ON THE OTHER SIDE’:

  • When Evie and Vincent parted ways for the last time (p205).
  • When Isla said her mother was the greatest artist that ever lived (p255).
  • When Lieffe thinks that Evie is brilliant (p261).
  • When Vincent says ‘Evie, you were my single greatest adventure’ (p302).
  • When Vincent says ‘Goodbye’ and lightning strikes the tree (p331).
  • The very end (p340).

Book: Paper Towns

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51hgkNew+XL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Paper Towns, a John Green novel, recently turned into a film (2015), is a story about a boy who likes a girl. However, this girl is Margo Roth Spiegelman and is somewhat of a mystery to everyone she knows. After an all-night adventure, Margo disappears leaving behind clues for Quentin to follow. The book takes place in the last few weeks of Quentin’s school life adding further stress to the exams, prom and graduation.

Having never read a John Green novel, I was first introduced to Paper Towns at the cinema when I watched the film for a friend’s birthday. I enjoyed the film and decided to pick up the book. I first found the book to be quite slow (probably due to knowing what was going to happen thanks to watching the film first – oops). But once I got half way through (its only about 300 odd pages) I was enraptured and couldn’t put the book down.

The story, which follows a very basic structure unwinds in a very linear fashion (find a clue, follow clue, eventually find girl), frames questions about life, people and friendship. While it seems that the book is about Margo, which in a way it is, the story sees the development of unique and unusual friendships between different types of people as they come to the end of their high school careers. Many of which are brought together by the events surrounding and the disappearance of Margo.

I really enjoyed this book and urge you to give it a read if you haven’t yet. If you struggle through the first half, like I did, try your best to power through because I really did enjoy the ending. It was definitely worth the time and effort.

Here’s the trailer for the film (I also really enjoyed the film but it did follow a slightly different ending):

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above image, it is from: https://www.amazon.com/Paper-Towns-John-Green/dp/014241493X

Books: Most Anticipated Releases 2016

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Today I thought I would write a quick blog post on my most anticipated book releases for the upcoming months. I am a massive book lover and there are few books I cannot wait to have my hands on.

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J.K. Rowling and Jack Thorne.

This is a script book of the newest addition to the Harry Potter series/franchise, a new play that will open at the Palace Theatre London in July 2016. As a Harry Potter fan, it would be a sin not to have this book on my list.

This book is to be released on the 31st of July.jhgfg

  1. The Dark Artifices Book 1 – Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare.

This is the first book in a spin-off trilogy to The Mortal Instruments series. I am a huge fan of The Mortal Instruments books. I have read the six books of the main series, and I was just bought The Infernal Devices trilogy and The Shadowhunter’s Codex for my birthday. I am hoping to read The Bane Chronicles next. Needless to say I can’t wait for even more Mortal Instruments content!

This book is to be released on the 8th of March.

  1. On The Other Side by Carrie Hope Fletcher.

This is probably the most anticipated book on my most anticipated books list. The concept of this book sounds incredible. The Waterstones summary is as follows: Evie Snow is eighty-two when she quietly passes away in her sleep, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. It’s the way most people wish to leave the world but when Evie reaches the door of her own private heaven, she finds that she’s become her twenty-seven-year-old self and the door won’t open.

Evie’s soul must be light enough to pass through so she needs to get rid of whatever is making her soul heavy. For Evie, this means unburdening herself of the three secrets that have weighed her down for over fifty years, so she must find a way to reveal them before it’s too late. As Evie begins the journey of a lifetime, she learns more about life and love than she ever thought possible, and somehow, some way, she may also find her way back to her long lost love.’kjh

I cannot wait to read Carrie’s first fiction book, due out on the 14th July, especially after reading her debut book All I know Now which I thoroughly enjoyed.

  1. The Luxe Life by Fleur DeForce.

I really enjoyed Fleur’s The Glam Guide, which came out last year, and since this book is a follow up to that I cannot wait to read it.

This book is to be released on the 28th July.

  1. Tanya Bakes by Tanya Burr.

Tanya Burr who realised Love, Tanya last year, is releasing a complete baking book due to high demand. Tanya’s channel, known mostly for beauty and make-up, has seen the odd baking video and they are always very popular. I love Tanya’s baking and I can’t wait to buy this baking book and make all the treats inside!

This book is to be released on the 30th June.

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above collection of pictures, they are from: http://comicbook.com/2015/10/22/harry-potter-and-the-cursed-child-official-artwork-revealed/, http://shadowhunters.wikia.com/wiki/Lady_Midnight, http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25744542-on-the-other-side, http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Luxe-Life-Fleur-Force/dp/1472232062, and http://www.amazon.co.uk/Tanya-Bakes-Burr/dp/1405927208/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1456262407&sr=1-1&keywords=tanya+bakes

Book: Love, Tanya

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516ogI2SeAL._SX258_BO1,204,203,200_YouTube and the YouTube culture has increased dramatically in the last two years with many popular YouTubers being accepted into mainstream entertainment. With this has come the opportunity for many individuals on the platform to write and publish their own books in conjunction to their channels.

Now being a fan of many YouTubers myself, I have bought and read the books of some of my favourite YouTubers. Today I’m recommending Tanya Burr’s Love, Tanya.

Tanya Burr is a beauty and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber online. She also films the occasional vlog and uploads them to her channel. I find that Tanya is very similar to Fleur DeForce (whose book I recommended back in April) and as much their books are very similar, but as a fan of both I thoroughly enjoyed each book and eagerly read one after the other.

Tanya’s book provides a range of content similar to her online work. This includes fashion, beauty, love, friendship, relationships, baking, confidence, happiness and her own life. Much of this content is beauty related but this book is perfect for any fan of Tanya, since it includes autobiographical chapters and advice on anxiety and confidence, which allows Tanya to take her own anxiety as a positive thing to help others in the same position. Even without being a fan of Tanya and her channel, t71Tf3zlVuQLhe book offers top tips on so many different things including relationship tips such as date ideas and wonderful baking recipes.

love tanya 2While reading the book I found that I never wanted to put it down and kept reaching for it at every opportunity. The book is just brilliant; it is aesthetically pleasing with a lovely hardback cover and many of Tanya’s own photos are laced throughout. I also enjoy the professional photoshoot photos at the beginning of each chapter.

Tanya really worked hard on this book and made it for her fans and that is so obvious to see when you’re reading her writing. For me personally, it’s great to see more about the woman on the other side of my computer screen and really get to know her further.

Please go and check out Tanya’s book and channel (click here).

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above images, they are from: http://www.unitedcakedom.com/2015/03/love-tanya-by-tanya-burr-book-review.html, http://www.amazon.co.uk/Love-Tanya-Burr/dp/1405921404 and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-2901810/Tanya-Burr-latest-YouTube-star-land-book-deal-unlike-Zoella-admitted-ghost-writer.html

Book: The Glam Guide by FleurDeForce

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812wXX2k9+LYouTube and the YouTube culture has increased dramatically in the last two years with many popular YouTubers being accepted into mainstream entertainment. With this has come the opportunity for many individuals on the platform to write and publish their own books in conjunction to their channels.

Now being a fan of many YouTubers myself, I have bought and read the books of some of my favourite YouTubers. Today I’m recommending Fleur De Force’s The Glam Guide.

Fleur De Force, who I have recommended on my blog before, is a beauty and lifestyle blogger and YouTuber online. She posts videos on beauty products, tutorials, reviews and fashion on her main channel, daily vlogs on her second channel and recipes and cooking on her food channel which she does with her husband, Mike, in connection to Sainsbury’s.20150406_124010

From this, she decided to write a book with the main purpose to inform and teach people about make-up and her recommended techniques and tips. The Glam Guide goes through beauty, hair, fashion, travel, health and fitness, life, love, YouTube and blogging and is very much the epitome of Fleur and her presence online.

Having an interest in beauty is pretty much necessary as a reason to pick up the book but The Glam Guide offers a lot more than that. It includes first date advice, confidence tips and motiv54db5507ec92dation; it includes recipes for juices and smoothies and a section on dreams and what they mean. All of this was deeply interesting to me and I really enjoyed reading it. Additionally, being a massive fan of Fleur I enjoyed seeing her voice throughout and especially reading the note to her subscribers at the very end of the book.

I saw myself reaching for the book at every opportunity that I could. Part of this was because of Fleur’s voice throughout but also the overall care and attention that this book has been privy to throughout its making is just so evident and it means so much more to read it. I just think it is beautifully laid out and has incredible illustrations.

I hope you check out Fleur and her channels and if The Glam Guide appeals to you, that you check that out too!

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above photos, they are from: http://www.amazon.co.uk/The-Glam-Guide-Fleur-Force/dp/1472228405, http://www.mini-adventures.com/2015/04/fleur-de-force-glam-guide.html and http://imgbuddy.com/fleur-de-force-real-name.asp.

Book: The Matched Trilogy

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‘Cassia Reyes has always been a believer in The Society. They have the system set up so you don’t even have to make a decision. Your job, your perfect match, everything will be taken care of for you. When she is Matched with her childhood best friend Xander nothing could be more perfect. However, when she goes to view the microcard of information on Xander that the society gives her, it isn’t Xander’s face that originally appears. It’s another boy from her neighbourhood, Ky.

When Cassia starts paying attention to Ky she also starts falling in love with him. How could this be? The Society is supposed to be infallible. However, once she starts to see one flaw, many others become apparent’ (credit: click link) matched-trilogy

I’ve recently finished reading the Matched Trilogy (Matched, Crossed and Reached) by Ally Condie. I had read the first book, Matched, shortly after it first came out and I absolutely loved it but I wasn’t able to continue the trilogy since the other books hadn’t come out. I decided to wait until they were all out to pick up the trilogy again and it has taken me a little while to do so. Despite this, when I finally picked them up I powered through the story and really enjoyed it.

The books are dystopian in genre, which at the time when I read the first book wasn’t so popular or well-known as it has become now, with trilogies such as The Hunger Games. I haven’t read any other dystopian novels yet but I think that the Matched trilogy allows newcomers to the genre to be eased in.

I really enjoyed the characters. This includes Cassia, Xander and Ky. The narrative follows these character’s journeys’ individually and in regards to their relationships within the group.

Condie wrote the books fascinatingly with the first book speaking from Cassia’s perspective, the second book seeing both Cassia’s and Ky’s perspectives and the third book seeing Cassia’s, Ky’s and Xander’s perspectives, which I believe makes for a very interesting read, with many interweaving layers, and stops any boredom that may come from following the one character the entire time. Although I did get confused at several points while switching between narratives, I think this works well and keeps the readers on their toes.

In terms of the trilogy as a whole, I found Matched, the first book, to be quite slow in its initial development and perhaps the first book can only be regarded as the foundation to rest of the story as, in contrast, later on in the trilogy, Reached, is fast paced and has a lot happening.

I recommend this trilogy and I hope that if you pick it up that you enjoy it!

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Disclaimer – I do not own the above picture, it is from: http://ticklestotantrums.com/2012/12/20/read-this-matched-trilogy/