Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Snippets of Life: September // October

Hello again guys; this post is a summary of my last couple of months. Autumn and Spring are the months that I usually prefer as I don’t like to be too cold or too hot (yes, I’m one of those people!) I actually hadn’t realised how little I’d been posting over the past month but I don’t really have a schedule to stick to I guess that’s hardly surprising. September was a good month, I spent a lot of it living my life and not worrying about taking photos or documenting what I did. I definitely was trying to be more spontaneous during that month, whereas October has been more of a reflective month. I’ve spent the last few months (trying to) not worry about my weight and instead focus on enjoying food and drink and company, which actually was refreshing. Probably the best part of the last two months was visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour; I absolutely loved it and I made some great memories that day. Plus, it was like reliving all of my childhood dreams in one day! I definitely plan on going again as there’s so much to see and do it’s impossible to take it all in with one visit. I’ve had a good couple of months but I feel like I want to document my life a bit more again; for two months of photos I feel like I don’t have many memories to look back on. One of the best things about blogging is that you document all of the little things and I feel like I’ve been forgetting to do that recently. So here’s to having a great November and I’ll be posting again soon! :)

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Book Review: Never Let Me Go

Kazuo Ishiguro is one of those contemporary authors who never ceases to write; it feels like his books are everywhere and that everyone has heard of him. Never Let Me Go is a novel that I have been meaning to read for a long time; many years ago I watched the film but I’ve never managed to find the time to read the book until now. To say that this novel is beautifully written is an understatement; Kathy is a great narrator, appearing to be both reliable and engaging with a fantastic memory for any amount of small details. However, as the novel progresses the reader does begin to question whether Kathy is too easy to accept their fate; too quick to provide excuses and too happy to concentrate on the positive parts of their lives. Kathy rarely discusses her own feelings, often preferring to remember the past and describing how others felt. This book opens up many questions about both morality and mortality and not all of them are pleasant; in fact this novel is hard to read at times as it does hint at some uncomfortable subjects. In ethical terms, you could argue that there are many issues present; raising children to be very intelligent and then suddenly give up their lives, to have no opportunities to have a real future creates a range of questions and I’m not sure that I agree with the notion at all.

Kathy is a ‘carer’ and so we as readers see the worlds from her perspective, including her memories. Many of her memories contain some fond thoughts about her childhood, in particular her friends, acquaintances and guardians (who are fairly similar to teachers and parents in one) at her School, Hailsham which can be compared to a Boarding School except they don’t have holidays or ever leave, in fact. In all honesty, the majority of the memories that Kathy shares are not the happiest, although she seems to treasure them, probably because they are all she has and many of her childhood friends have ‘completed’ which is alternative way of describing death. Kathy explains (via her various recollective memories) that much of their teaching throughout their schooling is based around them being donors. Effectively, all of them are cloned, intended to donate organs for those who need transplants for various illnesses. Donation is something that is often mentioned and often in a way that suggests all of them are afraid of the future as it is so unknown to them. Many of them struggle past the second donation, however Kathy does explain that it does depend on the individual. Tommy seems quite proud of reaching a fourth donation, almost as though it is an honour. I got the impression that Kathy was afraid to be a donor herself, much preferring to be a carer. Being a carer definitely suits her personality, she’s naturally a sensitive soul.

Carers are trained to look after those who are recovering after making donations, which is Kathy’s role; considering that the majority of her childhood friends and acquaintances are guardians (who are fairly similar to teachers and parents in one) at her School, Hailsham which can be compared to a Boarding School except they don’t have holidays or ever leave, in fact. In all honesty, the majority of the memories that Kathy shares are not the happiest, although she seems to treasure them, probably because they are all she has and many of her childhood friends have ‘completed’ which is alternative way of describing death. Kathy explains (via her various recollective memories) that much of their teaching throughout their schooling is based around them being donors. Effectively, all of them are cloned, intended to donate organs for those who need transplants for various illnesses.
Carers are trained to look after those who are recovering after making donations, which is Kathy’s role; considering that the majority of her childhood friends and acquaintances are donors from what she describes. In fact, she even considers herself an excellent carer, having cared for many years. This novel is a sad one; I found it hard to read. It is almost impossible to understand how difficult it must have been for these children to reach adulthood and realise not only what they are, but that they have been lied to. I cant even fathom how it must be to realise that you are so different to the outside world; the characters in this novel are not only complex, but also incredibly really to deal with their difficult lives, they’re so brave in many ways. Many people go through life believing that they are alive for a purpose, although that purpose is usually dependant on choice whereas the characters in this novel are alive for a singular, unavoidable purpose with no choices at all.

Overall, I really loved this book; as much as it was difficult to read due to some of the morality and mortality questions that bothered me, the writing is undeniably beautiful. In general I do love a book that makes me think, that encourages me to question the truth of what I’m reading as well as think more about social issues. One of reasons why I adored this book so much is that the underlying morality issues were carefully described; the subtlety of the prose made the meaning behind the words  even more haunting to me. In terms of length, this book isn’t unreasonably short, but it isn’t long either so in a sense it is an easy read, although one that is very hard going in terms of subject matter. Ishiguro’s characterisation and the narrative voice of Kathy were excellent, particularly as there was a sense of mystery, until the big reveal which turned out not to matter anymore. Naturally many ethical questions arose after reading this novel, but ultimately I do recommend it as I couldn’t stop thinking about it during reading and still after reading it, which is always the sign of a fantastic read.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Favourite YouTubers #9

Hello again guys; I can’t believe how far into October it is already! Like it’s actually amazing how quickly this year is flying past, before I know it it’ll be new year at this rate... One thing that I do enjoy about October is watching vlogs on YouTube during that month. I love getting nice and cozy in bed and snuggling up to watch various Vlogtober series’. There are a few YouTubers that I watch every year and genuinely enjoy seeing life through their eyes for a month. I love the behind the scenes, no filter, all honesty videos and blogs at a fantastic way to get to know a person, rather than a planned 15  minute video. Aside from vlogs, I do also like watching book bloggers at the moment; I like seeing what other people are reading and what they recommend.


Jessie is a YouTuber who I admire for her honesty; I love that YouTube comes second to her studies and so I do enjoy her vlogtober series every year as although she doesn’t seem to do much other than study, it’s realistic and I find her vlogs calming. Jess comes across as very chilled but also very dedicated to her work; I wish I had been as dedicated to my studies, oops. I also like how her vlogs include little titbits like outfits of the day, room tours and talks about what books she’s currently reading and if she likes the content and writing style. At the moment she’s got a lot of montages of her day with not massive amounts of talking or activities other than studying, but I like the realism of seeing her days so simply.


I’d previously been enjoying the MandevWeekly series that they had on their main channel, but actually I’m enjoying their daily vlogging channel more. I like how they’re mixed in more than other daily vlogging channels as they each vlog their day so every other day you get to see a different sister, with a different life and a different editing style. Grace is definitely the sister with the very cool home and cooking shots, whereas Amelia tends to vlog going out to clubs and pubs with friends but both of them are equally interesting. Where the sisters are currently partaking in daily vlogging, I doubt they’ll be doing vlogtober or vlogmas as they seem dedicated to keeping up the consistent uploads and I’m enjoying seeing their different personalities, lives and friendships.


I’ve mentioned Rhiannon so often in my monthly YouTuber favourites, but honestly I do really love her vlogs. Personally, I really enjoy seeing how other people choose to live their lives and as someone who is childless, I never thought that I would find a family vlogger interesting, but I do. I subscribed to her vlogging channel back when she was known as Fashionrocksmysocks and obviously a lot has changed since then. I’m addicted to her vlogtober videos at the moment; it’s so relaxing to watch her and she seems so down to earth and determined to be an excellent mother. Her daughter is so sweet, especially now she’s starting to develop her own little personality and talking! Here’s hoping that she partakes in vlogmas with her lovely family.


I originally found Morgan through her range of Harry Potter related videos and I instantly liked her videos. She seems so lovely and down to earth; this month I’ve been binge watching her channel and I’ve watched a lot of content that really appeals to me. She’s a book, beauty, lifestyle and fashion based YouTuber, but my favourite content is the Harry Potter content, with videos including ‘how to make a butterbeer milkshake’, ‘huge Harry Potter book collection’ and ‘Ravenclaw merchandise collection’ to name a few that are not only interesting but also original. She also vlogs occasionally, although she’s not participating in vlogtober, it does look likely that she’ll be creating content for vlogmas which I look forward to.

Thursday, 26 October 2017

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

As an avid Harry Potter fan (thank you, 1990-2000s childhood) I was naturally extremely excited when this novel was announced and I immediately pre-ordered it; however when I realised it was a play script and not the eighth novel that I had been anticipating I literally sat it on my bookshelf and ignored it. Growing up, during my education I was never a fan of reading plays so it’s fairly unsurprising that I was massively disappointed but recently I decided to just give in and read it, regardless of how much I was expecting to dislike the written format. As expected, I did struggle for the first fifty pages or so with the written format, but after that I did manage to forge that it is a play and simply concentrate on the action, rather than the format of the writing. Split into two parts, the first part is incredibly similar to what many fans will remember from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and also from the eighteen years later segment in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, as it’s all about the all important first day of starting Hogwarts. I liked the idea that Mrs Weasley really influenced Harry’s life in a motherly way to the extent that “best do it at a run, if you’re nervous” is repeated by Harry to his son on his own first day of School, although I found that through the play format the reinforcement of this father/son (mother/son) bonding moment didn’t transfer as clearly.

One thing to remember is that where this script was always written with the intent of being a play, acted out onstage, it does speed through life as we see Albus and the other characters mature incredibly quickly. As a reader, you start off seeing his first day at Hogwarts and before long he’s suddenly in his fourth year; in a lot of ways the story would’ve been more successful as a second series of books but that was never going to happen, sadly. Ultimately, we see Rose, Albus and Scorpius start their first year together and we watch them develop as characters as well as wizards; almost immediately, Rose takes a dislike to Scorpius not only because he’s a Malfoy, but also because there are many strange rumours surrounding him and leaves her cousin, Albus with Scorpius in the compartment of the Hogwarts Express, deciding she wants to make better connected friends; you see a lot of Hermione’s intelligence and ambition in her characteristics. Due to Scorpius being a Malfoy, there is a definite expectation early on that he will have very anti-muggle born and generally unwelcome views, when in fact it is clear that he has been raised well; he becomes a favourite character very quickly as he’s both generous and kind, consistently looking out for Albus throughout the play. Both boys struggle to live up to a legacy that they don’t want; Scorpius struggles with the rumours surrounding his family and Albus naturally struggles due to his famous parents, and even his aunt and uncles, as Hermione is the Minister for Magic and Harry the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Even Ron, was famous due to his work with George with Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes for their business was booming.

Within the first chapter, Albus is very different to the child you would expect; as one characters says after his sorting: “A Potter? In Slytherin? No way!” Which, although cruel isn’t really a surprising remark, particularly as his cousin and elder brother are both in Gryffindor, however he is in the same house as Scorpius so he does have a good friend with him. Later on in the play, his younger sister, Lily is also sorted into Gryffindor too, so it does seem like Albus is very different to his family, something which is explored within the script. Much of the script and overall plot focuses on how much Harry and Albus struggle to understand each other; Harry is definitely very different as a father as I would’ve expected him to be. There were many points where I was a bit frustrated with how Harry talks to other characters, for example Professor McGonagall, who he once truly respected. However, I think that you do have to remember that he is a successful Ministry man, one who has seen and done it all, so to speak and he is older, so therefore he wasn’t going to be the Harry everyone remembers. Ginny and Ron were characters who I really wanted to see more of; Ginny seemed too timid and Ron was too immature and took on the joker role; which personally, I was disappointed with. Hermione and Harry were definitely the more dominant characters in the play. Draco was a surprise, as he was actually a fantastic father figure and very supportive of both Scorpius and Albus; I liked how they kept the rivalry between him and the trio as that definitely seemed to true to the past. Some things will never change, it seems.

Overall, I really enjoyed this play, once I got past the awkward format there was a lot of information and action which did live up to expectations. Naturally, it was never going to be as good as the original series but obviously that was still a little disappointing, but arguably most of the disappointment stemmed from how different the characters seemed, particularly Harry; however all of the characters seemed to have exaggerated personality traits in some ways from what many fans would remember. That said, he, Harry and the other characters were teenagers during the original series and people do change with age, so in fairness it is highly plausible that their personalities woul have changed, as much as this is a bit of an adjustment. I think that the majority of fans from the original series will enjoy this script, although I’m sure that there will be some that won’t, but that’s because of its super fast paced plot line but ultimately it’s something to indulge in and enjoy. Honestly, I’m praying that one day I’ll be able to afford tickets to the pay as this script was definitely made to be seen and not read, but either way I loved it.

Saturday, 21 October 2017

October Playlist

1. Payphone - Maroon 5 (feat. Wiz Khalifa)
2. Sorry Not Sorry - Demi Lovato
3. Speakerphone - Rixton
4. Dusk Till Dawn - Zayn (feat. Sia)
5. Up - Olly Murs (feat. Demi Lovato)
6. Million Reasons - Lady GaGa
7. Black Magic - Little Mix
8. Crying in the Club - Camilla Cabello
9. Upredictable - Olly Murs & Louisa Johnson
10. It Ain’t Me - Kygo & Selena Gomez
11. Heart Attack - Demi Lovato
12. Helium - Sia
13. I Don’t Wanna Live Forever - Zayn & Taylor Swift
14. What About Us - P!nk
15. Touch - Little Mix

Hello again guys; it’s that time of the month where I collate fifteen songs that I’ve been loving to listen to on my journeys to and from work. As anyone who has been reading my blog for a while now will know, I always use an old iPod rather than my iPhone as I just find it easier; not only does it save some space on my iPhone, it also means I don’t have to drag a huge iPhone out of my bag to change songs, this iPod is small and lightweight so easily fits in my coat pocket, ready to be shuffled if I want to do so. I do have a fairly eclectic taste in music as I do listen to a huge variety of artists; what I choose to listen to is definitely influenced by my mood. During October, I’ve been enjoying high tempo, quite angsty music with some dance which is a bit random, but I’ve been loving these songs. Let me know in the comments what music you’ve been loving this month! :)

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Book Review: The Miniaturist

After reading The Muse by Jessie Burton, I knew that I wanted to read her debut. I wasn’t disappointed, I love the whimsical, yet factual way that she writes. The Miniaturist takes inspiration from one of the many doll’s houses on display in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Owned by Petronella Oortman, it then corresponds well with the main character of the novel. Nella arrives at her new home, her marital home with only herself and her pet bird, expecting to be greeted by her new husband before seeing only two servants and her new sister-in-law. She’s only just eighteen, but as a reader you have to remind yourself that this is a fairly ordinary situation for a seventeenth century young girl to put in. Her father has died and left her family very poor so as the eldest child, Nella has been expected to marry well to save her siblings. However, her new life seems to be a house full of secrets and not a single person welcomes her, especially not her new husband Johannes. Nella describes how her mother has given her an expectation of what married life will be like, but hers seems to be not at all what she expects, spending every night and many of her days alone and wondering why her husband is rarely at the house.

However, Nella is arguable lucky because she has married into the rich Brandt merchant family so her social standing is relatively high for such a young girl, although that it partly due to the fact that Johannes is at least twenty years older than she is. Johannes commissions a Cabinet (a doll’s house) which is a miniature model of her marital house as a wedding gift and she is given money from Marin, her sister-in-law to furnish the cabinet with which is where the Miniaturist becomes a player in the novel. Nella writes and commissions the Miniaturist for a few items, which she receives; however in the coming months she begins receiving items that she didn’t ask for. Cornelia, the maid and Marin believe the superstitions that miniatures bring bad luck, but Nella believes that they are leading the way, that there is something she must discover from the cryptic clues that she is being given. For such a young girl, Nella has a remarkable amount of strength. She is determined to be a good wife, regardless of what that means or how difficult it is; in time, her household do come to respect her and the decisions that she makes on behalf of them at various points in the novel.

There are many key players in this novel including Nella, Johannes, Cornelia, Marin and finally Otto, the manservant of the house, alongside the Meermans and the Miniaturist. Otto is the one charcter who stands of physically as he is African; there are many descriptions of him being treated differently and Nella is astounded to see him upon her arrival at her marital home. Through the range of characters as readers we witness a variety themes being explored, such as homophobia, sexuality, feminism, racism and sin. Early on, Nella realised that her dreams of having children are unlikely to ever happen and so some of the twists later on in the novel are completely unexpected. The house of secrets slowly unfolds and we are able to witness a range of unexpected events; somehow, over time, Nella does eventually become the official mistress of the house and often takes charge, which showed to the reader just how much she matured as the novel progressed. In fact, it was interested to see how much her character developed from a innocent child to a strong woman in the space of a few hundred pages. Whereas Johannes and Marin seemed to trust Nella more as time went on, almost encouraging her to think and work for herself, to protect their household. 

Overall, I really loved this book; Jessie Burton is a fantastic storyteller and honestly, I was surprised that this is a debut novel as it’s more or less flawlessly devised. However, one issue that I had with this novel is that the ends were not fully tied; too much was left to the readers imagination and on the one hand, that’s enjoyable as it does make you think, but on the other hand it’s also incredibly frustrating as I (and I’m sure many others) wanted full closure after so many tragic events. This novel drew me in very quickly as I loved the writing style and the plot line in general. There were a few discrepancies, however; for example I was fairly confused by where the Miniaturist came into the story, it felt like her character wasn’t really explored or developed enough and so neither was the suggested idea of superstition and witchcraft surrounding her craftsmanship which was a disappointment for me as I found the cabinet to be a key player in the overall plot for the majority of the novel. I suppose, in fairness that this discrepancy also fits with the lack of tying ends; perhaps I was expecting far too much as I enjoyed this novel so much. Even with the few disappointments, it was written beautifully enough that I can happily excuse Burton and encourage anyone reading this review to read this novel as it is a delight. I love the idea that everyone has secrets hidden in plain view.

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Harry Potter Studio Tour Haul

Hello guys; I thought that I would show you the things that I bought from the Harry Potter Studio Tour as I love reading or watching Hal’s myself and I have to say, I think I was fairly well behaved considering how much stuff I wanted to buy from the shop! I was literally like a child in a sweetshop, I’ve never seen so many different things that I want. I’m not usually a huge merchandise person, but to be honest it was impossible to resist in that shop. Not pictured is a photo of me in Gryffindor robes riding a broomstick, which was £14 so fairly expensive but I’d say it was worth it as I’ll always remember this visit when I look at it. Also missing from the photograph are two fridge magnets, one of Diagon Alley and one of the view of Hogwarts from the boats; they were £4 each and one of the more affordable items available. Throughout the tour, there are several different shops and not all items are available in each one, which was a shame as there were some things that I wish I had bought that I couldn’t as I decided to wait until the end shop (the largest) and it was so annoying that each shop is slightly different as I really wanted a Christmas decoration that I’d seen but then couldn’t find in the final shop. 

I decided to pay a little extra and buy Butterbeer and butterbeer ice cream for £6.95 each; the reason it was more expensive was because I wanted to be able to keep the dishes, which shows how deeply I am when it comes to Harry Potter haha! The butterbeer was horrible, but the ice cream was lovely so in a way I wish I’d only bought the ice cream, oops. Whilst in the gift shop I felt like a child in a sweet shop and when it came to the Honeydukes section it was literally a dream; the packaging designs were so lovely! I knew as soon as I saw the Chocolate Frogs that I had to have one, however for £8.95 it was fairly expensive but it wasn’t hollow and it was huge. Plus, I’m now using the packaging for display on a bookshelf and it came with a card... I’m still gutted that I got Salazar Slytherin as I desperately wanted Dumbledore. For my family I also bought a pack of all Butter Toffees which were surprisingly good value for money as not only is the box massive but it was fairly reasonably priced at £7.95 and not only did my family enjoy them but I was allowed to keep the packaging for display too which was nice. The pink and green graphics are so eye-catching too, I love how they stand out against the books on my bookshelf.

I bought a Pygmy Puff keychain in purple for myself which I thought was actually good value for money, priced at £6.95; especially when you consider that is cheaper than the edible items. I chose the purple because I liked it more than the pink, although if I do revisit the tour I’m tempted to buy a pink cuddly toy version of my keyring. It’s currently holding my house keys and I love it. I also bought my boyfriend a keychain, (whoops not pictured) a Gryffindor lion themes chain, red and gold and the lion spins around. It’s actually excellent quality, it’s really heavy and feels substantial and for the price of £7.95 I’m really happy for it and it was a great choice for a gift, he definitely liked it as it’s currently on his house keys! I also gave into my inner child and bought the Triwizard Cup which is probably my favourite item from the whole haul. It’s actually really big, and it lights up blue just like the film prop does, which is lovely. For £14.95 I was easily tempted; as soon as I saw it I really liked it, it’s sitting proudly on a bookshelf alongside some of the other items from this haul, haha. It’s so intricately designed and I do think it looks really cool in the house, haha. Finally, I couldn’t resist buying the Offical Tour Guide which wasn’t badly priced at £9.95; whenever I visit anywhere I do like to collect a souvenir guide and at the Studio Tour there’s so much to see and do that I really wanted to have something that I could look back at and remember all the different parts to it. That’s all for this post, let me know in the comments if you liked what I bought - did you any of you buy anything similar? :)

Wednesday, 11 October 2017

Visiting the Harry Potter Studio Tour

Hello again guys; I have to admit that I have had no second thoughts on not participating in blogtober. As much as I would love to blog every day for a month, in all honesty I’m simply not organised enough for that, especially when you consider that the inspiration for this post is from a trip on the last day of September. For the last few years I’d been desperately wishing to visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour, something that I’m therory should be easy for me, considering the fact that I live in London (the tour is also in London). However, I either never seemed to have the money or anyone to go with. On September 30th I went with some workmates and honestly... Any Harry Potter fan seriously needs to consider going; it isn’t cheap, but it is worth every penny. I actually want to visit again at some point as there’s so much to see that you can’t take it all in just once. Plus, the gift shop is enough to literally want to revisit; it’s an actual childhood dream! Below are a variety of photographs that I took on the day, have any of you visited the studios? How did you like it? :)

Tuesday, 10 October 2017

Book Review: The Sun Is Also A Star

After reading Nicola Yoon’s debut I had incredibly high hopes for this novel; once again, I rapidly found myself enjoying her characters and also her writing style. This novel is almost entirely focussed on two people who meet by chance and take the time to see where life and time are able to lead them for a day. The writing style is great, once you take some time to adjust to it’s unconventionality; the name of either Daniel, Natasha or another (lesser) character tops the start of a chapter alongside a small illustration which was a nice way of definitively knowing which perspective was going to be put across to the reader. Similarly, some chapters contained small bursts of information, which was made clear through a small illustration and a brief sub heading before the descriptive and explanative text that followed that chapter. These small bursts were actually rather key to the understanding of the overall plot; it’s a really cleverly used literary technique. The chapters were excellent in terms of length; long enough to garner interest but never so long that you lost interest, which made this book one that can only be described as difficult to put down.

The two main characters, Daniel and Natasha are as different as two people can possibly be. In terms of physically, Daniel is of Asian heritage, more specifically Korean and Natasha is Jamaican, however I loved how the author used each character to describe the author. It was a great way to understand how they’re each perceived by the world. Mentally, they’re also very different. Daniel is a dreamer, desperate to persue a creative flair that flows inside him, Limited by a family who expects a medical expert. Natasha has an incredibly scientific mind, driven to solve a problem and prevent any future problems, although we see her own creativity in the her sense of style and musical choice. Much of the story is delivered through their thoughts, how they get to know each other over the course of a day. Natasha is due to be deported that night, Daniel is supposed to be applying for Yale to become a Doctor. This is a novel that explores the idea of love at first sight; that you can meet someone by chance and have an instant connection with them, although in this case it’s arguably not meant to be.

Throughout their day spent together, Daniel realises that he really doesn’t want to become a Doctor, regardless of what his parents will think. From that moment, he intends to make his own way in the world. In a sense, this sudden decision after months and years of obeying seems to have influenced by Natasha’s fate. He knows he’s lucky enough to be able to have a choice, she isn’t so lucky to have a choice of staying in America, no matter how much she tries to fight for herself. One thing that I really liked about the writing style of this book, is that although Daniel and Natasha were the main narrators, we were given glimpses into some of the smaller characters minds in some chapters; these small snippets of information are actually very sad, often explaining the reasons why some of the characters are hard to crack. This novel does tackle some difficult themes, such as deportation, racism, depression and relationships. It explores them on different levels, often through situations or uncomfortable conversations but it’s a shame that some of the themes weren’t covered a little more; this novel definitely seemed a little short, it could’ve explored some points and tied up some ends more clearly. This is a tale of cynicism versus romanticism and the boy meets girl cliché is handled well, it’s not exaggerated.

Overall, I liked this book because it surprised me. I enjoy being surprised, I thought I had guessed the ending and the point of this novel within the first few pages but I was wrong, which is always a good thing. The twist was a shock, actually and definitely stayed true to the cynical side of this book. Life is never easy, but you have to keep going even if you sometimes don’t want to. I liked how Yoon left a lot of this book to the imagination of the reader, including the ending; at times it was very sad but that’s not a bad thing. Life isn’t always perfect and this novel definitely emphasised that idea, I was surprised by that, as the majority of Young Adult fiction often stays on the positive side of life, but this novel was very realistic, particularly with regards to deportation. Of the two novels that I’ve read by Yoon, I preferred this one simply because it felt more believable; yes, it does reference a lot to chance and love at first sight, but that being said, most of themes tackled were done realistically and with an understanding that sometimes things are beyond your control. I’d recommend this to anyone who enjoys unusual writing styles or wants to read a story that’s cute but not exactly full of happiness; it’s definitely a coming of a age novel.

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Harry Potter Haul #2

Hey guys, this is a fairly recent selection of some Harry Potter related items that I’ve purchased recently; I went to Primark in the hopes of finding a cauldron mug that I’d set my heart on but sadly it was nowhere to be seen. On the plus side, I found a lovely Gryffindor cushion that was an absolute bargain for £4, as well as three pairs of Harry Potter socks for £4 too. The socks caught my eye as I wanted some that didn’t have the houses on, it’s nice to mix it up a bit. I’ve always loved the view of the castle an the lightning bolt is an absolute classic so I knew I had to buy them. The Primark Harry Potter range is actually really lovely quality for such a pocket friendly price too. I bought some Fantastic Beasts items too; two books from eBay, the first is a making of  movie book which I snapped up for about £3 and the second is the screenplay book, also from eBay for roughly £4. I was really happy for the value for money from these books, especially as the screenplay cover design is so beautiful. The Oblivate Notebook was bought for me by my boyfriend for £7.99 from Waterstones and it’s so cute and also has a lovely cover design.

I’ve been purchasing a lot of Harry Potter books lately, I like the idea of collecting unusual or rare editions, but I’ve been mostly buying second hand via eBay or amazon for excellent prices. The Expecto Patronum Notebook is something that I had my eyes on for a while but I’d been persuading myself that it was an unnecessary purchase but for £13 I ended up giving in due to free delivery... I have no regrets as it’s a Moleskine notebook so the quality of the paper and the cover is incredible and definitely worth every penny. Plus, the Prisoner of Azkaban is my favourite book so it’s a great way to pay homage to that. My next purchase was the Slytherin cover edition of the 20th Anniversary Philosopher’s Stone. I managed to find it for £8 on eBay and that was fantastic as it’s a first edition. I’m a Gryffindor, but I’m planning to collect all four of the house cover in hardback and I know I’m getting the Gryffindor one as a present, so I decided to buy the Slytherin one first. I like how each edition has information about the house and some beautiful illustrations at the beginning of the book and at the start of each chapter. Ravenclaw is definitely next on the list.

Finally, I have two other editions of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone; a paperback and a hardback. I bought them both from eBay and they’re technically both first editions. The paperback is a Bloomsbury printed edition; technically a first edition but it’s a late print (around 30+) but it is a 1997 original, with Dumbledore on the back. This edition is exactly like the version I read as a child, before I lent it out and never got it back. For £5 it was a bargain considering it’s age and the condition is great, it looks unread. The hardback version is a little more unusual. It’s a first edition and first printing, but it was printed by Ted Smart for the Book People in 1998 and it is essentially a copy of the original 1997 Bloomsbury first edition. For example, the Dumbledore on the back is a young wizard, not the elderly wizard that we all know and love. I bought this for an absolute steal of £3 from eBay, which is insane considering the rarity of this book; I doubt there were many made of this. Let me know in the comments what you think of my purchases and I’ll see you guys very soon! :)

Gryffindor Pillow - Set of 3 Harry Potter Socks 

Inside the Magic: The Making of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them - Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them: The Original Screenplay - Insights Obliviate A5 Journal 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary Slytherin Hardback Edition - Moleskine Expecto Patronum Limited Edition Notebook - Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Ted Smart 1st Edition

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 20th Anniversary Slytherin Hardback Edition - Moleskine Expecto Patronum Limited Edition Notebook - Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone Ted Smart 1st Edition - Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone 1997 Bloomsbury Publishing Paperback

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

October Moodboard

Hello again guys; once again I’m starting the month off with a moodbaord based on a variety of images that I found on Pinterest (no hate please, I know it’s bad there’s just so much inspiration to be found from there) using the search keywords Halloween, Autumn, Autumn fashion, Halloween DIY and October. I don’t own any of these images but they can all be found on Pinterest using the same search keywords. I really, really love the autumn and fall colours, the orange, reds and yellows are simply beautiful and honestly I can’t wait for the leaves to start falling properly, even if I’m not a fan of the darker nights and shorter days. Another thing that I’ve been getting excited over is decorating interiors for the upcoming seasons as the one thing that is super enjoyable about the autumn and winter seasons is having cute decorations all over the house and I like seeing the house looking a little more cozy and warm in the colder months. I’m definitely tempted to buy some more big cozy jumpers as it is starting to get more cold in the mornings and evenings now, so maybe I’ll take some inspiration from the colour schemes that can be found in some of these images. Is there anything that is getting you excited about October? Let me know in the comments :)

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