Pretty Northern

Saturday, December 2, 2017

November Reading Wrap Up

After a slow start to the month and teetering on a slump I managed to clawed it back. November wasn't my best reading month but it wasn't bad by any stretch. Books two and three were tiny but they still count.

This month I read 5 physical books and 1 ebook.
I also listened to 4 audiobooks.

My Goodreads ratings ranged from 'I still can't decide' right through to 5 stars.

Book one: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
Rating: 4.5/5

Right off the bat I really loved the world building in this story. I think Laini Taylor's writing lends itself brilliantly to the whimsy and magic abundant in this Prague. I love the detail that went into character building, even beyond just the 'main' couple. Let's be honest, this is another ending that I totally didn't call! I immediately ordered the second and third so I wouldn't have to wait too long to find out what happens next.

Book two: Before You Sleep by Adam Nevill

This is essentially a taster of a short story collection.
It consisted of 3 short stories:
1)Where Angels Come In. Two young boys go into their towns creepy haunted house and stuff happens.
2) The Ancestors. This is like a horror version of Toy Story.
3) Florrie. Essentially a guy moves into a house and starts morphing into it's previous tenant...I think. I'm not going to lie, this confused me and I've already forgotten it.
The first story was freaky but I'm an absolute wimp and I had no problem reading these in the dark. The other two fell a bit flat for me.

Book three: We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
Rating: 5/5

Not really a book but I decided to read it when I was feeling slumpish (not sure that's a word?)... when I was in a slump and it helped pull me through so I'm counting it. I really enjoyed this, it was interesting reading about Feminism in another culture. Despite how far we still have to go it just highlighted how far we've already come in comparison to other cultures.

Book four: A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett
Rating: 4.75/5

I wish I had read this when I was younger!! This was such an easy read. I flew through it. I definitely think it helped a lot that I was familiar with the story from being a lover of the 1995 film adaptation. Sara Crewe is an amazing character, I adore her.
I will say that I prefer the twist the movie takes, it pulls at the heartstrings a bit more. It is still the most amazing magical story though and I can't recommend it enough.

Book five: The Martian by Andy Weir
Rating: 4/5

Yet another audiobook. I know, who am I?! I'd heard a lot about this through booktube and this was one of the first books I'd bought this year. It took the movie being added to Netflix to actually kick my arse into gear. It took me so much longer to get through than it would have done if I'd read the physical thing but I enjoyed having it read to me (ha!). It's absolutely hilarious and I think the narrator really brings Mark to life.
Let's be honest I'm no rocket scientist or botanist or (insert any other NASA job title) so whilst I didn't understand a lot of the technical jargon I found that everything was explained in a way that I could still sort of understand what was happening.

Book six: The Becoming of Noah Shaw
Rating: 4/5

So I'm very new to this fandom, like I only read the main trilogy in the past few weeks so thankfully I didn't have to wait as long as everyone else for this book. I'm on board the waiting train now though! I could not have been more excited to be back with Mara and Noah.
I've seen a lot of people saying that this book lacked plot and if we look at this as the fourth in a series then I agree. BUT if we look at this book as the first in a companion trilogy then I think it was amazing. This book was definitely more character than plot but it sets up well for the next two books.

Book seven: George by Alex Gino
Rating: 4.5/5

This is such an important read and I hope it's made available to all 10 year olds. Melissa was born anatomically male and named George. Only Melissa knows that she isn't George. It is so heartwarming seeing how she grows with confidence throughout the story and fighting for a female role in her school play. I'm not the best at descriptions but you all need to read this if you haven't already.
Also her best friend Kelly is brilliant, everyone should be more Kelly.

Book eight: Days of Blood and Starlight by Laini Taylor
Rating: 4/5

Another audiobook. I really enjoyed Daughter of Smoke and Bone on audio so I figured that was the best way to continue the trilogy. I personally really bloody missed the love story but I definitely think it was key to the plot that they couldn't be together. I appreciated how we got to see the personal conflicts and read from both sides of the war. It's sort of like how Romeo and Juliet should have been. Zuzana is just brilliant!

Book nine: Dreams of Gods and Monsters by Laini Taylor

So many new people!! I really loved Zuri. I had to listen to this solely on audiobook because the physical thing scared me, it's huge! I think I drifted away one too many times with this one so I will definitely need to reread this.

Book ten: Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

If i'm honest this wasn't a book I intended to read but after it came out it was getting so many rave reviews from people I follow on Goodreads so I caved. I don't think it was my cup of tea. The main focus of the story was Aza's struggle with anxiety and OCD and if you can relate to that then I imagine that would be the key selling of this book because nothing much happens outside of that.  I don't struggle with any of the issues that the main character does so I can't comment on the representation but it is own voices and I've heard really good things. If you are massively plot driven then I'd steer clear of this.

So those were the ten books I got through in November. I'm currently working on my end of year unhaul which basically means making room for new books! What have you read and loved recently?

Nikki x
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Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Christmas Wishlist 2017

We're super close to the end of another year. But first, Christmas!!
This is what I've got on my wishlist.

I've really been trying to limit the amount of makeup I buy because, like with everything, I abandon everything I already own everytime I get something new. I'm trying to use something up before I replace it with something I've had my eye on. That being said this palette is so pretty that I might not be able to resist much longer! I have the Jouer essential matte and shimmer palette and it's probably my favourite palette so I'm super keep to get my hands on this one as well.

Stella is one of my favourite scents and naturally I seem to have run out of all of my perfumes at the same time. If my letter hasn't gotten to Santa in time then I'll be grabbing myself a bottle in January.

You literally can't go wrong with Kat Von D. My lips are the one part of my beauty collection that I've managed to get completely cruelty free throughout this year and I'm keen to make sure I'm keen to own every KVD liquid lipstick out there.

Harry Potter Illustrated Editions

I started a Harry Potter reread this year but then I put these on my Christmas list so I didn't get further than the first book. Hopefully I will end up with these in my stocking and I can reread with the beautiful illustrations as well.

My funko collection currently consists of three pops and I'm very keen to grow it. I really want Hagrid to stand guard over my book collection. Naturally I want the whole cast but Hagrid is a great start.
La La Land is potentially my favourite film having seen it way back in January. I'm so obsessed with the Mia and Seb figures. You can't really get a lot of merchandise for this film so I really need these.
My very first funko was Tina Belcher and it just isn't right not having the trio. The Belcher kids are a team! This year I'm asking for Louise and then next year I can ask for Gene.

Does anyone else feel like your Christmas list gets shorter as you get older??
What have you asked for?
Nikki x


Sunday, November 5, 2017

October Reading Wrap Up

In October I completed 15 books.  Despite reading so many books I don't feel like I achieved a lot. I think that stems from the fact that a lot of the books I did read were read in one sitting and I didn't love most of them. I may be reading a lot of books but I'm feeling pretty 'meh' about most of them.

I read 9 physical books and 4 ebooks. I also listened to 2 audiobooks but that's from being too lazy to hold an actual book, I still don't think they're my cup of tea. My goodreads ratings ranged from 2 stars right up to 5 stars so slightly better than last month.

Physical - 9
ebook - 4
audiobook - 2 

I've blurred the line between non-spoiler and spoiler in a lot of my thoughts so if  you haven't read but want to read any of these then I'd probably skip my thoughts paragraph for that book. 

Book one: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare
Rating: 4/5
I'm so happy I continued with the series, this was such a drastic improvement from the first book. Had I read the first one without having watched the tv show I probably wouldn't have continued but I flew through this book and I'm loving reading about the characters and getting to know the story the way it was intended.

Book two: The Evolution of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin

Rating: 5/5

I love Mara Dyer so much. I loved this book more than the first which I didn't think was possible. I really enjoyed the direction the plot took and I found myself gripped from start to finish.

Book three: The Retribution of Mara Dyer
Rating: 4/5

This was a pretty weak ending to the trilogy if I'm being honest but I think I still gave it 4 stars. I spent a section of it being ever so confused. I enjoyed the characters but there wasn't nearly enough Noah. I literally can't wait for The Becoming of Noah Shaw to fall through my letter box soon.

Book four: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare
Rating: 3.75/5

This book was quite uncomfortable to read with 'siblings' pining over each other. Spoiler alert, I've watched the show so I knew they weren't actually related but most people will have read this back in the day completely unaware and it's just dodgy to read about. Another thing I'm really loving is Simon and Jace's relationship throughout the books and I hope we see more of it through the rest of the series.

Book five: Warcross by Marie Lu
Rating: 4.5/5

I enjoyed this a lot more than I thought I was going to. I can't explain why but I thought this was going to be one of those books that wasn't worth the hype. It really was. Worth the hype, that is. I don't know anything about gaming or coding so whilst I've heard that some of it is slightly unrealistic, that went right over my head and I just enjoyed it. I didn't buy into the 'relationship' but I definitely didn't see the twist coming at the end.

Book six: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire SΓ‘enz
Rating: 3.75/5

I listened to this on audiobook because Lin Manuel Miranda is the narrator and he has a great voice. I enjoyed it, it was an enjoyable read, but I wasn't blown away. I think the audiobook might have hindered my enjoyment as they aren't really my thing so I will be rereading this at some point next year.

Book seven: Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Rating: 3.75/5

I'm trying to read more books on my kindle because I buy a lot and then never read them, always favouring my physical tbr. Having said that I did listen to the audio of this because I found it on Youtube. I enjoyed it a lot more than I was expecting to and I did not see that twist at the end coming!! I've picked up the second one so hopefully I'll get to that soon.

Book eight: Charm School by Anne Fine
Rating: 3/5

I remember this being a favourite when I was in primary school and thought it would be a good nostalgia read. I definitely enjoyed it a lot more back then. I feel like the message is a good one and the ending is satisfying but I really don't like some of the decisions our main girl makes. 

Book nine: Obsidian by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 2.75/5

I knew what I was getting into with this. Sometimes you (I) just fancy a trashy easy read. I have to pretend the first section of this doesn't exist because Daemon is such an arsehole that I was just going to give up. It's a bit like Warner in Shatter Me. I have no interest in any kind of redemption arc. If I pretend it actually started about 100 pages in when he's less just a dick and more 'cliche brooding book guy' then it's slightly more sufferable. I can't see why I'd pick up the rest of the series at this point, the plot was just ok and I don't love any of the characters but never say never.

Book ten: If There's No Tomorrow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
Rating: 4.5/5

I really enjoyed this book. This was a high 4 star read for me so I've just given it 5 on Goodreads. Also, I really love Sebastian.

Book eleven: There's Someone Inside Your House by Stephanie Perkins
Rating: 2/5

I would describe this book as a romance with the occasional murder. I always feel like there's someone in my house when I'm home alone. It's one of my biggest fears so in theory this should have freaked me out. It really didn't.
I was underwhelmed by the killer reveal and felt like it came way too early. I also feel like, whilst the deaths were gruesome, they weren't written well enough to actually creep me out as a reader. Thirdly, a big section of the plot is Makani reflecting over what a terrible person she is and believing that the evens of the books are karma for the big thing she did in the past. That reveal was also very underwhelming.
I had heard a lot of people saying this wasn't overly thrilling but I'd also heard that this would be a great read for anyone who likes Scream. I love Scream and other than the killer's motive I don't see the comparison.

Book twelve: Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Rating: 3.5/5

This is the first book in The Infernal Devices trilogy. 
This book took me so long to read. I felt like I'd be reading for an hour and I would only have progressed about 10 pages. The last 100 pages or so would have been 5 stars for me but I can't discredit the fact that it took me almost 400 pages to get involved. Up until that point I couldn't decide whether I actually cared about any of the characters or what happened. I think the clockwork army are a great enemy, very Doctor Who, and a great change from your general demon. So many people (most people) seem to prefer this to The Mortal Instruments so I'm going to continue with this trilogy because I want to love it too.

Book thirteen: The Spindle and The Sleeper by Neil Gaiman
Rating: 2/5

I feel like as a short story this was pretty weak but had it been a fleshed out 300+ page story it would have been great. 

Book fourteen: Say Her Name by James Dawson
Rating: 4/5

This was more of the thriller vibe I was lacking from 'There's Someone Inside Your House'. I have been checking the corners of mirrors ever since reading this even though I'm not silly enough to ever do the Bloody Mary thing. It wasn't anything special but I did enjoy the characters. I also really loved the school setting, I need to read more of those.

Book fifteen: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Rating: 4/5

My main issue with this book is probably something that other people probably liked but any problems seemed to be wrapped up to quickly. I know they aren't normal teenagers but there's a lot more drama in real teenage life. I like that the Alec/Magnus drama wasn't immediately resolved because it just felt a lot more true to life. 
Overall this book felt like filler, definitely favouring character over plot. I did really enoy getting to read from Simon's point of view and getting to learn about his struggles and development as a vampire with him.

So those were the 15 books I read in October.
You'll be pleased to know that I've started writing my thoughts down as I'm reading a book so next month wrap ups should start making a bit more sense and be less rambly.
Nikki x

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Thursday, October 26, 2017

September Reading Wrap Up

Oh hey. This is my first post in about 5 months, I'm aware that's awful.
So this is a bit of a change in blog content but I feel like I spend every spare minute reading so it really is all I have to talk about.

In September I managed to complete 13 books. I read 8 physical books and 5 ebooks. My goodreads ratings ranged from 1 star right up to 5 stars so a real mix.

Book one: City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

When fifteen-year-old Clary Fray heads out to the Pandemonium Club in New York City, she hardly expects to witness a murder― much less a murder committed by three teenagers covered with strange tattoos and brandishing bizarre weapons. Then the body disappears into thin air. It's hard to call the police when the murderers are invisible to everyone else and when there is nothing―not even a smear of blood―to show that a boy has died. Or was he a boy? Goodreads

I've finally taken the first step on my Cassandra Clare journey. If I'm honest, this book was a pretty 'meh' read for me. I don't think I've even rated it on goodreads yet. I can't work out whether this is due to the fact that I watch (and really enjoy) the Shadowhunters tv show. I think it's likely it was just the initial reaction of my brain trying to separate the two. 
To give this book its dues, I think it does a brilliant job at character introductions and initial world building and I'm absolutely continuing with the series.

Book two: A House in London by Amy Cross
Rating: 2/5

"You'll love him. He's such an easy boy to love." 
Short of money after moving to London, Jennifer Griffith accepts a job babysitting for a wealthy couple. When she arrives at their house, however, she quickly learns that this particular baby isn't quite what he seems. 
Although she agrees to go through with the job for one night, it doesn't take long before she starts to regret her choice. Something dark lurks in the shadows of the house, something that wants something from Jennifer. Something that won't let go, not even after she heads home... Goodreads

This story was very strange. I buy a lot of random stories on Kindle when they're at 99p and I think this must have been one of them. There's no way to discuss this without spoiling it. At first it was just a thriller that I was flying through but it got very bizarre at the end and I feel like with an alternate ending it could definitely have received a higher rating.

Book three: Tower of Dawn by Sarah J.Maas
Rating: 5/5

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.
His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent's mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them. But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

I'm one of the few people who were actually excited for this. It seems Chaol lost a lot of fans throughout the Throne of Glass books but he's honestly always been my favourite guy. I liked a lot of the new characters that we got to know and I'm excited to see how they interact with the main gang. I love the series as a whole but this was my favourite book and I'm glad that out of everybody it was Chaol who got his own book. I really enjoyed his character progression because I think he's a strong character who struggled to find his place once more characters were introduced and I hope that when everybody reunites in the next book that he's able to stand his own and his character isn't jeopardized at the expense of everyone else.

Book four: Solitaire by Alice Oseman
Rating: 3.75/5

In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.
My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.
Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden. I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden. I really don’t. Goodreads

I have never before read a book that I could relate to so much. I know it's not the best thing but I'm a shy pessimist. I'm okay admitting that my brain always naturally jumps to the worst conclusion off the bat. Tori is much the same. 
I think the emotions she portrays perfectly sum up how I felt when I was Tori's age.

Book five: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Rating: 3.5/5

When Mateo receives the dreaded call from Death-Cast, informing him that today will be his last, he doesn't know where to begin. Quiet and shy, Mateo is devastated at the thought of leaving behind his hospitalised father, and his best friend and her baby girl. But he knows that he has to make the most of this day, it's his last chance to get out there and make an impression. 
Rufus is busy beating up his ex-girlfriend's new boyfriend when he gets the call. Having lost his entire family, Rufus is no stranger to Death-Cast. Not that it makes it any easier. With bridges to mend, the police searching for him and the angry new boyfriend on his tail, it's time to run. 
Isolated and scared, the boys reach out to each other, and what follows is a day of living life to the full. Though neither of them had expected that this would involve falling in love...  Goodreads

I think my expectations were too high for this book. The hype was real and, for me, it didn't live up. I'm a crier, I'm not ashamed to admit it but this book just didn't hit me like I wanted it to. The premise for this book is absolutely brilliant, I would love for this to be a thing that existed. I just didn't find myself invested in the characters. I'm planning on keeping hold of this and rereading it next year when the hype has died down.

Book six: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.
“There are only two reasons a non-seer would see a spirit on St. Mark’s Eve,” Neeve said. “Either you’re his true love . . . or you killed him.” Goodreads

Another one I haven't rated yet and another one where I feel like I've set my expectations too high. I feel like I'd give it a 3.75 maybe (if I could). I enjoyed this to a certain extent. Having finished the first book I don't know that I'm overly interested in any of the characters. I love the concept and I feel like I'll probably get more into it as the series continues so I'll definitely be continuing at some point but I'm not in any rush.

Book seven: Flawed by Cecelia Ahern

You will be punished…
Celestine North lives a perfect life. She’s a model daughter and sister, she’s well-liked by her classmates and teachers, and she’s dating the impossibly charming Art Crevan.
But then Celestine encounters a situation where she makes an instinctive decision. She breaks a rule and now faces life-changing repercussions. She could be imprisoned. She could be branded. She could be found flawed.
In her breathtaking young adult debut, bestselling author Cecelia Ahern depicts a society where perfection is paramount and flaws lead to punishment. And where one young woman decides to take a stand that could cost her everything. Goodreads

I really like Celestine as a protagonist. I found myself really rooting for her and that meant that there were a couple of scenes that I had to skim read because (without going into detail) people don't always treat her very well. It definitely made me uncomfortable to read at times, but because I cared.
I'm excited to pick up the sequel to this because I've got high hopes that Celestine and Carrick are going to be able to change the unjust system in this world.

Book eight: The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
Rating: 5/5

Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.It can.
She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. There is.
She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong. Goodreads

I loved this book so much. I went into this expecting to like it but also expecting to be very confused and I'm honestly so annoyed I put it off for so long. People say that this really f**ks with you mind and I don't know what it says about my mental state that it didn't freak me out at all. I just thought it was brilliant. I love Mara, I love Noah, I love Mara's brothers. I want to know all about what happened in the past and I need to know everything that's going to happen in the coming books. 

Book nine: Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Rating: 1.5/5

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.
The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.
The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.
Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior. Goodreads

I know a lot of people really love this series and I wish I was one of them but I honestly thought about DNFing this book a handful of times and I won't be continuing onto the rest of the books. I loved the writing style with the crossed out dialogue. I think the premise is brilliant but then you can immediately see that Juliette's going to be stuck in a bloody love triangle and I've never taken an instant dislike to a character as much as I did with Warner. I don't care about a redemption arc for him and I'm happy leaving my reading at the first book.

Book ten: Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi
Rating: 3/5

Aria has lived her whole life in the protected dome of Reverie. Her entire world confined to its spaces, she's never thought to dream of what lies beyond its doors. So when her mother goes missing, Aria knows her chances of surviving in the outer wasteland long enough to find her are slim.
Then Aria meets an outsider named Perry. He's searching for someone too. He's also wild - a savage - but might be her best hope at staying alive.
If they can survive, they are each other's best hope for finding answers. Goodreads

I'm still not sure whether I'll be continuing with this trilogy. I think first book has set everything up for the second and third books to be a lot better so there's a chance that if I find them in a charity shop at some point I will pick them up but I'm not in any rush.

Book eleven: Too Damn Nice by Kathryn Freeman
Rating: 2/5

Do nice guys stand a chance? 
Lizzie Donavue went from being the sister of his best friend to the girl Nick Templeton most wants to kiss. On her birthday, he finally summons up the courage to make his move. But it looks like Nick’s missed his chance when he discovers that Lizzie has been offered a modelling contract, which will take her away to the glamorous fashion scenes of New York and Los Angeles.
Nick is forced to watch from the sidelines as the gawky teenager he knew is transformed into Elizabeth Donavue: top model and ultimate English rose pin-up, forever caught in a whirlwind of celebrity parties with the next up-and-coming Hollywood bad boy by her side. 
But then Lizzie’s star-studded life comes crashing down around her, and a guy like Nick could be just what she needs. Will she take a chance on him? Or is he just too damn nice?Goodreads

After being underwhelmed with my previous two reads I decided I wanted a contemporary I would fly though and wouldn't need to think about. This was certainly that. I still found myself underwhelmed, it didn't quite do it for me. The reason the nice guy didn't get the girl in this book is because she didn't know how he felt. I liked seeing their opposite worlds and the fact that the relationship needed work. I enjoyed that Lizzie wasn't portrayed as a ditzy celeb with no substance, she definitely had stuff she needed to work through.

Book twelve: The Hating Game by Sally Thorne
Rating: 4.5/5

Lucy Hutton has always been certain that the nice girl can get the corner office. She prides herself on being loved by everyone at work - except for imposing, impeccably attired Joshua Templeman.
Trapped in a shared office, they've become entrenched in an addictive, never-ending game of one-upmanship. There's the Staring Game, The Mirror Game, The HR Game. Lucy can't let Joshua beat her at anything - especially when a huge promotion is on offer.
If Lucy wins, she'll be Joshua's boss. If she loses, she'll resign. So why is she questioning herself? Maybe she doesn't hate him. And just maybe, he doesn't hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game . . .

I loved this. I don't do contemporary so I didn't expect to love this as much as I did but it's one of my favourites of the year.
I really enjoy hate to love relationships when it doesn't include one person being the fucking worst to the other for no reason and then it turns out it's because he can't deal with being in love with her and she falls in love instantly pretending nothing happened. In this story there is a workplace rivalry between two well developed characters and it naturally progresses into something. I knocked it down half a star because I did feel like the ending was a little rushed. 

Book thirteen: Stuck With You by Carla Burgess.
Rating: 2/5

One lift. Two strangers. Anything could happen! Elena thought that today would be just like any other day…until the supermarket lift jams and she realises she’s stuck. And not just stuck in the lift. Stuck with her childhood crush, Daniel Moore, who unfortunately seems to be just as gorgeous as she remembered… Goodreads

After loving The Hating Game so much I decided I might as well stick with contemporary because that mood doesn't strike me often. The lift is the catalyst and plays a super tiny part. I know it's about a couple who knew each other years earlier and were reconnecting but it definitely felt like this moved very quickly and I think that's why it was such a low rated read for me.

I know this is super late in the month but I wasn't sure I was going to post this. 
What have you read and loved lately?
Nikki x

Sunday, May 14, 2017

A Weekend in Liverpool

I don't get out much so this post is mainly to show off that I actually left my house to go somewhere other than work. 
We stayed, as we do everywhere we go, in a Travelodge. They are always in the most amazing locations and we got ours for an absolute bargain considering this was the view.
Look at that sunset!!

Our trip to Liverpool was originally supposed to be a trip to watch the gymnastics but by the time we collectively got our shit together the tickets were sold out, so instead we just had a lovely weekend away. 

My sister wasn't too happy that this was as close 
as she was going to get

My town is ridiculous for shopping. We have New Look, Topshop and not a whole lot else so it's always nice to head to a city and have a look around. As it turns out it's impossible to head to Liverpool One without doing a hefty amount of shopping. Day one included lots of that. Nothing too spendy though, that came the next day from the bad influence of my sister. I spent £13 in Urban Outfitters on a book which I'd best describe as a 'coffee table' book.... I don't have a coffee table. It's been added to my bookcase probably never to be read. Don't cave to peer pressure, kids.

The second day was more cultured with a trip to the docks, after the obligatory second Primark visit. There are always the things you regret not picking up the first time.

I think it helped that the weather was bloody wonderful that weekend but look how pretty it is! I imagine if I lived there (and drank) I'd spend most of my summer living on the docks as the amount of bars in that one small space is something else.

It wouldn't be a trip away without at least one museum visit. Weirdly there are a handful buried between all of the bars and shops. One building we went in housed facts about the Titanic, slavery and customs. I'm obsessed with Nothing to Declare so I loved that last one. 

Two days is definitely not enough time to really explore Liverpool, I'm already planning another which hopefully will be longer.
That being said I'm going to make it my mission to get out of my town more often, even if it is only for a weekend. All of the places I don't live make me super happy. Especially Liverpool. Where else do you see women shopping with their curlers in and not bat an eyelid?

Nikki x

Sunday, May 7, 2017

April Favourites

Hey folks, I hope you all had an amazing April. It's time for another roundup.

Watching πŸ“Ί
Anything and everything with a superhero in. I've been totally immersed in the Marvel universe this month. I’m 100% Team Cap but that could be something to do with my Chris Evans obsession πŸ˜‰

Another month calls for another new tv obsession. I started The Originals a while ago and didn't get into it but I gave it another go recently and I've almost marathoned the first three seasons in less than a week. I'm reluctant to say it but I think I prefer it to The Vampire Diaries.

πŸ’„ πŸ’…
I haven’t honestly been wearing much makeup this month. Out of the house at least. There’s no boredom that can’t be cured by playing around with makeup.
My main love this month is actually more of a love/hate. Benefit’s They’re Real mascara makes my lashes look brilliant. I love the separation and length that it gives. One small snag…my eyes hate it. It makes my eyes stream like crazy. Does anyone know of any dupes??
I’ve also got a perfume favourite this month. Red Door by Elizabeth Arden has been a constant in my collection for about 10 years but I’ve never gone through a bottle at quite the rate I have this month. It’s such a sophisticated smell, it definitely reminds me of older generations but I’m obsessed.

Listening πŸŽΆ 
April’s Top 5
All Time Low – Life of the Party
Paramore – Hard Times
Steps – Story of a Heart
Ultravox – Vienna
Harry Styles – Sign of the Times

Can we all just agree that SOTT is amazing?! It’s literally everything I wanted from Harry as a solo artist and more.

Two of my favourite things collided at the beginning for this month. London and gymnastics. Never in a million years did I think I’d ever actually end up seeing Verniaiev compete but that’s one crossed off the bucket list. The atmosphere in the O2 was incredible and I definitely plan on going to more events there in the future.

My Trek America trip fell through towards the end of March but this month I’ve booked a week in Florida as a replacement. I've now got 10 months to work out whose wand I'll be buying in Ollivanders 

What are you listening to at the moment?
Nikki x

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Jouer Palette

I know I've literally just posted my ultimate eye products professing that the original Naked palette is the be all and end all of palettes but there's a new palette in my collection which is making me rethink it all. 

This was a complete impulse buy. As soon as I opened the 'just arrived' email from Beauty Bay I was on the site buying this. I was after an orange shadow and I wasn't blown away by the 35O palette. That has since moved on to another home and I've been reaching for this one almost daily.

I wish I'd done the blogger thing and taken pictures before diving in but I was just too excited to get these shades on my face. The palette consists of 7 matte shades and 5 shimmer shades and i'm obsessed with them all.

Clearly thinking I'm BNTM....But seriously, loving having orange eyes!

Every one of the shades is amazingly pigmented. Each shade compliments the rest of the palette meaning you can create dozens of different looks. I'm not that talented myself but I'm working on it. As a complete amateur I love how blendable these are, especially as I get zero fallout.

The size of the mirror is another plus for me....They just keep on coming! You could (and I regularly do) use this as the mirror to do your face on the go. This is the first Jouer product I've tried but, given how obsessed I am, I now want to try everything they have to offer. 

What are your favourite Jouer products?
Nikki x

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