May Reads

Another month has flown past so of course, another bundle of books have been read! Here’s what I’ve been reading this month!

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban / JK Rowling

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Harry Potter, along with his best friends, Ron and Hermione, is about to start his third year at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Harry can’t wait to get back to school after the summer holidays. (Who wouldn’t if they lived with the horrible Dursleys?) But when Harry gets to Hogwarts, the atmosphere is tense. There’s an escaped mass murderer on the loose, and the sinister prison guards of Azkaban have been called in to guard the school…

Okay, I love this Harry Potter so much. I love how yo get to know so much more about his parents and their friendships. It just makes everything make sense! I love Sirius SO much. Ahhh just read it already if you haven’t.

 

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Good Luck, Fatty?! / Maggie Bloom

Spunky North Carolina teen Bobbi-Jo Cotton is overweight, oversexed, underloved and misunderstood. When Dr. Harvey Lassiter, her former high school principal turned bicycle shop owner—with the help of Lex Arlington, a hometown celebrity—sponsors a charity bike race, Bobbi sees an opportunity to test her Schwinn and her fortitude. And when Tom Cantwell, her best (and only) friend, reveals he’s crushing on her, Bobbi figures it’s time to quit passing out screws like they’re dentists’ office suckers.  What Bobbi is having a harder time letting go of is the resentment she feels toward her missionary parents, who, after abandoning her in the night, have flitted back into her life with a surprise: she’s about to be a big sister. Will Bobbi win the race (and maybe even lose the weight)? Can she overcome her promiscuous past and earn the trust of the boy she just may love? Will her parents care enough about her—or her new baby brother—to stick around (and if they don’t, will she be tough enough to survive another of their betrayals)? The only way to find out is to come along for the ride. The way Bobbi sees it, all of life’s questions can be answered from the seat of a bicycle. And if they can’t, at least your hair will look great fluttering in the breeze.

This was a light hearted easy read. I instantly fell in love with Bobbi, she was such a cute character. The plot isn’t the most riveting or interesting but sometimes it’s just nice to escape into someone elses world.

 

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I Followed the Rules / Joanna Bolouri

Rule 1: Never ask him on a first date. Rule 2: Laugh admiringly at all his jokes. Rule 3: Always leave him wanting more. … wtf?! Have you heard of The Rules of Engagement? It’s a book that promises to teach you to find the man of your dreams in ten easy steps. Unsurprisingly, I don’t own a copy. What is it, 1892? But I’m a journalist, and I’ve promised to follow it to the letter and write about the results. Nevermind that my friends think I’m insane, I’m stalking men all over town and can’t keep my mouth shut at the best of times. My name is Cat Buchanan. I’m thirty-six years old and live with my daughter in Glasgow. I’ve been single for six years, but that’s about to change. After all, I’m on a deadline. I Followed the Rules and this is what happened.

This is the second of Joanna Bolouri’s work I have read and it is just as funny as the last. I instantly fell in love with Cat, and of course with her daughter Grace. I can relate to Cat so much and when I can connect so well with a character, I absolutely hate finishing the book. I love how realistic most of the situation and dates are in this book and I fell in love with this fiction just a few chapters in.

 

18666181We Were Liars / E Lockhart

A beautiful and distinguished family.
A private island.
A brilliant, damaged girl; a passionate, political boy.
A group of four friends—the Liars—whose friendship turns destructive.
A revolution. An accident. A secret.
Lies upon lies.
True love.
The truth.
We Were Liars is a modern, sophisticated suspense novel from New York Times bestselling author, National Book Award finalist, and Printz Award honoree E. Lockhart.
Read it.
And if anyone asks you how it ends, just LIE.

I think this is one of the strangest books I have ever read. I gave it 2 stars on Good Reads because I just didn’t know what to make of it. But I think that might be the point. For me, there were far too many characters to begin with but it was easier to remember them nearer the end. I want to reread it to see if I understand it any better. It is very well written though.

 

Wuthering Heights / Emily Bronte

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Emily Brontë’s only novel, a work of tremendous and far-reaching influence, the Penguin Classics edition of Wuthering Heights is the definitive edition of the text, edited with an introduction by Pauline Nestor. Lockwood, the new tenant of Thrushcross Grange, situated on the bleak Yorkshire moors, is forced to seek shelter one night at Wuthering Heights, the home of his landlord. There he discovers the history of the tempestuous events that took place years before; of the intense relationship between the gypsy foundling Heathcliff and Catherine Earnshaw; and how Catherine, forced to choose between passionate, tortured Heathcliff and gentle, well-bred Edgar Linton, surrendered to the expectations of her class. As Heathcliff’s bitterness and vengeance at his betrayal is visited upon the next generation, their innocent heirs must struggle to escape the legacy of the past.

I have not read Wuthering Heights since I was 16 and in high school. Analysing a book to the extent you do in Higher English, left me feeling extremely bored of this novel. Fast forward 7 years and I feel completely different. I absolutely loved rereading this and the book meant so much more than it did at 16. I enjoyed the characters so much and my opinion of them is now completely different than it was at 16.

Perfect (Flawed #2) / Cecelia Ahern

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Celestine North lives in a society that demands perfection. After she was branded Flawed by a morality court, Celestine’s life has completely fractured–all her freedoms gone.
Since Judge Crevan has declared her the number-one threat to the public, she has been on the run with the complicated, powerfully attractive Carrick, the only person she can trust. But Celestine has a secret–one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground.
Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save only herself, or risk her life to save all Flawed…

I was SO excited for this to come out. My friend Katie was so so kind and sent this to me. As soon as I opened the cover, I could not put it down. It was so so easy to immerse myself back into Celestine’s world. JESUS IT WAS AMAZING. I really really urge you to go out and buy Flawed and Perfect.

How Not to Fall in Love, Actually / Catherine Bennetto

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Emma has a job in television which is distinctly less glamourous and exciting than it sounds. She’s managed to claw her way up the ranks from Tea-Maker and Rubbish-Collector to 2nd Assistant Director (heavy on the ‘assistant’. Even heavier on the ‘2nd’).
 So when she finds she’s accidentally very pregnant and at the same time accidentally very sacked (well, less accidentally: she did tell her boss to stick his job up his bum), she knows things are going to have to change.
 Luckily she’s also accidentally the heir to a lovely cottage in Wimbledon, with a crazy Rottweiler-owning octogenarian as a neighbour and a rather sexy boy as an accidental tenant. But this baby is coming whether she likes it or not, and she needs to become the sort of person who can look after herself let alone another human being – and quickly.  
I absolutely love the protagonist Emma. And I also absolutely love this story. I love how all the characters are completely different! But all so likeable. I am definitely looking forward to Catherine Bennetto’s creating more wonderfulness in the future. 

What have you been reading recently?

Much love,

louise-x

April Reads

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets / JK Rowling

The Dursleys were so mean and hideous that summer that all Harry Potter wanted was to get back to the Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry. But just as he’s packing his bags, Harry receives a warning from a strange, impish creature named Dobby who says that if Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts, disaster will strike. And strike it does. For in Harry’s second year at Hogwarts, fresh torments and horrors arise, including an outrageously stuck-up new professor, Gilderoy Lockhart, a spirit named Moaning Myrtle who haunts the girls’ bathroom, and the unwanted attentions of Ron Weasley’s younger sister, Ginny. But each of these seem minor annoyances when the real trouble begins, and someone, or something, starts turning Hogwarts students to stone. Could it be Draco Malfoy, a more poisonous rival than ever? Could it possibly be Hagrid, whose mysterious past is finally told? Or could it be the one everyone at Hogwarts most suspects: Harry Potter himself?

Just read it if you haven’t already. The Harry Potter books are phenomenal and are so much more in detail than the films. They explain so so much. Chamber of Secrets is so so good, it makes you properly understand what the Chamber of Secrets is etc etc.

 

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Gone Girl / Gillian Flynn

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favours with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behaviour. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer?

This was such a strange read. I enjoyed it though! It took a while to get into and the first quarter of the book was pretty slow. I much preferred Amy’s character after she was honest, I didn’t really enjoy the diary entry Amy. The plot is very exciting but can seem quite confusing nearer the end, as if the story went too far.

 

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Mad Love / Nick Spalding

Can two people who have never met make a marriage work? Popular dating site Sociality thinks so, and is marrying London lad Adam to California girl Jessica to prove it.
What better way to show that your ‘love algorithms’ work than to put two complete strangers together in an expensive publicity stunt? But, as livewire Jess and lazybones Adam quickly discover, just because a computer says you’re the perfect match, it doesn’t make it so! Two million Sociality subscribers and the media are following the happy couple’s progress, and they have to make a go of it or they’ll lose everything, look like idiots, and destroy Sociality’s reputation. But can the mismatched pair, who seem to be constantly at each other’s throats, put their differences aside and work their way into each other’s hearts? Nick Spalding, bestselling author of Fat Chance and Bricking It, will make you cry with laughter at this story of marital warfare—complete with sinking boats, badly aimed flatulence, well aimed tennis balls and some very suggestive pastry.

Ahh I just love Nick Spalding. I laugh out loud at ALL his work. He is such a funny author. Both Adam and Jess tell their stories throughout this book and I love how Spalding can write so well of both points of view of male and female characters. Great read!

 

Our Chemical Hearts / Krystal Sutherland

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Henry Page has never been in love. He fancies himself a hopeless romantic, but the slo-mo, heart palpitating, can’t-eat-can’t-sleep kind of love that he’s been hoping for just hasn’t been in the cards for him—at least not yet. Instead, he’s been happy to focus on his grades, on getting into a semi-decent college and finally becoming editor of his school newspaper. Then Grace Town walks into his first period class on the third Tuesday of senior year and he knows everything’s about to change. Grace isn’t who Henry pictured as his dream girl—she walks with a cane, wears oversized boys’ clothes, and rarely seems to shower. But when Grace and Henry are both chosen to edit the school paper, he quickly finds himself falling for her. It’s obvious there’s something broken about Grace, but it seems to make her even more beautiful to Henry, and he wants nothing more than to help her put the pieces back together again. And yet, this isn’t your average story of boy meets girl. Krystal Sutherland’s brilliant debut is equal parts wit and heartbreak, a potent reminder of the bittersweet bliss that is first love.

I absolutely fell in love with Henry Page. I love love loved him. I feel like this story and plot is pretty realistic as there is so much pain and suffering and covers the theme of loss really well. It shows you that not everything goes as expected and that is just how life works.

 

I was Here / Gayle Foreman

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When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.

Honest opinion? I had such high expectations for this book because of the previous work of Gayle Foreman’s I had read. It’s not that it wasn’t good, I just expected it to be amazing. I didn’t really connect with any of the characters. But I guess that kinda fits the theme of the book. Cody is lost without her best friend and feels like it’s hard to exist, and that comes across well as you cannot really connect to her.

The Stranger in my Home / Adele Parks

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Alison is lucky and she knows it. She has the life she always craved, including a happy home with Jeff and their brilliant, vivacious teenage daughter, Katherine – the absolute centre of Alison’s world. Then a knock at the door ends life as they know it. Fifteen years ago, someone else took Alison’s baby from the hospital. And now Alison is facing the unthinkable. The daughter she brought home doesn’t belong to her. When you have everything you dreamed of, there is everything to lose.

AHHHH I LOVED this book. Such a great plot! It drags a bit in the middle but I love how you find out about Alison’s past as well as the present situation she is in. The characters are all so different and you can relate to every one of them. All I can say is, plot twist or what?!

 

So, that’s what I had been reading last month. Have you got any book suggestions for me?

 

Much love,

louise-x

 

 

 

February Favourites

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It is March! That means almost Spring time. The lighter evenings are just lovely and I’m excited for the next few months. I don’t have too many favourites this month but I thought I’d share with you the things I’ve been loving!

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Makeup Revolution / Love the Revolution Palette / £8

I got this palette free with my purchases in Superdrug and my oh my, it is fantastic! I have never tried any of the Makeup Revolution palettes before but I will definitely be buying more in the future! The pigmentation in this palette is pretty good and you don’t need much to cover your lids. I was unsure on the shades at first but I have grown to adore them. I have used this palette the most this month and it is definitely not going anywhere anytime soon. I used the red shade for a couple of nights out around about Valentine’s day and it was just gorgeous!

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Makeup Revolution / Retro Luxe Lip Kit Matte / Glory / £6

I was absolutely ecstatic when I seen there was two of these lip kits left in Superdrug when I popped in. I was looking for a darker colour to wear on my lips that night so it was just my luck when it was the shade Glory that was left. Now, I absolutely loved this product to begin with. I had seen a lot online about how it was a great dupe for Kylie lip kits so I was desperate to try. The product dries pretty fact which is great. The product seemed to stay on my lips pretty well that night until I started drinking. That’s the only down side of this lip kit I would say, that it flakes off pretty easily when you’re drinking. I’m going to test out another shade of it as it might be because its such a dark shade. I absolutely love this product though, especially when I’m wearing it during the day as it stays on for ages.

Anastasia Beverly Hills / Dipbrow Pomade / Blonde / £15

No words. Absolutely no words can describe how INCREDIBLE this product is. People have been recommending me this product for ages now but I kept putting off buying it for some unknown reason. I was in Sephora in Paris and I kept going back to the ABH counter. The woman matched me with the shade ‘blonde’ which I thought would be far too light but it is absolutely perfect. This product is just incredible, it glides on your eyebrows so easily but then does not move all day. For someone with an incredibly oily forehead this is fab. It means that half way through the day I don’t find any eyebrow product needing to be wiped off my forehead. And that happens a lot with me. I just can’t get over how great dipbrow is. Sorry Benefit Browzings, it’s time to step over. It’s been a good haul.

Milly Johnson / The Birds and The Bees

Milly Johnson is probably my favourite author. None of her work ever disappoints me. This is definitely my favourite books of hers that I have read. I absolutely love it! What I love most about it is that everything isn’t perfect and happy from the get go. It is pretty realistic, which I feel you can relate to more. To anybody who loves a good chic-lit which will give you all the feels, then I definitely recommend giving this a read!

Romance writer and single mum Stevie Honeywell has only weeks to go to her wedding when her fiancé Matthew runs off with her glamorous new friend Jo MacLean. It feels like history repeating itself for Stevie, but this time she is determined to win back her man. She isn’t going to act as he might expect. She isn’t going to wail and dig her heels in, she is simply going to pretend to let him go whilst she pursues a mad course of dieting, exercising and self-improvement.

And it feels like history is repeating itself for Adam MacLean too, who is also determined to win his lady, Jo, back with the same basic psychological tactics. Then he is going to initiate his master plan: Getting together with Stevie to drive Jo wild with jealousy.

So, like the Scottish country jig ‘The Birds and the Bees’, the couples all change partners and learn some revealing truths about each other along the way. But what happens when Adam’s master plan actually starts to work? And just who will Stevie be dancing with when the music stops?

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Apple Tree Yard / BBC One

Two of my colleagues recommended this four part British thriller to me. If you haven’t watched this, I definitely recommend it! It is absolutely fantastic and the ending is not predictable at all! 

Apple Tree Yard is a British television thriller, adapted from the novel of the same name by Louise Doughty. The four-part series was commissioned in 2016 and the first episode had its premiere on BBC One on 22 January, 2017.Emily Watson stars as the novel’s original lead, Dr Yvonne Carmichael, with Ben Chaplin portraying the role of her lover, Mark Costley. Apple Tree Yard follows the story of Carmichael, an unhappily married forty-something scientist, who begins a secret affair with Costley whilst being completely unaware of his true identity.

And that’s about it for this month. I’ve just done a massive book order so I’m excited to share with you next month what my favourites from that were!

Much love,

louise-x

Me Me Me

I’m Louise but everyone calls me Lou. Like everyone. I used to absolutely hate it and then people just started using it as my default name so I got used to it and kinda like it now. YAY.

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I currently live in Stirling, in Scotland, where I moved to 4 years ago to begin my university studies. Stirling is like, my favourite ever place. I don’t know why. It just feels like home and there are some beautiful scenes and places here too!

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Stirling Castle

I’ve been through quite a bit in my 23 years of life but everything has made me who I am today and sometimes I feel I can conquer anything! I suffer from anxiety and depression which can be such a pain in the arse. But I try everything to help myself and stay positive.  Writing allows me to let go of all my thoughts and just be me. So, just a heads up that not all of my posts will be sunshine and laughter because sometimes, life just doesn’t go that way. I want to write about things that matter to me, and things that really bug me (cue upcoming post on mental health stigma.) I WILL try to keep my blog positive and happy for those of you who take the time to read my ramblings!  But don’t say I didn’t warn ya if  I rant! If there’s anything else you want to know about me, ask away!

Much love,