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

February Reads

I absolutely love when people recommend books to me, just love it so I do. I’d been reading quite a bit last month and got through a fair amount so I thought I’d share with you what I’d been reading. I’ve not included ‘The Birds and The Bees’ by Milly Johnson as that’s in my February favourites for you to read.  I also never included Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone because that’s self explanatory. Must read obvs.
A Monster Calls / Patrick Ness

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Conor has the same dream every night, ever since his mother first fell ill, ever since she started the treatments that don’t quite seem to be working. But tonight is different. Tonight, when he wakes, there’s a visitor at his window. It’s ancient, elemental, a force of nature. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor. It wants the truth. Patrick Ness takes the final idea of the late, award-winning writer Siobhan Dowd and weaves an extraordinary and heartbreaking tale of mischief, healing and above all, the courage it takes to survive.

I seen this advertised as a film and knew I had to give it a read first. I had absolutely no idea what to expect and didn’t have any expectations at all for the book. It was such a great read and such an easy read too. It’s a strange story but brings out every emotion in the reader. I’ve not seen the film yet but I’m looking forward to see how they do it.

 

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If I Was Your Girl / Meredith Russo

Amanda Hardy is the new girl in school in Lambertville, Tennessee. Like any other girl, all she wants is to make friends and fit in. But Amanda is keeping a secret. There’s a reason why she transferred schools for her senior year, and why she’s determined not to get too close to anyone.

And then she meets Grant Everett. Grant is unlike anyone she’s ever met—open, honest, kind—and Amanda can’t help but start to let him into her life. As they spend more time together, she finds herself yearning to share with Grant everything about herself…including her past. But she’s terrified that once she tells Grant the truth, he won’t be able to see past it.

Because the secret that Amanda’s been keeping? It’s that she used to be Andrew.

This story is absolutely beautiful. I’ve always accepted that some people are transgender and that’s just life. It has never bothered me. As long as people are happy then that’s great. It doesn’t matter who you are or who you were before. I’ve always been happy with my gender so obviously, I’ve never understood how it can feel to be trapped in a body that you feel isn’t yours. This story of Amanda truly opened my eyes to the transgender community. It was so beautiful and I was gutted when the story finished. I’d definitely, 100% recommend this book.

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Everything Everything / Nicola Yoon

My disease is as rare as it is famous. Basically, I’m allergic to the world. I don’t leave my house, have not left my house in seventeen years. The only people I ever see are my mom and my nurse, Carla. But then one day, a moving truck arrives next door. I look out my window, and I see him. He’s tall, lean and wearing all black—black T-shirt, black jeans, black sneakers, and a black knit cap that covers his hair completely. He catches me looking and stares at me. I stare right back. His name is Olly. Maybe we can’t predict the future, but we can predict some things. For example, I am certainly going to fall in love with Olly. It’s almost certainly going to be a disaster.

This piece of fiction was fantastic. I really enjoyed the story and how relationships between the characters changed and developed. To start with I was thinking there didn’t seem to be a plot to the book but the character development was amazing. I’ve recently learnt that they have made a film and they have recently released the trailer.

 

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Reasons To Stay Alive / Matt Haig

I want life. I want to read it and write it and feel it and live it. I want, for as much of the time as possible in this blink-of-an-eye existence we have, to feel all that can be felt. I hate depression. I am scared of it. Terrified, in fact. But at the same time, it has made me who I am. And if – for me – it is the price of feeling life, it’s a price always worth paying.

Reasons to Stay Alive is about making the most of your time on earth. In the western world the suicide rate is highest amongst men under the age of 35. Matt Haig could have added to that statistic when, aged 24, he found himself staring at a cliff-edge about to jump off. This is the story of why he didn’t, how he recovered and learned to live with anxiety and depression. It’s also an upbeat, joyous and very funny exploration of how live better, love better, read better and feel more.

I got this book for Christmas and seen so many people talking about it. Reading Matt Haig’s personal story and struggle with depression was extremely relatable. I absolutely love reading other people’s stories and learning how they have deal with their mental health. This books was light hearted at points which was great and added that little extra touch.

 

16936201_10158324440950512_1400304181_oThe Power of Now / Eckhart Tolle

To make the journey into The Power of Now we will need to leave our analytical mind and its false created self, the ego, behind. Although the journey is challenging, Eckhart Tolle offers simple language and a question and answer format to guide us.

Surrender to the present moment, where problems do not exist. It is here we find our joy, are able to embrace our true selves and discover that we are already complete and perfect. If we are able to be fully present and take each step in the Now we will be opening ourselves to the transforming experience of THE POWER OF NOW. It’s a book to be revisited again and again.

This book is absolutely excellent. It was recommended to me by a friend who said to me it would change my life. Honestly? It’s put a lot into perspective.

Have you got any suggestions for me?

Much love,

louise-x

 

 

The Power of Fiction

Fiction is my escape. Since a young age, I have always loved reading. Always. And I don’t remember a time that I haven’t had a book on the go.

For me, reading is more than just something to pass time, to entertain for a short while. It’s an escape. A sense of comfort. Reading brings me peace and tranquillity that I cannot seem to find anywhere else.

Reading is the biggest and most important part of my self care routine. If I didn’t have books, then I have absolutely no idea what would keep me half sane. Whilst writing this post, I’m counting down the minutes until I can be reunited with my current book and forget about the world. (Yes, I could probably read on this bus ride but honestly, my book would go flying if its anything to go with this guys driving.) I honestly don’t think there is a better way to wind down than cosying up with a cuppa tea and a fantastic book.

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When I read, I forget about everything else around me. It is the only time my mind fully switches off. I don’t even think about food and believe me, that is very very rare. Over the years, with the increased consumption of technology in my life, my attention span has considerably shrunk. I find it difficult to even watch a 45 minute episode of something on Netflix. I get bored very easily. Reading is the only thing that can occupy my mind for longer than about 10 minutes. I don’t know what makes it so much more different than other activities but a book can never bore me. Ever.

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I don’t know what it is that switches me off so much better than anything else. It might be something to do with how much I need to use my imagination. I believe that reading makes us creative and more open minded. An author writes the words that describes places, people and plots. They paint the picture for us, we do the rest. It is up to us how we see the characters and their surroundings. I think that’s part of the magic.

Having to use our imagination to read the story that the offer has given us, requires quite a bit of concentration that takes us away from our own world. That’s my favourite part about fiction. That although plots and characters can be based around real life experiences and people, it is essentially made up.

When I was a student, I used to feel extremely guilty if I was doing anything other than uni work. Even reading fiction to wind down at the end of the night riddled me with guilt. So I never got to read half as much as I wanted to. Now though, I can read whenever I’m not working and feel 100% guilt free.

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For me, books are lifesavers. Not only do they distract me from my own bustling mind but they allow me to use imagination and creativity that is not used often.

What are your favourite books?

Much love,

louise-x

 

Hello. Aloha. Hi.

 

I’m Louise, I’m 22 and I enjoy writing about life.

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I have always enjoyed writing. If you ask me why, I have no idea. To me, writing is not an obligation but a hobby that I do out of choice. I don’t particularly care if I have many followers. I just enjoy the satisfaction of putting words together to make something, whether it’s something serious or absolute nonsense. And if someone happens to read it and can relate to what I’m baffling on about, even better! Before, I wrote a blog which I was not committed to and never reflected who I am. I feel that I have completely outgrown it, but I miss writing so I thought I would get back into it and start fresh.

I was always cautious of writing posts sharing my opinion on certain topics. Why? Because I care too much about what people think of me. So so ridiculous. I’m going to try and conquer my fear of people by writing about things I care about and enjoy, and by sharing it with anyone who is daft enough to follow.

So, where to start? I have just graduated from university with a BSc (Hons) in Management. That means proper adult life has begun. I’ve lived away from home for 4 years since I began my studies and been independent but student life is nowhere near as tough as proper adult life (when I say I’m now a proper adult, I mean I pay income tax and council tax.) After lots of trial and error, I managed to get myself a full-time job which I am absolutely loving! It was very difficult to get to this stage though (I will probably write a post on the struggles of being a recent graduate.)

I have the most amazing family and friends who I don’t get to see half as much as I would like to but they’re honestly the best. I’m in a new relationship with the biggest gem of a boy ever! That doesn’t make sense does it? Oh well, you know what I mean, he’s pretty great.

I absolutely LOVE reading. Fiction is my escape. I will probably recommend books and give the odd review on here because some books are way too good to keep to yourself!

I don’t really know what else to say. Whenever I am asked what my hobbies are I don’t have much to say (which isn’t like me at all.)  I like reading, cooking, walking and seeing new places but doesn’t everybody?

So, there’s a wee introduction about me. Now to get proper writing.

 

Much love,

Louise