Wednesday, 10 December 2014

A John Green Duo

I feel sad that John Green seems to have this stigma around his books, that they are all teen fiction tales with the same writing style and the same plot. I think he may have worked too hard to obtain that label. Yes his writing style is the same, it's the same because it works, it's poetic and incredibly descriptive. He uses phrases and words such as 'Haphazardly' and 'If people were rain, I was a drizzle and she was a hurricane' God that phrase just makes my heart melt! 

I've read every single John Green now, these two were the last of the pile, I decided to a little mini duo review of both, I hope you enjoy!

Okay, so The Fault in Our Stars actually isn't my fave John Green book (shock horror) I loved it and I cried and all that jazz, but the book that touched me more was Looking for Alaska, I think the reason for this is because it's about a sudden loss, you could see it coming in TFIOS but this one just hits you like a tonne of bricks to your heart, I think the book also holds dear to me because I read it on the plane journey to the big ol' apple New York city on my trip with sixth form and I remember crying silently on the plane and then the pang in my heart when I realised I had left that glorious book on the plane! 

An Abundance of Katherines (2006)

When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton's type is girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times to be exact. 

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a blood-thirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun- but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove the Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. 

The plot revolves around Colin a nerdy teenager who once was a child prodigy and has lost his way. He loves his anagrams and his girls named Katherine. Okay you probably got that from the plot but that's kind of all that happens in this book apart from the road trip they take to one place and then just stay there (not much of a road trip) With all respect to John Green this is probably the worst of his books I have read, I just didn't connect to any of the characters or even the plot. I had to re-read it before beginning this review because I frankly just couldn't really remember what happened! 
The writing style however is once again perfect and, as a little twist John Green pops in some visual mathematical equations which are incredibly clever and fit the plot well, however he did at the end of the book admit that his good friend and mathematician Daniel Biss contributed to the equations, the reason they are so complex. 

Overall the plot of the book is just a little stale for me, I enjoyed some parts towards the end but it did take a lot of reading and hunting trips beforehand, I just didn't seem to care much for the characters which seems a little cruel but true, I did like the all too clever and nerdy equations plonked randomly into the book and the whole concept of the nerdy character looking for his true love using maths but I have to say An Abundance of Katherines didn't really float my boat, sorry J! 

4 Moons out of 10

Paper Towns (2008)

'The thing about Margo Roth Spiegelman is that really all I could ever do was let her talk, and then when she stopped talking encourage her to go on, due to the facts that 1. I was incontestably in love with her, and 2. She was absolutely unprecedented in every way, and 3.She never really asked me any questions... 

Quentin Jacobson has always loved Margo from afar. So when she climbs through his window to summon him on an all-night road trip of revenge he cannot help but follow. But the next morning, Q turns up at school and Margo doesn't. She's left clues to her disappearance, like a trail of breadcrumbs for Q to follow. 

And everything leads to one unavoidable question: Who is the real Margo ?

Now this is more up my street! A misunderstood female protagonist, a lovable bitch that a nerdy boy follows halfway round America to tell her about his love for her.

The character of Margo is so cleverly written, just as you begin to hate her there's another layer uncovered that makes you realise she's not just an attention seeking teenager on the run. I also love the musical and poetic references to Woodie Guthrie and Walt Whitman (now we know why some superfans think Breaking Bad and Papertowns are somehow linked in a weird Illuminati kind of way) The road trip is so much more interesting than the AOK roadtrip, actually the whole plot is more interesting to be honest and I won't spoil anything but I had to have a little cry at the end.The clues that Margo leaves after her disappearance are very, very clever, you feel as a reader that you are on the quest to find Margo along with him and the journey he goes on is kind of your own journey in a weirdly metaphorical, pretentious kind of way but it's true. My sixteen year old self related so much to this book it was unbelievable, it is a little bit too angsty for me but I did fall in love with the characters and the plot.

The fact this book is coming out as a film pretty soon and Cara  Delevingne is playing Margo makes me incredibly happy, role on June 2015!

9 Moons out of 10
I hope you enjoyed my little John Green Duo Review, I feel like he needed to be praised. 

Monday, 8 December 2014

A Not So Blue Monday

 It's happened, I have lost all motivation not just for blogging, but anything internet; I know it's strange but I'm just enjoying having a social life and to be frank I've just been too busy, just working and living the #studentlife (I must stop doing that) I've also been garishly ill for a while and just feeling the need to go to bed a lot. But here is a Monday post I might be back tomorrow, I might not. When I started this I always knew it was going to be kept as a hobby on the sidelines, no schedules, just when I feel like I want to, I enjoy it and I don't want it to feel like it's a chore.

The things that made me particularly happy over the weeks were:

- The breakfast/Brunch I demolished at my favourite little coffee shop/bar called Foxes. It's a place that I hold dear to my heart because I've performed at many an open mic night there and the owners are just so friendly and the food and drinks are just so gorgeous. Also I think I might have found my all time best vanilla milkshake, I've been searching for quite a while but that one beat them all.

- The tiny bookshop we found on the outskirts of town that wasn't actually tiny, honestly it was just floors and floors of books it was glorious.

How was your Monday ?

Tuesday, 25 November 2014

A Not So Blue Monday

These past two weeks have consisted of; work time, uni time, friend time and family time. I think it's time for a bit of a catch up don't you? 

The things that made me particularly happy this week were:

-How Christmassy I feel, literally I never feel unintentionally Christmassy until around Christmas Eve-ish but this year there's just something that has triggered within me; my internal Christmas spirit has arisen too early. It was maybe due to the Christmas lights switch on me and my flat mates attended where the band 'Neon Jungle' started singing and the whole stage started deflating on them and the crowds were in fits of laughter, you know when your in Cumbria when something like that happens and the whole crowd goes 'wheeeey' Poor Neon Jungle, I did feel sorry for them but it did kind of make my night as well. Not going to lie. 

-Lidl iced ginger bread bites and Turkish delight pieces, I said I was feeling Christmassy didn't I ?! I definitely think iced ginger bread should be an all year round thing. 

-Purchasing Wombats tickets, Fleetwood Mac and Foo Fighters were whey too expensive but I'm so glad The Wombats decided to go on tour and save the day. 

-Treating myself to a collection of new jumpers, I looked in my wardrobe the other day and was shocked to find I don't actually own  a lot of jumpers, most of them are Gareth's so in true Christmas cheer fashion I decided to treat myself to two lovely new knits, some thermal gingham jeggings and a wooly turban. I've been working more hours and so I thought I would treat myself. 

-Mockingjay, I went to see it on Thursday, it blew my mind. I'm so glad it kept close to the book, it's all I could have ever hoped for and more. I can't physically wait another year for the last film to come out, I just can't do it ! 

-Getting 45% in my first ever Uni essay, I passed and I am so chuffed.

-Finally finishing Breaking Bad, I sat for around 5 hours the other day watching it and sketching W.W himself, I was hooked at season 5, but I will say that it shouldn't take you 5 seasons of a TV series to get you into the state of not being able to turn it off. I finally caught the big BB bug but it did take a while. 

How was your Monday ?  

Monday, 24 November 2014

Ben Howard | I Forget Where We Were

And that's how summer passed oh,the great divide and range of green green grass Oh, maybe it was peace at last, who knew

What can I say? This album, even down to the way it is packaged is perfect, pure Ben Howard perfection. The music has grown up along with him and I can even say that I am glad that he took that break, because the result was so worth it. 

Most of the tracks are laid back and as melodic as the last album, however the lyrics are a lot more thoughtful and even in a way darker. There are some uplifting songs and even a little country thrown in (She Treats Me Well) The lyrics are so poetic but still relatable and I think that's an important part of making an album. The sound is heavier than the acoustic feel of the first album, with just enough vibrato and echo to make you feel like you are in the room with Ben himself. He uses more instruments especially focusing on the bass and backing of the tracks, it is more produced but I like the professional feel after the rough acoustic feel Ben gave to us before hand. 

Focussing on specific tracks it's hard to pick a favourite. I would say that the tracks I prefer a tiny bit over the others are; I forget Where We Were the title of the album and the song that suddenly drops you into the deep end of the album after the ever so happier first two tracks. Time is Dancing the song is upbeat but the lyrics darker than ever, just enough beat to sway to aswell. Conrad have to say if I was to pick one I would pick this beautiful track, heavy on guitars and poetically perfect it is happiness to my ears. 

If you want an album to lie on your bed, do feck all and just to listen for once. I've found you said album, I can't stop praising it and I just think Ben has come so far within two albums it's ridiculous, almost impossible. I urge you all to grab a hot drink, put your cozy attire on, grab a book or a sketch book and listen to the lyrics and the gentle voice twinned with it. 

Oh Ben, you've done it again. 

                                                                   10 moons out of 10


Tuesday, 11 November 2014

A Not So Blue Monday

This week has consisted of essays once more and movie nights which are the best thing in the world when you have a flat full of people who share the same film taste as you. 

The things that made me particularly happy this week were:

-The fact it is getting so much colder, which some of you will probably hate but I just adore this weather.
-The adorable attic vintage shop I came upon which I could spend literally all day in. 
-The late night Christmas shop and coffee stop I had with Gareth (Yes I am trying to start early this year)
-The amount of reading I have been doing, not just leasurly books but actual academic stuff which I find interesting, oh yeah and the Freud comic book I found in our library. 
-The fact I have completed two essays now for uni and everything seems to be fine with them (yeyy for no plagiarism !)
- Malted Milks, why have I not heard of these before ?!
-The lovely conversation I had on the phone with my best, birthday friend Emily, it was so nice to have a crack and talk about both our uni experiences and of course have a little feminist rant !
-The quiz night we came second in tonight, the music round was my favourite and the alcohol that was on offer!

How was your Monday ?

Monday, 3 November 2014

A Not So Blue Monday

This week has consisted of spending time at home with my beloved kittys, reading, writing and enjoying  the Autumnal celebrations. The things that have made me particularly happy this week are:

- Being able to go home. I love living so close to home, because when I want to nip up home in reading weeks I can, I love having that choice. 

- Being greeted by my big eyed dumbo Louie (he is a cat btw) After the initial shock of me coming home and ignoring me for 2 hours for abandoning them I got a lovely forgiving greeting and lots of cuddles. 

- Having wine and a crack with my Mum in the kitchen at 2 in the morning, I've missed that more than I realised.  

- Being in a double bed, oh my goodness, pure luxury after so long.

- Winter cuddles, because my room is colder than I remember, I'm glad Gareth was there to do his job and keep me warm!

-  Beginning a new book, I'm now reading 'Only Ever Yours' by Louise O'Neill after reading many incredible things about it from other fellow blogs, really enjoying it so far. 

- Going out dressed as Mufasa for Halloween, I re-vamped my skimpy little lion costume into something more modest, I can't believe it still fits from year 9! 2 for 1 cocktails until 3 in the morning suited me rather nicely and having a talk with a zebra in the girls toilets was also fun, I love Halloween so much. 

- The fact my best pal Georgia came through to watch the Carlisle Fireshow. We have been going to this fire show for around 4 years, but I tell you that it really wasn't the same without everyone there. But it was a plus that I didn't have to get the terrifying two carriage, 1000 person train home *shudder* 

What I have been listening to:

Ben Howard // I Forget Where We Were - I know I said I was having a musical affair with Alt J but as soon as this album hit my CD player I was hooked, the lyrics are like gold, the album flows and I love it so much I might have to make a little review so watch this space. I love you Ben.  

How was your Monday ?

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

A Not So Blue Monday

Well it's been a long ol' time since I've done one of these! I've just been so busy with uni and making new friends and settling in and work and assignments etc. but I'm here now for another Monday post (even though it's Tuesday)

I have decided to change this wee blog post, just a little. You see this post normally documents my Mondays, just one day and what I do on that day. But due to the fact that ever Monday I have a day full of lectures until around 5 o'clock or later, I can't fit anything in that's worth posting. Because of this I have decided to make this post a round up of my week and express all the little and big things that happened for the whole week. I just think it will be more exciting for you to read and it wont be as monotonous as a post about every Monday, me going to my lectures, going home, doing work and sleeping oh how exciting !

The things that made me particularly happy this week are:

- Spontaneous nights out with friends, well isn't that what uni's about? I quiet drink turns into you rolling home at 4 in the morning.
 -  The amount of tomato soup I have actually eaten, it's Autumn and I'm excited, okay?
- The little cluster of vintage and antique shops I came upon. It's so magical, like a tiny village crammed into an old church and the clothes and the collectibles are to die for.

- The beautiful walk I took in the local park with my camera, you can look at these here
- The fact I went shopping and a two week shop only came to around £20 (bargain hunter here)
- I obtained a job at a local retail store (yeyyy I can feed myself)
- The fact that Made in Chelsea is back but what the hell are these outfits and hats at the moment ?! Get your shit together Proudlock!
- That it's getting colder and I can layer up and not feel stuffy anymore 
- The banana cake/bread I made from scratch, even though I thought it was disgusting my flat mates loved it (I know it looks burnt but it was real nice, apparently)

- I'm finally catching up on the new American Horror Story 
- The fact it's a reading week this week so I get to go home for a few days and cuddle my cats 

What I have been listening to:

Alt J // This is all yours (the whole album)
George Ezra // Barcelona 
Johnny Cash // Like a Soldier 
James Bay // If You Ever Want to be in Love
Hozier // From Eden 

How was your Monday ?

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Monthly Muses

As you can probably see this months favourites are a little, lets say mixed. I didn't do one of these posts last month because I basically had nothing new to show for it (hashtag studentlife) and I hadn't really picked up anything that I thought was amazing, yep last month was full of plastic wallets, pens and printer ink oh how fun!  But this month I have managed to gather a few things, I wouldn't say they are new, but I would say they are my faves at the moment, I also have a few more things that aren't in this image (naughty) to add to the end.

Shall we begin:

1.Dove Refresh + Care Dry Shampoo 

I picked this up on a whim when my current dry shampoo ran out, I was looking at the price of the Batiste range and I believe that the price now just doesn't live up to the product. I used to use Batiste because it was easy and cheap, however after using other dry shampoo's it really isn't the best. After tutting to myself at how expensive Batiste is now I came across this bottle on the shelf underneath and decided to buy it, as it was only around £2 ! I love the stuff, you spray it into the roots of your hair and it instantly volumises and softens, it also doesn't leave any white marks (unlike Batiste) and I find the smell a lot more clean and refreshing. I think this will have to be a repurchase for the price and the quality. 

2. The Guardian Weekend Magazine

This is not a new favourite for me, I've been reading The Guardian magazine for as long as I remember, but now I'm at uni it has come in so handy. I always think that The Guardian has a bad stigma of being this upper class, pretentiously written newspaper, but that is far from the truth, the magazine that is released every weekend is full of interesting articles and interviews, with different sections and topics to suit everyone be it beauty, politics, fashion, gardening, cooking, it's like a huge lifestyle blog with pages! Now I'm at Uni me and my Mum have this little dynamic going on, she'll save the magazines she buys and then send me them in a chunk so I have so much to read and catch up on. So next time you walk past The Guardian stall in your local newsagents, just pick up The Weekend, you don't have to read the newspaper, God there's no time for that give it to a parent they'll enjoy it honestly. But blogger to blogger, go on give it a read, it will change your perception of the 'pretentious' Guardian.  

3. Primark Pyjama Bottoms 

Need I say more. Affordable pyjama bottoms that are as soft as a babies bum and just look at that tartan!

4. A Stapler Shaped like a Whale 

My Mum bought this for me as a going to uni gift from Tiger. It's shaped like a whale, but it's a stapler and it makes stapling work so rewarding. Good one Mum!

5. Garnier Micellar Cleansing Water 

Yep, I've fallen out with wipes they just clog up your skin even more. I picked this up due to curiosity really and a few blog posts that I read on it and I can safely say it has saved my skin from red raw rubbing. You just take a cotton pad, sprinkle some of this on and remove all your makeup in one sweep. It's a miracle! and I wish I purchased it sooner. 

6. Barry M Gelly Autumnal Range 

Aren't the colours just the greatest ?! I had too treat myself to these and the good news is that there is now more from the range that I need in my life. I picked up the colour 'cocoa' which is a dark brown with little tinge of purple, it looks gorgeous on the nails and is perfect for this season. I also picked up colour 'cardamom' which is like a muted green, I love nail varnish that isn't too bright but can still catch your eye sometimes and it's also an unusual colour for me to wear but I've fallen in love with it.I also love the Barry M Gelly range so much, the varnish just glides on and after 2 coats it's finished, it also lasts forever and when it is chipped you can easily just top it up and it sinks right in. 

7. Alt J - This is All Yours

Can you fall in love with an album ? Because I think I'm having an affair if so. I've been a huge fan of these boys since they began, I love how they combine physics and music together to make the most beautiful sounds. This album (as all good second albums should) has matured vastly, you can tell that the band have thought about every single track, the lyrics are so poetic and the riffs are to die for, I'm also glad they kept the Indian vibe for one song, that made me very happy indeed. The album gives me this strange feeling in the back of my neck and I love how they've connected both albums creating a 'bloodlfood pt 2' I could sit there for hours and listen to both, one after the other, on repeat, forever. I'm getting too passionate now I'll shut up. 

8. American Horror Story - Freak Show 

The highlight to my Halloween every year, this year they've brought us a circus setting with clowns and the lot. Yes a terrifying clown that murders people and keeps them in cages and doesn't speak and has a huge secret, a clown that is so terrifying he invaded my dreams the other night my God ! I love all the characters so far but I don't think this year will beat 'Coven' for me, I'll just have to wait patiently and try not to get murdered by clowns in the meantime. 

Oo there you go, two sneaky extras to indulge in, I don't own physical copies because (hashtag studentlife)
What have you been loving this month ? 

Friday, 24 October 2014

An Autumnal Walk in the Park

I've probably expressed how much I love autumn on this blog before but I'll say it again, I love the season that is autumn. And I love nothing more than quiet, crisp walks with my camera. Because I've moved to a new place I've been exploring my surroundings, I already knew about this park but have never been able to explore properly, I headed down to a place I've never been before where there were open spaces full of trees and small walks and paths down to the river. Here are some of the snaps I managed to capture when the sun was coming down, I forgot how beautiful autumn was.


Do you love autumn as much as me ?

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Dear September/October...

What can I say ? These couple have months have given me some changes. I should probably
 start with moving to uni, even though I've only moved 20 miles away from home it did take the same mental stimulation to be okay with the idea. I went through stages of telling myself I had made the wrong choice, 'you should have moved further away' or 'you should just not go to uni at all, think of the dept and the effort'. I wasn't too bothered about these thoughts though, everyone goes through these moments of doubt and I just shoved them to the back of my mind. I'm so glad I made this decision, I don't care if I moved 20 miles or 200 miles I see it as being the same thing, I still feel homesick, I still need to provide for myself, I still need to cook and clean for myself and I still need to get used to a cat-less bed. The only difference is that I already knew where everything was which was so useful when you have a flat full of people from the south. It also helped me settle in faster, knowing that I just have an hour and a half bus journey home. 
The first two weeks of uni were a blur, freshers was the most fun and I felt myself turning into a social butterfly which is completely surprising because I normally keep myself to my self, however I thought that I am going to uni and I might aswell seize every opportunity I can get to socialize. I hardly took any photos of freshers on my phone just because I was completely living in the moment, I did however have a disposable with me so I can't wait to get those developed. After freshers had settled down I found myself being torpedoed into this new way of academic thinking, having taken a gap year and a photography course I completely forgot about maths and essays and such, I was just used to taking photos and writing about them. After the initial shock I've learned to love my new course and all the new things I'm learning and even the essays because the subjects are so interesting. I also have seemed to have found myself a little job on the cards, just weekends in a well known retail store, I love working in retail and I have a slight obsession with buttons on tills so I think this job will be alright. 

I'm so glad it's October now, although this October's going pretty differently than last year. Normally I would be having late evening walks with Gareth and Domino up the woods, I kind of miss that. But I know that we will get to do it again because I'm going home pretty soon. I'm getting into a routine now which is always a good thing and I completed my first clothes wash the other day with no hiccups. Walking through town with a newly purchased clothes horse has to be  the most adult thing I've ever done. Things have changed and I'm surprised I'm okay with it. This week will consist of essays and gallons of tomato soup, but I'm not complaining I kind of love this new lifestyle. 

How have your months been lately ?