books

Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

That’s right, I’m almost certain you know what 13 Reasons Why is all about now! If not,  Netflix have recently released a TV Series based on the book 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher and believe me, it does not disappoint! There has also been a lot of hype about it so far which I feel so proud about as I read this book two years ago and it really hit me hard.

Basically, 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher was released in 2009 and is a story about a teenager girl called Hannah who has committed suicide. People aren’t too sure why she has done this, especially her parents but 13 of her high school friends have received a cassette tape that she’s recorded especially for them.

These tapes include a lot of information on how things happened from her point of view. Some people might not have thought they were responsible or contributed to her death in the slightest, but when they hear her side of the story you can really see how it all builds up.

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13 Reasons Why – now on Netflix

She takes them individually to certain locations and tells them the background story of that place and what incidents happen there.

There is a lot of emotions that will run through you in this book and I could not put it down whilst I was travelling. I find that there’s some really, really crucial and important points within this book and I would love teenagers to especially understand them.

People do not realise how much harm they are doing to somebody. They might think it’s just a small remark or joke, but that person could take it differently, could be dealing with several other issues at the time or just really having a tough time itself.

In this book, it brings across the point to the other students that you might have done something ‘small’, but really that all added up and contributed to the death of Hannah.

I highly recommend giving this book a read, it might really open your eyes to the way others think and share the word around about this great book!

You can purchase this book from Amazon or Waterstones and several other book stores.

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Goodreads

Do you want to follow me on Goodreads? Here’s a link to my profile.
Don’t know what Goodreads is, but you love reading? It is pretty much the Facebook of Reading Books. You can add yours friends to it, create your own personal profile where you can update your ‘status’ saying what books you are reading, what page you are currently on (it calculates a percentage of your progress through the book) and you can do so much more on there. There’s competitions from authors themselves to win signed books, there’s groups to join, you can create and join lists of your favourite books and specific genres and even join Book Clubs.

Don’t forget that Goodreads have a ‘Reading Challenge’ every year, where you can set yourself a target of how many books you would like to read throughout the year and it will add them all up for you as you go along!

So, I hope you enjoyed the review and let me know if you have or want to read the book and if you’ve seen the TV Series adaptation!
What do you think about the book/series?
Does any of this really hit home to you in some sort of way?

Want more blog posts to read? Check out these:

My Time at the Netflix Apartment

What am I looking forward to on Netflix 2017?

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

March Favourites

So, somehow another month has passed by which means it’s time for another monthly favourites!
I was so busy in February that I completely forgot to do a favourites and when I did, it was already March.. so here’s a March Favourites instead!
I am going to save the blabbing this time and just get stuck right into it.

So let’s dive in..
My first favourite of the month of March certainly has to be Netflix. I have finally re-entered the fabulous world of Netflix and wowie, there are so many incredible shows for me to catch up on! There is nothing better than jumping into bed early to catch up on Netflix and munching on way too many Minstrels! I have written a post on What I’m Looking Forward to on Netflix 2017 (This might feature 13 Reasons Why – which is another monthly favourite for me! Hype hype!) for you all to check out, if you need some inspiration!

I was so fortunate to attend a Netflix Event in Cardiff last month, where there was a Netflix-filled apartment and we got shown all of the latest releases coming for 2017. Here is a link to that post, incase you want to give it a read: My Time at the Netflix Apartment.

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My first favourite of March has to be the Nyx Brow Gel in the shade ‘Chocolate’ (seen in the photo above). Seriously, it is pretty tough to rub these bad boys off whilst I have this brow gel on my eyebrows! I was looking for a product that doesn’t wipe away easily like pencil or sometimes powder (I also have psoriasis, so I tend to scratch pretty often) and this product works a treat.
I apply this brow gel with an angled eyebrow brush from Real Techniques, I try not to apply too much as they can go a little too bold and dark for my face but if I apply carefully, they go with my hair colour pretty well.

You can purchase this from select Boots stores, so here is a link to the website for you to browse. I will most probably do an eyebrow tutorial on my blog using this product for you all soon! Let me know what you think about that.

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My second favourite of the month has to be ‘Dear Amy’ by Helen Callaghan which I am currently reading. I haven’t finished it yet, but the storyline is so good and I got completely hooked on just the blurb which is just here:

“Would you risk your life to save a stranger? 
Discover what happens next in the Sunday Times bestselling psychological thriller, Dear Amy . . .

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A local schoolgirl has been missing for weeks when Margot Lewis, agony aunt of the ‘Dear Amy’ advice column, receives a letter:

Dear Amy,

I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. 
I don’t know where I am. 

Please help me,
Bethan Avery

This must be a hoax. Because Bethan Avery is another young girl, who went missing twenty years ago.

As more letters arrive, Margot becomes consumed by finding the sender and – unlike the police – convinced that the girls’ disappearances are connected.

Solving this puzzle could save someone’s life – but could it also cost Margot her own?”

You can purchase this book from Amazon now!

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My third favourite is Bath and Body Works ‘Twisted Peppermint’ foaming hand wash which is a Christmas Fragrance. I absolutely adore Bath and Body Works and I am so, so, so sad that there isn’t one in the UK (although, if there was, it would probably be expensive..) so when I go to America I go a little crazy on the hand soaps and antibacterials! I cannot get enough of them!

I was super excited as I have heard about the Christmas Fragrances that come out obviously over the Christmas period, but I have never been in America late enough for them to be released, so this Christmas I found them and I was super excited!
Unfortunately, I really wanted the Body Mist of this as it was really gorgeous but it was sold out completely in the store I went to and could not get my hands on it! Damn!

Anyway, this foaming hand wash is incredible. It has such a strong and lost lasting scent that stays on your hands afterwards and the bottle lasts ages too! (I went a little crazy using this, although I knew I’d regret it when it’s all gone..)
I would highly recommend these products and if you haven’t heard of Bath and Body Works then definitely give them a browse – there’s no doubt that you won’t find something that you will fall in love with!

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I have also been loving The Library of Fragrance‘s scent in ‘Honeysuckle’. I purchased this from Boots for £10 (usually £15) with my Advantage Card points to treat myself and my, my, my.. this genuinely smells like actual flowers! Although, my boyfriend just comments ‘You smell like a bee’ (whatever a bee smells like.. but y’ano).
This company have so many different fragrances from Cinnamon, Marshmallow, Mint Ice Cream, Fresh Laundry and even Play-Doh.. that’s right, Play-Doh.. yummy?..

You can even mix and match scents, and they have a page that tells you which scents compliment each other whether you want to go warm, musky, bright and refreshing..

I’ll leave a link to their website here and also check out the Boots website as either one of the sites usually have an offer on!

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So, that is all I have for my March Favourites at the moment. I hope you enjoyed and I would love to know what you have been loving this month too! Let me know down below!

Want to browse some more blog posts?

How I do Disney World on a Budget

My January Favourites

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Review: The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

My Time at the Netflix Apartment

Bootlegger Cardiff Review

Review: The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

I received a free copy of The Sky Is Everywhere in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

Title: The Sky Is Everywhere

Author: Jandy Nelson

Purchase: Available in the UK and preorder for the US.

Overall Rating: 4/5

Great For: Young Adult

Themes: Struggles, Life and Death, Bringing good from unfortunate times

Review: That’s right, there is another Jandy Nelson that has had so much hype over and I can definitely see why people do. I wasn’t completely in love with the book but it is such an intriguing read and you won’t want to put it down!

‘The Sky Is Everywhere’ is about a girl called Lennie who has recently lost her sister, Bailey. Her sister suddenly passed away and Lennie has to learn how to carry on with life without her beloved sister. She is desperately holding onto her sisters memories and possessions and is finding it so hard to believe she isn’t around anymore. The same goes for her sister’s boyfriend, who opens up about a lot of undiscovered things about their relationship (I won’t spoil the storyline for you, don’t worry!)

As life goes on, Lennie doesn’t progress with it.. She is still holding onto her sisters memories and hasn’t been able to go to high school the same since. Everyone stares at her, asks how she is doing every day which is a constant reminder that her sister isn’t there anymore.

She meets a new guy to her class (Joe) who hasn’t been filled in on all of the ‘gossip’ of the school and he is also very cute! He starts to talk to Lennie and finally she feels a sense of trust within somebody that doesn’t know about her sister. With Joe, she feels like she can really be her normal self again without any judgement or sympathy.
Could this be a new friendship or maybe even more?

In this story, there are a lot of family values involved, the ups and downs of relationships, struggles and trying to get through the hard times and try to see a positive at the end of it.
There is so much more to this book than just what I have mentioned, but I don’t want to spoil the whole storyline so I will leave it here.
But if you really want a heartwarming story about loss, friendship and family, then I would highly recommend having a read of this! It was a pretty quick and easy read for me too – so give it a go!

Don’t forget you can purchase it from Amazon UK and Amazon.com here.
If you are looking for more Book Reviews, then pop over to United By Pop where myself and others contribute and share our reviews on Books, TV Series, Fashion, Lifestyle, Film..

Check out my other book reviews:

The Trap by Alan Gibbons

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (Zoella)

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch

Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Title: Ready Player One

Author: Ernest Cline

Purchase: Available in the UK and the US.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Great For: Fans of Sci-Fi and Video Games

Themes: Science Fiction, Adventure, Video Games

I know that I have already written a review on this book in the past, but I really think it deserves to be in the limelight again, especially before it is made into a film by Steven Spielberg!

Review: Here comes a review of my all time favourite book that I discovered in 2011. It was so incredible and took me on a complete adventure that I have reread it over and over ever since, then thought ‘Hey, why not give it some love and write a review?!’

Player Begin.
This book is set in a dystopian and corrupt world, so corrupt that the human population live their lives through the world of Virtual Reality headsets. They go to school, go to work, creating a living, hang out with friends, all through a VR headset.

Where did this VR Headset come from? How did it get created?
There was a man who is seen as such an inspiration that created this world to make life worth living, a life that still had opportunity and hope. Although, once the creator died he broadcast a video to the whole VR world publicising that he had created a game, a puzzle within the VR world. The people of this world have to find a clue to start the game, complete each level and defeat several bosses. If they succeed, then the winner will gain the creators life time’s earnings.

I feel like I really should not say any more about this storyline as it immediately drags you in. Not forgetting that Steven Spielberg is currently making a film adaptation of this book. The book is full of classic video game, Star Wars and other Science Fiction quotes throughout too..

There are not enough words that I can say about this book, it is just outstanding and is so fast-paced that you will not want to put it down!

GAME OVER.

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Review: The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch

The Movie Version is a Young Adult novel which features some romance and goes onto discover the difficulties of dealing with Mental Health.

Amelia is the main character in this book, herself and her brother have a huge passion for movies and get a kick out of sharing film quotes, trying to guess which films they are from and trying to fit them into their everyday life. Amelia imagines what her ‘Movie Version’ of her life would be like, but she discovers that her life takes a turn for the worst..

Amelia discovers that her brother has been seeming very distant and acting abnormally. She senses that he must still be bothering with drug use, which turns out that it’s not the case.. *no spoilers*!

Her life is moving on perfectly as she is doing great at school, has found herself a city-slicker boyfriend who she adores and gets on with her family well. Until her brother is diagnosed with something that will change all of their lives forever..

This story is full of the ups and downs, the challenges that they go through, how to push through them and learning that you can still move forward through tough times.

I believe that this story is a great sense to raise awareness of mental health issues. It could be a story that people can relate to.

The only downside that I found with this book, is the main character Amelia. I found that although it’s understandable that she’s struggling through the tough times, she seems very self-centred about certain things within the book.
Personally, I just wish that she would speak to people more often about her issues and not keep everything to herself. Possibly readers will pick up on this and see that it is important to reach out and address issues with others.

Overall, after a slow start I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Movie Version and look forward to more of Emma Wunsch’s books!

You can get this from Amazon UK

Zoe
xx

2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge

  1. A book recommended by a librarian.
  2. A book that’s been on your TBR list for way too long
  3. A book of letters
  4. An audiobook
  5. A book by a person of colour
  6. A book with one of the four seasons in the title
  7. A book that is a story within a story
  8. A book with multiple authors
  9. An espionage thriller
  10. A book with a cat on the cover
  11. A book by an author who uses a pseudonym
  12. A bestseller from a genre you don’t normally read
  13. A book by or about a person who has a disability
  14. A book involving travel
  15. A book with a subtitle
  16. A book that’s published in 2017
  17. A book involving a mythical creature
  18. A book you’ve read before that never fails to make you smile
  19. A book about food
  20. A book with career advice
  21. A book from a nonhuman perspective
  22. A steampunk novel
  23. A book with a red spine
  24. A book set in the wilderness
  25. A book you loved as a child
  26. A book by an author from a country you’ve never visited
  27. A book with a title that’s a character’s name
  28. A novel set during wartime
  29. A book with an unreliable narrator
  30. A book with pictures
  31. A book where the main character is a different ethnicity than you
  32. A book about an interesting woman
  33. A book set in two different time periods
  34. A book with a month or day of the week in the title
  35. A book set in a hotel
  36. A book written by someone you admire
  37. A book that’s becoming a movie in 2017
  38. A book set around a holiday other than Christmas
  39. The first book in a series you haven’t read before
  40. A book you bought on a trip

    ADVANCED

  41. A book recommended by an author you love
  42. A bestseller from 2016
  43. A book with a family-member term in the title
  44. A book that takes place over a character’s life span
  45. A book about an immigrant or refugee
  46. A book from a genre/subgenre you’ve never heard of
  47. A book with an eccentric character
  48. A book that’s more than 800 pages
  49. A book you got from a used book sale
  50. A book that’s been mentioned in another book
  51. A book about a difficult topic
  52. A book based on mythology

    Here is the POPSUGAR 2017 Reading Challenge, I really fancied finding another Reading Challenge for this year as I found 2015’s really fun and I actually did go outside of my comfort zone to find books that fit and I genuinely enjoyed them!

    I will be posting my progress to my Instagram with the hashtag #popsugarreadingchallenge and here’s the link to POPSUGARs page if you want to check that out!

    Are any of you doing a Reading Challenge this year? Let me know!
    xx

Review: Me Before You by Jojo Moyes Book

*For some reason, I hadn’t posted this.. from six months ago..*

Title: Me Before You

Author: Jojo Moyes

Purchase: Available in the UK and preorder for the US.

Overall Rating: 5/5

Great For: Romance

Themes: Disability, Romance, Strength, Emotion

Review: WOW. Yes, that is going to be the first word of this review. WOW…
Basically, I have seen this book floating around on Goodreads and YouTube, but I was a very bad person and judged a book by it’s cover.. I expected this book to just be one of those stereotypical romance novels that are all pretty similar.
I was wrong! Lesson learnt.

It turns out that I saw the trailer for the upcoming film adaptation of this book and I watched it half way through and decided that I need to read this book urgently – so I stopped the trailer to save it from spoiling the book for me and off I went!

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This book just blew me away completely, it was such a great, captivating story but also so so sad at the same time.

To give you a quick little feel of this book: A man called Will (about 30-35 years old, I believe) has been in an accident and has become Paraplegic, he cannot move any parts of his body apart from his head and the tips of his fingers. He is miserable and feels like he’s just completely lost in life. It turns out that a woman (Lou) really needs a job and takes up a ‘carer’ job as she desperately needs the money. She looks after Will, has a very hard time at first as he acts quite rudely and blunt to her, making it even more difficult but eventually he opens up to her, which he hasn’t done with any other carers in the past!
That is all that I will leave you with, as there is so much more to the story but I do not want to spoil it for you all!

UPDATE: I have read the sequel ‘Me After You’ and yep, you’ve guessed it right – I cried through this one too! Click here to read my review.

Have any of you read this? How much did you love it? I haven’t heard one bad thing about this book at all – everybody on Goodreads told me that it was incredible from the start!
Have you seen the film adaptation? Let me know.

Check out my other book reviews:

The Trap by Alan Gibbons

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (Zoella)

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch

Review: The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

Title: The Girl on the Train

Author: Paula Hawkins

Purchase: Available in the UK and US

Overall Rating: 5/5

Great For: People that love Mystery and Crime novels

Themes: Mystery, Crime, Thriller, Murder

Review: I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up and started reading it. I assumed that it had something to do with a killer, and maybe some creepy girl that stalked someone on the train every single day. I literally thought it was going to be a thriller book, with a possible zombie, creepy girl on the train.

It wasn’t. It was similar along those lines though..
It is basically about a girl that sits on the same train, at the same time every morning, in the same seat. She looks out of the window at the same house, every single day and sees it’s occupants. She decides to use her imagination to create a life for this couple, but boy, her imagination was completely wrong compared to the reality.
It turns out that this woman has gone missing, and that’s where the story mainly starts from.

It is a really great book, full of turns and twists throughout the book and it was just so capturing.
I had no idea who the killer was, right up until the end where they revealed it. No idea.

I have read that they are making this book into a film adaptation too, next year? (Or possibly now even this year?) and I think that this is such a great idea! Emma Blunt is going to be starring in this and I think that it all seems the perfect fit, so far.

I would highly recommend this book and I can see why there was loads of hype around it. I’m not sure if I would hype about it as much as others have, but it was still a really great book with similarities to Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.

If you want a gripping, chilling but interesting read then definitely go for this!
Have you read this book? Are you looking forward to the film adaptation?
Let me know.


Check out my other book reviews:

The Sky Is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

The Trap by Alan Gibbons

Girl Online: Going Solo by Zoe Sugg (Zoella)

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard

The Movie Version by Emma Wunsch

 

Harry Potter Studio Tour!

That’s right.. I have finally been to the Harry Potter Studios and I had such an amazing day!
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I went with my friend Stephen and we had such a blast – we went shopping around London first and headed straight to the Warner Brothers Studios for an incredible day! We firstly saw the Great Hall which was a lot smaller than anticipated and from what it looks like in the films but it was still mind-blowing and such a sight to see! They also decorated the whole studios for christmas time, so everything was wintery with snow, christmas food, tinsel..
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I loved the amount of props and costumes that they had at the Studios, I’m not sure why but I just didn’t expect as many as they were so great to see in the flesh! I just had to take a photo of almost everything!IMG_5932IMG_5943
And that everyone, is the face of pure happiness, right there.IMG_5969
They had a lot of incredible, random and smaller props around the place and I think the Remeberall really took my fancy! I adore the Remeberall in the films and the book and wish that I could get my own real life one, as I forget so much!IMG_6071IMG_6003
We then hopped over into the second lot at the studios and they had the Hogwarts Express (which I believe is new to the studio tour possibly? Feel free to correct me!) but this was so great to have photos with and you could even go inside and see some replicas of the carriages from several different years throughout the films!DSC05376
And, it was so beautiful to photograph! They also had a really cute shop too with all Hogwarts Express merchandise in.DSC05380DSC0538712366242_10153343427577362_7029182352458995771_n
“You’ve got a bit of dirt on your nose, by the way. Did you know?”DSC05399DSC05400
One aspect of the tour that I absolutely fell for was all of the Graphic Design features by MinaLima. They produced all of the design work for all of the films, so this included stuff like packaging, event brochures and programmes, newspapers, advertisements..
As a Graphic Designer myself, I thought that this was incredible!DSC05403DSC05404DSC05407
I really, really enjoyed the concept side of the tour, also. They had a third building which was mainly based around concept art and construction of the elements from the films. This showed you how they created the hundreds of creatures, props, hair and make up and even the set design which was mind-blowing!DSC05455DSC05457
In the middle of the concept building, we came across Diagon Alley which had to be my utmost favourite part of the tour! And what made it even sweeter, was that a woman had a short trail, like a scavenger hunt but they were random photographs of her placed around the studios with bows on them. It turns out that the guy proposed to her by the Hogwarts Castle and it was just too cute and such a great idea for a proposal!DSC05492DSC05494
Back into the Concept area of the tour, they had so many prints, carbon drawings and sketches of different ideas that would go towards production. These came in all different shapes and sizes and was such a great insight for Creative minds, like myself.DSC05503DSC05506DSC05516DSC05529
We sadly got to the end of the tour, but they saved one of the best moments for last! The Hogwarts Castle, and what would make it any better? SNOW!
This was just so beautiful that I had to take photographs of it from almost every single angle!12369227_10153343427627362_8619539123356055109_n
Before we headed on outside to see some of the larger props and backgrounds, we decided to have a cheeky little stop for some Butterbeer (the drink) and Butterbeer ice cream and they are both beautiful! (The drink isn’t the same as the frozen one in Orlando which is incredible, but this one is still amazing too!)941023_10153343428017362_1268470466393593345_n12376557_10153343428302362_2175615712190441125_nThe props outside were mainly from the original three films and I wanted to take every single one home with me! Obviously, I had to get a cheeky photo opportunity with the majority of them, of course!DSC05533DSC05541DSC05544IMG_6046I know that I have put in around 10,000 photos into this one blog post, but I thought ‘who doesn’t want to see loads of photos from the Harry Potter studios, as it is so incredible?’
So that’s all I have for my Harry Potter Studios post for now – I would write more, but I feel like I have possibly shown you a little too much in photographs alone! But have any of you been here? Did you go here at christmas time? Let me know what you think!

Have a Happy New Year all,
Zoe
xx

Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

Ok, so I have heard a lot of hype around this book (& now the series) and I wasn’t too sure what I was going to think about this.
I actually loved this book! I was surprised at how drawn in I was to this, from the moment I started reading – I could not put it down! I ended up reading it in 2 days and it did not disappoint at any point.

Now I am looking forward to reading the second and third (and then wait for the film to come out!).
Another great little detail about this book, is that it is set in Walesrepresent!

If you haven’t read this book yet, it is about a small home in North Wales where ‘Peculiar Children’ stay. They are all different, some have powers, some have odd appearances but there is a reason why they are kept away and there is a big twist but I feel like I cannot say, as it will pretty much ruin the whole book!

I would definitely recommend picking up this book, and I have heard that Tim Burton is going to be directing the film, if I think correctly?

Have you read this or the series? Show me your love or hate for this!
xx

You can purchase these from Amazon, here:
First Book: HERE
Second Book: HERE
Third Book: HERE