April Round up

Wow, April, you were random but fun!
I think I socialised more in April than I have the rest of the year! This month I got to spend time eating take out and watching Riverdale with Charlotte, spent many hours sat eating in Chris and Julia’s kitchen, there was eating involved there too and got to do some Easter themed baking with my favourite munchkins! You might have noticed an eating trend there. No biggie. What is the point of Easter if not for eating, eh? There was even a day warm enough for me to sit in my mum’s garden and just read, I managed two trips to see Guardians of the Galaxy, there was new Paramore and new Fall Out Boy and a whole load of previously unpublished F Scott Fitzgerald stories were published!

What I read this month:

Who’s That Girl – Mhairi McFarlane
Well, I think the disappointment of this book can only be matched with the disappointment I felt when I first tried a Hershey bar. So many people I trust told me this was good, but honestly, I got so tired of it so quickly, I didn’t find any part of it funny, just mostly ridiculous and predictable. I’d like to give Mhairi McFarlane another go, but this wasn’t a good start!

Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt
Oooo this was cute! Take all the endearing nerdiness of Fangirl, make it British and set it at a series of conventions instead and you have this story of Lexi – daughter of a convention organiser who has a cute meet cute with an author at one of the events and fun ensues. I haven’t read a fun, British YA romance for so long so this was a nice change.

Girl Up – Laura Bates
I have wanted to read this for so long! I still have a copy of Every Day Sexism I’ve not managed to read yet. Though this didn’t have anything in it that I didn’t already know/ think before (guess that’s because I’m on the internet but *shrugs*) but it was still wonderful to read a book that shared all my thoughts on the subject! If you are interested in gender politics, this would be a great and accessible book to start with and is presented in a fun, engaging way. If you are planning to read it in public, there are lots of doodles of vaginas, just so you know!

Windfall – Jennifer E Smith
I love Jennifer E Smith’s books, seriously, if you are looking for some cute, fluffy YA (which let’s be honest, is a sub genre that gets more hate than it deserves) then you need to get this woman’s books in your life! This was an ARC I received from Netgalley and I was so excited to get a copy of this… While I enjoyed it, I don’t think its the strongest of her books, check out the review here.

Things I should have known – Claire LeZebnik
This was such an interesting book! While the blurb is all, girl decides to set up her sister and ends up falling for the brother of the boy she wanted to set her sister up with, which doesn’t sound like anything new, this was written in an engaging way and  I didn’t realise until I started reading it that the two kids being set up on the date are on the autism spectrum – I’ve never come across a book about kids with autism before! See my review here.

The Idea of You – Amanda Prowse
I feel really bad about not enjoying this more. Admittedly, it isn’t to my usual taste, but I wanted to read outside my comfort zone a bit more, there was nothing wrong with the narration or the story per say, it just didn’t really gel with me. I should preface that having started this book I did realise that I’m not really its target audience. There will be a full review up soon, even though it wasn’t for me, this is the exact thing you’d want tot take on holiday with you!

Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
I feel like this book is every where, it appears in every review and haul video/post I consume, so I’d wanted to read it for ages, though I was put off by the fact that I’m not that well versed in poetry, it’s just never really been something I’ve been able to really sink my teeth into. (I say this, but one of my favourite books is a poetry book lol) I can understand why people love it and why it resonates with so many people, but it wasn’t my cup of tea I’m afraid.

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Nerve
  • Fire walk with me – Twin Peaks prequel 
  • Moana
  • The Nice Guys
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (I actually ended up seeing this twice! 000ps!)
  • Ghostbusters
    Yes I finally saw the latest Ghostbusters movie, I don’t know, I think it would have worked a lot better as a sequel or a spin off rather than a remake, the ladies were all fab, but I didn’t like the original cast turning up and not being themselves and bits were a tad silly, but it was fine.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

TV I watched his month:

  • 13 Reasons Why
    I read and loved the book and when I heard it was going to be a Netflix series, I wasn’t sure how they’d make a whole series, but omg that was intense and so well put together. The series comes with trigger warnings before the harder episodes if you’re worried but those scenes are very intense, so do look after yourselves. Also there is a random cameo from Dan Howell, so… there’s that.
  • Riverdale
  • iZombie
    ITS BACK ITS BACK I AM SO EXCITED
  • Doctor Who
    Honestly, I had been falling out of love with this show for the past few series, but the opening episode was so much fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
  • Iron Fist
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I can’t believe we’re on the last nine episodes!!
  • Once Upon a Time

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Bristol is looking pretty spesh today

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its time for the great munchkin bake off

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y e s t u r d a y || this is as close to sunbathing as i get.

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IT ARRIVED!!!

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

As much as I hate April 1st, it does mean that we get a Dan and Phil Crafts video and this year’s was utterly genius! We also got ASDF Movie 10 which is one of my favourite things on the internet, seriously (beep beep I’m a sheep!), while we’re on the subject of Tomska, his Last Week series are the best weekly vlogs out there, so get on that, yeah? Liam Dryden‘s YouTube comeback was amazing, so if you haven’t seen it, do! I have to mention Emma Blackery’s new music video and this video about twenty one pilots and this birthday edition of Baking with Layton.

August round up

This month had lots of random little events taking place, like spending the day with my mum and my niece where we watched Finding Dory together and hatched a Pikachu! We also got to have lunch together a few days later which was the cutest thing ever! There was also some surprisingly cool sibling bonding, Instagram decided to take on Snapchat… I think I like it… Though… Plagerism is bad. The town I live in hosted a Comic Con, there is nothing cooler than walking through town and spotting Spider Man chilling outside Costa Coffee tbh,  I ventured to my home town to spend some time with the long distance bff and I managed to read SO MANY BOOKS! I think its because I have super writer’s block right now, so instead of writing, I’ve been reading. The writer’s block needs to gtfo though because writing is like my thing and what do I do if I don’t write?

What I read this month:

24288284Mrs Hemingway – Naomi Wood
If you’ve been here before, you’ll know I have a fondness about the great American writers of the twenties, I’ve read a couple of books about Zelda Fitzgerald and I’ve previously read The Paris Wife, which is primarily about Hadley Hemingway. This is the story of each of Ernest Hemingway’s wives at the end of their respective marriages, its an addictive read and I raced through it!

25394438The Marble Collector – Cecelia Ahern
Ohhhh. The cover is super pretty… You know when you love an author and then you read something of theirs and you’re just like… I didn’t like it? That is me with this book. The thing is, I have loved so many of her books and I read her YA novel earlier in the year (check out the review here) and was a little disappointed, mostly because it didn’t feel like one of her books but this… There was none of the beauty or mystery of her other books with this. It wasn’t bad, it was just a bit meh.

6694908And the hippos were boiled in their tanks – William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
You should see the library video I posted below for the full story of how I ended up searching for Burroughs and finding this… You should def watch it if you like Matty Healy’s face and who doesn’t love Matty Healy’s face? (Also thing that happened this month is that dear Matty had a haircut.) Anyway, this is the fictionalised account of the Carr/Kramarr situation as detailed in the film Kill Your Darlings. It reminded me a lot of On the Road, very stream of consciousness and definitely not to everyone’s taste, but it does have merit.

29868290Noon in Paris, Eight in Chicago – Douglas Cowie
I picked this up purely because I like cities and I’ve been to both of these places, I really wasn’t expecting a whirlwind romance between two actual people who actually existed! Now I have to research Simone de Beauvoir and Nelson Algren. This is basically a fictionalised account of their relationship which was incredibly long distance and yet, strangely worked!

25870408We are all made of molecules – Susin Nielson
This was cute! I was expecting it to be a bit more sciencey what with the molecules in the title and all, but it was a cute YA nonetheless. I like a good family drama and you certainly got that here, when Stewart and Ashley both find their families fragmenting and then merging together. It was a quick read that broached a lot of big subjects in an easy to swallow way. Also the cover is super pretty and it involved a cat with a great name.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – J K Rowling, John Tiffany and Jack Throne
Did I mention I got this for 83p? No? Well, I got this for 83p. Honestly, I’m glad I didn’t pay any more for it. I wanted to like this so much…. But… I didn’t. Like… Without wanting to be that guy who spoils the whole thing for everyone hanging on for the stage show, it was kinda like someone who had never read Harry Potter put this together. None of the original characters held any of their characteristics, Harry Potter spent the whole thing blaming his lack of father figures on his problems and I’m like da fuck Harry? You conveniently forgetting Sirius and Lupin and Hagrid and Arthur Weasley there? It was full of time travel plot holes, Ron might as well have not even be there. Seriously, the only good thing about this was Scorpius Malfoy. Well, until we chucked all that queer baiting in, but hey ho, should be used to that by now. Anyway,  that boy is a gift to this world. Maybe it’ll be better on stage but, yeah. My disappointment in this was only matched by my first ever Hershey bar. The Cursed Child has become my new Phantom Menace. I will now ignore the existence of this for the rest of time.

23705512You’re never weird on the internet, almost – Felicia Day
Felicia Day is a bit of hero of mine, if you’re not familiar with her name, she is basically the queen of the nerds (though it appears that although its a title she enjoys, it isn’t a self proclaimed one) she made her name making her own web series, filmmaking, acting and generally being a geek goddess to us mere mortals (she is also in Supernatural if that is an easier reference point). I’ve long admired her work and been interested in how she managed to gain success doing the fun things that she loves, so this has been on my TBR list for what feels like forever. It read much like I imagine having a conversation with Felicia would sound, the opening chapter instantly made me warm to her and it was in equal parts funny and inspiring (to me who is also a nerd anyway.) I feel like I don’t read enough non fiction. Recommend me more?

3232341The Fiction Class – Susan Breen
This was legit the worse thing to read when you have writer’s block! This is about a woman who has been writing her novel for the past seven years and has no idea how to end it, despite the fact that she’s struggling to be a writer, she is telling other people how to write by running a creative writing class alongside moaning about her mother and starting a relationship with one of her pupils. Maybe I need to go to a writing class to sort myself out…?

26365537Kindred Spirits – Rainbow Rowell
I wanted to grab this when it came out for World Book Day and then I spotted it at the library. I may have gone overboard in the library. I had to beg an assistant to let me take more than my allotted amount. Anyway, this is a cute, short (literally less than 100 pages) story about a girl so excited for the release of The Force Awakens, that she sits on the street for four days with two random people… I can’t say that’s its my favourite Rainbow Rowell story, but it was fun.

25707621Sofia Khan is not Obliged – Aiysha Malik
I’ve wanted to read this since watching this video, so I was very excited to spot it on the recently returned shelf at the library. This was so good on so many levels! Firstly, it was just bloody hilarious, secondly, it was nice to read a book about someone who wasn’t white and have an insight into a different culture. I need to read more books with non white protagonists. Hmu with recommendations. If you’ve not read this, check out my review!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Finding Dory
  • The Great Mouse Detective
  • Kill Your Darlings
    Thought I’d give it a watch seeing as I read Burroughs and Kerouac’s fictional version of events.
  • Wreck it Ralph
  • Hotel Transylvania
  • Bridget Jones’ Diary
    OMG THEY ARE SMOKING INDOORS was my first thought when rewatching this. Followed by DEAR GOD I AM OLD ENOUGH TO RELATE TO THIS NOW.

TV I watched his month:

  • Stranger Things
    SO GOOD. It was like ET, The Goonies and Supernatural all rolled into one! Bring me series two immediately!
  • Gilmore Girls
    So, right I didn’t watch this when it was first a thing, then it arrived on Netflix and I thought I’d watch it before the revival, now I’m hooked which is ANNOYING because the last two seasons let down the entire show.
  • Tattoo Fixers
    Guilty Pleasure, don’t shame me.
  • Ripper Street
  • Great British Bake Off
    I love this I’m so happy its back.
  • Pretty Little Liars
    THAT LAST EPISODE THOUGH.

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

I hate plagarism as much as the next person, but I do kinda love Instagram stories and I’m using it so much more than I do Snapchat… Which might be a problem considering I do a snapchat series over on youtube!

Finding Dory with the munchkin 🐟

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The Doctor is in #FromeComicCon

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Comic Con came to town!

Forever wishing i didnt have to say goodbye to this city

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I hate having to leave London behind 😦

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

One Day I’ll manage to do one of these without mentioning Casey Neistat, now is not that time. Of course he had to make a video about the Instagram stories vs Snapchat thing (I prefer the Insta stories… hbu?), I also loved the Midnight Beast’s Pokemon Parody. I like his face and also this was funny af, so here’s danisnotonfire offering the best advice on the internet, the Hillywood Show are back with another INCREDIBLE parody video that you HAVE to see and just because I am a sucker for room tours and hers are always super pretty, here’s Noodlerella’s new room. (I want her Ghibli postcards so hard.)

July round up

Wow seven months into the year!
2016 has kind of sucked so far hasn’t it. It needs to slow the eff down and chill the eff out. The first of the cool stuff that happened is that my so far only published book, Harley’s Angels, turned three! I also had a lovely night full of too much Indian food with my friend George, celebrated Somer Valley FM’s 10th birthday and finally downloaded Pokemon Go! I also acidentally achieved gingerness! Well… Sort of. I am on the road to ginger, which is a start. (Backstory, I have always wanted to be ginger, but my hair is too dark… Now I think I have found a way to achieve ginger.) Then the month ended by going bowling with my homies and picking up a copy of The Cursed Child!

What I read this month:

11282000Rosemary’s Baby – Ira Levin
You will know from previous posts (in fact there is a section below that mentions it), I really love films, yet despite that, I have never seen the classic that is Rosemary’s Baby. Mostly because everyone tells me its terrifying and I’m not too good with horror films. Even so, I picked this up for a pound a while ago and its been on my shelf ever since, so I thought while its light enough in the evenings for me not to be too freaked out, I’d give it a go. It wasn’t jump out of your skin scary, but it was still pretty uncomfortable reading, the whole anti christ, devil worshipping cult thing aside, there is also a very abusive relationship to be found here and that is what got to me the most. Maybe I will give the film a go, thoughts?

25255576Asking for It – Louise O’Neil
I’m still struggling to describe how I feel about this book. Reading it felt like such a chore and not because it was bad, it was genuinely wonderfully written, but because of the subject matter, it was so oppressive and there were times when it made me very unsettled. I think this needs to be read in school’s because everyone knows a girl like Emma and everyone wishes girls like Emma would get kicked by karma, but no one, not even Emma deserves what happens to her. I think that was part of my problem, this highlighted so many latent problematic ideas I had buried deep within me. Please read it so we can discuss at length. I did post a slightly spoilery word vomit type ramble about it, which you can read here.

15984268The Universe versus Alex Wood – Gavin Extence
Wow. Just wow. The blurb on this doesn’t give anything away, so I’ll try not to, but this was not about what I thought it was about and for such a quirky, fun book, it has a very heavy subject matter. To start with it reminded me a lot of  Kurt Vonnegut books, full of tangents and yet somehow managed to be about the life, universe and everything and that was without all the KV references. A very serious subject wrapped up with heart and humour, its a long and winding narrative but when you stop meandering, it packs quite a punch. Also its set around where I live, which I always love! It is also, incidentally, the second book I’ve read recently about the aforementioned secret subject and is definitely the better of the two.

278958I am David – Anne Holm
This is something I wish I’d read when I was a lot younger. Its just such a shame that something that contains this good an emotional story was kind of hampered by how simplistic and childish the language was. If like me you’ve never crossed paths with this while young enough to appreciate the child like language, this is the story of a boy who escapes a labour camp with the help of a guard and his adventure as he tries to run to freedom. Its a quick, easy read while broaching some very big, scary subjects. Why didn’t I have this when I was a kid?!

20703242A Long Way Down – Nick Hornby
I saw the film a little while ago, it was ok, it was no High Fidelity or About a Boy, but it was an alright way to spend a few hours, I assumed the book would be better, because no matter how great High Fidelity the film is, the book is better, but it turns out, the film was a pretty good indication of how the book would be. It isn’t the best Nick Hornby book I’ve read, but it also isn’t the worst thing I’ve come across. Give it a go if you are looking for a light hearted, quick read… Well, I say light hearted, this is a book about suicide…

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Tangled
  • Shaun of the Dead
  • Paranoia
    Liam Hemsworth’s face and Harrison Ford’s weird haircut were by far the best things about this film.
  • The Fundamentals of Caring
    Selena Gomez drops all the F Bombs, Paul Rudd is amazing and Craig Roberts just makes me wonder why he’s so under rated.
  • Diary of a teenage girl
  • Ghostbusters (the OG, not the new one)
  • Slueth
    The original with Michael Caine. Not the remake with um… Michael Caine.
  • We need to talk about Kevin
  • Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

TV I watched his month:

  • iZombie
    Come the end of series three, I had developed a Saturn sized crush on Ravi. Ooops.
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Gilmore Girls
    Baby Sam Winchester is in this and his name is Dean! Anyway, I remember watching this when I was very young, but I don’t really remember an awful lot about what happened and apparently there is a new series coming? Colour me excited!
  • White Collar
    Netflix finally updated and gave us the last series. Matt Bomer should be on tv more, he’s so nice to look at! Also that ending was incredible.
  • Celeb first dates.
    Wtf has my life become when this is what I watch on TV, but honestly, Preston from the Ordinary Boys was on there and I used to freaking love the Ordinary Boys when I was in sixth form! From watching it, I can confirm that I would totally date Preston.

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

I GREW A STRAWB!!! GO STELLA GO

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I thought I’d update you all on Stella’s progress, she’s giving me strawberries!

You shall not pass

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Indie being a little cutie

 

Time warp

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Taught the munchkins how to do the time warp!

ellie made a friend

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I finally got hold of Pokemon Go and although it is glitchy af, it is my new favourite app! Say what you want about millennials always looking at their phones, but this app has seen me go out and explore my surroundings, I’ve found all manner of interesting places thanks to this game! I even had a fun adventure with the munchkins looking for pokemon and this one popped up at my mum’s house so Ellie made a friend!

Just me ginging around

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I have always wanted to be ginger! Now I am! I fancied changing the hair a bit, so I tried a home colourant which ruined my mum’s towels and although didn’t lighten my hair as much as I wanted, did accidentally turn me into an auburn princess, so!

Bowling with the homies

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!!!!!!

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AAAAARGH! I was debating whether or not to get The Cursed Child, but then I was like, I have to have it. Its Harry Potter and it came out on Harry’s birthday! Also, I found a load of vouchers and ended up only paying 83p for it!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Firstly, PJ’s Pokemon Go review, aka, so much shade I can’t even, also PJ is one of my favourites, so… Like, watch his stuff. While we’re on the subject of Pokemon Go, I also enjoyed Pew Die Pie’s video. Most of this month was me being sad about not having Pokemon Go tbh, so here’s Casey Neistat’s movie about the game and his attempt to play it IRL. I do have it now though and although it is glitchy AF, it is too much fun, if I didn’t work nine to five, I would have so many gyms by now. Also, if you need a giggle, check out Casey’s video orchestrating a prank with Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. Other fun stuff I enjoyed included Dil getting engaged! (Fo reals though it feels like its been forever since Dan Howell has graced my screen. Damn I’d almost forgotten how beautiful his face is), he also did his own roast yourself diss track a whole month later than everyone else, but I’ll forgive him because like I said, he’s beautiful. Finally, I must mention Luke Cutforth  and his vegan parody of Heathens I love twenty one pilots and I’m vegan, so… Lastly, but no means least, my friend Joe introduced me to a new channel by appearing on it and making several very articulate points about being LGBTQ+ and mental health.

June round up

Wow, June, you were a bit shit weren’t you. As if the Orlando shooting and the Jo Cox murder weren’t enough, then my fellow countrymen decided to let fascism win and throw the whole lot of us in the shit. Great huh? I don’t want this to be all doom and gloom, no matter how insignificant any of the nicer things that happened are in comparison, June did have some nice moments. This month I got to have a few days off which I got to spend hanging out with my mum and my bae Amber, this resulted in my first ever sleepover in my new flat, which was super fun! I spent too many hours waiting for a train to see James Bay (who was incredible by the way), the tiny town I work in held its first ever Pride event – if you live in an uncultured rural town, you’ll know how big a deal this is. I also got to hang with my long distance bff and my nephew has started talking which is the cutest thing in the world. I’m just sorry he and my niece have to live in this world, especially the state it is in at the moment.

What I read this month:

27416150 The Force Awakens – Michael Kogge
Thought I’d check out the novelisation of the film to see if there are any clues into who Rey’s parents are and how she ended up being where she was and what her connection to Kylo Ren is. Also I want to know how and why Kylo went darkside. Turns out, this doesn’t really answer those questions.

12649718Me Before You – JoJo Moyes
Everyone tells me how wonderful this book is and you couldn’t escape the movie hype at the beginning of the month. This is only the second JoJo Moyes book I’ve ever read and much like last time, I found her writing to be delightful and engaging, though I did find it to be a bit… problematic… A bit ableist I guess… I’d be interested to see if anyone else has any thoughts on this?

23301770My Heart and Other Black Holes – Jasmine Warga
It feels like this has been on my TBR list forever, its certainly been on my kindle for far too long, so I thought I’d get on with reading it. In fact, it had been on there for so long that I’d completely forgotten what it was about until I added it to my goodreads shelf! There were points when I adored this book, there were points when I was scared this was going to become something from my ‘reasons I hate books about mental health’ hit list, in the end, I kind of loved it.

28915259When we Collided – Emery Lord
I might review this when I can be a bit more coherent about it. Oh how I sobbed through the ending! Though this does feature the most manic of manic pixie dream girls (a trope that does get on my nerves at time), it also featured a beautifully written examination of bipolar disorder, grief, family, teenage romance and well… at its heart, love and life in their many varied forms. It was wonderful. And what an appropriate title!

26889460The Museum of You – Carys Bray
Took me a little while to get into, its an incredibly descriptive story. Its a bittersweet story, based in sadness, but with a curious, hopeful vibe. Stories about families, especially broken ones, are sort of my kryptonite and this is a good book, its just a little bit too heavy on the descriptions sometimes. There isn’t an awful lot left to the imagination. Review here.

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Chocolat
    I know Johnny Depp is all kinds of problematic in light of recent things, but it was on, I’ve never seen it. So… I’ve never read the book either, any good?
  • Guardians of the Galaxy
  • The Wolf of Wall Street
    If you have three hours to spare, I thoroughly recommend giving this a watch! Leo is incredible.
  • About Time
    The cutest thing I have ever seen!
  • Pacific Rim
    Now I know that John Boyega is going to be in the sequel!
  • Mulan
  • Iron Man
  • Mama Mia
  • The Boat that Rocked
  • Tomorrow when the war began
    I started reading the series forever ago and never finished it, I have seen the movie before, but I saw it on Netflix and thought I’d revisit it. I need to find the rest of the books and find out what happens!

 

TV I watched this month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • Peaky Blinders
    THE LAST TWO EPISODES THOUGH Like any time T Hardz was on screen was solid gold.
  • Orphan Black
  • Penny Dreadful
    Its on NowTV and my latest binge watch! I’m not entirely sure what the show is about, but I watched three seasons worth of it so it must be good! Is this it? No more?
  • The Last Leg
    The best thing on British TV tbh. I did very much enjoy the fact that Jeremy Corbyn was a guest!
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I was so excited for this to come back!
  • IZombie
    omg so good! Why did no one tell me?

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

More fun with the munchkins

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Popped to my mum’s during a lunch break this month to find she was baby sitting my niece and nephew, so we had fun in the garden for a while!

Sainsbury has vegan own brand ice cream finally something other than vanilla swedish glace!

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Yo, any of you guys lactose intolerant/ vegan? Get yo’selves to Sainsbury cos they got this in Chocolate and Strawberry – its super good! And its nice to have something other than vanilla for a change! Also, its not as expensive as some brand name dairy free ice cream.

Wish this could stay forever #msnpride

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My town held Pride for the first time ever and its legit the first time I have ever felt proud to have a connection to the place.

Was getting jealous of Turbo's progress… So here's Stella @krisskarnage79

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Meet Stella! If you guys follow me on Insta, you’ll know that I was gifted a plant when I moved into my place, I named it Planty (how original right?) Anyway, having been spurred on by my success of keeping Planty alive, I got myself a Strawberry plant (its name is Stella) and I am now awaiting my first batch of berries!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

My faves, twenty one pilots, are on tour right now and I’m so sad that there aren’t UK dates on the emotional road show and I was even more sad about not getting to see the show after they started releasing promo videos for it, like this one and this one! They also released the video for Heathens this month AND I CAN’T ITS SO GOOD. Here’s a Casey Neistat where he not only rode in a Delorean, but also visited Winterfell! He also spent a day at vidcon in disguiseJames Corden hosted the funnest car pool karaoke ever and a new challenge hit YouTube, the Roast Yourself Challenge, so here are my favourite two from Emma Blackery and Luke Cutforth. Another thing I loved this month was Rose and Rosie showing just how to do a #Spon.

 

February round up

Well, February, you were fun! Highlights from this month included getting to add some more touches to my new home, having time off to really enjoy that Now TV pass, taking a trip to the home town, spending time with some of my favourite people, perfecting my vegan pancake recipe and seeing Twenty One Pilots live!

What I read this month:

9303985Room – Emma Donoghue
Its been on my kindle forever and now the film is out and getting all these awards, so I thought I’d get on with it! While I loved the premise and I liked that a lot of the story was inferred due to our narrator only being five, I can’t say that I enjoyed it in the sense that the subject matter was very difficult. Also, Jack was one of the more annoying children I’ve had contact with. Even so, it was a great read and I am going to try and catch the film if I can!

28425994Flawed – Cecelia Ahern
I adore Cecelia Ahern’s books, I’ve read the majority of her novels, its a shame that no one seems to be able to do the film adaptations justice, Where Rainbows End and PS I Love You are amazing and the film versions… Meh. Anyway, this is her first YA story, so I kind of had to get my hands on it! I’m also told this is the beginnings of a series, though I don’t know if I’ll be as excited about reading the rest of them. Check my review here.

982149Murder in the Mews – Agatha Christie
I’ve only read one other Agatha Christie novel and I didn’t get on with it very well, but I always enjoy the television retellings, so I thought I would give her another go. I’d love to find a full length Poirot or Marple mystery, but all my local library seems to have are anthologies, so grabbed this one!

25478293Another Day – David Levithan
I always list David Levithan as one of my favourite authors, but honestly, the last two books I’ve read of his have just been a bit… Meh. This kept me company on a train journey and I wanted to like it so much. I just… Justin and Rhiannon was such an unhealthy pairing, they were so not good for each other and then the A thing… That was equally as unhealthy and good God. I just wanted to slap everyone!

21937519Moriarty – Anthony Horrowitz
I downloaded the ebook of this a couple of months ago and was super excited to read it, but the last two chapters were missing! I found a copy in the library and decided to get it so I could finally finish it! The Sherlock Holmes story written by Anthony Horrowitz is incredible, unfortunately, this is not.

20525628How to Build a Girl – Caitlin Moran
I do love Caitlin Moran and I’ve wanted to read this for such a long time that I sacrificed picking up a copy of the Nightvale book in my local library to grab this instead. Though it was a very entertaining and enjoyable read, it didn’t have the same spark that her other books have. It did have a lot of genius quotes that I’ve had to take note of!

28674747 Jakob’s Colours – Lindsay Hawdon
I wish I’d had this in January to read around Holocaust Memorial Day because I always feel like I should make a point of remembering the day online, but I don’t feel like I can even comprehend the atrocities and I don’t want to make it all about me. But anyway, this is a story about an often forgotten group of people affected by the Holocaust. I gratefully received a copy from Bookbridgr, see my review here.

 

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Frozen Fever
    This counts right? It is only seven minutes long, but hey, I’ve made film shorter than that!
  • If I stay
    Dear God, I don’t remember the last time I cried so much at a movie! The last film I watched that got me super emotional to the point of shedding a tear was probably the Imitation Game, but not to this extent! I was a weepy, weepy mess come the credits to this film! Perfect ending as well. God its a brilliant adaptation, I don’t think I got that emotional about the book even!
  • Bad Neighbours
    Terrible movie, but so many cameos. Well, I say terrible it was one of those movies that is great for background music!
  • Whiplash
    I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this! But, finally, I got around to it. It reminded me a little too much of my traumatic drum lessons. Great movie though!
  • Sweeney Todd
  • Beasts of No Nation
  • The Giver
    The book is one of my favourites so when I saw the adaptation on Now TV (yes, I need to binge watch ALL the movies before my pass runs out!) Although not as good as the book (that book is a masterpiece, you need to read it) I really liked the way it was shot and it was very true to the book. Also, Tay Swift is in it!
  • Interstellar
    OH DEAR GOD WHY HAVE I NOT WATCHED THIS BEFORE? BLOODY NOLAN BEING AWESOME. AGAIN.
  • The Theory of Everything
    Man, that was an emotional Tuesday! I can’t believe it took me so long to watch this. Did shed a tear or two!
  • Ex-Machina
  • The Judge
  • Deadpool
    Oh my God, perfection. More please.
  • Transcendence 
    So many science fiction films this month.
  • Northern Soul
    Don’t recommend.

TV I watched this month:

  • Come Dine with me Champion of Champions
    It’s like Come Dine with me crossed with Bake Off – Utter genius! Narrator Dave Lamb does not look how I thought he would!
  • Supergamers
    I had no idea you could be a professional game player! I think I’ve said before that I will sign up for anything that involves Dan Howell’s face, which this did! Really interesting documentary and I think for a first time TV presenter, Dan did well!
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Supernatural
  • Shadowhunters
    When I started watching this last month, I was unsure as to whether I liked it or not, once Magnus Bane showed up, it started to get a bit more interesting, it’s still bloody terrible with far too much actoring for my liking, but its at least fun now!
  • Grease Live
  • Crashing
    The series ended this month. Come the end I shipped Fred and Sam so hard! Though I don’t think I’ll be seeing a series two!
  • Vera
    I forgot what time it was on one week and my mum got one of the writers to tweet me to tell me off. My mum’s twitter game is strong.
  • Sinatra: All or Nothing.
    He’s one of my problematic faves. But this documentary series was great. You can catch it on Netflix!
  • The BAFTAS
    Bloody love movie award shows, the minute the opening montage began I was instantly reminded of how much I love movies. My thoughts if anyone is interested: I’m super glad that Mad Max and Star Wars were recognised for the work that went on behind the scenes, I wanted either Taron or John to win the rising star so I was happy one of them did, Rebel Wilson did the best speech of the night, I love Idris Elba too and was a bit miffed he didn’t get the award for Beasts of No Nation because that is an incredible film and even though I’ve not seen the Revenant, I’m glad it got so many awards considering the amount of work that went into it!
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
  • Snervous
    The Tyler Oakley doc is on Netflix and as I’ve always enjoyed Tyler’s YouTube videos, I thought I’d check it out and now I’m unsure as to whether or not Tyler is the person I thought he was… Like there are moments with his family that reinforced the idea that he’s really sweet and kind and then there were moments when he was being the big ‘internet star’ and it was like he was a completely different person.
  • The Night Manager
    T Hiddles kicking ass, what more could you ask for?!

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

 

I can't go outside until my delivery arrives so I'm compromising on the reading in the sun

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Waiting for bookcases to arrive means you can’t go out into the sun to do a spot of reading!

Rocketman

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Visited the home town and checked out the Cosmonauts exhibit at the science museum, I bloody love space and it was genuinely fascinating, go if you can!

I may have gotten hideously lost trying to find the venue, but I saw Twenty One Pilots and they might have just put on the best show I have seen in a long time! Blurry face has gotten me through some very tough times since its release and it was wonderful to see Tyler and Josh perform it (and a few others) live!

What I did on YouTube this month:


The video I made at work for the B&NES Mayor referendum!

What I loved on YouTube this month:
I might just go ahead and mention Casey Neistat in every single one of these, it’s kind of hard not to seeing as he’s a daily vlogger and all, but this video of him attempting a drone rescue mission was all kinds of incredible, my friend Sophie spent the month uploading reviews of her favourite LGBTQA+ books for LGBT history month, obviously I had to rewatch Rebel Wilson’s BAFTA presentation,  then there the ultimate Turing Test, Dan and Phil talking to chimpbot and having a supernaturally good time. I also need to give a mention to Daniel J Layton’s first instalment of PMS

January Round-up.

How are we already a month into 2016. Time, you need to chill.
January has seen me celebrate my one month anniversary of living alone, getting hearing aids installed (is installed the right word? That makes me sound like a cyber man), returning to college and planning a major documentary project. (Sorry, there is no glory in the process.) It’s also seen me finally tick a book off of my TBR list that has been there for an embarrassingly long time.

What I read this month:

catchCatch 22 – Joseph Heller
This book has been on my TBR list for YEARS. Like, since I have been at school. That is an embarrassingly long time. Everyone tells me its a classic, I read books about people reading this book. That’s how significant it is in literature. As I don’t have any of my books in my new place yet, I took a trip down to my local library and this was the first thing I found on the shelf and I thought, you know what, now is as good a time as any. I can’t say as I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would. It was a bit tedious, though I am glad I’ve finally tackled it!

23164931Time and Time Again – Ben Elton
Time travel and history and Ben Elton all in one go? Wonderful. I seemed to have a very history orientated selection from the library, this was an interesting premise and you can see more of my thoughts on it here. Basically this is a historic novel about time travel and dystopian futures – what could possibly go wrong? I’d love to read more time travel novels, so if you can think of any, you should totally let me know!

11065009Chocolate cake with Hitler – Emma Craigie
This was probably a tad young for me, but was enjoyable nonetheless! It reminded me of the Prisoner of Night and Fog, which is also a story about a young girl who grows up with Hitler being a uncle figure in their life. This though is the fictionalised account of Helga Goebbels, the actual daughter of the actual Nazi commander. This picks up at various points of Helga’s life through the Nazi rise to power interspersed with time spent in the bunker with Hitler towards the end of the war. It was an interesting premise and I’m a history nerd so I liked it, but as I said, I think it would have been a better suited to someone much younger than me. If you’re interested in something similar and you’re an older YA reader, check out the Prisoner of Night and Fog series. I reviewed that here and here if you want to check it out.

22428751How many letters are in goodbye – Yvonne Cassidy
I apologise to the publisher gods that it took me so long to read this (I forgot to switch the wifi on on my kindle and the egalley didn’t download… My bad) anyway, this was a bit of an emotional rollercoaster! There was so much going on and so many important, hard hitting issues being tackled. It also featured one of the most interesting characters I have ever come across in a YA book. You can check my review here!

25413848 (1)Under the Dusty Moon – Suzanne Sutherland
I had such high hopes for this book, like look at that cover! The blurb made it sound like this was a coming of age story about the daughter of two super famous people being left alone for the summer, falling in love and finding herself without her mother being around to grab focus, but what we got instead was just a spoilt brat moaning about their summer. I don’t mind a book about first world problems now and again, but I like to go into them prepared, so I was a bit unsatisfied to be honest. I hate leaving bad reviews, but it was an ARC, so I didn’t have much choice, you can see my review here if you can stand it!

21799202 (1)The V girl – Mya Robarts
This was an interesting read, I don’t often pick up New Adult books, but the blurb really caught my eye. A sort of distopian erotica set in the back drop of a hard core civil war where sexual slavery and assault have become legal. Yeah, I thought it would be hella interesting. Unfortunately, though it had loads of potential and could have been incredible, it just… wasn’t for me. If you like your graphic sexual content though – it’ll be right up your street! My review will be up soon!

 

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Bladerunner.
    It had been a while, I remembered that the day of Batty’s conception was coming up, thought I’d dig it out! I still can’t make up my mind whether Deckard is a replicant himself or not. Thoughts?
  • Singing in the Rain
  • Star Wars: The Force Awakens
    Second viewing, still great.
  • Cowboys and Aliens.
    I was having a bit of a Harrison Ford related month really wasn’t I?
  • Amy
    Woah, just woah. This was harrowing viewing, it felt almost a bit voyeruristic, amazingly well made documentary, but I can’t say as it was a pleasant watch. I’m not sure how I feel about it, did anyone else see it? It’s been nominated for an Oscar, which has apparently upset Amy’s father. Hmm.
  • Ant Man
  • Clueless
  • Napoleon Dynamite
  • Pitch Perfect 1 and 2
    HSM turned ten and I don’t have it at my place, it’s one of the many DVDs that still lives with my parents, so I needed something else involving pretty people singing and let’s be honest, Pitch Perfect and its sequel are amazing. Also, it has the best character intro of all time (you know I mean Jesse’s introduction right?)
  • Pride
    I just got a two month free pass to NowTv’s movie package and this was the first thing I chose to watch! What an emotional ride that was! It was Welsh and it was gay and it was anti Thatcher – all things I love in a movie! Also it featured a load of my faves and honestly, I had a cry at the end!
  • Only Lovers Left Alive
    Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton, two of the most beautiful people alive are vampires that are trying to make sense of the modern world. I wish there were more vampire movies about living in the 21st century.

TV I watched this month:

  • Making a murderer.
    Yes, me and just about everyone else in the world, I wrote a blog post about my feelings after finishing the series. Interested to see what the documentary makers come up with next!
  • Agents of Shield
    series 3 has just come back and although I think I’ve missed something somewhere, it was still pretty good return to form!
  • Tattoo Fixers.
    I bloody love Tattoo Fixers! I also subjected a friend of mine to an entire evening of Tattoo Nightmares the other day, sorry Stacey!
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I have been waiting so long for this to return and I’m not entirely sure why they don’t all just get the hell out of Rosewood, but still. Home is home I guess.
  • Shadow Hunters
    hated the film, not sure how I feel about the TV show… Anyone else seen it?
  • Crashing
    wtf even is this show? I have no idea, but I do bloody love Damon Malony, so why not! It’s about a group of twenty somethings who all live in a renovated hospital in London and their various escapades. I know I’ve only just moved, but I want to move to London and I know that if I do, it’ll likely be somewhere as mental.
  • Supernatural
    the boys returned on the 20th and Jesus H Christ. I was amazed by Misha Collins’ acting prowess in that first episode back like OMG. Has anyone else seen it? Can we flail together?
  • The girl who forgave the Nazis
    What an incredible lady. I visited Auschwitz a couple of years ago and I’m fascinated and disgusted that it even happened, its Holocaust memorial day in January, so these programmes are always around this time of year, this was such an interesting documentary on how a survivor could find it in themselves to forgive those actions. If you missed it and can find it on catchup, it was an interesting watch.

 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Just finished my 2015 scrapbook!

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I finished my 2015 scrapbook! I’ve never kept a scrapbook before and its definitely something I will be continuing into 2016, it was so much fun and really weird looking back on all these pictures and events that took place over the year!

Birthday boy!

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My nephew, Freddie, celebrated his second birthday!

Internet, do these look more like foxes now?

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I made use of the fox shaped cookie cutter I received for Christmas (and some vegan butter that really needed using up) to make foxy biscuits, maybe I’ll feature them as my first Great Bookish Bake Off post of the year?

❄️

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January suddenly got very cold! This was the view I woke up to one morning!

I learned depth of field

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Finally getting the hang of depth of field after three weeks of photography lessons. Also remember back in May when I said I wasn’t going to collect tsums and would only have the Big Hero 6 ones. Yeah, that didn’t really work out for me.

Lastly, a picture of a picture, it was my Grandad’s birthday on the 29th, so I insta’d my favourite picture of the two of us together, also featuring my dad and a large slab of chocolate cake that I appear to be force feeding to the aforementioned birthday boy. (I have no recollection of where this photo was taken. Also yes, I was once a natural blonde, why it couldn’t stay that colour, God only knows.)

What I did on YouTube this month:

Leah Loves 4: Not A Christmas Haul


2015 a year in review

What I loved on YouTube this month:

As always, I watched everything that Casey Neistat uploaded because he is like the King of vloggers, though I suspect everyone saw his video of him snowboarding through New York because that was all over the internet and all over the news in the last few weeks, I also enjoyed the very welcome return of Crabstickz, PJ battling some evil pens, Dan and Phil beginning a series of Undertale, which reminded me of Pokemon, my friend Joe doing an incredible dance recess, the conclusion of Hazel’s Time of the Month series and of course, James Cordon’s carpool karaoke with Adele!

What have you guys been up to this month? Have any of you seen/read any of these things? Let me know!

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

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Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls – Lynn Weingarten

Its pitched as Gone Girl meets Thirteen Reasons Why and though it did have Gone Girl like elements to it, it also reminded me of Far From You and the TV show, Pretty Little Liars, and at the same time, it reminded me of nothing else I’ve ever read. It was familiar but also wildly unique to me. Basically, this is one book that starts slowly, but once it has you in it’s grips, you might as well kiss your social life goodbye.

June barely has time to mourn the death of her best friend Delia, before Delia’s ex-boyfriend convinces her Delia was murdered, and June is swept into a tangle of lies, deceit, and conspiracy.

Yeah, the blurb doesn’t exactly give you much to go on does it?
Basically, this is the story of June and Delia, two girls who were the very best of friends until certain circumstances involving June’s boyfriend came into play, now they barely see it each other. New Year’s Eve, June gets a phone call from Delia that she ignores, the next day, Delia is breaking news having apparently committed suicide? But did she? Who is really responsible?
Man, I should write blurbs. Though the lack of a blurb stops you from making assumptions about this and really throws you into the deep end. So, perhaps no blurb is the way to go.

Anyway, this is kind of a hard one to review without giving away the massive Gone Girl element of the story, so forgive me if this is a bit vague. I’ll try my best.
I picked this up on NetGalley because the title intrigued me, I love the Virgin Suicides and I wondered if this would be similar. It isn’t. What I got was a twist filled mystery told through June’s eyes in the present and through her memories in the form of flashbacks as we got to know Delia and a bit more about their friendship. It did take me a while to get into to be honest, the first few chapters moved a little slowly and I found myself getting distracted by everything, but then, woosh, all of a sudden this book gets under your skin, it grabs you and it will not let you go. All I’m saying is, if you pick this up and after a few pages you’re wondering why, just hang in there. Trust me.

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls is an intricately woven mystery with a cast of fascinating characters none of whom you can really trust and all of whom you suspect of wrong doing. There was also a surprise LGBT moment, I love a surprise LGBT moment! The imagery is amazing, the darkness of it alluring and it was so freaking quotable. I am going to bring back my ‘Love this quote’ feature because I found a doozy in there, honestly.

The back of the book compares this to Gone Girl. Honestly, I hated Gone Girl, it was cliched and ridiculous, this one the other hand was far superior. If Gone Girl was the book of the year, then Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls is the book of the decade.