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two trips to see Guardians of the Galaxy, there was new Paramore and new Fall Out Boy and a whole load of previously unpublished F Scott Fitzgerald stories were published!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.

May round up

May started off being way more social than usual! Coffee with two of my favourite ladies (well, I say coffee, it was juice in my case) followed by cinema and being kicked out of a pub! While summer appeared to come and go within two days during May, I did manage to squeeze in a bit of adventuring! This month I also hung out with the local ukulele orchestra in the hope that they think I’m good enough to join them and guested on Becky’s blog for mental health awareness week!

What I read this month:

11429619 A Short History of Tractors in Ukrainian – Marina Lewycka
What a title!  I now know from reading the book that this has very little to do with tractors and their history (though that is a plot point), so if you are looking for a book about the history of tractors written in Ukrainian, you should probably look for a different book…. This was an interesting read, despite the misleading title! I want to read more things about Europe and European cultures, let me know if you can think of any!

26114524The Only Thing Worse Than Me is You – Lily Anderson
Oh look, a trend of long titles is forming! I was initially drawn to this book because the cover is so cool and has a graphic novel/ comic book feel to it and then I checked the blurb and saw the words Doctor and Who in that order and thought, I should definitely read that! It was ok, if a bit long, so check my review here.

To Wed a Rebel – Sophie Dash
This isn’t the sort of thing I would normally read, but I know the author so… I read a similar book of theirs back last year, you can see the review of that here and the review of this here! I hope that this time next year when her next book is out that I’ll have read more in the genre because if they’re all like this one, it’ll be seriously fun!

Love and Other Man Made Disasters -Nicola Doherty. Another ARC which has a lovely cover I'll never get to store on my shelf.

Love and Other Man Made Disasters – Nicola Doherty
This had me at the first page, you know when you open a book and you just gel with it immediately? That was me with this book. Not only was Juno incredibly relatable, but the narration is so endearing and there is a The Fault in Our Stars reference within the first few lines so I was all over this! Check my review here!

25893533 (1) The Translation of Love – Lynne Kutsukake
Many thanks to Penguin Random House for this book!
You may have noticed this book doing the rounds, I am part of the blog tour, for which I am honoured! Those of you that have popped by here before will know that I love reading and learning about the period of history before, during and immediately after WW2 and that I also love Japan, so this was a great book for me!

Martini Henry – Sara Crowe
This was also sent to me by Penguin Random House, thanks guys! I was excited to get stuck into this as it is a story about a young girl who wants to be a writer and her adventures just trying to deal with life in general and trying to be an adult. I think we all know that feel, right? I did find our lead character, the writer, to be a little too much like Hannah Horvath (we all know she’s from the show Girls and I really don’t get on with her character, right?) at times for me to really sympathise with her, but it was still a wonderfully eccentric, quite British read, so look out for my review in the next few weeks!

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.

  • Captain America: Civil War
    OH MY GOD ITS SO GOOD I LOVE SPIDER MAN, I DON’T KNOW WHAT TEAM I’M ON, I JUST LOVED IT SO MUCH!
  • Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl
  • Sherlock Holmes
  • Ace Ventura: Pet Detective
  • Fifth Element.
    I bloody love this film. You have not lived until you’ve seen Gary Oldman with only half a head of hair and Bruce Willis running around in orange. Big Baddah Boom.
  • The Little Shop of Horrors
  • An American Tail
    A blast from the past on a Sunday morning!
  • To Rome with Love
    ** Disclaimer: I have a complicated relationship with Woody Allen films. On the one hand, his films are wonderful, they look beautiful, they’re well written. He’s an amazing film maker. I’m just very conscious that he is a problematic person what with the whole child abuse allegation and the marrying of his adoptive daughter thing.** You know, just in case any of you are triggered by his presence on this list.
  • Maleficent 
  • Spice World
    Can you believe I’ve never seen this before? Wtf even is this movie?

TV I watched this month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • 22/11/63
    This is becoming one of my favourite things on television, I need to track down the book!
  • Peaky Blinders
    It’s back. It’s back and its been so long and I am still way too over excited about it! You should take a look at this  if you’re not sure how much I love Peaky Blinders!
  • Once Upon a Time
    CAPTAIN SWAN. NO.
  • Orphan Black
  • Elementary

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Peaky Blinders time!

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I was very excited about the return of Peaky Blinders! Also, I love this hat and I never have an opportunity to wear it.

Took my Holga lens out for a spin during the sunshine. Think that photography course might have been worth something eh?

Off to ukulele club… Hoping to emulate tyler joseph and be actually good…

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Ukulele club was amazing and I am now a proud member of a ukulele orchestra!

Jumping on the umbrella bandwagon

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For some reason there are umbrellas hanging around Southgate… So, I decided to see them for myself and photograph them!

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

So, the first thing I want to mention is a channel I should have mentioned in the beginning of the year, I discovered it in January and its becoming one of my favourites and that’s RedHeadAbroad, she’s doing her own version of Pretentious Monthly Scrapbook (called CRAMPS) and everything she uploads just looks gorgeous and I’m very jealous of her life being in all these exotic places, so… Go check it out! Other mentions have to go to Dan, Phil and Louise playing ObamaLlama because I laughed so hard I think I might have pulled a muscle, Misha Collins (yes he of Supernatural fame), he visited a Trump rally and bloody hell, please America, don’t let that be a reality  and Emma Blackery because her new song is RAD, check it out here. I know I mention Casey Neistat in every single one of these, but even if that is the case, I can’t not talk about this – his vlog from the most incredible hotel room I have ever seen in my entire life. Plus there is a bonus drone rescue moment. Also, I love the music he uses in his videos, I want it on my iPod. Finally, I just wanted to give honourable mentions to this video by Jack Howard and this one from Tomska, because they’re both so #relatable.

March round up

I don’t know about anyone else, but it felt like February went on forever! Finally we’ve hit Spring! This March was significantly better than last March because my mother didn’t spend Mother’s Day in hospital this time around, even if it wasn’t a particularly great month for me mentally… Anyway! In March I got to do my usual coverage of World Book Day which was just as incredible as always (there was a Princess Leia this year and so many Mary Poppins’ as well as a Jake the dog, a Finn the human and a Scooby Doo!), I judged a talent show for the second year running, finally got all my instruments moved into my house (I learned how to play the Jaws theme and see it as being my greatest achievement of the month), I bought a coffee table (adult level unlocked), finished college and you know this post I made two years ago about whether or not to get a tattoo? Well, I’ve spoken to three tattoo parlours this month….!

What I read this month:

tumblr_o39c0rauQI1ugamu7o1_1280Escape – Leah Smith
I know, I’m a douchebag featuring my own book, but one of my goals for the year was to finally finish and upload this to my proper grown up website with all the other silly little stories I’ve written over the years, so I started the month by actually getting that last full stop on the page and copy editing. Its not the best thing I’ve ever written, but it isn’t as bad as I thought it might be. You can download a copy for yourself free from here if you like!

25337019Hot Feminist – Polly Vernon
Eurgh. So, I wanted to read more non fiction books on gender politics etc because that stuff is super interesting, so I was really excited to see this listed at Bookbridgr and requested it asap. It’s a shame then that the author of this book doesn’t really seem to understand the fundamentals of feminism and decided to really patronisingly explain how she is ‘hot’ and also a feminist. Like, yeah. and. Anyway, for a full review, you can head to this post here, even though I really hate giving bad reviews.

4584Everything is Illuminated – Jonathan Safran Foer
I wanted to like this so much more than I did. I just found that it was very style over substance and not in a grand Fitzgerald kind of way, but more of a look how linguistically clever I am with all these intermingling narrations and all these fancy bits and pieces I’m putting in here. It just felt a little… like it was trying too hard. Either that or I’m just  not clever enough to understand it properly…

25152479The Dolls – Kiki Sullivan
It feels like forever since I read a straight up YA fantasy. I was also drawn to this because it had very pretty pink edging on the pages and when the book was closed it just looked super awesome. I really need to stop with the being suckered in with a pretty cover, if I look for personality in people, I should do it in books too (this is why I don’t get on with Tinder very well) anyway, I was, from the blurb, hoping for a whimsical True Blood style story about witch craft and voodoo set in Louisiana where its all warm and hazy and all that… but honestly, it was just a bit… Meh.

20800223Oranges are not the only fruit – Jeanette Winterson
My friend Sophie recommended this to me ages ago, she also mentions it a lot on her YouTube channel, so I grabbed a copy when I was at the library because seriously, Sophie does have a great taste in books. I’d heard a lot about this book, mostly that it’s a great book for the LGBTQA+ community, but actually I think its just a great book for anyone who is growing up and realising who they are and who their parents think they are doesn’t have to be the same thing. Review here.

The night that everything changed PB.inddThe Night that Changed Everything  – Laura Tait and Jimmy Rice
I was sent this from the lovely people at Penguin Random House, I love it when people send me things! If anyone else would like to send me things, I would be more than grateful! This is a wonderfully entertaining story about two well matched people who’s entire lives are turned upside down by one throw away comment on one night. Check out my review and grab yourself a copy!

6473592Gone – Michael Grant
Can you believe this has been sat on my bookshelf for over two years? I know this because when I thought, I’ll read that and opened it, I found a voucher that entitled me to the sequel half price that expired in 2013. Ooops. Sorry I was so late reading this book whoever gifted it to me! Anyway, I was excited about this because its cited as being a modern day Lord of the Flies, but honestly I was kind of disappointed. I know its a series so there are four more books in which the various details of how it all came to be, but this one just didn’t answer enough questions for me. Also it just wasn’t dynamic enough considering all the stuff that was going on. So, I’m not entirely sure the half price voucher would have been used anyway!

23363874 (1)Reasons to stay alive – Matt Haig
I feel like maybe my review of this was a bit of an over share, so lets not go into it again. Just know that this is a great book regardless of whether you actually need a reason to stay alive or not. Its an honest, candid read that is sympathetic without being patronising and was exactly what I needed.

 

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.

  • Tomorrow Land: A World Beyond
    So many Disney feels, I want to go back! Though I have no idea what the hell happened. I can just assume that the Brit is a bad guy as per and that George Clooney, a robot and a teenage girl who likes baseball caps saved the day? Yes? Someone correct me below if it is in fact something completely different.
  • This is where I leave you
    Dysfunctional family story where not a single sibling looked anything alike. I find that a bit odd about films, like at least pick people with the same colour hair or similar shaped noses or whatever. Also, as great as Jason Bateman is in Arrested Development, he doesn’t make great choices when it comes to films really, does he? The best bit about the whole film was the fact that Yellow jacket from Ant Man played Kylo Ren’s big brother. (See what I mean about family members looking nothing alike?)  Adam Driver was the thing that kept me going until the end, he is a little (well.. 6’3) cutie and should be everyone’s baby brother.
  • Kingsman: The Secret Service
    I haven’t seen this since the cinema! Oxfords not brogues every time. I’m looking forward to the sequel!
  • Tangled
  • Cinderella
    Fun fact, I saw this in the cinema and thought it was alright, I watched it on Now TV and cried like a baby every time someone said “Have Courage, Be Kind.”
  • Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Licence to Drive
    I bloody loved this movie when I was a kid! I found it on Now TV and honestly, if you have Now TV, watch it! Its one of the worst things you will ever see in your entire life, hard core eighties cheese with the two Corey’s and a very young Heather Graham.
  • Zootropolis
    Great film, made up for the disappointment that was the Good Dinosaur! I really love the direction Pixar is going in at the moment! Also, finally Jason Bateman! You made a movie I liked!
  • Morning Glory
    Harrison Ford was the best thing about this film. Sorry. 
  • The Great Mouse Detective
    The best Disney movie. Like for real. You can fight me on that.
  • Hop

TV I watched this month:

  • The Night Manager
    Man, this just got better and better, more T Hiddles please! How great was the final episode!?!
  • The Aliens
    I bloody love Michael Socha! Confused the hell out of me that they swapped Tattoo Fixers around to put this on on a Tuesday instead! I’m not entirely sure how I feel about the concept, but I will watch pretty much anything with Michael Socha in, so…
  • Pretty Little Liars
    HANNA!
  • The People vs OJ Simpson
  • Once Upon A Time
    ITS BACK. ITS BACK. I GET TO SEE HOOK AGAIN AND HOPE THAT CAPTAIN SWAN RESURFACES.
  • Shadowhunters
    I came crawling back. Simon got hot. So….. Are Magnus and Alex ever going to get it on?
  • How to get away with murder
    I forgot it was back! If you’ve not seen this before, its basically a how to guide to excude sexual tension with everyone around you. Also how to get away with murder.
  • DareDevil
    Series two hit Netflix and I am so pleased to have Matt and Foggy back in my life again! Is it weird that I’m starting to ship Frank and Karen? #Kastle

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

As its world book day, my phone is repping the HP love

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Covering WBD is a highlight of being a journalist tbh.

Snow joke

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We had snow!

Close up!

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I found a tree full of wagtails in the middle of Bath, here’s a close up!

💙

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My niece took this picture of me and my nephew! I think she’s a better photographer than me!

On my last night of college I finally managed to take a picture I like.

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College is over, but I finally took a picture I like.

My brother is amazing!

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I bought a coffee table. Because I am an adult now. And my brother dropped by and built it for me. Because he’s awesome.

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
I’m so glad I started this feature because HOTDAYUM if I hadn’t I’d have needed to make an entire post just dedicated to this slam poem from Leena, I wish I were that articulate and creative. I also need to mention Tom Fletcher and his family being adorable, the new Civil War trailer 9OH GOD HAVE YOU SEEN ANT MAN AND SPIDER MAN ARE IN IT?) ((is it me or does the new spider man sound EXACTLY like Tyler Joseph?)). I also enjoyed PJ‘s interactive story and Tomska‘s latest sketch! I feel like I can’t break tradition, so I’ll also mention Casey Neistat, he celebrated his 365th daily vlog this month, so you can watch that here!