August round up

Another month another comic con – this time my local one (again I was very good and didn’t buy all the Spider Man merch, so I feel like I deserve some sort of prize). My friends and I came up with a new tradition of playing board games on a Friday night and I got to not only witness my niece’s first ever trip on a plane, but also her first trip to Disneyland and bloody hell, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

What I read this month:

Gather the daughters – Jennie Melamed
Dear God this book was amazing, Bookbridgr sent me a copy of this just as the Handmaid’s Tale was wrapping up on TV, its almost like they knew I’d need something to fill the Offred shaped void in my life. There is so much to say about this book, so head here to see my full review, it’s incredible and was written by a woman who owns three shiba inus. So you know she has to be awesome.

The Profession of Violence – John Pearson
Yes, I did buy this book because of the double Tom Hardy on the front. Fun fact, I am descended from cockneys, my grandparents are from the east end, my grandad’s older brother knew the Kray twin’s brother Charlie from boxing and you know, around. Yes, the Kray’s had a brother. Not that you’d know that if you read this book because Charlie is only mentioned about five times in the whole thing. Whenever I’ve spoken to my grandad and his family about life in the east end under the Krays, I’m always told though they weren’t the sort of people you’d want to introduce your mother to, they kept their streets clean and stopped any sort of bother. Which if you know the east end, is quite a feat because that place was dodgy af. So I wanted to find out more about these people and read the book that inspired the film. It was ok, but I don’t feel like I learned anything I didn’t already know.

The Big Lie – Julie Mayhew
I’ve read a couple of ‘alternate reality’ stories exploring what could have been if Nazi Germany had come to Britain before Russia and been successful, but none aimed at younger readers or specifically about young LGBTQA+ women. This is the story of Jess, living in what was Britain in 2013, but Britain is part of the Greater German Reich, everyone speaks a mixture of English and German, she attends a school where the curriculum is influenced by the rules of the Hitler youth, and all other aspects of Hitler’s rule are every day life. Only because of her friend questioning everything, Jess starts to see that life isn’t as it seems… It was such an interesting read though such a shame that actual Nazis started hanging around America while I was reading it.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Last month I was at YALC and got given some Six of Crows art print things from a stall there, and this month I found the book at the library and oh my, this quickly became one of my favourite books of the year! The world building was spot on, the characters were brilliant and the story was incredible! I need all the Grisha novels in my life now!

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/ cinema screen this month!

  • Dunkirk
    Yes, I saw it again.
  • Vampire Academy
  • Jurrasic World
  • Valerian and the city of a thousand planets

TV I watched his month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Shadowhunters
  • Rick and Morty
  • Atypical
  • Defenders

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

successful first game night 📸 @krisskarnage79

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

whenever there is a star war, you'll find these folk guarding the galaxy

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

and we're off ✈️

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on


A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Last month this section was just filled Dan Howell, this month we’re full of James Corden! Firstly, this he’s also killing it with the interviews, like this where Jaime Lanister picks up Alexander Hamilton  and this Crosswalk Musical We also got great new vids from Charlie and Emily this month. Sammy Paul gave us a video that was a year in the making and this from Elliot Gough for Last Week’s guest edition!


In October I read…

This month’s challenge in the book genre challenge is paranormal and it took me an embarrassingly long time to work out that it’s paranormal month because it’s halloween in October. Shhh. It’s been a long month!
I spent the beginning part of the month in Berlin, so I didn’t have an awful lot of time to do much reading, plus SUPERNATURAL IS BACK YO. Anyway, here’s everything that I read in October!

pointPoint Pleasant – Jen Archer
This started out life as Destiel fan fic – for those of you that don’t know, Destiel is my OTP and I will go down with this ship. Anyway, Point Pleasant of course had names etc changed for it’s general release, but it was the perfect thing to start off this month, scary, sweet, with paranormal beings. Actually, and it usually takes a lot for me to heap so much praise on something, but this was genuinely one of the best things I have read all year and I cannot rate it enough! reviewed here.

lifeLife After Life – Kate Aitkinson
This was recommended to me and the premise intrigued me, also I was about to go to Berlin when I picked this up and there are parts of it set during the two world wars and in the city of Munich, which although isn’t Berlin, is in the same country as Berlin, so… Anyway, this is the story of a girl called Ursula Todd who dies and ends up being resurrected over and over again and each time she comes back, she lives an alternative version of her life. The writing is wonderfully poetic, the continuous resurrections are a little repetitive and dull after a while and while we’re talking about it, I’ve noticed other reviews don’t include trigger warnings so – there is sexual assault, abortion, ptsd and spouseal abuse in this. Just in case you were planning to read this and those things are triggering for you.

rulesThe Immortal Rules – Julie Kagawa.
This is exactly the sort of book I was scared I was going to end up reading this month. Basically, its a dystopia, where the world has been taken over by vampires and their society is the one that makes all the rules and the humans are either slaves to the vampires or living in slums. Allie starts out living in the slums until one day something horrific happens to her and she gets turned into a vampire and her sire happens to be super important, but not like other vampires. Le sigh. I think I might come back to it on a different ocassion, the writing wasn’t terrible but the story was a little cliched and I just wasn’t in the right head space for it.

hemlockHemlock Grove – Brian McCreevy
I watched the tv show last year and series two debuted earlier this year and seriously, there is not a gif in the world that accurately sums up the level of WTF with this book. This is the book equivelant of marmite, you are either going to love it or hate it. It is so bad it is bording on genius, but I love it all the same. I think the book shows Roman in a slightly different light than on the TV show and the chapter titles are hilarious. Plus, I managed to find an absolutely genius quote in there to grace my #LoveThisQuote feature!

vamVampire Academy – Richelle Mead
I don’t know whether you guys know this about me, but I am a sucker (pun intended) for trashy vampire novels. I bloody love vampires. I like stories about evil, blood sucking, human eating ones, I like broody tortured ones who eat animals, I like ones that join rock bands, I even a bit like Twilight. For the trashy vampireness about it, there isn’t much else that the book offers. Which is why I really wanted to read this. Its a bording school for vampires, what more could you want? Unfortunately, this was far too trashy even for me, I just did not like it at all. Sorry, but this is one vampire series I won’t be reading any more of.

envThe Last Little Blue Envelope – Maureen Johnson
I adore Maureen and I loved 13 Little Blue Envelopes, but this sequel was so unncecessary. I liked how the first book ended without any closure about the last envelope, I like that what started our as Ginny trying to find out about her aunt ended up with her finding herself, I loved everything about it, even the crazy notion that her parents would just let her gallivant around Europe without even a mobile phone for several months. But this, it was just so contrived, the adventures were a little… Pointless? Both love interests were complete asshats and Ginny seemed to have lost her tenacity from the end of the first book to this one. Sorry Maureen, but some stories don’t need sequels, this one didn’t.

hsFinding Harry Styles – G B Hope
I was sent this for review from the lovely people at Netgalley and oh my God. If there is one thing I love more than Harry Style’s hair, it’s dystopian fiction, so a dystopian novel about a girl desperately seeking One Direction before the apocalypse happens is obviously all kinds of genius. It’s not the best written book I’ve ever read and I wouldn’t recommend that you run out immediately to your shelf, but it’s a bit of fun and doesn’t take itself too seriously. Reviewed here.




This month’s genre was the very broad subject of ‘paranormal’ and I read: Point Pleasant, The Immortal Rules, Hemlock Grove and the Vampire Academy. I really wanted to enjoy the Immortal Rules and the Vampire Academy, I am a lover of trashy vampire fiction and both of these should have been right up my street, I just don’t think I was in the right head space to be reading them. Hemlock Grove, which should have been god awful was actually really enjoyable and Point Pleasant was the best thing ever!