Friday, 31 July 2015

Recent Scrapbooking Videos...

Happy Friday!

Just one more day in the office, and then I'm off to our little beach caravan for the weekend with my boyfriend. I won't be posting any book reviews whilst I'm gone (there are a few coming up next week!) but I thought I would leave you with some recent scrapbooking videos.

In May I subscribed to the fabulous Like For Ever scrapbook kit, a UK-based kit club run by a lovely lady called Nicola. I've loved all three of the kits I've received and every month I post an unboxing, and a review of everything I then make with that kit. People are always asking me to share more of my scrapbooking, and I figured this is a good way to do so.

Here is my Layout Share of June's kit, Stripy Straws:

... And my unboxing of July's kit, Dream Big:

Hope you enjoy, and have a lovely weekend! 

Wednesday, 29 July 2015

Book Review: Go Set a Watchman

*Sigh* I wish I had better things to say about this book. I rated it 2/5*.

I want to begin my review by stating that To Kill a Mockingbird is a beautiful, beautiful work; in fact it's one of my all-time favourites. For those who don't know, Go Set a Watchman is essentially the sequel to To Kill a Mockingbird... however it was actually written first.

From what I have gathered, Harper Lee wrote a first draft of Go Set a Watchman, presented it to publishers, and was told that they were far more interested in the antics of Scout's childhood than her later years. Lee was advised to go away and create a story based around a younger Jean Louise & Co. instead, which she did, and To Kill a Mockingbird was born. Go Set a Watchman remained unedited, and unpublished. 

I'm going to try and keep this fairly brief; If you cherish To Kill a Mockingbird, seriously consider whether or not you want to read this novel. 

It is set when Scout is in her mid-twenties, and has come home from New York to visit her aging father; childhood hero Atticus Finch. There is much debate about whether Atticus is portrayed as a racist or not in this book; personally I think Lee deliberately left Atticus' real feelings quite ambiguous. Infuriatingly, he doesn't really argue his point... but regardless, large portions of the book made for uncomfortable reading and I found myself losing respect for once-loved characters.

Scout is childish and hurtful to the man who loves her, Henry, but he himself doesn't behave much better. Incidentally, her love interest is supposedly one of her best childhood friends... and yet I don't remember him from To Kill a Mockingbird at all? You would have thought that if he was so important in Go Set a Watchman, Lee would have written him into To Kill a Mockingbird... but apparently not! Additionally, her uncle actually punches her in the face, twice, at one point and no one bats an eyelid. Overall, as the publishers originally told Lee; the most enjoyable parts were the flashbacks to Scout's childhood.

Technically, the novel obviously isn't sound as it is an unedited draft; there's a lot of sudden first/third person tense change and some glaring spelling/grammatical errors. I was expecting it, but it still irked me whilst reading it.

Honestly, in summary, I wish I hadn't read it. I have also heard rumour that Harper Lee may not have even given explicit consent for the book to be published, so I feel even more uneasy about the whole thing. If I had the chance to un-read it, I would! 

Hopefully I will have a far more positive review up for you soon,

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Huge June/July Book Haul!

I didn't buy books for a long time... and then in June and July I went crazy. 

I'm not sure why book buying comes in such waves for me. I'll honestly go months without feeling the urge to splurge... and then all of a sudden I blink and I'm in Waterstones, with an armful of YA and no recollection of how I got there *ahem*.

June and July were full of book-buying, and I thought I'd share some of my purchases with you here (but primarily in a video on my YouTube channel, which you can find below.) The books I picked up were;

. A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas (a signed copy!!)
. You by Caroline Kepnes
. The Great Gatsby & The Beautiful and Damned by F. Scott Fitzgerald
. The Princess Diaries books 1-10 by Meg Cabot
. Royal Wedding by Meg Cabot
. Armada by Ernest Cline (another signed copy!!)
. Go Set a Watchman by Harper Lee (review coming soon)
. A Thousand Pieces of You by Claudia Gray
. All the Light we Cannot See by Anthony Doer
. Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls by Lynn Weingarten
. Room by Emma Donoghue
. Rebecca by Daphne Du Maurier
. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma (already read it, wasn't too impressed sadly!)
. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
. Angela Carter's Book of Fairy Tales
. The Arabian Nights
. Hans Christian Andersen's Fairy Tales

Embarrassingly... those aren't the only books I bought in June and July, and I've bought more since. We'll save those for the next haul though, heh. 

If you want to see the books properly and hear me ramble about them, here's my video!

I hope you're all well, and I will speak to you soon!

Friday, 24 July 2015

Book Review: Life With a Sprinkle of Glitter

I kind of bought this on a whim (as in, it was £4.99 on amazon and it was midnight which = poor decisions haha) and I honestly didn't expect to enjoy it. In fact, I was going to return it as soon as it arrived, because non-fiction just isn't my thing. 

Being a bit of a magpie though, I was taken in by the pretty cover and after having a quick flip-through, I decided to read it. I'm glad I did! I skimmed over a few of the chapters (I'm really not that interested in fashion or makeup, and I've already graduated from school/college/university so some of the sections just weren't applicable to me) but on the whole it was really enjoyable and sweet. 

I don't really watch Louise's videos any more (I have no time to do anything any more! Haha), but even I could tell that she played a huge part in writing the majority of the book; you can really 'hear' her and I appreciated that. I loved her honesty (the dating stories were hilarious and the section about baby glitter made me a bit teary!) and I'll definitely be trying out some of those anti-baking recipes. 

It was a cute and uplifting read, just like Louise intended. I rated it 3.5 stars on Goodreads and would recommend it to those of you who need a giggle and a pick-me-up.