SUMMER

29 Jun 2016


It's time for my seasonal picks which seems to have quickly become a feature here that I love compiling so hopefully you love them just the same. For summer, while there's a big change in the weather I find, there are very little changes I make myself so this is just a small one this time. 

BEAUTY

This is the one I probably least change apart from opting for a BB Cream a lot more. My nails, as always, change as I go for more pastels. I like Barry M Gelly Shine Nail varnishes in Papaya and Acai Smoothie. I always say when my friend never believe me that I can tan and, while they think I'm lying I can I just never go into the sun so I get one so from a bottle will do. For every day I reach for the Garnier Summer Body Lotion which gives my body that sunkissed look. If I'm going out or if you prefer an even more tanned look the St Moriz Tanning Foam has been a favourite of mine for years since the days I adopted the orange legs look in high school. Now, I think I've got how to use this and it works perfectly and, I feel, looks natural. One of the more basic beauty items is deodorant and when it gets warmer I don't want to be worrying about sweating and having to re-apply deodorant throughout the day so I reach for either my Perspirex Original or Comfort* Roll-on deodorants that last all day. You apply it before you go to bed the night before and there's no need to apply again in the morning to have it last the whole day. It's a life saver in the summer!

BOOKS

I'm a YA lover all year round but I know it's what more people chose to read preferably in summer so as always I would suggest Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley- the book I reread every summer. One that I read earlier this year at the wrong time really that I would recommend you read this summer is Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe. It's set over summer and so is the perfect setting, obviously, to read while it's sunny outside. 

FASHION

I have been hunting for the perfect pair of sunglasses this summer and I found these ones of ASOS that I absolutely love and can't wait to wear. A big trend this summer that I'm on board with is Bardot tops I bought this one of from Dorothy Perkins and I know that New Look has an extensive array of different colours and patterns at great prices. Cami tops are a fail safe for me for summer when it's super warm that one day of the year which, again New Look are great for and also Primark on a good day!

So there are some of my summer picks and there'll be a lot more summer related posts to come soon!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

"HE WAS AFRAID OF THE WORLD...BUT, MAYBE EVERYONE WAS SOMETIMES"

26 Jun 2016

HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOUR


I've put off writing this review. I convinced myself it was because I was busy with exams but they're over now and I still don't know how to talk about this book. I just don't think my review will do it justice. 

I've written about my love for John Corey Whaley numerous times on my blog with a review of Noggin' and his debut novel (and my favourite book) Where Things Come Back. John Corey Whaley never fails to impress me with storylines that just run with ease; he makes writing look as easy as tying your shoe laces. 

When I heard he had a new book on its way, I had to pre-order it and even trusted him enough to have written another amazing book to buy the hardback. The book came and I tried to put off the temptation of reading it while my exams were still going but I couldn't.

It follows two perspectives: Solomon Read and Lisa Praytor. Solomon hasn't left his house in over three years- not even going into the garden. Lisa is an ambitious student who needs a killer essay to get her on the psychology course she wants and so when a chance arises, she decides to try and help Sol get better. 

What I like about Whaley's writing is how while, yes, there are some typical YA character tropes in the book, he manages to turn them on their head and add a different angle to typical conventions as well as adding elements I'm yet to see in another story. He manages to make you feel frustrated to situations while still feeling sympathetic towards them. In a lot of books when the author tries to make you sympathise at the end of a book with a character that has been nothing but horrible and annoying throughout the majority of the novel,  I can't sympathise with them (maybe that says something about my stubborn self) but John Corey Whaley managed it.

One of the many amazing writing qualities Whaley has is his humour- the witty one-liners in a very dialogue-driven book really helps replicate the realistic banter that friends have. The depiction of the friendship between both Lisa, Sol and Lisa's Boyfriend Clark was one I loved witnessing. While the book was focused on mental health, personally, I feel it was more of a friendship based book and I loved that- it made it all that more believable. 

YA is increasingly focusing on mental health issues which I think it great in raising awareness of disorders that affect teens today. However, a lot of them focus on similar subgenres of mental illness and I always feel there should be a wider spread of mental health issues covered and Whaley does that. Solomon is agoraphobic which is what has stopped him from leaving the house for so many years. Whaley depicts mental illness in that realistic way to try and stop the romanticising of mental illness that some YA mental health novels do. 

Something I always seem to look for in a book is relatability with characters and that I couldn't get with this book. I couldn't draw comparisons from my own life other than the interest in psychology that Lisa has. This is usually something that I say stops me from enjoying a book but in this case, I think it actually helped me enjoy it that little bit more and understand the character's separately 

This hilarious story of friendship and mental illness is definitely one to pick up this summer.

Whaley is just a YA genius and, dare I say, God.

Do you think you'll be picking this up? Have any recommendations yourself?
Hope you're doing great,

Sarah x


DEAR BILLY,

11 Jun 2016

I'll admit it. You're one of those friends who meant so much to me but I never really appreciated what we had until two years after you went away then came back and we decided to see each other. It filled me with happiness to see how well you were doing but a dry taste was left in my mouth from the regret I'd not seen you sooner.

Seeing you happy is what matters. I could tell you felt held back, in high school, from doing what you really wanted to do. But seeing you pursuing your dreams is envious. Yes, I did roll my eyes once or twice at your dream and how I judged it and thought it was unrealistic but now I give you permission to laugh in my face and say "I told you so".

Looking back, our friendship worked; we were both so childish but then dreamed big even though they were completely different. And now, two years later when I got a random message asking me to meet up with you I was so happy that you were now one of those that I could still call a friend. While a lot of our meal together, you spoke about your dancing and what you're going on to do and how strict it can be, in high school I would have rolled my eyes and thought you were just being self-centered. But I didn't stop you. I didn't want to stop you. I kept asking you questions because all I wanted to do was hear everything you'd done and have you fill in the two-year gap that was missing. I wanted to sit in awe at how much you changed and how I thought I'd accidently sat down at the wrong table because of how different you look now. 

Now you're in London living the dream and I'm stuck at home for the time being. But soon, hopefully, I can be the one bragging over dinner about what I have achieved and feeling like I've accomplished everything I want to because, like you, I will have figured myself out, I will be doing what I want to do and I'll have found the right path.

I see it, 10 years from now as I take a weekend off from my hectic job that,yet while busy, I still love and I'll visit you in London where you're performing at the Royal Albert Hall. Right now, you're already there on stage waiting for me but give me ten years and I'll be there with you captivated by your performance. And as the show draws to a close I'll be applauding you for your amazing performance, for how much you've accomplished and for how far we've both come. 

So please, don't leave the stage until I can be there in the audience soon. 

Sarah x



BOOK HAUL

9 Jun 2016

It's been a while since I've shared with you the books I've recently bought or been kindly sent. It's not as though I haven't been buying books because I definitely have I just haven't got round to sharing what I've bought with you til now. While a lot of books I've mentioned on this blog I'm just going to keep it to ones I'm still yet to show you and write about. Some of these it won't be long til I'll have read them and will be writing about them again so it'll give you a little taster of what's to come. 

When Book Tubers talk of their "Most Highly Anticipated Books" I don't understand how they can remember all these books to be released. I mean, I get my mum's birthday wrong every year so I could never do it! However, one I'd been waiting in anticipation for is Highly Illogical Behaviour by John Corey Whaley. I've actually already read this so I'll keep this short but, in summary, it's about a boy named Solomon Reed who, due to his agoraphobia doesn't leave the house. There is also Lisa who needs some great mental health story for her college essay so she decides to find Solomon.  That's all I'm going to say on that one; I'm currently writing a full review which should be out soon!

Now, these next two shows how long it's been since I've done a book haul as I got this at Christmas.  The first is The Accident Season by Moira Fowley-Doyle. I think I saw this on Cait: Paper Fury's blog a while back and thought I'd give it ago but sadly I've not got round to it just yet. The other is Landline by Rainbow Rowell. I have tried to give this a read and it sadly wasn't what I was expecting so never got into it but if you've read and you think I should give it another shot let me know! 

Keeping with Rainbow Rowell, she released a short story for World Book Day so I picked it up- it's Kindred Spirits. It's definitely an easy one for a revision break or two that I'll be getting round to very soon. 

A lot of my books I've bought are for my college course and most of them I've already read and reviewed. One that I've not got round to and doubt I will is Waves by Virginia Woolf. It sounded like such an interesting and different read but sadly a little too challenging for the time period I have to read it in but, hopefully, I'll get around to read it sometime in the future. 

In the same trip I picked up The Waves, I thought I'd treat myself and picked up The Revenant by Michael Punke. The only real reason I picked this up is because the film did so well at the Oscars and while I have no intention of seeing the film anytime soon when I do I'd like to have at least read the book. I think it's also something a little different to what I'd normally read so it'll switch things up a bit. 

I haven't been receiving many books lately. Mainly because I know I haven't had the time to give them a read and also the opportunity just hasn't arisen but from Hot Key Books  I did receive Mind Your Head by Juno Dawson. As a psychology student and keen person on mental health awareness loved to see this book on offer. I've not read much but it looks as though it tackles problems for teens our age that sadly we may not know much about. This is definitely one I'd recommend even before reading it.  

The other book I received was an exciting one- Summer Days & Summer Nights- an anthology of short stories from authors such as Veronica Roth and Cassandra Clare. There the only two authors I've heard of in the collection which I quite like. I may discover some new authors. The funny thing is I was going to but this just the other day and then the opportunity came about and I was like YES YES YES. This will be the perfect book to start the summer off.

So I'm up to date now! They are most of the books I've bought recently. Which one do you think I should read next? Are there any books you think I should pick up for summer?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

CLOSURE

4 Jun 2016

The thing holding me back is the hope that something will be better the second time round. Maybe that failed friendship might be worth another shot? While sometimes, second chances give great results, a lot of the time you're just as disappointed the second time as you were the first. 

With me, it's tomatoes. I know I don't like them but asking for a salad without them seems weird, tomatoes should be there if not it feels like something's missing. So I try them, again and again, knowing full well that my taste buds won't have miraculous changed and decided to like them again. But one day I realised what's the point in trying force myself to keep eating something I know I don't like. What is this really giving me? While that tomato anecdote was meant literally (like ew tomatoes) I mean it metaphorically too. 

Why do I keep trying to force something to happen when I know the results are going to leave me disappointed? I've come to the conclusion the answer is closure. There are friendships that were made and just drifted away but I always question 'what if?'. What if we didn't drift and what if the chance for a life-long friendship was given up too easily. Maybe all I need to do is get that closure and make sure I made the right decision in letting that ship sail instead of second guessing myself.

I think it's a case of trusting my instinct. If something doesn't feel right now why would it later? Just because you're a year older doesn't mean it will be any different. That bitch might still be a bitch, that lad might still think he can get any girl he wants and I still won't like tomatoes. Some things won't change and there's no point forcing something that should happen naturally and not contrived. 

Am I an idealist? I've never thought of it that way but maybe I am. But then I think how can I be when I see myself as a bit of a pessimist.

But maybe that's the thing.

Maybe I'm not a pessimist. I always want to see the best in people and my vision is blurred to see my ideals are just that.

But when I've been faced with a situation when I'm expecting different results the third time round when no changes have been made, I see a fool staring back at me in the mirror. Now I realise there it is.

There's my closure.

Nothing's changed.

Nothing will.

So let's just leave it there.

Sarah x
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