FORGOTTEN FAVOURITES

28 May 2015

There have been points in my reading time that I've declared a book my favourite or one of and after being consumed with so many new and amazing books, you sadly forget them but I don't want to forget them and so I thought I'd share four of the books that I have once loved and still loved but had just forgotten even though they have played apart in shaping my reading interests and love for reading as a whole.

Noughts & Crosses // Malorie Blackman
This was the book where, I think, my love for reading really grew. It was a set text back when I was in Year 9 and I remember loving the novelty of having different perspectives which was something I'd never seen in a book before. I also loved how Black where supreme over White which, from history, we no has not been the case and so it shows how life might have been in life was the other way round. After reading this in class, I went he and read all the other three plus a short extract book that was a world book day book as well. I really do feel I should re read these books as well as telling you to at least read the first of the four if you haven't already. 

The Perks of Being A Wallflower // Stephen Chobosky
This was another significant book and this was the bok that acted as a door to the YA fiction heaven. It was the first book of its kind that I read and I remember being amazed at the topics it covered as, at that point in my life, a lot of those topics were, sadly not widely discussed and so reding this book really was a blessing with it tackling some unspoken issues. It encouraged me to go on and read more YA which is the genre I seem to most indulge in now still.

Looking For Alaska // John Green
This was actually the first book I ever reviewed on my blog which you can still read here even though it's not the best. This was the second John Green book I read after the usual first one of TFIOS and this quickly became my favourite. It had me in floods of tears at points even though I knew what was about to happen. If I'm completely honest, I can't remember a lot of this book because it's been so long but I remember declaring it my favourite John Green book. I've forgotten so much of this favourite that I will no doubt be giving this a reread soon. 

Ketchup Clouds // Annabel Pitcher
This was a book I spotted just after it had been released and was immediately drawn to the plot being about a girl sending letters to a man on death row and telling the story about how she thinks she is responsible for someone dying. It all sounded dark but the the tone of the book was very sweet and one that I really enjoyable. While it did take quite a dramatic change in tone, from what I can remember, I still really did enjoy it and I think part of the reason was because I'd picked it up to read when no one else was really talking about it and so it felt like my own little secret book but no I really do suggest picking this up if you're into YA as probably mos of you are. 

So there are just four forgotten favourites that I felt needed to be given a little more credit on my blog. Do you have any forgotten favourites?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x


FINDING AUDREY

25 May 2015


I was lucky enough to be sent the new Sophie Kinsella book "Finding Audrey"from Penguin Random House and oh how I loved this book! I haven't been reading properly for a few months due to exams and after my last exam last Thursday, I came home to find this through my letter box, I took it upstairs and read it all right there and then with in 4 hours. I really enjoyed it.

Our main protagonist will come as no surprise as it's Audrey; a 14 year old girl who, after a traumatic experience at school, started to suffer from social anxiety and depression and so was pulled out of school where she stayed at home in her dark bedroom watching television. Nothing seems to be improving until her brother's friend Linus comes in and helps her on her way to recovery. 

Sophie Kinsella did amazingly well with this being her first YA novel. She tackled the subject of anxiety in such away that was believable as well as not being over the top. What I've found with book that have centered around mental illness is that the authors makes the character's disorder their identity and that their life is nothing more than that that illness whereas Finding Audrey looks at life outside the mental illness and shows that just because you suffer from depression or anxiety doesn't mean you can't be happy at points or can't be funny which was shown through the funny lines that I did smirk and laugh at some parts which I can't remember the last book that really did make me laugh. It also shows that no one is defined by their past with their being very little reference to what happened that was one of the underlying causes of her anxiety and I think that it all carries such a great message.

I liked how the whole book didn't just centre around the Audrey's illness but also looked at Audrey's family as a whole as well as exploring gaming addiction with her brother and how families carry on. It's a great one to relate to and realise that you're not the only family who sometimes seem like they're at the point of break down and that your mum isn't the only one who is always wanting to known what you're doing. 

Like any YA novel these days, there is a love story and I really like the one in Finding Audrey between Audrey and Linus. It's nothing too cliche but it's also nothing different but what I liked about it was how unforced it seemed and how natural the two characters were coming together. It wasn't too cheesy, it was just right. Romanticising mental illness, I feel, is a no no and there has been controversy over this happening in recent years. In my opinion, Finding Audrey did it right. They didn't romanticise mental illness but just had a love story where one of them is overcoming a mental illness. While, yes, Linus does help and encourage Audrey to do what she can to recover, Audrey is the one in control and she is the one, ultimately, trying to make herself better. 

An aspect of the book I really enjoyed was the film scripts as Dr.Sarah (Audrey's therapist) asks Audrey to record what happens in a day and this was such a unique and clever way of showing the journey and progress Audrey made through the book. I also liked some of the English-isms and the modern aspects with mentions of certain TV shows and Starbucks.

It was such a quick read and, while I wish it was longer, I think it may have taken away from the experience as a whole. I really did enjoy this book and if you're looking for a simple and quick read that you will fly through, this is definitely one to check out when it's released on June 4th which you can preorder here in hardback with the beautiful cover it has!

Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

*While I was sent this book, my opinion has been influenced in no way :-)

BREATH

21 May 2015

I'm back and hopefully will quickly adapt back to being in the whole blogging swing of things. My exams are now all done and I now have two weeks off before I have to enter the doors of college again for a few weeks before some can start but at least now I can breath a little easier and have my shoulders feel weightless with the exam pressure now being lifted. 

I do feel quite bad that I've missed so many posts over the past month due to exams and so I'm hoping to write more in the next coming weeks with ideas brewing inside my head already. I might (still undecided) do a week of blog posts to update my blog and as well as you lovely people with happenings of my life as well as some bits you might enjoy reading. I was thinking of doing a post a day for a month but if you know me, I can't stick to anything and, also, while I want to post more, I still want it to have some meaning behind it and not just "I ate 3 slices of toast today" but in between the exam stress, feelings on certain topics have built up and I want to share that with you all.

With exams over I can also now focus a little more on myself and what I want to do during summer and the next few months which include writing, writing and more writing as well as attempting to reorganize my jumble sale of a life. 

This post is obviously just a quick one to say that by Monday things will be back to normal with the schedule as my exams are now over!

Have you been having any exams? How they going?
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

WRITING PT.2

16 May 2015

My exams have officially started. In fact, I've had 3; Psychology, Sociology and finishing the week with grueling two and half hour English yesterday. I actually only have two exams left which is just another psychology and sociology and so I thought I'd have a break from my frantic revision to fill you in on something I started a lot earlier than planing. If you read my post "Writing" I discussed that this summer was going to be the summer I write something that I'm proud of. With revision I wouldn't have time but once I have an idea I tend to run with it as fast and as soon as I can and so I've already written the first chapter.

I planned to publish the first chapter after my exams but procrastination overwhelmed me and I have Chapter 1 of my first ever published story over on Watt Pad which you can start here. I've entitled it "Letters Lost" but it's not great,I know that, but for now I can't think of anything better. I thought I would give you a brief synopsis here of the story I've started to write:

Ally and her family have never stayed in one place for long as moving around the country for her dad's job has become a way of life even though her dad promises every time that it's the last move. Next destination: Manchester- a place they haven't been before and Ally suspects it will be just like the rest.
 Sarah has finished high school and has started college. After reflecting on the past 5 years of high school she realises that her time there wasn't really all that great and that she regrets not doing certain things and telling certain people how she really feels. She doesn't want this regret and old demons to haunt her and her future so, in an attempt to be rid of them, compiles letters  of things she wish she had said as well as some friendly advice to help those chose people in the future. 
 Due to an amazing coincidence, the stories of Ally and Sarah collide with circumstances that will effect both of their futures. A story of change, regret and hope.

You are going to judge the book straight off my awful summary above that I highly apologies for;it was a quick two minute blurb and I will update it when I find the time but I do suggest judging it by the first actual chapter. 
I don't expect it to turn out to be the work of genius just a book with a story line I hold dearly to me. I will say now just in case anyone things I'm very full of myself to use my own name in the story, yes, some of the story line will be based on my experience of high school and people I know personally. However, some aspects will be changed as well as names. I won't be saying which will be true and which are the work of fiction- I want to leave it up to you, the reader; I think it'll be half the fun! Yes, I could still change my own name but I don't think I will personally, connect with the story as much myself and, for this, I really want to as I'm also using the writing experience as closure on the relationships I left behind in high school as it's been something I've been struggling to get over my first year of college and I'm sick of looking back and want to turn my head round and look forward. I've been looking back so long I think I've got a kink in my neck.

There probably won't be an update for a month or so but, like I said, I was very eager to share this first installment with you and I would love to hear your truly honest opinions and all constructive criticism I welcome and hope you enjoy it if you do read it!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

APPS

4 May 2015


Apps seem to run and organise my life and I'm always on the look out for the new apps that hook me in and make my and my phone's life that little bit better. I rounded up some of my favourite apps last year- it's not the best post but if you're interested you can have a look here. I'm going to get into it and share with you four apps that I love. 

Spotify.
I'd been against Spotify for ages due to the high price of a monthly subscription but when they offered back in January for 3/4 months for just 99p how could I not and since then I've been hooked and has been great for the bus journeys into college. You may have also noticed it's also what I've been using for monthly playlist and it's such a great way to discover new music and listen to other people's playlist. My months have now run out and I'm not renewing due to the high price but I will still be using it when I have wifi connection and my monthly playlists that's for sure!

Duolingo.
This isn't an app I've used all too recently but it's probably one of the best apps out there. It's a free way of learning a language from scratch or pick up where you left off. I currently learning French after starting to learn it in high school but stopping as I didn't want the French exam pressure. This is such an amazing app and it's doubly amazing for given such a great service for free. I actually recommend this to the lovely Brogantatexo and then just a week later mentioned it as her favourit app due to my recommendation ( yes, I did feel slightly proud!). Everyone should learn a language and this is app is the perfect place to start. 

Dropbox.
This is a great one for those who, like me, take photos for Instagram and want to take them off your phone and onto your laptop or vice versa. It's so easy to set up so you can access files from you computer or your phone through the app. It has made my life so much easier instead of having to send countless emails to myself to get things from my phone and computer. This is such a useful app to have just in case. 

Wunderlist.
This app I've seen recommended quite a lot and it's only been over this past month I've really started to use it. I'm a massive fan of a list but the one downfall of writing them on post it notes and accidentally leaving them around is that I lose them but with lists being on my phone being able to have as many as I want is great. It's also great to keep track of homework and deadlines as you're able to set alarms. There's also something insanely satisfying about ticking the box to say that the task is complete. 


So these are just four apps that I love and I'm planning on doing another purely for photography apps so let me know if you'd like that- I have some great ones!
What apps do you love and are handy to have?
Hope you're doing great, 
Sarah x

P.S starting this week for the next couple of weeks while exams are on, there will be only one post a week; I hope that's ok as it just makes my life a lot easier!
design by amanda inez