RECENTLY READ

3 Feb 2018

I think I'm getting worse and worse at making sure I have time to read. I thought 2016 was a bad reading year but, some how 2017 managed to top that. I'm not going to promise I'll be better but I'm going to at least try. Starting as I mean to go on, here are four of my most recently read books and a little review of each of them.

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STATION ELEVEN // EMILY ST JOHN MANDEL

★★★★☆


Post apocalyptic is a genre I don't often venture into but after the recommendation from my sister and later urged by a friend to give it ago, I finally gave it a read. I was unsure to start but I grew to love the different twist this book gave compared to usual zombie-killing apocalyptic novels and films. It focussed more on the life that people lead after and how they survive. I appreciated the links between different people's lives and how everything kind came together. This is one I'd definitely recommend and one that, if it was something I did often, I would read again. 

HARRY POTTER & THE ORDER OF PHOENIX // J.K ROWLING 

★★★★☆


This has to be my favourite of the Harry Potters so far. While it was the most daunting of the series due to it being the longest book I've ever read. Surprisingly, it didn't feel like it was that long and maybe that's why it has to be my favourite of the books so far. There were so many plot points that I really enjoyed and I felt like the story really developed with more darker tones starting to be added now in the build up to the final books. While it is my favourite so far, I sadly can't give it five stars as *BIG SPOILER* Sirius' death was no where near given the space it deserved. It wasn't as impactful as I wanted and for someone who Harry had started to become more and more close to, I felt it didn't do their relationship justice. 

TURTLES ALL THE WAY DOWN // JOHN GREEN

★★★☆☆


It's been a while since I've read a John Green but I wasn't going to miss snatching this up and giving it a read. His books played a massive role in the reason I got into reading but also blogging; one of my first ever posts was about Looking For Alaska. Time has pass since then and I've fallen in and out of love with reading. This book is one that for any John Green fans, they will love. My feelings were mixed on this book. While I enjoyed the mystery aspect of this and the reuniting of friends, for me, it just didn't have the same impact that his other books have had. I remember reading the first few pages and actually rolling my eyes. I was reading thinking it was a little pretentious and overly wordy in a way it just didn't need to be. However, I really enjoyed the plot of the story as it covered topics of love, grief, friendship and mental health; all topics that make for a great YA book. I think the way he handled the topic of mental health was actually done really well and shed some light on some realities of this illness. I can't really justify only giving it 3 stars other than maybe I'm starting to out grow his style? I will always and forever read John Green books but sadly the novelty that I used to think they held seems to be disappearing. While I say that, it wasn't a bad book and had so many good points like the mystery (I love a YA mystery!) and of course it's got the famous John Green metaphors that everyone loves. It wasn't his strongest book but I'm glad he's back and publishing. 


GOOD NIGHT STORIES FOR REBEL GIRLS // ELENA FAVILLI

★★★★★


This was a Christmas present and one I'm so happy I got. This book gives the stories of 100 amazing women throughout history. There's people you know and probably some you don't but they all have stories that need to be heard and recognised as amazing achievements. I also want to mention the fabulous illustrations that come along with each of the stories; all by different artists, it makes the book a celebration of being a woman. It's such an uplifting, inspiring book that I think it's one everyone should give a read. It's one you can read in one sitting (like me) or something you can come in and out of. While I might not be the main demographic of this book, it still really appealed to me. I also think how it's written and presented is something that will definitely appeal to younger children and can probably act as a really inspiring book for young girls. 

So here's there's my long overdue Recently Read. If you have any recommendations, feel free to throw them my way!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x

THE BEST OF 2017

22 Jan 2018


While I'm almost a month late, I wanted share with you some of my favourite products and memories of 2017.
The Good Stuff

SuperDrug Day Cream

I only picked this up at the end of last year as you might have seen in my "ON TRIAL SKINCARE" post. From that, it's quite apparent that I really liked this day cream. The texture, the smell, the absolutely fabulous hydration it gives my ever so dry skin is exactly what I need. Cruelty-free and super affordable made this an everyday staple in 2017. 

Superdrug Vitamin E Hydrating Mist

Super drug have been really killing it this year for me. Their face mist is another one of my favourites. While it's not a setting spray, it still gives my face a nice refresh and helps my make up look a little more dewey than it does without. Such an affordable addition to my make up routine. 

Kat Von D Foundation

Another one I picked up in the second half of the year. After getting a new job (that I last 3 days at) I thought I'd celebrate with a foundation I was eyeing up for a while. You can read all about my experience here in my more in depth review. Since writing this, my opinions on this foundation aren't as positive as I first said after having some more time to get used to it. However, this foundation has still been my full coverage choice whenever I need one. 

Freedom Eyebrow Powder

Throwing it back to the start of the year now when I decided to pick up this Anastasia dupe. This, along with the pomade, has made doing my eyebrows all the more easy. Having such a great colour selection, it wasn't hard to find the perfect ashy brown I needed all for only £4. I'm already on my 3rd one of these and it's worth it every time. 

The Body Shop Vitamin E Sleeping Mask

This has been the hydrating life saver of the year. I've come to apply this every night to combat my dry skin. It lets me wake up to better skin than I went to bed with. Now, with The Body Shop 100% cruelty-free, I more than happy to be sharing this product with you. I urge anyone with dry skin to give this a go! Something I use almost every night and I'm still no where near finishing it. 

Urban Decay NAKED Concealer

If only I'd discovered this sooner in the year...Since finding out Collection is not a cruelty-free brand I've been on the hunt for a replacement concealer. It's been hard to find one pale enough for me but this one is perfect! While slightly more pricey than my usual concealer, I think it's worth paying that little bit extra for something of better quality and cruelty-free. 


Books?

This has to have been the worst year for reading for me. If I wasn't reading Psychology related books that bored me to death, I was trying my best to read all the Harry Potters before I make it to 20 (sidenote: I haven't done it). Out of the minimal number of books I've managed to read this year, I have to give an honourable mention to Freshers by Tom Ellen. I am probably slightly biased with it being set at my university but it was one of the only books in a while that has made me laugh out loud and want to read the book within a day. It's definitely one for uni goers but even if you're not, I'm sure you could still relate to the funny nature of this teen book. 

Thanks for the memories

So I can usually tell whether a year has been a sucky one or not (even though the trend usually follows the former). 2017, however, is hard to categorise. With university taking up most of my time, my year has revolved around just that. So, I'd describe 2017 as average. With the stress of exams right at the start of the year laced with a few hysterical moments, I think my 2017 is best summed up as average. Nevertheless, there are some standout memories that I thought I would share. 

Music

With Lewis Watson back at the start of this year followed by Community Festival in Summer and then VANT and Nothing But Thieves to end the year, it's not been a mad one for music but the concerts I've witnessed were ones to remember. My first experience of a festival is one that has definitely set off a want to go to more festivals in the future. I forget how much I love the gig atmosphere so fingers cross to more gigs to come in 2018. 

Uni life

As I say, my life has basically come uni work and, if not, actual work at my part time job. Even with this stress, it's given me some great opportunities to live with and be surrounded by some of my favourite people. It's very rare that I don't go a day without laughing; whether it's from hearing a daft joke, internet meme or just losing the plot as we all become bogged down with deadlines. University life is definitely entertaining.

Friends

If it's not being surrounded by friends at university, having my friends from home come to visit has given me some great memories. It allows me to be a tourist in my own city as well seeing my old friends interact with my uni friends is just great. Having Kirsty come up for a weekend gave me the breather I needed from my never ending deadlines. Also, starting the year off with Jacob and Jade visiting me for my birthday and then again at the end of the year before we drove home for Christmas. This reminded me how lucky I am to have those two to act like three old women together.

So there's a little run down of the things I loved and enjoyed in 2017. Let's hope 2018 brings me more fabulous memories!
Hope you're doing great,
Sarah x 

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