31 May 2018

Book Mail

Now that it's winter where I live, there's nothing I love more than sinking into a hot bath with a good book. I have plenty to choose from, including the latest Juno Dawson and Celeste Ng's next book (you know I enjoyed Everything I Never Told You a lot!). Here's everything that's made it's way to my letter box recently (or you know, the old-fashioned way by book store)... open your goodreads app stat!

Paris by the Book by Liam Callanan*
Judging by the title and the cover, this book is right up my street. Robert is a struggling author who often visits Paris to spend some time away from his wife and daughters. But when he vanishes for a significant time period, his family escapes to the city to try and find him. They turn to a manuscript Robert left behind and books set in Paris to help them on their journey to locating him, picking up more clues as they go. As Paris is such a romantic, gorgeous city I am looking forward to reading this, if only for the setting.

Lost for Words by Stephanie Butland
Coincidentally this story has similarities to the above, in that it involves a bookstore and some sort of mystery from what I can gather. Reading the line "Loveday Cardew prefers books to people" certainly caught my attention. The story starts off at a York bookshop where Loveday works and finds refuge in. However, something disrupts her routined life and everything changes. Apparently this is emotional and heart-rending, so I'm very intrigued about Lost for Words.

Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng
I feel like many people love and relate to Celeste Ng's books. Since finishing Everything I Never Told You, I've been eager to get my hands on her next release, Little Fires Everywhere. I'm hoping it will be as moving and captivating. Set in a suburb called Shaker Heights where everything is seemingly perfect and full of successful people, a new resident arrives and the carefully ordered community is shaken up. This has so many glowing reviews, including from Matt Haig and Reese Witherspoon.

Clean by Juno Dawson
Even though this is far from what I usually read about, I love Juno Dawson's writing so much it was hard to resist buying Clean. Described as something along the lines of Gossip Girl mixed with Girl, Interrupted, the story follows teen socialite Lexi as she enters rehab for her drug addiction. In a podcast I was listening to with Juno as a guest, she described how she wanted to write something very different from what she has in the past. I'm sure it will be amazing, because I find Juno's writing to be so compelling and easy to read.

Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer
I have just started reading this, and I already like the premise and the characters. Juliet writes letter to her mother who has passed away, placing them at her grave every few days. One day, Declan, a guy who is doing community service at the graveyard, comes across one of the letters and he can't resist writing back. They open up to each other, not aware that they actually know each other at high school. This sounds like a pretty easy read but one that should hopefully have some emotional impact!

*Review Copy

Do you like the sound of any of these books?


27 May 2018

May Playlist

There have been so many amazing album releases this month that I found it hard to pick just one or two songs from each artist. It started off with Beach House and their wonderfully atmospherical album 7, however Tranquility Base Hotel and Casino has stolen the show for me. As I'm sure you'll know if you're an Arctic Monkeys fan, it's a very different album but it's a change I've welcomed with open arms. Being a fan of The Last Shadow Puppets, it makes for a much easier transition into album number six. I could go on for ages about Alex Turner's lyrics and creative ideas, but it's enough to say it's been on repeat for two weeks now, and it just gets better with every listen - my favourite songs are American Sports and the title track. Otherwise, Dirty Computer is a fantastic listen and I looove it. I also can't stop playing James Bay's song Pink Lemonade, closely followed by Wasted On Each Other which has the perfect beat to walk home to ~because I'm cool like that~. Lastly, I'll give my girl FKA Twigs a mention as I've been listening to her EP here and there. Time to release new music, I think?! That's it from me, here's the playlist...


12 May 2018

New in Beauty: May

Generally, I try and limit my beauty purchases each month but recently I've picked up a few essentials you could probably classify as 'boring', however they've proved pretty practical so far! My skincare routine has had a bit of an uplift, I've added a new beauty tool to the mix, and I've switched up my hair washing regime.

Cetaphil Gentle Skin Cleanser
This iconic Cetaphil cleanser has been around for absolutely ages and I'm almost certain you'll know someone who has it in their bathroom cabinet. I have heard both good and bad things about it, but decided to buy a small bottle because my skin was having a freak out. I actually used to use this a few years ago, and while it didn't give me drastic results, it did keep my skin looking calm. I felt the cleansers I was using before either dried my skin out or were too heavy for use in the morning. I'm sure there's a better alternative out there, but until I find it I'll keep using this in the morning and an oil cleanser at night.

La Roche Posay Effaclar Duo
I have heard amazing things about this cream over the past few years and I've always wanted to try it but it has never been readily available in New Zealand until recently. It sounds slightly crazy, but after just one use I could tell a difference in my skin; nothing drastic, but my complexion and breakouts were less red looking. I've been using this for a couple of weeks now and I'm really impressed. I use it in place of my morning moisturiser and it works as such a great makeup base because it smoothes out pores and leaves skin feeling incredibly soft. As my skin gets quite oily during the day, this really appealed because it somewhat mattifies skin without drying it out. It's not like this has cured me of all pimples, but the existing scars I have on my face have noticeably gone down.

Bumble and Bumble Sunday Shampoo
Although this was a slightly expensive purchase (for a shampoo) I really wanted to try it after, again, hearing great things. Over the last few months I've noticed my hair gets really oily at the roots and dry at the ends, so I thought I could benefit from using a cleansing shampoo weekly to get rid of any product build-up and generally make things more squeaky clean. I've used this a couple of times in the last two weeks and I've found it does make my hair less slippy and oily, and it also does a good job at reducing frizz which I didn't expect. Overall, a thumbs up from me.

Morphe MB31 Angled Buffer Brush
While I still occasionally use a Beauty Blender with my foundation, I've been loving switching back to brushes because it buffs product in so much better. I knew my Real Techniques Buffer Brush really needed to be replaced, so I decided to try one of the Morphe brushes. While I could have gone for one of the more expensive ones, I'm really chuffed with this one. The synthetic bristles are unbelievably soft and I find the angled shape works well in places like around the nose and chin. I'd be interested to know what their other brushes are like.

Have you tried any of these products?



3 May 2018

April Reads

I think it's a really exciting time to be an avid reader, with so many good releases set for the coming months. Along with new releases, I've been trying to buy and read books that I've heard really great things about - you know the books that everyone goes on about? In doing so I think I found one of my favourite books I've ever read. I've also tried to read a mix of non-fiction and fiction as I can get pretty stuck in my ways and read the same type of books over and over. I finally tackled Richard Ayoade's The Grip of Film, which I've been meaning to read since it's release and She, a book about some of the world's most well-known and unknown renegade women. If you're looking for a new read, sit tight! Here's everything I read last month...

She: A Celebration of Renegade Women by Harriet Hall
Harriet Hall, a journalist who mainly writes about fashion and feminism, was a guest on Emma Gannon's podcast Ctrl Alt Delete, and I really enjoyed hearing about the process of writing this book. She was commissioned to write a book about famous rebellious and traitorous women who defied the odds in one way or another. There's a real mix of women in here, from the very well-known to the women you've never heard of - and she makes an effort to make the book as diverse as possible. As each women gets just one page of writing, this is really easy and accessible to read and you hardly get bored hearing about the amazing things women have done throughout history despite men sometimes getting all the credit. This is such a lovely coffee table type book with it's beautiful cover and lovely illustrations, but equally very substantial and well researched - in other words it's not just a pretty book.

They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
When I saw the title of this book, I was very intrigued for obvious reasons, and as I delved into it, I could see what an interesting and unique concept it was. Set in an alternate world, a company called Death-Cast calls people to tell them they will die some time that day, so they can say their goodbyes and enjoy their last day alive. An app called 'Last Friend' allows strangers to connect for comfort on their last day, and this is how the two main characters meet. Both teen boys have different backgrounds and are almost opposites of each other - one is anxious and scared of the world, and the other has had a hard life and more of a careless attitude. Personally, I found the idea more compelling than the actual book - parts of it did drag slightly, although near the end it really picked up and was more thrilling. There are some interesting elements to this book and it's still one that keeps you guessing, but this didn't necessarily give me the emotional impact I was looking for unfortunately.

Everything I Never Told You by Celeste Ng
This is one of those books that I think so many people would enjoy - it explores themes that we can all relate to and it grabs you from the beginning. Set in the 1970s in small-town Ohio, the book follows a Chinese American family. When parents Marilyn and James Lee discover their daughter Lydia has been found dead in a lake, their family is thrown into chaos. Written so we see the perspective of the whole Lee family, everyone starts to question what really happened to Lydia as they explore their past and the secrets they've kept. I found it was so easy to get into, and even the more slow-moving parts were gripping and interesting. Ultimately it made me think about how we never really know what is going on in someone else's head, even someone you live with and see every day. This book was written beautifully and bought up all kinds of emotions in me, so I couldn't give it anything other than 5 stars - definitely one to add to my 'favourite books of all time' list.

The Grip of Film by Richard Ayoade
This is a tricky one, because while I really love Richard Ayoade and I get the idea behind it, I can't say I enjoyed reading this book. It's 'written' by Gordy Lasure (but actually by Richard himself), a misogynistic Scottish film buff who gives his take on what makes a good movie. Richard's (or Gordy's) humour is quite peculiar and the references are hard to follow sometimes which made me feel lost most of the time when reading. The humour is also very, very repetitive - Gordy is quite the character! There were some parts I found funny, but I guess it depends if you like satire or not. I'm still happy I own this book because the cover is amazing - (could I have it in poster form please?)

Do you want to read any of these books?


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