Book Review: Margot and Me

Book Review: Margot and Me

I read Margot and Me by Juno Dawson earlier in the year and fell in love with Margot and Fliss.

About

Margot and Me is about how Fliss moves up to Wales to be with Fliss’ grandmother while her mum is in remission from cancer. Fliss has to leave all her friends behind, including a potential love interest. She can’t stand the thought of moving away from London to a tiny town in Wales.

But fortunately for Fliss, she finds her grandmother, Margot’s, diary from the time of the war. She unveils secrets she never knew and discovers it’s not that easy to move away from home. But it does have its perks.

From YA prom where I met Juno!

Review

From the start of the book, I didn’t know what it was going to be about at all or who it was aimed at.

I was excited that Fliss and her mum were moving to Wales because I love it there.

The characters were so likeable, especially Margot (not at the start). I loved Fliss’ mum and Fliss’ gay friend Danny who lives at the Chinese his mum and dad run. Her other friend, Bronwyn is also quite sweet, although a tad odd! Dewi was a personal favourite, a big softie. I wish he would have got more time in the book! (Juno, please write a book for Dewi!)

I felt like I could relate to Fliss, apart from her confidence and sassiness. She worries a lot but is also a kind soul. She has her opinion and sticks by it, regardless of what others think. But ultimately, I loved Margot the most. You could see her character develop from the person in the diaries to who she is now, and it’s not surprising she’s so cold hearted when you look at what she’s gone through.

There was so much crammed into this book that I didn’t know which direction it was going to go in.

The writing was beautiful, especially the parts where we’re reading Margot’s diary. It felt so accurate and made the story come alive. It was like reading a story within a story.

I felt like I was actually in Margot’s farm, watching Fliss resist the urge to eat bacon and seeing her sneak into her bedroom to read more of Margot’s diary.

This book is such a heartfelt read but also a heartbreaking one. Be prepared to cry, laugh (a lot, Fliss is such a diva) and smile. If you want a family oriented read full of laughter, ballet, piglets and more, then read this now!

Book Review: Unboxed by Non Pratt

Book Review: Unboxed by Non Pratt

In this week’s post I’ll be reviewing Non Pratt’s short story, Unboxed.

Blurb

Four friends meet up at their old school to open the memory box they stowed there years ago – with five letters inside for four of them, because their friend Millie has died. When they open the box they find a new letter from Millie and discover that she has left them special instructions: permission to open her letter only if they all read aloud the letters they wrote to their older selves, revealing their deepest secrets.

Review

I picked this book up at the library, not knowing if it was for younger readers until I saw the word fuck inside. It’s a super easy YA read, as it says on the back. And it truly is. I’m someone who struggles as I am a slow reader. But I got through this book in a couple of hours. It was such an easy read but also a heartwarming one full of rekindling friendships, bereavement and love.

I don’t read many short stories but I already grew so attached to the characters, especially Dean. I love how the characters are developed so quickly and even one night can change your world forever. Ben is a big softie and even though it’s sad Millie is dead, she brings her friends back together.

I have to say their deepest darkest secrets weren’t really surprising and I was left waiting and wondering when the secrets would spill out, but overall I thought the letters had lovely sentiments to them.

It’s a must read for YA lovers but also if you need a little pick me up read.

Have you read Unboxed? Did you enjoy it? Until next time, love, Vee x

An Evening with Hank Green

An Evening with Hank Green

I went to see Hank Green tonight on the ONLY UK tour he was doing for his new book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It was set in the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square and tickets were sold out.

There were some hilarious laughs, one of them being John Green roasted by his brother (John was not there, I know, disappointed😂).

We were told at the start of the evening there was a raffle and only 100 people could have a meet and greet with Hank. I was a lucky winner! I got to take a photo (albeit blurry) and took a stranger’s picture in the process.

There were really deep chats with Holly Bourne who chaired the event about humans, what Hank’s most remarkable thing is and if his book was predicting the future when he started writing it in 2014. It was really interesting.

I haven’t read the book yet but I’m definitely going to after meeting Hank. He’s such a down to earth person, and we got to laugh about Trump, so what could be better!?

I love being surrounded by bookish people and I saw some familiar faces, including ‘the large ginger man’ from Waterstones as he calls himself.

Thank you to Waterstones for setting up such an event! I had an amazing night (apart from running for the train!). Vee x

Our Anniversary

Our Anniversary

It’s mine and Oli’s 4th anniversary and to celebrate I wanted to document it on the blog.

Amsterdam, the Adam lookout swing August 2018

We’ve been through so much together, from travelling to our favourite places, to going through major life events. Oli has been there through thick and thin. We’ve been long distance for three years, now we live together. We’ve had family problems, work issues and more.

Croatia August 2018

When we first met, I was an anxious mess. I didn’t even leave the house. But when I met Oli that all changed. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do the things I was scared of doing, and I did them because I knew he would be there to guide me and hold my hand.

Now I’m able to get on planes, travel into London alone and so much more. I have my independence back with confidence this time.

Our first photo together 2015

Last year I went through an ordeal with my family, meaning I had no where to go. Oli and his family took me in, which I’ll forever me grateful for. Oli is one of the best people I know. He’s always looking out for others before himself and can always make me laugh (even when I’m mad at him.)

Oliver’s 21st, spent in Monte Carlo, 3rd Feb 2019

We are not pretending to be perfect, no one is. We love each other, we have our tiffs but every couple does.

My birthday, going out for dinner

When I met Oli, I found my other half, as cliche as that sounds. I’d been searching for it, only to find it in somebody else. I’ll forever be grateful for him coming into my life and changing it around.

New York, outside the Friends apartment

There’s so much to look forward to in the future as well. We are saving up for our own place and for travelling.

Here’s to many more anniversaries 💋 Love, Vee x

Favourite Book Covers

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Well hello there fellow bookworms. I hope your week is going well! In this week’s blog I’m going to be looking at some of my favourite book covers and asking you about yours!

Now, we are always told not to judge a book by its cover but I’m the complete opposite; as I work in marketing, the most crucial thing is a cover, poster, leaflet images etc. If the graphics are rubbish, there’s no point in me picking it up. You know the covers I mean with the people on the front like they’re from a teen chick flick? Yeah… that doesn’t draw me in – it makes me want to run away.

The covers I love are bright with illustrations or interesting pictures. As long as it’s creative and colourful, I will pick it up, even if I’m not sure about the story line. I’m going to be sharing the covers and blurbs from some of the books I love. Let’s see if you prefer the cover or story line or hopefully both!

Autoboyography by Christina Lauren

Do I really have to say it? This cover is gorgeous because of the illustration and I’m a sucker for sunsets. Plus, there’s a book on the book cover! What more could you want?

Blurb:

Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.

But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar, where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester, Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.

It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.

Of Fire and Stars by Audrey Coulthurst

I bought this book because of the blurb but then fell in love with the cover! Needless to say I bought it and can’t wait to read about a queen falling for a princess.

Blurb:

Betrothed since childhood to the prince of Mynaria, Princess Dennaleia has always known what her future holds. Her marriage will seal the alliance between Mynaria and her homeland, protecting her people from other hostile kingdoms.

But Denna has a secret. She possesses an Affinity for fire–a dangerous gift for the future queen of a land where magic is forbidden. Now Denna has to learn the ways of her new kingdom while trying to hide her growing magic. To make matters worse, she must learn to ride Mynaria’s formidable warhorses before her coronation and her teacher is the person who intimidates her most, the prickly and unconventional Princess Amaranthine, sister of her betrothed. When a shocking assassination leaves the kingdom reeling, Mare and Denna reluctantly join forces to search for the culprit.

As the two work together, they discover there is more to one another than they thought–and soon their friendship is threatening to blossom into something more. But with dangerous conflict brewing that makes the alliance more important than ever, acting on their feelings could be deadly. Forced to choose between their duty and their hearts, Mare and Denna must find a way to save their kingdoms–and each other.

The Light We Lost by Jill Santopolo

I saw the cover of this book on a fellow Instagrammer’s page and fell in love with it and the story. It turned out to be one of my most favourite books I’ve ever read! And it was outside of my comfort zone which is a big plus. 

Blurb:

Lucy and Gabe meet in New York on a day that will change their lives – and the world – forever. As the city burns behind them, they kiss for the very first time. Over the next thirteen years they are torn apart, then brought back together, time and time again. It’s a journey of dreams, of desires, of jealousy, of forgiveness – and above all, love. And as Lucy is faced with a devastating choice, she wonders whether their love is a matter of destiny or chance.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston

Obviously this was another impulse buy because of the cover… And I loved the story line too!

Blurb:

Geek girl Elle Wittimer lives and breathes Starfield, the classic sci-fi series she grew up watching with her late father. So when she sees a cosplay contest for a new Starfield movie, she has to enter. The prize? An invitation to the ExcelsiCon Cosplay Ball, and a meet-and-greet with the actor slated to play Federation Prince Carmindor in the reboot.

With savings from her gig at the Magic Pumpkin food truck (and her dad s old costume), Elle s determined to win unless her stepsisters get there first. Teen actor Darien Freeman used to live for cons before he was famous. Now they re nothing but autographs and awkward meet-and-greets. Playing Carmindor is all he’s ever wanted, but Starfield fandom has written him off as just another dumb heartthrob.

As ExcelsiCon draws near, Darien feels more and more like a fake until he meets a girl who shows him otherwise. But when she disappears at midnight, will he ever be able to find her again? Part romance, part love letter to nerd culture, and all totally adorbs, Geekerella is a fairy tale for anyone who believes in the magic of fandom. You can read my blog post on Geekerella here. 

We Are Okay by Nina LaCour

Even though I haven’t purchased it yet, I really can’t wait to read this. The cover is so pretty and unique and I purely would love it for the photos if I’m honest! Although the story line seems quite interesting.

Blurb:

Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

This cover is cute and modern and everything I adore. I can’t wait to get my hands on the hardcover! The story line reminds me of Fangirl and Geekerella so if you have read either of these, it might be a good idea to try this one out.

Blurb:

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble. In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless.

Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called  Monstrous Sea With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community.

Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart.

Let me know in the comments what your favourite book covers are so I can check them out! Until next time, love Vee x

6 Powerful Poems from the witch doesn’t burn in this one

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be sharing some of the most powerful poems from Amanda Lovelace’s collection: the witch doesn’t burn in this one. Please tell me in the comments some of your favourite and inspiring poems.

1. This has to be one of my favourites from the book because it’s so damn unapologetic. Do not, I repeat, do not let anybody walk over you.

2. You have all the strength in you that you need; use it and empower others.

3. The simple line is, you need to look after yourself just like you would a small child. Treat yourself with respect, self care and love.
















4. We are strong, independent women and we’ve got this. When our enemies intend for us to crawl up in a ball, stand up and fight back. Not because you want to but because you have to.

5. You have no idea what you are capable of until you pick up a pen and write your heart out. Inspire others just like you and not like you to stand up for themselves, fight for what they want and live their happiest life.

6. It is not normal to go through abuse. I’ve learnt this throughout the years and I’m here to tell you it isn’t right. Society has altered our perceptions of what a healthy relationship is.

I hope you feel as inspired as I did when I read Lovelace’s books. Be powerful, inspire and take care of yourself. Until next time, Vee x

Poetry Review: Light Filters In

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hi guys! I’ve recently been reading lots more poetry and one of the collections I’ve read is Light Filters In by Caroline Kaufman. This was also an impulse buy! I’ll be reviewing and showing you some of my favourite poems from the collection.

Review

Light Filters In is about being human and how fragile we are. The book is split up into four sections: The Darkness Falls. The Night Persists, The Dawn Breaks and The Sun Rises. This collection is written with honesty and Kaufman has opened up about her life with depression, self harm and abusive relationships and much more.

I liked the fact that being human and science were the main themes of the book as I’m also an atheist and even if some of the poems are very morbid, they’re true, honest. Planets, stars and light are also mentioned throughout; the contrast between light and dark is also similar to depression and happiness.

Kaufman says that the destination isn’t happiness, because after all, we won’t always be happy a hundred per cent of the time. It’s all about the journey, and sometimes the journey is messy and sad, but other times it’s happy and joyful. I think that this book is mostly about recovery and how to cope in the bad times and how to release and feel joy in the good times. It’s a wonderful read and I highly recommend it for anyone recovering or perhaps even going through depression, anxiety or suicidal thoughts. It does get better – Kaufman is living proof of that. And so are you!

Overall, I wasn’t sure about the theme at the start of the book as it was quite dark, but, like the theme, it gets lighter, it gets better and I really loved how clever the writing was.

Now I’m going to show you some of my favourite poems from the collection. If you have read Light Filters In, let me know what you thought in the comments.

If you have any poetry recommendations, let me know! Until next time, love, Vee x

Poetry Review: Pillow Thoughts

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend of relaxing and reading. I recently read Pillow Thoughts by Courtney Peppernell and I instantly fell in love with the way she uses her words. It was an impulse buy from Waterstones with my birthday voucher so I took a gamble to see if I liked it, and fortunately, it paid off. In this week’s blog I’m going to be reviewing Pillow Thoughts and showing you some of my favourite poems.

My Review

I bought three poetry books recently and Pillow Thoughts was one of them. Pillow Thoughts is broken down into 10 sections including ‘If You Are In Love,’ ‘If You Are Sad,’ and ‘If You Need A Reason To Stay.’ Therefore, you can read them for any occasion and when you are feeling different emotions. I read the entire way through and could relate to so many of the poems – especially the long distance ones. My partner and I were long distance for three years and to read about all the feelings I used to feel, was enlightening. I used to feel so alone and thought the distance would never end.

I also related strongly to the ‘If You Need A Reason To Stay’ section as this had encouraging poems to comfort me. The way Courtney uses metaphors is beautiful and even if some of the poems seem easy to write, you can still relate to them but you would have never thought to write in that way.

I really enjoyed reading this collection and I’m looking forward to reading Pillow Thoughts II: Healing The Heart. I love modern poetry such as Amanda Lovelace’s, Rupi Kaur’s and Atticus’ work and I think I just found a new favourite poet.

Now I’m going to show you some of my favourite poems from Pillow Thoughts! Let me know in the comments whether you’ve read it and what you thought!

See you next week. Love, Vee x

Our Trip to Amsterdam

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! Last week, Oliver and I were on our way to Amsterdam! We had such an amazing time and I wanted to share where we went and what we did with you. I hope you enjoy this post and let me know in the comments if you have been or are planning to go to Amsterdam.

Day One

I booked our holiday for three days and we stayed at the Ramada Airport Schiphol hotel which was a ten minute drive from the hotel and we had a free shuttle service to and from. It was a little way out of the centre of Amsterdam but there was a supermarket close by which meant we could buy all our drinks and some food at cheaper prices. You can get the train from the airport directly to the city centre and it takes around 20 minutes.

Our flight landed at around 8am so we had a whole day and checked in to our hotel to drop off our bags. We then headed back to the airport and caught the train into the centre. On our first day, we went to the sex museum, which was funny and interesting and maybe a little embarrassing! It’s only five euros each. After that we took a wander around and had some lunch at McDonald’s before making our way to Jordaan and the flower markets. We did a lot of walking so I recommend catching the tram or Metro! We also purchased a three day travel card from the airport which was around twenty-eight euros each and covered us for all trains, trams, metro and ferries.

We had a look at The Cat Boat, a little boat full of stray cats and then we walked all the way back to Dam Square and went to Ripley’s Believe it or Not. I recommend looking at offers before going because we made the mistake of buying a full ticket when we could have had another tour for the same price. Ripley’s was quite fun and we were there for Pride week and they were allowing people to marry for one day only so it was lovely seeing all the couples getting married!

We then walked all the way back to the Anne Frank House and had dinner at Pancakes Amsterdam, which is just across from Anne Frank. We recommend using your card more than bringing cash as we ate there three times and they don’t accept cash but give you the option to pay in pounds so you don’t have to pay an exchange rate. The pancakes are delicious and you get a little key ring souvenir each time you go.

We booked the 6pm slot to visit the Anne Frank House and it was the most inspiring experience; you can’t go to Amsterdam without visiting. There was a screaming baby which ruined the experience slightly, but seeing the attic, where she lived, was insane. The experience made me quite emotional and we must have been there for over an hour. You get to use headsets which tell you more in detail about the way the Franks lived and what happened to them.

Day Two

On day two, all rested from the day before, we made our way out into the city early and visited Noord on the ferry. We saw online that there was a place called A’dam Lookout. It’s a tall building which has a swing that swings you over the edge, so of course Oliver wanted to try it. We booked our slot and for around forty euros we went upstairs and looked around as the sights from up there were incredible. We should have bought the ticket that included lunch though as we both had paninis.

The swing, Over the Edge, was scary but an experience I’m glad I didn’t miss. We made our way back downstairs and onto the ferry which departs around every six minutes and it’s also free.

We then made our way to the smallest pub in Amsterdam (from the TV advert), the smallest house and the smallest cafe, where we went to have a drink.

In the evening we headed over to the Red Light District and visited the Erotic Museum which was about seven euros each. It has some of John Lennon’s drawings, a weird cartoon program and lots of sex toys. We also visited the Prostitution Museum which is a few buildings down and that was around eleven euros each. You get a headset to listen to a prostitute’s story and you get to visit the brothel. The end was the best part because everyone writes their sex confessions and sticks them on the wall! 
We went to the Pancake place again to kill time so it would get dark so we could see the Red Light District at night. It was weird seeing prostitutes in the windows and seeing all the guilty men coming out at only 9pm. It was interesting to see and I definitely recommend going at night when it’s so busy.

Day Three

We had pretty much done everything we wanted to do and see so we headed off to the airport to drop off our luggage (only six euros each on card if you’re taking hand luggage). We wanted to visit Artis Zoo so we took the Metro. It was around fifty euros for both of us to get in and it was quite a large zoo. They have everything from elephants to insects, reptiles to penguins and wolves. I definitely recommend a visit if you have time and it only takes a few hours to go around, depending on what you want to see.

We then made our way to the pancake place again where I had american pancakes with bacon and maple syrup (oh my God it was so good). By the time we had finished, it was already time to go!

I think three days was enough for Oliver and I, but it depends on what you like to do. If you’re an art freak or museum nut, then you might need longer, but if you’re like us and want to do little museums and attractions, then you won’t need long at all.

Until next time, love Vee x

Attending YALC

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hi guys! So I attended YALC at Comic Con which is basically a book lover’s heaven. There were book signings, publishers, workshops, talks and more. I’ll be showing you what I got up to and who I met!

So the day didn’t go to plan because the trains decided to have a shit fit, but when we finally got there, we went upstairs and saw so many people dressed up in costumes and went to see all the stalls in the main section of Comic Con.

First we went to sit down and listen to the talk Lisa Williamson was hosting, called ‘Real World, Real Me.’ It was all about mental health books, the process of writing and what they were about. It was a great talk and I also went to see Juno Dawson talk at the end of the day. She was talking about Clean and addiction and how it’s still such a taboo subject.

There was a Waterstone’s pop up shop where you could buy the author’s books and there were so many publishing houses, including Walker books, Penguin, Bloomsbury and Quirk books.

I managed to get Floored signed by Holly Bourne and bumped into Lisa Williamson, who I interviewed on my blog. I adore Lisa and Juno and I can’t wait to read more of their work. I also loved seeing all the new authors and the author talks gave me more books to put on my to be read pile!

If you went along, let me know what you thought! Until next time, Vee x