Sunday, 29 September 2013


I've recently started going back to college and it has already worn me out. I'm in my final year and hoping to go to university next year which means I have to work 10 times as hard as I did last year! Having troubles outside of college does not help in the slightest either - so I'm already questioning whether I'll get the grades I need to go to my desired uni. I know that if I work hard I will probably get the grades, I just never have any motivation regarding college. Since starting college, I've gone back into my little slumping state where I'd rather not communicate with anyone or do anything other than stay at home and read. I've found it's so much easier to plan everything and say you're going to things then actually do them!!! On a positive note, it is my last year and I finish in May/June, yay!!

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Book Review: Ketchup Clouds

Fifteen year old Zoe has a secret - a dark and terrible secret that she can't confess to anyone she knows. But one day she hears of a criminal, Stuart Harris, locked up on death row in Texas. Like Zoe, Stuart is no stranger to secrets. Or lies. Or murder.

I stumbled upon this book on a random trip to a book shop and I am so glad I did! Ketchup Clouds is one of my favourite reads of 2013.
This book is about Zoe coping with her daily life whilst trying to keep her big secret from the world. Zoe decides she can't keep her secret in anymore so decides to write letters to Stuart Harris on death row as he is all to familiar with her situation. Zoe tells him about the events leading up to the big event and how things got to that point. The letters include her troubles deciding between Max and Aaron, her parents troubles, her little sister who is deaf and her feelings throughout the book. The book did lack in mentioning Zoe's friends which made me feel as though it was lacking in her teenage social life which may have made it a bit more relatable to some situations in Zoe's life

Sometimes Zoe was quite unlikeable on how she treats Max, Aaron and her parents, however, Pitcher made up for this by showing us a softer side to Zoe when comforting her younger sisters. I especially liked the way Zoe communicated with her sisters and was always there no matter how big the problems in her life were.
I definitely recommend this book to fans of YA novels!

Book Review: Heart Shaped Bruise

When Archway Young Offenders Institution is closed down a notebook is found in one of the rooms.
"I have to start by saying that this isn't an apology. I'm not sorry. I'm not"
That is this notebook.
"They say I'm evil and everyone believes it. Including you. But you don't know."
It's pages reveal the dark and troubled mind of Emily Koll, Archway's most notorious inmate.
"Sometimes I wonder if I'll just carry them around with me forever like a bunch of red balloons.
I received this book for Christmas last year, and had finished it by Boxing Day! It's a book that I would happily read over & over again!
Heart Shaped Bruise is absolutely brilliant and so well written. The story line is clever, addicting and thrilling all at once.
Emily Koll writes about how she came to be in the young offenders institution and what life is like inside. Even though Emily is the antagonist in the book, I can't quite help but really like her. Her dry sense of humour and view on life is quite intriguing making her some what rather likeable!
Tanya Byrne gives us an insight into Emily's mind, relationships, opinions and what life was like before conviction.
I would highly recommend this to anyone and everyone! I'm looking forward to reading Tanya Byrne's most recent book!

Book Review: Looking for Alaska

"In the dark beside me, she smelled of sweat and sunshine and vanilla, and on that thin-mooned night I could see little more than her silhouette, but even in the dark, I could see her eyes - fierce emeralds. And not just beautiful, but hot too"
Alaska Young. Gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, screwed up - and utterly fascinating. Miles Halter could not be more in love with her. But when tragedy strikes, Miles discovers the value and the pain of living and loving unconditionally.

Looking for Alaska was a deep and powerful read. It's a tale about love, loss, growing up and friendships. John Green writes Looking for Alaska in Miles' point of view, we see the world through his eyes as he goes through the journey of a new school, new friends and new experiences. I found this novel incredibly engaging, interesting and so beautifully written.
A part of the story I particularly liked was how Miles' main interest was famous people's last words. It perfectly intwined with the storyline and made it all more special. The only downside was a friend of mine told me the whole ending of the story meaning I wasn't shocked when it happened, it ruined the intensity for me as I knew what happened. I wouldn't let this put you off though!!
I recommend this book for all YA enthusiasts and John Green fans.

Book Review: One Dollar Horse

Casey Blue lives in East London's grimmest tower block and volunteers and a local riding school, but her dream is to win the world's greatest Three Day Event: the Badminton Horse Trials.
When she rescues a starving, half wild horse, she's convinced that the impossible can be made possible. But she has reckoned without the consequences of her father's criminal record, or the distraction of a boy with melty, dark eyes, with whom she refuses to fall in love.

I bought this book a while ago but I have only just recently read and finished it so I might as well review it!
This is indulges one of my many guilty pleasures...horses. I think it stemmed from my Grandad's passion. In his younger days, he was a rather impressive jockey (even though he was 6ft ha ha) and then as his bones grew older he bought and sold horses to professional riders. My childhood was spent popping off to Ireland a few times a year and getting straight into being all horsey. My favourite things about his job was going to all the events, for example the RDS, Badminton and the Burghley Horse Trials!
Moving on...this book gave me an insight into the riders experience of these events. I absolutely loved this One Dollar Horse as it showed Casey Blue going through the struggles of eventing and following her dreams. Unlike a few horsey novels I have read, One Dollar Horse is very gritty and shows what the real world is like beyond the glamourous front the horse world portrays.
This book is well written, gripping and full of drama! Definitely a must read or horse lovers or just people who like to read all sorts! Ha ha.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Open days & stationary hoarding!

A big part of my summer has been spent visiting university open days and collecting prospectus'. I've been to quite a few open days and I still haven't decided my university choices or whether I actually enjoy going to them in the first place.
Open days could be seen as a very informative well spent Saturday or the complete opposite! A plus is getting free stationary with the university logo - I think I have around 15 pens, a mug and some sticky notes in my collection. If a university ever gives out a notebook, I'll put it as my first choice. I have 3 definite options so far, but it's all so hard to choose as all universities I've been to have good points and bad points - going to a uni that combines all those would be nice!

Focussing on the nearer future, I'm back at college. Boo! This year is crucial so I need achieve the grades needed to get the right UCAS points.
One of the only plus sides to going back to college is buying new stationary. I'm a massive nerd and will buy stationary even if I don't need it. Buying stationary brings me joy and feeling of warmth! Haha.

Paperchase is my weakness!!!!

Below are some of the things I got.

1. Helen Dardik ringbinder (They don't seem to sell these on the website anymore)
3. Helen Dardik mechanical pens
4. Paperchase cat highlighters
5. Remarkable recycled landfilled
6. I can't find this online but is from the same designer as number 7.
7. Agatha Ruiz De La Prada Notebook