book recommendations based on red (taylor's version)

28 Nov 2021

It's been a HOT MINUTE since I last did a bookish post, mainly because I've not really been reading that many books. I'm sort of only averaging one or two a month at the minute so I don't feel like it's worth updating. You can see all that on Goodreads if you follow me there! I actually think my last one was book recommendations based on the Eurovision top five so maybe I'm carving myself a niche here.

Something I have been doing a lot of recently is listening to a LOT of Taylor Swift! You Belong With Me was one of the very first songs I ever bought on iTunes so I’ve been a Taylor Swift fan for as long as I’ve been a music fan. I even have my original copy of Red on CD still to this day so Red (Taylor’s Version) was something that I personally was very excited for.

I’ve tried to include a wide variety of genres and vibes here – this was a MAMMOTH task okay, she released thirty songs – that’s almost as many books as I’ve read this year alone. I ended up just opting for all the songs on the original release of the album rather than the vault songs because truly nobody has time to read that, but in case you were wondering, my favourite vault songs are Better Man, Nothing New and obviously the ten minute All Too Well!

For this post I’ve got the song, a line of the song I think is particularly poignant and connects to the book, a summary of the book and a brief thought from me on why I picked it. There’s a lot going on so I guess we’ll just jump right in.

simple ways to get your room holiday ready

22 Nov 2021

*THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH POSTER STORE AND CONTAINS GIFTED ITEMS*


I simply adore the festive season. It’s something that’s fairly obvious about me if you spend any time with me at all during the November/December period. I’m famous in my friendship group for always being the first one to watch and review all the latest Netflix Christmas movies so naturally I’m the first person people come to in order to get into that Christmassy mood. However, while my days are spent filled with my favourite Christmas music and the rest of the house it covered with tinsel, my room always ends up looking the same as always. I think I’ve always put it down to the space being too small to fit anything extra in but there are some really great ways to spruce up your current décor to give it a bit of a festive twist. I have lots of different posters and prints all over my room throughout the year and they usually stay fairly consistent but grabbing some new festive ones, like these ones I got from Poster Store are a really great place to start!
I’ve worked with Poster Store in the past and I’m always so impressed with the quality of the prints. So naturally, when the idea arose to spruce up my room for Christmas, I knew I could rely on them for some cute festive prints. All the posters are printed on sustainable but high-quality paper coming from responsibly managed forests which meet the highest environmental and social standards.

I already had these frames with prints in them so all I had to do was switch them up for the holiday season but if you don’t Poster Store also sell frames to fit whatever posters you choose so you’re guaranteed a perfect fit. I opted for one 21x30 sized print and one 30x40 sized print to add a little bit of intrigue with the different sizes. I mentioned that my room is quite small so I’m often apprehensive about going for massive prints so they don’t overpower the room, but I find that these sizes work perfectly together to fill the space I need.
The prints that I opted for are these two typography prints with the words ‘Let It Snow’ and ‘It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year’. I just really love the simplicity of them, and I think they add such a fun but simple festive touch. A funny coincidence about this is that I’m a massive Il Volo fan, they’re an Italian operatic pop trio if you’re unfamiliar and they actually do a Christmas Medley featuring both of these songs, the only one that’s missing is Jingle Bell Rock!
Some other easy ways to spruce up your décor for the winter season is to add some fairy lights because although they work all year round there’s just something so so festive and joyous about them at this time of year. Also light a festive candle and relax with a cup of hot chocolate in a festive mug and snuggle under some festive bedding. Have I said the word festive enough?
One really great thing about Christmas décor is that, if you do it properly, it’s sustainable. While you only use these things once a year a lot of the joy of Christmas is nostalgia and so you end up using the same things year after year because of the memories associated with them. I still use the same stocking that I got for my first Christmas in 1998. So the memories that you make with your Christmas décor now will be things that you’ll remember every time you go to put them up every year afterwards. It reminds me of the Taylor Swift song New Year’s Day - ‘Hold on to these memories and they will hold on to you”!
If you want to switch up some of your prints for the festive season, there are so many other great ones on Poster Store that you can check out and they’ve even given me a discount code for you so you can get 55% off! Use ALICE/55 at checkout for your discount and make your Christmas magical! This code is valid until 29th November for all posters, not just festive ones (except Selection) and it is not combinable with other discount campaigns and can’t be used for frames. What is your favourite way to decorate for the holidays?

my quiet time essentials

28 Oct 2021

One thing I’m never been great at as a Christian is actively doing my quiet time. I’ve recently started leading a small group with some of our young people and we’re trying to get them excited about the Bible and in order to do that, we need to be excited by the Bible. I must be doing a decent job because I asked a question on Instagram a few days ago about what Alice isn’t Alice without, and one of my young people said her Bible! I thought I’d share some of the things that I’ve found recently have really helped me with putting more focus into reading my Bible and enjoying my quiet time.

Find a Bible That Works For You

Just to start off on a controversial note, I don’t really think it matters what version of the Bible you use! If you’re not up to the old language of the King James Version and prefer to read something easier to understand like The Message, then that’s okay! I personally use an ESV because that’s my personal choice but I’m not here to yell at someone for choosing a different version, we do not gatekeep the Bible friends! I recently purchased some bible tabs to make it easier to locate things (and they’re also super pretty) – my young people are also obsessed with these and can’t believe I actually sat down and stuck them all in! I actually only got this bible reasonably recently because I wanted to switch to a journaling Bible so that I can actually take notes and keep track of things better but again if you want something more compact – you do you!

Study Soundtrack

I have music on constantly in my life and that doesn’t change when I’m doing my bible studies. The only difference is I’m no longer bopping to sad pop hits but tuning into worship music. My favourites at the moment are from Elevation Worship, UPPERROOM and Maverick City Music. There are plenty of chill Christian hits playlists on Spotify to keep it fresh though.

Find a Study

Diving straight into the Bible can be a little intimidating so that’s why I always find it helpful to work through a study you can get plenty of these for free online, The YouVersion Bible app has many great ones. But I really find it’s helpful for me to have a physical book. I’ve recently started using studies from The Daily Grace Co which I’ve been absolutely loving. They often have sales on so you can snap them up for a bargain price. She Read’s Truth is also a great place for studies and you can even sign up to receive a free daily devotional to your email inbox!

Make a Tea/Coffee

I mentioned that reading your Bible should be an enjoyable experience and not something you feel forced to do and what better way to add comfort to an experience than with a cup of tea or coffee. I always find having a hot drink really helps me to slow down and be more present in the moment which is the perfect addition to quiet time. Just be careful not to spill!

Put your phone away

Once I’ve set the ambience I always but my phone away so I’m not distracted. If you’re anything like me I’m so often planning to do something and then I always end up doing something on my phone or laptop instead. Obviously if you’re using your phone for the study or for the Bible this is a little different but that’s why I always try and use physical resources wherever possible to eliminate technology related distractions.

Use a Journal

I’m pretty sure that everyone has extra notebooks sitting on their shelves – I think it’s part of being human. Using one as a quiet time journal is a great way to use them up! You can write down anything that stands out to you from your reading and a lot of the time, bible studies will come with questions for each section. It’s always good to write these things down so you can refer back to them at a later date rather than just relying on your memory so even if you’re using a digital equivalent, it’s still a good idea to take notes.
Those are just a few ways that I've fallen back in love with my quiet time lately and I hope it's inspired you as well. I'm always on the look out for new resources so if anyone has any recommendations let me know down below, but other than that I hope you have a lovely, blessed day!

autumnal this or that

5 Oct 2021

Now that it's October I think we can finally stop clinging to the remnants of summer and finally start embracing autumn in all its wonderful crisp goodness! I think autumn is my favourite season and so I'm very excited to finally be able to wear knitwear and it be socially acceptable - I went to New York during a heatwave once and only brought knitwear with me so I realistically will wear knitwear all year round whether it's socially acceptable or not. Anyway, since I'm so excited about this new season I put together a little autumnal this and that post with a few questions so that I can talk about my favourite autumnal things.

Pumpkin Spice or Flat White

I'm very much a flat white girl. Don't get me wrong PSL season is very exciting and I always end up grabbing at least one before the autumn is up but I've never been one for flavoured drinks. I don't put vanilla syrup in my latte so I also generally don't put pumpkin spice in it either!

Scary Film or Cosy Film

A COSY FILM! I'm really really really not a horror girl - my favourite book of all time is a horror book but that's irrelevant. I just adore the cosy vibes you get from watching a cheesy from com set on a pumpkin patch - what is there not to like!

Apples or Pumpkins

APPLES - if you couldn't tell from the imagery on this post! I love the concept of pumpkins and I think they make really pretty decorations but I don't want to eat them that much whereas I love apples so while I'd probably pick pumpkins for aesthetic reasons, apples are my favourite and definitely remind me of autumn more!

Book or Movie Night

Ooooh a tough one! I genuinely love both especially during autumn when I can curl up with a blanket but I think a good book might just come out on top because reading when it's raining outside and you're all wrapped up inside is just ultimate cosy vibes and if you know me I am always about being as cosy as possible in any given circumstance.

Slippers or Fluffy Socks

This is a tough one because before this year I would have definitely said fluffy socks but I recently purchased my first pair of proper slippers and they've changed my life and I don't know how I was doing without them for so long before!

Go out or stay in

STAY IN! Don't get me wrong I love the leaves changing and going on a nice brisk autumn walk but as we've already established I am very much cosy vibes let's stay in and read person and I think the autumn is perfect for that. Of course, I'll balance it with some fresh air every so often but for the most part you will find me inside all cosied up for a majority of the month of October!
I hope you enjoyed this little post - I also made a template it you want to share your picks on Instagram or you can feel free to recreate this post yourself because I'd love to see your autumnal picks too!

creating the gallery wall of my dreams with poster store

5 Sept 2021

*THIS POST IS IN PARTNERSHIP WITH POSTER STORE AND CONTAINS GIFTED ITEMS*


I firmly believe that you can tell a lot about someone based on their walls. When I was younger, I had posters plastered all over my room – Starting with Scooby Doo when I was little, moving on to High School Musical (my obsession with Gabriella Montez was real) and then to One Direction, my walls have always been able to tell you a story about me. At this stage in my life, I’m very into scandi-style so when Poster Store an exciting upcoming Swedish wall art company reached out to me, I knew that some new prints were just what I needed for my walls to continue to tell my story.
At Poster Store there are a whole host of different prints you can choose from in lots of different styles and sizes so that your new gallery wall is uniquely yours! They’re beautiful and affordable and new designs are released every Tuesday, so you’ll never be out of style! All the posters are also printed on sustainable but high-quality paper with all the wood used for the posters comes from responsibly managed forests which meet the highest environmental and social standards.
Choosing the best prints for you can be a challenge. If you’re planning on creating a gallery wall it’s important that all of the prints you pick look good together and that can sometimes be hard to visualise online. What I found helpful in picking these ones was to select a few that I liked and have them open in different tabs so flit between to gauge what they may look like together. Poster Store also offer a big variety of gallery wall inspiration on their website to give you an idea of what you could create and is such a great tool for visualising the final product. You can also buy your frames direct from Poster Store too so there’s no risk in your frames not matching and ruining your gallery wall effect.
Onto the prints I went for, I guess! For the gallery wall I opted for these three. I mentioned that to pick these I had them all open in different tabs and finally decided that these ones looked good together and would also look good against the walls. Picking posters is such a fun task especially when there are so many great ones to choose from. I really felt like I was an interior designer for a second and I’m so happy with how this section turned out.
Obviously with so many great prints to choose from I couldn’t leave it with just those three because even if you’re not looking to set up a full gallery wall, one individual print can do a lot to elevate a room on its own. So naturally, I also got a few additional prints for other parts of the room. I’m such a big Frida Kahlo fan that I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to add a Frida print to my collection. I had some frames lying about the house and since these ones weren’t part of the gallery wall, I just ordered the prints on their own as matching wasn’t too much of a worry.
If you’ve been inspired and want to check out Poster Store you can get 45% off all posters (except the Selection series) with the code 45ALICE until 12th September 2021 and doesn’t apply to any other ongoing discount campaigns that may be taking place. Make sure to let me know what you get up to and which of the prints is your favourite!

a lil update and some faves

23 Aug 2021

Well, this has been a bit of a long time coming. You may have noticed – or not – that I’ve been a bit absent as of late. I uploaded a post about going to visit the Glenfinnan Viaduct and a graduation post earlier this month, but before that my last post was back in June. It’s not just my blog that I’ve been neglecting though, I’ve fallen a little bit out of love with creating content and regularly posting on Instagram, I have barely finished a book and just generally my productivity has taken a bit of a nosedive. I haven’t even been binging any series as an excuse either I’ve just been existing with not a whole lot to show for it. I wish I could be here writing a life update post and be able to tell you that I’ve been slacking because I got married, moved house, or something more exciting but that’s not the case and I’m still just single and living with my parents and working from home.
I’ve still been doing and loving some things though, so I thought I’d catch you all up with a little favourites post. Similar to my last one, there’s not really much structure to this and it’s just a bit of a brain dump of some things that I’ve been loving but it was so fun last time I thought I’d bring it back – and I’m not sure I have the mental capacity right now to come up with a structured list!
Firstly, I mentioned that I haven’t really read very much – I was in a bit of a rut of only reading books so that I could post a monthly wrap up and after half a year of reading 30 books, that just really wasn’t working for me anymore so I took a step back to revaluating why I was actually reading, was it for me or was it just to create content. That being said though, I have actually read a few books recently, one being Malibu Rising by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’m a massive Taylor Jenkins Reid fan and have been ever since I read Daisy Jones and The Six last year – it was my favourite book of the year and I’ve loved delving deeper into her fictional celebrity world that she’s built up. She crafts such believable characters and you’re truly always left wondering if these people didn’t really exist. This book follows the four children of pop star Mick Riva (who is a recurring character in all the books) as they throw a big party at the end of the summer and it is just as perfectly executed as Daisy Jones and Evelyn Hugo before her. I loved that none of these characters were perfect, they all had flaws but you were rooting for them all. They’re also all in their early twenties which is something I love in literature but don’t see all that often. I listened to the audiobook while we were on a road trip around Scotland and it was just the perfect accompaniment.
I’ve been shopping a lot lately on Thrift+ (the shirt I’m wearing in these photos is an & Other Stories beauty that I got from Thrift+). Thift+ is an online thrift store where you can buy and sell clothes through their platform with money also going to charity. I’m not really a shopper and I literally wear clothes for YEARS but every so often I have the urge to buy some new stuff and Thrift+ is always my first port of call! It's so easy to navigate and you're always guaranteed quality items. I’ve been using Thrift+ for over about two years now and during that time I’ve gotten pieces from & Other Stories (obviously), Sézane, Oliver Bonas, Zara and Jack Wills among others. There is such a huge range of brands from high street to high end designer brands and all for a great price. You can even get £5 off your first order here*! Let me know if you’d be interested in seeing all the stuff I’ve bought from Thrift+ over the years because I have quite a few items to talk about!
Maisie Peters has her debut album coming out! I feel like I talk about Maisie in literally every favourites post I do but she’s my favourite for a reason. She’s released a few tracks from the album so far and they’re all so so good I can’t wait to hear the whole thing. If you’re a fan of sad girl pop (Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo etc) I think you’d love Maisie Peters and I think she’s the next big thing in pop. I’ve loved Maisie for years and she’s always number one in my Spotify wrapped and once You Signed Up For This is released I’m sure this year will be no different.
I’ve not really been watching a lot of Netflix lately, I’m just gearing myself up for whenever Money Heist comes back because I am ever so hyped for that! I’ve been on a bit of a foreign language show binge of late which is very much not out of character for me. I’ve been catching up on the latest seasons of Biohackers and How To Sell Drugs Online (Fast) but I think my absolute favourite watch recently was Young Royals! The second I saw the teaser for this show when I opened Netflix I immediately knew it would be a new favourite. Young Royals follows Swedish prince Wilhelm as he heads off to a super fancy boarding school where he strikes up a relationship with scholarship student Simon. It’s got the chill and comforting drama vibe of SKAM but the posh school setting of Elite both of which are also some of my favourite shows so naturally Young Royals was a big hit for me!
My skincare hero at the minute is my Oleus set from Holland and Barret (formerly gifted). Starting with an oil free moisturiser base you create your own blend using different oils and serums so that it’s perfectly targeted towards your skin. I love using the Niacinamide and Zinc serum along with the Jojoba Oil for rejuvenating and balancing my skin. I had stopped using these for a while but since I’ve started again I’ve seen such a great improvement in my skin condition that I couldn’t not give them a little shout out here!

I hope you enjoyed this chill little post! I think I've got my writing mojo back finally so hopefully the updates will be a tad more regular from now on. Let me now what things you've been loving down below and if there's anything you think I need to check out!

five things i've learned since graduating

11 Aug 2021

I graduated a year ago, well I finished my degree and recieved a classification a year ago, I am still yet to have a graduation. However, that means that I've now had a whole year out of university and student life and am actually now supposed to be a fully functioning adult with a job and real responsibilities. My university finally arranged for us to get graduation photos last week and so naturally it got me thinking about what this first year out of university has taught me. Also how cute are my graduation photos! I knew I didn't want traditional shots so we roped my sister's boyfriend in to take some fun cottagecore ones for us and I love how they turned out!
It's obviously been a bit of a funny year, I turned twenty-two just before the pandemic hit and I’m now going to be twenty-four in six months which is pretty damn scary. I still remember starting university so vividly back in 2016. I remember turning up to my flat excited to discover just who I was going to be and five years later I guess I’m still discovering that. I wrote a post last year all about what I learned while I was at uni so I guess this one will pick up where that one left off.

1) Your degree does not define you

I currently work in social media management and general online content along with some admin for two different organisations so it may come as a shock that my degree is actually in biomedical science. I think the most important thing about life after university is that you’re doing something that you enjoy. When I was eighteen and applying for uni I loved science, but I also had a passion for social media. I opted to study biomed because I enjoyed it, I loved learning new things about how the body works (you could definitely say that it set me up well for this past year anyway) and to stay away studying anything creative as I felt studying it would take the joy away from it for me. Now that I’m out of education and actually working in the social media field I can very much say that it does take the joy out of it a little bit, but it’s definitely also helped me find new interests because previously I would always have called Instagram a hobby but when it’s also your job it’s not really a hobby anymore. Having a job that I enjoy enough to also do in my free time (since I also create content for myself and brands on Instagram) is such a privilege and I’m so lucky that I landed in full time permanent employment straight out of school in my field of choice because I know how rare that can be.

2) I’m much more confident in myself

Prior to my current job I’d never once had a successful job interview. I literally got scouted for a position at a pharmaceutical company for my placement year and still somehow managed to bomb the interview. I’m very much not the person to come to for employment advice, I’m just incredible lucky that everything fell into place for me. I’ve always hated the whole interview process so I think being able to have an interview on Zoom was actually beneficial because I wasn’t quite as nervous as I would be in real life and was able to actually talk about how I would be good at the job – The interview lasted for an hour and I was offered the job later the same day so clearly I was able to impress, which is something that I’ve never been good at before. I’ve also noticed in general that since university my confidence in general has improved and I’ve become much less nervous about things. I’m still an enneagram nine and I still get anxiety about talking on the phone and turning up to people’s houses early but on the whole, I think I’m a lot more confident I think I can thank my uni experience for that.

3) Friendships fade and that’s okay

I still see some of my university friends but a majority of them I only see on social media and that’s okay, especially with how this year has been it’s been harder than ever to keep in touch. When you’re not seeing each other at class every day and you’re all working it’s much harder to schedule coffee dates and catch-ups. All my uni friends are still my friends though and if I bumped into them while out, I could definitely have a great conversation with them, but I just don’t find myself with the same desire to be in group chats and catch up all the time, but I guess that’s growing older and growing apart. The friendships that you built that were meant to last will and others will just have been there for a specific moment in your life. I don’t even talk to my best friend all the time but whenever we’re together it’s like we’ve never been apart, and some friendships are just like that. Every friendship is different, and everyone’s friend group is different so try to stay away from comparing your university friend experience to other people’s.

4) It’s okay to still not have it figured out

I’m literally only one year out of education. I’m only twenty-three years old. It’s still okay for me not to know what I want to do with my life. The average person will have six jobs in their lifetime. That gives me plenty of time to figure out if this is really what I want to do. I read Garden City by John Mark Comer earlier this year which is a book all about work and rest and is supposed to get twenty and thirty somethings excited about work, which it did, but it also talks about how sometimes you won’t know what the right job for you is until you do it or until you leave the one that you thought it was. Right now though, as a twenty-three year old graduate, I’m very happy where I am and I’m not stressing too much about my future because there’s still plenty of time for that further down the line and right now, although I’m not a student anymore, I can still enjoy my youth and the freedoms that come with it.

5) Don’t lose your youth

I think there’s such a misconception that once you’re a graduate that it’s time to grow up. And yes, you’re becoming financially independent, working with professionals, and are officially out of education but at the end of the day, you’re still only in your early twenties. I’m the youngest person employed in my work by about 30 years, and it can be hard not to compare yourself to your older colleagues and where they’re at in life but they were also your age too at one point. A lot of my friends aren’t even twenty yet and while we’re technically at different stages of life I still find that I relate a lot to them, and I don’t shy away from that just because they’re younger than me. Obviously, it’s good to be mature but if your favourite song comes on it is okay to yell the lyrics and dance about in public, you’re allowed to still get obsessed with shows and celebrities, that’s not something that dies with your teenage years. Embrace that. There’s still time to become a stuffy business type but just don’t rush into it.
So those are just a few things that I’ve learned this past year and a bit. It still seems a little weird that I’m not a student anymore, Waterstones have just expended my student plus membership so I guess I can keep the guise up a little while longer but I’m also excited for what the rest of my post-grad life looks like and I can’t wait for the journey.

How To See The Hogwarts Express at Glenfinnan Viaduct

3 Aug 2021

I knew that when we decided to go to the Scottish Highlands on holiday this summer that the one thing I definitely wanted to see was the Hogwarts Express cross the Harry Potter bridge, or the Jacobite Express cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct if you want to be a muggle about it! This is a very familiar and iconic scene within the franchise and is definitely a must-see for any fellow lifelong Potterheads out there. Luckily the Glenfinnan Viaduct is very easily accessible so if you were to find yourself in the area, it's one hundred per cent worth a visit.
a photo of the hogwarts express from harry potter or the jacobite express steam train crossing glenfinnan viaduxt in the highlands of scotland

what do my friends associate with me?

8 Jun 2021

I'm a fangirl by nature, My life is basically defined by whatever thing I'm currently obsessed with and I feel like I make this very known online so I thought it would be a fun idea to ask on Instagram what sorts of songs, tv shows and movies people associate with me. I had a lot of really fun results so I figured I should summarise everything here and see how close I think they are to the truth. These come from people who have known me for varying amounts of time both in-person and online so it was super interesting to see how different people from different circles had different responses.

book recommendations based on the eurovision 2021 top five

24 May 2021

Oh hey! I've been a little MIA lately and that's entirely due to my life once again being consumed by the Eurovision Song Contest! I've been watching Eurovision since 2006 but I started following it properly in 2016 after falling in love with Il Volo in 2015 and realised just how good Eurovision is and how much good music comes out of it every year. I did a post a few months ago all about some of the songs from the contest, that I think you should check out. This year's Eurovision was such an incredible event and there was such a good showcase of music represented. The 2021 contest was won by Italian rock band Måneskin with their song Zitti e Buoni and ever since I laid eyes on them for the first time at Sanremo they reminded me of Daisy Jones and The Six and so that inspired me to make this list! I've also included the YouTube clips of all the songs if you're interested in checking them out as well (I highly recommend it).

things i'm loving lately

11 May 2021

I did a favourites post not that long ago (back in March to be precise) but I tend to get very into things very quickly so I could talk about some new favourites every single week if I wanted to so I thought I'd whip up another one as an excuse for me to spread the love for some of the things I'm loving right now and also to use these pictures which I'm obsessed with and have been sitting in my drafts for too long now! Normally there's some sort of order to these and I split them into categories but this month's is just going to be a bit of a brain dump of rambly thoughts about my favourite things so I hope you're okay with that - It'll be fun I promise!

Books I Read in April 2021

1 May 2021

Well, I had a bit of a rough start to April! In fact, I didn't finish a single book until the tenth! I so wanted to be writing this post and tell you all that I read ten books and I loved them all but that just really wasn't the case this month. I think it's so important to not only share our wins, but also when things don't quite go according to plan too! One good thing that happened this month though, is a new coffee shop opened up right at the end of my street so that has significantly improved my life as documented in these images! I actually only ended up reading five books this month due to many different factors but I still thought I'd share a little overview with you, especially since there are a few arcs here that released this month!
girl smiling while holding sage kindle paperwhite and iced coffee latte

Long Way Down

Jason Reynolds


After Will's brother is shot he is out to get revenge. As he steps into the elevator, gun in hand, fifteen-year-old Will is determined that he's going to kill the guy who killed his brother because that's the rule, that's just what he has to do. But as the lift descends different people from Will's past enter and he starts to question that maybe the rules are wrong.

This is a poignant story told in verse that takes place over the course of sixty seconds this was a little different for me. I've actually grown to really love stories told in verse because I think they have such a special way of getting a story across without using too many words. This is especially great when it's a story like this one told in such a short period of time. Poetry just seems like the right medium for that.

The Betrayals

Bridget Collins


At the Montverre Academy, students are trained in the ancient arcane practice of the grand jeu. Leo Martin was a master of the Grand Jeu during his time at Montverre but has fallen out of love with it. After his political career lies in ruins, Leo returns to Montverre where he meets the new Magister Ludi, Claire Dryden, the first woman ever to have held the role and feels a strange connection with her and it may have something to do with his ill-fated relationship with schoolmate Aime Carfax de Courcy.

Every part of my personality should scream dark academia, House of Anubis was my favourite show when I was younger and I was obsessed with uncovering secrets about my school - I even dreamt about a secret staircase in my primary school multiple times. But for some reason, Dark Academia novels and I don't really click. There were elements of this that I really liked, my favourite part was definitely the flashback scenes between Leo and Aime, but it took me an entire month to get through the audiobook and I think I just really didn't vibe with the narration (the decision to make a character called Leo Martin sound like he was from the north of England is just a decision I can't get behind). I think this is one of those books that maybe I would have enjoyed more had I read it myself.
iced coffee latte sitting on top of kindle paperwhite

The Summer Job

Lizzy Dent

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher

Having nowhere to live this summer, Birdy Finch ends up taking a job at a hotel in Scotland in place of her friend Heather who has just run off to Italy. However, this is not the simple hospitality job that she first thought. Heather is a trained sommelier and this restaurant is a lot fancier than Birdy bargained for and suddenly the future of the hotel is in her hands. There's also James, the handsome chef who she finds herself falling for but he thinks that she's Heather. Can she keep up the charade and protect herself and Heather's reputation for the whole summer?

I've had this book on my NetGalley shelf for months and put off reading it until closer to the summer and then suddenly we were coming up on publication day and I was in a mahoosive reading slump. I did struggle to get through this book a bit, but that was definitely a reflection on where I was at during that time rather than the book itself. I found a lot of the characters blended together a little at the beginning and it took me a while to really get into but I actually ended up really enjoying it and the conclusion actually took me by surprise which was a nice change. Generally, just a lovely read which had I been in a better reading mood at the time might have had a bigger impact on me.

Milk and Honey

Rupi Kaur


In this critically acclaimed poetry collection, Rupi Kaur writes about survival and each of the four chapters focuses on different experiences in the author's life talking about abuse, relationships, heartbreak and self-love showing that even in the bitterest of moments you can still find sweetness

Everyone has heard of this book right, and I'll be honest here I never had any intention of ever picking it up but I was just scrolling through Libby trying to find something quick to read and noticed it so I just figured, it's now or never. Spoiler alert - I absolutely adored this. I mentioned with Long Way Down that sometimes poetry just feels like the right medium to tell your story in and this is one of those times. This is a short but poignant read and I found myself highlighting so many sections. I just love how open and honest Rupi Kaur was with this narrative and it's definitely something I can see myself coming back to. I know this is a bit of a cliche book at this point but I do genuinely think it's worth the read and this is coming from someone who had no real interest in it prior to picking it up.

The Road Trip

Beth O'Leary

I received an advanced copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher

Addie and Dylan met while on a holiday in France and entered a relationship, cut to three years later and they've broken up but somehow now find themselves sharing a car on their way to a friend's wedding along with Addie's sister Deb, Dylan's best friend Marcus, and the elusive Rodney who nobody really knows. This book follows the eventful car journey shared by these five passengers as well as flashback scenes detailing Addie and Dylan's relationship from how it began to how it ended.

After loving both The Flatshare and The Switch last year I was very excited to get stuck into Beth O'Leary's latest offering. This one definitely had a bit of a different feel than the other two and while the romance was the main element it focused a lot more on much heavier themes throughout and generally felt much less like a rom-com. Just like Beth O'Leary's previous books though, I devoured this in one sitting, there's just something about her writing that just makes you unable to put it down! I also really enjoyed that the characters in this book were around my age which is something I don't actually find a lot of in books (if you know of any early twenties romances let me know) but I don't really feel like I related to any of these characters, they all seemed a bit too stylised. I definitely enjoyed my time reading this one.
hands holding sage kindle paperwhite and iced coffee latte
So yes all in all not my greatest reading month but also not a COMPLETE disaster! I definitely think I've gotten my reading mojo back and I'm excited about all the books that May has to offer me! How was your reading this month? I hope it was better than mine anyway! Have you read any of these books? Let me know down below!

my life in songs

20 Apr 2021

I was scrolling through TikTok the other day, and I came across a trend where you share your top songs on Spotify through the years along with some pictures of yourself at the time and I thought it looked so fun so I stole it and now I'm writing a blog post about it. I tend to go through phases with my music where I'll listen to one thing for a month and then completely switch genres so it's hard to really say exactly what my taste was for each year but I thought I'd just share my top three songs from each year, a little bit about what they mean to me and also what I was up to that year for a bit of context!