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Sunday, 15 October 2017

Goodreads: October/November Reading List

Goodreads: October/November Reading List
Sunday, 15 October 2017
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Having settled into my new job, it’s high time I got stuck back into my reading list and got my end of year reading goal back on track. I have a week off for half-term coming up this month of October, so I’m counting that as opportunity to read to my heart’s content. On payday, I made a little book order using the Amazon 3 for £10 offer and picked up some books that I’m really excited to read.

Goodreads: October/November Reading List | Hollie in Wanderlust | Book Haul | BookBlogger

At the moment, I’m reading The Keeper of Lost Things by Ruth Hogan. There has been a lot of hype around this one, and 80 pages in, I can definitely see why. The writing style is flawlessly beautiful and I’ve really connected with all the complex and intriguing characters. It’s nice to read a book that reads as fluidly as this one and I haven’t found myself getting bored or switching off whilst I’ve been reading.

A book which has been on my radar for a while now is Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. I have heard many things about this one, and obviously it was recently made into a motion picture movie. As is the case with any book to movie adaptation, I, like many Book Bloggers or BookTubers, like to read the book before seeing the film, so buying this one was a bit of a no-brainer really. The story follows Madeline, a young girl who suffers from allergies so severe she cannot leave her house. A new family moves into the empty house next door to hers and Maddy finds herself drawn to the family’s teenage son, Olly. I’m very excited to see what all the fuss is about regarding this book.

Another book that I’ve seen all over Bookstagram is One of Us is Lying by Karen McManus and I must admit that this one is probably the book that I’m most looking forward to reading. The synopsis reminds me a little of the story behind The Breakfast Club, and since The Breakfast Club is one of my favourite films, I am really excited to start reading this book. Hopefully it holds up to the high esteem I’ve placed it in, but quite frankly, I can’t see why it wouldn’t.

Finally, my last choice was a bit of a spontaneous one:  The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena. Again, I’ve seen this one floating around, with reviews coming up all over the place on Twitter and Instagram, but honestly, I don’t really know all that much about it. I liked the look of the cover, and we all know my feelings toward psychological thrillers, so it went in the basket for this month’s reading challenge. I’m still well ahead of my Goodreads challenge, in spite of my lack of reading prowess since my new job started, so I’m optimistic to hit my goal of reading 50 books in 2017.


What are you reading at the moment? Let me know!


Friday, 13 October 2017

Travel: A Whistle Stop Tour of Munich, Germany

Travel: A Whistle Stop Tour of Munich, Germany
Friday, 13 October 2017
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It’s been a little while since my last trip abroad, so it’s definitely time to write up my little travel guide for the amazing German city that I was lucky enough to visit. It’s fair to say that I’ve definitely got itchy feet and I am yet to book any trips for the coming months- other than a weekend away in North Wales with my better half, that is. When I went out to Nuremberg in August to reunite with my best year abroad pal, she offered me two places to visit, outside of Nuremberg city centre. One of the choices was Munich, the second was tiny town called Bamberg. Whilst the appeal of a gorgeous, picturesque town was hard to turn down, I’d always wanted to visit Munich and had a close encounter with the place when I was living in Strasbourg.


We decided to take the train into the city from Nuremberg, about two hours ride away. A little top travel tip: if you buy a Bayern Ticket, two travellers can go anywhere in Bavaria for around 31 euros. Great for couples, travellers and friends like Antonia and I who were travelling into and returning from the city together. In contrast to Nuremberg, Munich was incredibly different but it was somewhere that I am very happy to have finally visited. Before getting there, Antonia and I decided we would take full advantage of the amazing shops that the city had to offer and do a little bit of shopping together whilst we were there. We spent a few hours when we first arrived exploring the city and the shops, picking up a few bits and bobs whilst we had the chance. We had already grabbed a delicious lunch of pretzel with German salami at the train station so we were able to get well and truly stuck into shopping. After a quick stop at a restaurant for a drink, we decided it was time to check out the main tourist attractions.  


Antonia had kept the city under wraps from me, and I tried really hard not to Instagram the tourist sites and spoil them for myself. First on the agenda was Marienplatz, a beautiful square right in the centre of Munich, surrounded by bars, restaurants and shops. It was really crowded which was slightly offputting but the area takes on a very Baroque style and is absolutely beautiful to look at. We also had a look over at Neus Rathaus, the city’s town hall, adorned in beautiful red flowers. The building is gorgeous and full of character. A really beautiful stop on our whistle stop tour. Finally, after a little bit more shopping and a stop to buy snacks for the train ride back to Nuremberg, we had a walk across the city to the English Garden for a quick stroll around. The gardens were so picturesque, I felt so privileged to be allowed the opportunity to wander through them. After walking out of the gardens, we stumbled across a beautiful church and a really bizarre looking pine tree- an unexpected find at the end of a lovely day of explorations.


We jumped back on the train with tired feet, big smiles and lots of memories made.


I cannot wait to return to Munich to explore even more, in the near future.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Book Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera

Book Review: They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera
Saturday, 30 September 2017
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Whenever there’s a particular hype about a book, I’m usually quite reluctant to buy it straight away. I normally get there in the end but I’m a bit of a reading snob sometimes and hype does nothing but sway me away from something. However, I’m incredibly glad I went against my usual stubbornness and bought myself a copy of the newly-acclaimed YA fiction contribution They Both Die at the End by Adam Silvera.

Set in an alternative reality where people are notified of their impending death, we are introduced to two young men, Mateo and Rufus, who have recently been notified that the present day is their End Day. They enlist the help of a social networking application, Last Friend, and meet to share their last day together, making the most of their last 24 hours on Earth. The premise of the application is to meet up and live out your last day wholly and make it one to remember. Mateo and Rufus intend on doing just that and set out together as Deckers (the name given to those set to die that day) to make memories and explore whole new emotions.

What would you do if you had one last day to live? After the initial shock of discovering that they’re going to die, Mateo and Rufus set out to accomplish everything they hope they would have by the ends of their lives. They are not aware of the way in which they will day- adding to the tale in the sense that every action they undertake could consequently result in their death. Avoiding taking lifts and using stairs, refusing to ride on the back of bicycles some of the ways in which they attempted to prolong their already premature deaths. The characters are ones that I found intriguing and got attached to quite quickly: Rufus, an extroverted young man who had already been through so much after witnessing his parent’s deaths, contrasted with the quiet and introverted character behind Mateo.

I’ve never read anything by Adam Silvera before but I am tempted to pick up a few of his other novels now. I loved his style of writing and the flick between perspectives: the third person accounts of other characters involvement in the tale added somewhat to the progression of the story and I was interested to find out how all the stories would intertwine and come together.


The feedback on the book promised me tears and more tears, and while I didn’t find myself reaching for the Kleenex this time, the book was incredibly beautiful and was the perfect book to get me out of the reading slump I’d found myself in.

4/5.