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The Book Chat

4 Apr

This is one of my favourite book chat topics for a while – Children’s books!

book chat

I have loved reasding and books for as long as I remember. I remember being stupidly excited about the week that the book fayre was coming to town. I remember picking up my first Harry Potter book off my primary school bookshelf having little idea of the impact that it would have on my life. I remember the books that I was desperate for my friends to read so that we could discuss!

There are a few that stand out more than others…

The Very Hungry Caterpillar! I’ve mentioned this one the last time The Book Chat had this prompt, but it was so special that it even made it in to my final year university coursework!

I’m not sue I’ve mentioned this on the blog before but when I was a child I also used to have a pet Barn Own named Willow. At one of the school book fayres I picked up a book about 3 owls (that’s all I can remember!) but I was absolutely obsessed with it just because it had owls in! Now, 15 years later, Owls are everywhere – I was miles ahead of the crowd!

I also had a personalised book that my Nanny gave me when I was younger – I was a bear and the story was all about me and my friends playing in a dream land (I think…it was a long time ago!)

As I got a little older it was all about The Babysitter’s Club and then The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants. We used to have a book track scheme at my local library. Mum used to take me every Saturday morning after my trampolining lesson and those series’ would always be the ones that I sought out first.

Then came Harry Potter. What can I say about those? They were the first (and only) series that I pre-ordered and counted down the days until the release date, I waited eagerly for the movies and would stay up late every night until I finished the latest story. I don’t think it would be an exaggeration to say that JK Rowling changed my life…

What were your favourite books growing up?



Book Review: You Had Me At Hello By Mhairi McFarlane

3 Apr

you had me at hello


Remember the other day when I was blabbering on about how sad I was that I’d finished my book? Well, this was it.

I originally picked it up because I was looking for some light trashy Chick Lit to keep my occupied on my school trip. You know what it’s like when you’re travelling – you want something that you can easily dip in and out of and get a good story line from but nothing that is going to distract al of your attention from what’s going on around you. I’d seen a few good reviews of this online and it was only a few quid on amazon (kindle) so I figured I’d give it a go.

The bok follows the story of Ben and Rachel – the best of friends at university and then out of contact for 10 years. When they bump in to eachother one day, Rachel’s world is suddenly tipped upside down. She is just out of a long term relationship but Ben is married – did she love him then? Does she love him now? Has she crossed his mind during their time apart? So many unanswered questions to explore as McFarlane skips between their current meetings and their student life years ago.

A solid 10/10 from me – I was hooked.

I think it really struck a nerve with me because it reminded me of my own one that got away. Best friends at university then abruptly torn apart by a change in lifestyle. I guess I’ll keep counting down until our chance encounter comes along!

The Book Chat & Holidays

28 Mar

I’m linking back to a previous post for this week’s Book Chat, all about how I’d quite like to write a book! I’ve given up on taking notes for it lately, but I still think it’d be a hit. One day, world, one day!

In other news, I am now officially on Easter holiday! I was holding off on getting too excited (relaxe!) before my TEFL course yesterday, but now I officially have 3 free weeks and zero commitments! Just lots of time to fill up with evenings with friends, lots of sleep and Sunday brunches πŸ™‚

Checking In & Some March Goals

2 Mar

Wow, I didn’t mean to abandon you for another few days, sorry about that! I am alive, it has just been another hectic week – lots of coursework, lots going on at school and Mummy Leach’s birthday. It’s been busy but great πŸ™‚

Now for some goals for the month…

* I have been slacking on the exercise front lately and am not very happy about it, so I’m going to aim to work out 12 times this month – I feel like 3 times a week is a realistic enough goal.

* I am also behind with my Goodreads goal for the year, so I’m hoping to read 4 books this month. I have an exciting variety from the library waiting in my room. As a sidenote, I love going to the library – anybody else?!

* I am doing well on my TEFL course, but would like it to carry on that way, so this month I hope to feel like I have improved during my next teaching practice and also not leave the 2 assignments that I have due until the last minute.

* Finally, I want to drink less tea and more water.

All sounds easy enough so hopefully I can smash them! What are your current goals?



Some Goals Talk.

21 Feb

I haven’t really talked much about my goals on here lately (too busy!) so here’s a little update… After all…

Goals that are not written down


When I was at university, I used to be really good at drawing a budgeted amount of cash out on a Monday and dealing in that, so that when I started paying for things on my card again, I know that I’d spent too much money. I decided to give this a try again, and although I’m still trying to work out exactly how much is a reasonably weekly amount for my current lifestyle, it has at least made me a lot more aware of my spending habits.

My Goodreads account tells me that I am currently 4 books behind schedule to hit my reading goals for this year, so I need to up my game on that one. I am going to try and set aside 30minutes a day for the next few weeks to read to try and get back in to the habit. After all, I have a ‘to-read’ list a mile long that needs tackling sooner or later!

Finally, I need to start exercising again. Seriously, I am starting to feel the podge and it is seriously uncool!

Which goals are you working on at the mo?



Book Review: The Maze Runner, By James Dashner.

30 Jan

The Maze Runner(Source)

This book had been on my ‘to read’ list for a while after hearing (or reading!) so many people rave about it and tons of good reviews, sowhen I saw it on the shelves at the library, I knew I needed to check it out.

The Maze Runner is about teenager Thomas, who wakes up in the middle of a maze, unable to remember anything other than his first name. The book tells the story about Thomas coming to terms with life in the maze, trying to work out why they are there and if they will ever be able to leave.

I was a little worried that the book had been ‘overhyped’ and that I would be disappointed but that was definitely not the case! I was completely hooked and practically devoured the whole thing in a weekend! The chapters are short enough that you always think you can squeeze one more in, and every single one ends with a massive cliff hanger!

I don’t want to give too much away, but I have also never read a book with such an incredible twist at the end! Needless to say, I need to get my hands on the next one!

Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think?


6 Jan

Thanks for all your feedback on this post πŸ™‚ I have signed up for a GoodReads account, and well, it’s a bit addicitive isn’t it?!

Here is a link to my profile (apologies for the shameless plug!) so have a look, and if you also have a page then I’d love for us to be friends πŸ™‚

The Book Chat.

27 Dec

Hey πŸ™‚

It’s been a while since I linked up for The Book Chat, but I can definitely share my Christmas gifts with you πŸ™‚ I love love love being the type of person that people buy books for Christmas!

book chat

Santa was very good to me this year, especially on the reading front.

I recently read both The Fault in Our Stars (see my review here) and Paper Towns by John Green and loved them both, so I asked for more….

looking for alaska


And I got more! Can’t wait to get stuck in to this one πŸ™‚

I also received the new Miranda Hart book, ‘Is it just me?’ in both hardback and audiobook form!

is it just me Miranda Hart


I love Miranda on the tv, so I have high hopes for the book (whichever version!)

Was Santa good to you?

Book Review: MWF seeks BFF, By Rachel Bertsche.

24 Nov

MWF seeks BFF is a real life story, based on Rachel’s search forΒ  new best friend that she could call on at the last minute for Sunday brunch, or to discuss the latest celebrity gossip. She takes it upon herself, after moving to Chicago, to go on 52 ‘friend dates’, one every week for the next year – andso the adventure of a lifetime begins.


What I liked:

I read this book after seeing it mentioned on a blog post on making friends – it was recommended (and this is definitely the case) because it was full of ideas for how to meet new people and make potential BFFs.

I have a Psychology degree (Have I ever even mentioned that on here before?!) and I love reading snippets of studies about people and the ways that we interact. Well, this book was full of them! Little notes on social interation, why strong friendsihips are important and how we form relationships.

The shop chapters and extracts about individual ‘friend dates’ made this an easy book for me to read on working days, where I often find myself with only 10 spare minutes.

What I didn’t like:

At times, I felt it dragged a little.

I think the basic idea – of 52 friend dates – could make for a very good novel, and although the psychological aspect was one of my favourite parts of the book, I feel they ruined the story telling slightly.

Overall, I’d give it a 5/10 – not great, but well worth a read to give you that little extra motivation to put yourself out there and make some new friends!

Book Review: The Fault In Our Stars, By John Green

14 Nov

I finally gave in and purchased The Fault In Our Stars after reading blogs going on and on and on about it for months now (you know who you are!), but I am so glad that I did!


The book tells the story of Hazel Grace, suffering from terminal cancer, and her relationship with Augustus, who she meets at a support group.

What I loved:

* John Green’s writing style is just incredible. I rarely read a book where I read a line, and a few hours later the quote pops up in my mind in a moment of appreciation, but in this case it happened repeatedly.

* The book tackles important but somehow taboo issues so well. Teenagers suffering from terminal cancer is not something that anybody wants to think about, but we cannot ignore that it happens. Green has obviously researched this in depth, and the use of information was spot on.

* It was so refreshing to read a teenage love story that hadn’t been taken over by cheesy attitudes, or over sexualised as so often happens in the 21st century. I thought the relationship between Augustus and Hazel developed really well, and was a very realistic telling of how sometimes you can’t help how you meet important people or how your lives become completely dependent on one another.

What I didn’t like quite so much:

* I’m not too keen on the name Hazel – that is genuinely the only bad thing that I have to say about this!

Some favourite quotes:

So clever…


And my favourite line in a book ever!


If you haven’t read this one yet, I highly recommend it! 11/10 from me πŸ™‚