It's My Birthday!!!

Yep. It's ma burfday today :D

I have reached the grand old age of 24!

Life as a 23 year old has been... ok.


  • Spent my 23rd birthday in France, Grenoble to be more precise. Had a really lovely time visiting my friend there.
  • Started volunteering at a local primary school and eventually got offered a paid position, which I started 3 weeks ago. Got my foot in the door.
  • Got inspired and started a British sign language course and have just completed my NVQ Level 1, and I'm continuing onto the Level 2 qualification. I'm having so much fun learning it, and have met some great people through it.
  • Have rediscovered my love for reading thanks to my Kindle and doing this blog :)
  • Tried, and failed, to get onto a PGCE teaching course to start in September. Back to square one...
  • Have been working 3 jobs (paid or otherwise) all year. Busy busy busy! I haven't had a proper weekend in months. Can't wait for the 2-week holiday I'll be having at the end of May. 
Well, looking back, the highlights are outnumbering the lowlights, which is encouraging. I'm really looking forward to life as a 24 year old. Got lots of plans in the pipeline, so BRING IT ON!

Lifescouts: Music

It was Music Month on Lifescouts and there were lots of badges to collect. I don't think I'll get many because they are mostly instrument badges, but let's see!

Clarinet Badge
I can play the clarinet! I started when I was... about 9 but stopped when I was 16. I got to Grade 3 with it. I did enjoy playing, in the orchestra and the school wind band (nerd alert!), but I wasn't too good at doing any practice.

Piano Badge
I tried to learn to play the piano when I was about 14 but, again, I didn't practice enough. Oh yeah, the teacher that was teaching me just stopped turning up! Which was nice... so yeah I can play like one song on the piano.

Concert Badge
I've been to a few concerts in my time, and there is just something magical about the shared experience at a concert. So, I've seen:
  • Spice Girls
  • Steps
  • Busted (with McFly supporting)
  • Girls Aloud
  • Westlife (twice)
  • Kanye West
  • Stereophonics
  • Miley Cyrus
  • Darren Criss
  • Take That
  • Robbie Williams
  • S Club 7
Karaoke Badge
So I haven't done 'proper' karaoke, like in a karaoke bar, but I can do a mean rendition of Beyoncé's Crazy in Love on SingStar. Wuh-oh wuh-oh wuh-oh oh no no!

So that's Music. Not many but quality over quantity... *shifty look at my concert history*

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Books I Liked MORE/LESS Than I Thought I Would

Tuesday has come around yet again so it is time for Top Ten Tuesday hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

Top ten books I liked MORE/LESS than I thought I would.

I really enjoyed this week's topic. It really got me thinking about what I had been expecting when I picked up a book.

  • Amy and Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. LESS. I think I didn't like this as much as I expected, even though I really wanted to love it.
  • The Perks of being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky. LESS. Now, I loved the film and I did like the book, but I don't know, I feel like I missed something when I read it... it's on my To Re-Read list.
  • Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. MORE. I just adored this book.
  • Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins. LESS. Just didn't live up to its predecessor for me...
  • Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion. MORE. I couldn't work out how a zombie/human relationship could work, but this has proved that it most definitely can.
  • The Life of Pi by Yann Martel. MORE. A revelation of a book in terms of taking you on a journey in several different ways. It was a joy to read, especially considering I read it on my iPhone!
  • Geekhood: Close Encounters of the Girl Kind by Andy Robb. MORE. I was a bit dubious about how good this book was going to be after I bought it on a whim, but the whim definitely paid off. I was laughing from the first page right through to the end.
  • The Boleyn Inheritance by Phillipa Gregory. LESS. After The Other Boleyn Girl, I was hungry for more Tudor stuff, and while this did fulfil the craving, it didn't have the impact of TOBG.
  • Matched by Ally Condie. LESS. I'd heard good things about this series, but so far it hasn't lived up to my expectations.
  • Paper Towns by John Green. LESS. Even though I wax lyrical about John Green, I felt this book was a bit formulaic and I just didn't enjoy it as much as his other books.

Book Review: The Woman in Black by Susan Hill

Synopsis: Arthur Kipps, a junior solicitor, is summoned to attend the funeral Mrs Alice Drablow, the house's sole inhabitant of Eel Marsh House, unaware of the tragic secrets which lie hidden behind the shuttered windows. The house stands at the end of a causeway, wreathed in fog and mystery, but it is not until he glimpses a wasted young woman, dressed all in black, at the funeral, that a creeping sense of unease begins to take hold, a feeling deepened by the reluctance of the locals to talk of the woman in black - and her terrible purpose.

Pages: 208

Rating: 6/10

Overall: Quick, enjoyable read that keeps cranking up the tension once it gets going. The chilling ending will stick with you for a long time after you put it down and make up for a few pacing issues.
The Woman in Black

Read more »

Top Ten Tuesday - Rewind: Top Ten Reasons Why I Blog

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish Blog, and this week is a REWIND week. So, I have chosen a topic about why I do this blogging malarky and it sort of goes into what I get out of it.
Top Ten Reasons Why I Blog
  • Initially I wanted to just have a place to write my thoughts, and I do still use it for that. I just don't have thoughts very often ;).
  • Once I decided I was going to concentrate more on reviews, my primary aim with this blog was to get me to read more. So far so good.
  • Writing reviews, for me, is a way to think about what I am reading, to not just be a passive audience of the story. Reviewing makes me consider what an event or a character makes me feel etc.
  • I love going on a reccy and seeing what other people thought of the books I've read.
  • During these reccies, I also look for inspiration for which books I should read next, or at least add to my to-read list.
  • I'm hoping to meet other bloggers through this. You can never have too many friends!
  • Blogging is a learning experience in building a website to be and do what you want.
  • I find writing to be relaxing and cathartic, and I like how blogging is like a quick remedy when everything else is moving so fast.
  • I like having a record of what I thought of a book at that time, and the reasons why I felt that way about that plot point or that character. I like to compare it sometimes with what I think now.
  • To have fun!

Book Review: VIII by HM Castor

Synopsis: VIII is the story of Hal: a young, handsome, gifted warrior, who believes he has been chosen to lead his people. But he is plagued by the ghosts of his family's violent past and, once he rises to power, he turns to murder and rapacious cruelty. He is Henry VIII.

Pages: 399

Rating: 8/10

Overall: A fast-paced look at Henry VIII's life through his own eyes. He is as fascinating as he was cruel and unforgiving. And his demons leave a sour taste in your mouth, wondering why it had to go so wrong for him.


Read more »

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the ladies over at The Broke and the Bookish blog.

This week's topic:
Top Ten Characters I Would Crush On If I Were Also A Fictional Character
I am going to reword this as Top Ten Characters I do crush on even though they are unfortunately fictional. Because that is a more accurate title for this category, let's be honest.

Presented with the name of an actor close(ish) to what I imagine, not necessary who should play the part.
  • Étienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss. He's American, but with a British accent, and can speak French. I mean... (Face claim: Alex Pettyfer)
  • Tobias 'Four' Eaton from Divergent. One of those strong, silent types, that would go above and beyond for you *swoon* (Face claim: Zac Efron with the buzz cut à la The Lucky One)
  • Augustus Waters from The Fault in our Stars. He'd be the guy who makes you think, and hooks you with his turn of phrase. Also tragic... (Face claim: Ben Barnes with Harry Styles hair)
  • Ronald Weasley from Harry Potter. Ron's always been my favourite. The funny guy who just makes you laugh all the time, even if his jealousy issues could cause problems... (Face claim: Eddie Redmayne)
  • Alex Kylar from Angel. Secretive, slightly unknowable, intriguing, brooding. (Face claim: Jeremy Sumpter) 
  • Cedric Diggory from Harry Potter. He's the older guy in the top year that everyone and their dog would crush on. Guys want to be him, girls want to be with him. (Face claim: Robert Pattinson but a bit softer)
  • Finnick Odair from the Hunger Games. Initially you'd be crushing on him from a purely aesthetic view point but then it would become more than that once you hear his story. (Face claim: Hunter Parrish)
  • Edward Cullen from Twilight. No judgment please, but he is very pretty. Regardless of his stalkeresque tendencies and vampirey-ness. He's pretty. (Face claim: Robert Pattinson)
  • Darcy from P&P and Bridget Jone's Diary. I consider them essentially the same character, and both are lovely. (Face claim: Colin Firth, who else?)
  • Alex Rider from Stormbreaker. Not so much a crush now, but one from when I was younger... (Face claim: Alex Pettyfer)
There you go. This was a good topic this week, but surprisingly hard! Let me know below who's in your top ten and if you agree with the face claims.

Lifescouts: Nerds

Another month has flown by! I hope everyone has had a lovely Easter break, despite the unseasonable cold weather here in the UK. Also, I know I haven't reviewed much this month, but, you know... real life and stuff equals not much reading time. Sad face.

But anyway.

This month on Lifescouts it was Nerd month. While I am a self-confessed nerd, I don't think I will be collecting many badges this month. But let's see:

Chess Badge
While I know how to play chess, I'm not very good at the whole strategy side of this game. Normally, I lose when I play, or if I play against a computer with the easiest settings, I occasionally win but mostly get to stalemate.

Video Games Badge
I love playing video games. I have a PS3, Wii and DS. My favourite game on the PS3 has to be the Lego Harry Potter games, and for the Wii/DS, the Super Mario games. Not a fan of first-person shooter games though. I am shocking at aiming my gun while moving and find them more tense than enjoyable lol.

Bowling Badge
When I was around 15, I went to New Orleans with school, and we went bowling one afternoon. While bowling around the world is essentially the same game, the difference in this particular bowling alley is that there was no automated scoring! None of us knew how to do the scoring. Our coach driver tried to explain it but we still couldn't get it. I think in the end we just added an extra 10 points for strikes and half-strikes.

Programming Badge
Over the past year or so, I've been trying (very trying) to teach myself some rudimentary programming. Mainly HTML and CSS, because let's be real, it's useful to at least be able to look at a webpage source and know what's what. Thankfully, the internet is a wonderful resource for self-learning this sort of stuff with places like codecademy and Khan Academy providing free courses to learn with. I think I'm at the point where I can made a website that looks like it was made in the early 90s, maybe late 90s with a lot of looking up stuff involved. It is so satisfying though when your code works though!

So there we go. Four badges from this month's theme. Wish I could qualify for the Observatory badge and the Rubik's cube badge.

Go here to see the other badges I have collected, and let me know in the comments which badges you have collected!