Things to do this summer...

I feel I have been very neglectful over my blog recently, my life has been utter madness with exams, trips, work experience etc so anytime when I haven't been revising or seeing people, I have been taking a well deserved break. 
Last week marked my first blogiversary, I had semi planned a post celebrating my past year but when it came down to it, I once again had little time. I do have some very exciting things in the works though including a new blog design, and hopefully, with the summer holidays being a mere 3 weeks away, it will give me more time to dedicate to my blog. The 6 week holidays are definitely the best part of school, they feel like you have forever to spend doing what ever you want- no school, homework or revision. This glory soon disappears when you realise the weeks are dramatically dwindling and you only have a few days left. That is why I want to make the most of this summer and to do this, I have decided to come up with a "Things to do this summer" list...

1. Spontaneous adventures 
This is one of my favourite things about summer, spending the day out getting lost on a train or in a park. I love anything spontaneous, I often make the best memories out of them. Even if this is in my local park, just spending the day with friends, playing games until the sun sets.
2. Camp out in Teepee
For what feels like every year, myself and my friend have attempted to camp out in my garden. There is a public country lane/footpath that runs between the house and main garden so we always get terrified and have to run back inside. This year, I am determined to do it, and I would especially like to sleep in the Teepee myself and my mum made last year.
3. Take hundreds of photos
This is pretty self explanatory but I want to collect all the best memories to display on my wall and look back through in winter. 
4. Go to the beach in the evening
I don't live too far from the beach, its about a 15 minute train ride but I really want to go with friends in the evening and have a BBQ and play beach games.
6. Do a craft project
Being so busy, I have had almost no time to do any form of crafting but I always love to set myself a big project to get on with in quiet days in the holidays.
7. Write a short story
Writing is one of my favourite things and I hope that this summer I will have enough time to dedicate to writing a short story. I just need a plot...
9. Read more
I bought quite a few books a month or so ago and have had almost no time to read them- I am now going to save them for the summer where I hope to spend a lot of time relaxing in the garden with a book...
10. Go on a bike ride
Last year, I and a few friends went on a bike ride. It was one of my favourite memories of last summer and I really hope we can do it again!

Who knows if I will complete any of these let alone all of them? My main goal of summer is to relax and have fun- what is  on your summer to do list?
Katie x

Top 5 books "That Changed My Life"

Today I thought I would run you guys through my top 5 books that "changed my life". Most of these books are YA (young adult), I just find that they cover current issues in a very clever way that I also find I can relate to as I fall into that catergory! Of course there are hundreds and I have only just touched the surface, if you have any additional suggestions leave them below, I'd love to find more!

To Kill A Mockingbird- Harper Lee
I love this book, the way Harper Lee captures typical events of the 1930s but puts them through the naive eyes of young Scout Finch really makes the book relatable. She tackles some pretty prominent and tough issues (e.g racism) but as it is seen through such a young perspective, it is humorous and a thoroughly great read. 

The Perks Of Being A Wallflower- Stephen Chbosky
I cannot get over how cleverly this book is written, it is written in the perspective of a teenage boy who clearly has some form of mental illness but it totally captures all his thoughts and feelings, making the book really relatable and allowing you to completely empathise with Charlie's position. There is so much love and warmth in this book, and while it isnt all simple and straight forward (and despite it being a very heavy topic) it is quite 'feel good' and leaves you thinking " wow". This book really helped me to understand more about the issues relating to mental illness and totally changed my perspective on life

The Fault In Our Stars- John Green
Wow, I couldn't really write a post about books that changed my life without putting this in could I? But I do feel this book has an extra special place in my heart as it was quite a big deal to read it. Call it cliche, but this book did change my life. It caused me to think totally differently about something that terrified me and also sort of reduced my fear. But that aside, it is an amazing book about strength, love and loss; if you haven't read it (where have you been?!) I strongly urge you to do so!

Ketchup Clouds- Annabel Pitcher
This book is composed from a set of letters sent between a teenager (Zoe) and a man on death row, Zoe has a terrible confession to make and finds peace in these letters of correspondence. The thing I find most magical about this book is the sympathy you feel for Mr Harris (the man on death row) and the relationships you build with the characters. It has such beauty about it and is written so cleverly that you feel real empathy for Zoes position and I just couldn't put it down.

The Book Theif- Marcus Zusak
This one kind of ties in with The Fault In Our Stars in the sense that it gave me a whole new perspective on a scary topic. Once again this story is told through a young girls eyes but what I love most is the portrayal of death. He isnt shown to be scary or horrid, but caring and an almost loving character. It really made me rethink the idea of death and totally took the fear away. I love how in depth Death tells the story, describing scents and colours of people, it really adds to his character and I felt after reading this book I could take sigh of relief.

A few other suggestions:
-The shock of the fall
-Noughts and Crosses

I hope you like this post, something a little different. If you arent keen on these book type posts, don't worry- I have a beauty one coming up next week!
Have you read any of these books? What did you think?
Katie x