Recent Reads

I'll Give You The Sun-Jandy Nelson ****
(find a synopsis here)
I love and kinda don't love this book. I haven't read piece of proper YA romance fiction in a long while so I guess it took some time to get into the right mind set but first things first, the writing style of this book is beautiful. Seriously, so metaphorical and descriptive-that, I loved. I also loved the first 2/3rds of it-the story covers some seriously deep and complex issues and you build a real relationships with both Jude and Noah, written in such an artistic way. I also love the way you are presented two juxtaposed characters at different stages in their lives and as the story is revealed you learn how it all changed.
But, and its a big but, I found it all a bit naive and cliched and just predictable. Not Noah's story, his tale was naive but in a relate able, cosy way-you wanted to protect him but I jut found the latter half of Jude's to be too unrealistic-like a lot of YA romance is-all a bit too sweet. I feel guilty saying this because the other issues she faces are really well presented its just her love life-it just feels like it wouldn't happen and it left me feeling a bit meh and thinking "if all relationships went as bloody smoothly as this the world would be a better place". Finally, I didn't like the way everything connected-once again-predictable. I would still give it 4 stars for the gorgeous writing and characters though.

The Lovely Bones-Alice Sebold ** (maybe 3)
I don't want to make this a negative review so I shall keep this one pretty short nd snappy but:
This book could have been done after the first 30 pages, that's where 90% of the action (except the bizarre bit at the end that left me like "what?") and it dragged and dragged, like she was trying to milk a good idea she once had-it wasnt awful-I mean I did finish it.  Make of it what you will but I just couldn't get my head around it.

All the Bright Places-Jennifer Niven ***** (actually 4.5 but I can't do a half star)
find synopsis here
Firstly, it was completely coincidental that all these books ended up being about dead relatives and the effects on the family, after completing them all I am craving something a little less morbid.
Nonetheless this was fab. "John Green meets Rainbow Rowell"-okay it is basically The Fault in Our Stars combined with Looking For Alaska and the synopsis/writing style could be perceived as copying BUT I think if thats the style she writes with, it can't be copying
the characters are so beautifully developed and complex, the dual narration works a dream, I love the literary quotes and references and all the metaphors-its beautiful. Some say it glorifies depression and attempted suicide and I see where they are coming from but I also think it presents Finches emotions so clearly, you really begin to understand his mania. They're relationship is a bit forced at the start but becomes so precious as the story develops. I think it glorifies some topics quite heavily and there is more I would like to say on the subject but a) this is ridiculously long and b)it will totally ruin it but I urge you, if you like John Green-esque books read this.

So there you go, the past 3 books I have read. Next I think it will be Brave New World, something totally different from the YA romance.
What have you read recently?

Katie x
Currents: Listening: Stornoway-Bonxie//Reading: --//Loving: my shorter hair//Lusting: for these exams to be over and done with

Collection Eyes Uncovered Palette

I have an ongoing love affair with nude eyeshadows; more specifically, shimmery nudes. I am to metallic nude eyeshadows what a magpie is to silver: instantly attracted. I walk into mac, perusing all the gorgeous mattes and dark dark browns but no, my hand reaches for the shimmery nude that I have at least one other of the same shade. Well, what can I say-I just like to stick to what I know.

This palette has quite possibly made my holiday. I was just walking around Boots with my sister when we laid eyes on these. At £3.99 for a selection of 6 awesomely creamy, awesomely pigmented shadows we snapped up 2 (the more matte one and this one).  I am often a little iffy about bargainous eyeshadow palettes, I used to love the MUA heaven and earth palette but have now sorta come round to realise that the shadows are utterly chalky and overall a bit pants. This is however nothing of the sort; the most gorgeous wearable shades in tiny slim packaging (that, fair enough may break within 2 weeks of using it but hey) that could travel anywhere.
It pairs so nicely with other eyeshadows too as the colours are so versatile, I wore Mac Amber Lights (shown above) with  Golden Brown and it looked lovely.
I would urge y'all to pop out and snap this up because, if you are a nude addict (lol) like I am, this will push all  your buttons. If that hasnt convinced you, I don't know what will. Buy it.

L-R Golden brown, Ochre, Mink, Ivory
Also included in the palette: Ember and Nutty

 What are you favourite eyeshadows? Do you have any mac shadow recommendations?
Katie x
Currents: Listening: Stornoway-Bonxie//Reading: Just finished All the Bright Places//Loving: eating// Lusting: Jamie jeans

A Week Away//Southwold, Suffolk

The iconic beach huts

the best meringues you have e.v.e.r .e.a.t.e.n

So there it is, an overload of photos from the past week that I have spent away in Southwold, Suffolk with my family at our annual gathering. It is my favourite place possibly ever and my mum and I even agreed it felt like going home so, understandably, I was extremely sad to leave however we will of course be back next year,
After bombarding you with 32 photos (more for the personal recollection of the week) I don't want to write too much but as a brief synopsis: the week consisted of the usual; extreme food eating (outside in the sun-oh yas), family reminiscing, reading, beach games, swimming in the sea (!!), walks, spending time with cousins, photo taking, birthday celebrations (not mine sadly) and just general good times. It is essentially an island (as my mum kept on reminding me) so therefore has practically no signal or wifi anywhere but I actually loved the isolation and have been avoiding my social media as much as possible since being back; it feels good just to be in the present ya know?

While I long to be back, I have another week off in which I plan to go shopping, reply to some letters and watch movies in bed (along with the obvious-revision) ooh and I'm going Go-karting on friday which should be an absolute hoot (and possibly very competitive knowing me). I also will be putting up a review of the three books I managed to finish while away (yes three) so look out.
Congrats if you actually looked at all of those photos
Katie x

Easter Creme Egg Brownies

 I am a lover for spring; more specifically; Easter. It it always just tied up with such great memories and beautiful weather and also sees the arrival of the best foods; Marzipan and Chocolate. Easter's chocolate has to be, in my opinion, the best going. Creme eggs, mini eggs, Malteaser bunny thangs, general easter eggs-its all delish and these gorgeous brownies combine probably the two best and guiltiest treats in one slice of absolute heaven (Quite a claim eh? Just wait until you try them). They are also the e.a.s.i.e.s.t brownies ever and everyone seems to love them (with or without the creme eggs)

 You will need:
200g plain chocolate
35g cocoa
a pinch of salt
150g soft brown sugar
5 creme eggs, cut in half (or more or less if you want)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius
1. Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl over a pan of simmering water and slowly melt them. Add the cocoa into this and mix them together.

2. Whisk the eggs and sugar in a separate bowl (using an electric whisk, freestanding mixer or whisk-
what ever suits you) until they reach 'ribbon' stage (basically until you lift the mixture and it forms ribbon shapes).

3. Fold the cocoa mixture into the egg and sugar using a metal spoon. Then pop this into a 20cm lined tin (I line mine with grease-proof paper). Put this into the oven for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, take it out and gently place each half onto the brownies, evenly spaced out. Then pop this back into the oven for an additional 10 minutes et viola!

Probably the easiest and most delicious brownies you will ever try (but probably also the most sickly!!)-let me know if you give them a go!

Katie x

Currents: Listening: nothing much//Reading: I've practically given up on The Lovely Bones-I'm going to start I'll Give You The Sun//Loving: Being off school//Lusting: A pair of pastel New Balance trainers

Newbies//Reading Edition

I guess this post doesn't really have that much point to it other than to show you a couple of new reads that I picked up on a bit of a whim last Sunday, in all honesty, I just thought they looked nice together and wanted to show the photos I took.
I am going away for just over a week on Friday and have two incredibly long car journeys there and back therefore I was desperate to find something new to read. I am currently reading The Lovely Bones but was really craving some good YA romance-I don't know why because I am also desperate to read Animal Farm and Brave New World (which are as far from YA romance as you can get) but I just really wanted to get lost in a book that was beautifully written and presented some heart warming relationships.

I'll Give You The Sun-Jandy Nelson
Jude and her twin Noah are close until a tragedy drives them apart. Now they are barely speaking-and both falling for boys they can't have. Love's complicated.

I am so so excited to start this; it was recommended by Alice who absolutely loved it and insisted that I got it when I told her I was going to Waterstones. It was the first book I saw and I knew I was going to buy it; something about it just seems so heart warming and loving, even the first page ('an introduction to the characters') is so beautifully written in metaphors and poetic language-I feel like this is the kind of book where I will be more engrossed in the writing style than the actual storyline, I love books like that!

All The Bright Places-Jennifer Niven (supposedly perfect for those who like David Levithan, John Green and Rainbow Rowell-i.e me)
Theodore Finch wants to take his own life. Violet Markey is devastated by her sisters death. They met on the ledge of the school bell tower and so their story begins. Its only together they can be themselves...
But, as Violet's world grows, Finch's begins to shrink. How far will violet go to save the boy she has come to love? 

When looking at reviews of this a while ago, I was told it was quite similar to The Fault In Our Stars which I of course enjoyed so I have quite high hopes for this one. Once again, I feel like it will be packed with emotion and metaphors that sum up the ins and outs of life which is the kind of book I am really in the mood for at the moment. I noticed when in Waterstones, that there was quite a selection of books relating to the topic of suicide which, in my opinion is definitely a positive as it is raising awareness of not only the situation but also presenting the thoughts and emotions of the people. I really like how Young Adult fiction has blossomed into a genre that presents some really thought provoking issues that are so prominent in our society.

I am so excited to start both of these books over the Easter holiday and I will of course let you know how I get on with them!
Have you read either of these books? Do you have any reading suggestions for me?!
Have a great rest of your week,
Katie x

Currents: Listening: Nothing new//Reading: The Lovely Bones//Loving: Runnning//Lusting: A Topshop spree oh and this nail polish