Broken Moon by Sarah Beth Moore - Review

Sunday, 17 December 2017

Hello everyone, 

I am back again today with a spoiler free review of Broken Moon by Sarah Beth Moore. Sarah approached me about her upcoming book, asking for an honest review in exchange for the ARC (advanced reader copy) of the book, but don't you guys worry, my gratitude to the author has in no way influenced my opinions on the story :-)


Broken Moon follows Naiya and her adopted brothers Pip and Enoch as they run from the guards and officials ruling their spectacularly corrupt city. Naiya has always treated the law as more of a guideline than a rule, making her living in the family business of scavenging old tech for sale to the highest bidder. Her family are her number one priority and she loves them more than anything else, which makes the suicide of her sister a most devastating blow. Just before her suicide, Amy gives Naiya a cryptic message to not trust the lies she has been told. This leaves Naiya with nothing but questions. Questions she does not have time to answer as she flees her home. Leaving the city undetected seems an impossible task and should not be delayed, but Naiya needs to answer the questions about her past, family and future. 


Rating - 4 stars! 

Positives: Good racial diversity, excellent world-building and believable characters 

Negatives: No tugging on the heart strings. Sarah I want you to make me cry next time! 

For lovers of: City Of Ember by Jeanne Du Prau, Mortal Engines by Philip Reeve, The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins and Divergent by Veronica Roth

This book is a fantastic blend of YA fantasy, sci-fi and dystopia, Sarah manages to seamlessly blend these three genres to create a riveting first instalment in what I'm sure will be a killer series! The idea of a tiered, industrialised city was very interesting and the description was spot on for making you feel like you were there, without tipping over into overly descriptive. I could hear the hustle and bustle, smell the grime and taste the scent of pollution as I was reading. 

It's not just the setting which felt real, the characters were highly relatable. In so many YA fantasy books the romance takes centre stage, eclipsing the whole quest story-line. I don't know about you, but someone trying to murder me would feel like a more pressing point than "ooh my crush just smiled at me, what could it possibly mean?!". Yes Naiya has a love interest, what YA protagonist doesn't, but this is background information. Her feelings are something she reflects on occasionally, never letting it over-ride her survival instinct. This felt more realistic, as did her reactions to all situations surrounding her family, rivals and strangers. However, I do think there is room for the romance to progress in the next book and I am excited about where it will lead, especially given how dreamy Enoch is! 

When it came to the narrative pace I was pleasantly surprised. Sarah never faltered in keeping the story flowing, effortlessly guiding the reader from location to location and easily introducing new characters. My one slightly negative comment is the character of Chen. I feel like she was introduced well, but without a huge purpose in the story. I would have liked to learn more about her and am hoping to do so in the next books. 

Well that's it for today, I hope you enjoyed this review and make sure to stay tuned for another post coming on Tuesday! :-) 

xoxo

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Where The Heck I've Been!

Friday, 15 December 2017

Hello everyone! 

It has been such a long time since I last sat down to blog that I am almost ashamed to start up again, but here I am. I never intended to be away so long, but life has a funny habit of running away with you. So I thought I'd re-introduce my blog and explain where on earth I have been for the last 12 months (12 months?!? How has it been so long?). 

2016 to 2017 was the year of my final exams, after 5 years of study I was going to end my academic career with a gruelling 33 exams in 2 weeks! Some of those exams were short practicals, but I count them all the same. Needless to say it put a lot of pressure on me. I felt like I should be studying non-stop and prioritising this over all else. That meant putting a lot of time consuming hobbies on hold, unfortunately the first to go was blogging, closely followed by dance and swimming. Looking back this was a silly idea, I should have cut back not cut out completely. Staying sane when you don't allow yourself downtime is almost impossible and it left me a stressed out wreck! Moral of the story: work-life balance is not something to sniff at! 

As always, Tiger-Lilly likes to help with revision!

Exhausted mess that I was, I still managed to drag my bum onto a 36 hour flight to New Zealand with Mr. GingerSnap. He lived there for 8 months, working as a dairy farmer and I have always wanted to see all the places he tells me stories about. His tales filled my head with pictures of a magical place where everyone is relaxed and the world is your oyster. This was not just nostalgic dreaming. I, like him, fell head over heels in love with it. The people, the scenery, the food and the way we spent time out there were truly perfect. It was the best holiday I have ever had and going back is now number one on our To Do List :-) 




When we got back I had every intention of sitting down with my laptop and blogging, but then I was offered my dream job. How could I say no to a position as a vet dealing with many pet exotics in the heart of beautiful Cornwall? So Mr. Gingersnap and I upped sticks again and moved a couple of counties over. Since then we have been settling into our new life and organising our home, no small task by the way! 

That brings us up to speed, I think. As I write I am sat snuggled up in a blanket on our sofa, glancing up at our gorgeous Christmas tree, enjoying a cinnamon tea and the scent of our festive pomegranate candle, feeling grateful for the last year's ups and downs. Hopefully this is it, I am back to blogging! I have a great many ideas I want to work on and plan to post as regularly as I was before my blip, so sit back and enjoy the flood of posts :-) 

xoxo

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November Book Haul

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Hello everyone! 

How is everyone doing? Not getting too frozen in the cold weather I hope :-) I'm back today with a little, okay maybe fairly big, book haul. I love going book shopping, to be honest even if I'm just browsing I love it! For me books are the ideal winter hobby, you can curl up with a blanket, a hot drink and enjoy a good story. It's complete heaven! 


At the moment I have been really into classics, something about winter and the back to school vibe always makes me want to read them. Also the Penguin Clothbound Classics are simply divine! They are seriously not helping my bank account or my rapidly diminishing shelf space. As you will no doubt have seen from the photo, I treated myself to a trio of these...


I just love the covers of these books, Coralie Bickford-Smith designs the most beautiful artwork. I think this collection is a triumph, and I am now the proud owner of four of them. Hopefully with more appearing on my shelves in the future! Madame Bovary by Gustave Flaubert is decorated in pink and purple pomegranate patterns, these colours and the fruit of passion perfectly portray the very passionate nature of the heroine of the story. I'm hoping the red and orange fiery colours of Lady Chatterly's Lover by D. H. Lawrence mean the story will also be fiery. In its day it was considered quite the scandalous tale, so I'm quite looking forward to comparing it to modern times. Now when it comes to Frankenstein by Mary Shelley, the cover speaks volumes (anyone like the bookish pun? No? Okay...). The anatomically correct hearts on the front give it such a dark edge and lead perfectly into the dark sciences the story is based on. 

The next book was a second hand bookstore find, which I'm actually really pleased about. This is one of the original hardback designs of the Discworld stories by Terry Pratchett. The Last Continent is one of the editions missing from my best friend's collection so I'm super excited to give it to her for Christmas :-) 


Finally, leaving the best to last really, is The Original Screenplay of Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them by J. K. Rowling! I have been beyond excited about reading this since it was first announced. So yes I bought it yesterday and have already read it, I make no apologies for this! The design of this book is gorgeous, so I thought I'd give you a little sneak peak before I write a proper review later this week! 

Have you read any of these? Let me know what you've been hauling in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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My Little Brooklyn Box

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

Hello everyone! 

So October is long gone and I didn't even notice. Honestly, I don't know where my head has been! Well actually I do, I've been up to my eyes in work and assignments. Buuuuttt that is no excuse for not blogging as much and I apologise guys. Today I wanted to tell you all about the delightful contents of the October My Little Box :-) 


My Little Box is a deeply fabulous french brand dedicated to concocting a monthly box of delights for us! October's box is the Brooklyn box, celebrating all things from that celebrated hipster hub of New York. For those of us wishing for a holiday, this box is a little peek into one! I think this might actually be one my favourite boxes yet, and yes I am aware I say that most times! This box is slightly edgier than the previous ones and bang on trend! 


The design on the front shows a woman wearing the just-this-minute fashionable mid length pleated, metallic skirt. I love this design, it is so current and stylish. I can hear you all shouting at me to just get on with talking about the contents, so let's dive into the box. There is the usual little magazine filled with fashion and beauty tips, this month interviewing Penélope Bagieu, a french writer who moved from Paris to Brooklyn, New York. A bit of a culture shock to say the least, but incredibly interesting to read about. 

Look how cute the pins are! 

The products this month were particularly good! This little mug is ideal for your morning tea or coffee, personally I'm a hot chocolate kind of girl. You can even use the special leaf stencil to dust your drink with cocoa powder to make it look like a Starbucks! Although, these mugs are enamel so you can't put them in the microwave...very important to know! 

I love the little cards that come with each box, I have a little arty wall of them above my desk for inspiration :-) 


The little canvas bags that come in each box have such a super cute design, I love using them for transporting my makeup on the go. However, I think the contents are infinitely more exciting, don't you agree? This month there is this lovely perfume from Courrèges, called La Fille de L'air. It has quite a strong citrus scent so I think I'll be applying this one lightly! It's a perfect summer to autumn transition fragrance, not too spicy, but also not too heavy on the florals. The nail serum is My Little Beauty's own brand product. This Save My Nails strengthening treatment will be such a god send this winter to help me keep my nails healthy and in good condition. I get such dry nails in the winter, it's what comes from working outside a lot *sigh*. 

I thought swatching the colour on here could look arty...

This khol eyeliner pencil in 15 Gold Ornament By Terry is so decadent! I love the way it is not simply a boring black liner, the fact that it is thick, bright gold is so perfect for the upcoming holiday season! It is also the ideal makeup staple to turn a simple, understated look into a style with much more wow factor. This colour would suit any eye colour and skin tone, and will really pull the emphasis to your gorgeous eyes :-) I have taken to wearing it every time I feel like spicing up my look a little. 

The final product is just as gorgeous as all of the above. These three pins are super cute and stylish. I love the matching green and gold collar pins! They work so well with a collared shirt in a light colour. I wear mine with my silky black and white dalmatian print shirt and a pinafore dress. They really complete the outfit, giving it that extra classy, put-together boost. The other pin is of a strawberry iced donut, my favourite kind of donut by the way. This one is super cute to put on a denim jacket or on a jean pocket :-) 

What do you think of this box? Have you got any tips for using these items? Let me know in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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How To Read Shakespeare

Wednesday, 9 November 2016

Hello everyone! 

I thought I would write something a little different this time. Recently I have been on a big classic literature kick, with one of my favourite writers by far being William Shakespeare. Now I'm sure the majority of you will have studied, or will be planning on studying his various works. As most of his work is aimed to be seen rather than read, he is admittedly not the easiest to read from a book. So I thought I would give you a few quick tips on how I like to making reading the Great Bard's writing easier :-) 


1. Pick an easy one to ease you in! This one seems a bit of a no brainer, but with so many pieces to choose from it's not as straightforward as it might seem. Personally, I find tragedies quite heavy and hard to get into, so they aren't really my first choice. My favourites by far are The Sonnets and A Midsummer Night's Dream. I think these two works are quite short and easy to read. The Sonnets can be split into manageable chunks and are so beautifully written that any reader will be held spellbound. A Midsummer Night's Dream is delicate, magical and such a wonderful satire. These factors make them ideal candidates to help you get used to the writing style and old fashioned turn of phrase! 

2. Get in the right mind set. Reading verse or plays can be made so much more difficult if you're feeling tired or disconnected. I find that I really have to concentrate to enjoy Shakespeare to the full. Keeping track of the various plot twists and characters is tricky, so make sure you're equipped with tea and sweet treats! 

3. Annotate! Never be afraid to annotate your books, obviously don't do this if it's a library book or lent by a friend, I doubt they'll thank you for it :-) However, if you own the book and find it easier to absorb things if you write them down, then why not make little notes. Or if you don't want to write in your beautiful book, why not crack out the colour coordinated stationary and make little notes and stick page tabs all over your copy! I particularly recommend this for the historical texts, like King Henry IV for example. 

4. Break it up. Marathoning books is the perfect way to get bogged down and push yourself into a reading slump. If I am finding a plot hard to follow, then I will watch an adaptation of it. Sometimes I do this in chunks as I read the play, it just helps me to understand the direction of the story and distinguish between the different character's voices. That and taking regular breaks to absorb the twists and turns was invaluable in helping me survive studying Macbeth! 

5. Enjoy it :-) The Bard's words were written to entertain and the fact that they are still well loved all over the world is testimony to their quality. That being said, not all of it will be your cup of tea. Don't be scared to say "yup I don't like that genre or style". Read what you enjoy and take the time to appreciate it.

I hope you found these little tips helpful and please do let me know yours in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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Autumn OOTD and Beauty Essentials Collaboration With Simplly Me

Sunday, 30 October 2016

Hi,

This is Simplly Me from Simplly Me Blog

Today I’m writing a guest post for GingerSnapHattie’s blog!

I absolutely love her blog and it was really really fun collaborating with her because she is a wonderful and amazing person. Also this is my first ever blog collaboration and I’m so excited and Hattie this whole experience really fun and exciting.

But, before I start I wanted to tell you a bit about me and my blog:
My name is Simplly Me and I’m currently in school, I spend most of my time writing and photographing for my little section on the internet, Simplly Me Blog. When I’m not busy blog writing I’m probably baking, reading, watching YouTube, hanging out with friends or doing homework. (Ugh!) On my blog it is based on Beauty, Fashion and Lifestyle. If you like those genres then hopefully you’ll enjoy my blog!

Anyway, for my part of the collaboration I'm doing an Autumn OOTD and an Autumn Beauty Essentials. I really hope you enjoy this post and remember to keep reading GingerSnapHattie's blog it's brilliant!

Autumn OOTD:


This burgundy checked flannel shirt is from New Look. I think this top is perfect for Autumn because Burgundy is my favorite Autumn color so I really like to wear this to feel really nice and Autumnal. I don't know the actual price of this top but I bought it for £1 at New Look on sale. Bargain! I know right?! This top is also perfect for Autumnal weather because it’s not too thick but not too thin so it keeps you warm but not boiling hot. I also like how it has this really cute collar which I think is a nice touch.

To pair with my top I wore a Black A-Line Skirt from New Look. I really like A-Line skirts because I think that they just really suit me and my figure. Also I think that these are a real wardrobe staple because you can easily dress this skirt up with a classy shirt or wear it more casual with a sweater so I think it’s a very versatile piece.

When I wore these two pieces I tucked my top into skirt. I think this is the best way to style this because this top is quite long so in my opinion to have it untucked may look a bit weird. If it’s a colder Autumn day then I'll just add a pair of black tights. And then finally for the shoes I’ll just wear a pair of black flats or some black boots.

Autumn Beauty Essentials:
So now onto the beauty part of this blog post. I’m a real beauty lover so of course I had to include a few of my Autumn faves.



My hands are literally always dry but, when in its Autumn/Winter it doesn’t make the situation any better... Sooooo, to solve this I bought The Body Shop Wild Argan Oil Hand Cream. I absolutely love this product! After I apply it it keeps my hands all nice and moisturized and removes all the dryness from my hands. Also, the product smells AMAZING! I absolutely love this scent, at first I just picked it up because it was quite a different scent but I’m different going to picking more products in the Wild Argan Oil Range.




I use this product all year round because it’s part of my skincare routine but I wanted to include this because I think this product is vital for Autumn/Winter. The product I’m talking about is the Clean & Clear Dual-Action Moisturizer. I use this in my skincare routine because I have combination skin so my T-Zone is oily but the rest of my skin is quite dry. Sooooo, to solve that issue, I tried this moisturizer and absolutely loved it! Also this is oil-free so if you have oily skin then it’s a good moisturizer to have.



My lips are unbelievably dry so always have to have lip balm with me at all times of the year and especially at Autumn/Winter. I normally use the Born Lippy Strawberry Lip Balm from The Body Shop which I actually love because it keeps my lips very soft and keeps them to not be as dry as a bone. Also this is only £2 which makes it really affordable as well. (In the photo I included my Primark Lip Balm instead because I couldn’t find my Born Lippy.)

I really hope you’ve enjoyed this collaboration and I hope that you’ll carry on reading Simplly Me and GingerSnapHattie. 

What’s your favorite thing about Autumn?

xoxo

My Latest TV Obsession - Married At First Sight

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Hello everyone! 

I'm sure most of you will sympathise with the problem of developing obsessions with TV shows... I love discovering new programmes, especially those with a unique element to them. I love a good romantic scene as much as the next person, but often they have an unreal feel to them. My latest favourite is as real as it gets! 


Married At First Sight, Channel 4's latest masterpiece, aired episode 1 of its second season last night and I absolutely adored it. The title may startle you a little and have you saying "no way, that's an exaggeration", but in actual fact it is how these couples get married. Tired and jaded by the world and what feels like a never ending quest for love, thousands of people signed up for this revolutionary social experiment. Putting their faith and their hearts in the hands of science. 

Everyone signing up goes through extensive physical, psychological and background testing. The process takes several weeks and isn't guaranteed to find them a match. The reason for being that the team want to pair up the most compatible people they can, they don't just want success for the experiment, they also want to provide happiness to the lucky chosen few. 

Once a match has been found, if they still wish to participate, they can consider themselves engaged and start planning their upcoming nuptials :-) How exciting!! However, they won't meet their other half until the bride floats down the aisle. That might sound daunting to some, but to me it sounds thrilling. The anticipation must be incomparable!  

Last night we saw Clark and Melissa matched and married, Clark's delight at finding Melissa so pretty, engaging and lovely was heart warming and I can't wait for next week's episode to see more couples and the progress of these two! 


The program itself is wonderfully put together, with lovely scenes with the families, picking the wedding outfits and preparing for the moment their lives will change forever, and hopefully for the better. The music in particular tugs at the heartstrings, it is so effortlessly romantic without a hint of cheesiness. It is the perfect blend of modern and classic, it actually made me tear up a little :-) 

Will you be watching? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below :-) 

xoxo

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