Roaming Around Roma – Rome 2019

Going to Rome was the perfect opportunity to channel my inner Lizzie McGuire, and although I didn’t fall for a gorgeous Italian man or perform at some European Music Awards, I did manage to experience all of what Rome had to offer. Myself and two other friends planned this trip a few days after our exam and ultimately our last day of university, and it was the perfect opportunity to reflect on the past three years and celebrate our achievements. We all shared similar ‘must-do’ lists, that included the Coliseum, Trevi Fountain, The Forum, The Spanish Steps, The Pantheon and Vatican City, which made the trip very easy and surprisingly relaxing despite the amount of walking we did.

We booked an incredible place through Air B&B that was only a stones throw away from the Castel Sant’Angelo and the Vatican City, a perfect location that allowed us to explore these usually crowed places during the evening. We were also five minutes away from a cosy yet lively side street that was filled with little restaurants, bars and the best gelato place in Rome!

On our first full day we all went on an open bus tour around the city which allowed us to see all the typical touristy attractions with ease. It sounds cliche but it was so surreal seeing the Trevi Fountain and the Coliseum, and its fair to say that I probably took too many photos of both of them! There wasn’t much structure to the trip except a to-do list but things changed when it came to finding tickets to go in the Coliseum, that queue is huge! Luck was somehow on our side and we managed to find a really cheap tour for both the Coliseum and the Forum with one of the nicest and sweetest tour guides in Rome.

After seeing the chaos of queuing outside the Coliseum, we tried planning our trip to the Vatican Museums but everything was super expensive so we deiced to get up early and queue without a tour and only needed up queuing for 40 mins. The chaos, however, was found inside, among the sea people that overwhelmed the endless corridors and exhibits making it difficult to truly appreciate the history of everything. Notre Dame will forever be my favourite Cathedral in the world but St Peters Basilica is a close second. Words can’t describe the grandness and the sensation that overcomes you after entering through its towering doors, if you plan on visiting Rome in the future make sure this is on you to-do list as it truly is breathtaking.

After consuming my body weight in pizza and taking far too many pictures we had to say goodbye to Rome and make our way back to the UK with bags packed with Italian biscuits and memories I know will last a lifetime.

24 Hour Read-a-Thon TBR

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This year I’ve been suffering from a major reading slump and I’ve reached the final point of frustration so what better way to try and rekindle my enjoyment for reading than through a 24 hour read-a-thon! This is my first 24 hour read-a-thon and I know that my current TBR is certainly ambitious but my aim is to start a couple of books that I’m excited to read with the hope that it will encourage me to continue reading them and the rest of the books in their series.

I’m more of a morning person rather than a night owl, so my plan is to wake early rather than staying up late the night before, fingers crossed I don’t get too distracted by my Netflix and Prime accounts! In preparation I’ve been watching lots of Booktube videos and stocking up on lots of my favourite coffee and snacks! If you’ve got any handy tips and tricks on how to successfully complete a 24 hour read-a-thon, then please leave a comment below.

Anyway, here is my first 24 hour read-a-thon TBR:

The Well of Ascension by Brandon Sanderson (590 pages) – This book has been on the top of my TBR pile for over a year now and I’m more than ready to jump back into this fantasy world and join these beloved characters for another adventure. I fell absolutely head over heels for the first book in the series and read the entire book in a day, so it’s only right in saying that I have high expectations for the sequel.

Nevernight by Jay Kristoff (429 pages) – I follow Piera Forde on Booktube and she’s constantly raving about this book so much so that she’s currently adapting it into a mini-series, which from the set pictures looks incredible! It’s about time that I jumped on to the hype train and find out for myself why people love these characters so much!

Legendary by Stephanie Garber (451 pages) – Another book that’s been at the top of my TBR pile for a while after I fell in love with the first book, Caraval. I know before I read this I’m going to have to refresh my memory on what’s happened and all the characters but nevertheless I’m eager and excited to see what’s in store.

Holiday Book Haul 2019

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I had this plan that as soon as I finished university I would jump straight back into my usual posting schedule, however, this wasn’t the case. Instead I’ve been super busy with life as I moved back in with my parents, went to Rome for a week (trip review coming soon) and then jumped on another plane to Paxos, Greece where I spent a week catching up on reading and all my NetGalley requests. I’ve now returned to reality and have the wondrous quest of searching for a job! Anyway, I thought I’d share with you the books I ended up reading whilst I was away and do keep an eye out for their full reviews soon!

The Cruel Price by Holly Black – My sister gave me this book for Christmas last year and I was a little hesitant to read it due to all the hype it was receiving. But all that hype is well deserved as I fell utterly in love with these characters and the magical world that surrounds them. I don’t want to give too much away but if you haven’t started this series then you are seriously missing out!

The Wicked King by Holly Black – Usually I take 6/7 physical books away with me but this year I only took two with a couple more on my kindle and by day two I had download more. I wasn’t planning on falling absolutely in love with series but I didn’t and I couldn’t wait till I got home to read the next one! All I can say is that I need the next book in the series ASAP!

Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir – I read the first book in this series last year and fell absolutely in love with its storyline, characters and setting and I certainly wasn’t disappointed by the sequel. This book is also the reason I have trust issues and why I spent the rest of my holiday reading doubting every characters motive!

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott – I was naive to think that I wouldn’t cry at this book, in fact I was a blubbering mess who tried to hide her tears underneath her sunglasses. I requested this book from Net Galley when they announced they were adapting it into a film and from what I’ve see from the trailer I’m pretty confident that its true and honest adaptation.

If You Could Go Anywhere by Paige Toon – By the second day of my holiday I had run out of books and had to rain my mothers collection and I’m so glad I did as I stumbled upon this gem of a read. Paige Toon knows how to write a heartwarming and cuddly romance but what I loved the most was that it was set in Rome, through Angie’s explorations I was able to relive my trip there a couple of weeks prior. This was the first book I’ve read by Toon and I’m sure that it certainly won’t be the last.

Shadow of the Fox by Julie Kagawa – When I read the synopsis for this I was getting serious ‘Ember in the Ashes’ vibes so I requested it of Net Galley yet I’m still a little unsure on whether or not I like it. I really enjoyed the whole idea behind the storyline but sometimes I felt that it was a little too predictable and cliche, nevertheless it was a quick and fun read that kept me entertained on the long journey home!

A Fangirls Opinion – Life Update

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Hello! After far too many months, I’m back on the blogging scene and ready to get back into the swing of things. These past couple of months I’ve been completely overwhelmed with work and applying for different internships, which is super exciting and scary at the same time. Yet it’s even scarier to think that in two weeks time I will have finished my degree and that I’ll have to start being a fully functioning adult! I also finally completed my dissertation in which I explored the representation of trauma in the works of Ian McEwan. His book Atonement is one of my all-time favourite reads, so I thought that my dissertation was the perfect excuse to explore more of his novels. To celebrate finishing my three years at Chester, myself and some course mates are jetting off to Rome with hopes of fulfilling our Lizzie McGuire fantasies, so any recommendations would be fab!

Before Easter, I also ran a film festival at the Chester Storyhouse, which involved the coming together of a group of individuals who all share a passion for film to organise a three day take-over weekend. As expected my group focused on book-to-film adaptations and chose to show Paddington 2 and Life of Pi as well as planning different activities that linked to the theme. Not only did this programme helping me learn more about the different areas of film and its career paths but it has also provided me with some useful contacts for the future! This was such a fab experience that I truly enjoyed and one that I highly recommend to anyone living in the Chester area.

My hope for the rest of the year is to try to post at least three times a week and to experiment more with different features and topics. Recently, I had to create a mini portfolio of creative pieces which I’m thinking of sharing as I had so much fun writing them and it would be cruel for them to just sit unread in the depths of my laptop. Now I’ve got more free time, I plan on tackling my ever-growing TBR list so keep your eyes peeled for lots and lots of reviews! I also really want to get more involved with the blogging community as everyone is just so lovely and I’m all for meeting new and like-minded people!

Thank you to all my followers for your patience, support and for sticking with me over these past years. Happy blogging!

The Academy Awards Book Tag

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In spirit of the Bafta’s being this evening and the Oscars only being a couple of weeks away I thought I’d do an awards inspired book tag! This is my favourite time of year as I’m a huge fan of film and I love to see the all the celebrities get dressed up on the red carpet and most importantly see who receives which awards. Keep your eyes peeled in the weeks to come with some of my Oscars predictions and maybe some mini film reviews of some of the films nominated. I can’t remember where I found this tag but I’ve added a few questions of my own and if your planning on doing this tag or if you’ve already completed it then please leave a link to it in the comments as I love reading everyones answers!

Red Carpet Ready – What outfit from a book would you want to steal?

Anything from Feyre’s wardrobe! All her clothes are absolutely stunning and I just love seeing fan art depicting some of my favourite pieces.

The Opening Monologue – What are some of your favourite opening lines?

Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins is one of my favourites as it instantly establishes Harpers humour and character, from the first line you already know you’re in for a fun ride! I’ve also just started reading Nevernight by Jay Kristoff and that’s got unique opening line that also sets the tone for the rest of the book.

Best Picture – Favourite stand-alone novel?

The Night Circus By Erin Morgenstern. I’m always going on about how wonderful this book is but it truly is breathtaking. I’m just obsessed with all the magic in this book and its ability to transport the reader to the beautiful yet mysterious world of the Night Circus. If you haven’t read this book yet then I highly recommend that it finds a spot on your TBR pile.

Best Short Film – Favourite novella/short story?

I don’t read many short stories, I’m more of a flash fiction gal but I really enjoyed Gigi by Colette. It’s a funny and unusual story about love and marriage that offers a glimpse into the decadence of fin-de-siecle Paris, the scandals, the life and morals of women who lived their lives as celebrated, high-class courtesans.

Best Actor – Who is your favourite male protagonist?

It’s a tie between Kelsier from Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson and Nikolai Lantsov from Siege and Storm by Leigh Bardugo. Both of these characters are sarcastic, witty and honourable men that will do anything to protect the ones they love. Their interactions with the other characters in their books are among so of my favourites. I haven’t got my hands on King of Scars yet but I’m a little sceptical as I haven’t heard good things about it, please someone change my mind!

Best Actress – Who is your favourite female protagonist?

It’s always difficult to pick a favourite but I’m going to go with all the ladies from both the Throne of Glass series and the A Court of Throne and Roses series. Sarah J Maas knows how to create beautifully unique and intricate characters that you grow to love more and more with each page turn. I know I always go on about her but she is just incredible.

Best Director – Who is your favourite author?

I’m not going to pick Brandon Sanderson, Leigh Bardugo or Sarah J Maas as that’s just predictable, instead I’m going to choose Nancy Mitford. She’s one of my new found favourites as her books are all just so witty and loveable that I want to be apart of one.

Best Adapted Screenplay – Favourite book adaptation? What book would you want to see adapted next?

The Hunger Games will always be one of my favourites especially Catching Fire which is a film I can watch over and over again. I am beyond excited for the Six of Crows/Shadow and Bone adaptation and I’ve got seriously high hopes for this project, so no pressure!

Best Original Screenplay – Favourite fictional world?

I love Narnia, and I remember growing up that I use to pretend that my sister and I were exploring and going on adventures with the Pevensie’s. It’s got everything you’d want from a magical world and I keep checking my wardrobe to see if there’s a magical tunnel to there.

Best Cinematography – Best Plot Twist? (No Spoilers Please!)

I remember being seriously shocked by the twist in Red Queen but the real Queen of plot twists and cliffhangers is Cassandra Clare! I’m not going to say any more but if you’ve read either of these books then you know what I’m on about.

Best Costume Design – Favourite book cover?

Priory of the Orange Tree by Samantha Shannon, that book is stunning and I need to get my hands on it asap!

 

 

 

The 5 W’s Book Tag

These upcoming weeks are a bit mad work wise so my apologies if I don’t post as regularly but one of my blogging goals this year was to stick to my posting schedule. This might mean that you’ll get a few more book tags than usual as they’re always fun and easy to do. I’ve seen a lot of people do this tag and I always love reading other peoples answers so I hope you enjoy reading mine. Let me know if you’ve done this tag in the comments as I’d love read your answers.

1 – WHO? Who is an author you’d love to have a one on one with?

I’ve already met Sarah J Maas but I’d love to go out with her and just gush to her about all her books and characters! I’d also love to go out with Leigh Bardugo and maybe get some insider knowledge about the TV show adaptation as well as persuading her to cast me as an extra or something. I’m thinking a ladies lunch or afternoon tea somewhere where we can discuss all our favourites books and characters.

2 – WHAT? What genre or style do you most gravitate to?

Fantasy! I just love exploring different worlds as well as all magical and mystery elements they have. My aim this year is to read more adult fantasy but also to challenge myself and read genre’s that I wouldn’t usually read. It’s going well so far as I’ve read a lot of contemporary and romance reads, books that are all getting me in the mood for Valentines Day!

3 – WHERE? Where do you prefer to read?

I love curling up somewhere cosy wether it be on my sofa at home or in my bed at university, I just like to be warm and comfortable.

4 – WHEN? What time of the day do you prefer to read?

I’m a morning person, so I usually like to read a bit of my book before I start the day but at the same time I always enjoy a quick read in the evening before I go to bed. I think reading is always a good way to start and end the day.

5 – WHY? Why is your favourite book your favourite book?

I don’t really have one ‘favourite’ book, instead I have about 5/6 so I’ll just pick a few of my absolute favourites.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson – I apologise as I swear I mention this book in every post  but it honestly is incredible! The characters, the world, the storyline, all of it is wonderful and I can’t wait to read more of his books this year.

The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern – I’m obsessed with all the magic in this book and its ability to transport the reader to the beautiful yet mysterious world of the Night Circus. If you haven’t read this book yet then I highly recommend that it finds a spot on your TBR pile.

Eagle in the Sky by Wilbur Smith – I haven’t mentioned this book for a while but this is the first book (aside from the Harry Potter series ) that I read and instantly fell in love with. This book is a tragic romance that made me cry more than I’d care to admit, but Smith’s writing captivates you and presents such a beautiful story.

BONUS! How do you go about selecting what you’ll read next?

My downfall is that I don’t have any – I just pick anything. But one of my reading goals this year is to tackle my TBR pile and I’ve started setting myself monthly TBR’s to help give myself a bit of structure. The only thing is that I keep getting distracted by new releases and titles up for request on NetGalley!

January Wrap Up and February TBR 2019

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I had every intention of reading loads this month but I forgot about all my looming deadlines for the end of the month so my reading completely stopped. But before all my essay writing I got a fair bit of reading done and I managed to maintain a nice balance of reading for university and reading for pleasure and this month I want to read more books that I want to read. I recently got approved on Net Galley for some really exciting reads so my aim this month is to also boost my score as that’s looking pretty low!

January Wrap Up 

The Priory of the Orange Tree Early Extract – OMG, I am beyond excited for this book but I’ve shot myself in the foot by reading an early extract as I really want more and I was gutted when it ended. The end of February can’t come soon enough. If you’re wandering how I got my hands on an early extract then I recommend you jump onto Net Galley as its available to read now!

The Pursuit of Love by Nancy Mitford – I knew I was going to love this book as its all about love, class and relationships but I wasn’t expecting to love it this much! I flew through this book and I loved it so much so that I also binge watched the TV show and have ordered more of her books. I’m a bit of a mess!

To The Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf – I’ve heard nothing but good things about this book but I’m sad to say that I didn’t love it as much as everyone else. After reading it the first time I was so confused but after analysing it and digging deeper into its symbols, motifs and characters I’ve been able to find a new appreciation for it.

The Handmaids Tale by Margret Atwood – I loved this, it definitely lived up to the hype and I managed to read this all in one sitting! I’m looking forward now to starting the TV show and seeing how they’ve adapted it for the big screen.

February TBR 2019

Love in a Cold Climate by Nancy Mitford – Like I’ve said previously Nancy Mitford has stolen my heart with her wonderfully awkward characters and storylines so it was only right that I read more of her books! The nice thing about this book that although its further reading for university it is also a book that I know I’ll enjoy and fly through.

Five Feet Apart by Rachel Lippincott – I’m so glad that I’ve got my hands on this book as I was only watching the trailer for the film adaptation the other week. I’m already fully invested in these characters and their storyline which tells the story of two people who meet whilst receiving treatment for Cystic Fibrosis where physical contact could transmit fatal disease. This book is available for request on Net Galley if there are any other readers out there like me who wanted to read it before the film is released later in the year.

Enchantee by Gita Trelease – It was the cover which instantly drew my attention to this book and the fact that it got a lovely review off Stephanie Garber, author of the Caraval series. I’m super excited to read this book as not only is it set in Paris but the storyline sounds mysterious and magical! Again this is another book on Net Galley which is available for request and I thinks its pretty clear that my aim for this month is to boost my current feedback percentage.

Uprooted by Naomi Novik – In all fairness I don’t know much about this book but I found it on WhatBook and it sounded like something I’d love. It’s no surprise that this book is a high fantasy and this year I’m all about discovering new fantasy authors and series. If you’ve read this book then let me know what you thought about it in the comments!