An Insight Into Me

'Always look on the bright side of life' – Monty Python


January 2017

My Top Reads of 2016

In a year where nothing much good happened, at least I took solace and read a few good books that I’d love to share with you.

It’s a shame I didn’t think of this blog earlier in the year as it seems that many of the great books I’ve read I’ve neglected to remember the titles of. So we’ll keep it to a short and sweet, Top 10.

Now disclaimer time. These books may not have been released in 2016, they may have been published ages ago. But these are books that I have read this year and books that I loved. There, done, now let’s get on with the show!

Number 10. Alexandra Potter’s Calling Romeo

Calling Romeo was a light romance following our heroine Juliet as she struggles with her long-term boyfriend Will who is more focused on his upstart landscaping business than her. When he stands her up on Valentines Day that’s the last straw Juliet finds herself swaying, and then tumbling head of heels in a whirlwind romance with an adonis who is far from perfect for her. Whilst he may look like a greek god, Sykes is her rival in pitch to land a big account for her company. Juliet is torn, are she and Sykes the star-crossed lovers of a shakespearian tale or will this story end in tragedy.

Rating: 3 Stars

Number 9: InkHeart by Cornelia Funke

This fantasy story takes you to another world. A world of books and stories and brilliant villains where a little girl just wants to find her father. I loved the storytelling and the depth of character, Meggie, just a child but she is so fierce inside and learns not only to trust in herself but she finds out the truth about her past and why reading aloud is forbidden. It’s a heartwrenching story and the first of three. The one negative would be that it does go on. It’s a hefty ol’ book and for some may be quite difficult to read.

Rating: 2 Stars

Number 8: Heat Rises by Richard Castle

This is the third book in the series by Richard Castle. Now for those of you who don’t know Castle is a TV series on ABC which focuses around police detective and a crime thriller author- Richard Castle. In the TV series Richard uses his time working with Kate in NYPD to find inspiration for his books. The books he writes in the show have now been written and published under his fictitious name Richard Castle. The book Heat Rises follows the pair of them, Richard and Nicki Heat (AKA Kate Beckett) as they solve the murder of a parish priest in a bondage club in NYC. It’s a well written, well thought out plot. It keeps you guessing and it tips its hat to the show which is nice. Even if you don’t know the show you’ll love this read if you like crime fiction. But check out the show to learn more about the relationship between Richard and Nicki (Kate).

Rating: 4 Stars

Number 7: All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

This is a thought-provoking psychological insight into the mind of a teenage boy and a teenage girl who both end up on the top of the school bell tower, contemplating ending their lives. Theodore Finch and Violet Markey, find themselves thrown together and it is unsure who saves who but they bond in that moment and begin to live their lives together. As the story progresses, however, it is clear that while Violet’s world is expanding into the light, Finch’s is becoming darker and dimmer and it’s up to Violet to try to pull him back into the sunshine. I found this book so moving, an absolute tear-jerker and as I’ve said before any book that makes you feel something strong is a fab one.

Rating: 5 Stars

Number 6: Melissa Hill’s The Guest List

I recently reviewed this book in the Book Club for one, so I’ll keep it brief here. This book  is a light-hearted romance, an easy read with plenty of twists to keep it exciting. I love the message of the book to stick to your beliefs and that sometimes you have to focus on yourself instead of trying to please all the people around you. I really good book which I’d definitely recommend.

Rating: 4 Stars

Number 5: Dan Brown’s Inferno

This is another book I reviewed a while back. This adventure, thriller novel tracts our favourite symbologist through the city of Florence as he races against the clock to save the world again! Brilliantly written, with insight and depth into the world of Dante and his ideology of the levels of hell!

Rating: 4 Stars

Number 4: Pictures of Lily by Paige Toon

Oh boy, this was a good read! Sitting firmly in the chic lit category this story is something I dream about. A teenage girl gets moved to Australia with her Mum who has once again fallen in love. Mum seems to be a carefree, wild and reckless character who has been in and out of marriage several times. Lily as an adult looks back on the events of her childhood and wonders where the life in her went. She used to be passionate, love photography and animals, now her life is just life, just living. The transition of Lily from where she is at the start of the book to the end is heart warming, as we read, she learns to love again.

Rating: 5 Stars

Number 3: Harry Potter and the Cursed Child by J K Rowling

A mildly controversial script. J.K’s first script. Whilst many people believe that J.K should have stuck with 7 books in the series and left it at that, there are many HP fans who were overjoyed to be plunged back in the the magical world of Harry Potter. That said this book doesn’t focus on Harry himself, rather on his son, Albus. A rebel, tearaway, wild child Albus goes on a journey, learning that it’s okay to be different. Once again love conquers all as Harry’s love for his son finally shines through, although it takes a while for him to get to show it. A new villain who is also an old villain make the story darker and more sinister than ever before. Prepare for a read that you just can’t tear your eyes away from, prepare for danger like never before. Prepare for a journey through time and space fit for The Doctor and a Side Kick or two!

I loved this read, although a part of me hurt seeing Harry in such a dark light… but an absolute MUST to read! Get reading!

Rating: 5 Stars


Number 2: Melissa Hill’s A Gift to Remember

Ah. This book had me from the get go. The relatable Darcy who is me, but prettier, falls (literally,) head over heels for our handsome hero Aidan! While Darcy develops this fantastical idea of who he is and where he comes from Aidan lies comatose in hospital. The story is funny, romantic and absolutely lovable. See my recent book club reviews for a full review but love love LOVE this book!

Rating: 5 Stars

Number 1: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by J K Rowling

Ahhhhhh. Wow. This was JK’s first ever screenplay and what a way to start. With the first of five (rumoured) films this is a story that sends us into the much loved world of magic, muggles and this time magical beasts.

Set in the wonderful city of New York we meet Newt Scamander. A wizard, a lover of knowledge and magical creatures. He tumbles into trouble when some of his creatures escape their homes in his suitcase (a muggle proof suitcase, i might add), and run rampaging through New York. With a crisis already brewing, Newt falls suspect to the American Ministry of Magic known as MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America). Teaming up with an auror, her sister and a no-maj (American term for Muggle), Newt attempts to rescue his creatures and save a child. No more spoilers here. But definitely a splendid read, enticing and fantasmagorical and wonderful and magical etc etc etc.

Rating: 5 Stars.

Hope you enjoyed my Top Reads of 2016. Comment below with some of your favourites and your thoughts on some of my favourite reads!



Book Club for One…. We’re BACK!

Hey Bookworms. Welcome back to Book Club for One!

It’s been a while as it’s taken me an age and a day to finish my allotted books for this review. It comes from a busy work life and no playtime, so quiet time for reading is minimal. But finally I have finished my random selection of Melissa Hill and I have to say I LOVE HER BOOKS!

So I promised a random selection and I grabbed everything off the shelf in the library by her! Found out when I got home and read the blurbs properly that the third book was a sequel and neither of the other two was the first book so here are my reviews of: A Gift to Remember and The Guest List.

A gift to remember was an absolute page-turner. I loved the characters; Darcy and Aidan (love for anything Austen remember), the setting; Manhattan (one of my favourite places)and the plot; an enchanting romance after a chance encounter with a fabulous twist. Darcy is a loveable character, a bookworm herself and hardheaded, so stubborn. She loves romance and is dreaming of her Mr Right, her very own Mr Darcy like in her favourite novels. That’s when a little ice, a dog and fate entwine her life with Aidan Harris. Whilst he is unconscious for the vast majority of the book Darcy’s takes the clues she has to try and figure out who her mystery man really is. A wonderful read, I really couldn’t put it down.

The second book I read was The Guest List. Ah, with the bar set so high from A Gift to Remember, I wasn’t sure this book would live up to the standard. However Melissa Hill once again created relatable characters with a gallon or two of family drama. This story, revolves around a couple in Ireland, Shane and Cara. Our romantic are very much in love and when Shane finally proposes (it’s very romantic) Cara of course says yes. But this is where the trouble starts, it feels as though every possible obstacle has befallen them, both sides of the family are angry at their plans to have a small wedding on a beautiful island in the Caribbean. With such upheaval and distress will our happy couple get their dream wedding??? Well of course I can’t tell you that, no spoilers, remember. But I can tell you this, there is a FABULOUS unexpected twist at the end that will have you screaming and your jaw on the floor.

In conclusion, Melissa Hill surely knows how to tell as story, she draws pictures in my mind as I’m reading and makes me fall into the story head first. Definitely up there with my favourite books of 2016.

Speak of which I’ll be posting a best reads of 2016 in the next week or so, and a new blog of my favourite things this month.

Anyhow, I’d recommend these reads to anyone who likes a little romance and light literature. Something to tug at the heart strings…

Next book club selection, will include a couple of Zoella’s Book Club picks: I Was Here by Gayle Forman and Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella and one of my one in the same theme All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven (that one also made by top books of 2016, just by the by).

Please comment below any books suggestions for book club that you’d like me to review.

Hope you are all having a super weekend.


Back to School

Hey all, a couple of crazy things happened today that I would like to share with you! 

Firstly as the title suggests I WENT BACK TO SCHOOL! Now if we are being pedantic I am back at uni but it’s still so exciting! 

I have been wanted to take a course for ages and finally got the funding to do so. Today I rocked up at Kings College London and enrolled, got my ID and attended my first class; a transition lecture to postgraduate education! I mainly decided to attend this as I have never been to Kings before (yeah, they rejected my application for my undergrad degree!) so I thought it would be smart to learn the lay of the land.

What I learnt is this: 

  • King’s is situated right next to Somerset House, more importantly the ice skating at Somerset House is still open! [Note to self: go ice skating at Somerset House!]
  • King’s is on the Strand which has a bunch of shops for me to entertain myself at (when I’m not in class, of course) 
  • Kings is just a 5 minute walk away from Covent Garden! (I just found my lunchtime hangout)

Loving it so far but the hard work starts on Monday so wish me luck!

The second crazy thing that happened to me was whilst killing time before my class I popped into Superdrug to buy a new Mascara. After selecting my mascara I headed to the checkout, where the cashier proceeded to pull out a random Max Factor mascara, place it down in front of me and declare “this is way better than that one”. I didn’t know what to say. “Ok.” I waited for her to process my items but she didn’t “And so?” I asked confused. “Well don’t you want it?” She looked at me like I was crazy. “No I’d like the one I’ve chosen, Thank You.” 

How odd. 


Movie Memorandum

Hi all. So as promised i’ll be reviewing a couple of movies I’ve seen in the last few months. Ok ok, so I may have seen one or two of these a while ago but I loved them, would love to see them again and therefore feel they deserve a place here in my Movie Memo.

I’ll be trying to upload one of these a month, with movies I love, new ones I have seen and movies I’d love to see!

Here we go…

These may not be in order of release but the first movie to mention is…. Dr Strange. This highly anticipated (at least by me) Marvel movie didn’t disappoint. Although the story at times became a little hard to follow the overall progress was smooth and the development was steady there weren’t the typical lulls of not much happening just to fill up plot time. The Special Effects were INSANE! As was the CGI of the parallel mirror world #mindblown. Needless to say I absolutely loved Benedict Cumberbatch as Dr Strange, his calm and cool demeanour was chilling at times and perfectly brought Dr Strange’s character to life, his exterior of self-importance and arrogance was spectacular. He would work on his accent though.

Next up, Fantastic Beasts. This was my absolute favourite film of 2016. in a year where so much bad stuff happened at least I can say’ But they did release Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them’. #silverlinings

This film, the first of four, was an extremely welcome journey back into the world of magic, witches and wizards, good vs evil and of course as the title indicates Fantastic Magical Beasts. Our heroes this time are a team of 4 led by the good natured and gentle Newt Scamander played by the fabulous Eddie Redmayne. There are moments in this film of pure joy and others of incredible sophistication. I don’t want to release any spoilers for those of you who have not yet seen the movie but GO AND SEE IT! [I may write a blog just for this film to talk about how much i loved it my favourite bits and maybe to bounce out some ideas and discuss some fan theories.

Lastly is Suicide Squad. Whilst I did love this movie and it’s dreadful heroes, the actual villains were not as I imagined. I read the book first as is my rule and I am as yet undecided whether that was a wise decision, as in this case, the book was based on the movie. I loved the characterisation of all the key players and although I agree with many of the fans that Joker could have been given a larger part, I realise that this film was not about him. I enjoyed the DC comics revival and loved loved LOVED Margot Robbie as Harley Quinn as well as Will Smith and all the other members of the team. Looking forward to seeing them in future movies.

Hope you enjoyed this one… bit different eh…. well let me know in the comments below what you thought.

Until next time.


New Job, New Year, New Me

Well I suppose y’all have read a hundred blogs by now, all stating how the first of January, the start of a brand new year with the start of a fresh new self. A clean slate so to speak. The start of a new diet, health regime or fitness regime or the determination to indubitably (I’ve been reading to much Poirot) complete a never before achieved goal.

For me I’m hoping and praying this year WILL be a new start. I have just gained a promotion at work which will be a challenge in itself, not because of the greater responsibility, more or longer hours or anything like that. Simply because some of my colleagues are angry I’ve been given the post over, how should i put it, more seasoned candidates.

To be honest with you, I fully expected to hear ‘not right now, we don’t feel you have enough experience, but come back in a year or so’, that said i’m over the moon to have been given this opportunity.

Aside from accepting the challenge of this new role I want to try and become a better me this year.

Nothing too out there, yes, like everyone else on the planet I want to lose weight, that’s not New Years related that is an ongoing, permanent dream it seems, forever just out of reach. This going hand in hand with being fitter and healthier all around.

[Side note: if anyone has any insipirational tips or ideas on weight loss please do share in the comments below]

But simply put, my new years resolution is to try and spend more time, making time for the thinks that I love to do. Whether that’s reading, writing, photography or writing this blog, which you have all noticed I’m sure I am neglectful of.

We’ll see if I get there, this is a good start.

I know I still owe you a book club review and no I haven’t yet finished my Melissa Hill marathon, which is the reason for the delay. I’ll have a couple of movie reviews up soon. Book club reader: I’m working on it. #newyearresolution

I hope you all brought in the New Year in style, with people you love. Let me know your New Years Resolutions below.


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