23 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon


It seems like I've uploaded so many book reviews lately - I hope you've been enjoying them! Today I'm going to be reviewing the novel 'Everything, Everything' by Nicola Yoon.

Madeleine Whittier is allergic to the world. She can't leave her 'world-proof' house and the only people that she regularly interacts with are her mother and her nurse. However, when a new family move into the house next door, mysterious Olly attempts to reach out to Madeleine. Cracks in her protective bubble start to form and Madeleine becomes more and more desperate to experience the world; but what would happen to her if she broke free?

I'd seen a lot of 'Everything, Everything' on Twitter and there just seemed to be such a huge hype surrounding it, so when it appeared on NetGalley, I thought 'let's give it a go!'. It's not the type of book that I would usually read but I started it with an open mind and I was pleasantly surprised! It wasn't as medical based as I thought it would be and I found that I shared a strong interest with Madeleine - a love of books! 

The way Madeleine's life was described was super intriguing because it didn't provoke automatic sympathy. Instead, I was filled with questions that I desperately wanted to know the answers to; does she go to school? Does she have any plans for the future? What would happen to her if she went outside? SO MANY QUESTIONS. I became so immersed in the story that I barely stopped reading it until I'd finished it! 

Olly was such a caring character and this was unique in itself as you don't come across many genuine caring people in real life! He preserved with Madeleine and was patient with her illness which was super sweet and showed that he really liked her... AW. 

The ending was huge! I couldn't believe what I was reading, if I'm honest. It was such a major plot twist but it then made the book different from the stereotypical 'dying girl' story. I would most definitely recommend it and I suggest you pre-order it now because it will be flying off the shelves faster than The Fault in Our Stars, trust me!

See you soon,
Charlotte x

22 July 2015

My YALC Experience: Part 1


I'm super excited to write this post so I think I'm just going to get straight to it!

For those of you who don't know what YALC is, it stands for 'Young Adult Literature Convention' and it's a super exciting extension of Comic Con UK. It's a place for all the authors, publishers, booksellers, and of course, the readers to come together and talk about all things books. I think it's such a great idea as it brings the book community so much closer together and is a cool way of sharing new book content and finding new friends over a shared love of books!

On the Friday, I went with my cousin, Kelly, who is just as book obsessed as me and is actually the person who persuaded me to read Harry Potter - without her, I may never have discovered the magical world that I love so much! We had a late start that was purely down to the 'family lateness gene'... none of us, and I mean NONE of us, ever run to time, oops! Anyway, it's good to be fashionably late, right? We got to Olympia (the venue) at around 4pm and eagerly raced through the check in area, desperate to see as much as possible. We headed straight to the YALC floor and we were mostly definitely not disappointed! After wandering around in a bit of a shocked daze, we stumbled across the information desk where we picked up our complimentary YALC totes, which were filled with bookish goodies - so cool! 

Once we'd acclimatized to our surroundings, we stared to really take in all the different things that were happening. There were so many author signings taking place, so we decided to have a look at who was there. The author's name that caught Kelly's eye the most was Darren Shan, renowned young adult horror writer. Her brother/my cousin is absolutely obsessed with his work so we thought a signed book would be a well appreciated gift! We quickly brought the first 'Zom-B' book and jumped in the queue. After around an hour of queuing, we were finally at the front of line and I was actually very excited considering I'd never read a single one of his books before! He quickly guessed that the book wasn't for us and began asking us about my cousin so he could write him a personalised message which I thought was super cool.

After many 'thank-yous', we walked off and decided to have a quick look around the lower level, the Comic Con level, before heading back upstairs for the Harry Potter party. I wouldn't call myself a comic fan but I still really enjoyed looking around Comic Con - the effort that people put into their cosplays is crazy... props to you guys! The theme this year was 'Back to the Future' as 2015 marks the 30th anniversary of the first film in the trilogy. I'm a huge BTTF fan so to know that I've been in the same building as the likes of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd is SO COOL - total fangirl moment! 

At around 6:30pm, the real fun began! We headed back to the YALC section and took our seats in the main stage area and eagerly waited for the party to start. We were given a short introduction to what the night would consist of and were introduced to our head of houses for the night. We then got started on a horcrux hunt - just like Harry, Ron and Hermione! We had to race around the YALC section and try and find all 7 horcruxes to earn points for our house - this was definitely my favourite part of the night! After about half an hour of searching, we all gave in our sheets so that the point could be added up throughout the party. We then began the second activity of the night, GNOMEs; Gruellingly Nauseating and Onerous Mugglenet Exercises. Take it from me, those questions were hard! Our team (made up of just me and Kelly!) managed a measly 11.5 out of 20, while the winners got an enormous 19 out of 20 - congrats! Finally, there was a cosplay competition, where everyone who wanted to, had a chance to show of their fantastic costumes on the YALC main stage. My personal favourite and also the winner, was Hermione with a twist; she was Hermione after she'd taken the polyjuice potion in the Chamber of Secrets... so in other words, a cat! 

We then headed home, absolutely exhausted but completely buzzing. I met my dad at the station and chewed his ear of the whole journey home, telling him about how cool my day had been! If you went, leave a comment of what your favourite part was (of Comic Con or YALC, I don't mind!).

See you soon,
Charlotte x

21 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: A Summer Like No Other by Elodie Nowodazkij


Am I the only blogger who finds motivation to write at silly hours of the night? Maybe 23:40 is the new 9 to 5! Haha, enough of my late night waffling - it's review time!

When I first came across 'A Summer Like No Other', I was instantly drawn to it; it was a total cliché, brother's best friend, summer romance scenario - my favourite! It progressed in a fairly predictable way although in no way was it boring or repetitive. It had a good balance of humour and heartbreak and gave the occasional tug on the heartstrings which I think make a the perfect recipe for a young adult romance novel.

I was absolutely loving the story right up until the last couple of chapters when I felt suddenly disconnected. The story seemed rushed and I just felt like there was so much more that needed to be explained. I think there is definitely an opening for another book but I'm not sure if it was intentional.

My favourite character was definitely Nonna, Emilia's cooking mad grandmother. She wasn't featured in the book often, but when she was, she always had a wise word or two up her sleeve. It reminded me of the stereotypical grandmother image that I've got in my head; always there to offer you sound advice along with a biscuit or three!

Overall, the book wasn't one of my favourites but I would recommend it if you're looking for a quick, simple, summer read.

See you soon,
Charlotte x

9 July 2015

Top 5 Things to Do in London


I live in the suburbs of London so the capital is only a 30 minute train ride away and I take full advantage of this! Spending time in London is great because nothing ever stays the same. For example, Trafalgar Square is always, always changing because of all the different shows and performances that are put on in front of the huge lions. In this post, I'm going to give you an idea of what I do when I go to London (they're all cheap as well!).

1. Sight-See
Be a tourist for the day! You would do it in a different country so why not have a look around your own? You'd be surprised at the amount of things you didn't know were in London or how much history some of the buildings have. If you want a guided tour then I'd recommend the bus tours or the river boat tours which are my personal favourite. If not, then plan your route before you go, making sure you've got the London Eye and Buckingham Palace on your list!

2. Picnic in Hyde Park
This is such a simple thing to do but it's so much fun, especially if you go in a big group. Everyone can bring some food or you could pop into an express supermarket when you get there, although they tend to be way more expensive than normal supermarkets! Take a couple of picnic blankets so that you can lounge around and just enjoy each others' company. This is weather dependent though so I'd advise you only plan it for summer outings!

3. Watch a Film Premiere
If you've read some of my previous posts, you'll know how much I love film premieres (if not check them out here and here) and I just had to mention them! They're completely free, they're so exciting and they make you feel like you're a part of the glitzy Hollywood lifestyle. To see what premieres are happening in 2015, click here.

4. Go to Covent Garden
Covent Garden is a really cool mix of modern shops and market stalls which means you can find some really unique things. There are also loads of street performers wandering around which are always super fun and entertaining. It's also a short walk away from embankment, so on a nice day you can go and sit by the river in one of the many bars and cafés.

5. Shopping
Nothing can compare to shopping in London because of the sheer size of all of the shops! Most of them are the flagship stores which means they stock pretty much everything the shop sells so you get the best range of clothes which is always nice. Also, the number of shops dotted around London is crazy - you can find almost anything! The places I visit most are Regent Street and Oxford Street but I do like Carnaby Street as well.

If you decide to do any of my ideas, show me a picture on either Twitter (@charlyblogs) or Instagram (@charlyblogs)!

See you soon,
Charlotte x

8 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Anna and the Shy Guy by Suze Winegardner


I've got another book review for you all today! I'm really enjoying reading at the moment and there just seems to be so many books that I want to read! I really enjoyed reading 'Anna and the Shy Guy' and I'm really interested in reading more by Suze Winegardner.

'Anna and the Shy Guy' is based around fictional band 'Seconds to Juliet' who are a group of teen pop sensations. However, one of them isn't who they say they are; Will Fray is actually Matt Fray, Will's twin brother, who is reluctantly filling in for Will while he's in rehab. Trouble is, hardly anyone knows this and it has to stay top secret... a hard feat when there's a sweet reporter called Anna hanging around who's desperate for a big scoop to get her off of the streets. What will Anna pick? A pay check that will make her eyes water or a boy who's slowly winning her over?

'Anna and the Shy Guy' covers the reality of homelessness and gives everyone a reminder that not everyone is blessed with a roof over their heads. It's such an empowering message because it shows that regardless of your situation, you can still get your big break and still make your dreams come true, as long as you work hard enough.

Of course, it's not all doom and gloom and there are some really cute, heart clenching moments that just make you want to squeal with happiness! Not only is Matt and Anna's relationship really sweet but also the friendship between Natasha and Anna is so strong right from the beginning. It shows that it really doesn't matter how long you've been friends or how long you've known each other, it's just nice to know that someone's got your back.

The only thing I thought it lacked was stories of the other boys in the band but I guess that what the other books in the series are for! I loved this book and thought it was a great teen romance novel and I would definitely recommend it to the boy band obsessed, romance lovers out there!

See you soon,
Charlotte x

5 July 2015

PRODUCT REVIEW: Scentsy Wax Bars


I've teamed up with Scentsy UK to promote their products because I think they're fab! So in this post I thought I'd explain how the products work and why they're so so scrummy (heads up - it's not food!).

I think Scentsy Wax Bars are great because they look just like candles but without the fire and the smoke which is great for anyone who lives with young children! The idea is, that you buy a wax warmer (they have loads of cute designs!) and you can then put the wax into the warmer and as it melts, the room is filled with sweet smells. Essentially, they're like scented candles, just without the burning!

I was sent five samples to try: Pink Haze, Clean Breeze, Sugar Cookie, Forever Yours and Perk Me Up. My favourite was definitely Pink Haze because it had such a sweet smell and it completely filled the room - not to mention it's a lovely colour. I have to admit, it was hard to pick a favourite because they were all so so nice!

If you're interested in the Scentsy Wax Bars, check out the website here or contact Crystal on her twitter which is @UkScentsy. They're also recruiting at the moment, so if you fancy being a part of the team,  send a message to Crystal's Twitter or get in contact via the website.

See you soon,
Charlotte x

3 July 2015

BOOK REVIEW: The Heartbreakers by Ali Novak


Today I'm going to be reviewing a book I recently applied for called 'The Heartbreakers' by Ali Novak. I was so happy that I had come across it on a reviewing website because I first discovered Ali on Wattpad when she was writing under the name Fallzswimmer  (go check out her profile!). Before I'd even read the book, I knew I would be a fan because of how much I liked her previous novel 'My Life with the Walter Boys'. 

Here's an outline of the story for those of you who haven't heard of it before: Stella, Cara and Drew are triplets who are completely inseparable but couldn't be more different. Drew is sports obsessed, Cara is the ultimate boy band fangirl and Stella prefers more underground, alternative music. So, when Stella and Drew travel to Minneapolis to  get Cara some signed merchandise from her favourite band 'The Heartbreakers', Stella could not be more indifferent. But when she realises that the boy she bumped into in Starbucks is Oliver Perry, the lead singer of the band, she starts to freak out. How could he not tell her who he really is? After an awkward confrontation, Drew, Stella and the band become unlikely friends and the story follows the group's adventures while Drew and Stella are trying to cope with Cara's devastating illness.

I really, really enjoyed this book because it had elements of so many things that I love; music, bands, romance and celebrities! All of the characters are so unique and their personalities are all very clear which I absolutely love. It's so easy to pick up on the family vibe that surrounds all of the characters which makes it such a nice read as you can picture every scene in your head perfectly. 

Having read the first 'draft' of this story on Wattpad, I can see how far Ali's writing style has come along because although I enjoyed reading it the first time, it was a million times better this time round. The plot was much easier to follow and it was just generally better written which was really good!

It's such a happy-go-lucky story, all about taking risks and believing in yourself - what a great message! This is a story that I'll definitely read again because it will never, ever get boring... there's too much going on! I would definitely recommend you add it to your reading lists and grab a copy when it comes out (1st August!!). 

See you soon,
Charlotte x

2 July 2015

Harry Potter Obsession


Most people have read at least one Harry Potter book or seen at least one Harry Potter film, right? Well, I've seen and read all of them about 10 times! I love the world that J. K. Rowling has created because it's just so magical (excuse the pun!). The plots are so intricate and the relationships between the characters are so unique and I think the whole idea is really special. It really captures the importance of friendship and trust which helps Harry and his friends in countless situations.

So if you throw that all together, it makes my all time favourite series! Over the years, I've collected quite a lot of Harry Potter related things, whether it's merchandise, clothing or even food, I've got it. So I thought I'd put together a look-book type post of some of the things I have - I hope you enjoy!


If you want to know where any of the items pictured above are from, tweet me (@charlyblogs) and I'll send you the link!

See you soon,
Charlotte x