My Love/Hate Relationship with Re-Reading!

This post is definitely one where I think out loud into a blog post… I hope you don’t mind!

I keep thinking about re-reading books recently, partly because there are some I want to re-read and partly because I keep wondering whether it’s a waste of my time.

For example, I definitely want to re-read the Six of Crows duology this year but I only read it last year. Would I be wasting time? I can’t remember every detail though and I love re-reading books because I know what happens. It means I can sit back a little more calmly and truly absorb the story, rather than rushing to find out what happens.

I have already re-read the ACOTAR series this year and it was just as magical on a second read.

Yet I have 121 books on my Goodreads TBR and that doesn’t include most of the books I already own either on my bookshelf or on my kindle… I’m not intending on reading 121 more books this year! So if I add in re-reads that reduces the potential time for getting through my TBR!

I also have a massive problem when I hear people talking about re-reads. When someone says they re-read a series every year without fail. Even if it means they read nothing new. That hurts my soul! If I could only read a handful of books a year, I’d want them all to be new ones.

I would love to re-read some of my childhood favourites. Maybe some of the Redwall books, Artemis Fowl and Eragon but I’ve read them before? Multiple times. There’s also that worry that reading them now, they won’t have that same magic and my memories will be tarnished.

How many times is too many? There are books where the story is part of who I am. Where I can close my eyes and read ahead, without the book being open. Is there worth in re-reading those books? I think there is. Reading for enjoyment has to be worthwhile and re-reading a book I know will make me happy is then surely worthwhile.

There’s also the idea I’ve seen recently that sometimes you need to listen to a book you didn’t love instead and maybe you’ll enjoy it more. If I didn’t enjoy a book, do I want to give it more time? Normally I just move straight on past and I think I’m okay with that choice.

Sorry for the ramble, how do you feel about re-reading books?

xo Fleur xo

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Unpopular Opinions Book Tag

When I saw Emma from A Cornish Geek share this tag on the Blogger Book Nook page, I knew instantly it was one I wanted to answer! I love watching YouTube videos on people’s books they hated and love unpopular opinions in general about any topic. I live for letting that bit of negativity out okay!

I will probably be bashing a book you love in this tag, don’t take it personally because I’m also bashing one of my favourite books of all time. Oh and the photos I’ve included are of books I find so over-hyped.

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?

Sooo, don’t hate me but the Harry Potter series. I enjoyed the first 4 books but didn’t think they were anything super special and after that, well I’ll keep my opinions to myself… Now, what, 20 years later having had HP shoved down my throat at every opportunity I’m kind of sick of the whole thing. I’m learning to cope with the fact every single person my age who loves books is obsessed with them but it isn’t easy.

Whilst we’re here I need to mention 50 Shades of Grey. That TAMPON SCENE WILL NEVER BE WIPED FROM MY MEMORY. I don’t understand the love for those books. I hate read them in the hope Anastasia would tell him to eff off. Spoiler alert, she didn’t. UGH.

What is a popular book or series that everyone seems to hate but you love?

Ooof, maybe Twilight? It’s certainly a series that loves to be hated but I wouldn’t necessarily say I love it, especially considering how problematic it is.

I’d also like to shoutout YA books. They’re super popular in certain groups – like bookstagram. In general though they are scorned from all angles which hurts my heart. Of course there are garbage YA books but let’s be honest some of the ‘great’ literary fiction was written by authors who were paid by the word…

What is a love triangle in a book or series where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with?

Hmm, maybe in The Hunger Games but I didn’t really like either option… Also in The Mortal Instruments where I wanted both options for Simon. Oh and don’t get me started on the mess that is Rand in The Wheel of Time series!

What is a popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Crime, thrillers and murder mysteries. They’re all similar but slightly different genres and I rarely reach for them. I like books that are an escape, not ones that leave me worried in my real life! I get the appeal and they’re fun once in a while but I only like them in small doses. I like my fantasy, okay.

What is a popular or beloved character that you do not like?

You know how I was speaking about Harry Potter earlier? Well, the main trio are my least fave, especially Hermione – she the kind of nerd that gives nerds a bad name. Also, I really dislike Frodo but I don’t know if secretly a lot of people feel that way. Oh and I haven’t read any of the books but having seen Murder on the Orient Express, Poirot seems like a bit of a dick – hopefully he’s a better character in the books?

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

John Green, if you saw my review of the 2018 World Book Day books, or my review of Turtles all the Way Down you’ll have felt my dislike. I wish I got the appeal but I feel like his writing is too pretentious for me.

What is a popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

Insta-love. I do believe in attraction and recognition at first sight but love? Nope. A few months into knowing someone, sure but that madly, deeply, dying for each other in a few days? Leave that for Romeo and Juliet please. Thx.

What is a popular book or series that you have no interest in reading?

Oooh this is hard. I have no interest in reading further than the third book of the Game of Thrones series… does that count? I don’t like dismissing books entirely without giving them a true chance. I like to base my opinions on how I actually feel, rather than how I think I would.

What is a movie or TV show adaptation of a book or series that you like more than the book/s?

Lord of the Rings! Possibly controversial but I think the films did a great job of cutting the tedious parts of the book and conveying the story in an engaging manner. I absolutely love the books and I plan on re-reading them this year but they seriously needed a good editing. I can see why so many people start reading them and promptly give up.

What book that everyone else loves do you hate?

xo Fleur xo

YouTubers Made Me Buy It #2

I really enjoyed writing my first YouTubers Made Me Buy It post, so I had to do another one! This one is definitely also a bloggers and Instagrammers made me buy it post. I may have to write one for non-beauty items soon too…

So, here’s a whole bunch of products that I bought because I saw people talking about them and I just had to. Not all of them are cruelty free because most of them I’ve had since before I went CF, I’ll put a little CF next to the products that are!

First up has to be the Anastasia Beverly Hills Modern Renaissance Palette CF, let’s be honest the hype around this palette was ridiculous and still is really. It is so worth it though, I love this palette so much and how many different looks it’s possible to create just using shadows from the one palette. In fact, I think it’s about time it came out of hiding and I gave it some love again.

The Liz Earle Cleanse & Polish CF was actually given to me by my mum because she didn’t like it and tbh I can’t say I do either. I did use this when I was a teenager, so maybe it shouldn’t be on this list? However, I did repurchase it because of the hype, only to discover that as an adult it breaks me out unless I use it as the first part in a double cleanse.

I saw people talking about the Makeup Revolution Ultra Strobe Balm in Euphoria CF and saying how gorgeous it is under holographic powder highlighters! However, I can’t get this to work at all. I find it moves or completely removes the foundation I have on underneath. I’m going to give it one last go soon and if I can’t get it to work I’ll probably bin it…

There was a lot of hype around the Rosie for Autograph range when it launched and I was so excited about it! I picked up the Lipstick in Dolly Baby CF and hmm. The packaging is gorgeous, there’s no doubt about that and the magnetic closure makes it feel premium and secure. I find that the lipstick reacts weirdly with my mouth though, the inner rim of the lipstick ends up all goopy and going a funny colour? Definitely another product I need to try one more time before binning if I can’t get it to work.

Glossybox! I’ve included a Glossybox blusher that is moderately pretty though I always found their own products dubious. I definitely subscribed to Glossybox because everyone was talking about it and I wanted to be part of the club. I found some great products through it but I think getting the samples every month was overkill for me. I also now own way too many black eyeliners…

Maybelline Eyestudio Lasting Drama Gel Eyeliner in Brown was a purchase from forever ago! It is gorgeous, especially on blue eyes, but mine probably needs to go in the bin seeing as it is OLD. I swear this came out and everyone went from talking about the Bobbi Brown liner, to talking about this one.

Do you remember when everyone was saying how the Sleek MakeUp Blush in Rose Gold CF was a dupe for NARS Orgasm? Well, I didn’t actually like either! This is definitely another product I’m trying one last time. I think it might work better with the makeup I wear now – it certainly didn’t work with the cool tones I used to wear.

I have a lot of my Rimmel Scandaleyes Waterproof Kohl in Nude left, which I guess means that unlike everyone else, I didn’t love it. I found it really smudgey and often made my mascara bleed, so I ended up with essentially black eyeliner instead?

The Sleek MakeUp Matte Me Lip Cream in Birthday Suit CF is a more recent purchase and another product I don’t love. It’s a pretty shade, lasts well, isn’t too uncomfortable but I just don’t enjoy liquid lipsticks…

I ADORED the Maybelline Dream Touch Blush in 06 in fact I even seem to have two of them? Both of mine are very dried up now so will be heading towards the bin! I went through a short lived phase of loving cream blush before I moved towards makeup that actually stayed on my oily skin all day.

I reviewed the CoverFX Custom Blot Drops CF last year, having fallen for the hype. These just don’t work for me. I’ve given them chance after chance and they either break me out or ruin my makeup. No thanks. I need to pass them on or bin them already. I’m just wincing at the amount of money I spent on them!

 

Did you get convinced to buy any of these? If you did, did they live up to the hype?

xo Fleur xo

 

Review: A Change is Gonna Come

I picked up this book after attending the Young Adult Literature Weekender at the Southbank Centre (which was amazing by the way and I definitely want to attend again if it happens this year too). There was a panel with Tanya Byrne, Nikesh Shukla and Irfan Master – three of the authors featured in this book. After listening to them speak I was both excited to read this book and to diversify my reading, which I have definitely managed this year and I’d highly recommend that everyone does. Honestly it is SO nice to read from a perspective of someone who isn’t a white, straight male.

A Change is Gonna Come

A Change is Gonna Come is an anthology of short stories and poems written by BAME authors (Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic writers in the UK).

I don’t normally read short stories as I find they can be too short, or too dull, not full enough or too full. The stories and poems within this book however, are perfect, interesting and engaging short stories. They made me feel and think and left me with a list of writers I want to read more from, what more could you ask for.

The topics covered within this book are so diverse. There is grief, sci-fi, dystopia, fantasy, second love, making friends, losing friends… There really is something for everyone and I can’t recommend this book enough.

As it’s an anthology of short stories, I don’t want to talk about the individual stories and risk taking anything away from the reading of them. All I can say is I think it’s a book everyone can get something out of.

Do you enjoy short stories?

xo Fleur xo

Current Favourites – April 2018

My last current favourites post was in February and was one of my most popular posts so far! I also really enjoyed writing it and have tried some new awesome products since then, so I thought I’d do another one. I think one every few months could be a really fun way to track what I’m using over time!

All the products I’ll be talking about are cruelty free ❤

First up is the Superdrug Lotus Flower and Cherry Blossom Body Butter which I can’t actually find on their website anymore, I really hope they aren’t discontinuing it! This smells floral, sweet and clean but not too overpowering. In the everlasting winter we had this has been incredible. Normally I look for body lotions that have no mineral oil/paraffin in them but I think when it’s really cold, I need that oil to stop the moisture escaping.

Snow Fairy from LUSH was a Christmas present and I’ve fallen in love with it. I can’t believe I still have half the bottle left when I started using it as soon as I got it. I have been using other shower gels too because I like different scents depending on my mood. This isn’t super liquidy like a lot of shower gels, which means I only need a little blob! I did think LUSH shower gels were overpriced but having used this one, I’ll be picking up more. Oh it also smells heavenly.

This Superdrug Pink Shower Brush is definitely a dupe of the Wet Brush and only cost £2.99. I like having different brushes for when my hair is freshly washed and for when it isn’t to avoid my hair getting oily, so having a cheap option is great. This works pretty much almost as well as the Wet Brush and I’m debating getting another one for my swim bag so I can brush my hair at the gym. It also comes in other colours if bright pink isn’t for you.

I haven’t had The Body Shop Japanese Cherry Blossom Strawberry Kiss Eau de Toilette long but I can’t stop spritzing it everywhere. At £15 I don’t mind using this every day and using it in my hair and on my clothes. It still lasts longer than some of the more expensive fragrances I’ve bought too. I think it smells incredible, I love the sweetness of the strawberry and cherry together. It’ll definitely be too sweet for some people but I’m obsessed. I think the bottle is so cute too.

The Superdrug Coconut Water & Coconut Oil Masque has been helping me to look after the ends of my hair recently. It seems to really deeply condition my hair, leaving it looking healthier. It also smells awesome. I don’t love the packaging but I think most hair masks come in similar style packaging… I find it so awkward in the shower! Other than that though, it’s great!

The Anastasia Beverly Hills Dipbrow Pomade in Medium Brown started out as a very hit or miss product for me but I’ve come to love it. I have far fewer terrible brow days since I’ve started using it. When it goes well, it goes amazingly. I don’t know if I’d pay £19 to get it again but I’ll see how long the pot lasts!

I’ve had my Sleek Face Contour Kit in Light for a while now but really started using it again when I went cruelty free. I don’t adore the highlight, it’s alright but nothing special. However, the contour shade is perfect for everyday. I love this for adding a subtle bit of contouring to just add that bit of definition my face desperately needs!

I’m in love with all the Anastasia Beverly Hills Matte Lipsticks I own but the shades Rum Punch and Kiss are my favourites so far. I don’t know if I’d pay the full price of £18 for these? Okay, yeah, I probably would for these shades. Kiss is my perfect neutral to pair with orange/red/warm eyeshadow looks, I’ve worn this shade so much! Rum Punch is also perfect with warm looks, for when I want a more dramatic look. I also find Rum Punch perfect for using as a stain. The formula is very matte and can be drying but it generally lasts well through eating and can be reapplied easily.

I used the brush that came with the Anastasia Beverly Hills Subculture Palette on a whim the other week and since then I’ve been loving it! My only problem with it is that it has shed a bit. Other than that though the blending side works excellently for blending or aerating a look and the other end works so well for packing shadow onto the lid.

I already talked about the Barry M Illuminating Strobe Cream in Galactic in my recent Haul and Review post but I had to mention it again. This is SUCH a gorgeous cream highlighter. I can’t fault it other than the grey tone it has when it isn’t in the light. As I’m sure I said before though, when it’s an unnatural colour, this is going to happen. If you want a gorgeous pink-blue-purple highlight, you need this. It also amplifies powder highlight amazingly.

Finally The Body Shop Hemp Hard-Working Hand Protector is awesome. This is a rediscovery for me and I can’t believe I stopped using it. It is on the expensive side of hand cream and it does smell quite strongly of what I’m assuming is hemp. It’s great though. It is heavy duty without being sticky or gross. It does leave a little oily film but as someone who can’t cope with the feeling of anything on my hands, this doesn’t bother me. It’s so nice to have a hand cream that actually DOES something!

What products are you loving recently? Have you tried any of these ones?

xo Fleur xo

 

Review: The Planetsider

This book is one of my favourites so far in 2018 – it was that GOOD.

The Planetsider by G J Ogden* follows Ethan in a dystopian future set several generations after ‘The Fall’ where there are only very small communities left. These communities appear not to know what happened to cause The Fall or what life was like before it and what frustrates Ethan is more is that no-one seems to care. Then one night Ethan sees a bright light come crashing to Earth, so close to where he lives and he has to set out to find out if it holds the answers he needs.

The Planetsider is a well-paced, 300 page sci-fi; the Physics works and the concept behind The Fall isn’t ridiculously far-fetched. Best of all what happened to cause ‘The Fall’ isn’t frustratingly, awkwardly held unexplained – you learn what happened alongside Ethan and the main points are explained early enough in the story. This is honestly my biggest bugbear with sci-fi/post-apocalyptic futures and seeing it done so well is brilliant.

I loved the characters, they felt real and I think Ogden found the right balance between fleshing out characters and keeping the pace going. I’ve found a lot of the books I’ve read this year haven’t managed that, or often only the main character feels developed enough.

For me, this book had everything you could want. I felt like it is similar to The Martian in the way it displays humanity and our struggle to survive more so than the science. So I don’t think the appeal is purely for fans of sci-fi, though as someone who loves the genre I’m potentially not the best to judge!

This is G J Ogden’s first book and excitingly for me he studied (though didn’t love) Physics at UMIST, which is now part of The University of Manchester (where I studied Physics and also didn’t love it). Reading that after finishing The Planetsider made me love it even more. Those little connections can be a big deal and I can’t wait to see what he writes next. Also, for a first book – this was superb.

xo Fleur xo

*This book was sent to me for review but all opinions are my own (I really did love it that much).

FairyLoot Unboxing and Review – March

This months FairyLoot box was their 2 year anniversary box, which meant it came in a purple box. How awesome!

If you haven’t seen my previous posts about FairyLoot – it is a bookish subscription box that contains a hardback book as well as loads of bookish items based around a theme for £32.95 a month. This month the theme was Memorable Moments. My only problem with the subscription is that they use Hermes to deliver which is, as we all know, a bit of a nightmare. It’s worth it though.

The book this month was State of Sorrow, which I’ll review below and contained a signed bookplate.

The first item I saw was cork bunting from Paladone which I must admit I’m still finding a bit random. It’s a cute idea but I’ve no idea how I’ll use it to be honest. I’m sure I’ll find a way and it might look cute hanging from a shelf on my bookcase.

Next up is some ‘Toast to The Warden of The North’ hot chocolate from Eponine. It is vegan, gluten free, nut free and sustainably sourced, I haven’t tried it at the time of writing this because I haven’t had the weather to take photos yet… You know how it is. It sounds good though.

The next item is a Harry Potter Goblet of Fire candle from Paper Flames Candle Co that is scented like fresh bread and chocolate, I can’t wait to start burning it. Having looked at their Etsy shop, they have a candle called Bookstagram which I love the sound of haha. I’m not obsessed with the fact it’s another HP item in my life but I guess at least it’ll be a candle I definitely don’t mind burning.

Next up is Bilbo’s Birthday Cake soap from Geeky Clean that is scented with strawberry and vanilla. I must admit this wasn’t what I was expecting from a Lord of the Rings item and I am a little disappointed that it’s a consumable. That disappointment isn’t as much of an issue when it smells as good as it does though. Plus it’s glittery, so it’ll look cute in photos, right?

There was also a bookmark and badge for The Belles, a postcard for State of Sorrow as well as a letter from the author.

Finally my favourite item, a Shadowhunters Rune Ceremony Scarf from FictionTea. This is such a cool scarf! I’m kind of sad it’s a black scarf but it’s also appropriate for a Shadowhunters scarf isn’t it.

State of Sorrow by Melinda Salisbury

State of Sorrow is a book that takes a while to get going but once it does… OH MY. The main story follows Sorrow Ventaxis, who is born straight after her brother dies at a historic signing of a peace treaty. Her mother dies giving birth to her and her father plunges the whole land into mourning her brother. The story picks back up when Sorrow is older and her father has become so incompetent that the lands council look to put Sorrow in charge.

If you’re looking for a book full of political intrigue, awesome world building, an interesting magic system, a great selection of characters and so many twists you lose count – this could be the book for you. I will say you do see some of the twists coming but I definitely didn’t see them all.

I did find the names of the two neighbouring lands the book discusses confusing, actually make that annoying. They both begin with R. WHY. Seriously, unless the names become super relevant at some point, I feel like one of them should have been changed to be less confusing. Also, as with a lot of fantasy, there is the mass introduction of seemingly hundreds of characters at once. If you can push past the start though, I think it’s a wonderful book.

Have you read any of Melinda Salisbury’s other books? I think I need to add some to my TBR after reading this one.

xo Fleur xo