Friday, 26 December 2014

Barbados: The Flight Review



Where have I been you might not need to ask as the title gives this away but I have been preparing for and enjoying the lovely country of Barbados. I thought I would put together a little series of things I loved and maybe some that I didn't love quite so much.

First off: The flight and the airport

Now many of you will have been to Gatwick airport many times but for me it was a first. I have always caught my planes at Bristol Airport in the past and so in comparison it was huge. Stepping into the airport and seeing everything all at once made me panic a little bit. I am not afraid of flying but there is something about travelling that makes me anxious. I tried Kalms this trip and they worked a treat!!

Check in was extremely easy and getting through security was a breeze. We then headed to the Vroom (Virgins very own departure lounge) We were greeted and checked in swiftly and made our way to the complimentary breakfast. There was so much on offer here from Cereal and Cupcakes to Juices, Tea and Coffee and everything in-between. We were shown to some comfortable seating where we could see the aeroplanes taking off and landing. 

The plane itself was huge and we had chosen to sit right at the back. The air hostess was funny and polite before take off and was telling us about the weather in Barbados. After take off we were all served drinks and given a bag of pretzels which were yummy. 

The Food

We were given a little menu at the start of our flight so that we knew what we were going to receive during the trip and we got to choose our main course, I thought that was a nice touch. I chose lasagne and as far as plane food goes it was nice. We also received an afternoon tea a couple of hours before landing which was delicious. 

Entertainment

Virgin use Veto on their flights and each seat has their own personal screen in the seat in front of them. I wasn't expecting too much as far as entertainment goes but I was proved wrong within the first five minutes of getting on the aircraft. There were an endless amount of films and TV series, Music and Documentaries to watch. I watched several films on the way there and on the way back including The Fault in Our Stars, Lucy and 22 Jump Street.
The music choices were also extensive with a bit of something for everyone.

Comfort

I don't think travelling is ever comfortable and my anxiety certainly doesn't help me relax however on the flight to Barbados there was lots to distract me and that made the flight more comfortable. I would say that Virgins flight was more comfortable than other planes i have been on.

Thanks For Reading

Em x
 

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Here and Now by Ann Brashares







An unforgettable epic romantic thriller about a girl from the future who might be able to save the world . . . if she lets go of the one thing she’s found to hold on to.

Follow the rules. Remember what happened. Never fall in love.

This is the story of seventeen-year-old Prenna James, who immigrated to New York when she was twelve. Except Prenna didn’t come from a different country. She came from a different time—a future where a mosquito-borne illness has mutated into a pandemic, killing millions and leaving the world in ruins. 

Prenna and the others who escaped to the present day must follow a strict set of rules: never reveal where they’re from, never interfere with history, and never, ever be intimate with anyone outside their community. Prenna does as she’s told, believing she can help prevent the plague that will one day ravage the earth. 

But everything changes when Prenna falls for Ethan Jarves. 




This book is about Time Travellers from the future coming back to 2010 to live. In the future people are dying from something called a blood plague and the aim is for this group of travellers to escape it.
I liked reading about how grim the future is and how technology advances through time. The future in this story was realistic and the horror that Prenna had faced was genuinely scary. I thought the plot was clever and imaginative. I enjoyed reading the book as a whole and it was quite a quick read for me.

Prenna is a great character in my opinion, She is feisty and inquisitive I feel like she knows who she is and unlike the other travellers she is not brainwashed. The plague is easily transferred from person to person and so it is against the rules to touch. Prenna was often unsure of the time and her surroundings as you would expect. Throughout the book there were letters from Prenna to her brother Julian and i really enjoyed this addition to the book they show Prenna is feeling about the new things she is encountering and the hope she feels about her new home. 

Ethan is the perfect boy who is cool and popular but takes pitty on people less fortunate or not as 'with it'. For me Ethan was a little bit too predictable and weak as far as lead characters go. I could have forgiven the weak character if he had been swoon worthy but for me he wasn't. Saying that, Ethan's plot was still enjoyable and I liked the interaction between him and Preena. 

I don't want to give anything away but I will say that I liked the ending and I do want to read the next in the series (by the ending I assume there will be a next book). I don't think this book deserves the negative reviews it has received and although its not my favourite book of the year I would recommend it to a friend.

Thanks For Reading
Em x

Friday, 24 October 2014

11 Sleeps



You are 100% going to get bored of me going on about my trips but guess what............... I am going to do it anyway. That's right in 11 days I will be leaving for my trip to Barbados and i have not been more excited. This Blog is however going to be about the things i am a little bit anxious for.

The Car Journey

I am not the worst traveller in the world but I am certainly not the best. On the plus side I don't get car sick and I can be quite a quiet passenger because I like to sit there with my book and read until we get there. The problem is as soon as I know we will not be stopping the car for a while I begin to desperately need a wee, it doesn't matter if I have only just been to the loo or not. 

The night before

I find sleeping the night before anything exciting or worrying virtually impossible. I lie awake tossing and turning waiting for the moment I can finally get up for breakfast and get going. The morning we are going I will be a mess of pointless chatter in an attempt to release all of my excitement.

The one thing that freaks me out the most is..

The Plane

I am not terrified like I know some people can be and I will get on the plane as a means to an end but I hate how uncomfortable they are. I always have a headache when I am flying, I feel claustrophobic and cramped. There is always a crying child to help with my headache and the toilets are gross!! 

But with all of that said I am very excited to visit Barbados even if I have to suffer to get there.

Thanks For reading

Em xx 

Monday, 20 October 2014

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi Review


    
I have a curse
I have a gift

I am a monster
I'm more than human

My touch is lethal
My touch is power

I am their weapon
I will fight back

Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.
 
I bought this book with the cover above because this was in my opinion the prettier cover.
I finished this book in just a few sittings and once I got into the story (which did take a few chapters more than it usually does) I began to really enjoy the book. The plot to this book had a surprising twist right from the start I enjoyed trying to decide if Juliette was crazy or not. I got completely lost in the silence in Juliette's cell.
There are many many negative reviews for this book and it made me unsure whether to even bother reading as I was already in a negative place with Shatter me but I feel it has been reviewed unfairly. Yes Juliette is annoying, she is weepy, winey and faints all the time but if she wasn't would you have the same feelings throughout the book? I don't think so. Juliette is a character that that needs protecting and that is what Adam is there for.
At the moment paranormal romance and dystopian books are my favourite and Shatter Me combines all of this and more. The writing style was unique, I have never seen another author use strike through like Mafi did to express Juliette's emotions.
 
The one character I wasn't keen on was the villain which is a surprise because I normally love the bad guy but this villain reminded me of the little blond annoying king from games of thrones. I felt a little bit like someone should just push him over and it was hard to understand why everyone was doing what he is saying. I think that this is maybe part of his "Charm" though and obviously people are not supposed to like him.
 
I enjoyed how this book ended it makes me want to continue to see Adam and Juliette grow as character.
 
The physical book was very floppy even for a paperback and this I didn't like.
 
Tahereh Mafi is a young author and applaud her for success of this series of books.
 
Thanks For Reading
 
Em x

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin Reveiw

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Mara Dyer believes life can't get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can. 

She believes there must be more to the accident she can't remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed. 
There is.

She doesn't believe that after everything she's been through, she can fall in love. 
She's wrong.


Firstly the cover of this book is absolutely stunning.Its intriguing and really makes you want to pick up this book and give it a go just for the artwork. I got through this book quickly, mostly in one long car journey and I really enjoyed the style in which the book was written. I really enjoyed the romance between Mara and Noah and found much of the plot between them to be funny. I found myself having a little giggle  on a couple of occasions. I got so wrapped up in the love story that I would have been happy with that so to have an extra element to the plot was a bonus really.

I liked that Noah wasn't immaculately dressed I thought this made him a little less typical. He was such a bad ass when sticking up for Mara that it was a little cringey but completely lovable. He has completely changed for Mara and stopped sleeping with the entire school population (don't all of us girls want to tame that bad boy?). I love the development of Noah throughout the book.

I liked Daniel as the perfect older brother. I liked that he was so perfect because this is how he looks from Mara's point of view and anyone with a sibling would recognise the feeling that they would get away with actual murder.

Now Mara, I liked her as a main character even if she was a bit of a train wreck. Mara makes bad decisions throughout the story but we all make bad decisions so this just made her more believable. She falls head over heels for Noah quickly and a lot of the plot is based around the romance the two share.Noah admits to being horrible to Mara's best friend Jamie in the past and it is brushed under the carpet, she knows he is an ass hole but she cant help how she feels. Mara is sassy and you see more of this as her confidence grows within her new surroundings. Mara's attraction to Noah builds slowly and to be honest I don't think she particularly likes him to start off with. The attraction was intense and often left me thinking oooh Noah.      

The story ends with a cliff hanger (quite a shocking one at that) which means I will 100% be picking up the second book in the series very soon.

Thanks For Reading

Em x


Monday, 6 October 2014

Stone Faced Angel by Marie McKean Review


There are some things I know for sure:
1. I died . . . a long time ago
2. Even in death I was always aware of him.
3. Love has a way of making even angels choose to leave their heaven above.
 

I am going to do this review a little bit differently than I normally do. I did completely enjoy the book but there are a few niggly bits that I didn't like so much but rather than dwell on them I am going to start with what I did liked


I loved both of the main characters in this book and I really enjoyed how Maura's and Brandon's relationship developed over time rather than immediately. The character development was great, I really felt connected to all of the characters. For the first half of the story nothing much happens other than the budding romance but I though that was great I was really invested in their love by the end of the book. When the action kicked in it really got going, It was exciting and thrilling I enjoyed the scary storyline towards the end. There was a fantastic mix between good characters and baddies who are not what you would expect. Marie McKean is amazing at describing the people and the places so much so that you can almost feel like you are there with the characters. 
I loved that the ending was a surprise I don't think anybody reading would guess what will happen in the end.

I wish there was a little more talk about Maura's past, I found the concept so interesting and we did get exciting glimpses here and there but i think for me that would of taken this book up a level. I hated every single time one of them said the words "Babe" or "Boo" I get that this a way to show their affection for one another but Marie McKean has amazing descriptive skills that these words do not need to be used.

I did really enjoy reading Stone Faced Angels and would be excited to read the second in the series. 


Thanks for reading 

Em x

Saturday, 4 October 2014

Small book haul and exciting Giveaway


This week I have purchased

Shatter Me by

The Shock of The Fall by Nathan Filer
 
The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin
 
I plan on reading at least a couple of these books during my break next month.
 
I have also received a couple of books free for review in the last couple of weeks the first of which I have already finished and loved.
 
True Calling by Siobhan Davis
 
Shimmer by Elena Dillon
 
Breathe by Elena Dillon 

Stone Faced Angel by Marie McKean

Finally I was sent Heroes of Olympus - The Lost Hero by Rick Riordan. The Lovely people at penguin were kind enough to send me a couple of copies and so I am now holding a giveaway. If you would like to Win this book then click on the link below and follow the instructions.



 


Good luck and thanks for reading
 
Em x

Monday, 29 September 2014

Bad Neighbors - Movie Review

Bad Neighbours

Seth Rogan and Rose Byrne star as Mac and Kelly who are new parents when a fraternity move into the house next door. Teddy who is played by Zac Efron is president of the frat, Teddy doesnt want to keep the baby awake but the urge to party is too strong. 

I wanted to really like this movie and I really wanted a laugh but I am sad to say I was left disappointed. Parts of the movie were a little funny but mostly it was predictable and boring. I enjoyed the relationship between Efron and Rogan and liked the story line. Usually I am a huge fan of Seth Rogan and find him hilarious, Zac Efron is not bad on the eye so putting the two together should of worked but for me it just didn't.

Here is a little Zac Efron to look at anyway

Thanks For Reading

EM xx

Saturday, 27 September 2014

True Calling - Siobhan Davis

 






I wonder which situation is hardest.
Mine, because I remember everything, or hers because she can't.
***
Planet Novo, nestled in space twelve hundred miles above the surface of the Earth, is the new home of 17 year old Cadet Ariana Skyee. Confused by the government-sanctioned memory erase and distressed at her impending forced marriage and motherhood, Ariana’s plans for the future are thrown into complete disarray.
As the traumatic events within her family life enfold, Ariana grows increasingly alarmed at the authorities apparent pre-occupation with her and feels progressively more isolated and alone.
Her growing feelings for fellow Cadet Cal Remus intensify as the recently announced pageant,‘The Calling’, gets underway. Struggling to comprehend the continuous, inexplicable dreams of the mysterious Zane, discovering the past helps shape her future, with devastating personal consequences.
 
Firstly I want to start by saying that the characters in this book are some of the most interesting I have read about. Ariana is your typical 17 year old girl to begin with, getting on at school and with her friends but the growth in her character is what had me hooked on this book from the get go. Ariana is strong and sassy but also clever and caring, I found her easy to relate to and enjoyed her plot lines. Cal who is Ariana's love interest is a strong male lead character also. I loved his protectiveness over the heroine and how we get she the depth of his personality while he is dealing with Lilly.
I enjoyed the sort of love triangle within this book and constantly flitted between team Cal and team Zane.
 
I am not usually a fan of books told from duel perspectives and in this book we get a little from Zane's point of view too. I didn't hate it actually and although there was a lot extra to take in during this section of the book I thought it helped to move the book along smoothly.
 
I thought this book was action packed and there was not a single boring page which is amazing considering I do get bored quite easily with boring story lines. I think this book reaches out to the girly girl inside of me slightly with the dresses and the make up talk but then drags me right back into the action.
 
The Calling does have a hunger games feel to it so if you liked the hunger games you would probably enjoy this book but the story and premise is unlike anything I have read before.
 
I am excited to read more from Siobhan Davies and more in this series.
 
Thanks for reading
 
Em x

Picking the dress for your biggest day

the-dos-and-donts-of-wedding-dress-shopping-boutique


On Tuesday I picked and paid for my wedding dress!! I was not excited to go wedding dress shopping before hand in fact I hated the idea of trying on tons of dresses and picking one that is supposed to be THE one. So here is a list of tips to help you through wedding dress shopping.

Book several appointments

Stupidly, I booked one appointment in the hope that it would be an in and out affair but this was not the case. for me it took three shops to find what I was looking for. I would also add to this point to do your research on the shop. I did not do any research and I wish I had. not only can you check out if they have many of the styles that you like in stock but you can possibly read reviews and checkout what the customer service skills are like.

Try different styles

If you have never tried wedding dresses on before then there is no way on earth for you to know what you like best and also what suits you best. my advice would be to try on lots of different styles. some might not work for you but some will make you feel amazing. use the process of elimination to decide what things are important in a dress this will help when you are asked what your likes and dislikes are.

Be yourself

no matter what you decide make sure that the dress you choose is 100% you. your friends and family can help you along the way to choosing your dress but one thing that I struggled with was the final decision. I love the dress that I have chosen but at first my friends and Family were very quiet. I wondered if they liked it, it turns out they love my dress. The point is nobody does you like you do and it is your smile that will make people love your dress. If you are happy then it will show.Don’t worry about the size. Wedding dress sizing can be totally different to what you’d expect. It’s about the FIT and your normal high street size can differ from gown size.

There are a few things to be aware of when heading out dress shopping. Firstly it takes a long time for shops to order a dress in for you  (up to 6 months). if you don't have that amount of time then you can usually order sample dresses but the choice is then limited to what they have in front of you. Secondly, alterations will cost extra so try to consider this when you are creating a budget for your dress. 

I hope this was helpful to some of you

Thanks for reading 

Em x

MIA, Bad Week



Hey Guys,

I don't very often write out to you like this but I have not done a serious blog post in a really long time. In fact it has been a while since I have blogged anything at all and for that I am very sorry. I have had a mad, bad and sad few weeks and I have been unable to focus on anything. 

I have recently found myself getting back into reading books and I am beginning to filter in some reviews on to this blog so let me know what you think! Whether this is something you want to read about or not? 

There will be some very exciting blog posts coming up in the near future as not only am i going to Barbados for two whole weeks but I plan on doing a daily blog as well as a vlog so I will include the videos here too. After that me and Jon will be getting ourselves ready for our own wedding and honeymoon so if there are any specific posts or even questions you have about weddings or planning or anything like that then you can ask here in the comments or email me directly emmacoxy88@gmail.com 

Thanks For Reading

Em x

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Books Q & A

Question #1: Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

Answer: I like to read when I can completely concentrate on what I am doing. I usually read in or on my bed but I would love a reading room one day that would be amazing!
    
Question #2: Bookmark or a random piece of paper?

Answer: Mostly I just fold the page over. I would never use a random bit of paper and I did buy a couple of bookmarks when I visited Egypt so maybe its time to kick myself up the bottom and start using them. 

 
Question #3: Can you stop reading anytime you want or do you have to stop at a certain page, chapter, part, ect.?

Answer: If it was up to me I wouldn't stop at all but I can stop at any time provided I am not in the middle of a really exciting section I prefer to finish the chapter and generally I like to finish my book in three or four sittings.

Question #4: Do you eat or drink while reading?

Answer: I don't like to eat while I am reading I find it to distracting but i could have a drink.

Question #5: Can you read while listening to music/watching TV?

Answer: Yeah I like to have the radio on or something rubbish on TV in the background. When I was living with my Parents there was always lots of noise going on around me while i was trying to read so I think that the background noise actually helps me.

     
Question #6: One book at a time, or several at once?

Answer: I prefer to read one at a time however I do usually have one physical book on the go and an ebook on my kindle at the same time.

     
Question #7: Reading at home or everywhere?

Answer: I will read anywhere and if I am bored I find it difficult to not pull out a book.

Question #8: Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Answer: I read in my head however if i am struggling to get my head around a word or a sentence I will read it out loud to try and figure it out


Question #9: Do you read ahead or skip pages?

Answer: Right this is going to be a weird answer because it completely goes against everything I should do when reading a book. If I am really enjoying a book then I tend to get half way through and the I read the very last line in the book. (strange I know). Also If i am reading a book where the chapters are split into different points of view I have been known to skip a full chapter and just go back if i need a bit.

     
Question #10: Breaking the spine or keeping it new?

Answer: I like them to look new but I don't really like hard backs


Question #11: Do you write in books?

Answer: NOOOOOO Books are for reading not for writing in!



Thanks For reading

Em x

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Deviations by Crystal Johnson Review


“The bubonic plague, typhoid fever, smallpox, the bird flu—would you like me to continue?” His voice rises as if he’s determined to make me understand, “They’re created in labs, then given to people to see who is strong enough to survive them. They’re trying to limit the amount of people in the world.” I watch him stand and turn for the door. “There’s a lot about your parents that you don’t know and the sooner you realize that, the sooner you can start doing something about it.”

From the day we’re born, we’re introduced to the marvels of modern medicine. It is amazing how a simple vaccine can prevent polio, hepatitis B, rotavirus—the list is almost endless. But, what if that were no longer the case? What if the government unleashed each virus for the sole purpose of controlling the population? Henly Sawyer finds herself discovering this truth for the first time, and as she does, the world that she thought she knew shatters. She wakes in Aurora, a quarantine miles from home, and is forced into a grueling reality. Henly strives to piece together the truth about her parents and their involvement in the unfolding chaos. With the help of her new friends, Renner and Dex, Henly sets out to understand a world that is now filled with Deviations—an infected group of violent, murderous humans

I like the idea of this book and anyone that knows me knows i love a good post apocalyptic story however I found the storyline quite repetitive. My attention was captured for the first few chapters but I quickly lost interest after reading what felt like the same things over and over. 
I did like the characters and the dynamic relationships between them although the love story that followed through the book left me a little unsatisfied, there was no real ending or conclusion to any of the relationships in the book.

This book has great reviews on goodreads so I am inclined to think that I am one of the few and not one of the many that are disappointed by this book. I hate to write negative reviews and I would love to hear if anyone else has read this and loved it. 

Thanks For reading

EM x  

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Shimmer by Elena Dillon Review


Shimmer is the second book in the Breathe series by Elena Dillon 
Chandler Raines and her “dad” are on the run. Never staying in one place for very long. It’s just not safe. When they arrive in Lafayette, Louisiana, Chandler quickly realizes this is the place she wants to call home. Friends, a cute boy, and competitive cheerleading have her taking dangerous risks to have the life she always wanted. Risks she promised she wouldn’t take.
When her lies catch up to her, a decision has to be made. Stay or run? Will the evil that’s chased them for the last four years catch up to them? When Chandler’s past comes screeching into the present she’ll have to sacrifice everything to keep what she loves safe. But will it be enough?

First off let me start by saying I am moving to Lafayette, Louisiana! They seem to have all of the looks and all of the charm! Confused at first as to how this story related to the Breathe (Confusing me is easily done) but at about page 50 a light bulb turned on in my brain and i figured out who everyone is. The Main characters in this story were the little children in the last. I am impressed by this creative way to continue the series. We even get a glimpse into the lives of Jasmine and other characters from Breathe.
Lilly and Caeden we have already met in the previous book and they have grown to be interesting characters. Caeden is the love interest for Chandler is perfectly bad! I don't know a sixteen year old girl that wouldn't go crazy for his good looks and bad attitude. Caeden shows his nice side everyonce in a while helping Chandler realise that Lafayette is where she wants to stay.

Shimmer has the perfect amount of Thriller and Romance throughout. The scary bits keep you excited while the romance means you cant help but root for this lovely couple to succeed. 

Another perfect story by Elena Dillon showing how life isn't always perfect!

Thanks for reading!!

Em x

I received an ARC edition from the author in exchange for my honest review.