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The Book-It List

So last month I challenged myself to read four books, you can read the post here. I'm actually still reading the last one from February so I guess you could count that for this month's too...

Here's my Goodreads challenge update, give me a follow for encouragement!

The books for March were all bought in a charity shop near where I live and you just can't beat it for when you're at a loss of what to read.

I picked up the following three, a couple of which I'll probably read whilst travelling to and from Berlin next week, eep!

*All blurbs or reviews found on Amazon previous to reading.


Ian McEwan

'On the hottest day of the summer of 1934, thirteen-year-old Briony Tallis sees her sister Cecilia strip off her clothes and plunge into the fountain in the garden of their country house. Watching her is Robbie Turner, her childhood friend who, like Cecilia, has recently come down from Cambridge. 
By the end of that day, the lives of all three will have been changed for ever. Robbie and Cecilia will have crossed a boundary they had not even imagined at its start, and will have become victims of the younger girl's imagination. Briony will have witnessed mysteries, and committed a crime for which she will spend the rest of her life trying to atone.'

After reading the blurb, I instantly recognised the same thrilling feeling I had whilst reading Ian McEwan's novel 'Enduring Love' (which if you haven't read, you definitely should if you're a fan of a thriller). It's clear that this story will have the same twists and turns and I am fully expecting to be hooked.

Life of Pi
Yann Martel

'One boy, one boat, one tiger ...After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orang-utan and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.'

When this was released as a film last year, there was a lot of hype. I am still yet to see the film so I decided to read it first because well, I'm on of those people who think you should read before watching...
It sounds very different to the sort of story I'm used to but I'm going to give it a go. Let me know your thoughts if you have read it!

My Booky Wook
Russell Brand

'Russell Brand grew up in Essex . His father left when he was three months old, he was bulimic at 12 and left school at 16 to study at the Italia Conti stage school. There, he began drinking heavily and taking drugs. He regularly visited prostitutes in Soho, began cutting himself, took drugs on stage during his stand-up shows, and even set himself on fire while on crack cocaine...'

So that is only the beginning of what was written about this book on Amazon. I'd say it covers the controversial icon fairly well and I'm interested in what this book has to reveal. I'm on the Brand bandwagon so to speak - no matter his questionable history of crime and generally being an opinionated git - I think he's a bit of alright.


Just a few staple pieces I bought at the start of the month I thought I'd share with you!

£12.99 Ark

I have wanted this exact jumper for a while but was disappointed to find it actually falls a bit short, even in the a Medium. A cropped jumper is not really what I wanted for Winter but the colour and material was just too lovely to pass up on. However, I've worn it only twice and all the stitching is coming apart and the material is frayed. My boyfriend had the same issue with a burgundy version he got so my advice? Buy a similar one elsewhere.

Grey Tshirt with Shoulder Detail
Zara (sale)

I love a good grey t-shirt, don't you? This one I nabbed for less than a fiver in the sale and I love it. I've dressed it up, dress it down, even worn it to exercise in because it's that bit prettier than your standard gym tee. Great buy that will see me right through till summer.

Black Skinny Jeans
Zara £25.99 (ish)

Standard, beautiful, black, skinny jeans. I will always go to Zara first for a decent pair of jeans because they're great quality and nowhere near as expensive as other high street stores for what you get. I have worn them so much already and you can never have too many pairs of jeans!

No link online to these, sorry!

Quick note about my shopping experince:

Ark has disappointed me hugely in recent times and I have to admit, it's unlikely I'll be venturing there again. I've had ridiculous service buying things online, the clothes are poorly manufactured particularly when it comes to matching and aligning prints correctly AND obviously, this jumper quality situation. For a store with the most beautiful Instagram feed and helpful in store staff, I've been hugely disappointed with the quality :(

Zara on the other hand has a fabulous sale on at the minute and they have never let me down!

What have you been buying recently?


I'm not one for being overly soppy or romantic but Valentine's weekend was just lovely.

We don't celebrate Valentine's in particular but it so happened to coincide with our anniversary weekend this year. We've never had a set 'anniversary' date of when we got together, so we just made it up. There's been enough ups and downs and ons and offs for a particular date to not be necessary. That being said, it was really nice to have a mini celebration of another year together!

I previously wrote a 'Valentine's Wishlist' post with a couple of items I had my eye on but he outdid himself with this gorgeous rose gold and silver infinity necklace. I got him a day out doing archery. We were both chuffed to say the least.

We started the day off in Costa Coffee for breakfast lunch, with a couple of lattes (caramel for me, hazelnut for him) and a chocolate twist. I bought King Charles gig tickets as one of his Christmas presents, so we headed off to Sheffield in the afternoon.

Sheffield is a city that I have not made the time to explore enough. I love the quirky places and the fact everything is close by and that it's only 40 minutes away from my hometown BUT far enough away apparently, that people still comment on my accent - we're all Yorkshire here, lads and lasses!

We went to Henry's for a spot of lunch that turned out to be a hell of a lot of food. We then strolled to The Great Gatsby because he likes the ambience and I'm a sucker for Gatsby quotes anywhere and everywhere.

Neither of us had been to Plug before and it's one of those perfect sized places for intimate gigs, with appropriately grimy floors and a smoking area bigger than the place itself. It was like stepping back in time to my first gig when I was 14.

Overall, he loved the gig and I loved the city experience and quite frankly, I'm very much looking forward to anniversaries in the future if this is anything to go by!

BOOK REVIEW // 'I Was Here' by Gayle Forman

After reading 'If I Stay' last year and being absolutely hooked, it only made sense to want to read another book by Gayle Forman. I was kindly sent a copy of the most recent novel, 'I Was Here' and it definitely lived up to expectations.

I Was Here
Gayle Forman

'Cody and Meg were inseparable.

Two peas in a pod.
Until . . . they weren’t anymore.
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, and some secrets of his own. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.'

It was a given that this was going to be a compelling story because the style of writing just makes it so. 'I Was Here' ventures into suicide and mental health disorders from the viewpoint of Cody, the best friend of a girl who killed herself.

It tiptoes precariously around these hard topics. It's good, no doubt about it, but I can't bring myself to say I enjoyed it.

This isn't an uplifting story.

It's actually rather depressing throughout BUT I feel it's safe to say that because of this, it will most definitely tug at your heart strings. Whilst the issues tackled are heart wrenching there is, of course, an almost welcome relief in the form of a love story.

The way you feel towards each character takes twists and turns throughout as you uncover that everyone has their own secrets and problems. It is a very hard-faced portrayal of the world which understandably, I could relate to if I were in Cody's shoes.

The ending was great IMO but I reckon many readers will feel unfulfilled. I love a story where the end isn't romanticised because we know life isn't all 'happily ever after'.

I would LOVE to know what your thoughts are on the book too, it's an interesting one! 

Does this sound like your cup of tea?

Get it now on Amazon.


It's good to be back! I skipped January because well, New Year's resolutions are enough.
I am doing pretty damn well with my NY ones so far, even if I do say so myself.

Here's a few little 'uns I'm aiming for this month. Baby steps and all.


Actually make an effort with my hair

I am one of these people who choose to snooze my alarm seven times rather than get up and wash my hair. It's getting beyond ridiculous, today I had to use my friend's dry shampoo at her house and
she wasn't even in.

This month I vow to wash it at least once every 2 days (does that sound gross that I don't already?) and actually style it more often than not, rather than screwing it up into a pineapple - you all know what I mean, don't deny it.

Learn basic German

Now, some of you might have seen my New Year resolutions post and in this, I mention one of my goals in 2015 is to learn Spanish. Since then, I've booked a trip to Berlin so it makes more sense to learn basic German first, right?

A blogger mentioned 'Duolingo' to me during a twitter chat AGES ago and whoever it was, I owe her a lot! It's a fantastic website that has made learning a language so, so easy.

It's fun and unlike reading a text book or listening to an audio CD it actually challenges your speaking, listening, writing and reading. And as I have a bad habit of never finishing things I start, it allows you to opt for challenges, such as using it 7 days in a row and reaching so many XP per day. If you are considering learning a new lingo, TRY IT.

Oh, and it's completely free.

Add me as a friend and we can see each other's progress - 'leamarieee'

Keep up with the Book-It List series

I made another resolution to read more and hit my Goodreads target, so I've started a new blog series.

The first instalment is FEBRUARY BOOK-IT LIST so check that out if you're stuck on what book to pick up next. I'm currently half way through the second book, which is good going but February is a short month!

I've already a couple of books lined up for March, so I need to pencil in some time to actually get them and upload that post too!

What are your plans for February?

no image for sign off today, thank you blogger, you piece of shit pie

all images sourced from DTTSP