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!

Mustard Fisherman Knit Jumper
£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?

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.