Looking back on 2017

The end of the year is finally here. These past 365 days have not been very enjoyable, to say the least, and I feel ready to move on.

So, overall, 2017 was one of my most difficult years. So much happened. I didn’t read as much as I wanted. My mental health was having ups and downs. But instead of ending the year on a too negative note, I decided to look back on some of the amazing memories I made this year.

  • I traveled quite a lot! I had amazing adventures in Australia, spent a few hot days in Portugal with the family and relaxed in Sardinia with my best friend
  • I finished an internship and started my final year of university!
  • I found some new favourite books. Ok, I did not read a lot this year (only 12 books! ugh). But out of the books I did read, some have become new favourites! Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi was so so amazing and I always catch myself thinking about it.

Here’s to a better 2018!

p.s. I don’t want to say AGAIN that I will be more active on this blog and read more to then feel myself fail. I will, however, be making sure I will be dedicating more time to just enjoying myself and if that happens to be by reading and writing, even better!

Mental Health, Motivation and Uni

So I’ve kind of disappeared again.

My last post on this blog was in January. On Instagram, it was more recent, late July. And I’ve been just on and off on Twitter for a while – mainly just lurking and keeping up to date with my favourite blogs.

A lot has happened. I worked somewhere where I didn’t feel appreciated or welcome for a year with a few days being worse than others with me having not so great mental health days and just breaking down. Good things came from this though, specifically one good thing, one a made a new friend that I believe will be for life.

Some other stuff also happened with the UK immigration people (ugh, right?!) that meant my long-term partner of five years having to return to Australia. This broke my heart in a way that I don’t feel can be mended until he gets back.

I did not read much during this time and I did not write. I mostly just lived day by day, going to the previously mentioned internship and immersing myself in Netflix shows during any free time.

With all of this said, things have been improving! I did a short two-weeks internship teaching some adorable and incredibly inspiring sever year olds. I’ve travelled A LOT this summer and had some pretty amazing life experiences.

Philip Island

Philip Island, Australia

Now I am back at the university that feels like home for a final year. I am feeling motivated again and I’m looking to find my place in the world (omg final year of uni is so scary! What do I do with my life?!). I’ve been reading and want to start sharing my literary and life adventures with you again.

So I will, hopefully, see you soon.

Book Review | The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

*** Thank you Penguin Random House approving me to review this title on Netgalley as an eARC. This does not affect my opinions in any way.***

This was such an interesting book that gripped me from the beginning when I was least expecting.

I received this book for review as an e-ARC on Netgalley and I let it sit on my kindle for a while. I don’t know why I did this to myself. Then, I got invited to the book launch party (thank you Clare and Penguin for the invitation!) and I wanted to at least have started the book by the time I went to the party. So I started it, and I read a quarter of it in one sitting – I was forced to stop by, ugh, adult responsibilities.

We follow Flora, a 17-year-old teenager with Anterograde Amnesia, which is a type of Amnesia where the person cannot create any new memories. To deal with this, Flora has a notebook to tell her who she is that she reads when she gets confused and she writes any short term ‘memories’ on her hands and arms so that she can keep referring back to them.

She lives with her parents and has one friend – Paige. They’ve been best friends since they were four and Flora can remember Paige even though she does not actually recognise her in her teenage form.

The book itself is written in a very fast pace where facts are just stated over and over again because that’s how Flora’s mind works.

One night, Flora kisses a boy and the next morning she gallery-1473414254-florabankscoverreveal123remembers. I know how that sounds, I had the same thought when I first found out about this books “Oh another YA novel where the boy is going to ‘cure’ the girl”. But NO! I don’t want to spoil anything but the romance (if you can even call it that) in this book is extremely refreshing.

Unfortunately for Flora at the time, this boy that she kissed – Drake, has gone to study and live in Svalbard, Norway. She finds herself following in love with him, or more with the idea of him and of having a memory, and she sets off to find to Svalbard in what seems like an impossible journey for her.

I want to see how I can exist by myself. I want to be allowed to live inside my memory.

As cheesy as this sounds, this turns out to be a journey where she discovers who she really is, what’s happening to her and who are the people she can really trust.

The One Memory of flora Banks is not only an amazingly gripping story but it also has diversity elements that I really enjoyed seeing, such as dealing with mental health, disability and including one LGBT character.

My rating – 8/10

UK release date: 12th January 2017

I will also be hosting a giving on Twitter, so keep your eyes peeled for that!

2017 Goals

I am looking forward to 2017 (yes, we are a week in and this post is a little bit late… sorry!) I think we can all agree that 2016 was a pretty bad year all around and I am living in hope that 2017 will be better. But also, I am feeling inspired. I want to do more things that I love and I want to feel good about myself.

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Thinking of that, I have decided not to be very strict with my goals this year. I don’t want to end the year and just feel bad about not achieving things.

Regarding my reading life, I have decided not to set a number of books I want to read. Not yet anyway. Not yet anyway. I want to see if not setting a number helps me to read more. Who knows, it’s worth a try right? However I have two main reading goals:

(I am open to book suggestions!)

I have also set some personal goals:

  • Dedicate more of my time to photography
  • Do some work experience in the publishing industry. At the moment I am very unsure of what I want to do in the future. I love books and I want to see if working in publishing could be a good fit for me
  • Find my place in the blogging world and settle my relationship with this blog
  • Travel
  • Be healthy and active

Have you set any goals for the New Year?

Favourite books of 2016

This post is a little bit late, sorry! The books included are books I read in 2016, not necessarily books that came out in 2016. I hope you enjoy my little list and I would love to know about your favourite books of the year!

I ended up reading only 30 books this year. This was slightly disappointing given that my goal in the beginning of the year was 50 books. But oh well, that didn’t work out and I’m happy with the books I did read.

But because of the small number I decided to only pick a top 5, and here they are:

  1. We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  2. Caraval by Stephanie Garber (coming out at the end of the month and you can read my review here!)
  3. A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas
  4. Golden Boy by Abigail Tarttelin
  5. Wolf by Wolf by Ryan Graudin

2016 Non-bookish (beauty) Favourites

This whole year I’ve been toying with the idea of blogging more about my personal life, beauty, fashion and lifestyle as well as books.

I’m still sort of toying with it but I decided to just go ahead and post this as an experiment if you will. I hope you guys like it.

As well as being into books, I love love love make up and everything beauty and fashion. The whole thing really! So these are 5 products (ok, one of them is an accessory) that I’ve been using and loving this year.

1. bareMinerals Matte Foundation

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I have quite problematic skin. It’s oily and acne prone but it’s also very sensitive. In the past I’ve user MAC Studio Fix Fluid but I’ve always found that it blocks my pores a little bit and causes spots. I decided to give bareMinerals a go after hearing wonderful things about it. I tried both the Original and the Matte one and let me tell you, the Original is not meant to be used by an oily girl like me. It looks absolutely horrible on my skin after about 20 minutes. But the Matte one is perfect! It is a bit pricey and there’s not a lot of product but it’s make my skin better so it’s definitely worth it in my opinion.

£26.50 – bareminerals.co.uk

2. I Heart Makeup Blushing Hearts Peachy Pink Kiss

I only found out about Make Up Revolution and how amazing it is this year and now I am obsessed! The products are such bargains and just so beautiful. This blush is now a favourite of mine and I grab for it on a daily basis. Because it’s a baked blush it also adds a little bit of highlighting which is always a plus in my book!

£4.99 – superdrug.com

3. Models Own Sculpt & Glow Highlighting Powder

Who hasn’t been obsesses with highlighters this year right? I just want to GLOW! I found this one during the Models Own Black Friday sale and let the very nice sales woman convince me to get it and wow! I love it. They also have a gorgeous golden shade for darker skin tones.

£8.99 – modelsownit.com

4. Daniel Wellington Watch – Classy 34mm Mawes

This one is technically an accessory but I had to include it! I’ve wanted a Daniel Wellington for a while and my lovely boyfriend got me this one for our anniversary. Aaah!!!

£139 – danielwellington.com

5. Umberto Giannini Pick Me Up Moisturising Nutrient Spray

I have really long hair and it gets really tangled at times. It’s a struggle to brush it after I wash it but this spray makes it that much easier and my hair feels moisturised and soft afterwards. I’ve tried a couple of different leave-in sprays but this is one is my favourite by far.

£7 – boots.com

I will be posting by bookish favourites very soon as well, so keep an eye peeled for that!



So it’s almost the end of the year again (where did 2016 go???! Also, what a shitty year right?) and I recently came across this reading “challenge” on Twitter that was created by these wonderful people: @novelparadise, @headinherbooks, @thesebooklions, @thebooksbuzz, @rhaegardied, @ohbrekker, @aimalfarooq, @bookwormwanders and @theauslibrary


The goal is pretty self explanatory – read one book for each square and cover all the squares within the course of the year. Now, this involves reading at least 36 books. Which is not realistic to me at the moment since I’m struggling to complete my 2016 Goodreads goal of 35 books. 35!!!

I plan to use this as a more of a guide to read more diversely in 2017 and if I end up filling all the squares, then great! I am open to recommendations for any books that fill these squares and I will of course be blogging my progress throughout 2017.

On Twitter, the hashtag #DiversityBingo2017 is being used and you can find loads of useful information and book recommendations on it!