Only Child Blog Tour

Blog Tour: Only Child – Rhiannon Navin

36445985

‘We went to school that Tuesday like normal.
Not all of us came home . . .’

I was honoured to be asked to be a part of this blog tour for Rhiannon Navin’s debut novel. I had read and loved it before I was asked to take part. Before I start this review I want to be mindful of the past few weeks events in Florida, this review may be distressing as it also relates to gun violence against children.

Six-year-old Zach is having a normal day at school, that is until a gunman enters his school. Hiding with the rest of his class and teacher, Zach listens to the ‘pop’ in the school, something that he won’t forget. Thankfully, Zach and his classmates survive and after finally being reunited with his distraught mother he thinks everything is ok, that’s until Zach’s parents ask him where his older brother Andy is but he’s not coming home.

This novel is a whirlwind of emotion and is written incredibly well. Told solely from the perspective of Zach, making it even more heartbreaking, the innocence of a child makes all the difference. Seeing not only the horror of the day itself but the impact this has on a child and on a family in the aftermath, I don’t even know how to begin to describe the emotion. This isn’t an easy read, but it is an important one.

I’ve read novels before focusing on the subject of a school shooting, they’ve made me feel deeply sad but this was different. The simplicity of the way Zach tries to process what has happened and how his family changes. I also found it interesting that Navin showed raw emotion and didn’t hold back. She showed a mother who needed justice no matter what, a father coping with his youngest child and a little boy confused by the feelings he’s experiencing. Can he be happy and sad at the same time?

In times like these, I think this is a vital read, it may be fictional but this could quite easily be a reality for a child or young person at school. For this, I applaud Navin for her portrayal. There are no dark details in this, it is simply the force of emotion that moves you alongside Zach. I, of course, gave this five stars. I cannot recommend the novel enough to everyone. A heartbreaking, poignant read.

Thank you to the publisher, author and Netgalley for this early release.

unpopular-opinions-book-tag

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag!

Well, I wouldn’t be a good book blogger if I didn’t talk about the good and the bad! I loved watching this when Cece over at Problems of a Book Nerd did this tag! Keep in mind these are my opinions but I’d love to know yours at the end of this post!

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

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I really hated the twist to me it just seemed kind of boring? I’ve met very few people who agree with me!

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

So, I took a look at this list to see what people had claimed to hate. I couldn’t believe Jane Eyre was on there, I absolutely adored it! It was incredible and a wonderful novel.

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?

This is a difficult one, most of the time I agree with what the author says BUT I didn’t like what happened in The Hunger Games. It didn’t feel like Katniss got the ending she deserved, not did Gale, nor did Peeta.

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

Romance, it’s not something that I’m interested in and I find them too samey.

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

Snape. I don’t care what he did towards the end he was a bully and a coward. Sorry, not sorry.

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

E.L. James, I don’t get the 50 Shades thing, I had to read some for uni and before that, I wanted to know what the fuss was about. The writing was awful, truly, truly awful.

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

People being arseholes/ terrible people and the only reason given is that they have a mental illness. Over it, add some depth.

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

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. I read Meyer’s Heartless a while ago and it just wasn’t the kind of book I thought it would be and I was disappointed with the plot. It’s because of that I won’t be picking up the Lunar Chronicles.

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

Bridget Jones! I couldn’t stand the books when I read them, I couldn’t get on with the writing style at all but I absolutely love the films.

 

What unpopular opinions do you have? Are you going to do the tag? Let me know in the comments below!

7 Things I Wish I’d Known as a New Graduate

This year marks 2 years since my graduation, it honestly feels like a lifetime ago since I put on the cap and gown, shook someone’s hand (I still don’t remember who they were) and…that was it. 3 years of blood sweat and tears and it was all over. There are so many things I wish I’d known from that point onwards, so I thought I’d share with you 7 things I wish I’d known as a new graduate.

Take time to enjoy what you’ve achieved

You just worked damn hard to get a degree so enjoy it! I 100% regret that I didn’t book a holiday for straight after I graduated to take time to relax and celebrate. I was in a job really quickly and part of me wishes I hadn’t done that. Even if it’s only a week, take some time to enjoy your success.

You’re not meant to know what you’re doing

I don’t like not knowing what I’m doing and I can be pretty impatient. I wanted to prove I had my shit together but I quickly realised I didn’t. I didn’t know at all. My first year out of university was, to put it bluntly, a nightmare. I had some really bad luck. Embrace the fact you have no idea and just go with it!

Uni wasn’t just about getting a job

The promise I would earn more with a degree really made me want to give uni a try. I learnt later that uni wasn’t about getting a job. Simply having a degree doesn’t make you more employable anymore, sorry to break it to you. Uni’s about how you use the time, explore new things, work yourself out, get more insight into what you want to do.

There’s no one way to live your life 

I have friends who graduated and went travelling for a year. Others got married and want to start families. Some went on to a graduate programme or got a job and more than I expected went on to further study. There’s no one way to be a graduate, find what works for you.

Most people don’t go straight into a ‘great job’ 

Some people do but they are very few and far between. Out of the majority of people, I went to university with most went into office jobs as juniors, some are working in retail, others have a lot of further training to do. For the majority, the first year out of uni can be pretty tough going but it’s about the long game, remember that.

You actually did something pretty amazing

Getting a degree isn’t easy! You worked for it and you did it! Celebrate that, you did something amazing.

You’re going to be ok

It’s not the easiest thing in the world, you’ll feel stressed and you’ll have some battles. Remember though, you’re going to be ok.

What would you add? Let me know in the comments below!

 

My Love-Hate Relationship With Exercise

Yesterday I went to the gym. I’m sure a lot of you are thinking ok, so what? A lot of people go to the gym. It was my first time going this year and it hurt. A lot. I talk a fair bit about my accident a few years ago, the impact that has on my life and being able to exercise regularly can often cause me a lot of pain.

My relationship with exercise goes way back. When I was a kid I had much more fun with my nose in a book than running around. P.E was the lesson I hated most and I was the most clumsy person I knew. For that to change when I started riding was a minor miracle, there was exercise that I loved!

In the past 3 years, my weight has gone up and down. I lose the weight, I’m happy and then six months later I’ve put it back on and it goes on, again and again. This isn’t a vanity project. This isn’t me wanting to shimmy into some size 6 jeans and get revenge. It’s literally just wanting to be healthy, to get back to the size I was at university.

img_3522

Now, I know that my body has and will continue to change throughout my life, but that natural change can be controlled. I haven’t been looking after my body the way I should be in the past few months, I haven’t eaten right, I’ve done minimal exercise so this is on me.

I feel good after a workout, I feel accomplished. Sometimes I feel better, a bit sore and I can get on with my day. Other times the old pains come back and I can’t move the next day, so it’s kind of a bargaining thing. I’m determined that, when I can, I want to exercise in one way or another on a bad day swimming is better, if I’m up to it I can go to the gym. I’ll get there slowly, I might even learn to like it again.

I guess I wrote this because it’s easy to look in Instagram and see amazing people with amazing bodies talking about how much they love fitness and healthy shakes. If that’s not you, that’s ok. A lot of people aren’t athletic but you have to do it your way, I certainly am!

 

How do you feel about exercise? Let me know in the comments below!

Getting To Know You Better Tag

Hello, hello, hello my lovely readers!

I was tagged by Sasha at Little Book Shelf for this tag and I thought it looked like fun. I love a good tag and it was great to show my own answers as well as being able to show some great bloggers that I’m reading at the moment.

The Rules:
Answer the questions down below.
Credit the tag creator InkGirlWords.
Nominate as many unsuspecting souls as possible! (or at least 5).

The Tag

How long have you been blogging?

I’ve been blogging since I was 17…that’s 6 years now (no idea how that happened). The first 2.5 years was just doing book reviews and then I’ve spent 4.5 on this blog, which is crazy!

Do you enjoy doing tags? 

I really like doing tags, I feel like you can find out so much about a blogger/vlogger through tags and I’ve got some amazing book recommendations through tags!

Do you follow the blogs that follow you?

I try to follow them all! Sorry if I’ve missed any.

Describe your blog in five words.

Books. Thoughts. Passion. Life. Everything.

How many posts have you made on your blog (not counting this tag)?

At the time of writing this post 1207…

On a scale of 1-10 how much do you enjoy blogging?

10, I love it. Love, love, love it!

Post some links to blogs you enjoy reading:

The Bellezza Corner  

Novels and Teacups 

Blonde vs Books

Currently, Lately

 

Writing or reading blog posts?

Writing, I can’t stop

I Tag: 

The blogs I like reading!

The Bellezza Corner  

Novels and Teacups 

Blonde vs Books

Currently, Lately

And anyone who wants to do this tag!

 

Have fun!! 

Book Review: The Secret History of Us – Jessi Kirby

32940573

‘A teenage girl must piece together the parts of her life she doesn’t remember after a severe collision leaves her with no memory of the past four years.’

When I was offered a copy of this I was intrigued but didn’t want to go into it knowing too much. I’ve read a lot of thrillers which cover the amnesia idea but that’s where this novel was different. This is a story about a girl putting herself back together slowly while trying to work out the world around her with a newfound innocence.

Of course, there is an element of mystery, Olivia cannot remember anything from the past four years of her life. She can’t remember the breakup of her friendship group or the boy that claims to be her boyfriend. I felt for her, I really did. I wanted her to remember but there wasn’t a huge element of sinister activity, which was a nice change.

The fact that her memory has been lost means she can effectively get a second chance at who she is as a teenager. In this, you see her life through new eyes, younger and more open to the possibility.

The best part about this novel is that it’s an easy read. I sat and finished this within a day but despite that, it doesn’t mean it didn’t have some depth to it. For me, personally, I wished it had been longer, some things towards the end seemed a little rushed or could have been explored further.

I really enjoyed this, it was easy to follow and a quick read. I would recommend this for those reasons alone but I also really enjoyed the plot and Olivia was a relatable character.  I gave this 4 out of 5 stars and would recommend it to people who are just looking for a good weekend read!

I received this as part of a collaboration with Harper 360, in exchange for a copy I promised to give a full and honest review. Thank you to Harper 360 for this!  If you’d like to collaborate with me find out more here.

I Have a Skin Care Routine?

 IMG_7016

As you all know, I’m not a beauty blogger, in fact, I wrote a whole post about it. That said, as I get older or should I say as my sister gets older I’ve gotten more interested. That and I’ve really had problems with my skin recently.  I get most of my recommendations from my family and friends, but I’m getting there. Now, I have a skincare routine!

Why now?

This wasn’t something I set out to do, I was just using wipes for my skin. Then in the latter half of 2017, I started having real trouble. I’d always had spots but they come and go.  Then my skin got worse and developed into acne and I got stressed, the most stressed I got, the worse my skin got. I needed to try something. My Mum decided to get me the stuff that she uses to see if it would help! I’m also pleased to say that Elemis is also cruelty-free!

What is my routine?

  1. Put some Pro-Collagen Cleansing Balm into my hands to warm up. Once warm, spread evenly across my face. Using warm water, massage the balm into the face in circular motions. Once done, wash away with warm water. Pat face dry.
  2. Take Rehydrating Ginseng Tone and spray on to a cotton pad  (I get mine from Superdrug but you can pick them up anywhere) and wipe my face.
  3. Put on a layer of moisturiser and rub into skin.

 

Has it worked?

 I have seen a difference, in my skin. It’s definitely looking healthier and gradually it’s making a difference but, of course, when I have PMS my skin is awful and there’s not much that can help in that scenario, it’s a whole league of its own. That said, once I’ve completed my routine I feel so much better and so much healthier!

Do you have a skincare routine? What do you use? Let me know in the comments below!

This is NOT a sponsored post, these are my own opinions.