Posted in Book reviews, Lifestyle

Where She Went

While I was away, I got another book fully read and am so proud of myself for getting through two books this month! I read If I Stay back before the film appeared in the cinema back in 2014. One day I was walking through Waterstones with a friend when I spotted the sequel lying on a desk. A phone call home, and a few months later, there Where She Went was sitting on my bookshelf waiting for me. So it’s actually quite ridiculous that we’re now in 2017 and I’m finally done reading it.

 

Written by Gayle Forman, Where She Went follows Adam over the course of 48 hours as he struggles to cope with certain aspects of his past when he suddenly bumps into an old friend and has the opportunity to talk about the history between them and more.

So, as I mentioned before, it is a sequel, so look away now if you haven’t read If I Stay or seen the film. And if you haven’t, then I strongly recommend that you go do that now because both book and film had me sobbing throughout. Shall we look at the blurb of Where She Went?

It’s been three years since Mia walked out of Adam’s life. And three years he’s spent wondering why.

When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought are brought back together for one life-changing night.

Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good – or can you really have a second chance at first love?

 

I personally loved reading this book. There are frequent flashbacks even before Adam meets Mia again, but they’re clear that they’re flashbacks. I loved the way it was written, and some of the chapters started with the lyrics to the songs Adam has written for his band, Shooting Star. This kept me interested and I loved the fact that the author had taken the time to think out the lines that Adam has apparently written during his heartbreak. What made this even more real was the playlist of songs she suggests to go alongside Adam and Mia’s journey through New York. I’ve never seen an author do this before but the idea of it was great, and if I’d known it was there then I would’ve definitely listened to it throughout the book.

 

One complaint of mine about the story, and complaint is probably too strong a word, is that the ending is a little too idealistic for me. You know those books where you get an ending you want or expect, but you know in real life it wouldn’t go that way? That’s how I felt when I finished reading it. But I still loved it. And for this reason, and this reason alone, I would have to give Where She Went 4 out of 5.

 

I don’t think you would need to read If I Stay before reading Where She Went, as the background is explained in the latter, however I would honestly recommend it as both of these books are incredibly well written and super easy to lose yourself in.

 

Let me know if you’ve read either of them, or if you’re going to! Or even let me know if you’ve got a book recommendation for me! I’m loving getting back into read and writing these reviews for you all.

 

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Posted in Book reviews

The Twelfth Day of July

Another book review! Did I mention that I’m on GoodReads by the way? Always looking for a friend – lifewithktkinnes as per usual.
As the title of this post suggests I was reading The Twelfth Day Of July by Joan Lingard. Mary actually recommended this to me and I’m glad she did.

Sadie is Protestant, Kevin is Catholic – and on the tense streets of Belfast their lives collide. It starts with a dare – kids fooling around – but soon becomes something dangerous. Getting to know Sadie Jackson will change Kevin’s life forever. But will the world change around them too?

The first page of this book had me laughing. It’s awful to say it but I can think back to people at school who must’ve been taught the exact same things: the good man’s King Billy and the bad man’s the Pope. Then again, I also know people who had it drilled into them the opposite way around. From this point of view, I was looking forward to reading the representations of each side of the invisible barricade that still lingers around some parts of Northern Ireland.
This was such an easy book to read, to the point I was half way through it in just an hour of reading. And I loved every minute of it! It wasn’t at all biased one way or another, the characters were easy to like, and the names were easy to pronounce when reading. Another pet hate of mine is the use of Gaelic names that I then need to google the pronunciation of, and it’s actually quite a common thing in books that try to show the difference between the Catholic and Protestant characters. So yes, major brownie points for that!
At one stage in the book, I did have to stop and think. I could imagine the location perfectly – Sadie’s street across the main road from Kevin’s, close enough to the city centre that she could walk in and out again relatively quickly, but also close enough that their Orange March was to the “field” at Finaghy. Anyone who knows Belfast, I was picturing them being just around Tate’s Avenue or The Falls. Then all of a sudden they were living close enough to Belfast Lough that they could hear a ship’s siren during the night? That did throw me a little! It wasn’t helped when, a few chapters later, its suggested that Kevin and his friends walk to the zoo. To be honest, I’d need a map of Belfast in front of me to figure all this out! But anyway, that’s not important in a book review sorry!

 

The story was nice and simple. Sadie’s from a Protestant background, Kevin from a Catholic one. They aren’t allowed to mix, mainly due to the tension between the two communities. Kevin decides to do something stupid (which is how the two meet) and so Sadie retaliates, and this is basically how to story progresses; tit for tat, them trying to get one up on each other, however as their messing around increases, so do the repercussions of each action, until an unexpected ending!

 

 

I simply adored reading this book and honestly didn’t want to stop reading it. I’m already looking for the next one in the series! Definitely go check it out if you can!

 

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Posted in Book reviews

The Mirror by Deborah A Stansil

Today’s post is a book review – guess who actually got reading this month??
Back in the middle of January, I contacted Debbie when I saw her asking for bloggers to review her new book and I’m actually so happy I did! She said yes, and here we are on the day of it’s publication – you should definitely give it a read!

The Mirror was a great read. The story kept me engaged, it wasn’t your usual plot, and I just didn’t want to put it down once I got into it! Now, when I say it wasn’t your usual plot – is anyone else tired of the same stories being written over and over, with some small plot changes, but always the same general idea? Well this was just perfect to break up the monotony of books at the minute! But before I go into why you should read this book, shall we take a look at the blurb?

When Amy’s daughter Lilly spots an old mirror in a local antiques stores, she can’t resist buying it for her. But with the mirror comes more than Amy bargained for. When Lilly starts talking about her “friend in the mirror”, Amy writes it off as an imaginary friend.

But Lilly’s imaginary friend is hard to ignore, and it’s not long until Amy finds herself embroiled in a battle; a battle to save her daughter, and a battle to save her secrets. Can a mirror really reflect the past? How else can Lilly know so much?

Now I’ll be quite honest, it’s been years since I last read a book like this. However, I was intrigued by the blurb, and felt I just had to read this book! In fact, there was something about the mystery of it that reminded me of a book I had read in school and so I was really excited when I sat down to start it.

 

Honestly? It took me a couple of chapters to feel drawn in to the story. But by the end of Chapter 3 I was enthralled. The tension and unease in Amy, the protagonist, is extremely well written, to the point that you’re feeling all her emotions with her. This was particularly well done in chapter 10, but I won’t ruin the storyline for you!

 

If you love a good mystery type thriller that keeps you turning the page for more, this is the book for you – and even better, it’s being released today!

 

Overall, I would give this a strong 4 out of 5. As mentioned previously above, the first couple of chapters were scene-setting, and therefore somewhat slow, but once the main plot got underway I really couldn’t stop reading, so much so I read it all in the one night!

 

 

Thank you so much, Debbie, for allowing me to read your work prior to it being released, and I wish you all the best with what has been a brilliant read. I’ll certainly be on the lookout for more of your books!

 

 

 

Book Title: The Mirror

Author: Deborah A. Stansil

ISBN: 978-1-78808-634-9
Author details:


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Disclaimer: All views in this post are 100% my own, and are therefore my honest thoughts as I read through the book. I was sent this book for free to read and review, with the intention of spreading Deborah’s work to a wider audience. 
Posted in Blogmas, Book reviews, Christmas, life

My Reads of 2016

Well, as the year comes to an end (and before I start to consider my New Years Resolutions) I thought I’d share with you the list of books I’ve read this year, all in the one place with their review where appropriate.

  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling
  • The Freedom Writers’ Diary (review found here)
  • Carol by Patricia Highsmith (review found here)
  • Room by Emma Donoghue (review found here)
  • The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (review found here)
  • The Housewife Assassin’s Vacation to Die For by Josie Brown
  • The Housewife Assassin’s Recipes for Disaster by Josie Brown
  • Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
  • The Dog Who Dared To Dream by Sun-Mi Hwang (review coming in the new year)
  • Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them (Original Screenplay) by J. K. Rowling

Now I’ve to try and plan my books for the new year. Did you read anything you would recommend? Or did you read any of those books above – if so, what did you think of them?
I can’t wait to see what books 2017 will bring into my life!

 
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Blogmas, Book reviews, Christmas, Lifestyle

Reading At Christmas

Well, this weekend is definitely a busy one! And there’s only a week left until the Christmas Eve craziness! At this stage, today’s song is one of the few things lifting my head from the chaos of getting ready for the big day.

 

 

Today, I wanted to share my favourite Christmas reads with you. No matter how old I am, I love these stories and often read them in the early hours of Christmas Day when I can’t sleep because yes, I am a big child who still finds it hard to sleep before Christmas.

 

  1. How The Grinch Stole Christmas by Dr Seuss.
    Who couldn’t love this book?? Not only do I love the book, but I recently watched the film for the first time ever and can’t wait to join in when Cesca hosts the GRLPOWR movie night for it this coming Wednesday!
  2. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens.
    Another classic tale that has had so many movie adaptations that I’ve lost count! It gets me thinking about Christmases past, present and future every year. Hopefully I’ll never be like Scrooge!
  3. The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg.
    Actually, it was only when the film first came out that I realised this was a book first. Either way, the story of the little boy who struggles to believe in Santa is so reminiscent of growing up. Anyone else wish they still believed?
  4. The Snowman by Raymond Briggs.
    Just because there are no words does not mean this isn’t a fantastic book that takes me back to my childhood any time I flick through the pages!
  5. The Night Before Christmas by Clement Clarke Moore.
    Yes, okay, technically this isn’t a story, it’s a poem, but then again who can have a Christmas without it? Can you?

 

What Christmas books do you simply have to read?

 

Ktkinnes xx

8 more sleeps!

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, Lifestyle

Day 19 – Hobby

What is your hobby and why do you enjoy it?

This! This blog is my hobby. I love writing it and spilling my words to you all. I love the twitter chats and interactions that come along with blogging. There’s a sense of community amongst the majority of the bloggers I have had the pleasure to chat with online.

It’s brilliant having a place I can come to share my thoughts and opinions on the day, knowing that there are people out there who are going to read my posts and comment on them!

Aside from this, I love reading, watching TV, and cooking! Anything creative is brilliant as it’s a complete change from my subjects at university.

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Book reviews, Lifestyle

22 Books to Read Before I’m 22

Hello again! I’m trying to get back to blogging and, to do so, I wanted to post something I would enjoy writing. I will try to get back to the blogging challenge, I promise I will try. But for now, here are the 22 books I hope to read before my 22nd birthday – only 354 days to go!

 

  1. Les Miserables by
  2. The Thirty-Nine Steps by Richard Hannay
  3. The Kite Runner – Khaled Hosseini
  4. According to Yes – Dawn French
  5. The Colour Purple
  6. The Great Gatsby
  7. Life After Life – Kate Atkinson
  8. The Danish Girl
  9. The Casual Vacancy
  10. Before I Go To Sleep
  11. The Perks of Being a Wallflower
  12. A Brief History of Time
  13. Jane Eyre
  14. The Book Thief
  15. Animal Farm
  16. Peter Pan
  17. The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
  18. Bridge to Teribithia
  19. Angela’s Ashes
  20. Poirot’s Last Case
  21. Me Before You
  22. The Well of Loneliness

 

What would you out on your list?

 

Ktkinnes xx

Posted in 30 Days of Gratitude Challenge, Lifestyle

Day 2 – The Loves of My Life

Today brings about the loves of my life, and why I want to thank them for being in my life.

2.loves

So please be prepared for a soppy post! There are so many here so I think I’m going to just list them, sorry if that’s extremely boring or if you feel it’s cheating!

  • Baron, my dog, because he’s always there for me even after I yell at him for always being under my feet
  • Jason for always being there during my ramblings and breakdowns
  • Nuala for teaching me that it’s okay to be me and to ignore anyone who tries to tell me differently
  • Mary for always making me laugh and being there when I need someone to just sit with
  • Lauren, Jade, Lauren, Lily, Emily, Em, Ashley, Em, Chanté, Melissa, Francesca, Eloise, Becca, Becca, Jodie, Meg, Toni, Ellie, Nusha, Jordanne, Cathy, Summer, Hannah, Sarah, Sonam and Ana (otherwise known as the Girl Power Girls) for all their support and chat and help.
  • Mary for always being there to give support and encouragement just when I need it the most
  • My books, for transporting me out of my world and into another
  • John, for always managing to make me smile
  • And finally, all you lovely readers for taking the time and effort to read or comment on my posts!

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Hope you have a lovely day!
Ktkinnes xxx

 

P.S. I’ve finally got round to creating a snapchat for my blog so if simply reading my ramblings isn’t enough for you, add me! I’m at lifewktkinnes

#30bbdaysofgratitude challenge
Posted in Lifestyle

Preparing to sleep

Yes, it’s 9am and I’m already thinking about sleeping again. Can you blame me? Once this exam is over, I’m going back to the flat to sleep for a while before I start the mad panic of getting ready to go back to the mad house in Lisburn. I really wish I could stay in Glasgow but I think it’ll do me some good to get away from the flat for a few days. 

I’m looking forward to being able to sleep without being guilty though, any sleep recently has had me feeling guilty for not revising or job hunting. But when I get home, I can finally get back into the routine of no screens before bed! 

Some of you might question how that’s possible, especially when I seem to spend all day every day on my phone or using my laptop, but it’s not as difficult as you may think. The routine is a little different at home to what is here, but the overall aim is the same.
After dinner, I tend to pick what time I want to be asleep by. Whether it’s more revision, a particular chat I want to take part in, or the next episode of some must-see tv show is on, I take that into consideration and set my bedtime for an hour after whatever it is finishes. An example of that would be, last night I knew I wanted to be asleep by 11 o’clock because of my exam this morning. The final Twitter chat that I considered taking part in started at 9pm and so if I was to be off my phone at 10 it would give me an hour before sleep.

When the clock struck 10, I put my phone on the charger and started removing makeup and brushing teeth. I then read for half an hour, sometimes I knit, to take me to 10:40 when I then get into bed and follow a 20 minute guided meditation programme to help me shut down for the night. 
Normally when I do this I get a fantastic night’s sleep. Now I know there are a lot of people who don’t like reading in bed, or never learnt to knit. So I thought I’d provide a list of other things you could do for the hour before bed.

  • Tidy. People claim that a tidy room helps you sleep better.
  • Prepare meals for the next day.
  • Have a warm shower/bath.
  • Meditate
  • Read
  • Knit
  • Write (not type but physically write) the next day’s to do list
  • Plan more blog posts. I love trying to think of post ideas when I’m trying to sleep.
  • Play a board game or a game of cards.
  • Write lists of whatever – coming up to Christmas I list what I’m buying for each person or my plans on how to decorate.
  • Go for a walk
  • Other light exercise
  • Do some creative writing of any kind
  • Draw or colour in – adult colouring books are so much fun!
  • Do a puzzle! Remember the night I was so bored I made my own sudoku?
  • Bake!

Can you think of any other things to do without involving screens? Let me know!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

To Do Today

Okay so I’m already behind on today’s to do list as this was meant to be posted at 11am today but shh, we’ll just let that slide. Hello everyone! I’m sure many of you will see this and wonder why on earth I’m posting this but I ran a brief poll on twitter last night to ask if people would be interested in seeing today’s to do list and it came back as a unanimous yes, so here goes!

 

  • Write at least one blog post for today
  • Schedule or at lest draft posts up until Friday of this week
  • Order some prints from the lovely Tarnya (@sweet_allure)’s etsy site – honestly you should have a look at them!
  • Tidy and clean my bedroom. With being ill yesterday (and yes, a migraine counts as being ill), I was a bit of a slob and just left things lying.
  • Finish cleaning the flat (again, was ill yesterday so didn’t finish this)
  • Go to the gym or at least get some fresh air
  • Do at least 3 hours revision for my final resit
  • Look into classroom assistant jobs as I think I’ve found a course I would love to do!
  • Speak to family back home. This happens that regularly I often forget that I’m not actually with them. Think we spoke 4 times yesterday?
  • Put a wash on and actually deal with it before the 4th spin. We don’t have a tumble drier so I tend to over spin things
  • Finish reading The Cursed Child
  • Look at other jobs and courses that I could do instead of being at university.

 

Wow okay there’s a lot there to be getting on with, I’d better hurry up and get started! What are your plans for today?

 

Have an awesome Sunday, folks!

 

Ktkinnes xx