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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Are you thinking of self-publishing your own book? Why not pick up a copy of Your Ultimate Guide To A Powerful Book Launch [AFF] for just $8.50?

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. 

 

Are you thinking of self-publishing your own book? Why not pick up a copy of Your Ultimate Guide To A Powerful Book Launch [AFF] for just $8.50?

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

 

Are you thinking of self-publishing your own book? Why not pick up a copy of Your Ultimate Guide To A Powerful Book Launch [AFF] for just $8.50?

Posted in Lifestyle

Sunday’s Summary


Isn’t it a miserable day? After weeks of sunshine and heat, the rain is falling and I am sitting planning a stereotypical Sunday in the house.

This week has been a good one, even if not too busy. Monday was spent running around doing things for one granny, making sure she had everything needed for the week ahead. It was also on Monday that I somehow spent almost £80 in Boots… How did that happen?? Then we lazed around the garden and sunbathed before the typical bbq. Unfortunately, this meant I missed the blogging chat I was looking forward to.

Tuesday was then another day Of sunning myself but also watching Iron Man for the first time. Having loved the two sequels, I was excited to watch the original and finally understand who/what everything was. Unfortunately I was slightly disappointed by it but then again, that just goes to show that the actors and actresses grew into their roles and became the more relatable ones now seen.

Wednesday I swapped driving and sunning myself for cleaning my granny’s house in preparation of her guests this weekend. Did I mention we had a family wedding to go to? Anyway, it took most of the day to clean the house and get the shopping in, so it was no surprise that I collapsed into bed with Bridge of Spies on dvd. Quite a good film actually, just too long if you’re trying not to fall asleep. 

Thursday, Mum was off work and tans were being done. I think I quite suit it! Most colour I’ve ever had… We then did some more shopping before dashing down to Belfast to leave the bbq there for granny. I made another delicious (if I say so myself) lasagne and we enjoyed the last meal outside in the sun. 
Friday was the day of the wedding and we all (the girls anyway) headed to the hairdressers to be prepped. Dad managed to try and put on a suit that was 4 sizes too small for him, and then we headed to Greyabbey for a lovely day. Don’t we all look fab?


Yesterday was the most exciting day though – we finally booked to go back to Ibiza! 5 weeks today we’ll be at the airport!! But apart from that, there was an extended family bbq and since then we’ve been taking a quiet day today. 
Rachel’s got 3 exams for her As Levels in the upcoming week, I’ve a job interview in the morning, and apart from that I’m not sure what the upcoming week will bring. What did you get up to this week? Anything exciting next week? Whatever you get up to, hopefully the upcoming week is good to you!
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Sunday’s Weekly Review

Yay I’m actually posting this on a Sunday! Can’t remember the last time I reviewed the week on a Sunday. 

Monday saw a day of packing, using up food, and cleaning. All in preparation for me coming back to Northern Ireland. During packing and cleaning, I introduced myself to the wondrous Gogglebox – a Channel 4 show about people watching tv. Fascinating really! 


After that, I joined in my first ever Twitter chat! It was so hard to keep up with what was being said but it was good fun, hopefully I’ll get to join in again tomorrow if I’m not having dinner. The chat was all about confidence and inspired my blog of the day of the same title – https://lifewithktkinnes.com/2016/05/30/confidence/

Tuesday was spent travelling. Imagine this – a small bus. 60 passengers. No empty seats. Hottest day of the year that far in Scotland so roughly 26ish degrees. No air con on said bus. 3 hour journey. It wasn’t exactly the most pleasant bus journey of my life! However it was worth it to get on the boat and sprawl out watching Scandal. When I got back to lisburn, mum and dad had planned a BBQ and so I was a very happy Katie! 
Wednesday, I was in and out of shops, trying to get organised for this wedding on Friday. With the sun still shining and me finally able to lie out in my own back garden, I was enjoying the sun until I ended up looking a bit like a lobster. Currently making a mental note to myself to buy sun cream! Even though tomorrow’s the last day of the sun apparently… Sorry getting distracted. We were lounging in the garden when the phone rang to say my dad’s aunt had been taken to hospital, but it wasn’t too serious. As per usual, I come back from Glasgow and someone ends up either in hospital or dying!
On Thursday, I had offered to do Mum’s tesco shop for her (me being the favourite daughter of course :P) and so started out with a list and her bank card safely tucked away. I then had an eye appointment and was told my eyes have finally stabilised! Only taken them until I’m almost 21…

Friday I had a job interview in the morning, and while I didn’t get the position, it was a good opportunity to try and get back into the interviewing frame of mind. Again, Friday was just spent lazing in the summer sun. It’s really no wonder I’m pink right now if I think about it! 

Yesterday we did a bit of shopping in Lisburn, searching for a bag for me to use and a necklace, both for the wedding, but no such luck. However it was nice to take a slow morning at getting ready as I was actually allowed to be in my pjs until after 9:30am! 

Today I went with Rachel to help supervise the family fun morning at the church so it was good to see a few familiar faces. Rachel and I were kicking a ball backwards and forwards but I accidentally kicked the ball too far out to Rachel’s left. As she ran and stuck her foot out to stop the ball, she completely lost her balance and ended up landing on her bum and bouncing slightly. Everyone, including Rachel, was laughing for a solid 5 minutes as only she would be able to fall and bounce so easily! We then came home for yet another BBQ and so I am a very very pink Katie right now. I’ll have to be more careful next time!
How was your week? Get up to anything exciting?
Ktkinnes xx

Posted in Lifestyle

Here comes the summer

Hello! Welcome back to my delightful monthly round up and goal setting for the month ahead! Did you miss me yesterday? I know I certainly missed you guys! 

I wish I had a good excuse for the lack of blogging yesterday but really I just spent the day in the sun and clean forgot about blogging until I was going to bed well after 11 and by that stage I was shattered so apologies for that!

May was a mixed month, very quiet at the start and busy towards the end. But then, what can you expect during exam season? At the start, May was filled with me binge watching The West Wing while trying to revise for my exams which didn’t go the best to be honest but we’ll brush over that. In the middle of it, Kelsey arrived over and so we had a hectic week of doing things and very little revision. Check out what we got up to here! After she left, I spent a week lounging around the flat, cooking, cleaning and watching lots of tv. However, in the middle of all this, I tried my first ever collab with Rach over at The Life of a Onesie Wearer in which we gave advice and tips to first time uni goers and those of us mid degree! Have a look through our blogs for University Challenge. Of course, after all this came the best experience EVER – Disneyland Paris! Check out my posts on our four day adventures in the land of cheese, bread and wine for a full summary of Disney. After we returned to Glasgow, it was a quick turn around to come back home to lisburn. 

As for my goals, I read another book! My review for Carol can be found along the side in my top posts. My revision went okay I think, only time will tell… And I certainly made the most of my remaining time in Glasgow!

This month, with being at home, my aims are going to be slightly different. So here goes:

  • Read another book! I’m thinking of reading Room, what do you think?
  • Cut out bread in the mornings. I can actually lose a lot of weight by simply stopping eating bread!
  • Try and catch up on sleep. I’m so excited for early nights and long lie ins.

But for now I’d better run, I’ve a Tesco shop to do for mum and then an eye appointment at lunchtime. Have a great day!
Ktkinnes xx