Image of the Paulina and Fran book

 

Paulina and Fran, where do I start with this book? Well if you are a fan of GIRLS (last series on Sky Atlantic FYI) then you will love Paulina and Fran. The plot is typical Paulina is studying Art History (well studying is pushing it since she seems to seduce the staff members so she passes) and spends her time being up her own backside, using people for her own benefit, pondering life and having lots of sex. Cue Fran – studying half, rubbish at technology and has a glittering career in front of her. Paulina bumps into Fran at a party and then go on University trip together to Iceland. The story goes through their relationship between them both through finishing University and beyond.

I was originally attracted to this book by the front cover. The blurb sounded even better – a story of twenty somethings trying to figure out what they are doing in life – those stories are right up my street. I just didn’t enjoy the book however, I found the plot muddled, Paulina is just unbearable as a main character and Fran isn’t much better either and the ending was so disappointing. The book was a typical book about students at University spending their time getting high, having sex and hoping that they will become the next best thing in whatever area they are specialising in . It is a quick read but not the best.

What did you think of the book? Let me know below.

 

 

 

I am very much a 90’s and 00’s child (I was born in 91!). I loved reading back then as much as I do now. So today I thought I would dedicate this post to some of my fave books I remember from the good ol’ days!

Animal Ark Series – Lucy Daniels

Image of a Animal Ark Book

The BabySitters Club – Ann M Martin

The Babysitters Club

Danny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl

DannyChampionOfTheWorld

Letterland – Richard Carlisle and Lyn Wendon

Letterland ABC

Ballet Shoes – Noel Streatfield

Ballet Shoes

Biff and Chip – Roderick Hunt

Biff and Chip

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory – Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlotte’s Web – E.B. White

Charlotte's Web

Gemma – Noel Streatfield

Gemma Noel Streatfield

George’s Marvellous Medicine – Roald Dahl

George's Marvellous Medicine

Goosebumps – R.L Stein

Goosebumps

Gulliver’s Travels – Jonathan Smith

Gullivers Travels

Harry Potter – J.K. Rowling

harry-potter-philosophers-stone

J17 (Just 17) book series

Kipper – Mick Inkpen

Kipper

Look – 360 Ginn Reading Series

Look

Malory Towers – Enid Blyton

Mr and Mrs Men Series – Roger Hargreaves

Little Miss Splendid book

Mucky Moose – Jonathan Allen

Mucky Moose

Peter Rabbit – Beatrix Potter

Peter Rabbit

Point Horror Series

Point Horror

Point Romance Series

Point Romance

Sheltie the Shetland Pony – Peter Clover

Sheltie the Shetland Pony

Spot – Eric Hill

Spot Book

Stig of the Dump – Clive King

Stig of the Dump

Sweet Valley Series – Francine Pascal

Sweet Valley High

The Sleepover Club

The Sleepover Club

The Bed and Breakfast Star – Jacqueline Wilson

The Bed and Breakfast Star

The Garden Gang – Jayne Fisher

The Garden Gang

The Demon Headmaster – Gillian Cross

The Demon Headmaster

The Lottie Project – Jacqueline Wilson

The Lottie Project Book

The Very Hungry Caterpillar – Eric Carle

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

The Secret Garden – Francis Hodgson Burnett

The Secret Garden

The Twins at St Claire’s – Enid Blyton

St Claire's

The Tower in Ho Ho Wood – Enid Blyton

The Tower in Ho-Ho Wood Book

The Worst Witch – Jill Murphy

The Worst Witch

Topsy and Tim- Jean and Gareth Adamson

Topsy and Tim

Two Weeks with the Queen – Morris Gleitzman

Two weeks with the Queen

DK Eyewitness Books

DK Eyewitness Book

A Child’s Garden of Verse – Robert Louis Stevenson

A Child's Garden of Verses

I would love to know your favourites! Leave your’s in the comments below!

Sweet Valley High Book

Young Adult books are such an important part of growing up. Considering there is so much media and other activities it is great that Young Adult books are still thriving and that bloggers such as the Mile Long Bookshelf covers these so eloquently. Here are four books by three authors that are so good that I want to share with you today.

Sweet Valley High – Francine Pascal

Ok I cheated a little, it is a series rather than a book. Originally penned in the 80’s (ebay have hundreds of these books going for next to nothing) compared to the rest of what I have written here Sweet Valley High is not hard hitting at all. The reason why I have included this series is because it played such an important part of my childhood. Sweet Valley High is about two 16 year old twins Jessica and Elizabeth Wakefield, who live in Sweet Valley – a suburb in California. The series charters their perfect life and what they get up in their escapades. I think everyone who read the books had such high hopes (and unrealistic) expectations about high school. High school for them was one big party with guys, cheerleading and hanging out in the Dairi Burger. When I started high school in the early 2000’s the closest to cheerleading was cross country (which I loved ironically) and the closest to the Dairi Burger was a Maccy D’s every Saturday with my parents.

I watched the TV series on SMTV (remember that?!) It is well worth buying a copy just to have a trip down memory lane or have a laugh at how stupid the plot lines were.

Photograph showing the books Student and Junk

Junk – Melvin Burgess

The book that got Melvin a lot of drama and the Carnegie Medal. Two teenagers, Gemma and Tar, both from very different backgrounds. Tar with two alcoholic parents and Gemma who feels suffocated by hers move to Bristol and get involved with the drug scene. Gemma ends up having to sell her body to fund her habit but wants desperately to quit and Tar steals. The story has different protagonists, gritty and does not shy away from the reality of drug using and living on the streets. As I said above, the book was heavily criticised because Young Adult fiction didn’t contain those themes in the 90’s.

Student – David Belbin

This book I bought a few years ago just after I had left University and I wish I had read it at the time. It tells the story of Alison, who moves away from her small village near merseyside to live the University life in Nottingham. The story explores many aspects of University life such as sex, dropping out, abuse and drugs as Alison navigates from her first to final year. It really is worth a read.

Love Lessons Book on a table

Love Lessons – David Belbin

Last but certainly not least, Love Lessons by David Belbin. I bought this back when I was a teen second hand. The story follows Rachel who develops a crush on a teacher Mike. The crush develops into something more and the story details their romance over Rachel’s GCSE year from both sides.

What are your favourite Young Adult books? Let me know in the comments below.

Photograph of a blogger breakfast

One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to go along to a Blogger event. I have had this blog for nearly five years and have never been to an event! When I saw the Foyles Birmingham Blogger Brekkie advertised on the Birmingham Bloggers UK Facebook group I thought it would be the perfect starter event as I had been to Foyles before so knew the layout and I love books!

The Blogger Brekkie was advertised as a place to have the book shop to yourself for an hour, meet with other like-minded bloggers to chat and occasionally listen to a guest speaker. Brekkie was laid out, a table of freebies ranging from smarties to a few books (all of it which was YA) and a few other bits and pieces was laid out too. The best part was just having the opportunity to talk to other bloggers. It was really nice to speak to people who were from the region talk about blogging and what they did as a day job. There was a really good mix of ages as well, I thought it would be more 18-21 but it wasn’t.

Table with books, pencils and sweets

The benefits you get from going to the event’s is 25% of if you buy a book that day. The option to fill out the bloggerpicks (little handwritten notes you see in the shop usually from staff members saying why you should read this particular book) and the chance to be part of the blogger affiliate programme with Foyles where you get 7% of each purchase made from the site if a user clicks on your ad.

Crowd of book lovers in Foyles

I found Foyles very willing and actively wanting to work with bloggers of all audiences which I really liked and think it is a good ethos to follow.

It has certainly made me want to go to more blogger events so will be keeping an eye out for ones in and around the West Mids and further afield.

To book yourself onto the Foyles Blogger Brekkie, click here.

Belfast City Hall in January

I started off my New Year with a bang by spending a weekend in Belfast. A 40 minute plane journey from Birmingham airport and we were there.

Victoria Square Shopping Centre

Saturday was about exploring the City and doing a bit of shopping. We went to St George’s Market which was mainly full of small independent food stalls. It had a lovely quiet atmosphere and was fairly busy. We also had a gander around CastleCourt Shopping Centre and Victoria Square. Victoria Square has a dome for a roof and you can go up to the top and see great views of Belfast.

Image of a St Georges' Market stall with cheese

Image of a St George's Market stall selling mugs and postcards

St George's Market

In the evening we went to Granny Annie’s. It was a place that we happened to walk past and we were attracted by the outdoor decor and the inside certainly didn’t disappoint. There was live music and food. It was had a great atmosphere and was so busy. Definitely book if you want to go there. Granny Annie's Cocktail Bar

Granny Annie's Cocktail

On Sunday, I booked a coach trip to the Giants Causeway. I had booked the trip through Allen’s tour. The tour left South Donegall in the morning and snaked its way up to the Causeway. We stopped by Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge. This bridge is part of the National Trust, and was erected in 1755 to reduce the reliance of a boat reaching the island as salmon fishing was a industry there. The island and the views were lovely but I didn’t find crossing the rope bridge that scary!

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge

The Giants Causeway itself was lovely. I thought the basalt columns would be taller then they were but the fact that lava settled into those shapes is interesting (Geography geek coming out there!). Finally on the way back we went to the Dark Hedges – famous from being in Games of Thrones. Although by then it was dark so it was a bit pointless.

Giants Causeway

Hexagonal Blocks of the Giants Causeway

View from the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge

At night we ate at Little Wings Pizzaria. The pizza was lovely (I had the Formaggi Caprini which is goat’s cheese, red onion, rocket and garlic oil). I had to get the nutella pizza for dessert – which is essentially nutella and chocolate ice cream on a base. The pizza’s are cooked in a wood stone oven. They were gorgeous.

Little Wings Pizzeria

On the last day we went on a famous Black Cab Taxi Tour around Belfast. The tour I took was the political tour where I learned about the The Troubles and the history of Northern Ireland and saw the murals on the walls and the Peace Lines. It was very interesting

I think Northern Ireland is lovely and I am glad I went for the weekend. Have you ever been to Northern Ireland, let me know what you thought or any suggestions on where I should go next!