FXCK THIS JOURNAL || Review & Competition


I have been (not-so) patiently waiting for Dale Shaws FXCK THIS JOURNAL for quite some time, and once again with thanks to lovely people at Headline, I received a copy before its release, and one lucky reader could be taking home a copy too! All you have to do is read through this post and then follow the instructions below.

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Nymphs - Sari Luhtanen and Miikko Oikkonen || Review


Thanks to the good people at Headline books I received a copy of Nymphs, before release, in order to review and share with you guys. I was super excited about this as the novel sounded like it would be amazing, and the concept behind it seemed even more so.

It arrived on a Friday, usually the busiest day of my week, so I had to wait until the Sunday before I started reading, but once I did, I was instantly intrigued about the fate of our young protagonist - Didi.

What started off as a Finnish TV series (starring Finnish people that I have never heard of),  based on greek mythology and set in Helsinki, Nymphs has become an international phenomenon and has now been adapted into a book series. The UK picked up the translation rights soon after it's initial release in August 2013 and will be released in January 2016

What is it about?
Didi's boyfriend dies, whilst she is having sex with him. She later on discovers that she has been lied to her entire life and that she isn't as human as she once thought. She's a Nymph, and in order to survive she has to leave her life behind. Didi must now learn what it means to be a Nymph, and do what is asked of her on the next full moon, or she could find herself in grave danger.

"The Night of reckoning is coming and the choice is hers. Reject her fate. Or accept her destiny and embrace her power..."

My Thoughts
I don't want to say that I dislike this book because there is so much about it that I do like, but it definitely isn't what I expected. It is quite obvious that it has been adapted from a TV show, as the chapters are slightly jarring and jump-cutty, but once you get past that, it is actually a very interesting read. I am now intrigued and want to watch the TV show, as I feel that the novel closely follows the plot/ is a scene by scene play of the show, and this would help to create a sense of location as although the reader is told that it is set in Helsinki, (Finland), nothing else has been used to help establish this - no culture, food, items of geographic interest - it could be almost anywhere.

Although the story was very much gripping, I had a personal issue with the language that was used. This may be due to a bad translation, but for me some of the sentences did not flow as well as I would have liked them to, and there possibly could have been better English equivalents to some of the original text.

Think of extreme softcore True Blood - The Nymphs are magical creatures, they are different, and with the difference comes intolerance.  The existence of the Nymphs isn't as well known as the vampires in True Blood, but out of those who do, hate groups have formed, and they will stop at nothing to defeat them.

Should you read it?
I can imagine that this would make a great read for fans of the show, but as someone who has not watched it I couldn't help but feel a little lost. If you have watched the TV show then I would definitely recommend it to you, but if you haven't, I strongly advise watching that first to gain some sort of context.

For fans of, The Originals, The Vampire Diaries, and House of Night

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Bank Holiday Adventures in Paris


I know it's a little late, but I couldn't not share these photos with you guys! I went to Paris for August bank holiday with one of my oldest (and bestest) friends on the planet, and we decided to see how many sights we could see in one day. Yup. One Day. 

We took the coach from London Victoria on Saturday morning, and finally arrived in Paris later that day. We checked into the hotel, ate our weight in food and then watched Law and Order: SVU in French. It was great. We woke up on Sunday, packed our bags and then we were off. We went to the Moulin Rouge, Arc du Triomphe, Notre Dame, The Eiffel Tower, Gare du Nord (to reminisce our school French lessons), and got a little bit lost looking for the love lock bridge. 

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Yes Please - Amy Poehler || REVIEW


I fucking love this book. I don't usually swear on the blog, what with me trying to be semi-professional and all that, but I feel that fucking is the only suitable adjective that can be used to describe, Yes Please.

I downloaded the audiobook earlier this week, thanks to a free audible trial, and started listening straight away. If it isn't known to you, I am very old fashioned when it comes to literature; if it's not in book form, then I don't wanna know. I don't do kindles, and until earlier this week I avoided audio books - I much prefer holding the book and reading the words for myself. 

I always thought audiobooks shouldn't be considered as 'reading', simply because you are not actually reading, but I made an exception for Yes Please. I had already heard so many great things about it, all of which are more than true, (it's laugh out loud in the middle of a crowded bus funny, and it makes you think, like,  REALLY think) but what sold it for me for was the fact that, Amy Poehler was the one who was reading it! 

When a world famous comedian writes a book, you know it's going to be funny. When a world famous comedian reads their book to you, you know it's going to be even funnier. And that's what Amy Poehler did. I can't imagine having the same reaction to so many parts if Amy hadn't been throwing her voice or making sound effects or adding her own opinions. I urge you all to read the book, but I am encouraging you all to start an audible free trial, download the book, and listen to it. Listen in the car, on the bus, in the shower, or whilst you're supposed to be doing something else.

What is is about?
Well, It's a memoir. And in this memoir, Amy Poehler talks about her life, her career, her ability to time travel, and how all of this relates to who she is.  Yes, I said time travel, and no I am not lying.

She tells us stories from her past, the history of the UCB, how she got into comedy and what it is really like working on Saturday Night Live, all from her private audio-booth at the bottom of Mount Rushmore.  There are readings from her friends and family, sound clips from Parks and Rec, and a whole lot of laughing from start to finish.

Should you read it?
No. Don't read it. You would be stupid if you read it. LISTEN TO IT.  Curl up under a blanket with a hot chocolate and listen to the soothing sound of Amy reading you her novel! If you're still undecided, you can sign up for a free thirty-day audible trial and download Yes Please (or any other book) for free!!

For fans of: Amy Poehler, Tina Fey, SNL, Bossy Pants, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?

I am thinking of adding a few more audiobooks to my collection, is there any that you would recommend?

PS. Shout out to my cracked iPhone screen!

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National Suicide Prevention Week 2015 - How can we make a difference?


I didn't choose to come into this world, but I can choose how I spend my time in it. I have the power to do what I want and be exactly who I want to be.  I am the master if my own destiny.

I started to write this post, then I deleted it. I started to write it again, then deleted that one. I then wrote this, this collection of paragraphs combining an abundance of thoughts and feelings, mixed with emotional torment, the importance of why we should never give up on ourselves, and why we should be more inclined to share the positives.

As you are reading this, I think it is already obvious that I didn't delete it, but I thought about it. I even went as far as not posting it, but then I took a moment, in fact, I took several moments, a bath, a Cheesestring, and three episodes of Friends before finally - five days later - deciding to post it.

I was thinking about how when I was fifteen, even though it was only eight years ago, mental health was still a very taboo subject to talk about. The only experience I had ever had been people going into all the gory details on Tumblr, and when I say gory I am using it for lack of a better word, but the images, in-depth posts and depressing quotes were not what I should have been reading. When you are a teenager, your hormones are all over the place, you are trying to figure yourself out, you are trying to figure other people out, and you don't always have the relevant life skills/experience to deal with these things in a rational ways - all of which can be made worse if you are struggling with depression, anxiety, (and/or any other mental difficulties) which can quite often lead to suicidal feelings.

I didn't want to see these negative things, but when so many people are sharing their thoughts and feelings with the rest of the world, thoughts and feelings that you share, it is kind of hard to not look. You can share all these things online, with strangers that understand you and no one knows who you really are, you will forever be nomnomnombutteredtoast.tumblr.com. (not my URL anymore, just FYI)  You can release your soul through your fingertips, setting free your most intimate feelings and know that they are no longer tied to you - It's a comfort.

HOWEVER! I'm going to mention fifteen-year-old Kirstie again and say that when she was scrolling through Tumblr for every twenty negative posts, she would have been absolutely lucky to have found one positive post! I'm not saying that positive posts weren't out there, but people were a lot quicker to share the negatives than they were anything else.  This brings me to my original point of what made me decided to post this; I wanted to talk about the importance of sharing with others, especially with the younger generations.  The once fifteen-year-olds that were posting about their troubles online, that didn't know what their futures looked like are now older, a little bit wiser, and know what it is like to be a scared and not knowing what to do with their emotions.

We were the first generation that had so much internet freedom. We were the first to break away from drawing patterns on paint and fall into chat rooms, We were the first to have broadband, we were the first to experience widespread social media, so it only makes sense that we were the first to complain about our lives on the internet! We had no internet safety when trawling through chat rooms, there was no safeguarding and images were scarcely blocked, it was a free for all.  We could not learn from previous generations because they never experienced the internet as we did, but the next generation can learn from us! We were exposed to these dangers, we were the guinea pigs, and although we didn't know it then our experiences have helped to shape what the internet has become.

As veteran members of this widespread community, I think it is vital that we share our experiences with the world. As I said before, fifteen-year-old Kirstie was exposed to a lot of negativity, which in turn affected her mentally and is highly likely to have played a part in who she is today; but as veterans we are aware of this greater knowledge, and whilst it doesn't make us superior it does make us responsible. We should learn from our past selves, we should  be more inclined to share the positive side of life and talk about how we got through those tough times in our lives. We should be more vigilant, more self-aware, and more cautious of how the words we write can affect people. We should be sharing that hope is real, and rescue is possible.

I am basing this on our generation helping the younger generation, but it doesn't have to be that way, and it doesn't have to be with the internet either. Anyone can talk to anyone, using any means of communication! It's not about how we communicate, but the importance that we do - the only way we can help ourselves is by helping others, and changing the negative stigmas attached to mental health.

Everyone is entitled to feel how they feel, and no one should be put down for sharing their emotions, but it is important to remember that not everyone knows what it is like to have a mental illness or to feel suicidal. But the more we share, the more others will understand, and the more others understand, (the) more can be done to help those that struggle.

Feeling suicidal doesn't just go away, but speaking out can make a difference.

If you are feeling suicidal, or know anyone that is and want to talk, please call the samaritans 24/7 on 0845 790 9090

Kirstie xoxo 
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Bloggers Favourite Book (Part 4)


As we are almost coming to the end of #Bloggersfavouritebook, I thought the penultimate post should be from one of my favourite Internet peoplez, Codie!  I can't remember following her, and I feel TERRIBLE for saying this, but I do not follow her blog either (SAD FACE) (I really should though because I ended up scrolling through it for ages just now and got distracted from writing this, by reading some great posts, and watching her boyfriend do her makeup on youtube!) (To be fair, I am really bad at keeping up to date with blogs as I spend a lot of time on buses, and the small screen on my phone hurts my eyes) but I stalk her on twitter, and we both LOVELOVELOVE I'll Give You The Sun, so if that isn't a reason for someone to be one your favourite Internet peoplez, then I don't know what is.  (PLUS, she's Codiekinz, and I'm Kirstiekins, so basically we are both awesome.)

ANYWAY! Let's pick her brain and find out about her reading habits, and the books she loves!

Who are you/what is your URL? (Tell the world who you are! A little self-promo never hurt anyone.)
I am Codie! I blog over at www.codiekinz.co.uk and talk to a camera on www.youtube.com/codiekinzzz. I enjoy wine, superheroes, and being barefoot.

Do you have any weird/strange reading habits?
I don’t think it’s weird, but everyone seems to find it odd that I can read in the car or on a bus/train. Apparently that makes most people feel sick. I couldn’t imagine not reading in the car - it’s my main reading place!

Favourite genres?
I am a huge fan of young adult fiction - It seems more ‘mature’ than a lot of the chick-lit I used to read!

What was the last book you read, and would you recommend it?
I just finished Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff (amazing surname!). It was... ‘meh’. It was okay, but it dragged a lot and wasn’t particularly original or groundbreaking. Also, there seemed to be a whole load of loopholes.

List your three favourite books, of ALL time:(I cannot do favourite books of all time. I am useless. Instead, I’m gonna have to do my favourite books at the moment)

1 I’ll give you the sun - Jandy Nelson

2 Forward Slash - Mark Edwards (the only horror/thriller/crime book I’ve read)

3 Paper Airplanes - Dawn O’Porter

Thinking of the first book you mentioned, why is it your favourite?
Ugh. Dude. I cannot even. It is so clever and beautifully written and heart-wrenching and unlike anything I’ve ever read. I just... ugh. So many feels.

What would you say to anyone that was thinking of reading it?
Stop thinking about it and just do it!

If you could be any character, from any novel, who would it be, and why?
Probably either Lola, Isla or Anna from the Stephanie Perkins books. I just really enjoy their stories and they seem like pretty cool characters.

Who is your least favourite character from any novel, and why?
Cliched but Umbridge from Harry Potter makes my blood boil. I cannot stand the woman.

What is your least favourite novel, and why?
Recently I’ve not enjoyed ‘My heart and other Black Holes’. It was very predictable and unrealistic and I hate the whole ‘if you’re feeling suicidal you just need a boyfriend/girlfriend to “fix” you’ thing. Blergh.

If you could change the ending of any novel, what would it be? And what would you have happen instead?
I think I’d want to change the ending of Harry Potter. Don’t get me wrong, I love the series. I have a tattoo of the deathly hallows! And I'm fine with it having a happy ending where (spoiler alert) Harry lives & Voldy dies BUT just the fact that everyone ends up happy together, perfectly, with their perfect jobs and stupidly named children just bugs me a bit.

And finally, the real juicy gossip that everyone wants to know: Snog, Mary, Avoid!

Edgar Allen Poe, Sylvia Plath, J.K Rowling?

Snog Sylvia (I think she’d be very passionate), Marry JK and Avoid Poe (soz bro)

Cthulhu, Gandalf, Doctor Frankenstein?
Snog Dr F, Marry Gandalf and Avoid Cthulhu.

Douglas Adams, Stephen King, Ali Smith?
Difficult. I’d Snog King just to say I had. Marry Ali Smith & Avoid Douglas Adams.


Aww, poor Cthulhu everyone keeps avoiding him!

Thank you so much for taking part, Codie! As I am sure you are aware, you have a great taste in literature, and I have added a few of the books you mentioned to my wishlist.

If you want to pick Codie's brain some more, you can find her over at www.codiekinz.co.uk, or I'm sure if you leave a comment below she will get back to you!


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I was recently asked by the wonderful people at Paperblanks, to share my journals, and talk about my love of them on their blog: Endpaper.  I am not ashamed to admit that when it comes to notebooks, not only do insist on a good quality of paper, but I like them to look pretty too, and with Paperblanks I get both. The only other notebooks I use are the cheap WHSmith ones, which I use for uni, and even then I get the premium quality ones - god I must sound like a snob.

If you are interested in knowing more about my love affair with Paperblanks, then you can head on over to their site, and see what it is exactly I use them for, and how much I rely on them to help me with my daily activities. (CLICK HERE)

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