30 Jan 2016

The Chimes | Anna Smaill

"Imagine a London where music has replaced the written word and memories are carried as physical objects. Memory itself is destroyed by the Order's vast musical instrument, the Carillion. which renders the population amnesiac so each day seems the same as the last. Simon is different. He wakes each morning with a prickling feeling that there is something he has to do. He meets Lucian, a boy who knows more about the dangers lurking in Simon's past than he realises, Slowly, inexplicably Simon begins to remember"

When I first began reading The Chimes* I will be honest and admit that I nearly gave up in the first few chapters.

This is a book that rewards patience as initially I seriously struggled to get my head around the strange language being used and frankly what the hell was actually happening.

There were parts I had to read three times over just to make sense of and I found it difficult to follow as each chapter didn't seem to link to the one before.

However as I ploughed on, waiting for the moment when I would see the book that half the newspapers and websites in the world seemed to be reading, I realised that Anna had made the plot disjointed and strange on purpose. Here she was writing about a character whose memories of his past, childhood, family, the lot, were missing and who was basically stuck in the present forever. I mean, imagine not knowing where you came from? Not knowing if anybody once loved you? Not even knowing the conversation you had yesterday? So Simon's amnesia and confused state of mind was mirrored in my own confusion, cleverly allowing me to sympathies with and understand him.

About a third of the way in, the story picked up.

The sense of amnesia for both of us was beginning to disappear and in it's place a solid, page turning plot line, constructed by an amazing imagination and talent for sentences so beautifully written they make you shiver.

The Chimes is unlike any teenage dystopian novel I have ever read. Forget about The Hunger Games, Divergent or The Fault In Our Stars, this is the book to read. I didn't even realise it until the end but, yes it is a love story. A love for music and the emotion it evokes within. A love for knowledge and knowing. A love for family. And most importantly a love another man.

Love From,
Beth xx

This product was sent for review. Please see my disclaimer to find out more. 

18 Jan 2016

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

I currently home alone. And hoping that I haven't just jinxed myself because I don't think I would be as epic as Kevin in a robbery situation.

Wait...what was the noise? Christ I think I'm being broken in to! Oh wait...it was only my signed One Direction picture falling off the wall. 

Don't judge.

Toby is currently stretched across the best seat in the house, so maybe I'm not home alone at all depending on the official definition of 'home alone' which I am too lazy to look up. Anyone? So I've been forced onto the lumpy seat in the corner although the extra bum...lets call it cushioning that I happened to acquire over the festive period is coming in quite useful indeed!

I just made my self a cup of tea in this babe of a mug, burnt my tongue and subsequently spilt half of it all over my new fluffy pink Primark slippers. I also manged to trip over my dressing gown toggle (I think that's the technical term!) this morning and nearly went head first through the TV screen.

Again don't judge.

While I just cower behind the sofa because I just heard a car pull up outside and it could be a getaway car, please enjoy or not enjoy reading what made me smile this week:

1. Sixty Second Coral Nails 

Since somebody first told me coral was the need black I've been like a woman possessed, searching high and low for the perfect colour. And you guessed it, I found one! This Rimmel one to be precised which I currently have on my nails as I type this.

I'm not going to lie and pretend that I am a super human being whose nail vanish never chips or smudges and always looks perfectly immaculate because it doesn't. To be quite honest I don't wear nail vanish as much as I should as I always end up picking it all off by the end of the first day. But this colour is so beautiful and vibrant that I am trying damn hard not to pick it. Apparently knitting helps but ain't nobody got time for that. Besides, my man David Attenborough is on TV so ya know!

2. Nebula Sterling Silver Ring 

You may also spy the sexy beast on my finger which is the gorgeous Nebula Ring I picked up recently. It's from the cutest little online shop that I could and have spent hours drooling over. I love the medieval style of it and that it is adjustable as well so can fit any of my fingers, even poor Mr Fat Thumb over here! The picture above really doesn't do it justice though. I attempted to capture the magic of in a video over on my Instagram account...if you wanna like pop over.

Nothing like a bit of self-promotion of course!

3. Writing a real letter

Not only that but it was to a real person not somebody on the other side of a computer screen. This letter was pretty fricking important too because it was about my two week work experience placement in July which I was hoping to complete at my old primary school. And guess what? I got it!

The idea of going out into the real world and getting a taster of what my future could be, if I don't become an internet sensation within the next year of course, is a pretty terrifying prospect! Yet there is a tiny, very deep down part of me which cannot wait because getting up at half six every morning to study is not what I want to be doing for the rest of my life. I've got an interview with my old deputy head coming up soon (internal scream!) and yeah, life is generally looking good.

4. Goodbye Alan Rickman 

I know it is a bit weird to have the death of an actor who played my all time fav character, Severus Snape, in my smile post but stick with me.

I heard the news when somebody shouted it out in a cafe and everyone, including the woman behind the counter pouring milk, just froze. It was like a double whammy having just recently said goodbye to David Bowie. But Alan Rickman's death did make me shed a little tear. He brought Snape alive from paper to cinema screen in such a beautiful way. I smile now because I know that his portrayal will be forever legendary and that in the future people will still be watching the films and reading the books, and when they think of Snape, it is Alan's face they will see. What more could you ask for than that?

5. Missing the bus 

On Wednesday, I don't know how I did it, but I missed the bus home when I was out. It was timetabled to arrive at 3pm. So one minute it was five to three and the next I looked at the clock and it was 3:10pm! I must have fallen asleep or something, but the panic that rose inside of me quickly brushed away the tiredness. I was left wandering around in the cold (thank god for this coat!) until somebody came and eventually pick me at five. 

Moral of the story: don't fall asleep when you are waiting for a bus! 

6. Getting books through the door

Having a nice chat with the sexy postman when he delivers a parcel is possible my highlight of the week (sad I know!) but when that parcel contains a surprise book delivery from the kind people at Bookbridgr is even better! I'm currently absorb in the world of The Chimes*, the debut novel of Anna Smaill, with it's beautifully written chapters and enchanting story line as we speak and will definitely be writing up a review of it shortly. So yeah, watch this space! 

Love Beth xx

                                    This product has been sent for review. Please see my disclaimer to find out more

12 Jan 2016

6 Things That Made Me Smile This Week!

This week has been hard. I was the first week back at sixth form after the festive period and consisted of my body freaking out about why I was forcing it to get up at 6.30am every morning, having to stand at the bus stop in torrential rain and wind that insisted on turning my umbrella inside out and the teachers dropping a massive bombshell on us that "Oh btw, you have mocks in three weeks. Did we forget to tell you?".

Umm. Yes!

Not only that but the Christmas decorations came down on Monday and it looks so ugly and bare everywhere now. I've resorted to spending the evening without the flicker of the fairy lights, stuffing my face with the last of the mince pies and Christmas cake before they go out of date. What a crime that would be!

And I wonder why three little angry spots  have suddenly popped up on my face? It's a total mystery to me :)

1. Maiden Voyage Necklace 

I've always had a slight obsession with the sea. It is just such a magical, mysterious place that I have always been drawn to. As a child I was always particularly interested in all things Mermaids. Ariel was my all time fav Disney Princess because duh sea shell bras all the way and if you look back at my old school work I think I listed my dream job as a mermaid once or twice (or three times!). So I was over the moon when I got this stunning necklace as a gift from my Nan.

I can't stop looking at it and am seriously tempted to buy all the items from that shop too! Although I doubt my bank manager will be very happy with me :)

2. My new food craving

A while back it was the beauty that is OJ and more recently jam and cheesy breadsticks, but know say hello to my new craving: Nachos and Salsa. I really brought them for Christmas but ended eating up the whole packet in about an hour tops and then did a mad sprint to Tesco in the rain to grab five more packets and two more pots of Salsa. If heaven was a food combination it would without a doubt be this! The saltiness and the crispness of the nacho mixed with the spice and chunkiness of the salsa is just orgasmic. I. AM. NOT. EVEN. KIDDING.

3. Movies 

Over Christmas the TV channels were alive with film after film after film and Miss Smarty Pants here had the good idea of recording them ALL. So splashed between episodes of Coronation Street and Celebrity Big Brother (Tiffany or John to win!) are hundreds of films all of which I practically watched this week. Bridge To Terribithia, Catching Fire, The Holiday, Brave, The Croods, The Theory Of Everything, The Host, Brooklyn and many more.

I was also forced to see the new Star Wars film and ended up completely bloody loving it! It was so nice to see a lead female character like Rey who wasn't dependent on a man to protect her like Princess Leila was in the older episodes.

4. Cat Mug

Although I said I wasn't going to do Christmas presents this year for my friends because I always end up buying two of everything (one for me and one for them!), my friend Meriel went ahead and got me something anyway! She knows probably more than anyone else that I'm the definition of a crazy cat lady, as I'm constantly boring her with The Adventures Of Toby The Tabby and forcing her to stop every minute when we go shopping to stroke a stray cat who was giving me the eyes, So it is no wonder that she scoured the internet and picked out this purr-fect cat mug for me. I get ridiculously over excited when I use it!

5. Phone Background

I only realised at the start of this week that I haven't change my phone background for about six months! Then I saw this post by Em and I was like "OMFG I swear this girl can read minds!" The mosaic-esque background is gorgeous and currently adorns by lock screen, making me simile like the Cheshire Cat from Alice In Wonderland every time I go to unlock my phone. I've learnt now that a little change, even a new desktop or phone background, can make all the difference sometimes.


There isn't a sixth smile I'm afraid partly because I need to desperately get back to revising and partly because as I said earlier 'this week was hard!'

Love  Beth xx

4 Jan 2016

Dear 2016

So we are four days into 2016.

A thousand 'Happy New Year' messages read and replied to.

Plus three point five million of these posts filling up our Bloglovin' feed. So of course I'd thought I just throw in another just because what the heck!

And I'm sorry to say that 2016 doesn't feel any different from 2015. When the clock struck midnight at my friends New Years Eve Party and we crossed our arms and sung that weird song that nobody really knows the words to, I didn't suddenly feel like a whole new person. I was still biting my nails, still had terrible, oily skin, still walking around in leggings because they are just so much more comfortable than jeans and still stuffing my face with unhealthy snacks because the left over Christmas chocolate was calling my name. What can I say?

Looking back on 2015, I realised that I actually achieved a lot of things that I am bloody proud of. It's not often you will find me praising myself but today I am. When my friends raised their glasses and shouted '"here's to a better year'"I thought, apart from my great aunt dying, that I couldn't have asked for a better year:

 -I left high school wearing a shirt covered in beautiful messages from all my friends
- I studied for six months straight and ended up with twelve GCSEs under my belt
- I got accepting into the sixth form of my choice
-After years of saying I would, I finally stepped out of my comfort zone, signed up and graduated from the National Citizen Service 
-I brought a dress, hired a limo, had my hair done and went to prom
-And finally,  I made a conscious decision to make Instagram a happier place

This year, well, I'd like to achieve even more. I would like to redecorate my entire home so it looks like Elsie's house. I'd like to travel to Bali like Jaclyn because my Instagram NEEDS snaps like this. I'd like to update my wardrobe so it looks  as sassy as Hannah's. I'd like to get a puppy like Rosie for my birthday- hint hint. I'd like to be able to apply make up as well as Victoria does and write as many book reviews as Bee...

But I don't think that is all quite going to happen even if I have got twelve months to complete it in. Instead I have decided that the only thing that sucked in 2015 was my attitude to life.

The attitude where you go 'Oh I'll do that tomorrow' or 'Oh I'm so ugly' and 'Oh my life is so terrible I just want to die' because really I'm just being melodramatic Bethany. I'm done with complaining and moaning about everything. I'm done with being shy and reserved around strangers but a crazy maniac around friends. I'm done with being scared of the future and being independent. And even for all the good things that happened in 2015, I'm done with that too.

Dear naive unsuspecting 2016. It's a big wide world out there so....HERE MUMMA COMES!

Love Beth xx

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