Thursday, 2 July 2015

6 Reasons I Unfollowed Your Blog

1. Your posts don't have dates.

Seriously. This is SO annoying. Don't mess with your readers like that. So, you last posted on Sunday? Which Sunday? There are 52 weeks in a year. I want to know if the information I'm reading is up-to-date or if it's from the dark ages.

Actually, y'know what? That's it. This is too much effort. I'm unfollowing. Sorry.

2. Your blog plays random music.

This is not 2004. Unless you're a music blogger, people come to your blog to read, not to listen to music. Not only can random noises out of nowhere be extremely triggering for some people, especially if their volume is up high, but also... music is personal. It sucks, but people might hate the music that you love, and if it starts blasting out of their speakers, they're going to leave. And you don't want that.

3. You have a pop-up which covers the entire screen.

The other day I was on a blog and just as I went to scroll down to read the rest of the post, a box filled my entire screen. 'Enter your email address for more updates!' it screamed. If you're going to have pop-ups, make them non-intrusive. Think about it: if you're covering my screen, I can't read your content. And you want people to read it, right? That's why you blog. Needless to say, I never got to finish what I was reading.

4. The writing is tiny.

Some of us have eye problems. I know you want to be hipster, but I'm trying to read your blog - please don't make me spend hours trying to find my glasses. And yes, I could zoom in, but I shouldn't have to.

5. Most of your links are broken.

I clicked on your archive... why has it taken me to your about page? And why doesn't your contact button work? I think I'm hyperventilating.

6. You use cursor trails.

Again - not 2004. If I move my mouse and it shits glitter, I'm off.

What makes you unfollow a blog?

Monday, 29 June 2015

May and June Favourites | 2015

Due to exams, I didn't get a chance to gather my May favourites, and so I've bundled those and my June faves into one post. It sucks but, hey, I'm officially done with school forever! Silver linings.

If you're not familiar with this feature, every month I show you the stuff I've been loving recently. It can be anything from books and beauty products to music, apps, and even places I've been and memories I've made. It's meant to be a chance for you to see what things I recommend other than books, but they always sneak their way in somehow. Can't think why.

The Library of Fragrance Cologne Spray in Jasmine // £15 // Boots

See? I told you; books make their way into every aspect of my life, right down to the fragrance I wear which is by The Library of Fragrance. I could go on about this one for ages; it smells exactly like the Jasmine flowers we used to have in my garden when I was little, and unlike most fragrances there is no hint of chemicals lingering in the air when this is sprayed. It's the most beautiful scent ever.

What I love about The Library of Fragrance itself is, not only do they not test on animals, but it is an actual, proper library of fragrances. They have so many scents, from ordinary perfumes and colognes that you would usually expect to see on the shelf to completely random ones like Paperback, Pizza and Play-Doh. If you ever see these around, you must smell all of them - some sound weird, but they're good! They even have a scent called Amber; I can't imagine what that smells like. And Sunshine! I really want to try that one. I could go on. Sorry.

The Library of Fragrance very kindly sent this to me but I was under no obligation to post about it. I'll definitely have to buy a replacement when this runs out.

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher, The Opposite of Loneliness by Marina Keegan and The Baby by Lisa Drakeford // The Book Depository

Ignoring Finding Audrey by Sophie Kinsella because I just realised I've already included that in a favourites post - I guess that proves how much I enjoyed it! - these are my favourite books read in May and June.

You can read my full review of All I Know Now here, but I'll tell you now it really is like a big sister in book form and you won't want to put it down. I met Carrie in May, and I'm hoping to see her again at YALC next month. We'll see!

The Opposite of Loneliness is non-fiction and I still haven't got over how beautiful it was. It's truly inspiring and just about kept me sane during exams. If you want to know what I thought of it in more detail, click here.

The Baby by Lisa Drakeford is what I described as being 'the epitome of good UKYA' in my review. It's not live yet, but spoiler: I loved it.

Macarons // £1.25 each // LadurĂ©e

I know this is lame but I don't even care. Macarons are my favourite food, and when I went to see Carrie Hope Fletcher in May, I realised there was a macaron shop pretty much across the road from her event. The joy I felt inside as I looked at all of the beautiful, brightly coloured macarons laid out in front of me was probably a bit over the top and pathetic. They just look so pretty and they taste so good that I nearly cried with happiness. THERE WAS EVEN A MACARON TOWER IN THE WINDOW. HELLO. LOOK AT IT. Also, the shop itself is the tiniest space ever, has walls like a cave and is gold. Completely gold. Every surface including the walls, ceiling and floor is gold. So that was an experience. God, how have I written so much about such tiny desserts?

Slide The City London North // 13th June 2015

A few days ago I went to Slide The City. It's a worldwide thing and this time it was in London, and seeing as it was three days after my exams finished, I thought I'd better go. I mean, is there really any better way to celebrate than by chucking yourself face first down a slip n' slide the length of three football pitches? It was so much fun and it was only when I got home that I realised the boy next to me in the queue and then on the slide had been none other than Brooklyn Beckham. I guess you could say that I have swam (well, slid?) with a Beckham. So that's a thing? *dead*

What have you been loving this month?

Wednesday, 24 June 2015

This is Not a Love Story by Keren David

Title: This is Not a Love Story
Author: Keren David
Published by: Atom Books
Publication date: 7th May 2015
Pages: 352
Genres: YA Contemporary/Romance/Travel/Friendship/Family
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Kitty dreams of a beautiful life, but that's impossible in suburban London where her family is haunted by her father's unexpected death. So when her mum suggests moving to Amsterdam to try a new life, Kitty doesn't take much persuading. Will this be her opportunity to make her life picture perfect?

In Amsterdam she meets moody, unpredictable Ethan, and clever, troubled Theo. Two enigmatic boys, who each harbour their own secrets. In a beautiful city and far from home, Kitty finds herself falling in love for the first time.

But will love be everything she expected? And will anyone's heart survive?

Finally, here I am, writing my review of This is Not a Love Story. It should not have taken me this long, but I had to gather up my thoughts from the floor where they had fallen in a fangirl-ish heap after I turned the last page.

Keren David writes some of the best YA fiction out there, and if you haven't read any of her books before, you should - starting with this one.

Question: please can This is Not a Love Story be renamed This is Definitely a Love Story... About Amsterdam? It made me fall in love with the place and I haven't even been. That's going to change in the near future, and all because of this one book. The writing is beautiful and brimming with culture, so much so that it's almost dripping off the page. Not only that, but most of the books I read are either set in America or England, so it was a real treat to read something set in a place so different, and somewhere I don't know much about. I'm desperately hoping for more books like this.

And guess what? This book is also LGBT. I love how more YA books seem to be slipping this in, whether it's the main focus or just in the background. Progress!

I've loved all of Keren's books but, overall, this is my favourite. I hugely enjoyed it and, just like with Salvage, I was reminded of her knack for writing the most interesting, entertaining, diverse characters. You certainly won't be disappointed.