Disneyland Paris Haul!

YDOB1724[1]As some of you may have already seen, I recently traveled to Disneyland Paris for the first time. You can read more about our trip and staying in a Disney Resort hotel here, but in summary . . . I had the best time imaginable! We did so much while we were staying there; from watching shows, meeting characters and going on thrilling rides, to eating far too much food and making amazing memories. Yet arguably one of my favourite things to do there was shopping!

I’m a huge lover of the Disney Store anyway and I’m forever popping in to see their latest stock, but the stores in a Disney park are without a doubt miles ahead! For starters, there are just so many shops situated everywhere across the parks, the resorts and the Disney village. Whilst you see many similar items scattered across some of the more generic store, others are incredibly unique to anything I have seen before and focus quite specifically on certain things. The shops selling glass blown figurines was particularly beautiful, if somewhat expensive. What really excited me, however, was the amount of products which catered towards adults, unlike your typical Disney stores which focus quite specifically on children. With so much choice and the magic of Disney coursing through my veins, I inevitably ending up buying a few things! I couldn’t wait to haul these on the blog and I’m so happy to be relieving my excitement with this post today.

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Review: The Coffin Path by Katherine Clements

IMG_8339[1]A few months ago I read Andrew Michael Hurley’s second novel, Devil’s Day, and was extremely impressed. I had been really disappointed in The Loney, his debut novel, but felt that he had really perfected his craft in his second book, giving us a brilliantly eerie and atmospheric read which kept me hooked the entire way through. With the bad weather recently and a few snow days off work, I was really hunting for a book along similar lines which would give me that same creepy yet fascinating feeling that I had experienced with Devil’s Day. Almost immediately I chose The Coffin Path, the latest novel from Katherine Clements. I am a huge lover of historical fiction, so as soon as I knew the book was set in the 1600’s, a time period I tend to read relatively little about, I was adamant that I wanted to get to it as soon as possible.

Even if you’re not a lover of this genre, I still think the blurb is incredibly enticing. It introduces us to Scarcross Hall, the house on the old coffin path which leads from the village to the moor top. Strange stories are told about the place, the belief that something evil lurks there running rife among the locals. The tales hold little credence for Mercy Booth; Scarcross Hall is her home, her very life intertwined with the wilderness which reigns around her. Yet despite her determination small things begin to happen, strange occurrences which seem to have no possible logical explanation, coupled with the sense that something unfriendly is watching her. When a stranger arrives to the Hall looking for work, Mary agrees to take him in, completely unaware of the consequences of such kindness and the fate which lies in wait for Scarcross Hall.

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Review: Crimson and Bone by Marina Fiorato

IMG_8281[1]Is it wrong to be pulled in too quickly by the aesthetic of a book? This was certainly the case with Marina Fiorato’s Crimson and Bone. I was immediately drawn in by the dramatic cover; the intriguing back of a woman dressed in white contrasting so vividly with the splashes of red in the title. Almost immediately the font, a flowing, calligraphy styled scroll, reminded me of a dripping message of blood. All in all, a pretty dramatic cover image, and one which still managed to maintain an air of grace and beauty. Yet cover aside, what is this book really about?

Crimson and Bone tells the story of Annie Stride, a Victorian prostitute working the streets of London. Recently evicted from her home, penniless and now pregnant, Annie takes herself to Waterloo Bridge, determined to fall into the icy depths of the Thames and end her life. Yet she is saved by Francis Maybrick Gill, a wealthy and talented painter, who changes her world forever. Soon Annie is firmly implanted in Francis’s life, the painter taking Annie as his muse and lifting her from the gutters of society. The higher she climbs however, the more Annie realises that all is not as it should be, and that her past will continue to pull her down.

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Review: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

IMG_8250[1]When a book is compared to the likes of The Girl With All the Gifts (review here), Black Mirror and The Walking Dead, its sure to grab my attention. Indeed, this debut novel from Nick Clark Windo is saturated with praise for its skillful plot and high concept thrills, an even more accomplished feat when you consider that this is indeed the author first foray into the world of novels. Despite the buzz surrounding this novel, I’m a huge fan of post-apocalyptic/dystopian novels anyway, so this was always a book which was going to pop up on my radar.

It’s hard to summarise the plot of this novel, not only for the intricate complexity of its world, but also for fear of spoiling anything too vital to the overall enjoyment. Perhaps the easiest way to describe it is by saying that it takes place after the destruction of a world which had reached peak levels of highly advanced technology. The ability to implant people with the Feed means that their knowledge, their memories, their very lives, are all connected on a live stream most similar to the social media sites so popular today. When the Feed goes down, thousands are killed, and those who survive are crippled by the massive loss of such advancements, their previous way of living appearing altogether unnatural.  For Tom and Kate they face the horror of explaining to their daughter the new world she lives in, and why it is that no one can sleep unwatched. For if you sleep unwatched, you may be taken. If you’re taken, then you are better off dead.

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Monthly Favourites: February 2018

GZIM9981[1]I can’t quite believe have quickly this year is going. Every week seems to fly by, with the arrival of Spring and warmer weather getting ever closer!

February has been a pretty busy month for me, with lots of big events taking place and so many amazing memories having been made. I can already tell that this year is going to be one to remember, but before I think too much about the future, I wanted to share with you my favourite things from the month of February:

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Review: Gizelle’s Bucket List by Lauren Fern Watt

IMG_8080[1]I am a self proclaimed crazy dog lover. I don’t know when this obsessed started or how it even came into being, but I do know that the love is stronger than ever. I’d been begging my parents for a dog from the moment I could coherently speak, and after many long and arduous years they finally gave in and granted my life goal at the age of twelve. Flash forward many years and my beautiful puppy is now a distinguished older man. Combine my love of dogs with my love of reading and you can bet that I’ve read a hell of a lot of books focused upon our canine companions. I love books that look at both the love and the heroics of dogs, giving me a story that I’m unlikely to forget.

When I saw that Hodder were about to publish a non-fiction book telling the story of a rather large and beautiful dog, I knew immediately that I had to get my hands on it. When they were kind enough to send me over a copy to read I was beyond thrilled, and I quickly settled down to read what I knew would be a highly emotional journey.

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