Review: Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton (Rebel of the Sands #1)

So last week’s tube read was *drumroll*


Title: Rebel of the Sands

Author: Alwyn Hamilton

Pages: 358

Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles

“Tell me that and we’ll go. Right now. Save ourselves and leave this place to burn. Tell me that’s how you want your story to go and we’ll write it straight across the sand.” Dustwalk is Amani’s home. The desert sand is in her bones. But she wants to escape. More than a want. A need. Then a foreigner with no name turns up to save her life, and with him the chance to run. But to where? The desert plains are full of danger. Sand and blood are swirling, and the Sultan’s enemies are on the rise.

Here’s another book I bought and read off the back of an event I attended at Waterstones Piccadilly. Alwyn was a really engaging panel chair and I loved the snippets I heard about her books so I thought I’d give this one a go.

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Film Review: Goodbye Christopher Robin

For me, Winnie the Pooh started everything. 

I learnt to read with Winnie the Pooh books, the first videos (yes videos – I hope some of you are old enough to remember beautiful clunky VHS tapes) I remember watching were Winnie the Pooh. My bedroom, and my nursery for that matter, were stuffed with Winnie the Pooh soft animals. I’m not even going to pretend that I got rid of any of those because they occupy a permanent space in my heart (and my loft).

Long story short, I adore Winnie the Pooh and the occupants of the Hundred Acre Wood. A lot. Always have, always will. So you can imagine my heart flipped on hearing that we were getting a creation film based on the author of my childhood. I was so damn happy. It was going to be like Saving Mr Banks all over again.

My eyes leaked for the entire 107 minutes.

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Juggling and the value of a part time job

Anyone who knows me well will know that I am an incredibly busy person. Maybe even dangerously so. My gran says I’m not afraid of hard work. Everyone else calls me a workaholic. I’m not sure what label I’d put on myself. I only know that my brain is simply not cut out for university, and only the work I do there, to be my sole purpose of getting up in the morning. I need something else to occupy part of my days. Education can’t be my everything. I’d go insane if it was.

Because of this drive (can I call it that…?) I have always had at least one part time job alongside my studies. At the age of fourteen I began my first weekend job and by the time I reached my Alevels when I was seventeen/eighteen I still had that job and had acquired a second part time job whilst working full time almost every evening at my local theatre. Every second I wasn’t in a class room was packed with work to gain experience and earn some money to plan for the future.

You’re probably thinking I’m insane, right? But honestly I feel like a much better and more rounded person for it. If you need, or want, to get a job alongside uni then this might help you decide what’s best for you. You don’t have to go as mad as I did, and thankfully now I just have the one (almost) full time job, but maybe you might benefit from mulling this over.

Here are my tips for mastering the art of juggling.

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NaNoWriMo Prep inspiration

So I’ve kind of announced my intention to do NaNo. I’ve still technically left myself a way to back out of it – such a coward I know. But I came across this today and something clicked. I have tried so many ways to get my writing juices flowing to get a plot on a page, something I don’t feel I can write without, and finally I’ve found one that I more than like the look of…

In the absence of some more wholesome (and slightly late) Friday Fiction content, I share with you this lovely little piece on how to formulate a timeline for your novel.

Maybe this will be my project for this week and I can kick myself up the proverbial and fully dedicate myself to NaNo? Who knows…?


As we dive into NaNo Prep season, we’ve talked to some participants to get the inside scoop on how to best prepare for November. Today, participant Juliana Xavier shares how to plan out your story, even if you’re a committed pantser:When you think about NaNoWriMo, do you find that your palms are sweaty, knees weak,…

via NaNo Prep: How to Make a Timeline — National Novel Writing Month

The things they don’t tell you about university

*Disclaimer: all opinions are my own. Any calculations made are rough figures and for more accurate information you should search for the official information on the relevant websites*

University is a period of any young adult’s life that they greatly look forward to. This opportunity for further education presents itself as a way to find yourself and further define the rest of your life it terms of career and lifestyle expectations. For many people it is the first time they have moved away from home and we relish the freedom this will give us. Often it’s just one massive three year party alongside lectures whilst you’re essentially living out the weird social experiment that is university halls. However, as much as all of this appeals to us, there are plenty of things that are left out when you’re in the process of university. I may only be in my second year but I know that these overlooked details can make or break your university experience. Before you make the biggest investment/decision of your life, maybe have a little look at the things you should be prepared for that not a single UCAS event will mention.

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Review: The Graces by Laure Eve

This week’s train read/commute book has really stollen my heart…

In the week of my one year anniversary of moving to London it was so lovely to wrap myself up in a book that reminded me of my roots, even the slightly odd and alternative ones 😉

feed01_ae70783ac9de4ab9bc029d7c984962e4.jpgTitle: The Graces

Author: Laure Eve

Pages: 415

Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles

‘Everyone said the Graces were witches.
They moved through the corridors like sleek fish, ripples in their wake. Stares followed their backs and their hair.
They had friends, but they were just distractions. They were waiting for someone different.
All I had to do was show them that person was me.’

Like everyone else in her town, River is obsessed with the Graces, attracted by their glamour and apparent ability to weave magic. But are they really what they seem? And are they more dangerous than they let on?

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NaNoWriMo 2017

Well hello. This is different from my usual posts. Some of you may have noticed that I’ve had an empty space at the side of my blog for some time now – ‘Friday Fiction.’ As someone who has had aspirations of having a novel published since I knew what that meant, I set up this feature ready to share some of my writing journey.

It’s pretty self explanatory really. Every Friday, or at least as many Fridays as I can manage, I will post something for you to muse over. This may well be a short ‘episode’ (short story is pushing it a bit, but some kind of fictional scene perhaps), or a poem. Maybe even a writing update or some tips from one amateur wannabe author to the rest of us out there.

So, to kick this all off…I’m toying with the idea of partaking in NaNoWriMo 2017! For those of you who don’t know what that is, NaNo is an annual event – National Novel Writing Month. It’s a scheme set up to encourage people like us to complete a novel of around 50,000 words in 30 days. It happens every November and thousands of people around the world fulfil their novel writing dreams by whacking out a first draft.

I’ve wanted to do this for what feels like a million years but never quite felt it was the right time yet. However this year is different. I’m in a better head space, I’m flirting with a plot and characters I really believe in and I’m excited at the prospect of what I could achieve. At the moment I am spending time outlining and researching and planning so that, all being well, I can crack on properly in November. I’m not ready to fully commit just yet though because I’m just about to start my second year at university and November tends to be coursework season so we’ll see what happens.

This is however my public declaration and the voicing of my private promise to myself that one day I will get a book on the shelves of Waterstones. Right now I’m going to focus on building good habits and getting into the practice of writing every day until November to at least give myself a fighting chance against procrastination, illness and the will to give up when the going gets tough – which has bred several half-baked attempts at novels in the past.

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. That’s all I have to say this week. At the moment, NaNo I’m coming to get you!


My favourite underrated films #1 – Baby Boom

Here’s the deal, I’ve never been mainstream anything. Having said that, one thing I really do keep very up to date with is the movie and television world. I love to be the first to see new releases and essentially enjoy things before any kind of frenzy has had the chance to start. As such, my tastes are vast and with a cinema backlog nearing one hundred years it’s understandable that I have stumbled across a few wonderful films that aren’t mentioned on lists of classics. Looking back to my first statement, it’s also understandable that almost my entire list of favourites is made up of these films that most people have never heard of. So let’s change that.

I’ll start with one of my all time favourites for duvet night and a date with a bottle of wine and 5 kilos of chocolate.

Courtesy of

Baby Boom (1987)

Starring Diane Keaton, Sam Shepard, Harold Ramis and more.

Genre: Romantic Comedy

This film is about successful New York business woman J.C Wiatt whose life is flipped on its head when she inherits her cousin’s baby after he dies in a car accident. She has to adjust to life as a mother whilst juggling a career in a male dominated world. Naturally all hell breaks loose. A change of life warrants a change of scenery so she moves all the way to snowy Vermont and ends up starting a new venture. She finds herself having to choose between her old views of ‘having it all,’ and her new life where she realises she has found something she didn’t even know she was looking for.

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Review: Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor

I have wanted to read this for a very long time and I’ve finally squeezed it in as this weekend’s commute book! It was a little different to what I expected and I have mixed feelings on it, but here’s what I thought.


Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Pages: 418

Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles

In general, Karou has managed to keep her two lives in balance. On the one hand, she’s a seventeen-year-old art student in Prague; on the other, errand-girl to a monstrous creature who is the closest thing she has to family. Raised half in our world, half in ‘Elsewhere’, she has never understood Brimstone’s dark work – buying teeth from hunters and murderers – nor how she came into his keeping. She is a secret even to herself, plagued by the sensation that she isn’t whole. Now the doors to Elsewhere are closing, and Karou must choose between the safety of her human life and the dangers of a war-ravaged world that may hold the answers she has always sought. 

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Review: King’s Cage by Victoria Aveyard


**WARNING – May contain minor spoilers for the series**

Title: King’s Cage

Author: Victoria Aveyard


Amazon, Waterstones, Foyles

Mare Barrow is a prisoner, powerless without her lightning, tormented by her mistakes. She lives at the mercy of a boy she once loved, a boy made of lies and betrayal. Now a king, Maven continues weaving his web in an attempt to maintain control over his country – and his prisoner. As Mare remains trapped in the palace, the remnants of the Red Rebellion continue organizing and expanding. As they prepare for war, no longer able to linger in the shadows, Cal – the exiled prince with his own claim on Mare’s heart – will stop at nothing to bring her back. In this breathless new novel […] blood will turn on blood and allegiances will be tested on every side. If the Lightning Girl’s spark is gone, who will light the way for the rebellion?

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