Tuesday, 31 March 2015

March Reads & Reviews

march reads and reviews 2015

Books marked with a * c/o Netgalley

Popular dystopian tale, and my first read of March, The Maze Runner (James Dashner, 2009) was on my mental list of possible re-reads for the year but after re-watching the film adaptation it jumped straight to the top of the list as I was curious to see how the two versions differed. I wrote about the two earlier this month however if you missed the post first time around you can catch up here.

Next I decided to catch up on a couple of review books I'd recently received from publishers/Netgalley, the first of which was murder mystery novel Rumors* (A.C. Arthur, 2014). The book introduces a group of characters who were close whilst at college ten years ago but have since gone their separate ways after a friend was murdered. Despite the interesting 'whodunnit' format, unfortunately I didn't really like any of the characters and was also disappointed to find that the mystery is not concluded within the novel. Another thing I should note is that although the book was pitched to team BB as part of a YA press release after reading it both myself and Ria felt that it was actually an adult novel - something to keep in mind if you're thinking of picking it up.

The second review book I read this month was We All Looked Up* (Tommy Wallach, 2015), which many bloggers seem to have fallen in love with. The story follows four teens after they learn that an asteroid named Ardor is headed towards the Earth, leaving them with potentially only a few weeks left to live. Unfortunately whilst I loved the thought-provoking concept I didn't really connect with any of the characters and therefore begun to lose interest towards to the middle of the novel. Having said that I'll be talking more about the elements of the novel I did enjoy over on Blogger's Bookshelf next month!

Next up was a short graphic novel, The City Of Ember (Jeanne DuPrau, Dallas Middaugh & Niklas Asker, 2012) which is based on author Jeanne DuPrau's novel of the same name. I thought this one was an interesting little read and am definitely keen to pick up the original novel to find out more about the characters, Ember's origins and all of the other little details left out of the adaptation.

Another graphic novel I picked up this month was Edward Scissorhands: Volume 1 Parts Unknown* (Kate Leth & Drew Rausch, 2015) which I was lucky enough to read prior to it's May release date. Rather than a re-telling of the 1990 Tim Burton film the graphic novel follows Kim's granddaughter Megan as she tries to prove that the stories about Edward are true. I'm going to be talking about this one in a future post so keep an eye out for that if you're intrigued!

My final read of this roundup was Marie Lu's Prodigy (2013), the first sequel in the Legend trilogy. Unfortunately it took me a little while to get through this one as I managed to catch a cold just after I started reading it and don't ever seem to be able to get any reading done when I don't feel well! Overall I did enjoy Prodigy, which continues to follow Day & June's action-packed storyline from the first instalment, and I'll definitely be reading the final book although sadly this series still isn't one of my favourites when it comes to the genre.

Reviews posted in March... The Island, Jen Minkman (2013) | Makery: Sewing, Kate Smith (2015)

What did you read this month?

Sunday, 29 March 2015

#PaperHaul - The Striped One

march paperhaul box review
paperhaul march 2015 005

The latest #paperhaul box has landed at e-elise etc and this month it's full of stripes! For the March instalment of this stationery lover's subscription box the team have handpicked a beautiful selection of items all featuring stripes inspired by nature, fashion and even a mug of tea.

As usual the box is full of top quality stationery goodies, in a variety of styles so there is definitely something to suit everyone. This time the box includes a washi tape with classic ruled paper design, quirky striped tie stickers, cute raccoon gift tags, a top hat-wearing zebra postcard and lots more.

This is traditionally the part of the post where I share my top picks from the box but honestly this time around I pretty much love everything making it far too difficult to choose favourites... In fact, this might just be my favourite box so far!

If you're interested in treating yourself to the next #paperhaul box you can sign up over at Crafty Creatives for just £10 per month.

Don't forget to catch up on my review of last month's box - The Bird One!

paperhaul march 2015 007

Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount.

Friday, 27 March 2015

5 Celebrity-Inspired Ways To Style Dungarees

Today's post is inspired by a recent purchase as I finally caved and picked myself up a pair of black denim dungarees. Although lots of bloggers have been rocking this trend recently it's also one that some people seem to be shying away from, feeling unsure what to pair them with. Today I thought I would turn to some stylish celebrities for a few more ideas on how to step out of your comfort zone and feel confident to wear this trend. If you're struggling with how to style these comfy all-in-ones here are five looks to help inspire you...

1. Emma Watson | Simply Monochrome
Emma's classic look pairs simple black dungarees with a wardrobe staple white cotton blouse. The look is completed with comfortable slip on flats and a pair of stylish sunglasses. If you're unsure of how to wear dungarees Emma's monochrome look is the perfect way to ease yourself into the trend.

Get the look: Dungarees, H&M £29.99 | Python Print Trainers, La Redoute £29 | Cotton Shirt, Topshop Boutique £60 | Tom Ford Wayfarer Sunglasses, Liberty £235

Image of Emma Watson via seventeen.com

alexa chung dungarees
2. Alexa Chung | Perfect Layering
Alexa's take on the trend sees her pair a classic trench coat, plain shirt and comfortable moccasin style shoes with a more statement white pair of dungarees. This option is a perfect example of how layers can be worn both over and under dungarees - another great way to experiment with the trend.

Get the look: Dungarees, Topshop £65 | Belted Trench Coat, New Look £49.99 | Jil Sander Sunglasses, The Outnet £80 | Moccasins, Amazon £27 | Oversized Shirt, New Look £14.99

Image of Alexa Chung via vogue.es

olivia palermo dungarees 3. Olivia Palermo | Embellished Accessories
Olivia's chic but comfortable all-black ensemble layers a sheer top underneath the dungarees for a more feminine touch. The look comes to life with the help of embellished accessories such as bracelets, jewelled shoes and simple sunglasses with a sparkly twist showing that with a few little touches dungarees can be girly too!

Get the look: Dungarees, Topshop £48 | Mesh Top, House Of Fraser £45 | Embellished Flats, Dune £17 | Barry M Bright Red, River Island £3 | Stretch Bracelet Set, Accessorize £10 | Versace Embellished Sunglasses, My Theresa £106 | Tote Bag, Zalando £75

Image of Olivia Palermo via instyle.com

emma stone dungares 4. Emma Stone | Effortlessly Cool
Emma's look is casual yet stylish, teaming a lightwash pair of dungarees with a simple white top, sandals, sunglasses and a handy leather backpack. This take on the trend is perfect for a warm day exploring the city or running errands where comfort is key.

Get the look: Dungarees, House Of Fraser £65 | Essie Red Nouveau, Liberty £10.95 | Phillip Lim Sandals, Saks Fifth Avenue £267 | Leather Backpack, Radley £199 | RayBan Wayfarer Sunglasses, Very £125 | Sleeveless Blouse, Zalando £38

Image of Emma Stone via dailymail.co.uk

gwen stefani dungarees 5. Gwen Stefani | Statement Accessories
Gwen's look stands out from the rest as she's opted to wear the dungarees unfastened - a great idea for anyone a little anxious about rocking the all-in-one look. What really makes Gwen's outfit stand out are the bold accessories from the thick-rimmed glasses and slogan sweatshirt to the red shoelaces that match her signature red lip.

Get the look: Dungarees, House Of Fraser £305 | RayBan Optical Glasses, My Theresa £105 | Slogan Jumper, River Island £15 | Kurt Geiger Shoes, Debenhams £140 | Rimmel Kate Red Nose Lipstick, Superdrug £5.49 | Nails Inc Baker Street, Very £11

Image of Gwen Stefani via whowhatwear.com

So that's my roundup of 5 celebrity-inspired ways to wear the dungaree and overalls trend - which look is your favourite?

Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Library Haul #11

library haul the perfectionist sara shepard under my skin james dawson

The Perfectionists, Sara Shepard (2014)
Having made a start on two of Shepard's other series - The Lying Game (which I've really enjoyed so far) and Pretty Little Liars (which I've found a little disappointing) - I was curious to find out more about The Perfectionists. Just like blogger's favourite PLL the story centres around a group of girls who in this case are framed for a murder they planned but didn't commit. I recently heard that this novel is being adapted into a TV series by the team behind PLL so it seemed like a good time to pick it up! As I have had mixed feeling towards Shepard's other series I'm looking forward to finding out where this one will fall on the scale.

Under My Skin, James Dawson (2015)
According to the blurb Under My Skin is the story of Sally & her pin-up tattoo Molly Sue who turns out to be more than just a pretty picture when she begins to take over Sally's life. As I really enjoyed both Cruel Summer and Say Her Name I've been looking forward to Dawson's latest YA horror release and can't wait to find out more!

What new books have you picked up recently?
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