Thursday, 31 December 2015

My Year In Books

star jar 2015

Having decided against taking part in the annual Goodreads challenge this year and with no set goal in mind when it came to total number of books I've been happily making my way through as many titles as I could find the time for, keeping track of them using my star jar. This week finally saw the time for me to count up all of the stars and find out just how many books I read over the last twelve months, and the jar revealed that I have read a grand total of sixty-four!

I finished series such as the Unwind Dystology (Neal Shusterman) and the Lunar Chronicles (Marissa Meyer) and discovered new authors like Morgan Matson and Abigail Haas, whose future works I'm already looking forward to. Thanks to picking up a few more graphic novels I also got to see some of my favourite TV/film characters such as Edward Scissorhands and the Saved By The Bell gang in a new format.

I also managed to find some new favourites, giving out five star ratings to three titles; Dangerous Girls (Abigail Haas, 2013), The Bookshop Book (Jen Campbell, 2015) and Armada (Ernest Cline, 2015). Of course, these three all made their way onto my top five of 2015 but if you'd like to see which other two books made the list you can head on over to Blogger's Bookshelf and take a peek at our latest group collaboration.

In addition I completed my small reading goal for the year (albeit just a few days ago, when I finished my second read of The Lying Game) meaning that five of the sixty-four titles were re-reads, all of which I really enjoyed revisiting. Five re-reads is five more than I'd manged to find time for over the last couple of years so I'm pretty pleased with the result.

What were your favourite reads of the year?

Thursday, 24 December 2015

2015 Re-Read Challenge #4 - Dangerous Girls, Abigail Haas (2013)

"Wouldn't we all look guilty if someone searched hard enough?"

Despite getting off to a good start on this challenge I managed to go six months in between my third and fourth re-reads! Book number four was Abigail Haas' YA thriller Dangerous Girls which tells the story of a holiday gone wrong when Elise's body is found and best friend Anna is accused of the murder. You can find my original review over on Blogger's Bookshelf if you missed it!

I only read this book for the first time back in May this year but it quickly made it's way onto my list of favourites and having originally picked up the Kindle version I was keen to add a paperback copy to my collection. As the book includes not just straightforward chapters, but also transcripts, text messages etc, I was keen to see how it would read in the original format. I enjoyed the book just as much the second time around, and knowing how the story ends, was on the lookout for any sneaky clues I had missed on the first read. I'm glad I found time to revisit Dangerous Girls as part of this challenge and if I had to pick just one favourite read of 2015, this would be it.

Don't forget to catch up on my previous re-read of the challenge; The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy & Other Stories!

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

#paperhaul: featured - Eleanor Carter

paperhaul eleanor carter2
paperhaul eleanor carter1
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount 

Once again the team behind #paperhaul have delivered something a little different with this month's box designed by Eleanor Carter. As usual its full of beautiful goodies, this time adorned with foxes, caravans, bicycles and more!

Although it's another colourful one, the illustration style contrasts greatly from that of November's box. As I've said before I loved the variety found in the original #paperhaul boxes and think its great that even though each box is now featuring the work of one artist they still vary so much from month to month, making the surprise even more exciting!

The selection for December includes three notecards, two postcards, a roll of washi tape, a notebook, one large card and a sticker sheet. My favourite items from the box would have to be the 'Lazy Sunday' postcard and 'Sssh' mini notecard, both of which feature cute curled up fox illustrations.

This month's exclusive washi tape is also particularly eye-catching. So far each of the tapes in the featured series have showcased illustrations on a white background but December's roll of tape is a pretty mint green shade with tiny white polka dots and features a range of different illustrations, all of which are super cute!

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

Don't forget to catch up on my review of last month's box which showcased the work of Helz Illustrates!


Saturday, 19 December 2015

Character Style Inspiration - Grace Gardner (Scream Queens)

Images of Skyler Samuels via

As promised, today I'm revisiting Scream Queens and taking a closer look at the wardrobe of Grace Gardner played by Skyler Samuels. In contrast to fellow Kappa girl Chanel, Grace isn't about extravagance, instead opting for a more classic colour palette with preppy vibes. Navys, reds and camels all appear frequently, alongside monochrome pieces to create a sleek and polished yet comfortable look.

Jewellery-wise, Grace tends to keep things simple with delicate bracelets, simple rings and layered necklaces rather than bold statement pieces. She does however love a good hat and can be found sporting a whole host of them, from preppy flat caps to cosy beanies.

Shop the look: Coat, House Of Fraser £210 | Crepe Miniskirt, My Theresa £444 | Monochrome Jumper, Topshop £40 | Jeans, My Theresa £113 | Tweed Flat Cap, Austin Reed £36 | Cashmere Beanie, Hush £40 | Glasses, Boots £130 | Wool Blazer, Jaeger £225 | Striped Tee, John Lewis £29 | Sleeveless Blazer, Yoox (sold out) | Leather A-Line Skirt, John Lewis £119 | Bow Pendant Necklace, House Of Fraser (no longer available) | Polka Dot Sweater, Mango £34.99 | Pineapple Blouse, Debenhams £8.40 | Layered Necklace, Forever 21 £3.50 | Tartan Scarf, Selfridges (sold out) | Suede Cabbie Hat, Goorin Bros $105 (approx. £70) | Tassel Brogues, House Of Fraser £55

Love Scream Queens? Check out my other Character Style posts: Chanel Oberlin

Monday, 14 December 2015

December #beadhaul Box!

december beadhaul fairytale
* #beadhaul box c/o Crafty Creatives

The theme for December's #beadhaul box is fairytale, and since I spent most of November re-watching the first four seasons of Once Upon A Time I was definitely feeling inspired when it came to creating the tutorials!

Included in the box is a great variety of beads and charms including all of those pictured above as well as some crimps and simple black waxed cord that's perfect for bracelets. My favourite items from this month's selection would have to be the toadstool and little story book charms, along with the pretty turquoise/gold beads I ended up using for a princess-inspired design.

This month I've come up with five simple project ideas and have also shared two new #beadhaul Basics tutorials for waxed cord including how to create adjustable knots. Head on over the the Crafty Creatives tutorial page to see all of the jewellery pieces I created this month and find out how you can make your own versions.

If you have the box, please tag me in your Instagram photos - @sawyerandscout - I'd love to see your creations! If you missed out on signing up for this month's box but like what you see, you can still get your hands on it over in the Crafty Creatives online shop.

Monday, 30 November 2015

November Reads & Reviews

Cover images via

At the beginning of the month I finished my unplanned "Morgan Matson-a-thon" with Second Chance Summer (2012), the tale of Taylor's summer in Pennsylvannia. Similarly to both Since You've Been Gone and Amy & Roger's Epic Detour, SCS was a really enjoyable contemporary read with lovable characters. If you're interested in finding out a little more about all three of Matson's YA novels hop on over to Blogger's Bookshelf where I recently shared my thoughts.

I actually intended to designate more time this month to catch up on my Netgalley reads but as usual managed to fail pretty miserably. I did however cross the most recent addition off the list, October horror release Monsterland* (Michael Phillip Cash, 2015). The book is all about the opening night of a Jurassic Park-esque attraction housing real-life zombies, werewolves and vampires. With a cinematic feel to the writing and a few sneaky twists and turns along the way I found that I enjoyed reading something a little bit different. 

November was also the month I remembered how terribly I've been failing at my re-reads challenge. Since completing my third re-read of the year (Tim Burton's The Melancholy Death Of Oyster Boy) back in April, I've dipped in and out of a few others but not managed to finish any of them. So, during November I wanted to make a little time to fit one in, and I knew just the book for the job! Despite having only read it for the first time back in May, I was keen to revisit Abigail Haas' YA thriller Dangerous Girls (2013) so that's exactly what I did - more on that soon!

Reviews posted this month: Edward Scissorhands Vol 2: Whole Again*, Kate Leth & Drew Rausch (2015) | Monsterland*, Michael Phillip Cash (2015)

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

#paperhaul:featured - Helz Illustrates

paperhaul helz illustrates 1
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount 

November's edition of #paperhaul has a theme that can only be described as adorable! Featuring designs created by Helz Illustrates, the box is full of unicorns and rainbows in an array of pastel tones that are sure to put a smile on your face.

Included in this month's box are two postcards, a roll of washi tape, a notebook, three notecards, a sticker sheet and a 'You're Fabulous Like A Unicorn' card. As you can see the box is very different to last month's, but as I've mentioned in the past the variety of styles is one of my favourite things about the #paperhaul box.

One of the first things that I noticed about the box was that the majority of the items have a matte finish, which I personally really love. This month's postcards also have rounded corners which is a really nice touch! I think my favourite item from the box would have to be the 'You Are Magical' postcard pictured below, and I'll definitely be putting it to good use by sending some snail mail soon!

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

Don't forget to catch up on my review of last month's box which showcased the work of Rory J Murphy!

paperhaul helz illustrates 3

Monday, 9 November 2015

Character Style Inspiration - Chanel Oberlin (Scream Queens)

Images of Emma Roberts via

You can't tell me you didn't see this one coming guys! Ever since I first saw the trailer for Ryan Murphy's latest creation Scream Queens I knew it would be an absolute treasure trove for my Character Style series! With the recent launch of the show in the UK, I thought it was about time I shared a style inspiration feature on lead character Chanel Oberlin.

The head sorority girl played by Emma Roberts loves everything luxe and can always be found dressed head to toe in designer labels, including her namesake Chanel of course! Texture also plays a big part in Chanel's wardrobe, with fur, feathers, leather, boucle, sequins and lace all making frequent appearances. When it comes to accessories Chanel is a big fan of pearls, sporting both necklaces and earrings adorned with the precious gemstone. You also are unlikely to find her wearing flats... despite the fact that she's on the run from the Red Devil!

Shop the look: Feather Mini Dress, Grazia Shop £215 | Sequined Mini Skirt, The Outnet £126 (on sale) | Pussybow Blouse, Dorothy Perkins £22 | Nails in 'Cuddle, Little Ondine £8.40 | Socks, American Apparel $13 | Faux Fur Stole, Topshop £15 (on sale) | Lace Bralet, New Look £4 (on sale) | Sequin Backpack, (currently unavailable) | Faux Pearl Bracelet, John Lewis £25 | Polo Shirt, House Of Fraser £29 | Mini Satchel, Shopbop (no longer available online) | Dogtooth Skirt, George at ASDA £12 | Faux Fur Jacket, M&S £85 | Belt, £64 (on sale) | Lace-up Heels, AX Paris (no longer available online) | Cropped Jumper, Glamorous £24 | Gemstone Ear Jackets, Forever 21 £4.50 | Boucle Skirt, River Island (no longer available online) | Sunglasses, Liberty £675 | Ankle-strap Platforms, ASOS (no longer available online) | Quilted Skirt, Topshop £22 (on sale) | NYX Matte Lipstick in Pink, Very £8.99 | Raffia Boucle Jacket, Topshop £30 (on sale) | Collar Necklace, Barneys Warehouse $49 (on sale) | Pearl Drop Earrings, Miss Selfridge £3 (on sale)

I'll be sharing more Scream Queens style inspiration soon, including features on Grace Gardner (Skyler Samuels) and Zayday Williams (Keke Palmer). In the meantime here are a couple of other Character Style posts featuring Emma Roberts: Maggie Esmerelda | Madison Montgomery

Wednesday, 4 November 2015

#paperhaul:featured - Rory J. Murphy

paperhaul featured rory j murphyrory j murphy paperhaul Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount 

Last week the second box in the new #paperhaul:featured series landed on my doorstep and as always I was eager to find out what goodies would be inside this month! The second talented artist to be featured is Rory J. Murphy who created a selection of items inspired by film noir, showcasing a complete different style from the previous box.

Included in this box are three notecards, a roll of washi tape, two postcards and a 'femme fatale' card, as well as a striking sticker sheet featuring a whole host of unique characters. Similarly to last month there is also a themed notebook, this time with dotted pages and a reversible cover. The majority of this month's items are black and white, reflecting the theme perfectly, but there are also a few simple pops of colour with the notecards and washi tape. My top pick from this month's box would have to be the postcards as I particularly love the style of them, especially with the sleek matte finish. 

Overall I'm excited to see something a little different from #paperhaul this month and love that the box has a real cinematic feel to it. So far I'm really enjoying the 'featured' series and I can't wait to find out what November's box will bring!

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

Don't forget to catch up on my review of last month's box which showcased the work of Eilidh Bruce!

Saturday, 31 October 2015

My Geek Box - Afterlife Edition!

October 'Afterlife' My Geek Box c/o The Hut Group
mygeekbox afterlife

Happy Halloween everyone! 

To celebrate my favourite holiday I have a Halloween-themed subscription box review to share with you. My Geek Box* is a subscription service where a box containing 5-8 themed mystery goodies arrives at your door in exchange for £19.99 per month. The box has been on my radar for a while now and always looks like a lot of fun, so naturally I jumped at the chance to review the latest one - the fact that it happened to be Afterlife themed to coincide with Halloween was a total bonus!

One item that is always included in the box is an exclusive t-shirt and this month's 100% cotton tee features a simple but cute white 'BOO!' design. When you sign up to the service you are asked to select your t-shirt size - they offer a wide variety: Men's S-3XL and Women's S-XXL - and not being a fan of super fitted t-shirts I opted to size up which was definitely the right decision. I love the perfect-for-Halloween design and in all honesty will most likely be wearing it as a pyjama top!

As you know I love a good book so when I opened up the box I was very pleased to see a graphic novel included. Although the website states Twisted Dark (Neil Gibson, 2010) is a #1 Kindle Bestseller, I have to admit it's a title I hadn't actually heard about before so I'm looking forward to finding out more! According to the blurb the graphic novel is about the darker side of humanity and contains eleven interconnected tales - very intriguing!

mygeekbox afterlife

Also included were a few zombie inspired goodies! First up is an awesome metal 'warning' sign from UK-based company The Original Metal Sign Co. and alongside this was a zombie-themed window sticker - both of which would be great for Halloween decor! The third and final item that had a zombie feel to it was a tea towel decorated with bloody hand prints. Similarly to the t-shirt this is a simple but effective design that's well-suited to the theme. I like this one so much it will be going straight into my 'box of homewares' I've been gathering for when I (eventually!) get my own place.

The final item included in the box was a Dracula-themed puzzle game. The idea behind this is that you should be able to turn the little wooden figure into a cube by moving around the individual blocks which are held together by elastic. I think is a brilliant idea and definitely adds something a little bit different to the selection, plus these type of items would be great as stocking fillers.

Overall there was a fun selection of items in October's box, with lots of variety which I think is always important with any 'mystery' box. All of the items included were very different yet they each match the Afterlife theme perfectly, and the box was definitely a lovely treat for me to receive on the run up to Halloween!

If you like the sound of these items there's still an opportunity to pick up the Afterlife box over on the website. Next months theme is Movies & Television and if you want to get your hands on it you can subscribe by visiting

Sunday, 25 October 2015

October Reads & Reviews

Cover images via

Whilst most people were probably picking up darker tales in time for Halloween I opted for the more, well... what you might call October-inappropriate choices. Which actually seems quite ironic considering I've spent most of this year reading darker tales.

Wildflower (Alecia Whitaker, 2014) tells the story of Bird Barrett, a sixteen year old musician and songwriter. Whilst Bird can usually be found playing the fiddle as part of her family's band, one night she has to step up to take on the lead vocals and is offered a solo record deal. Bird soon finds herself in Nashville, playing at the famous Bluebird Cafe where she receives an offer from another record label and suddenly her life is flipped upside down.
Mainly due to the novel's Nashville-esque vibes, I found that I quite enjoyed reading something a little 'nicer' for a change. When it came to the end of the book I felt the story seemed incomplete and quickly discovered that a sequel was released just a few months back. Although perhaps not my usual sort of read, I'm sure I'll pick up the sequel at some point.

Continuing with the lighter reads I took up the offer to borrow my friend's copy of Since You've Been Gone (Morgan Matson, 2012), a title it seems all of my Goodreads pals have given either 4 or 5 stars - meaning it had a lot to live up to! Luckily I wasn't disappointed and really enjoyed following Emily on her journey to complete a list of tasks left behind by her best friend Sloane.

I'm currently reading Amy & Roger's Epic Detour (2010), another of Matson's YA novels and am looking forward to finding out how the pairs roadtrip will end.

If you have any book recommendations for me I'd love to hear them!

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Top 10 Halloween DIYs

Halloween is just around the corner and in all honesty I'm disappointed that I've not had huge amounts of time (or sadly, inspiration) to put together any DIY tutorials for you this year, despite it always being my favourite time to craft for. Behind the scenes I have been working away on a Halloween-themed quilt although sadly it's unlikely to be finished by the end of the month. Since I haven't been able to create any new tutorials, instead I thought it might be fun to re-share some of my favourite projects from years past...

halloween diys eeliseetc 2

1. Decorated Pumpkins - where better to kick off than with pumpkin decorating? Last year myself and Skye decided to set a pumpkin challenge over on our shared blog Eight & Sixteen. i really loved the end result of my project and I'm not sure I'm going to be able to top them this year!

2. Cobweb Coasters - my most recent Halloween project (a themed quilt) was actually inspired by these cobweb coasters I made last year. As it turns out it's a lot more difficult to stitch big cobwebs onto a quilt than a tiny coaster (I definitely didn't think that one through, but that's a story for another time!), but this is a great beginner project to try if you're interested in quilting.

3. Spooky Ghosts - back in 2012, long before we started Eight & Sixteen, myself and Skye decided to set each other Halloween-themed DIY challenges and share them on our own blogs. These little ghosts were the result of my first challenge in the series and I loved how they turned out. In fact, I actually still have one of these little guys. He lives in my garage window, looking out across to the bunnies' house mansion!

4. Pumpkin Lantern - simple yet effective this lantern DIY is a great upcycle project which doesn't require many supplies and that's what makes it one of my favourites. This one is actually another project I still have out on display - this little lantern lives happily on my windowsill all year round!

5. Upcycled Candy Corn Earrings - another upcycling idea from last year are these super cute candy corn earrings made from paperclips! The idea was inspired by Pinterest where I had seen other paperclip earring projects. The triangle shape just screamed candy corn to me and I decided to create my own Halloween-themed version.

6. Wands - although not strictly a Halloween project I really enjoyed making these Harry Potter inspired wands. Whether you use them as the finishing touch to a magic-inspired costume, as table decorations or little favours for your party guests, they're sure to go down well with fans and are a lot of fun to make!

7. Candy Corn Bunting Necklace - when it comes to jewellery projects this one is definitely one of my favourites, and having created it a whole nine months prior to Halloween I was excited to finally be able to share the tutorial. If you played with hama/perler beads as a child you'll love this new way to use them!

8. Felt Bat Bow - this super simple bat-inspired bow can easily be turned into several different accessories that are all perfect for Halloween. My favourite way to wear it was as a bow tie but it would work well for decorations such as a bunting garland as well!

9. Wire Skulls - over on Eight & Sixteen I had a lot of fun trying out projects I stumbled across on Pinterest and this is one of the most fun. All you need for these is some wire and pliers so if you make jewellery you'll like this one as you'll already have the supplies! Also, there's definitely a theme here but this is another project that I still have on display now.

10. Shrunken Heads - if I were hosting a Halloween party this year I'd definitely be making another batch of these awesome shrunken apple heads! They're so much fun to make and you can be super creative with the face designs. They look amazing served up as a surprise in the top of a mug or glass and are sure to impress your guests!

halloween diys eeliseetc 3

Tuesday, 13 October 2015

(Halloween) Character Style Inspiration - Coraline Jones

Movie stills via

In a first for this style series, today's inspiration comes from an animated character! Although she may not be real, Coraline Jones certainly has a pretty awesome wardrobe. Full of bold colours and lots of stripes, Coraline's looks in the 2009 adaptation all suit her adventurous nature perfectly.

From bright green tights to orange polka dot pyjamas and those famous yellow wellies, Coraline sure isn't afraid of a good pop of colour. Her signature colour, as shown by her cute heeled boots, nail polish choice and arguably her best accessory (her hair!) is of course bright blue.

Shop the look: Cashmere Star Sweater, Harrods £385 | Blue Cowboy Boots, Amazon £52.78 | Striped Tights, Amazon £12.36 | Bomber Jacket, Coggles £391 | Boucle Skirt, The Outnet £156 | Red Converse, Surfdome £44.99 | Nails in 'Bohemian', Little Ondine £8.40 | Gilet, John Lewis £29.50 | Crazy Color Hair Dye in 'Sky Blue', Attitude Clothing Co. £3.99 | Messenger Bag, Bags Earth $59.87 (approx. £40) | Striped Tee, John Lewis £20 | Striped Gloves, Matches Fashion £115 | Wellington Boots, eBay $27.52 (approx. £18) | Skinny Jeans, New Look £7.99 | Dragonfly Hair Clip, Amazon $7.95 (approx. £5) | Yellow Mac, M&S £55 (no longer available online)

Saturday, 10 October 2015

#beadhaul Bonus Project #1 - Wrapped Shell Earrings

As promised a couple of weeks back, today I'm sharing an additional tutorial to accompany the very first #beadhaul box! These bold turquoise shell beads, which I used in one of my necklace tutorials for the Crafty Creatives website, were one of my favourite items from the September selection so I've decided to use them again for box one's bonus project.

To make your own pair of earrings you will need: 2 x square shell beads (you can find the ones I used in the Crafty Creatives online shop), jewellery wire, round nose pliers, flat/chain nose pliers, wire cutters

beadhaul bonus tutorial earrings

1. First cut length of wire around three times the height of your bead. Use pliers to create loop at one end of the wire

2. Place the length of wire flat against one side of the bead and wrap it around (as shown above). Make sure to hold the wire down as flat to the surface as possible and when wrapping make sure to keep it tight

beadhaul bonus tutorial earrings

3. Wrap the wire around the bead again so looks like photo above with one piece of the wire on each side of your loop

4. To hold the design in place and create a neat finish wrap some of the excess wire around base of the loop and use wire cutters to trim off any excess
 beadhaul bonus tutorial earrings

5. Repeat steps 1-4 for your second bead

6. The final step is to add on earring wires which can be purchased pre-made or created from your basic wire. If you want to have a go at making your own try using my 'Jewellery 101' guide (remember, if using wire you'll need to create the loop for hanging) - making sure to file down any sharp edges on the wire before wearing!

If you're interested in finding out more about the #beadhaul box and how to get your hands on the next box hop on over to the Crafty Creatives website for information!

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

(Halloween) Character Style Inspiration - Dark Swan (Once Upon A Time)

Images of Jennifer Morrison via

With Halloween just around the corner I thought that it might be fun to share some holiday-appropriate style inspiration throughout the month of October, kicking off with an all-new version of a character I've featured before.

If you're all up to date on your Once Upon A Time viewing you'll know that lead character Emma Swan has had a little bit of a makeover for season 5. The all-black ensemble shown above is the first sneak peek we've had at the character's new wardrobe and it's perfectly suited to her new role as the 'Dark One'.

I'm a huge fan of Emma's usual comfortable-yet-stylish wardrobe, mainly consisting of skinny jeans, knitwear, boots and a trusty leather jacket. Her bold new appearance takes everything we know and love about Emma's look to the extremes. Here everything including the leather is black (no more signature red), the accessories have gone statement (a huge contrast to her simple hoop earrings), the boots are taller and have gone from practical flat soles to sky-high heels. To complete the look Emma is also sporting a bold red lip and striking pulled back white hair.

Shop the look: Over-knee Boots, Amazon £137.38 | Leather Jacket, My Theresa £1,199 | Leather Belt, Amazon £20 | High-Waist Leggings, Topshop £25 | Chevron Rings (part of a set), Forever 21 £6 | Lipstick in 'Wicked', Topshop £8 | Metal Cuff, Jaeger £35 | Nails in 'Marshmallow', Little Ondine £8.40 | Coat, Long Tall Sally £110

Love Once Upon A Time? Check out my other Character Style posts: Emma Swan | Mary Margaret Blanchard

Sunday, 4 October 2015

Podcast Starter Guide: The Black Tapes Podcast

the black tapes podcast
Screenshot via

As mentioned in my last post I'm very excited that we're now finally into October, meaning Halloween is almost here. With that in mind I can't think of a better time to share the love for another of my favourite things to listen to; The Black Tapes Podcast.

The podcast is a gripping scripted docudrama with a perfectly creepy twist. When journalist Alex Reagan sets out to make a show about people with interesting jobs she finds herself drawn into the world of the paranormal.

"The Black Tapes Podcast is an exploration of life, belief, faith and occasionally the paranormal. This season we're focusing our lens on the work of the Strand Institute and it's enigmatic founder and president Dr Richard Strand." - Alex Reagan

In the first episode Alex meets a group of ghost hunters and ends up heading to a site where a hospital used to stand in order to watch as they attempt to make contact with a spirit. With every ghost hunter she speaks to Alex begins to hear more and more about a mysterious man named Dr Richard Strand, a paranormal investigator... who doesn't believe in ghosts.

After managing to arrange a meeting with Strand she discovers a bunch of VHS cases in his office, each corresponding to solved or 'debunked' cases. Alongside these are a small selection of 'black tapes' which stand out from the others and Alex learns that these contain cases Strand has not yet been able to solve. From then on the podcast follows Alex as she explores these unsolved cases and discovers more about the mysterious man that is Dr Strand.

If you're not into the idea of watching horror movies this Halloween season, why not sit back with your headphones and check out The Black Tapes Podcast instead?

Friday, 2 October 2015

5 Years Of e-elise etc!

blog turns 5 cake

October might just be my favourite month of the year. With Autumn on the way I can start to dig out my beloved knitwear, Halloween goodies start popping up all over the shops and it also marks some big blogging achievements. Not only does Blogger's Bookshelf turn three later this month (already?!) but today also marks five years since I started writing e-elise etc!

In honour of five years of blogging I decided to bake a gluten free treat! After much stress over trying to find a recipe that, a) I had all of the ingredients for, b) I really wanted to eat, and c) actually rose as it was supposed to (I'm looking at you failed first attempt!), I settled on this chocolate creation.

The recipe I used was the Chocolate & Almond cake from Cake Angels by Julia Thomas which happens to be both gluten and dairy free. As the tins I had were smaller than those suggested for the recipe, I ended up with three layers rather than just two and decided to add some of the filling mixture on top of the cake along with a few hazelnuts. To finish off I added a couple of decorations; a washi tape garland (made using some tape & string from a #paperhaul box) plus a cute number 5 candle.

Whether you've just discovered it recently or have stuck around for a while, thank you all so much for taking the time to read e-elise etc!

Wednesday, 30 September 2015

#paperhaul:featured - Eilidh Bruce

paperhaul featured september 2015
paperhaul featured september 1
Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount - all opinions are my own.

This month saw the first #paperhaul:featured box, sharing the creative talent of illustrator Eilidh Bruce. Whilst I've often spoken in the past about how much I love the variety of items found in each month's box, I was also really excited about the idea of a featured artist and a whole box showcasing their work.
The bumper edition September box is filled with all things cats, but not just any cats. Illustrator Eilidh has combined her favourite animal with fruits and pretty pastel tones to create unique watercolour designs perfect for the #paperhaul audience. Now I have to be completely honest here and admit that I'm not a cat person (on that note, can a future box be bunny themed please?) but despite this I think the designs are really cute, especially the little pineapple cat (pictured below) and love the textured look the watercolours have.

The box contains some of the usual selection of items including postcards, stickers and washi tape, as well as a set of mini badges as first seen in the Under The Sea box a couple of months back. Also included in the box this month was something completely new; a notebook! I think this would have to be my favourite item from the box, the print is very cute and as any blogger will tell you, you can never have enough notebooks!

Including a short Q&A with Eilidh was also a lovely touch. It's always nice to get to know the person behind the designs and find out a little bit more about what inspires them. I'm really impressed with the first edition of the #paperhaul:featured box and am looking forward to discovering more talented artist's work and inspirations through future boxes.

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

Don't forget to catch up on my review of last month's box where the theme was Paris!

paperhaul featured september 3


Monday, 28 September 2015

September Reads & Reviews

Cover images via

After failing to stick to my TBR for August I decided to just continue on picking out books as and when which led to an interesting selection. From popular thrillers to short stories, a biography and even a graphic novelisation of late 80's TV, let's talk September's reads...

Continuing on from last month's darker books I finished new release, Dawn Kurtagich's The Dead House, popular thriller The Girl On The Train (Paula Hawkins, 2014) and YA survival tale The Raft (S A Bodeen, 2012), all of which were interesting reads with something a little bit different to offer. I also dipped into short story collection Horowitz Horror (Anthony Horowitz, 1999) - just in time for Halloween!

I'm currently back in the re-read game after a few months of all-new books (who forgot that was my challenge for the year? *raises hand*). Challenge-in-mind I'm going back over ten years and revisiting biography Dave Grohl: Foo Fighters, Nirvana & Other Misadventures (Martin James, 2003).

The final book I have to talk about this month is definitely my favourite of the bunch and very much contrasts from the others. I was incredibly excited to find out that there was going to be a graphic novel based on one of my favourite shows, Saved By The Bell and this month I got to read the first volume. I'm talking more about Saved By The Bell: Vol 1* over on Blogger's Bookshelf today, so if you're a fellow fan of the TV series head on over there now for the full post!

Reviews posted this month: The Accident Season, Moira Fowley-Doyle (2015)

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Introducing #beadhaul!

beadhaul box

Today I wanted to introduce you to another new crafty subscription box; #beadhaul! The #beadhaul box is the latest creation from the team over at Crafty Creatives and is a themed box full of beads and charms delivered right to your door every two months.

The launch of this box comes with a little extra excitement for me as I am going to be working alongside the Crafty Creatives team to bring subscribers tutorials using items from each of the boxes! The tutorials, which are suitable for beginners, will be posted over on the Crafty Creatives website and I'll also be sharing a bonus tutorial for each box here on my blog too.

The theme for the prototype box which shipped out earlier this month was birds and it featured a beautiful selection of pieces including lots of bronze-tone charms, pretty shell beads and pops of turquoise. If you fancy trying your hand at a bit of jewellery making you can check out my first set of tutorials, plus a couple of guides to the basics which are live over on the Crafty Creatives blog now.

You can also find out more about the #beadhaul box and how you can subscribe to future boxes over on the Crafty Creatives website.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Say Hello To Effie Box!

effie box logoDisclaimer: I was kindly sent the first two editions of Effie Box free of charge to try out and share with you! Logo image sourced via Effie Box blog.

Today I'm excited to bring back some DIY to e-elise etc and introduce you all to a new crafty subscription box! Effie Box, which launched last month, is the brainchild of bloggers Fran (On The Bias) & Ellie (The Wedding Philosopher) and is a monthly box which contains everything you'll need to make a fun crafty project.

As someone who has tried out quite a wide selection of different crafts I was pleased to open the August box and discover the project was one I'd never tried before; wildflower bombs! I love that the girls decided to feature a less well-known and eco-friendly craft for the first box and was looking forward to trying it out.

Included in the box were sheets of coloured sugar paper, a piece of cheesecloth fabric, elastic bands, step-by-step written instructions and of course seeds. Following the instructions provided, I soaked and blended up the paper, drained the mixture and formed spheres which I then set aside to dry.

After a quick Pinterest search I also discovered lots of crafters were using fun shaped ice cube trays to press the pulp into other shapes such as hearts and flowers - a cute twist on the project! As I happened to have a tray for making small domed cabochons I decided to try this out and in the end I was pretty pleased with how they turned out (pink bombs pictured below). I think this project would work particularly well if you're looking to make unique favours for a special occasion.

Box two was something a little more familiar; a dreamcatcher kit! Inside this month's box I found a metal hoop, ribbon, string, wooden beads, a selection of feathers and step-by-step written instructions. Although I have made these before it was quite a long time ago so I was looking forward to re-visiting the idea and enjoyed spending a small part of my weekend working away on it.

Having sourced my own reference photos via Pinterest for the first box's project I was really pleased to see that the girls had added a QR code to the instruction sheet for box two, which when scanned links to a handy illustrated guide showing how to create a dreamcatcher.

effie box review 23

Also found inside the boxes were cute 'Eff is for favourite' cards (pictured below), each featuring one of the girls' favourite creators. It was great to see that the box will also be sharing the love within the creative/blogging community and especially nice to see my pal Michelle featured in the second box!

Based on the first two boxes it looks as though Effie Box is set to be a fun monthly treat with a good variety of crafts to try your hand at. With three, six or twelve month subscriptions available it could also make a lovely gift for the crafter in your life.

effie box 11

You can find out more about the new company over on their blog and Twitter page, and if you like what you see you can order your very own Effie Box over on their website -

Thank you again to Fran & Ellie for letting me try it out!

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Podcast Starter Guide: Criminal

criminal podcast
Screenshot via

Whether you've been thinking about downloading this amazing crime-based podcast for a while or are hearing about it for the first time today, I thought it might be interesting to share a list of the episodes that have stood out to me as some of the most memorable stories. At the time of writing this post there have been just twenty-five episodes released (and I'd recommend listening to them all!) but, in no particular order, here are my top picks to get you started...

1. Animal Instincts (originally aired 31.01.14)
The first episode of the intriguing crime podcast takes a closer look at a case from 2001 where a woman was found dead and her husband convicted of the murder. The twist here comes in the form of a neighbour's unusual theory, exploring the possibility that her death was in fact caused by an owl.

2. Final Exit (originally aired 13.03.15)
In this unscripted interview episode host Phoebe Judge talks to 'exit guide' Fran, a woman in her seventies who sits with people as they end their lives. Fran explains the process, why she became a part of the Final Exit Network and shares some of her personal experiences.

3. Poster Boy (originally aired 20.02.15)
Back in the 1800s a couple were brutally murdered, leaving behind a baby and an eleven year old boy. There were no clues, until the young boy surprised everyone when he confessed to the crime and was sentenced to life imprisonment. This episode explores his story and what may have led him to commit the crime.

4. That Crime Of The Month (originally aired 29.08.14)
This very short episode explores the use of PMS as a legal defence, using examples and sharing opinions from lawyers, scientists and the general public.

5. Ex Libris (originally aired 26.06.15)
As someone who loves to read I was fascinated by this tale of disappearing rare books. One of the most interesting aspects of this episode was the motive of the thief behind the scam where he bought many rare books over the phone.

6. Call Your Mom (originally aired 28.03.14)
This episode is all about a family who work in the 'business of death'. Twenty-five year old Kathleen is one of only three female coroners in the entire state and grew up with her parents, both investigators, and their law-enforcement friends talking about their cases.

7. Break The Internet (originally aired 25.11.14)
Known at the time as 'Mafia Boy', this episode looks at the story of a young hacker in the late 90's. The Canadian teenager became involved with a group of Russian hackers, and even took down some of the world's most famous websites.

8. Triassic Park (originally aired 17.07.15)
In this recent episode we learn about Arizona's Petrified Forest National Park, where visitors have been stealing petrified wood (a type of irreplaceable rock) for many years. Interestingly, many packages containing pieces of the wood have been sent back to the park, along with letters claiming it had caused the visitor bad luck.

9. Gil From London (originally aired 15.05.15)
If you find Catfish interesting, this one is for you. The episode looks at online romance scams by talking to sixty-something Karen who met a man named Gil on Facebook.

Have you been listening to Criminal? Which epsiodes are your favourites?

Sunday, 6 September 2015

August Reads & Reviews

I should probably kick off this month's roundup by addressing the fact that I completely failed to stick to my August TBR list. Not only that but I also failed miserably on the note-taking front so although there are quite a few books to talk about it looks as though I'll be keeping the recaps/mini reviews brief this time!

Of course at the beginning of the month I was keen to try and stick to my TBR so let's begin with the two books I actually did manage to cross off the list. Firstly I picked up When I Was Me (Hilary Freeman, 2015) which was one several purchases I made from the Hot Key Books stand at YALC back in July. Whilst I loved concept behind the book, which included the fascinating theory of parallel universes, I unfortunately didn't get on so well with the characters.

The second read from my August TBR which I did manage to make time for was Dangerous Boys (Abigail Haas, 2014). Ever since reading Dangerous Girls back in May this one had bumped up to the top of my TBR list and I wasn't disappointed! Whilst I have to admit I didn't love this one as much as Dangerous Girls, I did really enjoy the mysterious story and would recommend it if you're looking for a darker YA novel.

Sticking with the 'dark and twisty' theme I also read another couple of YALC purchases; Birdy by Jess Vallance (2015) and Monsters by Emerald Fennell (2015). Both unique tales with a whole lot of mystery, I enjoyed these novels and would recommend picking them up, particularly Birdy!

Another book that unexpectedly made it's way onto my reading list this month was Lorali (Laura Dockrill, 2015), the tale of a mermaid. Honestly, based on the description/genre this isn't something I would normally pick out, however having seen so many amazing reviews I couldn't help but become intrigued. The chapters alternate between different perspectives and one of the most interesting and unique aspects of the novel was the fact that one of these was The Sea. I would recommend picking this one up if you're looking for something a little different!

I also snuck in two graphic novels; Edward Scissorhands Vol 2: Whole Again (Kate Leth, 2015) and The Scorch Trials: The Official Graphic Novel Prelude (Jackson Lanzing, 2015). With The Scorch Trials film adaptation landing in cinemas very soon (who else is super excited for this?) I decided to pick up a copy of this newly released selection of companion stories. There were a couple of really interesting tales which stood out to me more than the others, including the final section on the formation of Wicked. If you're a big fan of the series you'll enjoy this graphic novel addition to The Maze Runner family.

A full review of the second Edward Scissorhands adaptation will be posted over on BB in October but you can catch my thoughts on the first instalment right here on e-elise etc.

I'm currently making my way through new release The Dead House (Dawn Kurtagich) as well as illustrated novel Warren The 13th And The All-Seeing Eye* (Tania del Rio) which is due out in November.

Reviews posted this month: Armada*, Ernest Cline (2015) | Black Cairn Point, Claire McFall (2015) | The Good Girls, Sara Shepard (2015)

Thursday, 27 August 2015

A Very Parisian #PaperHaul!

Disclaimer: I purchased this box using the #paperhaul blogger discount - all opinions are my own.

I'm not entirely sure what I was expecting this month's #paperhaul theme to be, but I am sure that I was pleasantly surprised to open the box and discover a selection of French-themed treats!

The first thing I saw when I opened this month's box was the set of three cute illustrated gift tags, closely followed by sheets of 'Bonjour!' note paper. Alongside these is a selection of cards, postcards, stickers, craft papers and of course a roll of washi tape, this time around featuring a heart print. This month there's even a pretty craft paper patterned with pastel macarons - a definite blogger favourite!

August's matching stickers and notecards feature an incredibly simple design which I really love. The matte pastel backgrounds are adorned with bonjour, merci and oui written in a typewriter-style font - all perfect for a little bit of snail mail!

My other favourite item from this month's box would have to be the beautiful illustrated card (pictured below), a grey-toned image with an added pop of colour thanks to the red chimneys. Although this would make a lovely card for a friend or family member, I also think it would look lovely framed and hung on the wall.

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 which was under-the-sea themed!

paperhaul paris 2

Friday, 14 August 2015

Pretty Little Liars Recap: S6E10 'Game Over, Charles' *Contains Spoilers*

Welcome to my final PLL recap for season 6A which concluded with the answer-filled episode titled 'Game Over, Charles'. As always spoilers are after the jump... please don't read on if you haven't heard who A is yet!


Monday, 10 August 2015

Essex Walks (Revisited) - Steeples In The Summer

essex walks steeples in summer

Although I have been out on a few walking adventures I haven't shared any Essex Walks posts for a little while... not since I last visited Steeples back in January! At the time I wrote about how much I enjoyed this particular route and how I would love to revisit once the weather had improved. Last weekend I did just that!

The atmosphere was very different on a bright summer day, although excluding the area right by the holiday park, there still wasn't many people to be seen. Whilst I loved how my previous photographs turned out due to the colours cast by the foggy sky, on this visit I was able to clearly see Osea Island across the water as more than just a blur in the distance. This time round the flowers were also in full bloom, lining the path along the sea wall with colour.

On my second visit to Steeples I got a chance to stop and sit by the water for a while, watching the boats and wildlife - definitely an improvement on walking through the mud, bundled up and shivering. It's easy to forget just how cold it was back at the beginning of the year!

You can find out more about this walk including a map and directions on the Essex Walks website.

Click here to catch up on my last Essex Walks post!

essex walks steeples in summer
essex walks steeples in summer

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Pretty Little Liars Recap: S6E9 'Last Dance' *Contains Spoilers*

It's PLL time once again, and this week I'm taking a closer look at the penultimate episode of the summer season 'Last Dance'. You know the drill... spoilers are after the jump!


Monday, 3 August 2015

Gluten Free Goodies! - Allergy & Free From Show Haul

This time last month I headed off to London to attend the Allergy & Free From Show for the very first time. The event was held at Kensington's Olympia and the venue was packed with stalls selling everything from free from food/drinks to cookbooks, allergy-friendly clothing, cosmetics and skin care. Today I thought I'd share a haul post showcasing some of the many free from edibles I picked up on the day!

Crio Bru Cavalla French Roast - a coffee alternative made from cocoa beans.
I used to be a big coffee fan (think lots of mochas and iced coffees!) however a few years back I cut out caffeine completely for quite some time when trying to find out why I was getting stomach pains. Ever since then I've not been able to drink coffee without getting a headache and feeling shaky so stumbling across this alternative definitely made my day! Over the last few weeks I've also been introducing decaf coffee into my routine, switching between that and this cocoa bean substitute has been great for a little variety!
Allergy Advice: Free from gluten, dairy and soya. Also suitable for Vegans and low in caffiene. 
Social Media Links: Shop | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Tolerant Foods Legume Pasta - 'pasta' shapes made from lentils and beans.
Ask anyone that knows me and they'll be able to tell you that I love pasta. Since cutting out gluten due to an intolerance I have of course switched to pasta alternatives usually made from rice/corn. Whilst there are some delicious ones out there (looking at you, Doves Farm Brown Rice Penne) I was intrigued by this new alternative; single-ingredient pasta style shapes made from lentils and beans. The Red Lentil Rotini (pictured above) is delicious and I can't wait to try out the Green Lentil Macaroni!
Allergy Advice: Free from gluten. Also Non-GMO, suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians.
Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Pinterest

Koko Dairy Free Spread - a dairy-free alternative to butter, made using various vegetable oils including coconut.
As a huge fan of Koko's coconut milk (which I use on a daily basis and love because it doesn't taste like coconuts) I was pleasantly surprised to see this new product at their stall. Whilst I really like the taste I found it didn't go so well with Marmite as my usual spread but I'm looking forward to trying baking with this one as I think it will be perfect for sweet treats!
Allergy Advice: Free from gluten and dairy. Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians.
Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Wellaby's Pitta & Lentil Chips - a wholesome baked alternative to crisps.
One of my big complaints with going gluten free has been the lack of tasty savoury snacks. Lots of places now sell things like gluten free cakes and brownies, which is lovely, but when I'm out and about I often struggle to find things to satisfy my savoury cravings. I'm a big fan of Eat Real's range of 'chips' (made from lentils, chickpeas and quinoa) so when I saw these I thought they may be similar. As it turns out these are a totally different texture (think crunchy crackers) but do come in a much more manageable sized packet that can easily be popped into your bag for a snack on the go.
Allergy Advice: Free from gluten, wheat and nuts. Also GMO & MSG free.
Social Media Links: Website | Facebook

Bakels Multiseed Bread Mix - a bread mix that can be used to make a regular loaf or a sweet treat.
This was actually one of the freebies I received on the day and I love the fact that it can be used to bake bread (anyone who eats gluten free will know how tricky it is to find good bread) but can also be mixed with alternative ingredients to make a batch of cookies! In addition to the bread mix I also picked up a recipe card for the cookies as I sampled one on the day and it was pretty delicious!
Allergy Advice: Gluten/allergen free. Suitable for Vegetarians and Vegans.
Social Media Links: Wesbite | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube

Lovemore O'Choco Biscuits - gluten free 'black and white cookies', a great Oreo alternative.
I love and miss Oreos so these cookies are an amazing alternative. I can't wait to use these to make a gluten free 'Oreo' cheesecake and of course some brownies! Lovemore have a whole range of gluten free biscuits including digestives, chocolate chip cookies, gingerbread and shortbread. I haven't tried any of these so I can't vouch for how tasty they are but I can tell you the O'Choco Biscuits are delicious.
Allergy Advice: Free from gluten, wheat and milk.
Social Media Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook

Stur Liquid Water Enhancers - all natural flavoured water enhancers.
Another drink I adore is iced tea, specifically peach flavour. These little containers of concentrated flavour that can be added to a glass or bottle of water are nothing new with brands such as Robinsons and Oasis selling squash versions in all of the big supermarkets however I'd never come across any iced tea ones before. After sampling all of the flavours I also opted for a bottle of the cranberry & pomegranate (which does not contain tea). I can see these being great to pop on your desk at work!
Allergy Advice: Free from gluten, dairy, nuts and sugar. Non-tea flavours are also caffeine free. Suitable for Vegans and Vegetarians.
Social Media Links: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

Have you tried any of these products? If you'd like to hear more about any of them (reviews/recipe ideas etc) leave a comment and let me know!

Saturday, 1 August 2015

August TBR

It's been a long time since I've shared a monthly TBR list here on my little blog but with a mountain of library books, a selection of eARCs and of course all the titles I picked up at YALC last month I thought it was about time I got myself organised and made a reading plan for the month ahead. So, for my August TBR I've picked out 5 titles I'm hoping to finish. Here's a little more about them...

The Heiresses, Sara Shepard (2014) - library book
As you may have noticed, I've managed to pick up several of Shepard's popular novels over the course of the year so far, with mixed results. Having recently finished The Good Girls, which I really enjoyed, I thought it was time to read the first book in her latest series which is aimed at the adult market as opposed to teens. I'm really intrigued to see how it differs from her YA tales, although it looks as though it may follow a similar format.

When I Was Me, Hilary Freeman (2015) - early copy via YALC (release date September 3rd)
This short YA thriller was one of several impulse purchases at YALC. The book's blurb which describes the novel as 'a tense and dark psychological thriller full of unexpected twists' instantly drew me in and I knew I had to pick up a copy to find out more. This one definitely looks as though it will be a quick read and I can't wait to read it!

Under Ground, S. L. Grey (2015) - via Netgalley (release date July 16th)
Unfortunately due to distractions and not finding the time for as much reading as usual over the past few months I managed to miss out on reading and reviewing Under Ground before it's July release date. The horror novel is the first collaboration between Sarah Lotz (famous for penning The Three) and Louis Greenberg and definitely sounds like it's going to be a creepy one.

Dangerous Boys, Abigail Haas (2014) - recent book token purchase
I really shouldn't be including this one in my TBR when I have so many other library books and ARCs at the moment, however it's been hanging out on my bedside table for a couple of weeks now and seeing it just sitting there I just couldn't resist. I still stand by the fact that Dangerous Girls has been my most memorable read of the year so far and naturally this has made me eager to bump Dangerous Boys to the top of my TBR list.

The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated), Ainslie Hogarth (2015) - via Netgalley (release date September 8th)
For my final August pick I'm planning to finish The Boy Meets Girl Massacre (Annotated), a YA mystery/horror, before it's early September release date. I have to admit I did start reading this one a little while back but I wasn't feeling that invested and in the end became distracted by another novel. This month I'm hoping to start afresh in order to share a review over on Blogger's Bookshelf in Septemeber.

What books do you plan on reading this month?

Thursday, 30 July 2015

Pretty Little Liars Recap: S6E8 'FrAmed' *Contains Spoilers*

It's time for another PLL recap for this week's episode simply titled 'FrAmed'. As always spoilers are after the jump!


Tuesday, 28 July 2015

July Reads & Reviews

Images via, books marked * c/o Netgalley

The first book I picked up this month was upcoming YA release Come Sit By Me* (Thomas Hoobler, 2015). The novel follows Paul the new kid at Hamilton High, a school which suffered a terrible tragedy the year before when one of it's students brought in a gun and killed seven people. When Paul arrives he is assigned the locker that once belonged to that shooter, a quiet boy named Cale, but it turns out that isn't the only thing the two boys have in common.

I found the beginning part of the book quite captivating and was initially drawn into the story. I felt curious, left wanting to find out more about the mysterious Cale and just what could have happened to make him want to do something so horrible and hurt so many people. After initially following Paul the format is switched up and we also get to hear from Cale through reading his journal/diary entries. Unfortunately by this point my interest in the story had already started to waver and when it came to it I didn't find the reveal of what happened on the day of the shooting to be very surprising nor what I would have hoped the ending of the book to be. Whilst the idea of Paul investigating, finding parallels between his life and Cale's and ultimately solving the mystery of why he committed such an awful crime was an interesting idea I wasn't won over by the book.

Whilst overall I had a pretty good reading month, my second read of July was hands down my favourite. I was lucky enough to receive an advanced ebook copy of Ernest Cline's new novel Armada* which as a huge fan of his debut Ready Player One was very exciting. Luckily the book was just as action-packed and perfectly geeky as I'd hoped and I'll be sharing my full review over on Blogger's Bookshelf next month so make sure to head over there if you want to know more!

I'll also be sharing full reviews over on BB next month featuring my final two reads of July; The Good Girls (Sara Shepard, 2015) and Black Cairn Point (Claire McFall, 2015). I really enjoyed both of these YA mystery/thriller titles and would recommend picking them up if you're a fan of the genre.

Reviews posted this month: Suicide Notes From Beautiful Girls*, Lynn Weingarten (2015)

Sunday, 26 July 2015

Pretty Little Liars Recap: S6E7 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?' *Contains Spoilers*

Happy Sunday! It's time for another PLL recap for this week's episodes titled 'O Brother, Where Art Thou?'. As always spoilers can be found after the jump!


Friday, 24 July 2015

YALC Book Haul!

Last Sunday I caught a train into London, found my BB co-captain Ria and headed off to YALC - the Young Adult Literature Convention - which took place within this year's London Film & Comic Con. I managed to pick up six books on the day (I may have gotten a little overexcited at the Hot Key Books stall thanks to their selection of 'creepy' titles!), the question now is which one of them should I read first?

- Black Cairn Point, Claire McFall (2015) 
- Monsters, Emerald Fennell (2015) 
- When I Was Me, Hilary Freeman (2015) 
- The Freedom Maze, Delia Sherman (2011) 
- Birdy, Jess Vallance (2015)
- Cloud 9, Alex Campbell (2015)
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