Sunday, 28 February 2016

The Number One Rule For Girls - Rachel McIntyre

Title: The Number One Rule For Girls - Rachel McIntyre
Publisher: Egmont UK
Series: N/A
Service: NetGalley
Release Date: 25/02/2016
Pages: 309
Format: Kindle PDF

Rating: ★★★

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Daisy knows a thing or two about love and romance. She's surrounded by it - in fact, there's no escape! Not only are her parents childhood sweethearts turned soulmates, they also run a vey successful wedding agency 'Something Borrowed', helping couples tie the knot in whatever frilly, quirky, tasteful, outrageous way they choose. So it's no surprise that Daisy has a pretty clear vision of how her life with her boyfriend Matt is going to pan out.

There's one major flaw in this plan - Matt and Daisy have split up! Determined not to brood, Daisy sets out to re-invent her life and her dreams. And that's when Toby enters the scene, who appears to be perfect, but is turning all the Rules upside down...

An irresistible exploration of post break-up life featuring Rachel McIntyre's trademark wit and observation.

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Why do you say that?

I was invited to read The Number One Rule for Girls and was interested to pick it up and find that it wasn't entirely what I expected. The book follows 16 year old Daisy Green after she has split up with her boyfriend and deciding to attend college instead of sixth form. Daisy meets he prince in the form of Toby Smith but not everything is at it seems.

Rachel McIntyre dives into the world of girl codes, growing up and questionable choices in boyfriends.

The main theme that stuck out for me in this book was the controlling and abusive nature of Toby. Although it frustrated me how much Daisy would forgive him I also understand that rational thought is not always there, especially at 16. She sees him as her saviour and doesn't have to deal with loneliness at college when he is with her. Daisy ignores the advice of her friends starts to feel ostracised from her old group of friends.

I enjoyed seeing the development of the girls friendship throughout the book. They started as close friends with a solid set of rules and the strain of being at different colleges slowly takes its toll. New friendships are made and jealousy inevitably rears its ugly head.

As much as I did enjoy the book I did struggle with some of the embarrassing language and more cringe worthy scenes that felt a bit stereotypical for teenagers.

Overall I would recommend this book to an audience younger than myself. A mixture of lightheartedness and serious tones that we all deal with as we grow up.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig

Title: Reasons To Stay Alive - Matt Haig
Publisher: Canongate Books
Series: N/A
Service: Own
Release Date: 07/01/2016
Pages: 254
Format: Paperback

Rating: ★★★

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What does it mean to feel truly alive?

This is the true story of how Matt Haig came through crisis, triumphed over mental illness that almost destroyed him and learned to live again. Moving, funny and joyous, Reasons to Stay Alive is more than a memoir. It is a book about making the most of your time on earth. 

Give us a few words…

Why do you say that?

Reasons to Stay Alive  has been a book on my TBR list for a little while and I am so glad that I finally got around to picking it up. As a person who has anxiety and depression it peaked my interest and really didn't disappoint.

I'm slowly getting used to book approaching mental illness from a more clinical and psychological point of view however Haig  does none of that in this book. He writes with a raw honesty which is appreciated and can be related to. This book journeys through his experience from the first moment, the rocky road he then struggled through for years before the break in the clouds and learning how to deal with his depression and anxiety.

For me, this book was heart breaking and yet made me think with Haig's own revelations not coming across as preaching but as possibilities. As I made my way through the story I couldn't help but think of people in my life that I would give this book to. Not just those who also suffer with mental illness but to those people in my life who don't quite understand it. I think Haig does a brilliant job in really stripping away the thought that it's just a down day or nervousness whilst still explaining that you do not have to let it win - which is a hard balance to strike.

I know this is a book I will be talking about to people for a long time. I highly recommend picking this up and taking a read if you wish to understand a little more about how mental illness can effect a life.

Saturday, 6 February 2016

January Wrap Up

Hello there! January always feels like the longest month of the year to me. The weather has been atrocious in Swansea with rain being a constant talking point.

New year, new start. I've made a commitment to the gym. This month I finally took the plunge and spoke to a personal trainer in order to help me lose weight and gain some definition. I haven't started yet but it took a lot for me to go and speak to someone about it. I'm actually looking forward to absorbing some knowledge from someone who is more knowledgable than myself.

Adulting? I often think about my future and where it is heading. For the longest time I have been thinking about studying medicine and becoming a doctor. A few of my friends know this and have encouraged me but this month I spoke to my PhD supervisor about it and he's giving me his backing and has been so helpful. It's terrifying thinking that I want to stay in education for another couple of years after finishing my PhD but I never want to live a life of what ifs...

Finished Reading:

  • Animal Farm - George Orwell

Currently Reading:

  • Binge - Tyler Oakley
It's been a short list this month but I plan on upping my game. I didn't realise just how much I had missed reading until I started again. It's been helping me keep my anxiety in check and it's nice to be away from a screen after being attached to it for work. 

According to Goodreads I've read 1 out of 20 books for my challenge so far and I'm on track. 

Hope you all had a more exciting January than I did!