Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Book Review: The Girl of Ink and Stars – Kiran Millwood Hargrave

This is an incredibly accomplished debut novel – it made me think of the brilliant Isabel Allende in style and the plot is mythic and magical and marvellous. It’s no surprise this is a bestseller.

Isabella lives with her father, a master cartographer on an island governed by strict rules – an entire section of which is out of bounds.  When her father is arrested and her best friend goes missing, Isabella gathers her courage and the maps that decorate her home and sets out with the rescue mission. 

I don’t want to give away any of the island’s secrets so just go read this for yourself. 

My Little Friday Night Box

My Little Friday Night Box

This month’s My Little Box comes with the proviso “Do not open before Friday night” well I’ve always been a rebel. 

This box is all about your Friday night – whether you’re going out out or staying in. 

Party types
Great nights out – this pamphlet folds out and is full of ideas and tips for throwing a party or finding one.
Coasters & hair pin
Ingenious bra clip covering bow for backless dresses
This month’s beauty picks

Batiste Dry Shampoo – do I even need to say more. 

NailMatic Varnish in Biba 

My Little Beauty Back to Black Eye Pencil and Smudger – this is pretty long lasting. I tested it on the back of my hand, one tiny smudge as it’s very soft, and it won’t budge.

And finally a cocktail recipe – Dirty Dancing

Did you get this month’s box? What do you think of the contents. 

Book Review: The Cruelty – Scott Bergstrom

Book Review: The Cruelty – Scott Bergstrom

I do love getting unexpected blogger mail like this rather fab book. The first in a new series of YA adventure, with a strong female protagonist and great supporting cast. 
Gwendolyn Bloom is a diplomat brat – she’s lived in a dozen countries and speaks several languages, some better than others. But now she and her dad are living in New York where she’s struggling to fit in at school and hanging out with the elderly couple downstairs. 

One day she comes home to find her dad has disappeared while at a meeting in Paris. After sniffing out a conspiracy, Gwendolyn realises she is the only person who can rescue her dad. 

The writing is sharp, the plot grips and zooms along at a pace which I really enjoyed. I love a good thriller and this is an excellent one. I cannot wait for book two. 

  

My Little Garden Box 

My Little Garden Box 

This is April’s box, the reason for the delay was because I wanted to take photos of my box in the wild – I don’t have a garden but the bonkers weather meant I couldn’t get a break to find some grass and take some snaps. Let’s dive in. 

This garden to table lists the vegetables and fruit in season for every month. Eating seasonally is something I try to do – it works out cheaper when there’s an abundance and you get the best of the crop, sweeter strawberries in June for example. 

I have a larger version of this infuser bottle somewhere, pop your favourite fruits in the infuser core and fill the bottle with water. My favourite fruit combo is lime and watermelon – so refreshing. 

Recipe cards/magnetic shopping list – this has some of the MLB team’s favourite fruit based recipes and then pages to pop your shopping list on with a magnetic backing to stick neatly on the fridge. 

Ape Crunchy Coconut Bites – tasty little discs of crunchy coconut – yummy. 

A floral patterned green and blue square scarf which can be worn in a variety of ways – the last scarf MLB sent out is a firm favourite so this one will be too. 

This month’s beauty treats are all skincare savers. Mixa is a French skincare brand now available in Superdrug (home of many a beauty bargain). Suitable for sensitive skin (yay) this dermatologist tested paraben free moisturiser can be used all over – giving you soft summer skin. 

My Little Beauty Vitamin Shot Facial Scrub – made with bamboo extract, apricot seed powder and argan oil this twice weekly scrub will buff skin and leave you all shiny. 

My Little Beauty Easy Morning Skin Perfector – once you’ve rinsed off the scrub this moisturiser softens and smoothes skin with a subtle shimmer. Just remember to top with SPF! 

Book Preview: Grrrls on the side – Carrie Pack

Book Preview: Grrrls on the side – Carrie Pack

I missed out on Riot Grrl in the 90s, this book is set in 1994, I was 8, loved Beauty & the Beast and had a Flower Fairy themed birthday party. 
I only read started listening to some of the music later on, and it’s a movement that I would have loved to belong to like Tabitha, the protagonist of Carrie Pack’s new book. 

Being a teenage girl is hard, and Tabitha is doing a lot of learning, about who she is and where she fits in. There’s also crushes, first love and plenty of moshing. 

And as someone who struggled with her weight and self confidence as a teenager, I found Tabitha’s journey to body acceptance (she’s fat) just as important and positive as the rest of the themes in the book. 

Grrrls to the Side is a great coming of age story full of self acceptance, punk, zines, hair dye and feminism. Definitely one for any former Riot Grrls and their little sisters. 

The book is out on the 8th of June, so pre-order yours now. 

Book Review: Letters to Eloise – Emily Williams 

Book Review: Letters to Eloise – Emily Williams 

This recently released debut novel from UK author Emily Williams is a love story following Flora, who becomes pregnant during her last year at uni. She is trapped in a complicated situation – keen to reconnect with an old love but currently involved with her lecturer. She confides her feelings and fears in a series of letters to her unborn baby. 

Emily got in touch with me recently and asked if I thought her book was something I thought I’d like. Well, I have a soft spot for epistolary novels and for new writers.  
I really liked the writing style and the plot whizzes along as Flora writes her diary to her Little Bump. This is a sweet story and a great read for the Bank Holiday weekend or your long summer hols. 

If you want to grab a copy, here’s some links. 

U.K. Amazon – http://amzn.eu/716SJ6U

U.S. Amazon – http://a.co/bNe9eEu

And if you’d like to know more about Emily and see what she’s up to next, she’s on Twitter or you can find her blogging too. 

Book Preview: I Know My Name – C.J Cooke

Book Preview: I Know My Name – C.J Cooke

Eloise wakes up on a Greek island surrounded by strangers and with no memory of who she is and how she got there. 
Meanwhile in London Lachlan is frantically trying to find his wife, who’s disappeared without a trace. 

As both frantically spiral into their fears, secrets are revealed and things thought left in the past resurface. 

What starts out like a fairly typical thriller soon becomes something else. The exploration of mental illness and people’s choices is thought provoking without feeling exploitative and the characters, while definitely privileged, are flawed and relatable. 

Due for publication on 15th June 2017, I really enjoyed this book. I like a good psychological thriller and this is definitely a good one.