Monthly Wrap-Up: January-February

(I haven't had sweets in so long and I was craving liquorice and this pic is the closest I could get ;)

Tomorrow is February! January is almost behind us. That means we're a month into 2019, and I can't quite believe it.

PLUS ONE - by Vanessa Raphaely

Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: September 2018 - Pan Macmillan.
Genres: Adult / contemporary / thriller
Pages: 382.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual innuendos / strong, infrequent bad language / scenes of sexual assault / strong themes of rape.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Pan Macmillan SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

As deputy editor of the glamorous FILLE magazine in London, Lisa Lassiter had almost passed up the chance of a weekend on a billionaire’s yacht off the coast of Mykonos. But her best friend Claudia Hemmingway, on her way to becoming one of the hottest movie stars on the planet, could be very persuasive when she wanted something. Not only would they get there by private jet, she’d told Lisa, they would also get to rub shoulders with VIP guests – not least a famous Hollywood film producer. It would be a weekend of fun, sunshine, champagne and partying. And it was all of those things. Until it wasn’t.

Lisa has spent ten years trying to get past that weekend. If she has learnt anything, it is that unfinished business and secrets always work their way to the surface. Moving on is one thing; forgetting is another, and forgiving … well, where to start?

SEAFIRE - by Natalie C. Parker

feminism - fantasy - ya - pirates - adventureGoodreads | Book Depository
Published: August 2018 - Razorbill.
Genres: Young adult / adventure / fantasy / romance.
Pages: 374.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

After her family is killed by corrupt warlord Aric Athair and his bloodthirsty army of Bullets, Caledonia Styx is left to chart her own course on the dangerous and deadly seas. She captains her ship, the Mors Navis, with a crew of girls and women just like her, who have lost their families and homes because of Aric and his men. The crew has one mission: stay alive, and take down Aric's armed and armoured fleet. But when Caledonia's best friend and second-in-command barely survives an attack thanks to help from a Bullet looking to defect, Caledonia finds herself questioning whether to let him join their crew. Is this boy the key to taking down Aric Athair once and for all . . . or will he threaten everything the women of the Mors Navis have worked for?

WE TOLD SIX LIES - by Victoria Scott

WE TOLD SIX LIES - Victoria Scott
Published: February 2019 - Entangled Teen.
Genres: YA / contemporary / thriller.
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Violence / three sex scenes.
Format: eBook.
Source: Netgalley. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Remember how many lies we told, Molly? It’s enough to make my head spin. You were wild when I met you, and I was mad for you. But then something happened. And now you’re gone. But don’t worry. I’ll find you. I just need to sift through the story of us to get to where you might be. I’ve got places to look, and a list of names. The police have a list of names, too. See now? There’s another lie. There is only one person they’re really looking at, Molly. And that’s yours truly.


fantasy - ya - dragons - feminism - adventure - magic - shapeshifters
Goodreads | Book Depository
Published: January 2019.
Genres: Young adult / dark fantasy / romance
Pages: 374.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Fantasy violence / sexual innuendos.
Format: ARC eBook.
Source: Thank you so much to the author for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

A dragon can be loyal forever, if you tame her first. But Sigrid would sooner be dead than tamed.

Dragon shifter Sigrid of Wildewyn has spent her life in a cage, quite literally. Whether she's hidden from her own people, or masked so they cannot see her face, she's dedicated her life to her country and king. But, when her king promises her to a rival warlord and Sultan of a country she hates, her loyalty is tested. 

Nadir of Bymere was the boy king no one ever thought would sit on the throne. And though he knows his country is ruled by corrupt advisors, he's lost himself in the glory of being Sultan. When they force him to marry a masked woman from the country who murdered his brother, he's set to torture her for a lifetime. Both hiding their own secrets, the two slowly realize there is more to both their kingdoms than they originally thought. With many in the kingdom who need help, Sigrid and Nadir must choose who they truly ally with: each other…or their kingdoms. Their choice will put either their hearts or their lives at risk. 

ROAR - by Cecelia Ahern

cecelia ahern - women's fiction - roar - feminism
ROAR - Cecelia Ahern
Published: November 2018 - HarperCollins.
Genres: Adult / women's fiction / magical realism.
Pages: 352.
Triggers/Content Advisory: Sexual content / bad language.
Format: Paperback.
Source: Thank you so much to Jonathan Ball SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

I am woman. Hear me roar. 

Have you ever imagined a different life? Have you ever stood at a crossroads, undecided? Have you ever had a moment when you wanted to roar? The women in these startlingly original stories are all of us: the women who befriend us, the women who encourage us, the women who make us brave. From The Woman Who Slowly Disappeared to The Woman Who Was Kept on the Shelf and The Woman Who Returned and Exchanged her Husband, discover thirty touching, often hilarious, stories and meet thirty very different women. Each discovers her strength; each realizes she holds the power to make a change. 


Director: Mike Newell.
Cast: Lily James / Jessica Brown Findlay / Matthew Goode / Tom Courtenay / Glen Powell / Michiel Huisman.
Score: Alexandra Harwood.
Cinematography: Zac Nicholson.
Content Advisory: PG13 for violence and threat.
Source: Rented.

In the aftermath of World War II, a writer forms an unexpected bond with the residents of Guernsey Island when she decides to write a book about their experiences during the war. 

I'm in the minority when it comes to this movie, and I really wish I'd enjoyed it more. It sounded like such a powerful historical drama.

Hair Care: Tips That Will Change Your Life

My hair used to be the bane of my existence. To make matters worse, I had curly hair, which is even harder to look after. But then I discovered The Curly Girl Method (if you have curly hair, look it up. You will not regret it). That method taught me how to tame my curls, and it gave me some amazing hair tips, as well. This post is about the remedies I discovered that can help all hair types.


Published: December 2018 - Centum Books.
Genres: Picture book
Pages: 36.
Triggers/Content Advisory: N.A.
Format: Hardcover.
Source: Thank you so much to Penguin Random House SA for sending me this book in exchange for an honest review. I voluntarily read & reviewed this copy. All thoughts are my own.

Return to Cherry Tree Lane as Mary Poppins magically reenters the lives of grown-up Jane and Michael Banks, and creates new memories with Michael's children, Annabel, John and Georgie.

This beautifully illustrated storybook retells the new film, Mary Poppins Returns. 

Living with Anxiety: 3 Ways To Help You Cope

Anxiety is toxic. In the last few years, it's become a huge part of my life and it's become harder and harder to keep my head above water when the anxiety is always there, yanking me back down.  It can so easily take over. More often than not, it controls my day-to-day life. 

Medication helps - so does counselling. But today I'm sharing three practical ways to help you handle your anxiety. They sometimes work for me, and I hope that they can make a difference in your life.

Relax: Tips To Help You Deal With Stress

We're never totally relaxed, are we? Life isn't all smiles and rainbows and dancing in the rain. It isn't supposed to be. It's painful, it's hard, and it's riddled with stressors. So how do we deal with that stress? How do we alleviate it, and cope?

New Year's Resolutions: How To Actually Keep Yours

Happy 2019! It's a new year, another chance to "get it right" (if we're quoting Oprah). It's time for New Year's resolutions and new opportunities. Despite the fact that most of those resolutions won't last longer than a month, we're confident that we'll be able to stick at them.

I think most of us feel the pressure to make resolutions. If not because everyone else is doing it, then because, well, it's a new year. We, as a society, have decided that that means a fresh start, a blank slate, endless possibilities and boundless optimism. Everything's bright, everyone's hopeful. We're choosing optimism. We're choosing hope. We are, essentially, giving ourselves a second chance. There's just something so dazzling about the idea of starting over.

I have always made resolutions. But I've rarely keep them. I've lost motivation, or the excitement of the new year wears off. I want to change that. Serious resolutions can make a difference, and I think they're a great way to make positive changes in your life.

This post is all about ways to keep and achieve resolutions. It's for me, and it's for you. I hope you find it encouraging and useful!

Don't just keep your resolutions to yourself. If you're serious about them, tell someone. Tell your best friend, or your mom. Find out each other's resolutions and make an effort to encourage each other.

If someone else knows about your resolutions and how important they are, you'll feel accountable. For example, I've told my Mum that one of my resolutions is to spend less time on social media. I've asked her to point it out if she sees me on my phone for long periods of time, and I'm even going to hand my phone over to her for part of the day.

Write. Those. Resolutions. Down. Better yet, write them in colour and pin them up where you'll see them every day. Choose a place where they're visible and vibrant and screaming at you to listen. If you see them everyday, they should stick in your mind. And why not add inspirational quotes or images alongside them? If your goal is to eat less junk food, pin up some encouraging quotes to keep you motivated. You could even make an aesthetic mood board!

Don't swear off sugar and then after going a week without sugar reward yourself with ice-cream. That's not gonna make you feel good!

But rewards can be beneficial and provide you with incentive to keep going. Just choose them carefully.  If you're not eating junk food anymore, then once a month - or less frequently - buy yourself something you've been wanting; like a notebook, or an item of clothing, or, since you're probably a book blogger, BUY A BOOK! That's not chocolate or something that'll vanish within a few minutes. It's a worthwhile purchase. 

If you don't want to spend money, then reward yourself in some other way: maybe watch Netflix for a few hours, instead of cleaning the house, or meet up with friends. Make small life decisions that'll reap big rewards.

Consider the "why" behind every resolution you make. It will help you realise the importance of keeping them, and whether or not they're valid reasons to change your way of life.

So you want to eat less junk food. Why? Make sure you know why you want to make this change, and keep the benefits (if indeed there are any) in mind so that you're inspired to stick with it. Don't be sad that you'll have to cut out chocolate; be excited about buying healthy alternative foods, like nuts or berries, and if you wanna be extreme about it, google the unhealthy affects of chocolate so you're inspired to stay away from it ;)

If your resolution is to be more productive with your time, think of all the productive things you could get done if you keep this resolution. Think of the book you could finally write, or the people you could see, or the extra money you could make.

My point is: be purposeful about your resolutions. Do your research. Don't make a resolution and drag your feet; choose something that you know will make you feel better, and allow the excitement to outweigh the reluctance.

In the end, this is your resolution. Ultimately, it's your decision to keep going. It might take hard work, it will definitely take effort and self discipline, and that's part of making new year's resolutions!

Embrace the challenge. The only one standing in the way of you is you. Cheesy, I know, but there is a point in that saying.

In the end, you don't need a new year to make resolutions. If you mess up, start again from the next month. Don't beat yourself up about it. 

What are some of your 2019 resolutions? Are you confident you'll be able to keep them?!