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REVIEW: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

Spoiler: I bloody loved this book! And I'm so glad I chose a YA fiction book to get back into reading with.

Synopsis: "Cath and Wren are identical twins and until recently they did absolutely everything together. Now they're off to university and Wren's decided she doesn't want to be on half of a pair anymore - she wants to dance, meet boys, go to parties and let loose. It's not so easy for Cath. She would rather bury herself in the fanfiction she writes where there's romance far more intense than anything she's experienced in real life. Now has to decide whether she's ready to open her heart to new people and new experiences, and she's realising that there's more to learn about love than she ever thought possible... A tale of fan fiction, family and first love."

Goodreads Rating: 5 out of 5 stars!

Firstly, I related so much to Cath when she was first moving to uni. I was terrified of everything and everyone! I didn't have a roommate, but I also wasn't in a shared flat, and it was so easy to cut yourself away from everyone else. Most of my friends came from my course, or people I knew before uni from going to a college in the same city. So, it wasn't all bad. However, I think so many people will relate to Cath's anxiety and feelings towards her experiences at uni. 

That being said, I would've loved to have had a couple of chapters from Wren's point of view. She's meant to be having the complete opposite views, but it would've made her seem more human (to me as a reader) if I had been able to read and see struggles that she might've been going through. 

There are snippets from another story throughout, a fanfiction that Cath writes based on a made-up children book series called "Simon Snow and the..." (philosopher's stone?). I didn't love this style to start with, it annoyed me and I don't want to read anything aside from the story at hand. BUT the Simon Snow series is such a big part of Cath, and her story, that I can see why it was done and appreciate the reasons why Rainbow Rowell included them. (They're only short and don't 'really' change the way you'll be reading the book.)

I have one problem with the book, and perhaps I was reading it wrong, but sometimes to the placement of characters were slightly off and if you were paying real attention to following the characters moves (in the scenes) they didn't always match up. However, this is me being picky and fussy, and wanting the perfect book. 

Overall, if you enjoy YA fiction books - you'll enjoy Fanfiction! 



I've got a hefty to-read shelf right now, but it doesn't stop me nosing around and wanting to buy ALL the books!

01. Wilde about the Girl by Louise Pentland
Yet to be released. But I really enjoyed Pentland's debut novel Wilde Like Me and am excited to see where Robin's journey takes her... 

02. Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine by Gail Honeyman 
I swear everyone and their mum's dog is talking about this book. It's been on my list for a while, but it's suddenly had a LOT of hype around it.

03. Holding up the Universe by Jennifer Niven
I remember this book being popular a year or so ago, but it's still not made its way onto my bookshelf.

04. Wonder by R J Palacio
Another book that I just keep seeing around, I saw it in Tesco the other day, on their 2 for £7 deal but had to walk away.

05. How to Stop Time by Matt Haig
It's apparent that a lot of the books I want to read, are in the mainstream right now and this book is no exception.

06. Girl Online On Tour & Going Solo - Zoe Sugg
I read the first one last summer, and I keep looking for the rest of the series in charity shops (before I decided to read them, it was all I could find) but, alas, I've not found them again.

07. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli 
I've watched the film. I watched the film before knowing about the book. And I LOVED the film, which hopefully means I'll adore the book?

08. Bloom by Estée Lalonde 
I just love Estée, I think she's so cool and she has the most glorious greyhound. 

09. Eve of Man  by Giovanna & Tom Fletcher
I almost preordered this book. I was so close. But I decided to wait. And I'm still waiting to read enough books to allow myself to buy more books again.

10. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart
This just keeps appearing in my recommended books on Amazon, and it's starting to intrigue me more and more. 


Admittedly I've not been using this desk much in June. But through the last two years, this desk has seen a lot of coursework action. 

My physical desk is a second-hand dining table. No idea where it's from, I got it out of someone's garage a couple of years ago. I wanted a large desk, because a) I own a lot of crap, and b) I like to spread my crap out. Desks are expensive, and you can pick up dining tables cheap (or in this case, for free!) You can fold the sides down and turn it into a side table, or have just half up, it's got options. 

On my desk I have some IKEA storage draws (here) and I've labelled what's in them with my label maker (here). On top, I keep my pens in an old plant pot and a cactus mug. My lamp is from Argos (similar here). And then I have some misc drawing pencils & watercolours. I have an acrylic paper holder which has some notebooks/weekly planners (Cactus planner is from Ohh Deer (here))/iPad mini. Then below I have an old Jo Malone box where I keep washi tape/double sided tape/etc. And the white metal pencil holder is from Amazon (here) and was originally blue but I painted it (poorly) white. 

The pinboard is from Argos (here), and I keep misc postcards/tickets/etc and my wall calendar (PetsAtHome). On the main space, I keep my MacBook and bullet journal. 

The desk goes partly across the window, and in the space, under the window, I have my main bookshelf from Argos (here), which is currently double stacked but I'm too cheap to buy another bookcase! On top of the bookshelf, I keep my printer (HP4500 Envy, I think), a pegboard from B&M, and some ornaments, my speaker (here), and a basket full of electrical tidbits. And in the window, I have a deep windowsill, I have a few plants! 

Wall Prints & Postcards: Museums, Sighh.co, Lola Hoad Designs (I believe Lola has shut down her shop though - sorry!), everything is fine.

And that's my desk! 



Some books will never leave your 'to be read' list. And that's OK.

I have to read EIGHT books before I'm allowed to buy any more. My 'to read' shelf, is ridiculous right now and I haven't finished any books in 2018... yet. 

Here is what's left on my shelf:

01. the princess saves herself in this one - Amanda Lovelace
I have read a couple of poems from this. And, honestly, one made me cry while flicking through the book in the bookshop. I keep putting off this book, because I'm not always in the mood to bring up past emotions.

02. Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children - Ransom Riggs

03. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
I have to read this before I watch the series - especially now they're onto series two!

04. The Danish Girl - David Ebershoff 
I have started this one. Just not finished it.

05. Great Expectations - Charles Dickens 
I'm sure this has been on my 'to read' shelf for a couple of years now.

06. Emma - Jane Austen 
Again, this has been on the shelf for a while.

07. the sun and her flowers - Rupi Kaur
I'm a poetry fan. And, trust me, 14-year-old is not pleased about this fact. But, when I read poetry, I like to really dedicate my time to it.

08. Bridget Jones' Diary - Helen Fielding
I have started this one too.

09. The Perks of being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky 
I have started this one. And if you have read my past reviews (here, here and here) you'll know that I just can't get along with this book, but I refuse to move it from the 'to read' shelf. 

10. A Christmas Carol 
I feel that I should wait until Winter to read this?

11. Everything Everything - Nicole Yoon
I'm currently on page 101 of this book, and I'm hoping (at the time of writing this post) to finish reading this book TONIGHT!

12. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen - Paul Torday

13. Paddington a short story - Michael Bond
Mum bought this to me because I love Paddington Bear!

14. Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell

15. The Jungle Book - Rudyard Kipling

16. The Miniaturist - Jessie Burton
I don't know how long this has been on my shelf for.

17. The Power - Naomi Alderman

18. Red Sparrow - Jason Matthews
I have started this one.

Is it just me who has a separate bookshelf for their unread books?
What book(s) do you think I have to read from this list asap? 


REVIEW: Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon

First things first (i'm a realist), this is my first book review of 2018... in June!

Synopsis: "Live life in a bubble? Or risk everything for love? Maddy is allergic to the world. She hasn't left her house in seventeen years. Olly is the boy next door. He's determined to find a way to reach her. Everything, Everything is about the crazy risks we take for love."

I have given this book 4 out of 5 stars on Goodreads

I really enjoyed it. I didn't see the twist though, until two pages before it happened. For a YA novel, I can see why it didn't go too deep into the topics it discusses. However, I would've loved to have had a more in-depth and background on Olly's story and home life, it felt slightly lacking for me - but the story is meant to be about Maddy, so it makes sense. 

Also, I would really like a small chapter at the end to give some details on what Maddy does after the story. I'm trying not to write any spoilers, or give too much away, but I would love to know how everything that happened changed her life and how she dealt with it all in the long run. 

It's really nice to see a YA novel with a decent and actually considerate (looking at all YA 'boyfriends', they're dicks. Don't fight me on this one.) boyfriend figure. And, MOST IMPORTANTLY, a woman (girl, she was 17 at the start of the novel) of colour as the protagonist of the story! 

I'm really glad that I read this book to get back into reading. It's the first book I've managed to finish in 2018 (only 29 more and I've reached my reading goal for 2018). I specifically chose a YA because they're easier to read. And, I could've flown through this book. The chapters aren't conventional, some are just illustrations or word meanings, which I didn't love to start with (it meant I could've read one chapter before bed, but had to pick a number of pages instead - I'm being fussy), but in the end, I love the structure. It doesn't give you ALL of the details either, but you don't feel like you're missing out on a storyline. 

Have you read this book or any others by Nicola Yoon? I think I'm going to read another YA novel next, just to keep the reading pace going before getting into some big reads again. 



PSA: Before the main bulk of this post. Just a reminder the Graduate Show '18 is taking place at Plymouth University until 15th June (my work is on display in Scott Building, Top Floor! If you're coming, let me know and I'll come in and see you!) There's a link (here) to the Facebook event for more details, free admission, and lots of posters/postcards/books/etc available from photographers - illustrators - graphic designers - everything else in the art & design world! Thanks. 

Back to regular scheduling...

This is a post to collect a few images I've got from the past weekend. Admittedly, not many. But in fear that I'll accidentally delete them, or lose them in the vortex of social media - here are some memories...

I'm going to be in London as from next week, send me any place I HAVE to go and recommendations! I'm there for the rest of the month, so have some time to kill between shows.



Finishing uni, tied into when I finish my A5 Leuchturrm bujo. Because I'm not going to be in uni or starting any teaching qualifications for a few years, I've decided to go for a smaller bujo. I've sized down to the A6 Leuchturrm in Navy Blue (here). 

The basics of my spreads have stayed the same. But there are some changes, and it'll be interesting to see wherever or not the size of my bujo changes the way I use it. 

01. June 2018 Front Page
02. Monthly Spread
03. Habit Tracker
04. Monthly List & Instagram Trackers
05. Blog Planning



*insert drumroll, please*


Four years, two degrees, two universities, one dissertation, SO many projects, and I'm done! I have finished university. Here's the dreaded question: what's next for you, Kayleigh? Honestly, nothing. I am going to be a teacher, in the future, but after 20 years in education - I could do with a break. Which is really difficult to tell people, that you aren't going to go straight into your 'career' after finishing uni. But I'm desperate to have days off as actual days off and not for catching up on uni work or going to work.

The main point in this post is to confirm that I'm going back to writing twice a week! (Wednesday & Sunday)