Thursday, 30 January 2014

Book Review: Fangirl

I still need to post my goals for this year. You already know I'm on a mission to find love, but one of my other goals was to read more new books. At least ten, I hope. I'm actually a voracious reader and I'll read anything I can get my hands on. I'm the sort of person who sits in the shower and reads all the toiletry containers. But what I mainly do when I want to read is go straight to my favourite books - the ones I have read eleventy billion times already.So this year, I'm focusing on new books I haven't read before. I have loads lined up on my Kindle, and some paperbacks I've borrowed from Mutti. I actually read the most recent Bridget Jones in the weird gap between Christmas and New Year (which I am totally counting as one of my ten in 2014), and maybe I'll post about that one day. But this past week, I've read another book: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

After I managed to get over the fact that the author was actually called Rainbow, the book immediately appealed to me. It focusses on a girl called Cath, who writes fanfiction for a Harry Potter-esque book series and is struggling with being away from home at college for the first time, meeting new people, moving on from the fandom and coping with family drama.

Overall, the book was perfectly readable. It's the sort of book that you can devour in a few days, and I think there are characters and situations that everyone can relate to. It's not a challenging book, it doesn't break any new ground or provoke life changing discussions. The writing and the language aren't difficult to follow. It was enjoyable, and I wanted to read it and find out what happened. But that being said, some parts really did read like fanfiction and seemed almost amateurish.

I had a few minor issues. Most people probably won't have these issues, but they bothered me. The first was that the lead character's full name is Cather. Yep, just Cather. And do you know what I kept saying in my head? Catheter. And when I mentioned to someone at work that the lead character was called Cather, she also said 'Catheter?'. Slightly distracting. The other thing that bugged me was that the castle/magic school in the fictional fandom was located in Watford. Watford. Clearly this Rainbow person has never been to Watford in her life. I can only imagine it's set there to pay homage to the Harry Potter studios in Watford. But seriously, a less magical place there aint! I also found Cath's reluctance to kiss a boy slightly ridiculous, though the author was probably aiming this at at different target audience than me.

So if you're looking for a life changing, though provoking book, look elsewhere. I imagine I would've enjoyed this book much more as a teenager. If you're a Harry Potter nut like me, you'll probably find some things to enjoy. If you're a chit lit and romance person, you'll also find things to enjoy. I'd probably give it two or three stars.

I just hope the next book I read has more murder and intrigue!

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Why Doesn't He Call?

I may be a little bit behind in sharing my goals for this year, but (spoiler alert) one of them is to bring a little bit of romance into my life. I previously blogged about this a few months back and was overwhelmed by the response, but I have decided (once more) to be proactive in my search for love. And, less than four weeks into the year, I already have a story to tell.

I was perusing the old online sites when I saw a profile for someone I recognised - the friend of my friends' boyfriend. We had met before in person on a night out in a bar a while back, but due to my own stupidity I wasn't feeling too great and went home early and then massively regretted it for ages afterwards. And so, being the chicken that I am, I unhid my profile in the hopes that he would recognise me too and send me a message (rather than the other way around), and lo and behold! he did! We had been emailing back and forth for a few days when he gave me his number, and we agreed to meet that weekend. We had a nice walk around a country park and then a drink afterwards as well. We chatted easily, had things in common, blah blah, and had a nice time. There may even have been a cheeky peck on the lips at the end.

We continued to text for the next few days, and then he went quiet, and said that he had a busy weekend, and the alarm bells started ringing. I sent a message every couple of days, wanting to appear interested and cool but not pushy or needy, and he would reply, but conversation was stilted. This week we went over two days without texting (and I was doing my utmost to not be a complete girl and complain about it/seem like a complete psycho after one date), and then he told me that he had feelings for someone he's known for a long time, and he's following through with her instead.

I told myself going into this that even if it was just that one date, it was still one date more than in 2013. Isn't that sad? But never mind, I just wanted to test the waters, and get back out there, and if nothing else came of it, at least I would know I wasn't completely repulsive to 100% of the male population. This one wasn't it, and that's OK. Sort of. But, being proactive feels good, so I'm going to keep on trying. Onwards and upwards.

Of course, it doesn't make me feel any better about the plans I have for Friday, where I will be the only singleton at a dinner with nine couples... - When a girl on the internet talks about being single, I know she's either pyscho or has high standards. Then it's a race to see how soon she reveals which it is.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

DIY Fridge Magnets

Why is it that just pottering about and loving your home is just so darn enjoyable?

My poor refrigerator had been looking so bare :-( I searched everywhere online to try and find some pretty fridge magnets, but everything was massively expensive, and I thought I could make something just as good myself for a fraction of the price. A little bit of Pinning gave me the idea of using clothes pegs.

All I needed for this little project was some pretty scrapbook paper (already owned), glue, pegs, sharp scissors and adhesive magnetic strips - I ordered these ones from Amazon. All I had to do was cut everything to size and stick it on. Luckily I had a little helper for this tricky task.

These magnets look like the perfect place to sit!

I will now steal your pen, and then later play with the lid to the glue stick and lose it under the sofa.

And, the finished result!

So quick and easy. I'm definitely going to make more. And I reckon they would also make great gifts for people too (friends with birthdays soon, watch out!).

Anyone else completed a really simple project that's brightened up your day?

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

All the Festivities

Alternative title: The Great Depression.

For some reason, the past few weeks I have just been horribly depressed. Things at work, situations in my life, and general lady hormones have just made me an emotional wreck, and truly all I wanted to do was not see anyone and crawl into a den made of pillows and duvets. Unfortunately, this is just about the worst time of year to do this.

I did manage to have some good times though. It was my first Christmas in my little house, and it's nice to sit here, drinking mulled wine and watching the lights sparkle on my £5 tree, with the cat snuggled on my lap.

Other things that occurred over the month of December:

  • Decorating the Christmas cake. This has become our tradition. Mutti bakes and ices (or "frosts", if you're American) it, then I get to go through the cupboards and use whatever I can find that isn't massively out of date and not completely dried up. This highlight of this year was shaking a tube of pink icing and hearing it rattle. Obviously we only had white icing, green food colouring, and a few tubes of writing icing. Somehow I managed to use these to make different colours, and this was the result.
  • Parties and food. Work Christmas party was fun, although I may have drunkenly tried to play the piano. Then a few of us sung carols by the tree. Good times. I also had a meal out with my friends, and then had to go to work hungover the next day. Last night I hosted my first New Year's Eve party in my house, with 12 guests, and most people were very well behaved.
  • Speaking of work, there was lots of it. Drinking non-alcoholic mulled wine with the office crew on Christmas Eve, and then going to work early on Christmas Day (working with animals = 365 day job).
  • Family. My Aunt and Uncle are here from Australia, so we have spent some time seeing them.
A lot of other stuff happened too. Christmas Day was lovely, apart from having to wake up at 6am and being forced to watch awful TV with my family until they finally went to bed and it then wasn't rude for me to disappear to watch Downton Abbey (yay!). I went to the cinema (Smaug was genuinely terrifying), did some late night shopping, met friends in coffee shops, watched a lot of tv... All good times.





I hope you and your loved ones all had an absolutely spiffing time too!