Thursday 26 November 2020

Book Review | The Magpie Society by Zoe Sugg & Amy McCulloch | prettylittlewriter

I have been a huge fan of Zoe Sugg since I started University at 18 (8 years ago) and she was better known as Zoella. If you've been following my blog for a while you will know I'm a big fan of hers.

She is a social media influencer who started with a blog then moving to Youtube, where she became one of the most popular youtubers of her time.

She no longer posts on her main youtube channel Zoella, as she has said she fell out of love with it and felt a lot of pressure to post, but she still regularly shares her life with us via her vlog channel, Zoe Sugg. 

This is not Zoe's first time publishing a novel. Published in 2014, Girl Online was a bestseller and Zoe's first time delving into the world of literature.

So being a huge fan when it came out, I purchased the novel thinking I would love it. Unfortunately, I really didn't. Now, it's not because the book was bad, it just felt too 'tween' for me. It just didn't fit with where I felt I was in life at that time (I was 20, feeling like an adult and blanking out my teenage years). So, in the end I only ended up reading a couple of chapters of the first book and never touched it again (I still purchased the next two books in the series, to show my support of course).

Ok, so back to the book at hand.

The Magpie Society.

This time, Zoe has written half of the novel herself, the character of Ivy, and the lovely Amy McCulloch has written the other half, the character of Audrey. Obviously the book has been edited and blah blah blah, but the story and the writing flowed so incredibly well, you would never know there were two different writers involved. 
This book is aimed towards the YA community, rather than teenagers, so I think that may have had a hand in why I liked it so much!

'Illumen Hall is an elite boarding school. Tragedy strikes when the body of a student is discovered at their exclusive summer party - on her back is an elaborate tattoo of a magpie.

When new girl Audrey arrives the following term, running from her own secrets back home in America, she is thrown into solving the case. Despite her best efforts to avoid any drama, her new roommate Ivy was close to the murdered girl, and the two of them can't help but get pulled in.

The two can't stand each other, but as they are drawn deeper into the mystery of this strange and terrible murder, they will discover that something dangerous is at the heart of their superficially perfect school.

Welcome to The Magpie Society.'

Firstly, I loved the character of Audrey. She is sassy, funny and gorgeous, exactly how you can imagine your typical All-American girl is on entering a posh British private school. I was drawn to her first, as I felt like Ivy started out as quite a cold character, pushing a lot of the people in her life away, so it took me a while to like her. 
The storyline was incredibly intriguing, I loved the theme around the magpies as we see them all the time here in the UK, and I think everyone knows the 'rules' surrounding them (salute a lone magpie or say good morning) and of course the rhyme, which is mentioned in the novel.

It took till about halfway through the book to properly get quite exciting and interesting, as we were slowly getting to know the characters in the first half and of course, being introduced to the tragedy that had just struck at the school. 

I loved seeing the frenemies dynamic between Audrey and Ivy fall away and blossom into a real solid friendship, that was brilliantly written.

I honestly felt like this novel was 100% what I would expect from Zoe; a thriller (I know she's a huge true crime/horror fan) with a little bit of romance and a budding friendship thrown in. This was also much more up my street as I love a good mystery, trying to work out 'whodunnit' before you actually find out. 

It ended up being a bestseller yet again, and I am thoroughly impressed! 

The cover and the spine of the book are absolutely stunning also, I am just in awe of how much thought has gone into it!

I am excited for the next book, but I'm gutted that Zoe & Amy haven't even started writing it yet so we have to wait!

3.5/5 stars

Wednesday 7 October 2020

Top 5 Halloween TV Shows on Netflix | prettylittlewriter

 I know what you're thinking. You're thinking, Erin, do you do anything other than watch halloween/horror movies and tv shows? 

There are two answers to this. The short answer is yes, yes I do. 

The other answer being that nothing makes me happier than watching a scary movie or TV show, they are honestly my favourite type of entertainment.

I have watched tons of scary movies and TV shows over the years, thanks to my parents who started me off early as they were huge fans too, and for today's blog post, I've put together my favourite horror TV shows that I think you should binge on the lead up to Halloween #spookyseason.

5. The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina

Number 5 is the most tame of them all, suitable for younger audiences that like a spooky vibe. I was so uncertain when they first announced they were remaking Sabrina, as the original Sabrina the Teenage Witch, starring Melissa Joan Hart, was my ABSOLUTE favourite TV show as a kid. I always wanted my own Salem, and a prince like Harvey. 
I think it helps massively that they have made this so incredibly dark and different to the original, it has completely become it's own entity. I love Kiernan Shipka as Sabrina, and Aunt Hilda is brilliantly hilarious like the original. However, two changes to it that I was not expecting to like, is 1. the introduction of cousin Ambrose, taking Salem's place as Sabrina's confident (Salem is still there, but he doesn't talk, he is just a cat). 2. Nicholas Scratch. I was a die-hard Harvey fan in the original, Sabrina had to end up with him. But in the CAOS I am 100% team Nicholas. Not only is he gorgeous, but he's kind, a brilliant warlock, and always has Sabrina's back no matter what.

I highly recommend giving this a watch, it is dark, and has a lot of death, so I wouldn't recommend for anyone under the age of 12!

4. Slasher

Slasher is one of those anthology shows where it's a new story every season.
The first season is about a girl who moves back into her childhood home with her husband, where her mother and father were both brutally murdered. Upon arrival, copycat killings start happening, and she is terrified that she may be next.

Season two is about a group of friends that return to a summer camp they were all at the year before, to solve a problem they had created for themselves when they were all part of the murder of a fellow camp councilor. 
Personally I think I preferred the second season, it was gorier and more 'slasher movie' style; it reminded me of Friday the 13th quite a lot.
This one most definitely is NOT suitable for a younger audience, it's pretty brutal.

3. Scream
The first two seasons of this show were brilliant. Close enough to the Scream movies, but had it's own unique characters enough that it you weren't comparing it to the movies. 
The first two seasons were situated in Lakewood, where a string of murders took place. At the center of those murders was Emma Duval, a teenage girl who is somehow tied to the town's dark past. 
The third season follows the story of Deion Elliot, who is tormented by the events of his tragic past. Ghost face uses his darkest secrets against him and continues with a killing spree.
The character of Noah was my favourite in the first two seasons; he was the Randy of the original movies, and they adapted him to be a main character. I loved how he talked about their lives as a horror movie, which they were basically living. He honestly made the show for me, which is why I prefer the first two seasons over the third. There are some brilliant twists and turns, and some outrageous cliffhangers.
More of a young-adult TV show, aimed at teens & twenty-somethings.

2. American Horror Story
If you're a horror fan and you haven't seen American Horror Story, where have you been?!
Yet another Anthology series, they have a completely different concept every season, and most are pretty original concepts. Created by Ryan Murphy, the king of horror TV, I absolutely love this show.
The first three seasons have to be my favourites; Murder House, Asylum & Coven. They're pretty self-explanatory with the titles, Asylum being based in a mental hospital & Coven being witches. 
Each season has recurring actors also, which I LOVE; Sarah Paulson & Jessica Lang are firm favourites. 
Honestly one of my favourite TV shows EVER, I look forward to any announcement regarding new seasons!

1. The Haunting Of Hill House
Now, this is one of the most incredible horror TV shows I have watched, EVER. Loosely based on a novel by Shirley Jackson, t
he plot alternates between two timelines, following five siblings whose paranormal experiences at Hill House continue to haunt them in the present day, and flashbacks that depict events leading up to an eventful night in 1992 when the family fled from the mansion. 
The actors are brilliant, with so many clever twists in the plot and intricate details throughout the show that if you blink you could miss.
If you haven't already seen this one, and you love horror movies, PLEASE watch it! 

I also have to mention season 2, which airs on Friday (October 9th 2020); The Haunting of Bly Manor. It's taken the 2 years to release this one after the success of the first, and although a completely different storyline, I'm incredibly excited to watch. If it's anything like the first, I will be hooked!
What are your favourite horror TV shows?

Saturday 3 October 2020

Top 10 Horror Movies on Netflix This October | prettylittlewriter

 October is here, and my favourite holiday season has begun! 

With Halloween just around the corner, I thought I'd share a little post on my top 10 horror movies that are on Netflix right now.

10. The Babysitter 1 & 2
Am I cheating already with including both of them? I think they come as a pair to be honest, and with the latest one only being released recently, I had to include it! I have literally only just watched these movies today, and I must admit, at first I was skeptical, its a teen horror/comedy that, from the trailer, looked absolutely ridiculous.

But after starting the first one, I was hooked! It's hilarious, with just the right amount of gore and jump scares. I'd put it as a modern combination of Scream & Scary Movie (not quite as ridiculous as SM).
Not to mention you've got the ridiculously attractive Robbie Amell shirtless throughout most of it (I tweeted about him being shirtless, he liked it; life has been made). 

9. Hereditary
This movie freaked me the hell out when I first watched it. I had no idea what was really going on, and there's a car scene which I did NOT expect that I can still see perfectly in my mind (if you watch it, you'll know what I mean).
This movie is thrilling and has the perfect amount of confusion to it to keep you guessing.

8. The Cabin in the Woods
It's been YEARS since I watched this one, but I remember it being brilliant. It's not your typical horror movie. They're all being manipulated by other humans in a lab type setting, which the five friends are completely unaware of. 
Without spoiling it, the ending was impressive. A must watch.

7. Would You Rather
A psychological thriller, will an impressive cast, this is one of my favourite horror movies that I can repeatedly watch. Brittany Snow as the lead actress, she is invited to a dinner where she is asked to take part in a game of would you rather with some other guests to win money. But the game involves some horrific choices, not for the faint-hearted. 

6. Mercy Black
As teenagers, two friends stabbed another classmate because they believed in a ghost called Mercy Black. Fifteen years later, one of the girls is released from a mental institute and goes to live with her sister. The girl starts to question whether Mercy Black was just a figment of her imagination, but things aren't as they seem.

Another brilliant psychological horror movie, it gave me chills just writing this. I wasn't a huge fan of the ending, however, 97% of the movie is brilliant.

5. The Visit
Two kids go to stay with their grandparents, terror ensues. This is meant to be a horror/comedy, but I didn't really find this movie comical in the slightest. The grandma freaked me out so much. There's a scene where she crawls underneath the house that gives me The Grudge vibes; did not appreciate that.
Brilliant concept, and has some great scares.

4. The House at the End of the Street
A girl moves to a new neighborhood with her Mother and starts a relationship with the boy who's sister killed his parents then vanished. 
Without spoiling the movie, it has some incredible twists and turns, and Jennifer Lawrence is brilliant in it. Also LOVE Max Thieriot as the love interest. I would highly recommend this one!

3. Prom Night
This is one I have on repeat every single Halloween without fail. More of a thriller than a horror, Brittany Snow stars again as a teenager who's family were brutally murdered by a teacher who became obsessed with her. This is a remake of Prom Night starring Jamie Lee Curtis, but I honestly prefer this one myself. Whilst at her high school prom, things go wrong as the teacher has escaped from prison. 
I love everything about this movie, the casting (including Idris Elba!), the fashion & ESPECIALLY the music; there are some absolute bangers!

2. Eli
A little boy named Eli is taken to a special facility to try and cure a unique disease where is allergic to the outdoors. He begins to experience supernatural occurrences in the house, and he believes it could be haunted.

Now, this movie is my number 2 for a reason, and without going into any specifics, I just really want you to go away and watch this movie if you haven't already. There are some HUGE twists and turns that you do not expect, and the ending is brilliant. 100% would recommend to anyone!

1. Before I Wake
This one got me emotional. An incredible story, scary, thrilling and heartbreaking, all at the same time.
A young couple take on a foster boy named Cody, after their own son recently died in an accidental drowning. Cody has these incredibly vivid nightmares where he is visited by 'The Canker Man', and whilst he is asleep, the dreams become a reality and the foster parents can see what he is dreaming about. 
I won't go into any more detail, but this is a must watch. I love this movie so much.

This was pretty hard to narrow down to just 10 movies, but having to choose those on Netflix made it slightly easier for me. 

Now, in the words of ghost face, what's your favourite scary movie?

Tuesday 22 September 2020

Book Review | Watching From The Dark by Gytha Lodge | prettylittlewriter

 Today's book review is long overdue.
 I read this novel around 3 months ago, and I've just been so busy that I've not been able to sit down and write a review! 
After finishing Olivia Kiernan's books and writing that review first as it was fresh in my mind, I'm ready to revisit this absolute gem!

I read Gytha's first novel, She Lies In Wait, at the very beginning of this year and loved it. So I was super excited to read the next installment of the Detective Jonah Sheens series. 

Gytha very kindly gifted me Watching From The Dark, and after the first couple of chapters I was hooked!

Aidan Poole is on a video call with his girlfriend when he realises she is not alone in her flat. She enters the bathroom, and a violent struggle ensues. Aidan is desperate to find out if Zoe is okay, so then why doesn't he call the police?
After sending cryptic messages to the police, DCI Sheens picks up the case, and upon discovering Zoe's body, delve into an investigation. With many friends and family members keen to express their love for Zoe, Jonah and his team have their work cut out if they want to figure out who the killer is. 

 I found this one so incredibly interesting! Did Aidan arrange for Zoe's murder and video chatted with her for an alibi? Are her friends hiding dark secrets that Zoe discovered which led one of them to murder her?

Gytha's writing excelled in this second installment. The twists and turns within it, alongside the brilliant character development and mystery surrounding Aidan's real relationship with Zoe create a clever and thrilling crime novel.

I was incredibly impressed with the amount of twists and turns that took place, I was kept on my toes the whole time and I was proven wrong whenever I thought I'd cracked the case myself! 

Overall, I was very impressed with this for a second novel. Thank you so much Gytha for gifting me the book, I enjoyed it thoroughly and cannot wait for book 3!

4/5 stars

Sunday 20 September 2020

Book Review | DCS Frankie Sheehan 1, 2 & 3 by Olivia Kiernan | prettylittlewriter

Today I wanted to share a review on not one, not two, but THREE brilliant books by the lovely Olivia Kiernan!

I was lucky enough to have been gifted the third and most recent DCS Frankie Sheehan novel,
If Looks Could Kill by Olivia, and rather than starting with the third novel (which can be done, you do not have to read in succession to enjoy the books!) I chose to purchase the first two and read them in order.

Too Close To Breathe - Frankie Sheehan #1
Scientist Eleanor Costello is found hanged, presumably having committed suicide. Detective Frankie Sheehan is handed the case, and almost immediately spots foul play. As she builds up an image of the killer, she starts to believe there could be a larger scheme at hand.

Throughout the novel, we get snippets of Frankie's past; a previous case that had caused her some personal trauma, and it builds up until we finally discover what had happened. This trauma impacts the way Frankie deals with the new case of Professor Costello's death, being her first assignment back in action.

I liked the way Olivia went into detail with Frankie's past, and the issues she had which impacted her investigation, as I felt more connected to her and it gave the character a lot of depth. I also really enjoyed the incorporation of the Dark Web, which leads you down a rabbit hole of possibility with who the killer could be.

The book feels very true to life and honest. It seems Olivia has taken time to really research the life of a Detective and the procedures surrounding a murder investigation, to ensure the novel is as accurate as it can be.

 I was trying to guess the killer all the way through, and thought I had it at one point, but I was proven wrong at the last moment! Yet another thing I loved about the book; I was kept on my toes all the way.

A brilliant debut crime novel that kept me hooked until the very end!


 The Killer In Me - Frankie Sheehan #2

Years ago, Sean Hennessey was convicted of the brutal murder of his parents and the attempted murder of his sister, but he always maintained his innocence. In the present, he has been released from prison, and making a TV documentary about the 'wrongful conviction'. But his freedom coincides with the discovery of two bodies, leading DCS Frankie Sheehan to wonder if he was involved. 

I REALLY got into this one. I think it only took me around a week to read, I was desperate to find out who the killer was. The character of Sean Hennessey was brilliant, at times you felt like he was a cold-blooded killer, the way Olivia describes the way he looks at people, or his body language. Then other times you start to think maybe he is completely innocent, especially during his documentary segments, as he sheds tears and seems completely distraught. Throughout the whole thing I just could not figure out if he was guilty of killing his parents or not.
Then with the introduction of the new murders and numerous key suspects that all could have had their own motive, you wonder, how could he be involved again?

Again, Olivia writes in so much detail, giving us an insight into how Frankie is feeling, her innermost thoughts surrounding the case. We also get to see the very sweet friendship Frankie has with her partner, Baz, and how much of a support system they have between them. 

As with her first novel, I did not guess the ending, I was on the edge of my seat till the end!


If Looks Could Kill - Frankie Sheehan #3

After being summoned to the Wiklow mountains by the disappearance of Debbie Nugent, Frankie discovers a crime scene fit for a murder. With no body, to prove it, Detective Sheehan has to delve deep into Debbie's past and current life, including her two daughters, Margot and Kristen, to uncover what has really happened to her. 

This third novel, I finished in 4 days! Absolutely brilliant. With it being Olivia's third book in the series, I think she has completely found her footing, and after reading the first two and knowing the characters, I just fell into this one.

Again, she goes into great detail about each character, gives them all their own interesting and slightly murky personalities, and with it seeming to go one way with who the killer is, there is then a huge twist. With a little bit of romance thrown in, and the continuation of the ever so lovely relationship Frankie has with Baz, this has to be my favourite so far!

I could not have guessed where the novel ended up, being so certain on one suspect as it all fit nicely with the evidence they had, to throw a spanner in the works with something completely different was impressive.

It's a brilliant gritty crime novel, with plenty of twists and turns, and definitely Olivia Kiernan's best novel to date!

So thank you Olivia, for gifting me this novel, and introducing me to the wonderfully chaotic world of Frankie Sheehan!

4/5 stars

Wednesday 29 July 2020

Taylor Swift Folklore Review | prettylittlewriter

If you know me, you know how much of a Swiftie I am.
From the first time I heard Love Story when I was 14 years old, Taylor has been my absolute idol. She's not only incredibly beautiful and talented, but she is an absolute lyrical genius.
So when she announced Thursday last week that she was dropping a surprise album, Folklore, I couldn't have been more excited!
So, after having the weekend to binge-listen and (almost) memorize some lyrics, I thought I'd do a review on all the brilliant songs on the new album!!
The 1
The 1 is another Swift hit that is just brilliant as a first song for the album. It's catchy as hell, and shows a badass side to Taylor (she swears twice in it, *gasps*). It's also very raw, lyrics such as 'in my defense I have none, for never leaving well enough alone', is Taylor sharing a part of her with us, telling us a truth about herself we wouldn't necessarily have known before.
Favourite line; 'In my defense I have none, for digging up the grave another time, but it would've been fun, if you would've been the one'

There's a reason this has been released as a single. Again, it's very catchy, but the fact that she has released some stunning merch to go along with it is just brilliant (may have got the boyfriend to buy the cardigan for me as an early Christmas present).
Cardigan also shows us some of the lyrical genius she has, 'And when I felt like I was an old Cardigan under someone's bed, you put me on and said I was your favourite'. 
 The song is also thought to be part of a trio of songs referring to a love triangle.
One of my absolute favourites.
Favourite line; 'I knew you, tried to change the ending, Peter losing Wendy'

The Last Great American Dynasty
The fact that she has written a song about the previous owners of her Rhode Island property is just pure brilliance in itself. You can tell she's done her research, and that she has formed a relationship with Rebeckah Harkness with all the intricate details involved in the lyrics.
It's one of the more upbeat, happy songs on the album (there's aren't many, it's a very angsty album!). I can imagine myself driving along the coast somewhere, windows down, hair in the breeze, singing along to this song.
Favourite line; 'Filled the pool with champagne and swam with the big names, and blew through the money on the boys and the ballet'
Okay, so this song is just ridiculous. I don't think I can express just how much I love it. From Bon Iver's incredibly low, melancholy voice, to the clever references to relationships and movies with unhappy endings, it's seriously impressive.
'I think I've seen this film before, and I didn't like the ending' is my favourite part, but I adore absolutely every part of it. I also love that Taylor and Bon Iver give both characters sides to the story, it just all fits so perfectly.
100% my favourite.
Favourite line; 'I think I've seen this film before, but I didn't like the ending. I'm not your problem anymore, so who am I offending now?'

My Tears Richochet
This one gets me emotional. It reminds me of a past love, which I can honestly say I have been over for many years now, but this song just brings everything back it almost feels like I lost that person just last week. 
'I didn't have it in myself to go with grace' I find very personable, and the fact that she used the word 'Richochet' in a song never mind as the title is impressive.
Contender for top 3.
Favourite line; 'And you can aim at my heart, go for blood, but you would still miss me in your bones'

Now this gives me high school dance vibes. I can completely imagine dancing with a boy as a teenager at a school dance/prom to this. It's a very romantic song, with perfect metaphors and a lovely sentiment.
Definitely growing on me to become one of my favourites.
Favourite line; 'I'm still trying everything to get you laughing at me'
This isn't my favourite. If i'm being honest, it's near the bottom in ranking on this album for me. Don't get me wrong, I still love it, lyrics and all, but I'm not a HUGE fan of the beginning of the song. When it gets to the line 'Sweet tea in the summer', it gets better for me and I enjoy the song a lot more. 
Favourite line; 'And I've been meaning to tell you, I think your house is haunted, your dad is always mad and that must be why'

A strong contender for top 3 again. This hits home again quite a lot, it's even inspired me to write my own lyrics about a month that means a lot to me too. 
Again, I can see myself listening to this as I drive along country roads singing my heart out. I just love the vibe of this one, a little bit poppy, possible single at some point?
Another song that is thought to be part of the trio love triangle story.
Favourite line; 'Remember when I pulled up and said get in the car, and then cancelled my plans just in case you'd call, back when I was living for the hope of it all'

This is me trying
Absolutely beautiful song. I relate to this on so many levels. When you feel like you just can't do anything right, and you just want to scream 'at least I'm trying'. I feel that.
I honestly think this is tied at top favourite with Exile. I just completely feel her passion and sorrow in the lyrics, and the way she sings them. 
Favourite line; 'And it's hard to be at a party when I feel like an open wound. It's hard to be anywhere these days, when all I want is you'
Illicit Affairs
To say Taylor has never cheated on anyone before (that we know of; she definitely hasn't) she absolutely nails the feelings of the other woman in a relationship. I imagine it feels so exciting to start with, then just kind of turns into a routine thing that you feel stuck in and it's no longer what you thought it was going to be. Another beautiful track about heartbreak, from a third party perspective.
Favourite line; 'Don't call me kid, don't call me baby, look at this idiotic fool that you made me'

Invisible String
This is a beauty. A warm and heartfelt song, about finding a true love and no longer holding grudges against past loves.
It describes an invisible string, almost like fate always having a hand in their meeting; they were always linked together and destined to be together.
Love that she refers to her past relationship (Joe Jonas?) and sending their baby presents.
Favourite line; 'Gold was the colour of the leaves when I showed you round centennial park, hell was the journey but it brought me heaven'

Mad Woman
This is a great fuck you song to the men out there that ever dissed Tay. She is singing about how in this patriarchal world, women get labelled as 'crazy' or 'mad' when they show any kind of negative emotion. But men make us that way, so what do they expect? I really love this song as it's completely true, Taylor has always been labelled as boy crazy, and I myself have been called crazy in the past. It gives me Reputation vibes, I don't think it would have been out of place on that record.
Favourite line; 'What did you think I'd say to that? Does a scorpion sting when fighting back?'
This is a beautiful, tragic song. The fact that she has told us it refers to her Grandfather who served in the war, and it also have some very close to home lyrics with reference to Covid-19.
Taylor is also showing us a vocal side to her we've not heard before, a very sweet and smooth sound. It's a masterpiece.
Favourite line; 'Something med school did not cover, someone's daughter, someone's mother'

This reminds me so much of the Fearless album, throwing it right back. Her vocals are the same, but the lyrics are a grown up version (she swears and the songs is about cheating). From the male perspective trying to win Betty back, this song is such an easy listen, and it really reminds me of autumn (the lyric video on Youtube is also very autumnal). 
Another of the songs that is thought to be part of the trio love triangle story.
Favourite line; 'I don't know anything, but I know I miss you, standing in your cardigan'

This is another glorious romantic love song. Taylor is singing about all the different things that she can give to her love, but she can't give him peace. Perhaps referring to the fact that she's in the spotlight, she'll never truly have peace as she's always being watched by the world.
Definitely feel like this could be a first dance song at a few weddings in 2020/2021!
Favourite line; 'But i'm a fire and I'll keep your brittle heart warm, if your cascade ocean waves blue come'
This is the most depressing song on the album. Everything about it screams sadness and heartache. Taylor's vocals are slow and breathy, giving a tired and hopeless feel to it. I feel very sad listening to this song, even though I currently have nothing to be sad about.
Very beautiful and raw, lyrics referring to someone who pretended to be there for her, only to leave and she finds out it was all fake. 
Favourite line; 'You knew it still hurts underneath my scars, from when they pulled me apart'

The Lakes

I have finally heard The Lakes!! I honestly think it's my favourite love song on the album. It's such a beautiful, complicated poem to her love, Joe Alwyn. The storytelling and poetic lyrics are just incredible on this track. 
I love that she takes a dig at Scooter Braun after he bought the rights to her previous albums (aside from Lover), also incorporating a famous English poet into it, and how a lot of the lyrics are based around her wanting to run away with Joe to places in the UK!
Favourite line; 'I've come to far to watch some namedropping sleaze, tell me what are my words worth.'
Overall, it's an incredible album, and I never expected this so soon after Lover, so I am very, very happy!

What are your thoughts on the album?

Monday 13 July 2020

Book Review | The Friend by Dorothy Koomson | prettylittlewriter

This week's book review is none other than Dorothy Koomson's, The Friend.
This novel follows the lives of multiple women, including main protagonist, Cece, and her quest to find out the truth hidden within the lies of her new friends in Brighton.
Initially, I found this book very difficult to keep up with as there are so many different characters with many different story lines. But each character had such depth, it made me want to carry on reading to find out exactly what had happened to them all.

I felt so much empathy for each of them, even having to stop and put the book down for a little while as some of the issues they faced really made me feel for them.

The twist at the end was brilliant; I never imagined the culprit to be who it really was.

Koomson is just astounding. She truly has a gift when it comes to writing, and I cannot wait to read more of her books soon!

I don't want to say too much about this book as it really has to be read to have such an impact on you. 
All I will say is I 100% recommend it, and even if you struggle at the start, keep going, it's totally worth it.

4/5 stars

Monday 6 July 2020

Book Review | The Woman in the Window | prettylittlewriter

Today's book review is A.J. Finn's the Woman in the Window.

This book is brilliant. It took me a little while to get through it (life gets in the way blah blah blah), but as the story line went along, I was increasingly excited by it and eager to find out what happened.
As you can see from the synopsis above, the story revolves around Anna, a recluse due to a past trauma. She watches the world go by from her window, specifically taking notice of her neighbours across the street.

When a new family move in and Anna becomes friendly with the mother, she starts to feel a little better about her own life. But when she witnesses something terrible happen to Mrs Russell through the window, she makes it her mission to find out what happened and get justice for her. 

The novel is very psychological; you are unsure as to whether Anna can even trust her own sight and memories. There are many things that just don't add up for her, and that creates an intrigue into what happened to her to make her the way she is. 

As I made my way through the book, the obvious person to have committed the crime becomes and more less likely and it leads to a very surprising twist! 

I really was shocked by the ending, and very impressed.

I would 100% recommend this book to any thriller fan. 

3.5/5 stars

Also, look out for the movie version, coming out at some point in 2020 (it's been delayed due to Covid-19) starring Amy Adams! It looks brilliant, and hopefully stays true to the book!

Monday 22 June 2020

Book Review | She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge | prettylittlewriter

Today I'm sharing a little review of another great British novel, She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge.
I bought this book from my local Tesco after reading the synopsis you can see in the picture below; it was so incredibly intriguing and I like a book that focuses on the detective as the main character, especially when the writer creates a character with a mysterious background that you just cannot wait to discover.
One of the things I loved about this book is how after every chapter with DCI Sheens, you had a chapter with Aurora; slowly telling you the story of what happened to her out in those woods thirty years ago.

After each chapter with her, you start believing you've figured out who killed her, and then there's another spanner thrown in that completely turns you the other way.

Gytha has created a novel with such incredible suspense you never want to put it down. I think I read it in two days, or rather, two evenings (working 9-5 during the day).

I won't give you any further details on it, as I really think you have to read this for yourself and get stuck in. 

Overall I really enjoyed this book.

3.5/5 stars

Sunday 14 June 2020

Broken Memories | A Working Novel | prettylittlewriter

Today I'm sharing something with you all that means a lot to me. I wrote a short story when I was sixteen for my English coursework, a story that I was so incredibly proud of as it felt so painfully raw and real, even though it was completely fictional to me.
I think it's the best writing I'd ever done, and the fact that I wrote it a sixteen, when I knew nothing of the world really, gives it that special place in my heart.

I hadn't been back to the story for years until today. 
After watching The Longest Ride movie by Nicholas Sparks, it triggered something in me. I got so emotional after watching it and for some reason, it inspired me to make the decision of turning that short story in a full novel.

So today, I've spent the last hour creating the very first chapter for the book, and I would like your feedback. 
I'm asking you to read this and give me any comments you can, good or bad, and I'd like to know if it makes you want to read more, and intrigued enough to want to find out what happened in the past to these characters to get them to where the book begins.

The story was originally called Broken Memories, but I'm not happy with this title, so it's a work in progress!

So here it is. Please read. Please share. Please give me your feedback, it would really mean a lot.

Broken Memories

The air was crisp and I could feel the wind rushing up my shirt as I stood there, toes curled over the edge.

I closed my eyes and thought about her, that smile, those dimples. That long blonde hair that shimmered in the sunlight. Those eyes that sparkled with a beauty I had never seen before.

A single tear fell down my left cheek, that salty taste I knew all too well in recent months.

Never in my life had I felt such a crushing pain before until that night, where my entire world collapsed in a matter of minutes.

Not only did we lose something we didn't even really have, but that was also the day I lost her.

That night she lost her sparkle. I never saw those beautiful dimples again, she just couldn't bear to smile. That twinkle in her eyes had turned into a mist; they were always brimming with tears.

Just three months ago we were filled with joy and laughter, falling all over each other on the beach, snuggled up in a blanket watching the sunset and planning out our future. The house, the wedding, the children.

Instead, I was here, on top of the largest building in our small town, feet on the edge, ready to end my life.

I breathed deeply as I braced myself, ready to take the plunge. This is what I had to do. Nothing else in the world mattered to me anymore. I had lost everything; she was my everything.

There was nothing that could ease my pain, believe me I've tried. I turned to whiskey in the beginning, something I'd had in my life since I was seven years old thanks to my old man. After Mum died, whiskey became his life.

So day after day and night after night, I drank. The burning sensation as the whiskey fell down my throat was just a reminder to me that I was numb to everything else.

I'd even been to see a doctor; my best pal Nate insisted I go as he couldn't deal with my explosive behaviour any longer, 'Mate, you've got a problem. You're spiralling and you need help. I hate seeing you like this'. He'd said this one night after I'd almost ended up in a prison cell thanks to some dickhead that made a joke whilst in our local pub about an at-home abortion technique he would use on his girlfriend if she got pregnant.

The doctor prescribed me some pills and told me to see a therapist; as if I really needed to keep talking about my past when it hurt so fucking much to even think about it. Talking about what had happened was the last thing I wanted to do.

I paused, thinking I'd heard footsteps for a moment. So I remained silent, thinking about her, wondering if somehow she knew I was here.

After a minute or two, I realised that I must have imagined it. There's no way she could know where I was, she didn't even know I was back in town.

I slowly lifted my right foot from the ground; nothing else to stop me from ending this torment.