LIFESTYLE | January Review

Monday, February 26, 2018

Last year I really focused on growing my social media and while I love social media I'm a firm believer in quality over quantity. I will admit it's lovely to see a nice round number.

As it's the 31st January I've recorded my current social media stats and wanted to record that somewhere. I do have a spreadsheet but as this is my blog I thought this is a good a place as anywhere to share. 

January Change
Twitter 3779 59
Facebook 770 2
Instagram 2158 25
YouTube 369 43
Pinterest 1253 12
Bloglovin 642 5
Google+ 423 -1
Instagram SW 1361 94

As predicted my Slimming World Instagram had the best growth new year, new me and sw is always popular and since I set the account up it's my most active platform.

Twitter is also a good place for growth, it's very organic growth and I don't feel like I have to work at my twitter account, I tweet blog and youtube posts. I've started using some hashtags again. I've joined in one twitter chat and my IG posts are auto-shared via IFTT but I don't really cross promote it on other platforms very often. 

Youtube also say a really good growth, I gained almost half the number of followers in one month than I did in the whole of 2017. This is a result of promotion and the change in YTs T&Cs that they now only really care about channels with over 1000 followers and 4,000 hours of watch time per 12 months. There has been a big drive in the community to support one and other and it's working. I'll never get the required watch time even if I do make the 1000  subscribers. My lifetime minutes are 73,522 and that's from 02/01/2013 to 30/01/2018. It's not going to put me off. It is very much a hobby and that's how it will stay but it feels a shame YT have made this change and it does feel like they only care about the huge creators. 

I was worried about Instagram for a while, I was losing followers at the start of the month. for every new follower notification I got, I noticed my follower count had gone down by 2 or more. That one and only twitter chat I remembered to join in was about IG which was a massive help to get some new followers. 

Pinterest. I've just left that to bob along by itself, it's an odd little platform. I get hooked for weeks, then I ignore it for months. Sometimes I've gained loads other times I look and the numbers have dropped massively. It can do what it wants and I will go to it when I'm in the mood. From what I've read follow count don't matter as it classes itself as a search engine, not a social platform but I will say getting to a target number is always a nice feeling. I'm mainly pinning Disney inspiration at the moment and I am trying to pin my own blog things on it but I'm not remembering very often. 

Ah Bloglovin, I still don't know about this. I don't really use it to read blogs on and I know a lot of people came off it last year so I'm letting it do it's own thing for now. 

Google plus, the only place I dropped a follower. I'd say sad face but let's face it how many of us actively use it? I like the look of it and once this month I've shared a post in a couple of groups but I want to use it and think I might try and spend some quality time on it in February. 

I feel like I've used my month to focus on the blog and youtube content more than social media channels and it was only towards the end of the month when I started scheduling posts to auto-tweet content. I want to get back doing this as my readership is so low on my blog. My monthly stats are less than some other "small" bloggers daily stats. Even if blogger stats where real (I use google analytics - Just checked blogger for this post) the stats would still be bad. 

Do I need better content, when I speak to people who read my blog they say they like it but then no one reads it? Well, about 40 people a day on a good day. Maybe I need to share more, maybe I need to share less? What do I do? 

One thing I think I need to start being proud of is my HIBs100 score. I'm currently 93. I don't know what this means in the real world but it's nice to be ranked and they even featured one of my posts on their website so I can't be all bad! 


DISNEY | Primark Disney Haul

Thursday, February 22, 2018

To give Primark its due, it’s really come into its own recently with it’s branded/licenced products.
I’ve recently shared some of the Harry Potter things I’ve been picking up and now it’s time to share my Disney Haul. I do have a few other items and there is no doubt I’ll be picking up other things here and there, but I love sharing the things I buy with you and I’m pleased with my little purchases.

When it comes to Disney, I do have a few favourites but it’s often hard to narrow down. I don’t feel like I’ve watched that many Disney videos and when we first got Sky TV back in the early 90s I was a bit too told for the Disney Channel and was more of a Nickelodeon and Cartoon Network kinda girl.

I did watch the odd thing, but names escape me now. There was the one with the twins who lived in a hotel and got into all sorts of scrapes.

When I was in Primary school my gran when through a phase of buying Disney films on VHS from Tesco. I feel like she used to buy me one a month or maybe less frequently and she still has then in the video drawer in her TV stand and she still has a video recorder which works (just about)
The films I remember having are Aladdin, Snow White, Cinderella, and I have memories of getting the Song of the South from the video shop at the bottom of her street. That was our Friday night, 2 videos, a bag of salt and vinegar squares which was made into a crisp butty and a quarter of mini midget gems.

Sometimes in Primark, you have to pick something up the first time you spot it as they do sell out quickly with a couple of these items as I had managed to stop my self from buying them as I really didn’t need them but last weekend I decided to go for it. I’ll speak about that a bit more when I speak about each item

Stitch Sweatshirt

Primark Disney Haul - Stitch Sweatshirt
Stitch Sweatshirt
This is one of the items I almost missed. I saw this just after Christmas and I have queued up with it at least three times before putting it back. I’m not 100% sure if I’ve watched Lilo and Stitch. I feel like I know the character, but I don’t remember the story. I have since bought the DVD from Amazon but haven’t watched it yet. While I’ve been watching Disney Vlogs some of the best interactions have been with Stitch and I’ve really got a soft spot for him. Once I made my mind up to get the Sweatshirt (they also have a cute t-shirt) They didn’t have my size, I felt really sad about this. I have been checking every time I’ve been back and finally, I found one in my size. I limped to the till as fast as my dodgy leg would carry me. The top is fairly thin and very soft. I’m hoping that once I watch the film my love for him will grow.

Chip Coin Purse

Fashion | Primark Disney Haul Chip Coin Purse
Chip Coin Purse
An impulse purchase if ever there was one. I haven’t been sucking in by all the beauty and the beast range at Primark. I’ve liked and thought everything is cute and as much as I love both the animated and more recent live action versions of the film. I just haven’t been caught up in the merchandising side of things. 

When I went to White Rose in Leeds, this little purse was at the till and it was his glittery-ness that sold him to me and he had been reduced to £2.

Marie Makeup Bag

Fashion | Primark Disney Haul Marie Makeup Bag
Marie Makeup Bag

This is another one of those products I’ve been resisting. The first time I saw it, I knew I wanted it and it was only £6 but I have lots of makeup bags. If you watch my YouTube channel you will know I have been subscribed to Love Me Beauty subscription service and each month they send another makeup bag out.

When I went to my local store a couple of weeks ago, I walked round with this bag but decided I couldn’t justify it but after thinking about it and knowing it probably won’t be around for much longer knew I needed to buy it sooner rather than later.

Minnie Mouse T-shirt

Fashion | Primark Disney Haul Minnie Mouse T-Shirt
Minne Mouse T-shirt

My Disney focus has been more around princesses rather than Minnie and Mickey but I think the Minnie and Mickey T-shirts that are around at the moment are fantastic and who doesn’t love a striped top. I love Minnie peaking over the top of the bow and the fabric feels lovely.

Mickey Fairy Lights

Fashion | Primark Disney Haul Mickey Mouse Fairy Lights
Mickey Mouse Fairy Lights

I am a sucker for fairy lights and I thought these were adorable. I love that they are on the copper wire so can be bent into shape. I think they look good in Disney photos so expect to see them in more posts. They might also appear in none Disney flat lays.

Fashion | Primark Disney Haul

Fashion | Primark Disney Haul


BEAUTY | Impulse Body Sprays

Monday, February 19, 2018

I haven’t had an impulse body spray for years, I might be lying there as I do feel like I had a small tin in a goodie bag but I have often been put off aerosol body sprays as they remind me of my teenage years when were you even a real teenager if you didn’t have at least 2 cans of impulse plus a bottle of So and or Exclamation! In your arsenal of personal grooming.

Walking through boots and I noticed a stand full of these impulse bottles, the first thing that drew me closer was the fact that they’re not in aerosol cans, the second was the bright labels and then I noticed the names.

  • ·         Burnt Marshmallow & Leather Jacket
  • ·         Purple Petals & Smokey Sky
  • ·         Whipped Cream & Microchip
  • ·         Tropical Beach & Espresso
  • ·         White Lace & Muddy Grass
I had a quick smell of a couple of them and was in love. They are currently priced at £3.50 but that is half price. I picked up two initially, Burnt Marshmallow & Leather Jacket and White Lace & Muddy Grass. I couldn’t decide between them and they are both fresh smelling with the marshmallow one being on the sweet side.

One of the days I’d used them. I like them both together so have a quick spritz of both. I tweeted about a really nice scent that I couldn’t put my finger on. It was me, or rather the Impulse sprays!

When I went in to Superdrug a couple of weekends ago, they were still on offer, so I decided to pick up the other three, plus I had a £1 on my Superdrug card which was due to expire (I didn’t realise they expired either!)

I’m terrible at describing scents so please excuse my attempts below but I know when I read blog post I appreciate it when people do try.

Burnt Marshmallow & Leather Jacket

This one is really sweet smelling but I adore marshmallow scented products this might be my favourite one of the five. I do also get a feint background smell of well worn expensive leather. I do like this but it might not be for everyone. 

Purple Petals & Smokey Sky

A strong floral scent with a smoky background scent. I do like this one but I haven't used it all over as yet. On the couple of sprays I've tried I think this will be used a lot in spring.

Whipped Cream & Microchip

When I smelt all the body sprays this morning, I tried to do it at random without looking at the lables and with this one I couldn't put my finger on what it smelt like. It smells good, I would say it smells like cream and what do microchips smell like? Metal? frozen chips (Micro-Chips) I don't know. It is a pleasant smell.

Tropical Beach & Espresso

A perfect summer scent, this smells like tropical fruit and I feel like I detected a slight coconut scent. I'm not sure I detected any coffee scent but I haven't worn this one I've onky spritzed it in the air.

White Lace & Muddy Grass

This was my first choice in the store and it smells fresh and clean. I like to use a spritz of this and the marshmallow one together. This one and the Marshmallow ones are the only ones I've properly used and they are favourites.

I can't wait to use all of them and while it does seem a bit excessive to buy all 5, especially when I have so many other scents but with the half price offer I couldn't resist.


DISNEY | Cath Kidston x Disney

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Last month I posted about the Cath Kidston backpack I’d bought between Christmas and new year, but it wasn’t the only thing that I bought in that order and I was tempted by a further offer on free P&P if you spent £25 (It’s normally £35 to get free P&P).

In my initial order I picked up a kid’s handbag from the Cath Kidston x Disney range. This wasn’t in the sale and cost £16. It did help me bring my order up to the £35. What I like about this bag is the lack of Disney on the front.  This might seem a little odd as you’d think I might want it to be “DISNEY” to the max but I like the little nod to Mickey without the full on of every character going.

Cath Kidston x Disney - Child's Disney Handbag

The bag is small and doesn’t have an inner pocket which would have been nice but it’s not an essential. I would have also liked the strap to be a little bit longer but as it’s from the kids range I can understand why it’s not longer.

Cath Kidston x Disney - Child's Disney Handbag

I will probably use this inside another bag with my camera and other electronics such as battery charger and cables. I’m not sure and I’m justifying my purchase.

The other annoying thing about this is that it was reduced the day after I bought it. I was tempted to return it, but you have to pay for returns unless you go to the store and I didn’t think I’d be going to a store any time soon.

Have you noticed some brands send out lots of emails? I feel Cath Kidston is one of those brands but one of the ones they did send was an offer for free delivery if you spent £25. I had been looking at placing another order, but it wasn’t coming up to the £35 and I detest paying for delivery with big companies. I don’t mind if it’s a small independent company or an Etsy seller, but delivery costs are something I don’t like to pay if I can help it.

I picked up 2 sets of the nylon pouches, a Minnie and Mickey set and a Donald and Daisy set. This are very thin and light weight. They also come with a jump ring, so they can be clipped together or used separately.

Cath Kidston x Disney - Minnie & Mickey Nylon Pouch Set

The spotty background is perfect for my love of spots and dots and I think these will be useful for travel. I can use them to keep travel documents in, I might even use one as a makeup bag and the small ones will be good to use as a change purse or a pencil case as as I always carry pens with me. 

Cath Kidston x Disney - Daisy and Donald Nylon Pouch Set

Each set of pouches were £6, so the equivilant of £3 each. I'm justifying it as £2 for the small one and £4 for the big one and it doesn't seem to bad. I don't think I would have paid full price for them. 

My love of stationery is well known, so it will be no surprise that I also bought a pen and a pencil case. They are both from the same range but in opposite colours.

Cath Kidston x Disney - Disney Pen and Pencil Case

I love all the graphics and colours, but I do prefer the pale background as I feel you can see the characters better.

Cath Kidston x Disney - Disney Pen and Pencil Case

The pen is nice and chunky which is what I need as I struggle with thin barrel pens and I’ve been looking for a new pencil case for work as I’ve split my last one (as it had too many pens in it). It’s also quite a good size to use as an everyday makeup bag. 

Cath Kidston x Disney

Cath Kidston x Disney


STATIONERY | Belated Planner Supplies

Monday, February 12, 2018

Welcome to 2018 the year of long overdue posts! I’ve cleared out my drafts and came across a post with a set of pictures and I think it’s time to share what I bought back in July 2017.

Someone I follow on Instagram, I can’t remember who as I managed to lose their post in seconds of seeing it. They had won a competition from an Etsy store and being me, I’d placed an order before I knew it.

I’d also picked up some new pens and page markers from the Pound shop and The Works around the same time.

The Pens are Bic Intensity, they are fine liners in bright colours and I like to use them in my gratitude journal. Which I need to start using again.

I couldn’t resist the page markers as they are cute kitties. I do love cats and while I can’t have a living one (That sounds wrong) I will go with cat related items.

From Etsy store Stars and Confetti, I picked up a couple of Washi Tapes which I didn’t take photos of, but I am planning a Washi Tape collection video or blog post at some point in the future so look out for that.

My main purchase is laminated dividers for my personal sized planner. I adore the colours and design. These work well with my old planner and my new Kikki K planner that is another post. There was a lot of designs to choose from but the bicycle and glitter hearts where the set I kept going back to repeatedly.

The last thing I picked up was a planner elastic band and pen holder, this is a little big for the pictured planner, but I’ve found it works well around my Slimming World pack and It’s handy to keep a pen with that. I did think about putting a stich in this, but my planner does have a pen holder built in so it’s easier to use that than modify the elastic band.

You might think I’m a little bit planner obsessed as I’ve only recently posted about my 2018 YouTube and Blog planner but I’m on a constant mission to find one that works for me. My Filofax style planners work for every day and taking to work but the newest one is working well for blog and youtube planning and it’s not one I feel I need to carry with me all the time. 


BEAUTY | KIKO Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection

Thursday, February 08, 2018

Me and my nails have a long and fraught history, but I have finally found a nail product that works for me and if you haven’t guessed by the title it is KIKO Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer.

It’s a budget-friendly option as they retail for £2.50 each but I have found them on offer a couple of times. Even at the full price, they are good value.

In the past, I’ve had acrylics and more recently I’ve been using the sensationail system from Boots but nothing ever last for long on my nails.

I’m not sure if my nails are too oily or acidic or A N Other but polish usually chips within a couple of hours or it fades really quickly.

 KIKO  Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection

The KIKO Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection lasts a few days on my nails. I have managed to keep it on for a week once with minimal chipping, but I do bite my nails a lot which limits the life of my polish.

I currently own 15 colours. There are 11 in this post, but I might have bought 4 more since I took these pictures. (I’d say whoops, but I do plan to buy more)

All the polishes are equally fast drying and in most colours, you can get away with one thick coat. These are the quickest drying polishes I’ve used, and I do tend to do my nails at 2am just as I’m about to go to sleep and I never wake up with them smudged or quilt indents. If you don’t know about these then you’re lucky.

What I have noticed is if you want to do a second coat it can be a little bit messy. You need to wait a little longer than touch dry and use a decent amount of polish for the next layer or it’s as if both layers are trying to merge / it’s trying to dry as you’re painting it on. It’s hard to describe but that second coat has been tricky on a few occasions.

I’m going to do a quick run through on what I think about each colour.

The Reds

 KIKO  Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection

38. Metallic Copper – From all the colours I own this is my least favourite. It is very thin and needs three coats to be totally opaque. As mentioned above more than one coat isn’t always easy.

10.Geranium Red – a beautiful bright red, it’s on the orange end of the reds but it’s perfect for toes and that’s what is on my toes right now.

? – My first ever entry into these colours and sadly the number has worn off, it’s a beautiful brick red and I think it was reduced to a Euro when I was in Spain last year. I bought it as I haven't taken any colour for my toes but felt too ill to actually paint them and didn’t use it until I got home. From that first use, I was hooked.

53. Light Rosy Chestnut – One of my current favourites. It’s a warm colour and I think it works well with my skin tone. I have been wearing this a lot recently. 

The Greens

 KIKO  Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection

83. Turquoise – A lovely bright colour that reminds me of holidays and has me wishing for a sunny holiday somewhere that is above 20 degrees Celsius right now.

33. Pine Green – Another lovely colour. It’s very similar to the Turquoise but has a slightly greener tone to it. I probably didn’t need this colour, but I really like.

87. Lawn Green – I have wanted this colour since I first spotted it on the website. I don’t know what it is about the colour, but it speaks to me. Unfortunately, the first time I wore it a Bus stopped outside my office (I have a window seat) and this is exactly the same colour as the bus. That has put me off a little bit but it’s not a bus company I use so at least no one will think I’m part of the fan club.

 Greys and Neutral’s 

 KIKO  Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection

96. Pearly Anthracite – Like the Metallic copper this is also quite a thin polish. I found this did fade slightly but I don’t think I applied it carefully enough so I’m not blaming the polish just now.

44. Dark Grey – I don’t think I would class this as dark grey, I would class it as more of a mid-grey but maybe I’m fussy. This colour lasted well on me and goes on well with one coat.

5. Taupe – Another long-lasting polish which is also fab with just one coat. I detest the word Taupe, it gives me the shivers and I wish there was a better word for this colour. It is a true Taupe, but I enjoy wearing this colour.

97. Iridescent Unicorn – I haven’t used this yet. When I used it on the sampler it was very thin and I think I’d only use it as a nail topper or sponge it on to be a thick coat but I’m not sure as yet. 

 KIKO  Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection

There is a large number of colours in the ranged the list goes form 01. Clear to 103. Rosy French. It looks like there was a couple of numbers missing from this list and I don't know why but I can see myself buying a good few more of these and as I've mentioned I have bought 4 more since.

At some point, I will try and update this post or do another on with the new colours I buy. I think I need to invest in some of the pinks in this collection.

 KIKO  Smart Fast Dry Nail Lacquer Collection


Fashion | New Look Sale Bargains

Monday, February 05, 2018

 I used to buy a lot of clothes from New Look but since my local store closed around 10 years ago and the removal of the plus size section from the store I go in, I rarely bother even looking in. When I go to places like Liverpool, Denton and Bury. I like to have a look and a rummage through the sale rails.

I rarely bother looking at full price items unless I want something for a special occasion which is rare for me.

Between Christmas and New Year, we popped to Bury, and I picked up a pair of black dungarees for £6 instead of £35. Dungarees are not my normal look, they are something I think look cool on other people. On me not so much. For £6 I can deal with not being cool. I’ve worn them a couple of times so far, but I’ve worn a jumper over them, so they look like jeans. I’m not brave enough to wear them as they are.

New Look Sale Dungarees
New Look Sale Dungarees 

New Look Sale Dungarees
New Look Sale Dungarees 

I found it quite hard to take a picture of them and I should have probably worn them and got someone to take a picture of me wearing them but as mentioned before I'm not quite brave enough as yet to wear them as they are. 

New Look Sale Dungarees
New Look Sale Dungarees 
  I love they are skinny jean style, so they don’t look out of place when I wear them with a jumper over the top. I need to do some googling to see how to style them.

More recently I visited the New Look Store at Crown Point North in Denton and was sad not to see any Plus Size range in store. This store seems to remove and replace the range every time I go but I distracted myself looking at the accessories sale rail.

A few of the items went through cheaper than the price sticker which led to the woman on the till letting me go back and pick up other things. I ended up buying the same things in three different colours.

The necklaces were all different prices I can’t remember which was which amount. But one was £0.50, £1.00 and the third was £1.25.

New Look Sale Necklaces. Rose, Silver and Gold
New Look Sale Necklaces. Rose, Silver and Gold
New Look Sale Necklaces. SilverNew Look Sale Necklaces. RoseNew Look Sale Necklaces.  Gold

I also picked up a set of three headbands for £0.50. Headbands are not an item I wear very often. I have a big head, and most are too small and give me headaches. What I like about these headbands is that don’t have any grip or combs on the inside of the band, which will help with not getting headaches. I will more than likely only wear these in the house but for £0.50 for three, it was worth grabbing.

New Look Sale Headbands. Rose, Silver and Gold

The last item I picked up was a bracelet, I’ve spotted a few adverts for similar branded on my Facebook. The branded ones are all around £30 but this one was £1.25. Sadly, this one is too small. I need to try and see if I can bend it a bit. I didn’t want to strain it too much and break it.

New Look Sale Bracelet. Gold
New Look Sale Bracelet. Gold

Overall the jewellery should have cost just under £35 full price and I paid just under £5 for everything. One of my favourite things is when it goes through cheaper than the stickered price which happened a couple of times. It always makes me feel like I've got one up on the system. 

New Look Sale Headbands, Necklaces and Bracelet. Rose, Silver and Gold
New Look Sale Headbands, Necklaces and Bracelet. Rose, Silver and Gold

New Look Sale Headbands, Necklaces and Bracelet. Rose, Silver and Gold
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Lifestyle | The Power by Naomi Alderman

Thursday, February 01, 2018

As you might know, I've joined a FaceBook book group called Bookish Mama's and January was its inaugural month. We read The Power by Naomi Alderman and it was a tough read. It's billed as a cross between The Handmaids Tale and Hunger Games.

In the book club, we have a monthly discussion via a Facebook live. I wasn't sure how this would work but it was great. There wasn't too many of us in the chat. This was a double-edged sword. On one hand, this was good for me as I struggle to keep up but it was a shame that not all that many people could join us. There will never be a time to suit everyone.

We had been given some questions ahead of time and I've gone through and answered this. These were all done before the chat and some of my answers would be different now. I also want to read the book again but I'm taking that slowly and reading the odd page every now and again. I've also added a couple of questions I'd ask myself when I do book reviews.

These questions and answer will contain spoilers sweetie!

1. What did you think about the lead characters – Allie, Roxy, Margot and Tunde? What role in the structure of the story did each of them play?
I didn’t feel any empathy towards any of the main characters, the only one I felt I connected with was Roxy. This might be because she was the only British person or because she felt a little more well rounded than any of the others.
Allie – felt lacking and as if she hadn’t been well thought out or planned. It was almost like she was a bit part rather than a lead.
Roxy – I want to know more about Roxy, I’d like to know more about her childhood and life as she grew up.
Margot – Again to me she felt like a filler and I kept thinking Jos would become a bigger player, but it felt like she was only mentioned when there was nothing else to say.
Tunde – From one min a youngish player to next min and international journalist, felt very unrealistic and implausible. I didn’t really get his role until I’d finished the book and then I can see the need for him.

2. Do you think the scenario played out in a plausible manner?
Yes and no, towards the end it became a little bit silly and I got lost a bit as people seemed to jump from one place to another, but the initial premise was excellent.
I get a lot of static shocks and cause a lot of static shocks. Between me and my mum last weekend we’re not sure who caused the shock, but I got one down the nail of my little finger and my finger still hurts slightly.
While I was reading the book, I could see how someone who is quite a static person could harness their power and make it more dangerous. I’m not too sure about being born with a skein that comes to life during puberty but elements of what was coming across I could work with.

3. What did you think of the use of the commentary between the TV presenters / Daniel and Margot to illustrate the process of gender role-reversal?
I don’t really remember too much about these scenes, I vaguely remember finding them humour but I clearly didn’t pay much attention to them.
4. How important was religious belief and religious institutions to the story?
I feel it was used as a vehicle to carry the story and as an excuse to fight and carry out the atrocities they caused.

5. What do you think Allie’s internal voice actually was?
Who knows, and internal monologue. Part of me thought of Freud with the Id, Ego and Super Ego but none of these really fit. Other explanations could lead down other psychological routes such as auditory hallucinations. I’ve googled and these are not always linked to people with mental health conditions but they are common in people with schizophrenia. I don’t want to speculate and say I think this is what Allie had as I’m not qualified and I got an N in my A Level Psychology exam I don’t think it’s my place to say. Another explanation I was thinking is less dramatic and that is that it was just her conscience. Especially the part before Roxy arrived and it said something along the lines of something good is coming, this almost seems like wishful thinking and coincidence

6. Violence is a key theme in the book, was there too much emphasis on these extreme examples of human behaviour?
I don’t think there was enough, there could / should have been different ways of portraying it but I’ll admit I quite enjoy a high body count. I don’t think the male rape scenes were necessary or to be described as graphically as they were. This may contradict my view of Allie’s experience of rape. While I could live without it I feel it was almost expected and then in some ways, it wasn’t needed.
7. Did you think the emails between Naomi and Neil which sandwich the book was necessary?
Yes I think they are critical to the story, they make everything make sense and if they were not there the book wouldn’t have ended as actual “story” part of the book didn’t seem to come to a conclusion fully for me.

8. What did you think of the artefact pictures?
I didn’t see the need for them, they helped to bulk out the page count but I tried to look and read them but it didn’t really “do” anything for me.

9. How do you think the presence of Tunde’s story altered the overall storytelling? Why do you think Alderman chose to include that aspect?
The inclusion of Tunde was as critical as the emails to the story, I do feel his actual role was a bit fanciful and not well created. It would have been better to have him start as a reporter rather than him suddenly be one. Tunde’s role was to help bring across the gender switch of the story. With the initial chapters I was bored by him and did think about skipping those chapters but didn’t and now I’m glad I didn’t.

10. Did you enjoy the book? Would you recommend it?
In all honesty, I don’t know if I enjoyed it or liked it or hated it. I don’t know if it was because I was trying to read it quickly to try and finish for the book club deadline (My book took ages to arrive) or because I had higher expectations for it. It was billed similar to The Handmaids tale crossed with Hunger Games. I’ve read The Handmaids tale a number of times and I really enjoy it and everything it has to offer and feel like I get something new from it with each reading. I haven’t read The Hunger Games but I have watched Battle Royale which I’ve been told has a very similar premise. (body count!!!) I did pull a couple of aspects from both but it didn’t live up to either of these. Would I recommend it, at this moment in time probably not? Would I read it again? Yes, I think I need to. I often think a second read is a good idea especially when you’re not sure of something.

Additional Questions
What would you rate it on Good Reads?
I would give It a 3 at this moment in time.
Would you read more by the same author?

Yes, I would, I’m always interested to see how authors tackle other books. 

The organisers of the book club are: Catch a Single Thought, Mrs H’s Favourite Things and The Organised Life Project