Friday, 12 February 2016

Brooklyn Review

Brooklyn by Colm Tóibín book actually belongs to my mum but as she left it in my hospital room when I was in so I gave it a go as it looked like a short and sweet read. I wasn't in the mood for anything too heavy and everyone said this was a pretty easy going book - they weren't kidding, in fact I found it to be one big yawnfest! To be fair I had just read Gone Girl, so most things were going to be a little dull after the wild ride that took me on, but I still didn't find this an enjoyable book.

brooklyn book review

Set in the 1950's, it's the story of an Irish girl, Eilis, who emigrates to Brooklyn in New York as work opportunities are sparse in her hometown. After a bit of a shaky start she finally begins to settle in until devastating news from home leaves her torn between her new world and her old life. I liked the fact that the characters are Irish, which I like in a book as there's something comforting about that for me as my Grandparents live in Donegal and I was intrigued what the news was. It sounded like a promising story!

And there's not much wrong with the plot. It's very realistic and believable but not so much so that it's not dramatic enough to keep your interest.  It just the devastating news doesn't happen until well after three quarters through which would be ok if the main character and the writing style weren't as boring as hell. You want to give Eilis a kick up the ass or something as she's just so dull - her emotions weren't expressed very well so it's hard to believe she's in love or devastated or feeling anything at all really. Everything is all written very matter of fact, even the couple of rude bits, it's kind of like reading from a textbook or some sort of official log. You get some sparks in the form of Tony and Rose and I think the landlady is written quite well but there are a couple of characters that sounded really interesting (such as Dolores and Mr Rosenblum) that we only get the briefest glimpse of. I just find it weird that they have more of a personality than Eilis. I wonder if it's meant to be like that, if she's supposed to be a very reserved character - but I just think the turmoil of moving from a quiet place in Ireland to the busy, multicultural streets of New York could have been written with so much more expression. All in all, I just found myself not caring about what happened to her which is never a good thing in a book! I honestly struggle to see how it's been so successful.

Saying this, I do really want to see the film. I was shocked they managed to make one out of this borefest but the three minute trailer is actually better than the whole book as the actors really bring the characters to life (hurrah, finally Eilis has some emotion!) 

Have you read this or seen the film? Can you recommend any short and sweet, easy going reads?

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

11 Cute Treats Under £20 To Buy Yourself This Valentine's Day

You don't need a special day to tell those you love just how much they mean to you and you probably don't need another reason to go shopping but just run with it. I always buy myself a little treat on Valentine's Day using the excuse of 'Waaah I'm just going to be a crazy dog lady all by myself forever' or 'I love me, I deserve all the things!' (going for the latter this year) but really I don't feel either of those things, I just want an excuse to buy myself something adorable. I've rounded up eleven cute treats under £20 that I've been eyeing up for a bit and I think you may like them too!

1. Topshop Disney's Belle Ankle Sock £3.50, Topshop Breton Stripe Ankle Sock £3.50 Topshop Disney Bambi And Friends Socks £3.50 (Or all 3 for £8, so get them all!)
2. H&M Blouse With Frilled Sleeve £14.99 
3. Oliver Bonas Bonjour Heart Purse £12 
4. Face Paint: The Story Of Makeup £12.91
5. Topshop Navy Heart Stripe Tee £16
6. Essie Nail Polish in Fiji £7.99 & Essie Nail Polish in Bahama Mama £7.99
7. New Look Green Succulent Plant £4.99
8. H&M Striped Top £12.99
9. Oliver Bonas Copper & Pink Mug £15
10. Sleek MakeUp Face Form In Fair £9.99
11. H&M Sleeveless Blouse £19.99

So yes, this year I shall be my own Valentine - that's nothing new though! I'm torn between getting the socks or the OB mug, which would be so pretty to store make up brushes in but then, y'know, Disney. Apart from this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this, this and then a few other bits, I think you'll agree I just don't have enough Bambi in my life.

Anything take ya fancy here? What are you treating yourself to this Valentine's Day?

Monday, 8 February 2016

Topshop Baxter Jeans

Baxter jeans were the first style of jeans I ever bought from Topshop and I loved them - proper denim and the fit, oh man. Skinny but looser at the slightly cropped ankle meaning there was less of the hopping about the bedroom trying to pull them off at the end of the day. Basically they were perfection and I lived in mine for about three years until I finally killed them off after one too many pies (they ripped beyond repair, it was a sad day.) Topshop seemed to stop making them for a while but they finally brought them back. Or so I thought. 

Topshop Baxter Jeans review
Topshop Baxter Jeans review, oliver bonas bee necklace
Topshop Baxter Jeans review
Topshop Baxter Jeans review, adidas stan smith  white and indigo trainers

Jumper | Uniqlo
Necklace | Oliver Bonas
Denim | Topshop

These are not the jeans I knew and loved. These are baggy, badly made imposters and I'm a little bit gutted that they're not the same as the originals. You may well ask why I'm still wearing them and that is because I ordered these when I was in hospital. After wearing pretty much the same two jeans in rotation for seven weeks I was too excited at the prospect of a new pair so took the tags off straight away and I'd spilt pasta sauce down them before the *shiny new things* rose tinted glasses came off so a return was a no go.

All is not lost though, I mean they're not terrible - just not the Holy Grail denim they used to be (they were Emmanuelle Alt's faves too FYI.) But that's just my lesson learnt to make sure I definitely don't want to return something before it's too late.

I did order a black pair too though and they actually rock. Ordered the same size but they fit like a glove, so weird. So all in all, I recommend the black ones to wear with little Chelsea boots and to flash that all important bit of ankle (you know my obsession with that) and to swerve the blue ones!

What are your favourite jeans from Topshop? Sorry I look so gormless in these pics by the way, I was feeling so drained after the hospital last week!
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