Monday, 30 September 2019

Bookish Looks #3: Lara Jean from To All The Boys I've Loved Before

It's the last post in my Bookish Looks series for Second Hand September! This time around I'm attempting to recreate looks inspired by actual style icon, Lara Jean Covey from To All The Boys I've Loved Before. This idea was given to me by my lovely friend Jasmine, and I'm so grateful she suggested it because both on the page and on the screen, Lara Jean has some of the CUTEST outfits ever.

This is a trilogy that I absolutely adore, so I was happy to see it take on a new life in the film adaptation that dropped on Netflix. THE AESTHETICS IN THIS MOVIE 😍 I was excited to attempt some Lara Jean outfits because my own wardrobe is filled with similar pieces. As always, they're all bought from charity shops!

I'm a huge fan of cute blouses, especially patterned ones. Half of my wardrobe is Stripes or Polka Dots. This £1 one from Age UK is a particular favourite of mine that I think suits the Lara Jean Aesthetic. I didn't have an orange blouse to match the cover, but I'm so in love with this sky blue colour. The skirt is my trusty £2 Cancer Research skirt which you may or may not have seen in my previous post. 

My next look attempted to recreate an iconic outfit from the film adaptation. This is something I'd wear on a regular basis anyway, so it wasn't too much of a challenge!

  • Top - £1 from a local community charity shop. This place sells all of their clothes for £1 so it's one of my absolute favourite places to find gems like this one. It's a jumper but it's still thin enough to where if it's warm, and can be layered to keep cosy in the winter. 
  • Skirt - £1 from Age UK. I love a good maroon skirt, especially corduroy ones like this.  

  • Necklace - 50p from a car boot sale. I don't wear necklaces very often but this one owns my heart. 
  • Converse - £5 from Preloved Kilo
  • Backpack - Abandoned by my sister, taken in and given a new life by me. It's thriving under my care. 
My next outfit is another movie-inspired look. Again, this is something I'd be likely to wear myself, so it was easy enough to put together. Stripes and skirts are my Go-To looks.

  • Shirt - £1 from Age UK. It's quite hilarious how many variations of striped shirts I have in my wardrobe. I'm constantly being reminded by family members that I don't need any more stripes 🙄
  • Skirt - £2 from Age UK. Nothing beats a basic denim skirt.

To wrap things up, here are my boots! Similar to the ones that make Jen give Lara Jean a military salute, they're my favourite chunky boots that I wear EVERYWHERE. They're falling apart at this point but I love them. I picked them up for £3 at Cancer Research and they've been with me for about four years now. They're my trusty Concert-Going boots because the heels give me a much needed boost when it comes to actually seeing things in a standing pit with how short I am. I know a lot of people tend to shy away from buying shoes in charity shops but some of my longest-lasting shoes are secondhand.

the shorts that i'm wearing here were £1 from Salvation Army
So, that's it! I had a lot of fun piling clothes together in honour of Lara Jean. She remains one of the best dressed contemporary characters ever.

I've loved putting together these outfits for Second Hand September, and I hope you've enjoyed reading them. Rooting through charity shops can find you some great pieces. If you'd like to see me do more of these posts in the future, potentially as a monthly feature, then please let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 19 September 2019

Bookish Looks #2: Cammie from Gallagher Girls

It's time for the second post in my Bookish Looks series for Second Hand September! This time around, I'm going back to school with my Gallagher Girls favourite, Cammie Morgan.

The Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter ruled the later half of my teen years. A school for SPIES? Sign me right up. I loved it because it was so different to everything I was reading at that time, considering I was in the middle of my Dystopia-binge. It had a contemporary feel to it, but was still action packed and had an amazing friendship group at it's core. Main character, Cammie, was always my fave. So it's her look I've tried to recreate!

Given the fact that this series is set in a school, the majority of the clothing is, well, school uniform. I had fun digging through my wardrobe for things that could potentially be worn to class. Though I did shake with fear at the sight of my old school tie. High school would have been a lot more fun if I'd have been training to be a spy, that's for sure.

I don't have a blue tartan skirt anywhere so I couldn't recreate the iconic Gallagher Academy uniform perfectly, but I did my own twist on things with some of the uniform-style secondhand pieces I own. Let's break down the look!

  • Blouse - £2 from my local Age UK. It's a vintage Laura Ashley from the 80s. I'm a sucker for any old Laura Ashley pieces so I was excited to find this one for such a small price! It could easily fit into a professional outfit but can be teamed with anything for all occasions. 

a closer look at the collar detail on my fave blouse

  • Skirt - £2 from Cancer Research. My trusty black skirt. I've had it for a few years but I usually wear it with coloured tights. 
  • Shoes - £1 from Age UK. These shoes! Are wonderful! And they were only £1!!!! 😍 They have a little heel so they give me some much needed height (I'm barely 5ft) but they don't hurt my feet like other heels.

My next outfit had me digging out my old school tie for an authentic uniform look. This tie has been hidden at the back of the wardrobe since I left high school behind. I don't even know why I still have it, but at least it came in handy for this!

  • Pinafore - this was bought from a charity shop literal years ago so I don't remember how much it cost! It's covered in bobbly bits now but it still works as an extra layer over a cute blouse. 
  • Shirt - £1 from Age UK. It's St Michael's so it's another vintage piece, but it's plain enough to pass as a school blouse! 
  • Hat - this was from my local YMCA store but I can't remember how much it was! They don't usually charge over £5 for any of their clothes or accessories though. I was just happy to find a hat that actually fits my head because the usual One Size Fits All definitely does not fit all.

For my final look, I wanted to try Cammie outside of her uniform. Being a spy in training, she has to blend into the background to avoid suspicion, so I went for a typical autumn outfit of jumper and jeans.

  • Jeans - £3.99 from Claire House. Since Cammie ruins her favourite pair of jeans whilst out on a mission, I thought I'd use my favourite jeans for this outfit! They're originally Pull & Bear, and with them being high-waist, I love how they look when teamed with shirts and jumpers. 
  • Jumper - £1 from Salvation Army. There's nothing I love more than a good jumper, and the colours on this one are perfect for the season.
  • Belt - £1 from my local animal charity shop. Helping animals whilst getting cute accessories. What's not to love? 🐶

I had lots of fun trying to channel my inner spy school student! Even if I did have to face my old school accessories. The memories that tie brings up need to stay at the back of the wardrobe. Before you go, here's a picture of my when I was in my extremely boring, non-spy high school.

Have a character you'd like to see me create some outfits for? Let me know in the comments!

Monday, 16 September 2019

REVIEW: The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue by Mackenzi Lee

36544848. sy475 Pages: 513
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Genre: Historical
Release Date: September 4th 2018
TW: Abuse
Buy the Book: Book Depository

A young bisexual British lord embarks on an unforgettable Grand Tour of Europe with his best friend/secret crush. An 18th-century romantic adventure for the modern age written by This Monstrous Thing author Mackenzi LeeSimon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda meets the 1700s.

Henry “Monty” Montague doesn’t care that his roguish passions are far from suitable for the gentleman he was born to be. But as Monty embarks on his grand tour of Europe, his quests for pleasure and vice are in danger of coming to an end. Not only does his father expect him to take over the family’s estate upon his return, but Monty is also nursing an impossible crush on his best friend and traveling companion, Percy.

So Monty vows to make this yearlong escapade one last hedonistic hurrah and flirt with Percy from Paris to Rome. But when one of Monty’s reckless decisions turns their trip abroad into a harrowing manhunt, it calls into question everything he knows, including his relationship with the boy he adores.

Witty, dazzling, and intriguing at every turn, The Gentleman's Guide to Vice and Virtue is an irresistible romp that explores the undeniably fine lines between friendship and love.

*WARNING* Considering this book has been out for a while now, I’m going to be including spoilers in this review! 

Monty and his best friend Percy are on a tour, taking some time to experience the world. For Monty, it’s his last-ditch attempt to prove that he’s more than simply a troublemaker, and for Percy, it’s his final bit of freedom before going to school in Holland. At least, as far as Monty believes.

I will admit that despite loving the characters, I found things a tiny bit slow to start with. But then everything changes after the journey to Marseille. The book just takes a sharp turn into something completely exciting and fast-paced. Despite wanting to read this because of the praise I’d seen online, I managed to hide myself away from knowing too much about the plot, so I was surprised by everything. I don’t know what I was expecting from this book, but a chase to reach the heart of a half-dead-half-alive woman was not it. There was a bit of everything in here, and I completely loved it. 

*banging pots and pans* I LOVE HENRY MONTAGUE!!!! He’s exactly the type of character who draws me in without fail. Someone who’s morals are a little questionable sometimes, and who is actually way more complex beyond the surface. There’s so much more to him than what he allows those around him to see.

Then there’s Percy, the complete opposite of Monty, a pure cinnamon roll whom I would die for in an instant. I loved everything about his personal journey in this book, especially his attitude towards his epilepsy. He reminds us of how many times people try to make someone else’s illness about themselves. His family didn’t necessarily want him cured for him to be better, they wanted him cured to make it easier to live ‘normally’ in society, considering how people who suffered with epilepsy were treated.

Don’t get me started on how much I love Felicity. An icon, truly. I know there is a sequel that follows her journey and, oh boy, do I plan on getting my hands on it soon. She is my DAUGHTER. 

  • MUTUAL PINING? DO YOU GUYS UNDERTSAND HOW MUCH I LOVE MUTUAL PINING????? IT GETS ME EVERY SINGLE TIME. Monty and Percy had me wanting to bash their heads together throughout this WHOLE GODDAMNED BOOK. And I loved every second of it. 
  • COOL TWISTS. One minute you’re touring Europe and the next, you’re being hunted because you’ve accidentally stolen the key to curing all illness. 
  • PIRATES. No explanation necessary. 
  • Felicity hiding her medical science books inside the covers of romance stories in order to learn because it’s the 18th century and we ladies aren’t allowed the Knowledge
This book offers a bit of everything you could ask for and these characters are some of the best I’ve read in a while. The three of them work so well together, and Monty’s relationship with Percy is developed beautifully. I’m glad I was finally able to pick this one up after wanting to read it for so long! 

Royal Rating:

Sunday, 8 September 2019

Bookish Looks #1: Cath from Fangirl

For those of you who missed my earlier post on Second Hand September, I’m using this month to put together some looks inspired by my favourite book characters using clothes I’ve bought from charity shops. Mostly it’s to encourage second hand buying because fast fashion is ruining our environment, but it’s also because I just really love clothes and books. 

The first bookish look I wanted to try is Cath from one of my all-time favourite books, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell. Cath is one of those characters that I connect with on a spiritual level. We'd be here all day if I tried to write a list of all the reasons why I love her. From her anxiety to her love of Simon Snow, I can relate to her in so many ways. With her cardigan and jeans combo, she also has an adorable sense of fashion!

This post wouldn’t be right if I didn’t try to recreate the iconic illustration of Cath from the book cover. Queen of colour combination, Book Cover Cath teams her yellow knit with some pink jeans on the original edition of Fangirl. I put together my own version of the outfit with some of the clothes I had in my own closet.

The yellow cardigan is a fave of mine which I picked up because of my love for knitwear and Hufflepuff yellow, which is very Cath of me anyway. Here's a breakdown of the outfit:
  • Cardigan - £1.75 from my nearest Red Cross shop. Best £1.75 I've ever spent. You'll probably see this cardigan several times.
  • Jeans - £2 from a local charity shop that was opened in order to help support the community after the explosion of a building destroyed several local businesses. 
  • Shirt - £1 from Age UK. Fair warning, my nearest and favourite charity shop is the Age UK that's a twenty minute walk from my house. It has wonderful staff and sells most clothes for under £3. That place is literally my SAVIOUR when it comes to clothes, so prepare to see me hype it up a lot. 
  • Converse - £5 from a Preloved Kilo sale.
Just in case you haven't come across Preloved Kilo before, let me give you a little intro. It's a traveling vintage sale in the UK that charges £15 per kilo on clothes. There's no minimum spend, so you can get a light item for as little as 75p! They have Converse and Vans for £5 a pair, which is how I got mine. I absolutely love going to these sales when they're in my nearest city. There are quite a few companies that run pay-by-weight sales now, so I'd highly recommend doing a search to see if there are any upcoming ones in your area.

My next outfit makes use of my favourite yellow cardigan again, and is similar to the type of outfit I'd picture Cath wearing in my head. Yes, I am holding my copy of Carry On because we all know Cath would too.

  • Striped shirt - £1 from Age UK. The Cath in my head pairs basic but cute shirts with jeans. I hope she likes stripes as much as I do 🤔
  • Shoes - £2 from Age UK. They're Rocketdog and have pretty jewels on them. I love them. 
  • Jeans - Preloved Kilo.
  • Tote - I didn't even buy this, it was given to me by my university. But hey, saving the planet by reducing plastic bags is just a good as sustainable fashion. 

I had to include these jeans specifically because....they're Levi's.......... 😏 Speaking of Levi, my third and final outfit is partly inspired by him! Let's say Cath stole one of his adorable plaid shirts, shall we?

  • Jeans - I can't remember how much they were because I got them from a charity shop literal YEARS AGO. But they're still going strong and remain some of my faves.
  • Plaid Shirt - this is actually a hand-me-down from my Mum. Always a good idea to save your parents' clothes from going to a landfill and giving them a new lease of life. 
  • Shirt - my only clothing exception to the second hand rule, but I had to include it because WATFORD. This was kindly sent to me by MyKindaBook for being one of the bloggers in their Rainbow Rowell fanclub. I've gotten so much wear out of this shirt over the years - it's one of my absolute faves!

I found it fairly easy to dress the way I picture Cath by selecting some of my own favourite clothes. Maybe taste in fashion is another thing to add to my list of Things I Have in Common with Cath Avery. Now all I need to add is Levi.

Bonus Bookish Bargain

Considering I'm a person who, for purely selfish reasons, wants every edition of Fangirl ever, I was lucky to find the fanart edition in Oxfam for £1.99! This is why I love charity shops. I don't have to justify buying multiple copies of the same book if I can find them second hand. Right????

My paperback version of Carry On also came from Oxfam. Yes, okay, I want every edition ever of Carry On as well.

So, there you have it, my first Bookish Look! I hope you enjoyed me frantically ripping my wardrobe apart in order to find the perfect clothes combination for Cath. I can only hope I've done her justice. Now I just need to invest in more cardigans.

Have a character you'd like to see me create some outfits for? Let me know in the comments!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

BLOG TOUR: Review of That Asian Kid by Savita Kalhan

Hello, fellow bookworms! Today I'm excited to be taking part in Savita Kalhan's blog tour for her latest novel, That Asian Kid.

Pages: 336
Format: Paperback
Publisher: Troika
Genre: Contemporary
Release Date: 29th August 2019
Buy The Book: Book Depository

Despite his hard work and brains, Jeevan, is doing badly in his GCSE English literature class. His teacher, Mrs Greaves, dislikes him intensely and Jeevan is convinced that he is the victim of racial prejudice. Can he stand up for what's right? When he comes upon her in the woods outisde school in a compromising situation with another teacher, Jeevan can't help but film the scene on his phone. With this secret new ammunition at his fingertips - dare he upload it to social media?

That Asian Kid follows Jeevan in his journey to prove that he’s being unfairly treated by one of his teachers at school. In the run up to his GCSEs, one particular teacher is purposefully marking him down, and he has a sinking feeling that it’s because of his skin colour. When Jeevan finally captures video evidence to prove his theory, he ends up in a battle with himself over whether or not he should post the footage.
With the help of the people around him, Jeevan attempts to figure out the best way to solve his problem at school. He doesn’t want to hurt anyone, but the treatment he’s facing is part of a much wider problem. If he doesn’t speak up, who will?

Jeevan is exactly the type of character I love - someone who’s faced with a decision that tests his morals. Not only is the story pushing him to think about what’s right or wrong, it also challenges us readers to question what we’d do in that situation. When you’re handed a weapon to bring someone down, is it better to get revenge immediately, or wait and see if you can get justice instead? I love the questions that this book throws at us through Jeevan’s situation. He is an incredibly smart, and kind-hearted character, but he’s also still a young boy who’s facing a situation that he shouldn’t have to, pushing him to possibly make bad decisions.

The teacher in question, Mrs Greaves, is a painful reminder that people like her are sadly still employed in places that give them power over others. The way she treats Jeevan is purely down to her own prejudice, and it’s scary to think about kids who might actually have to go through situations like this in reality, who are too afraid to speak up because they don’t have any proof.

This book wouldn’t be the story that it is without Jeevan’s friends. They make him question his choices throughout, providing insight that he’s too upset and angry to see in the moment. Each one of them gave us a new perspective.

  • Makes you think. Not everything is as simple as it looks. To others, Mrs Greaves’ treatment of Jeevan appears to just be a teacher disciplining a pupil who plays up in her class. But through Jeevan’s eyes, we see the level of manipulation she goes to in order for things to work out her way. 
  • Jeevan’s family. I adored them and the way they treated the situation once they found out the truth. It’s rewarding to see Jeevan learn to open up to them more towards the end, understanding that he needs their support to get through this correctly. 
  • The humour. Despite the seriousness of this story, it still manages to pack plenty of funny moments.
Racism happens around us, whether we are able to see it or not. I hope this story opens eyes to the fact that stuff like this isn’t always obvious, it happens between the lines and we need to start reading it. Jeevan’s journey is certainly an unforgettable one.

Royal Rating:

Huge thank you to Savita for inviting me to be a part of this wonderful tour. Please check out the other bloggers joining in!

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