Thursday, 30 January 2014

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

This book wasn't part of my 50 books challenge; I actually read it sometime last year. However with the trailer (below) being released yesterday I can't stop thinking about it.

The Fault in Our Stars is my favourite book. I've never had a more emotional reaction to any story and I've also never had a story that's meant so much to me. The thing I find strange though is that I have no idea why. I've never had or known anyone with cancer and I've never known someone the same age as me who has died.  I know I'm not the only one as well; the book is adored by many people and I presume a lot of them have been as fortunate as I have in not have experienced most of the things in the book. The only thing about the story I can relate to is falling in love and I think maybe that's why I find the book so emotional. It's so beautiful and so true of what it feels like to be in love at that age. There's no unrealistic romantic gestures and similarly there are cringe-worthy moments between the characters that ring true of my own experiences. I think the book is so emotional because I know how the characters felt and I can't possibly imagine the depth of the pain after a love so real. Because that's the thing, the love isn't perfect and it isn't a fairytale ending by any means. It's just so damned real.

You can see the trailer for the film below. If you haven't read the book the I'd recommend it very much. Prior-warning I've watched the trailer about ten times and wept every single one.

Okay? Okay.

Monday, 6 January 2014

How To Be a Woman by Caitlin Moran- Review

To kick off my 50 books in 2014 challenge I thought I'd start with a book that had been very much recommended to me. I suppose I should start this by saying that I very much enjoyed reading this book. It's well written, very funny and many of the topics Moran covers ring very true to my own experiences of becoming a woman. 

The blurb on the back of the book describes it as 'Part Memoir, part rant'. This is the truest description of this books you could hope to find. Moran focuses on events that have happened in her life and then relates them to feminism and the modern woman. As I read the book I found myself enjoying the 'rant' parts much more than the 'memoir' parts. Her rants were hilarious and on several occasions I found myself laughing out loud at this book. However sometimes when reading through yet-another-memoir it felt like this book was more about How To Be Caitlin Moran than How To Be a Woman. 

All this said I truly did enjoy this book, and not just for the laughs. It forced me think about my own views and what it is that makes me think that way. Moran covers some very controversial topics in this book, from the Burka to abortion; so if you are easily offended perhaps it's not one for you.However what I loved about Moran's writing was that she never tried to present her opinion as the only one worth considering. Whilst reading the book I felt like I could disagree with what she was saying and still get just as much from the overall reading experience.

I also loved how broad her view of feminism is. She mentions how there is room for all types of women in feminism. I loved this because there seems to be this notion that a feminist is a certain type of woman; when in fact a feminist is any person that believes a man and a woman should have equal rights.

This is all, 
Gemmm xxx

Monday, 30 December 2013

50 Books in 2014

So last year I heard about a challenge in which you have to try and read 50 books in a year. As I only heard about it around summer time I decided not to bother; however as a new year looms I think that the time has come to take on the challenge. 

Now, 50 books is lot. Especially when I have University reading on top of that. I make no guarantee that I will complete this challenge, however I give you my word that I will try my very best.
Chances are I will be reviewing several of these books on the blog and I will of course give spoiler alerts when necessary. I will also set up another page on my blog listing all of the books I have read. I have no idea which 50 books I will be attempting to read yet, but please do feel free to give me recomendations. I will also be reading a mixture of real books, kindle books and graphic novels.
You can track my progress either on this here blog or on my Goodreads account.

"What is a Goodreads Account?" I hear you ask. Well for those of you that haven't heard of it it's basically a social network for readers in which you can track what you're reading and see how other people have rated books that they have read. It incredibly good if you enjoy reading but you never know what to read next!
My user name for Goodreads is simply Gemma_Meredith
This is all, 
Gemmm xxx

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

My View on E-Readers

*I didn't know what relevant pictures could accompany this post so instead I will be using pictures from my recent trip to Berlin Zoo*
The life of a Rhino looks like and easy one

I think e-readers in general will always be a topic of much debate amongst readers. I'm going to preface this entire review by saying that I love books. I'm not going to lie to you, books are bloomin' wonderful. That said I will forever be indebted to my Kindle. "Why is that?" I hear you ask, it's because it made me read again.
Sadly I was not allowed to take the Pony home, I asked.

I was one of those half-way intelligent people who always made excuses like "I love reading, but I don't have time". Poppycock! I had time to watch back to back reruns of Gossip Girl but no time to read? Having an entire library of books literally at my fingertips makes me read more. I was quite the bookworm up until I was about 14 and then, very sadly, I just started reading less and less. I never actually realised just how little I was reading before I got my Kindle. I would regularly go weeks or months without a book on the go, whereas now I go about 7 seconds between finishing a book and downloading a new one.
These are Neela, they are both strange and adorable.

I will review the Kindle in regards to technology (I have the Kindle Paper White *here*) in an upcoming post, so this post won't focus on that. What I will say however, is that reading on a screen doesn't bother me. It's amazing how quickly you get used to it. I'm sure you all know that e-readers have e-ink screens, so you are still reading ink. This means that it's not like reading from a computer screen (which I hate), it's an altogether different thing. To be honest, once you get going with a story you won't give two-hoots about the format.
Oh look! It's one of my family members!

Another great thing? It makes me read 'the classics'. A lot of classic books are free to download on the Kindle, and being a university student I'm not about to pass up anything that's free of charge. I'm currently reading Pride and Prejudice which I am very much enjoying, however I can tell you more or less for certain that I never would have read it if I'd have had to pay.
Don't worry, I am fully aware of how cute this is.

All this said, I would prefer to have the books. I have two very specific life long dreams 1) To have a walk-in-wardrobe and 2) to have a Beauty-and-the-Beast-Style library. I would prefer to have a thousand books in my house. I would love to have the ability to buy a new (paper) book within seconds without having to travel to a bookshop. I also still buy books, they're often very cheap in charity shops so I buy a lot of books their. I also have a great love of very aesthetically beautiful books, my copy of the Complete Grimm's Fairy-tales might be my favourite possession. It isn't a choice of one or the other, I regularly read in both formats.
Did someone say baby penguin?

I love my Kindle. I love love love it. Actually that's possibly a lie. I love reading and my e-reader has made me read again, and truthfully I will never stop associating those two things. When push comes to shove I think it's good to reference the words of one greater than oneself.
"What is your opinon of e-readers?"-Nerdfighter
"I don't care how you read, I care if you read" 
Ladies and Gentlemen, John Green.
This is all, 
Gemmm xxx

Saturday, 13 April 2013

Dare I say Holy Grail Foundation?

I'm a typical Brit when it comes to complaining (we love it), so imagine my surprise when I  realized  that I've found a high street foundation that I actually bloomin' love! My skins quite dry and I really struggle to find a foundation that sits right. Especially on my nose, that pesky little bugger is the ultimate test of a foundation! Anyway I've had this for a good few months now and I thought it should  receive  the dazzling review it deserves!

And here she is! It's the Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum *here* Yeah yeah, I'm sure you've heard about this before but to be totally honest it's worth the hype *horrible expression*. I tried the orginal Healthy Mix and honestly thought that it was okay, nothing special at all. This however is so much more nourishing and very very natural looking. In fact one of my friends didn't know I wore foundation daily as this looks so natural! I'd put the coverage and light to medium but you can  definitely  build it up. It's also very good if you like to only apply  foundation  to certain areas of the face.

I usually apply this beaut with a Real Techniques Buffing brush *here*, however it works beautifully with fingers and my Body Shop foundation brush*here*, so take your pick.
The proof is in the pudding and I think the pictures above show the difference it makes. In regards to staying power this is really nice, however what I like is that is doesn't fade into patches or awkward face crevices, it fades really nicely and evenly which is something that's surprisingly hard to find. 

I'm not going to lie to you, this hasn't quenched my founation thirst *strangest expression ever*, I'm still looking for a good night out/special occasion founation. The closest I've come to finding a night out foundation is the Touche Eclat foundation but I just can't find the heart to hand over £29 for it! 

Oh and this foundation retails for around a tenner, but it's often on some sort of 3 for 2 or discount.
This is all, 
Gemmm xxx

Friday, 30 November 2012

Technic Carnical Vs Models Own Ibiza Mix

I thought I would do a little comparison post between these two top coats as they're pretty darned similar. And when better to do it than on a Friday night, it's not like I have a social life anyway ;)

These are the two bad boys I'm comparing. They're both pretty popular and also both rather lovely. Models Own nail varnishes retail at £5 from boots and Technic Carnival can be scouted out either on eBay of from Bodycare for less than £2. So Models Own is more than twice the price, but is it more than twice as good?

Yes. I hate to be the person that says 'buy the expensive one' and trust me it's never happened before(!) but in this case The Models Own offering is just better. It's got twice the glitter, more variety of glitter, it dries faster. And let's face it, it looks prettier, which is all we really care about. The only thing I will say for these is that Technic Carnival is rather Christmassy, the colours remind me of a beautiful Christmas tree and this will probably be adorning my nails along with a red polish in the near future. Also I would say that these are different enough to justify owning both.

P.S just to let you know, I reply to all comments on my blog, so if you ask a question make sure to check back! Also I can be found on twitter @theredoneblog so please ask any questions there!
This is all, 
Gemmm xxx

Friday, 23 November 2012

My Claddagh Ring!

I was taking pictures of some jewellery as part of my Textiles research and when looking through the pictures I thought it would be nice to show you my Claddagh ring. If you're Irish you will have seen a bijillion of these things, however they're not really popular elsewhere. You can buy them elsewhere quite easily though.

Although I was born and bred in England my family is Irish and Ireland is practically my second home. We go over a lot as we have family there and I love it. Have you ever met an Irish Postman? They are the friendliest people you will ever meet!

This is not my hand. A Claddagh ring is a symbol of love, the Crown represents loyalty, the hands represents friendship and the heart represents (can you guess??) love. If you wear it with the crown facing up it means your heart is taken, and if you wear it with the crown facing down it means you are single and ready to mingle. I wear mine upwards as I am in an imaginary relationship with various celebrities. I joke, I do actually have a real human boyfriend ( I know, who'd go out with me right?)

That's it really, it was a gift from my Mum for my 17th Birthday and I wear it every single day and love it to bits. If you're one for a cute story I recommend looking up the origin story of the Claddagh ring as it's quite adorable.
This is all,
Gemmm xxx