Book review: Girls on Fire by Robin Wasserman...

'Girls on Fire tells the story of Hannah and Lacey and their obsessive teenage female friendship so passionately violent it bloodies the very sunset its protagonists insist on riding into, together, at any cost. Opening with a suicide whose aftermath brings good girl Hannah together with the town's bad girl, Lacey, the two bring their combined wills to bear on the community in which they live; unconcerned by the mounting discomfort that their lust for chaos and rebellion causes the inhabitants of their parochial small town, they think they are invulnerable.

But Lacey has a secret, about life before her better half, and it's a secret that will change everything...

Girls on Fire is such an intense read it sweeps you up and captures you in the obsessive, all-consuming friendship between Lacey and Dex. Set in the 90s with grunge music as it's backdrop, Kurt Cobain looms over proceedings as this coming of age story gives us devil worshipping, drugs and sexual experimentation. This is no YA!  

I found the book started off quite slow, but allowed us to really get a sense of the two protagonists, who so easily could have fallen into cliche territory (bad girl, good girl gone bad) had it not been for the fact they were given plenty of depth as they struggled to find their own identity in a small town. I did feel the character of Nikki was a little flat. A classic popular girl/queen bitch she seemed too shallow to be real and no explanation was offered to why she was the way she was.

The second half of the book really amped up the tension and it flipped back and forth in time and back and forth between characters and I genuinely had no idea where it was going. 

Overall I enjoyed this book, and liked Wasserman's writing style. She wasn't afraid to go into dark and disturbing territories and although this story has been done before I felt like she offered something new to the formula. An enjoyable read, that I recommend particularly if you enjoyed Dark Places by Gillian Flynn. I've also read a review that described it as 'Like Thelma and Louise as directed by David Lynch' which I think pretty perfectly sums it up!

The paperback is now out and available here.

*Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group for sending me a copy to review.  

Lately January...

 It's been a cold and dull January so I have been making the most of my Lush stash and having some nice hot baths. 
 This month I discovered that strawberries and cream is the best Krispy Kreme flavour. OFFICIALLY.
 I read the first five issues of Snotgirl and had to take a picture as the artwork is stunning.
 I had a week booked off work this month and had a mini comic book readathon with my sister. It's the first readathon I've taken part in and really enjoyed it as well as catching up with some series I was behind in.
 Cuddles with my cat pal are the best đŸ’œ
 On payday we went for breakfast at Frankie and Bennies and it was delicious. I had the bacon and pancakes stack with lots of coffee!
Speaking of payday here are a few frivolous purchases.
This month I was lucky enough to take part in my first blog tour. You can read the post here.

Hope you had a good January :)

Punky Pins haul...

I love Punky Pins (you may have noticed here and here!

When pay day rolled around I decided to make a little order and decided to get a range of their stuff rather than just pins like I usually do. I got a Wednesday Addams iron on patch. This is very cool and as with all their stuff great quality, I attached this to my bag within minutes. 

I also got a Girl Gang pin and a Beetlejuice inspired 'Strange and Unusual' pin as well as a bunch of vinyl stickers. I got a £2 sticker sheet which has designs by artist LOLL3 (who you should follow on Instagram her work is amazing), as well as a couple of large stickers of her designs and a Rosie sticker. These were £1 each and although they could have been bigger I'm very happy with them- I just have to decide where to stick them!

In conclusion: I need to buy more Punky Pins patches and attach them to everything...

2017 Releases I want to read...

The White Road by Sarah Lotz  (Released 4 May)
"Adrenaline-junky Simon Newman sneaks onto private land to explore a dangerous cave in Wales with a strange man he's met online. But Simon gets more than he bargained for when the expedition goes horribly wrong. Simon emerges, the only survivor, after a rainstorm trap the two in the cave. Simon thinks he's had a lucky escape.
But his video of his near-death experience has just gone viral.
Suddenly Simon finds himself more famous than he could ever have imagined. Now he's faced with an impossible task: he's got to defy death once again, and film the entire thing. The whole world will be watching. There's only on place on earth for him to pit himself against the elements: Mt Everest, the tallest mountain in the world.
But Everest is also one of the deadliest spots on the planet. Two hundred and eighty people have died trying to reach its peak.
And Simon's luck is about to run out."

I LOVED The Three and Day Four by Lotz and didn't even know she had a new book out until I saw this post on Imogen's blog. Lotz is a master at writing intense and thrilling reads so I can't wait!

Saga Volume 7 by Brian K. Vaughn & Fiona Staples (Released 4 April)
"From the worldwide bestselling team of FIONA STAPLES and BRIAN K. VAUGHAN, “The War for Phang” is an epic, self-contained SAGA event! Finally reunited with her ever-expanding family, Hazel travels to a war-torn comet that Wreath and Landfall have been battling over for ages. New friendships are forged and others are lost forever in this action-packed volume about families, combat and the refugee experience. "

I feel like it's forever since I've caught up with Saga and can't wait for this to be out so I can disappear back into the story.

This is the Noise that Keeps Me Awake by Garbage (Released 4 July)
"Garbage are known around the world for songs that mix pop sweetness with the dour thunder of industrial music and the rhythm punch of hip-hop. Now, for the first time, the four band members tell the story of that music in their own words. Packed with rare photos and personal snapshots, this book examines how Garbage make their music, and how they've kept it together (or not) for more than twenty years.
The beautifully designed, large-format coffee-table book is bound with an embossed cloth hardcover and finished with a dust jacket. The edges of the text pages, printed on luxurious matte art paper in six colours, are finished with a stunning pink spot colour. This Is the Noise That Keeps Me Awake is a must-have (and perfect gift) for Garbage's fans."
I can't express how excited I am for this book, I've been a fan of this band since I was around 12 and can't wait to see the rare photo's and experience the beauty of the design which they are always so spot on with.

The Spectacular Sisterhood of Superwomen by Hope Nicholson (Released 2 May)
"Sure, you re familiar with Wonder Woman and Batgirl. But what about Tomboy, the sweet teenaged gal-next-door by day and masked crook-pummeler by night? Or the Jaguar, an exchange student from Brazil coping with both feral animal powers and baffling American culture? Or Street Angel, the 13-year-old skateboarder who outfights ninjas and outsmarts demons? From tough-talking detectives and sarcastic social critics to cape-wearing crimebusters and ordinary teenagers, female protagonists have filled just about every role there is in comics. Yet too few have achieved the high-level pop-culture status of their male counterparts. Now is the time to give these successful, but largely unknown, characters their due, proving that not only do strong female protagonists belong in comics, but they've always been there. With vintage art, publication details, and enthusiastic commentary, comics publisher and researcher Hope Nicholson brings these lost ladies of the comics world back to life."

If you are a regular reader of my blog you'll know that I'm a big fan of female superheroes and comic book characters so this book sounds pretty perfect.

Some Possible Solutions by Helen Phillips (Released 13 June)
"What if your perfect hermaphrodite match existed on another planet. What if you could suddenly see through everybody's skin to their organs? What if you knew the exact date of your death? What if your city was filled with doppelgängers of you?

Forced to navigate these bizarre scenarios, Phillips' characters search for solutions to the problem of how to survive in an irrational, infinitely strange world. In dystopias that are exaggerated versions of the world in which we live, these characters strive for intimacy and struggle to resolve their fraught relationships with each other, with themselves, and with their place in the natural world. We meet a wealthy woman who purchases a high-tech sex toy in the shape of a man, a rowdy, moody crew of college students who resolve the energy crisis, and orphaned twin sisters who work as futuristic strippers - and with Phillips' characteristic smarts and imagination, we see that no one is quite who they appear.

By turns surreal, witty and perplexing, these marvellous stories are ultimately a reflection of our own reality and of the big questions that we all face. Who are we? Where do we fit? Phillips is a true original and an exciting new voice."

I heard about this on a booktube channel and it sounded fascinating. I love short story collections but hardly read any so this is a must read!

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Released 2 May)
"With the same propulsion that captivated millions of readers worldwide in The Girl on the Train, Paula Hawkins unfurls a gripping, twisting, layered story set in a small riverside town. Once again Hawkins demonstrates her powerful understanding of human instincts and the damage they can inflict. 

Into the Water is an addictive novel of psychological suspense about the slipperiness of the truth, and a family drowning in secrets."

I read Girl on the Train a few years ago and actually wasn't the biggest fan of it mainly because I felt the story was a little silly and predictable. I did however enjoy Hawkins writing style so look forward to giving her new book a try.

What to do when you are having a panic attack...

The first time I had a full blown panic attack I thought I was dying. I was convinced I was having a heart attack, it was the most petrifying experience and I had no idea what to do. Fortunately I was with people who were able to help calm me and control my breathing. Since then I have found certain things help during an attack and I wanted to share them.

1. If you can get to somewhere quiet and uncrowded then do. 
2. control your breathing. The best way to do this is to breath into a paper bag or something similar. I always carry a folded up paper bag that pharmacies give prescriptions in- it's perfect for this. If you don't have that then count as you are breathing to steady it.
3. Look at your surroundings and name things you can see, smell, touch and hear.
4. Alternatively you could name street names where you live, Spice Girls songs or animals... anything that occupies your mind and helps to ground you. Or you could listen to a particular song or audiobook to give you something familiar to focus on.
5. Have a sit down and rest, drink some water, don't rush yourself to move until the anxiety has passed.
6. Remind yourself that this is temporary and will soon pass.
7. Don't feel embarrassed or ashamed.
8. You got through it, you are a warrior!

Recently watched...

Room (2015)
"A unique and touching exploration of the boundless love between a mother and her child. After 5-year-old Jack and his Ma escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world. "
I read the book this film was based on last year and didn't really enjoy it but I felt the film was much more enjoyable and Brie Larson was brilliant in this. 3/5

Experimenter: The Stanley Milgram Story (2015)
"In 1961, social psychologist Stanley Milgram conducts controversial experiments designed to measure conformity, conscience and free will."
I've been studying Milgram's work for uni and found his experiments fascinating and heard about this film through my student group. The was brilliant! If you have any interest in social psychology then you need to give this a watch and Sarsgaard did a great job of playing Milgram. 4/5 

Brooklyn Nine Nine Season 3
"Detective Jake Peralta, a talented and carefree cop with the best arrest record, has never had to follow the rules too closely or work very hard. That changes when Ray Holt, a man with a lot to prove, becomes the new commanding officer of Brooklyn's 99th precinct."
I LOVE this show, and was very excited when season three finally went on Netflix. I raced through it pretty quickly, if you like Arrested Development or Parks and Rec give this show a go it's hilarious. my favourite character is Holt but they're all great. 5/5

10 Cloverfield Lane (2016)
"After surviving a car accident, Michelle wakes up to find herself in an underground bunker with two men. Howard tells her that a massive chemical attack has rendered the air unbreathable, and their only hope of survival is to remain inside. Despite the comforts of home, Howard's controlling and menacing nature makes Michelle want to escape. After taking matters into her own hands, the young woman finally discovers the truth about the outside world."
This was really good, it built the tension up brilliantly, although I think then ending could have been done a lot better rather than being so over the top. I didn't enjoy the original Cloverfield film (I hate found footage stuff) but after seeing this I'm excited for the third film in the trilogy which is out soon! 4/5

The Good Neighbour (2016)
"A pair of mischievous high school kids create the illusion of a haunting on an unsuspecting neighbour. While keeping his every reaction under surveillance, they see much more than they bargained for, and discover that the man they're tormenting is not the easy target they'd expected."
This was a random Netflix watch that felt very made-for-TV. The two boys in this were really annoying dicks and the twist at the end was actually really depressing! 2/5

Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping (2016)
"Singer/rapper Conner4Real faces a crisis of popularity after his sophomore album flops, leaving his fans, sycophants and rivals all wondering what to do when he's no longer the dopest star of all."
Filmed in the style of a mockumentary this wasn't quite as good as I thought it would be but there were still some hilarious moments. If you like Andy Sambergs SNL digital shorts then this is worth a watch. 3/5

Some books I want to read in 2017...

Here are some of the books I really really want to get round to reading this year. All of these are books that are already on my shelf and don't include any new releases or books I want to buy. You'll notice there's a mix of genres as well as novels, graphic novels and non fiction. Although I always like to vary my reading I found that the majority of the fiction I read last year was thrillers so this year I want to be much more adventurous! I also plan to read a lot more non fiction this year too.

16 ways to practice Self care...

1. Relax in a hot bath. Maybe use some fancy bath salts or a bath bomb, light a candle, play some music.
2. Read a book (or a comic or magazine). Combine that with a nice cup of fresh coffee or whatever your preference.
3. Put your pyjamas on and watch some episodes of your favourite TV show (or find a new favourite on Netflix).
4. Get some air and go for a walk. If it helps put your headphones in a listen to some music whilst you do.
5. Make a smoothie. I love the frozen fruit bags Tesco do blitzed with a banana and some apple juice.
6. Go to the cinema (and get some popcorn!).
7. Buy yourself a little treat for getting through a stressful week. Your favourite chocolate, a new book, some nice bubble bath.
8. Put your headphones on, close your eyes and listen to an audiobook or podcast- or for the ultimate relaxation some asmr videos on YouTube.
9. Take a nap. If you are exhausted then listen to your body and get some rest.
10. Cook a nice meal. Maybe try a new recipe or cook an old favourite.
12. Do some colouring in. There are so many great adult colouring books out there and it's incredibly relaxing.
13. Do a face mask or paint your nails. Anything that's pampering.
14. Do some yoga or pilates- there are some great videos on YouTube that have follow along sessions for beginners or for relaxation and anxiety.
15. Reorganise your book shelf (is it just me that finds this incredibly relaxing?!)
16. Make a photo album of pictures from happy times and of people you love.

Latest in Beauty box January...

 Latest in Beauty subscription service have had a recent rebrand that allows you to curate your own box each month and as I am so picky I was instantly interested and decided to see what was on offer. It turns out there was tons of great stuff- if you fill out a short survey they show you the products tailored to your tastes too. You can choose from either 3, 6 or 9 products and delivery is free if you subscribe. I went for 6 products and it cost me just £15 which I think is a complete bargain! 

I chose...

Sally Hansen Insta-dry... (full size) I'm running out of top coat and this is supposed to be a great one.
Benefit Roller Lash... I find Benefit mascaras hit and miss but I've already tried this and love it. It lifts and curls my lashes and makes them huge!
Burts Bees lip crayon in Sedona Sands... (full size) This alone has an rrp of around £10 and it's a lovely everyday shade that is nice and moisturising. Another hit :)
Bee Good Hydrate, Smooth & Prime Serum... (10ml) Made with natural ingredients and really smoothing.
The Organic Pharmacy Lip & Eye Cream... (full size) I've tried a few things from this brand and really liked them so looking forward to testing this out. (This has an rrp of around £12)
Malin + Goetz Trio pack... This has samples of their grapfruit face cleanser, lip moisturiser and vitamin e face moisturiser. Love trying out new skincare.

They also chucked in a Latest in Beauty pouch and a tube of Beverly Hills Formula Charcoal toothpaste (happy to get this as I love this stuff!)

Overall I am really happy with this box. So many great products and such good value. The only downside was trying to just pick 6 products, but every single item here is something I will get good use out of.

If you are interested their website is here

8 bipolar symptoms you might not know about...

When most people hear the word bipolar they tend to think it is *just* a case of having mood swings. Which of course it isn't. Having bipolar is a lot more complex than that but today I though I would write a post about some of the symptoms you may not be aware of....

1. Finding it really hard to make and keep friends. When your mind is racing it is really hard to remember to reply to that email or message. Sometimes you get so wrapped up in your own changing moods you forget to check in with your friends.

2. Bad memory. I have the memory of an 80 year old. Sometimes I can watch a film then a few months later have zero recollection of it. I've forgotten whole conversations before. That is why I love making lists and why I am fond of reviewing books and films I have consumed!

3. Nightmares. This is mainly a not so nice side effect of my meds. Every so often I will have the most vivid and petrifying nightmares and will wake up sweating and shaking. It's like being in my own horror film.

4. Being obsessive. Obsessive personalities go hand in hand with bipolar. I have obsessive compulsive tendencies when it comes to a number of things including everything in my room having to be organised in a certain way, checking the doors are locked every night and I also have to do things in eights (or multiples of). 

5. Trouble sleeping.Having a rigid sleep routine is really important if you have bipolar as it can have a huge impact on your mood. I go through phases of not being able to sleep at all (my mind will be too busy trying to argue the ten best albums of all time or what that person meant in that conversation we had last week or sometimes my thoughts move way too fast to keep track of). Other times I can sleep too much and still have trouble getting out of bed. Most mornings after forcing myself to get up I feel as if I haven't slept at all.

6. Exhaustion. The above point is kind of connected but I'm not just talking about feeling a bit sleepy I'm talking about your-whole-body-aches-and-hurts type of exhaustion. I'm talking about doing one shift at work and coming home barely able to walk up the stairs.

7. Anxiety. Another thing that goes hand in hand with bipolar is anxiety. This is something I've had since a kid and for me is mainly social anxiety but also busy places, appointments, using the phone and going to places I'm not familiar with. (I've written a post about tips with dealing with anxiety here).

8. Weight gain. With the meds amongst other many side effects* comes weight gain. I recently added another medication to my roster after having a bad episode and this has caused my weight to balloon to the highest it's been. Although I would like to loose some weight I reason that I would prefer to be heavier and not feel the crippling pain I felt without meds.

*headaches, stomach aches, nightmares, dry mouth, fatigue, dizzyness, pounding heartbeat, constipation, feeling weak, swelling arms & legs, fainting, blurred vision, high blood sugar levels, feeling more hungry, feeling irritated, disturbance in speech and language, worsening depression, fever, shortness of breath, vomiting, irregular periods, decrease in certain blood cells. (this is just some of the common side effects of my mood stabiliser meds).

If you would like to read more of my mental health post check out these...
mental health and my comfort zone (here)
Having a mental illness and staying positive (here)
Bipolar awareness day (here)

The Dry blog tour...

Today I'm excited to take part in my first blog tour! I'm going to be talking about a debut novel by Jane Harper called The Dry. I'm currently mid way through reading it and it is a well written crime mystery full of twists and with plenty of suspense that will be perfect for you if you love intriguing thrillers. So here's what it's about...

"Luke Hadler turns a gun on his wife and child, then himself. The farming community of Kiewarra is facing life and death choices daily. If one of their own broke under the strain, well...

When Federal Police investigator Aaron Falk returns to Kiewarra for the funerals, he is loath to confront the people who rejected him twenty years earlier. But when his investigative skills are called on, the facts of the Hadler case start to make him doubt this murder-suicide charge.

And as Falk probes deeper into the killings, old wounds start bleeding into fresh ones. For Falk and his childhood friend Luke shared a secret... A secret Falk thought long-buried... A secret which Luke's death starts to bring to the surface...

The book is set in Australia during a long drought in a small town and you really get that sense of tension building in a small community.

The film rights to The Dry have already been sold so now is the time to read it. The Dry is out in hardback on the 12th January and you can get a copy here.

(Huge thanks to Little Brown Book Group for letting me take part on the blog tour and for a copy of the book)

Boxing Day sales haul....

I like to use the Boxing Day sales as an opportunity to stock up on toiletries that will last me most of the year as it's the best time to get some good bargains. From Boots I spent £30 on their online sale (nothing is getting me out of my pj's on Boxing Day!) and got this lovely lot.
 I got two Soap & Glory gift sets, one for myself and one for an upcoming Birthday. The one I got for myself has the Smoothie Star scent as I much prefer this. 
I also got two Boots Extracts sets as I'm a fan of their products. I got a lovely tin which contained four full sized products in the marshmallow and peppermint scent and a gift set containing twelve products in vanilla, mango, coconut and marshmallow and peppermint. I will use a lot of this as well as passing a few things on.
The Body Shop had a 40% code on top of the sale so I got all of this for under £20! I got a shea gift set and some products from the satsuma range as that's my favourite Body Shop scent.
Here's whats inside the shea gift box
I was surprisingly restrained in the Lush sale but had decided after the stress of putting an order through the previous few years it wasn't worth it and didn't bother. My sister was determined to get some stuff though and after waiting in the online queue for around 5 hours (!) got on the site and I got a few things with her order. I picked up a small Snow Fairy and some bath bombs/ bubble bars.
Finally I got an Erin pop from Amazon for around a fiver (I think this may be my cheapest pop!) and I got the Mystique Rock Candy. This wasn't a sales buy but as soon as I saw this was one of the exclusive items in the MCC subscription box I went to search Ebay and was able to get this for under £15! I also made a small order with Forbidden Planet in their sale which I'll show in another post.

So that was my sales buys. I'm pretty pleased with the bargains I got as I didn't go mad and get a load of unnecessary stuff (like usual!) 

Recently watched...

 Krampus (2015)
"American Christmas comedy horror film based upon the eponymous character from Germanic folklore"
Not funny enough to be a comedy and not scary enough to be a decent horror this was just very meh. 1/5

Disorder (2016)
"Suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, a security guard utilises his training as a French special forces soldier to protect the wife and son of a shady Lebanese businessman."
This portrayed PTSD in a thoughtful and interesting way and made for a well acted suspenseful drama. 3/5

Keanu (2016)
"Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele star in this comedy as two friends posing as drug dealers to get back a stolen cat."
I love Key and Peele and have been wanting to see this film as soon as it was announced. If you enjoy the duo's sketches and movie parodies then you will love this. 4/5

The Boy (2016)
"Greta is a young American woman who takes a job as a nanny in a remote English village, only to discover that the family's 8-year-old is a life-sized doll that the parents care for just like a real boy"
Although a bit silly I actually quite enjoyed this horror film. It was well made and had enough twists to keep it interesting. 3/5

Carol (2015)
"In this adaptation of the novel "The Price of Salt" by Patricia Highsmith, Therese, a young department-store clerk in 1950s Manhattan, meets Carol , a beautiful older woman stuck in a depressing marriage of convenience. As their bond deepens and they become romantically involved, Carol finds the strength to leave her husband (Kyle Chandler). Unfortunately, her spouse starts to raise questions about her fitness as a mother when he realises that Carol's relationships with her best friend Abby and Therese are more than just friendships. "
I don't know why it took me so long to watch this as I love things set in the 1950s. This film was simply beautiful. Everything about it was stunning- the fashion, visuals, music, acting and the portrayal of love. 4.5/5

Green Room (2016)
"Members (Anton Yelchin, Alia Shawkat) of a punk-rock band and a tough young woman (Imogen Poots) battle murderous white supremacists at a remote Oregon roadhouse."
This was a fun watch that reminded me a little of 80s action films. 3/5

Some goals for 2017...

I don't really like to make new years resolutions but I do like to make lists so here are some things I'd *quite* like to get done this year...

1. Complete my second year of uni and do as well or better than last year
2. Read at least 60 books (here's my Goodreads)
3. Try and review every film and book I watch/read this year
4. Go to the cinema often
5. Try and save a bit of money (I already expect to fail this one!)
6. Continue to be more open about my mental health and help in a small way to break the stigma.
7. Go somewhere I haven't been before
8. Take more pictures
9. Eat more fruit
10. Continue to work on my mental health and self belief.

December reading round up...

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
'In a split second, Jenna Gray's world descends into a nightmare. Her only hope of moving on is to walk away from everything she knows to start afresh. Desperate to escape, Jenna moves to a remote cottage on the Welsh coast, but she is haunted by her fears, her grief and her memories of a cruel November night that changed her life forever.'
I found this a little slow to start but there was a huge twist half way through I didn't see coming and then the story picked up. Overall I enjoyed it but a few of the twists went a little too far to be believable and were just plain silly. 3/5

The Window Man by Louise Millar (audiobook)

This was a short story I got free from Audiable. Read by my favourite narrator Clare Corbett. I'd previously listened to her read a Millar book that I loved and this was a good, suspenseful short story that I enjoyed. 4/5

The Mistletoe Murder and Other Stories by P.D. James

'As the acknowledged 'Queen of Crime', P. D. James was frequently commissioned by newspapers and magazines to write a special short story for Christmas. Four of the best of these have been drawn from the archives and published here. P. D. James' prose illuminates each of these perfectly formed stories, making them ideal reading for the darkest days of the year. '
I really enjoyed this book- four cosy mysteries that were full of suspense and very festive. I'll definitely be getting this book out every Christmas. 4/5
[Note to self: must read even number of books]

Christmas Days: 12 Stories and 12 Feasts for 12 Days by Jeanette Winterston

'For years Jeanette Winterson has loved writing a new story at Christmas time and here she brings together twelve of her brilliantly imaginative, funny and bold tales. For the Twelve Days of Christmas—a time of celebration, sharing, and giving—she offers these twelve plus one: a personal story of her own Christmas memories.'
This one was a mixed bag for me- there were some really lovely festive stories in here but there were also some duds. Overall I enjoyed it but I preferred the P.D. James one more.

The Winter Children by Lulu Taylor (audiobook)

'Olivia and Dan Felbeck are blissfully happy when their longed-for twins arrive after years of IVF. At the same time, they make the move to Renniston Hall, a huge, Elizabethan house that belongs to absent friends. Living rent-free in a small part of the unmodernised house, once a boarding school, they can begin to enjoy the family life they've always wanted. But there is a secret at the heart of their family, one that Olivia does not yet know. And the house, too, holds its darkness deep within it . . .'
I ended up dnf-ing this about 3 hours in as it was boring me to death!

Favourite single issues...

Batman holiday annual, Gwenpool Holiday Special & Motor Crush issue 1