Random geeky haul.

Here's some random geeky stuff I've bought over the last few months!
I love Louis Theroux, so when I saw these cheesy tees on Ebay had to get them. They were fairly cheap, but I'm not going to link them as they aren't the best quality. When I took one for a spin my Mum thought I had a Harry Potter t-shirt on haha.

With the help of my Sister I managed to feel the two Teen Titan figures I needed: Starfire and Raven. They are pretty nice little figures. There's a series two out now and Asda has them for cheap if you are interested!
A couple of new Funko's. I don't buy Pops nearly as much as I used to but I had to add Barb from Stanger Things to my collection and also another Liv from iZombie. Here's hoping they release a Ravi and Blaine.

Finally I found this Catwoman figure in Smyths Toys during a big sale a few months back. I've been trying to get my hands on this for a while. Woo!

Tips on talking about mental health with your Doctor...

1. Before you go write a list of the main things you want to mention. You may think you know what you want to say but as soon as you get into the Doctors office and sit down your mind can go blank, or you might forget certain details. Having a list will make sure you cover everything you need to and ask any questions you have without the anxiety of trying to remember.

2. Take someone in with you if you are extra anxious. If it helps take a friend of family member with you. Even if it's just to sit with you in the waiting room it will help put you at ease. I used to get terrible anxiety in the Doctors waiting room so would choose appointments at times it was less likely to be busy.

3. Don't be afraid to suggest certain treatments or medication to your Doctor. If you want to see a therapist ask to be referred, if you are not happy with the medication you are taking or it isn't helping tell the Doctor- that's what they are there for. If you don't agree with something- then say... after all it is your health that is most important.

4, If you feel your GP is not helpful when it comes to mental health change to a different one. Ask the surgery which Doctor is best to see regarding mental health. One of the best things I did was to move Doctors surgeries to one that has a GP that specialises in MH. Since then my treatment has been so much better and as a result my MH has improved hugely.

I hope this helps! If you can think of any others let me know :)

New books!

Undone by Cat Clarke
'Jem Halliday is in love with her gay best friend. Not exactly ideal, but she's learning to live with it.

Then the unspeakable happens. Kai is outed online ... and he kills himself.

Jem knows nothing she can say or do will bring him back. But she wants to know who was responsible. And she wants to take them down.

A searing story of love, revenge and betrayal from a bestselling author.'

I recently read Girlhood by Cat Clarke and loved it so have decided to read all her other books. Hopefully this will be just as good!

The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
'A high-stakes drama set against the harsh beauty of the Maine wilderness, charting the journey of four friends as they fight to survive the aftermath of a white water rafting accident, The River at Night is a nonstop and unforgettable thriller.'

I love survival books and this caught my eye at the supermarket. If it is anything as good The Last One I'll be happy.

The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood
'Offred is a Handmaid in the Republic of Gilead. She may leave the home of the Commander and his wife once a day to walk to food markets whose signs are now pictures instead of words because women are no longer allowed to read. She must lie on her back once a month and pray that the Commander makes her pregnant, because in an age of declining births, Offred and the other Handmaids are valued only if their ovaries are viable. Offred can remember the years before, when she lived and made love with her husband, Luke; when she played with and protected her daughter; when she had a job, money of her own, and access to knowledge. But all of that is gone now...'

I'm kind of ashamed to admit I've never read this book. Now that it has been adapted into a TV show I realised I really must read it. I have a feeling I am going to love it so I think that pressure has kind of put me off if that makes sense.

The Girls by Emma Cline
'Northern California, during the violent end of the 1960s. At the start of summer, a lonely and thoughtful teenager, Evie Boyd, sees a group of girls in the park, and is immediately caught by their freedom, their careless dress, their dangerous aura of abandon. Soon, Evie is in thrall to Suzanne, a mesmerising older girl, and is drawn into the circle of a soon-to-be infamous cult and the man who is its charismatic leader. Hidden in the hills, their sprawling ranch is eerie and run down, but to Evie, it is exotic, thrilling, charged—a place where she feels desperate to be accepted. As she spends more time away from her mother and the rhythms of her daily life, and as her obsession with Suzanne intensifies, Evie does not realise she is coming closer and closer to unthinkable violence, and to that moment in a girl’s life when everything can go horribly wrong.'

This has been hyped to death, but now the hype has died down a bit I want to read it! I love anything to do with cults so hopefully I'll really enjoy this.

Head Full of Ghosts by Paul tremblay
'The lives of the Barretts, a normal suburban New England family, are torn apart when fourteen-year-old Marjorie begins to display signs of acute schizophrenia.

To her parents' despair, the doctors are unable to stop Marjorie's descent into madness. As their stable home devolves into a house of horrors, they reluctantly turn to a local Catholic priest for help. Father Wanderly suggests an exorcism; he believes the vulnerable teenager is the victim of demonic possession. He also contacts a production company that is eager to document the Barretts' plight. With John, Marjorie's father, out of work for more than a year and the medical bills looming, the family agrees to be filmed, and soon find themselves the unwitting stars of The Possession, a hit reality television show. When events in the Barrett household explode in tragedy, the show and the shocking incidents it captures become the stuff of urban legend.

Fifteen years later, a bestselling writer interviews Marjorie's younger sister, Merry. As she recalls those long ago events that took place when she was just eight years old, long-buried secrets and painful memories that clash with what was broadcast on television begin to surface--and a mind-bending tale of psychological horror is unleashed, raising vexing questions about memory and reality, science and religion, and the very nature of evil.

I've heard this is a really great classic horror style read.

Horrorstor by Grady Hendrix
'Something strange is happening at the Orsk furniture superstore in Cleveland, Ohio. Every morning, employees arrive to find broken Kjerring bookshelves, shattered Glans water goblets, and smashed Liripip wardrobes. Sales are down, security cameras reveal nothing, and store managers are panicking.

To unravel the mystery, three employees volunteer to work a nine-hour dusk-till-dawn shift. In the dead of the night, they’ll patrol the empty showroom floor, investigate strange sights and sounds, and encounter horrors that defy the imagination.

A traditional haunted house story in a thoroughly contemporary setting, Horrorstör comes packaged in the form of a glossy mail order catalog, complete with product illustrations, a home delivery order form, and a map of Orsk’s labyrinthine showroom.'

This is a book I've been wanting to read for ages- it looks like an Ikea catalogue and is set in a store just like it. I've already read it and will be reviewing it in my July round up but I loved it!

Bedlam Vol.1 by Nick Spencer
'Fillmore Press was once Madder Red, a homicidal maniac and criminal overlord who ruled the city of Bedlam. Now he's been cured of his mania, and says he wants to help protect the place he once terrorized - but can he be trusted?'

The October Faction Vol.1 by Steve Niles
'The October Faction details the adventures of retired monster-hunter Frederick Allan and his family... which include a thrill-killer, a witch, and a warlock. Because sometimes crazy is the glue that binds a family together.'

I've been wanting to find some good horror comics to get into, so hopefully these will do the job.

Book review: Gather the Daughters by Jennie Melamed

"For fans of Emma Cline's THE GIRLS and Emily St John Mandel's STATION 11, this dark, unsettling and hugely compelling story of an isolated island cult will get under your skin.

GATHER THE DAUGHTERS tells the story of an end-of-the-world cult founded years ago when ten men colonised an island. It's a society in which men reign supreme, breeding is controlled, and knowledge of the outside world is kept to a minimum. Girls are wives-in-training: at the first sign of puberty, they must marry and have children. But until that point, every summer, island tradition dictates that the children live wildly: running free, making camps, sleeping on the beach. And it is at the end of one such summer that one of the youngest girls sees something so horrifying that life on the island can never be the same again. "

My thoughts

This book was beautiful, brutal and disturbing all at the same time. 

Following four girls living on an island in a supposed utopia we soon learn that life is not good if you are a woman. All four girls struggle with the realities of the 'Shalt Not's' the ancestors have bestowed upon them as they are growing into woman and start to question the islands way of life. Are there other islands? Are there other people out there? Why must they marry and have children? Why are the men in charge? Is this all life has to offer?

Gather the Daughters was written with such heart and beauty that even the sometimes uncomfortable subject matter was palatable. The beauty of the island was in stark contrast to the dystopian world of the inhabitants. I felt the struggles of each of the four girls as they attempted to understand and find knowledge whilst being completely powerless. I liked all four of them- they were resourceful, clever and strong despite being totally vulnerable. 

I was completely absorbed in Gather the Daughters right to the end, and although there were some ambiguities I can imagine some might find frustrating I felt like it was fitting to the book. Overall I highly recommend this dystopian novel that asked important questions about society, power and feminism. 

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars 

(Below is a note from the author I wanted to include as I found it really interesting and put so brilliantly)

A note from the author

I want people to finish the book and wonder about human nature and our response to strange and even bizarre circumstances. If a whole society is committing an aberration, does that diffuse responsibility? How does collective trauma impact an entire generation? What kind of person does it take to rebel against a very constricted culture, especially if their ability to gather information about the world is practically nil?

Published 25th July in Hardback (you can get a copy here)

[Thank you to Caitlin at Headline for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review]

A very late June. Lately.

We are passed the half way point in July, making this post ridiculously late but I thought I'd post it anyway...
The beginning of June was all about the general election and as a big Corbyn supporter I purchased a copy of Kerrang! for the first time since I was a teenager. Although the end result of the election was a disappointment (DUP deals), Labour did much better than anyone can of expected and they are still going strong. 
June was St. Williams season and I had a bunch of these in my room throughout the month. They are beautiful and probably my favourite flower.
In June I did a lot of holiday cover at work which meant lot's of early mornings in the bakery. I took it as an opportunity to make myself a MEGA COOKIE. It was damn delicious!
These were some pretty flowers in the garden before a gang of caterpillars destroyed them.
The Power won the Baileys prize and I decided now was the time to grab a copy to read.
On payday I decided to order myself some clothes. This didn't make the cut as I realised that the O in soul was joined at the bottom WTF! 


Currently reading: Gender Games by Juno Dawson and Who Runs the World by Virginia Bergin

Currently watching: Catastrophe, and old Conan clips on YT
Currently listening to: new Goldfrapp, new Blondie
Currently wearing: My new purple Kanken backpack that I am in love with!

(not so) Recently Watched.

Alien Covenant (2017)
'Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David, the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.'
I feel like this was a pointless addition to the Alien franchise- it just threw up a load more questions and kind of messed up the timeline. It looked great but there was no substance. 2/5

Ghost in the Shell (2017)
'In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: a human who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world's most dangerous criminals. When terrorism reaches a new level that includes the ability to hack into people's minds and control them, Major is uniquely qualified to stop it. As she prepares to face a new enemy, Major discovers that her life was stolen instead of saved. Now, she will stop at nothing to recover her past while punishing those who did this to her.'
I have never read the manga so am totally ignorant to the source material but I really enjoyed this. To be honest I do like most ScarJo films and this was such a visually beautiful film. I also enjoy anything set in the future and anything featuring androids so this kind of ticked all the boxes for me. 4/5

The Girl on the Train (2016)
'Commuter Rachel Watson catches daily glimpses of a seemingly perfect couple, Scott and Megan, from the window of her train. One day, Watson witnesses something shocking unfold in the backyard of the strangers' home. Rachel tells the authorities what she thinks she saw after learning that Megan is now missing and feared dead. Unable to trust her own memory, the troubled woman begins her own investigation, while police suspect that Rachel may have crossed a dangerous line.'
I was underwhelmed by the book but was interested to see how it was adapted to film. It turns out I preferred the book! For some reason it was moved from London to New York and I felt like Emily Blunt was a strange choice considering how the character was described in the book (more fat actresses please). 1/5

Guardians of the Glaxy Vol.2 (2017)
'Peter Quill and his fellow Guardians are hired by a powerful alien race, the Sovereign, to protect their precious batteries from invaders. When it is discovered that Rocket has stolen the items they were sent to guard, the Sovereign dispatch their armada to search for vengeance. As the Guardians try to escape, the mystery of Peter's parentage is revealed.'
Although not at the height of the first one this was plenty of fun. I like that we got to see more of Nebula and Yondu but I think Drax is my favourite and loved his scenes with Mantis. 3/5

Wonder Woman (2017)
'Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, Diana meets an American pilot who tells her about the massive conflict that's raging in the outside world. Convinced that she can stop the threat, Diana leaves her home for the first time. Fighting alongside men in a war to end all wars, she finally discovers her full powers and true destiny.'
How long have we waited for this?! One of the greatest and most iconic superheroes of all time finally gets the film she deserves and it was brilliant. A perfect mix of story, effects, humour and action, I loved it! It was very special to finally see Diana get her origin story and it was also great to have it directed by a woman. I am already pumped for the sequel. 5/5

The Mummy (2017)
'Nick Morton is a soldier of fortune who plunders ancient sites for timeless artifacts and sells them to the highest bidder. When Nick and his partner come under attack in the Middle East, the ensuing battle accidentally unearths Ahmanet, a betrayed Egyptian princess who was entombed under the desert for thousands of years. With her powers constantly evolving, Morton must now stop the resurrected monster as she embarks on a furious rampage through the streets of London.'
I took my Dad to see this as a Fathers Day present and oh dear god it was terrible. The trailer made it look like it could be a decent entertaining film (despite having Tom Cruise in who I hate...) but seriously the trailer had the best part in it- the plane scene. Other than that it was a cheesy mess of Cruise running inter sliced with a few one liners and PG violence. As my Dad put it perfectly: "It was a Nicolas Cage film without Nicolas Cage". At least I have a winner for worst film of 2017! 0/5

Book review: Evening Primrose by Kopano Matlwa

'When Masechaba finally achieves her childhood dream of becoming a doctor, her ambition is tested as she faces the stark reality of South Africa's public healthcare system.

As she leaves her deeply religious mother and makes friends with the politically-minded Nyasha, Masechaba's eyes are opened to the rising xenophobic tension that carries echoes of apartheid.

Battling her inner demons, she must decide if she should take a stand to help her best friend, even it comes at a high personal cost.'

Written in the style of a journal this is a powerful read that follows Masechaba as she trains and qualifies as a doctor in South Africa.

We get insight into the health system as Masechaba struggles to do a good job with limited resources and also of the race and xenophobic tensions that she finds herself the centre of, after befriending a fellow doctor from Zimbabwe who opens her eyes to the politics and gives her motivation to try and do something about it- with devastating consequences.   

The book was a short quick read, but quite an intense one. I really felt for Masechaba and what she was going through and often it was hearth breaking to read. The book was beautifully written- I felt like the journal/ diary style added a certain intimacy to it- I was reading the innermost thoughts of this woman as she spoke frankly about her life. 

I highly recommend this book, it gave me an insight into a country I don't know a great deal about and also brought an important female voice to fiction- a marginalised woman facing her demons and rising above them.

Evening Primrose is out in hardback on the 27 July, you can buy a copy here

*Thanks to Veronique at Hoddar for providing me with a copy of this book for a honest review.

June reading round up.

Nina is not OK by Shappi Khorsandi
'Nina does not have a drinking problem. She likes a drink, sure. But what 17-year-old doesn’t?
Nina’s mum isn’t so sure. But she’s busy with her new husband and five year old Katie. And Nina’s almost an adult after all. And if Nina sometimes wakes up with little memory of what happened the night before, then her friends are all too happy to fill in the blanks. Nina’s drunken exploits are the stuff of college legend.
But then one dark Sunday morning, even her friends can’t help piece together Saturday night. All Nina feels is a deep sense of shame, that something very bad has happened to her…'
I don't know why but I feel like this book should have been set in the nineties! I kind of enjoyed it but at times found the over conversational writing style a little annoying. I feel like it covered the subjects of addiction, growing up and sexual assault well though and the characters were interesting and likeable. 3/5

The Lying Game by Ruth Ware
'On a cool June morning, Isa Wilde, a resident of the seemingly idyllic coastal village of Salten, is walking her dog along a tidal estuary. Before she can stop him, Isa s dog charges into the water to retrieve what first appears to be a wayward stick and to her horror, she discovers it s not a stick at all but a human bone. As her three best friends from childhood converge in Salten to comfort a seriously shaken-up Isa, terrifying discoveries are made, and their collective history slowly unravels. Tackling the slipperiness of your memories, the relativity of truth, and the danger of obsessive friendships, The Lying Game is a page-turning mystery with compelling characters and electric prose, resulting in an unputdownable thriller.'
I am a huge fan of Ruth Ware's first two books (they're amazing) and as soon as my pre order arrived dived straight into this book. Unfortunately I was really sad to find this a bit of a let down. The writing was great but the suspense and and twists of her first two books just weren't there and I felt like there was too much filler about the protagonists baby- when it was crying, when it was hungry, when she fed it blah blah blah. We get it she had a baby! The characters were no way near as interesting or fleshed out as they were in her other novels. I will still look forward to her next offering and hope this is a blip! 3/5

Who Runs the World? by Virginia Bergin
'Sixty years after a virus has wiped out almost all the men on the planet, things are pretty much just as you would imagine a world run by women might be: war has ended; greed is not tolerated; the ecological needs of the planet are always put first. In two generations, the female population has grieved, pulled together and moved on, and life really is pretty good - if you're a girl. It's not so great if you're a boy, but fourteen-year-old River wouldn't know that. Until she met Mason, she thought they were extinct.'
The blurb to this sounded amazing and I was expecting an exciting dystopian read with feminist overtones. Dear oh dear Bergin really failed with this. Apart from the writing which was filled with constant question marks? and exclamations, which drove me mad!!!! She really didn't do feminists any favours with this. The book made out without men the world was some kind of medieval utopia where everyone just hugged it out and there was no wars of violence or crime. Also for some reason they ate insects and rode around on horses. The book was filled with man hate and she could have tried to make so many interesting points with this book but just didn't. (and FYI I do consider myself a feminist). Also the main character was just plain annoying! 2/5

Hopefully I will have a better reading month in July! 
Have you read any of these books? What did you think of them?

Fable and Black haul.

I recently discovered an indie brand through Instagram who design and sell all sorts of bookish treats and couldn't resist putting an order in. To be honest it was near impossible to choose what to buy as I wanted pretty much everything but here is what I chose...

I can never resist lucky dips and this literary lucky dip box was jam packed with goodies. It was also only £9.95. Inside I got a beautiful Bookworm coaster, a Books patch (that I wanted to buy yay!) a sticker,  Alice in Wonderland bookmark pack (which are already being put to good use), some bookish badges, cards and a lovely notebook. 

I'm very very happy with what was inside and think it is amazing value too. The design of everything is just perfect.

This patch was probably my favourite item and I can't decide whether to attach it to my jacket or bag...

I also purchased this pastel print. It comes on thick card and will look brilliant framed :)

I will almost certainly be making another order from them soon (I already have my eye on the sticker pack, pins and prints) and highly recommend checking them out!

Fable and Black website