Author: Alyce

BLOGTOBER Day 28: Top Five Wednesday Revisited: Series I’m reading next year

Earlier in the month I discussed the series I can’t wait to finish and the series I can’t wait to continue, so I thought before Blogtober finished I should probably shine a light on some series which I still need to start. This was a 

BLOGTOBER Day 27: Top Ten Tuesday: Ten favourite candies

It’s only four days until Halloween, so for today’s Halloween freebie I decided to shine a spotlight on my favourite candies. I have the biggest sweet tooth in the world – which is dangerous, because I work in a chocolate shop – so if you 

BLOGTOBER Day 26: Autumn playlist

Autumn is in full swing: the clocks have changed, the leaves are falling and the temperature is dropping rapidly. That makes it the perfect time to update your playlist to reflect the new season, so here are ten songs which just scream autumn to me.

English Girls by The Maine

“WE’RE IN LONDON, MID-OCTOBER!”

That’s literally all the justification I needed to feature this song on an autumn playlist post. Next!

Fallen Leaves by Billy Talent

Not only is this one of Billy Talent’s best songs, but it’s also very autumnal. Fallen leaves on the ground, indeed.

Forever Halloween by The Maine

The first of the Halloween songs featured in my autumn playlist is the second entry from The Maine. I’ve already talked about Forever Halloween recently, as the album is one of my current favourites, but the title track is definitely one to blast on the 31st.

It’s Almost Halloween by Panic! at the Disco

It’s unfortunate that I decided to do this post alphabetically, because we’ve gone from the perfect song to listen to ON Halloween to the perfect song to listen to BEFORE Halloween. Fuck it, just start playing this one on November 1st to get excited for next Halloween!

Nothing can put you in the Halloween holiday mood more than fetus P!ATD dressed up in those goofy costumes.

Jersey by Mayday Parade

There’s never a bad season to listen to Mayday Parade. It was hard to pick a specific song from A Lesson in Romantics because the entire album screams ‘end of summer’, but Jersey won. I mean, the first line literally says, “Jersey just got colder”, which is definitely something that signals the start of autumn.

Let Her Go by Passenger

Let Her Go could easily feature on a winter playlist with the line “you only miss the sun when it starts to snow”, but something about this song makes me think of sitting around a bonfire with friends on November 5th.

Opposite by Biffy Clyro

Something about autumn makes me feel intensely melancholy, and that’s the vibe which Opposite by Biffy Clyro gives off.

Sweater Weather by The Neighbourhood

When I first heard this song I was utterly OBSESSED. I am a huge fan of jumpers – I have more of them than any other item in my wardrobe – so of course a song called Sweater Weather was going to be an instant fave.

The Last Time by Taylor Swift ft. Gary Lightbody

There are an awful lot of Taylor Swift songs that remind me of autumn, but this is the one I always find myself clicking first.

This is Halloween by Panic! at the Disco

The perfect sequel to It’s Almost Halloween, and the perfect end to an autumn playlist post!

I hope you enjoyed this autumn playlist. Which songs do you have to listen to in the autumn months?

See you tomorrow,

Alyce

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BLOGTOBER Day 25: Review: It by Stephen King

BLOGTOBER Day 25: Review: It by Stephen King

It’s hard to review a book like Stephen King’s It, because there is nothing I can possibly say about it which hasn’t been said before. Despite that, I thought I’d share my thoughts on this tome, because I’ve spent the past three weeks gradually clawing 

BLOGTOBER Day 24: 25 Before 25 update

I’m 25 in six months, which means it’s been six months since I shared my 25 Before 25 list. For day 24 of Blogtober, I thought I’d give you a quick update on which books I’ve currently read… And I’m embarrassed that I have only 

BLOGTOBER Day 23: Book-to-screen adaptations I want to see

In direct contrast to yesterday’s list of five book-to-screen adaptations which I’ve already seen, today’s list features five book-to-screen adaptations that are at the top of my list of things I want to watch.

The Hate U Give



I read The Hate U Give last year and instantly started kicking myself for not reading it as soon as it came out. Angie Thomas’s debut novel is a timely, relevant book discussing police brutality and Black Lives Matter, and I’m expecting the film to be even more a tearjerker than the novel is.

The film adaptation was released almost two years ago, but I wanted to wait until I read the book to be able to watch it. I don’t know why I’m still waiting, but I won’t be procrastinating this one for much longer.



Looking For Alaska

Looking For Alaska by John Green



Looking For Alaska quickly became my favourite book when I read it way back before joining Goodreads. I had a copy that I’d highlighted poignant quotes in – the only book I’ve ever done that to – and recommended it to literally all of my friends.

For that reason, I’m apprehensive about watching the Looking For Alaska hulu show. What if it ruins my memories of the story? What if the book wasn’t actually that good? I haven’t reread it just in case it doesn’t impress me second time around, so even thinking about watching the show is a bit nerve-wracking.




It



I’m three quarters of the way through reading It – it’s slow going, especially with trying to write a blog post every day! – but I am loving this story. The idea of a shapeshifting murderous monster which appears as each kid’s deepest, darkest fear is so twisted, so I can imagine that the film adaptation for this one will be genuinely scary.

My mum watched the original film when she was far too young and it ruined clowns for her forever, so she’s been recommending the original film to me for the longest time. However, the casting of Bill Skarsgard as Pennywise in the newest adaptation is superb, so I think I’m going to enjoy that version a bit more. I’m still interested in watching both though!



Good Omens



Talking about Good Omens the other day has made me desperate to watching the Amazon Prime adaptation. The casting is perfect, and I watched the first two episodes through Prime and was really enjoying it… But then our internet connection went funny and cut out, we couldn’t get back to where we were in the middle of the episode so needed to rewatch it and didn’t feel like it, so we just abandoned it mid-way through episode three. Gulp.

My partner’s dad kindly gifted us the series last Christmas (if you’re reading this, hi Ken! *waves*) so we definitely don’t have any excuse for not watching it yet. Think this’ll be a great one for watching while curled up under a blanket now that the nights are drawing in.



The Girl With All the Gifts

The Girl With all the Gifts by M.R. Carey




The Girl With All the Gifts is the only book on this list that I still need to read as well as watch.

I can’t say too much about this book because I’ve heard that the only thing I actually know about this book is a bit of a spoiler – you know by the end of the book but it doesn’t become obvious very quickly – but all I will say is that this one sounds like it’s going to be a great horror novel and film.





Those are all of the book-to-screen adaptations I can’t wait to watch. Are there any that you’re really looking forward to seeing?

See you tomorrow.

Alyce

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BLOGTOBER Day 22: Book-to-screen adaptations I’ve seen

I haven’t seen a lot of adaptations, but I’ve always wanted to watch more of them. This is something I’m going to try to focus on next year, so I thought that I’d use today and tomorrow to discuss book-to-screen adaptations – the ones I’ve 

BLOGTOBER Day 21: Top Five Wednesday Revisited: Top five current favourite albums

It’s been a while since I’ve written about music, so today I’ve decided to focus on my top five favourite albums (at the moment). My original list features five albums which I still absolutely love – and have not been giving enough love to recently 

BLOGTOBER Day 20: Top Ten Tuesday: 10 Books I’ve Read Because of Recommendations

I’m someone who normally runs out and purchases my friend’s recommendations immediately… Then they sit festering on my shelves for so long that I completely forgot who recommended which book to me. (I’m terrible, I know).

However, these ten books are ones which remind me very strongly of each of the people who recommended them to me. I hope their recommendations help you find a new favourite book!

10. The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan



I read the entire The Forest of Hands and Teeth trilogy after my friend Lexi recommended them to me. I waited until we had a huge argument and were no longer talking so I could wallow in the pain of our friendship being over, thinking I was going to love these books and hate the fact that I couldn’t talk to her about them… But I ended up not enjoying them that much. Oops. (I didn’t tell her that when we started talking again, though, or that might have been the final nail in the coffin for that friendship!).

The Forest of Hands and Teeth is a zombie story in which the zombies are called the Unconsecrated, and they live in the forest which surrounds Mary’s little village. Other than that, I can’t remember an awful lot about this book, apart from a scene with some sort of treetop huts? Weird, the images that stick in your mind this many years after reading something.

9. The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien

The Fellowship of the Ring by J.R.R. Tolkien cover



I’m not sure if this counts or not, because I started The Fellowship of the Ring after my friend Jonny recommended it to me, read 100 pages… Then finally finished it earlier this year, over half a decade after first starting it. I guess I wouldn’t have been so determined to read it if it hadn’t been sitting on my ‘currently-reading’ shelf on Goodreads, and it wouldn’t have been there without Jonny’s recommendation… So it’s a stretch, but I think it can feature on this list!

The Fellowship of the Ring is the first book in the Lords of the Rings series, following Frodo Baggins as his cousin Frodo gifts him a magical ring and then promptly disappears, leaving Frodo to deal with the fallout.

I’ll be honest and say I’m not a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings series so far. The books are slow, there’s too much exposition and I just really do not care about the story, so I’m not looking forward to finishing this trilogy.

8. Horus Rising by Dan Abnett



I can’t really remember anything about Horus Rising, the first book in the Horus Heresy series, but I remember enjoying it far more than I thought I was going to. My friend Tom has read all of the books in the Horus Heresy series – which is impressive, considering there are over fifty books in the series – and recently my friend James has been picking up the spin-off series, The Primarchs, and has recommended them to me which is why these books are at the forefront of my mind.

The Horus Heresy series is set in the world of Warhammer 40K, following the Space Marines as they battle their way across the galaxy. These books probably laid the blueprints for how much I enjoyed Red Rising by Pierce Brown, as the battle sequences are very well described and easy to visualise. I’d definitely like to give these a reread at some point.

7. Atonement by Ian McEwan



Another Jonny recommendation. I read this one way back in sixth form, and I can’t really remember anything about it.

In fact, while writing this I’ve just googled ‘what happens in Atonement’, read one sentence and gone, “ahh, yeah!”. It’s one of those twists that it’s hard to remember, but as soon as you recall where the story ended up you being to remember why you didn’t love it.

I gave this four stars, but that was generous. It was one of the first pieces of literary fiction I read for fun (well, to impress my friend) rather than because it was assigned reading, and although the writing is good the plot is rather lacking.

I’ve tried a few of Ian McEwan’s other books and my reactions have ranged from apathy to utter distaste, so I think I’ll be avoiding his writing in future.

6. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams

The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams



When I first met Sean this was his favourite book. I don’t know if that’s changed – we have read at least 200 books together in the past couple of years, so he has a lot to choose from! – but I read the entire Hitchhiker’s series based off of his recommendation.

The second book in this trilogy of five – The Restaurant at the End of the Universe – remains my favourite, but I do want to reread these at some point. I feel as though I flew through them the first time around because they’re very short books. I think the longest one may still come in at under 300 pages! But I’d love to reread these and really savour Douglas Adams British humour.


5. Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett



Good Omens was the first book I read by either Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett, and I thought it was brilliant.

I read this at the recommendation of my friend Jenny, who really loves both of these authors, and she did not steer me wrong.

Good Omens is the story of an angel and a demon who team up to stop the impending Apocalypse, after realising that they quite like life on Earth and would rather it continue as it is. However, it’s not as easy as they think it might be, because the boy that they think is the antichrist isn’t – they were switched at birth, and now no-one knows where the actual antichrist is.

If you’re a fan of blunders and mishaps causing all sorts of chaos and mayhem, this is the perfect book for you. The Amazon adaptation is also brilliant: casting David Tennant and Michael Sheen was genius.

4. Murder Most Unladylike by Robin Stevens



I eventually picked up the Murder Most Unladylike series when Robin Stevens was the featured author of the month in the British Books Challenge, but these books were originally recommended to me by my friend Anya.

I often find that my reading tastes align nicely with Anya’s so I should have trusted her recommendation on these, but she recommended them at a time when I didn’t read much middle-grade. I thought of them as children’s books and didn’t think I should waste my time on them (I know, I was one of those awful people!) but my attitude towards middle-grade has changed a lot in the past couple of years, and the Murder Most Unladylike series is partly to thank for that.

Robin Stevens murder mystery stories will leave the most ardent adult crime and thriller readers guessing, so I definitely wouldn’t have cracked any of the cases if I’d been reading the adventures of Daisy Wells and Hazel Wong when I was younger!

3. The Girl in the Ice by Robert Bryndza



My mum recommended The Girl in the Ice to me a few years ago, so when I asked her to choose some books for us to read over the summer this was one of her picks.

The Girl in the Ice is the first book in the Erika Foster series by Robert Bryndza.

When the body of a politician’s daughter is found, Erika Foster is put in charge of the investigation despite some traumatic events in her recent past which have seen her taking some time away from work. All eyes are on this case, and the tension rises when the murder is linked to three other unsolved murders which have taken place across London.

Erika must keep her cool under pressure to try to catch the killer before there are any more victims, while trying to put her personal tragedy behind her.

The character of Erika Foster is so compelling to read, and although the solution to this mystery is somewhat predictable the way that the events play out is gripping. I’m looking forward to continuing on with this series.

2. We Need to Talk About Kevin by Lionel Shriver



It feels odd to be talking about We Need to Talk About Kevin, because I hated this book. I am always interested in books about school shootings, so this one – which follows a mother writing letters to her child’s father dissecting the events leading up to his horrendous killing spree – should have been a new favourite. Sadly, I found this one boring and struggled to get through it, and it made me decide to avoid Lionel Shriver’s writing in future.

I felt awful for not liking this book, because my friend Kelsey recommended it to be and on the face of things this should have been a match made in heaven. I remember her asking whether I was enjoying it every time I got on the school bus and I didn’t know how to say I wasn’t; I’m so sorry, Kels!


1. Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt

Unconventional by Maggie Harcourt



The last book I want to talk about is my favourite out of all of these recommendations, and it’s another book I read thanks to Anya. In fact, she actually let me borrow her copy of this book, so if she hadn’t recommended it to me I wouldn’t have any way of reading it!

Unconventional follows Lexi Angelo, who helps out at her dad’s event business running – you guessed it – conventions. Set at each of the conventions which takes place in this year, we meet Lexi as she is set the challenge of being the personal assistant to an arrogant teenage author called Aidan Green, and she discovers he isn’t as bad as he first seemed.

This is still the only Maggie Harcourt book I’ve read, but I’m really looking forward to reading more of her writing. The setting and the characters were so cute and I loved the enemies-to-lovers romance; I definitely might reread this soon, as I missed attending conventions during the summer!


I hope you enjoyed this Top Ten Tuesday post. Please let me know in the comments if there are any books which you’ve read based off of your friend’s recommendations, and whether you’d recommend them to me!

See you tomorrow,

Alyce

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BLOGTOBER Day 19: Barking ‘Bout Books Tag

I was only talking about Erik from Breakeven Books a couple of days ago when I shared a list of my favourite Booktubers, so imagine my excitement when I discovered that he’s made a book tag! I discovered this tag when I saw Andrew from