April’s Random Favourites

Hi all!!
So here is my last late post for April, phew! I’ve been settling into the new job (which is exhausting) and I also had my graduation yesterday so life is a little chaotic haha. Here are a few random things that kept me occupied last month.

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1. Wunderlist
This app has been a favourite for a while now so I thought I should mention it on here. This free iPhone/iPad app is a great way to make lists for pretty much everything….which in case you didn’t know I love to do! Nice interface and just a generally awesome way to create lists and keep life organised (or just slightly less chaotic in my case).

2. Survivor
I am not proud of my addiction to reality tv shows…but that doesn’t change the fact that they often are the highlight of my week. Survivor is my second favourite reality tv show and I have watched pretty much every season (not something I am particularly proud of guys…). Although I feel like this current season (fans vs favourites) isn’t a particularly strong one I am still enjoying every episode and will die cry when it soon finishes.

3. Whittaker’s Peanut Butter Chocolate
Peanut butter and chocolate are two of my favourite things so this heavenly bar of amazingness did not surprise me by being incredible. Seriously delicious and a must try for those lucky enough to have access to this awesome NZ chocolate company.

4. My Kitchen Rules
In case more evidence is needed for my insane attachment to Reality TV the highlight of Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday is this Australian cooking show. It’s entertaining, relaxing and a fun way to begin the week. This feels like it has been on for forever so who knows how. Will file when it eventually comes to an end.

5. Twinings Blackcurrent, Ginseng and Vanilla tea
The best thing about this cool autumn weather is the chance to drown myself in various herbal teas, and last month I tried this fruity flavour. I don’t notice the ginseng/vanilla very much as the blackcurrent is pretty strong but I do enjoy the warmth of the flavours when. Get home from work. Inexpensive too which always helps when you drink tea as much as I do!

That’s it for April, Have a magical May!!
Xx

April’s Albums of the Month!

20130430-184107.jpgHi All!

Happy last day of April. April has been a busy, crazy, chaotic but amazing and wonderful month for me (hence the slight lack of blog posts recently) and I couldn’t be more thankful for everything right now even if life is still going to be crazy and exhausting for the foreseeable future. Here is your first installment for my monthly favorites and my 3 favorite albums that I listened to.

1. Frank Ocean: Channel Orange

Hands down my favorite album for the month. For someone who is not big on hip hop/rnb/other types of music this album became a very quick favorite of mine (which annoyed Edd greatly, Sorry!). Singer/songwriter Frank Ocean brings us this great album of what I think is quite a unique blend of alternative hip hop/R&B/soul/gospel/funk with his creativity and talent shining through in every single song. Choosing favorites from this album was so hard as I truly adored every and the different things each song had to offer. Listen to this album, even if it doesn’t sound like your type of thing. I insist. (Sidenote: I sound ridiculous trying to sing along to every song on this…but I do it anyway. His voice is magical).

Songs you should go listen to: Thinkin about you, Sweet Life, Crack Rock, Pyramids (an amazing nine minute ride and my hands down number one song on the album), Forest Gump

2. Calvin Harris: 18 Months

So I should forewarn you all that Ocean’s masterpiece took almost complete control of my musical moments this month but these next two deserve an honorable mention for slipping in occasionally. I’m sure everyone knows Calvin Harris and his music that makes dancing hard to avoid. Useful as gym soundtracks or for a general pick me up!

Songs you should go listen to: Green Valley, Bounce, Feel So Close, We’ll Be Coming Back, Sweet Nothing

3. Kings of Convenience: Declaration of Dependence

I am a big fan of Kings of Convenience and the duo’s simple yet perfectly complicated acoustic harmonies. Another unique band in my opinion that have created yet another favorite album (here is the last time they were mentioned here) that is perfect for a chilled out afternoon or for the nights I can’t get to sleep on want someone to softly sing me into my dreams (wow that came out really corny, sorry). Beautiful guitar, beautiful voices and an impeccable album.

Songs you should listen to: 24-25, Boat Behind, Rule My World, Power of Not Knowing, Freedom and Its Owner

So there are my musical mentions of the month. What has kept your ears occupied lately? Let me know if you know any of the above albums and let me know what you think about them! See you soon with more April favorites 🙂

Xx

Friday’s Letters: A new (job) chapter

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Dear New Job: I am so relieved and happy to have started you today!! The people are amazing, the work will be challenging and interesting and it will give us the funds to travel! It was a long and emotionally stressful job hunt but I’m just glad it’s over. Dear NZ comedy: There is something special and unique about it and I am very glad the comedy season is starting this week in NZ! I look forward to lots of laughs and good times and a celebration of our nation’s awkward and uniquely kiwi comedy! Dear Callie: you are the cutest! But we have to cut down on all the butter you keep getting your lovely paws on. Dear New Neighbours: I know you only just moved in today but trust me when I say that you better be quiet and polite and nice to my fur baby otherwise my wrath will know no bounds. BEWARE. Dear Apple Crumble: in this cooling weather you are a godsend. Delicious. Dear Brother: I hope you enjoy living away from home and experiencing some new things but don’t forget about all of us (and mum who is probably going insane as we speak because she loves us so much). Dear Apples: I had forgotten what a convenient and delicious breakfast you provided. Dear Life: Good things come to those who wait. Thank you for teaching me to be more patient and to be a stronger person who can cope with more rejection than I ever thought possible.

Tuesday Top 10: Benefit Products on my Wishlist!

Hi all!

Happy Tuesday! Recently Benefit announced on Twitter and other Social Media that they are planning to launch in New Zealand in the very near future. For a country that suffers from a severe lack in certain awesome makeup and beauty brands this news was very well received. I have constantly heard amazing things about a lot of their products but I have never been able to try them. Once I knew they were coming down under a shopping list began forming in my mind, it wasn’t even a conscious thought to put together this list, it just happened! So I figured I might as well make a post about ten of the products I am most excited to try out once they launch. Can I quickly add that I ADORE Benefit packaging, everything is so cute and interesting.

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1. They’re real! Mascara
This mascara has to be one of the most talked about mascaras. People seem to love it and it seems to have made its way into many holy grail lists. I love a good mascara and have yet to find my mascara soul mate-could this be it?!

2. High Beam
One of the many gorgeous highlighters offered by Benefit. I wasn’t sure which to choose as my preferred highlighter (highlighter is one of those products I know very little about) but this and sun beam both looked amazing. This cool champagne is probably better suited in terms of my deathly fair complexion.

3. Coralista Box Blush
Ugh these box blushes look amazing and from the look of swatches online I could have included a
lot more on my wishlist (I’m looking at you dandelion and hervana!). This one is top of the list because it is a gorgeous pink coral which looks gorgeous on SO many people I have high hopes for our future relationship.

4. Poisetint
Another product I love the idea of are the lip and cheek tints by Benefit. I love the look of the bene-tint as well but this lighter pink looks a little less scary and from online reviews seems to be a bit easier to use.

5. Hoola Box Bronzer
Not much to say about this except that this looks like a gorgeous, matte Bronzer.

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6. Longwear powder eye shadows in Nude swing & Thanks a latte
The new line of shadows released recently look amazing and I would happily buy 90% of them. These two are my favourites, with a beautiful rose gold shimmer and then a lovely dark golden brown.

7. The Pore-fessional
A primer/BB cream extraordinaire!! This apparently is great at minimising the appearance of pores, smoothing and also providing some coverage to even out skin tone. Sound like a wonder product.

8. Boi-ing concealer
An industrial strength concealer, industrial!! Sounds pretty awesome to me. Comparable to mac studio fx concealer apparently.

9. Brow zings brow shaping kit
I need to find a good brow kit so this wax/powder combo had to be included on my wishlist.

10. Something about Sofia fragrance

Obviously I hang actually smelt any of these but based on online descriptions this fragrance with an interesting combo of fruity, floral and musky vanilla scents I would love to give this one a shot! I have to say that there are at least 3 others that also sound amazing!!

Well , there’s a very non-exhaustive list of some benefit products I will eyeing up once they reach our shores!! Please let me know what you think about any of these products and whether there is anything I am missing 🙂 If you are in NZ and want to keep up with Benefit ad their launch follow them on twitter @BenefitNZ for all the updates.

Xx

P.s. this post wasn’t sponsored or influenced by Benefit or any other company and is just the rambling of one rather excited kiwi!

Made me smile 22/04

Hi all!

How was everyone’s week? I am super nervous at the moment waiting for news regarding a potential new job (that I really want) and should be hearing about it today/tomorrow so arghhhhhhh. This post is a good way to distract my mind for a little while, going over the last week or two with some of the happy/funny/delicious/cute things that have brought a few smiles to my face!

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First up, last weekend me and the boys ventured out to the North Shore in order to finally visit DelishCupcakes which is a little cupcake shop (also selling coffee and cake pops) that I have been meaning to try for forever! Needless to say, our cupcakes did not disappoint  Henry chose the gorgeous cupcake above (lime curd with lime buttercream), I chose the double choc cupcake with chocolate ganache (surprise surprise) and Will chose the Jaffa cupcake which had chocolate cupcake base with an incredible orange buttercream on top. All three were divine (we shared them around as everyone had to try each flavour) but my favorite was the chocolate >.< (I love chocolate so this wasn’t any big surprise). I am now, every weekend trying to convince everyone that we have to go back! So many more flavours to try!!! Go checkout their website, facebook or follow them on instagram for some drool worthy photos.

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As usual, a highlight of any week is getting a new tea to try (especially now that the cooler weather has started to return) and this blackcurrent, ginseng and vanilla combo is delicious!

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This weekend’s baking featured some very delicious double choc chip muffins although I must admit we totally cheated and used a box mix due to a time constraint in the kitchen haha but now I am determined to do some research and find the perfect chocolate muffins (so if you have any awesome recipes I should try PLEASE leave them below!!). Yum

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The other excitement of this weekend was finding this gorgeous wee dog called Sophie who was running wild on a very busy road so Edd (being my hero) spent 15 minutes capturing the poor dog who was terrified of the cars and seemed pretty lost. After knocking on doors and then making a trip to the poor vet (who was closed but was unlucky enough to still be roped in to helping us) we found out Sophie’s owner was away for the day. Commence dog nannying for the day! She was a sweety and really attached herself to Edd. I can’t wait til we get a dog! (one day)

20130422-133038.jpgDon’t worry Callie! You are still our only fur baby!!

Other things that made me smile:

This video with Alison Brie from Community (which I have been enjoying again lately) where she imitates a bunch of internet memes, rather successfully! Props to her!

NZ passed the marriage equality bill! And this MP made global news for being just generally pretty awesome.

Cat videos…there have been a few. This one of a kitten really getting into her milk bowl is one that I play whenever I want to laugh because I cannot watch it without laughing. Hilarious. Callie loves milk but I have never seen her quite love it this much. Then there was roomba cat…a cat who rides a roomba plus a dog in some costumes, oh and some ducks. Hilarity ensues. Checkout the playlist of videos to immerse yourself in some slightly random animal antics. Last up is a Cat playing with a vacuum. Seriously cute.

Well that’s it for now, keep up the smiling 🙂

Friday’s Letters: Weekend? What weekend?

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Dear Callie: Love you, you gorgeous gift wrapped bobtail bunny cat. Thank you for keeping us warm at night with your cuddles. Dear Job Interview:I think you went really well but so many people are being interviewed that I don’t have a whole lot of hope. Regardless, I really hope that come early next week I will be celebrating a new job!! Dear Children: Yay for school holidays and having to come up with inventive ways to keep you all busy and occupied. Dear Weather: It would help if you would cooperate by not pouring every day, pretty please? Dear Mum: Thank you for the extra work this week 🙂 it was fun invigilating my first test with you! Dear World: I would really appreciate a day off. It’s been weeks and even though I’m not working full time I’m exhausted and would like a full day to do absolutely nada. Dear Tea: I missed you. Welcome back! The best thing about cold weather is days filled with pots of herbal teas. Dear NZ: Congratulations on passing the marriage equality bill! I hope other countries like our lovely neighbours follow suit!

April’s SampleBar Glam Pack

Hi all!

Hope everyone is having a nice weekend. Here in NZ the weather has lost its marbles (don’t be alarmed, this is a frequent occurrence) and has been literally moving from beautiful sunshine to thunder and downpours in 5 minutes. Wish I was exaggerating. This led to me running in and out every few minutes to try and decide how I should dry my washing. Yay.

Anyway, here is this month’s Sample Bar Glam Pack (obviously I failed to cancel my subscription again ._.). I was very happy to see this month taking on an Eco-Chic theme in their set of products focusing on eco-friendly,  natural treats. Here’s what I got this month!

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1. Evolu travel tower
This skin care travel kit tower is an awesome idea from a brand I’ve never heard of before. Includes creme cleanser, facial exfoliator, firming eye cream, anti ageing day cream, rehydrating facial masque and anti ageing overnight cream. The idea is that this compact little tower can be taken when away for a night or two and your skin care routine is covered! Refillable and reusable these have me very exciting!
The full size of this includes three of these travel towers for $65 (ouch) but a $20 discount e-coupon was included to ease the pain.

2. Anitpodes Avocado Pear Nourishing Night Cream
Antipodes is a brand I love but this tiny sachet is no where near enough to decide how I feel about a night cream. I would have been much happier with a proper little pot as we have had before. Having said that, this night cream sounds amazing with avocado and calendula oil, manuka honey and vinanza grape (what?) thrown in for good measure. Would have loved a proper sample of this.
A full size of this night cream is $62.50 so a little out of my price range.

3. Sorbet Shampoo Bar
This month we were given one solid shampoo bar made with 100% biodegradable ingredients and natural extracts. I am excited to try this out as I haven’t tried out a solid shampoo yet and I am curious as to how it works. It’s also excellent because its completely cruelty free which is always good to see. I don’t think the bar we got is the free size but this isn’t indicated on the packaging (annoyingly).
Full size bars are $22 (95g) and again we have a code to get a 15% discount which is nice.

4. Perfumie in Verbena Bamboo
Perhaps one of my favorite products in this month’s box is this little solid perfume stick which are convenient for shoving in one’s handbag and are full of natural ingredients. The fragrance I got (Verbena Bamboo) is really lovely, fresh and grassy (in a nice way..). I don’t think the scent lasts particularly long unfortunately but I haven’t used it much so might be wrong.
These are full size and cost $10.95

5. Pharo Microfibre Exfoliating Cloth
The other ‘full size’ product in this month’s box was this exfoliating cloth that is apparently reusable. A full size duo pack of these costs $11.95 which seems quite fair. Also, this product came with a $10 discount  voucher for a sugaring treatment (I believe some form of hair removal…). Meh, I quite like this (but will never use the voucher, as usual).

Well that’s it for this week! I would have LOVED this box if the night cream was full size but as it is, it was kind of average, with no makeup products and some disappointing sizes. The theme of this I adored so I wish the box had lived up to all my (potentially unreasonable) expectations. Still, I am not dissapointed I forgot to cancel my subscription and have yet again been introduced to some interesting and eco-friendly brands. Oh and I almost forgot that Sample Bar included an Easter themed choc bunny that barely made it into this photo. Having to wait 5 minutes to consume chocolate is not one of my skills.

Let me know what you thought of this month’s box!

Xx

Tuesday’s Top 10 … Nail Polishes for Autumn

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Foxes just happen to be very Autumn appropriate. How handy!

 

 

 

Hi all!

Today I am starting a new blog series called Tuesday’s Top 10 that will most likely occur weekly (on a Tuesday, in case that wasn’t self-explanatory ._.). It’s a chance for me to share random lists that are makeup/beauty related, movie/book related or any other random lists that I feel like sharing. I am one of those crazy normal people who is always making lists, in fact I find it hard to function or be productive without them (a.k.a. I do nothing…all day. Not even exaggerating.).

Anyway, today I am posting my Top 10 nail polishes for Autumn as Summer has finally abandoned us and left a rather depressing, wet season in its place. Luckily for me I love Autumn nail polish and so I was excited to go through my collection and pull out some vampy, edgy favorites that will be on heavy rotation this season. Let me add, before I get started, that I don’t think seasons should limit our nail polish options and I am often seen with bright nails in the dead of winter yet I do tend to darken up the colours I wear and certain seasonal trends sometimes appeal. Here are 10 favorites (in no particular order)!

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1. OPI The Living Daylights: My glitter choice for Autumn is this amazing hexagonal glitter released in OPI’s Jame’s Bond collection. Its a very unique mix of teal, silver and copper glitter that seems to work with the majority of Autumn cream shades that I wear, lending itself to a sophisticated accent finger or topcoat.

2. Essie Merino Cool: This cream polish by Essie is a gorgeous mauve toned taupe shade that oozes elegance. I love nudes in Autumn for those times when I am over the  dark, vampy shades and need a beautiful palette cleanser with a cleaner, more subtle shade like this one.

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3. Essie Go Overboard: A favorite for Autumn is this amazing deep teal from Essie. A gorgeous blue/green cream (have you noticed how much I love a good cream polish) that is different and stands out. Dark without being black this colour is my alternative to a navy and will be very busy this Autumn.

4. Revlon Colorstay in Blue Slate: This is a relatively new purchase for me and my first from the Colorstay range. Blue Slate is an interesting and unique blue with a dusty, edgy quality to it. Another polish that falls into my obsessions with blues all year round but the subdued tonr makes this very Autumn appropriate.

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 5. Essie Very Structured: Another classic colour for me in Autumn is a brown, usually a super dark, vampy brown but this year a lighter, chocolate brown by Essie caught my eye. A slightly odd nail polish (which means I LOVE it) with a classic Essie cream formula that makes application a breeze.

6. OPI Warm and Fozzie: An oldie from the Muppets collection but an Autumn staple for me is this amazing shimmer/glitter polish. The variety of colours in this complex shade (from browns to coppers and burnt pink/oranges) are the perfect representation of Autumn’s changing leaves (one of my favorite things about the season).

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7. Maxfactor Glossfinity in Burgundy Crush: Berry toned reds are a vibrant addition to any Autumn outfit and pair well with my favorite berry lipsticks so this new deep berry/burgundy addition to my collection is perfection in a gorgeous cream formula. Shiny, opaque and really does last for forever. I love how this colour is both bright and yet sultry. The reasonable prices of this range also appeals…

8. OPI Skyfall: I am never very current with the trends but one recent trend in  Fall fashion that I love is oxblood! The off-putting name (referring to the deep rust colour of oxygenated blood) doesn’t do this trend justice and I love how classy and yet edgy at the same time it is. This gorgeous burnt red from the Skyfall collection is my current favorite oxblood nail polish.

20130416-190545.jpg9. A England Dragon: In order to convince you that I don’t only wear creme nail polishes this beautiful green creation from Adina at A England had to be included! This stunner is an amazing mid-green shimmer/holographic nail polish that lives up to its name (in that it looks like dragon scales…or rather how I would imagine dragon scales to look..you have to see it).

10. OPI Every month is Okoberfest: Number 10 is my absolute favorite (I guess it shouldn’t have been left until last) that I loved during Summer (despite it being the opposite of what I normally wear in Summer) andis a perfect Autumn colour with its red/purple/copper tones and deep, vampy shimmer. This chameleon is a stunner and should be experienced by everyone.

What are your go-to autumn nail polish shades? For more ideas and inspiration this season check out my Guest Post I did a few weeks ago on the fall/autumn nail polish trends for 2013 or alternatively go look back at last years Autumn/Winter nail polish post!

Xx

Friday’s Letters: Let the Feijoa season begin!

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Dear Feijoas: you are amazing incredible fruits and I am in heaven being able to bring a bag home from work with me most days!! I can’t wait to share some amazing feijoa recipes I have found on here! Dear movies: There is something so fun and comforting of sitting in a dark cinema with popcorn and ice cream that I don’t even really care what movie I happen to be watching. Having said that, Oblivion which I watched last night was rather enjoyable. Dear Edd: this week dragged on for us both but I enjoy our early mornings together before we head off for work, cuddling Callie and mentally preparing ourselves for the day ahead. Thanks for being my husband. Dear Mum: I’m so glad I’m not the only crazy one!! Your secret is safe with me! P.s I love working with you occasionally even if you are insane haha. Dear Callie: I love you, I love your nose, I love your bob tail and I love how now it is getting colder you are getting under the blankets. Your so cozy!! Dear Weekend: So relieved your are now upon us although I am NOT looking forward to the insane timetable of next week with three jobs and a job interview. Chaos!

My Foxy Reading Corner: #10-16

Hi All!!

Ready for the next instalment in my 50 Book reading challenge for 2013? Today I have 7 more books to share with you. There are have been some great books and some average books but overall I’m so happy to be immersed in reading again. I should forewarn you that almost all of these got 4 stars!! I apologise for the lack in variety but I guess most of what I read was really good haha.

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10. The Maze Runner by James Dashner
This was a really interesting read as I guess it falls into the YA dystopian genre but was different from stories like divergent and delirium in that was more of a thriller and ALOT less romance. It’s also told from a male main character as opposed to the typical female lead characters I was used to. At first this slightly more “male” take on the genre wasn’t my cup of tea by the more I read the more I enjoyed it and now I think the book did an awesome job or creatinga world that drew the reader in. Give it a read if you like Dystopian books.
4 Stars

11. Toxin by Robin Cook
I love Robin Cook and his medical thrillers but they might not be everyone’s typical read. He’s one of those few authors for me who I know I can pick up one of his books and ill thoroughly enjoy it. This one was no exception, a great, enthralling read about a fathers daughter who gets sick with food poisoning. Layers of disgusting meat processing investigations and thrilling murders take place in a quick but exciting read that pretty much put me off eating me meat forever (but not really cause I love meat).
4 Stars

12. Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion
As soon as I read that this was a book about the zombie apocalypse but from a zombie’s perspective (the adorable “R”) I had to read it and I wasn’t disappointed. A unique story with great characters and an enjoyable style of writing. Quick and fun so I definitely recommend it.
4 Stars

13. Tripwire by Lee Child
Like Robin Cook, Lee Child is an author I know I love and can trust that each book will be enjoyable. This one (the third in the Jack Reacher world I believe) was a great, fun action read with a very enjoyable romantic side story. I love the fast paced writing of Lee Child at make reading his books a breeze.
4 Stars

14. Ten by Gretchen McNeil
This horror story takes place on a an isolated island mansion, in the midst of a terrible storm with 10 teenagers ready to party when things start to go wrong. If this doesn’t sound like a cheesy 90s slasher film crossed with an Agatha Christie murder mystery then let me just confirm that that is EXACTLY what this felt like to me. Regardless of the totally predictable plot & characters I have to admit I enjoyed the read (the same way I enjoy a terrible slasher film). It was a fun quick read so I don’t care that the writing was very average and the characters were terribly annoying.
2 Stars

15. Unwind by Neil Shusterman
My other dystopian YA read (can you tell I enjoy these?) was set in a future where between the ages of 13-18 (if I recall correctly) can be chosen to be unwound and have their body distributed to those who need it. I enjoyed the story of the three main characters but I felt like the setting and the background story weren’t really explained enough. It made the whole thing feel a little less plausible however despite that I still really enjoyed the story and its originality.
4 Stars

16.1984 by George Orwell
My last read was this classic novel describing Orwell’s imagined future in a society run on fear, war and complete power. I wasn’t expecting to enjoy this as a story as I knew it was more of a long essay on one man’s predictions. Having said this I actually found the main character and his struggle in this society watched over by “Big Brother” incredibly interesting and thought provoking. It did take a while to get through but I left the book with questions all through my mind which I love. A hopeless, depressing story that described expertly a terrifying future society.
5 Stars

That’s it for now! Check out my last post on books 1-9 and don’t forget to join me on Goodreads 🙂
Xx