It's been a while since I've done some reviews so I thought I would be efficient and do three in one go. This is mostly for me as it clears the review pile which gives me a little anxiety when I look at it. As you can see I'm finally getting around to reviewing Amy Schumer's book after I mentioned it months ago...

I haven't really followed her or seen her work but I was interested in The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo* as I know she's not afraid to tell it like it is which is very refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed this and loved the range of topics she covered. From her relationship with her mother, her Dad suffering multiple sclerosis and working as a female comedian. My favourite part was the chapter on being an introvert (of course). I loved how frank and open she was and it just made me want to shout to the rooftops that I was an introvert (maybe not to that extent but you get it). I loved every chapter and her openness to write about topics that are generally avoided.

4 stars

________________________________________________________________________

If Gossip Girl was set in the future, say 2118, it would look somewhat like this. The Thousandth Floor* follows and number of teenage characters with their stories intertwining at some point with each other. There is a prologue at the beginning which really hooks you in and makes you wonder who the mystery character is. The are five different perspectives in the book, I didn't really find it confusing but I found myself only being engaged with a few characters and being bored with the others. There's to be a sequel which I'm interested especially in the way this book ended. The story line is basically like anything off Gossip Girl or other teen shows, back stabbing, friendship/relationship drama etc. And like with Gossip Girl I also enjoyed this.

3.5 stars

________________________________________________________________________

American Monsters* is the last book in the Demon Road series and I was really looking forward to it as I enjoyed the first two. It didn't really live up to my expectation, it was similar to that of the first book with Milo & Amber being on the road but it felt more rushed in the things they had to do along the way. Another thing that felt off to me was this PSA about fan fiction and not taking it to heart if you don't agree with it. A part from that it was fine, I liked the ending, it just showed Amber continuing on with her life.

3 stars 

Have you read this books? What did you think of them?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from HarperCollins NZ

Review | The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo, The Thousandth Floor & American Monsters

Friday, 25 November 2016


It's been a while since I've done some reviews so I thought I would be efficient and do three in one go. This is mostly for me as it clears the review pile which gives me a little anxiety when I look at it. As you can see I'm finally getting around to reviewing Amy Schumer's book after I mentioned it months ago...

I haven't really followed her or seen her work but I was interested in The Girl with the Lower Back Tattoo* as I know she's not afraid to tell it like it is which is very refreshing. I thoroughly enjoyed this and loved the range of topics she covered. From her relationship with her mother, her Dad suffering multiple sclerosis and working as a female comedian. My favourite part was the chapter on being an introvert (of course). I loved how frank and open she was and it just made me want to shout to the rooftops that I was an introvert (maybe not to that extent but you get it). I loved every chapter and her openness to write about topics that are generally avoided.

4 stars

________________________________________________________________________

If Gossip Girl was set in the future, say 2118, it would look somewhat like this. The Thousandth Floor* follows and number of teenage characters with their stories intertwining at some point with each other. There is a prologue at the beginning which really hooks you in and makes you wonder who the mystery character is. The are five different perspectives in the book, I didn't really find it confusing but I found myself only being engaged with a few characters and being bored with the others. There's to be a sequel which I'm interested especially in the way this book ended. The story line is basically like anything off Gossip Girl or other teen shows, back stabbing, friendship/relationship drama etc. And like with Gossip Girl I also enjoyed this.

3.5 stars

________________________________________________________________________

American Monsters* is the last book in the Demon Road series and I was really looking forward to it as I enjoyed the first two. It didn't really live up to my expectation, it was similar to that of the first book with Milo & Amber being on the road but it felt more rushed in the things they had to do along the way. Another thing that felt off to me was this PSA about fan fiction and not taking it to heart if you don't agree with it. A part from that it was fine, I liked the ending, it just showed Amber continuing on with her life.

3 stars 

Have you read this books? What did you think of them?

Ashley xx
* Review copies from HarperCollins NZ
 

As many of you know Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be out this week and I for one am super excited about it. I've been re watching it and I'm almost to the end of season seven. I'm not sure I'll finsih by the time it's out but I'll make sure to fisnish the season and then start the new stuff. *Praying I won't come across spoilers* 

The lovely Sophie created this tag and I couldn't wait to do it. So without further adieu... 

What was your first introduction to Gilmore Girls? 
I remember watching the odd episode on TV when I was younger. Whenever I was channel surfing I would sometimes stumble across an episode and start watching. I'm pretty sure I saw them out of order so I wasn't really invested in it. A while ago I decided to start at the beginning which led to me being obsessed and binge watching.

Who is your favourite character and why?
Rory was always the character I felt kindred to. From being in high school, to college, to trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. I've just always felt like I could relate to her. I also admire her vast book collection.

Are you on Team Jess, Dean or Logan? Why?
Since I've started re watching it's either been Jess or Logan. I'm not really sure at the moment. I do feel like Jess & Rory had more in common, they're more alike. I think that whether or not they're in a romantic relationship they'll just be really good friends.

How many of the books have you read from Rory's reading list?
Somewhat ashamed to say only 6... And most of them were for English at school. Maybe I'll make this a goal.

Would you rather; only be allowed to drink coffee, or never be able to eat Pop Tarts again?
I'm not really a fan of either so I'll got with never being able to eat Pop Tarts again.  Seems like a win win.

Who is your least favourite character?
Dean. I just didn't like him. Everyone was like Dean is so great and reliable but I just felt like he was a jerk. He was always blaming Rory for everything and not taking responsibility. 

Are you on Team Luke, or Team Christopher?
I've always liked Christopher cause he's Rory's dad but Luke was obviously the one for Lorelai. He was always there when they needed him and most importantly supplied the coffee.

If you went to Stars Hollow, where would you most like to visit?
Everywhere, especially during one of the year round festivals. Would obviously stay at the Dragonfly Inn, visit Luke's, the bookstore, Taylor's candy store, Al's Pancake World for Chinese. All the places.

What would you steal from the Gilmore Girls set?
Hmm I don't really know. Nothing really comes to mind. Probably something belonging to Lorelai & Rory.

Finally, what do you hope happens in the revival?
I just hope the end up happy, regardless if they're in a relationship or not. The most important relationship was between Lorelai & Rory so I just hope that's stronger than ever. Emily is technically a Gilmore Girl so it would awesome if it just ends with the three of them together drinking coffee.

Feel free to do this tag if you want. I'd love to see your answers!

Ashley xx

The Gilmore Girls Tag

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

 

As many of you know Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life will be out this week and I for one am super excited about it. I've been re watching it and I'm almost to the end of season seven. I'm not sure I'll finsih by the time it's out but I'll make sure to fisnish the season and then start the new stuff. *Praying I won't come across spoilers* 

The lovely Sophie created this tag and I couldn't wait to do it. So without further adieu... 

What was your first introduction to Gilmore Girls? 
I remember watching the odd episode on TV when I was younger. Whenever I was channel surfing I would sometimes stumble across an episode and start watching. I'm pretty sure I saw them out of order so I wasn't really invested in it. A while ago I decided to start at the beginning which led to me being obsessed and binge watching.

Who is your favourite character and why?
Rory was always the character I felt kindred to. From being in high school, to college, to trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. I've just always felt like I could relate to her. I also admire her vast book collection.

Are you on Team Jess, Dean or Logan? Why?
Since I've started re watching it's either been Jess or Logan. I'm not really sure at the moment. I do feel like Jess & Rory had more in common, they're more alike. I think that whether or not they're in a romantic relationship they'll just be really good friends.

How many of the books have you read from Rory's reading list?
Somewhat ashamed to say only 6... And most of them were for English at school. Maybe I'll make this a goal.

Would you rather; only be allowed to drink coffee, or never be able to eat Pop Tarts again?
I'm not really a fan of either so I'll got with never being able to eat Pop Tarts again.  Seems like a win win.

Who is your least favourite character?
Dean. I just didn't like him. Everyone was like Dean is so great and reliable but I just felt like he was a jerk. He was always blaming Rory for everything and not taking responsibility. 

Are you on Team Luke, or Team Christopher?
I've always liked Christopher cause he's Rory's dad but Luke was obviously the one for Lorelai. He was always there when they needed him and most importantly supplied the coffee.

If you went to Stars Hollow, where would you most like to visit?
Everywhere, especially during one of the year round festivals. Would obviously stay at the Dragonfly Inn, visit Luke's, the bookstore, Taylor's candy store, Al's Pancake World for Chinese. All the places.

What would you steal from the Gilmore Girls set?
Hmm I don't really know. Nothing really comes to mind. Probably something belonging to Lorelai & Rory.

Finally, what do you hope happens in the revival?
I just hope the end up happy, regardless if they're in a relationship or not. The most important relationship was between Lorelai & Rory so I just hope that's stronger than ever. Emily is technically a Gilmore Girl so it would awesome if it just ends with the three of them together drinking coffee.

Feel free to do this tag if you want. I'd love to see your answers!

Ashley xx

For a while now I've been feeling bored with all the clothes that I own. I often feel like just throwing them all out and starting fresh. I've always wanted to have a style that is consistent and not all over the place, I don't always think about the 'bigger picture' and just get clothes that I like.

The style that really excites me about fashion is Parisian/preppy/classic/kind of casual. That probably makes so sense, I find it hard to describe these things. Since getting into blogging I've come across other blogs/bloggers and have discovered two which pretty much embody my wardrobe goals.

The first is Olivia from What Olivia Did... Pretty much every outfit post has me quickly adding clothes to my wishlist and longing to be somewhere were magical.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words here are some outfits of Olivia's which I adore.






Photos from Pinterest/What Olivia Did...

P.S | I absolutely love her post On Comparison. It's something I struggle with all the time, everyone should have a read.

The other blogger whose fashion I adore (or should I say J'adore) is Daphne from Mode and The City. Daphne is French as is her blog and while I can't understand what's written (a part from the somewhat help from Google translate) pictures need no translation and I've fallen in love with her style. 






Photos from Mode and the City

A part from the fashion another reason I love her photos is that Paris is the backdrop which just makes them even more magical.

While my description might of been a bit confusing hopefully the pictures clearly illustrate my wardrobe goals.

What are your wardrobe goals/style inspiration?

Ashley xx

Wardrobe Goals - Blogger Edition

Friday, 18 November 2016


For a while now I've been feeling bored with all the clothes that I own. I often feel like just throwing them all out and starting fresh. I've always wanted to have a style that is consistent and not all over the place, I don't always think about the 'bigger picture' and just get clothes that I like.

The style that really excites me about fashion is Parisian/preppy/classic/kind of casual. That probably makes so sense, I find it hard to describe these things. Since getting into blogging I've come across other blogs/bloggers and have discovered two which pretty much embody my wardrobe goals.

The first is Olivia from What Olivia Did... Pretty much every outfit post has me quickly adding clothes to my wishlist and longing to be somewhere were magical.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words here are some outfits of Olivia's which I adore.






Photos from Pinterest/What Olivia Did...

P.S | I absolutely love her post On Comparison. It's something I struggle with all the time, everyone should have a read.

The other blogger whose fashion I adore (or should I say J'adore) is Daphne from Mode and The City. Daphne is French as is her blog and while I can't understand what's written (a part from the somewhat help from Google translate) pictures need no translation and I've fallen in love with her style. 






Photos from Mode and the City

A part from the fashion another reason I love her photos is that Paris is the backdrop which just makes them even more magical.

While my description might of been a bit confusing hopefully the pictures clearly illustrate my wardrobe goals.

What are your wardrobe goals/style inspiration?

Ashley xx

As I mentioned last week another post that really got me inspired to write something was Zoella's Anxiety update. Zoe has shared her struggle with anxiety before and this post is an update, how she has been working to manage it.

I really related to the post as I myself deal with anxiety on a regular basis. I know what triggers it and as a result you avoid or turn down opportunities that you want to do but in your head the thought just starts a panic attack.

Like with Zoe this blog has allowed me some opportunities which are new, exciting and also anxiety inducing. The biggest one being going into an environment with new people and possibly having to make conversation. Usually it gets too much for me so I just choose to be by myself and not approach anyone. If I end up speaking to someone I start to panic and stutter which just makes me shut down and want to leave. 

It's very exhausting to compulsively think over how I'm going to act around people and what to say when people approach me. This is why I never ever want to be in a job involving customer service, I'll get panicked when someone asks me something especially when I don't know the answer. I hate being unprepared. 

In Zoe's update she mentions how she has started seeing a therapist and how it has slowing helped with her anxiety. Seeing a therapist is something I have seriously considered, my parents took me to one when I was 12 I think and it didn't go well. I'm not sure whether or not I had anxiety then but the issue they were concerned about still kind of affects me and is now a trigger. Another thing about me is that asking for something also triggers my anxiety. It could be anything. Asking someone to hang out, help from lecturer etc. I've always been more comfortable to figure it out on my own.

It's something I want to do, anxiety is this annoying blockage in my life and I'm over it.

Ashley xx

Posts that Inspire me: Anxiety - The Update by Zoella

Tuesday, 15 November 2016


As I mentioned last week another post that really got me inspired to write something was Zoella's Anxiety update. Zoe has shared her struggle with anxiety before and this post is an update, how she has been working to manage it.

I really related to the post as I myself deal with anxiety on a regular basis. I know what triggers it and as a result you avoid or turn down opportunities that you want to do but in your head the thought just starts a panic attack.

Like with Zoe this blog has allowed me some opportunities which are new, exciting and also anxiety inducing. The biggest one being going into an environment with new people and possibly having to make conversation. Usually it gets too much for me so I just choose to be by myself and not approach anyone. If I end up speaking to someone I start to panic and stutter which just makes me shut down and want to leave. 

It's very exhausting to compulsively think over how I'm going to act around people and what to say when people approach me. This is why I never ever want to be in a job involving customer service, I'll get panicked when someone asks me something especially when I don't know the answer. I hate being unprepared. 

In Zoe's update she mentions how she has started seeing a therapist and how it has slowing helped with her anxiety. Seeing a therapist is something I have seriously considered, my parents took me to one when I was 12 I think and it didn't go well. I'm not sure whether or not I had anxiety then but the issue they were concerned about still kind of affects me and is now a trigger. Another thing about me is that asking for something also triggers my anxiety. It could be anything. Asking someone to hang out, help from lecturer etc. I've always been more comfortable to figure it out on my own.

It's something I want to do, anxiety is this annoying blockage in my life and I'm over it.

Ashley xx

A couple nights or so ago I was trying to get to sleep which just means I was thinking about every single choice I've made in my life when I suddenly realised it was November and pretty much gave myself a heart attack. I knew it was November but in that moment I realised that the year is almost over and I'm not ready to for 2016 to end.  With this months books I've actually started two of them already, I'm getting better at estimating what books I can get through each month.

The Angel's Share by J.R. Ward*
I started reading this after a period piece book so in my head in was set in 19th century Kentucky. That bubble burst when there was mention of a Toyota truck... Now that I've started picturing it in the present day I've really gotten into it and am enjoying it. It's the second book in the Bourbon Kings series and like always I wondered if I would be at a disadvantage in not reading the first. So far I don't feel like I'm missing out on something, it feels just like a stand alone book with backstory that takes place before the narrative starts. 

The series follows the Bradford family who are the creme de la creme of soceity. Their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff that inevitably becomes embroiled in their affairs - especially now, as the apparent suicide of the family patriarch starts to look like murder...

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow*
This is the other book I've started to read and am also enjoying it so far. The story is set around Charlotte (Charlie Davis) who at seventeen has lost more than more people lose in a lifetime. But she's learned how to forget. Every new scar hardens Charlie's heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much.

The subject matter is very raw and honest and deals mental illness and how Charlie struggles with it. I haven't got much of the way through it yet but am captivated by Charlie's story. I also love the short excerpts/chapters which kind of illustrate her thought process.

Lord of the Darkwood: The Tale of Shiranoko by Lian Hearn*
The rightful emperor is lost. Shikanoko is condemned to live half man and half deer, an outlaw in the Darkwood. Yet the mighty lords who now rule the Eight Islands are prey to suspicion and illness, and drought and famine overrun the realm. Only Shikanoko can bring healing by restoring the preordained ruler to the Lotus Throne and only one person can bring him back from the Darkwood.

This is the last book in the Tale of Shikanoko series so once again I hope I'm not completely lost when I start reading. From reading the synopsis it sounds like fantasy with a bit of mythology which really appeals to me.

It was only every you by Kate Kerrigan*
This is one of the most recent books I've gotten and I was really drawn to the cover images as well as the premise of the story. The narrative is set around three women and one charismatic man set in 1950s New York. Both Ava Brogan & Shelia Klein are smitten with Patrick Murphy but do not know that his first great love from Ireland is on her way to New York determined to find him.

It felt kind of like a mystery to me, the outcomes of the tangled relationships. I love mysteries and really wanted to know the outcome.

What's on your reading list for November?

Ashley xx
*Review copies from Hachette NZ & HarperCollins NZ

Books to Read in November

Friday, 11 November 2016


A couple nights or so ago I was trying to get to sleep which just means I was thinking about every single choice I've made in my life when I suddenly realised it was November and pretty much gave myself a heart attack. I knew it was November but in that moment I realised that the year is almost over and I'm not ready to for 2016 to end.  With this months books I've actually started two of them already, I'm getting better at estimating what books I can get through each month.

The Angel's Share by J.R. Ward*
I started reading this after a period piece book so in my head in was set in 19th century Kentucky. That bubble burst when there was mention of a Toyota truck... Now that I've started picturing it in the present day I've really gotten into it and am enjoying it. It's the second book in the Bourbon Kings series and like always I wondered if I would be at a disadvantage in not reading the first. So far I don't feel like I'm missing out on something, it feels just like a stand alone book with backstory that takes place before the narrative starts. 

The series follows the Bradford family who are the creme de la creme of soceity. Their complicated lives and vast estate are run by a discrete staff that inevitably becomes embroiled in their affairs - especially now, as the apparent suicide of the family patriarch starts to look like murder...

Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow*
This is the other book I've started to read and am also enjoying it so far. The story is set around Charlotte (Charlie Davis) who at seventeen has lost more than more people lose in a lifetime. But she's learned how to forget. Every new scar hardens Charlie's heart just a little more, yet it still hurts so much.

The subject matter is very raw and honest and deals mental illness and how Charlie struggles with it. I haven't got much of the way through it yet but am captivated by Charlie's story. I also love the short excerpts/chapters which kind of illustrate her thought process.

Lord of the Darkwood: The Tale of Shiranoko by Lian Hearn*
The rightful emperor is lost. Shikanoko is condemned to live half man and half deer, an outlaw in the Darkwood. Yet the mighty lords who now rule the Eight Islands are prey to suspicion and illness, and drought and famine overrun the realm. Only Shikanoko can bring healing by restoring the preordained ruler to the Lotus Throne and only one person can bring him back from the Darkwood.

This is the last book in the Tale of Shikanoko series so once again I hope I'm not completely lost when I start reading. From reading the synopsis it sounds like fantasy with a bit of mythology which really appeals to me.

It was only every you by Kate Kerrigan*
This is one of the most recent books I've gotten and I was really drawn to the cover images as well as the premise of the story. The narrative is set around three women and one charismatic man set in 1950s New York. Both Ava Brogan & Shelia Klein are smitten with Patrick Murphy but do not know that his first great love from Ireland is on her way to New York determined to find him.

It felt kind of like a mystery to me, the outcomes of the tangled relationships. I love mysteries and really wanted to know the outcome.

What's on your reading list for November?

Ashley xx
*Review copies from Hachette NZ & HarperCollins NZ

Every so often when I'm reading blogs I get this overwhelming sense to just write. Recently it happened with two different posts, this one as well as one on anxiety that will be up next week. Emma's writing has already compelled me to spill my thoughts onto paper, my thoughts on friendship, so it wasn't surprising that her post gave me the same impulse.

The post in question was Letters Live and is a write up about the event of the same name as well her thoughts on how special letters are.  It was her thoughts on letters that really inspired me. To me getting something in the mail is really exciting (hence why I love online shopping). I remember as a child writing letters to my grandparents, it was thrilling to send them off and get one in return. With email it's much faster to communicate with someone but as Emma puts it "there's nothing inspiring or romantic about refreshing our phones for messages".

Writing & sending letters is something that I really want to get back into. Getting a letter is so special and it's nice to sometimes take technology away from communicating with people. Now I just need people to write to...

I also loved reading about the Letters Live event. It sounds amazing and is just another reason why I want to move to London/Europe. 

Ashley xx

Posts that Inspire Me - Letters Live by Emma Gannon

Tuesday, 8 November 2016


Every so often when I'm reading blogs I get this overwhelming sense to just write. Recently it happened with two different posts, this one as well as one on anxiety that will be up next week. Emma's writing has already compelled me to spill my thoughts onto paper, my thoughts on friendship, so it wasn't surprising that her post gave me the same impulse.

The post in question was Letters Live and is a write up about the event of the same name as well her thoughts on how special letters are.  It was her thoughts on letters that really inspired me. To me getting something in the mail is really exciting (hence why I love online shopping). I remember as a child writing letters to my grandparents, it was thrilling to send them off and get one in return. With email it's much faster to communicate with someone but as Emma puts it "there's nothing inspiring or romantic about refreshing our phones for messages".

Writing & sending letters is something that I really want to get back into. Getting a letter is so special and it's nice to sometimes take technology away from communicating with people. Now I just need people to write to...

I also loved reading about the Letters Live event. It sounds amazing and is just another reason why I want to move to London/Europe. 

Ashley xx

Once again it's time for the monthly favourites post. I need to be more organised with these and make notes during the month of the things I am loving cause at the end of the month I usually forget everything. Then again the things I do remember must of been very loved since they've stayed in my mind.

Florence Grace by Tracy Rees*
I've just recently finished this but wish there was more. I absolutely loved Tracey's first book Amy Snow* and this one was no different. The story follows Florrie whose life completely changes when she finds out she's related to the Graces and moves from her simple country life to one that is complex & somewhat political in London. Her life is also complicated by her cousin Turlington and the feelings she has towards him.

Blog Re-brand
It's been just over a month since I completely updated the blog and I'm still in love with it. It didn't feel like a big change for me, obviously since I've been planning towards this for a long while and also because aside from the name and the design it's still the same old me writing this.

Museum/Art Gallery Tours
The Auckland Heritage Festival + Artweek were on during September/October & I manged to get tickets to a couple of behind the scenes tours. One was looking at the library/archives at the Maritime Museum and the other visiting the conservators at the Auckland Art Gallery. Archives & conservation, mostly of art, are areas that I'm really passionate about and would love to go into so I found the tours really amazing.

There was also a Emerging Professions conference which I attended and finally got to meet Cass. I wrote about all three events over on Alternative Spaces.

What were you loving in October?

Ashley xx
*Review copy

October Favourites

Thursday, 3 November 2016


Once again it's time for the monthly favourites post. I need to be more organised with these and make notes during the month of the things I am loving cause at the end of the month I usually forget everything. Then again the things I do remember must of been very loved since they've stayed in my mind.

Florence Grace by Tracy Rees*
I've just recently finished this but wish there was more. I absolutely loved Tracey's first book Amy Snow* and this one was no different. The story follows Florrie whose life completely changes when she finds out she's related to the Graces and moves from her simple country life to one that is complex & somewhat political in London. Her life is also complicated by her cousin Turlington and the feelings she has towards him.

Blog Re-brand
It's been just over a month since I completely updated the blog and I'm still in love with it. It didn't feel like a big change for me, obviously since I've been planning towards this for a long while and also because aside from the name and the design it's still the same old me writing this.

Museum/Art Gallery Tours
The Auckland Heritage Festival + Artweek were on during September/October & I manged to get tickets to a couple of behind the scenes tours. One was looking at the library/archives at the Maritime Museum and the other visiting the conservators at the Auckland Art Gallery. Archives & conservation, mostly of art, are areas that I'm really passionate about and would love to go into so I found the tours really amazing.

There was also a Emerging Professions conference which I attended and finally got to meet Cass. I wrote about all three events over on Alternative Spaces.

What were you loving in October?

Ashley xx
*Review copy

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