26 Nov 2015

reviewing the pilot kakuno fountain pen in fine

Can you believe that I first blogged about the Kakuno earlier this year in May, comparing it with my Lamy Safari, and I never did a proper blog post solely dedicated to it? It's not like I have a great excuse either!

Anyway, I have three Pilot Kakuno fountain pens (all with a fine nib) and that kind of speaks volumes about how much I love this pen. And I'll explain why in this blog post...

As you can see, I chose two with a white barrel (one with a pink cap and the other with a blue one) and one with a grey barrel and hot pink cap. I'm on a mission to collect the purple and yellow capped ones too, just to complete the white barrel set. And with their low price and my want to try the medium nib out too, I think I can justify this after the new year. The main difference between the white and grey barrels is that the face on the nib is a wink and a smile respectively.

Ok, so let's start with the fickle things - I'm very easy persuaded by a good-looking pen or notebook and the Pilot Kakuno is very easy on the eye. The colours used are cute and suit the more playful side of my personality to the tee (minimalistic with a little bit of cuteness!). It get a thumbs up from me!

Quality and Price
The Pilot Kakuno is made of hard plastic with a steel nib and so, it isn't the sturdiest pen on the planet. However, having had it for six months now (and with at least one constantly inked and in use), no cracks have appeared yet and it is great value for the price. You can get one for less than £10 including postage on Amazon or just over £10 from other UK retailers.

The grip is also made of hard plastic but I've never had issues with it. It is six-sided but in a subtle non-hexagonic way (if that even makes sense!).

I opted for the fine nib and it writes perfectly. Smooth, no skipping and consistent, it is a dream to use. For such a cheap fountain pen, it writes like it is worth ten times more. The fine nib is a true fine - and it writes more than half as thin as my Lamy Safari Extra Fine nib!

Overall, I think the Kakuno adds an element of fun to note-taking and writing things by hand in general. It's always a pleasure to use and it's a pen I turn to when I want something different to my other, heavier, fountain pens as it is extremely light.

It definitely makes my list of 'top five pens ever' and I genuinely think for its price, it'd be foolish not to have at least one in your pen collection. It's not going to break the bank and is a reliable pen that will do what it says on the tin.

FYI, I've not been paid to write this review and I bought all three with my own hard-earned cash.

24 Nov 2015

book review: my true love gave to me, edited by stephanie perkins

My True Love Gave To Me is a compilation of short stories by various authors, all of which have a festive twist on them. I actually read this book in December of 2014 but by the time I came to write this review, it wouldn't have made sense to post it back in January 2015!

Image Credit: My Kinda Book

There are twelve stories within this book and beside them, I've given each a mini review and rating.

Midnights by Rainbow Rowell
Having been a big fan of Rainbow Rowell since reading Eleanor and Park back in early 2014 (I was late on that bandwagon), I knew I would enjoy this story and I totally did. Midnights is about two friends who meet at an annual New Year's party and I can't say anymore than that without spoiling the story. It gets an 8/10 for me.

The Lady and the Fox by Kelly Link
This story is about a stranger in the snow who appears every year to a young girl. I just found this story really weird and I'm really sorry to say that I kind of lost interest halfway through. With a heavy heart, I give this 3/10

Angels in the Snow by Matt de la Peña
An NYU student spends the holidays cat-sitting in, what sounds like, an amazing apartment in NYC where he meets his neighbour who is also spending her holidays in NYC. I thought the storyline was pretty cute and quite chick-flick film-esque so I give this story 7/10.

Polaris is Where You'll Find Me by Jenny Han
Ever imagine having Santa as an foster parent? Imagine no more... For this young girl, at least. This story was pretty cute but also a bit sad at the same time (though I don't think it was meant to come across as sad!). 6/10

It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins
Stephanie Perkins is a great storyteller and I wasn't disappointed with It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown where a boy helps a girl with a Christmas tree. A solid 8/10.

Your Temporary Santa by David Levithan
A boy dresses up as Santa. That's pretty much it. 6/10

Krampuslauf by Holly Black
A group of friends throw a sophisticated party to ring in the new year in the hope of seeing a Krampus boy. This story was just a bit... Bizarre for me. 5/10 but if you forget the weirdness, 6.5/10

What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Foreman
I loved this story and I didn't want it to end. Sophie Roth is a city girl who has landed at a university that is totally not city-like in any way. I found Gayle Foreman's If I Stay and Where She Went a bit lacklustre so this story surprised me a lot! 9/10

Beer Buckets and Baby Jesus by Myra McEntire
Bad boy meets good girl. Is he really as bad as his reputation? 7/10

Welcome To Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
A story set within a diner in a place called Christmas. This story was pretty cute and it almost made me tear up! Kiersten White is definitely an author I need to read more of. 8/10

Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter
A girl trades her plane ticket with another girl at an airport. Good or bad decision? Again, I found myself not wanting this story to end - it was written well and was really, really cute. I seem to like stories that involve families and just a bit of slush. 8.5/10

The Girl Who Woke The Dreamer by Laini Taylor
I just couldn't get into this story about a girl who is pursued by a suitor she has no interest in. 6/10


Having heard of and read books from a few of these authors already (namely: Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han, Stephanie Perkins and Gayle Foreman), I took this opportunity to 'discover' the other authors and see if I could see myself reading a full length novel from them. I've also picked out my three favourite stories with these being:

  • What the Hell Have You Done, Sophie Roth? by Gayle Foreman
  • Welcome to Christmas, CA by Kiersten White
  • Star of Bethlehem by Ally Carter

I really wanted to pick Rainbow Rowell's Midnights but it didn't quite compare to her novels and it was the same situation with It's A Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown by Stephanie Perkins.

Overall, this book is a compilation of stories which all share a common theme (being a holiday book, this was pretty obvious) and I guess it would've been boring if they all had the same slushy storyline so some variation is good (even if I did find it a bit weird at times). I'm glad I read this book because it's enabled me to discover some authors who I'd never read books from before. Averaging up each story's score, the book gets a 7/10.

22 Nov 2015

my week #188

With only two days left of my Obstetrics and Gynaecology placement, I feel really sad. I definitely think this specialty may be the one for me - it's a good mix of clinical medicine, surgery and situations that need quick thinking. It helps that the doctors and midwives have been willing to teach and as a result, I've learnt a lot. I go onto five weeks of paediatrics next and I must confess that although I'm not too bad with kids, sick kids is a whole lot of different.

Yesterday, I woke up to see snow falling but luckily, it didn't settle. Here's hoping this isn't a sign of things to come and that the winter won't be too cold...

How has your week been?