29 Sep 2015

book: hello, goodbye and everything in between by jennifer e. smith

Jennifer E. Smith is an author I've mentioned before and I was introduced to her books via The Geography of You and Me. I would describe her books as pre-dominantly young adult but for the young, young adults (maybe those aged 13+). Anyway, Hello, Goodbye and Everything In Between is her latest offering.

"Of course Clare made a list. She creates lists for everything. That's just how she is.

But tonight is Clare and Aidan's last night before college and this list will decide their future, together or apart.

It takes them on a rollercoaster ride through their past - from the first hello in science class to the first conversation at a pizza joint, their first kiss at the beach and their first dance in a darkened gymnasium - all the way up to tonight.

A night of laughs, fresh hurts, last-minute kisses and an inevitable goodbye. But will it be goodbye forever or goodbye for now?"


A book about a girl who makes loads of lists? Doesn't that sound a little too familiar...?

The book is written over the course of one night - the night before they all depart for university (or college as it is called in the book) and it follows Aidan and Clare's relationship as they make a crucial decision on whether to continue their relationship or not. Through the night, they make stops to places that have given rise to shared memories. I love this romantic notion but some of the plot was extremely predictable. However, this didn't ruin the read for me and I was pleasantly surprised at how much of a plot a book can have even when set over the course of twelve hours, if not less than that.

My favourite character was Scotty - he seemed so happy-go-lucky and funny. He seemed to have the biggest heart out of all the characters and I thought it was sweet.

Overall, I think this is a nice read for someone in their mid to late-teens. I definitely felt a bit too old to be reading something like this! 6/10 from me because of this (but still a decent read).

27 Sep 2015

my week #180

This is my second week in my Rifle Paper Co planner and it really is a joy to whip out of my bag whenever the occasion allows. The ivory paper and floral cover is definitely endorphin inducing.

Anyway, this week, I had moulds done for the some dental work. Basically, I've opted to get adult braces (sometimes known as 'six month smiles') with the hope of pushing forward my lateral incisors which bite behind my lower teeth. This is after over five years of saving up a little each month and also as part of my 25th birthday present from my parents. If I feel confident enough, I may blog about the whole process from start to finish when the work is completed. The braces won't be on until the end of October but I'm already super excited.

Other than that, I have to say that I'm not enjoying this current placement much. Psychiatry is something that has failed to pique my interest and though I can see why some people would opt for it as a career, it's right at the bottom for me (for now). Anyway, I still have three weeks left so I'll continue to embrace the clinical opportunities that come my way as my mind might still be swayed.


How has your week been?

24 Sep 2015

how I defeat procrastination

Procrastination is a beast that rears its ugly head during exam time and other periods where we have a deadline for a project/assignment. I think I finally managed to get the better of it this year using a variety of tools and methods. These methods may not work for you but I'm hoping they'll at least help give you ideas about what sort of things could help increase your productivity.

1) Use the FocusNow app


This app was seriously addictive. Each 25 minute burst you do grows a fruit/vegetable and the more you grow, the more points you get. These points are totted up and there's a leaderboard for each week. If you play with your phone when it is running, you 'kill' the fruit/vegetable and have to start all over again. You can do more than one 25 minute session in one go but the maximum I ever went for was 50 minutes. After that, I'd have a break where I'd allow myself to either get a snack or do a bit of exercise for 5-10 minutes before starting a new session.

Trust me - growing a fruit farm was seriously addictive!


2) Get enough sleep.


On the days where I was tired, I found myself wanting to nap and just unable to concentrate. On these days, work/revision was a complete write off but that's ok because of the next point...


3) Schedule in one day a week where you don't do any work.

This takes the pressure off working every day and a rest is good for your brain. No one can work continuously and it's not good for you! It also gives you a whole day to procrastinate!


4) Reward yourself at regular intervals.


At the end of each day, I'd allow myself the evening off from 8pm onwards to watch television or do anything else that I fancied. This meant I always had something to look forward to and ensured I got to work in a timely manner. You can use different incentives depending on what your mood is and you might even find yourself working harder and more often than before because of these rewards.

One of the rewards I used were the Byron Bay cookies you can see above. They are amazing and don't even taste or feel like gluten free cookies. The white chocolate chunk and macadamia nut flavour was my absolute favourite.


5) Positive reinforcements to remind you why you're doing this.

Try and see the bigger picture: this pain is temporary but the results could last for a lifetime (or a very long time at least!). Remind yourself that you're doing the best you can but that limits are there to be beaten; after all, that's why world records are broken time and time again. Motivate yourself through positive quotes (a Google Image search will throw up many results if you just type in 'inspirational quotes'!) and just believe in yourself.


This is what I did during last academic year's exam period and I didn't do too badly when results were released. These things may not work for you because everyone's slightly different. I know some people who can work solidly for an hour and not find their concentration wanes are half an hour but for me, I have quite a short attention span.

22 Sep 2015

introducing my Rifle Paper Co planner for 2015 - 16

On Sunday, I revealed my first week in this new planner and today, I'm going to give you a more in-depth tour of it. You can find them for sale on The Fox and Star though I'm sure they will go quickly because they are absolutely beautiful.


The cover is made of durable and thick card and has a beautiful botanical print. What would've been a nice touch is if the year could also have been printed onto the spine in the same gold font used for 2016 that you can see at the front.

Inside, there is a gold on beige floral print which offsets the colourful outer design well. The spiral binding means that I can stick in photos/stickers/washi tape without the spine taking too much of a battering (you should see my Seeso planner after only eight and a half months! Maybe I'll show that at the end of the year.).


There are various sections that are tabbed within the planner: 2016 - 2017 year planners, important dates, notes, monthly planner pages, weekly planner pages (for August 2015 - December 2016) and contacts. I'll post more about how I've used these different tabs later on in the year when it's set up properly.


The weekly layout is really different to the vertical layout I'd been using in my Seeso planner but I found that quite often, the hourly spaces were being wasted as my day doesn't really start at 6am and end at 7pm! This layout here works better for me as I can have the to-dos on one side (usually the right - you can see I tried the left on Monday the 14th but I clearly didn't like that) and my daily schedule on the other. There is plenty of space and I love how there is a quote each week. 


Finally, at the back there is a ruler and pockets and these currently hold some stickers that I use to mark out important dates.

Overall, this is one beautiful planner - the colourful cover with the minimalistic, yet chic cream paper inside contrast perfectly. As I've got older, I've become more about simplicity and quality and this planner delivers on that front. I was surprised at how well the paper took my Muji gel pens as it seems quite thin but actually, there is barely any show-through. I don't think fountain pen will fare as well though so I'll leave them for my university note-making.

20 Sep 2015

my week #179

This week, I switched over to a Rifle Paper Co 2015-2016 planner (thanks Ari at The Fox and Star!) and it's absolutely beautiful. I'll be posting about it in more depth on Tuesday so stay tuned for that if you're interested.

Each week, there is a quote and this week's is quite fitting: "One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth the doing is what we do for others." as said by Lewis Carroll. This is the primary reason as to why I want to be a doctor as although we can't help everyone, we can definitely make a difference in one way or another. My aim is to try and make that a positive difference for the majority.


How has your week been?

17 Sep 2015

a new academic year, an updated stationery arsenal

A new academic year has begun and this inevitably calls for a new selection of stationery. I go through phases of what stationery I like using and this post is going to show what I intend to start the year with.

Inevitably, I'll need to take loads and loads of notes so that when it comes to revision time, I'm not still catching up on note-taking. For this, I'll need notebooks and I will be using these two Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks and also these B5 Muji ones for the smaller topics. I'm prone to changing my mind at the last moment when it comes to notebooks though so don't be surprised if I blog about a different notebook in the coming months.


To write in these notebooks, I'll be using Muji gel pens and Pilot Juice gel pens for titles and to add a bit of colour, with Zebra Mildliners used predominantly for highlighting. Other pens that may also make an appearance are Staedtler Fineliners and Uniball Eye rollerballs. There is also an increasing amount of fountain pen in my notes now and I am making a prediction that they will be my primary writing tool by the end of this academic year.


Finally, no arsenal is complete without post-it notes. These smaller sized ones at the top are great for my revision notes and the Martha Stewart ones at the bottom are just too adorable not to be included in this post. I do like the pastel colour of them too - nothing worse than bright fluorescent, harsh-on-the-eye colours when revising.


Unfortunately, no new stationery this academic year but I have a ridiculous amount of supplies to still get through which meant I couldn't justify splashing out. That's not to say I won't order a few bits and bobs during the year (like I did last year) but for now, I'm content with using what I have. (Plus, I'm on a self-enforced stationery and clothes shopping ban until the second week of November - with the exception of ink if I am desperately running out.)

15 Sep 2015

introducing the pilot namiki vanishing point in raden, fine nib

Pilot fountain pens are renowned for their high quality and excellent nibs across the board and today, I have the pleasure of showing you all one of their excellent offerings: a Pilot Vanishing Point/Capless (depending on which part of the world you're in). Here, we have the Raden variant in a fine nib. Thank you to Ron at Pen Chalet for sending me this pen for a review and he has kindly offered Paper Lovestory readers a discount code for the next few months (just in time for Christmas too!).


The pen comes in a lovely gift box and screams luxury. When I saw the pen in person for the first time, I was overwhelmed by how minimalistic and pretty it is. The abalone shell detailing offsets the black barrel nicely and this is particularly emphasised when it catches the light.

Nib-wise, mine came with a rhodium-plated 18k nib and like the various Pilot Kakuno fine fountain pens I own, it writes extremely smoothly. Supplied with a pen was a Pilot Con-50 Converter which I'll put to good use though cartridges will inevitably see more use as they're more convenient.


Here are a further few photos of the abalone shell detail.


Japanese nibs are generally finer than their Western counterparts and this fine nib did not disappoint. In possession of smaller handwriting, a fine nib is usually favoured here and as you can see in my notes below, it definitely writes a narrower line than the Faber-Castell medium-nibbed fountain pen I reviewed a few weeks ago.


One gripe users may have is the location of the clip - it is on the same side as the nib and as a result, I had to alter my grip ever so slightly. That's why the notes above look a bit messier than usual as I was still getting used to this clip location. In terms of weight, the pen is probably the heaviest pen in my possession but I still found it super comfortable to use during my extended note-taking sessions. On the whole, fountain pens rarely give me cramp in comparison to other types of pens and the Pilot Capless here continues that trend.

Having been using my Lamy Safari on placement and hooking the clip around my lanyard, I've found the uncapping and recapping a bit inconvenient from time to time. I'd have to remove the pen from my lanyard, uncap the pen and then post it before I can start writing. With the Pilot Capless, I just have to remove it from my lanyard without the need to worry about the cap at all.

In conclusion, the Pilot Capless has jumped right to the top of my favourite pen list. The service from Pen Chalet was brilliant also - the pen arrived in just over a week from the US. I rarely give full marks to any product so for this pen, I'll give it 9.5/10. This pen would make an ideal gift for those who love their fountain pens and with Christmas coming up, this might be a good time to purchase one... (Just saying!)

To get a 10% discount from Pen Chalet, enter paperlovestory at the checkout.The code is valid until the end of October - perfect for that Christmas shopping spree you were planning :)

Although I was supplied this sample free of charge, I have reviewed it as if I had paid for it and have tried to be as impartial as possible. 

13 Sep 2015

my week #178

This week has been a weird one and my definite highlight was seeing my friends on Friday night. Thursday and Friday was spent at a neurological rehabilitation unit and it definitely helped put things into perspective as well as improve my knowledge of what can be offered for those who have suffered a stroke or suffer from a chronic, debilitating condition.

On Monday, I start five weeks of psychiatry and I'm unsure of what to expect though I'm certain that it'll be an interesting placement nonetheless.

My planner looks quite bare this week even though I've had quite a busy and full week.


How has your week been?

10 Sep 2015

my study week #4 feat. A4 posters

Medicine is a course that requires you to know a little about a lot - and when I say a lot, I mean a lot. How I've managed to make it through this far, and with decent marks too, is a complete mystery to me. I guess it definitely helps that I'm super interested in everything I learn about and that this is something I've wanted to do for pretty much my whole adult life.

Nevertheless, I still had to use different tools and ways to make things go into my brain. Here are two examples of things I did this year to try and remember things. I would definitely advise categorising things in your mind - so in the picture below, you can see that I've drawn a diagram to help with the gross anatomy of the liver/biliary system and jaundice. I've split up the causes of jaundice into pre-hepatic, hepatic and post-hepatic; and this definitely helps when relating them to the results of liver function tests.


Another huge topic were heart murmurs; there are quite a number of them and differentiating between them can get confusing, especially under pressure. I tried to help my brain with that by making a flow chart but I wasn't happy with the original version (not shown). Therefore, I redesigned it and added some colour coding - you can see this in the next picture. Although I haven't noted down every single heart murmur that exists, this is a start to remembering all the differentiating features of the most common ones.


These are just two ways I try and memorise huge chunks of information - there are many more, such as making flashcards and posters to name a few. The most important thing is to study in a way that works for you :)

8 Sep 2015

stationery used in my first two years of medical school

In the past, I've had a number of questions enquiring about the stationery I've used during the first two years of medical school. Just to clarify - the first two years for me include a non-clinical year and one of the three clinical years because I'm on a four-year 'accelerated' programme here in the UK.

Pens
The main ones used during my first two years were:

- Zebra Mildliners (used as highlighters)
- Pentel Energel 
- Muji gels 
- Lamy Safari 
- Pilot Juice
- Pilot Coleto - multi-barrelled pens are amazing during lectures!
- Faber-Castell pencils

Most of these can be bought in your local stationery shop or online. I've recently shifted over to using fountain pens whenever possible so whilst these gels provide some colour, most of my note-taking is now joined up (no more printing, sob) and written using fountain pen. More on this in the coming months!

Another thing I do is use Muji gel refills in other barrels - they fit perfectly in my Pilot Juice barrels which are much more comfortable when it comes to writing for long periods of time.


Notebooks
The main ones in use were:

- Muji notebooks
- Leuchtturm 1917 notebooks
- Oxford A4 notebooks
- Oxford A4 paper

Oxford paper is amazing: it is a bright white in colour and the quality is super high - fountain pens, gel pens, ballpoints and rollerballs all get on well with it so I can't recommend it enough. Quite often here in the UK, it is on offer in your local supermarket/stationery store too so it is great value for students. I am unsure if it is available overseas but good alternatives are Rhodia and Clairefontaine. My only gripe with Oxford paper is that I wish it also came in a narrow-rule. These loose A4 sheets were filed away in a folder specific for whichever module the notes belonged to.

The notebooks used varied in size and thickness depending on what module/purpose they were used for. My advice is to try and not be rigid about the size and thickness of your notebooks and be open to try a layout/size out of your comfort zone (squared paper is a great alternative to ruled paper sometimes!).


Post-it notes
In terms of post-it notes, I used the bog-standard square ones and also page flags to keep tabs on pages within textbooks/my own revision notes so that I could come back to them easily. I try and stick to the Post-It brand though I've also come across sticky notes from Tesco (a UK supermarket) that are super sticky and are also purse-friendly. 

Lecture Note Taking
In terms of taking notes in lectures, the best thing to do is to find your own style but getting ideas from others on the internet is a good starting point if you're completely stuck. Not saying my way will be the best way for you but I've done posts on note-taking during and after lectures:


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Good luck to those of you going back to/starting school this autumn! It'll be an amazing period of your life so make the most of it and don't forget to have fun too - you can excel academically and have a social life too. 

6 Sep 2015

my week #177

Even though I only had a four day week, I feel shattered this weekend. Possibly because for three out of those four days, I didn't make it home until 8pm or later. Not complaining as I caught up with a few friends this week.

Some of you might have noticed that I've had 'no spend' written at the top of each week for a while now. This is because I'm on a spending ban until the second week of November (just in time for Christmas shopping) which includes: stationery (unless absolutely necessary, such as ink for a pen), books, clothes and shoes. It doesn't include eating out and food but even so, I've already saved a fair bit of money to purchase those Christmas gifts.


How has your week been?

3 Sep 2015

introducing: faber-castell aqua opart ambition fountain pen with a medium nib

Faber-Castell is a brand synonymous with luxury and quality. Their pencils are a staple in my pen pot and add a bit of sophistication to an otherwise more playful selection of pens that form the basis of my day-to-day use. The lovely Megan at Launch PR gave me the opportunity to branch out and try another Faber-Castell offering so today, I have the pleasure of introducing the Faber-Castell Aqua Ambition Fountain Pen with a medium nib.

PACKAGING

The pen arrived in a lovely gift box that pulls out with the tab you can see on the right. Inside, there is an instruction manual which include instructions for other Faber-Castell pens too.


DESIGN

First Impression - When I first saw this pen and held it, what struck me was the quality and how beautiful the colour was. The pen is also quite heavy (28g according to Goulet Pens) which adds to that luxurious first impression. The aqua colour definitely has that wow factor and from what I gather, this colour is a limited edition version of the Ambition fountain pen range. 

Aesthetic Appeal - The design is great when you first look at it - the barrel isn't too thick, nor is it too thin. It is definitely one of the prettier pens in my collection at the moment with the aqua completing the silver steel cap very well.

Fingerprint Hoarder - The metal cap hoards my fingerprints like there's no tomorrow. It doesn't really bother me but if this is the sort of thing that gets to you, this may not be the pen for you.

Length - The pen is 14cm in length when closed, the body is 12cm, the cap at 4.5cm and 15.7cm with the cap posted. It's not as long as a Lamy Safari when posted and the barrel isn't as thick either.

Cap - The majority of weight on this pen belongs to the cap. When posted, the pen is very top heavy so I prefer to use it unposted. However, the one great thing that I love is that the cap clicks when you post it and when you close the pen. It's such a satisfying sound to hear.

Plastic Barrel - Although the barrel is made of plastic, it does seem quite sturdy. I like the design which adds enough texture to make the pen interesting but not so much that it feels uncomfortable to hold. 


NIB

Medium Nib - As you can see in the picture below, the nib has a pretty dotted pattern to it with the Faber-Castell logo under the letter 'M'. I try and go as fine as possible when it comes to nibs but unfortunately, this limited edition only comes with a medium nib. This worried me as my handwriting can often get 'drowned out' by thicker nibs. More on this later!

Grip - There is very little space between the plastic barrel and the nib itself. This makes it hard to grip the pen lower down and also means that it makes changing ink cartridges without getting ink on your fingers a bit of a mission. If you hold your pens quite low down, this probably isn't the pen for you. For me, this is fine as I alter my grip depending on what pen I'm using so this is a non-issue.


WRITING and EXPERIENCE

Control - When unposted, I find the pen easier to control as the weight is more evenly distributed.

Writing for Extended Periods - When using fountain pen, I like my handwriting to be joined up as I feel that's the only way to do the pen justice and this means I don't have to grip the pen as tightly. As a result, using this pen for an extended period of time doesn't become a chore and I experienced no cramping - something I often get with gel pens due to my want to print everything!

The writing samples you'll see below were part of a one hour note-making session and there isn't much of a difference between my handwriting at the beginning and at the end. Therefore, I can take this to mean that using the pen didn't tire out my hand excessively.

Nib Worries - Earlier, I voiced my concerns about the medium nib being a bit too thick for my handwriting but this was mostly unfounded. There are a few words that don't look right (look for 'of' in the photos below as an obvious example) but that might just be me nit-picking!

Ink Flow - The one great thing about this fountain pen is that it started writing as soon as I put the ink cartridge in. It came with a standard short international ink cartridge (yay) and that's what you'll see in the photos below. There was a little bit of skipping which happened four times in total (I wrote four sides of A4 in this time) but that may be due to the paper used/me writing a bit too fast.


Overall 

To conclude, the Faber-Castell OpArt Ambition fountain pen is a pleasure to write with and its design is beautiful, even if I had to change my grip ever so slightly in order to use it.

If you want to read other reviews of this pen, Azizah over at Gourmet Pens has reviewed the Pearwood version, as have Pen Habit, Pen Paper Pencil and Inkoholic Anonymous.

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Thank you to Megan from Launch PR for sending me this sample. Although I was supplied this sample free of charge, I have reviewed it as if I had paid for it and have tried to be as impartial as possible. The links in this post are not affiliate-linked.

1 Sep 2015

july and august book reviews: the dish, the orange girl, the olive branch & dream a little dream

My aim this year was to read a book a week but I've fallen behind slightly. At the halfway mark of the year, I was up to 22 instead of 26 so at this rate, I'll probably get to 45 for the whole year rather than 52. Anyway, this month's book reviews...

The Dish by Stella Newman

"Love is on the menu. With a side order of lies.

When Laura Parker first crosses forks with Adam Bayley, she's only after one thing: his custard doughnut. But when she takes a closer look, she sees a talented, handsome man who outshines the string of jokers she's been dating.

There's just one problem. Adam's job means Laura has to keep her job as restaurant critic for The Dish a secret. Tricky for someone who prides herself on honesty.

Can the truth be put on ice long enough for love to flourish?

And how can you expect your boyfriend to be honest if you're not quite telling the truth yourself?"


The blurb and cover had me interested - the girl dresses similar to me (floaty tops and high waisted skirts!) but as I said the last time I posted some book reviews, never judge a book by its cover. Nevertheless, I was excited to read this book and I was right to be: it's a cracker.

From the beginning, the characters were warm and relatable and I found myself wanting to work at The Voice! Stella Newman has a way of telling the story in a funny way that has you hooked and I found myself racing through this book at an rapid pace.

The book tackles many real life issues that most of us will be familiar with: honesty within relationships (both romantic and family), work relationships and how to deal with tricky co-workers and bereavements and illnesses. And the way they are tackled are realistic and not over the top.

This is one of the better books I've read in the last few months: the plot goes at a decent pace and the characters are all multidimensional. Plus, the many mentions of food just sounded amazing - it made me think that if medicine doesn't work out, maybe this'll be a career I could consider! (Joking of course.) This book gets a solid 8/10 from me.


The Orange Girl by Jostein Gaarder

Ever since I read Sophie's World when I was 16, I became a huge Jostein Gaarder fan. That book was the reason why I chose Philosophy and Ethics as an AS Level when I was 17 and now, at the grand old (!) age of 24, I decided to check out some of his other books. I bought a few of them on Amazon (they were all under £2 including postage and I wanted physical versions as opposed to the Kindle version) and the first one I attempted was The Orange Girl. Firstly because the cover was amazing (it's a shiny blue) and because orange is one of my favourite colours.

"'My father died eleven years ago. I was only four then. I never thought I'd hear from him again, but now we're writing a book together'

 To Georg Røed, his father is no more than a shadow, a distant memory. But then one day his grandmother discovers some pages stuffed into the lining of an old red pushchair. The pages are a letter to Georg, written just before his father died, and a story, 'The Orange Girl'.

 But 'The Orange Girl' is no ordinary story - it is a riddle from the past and centres around an incident in his father's youth. One day he boarded a tram and was captivated by a beautiful girl standing in the aisle, clutching a huge paper bag of luscious-looking oranges. Suddenly the tram gave a jolt and he stumbled forward, sending the oranges flying in all directions. The girl simply hopped off the tram leaving Georg's father with arms full of oranges. Now, from beyond the grave, he is asking his son to help him finally solve the puzzle of her identity."


It's a relatively short book compared to the other novels I've read this year: it rings in at just over 150 pages. And I think this is the perfect length for it and I would even recommend it over Sophie's World if you've never come across Jostein Gaarder before.

Honestly, I really liked this book. At first, I wasn't sure if it would draw me in but it did! The book is a sad-happy type of book and the meaning behind it all is just so beautiful. It's not a book that is too complex and though I had a theory or two about who I thought The Orange Girl was, the reality is just ridiculously cute and romantic. With it only being 151 pages long, you really have nothing to lose! I'm rating this a 8/10 and would say it was suitable to anyone over the age of 12.


The Olive Branch by Jo Thomas

Back in November, I reviewed The Oyster Catcher by Jo Thomas and I really loved it. As a result, I had high hopes for The Olive Branch and I'll let you into a slight spoiler: it didn't disappoint.

"You can buy almost anything online these days. For Ruthie Collins, it was an Italian farmhouse.

Yet as she battles with a territorial goat and torrential rain just to get through the door of her new Italian home, the words of Ed, her ex, are ringing in her ears. She is daft, impetuous and irresponsible.

But Ruthie is determined to turn things around and live the dream.

First, though, she must win over her fiery neighbour, Marco Bellanouvo, and his tempestuous family... and then there's the small matter of running an olive farm. As the seasons change and new roots are put down, olives and romance might just flourish in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun."


Jo Thomas is a brilliant author and The Olive Branch only reinforces this. Ruthie is likeable, warm and down-to-earth. Her ex sounded like an idiot from the get-go and I can't help but feel no sympathy for characters who stay with someone out of comfort rather than because of love (talking about books in general here!). From the first mention of Marco, he sounded quite dreamy (educated, rugged and handsome? Where can I get me one of those?).

The plot itself was interesting: it's quite similar to The Oyster Catcher but the way the story is told definitely makes imagining each scene that bit easier. It moves at a decent pace: not too fast and not too slow; and the characters are introduced brilliantly. I could smell from a mile off who was good and who wasn't but I can definitely relate to Ruthie's situation where she's a complete stranger in a new environment. So maybe that'll explain why her douchebag radar was a bit off!

Overall, a little bit of a predictable read but it's perfect for those summer evenings with a glass of something chilled. It gets a solid 7.5/10 from me - I read it quickly (5 days!) and enjoyed it as a light summer read.


Dream A Little Dream by Giovanna Fletcher

Having read each and every one of Giovanna Fletcher's books in the past, Dream A Little Dream would inevitably suffer the same fate.

"Sarah is doing just fine. Sure she's been single for the last five years, and has to spend an uncomfortable amount of time around her ex-boyfriend, his perfect new girlfriend and all their mutual friends. And yes, her job as a PA to one of the most disgusting men in London is mind-numbingly tedious and her career is a constant disappointment to her mother. But it's really okay. She's happy (ish).

So it's not surprising that when Sarah starts dreaming about a handsome stranger, she begins to look forward to falling asleep every night. Reality isn't nearly as exciting. That is until her dream-stranger makes an unexpected real-life appearance, leaving Sarah questioning everything she thought she wanted.

Because no one ever really finds the person of their dreams... do they?"

Image Credit: Goodreads

In short, I really enjoyed this book. It was a perfect summer read and all of the characters were likeable (apart from Dan...!). The plot moved at a good pace though I did find some of the dreams a bit strange! However, I'm definitely not judging - some of the dreams I have are questionable too! If you're looking for a book that is a light and romantic read, this is a decent offering. This is definitely Giovanna Fletcher's best offering thus far. Dream A Little Dream scores a solid 7.5/10.