Book Review: Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

September 5, 2016

Book Review: Pretty Honest by Sali HughesPretty Honest by Sali Hughes
Published by Fourth Estate on 11th September 2014
Pages: 331
Source: Gifted
A witty, wise and truthful beauty handbook for real women on what works in real life from Sali Hughes, beloved journalist and broadcaster.

“Pour yourself a drink, put on some lipstick and pull yourself together” Elizabeth Taylor

Beauty books. Exquisite coffee-table affairs featuring improbably beautiful models with wholly-unachievable-to-most women looks, product review-heavy volumes which become almost instantly outdated, or tracts of holistic mumbo jumbo, like how to make an unproven face pack from organic molasses and rough-hewn porridge oats.

Not anymore.

In Pretty Honest, Sali Hughes draws on over 20 years of wisdom, advice and expertise to show real women how to make the most of makeup’s physically and emotionally transformative powers. Covering everything from teenage skin to mature beauty, botox to bridal make-up, sickness to good health, it's a work that is part instruction manual, part love letter to makeup – in a writing style that combines beauty editor, feminist and painfully funny best friend.

I’m an avid beauty and skincare fan. I read beauty blogs almost daily, and I’m constantly spending my money on makeup, (when I’m not buying books, of course) much to my boyfriend’s despair. So when Pretty Honest was released, I, along with many other beauty aficionados were giddy with excitement.

Sali Hughes knows her stuff. She’s The Guardian’s beauty editor, and has tons of experience when it comes to beauty. So you can guarantee that the products mentioned in Pretty Honest are one’s Sali truly loves and believes in. This isn’t a book filled with paid endorsements, this is a book filled with genuine product recommendations. And it includes practically everything you could ever need to know – from your skincare routine, to how to apply eyeliner, to following proper salon etiquette, this book has you covered.

It’s obvious as you read Pretty Honest that Sali Hughes is genuinely passionate about beauty. It’s not only her job – it’s her hobby. She draws on a lot of her own experiences in Pretty Honest, some of which has me busting up in a fit of giggles – although waxing is no laughing matter! It’s to the point, but it reads as though you’re having a chat with Sali instead of being lectured by her.

Pretty Honest is a book I will not hesitate to recommend to any beauty fan of any age. There’s something for everyone to learn here, it’s a total gem of a book that you shouldn’t miss, if only for the excellent introduction alone.

Top Eight Pre-Blogging Books I STILL Haven’t Read

August 23, 2016

Top Ten Tuesday Broke and Bookish

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish.

I thought this was going to be an easy topic to put together, but after sitting and thinking about it (with multiple Goodreads references), I don’t have too many pre-blogging books still staring at me from my TBR pile.

-Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder
Way back when, I used to look on the Mibba book forums quite a bit, and this book was constantly recommended by nearly everyone. I own it, plus books 4-6 in the series, but I still haven’t picked it up.

-This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen
I was convinced that this was going to be the only Sarah Dessen book I’d ever read, but I’ve         managed to pick up Lock & Key and The Truth About Forever, plus bought a few more, and         STILL not picked up This Lullaby yet.

-Tithe by Holly Black
I don’t even own a copy of this book, yet it has been on my radar for YEARS, AND I STILL HAVEN’T PICKED UP A COPY. What is wrong with me?!

-The Last Song by Nicholas Sparks
I’ve tried and tried and tried with this book, but I just haven’t been able to commit to reading it entirely, which is a shame as I’ve enjoyed Sparks’ work in the past. I have a feeling that this is going to remain one of those books that never get read.

-Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
I’m just not even going to bother talking about P&P. I’ve lost count how many times I’ve said I was going to pick it up.

-The Jessica Darling series by Megan McCafferty
I think the main reason why I haven’t read these is purely because they’re quite difficult to get hold of, which is so frustrating as I’m pretty sure I’d love the series.

-Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
One day I’ll read these books. One day I may even binge read them. Who knows?

-Anything Ellen Hopkins
I’m not sure if I’ll be able to bring myself to read any of Ellen Hopkins books, because I know they’re quite traumatic and deal with tricky subjects, but they’ve been on my radar for a long, long time.

3 Thrillers On My Radar

August 18, 2016

I’m not normally one for thrillers, but since reading both Mud Vein and The Lie, more and more have been catching my eye. These are three books that sound super creepy and perfect for the months ahead where I tend to put down the contemporary and pick up the creepy…

thriller tbr

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton immediately caught my eye thanks to its intriguing synopsis – an alleged mass-murderer who has his own fan club, thanks to being so charismatic and irresistible to women, who wants a particular lawyer to prove his innocence. I’m already interested to see how it pans out!

I Found You by Lisa Jewell doesn’t sound quite as intense as Daisy In Chains, but still has a mystery at its core, involving a man who can’t remember, the woman who takes him in, and a woman whose new husband has gone missing, leaving her alone in a brand new country.

The Method by Shannon Kirk is probably the most intense of the three, with a 16-year-old pregnant girl who is kidnapped, but the kidnappers don’t realise how much danger they’ve actually put themselves in. It sounds super dark and twisted, so I’m definitely game to pick up a copy soon!

Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K Johnston

August 15, 2016

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: A Thousand Nights by E.K JohnstonA Thousand Nights on 6th October 2015
Pages: 324
Source: Netgalley
LO-MELKHIIN KILLED THREE HUNDRED GIRLS before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.

And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.

Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.

Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

I can’t resist beautifully written books, full of gorgeous imagery that I’m happy to delve into for a good few hours, and A Thousand Nights definitely delivered. I feel like a lot of the hype for this book was due to the comparisons to fellow Arabian Nights retelling, The Wraith and the Dawn, which I haven’t yet read. From what I can gather though, the two are very different. A Thousand Nights is not a love story. There is a romance in it, but it is so much more. It’s a book about faith and spirituality, about sisterly love and how one sister can save the other. Beautiful and exquisite, this is a book I could reread over and over again.

Lo-Melkhiin is portrayed as a bad man, a ruler who takes a different wife each night and murders them all before sunrise. Our heroine refuses to let her sister follow the same fate, and takes her place as Lo-Melkhiin’s new bride, knowing what the sacrifice means, knowing that her death is imminent, but not caring because it means her sister will be safe. Talk about a selfless act of love. I love that the main theme of A Thousand Nights, for me at least, was the bond that the two sisters had, and how it carried on through the book.

I also loved how Lo-Melkhiin was shown to be a good man by his mother, who had watched her son change and become the monster he currently was, and how it helped the heroine save the day, as it were.

Seriously, just pick up a copy of A Thousand Nights and read it. Thank me later.

4 Health & Fitness Books I’m Reading to Educate Myself

August 8, 2016

Okay, so I’m trying to get back on that #fitlife once more, it’s gotten off to a slow start but I’m all for thinking slow and steady wins the race haha. I’m a firm believer that being educated helps you succeed with whatever you’re doing, so I’ve decided to purchase a few books to help me understand the way my body works, and how best to treat it to get the results I want.

Also, can we talk about how cringey some of the titles are? I mean, come on. Some of them verge very close to being a Kindle only book so no-one can see what I’m reading. (But not really because we all know that I don’t care what people think anymore.)

Health and Fitness book collage

Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle and Thinner, Leaner, Stronger both come highly recommended by the IIFYM community, so I’m interested to see if I can pick up some tips that I can implement in my day to day life and stick with for longer than 24 hours.

I grabbed a copy of Intuitive Eating, and started reading it and was surprised at how it resonated with me, and I’m excited to continue on with it soon to see if I carry on relating to it like I was.

And finally, I bought Strength Training for Fat Loss on a whim, mainly because I am limited in what exercise I can do at the moment without waking up the rest of the house, and strength training with a kettlebell or dumbbells is kind of perfect at the moment, but I need more of a structured routine to follow. Pinterest is great, but I’m wary of following guides created by people who may not have a great deal of training knowledge.

Any health and fitness books you’d recommend? I’m toying with the idea of creating regular fitness posts as I embark on this journey for the 175484th time, so if that’s something you’re interested in, let me know and I’ll see what I can create!


Next on my TBR pile|mood reading picks

July 11, 2016

I haven’t read a single book in months, but I’m nearly finished with Me Before You, so I’ve started to timidly look at what I might like to pick up next…up next tbr

It’s (supposedly) summer now, and I love short stories, so hey, Summer Days & Summer Nights is bound to be a winner.


I’ve already purchased After You because I’m kinda convinced I’m going to need to pick it up fairly soon after reading Me Before You.

And finally, The Raven King. Because I need to finish this series and I need to know how it all ends.

The Essence of Blogging

July 8, 2016

Okay, it’s kinda obvious that not a lot has been going on here in recent months. And I could bore you with a shit-ton of excuses like: ‘I’ve started a new job’ or ‘I’m just super busy in the evenings’ but there’s no point.

Blogging just doesn’t have the sparkle it used to. I used to love sitting on my laptop every evening sharing my thoughts and opinions on books with everyone, and I didn’t care if no-one read my posts or if everyone read them. I was blogging because I loved it and because I love books.

And now, it seems like blogging has become more of a numbers game than ever. And I hate that I allow myself to get sucked into the stupid thought that I’m only a “successful” blogger if I have X amount of followers or X amount of interactions on my posts. That’s not who I am and that’s not what blogging was ever about when I first started. So I’m determined to make an effort to ignore the numbers, to ignore what’s supposedly good or bad for SEO (I still don’t know what SEO really is, and at this moment in time, I really don’t care about it either.) and just share my thoughts and opinions on books and whatever else I want to talk about.

I’m taking back blogging for me.

Release Day Blitz: Our Song by Ashley Bodette

May 31, 2016

I’m not normally for participating in release day blitz posts, but when I was contacted to see if I was interested in promoting Our Song by Ashley Bodette, I wasn’t able to resist. It sounds like an amazing read, and I cannot wait to purchase my copy and dive in!

OUR SONG Release Day Banner


I broke up with Trip four months ago. But with the exception of my parents, I haven’t toldOUR SONG E BOOK COVER anyone why. Not my friends, not my little sister, not even Asher.

I’ve been missing my best friend every day for the last nine months. Even though Becca broke up with Trip months ago, she’s still been distant, even when we’re in the same room.

She thinks she can break up with me and then go on a “family” vacation with him? I’m going to prove to both of them that she never should have left me.”


Where to buy: Amazon US|UK|AU|CA|Smashwords|iBooks|B&N|Kobo

I’m also lucky enough to have a couple of teasers to share with you, just incase the synopsis and that BEAUTIFUL cover wasn’t enough to entice you into reading!





April 30, 2016

It’s been a long time since I did a TBR pile to share with you all, but I feel now is a good time to create and share another with you all. I’ve been on a bit of a fantasy binge of late, and I have no plans in stopping it any time soon, so I figured I’d share the next fantasy books sitting on my TBR pile.

fantasy tbr pile

Yes there are two Throne of Glass novels on there, because I don’t plan on reading a single thing else until I am caught up with the series and then join everyone else for the wait for Empire of Storms.

Snow Like Ashes has been on my radar for a long while, but for some reason I still haven’t gotten round to picking it up for a read! The synopsis sounds fab, so with any luck the book will deliver. The same with Red Queen, I’ve heard it’s a great read, so hopefully I’ll agree.

And I’m super excited for Passenger, so when I saw it on Netgalley I couldn’t resist requesting it, not expecting to be approved for it.

So that’s what’s on my TBR pile, what’s on yours?


So, I Read 10 Books on Holiday…|Recently Read

April 27, 2016

recently read

photo by Patrick Tomasso

I thought I’d start a new thing on the blog where I give a quick overview every so often about the books I’ve read recently, as the chances of them all being reviewed on the blog are pretty slim.

Is it obnoxious to read a lot when you’re on holiday with other people? I don’t think so, but I know I frustrated a couple of members of my party by reading so much. That wasn’t the aim, but I never get the chance to sit around literally ALL DAY and read, so I had to make the most of it.

As you’ve gathered from the title, I ended up reading 10 books in Cuba, which has done my Goodreads Challenge wonders, as I’m now 12 books ahead of schedule and over halfway through my goal of 40 books, which I’m guessing will be adjusted slightly as the year goes on, but we’ll have to see. Anyway, enough rambling from me, onto the books I devoured in the beginning of the month!

I started off by reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac on the plane to Cuba. It was interesting, but I can’t say I loved it. I didn’t really get it, and if I’m honest, I feel like the 15 year old me would have enjoyed it a great deal more than I did. I might talk about it further, I might not. I dunno.

warrior witch danielle l jensen book coverMoving swiftly on, I was lucky enough to be approved for Warrior Witch by Danielle L Jensen, the FINAL BOOK in the Malediction trilogy. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to dive into this, and whilst I’m sad the series is over, I’m so happy with the way everything ended. Full, gushing, review to come soon!

As I mentioned in my holiday TBR post, I had downloaded the first two books in The Beaumont Series, Forever my Girl and My Unexpected Forever. Both of these were AMAZING, and I cannot wait to read the final three books in the series and then talk about the series as a whole. Easily a new favourite romance series.

Thanks to the gorgeous sunshine, I found myself on a real romance kick, and quickly flew through True North by Marie Force, an old Kindle freebie, and Playing at Love by Ophelia London, both of which I enjoyed as fluffy, easy-to-read romances. I also continued my new adult love affair with Jet by Jay Crownover and My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron. I adored both of these, and I’m now staring longingly at the rest of the Marked Men series on Amazon.

And then jumping around genres, as I like to do, I finally tore through United States of Japan by
Peter Tieryas
, a sci-fi “spiritual sequel” to The Man in High Castle and just absolutely mind-blowing. Full review to follow, as a poor attempt to decipher my thoughts properly.

And finally, on the plane journey home, I picked up Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, which was utterly jaw-dropping and left me reeling with its shock ending. Easily one of the best adult fiction novels I’ve ever read.