Saturday

Memorable YA Books of 2017 Recap

Hola Lexicans! I hope you are all having a lovely New Year and have stuck to your New Year's Resolutions so far (eeek fingers crossed!!), if you'd like to see a post half way through the year on how well (or how not well!) I'm keeping my resolutions, then let me know as I think that could be a very interesting post. Buuut for now I'm going to be doing a (slightly late!) roundup of some of the YA Books of 2017. These books are ones that stuck out to me this year. This could be for multiple reasons (e.g. I was highly anticipating it or it was hugely hyped up by others) but basically they were in some way memorable YA books that were released in 2017. It might sound quite confusing, but it's quite simply a summary of 7 YA Books of 2017 (that I read!)

A Quiet Kind Of Thunder by Sara Barnard

Image result for a quiet kind of thunderI have talked about Sara and her books *a lot* but they're just so good!! I had previously read Barnard's Beautiful Broken Things (which I'm low-key high-key in love with) and so the day I realised she had another book (which I hadn't known before) was a truly beautiful day (genuinely the rest of that day once I'd bought it I was just so happy!!). I've done a full review here: http://whatlexieloves.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/a-quiet-kind-of-thunder.html so check that out;) but in short ahh THIS BOOK IS SO CUTE!! Like such a simple way to describe it is 'lovely' and I know that's not the most exciting of adjectives, but it really just sums it up - I smiled so much when reading this book aww.



Goodbye, Perfect by Sara Barnard

Image result for goodbye perfectOkay yess this is another one of Sara's books but I loved it so I'm not going to leave it out!! This book hasn't actually released yet (although it is going to be released very soon on Feb 8th, so watch out!) but I was lucky enough to be sent a copy by Pan Macmillan a few months ago. Again, I've done a full review (same with all the books in this list - as they were some of my favourites, I obviously wanted to review them for you) so you can read that here: http://whatlexieloves.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/goodbye-perfect-written-by-one-of-my.html but this is a beautiful book about the strength of friendship, and how a good relationship between two best friends is when it's really put to the test. I would 100% recommend this, so when it comes out pick it up in your local bookstore;)

One Of Us Is Lying by Karen McManus

Image result for one of us is lying bookThis is a mystery, contemporary (hehe my two favourite genres) teen book that released this year and even though I just realised I never did a review on it, I did really enjoy the book. The only thing about it was that I found the book pretty predictable. Despite this, I still really loved the book and I still found the book gripping and interesting, even though I'd guessed 'whodunnit' so it wasn't exactly a surprise for me, there were still lots of other secrets and 'twists and turns' in this book! I might do a full review on this soon, so let me know if you'd like that but if you enjoy a good ol mystery, I would definitely recommend One Of Us Is Lying.



The One Memory Of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Related imageUgh.. This book annoys me because I didn't hate it, I just didn't love it either! I did a full review on this, which you can read here: http://whatlexieloves.blogspot.co.uk/2016/12/the-one-memory-of-flora-banks.html but I'll summarise here again. TOMOFB is about Flora, who is a 17 year old with a brain tumour, meaning she has no long-term memory and can only remember things for up to about 2 hours before forgetting them. Until one day she kisses a boy (Drake) and for the first time in 7 years, she can remember it. This sounded like an interesting premise, so I was looking forward to this book (particularly as the advertising I had seen for it made it seem very much like a mystery book) but instead I just didn't really like the book. I found it very repetitive, and whilst at first I liked that, as it made it feel very realistic, but after a while it just. got. boring. And all the actions of those around her, and even her own actions although I understand she couldn't exactly help it, made me SO ANNOYED!! Like they were just *so irritating* and yah. However, that being said, there were some good plot twists and it was interesting, I just didn't understand this huge hype surrounding it.

Windfall by Jennifer E. Smith

Image result for windfall bookThis book is a tricky one to review because I really really enjoyed reading it, and I'd definitely recommend, but looking back there's nothing about this book which blew me away or made it a particularly special or memorable book for me. As I said in my review of the book (which *guess what* you can read here: http://whatlexieloves.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/windfall-new-ya-release.html) it's a fairly simple rags-to-riches story, but I just really liked the author's writing style, it sort of reminds me of a Rainbow Rowell writing style, and I think that just made me really like this book. The idea was interesting, yet simple, and overall this was just a really 'nice' YA book that released in 2017.



Turtles All The Way Down by John Green

Image result for turtles all the waySo *technically* I'm still reading Turtles All The Way Down (it's my current read), but let's be real here, I couldn't do a round-up of YA Books of 2017 and not mention TATWD. I'm not that far into the book, but it's got a really interesting premise - 16 year old Aza, who has severe OCD, is going on an adventure with her best friend to try and find runaway billionaire (there's an $100,000 reward at stake!). It's an #ownvoices novel which I love, and so far I love Aza, and I love the way that John Green has represented OCD/anxiety brutally, but honestly. Can't wait to finish this and I'm sure I will do a review on it once I've finished. This is my first of Green's (wHY?) and so far I definitely recommend!


The Names They Gave Us by Emery Lord

Image result for the names they gave usI really loved this book, even though it feels like ages ago that I read it! Basically, it's about Lucy, a teenager whose mum has, for the second time, been diagnosed with breast cancer. To help Lucy with the upset and distress this is naturally causing her, her parents suggest sending her to a summer camp to help out with other teenagers and look after younger children, all of whom have a very sad background (e.g. grieving the loss of someone close to them, suicidal thoughts etc etc). There she meets friends who will help her get through the toughest of times, despite all being in a bad place themselves. I'm not sure whether it was the writing style, the well-developed characters, the plot twists, the thought-provoking, emotional nature of the book or all those things that made me love it so much, but I can happily say, whilst it's obviously a sad book, I still enjoyed reading it and I definitely recommend it!! If you want to read my separate review on The Names They Gave Us, then you can read it here: http://whatlexieloves.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/love-this-book-names-they-gave-us.html

So those are the YA Books of 2017 I decided to feature in this post!! Have you ready any of these? What did you think of them? If you had to make a list of some books that were memorable to you this year (e.g. they were very popular, your favourite books, you were very excited for the release but were maybe disappointed, books that let you down etc etc) what would be on the list?

Xxx


Sunday

Hello 2018, Goodbye 2017!

Hola Lexicans! So.. today is the 31st December aka New Years Eve aka THE LAST DAY OF 2017 yES oml I know, this year has gone so incredibly quickly!! So I thought today I would share with you my New Year's Resolutions, recap my year and share what I'm excited for in 2018! (This is going to be so long, so I do apologise - I've split it into chunks though, so if you're only interested in my Recap, for example, you can find that section). BUT FIRST.. Abby, this is amazing + lovely human from Ups + Downs (which you can check out here!), has spent ages producing this gorgeous blogger yearbook, featuring lots of lovely bloggers (including myself!) and I just had to share it with you, as I love it and Abby did an amazing job. Only problem, is I'm not the most technogically advanced my grandma could probably do more than me so I didn't manage to work out how to drop the magazine in the post, so instead go check it out at the link here: https://www.yumpu.com/s/PgiBQFCswNz9MaV2!! (EDIT: just realised that I don't actually think there is a way to insert it in this post.. so that was a waste of time ahahah!!) Anyway it's really cool and let's get into the post:



New Year's Resolutions
New Year's Resolutions (NYRs) become a more controversial and talked about topic every year, and more and more people decide they give them up within about two weeks and so they won't bother making them every year. I do agree, NYRs are often given up or forgotten about once the initial motivation leaves after just a couple of weeks of January, but this year I'm setting myself goals that I genuinely really want to achieve, and that realistically I think I can. Also, a key with NYRs is being able to show progress - if you can see that you're improving, particularly with stats, it keeps you feeling motivated.

Grow my blog's Instagram more. I'd like to focus on growing my blog more as a whole but something specific I'd like to work on is my blog's Instagram. I got an account for my blog over a year ago, but I never really spent much time on it, rather I would just post a photo, DM some of my blogger friends and go through my timeline every so often but that was it. Over the last couple of weeks, I've just sat down for even just 10 minutes and gone through my Instagram, being active and following new people, and I've already seen my follower count increase (even if it is still only around 350). I believe if I really work hard, by the end of 2018 I could potentially have 1k followers. (P.S. if you don't follow me on Instagram check me out at @whatlexielovesblog!)

Running. I'd like to get healthier and fitter more in general, but a specific aspect of this is running. I'm currently working towards my DofE Bronze (if you don't know what that is, it's a youth awards programme, in which you learn a skill, do volunteering and do a physical activity for 3-6 months and then go on an expedition) and for my physical, I'm doing running. Because of this I kind of have to run anyway, but I want to do it for myself, not just because I have to. I'd love to be able to feel confident in my running by the end of the year.

Interrupt people less. Sounds like a weird one, but it's very basic - I interrupt people quite a bit when they're speaking and I want to stop!

Count the books I read. This has been a NYR of mine for the last two years, and I always forget or lose the notebook I'm writing in, but I'd love to very simply list every book I've read in the year, so when I get to the end I have a list of every book I read that year.

Do NaNoWriMo again, and Camp NaNo

Write blog posts more often

Continue doing our charity successfully. My sister and I have a charity and it's going very well at the moment - we've helped a lot of children which we're obviously really happy about. (To read more about our charity, you can visit our website here.)

Finally start my YouTube channel and keep it going! I've wanted to start a YouTube channel (and not give up) for ages now, and I used to have one but gave it up quite quickly. I think I'd love it, I just need to actually do it!


2017 Recap:

Blog Life:

So personally 2017 has not been my year for this blog. I feel like I haven't posted regularly at all, and whilst I haven't had Blogger's Block as such (I've had lots of blog post ideas), I haven't actually felt that motivated to write the posts (which is definitely the hard part!). However, I've still written just under 50 posts this year (bear in mind some months I only wrote two posts!) so it's not bad, I just know I could do a lot more. On the positive side, I had lots of cool opportunities with my blog this year - I wrote 3 sponsored posts and received lots of lovely books from lovely publishers. I also did #7DaysOfWLL, where I wrote a post everyday for a week. I really liked my Who Am I? blog post (which you can read here) and my 100 More Things That Make Me Happy (click here to read).

Writing Life

I DID IT. I wrote 24k of a novel in a month, so fiiinnnallllly I've brought (a large chunk of) my ideas to life, rather than just thinking of the book idea and then forgetting about it. That's pretty much it with my writing life, but I'm still happy with it.

Personal Life

Not that blogging + writing aren't part of my Life Life (tbh I don't really think I do have a life out of those two things*

*ahahahha... ahah.. hehe.... nah I'm joking aha don't worry.... *shh*

So one of the best things this year was my holiday with my family. We went on a roadtrip in California and Nevada (we went to LA, Newport Beach, Palm Springs and Las Vegas) and I had a great time. We went to the USA in 2012, but it was the East Coast and I was a lot younger so it was a totally different experience! Two of my favourite memories from the whole year where on this trip, the first being when we first entered our apartment in Palm Springs and being so happy at how lovely it looked, and then a meal in Las Vegas where we met our grandparents and aunt (they also went at the same time us to Vegas!) overlooking The Strip; it was such a lovely meal. I'd love to go back at some point as well.

Friendship wise, I think it was a hard year - I lost a few friends, but I gained lots as well. I have no 'enemies' or hard feelings with anyone, and I'm definitely ending the year happy in that sense.

Other notable (couldn't think of another word for it!!) things this year were: my holiday to France, the Summertime Ball, my school's dance show, going to Blackpool to watch my brother dance in the Nationals, becoming obsessed with Brooklyn Nine-Nine, holding a really fun birthday party and going to the Shard. I've had a lovely year personally wise, although it's had its challenges.

Outside Of My Personal Life

To be honest, outside of my personal life, I don't think it's been particularly good for our world. It started off with Donald Trump becoming president. I don't know what you think of him, but to put it very simply in my opinion, he is awful. I don't understand politics too well, but I know enough to know that he truly is a dreadful, rubbish President. Then there was Brexit, and as I said, I don't know that much about politics, I can't tell what's going on, but from what I've heard from adults and people around me is that it's not going very well.

There was the Grenfell Tower disaster, which was truly a tragedy, as well as multiple awful terrorist attacks. Whenever these come up in the news (which is way too frequently), I feel such a sinking in my heart. I understand Grenfell was an accident, but the terrorist attacks aren't and they make me feel so so upset and I just end up with no faith in humanity. After a bit that restores, but then it happens again:(

Reading Life

Most of the year, I read a normal amount, reading every single day but now towards the end of the year, I haven't really read that much. yes. I know. And it makes me so sad but I'm definitely going to stop that, and head into 2018 with a willing to read!



This is just going to be a short chunk (don't worry!) but there are many things I'm excited (or nervous) for in 2018. A big one that I'm slightly nervous, although also excited for at the same time, is choosing my GCSE options. If you're from a different country, you may not know about our GCSE system, which is effectively an exam all people take when they are 15-16 which are quite important, but in Year 9 we choose which subjects to drop and which to carry on with. Something I'm super excited for is our next holiday which we booked a couple months ago (we plan ahead!), and we're going to Barbados, so I'm very excited for that! Book-wise, there are two books I can't wait to launch which are Sara Barnard's Goodbye, Perfect (I was actually lucky enough to receive an ARC of this, so I've already read it, but I'm excited for the release still!) and Cait/C.G. Drews' debut book A Thousand Perfect Notes oh mY LIFE I'M SO EXCITED TO BUY THIS asdfghjkl!!!

So those are the main things I can think of looking ahead to 2018. I think I say this most years, but I genuinely believe and feel, like 2018 is going to be my year and I'm going to SMASH IT!! Happy New Year, comment some of your goals for the year ahead, and I hope you have an amazing New Year and whole 2018:)

Xxx

Friday

What I Got For Christmas 2017

Hola Lexicans! Ahhhhhh I hope y'all had an amazing, relaxing, fun and happy Christmas with your loved ones!! I had such a lovely lovely day, and I'm still so happy and buzzing from it (although sad that the Christmas season, really is coming to an end now:() I wasn't sure whether or not to do one of these posts, as I kind of don't see the point in sharing all over the Internet the gifts you got. However at the same time these are some of my favourite blog posts/YouTube videos to watch and I am extremely quite nosy, so I thought why not share with y'all What I Got For Christmas 2017 (also as I did a poll on my blog's Instagram* and the majority said you'd love to see one). Before I start off, I just want to say that firstly Christmas is not about presents in any way. In my opinion it's about spending time with loved ones, and celebrating Jesus. Also, I understand I was so so so lucky this year, and I'm so grateful to everyone who bought me a gift/gave me a card/wished me a Merry Christmas - I'm not trying to brag in any way at all. So with that said, let's get into this post:)

*ahah I love doing polls on Instagram..

Ted Baker Chelsey Leather Bag in Grey

asdfghjkl ahh sidkfmnwd oh my gosh oh my gosh I am so so happy I received this!! I did put this on my list, as I really loved it, but since it's quite a pricey item, I wasn't expecting to receive it. However, my Nan-Nan and Grandad got it for me and I love it so much! It also comes with a mini purse thing, which is like a whole separate gift:)

credits:)

Netflix subscription

I didn't ask for this but I'm so happy I received it, as I've wanted Netflix for agesssss now so thanks so much to my parents for getting me this - it's such a thoughtful gift, and I can't wait to start watching some good series on Netflix (comment any good series on Netflix, bear in mind my favourite genre is comedies/sitcoms).

Urban Decay Naked Heat

I really loved the look of this palette, and since I have a few other products in the Naked range by Urban Decay, I was hoping to receive this palette for Christmas. It's quite dark, and I'm as pale as a ghost, so I'm going to need to watch some tutorials to master a darker look (as currently it ends up looking like I've been punched in the eye!!) but the colours are stunning, so I can't wait to use it well.

Pandora Captured Hearts Stud Earrings

I already knew I was getting these as I mentioned in My Christmas Wishlist blog post since I went with my Nanny to pick them out, but yah I love them and they're so cute:)

Benefit Porefessional

My Nanny also got me the Porefessional, as I had a mini size and I loved it, but it ran out:( so now I have a big one, which should hopefully last me a while!
credits

Barbie x Missguided black sweatshirt and pink t-shirt

I discovered the Barbie x Missguided range whilst on this fashion app 21 Buttons (which is a really cool app ahah #notspon it's just really great for you fashioniastas ahahah!) and I thought it was really cute + cool, so I asked for the sweatshirt and t-shirt from the range, and Father Christmas (my main man;)) got me both so I'm v happy with that!

Taylor Swift's Reputation album

My lil sis got me this and INES I LOVE YOU THANK YOU!! I didn't even know it was available in the UK yet ahahah and I'm such a Swiftie, so I'm so happy that I've got Reputation now.

Those are the main gifts I got and I love them all so much:) I did get some other little bits and bobs, like room d├ęcor, face masks, candles etc etc but I didn't think it would be very interesting for you if I went through every single item down to the last pack of hair bobbles. I've got lots of posts coming up (I just need to actually write them..) but stay tuned for a 2017 overview, review of The Shard and many more posts;) ;)
ALSO.. if you don't already, go follow my blog's Instagram @whatlexieloves - I'd love to see some more of you over there, and I'm spending a lot more time on my Instagram now so yah:)

Once again, I'm so incredibly grateful for all my gifts and I'm not bragging:) How was your Christmas? Did you get any pressies, and if so what did you get? What are some good shows on Netflix? ily Lexicans and byeee

xxx