Fiction Friday: Book Review- Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin 

Christmas at Mistletoe CoveChristmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Eden and Dougie have been best friends since they were kids. Eden has always been in love with Dougie while his feelings for her seem to just be platonic. Now Dougie has moved back home and he is Eden’s neighbour. Desperate to find the girl who once believed in magic, Dougie takes Eden to a magical spot in town where you can have any three wishes granted. Eden doesn’t believe in magic and the only thing she has ever wished for is the one thing she can’t have- Dougie.
As much I was looking forward to this book, I found it pretty predictable. I loved the chemistry between Dougie and Eden. They are undoubtedly my favourite couple in this series. The only flaw in this book is the predictable plot. The character’s are entertaining and funny, the romance is beautiful. This is a great Christmas read that I recommend to anyone who is looking for something sweet and light-hearted.

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7 Things I Wish I Knew in College

The “real world” is completely different from college. Which is odd considering that college is supposed to be your first taste of independence and the world out there. Here are 7 things I wish I knew when I was in college:

 

1) Your grades don’t matter: This part hit me the most when job-hunting. No one cared that I had great grades or was part of a honour society for students in the top 15% of their field of study. In fact no one seemed to care that I had a degree at all. People just wanted work experience which I didn’t have (and couldn’t get because I had no work experience). Which brings me to my next point:

2) The importance of work experience: No one wants to employ someone with no work experience. Which is ironic because how do you get work experience if no one wants to give you work without prior working experience. It baffles me that this has been going on for a while now and no one has done anything about it.

3) How to work in a team: It’s not that I don’t know how to work in a team. It’s just that I don’t want to. Group projects in college were a total nightmare and we basically divided the entire project into individual parts and then got together to present the entire project. While I may love the team that I work up, it took the introvert in me five months to finally feel comfortable around them. I definitely wish someone had taught me the importance of working in a team.

4) It’s who you know not what you know: Like number 1 on this list, this also hit me hard. Finding a job seems to be more about who you know than what you know. So network network network. You never know who could lead you to your next job. My cousin found her current job because someone saw her searching career websites on her phone and they knew someone who was hiring.

5) You can’t stay at home from work just because you want to: There are many reasons to miss class in college. It’s too cold, too hot, it’s a Friday, you’re hungover, etc. Unfortunately you can’t do this in the real world. Come rain or shine, you have a job to do. While slacking off in college was okay, that kind of behavior could get you fired.

6) Treasure your free time: My holidays and weekends in college were spent complaining about how bored I was. My holidays and weekends as an employed adult are spent running errands or completing chores that I couldn’t do during the week. Free time is no longer a thing.

7) It’s all going to be okay: I was a neurotic wreck in college. I always fretted over the smallest of things (I once printed out an assignment three times because the ridiculous tutor kept changing her mind about the format of the assignment). I would love to tell my past self to relax and breathe, everything will be fine. Sometimes life doesn’t go the way we want it to and that’s okay.

What do you wish you knew when you were in college?

Fiction Friday: The Law of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor

The Law of Tall GirlsThe Law of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Peyton is a very tall girl who makes a bet that she can get a guy who is even taller than her to take her on three dates and the prom. However finding a guy who is taller than her, interesting and single turns out to be a challenge. The number one person on Peyton’s “Tall Guy” list is Jay. But while Jay is taller than Peyton, gorgeous and charming, he is also taken. But when Peyton and Jay are both cast as the leads in the school play (an adaptation of Romeo and Juliet), things might turn a turn in Peyton’s favor. If she can keep all her secrets locked safely away from Jay, that is.
The whole idea of a romance between characters playing Romeo and Juliet in their school play seemed incredibly cliched but Joanne Macgregor carries this out in a wonderfully real way. I loved seeing all the effort that went into the play and the romance happened naturally. Instead of the play driving the romance, both the play and the romance seemed to happen at the same time which was great. As a tall girl, I found this book difficult to get into at first. It just reminded me of my awkward teen years (which I honestly didn’t want to be reminded of now. I’m an adult now. Being tall doesn’t bother me anymore but reading this book brought back alot of those old feelings of inadequacy). However which I got through my tall girl issues, I devoured this book. I loved Peyton and Jay’s character and I loved that their families had such interesting backstories (especially since so few YA novels mention parents and other relatives). This book was funny, entertaining and dealt with real-life issues. I definitely recommend this book to fans of YA contemporary fiction.

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Handbag Essentials for Work

It was a Friday and we were having a social at work. I had dressed up in a gorgeous leopard-print dress with matching leopard-print pumps and leggings. Everything was going great until the sole of my shoe broke. I had back-up shoes in the car but I was still horrified. How did I- the girl who was prepared for pretty much everything- not have a way of fixing my shoe? Things like this happen and you never know what you need to carry with you until you don’t have that item on you. So here are my handbag essentials for work:

  1. Wallet (with cash in it)- I never go anywhere without my wallet mainly because my wallet contains my driver’s license. However, I have, on occasion, gone out with an empty wallet. Apparently not all the stores take cards (but they really should).
  2. Pen and notebook- You never know when you will need a pen or piece of paper. Especially in the workplace. Don’t be that person that has to borrow from someone else.
  3. Glue- So you don’t have any shoe issues like I did.
  4. Safety pins- To help protect you from any other wardrobe mishaps.
  5. Pain tablets- I always carry pain tablets because I always seem to have a tension headache. It is also helpful if a co-worker has a headache and you have Panado in your bag (I say Panado because I have yet to hear of any harmful side effects. Please don’t share any tablets that may have side effects).
  6. Toiletries- As a female, it is always a good idea to have toiletries in your bag if you or a co-worker may need them.
  7. Tissues/Wet wipes- I just found wet wipes in a store recently and I absolutely love them. I carry both wet wipes and tissues with me. The wet wipes are for when I need to wipe my keyboard or desk and the tissues are for soaking up spills.

What are your handbag essentials for work? Do you have any suggestions that I must have missed out? Let me know below!

September TBR

My September TBR is pretty small since I still have a few older books that I want to finish. There have been such amazing releases recently that my older books keep getting pushed back. Here are the books that I want to read for September:

 

1)Law Of Tall Girls by Joanne Macgregor: I’m currently reading this and IT IS SO GOOD! It took me a while to get into this book since it just reminded me of my awkward teen years and I couldn’t help but cringe at all the memories this book brought back.

2) The Final Girls by Riley Sager: This is a murder mystery about three girls who are the sole survivors of three different massacres. Dubbed “The Final Girls” by the press, there is someone who is targeting these girls. It’s been a while since I read a murder mystery (maybe forever?) so I can’t wait to read this.

3) The Bride Who Got Lucky by Janna MacGregor: This is the sequel to “The Unlucky Bride” and follows Emma, the headstrong bookworm from the first book. I loved Emma’s character and I am so glad that she gets her own story.

 

Books From Past TBRs:

  1. The Divine Heart by Danielle R Mani
  2. The Internet Made Me Do it by Jennifer Ammoscato
  3. Traitor to the Throne by Alwyn Hamilton

What’s on your September TBR? Have you read any of these books? What did you think? I’d love to know below.

Fiction Friday: My Most Anticipated September Book Releases

For some reason, September has incredible book releases. I love when all of my anticipated reads release close to one another (I’m less likely to forget a book) however I run a high risk of spending all my money and/or not reading any of the books because I can’t pick a book to read. Here are some of my most anticipated September reads:

2017 september reads

 

1) One Dark Throne by Kendare Blake( Three Dark Crowns #2):

The battle for the Crown has begun, but which of the three sisters will prevail?

With the unforgettable events of the Quickening behind them and the Ascension Year underway, all bets are off. Katharine, once the weak and feeble sister, is stronger than ever before. Arsinoe, after discovering the truth about her powers, must figure out how to make her secret talent work in her favor without anyone finding out. And Mirabella, once thought to be the strongest sister of all and the certain Queen Crowned, faces attacks like never before—ones that put those around her in danger she can’t seem to prevent.

In this enthralling sequel to Kendare Blake’s New York Times bestselling Three Dark Crowns, Fennbirn’s deadliest queens must face the one thing standing in their way of the crown: each other.

Release Date: 19 September 2017

 

2) Tower of Dawn by Sarah J. Maas (Throne of Glass #6):

Chaol Westfall has always defined himself by his unwavering loyalty, his strength, and his position as the Captain of the Guard. But all of that has changed since the glass castle shattered, since his men were slaughtered, since the King of Adarlan spared him from a killing blow, but left his body broken.

His only shot at recovery lies with the legendary healers of the Torre Cesme in Antica—the stronghold of the southern continent’s mighty empire. And with war looming over Dorian and Aelin back home, their survival might lie with Chaol and Nesryn convincing its rulers to ally with them.

But what they discover in Antica will change them both—and be more vital to saving Erilea than they could have imagined.

Release Date: 5 September 2017

 

3) Christmas at Mistletoe Cove by Holly Martin (Hope Island #3):

Growing up on Hope Island, Eden Lancaster always believed that if you wished hard enough for something, dreams really could come true. But Eden’s greatest wish is also her biggest secret: she has been completely in love with her childhood friend, the charming and attractive Dougie Harrison, for as long as she can remember. And he has no idea.

When Dougie leaves his successful life in New York to return home to Hope Island for good, Eden can’t escape her feelings. Her heart is full of hope that her romantic dreams are finally, at long last, going to come true…

This Christmas could change everything. But can a lifelong friendship really turn into the perfect romance? And will Eden get the happily ever after she’s always wished for?

Release Date: 22 September

 

4) Tarnished City (Dark Gifts #2) by Vic James:

In a modern Britain where magic users control wealth, politics—and you—an uprising has been crushed. In its aftermath, two families will determine the country’s fate. The ruthless Jardines make a play for ultimate power. And the Hadleys, once an ordinary family, must find the extraordinary strength to fight back.

Abi Hadley is a fugitive. Her brother Luke, a prisoner. Both will discover that in the darkest places, the human spirit shines brightest.

While amid his family’s intrigues, Silyen Jardine dreams of lost powers from an earlier age. As blood runs in the streets of London, they will all discover whether love and courage can ever be stronger than tyranny.

How do you choose when you can’t save everyone…?

 

Release Date: 5 September 2017

 

What book are you most excited for in September? I’d love to know below.

5 Things to Do Before a Job Interview

Job interviews are absolutely nerve-wracking. But while there is no way to escape them, you can help make things easier by following these five simple tips:

  1. Check out the location of your interview the day before- My first job interview was at a place that was really difficult to find. However I made my dad take me to the venue the day before so I would know how to get there and how long the drive would take. When I went in for the interview, the manager was super-impressed that I found the place without any trouble and that I was early. Especially when I explained to him that I had visited the location the day before so that I wouldn’t get lost.
  2. Print out multiple copies of your CV/Resume- Print out atleast five copies of your relevant documentation in case your interview is conducted by more than one person. I did this just because I read this advice somewhere online. I never thought I would actually need it until I went for an interview that was conducted by two managers. They each had a copy of my CV and the receptionist took one for their records. It’s better to have extras just in case.
  3. Leave home early- You certainly don’t want to be late for an interview. It reflects  very poorly on you no matter what the circumstances were. Make sure you leave home early enough to get to the interview on time.
  4. Learn everything you can about the company and the position that you’re applying- I always like to distract myself during interviews by making friends with the other interviewees. I met a girl once who had no idea what the position we were applying for was (it was debt collecting) and when this was revealed in the interview, she was sent home.
  5. Ensure that your outfit is professional- Dressing professionally shows that you are serious about the job. First impressions matter and when it comes to an interview, it might be the only impression that you make.

What are your tips for handling job interviews? I’d love to know below.

Waiting on Wednesday: Tarnished City by Vic James (Dark Gifts #2)

“Tarnished City” is the second book in the “Dark Gifts” series and is the sequel to “Glided Cage”. “Glided Cage” was one of my favourite dystopian novels with a variety of plot twists every few chapters. I didn’t know who I could trust and  I suspected everyone of having a hidden agenda (which they all did seem to have). I truly enjoyed “Glided Cage” and look forward to returning to that world. You can find my review here:

 

Tarnished City by Vic James

Official Synopsis from Goodreads.com:

In a modern Britain where magic users control wealth, politics—and you—an uprising has been crushed. In its aftermath, two families will determine the country’s fate. The ruthless Jardines make a play for ultimate power. And the Hadleys, once an ordinary family, must find the extraordinary strength to fight back.
Abi Hadley is a fugitive. Her brother Luke, a prisoner. Both will discover that in the darkest places, the human spirit shines brightest.While amid his family’s intrigues, Silyen Jardine dreams of lost powers from an earlier age. As blood runs in the streets of London, they will all discover whether love and courage can ever be stronger than tyranny.How do you choose when you can’t save everyone…?

Release Date: 5 September 2017

September Book Haul


I was late for the July and August SPCA booksale so my mother thought to remedy that by waking me up at 7AM. On a Saturday! I don’t know if she’s aware of the fact that I often work Saturdays and my days off are sacred. Anyway we got to the booksale at about 9AM (which is good since that’s when Bargain Books opens). After a quick browse, I came up with an armful of books as well as a collection of kids magazines such as “Sabrina’s Secrets”  and “Make it Groovy” . My inner kid was overjoyed since I loved Sabrina’s Secrets but never had more than one issue since I subscribed (should the correct phrase be “my parents subscribed” since I was only ten at the time?) to Make it Groovy. Eventually that subscription was cancelled (Damn recession) and I was left a sad child. But not anymore *cackles evilly* I am an independent woman and I will have these kids magazines. The guy at the SPCA asked me if I finished the books I bought last month. I admitted that I didn’t read as much as I bought each month and he laughed. (I’m going to get to them one day okay!) 

Obviously after this I visited Bargain Books. I knew I wanted Melissa Delport’s “Legacy” series but things didn’t actually go as planned. There was small hiccup where “A Million Worlds with You” didn’t scan as part of the 3 books for R150 deal. I don’t think I have ever visited Bargain Books and not had an issue at the till. The manager had to be called to fix this and she greeted me warmly before asking if I had finished my last batch of books from their store. I swear I felt so attacked. I laughed and admitted that I hadn’t and she said she thought as much since I had visited the store a few weeks ago. This is what freaks me out- I cannot remember visiting Bargain Books in the past month. Either I have a doppelganger or I’m going book-shopping before blacking out. 

Before leaving the Crescent I popped into Waltons to check their colouring pencils and I also quickly looked at the SPCA books again. Fun fact- they have more than just books. I found some DVDs.

After this the only bookish thing I had left to do was use my Exclusive Books voucher. I knew that I wanted to buy “And I Darken”. Unfortunately there were no copies at the store so I ended up coming home with Queen of Shadows by Sarah J Maas. I also caught a quick glimpse of Somizi who was visiting the store. Sadly there were too many people for me to take a pic but I was thrilled nonetheless. 

I came home totally exhausted but so happy. I got a great haul of books and other items and I loved it! 

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Now I Rise by Kiersten White (The Conqueror’s Saga, #2)

Now I Rise (The Conqueror's Saga, #2)Now I Rise by Kiersten White
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I had major doubts going into this book. It had been about a year or so since I read “As I Darken” and while I did enjoy it, I wasn’t sure that “Now I Rise” would be as good (second books rarely are).  I was wrong. “Now I Rise” was infinitely better and I cannot wait to read the next book in the series. Since I read “As I Darken” so long ago, I was sure that I wouldn’t remember much of the plot or the characters. In fact, I read about two pages before I realised I didn’t remember the events of the last novel (of course the only thing I remembered was the love triangle between Radu, Lada and Mehmed). Thankfully the novel recounted characters and events from the first book so I was able to read this without having to reread “As I Darken.”
“Now I Rise” follows Lada, Radu and Mehmed as they each go after the thing they want most. Lada wants to be prince of Wallachia, Radu wants to be respected by Mehmed (but any sort of positive attention from Mehmed makes Radu happy because he has an unhealthy obsession with Mehmed) and Mehmed just wants Constantinople. However for each of the characters to get what they want, they have to make difficult decisions- decisions that involve lies, betrayal or brutal deaths.
This book is nothing like what I would usually read. However there is just something about this series that drew me in and refuses to let go. I NEED to know more about these characters. Will Lada get her throne? Who will Mehmed choose? Will Radu ever grow a pair? (Can you tell he’s my least favourite Dracul sibling?) I need answers to these questions ASAP.
There was amazing character development in this novel. Both Dracul siblings see that their way is not always the best and they may need the other. Lada is as bloodthirsty in this novel as she was in “As I Darken”- but this time instead of just threatening people she is a girl of action and I loved seeing that side of her. She is fierce, she is vicious and it is incredible.
“Now I Rise” has a compelling plot and flawless writing which makes the book impossible to put down. Definitely get yourself a copy. NOW!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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