Oh John Green does it again….

“Once you think a thought, it is extremely difficult to unthink it.”%0A— John Green, Let it Snow

101 things in 1001 days: Grow a plant from seed to flower

Evening readers and happy Friday, the weekend is upon us and tomorrow I will be travelling down to Silvy for Mother’s Day which I’m really excited for. My little pudding of a sister has rather hurt her leg and I cannot wait to give her a cuddle and make sure she’s okay! It’s been a really busy, emotional and tiring week but it’s ended pretty perfectly and today’s 101 things in 101 days is pretty darn cute.

So as always a little background as to its inclusion on the list. It is a well-known fact in our family that my mother is pretty awful at keeping plants. It doesn’t seem to matter what she does they just wither and die. Sorry mum. But my Grandmother is an absolute whizz; she is the ultimate green fingered lady and I thought I’d find out whether I possessed any of her gardening skills. The last time I tried to honestly grow anything was back when I was in year two, attempting to grow cress on a wet paper towel in a Tupperware box for a school project. The results were pretty awful and although at the ripe old age of six I think the fault of this lies elsewhere I wondered whether it was time to have another go.

In my tiny little terraced house in Stoke on Trent, there isn’t much of a back garden and with my very little knowledge of what soil to use, when you should plant flowers and how often you should water them I traipsed off to my local supermarket to see if there was anything a little more basic. Upon arriving I found the most adorable purple pink bucket with a handle with a number of purple hyacinth bulbs included. I wandered home and after reading the instructions buried the three bulbs under the soft soil and gave it a water, and the waiting game began.

To start off with it didn’t look good, after calling my mother, never a good idea seeing her track record keeping plants alive is pretty low she told me that the bulbs should have been poking out the soil not buried underneath. Then the plant disappeared. I live with two other lodgers and one had decided that I wasn’t watering it enough and had popped it outside which confused me for a number days until upon taking the rubbish out I unearthed it. I stubbornly brought it back in but the next day it had once again been placed outside. After upending the culprit, my housemate Gabriel told me that he had noticed it was getting a little dry and as I’ve been so busy thought it would survive better on the wall outside. Anyway, it’s been a couple of months but slowly but surely one of the buds has broken through and with a little bit of extra sunshine last weekend has opened its petals.

Because of the way the sunshine travels over the garden I think it would have been better to place it in the middle of the garden but no knowing a huge amount and worrying it wasn’t getting enough water I think it’s been a little deprived of potential growth however I’m going to keep it and maybe add a number of others to our little patch of concrete outside.

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101 things in 1001 Days: The Fault in Our Stars: John Green

101 things in 1001 days

Good evening readers, this review comes from a tired, grumpy, sick, cold and weepy little blogger. I’m not sure I was ready to read this book fall in love all over again and then have my heart heartlessly broken, once again. I, however, braved the storm and snuggled up to Eeyore and wrapped in my new blanket I snuggled down to read. I can’t tell you how much this book moved me, broke me and then made me feel calm and kind of complete all over again. I had put this book off because when I think a book is going to be downright perfect I refuse to read it; instead choosing to savour the imagination of its perfection. I know it’s madness, it’s a problem but it’s my habit and all those books (yes 1984 you are next) will one day get read. For now I hope I manage to get everything done before I melt into a Lemsip high and the mountains of duvets I’m currently snuggled under; enjoy!

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“I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once.”
Despite the tumour-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel’s story is about to be completely rewritten. Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green’s most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

The first thing to say is that I am not a reader with a heart of stone, I cannot say that this is the first book I have cried at, I definitely cannot say it will be the last book I cry at. I am a self-confessed weeper. I weep during books, after books sometimes just looking at a familiar books leaves me choked. The book thief I have read six or seven times, still cannot help but weep throughout. So I knew I had no hope. But it’s not a book to make you cry, it will, inevitably, but it is the silken words that Green uses that piece together a set of delicately but perfectly designed characters who weave between each other that I had to stop just to give myself some space to breathe. I read a lot of books, a lot of a lot of books and I rarely come across books that are even and well paced with the perfect flow of description mixed with dialogue. The basics of the book (I’m sure you know) is that Hazel (a character with terminal cancer) and Augustus (a cancer survivor) meet at a cancer support group and become incredibly close despite Hazel worrying she will become a grenade in his life – in that she will cause significant hurt in someone’s (Augustus’s) life unwittingly. The two flirt their way through the book discovering their similarities, their differences and their utter love and devotion for each other.

I have been described as a sarcastic cow before and I cannot deny it, but the dark humour of the book made me cry even more at the words these two star struck teenagers find themselves using to describe the throws of love and life and death. I thought the book would be clichéd and riled with tacky motifs but instead the humour has a sarcastic bite that rolls of the tongue of the characters with wit and derision. Hazel has not got a bad bone in her body she is light, airy and beautiful inside and out. Yes, she has the moody swings of any female teenager and her illness is difficult, only made more extreme by her constantly hovering parents who will do anything to make her happy. The relationship between her and her parents kept me just as enthralled throughout. Augustus is witty, sarcastic and utterly enthralling. He is the prince charming of the contemporary world and I fell for their relationship in a blink. The supporting characters are warm and loving, Isaac is a wonderful character and I found myself hoping that his story would turn out to be sunny and wonderful.

The book is more than that though. Yes, it’s about love, it’s about loss, it’s about bone crushing pain and the deceit that comes with losing the one that you love but it’s so much more than that. It’s about discovering that your life will probably never rise above insignificance. Ouch, you think. Think about it for a second; yes you will matter to your friends, your family, the people you love and maybe a couple of authors who pass you by and change your life in their writing but me and you probably won’t make an impact big enough to shake the world to its core. It is not about making the world shake it is about making the lives better for the ones we love, to cherish them despite all our faults, our pains, our troubles and to come out of it knowing that we made a difference to someone’s life. (I’m tearing up again, what is wrong with me!) It’s about terminally ill teenagers learning to take responsibility for their lives and standing up, defining them not by the time they have left but the time they took to give time to someone else, and isn’t that a lesson we could all learn from?

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Straight Talking: Jane Green

 

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So, it’s a day for the chick-lit. I deeply apologise but after four weeks of hardcore studying and essay writing I could not face a deeply complicated plot, or intricate storyline  Therefore big apologies but it is another chick-lit; I promise tomorrow no more chick-lits for a while!  I am always reviewing new books, the most recent, the latest and most current and fresh. However I am always looking to the back of my bookshelf and looking for the hidden gems that I have forgotten about and giving them a new lease of life. My review today is therefore a forgotten gem, one from the back of the shelf that really deserves to be put in the forefront.

The main character is Tasha, a woman in her thirties, still single and searching for love. A successful producer for Britain’s most popular early morning breakfast show working under a nightmarish boss, Tasha hasn’t quite had the time to find her Prince Charming. However Tasha is not new to the dating game and neither are her friends. Meet the gang; Andy, a tomboy and lover of passion who can’t quite escape the ‘mate’ label of the men that she tries to date. Secondly Emma, who is hopelessly waiting for her long-term partner to finally commit and propose, and finally Mel, the most desperate of the group. Stuck in an unloving and hurtful relationship Mel is unable to stay but unable to leave her loveless relationship and is constantly waiting for the spark to re-appear. Tasha also has a problem with men, and there are three. Andrew, Adam and Simon. Throughout the book Tasha bounces between these three men each a different cocktail of pleasures and problems with Tasha having to make decision between the three to decide who could finally be her Prince Charming.

I will be honest like many romantic, ‘chick-lit’ books ‘Straight Talking,’ has the fairly stereotypical four friends, each with different personalities having interwoven contrasting stories each with a problem, men/job/ family etc. However the tone of the book is brilliant! Funny, hilarious and sarcastic the book is written in first person, which places the reader right in the action.  Additionally it makes the novel a lot more personal and creates a bigger connection between reader, writer and character. Many of the jokes and quips about the single life are spot on and there are a number of really laugh out loud moments.

I really enjoyed this. Although the characters were not as explored or developed as deeply as I would have liked and therefore lacked a certain amount of depth and the plot at sometimes was very similar to the stereotypical chick-lit I still really enjoyed it! If I’m honest its probably a holiday read with a suntan, beach towel and a cocktail of sex on the beach! It’s a easy, cheeky, girly read and although it probably won’t set your socks on fire it will definitely be a pleasurable page turner!