You - Caroline Kepnes

Next on my quest to read 50 new books before I hit 25, I picked up You by Caroline Kepnes.

This is the first book I have read in ages on someone else's recommendation (thanks Charlotte!) and oh my god was it creepy (but good!). She recommended it because I was going through a bit of a thriller stage - she didn't say too much, just that she liked it, so I trusted her and added it to my basket.

When it arrived, I put it on my book pile and didn't think about it again until it reached the top and I picked it up to read. I didn't actually read the synopsis, or anything about it online, so the first few chapters were an adjustment to say the least... Basically, it is written from a psycho stalker's point of view, as he quickly becomes obsessed with a girl that walks into his bookshop and infiltrates her life.

I thought the book would shift perspective at some point, but it didn't - I also thought I found this too unsettling and would stop reading as I didn't like it because of this, but before I knew it, I had been sucked in and finished the book the morning after the evening I started it.

I don't want to ruin the story too much, but you can kind of guess where it ends up. I did actually find myself sympathising with the narrator at some points when he was sad because the girl he was seeing messed him around, and then shook myself out of it because he is absolutely horrific.

In short, this book is utterly creepy, and has the possibility to be quite believable - you may find yourself questioning those around you!

I definitely recommend it if you want to try something a bit far from the norm! Give me a shout on twitter with some of your recommendations!

Make your own charm bracelet

When I was asked if I wanted to be part of the Cotton Traders Mothers' Day inspiration guide, I was a bit stuck for ideas - mainly because I ask my mum what she wants, and then I get it for her - it's worked pretty well for the last few years, so I'm not going to stop now...

I then thought a bit harder and realised I could put aside my love for baking and instead show you guys my other crafty obsession - jewellery making!

I've been making jewellery since I was about 10, so all of this is second nature to me, but Google everything and there should be some easy to follow tutorials online if you've never done it before, or drop me a tweet with any questions :)

I think this is a perfect way to show your mum you care and know her so well!

Now, my mum doesn't really wear chunky jewellery, so this is just an example, but she loves tea, and all things vintage so I've used a dusky pink theme and included a little cameo! I also really like the layered chain effect - just get different thicknesses of curb and put them all together - you could even try ribbons...

You can basically do whatever you want with yours! There are so many different charms and beads available - I recommend Beads Unlimited or eBay!

What do you think? What do you usually do for Mothers' Day? Tweet me!

The Other Child - Lucy Atkins

The 17th (17!!) book in my quest is 'The Other Child' by Lucy Atkins.

One thing I've noticed with these sorts of books, is that they all have very similar covers. This must be the 5th or so 'relationship based on lies' type thriller with this font and background colour. (Got to admit, I judged this book by its cover, and this is the reason it made it into my Amazon basket during another 3 for £10 frenzy - based on past experience, it should be quick an easy to read...and very predictable - I am yet to find one where I haven't guessed 'the twist'.)

This has a bit of a misleading title too - yeah, there's another child other than the main character's first born in the book, but this doesn't really affect the story at all. (Also is it just me, or is the fact there are no capitals in the title really annoying?!)

I did enjoy reading this book, but it wasn't a climatic as I'd hoped for. There are quite a few 'red herrings' in the book, but nothing that builds up enough whammy to leave you shocked at the end.

This is very in keeping with its genre, in that it does make you question the characters in the book, and obviously the husband doesn't tum out to be entirely legit, and again, obviously there is a woman he may or may not be having an affair with, but you never quite know until you are explicitly told. I think the problem lies not with this book, but the fact that I've read so many in this genre before - I may have to shift away to something a bit less predictable.

In short, this one is about a single mother who quickly meets the man of her dreams, marries him and falls pregnant with a child he doesn't want quite quickly. They then up and move to his home town in the USA and she starts to question things due to some suspicious happenings, whilst trying to change his mind about not wanting to be a dad.

It is actually pretty good - I read it in one sitting over the Christmas break and didn't consider putting it down, so there's that! It's not the best of its kind, but it is definitely not the worst.

What is your favourite book in this genre? Tweet me your recommendations!

The Woman who Stole my Life - Marian Keyes

This is yet another book in my 25 before 25 quest (number 16! yay!) and yet another that was selected randomly from the Amazon 3 for £10 deal. Having known nothing about Marian Keyes, and having not really looked at the description, I naively thought this was going to be a crime novel. It wasn't, obviously as per my luck with books, but it had me just as gripped.

This focuses on Stella Sweeny, an author who's life has gone a bit downhill since her first book. The book flashes back between her rise to fame, and her life now.

I can honestly say this booked hooked me, as romances tend to do at the moment due to my current state of loved up-ness. It also perfectly encapsulated how I feel when I'm having an insecure moment. Basically later on in the book the main character has a perfect boyfriend, and a perfect blonde manipulative girl comes in the pictures in a not too pleasant way. (It actually turns out the moral of the story is trust your guy and communicate, but the idea of not really knowing what is going on with the person you trust most terrifies me, so this book really really got me at that point). Obviously, far far more happens in the book than that, including lots of romance and medical disasters, but that is what stuck with me.

I can't really say much more apart from this booked had me hooked - so if romance novels are you thing, especially with a bit of humour thrown in, this is perfect for you!

Have you read any Marion Keyes books? Tweet me your recommendations! xoxo

Station Eleven - Emily St. John Mandel

Book 15 out of 50 for my 25 before 25 goal was Station Eleven by Emily St John Mandel. Like the Girl with all the Gifts, this was set in a post apocalyptic world, this time in the USA, and with no zombies.

The premise is that 'Georgian flu' (not a real thing - I googled) has wiped out 99.9% of the population (probably not one to lend to my mum - she's always worried about one flu epidemic or another) and this tracks a few people's (but mainly one girl) lives both before and after the word ends, and neatly shows how they're all linked in what is now a very small world.

It is a story of music, drama, murder, prophets, Pomeranians, comics and mayhem. It is very well written and not at all what I was expecting - this focuses very much on the human side of things, such as emotions and seemingly mundane backstories that most apocalypse books do not - I felt that this actually spent more time conveying the characters' connections before the flu than it did showing them in the post flu world.

Not what I would have picked up myself if I'd bothered to read reviews online (I did not, I just put it into my Amazon basket in a 3 for £10 frenzy), but I enjoyed reading it even if it was very different from my norm.

It was quite a quick read, and does leave you wanting to keep turning the pages, so I would recommend it to those of your that want a deep story - not those that want a zombie apocalypse slasher, because this is not it.

Have you read this? have you got any recommendations? Tweet me!

Sales bargains

I *might* have got a bit carried away in the sales shopping this year. Technically, I was very good and didn't stray from my list (see here)...I just happened to have very vague categories, and spent a little too long in the Yankee Candle shop half price section.

I got lots of work clothes - my tactic this year was add everything to my basket I like on ASOS and New Look, wait for them to arrive, and just return the stuff I don't like. It did mean it looked like I was spending extortionate amount, but it'll all even out once the stuff is taken back.

I also got a bit distracted in Cath Kidston and came out with some clothing too - everything in there is so beautiful! Luckily, they only had my size in a few of the things I liked, otherwise the trip would have been a lot lot more expensive.

I picked up some Loverdose perfume cheaply in the Boots sale, and also added about 10 pairs of black loafers to my basket over the course of a few internet shops - I'm currently whittling them down to the ones that are comfortable - so many times I've tried shoes on, they've been fine and as soon as I'm at work they start to give me blisters. Not cool, shoes, not cool.

Finally, I managed to nab the rings I have wanted forever in the Accessorize sale - half price at £12.50 - I was a very happy bunny!

I have also turned my attentions to a few other bits - I want some ankle boots from Jones (I'm thinking the Lori ones), most of the wedding stationery from Paperchase and loads of the interiors stuff from H&M home! (I might do a wedding progress post soon!)

I did promise myself that I wouldn't buy anything I didn't need to in 2016, but I'm actually off to New York this weekend for two weeks, so I'll start that when I get back...

Did you pick up any bargains in the sales this time round? I'd love to see - tweet me yours!

The Girl with all the Gifts - M.R. Carey

This is another book that I picked up in the Amazon 3 for £10 deal that has destroyed my bank account, as part of my bid to read 50 new books before I turn 25. (See here.) This is number 13, so I'm not doing too badly!

This is also another one that I didn't read the description of before I read it, so it was a bit of a shock when I realised what the book was about. I go a bit book mad when I am looking through the deals so I see thriller in the description (I was on a thriller binge at the time) and clicked order.

This book is not a thriller/crime book (well actually, I guess it kind of is?) Nor is it about a magical little girl. (Well again, arguably it could be). This book is an zombie apocalypse book, and the first one of its kind that I read, and let me tell you... it is amazing. I could not put it down. I waved it around in my fiancé's face like 'read it...READ IT!' when I was done. Apparently it's being made into a film - I'm not too sure about some of the casting, but we'll see!

In short, this book is about a little girl, who is following her daily routine in a military base, hiding from the 'Hungries'. Soon, she begins to realise something isn't quite right with herself, and along with her teacher, a scientist and an army dude, head off into post apocalyptic England looking for others.

I say zombie novel, but it's really not atypical of that - it's not too graphic or scary, and although there are some icky moments, the book really is about how the characters develop and how the aforementioned girl learns and adjusts to the world around her.

The end actually completely and utterly throws me, and I couldn't quite understand why it ended that way until the very last page when I looked at it from a different perspective and it all made sense.

But honestly, enough wittering from me. Go and read it - go go go!

Have you read this? What did you think?