Sunday, October 13, 2019

Studying Abroad in London: Clubs & New Cities


Hello all! I know this post is coming a bit later than usual but, in my defense, I've had a busy week so far. Things are starting to slow down more into a routine and I'm having a really good time. In fact, it seems like each week just gets better than the last. I honestly never want to leave. Anyway, it was another jam packed week so let's just dive straight into it!



Monday
September 30, 2019

I woke up a bit earlier than usual to make pancakes. I was really craving them and decided to make them for the whole flat one morning. It was really fun to just all sit around eating pancakes in our PJs before splitting off for the day.

I had my next lecture in my Business of Writing class and spent some of it contemplating coming back to Roehampton after graduating from Lake Forest to do a Masters degree. They have an entire Masters program dedicated specifically to Publishing, and since I'd love to live in London post-graduation, it would be awesome to get into that one.

I ended up getting dinner with a couple of friends to catch up before heading back to my flat. We played various card games, including Uno (friendships were destroyed). It was a really fun time, if I'm being honest. I ended up going to bed at a reasonable time, too. 



Tuesday
October 1, 2019

I got up pretty early this day, which I kind of regretted later when I was tired, so that I could get working on my super long to-do list. I didn't actually get much of the list done, but I did feel accomplished anyway.

After doing some stuff for a bit I went to lunch with a friend and had a pretty good avocado wrap with some excellent book-themed conversation. Then I headed to the store with a couple friends--Henning and Isaac--and spent too much money.

The big event of the day was when I went to see The Lion King with one of my other friends, Sophie. We left a bit early so we could explore the area around the theatre before the show. I accidentally got us lost at first and it did start pouring rain but eventually we got to the theatre and had some good food for dinner.

The show itself was absolutely amazing--I definitely may have cried simply because of how beautiful it was. The dancing was fabulous and I loved the songs. Plus, just how well done it was got me right in the feels. Afterwards, we had some great conversation on the way back to campus (luckily we didn't get lost this time).

I ended up staying up late talking in the kitchen with two other flatmates--Isaac and Liberty--until about 3 am. It was honestly just so chill and fun and we had some really good conversations. Afterwards I realized I had homework to do for my 10am lecture. I ended up staying up until past 4:30 to Facetime friends back home while I did my homework. 



Wednesday
October 2, 2019

My lecture was okay. There was a lot of just hearing about pictures that people had taken, which was interesting except that I was so tired from staying up late to finish the homework. I had lunch and then knocked out for a good two hours.

I then just hung around the kitchen with various flatmates until it was time to start pre-gaming for that night's outing. We initially missed the bus and I almost peed myself because we had to wait for the next one (it was apparently really fun We went to Infernos in Clapham and it was so fun. The venue was really cool and the music was actually pretty great. I had my first ever Tequila shot...can't say it was that great but it did the job. We were only there for an hour and a half to dance or so but I definitely would want to go back.

We ended up getting an Uber back and regrouping in the kitchen where we all ordered pizza and food. It was pretty good for 3 am pizza and then we just stayed up talking and messing around until 6 am. It was so late by the time I got to my room that the sun was starting to come up and I was able to watch the sunrise while Snapchatting. 



Thursday
October 3, 2019

I slept in, of course, and just had a chill day on Thursday. I rejoined my flatmates in the kitchen and we had more pizza for lunch and then Camembert for dinner. I'm pretty much just 75% cheese at this point.

After just chilling all day I went and watched The Office with Isaac, amongst other things. It was fun. Then I went to bed at a reasonable time so that I wasn't going to be dead tired for my Friday lecture. 



Friday
October 4, 2019

It didn't really matter that I went to bed at a reasonable time because the fire alarm woke me up over an hour before my alarm did. A bit before 7:30 it started going off and woke me from a dead sleep and I had to find clothes and shoes to wear outside where I still wasn't warm enough.

After that, I did some last-minute homework I'd forgotten about and made breakfast before the lecture. The lecture itself seemed to drag on forever but it finally ended and I was able to go get lunch with Isaac. While we were eating, there was a brief panic mode as I struggled to buy coach tickets for the weekend but it all got figured out eventually.

Carla and I left campus around 3 and took a 6.5 hour coach ride from London to Liverpool. It was quite long but I slept for most of it. We got into Liverpool pretty late and then ended up going to the wrong address for our AirBnB. We had to get an Uber to where we were actually supposed to be and it was almost midnight by the time we got there. However, it was a nice AirBnB with a comfy and warm bed, so no complaints here. 



Saturday
October 5, 2019

We woke up early so that we could catch the public transport into Liverpool. It was nice because we were able to pay to leave our luggage at one of the stations so that we wouldn't have to carry them around when we were messing around in the city.

After that, we went to have breakfast at this cafe near the waterfront. It was a super cute place and the food was yummy. Then we went to the Beatles statue and took some pictures before jaunting over to the Beatles Museum. I've never really known anything about the Beatles so it was actually really interesting getting to go through the exhibition. 

Then we picked up our bags, got lunch at a common food chain, and hopped on the coach to Manchester. It was a nice little nap on the short drive and then we were in the next city. We started off by going to John Rylands library and my nerdy heart was so happy. It was a beautiful library.

Then we got dinner at a pub in town before walking a bit to get gelato at this dessert place. It was so freaking yummy and definitely worth the walk. Then we walked about half an hour or so to let our food settle before hopping a bus to our AirBnB. It was a place kind of out of the way and it was a bit sketch but in the end it was a warm and secure place to spend the night. I will say, it would have been nice to have warm running water and a comfier bed, but alls well that ends well.

We stayed up late talking and I have to say that those late night conversations with people are moments I absolutely love. We definitely regretted the lack of sleep in the morning, but it was still just a super fun time.



Sunday
October 6, 2019

We woke up at 6 am to get ready and catch our bus into Manchester. It was quite a ways from the AirBnB to where we were going but it gave us some time to warm up and just figure out the details of our day.

We were dropped off near the Old Trafford stadium where Manchester United plays and walked a little ways to get breakfast at a cafe nearby. The food was yummy and I had a huge hot chocolate that almost put me to sleep. But it helped keep me warm on the walk through the rain back to the stadium.

We explored the museum section for a little bit before being taken on a behind the scenes tour which was pretty interesting. I've never actually been in a sports stadium like that before so it was quite cool for me to see.

Afterwards, we hopped a bus back into Manchester so that we could then catch our coach back to London. Once again, I spent most of it sleeping and listening to music before I couldn't sleep any longer and played dumb games on my phone. We then had to catch the Tube back to campus during a busy time but we finally made it.

I was able to eat some dinner with my flatmates before hanging out with Isaac and watching movies before bed.



Overall it was a really fun and busy week. I'd definitely say I'm settling more into London and having a blast with it all. I can't wait to see what the rest of the semester holds! Also, any pictures from this past week are going to be available on Facebook due to technical difficulties. 



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



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Thursday, October 10, 2019

Blog Tour: "Good Luck Girls" by Charlotte Nicole Davis


Hello all! Today I'm coming at you with another blog tour. This time it's for The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis, a new exciting release from this month. Since this post is a bit longer, I'll keep this intro short. Basically here's what you can expect in this post: a synopsis, my review, purchase links, info on the author, praise, and a giveaway.

Official Tour Schedule



SYNOPSIS

Westworld meets The Handmaid's Tale in this stunning fantasy adventure from debut author Charlotte Nicole Davis.

Aster, the protector
Violet, the favorite
Tansy, the medic
Mallow, the fighter
Clementine, the catalyst

THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

The country of Arketta calls them Good Luck Girls--they know their luck is anything but. Sold to a "welcome house" as children and branded with cursed markings. Trapped in a life they would never have chosen.

When Clementine accidentally murders a man, the girls risk a dangerous escape and harrowing journey to find freedom, justice, and revenge in a country that wants them to have none of those things. Pursued by Arketta's most vicious and powerful forces, both human and inhuman, their only hope lies in a bedtime story passed from one Good Luck Girl to another, a story that only the youngest or most desperate would ever believe.

It's going to take more than luck for them all to survive. 

Goodreads



MY REVIEW

To start off my review, I'd like to thank the publisher for sending me a free copy. I was super interested in reading this when I first heard about it and I'm so excited that I got to participate in this tour. The synopsis initially intrigued me, but I still wasn't sure what to expect going into this book. 

One of the great aspects of this book is that it has a very Western feel to it. I feel like I haven't really read any Western YA's, like, ever so this is definitely a breath of fresh air. The setting and overall idea of this story are also super unique. The best part of this book, though, is probably the strong bonds between the characters. I love familial-feeling bonds where characters would do anything for each other and this book definitely wasn't lacking on that aspect. The plot was also intriguing. I love books where characters are traveling or on the run from something. The tension always seems to be pretty high in books like that and this was no exception.

Overall, this was a pretty good book. I think a lot of people will enjoy it and I'm just grateful that I got to be a part of this tour. 



MEET CHARLOTTE NICOLE DAVIS


Charlotte Nicole Davis is the author of The Good Luck Girls, a young adult fantasy novel releasing in Fall 2019 with Tor Teen. A graduate of The New School’s Writing for Children MFA program, Charlotte loves comic book movies and books with maps in the front. She currently lives in Brooklyn with a cat with a crooked tail.




PURCHASE THE GOOD LUCK GIRLS

Amazon     |     Barnes & Noble     |     Book Depository



GIVEAWAY


5 winners will receive a free copy of The Good Luck Girls by Charlotte Nicole Davis
ends October 21, 2019

a Rafflecopter giveaway
(if the link isn't working, enter here)



PRAISE

“Don't underestimate the girls in the Arkettan welcome houses because you might just lose your life. Davis' The Good Luck Girls is a dust-filled, bloody fairytale set in a menacing world haunted with the reminder―the price of freedom is high, but it's worth fighting for at all costs. Rise up, teen readers!” ―Dhonielle Clayton, New York Times bestselling author of The Belles

“This dystopian debut is deeply connected to today’s social issues, and readers will feel that impact.” ―Booklist



Thanks for reading!
xoxo
Lauren



You can follow my bookstagram here. A brand new giveaway will be posted soon!

To get more awesome content like this post, click the follow button to the right!

I am a "BookishTextDesign" Influencer! Use my code LAUREN10 for a discount off your bookmark purchases! Check out the shop here

Get free worldwide shipping with Book Depository using my affiliate link



Wednesday, October 2, 2019

September 2019 Wrap-Up!


Admittedly, my reading month wasn't quite the best but my month overall was completely fantastic. I read 8 books and the majority of those were read before I left for studying abroad in London. I'm hoping to get into a better reading routine once I get into an actual schedule this upcoming month but overall I'm having a great time. If you wanna know what I've been up to these past few weeks, I've linked the first two wrap-up posts down below. Otherwise, here are the books I got to! 

BOOKS READ
1.
Title: A Fallen Hero
Author: Sara A. Noë
Rating: 4.75 // 5 stars

2. 
Title: SWAT
Author: Lily Harlem
Rating: 2.75 // 5 stars
It was alright. Short, sweet, to the point. It was long enough to get me through a car ride but I've already forgotten half the characters names and it's only a day later. It was originally included in an anthology which is why it's so short, but I didn't feel connected to the characters or story very much. It was an enjoyable read but nothing spectacular. 

3. 
Title: The Girl the Sea Gave Back
Author: Adrienne Young
Rating: 4 // 5 stars
Review

4.
Title: Pumpkinheads
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Illustrator: Faith Erin Hicks
Rating: 4 // 5 stars

5.
Title: A Pact Between the Forgotten
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Rating: 2.5 // 5 stars
It was alright but not my favorite. I enjoy the story and I'm interested in the characters, but for a RH ebook it's priced a little high for how short it is. It's pretty short and, while there are a few scenes with action in them, it's overall not a fast-paced book. I think it could have benefited from being longer. 

6.
Title: The Ravens & The Mysterious Town
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Rating: 2.5 // 5 stars
This one was also alright. I enjoyed it but I think my main issue with these is that they're so short that they don't feel like a complete book. I feel like nothing really happened in this book. From where the stopping points are, I feel like book 1 and book 2 could have been one book altogether since they were pretty short individually. I probably won't continue these but I haven't decided yet. It all depends on when the third book releases and if I'm still interested in reading more.

7.
Title: Becoming the Dark Prince
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Rating: 4.5 // 5 stars
This was such an amazing little bonus that I absolutely loved reading. I'm a big fan of Thomas Cresswell and getting to see inside his head during some of the most pivotal scenes of the series was just fantastic. I have to say, I love him even more after reading this. I also thought this was a great bridge between Escaping From Houdini and Capturing the Devil, which I'm about to start. I just--ugh all the feels after reading this one!

8.
Title: Capturing the Devil
Author: Kerri Maniscalco
Rating: 4.75
Review



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