Monday, 1 May 2017


Thanks to Premier PR and Lionsgate Home Entertainment for sending me a Fallen DVD pack! I really enjoyed having a movie night with all of the treats. 

A young girl finds herself in a reform school after therapy since she was blamed for the death of a young boy. At the school she finds herself drawn to a fellow student, unaware that he is an angel, and has loved her for thousands of years.

I really enjoyed watching the 'Fallen' film, especially up to the run up of my exams where I find it hard to have some me time. The film was absolutely perfect in the respect of allowing me to become wrapped up in the plot, and I think, overall, it was executed extremely well.

Firstly, some of the special effects were mesmerising and beautiful- it was definitely something that stuck out for me in the film as a whole. Also, the smooth transitions didn't interrupt my viewing experience. The sound acting also allowed me being able to be easily transported straight into the film: I haven't really seen Addison Timlin and Jeremy Irvine in many films, but they were brilliant. I love to feel invested in the plot when I'm watching a film: 'Fallen' arresting story line made me really feel I could root for the characters. The ending was quite rushed and I was left on loose thread, but that only made me desperately want to watch the next film when it is made.

Compelling. distinctive and addictive: Fallen is definitely a film I would recommend to Twilight or City of Bones lovers.


Monday, 24 April 2017


TITLE: Street Song
AUTHOR: Sheena Wilkinson
PUBLISHER: Black and White Publishing
RATING:  5/5
SOURCE: Sent by publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE: 20th April 2017



RyLee’s career is over. After winning a national TV talent show and becoming a teen pop sensation, his fame and success has quickly been followed by addiction, media scrutiny, and career suicide. After a brief spell in rehab, 18-year-old Ryan has some rethinking to do.

His stepdad- music promoter and self-appointed creator of ‘RyLee’- wants him at home and in school, and under his thumb. But after an argument descends into violence, Ryan decides to run away from his old life, his failed career, and his dysfunctional family.

When he meets the stunningly witty but distinctly average guitar-player Toni almost directly outside his front door, the opportunity to start afresh seems too good to pass up. Before long, he has arrived in a new city, joined Toni’s amazingly talented band, and reinvented himself under the name ‘Cal’. For the first time in his life Ryan has friends around him, he’s playing the music he’s always wanted to play, and- despite living in a hostel, busking for his wages, and living under a false identity- he’s finally happy.

But just when Ryan feels like he has truly started over, his past begins to catch up with him.

I love reading Young Adult Fiction that is fresh and unique, which draws me in because it is something I haven't read before- 'Street Song' was exactly that.

18 year old Ryan won a national TV talent show and became a teen pop sensation: but it didn't last for long. Everything in his life has gone downhill, and Ryan wants to run away from it all. When he meets guitar-player Toni, his life changes, and he has finally happy, after reinventing himself as 'Cal.' But just when Ryan feels like his life is coming together, his past begins to haunt him.

My favourite thing about 'Street Song' was how vivid the settings were. I could breath in the atmosphere of Belfast: the descriptions coming to life on the page made me like this book even more. The characters are also so realistic, as Ryan has changed and learnt many lessons, and became a changed person, throughout the course of the novel. Toni was also another favourite character of mine- there was something distinctive in her demeanour that I loved. The plot went at just the right pace for me: there wasn't a page that I wasn't eager to turn. It also covered a breadth of serious topics such as addiction and homelessness that can be heavy in some places, but it was balanced out with the bold writing style.

'Street Song' is an easy 4/5: a dark, gritty and compelling novel that will easily add diversity to your bookshelf.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017


TITLE: The Hate U Give
AUTHOR: Angie Thomas
PUBLISHER: Walker Books
RATING:  5/5
SOURCE: Sent by publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE: 6th April 2017



Sixteen-year-old Starr lives in two worlds: the poor neighbourhood where she was born and raised and her posh high school in the suburbs. The uneasy balance between them is shattered when Starr is the only witness to the fatal shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil, by a police officer. Now what Starr says could destroy her community. It could also get her killed.

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, this is a powerful and gripping YA novel about one girl's struggle for justice. 

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement, The 'Hate U Give' stands out completely from other YA; it is something that I have never read before, and the book made me want to put it in as many people's hands as possible. Some books that are extremely hyped up can be a disappointment, but this one was millions of miles away from that.

Set in Garden Heights, Starr has already seen the wrongful murder of her best friend, when she was just 10 years old. She lives two lives: attending her posh school, and living in the poor neighbourhood where she was born and brought up. Now 16, she has witnessed the underserved murder of her best friend Kahlil, by a police officer. With protests arising and media coverage of the shooting increasing, Starr has to cope with her two worlds colliding- as she was the only witness of Kahil's murder. But speaking up could end in very bad consequences.

Angie Thomas has a phenomenal talent of making her readers experience so many differing emotions, within just a few pages; the book was so raw and painstakingly real. It completely opened my eyes about what goes on in America, and how powerful words are- they can make a change. Thomas made Starr's voice come out of the pages: her honest account and brutal honesty made my heart drop into my stomach so many times in the book, which has never happened as frequently in any books I have recently read. The book took a few pages to get into, but then I was completely hooked from start to finish.

Another element to the book that I also adored, (there are so many in this book), is that Starr's family is so tight-knit. It is very refreshing to see parents and families have a bigger role in YA novels, and it's even better that Starr wants to spend time with them, showing that she loves them unconditionally. Every single character was vibrant and full of life, making me connect with and relate to them so easily in different ways. 'The Hate U Give' is compelling, powerful and authentic; as soon as you start to read the book, the character's and their lives will stay with you for a very long time. You will not regret picking this one up.


Wednesday, 5 April 2017


TITLE: Doing It
AUTHOR: Hannah Witton
PUBLISHER: Wren and Rook
RATING:  5/5
SOURCE: Sent by publisher, in exchange for an honest review.
RELEASE DATE: 6th April 2017



Figuring out how to build and maintain healthy relationships- with your family, friends, romantically and with yourself- is a crucial part of being a teen. It's not easy though, particularly in a digital age where information and advice are so forthcoming it can be hard to know who or what to believe or trust. Porn is everywhere, sexting is the norm and messages about body image are highly mixed. Hannah combats this by tackling subjects ranging from masturbation and puberty to slut shaming and consent in an accessible, relatable and extremely honest way. She is unembarrassed about bringing little-discussed topics into the open, and as such empowers teens to have the confidence to conduct relationships on their terms, and in a way that they feel comfortable with. 

I have often thought that you can easily get non-fiction guides about 'growing up', targeted at 10-11 year olds- but there has always been something missing for older teenagers. Hannah Witton has completely filled the gap in the market; I absolutely adored 'Doing It' while reading it for the first time. But I can guarantee that I will be reading and referring to it for many years to come.

The book covers all the different in depth areas of sex and relationships you could think of: ranging from healthy and unhealthy relationships, masturbation, contraception and consent- and so much more. There are so many elements of the book that I loved, but Hannah's honest and frank discussions came out on top. The book didn't throw information at me in an overwhelming way, but instead, I felt as if I was talking to a friend or sister. 

Another extremely positive part of the book was that Hannah had contributors write passages for the book on topics they had their own experiences of. This meant that 'Doing It' is widely accessible to many people, who will each take different things away with them from the book. Also, Hannah's little anecdotes were humorous, informative and completely relatable: they allowed me to build a personal connection with Hannah. The whole book needs to be given to young people, right now: there are so many topics covering in 'Doing It' that are completely missed off and ignored in Sex Education lessons in Schools in the UK, which is so wrong. I was educated while reading the book on such a wide range of things, and I think that is amazing, especially when I thought I knew most things about sex at 17 years old. 

An easy 5/5, 'Doing It' is definitely worth a buy, as such a wide range of people will benefit so much from this book. As soon as my younger family members start asking questions as they progress through teenage years, this is the book I will be giving them.


Wednesday, 29 March 2017


It isn’t uncommon to find yourself at the end of your first year of University questioning whether you made the right decision to continue studying into higher education. With more people choosing to go to University than ever before, the number of graduate scheme applications has increased, reducing the probability of success for a number of employable individuals. With this in mind, not continuing with your degree can feel like you’re setting yourself back and letting yourself down, however this is far from the truth. There are a variety of professions that you can enter without a degree and degree attainment on its own no longer guarantees success.

The average salary in the UK is £27,000. We have collated a list of jobs that you don’t need a degree to do, and that pay more than the national average. No matter what your reasons are for discontinuing with your degree , the fact is that it isn’t the right choice for everyone. So, we have featured below a few jobs for you to consider which may help you on your way to achieving career success without higher education.

Public Relations 

Working in the industry of Public Relations demands that you use your initiative and authority to find opportunities which will aid your campaigns and benefit your clients. Being a team player is a must, as is the knowledge of the various methods to leverage your projects so that they gain success. The salary that you can expect will depend on your ability, skills and experience but you may be able to find roles that will pay more than £100,000 for your efforts.

Air Traffic Controller 

You don’t need a degree to be an Air Traffic Controller, however you will need other training. National Air Traffic Services provide courses, and you can expect up to five months of training, plus up to four years of on the job training, before you are fully qualified. An understanding of maths, in addition to good reflexes, are essential qualities to have in this role. This is a job that is vital to keeping our transport networks running smoothly, and the importance of the job is reflected in the average salary, which can start from around £80,000.

Digital Marketing 

The internet age has brought with it an abundance of jobs, including Search Engine Optimisation role and Pay Per Click work. You could also work in the field of email marketing, which targets people based on their preferences, in an attempt to encourage them to purchase from specific stores, or visit those websites. Experience for this field is crucial to progress up the ladder, but you can expect to earn more than £30,000 if you have the sharp and agile mind required for this role.

Recruitment Consultant 

With more and more jobs appearing on the market every day, it’s important that there are individuals who have the ability to organise and interpret these positions to people who would best suit them. It is estimated that the recruitment industry is worth £30 billion, and this is only likely to increase.

Sales skills are a must for this role, along with a good attitude when dealing with customers. You may be required to work with a whole range of roles, from sourcing educational professionals from overseas to finding tradespeople for a certain project. If you have extensive knowledge about a specific career niche then you may be able to specialise in that area of recruitment. £38,000 is what you can expect to start with, with commission usually on top of that.

Police Constable

Being a Police Officer means that you will be one of the most valued and respected people in your local community, and with the role comes a huge responsibility to help people and keep the peace. If you enjoy listening to people, and are good at judging situations and acting upon instinct quickly and calmly, then a career in the police force might be perfect for you. Working up the ranks could allow you to earn more than £41,000.


If you think that you can’t earn money from your hobby and passion for make-up, then think again. Careers in the beauty industry are becoming more prevalent than ever, and the availability of stronger advertising via a variety of social media channels has helped to propel this. By building up a portfolio and undergoing relevant training either at a college or on the job at your local salon, you can use your drive and love of beauty to create a career that you will excel in. You could earn more than £30,000 by opening your own salon, or setting up a freelance business.


 Hairdressers are often sought after, because their skills are always needed and they attain the ability to make others look and feel good. There is an opportunity to develop skills in the industry to make you an even more desirable candidate. A senior stylist could earn more than £30,000, and if you choose to open your own salon or find work in the media industry, such as on TV and film sets, your earning potential is higher. You may need to build up your earnings slowly, but the potential is definitely there – and there is no degree needed.


In a world of non-stop media, there are more opportunities for journalists than ever before – not only in newspapers but also on the television and radio. You will need an NCTJ approved qualification, but if you have good reporting skills, along with a key knowledge of the area you’d like to write about, then you’re already half way there. Add to that a drive to succeed, a proactive nature and a hunger for a story and you may well be on your way to becoming a top journalist – who can expect to earn at least £38,000.

Computer Software Engineer & IT developer 

A modern workplace revolves around technology, making the IT department and support one of the most important departments in keeping a company ticking over. Whilst there is going to be stiff competition for a place in an IT role without a degree, the positions for someone that can prove their salt as a computer whizz are in high demand.

Online courses or specific IT courses can be the first port of call for qualifications, or simply building a portfolio of personal projects will be enough to wow your potential employer. Once you’ve an interview arranged, use your portfolio and personality to show that you’re the right fit for the company. Also prepare to be tasked on your technical skills in the interview, practical knowledge as well as creative thinking is key in IT. Computer Software Engineers can earn a handsome sum upwards of £50,000 as a salary in top management positions.

Can’t make your mind up?

If you’re still not sure about the career that you would like to pursue, then don’t worry. There is something to suit everybody, even if you may not have found it in the list above. Instead, consider the following tips, which will help you in your search:

 - What are you interested in? What skills do you have? No matter what hobbies you enjoy, you will always be developing skills that can be transferred into the workplace, and you should never overlook these.
 - When you have identified your key skills, research, and see the kinds of jobs that people with your skills are able to do. Also see how much you might be able to earn, and the training that you would need to undertake to actually get the job.
- Remember that no matter which path you go down, it’s never too late to change your mind and take an entirely different path. No decision is final, and it may take time to finally find the job that is perfect for you as an individual.

To get a basic idea of what’s available for people with your interests and skills, a careers test could be a good option.

To start your research, the National Careers Service is a great website to use. Here, you can get CV and interview advice, and look at lots of different career profiles.

Once you’ve found the right career, it could change your life – so the decision shouldn’t be rushed. Take your time to consider your options, and you will find that the outcome of your deliberations will bring you great rewards in the future.
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