Monday, 30 May 2016

My Month in Favourites – May 2016

I'm currently in the Netherlands enjoying some of my favourites things in life; my family, all of the cheese, Dutch shops and oranjekoek (an orange cookie-cake hybrid my mum saved for me from King's Day) and I can pretty much write a whole favourites post just about my time here. But since it's only been 2.5 days out of the whole month I won't, and instead my favourites consist of some clothes, a book (surprise, surprise), a great restaurant I ate at in the past month, and hand soaps I'm absolutely addicted to.

Friday, 27 May 2016

Book review: London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning

I was lucky to attend the Hot Key Books Spring/Summer Highlights event a few weeks ago and speak to the one and only Sarra Manning. I was already super excited to read London Belongs to Us after seeing it being described as a "galloping, giddy romp about empowerment and staying out until the sun rises" by author Holly Bourne (Am I Normal Yet?), and after having had the chance to chat to Sarra about the story and London I immediately bumped it up to the top of my to-read pile, it sounded that good. And while I didn't think it was possible, it was actually even better than I expected it to be. This book deserves ALL of the stars, and then some!

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Top 5 Upcoming Releases From Headline and Quercus

Headline and Quercus recently presented some of their most anticipated titles of the second half of 2016 and early 2017 to press and bloggers, and while I wasn't able to attend the event they were kind enough to send me a goodie bag with proofs and information on the titles they talked about on the night. There are some incredible books being released by these two publishers, including Enid Blyton For Grown-Ups and The Girl Before, and I wanted to share the highlights with you guys below so we can all camp outside the bookshops together on publication day!

Monday, 23 May 2016

Book review: The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling

At the recent Books With a Bite Blogger Evening a number of intriguing and exciting new titles were presented and the one that stood out to me the most from the piles of glorious proofs we were allowed to dive into was The Loneliness of Distant Beings by Kate Ling. And when later on in the evening I had the privilege to chat to the author and her editor about the book and the story behind it I was even more interested, and so I bumped this sci-fi romance straight to the top of my to-read pile.

Friday, 20 May 2016

Book review: Unrivalled by Alyson Noël

When I saw Unrivalled described as Gossip Girl meets Pretty Little Liars, my interest was piqued as they are two of my absolute favourite guilty-pleasure series. And with both having run their course a while back, I was in the market for a new young adult series filled with scandal and intrigue to fill that hole in my life. While the first instalment in the Beautiful Idols series is less preppy than Gossip Girl and the body count doesn't come anywhere near Pretty Little Liars (yet), it is filled with a diverse cast of backstabbing characters and I am most definitely hooked.

Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Me Before You preview screening + Jojo Moyes Q&A

Ever since I read the hauntingly beautiful The Girl You Left Behind by Jojo Moyes, she has been one of my favourite authors. While this was the novel that made me fall in love with her writing, it is the more recent Me Before You which has taken the world by storm. The story of the young Will Traynor who becomes a quadriplegic and no longer sees the point in living, and the bubbly Louise Clarke who is hired to be his companion, is bittersweet and heartbreaking. It's an emotional roller-coaster and the incredible story has now made it to the big screen as well. I was fortunate enough to attend a preview screening last week, preceded by a Q&A with Jojo Moyes, and I wanted to share the highlights with you below (no spoilers).

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

Book review: Curtain Call – A Year Backstage in London Theatre by Matt Humphrey and John Schwab

My two biggest passions are books and theatre, hence the name of the blog. It doesn't happen often though that those two come together, but the gorgeous new Curtain Call – A Year Backstage in London Theatre coffee table book by photographer Matt Humphrey and actor/director John Schwab is a marriage made in heaven. Filled to the brim with an incredible collection of behind-the-scenes photographs as well as insights and stories chronicling a year in West End theatre, this is a true treat for theatre geeks and casual theatre-goers alike.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Dinner at Royal China Baker Street in London

It's been a while since I have highlighted an eatery on my blog as there is so much to see and do in London and it's impossible to cover it all by myself. However, I was recently invited to visit one of the Royal China Group restaurants and their menu looked so enticing that I was definitely keen to check it out. We went to the Baker Street location, which is situated between Bond Street and Baker Street stations, and the perfect after-work location for those who work in or near Mayfair, Marylebone or the West End.

Friday, 13 May 2016

Book review: This Must Be the Place by Maggie O'Farrell

Hi, my name is Zarina and up until a few weeks ago I had never read a Maggie O'Farrell novel. Crazy, I know. I've heard unanimously positive things about her writing yet somehow it wasn't until her brand-new book, This Must Be the Place, was taking over my Twitter timeline that I finally discovered her stories for myself. It was a wonderful experience and it made me kick myself for leaving it so long. 

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Book review: Lying About Last Summer by Sue Wallman

At the recent Scholastic Bloggers Book Feast, Lying About Last Summer was described as 13 Reasons Why meets We Were Liars. I'd read the former but not the latter, however I have heard nothing but great things about the E. Lockhart novel and so I was instantly intrigued by Sue Wallman's debut. And when it turned out that we were in the same quiz team later that afternoon, and I had the chance to ask her a little more about her story, I was definitely, completely sold.