All posts by Spike

Nail Tutorial #1 – Bold Stripes


Hey Guys,

So today I thought I would do a nail tutorial. This tutorial is called “Bold Stripes” as it is simply 3 stripes on your nails. It’s really easy and simple for beginners but also has a really nice look to it. Obviously, I’m not a nail artist but thought this would be nice anyway 🙂 Let’s get on with it!

What You Need:

  • fotor_(4)Two nail polish colours (I used Rimmel London 809 and 17 Fast Finish, Nightshade)
  • Sellotape
  • Scissors (to cut the tape)
  • Nail polish remover

Step 1:
Use nail polish remover to take off any chips of nail polish left on from before and then apply a base coat. For me, I didn’t put a base coat on as I find that it chips easily, however you can apply one at this step.

Step 2:fotor_(5)
Apply the base colour. I used Rimmel London 809 Darling, You Are Fabulous!. Apply two coats to allow the colour to pop out. I also switched the colours around on my ring finger as an accent. For this, I used the 17 Fast Finish in Nightshade.

 

Step 3:fotor_(7)
Wait for it to dry and then take a strip of Sellotape and cut it into thirds (it doesn’t have to be exact), and place across the middle of each nail. You don’t want it to be too small though as you still want to see the base colour bellow it.

Step 4:fotor_(8)
Paint the second colour (for me the 17 Fast Finish in Nightshade or Rimmel London 809) over the top of both the tape and the nail. Apply a couple coats to allow the top coat the same boldness as the bottom one.

Tip: If your bottom colour is darker than the top one, you will need to paint a few layers
to make the top colour stand out more.

Step 5:
When the nail polish is about half dry, carefully pull off the tape to reveal the bottom colour.

fotor_(9)

There we go! You can use any colours you want, I just used back and gold because they are very contrasting, which I really like. This also works with pastel colours or vibrant colours as well.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon!

~Spike

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Pretty Little Liars Season 6a Finale (Spoilers)


Hey Guys,

So recently, the mid-season finale of Pretty Little Liars has aired and there has been a lot of controversy as to the big reveal. If you have not seen the episode, STOP READING HERE AND WATCH IT BEFORE YOU CONTINUE.

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Right, I think that was a decent enough spoiler warning. Anyway, I thought I would give my opinions on it.

So I had mixed feeling on the finale personally. I found that ‘A’ was very anti-climatic and almost a let down. I feel like there should’ve been a more interesting person than Cece as I feel that she didn’t really have enough of a motive to target the girls. I understand her story for hating her Dad but then why the girls or Ali?

Cece as ‘A’ in Pretty Little Liars Season 6a finale

Also, not a big fan of the fact that she dated Jason. Fair enough, Jason didn’t know they were related but I’m pretty sure Cece did and I think that’s a bit messed up. The transgender story line was very interesting however I think that it has been one of the topics causing controversy. Personally, I don’t feel like I can say an accurate statement about the accuracy or how it portrays transgender people but the general opinion that I got from fandom blogs and tumblr is that it was a very negative portrayal.

The final ending as well was very confusing as it’s set a couple of years into the future and the girls run into a classroom in a panic. I found this quite confusing as it seemed rather random…

Overall, I found this episode kind of anticlimactic as it was just watching Cece telling the story about why she was ‘A’ and there wasn’t very dramatic moments. There were also a lot of plot holes that I can only hope are filled in future episodes.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon 🙂

~Spike

Pretty Little Liars #1 Book Review


pllHey Guys,
(NB. this was meant to be posted last Sunday. I’ve been really busy so apologies for the lateness)

So today I will be reviewing the first book in the Pretty Little Liars series by Sara Shepard. As many people, I have seen the TV show and have been loving it (review on my reaction and thoughts on the season 6a finale up soon) so I thought it would be great to read the book and see if it’s different and what they changed. So on with the review!

Book Title: Pretty Little Liars
Author: Sara Shepard
Date Published: October 1st 2006
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:
Three years ago, Alison disappeared after a slumber party, not to be seen since. Her friends at the elite Pennsylvania school mourned her, but they also breathed secret sighs of relief. Each of them guarded a secret that only Alison had known. Now they have other dirty little secrets, secrets that could sink them in their gossip-hungry world. When each of them begins receiving anonymous emails and text messages, panic sets in. Are they being betrayed by some one in their circle? Worse yet: Is Alison back?

My Review:

This book is the first in a series following four teenage girls as they go through high school receiving anonymous texts by a complete stranger, reminding them of all the bad they have done before. This brings their group closer as they are constantly reminded about the night when their best friend Ali disappeared.

I did like a lot about this book. I found that the characters were very realistic and relatable for people who have gone through a lot in their life. It shows how all of us have secrets and how much we try to keep the things that hurt us locked down. As I watched the TV show before I read the books, I did already know what would happen. However I really liked the different timeline in the book and how it was in a more first person description in the book. I felt that it really allowed me to get more connected to the characters and allowed me to form more of an understanding. One thing, however, that really shocked me about the TV show is that they changed Emily’s whole family. Her Dad stays at home, she has 2 siblings and she isn’t coloured. It brought about a whole new diameter between Maya and Emily’s Mum in the book that isn’t able to be conveyed in the TV show.

Some of the things I didn’t like were the fact that it was quite slow paced. The space of the entire book was only about an episode and a bit of the TV show. This kind of disappointed me as I wished that we got more going on than there actually was. But other than that, it was a really good and interesting way to see the story from a different media.

Overall, anyone who loves the PLL TV show should read this as it provides a really interesting retelling of the story. There is some language in it so probably if you’re 13+. I gave this a 4.0 stars as I really liked the depth of the characters yet I found it rather slow at point.

Thanks for reading and I’ll see you next week!

~Spike

All the Bright Places


ATBP coverHey Guys,

So today I will be reviewing All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven. This book was one that I saw on the shelves at Waterstones and thought that it looked like a fun read! Also, according to Goodreads and numerous news sites, it is set to become a film in 2017! Such an amazing book so let’s hope the movie reflects that. Now let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: All The Bright Places
Author: Jennifer Niven
Date Published: January 6th 2015
Publisher: Knopf
Overall Rating:

4.5 star

Blurb:

Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
 
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
 
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

My Review:

All The Bright Places is a captivating novel written by an up-and-coming author and describes how a simple rally of events can drastically alter the future of anyone. This story in particular follows the tale of Theodore (Theo) Finch and Violet Markey. Due to unfortunate circumstances, they meet at the top of the school bell tower. Both helping to save the lives of the other, they form an unlikely friendship and eventually love. Their bond only growing stronger with a school project, this relationship is… well… complicated…

There is so much that I loved about this story. I loved the diversity of the characters and how some who you thought had perfect lives, were actually rather complex and abstract. Finch was an amazing character to witness. The diversity in his personality and how rapidly it changed made you realize that he was scared of who he could be and what he could do. In his life, it is clear to see how the factors and decisions of his family and friends made him the person he was. Violet also was a unique character. Her life being changed after the untimely death of her older sister, pulling out of clubs and isolating herself from her friends, her character and Finch really merge well together and create an almost perfect pair. The other character I would like to mention is Amanda Monk. She plays the classic “popular high school queen” role with her own posy and her crude nicknames for anyone not inline with the status quo. However underneath all that status and popularity is an uncertain, insecure girl with no idea how to save herself. We find this out when she and Finch meet in an unusual situation which shall remain unnamed in the view of no spoilers.

As well as the depth of the characters, the plot line was also extraordinary. I felt that everything Finch did throughout the story (all the wondering and visiting unique places) told us a lot more about his personality than just meeting the character. Towards the end of the book, Finch leaves a trail for Violet to follow. This leads her to all the places he wanted her to visit and each with a little memento left by him to show he was there. Each place he led her to was somewhere that few kids their age would have been interested in visiting. Yet throughout the story of the wandering and arriving in unexpected places, Finch told the deepest parts of his personality to Violet on that final wandering through every gift he left her. This made us realize just how in-depth his character was and how much he had grown to trust Violet in the short time he knew her.

There was honestly very little that I disliked in this novel. The one thing would probably be that I felt we didn’t get to know the real reason for decisions that Finch made and I found that to be almost unfinished in a way. I knew how it was going to end after Finch sent the emails to his close friends and family, however I found them to be very abstract and without a clear reason (however this did perfectly fit his character). I feel like right at the end of the book, there should have been a way to clearly understand what happened as I found it to be confusing.

Other than that one thing though, this book was perfect. Complex, interesting characters coupled with a perfectly deep and twisting plot line made this an enticing and gripping read all the way through. I would recommend this to anyone over the age of 13 and likes romance, occasional serious issues and hidden humour. It is a great addition to the world of YA and perfect for fans of John Green (TFIOS, Paper Towns, Looking for Alaska etc.), Rainbow Rowell (Eleanor and Park, Fangirl etc.), Jay Asher (Thirteen Reasons Why etc.) and Gayle Foreman (If I Stay, Where She Went etc.). I look forward to seeing what else this new writer has up her sleeve.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon!

~Spike

Anna and the French Kiss Review


Anna and the French KissHey Guys,
So today I will be reviewing Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. I read this book last week and it just was so much more than I expected! Let’s get on with the review!

Book Title: Anna and the French Kiss
Author: Stephanie Perkins
Date Published: December 2nd 2010
Publisher: Dutton Juvenile
Overall Rating:
4.0 star

Blurb:

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris–until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all…including a serious girlfriend.

But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

My Review:

This book follows the tale of Anna Oliphant, a privileged senior sent away to a boarding school in Paris where, kind of ironically, most of the kids speak in English and there isn’t much French said throughout the whole novel. Add in some not so loyal friends and a guy with looks to die for and this basically becomes the perfect teen novel. I’ve heard mixed things about this book. Some of my favourite authors such as (John Green or Cassandra Clare) have had nothing but praise for this book, though many members of online communities (like Goodreads for example) have been rather different.
***
There were a lot of things I loved about this book. I have always been an honest romantic and love reading about romances because, let’s face it, we all know how it’s going to end. For me, it’s more reading their story. In this book, the story follows a strange twisting pathway that brings us close and then far continuously until you almost hope the ending is different. Stephanie Perkins also has the amazing ability to bring humour to her writing. By around page 6 I was already laughing and the way she described many tragic novels and seeing the humour within them. This book is also extremely quotable. For example: “For the two of us, home isn’t a place. It is a person. And we are finally home”.
***
The characters also developed, some more than others. I feel at times, Anna became very rebellious and quite emotional. At the age they are, you would expect them to have extreme emotion and this is perfectly captured by Stephanie. St. Clair also developed. He became a lot more aware of how his actions affected others around him. Meredith became more absorbed into herself part way through the novel before becoming closer to Anna than ever. Even though there were some slight character developments, none were really very dramatic.
***
However much I loved this novel, I found the thing that stopped this being 5 stars was that right at the beginning, Anna hated the opportunity to go to Paris. Don’t get me wrong, if my parents forced me to attend a school over 4000 miles away, I would be pretty annoyed. But the fact still remains, it’s a brilliant opportunity and, what does Anna spend her first days doing? Lying in her room watching TV and acting like she lost everything. In my opinion, I felt like she should’ve been a bit more courageous and asked her new friends if they could show her Paris as she’s never been before. However, as the book progresses, she does start to enjoy it more and started taking advantage of the opportunity she had been given.
***
I would recommend this book to anyone who loves classic romance novels, humour and some drama as well. I feel like the ideal age for this would be 13+ as there are occasional conversations of more serious matters that, to avoid spoilers, I will not get into now. Overall, I loved this book and hope anyone else who reads it will love it too.

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

Unspeakable Book Review


Unspeakable CoverHey Guys,

Sorry for the late review, the last couple weeks have been pretty busy for me. Anyway I managed to finish a book called Unspeakable by Abbie Rushton. Here’s my review on it!

Book Title: Unspeakable
Author: Abbie Rushton
Date Published: February 5th 2015
Publisher: Atom
Overall Rating:
3.0 star

Blurb:
Megan doesn’t speak. She hasn’t spoken in months.
Pushing away the people she cares about is just a small price to pay. Because there are things locked inside Megan’s head – things that are screaming to be heard – that she cannot, must not, let out.
Then Jasmine starts at school: bubbly, beautiful, talkative Jasmine. And for reasons Megan can’t quite understand, life starts to look a bit brighter.
Megan would love to speak again, and it seems like Jasmine might be the answer. But if she finds her voice, will she lose everything else?

My Review:
As explained in the blurb (summary) of the book, main character Megan has lost the ability to speak. Straight from then we can assume that something traumatic happened to her. Give her the regular pressures of being a teenager on top of a new counselor and the addition of a new girl in school, I feel like there is a lot going on in this book.

I liked the way Rushton portrayed the scenes and emotions of her characters. She really went into detail with the scenic trips and holidays that the characters went on. I found a really diverse group of people within this story and yet somehow they all fitted together. I liked many of the decisions that she made for her characters. Yes, I understand that it sounds strange however I liked that, especially with Jasmine, she made desperate decisions because she herself wasn’t in her correct state of mind. It did correctly capture what being a mute was like and also began to explore aspects unknown to YA currently. However I felt like, in adding all of these additions and alternate routes, I found that the main plot line wasn’t always visible.

Now with the things I don’t like. I found that the story was very predictable when it told us the big surprise reveal at the end of the novel. It may just be me as I have read a lot of books along this sort of genre and I generally found the same pattern of events happening in each book. I also found that there was WAY too much going on in the story. The plot line was generally not seen in most of the story and it lead my to wonder why some of these points were put in. For example, the new counselor. I can understand that the counseling side of it was a very important part to the story as Megan has a lot that she needs to work out however I think that the addition of the new counselor without giving Megan any message or alert that her counselor was changing seemed unrealistic. I also think that the author had opened up a whole new character development within Jasmine. I think that this canvas was left blank as we never really found out much about her except she is from a different family and used to get bullied at her old school. I would’ve liked to read more about her. This could’ve been done on a girls night between her and Megan or just random little bits popping up in conversation now and again. With how close Megan and Jasmine become, I felt that I didn’t really know her so much as judge her opinions on boys she liked dating.

Overall, I think this book is worth the read so you can make your own opinion of it. Some find it brilliant but I just found a lot of stuff wrong with it as well. It was a good read though so I would recommend it to anyone interesting in YA dark storylines and over the age of 13 as it does cover topics, such as sexuality, that wouldn’t be appropriate for anyone under the age of 13.

Thanks for reading and I’ll talk to you again soon!

~Spike

Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth Review


Hey guys,

So today I’m going to be reviewing the 4th book in the Percy Jackson series. This book took me quite a while to finish as I just went through exam season so that is why this review is so late. Let’s get on with it 🙂

Book Title: Percy Jackson and the Battle of the Labyrinth2120932

Author: Rick Riordan

Date: Published: April 1st 2006

Publisher: Disney Hyperion

Overall Rating:

4.0 star

Blurb: Percy Jackson isn’t expecting freshman orientation to be any fun. But when a mysterious mortal acquaintance appears on campus, followed by demon cheerleaders, things quickly move from bad to worse. In this fourth installment of the blockbuster series, time is running out as war between the Olympians and the evil Titan lord Kronos draws near. Even the safe haven of Camp Half-Blood grows more vulnerable by the minute as Kronos’s army prepares to invade its once impenetrable borders. To stop the invasion, Percy and his demigod friends must set out on a quest through the Labyrinth – a sprawling underground world with stunning surprises at every turn.

My Review: This book is the fourth book in the Percy Jackson Olympians series. In this, we see the rise of the Titan army and is also sets the scene and builds up tension for the final book which I am now currently reading. I did like the overall plot line of the story. I found it very easy to follow and it made for a calming read. I am also enjoying watching character development throughout this series. For example, Percy has become more confident within his own abilities and Annabeth has also become more opinionated about each decision that she or her team make. I think that I’ve found Nico’s development within this story to be really enjoyable to read. *SPOILERS START* I loved how in this book, Nico finally came to terms with the death of his sister and how he accepted that it wasn’t Percy’s fault. He kind of came into his own in this story as he accepted who his father was and that he couldn’t change it but he could embrace it and use the powers for good. *SPOILERS END* I think that the one thing that I didn’t like was that I didn’t find this book particularly compelling. I found it rather difficult to continue reading this novel as I didn’t find it very gripping. I think that if the last two books are anything to go by, I will have to force myself through the next book however it will be a good read and hopefully come to some very useful conclusions. Overall, I did enjoy this book, however I think it was perfectly designed for younger readers as it allowed them to stop at any place without having a cliffhanger over them and distracting them from their next activity. I would recommend this to anyone who liked the Harry Potter series and is looking for something similar yet different at the same time.

Thanks for reading and I’ll post again soon! ~Spike

Current Playlist


Hey Guys,

So recently (by recently I mean a good few months) I’ve had a single playlist that I love with a passion. I thought I would share with you what’s on that playlist today.
Let’s get on with it 🙂

  1. Dirty Little Secret – The All-American Rejects
  2. That’s What You Get – Paramore
  3. This Is Gospel – Panic! At The Disco
  4. Sugar, We’re Going Down – Fall Out Boy
  5. Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy
  6. Thnks fr th Mmrs – Fall Out Boy
  7. Immortals – Fall Out Boy
  8. All The Things She Said – t.A.T.u (probably the odd one out on the playlist but still love it)
  9. Welcome to the Black Parade – My Chemical Romance
  10. (Coffee’s For Closers) – Fall Out Boy
  11. Uma Thurman – Fall Out Boy
  12. Fourth of July – Fall Out Boy
  13. Decode – Paramore
  14. The Great Escape – Boys Like Girls
  15. Young Volcanoes – Fall Out Boy
  16. I Write Sins Not Tragedies – Panic! At The Disco
  17. Move Along – The All-American Rejects
  18. Holiday/Boulevard of Broken Dreams – Green Day

So this was kind of a random post. Usually I’m very protected with my music because few people I know like the same stuff as me however I’m posting this so, if any of you are fans with any of the artists on the list, let me know what else of theirs is good and I’ll try it out 🙂

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

Google Asks, I Answer


Hey Guys,

So the post that I am doing today is one I’ve seen a couple times and really enjoyed reading. It has been done on VlogBrothers as well as 101 Books (Winner of 2013 Top Ten Book Blogs) so it’s a pretty fun thing to do. Just want to say that I am completely stealing this idea from them (click here for Book 101’s version) so no credit taken.
So what you do is go onto Google and type in a question word (e.g. How/Why/Where) and a single letter after and answer the top suggested question with that letter. Today I will be attempting to do letter A-J with the question word of “how”.
Let’s get started!

How are you in French?

Uh… I can’t tell whether this is asking if I am good at French or what How Are You is in French? For the record, I’m not bad and it’s (Ça va?)

How big is an acre?

Uh… I think it’s 4046.86m2 according to Google at least…

How college?

Confusion… college I presume is good but it depends where you are, what you study and all that jazz

How did Charles Kennedy die?

I have absolutely no clue and will probably proceed to spend the next half hour trying to figure it out and then forget it promptly after

How effective is the pill?

Which pill? There are a lot of pills dearie. You need to be a tad bit more specific

How far did I run?

How am I meant to know? Though I can tell you aren’t getting any farther by asking Google…

How great thou art?

Ah, channeling the Yoda I see. The force is strong with this one… I probably got that quote wrong…

How high?

Where are you trying to go?

How I met your mother

I hope this is the TV show or that’s a tad bit creepy…

How J say?

How J say whaaa? I don’t even know guys….

So that’s my attempt at the Search Questions Answered challenge like thing… I think I’ll make this into a series.. We’ll see how this one goes 🙂

Okay so now you’ve read my possibly failed attempt, seriously check out the series at 101 Books (link above) because they are amazingly funny!

Thanks for reading!

~Spike

MockingJay Part 2: Teaser Trailer


the-hunger-games-posters

Hey Guys,

So today the teaser trailer for The Hunger Games: MockingJay part 2 came out and I thought I’d share my opinions on it (Click here to see the trailer).

I don’t really know what I think about it… to be honest, I do love the Hunger Games series but in my personal opinion, I find some of the lines really cheesy. Yes, I understand I’m being hypocritical because obviously some of my favourite quotes from books and movies are always *see what I did there?* extremely cheesy. However I just find them not that riveting in this series. Don’t get me wrong, yes I will go to see the movie and yes I will LOVE it, but I just think that the way the trailer has been done has made it really cheesy and appealing to a clichĂ© audience.

On the good side though, I do really love all the video edits and fast transitions because I feel that it really incorporates the whole feel and emotion behind this movie series.

Right that’s all from me. Click the link above if you want to view the trailer and obviously let me know your opinions in comments!

Thanks for reading

~Spike