Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

Book Review: The Tattooist Of Auschwitz

In this week’s review I’ll be reviewing The Tattooist of Auschwitz by Heather Morris.

Blurb

In 1942, Lale Sokolov arrived in Auschwitz-Birkenau. He was given the job of tattooing the prisoners marked for survival – scratching numbers into his fellow victims’ arms in indelible ink to create what would become one of the most potent symbols of the Holocaust.

Waiting in line to be tattooed, terrified and shaking, was a young girl. For Lale – a dandy, a jack-the-lad, a bit of a chancer – it was love at first sight. And he was determined not only to survive himself, but to ensure this woman, Gita, did, too.

So begins one of the most life-affirming, courageous, unforgettable and human stories of the Holocaust: the love story of the tattooist of Auschwitz.

Review

I don’t usually read historical romance, but I was compelled to read this since having visited Anne Frank’s House and reading her diary. I want to also visit Auschwitz and reading this made my heart break.

I was apprehensive at first because I was worried about how I would handle hearing about the torture and torment these people went through. But Morris writes beautifully of Lale’s love for Gita and I couldn’t put this book down for a second. Their heartwarming story makes you have faith in humanity. I was constantly praying that they come out alive since I had never heard about Lale’s story and didn’t want to ruin it.

Expecting the worst, I read on to hear about all the tortures the women, men and children went through. From the crematorium to the beatings Lale receives, it is all heartbreaking.

I won’t ruin the end for you. But I will say that Lale and Gita’s story lives on in this book. Morris has done a wonderful job reciting Lale’s story. It kept me on my toes, made me want to cry, pray and be thankful. Everyone will be in tears after reading this.

Hearing about what they went through is excruciating and no one should wish someone so much pain. Their bravery, all of them, is admired and will live on in every heart that reads this beautiful love story.

If you haven’t already, you need to read this now. Until next time, love, Vee x

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A Trip to Nice

A Trip to Nice

For Oliver’s 21st, Oliver’s parents took us to Nice in France for the weekend.

Day One

We took off to Gatwick at 3am for our flight at 6am. We arrived in Nice around 9am and made our way on the tram to Hotel Brice.

For a while we pottered around the town and had pain au chocolates. It was rainy but it was lovely to explore.

We had some lunch in McDonald’s while it poured down and went back to the hotel for a nap before going out to pizza.

Day Two

Oliver’s birthday! For his birthday I got him basketball tickets for London and his parents got him a lamborghini experience in Monaco.

We went into the Monte Carlo casino and had some lunch in Cafe De Paris before getting the bus back to Nice. We had some delicious hot chocolate and an ice cream to share.

We all got a gift from Oliver’s parents saying we were going to Frankfurt in December to see the Christmas markets!

Until next time, love, Vee x

An Evening with Hank Green

An Evening with Hank Green

I went to see Hank Green tonight on the ONLY UK tour he was doing for his new book, An Absolutely Remarkable Thing. It was set in the Prince Charles Cinema in Leicester Square and tickets were sold out.

There were some hilarious laughs, one of them being John Green roasted by his brother (John was not there, I know, disappointed😂).

We were told at the start of the evening there was a raffle and only 100 people could have a meet and greet with Hank. I was a lucky winner! I got to take a photo (albeit blurry) and took a stranger’s picture in the process.

There were really deep chats with Holly Bourne who chaired the event about humans, what Hank’s most remarkable thing is and if his book was predicting the future when he started writing it in 2014. It was really interesting.

I haven’t read the book yet but I’m definitely going to after meeting Hank. He’s such a down to earth person, and we got to laugh about Trump, so what could be better!?

I love being surrounded by bookish people and I saw some familiar faces, including ‘the large ginger man’ from Waterstones as he calls himself.

Thank you to Waterstones for setting up such an event! I had an amazing night (apart from running for the train!). Vee x

Our Anniversary

Our Anniversary

It’s mine and Oli’s 4th anniversary and to celebrate I wanted to document it on the blog.

Amsterdam, the Adam lookout swing August 2018

We’ve been through so much together, from travelling to our favourite places, to going through major life events. Oli has been there through thick and thin. We’ve been long distance for three years, now we live together. We’ve had family problems, work issues and more.

Croatia August 2018

When we first met, I was an anxious mess. I didn’t even leave the house. But when I met Oli that all changed. He pushed me out of my comfort zone and made me do the things I was scared of doing, and I did them because I knew he would be there to guide me and hold my hand.

Now I’m able to get on planes, travel into London alone and so much more. I have my independence back with confidence this time.

Our first photo together 2015

Last year I went through an ordeal with my family, meaning I had no where to go. Oli and his family took me in, which I’ll forever me grateful for. Oli is one of the best people I know. He’s always looking out for others before himself and can always make me laugh (even when I’m mad at him.)

Oliver’s 21st, spent in Monte Carlo, 3rd Feb 2019

We are not pretending to be perfect, no one is. We love each other, we have our tiffs but every couple does.

My birthday, going out for dinner

When I met Oli, I found my other half, as cliche as that sounds. I’d been searching for it, only to find it in somebody else. I’ll forever be grateful for him coming into my life and changing it around.

New York, outside the Friends apartment

There’s so much to look forward to in the future as well. We are saving up for our own place and for travelling.

Here’s to many more anniversaries 💋 Love, Vee x

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

This week I’ll be reviewing Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles.

Blurb

Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?

Review

I picked this book up on a whim in my local library because of its title. I love anything bookshop so this felt ideal.

I was right to love it! It’s full of books, quirky personalities and friendship. It’s a heartwarming read about the things that matter in life. Paige wants to study art and the only thing keeping her going in the town is Bennetts Bookshop which she adores working at with her bestie Holly.

This book is full of laughs and I loved every second of it. Paige reminded me of me, but so did Holly. They’re both bookworms who are weird but wonderful. I found myself wishing I knew these girls because they would probably be my best friends in real life.

I can’t wait to read the next installment of Paige’s adventures!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Tour: Man VS Happiness

Book Tour: Man VS Happiness

In this week’s post I’ll be interviewing Freida Kilmari, the author of Man VS Happiness.

Man VS Happiness

The Mental Health Disaster has destroyed half the population of Earth.

Humanity is at crisis point.

It’s the chosen Legacy Scholar’s job to document the journey, but when his only window into the outside world breaks, he’s in a race against time to fix it before the Library of Time is lost forever.

Take a read through his adventure, and through humanity’s journey, in a beautiful collection of short stories, poetry, and essays.

Man VS Happiness will be available on 14th February.

Interview With Freida Kilmari

1. What made you come up with the idea of Man VS Happiness?

Man VS Happiness came from frustration actually. When you go searching for information about mental illness, you’re bombarded with statistical reports, news articles, and science papers. It seems as though the only people allowed a voice about mental illness is everyone other than those suffering. And isn’t the point of awareness to encourage people to open up more, to talk to those around them? How are we supposed to do that when the only news stories we see are negative? Where’s the hope? Where’s the story about someone who nearly died and then recovered miraculously afterwards? I want to help make the world a brighter place, especially for those suffering from mental illness.

2. What is the most challenging aspect of being a writer? And the most rewarding aspect?!

The most challenging aspect is probably time. Most writers earn under $10k a year, which means we have to hold down full time jobs. But if we’re doing that, where the time to write? It’s an endless cycle. You know that if you had more time you could produce more content, but if you have more time to write you might be taking a pay cut. It’s challenging. I’m lucky that I’m a freelance fiction editor, because it means I can flex my job around my writing schedule; plus, I love what I do.

The best part is seeing people enjoy your work. I love it when someone sends me a message with something like, “Hey, just started the book and am loving it.” It’s those simple messages/emails that make all the hard work pay off.

3. How do you cope with writer’s block?

I’m not someone who suffers from writer’s block. I’ve been writing almost every day since I was 12, and I’m now nearly 24, and I can honestly say that I have never suffered from writer’s block. There have been times when I’ve needed a break or needed to rest and think about a part of a book I’m stuck on, but I’ve never not been able to write. I think it’s partly because I write more than one project at a time, so if I get stuck with one I can just work on the other for a bit. And then I usually unstick myself after taking a break from that difficult project.

4. Have you got any other books planned for the future?

Yes. Man VS Happiness is part one of a collection that will be slowly released over the next decade, but I’m also working on a multi-series fantasy universe, called the Ennéa Vasileía Universe. It’s a fantasy universe based on my own unique take on Greek mythology. The first book for it comes out in spring, The Keepers’ Origin—the first book in the Erimish Saga. It’s a Young Adult Epic Fantasy about an ancient war that’s about to come back into the fold. Four sixteen-year-old girls suddenly possess elemental powers in a world that hasn’t seen the likes of magic in over a thousand years. It’s full of friendship, magic, action, romance, and LoTR-style word building.

5. What was the best part about writing Man VS Happiness?

The best part was being able to put a voice to some of those indescribable feelings. What does it feel like having a panic attack? What does it feel like to be so depressed you can’t even lift your pinkie finger? These are things that are hard to describe, but by writing fantasy-related stories and poetry, I’ve managed to find my voice.

6. If you were stranded on an island and had to pick 3 items and 3 people to accompany you, what and who would you take?

I’d take His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman, because I can’t live without those books. I’d also be practical and take some kind of weapon and maybe a map of the island? I’d bring along my fiancé (obviously), but also maybe a wildlife expert who knows about plants and animals so we could know what to eat and what not to eat. Perhaps then a survival specialist so we could know how to build shelter, start a fire, etc.

I hope you enjoyed reading about Freida’s writing and I do hope you read her book, Man VS Happiness. Until next time, love, Vee x

Valentine’s Gift Guide

Valentine’s Gift Guide

This week’s blog is a gift guide for Valentine’s Day which is just around the corner. I’ve collaborated with brands such as Knicker Locker since they have asked me to write a post about my relationship for their website.

Valentine’s is always a tricky one for me. I have my partner’s birthday on the 3rd and our anniversary on the 16th. So Valentine’s sometimes gets pushed to the side. This year let’s make Valentine’s special with a gift guide for your loved one.

Lingerie

Lingerie is so difficult, what size, colour, type should I buy? Well let Knicker Locker help you out with that with their range of sexy lingerie. With these gorgeous thongs, who could go wrong? You can get them on their website here.

Sexy Valentines Thongs Lingerie

Vouchers

Who can go wrong with a voucher? Whether it’s for a lingerie shop, bookstore or dinner date? That way, you can guarantee they will like what they get!

Flowers

Every girl loves flowers, especially on Valentine’s. But why not make it a flower that will last forever instead of dying? This unique golden rose will be on the mantel forever more, especially if they’re a big Disney fan. You can get your own here.

flower

 

Chocolate

Who doesn’t love it? I mean, if you don’t we can’t be friends, just saying. Anyway, chocolate is the way into any girl’s or guy’s heart. So why not get them a hamper to tell them you love them. You’ll definitely be popular. This gorgeous fizz and chocolate hamper is the perfect picnic to have on a Valentine’s date night.

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Bath Sets

If you love being cheeky, you’ll definitely want to get each other these cute Aubergine and Peach bath bombs from Lush. Even if you don’t like baths, having these cute emoji bath bombs on your shelf is worth it.

aubergine_bath_bomb_valentines_day_image_2019_-9808

Jewelry

NoFauxVegan are a wonderful vegan friendly brand that sell gorgeous bags and accessories such as earrings and necklaces. These adorable Daisy Duke Dangle Earrings are so pretty and perfect for the love of your life.

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Well that’s a wrap! I hope you enjoy your Valentine’s, whatever you may be up to! Until next time, love, Vee x