March 2018 Wrapup

March was a month filled with studies, spontaneous catchups with friends, and washing dishes at work! All in all, considering how busy I was, I’m surprised I managed to read this much!

I read 13 books in March!


Pgymalion (George Bernard Shaw) – 5 // 5

Their Fractured Light (Amie Kaufman) – 3 // 5

Finding Audrey (Sophie Kinsella) – 1 // 5

The Life of Charlotte Brontë (Elizabeth Gaskell) – 5 // 5

Sink, Drift or Swim (Michelle Dennis Evans) – 4 // 5

Wonder Woman (Leigh Bardugo) – 3 // 5

Illuminae (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff) – 5 // 5

Gemina (Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff) – 5 // 5

The Island (Olivia Levez) – 3 // 5

Paper Butterflies (Lisa Heathfield) – 3 // 5

Rebel of the Sands (Alwyn Hamilton) – 3 // 5

Uncle Tom’s Cabin (Harriet Beecher Stowe) – 5 // 5

We are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Karen Joy Fowler) – 3 // 5


about the books …

There were lots of fantastic books this month! My favourites included The Life of Charlotte Brontë … someone remind me to read more Elizabeth Gaskell, please! She’s fantastic and isn’t talked about enough, in my opinion.

I also loved my reread of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. This book is fantastic in every way, and I picked up quite a few new things this reread … including the scathing comments that the author had for the Northern states. Her comments on slavery were really quite extraordinary for the time!

I also finally finished the Starbound trilogy by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. They were fantastic, and I’m glad I read them! Amie Kaufman is definitely one of my favourite YA authors.


monthly highlights:

some happy things that happened in March!

  • Three happy happy birthday parties, all filled with laughter and happiness and theological debates!
  • Seeing Aladdin!! In the theatre!! WOW it was good!!
  • Playing games with friends xx
  • wonderful, wonderful church friends who make sure I keep trying ❤

img_0581Thanks so much for reading! Hopefully April will be a good reading month – I can feel it’s going to be already!

How’s reading going for you?

Keep smiling,

Emmi ❤

bullet journal setup February 2018

Last month, I wasn’t really sure what I was doing in regards to setting up for the month – it was a practical setup, but not a very pretty setup.

I am someone who loves pretty things! It’s cheesy and silly, but it’s me *shrugs* So this month I wanted to make a pretty setup!

Here’s my monthly spread:


I was really happy with how it turned out!

I got this new washi tape for really cheap, and it’s such gooooood quality! Ahhh it makes me so happy x


It was perfect for decorating this month!

I also invested in these three fantastic lil’ pens (a dollar each!!) and they’ve been wonderful!!


The only other pages I made were weekly spreads, decorated using my new pink pen and my new floral tape.


I made a mistake on my last page, so I printed off some pictures off my pinterest and made a little lookbook!



img_0581And that was my bullet journal setup for this month! I was really happy with how it turned out 🙂

Do you have a bullet journal? What was your setup like?

Keep smiling,

emmi ❤


I started a bullet journal??

This year, I started a bullet journal!!


I always thought bullet journals were quite silly things. I mean, why would you spend more time organising your life than actually doing things? It all sounded very unecessary to me.

Then I discovered Cheyenne Barton’s wonderful youtube channel, where (amongst other things) she shares her love for bullet journaling. It started to grow on me a little more as I saw how she used her bullet journal as an outlet for her creativity.


I asked for a bullet journal for Christmas, and sat down that afternoon to set it up!


Last year, I used a Kikki K planner to organise my life. While it worked to plan out my day, I always struggled without having an overview of the month and term. My bullet journal gives me a space for each day, an overview of the month and whatever else I want, along with a space for me to be creative!



img_0581I love my little bullet journal! This is very un-bookish, I know,  but this blog is about talking about things I love, and bullet journaling is a part of that for me 🙂

Do you have a bullet journal?

Keep smiling,

emmi ❤

January wrapup 2018

*peeks head back in* is anybody there?

One day I will consistently blog, and that is one of my goals for this year. Who knows if it’ll actually happen, but I’d love to keep a consistent schedule – ahhhh maybe one day!

When I think of January 2018, I want to think of friends, heat, books, and tv! I spent the last month of my holidays doing as little as possible, learning how to drive, and getting a new job. All in all, it was quite a wonderful month!

I read ten books in January.


Mere Motherhood (Cindy Rollins) – 4 // 5

The Weight of Water (Sarah Crossan) – 4 // 5

Cinder (Marissa Meyer) – 3 // 5

The Graces (Laure Eve) – 3 // 5

One Would Think the Deep (Claire Zorn) – 4 // 5

Turtles All the Way Down (John Green) – 5 // 5

The King’s General (Daphne Du Maurier) – 4 // 5

Created to be His Helpt-Meet (Debi Pearl) – 2 // 5

Very Far from Here (Dennis Hamley) – 2 // 5

The Days are Just Packed – Calvin and Hobbes (Bill Waterson) – 4 // 5


some of the books I read!

about the books . . .

All in all, it was a nice reading month! I wish that I had read a bit more, but I mostly enjoyed what I did read!

Highlights included Turtles All The Way Down – WHICH I LOVED. SO SO MUCH. The representation was wonderful, as was the writing and realism of it! It taught me heaps, and didn’t leave me seriously depressed, as all John Green’s other novels have. Bless this book ❤

Another interesting book I read was Very Far From Here by Dennis Hamley – interesting primarily because I was the first person on Goodreads to review it, which was very exciting!! Unfortunately I actually really disliked the book; I really wanted to like it, but it just wasn’t that great at all :((

monthly highlights:

  • learning how to drive!! Ahhhh I can operate a car now!!
  • going on camp, and learning so so much xx
  • New Years’ and whispered chats and loud laughter ❤
  • getting a job!! What??
  • starting a bullet journal!! Lots of posts coming from there, I can assure you.

img_0581How was your month? What did you do? What did you read?

Here’s to a great 2018! *sips glass of apple juice*

Keep smiling,

Emmi xx

October 2017 wrapup!

This was a pretty chilled month compared to the crazy rest of the year. I learnt a lot and listened to a lot of music – and read some good books!

I read 9 books in October.


The Hunger Games (Suzanne Collins) – 2 // 5 stars

Animal Farm (George Orwell) – 4 // 5 stars

The Hobbit (JRR Tolkien) – 5 // 5 stars

Alexander Altmann A10567 (Suzy Zail) – 3 // 5 stars

Pretty Girls Don’t Eat (Winnie Salamon) – 3 // 5

The Fellowship of the Ring (JRR Tolkien) – 5 // 5

Winnie-The-Pooh (A.A. Milne) – 5 // 5

Women of the Word (Jen Wilkin) – 5 // 5

Side By Side (Edward T Welch) – 4 // 5

img_0581Also how is it nearly halfway through November already – I need to get my schedule together, because it is currently nonexistent.

What did you read in October?


Emmi xx



The Hobbit Movies and Where They Went Wrong


I used to make excuses for the Hobbit movies. I used to say, “If you ignore the book, they’re actually quite decent.” Before that, I used to say “There were things that could have been done better, but they were actually okay.” Heck, leaving the theatre after seeing the third movie, I remember being in tears because poor, poor Tauriel! And poor, poor Legolas!

Now, however, I merely say “Poor, poor book. You were sadly mistreated and mostly ignored. I do apologise.” Now, after my most recent reread of The Hobbit earlier this month, I appreciate even more the brilliance of the book and the lack of coherence in the movies.

But the question is – why are they such bad films? Here are three reasons why I think that the movies messed up.

Number 1 – Lack of Bilbo

When I reread The Hobbit earlier this month, the thing that struck me immediately was the fact that the entire book is from Bilbo Baggins’ perspective. Nothing happens from anyone else’s point of view. For some reason I had forgotten this; yet it is crucial to the book itself.

This is where the Hobbit movies immediately went wrong. All three movies ricochet between point of view to point of view. This not only makes them feel rather disjointed; it also changes the very feel of the movies.

Tolkien knew what he was doing when he wrote the book purely from Bilbo’s perspective. The book was intended to be a children’s tale, and it was written from the point of view of a character who perhaps never fully comprehends the danger that he is in. This ensures that the reader never fully comprehends the danger. Thus, you have a battle in a children’s book that is only really scary when you understand the entire background, something that a child might not.

However, when the point of view was given to characters who understood the danger that they were in, and all the circumstances surrounding it, the atmosphere becomes a lot darker. The movies made the mistake of creating unnecessary side quests, which both distracted from the very title of the franchise – The Hobbit – and made the films more like blockbusters, than a tale which could be enjoyed by children and adults alike.

If The Hobbit films had kept the point of view primarily to Bilbo and eliminated all the randomly-added side quests, then they would have kept a little more of the magic and brilliance of the book itself.

(This is also why I think that the first movie was the best – it focused a lot on Bilbo and less on other random adventures of Gandalf and Thorin!)


Number 2 – reliance on CGI

The Hobbit movies experimented with a lot of cgi which weren’t present in the Lord of the Rings films. The reason why the Hobbit films look and feel so different to The Lord of the Rings (although they were made by the same director) was because of their heavy reliance on CGI.

The Hobbit movies used CGI every scene, and it’s very obvious that it’s CGI. In fact, it’s so obvious that the intentionally awe-inspiring moment of a barrel crushing orcs is instead mildly funny and very very sad!

The Lord of the Rings movies felt like Middle Earth (at least in my opinion 🙂 ). They were raw and gritty, and the lack of CGI made the films feel genuine and real. The Hobbit movies felt so different because the set wasn’t the hills of New Zealand – it was the middle of a green painted warehouse.

Number 3 – what was the script doing??

Peter Jackson himself said that he wasn’t happy with the finished product of The Hobbit. And I think that it’s so easy to blame the script – but I’m going to do it anyway.

The script just wasn’t very good. There were unnecessary parts that should have been cut out, and there were parts not present that should have been. It was just too long, and thin, and stretched – “Like butter spread over too much bread.” 😉

With all this said, there was a huge push from the company to make three movies out of it. It wasn’t primarily Peter Jackson’s fault that the movies turned out to be money-making blockbusters, which really didn’t feel like Middle Earth at all. It’s really sad that such brilliance got turned into such sadness with no plot – but it’s the way of the world, I suppose!

img_0581I kind of feel bad for wasting a post on movies which I really don’t like, but at the same time, I had some thoughts that I wanted to get off my brain! 🙂

Do you agree/disagree? Tell me down below!

Keep smiling,

Emmi 🙂

The Hunger Games – why I didn’t like it??

The_Hunger_GamesThe Hunger Games, by Suzanne Collins. First read 1 October 2017.    2 // 5 stars.

Hi, it’s me, your controversial friend here to talk about her controversial opinion. Here’s why I didn’t like the Hunger Games. Let’s get started!

(obviously this is all just my opinion etc etc, if you disagree feel free to chat with me in the comments!)

I went into the book with the knowledge that I was very behind. I read it about a month ago, and The Hunger Games was really realLY big five years ago. Every bookworm who called themselves a bookworm had read this book, and I was rather behind! So I figured I might as well give it a try.

what it’s about

If you have no clue what the Hunger Games is about, it’s a story about some teenagers thrown into a giant arena and told to kill each other until there’s one left. There’s a love triangle, a grumpy main character, and a fairly predictable plot.

some thoughts

The first impression I had of this book was that I was surprised how popular it was. I personally didn’t enjoy it! Although I can see what the book was trying to do, I think it missed too many opportunities to put Katniss through difficult moral decisions to be called a Really Great Book™.

There’s a fair amount of info-dropping in the book. While this is necessary to a certain extent in fantasy and dystopian books, there is a right and wrong way to do it. Showing the reader information through dialogue and through action sequences is great! Giving the reader information by having the first person pov character think it, paragraphs and and paragraphs of it, is not so great!

So much of this book was made up of pages and pages of information that I had to take in to understand the plot. It just made me, as a reader, really tired?? And a little bored as well??


Another thing that I struggled with was the writing. I really didn’t like it. It felt forced, and there were so many places where I was internally fixing the grammar, or switching a sentence around, that it really became a distraction. (It also just proved to me how cool being an Editor would be. Hire me please!)

However, the main issue that I had with this book was the author’s decision to avoid putting Katniss in any difficult scenarios at all. Every time that there was an option to put her in a difficult situation – i.e. deciding whether or not to kill someone, or whether to kill someone or die herself – she was mercifully saved.

My point here is that this book could have been such a good psychological thriller! There could have been mysterious twists and turns. Katniss could have chosen to turn the other cheek and died for what she believed in. Peeta could have not been a jerk (I’m sorry – I really didn’t like him XD).

I just think that the author missed opportunities to make this book a really great one!

Although there was a ton of things that I didn’t like about this book, there were a few things that I did appreciate!

  • I really liked Rue?? I think she was well developed and really cool!
  • The world building was decent! Although half of it was from info-dropping, I could really visualise the world that Katniss was running around in.

img_0581Those were my thoughts on The Hunger Games! Honestly, the best part of this experience was debating with my friends about whether or not it’s a decent book.

What are your thoughts?

Keep smiling,

emmi 🙂

my favourite films


Today I thought I’d do something a little different. I have loved films my whole life, but I’ve only recently begun to appreciate what makes a film a great one. Here are a few of my absolute favourites – all six!!

Lala Land

I left the movie theatre in a trance, and ten minutes later was crying my eyes out. The editing, the acting, the music – everything about this movie was spot on! I don’t think I’ll ever be able to stop appreciating this movie.

I’ve watched it 5 and a half times now, and I’m so so ready for the next one!

The Sound of Music

Another musical?? Yep! I love musicals, and especially when they’re done right. The Sound of Music was my childhood. It was the movie I’d watch whenever I was sick, curled up on the couch with my blankie and a cup of tea, watching Julie Andrews (Queen!) singing to the hills with a big smile on my face.

Now that I’m a bit older and know more of the history of the setting and time, this film just impacts me greatly. I can’t get through Edelweiss without tearing up, and the last twenty minutes or so always make my heart break. This is a film that I’d recommend to anyone. Anyone, and everyone.

Rogue One

(Careful Emmi, your nerdiness is showing 😉 )

But it’s true! I’ve loved Star Wars for years, but I think Rogue One is an excellent film in its own right. It’s got a female main character who isn’t made of cardboard, a decent and realistic romance, and a simply brilliant end sequence. If you haven’t seen this movie, I would recommend it highly.

If it wasn’t absolute blasphemy, I would even go so far as to say that I prefer it to Episode IV, arguably the best of the franchise. I’m treading on thin ice here, but I just really love Rogue One, okay!!


Cinderella (the 2015 live action)

I am flipping IN LOVE with this movie. The animated Cinderella was the first movie I owned, and having grown up on it, I can firmly say that the 2015 live action Cinderella is simply perfect in every way.

The story of Cinderella impacted me heavily as a child, and the remake fixed all the little niggles that I had with the story itself as I grew older. The theme of forgiveness that runs through the film was something that was entirely unexpected from a stereotypical Hollywood film.

I remember walking out of the movie theatre with my friends. They were all saying that the movie was okay, but not brilliant – and there I stood, struggling to hold back tears as Lily James’ haunting “I forgive you” danced around in my head! There’s just something so good and pure about this movie – and it never ceases to make my heart inexplicably joyous.

The Truman Show

The Truman Show – the one where the guy is unknowingly part of a reality tv show – is definitely one of my favourites. This was the first film I remember seeing that was made to make you think. I am haunted by this film, and I have nothing negative to say about it. Its representation of important themes, like free will and consumerism, were very relevant at the time and are even more so today.

One thing that I really love about this film is its nod to Plato’s The Republic. As Truman climbs the stairs, away from a life of deception, he decides to take the final step to a possession of free will. And nothing is ever quite the same when he returns, just like Plato pointed out in The Republic, and Peter Weir echoes in The Truman Show.

I seriously cannot recommend this film enough!!

Lord of the Rings

These movies are riddled with flaws (Tom Bombadil?? Aragorn’s character?? The sword?? The scouring of the Shire?? Saruman’s death??) BUT they introduced me to the books, okay!! The books are my favourite books of all time!! And if it wasn’t for me watching the movies, which are really quite impressive, I never would have opened up the books that my sister had been pesting me to read.

I certainly owe these movies a lot! And they do have their redeeming qualities – the soundtrack! The acting! The special effects! The amazing relationships between the characters! The fact that extended editions exist!

I’ll probably do a whole post on why I can appreciate the Lord of the Rings movies, but for now, it definitely deserves a spot on my list!

img_0581Those were all of my favourite films! I have heaps more which I love … The Princess Bride, ET, Shrek … but my top six are ones which have made me see the world a little differently.

What are your favourite movies?

Keep smiling!

emmi 🙂

These Broken Stars

ehhThese Broken Stars, by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner. First read 21 August 2017.    5 // 5 stars.

I absolutely loved this book, in every way possible! There are so many things I loved about it that I don’t quite know where to begin.

This is definitely a book that I am planning on buying, and rereading again and again!

the story

This book is a YA sci-fi, which is perhaps my favourite genre combination ever. A space ship is crashing, and the heir to the ship crash lands with an obscure soldier. Two people who hate each other are alone on an abandoned planet, which might not be so abandoned after all. There’s lots of sass and desolation and creepiness? And yet the whole thing is really well written?? I love!!

Things I loved:

  • The characters! They were very well developed, and the opposite of stereotypes. There’s always more than meets the eye with them, and I loved how they were slowly developed throughout the book.
  • The humour! This book was incredibly funny, but in such a subtle way that I wouldn’t put it down as a ‘funny book’. Instead it was a book that was serious and dealt with big themes, but was still funny?? I love.
  • The writing! I am a huge fan of the writing style used in this book, and it was done really well! First person point of view is hard to keep consistent when the pov changes, but it was handled very well in this book.
  • It was creepy?? It was incredibly creepy! The book was set in an abandoned planet. One of the key themes was the sense of being alone. I really loved how the idea  of loneliness was spread throughout the book; I felt really alone while I was reading it.
  • The pace. While a little slow at times, the book somehow managed to keep me entertained the whole way through. You’d think this was quite a dull book, because looking back, all they did was walk through the wilderness? And yet so much actually happened, because the dialogue was brilliant! I was never bored at all.


I have rarely read books that manage to scare me. Maybe it’s just because I avoid the Horror genre, but even so, books just don’t scare me. But there was something about the way that this book described being alone – and in the way that odd things kept happening – and how the characters related to that – that was just really creepy.

I’m someone who enjoys feeling scared occasionally, as it gives me something to think on when I’m scared in real life. It’s a “if this character made it through without freaking out, then you can too” sort of scenario. Loneliness has a way of consuming me, and so I really found that this book spoke into my thoughts and described exactly what it was that I was scared of.

You know when you finish a book and your soul just hurts? Something in you aches, because it was just so good. This book touched a heartstring of mine, and I am intending to buy it just so I can read it all over again!

img_0581This book was well written, greatly exceeded my expectations, the characters are sassy humans with great development, and this remains one of the few books that has managed to actually scare me.

Have you read this book?

Keep smiling,

emmi 🙂

Beautiful Books 2017!


As a celebration for finally coming up with an idea for NaNoWriMo, I decided to link up with the wonderful Cait and Sky to take part in their blogging meme, Beautiful Books!

I’ll jump right in:

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?
I have had the basic idea of a spy novel floating around in the back of my head for a while! When I sat down to come up with ideas for Nanowrimo, I looked through the notes in my phone (where I often jot down obscure plot bunnies) and rediscovered a brain wave about a contemporary and fantasy mashup  from 2015. I simply combined that with the spy idea, and now I have a mess of an idea in my head!

Describe what your novel is about!
It’s about an unmotivated girl with self esteem issues, a small boy with too much motivation, and a dysfunctional family with many problems that they don’t want to fix. There are dragons, houses that fall down, and an unorganised spy agency. All in all, it’s a story about looking for your life purpose – only to discover that it changes all the damn time.

What is your book’s aesthetic?
I’m still working on the pinterest board, but here’s what I’ve got at the moment:


It’s sort of black-and-white, and yet maybe quite impacting when you look closer?? Also do I overthink everything?? The answer is yes.

Introduce us to each of your characters!
There’s Lillian! She’s a Hufflepuff with a love for dancing and smiling at strangers, and  she has a hatred for donkeys and her thin lips. She wants to save the world, but doesn’t know how. She longs for a purpose.

There’s Caster! He’s a Slytherin with lots of motivation to do stuff, but rather lacking in the means to carry out his plans. He loves chocolate and dragons, and has a bad habit of accidentally hating people. His life is outside of his control.

There’s The-Person-Without-A-Name! He’s the absentminded head of the spy agency, and he’s very good at his job. He loves folk music and getting tattoos. He doesn’t have a name because I can’t find a decent name for him okay.

There’s the family! The father is firm and a little kind, but very distant. The mother is outwardly sweet, has undiagnosed anxiety, and is very manipulative. The brother is very extroverted and a little bit compulsive.

(I’m honestly considering calling the mother “The Mother” the whole book so I don’t have to find a name for her, help)


How do you prepare to write?
There’s always a lot of planning involved! I like to have a very good idea of where my story is going before I start writing. I also like to do a good amount of world building – I want to have a good idea of the place and time in my head before I start writing.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
This book is set in a land called “Samaa”, which is a place I came up with my sister long ago when I was a small child. I haven’t written a full story set in it yet, and I’m really looking forward to developing the place and exploring the culture! I want to add in several things which I hadn’t come up with before about the land of Samaa, and I’m super excited to do so!

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

  • It’s outwardly cheerful, inwardly broken.
  • There are tall wooden houses and winding streets with broken cobblestones.
  • Dragons.

What’s your character’s goal, and who/what stands in the way?
Lillian has two main goals throughout the story. Her internal goal is to find a life purpose. In the way stand her family, her own insecurities, and peer pressure to just live-and-let-live. Her external goal is help Caster, which is halted by the slave trade, donkeys, and Caster himself!

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
By the end, Lillian has realised what purposes are, and how to save Caster – from himself. She has (subconsciously) stopped listening to her friends and family as much, and realises that finding your purpose is a lifetime thing.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want your readers to feel when the story is over?
The themes include, but are not limited to: purposes, growing up, abuse and neglect, freedom, and hufflepuff/slytherin friendship (if that’s a theme!).
I’m not planning to have any readers of this story, but if anyone actually reads it, I’d love them to know the fact that motivation is a finicky thing.

img_0581Thanks so much for Cait and Sky for creating this blogging meme! It was so much fun to do, and actually really helped me to get my scattered thoughts in order. I’m really pumped for Nanowrimo now!

Are you taking part in Nanowrimo?

Emmi 🙂