'The Loneliest Girl in the Universe' Book Review

"It's hard to focus on the future when the past is so distracting."

As an avid bookworm, it's always a trying time when you fall into the dreaded reading slump; where nothing on your shelf is calling to you, yet anything new you try struggles to ignite that spark as you end up giving up the story around chapter two.

But when you find that one book that brings your love back to life, that holds you tight from beginning to end and beyond... then boy howdy do you know it's special!

For me, this time, it was thanks to a girl called Romy and a spaceship called 'The Infinity'.




The internet is a wonderful place; it has given us the ability to travel all around the globe whilst still connecting us to home. Gone are the days where your friends and family would have to wait days, even weeks on end for that fateful letter or postcard to let them know that you're alive. No longer do you have to spend a small fortune trying to call home, spending half your allotted telephone time attempting to work out how that goddamn pre-pay card works, and the other half battling the delayed responses and dodgy line connection, shouting "Can you hear me now?" and "Are you still there?" With the click of a button we are now able to phone home in a few seconds and (time differences depending) can look upon our loved ones faces whenever we so choose.

But sometimes we really have to remember to put the phone down, shut the internet away, and truly appreciate the places we've spent time, energy and a lot of money to travel to. And for that reason, I am grateful that that Kohutapu Lodge had absolutely no WIFI signal, so once we all woke up at 6am I had no choice but to watch the sun rise over Lake Aniwhenua.

It was peaceful. It was otherworldly. It was freeze-your-tits-off cold, but nothing several jumpers and a barrel full of coffee couldn't fix.


5 Tips to Take On NaNoWriMo 2018

It's that time of year again! Time to binge eat the chocolate, cocoon ourselves in a curtain of blankety warmth and scream in silent (or loud, or into a pillow, whichever floats your boat) frustration at all the things we still have to do before the sun disappears below the horizon on an evermore increasing scale.

Nope, it's not Christmas, or New Year, or any other festive holiday that's occurring in the not to distant future... it's nearly NaNoWriMo time!

For the uninitiated, NaNoWriMo is National Novel Writing Month, where throughout all of November challengers are asked to write 50,000 words of whatever their hearts desire. 1667 words a day may not seem like a lot at first, but when you're on Day 14 and trying to force your brain to squeeze out those 5000 words you're behind on, it's like trying to ring out a drop of water from some bone dry sponge in the middle of the desert to a person  who hasn't even been able to pee in several days.

You know, like when trying to finish the essay question on your GCSE paper. Or A Levels. Or university disserta... you get where I'm coming from, right?



Today it was finally time to say goodbye to Rotorua and the Hot Rocks Base Backpackers; although it was never somewhere I'd planned to go (in fact, I'd never heard of the city until I got to New Zealand and talked to the guys on the Stray Travel desk, aaaaaall the way back in Auckland) it has fast become one of my favourite places to explore. As much as I adored (read: cried my eyes out) over finally making it to Hobbiton, Rotorua is so much more than that; a beautiful blend of tradition, history and modernisation that you could ever hope to find on the Northern Island!
Plus, between all the sulphur pools and mud spa's I've encountered over the last few days, I swear my skin is leaving feeling ten years younger than it did before we arrived.

Any who, the good thing about the Stray bus pick-ups from Rotorua is that they tend to come in the afternoon as opposed to the usual crack-o-dawn o'clock start times, so it was a nice change to make a leisurely descent down to the bus stop, instead of the normal 'crash-bang-oh I'm going to be late' fall out the door approach.

Lesson Number 28: No matter how good your intentions are, no matter how much you convince yourself  you'll wake up early enough in the morning to do so - PACK UP YOUR STUFF THE NIGHT BEFORE! You'll either wake up your entire dorm room trying to pack in the dark (they'll kill you for turning the lights on at 5am) or you'll be the scrub in the hallway trying to cram that last t-shirt in your bag five minutes before the bus is about to pull away!


'Exploring New Genres' Blog Hop

Raise your hand if you've ever wanted to try something new before, but felt hesitant to dive into the uncharted waters all by yourself. Don't be shy, I'm raising mine - both literally and metaphorically!

Last month, the lovely Charlotte from Wonderfully Bookish was considering writing a blog post, chronicling her adventures into reading a book genre she'd never tried before - Graphic Novels. But rather than wade in alone, she put the call out for fellow book lovers to come join her via ye olde Twitter (think Ace Ventura hollering for his jungle friends) and out we came, springing forth from all corners of her figurative apartment.

And so the 'Exploring New Genres' Blog Hop was born!