Image credit: CSG Gloves
Image credit: CSG Gloves

Back in April of 2003, a list of the top books in the UK was released, which is filled with classics and other notable novels that are extremely loved by the country's population. A number of these are from award-winning, bestselling authors and are considered to be some of the best books in existence. I thought it would be interesting to share this list with you, as well as setting myself the challenge to read some of them.

After seeing this list, I realised that I haven't read a lot of these books. Quite often, I read young adult books, primarily fantasy and contemporary novels, but classics are often disregarded. As we're almost a month into the new year now, I want to try my hardest to read some more classic novels and notable titles, as I would like to broaden my horizons and challenge myself more by reading some more advanced books than young adult.

I've decided to put the list of the top 50 books within this post, as I thought that it might be helpful for some of you as well. If you're looking for some classic novels to read or simply find it interesting to see what books have been considered the best, this list will definitely be good to consult. Also, I feel as though if I put this on my blog, I'll be more likely to follow it and read some of these books in the future. Without further ado, here is the list:

1. The Lord of the Rings, JRR Tolkien
2. Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen
3. His Dark Materials, Philip Pullman
4. The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams
5. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, JK Rowling
6. To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
7. Winnie the Pooh, AA Milne
8. Nineteen Eighty-Four, George Orwell
9. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, CS Lewis
10. Jane Eyre, Charlotte Brontë
11. Catch-22, Joseph Heller
12. Wuthering Heights, Emily Brontë
13. Birdsong, Sebastian Faulks
14. Rebecca, Daphne du Maurier
15. The Catcher in the Rye, JD Salinger
16. The Wind in the Willows, Kenneth Grahame
17. Great Expectations, Charles Dickens
18. Little Women, Louisa May Alcott
19. Captain Corelli's Mandolin, Louis de Bernieres
20. War and Peace, Leo Tolstoy
21. Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
22. Harry Potter And The Philosopher's Stone, JK Rowling
23. Harry Potter And The Chamber Of Secrets, JK Rowling
24. Harry Potter And The Prisoner Of Azkaban, JK Rowling
25. The Hobbit, JRR Tolkien
26. Tess Of The D'Urbervilles, Thomas Hardy
27. Middlemarch, George Eliot
28. A Prayer For Owen Meany, John Irving
29. The Grapes Of Wrath, John Steinbeck
30. Alice's Adventures In Wonderland, Lewis Carroll
31. The Story Of Tracy Beaker, Jacqueline Wilson
32. One Hundred Years Of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
33. The Pillars Of The Earth, Ken Follett
34. David Copperfield, Charles Dickens
35. Charlie And The Chocolate Factory, Roald Dahl
36. Treasure Island, Robert Louis Stevenson
37. A Town Like Alice, Nevil Shute
38. Persuasion, Jane Austen
39. Dune, Frank Herbert
40. Emma, Jane Austen
41. Anne Of Green Gables, LM Montgomery
42. Watership Down, Richard Adams
43. The Great Gatsby, F Scott Fitzgerald
44. The Count Of Monte Cristo, Alexandre Dumas
45. Brideshead Revisited, Evelyn Waugh
46. Animal Farm, George Orwell
47. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens
48. Far From The Madding Crowd, Thomas Hardy
49. Goodnight Mister Tom, Michelle Magorian
50. The Shell Seekers, Rosamunde Pilcher

I have read some of these books, some of which being the His Dark Materials series (which I absolutely fell in love with), To Kill a Mockingbird and A Christmas Carol. However, a lot of these I haven't read and there are even some that I hadn't heard of before now, which I'm definitely not pleased with. My aim for 2016 is to read some of these books and grow as a reader, venturing into more challenging and notable novels.

If you want to join me with reading some of these books, I'd love to hear which ones down in the comments and maybe we can read them together. I'm actually really looking forward to reading some classics and hopefully, I'll stick to this throughout the year. Thanks for reading this post and I'll be back with a new one on Sunday, so I'll see you then!

Love from Daisy x

Quite often, I'll read an amazing book that I become thoroughly invested in, but for some reason or other, I don't pick up the sequel or other books in the series. It actually saddens me, as a lot of these are wonderful stories and I'd love to see how both the plot and the characters progress. I decided to write this blog post, both as a way of sharing these with you and as a personal reminder, as hopefully I'll be able to read some of these books in the near future.

I'll start with the one that I'm most ashamed with. I haven't read Clockwork Prince or Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. I honestly don't understand why, since I fell in love with Clockwork Angel when I read it last summer and I rated the six books in the Mortal Instruments as some of my all-time favourites. I'm determined to read these books whenever I get the chance, as I'd love to see the changes that Tessa, Jem and Will encounter and further immerse myself in the shadowhunter world. Also, I need a way to pass my time before Lady Midnight is released in March, which I'm incredibly excited for.

Another book that I'm ashamed to have not read is Allegiant by Veronica Roth. It was about a year and a half ago when I read Divergent and Insurgent and I thoroughly enjoyed both of them. I'm a huge fan of dystopian novels and found these to be incredibly gripping and addictive reads throughout. I took a short break after reading them before I planned on tackling Allegiant and I never got around to finishing the trilogy since then. I really hope that I'll be able to read this book in the future, but I'll need to refresh myself on what has happened beforehand.

I picked up Betrayal by Gregg Olsen immediately after reading the previous novel in the duology. Envy was fast-paced, gripping and I thoroughly enjoyed the mystery. However, there were quite a few loose ends that weren't resolved and not everything had been concluded, so I was eager to read the next book and gain some answers. Like all of the other books in this list, I started reading other titles and never got around to reading this book, but I'm determined to read it soon as mystery books are a nice change from fantasy and I'm eager to know what happens next.

After reading both Did I Mention I Love You and Did I Mention I Need You by Estelle Maskame, I really want to finish the trilogy and read the final installment of Eden and Tyler's story. This book hasn't yet been published but will be soon, so I'll definitely be picking it up when it is released. The story so far has been an addictive read and very relatable, providing an interesting take on a previously overdone topic. I was fully invested in the story during the first two books, and so I'm determined to know how the wonderful story will conclude.

One of the novels that I mention frequently is Finding Sky by Joss Stirling, which I thoroughly enjoyed and found to be a unique book out of those that I've read. I always say that this is the type of book that is perfect for me and, if I was to write a novel, I can imagine it being this story. I fell in love with every aspect of it, but for some reason, I only read the first book in the series. It's been a while since I read this book and I'm now ready to finish the series, which hopefully I'll be able to do soon with renewed motivation and excitement.

The final sequel that I really need to read is Barely Breathing by Rebecca Donovan. I read its predecessor during the summer and fell in love with it, despite it being a chilling and emotional story. I became really invested in the characters and rapidly completed the book, but couldn't get my hands on the next one due to being on holiday. I never got around to picking up Barely Breathing, but I feel as though it has been long enough and I really need to read it soon, as well as the final book in the trilogy to conclude the series.

These are just a few of the sequels that I really need to read, but there are many others that I could add to the list. Are there any series that you have started but never finished? Make sure you let me know down in the comments as I'd love to find out. Thank you for reading and I'll be back on Wednesday with a new post!

Love from Daisy x

As of recently, I’ve been embracing nude lipsticks and I've really enjoying wearing them on a regular basis. A more subtle lip like this is a nice change from my usual looks and it's incredibly versatile, looking nice with any makeup, particularly a statement eye. There are three products which I’ve been using to create this look, all of which are budget friendly and have been firm staples in my makeup bag for quite some time. I thought that it might be interesting to share my thoughts on these, especially since they create a gorgeous nude lip that has been my go-to look.

I started by lining my lips using the MUA Intense Colour Lip Liner in the shade Caramel Nougat, which is a product that I haven’t featured on my blog much but I really love it. The colour is a natural nude colour that is similar to my lip colour, meaning you could wear it alone for a very natural look. It provides a perfect neutral base for any lip product that I want to apply and I find that it adds a bit of darkness to my lips, since the lipstick that I used is quite pale. I’ve been using this lip liner a lot recently, since it applies really nicely and is creamy and pigmented whilst still being incredibly long lasting. I honestly think that this is great value for money, especially since you can purchase it for only £1.

Next, I applied the lipstick, which was the Makeup Revolution Matte Lipstick in the shade The One, which I’ve been thoroughly enjoying lately. It’s a lovely pinkish nude colour that is really natural but looks lovely when applied. It’s quite matte and does tend to cling to dry patches in places, but I find this to be manageable if you apply some lip balm beforehand. I really like this lipstick as it’s long-lasting, pigmented without being over-the-top, and it even smells delicious. I’m so glad that I stumbled upon this bargain, and you definitely can’t turn it down for £1.

Finally, I completed this lip look by adding some lipgloss. I prefer to wear something with a gloss or sheen on my lips on a day-to-day basis, as it’s more comfortable and adds extra interest to the lip look. The one that I used for this look was the Miss Sporty Miss Cocktail Lipgloss in the shade Jacuzzi Break, which is a really lovely product for £1.99. It makes my lips look slightly plumper, adds a gorgeous glossy texture without feeling sticky and it's mostly clear, meaning you can wear it over any lipstick. I've definitely been getting good use out of this product, and I'd definitely recommend trying it if you haven't already.

I hope you liked seeing what my go-to products are for a neutral lip and it's amazing how you only have to spend £3.99 to create it. I'd love to know what your budget makeup recommendations are, so make sure you let me know down in the comments. Thanks for reading and I'll be back on Sunday with a new post!

Love from Daisy x

I expect a lot of my readers to be around the same age as me, meaning quite a few of you may be new to wearing makeup or only own a couple of products. When I started properly exploring the world of makeup and trialling new products, I had no idea where to start or what was worth purchasing. That is why I've decided to put together this post for you, as it will hopefully show you some of the best products to buy when you're starting with makeup and building your collection.

Starting with concealer, it’s probably obvious what my choice will be. If you’re new to makeup then you’ll want something that is affordable yet does the job well, and the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer ticks all of these boxes. At £4.19, it’s definitely worth trying, especially since it’s been one of my firm favourites for quite some time now. This concealer is heavily pigmented, without looking cakey, and will cover any imperfection easily, staying in place throughout the day.

For bronzer, I’ve been obsessed with the Maybelline Dream Sun and think that it’s perfect for starting out with makeup. It appears quite natural on the face, which is good for if you’re new to wearing makeup and are afraid of something that might look too heavy or muddy. Alternatively, the Essence Soft Touch Mousse can be used as a cream bronzer, which is a great way to warm up the face and can be easily controlled and blended out.

A cheap blusher that I think should be included in your starting collection is the Miss Beauty London Powder Blushers. They’re only £1 each, meaning you can trial quite a few different shades when you start out. They can definitely be worn lightly or with more pigment, meaning you can create versatile looks with these products. The MUA Powder and Cream Blushers are also lovely for £1 and I find myself resorting to these on a regular basis. I knew that I couldn't leave out the Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Hot Spice since I find myself using this constantly and all of the products are gorgeously pigmented and flattering once applied.

Highlighter isn’t absolutely necessary for starting out with makeup, as it’s usually something that’s only worn when you want a more dramatic, luminous look. However, my recommendation is from the Sleek Face Form Contour Kit. It’s a beautiful, shimmery champagne colour that can be worn subtly or in a more bold way, so you can definitely get a lot of use out of this.

When you’re starting out with eyeshadow, it’s good to have a lot of options, so I’d recommend buying some palettes rather than single eyeshadows. This means that you can really experiment and create a variety of different looks, opposed to being limited to one colour. Some of those that I’d recommend for starting out are the MUA Eyeshadow Palettes. They do many different ones, so you can try out a lot of looks, but my favourites are the Undressed Palette and the Heaven and Earth Palette, as the eyeshadows are all lovely and blend really nicely.

Eyeliner isn’t something that I started using when I was first introduced into makeup, but if you want to wear it then I’d recommend getting a good quality eyeliner to see you through. Personally, I love the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajals, as they have a really creamy formula that makes them glide on evenly. They blend really well and don't budge throughout the day, so if you're wanting to try some outstanding eyeliners then these may be the perfect match!

It's no surprise what mascara I'm going to recommend since it's one that I use almost all the time. The Maybelline Great Lash Mascara has been a firm favourite of mine for as long as I can remember, simply because it's really easy to apply and always looks lovely on the lashes. The tiny wand means it's easy to be precise and ensure that your eyelashes have maximum separation and length. It's also great for creating different looks, as your eyelashes can be more natural or bold, depending on how you apply the mascara.

When thinking of what lipstick would be the best to recommend for a makeup beginner, I instantly thought of the Makeup Revolution Lipstick in The One, which has been one of my favourites quite recently. It's only £1, so it ticks the box for affordability, but it's still such a beautiful product that looks quite natural on the lips. The pigmentation is great in this matte lipstick and I've been returning to it really often.

For lipgloss, I have two recommendations, both of which I've been using a lot lately. The first is the Miss Sporty Miss Cocktail Lipgloss in Jacuzzi Break, as it provides a gorgeous sheen to the lips and makes them look plumper. My other recommendation is the Essence Liquid Lipstick in Beauty Secret, which is a new favourite of mine but is definitely worth trying. This lipstick has a huge amount of pigmentation and longevity, making it the perfect product to wear when you want something bold but still glossy on the lips.

Now that you've been recommended all of these makeup products, you're going to need some brushes to apply them with. Although I'm in love with my Real Techniques brushes and use them on a daily basis, it's good to start off with some more affordable tools. I picked up the Ebay Makeup Brushes a few months ago and think that they are great value for money, being comparable with some of my more expensive brushes. They're really soft but still pick up a generous amount of product, so I'd definitely recommend trying them. 

I hope you liked my recommendations and hopefully this post has been helpful for anyone starting a makeup collection. I'd love to know if you have any holy grail products that you feel I've missed out, so make sure you let me know down in the comments what makeup products you'd recommend for beginners. Thanks for reading and I'll see you on Wednesday with my newest post!

Love from Daisy x

Having long blonde hair means that it requires a fair bit of maintenance and has to be looked after to avoid it becoming damaged. I've tried many different hair products but I've managed to narrow it down to my favourites and select a few that work the best for me. I thought that it might be interesting to see what products I use in my hair to maintain it, so hopefully you'll like this post.

For shampoo and conditioner, I often tend to vary the products I use and I'll often trial new ones. However, the L'Oreal Nutri-Gloss Luminiser Shampoo and Conditioner are products that I've used numerous times and completely fallen in love with. They leave my hair feeling incredibly soft and clean, which is something that some hair products fail to deliver on. This shampoo and conditioner claims to remove impurities from hair fibers and coat them with a gloss, resulting in a long-lasting, weightless luminosity. I feel like this is definitely true and I definitely notice a difference after using these products regularly.

A product that I quite often use in my hair is an argan oil, as I've heard nothing but amazing reviews and advice on how these products can transform your hair. I've particularly loved using the Avon Advance Techniques Moroccan Argan Oil, and I can definitely say that I notice differences after using it for quite a while. Argan oil has a number of benefits, such as promoting healthy hair growth, fighting dandruff, combatting thin and brittle hair, taming frizz and treating split ends. If you haven't invested in one of these products then I'd definitely recommend doing so, as they have plenty of benefits that will help your hair in one way or another.

Quite a new discovery for me is the use of a protein spray, but recently I've been loving using the Label M Protein Spray in my regular haircare routine. This product aims at treating dry, brittle or damaged hair, as well as helping to stimulate hair growth and preventing split ends. It's good to give your hair a bit more attention and treatment than usual, and a product like this is ideal to use as it will do nothing but benefit your hair.

As it's actually bad for your hair to wash it every single day, dry shampoo is an essential alternative for me and I find myself using it often. It's perfect for making dirty hair appear fresh and full of life, but can also be used to add volume or grip in your hair, making an up-do hold much better. I've tried many dry shampoos over the years, but I always return to the Batiste Dry Shampoo, as I feel like it works the best in my hair and quickly absorbs any excess oils.

These are the products that I find myself using often in my hair, but are there any others that you think I've missed out? I'd love to know what essential hair products aren't in my routine, so make sure you let me know down in the comments. Thanks for reading and I'll see you on Sunday with a new post.

Love from Daisy x

Lady Midnight - The Dark Artifices #1 by Cassandra Clare
A series of murders in Los Angeles seem to have the same characteristics as the deaths of Emma Carstairs' parents. Could the murderer be the same person? The Fair Folk make a deal with the Institute: if the Blackthorns and Emma will investigate the killings, they’ll return Mark Blackthorn. The catch: they have two weeks to find the killers. Otherwise, it’s open war between faeries and Nephilim. The Shadowhunters of the Institute must race to catch the killers, even as they suspect the involvement of those closest to them.

Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare is the first book in the Dark Artifices series and I’ve been waiting for it to be released for a long time. The story is set five years after the Mortal Instruments series and will follow the shadowhunter Emma Carstairs as she tries to discover who killed her parents. If you’re a fan of paranormal fantasy novels, I’d definitely recommend reading this book when it is released on 8th March 2016.

A Court of Mist and Fury - A Court of Thorns and Roses #2 by Sarah J Maas
Feyre survived Amarantha's clutches to return to the Spring Court but at a steep cost. Though she now has the powers of the High Fae, her heart remains human, and it can't forget the terrible deeds she performed to save Tamlin's people. Nor has Feyre forgotten her bargain with Rhysand, High Lord of the feared Night Court. As Feyre navigates its web of politics, passion, and dazzling power, a greater evil looms, and she might be key to stopping it. But only if she can harness her harrowing gifts, heal her fractured soul, and decide how she wishes to shape her future.

A Court of Mist and Fury is the second book in the ‘A Court of Thorns and Roses’ series. It is based around the story of Beauty and the Beast, but this retelling features more fantasy elements and faeries. Sarah is a bestselling author and the first book in the series is critically acclaimed, so this is definitely one to look out for when it’s released.

Untitled - Throne of Glass #5 by Sarah J Maas
The long path to the throne has only just begun for Aelin Galathynius. Loyalties have been broken and bought, friends have been lost and gained, and those who possess magic find themselves at odds with those don't. As the kingdoms of Erilea fracture around her, enemies must become allies if Aelin is to keep those she loves from falling to the dark forces poised to claim her world. With war looming on all horizons, the only chance for salvation lies in a desperate quest that may mark the end of everything Aelin holds dear. Aelin's journey from assassin to queen has entranced millions across the globe, and this fifth installment will leave fans breathless. Will Aelin succeed in keeping her world from splintering, or will it all come crashing down?

Sarah J Maas is more commonly known for her Throne of Glass series, which is a fantasy series centred around assassins. The four books that are currently published are extremely popular in the YA book community and lots of people love them, so this will definitely be an exciting release. Although I haven’t read any of them yet, I know a lot of people who have and I’ve heard nothing but good things about these books.

The Raven King - The Raven Cycle #4 by Maggie Stiefvater
All her life, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love's death. She doesn't believe in true love and never thought this would be a problem, but as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she's not so sure anymore. In a starred review for Blue Lily, Lily Blue, Kirkus Reviews declared: "Expect this truly one-of-a-kind series to come to a thundering close."

Maggie Stiefvater is another incredibly popular YA author, whether you know her from the Wolves of Mercy Falls series or this series, which is the Raven Cycle. This book is an urban fantasy novel, but it also features ghosts and other paranormal creatures. If you’re a fan of Maggie’s work or simply wanting to continue reading the Raven Cycle books, I’d definitely urge you to check out this release.

The Rose and the Dagger - The Wrath and the Dawn #2 by Renee Ahdieh
Shahrzad has been torn from the love of her husband Khalid, the Caliph of Khorasan. Shahrzad is almost a prisoner caught between loyalties to people she loves. But she refuses to be a pawn and devises a plan. While her father, Jahandar, continues to play with forces he doesn't understand, Shahrzad tries to uncover powers that may lie dormant within her. With the help of a tattered old carpet and a tempestuous young man, Shahrzad will attempt to break the curse and reunite with her one true love.

This book is the second in a duology, with the first being the Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. It is a retelling of A Thousand and One Nights, which is a classic story that has been retold many times before. Without spoiling anything, there is supposed to be a massive twist within the duology, so it’s definitely worth reading, even if you know the original story.

The Last Star - The 5th Wave #3 by Rick YanceyWe’re here, then we’re gone, and that was true before they came. That’s always been true. The Others didn’t invent death; they just perfected it. Gave death a face to put back in our face, because they knew that was the only way to crush us. It won’t end on any continent or ocean, no mountain or plain, jungle or desert. It will end where it began, where it had been from the beginning, on the battlefield of the last beating human heart.

The Last Star by Rick Yancey is the final book in a dystopian trilogy which is set in a post-apocalyptic world. There’s a bit of everything in this novel, whether you’re looking for paranormal features, romance or fantasy. If you’ve read the other two books then I’d definitely take a look at this as it’s supposedly an epic conclusion to a beautiful series.

A Torch Against the Night - An Ember in the Ashes #2 by Sabaa Tahir
Laia and Elias fight their way north to liberate Laia’s brother from the horrors of Kauf Prison. Hunted by Empire soldiers, manipulated by the Commandant, and haunted by their pasts, Laia and Elias must outfox their enemies and confront their own hearts. In the city of Serra, Helene Aquilla finds herself bound to the will of the Empire’s twisted new leader, Marcus. When her loyalty is questioned, Helene finds herself taking on a mission to prove herself—a mission that might destroy her, instead.

This book is the sequel to An Ember in the Ashes, also by Sabaa Tahir. It is a fantasy novel that is supposed to be really good. I’ve heard some amazing reviews of it and this book seems to be popular in the YA book community, so if you’re looking for a dystopian novel that features soldiers and slaves then you might want to try this.

Passenger - Passenger #1 by Alexandra Bracken
Etta Spencer is certain that she has traveled miles and years from home and she’s inherited a legacy from a family who she’s never heard of. Nicholas Carter is content with life at sea, free from Ironwoods. Now they are searching for a stolen object, one they believe only Etta can find. In order to protect her, he must ensure she brings it back to them, whether she wants to or not. Together, they must journey across centuries and continents, piecing together clues from someone who will do anything to keep it out of the Ironwoods’ grasp.

Many readers have heard of the infamous Alexandra Bracken, who wrote the Darkest Minds. This is one of the most popular YA books at the moment, but it is, unfortunately, unavailable in the UK. Although I’m unsure whether this will be sold in the UK, I really hope it is as it sounds like an amazing book. From what I’ve heard, Alexandra is an amazing fantasy writer and I’d definitely take the opportunity to read her books if you get the chance.

Glass Sword - Red Queen #2 by Victoria Aveyard
Mare Barrow’s blood is red but her Silver ability, the power to control lightning, has turned her into a weapon that the royal court tries to control. The crown calls her an impossibility, but as she makes her escape from Maven, the prince who betrayed her, Mare uncovers something startling: she is not the only one of her kind. Pursued by Maven, now a vindictive king, Mare sets out to find and recruit other Red-and-Silver fighters to join in the struggle against her oppressors. But Mare finds herself on a deadly path, at risk of becoming exactly the kind of monster she is trying to defeat.

The Glass Sword by Victoria Aveyard is the sequel to the Red Queen, which is another book that I haven’t read but I really want to. From reviews that I’ve seen, Victoria’s books are supposed to be amazing and I’ve heard that the story behind it is very gripping. I really want to get around to reading this new release and hopefully, you will too.

The Crown - The Selection #5 by Kiera Cass
Twenty years have passed since the events of The One, and America and Maxon’s daughter is the first princess to hold a Selection of her own. Princess Eadlyn didn’t think she would find a real partner among the Selection’s thirty-five suitors, let alone true love. But sometimes the heart has a way of surprising you...and now Eadlyn must make a choice that feels more difficult—and more important—than she ever expected.

The Crown is the fifth book in the Selection series, which is centered around the choosing of a new princess. After reading the first book, I can tell that it has a really interesting concept and you really get to know and love the characters that are introduced. This book is set twenty years in the future and follows the children of the characters from the first book. If you’re a fan of the Selection series then I’d definitely give it a go, but it may feature some spoilers for the previous books.

Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame

Today, I'm back with another book review, since I realised that it was a while ago since I last uploaded one. I was recently sent this book by the lovely staff at Black & White Publishing, which I'm incredibly thankful for. Although contemporary novels aren't something that I usually read, I really wanted to give this one a go as it sounded really interesting and had a fresh concept. I thoroughly enjoyed the novel, so I thought that it was only right for me to share my opinions with you, in the form of a review.

Did I Mention I Love You by Estelle Maskame

The author of the DIMILY series, Estelle Maskame, is actually a teenager, which truly proves that you can be successful even at a young age and definitely serves as an inspiration for many readers internationally. Estelle started writing at the age of 13 and completed the DIMILY trilogy when she was 16. She is now a bestselling author and has risen to fame, which proves that age doesn’t matter and it’s the amazing quality of her writing that has helped her to gain success. She even signed the book for me, which I was really pleased with and added to my experience of reading it.

Did I Mention I Love You follows the story of the teenager Eden Munro, who moves to Santa Monica for the summer to spend time with her father. He walked out on her three years prior and has set up a new life in Los Angeles. Eden is thrust into what feels like a completely different life, surrounded by a new family and three step-brothers all close to her in age. She also makes a group of friends, some whom she trusts more than others, with each one having their own secrets and backstories that Eden must come to terms with. This novel follows Eden in her new life and is full of suspenseful plot twists and interesting storylines that gripped me throughout and are definitely worth the read.

I really liked Eden's character, as I found her to be really relatable and a strong lead throughout the book. She was a very complex character with a lot of hidden characteristics, such as dealing with homesickness, the anxiety of being in completely new surroundings and the remaining emotional turmoil from her parent’s divorce, but I feel as though these make her seem more human and it makes it easier for the readers to connect with her. I feel as though Eden has a lot more meaning to her and secrets that haven’t been revealed, which definitely adds to her character and shows that she has been fully developed.

Tyler is one of those characters who I can guarantee you will love to hate, as he comes across as obnoxious, selfish and rude. I particularly like how Estelle included some redeeming features within him and gave him more of a tender personality when the reader realised what was really going on in his life. This proved that not everyone is how they initially appear and gave Tyler’s character much more depth and believability. Also, Estelle was incredibly clever in a sense that she was able to completely change our view on his character, and by the end of the novel we were convinced that he was actually considerate and thoughtful. It takes a skilled writer to be able to manipulate how the reader views a character, but Estelle did this incredibly well.

Often in novels, particularly those for young adults, there is a lack of development in the supporting characters, with them being cardboard-cut-out like people that are present to serve a purpose but are never really explored. I’m pleased to say that this wasn’t the case in Did I Mention I Love You, as there was a lot of character development and we really got a glimpse of the lives of the other people in the book. We definitely get little insights into their issues from Eden’s point of view, but I’d love for these to be explored further in the future, even if that’s in the form of a companion novel or series.

Like most contemporary novels, this story wasn’t based around a single event, but rather a course of events that took place over six weeks. I really liked this, as it gave the book a flowing feel to it and progression felt natural, but at times, it was hard to determine whether something was an important plot point or an insignificant event that wasn’t relevant. Throughout the book, Eden encounters lots of common issues, such as peer pressure, social anxiety, body appearance and everything in between, which made the book much more impactful. Having these laced within the events really made them stand out and show that these are common occurrences in most people’s lives.

If you haven’t guessed it already, I really enjoyed this book and raced through it, which was due to its fast paced nature and addictive plot lines. I fell in love with the characters, with each one having their own loveable characteristics and endearing qualities. There were definitely a lot of unpredictable plot points and I didn’t have a clue what was going to happen at any point. Another part of the novel that I really liked was the humorous moments and witty lines which were nice touches and added a friendly, relaxed vibe to the novel.

It’s really hard to critique this novel, as I really enjoyed it, but there are a couple of things that I wanted to change. Although it’s just me being a bit picky, I would’ve liked DIMILY to be a bit more challenging, as the story was interesting but this could’ve been coupled with more advanced vocabulary. Another thing that I wanted was a resolution between Eden and her dad, with at least an attempt at an apology and to resolve what had been started. However, there is hope for this in the future, as the sequels may provide an answer to this.

One of my favourite parts of the novel is Estelle’s writing, which really was the cherry on top of the cake for me. Throughout the story, we are presented with beautiful descriptions and creative literary devices that really added to my experience of reading. It shows that, despite being a young author, Estelle was capable of not only creating an excellent story but adding some traces of imagery and other features that were well thought out and enhanced the novel. 

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with this book and it definitely surpassed my expectations. It was quite an easy read and was a contemporary novel through and through, but I fell in love with everything about it and was surprised by how addicted I became. I enjoyed it so much that I’ve already got my hands on the next book in the trilogy, as I couldn’t wait to find out what happened next. If you’re looking for a fun and relatable book to read then I’d definitely recommend this one and hopefully, you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

Thank you for reading this blog post and I really hope that you liked it. Are there any other books that you'd like to see me review on my blog? Just let me know down in the comments and I might just get around to reading them. I'll be back on Sunday with a new post, so I'll see you then!

Love from Daisy x

This book was sent to me for review by Black and White Publishing. However, all opinions are my own and this review is 100% truthful and accurate.

It's officially 2016, which means that it's time to round up my makeup favourites from the past year. There has been quite a few new discoveries but some old favourites have made a comeback, so it's definitely a mixed bag of favourite products. I couldn't narrow down some of them categroies to just one product, but I tried my hardest to choose my ultimate favourites from the past year, so I hope you like this post.

I didn't choose a favourite foundation for 2015 since this is something that I don't wear often, so my list starts with my most used concealer. This is the Collection Lasting Perfection Concealer, which will be no surprise to most of you as I praise this product at any possible opportunity. It is incredibly pigmented and covers problematic areas very well. It lasts for ages and is a bargain at only £4.19, which is why I've constantly been returning to it throughout the year.

There are two bronzers that I've particularly loved using this year, the first one being the Maybelline Dream Sun Bronzer. This is a really natural colour, which allows me to achieve a subtle tan and it is perfect for adding a hint of colour. When I wanted a darker tan or for my bronzer to be more defined, I opted for the Sleek Face Form Bronzer, which I've loved using and is definitely one of my favourites.

Blusher is a product that I love trialling, so I found it difficult to narrow down my ultimate favourite for the year, which explains why I'm about to list three products. The first is the Miss Beauty London Blusher in the shade Bonbon, as it's incredibly pigmented and provides a gorgeous sheen on the cheeks. The Bare Minerals Loose Powder Blusher in Beauty has also been a firm favourite of mine, as it's a gorgeous dark pink shade that is blendable and very versatile for creating looks. I've also been in love with the Makeup Revolution Ultra Blush Palette in Hot Spice, as there is a variety of beautiful colours, all of which have great pigment and staying power.

For highlighter, I've often ventured back to the Sleek Face Form Palette, as the shimmery champagne highlighter is a lovely product that adds a noticeable sheen without looking too over-the-top. I've also loved using the Benefit Watts Up Highlighter, which has a cream to powder formula, meaning it stays in place really well and looks beautiful on the skin.

My favourite eyeshadow of 2015 was probably the Urban Decay Naked 3 Palette as this was my first ever high-end eyeshadow palette. All of the eyeshadows are creamy in texture and apply evenly with lots of pigment, as well as the colours being absolutely gorgeous. I've also loved using the MUA Undressed Palette, which is an obvious dupe for the original Naked palette, but much more affordable. Quite often, I've found myself returning to the Maybelline Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze, which provides an effortless sheen of rich colour that is blendable and lasts all day.

I found the perfect eyebrow pencil in 2015, which was the Miss Beauty London Eyebrow Pencil in Blonde. This product is really soft and glides over the skin, enabling me to define my eyebrows. The colour matches that of my eyebrows incredibly well and, at only £1, it's impossible to turn down such a lovely product.

I've definitely started wearing eyeliner more often this year, and I've tried a few budget options. Some of my favourites have been the Rimmel Scandaleyes Kohl Kajals in taupe and nude, which I've loved for their creamy texture and staying power. I've enjoyed wearing the taupe one along my lash line, smudged out, and the nude one looks lovely in the waterline. I've also loved the MUA Intense Colour Eyeliner in Rich Brown, which is a lovely budget alternative that is intensely pigmented.

My mascara favourite has been the same for a long time now, which is the Maybelline Great Lash Mascara. I love this product as it can be applied naturally or in a more dramatic way, depending on the look you want. In my opinion, it's really good for lengthening and separation, and the tiny wand makes it incredibly easy to apply. For more dramatic looks, I've been using the Benefit They're Real Mascara, which is amazing for huge looking lashes that are incredibly long and voluminous.

I've tried out a number of different lipsticks and lip crayons over the past year, but there are a couple that stick in my mind as clear favourites. A product that I've mentioned constantly and rightfully so is the Soap and Glory Sexy Mother Pucker Gloss Stick in Raplumzel, which is my go-to bold lip colour. This is really flattering on the lips, the colour is gorgeous and it's much more manageable than a proper lipstick. My nude lipstick of choice is the Makeup Revolution Lipstick in The One, which is quite subtle but is a gorgeous everyday shade.

One of my favourite lipglosses is the Essense Liquid Lipstick in Beauty Secret, which is extremely pigmented and lasts really nicely on the lips. I've also loved the Bare Minerals Marvelous Moxie Lipgloss in Rebel, which is a lovely pink shade that is quite sheer when it's first applied but can be built up to achieve more pigmentation. Finally, I always seem to go back to the Miss Sporty Miss Cocktail Lipgloss in Jacuzzi Break, which is a cheap option but I often find myself using it as it provides a gorgeous sheen on the lips.