Literature · Reviews

Wind; Haruki Murakami- Book Review

I went shopping a few times during the holidays and one of the things that I picked up (well, actually my Mum did)  was a book by the author Haruki Murakami. It is actually two of his books in one; Pinball being the second book, and also features a third and final book in the series.


I was attracted to the book first by it’s minimal cover, created by Suzanne Dean. The book has two covers which I found out when I flipped it over to read the blurb (there isn’t one.) and found another cover in place, this one credited to the V&A and Steve Banks.

The cover for Wind is very abstract, with a cut squares and leaves which hint to the book’s setting and writer’s heritage from Japan, and makes a lovely change from the complicated covers which are usually found on book shelves.  I am a fan of more simple covers,  vintage hardback books being my favourite, so I opened the book to find out more.

Inside is more decoration, with the front pages designed to match their respective covers in a repeating pattern. Wind featured an abstract pattern, much like something you would find in a museum. Points to me for the worst description ever, but have some photos to see what I mean;


The order of the books is Wind, followed by Pinball and lastly A Wild Sheep Chase. I didn’t know there was a third until I finished wind and read the inner sleeve of the book and proceeded to internally scream. What happens to the rat? Who knows when I’ll find out because I haven’t finished Pinball yet and have no idea when I’ll get my hands onto the third.

The blurb follows the minimal tone of the novel, explaining what happens and nothing more. It tells the bare minimum and entices you becauase of this- no cliffhangers or ‘What will happen?’ It almost sounds…ordinary, like an everyday documentation which draws you into read more.


The style of Wind is personal and calm. The narrator is very matter-of-fact and blunt. No fancy words. He tells you how he feels, what he thinks and gives a real incite into his brain.

The chapters are short overall, with varying lengths throughout which I found odd at first, but I actually began to enjoy this style, especially the cute star divisions when a new chapter isn’t needed, but the events don’t flow into one another. Wind also has illustrations tying into the story.


As for plot, I have yet to figure one out. I mean, the events happen chronologically, and they make sense and have meaning…but the meaning isn’t to the reader- it’s to the narrator. This is what makes the book so special to me. It’s almost as if the narrator has invited us into his life, and we are observing his daily happenings. Nothing elaborate or fancy. Just his life. There is a real sense of ‘average is fine’ which I got from the book, a comforting thing if your like me and in the middle of essentially deciding your future.(yay uni applications)

The characters in the book are also interesting to say the least. The narrator is never named, his friend is only known as “the rat” and there’s a girl with only 9 fingers. Odd, right? This adds to the vague nature of the novel and also spurs me to re-read it again to see if I can piece together more coherently what is happening and what it means. If it means anything. Maybe it is just an interesting story about a person with no deeper meaning. After all, not everything needs to teach you something about life.


The Rat is a prominent character in the book, perhaps more so in Wind as he seems to be struggling, although he rarely shares why. Despite being from a rich family- he hates the rich and is a mysterious character who disappears and reappears through the chapters.

Many of the characters in Wind have little revealed about them- perhaps it reflects how people you meet share things with you, but never everything. It leaves a lot of questions which lead you on until you finish and realize…you have even more questions.

In short, it’s difficult to review the book without revealing what happens within the book and spoiling it. But it is a strange style of writing which is really fun to read and also challenging at times.

Overall, I loved this story, it is much different from the standard motivation-problem-solution or a how-to-life story, and I actually thought it was an autobiography at first. Actually, that’s how I would describe it- A fictional Autobiography.

I’ll review the next story; Pinball in the next post one I have finished reading it. I’ll also review the third book although I have no idea when that will be. What did you guys think? I’m not sure I reviewed the book very well, so tips would be appreciated! I’m curious to see if anyone else has read this too, I’d love to hear your opinions! Thanks for reading!

fashion · Reviews

Christian Siriano- Pre S/S 2016

Sorry for the late blog post, I usually post weekly but I’m trying to get all my revision and summer work finished before we go back! I should have my timetable soon, so then I can fit in a definite slot for my posts.

Onto the actual topic, the next collection I’m going to review is Christian Siriano’s Pre collection. This collection features a lot of peach tones, contrasted with black and navy among the pastel hues. Siriano’s collection is elegant and refined, with long, big skirts and modern necklines. Crew-neck and boater style necklines are a reccuring feature. Overall this collection screams young, modern and chic.

The first piece that caught my eye was this peach evening gown. I love the material used, it reminds me of tissue paper that is used to wrap jewellery in! I also like the unique neckline combined with the pleats, which gives a minimal and effortless elegance to the dress. The fact there is hardly any embellishment to the dress draws more attention to the small details which are executed perfectly. Even the hemline adds an edge to the gown.

Next is this floral print which is used throughout the collection. I love how in each ensemble, Siriano picks a key colour from the print and uses it in a block print to contrast. In this, he has selected a beautiful lavender shade for the top of this model and has used his skill in pleating and frills to create a pattern, rather than printing onto the fabric. Again, the simplistic style draws the eye towards the technique, showcasing his skills as a designer. As for the skirt, the same applies, this time with the wide gathers which gives a more mature undertone to the style.

Lastly, I love the 70s vibe that this over-sized shirt and skirt give in this design. The long sleeves and how the shirt is haphazardly fastened give a ‘day at the beach’ feel to the ensemble, and the geometric print adds to the retro vibe. A touch of modern style is injected into the design with the A line skirt which would look great with a crisp white shirt for the office. The heels and bow tie the garments together with the all matching print trend conveyed by Siriano.

What do you think? Check out the rest of the collection here and leave a comment on your favourite piece!

Or if you’re new, check out my other reviews so far;

Giambattista A/W 2015/16

Barbra Bui Pre S/S 2016

Creatures of the Wind S/S 2016

awards · Misc

The Liebster Award

Hello! How are you all today? If your one of the many people who (like me) picked up your AS/A Level grades yesterday, I hope you got the grades you wanted and celebrated!

Back to the post, I was nominated by the amazing Rebekah from Moments of a Mermaid for the Liebster Award which promotes new bloggers and introduce them into the community. Its a great way to find your footing as a blogger and make lovely friends along the way! This is the first award I’ve been nominated for and I’m flattered to be chosen as one of Rebekah’s 10 blogs! Thank you!

The rules are simple;

  1. Once nominated, make a post thanking and linking the person who nominated you.
  2. Include the LEIBSTER AWARD sticker in the post too.
  3. Nominate 10 other new bloggers that have 200 or less followers who you think are worthy of this award. Let them know they have been nominated by commenting on one of their posts. You can nominate the person who nominated you.
  4. Answer the 10 questions asked to you by the person who nominated you and make ten questions of your own for your nominees.
  5. Lastly, copy these rules in the post.

I have decided to nominate…..

And here are the questions!

  1. Supernatural or Sherlock?

I’m more emotionally invested in Sherlock than Supernatural. Sorry Dean.

2. What is your favourite lipstick?

At the moment my MUA lipstick in shade 9 which I wrote about here. It’s a cool brown/gold colour which I’ve never used before and it isn’t dry at all. It also lasts a long time too!

3. If you can have any job in the world, what would it be?

Any job? A detective was the first thing I thought of and wasn’t at all influenced by the first question at all. Not at all.

4. Where is your favourite vacation spot?

I don’t really go on holiday but I where I live there’s a castle and its nice to just sit in the field and do nothing all day with my friends. Which sounds boring, but it’s not. Honest.

5. Have you ever met someone famous before?

Only in my dreams.

6. What do you love most about blogging?

I like finding other bloggers who share similar interests, there’s nothing better than waking up to read their new post and chatting to them about it and having the same experience on your post. Knowing that they like and support your content is the best feeling ever and everyone I’ve made friends with so far is a lovely person with an equally amazing blog!

7.Who is your favourite musician/band?

I’m a diehard BAP fan, it’s where the ‘mato’ from mashmato comes from 🙂

8. If you could eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Pasta! I don’t know why, it’s the first thing I thought of.

9. What is your favourite candle scent?

Vanilla or rose!

10. What do you do to relax?

Tumblr, drawing and sleeping.

And here are my questions!!

  1. If you could dye your hair any colour for one day, what would you choose?

2. Are you a sweet or savory person?

3. What was your dream when you were younger?

4. Has your dream changed/been achieved?

5. What is the best book you’ve ever read?

6. On a scale of 1-10, how much do you use social media?

7. Where do you see your blog in 10 years?

8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

9. Are you an optimistic or a pessimistic person? Or a mix of both?

10. Do you take ages to do your makeup? How long?

Thank you again to Rebekah for nominating me, the questions were so fun to answer and it made my day! To my nominees, I hope you like the questions and have fun answering them! I love your blogs so much!

fashion

Creatures of the Wind- S/S 2016

COTW have gone with a slightly nautical colour pallet for next year’s summer trend, with navy blues, whites and a hint of yellow, creating a fresh and clean collection.

They opted for a no-fuss silhouette, straight cut and simple, with a few pleats here and there, leaving the chosen patterns to do the talking. The patterns in question are a mixture of stripes, floral motifs and a pattern which I can only describe as an striped weave. As in the fabric technique, not the hair kind.

I like the versatility of the skirt for this outfit, it can easily be toned down for a casual look, or used for a more professional presentation if paired with a white shirt. The shirt used in this photo (courtesy of Vogue might I add, as are all the photos used on this series) reminds me of an underwater scene, as it has a wet-look finish to it. This again, could be worn as a party statement or casual shirt, depending on how you style it.

THIS! This was the striped weave pattern I was (trying) to describe. It has the light and dark coffee tones going horizontal and withing that tiny square patterns making it look like a basket weave. The effortless gathers and tiny details- such as the uneven waistband- express the designer’s skill in making a garment which doesn’t need thousands of techniques and patterns to succeed. Simplicity is key, you might say. They also manage to get away with layering patterns (cheeky!) which is normally a taboo in the fashion world. However, the patterns contrast, with a light stripe on top, light both in colour and size, and a darker, heavier pattern on the bottom. And to unify both, a metallic scarf to add an eye catching feature to the ensemble, in a complementary shade to the skirt.

If you live anywhere with temperamental weather, you’ll relate to me when I say that it will probably rain a fair few times during the summer, even though it’s not supposed to. If your a fan of trench coats to combat this, then look no further. I personally love how the detailing is on the inside rather than the outside, as you can be fashionable without having the problem of matching your coat to your outfit. Flowers don’t match everything, unfortunately. The silver buttons employ a military edge to the coat, matching with the wet-look of fabric. From what is revealed, I’m guessing that the dress follows with the theme of ‘less is more’ with an abstract gather at the front as the main focus of the A-line dress. This time, wider stripes have been used to add more detail, and alternating colours also match with the nautical style.

I haven’t heard of this design er until now, but I look forward to seeing more collections as they have shown that they can do a lot with little extravagance, which can sometimes be overpowering. I also love the name of the brand, it reminds me of a Ghibli movie!

What do you think of the collection? Take a look at all the garments here and let me know in the comments.  If you have any recommendations for new collections that I should review, leave them down in the comments too!  

about me · beauty

Get to know the blogger; What’s in my makeup bag?

As a follow on from my first GTK post, I will be showing you what’s in my daily makeup bag!

  
The makeup bag I’m using currently is one from Primark which is a cute light pink and black lace pattern, which stores everything. I recently cleared out my old makeup and threw out all the products which I don’t use or are smashed (I had so many blushers which were collecting and making dust!)

First up is…Lipsticks!

  
From left to right, the first 5 I actually don’t know where they’re from. They were gifts from friends and family so I don’t know the brands, sorry! Even so, I use these nearly every day, my favourite being the light pink and purple lipsick. They’re subtle and go with almost any outfit imaginable! The next three are my new MUA Lipsticks pin shades Tulip, Juicy and number 5. I recently wrote a blog post about them here, so I won’t delve into to much detail, but I have worn Tulip out and I can say that it looks lovely, but does need re-applying sometimes.

  
Now, I don’t have many brushes, but I use a normal foundation brush for my BB cream, and a double ended brush for eyeshadow. Both of these are from Boots. I also have another eyeshadow brush which came with an Accessorize pallet which I use when I can’t find my sharp edge brush. For powder, I either use the foundation brush or a triangular sponge from Superdrug which you can buy in a multi-pack.

  As for eyeliner, I have two London Scandal eyes which is almost like a felt tip, and is great for a bold and even line. It has a 3D applicator and has a slanted tip, so you can create both a thick and thin line. I have two because I thought I had run out, but, if you bend the top (which your probably not supposed to do in all honesty) more of the product absorbs into the applicator. I also have a silver liquid eyeshadow which I use as an eyeliner also by Rimmel London and a white liner by MUA.
  
For skin, I use Rimmel London matte BB Cream (sensing a trend?), matte pressed powder and a blemish concealer. They’re the only brand who make skin coverage products which match my skin tone so I rely on them with my life. I’m so pale that linger is too dark for me, so the fact that Rimmel make a paler shade is a godsend!

  
For my lashes, I have three mascaras; my L’Oreal Paris mascara in brown, Rimmel London Scandal Eyes Retro in extreme black and a Maybelline Falsies Volume express which I swear by. The brush is curved, making it easier to cover all of your lashes and you get a thin layer on the brush so you don’t end up with spider leg eyelashes. It proceeds an even coverage and lengthens your lashes so well! It’s just run out so now I use the brush to even out the Rimmel mascara which comes out too thick for my eyes, seriously it doesn’t wipe away the excess product at all!

  
  Next to last I have eye shadows. I prefer eyeliner over eye shadow on myself so the products I use are mostly for the brow bone and the inner eyes. I have an Accessorize pallet and a mini set of eye shadows which I use for the light cream and white. The Accessorize one is more glittery and has a bolder colour, so I use it more than the miniature pallet, which is more transparent. It works as a substitute for my white eyeliner, as I don’t line my inner eyes every day.

Finally, I have a collection of random products, like lip gloss, a nail manicure set, blush and a mirror. Where they came from I also have no idea. I’m beginning to think that my makeup bag is a black hole for random products…If so I’d like the Chanel Lipstick that Moments of a Mermaid reviewed!

What’s in your makeup bag? Leave a comment below, and if you have an idea of what I should write about next for this series, let me know!

education · Reviews · Stationery

Zebra Pastel Mildliners review

My new highlighters have arrived! I’ve been so exited for them to arrive so I can use them for my revision and now they’re here I can make cute notes! I thought in tie with my studyblr post I would review them in case any budding studyblr bloggers were interested in buying them!

  
I purchased my highlighters from Amazon, and bought the pastel version of the product. So far I’ve seen two different versions of the pack, with different colours which are linked below the product page. But as I am a pastel nerd, I obviously chose the pastel ones.

  
They are a Japanese brand, and come with 5 different colours; yellow, pink, green, blue and orange, and they have a slight neon tone to them, which is nice because I don’t like really bright colours but it still allows important information to stand out.

  
They also have TWO ENDS! I didn’t know this when I bought the highlighters, I just thought that it would be a slightly thinner version of a highlighter but it’s so much more! There’s a wide slanted end for all your highlighting purposes and on the other end…

  
A pen version! It has a pointed tip so you can write in colour without having to use the wide highlighter which makes everything untidy and ruins your notes causing you to go into a never ending pit of regret and sadness. (Totally haven’t tried to write a title in highlighter before…nope…*insert crying*)

Anyway, the product was sent on the 16th July, and I received them on the 1st August, so two weeks is amazing considering they had to make a world trip from Japan all the way to England. They were in great condition and also came with a note to say thanks for buying the product, thanks Dai Dai!

  
Overall;

Price; 9/10  (I paid £3.6)

Shipping; 10/10 (so fast!)

Packaging; 10/10

Quality; 10/10

Communication; 10/10 (I received regular e-mails notifying me that that they had been dispatched and delivered)

Overall; 10/10

I thoroughly recommend this product if your going back to school in September, and if you do get them, you should tweet or instagram me your notes!

Here is an additional link to the supplier’s websites;

http://www.daidai.biz

http://www.sukiyaki.co

What do you want me to write about next? Comment below!