12 October 2016

Book Review | The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

Since my last recently read post I have managed to read all of the Harry Potter series which was amazing. I've decided not to review them as I think we've all heard enough reviews on them. But they were such a lovely and comforting read, I was having a bit of an anxious time on public transport and reading those really distracted me. 

I've decided to change up the format of my book reviews. I felt that reviewing up to five books in one post wasn't working for me. I tended to write the post after I'd read 4-5 books which meant I couldn't write the reviews in as much detail as you forget some of the finer points. I also didn't want the reviews to be that long as that would be an overwhelmingly long post. So from now on I'm going to review books individually, which means I might not review everything I read as some books I might not have much to say on!

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson

TW : rape, murder, domestic abuse

Obviously this book is a bestseller and hugely popular. It has taken me longer than it should have to get around to reading it. On Goodreads it has a 4.1/5 rating so I knew I had to give it a read.

I'd managed to avoid the film, and all reviews somehow so I had no prior knowledge of the storyline before I read this book, which I was really grateful for as I didn't have any preconceptions.

Plot Summary (no spoilers)

This story follows financial journalist Mikael Blomkvist as he is convicted of libel against a business entrepeneur Wennerström. While he is lying low to recover from this case he is employed by Henrik Vanger (whose family own and run the large business Vanger Corporation) to investigate the disappearence of his 16 year old niece Harriet Vanger, Henrik believes she was murdered.

Blomkvist hires Lisbeth Salander, a genius computer hacker, to help him investigate Harriet's disappearence. Lisbeth has an extremely troubled past which is explored throughout. Together Blomkvist and Salander work together to discover the truth about both Harriet and Wennerström.

My Thoughts

The development of scenes and characters was one of my favourite things about this book. It's definitely a long book, around 600 pages I think. This gives Stieg Larsson a lot of time to really explore each character and their relationships with one another. The Vanger family is really large so I felt like this was necessary to get a proper understanding of how everyone intertwined.

Although Blomkvist is tasked with investigating a missing person who is thought to have been murdered, this is not purely a murder mystery. It explores the economical and political impacts of large corporations and this runs as an important parallel within the storyline.

Salander as a character is one that you're intrigued about from the moment she is introduced. Her story develops and keeps you completely enthralled. Her childhood plays an important role in this development and her relationship with Blomkvist is one I found really interesting and almost surprising.

I would really recommend this book, I found it gripping from start to finish. It says something that I have already bought the second in the Millenium series. Although it's worth noting if you're sensitive to graphic descriptions of abuse, particularly sexual abuse, then this won't be a book for you. I found some of the descriptions really uncomfortable to read and left me feeling quite emotional.

 I hope you enjoy these more detailed reviews, do let me know!


11 October 2016

A Month on Class Pass | Project Fit & Orange60

Onto the final post for my mini series on my month on Class Pass with Project Fit and Orange60.

Image credit: Project Fit

Gym: ProjectFit
Location: Bank
Class: Project45

'PROJECT FIT is a fitness challenge like no other. It is a new, revolutionary and innovative interval training workout.'

The location for Project Fit was really great for people working in the city, approx 5 minute walk from Bank. This is the only location they have and they only do 45 min classes. The class we did was 4 rounds with 2 on the treadmill and 2 strength. This class was really challenging for me, especially the treadmill sections. I definitely left feeling like I'd done a great workout and was aching for a few days afterwards! The instructor was really motivating and encouraging. She knew we were new to the class so made an extra effort to make sure we knew what we were doing.

The changing rooms were really small, so my friend and I actually ended up going to our usual gyms to shower and get ready as there wasn't many showers and we didn't have time to queue. Towels and lockers are provided for you. 

Overall I thought this was a great class but you need to bear in mind the changing room situation if you're in a rush to get somewhere afterwards.

Gym: David Lloyd
Location: Aldgate
Class: Orange60

'The aim is to take your heart rate to the ‘Orange’ zone for as much of the workout as possible. '

The final class I did on Class Pass was Orange60 at David Lloyd. Unfortunately this was also by far the worst class. Firstly the facilities; you needed cash for towels and locker deposit, of which I had neither. The changing room was the size of a cupboard with 2 showers despite the class taking up to 15 people. Imagine that queue!

Onto the class, I felt like the concept could have been good. It was similar to Project Fit in that it had a treadmill section and a strength section. However the gym was so big that the instructor was running back and forth trying to explain things to everyone. There was only 2 sections which meant you spent 30 mins on the treadmill in one go which was extremely dull! In a class environment I didn't expect to be on treadmill for that long. One of the 'unique' things about this class is that they track calories burnt on a big screen if you are wearing a heart rate monitor. On class pass you get one lent to you for your first class but after that you have to bring your own (or buy one there). However the ones they lent to myself and my friend didn't work so we weren't able to enjoy that aspect of the class.

Unfortunately this is the one class that I tried that I wouldn't recommend at all. I had high hopes as I had heard great things about David Lloyd as a gym, but the class was definitely not for me.

Catch up on my other Class Pass posts here and here.


2 October 2016

Autumn is here

This weekend has felt like the first autumnal weekend. I've spent this Sunday in a knitted jumper and leggings with endless cups of tea. It has been perfect!

I know a lot of people will be missing summer but I'm really excited for the change in seasons. Here are a few reasons why I'm so excited for Autumn

1) Bonfire night
2) Cosy jumpers
3) Frosty mornings
4) Film nights
5) Dark nail polishes
6) Berry lipsticks

Summer is amazing but sometimes I find it really stressful. Pressure to socialise all the time, pressure to look great in a pair of denim shorts and a tiny vest top. So I'm secretly thrilled to be layering up and can't wait until it's coat and scarf weather. 


1 October 2016

A Month on Class Pass | Ethos Spitalfields

Our second class on Class Pass was at Ethos in Spitalfields.

Tired of the divide between the yoga, fitness and science worlds, we created a space that brings them together for optimal MIND/BODY training. We believe there are people like us who love yoga and sports and no longer want to think of them as separate activities.

Gym: Ethos
Location: Spitalfields
Class: TRX45

Ethos was recommended by a friend at work so I was really keen to try it out. They are known for their yoga classes however I've never really enjoyed yoga that much so I tried one of their other offerings. The TRX class was 45 minutes long and was a real challenge for me. I'd never used the TRX ropes in the gym before so I felt like I was working muscles that I didn't even know existed! We did a mixture of arm, ab and leg moves so really worked the whole body. I ached for at least 2 days afterwards!

As with 1Rebel my only gripe was the lack of showers, another queuing situation. This was fine because I was in no rush but if you need to get to work early or something then it's worth bearing this in mind. Towels and lockers are provided which is great. There are cowshed products to use in the shower and there is deodorant, hairspray and even tampons for you to help yourself to! On the whole the changing rooms weren't quite as snazzy as 1Rebel but they were still lovely.

Classes at Ethos are £20 per class but there is an intro offer for 2 classes for £20 at the moment! I would really recommend this class so take advantage of the offer here.



28 September 2016

A Month on Class Pass | 1Rebel Ride

My friend Ani found out that Class Pass was available on offer for £1 for a months membership. ONE POUND. Bear in mind that for 5 classes the membership is usually £55 or for unlimited classes it's £120. So this was a real bargain and I signed up immediately.

In this blog series I will take you through the classes I did during my month on Class Pass. Some great, some okay and one I definitely wouldn't recommend. But lets start with the great!

Gym: 1Rebel
Location: St Mary Axe (near Liverpool Street)
Class: Ride
Instructor: Melissa

#KINGOFGYMS. Ride, Reshape and Rumble. 3 concepts. 2 venues. 1 Rebel Army.

1Rebel was one of the classes I was most excited to try, I'd heard so much about it and I also knew it was pretty expensive (£20 per class) so getting to do it for a fraction of the price was great! We did the Ride class, which is essentially a spin class on steroids. There is loud, club music with strobe lights, the works. Our instructor was called Melissa and she was so full of energy that you couldn't help but get into it. There was also a section of the workout where we used hand weights to get some arm exercises in so I definitely felt like I'd done a full body workout.

The changing rooms were beautiful, with copper lockers and cowshed products dotted around everywhere. My one criticism was the lack of showers, we had to queue for quite a while to shower. Some of the perks, other than the class of course, were a fridge full of chilled towels, the potential to get your hair blow dried and braided and the smoothie bar in the reception. Also if you do this class on a Friday evening then you get a free glass of prosecco afterwards. If that's not going to motivate you then I don't know what will! 

I found Class Pass to be really good in keep my motivation high and giving my fitness routine a bit of variety. I'm excited to share the other classes with you and then give an overview of my thoughts and whether it's worth the money.

Hope you enjoy this mini series!



26 September 2016

It has been a while...

It has been almost a month since my last post. Truth be told, I have really fallen out of love with blogging. It's so competitive. How many followers do you have? Did you get sent those new products? Were you invited to that event?

I literally don't care.

I started my blog to write, I liked creating content I enjoyed. Sure, I enjoyed the freebies I occasionally got sent. I took on some dodgy casino based sponsored posts (judge away lol). But really I just liked spontaneously writing posts about life and nice beauty products.

In the past few months it feels like there is an unbelievable amount of pressure to have the perfect photos, the best writing style and the prettiest face. So I just gave up a bit. I know I won't be the kind of person to spend weekends asking my boyfriend to take my photo. I'm too self concious and it puts me in a bad mood to see that many photos of myself.

This post has no purpose, just my thoughts on the blogging world. I am so in awe of everyone killing it in their careers, it's so inspiring. But, honestly, it makes me feel like there's no point in keeping going. Who is going to read my random posts when there are so many amazingly curated blogs out there?


30 August 2016

SW4 Festival

Crop top - ASOS (similar)
Shorts - Topshop
Shoes - Converse
Shirt - Topshop (similar)

A couple of months ago at work a group of us decided to spontaneously book tickets to SW4 festival in Clapham. And it was the best decision ever!! We decided to only book one day, partly for cost and also because we expected to have a pretty intense hangover the next day.

I haven't been to a festival since Parklife in Manchester when I was a student. I am so happy we decided to go to a day festival where there is no camping as that doesn't appeal to me at all! I had the best day with some of my favourite girls.

Highlights for me were Rudimental, Dizzee Rascal and Subfocus. But to be honest just sitting around drinking and laughing with my friends was the best part. We were so lucky with the weather, it rained for about 5 mins and the rest of the day was lovely!  We started the day with bottomless prosecco brunch which was such a good way to start off the day, made sure our stomachs were lined ready for the alcohol! I definitely spent more money then I meant to but for me it was totally worth it as it was one of the best days I've had in ages.

Next summer I definitely want to go to SW4 again and hopefully some other day festivals too. Still not quite ready to camp yet! Hopefully next year I won't lose my sunglasses..

Hope you're having a good week!


© Aztec Mess. All rights reserved.
Blogger templates by pipdig