Joyland by Stephen King – Book Review

Hi everyone, here is my brief review of ‘Joyland’ by Stephen King. I haven’t written a book review since I was at college but I wanted to have a go, so please don’t expect anything amazing with this. Hope you enjoy!
I am pretty sure that we all know who Stephen King is. He seems to be the godfather of horror stories, known for his dark novels that inspired some riveting horror movies, such as It and Carrie. His 2013 novel, Joyland, is no exception to the rule. A mystery/crime novel set in a South Carolina amusement park in 1973, this story was bound to incorporate an element of terror and fear, and it does just that. However, considering the truly dark abhorrent nature of other novels by King, this is in my opinion more tame than some of his other works.
The synopsis reads as follows: “College student Devin Jones took the summer job at Joyland hoping to forget the girl who broke his heart. But he wound up facing something far more terrible: the legacy of a vicious murder, the fate of a dying child, and dark truth about life – and what comes after- that would change his world forever.” Instantly, we are reminded of the basis of every King novel – death and darkness. We are also introduced to our protagonist Devin, who is hung up on the demise of his first taste of love. As the story begins, I was instantly reminded of the start of a stereotypical rom com, whereby the protagonist would try something out of their usual comfort zone to escape the memories of their first love and end up finding love in a truer form. However, our guy Devin is extremely heartbroken about losing his beloved Wendy Keegan, and throughout the novel we are reminded of it again and again and again. Although I think this element of the story is important to the plot as it’s a contributory reason to why Devin is at Joyland in the first place, I don’t think it really adds anything to the overall narrative by keep repeating it. I feel as though it makes the character of Devin come across of rather mundane and dull. Notwithstanding this, the synopsis certainly intrigues the reader and encompasses an element of mystery, encouraging you to really want to read the story.
After a descriptive start, the storyline really gets going when the character Emmalina Shoplaw, who’s name Devin describes as it being “hard not to picture a rosy-cheeked landlady out of a Charles Dickens novel”, tells the ‘ghost story’ of why the Horror House ride at Joyland is considered to be haunted, after the vicious and gory unsolved murder of a young woman on the ride a few years previously. The character of Rozzie Gold, aka ‘Madame Fortuna’ offers a further element of mystery and spookiness when her seemingly nonsense prophecies begin to come true. I definitely think that this helps to keep the reader compelled and interested in the plot and encourages you to attempt to figure out the mystery. I can’t speak for everyone but I certainly felt that the revelation of who the murderer is was rather shocking, but it makes total sense. It certainly brings that sense of “of course, why didn’t I think of that.” I really think that this revelation makes the book resonate in your mind and gives you the euphoric feeling when you finish a good book. This is certainly a reason why I like this book – the wow factor. King really conveys how ingenious he can be by cleverly playing with the mind of the reader. Despite this, I do think that after this revelation the story ends rather abruptly. There isn’t really much of a structured ending, and I think at it was quite odd to not have the opinions about the killer’s identity from notable characters such as Mrs Shoplaw, Tom and Erin especially after they were so essential in building the discovery of the murder and subsequent haunting. Another thing I disliked about the book was the fact that although this book is set in the summer of 1973, it seems to jump around between prior to that summer and to years after and the present day. As such I personally found that it was difficult to keep up with the story line at times.
Overall, I did really enjoy this book and it has made me really want to read some more of King’s work, and although there were certain aspects that I didn’t particularly like, I would really recommend this to anyone who enjoys a spooky sort of mystery story.

My rating: 3 of of 5 stars

Thank you for reading!

Michelle xx

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My trip to Disneyworld!

As Walt Disney once said, “laughter is timeless, imagination has no age, and dreams are forever”. I am a huge Disney fan and at 22 years old, my dream came true and I got to visit Disney! We didn’t have much time in Florida so we went to Magic Kingdom and Epcot, and they were both so much fun! However the parks are so big that there was no way we could do everything over two days but we made the best of it and we’re saving up for another trip in two year’s time!

It didn’t matter that we didn’t have much time though, as the most important thing for me was getting to meet Mickey and Minnie Mouse which I did!

I love how the characters are so friendly and give you hugs and that you can be a big kid and it not matter at all! I also met Daisy Duck and Pluto, with Pluto getting me to dance with him, such a funny moment.

Meeting the characters was probably my most favourite part. Ibwoyld have loved to have met more but the waiting time and lines are often very long, even if they’re just out and about in the park, and I didn’t want to miss out on walking around the whole of the parks so I figured I’d do that next time. My favourite rides were both in Epcot – Frozen Ever After and Test track, both had small drops (I’m not into big rides at all), with Frozen Ever After getting you ever so slightly sprayed with water and Test Track travelling really quite fast and being really good fun.

Pros of Magic Kingdom:

  • The Disney Castle, of course.
  • The different areas, e.g. Fantasy Land (My fave), Advernture Land, Tomorrowland etc. Each one is so perfectly designed and so much fun to just wander around them. There is so so much to see!
  • The firework show in the evening, featuring some of the best Disney songs and illuminations on the castle- so memorable!
  • The parades on Main Street. They’re so much fun and make you so happy! If it’s your first time at Disney you get a badge which says you’re a first time visitor, and as a result the organisers put me in a front row spot to watch one of them so that was excellent.
  • The many gift stores! If you want some souvenirs, fear not, as they are everywhere! Make sure you pick up some mouse ears from one of these stores! 🙂

Pros of Epcot:

  • You can explore the world! Epcot is designed almost like the number ‘8’, with one half filled in and the other with a lake in the middle. When you walk around the lake, you walk through different areas decorated as different countries. For example, you can walk through China and see Mulan, drink Chinese tea buy beautiful Chinese souvenirs. You can walk through Germany and get yourself some bratwurst while you wait to see Snow White, you can go to France, eat French cuisine and meet Belle, or head to the United Kingdom for fish and chips, grab a beer in the pub and catch up with Mary Poppins. There are many locations to enjoy.
  • The fireworks on the lake. At 9pm the lake comes alive, with the fireworks, lights, fountains, music and lasers providing a spectacular show.
  • The variety. As described on Disney’s Epcot website, at Epcot you can “travel around the globe, under the sea, into outer space.. and beyond!” It’s just so captivating and means that every part of park you visit is different and very well themed.
  • It’s really different to Magic Kingdom. As you can tell by both lists, there are similarities. However, the parks have even more differences, which makes it worth going to both as the experiences are so unique, so don’t overlook Epcot!

Cons of both:

(I figured I’d do this list as both parks as both have the same cons in my humble opinion)

  • Money money money. As can be expected, as it’s Disney, things are very expensive! It’s so worth it of course, but if you’ve got a big family you’ve probably spent an absolutely fortune on tickets alone, so if you’re all eating together be prepared to spend a lot. Some places were around $50-80 a person, with the snacks being pretty expensive too, a cookie designed as Mickey was $15. I did go in peak season so bare that in mind, but we were prepared and ate a huge breakfast before going in so that we could skip lunch and only pay for one meal which we kept quite light. Next time I might take some of my own food too. Of course if you’ve got the money, the food looked excellent so do enjoy! Not complaining at all as it’s to be expected as it’s Disney, but just advice if anyone’s wondering. You do get a guide on the maps that you can pick up at the entrances which do give an example of places and their price ranges.
  • Fastpass. You get three free fastpasses with your standard ticket which is excellent, except make sure you go straight to the fastpass station and choose which rides you want first. Don’t do what I did at Magic Kingdom, which was decide to look around everything first and then choose which rides to go on as it takes so long to walk around everything and then many fastpasses for the popular rides had gone. At Epcot I got in the park at 11pm and luckily we got fastpasses for Test Track but some, including Frozen Ever After, had already gone. You have to select a time to use your fastpass too, and you have to stick to that time too.
  • It’s Florida, so be prepared. It’s very hot and humid which means thunderstorms develop quickly. It’s was super hot at Magic Kingdom then suddenly the storm started, cue a run to the store for a poncho and many rides being temporarily stopped.
  • Time goes too fast! Literally there is so much to see and do, so bare that in mind
Yes we had a thunderstorm… but it meant I got this cute Disney poncho!
Do you wanna build a snowman?
The Brit found the beer in the British pub!
Stunning view of the globe at Epcot at night

Overall I had the most magical wonderful time ever! It really is like a dream come true to visit Disney, I generally cried a little when I first arrived. I’m so thankful to have been able to have gone, but I certainly didn’t have enough time there! And I want to see all thenother parks too! Fingers crossed for my savings account 🙂

Have you ever been to Disney? Did you have the best time ever? Or are you a Disney fanatic like me? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks for reading!

Michelle xx

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My Skincare Routine May 2018

Now I would certainly be lying if I said that I had the perfect skin routine. I’m usually really rubbish at actually sticking to a routine, especially if I’m in a rush in the morning or really tired at night. However, for the last week or two, I have been ensuring that I care for my skin properly, and I aim to continue, so I thought I would share my favourite products to use and my basic routine. My skin already looks clearer and I feel much more confident not wearing foundation than I did.

My go to products:

I use various products from The Bodyshop Vitamin E range, Tea tree range and Seaweed range. Absolutely love The Bodyshop and their skincare is brilliant! My favourite products from here is the tea tree cleanser because not only do I love the smell, it make my skin feel so clean and clear and fresh instantly

Vita Coco Coconut Oil. I love this product. It’s 100% pure so no added chemicals or anything, and instantly dissolves all make up including waterproof mascara. It’s obviously extremely hydrating and of course, the smell of coconut is heavenly especially with summery weather!
A firm favourite- Garnier Micellar Water. Hypoallergenic so doesn’t irritate my skin, and takes any excess oil/ make up/ dirt off of my skin like a dream!


I start by cleansing my skin with either the tea tree or seaweed cleanser. I usually use the tea tree of I have any spots or blemishes and the seaweed if I’ve woken up really oily. I always work it into quite a lather with warm water and ensure I rinse it off well. I then use the seaweed scrub to exfoliate my skin, followed by a generous dab of the seaweed toner. I tend to use a mix of the tea tree and seaweed moisturisers – both help to mattify my skin but the tea tree is perfect for concealing redness and blemishes and the seaweed has an added SPF 15.


So to take off my makeup I use the coconut oil. I warm some up in my hand first and then rub is over my face, and it literally dissolves the makeup. Using a clean damp face cloth, I wipe my face which takes the make up off. I often apply some of the micellar water onto a cotton pad and wipe my face with it afterwards just to ensure that all of the make up is off and to remove excess oil and dirt.

I tend to use the hydrating Vitamin E range for the evening- cleanser followed by the toner and then the 48hr moisturing cream. I’m starting to make sure that twice a week I also use the seaweed clay mask which I mainly just use on my T-Zone because as I said above, it’s quite drying. I do however absolutely love all of these products and I am determined to ensure I keep this skin routine up!

My next goal is to ensure I drink the recommended 8 glasses of water a day, to help not only my skin but my overall health too.

Thanks for reading!

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Sophdoesnails Makeup Revolution Palette Review

So I’ll be the first to admit that I really don’t have the best make up skills, but I love to give it a go. I find applying my make up and creating different looks so much fun, and in a way, rather therapeutic. My favourite eye shadow palette at the moment is the Makeup Revolution palette by the beautiful Youtuber @Sophdoesnails. I’ll post a link to her YouTube channel here.

Anyway, it’s quite obvious from that statement that this will be a very positive review so I’ll keep it nice and short and simple.

Here is the beauty in all of it’s glory:

So I will start off with the packaging. The outer box is this beautiful packaging with pinks and creams and hold sploges all over it. I really think that if youre walking through a shop this product would really stand out and catch your eye. The actual casing of the palette itself is this nice simple creamy colour. It’s nice, sleek, elegant yet is a nice change from jist a standard black which I personally think makes it look quite prestigious.

Onto the inside!! I think this pallete has a really good range of colours and that the looks you can create with it are endless. I absolutely love the creative names that Soph has chosen. My favourite transition colours are Peaches and Pug. Fairy Lights is a gorgeous shade for the inner corner. My favourite shade in the whole palette has to be the hot pink Strawberry Sweets, closely followed by Copper Coin. The shadows are incredible pigmented nd blendable and I have found that they don’t fade throughout the day like many eyeshadows do.

Here are some of my favourite looks that I have created with this palette. Like I said above, I’m not the best at makeup so although these might not look the best I can honestly say that it’s nothing to do with product but instead me!

Shades used: Peaches, Wildberry, Sparks Fly, Fairy Lights
Shades used: Wildberry, Pink Champagne, Cuppa Tea, Fairy Lights
Shades used: Tiramisu, Mug Cake, Grow Old, Peaches
Shades used: Cloudberry, Pumpkin, Pancake

So overall I absolutely love this palette. I think you can create really good looks for each season – the pinks and creams for spring, the green and red for Christmas/ blue for winter, the black and browns for Autumn, orange and pink for Summer.. so many combinations! I’m a huge fan!

Thanks for reading!

Michelle x

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Let’s Get Writing!

Hi there.

I’m Michelle.

Welcome to my blog. I must admit that this is not the first first blog post that I have written. I attempted to start writing a blog a little over a year ago, however this proved rather difficult as I was in my final year of university (I now have a BA degree in History) and i was working nearly full time around that, so finding the time to write my blog around all of this proved difficult. I decided to wait until after graduation, but myself and my fiance then moved into our first house together. This was of course absolutely wonderful, but our house required a great deal of work doing to it and we did it all ourselves around working full time, so as much as i wished to just sit down and write, I had to prioritise our home.

Now, almost a year after graduating and securing our mortgage, I’m ready. I’m ready to write to my heart’s content. I have always loved writing, and I want to ensure I make it an integral part of my life. I am aiming to keep this blog varied, with general lifestyle posts and everything else that interests me, such as travel, beauty, books, fashion, history, cooking, my influences, etc etc. I could go on for quite a while.

I thought carefully about what to call my blog, and I decided to go with GarnetsandGlitter; garnet as its my my birthstone, as well as my mother’s and my late grandmother’s, and glitter because I am obsessed with anything sparkly!

I aim to keep my blog interesting and fun, and I hope that whoever is reading this enjoys my future posts.

Thank you 🙂


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Instagram – @garnetsandglitter

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