July 2022 Reading Wrap Up

I feel like I haven’t read much this month but I think I started out by reading a lot of PLL and then reading kind of tapered off towards the end of the month as I got busy with other things. But all in all, I am getting closer to reaching my 2022 goal so that’s all that matters.

Unbelievable PLL Book #4

Full blog post here.

This is the one I was waiting for because this is the big Mona reveal. I am not going to lie, a little lacklustre as Mona in the TV show is much more than the shallow superficial girl but still enjoyable to read.

Also, I think I prefer how ‘The Jenna Thing’ happened in the books. Though it leaves me with the question of how did Jenna and Alison become friends? I’m sure we will find out soon enough…or at least I hope we do.

Wicked PLL Book #5

Full blog post here.

I feel this one was okay, I mean the main theme was this Time Capsule Flag which I hope will mean something down the line but so far it’s just that everyone tried to steal Ali’s piece and Aria has it. But Aria hasn’t looked at it since she got it so no idea what’s going on with that.

Also, Emily dating a boy is totally valid and I support this bisexual queen. I was mostly expecting her and Maya to get together but maybe they’re done for? We’ll see. Plus, Spencer being disinherited is so rude. What a way to find out you aren’t really part of the family and then for her family to say NOTHING?! That’s savage.

So as we move on with the series I’m just rooting for good things for Spencer because I feel like she’s had it worse than the rest of the girls. I mean really all anyone else has had are boy issues and I guess Hanna’s step-sibling drama but Spencer’s all but been disowned by her family at this point. It’s the worst.

Killer PLL Book #6

Full blog post here.

I feel this one was okay, I mean the main theme was this Time Capsule Flag which I hope will mean something down the line but so far it’s just that everyone tried to steal Ali’s piece and Aria has it. But Aria hasn’t looked at it since she got it so no idea what’s going on with that.

Also, Emily dating a boy is totally valid and I support this bisexual queen. I was mostly expecting her and Maya to get together but maybe they’re done for? We’ll see. Plus, Spencer being disinherited is so rude. What a way to find out you aren’t really part of the family and then for her family to say NOTHING?! That’s savage.

So as we move on with the series I’m just rooting for good things for Spencer because I feel like she’s had it worse than the rest of the girls. I mean really all anyone else has had are boy issues and I guess Hanna’s step-sibling drama but Spencer’s all but been disowned by her family at this point. It’s the worst.

Currently Reading: On the Way to the Wedding

Our last main Bridgerton book! I am glad I have stuck it out. I really thought after the 6th one I would hate the others but the last two books have been more enjoyable which is good. This current one gives me cliche rom-com vibes and I am enjoying it. But at the same time definitely itching to get back to PLL.

It feels like forever since I’ve read PLL even though it was realistically, two weeks ago haha. Still, I am trying to get through relatively quickly, but at the same time, I have recently bought some new books which I might use to break up PLL a bit more.

Though even as I say that it seems unlikely lol. I only started the Bridgerton book as I have been reading those every 4 books so we’ll see how it all pans out. Either way, lots of reading is being done and that was the goal. I’ll be back next month as always with another reading recap!

Killer PLL Book #6 by Sara Shephard Review

We’re back. Surprised? Didn’t think so lol. I can’t believe I only posted the review of book five last week…it feels like so long ago but that’s probably due to the heat wave.

But yes here we are another PLL book and the girls are up to their usual drama. Or lack thereof. I feel like so much was going on in this book but not a lot is that important?

For example, Hanna and Kate fighting for Mike Montgomery’s attention. It was fun but it didn’t add much to the story, though that could be said about Emily’s relationship in the last book lol. So yeah, let’s start today with Hanna’s thing.

I honestly was just surprised that of all the boys Kate and Hanna chose to fight about it was Mike Montgomery. Unlike the TV show, which seemed to have forgotten about Mike except for when he had depression but also dated Mona for 5 minutes, the books mention Mike a lot.

Mike is often hanging around with Noel Kahn and the other lacrosse boys generally being skeevy. And when he goes on dates with Hanna he is not much different but still Hanna has a soft spot for him and she wanted to one-up Kate by stealing Mike away from her.

Like I said, not much of substance here but it’s fun. I can’t figure out if Kate genuinely liked Mike or if it was a ploy but either way we will see how long Hanna and Mike last. We will also see what else Kate has up her sleeve to throw at Hanna because I doubt that’s the last we will hear from her.

Next, we can talk about Emily because again she really has nothing going on. Like her relationship with Isaac is cute and she ends up losing her virginity to him. Which I guess is a big deal but not in the way Spencer losing hers to Wren was because it’s glossed over very quickly.

Basically the drama Emily has is that Isaac’s mom doesn’t like her and is rude to her and when she tells Isaac he doesn’t believe her. Even though this has happened before with one of his exes. Not cute.

Towards the end though Isaac confronted his mom and she told the truth so Isaac tries to apologise and Emily says she can’t forgive him immediately. And I love that because I feel like usually Emily would forgive someone for doing that but he hurt her feelings and she needs time. So I applaud Emily for that. Even if she still runs away from everything and everyone at the slightest hint of trouble. Literally every scene she was practically running out after confrontation lol. Which I mean same but it’s annoying to read.

And then we have Spencer, who is not making smart choices this book. Which I’m sad about because again, this is not the Spencer I expected. I feel like on the TV show Spencer would never have jumped into something like this but then she did pawn her sisters ring that time so I guess that would be similar.

In this book, Spencer meets up with her birth mom, the one the adoption site matched her with. They hit it off immediately and Spencer fantasises about living this glam life in New York with her mom and her rich husband.

Sadly, Spencer jumps the gun on this as she calls up her birth mom’s supposed real estate agent and agrees to buy an apartment over the phone. First off, this is sketch because you NEVER accept an apartment without seeing it first. Second of all, it was wild she just blindly trusted someone she had just met and handed over her account details on the phone. Yikes.

It all comes crumbling down when Spencer goes to New York and finds out the apartment she paid for didn’t exist and the real estate agent’s phone had been disconnected. Poor Spencer.

I honestly just think she was being stupid but it upsets me so much that she literally has nothing good going for her. Someone even painted Killer on her family’s garage door…like why can’t she have anything good? Even Andrew kind of broke up with her after she jumped into this whole new mom thing. I just want something good for her and soon.

Lastly, we have Aria who pulled through with a good storyline. So Aria is hiding out at Meredith and Byron’s because her mom’s boyfriend is creepy and hitting on her but that is a minor thing. Her main thing is she’s been seeing Jason DiLaurentis on the side.

Jason is an interesting one because we still don’t know a lot about him. He’s just kind of dark and broody which is right up Aria’s alley. They talk a little bit about Alison and flirt and kiss and I’m over here in the corner yelling about how inappropriate that is because he’s older than her. Once again, he’s the same age as Ian and Wilden so too old for Aria and it’s gross.

But it doesn’t last long because A tricks Aria into going to Jason’s house when he’s not there and she spies an old yearbook which seems to indicate that Jason and Wilden used to be friends in high school. And Jason catches Aria in his house and is furious. So I think that’s the end of that relationship.

Now that we’ve talked about the girls’ drama let’s talk about Jason, Ian and Wilden. So once the girls find Ian’s body in the woods, they go to get Wilden but when they get back to the woods the body is gone. Classic A.

Once this happens people start thinking the girls are liars. And everyone believes that Ian is still alive and could have possibly escaped Rosewood. The girls refuse to believe this but one night, Spencer gets an IM from Ian on Melissa’s laptop. Spencer pretends to be Melissa long enough to prove if it’s really Ian and she believes it is.

A is also pushing the girls to figure out who the real killer is by trying to send hints. Like a photo of Jenna, Alison and another blonde who everyone assumes is Naomi, one of Ali’s old friends, but they are partially hidden behind a tree so it could be anyone. Though this never goes anywhere.

There is also a lot of evidence of Jason and Wilden working together as Jason had the yearbook note from Wilden and Hanna figured a lot of clues about Wilden that line up with him possibly working with Jason. Plus the fact they used to be friends in high school and were annoyed about something Ian did.

Emily also sees Jason leaving Jenna’s house and he is very angry – I’m not sure what that has to do with anything yet. So there are some mysteries here.

The girls also end up going to the opening of a hotel, the Radley which used to be a mental institution. This is something I thought was SO RANDOM in the TV show and now I see it happened in the books lol. But Emily finds a ledger there and in it is lots of evidence of Jason visiting. So looks like Jason might have been seeing someone there, the girls think he was seeing a therapist but he could have been visiting someone…

And at the end of the book, Ian reveals to Spencer, Hanna and Emily through IM that Wilden and Jason were out to get him and that’s why he disappeared. Just as this happens someone is outside Spencer’s barn and whoever it is, sets fire to the woods behind it.

Aria is on the other side of the fire, she was rushing to Spencer’s with Ali’s time capsule flag because she thought it could have some answers to their mystery. But she sees someone who is trapped in the woods and manages to save them and pull them to safety.

Aria and the mystery girl manage to make it safely and meet up with the others. This is when the girl is revealed to be Alison?! And the book ends lol.

But not without some words from A which make you question everything you just read lol like did A plant the log of Jason visiting Radley? And did they con Spencer out of her money??? Who knows.

I feel like I could have done without the A chapter. I mean the shock value of the girls possibly seeing Alison would have been enough. But I suppose it serves as a nice recap of stuff. Eh, still don’t need it.

So that’s where we are now. I feel like Ian is dead and A is trying to frame Wilden and Jason. Wilden probably did some other shady things but not murder. Jason though idk why A would want to frame him. Unless it’s because he took Ali’s twin’s side over hers…interesting.

I also wonder if A would make their identity known so soon by being the girl Aria saved from the fire. The twin. The girls don’t know Ali had a twin they just think Ali is alive! If it is the twin, but it could be a lookalike.

I just have a lot of questions at the minute but thankfully all I need to do to get them answered is to keep reading. This is not like the TV show where I am waiting each week to ultimately be disappointing. So on we go to book 7!

Wicked PLL Book #5 by Sara Shephard Review

Another PLL book down and I gotta say this one had a lot going on but not a lot at the same time? I mean in terms of the girls and A and secrets there wasn’t a lot but there was a lot in relation to Alison and maybe her not seeming like herself at points. So even if I feel like I don’t have much to write this will probably end up being super long lol.

First off secrets! And we will start with Aria as always lol. I find her secrets are always the easiest to talk about. And Aria’s secret is that her mom’s boyfriend is interested in her. So Aria meets this mysterious artist guy at a gallery and she flirts with him because she doesn’t know who he is and then a few days later he shows up at her door to take HER MOM on a date.

This is when Aria realises the guy is older and she needs to step back. Unfortunately, the guy doesn’t take the hint, one thing leads to another and they end up kissing and Aria is freaked out. This guy then says she’s been giving him mixed signals and it’s so disgusting because he is TWICE HER AGE. Like bro – no get out. He threatens Aria saying if she says anything about him to her mom that he would twist the truth to make it look like Aria was hitting on him. DISGUSTING.

Like Aria just got out of an inappropriate relationship and now this creeper is dating her mom and hitting on her. It is the worst and I thought we were done with these creepy-ass old men but I guess not.

So yes, that’s Aria’s thing.

Then with Emily, she realises sexuality isn’t black and white as she ends up having a crush on this guy she met at church. That’s it lol. Her secret was even easier to talk about than Aria’s omg. So yeah Emily dates this guy, she’s worried that A might tell him the truth but also everyone at her school could also spill the tea so eventually, she just tells him and he’s cool with it and all is fine. It’s a whole load of nothing other than Emily not keeping her cool about anything.

For Hanna, we have her maybe getting back on top of her game as she decides to team up with Kate and tackle Naomi and Riley the mean girls. However, she then ends up second-guessing her new alliance after thinking that maybe Mona had been in contact with Kate before she died and they were somehow always working together to pull her down.

So before Kate can expose Hanna for her secrets, Hanna blurts out to everyone at a party that Kate has herpes. Yikes. This backfires for her though as Kate tells her dad and now Hanna can only ever hang out and associate with Kate, effectively ending her popular girl reign. But also it sounded like Kate had been planning something to take Hanna down, we just don’t know what it was…though it could still come up we’ll see.

Also due to Hanna getting popular again, she ends up ditching Lucas who she was dating for like five minutes. And Lucas sees what she does to Kate at the party and breaks up with her for good. So I guess there’s not much worth mentioning with that. I was hoping they would last longer than that but it makes sense, will they reconcile now that Hanna is forced to hang out with her herpes-ridden stepsister? Who knows.

Kate also says to Hanna she doesn’t have herpes so I don’t even know what she had or maybe she just lied about a secret to get Hanna on side but I imagine Kate has a lot more up her sleeve, so we see how that goes.

Meanwhile, Spencer is dealing with the biggest crisis of them all. After admitting she lied about the Golden Orchid she is failing miserably as all her teachers think she’s lying/cheating on her schoolwork and she’s been kicked out of all her extracurriculars. OH and that’s not all, her grandmother died and left money for all natural-born grandchildren which didn’t include Spencer!

So Spencer is not a true Hastings?! This is exciting because this must mean that the Peter Hastings/Jessica DiLaurentis affair from the TV show came from the books. Though not sure how the fallout of this will go. Spencer signed up for this adoption service that’s supposed to help her find her birth mother and there was a potential match…looking forward to the drama.

I am hoping something good comes Spencer’s way soon though like her parents have barely spoken to her lately and have all but disowned her it’s awful. I guess she is hooking up with Andrew but is it just a hookup? Or will they become the smart power couple they are destined to be? Either way, I just want something good to be going for Spencer lol.

It also amazes me that we are this far into the series and the girls are still not friends. Like on the TV show it was so easy for them to fall back into being friends and hanging out. But I suppose the TV show would have sucked if they never talked or anything, in the book they only talk when they have to which I guess highlights just how much Alison brought them together as they are so different.

Also in this book, Ian’s trial for Ali’s murder is about to begin and he is on house arrest until the trial starts. But he sneaks out to talk to Spencer and he insists that he didn’t kill Alison and that the night in the woods he saw two blondes. One of them was Ali but who was the other one? *cough* twin *cough*. It wasn’t Spencer and she thinks he is making it up but maybe he isn’t…

Ian also says that he had always flirted with Ali but they were never serious about it and then all of a sudden she changed her mind. How strange. Almost as strange as when Alison decided to dump hanging out with her old friends and make friends with Spencer, Aria, Emily and Hanna. Turns out they hadn’t always been BFFs. Along with this, there are other subtle things that prove with Alison had seemed to switch to a different person, like Emily mentioning to her something that happened before they became friends and Alison lying about it…I wonder how long it will take for them to find out the truth.

Probably a long time, I mean new A has just arrived and they are only taking it seriously by the end of the book. At first, they think it is Ian, but then A lures Spencer and the girls out into the woods behind Spencer’s house and they find Ian’s body there. It looks like he’d been strangled to death…so A killed him. Not sure how the police are going to deal with this.

Also, Wilden in this book has been acting sus. He so far hasn’t been totally useless and has actually wanted to help the girls but he seems to be having serious conversations with someone on the phone…not sure what that’s about. But also he must be tortured because the girls seem to have him on speed dial and call him every 5 minutes which is so different from the TV show lol they learnt early on that they couldn’t trust the police on the TV show.

Then finally the only other thing worth mentioning is throughout the book they talk about this Time Capsule day and how Alison had found a piece of the flag to decorate. All the girls had shown up to her backyard to steal it from her but she said it was too late it was already taken. Aria had then headed back into the woods to go to her house when she ran into Jason, he had the flag piece and he gave it to Aria and said nothing. This is weird but obviously significant, especially as Aria had kept the piece and not turned it in. Is there something sus about it? I am not sure but I’ll be interested to see if it comes up again.

And that is us at the end of another PLL book. I am intrigued to see where we go from here. Obviously, Ian’s death is going to be a big thing. I’m wondering if Peter Hastings will be exposed for being the dirty cheater he is and Spencer can get some of her life back. I also hope Emily learns to chill out lol, Hanna will be suffering with Kate and it looks like Aria might move back in with Meredith and Byron to get away from her mom’s creepy boyfriend. So lots of fun things to look forward to.

I’ll probably be back in a few days because I can’t stop reading these – they’re so good. So stay tuned!

Unbelievable PLL book #4 by Sara Shephard Review

Wow. This one had A LOT going on. I mean I knew A was going to be revealed in this one but it took a long time for us to get there. Which is fine because we love suspense and drama but still. Let’s get into this.

I don’t even really know where to begin. I think we’ll go with Aria first.

So where we left her, Ezra had been hauled off to jail because A had told Sean what was going on between them. But the police let him go because Aria wasn’t going to press charges. Boring.

Thankfully though Ezra says he is moving away so hopefully he stays away and doesn’t come back after all that drama. We don’t need him and neither does Aria. So please Ezra stay away.

Now that Ezra is gone though Aria has nowhere to stay so she ends up moving in with Meredith and Byron. Gross. Meredith’s apartment is super weird and they try to make her out as super quirky but I hate it. Though it seems this probably isn’t the last we have seen of Meredith and Byron because they reveal at the end of the book that Meredith is actually pregnant. Ugh. Was not expecting that but could do without it.

Also, Aria takes an art class at Hollis where she is partnered with Jenna Cavanaugh. Surprise. This was done in the TV show except on TV, nothing really came of this. Like Jenna got a bit personal with Aria but then that was it.

In the books, we find out that Jenna knew how Aria was despite her lying about her identity. And Jenna also tells Aria that she knew about what the girls did. She said that she had planned this with Alison, to begin with, and that she wanted to get rid of Toby. She said Alison would understand because she had sibling issues too – I think this is one of our first hints about the twin thing! Exciting.

So that is wild, I never expected Jenna to know about ‘The Jenna Thing’ but it does kind of make sense why she never questioned when Toby took the blame because he obviously didn’t do it. I just feel bad that Jenna got caught in the middle of the whole thing and was blinded, but I guess she saw that as a small price to pay to get away from her stepbrother. Crazy.

Jenna also mentioned to Aria in passing she was coming back to Rosewood so will we see more of her or is ‘The Jenna Thing’ now closed once and for all? I hope we see more.

I think it’s interesting how the TV show took the villain route with Jenna. I mean it was fun but it kind of ended up in a stupid place with Noel Kahn being beheaded and Jenna wielding a gun lol. I don’t really want that but it would be interesting to see if in the books they do anything else with the character.

Time to move onto Emily, whose storyline was not my favourite this time around.

First of all, her parents do end up sending her to Iowa, but she’s only there for five minutes lol. Emily’s aunt and uncle kick her out because her cousins and her got caught sneaking out, even though her cousins have been doing it for months, they blame Emily. So now Emily has to go back to rosewood but initially she doesn’t want to because she knows her parents don’t want her. So she runs out of her aunt’s house and doesn’t look back.

This does not last long because Emily then sees her parents on the news saying they are worried about her and want her to come home, so Emily hops on a bus to Rosewood.

Also after this whole ordeal, Emily’s parents decide to randomly accept her sexuality? I mean no complaints that’s great but at the same time, it came out of the blue lol. They watched some Dr Phil, read some books and were suddenly so on board it was wild. I thought there would be a little more of a teething period but we will go with it.

Also Maya is going full steam ahead with their relationship which Emily doesn’t seem thrilled about. I mean I understand from her perspective like she just came to terms with her sexuality and so did her family she needs time to adjust so Maya needs to calm down.

Emily isn’t good at explaining that though. Plus Trista – this girl Emily met while she was in Iowa and flirted with – decides to fly out to Rosewood to surprise Emily just for fun. Which I hated lol like okay Emily was interested in Trista and she was so much more easygoing in comparison to Maya and even reminded Emily of Alison but like…I felt it wasn’t needed. But Maya sees Emily and Trista together and is angry and basically breaks up with Emily. It’s very messy.

I honestly don’t know if I want Emily and Maya to be together like I definitely routed for them on the TV show but in the books, Maya seems so much more forward and Emily seems so much more reluctant. So I need them to talk it out. But realistically this is a teen book so it will not get serious at all lol. So we see if Maya comes back to Emily after the whole A thing or if they go their separate ways. Not fussed either way at this point.

Next, we move on to Hanna. She is in hospital after being hit by a car. We remember this. But she was in a coma and she doesn’t remember what happened to her, which means she doesn’t remember who A is. Lucky for Mona but not so lucky for everyone else.

So I am going to talk about what happens in this on the TV show first, Hanna breaks her leg after being hit by the car but aside from that, she’s fine? She also remembers seeing Noel Kahn and so she says he is A but the girls don’t believe her, and then Mona wants to throw a party for Hanna as if she hadn’t just hit her with a car lol.

Hanna doesn’t want the party though and she ends up losing the money her mom was secretly hiding in the lasagne box. This is funny because none of that money struggle business exists in the book because everyone is rich. But yeah that’s how things play out on TV. There’s also Sean/Lucas drama but it’s not important.

In the books, Mona still wants to throw a party for Hanna but Hanna actually wants to have the party and she’s excited that she and Mona were friends again. She remembers them not getting along before the accident, but she doesn’t remember what Mona did to her at her party.

This also means Hanna doesn’t remember making out with Lucas. And Lucas has been a sweetheart and has been visiting her the whole time she’s been in hospital, reading to her from fashion magazines and fetching her coffee. But Hanna doesn’t know why he’s being so nice.

Lucas and her end up making out again later when Hanna is out of hospital and she still doesn’t know what went down between them but she can’t deny she has feelings for him. But she doesn’t want to be with him because Mona sees him as a loser and would rather have Mona as a friend than Lucas as a boyfriend. Poor guy.

I think maybe Lucas and Hanna will get together, now that Mona is gone. But at the same time, Hanna wants to be the most popular girl in school so I don’t know if Lucas fits into that. But I’m rooting for them, they never actually got together on the TV show because of Caleb, but I don’t think Caleb is showing up anytime soon – or if he even exists in the books lol.

Also at the end of the book, Hanna’s mom tells her she took a job in Singapore so she’s leaving and Hanna’s dad says he will move to Rosewood with Kate and Isobel. This means we will probably be seeing more of them because I doubt Hanna moves to Maryland. I am not sure what to think about this, Kate was on the TV show for like five minutes – she transferred to Rosewood for like two episodes and then we never heard from her again. So I wonder if she will be a bigger part in the book or if she gets phased out. Or maybe Hanna goes to boarding school but that seems unlikely.

Now we move to Spencer, as Hanna does eventually remember who A is but at the time Spencer and Mona are on their way to the police station because Spencer thinks Melissa murdered Alison and wants to turn her in.

This scene plays out on the TV show, but a season after Hanna’s accident and at a different masquerade ball. I gotta say, the A reveal was so much more dramatic on TV like the A lair is amazing and it just shows how obsessed Mona was with the girls. There is no secret lair in the book, which I’m sad about but at the same time, I don’t think Mona was really putting in as much effort in the books lol.

Before we get to the Spencer/Mona scene in the books, Spencer goes for her Golden Orchid interview and she wins but I think she might tell them she took Melissa’s essay? So we see what the fallout from that is. She also has been getting hints from A that Melissa killed Alison. Plus Melissa was acting a bit sus this book anyway, so there’s that.

I’m trying not to get my hopes up too much about Melissa being sus in the books, because in the TV show, Melissa is ALWAYS looking sus and she just always happens to be around when things go down but ultimately she doesn’t have much to do with anything. And it’s so disappointing that she’s constantly used as a red herring, I want her to actually be a villain. But I don’t think I’ll get that.

Anyway yes, so Spencer and Mona are driving to the police station, but Spencer gets a text from the girls telling her Mona is A, Mona figures out Spencer knows and then they are speeding away from the police station to somewhere else.

Mona reveals she found Ali’s diary with all the girls’ secrets in it and so she decided to become A and blackmail them. She liked the idea that she could control people this way, she had also been at the scene of ‘The Jenna Thing’ and had scars to prove it. She said she and Jenna were friends before, and she couldn’t believe Jenna wouldn’t believe her when she said Alison was the one who did it. So she didn’t know Jenna had spoken to Ali beforehand.

Mona also says originally she was trying to pin Alison’s murder on Spencer. She had overheard them fighting the night Alison died and it was so easy to convince Spencer’s friends she did it. She even explained how Aria had told Wilden she thought Spencer could have done it when they were in the hospital after Hanna’s accident. Yikes.

So Spencer was set up to take the blame but then as Spencer and Mona were planning Hanna’s party together they bonded by flashing some strangers at the country club lol – so fun and random but definitely a thing that is casual to mention in the early 2000s whereas now that’s definitely not a thing that would ever happen.

After the bonding moment, Mona decided that she liked Spencer and that she wanted Spencer to join the A team so they could both live their best lives by controlling the others. So Mona decided to start hinting the Spencer that Melissa was the one who killed Alison, this would mean Spencer would be free from her sister’s shadow and she could thrive. Mona had also suggested they pin A on someone Spencer hated like Andrew and then they could continue to manipulate and threaten anyone that stood in their way.

All in all, a great offer but Spencer decides not to take it and she ends up fighting with Mona and Mona ends up falling off the edge of a cliff into a quarry where she breaks her neck and is killed. I’m sad that she is gone now because she was fun to have around on the TV show, I feel like she was underused on the TV show but she was great.

I mean realistically if she had survived in the books she would have definitely been sent away and never seen again, so I guess it’s good that she died, like a permanent end so she ain’t coming back.

But yeah so that’s where our Mona saga ends. The girls tell the police everything and Hanna gives in Mona’s second phone to the police, but not before deleting the texts Mona sent to her because they were still friends. Even if Mona hit Hanna with her car…like Hanna definitely should have more trauma from all of this but I know she’ll probably be fine because she was on the TV show.

Also, Mona reveals in Alison’s diary she was off to meet Ian the night she died so everyone assumes that Ian killed Alison and at the end of the book the girls go to his trial where he pleads ‘not guilty’ but it obviously isn’t looking good for him. Even when Melissa tells the police they were together that night but Ian disappeared for a while and came back. So we’ll see what comes of that.

But overall, a thrilling read. I am enjoying these and I am excited to see what happens next as Mona is gone. When will the second A emerge and will we learn more about the twin thing? There have been a few hints in this book about it already and Alison acting a bit weird so I am wondering if we will get more of that. I’m not really sure what will be next for our girls, but it’s not going to be easy to go back to their lives after all the press attention they are getting.

I also wonder how long it will take for new A to make an appearance…will the girls get some A free time to rebuild their lives or will it be like A never left? I guess it’s time to get reading to find out!

June 2022 Reading Wrap Up

I feel like this is going to be a short post mainly because all I’ve really been reading is PLL.

Flawless PLL Book #2

Full blog post here.

I feel like I don’t have lots to say about these because I already wrote full blog posts on them. But this book was cute, I enjoyed the stories that were told. I wasn’t expecting Spencer to be one to lose herself in a boy but even the smartest of the girls make stupid mistakes when it comes to boys.

Also was not expecting a death so soon in the series, but leads me to wonder how many more we can expect as time goes on.

It’s In His Kiss

I was not sure about this book considering how much I disliked the last Bridgerton story. However, this one was completely different and I enjoyed it a lot.

I think it was interesting because there was more than just the love story going on. There was a hint of a mystery and also learning more about the man Hyacinth was going to marry. He had a backstory and it was good and he got along well with Hyacinth in a way that didn’t make me want to vomit.

Plus there was a good amount of Lady Danbury thrown in as well which was nice.

So yeah, glad I didn’t completely give up on the series. That being said there’s still one sibling book left and then a happily ever after epilogue kind of book for everyone. So we see how it all ties up, I expect nothing less than it to be all wrapped up in a nice bow but that’s perfectly fine for a series all about eight siblings falling in love with their perfect partner.

Perfect PLL Book #3

Full blog post here.

I enjoyed this one, I still can’t get over how different Aria is in the books compared to TV. Everyone else seems similar enough but they changed Aria a lot and I guess it’s because they didn’t want her to seem too out of place with everyone else.

Also interesting that A slipped up with that text to Hanna, I thought they would have been smarter than that. But we’ll see what happens next and what leads to that big reveal.

Currently Reading: Unbelievable PLL Book #4

We are heading into July reading another PLL book. They are very easy to read so I find myself reading pages here and there when I can. I mainly am dying to get through this one to see how the girls all find out about A, I mean I suspect Hanna tells them but I need Mona to go to all the lengths to prevent that from happening. I mean she did hit Hanna with a car…but still.

So yeah lots more PLL in the future as there are 16 books in that series, and I still have two Bridgerton books to read and I bought some books this month so going to try to sprinkle those in as well. All in all, I’ve got a good lot of books to keep me busy for the rest of the year and I’m not mad about it.

Perfect PLL Book #3 by Sara Shephard Review

Here we are book 3 and we have lots to discuss.

First of all, Aria and the fact that her mom can’t stand to look at her after the fact she knew about Byron and Meredith. Gross. I mean I know her mom is mad at her daughter but that’s still your daughter…yet she still says she can’t see Aria for a while so Aria is staying with Sean’s family.

Also, Aria painted a red A on Meredith’s chest for adulterer and I thought that was kind of fun, though nothing comes from it and I thought for sure Byron was gonna freak out about it.

Even though Aria is with Sean that doesn’t stop her feelings for Ezra as she ends up hanging out with him and telling him about her parents and everything going on and they reconnect… but not for long! Because A tells Sean about Aria and Ezra and Sean calls the POLICE. HA.

Yes, that’s right. Ezra Fitz went to JAIL. FINALLY. That’s why I needed to talk about Aria first I needed to get this out because this is what I needed lol. Instead of dragging us through their whole messy-ass relationship, they gave me what I needed. A brief romance that ended with the child predator being arrested. Thank you.

Needless to say that Aria and Sean are over and Aria is a bit homeless now because her mom still doesn’t want to see her, she’s not talking to her dad and her boyfriend has dumped her. Not sure what is next for Aria but I imagine something kooky is just around the corner.

Next, we have Emily, who wanted to tell the police about A. Poor girl. She hasn’t learned that you don’t do something A doesn’t want you to. Well, she finds out the hard way when A outs her to the whole school at a swim meet by posting photos of her and Maya around for everyone to see.

Unlike on the TV show where no one at school really finds out or cares, everyone at school is fetishizing Emily which is pretty gross. Like all the boys wanting to hang out with her to see her kiss a girl. Bleh. But also not surprising.

What’s really gross though is that her parents want her to try a gay conversion therapy camp place. And Emily thinks she should do it and “fix” herself until she realises that’s not how it works and she can’t change who she is. This is not good news for Mrs. Fields who definitely wants her child to be straight and is threatening to send her to Iowa to live with her aunt…

Thank God this is not what happens on the TV show because it would not have gone down well. Obviously, Emily’s mom is upset but she eventually comes around to everything, I don’t know if that will happen in the book though. I’m not sure what will happen for Emily now to be honest but she can’t just be shipped off she’s one of the Liars.

Then there is Spencer who is being made to see a therapist by her parents. Which I think is a good call, though it’s probably not best to be seeing the same therapist as your sister, there is definitely some conflict in that. Not to mention Melissa’s appointment is right after Spencer’s which is again not good.

Spencer finds out that she’s been suppressing horrible memories or traumatic events in her life as she is having a mental block on the fight she had with Alison on the night she disappeared. Through therapy and time she discovers that the night that Ali disappeared, they were fighting over the fact Alison was dating Ian and Spencer couldn’t have him. Yikes.

Alison apparently told Ian to kiss Spencer as a test to see if he would do anything for her and he did. And now Alison was holding her relationship with Ian over Spencer. And Spencer was angry with Alison and so she pushed her, and Alison fell and hit her head. So Spencer realises that she hurt Alison that night but she is sure she didn’t kill her…well she definitely didn’t carry Ali into her backyard and dump her body where the police found it at least.

So that’s one revelation. It’s good to know they kept key points about the girls similar to the TV show. Like the relationship with Ian and Spencer not remembering what happened that night. Though they made Spencer out to be on drugs when that happened on the TV which was a bit extra but there you go.

Anyway, on top of that Spencer and Melissa fight after A lets Melissa know that Spencer stole her essay for the Golden Orchid. Things get heated and Spencer ends up pushing Melissa down the stairs. Which is pretty dark, like I didn’t expect this from her but now her family thinks she’s dangerous. So it’ll be interesting to see where that goes.

And finally, we have Hanna who spends this book trying to prove to Mona they are still besties after she misses her Friendaversary with Mona to be questioned by the police about Alison’s disappearance. Naturally, Mona doesn’t want to listen to any excuses though, and kicks Hanna off of her birthday party court and uninvites her to the party completely.

But this gives Hanna the excuse to make friends with Lucas. Apparently, he was cool in school until the rumour of him being a hermaphrodite circulated around and now he is a nerd. But he is nice to Hanna and he invites her on a hot air balloon ride of all things and they bond haha. Like why would you trust anyone who you are hanging out with for the first time to take you up in a hot air balloon that’s such an easy way to get murdered but anyway Hanna makes it out alive.

Plus after Hanna gets humiliated at Mona’s party her and Lucas have a moment where they makeout so I’m wondering if they start to become a couple or not. Which I would be all for because we never got that on the TV show, and if Caleb is not going to show up I feel like Lucas is a good option for Hanna.

At the end of the book, we have Aria looking at an old video of her and the girls and making the connection between Alison and Ian and then thinking maybe Spencer had something to do with Alison’s death since she was crushing on Ian. And we have Hanna who receives a text from A but this time with a number that she recognises…looks like she knows who A is.

As Hanna is rushing to tell the girls, BAM! She gets hit by a car.

She knew too much. – A

Yep. Can’t say I’m surprised I saw the TV show. Similar events play out in season one at Mona’s birthday. Except for the girls at Camp Mona for her birthday and not at a Planetarium. Though I gotta say that Hanna getting hit by the car in the books makes way more sense than on the TV show.

The TV show says Hanna knew too much because she saw Noel Kahn write on the back of Ezra’s car while he is with Aria. But that ultimately leads nowhere because Noel is not A. But in the book? Hanna definitely knows who the real A is and that’s more interesting.

This book also has an A chapter but it’s not as cringey as the one from the first book. It also confirms that Mona slipped up when texting Hanna and it’s not a tactical slip to make her think A is someone else. So I guess if you were paying enough attention this is where you would figure out who A is, as before this I feel like there are not super strong hints that you can tell who it is?

Also interesting that Mona is pointing the girls toward Spencer killing Alison? Of course, she could have been lurking in the shadows that night and thought it was her. In the book, Spencer gets a text that alludes to the killer being right in front of her, while she’s standing at a mirror. So Mona could have easily seen them fight but not what happened next.

Well looks like all will be revealed in the next book which is exciting! I am looking forward to seeing where things go from here. I like seeing the elements they pulled out from the book for the TV show. I do think some of the things A made the girls do early on in the TV show were harsher than in the book. Particularly in relation to Hanna and bingeing and Sean/Lucas. But we’ll see what happens when new A comes into play.

Happy Quarantined Birthday to Me!

Me: Pre-COVID

My birthday was on Wednesday and I had one unexpected birthday present: COVID. Yay.

So I spent my birthday self-isolating and watching Gossip Girl. So far 25 is looking so glam lol.

Honestly kind of annoyed at myself for getting COVID, I thought I was doing my best to avoid it but I guess it was only a matter of time. I still take pride in the fact I managed to avoid it this long and am also grateful that I was able to go on holiday and do all the fun things I have so far this year without being ill.

The only thing I am going to miss is a drag show that is coming up next week which is fine, after that there are no events for a bit so I can take my time and rest. I’ve been doing a lot this year so far and I think my body was just like “time to rest” so here we are.

My symptoms haven’t been too bad which is also good, part of the fear of getting COVID was not knowing how it was going to affect me. Thankfully nothing too crazy, a scratchy throat, blocked nose…the first day I did have chills but they have gone away.

I am sure I will be fine in a few days, I just need to be patient. That being said I find myself being restless being sick this time around. I was sick for a week last year and I think I was grateful for all the time to be sitting around and doing nothing but this time is different haha.

But I know my body is not up to doing anything too taxing, even now trying to write this blog post it’s challenging. So I’m going to take it easy and while I’ll be sad that I won’t be immediately heading back into my everyday activities I want to take my time with healing so I don’t end up ill again anytime soon.

Plus, the idea of going back to normal and rushing back into crowds of people doesn’t sound appealing to me. And I will definitely be keeping the mask on when I go places. Funnily enough, the first time I really went anywhere without a mask was last weekend, and now I have COVID so…if that’s not an incentive to wear a mask I don’t know what is.

But yeah, that’s where we are for now. On the bright side, I can get fresh air from my back garden and enjoy some time binge-watching TV and playing games. Hopefully, by next week the tests start coming in negative but we’ll see.

Midyear Goals Check In for 2022

We are halfway through 2022 and I just had to do my midyear evaluation at work and so I thought this would also be a good idea to do a midyear check on my personal goals for this year.

Not going to lie, midyear and end-of-year evaluations at work are not the most exciting things but it’s also interesting to look back to see how much you accomplish in the year, professional or otherwise. So we are going to take a look and see what progress or lack thereof I have made on the goals I have set myself this year.

Learn to Drive

This one is not going well and it’s not for lack of trying lol. So I looked for a driving instructor in February and managed to get on a waiting list for April because everyone has a backlog due to the pandemic so we waited until April…I had my first lesson with this guy and I felt good about it and we had scheduled another lesson and then…for personal reasons my instructor said he couldn’t continue with our lessons. Ouch.

It’s annoying but it happens. And then in May I looked for another instructor and I didn’t have much luck. Some guy has said he might take me on in June/July but it is June now and I haven’t heard back yet so I’m still waiting.

So as you can see there hasn’t been any movement on this and it’s so frustrating. When I have been trying to find an instructor I have reached out to four/five at a time hoping that someone will have a spot for me and most people don’t.

At this point, I feel like I need to start taking lessons in a different town or something just to give me access to a different range of instructors or something because I’m not really sure what else to do. And it’s really bothering me especially since two of my friends have learnt to drive recently so I’m literally the only one who isn’t. It feels like I’m 17 again and everyone is learning to drive except me…it’s wild.

But I have hope I’ll eventually find an instructor who will take me…otherwise I’ll need to win the lottery and hire a driver lol.

Blog More

This is a goal I’ve been having some success with! Yay! I have been doing my monthly reading recaps which adds some content to the blog which is nice. I have also done some posts on TV shows and travel.

I’m going to say this one is always a hit or miss for me because sometimes I have things to write about and sometimes I don’t. But I’m happy that I have found some things to post about this year compared to other years when I’ve only made one or two posts.

Maybe I will do some blogging around my house renovations though not sure how often those posts would be…also I guess if I am feeling that I need to put my thoughts out there on something it can be in blog form instead of video form sometimes. We’ll go with the flow, but like I said I’m just glad I’m posting something haha.

Read 22 Books

A goal I have been thriving in, obviously part of doing reading recaps on my blog means I have to have been reading. I am currently reading my 15th book out of 22 so this goal will be reached in the next couple of months. I have also started reading the Pretty Little Liar books and so far I’ve read the first two but it’s definitely a series I am eager to get through so I imagine I’ll be finished pretty quickly.

Thankfully if I can do nothing else, I can read haha.

Learn a Language

So this has been going okay, I’ve just been learning Korean through Duolingo and I have a streak of 156 currently. In terms of Duolingo I would say I’m thriving but I definitely couldn’t talk to you in Korean haha.

My boyfriend abandoned Korean after the first couple of lessons because it was too difficult and so he hasn’t really been on the journey with me but that’s fine. I’ve actually come to enjoy my 10/15 mins of Korean every day, it’s a nice hobby to have.

I’m hoping to finish the Korean modules there and revisit the Korean textbook I bought at uni and see where that takes me. I don’t think I’ll be fluent or anything but it’s nice to have a hobby where you’re learning something.

Spend more time with friends and family

I have been doing good at this I think. Well on the friend front I think it’s going well considering we recently just went on a holiday together haha. Still, aside from that I think we’ve been good at keeping in touch and hanging out. Plus Jasmine and her partner have moved back to NI so I think that will encourage us to hang out more – mainly because before there was just me and Lauren in NI and we wouldn’t really hang out one to one so it’s nice to have a third person to see haha.

And then in terms of my family, I think this is going okay but could still be better. I did spend a weekend with my mum at a spa for her Christmas present, and I’ve been hanging out with my brother and my dad on occasion but I could probably make the effort to visit more. It’s just something I have to actively try to do.

Make progress on the house

This one is mainly up to my boyfriend and not me. And I say this because he is doing all the work and I am not lol. I mean I definitely want to try to help where I can but sometimes it’s best if he just tackles it on his own.

In January we bought a new kitchen which was exciting, it arrived a couple of weeks ago and sits in a mountain of boxes in the living room lol. We still need to pick out a few things for the kitchen and also block out time where we can tear out the old kitchen to put the new one in.

My boyfriend has started tiling the ensuite which is good, we started the ensuite stuff last year but it turned out to be more work than expected – I definitely feel like I could make my own blog post about that lol.

And we also need someone to repair a hole in our roof as birds have been getting into the attic. Hopefully, someone is coming out in July…

So yeah lots going on, it’s definitely a project that’s taking a long time and it can be frustrating and slow at times but I’m sure the final product will be amazing and I’m excited to share it. But for right now I’d appreciate it if we didn’t have visitors until we get it sorted haha.

Exercise more consistently

This one is a hit or miss haha. Sometimes I exercise a lot in a week, sometimes I just about make it to pole and hoop and no more. It’s the kind of thing that I fit in when I can but sometimes life just gets in the way.

My boyfriend and I did sign up for the gym two months ago but I have only been a handful of times – I’ve always had things come up haha and my boyfriend is taking a break from the gym to work on the house. So I think the gym membership is going to go on hold for a while.

I know I could still go to the gym without my boyfriend but I don’t know if I would go enough to justify the cost. I also want to do more pole things at home but have not put my pole up in a while, I think if I can finally do that I might actually use it…though that hasn’t worked in the past lol.

So yeah something still to work on but that’s fine. Progress is not a straight line and all that.

And that is where I am with my goals for 2022! Honestly, for the most part, I am happy with the progress I am making on them. Obviously, the driving one is the big one that doesn’t have much progress but hopefully, I can get an instructor for the second half of the year.

I won’t be mad if I haven’t passed my test by the end of the year but at this rate, any progress would be nice. And with everything else, I’ll keep working on it, one step at a time.

Fun Things to do in Lisbon!

A few weeks ago my friends and I went on a trip to Lisbon and I thought I would share some fun things that we did while we were there! I am by no means a travel blogger, but after being on my first trip out of the country since COVID, I could definitely consider it, if I had the time and the money lol.

Boat Tours

On our first full day in Lisbon, we decided to take a boat tour. It was with Rent a Boat and my friend Jasmine had booked it for us. We weren’t really sure what to expect but it turned out to be an instant crowd-pleaser for all of us.

When we were getting onto the boat we saw a lot of people choosing to sit in the designated seating area at the back of the boat, but when the tour guide said we could sit at the front we decided to head up there immediately. And honestly, if you are going to pay for a boat tour why wouldn’t you sit at the very front? This was great because there was enough room for all four of us and also it gave us some privacy away from the other people on the tour so it was like we were on our own private boat tour.

The tour itself was really chill, and there was music playing and the tour guide offered us some ‘green wine’, which we had never heard of but we were instant fans. To quote the tour guide when he offered us the wine “you are Irish, I don’t even have to ask”. The only thing he was asking was “do you want more?”. Now I don’t know if it was because we were special or if the tour guide was offering everyone wine a second (and third/fourth) time but I will not complain.

In terms of a guided tour though, we did not get much which was fine by us because we just enjoyed being on the water in the sunshine and enjoying the views. Our tour guide did come down and give us some ideas of what to do while we were in Lisbon as we hadn’t planned much for the trip yet. And he was really friendly and enjoyable, I think if we had been with the rest of the main group we might have gotten more of a guided tour.

And that was our first boat tour of the trip! Yep, we went on another one lol. That night after the tour, we all kept talking about how much we enjoyed it and so we decided to also book a nighttime tour. We did look at sunset ones but they are hella pricey because that is an obvious peak time.

So the next night we once again arrived at Belem marina for our second boat trip. This one was with Get Your Guide – we did originally want to book with Rent a Boat again, but they were not available. Though I think this was actually a good thing because we had a different experience with this company.

We got lucky with our night tour that we were actually the only ones on the boat, there was supposed to be a second group joining but they didn’t show. So it really was a private boat tour this time.

Like before, we opted to sit in the front, because again you gotta have good views. That being said, at night the tour was much colder, thankfully though the company provided blankets for us which kept us warm during the trip. Also because we were the only ones on the boat we got more of a guided tour, so the tour guide was able to tell us about all the attractions we could see along the river banks. I appreciated this because we didn’t get that the first time so it was nice to learn a bit more about what we were seeing. And it wasn’t repetitive which is good.

Unlike the last tour I found this one more chill and relaxing, I guess because it had been a long day and also there’s something about being away from all the noise of the nightlife and sailing along the water. Also in terms of wine, we did get one glass which was included in the package, which was more what we expected from the tour anyway.

And that concludes all our boat tours in Portgual lol. Honestly, I would recommend doing more than one, maybe not in the same trip if that’s not your vibe but they are definitely worth it because it gives you a different view of the city. And also the different times of day were nice because the contrast between both of them was nice to see.

And Portugal offers a lot of different boat tours, we saw plenty of them on the water as we were sailing though I would highly recommend the sailboat ones. We saw a lot of tour boats that were filled with a lot more people and that didn’t seem as enjoyable but might be for you if you prefer hop-on and hop-off kind of tours. There are also tours that include snorkelling and lots of other things so it’s definitely worth checking out!

In terms of pricing, the tours weren’t super expensive either which was nice. Both were around £30 per person and if you book private ones, then the more people you have the less you pay as the price is split between people. So 100% would recommend it to everyone.

Pink Street

I am not sure if this place is for everyone but it’s definitely a pretty photo op during the day. Pink Street is a street in Lisbon that is lined with bars/clubs on both sides and is party central at night.

My friends and I decided to go for drinks after we had been on our daytime boat tour and it was Friday night and packed to the brim with people. Usually not my scene, especially because we have just come out of a pandemic but we decided to be optimistic about it.

We walked up and down the street a couple of times, trying to find a bar with seating which was almost impossible, but we finally found a table outside a bar called Liverpool, named after the football team. Not exactly Portuguese culture but the only place with space and we took advantage.

I’m not going to say it was a glamorous night because in reality, you were sitting in a very crowded area in the heat of the night and the noise of the goings-on around you but we still had a great time. It worked out well we had this table, and there was a waitress who was taking drink orders for the bar so she would come by every so often to take our order. I honestly felt bad for her because she must’ve been getting all kinds of abuse and such throughout the night but we did our best to be polite and non-disruptive. We’re not that kind of people lol.

So we sat and we enjoyed our drinks, enjoyed seeing the parades of bar crawls and hen/stag do’s that passed us by.

Eventually, we did have to use the bathroom and the inside of the Liverpool bar is tiny, definitely wouldn’t like to be crammed in there with a lot of people. And also the female toilets only had one toilet which isn’t great for a bar but thankfully there weren’t many people inside, and so not many people in the bathrooms either.

And then around 3:30 a.m the staff were packing up the tables so it was time for us to move and probably go home because we didn’t realise it had gotten so late so quickly. The drinks were strong and we were enjoying our time so we had no idea it was going by so fast. The bar wasn’t closing at 3:30 though, they were just putting the tables away we could have still gone into the bar as they were open till SIX AM. Yeah, SIX IN THE MORNING. Crazy.

We did not feel like going inside so we decided to find a spot to stand and finish our drinks before heading home. Even at 3:30 in the morning, there were people everywhere. It was crazy, especially when in Northern Ireland clubs close at 2 and everyone is in Mcdonald’s by 3.

And so yeah our Pink Street adventures were pretty tame compared to most going on around us but I’d still say pretty wild for us lol. Like I said I wouldn’t say it was a vibe for everyone and I feel like if we hadn’t gotten sat at a place with a table it would have been a bit miserable. So I’d say it could be hit or miss if you decide to take a trip.

We did walk through the next day while trying to get somewhere and like I said, I think it’s nice for photos but otherwise not worth a trip, unless you’re looking to get smashed.

Timeout Market

I feel like Time Out Market is one of those things that everyone mentions on their list of things to do in Lisbon. It is a big food market located close to Pink Street in the middle of Lisbon.

We decided to take a visit the afternoon after our Pink Street adventures and it was packed to the brim with people. I don’t think it would ever not be busy, to be honest, but it’s definitely a fun vibe. The market is set up in long cafeteria-style tables, and then the outside of the room is lined with various food vendors. So if you are ever undecided in the friend group about what to eat, this is the place because everyone can go to different places, or you can all share little things from various places.

I will say it’s not ideal if you are looking for anything private or intimate as you are sharing a huge table sandwiched between groups of people but it’s nice for lunch or something light.

The waiting lines for each vendor vary greatly as my friends and I scattered to our selected restaurant and came back to the table with our buzzers. Though I’d say waiting in line to order actually takes the longest. Once you get your order in then the food is prepared quite quickly.

Needless to say the food was delicious and everyone enjoyed it. Lauren and Jasmine even went to get dessert from one of the vendors.

So yeah a bright and fun place to go if you aren’t sure where to eat. I also think that if you enjoy the food from a vendor there that they have full restaurants you can go to if you want more of the food so definitely worth checking out. Though I’d say if you aren’t a fan of the crowds to not stay longer than needed, I found it quite draining to be there for a long time. But that could’ve been the late-night out before, who knows?

Electric Scooters

We saw so many people zooming about on electric scooters while we were away and we decided to take them for a spin ourselves after Time Out Market. To use them you just need to download an app corresponding to the branding on the scooter, scan the QR code, and off you go! There is no shortage of scooters or electric bikes in the centre of Lisbon, we saw so many of them around and it’s such a handy mode of transportation.

Something to note about the scooters though is they are heavy. Like heavier than your average Razor scooter as a kid and definitely more painful to the ankles. So basically, doing a lot of pedalling on them is a lot of work, as I soon found out because it took me a while to get to grips with the scooters. Like you’d think you can just step on and go but no lol.

You basically pedal a little bit and get your balance and then SLOWLY press on the accelerator until you feel comfortable to zoom off. Unfortunately for me, the balance did not come quickly lol we first took the scooters out in a busy area and trying to navigate through people and also get your balance was not the easiest.

So, later on, we were in a quieter area and took out some scooters again where I got to practice my balance and it was much easier to figure out when you weren’t worried about hitting anything or anyone. Plus, the scooters can get up to some speeds so you really need to spend time adjusting and figuring out what works for you.

Once we got the hang of the scooters they were super fun. We wanted to use them at every opportunity, especially because we were along the river and it was a long straight path towards where we were staying. It was so fun zooming down the street at night with the girls. Definitely, something we’ll remember for a long time.

So if you want something fun and easy to try out, get some scooters! I will now be sad if I go elsewhere on holiday and they don’t have scooters.

Sintra

Sintra is not actually in Lisbon as it’s a separate town but I wanted to include this in the post anway because this is something the girls and I did.

Sintra is a town about an hour by train from Lisbon, and it contains four castles that you can visit and is perfect for sightseeing and pictures…unless you go in the rain which we ended up doing. So you go on holiday expecting sunshine and warmth and then the next thing you know it’s cold and rainy. Not fun, but something you can handle especially if you’re from Northern Ireland.

What it looked like waiting to go inside to view the palace interior

Even though the weather wasn’t great it was still a good day. We went to the Pena Palace and Moorish Castle. First was Pena Palace as it was at the highest up the mountain. It definitely would have been better if it was sunny, as the views from the palace were obscured by the mist, but it did clear up a bit by the time we had finished the palace interiors and had some lunch at the cafeteria.

What it looked like after we had been inside and the weather had cleared a little

I am thankful the weather cleared up a bit so we had some views, it would have been disappointing to continue to see nothing from such a great vantage point. But still would recommend a clear day to visit. It was also very busy waiting to get into the palace, we were waiting for an hour in line, I think if it was sunny it wouldn’t have been bad but I assume everyone was wanting to get inside to escape the rain.

The rain wasn’t actually too bad, it was a light mist at most but I think the altitude and wind made it a lot worse. So if you do see rain in the forecast, bring a rain jacket!

After Pena Palace we made it to Moorish Castle, again there would have been great views if the weather hadn’t taken a turn again. Moorish Castle was stunning and while climbing up all the stairs was a journey it was one I’m glad we took, even if we couldn’t see anything from the top I am proud we made it all the way to the top. Plus the views that we could see were stunning.

I would love the opportunity to go back with better weather to see the full thing and also explore the gardens of Pena Palace, as we decided to skip those due to the weather.

So those are all the things I would recommend doing in Lisbon! There were a couple other things the girls and I did like go to a flea market and also the beach but I feel like those you can kind of do anywhere. And in terms of where to eat and restaurants, my friends and I basically just walked along wherever we were until we found a menu with a vegetarian option for my friend Lauren and also something everyone else could eat. Unfortunately for us, Portugal is seafood heaven and none of us actually eat seafood lol.

But yeah, I hope you enjoyed this blog post, and if you are interested in seeing more of our Lisbon adventures I did manage to vlog a little of each day so you can check that out below!

Now for me, it’s time to return to regular life and start planning my next holiday…