top 5 favourite contemporaries

So in the grand scheme of everyone who has ever read books or started blogs, I probably haven’t read a lot in comparison. I can imagine this list is going to change over and over and over again. These are also not in any particular order, it’s just my top five!

The Hate U Give
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Title: The Hate U Give
Author: Angie Thomas
Publication Date: 28 February 2017
Pages: 444 pages
Start Date: 26 March 2017
Finish Date: 28 March 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

The Hate U Give is about Starr Carter, a sixteen-year-old girl who lives in a dominantly black, poor neighborhood but attends a posh suburban prep school. Starr is driving home from a party with her childhood best friend, Khalil when they get pulled over by a white police officer. Khalil ends up getting shot and killed when he is unarmed. Khalil’s death makes headlines and protests break out all around Starr’s neighberhood. Starr is deciding between staying silent and only talking to the police or dealing with joining on the public outrage at the decisions of all the authorities around her.

I loved the issues that this book addressed, it is based on the black lives matter movement. Police brutality needs to be spoken about more and is a huge issue in America. I think this novel should be read by everyone to see the aspect from Starr’s point of view.

I loved the family dynamic in this novel so much and the character’s and relationships just felt so real. I will 100% reread this book multiple times in my life and Angie Thomas has been an auto-buy author from the moment I started to read this novel!


More Happy Than Not
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Title: More Happy Than Not
Author: Adam Silvera
Publication Date: 2 June 2015
Pages: 304 pages
Start Date: 24 February 2017
Finish Date: 25 February 2017
Rating: ★★★★★

More Happy Than Not is about 16-year-old Aaron Soto. Aaron’s father committed suicide in the previous months to when this novel takes place and Aaron is finding it hard to be happy. His girlfriend and his mum are trying to help him and he’s slowly seeing progress, but with his smile-shaped scar on his wrist, it is proving difficult. But when his girlfriend leaves for a few weeks, Aaron meets a new guy, Thomas.   Aaron is starting to feeling something for Thomas, and he is thinking about getting a memory-alteration procedure from the Leteo Institute to get rid of his feelings for this new guy.

Okay so the first thing I want to say is this story has a lovely science-fiction aspect to it. It isn’t overwhelming, and coming from someone who doesn’t usually gravitate towards science-fiction storylines, I loved this aspect to the plot.

So as it says above, I read this in about a day and I just loved it so much. Adam has a way with words that just makes me love everything I’m reading. I have his second novel on my tbr just now and I’m planning on reading it soon but I am waiting for his third novel to release later on this year and I want to space them out so I can enjoy his writing!


My Life Next Door
my-life-next-doorTitle: My Life Next Door
Author: Huntley Fitzpatrick
Publication Date: 14 June 2012
Pages: 394 pages
Start Date: 3 July 2016
Finish Date: 21 July 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

My Life Next Door is about Samantha Reed and her noisy, messy neighbours, the Garretts. The Garrett’s are the opposite of  Samantha’s family and they don’t speak, Samantha just watches. That’s until one night when Jase Garrett climbs up next to her on her rooftop perch. The two start to fall for each other but Samantha has to keep it a secret from her family and their judgements. Then one night everything changes and Samantha is forced to make a decision on what family she should choose, her own or the Garretts?

 

The only reason this book took me so long to read is because I was in the biggest reading slump ever. I read a couple of chapters the first day, didn’t read anything for about two weeks then read the rest of this in one sitting!

I really loved the family dynamic with the Garretts and think that Jase was such a good character to read about. I bought a couple more Huntley Fitzpatrick books after reading this but just haven’t gotten round to reading them yet, I’m definitely excited though!


Fangirl
9781250073785_p0_v2_s192x300Title: Fangirl
Author: Rainbow Rowell
Publication Date: 10 September 2013
Pages: 445 pages
Start Date: 20 March 2016
Finish Date: 24 March 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Fangirl is about Cath, the biggest fan of the Simon Snow series. Along with her twin sister, Wren, they used to dress up as the characters, reread the books and write fan fiction. Wren has grown out of her Simon Snow loving phase as the twins go to college but Cath doesn’t want to let it go. Wren has told Cath that she doesn’t want to share a room when they go to college and that means Cath is on her own dealing with this experience that is completely out of her comfort zone. Cath’s surly roommate has a charming friend, Levi, who Cath becomes fond of. She has a professor who thinks fan fiction is the end of the world, when Cath’s Simon Snow fan fiction is something she loves to do. She is also worrying about her sister and dad. Cath is all around stuck in a situation totally out of her comfort zone and this is all about her dealing with her first year at college and everything that comes along with it.

This is a fun book with a main character that deals with anxiety. This is a really popular novel with people who want to get into reading or just want a quick and easy read. It was definitely a novel I read when I was first getting back into reading and it totally helped me want to read more. Rainbow’s writing was so much fun and the characters were really relatable.


Faceless
PrintTitle: Faceless
Author: Alyssa Sheinmel
Publication Date: 29 September 2015
Pages: 352 pages
Start Date: 3 June 2016
Finish Date: 4 June 2016
Rating: ★★★★★

Faceless is about Maisie Winters, when she is out for a run in her neighbourhood a storm gathers and lightning hits a powerline when she is running past. The burning electrical fire consumes her and leaves her without nose, cheeks and a chin. Everyone around Maisie is telling her she is lucky as she qualifies for a face transplant, but she doesn’t feel lucky. She feels like someone else is staring back at her in the mirror. Nothing in her life feels normal, she can’t even live the life she used to have, the life that she was promised by the doctors. Maisie was someone who ran track, loved her boyfriend and her best friend and now she can’t even recognise herself in the mirror.

I read this book in a day. Maisie’s story captivated me and just made me read more and more. I felt for her and her situation and I cared about what happened to her. I loved all of the characters and Maisie was a truly inspiring character to read from. This story was truly amazing, unique and an honour to read, even though it is fictional.


So that is my top 5 favourite contemporaries right now! I can imagine this list will change multiple times throughout my life but I highly recommend all of these stories! I am very much in a contemporary mood right now so will probably be rereading some of these soon!

city of ashes by cassandra clare

81I73aZsCBLTitle: City of Ashes
Author: Cassandra Clare
Publication Date: 25 March 2008
Pages: 416 pages
Start Date: 16 April
Finish Date: 25 April
Rating: ★★★★

This is the second book in The Mortal Instruments series, it continues on from City of Bones, where Clary is first introduced to the Shadow world and her life is turned around. At the beginning of this novel, the Lightwood’s mother, Maryse, has returned from Alicante, angry with Jace and saying she believes he is working for Valentine. We have some Simon and Clary love we have some angry Jace and we have a werewolf murder. Maryse has called the Inquisitor, a member of the Clave who is there to put Jace under trial by the soul sword, one of the mortal instruments of the shadowhunters. The gang from the first book are back again and think Valentine is preparing the killings of downworlder children in order to change the alliance of the soul sword and gain more power. There is a steamy brother/sister kiss in the Faerie land, some special powers introduced, oh, and Simon’s a vampire now?

Like the first book in the series, I read City of Ashes for the first time in April 2016, in 5 days. I loved it and was incredibly excited to see where all the character arcs were going. Like I mentioned in my review of the previous book in the series, I was caught up in the hype. It took me a while to read this, and I think I’m just not loving the series as much as I did last time.

I had the same reading experience for the majority of the novel as I did rereading the first book. I would pick up the book and read a chapter or maybe half a chapter and then put it down and go and do something else. It was only when I got around 75% through I really started to enjoy the story more and I sped through the last 25% in a day.

The relationship between Clary and Jace in this novel made me feel uncomfortable. In this novel, the characters are aware that they’re brother and sister and they still act towards each other in a way that I’m just not okay with. I can vaguely understand that it wouldn’t exactly be easy to turn off feelings for someone, since Jace and Clary weren’t aware they were related at the start of City of Bones, but reading it just wasn’t exactly helpful in making me want them together.

Jace’s witty and sarcastic lines are still here and are just as funny as they always have been. Clary is still the same non-memorable slightly irritating main character who never listens to anyone. Alec is cute and funny, the scene at Luke’s with the fearless rune and so funny and I think my heart actually broke the first time I read the scene on the boat after Izzie gets hurt. Izzie is the same loyal and fierce character I’ve always loved. I still love Magnus too.

The plot in this book was good, it wasn’t overly amazing but I didn’t think about putting it down or anything. I loved Simon’s arc in this book as well as the hints we got about Magnus and Alec. The abilities revealed in this book excite me, they add drama and tension to the arc in this story but makes me more excited to just pick up the next few books because I know what happens next since I’ve read them all.

I feel like this has been a pretty sad review for a four star story, and honestly I think I would have been a three star read if it wasn’t for the ending. Since I read it in a day, it shows that that was my favourite part of the story. The battle on the ship was really dramatic and all the moments with Simon and Jace and Alec and Izzie and just everyone. The ending just saved this story for me.

So I recommend this story if you haven’t read it before. It was a five-star read for me the first time round. It is a fun and enjoyable urban fantasy. The reveals and twists and turns in this are fun to find out but I think the reread just ruined it since I knew everything that was going to happen.

dreamology by lucy keating

WceGgDUNlCA8RPHOz66AbHHs4RI12Vqg+OoBRGBrKx2plCphEkAr3aizNSRpuGHkIoDZcS4gLRs3LNNbucM2t1akSQ57d2QayYcYsAsr1FVQ5iDKyCBWtzAWMsmQ+7PKTitle: Dreamology
Author: Lucy Keating
Publication Date: 12 April 2016
Pages: 336 pages
Start Date: 13 April
Finish Date: 16 April
Rating: ★★★

Dreamology is about Alice Rowe, for as long as she can remember she has dreamt about Max. In her dreams, they have gone on crazy, wonderful adventures and fallen in love. Max is the boy of her dreams, and only her dreams, because he isn’t real. Then Alice is sitting in class on her first day at a new school and Max walks into the room. He is real. But he is not the Max of her dreams, in fact real-life Max is nothing like dream Max. Once Max starts to let his guard down, the pair realise their dreams are starting to become their reality. Impossible things are happening and the pair need to find a way to stop it before they can’t tell the difference between real life and dreaming.

I picked this book up around about September 2016 if I remember right, although I don’t have the best memory so don’t count on me being right! I put it down around 100 pages or so, but it was just because I was still in a huge reading slump and this just wasn’t the right book for me to get me out of it.

I wasn’t planning on reading this any time soon but I finished my last book and I just picked it up out of nowhere. It was an enjoyable read so I’m glad I read it.

I have recently decided that I really enjoy contemporary books that have a small science fiction twist to them. The other book I read recently that was like this is More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera (if you want another recommendation!!)

Alice was the main character, the book was written from her perspective, and I liked her. I didn’t find her anything special, it wasn’t overwhelmingly amazing reading her as a main character but I didn’t hate her. She had real-life problems that I think a lot of people could relate to, I just couldn’t.

However, I really liked Max! He was cute and exactly what you would expect to read in a YA contemporary romance. Dream Max was so cute, so was real-life Max, but dream Max just knocked it up a notch.

Max and Alice were cute together, I didn’t initially like the fact that Max kissed Alice and acted the way he did towards her when he was still with Celeste, but when that storyline finished up I began to ship the characters together more. I wanted them to end up together but they’re not an otp or anything.

The plot of this book was what initially drove me to picking this up and it was what kept me reading. Like I said before, I have a new found love for contemporary books with a sci-fi twist and I think I could pretty much read any book in this sub-genre. The idea of these two people dreaming of each other for as long as they can remember and then realising that each other are real. It just sounds so amazing and it definitely was. The plot was my favourite part of this novel. Characters are usually my favourite part of a novel and even when a plot is good, I usually end up not enjoying the story much, but there as just something different about this one.

I enjoyed the writing in this, there wasn’t too much description in this, which is something I like. I also really like the chapters in this book that told us about the dreams that Max and Alice were having. They were cute and funny and I really liked seeing them like they had no cares in the world and only thought of each other. I know it wasn’t real but it was so cute and I loved dream Max- like I said above.

The ending was slightly odd, I felt it was slightly cliché but in a way I didn’t really love. It’s like Max and Alice liked each other then they didn’t then they did again. I know it’s YA, but I don’t usually read books where characters go on and off of each other so often. I just got a bit bored at the end.

Anyway, this was a three star read for me, I originally had it down as a four stars but after thinking about it I put it down to three since the only thing I truly loved was the plot/genre. Hopefully my next review will be the second book in The Mortal Instruments!

would you rather tag (book edition)

So I’m not sure if I need to put this at the start of every tag I’m going to be putting on this blog. But I got this idea off of booktube and yeah, that’s basically it. So here’s the quick would you rather tag!!

WOULD YOU RATHER…

READ ONLY TRILOGIES OR STANDALONES?
I think I would say standalones. I love trilogies more than full series but I like quick, easy reads and standalones are definitely quicker than trilogies. Plus, contemporaries are my favourite books to read and you don’t get trilogies in that genre much.

READ ONLY FEMALE OR MALE AUTHORS?
I don’t really have a preference, but if I look at the ratio of female to male author books that I read, I would say female authors. There must just be something about them that I prefer to read, or maybe there are just more female authors in the contemporary genre.

SHOP AT BARNES & NOBLE OR AMAZON?
Amazon. I live in Scotland, so there aren’t any Barnes & Noble near me and the shipping cost is high to get it here. However, I have an Amazon Prime Membership which means I can get the books from there nice and fast and a lot cheaper than Barnes & Noble. Even if I lived in the US, I would prefer Amazon. I love reading and collecting books but I prefer to get them cheaper!

ALL BOOKS BECOME MOVIES OR TV SHOWS?
Definitely movies. I always tend to prefer the movie adaptations compared to the TV ones. For example, The Hunger Games adaptations are really amazing! I love The Maze Runner movies so far and I really liked the first two Divergent movies (don’t mention the third one to me though, it was atrocious).

READ FIVE PAGES PER DAY OR FIVE BOOKS PER WEEK?
Five books per week, if it was only five pages per day it would take sooo long to read one book and I don’t think I could only read a few books a year. I NEED TO READ!

BE A PROFESSIONAL REVIEWER OR AUTHOR?
I enjoy writing, but I think I would definitely say a professional reviewer. An author involves a lot of writing and as much as I enjoy it, I do it for fun, and if I did it for a job I would stress about it. I like reading more than writing and I love to talk, so reviewing is a better option for me.

ONLY READ YOUR TOP 20 FAVOURITE BOOKS OVER AND OVER OR ALWAYS READ NEW ONES THAT YOU HAVEN’T READ BEFORE?
I think I’d say always read new books that I haven’t read before. I love rereading books, and I’ve actually been doing it a lot more this year, but there is nothing better than finding a new story that you love. It would get boring reading the same books over and over again.

BE A LIBRARIAN OR BOOK SELLER?
Book seller 100%. I don’t really use my local library that much, it has the smallest YA section ever and it’s practically just John Green books. I also prefer to own my books, I love libraries and I think it’s amazing that so many people use them. I would never shut down a library or judge anyone for using one. I just love my mini library/collection at my house. I would still love to own my own book shop in the future! It would be so amazing, introducing people to new books and selling beautiful copies of my favourite books. I just love the idea.

ONLY READ YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE OR EVERY GENRE EXCEPT YOUR FAVOURITE?
I think I would only read my favourite genre. I love contemporary and within contemporary there are so many different subgenres, I can’t even remember one that I don’t enjoy. I don’t think I could get bored of contemporary, considering it’s the world we live in and all.

ONLY READ PHYSICAL BOOKS OR EBOOKS?
Physical books. I actually prefer reading ebooks and there are a million reasons why that is, but I love having my mini library and I love owning beautiful books. So definitely physical books.


Thank you so much for reading, love you all x

us by elle kennedy and sarina bowen

Cover+US+Sarina+Bowen+Elle+KennedyTitle: Us
Author: Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: 8 March 2016
Pages: 328 pages
Start Date: 11 April
Finish Date: 11 April
Rating: ★★★★★

Us is the sequel to Him by Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen. It takes place eight months after the ending of Him. Wes and Jamie are living together in Toronto. Their relationship is still a secret and they are planning on keeping it that way until Wes finishes his rookie season in the NHL. Jamie’s coaching job is also keeping him busy and it’s putting a strain on their relationship because they aren’t getting to see each other as much. Earlier than they planned, their relationship gets shown to the public and both Wes and Jamie have to deal with how it affects their relationships with not only each other, but their teammates and co-workers.

DEFINITELY 5 STARS. I READ THIS BOOK IN ONE SITTING. I LOVED IT! I read both Him and Us in under 48 hours!

I felt like this novel had it’s own storyline and wasn’t just a continuation from the first book, which I always enjoy.  It is dealing with their relationship as well as their chemistry and their complicated situation.

A lot of people felt like the lack of communication between the characters in this book was a down fall but I think that it’s true and real, some people do find it hard to communicate in situations like Wes and Jamie are in.

The hockey was still a large part of the novel, which I still loved. It wasn’t all about their relationship (don’t worry, their relationship is still the main focus on the story).

I still loved Wes and Jamie, their chemistry is still undeniably real and totally believable. There was some very cute scenes between them in this book, not as many as the first book but I understand that since the plot is more focused on the strains of their relationship than their figuring out their feelings for each other.

I loved Jamie’s mum in this book, she is such a lovely and understanding character. She had a lovely relationship with Wes as well as Jamie.

A character that was introduced in this novel, Blake, was interesting to say the least. He annoyed me slightly at the start of the story, he honestly just seemed kind of rude. But as the story went on we got to see his friendship with Wes and Jamie evolve and by the end of the book I started to really like him.

Obviously I have to mention that I loved the representation. There is a gay main character and a bisexual main character. There is also a main character dealing with mental health issues.

slight spoiler ahead !!
In this book there is a medical emergency used as a plot twist (?) in the story. This is not an issue for me as I love this trope/cliché. It allows the reader to see a different part of Wes and Jamie’s relationship.

I 100% shipped Jamie and Wes throughout the entire story, which did not surprise me at all considering how much I loved the first book. I cried multiple times reading this and I laughed out loud to myself multiple times as well. This story was very emotional for me and not just some steamy new adult story. I loved these characters and I’m sad that my journey with them is finished.

I will 100% be rereading this book and the first one multiple times throughout my reading life. I definitely recommend the duology of books and think it was a brilliant and unforgettable introduction to new adult for me.

 

him by elle kennedy and sarina bowen

businessman working on laptop  in black suitTitle: Him
Author: Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen
Publication Date: 28 July 2015
Pages: 361 pages
Start Date: 10 April
Finish Date: 11 April
Rating: ★★★★★

Him is about two guys who went to hockey camp together when they were younger. Wes is someone who was struggling with his feelings towards his best friend. Jamie had never questioned his sexuality until after a bets stakes get carried out and he has a drunken experience with Wes. They don’t talk for four years after their final camp together, much to Jamie’s confusion, then they run into each other when their hockey teams both go to the same match. They meet again and are both coaches at the camp they attended when they were younger.

I really really enjoyed this story. It was definitely a five star rating from me, I started it at night and stayed up until 3am reading this, I then finished it in under 24 hours.

The writing in this is not spectacular or anything but it isn’t bad, I didn’t read it thinking that it was some 12 year olds fanfiction. I really enjoyed it for the purpose of enjoying a story.

The novel was written in alternating first person point of views from the two main characters, Ryan Wesley and Jamie Canning. I could easily tell the two character’s chapters apart and I really enjoyed reading from both perspectives.

I enjoyed that the story was about two male hockey players who were dealing with their feelings for each other and their experiences with being attracted to males and how that affected their everyday lives. It didn’t feel like someone had wrote a m/f romance and just changed the pronouns of a character, it felt real.

I loved Ryan Wesley. Someone who is in love with hockey and his best friend. He has a terrible relationship with his parent’s, both of who have doubted and ignored his sexuality. Wes was always confident in his sexuality throughout the book and the ways he spoke to Jamie throughout the novel make me so happy. Wes doesn’t let people in very easily and he just loves Jamie so much that he can talk to him so much easier.

I loved Jamie Canning. Someone who is in love with coaching and his best friend. Jamie was sleeping with a character named Holly at the start of the novel and hadn’t questioned his sexuality until he meets Wes again. He figures out through the novel that he is bisexual (yay! bisexual representation!!) and I loved seeing him figuring out that part of himself and becoming more comfortable in himself.

The two characters spoke in a more juvenile tone throughout the story but I enjoyed it. It made their relationship more cute and happy. They could joke around with each other and they could be themselves. They also worked with kids at the hockey camp throughout so had to speak to them in a way they’d understand too.

The sports in this book is there and part of the story but I actually found myself enjoying it even though I have no interest or knowledge of hockey. It didn’t change my enjoyment of the story at all, if anything it made the story feel more real and added something to the story apart from just the romance.

The story didn’t have unnecessary  drama, it felt right. It felt real. I didn’t have to sigh from cheesyness or anything unrealistic throughout. It was fun and really really enjoyable.

I haven’t read much new adult stories but I think this was a really great introduction into the genre! I’ll definitely be looking at some more of Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy’s work!!

I really really enjoyed this story, it will be one I will reread in the future, I read the ebook version but I’m dying to pick up a physical copy and maybe give the audio book a shot in the future!

my favourite booktubers

So I’m kind of obsessed with watching Youtube videos, not just about books but beauty and conspiracy theories and fan theories. But for this particular post I’m going to focus on the books. I have found many people on YouTube that I love to watch that make videos on their books and I figured I’d share them here.

Here’s a list of my top ten favourite booktubers:

Processed with VSCO with c1 presetA Clockwork Reader

Name: Hannah
Subscribers: 29,000
Channel Views: 960,000
Goodreads: http://goo.gl/OA8vPi
Most Popular Video: Top 17 Books to Read in 2017
What I love: HARRY POTTER HOUSE BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS !!!

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 22.51.47a dash of ash

Name: Ash
Subscribers: 15,000
Channel Views: 359,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/0pXRH5
Most Popular Video: Very Harry Book Haul
What I love: She’s so happy and lovely and I never miss a video!

34vBN89T_400x400AbigailHaleigh

Name: Abi
Subscribers: 3,700
Channel Views: 153,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/EE6Mxo
Most Popular Video: Room and Bookshelf Organisation 2016
What I love: I could watch all of her videos in one day, they are so bingeable!!

photoemmmabooks

Name: Emma
Subscribers: 50,000
Channel Views: 2,700,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/6xAq3F
Most Popular Video: Bookshelf Tour November 2016
What I love: MENTAL HEALTH BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS!!

photo-2Hailey In Bookland

Name: Hailey
Subscribers: 104,000
Channel Views: 6,475,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/5rptpO
Most Popular Video: Top 15 Young Adult Books
What I love: Her Recommended Reads videos!! (and her bookshelves!!)

Screen Shot 2017-04-10 at 23.02.43HardbackHoarder

Name: Ali
Subscribers: 6,300
Channel Views: 332,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/M7RYvT
Most Popular Video: Bookish Harry Potter DIY
What I love: Regular uploads!! And her happy mood!!

V-Go2hrSLilyCReads

Name: Lily
Subscribers: 39,000
Channel Views: 734,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/zhguIY
Most Popular Video: Shit Books That I Hate
What I love: She seems so real and swears all the time, so different from everyone else!

photo-3ProblemsofaBookNerd

Name: Cece
Subscribers: 22,000
Channel Views: 1,095,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/T1eBTM
Most Popular Video: Cursed Child Discussion
What I love: LGBTQIA+ BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS!!

photo-4readbyzoe

Name: Zoë
Subscribers: 115,000
Channel Views: 5,580,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/pVu5bR
Most Popular Video: Book Recommendations
What I love: Seems so nice!! And reads contemporary, which I love!!

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Name: Yesy
Subscribers: 8,800
Channel Views: 269,000
Goodreads: goo.gl/iEiDVz
Most Popular Video: Bookshelf Tour 2015
What I love: She’s so real and funny!!


I know there is so much I could have said about each of these amazing booktubers, but I figured I’d stick to the basics of their channel. Obviously all of the information on this post is accurate at the time of writing the post but maybe have changed when you are reading this. Please check out all of these lovely ladies, they make some great videos!!