Mapping the Stars: The Girl of Ink and Stars

*Mild Spoilers Ahead*


Isabelle is a young girl which you both love, and despise at the same time because she is portrayed as the hero of the story throughout, but ultimately, she is not. She tries to stay true, but in due course, she endangers the lives of everyone she loves which makes you despise her. In my mind, it is the villain’s daughter that saves Joya for she sacrifices herself to anoint her for her father’s sins, similar to the story of Arinta which is a continuous motif repeated throughout the novel.


The book opens you up to a world of mystery and new possibilities in the shape of cartographer, an archaic term for map making by the stars. Isabelle is the daughter, and only surviving family of the last cartographer in Joya, a town bullied by its governor. Her best friend is Lupe, the governor’s daughter who is oblivious to the wrong doings by her father. The build up to the climax is a little slow but when it happens you are thrown into a world which is unknown and you’re left wanting more. You fear for the characters as if they were real people facing these monsters and do not want any of them to die, whilst the stories Isa and her Da tell others feel as though they are real and part of our own history.


Whilst I feel this book is directed to teenagers, I believe that it could be enjoyed by all ages, especially young adults because it has the childhood feel packed with action and adventure that young adults and adults alike can enjoy.


Kiran Millwood Hargrave’s first novel is a great debut to her writing career and I cannot wait to read more of her work.

Disney Miracle

A short poem I wrote for my first year of university.

Life never turns out how you expect it too.
Thirteen years old,
that’s how old I was,
when my life took an unexpected turn.

Woken up in the middle of the night,
‘my mind is spinning,’ she complained.
In the next moment,
she was laying on the floor,
shaking and unconscious.

Several months had passed,
several more rides in an ambulance.
And we were hopefully going to get some answers.
Yet life never does follow your plan.

One final ambulance ride,
she had another fit,
this time it was accompanied by pneumonia.
It was worse this time.

We had spent a month,
hoping and wishing that she’d pull through.
But we needed a Disney miracle.
She never woke back up.
She never woke back up.

Beast Within: Monster

*Mild spoilers ahead”

If you want a young adult novel full of humour (mostly Harry Potter related), suspense and shock, then CJ Skuse’s Monster is for you. The book follows a group of young girls who are stuck inside their boarding school at Christmas time with the local ‘monster’ lurking around outside.


Whilst the book takes it time to build up its suspense and really get into, when the action begins you are thrown into turmoil and shock by what comes next and who the bad guy really is.


The main protagonist Nash is fiery but also a goody two shows who is doing everything she can to become the head girl at Bathory Girls School. However, when her brother has gone missing, that all changes, especially when she is antagonised by her arch nemesis Clarice. This whole storyline, whilst it sets the scene, adds more depth to the story, and gives Nash character, it takes away from the action and loses some of the actual story. I think Skuse should have moulded the character build up into the actual action instead of showing them separate.


The primary character adds to the story and furthers the enjoyment and adds a little more depth and human side to the story but not by much.


Overall, if you like to read plenty of backstory before you get into the minor action (most of the action being in the last couple of chapters) then this is the book for you. I feel that it is more for young readers (teenagers) to get them into reading and to begin enjoy reading again. Though I do not regret reading the book as it helps me as a writer, as I know that I should add a little more backstory to novels but ensure that it is included in the action.

Being Hannah

Hello, my name is Hannah Buff (bit of an unfortunate surname to have considering that I want to be a teacher, I know).

Hello, my name is Hannah Buff (bit of an unfortunate surname to have considering that I want to be a teacher, I know). I am 19 years old, 20 in May and I am currently studying a BA in English Language and Creative Writing at the University of Westminster. Alongside my studies, I am also the English Society’s Social Secretary, which means that I post all the social media posts etc.… (along with the help of two others). I am also an Editor at the society’s magazine, The Wells Muse, whilst in this role I have helped create and distribute two issues as to date.

However, I am not all work and no play (though I do work a lot both at University and my holiday job back home). I do some recreational writing, not just the writing I have to do at University. Writing to me has always been a way to express myself and my emotions as I have been unable to do so verbally, and while the writing has never been directly about the problem, it was a way to just sort my emotions out. Within this blog, I am going to be featuring some random short stories along the way, ones that I wish to publish in a collection of short stories. My two biggest projects I am working on now is a collection of twisted fairy tales and my own novel (which I am also submitting for my Novel Writing class at University). So, you may see a lot of ranting about those when I get the unformidable writers block. Oh yes, everyone gets them unfortunately.

With no surprise, I can be, though it is sometimes difficult due to the amount of work I have, an avid reader. My personal best so far is reading the Harry Potter series in a weekend, or The Book Thief in a day. It does, while I am at University, take me quite a while to read a book due to the amount of assessments which is why I tend to leave most of the reading for Summer and Christmas holidays. However, a reason I started this blog is so that I can also share with you my experience with a book and recommend books that I find great to you. So, when I finish a book, I will be doing a book review, though there will be some spoilers in them (I’ll try and keep them to a minimum).  I’ve never not known when I haven’t read, so when I started my course and realised I will not be able to read much, I was not happy. Though now I have come to understand and appreciate books a whole lot more.

As well as writing I do some Photography, mainly stock images, though I have done two of my cousin’s weddings which was great experience and I would happily do it again. I will mostly be featuring my own images on here. Photography became another way to express myself and let me get my emotions out (though again, not directly). Whilst I may not be great at it, I do find that it brings me great comfort and help when I do it. It also sometimes inspires me to write.

Oh, and I will also post random rants and pieces from my Journal, this blog is very much the ins and outs of my life.