Monday, 15 December 2014

MINI REVIEWS: Memory Stick by Polly Smart and Good Shit, Bad Shit by Dan Marshall

Title: Memory Stick
Author: Polly Smart
Published by: Huck and Pucker
Publication date: 1st September 2014
Pages: 144
Genres: Non-fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

Need a place to store all those moments, ideas and experiences, both crazy and everyday? Fill this journal with memories to create a record of who you are and what makes you tick. Download your brain into MEMORY STICK! 

I've been a big fan of Huck and Pucker books for a long time, but I'd never actually owned anything of theirs - I just admired from afar. But then I was lucky enough to get my hands on two of their books in one go, and the next week was filled with lots of fangirling and creativity.

Memory Stick is a "place to stick your memories, of course! A place where 'the best idea ever' jostles for attention with your most embarrassing moments; where ticket stubs and autumn leaves are stashed for safekeeping, because they represent so much more than the sum of their parts - each item represents a memory. Memories are the best kind of treasure and this book is your Aladdin's cave to dip into and enjoy for years to come."

'Memories are the best kind of treasure' is a sentiment I wholeheartedly agree with; that's why I started blogging in the first place and why, instead of wallpaper, my bedroom walls are covered in photos. That's partly the reason for my YouTube channel too, because in years to come, I'll be able to see myself exactly how I was at fourteen, fifteen, and sixteen. As soon as I read that sentence, I knew I would love this journal.

Usually when books like this are released, they're almost exactly the same as the original interactive book, Wreck This Journal, which I'm sure you've all heard of. The Pointless Book by Alfie Deyes, for example, while still really fun, was almost an exact copy of WTJ. Memory Stick is the first book I've found that hasn't tried to be another Wreck My Journal. It's completely unique and I could sit for hours filling it in, which I suppose is perfect now it's the Christmas holidays. I also think this would be great for long journeys, no matter how old you are.

The other thing I love about this book is that you don't need to be an artistic genius to have fun with it. I've found that a lot of people are put off buying books like this because they don't feel like they're good enough at art, but you're not meant to make the book look perfect. Just make it you, and a nice little place to keep your memories - it doesn't need to look like it belongs in a gallery!

From an artistic point of view, though, my favourite thing about Memory Stick is that the pages are made from fairly good paper. Most books like this have incredibly thin pages, so while they encourage you to paint or glue or draw, you can't because everything bleeds through. It's seriously, seriously annoying. Memory Stick is the first book of this kind that actually has decent quality paper, and to be honest, I think that calls for a party because that's hard to find.

Overall, if you're looking for a fun book you can mess around with at random, this is the one, I think! It's especially good for relieving stress or procrastinating. Not that I condone procrastinating, obviously. ...Excuse me while I tidy my room to avoid having to write the next review, which is less than positive...
The next review contains strong language due to the book title.

Title: Good Shit, Bad Shit
Author: Dan Marshall
Published by: Huck and Pucker
Publication date: 1st September 2014
Pages: 160
Genres: Non-fiction
Format: Paperback
Source: Review copy from the publisher.

There's good shit and there's bad shit. No matter what kind of shit's happening in your world, this journal will help you get through it. Scribble away your stress, ink your indecision and transcribe your triumphs – whatever it takes to tackle life's many little ups and downs!

When I first took these books out of the envelope they came in, I actually thought I would have way more fun with this book than Memory Stick. Before flicking through the pages, I thought Good Shit, Bad Shit would be funnier and more entertaining, However, I was wrong.

While I really like the concept of this book and the pages within, it's incredibly repetitive, like I said in this video. There are only six original pages in this book... and then they repeat. I know that's because this is more like a diary than a 'pick a page at random and complete it' book, but if I wanted to complete a page for a second time, I could photocopy it. I guess it just disappointed me that there was so little variety, especially when this book sells for £7.99.

The activities are still fun and, just like in Memory Stick, the paper is excellent quality which is exactly what you need when you're writing in books (shock horror) so that's a definite plus. If that sounds like something you'd enjoy then go for it, but if you like a bit more variety like I do, this will probably be a bit of a disappointment, unfortunately!


  1. Ooh, I'd love to get me a copy of Memory Stick - I love books like that! Fantastic reviews, Amber! <3