Book Review: Fully Functioning Human (Almost) – Melanie Murphy

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‘I’m just a girl who’s sort of stumbling through life, learning that we all have our own roads to walk – but that it’s still valuable, and rather lovely, to hear about other people’s journeys…’ 

Well, well, well, where do I start when I’m talking about this wonderful book and it’s even more wonderful author. If you didn’t know, Melanie is a Youtuber and a damn good one at that talking about life and sexuality, body positivity, Game of Thrones. So when I heard she was releasing a book I was all over this.

This book covers so much in a mere 300 hundred pages but the best part is that it feels like she’s chatting to you. This is totally in Melanie’s voice and it helps because it’s like a friend is talking to you and chatting about life, the good and the bad.

The book is divided into sections Media and My Mind, Food & Body, Beauty & Confidence, Sex & Sexuality, Love & Happiness. You can tell that in each of the chapters Melanie has poured her heart and soul into each page, without it being soppy.

While of course it has Melanie’s signature positive outlook, something which she credits partially to the Law of Attraction ( I LOVED this) but it doesn’t hide the darkness and I think that’s what I loved most, the openness. All of her struggles and flaws are laid out, to make you feel like we’re all going through the same thing. She talks about her struggles with Eating Disorders, Anxiety, Depression, Acne and also about deeply personal things such as her miscarriage.

I felt there was a perfect balance within the book of the silliness I love Melanie’s channel for and the openness. I didn’t it would impact me as much as it did, but thanks to Melanie I confronted one of my own personal issues, emotional eating  and now I’m taking steps to not use it as a crutch.

This is an incredible book, whether or not you watch Melanie I would recommend this to any young adult who wants to feel like they’re not the only one struggling along. I would also recommend catching up with her Youtube channel . I gave this four stars ****, Melanie is a brilliant writer and I can’t wait to see what she does next.

Book Review: The Wrong Knickers – Bryony Gordon

Have you ever felt like you’ve made a giant mess? That you don’t really know what you’re doing? That you might be turning into a real life Briget Jones or similar? Let me introduce you to Bryony Gordon in her twenties, the decade of chaos that started it all.

This is the second book of Bryony’s that I have read, after reading her second memoir ‘Mad Girl’ about mental illness. This takes place before and, after reading the second book, makes events during this memoir make a lot more sense!

We get to see Bryony grow into the woman she is today and to see the whole transformation is a total relief! From leaving university after realising it wasn’t for her, getting a job that involved her dressing up as a Star Wars character, the dodgy flats, living in London and the men  boys she has dated and slept with. We’re thrown into the whirlwind that is Bryony’s life as she navigates how to grow up in the city, chasing a career and trying to work herself out.

There is a lot of self-deprecating humor in this, along with a lot of honesty. Bryony doesn’t shy away from her mistakes, nor does she act like a victim. She acknowledges, like the majority of us, that we make mistakes in our twenties, that most of us don’t know what the hell we’re doing and get in strange situations. While some have said they couldn’t understand or relate to Bryony I definitely could! While I might not live in London and party, I still understood her feelings as a twenty something!

I really enjoyed reading about all of the antics that Bryony and her friends got up to and the lessons she learned in this time. It also gave me a little bit of hope that the things I’ve been feeling are normal! That it’s ok to feel a little out of control and not feel like you’re ‘where you’re supposed to be’.

I gave The Wrong Knickers 4 stars. It made me laugh a lot, think a lot and value Bryony’s writing. It felt as if I was listening to a friend, that’s a point, I listened to the audio book of this and it made it even better, I would totally recommend audio books for Bryony’s books. I would definitely recommend this memoir! It was a good quick read with a lot of laughs.

 

Book Review: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo

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It’s well known that there are a lot of kick ass ladies in history who aren’t taught about or who are looked over. It’s also well known that little girls need people to look up to. So, let me introduce you to a book that covers both of these things. A book that has been raved about online, and I completely understand why.

I just need to say I absolutely adore this book and want to give it to every little girl I know and plan to always have a copy in my home.  Although this is aimed at children I learned so much from it about women I’d never even heard of and I feel like I should have.  There is also great diversity in this book women from across the world with many different achievements, backgrounds, and goals are included.

I did see some complaints online that there wasn’t enough to the stories or they didn’t give that much info but we need to remember that some of these stories didn’t play out so well and this is aimed at children. To me, this was more of a snapshot, I imagine if a little girl, or boy, found someone really cool from this book they might look into them more or ask questions. That’s one of the most beautiful things about this book, it invites thinking and questions and intelligence.

Each woman chosen has their own unique portrait alongside the piece about them and they are stunning. Illustrated in different styles and colours no two looks the same. Additionally, there is a quote from every woman within the illustration to really sum them up as a person, which was a really nice touch.

If you haven’t guessed already, I gave this five stars. I’m in love with it, I would recommend it to absolutely EVERYONE because I honestly think there’s something for everyone to learn from it. There are all these amazing women from all over the world who have done incredible things for humanity, it’s about time they are all celebrated and that’s exactly what this book does.

 

Book Review: My Shitty Twenties – Emily Morris

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Emily Morris was just an average 22 year old, she loved travelling, her degree and was balancing that with a part time job. That was until she took a pregnancy test and it was positive. After the father telling her to ‘enjoy her shitty twenties,’ she knew she was going it alone.

I came across this marvel of a memoir because of a recommendation in a magazine, there was something about the title that grabbed me as well as the brilliant cover design. I’m the same age that Emily was when she found out she was pregnant so it felt very real to me.

I feel like I need to point out this book could have gone a very different direction. This is not a whiny, my life is so hard and it’s not my fault type book, not at all. This is a very different type of coming of age story. It’s Emily having to grow up and completely change the course of her life, with her son.

While reading, I honestly felt for Emily. There was no support from the father and a sense of losing her independence after she needed to leave her student accommodation to live with her Mum, away from the city she loved to care for her newborn son. I can say, hand on heart, that she is a fantastic Mum.

This book breaks down terrible stereotypes about young mothers. I think I loved it so much because she has the same spirit and determination that my Mum had when she had me at 21. That said, she shares the hard times as well, the fact that she struggled with postnatal depression and the struggles of being judged as a young mum trying to do her best.

I honestly think that this is an incredible memoir. It’s thought provoking and shows the best of a change in your life. I’ve given this book 4 stars I absolutely loved it and can’t wait to see what Emily does next.

A-Z Book Tag!

One of my favourite people to watch on YouTube is Cece over at Problems of a Book Nerd and when I saw this tag, I just knew it was something I wanted to do! So here’s a fun tag all about books, reading and quite a few mentions of Harry Potter…sorry not sorry.

Author You’ve Read The Most Books From:

Probably, Jaqueline Wilson, I devoured all of her books as a kid. I think my favourites were Double Act and Secrets. As an adult Jodi Picoult’s novels. 

Best Sequel Ever?:

I don’t think I have one…so far! 

Currently Reading:

– The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simison

– Nyxia by Scott Reigntgen 

– Diana: Her True Story 20th anniversary edition – Andrew Morton

Drink of Choice When Reading:

Tea, all of the tea. 

E-Reader or Physical Book?:

Both. I love the feel of a real book in my hand BUT I can’t carry loads because of my back. Also, all my ARC copies are on E-Reader. 

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Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated As A Teen:

Ron Weasley.

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. It made me feel so much better about myself because I’d never read a book like that before. It shaped my time at university. It made me think about how I felt as a woman and about my goals. So much love for this book. 

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Hidden Gem:

The Second Life of Amy Archer – R.S Pateman. Amazing.  

Important Moment in Your Reading Life:

Starting Harry Potter, even if I don’t remember clearly, it started something amazing. 

Just Finished:

Our Super American Adventure by Sarah Graley 

Kind of Books You Won’t Read:

Diet books. I read for PLEASURE. 

Longest Book You’ve Read?

I think it’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix or Game of Thrones. 

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Major Book Hangover:
The Fault in Our Stars by John Green. I’m still not over it. *sob* 

Number of Bookcases You Own:

Currently 1, I’m going to IKEA soon though…

One Book You’ve Read Multiple Times:

The Harry Potter books. I mean, who hasn’t? 

Preferred Place to Read:

In my bed, with lots of pillows and blankets. 

Quote That Inspires You:

“I took a deep breath and listened to the old brag of my heart. I am, I am, I am.”

 

Reading Regret:

Not going to a midnight Harry Potter launch as a kid! 

Series You Started & Need to Finish:

I’m not really into reading a series of books, I’d quite like to finish A Song of Ice and Fire though because I love the TV show so much.

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Three of Your All Time Favourite Books:

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee 

The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath 

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix 

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Unapologetic Fangirl For:

Harry Potter. Always. 

Very Excited for This Release:

It Only Happens in the Movies by Holly Bourne. She’s one of my favourite YA authors.  

Worst Bookish Habit?

Buying a pile of books when I have so many already to read! 

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X Marks The Spot; Pick the 27th Book on your Shelf:

Girl Alone by Cathy Glass. 

Your Latest Purchase:

Our Super American Adventure by Sarah Graley 

Zzzzz Snatcher Book (The Last Book That Kept You Awake):

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls – Lynn Weingarten 

I tag ANYONE who wants to give this a go, let me know I’d love to see them!

Book Review: You Can’t Touch My Hair And Other Things I Still Have To Explain – Phoebe Robinson

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I’ll be honest, prior to picking this as an audiobook I had no idea who Phoebe was. It just sounded like a funny book with an important message. What I ended up with was a great new comedian and writer to follow and a new appreciation of what it’s like to be a Woman of Colour.

It’s not a surprise to any of you who visit my blog or any of my social media that I’m a White British woman. I fully admit that I have no idea what it’s like to live as a Woman of Colour and I never will. Phoebe’s book isn’t just about race but she really gave me insight in a firm but approachable way and made me consider things I hadn’t before. I didn’t expect that from a book that marketed as being funny.

Don’t get me wrong, Phoebe is hilarious. It’s like listening to that awesome friend with all these crazy stories that you can’t believe are true. While doing this though, she talks about Feminism, about being put down creatively, about casual racism. The bottom line is that Phoebe is fiercely relatable, I think to the majority of women. I absolutely ADORE her.

One of my favourite parts of the book (which I can guarantee works best as an audiobook) is Phoebe’s letters to her niece. Of course, they’re funny a little inappropriate and meant for when she’s older but there’s just a wonderful sense of care. That Phoebe is talking about all of these issues, not for her, not for us, but for girls of the future so the world is a little bit easier for them to navigate.

I gave this four stars. This is a brilliant, well written and hilarious book. There’s just the right mix of humour and serious thought throughout. The only tiny reason I haven’t made it five stars, is because there are points I felt dragged on a bit too long for me. It definitely is a great read or listen though! Make sure you check it out!

Book Review: One of us is lying – Karen M McManus

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The Brain. The Beauty. The Criminal. The Athlete. The Outcast. A Murder. 

Six students enter detention, all claiming that they are innocent of what lead them there. What appears to be a seemingly normal day ends in murder, suspicion and a bond that can never be broken.

Now, before I start, does that line remind you of anything, anything in particular? If you’re a fan of anything eighties related, like me, it will. Yes, part of the draw for me was that this was reminiscent of The Breakfast Club, one of my favourites. I was lucky enough to be approved by the publishers to get this as an early release and I’m glad I did.

The novel is very much aware of the fact it has all the ingredients for a YA cliché and gets that out of the way pretty early. Each chapter is from the perspective of one of the group, alternating and showing varying perspectives. I did feel, towards the end, that the story focused more on two particular characters and evolved more into their story, which wasn’t a bad thing but I wanted more info on all of them rather than just two.

In terms of the actual mystery itself, I actually found it really clever when it was all pieced together and didn’t see it coming. Obviously, I’m not going to spoil it for you, what kind of reviewer would I be?! I’m not going to lie there were some elements that I worked out before they happened but they were done in such a way that I enjoyed reading them.

Overall, I gave this four stars. I actually read it within a mere few hours, it has a perfect pace and interesting plot. I was genuinely invested in the characters and just wanted to know who the murder was, who was lying? There were some points were I felt it was a little close to The Breakfast Club, however, I’d definitely recommend this novel.

Review by Chloe Metzger