A Lot Can Change In A Matter Of Months

As I write this most of my possessions are in boxes or bags, I’m practically bouncing off the walls because today my partner and I get the keys to our new home. I know that I haven’t written in a month, if I’m honest I’ve been working so much, sorting the house, getting myself back on track in terms of my health – it’s been a lot.

If I’m honest I’ve hardly been reading anything either! Last year I was averaging 10 books a month, this year four-six. I keep trying to remind myself that it’s not a competition. I even changed my Goodreads goal to 50 books this year because I didn’t need the guilt of logging in and seeing that I was ‘behind’ on my goal. I stopped looking at my blog stats too. I didn’t want to be worried about things that really didn’t matter looking at the bigger picture.

So, what’s really changed?

I feel more confident in my work

Being a freelancer isn’t easy, being a freelancer in a pandemic was a bit terrifying. Most people, understandably, cut back their budgets, meaning that copy, content and social media were quickly cut – not good when that’s your whole business. I kept myself going but I was anxious and worried all the time.

When work started to come back again and businesses were ready I was in there, I didn’t take a day off applying, searching and talking to people for months. After a few good contracts and interesting pieces at the start of this year I finally feel confident in what I do and what I can offer.

Now if a client moves a project or I get rejection after rejection, I’m better at not taking it personally I just keep going. Sometimes I am a little upset if it’s something I really tried for but something else comes along eventually and fills the spot.

I’m working on letting stuff go that doesn’t matter

Kind of going back to the Goodreads and stats situation, I’m trying to step back from that kind of stuff. It’s the same with the number of followers or likes I have. I’m trying to let go of caring because do they really matter in the long run? I’m not saying I’m great at this, I’m still working on it but it’s a start.

I’m not letting other people take up my time

There are relationships that didn’t survive the pandemic and I’m not mad about it. Some of them were probably long overdue because we’d grown as people. A friendship ending always hurts but looking back it was the right decision. Similarly I’m not giving my time to people who I don’t want to talk to because I realised I don’t have to. It was pretty freeing.

I’m getting my health back on track slowly

The news my health was a bit rubbish back in February was a bit of a shock to the system, so was my new diagnosis of Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome in March. That said I’ve been trying to take back control, losing weight and attempting to eat better (this one’s the hardest). So far through food and a little exercise I’ve managed to lose 5Ibs. I’m nearly half way towards my first goal!

We’re getting a house!

I’m so exited to have our own space again and I get the spare room to be my office!

Wedding planning is back on!

Yep! We’re back to planning and getting bits and pieces and I am EXCITED.

Things are getting back on track. I write this because I know how hard it can be to pull yourself back when things have tried to break you. I don’t know how I managed because there have been so many times where I wanted to just give up and didn’t feel worth it.

No matter what’s going on put one foot in front of the other, reach out to talk to people and just keep going even when it feels like you can’t.

hEDS and Me

Gather around it’s time for a story. Nah, I’m kidding, I just thought that would be a different and fun way tp start a blog…lockdown is clearly getting to me. I’ve used this blog a lot to write about my life with chronic and mental illness over time. It’s been an important place for me to not only get my own feelings out there but also raise awareness of my conditions.

For those of you who have been here for a while you’ll know that when I was 20 I was in a horse riding accident, fracturing 4 parts of my spine, after a long recovery I didn’t get that much better and was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. For the past few years I’ve dealt with that and learned to accept it, but something still didn’t make sense to me.

I’ve had issues with my joints since childhood, my first set of physio was at 10, then from 15 onwards I was on and off crutches for knees that seemed to keep trying to dislocate themselves (I didn’t know that at the time), I was constantly at A&E for a simple trip or fall which would leave me not able to walk from joints feeling far more painful than a bruise, unexplained stomach issues for a long as I could remember. Fibro, in theory, is triggered by some kind of trauma so why had I had joint trouble my whole life?

Nothing was a red flag to any of us, surely I was just a clumsy kid with a sensitive stomach? Last year though I realised, while in lockdown, when I wasn’t pushing myself I’d still get these issues. I’m a part of the Spoonie community and something came up that was like a lightbulb in my head – Hypermobile Ehlers-Danlos Sydrome (try saying that quickly). It made so much sense, but I also knew I’d have to get back in front of my Rheumatologist to get any help or advice. Luckily I have a good GP who knows my history and she was more than happy to refer me, I also had put some money away so I could pay to see him, instead of waiting for a year/a year and a half to see him.

I know I was in a position of privilege to do that, we’ve been living with family for a few months so I’ve been able to put a bit of money away. I went back to see my incredible Rheumatologist, because I knew he would listen to me. Once I find a doctor that actually listens and tries to understand I try to go back to them. I felt I could go to him and say ok, here’s what’s been going on, I’ve worked out this much can you help me please?

Since getting the diagnosis I feel so much better. I know that sounds strange, let me explain. Firstly, I always, in a way, blamed myself for the way my spine broke. I’d seen people fall and get up fine, it must have been something I did when I fell for this to happen right? I told a friend this and he laughed at how ridiculous this sounds and he was right! The fact that I now know that my body is more prone to sprains, fractures and breaks, that it’s probably part of the reason it happened. In fact, the ‘self-help’ sheet that I got says to ‘Try to prevent falls and burns; fractures, wounds, cuts and bruises may take longer to heal and may scar poorly’…well there goes my plans for the weekend.

In other ways too this makes so much sense. I didn’t have the greatest school experience, in fact it was pretty terrible. I was constantly ill with an upset stomach and we could never find a reason for it – it just happened. I was in and out of A&E a lot because I’d fallen over playing and sprained a ankle or wrist. Like I said before I was on and off of crutches for years and people definitely thought I was being dramatic or putting it on. It’s a lot of weight to carry.

It all makes sense now and having that knowledge has given me a sense of calm now I know that’s going on and that this is real. I still have Fibromyalgia too, one hasn’t disappeared because of the other even though symptoms do overlap this is my life now. I’ve also come to the conclusion that I refuse to apologise for my disability or change myself to make people feel more comfortable. This is who I am.

To document my life with my illnesses I’ve also started a new Instagram account, woo! It’s to share the ups, the downs, all of it and if you’re interested you can have a look here.

If you have any questions drop them below! I’d be more than happy to answer them!

Life Update – February 2021

Hello, hello, hello lovely people!

I was thinking about what to write today and I thought it’s been a while since I’ve given you guys a general life update and a more chatty, free flowing blog – so why not fill you all in? I have to say I’ve seen you all popping up and having a read, even if I haven’t been posting as much as I’d want to recently.

So what’s been going on? If you have been a reader for a long time you’ll know that the end of 2020 was pretty brutal, leaving our flat and moving in with Ali’s Mum, losing another pet, getting Covid and missing Christmas because of it and we were meant to get married in January – it was not a good time.

February came around and everything just kind of slowed down and stopped. While work was starting to really pick up and I enjoyed the projects I was working on, making new relationships it was all good there…but not so much outside. In January I struggled with fatigue, I thought it was just getting over having covid but this was another level and reminded me of another time.

I couldn’t focus on anything, I had enough energy to work and then I was crashing completely. Even if I wasn’t sleeping I was simply laying on my bed and the most I could do was scroll through my phone. I’d been there before when my B12 levels were low so I requested a blood test. While I was waiting I felt guilty, I couldn’t read anything, I didn’t have the energy for my blog and although I was doing a weekly longer walk with the dog something was just…off.

So, 10 points to Gryffindor for me knowing my body wasn’t ok. It turns out I was on the money and my B12 was the lowest it had ever been – score. It also flagged up some other issues health wise which equated to damn, no wonder I’ve been struggling so much. I was proud of the fact at least I was working because, I really love my job and what I’ve built for myself in the past 2 and a half years.

Now I’m getting treatment, the biggest part is 6 ‘loading doses’ of B12 to get me back to a good level, I’ll then need an injection every 3 months. I’m also finally going back to see a joint specialist to try and get myself sorted. In the past week in particular, I’ve really started to feel more in control and like the normal me is slowing coming back, let’s hope so. I’m also actively trying to lose weight due to advice from my doctor regarding one of my conditions – a week in and I’m 2Ibs down!

I’m looking forward to seeing what March brings, and not only because we should be able to meet up with people outside again without exercise (it’s been a bloody nightmare when you have no energy).

See you all again soon!

Surviving...But Thriving?

Surviving…But Thriving?

It’s the last week of January, but it definitely feels like this month has lasted triple that amount of time. I know for a fact that any optimism I felt about a new year got knocked out of me when lockdown 3 started. Not the easiest time to be bashing out new years resolutions and I for one retreated into the Christmas chocolate I had.

Today I just couldn’t motivate myself. I very much got up and just felt like saying ugh. I tried to use my normal ways of getting myself out of a funk. I had a cuppa and ticked things off of my to do list, I tried going for a walk, I went out in the car and popped out to get things from the supermarket with my music on. Nothing seemed to work. No matter what I did I just felt ‘meh’.

It is more than enough to be just getting through the days right now. To not be building a side hustle, cooking new healthy meals or going for a daily run is perfectly normal. It’s ok if your days consist of taking it hour by hour and seeing how you feel. I for one am on am emotional loop de loop where I can feel great and motivated in the morning and by lunch time feel frustrated, angry or deflated. There’s no one way to get through this.

Here in the UK we’re in our 3rd lockdown and I’ve seen a lot of people say this one hits harder – which I agree with. In the first one it was scary and uncertain but at least it was light and there was decent weather, we could go out for a walk or at least open the windows. The second was promoted to us as a way to ‘save Christmas’ (because that worked so well), because of that I think it had a little hope. This one is harder, January is a long month, the days are dark and it’s cold out – no wonder people are struggling right now!

Personally I’ve started something small for myself, I try and write down 3 things a day that have either made me happy or that I’ve done. It can be as simple as writing got through another day, had a shower, ate dinner. Other days things are happier, I might have had a nice call with someone, played with the hamsters and read a book. All these little things will add up.

Surviving is more than enough. Getting through the days and coming out the other side is more than enough. Finding yourself eating more ice cream than normal? Go for it. Having early nights most nights? I’m jealous. Binge watching everything you can? Let me know what’s good! As long as it’s not hurting you or anyone else, do what you need to do.

Be kind to yourselves out there!

A Bloody Big Book Haul

A Bloody Big Book Haul

September was my birthday month, it was also a month that a lot of my pre orders arrived and I was given books – so we’ve got a big old haul coming! Grab a cuppa and a snack for this one!

So these books cover from the 1st September to the 15th October…I think this is all of them at least. I was really spoilt for my birthday, a few pre orders were released too but as you’re going to see there are a LOT of books for someone who is having to move in a few months…

After discovering Nina LaCour earlier in the year I ordered Watch Over Me as soon as I could and then read it as soon as it arrived. A little different to her other stuff but still excellent nonetheless. I also ordered a copy of Orpheus Girl by Brynne Rebele-Henry which was a tough read about a young woman going through ‘conversion therapy’ after she gets caught with her best friend.

American Widow by Alissa Torres was recommended as a graphic memoir after Alissa’s husband was killed in the 9/11 attacks while she was pregnant – this follows what life was like for her. Punching The Air by Ibi Zoboi and Yusef Salaam is a novel in verse which I devoured about a young man who is wrongly imprisoned. This has roots in Yusef’s experiences as one of the Exonerated Five.

So I got an early ebook of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab, I ordered not one but 2 copies. My American edition arrived when it was meant to, there was an issue with my signed UK edition so technically it arrived later than this list but oh well. Everything you need to know about my favourite book of the year is in my review here.

I was given a copy of Heart Berries by Terese Marie Mailhot, it looks to be an interesting and insightful memoir about an indigenous woman’s life. I bought a copy of Finding Joy by Gary Anderson this is a reflection of Gary’s life raising two kids after the death of his wife and it is truly beautiful.

I also received a copy of The Court of Miracles by Kester Grant as a gift from Maddie and Fred and not just any edition, a special sprayed edges edition!

I received Bloom by Beau Taplin and Swimming Sideways by C.L Walters from my friend Sarah for my birthday. One is a poetry collection and the other was recommended for fans of one of my new favourites Nina LaCour!

Dear Life by Rachel Clarke was a Waterstones Book Of The Month so I decided to buy it’s probably one for when I feel like less of an emotional mess though. I also got The Left-Handed Booksellers of London by Garth Nix with my birthday gift card, magic, books and an endorsement from V.E Schwab? Take my money.

Now I have my original copy of Radio Silence but I really wanted one to match my other Alice Oseman covers…it’s what birthday money is for right? I heard glowing reviews for Circe by Madeline Miller and I kept meaning to read it, also a reason for birthday money.

My pre order of Thoughts & Prayers by Bryan Bliss arrived! This is about the aftermath of a school shooting and how it impacts people’s lives, it should be an interesting read. I also picked up the only copy of Witch by Finbar Hawkins because I’ve found myself falling back in love with witchy books and Autumn is the perfect time!

Majesty is the second and final (for now) novel in American Royals, picking up after a number of cliffhangers from book one and the reign of America’s first Queen. I pre-ordered a signed copy of More Than A Woman by Caitlin Moran and started reading it the day I got it…I haven’t finished it yet, take from that what you will.

I got second hand copies of Just Listen and This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen with the covers I read as a teen – it was just before my birthday and I was feeling super nostalgic.

Every Body Looking by Candice Iloh is a novel in verse that I pre ordered, I don’t know too much about it other than it’s about a young woman and finding her place in the world. I also got Adventure Zone Vol 2 after enjoying the first one so much, let’s see what the gang get up to this time.

Another pre-order and another sapphic read (it’s been a good year for sapphic books, right?!) I Kissed Alice by Anna Birch. It’s pitched as a ‘romantic comedy about enemies, lovers and everything in between’ I’m in. I also won a copy of Ashes by Christopher De Vinck, a novel set in WW2 about friendship and survival.

After seeing that there is going to be a TV series for Ms Marvel I finally got around to picking up vol 1. I read it pretty much straight away – it was okay, I want to see what happens in the next few volumes. My friend Charissa gave me a copy of Sincerity by Carol Ann Duffy – I really like Duffy’s work and this is one I haven’t read yet.

And last, but certainly not least The Girl and the Goddess by Nikita Gill is a breathtaking novel in verse, I highly recommend and will write a review soon! Every collection of hers I like her style more and more.

I clearly don’t need to buy any more books (although as I write this my copy of Blood and Honey is on the way – oops). Have you done any book buying recently? Let me know what you picked up!

Wedding Update: Corona, Cocktails and Crying

Wedding Update: Corona, Cocktails and Crying

Well, it’s been a while since I did a wedding update – mostly because I had no idea what was going on and partly because the only solid update happened while I had a huge case of writer’s block – standard.

Let’s take it waaay back to August, my wedding dress was ready to pick up 3 months early (!!) which meant a cautious trip to Brighton on the hottest day of the year, in masks. We had to get there for 9.30am – the only appointment the shop had that week due to reduced opening. After all the anxiety that the dress wouldn’t fit it was a little big and I loved it just as much – I didn’t want to take it off.

Masks on and ready to go with Mumma

Moving to 2022.

Originally we still had a bit of hope and then cases started to rise and more restrictions started to come in. We’d already agreed that if we were restricted to less than 50 people by January we were going to postpone. As time went on it got more and more likely but we couldn’t officially postpone until 6 weeks before or we would be charged by our venue.

Then Boris laid out plans for the next 6 months, back down to 30 guests, no reception – some places are even requiring a 2 meter distance between the bride and whoever walks her down the aisle. We couldn’t do it, I’ve waited 12 years to say I do and while it’s the marriage that’s important we decided we wanted to do it with the people we loved.

Not long after that our venue agreed to let us move the day I started contacting suppliers, I was touched by how kind they were. It was all quite straightforward but after I still hadn’t cried. I just felt a little lost, I now had over a year.

Crying Over Cocktails

As my Hen Do had been moved as well my best friend and Bridesmaid, sister and Maid of Honour and my Mumma took me for a few cocktails the afternoon it was meant to be.

It started off with the booking I’d made not being added – not great but we soon had a table for a few hours and 30% off our first drinks. And we got started while waiting for my sister to finish work. Let me preface this with I’d been building my new Lego Hogwarts castle before I left so I hadn’t eaten much.

We got drinks and food…and it went straight to my head. I enjoyed spending time with some of the people I love most, I got louder and a little more loving. I went to the bathroom and it hit me, I definitely wasn’t getting married and I started to cry and it was like a dam broke. I couldn’t stop crying. Even after we left the tears kept coming, Chris decided to take me back to hers and let me cry it out with an adorable puppy and lovely Lex.

The thing is I needed that. I hadn’t let myself be upset really, I felt like I shouldn’t be because there was so much else going on in the world. But I can be upset and I am. It’s not swallowing me whole but being able to be upset is ok.

So there’s going to be more wedding content because we have over a year to go again now!

Have you missed out on any big events this year? Let me know in the comments below!

Celebrating Birthdays In A Long Distance Relationship

Celebrating Birthdays In A Long Distance Relationship

On your birthday you want to celebrate with the people who love you most, right? But that’s not always possible. My birthday falls in mid September (next week by the way), which is optimal touring time, meaning that it’s very hit or miss whether Ali will be at home. So, I’ve had to adapt to the fact I’m usually not with him for my birthday – but that’s okay!

FaceTime Calls

I get to see Ali’s face when he’s away and while he’s normally not the first text or call when I wake up (I am very OTT when it comes to my birthday and wake up stupidly early) – he makes sure to call me during the day.

If we can’t do that because the internet is shoddy then we’ll have a good catch up call.

Relying on Gifts Arriving On The Doorstep – Or Waiting Until You See Them

Not one for that much forward planning (sorry babe), then presents on the road are a good idea and Amazon Prime is even better. I’ve waited laying on the floor of my parents house because I knew Ali was getting my gift delivered there. It was a speaker and it’s still one of my favourite gifts.

The other option is waiting until we’re together and going to get something, which I actually quite like doing because it’s just nice to spend that time together.

Making Alternative Plans With People You Also Love!

Just because my FiancΓ© isn’t around doesn’t mean my birthday has to suck. While I don’t enjoy us being apart on any special days, I do have an amazing support network around me.

On the day I normally hang out with my family and see a few friends and then the closest weekend to my birthday I get a load of friends together to go to the pub and they are in charge of me for the night. On my first birthday without Ali at home my friends also made me a hangover kit, which was much appreciated the next day.

Allowing Yourself Time To Feel A Bit Down About It

There will be a moment each and every year where I miss him and I let myself miss him. I’m human and he’s one of my favourite people in the world. Normally this is before I go to sleep, but that’s also ok! I’d be slightly more worried if I didn’t miss him at all.

Making Up For Lost Time When You Can!

My 25th Birthday I had Ali at home and we made the most of it with a trip down to the seaside, some lunch and just time together which was really nice. It might not have been a crazy adventure but it made me so happy.

Have you had a long distance birthday? How did you make it more special? I’d love to know!

Why You Should Join A Book Club

Why You Should Join A Book Club

Last year I did something a little out of my comfort zone

Now, I’ll admit, my first book club I was so nervous. I’d been to one in my town before and it wasn’t great I didn’t gel with most of the people there and as far as I know it didn’t continue. On the day in question I was in the middle of a horrific flare causing me to get the time wrong and turn up half an hour late.

You are literally there to talk about books

Chances are if you’re looking at going to a book club then you like books. I don’t know about you but if you’re a total bookworm like me that alone is a reason to join. No one rolls their eyes when you get super excited about a new release or despair at a lackluster ending.

It’s a great way to meet new friends

I’ve met some of my closest friends in book club. I was already a regular at my local book shop but since joining the club I’ve made best friends that I now don’t know what I’d do without. I also ended up getting a job over Christmas and I only knew about it because of my visits!

You can explore reads you might not have picked up before

Book clubs are meant to show you new books you might not have read. We always vote on a range of books in a kind of knock out round system, the book with the most votes wins.

Thanks to the club, and my friend Maddie, I found a new fantasy series I adore The Mirror Visitor, starting with A Winter’s Promise which is an incredible book that you all need to read!

It gets you out of the house

I’m an introvert, I love nothing more than being left to drink lots of tea and stay in on my sofa in the evenings. Basically, I needed a reason to go out and see other people that didn’t rely on alcohol or spending a lot of money. This was the perfect excuse to get out while not being too out of my comfort zone.

It’s Fun

I have so much fun every month, we have snacks, I get a large cup of tea talk about the book with people. We don’t always stick to the chosen read, it’s perfectly normal for us to go off on a tangent here or there and sometimes I even go to the pub afterwards. It’s a nice feeling.

Are you part of a book club? I’d love to hear what you’ve been reading and if you were able to carry on virtually! Let me know!

The Only Goal I Have For The Rest Of 2020

The Only Goal I Have For The Rest Of 2020

Like many of you I started 2020 with some goals. I wanted to get fitter, slim down, get my wedding paid early so I didn’t have to worry about it at the end of the year. I wanted to work on my writing, carry on building my career, so many things.

Well, I don’t know about you but most of those goals went down the toilet from April. We have, collectively, gone through a major trauma as human beings. There aren’t many people who will end this year and go wow, what a great one. 2020 will go down in history…and it’s only August!

Whether you’ve been furloughed, lost your job completely, have been trying to home school or have been working the whole way through all of us have had challenges that we didn’t see coming or couldn’t have planned for. Funnily enough global pandemics which lead to entire countries locking down for months isn’t covered in any training course I’ve been to or exam I’ve ever taken.

A lot of things have also been taken from us they might be big things like not being able to attend the funeral of a loved one, missing out on meeting a newborn who you’ve loved since you found out they existed. It might have been something smaller – being able to hug your loved ones (this one I really struggled with) or going for a coffee with friends without anxiety taking over.

I’ve made no secret of the fact I’ve struggled a lot with my mental health, sometimes it feels as if I’ve got over one hurdle only to slip and fall at the next. It’s not a nice feeling. For me, personally, I’m sad about the big and the small things – I couldn’t take my sister with me to pick up my wedding dress, we’re wondering if the wedding we planned will happen, we’re moving at the end of the year as a result of the pandemic. It’s a lot, it really, really is.

I know I’m in a fortunate position. There are family and friends around me who are supporting in any way they can, we’ve managed to keep food on the table and a roof over our heads. That said something has to give – which means I only have one goal, one expectation of myself for 2020.

To get through it.

After everything, for all of us, that has to be enough. So I am giving anyone reading this the nudge to let go of what you thought 2020 was going to be about. It’s not easy, I know, I’m awful at letting things go but we should normalise it.

One day, one hour, one minute at a time if you need to.

Just keep going.

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

The Mid-Year Book Freak Out Tag 2020

Well, what a reading year so far! At the time of writing this post I have read a total of 72 books…I’m pretty sure that’s the most books I’ve ever consumed in 6 months.

While I set my goal at 100 books, I’m pretty sure that I will hit at least 120, if not more. So while I’m not freaking out I am excited to look back at the books I’ve been reading in the first very weird half of the year. If you want to see how it compares to 2019 you can click here.

Best Book Of The Year So Far

This is too hard, there are so many excellent books I’ve read this year so, top 3? Even that was super hard but they are all new to be books and the authors you’ll find out more about below!

Clap When You Land is an excellent YA novel about two girls who are sisters…but neither knew the other existed.

Hold Still is about a young woman who’s coping with the death of her best friend. It’s beautifully written and while it hurt my heart it also made it full.

Come Tumbling Down is the 5th book in the Wayward Children series and definitely my favourite but that is because I have a soft spot for Jack – I highly recommend the audiobook!

Best Sequel Of The Year So Far

The Eve Illusion - Giovanna and Tom Fletcher

The Eve Illusion – Tom and Giovanna Fletcher

I thought this was going to be good but I was blown away by the second in the series and the ending was incredible. Spoiler free review coming soon, keep your eyes peeled. πŸ‘€

A New Release You Haven’t Read Yet But Want To

I am all about the Sapphic books this year, can’t get enough of them. This looks absolutely adorable and came out in June. It follows Saoirse who no longer believes in happy endings after her mother ends up with early onset dementia – something she may inherit.

That is until she meets a girl at a party who’s determined to give her a summer of fun, including movie cliches, rom-com moments and the promise it will end in the autumn.

This just screams cute to me and I need to get to it soon.

Most Anticipated Release Of Autumn/Winter

So Victoria Schwab has become an autobuy author, I’ve already preordered a signed special edition of The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. A bargain is made by a young woman so that she can live forever – but to do so will mean that cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. That is until she meets a man who remembers her name. Dun, dun, duuuuuuuun. Sounds so good, I’m so excited.

Also, Nina LaCour is now an autobuy author. This one looks a little different and has a paranormal element to it which is totally different to her other books but I find her writing beautiful and lyrical so obviously I need it.

Biggest Disappointment Of The Year So Far

Similar to last year I think I’ve outgrown Amanda Lovelace as an author. I’ve now read all of her poetry collections and while I loved her first, I just can’t get on with the others, they just seem to repeat.

Biggest Surprise So Far

I was one of the few people who couldn’t get into The Poet X, so I didn’t really keep an eye on Elizabeth Acevedo as an author but then I kept hearing about With The Fire On High and it peaked my interest.

After I read this I immediately wanted more of her writing and requested Clap When You Land, one of my favourite books of the year so far.

New Favourite Author (Debut/New To You)

I couldn’t pick just one…because this year I’ve found three authors I absolutely adore (all of which I found in lockdown). I tried Elizabeth Acevedo again this year and fell in love with two of her novels and absolutely devoured them.

Similarly, I started We Are Okay by Nina LaCour after getting it for Christmas and as soon as I could I ordered her first novel Hold Still. I’m looking forward to getting through the rest of her books.

Last but not least Seanan McGuire. I got through all of the Wayward Children series in record time while listening to the audiobooks (thank goodness for Scribd!).

Newest Fictional Crush

I don’t get crushes on fictional characters, sorry!

Your Newest Favourite Character

Eileen Cotton is adorable, fierce and lovely and I completely fell in love with her while reading Beth O’Leary’s second novel, The Switch. She’s the best.

A Book That Made You Cry

So I teared up at the end of this book, which means I can tell you absolutely nothing about the reasons why but I didn’t expect to because the rest of this book is absolutely hilarious.

A Book That Made You Happy

The Most Beautiful Book So Far

I bought this over Christmas while I was working in a book shop but only got around to it once I’d finished in January. Oh this is stunning, absolutely beautiful in both its illustration and its message. A good read for adults or kids too (I swear I’ll be trying to sell this book for the rest of time, it’s like muscle memory now).

Books You Need To Read By The End Of The Year

There are so many but out of the books I already own and are currently staring at me The Hate You Give by Angie Thomas (I know, I know!), The Missing of Claire de lune by Christelle Dabos and Everything Leads To You by Nina LaCour.

What have you loved so far this year? I’d love to hear your recommendations below!