Book Review: Birthday – Meredith Russo

Two kids, Morgan and Eric, are bonded for life after being born on the same day at the same time. We meet them once a year on their shared birthday as they grow and change: as Eric figures out who he is and how he fits into the world, and as Morgan makes the difficult choice to live as her true self. Over the years, they will drift apart, come together, fight, make up, and break up—and ultimately, realize how inextricably they are a part of each other. 

After reading Meredith Russo’s first novel and absolutely adoring it I knew I had to pick up this one as soon as I could get my hands on it. And, as I hoped, the book did not disappoint.

The fact this book is spread out across 5 years just adds to how impressed I was by it. It’s not easy to have characters show growth in such a short space of time and it was pulled off really well. Both Eric and Morgan evolve throughout the novel but also keep the essence of who they are when we meet them in the first chapter.

I think the book could have been double the length and I’d still have loved it. I can understand why it wasn’t but the issues within are so complex I wanted to know even more. In particular, I wanted to know more about the relationship between them both when they were small, more about Morgan’s mother and their relationship.

It’s undeniable that this is an incredibly tough read at times, I fought back tears while reading and wanted to reach through the book and hug both of the characters. That said, most of my love went to Morgan, I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in a body that isn’t mine and have to pretend around the people you love. It also made me consider the fact that we really don’t know what’s going on in a someones head and the need to be kind to people.

Meredith Russo herself is a trans women and I think this only adds to what we can learn as a reader. Russo is writing Morgan’s struggle with her body through the lense of someone who has been through it. We definitely need more own voices novels and Russo is one to watch.

I don’t think it’s going to be any surprise that I gave this 5 stars. This was incredibly well written and I felt very emotional reading. While I am not trans, I can appreciate that as Russo writes, she is writing from the heart. I’ve recommended this to so many friends already as soon as I finished it.

November Favourites

November has been and gone and while I am fully extra and in Christmas mode right now, let’s throw it back to what I got up to. November was a crazy busy month and I’m really excited to share it with you all!

Books

I got a good bit of reading in this month, despite the fact that it’s been super busy! My favourites start off with Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately by Alicia Cook, a collection of poetry that I really connected with – I’ve loved both of her collections and I can’t wait to read more. Up next a true favourite and one for all Feminists – New Erotica For Feminists, this made me laugh so hard and I wrote a review ahead of its release here. And my final two reads were ARCs and I can’t wait to share my full reviews with you in 2019! Pilu of the Woods and The Year I Didn’t Eat were both brilliant reads for different reasons. Keep your eyes peeled.

 

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Films 

From the moment I found out about it I knew I wanted to see Bohemian Rhapsody. I love Queen and think Freddie was one of the greatest showmen on earth. This film was incredible and I was surprisingly emotional watching it. If you haven’t seen it yet make sure you do, you won’t regret it.

Ali’s 25th Birthday 

Not only did I get the boy back from tour at the end of October (yay) it was also his 25th birthday. We spent the day in London as he was working BUT went out with friends the following weekend. Can we take a second to appreciate my hair actually going well to go out, I was so proud of it.

Six The Musical 

Your next favourite musical is here. The six wives of Henry VIII take back the spotlight to tell their stories. I went with my friend Lucy and it was absolutely incredible, I’ve had the soundtrack on repeat. They’re going to go back to London soon and you can read my post all about it here.

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Spice Girls Tickets! 

Yes, I did it. It kicked me out multiple times but I am going to see The Spice Girls in June 2019. I don’t even know how to put my excitement into a paragraph. I’M GOING TO SEE THE SPICE GIRLS (again).

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Muggle Mastermind 

How do you spend your Thursday nights? I meet up with some of my closest friends and go to a Harry Potter quiz. Oh my lord, this was so much fun. There were decorations, super hard questions and prizes. We might not have one but I can’t WAIT for the next one. All the info on the quizzes is here for you.

 

Tonight Alive 10th Anniversary Show 

Ali and I have been fans of Tonight Alive since we were teenagers, so we got tickets to see them at Bush Hall, London for a special acoustic show to celebrate 10 years. It was incredible and like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Beautiful.

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The UK Blog Awards!

I’m in the running for a UK Blog Award! You can read all about it and even vote if you want to by clicking here.

Thank U, Next 

If you haven’t been dancing along to this absolute TUNE what are you doing? So I’ve listened to the song constantly and then on the last day of November the Queen Ariana Grande dropped the video. This is a pre-teen dream with most of the dreams I loved watching in one place with my favourite song of the year.

 

What were your favourites in November? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

 

September Book Haul!

September Book Haul

A birthday and no self-control means a September Book Haul! Yay! So these are the few physcial books I’ve picked up in September, I’m now on a ban…who am I kidding there’s too many amazing

Let’s get started with some of the amazing deals I got on Amazon. First up Everything I Never Told You and Little Fires Everywhere by Celeste Ng. I keep hearing about this author and when they were £2 each I thought it was worth a go. I will report back.

Next up My Purple Scented Novel by Ian McEwan. This is absolutely tiny but I really loved Nutshell and wanted to read something else by McEwan without a huge time commitment. I also picked up Survivors: True Stories of the Children of the Holocaust by Allan Zullo, this was on offer and I want to hear the stories that these people have so it is never forgotten.

Kick-Ass poetry by amazing women? I’m sold which is why I bought She Is Fierce by Ana Sampson. It had Sylvia Plath in so it has to be good. Next up another poetry collection, I Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip by Alicia Cook who is known to use music within her poetry – I’m really looking forward to this one.

I’d heard a lot about this. What Would Boudicca Do? by E.Foley & B.Coates takes women from history and modern problems, how would they deal with it? This looks really fun. Next up I pre-ordered The Guilty Feminist by Deborah Frances-White, I’ve heard a lot about the podcast and ones I’ve listened to have been great.

I’m trying to savor the Saga series so I went ahead and ordered Volume 6 and Volume 7. For my birthday I got Three-Martini Lunch by Suzanne Rindell in a mystery book package, New York, 1960s let’s give it a go. I also picked up Fierce Fairytales & Other Stories to Stir Your Soul by Nikita Gill on the recommendation of my friend Sarah. Who am I to say no to feminist fairytales?

Another birthday gift was My Lesbian Experience with Loneliness by Nagata Kabi. This is manga that I keep seeing again and again. I ordered Vengeful by V.E Schwab ages ago thinking I’d read Vicious before…that didn’t quite go to plan but HOW BEAUTIFUL! I was also sent a copy of The Witches of St. Petersberg by Imogen Edward-Jones as part of an upcoming book tour. I didn’t want to know too much about it before going in but keep your eyes peeled!

My final two books I also got at birthday gifts, I’ve really wanted to try some Leigh Bardugo and so I didn’t just get one, I got two for my birthday! Lucky, lucky gal!

Well, that’s all the books I got in September! Now I just need to get through them all…wish me luck! Are there any you’ve read and would recommend or any on your to-read list? Let me know in the comments below!

OMG! My baby sister is 16!

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16 years ago, I woke up to the news that I had a baby sister. I danced around her kitchen, before asking if I could go to school just to tell my teacher, then go meet her. Instead, I went to meet this teeny tiny baby that was going to change my life. Now she’s sunning herself in Cyprus at the age of 16. I watched her first steps, walked her to her first day of school and saw her on her last. This isn’t going to be a long post but just to acknowledge the most amazing, kick ass, funny, loving and smart person my baby sister is growing to be. She makes me want to be better, be brave and be more like her. I can’t wait to see where this crazy little one goes next and what we’ll be doing in another 16 years!

I love you, Squidge.

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15 Things I’ve Learnt Having a Sister

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Today is my baby sister’s 15th birthday, 15!!! In my eye’s she’s still the one year old I pushed to school on her first birthday present, still the 4 year old who wanted to follow me around school, never mind that she’s got a better social life than me now! For tonight’s post I wanted to write about 15 things I’ve learnt having the littler one around for 15 years.

Babies will throw up anywhere, so don’t hold them over over you with an open mouth

You can always prove doctors wrong

(Sum’s was born with bad hips, the doctors said she wouldn’t walk before she was 3…she was walking at just over a year old)

You always have someone to get opinions on outfits/hair just a phone call away

There is no fiercer love than that between sisters 

You deal with both of us when you hurt one of us 

There are more ways than I can count to annoy your sister 

No clothes, bags or make up is safe from being ‘borrowed’ 

You always have a secret keeper 

They’ll tell you when you’re talking BS 

They give the best hugs when your world isn’t going that great 

Very few other people can make you laugh to the point of nearly peeing yourself

You will copy each other and then deny it 

You, and only you, can insult your sister, anyone else needs to watch out

Never leave your phone unlocked around your sister. 

You never choose to be related but you choose to be best friends. 

Gramps.

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When I was between 1 and 2 years old I would stand in my cot and shout DAN-DAD at the top of my voice until my Gramps came home from work, much to my Mum’s dismay I would not sleep until I knew he was at the house. When I was 7 I went to London to go on the London Eye, go on a boat and see the Tower of London. When I was 13 I would go and sit every Sunday I could and watch TV and have cups of tea while talking about history. When I was 16 I would debate politics for hours. When I was 18 I was taken to the station to get my train to university for the first time. Now I’m 21 and I have a gym buddy and I still sit for hours drinking tea and talking and I still debate politics, although it gets a little more intense now. Today, my Gramps turns 70, he’s one of my favourite people in the world. We’re so close and I count my blessings every day that we are that close and have that relationship.

Happy Birthday Gramps, you’re one in a million.

Sunday Seven: Seven of this weeks pics!

 

I’ve spent most of the past week in Basingstoke, meaning I’ve been very snap happy this week, so for a little something different I wanted to share my top seven snaps of this week.

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Ed doesn’t like me shutting the door whenever I’m at home, he wants all the attention, no matter what time it is. I snapped this little pic while I wanted to sleep and Ed wanted to play.

IMG_7626 This week my little cousin and Godson turned 13. 13! Harvey and I are really close, he’s my little dude and I can’t believe he’s gone from this chubby cheeked baby to a really awesome little man. Also, check out the cake that my super awesome sister made!

IMG_7634 It was doughnut day this week so I popped to the shop and picked up these beautiful, scrummy pink ones. They tasted good, so good. IMG_7600

I was finally able to pick up my Illumicrate from my parents! I was not only surprised but loved every item in the box and can’t wait for my next one. If you missed my post, find it here.IMG_7627

Lottie is my shadow whenever I come home. This didn’t change this week, if you couldn’t find her you could guarantee she was on my bed fast asleep…even if it’s a choice between my Mum’s double bed or my single, she still chooses my bed.

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This is Betsy, my aunts puppy, she’s also known as Chewbacca by my cousins. I swear she’s like a little walking rug apart from she jumps up and wants cuddles and has a fondness for cake. Don’t you love this little smile too?!

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Another one of my little mischief maker in the evening.

If you want to keep up with more of my snaps, make sure to follow me on Instagram @chloemetz_!