What I Read In October 2019!

So it might be a little late but I had a fantastic reading month in October with a lot of 4 and 5 star reads! I’m not going to spend too long rambling, instead, let’s get to the books.

So, P.S I Love You was one of my favourite books and up there with my favourite films too so I preordered the follow up as soon as I found out about it. When it came I was so nervous to read it – would it live up to the story I loved? It did Postscript is beautiful and I fell right back into Hollie’s world. A 5 star read for me.

It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue And Other Lies was also a preordered book after I loved Scarlett Curtis’s Feminists Don’t Wear Pink. This a collection of essays about mental health from some people you’ll know such as Matt Haid, Emilia Clarke, Adam Kay and Scarlett herself. It was a brilliant collection and while it is quite hard hitting it’s an important read. A 4.5 star read.

For my book club read we picked up Once Upon A River by Diane Setterfield and I really enjoyed it. It’s a little different in the way it’s told and has mystery elements, ghostly elements and more. It was a great read that I wouldn’t have picked up otherwise – a fantastic advertisement for book clubs everywhere! A solid 4 star read.

The Liar’s Daughter by Megan Cooley Peterson was one I picked up for myself about a girl who is rescued from a cult and what life is like for her once she leaves the only place she knows. I read this so quickly and I only wish it was longer! Another 4 star read.

I’ve watched a little Queer Eye and loved Jonathan so after seeing interviews of him promoting his book I decided to purchase the audiobook of Over The Top and it was perfect. This is fantastically funny but also deeply heartfelt and I learned so much through listening. A 5 star read and I’ve been recommending it to everyone!

I also listened to Freedom by Jaycee Dugard about her experiences after she was released from her horrific ordeal being kidnapped and forced to live with her captor and give birth to her daughters – fathered by him. An emotional 4 star book.

Next up two more non-fiction reads. I listened to MP Jess Phillips’ newest book Truth To Power and it was absolutely brilliant and just what I needed when we’re heading towards a General Election. A 5 star read for troubling times.

I also picked up Twas The Nightshift Before Christmas from the wonderful Adam Kay author of This Is Going To Hurt. This is a short read but an incredibly important one. It made me appreciate the NHS even more because of the pressure that they face, even more so in the winter. A must read that I’ve persuaded book club to pick up – 5 stars!

Heartstream is the thriller I didn’t know I needed. Tom Pollock is an excellent storyteller and I tweeted him almost immediately after finishing asking for more! I gave this 4.5 stars.

And last but definitely not least was Dear Girls by Ali Wong. I think Ali is hilarious and I loved both of her Netflix specials so when I heard she was writing a book I was down! Again, I listened to the audiobook for this one and I’m glad I did. This is all about Ali’s life and the lessons she wants to teach her daughters (although it is definitely for a mature audience) there was also a really sweet addition by her husband at the end. This was a 4.5 star read for me.

What did you read in October? Let me know in the comments below. 👇

The Hidden Power of Fucking Up - The Try Guys

Book Review – The Hidden Power of F*cking Up – The Try Guys

The past year has been incredible for The Try Guys a US tour, a new business that blew up and a best selling book. From a group of guys from Buzzfeed to YouTube legends I’m proud to have been a fan for a long time now so of course I pre ordered this book as soon as it was announced.

Zach, Keith, Ned and Eugene are used to sharing their shenanigans with us on their YouTube channel but they decided to go to the next level. This book isn’t just a fluffy YouTube book – each of the guys took on a challenge to write about something that would be tough for each of them – and it worked.

With new Dad Ned tackling his fashion fears, Keith attempting to go vegan and give up his beloved fried chicken , Zach ‘the single one’ being in a loving relationship and mysterious Eugene opening up about his family relationships.

It was great to read a book that isn’t just focused on success, the guys are very honest about when things didn’t go right for them, about their insecurities. I love their ‘failosophy’ and the fact they poke fun at the idea that the only way to be a successful CEO is to get up at stupid o’clock. It was everything I love about the channel in reading form. Perfect.

I would say that if you watch the channel and have done for years like me there will be repeated parts and information you already know, but I think that’s true of any book released by a public figure because they are public. Kinda goes with the territory.

This was a really highly anticipated book for me, I’ve watched the guys grow as people and as a channel. I gave this book 4.5 stars it was a solid read where the guys really lay themselves bare. If you’re a Try Guys fan I’d definitely pick this up.

What I Got For My 25th Birthday!

I asked over on Twitter (@chlometzger, if you’re not already following) if anyone would like to see what I received for my birthday this year and 90% said yes, so lucky you. This year I had a truly wonderful time and felt so loved, so much so it knocked me for six. If any of you reading were a part of it, thank you so much.

So, let’s get into the gifts.

This was a huge surprise but SO exciting, I absolutely love Loungefly bags. I didn’t expect my Mum to find one so it was a big surprise when I opened the box it came in! An R2-D2 Loungefly bag!!

I also got the Lego Knight bus, within 24 hours of recieving it I’d finished building it and now I’m eyeing up the castle set again…my bank account does not agree with this decision. I also got a super cute balloon.

Now let’s get around to the books! From my friend Charissa I received Two Can Keep A Secret & The Confessions of Frannie Langton both of which I’ve been waiting to read for ages. My friend Sarah got me Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, an LGBT graphic novel I’ve heard a LOT about.

Next up are two books I bought with a gift card from a special rabbit (yes, you read that right) so I picked up the graphic novel of Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson and the City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab.

My parents got me A Very Large Expanse of Sea, another book I’ve been meaning to get to for a while. I also received a copy of Archie 1941 from my friend Joe because he knows I’ve been waiting for it to come out as a trade rather than single issues. He also got me a Saga pin for my jacket and another that says Birthday Stud…I proudly wore it around London.

Ali did good this year, I’ve been thinking about getting some better headphones for a while now and he found me these and they are a dreeeeeam. Also got them in my favourite colour – he’s going to be a good husband.

Next up my grandparents got me this beautiful shirt with animals all over, so damn cute. They also got me a Lush set which is perfect because as the weather gets colder I want to have ALL OF THE BATHS. It also included one of my all time favourites, Sex Bomb.

My lovely Lucy and godkids got me Coda, I don’t know much about it but I’m looking forward to a new graphic novel. She also painted a picture of me and Ali which she’s still finishing up – it’s incredible and I’ll be sharing it on my Instagram (@chloemetz_) when it’s ready!

I was also lucky enough to get a new Pandora charm from my Mother-in-Law because she’s bloody adorable.

Next up some more gifts from friends Abbie, Ben & Sarah. I got some new fox socks, some new kick ass badges for my jacket. Also, can we take a moment to appreciate my friends love for my butt. Loving it.

I also got 2 new notebooks and a pack of yummy fudge! And I also got a handmade jumper (my friends Mum is secretly Mrs Weasley) it is so warm and snuggly. This is my second jumper like this and again, it’s in my favourite colour.

I’ve finally reached the age where my family will buy me chocolate and alcohol for my birthday hallelujah. 4 different type of Hotel Chocolate that I haven’t tried before and some Chocolate Gin? HELL TO THE YES. Also, so far, so delicious.

My sister came through too with new make-up. Another amazing Naked palette which is amazing and looks so good. She also got me some more brushes which she’ll teach me to use and some new lipstick to try.

What more needs to be said? My grandparents know. Also, look at this cute Fox they also go me! He’s called Basil.

I have wanted some of these cupcakes from this specific lady for a few years and as a surprise my Mum got these made for me. They didn’t last long but tasted so, so good.

Also there were some great Harry Potter gifts. My friend Corrie went and found me a new list pad and some badges as well as some lovely chocolaty goodies too.

My Mum also found these ADORABLE little Harry Potter plushies and aren’t they so cute? I love them.

She also found me a personal size Gryffindor cake. Currently, it’s survived all the eating but I’m sure it will disappear soon…

I was also lucky enough to receive money, although obviously there’s no need for pictures of that!

So there it is! The wonderful gifts I received for my 25th birthday! Are there any you like the look of? Let me know in the comments below!

Book Review: The Stolen Ones - Vanessa Curtis

Book Review: The Stolen Ones – Vanessa Curtis

My name is Inge. I am sixteen. I live in Munich. Food is rationed, though the war ended years ago. My boyfriend is Jewish. My parents would not approve, so I hide this from them. I think they are hiding something from me, too. Letters arrive on my birthday, but they are not addressed to me. They are for a girl named Kasia. This is her story.

After picking this up at YALC I thought I knew what this book would be about and I was pleasantly proved wrong while reading The Stolen One. This has a lot of twists and turns throughout which I didn’t expect – it’s kind of part historical fiction, part mystery. Different, but I like it.

What stood out for me about this book is that it focused on the wider Nazi horrors and what they did to a large number of communities as well as the Jewish population. A lot of WW2 and post war fiction focuses on the Holocaust – and rightfully so! But, it means that I haven’t read much about others who were impacted by the Nazi regime.

I really liked Inge, I found her to be intelligent and headstrong but also realistic for a 16 year old who’s surrounded by secrets. It shows both the good and bad in people and that just because a war ends, doesn’t mean that things go back to normal. There is a lot of confusion, hurt and pain after such an event.

The relationships Inge have are vital to the plot and it was clear there was both planning and care that went into writing them. At times I felt the her conflict and confusion. The novel did a great job of capturing that age where you realise the adults around you are humans with their own flaws, thoughts and feelings that might not match yours.

I do wish that the book had been longer, I felt that there could have been even more to the novel and get into some more depth – I can’t pinpoint where I would have liked it because it would be a massive spoiler!

Last but not least, I learned a great deal from this book about parts of the war I knew nothing about and after reading I definitely want to do some of my own research. This was so well told – I really want to have a read of other novels by Vanessa Curtis at some point.

I gave this 4 stars, I thought this book was interesting and there were quite a few twists that I didn’t see coming which was really appreciated. If you enjoy fiction about WW2 this will be a good read for you even though it is set after the end of the war. I’d really love to know more about what happens to the characters after the end of the novel as well which is a sign they were well written.

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag 2019 Edition

Unpopular Opinions Book Tag 2019 Edition

A while ago I did the Unpopular Opinions Tag and you guys seem to have really enjoyed it so how about a round 2? Brace yourselves guys, this might just get ugly. I’m kidding but I might just hit you in the feels.

What is a popular book or series that you didn’t like?

My Sister the Serial Killer – I listened to the audiobook and was bored. I’d heard so many good things about it but I just couldn’t get on with the plot or narration. But it’s up for a load of awards so other people seem to like it.

What is a popular book or series that everyone else seems to hate but you love?

I’ve gone back a little bit here (I couldn’t find anything recent that would fit this) – there is so much hate online for Looking For Alaska by John Green. Now, it has been a long time since I read it but I really, really enjoyed the book.

I think it was the second book by John Green I ever read and I thought it was well written and can’t remember having any issues with it.

What is a love triangle in a book or series where the main character ended up with the person you did not want them to end up with?

I actually can’t think of any, I guess the closest I can think of is Katniss and Peeta in The Hunger Games. Peeta was so pure and kind and I just don’t see it working with the two of them. Sorry not sorry.

What is a popular book genre that you hardly reach for?

Horror isn’t something I choose to read, I think if it had a really interesting plot I might try it but I just can’t seem to get into it! That and I have a really vivid imagination for that kind of stuff and will probably have the worst nightmares.

What is a popular or beloved character that you do not like?

There is a lot of love for Draco Malfoy in the Potter fandom and personally I don’t get it. He was a brat and a bully throughout the series and ultimately he was a coward. Nope, no love for Draco although a LOT of love for Tom Felton because he’s amazing.

Who is a popular author that you can’t seem to get into?

Rainbow Rowell. I tried to read Fangirl and I just really struggled to care and none of the other books interest me.

What is a popular book trope that you are tired of seeing?

Quiet girl who has been a nobody catches the eye of the most popular guy in school, romance ensues *swoon*. Nope, nope, nope. It gets so boring.

What is a popular book or series that you have no interest in reading?

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell, I tried Fangirl and found it really boring and when I tried to read it it just seemed like a Harry Potter rip off – oops!

What is a movie or TV show adaption of a book or series that you like more than the book/s?

Only because of the length but Game of Thrones. The first book took me so long to get through and there were so many names and so much going on. I might change my mind when I pick them up again.

Did you agree with any of my unpopular opinions? Or do you have any of your own? Let me know in the comments below!

Books to get you in the mood for Halloween

Books To Get You In The Mood For Halloween But Won’t Scare You Silly!

It’s almost that time of year again! With a few days to go, it’s time to get to those Halloween reads! That said, I’m not into scary books. As of right now, I’ve never read a horror and it’s not something I want to read.

That said, I do love some supernatural, a little different and maybe spooky. I know I’m not the only one! Here are some novels to get you in the mood without scaring you silly!

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The Graces – Laure Eve 

One word. Witches. I was lucky enough to meet Laure Eve at YALC this year and I may have freaked out because I loved this book so much. This caused chills, we’re talking a modern-day witchy thriller. Make sure to read it before the second novel is released in January!

Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone

Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone

I debated putting the Chamber of Secrets on here BUT you have to start at the beginning! Of course, Harry Potter was going to be on here. Pumpkin Pasties, a Halloween fest, magical creatures! This just screams Autumn and Halloween.

Jane Eyre

Jane Eyre – Charlotte BrontĂ«

Yep, throwing a classic out there. There are some chilling moments in Jane Eyre and supernatural elements as well as the beautiful description. I wouldn’t say this is overly Halloween but it’s a nod to the vibe.

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Rebecca – Daphne Du Maurier 

I read this while at uni and this is a twisty, quite dark thriller. It has similar vibes to Jane Eyre but I definitely think it has more of a mystery element and ghosts. Can’t forget the ghosts!

Toil and Trouble

Toil and Trouble – Edited by Jessica Spotswood & Tess Sharpe 

The newest on this list! An anthology about Woman and Witchcraft and I am loving it! There’s a mix of modern and older tales and a lot of diversity. I’m getting more into anthologies and this was an absolutely amazing addition to my shelves as something I can pick up read a few stories and come back to.

 

That’s a few of the reads I’d suggest! Is there anything I’m missing? Let me know in the comments below!

What My Star Ratings Mean

What My Star Ratings Mean!

We’ve all seen the normal way of rating books. 1 Star to 5 Star, but what those ratings mean to people can really vary. So, I thought I’d make it clear what my ratings mean and give you some examples of books I’ve loved and loathed!

1 Star

Why was this written? What was the point of it at all? Normally it will be a one star if I find that it’s offensive, ridiculous or just nasty. It takes a lot for a book to be 1 star.

 

2 Star

When I don’t like a book. There’s always a reason behind it, usually, if I find it boring or don’t like the way in which it’s written. Also, it can be the topic and how it is portrayed.

3 Star

This doesn’t mean the book is good or bad, but just meh. There’s probably some things I don’t rate about it. It could be the pace, the plot or the writing. I simply means that I probably won’t pick it up again and it’ll eventually make its way to the donate/give away/selling pile.

4 Star

This book was really, really great. I loved certain aspects of it and I’m going to recommend it to people. For X reason it was quite a 5 star for me but damn it was good.

5 Star

OH MY GOD WOW, EVERYONE NEEDS TO READ THIS. IM GETTING ALL MY FRIENDS A COPY AND TWEETING THE AUTHOR AND AHHHHH I LOVE THIS SO MUCH!

It’s true that over time I have been known to change ratings depending on how I feel. A book I might have thought was a masterpiece at 15, I might not feel the same way about now. Similarly, I used to hate classics with a passion but now I’m a little older I can appreciate some of them and understand why they were so important! We change so much in life, which means our ratings will too!

 

How do you rate your books? Let me know in the comments below!