Book Review: The Other Mother – Jen Brister

When Jen falls in love with Chloe they have a great life and eventually decide that having a small person was something they wanted to do. As her wife goes through the process of IVF and pregnancy Jen finds herself as ‘The Other Mother’. There’s also the small matter that Chloe became pregnant with twins, it’s a lot for anyone to handle.

I have to say, I’m not a parent to an actual human child, I currently only have fur babies in my life so I can’t be the judge on how realistic this is but I found it to be a book that shares a lot. Jen is completely honest about her experiences, about how tough she found it at times and how boring looking after kids can be.

I found myself laughing so much while reading this book and now I’m desperate to see Jen perform as a comedian. It just feels incredibly real but also she’s not afraid to laugh at herself, her thoughts and her actions. This isn’t a book telling you how to raise a child or being the perfect parent.

Jen is also respectful of the privacy of her children. Her sons are referred to throughout the book as Twin 1 and Twin 2 and while she shares stories about her life with Chloe raising them, we don’t know their names. It’s clear that Jen wants to protect the identity of her boys and who can blame her? This book is about her experience of being ‘The Other Mother’ it’s not a biography of her children. I respect that.

Also, I can highly recommend the audiobook which is how I absorbed it and I really couldn’t stop listening. Although a note to anyone who does get the audiobook, be ready to laugh out loud at various points and look a bit nuts.

I gave this book 5 stars and have been recommending it to a lot of people recently. It’s funny but also gives a real look at what it’s like to be a non-biological parent in 2019.

Book Review: The Flatshare – Beth O’Leary

Tiffy and Leon share a flat
Tiffy and Leon share a bed
Tiffy and Leon have never met…

Tiffy works in a publishing job she loves but it doesn’t pay much, combine that with needing to move out of her ex-boyfriends flat she’ll tak anything, including a slightly unusual agreement. Leon is a hospice nurse who’s in need to money to support his brother and a flat share sounds like a perfect plan.

I need to start by saying that this is one of the cutest books. I’ve been more interested in contemporary romances recently, books I know will have love and humor and The Flatshare ticked both of those boxes. I had seen this all over the internet with great reviews so I picked up the audiobook narrated by one of my favourite theatre actresses and youtubers, Carrie Hope Fletcher. I also now love the voice of Kwaku Fortune!

While a lot of people think this is a fluffy friends to lovers story, there are some excellent and complex themes within the novel and I was so impressed. O’Leary considers toxic relationships, emotional abuse and wrongful imprisonment. She has a talent for weaving in these topics into a novel which ultimately made you feel both happy and more knowledgeable once finishing.

These characters felt very real, I cared about them and what was going on in their lives. There were points where I shouted out loud while reading because I was so invested in what was happening and where the different threads were going to go. For me, the audiobook was absolutely perfect it really added to the experience so I’d really recommend it.

I was wracking my brain while writing this for anything I would change and truly I don’t think I would change it. It’s a perfect mix of humour, romance and topics that make you think. Also I adored some of the side characters too, they really added to the novel and let us get to know Tiffy and Leon a lot better than just their impressions of each other.

It’s really no surprise that I gave this 5 stars. I highly recommend this novel and I can’t wait to see what Beth O’Leary writes next. She’s got a real talent and it can only get better!

My September 2019 Book Haul!

Hello, hello, hello

After YALC back in July you might have thought my book buying/acquisition might have slowed down, you would be wrong. With the combination of my birthday and new releases I picked up a LOT of books in September and I wanted to share them with you all. Get ready it’s going to be a long one.

First up are books I won in a Twitter giveaway that arrived at the beginning on the month. The lovely Sara Barnard gave away all of the books she has written, they’re all signed an dedicated too which is super sweet. So I now have Goodbye Perfect, Fierce Fragile Hearts, Beautiful Broken Things and A Quiet Kind of Thunder. These are all based around friendship which is super exciting and a few I’ve had on my list for a while.

I was also sent Sara’s collaborative book Floored along with other great YA authors. Next up are two buy one get one free buys, Heartstream a YA thriller that I bought alongside this months book club read Once Upon a River I’m not sure what to say about this one it’s kind of an adult mystery?

I also had my copy of The Only Plane In The Sky – The Oral History of 9/11 delivered, this book is full of accounts of 9/11 and I think it’s an important and interesting way to preserve what happened and the changes that the event caused.

I received 4 books for my birthday. The first up A Large Expanse of Sea from my parents which I’ve been meaning to pick up forever. I also received 2 books from my friend Charissa (along with a doughnut because, goals) The Confessions of Frannie Langton an adult mystery and Two Can Keep A Secret which I needed to read after McManus’s debut. I also received Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With Me, I’ve heard great things about this online so I’m excited!

Ok, I’ll fess up I made two drunken purchases – I actually snuck off from a night out to buy books (maximum nerd points), which were It Never Rains and Life of the Party I just picked these up after reading the blurb, I have no idea if they’re going to be good but I’m hoping so.

My preorder of The Deathless Girls, a novel I’ve been keeping an eye out for about the brides of Dracula, perfect for Autumn. My next few books are from a trip to Foyles with my birthday money, because what else was I going to spend it on? I knew nothing about The Liar’s Daughter it’s about the aftermath of a young woman who grew up in a cult. I find these super interesting.

Can we take a second to appreciate the stunning cover of Ziggy, Stardust & Me a LGBTQ YA novel set in the 70s. I also finally picked up With The Fire On High which I’ve heard nothing but good things about. Also, Monday’s Not Coming is another I’ve heard a lot of good things about on BookTube. I was also given a copy of Archie 1941 for my birthday and I love it – I can’t wait to see others in this series.

P.S, I Love you is one of my favourite books so of course I ordered the sequel Postscript and I am so excited to see what Holly is up to now. I also love the film but for very different reasons. I also received a Waterstones gift card and picked up the graphic novel of Speak which has stunning artwork, even though I haven’t read the original book. I also bought City of Ghosts by Victoria Schwab because she’s amazing.

And now I need to find a home for all of them, the floorboards definitely hate me right now!

Have you read any of these? What would you recommend? Let me know below.

What I Read In September 2019

It’s back to getting dark early and curling up with blankets which means my super charged reading months are coming! September, however, wasn’t my best reading month. I was crazy busy with work and birthday celebrations throughout September so audiobooks were my lifeline! I only finished 1 physical book in September which shows just how crazy busy things were! But let’s get into what I actually read.

Birdsong by Sebastian Faulks

Ah, Birdsong. What can I say about this book? It really wasn’t my cup of tea but it was my book club read so I had a bit of a struggle to get through.

I can appreciate why people do like this book but I didn’t like it. I felt it was too long and it could have been half the length and still made the point. I gave it 2.5 stars.

The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed By Jack The Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold

This was an Audible deal that I purchased with the intent to listen to then I saw it on Lauren Wade’s YouTube channel and listened to it a bit sooner.

I thought this was an excellent read focusing on the women who were murdered by Jack The Ripper. This gave so much information on each woman, where they came from, how they grew up, changes in circumstances and a lot of myth busting. A 5 star read for me.

The Other Mother by Jen Brister

Audiobook number 2! The Other Mother was excellent and super funny. This followers Jen Brister’s experience being the ‘other mother’ in a same sex relationship and chronicles parenthood for her. A great laugh and really interesting read another 5 star read.

Sex, Power, Money by Sara Pascoe

Aaaand another audiobook (thank god for being able to buy extra credits on Audible). I really liked Sara’s first book Animal and so picked this up too. As well as being an excellent comedian Sara is also a great writer. This is really in depth and I learnt a lot from it. It was a 4.5 star read for me.

Archie 1941 – Mark Wade

I really enjoyed this one I got for my birthday. I like Archie comics and they’re putting Archie and the gang in different decades, this one did have a lot of heart behind it and I wish it had been longer! 4.5 stars from me.

Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson, Artwork by Emily Carroll

I’ve heard a lot about Speak as a novel and it’s been one I wanted to get to and then I saw an early copy of the graphic novel at YALC this year and knew I wanted to read it in this format first. I didn’t regret it the words and illustration worked beautifully together and I still want to read the novel of Speak. A 5 star read for me.

Laura Dean Keeps Breaking Up With MeMariko Tamaki & Rosemary Valero-O’Connell

My friend got me this for my birthday. I’d heard a little bit about this being a graphic novel with great LGBT rep and added it to another list (I know, there are a lot of lists). This was a great read and surprised me in places. Seeing as there is a big 1 on the side I’m hoping this is the start of a series, another 5 star!

What did you read in September? 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 Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo – Taylor Jenkins Reid

Is this one of my favourite books of the year? Yes. Is it in some of my top books of all time? Also yes. While I read Daisy Jones & The Six first I fell in love with Evelyn and her story to a point of obsession. I needed to know the answers to my questions. Why Monique? Who was Evelyn’s true love? Why does she want to writer her biography now?! I needed to know.

This is set in the golden age of Hollywood and once again Jenkins Reid has created a cast of characters that feel so real you forget that it’s fiction. I wanted to watch Evelyn’s movies, read the book they’re working on. In my mind she’s a mix of Marilyn Monroe, Debbie Reynolds and Elizabeth Taylor – and isn’t that incredible?

Personally, I listened to the audiobook and it was an incredible experience. Of course, I’m going to be picking up a physical copy because I need it represented on my shelves but the audiobook really made it come alive. Listening to ‘Evelyn’ and ‘Monique’ was a real treat and I was plugged in at every opportunity – so much so I made my fiance listen to it while I put it on through my speaker on the evening so I could relax.

While you might not expect it this novel has great LGBTQ rep and what it meant to hide who you truly were in this era when all of your success depends on your outward persona. There is also violence, lies and deceit but it really works within the world it is set in.

Evelyn isn’t always a likeable character but that definitely adds to the novel because despite the fact she does some questionable things I still loved and cared deeply for her as a character. This is also added to when you see Evelyn through Moniques eyes.

There’s no doubt that Taylor Jenkins Reid is incredible at researching and writing about past time periods in a way that transports you into that setting so much so you feel like you are there.

Obviously I gave this 5 stars. I adore this book and after finishing it I went and got other TJR books to get through. I’m a big fan of her style and completely understand the hype behind Evelyn Hugo.