Book Review: Diary Of A Confused Feminist - Kate Weston

Book Review: Diary Of A Confused Feminist – Kate Weston

Kat wants to do GOOD FEMINISM, although she’s not always sure what that means. She also wants to be a writer, get together with Hot Josh (is this a feminist ambition?), win at her coursework and not make a TOTAL EMBARRASSMENT of herself at all times.

Join Kat AKA the Confused Feminist as she navigates EVERYTHING from menstrual cups and mental health to Instagram likes and #TimesUp in her HILARIOUS, OUTRAGEOUS and VERY EMBARRASSING diary.

While I was working in a book shop over the Christmas period this was left in a pile of ARCS that we could take home and I was instantly drawn to it. A teenage feminist trying to navigate her life and feelings? Hell to the yes please, and I wasn’t disappointed.

There were times while reading where I wondered if I was too old for the book. Did I speak like this as a teenager? Were teenagers this petty over things? The answer is yes, I remember arguing with one of my friends over something ridiculous and then refusing to sit next to each other in our art class. In fact Weston has completely got the characters right.

While reading I felt like this had Caitlin Moran vibes to it (whos book How To Be A Woman changed my whole perception on feminism) there were important points but at the same time it was incredibly funny. It also took me back to when I was the same age trying to work out my on again off again relationship with feminism, because it is bloody confusing!

What skyrocketed my rating for this was the mental health element. There are some hints early on that Kat was struggling but seeing these explored was really excellent and I feel that it could help young people reading. As well as the anxiety that Kat struggles with the pressure to keep up and be interesting on social media.

This was a 4.5 star read for me. I think Kate Weston is definitely one to watch. When I got to the end I KNEW I needed a sequel which will hopefully happen.

Book Review: The Good Immigrant - Edited By Nikesh Shukla

Book Review: The Good Immigrant – Edited By Nikesh Shukla

Bringing together 21 exciting black, Asian and minority ethnic voices emerging in Britain today, The Good Immigrant explores why immigrants come to the UK, why they stay and what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that doesn’t seem to want you, doesn’t truly accept you – however many generations you’ve been here – but still needs you for its diversity monitoring forms.

If you have read any of my other posts or follow me on any of my social media channels you will know that I am a white woman. I haven’t had to grow up having experiences based on the colour of my skin. Nor have I had to struggle because of racism in my life and the bias that people have.

So, why did I pick this up? Because I want to know more, I want to better understand what others go through and to be more educated on the subject. I don’t think there’s any excuse to be ignorant when we have such easy access to education in this country.

I listened to the audiobook of this collection of personal experiences and I highly recommend it because it made the stories come to life. Hear these from real people reminded me just how many people experience racism in their everyday life.

Of course, there were some parts which were upsetting and anger inducing at the unfairness people face for no reason at all. But, I actually found myself laughing along with some of the more silly stories.

One thing that made me burst out laughing was a slight rant on chai tea – which apparently translates as tea, tea. I laughed while shaking my head because, well, it was hilarious and I wonder how many other things like this there are.

I found myself learning a lot about other cultures, how people within those cultures grow up and some of their experiences. Can I say this really encompasses what it’s like to grow up as an ethnic minority in the UK? No but I do feel as if I’ve learnt from it.

I gave this 4 stars. An interesting read and something I think we need more of. Of course, there were some essays I liked more than others but that’s inevitable Again I’d really recommend the audiobook it was a brilliant listen and I learnt a lot.

What I Read In February 2020

What I Read in February 2020

February may be a short month but that didn’t stop me reading. I did find myself in a little bit of a slump in Feb, I think because I read so much in January my brain needed shorter reads. So, here they are – have you read any of them?

On my trip to Brighton I found a copy of Renée Watson’s latest novel What Momma Left Me and I couldn’t leave without it. This is a story about a young girl who’s life changes after the death of her mother. It’s about family, secrets and finding your place in the world. This got 4 stars from me.

Next I picked up an ARC from Netgalley that I was granted. Sincerely, is a sweet collection of poems that was written as part of a proposal. A lovely concept with some sweet poems and a 3 star read for me.

Another NetGalley ARC I received, The Voice Of My Mind, came next and this one just wasn’t for me. It was also a poetry collection (I’ve been pretty into them this month) but I just couldn’t connect with the tone of voice. A 2 star read for me.

I read Always Here For You as part of a book tour I took part in, you can read the post here. This is for younger teenagers and looks at who you’re really talking to online and how young people may find themselves in this situation. A good read that would do well in schools. 4 stars from me.

This Soul Estranged was sent to me by the author for free in exchange for my thoughts. I enjoyed this collection and felt that I could connect with the poems and the tone of voice. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes next. A 3 star read for me.

Next up another Netgalley ARC, this time it was a graphic novel/information type book. A Quick & Easy Guide To Sex and Disability was a really interesting read and had a good message. I would be interested in a longer guide but obviously that doesn’t match the title! A 4 star read for me!

I got an ARC copy of Diary of a Confused Feminist while working over Christmas but only just got around to it! I wasn’t sure at first because I felt super old (I’m 10 years older than the protagonist eeek) but the second half of the book I was hooked. If you like Holly Bourne I think you’ll like this. Another 4 star read for me.

A bit of a light read (note the sarcasm), Fascism and Democracy is super short but I thought it was incredibly relevant in today’s world. Now, I’ve read a bit of Orwell before and I stand by my earlier assessment that his non-fiction work is long winded. That said, this had interesting ideas and was good to see it through the lense of the 1940s while Hitler was in power. 3 stars from me.

I received an ARC of What Kind of Girl and also bought a physical copy because I really enjoy Alyssa Sheinmel’s way of writing. This looks at domestic violence in young adult relationships. It’s pretty heavy and there’s also details about mental illness and methods of self harm so know that going in if that’s something you struggle with. Another very well written book. 4.5 stars from me.

I also read Letters On Motherhood incredibly quickly because it was such a sweet and wholesome read. In this Giovanna writes letters to her three sons, her husband, parents and herself about motherhood. While I don’t have children I fell in love with this collection and felt it was so honest about the highs and lows. A great read.

I read the poetry collection Surge for a post that you’ll find out about soon! It’s a collection that looks at race in Britain starting with the New Cross Fire, also known as the New Cross Massacre in which 13 young black people were killed. Political, personal and a new perspective this is a really interesting collection. 4 stars and you’ll find out more about it soon.

And finally I picked up a copy of You’re Crushing It by Lex Croucher which I’ve been meaning to get to for ages. It’s a quick book which made me laugh out loud more than a few times while reading. It was a 4 star read for me and a nice pick me up.

And finally, thanks to the extra day in the month I also finished A Danger To Herself and Others also by Alyssa Sheinmel which I’ve had on my TBR for a while. It’s an exploration of mental illness and it can be quite a tough read but another excellent book. This got 4.5 stars from me.

I haven’t listened to an audiobook this month – for some reason I’ve struggled getting into them but I’m sure I’ll come out of that soon. Did you read anything good in February? Let me know below!

What I Read In January 2020!

A new reading year and a new Goodreads challenge. I was so, so excited to set my goal this year, it hasn’t changed – it’s still 100 books, but what will they be? Will I find a new favourite? Will I read more or less. THE EXCITEMENT GUYS.

In January I got on it. I decided that every evening I wanted to switch off my laptop and read, not just spend my whole evening watching YouTube or scrolling endlessly through my Instagram. That means I got a lot of reading done! Here’s what I read in January…

My first book of the year was one I started at the end of December after seeing everyone say what a great book it was and it held up. The Only Plane In The Sky by Garrett M. Graff was incredible, moving and, of course, heartbreaking. Hearing what happened from the people who were there was something I’ll never forget. A 5 star read.

Next up, I needed something a little lighter with more humor which is why I picked up a copy of How To Have Feminist Sex by Flo Perry. A graphic guide with a lot of laughs as well as making you contemplate how women are viewed in terms of image, desire and sexual preference. A 4 star read for me.

I received an ARC of The Recovery of Rose Gold on NetGalley and it seemed like such an interesting premise. While I did read it very quickly I felt pretty let down by it because of the hype I’ve seen. The ending just wasn’t for me. A 3 star read for me.

I’ve been looking at getting Sunday’s Child for ages as a woman looks at her Grandfather’s past as a child in Hitler Youth. I really wanted to learn from this and for it to be a great read but it was a bit flat for me – 3 stars.

I got an ARC of Strangely Wrapped Gift via NetGalley. It’s a poetry collection where the author considers her life with OCD. I don’t like being negative but this one just wasn’t for me and I couldn’t gel with the style of writing 3 stars.

Jasmine Warga’s previous book My Heart And Other Black Holes was a really strong read so when I found a copy of Here We Are Now going cheap I picked it up. I’m kicking myself for letting it sit on my shelves for as long as it did. A girl meets her rock star Dad for the first time and embarks on getting to know him and the family she didn’t know. A 4 star read and now I’m trying to find more of her books.

I got A Good Time To Be A Girl on Audible. I didn’t know anything about Helena Morrisey but I’m always willing to hear about awesome women who want to change the system. This memoir wasn’t exactly that, instead it looked at Helena’s career and life and while it was interesting I didn’t really gain much from it, 3.5 stars.

I’ve seen We Are Okay on BookTube a lot and was intrigued I mentioned it to a friend and because she’s great she remembered and got it for me for Christmas. I absolutely adore this book and definitely need to read more Nina LaCour in the future. 4 stars from me.

I’ve been saying I wanted to read a Stephen King book for ages and Carrie appealed to me, as did this epic cover. I can see from this book why people love Stephen King so much and I’ll definitely be reading more. Carrie was fantastic and I could not stop thinking about it 4 stars from me.

So, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse was the Waterstone’s book of the year and I was intrigued, mostly because of the gorgeous illustrations. Old school illustrations, a heart-warming story and also one you can pick up for a little boost. 4 stars from me.

After a trip to Limited Edition Comix I found a copy of Violent Love Volume 1 and oh this series is great, I’ll be picking up volume 2 soon because the ending was absolutely brilliant and I didn’t see it coming. A 4 star read for me.

I picked up a copy of Sleeper and Spindle with my staff discount over Christmas because the cover was so beautiful. The art was stunning and from that respect it couldn’t be better but I just felt a bit let down by the story. It was pretty odd and I genuinely thought from the cover it was LGBT so that was a little disappointing. A 3 star read for me.

So, I thought I loved Heartstopper volume 1 & 2, then I read volume 3 and oh my word. This is the sweetest series! Charlie and Nick are adorable and this volume does get a little more serious…so pleased we have more to look forward to!

I’m keeping track of my reading all over the place at the moment so make sure to follow me on Instagram, Twitter or become a friend on Goodreads to keep up!

What did you read in January? Let me know your favourites!

Book Review: It’s Not Ok To Feel Blue And Other Lies – Edited By Scarlett Curtis

It’s OK if everything might feel a bit overwhelming.
It’s OK to talk about it.
It’s OK to not want to talk about it.
It’s OK to find it funny.
It’s OK to be human.”

Back with another book of tackling taboos Scarlett Curtis is talking about mental health and she has even more people coming to write this time.

I pre-ordered this as soon as I found out about it because I absolutely adored the first book Scarlett put together Feminists Don’t Wear Pink And Other Lies , it was a real eye opener and one of my favourites about Feminism. And while this collection is bigger, I can understand why – the topic is something that impacts everyone whether it’s you or someone close to you.

With names such as Emilia Clarke, Adam Kay, Matt Haig, Bryony Gordon, Emma Thompson and Naomi Campbell lending their personal stories and essays to the collection it was going to be interesting. We see these people on the TV, online, out in the world doing great things but knowing that even those who are great have struggled or continue to make people feel less alone.

This is definitely one to pick up and read as much as you can because there are some really heavy subjects in here, obviously, and I definitely think that you need to consider how you’re feeling before you read it. That said, there really is something for everyone in here, no matter what you’ve been through or felt.

About half way through the book I found myself struggling to differentiate between the stories so I switched to the audiobook and found it so much better. A mix of voice actors and those who could read their own stories were recorded. Personally, that made it for me and, stangely, made it more real.

I gave this 4.5 stars. This is the kind of book that we need more of in the world so we know that people are not alone and keep the conversation around mental health going. I think this will be impactful, partly because Scarlett has managed to get well known names that people look up to.

2020 Releases I'm Looking Forward To Part 1

2020 Releases I’m Looking Forward To Part 1

There are set to be some absolute bangers this year in books. While most of these are YA, I am going to try and expand my reading (which is why this is part 1) BUT most of these I’ve been looking forward to for a long time and are part of a series I’ve been reading.

All of these dates are what’s currently listed on Goodreads and may change!

House of Earth and Blood – Sarah J Maas

I absolutely adored A Court of Thorns and Roses and so I’m really excited for this series. There are demons, fallen angels and despite the fact it’s going to be over 800 pages (eek). I’m super excited for this one.

Released: 3rd March

The Invisible Life of Addie La Rue – V.E Schwab

There’s no cover for this yet but it’s a new V.E Schwab so of course I’m super hyped! She’s been talking about this online for a while and in her own words it’s about ‘A French girl makes a deal with the devil, ends up cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets. Until 300 years later, when she meets a boy who remembers her name.’

I’m so, so in.

Released: 6th October

Loveless – Alice Oseman

I think Alice Oseman is not only an excellent writer but seems like a pretty great human being. Loveless is a really important book to her with Ace representation and I’m really excited to read it.

Released: 9th July

The Gravity of Us – Phil Stamper

So, I met Phil while we were both studying at Kingston and both up for awards a few years ago and he’s such a lovely guy. There’s a lot of hype about The Gravity Of Us and for good reason, there’s space, there’s social media and a first romance between two guys. So excited.

Released: 4th February (out now!)

Heartstopper Volume 3 – Alice Oseman

I’ve talked about Heartstopper a lot in the past year, it’s one of my favourites and just makes my heart so happy. I’m so excited for volume 3 to see what Nick and Charlie are up to. Roll on February!

Released: 6th February (out now!)

Bridge of Souls (Cassidy Blake #3) – Victoria Schwab

I started this series in 2019 and both books made it into my favourites of 2019. If you haven’t heard about it Cassidy can see ghosts, her best friend Jacob is a ghost and her parents travel around the world making documentaries (although they can’t see them) they also have an adorable cat called Grim. Have I sold it to you yet?

Released: 1st September

Clap When You Land – Elizabeth Acevedo

Two girls who both adore their father are devastated when he dies in a plane crash which soon turns to shock when they learn about each other. I’ve heard a lot about this on American BookTube so I’m looking forward to getting hold of a copy.

Released: 14th May

The Love Hypothesis – Laura Steven

Laura Steven is one of my favourite YA authors and she’s got a pretty great Instagram too. The Love Hypothesis is about a girl who is all about the academics and an over-achiever (guilty) who can’t quite work out love. She also happens to be in love with her best friend. We’re in for a hell of a ride.

Released: 5th March

What else should I be looking out for? Let me know below!

Book Review: The Perfect Dress – Louisa Leaman

Ah, The Perfect Dress one I wouldn’t normally pick up but in the end a fantastic feel-good read.

I’ll be honest, I picked this up because I myself am going to be buying my wedding dress soon (eek!) and it seemed like a fun book with a bit of mystery and intrigue added in as well as not being too taxing while reading. I was all of that and more. I completely and utterly fell in love with the character of Fran and only wanted the best for her throughout.

I didn’t expect the fantastical element to it, the magic that is felt by Fran as she encounters each dress. I wanted to know so much about the brides of the past, the dead grooms that Fran is so fond of and more than anything, I wanted to see Fran happy! It was clear through the way in which Fran was written a lot of research was done into dresses, the history behind certain dresses and their place in fashion history, in fact, I really want to hunt down a few books on wedding dresses through the ages for my own research!

While Raph did give me Mr Darcy vibes and there were a few times I wanted to shake some sense into him I think that he was needed in this book. His scepticism and past really added to the novel and kept it from being too overly sweet the whole time – which I did adore but I also thought he was a good balance throughout.

This novel is an uplifting and fun read that I would recommend to anyone looking for a pick me up. I also found that I couldn’t put it down, I came to really care about Fran and Raphael, who they were and their relationship. I think the only thing I would change is to make it longer! To get to know more about them separately, particularly Raph’s relationship with her younger sister.

Overall I gave this 4 stars a really enjoyable read.

Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for this copy in exchange for an honest review.