YALC 2018 Part Two – The Book Haul!

Well, I promised you a book haul, I just didn’t think it would be this big. I managed to pick up 20 books at YALC. Yep, Two-Zero. I’d saved some money so that I could go and not feel any guilt about buying a stack of books and I sure as hell did. I mean almost all of the books were discounted, so why wouldn’t I make the most of it!

As many of my regular readers know I loved Sarah J Maas’s ACOTAR series, so I decided to pick up the start of another of her series’ Throne of Glass, there are assassins and I’m told it’s loosely based on Cinderella. Sounds good to me. Next up was a hardcover copy of This Is Where It Ends, a novel about a school shooting by Marieke Nijkamp which I’ve wanted to read forever. Next is Orbiting Jupiter by Gary D. Schmidt which I’m currently reading and it’s already breaking my heart.

 

Who Runs the World by Virginia Bergin is about a distant future where a virus almost completely wiped out men. I’m not 100% sure but I’m going to give this a go. I then picked up Amy Chelsea Stacie Dee by Mary G Thompson two girls are kidnapped, one returns. Sounds chilling. I finally got hold of Trans Mission by Alex Bertie which I’ve heard really great things about, this is Alex looking back at his F to M transition. Suicide Club by Rachel Heng has been all over booktube recently. Set when humans have the secret to becoming immortal, but only if you deserve it, what could go wrong? I also picked up the A Court of Thorns and Roses colouring book, because I have no chill.

I picked up Royals by Rachel Hawkins as it just seems fun, a girl thrust into the spotlight because her sister is getting married to a Prince? Not my normal read but why not give it a chance! What Happened That Night by Sandra Block is a novel I was given for free. It’s about a woman who was assaulted at a party, years later a video of her assualt surfaces, but what will she do? Only one word needed to be said to be aboue The Price Guide to the Occult by Leslye Walton was witches. I also picked up the latest novel by Holly Bourne Are We All Lemmings and Snowflakes? This is the only novel I bought full price, but it is Holly Bourne.

The first stand I went to was to HarperCollins to get a copy of Vox by Christina Dalcher. This has some The Handmaids Tale vibes, where women are only allowed to speak 100 words a day. I’m both terrified and excited. Leila Sales’s novel If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say is a tale of saying the wrong thing on the internet and the consequences it can have. It helps that the cover is gorgeous. I found Night of The Party by Tracey Mathias and this one is a little too close to home, I have high expectations. It’s political and it looks like it might be pretty dark. Get excited. I don’t even know how to explain Never World Wake by Merisha Pessl. There’s a shocking death, past friends and a mysterious man. I’m hoping it’s good.

Now, Look Closer by Stewart Lewis doesn’t come out until February 2019. Yep, and I got this beauty for FREE. I think this one is going to make me cry as Tegan comes to terms with her father’s death and tries to help others. Next up, My (Secret) YouTube Life. This novel looks really interesting, the first like on the blurb is ‘What if your favourite Youtuber’s life was a lie?’ So here for it. I know, I know how could I have not read THUG yet? This is my change with a beautiful new cover to get into what people are calling Angie Thomas’ masterpiece. And FINALLY, congrats if you made it this far, Moonrise by Sarah Crossan. A novel written in verse about a family dealing with the impending execution of a man who claims he is innocent. I’ve already read it and it was incredible.

So, what do you like the look of, what should I read next? Let me know in the comments below!

My Top 10 Mental Health Reads

MHAW18 – My Top 10 Mental Health Reads

 

Seeing as it’s Thursday I decided that instead of my usual review, I would share with you my current top 10 books about or featuring mental health. I was really hard to decide on the final 10 but I think I have a pretty good selection.

The Bell Jar – Sylvia Plath
This is one of my favourites books of all time. I read this when I was a student and it just connected on a level I haven’t before with any other book. The plot focuses on Esther a young woman in her early 20s and her descent into mental ill health.

Am I Normal Yet – Holly Bourne
I love Holly Bourne’s YA work and Am I Normal Yet was a great start to her spinster trilogy. Looking at OCD, how to open up to the people around you and the process of recovery. Full review right here.

Reasons to Stay Alive – Matt Haig
Matt Haig was on the verge of committing suicide, now he’s a best selling author. To get from one to the other he needed reasons to stay alive. This is a beautiful and brilliant book which changes lives. I wrote all about it here.

My Lovely Wife – Mark Luckach
There are very few books I’ve read from the perspective of a partner who has to watch their loved ones go through mental illness. A truly lovely and honest book. You can read my review here.

How Not To Be A Boy – Robert Webb
I’m so in love with this autobiography. This isn’t just about Webb’s life, it looks at death, gender stereotypes, sexuality and toxic masculinity. I raved about it here.

Mad Girl – Bryony Gordon
I listened to this as an audiobook and fell in love. Not only does Bryony talk about serious topics such as depression, alopecia and OCD but she also makes you laugh. I’m a huge believer in laughter being a great healer. You can read my full thoughts here.
Nina is Not Ok – Shappi Khorsandi
This is the first YA novel I’ve read looking at alcoholism in a young person. I went through so many emotions reading it. A tough but important read.

Ariel – Sylvia Plath
I know, I know Plath again BUT her poetry is incredible. This is a beautiful collection and Plath’s last before her suicide. The imagery, the emotion. I can’t get enough.
It’s All in Your Head – Rae Earl
Confession, I’d never read anything by Rae Earl before and this was a great place to start. This is part manual, part memoir and wholly excellent. I loved this and it would benefit anyone and I highly recommend it.

When We Collided – Emery Lord
This is a wonderful YA novel which isn’t obvious it is about mental illness at the beginning. This is mostly about friendship, love and healing. Two teenagers, a summer and a beautiful novel. Full review here.

 

What would you add? Let me know in the comments below!

What I Read in April!

Another month, another stack of books I’ve devoured. This month I wanted things I could get through because I was struggling to concentrate but I still managed 8 books and almost all of them were incredible.

First up was Red Clocks which I have been waiting to read forever and it was so worth it. This is set in a future USA, abortion is banned, IVF is banned and so is single parenthood. We follow four women as their lives are impacted by these laws. It was a 4.5 star read and review to come soon. #MeToo is a collection of poetry that just felt so real to me, these were incredible poems and got 4 stars from me. And another collection of poetry the second from Amanda Lovelace, the witch doesn’t burn in this one. This is the second in a serious about the magic of women, a 4 star read, I didn’t enjoy it as much as the first but it’s still a brilliant read.

 

Next up I am, I am, I am by Maggie O’Farrell this was a strange but brilliant non-fiction book look at the 17 brushes with death, it’s absolutely fascinating and got a well earned 4 stars. The next one I’d seen spoken about on Youtube and it had such a huge impact on me, Everywoman is about feminism, UK politics and is a rallying cry which means it got 5 stars from me. I also read my advance copy of Holly Bourne’s new adult novel How Do You Like Me Now which, in total honesty disappointed me and only got 3 stars.

 

 

And finally, Saga. I could have picked this up years ago and I’m kicking myself. This series is amazing we have some brilliant characters and interesting plot and beautiful art. So far, so amazing and 5 stars for volume 1 and volume 2.

What were you reading in April? Let me know in the comments below!

Fantastic Feminist Authors

On the 8th March it’s International Women’s Day, so what better time to share some kick ass authors for you to get into. In a recent Twitter poll you guys said you wanted to see more bookish content on the blog which is fine with me, so let’s get started!

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Holly Bourne – YA Queen

From the first few pages of The Manifesto on How to Be Interesting, I fell in love and knew that Holly was one to watch. Her novels speak to young adults in a way I haven’t seen before. She talks about Feminism, without making you feel like she’s preaching. A fantastic author and you can read my review of Am I Normal Yet here.

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Laura Bates – Conquering Everyday Sexism

Laura created the Everyday Sexism project, started to show that sexism is very real and giving a platform to share it. She has just released her third book Misogynation, after Everyday Sexism and Girl Up. She’s factual as well as standing up for women’s rights. A must-read author.

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Caitlin Moran – The Reason I’m a Feminist

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, How To Be A Woman changed my life and perspective and, ultimately, made me a feminist. Caitlin says what she wants and has no time for bullshit. I’ve read all her non-fiction works as well as her novel How To Build A Girl, which is also a cracker. Great for getting the information with a great laugh at the same time.

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Holly Baxter and Rhiannon Lucy Cosslett – Taking on the Magazines

Holly and Lucy run their own blog of the same name but I found the book first. This is different to any I’ve read before, particularly as neither are that much older than me. This examines the way we take in magazines and the media industry. It was fantastic, absolutely fantastic. Here’s my review to wet your appetite.

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Rupi Kaur – Bringing Poetry Back

She’s become amazingly popular and for good reason. I haven’t seen poetry get this popular, well, ever. Rupi talks about the female experience in her poetry and it’s absolutely beautiful as well as thought-provoking. You can read my review of her second collection The Sun and Her Flowers here.

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Louise O’Neill – Tackling Taboo

For incredible, thought-provoking fiction Lousie O’Neill is the one to go to. Her novel Only Ever Yours freaked me out but I couldn’t stop thinking about it and later novel Asking For It has been raved about since its release. She’s not afraid of writing about taboo subjects and feminism, what more do you want? Review of Only Ever Yours here.

 

Who would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!

 

My Top 10 Books of 2017!

We’ve finally got to the end of the year! Well, it has been a long one but I’ve had plenty of books to get me through it, hitting my goal of 100 books today, but what about the top 10?

I have to say it hasn’t been my greatest year in terms of 5-star reads BUT there have been some absolute crackers, which means it has been hard to narrow it down…are your favourites in my top 10?

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Turtles All The Way Down – John Green 

I got into John Greens books when The Fault in Our Stars came out but then read them very quickly. I didn’t think we’d get a new novel so of course, I started this the second I got my hands on it. John Green is incredible and you could definitely tell this was written from the perspective of someone who has struggled with mental illness. Review here.

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The Sun and All Her Flowers – Rupi Kaur

Rupi Kaur came back with another cracking collection and I’ve really got into my poetry this year. This was another beautiful collection, exploring the evolving stages of relationships as well as a tribute, I felt, to her mother. Review here.

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Making Faces – Amy Harmon

This was an ARC that I received and I absolutely loved it. This broke my heart but gave me hope. Set in the aftermath of 9/11 it looks at the impact on young people, as well as looking at the idea of popularity and beauty. Review here.

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How Not To Be a Boy – Robert Webb

This surprised me, of course, I’d watched Robert Webb growing up on the TV but not thought much about him. It was only after I heard an interview I picked this up. A really interesting look at depression, gender and growing up. Review here.

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It Only Happens In The Movies – Holly Bourne

Holly Bourne came back after her wildly successful Spinster Club series and made me fall in love all over again. In true Bourne style, we have a kick-ass protagonist that decides love isn’t like the movies especially after her parents marriage crumbles as well as her own relationship. Review to come but you can find out more here.

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Good Night Stories For Rebel Girls – Elena Favilli

This was amazing, with beautiful illustration and tales about women that I’ve never heard of as well as women who I definitely have. This is for children but I think you’ll fall in love with it.  Review here.

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My Lovely Wife – Mark Lukach

It’s refreshing to read about mental illness from the perspective of family members. Mark Lukah marries the love of his life after meeting at eighteen. What neither of them knew at the time was that their later marriage would be tested to the limit as Giulia is hospitalised for severe mental illness. I loved this so much, especially as it is so honest and looks at relapse, the struggles and stresses of dealing with hospitals. So, so good. Review to come, but you can find out more here.

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My Shitty Twenties – Emily Morris

The title was enough to make me pick up this book. When Emily unexpectedly falls pregnant as a student the father responds by telling her to enjoy her ‘shitty twenties’, I know what a charmer. This goes through Emily’s journey as a young Mum and is full of honesty but also has a sense of humour. Review here.

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Nina Is Not Okay – Shappi Khorsandi

You might have seen Shappi on I’m A Celebrity but did you know she was a brilliant author? For me, this put Young Adult Fiction on another level. It’s not a light read but it is so worth it and it’s the first time I’ve seen a young person depecited as actually having a drinking problem. Review to come, more information here.

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The Diary of Anne Frank

Reading this as an adult made it more remarkable and more heartbreaking. Anne would have had such potential, she had such an incredible talent as you can see in her writing from such a young age. Review to come, more info here.

Note: I have not included anything that will be released in 2018! These will be included in my 2018 wrap up!

 

Sunday Seven: Exciting 2017 Book Releases

There may only be 3 and a half months left of 2017 but the amazing releases aren’t slowing down (my poor bank account). I’m so excited for so many books that are going to be coming my way!

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the sun and her flowers – Rupi Kaur 

I was a big film of Milk and Honey (so were most people I know) so I’m really excited to see what Rupi has in her new collection.

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It only happens in the movies – Holly Bourne 

If you didn’t know, I’m a huge Holly Bourne fan. I love her books, her message and her style. She’s one of my absolute favourite YA authors.

 

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Lady Killer Vol 2  – Joelle Jones 

It’s been so, so long since I picked up the first volume of this and now the second is so close! To sum up 1950s, beautiful artwork, kick ass killer ladies.

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Turtles All The Way Down – John Green 

Does this really need explaining? It’s John Green. JOHN GREEN.

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Feel Good 101 – Emma Blackery

I’ve followed Emma Blackery since my first year at uni, Ali introduced me to her videos in her first year at uni when we would watch them together in his room. I still love Emma and I’ve seen her live. Feel Good 101 was my favourite set of videos and I’m SO PLEASED she’s finally releasing a book.

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Recovery: Freedom From Our Addictions – Russell Brand 

Learning from our past is something I’m a firm believer in. Russell Brand is doing a great job, I think, I’m really excited to read his thoughts because I genuinely think he has something important to say.

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Harry Potter – A History of Magic: The Book of the Exhibition 

I’m loving all of the Harry Potter 20 books that are coming out at the moment. I’m really hoping to go to the exhibition and pick this up myself.

 

What books are you looking forward to in the final months of 2017? Let me know in the comments below!

 

Feminist Friday: Summer Reading List

It’s been a few year since I embarked on my own summer of Feminist books. That said, I wanted to share with you some great reads for the summer if you want to get started or just find some new reads.

 

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If you haven’t started reading Holly Bourne’s incredible Spinster Club trilogy this is where to start. Novels about friendship, love and feminism, there’s nothing better! Review here.

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Personally, I see this as a classic for modern feminists. Caitlin is funny, loud but gives a great view on feminism today. This was what I started with and I read it within 24 hours. Caitlin also has a range of other books about feminism too so you’re sure to find something you like. Review here.

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Have you ever felt pressured by magazines or the media? What about the whole ‘beach body’ thing? Then you’ve found the book for you. A fresh look at women, the media and how we react to it. Review here.

 

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You might have already read Laura’s first book Everday Sexism, this is her second and my favourite so far. There’s more intelligent thought and there’s also dancing vaginas, you’re welcome. Read my review here.

What would you add to this list? Let me know in the comments below!