Solo adventures in Brighton

What’s this? Is Leah starting a series? No, Leah has just realised that as she is incredibly anti social if she ever wants to go somewhere different, then she is going to have to go there solo. A few months ago I did my first ever solo flying experience to spend a few days in Edinburgh and this month, I decided to spend five hours on a train and standing on various platforms throughout the South of England to spend a few days in perhaps my favourite coastal city, Brighton. Now I have returned as a sun burnt, creatively energised person with a knee injury, who in the past few days managed to accidentally join a Marxist cult, spend a night in the world’s worst hotel and have full on mental breakdown on a beach. So, who wants to hear about it?

On alighting my train and noticing it was a little over cast, I headed straight for the sea front and ended up on my first Leah esque adventure of the day, because let’s be real, my life is nothing but a series of odd events strung together by me telling people about those events.
See, this is where my initiation into the Marxists enters the story.
Imagine the scene, I am fresh off a four hour train journey, I am ready for all that tasty vegan food that Brighton is known for, I am here for a stroll along the beach, a meander through the Lanes. What I am not here for is an awkward situation which results in me accidentally promising to join a political party. We begin with my inability to not document things I think are interesting, for adorning the streets of Brighton where these posters:

Which naturally, I stopped to photograph because idk about where you guys live, but where I am, no one places political propaganda like this around. Yeah we get the posters for the main parties appear around election time, but we don’t get fringe groups like the socialists etc advertising their meetings and while I’d heard of The Socialist newspaper, I hadn’t actually ever seen one. Well, now I have. Naturally, upon stopping to photograph these posters I was approached by a chap with a clipboard who said: “what do you think of Jeremy Corbyn?” While he wasn’t expecting me to respond with: “Think he’s a top lad actually,” I didn’t really expect to then be escorted to a table and asked if I wanted to take part in the local socialist party conference and by extension join their cause. Though if you analysed my political leanings they probably wouldn’t be that far away from the beliefs of the socialist party, I just wanted a trip to the beach. I am however, one of those people who is scared of both confrontation and offending people, so I listened to the socialist vision for much longer than anyone else would have and accepted a badge. Which is how I then got accosted by the Marxists. But more on that later.

Finally free of the shackles of politics, I could make my way to the pier and the wonderful smell of churros, chips and sea salt.

How’s this, it was snowing when I went to Edinburgh and overcast on my arrival in Brighton, I should not pick when I go on holiday!

If you’ve never been to Brighton before, I recommend a trip. Brighton is, even when overcast, a vibrant, exciting and intoxicating city, you can feel the creativity and the enthusiasm of the place in every corner and the the Pier is no exception, it seems to crop up on TV and in film every now and again.There is so much art and wonder along the sea front alone, including this:

The Kissing Wall, it’s supposed to be an exhibition about love, which, given the events of Monday, felt strangely appropriate.

From here, I made my way over to the Lanes, which is basically how I imagine a rabbit warren would look were it inhabited by people. Lots of narrow streets filled with shops ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous and of course, where some of the best food options in the city can be found. If you’ve passed by here before, you’ll know I partake in the dairy free and meat free foods and well, Brighton has some of the best food on the planet that fits the bill, so, with my stomach rumbling and my calm returning after my awkward interrogation by the socialists, I headed into the Lanes intent on either finding Food with Friends, Rootkandi or V Bites. I ended up in V Bites and had my first experience of fake fish and chips, well… I was by the seaside, how could I not?

The sun decided to come out after I’d emerged from the Lanes, so off back along the sea front I went, back past my new friends, the socialists, and up to the clock tower and Churchill Square, which is a big shopping centre, one place in the city I hadn’t been to before. I was still carrying around the badge handed to me by the group of socialists I’d encountered earlier in the day… Mostly because I didn’t really know what else to do with it. It was spotted by a group of Marxists and suddenly I was surrounded. TLDR, I think I may have given them my email address in order to escape. I am now quite concerned that I may show up on a national register somewhere… Is it still frowned upon to be a Marxist? Especially one that hasn’t read any of Marx’s work? Someone needs to let me know.

You might think the adventure into the strange and unusual was over. You would be mistaken. After exploring Churchill Square, the clouds were coming back in and fog was starting to settle. Someone somewhere thought it was a good idea to build a large metal pole with a 360 restaurant thing in it right on the sea front, which allows people to have a bird’s eye view of the area and also allows those on the ground to wonder who on earth thought it needed to be where it was, however, by the time I began combing the front for my hotel, the enormous metal pole was barely visible. Which worried me, what with my ability to get myself into bizarre situations, it was at this point the knee injury occurred. Pebble beach, fog, inherent clumsiness, you know how it is, which is how I ended up limping into one of the weirdest buildings I have ever been into.

There is a moral lesson here, that lesson is if you find a hotel that is £20 cheaper than a Travel Lodge, do not save the £20.
This hotel was weird. Like not even in a quirky oh Brighton way, but in a H H Holmes kind of way. After checking in I was told to head for the stairs and follow the numbers, well if my knee didn’t hurt by this point it sure did by the time I reached my room. This hotel was just endless rickety stair cases and windy corridors, you could hear the foot steps, every word and every breath of its inhabitants, it was almost as though the building itself was creaking and would collapse at any moment. But you know it was just a bed for the night, it was fine. Well… Until I realised that the window in my room was only open because a bit of it was missing. So being a very nervous person who hates confrontation and had already expended all their energy dealing with political activists, it took me several hours of panic before eventually heading down to reception to tell them I’d noticed the window. Which resulted in me being moved to another room down yet more rickety stairs and winding corridors this time to the very front of the hotel immediately opposite an open all hours, well lit Chinese restaurant which had brightly coloured flashing lights illuminating every corner of the room. So my knee and I decided we’d take our chance with the fog for as long as we could.

See the barely visible pole… That is the 360 dining experience thing… not as ugly when you can’t see it though, right?

Eventually though, in pain and armed with a sandwich I returned to the rave room with a renewed sense of creativity, I’ve been working on and struggling with my next book for MONTHS like it feels like a life time ago that I last made any progress with it, but whether it was the sea air or the combination of strange events that had befallen me since my arrival in Brighton I began to make notes. I couldn’t turn those notes into anything coherent though due to the fact that multi coloured lights were flashing away and I could literally hear every conversation going on in the hotel at the exact same time, quite an achievement when you’re deaf in one ear and hadn’t bothered to take your hearing aids on holiday with you. Suffice to say, it was nearly 5 am before utter quiet had fallen and the sun had risen sufficiently to even out the various colours.
So there I was, limping, exhausted and terrified that I’d stumble across UKIP and end up handing over my details to them too, emerging into glorious sunshine the following morning. I took myself to the beach, I found a spot, I sat and I wrote. For two hours. Emerging from an almost trance like state to check my phone only to catch my reflection and realise that yes, I was now tomato coloured. Wonderful. Not only was I tomato coloured, but because it was a Wednesday at 9 am, I was also the only person on the beach. Cue my brain deciding that that was the exact moment to listen to my existential crisis. If you’re going to have an existential crisis, always good to have Brighton beach as your view though, right?

that's more like it, Brighton

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So there we have it, I am sat with a bag of peas on my knee, half a tub of aloe on my face and the fear that I’ll be arrested at any moment for being a political enemy, but my novel is several thousand words longer, my love for Brighton and it’s eccentricities is increased and honestly, I am a bit excited about what new adventures I’ll find myself on.

Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies – Liane Moriarty

It feels like everyone and their mum has read this book, like to the point where it has even spawned a super popular television show! I’d been debating buying it for some time after failing to locate a copy at the library and then as if Penguin had heard my prayers, they sent me a copy! How wonderfully kind of them! So here we go, my thoughts!

A murder . . . a tragic accident . . . or just parents behaving badly?
What’s indisputable is that someone is dead.
But who did what?
Big Little Lies follows three women, each at a crossroads:
Madeline is a force to be reckoned with. She’s funny and biting, passionate, she remembers everything and forgives no one. Her ex-husband and his yogi new wife have moved into her beloved beachside community, and their daughter is in the same kindergarten class as Madeline’s youngest (how is this possible?). And to top it all off, Madeline’s teenage daughter seems to be choosing Madeline’s ex-husband over her. (How. Is. This. Possible?).
Celeste is the kind of beautiful woman who makes the world stop and stare. While she may seem a bit flustered at times, who wouldn’t be, with those rambunctious twin boys? Now that the boys are starting school, Celeste and her husband look set to become the king and queen of the school parent body. But royalty often comes at a price, and Celeste is grappling with how much more she is willing to pay.
New to town, single mom Jane is so young that another mother mistakes her for the nanny. Jane is sad beyond her years and harbors secret doubts about her son. But why? While Madeline and Celeste soon take Jane under their wing, none of them realizes how the arrival of Jane and her inscrutable little boy will affect them all.
Big Little Lies is a brilliant take on ex-husbands and second wives, mothers and daughters, schoolyard scandal, and the dangerous little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.

Right, first things first, I haven’t seen the TV show yet, so I don’t know how to two compare, is it any good? Let me know!
Secondly, I have waaaaaay too many thoughts for this review to be in anyway coherent, so you know. Brace yourself.

One of the first reviews you find on Goodreads for this book starts with: Probably the funniest book about murder and domestic abuse I’ll ever read and honestly, I think that’s the best way to describe this book… Though with a slight amend, I didn’t think this book was funny, not in the laugh out loud sense anyway, there were a few moments of smirking into the pages, but overall, I found it kinda flippant and shallow in its approach to the core subjects, kind of like the characters within I guess, but it certainly isn’t a serious book about domestic abuse, murder, bullying and the other issues this story. The other thing this book manages to do is be subtle and obvious all at the same time. How is that possible? Does it translate well onto screen? You’re so distracted by the Renata vs Madeline is my kid a bully story that the big issues seem to come flying at you when they’re presented, even though on closer inspection, they were there the entire time.

So here’s the thing, when this book starts, we have what is essentially a lot of tedious playground related nonsense. A group of yummy mummy types bunching together and ganging up on each other, being bitchy and using their children to get at each other and I found myself wondering what exactly everyone was raving about with this book. Like I usually don’t have any time for women tearing each other down, but there was something about the interview extracts littered throughout and the count down to trivia night that made me stick with it. What we have is several stories of differing seriousness being interwoven with a few more trivial life moments. Like on the one hand, Madeline’s vendetta against Renata and her grudge holding against her ex after everyone else has moved on is a bit distracting when you have Celeste and everything going on in her life and the trauma that Jane is unsuccessfully dealing with and come the end when the truth is out and the full story revealed you’re struck by its brilliance, it’s ‘why didn’t I see that coming?’ even though it is there from the very beginning.

Basically, there are many things about this book that annoyed me, but there are also many things that surprised me and captivated me and I think I’ll be hard pressed to find anything else like it.

My favourite author’s been dead for over 70 years, but he’s just released a new book

Hello there, sometimes I post videos on YouTube. I want to be a film maker, but shhh, lets keep that on the downlow. While I’ll never be Zoella, I do enjoy talking to a camera, so thought I’d do a little book haul over there, so take a look if you want to find out some more about a few new titles that have recently been released!

 

ps, if any of ya’ll are actual youtubers and can introduce me to hella attractive vloggers that might be interested in dating me, please do feel free to introduce us!

Great Bookish Bake off – Cornflake Tart

The cakes I bake and the books I read while baking them. 

Oh it feels like forever since I’ve done one of these posts, it feels even longer since I last ate this creation! In fact, I haven’t had it since I left school at eighteen! Actually, I’ve never seen this served anywhere else other than at school!

Cornflake tart, just like the school dinner ladies used to make!

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Did anyone else have cornflake tart at school or was it just a west country thing?
For those who didn’t get to experience this, you are in for a treat cos I’m about to tell you exactly how to make it! First though, what on Earth is it?
It is a biscuity/pastry base covered in jam and then topped in cornflakes and golden syrup.
Yes. I know. It’s an odd concept, but bare with me. I used to love this stuff during school dinners and the other day, my brother posted a photo of himself frying cornflakes on Facebook, which naturally was questioned and it turns out, he had acquired a recipe for the very thing we had at school, so I gave it a go whilst reading Unconventional, which, if you are a fan of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, I think you might enjoy.
So, let’s a go.

You will need:
A mixing bowl
A cake tin
A frying pan
100g flour
50g butter (I used dairy free, but that’s really up to you)
a shot glass of water
a healthy dollop of golden syrup
10g sugar
Some cornflakes
A knob of butter.

Firstly, put the butter and flour into a mixing bowl and with your hands rub together to form breadcrumbs – see what I mean about being a bit like pastry? Anyway, once you get breadcrumbs, pour in your water shot and with a spoon, mix until you form a ball of dough, kneed the ball of dough until you’re happy with the consistency and then pat into the cake tin, making sure it is flat.

Pop it into the oven for 20 minutes, during which time you can start reading – like I said, I had Unconventional on the go, which is a story about the daughter of a man who runs conventions, you know, like comic con and well she has a meet cute with a guy who ends up being a convention guest and well, its a cute nerd love kind of story and there frankly aren’t enough of those in my life.

Once your base is cooked, set it aside to cool and get your frying pan ready. Drop a knob of butter and let it melt. Then add in the sugar and the golden syrup, stirring until combined, pour in the cornflakes and stir until coated. Leave on the heat while you spread jam over the biscuity base making sure it is completely coated. Spoon the cornflake mixture on top and pop back into the oven for five minutes, which probably doesn’t give you much reading time, but you can at least get the washing up done.

Leave the – what should we call this? Cornflake tart? Whatever, leave the cornflake cake biscuit, pie thing to cool for a few minutes before taking out of the cake tin and then settle down with a slice and the beverage of your choice to finish off another chapter of your book.

Let me know if you had this at school or if you’re trying it, I want to know if this is a national thing or just a my school thing!

The idea of you

The Idea of You – Amanda Prowse

I know all I seem to be doing is posting reviews of things I’ve gotten from NetGalley recently. Oh well. Sorry not sorry. I really wanted to enjoy this more than I did, I picked it because I wanted to read more out of my comfort zone and experience stuff that isn’t primarily YA, but there was just something about this that didn’t gel with me.

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter thinks she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.
But becoming parents proves much harder to achieve than Lucy and Jonah imagined, and when Jonah’s teenage daughter Camille comes to stay with them, she becomes a constant reminder of what Lucy doesn’t have. Jonah’s love and support are unquestioning, but Lucy’s struggles with work and her own failing dreams begin to take their toll. With Camille’s presence straining the bonds of Lucy’s marriage even further, Lucy suddenly feels herself close to losing everything…
This heart-wrenchingly poignant family drama from bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: in today’s hectic world, what does it mean to be a mother?

 In very basic terms, this is a book about a woman who desperately wants children.

Now, I said at the start of this that I wanted to enjoy this. I really did, but it just didn’t gel with me. Here’s the thing, I have known for a long time now that my reading habits tend towards YA novels and while this is fine and I love YA novels, I am not the intended audience for those books. I am in my late twenties, I should not spend so much time reading about high school drama. So, when I spotted this in the women’s fiction section on NetGalley I thought hmmm, family drama, with adults, yes, good. And it is good. I just found that I couldn’t relate to it at all, turns out I’m not the intended audience for this book either and I think this is entirely down to the fact that our protagonist Lucy is in desperate want of children and I’m not.
Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against children, I used to be one after all and I love spending time with my brother’s children, they’re hilarious. My nephew told me I was his best friend and then played a game where his Power Ranger repeatedly pooped on my head. Children are great! But, I never have had the inclination to have any of my own, so I found it difficult to understand some of Lucy’s motivations and expectations because it was all so alien to me, I can’t even imagine wanting children so to read an entire book about someone made it hard to really gel with her. While I do think  that people can do whatever they want with their lives, I am a little concerned that Lucy literally pinned her entire worth on whether or not she could have a baby and like… Is that not a bit worrying to anyone else?
That being said, I enjoyed the characters in this book and their various motivations, though Lucy was a bit one track minded and I found it difficult to relate to her, I did really enjoy her relationship with her step daughter and I loved Jonah. Well, most of the time anyway (like where do I get one of those IRL, can you get them online?) and the family drama was so well done, there were times where I felt like I was gossiping with a friend about this group of people.

I think this is exactly the sort of thing I would recommend to my mum and definitely the sort of thing that ought to be thrown in a suitcase and jetted away to a beach somewhere to be enjoyed in the sun, I’m just disappointed in myself that I didn’t manage to gel with it as well as I’d like.

April Round up

Wow, April, you were random but fun!
I think I socialised more in April than I have the rest of the year! This month I got to spend time eating take out and watching Riverdale with Charlotte, spent many hours sat eating in Chris and Julia’s kitchen, there was eating involved there too and got to do some Easter themed baking with my favourite munchkins! You might have noticed an eating trend there. No biggie. What is the point of Easter if not for eating, eh? There was even a day warm enough for me to sit in my mum’s garden and just read, I managed two trips to see Guardians of the Galaxy, there was new Paramore and new Fall Out Boy and a whole load of previously unpublished F Scott Fitzgerald stories were published!

What I read this month:

Who’s That Girl – Mhairi McFarlane
Well, I think the disappointment of this book can only be matched with the disappointment I felt when I first tried a Hershey bar. So many people I trust told me this was good, but honestly, I got so tired of it so quickly, I didn’t find any part of it funny, just mostly ridiculous and predictable. I’d like to give Mhairi McFarlane another go, but this wasn’t a good start!

Unconventional – Maggie Harcourt
Oooo this was cute! Take all the endearing nerdiness of Fangirl, make it British and set it at a series of conventions instead and you have this story of Lexi – daughter of a convention organiser who has a cute meet cute with an author at one of the events and fun ensues. I haven’t read a fun, British YA romance for so long so this was a nice change.

Girl Up – Laura Bates
I have wanted to read this for so long! I still have a copy of Every Day Sexism I’ve not managed to read yet. Though this didn’t have anything in it that I didn’t already know/ think before (guess that’s because I’m on the internet but *shrugs*) but it was still wonderful to read a book that shared all my thoughts on the subject! If you are interested in gender politics, this would be a great and accessible book to start with and is presented in a fun, engaging way. If you are planning to read it in public, there are lots of doodles of vaginas, just so you know!

Windfall – Jennifer E Smith
I love Jennifer E Smith’s books, seriously, if you are looking for some cute, fluffy YA (which let’s be honest, is a sub genre that gets more hate than it deserves) then you need to get this woman’s books in your life! This was an ARC I received from Netgalley and I was so excited to get a copy of this… While I enjoyed it, I don’t think its the strongest of her books, check out the review here.

Things I should have known – Claire LeZebnik
This was such an interesting book! While the blurb is all, girl decides to set up her sister and ends up falling for the brother of the boy she wanted to set her sister up with, which doesn’t sound like anything new, this was written in an engaging way and  I didn’t realise until I started reading it that the two kids being set up on the date are on the autism spectrum – I’ve never come across a book about kids with autism before! See my review here.

The Idea of You – Amanda Prowse
I feel really bad about not enjoying this more. Admittedly, it isn’t to my usual taste, but I wanted to read outside my comfort zone a bit more, there was nothing wrong with the narration or the story per say, it just didn’t really gel with me. I should preface that having started this book I did realise that I’m not really its target audience. There will be a full review up soon, even though it wasn’t for me, this is the exact thing you’d want tot take on holiday with you!

Milk and Honey – Rupi Kaur
I feel like this book is every where, it appears in every review and haul video/post I consume, so I’d wanted to read it for ages, though I was put off by the fact that I’m not that well versed in poetry, it’s just never really been something I’ve been able to really sink my teeth into. (I say this, but one of my favourite books is a poetry book lol) I can understand why people love it and why it resonates with so many people, but it wasn’t my cup of tea I’m afraid.

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • Nerve
  • Fire walk with me – Twin Peaks prequel 
  • Moana
  • The Nice Guys
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 (I actually ended up seeing this twice! 000ps!)
  • Ghostbusters
    Yes I finally saw the latest Ghostbusters movie, I don’t know, I think it would have worked a lot better as a sequel or a spin off rather than a remake, the ladies were all fab, but I didn’t like the original cast turning up and not being themselves and bits were a tad silly, but it was fine.
  • How to Train Your Dragon 2

TV I watched his month:

  • 13 Reasons Why
    I read and loved the book and when I heard it was going to be a Netflix series, I wasn’t sure how they’d make a whole series, but omg that was intense and so well put together. The series comes with trigger warnings before the harder episodes if you’re worried but those scenes are very intense, so do look after yourselves. Also there is a random cameo from Dan Howell, so… there’s that.
  • Riverdale
  • iZombie
    ITS BACK ITS BACK I AM SO EXCITED
  • Doctor Who
    Honestly, I had been falling out of love with this show for the past few series, but the opening episode was so much fun and I’m looking forward to the rest of the series.
  • Iron Fist
  • Pretty Little Liars
    I can’t believe we’re on the last nine episodes!!
  • Once Upon a Time

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Bristol is looking pretty spesh today

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its time for the great munchkin bake off

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y e s t u r d a y || this is as close to sunbathing as i get.

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IT ARRIVED!!!

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

As much as I hate April 1st, it does mean that we get a Dan and Phil Crafts video and this year’s was utterly genius! We also got ASDF Movie 10 which is one of my favourite things on the internet, seriously (beep beep I’m a sheep!), while we’re on the subject of Tomska, his Last Week series are the best weekly vlogs out there, so get on that, yeah? Liam Dryden‘s YouTube comeback was amazing, so if you haven’t seen it, do! I have to mention Emma Blackery’s new music video and this video about twenty one pilots and this birthday edition of Baking with Layton.

Things I Should have known

Things I should have known – Claire LaZebnik

I feel like I inhaled this! It helped that I was left alone on a sunny Saturday and had nothing to do but sit in the breeze and read this! So what we have here, is a fun, engaging, easy read about teenagers and high school romances with a difference, because it also has characters on the autism spectrum and idk about you, but I haven’t come across many books about kids on the autism spectrum.

Things Chloe knew: Her sister, Ivy, was lonely. Ethan was a perfect match. Ethan’s brother, David, was an arrogant jerk.
Things Chloe should have known: Setups are complicated. Ivy can make her own decisions. David may be the only person who really gets Chloe.
Meet Chloe Mitchell, a popular Los Angeles girl who’s decided that her older sister, Ivy, who’s on the autism spectrum, could use a boyfriend. Chloe already has someone in mind: Ethan Fields, a sweet, movie-obsessed boy from Ivy’s special needs class.
Chloe would like to ignore Ethan’s brother, David, but she can’t—Ivy and Ethan aren’t comfortable going out on their own, so Chloe and David have to tag along. Soon Chloe, Ivy, David, and Ethan form a quirky and wholly lovable circle. And as the group bonds over frozen-yogurt dates and movie nights, Chloe is forced to confront her own romantic choices—and the realization that it’s okay to be a different kind of normal.

So the thing is, the bare bones of this is about kids dealing with stuff, and what is a YA novel if not a book about kids dealing with stuff. I’ll start with our narrator, Chloe. Chloe’s older sister Ivy, is autistic, so she kind of has to parent her a bit, add to this mix the fact that her dad died of cancer and her mum has remarried someone that although means well, Chloe isn’t all that keen on. Despite this, Chloe is sociable and fairly happy with her high school life, she has lots of friends, gets good grades and has a super cute athletic boyfriend, all the standard teen drama stuff. The story really kicks off when Ivy sees Chloe with her boyfriend and comments that she’ll never have a boyfriend which makes Chloe decide to play matchmaker by sizing up the other kids in Ivy’s class at a school for teens with special needs and picking one at random, who just happens to be the younger brother of one of her classmates. Who she doesn’t like. Do you see where I’m going with this?
David and Ethan’s story is equally as interesting even without the added dimension of Ethan and Ivy seeing the world differently. They live in a world where their parents are living separate lives which barely involve either of them and their new step mother in particular has difficulty accepting Ethan.
While there are some aspects of this story that are a tad predictable, of course Chloe is going to form a special bond with the guy she’s hated this whole time, of course there is going to be bumps in the road of her match making, there is a lot to like about this book, namely the fact that it deals with autism and it deals with LGBTQA+ aspects of autism.

The only other book I’ve read with a similar character to that of Ivy and Ethan is the Curious Case of the Dog in the Nighttime, which is a great book, if you’ve not read it before, but this is the first one I’ve come across featuring autistic teenagers trying to navigate dating and socialising. Slight disclaimer – I don’t know many people with autism, so I don’t know if they would have a different opinion on how well Ivy and Ethan are portrayed and I would love to hear their thoughts on this book, but for me, I thought it was well done and about time that characters like Ivy and Ethan were featured in books and on TV. It was also great seeing Chloe and watching how protective and caring she is and how she reconciles how frustrated she gets with Ivy and the situation and the guilt that follows. I just feel that now having finished it, that this book was so heartwarming and well presented and I want to see more stories like this.