October round up

Firstly can we just take a moment to appreciate that Emmerdale are doing ace representation now? Like that’s awesome! I did applaud them when they introduced a bisexual character and actually had them say they were bisexual. But then they ruined it by having them cheat on their wife with a guy who became his husband but then cheated on him with his ex wife’s sister and I’m like aaargh stop. Fingers crossed they do the ace storyline better. Anyway, this month has been… interesting. Lol. I experienced a proper posh meal which was super nice and had foam on it, but did also make me think of this Nick Miller moment:

What else happened this month? Well, Bake off broke my heart by not allowing Liam to win. Like seriously guys, wtf was that? Riverdale gave me anxiety while we wondered who would be the man in the hood’s next victim and Brooklyn 99 cheered my cold dead heart. I’m sure some other stuff happened, but honestly, I spent most of this month watching TV and avoiding going outside in the dark and rain!

What I read this month:

The Wrath and the Dawn – Renee Ahdieh
I have very mixed feelings about this book. On the one hand, Renee Ahdieh is a fantastic writer and the rich descriptions were amazing, but the story itself… Not so much… I don’t know, I guess I just have a bit of a problem with the slightly rapey moments and I feel like the romance was introduced far too quickly considering that our protagonist initially married the king to avenge her bff and all… This is a retelling of 1,001 Nights and having not read it, I don’t know how true a retelling it is, but I did enjoy reading about the magic and its always nice to read about a place that’s different to what you’re used to. Mostly, Khalid’s backstory mostly made me think of this Brooklyn 99 moment:

The Rose and the Dagger – Renee Ahdieh
I didn’t hate the first book enough to ignore the sequel, but I had much the same problems as I did with the first one. This book at least showed us more of the magic and we got to learn more about the world which I enjoyed and well, the lovers were separated for much of it, so that bit couldn’t annoy me as much!

Secrets for the Mad – Dodie Clark
I know we’re all supposed to hate YouTuber books, I know I hate any book that has  been pushed out because the creator is super popular and publishers love making money as much as the next person, but I was actually really interested to read this after seeing Dodie talk so candidly about her mental health struggles. Honestly, I was honoured to have an advanced copy. See my thoughts here. 

The Librarian of Auschwitz – Atonio Iturbe
This was an ARC provided for me by Netgalley and is based on real events taking place in Auschwitz featuring a host of interesting people, both prisoners and guards that I’ve learned about during trips to the camp and in history lessons. This is the English translation, which made me ignore the few grammar issues, and it was genuinely interesting and also heartbreaking because I know what happened to people like Fredy Hirst. Read the review here.

Otherworld – Jason Segal and Kirsten Miller
There were ARCS of this book available to be won while I was at YALC and as I didn’t get one, I thought I’d missed my chance to read this and that I’d have to wait until it was onsale, only then I saw it was available on netgalley. I have seen a couple of films with Jason Segal (and of course HIMYM) and it turns out he writes books too, I had no idea! See my thoughts on this here.

Help – Simon Amstell
Right, lets preface this with the fact that I adore Simon Amstell’s stand up and his sitcom Grandma’s House. I just find it funny to watch someone who talks about depression and loneliness and being awkward in front of people you fancy because same. This was described by Russell Brand as being all the warmth of Simon Amstell without the inconvenience of his face and I think that sums it up perfectly. This is a very introspective memoir as Simon strives for happiness and the things he found that helped him along the way.

The Year they burned the books – Nancy Garden
I loved Nancy Garden’s Annie on my Mind when I read it years ago and to be honest, its a bit bad on my part that I’ve not gotten around to reading any more of her work, so when I saw this available for request, I had to have it! Its a story that I’m ashamed to say is still a reality for a lot of people but I didn’t find it as hard hitting as Annie, but I would still recommend, stay tuned for my review.

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/ cinema screen this month!

  • Mary poppins
  • The other boleyn girl
  • Me earl and the dying girl
  • Bladerunner 2049
  • Scorch trial
  • Crimson Peak
  • Thor: Ragnarok

TV I watched his month:

  • Great British Bake off
  • Neo Yokio
  • Riverdale
    Jesus that opening episode!
  • Brooklyn nine nine
  • Stranger Things

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

went to the poshest place i’ve ever been for dinner with @georgiecasling!

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birthday book haul.

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
All the Buffer Fest entries started appearing at the beginning of the month and there were so many wonderful things from creators, such as this short film from Melanie Murphy and this animation from PJ. PJ an Chris also reunited for this which was very long overdue. This from Amazing Philwas hilarious and I can’t not mention Dan Howell’s video for World Mental Health Day the pair of them made a video for their new game which was also pretty funny and their annual baking video.

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September round up

Ah, the month of my birthday where I spend most of my time in a state of existential dread. Good times.
I had some time off this month, so naturally, I read TOO MUCH. Even so, the amount of books I have left to read is not getting any smaller, how am I supposed to read all the things?!
This month has been an interesting one, I started the month doing two hours of zumba for charity, which doesn’t sound like much of a challenge until you hear the fact that it was the first time I’ve ever done it! This month also saw Games Night part two, seeing the Adams Family and of course, turning 29 as well as the birth of my new niece!

What I read this month:

Mirror, Mirror – Cara Delevingne
See, when I saw that Cara Delevingne had written a book and it was available on Netgalley I was intregued, especially because it sounded so good! And actually I was pleasantly surprised, think Paper Towns crossed with Pretty Little Liars with a bit of Riverdale chucked in and you get Mirror Mirror. You can read my review here

Vivian Apple versus America – Katie Coyle
It has been about two years since I read the first one, but finally I got around to finishing Vivian Apple’s story! I reviewed this here (honestly, I was sent an egalley for this and should have reviewed about a million years ago but the file wouldn’t open so I couldn’t… then I saw it at the library, so the review has happened!) This was fun and I loved catching up with Vivian and Harp again!

Come Sundown – Nora Roberts
This is the first Nora Roberts book I’ve ever read, honestly, the fact that she has her name on over 200 of them is a bit daunting! This is a murder mystery of sorts set on a ranch that swings between being a little bit like the soap opera Dallas and a little bit like Emma Donaghue’s The Room. Creepy and melodramatic in all the right places, see my full review here! (I was supposed to read and review this about a million years ago, sorry. I’m back on it now!)

Shylock is my name – Howard Jacobson
You know when I was like, hey, I wanna read all the Hogarth Shakspeare books when I came across Margaret Atwood’s Hagseed? Well, I found this which is part of that collection, a retelling of the Merchant of Venice, which I’ve always avoided because I figured it would be a bit anti Semitic. However, as Jacobson himself is of the Jewish persuasion, I figured maybe not. I normally love reading Jewish writers, especially when they stick in Yiddish and stuff cos it makes me feel like I’m in on a joke, but this was a bit… I dunno, high brow? It gave me the impression that it was super clever and I wasn’t because I didn’t connect with or really understand what was going on… Maybe I should read the Merchant of Venice and it will all become clear to me!

The Journals of Sylvia Plath 1950-62
Have I ever mentioned before how much I love The Bell Jar? Well, I love the Bell Jar, so when I spotted this at my local library, I couldn’t not give it a go. This collection take us through Sylvia Plath’s time at college, into adulthood, marriage and up to her last year. Which is a bit of a weird thought. Anyway, I don’t know about anyone else, but reading the journals of celebrated people is always fascinating, they’re so intimate and this had so many insightful moments. There were moments that were a bit Bridget Jones which was weird and honestly reading about the only poet I like moaning about her period was a bit weird. Anyway. This was great. Read it.

Dramarama – E Lockhart
I was so sad reading this book! I have loved every E Lockhart book I’ve ever read, so when I saw this at the library I leaped on it. Only then I started reading it and realised that this wasn’t anywhere near as good as the others I’ve read which was such a disappointment. This is the story of Sadye, who meets her BFF Demi at an audition for a summer drama school that they both get into, only when she arrives, she realises that there are a lot of kids there who are professionals and feels insecure about her abilities. And for some reason, even though, this is completely new to her, is upset when she is given smaller parts… Anyway, it wasn’t the strongest of E Lockhart’s books and I’m a bit sad about it.

Everything We Keep -Kerry Lonsdale
Firstly, I am super sorry about how long this has been sat on my kindle for. I was sent this and the sequel to review a really long time ago… So… Sorry. This is the story of Aimee who ends up having to host a funeral on the day that she should be hosting her wedding, her fiancee James disappears and is declared legally dead following a boating accident. Its a very slow moving character driven book and features a lot of big ideas that seem a little flippantly used… I reviewed it here.

Everything We Left Behind – Kerry Lonsdale
I received this at the same time as the preceding book, so I reviewed them both together. This picks up immediately after the first one finishes following on James and Aimee’s story. I felt much the same way about this as the first one, you can click above to see all my thoughts, though if you’re planning on reading this duology, don’t read the blurb of this one until you’ve finished the first one because SPOILERS. These are quick and easy reads and would be great for summer, holiday reads.

Yuki Means Happiness – Alison Jean Lester
Another book for review. Sorry, are you bored of these yet? This was so different from anything I’ve read before – I wasn’t sure what to make of the narration to start with, but I got a little addicted to it after a while and ended up finishing it in a day! It follows the story of Diana, an American who is a little lost as to what to do with her life and unsure how she feels about the guy she’s been seeing, so she decides to take a job in Japan. As you do. While there she befriends the child in her care and along the way saves the child and herself while learning about an interesting new culture. I reviewed this too. Sorry.

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard
Sometimes you just crave generic YA content and that was what this is. In fact, it was so generic, it was almost like someone went, The Hunger Games, Grisha series, Divergent and The Selection were all so good, let’s merge them all together and remarket it as though it were an original story! Basically, a society split into royals, who have Grisha like powers, and paupers live in a world where the poor must fight for the rich has a rebellion brewing and a poor girl somehow ends up with magic powers and gets caught up in the Prince’s selection for a wife ala Selection and then ends up having to live in the palace where she attempts to do a Katniss and become the face of a rebellion from behind enemy lines. Like, this could have been really good. It just wasn’t anything new.

Stay with me – Ayobami Adebayo
I keep seeing this in book hauls so naturally I picked it up when I saw it at the library and honestly this was amazing! It was very different to anything else I’ve ever read, its set in Nigeria and was aside from being interesting to see life in a completely different culture to anything I’m used to, it was also written in a really fascinating way with different characters taking over the narration and the different time periods that it came from, as well featuring some of the socio-political issues of the time.

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/cinema screen this month!

  • The Dark Tower
    While the film wasn’t the best thing I’ve ever seen, it left me really wanting to read more Stephen King as I’ve only read The Shining and the film referenced a character having the shine!
  • Allegiant part 1
  • The Other Boleyn Girl

TV I watched his month:

  • The Great British Bakeoff
  • Strike
  • Timeless
    The whole of series one is on netflix now, so for those of you that missed it – GET ON IT.
  • House of Cards

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

bubble waffles for breakfast

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🌈d r a m a t i c s k i e s 🌈

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t w e n t y n i n e

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Luke Cutforth’s Taylor Swift parody was the best thing ever uploaded to the internet, literally the rest of us can all go home. I will just give some honourable mentions though, Daniel J Layton’s August PMS was so poignant and highlighted a lot of things I’ve been feeling myself, Dodie Clarke‘s video about depersonalisation was super interesting and her music video for 6/10 was super good. Sophie tagged me in a dinosaur themed book tag (which I will do at some point), Sanne made a great video to all the books she will never read and Leena does it again with her Creators for Change video about whether people feel British.

August round up

Another month another comic con – this time my local one (again I was very good and didn’t buy all the Spider Man merch, so I feel like I deserve some sort of prize). My friends and I came up with a new tradition of playing board games on a Friday night and I got to not only witness my niece’s first ever trip on a plane, but also her first trip to Disneyland and bloody hell, it was the cutest thing I have ever seen.

What I read this month:

Gather the daughters – Jennie Melamed
Dear God this book was amazing, Bookbridgr sent me a copy of this just as the Handmaid’s Tale was wrapping up on TV, its almost like they knew I’d need something to fill the Offred shaped void in my life. There is so much to say about this book, so head here to see my full review, it’s incredible and was written by a woman who owns three shiba inus. So you know she has to be awesome.

The Profession of Violence – John Pearson
Yes, I did buy this book because of the double Tom Hardy on the front. Fun fact, I am descended from cockneys, my grandparents are from the east end, my grandad’s older brother knew the Kray twin’s brother Charlie from boxing and you know, around. Yes, the Kray’s had a brother. Not that you’d know that if you read this book because Charlie is only mentioned about five times in the whole thing. Whenever I’ve spoken to my grandad and his family about life in the east end under the Krays, I’m always told though they weren’t the sort of people you’d want to introduce your mother to, they kept their streets clean and stopped any sort of bother. Which if you know the east end, is quite a feat because that place was dodgy af. So I wanted to find out more about these people and read the book that inspired the film. It was ok, but I don’t feel like I learned anything I didn’t already know.

The Big Lie – Julie Mayhew
I’ve read a couple of ‘alternate reality’ stories exploring what could have been if Nazi Germany had come to Britain before Russia and been successful, but none aimed at younger readers or specifically about young LGBTQA+ women. This is the story of Jess, living in what was Britain in 2013, but Britain is part of the Greater German Reich, everyone speaks a mixture of English and German, she attends a school where the curriculum is influenced by the rules of the Hitler youth, and all other aspects of Hitler’s rule are every day life. Only because of her friend questioning everything, Jess starts to see that life isn’t as it seems… It was such an interesting read though such a shame that actual Nazis started hanging around America while I was reading it.

Six of Crows – Leigh Bardugo
Last month I was at YALC and got given some Six of Crows art print things from a stall there, and this month I found the book at the library and oh my, this quickly became one of my favourite books of the year! The world building was spot on, the characters were brilliant and the story was incredible! I need all the Grisha novels in my life now!

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/ cinema screen this month!

  • Dunkirk
    Yes, I saw it again.
  • Vampire Academy
  • Jurrasic World
  • Valerian and the city of a thousand planets

TV I watched his month:

  • Game of Thrones
  • House of Cards
  • Shadowhunters
  • Rick and Morty
  • Atypical
  • Defenders

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

successful first game night 📸 @krisskarnage79

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whenever there is a star war, you'll find these folk guarding the galaxy

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and we're off ✈️

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💙

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Last month this section was just filled Dan Howell, this month we’re full of James Corden! Firstly, this he’s also killing it with the interviews, like this where Jaime Lanister picks up Alexander Hamilton  and this Crosswalk Musical We also got great new vids from Charlie and Emily this month. Sammy Paul gave us a video that was a year in the making and this from Elliot Gough for Last Week’s guest edition!

July roundup

July began with that huge change that we talked about in June, I started my new job! This month has mostly been learning about robots, amongst other things! This month saw the fourth anniversary of my book’s release, you can check out Harley’s Angels on the sidebar if you know… You like! It was great for movies, Spider Man, Baby Driver and Dunkirk are all amazing, it was the month we got a new Doctor and DEAR GOD THEY’RE FINALLY A GIRL! I also headed into London at the end of July to attend YALC and try and fail to stop myself buying ALL THE THINGS. I made a little thing about my YALC swag, check it here!

What I read this month:

When it happens to you – Molly Ringwald
So, Molly Ringwald can act, she’s fabulous and she can write! I’m not sure how to explain this book, the story is presented in a really interesting way – so we have a collection of what is essentially a series of short stories, but all the characters over lap into each other’s stories and are some how related and complement each other’s lives. It is engaging and addictive reading and how I hope Molly Ringwald has another book in her because I really loved this!

The Power – Naomi Alderman
If you’re looking for something to follow the Handmaid’s Tale, this is kinda perfect.  I think that, this and Only Ever Yours are the feminist novels we have longed for this whole time. What we have is a novel set out almost like a research paper of a phenomenon where women all over the world suddenly develop the power to harness and use electricity and how they use it to overturn the patriarchy. Utterly genius and made me think a lot about how different life would be if women were the dominant gender.

The Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
I picked this up because long ago I was given a list of things to read and on it were many retellings of the Iliad (which I’ve never read) so when I saw this in the library I thought I’d give it a go… While the story was interesting, I didn’t like the way it was written, it had a lot of short sentences which made the pace a bit juttery and kept taking me out of the action. Think I’d like to give more books like this a go though!

Strange the Dreamer – Laini Taylor
Dear God, this is my favourite book of the year. I’m not even adding a ‘so far’ on the end of that because I don’t know if I’m going to be able to find anything else that quite matches up to this. I did tell myself that I wouldn’t buy any more books until I’d read everything on my shelf and gotten rid of what I don’t want any more, but honestly, I am breaking that because I need this in my life especially so I have it to re read for when the sequel comes out!

Optimists Die First – Susan Nielsen
I’ve read Susin Nielsen before and this was very similar in tone, it was a sweet, flippant tale of a young girl with anxiety dealing with the aftermath of a traumatic event and the odd characters she comes across during her therapy sessions. While this was a fun, easy read, I did think that the whole anxiety thing was dealt with a bit too easily. If only my own mental health problems could be solved by a tall boy with a bionic arm. Once the story’s big reveal came about it was all wrapped up very quickly and nicely, I’d have rather spent a bit more time on it, but it was a fun read nonetheless.

The One We Fell in Love with – Paige Toon
I was really looking forward to reading this because everyone tells me they love Paige Toon, but honestly, wtf did I just read? This is the story of three identical triplets who fall in love with their childhood next door neighbour… who is also in love with all three of them and at one point in the novel kisses two of them 24 hours apart. Like… I’m supposed to think this is romantic? He’s a douchebag. Anyone who dates you and when not dating you is going after your sister is a douchebag. These girls deserve better. No one should read this and think of it as romance and aspirational. Don’t fall for emotional fuckwits who don’t respect you enough not to bang your family members! I know there is a big reveal that some how makes it ok but no. Really no. Its a shame because I liked her writing style but the story didn’t sit right with me.

The Jane Austen Book Club – Karen Joy Fowler
As Jane Austen got herself on the ten pound note this month and was listed as Andrea Leadsom’s favourite living author. Yes, seriously. This is a woman who tried to become prime minister and she thought Jane Austen was still alive and writing. Anyway. This was a nice quick read, but I’m not really sure what exactly Jane Austen had to do with it?

Easy Way Out – Steven Amsterdam
I was sent a copy of this by the lovely people over at Bookbridgr and while I had a vague idea what the book was about, I really wasn’t prepared for this at all. I have a review coming for this if you’re interested, but for now here are a few trigger warnings for you because you know I can’t be recommending people things without letting you all know if there is content that might hurt you. This is a book about assisted suicide, there is also some explicit sex in there and lots of mentions of terminal illness and hospitals. Just so you know.

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/cinema screen this month!

  • The Circle
  • Baby Driver
    This is my new favourite film, please see it!
  • Spiderman: Homecoming
  • Escape from Planet Earth
  • While we’re Young
  • To the bone
  • Captain America Civil War
  • The Amazing Spider Man
  • Dunkirk
    mate what a film!
  • War for the Planet of the Apes
  • Before I fall

TV I watched his month:

  • Doctor Who
  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Rick and Morty
  • House of Cards
  • Ripper Street
  • Game of Thrones
  • Shadow hunters

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

baby driver more like bae-by driver

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four years has passed since harley's angels came out – head to leahsmith.webs.com/my-books to get a copy!

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playing frome festival tonight

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thanks for the awesome book post @bookbridgr

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So. Many. Books

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Firstly, Dan Howell and Anthony Padilla’s collab was hilarious! Here’s more D Hizzle because he is bae, ok? Also because I literally only joined Tinder so I could find him and charm him with my awkwardness and then I left because I couldn’t find him and then this. Damnit Daniel. Why not fill this whole section with his face to hide my disappointment, here’s Anthony, Dan or a Rat for your pleasure and a PSA on former emos.  Not had enough yet? Here’s TomSka’s latest sketch! I also want to mention Lucy Moon’s latest 168 Hours and James Cordon’s protest song because yes.

June Round up

Well, here we are six months into the year and wow has this been one of those months. Firstly, we had the General Election, or as I like to say, the day Theresa May scored a phenomenal own goal, we had all the ups and downs of the fall out of the election and then the tragedy of Grenfell and all that went with it. I don’t really know what to say, other than I hope that this is the thing that puts an end to profits before people. There were some fun moments in a month of uncertainty and anger though, like getting to see George Ezra debut some of his new material and hanging out with some old friends. I also did a big scary thing this month – I handed in my notice! By the time you guys read this it will be the start of July and I will no longer be working as a journalist, instead I’ll have moved into marketing at a new company, I’m very scared, but as I’m constantly told, if things don’t scare you, they aren’t worth doing.  Guess we’ll find out how that’s all going in the next one of these!

What I read this month:

Hag-seed – Margaret Atwood
With the Handmaid’s Tale being on TV at the moment, I was looking into getting some extra Atwood in my life. I’d been interested in reading this ever since I saw Sanne over on Books and Quills talking about this and a few other Shakespeare retellings which were released a little while ago, so when I spotted it at the library, I chucked it onto my pile. This is the retelling of the Tempest, which isn’t one I’ve read before, I would like to track that down at some point so I can compare the two and of course, I want more of the Hogarth Shakespeare collection in my life!

Free at last, the diaries 1991- 2001 – Tony Benn
I’ve always admired the work of Tony Benn and this was a gift from my grandad many moons ago that has sat on my shelf for way too long, (I’m not allowing myself to let my bookshelf get untidy, so I must read everything on it that I haven’t read and give away the ones I won’t read again before I am allowed to go anywhere near a bookshop.) so  I figured I’d give this a read while the election campaign was going on. It really is a  fascinating read and I wish I’d started it sooner, also that I had more of Benn’s diaries sat on my shelf to work though. This was interesting from a political point of view in the sense that I learned a lot about a period of politics I didn’t know a lot about before and also got to see life in the commons, which I’d not come across before. There was of course the shade thrown at New Labour and hearing about the various things going on in Benn’s life which were also very engaging. I would be interested to read more books on socialism – anyone read Bernie Sanders’ book? Any good? – before moving on to other ideologies!

Release – Patrick Ness
I love Patrick Ness. Like, really love him. I think he might be my favourite author, I think I’ve read pretty much all the Patrick Ness available now and  I have loved all of them and this was no exception. This was recommended to me by Amazon, so of course, I downloaded it. Their one click buy thing is really quite dangerous and doesn’t help with my plan to read everything on my bookshelf and tidy it up. Anyway, this is loosely inspired by Virginia Woolf’s Mrs Dalloway (which I’ve read) and Judy Blume’s Forever (which I’ve not), Mrs Dalloway is a stream of conscious type novel that takes place over the course of one day and while Release takes place over the course of one day, it isn’t stream of conscious and has slightly connected story intertwining with the main story, I don’t know if that’s the Forever aspect, but what I do know is that this book was amazing and I would do a review, but its so incredible I am kind of lost for words!

Speaking out: Lessons in life and politics – Ed Balls
From Tony Benn to Ed Balls, I figured I might as well work my way through the whole of the Labour party. I’ve enjoyed Ed Balls as a public figure (who doesn’t love Ed Balls Day and his rendition of Gangnam Style?) but I didn’t know all that much about him and having read about the political landscape in the nineties and early noughties, I thought I’d learn about more recent times when I saw this at the library (again, not helping myself with the tidying of the bookshelf). While this was an interesting insight into life in politics, especially about how the civil service and the treasury worked, there were a few moments that had me despairing. I don’t know if it was the way the stories were presented, but I think I preferred the more intimate nature of Benn’s book tbh.

I am Malala – Malala Yousafzai
I think this should be required reading, like seriously, jesus christ, not only because Malala is an incredibly inspirational and intelligent young woman who has a lot of wonderful things to say about education and women’s rights to it, but because if, like me, you are a Brit, it is very easy to be ignorant to the world around you – it isn’t in the best interests of the people in charge for you to know too much about other cultures and this was so interesting learning about Pakistan and the different people who live there and its culture. It was also fascinating to learn about someone who had first hand experience of their religion being hijacked by extremists and living in close quarters to people who felt that way. I have many thoughts about this, so I wrote a whole thing, check it out.

The Misinterpretation of Tara Jupp – Eva Rice
Ok, so at the end of the month, I stopped pratting about at the library and on my kindle and started reading the stuff I had laying around on my shelf. Go me. I feel like I’ve had this book on my shelf forever, I picked it up in a discount book store because the cover is pretty and from the blurb, I expected the tale of a vicar’s daughter breaking into the music industry in the sixties and finally feeling equal to her older sister. Well, over half way through this book and she still hadn’t sung in front of anyone, let alone made it out of childhood. I just found the whole thing dragged on with lots of unnecessary stories, when what I was there for was the shock of suddenly being in a whole new world. The people of goodreads seem to love it and while the atmosphere of the novel is great, I just… I don’t get it. It couldn’t decide what the main story arc was or who the main character is and it really didn’t need to be as long as it is, the story could have been told better in fewer pages with less of the meandering about. The only misinterpretation of Tara Jupp I could see was whoever designed the cover and wrote the blurb, because they clearly didn’t read the book first. It isn’t a bad book, it is just very slow. Too slow for what the blurb promises. It’s exactly the sort of thing I’d recommend my grandmother.

Handle with Care – Jodi Picoult
I don’t think I’ve read any Jodi Picoult before this, but I’ve always meant to. Which is probably why I picked this up and then left it gathering dust on my shelf for ever. I remember buying this. I was 20 and I’d picked it up in a charity shop before going to work at my shop job because it was a Thursday night shift and I’d forgotten my kindle charger. I am 28 now. I’ve had it that long and not managed to finish it, until now. It was interesting to read about Willow and her life because I’ve never come across anyone with OI before, but I had the same problem with this as I did with Me Before You in that it made me feel a bit… icky about the way that able bodied authors are portraying disabled people.

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!

  • Insurgent
  • Lady Chatterley’s Lover
    I read the book what feels like a lifetime ago and I spotted that two versions of the film were on Netflix, so I whiled away a Sunday checking out the BBC adaptation.
  • The Propaganda Game
  • American Beauty
  • Under the Sun
  • Amazing Spider Man 2

TV I watched his month:

  • House of Cards
  • Handmaid’s Tale
  • Doctor Who
  • Pretty Little Liars
    Now I feel like I need to rewatch the entire thing because seriously, wtf happened?
  • iZombie
    THAT FINALE THOUGH!!

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

live broadcasting rn from a field

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❤️💛💚💙💜

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the end of an era

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Had a little going away party at work because I’m well… going away to another job! Getting my P45 and watching other people come in to interview for my position has been SUPER WEIRD.

What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

While the election is over now, I have the mention this video from LukeisnotSexy, James Corden spent the day working at Harrods which I’m sure was way more fun than actually working at Harrods, Louise Pentland made a very special announcement and her video telling her friends made me cry a bit! This video from Dan(iel) Howell was a bit too real tbh but I’m listing it anyway. Anthony Padilla has left Smosh and gone solo, his return to YouTube as just himself was very funny. Finally, Jack and Dean’s latest sketch was very on point.

May Round up

May was a bit of a whirlwind if I’m honest. We started off with a bank holiday (always good), playing a charity gig with the uke orchestra, interviewing potential parliamentary candidates and spending a few days in Brighton! I finally broke through the wall of writer’s block and this month seems to have been one where my creativity has been able to actually work – looks like the whole documenting my life every month is starting to work! We also had some pretty horrific things happening in the UK this month, but that keep calm and carry on attitude has kept us all strong and able to continue being kind and caring in the face of adversity.

What I read this month:

I’d die for you and other stories – F Scott Fitzgerald
New Fitzgerald claxon! Seriously, who expected there would be new F Scott Fitzgerald? This is a collection of previously unpublished stories presented together along with some biographical facts, letters to publishers and photos of Scott and Zelda. I enjoyed some of the stories more than others, but it was interesting seeing Scott attempt a different style of narration and genre to some of his more famous works.

Career of Evil – Robert Galbraith
What a disappointment this was! I adored the first of Cormoron Strike’s adventures and I enjoyed the twists and turns of the second instalment, but this one… I don’t know, I just found a lot of the misogyny very gratuitous with this one. While I know that there are people who do think the way the antagonist (no spoilers here!) did, I was just a bit like, really? I also found a lot of the tension between Strike and Robin in this one kind of ruined the relationship that had been built up over the past two books. Won’t stop me reading the next one though!

That Close – Suggs
I’ve had this book sitting on my kindle for what feels like a life time, Madness are one of my favourite bands and I have always enjoyed Suggs’ humour and found him a very interesting fellow in his forays into television. While this was great because I got to see bits of London I know and love through his eyes as he was growing up, this was a very disjointed autobiography. It wasn’t like those memoirs that are a collection of essays and it wasn’t a chronological look at his life either, every now and again, something would link back to the original story, but I found myself lost at times as he meandered through life! He does have a very engaging and friendly voice though, so no complaints from me!

Big Little Lies – Lianne Moriarty
The folk at Penguin very kindly sent me a copy of this, as I’d been searching the shelves at my local library and agonising over buying a copy every time I walk into a book shop, it was a little serendipitous that it turned up! I’ve yet to watch the TV show, so I’m not sure how they compare, but this was unlike anything I’d read before in terms of layout and pacing I wasn’t sure how something could be so subtle and yet in your face at the same time! It kept me very entertained on the train to Brighton however and I’ve reviewed it for you here

My Life – David Jason
Oh I do have a little soft spot for David Jason, perhaps its because we used to watch a lot of Open All Hours and Only Fools when I was growing up or perhaps its because he reminds me a bit of my Grandad because they’re both quite tiny and from London. Although, unlike David Jason, my grandad actually is from Peckham. This was such a charming and interesting read, I loved hearing about growing up in Finchly during the war and reading about the late, great Ronnie Barker was a delight.

Mind the Gap – Phil Earle
I saw this at the library and may have side stepped a small child heading in the same direction to pick this up and was it worth it? No. Not really. Honestly, this was on my TBR because I heard someone talk about it on YouTube and as the cover had a London tube map and I’m one of those Londoners that no longer lives in London so anything to make me feel close to my roots. Honestly, I am not the intended audience for this book which was why I was ultimately so disappointed, but for younger readers, this would be a great book about dealing with grief.

The Muse – Jessie Burton
Woah. Honestly, I picked this up because I liked the cover, but bloody hell that was an intoxicating read! I’ve not read any Jessie Burton before, but now I want to read her shopping lists, she writes so eloquently! I’m not into art, which is the main thread of this book, but I am into beautifully written prose about interesting, creative people and this was just… vewy noice.

 

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!

  • Saving Mr Banks
  • Casting Jon Benet
  • Captain America: The First Avenger
    I was watching this as the results for the French election came in. Thought it was appropriate.
  • Clueless

TV I watched his month:

  • Teen Wolf
  • Pretty Little Liars
  • Riverdale
    THOSE LAST TWO EPISODES THOUGH
  • Once Upon A Time
    I know series 7 is coming, but I might just decide to end with series 6 cos it really was kind of a perfect ending if you ignore the flash forwards.
  • Doctor Who
  • iZombie
  • Brooklyn 99
  • Miss Fisher Mysteries
  • House of cards
  • The Handmaid’s Tale
    Honestly, I could barely breathe let alone anything else while watching the first episode, my God, that was intense, it was everything I remember the book being. 

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Awesome mix vol. 2 was the soundtrack of the day

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☂️ they're back ☂️

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that's more like it, Brighton

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:
Firstly, let’s talk about Leena’s video about being ginger, mostly because it made me think so much I ended up rambling to a camera myself! Liam Dryden’s Scottish roadtrip part one and part two was so good, it made me want to go back and explore more of Scotland! I’ll mention the end of the My Horse Prince saga purely because it became the soap opera I never knew I wanted! What sort of roundup would this be without Carpool Harry-oke, is it the best one yet? And well, I can’t not mention bae can I? My crush on Darren Criss was fully reignited by his band’s new music video and I was a bit blown away by Lucy Moon’s last 168 Hours.

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.