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two trips to see Guardians of the Galaxy, there was new Paramore and new Fall Out Boy and a whole load of previously unpublished F Scott Fitzgerald stories were published!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

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

its time for the great munchkin bake off

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

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

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

IT ARRIVED!!!

A post shared by leah-marie smith (@leeeeeeeeah) on

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.

Advertisements

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.