A girl with a mouth almost as big as her TBR list

World Book Day

Today is World Book Day – the day we celebrate books and reading and all the awesomeness that comes along with it! Don’t get me wrong, I’m up for celebrating books all year round but there’s something special about today!

I have fond memories of World Book Day – the first of which must have been when I was about 7 ish and dressed up as Sophie from The BFG in my pink nighty and a pair of my dad’s old glasses with the lenses removed. I remember being so proud of my costume and absolutely loving the day.

The next World Book Day I remember we had a pyjama day where everyone came in wearing their pjs and we drank hot chocolate and read the books we’d brought in.

Since then, there has been less dressing up but just as much reading and celebrating books so here’s to a great (albeit snowy) World Book Day and making fond memories for the future!

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Friendship Triangles

I’m a teenage girl and maybe I’m an anomaly but I’ve never had to choose between two ridiculously handsome guys that are fighting over me. Come to think of it, none of my friends have either. In fact I don’t think I’ve heard of a single real teenager being involved in the trauma that is a love triangle. So why are there so many damn love triangles in YA books?

I may have never had to choose between my own Peeta and Gale or Edward and Jacob, but I’ve certainly had my fair share of friendship triangles. For those of who you who don’t know what that is (which is entirely fair enough – it’s not exactly a technical term) it’s basically the frienship equivalent of a love triangle, that is to say having to make hard choices between friends and the jealousy and friction which can occur in mutiple people friendships.

One of these struggles I can remember most vividly is when I moved to secondary, with many of my friends from my primary and obviously got introduced to a whole new pool of potential friends, one of whom I became close with pretty much immeadiately. We had surnames that began with the same letter, meaning we sat next to each other in pretty much every lesson and had lots of similar interests. This caused conflict between me and my best friend, who felt like she’d been replaced and over time we grew apart. Now we’re acquaintances and we make polite chat regularly but we’re not at all close. Of course, I can only tell my side of the story and how I experienced things and I can’t speak for either of the other girls but this is just one fo the many examples I have in my own life of the challenging dynamics of friendships.

So if this is such a real struggle occuring in teenager’s lives, why is so rarely depicted in young adult novels? Why are we so insistent on focusing on romantic turmoil? Perhaps it’s simply because it makes better reading and forces readers to pick sides, getting them invested in the book. Or maybe it’s due to the fact friendships can be a lot more painful and real for a lot of us.

I’m 18 years old and I’ve never been on a date or been in a relationship. I have had and continue to have countless friends. They are some of the most important people in my life and I don’t know what my life would look like without them. Currently I am more than perfectly happy being single and I see no difference in happiness between my single friends and those who are dating. But when people have difficulties with their friendships, that’s when they really struggle. If this is really the case, why don’t YA books reflect the world teenagers actually live in?

Luckily, not all YA books are lacking meaningful friendships that have their ups and downs, so to end I thought I’d share some of my favourite books with a focus on friendships or that contain friendship triangles.

Beautiful Broken Things by Sara Barnard
Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu
The Spinster Club series by Holly Bourne
The Revenge Playbook by Rachael Allen

January Wrap Up

So we survived the first month of 2017! Great work from all of us! And when it comes to blogging it went pretty well for me!

This month I read:

When Dimple Met Rishiwhen dimple

Moxiemoxie

Adorkableadorkable

I reviewed these three books here.

My most popular posts this month were:

My Bullet Journal

Top Ten Book I really liked But Can’t Remember Much About

Books I’ve preordered

So those were my three most popular posts this month and all in all I did very well in January in terms of stats – I had my best ever month in all the time I’ve been blogging and reached 700 blog followers!

This month I received:

Love, Hate and Other Filters

Perfect – the UK paperback

These were both books I preordered for myself with an Amazon voucher that I got for Christmas so it was a nice present for me from me in January which is often a hard month!

This month I also joined the Amazon affiliate program which means I might hopefully be able to make a little bit of money from blogging. Obviously I blog because I love it but I do think it would be really cool if I could make some money from it, even if it’s only 10p!

So all in all it was a pretty good month for me, I did a fair amount of reading, managed to keep blogging fairly consistently and really enjoyed myself!

How did your January go? Did you write a Wrap Up? If so send me a link!

My Bookish Bucket List

Now we’re in a new year, I thought I’d share with you my bookish bucket list!

  1. Read a book in each of the three languages I’m learning – French, Spanish and Russian (This is, outside of class)
  2. Be quoted in a book. I’d love for one of my reviews to be quoted in a published book!
  3. Make some money blogging. Even if it’s just 10p from my new affiliate links, I think it would be really cool to earn something doing something I love so much.
  4. Go to an official blogging event. Technically I’ve been to one of these before but it was ages ago and I’d love to be able to go to more, perhaps a bit more regularly
  5. Reach 1000 blog followers. This just looks like a massive number to me so I would absolutely love to reach it.
  6. Participate in some sort of blogger pen pal or gift swapping scheme. I’ve seen so many cool ones and I’d love to join in some day – it just hasn’t been possible for me yet.
  7. Be a rep for a bookish merch company. I’ve seen a few chances come up for this, I don’t think now’s quite the right time but I’d love to do this someday.
  8. Tell people in my real life about my blog. Currently no one in my real life knows about my blog but I’d love to be confident enough to tell people.
  9. Win a blogger award. I know there are so many great book bloggers out there, this is unlikely to happen but what’s a bucket list without a couple of crazy dreams?
  10. Be happy with my stats. This isn’t really related to what I achieve as statistics but more my attitude towards them. I spend a lot of time worrying about my stats and I want this to stop!

What’s on your blogging or bookish bucket list? Let me know!

Top Ten Books I Really Liked But Can’t Remember Much About

On the Fence by Kasie West – A cutesy contemporary with some great family relationships
on the fenc
Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins – A cute romance set in Paris
anna
Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder – a fab YA fantasy with a great herione
poison study
Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater – not your cliché werewolf romance
shiver
Gone by Michael Grant – all the adults disappear, what happens next?
gone
My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – yet another adorable contemporary romance with great family dynamics

my life next door

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl – An unusual paranormal romance with a historical aspect if I remember correctly

beautiful creatures.pngSo that’s only seven, but I’d say that’s not bad, clearly I’m just good at remembering the plots at books!

What books have you liked but now you think about them can’t really remember much about? Let me know!

All my links are Amazon affiliate links so if you do choose to buy a book based on my recommendations I’ll earn a little bit of money! Thanks guys!

 

Recent Reviews Wrap Up

When Dimple met Rishi

This was my first read of the year and I couldn’t have been more pleased with it! I loved both of our main characters Dimple and Rishi and their romance was just so cute! I loved how passionate Dimple is about coding and how much Rishi loves art and how they can both support and encourage each other in these different interests. I must confess I’m a huge fan of the hate to love trope and this book is kind of an example of that, how Dimple goes from hating Rishi to, well you’ll see! I also loved seeing both Dimple and Rishi’s family life and how their culture affects the way they live their lives – in very different ways!

All in all, I gave this book 4 stars and would definitely recommend it if you’re a fan of cute romances, girls in STEM, diverse backgrounds and witty humour!

Moxie

This book is just so fabulously feminist! As you can tell from my list of feminist reads, I absolutely love a good feminist YA book and this one definitely fits the bill! It’s about a girl slowly growing the courage to stand up and say something about sexism. I loved this because so often YA heroines are either unnaturally brave or complete wimps – Viv is neither! I could really relate to her, wanting to do something but not knowing where to start and then when she does start, starting small and shy but with the support of others, it growing to something awesome!

I also loved this book’s representation of female friendships, it shows the ups and the downs – the unquestioning support, the struggles of a friend triangle and the beauty in making friends and rediscovering friendships. Moxie also contained a romance, which I must admit I adored, it wasn’t the central plotline, which was nice change.

I gave this book 5 stars and would recommend to literally anyone, feminist or otherwise! It really shows the power of teenage girls and that’s why I loved it so much!

Adorkable

I’ve just sped through this book in one evening since I could get it for free with Kindle Unlimited and I really enjoyed. It was a tad predictable but that didn’t stop it from being a cute, fluffy YA romance read. Sally, the main character, is so awesomely geeky! I didn’t quite understand all the references as I’ve never seen either Star Wars or Star Trek but I was loving the Harry Potter references! She’s sick of her best friend and her mum (these two were so funny together!) sending her on so many blind dates so she decides to get a fake boyfriend. This is an incredibly cheesy and unrealistic YA trope but it’s one I love nevertheless, when people go from pretending to be boyfriend and girlfriend to more! Our dashing hero here to save the day by volunteering as a fake boyfriend is Becks, all round American boy, attractive, sporty and generally lovable!

Even if you don’t have Kindle Unlimited it’s an absolute bargain and a really enjoyable read. I would give it 3.5 stars and would recommend to anyone wanting a cute quick read!

All of these books are currently less than £3 on Amazon Kindle so I recommend you get your hands on them sharpish! All the links in this post are my affiliate links so if you do decide to buy one of these books based on my reviews, I’d love it if you could use those and help a girl out!

Bullet Journal

So I thought I’d show you guys my bullet journal! I’ve heard a lot of people say they were planning on starting one for 2018 and I decided to do the same. I tried bullet journal in 2017 and did a couple of months of it but then I became so busy with work, I stopped blogging, reading and bullet journaling. So I thought I’d start again in 2018 and here we are! I’m really nosey and love admiring other people’s bullet journal and spreads so I thought I’d return the favour and show you mine. Although I must warn you, mine are nowhere near as pretty as some of the ones I’ve seen.

The first three pages of my bullet journal – after my index, are my key and my stats tracker. My key includes some of the traditional, widely recognised symbols as well as some of my own, that I’ve just made up because I thought they’d come in handy. The second page is my stats tracker and I know stats aren’t the be all and end all of blogging but I like being able to keep track of my stats and see how my blog is doing. The third page is my reading goals for a year, just being kept track of using circles, cut up into little pizza slices. I must confess I also having a blogging stats page which is currently blank as I’m not quite sure to how to organise it.

Next up in my bullet journal, we have a very basic year overview, where each month gets a third of a page so I can write in some key dates for that month. At the time of photographing, all I had on there was my blogiversary, but I’ve since added the release dates of books I’ve preordered and will continue to add important dates throughout the year.

Next up we have my books read, ARCs and backlist books pages which are pretty simple really. My book read page is organised like a book shelf, just to make a little more interesting to look at than just a straight forward list. My ARCS page contains a table with spaces to write the title, author, date released and date I reviewed it. My backlist books page is the simplest of the lot, with just space for me to write down the backlist books I read and track that challenge.

Then we have three more very basic pages that don’t need much explaining, space to write down all the UKYA books I read, all the films I watch and all the books I’ve reviewed.

After that we get to my first monthly set up, for January. First of all I have a monthly overview so I can record which days I post, when books come out and other important dates in January. Then I have a monthly to do list, where I write down all the things that I want to get done that month, without assigning them to a specific day or week.

Finally we have my January habit tracker so I can keep an eye on my reading, post writing, commenting, book buying, tweeting and admin work for my blog. I also have a weekly overview where I write down the tasks I want to get done each day, as well as recording how much I read each day.

So, that’s my bullet journal! What did you think? Do you have a bullet journal? How do you use yours?