My Wax Melt Addiction

Hello! As I say an awful lot on my Twitter and my Instagram pages, I buy a lot of wax melts (probably the understatement of the century). I have no idea why they’re so addictive, but they really are. I have two electric burners and several regular tea light burners that I keep all around the flat – as you can imagine, it smells amazing in there. I also have two electric plug in wax warmers.

In this post, I just wanted to talk about my most recent purchases. I’m aware this is unusual compared to what I usually post about but I’m just so darn excited about them and I really wanted to share them. I’m sure I will more in the future, as well. I ordered a Nightmare Before Christmas warmer from Scentsy that hasn’t got here yet and I haven’t really used Scentsy before so I’m looking forward to that, and I’m probably going to make a review post for those!

This is my first order from Foxglove Fragrances and I first heard about them from a wax melt friend of mine over on Instagram. She mostly does wax melt slabs so I’ve ordered a potato cutter that can also cut wax melts neatly just so I can burn slabs! My first scent was in The Bookstore, obviously, and my second scent is Strawberries and Cream.

The Bookstore is really, really nice. It’s musky and woody, and surprisingly does smell like a bookshop. It smells a lot like incense, actually, just not as strong. It’s really, really nice though. Probably one of my favourite scents! Strawberries and Cream is pretty self explanatory, it just smells like strawberries and cream! It’s so sweet, though, and I don’t usually like sweet scents but it’s not overpowering or too sweet. It smells comforting and dangerous as I want to eat it!

Sara Makes Melts is actually the vendor that started it all. Before her, I used Gower Coast Crafts which is a vendor frequently at my local county shows, craft shows, etc, and that’s how I found them and then somehow from them I found Sara, and I adore her melts! I’ve been buying from her since I started to adore wax melts (and waste too much money on them). I haven’t ordered from her for a while, so I bought quite a few in her most recent restock.

The scents featured here are: Aurora, Glass Slipper, Teddy Bear Picnic, Summer Delights, Dot the Buttons, Olympia, Creed (dupe of the aftershave), Black Coconut, Gingerbread, Sleepy (dupe of sleepy from LUSH), Jupe, Black Opium, Ghostly (dupe of ghost the perfume), Magic Unicorn, Rose Jam (dupe of Ross Jam from LUSH), and Grandmother Willow.

My first order from Paper and Wax Melts! I got a sample box for £4.50 and I thought that was super good. I love when wax melt vendors provide sample boxes because it lets me explore their scents for a pretty cheap price without committing to anything pricy.

I got the scents The Library, Cannabis, Black Opium, Banana Nut Bread, Sandalwood and Alien. They all smell amazing, I think my favourite is Black Opium and Alien but the banana one and sandalwood is also amazing. You don’t see many wax melt vendors that offer a banana scent so I really appreciate those that do!

These are from the first wax melt vendors I ever tried, Gower Coast Crafts. I used to look forward to buying them from local craft fairs until I realised they had a website and I have since bought a lot from them. The one above is the autumn box, which is £12.50 including delivery! Pretty good for 48 wax melts, in my opinion.

This box includes black cherry, frosted toffee apple, coffee mocha, cranberry, vanilla, fireside, gingerbread and black plum and rhubarb. My favourites are clearly gingerbread and fireside, they are strong winners! I used to hate fireside but it grew on me. They make me so excited for autumn 🍂

That’s all my non-Halloween scents I’ve bought recently! I also have another few posts on wax melts after this, I have a problem with impulsive spending when I’m stressed and anxious (even more of a problem when I’m stressed and anxious about money!). At least they give me short bursts of serotonin! I hope this encourages you to buy from the mentioned vendors as I believe they are deserving of your support!

Candle Haul!!

So, I’ve done some wax melt hauls, how about I make a candle haul? Wax melts are my favourite sort of thing to burn but I do also buy the occasional candle, especially around this time of year. I thought I would share some of the candles I’ve bought in the last couple of months or so.

I didn’t see these Boo Berry candles at Home Bargains last year so I was really excited to find them this time around! They smell of berries, of course, and they’re really nice! I got two of them for £2.99 each.

I ended up getting two of these because they smell amazing! They are pumpkin and ginger candles from Next for £8 each. I bought them online and then picked them up from the shop. The actual candle is ceramic as well, so once the candle is burnt out you can use the pumpkin to keep jewellery in or something.

I bought this candle from Galactic Tears, she used to have an Etsy shop but now owns a website! I’m super proud of her, she’s been my friend for a long time now. It was £25 and smells like who’re chocolate! It’s very pastel goth and I love it. You can find some cupcake candles on her store that haven’t sold yet if you would like one!

I got this candle from Home Bargains for £2.99, as well! It’s in Trick or Treat, it smells like Halloween sweets! I didn’t like it very much last year so I’m surprised I like it this year but I guess my scent nose buds have changed lol.

I know it’s a bit early, but I got a gingerbread candle also from Home Bargains for £2.99! I love love love the smell of gingerbread and it’s the sort of scent I burn the whole year round, even though it does tend to smell like Christmas

I didn’t think I would like this one, I thought it would smell really fake, but it smelt beautiful and made me hungry! This is sticky toffee pudding and I also got it from Home Bargains for £2.99!

I bought these cute little Yankee candles from Tesco for 99p each! I don’t really buy Yankee very often because of how expensive they are but I do occasionally treat myself to these little ones! I got them in the scents red velvet brownie, cozy up, gingerbread and sugared blossom (2000% my favourite Yankee scent!).

So that’s it for my tiny little candle haul! I absolutely love candles and I’m going to try and ban myself from buying more wax melts and candles but…it probably won’t last very long

UK Halloween Haul #2!

Hello and welcome back to my second Halloween haul of the year! I’m excited to show you all of these. I hope nobody is judging me for how all my spare money goes on Halloween and spooky house decorations but eh, it’s fun and harmless! Except to my bank account (and my savings…)

I think these are new as I didn’t see them last year! They’re £1.29 each (I think!) from Home Bargains. The pumpkin hand wash is mango scented, the Frankenstein’s monster is apple scented and the vampire is strawberry!

I got this from the Facebook group I mentioned in my first Halloween haul post! It’s originally from TKMaxx for £12.99 I believe? It’s half a black pumpkin with a crow on a skull on the inside. I think if you’re creative and crafty you could easily handmade these but I’m not and I think they’re so unique and beautiful

Another Home Bargains purchase! I’m not sure how much this one was but I know he was under £3. He’s a very strong, good quality and plastic pumpkin plate. I’m not sure what to use him for but I was thinking perhaps some Halloween cupcakes! What do you think?

I’m making a separate post on my candle purchases but this contains a cupcake set that I bought (I ended up buying two of these!). It has spiderweb cupcake cases, bat cupcake cases and various Halloween themed toothpicks that will be really fun to make, I think I may use them to bond with my niece

I already have the mini Pawzuph that I got from Nemesis Now as well for £12.99 a couple of months ago, but I recently bought the newly released giant Pawzuph for £29.99 and I love him. He’s going to take a place of pride on my black cat shelf.

I got these Sourpuss branded coffin shaped hooks today from a little corner shop. They’re £5 each and I thought they were adorable. I’m probably going to put these in the bathroom as wall hooks or maybe in the hallway for my coat/bag, I haven’t really decided yet.

This is Malpuss, the twin of Pawzuph! I also have a mini version of Malpuss that I got for my birthday. She cost the same, £29.99, and will also take a place of pride in my black cat shelf. I think she’s going to look adorable.

So that’s all for my second Halloween haul! You are 100% going to see more, especially since a lot of my recent Halloween purchases have been packed for moving. I’m really looking forward to showing you them, and I hope you enjoy seeing them!

First UK Halloween Haul of 2020!

Hello! Welcome back to another post, and this one is also not about books (sorry to everyone who followed me for book content but my life has been too busy to read anything lately). Instead, this one is about some stuff I’ve bought in the last few weeks for Halloween – well, I say that, but it’s really just house decor, isn’t it?

I got these cuties for 99p each at Poundland! They’re tealight holders and I especially wanted the black cat one, I think he’s adorable. The ghost is also pretty cute, I am currently looking for the ghost wax warmer from Home Bargains that looks really similar so hopefully you’ll see him in future Halloween hauls!

I got these adorable salt and pepper shakers from Next for £10! I don’t really like pepper but my partner does so I’m sure when they come to visit they’ll enjoy using it. They’re mostly for decoration, because I love pumpkins and think they’re adorable (you’ll probably notice that theme…)

I did want this lantern in a different design but my local Poundland only had these ones left! They’re £3 each, and adorable. Mine doesn’t work but I can’t take it back because they don’t have anymore, so I’m going to see if I can take the candle out and put one of my own in, or keep it empty and just put battery operated fairy lights. Watch this space!

I got this for 99p from Poundland as well! It lights up and changes colour. I thought he was absolutely adorable and I love his little face. I’m not sure where to put him yet but I’ll make sure to keep him with the other ghosts so he has friends!

I got this beautiful Spooky neon sign (that is extremely bright! But also battery operated, so that’s useful) from Argos for £12! I didn’t even know Argos sold anything Halloween related and the only reason I know is from UK Halloween groups on Facebook so thank you for letting me know this exists!

Not the best picture, but I got this set of cute Halloween gnome cups from TKMaxx for £9.99! I really wanted the black skeleton ones but these were the second best option and I really wanted a cute mug set for my new flat

These are also from TKMaxx! I’m not sure how much they are, but I think they were £7.99. I bought them from a group on Facebook where you post what you’re after or other people post what they’ve bought and you can buy it from them! It’s a really cute and kind group. A little more expensive than buying from the shop due to postage costs but that’s okay! They remind me of Little Shop of Horrors. I’ve only seen the 1960 version but I really liked it.

These little skull glasses are 99p each from Home Bargains! I originally wasn’t going to get them but I ended up changing my mind. I have no idea if I’ll use them to drink out of or if I will use them as some sort of decoration but I really like them.

I completely forgot how much these are but I got these online from TKMaxx a while ago. It’s a plush pink and purple pumpkin tower that I plan on using as a door stop in my new flat as the doors are pretty heavy and I want Tess to be able to travel through the house easily! This might have been about £9.99

Also from the Facebook group I mentioned earlier, this is an adorable pumpkin doorstop for I think £7.99? I really love him and I can’t wait to make him comfortable in the new home. I think he’ll also be useful when I’m moving in to keep the doors open.

I ordered this online and, amazingly, it got here perfectly (half my order didn’t, unfortunately). It was about £7.99 from TKMaxx. I have no idea what I’ll use it for but I think it’ll be a nice cute decoration for the middle of my coffee table or something?

So that’s everything for my first Halloween haul of the year! I have more stuff that I can’t take photos of until I move and get it out of the storage boxes. Also, this post is getting long and I don’t want it to be too long that you stop paying attention! Let me know if you think these are interesting.

Spooky Season Movies I Want to Watch!

This isn’t books but, as far as I’m concerned, Spooky Season is the best season and September is just Spooky Season part one. I absolutely love autumn. I love the scents and the cold and the Halloween movies and the sweets – it’s pure joy.

I haven’t really been reading lately but I will probably make another post anyway about spooky books I’m looking forward to getting to eventually, but for now I wanted to talk about movies I’m looking forward to watching this spooky season. This post will be all the ones I haven’t watched yet!

Halloween (1978)

Fifteen years after murdering his sister on Halloween night in 1963, Michael Myers escapes from a “mental” hospital and returns to the small town of Haddonfield, Illinois, to kill again.

I can’t say I agree with the use of using mentally ill people to create a Halloween movie but this is an absolute classic and it’s shameful that I say I love Halloween and haven’t actually seen one of the most classic movies. I do plan on watching this very soon, I’m very excited.

House of 1000 Corpses (2003)

Two young couples travelling across the backwoods of Texas searching for urban legends of murders end up prisoners of a bizarre and sadistic backwater family of serial killers.

I will admit that my main reason to watch this is because I saw lots of people mention it but, despite my love for the horror genre and for spooky season, I’m not a huge fan of gore. I’m going to watch it anyway but it’s probably going to be one of those movies I spend watching behind a blanket.

Ernest: Scared Stupid (1991)

Ernest accidentally unleashes an ugly troll that plots to transform children into wooden dolls in the town of Briarville, Missouri

You can bully me for this one if you want but children’s Halloween movies are great and they make me feel so cozy and in the spooky season spirit. I have no idea who Ernest is and if this is part of a TV show or something, but I just think the movie sounds interesting and it has been added to my list!

Pet Sematary (1989)

After tragedy strikes, a grieving father discovers an ancient burial ground behind his home with the power to raise the dead.

This one is actually book related as I’ve read this book before and I really enjoyed it. I also know a new movie is out soon (or it’s already out? I keep track of US movie releases but then I never know when they’re released in my country, it might already be out here). I can’t wait to watch this and the book was disturbing so I hope I get the same out of the movie.

Brightburn (2019)

What if a child from another world landed on Earth but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?

This one is probably the newest movie I’m going to watch this spooky season, and I’ve heard a lot about this one. I also love science-fiction/alien horror and I don’t think it’s done enough because it’s often so much scarier than traditional horror movies (or maybe I’m just weird?). I don’t watch horror movies to scare me but because I find them interesting, however it’ll be nice to have a change of pace to what I usually get out of my horror movies.

House on Haunted Hill (1999)

An amusement park mogul offers a group of diverse people $1, 000, 000 to spend the night in a haunted house with a horrifying past

This sounds right up my street and gives me Grave Encounters vibes (I know a lot of people in the horror community don’t have good things to say about those movies but I loved them). I hear a lot about this, especially in my horror groups, and it’s the one I’m most excited for.

Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

A nerdy florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant, man-eating plant who demands to be fed

I have seen the 1960 version of this movie but it is still pretty embarrassing I haven’t seen this movie, especially with how rare it is to come across someone who doesn’t like this movie. I really liked the 1960 version and I think this one will be even better because it’s a musical. I can’t wait.

A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)

The monstrous spirit of a slain child murderer seeks revenge by invading the dreams of teenagers whose parents were responsible for his death

Another movie that is embarrassing I haven’t seen, but I did see the 2010 version and I absolutely loved that one so I thought I should probably watch the original which everyone seems to love. It also remains relatively unique, in my opinion, as it’s not something I’ve seen done all that often personally.

Double Double Toil and Trouble (1993)

On Halloween night, two precious little girls try to save their parents from their nasty old capitalist aunt’s greedy clutches. Magic abounds and they meet mysterious new friends on the way.

I know a lot of people watched this movie in their childhood but I didn’t and I hope when I watch it, it will give me Halloween childhood feels. I can’t wait to get around to it, which I’m hoping I actually do this year

The Craft (1996)

A newcomer to a Catholic prep high school falls in with a trio of outcast teenage girls who practice witchcraft, and they all soon conjure up various spells and curses against those who anger them

This sounds like a perfect movie for me, especially with everything going on with me right now. I would love to put curses on people who make me angry. I also love anything witchy, which is exactly what I think this is! Deffo on my to watch list for soon in the future.

That’s all the movies I have for this post! I’m deffo going to make more for the future, and some posts about movies I watch pretty much every year as well, so I’m so sorry if you aren’t a fan of Halloween. I’ll try and make an occasional non-Halloween related post, but this is my favourite time of year so I’m very enthusiastic about it. Until next time!

Black Lives Matter Links

Six Upcoming Releases with Fat MC’s

I recently saw a post on Twitter by @ShruitRamanujam about upcoming books featuring fat main characters and I wanted to share them here (plus an extra one I’ve included in previous posts), because as a fat person we are treated terribly and I really want to promote these books because we deserve representation! I’m also just really excited for them, in general, and I want people to share them with who may share my excitement. 

Fat Chance, Charlie Vega
by Crystal Maldonado 

Release Date, February 2nd 2021. 

Charlie Vega is a lot of things. Smart. Funny. Artistic. Ambitious. Fat. People sometimes have a problem with that last one. Especially her mom. Charlie wants a good relationship with her body, but it’s hard, and her mom leaving a billion weight loss shakes on her dresser doesn’t help. The world and everyone in it have ideas about what she should look like: thinner, lighter, slimmer-faced, straighter-haired. Be smaller. Be whiter. Be quieter. But there’s one person who’s always in Charlie’s corner: her best friend Amelia. Slim. Popular. Athletic. Totally dope. So when Charlie starts a tentative relationship with cute classmate Brian, the first worthwhile guy to notice her, everything is perfect until she learns one thing–he asked Amelia out first. So is she his second choice or what? Does he even really see her? UGHHH. Everything is now officially a MESS.

I’m so, so excited for this. First of all, it talks about the toxic and sometimes abusive behaviour we receive from our loved ones who frequently act like they care about our weight but what they’re really doing is causing significant damage to our mental health. It’s something a lot of fat people have to deal with, so I’m glad it includes it. I’m also excited that the fat girl gets her romance arc, which a lot of us don’t get to see unless we lose a lot of weight first. I’m hoping this will be feel good but will also present some very real things that we, as fat people, have to go through. 

Starfish
by Lisa Fipps

Release date, March 9th 2021. 

Nancy Paulsen has bought Lisa Fipps’s Starfish for her eponymous imprint at Penguin. The middle grade debut in verse follows Ellie’s journey as she struggles to stand up for herself in a society that belittles fat girls. Publication is set for 2021

Both Goodreads and Amazon/Waterstones don’t have a lot of information on this book at the moment, even though the release date is coming up pretty soon, but I’m excited that this is both a debut and a middle grade. It’s even more reason to support it because fat children deserve to know they are beautiful, too, and loved. I hope it teaches young readers that, although we are taught it is, the way they are treated isn’t okay and I hope it encourages them to stand up for themselves and to encourage others to stand up for them, too, as the weight shouldn’t always be on us. 

Spoiler Alert
by Olivia Dade

Release date, November 12th 2020. 

Marcus Caster-Rupp has a secret. While the world knows him as Aeneas, the star of the biggest show on TV, Gods of the Gates, he’s known to fanfiction readers as Book!AeneasWouldNever, an anonymous and popular poster.  Marcus is able to get out his own frustrations with his character through his stories, especially the ones that feature the internet’s favorite couple to ship, Aeneas and Lavinia. But if anyone ever found out about his online persona, he’d be fired. Immediately. April Whittier has secrets of her own. A hardcore Lavinia fan, she’s hidden her fanfiction and cosplay hobby from her “real life” for years—but not anymore. When she decides to post her latest Lavinia creation on Twitter, her photo goes viral. Trolls and supporters alike are commenting on her plus-size take, but when Marcus, one half of her OTP, sees her pic and asks her out on a date to spite her critics, she realizes life is really stranger than fanfiction. Even though their first date is a disaster, Marcus quickly realizes that he wants much more from April than a one-time publicity stunt. And when he discovers she’s actually Unapologetic Lavinia Stan, his closest fandom friend, he has one more huge secret to hide from her. With love and Marcus’s career on the line, can the two of them stop hiding once and for all, or will a match made in fandom end up prematurely cancelled?

This one sounds SO fun and I’m so excited that it includes a very real thing plus-size POC go through. Especially in the cosplay community, fat people receive waves more hate than anyone smaller than them would, especially when they’re POC. I hope this book shines a light on what we/they deal with, and I hope it encourages people to think before they speak and that the false “I’m doing this because I care about your health” is actually causing a lot more harm than help. 

Miss Meteor
by Tehlor Kay Mejia and Anna-Marie McLemore

Release date, September 22nd 2020. 

There hasn’t been a winner of the Miss Meteor beauty pageant who looks like Lita Perez or Chicky Quintanilla in all its history. But that’s not the only reason Lita wants to enter the contest, or why her ex-best friend Chicky wants to help her. The road to becoming Miss Meteor isn’t about being perfect; it’s about sharing who you are with the world—and loving the parts of yourself no one else understands. So to pull off the unlikeliest underdog story in pageant history, Lita and Chicky are going to have to forget the past and imagine a future where girls like them are more than enough—they are everything.

I’m SO excited for this. I’m already rooting for them and I hope they get to win and be a part of something that so many other people take for granted. The rules for what is beautiful and what isn’t is so narrow, it’s harmful to thousands of people, and the rules we as a society have just made up cause real mental and physical harm to people so I’m hoping this book discusses these topics. 

One to Watch
by Kate Stayman-London

Release date, January 7th 2021

Bea Schumacher is a devastatingly stylish plus-size fashion blogger who has amazing friends, a devoted family, legions of Insta followers–and a massively broken heart. Like the rest of America, Bea indulges in her weekly obsession: the hit reality show Main Squeeze. The fantasy dates! The kiss-off rejections! The surprising amount of guys named Chad! But Bea is sick and tired of the lack of body diversity on the show. Since when is being a size zero a prerequisite for getting engaged on television? Just when Bea has sworn off dating altogether, she gets an intriguing call: Main Squeeze wants her to be its next star, surrounded by men vying for her affections. Bea agrees, on one condition–under no circumstances will she actually fall in love. She’s in this to supercharge her career, subvert harmful anti-fat beauty standards, inspire women across America, and get a free hot air balloon ride. That’s it. But when the cameras start rolling, Bea realizes things are more complicated than she anticipated. She’s in a whirlwind of sumptuous couture, Internet culture wars, sexy suitors, and an opportunity (or two, or five) to find messy, real-life love in the midst of a made-for-TV fairy tale. In this joyful, razor-sharp debut, Bea has to decide whether it might just be worth trusting these men–and herself–for a chance to live happily ever after.

I’m not going to talk too much about this one as I’ve already spoken about it in my previous upcoming releases posts, but I’m still extremely excited for it and I’m jealous of every Goodreads reviewer who got their hands on an ARC of this early. 

Here The Whole Time
by Vitor Martins

Release date, January 21st 2021. 

What would you do if you had to spend the next 15 days with your lifelong crush? Felipe gets it — he’s fat. Not chubby. Not big-boned. Fat. And he doesn’t need anyone to remind him, which is, of course, what everyone does. That’s why he’s been waiting for this moment ever since the school year began: school break. Finally, he’ll be able to spend some time far away from school and the classmates who tease him incessantly. His plans include catching up on his favorite TV shows, finishing his to-be-read pile, and watching YouTube tutorials on skills he’ll never actually put into practice. But things get a little out of hand when Felipe’s mom informs him that Caio, the neighbor kid from apartment 57, will be spending the next 15 days with them while his parents are on vacation. Felipe is distraught because A) he’s had a crush on Caio since, well, forever, and B) Felipe has a list of body image insecurities and absolutely NO idea how he’s going to entertain his neighbor for two full weeks. Suddenly, the days ahead of him that once promised rest and relaxation (not to mention some epic Netflix bingeing) end up bringing a whirlwind of feelings, forcing Felipe to dive head-first into every unresolved issue he has had with himself — but maybe, just maybe, he’ll manage to win over Caio, too.

This sounds like it’s going to give me allllll the feels!! It’s queer AND it talks about being fat and male, as well, which isn’t a perspective I hear from often. I’m so excited to see him as a person who struggles with his body image but goes to learn more about himself and his relationship with his body where he finds he doesn’t need to lose weight or change his self image in order to be loved or appreciated by himself and other people. I think it’s going to be an adorable and emotional journey, and I can’t wait to be a part of it. 

 

Hopefully this has encouraged you to preorder them or add them to your TBR/Wishlists because they all sound amazing, and the representation deserves to be promoted. I hope you give at least one of these a go. I also love how these deal with intersections, which I’ve not seen really any fat representation from so far in my reading experiences. I’m probably going to preorder these, soon, but first I have a lot of personal things going on in my life (that I’m going to share with you soon in a future blog post!). 

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Popular Books I Don’t Want to Read

This one might make some people angry at me and I might lose some followers for this, and that’s okay, but I want people who also don’t want to read these books know that it’s okay not to go along with the hype if you don’t want to, and to read what you know you’ll be interested in and what you personally choose to support.

Also, as a disclaimer, none of this is an attack on you if you love the book/s I’m about to mention! This is just my personal opinion and I don’t think you have a bad taste or that just because I think the book is problematic or that I don’t want to promote them or give the authors money that means I think you are problematic too. We are allowed to enjoy things if we acknowledge that, sometimes, things we enjoy have problems

The Midnight Sun
by Stephanie Meyer

I actually do really want to read this. The Twilight books were a big part of my teenage years and reading from the point of view of Edward sounds amazing. The books are problematic, though, and I don’t think supporting a woman like Meyer is something I’m personally willing to do and I’m kinda sad about that but if she wasn’t racist, I would read them for sure. 

Anything by John Green

I know some people say he’s improved over the years and to read his recent book but I just can’t get over his simplified writing style, his cliche plot lines, his use of disabled people to create an emotional response from the readers and Manic Pixie Dream Girls. I’m not sure if he’s as popular anymore, honestly, but I know for a fact I won’t be reading anything more from him

Also Anything Else by Cassandra Claire

When I was about sixteen, I used to love her writing, but since then I’ve found different fantasy styles that I enjoy a lot more than hers. I don’t like how she has overwhelmingly white characters and I know a lot of people may take this as a personal attack on them and I’m sorry, I don’t mean it that way, but CC just isn’t for me anymore, although she used to be one of my favourite authors. I mostly just grew out of them and found myself enjoying diverse fantasy a lot more

Literally Anything by Racist Rowell

She has me blocked on Twitter because I called her out for her racism on Eleanor and Park. She now completely ignores people’s very valid criticism of how poorly this book handles Asian characters, and her inability to learn new information when it is handed to her on a golden plate means I definitely will not support her anymore in the future

The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes
by Suzanne Collins

I absolutely loved The Hunger Games trilogy as a teenager but, again, I think I’ve just grown out of them with age. I’ve completely lost interest in that whole world, plus it kind of feels like we’re living it and I use reading as a form of escapism so that doesn’t really appeal to me either

Throne of Glass/A Court of Throne and Roses series
by Sara J Mass

This may be a bit of a lie because I’m reading the DC series at the moment and I know she writes one of the books for that and I know I can skip it because it’s not important to read them in order or read all of them but I will because I’m too autistic to skip a book in a series, but apart from that I have absolutely no interest in any of her books and I think diverse fantasy is so much better than anything she has written. Plus, from everything I’ve heard about the books, they just don’t appeal to me. 

Anything by Michael Grant

This post has turned more into a post about bashing authors for being problematic but…I’m a small blog and they make thousands, it won’t hurt them. It’s a shame because I absolutely love Grants books and they were genuinely amazing, but his lack of concern about protecting his readers safety doesn’t make me want to support him anymore

Nevernight
by Jay Kristoff 

Again, I’ve heard problematic things about this author. Like, a lot of problematic things, and I don’t like some of the things I’ve seen him say on Twitter and whatnot. This isn’t someone I want to personally support. Alongside that, nothing in the books really interests me all that much. I try to read mostly from women, non-binary and trans male authors, for starters, and if I do read anything from a cis man, it’s because he’s queer, black or both, because that’s who I want to support – and I can get any content from Jay’s books from these authors, and probably way better too. 

 

I’m sure this will become a part two in the future because I try and avoid problematic authors, there are so many diverse authors out there I could be supporting instead. However, I want to spend more time promoting those diverse books rather than bashing problematic authors but it’s still fun to do once in a while (although that wasn’t what this post was meant to be!). Let me know if you feel the same, or if you feel different, I’d love to know.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Stay at Home Book Tag

Hello! Another book tag coming your way! But seriously, I do genuinely really enjoy doing these and this one is appropriate! I probably won’t be going back to my volunteering positions until early/mid September at the earliest (I’m writing this post early August), so I have a lot of time to kill and I hope you’re enjoying these too! 

laying in bed:
a book you read in a day

A Monster Calls by Patrick Ness. It’s quite short but I got so absorbed in it that I couldn’t put it down, even though it was the middle of the night a few years ago and I was super tired. I ended up crying so I’m pretty glad it happened in the middle of the night.

snacking:
a guilty pleasure read

Probably Harry Potter. It’s no longer much of a secret that JKR is an absolute asshole but I still really enjoy the series due to its personal connection to me and my childhood but it’s definitely a guilty pleasure, although I do not intend to buy anything else HP related.

netflix:
a series you want to start

100% the Newflesh trilogy by Mira Grant. My partner read it and loved it, and I’m also two books into her other trilogy and it’s truly incredible what she managed to do with a pretty over used trope. I have so many books I need to get to first unfortunately but I can’t wait for this one.

deep clean:
a book that’s been on your TBR forever

All of them, lol. I’m currently cleaning up my TBR because there’s no realistic way I’m ever going to be able to get to them all so I have to prioritise what I want to read most but great new releases keep coming out!

animal crossing:
a book you bought because of the hype

I’m a little ashamed to say that most books I own have been bought because of the hype and not because I actually know enough about it to know if I really do want to read it. I’ve ended up having to sell books I haven’t even read after realising I’m never realistically going to get around to it.

productivity:
a book you learned from or had an impact on you

Recently, that would be Educated by Tara Westover. It was an interesting read and went on turns I never really expected. It covered abuse, severe psychotic mental illness, Mormon, being a woman in higher education, etc. I also thought it was interesting from an autistic perspective because I’ve also felt like an outsider even if it is for different reasons completely.

facetime:
a book you were gifted

My birthday happened really recently and my mum bought me two books that I’m so excited to get around to, I’ve never even heard of them before. It’s The Beast Player (#1-2) and The Beast Warrior (#3-4) by Nahoko Uehashi. I don’t know much about it but it involves animals, which I absolutely love, and a fantasy aspect? It sounds really interesting and I can’t wait to get to them.

This was fun! It’s also a tag I haven’t done before and I’m always looking for new tags because they’re my go to when I have no idea what to post. I hope you enjoyed it and, as always, if you want to do this tag then feel free.

BLACK LIVES MATTER

Birthday Book Tag! – Turning 24

Hello! I actually turned 24 on the 8th of August earlier this month, but I pre-write all my blog posts, I just like to stay on top of things. I’ve never heard of this book tag before and I’m really excited for this one, especially since it’s something I can do every year and I can do comparisons and have something to look back on.

Birthday Cake
A book with a plot that seems cliche but you love it anyway

Probably the whole To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before trilogy by Jenny Han. It follows several cliche plots I suppose, including love triangles and falling in love with a popular boy and whatnot, but it’s one of my favourite trilogies regardless. It’s so wholesome.

Party Guests –
Your most anticipated release

This one is a hard one! Funnily enough, by the time this is uploaded, all three of my posts on upcoming releases I’m excited for will be up and they’re all so good. I think maybe Cemetary Boys by Aiden Thomas. I really want some paranormal goodness into my life at the moment, it sounds amazing.

Birthday Presents
A book that surprised you with how much you loved it

Hmm! Another hard one! I think maybe Good Me Bad Me by Ali Land. I was actually pretty upset in learning this is her only published book, and it’s from several years ago so I doubt she’s planning to write more in the future. I thought I might like it of course or I would never have picked it up but it really took me by surprise just how much I loved it and how much it stuck with me after I finished it

The happy birthday song
A book that deserved all the hype

100% The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo by Taylor Jenkins Reid. I’ve only read it once because I have so many books I want to read and on my TBR that I end up not re-reading books very often at all. But, it has so much hype and is probably one of the rare books that no amount of hype could ever ruin how brilliant it really is.

happy music
a book with truly memorable and beautiful quotes

Possibly It’s Not Ok to Feel Blue (And Other Lies) by a range of different authors. I really loved this, it’s about people’s experiences with mental illness and some of the quotes inside this book are stunning. I don’t remember any to tell you so you’re just going to have to trust me. If you struggle with your mental health too, this is definitely one to read.

getting older
a book you read a long time ago but you think you would appreciate it more as a mature reader

I think we’re all understanding just how impactful The Hunger Games really was now, and when I was younger it’s something I didn’t understand or appreciate. I think if I read it for the first time as someone older, it would definitely have hit me in a different way and I would have made all the relevant comparisons with how it relates to current life.

sweet birthday memories
a book that kept you happy during a sad or demanding period of your life

Probably the Heartstopper series by Alice Oseman. They’re so wholesome and pure. Even though they talk about some tough topics, they’re dealt with well and they always pick me up whenever I need them to.

So there we go! I really enjoyed writing this and it gives me something to be excited for as I get older, and closer to my late twenties (yikes). I can’t wait to see how some of my answers have changed or if none of them really have. A lot can happen in a year! Until next time

BLACK LIVES MATTER

24 Things I’ve Learnt at 24

As I’ve said in a previous post, I turned 24 on the 8th August and it’s terrifying because I’m now officially in my mid twenties instead of my early twenties. It’s easy to focus on everything I haven’t done, and what I haven’t achieved yet – I can’t drive, swim, whistle, I haven’t even had my first paid job yet and most people have that in their teenage years (disabled!).

24th birthday
Happy 24th birthday gold foil balloon greeting background. 24 years anniversary logo template- 24th celebrating with confetti. Photo stock

So, instead of focusing on all the negative things about getting older, I want to turn my energy onto things I’ve learnt – twenty four things at twenty four years old. I don’t think I’ve learnt very much but this will be a fun thing to do each year, and something to compare to.

1. Being fat isn’t actually a bad thing and, even though I’ll probably still waste more precious time trying to lose weight, being fat isn’t the end of the world and isn’t a moral failure

2. My good health is a blessing and it’s something I’m learning to be grateful for (if you ignore the chronic illnesses, I’m not dying and that’s the main thing!)

3. My relationship with my partner is something a lot of people look for their whole life, and what a lot of people never find. I’m grateful for this relationship, and for them, more than anything

4. I’m learning to be less trusting of people, because I’ve been screwed over a fair amount this year by people who are good at making me believe I should trust them – I think I should put my guard up a bit more, and finding the balance between opening up and watching who I trust is a challenge but one I’m going to take on

5. Being on my phone 24/7 is quite boring, it’s not engaging me or fulfilling me. I’m learning to focus more of my time on things I enjoy like watching movies, going for walks and reading. Social media, especially, can be really toxic for me and it’s something I need to spend less time with

6. Social media and appearances aren’t everything. Even with things like my Goodreads goals, I end up reading things for the purpose of completing an online goal. I need to do things that bring me enjoyment and not to look good to people I don’t know very well or don’t know at all.

7. I cut some “close” family members out of my life earlier in the year and I’ve felt so much better since. If you have toxic people in your life and you’re able to, cut them out. Surround yourself with positive people who motivate and inspire you, who give you something beneficial to your life, and not people who drain you and upset you. Life is too short.

8. Don’t let other people’s opinions change your own and, if you believe something is right, stand up for it even when everyone around you thinks you’re ridiculous.

9. I’ve started therapy again this year and it’s good, actually. I’m doing short term therapy but I’m thinking of putting money aside to do private therapy, as the NHS can’t fund me long term therapy unless you’re in severe need of help and I just need someone to talk to and someone to help guide me to see the light when I’m struggling to see it myself. Asking for help and letting someone help you is necessary for your wellbeing.

10. Sometimes, it’s me that is in the wrong and it’s okay to admit that. Learn from yourself and do better.

11. If it doesn’t make me happy then I’m not going to do it. There are some things I have to do like paying bills and cleaning my home but things that are optional, I have no reason to do them if they don’t make me happy

12. Parents don’t always know best. My father isn’t in my life anymore (toxic family members, see above) but I always go to my mother for advice. She’s just a human who decided to have a child, though, and frequently parents can be wrong too so it’s okay to trust my own intuition. Times are changing and parents don’t always understand things from your perspective.

13. Growing apart from people is natural. It’s okay for me to be upset about it but sometimes there’s nothing wrong with either of you, you don’t argue or anything, you just stop talking. It’s what happens.

14. Communication is important. Sometimes, all you need to do is talk to each other to prevent arguments. Luckily me and my partner have never argued once but I do argue a lot with the other people in my life. If they end up turning a conversation about our feelings into an argument, especially when it didn’t need to be one, then maybe I need to think about whether I want that person in my life

15. Things that I used to think were the end of the world actually aren’t. Things like breakups and friendship breakups and personal failures and down periods in my life. I may not have lived through a whole lot (well, a lot of trauma but nothing “normal”), but I know that they really aren’t the end of the world and that’s just how things go sometimes. I can be upset about it but I don’t have to have a breakdown over it.

16. Just like bad things are bound to happen, so are good things. Happiness isn’t so much as one big, rounded feeling of happiness. It’s more like all the little things you enjoy, and together that’s what happiness really is.

17. Being alone is good. I’ve always been like that, especially since I’m autistic, but I’ve always forced myself to do things with other people because that’s what everyone else does. It’s okay to eat out alone or go to the cinema alone and just because it’s socially expected for me to be with others, it doesn’t mean I have to

18. Putting self care and things I enjoy into my schedule is just as important as paying bills, cleaning my house and attending appointments.

19. Holding on to hatred is only hurting myself. The people who have hurt me don’t get anything negative OR positive from my pain. I just need to let things go.

20. The right thing to do is often the hardest thing to do and that’s okay.

21. Life is too short not to DNF books. This may not be as deep as my previous points but I’m not one to DNF books and I usually just push through it but there are so many good books in the world that putting so much time and energy into something I just don’t want to do seems absolutely pointless. It’s okay to DNF books and pick something else up instead (also it risks throwing me into a book slump and they’re so difficult to get out of!)

22. Acting out of emotions rather than letting them sit for a while before I do something logical and reasonable was harmful not just to me but everyone involved. As difficult and challenging as it is, acknowledge the feelings and write them down and let them sit for a while before you have any sort of conversation or make any decisions, especially major ones

23. Tell people you love and appreciate them as much as you can. Even though I’ve been lucky enough that nobody close to me has died, the pandemic and local accidents have made me see even clearer how fragile life really is. Someone can vanish in a blink of an eye and I’ll forever regret how I never let them know how much I loved and appreciated them so I make sure they don’t doubt it

24. Finally, it’s okay to be sad. I don’t know why this took me so long to learn but putting so much pressure on myself to be happy and to try and achieve happiness as much as possible was harming me. Sometimes, it’s okay to be sad. As Dixie would say, “sometimes I don’t want to be happy. Don’t hold it against me. If I’m down, just leave me there, let me be sad”. You need sadness to have happiness. It’s one of the main messages of my favourite movie, Inside Out, and yet it took this long for it to sink in!

 

BLACK LIVES MATTER