Memo Pad: May Wrap Up

May was such a busy month for me which is why this post is a couple of days late. But before that I just want to say hello June! It’s my birthday month which is exciting. It’s also pride month so happy pride everyone. It’s also also officially summer in my books (sorry southern hemisphere people).

But back to May. Okay. So first off I had excellent news. My short story is going to be published. I got the acceptance email a couple of weeks ago and I’m super happy! I don’t have any details. It’ll take a while (hello publishing industry) but at some point my work will be published.

In other writerly news, I finished up my latest edit for my YA Scifi and I’ve foisted it off on beta readers which means I’m done with it for two months and I get a much needed rest! Which is the main reason this post is late. I couldn’t bring myself to do ANYTHING for a few days. Working for 3 months straight on that revision killed my motivation to do things!

I did however read a bunch of amazing books in May (8 books) although I had a reading slump at the end there – also caused by me going nonstop on my editing but also because there was some minor travelling which meant I was too exhausted for a week to do ANYTHING, even if that thing was lying in bed with a book.

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Mini Reviews: Contemporary Feels & a Scifi Sequel

This month has been such a good month for books. I haven’t read a book didn’t LOVE, although there were some mixed feelings in there (I’m looking at you Adam Silvera). I’ve also decided (at least temporarily – I’m terrible at sticking to things) that I’m going to start doing mini review posts instead of including the growing number of reviews in one very long Monthly Wrap up. Hopefully this way it will be easier to read!

I started doing mini reviews again recently because sometimes I love a book and really want to review them but just don’t have that much to say other than OMG I LOVED THIS BOOK. (Okay, i have a little more to say, I promise this post isn’t just that repeated 5 times!)

But enough rambling, I’m going to dive right into the mini reviews:

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas *****

This has been on my TBR for ages but I finally got to it and it’s such a brilliant book about racism and police brutality. Starr is a girl caught between her posh white private school and her life at home. When her friend gets shot and killed by police she has to figure out who she is to make her voice heard. There are so many amazing characters, including everybody in Starr’s family and their complicated feelings about who they are and what they want. I loved watching how every single one of them grew and how they fitted together. And watching Starr struggle to fit the two parts of herself and her life together was emotional. It was so well done. This book covers such an important topic but at the same time it’s so character driven and it only makes it that much more powerful knowing people are going through this everyday. Obvious trigger warnings here for racism, police brutality, but also drug and physical abuse

Charm and Strange by Stephanie Kuehn *****

This is my absolute favourite kind of YA. Full of twisty, horrible secrets and mixed up timelines with slowly unfolding memories. Win fights with himself, his memories and reality as he tries to come to terms with what’s happened in his life. Now he’s let people in for the first time at his private school he has to finally confront it. This book is split over two time lines, the present as he deals with it and the past of how he got to be like he is. I loved the way we learnt more and more. Honestly as soon as I finished I wanted to go back and reread it to pick up on all the hints. It’s also got therapy positive themes which is so important. It reminded me in tone of We Were Liars which is another favourite of mine with an unreliable narrator. Trigger warnings for sexual abuse, suicide and eating disorders.

History is all you Left Me by Adam Silvera *****

This book is about two boys grieving the death of the same boy they loved and all the conflicting feelings of them trying to recover together. Right from the start you need to know this book is heartbreaking. I recommend you try to read this in one sitting if possible because if you have to put the book down in the the first half you will be too heartbroken to function. I say this from experience. It’s a book about grief and healing so the end is more positive and hopeful for everyone which was cathartic and beautiful to see but this book still hurt me enough that I have to be honest and say even though it’s a five star read I actually wish I hadn’t read it. My heart is not strong enough! But for those of you who like getting your heart broken into tiny pieces you’ll love this book. I loved the characters, their families and the fact the MC has OCD. It’s always great to see more mental health rep in books.

Avi Cantor has Six Months to Live by Sacha Lamb *****

This short story was SO good. I wish it was longer but only because I loved the characters so much that I wanted to spend time with them not because it wasn’t the right length/felt rushed like some short stories do. I could easily have enjoyed reading a full novel of these two characters but the brief writing style worked and I loved the slightly Supernatural tint to the story. The MC is a trans guy (written by an ownvoices author) who is being bullied at school when he finds a message with his name (the one he hasn’t told anyone yet) scrawled on the bathroom mirror. There are multiple trans characters (the boy he falls in love with is also trans) and just lots of diversity in general (poc characters, MC is Jewish and possible background autistic sister). I recommend it to anyone looking for a heartfelt short story but trigger warnings for suicidal thoughts.

Ashore (Staying Afloat #2) by Isabelle Adler***** (free review copy)

A super strong scifi adventure sequel to the Adrift novella. It stays with the single pov of the captain but I loved that we got more of the crew which is the only thing I felt was missing from the previous novella. One of the things I loved most about Adrift was even though it was a space adventure set around the crew of a spaceship it felt self contained and tense, this book continues that theme. The crew are stuck in a new, completely different place with a new and completely different challenge. Full of pod racing, space station crime bosses, plenty of fighting for their lives, but also plenty of intense character moments as Matt struggles to keep his crew safe and whole while not falling back into his alcohol addiction. It’s a short, easy to read adult scifi that keeps the vastness of space contained to a small but no less awesome story. Also it’s queer…

I can already tell trying to pick my favourite book of the month is going to be HARD!

I would love to know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought or if you are planning to read them! If you have any recs for Charm and Strange/We Were Liars type contemporary please comment and tell me!

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Memo Pad: April Wrap-up

I know I keep saying that this ridiculous run I’m on with my reading challenge is going to end soon but this month has been another scarily awesome month for books. Not only did I read the eight books I’ve been averaging a month so far this year but I actually ended up reading….13? Granted not all of them were novels but wow.

One of the things that definitely bumped that number up was taking part in the awesome A-spec April readathon in the first two weeks of the month. It was all about reading books with asexual and aromantic characters and there are so many amazing books that even a mood reader like me had plenty to pick from. I did a wrap up post with all my reviews from it here. But I’ll also list them with my ratings below.

April has also been Autism Acceptance Month. Two of the books I read for the A-spec readathon had autistic characters but I also read Testing Pandora which is a prequel to one of my all time favourite books that has an autistic MC. I also read two non fiction books about autism. I don’t normally mention non fiction books on the blog but as it’s the month for it I’ll review them below.

Away from reading…. We’ve accepted an offer on the house! And everyone’s fingers are crossed that it goes through okay. Right now we’re waiting for everything to get sorted.

Writing wise, I finished editing my short story and I’ve managed to get two thirds the way through my YA Scifi novel. It’s been hard going the last couple of weeks. Lots of doubts and meltdowns about it but I’m still on plan to have this edit done before my birthday in June.

Onto the books for this month!

Read: 13 (6 novels, 1 novella, 4 short stories, & 2 non-fiction books)

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Aspec April Readathon Wrap Up

The last two weeks I’ve been talking part in an amazing readathon hosted by Kitty. Her blog post about the readathon is here but it’s mostly been hosted over on Twitter under the @AspecApril. There are lots of discussions over there and also author interviews over on her blog.

The readathon spanned two weeks, the first of which was all about reading books with Asexual characters and the second all about reading books with Aromantic characters. These can obviously overlap and did in quite a few of the books I read during the last two weeks. In the end I managed to read a whole 8 books!!!! Okay, I’m cheating in multiple ways, a) I actually finished reading my first book the day before the readathon started and b) 4 of the books are short stories. Overall, I still think it’s an impressive amount (for me!).

There were two group reads. The Spy with the Red Balloon by Katherine Locke, which I read and loved. And Summer Bird Blue by Akemi Dawn Bowman which I didn’t read for the readathon but only because I’d already read and loved it last month!

There were also lots of challenges to attempt and I did manage to mark off all of them (a lot of books ticked multiple boxes!). The challenge card can be found both on twitter and on Kitty’s blog. But for now, onto the reviews…..

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Memo Pad: March Wrap Up

I’m late with my monthly wrap up. Oops. It’s April already. Luckily I am currently still a European citizen so things could have gone worse (although there’s still time!). I read a lot of books in March which is the main reason this post is late. While I haven’t found it difficult to fit reading time in between my editing time, I have found it difficult to find time to write the reviews…. Or, you know, I’m just being lazy. I should really write them as soon as I finish a book but that almost never happens!

Anyway. Other goings on that happened in March include going back to Lanzarote to sort out some minor paperwork and steal some of the sunshine (and the ice cream.yuummmm.) but we still haven’t sold our house. Sigh.

I’ve also managed to edit one third of my #ExcitingSpaceWIP so far. I’m hoping by the end of April I’ll be able to tell you all I’m two thirds through! We’ll have to see.

Next month I will also be taking part in the Aspec April readathon happening over the first two weeks. Which is a readathon focusing on books with asexual and aromantic characters in them. I’ll hopefully be posting a separate wrap up for that at the end of the two weeks. April is also Autism acceptance month so I’m planning on rounding out the month with a couple of autistic books but again we’ll see. I’m the epitome of a mood reader so this much planning may be my downfall!

I probably won’t be posting anything for autism acceptance month even though it’s my first year of being diagnosed. I wouldn’t know what to write! But if anyone has any questions about Autism or my experiences I’m happy to answer them, just leave a comment below.

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Stitchalong

It’s time for another cross stitch update. Three weeks since I last shared with you and ….. I’ve got nothing! Oops

Life here has been so hectic. Last time I was just back from lanzarote having looked at houses. This time I am back in lanzarote to fill out paperwork that is only semi to do with moving (The kinds of things you need to do before buying a house) Which means I just haven’t had time to do any cross stitch and I barely caught up with everyones posts and comments last time. Blogging and cross stitching have taken back seats.

I’m not sure where I’ll be and what will be going on next time either so I may have to bow out of this amazing group of stitchers.

But for now here are the links to everyone else who actually has made progress since last time

Avis // Claire // Gun // Carole // LucyAnn// Kate // Sue // Constanze // Debbierose // Christina // Kathy // Margaret // Cindy // Helen // Steph // Linda // Heidi // Jackie // Sunny // Hayley // Megan // Catherine // Connie // Clare // Mary Margaret // Renee // Jenny // Carmela // Jocelyn // Sharon!

We are supposed to post updates on our individual projects every three weeks and they are great to watch grow.

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I should have read that Book Tag

Or the one in which Liz from Travel in Retrospect called me out by tagging me. The tag was originally created by Booksnest. And I have way too many books I should have read by now so feel like maybe they made it with me in mind!

Rules:

  • Thank the person who tagged you and link back to their post
  • Link to the creator’s blog (booksnest.co.uk) in your post
  • Answer the questions below
  • Tag 10 others to take part
  • ENJOY THE TAG!

A book that a certain friend is always telling you to read

I really don’t read much that people tell me to read and I also don’t get people telling me to read much which may be related? Who knows! (People should definitely give me suggestions so I can ignore them more!) But a family member has suggested History of Wolves by Emily Fridlund. Which does sound good.

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