I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: 3rd May 2018
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
Goodreads

For Angel Rahimi, life is only about one thing: The Ark – a pop-rock trio of teenage boys who are currently taking the world by storm. Being part of The Ark’s fandom has given her everything – her friendships, her dreams, her place in the world.

Jimmy Kaga-Ricci owes everything to The Ark too. He’s their frontman – and playing in a band is all he’s ever dreamed of doing. It’s just a shame that recently everything in his life seems to have turned into a bit of a nightmare.

Because that’s the problem with dreaming – eventually, inevitably, real life arrives with a wake-up call. And when Angel and Jimmy are unexpectedly thrust together, they will discover just how strange and surprising facing up to reality can be.

Gosh I love the feeling after reading a book by Alice Oseman.

Continue reading “I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman”

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Solitaire by Alice Oseman

Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: July 2014
Rating: ☆ ☆ ☆
Goodreads

Plot: In case you’re wondering, this is not a love story.

My name is Tori Spring. I like to sleep and I like to blog. Last year – before all that stuff with Charlie and before I had to face the harsh realities of A-Levels and university applications and the fact that one day I really will have to start talking to people – I had friends. Things were very different, I guess, but that’s all over now.

Now there’s Solitaire. And Michael Holden.

I don’t know what Solitaire are trying to do, and I don’t care about Michael Holden.

I really don’t.

I originally gave this book 3/5 stars. But after leaving it for a while and really thinking about this book, I’m seriously considering making it higher.

Because just because I didn’t get it, doesn’t mean it wasn’t important.

Tori Spring is a character you can either not relate to at all or relate to completely. You can call yourself a pessimist or one who likes to dwell in the doom and gloom of life but it won’t be the same thing as what Tori Spring experiences. If you don’t understand what’s going on immediately, then you’re about to get a subtle but very important education on mental health, from the perspective of someone with mental health issues.

solitaireNow mental illnesses are experienced differently, even if one person has the same illness as another. They are personal and differ depending on the person. Sometimes there’s a reason behind the forming of a mental illness, whether it’s trauma or stress or literally anything. But sometimes, mental illnesses happens for absolutely no reason at all. They’re not there, and suddenly, they are. Whether or not you completely understand mental illness, it’s important to read books like Solitaire, where Tori Spring has a normal, rather average life. But seen through her eyes, it feels isolated, cold, and a rather numbing existence.

Of course, there are many other fantastic characters who, while seem distant (because of the way Tori sees them) are still important and loving people in her life. Michael Holden being one of them. A rather quirky, upbeat character, we don’t see the real Michael until later on because of Tori’s perspective of him, it’s only until they truly see each other do we start to understand his and other characters’ motivations.

While in some aspects this story was lighthearted, it really brought to life the pressures that adolescence have when their mental wellbeing is also going down the drain. It can be hard to understand when dealing with both of them yourself, but I’m glad I read this book and I’m glad it wasn’t portrayed at quirky or cute or any other nonsense that mental illness is ‘trendy’. It’ll stick with you, this story. It really will.

buy the book from The Book Depository, free delivery

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#PrideMonth: My Fave LGBTQ+ Books

So in case you didn’t know, LGBTQ+ representation in fiction is very slim. Genres upon themes upon age demographic, and only a small percentage of fiction has a gay character. It’s tragic, for a world that becomes more and more tolerant every day (or, at least we’d like to think so), the majority of fiction busies itself with the same old plots involving straight people.

And don’t get me wrong; some of those stories are still fantastic. But, instead of asking why a book should include an LGBT character, you should be asking; why not? I have become a reader who thrives on such characters. If, on Goodreads, a book is tagged with the ‘Glbt’ category, I instantly become more inclined to read it. There’s just an exciting, fresh story there that explores new plots and themes and personality, that I just want to read them all.

In celebration of Pride Month this June, here are my favourite books with LGBTQ+ characters I’ve read so far, and some that I plan to read very soon.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

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I remember reading the majority of this book on the train. A train is a public place, and I am terrible at reading about boys being cute and not making stupid faces at words on a page. This book was so heart-wrenchingly good. Mixed with themes you know and love from that well known series, but with an added contemporary feel, Carry On has LGBT youth in a fantasy setting, which is always so desperately needed. What, you’re gunna make up a whole new world with an imaginative society that plays by different rules but everyone’s still straight? I don’t think so. Carry On is the fanfiction previously told in Fangirl, where Simon Snow, the ‘chosen one’ deals with growing up, defeating villains, and falling in love with his worst enemy/roommate.

The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller

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This is the book that stayed with me. I picked it up on a whim, only because I’d seen it on Goodreads marked as LGBT (see how much that tag draws me in??). I rarely readyhistorical fiction, unless it’s mixed in with fantasy, it’s just a genre I’m not too bothered with. So when I started reading Song of Achilles, with absolutely no previous knowledge of The Iliad, I’d really chucked myself head first into becoming a masochist. This story is one of the most beautiful I’ve ever read, and it hurts. so. much. The Song of Achilles tells the story of Patroclus, a banished Prince who becomes the best friend and lover Achilles, a demi-God who is destined for greatness.

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson

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This was the book that made me Jandy Nelson trash. It also made me fall in love with LGBT+ contemporary just that little bit more (not that I needed that much convincing). The writing is just fantastic; it’s imaginative and fits so well with the narrative. I’ll Give You The Sun is about twins Noah and Jude, both creative in their own way. But after tragedy strikes, their relationship is ruined, and it’s only them who can salvage what’s left.

Landline by Rainbow Rowell

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Now, you’re probably thinking this is a bit of a curve ball, because Landline is about a straight couple mending their relationship. However, I felt the need to include this because I very rarely read books about women falling in love. But hey, it’s not out of a diversion of it; I’d LOVE to read more about the ‘L’ in LGBT+, but it seems more scarce than gay romance is. So when I picked up Landline, I was pleasantly surprised that one of the side plots was a teen girl/girl romance. The book was already fantastic, but it just made it that much more exciting and lovely and different to all those other straight romance books!

More Than This by Patrick Ness

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This was my second dive into a Patrick Ness book and I’m still in awe. Ness’ characters are so real and vibrant I almost feel like I know them. I mean, I do, in a sense. After the popularity of The Rest Of Us Just Live Here, I knew I had to get my hands on More Than This, an apocalyptic, sci-fi, contemporary melting pot of diverse and deep characters. One day, Seth dies, and then he wakes up. It’s not possible, but then, what is? (You’re not supposed to know that much going in, so I’ll leave it there!).

Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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Oh man, I feel like while I recommend this book loads, I don’t actually recommend it enough. Radio Silence was a completely new thing for me. I’d heard of Alice Oseman before through her Tumblr and Twitter and of course Solitaire. This book had been rec’d by bloggers on all the book chats on Twitter, and I had no idea that it was LGBT+. It’s my favourite thing, not knowing about that element and then getting excited when it just happens. Can I also mention that this is another book with actual gay women, and even BISEXUAL WOMEN, ASEXUAL MEN, it’s just….it’s incredible that books just do not represent enough of us, and I’m so glad I was told told, nay, ordered, to read Radio Silence. Radio Silence is about the pressures of school and the future when you’re a teenager, how flawed the school system is, all seen through the eyes of social media.

Here are some that I plan to read that are either solely LGBT+ or at least have LGBT+ themes:

Are there any LGBT+ books you’ve enjoyed recently? Recommend some and I’ll most likely give it a read. Happy Pride!

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Monthly Favourites: April

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I’m still not great at these opening titles. Hell, I don’t think I’ll ever be. But this month was filled with spectacular online interaction that I hope won’t ever stop. Of really using the internet for it’s full potential, and for writing and reading like nothing I’ve ever done. This is April.

BOOKS
Radio Silence by Alice Oseman

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I mention this book in so many of my blog posts because it’s just THAT GOOD. A British university student, Alice Oseman is well on her way to having a list of publications full of five stars. She writes realistic, stressed out teenagers who deal with school, parents, and the future. Radio Silence, if you haven’t heard me natter on about it before, is a novel about Frances Janvier, a girl with straight A’s who doesn’t know what she truly wants. She meets Aled Last, a quiet older boy who’s drowning in a sea of pressure and other people’s plans for him. Radio Silence is a great portrayal of boy/girl platonic friendships, and how school is not the be all end all. My review for it is long and right here. 

MOVIES
Deadpool (2015) Dir. Tim Miller

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I finally watched a movie, everyone. Round of applause to the girl who finally put her book down for two hours and didn’t watch Youtube videos.

Deadpool is a movie I’ve been really looking forward to, despite not seeing it until April. It turns out, not many family members want to see an 18 rated film with you. I’m not surprised, and I struggled to find people to see it with who hadn’t already, so when I finally got to watching it was in the comfort of my lonesome, with no embarrassing side glances at the person sat next to me.

I loved it, but my only criticism is that is was way too short. But still, beautifully done, and by beautiful, I mean great close up shots of Ryan Reynolds ass. I’m so glad he worked had to get it done properly (the movie, not his ass); Deadpool swears, breaks the fourth wall, has lots of sex, and loves gratuitous violence, and it would be a shame to leave that out of a movie that was about him. How they’re going to slot him into a Marvel movie, I have no idea.

TELEVISION
American Crime Story: The People v O.J Simpson

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During the trial of O.J Simpson, I was 1-2 years old. I have no recollection of the internationally broadcast trial, and was still in the dark about most things even today. I’ve heard passing jokes on comedy shows, but that’s about it. Therefore, when I got down to watching The People v O.J Simpson I was actually shocked at the outcome and the ramifications both sides had for their motivations. A gripping insight into the mind of society on such an important and sensitive topic.

INTERNET
Twitter Hashtag Chats

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Since starting this blog, I have become completely immersed in the internet book community, and one thing that I’ve found incredibly engaging and down right fucking fun are Twitter chats, hosted and taken part by book bloggers alike. You find new friends, new blogs, and some stellar book recommendations. Some great ones that I take part in, all in which are hosted by British bloggers and so are at times suitable for people in the GMT/BST timezone, are:

  • #UKYACHAT: Hosted by @lucythereader on Fridays at 8pm GMT/BST
  • #SUNDAYYA: Hosted by @_sectumsemprah every other Sunday at 6pm GMT/BST
  • #STORYCRAFTER: Hosted by @writerology on Sundays at 8pm GMT/BST
  • #FEMINISMINYA: Hosted by @helloiammariam on Tuesdays at 7:30pm GMT/BST
  • #FAIRYCHAT: Hosted by @fairyloot every 2nd Saturday of the month.

I try and attend each chat every week, #storycrafter being the easiest because I’m NEVER busy on Sunday evening, and #feminisminya the most difficult because I’m ALWAYS busy on a Tuesday night.

If there’s any twitter chats that you attend that would be great for bloggers in other timezones, share them in the comments!

YOUTUBE
Kingsley – ItsKingsleyBitch

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When the internet gets crazy, all you need is a good laugh, and that’s what Kingsley is here for. Hilarious in his expressions and reactions, there is nothing like commenting on people’s ridiculousness as they reply to celebrity’s photos with vulgar and explicit content. Thirsty Thursday, a weekly segment on Kingsley’s channel, sees viewers send in ‘thirsty’ comments they’ve seen on social media and basically call them out.

And the shit they say is hilarious.

I’m not going to embed a video on my post because the videos are so explicit it’s hilarious. So, if you’re over 18, I’d click the link to his channel up there and prepare to wet yourself from laughter.

MUSIC
Fall Out Boy

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It seems that April is going to also be my most expensive month, with concert tickets going on sale left, right, and centre. One in particular that I’m excited about is Reading Festival, a three day music extravaganza that I’ve never been to. While there are some fantastic acts I’m eager to see, I bought the tickets because of this band.

Fall Out Boy have been in my life for the last ten years; always present, always in my ears. And now, I finally get to see them. I’ve been listening to the American Beauty/American Psycho album on repeat for the whole month, and I don’t intend to stop until August.

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