YA Book Recs: Novels that Respect Mental Illness

Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-Logo.pngHello, everyone! This week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂 Today I’m welcoming Cristina to the blog!

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Hello, readers! I’m Cristina and I’ve popped over from my YA book blog Girl in the Pages to chat with you today. I’m going to be focusing on YA book recommendations that portray mental illness in a way that is respectful, insightful, and engaging. While it’s great that mental illness is becoming a more prevalent theme in YA, it’s also too often used as merely a plot device or perpetuates stereotypes, doing more harm than good. Finding authors who provide the needed research to effectively write about mental illness as major themes in their books is important not only to bring awareness to the conditions, but to set a standard for the integrity of including such themes in books. I’ve chosen to focus on three major mental illnesses that have novels that portray them with research, respect, insightfulness, and when appropriate, creativity. Continue reading

Pop Culture & Mental Health: Fiction vs Reality

Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-Logo.pngHello, everyone! This week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂 Today I’m welcoming Hattie to the blog!

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Hello, all! My name’s Hattie, and I’m usually found writing over at The Anxious Girl’s Guide to Dating, my advice blog. I am so honored to be taking part in Blogs of a Bookaholic’s mental health week. As a fellow tea-drinker and book lover, I’m thrilled to be here. Becky is seriously so lovely, right? And while I’m a huge fan of books in general, I’m also a huge fan of open dialogue about mental health soo I think I’ve found my blogging soulmate.

Anxiety has been a constant companion of mine since childhood and depression likes to pop his head in the door every once in a while too. Mental health is one of those interesting topics that seems to be everywhere and yet still is a challenge for a lot of people to talk about. For me, my anxiety reached a tipping point when I tried to start dating in my late teens (then early twenties, then mid-twenties…I was a late bloomer).  Continue reading

Mental Health & the Importance of Reading

Mental-Health-Awareness-Week-Logo.pngHello, everyone! This week is mental health awareness week run by the Mental Health Foundation. As this is an area I’m really passionate about both personally and as a psychology student, to do my bit I’ve decided to run a blog feature where I and guest bloggers talk about mental health related topics paired with books and/or blogging to help raise awareness. 🙂 Today I’m welcoming Charlotte to the blog!

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Hello everyone, I’m Charlotte and normally I can be found ranting and raving over at Miscrawl about books and life!

Oh mental health, how to write about thee? After much thought, I realized that the best way would be to (very loosely) tell my own story. Strap yourselves in; there be talk of depression and books from here on in.

I’ve always loved books and I’ve always loved reading.

Coming from a bookish family, I learnt to read at a young age and I was never one of those children that needed entertaining with fantastical games or expensive trips out. I was perfectly content to be left alone in a quiet room with a book, my imagination running wild. I was the stereotypical image of a slightly geeky, somewhat socially inept kid who always had their nose dangerously close to inhaling musty pages. Continue reading

Quoting the Quill #58

Quoting the Quill

“Old books exert a strange fascination for me – their smell, their feel, their history; wondering who might have owned them, how they lived, what they felt.”

– Lauren Willig

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I like how this quote sums up so well what I love about old or second hand books. I like to romanticize the idea that books have two stories, one the words on the paper, and second the story of all the people who have picked the novel up and formed thoughts about it. Continue reading

Guest Post: 8 Words You’ll Never Believe Shakespeare Invented!

Words Shakespeare Invented
Hello everyone, hope you’re well! I have a guest post for you today from the company Playster, who are here to talk about Shakespeare and the English language. I have to say, reading this post, I was shocked at some of the words that originally came from Shakespeare! Hope you enjoy. 🙂

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Playster.com is a great source for all things Shakespeare. We’ve got tons of material on the bard, from books, to collections of his sonnets and copies of his greatest plays, to music inspired by the magical worlds he created. Have you ever thought about what a huge impact William Shakespeare had on the English language? Check out these 8 words you’ll never believe he invented!

“Radiance” – All’s Well That Ends Well, Act 1 Scene 1

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Dual Reviews: Discovering J.D. Salinger and Revisiting Charles Dickens

Hey guys, gals and enthusiastic bookworms. I’ve decided to go all highbrow today and review some classics, The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger and A Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens. I’m pleased to say that I’ve come to really enjoy reading classics, they make for such an interesting reading experience because even if you don’t end up loving them, you always learn something! I went through a patch last year of not reading many, but my enthusiasm for them has recently been renewed so I picked these two off the Rory Gilmore Challenge to give a go. As always, I am not an English major, but here’s what I thought:

Overall Impression: A fascinating character study of a young teen full of contradictions.The Catcher in the Rye

I don’t know why this book works, but it does. On paper, it sounds oh so boring and like a school child’s required reading worst nightmare. It’s a book where nothing happens, where the main character after getting expelled from his private school, wanders around New York City meeting up with random people because he doesn’t want to go home and confront his parents. It’s a story about a whiny privileged white kid who throws opportunities to have a good life away, and yet somehow, despite sounding like a recipe for disaster and epic hate, it’s absolutely wonderful. But I can definitely see why this book has split so many opinions! Continue reading

Cover Reveal & Sneak Peak of Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer!

strangethedreamer-fb-reveal-uk-us

Hello, hello everyone, exciting news today! I am extremely honoured and happy (to the point of hyperventilating) to have been picked by Hodder & Stoughton to help unveil the cover for Laini Taylor’s new upcoming book, Strange the Dreamer! Laini is most well known for her YA, Daughter of Smoke & Bone series. I personally haven’t read any of her books before, but they have always been on my MUST GET TO AT SOME POINT wishlist, because I have heard nothing but good things and her work seems like the sort of thing I normally LOVE. Strange the Dreamer is set to be released in September 2016. The UK cover can be seen pictured on the left, while the US one is on the right. And honestly, I can’t decide which one I like better, I’m kinda drooling. Have I piqued your interest yet? Here’s the blurb:

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Discussion: On Choosing Not to Read a Sequel

Do you ever choose not to read a novels sequel

As a bookworm, I have always been intent on finishing series, in fact, it’s basically a compulsion. I have finished reading series when I’m not that bothered about the characters or how their stories turn out, I’ve finished series that have awful writing, and I’ve even finished series where I’ve absolutely hated everything to do with it by the end. Why do I torture myself like this? I feel the need to see things through to the end. I also don’t like to quit and finishing books gives me a sense of closure. And until now (despite having had previous resolutions to give up series I’m not enjoying) I haven’t come across anything that has contradicted this.

However, recently I’ve come across two books that were incredibly enjoyable, heartfelt and lots of fun where I’ve questioned if I should read the sequel. Continue reading

Book Fangirling Blog Award


book fangirling blog award

I don’t normally post about blog awards these days, mostly because I get quite a lot of them and I feel like the posts can get repetitive and aren’t that fun for people to read, but Read by Umbreen nominated me for this one, and how could I resist it with a title like ‘the book fangirling award’ AND when it has a picture of a Harry Potter jumper? 😉 This one is exactly my cup of tea, so thank you, Umbreen for thinking of me!

The Rules:

  • Create a post to accept your award.
  • Add the blog award button into your post and put it on the side of your blog as a widget. Visit fangirling for the award button.
  • Answer the questions I have below.
  • Nominate between 5-10 book bloggers who you think also deserve this award.
  • Come up with your own 5 questions for your nominees.

So here are Umbreen’s questions: Continue reading

Quoting the Quill #58

Quoting the Quill

“Here’s what I think: I think I’ve got a map in my car that wants to be used, and I think there are places we can go that need to be seen. Maybe no one else will ever visit them and appreciate them or take the time to think they’re important, but maybe even the smallest places mean something. And if not, maybe they can mean something to us.”

– All the Bright Places (Jennifer Niven)

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This was my favourite quote from the amazing book All the Bright Places I read a couple of months ago. It’s that kind of quote that makes your breath catch because it really speaks to an in-depth desire in your heart to travel. Continue reading

Quoting the Quill #57

Quoting the Quill

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it. That doesn’t happen much, though.”

– J.D. Salinger

I’m currently reading The Catcher in the Rye, and when I came across this quote it instantly struck me as true, even though it was a thought that had never occurred to me before. How awesome would it be if when you finished a truly earth-shattering book, you could phone up the author and fangirl with them over their OWN book? They could answer all your questions about character motivations, possible sequels and their world building process. I get all giddy just thinking about it. 😀 Continue reading

The Death Cure by James Dashner Review 4/5

Overall Impression: A satisfying end to an overall enjoyable trilogy with memorable characters.

The Death Cure by James DashnerThis series kind of reminds me of takeaway pizza.
What, you say? Bear with me.
You know how occasionally, just occasionally, that takeaway pizza yearning kicks in, and you kind of know that it’s not the healthiest thing for you and that there’s much better, more sophisticated food out there? But it just tastes so darn good and so you devour it with great speed, enjoying every bite, but if you eat too much of it you become bloated. So you know that even though you really enjoyed it, you wouldn’t want takeaway pizza every week? Yeah, that sums up The Maze Runner series for me. It’s not the best written story out there or the most complex so you wouldn’t want to read too much of it in one go, but it keeps you turning the pages and you really enjoy it, even if you’re not 100% sure why. The final book in the series, The Death Cure also followed the same pattern for me!

The trials are over. WICKED is planning to restore the survivors’ memories and complete the final cure for the Flare.
But Thomas has already remembered more than they think. And he knows WICKED can’t be trusted.
The time for lies is over. But the truth is more dangerous than Thomas could ever imagine. Will anyone survive the Death Cure?
Continue reading

2015 in Review: A Year of Big Changes and Awesome Fantasy Books!


New Years Eve

Happy New Years everybody! Pop those corks, pump up the music and hug it out. You’ve made it through another year!

It sounds corny, but I’m so appreciative of everything in my life as 2015 comes to a close.
I feel like my relationships with friends and family have only grown stronger this year, and I feel lucky to have a number of amazing, passionate and loyal people in my life. 2015 has been a big personal year for me and I’ve learnt so much. I’m more sure, centred and confident about who I am, to the point where I really don’t care what anyone else thinks! And I’ve stopped obsessing over the what ifs that used to stop me from taking chances.

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Mini Reviews: A Song of George R.R. Martin’s Storytelling

Dunnnn, dunn, dun dun, dunnnn, dunn, dun, dun, dunn, dunn, dun, dun, dunn, dunn dun dun dunn dunn…
Yeahhh, I’ve pretty much had the Game of Thrones theme tune stuck in my head for the entire time it took me to write this post. I feel like I’m going slightly insane now! So yes, while Becky has been somewhat silent on the blog, in real life she has been busy, shifting through thousands of pages worth of Westeros, where dragons reign and people fight over a really uncomfortable chair. Woohoo! (Weirdos). After watching the season 5 shocker finale on TV, I was a little distraught and desperate for more George R.R. Martin, not to mention ANSWERS. I’ve also recently rewatched the entire show with the boyfriend because I am trying to educate him on all things nerdy (it’s working, slowly). All of this led to me feeling determined to try and catch up with the books in time for the release of season 6 and the next novel,Winds of Winter. So here are my reviews of books 3-5!

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Tag: My Life in Books

Umbreen from Read by Umbreen has been kind enough to tag me for the My Life in Books tag! I’m quite picky about which tags I do these days because there are a lot floating around, but this one seemed like great fun so I decided to give it a go. So, onwards dear readers!

Find a book for each of your initials.

beautiful creaturesAm I Normal Yet by Holly BourneDash and Lily's Book of Dares

This was actually a lot easier than I thought it would be! I guess I’m lucky to have initials that are on quite a few book titles. I picked Beautiful Creatures because despite the novel having many flaws and somewhat frustrating characters, it’s one of the most atmospherically gothic tales I’ve ever read and it also has epic library descriptions! I still have yet to finish this series, I really need to get back to it! Am I Normal Yet is a novel I read this year about a teen with an anxiety disorder who is going to weekly therapy sessions and trying to slowly come off medication. It’s one of the most accurate books about mental health I’ve ever read, and I hope to review it soon. 🙂 Finally, I picked Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares because it’s a Christmassy book about two teens running around New York City writing in a red notebook! Continue reading