Friday, 18 August 2017

#iTalkSex, don't you?

In case you didn't know, I talk a lot about sex. On my blog and in person; over coffee, between drinks, even at work sometimes on a slow day. 
I have several WhatsApp convos and ongoing DMs that can get pretty risque – no, not in a sexting way, more like the odd 'check out this hottie [attached pic]' and 'guess what I did/saw/read/dreamt last night', or even 'gimme tips on this'-type chats. 
I've been this way as long as I can remember, but more so in recent years. 
I'm an open book, a trustworthy confidante and a fount of knowledge. 

Thursday, 17 August 2017

'Editing Emma' Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop on the epic, exciting and exceptional 'Editing Emma' blog tour!

I am thrilled to be blogging about this book – and not for the first time, either! I can safely say this YA is going to be one of the 2017's biggest and best. The excellent Chloe Seager has an immeasurable talent for creating characters and writing with a clear voice. Emma explodes out of this book, and I found myself loving and relating to her from very early on in her blogging journey. In fact, she reminded me of the young Grace, sitting in her college library at lunchtime, typing furiously to everyone and no-one when she first set up her blog...but the less said about her, the better.  


Now, Chloe has very kindly written some fabulous words for my blog and you readers. What a babe she is. I think we'll all be applauding and agreeing (albeit reluctantly) with her tales of awkward crushes and let-down dates... 

Monday, 14 August 2017

'Freshers'; my memories and a Floopy review!

My little sis Floop ('Fleur' to some, I guess) is 19 and therefore at 'Fresher age'. However, her educational journey has had many twists and turns, and she is actually about to start her second year of A Levels. She plans to attend university in Australia, our second home. She recently visited our family down under and checked out the uni she wants to go to, so naturally I lent her the hot new YA 'Freshers' for plane reading to get her in the mood and introduce her to the epic writing duo that is Lucy & Tom! 



[What follows is a transcript of me pestering little sis for a mini review. She was on the sofa under a blanket dozing at the time...I think she might have activated her Fresher mode already, tbh] 

Sunday, 13 August 2017

What I'll be reading in August 2017.

Oh hey, August. We're just 2 weeks in and you're already driving me crazy – in good and bad ways. I'm already nervous to write my end of month wrap up, to be honest with you... 

Reading-wise though, dearest August, you're gonna be a treat. I already have cracked the spines of 2 excellent YA novels 'Lola Offline' by Nicola Doherty and 'Another Place' by Matthew Crow, and now I am ready to realign with my 2017 reading schedule – which really is not as thought out or concrete as I'm implying in these posts, oops. 

This month, I have celebrated my 24th birthday. It made me think about all the books I've read in my life, and which ones have stuck with me. Also, which ones would I maybe read again? Like, to see if I love them as much the second time around or give them another chance because I didn't enjoy them the first time?
Well, I have managed to condense a very long list to just these three – although I have a couple of extras stored safely, just in case I devour them too quickly or even give up halfway through one...which is a real danger. 


Thursday, 10 August 2017

Another Place; a Q&A with Matthew Crow.

Matthew Crow's 'Another Place' (published August 3rd), is his latest novel that follows the beautiful, genre-defying and much-praised 'In Bloom' (2013). 

'Another Place', takes us to a strange and sad seaside town, where one girl is trying to put herself back together, and another girl has gone missing. 

The story centres around sixteen-year-old Claudette Flint, who is released into the care of her dad after a stay in hospital with depression. She is told that to continue getting better she must set small goals for each day, larger ones for each week, and one significant thing to aim for. Meanwhile, the close-knit community of her town seems to be falling apart in the wake of the sudden disappearance of one of her school mates - and secret friend - Sarah. Everyone knew Sarah; and at the same time, nobody knew her at all. But Claudette can understand her in ways that others didn’t. She soon decides what will be her one overarching aim in life: finding Sarah. 


Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Lola Offline

Hello, and welcome to my stop on the 'Lola Offline' blog tour! 

'Delilah Hoover has gone dark. She's quit social media, moved to Paris and changed her name to Lola Maxwell. Because she has made a mistake – one she can't take back. It was all over Twitter, and it's still the first thing that comes up when you Google her...'

This hot new YA tells the story of a teen girl who went viral – and not in a good way. Delilah – oops, I mean Lola – starts her new life in Paris and it's all going smoothly, with the usual amount of awkward moments, alcohol mishaps and crushes a teen experiences. She even gets a perfect kiss...But how long can she keep it up? What if her viral past catches up with her? 

Nicola Doherty has been praised already for her writing, and the authentic teenage voice she portrays. And readers, we are lucky to have some writing tips from her right here, right now! Read on...  

Sunday, 6 August 2017

One of those 'social media detoxes'...

I took an accidental social media break, the other day. 

Well, not really. Let me explain. It was my 24th birthday, and I promise I'm not deliberately being a douchebag when I say...I was nervous about my notifications. Yes, I know, I am bloody lucky (and delighted) to have over 5K followers on Twitter, nearly 2K on Insta and over 1K friends on Facey B (I really must do a clear out on there, though. Bigots posting unfunny dog memes have no place on my news feed tbh). I gained all my followers in 100% above board ways (for some reason you hit a certain number and people start accusing you of buying people/bots?!), and I consider a lot of them friends. In fact, I've found some of my low key soul mates online in recent years.


Friday, 4 August 2017

The Last Word.

    00:50, Thursday 3rd August
    *technically Friday 4th but...
(unedited. Literally a typing up of scribbles that made sense at the time, and are everything I needed to say.)

   I fantasised about giving you a verbal smack down. I even rehearsed my lines. It made my blood bubble and my heart race, just thinking about saying those things, finally, to your face. Watching that permanent smirk you display, dissolve.

Tuesday, 1 August 2017

24 things, learned in 24 years.

So, I'm 24 now. Or at least I will be, when this post goes live. I'm writing this the week before my birthday, as it has required a lot of thinking and prepping. I decided back in March that I was going to do something like this, after reading my excellent friend Lauren James' post with 24 useful life tips she'd learned by the age of 24. Well, I am hardly equipped to give practical and super-handy hacks like the brilliant ones she gave out to her readers, but I am definitely in a position to advise on all things emotional and...aspirational? At least, I think so...let's see.

Monday, 31 July 2017

31 Days Grace: July.

Oh, July. You were a funny one. Beautifully hot one week, unpleasantly muggy the next, and then some days you were just grey. I still enjoyed you, though. You were a month of unique situations and new adventures.

I mentioned her departure in the last monthly wrap up; little sis was away for half of July. She returned home with two new tattoos and a shit ton of stories to tell us. 


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Don't beat around the bush.

** This post features artwork by incredible female body-positive artist badasses.
All names etc. in captions **

There was a time when my friends and I would sit on the steep bank above the school games field, dressed in our summer PE kit of shorts and polo shirts, hair pulled back in elastic bands and our bare legs stretched out in front of us on the grass. We'd compare our leg hair almost weekly, and we'd see how long each of us could leave it before we caved, and shaved. 

At 13, I didn't care. Sure, it sometimes annoyed me that the fairly pale hairs on my shins would often peek out from under my navy tights, but that was the extent of it. Then suddenly, the other girls in my year started shaving, waxing and plucking. 
Why? Well, mostly because they'd heard a fable that boys liked girls with less hair, but also because some mums had told them it was more feminine to be free of fuzz. 
Soon I found myself doing the same - but not for a boy, or because my mum told me to. I did it because every other girl was, and I didn't want to be the only one not. I came home from school one day and asked mama to fetch some hair removal cream for me so I could sit in the bath tub and get rid of every little bit of fluff, which took a bloody long time and sometimes over the years led to me feeling faint due to the hideous smelly fumes that cream would give off. Just to feel...accepted? Ladylike? Normal?! 


Ayqua Khan, 20 year-old Pakistani-American artist, 
who I found via amazing Buzzfeed feature.

Monday, 24 July 2017

The 'Mid-Year Book Freak Out' tag.

Ooh look, another excellent bookish tag that one of my most excellent bookish blogger pals Bex invited me to do! Right, let's crack on and do this. The year is slipping by way too quickly as it is...


Best book you've read so far in 2017?

*panics already and opens Goodreads, checks Reading Challenge*

It's a tie between 'The Loneliest Girl in the Universe' by the mega babe Lauren James, and 'The Princess Saves Herself in this One', a poetry collection by Amanda Lovelace. 

'Loneliest Girl' is perhaps the most surprising YA I've ever read – partly because it does not read like it is publicised...not because the (amazing) press team at Walker haven't done their job correctly, oh no, because they've been extra clever in their marketing. Trust me, read this and you'll be surprised.
As for 'The Princess Saves Herself in this One', that was a badass awakening-type read, the kind I need more of at regular intervals throughout each year. 

Sunday, 23 July 2017

Is blogging dying?

Everyone seems to be saying that blogging is dying, these days. This news is sad, surprising and honestly quite...confusing. When did it begin its decline towards death? Who fired the kill shot? Did all the best URLs run out? Did Blogger and Wordpress finally throw down and battle it out in a back alley, both coming off fatally wounded? Ooh, or did it all kick off when Blogger deleted their app and spurned endless hate from users (still not forgiven them, tbh)?

Oh wait, I actually have an idea about what could have done it. Y'all may not like it, though. I can't help but wonder...is content the cause of death? 


Saturday, 22 July 2017

Dear you, for the last time.

Dear you,

Yes, she's writing about you again. After all these years – tell your friends to play that game they invented, 'spot him in her blog!', as this will be the last time they can. They'd crowd around a laptop in your dingy kitchen, poring over the words, they couldn't get enough. You couldn't care less, most of the time. 

Well, you'll be gone after this. Gone from this blog, and gone from my mind. You'll be merely the inspo in a series of outdated posts, a face in old YouTube videos and some faded T-shirts crammed in my pyjama drawer. A bow tie that I selfishly kept, and now plan on giving back through a mutual friend. 

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Let 'em look.

I am about to say something quite controversial. It may incite shock, horror, or straight up anger. For that, I am sorry. But it's my opinion. Hear me out, please? 

Here it is. Ready? Okay. I feel that when it comes to making friends and finding love...looks can be as important as personality.

*hides, waits for storms to collide overhead* 


Sunday, 16 July 2017

What's in a name?

About a year ago, I wrote a post about creating characters when writing fiction. I had so much fun sharing writing thoughts and sort-of tips...that I thought I might do it again! But this time I'm gonna write about...naming characters. 


Friday, 14 July 2017

Weekly warm 'n' fuzzies #2.

Every day lately I've been thinking how important it is to not just get happy, but to then stay happy. Grabbing hold of the good things, and sharing them with others, is a great way to do this.
So this week, the following things have made me happy:



Seeing my neurosurgeon and support nurse, two of the best humans I've ever met. Being told, again, that my misbehaving brain is 'stable'. Some really great coffee dates. A pizza with vegan cheese, made in a wood-fired oven behind the bar at the pub – by a very attentive chef – served in a cardboard box. The cat keeping me company all night long, snore-purring softly. Booking another tattoo with a lovely local artist. Meeting and chatting with a brilliant comedian who is delightfully rude onstage, and so far beyond sweet out of the spotlight. Staying up in my beloved Bethnal Green, for the first time in forever. A proper grown-up dinner with my favourite couple, after which I sat contentedly and quietly on the train home, happily all 'talked out'. Dad having to pick me up after missing my connection, this giving me unexpected time to chat with him, just us. Having my 'content' praised, and feeling so stupidly legit. A significant amount of the evening news suddenly being tennis-related. Visiting my secondary school, and chatting with my favourite teachers – trying, and failing, to call them by their first names, at their insistence. 

Stay happy, friends. Grab the good things and don't let go. 

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

What I'll be reading in July 2017.

July is here. The month in which Wimbledon takes over our TVs, eating outside becomes more or less normal, pubs with proper gardens get their time to shine, the seafront gets mobbed by DFL types, pale legs get pulled out of jeans and forced into shorts...

But July is also the time when we bookish folks all start properly prepping and scheduling for YALC. It's when we fill our suitcases with the latest bestsellers to read by the pool in Spain, or between trains in the unfamiliar city. We'll be celebrating Harry Potter's birthday at the end of this month...and mine, the day after. Obvs. 


This month I will be continuing my YALC prep, which I began in June...turns out 1 month wasn't enough! Surprise, surprise. Over the next 3 weeks I'll be tearing through (not literally – although I do sometimes turn pages over...) as many YA novels as possible, or at the very least those which correspond with the authors I desperately wanna see in panels or for signings (the YALC schedule is driving me mad...in a good way).

I'll be mixing it up a bit too. I feel too much YA could make it all blur in my mind; I would hate to get plots muddled or characters' names wrong due to excessive young adulting...

Sunday, 9 July 2017

My best dates.

Due to a recent tweet I posted concerning a moronic ex – wow, I haven't done that in a while – I found myself reflecting on dates. This particular ex doesn't really count as an ex, actually; we only went on the one date, and that was more than enough. I remember regaling my girlfriends the following morning with the disastrous tale involving O'Neills (worst first date location? I'd say so), lime and lager (for him, not me – his company eventually drove me to neat scotch) and karaoke (don't even). All my friends felt sorry for me, especially considering I'd fancied this guy for a while. We all had, in fact. We'd referred to him as 'Arms', the hot guy who could sing. He was a fantasy – and after that night in O'Neills, the daydreams about his arms had to end. 

At the time, I actually rolled my eyes at the sympathy from friends, saying 'I've had worse, and I'll have better. If nothing else, this will be a good story someday!'
And guess what? It is.
And also, I have had better dates since then. Some of which were so good, I decided to write about them right here, right now! 


Wednesday, 5 July 2017

30 Days Grace: June.

June 2017 came and went. We are now in the early stages of July, and over halfway through the year. How completely ridiculous is that? 

My June was mostly happy – I only went into hospital once, for just a night, I started making plans for the near future not just the end of the year, I had some yummy coffee dates, I spent actual money that I'd legitimately earned several times (this shouldn't be that big a deal, but trust me, it is for a poorly freelancer), and I ended the month in one of my favourite places, with some favourite people. 


Friday, 30 June 2017

Independent Bookshop Week, 2017.

Oh yes my bookish friends, it's that time of year again! The magical folks at Books Are My Bag are celebrating independent bookshops all over the country. 

Last year I celebrated IBW 2016 with a post answering a series of questions that were circulating around the bookish web and was so excited to see some of my favourite book bloggers also taking part. 
I then shared another post about mine and my family's favourite books!

This year, the gang at BAMB are doing Independent Bookshop Week with events, shout-outs and awards. Also their Bookshop Crawl last weekend looked excellent! 



I am currently on a little holiday so cannot fully participate in the crawls and events - however, I have been visiting and loving the independent bookshops near me this week! 

Wednesday, 28 June 2017

What I read in June 2017.

Well, June was a cracking month for reading, wasn't it? It was for me, anyway. My Recovery Reading has been so efficient I've had to up my Goodreads challenge a few times already – I'm now aiming to have read 80 books by the end of 2017 and while I know that may not seem much to a lot of my bookish brethren, it's a lot for this reader! 


I decided to devote this month to YALC prep, meaning I've only been reading YA for the past four weeks and let me tell you, it's been magical. I maintain that YA fiction is not just for young adults – the themes present in those novels are incredibly mature, and the issues tackled by some authors are so painfully important. 

Tuesday, 27 June 2017

The Blogger Recognition Award.

The totally excellent Jess recently mentioned me in a tag post that I didn't know was a thing! Oh dear, that was terribly worded wasn't it? Apologies. And thank you, Jess! 



So, I hardly ever do tags on here, and that's not a deliberate thing, it's just because more often than not, they totally pass me by! But I'm making it a mid-year resolution to do more, as they can be really fun! 

Saturday, 24 June 2017

Weekly warm 'n' fuzzies #1.

I'm continuing the recent lovely trend among some of my favourite bloggers – and listing the things that have made me happy this week.

Some especially tasty coffees in the old town. Walking along the seafront, inhaling the sea, smelling chips and suncream. Reading poetry before bed. That episode of 'The Fresh Prince of Bel Air' with a baby Raven Symone in, sassing Will. The sound of thunder and pouring rain breaking the tension in the sky after a stifling week of sun. The expression 'six of one, half a dozen of the other'. Getting my wound dressing removed, and feeling my shirt brush my tummy. Buying presents, and giving them. Whisky on the bartender's tab. Vegan chocolate and raspberry cake. Drinking full cups again. Going back to London, stepping off the train and genuinely thinking 'I missed you'. Then having some of my favourite people cuddle me that night, marvel at how long we'd been apart and say they'd missed me.


This was fun to write - I couldn't stop adding more things to it before posting. I may not make it a regular thing, in case it isn't as special and fun having to list things every week. It's hard enough sometimes doing monthly personal wrap ups! 
But I want to encourage every blogger I know to try this, at least once. What's made you happy this week? Find the bright spots, and share them with others. Maybe it'll help them see theirs. 

(Thank you to Beth, Suzy, Naomi and many more of my fellow bloggers for already doing this and inspiring me!)

Friday, 16 June 2017

Losing weight...in a bad way!?

'Well hello again, missy,' the nurse says, escorting me to my bed for this particular night. (Ooh, I get the window again, result!) 'You've lost some weight, haven't you?!'
'Oh, yeah,' I say, hobbling down the ward alongside her. 'A bit.'
'Jealous. I could do with losing some!' The nurse giggles and shakes her head.
'Y'know my hot diet secret? A hemicolectomy, with some added laparotomy!' I deadpan.

*

'You're looking very well, despite everything! Very skinny!' My friend grins at me, looking up and down my somewhat skeletal frame.
'Yeah, I guess so. It's not that healthy, though.' I shrug and feel my shoulder blades grind.
'Well, it's a definite silver lining to all this, isn't it?'

*

'Have you lost weight since these ops?' Our GP nurse asks, an afterthought, as we leave.
'Over a stone and a half,' I reply, pulling down my shirt. 
'Ah, well that'll be nice to put back on, won't it?' She giggles – and I join her. Because she has a good point; I could have a few lazy and indulgent weeks ahead of me, should I wish...endless 'cheat days'...

*

I have a turbulent relationship with my weight. Have done since I was about 10 years old, and one day I came home from school panicking because my legs and bum suddenly felt 'wobbly'. That was when I became aware. Looking back now, I know I wasn't a chubby child or teen. My goodness, I think I was a size 8/10 until I turned 17 and got some extra boob and hip dolloped on my awkward outline. 
Yet, I was insecure from a young age. Because I never looked quite 'perfect'. Or rather, I never knew that there was no such thing.

Monday, 12 June 2017

'Songs About Us' - a cover reveal AND chapter 1!

I am both gleefully fangirlishly squealingly overjoyed and most sensibly humbly honoured to have been given the chance to unveil not only the cover for the hot new #boybandlit release 'Songs About Us', sequel to Chris Russell's totally gorgeous 2016 novel 'Songs About a Girl', but also to be treating you lucky readers to a snippet of the first chapter! Oh yes, you guys are getting a deluxe VIP backstage pass to the hottest show in town right now... 

Book trailer for 'Songs About a Girl'!


For those of you who don't know, 'Songs About a Girl' came into the world of UKYA last year (under the watchful eye of the total babes at Hachette) and soon we were all hearing the hot goss about quiet teen girl Charlie Bloom, the amateur photographer suddenly called in to shoot the Fire&Lights lads backstage on their tour...and getting more than she bargained for between snaps. 

Also, the book had a soundtrack! If you wanna know all about that, be sure to read this guest post by the fabulous author and get listening to the jams. 

'Songs About Us' is due out on the 13th of July 2017. But surely we cannot be expected to wait until then to see what it'll look like?! Oh, no. 

Enough teasing now, I think. Let's have a look at the cover, shall we...?? 
In 3, 2, 1...



I know. Gorgeous, right? I won't lie guys, I didn't think anything could match up to the first cover...and I've been very happily proven wrong! And yes, I do dream of being 'with the band'. Maybe someday... 

But the juicy reveals aren't over yet! This just in – a Chapter 1 preview! Enjoy, devoted fans...

Friday, 9 June 2017

32.

Hi, my name's Grace. I guess you could call me Gracie, sometimes. 

Free wifi is the way to my heart, I seem to have malfunctioning intestines, I actually enjoy watching the 10pm news these days, my type is Ed Westwick in 'White Gold', some of my favourite foods can be found in Holland & Barrett fridges, my side hustles vary wildly, I would fight any other fangirl to befriend Titus Andromedon, I go through Instagram slumps, I dream of having permanently pastel-coloured hair, I sometimes really miss playing Ultimate Frisbee, I plan on living through middle age in Brighton before retiring in Winchester, my first novel is in progress, it upsets me too much when a TV show goes on for too many seasons. 
For the past 3 years, my life has been on pause. It needs to resume soon. 


These posts are getting harder - I think you readers know me too well now...

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

What I'll be reading in June 2017.

Happy June, my friends! This month, much like the last couple funnily enough, I seem to be utterly spoiled with spare time (aka, a lengthy recovery period, whoop whoop) and so this of course means a lot more reading will be happening than usual. Yes, it will. And possibly writing too...?! Let us hope! 


I have already been in and out of hospital twice this month (?!) and when I haven't been reclining in a sterile bed with nurses wrapping me alternately in velcro and rubber every few hours, I've been curled up on the sofa bingeing on books. (And Ru Paul. Omg.) 

I've given myself a theme for the month already, and now I'm making it official. June 2017 is... 

Sunday, 4 June 2017

31 Days Grace: May 2017.

May happened. And guys...I actually did some things!!!
After April, a month that began with hellish pain and ended in utter debilitation, it's been nice to actually feel a bit more human recently. I'm not quite 100% still, but I'm getting there. This month has been spent healing and...being. Not pressuring myself. 

EDIT: It all went to shit. Read on and find out more...if you dare. 


Monday, 22 May 2017

Instagram honesty.

Social media is excellent, and generally I am a huge fan of it. It's also terrible, and at times I absolutely despise it. Don't we all, sometimes? Well, I certainly know a lot of people who actively loathe social media, some of whom have deliberately deleted any trace of themselves, any presence they had, on every platform. 
But then at the same time, I know folks who have made a career out of social media. This includes me. So many of us have found friends, discovered new favourite things and been inspired endlessly. Whether it's coming across individuals and movements we wouldn't have known about had it not been for Twitter; kinks and fan fic we'd never thought to search for were it not for Tumblr; 5* cafes and household appliances for sale courtesy of Facey B, and of course there is always an abundance of beautiful foods and quirky af outfits to be seen on Instagram. 



Yes, I could go on forever about the wonders and evils of social media and its various platforms. But today I will just be focusing on one: the aforementioned Instagram.

Friday, 19 May 2017

An ovary-related Robin Scherbatsky realisation.

I had a revelation recently. I can pinpoint the moment it occurred – the very second my mind was overloaded with something alien, when my body felt a change and suddenly my future plans and life goals were, ermm, 'updated' a little. 
Yes, it was...a Robin Scherbatsky realisation

 

Monday, 15 May 2017

Talking with Lisa Heathfield; her writing process and 'Paper Butterflies'.

If you know me, or if you've just read this blog for the past year, a) thank you and b) you'll know which books I like. And you'll know that one of my absolute most favourite recent reads – and books in all the world – is 'Paper Butterflies', by Lisa Heathfield

This YA novel published by Egmont in 2016 tells the story of June, a teenage girl living in a very unhappy home. Only unhappy for her, though. She is abused, relentlessly, and has nobody to turn to for advice or even simply solace.
Then she finds Blister. 



The book made me burst into tears – literally, it felt like a vicious burst – several times throughout, and then by the end I was hiccuping while hysterically crying... but with a surprised smile on my face. I poured my feels out onto the blog right after finishing the final page. 
I then went on to read 'Seed', as all my friends had told me to many times before. I devoured it as greedily as I did 'Paper Butterflies'. Just like that, I had a new writing idol.

Thursday, 11 May 2017

A Map of Me.

'You'll have a bad scar,' the GP says, peering down at my exposed tummy as I lie flat on my back on the nurse's bed. I shift myself a little, tearing the paper towel beneath me, to get another glimpse at my staples and holes. This has been the first re-dressing appointment when I haven't cried – but now I might.
I'm ashamed. Because my first thought upon hearing this was: I can't have another scar! As if I've filled my quota already, aged only 23? As if, indeed. I have a long way to go yet. 

I've gotten to know my body well, in recent years. And it's served me well, in recent years. It's taken the worst trauma and made it the brightest light; it's bounced back, seemingly quickly, but secretly it's been a hundred year fight. You can only just see the evidence – if I let you. The scars, the marks...they're part of me and they tell my story. 

Monday, 8 May 2017

What I'll be reading in May 2017.

May is here. It's official – Justin Timberlake said so. It's the month when the crocuses sprout, the evenings stretch out and they taste of gin with sprigs of mint stuck in. 
Already Star Wars Day has been and gone – and with it many friends' publication days, congrats all! – as has the most prestigious occasion of the month, little sis' birthday (she's 19, lol what). The month is moving fast, and after a turbulent April I really need to get my shit together now (she says, typing slowly from under a blanket on the sofa halfway through a New Girl series 1 re-watch). Starting with reading! 


As you guys know, I keep to a month-by-month schedule with my reading these days. Every month of 2017 so far has been all the more interesting because of this. I've had some very clear themes emerge and stuck to specific genres – middle grade fiction, Walker Books only, and a couple bouts of non-fiction.

However, May 2017 is going to be somewhat different. I have decided that much like my life at present, my reading plan this month is going to be...a bit crazed.
Basically, I'll be reading all the things I keep meaning to read and putting off for no reason whatsoever! 

Friday, 5 May 2017

Post-op wisdom for all - My #1 Life Hack.

There are lots of things you readers probably shouldn't take my advice on. But if you ignore every other thing I say, every recommendation I make and every life hack I share, please let this be the one thing that sticks in your mind and changes it even just a little. 

If you ever feel something is wrong, tell someone. 


Yes, this is general advice for life - in any situation, if you feel something is not going well, or just not right somehow, speak up and get heard and make yourself safe. Generally, this is something to live by. 
This particular blog post, however, is going to focus on the application of that advice to medical sitch tings.

I have been ill many, many times in my fairly short life. Y'all have heard all about a lot of the illnesses - especially that big one I had that time - and you've been excellent with your responses and I love you etc., etc. But there have been a lot more things I may not have shared in quite as much detail as that Thing. That's just because hey, it's my business and it's not always something people wanna read about. I get that! My gosh, you think I'll be so brazen as to share every intimate detail of my physical upheavals with you? I know you won't want to hear all about my snotty colds, my shitty viruses or my PMS pains (although #livetweetyourperiod is always fun to do, ngl). 
No, I won't share all the ins and outs with you guys. But you can be damn sure I will share everything with my doctors. 

Wednesday, 3 May 2017

Cat Clarke's new novel 'Girlhood' & a backlist classic: 'The Lost and The Found'.

So, some of you readers may have noticed that I am a sucker for a good cover on a book. Yeah yeah, I know the cliché, but c'mon. You cannot deny a cover will pull you right in at times. And recently, a certain author's backlist of books have had makeovers to coincide with and celebrate the publication of her latest novel! 

A post shared by Cat Clarke (@catclarkewriter) on

The gorgeous Cat Clarke's books are a staple on the bookshelf. Everyone I know has read at least 3 of her works and loved every single one. I recently read her latest, 'Girlhood', in under 48 hours because my gosh, it was a thrill ride. (Also mentioned that wild card of a book in my April reading wrap-up!) 

In this post, I'll be sharing info on (imho) one of Cat's very best: 'The Lost and The Found'. This book came about in 2015, published by Quercus. 
I fell hard for this book just reading the plot. I am a sucker for drama, as you all know. By the end of the book, the tension had made me shaky and the characters were imprinted forever in my mind. Srsly. 

Sunday, 30 April 2017

30 Days Grace: April.

Right so. Ha. April 2017. Let's see. Ermm. Well I can't lie guys, I never sugar coat or bullshit on this blog and I am proud of that fact...I've had a shit month.

It started...kinda well? I finished my amazing internship with Walker, and had already earmarked April as a Recovery Month – but only in terms of recuperating from a month spent in the big smoke working full time in a busy office environment, not from, y'know, major surgery...we'll get to that in a bit.


Saturday, 29 April 2017

What I read in April 2017.

April 2017 was a bit of a mad one for books, wasn't it? This month had one of those mad days when a shit ton of books seemed to be birthed onto bookshelves all at once! On the 6th, Hannah Witton's book 'Doing It' (more on that below) was released, as was 'The State of Grace' by Rachael Lucas, 'The Hate U Give' by Angie Thomas, 'The Cows' by Dawn O'Porter, 'Beetle Queen' by M.G. Leonard, and 'How to be a Grown Up' by Daisy Buchanan (again, see below)...yeah, that was a lot of books. And they ALL excite me. I also realised that the majority of my reads this month were embargoed pre-release goodness. Sorry, my dears. #humblebrag #blessbookmail 


© Almost Amazing Grace.. Design by Fearne.