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Book Bites ft. Nicola Yoon, Angie Thomas and Maggie Harcourt

I’ve been pretty awful as of late at getting around to reviewing the books I’ve read. To the point where there are even some books I read last year, the reviews of which are sat, gathering dust, in my drafts. Unfortunately bad life events have taken precendence over blogging in general. I’ve also been reading some pretty meaty fantasy books and not making my way through them quite as quickly as I might usually. It’s both a good and bad thing; I’m savouring the stories nestled in the pages that little bit longer, but I’m also becoming pretty tardy with a blog I had thought I’d become quite good at escaping into. So, long story short: I’m here to try and give some quick and snappy reviews of some books I’ve read, both recently and not quite so recently, and offer up the praise they deserve (try being the optimal word — I am a certified rambler. Point and case.).

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The problem with almosts

As a twenty-two and a half year old woman, the outstanding fact that I’ve never had a relationship bothers me. As things go, it’s not a huge issue and I’m aware — painfully aware — that I am not alone in my solo sailing boat, that plenty of my friends and other people my age have yet to resign themselves and latch on to another human being. And I know, yes, I know, that I am ‘still young’; ‘there is time’ and I ‘will meet someone someday’. But, the thing is, in less you’ve dealt with the same kind of levels of self-esteem issues, in less you’ve battled with the insecurities about my body and those that live in my head, telling myself I’m not worth it… Then, piece by piece, build yourself back up and are still left hanging, you won’t get it. And you won’t experience quite how it starts to eat away at all you’ve worked on.

I’ve learnt the hard way not to seek validation in the people you’re falling for. I know that doesn’t work, that the cliché saying of ‘you’ve got to love yourself before you expect anyone else to’ isn’t so completely awful. There’s actually a tragic truth in it that it burns me a little to hear. But, when you’ve begun to reach my age and you’ve seen everyone else, siblings and friends, start their romantic entanglements in their teens, or at the cusp of adulthood, you begin to question whether there is something unloveable about you. Whether anyone will ever see the qualities you admire in yourself, like that you’re a little bit weird in your sense of humour, but you crack some damn good jokes. That you’d never change yourself to fit in or to seem cooler. That you read a lot and you goddamn better believe you read what you like, same goes for music. That you’re a touch dorky and, sure, you’re not blindingly beautiful, but you’re cute and there’s a part of you that can really appreciate those cute odds. And no amount of solid appreciation can be enough in a string of almosts.

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‘Countless’ by Karen Gregory

/5 stars

Published by Bloomsbury!

Hedda is fading away, but a bucket list given to her by her passed friend from the unit means she has to ask herself a pretty big question. Can she put Nia, her eating disorder, on hold for nine months? Nine teeny tiny months for the sake of the baby. She’s already twenty-odd weeks gone, so really it’s not even that bad? Because it turns out one first time drunken fumble can lead to one very unexpected surprise. Still, Hedda doesn’t fathom quite what it’ll be like to hold her little girl for the first time, or how her feelings will grow for the boy in the flat next door, who has a penchant for gardening and cooking her food. Or how difficult it will be to relinquish control and just stop the constant counting.

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The month of April

Yep, I’m still here. You probably didn’t notice that I broke my long stretch of consistently blogging at least once a week. Well, the events of April, or more specifically one event in April, made my ability to focus on anything but said event and the fallout pretty non-existent. You know it’s bad when I of all people struggle to turn one page, read one word in a day, a week. It’s been grim and, I imagine, will continue to be just that for the foreseeable. I am lucky in that it didn’t happen to me. However, it did happen to someone I love and I’ve learned that, in some ways, that’s almost harder. So forgive me for my absence and that this month I won’t be doing my usual summary of positive moments. It kind of seems like a bit of a kick in the teeth right now, you know? What I will say, aside from my usual bookish stuff, is that reading ‘The Hate U Give’ by Angie Thomas managed to preoccupy me, which was no easy feat when literally nothing could stop me from racking my brains and reminding myself this was real, it had happened. I’m happy this important, brave book was able to be there if and when I could squeeze in a couple pages and that that meant I could really, truly savour it. I’m sure a review for it will be up shortly, but in the meantime, here’s the month of April in books…

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