How reading changed me

I have been wanted to write this post for a while, but thought it was a little cringey. I then I realised the huge impact that reading has had on my life, so thought I would share anyway;

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  • Knowledge and learning: I have learnt so much knowledge since I began reading lots. I now have a much better insight into mental health/illness, so much so I am now doing a degree in Psychology. I know lots of random facts, which I have remembered from books I’ve read. People often wonder how I know so much content, and its honestly just from reading.
  • Acceptance and understanding: I have read books from all different perspectives, and have insight into other cultures, religions ect that I may not have if I didn’t read about them in books. I feel I am a much more accepting person now, and am definitely not as judgemental as my teenage self.
  • Distractions: Reading has gotten me through some pretty difficult times. When my head is screaming at me to end my life, I have absorbed myself into a story, temporarily giving me a break from my struggles. I rely heavily on distractions when I have intrusive thoughts, and I’ve learnt that reading is a great one! Therefore reading has benefited my own mental health!
  • Literature skills: This sounds a little cliché, but having read 500 books in the past 5 years I have gained some knowledge on how writing works. This has helped me the writing involved with my degree.
  • Passion: I often feel I lack hobbies, and feel worthless. Reading is the only hobby I have consistently and always will adore! It’s given me an identity, everyone who knows me knows how much I love to read!
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My favourite books this year (2018)

  • Picture1When elephants fly by Nancy Richardson Fischer: I didn’t expect to fall so in love with this book. I became so emotionally attached to Swifty the elephant which is the main reason I enjoyed this book so far. I hadn’t read a book quite like this before, I found it interesting that the story also had a huge focus on mental illness, schizophrenia but the illness wasn’t actually present in any of the characters. I really recommend this book!
  • All the little lights by Jamie McGuire: I only read this book a few weeks ago, it was my favourite read of November. Again, the characters is what made me love this book so much. The ending also made it for me, really wasn’t what I was expecting, no spoilers here!
  • Letters to the lost & More than we can tell by Bridid Kemmerer: I loved this sequel, I found it so emotional! I really liked how the second book wasn’t about the same main characters as the first, but still had them in the story. Was a few potential trigger warnings, especially in the second book. If I had to choose, I would choose the second as my favourites! After reading this sequel I’m going to have a look into the author!
  • A list of cages by Robin Roe: I gave this book a very high rating in my monthly wrap up. I had this book on my TBR for a while and am glad I finally got around to it. I enjoyed the diverse of characters, Adam was my favourite. Again I would put a TW on this book as there was a lot of child abuse, and was particularly traumatising towards the end. I felt very strong emotions in this book, and definitely recommend everyone adds this to their TBR!
  • Made you up by Francesca Zappia: I put this book in my top books on mental illness as this is about a girl with schizophrenia. I was interested in the portrayal of complex mental illness, and felt I got a little insight. I really enjoyed this book, and connected with the main character, it felt like I was experiencing everything with her.
  • Words in deep blue by Cath Crowley: I’m putting this book on my yearly favourites purely for the bookstore this book was set in. I became so attached to this setting, one of my all-time favourite environments from a book and yes; tears were shed! This book has beautiful cover too. I recommend to anyone who enjoys YA.
  • When we collided by Emery Lord: I was really surprised by this book as I didn’t enjoy the authors other books. I adored both main characters, as well as the setting of the book. One of the main characters has bipolar disorder. I enjoyed how this book was still light hearted, despite the character being in a manic episode. I feel it was a good YA on mental illness.

 

November Wrap Up 2018

I again had a little bit of a busy month, but managed to read 7 books. I have settled into my new job, and have kept up to date with my degree. I have found a good balance of work, study and reading time. Here is a mini review of the books I read in November;

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  1. Heretics anonymous by Katie Henry: I enjoyed this book as it had a little difference in the school setting. The characters were fairly unique, but I didn’t connect well with them. I liked how the main character was comfortable with his believes. I enjoyed the book, but wasn’t super overwhelmed. I enjoy the book cover! 3.5/5
  2. Highly illogical behaviour by John Corey Whaley: I’ve had this on my TBR for a while and was glad I finally got around to reading. I thoroughly enjoyed this book! It was about an adolescent boy with severe agoraphobia. I liked how the characters connected despite the initial circumstance. I enjoyed the realism of the main character not being cured at the end. I’m very interested about books on mental health, and would definitely recommend this one! 4.5/5
  3. Letters to the lost by Bridid Kemmerer: I was prepared to feel emotional upon reading this series, and I had a right to be! It’s emotional! I really enjoyed both main characters, and felt their emotions just like they did. I appreciated the anger the characters felt towards each other, and wasn’t the standard fall in love. I really enjoyed this book. 4.5/5 
  4. More than we can tell by Bridid Kemmerer: This is the second book to the letters to the lost. It was just as good as the first. I really liked how it was about a different character, but still had the two main characters from the first book entwined in. I would book a trigger warning on this book, as there was a fairly detailed description of child abuse (physical; burning and broken bones). It was different to the first,but just as good! 4.5/5
  5. All the little lights by Jamie McGuire: Again a book that was on my TBR for a while, I read this on kindle. This was my favourite read of the month! I don’t want to give spoilers, but the ending was not expected! I enjoyed the thrill of finding the truth. It has a ya vibe, with a little bit of a dark background. The little aspects of the book made it special , the mother, the race of the teenager, family history, the house, trust ect. I would recommend to people who enjoy most genres! 5/5
  6. Girl against the universe by Paula Stokes: I liked how the focus on the book was about mental health, and improvement, the main character believes she is cursed due to the events that have happened in the past, she suffers with PTSD. I enjoyed the character development. A little cliche with the love story with the tennis player, but I enjoyed this character too. I was so happy that the big event at the end didn’t destroy her as I feared it would. The main character came out stronger, despite still struggling, I enjoyed that. 4/5
  7. That’s not what happened by Kody Keplinger: Not my average read, I avoid all media and books that involve shooting, terrorism, murder, mass disaster ect. I said I would challenge myself this month, so I did. This book was about a school shooting in America and is written in the perspective of the survivor. It makes me anxious reading on these topics, I am currently 83% in, and aim to finish this evening,hence putting on my November wrap up, but won’t be giving it a final rating until I’ve completed it.

 

Emery Lord Author Review

I’ve never done a review of an author before, but thought it would be a good idea as I feel like some books don’t need a dedicated review post but I’d still like to talk about them. Today’s author review will be Emery Lord:

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I first read The names they gave us, which I enjoyed the writing style and the development of characters, so decided to read another; ‘When we collided’,which is definitely my favourite book by this author. Open road summer is the only book I have a negative opinion on. I have enjoyed half of the books by Emery Lord, so would rate her 3.5/5 overall.

  • When we collided: I put this book on my top ya books on mental illness as I enjoyed this one thoroughly. It is about a young adult with Bipolar disorder. It was unique and felt they were trying to portray a genuine representation of the illness. Although they did entwine a long story into it, which I don’t feel was needed. I fell in love with all the characters in the story. 5/5.
  • Open road summer: Complete opposite to the above book. I didn’t enjoy the characters, I didn’t even complete this book (not like me) as I was far too cringey. Maybe better targeted at a younger audience. 1/5.
  • The names they gave us: This was the first book I read, which I randomly picked up in a charity shop without knowing anything of the author. To start with the cover is beautiful! I really enjoyed the story, again fell in love with of the characters, all very unique. I enjoyed the setting of the story,not something I usually focus on. An emotional read, I did shed a few tears on the main character and her mother. 4/5.
  • The start of me and you: I don’t have much to say about this one, I felt it was a very typical YA book on romance. It wasn’t bad, just nothing special. Sometimes I enjoy easy read books like this. 3/5.

The Book Buyer Tag

I thought I would join in with this tag as since donating my entire book shelf I wanted to see how my opinions have changed. Not the average book blogger; I only have a small shelf with my ultimate favourite&sentimental books on. I tag anyone who wants to join in!N1PL

  1. Where do you buy your books from? Mostly thrift/charity shops or amazon if I am looking for a particular copy. I would love to shop in independent book stores but as a student I don’t have the expenses to do so.
  2. Do you ever pre-order a book and if so do you do this in store or online? I don’t think I have ever pre ordered a book before..
  3. On average, how many books do you buy a month? It used to be around 5-10, but I no longer buy books so maybe not even 1 per month!
  4. Do you use your local library? Yes, I order and borrow the majority of my books from the  library!
  5. If so- how my books can you/do you borrow at a time? Around 6, I read about 3 library books, and one of kindle a week.
  6. What is your opinion on library books? I adore the library! A free option to read as many books as you can, how could I not adore! At my local library you can even order books they don’t currently stock and borrow them at no charge.
  7. How do you feel about charity shop/secondhand books? I always look in charity shops before buying new. One it’s super affordable (normally around a $1). Two; its recycling therefore better for the environment. Three; It benefits a charity instead of a large brand like amazon. I love browsing second hand stores.
  8. Do you keep your read and TBR pile together/on the same book shelf or not? I donated my entire book shelf so I no longer do this, but I did before! I only own my ultimate favourite books.
  9. Do you plan to read all of the books that you own? I already have!
  10. What do you do with books you that you own that you feel you will never read/felt you did not enjoy? I donate them!
  11. Have you ever donated books? Yes, I once donated 200 books at once.
  12. Have you ever been on a book buying ban? Yes, I used to have a lot of unread books but still constantly bought.
  13. Do you feel that you buy too many books? Not at all! Since be more minimal I feel I have the perfect amount. Just one shelf of my favourites!
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My favourite book covers

I saw a tag similar to this, and thought I would do my own version. Here are 5 of my favourite book covers;

  1. 031The Book thief by Markus Zusak; This is a favourite book of mine, I took this photo 3 years ago. I particularly adore this edition as I bought it preloved, and it feels extra special. It’s one of few books that I actually held on to. It’s quite a thick book, but light weight. The cover beautifully portrays the story.
  2. I’ll give you the sun by Jandy Nelson; This picture I took a long time ago too. Yellow is my favourite colour, the main reason I love this cover. Also, the edging of the pages are coloured. I love this, and not many of my books have this feature. Despite the beautiful book cover, I wasn’t a fan of the book so I donated my copy.017
  3. First and then by Mills; I haven’t read this book yet, I have it on my TBR! I adore white and soft coloured books. The white back ground with the water coloured rain drops is beautiful in my eyes. I think this would look aesthetically pleasing on a bookshelf.
  4. A million little pieces by James Frey; I have both books by this author and they are both beautiful in person, the photo really doesn’t do it justice. The crisp white back ground and soft colours with a little bit of glimmer makes this book simply beautiful. The second book is the same but with a navy background. I can’t remember the story well, just that I enjoyed them, I may reread them soon.
  5. It’s kind of a funny story by Ned z; This is a little biased as this is one of my favourite books (&movie) but the cover has a beautiful design which fits the story well. As said above,yellow is my favourite colour! I really enjoy how the cover relates to what the main character draws in the story. My edition is also printed on very nice paper, I’m not sure how to describe it.

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November TBR

It’s about time for this months TBR. I’ve had an overwhelming month, and hope November is a little calmer. I only read 6 books last month, so my only target this month is to read more. I’m struggling a little at the moment, but am plodding through, I have written a few posts on mental health, so expect them among the book posts. Here is what I want to read in November 2018:

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  • We both die at the end by Adam Silvera: I have a beautiful hardback copy of this book, that I need to start reading!
  • Beneath the distant star by Lisa Shambrook: I was given this book to review, so may read this one next.
  • Heretics anonymous by Katie Henry: I have just started this book, and will definitely finish it this month. (At least I’m guaranteed to follow at least one book from my TBR)
  • Girl against the universe by Paula Stokes: I’ve had this on my kindle for a while, so need to get round to reading it.
  • Highly illogical behavior by John Corey Whaley: I read a blog post about this book,and it made me want to read it asap!
  • Girl in pieces by Kathleen Glasgow: I enjoy similar books to this one, therefore have been recommended this one a few times.
  • All the little lights by Jamie McGuire: I saw someone reading this in a coffee shop the other day,and now want to read it myself.
  • Letters to the lost by Brigid Kemmerer: I have been wanting to read this for a while, but found it hard to find a copy, so have just downloaded onto my kindle.