Category Archives: Discussion

Where I Went and What’s Been Happening

August 28, 2017

Goes without saying that I’ve abandoned this blog. I’ve left literally a year between posts. Bit of a shitty thing to do, I agree, so I’m here to have a chat with everyone, and kind of talk about what has been going on this past year. Grab a cuppa and have a biscuit (ideally bourbon or a custard cream but any will do) and get yourself comfy.

Right. It’s hard to know where to start really. I suppose it properly starts in January 2016. Things weren’t right with me, with work, or with my mental health, but I put it all down to “returning to work blues” and ignored it. I was going to have a good year, I told myself, and that was that.

Things didn’t improve, with work or my mood, so I decided obviously my job was the problem, and looked for a new one. The stars aligned, one fell into my lap pretty quickly, and I headed to Cuba, sure that when I returned, everything would be fine and good. I’d feel better, happier, and life would be great.

It wasn’t.

I love my job, I really do, but it’s probably the most stressful environment I could have dropped myself into. Pharmacy is a hectic, chaotic world, and I’m constantly dealing with people who are ill, some with simple ear infections and skin rashes, but others are dying, or their loved ones are dying and sometimes you’re in the firing line of their emotions. Their anger, their concerns, their fears for the future. I deal with it all, and it’s not always pleasant. It’s hard enough when your mental health is stable, let alone when it’s not.

And in September, my mood plummeted. I was struggling to get out of bed, I had no interest in anything. I couldn’t read, and I certainly couldn’t blog. I had no desire to do anything. I just wanted to sleep and ignore everyone. And that’s not a good place to be. So I finally admitted that I needed help. I don’t think I’ve ever been so shit-scared before a doctor’s appointment. I came so close to talking myself out of the appointment, saying that I didn’t need help, that I was fine and that I would feel better. Thank goodness I didn’t.

My appointment was difficult, I think I cried throughout the entire time I was sat with the doctor, and looking back, there was a lot wrong with the appointment, but I asked for help, and I got it. And it was like the sun bursting through the clouds, and I finally had a glimmer of hope. You don’t realise how far you are into depression until you get some help, and you suddenly realise that hiding from your phone, your friends and your life is not a healthy thing to do. But it was an easy coping mechanism. No one can tell you there’s something wrong with you if you don’t socialise with them regularly. I’m not perfect now, but I’m getting better.

And that’s all I hope for. To quote Glee, I am a work in progress. And you don’t know how good it feels to be able to say that.

The One Where They Left Me Alone in a Bookstore|Book Haul

August 23, 2017

The title says it all really. I should not be left unattended in a bookshop. I need toddler reins. I need someone to drag me away from the books. Or to at least remove my bank card from me. But no. They don’t.

And so, this happens:

omg why did they let me buy so many books?!?!?!?!?!

Yep. HOW GLORIOUS DOES THIS BEAUTIFUL STACK OF BOOKS LOOK?!

My bank account is sobbing. Adam is silently sobbing at the books which were bought instead of putting the money into the House Deposit Fund (but no, my £600 already went into the HDF this month, I’m not that much of an idiot.) (Well, I could be but I’m not. I’m commited to this house. I need a library sooner rather than later. Lol.)

I am deliriously excited for all of these, particularly The Power, Half of a Yellow Sun and The Upside of Unrequieted. I adored Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda so I have very high hopes for Becky Albertalli’s next book.

Seven Days of You has such a beautiful cover I just HAD to pick up a copy, and I’ve heard absolutely wonderful things about Alex, Approximately so I will hopefully be picking that up very soon. (I also have Night Owls to read by Jenn Bennett, so I should probably read that soon too lololol.)

Have you read any of these books? Which was your favourite? Or which was your least favourite? Let me know!

3 Thrillers On My Radar

August 18, 2016

I’m not normally one for thrillers, but since reading both Mud Vein and The Lie, more and more have been catching my eye. These are three books that sound super creepy and perfect for the months ahead where I tend to put down the contemporary and pick up the creepy…

thriller tbr

Daisy In Chains by Sharon Bolton immediately caught my eye thanks to its intriguing synopsis – an alleged mass-murderer who has his own fan club, thanks to being so charismatic and irresistible to women, who wants a particular lawyer to prove his innocence. I’m already interested to see how it pans out!

I Found You by Lisa Jewell doesn’t sound quite as intense as Daisy In Chains, but still has a mystery at its core, involving a man who can’t remember, the woman who takes him in, and a woman whose new husband has gone missing, leaving her alone in a brand new country.

The Method by Shannon Kirk is probably the most intense of the three, with a 16-year-old pregnant girl who is kidnapped, but the kidnappers don’t realise how much danger they’ve actually put themselves in. It sounds super dark and twisted, so I’m definitely game to pick up a copy soon!

Next on my TBR pile|mood reading picks

July 11, 2016

I haven’t read a single book in months, but I’m nearly finished with Me Before You, so I’ve started to timidly look at what I might like to pick up next…up next tbr

It’s (supposedly) summer now, and I love short stories, so hey, Summer Days & Summer Nights is bound to be a winner.

I LOVE MORGAN MATSON AND HER BOOKS. That is all.

I’ve already purchased After You because I’m kinda convinced I’m going to need to pick it up fairly soon after reading Me Before You.

And finally, The Raven King. Because I need to finish this series and I need to know how it all ends.

So, I Read 10 Books on Holiday…|Recently Read

April 27, 2016

recently read

photo by Patrick Tomasso

I thought I’d start a new thing on the blog where I give a quick overview every so often about the books I’ve read recently, as the chances of them all being reviewed on the blog are pretty slim.

Is it obnoxious to read a lot when you’re on holiday with other people? I don’t think so, but I know I frustrated a couple of members of my party by reading so much. That wasn’t the aim, but I never get the chance to sit around literally ALL DAY and read, so I had to make the most of it.

As you’ve gathered from the title, I ended up reading 10 books in Cuba, which has done my Goodreads Challenge wonders, as I’m now 12 books ahead of schedule and over halfway through my goal of 40 books, which I’m guessing will be adjusted slightly as the year goes on, but we’ll have to see. Anyway, enough rambling from me, onto the books I devoured in the beginning of the month!

I started off by reading On the Road by Jack Kerouac on the plane to Cuba. It was interesting, but I can’t say I loved it. I didn’t really get it, and if I’m honest, I feel like the 15 year old me would have enjoyed it a great deal more than I did. I might talk about it further, I might not. I dunno.

warrior witch danielle l jensen book coverMoving swiftly on, I was lucky enough to be approved for Warrior Witch by Danielle L Jensen, the FINAL BOOK in the Malediction trilogy. I can’t even begin to tell you how excited I was to dive into this, and whilst I’m sad the series is over, I’m so happy with the way everything ended. Full, gushing, review to come soon!

As I mentioned in my holiday TBR post, I had downloaded the first two books in The Beaumont Series, Forever my Girl and My Unexpected Forever. Both of these were AMAZING, and I cannot wait to read the final three books in the series and then talk about the series as a whole. Easily a new favourite romance series.

Thanks to the gorgeous sunshine, I found myself on a real romance kick, and quickly flew through True North by Marie Force, an old Kindle freebie, and Playing at Love by Ophelia London, both of which I enjoyed as fluffy, easy-to-read romances. I also continued my new adult love affair with Jet by Jay Crownover and My Sweetest Escape by Chelsea M. Cameron. I adored both of these, and I’m now staring longingly at the rest of the Marked Men series on Amazon.

And then jumping around genres, as I like to do, I finally tore through United States of Japan by
Peter Tieryas
, a sci-fi “spiritual sequel” to The Man in High Castle and just absolutely mind-blowing. Full review to follow, as a poor attempt to decipher my thoughts properly.

And finally, on the plane journey home, I picked up Our Endless Numbered Days by Claire Fuller, which was utterly jaw-dropping and left me reeling with its shock ending. Easily one of the best adult fiction novels I’ve ever read.

My Holiday TBR

April 7, 2016

As you read this, I’ll be busy sunning myself in Cuba, sipping on plenty of cocktails, soaking up the sunshine and making my way through plenty of books! Obviously I’ve given plenty of thought to my holiday reading list, spending plenty of time trawling through blogs for book recommendations to download in preparation for my travels!jet jay crownover book cover

I loved Rule by Jay Crownover, so it was a no-brainer to download the second book in the Marked Men series, Jet. If it’s anything like Rule was, I’m going to speed through this book faster
than the speed of light, and no doubt kick myself that I didn’t think ahead and download Rome, and all the other books in the series!!

I also had to hit download on My Sweetest Escape, after super enjoying My Favourite Mistake by Chelsea M. Cameron. I’ve been on a real New Adult kick this year, and I haven’t read a dud one yet, so I’m sticking with authors I know and am pretty sure I’ll enjoy! I love how this isn’t a direct sequel to My Favourite Mistake but more of a companion.sanctum sarah fine book cover

I’m trying to work my way though older Kindle books, so I’ve made sure I’ve got all the Guards of the Shadowlands books ready to read, starting with Sanctum. I’ve heard lots of wonderful things about this series, and I’ve been in a real fantasy mood lately, so hopefully this series by Sarah Fine doesn’t disappoint!

I also treated myself to a book I’ve been wanting to read for years, and I’m so excited to finally have a copy sitting waiting for me on my Kindle. I am so looking forward to finally being able to read Forever My Girl by Heidi McLaughlin. I know it’s contemporary but I’m not sure if it’s adult or new adult, but the synopsis sounds amazing so I know I’ll love it regardless!

Of course, I’ve got plenty more books lined up to read on my Kindle for the next two weeks, but I wanted to share some of the highlights I’ll be delving into whilst I’m relaxing on the beach or by the swimming pool!

Feeling Chatty

April 4, 2016

Hey! It’s been ages since I’ve properly sat down to write a bunch of posts, and you know what? I’ve really missed it! I’ve missed the blogging community and how friendly everyone is and how enthusiastic over books they are. Not many people around me read a great deal (apart from my mum, more on that later), so to dive back into a world where people understand why I’m so enthused over books is great. My lack of blogging hasn’t stopped me from buying books however, my most recent three physical purchases were Night Owls, Demon Road and The Dark Days Club. I’m super excited to dive back into some paranormal reads, as I haven’t touched the genre in years. Not properly, at least, but I’m planning on easing my way back in soon. I have yet another reason to add to the list of “why my boyfriend’s a keeper”: he bought me a Waterstones voucher for Valentine’s. I don’t do flowers and chocolates, and I told him if he was going to buy me anything for Valentine’s, it had to be practical. And he listened, bless him. Not to be outdone on the practical stakes, I bought him a drill-bit set for his fancy new drill he’s bought for work. What books have you bought recently? 

Okay, so my mum. She has a Kindle, and she reads loads, but mainly urban fantasy/paranormal romance/contemporary romance. We don’t talk books that often, apart from the occasional Nora Roberts recommendation (by mum to me), but I have got her started on a few of her favourite series myself, namely Black Dagger Brotherhood and the Guild Hunter series. I do wave the occasional YA paranormal under her nose if I think she’ll enjoy it, but I’m rarely taken up on the offer, as she’s not a fan of YA. So I was kinda surprised to find her reading The Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor and totally raving about it, finishing the book in three days and immediately downloading the second. I mean, I was stoked, but never thought that would be a book my mum would read. And now I’m totally spurred onto reading the series myself!

I also go on holiday to Cuba on the 5th April, and I am so excited. My boyfriend and I went to Mexico last June, and we said that there would be no holiday this year, but made an exception as it’s his grandparents’ 50th Wedding Anniversary in 2016, so there’s 11 of us going to celebrate in Cuba. And I am so looking forward to two weeks in the glorious sunshine, sipping on the occasional cocktail and read to my heart’s content. I can’t swim, but the idea of lazing by a pool or on the beach with my Kindle seems like total heaven. I, of course, have been purchasing plenty of books for my holiday, even though I don’t need to buy anymore! And the lure of the airport bookshop will no doubt be too difficult to ignore as well, so I’ll have plenty of reading material to keep me entertained for the two weeks. What are your favourite beach reads? Are you going on holiday this year? Tell me where!

And finally, although I’ve no doubt bored everyone to tears, I can’t not share this news with you. I said earlier in the year that I was possibly looking for a new job, and now I’ve finally got one! I’m going to be going back to dispensing at the end of April, after my holiday, and I honestly couldn’t be more happy. I’m so excited for what the future holds and I just feel so positive at the moment, which is a really nice feeling to have when you haven’t felt it in a long while! How are you guys doing?

 

 

The 6 Best Books I Read This Summer

October 17, 2015

I went on a massive reading binge throughout the summer, and I managed to get a ridiculous amount of reading done. And they were all good books! I didn’t read a single mediocre or worse book throughout the summer months, which I’m taking as a personal achievement. And because I’ve been so lax with getting my reviews written and posted, I thought I’d share with you my 6 favourites.

6 best books i read this summer

I’m only including the books I read after I went to Mexico, so from mid-June onwards, up until the end of August, because that was when my reading kind of pattered off again and I kind of stopped reading…again.

6 best books I read in summer collage

I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson – this book just confirmed that if Jandy Nelson writes it, I will read it. Wow. ALL THE FEELS. This left me broken, deflated, uplifted, all in the turn of a page. Easily one of the best reads of the year for me.

Mud Vein by Tarryn Fisher – totally took me by surprise! Do not let the cover fool you, this is an intense mystery/thriller that will leave you guessing til the very end.

One by Sarah Crossan – I’ve already written about my thoughts on One, so I won’t go into too much detail. But this is a book for you if you want an emotional rollercoaster.

Simon Vs the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Alertalli – Whatever hype you’ve heard surrounding this book, you need to believe it. Seriously. It’s that good.

Because You’ll Never Meet Me by Leah Thomas – YES. Just a blissful YES. It’s not a sweet, fluffy read, but my goodness, it’s worth reading.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick – I’m so cross with myself for waiting so long to read this book, but I’m also so happy that I waited until summer to read it. Seriously, the most perfect time to pick this one up.

What were your favourite reads of the summer?

Series I Want to Finish in 2015

August 8, 2015

I’m sure that series I want to finish is becoming a recurring theme on this blog, but I’ve managed to narrow it down to 4 series that I absolutely must finish by the end of this year. I’m hopeful it’ll happen…you never know!
Series I Want to finish in 2015I’m currently re-reading Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo, and I’m planning on reading the next two books back-to-back. I’d almost forgotten how good this book is, and I’m excited to finally continue Mal and Alina’s stories.

I have to re-read Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi before I think about picking up the rest of the series, but I haven’t read a dystopian book in ages, so I’m really looking forward to diving back into this world again.

Clockwork Princess and City of Heavenly Fire kind of go hand in hand, as I know I have to read Clockwork Princess before the final Mortal Instruments book. I really enjoy The Infernal Devices, but if I’m being honest, I’m ready for The Mortal Instruments to be over with. 6 books is plenty enough for me!

What series do you want to finish up in 2015?

 

Dear 16 Year Old Me…

July 25, 2015

Dear Hollie,

You’re 16, you’ve finished taking all your GCSE’s, and you’re so confident about your future. You’re not going to want to listen to what your 22 year-old, slightly thinner and a lot wiser future self has to say to you, but I’m going to tell you anyway.

These next couple of years at sixth form are not going to be amazing like you’re hoping they will. Things won’t change, people won’t miraculously look at you and think that you’ve changed. Because you haven’t. You’re still going to be the same person you already are, and in time, you’ll come to accept that. And trust me, the sooner you accept yourself as a person, the happier you will be.

Allow me to completely rock the apple cart by telling you that you don’t make it to university. But it’s not the end of the world. And deep down, despite all your tears and anger, you’ll know that. Trust me that in five years time, you’ll find a job you absolutely love and all those university woes will seem so trivial. The chip shop will soon be a distant memory for you, but you’ll always be grateful for the working ethic it gave you. You’re going to feel directionless after university, so grab all the opportunities that are given to you. Don’t wallow, allow yourself to live, and really enjoy yourself.

You’re going to make some terrible decisions in life. You’re going to meet a boy on your 20th birthday who will temporarily make you forget who you really are. And although this sounds all whimsical and nice, it’s not. Go in with caution, and get out while you can. It’s not all doom and gloom though, as when you’re 21, you’re going to meet a boy who you’ll fall madly in love with, who loves the exact same music you do, who makes you laugh and tells you that he loves you every single day. He’s worth the wait. He’s worth all the terrible teenage mistakes, all the horrible drunken kisses on nights out in a nightclub that’s overpriced and over-rated. He’s the Prince Charming that you’ve been dreaming about. (And his favourite song from The Black Parade is Disenchanted. If you need any more proof that he’s the guy for you, I don’t know what else to give you.)

2013 will be a terrible year for you, and you’ll have to watch your world fall apart over and over and over until you’re convinced that you’re going to break. You won’t. You’ll come back stronger, even if you don’t want to. Even if you think you can’t. You’re resilient. You bend, but you never break. As I write this, I’m realising that this is one of my favourite things about myself. Self-love is something we’re working on.

Life is full of surprises, and we love a good surprise, so I’m not going to give you anything else to mull over. You’ll have to fill in the gaps yourself.

Love

Your 22 year old, really bloody awesome self.

P.S – DO NOT try and go blonde. It won’t be a good look, I promise!