KEEPING SANE IN A GLOBAL PANDEMIC!

The thing about a global pandemic – and, in many countries, a nationwide lockdown – is that it’s pretty bloody scary. And it’s a relatively foreign concept that none of us have any particular experience with. There’s no Beginner’s Guide on how to deal with this stuff, and everyone is pretty much stumbling around, doing their best, and trying to navigate a seemingly hopeless situation.
Between COVID-19 fears, a certain prolific author using their platform to spread hatred and a dangerous rhetoric towards the trans community, and the onslaught of police brutality/racism surrounding the Black Lives Matter movement; at times the world has felt like it’s falling apart around us. It’s hard to comprehend the endless list of grief and anxiety that 2020 has provided us with, and social media and our constant access to news at such a rapid rate can often make it far more overwhelming and difficult to come to terms with. We’re all just human, and our mental health is just as important as our physical health. It’s so incredibly important to take a step back and make sure we’re focusing on things that help keep us grounded, especially during these trying and difficult times.
When you’re stuck indoors all of the time for months on end, many of us having no jobs to go to or friends to see as a result of social distancing and lockdown measures, we find ourselves going a little stir crazy. Many of us live in situations where we’re shut off from the world – living alone, or in enclosed spaces without even the most basic fresh air at our disposal. Some of us live in larger communities, with families or roommates, where a moment’s peace is hard to achieve. Then, of course, there’s those of us living in abusive households, whether that abuse is physical or emotional, at the hands of a partner or a family member, or even as a result of our own, intrusive thoughts. Regardless of a person’s situation, it’s a hard time for our mental health, and finding coping mechanisms and distractions is so important, especially when so often our usual methods are hard to attain. For example, as much an avid reader as I usually am, I found my mind so fuzzy and distracted over the course of the last six months, overcome with stress, fear, and emotional exhaustion that focusing on any kind of book felt like an impossibility. Picking up a book felt like such a slog, and nothing seemed to endear to me no matter how much I had been looking forward to. And while many people found themselves learning new hobbies and skills or using this time to be productive, seeing other people so focused and constructive with their time only made me feel worse about myself; I am self deprecating on a good day, so on the bad days I spent a lot of time telling myself that I wasn’t doing enough, that I was useless and wasting all this free time, and that I should be doing more. Because of that, I knew I needed to give myself a break, sit myself down and find solace in things that made me feel happy. I didn’t owe anybody or anything my service or my time when I was already struggling so much to do the bare minimum even for myself.
So, because of this, I’ve decided to compile a list of five things that have been helping me through this bizarre year, and I hope that it can serve as inspiration to those of you that are struggling, or even a little reminder that it’s okay to not be okay right now, and that there is no shame in not having it all figured out right now.

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THE FOLKLORE BOOK TAG!

Hey everyone! I’m back, and ready to play tag! If you spotted my last post a few weeks ago, I briefly mentioned that I had been AWOL for the last year – as a result of mental health, stress, and other reasons – but now I’m back! Sort of. I don’t know how often or how regularly I’ll be popping on, if ever, but I wanted to at least stay true and show myself for this particular tag.

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CHECKING IN & STARTING OVER

Hey everyone!

So, it’s been a little (long) while — about a year, I think! I kind of abandoned this blog ever so slightly due to stress, my own mental health, and just the pressures and busyness of life. It wasn’t ever my intention to stop posting entirely, but I got snowed under, and what initially started out as something that I wanted to do to relieve me from the stress, soon became something that amplified it. I had a whole heap of posts drafted, ideas bubbling, and all of them slowly fell apart, so for that I apologise!

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E-ARC REVIEW; IN THE SILENCES

When did life get so dangerous? Kaz Adams just wants to read comic books with her best friend, Aisha Warren. And maybe get up the nerve to ask her out, if Kaz turns out to be a gender that Aisha’s into. Kaz figured she’d be the target of violence for her gender nonconformity, but a fatal police shooting thirty miles from their town opens her eyes to the realities of racism. She watches as pressures at school and in their social group mount against Aisha. Kaz would try to stop a bullet for Aisha if she had to, but she has no idea how to stop the waves of soul-crushing disapproval and judgement. When she talks to the other white students and adults in her area, they don’t seem to understand what she’s talking about. Aisha has helped Kaz find a place in the world, but that was about Kaz’s gender expression. Kaz can’t magically change the world for Aisha, but something has to change in their school system or she’ll lose the girl she loves.”
4/5 stars.


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PAST REVIEWS: CHRISTINA HENRY EDITION

Before creating this blog, I was prone to the odd goodreads or bookstagram review here and there, which of course is what inspired this whole journey. So, I thought it might be fun to compile all of my reviews from the past year or so that haven’t made an appearance on this blog, no matter how long or short, and have them all in a nice and tidy little space. There will be a lot, so I’ll be doing a series of posts just to fill in spaces, but hopefully there’ll be a bit of inspiration along the way, and maybe it’ll be a way to drum up conversations about our favourite books, or introduce you lovely readers to some new, exciting material!


To kick off, this is going to be a Christina Henry edition, in which I share my reviews for all of her fairytale retellings.

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HOGWARTS HOUSE BOOK TAG!

HELLO INTERNET AND WELCOME TO ANOTHER EPISODE OF- oh, sorry guys, I’ve been listening to way too much Potterless recently. HOWEVER. We absolutely will be keeping on the topic of Potter today, as I introduce you all to the Hogwarts House Book Tag! Now, I know, I know. I’m sure this has been done a million times, and I absolutely have no intentions of taking complete credit for what I can only imagine is a wildly unoriginal idea. That being said, I promise I did come up with all of these questions, and this was wholly inspired by me being an enormous nerd, Schubes of Potterless fame ranting and raving about house qualities (or lack thereof), and just my own general desire to come up with something a little fun to spruce up my blog! So, here goes.

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APRIL ROUNDUP!

MAY? It’s may ALREADY? Wild. Hey everyone! Happy May, I guess, and welcome to this month’s recap! Blah blah blah, you know the drill. This is the part where I recap the last month! Though, I had a pretty slow reading month last month (what’s new, honestly?), and my head was all over the place, so I’m not sure this will be the world’s most thrilling recap, but we’ll give it a go! Before we get started, I’d like to apologise though! I really have had a sloppy month! I had a rubbish reading month, as well as a rubbish blogging month, and I’ve just been generally very spaced out and a bit on the useless side. I’ve not been keeping track of other bloggers and posts as such, nor have I gotten a very good handle on my own content, so hopefully May will be better all around!


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MONSTROUS REGIMENT & THE BI-BLE!

Hey everyone, I am BACK. Okay, I’m well aware that I’ve been APPALLING as far as updating my blog over the past month, and my reading habits have been at an absolute ALL TIME LOW. I also know that I owe my monthly recap, which is all drafted and ready to go, but for now I wanted to prioritise today’s post, in which we’ll be talking about Monstrous Regiment Publishing’s The Bi-ble.


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REVIEW; COFFEE BOY BY AUSTIN CHANT

After graduation, Kieran expected to go straight into a career of flipping burgers—only to be offered the internship of his dreams at a political campaign. But the pressure of being an out trans man in the workplace quickly sucks the joy out of things, as does Seth, the humorless campaign strategist who watches his every move.
Soon, the only upside to the job is that Seth has a painful crush on their painfully straight boss, and Kieran has a front row seat to the drama. But when Seth proves to be as respectful and supportive as he is prickly, Kieran develops an awkward crush of his own—one which Seth is far too prim and proper to ever reciprocate.”
4/5 stars.

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