Anxiety: A Poem

Anxiety: A Poem

Hey guys! This week I’m going to be sharing a poem about what anxiety feels like for me. I hope this can help make others feel a little less alone and maybe create a tiny bit more awareness for mental health in general.

Anxiety is more than just being shy around strangers and having panic attacks in shopping malls;
It’s looking up what you want online before you go to a restaurant
It’s having meltdowns in the middle of the night
It’s struggling to stand when you need to keep going
It’s feeling so alone even when you’re surrounded by people.

Late night panic attacks and crying fits are just the tip of the iceburg
You know nothing until you look into my dark, twisted mind.
The lies I tell myself creep in through the window
Consuming every waking moment.
Am I a failure?
Am I going to survive this episode?
You may think I’m a social butterfly
But wait until you see what’s really inside
There are thousands of butterflies screaming to be let out
There are times when the pain is too much to bare.
But you know what they don’t tell you about anxiety?
“You’ll survive.”

Let me know in the comments your thoughts and whether you have experienced similar feelings. This poem is quite raw and unpolished so I’d appreciate the feedback ❤ Until next time, love, Vee.

12 Bookish Facts

12 Bookish Facts

Hey guys! In this week’s blog I’m going to be talking about bookish facts. If there are any facts that I haven’t listed but you think are interesting, then please comment them below!

Bookish Facts

1. Abibliophobia is the fear of running out of reading material.

2. Dr. Seuss wrote his first book in 1936 on a luxury liner called the Kungholm. As he crossed the Atlantic the sound the engines made annoyed him so much that his wife proposed he use the repetitive rhythm to help him write the book.

3. Goodreads was established in 2007 and in July 2013 it was reported that they had attracted 55 million members.

4. In Kansas City there is a parking lot for the public library designed to look like a huge bookshelf.

5. There are over 8.2 million copies of all three of The Hunger Games books published in the U.S.

6. The Winnie the Pooh books have been translated into 50 other languages including Yiddish and Esperanto.

7. Beatrix Potter wrote The Fairy Caravan in 1926 which was only published in America because Potter thought it was too autobiographical to be brought out in England in her lifetime. The book was released in the UK nine years after her death in 1943.

8. Jacqueline Wilson’s first book for children was called Nobody’s Perfect.

9. When Roald Dahl was at school he was a taste tester for Cadbury. This is probably what inspired him to write Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

10. Books used to be chained to bookshelves in public libraries.

11. Alice in Wonderland used to be banned in China because General Ho Chien believed it was an insult to the human race that animals should be given speech in books.

12. About £2.2 billion in the UK is spent on books a year and a fifth of this is spent on children’s books.

I hope you enjoyed these! Until next time, Vee x

Poetry Review: Those Were The Days

Poetry Review: Those Were The Days

In this week’s blog post I’ll be reviewing Ryan Harbold’s debut poetry collection, Those Were The Days.

About

“Those Were The Days” is a poetry collection that is, the entire life I’ve lived and all the crazy from it.It’s all about your youth and all the nights that turned to days. Being drunk and stupid, falling in love and knowing absolutely nothing but thinking you do. It’s nostalgic and all about what life was like when you’re growing up. The confusion. All the teen angst emotions. The best friends that are now strangers and of course all the good memories you forgot about. It’s about time you lived in your car. It’s the girl who left you speechless with butterflies that you don’t know anymore. It’s all the drugs and stress you drowned your head in. It’s just everything you felt under the stars back then.

Review

I enjoyed reading Ryan’s poetry; it’s all about being a teen and how he got by at the worst points in his life.

His writing is smooth and he says exactly what he thinks and I love modern poetry like that.

I think it’s important to know that everyone goes through bad and good in their life, even at 19. Ryan writes about the friends who got him through and the girl he loved. He writes so honestly that I admire his work and the fact he’s able to spill his heart out. We need more poetry collections like this one.

If you’re looking for poetry about love, loss, teen angst, growing up and friendship, then I definitely recommend reading Those Were The Days.

You can follow Ryan on social media and his username is @wordsryan.

You can find his book here.

Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

Book Review: Bookshop Girl

This week I’ll be reviewing Bookshop Girl by Chloe Coles.

Blurb

Bennett’s Bookshop has always been a haven for sixteen-year-old Paige Turner. It’s a place where she can escape from her sleepy hometown, hang out with her best friend, Holly, and also earn some money.

But, like so many bookshops, Bennett’s has become a ‘casualty of the high street’ – it’s strapped for cash and going to be torn down. Paige is determined to save it but mobilising a small town like Greysworth is no mean feat.

Time is ticking – but that’s not the only problem Paige has. How is she going to fend off the attractions of beautiful fellow artist, Blaine? And, more importantly, will his anarchist ways make or break her bookshop campaign?

Review

I picked this book up on a whim in my local library because of its title. I love anything bookshop so this felt ideal.

I was right to love it! It’s full of books, quirky personalities and friendship. It’s a heartwarming read about the things that matter in life. Paige wants to study art and the only thing keeping her going in the town is Bennetts Bookshop which she adores working at with her bestie Holly.

This book is full of laughs and I loved every second of it. Paige reminded me of me, but so did Holly. They’re both bookworms who are weird but wonderful. I found myself wishing I knew these girls because they would probably be my best friends in real life.

I can’t wait to read the next installment of Paige’s adventures!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: Someday

Hey bookworms! This week I’ll be reviewing a recent read of mine: Someday by David Levithan. If you love wacky books about people waking up in the wrong bodies, then this one’s for you.

 

Blurb

Every day a new body. Every day a new life. Every day a new choice.

For as long as A can remember, life has meant waking up in a different person’s body every day, forced to live as that person until the day ended. A always thought there wasn’t anyone else who had a life like this.

But A was wrong. There are others.

A has already been wrestling with powerful feelings of love and loneliness. Now comes an understanding of the extremes that love and loneliness can lead to — and what it’s like to discover that you are not alone in the world.

In Someday, David Levithan takes readers further into the lives of A, Rhiannon, Nathan, and the person they may think they know as Reverend Poole, exploring more deeply the questions at the core of Every Day and Another Day. What is a soul? And what makes us human?

 

Review

Levithan is my favourite author, so of course I was excited about going to buy his latest installment, Someday from Waterstones Piccadilly, where he was signing. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to start it.

As always, Levithan doesn’t disappoint. Even though it wasn’t the ending I expected, it felt like a reality check. The book made me feel like I wasn’t alone and that the characters were there for me. I love when a book feels like home.

A sometimes does annoy me as a character, but ultimately, their journey is a unique one and written in such a clever way that it almost feels like a metaphor for life. We aren’t always able to find ourselves if we keep searching; we just have to go with the flow and see who we become from our experiences.

Rhiannon is someone I can relate to and I think her character is the most believable. I find her to be a really strong woman after being beaten down by her ex, Justin for ages. She has emerged stronger than ever and we see her go through this journey through all three books. She has the most character development of all.

About X… Well let’s just say he’s scary as hell! But so well written for an author who usually writes about good, kind people. He’s written in a way that we hate him, but understand him at the same time.

Overall, I wasn’t blow away as I wish it had ended differently, but I admire Levithan’s dedication to this series and hope there’s much more to come. Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: Floored

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So this week is a book review about Floored, a novel about when seven lives collide and what happens in the aftermath. Enjoy!

Blurb

Floored is written by seven authors; Sara Barnard, Holly Bourne, Tanya Byrne, Non Pratt, Melinda Salisbury, Lisa Williamson and Eleanor Wood.

When they got in the lift, they were strangers. Sasha, who is desperately trying to deliver a parcel; Hugo, who knows he’s the best-looking guy in the lift and is eyeing up Velvet, who knows what that look means; Dawson, who used to be on TV, used to be handsome, and is sincerely hoping no one recognizes him; Kaitlyn, who’s losing her sight but won’t admit it; and Joe, who shouldn’t be here at all, but wants to be here the most.

And one more person, who will bring them together again on the same day every year.

Review

I bought Floored solely because Lisa Williamson had co-written it but I ended up loving all the characters and the craziness of the story. I even ended up liking Hugo, the most pompous prick there was. It was such a thrill reading this book; some nights I couldn’t put it down and it really has helped me with my reading slump.

I spent the first few chapters trying to guess who’s writing was who’s but after a while it all melted together and I ended up thinking it was written by one person, one voice.

I think having Steven Jeffords die in the lift and the fact his death brings them together every year to celebrate life, was an excellent idea. Every single one of them has problems in their lives and although they only see one another once a year, it means more to them than any friend they’ve ever had. These unlikely bunch mean so much to each other, they will run all around the country to see one another. That’s true friendship. No matter how often you see your best friends, they will still always be there for you in your time of need.

My personal favourite was Velvet because in the end, she finally finds her place in the world, her voice to speak up for herself. Like all of them, they find their purpose in life and having friends help you along the way is the best bit of the journey.

This book was so well written and gripping; I truly hope all the writers collab again in the future. I can’t believe seven people managed to pull this off; I hardly ever read collabs because of my bad experience with them in the past, but this book has changed my mind. I cannot wait to read all the authors’ other books.

This is a must read for anyone who needs a friend, a laugh or even a virtual hug from a book. Go and buy this book, now!

Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and let me know if you’ve read Floored or any of the authors’ work in the comments. Until next time, love, Vee x

Book Review: Sasquatch, Love and Other Imaginary Things

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So I recently entered a giveaway for Sasquatch, Love and Other Imaginary Things and I won the book! It came all the way from the US so I would like to thank Betsy Aldredge and Carrie DuBois-Shaw for sending it to me.

Review

This book is different from anything I’ve recently read and involves a Wood Ape, some British snobs and a big guy with a camera. Sasquatch, Love and Other Imaginary Things is about the Berger family who go onto a reality TV show in search of Bigfoot to win money to save their house and pay for Sam’s college tuition. Sam, the middle child in the Berger family is obsessed with caring about everyone and wants to study pre-med at college. She knows her family are secretly struggling with money and does everything she can to win Myth Gnomers; even if tat means faking clues and taking snooping around.

The Netherfield team are a competitive group of seniors wanting to win money for their school and Dr. DeGraw who is also one of the judges. Devan, Kyle and Caroline are snotty, stuck up kids who are determined to win against the Berger family. Unfortunately, love gets in the way and the family are soon faced with complications, flu and planting fake clues in order to win against the Netherfield team. Even though Sam and Devan are mortal enemies in the competition, they can’t help being drawn to one another.

This book was actually a breath of fresh air to me and I found it hilarious. I hardly ever read any comedy, but YA mixed with corny jokes and sarcastic comments is my idea of a dream novel. Sam reminds me of myself and is the lovable joker of the family. She cares about everyone but worries constantly and is always sarcastic.

I also really liked Sophie, her awkward older sister and Lyssa, her slutty younger one. The whole family is embarrassing and wonderful at the same time. This book is full of family values, sacrifice and support. It’s a different take on romance, love and what it means to be family.

If you’re looking for a funny, awkwardly romantic YA novel, then this is for you! I hope you enjoyed this review and let me know in the comments if you’ve read it!

Until next time, love Vee x

Book Review: Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So a little while ago Siobhan Curham kindly sent me her latest release, Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow to review. I was immensely excited and I’ve been really slow on my reading lately (even more so recently) but this book has managed to get me through a slump.

Blurb

Fourteen year-old Stevie lives in Lewes with her beloved vinyl collection, her mum…and her mum’s depression. When Stevie’s mum’s disability benefits are cut, Stevie and her mum are plunged into a life of poverty. But irrepressible Stevie is determined not to be beaten and takes inspiration from the lyrics of her father’s 1980s record collection and dreams of a life as a musician. The she meets Hafiz, a talented footballer and a Syrian refugee. Hafiz’s parents gave him their life savings to buy Hafiz a safe passage to Europe; his journey has been anything but easy. Then he meets Stevie…

As Stevie and Hafiz’s friendship grows, they encourage each other to believe in themselves and follow their dreams.

Review

I was really excited about starting this book as I love to read new authors’ work. I didn’t expect the story to grip me the way it did but it was so moving. I felt like I was transported into Stevie and Hafiz’s world and it reminded me of the Jacqueline Wilson books I used to read.

Stevie and Hafiz’s relationship is something to admire; they are both from extremely different backgrounds but both have their best interests at heart. This isn’t a book about the guy getting the girl, but about the strength friendship gives you.

This story is so important for people to read because Hafiz is a refugee and the video he makes for assembly is actually moving. It’s so realistic and Curham outlines the heartbreak that can come from being a refugee. She writes so eloquently about the crisis and details everything from the papers that Hafiz needed to get into the UK, to the journey he took and the sights he saw on the way. It was heartbreaking to read but sends a really important message to those who don’t know about the crisis.

It’s also an important read to those who know someone with depression or want to know more about it; Stevie’s mum is anxious and has depression which is hard on her and Stevie. The fact that she can’t work and is relying on benefits is a true crisis here in Britain. There are too many people who have mental health problems who don’t receive help and have their benefits cut.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and the journey that both Hafiz and Stevie go on. Stevie’s struggles with poverty and Hafiz’s problems with bullying both highlight current problems and I think this book is a must read for anyone wanting to know more about these issues. The characters were so lovable and I really rooted for all of them.

I can’t wait to read more of Curham’s work and I’m so glad books like this exist.

Until next time, love, Vee x

Author Interview: Caitlin Conlon

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hi guys! So in this week’s blog I’m going to be interviewing poet Caitlin Conlon, the author of Cavity. I hope you enjoy this interview and if you or someone you know is a poet and would like to be featured, let me know in the comments!

Interview

Was it difficult to write Cavity since it’s about the months following on from a breakup?

I think it would’ve been more difficult for me if I hadn’t written Cavity. After the events that sparked Cavity occurred I was left in a very desolate place. Ironically, these events occurred in the middle of April, National Poetry Writing Month, which means I was participating in the challenge of writing a poem a day for the entire month. 
So despite wanting nothing to do with anything, I kept forcing myself to write (not wanting to let this ruin my writing alongside everything else). And about a month later I was looking at all that I’d written, a lot more than I probably would’ve been able to write normally, and realized that I had something to work with.
The most difficult part wasn’t so much the writing, but having to relive the pain every time I sat down to edit or work on the finer details of the chapbook. It took a lot out of me, constantly thinking about my own heartache. But at the same time I was forced to confront the reality of my situation which again, I might not have done otherwise. It seems I’ve gone off on a tangent, but to sum up my answer: writing Cavity was something that, looking back on it, I had to do. It was born out of necessity. 

Who is your favourite poet/author right now? Do you have an all time favourite book/poetry collection?

 

My all-time favourite poet is Richard Siken and his debut collection, Crush, is my favourite poetry collection. I first read Crush when I was a freshman in high school, which is also when I first began getting serious about writing poetry. I can so vividly remember finishing the collection, looking up from the final page, exhaling, and thinking to myself “I want to make people feel the way that I’m feeling right now.” Everything since has been an attempt to do that.

Do you have any future plans for books or publishing any more work?

Definitely! I’m keeping it very hush hush right now, but I’m currently in the middle of working on a project much bigger than anything else I’ve done. It’s something I’m really, really excited about, and can’t wait to eventually share more information!

If you had to pick a quote to live by, what would it be?

“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck.

What would be your advice to an aspiring author?

My biggest piece of advice is to just keep practicing your craft. When I was first beginning to write I became so easily frustrated with myself because I wasn’t creating the type of work that I wished I was. I thought that writing was something that just came to you, but it isn’t. It’s a muscle that you need to keep working and stretching. And you get better with utilizing that muscle the more you focus on it.
As long as you continue to write, and continue to read as much as possible, you’re going to improve. Don’t let your perception of how talented or untalented you are influence how dedicated you are to it.

Now, this is a fun question I love. You’re stranded on an Island and you can only pick 3 people and 3 objects/things to take with you. Who and what would you take?

Okay so as far as people go I’d bring Margaret Atwood, because I believe in her survival instincts, Lorde, because I have a suspicion that she’s a witch and could cast spells in order to keep us comfortable, and John Mulaney, because that man could sit in front of me doing absolutely nothing and be more entertaining than most of the general populace. 
As for three objects…this is a bit more difficult. An unlimited supply of journals (does that count as one object? I’m going to say it does), a solar-powered radio, and a Kindle pre-loaded with every book I could ever want. (I feel like I definitely cheated on this question.)
I hope you guys enjoyed this post and I’ll see you next week! Love, Vee x

Book Review: Eliza and Her Monsters

h1 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 20pt;} h2 {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 18pt;} body {font-family: times new roman; font-size: 15pt;} Hey guys! So I’ve been desperate to read Eliza and Her Monsters for so long since I saw the cover and blurb. This week I’ll be reviewing the book for you! Let me know in the comments whether you’ve read it and what you thought.

About Eliza and Her Monsters


Eliza and Her Monsters was written by Francesca Zappia in 2017 and the Children of Hypnos, which features in the book, is a bi-weekly serial posted twice a week.

Eliza Mirk is known online as LadyConstellation, the creator of Monstrous Sea, an online web comic with millions of views. Eliza spends every waking second drawing her comic, whether it be at school or home – she even misses Christmas because of how busy she is. She doesn’t have any friends at school; they’re all online. Until she meets Wallace, the new boy at school who’s a fan of Monstrous Sea. When Eliza gets caught up in a lie, will she be able to tell Wallace who she really is before her identity is exposed?

My Review


Trigger warning: this review mentions depression and suicide.

When I started reading this I thought that Eliza was a fairly average teenager who spends too much time online. She doesn’t have friends outside of the internet and she’s never met her best friends – I can relate to this and I think a lot of you will too. But Eliza starts developing mental health problems; it starts off slow but becomes more intense and she can’t find the motivation to practice her art anymore. We’ve all been there. But the difference with Eliza is, she thinks Monstrous Sea is all she has – it’s who she is and without it, she fears she’s no one. But if she writes the ending to her comic, she’s frightened her fans will hate it.

The clever thing that Zappia has done, was to write the mental health into the book without really addressing that it’s an issue to Eliza. Eliza doesn’t think that it’s unhealthy to spend all her time online. It’s where she belongs.

Towards the end, Eliza is faced with a decision that is triggering for those with depression or suicidal thoughts. She pretty much loses everyone but her family and feels like she has nothing anymore. Her anxiety and stress over finishing the comic for Wallace to get a book deal consumes her. She feels guilty and useless. But she’ll soon realize she means more than her work, and that she can still draw without it consuming her. Her parents and brothers, online friends and Wallace are a supportive network that Eliza needs in this time of self discovery.

This book is about discovering your self worth, and realizing that your art, your work, is a separate part of you; it’s not why people love you or like you, you are what people love.

Full of fandom, online friendships and self discovery, Eliza and Her Monsters is a must read for lovers of Geekerella and Fangirl. You can find out more about Zappia here.

I hope you all enjoyed my review, don’t forget to subscribe to receive updates on my posts. Until next time, love, Vee x