YA Mental Health Must-Reads of 2019

One of the things I’m most passionate about in YA is mental illness representation. I mean, isn’t it always amazing to read about characters and stories that you can relate to or see yourself in? Which is why all kinds of representation is SUPER IMPORTANT! I’m definitely a little biased because of my own experiences, but some of my favourite books are queer and have mental illness representation because THAT’S ME! I FEEL SEEN!

I’ve read quite a few incredible YA novels with mental health representation so far in 2019, so today I want to share some of my top favourites with you! I particularly loved these five that I’ve read this year, and I hope you love all of them as well.

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Do These Popular 2019 YA Releases Deserve The Hype?

Hype is a fickle thing, isn’t it? On the one hand, hype gets people excited about new releases and encourages them to add books to their TBRs. But on the other hand, too much hype can lead to disappointment, or even putting people off certain books altogether.

Whether you’re a fan of hyped books or not, there’s a chance you’ve read a few of them in your life. And I’m sure you all know which books I’m talking about! You only have to scroll through social media to notice which books are getting a lot of attention, and those that have seemed to have been overlooked completely.

So today I wanted to share my thoughts with you on TEN OF THE MOST HYPED YA RELEASES OF 2019! Whether you’ve been thinking of picking these ones up, or if you just want to know if I think they’re deserving of the hype or not, check out my selections!

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YA Books with Deaf Representation

Isn’t it just the best feeling when you read a book and go YES. That’s me, right there on the page!? There’s nothing quite as exciting as feeling seen in a novel. It can be because of a character’s ethnicity, or sexuality, or even something small like a character quoting The Office or shipping Quirrelmort like you do (#1 Quirrelmort shipper right here). Seeing a part of you in a book is one of the things I love most about reading, and as a queer cis white woman, I’ve been lucky to see myself represented on the page in a lot of what I read.

REPRESENTATION IS IMPORTANT, Y’ALL. I’m sure as fellow bloggers, I don’t have to tell you that twice. But one of the aspects of representation that I believe we need to see more of in YA is disability representation—and the spreading of awareness for books with disability representation that we already have available to us. So today I just wanted to shine a light on some of the books featuring Deaf characters that I’ve read recently.

Of course I have no place to say whether the representation in these novels is accurate or how well these characters are written, but I do hope that if you’re looking for more books with hearing impaired representation this list helps you out! I really enjoyed all of these, and I’m definitely on the lookout for more books starring Deaf protagonists. Hit me up with all your recommendations!

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Mid-Year Q&A (feat. Favourite Books, Writing Tips + Blogging Advice)

HELLO FRIENDS! Sooo… we’re over halfway through 2019 and I am FREAKING. OUT. Who allowed time to pass this quickly? And I’m finishing my uni degree in like four months?! And I’ll be expected to know what to do with my life?! I DON’T LIKE THIS.

But even though I’m in the midst of a mini existential crisis, I have had a pretty great year! I’ve read some amazing books, wrote some stuff I’m really proud of, made some new friends, been on vacation… THANK YOU, 2019!

So to celebrate making it halfway through the year (celebrate, I type while stress-eating ice cream and worrying about all the things I want to achieve before December 31), I thought I’d do a little Q&A! I recently asked you mortals to send me alllll your questions, so here are your long awaited answers! I hope you enjoy!

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Top Five Contemporaries of 2019 (so far!)

If you’ve glanced at my blog for longer than ten seconds or know me on social media, you’ll be well aware than I’m a massive fan of contemporary YA. It’s definitely my favourite genre out there. Sure, I love a good fantasy story, and yeah, thrillers are pretty cool too, but nothing makes me want to curl up with a mug of tea and a book on a chilly afternoon quiet like a cute contemporary does.

As we’re halfway through 2019 already (umm, excuse me? where did my year go?), I thought it was the perfect time to share my top five contemporary reads of this year so far! There are still a ton on my TBR that I need to get to before the year’s over, and I’ve got a massive stack on preorder, but these are just a few that I’ve absolutely loved from the first six months of the year.

If you’re looking for a new contemporary novel to pick up, I highly recommend checking out these ones right here!

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A Bookshop Tour of Spain & Portugal

In June, I was lucky enough to be travelling around Spain and Portugal. It was lovely and warm, I visited countless stunning cities, ate some incredible food, and just had a blast getting to explore these countries. But as well as visiting all the historic sights and admiring the gorgeous architecture, I also checked out a fair amount of bookshops as well!

So today, I invite you all to join me on a bookshop tour of Spain and Portugal! Let me show you some of the coolest bookstores I stumbled upon during my time abroad. From a magical bookshop that’s rumoured to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s creation of Hogwarts, to tiny shops hidden away down side streets with old books piled high on the carpet, these are all my must-see places for bookworms in this little corner of Europe.

Airplane

Liberia Anticuaria Los Terceros, Seville

This gorgeous little bookshop is tucked away down a side street, away from the busy main roads of Seville. Reminiscent of Bernard Black’s bookshop in Black Books, stacks of books are piled high on the floor and the table. Overflowing shelves line the small room, filled with editions with cracked spines and bent pages—books that have lived and have been loved. It’s the perfect little cosy nook in this busy Spanish city.Read More »

Books to Read Based on Your Favourite Buzzfeed Unsolved Episode

I AM A MASSIVE BUZZFEED UNSOLVED STAN. What can I say? I just love Shane and Ryan with all of my heart. I’d let myself be possessed by a demon if it meant saving their lives. I’d step in front of a flying bullet coming from a mob they’d pissed off if it meant they could continue making their amazing content. #AllHailTheWatcher

But for all of you Shaniacs and Boogaras out there craving more BUN goodness, I’ve compiled a little list of books you can go on to read, based on your favourite episode! Well, these are just four of my favourites, and I hope you liked these ones as well. Is there anything better than a good old fashioned mystery? I DON’T THINK SO.

Well, maybe a ghost. Ghosts are cool. I would very much like to meet a ghost please.

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My Favourite Queer Books of 2019 So Far

How’s everyone going on their 2019 Goodreads Challenge? Good, I hope? Even if you’re not – don’t stress! I’m currently sitting at around 70 books out of my goal of 150, which is a little behind schedule, but I’m enjoying all of the books I’m reading. That’s the main thing!

But because I’m not interested in reading straight white book after straight white book, most of the novels I decide to pick up are queer! I’m a sucker for a good queer romance, what can I say. And even books with queer protagonists without a romance! And books with full casts of queer characters! JUST GIVE ME ALL THE ADORABLE QUEER MUNCHKINS, ‘KAY?

I’ve read more queer books this year than I can name off the top of my head, but I’ve decided to pick my ULTIMATE FAVES to recommend to you today! All of these are 2019 releases, so if you’re in need of more queer books in your life (OF COURSE YOU ARE), I definitely recommend adding these ones to your TBR! Enjoy!

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Harry Potter Places to Visit in Porto

Hello from Barcelona! I’ve been lucky enough to escape the cold winter of Melbourne and travel across to sunny Spain and Portugal for a little vacation. But what would a trip be without doing some bookish things abroad? I always love checking out bookstores in different countries, but when I decided to visit Portugal, I knew going to Porto was a must. Not only is it a gorgeous little city with a wide river, steep, winding streets, and it’s famous for its port, but there are some Harry Potter attractions to see there too.

Now I know it’s no London with its Harry Potter Studios or Osaka with its Wizarding World of Harry Potter, but it’s pretty damn cool to say the least. J.K. Rowling lived in Porto in the early 1990s, and she frequented many places that undoubtedly inspired her in the creation of the series we all know and love today. In my two days in Porto, I was lucky enough to check out some of these places. So here’s my list of must-see Harry Potter places in Porto!

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10 Weird Bookish Things Non-Readers Don’t Understand

There’s a lot of bookish things that non-readers just DON’T UNDERSTAND. Whether it’s your family giving you weird looks when you scream with excitement about the arrival of a preorder, or if it’s dropping bookish drama into conversation with friends and getting blank looks in response, it can be both frustrating and hilarious. So I’ve decided to list my top ten things non-readers are completely oblivious to!

1. Book-Themed Candles

I absolutely love book-themed candles. I love searching for candles that are inspired by my favourite books and characters, or ones that just include some of my favourite scents. But you know what? My family just DOES NOT GET IT. “Why would you want a book candle?” they say. “You can just take a book off your shelf and smell it. Why do you need to buy a candle?” BUT IT DOESN’T SMELL LIKE BOOKS, OKAY?! Or even the ones that have a hint of that “old book smell”, it’s always coupled with other things. Like pine. Or coffee. Or roses. And my family just… doesn’t get that.Read More »