5 Things I Learned During #NaNoWriMo

So… I participated in #NaNoWriMo this month! If you don’t know what that weird mash of letters means, it stands for National Novel Writing Month – a month where writers across the globe get together (well, online, but the feeling of unity is real) and aim to write 50k during the month! It’s fun and hectic and we all need approximately 328 gallons of coffee to make it to December alive, but it’s totally worth it.

While I didn’t get to the full 50k this month (why do they plan this during the busiest month of the year, I demand to speak to the manager), I did make a really good start on a new WIP and I had a lot of fun doing so! I’ve been working on a crime / sci-fi YA novel for the past month, and yes, it’s as weird as that mashup of genres sounds. It has sociopaths and vigilantes and monsters and stabbing and scones! What more could anyone want in a novel?!

This is the third time I’ve participated in #NaNoWriMo, and still I learned new things from taking part again. So whether or not you were involved this year, I think these tips are applicable to all writing experiences. I hope you can take something away from this post!

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8 of the Best Queer YA Novels of 2018

2018 has been an incredible year in terms of new releases featuring queer characters! I say this every year, but I honestly think there have been more new books featuring LGBTQIAP+ characters during 2018 than any year previously. It’s amazing! More queer novels, please!

I’m just so happy that this year, the majority of the books I’ve read have included explicitly queer characters, if these characters aren’t the protagonist. Five years ago, I wouldn’t have imagined being able to pick off more than a handful of these books off the shelves at stores – and look where we are now! My glittery rainbow soul is singing.

I’m already looking forward to all the glorious queer releases of 2019, but before then, I’d like to share my top 8 queer reads of 2018! I utterly adored all of these and I could have put 100 more on this list, but I had to narrow it down to my absolute favourites. I hope you loved these ones too!

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YA Novels for Fans of These 2018 Movies

I don’t really get to talk about movies a lot on my blog, with it being a book blog and all, but I thought now’s the perfect opportunity to swoon over some of my favourite 2018 film releases and match them with a YA novel! Because I work part time at a cinema, I’m lucky enough to get to see all the movies we’re showing for free – often multiple times. My record is seeing Thor: Ragnarok eight times at the cinema, closely followed by Love, Simon which I saw seven times. No, I’m not sick of either of them yet. And yes, I’m 95% made of popcorn.

2018 has been another incredible year of cinematic releases. Not only have we had some absolutely incredible YA adaptations released, like Love, Simon and The Hate U Give, but we’ve also had some truely excellent and worthy contenders for the Oscars. I’m channeling my inner Moira from Schitt’s Creek when I confess that my favourite season is, in fact, awards season. If you haven’t seen that amazing show yet, I give you permission to binge it on Netflix.

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But without further ado, here are the incredible film releases of 2018 that I’ve matched with equally excellent YA novels!

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Mental Illness in YA: Depression

There’s nothing I love seeing in books more than accurate representation of people from marginalised communities and those who are neurodiverse or live with a mental illness. Books with depression representation have a particularly special place in my heart. As someone who’s lived with depression since Year 10, I found a lot of solace in these YA novels when I was feeling at my most alone and to see myself in the books I was reading.

What I love about YA, especially what’s being written and released recently, is how so many people are able to see themselves in what they read. There’s still so much room for improvement, but in my case, seeing depression represented in teen characters honestly made such a big difference to my life in high school. Books help us feel less alone.

So today I want to share some of my favourite YA books with depression representation with you! I’ve chosen five that have impacted me the most and that I’ve seen the most of myself in – and it’s important to note that not everyone’s experience with depression and other mental illnesses are exactly the same. These books just have such a special place in my heart, and I hope you like these ones too.

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4 Books You Probably Didn’t Realise are Perfect for Halloween

We all know the books that everyone’s been recommending this Halloween season – books like City of Ghosts and The Diviners and Toil and Trouble. And yes, I’ve been guilty of recommending the same books over and over again. I mean, do I ever shut up about my love for Victoria Schwab? No, I don’t.

But today I wanted to do something a little bit different and recommend four books you probably didn’t realise are perfect for Halloween! I went into all these novels not expecting something creepy or haunting, but they ended up really being perfect for the spooky season. And I just love books that have an unexpected twist like that! So I hope you enjoy my unexpected Halloween recommendations.

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5 Books I’m Currently #Obsessed With

It’s a known fact that October is the best time of the year for book lovers… or the worst, if we’re thinking about our bank accounts and looming TBRs. Yes, it’s release season! The time where new books are flying at us from left, right, and centre, and we’re left desperately trying to keep up. And even though it can be stressful trying to juggle all these amazing releases, it’s undoubtedly one of the most exciting times of the year.

With the start of the spooky season comes all the exciting books that we’re all desperate to get our hands on! It’s like it’s the last rush for publishers to get all there exciting releases out into the world before Christmas, and even though October is a month that breaks my bank, I’m happy to drink terrible instant coffee instead of extravagant Starbucks frappuccinos if it means getting my hands on an anticipated release.

So today I want to fangirl about some of the most excellent books I’ve read recently! I’m still getting through my TBR pile and I’m sure there will be a whole lot more that I want to scream about, but in the meantime, here’s five of them that deserve to be on your shelves too.

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YA Books for People Who Love These 9 Musicals

Something I don’t get to talk enough about on my blog is just how much I adore musicals! I’ve been a fan of them ever since my mum used to take me to them when I was a kid, my first memorable experience being seeing The Lion King. From there, I craved all that I could get. I saw Wicked and Hairspray and Matilda, and most recently, The Book of Mormon. But alas, because most of the well-known musicals haven’t crossed the ocean to Australia yet, I have to settle for listening to the soundtracks and dreaming about the day I get to see them live.

So today I thought I’d blend my love of musicals and books and recommend some YA books for fans of these particular musicals! If you need a little nudge to listen to some of these and enjoyed the books I’ve paired with them, I definitely recommend going and finding a soundtrack – or even seeing it live if you can! Let’s flail about all the best musicals together.

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Hang on… Didn’t That Series End?

It’s happened a lot in the past year — previously “completed” series getting additions or spin-offs. And I don’t know how I feel about this. On the one hand, it’s exciting to get new content from authors we’ve loved for years surrounding the same characters or settings we already feel so attached to. But on another hand, it’s hard not to feel like it’s a cheap marketing trick from either the authors, or the publishers, who think stories with existing fanbases will sell better. Maybe they do; I don’t work in publishing so I don’t know. Sadly.

But releasing additions to a series is undeniably a source of massive amounts of hype. Twitter collectively lost it’s mind when books like the latest Shatter Me was announced, and the same with the Mara Dyer book from Noah’s perspective (if I’m correct). I loved those series when I read them back in the day — that golden age of 2014 YA where everything was simpler — but for some reason, the thought of reading an addition that wasn’t originally planned feels wrong somehow. I just can’t wrap my head around it.

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Top 8 Underrated Books of 2018

It’s hard to believe we’re already 3/4 through 2018 already! I’ve read so many spectacular new releases this year, including some really hyped ones, but it’s time to spread the love for some of the lesser well known novels I’ve adored this year so far.

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Reign of Mist

When I read Heart of Mist last year, I honestly didn’t know how Helen Scheuerer was going to one-up herself. But like Heart of Mist happily surprised me by how much I adored it, Reign of Mist was just as incredible. This series is such a fast-paced, action-packed fantasy that will captivate you from the very first page and won’t let you close the book until you’ve finished and craving more. Reign of Mist picks up right where Heart of Mist left us, again taking us on a journey filled with magic and secrets and intrigue. If you’re a fan of fantasy, this is definitely a series that should be on your radar.


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Heretics Anonymous

I was desperate to get my hands on Heretics Anonymous ever since I heard about it, and this was definitely a book that didn’t disappoint. It talks about religion and friendship and hypocritical beliefs. Not only does it introduce us to a diverse cast of characters who I loved getting to know, but it also has an adorable romance that I desperate wish we could get another book about. Heretics Anonymous is such an exceptionally-written YA contemporary, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.Read More »

Three Feel-Good Books You Need to Read

Sometimes you just need to read a feel-good book, right? There’s nothing I love more than curling up with something that’s going to make me smile at night after a long day of work or uni. I’m someone who can’t read anything too complex or emotional at night after enduring 18 waking hours, so I’m always on the lookout for fun, uplifting, and heartwarming YA novels.

Today I’m going to be sharing three of them that deserve to be on your TBR! These are all recent releases and they’re perfect to read as the weather starts to warm up (sorry, anyone in the Northern Hemisphere. I absolutely love losing myself in a swoon-worthy contemporary in the summer months as I sit on the beach or eat ice cream in the park, so these novels definitely got me in the mood for that! Bring on those endless summer days.

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