What A Month!

March is coming to an end, and I am aware that I’ve been fairly quiet on here for which I can only apologise. If you’ve read some of my previous posts or on Twitter, you may know that I’m in the process of buying my first home – WHICH IS SO STRESSFUL! I’m so excited and pleased with how I’m coping with it all though; I’m trying to take everything in my stride and just be organised and keep things going smoothly. So yeah, that’s taking up a fair amount of my time at the minute!

That aside, I’m also working hard on my mental health. Work has thrown up a few challenges in recent weeks and is likely to get a bit tricky soon as we have a crossover of maternity leaves in the room, but I’m coping okay and venting when I need to which really helps. I can’t work out whether I’m just more agitated than usual because of hormones, the situation or…

I’m finally coming off my antidepressants!

I’ve been on Sertraline on and off since the end of 2012, so it’s a long time to have depended on it, and for the past year I’ve been on the maximum dose of 200mg. Coming off it is making me feel a bit more tired than usual, but other than that I feel like I’m doing really well! On the advice of my pharmacist at work, I am alternating doses each day so that I come off it in 25mg doses rather than jumping down 50mg each time, so it will take a little while but I’m really hoping that soon I’ll be tablet free because once I stop that I’ll also stop taking Aripiprazole which I’ve already halved.

The only thing that’s not going so well at the minute is my reading! I’m just struggling to find the time and concentration needed to read, but I’m loving audiobooks at the minute as a way of still immersing myself in stories but without as much focus needed. I’m going to start trying to manage my time better though from April to see if I can start to catch up on some long overdue reads and reviews! I want to start working on my blog a bit more this month and am really excited to get back into it. I think one of the things that’s really spurred me on is some exciting news I got over on Twitter on Friday:

I’ve been longlisted for Best Newcomer Blogger for the UKYA Blogger Awards!

I never ever expected to get a single nomination, so to have been longlisted with nine other wonderful bloggers, many of whom I’ve looked up to, is amazing! If you happen to be reading this and nominated me, I’d like to say a massive THANK YOU to you; I’m truly grateful and so happy! This is such a strong longlist, making it a difficult decision to make! If you do enjoy my content though, and would like to vote, please head across to http://www.ukyaba.co.uk!

So yeah, that’s March! I’m going to spend this evening rewatching To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before…for the sixth time this weekend…and preparing some posts for April!

I hope you’re all doing well, and thank you for sticking with me during my slight quietness!

kayleigh

Top Ten Tuesday: 19th March 2019

My first Top Ten Tuesday in a while, hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. This was quite a fun one to go through with my TBR being so long! So, this week’s topic is:

Books on my Spring 2019 TBR

  1. A Girl Called Shameless – Laura Steven
  2. Solitaire – Alice Oseman
  3. How To Make Friends With The Dark – Kathleen Glasgow
  4. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Brigid Kemmerer
  5. I Owe You One – Sophie Kinsella
  6. Peril in Paris – Katherine Woodfine
  7. Through the Water Curtain – Cornelia Funke
  8. The Steam Whistle Theatre Company – Vivian French
  9. The Day I Was Erased – Lisa Thompson
  10. Frostfire – Jamie Smith

These are just a few of the books that I’ve bought/been sent lately that I really need to read soon! I could’ve gone on! Have you read any of these – any I should prioritise?

kayleigh

WWW Wednesday: 13th March 2019

Hello! I’m sorry that I’ve gone AWOL again; life has gotten very hectic! My boyfriend and I are in the process of buying a flat and it all came along very quickly so that’s taking up a fair amount of time! However, in anticipation of the move, I’ve been having a clear out and am so proud of how much stuff and how many books I’ve managed to unhaul! A year ago I never thought I’d be able to do what I have. Me 1, anxiety 0.

What are you currently reading? 

I have found a little bit of time this week to get started on an AMAZING book – Step Sister by Jennifer Donnelly. I’m hooked and can’t wait to get a decent chunk of time to dedicate to getting lost in this book because it’s brilliant so far. I’m also listening to the audiobook of Love Lessons by Jacqueline Wilson, which is an old favourite. I’ve loved making sure that I just listen to fifteen minutes a day and it helps me to unwind a bit!

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What did you recently finish reading?

Most recently I read The Near Witch by VE Schwab, which was such a brilliant short read! I was captivated by the world of Near and the story of the Near Witch. It came out this week, so I highly recommend getting a copy!

What do you think you’ll read next?

I need to get around to finishing How To Make Friends With The Dark by Kathleen Glasgow. I started it before Christmas, and unfortunately didn’t get a chance to come back to it, so I can’t wait to continue because I loved what I read.

kayleigh

THE NEAR WITCH – V.E. Schwab

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RELEASED: 12/03/2019
PUBLISHER: Titan
GENRE: Fantasy, Fairy Tale

All-new deluxe edition of an out-of-print gem, containing in-universe short story “The Ash-Born Boy” and a never-before-seen introduction from V.E. Schwab. The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children. If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company. There are no strangers in the town of Near. These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life. But when an actual stranger, a boy who seems to fade like smoke, appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true. The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy. Part fairy tale, part love story, Victoria Schwab’s debut novel is entirely original yet achingly familiar: a song you heard long ago, a whisper carried by the wind, and a dream you won’t soon forget.

Shamefully, I’ve never read a book by V.E. Schwab, despite being desperate to do so! So, upon seeing that I could rectify that situation, I was delighted to be sent a copy of a rerelease of her debut The Near Witch; it looked a lot less daunting than her other series’ and I’m sold on fairy tales involving witches!

The Near Witch reminded me of a lot of children’s classics from Diana Wynne Jones, Cliff McNish and Paul Stewart that I loved growing up, and so I found this to be an easy one to get hooked on. Despite being a fairly short book, the world has been crafted so it really comes to life in your mind and the characters are really interesting. The feeling of fear really came off the pages and kept me guessing throughout.

One thing that I loved about this book is that it was a perfect bridge between YA and adult fiction; it was so easy to get immersed in the world of Near and I found that as soon as the story got going it was impossible to put down! It’s been a while since I’ve found a book that I’ve just had to keep reading in one sitting, and, considering that it’s a debut novel, the writing style is flawless.

I can’t wait to finally get around to reading more of V.E. Schwab’s work after reading this wonderful book!


Thank you to Lydia at Titan Books for sending me a copy of this title.

Six for Sunday: 3rd March 2019

Hello and welcome back to Six for Sunday! I had a little break for the month of February; in all honesty I struggled with the prompts but I’ve loved reading everyone else’s S4S posts! Six for Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by A Little But A Lot! Today’s theme is:

An Ode To: Favourite Author(s)

  1. Lisa Thompson – Aside from writing one of my favourite books of all time (The Goldfish Boy), Lisa comes across as such a kind and lovely lady on social media and I’d love to get to meet her one day! I am so grateful to her too for sending me French and Spanish editions of The Goldfish Boy, which she didn’t have to do, so I really do appreciate that kindness!
  2. Phyllida Shrimpton – again, an author who has always been so kind and wonderful on social media! I always have felt that she takes the time to get to know her readers, and I always remember how she kindly wished me a merry Christmas last February when my friend and I did our pretend log cabin Christmas!
  3. Robin Stevens – aside from the fact that her books are AMAZING, I always felt touched by the fact that she knew who I was when she signed my books (I was working at the Cheltenham festival as a bookseller so unfortunately couldn’t meet her!).
  4. Anne Digby – I loved Anne Digby’s books growing up, especially her continuations of some of Enid Blyton’s series’, and so when she followed me on Twitter and referred to me in a few tweets about MG reviewers to follow that made me feel really good!
  5. Cliff McNish – again, one of my favourite authors growing up, and I really felt like a superfan as a young teenager when he signed all my books and commented on not having seen anyone else with the hardbacks! He’s such a lovely man!
  6. Kes Gray – apart from that fact that I’ve always loved his books, discovering Worries Go Away made me feel less alone. When he signed my copy, although I wasn’t able to meet him (again Cheltenham festival downside!) he put the most heartfelt and lovely message in it that made the book even more special to me.

I decided to go for a few authors who, by doing something that may seem small, has created memories that I still cherish. There are more that I could’ve mentioned, but these six really do stand out for me!

kayleigh