Book Review: Fish boy by Chloe Daykin

Published February 28th 2017 by Faber & Faber.

32490590Goodreads Synopsis: Billy is a lonely boy. He’s obsessed with swimming in the sea, which is where he goes to wash his problems far, far away. Thanks to his mum’s mystery illness, his dad has been forced to work extra hours to make ends meet, so Billy locks himself away with David Attenborough films, and ponders the magic of nature. Meanwhile at school, bullies mercilessly seize on Billy’s ‘otherness’ and make his life as miserable as possible – but then new boy Patrick Green, with “fingers like steel, strength of a bear”, joins Billy’s class. And when a mackerel swims up to Billy’s face, blows bubbles into his Vista Clear Mask goggles and says: Fish Boy – Billy’s whole world changes.


My Review: A lot of people know I’m totally one to judge a book by its cover – this is a prime example! I loved the gorgeous cover artwork for this book, and it intrigued me about the story – so I eagerly requested to review it. I’m really glad I did – it’s nice to dip back into Middle Grade fiction again, and this was great.

Fish Boy follows Billy, a boy estranged from other children his age, who bully him. Between that and his mother’s illness, his only solace is swimming in the sea – and that’s where he meets the fish that starts talking to him, which opens him up to a strange new world with his new friend.

What I found really unique, and perhaps the best bit about Fish Boy, is the ambiguity of the whole story. Is it literal – does Billy really find talking fish, who talk to him and seemingly become his new friends? Or is Billy’s surreal swimming experience his brain’s coping mechanism; a distraction from the world around him? I really loved trying to read between the lines of this book. It’s a very layered story, and that’s why I think readers of all ages can enjoy it – they can take away whatever message they want.

Fish Boy combines some heartbreaking, relatable issues with a touch of magical realism that makes for a very unique story. It touches on bullying, how it feels to be different, and also the experience of having a parent who is ill, and what that entails for your family. I found it really touching and moving in places, particularly with the family themes. I loved the close family Daykin has constructed at the centre of this book – they’re wonderful to read about.

Billy’s voice is strong and authentic, and I really enjoyed his perspective while reading. I think it was especially a great narrative to explore family issues through. The friendship between the protagonist and a later character, Patrick, is very bizarre and entertaining – their dynamic was really fun and something that I’m sure readers will adore.

Fish Boy is a bizarre book. There is no avoiding that. It did take me a few pages to get into it, and I can’t say I was a hundred percent engaged in it the whole way through. It’s incredibly weird at points! A couple of things didn’t make much sense to me – it took me a lot of thought after reading to understand what the magical fish thing was about – but I do think it’s still a book with a lot of appeal to those who like similar things – who says that strange is a bad thing?

Overall, I definitely recommend this, especially to middle grade readers who are looking to read something new, with echoes of David Almond and Patrick Ness’ A Monster Calls (except this one is a bit less sad!). Fish Boy, albeit a bizarre story, is imaginative and incredibly original. It touches on themes of family, friendship and what it means to be human, with just the right amount of surrealism.

My Rating:

three

I received a copy of Fish Boy from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

The Map of Bones Paperback Release | Extract

Related Posts: Book Review: The Fire Sermon by Francesca Haig

Tomorrow, The Map of Bones is being released in Paperback! It’s the thrilling sequel to The Fire Sermon, a fantastic fantasy debut I enjoyed a while back. To celebrate the second book’s paperback release, here’s a sneak peek inside the book if you haven’t delved into it yet – an extract I posted last year for the blog tour.


Spoilers for Book One

Piper and I sat near the entrance to the cave, watching the sun shrug off the night. More than a month earlier, on the way to the silo, we’d slept in the same hidden cave, and perched on the same flat rock. Next to my knee, the stone still bore the scuff-marks from where Piper had sharpened his knife all those weeks ago.

I looked at Piper. The slash on his single arm had healed to a pink streak, the scar tissue raised and waxy, puckered where stitches had held the wound closed. At my neck, the wound from The  Confessor’s knife had finally healed, too.

26174866In the deadlands, it had been an open wound, edged with ash. Was the ash still there, inside me, specks of black sealed beneath the scar’s carapace?

Piper held out a piece of rabbit meat skewered on the blade of his knife. It was left over from the night before, coated with cold fat, congealed into grey strings. I shook my head and turned away.

‘You need to eat,’ he said. ‘It’ll take us three more weeks to get to the Sunken Shore. Even longer to get to the west coast, if we’re going to search for the ships.’

All of our conversations began and ended at the ships. Their names had become like charms: The Rosalind. The Evelyn. And if the hazards of the unknown seas didn’t sink the ships, then sometimes I felt that the weight of our expectations would. They were everything, now. We’d managed to rid the Council of The Confessor, and of the machine that she was using to keep track of all Omegas – but it wasn’t enough, especially after the massacre on the island. We might have slowed down the Council, and cost them two of their most powerful weapons, but the tanks were patient. I’d seen them myself, in visions and in the awful solidity of reality. Row after row of glass tanks, each one a pristine hell.

That was the Council’s plan for all of us. And if we didn’t have a plan of our own, a goal to work for, then we were justImage result for the fire sermon scrapping in the dust, and there’d be no end to it. We might forestall the tanks for a while, but no better than that. Once, the island had been our destination. That had ended in blood and smoke. So now we were seeking the ships that Piper had sent out from the island, months  before, in search of Elsewhere.

There were times when it felt more like a wish than a plan.

It would be four months at the next full moon since the ships sailed. ‘It’s a hell of a long time to be at sea,’ Piper said as we sat on the rock.

I had no reassurance to offer him, so I stayed silent. It wasn’t just a question of whether or not Elsewhere was out there. The real question was what it could offer us, if it existed. What its inhabitants might know, or do, that we couldn’t. Elsewhere couldn’t just be another island, just place to hide from the Council. That might offer us a respite, but it would be no solution, any more than the island was.

There had to be more than that: a real alternative.


The Map of Bones paperback edition is released tomorrow (January 26th) from Harper Voyager.

On My Radar: 2017 YA Releases

Happy belated new year everyone! My first post of 2017 was a review of Wing Jones by Katherine Webber, a title I’d been excited about for most of last year. I thought in this week’s post I’d highlight some more 2017 releases I’m looking forward to reading!

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Our Own Private Universe: I am a huge fan of Robin Talley, and can’t wait for her fourth book! Each of Talley’s books so far have been so relatable and fantastic and inclusive and I just OH MY GOODNESS PLEASE GO READ THEM ALL NOW. I think this is the US cover, but I’m really loving it. You don’t see many books like this.

History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera: I quite enjoyed Silvera’s debut, and this one looks great too! This is one I want to go into without any knowledge about it – I haven’t actually read any full synopses. Also, my mum has been hyped about this book for months, because she’s a fan, which is cute. So if I get a copy of this, she’ll be second to read it. (Hi mum!)

We Come Apart by Brian Conaghan and Sara Crossan: I’ve read two books by Sarah Crossan, One of which blew me away (kudos if you got that pun) and I don’t think I’ve read anything by Conoghan yet! The premise for this book sounds really interesting and I’m guessing that it’s in dual narratives. I adore dual narratives. And I can’t wait to see how this book is written, too, as Crossan writes in prose.

Margot and Me by Juno Dawson: This one is obviously on my list! I adore Juno and her books, ever since Hollow Pike – Juno’s slowly moved from writing horror to contemporary fiction and there’s not a single book I haven’t loved to pieces. I’m so excited to see what this one is like.

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas: I jumped at the chance to review this, and an ARC is sitting next to me as I’m writing this post – it’s one of the next books on my to-read list. This book was inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, and from what I know of the plot, which centres around conflict and justice – it’s a book that needs to be out there. It’s so relevant to recent events and so it’s equally as exciting that the movie rights have been sold!

What is Gender? how Does it Define Us? And Other Big Questions by Juno Dawson: Another by Juno made this list! This is Dawson’s third non fiction book, and judging by the brilliance of Being a Boy and This Book is Gay – this is going to be fantastic. I really cannot wait to learn more about this and hopefully get the chance to review it. I want to branch out into reading more non-fiction this year! I also find it brilliant that this book is being targeted at ages ten and up – education about gender is really important because so many people are misinformed. I love that this book is going to be a resource for most ages.


So, there we go! Those are the six books on my radar for the beginning of 2016.

I have been to tied up with A-Level work and general life stuff that I haven’t been around so much on social media, to see what books other people are looking forward to. What books are on your radar? Is there anything else I need to be looking out for? Leave a comment!

Book Review: Wing Jones by Katherine Webber

Published 5th January 2017 by Walker Books.

25909375Goodreads Synopsis: With a grandmother from China and another from Ghana, fifteen-year-old Wing Jones is often caught between worlds. But when tragedy strikes, Wing discovers a talent for running she never knew she had. Wing’s speed could bring her family everything it needs. It could also stop Wing getting the one thing she wants.


My Review: This book has been gaining so much attention pre-publication – I first picked up some postcards at YALC last year, and was immediately excited even if it wasn’t being published for half a year. When a review copy arrived, I was so eager to start it! This was my last read of 2016 and I couldn’t have picked a better one.

Webber’s debut centres around Wing, a high schooler in 1995 America, who deals with a recent family disaster by taking up running – which she’s surprisingly talented at. Running becomes Wing’s coping method, but it also turns into an opportunity for her to support her family.

Even though books about sports aren’t exactly my thing, I became so swept up in this – because it’s about so much more than Wing’s running. The story is a profound blend of tragedy, hope, family and determination. I adored it. At many points, the plot was completely unexpected. It deals with some heartbreaking issues – a member of Wing’s family is hospitalised, and the reason for it causes people to resent the Joneses, and plunges them into a difficult situation. It felt frighteningly real, as though I was in the situation myself.

What I enjoyed the most about Wing Jones was how diverse its characters were – I don’t think any of the main characters were white, and there’s a really sweet same sex relationship between two minor characters. A large issue Wing’s dealing with is bullying, from a resentful student who insults her because she is mixed race, with Chinese and African-American descent. Wing’s identity plays a huge part in her life, as she lives with both her grandmothers, and I loved how the story talked about this in great detail, exploring the grandmother’s characters as well as Wing’s. The family felt so real three-dimensional and I became so attached!

I can tell that Wing Jones is going to be a hugely talked about, well-loved book, because it just has all of the right things. It’s been quite a long time since I’ve read something so heartfelt, poignant and emotional – and witty in all the right places. I’m not 100% sure on how I feel about the ending – it’s satisfying, but I did wish there had been even more of a build up to it, if that makes sense.

Overall, I definitely recommend you read Wing Jones asap, because it’s truly a wonderful story no matter what your reading tastes are. You’ll fall in love with the characters, with the unforgettable family, and you’ll be rooting for Wing the whole way through as she discovers her talent. It’s incredibly sad in places, but so uplifting too.

My Rating:

four and a half

I received a copy of Wing Jones from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

2016 Favourites | What I’ve been loving this year

Hello again, for the last post of the year 🙂

Last year, I did a post called “15 in 15” because considering it was 2015, the number worked. I thought I’d do a follow up “16 in 16” but… I think I’ll be sticking to fifteen because if I keep that up every year, these lists are going to keep getting longer!

Read on to see what were my favourite books of the year, as well as my top picks of music, film and TV. The majority of titles in all three categories were released in 2016, but some are slightly older things that I’ve discovered.

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Last year I read something like 190 books, and this year, I’ve only read just over 50! I wouldn’t say this has been my best year for reading, but I have discovered some fantastic books. Unboxed by Non Pratt was unexpectedly poignant and Everything Leads to You has become one of my favourite books of all time.

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After my GCSEs ended, I spent a month in bed, on our newly-purchased Netflix, binge watching a gazillion tv shows. I adored How to Get Away With Murder and The Get Down, two shows that weren’t even on my radar at the beginning of the year, but I’m now a massive fan of. Movie wise, the Ghostbusters reboot has to be one of the best things to have happened this year. Bless Kate Mckinnon. Rogue One was pretty fantastic too.

music-faves

2016 may have been rubbish, but the music that came out this year most certainly wasn’t. Honestly, I could write pages about every album above. I adore them! While I’ve been veering more into indie sounds, I was also introduced to Sleater-Kinney, one of the most iconic riot grrl bands, and so many songs of theirs have become hugely important to me. Tegan and Sara’s Love You To Death is literally the best thing to have ever happened, and will forever be a favourite and special album. I’ve gotten into quite a few new artists, like Shura and Lauren Aquilina, but my favourite new discovery is probably Christine and the Queens, who’s the musician everyone needs in their life.


So, there we go! That’s another whole year of stuff. 2016 was a bit rubbish in general, but at least there’s been some great media to distract us from it, eh?

And before I go… A huge THANK YOU to everybody who has been reading my blog this year. I am hugely grateful for every view, like and comment on my posts, and seeing that people enjoy my ramblings is what makes me keep blogging!

See you in 2017. ❤

2016: in Words and Pictures

So, well, 2016 has been… Um… eventful.

I ended 2015 thinking, in the coming year, I was going to be SUPER OPTIMISTIC, and this was going to be THE BEST YEAR YET.

Well… It wasn’t. Okay, it was in a few aspects, but largely, on a personal level and a global level, 2016 will go down in history as the year from literal hell.

In a beginning annual tradition on this blog, here is how this year has gone for me, in words and pictures!


FEBRUARY

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My first concert of the year, and my second concert ever! I went to see Halsey on her Badlands tour, with a friend of my mum’s (a last minute decision that was quite fun). Still being a lil shy human, I just stood and watched the whole thing and took photos, but it was honestly such an awesome night.

APRIL

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My sixteenth birthday! Everybody bigs up the whole ‘sweet sixteen’ thing, but I really didn’t feel much different at all. I didn’t have a big party, or even go out with friends – I just stayed in with family given that I was in such a tired state from the slowly increasing exam revision. This birthday was notable because I ended up in the doctors because of a sudden freak acne breakout. Lovely. At least I had a pretty brilliant cake.

MAY

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Although I had done early entry exams for a few subjects, the middle of May marked the start of my GCSE exam season. From mid-May to mid-June, I was under so much stress and pressure that I was either frantically writing notes and making mind maps, or not revising at all and giving up completely. There was no in between. If you’d like to see how I (tried to) balance reading and revision, I wrote a post!

However, this stressful month was made endlessly better by my favourite person ever, who will know who they are when they read this! We met online at the beginning of the year through Tegan and Sara, a shared favourite band, but properly got to know each other this month and support one another through this hellish GCSE exam season! I cannot wait to meet them and all of the other friends I’ve made through Tegan and Sara very soon.

JUNE

Exams finished on the 17th of June, hurrah! considering I was staying at my school for sixth form, I didn’t feel even a little bit sad – I stayed to take some photos with friends after the last exam, then went home and literally slept for a month. When I wasn’t sleeping in the last half of June (and early July…) I was binge watching shows on Netflix. It was well deserved.

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On the 22nd of June, I had one of the most life changing and wonderful nights I could ever ask for. I saw Tegan and Sara live at KOKO London, one of the first shows for their new album. It was absolutely incredible, and such an emotional night for many reasons. I’ve been absolutely in love with Tegan and Sara for over two years now, and their music has been the soundtrack to the most important parts of my teenage life. Plus, this show was very shortly after the Orlando shooting, and Tegan and Sara made this evening such a loving, open and happy space in a time that was really dark. I’m so thankful I got to experience this concert, and I met some people who I’ve known online for months, which was so lovely. At this concert, the opening act Oscar dedicated a song to voting Remain in the Brexit vote (which was the next day) and well, it was lovely while that hope lasted, I guess. Sorry, EU. We suck as a country.

JULY

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After a month of sleeping and winding down from exam stress, I finally left the house! One notable day out was when me and my family went up to London to visit the MinaLima Harry Potter exhibition, which is just around the corner from where the Cursed Child is playing. I haven’t really been feeling the hype around the new film and play, but this exhibition was such a lovely, nostalgic look back at the props and artwork used in the films that were my entire childhood.

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At the end of July, of course, was the third annual YALC at London Film and Comic Con! I’ve been really out of touch with the blogging world this year, so I sort of just floated around this year, going to talks but not really speaking to anyone. The event this year was incredibly well run, though, so huge props to the team for another incredibly successful year. Thank you also to Macmillan for inviting me to the blogger’s breakfast, where I was lucky enough to get to talk to David Levithan and Nina LaCour. I may have been a tiny, quiet kid who just shuffled past with my signed books awkwardly, but it was so surreal to get to meet them! Levithan and LaCour have written the books that are most important to me.

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My leaver’s prom was also in July, and honestly, I didn’t understand the hype at all. People in my year have been squealing about prom since year seven, and I honestly couldn’t care less. I wore a blazer and skinny jeans instead of a sparkly dress, and worked the whole evening as the photographer! A pretty unconventional way to spend what was meant to be the ‘best night of my life’ or something, but hey, I prefer being behind a camera over partying.

AUGUST

I spent the beginning of August working at my school’s summer camp for the second time. It’s a huge stressful job that I take on by myself, photographing the whole camp and producing promo videos in a week’s space – but it’s incredibly rewarding and such great experience. I absolutely love the atmosphere and it’s my favourite job.

The week before results day, I did a week’s internship at a publisher in London. It was in non-fiction publishing, so quite different from what I usually read, but it was a really valuable experience (and also such a good way to take my mind off of results!).

At the end of August, I nervously went to pick up my GCSE results. I had made a tracker whilst revising, with all the grades I was aiming for, and somehow I got every single one – 4 A*s, 2 As, 2Bs overall. I was strangely dissociated from the ‘excitement’ of results day – people were congratulating me on my results, but I genuinely didn’t feel a thing? It was weird. I was happy, of course, and I should have been very excited and relieved but it just didn’t hit me! I signed up to sixth form at my school, then spent a relaxed afternoon with my friends in the park, which was us just basically flopping on the grass like FINALLY IT’S OVER.

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Right at the end of August, I did a thing. I’ve never been able to love long hair and all the things it entails. I’ve wanted short hair forever. So I finally got a pixie cut. Adios, seven inches of hair. If you want the longer story to this, it’s on my photography blog as I took many photos.

OCTOBER

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In October, I was unexpectedly given the chance to spend a week at Wieden + Kennedy, working with a team called The Kennedys to learn all about advertising. This company is so large, and do things in such a cool and creative way. It was an absolutely awesome experience, and gave me totally new ideas about my future career. I’m veering away from aspiring to work in publishing now, and I’m really interesting in film production and photography, particularly within advertising. Thank you, Kennedys! (It was in Shoreditch, hence the artsy wall above… more of my photos here)

NOVEMBER

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I won an award! Although I couldn’t make it to the ceremony, I was chosen as the winner of a UKYA Blogger Award, in the Champion Teen Blogger category. This trophy and book token arrived in the post a few weeks after it was announced, and I wasn’t expecting them at all – it was the loveliest surprise!

DECEMBER

So much tiredness. Sixth form has really caught up with me in the last two months of the year – I’ve been coming straight home to crawl into bed, doing just enough work to get by. I was doing okay at the start of term, but the exhaustion finally got to me. A sad way to end the year, but… Here’s hoping things are more manageable in the next term!


So… That was my year! Last year, I listed my five favourite posts from this blog, but looking back, I’m really proud of a lot from this year. So here’s a top… eight!

Cinnamon Girl Blog Tour: Review Graphic

GCSE English Literature | A Call for Diversity on the Curriculum

Cover to Cover: My Favourite Overseas Book Designs

Favourite Quotes: You Know Me Well by David Levithan and Nina LaCour

Book Review: As I Descended by Robin Talley

The Bibliomaniac: A Bookshelf Tour

GIRLPOWER: My Favourite Girls in YA

Life Online: Thoughts on Internet Personalities

If you’re still reading this very long post, then congrats, and thank you!

Watch this space… In a few days I’ll be posting about my favourite books from 2016 (and films and music… I have a lot of favourites, guys)

Book Review: Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis

Related posts: Blog Tour: Lisa Selin Davis on the novels that inspired her

Published 16th October 2016 by Hot Key Books.

31328363Goodreads Synopsis: In the aftermath of her older sister’s death, sixteen-year-old Carrie is taken under the wings of her sister’s friends, and finds herself forsaking the science nerds of her former life and slipping into a daze of cheap beer and recreational drugs. Carrie – a talented guitar player and obsessive tracker of the coming Vira comet – is partying hard and fooling around with boys she doesn’t even like, even though she’s desperate for a boyfriend.
Her mother, enveloped by grief at the loss of her eldest child, has retreated to a monastery in the Catskills that requires a vow of silence. With her family splintered apart, Carrie is overcome at times by uncontrollable rages and her father decides to send her to a boot camp for wayward teens. Compounding the shame, and to her horror, she is forced to wear work boots and a hard hat – boy poison.
Then she meets Dean, a fellow musician and refugee from his own dark past. Throughout the summer Carrie learns more about Dean, about her sister’s death, about her own family’s past, and about herself…as well as about the Bee Gees, disco and the difference between wood and sheet-rock screws. Through love, music and her precious comet – and no small help from Lou Reed – Carrie fumbles her way through the complex web of tragedies and misunderstandings, to the heart of who she is and who she wants to be.

My Review: First things first – I read this book at the wrong time. It was a really great story, and I did enjoy it very much, but I stupidly started reading it as my mock exams started. It took me nearly a month to find the time to finish it! So, maybe, I would have loved it even more if I had read the book in one go: it’s definitely a book you can get completely immersed in.

What I loved the most about Lost Stars was the characters. They were so wonderful and real-feeling. They’re still in my head, long after I put the book down. I quite liked Carrie and how complex her character was – the story is centred around her anger issues, and how her mother’s absence has played into it. I did tear up a little at the resolution.

The gang of teenagers Carrie hangs out with were my favourite. I loved how Selin Davis takes the time to explore Soo, who I could’ve read a whole book about! The love story… I didn’t enjoy so much. I don’t know why. Maybe I’m just really cynical.

Another aspect of the book I adored was the setting. Selin Davis’ debut is such a fantastic trip back to a few decades. I love books set in the 70s-90s – the atmosphere is just so great and nostalgic even if I’m a millennial. I loved all of the pop culture references, and the frequent mentions of iconic songs. It just made the book.

I do think I would’ve been able to enjoy Lost Stars even more if I’d read it at a better time, but I also think it has quite a few similarities to books that were already favourites of mine. It seemed very much in the same vein as Perks of Being a Wallflower and Love Letters to the Dead, in terms of the atmosphere and the similar topics of grief. It reminded me of those books a lot in places, but that’s not to say it’s not really original and compelling itself. I’m sure fans of those two books would adore Lost Stars.

Overall, this was a really enjoyable book and quite a fantastic debut novel. Lisa Selin Davis is definitely an author to look out for – I would love to read more from her in the future. Lost Stars intertwines grief, hope and love into a really thought-provoking and poignant story. I’d definitely recommend it to contemporary fans!

My Rating:

three and a half

I received a copy of Lost Stars from the publisher, in exchange for a review. In no way at all did this affect my thoughts.

Life Online | Thoughts on Internet Personalities

It took me a while to consider what blog I wanted to talk about this on. This one, my book blog?  Geetakesphotos, my photography blog? My Tumblr? Or should I just tweet about it?

I’ve been thinking a lot about what it means to maintain a personality online. And I think there’s quick a lot of discussion around it too – especially with more visual platforms like Instagram and YouTube. I read a quote once about people “cropping out the sadness” on Instagram, and it’s totally true for most of us. Online spaces are where we can construct ourselves however we want to – we can choose how anonymous we want to be, and exactly what we want to share and keep private.

I have been blogging here on The Bibliomaniac since 2011, when I was eleven.I had a Facebook account even earlier (oops). Over the last two to three years in particular, I’ve subconsciously started to separate my interests, filtering them into different places on the internet. My bookish interests go here, on this blog. Last year, when I got into photography, I decided to not stray from the main topic of this blog – and created another site for that hobby. I’ve realised all my hobbies/interests are divided up onto completely different areas of the internet. Books – this blog and my Instagram. Photography – geetakesphotos and my personal Facebook. Artistic stuff – Pinterest. TV, film and music – Tumblr.

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My Tegan and Sara collection – minus all the shirts and posters!

I’m not sure if it’s only me who does this, but I’ve noticed over the course of this year that I’ve created such a huge divide between all of my interests. At the start of this year, I got hugely into interacting with other fans of Tegan and Sara, my favourite band, online – but most people I know in the community of fans don’t know I blog about books. Vice versa, book bloggers I’ve known for years probably don’t know the level of obsession I have with Tegan and Sara (unless you’ve seen the occasional tweet on my main twitter).

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My main bookshelves, full of my favourite fiction

So, why do I separate everything? Why have I created multiple ‘internet personalities?’

The answer is, I don’t know for sure, but I do have a few ideas. Part of it is definitely down to my obsessive need to organise things. Part of it is also probably down to the ideas I’ve constructed in my head about blogging. On Tumblr, I post and reblog completely random things with no order, whereas on here, it’s practically business like, and sticks to one topic: books. I feel like if I were to start posting about Tegan and Sara, or my personal photography on this blog, it wouldn’t fit with the content people expect from this blog. Therefore, I’m hesitant to post anything here that can’t be attached to anything bookish. In the same sense, you can’t find a trace of my passion for reading on my photography blog!

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me snapping photos, as usual (also this is a photo from August aww r.i.p. my long hair)

Is it a good thing to separate your interests, though? No, I don’t think so. It was an automatic thing for me, something I did subconsciously and have only recently become aware of. I’ve noticed a huge gap in the way I post and interact, based on what topic it’s on. If it’s about books, I tend to be a little more articulate. If I’m talking with friends from the Tegan and Sara community, I’m incredibly informal (and everything is memes tbh).

I feel like my internet presence would be a lot more ‘genuine,’ most especially on this blog, if I put all of my interests together and in one place. Over this year, this blog has become more of something I feel like I have to keep going – whereas my interests in photography and music have been growing, and when I post about these things it’s more whimsical, whereas this blog is more structured. I feel as though I talk a lot more informally, and more genuinely, on platforms where I have different interests. It’s strange, and I’ve been thinking about it a lot recently! I do feel like I’ve accidentally constructed different ‘personalities,’ and that this does affect the way people see me online.

I have made lots of attempts to blend my interests – I use my original photography on this blog, and have also made posts such as Songs and Stories which quite a few people liked! I really want to try and integrate my interests more, so there isn’t such a huge gap in my interests online – I want my personality to seem more genuine across every platform, and not so divided.

What do you think – is separating your interests online a good thing or a bad thing? Do you do it yourself?

I’d love to see what other people think about online presences!

 

 

Unboxing | #MKBParty Box!

When Come Round asked me if I’d be interested in looking at their new campaign for my Kinda Book, Macmillan’s teen book imprint, I said of course. I expected a little package to arrive, with a book and maybe a leaflet about what the campaign was – and OH MY GOODNESS, THE SIZE OF THE BOX THAT ARRIVED.

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The #MKBParty is set to happen this weekend – lots of people across the country have been sent, or have applied for, one of these packs of bookish goodies. It’s such a fantastic scheme to get people talking about reading – I love the idea! Here’s a photo encompassing everything in the box (minus the lamp, obvs):

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Contents:

  • An #MKBParty Leaflet / Invite
  • Many, many postcards / bookmarks / posters
  • My Kinda Book bunting
  • Badges!!!
  • Three books – Fangirl, Beautiful Broken Things and The Lie Tree
  • Travel Mug, complete with an appropriate Fangirl quote

And six of each of these:

  • Candles with quotes from The Lie Tree
  • Love Hearts tubes
  • Galaxy hot chocolate
  • Cheek sticks
  • Hand cream
  • My Kinda Book pencils
  • Notebooks branded for Gemma Cairney’s debut book, Open

I honestly don’t think I’ve ever received such an epic parcel before! I adore it, and I can’t wait to make use of everything in here. Keep scrolling to see some of the many photos I had to take:

Join in with the party using #MKBParty!

Don’t have a party pack? Keep an eye out on Twitter – there are lots of giveaways happening and I’ll be tweeting some out soon!

By The Book Tag | Questionnaire

The lovely Jess from bookendsandendings tagged me in this, and I don’t usually do book tags, but I thought I’d join in! 🙂 I needed something like this to get back into the swing of blogging. Tagging: Anyone who’d like to answer these questions.

  1. What book is on your nightstand now?

At the time of writing, it’s Lost Stars by Lisa Selin Davis – you might recognise the title as Lisa visited here for the blog tour a few weeks ago! I’m around a third of the way through, and I’m really enjoying it, but ohhhh my goodness the A Level homework is piling up. This weekend I’ve had about four essays to write. It’s ridiculous. So hopefully, when my workload starts to ease up, I can get back to it!

  1. What was the last truly great book that you read?

I had to consult Goodreads for this, and narrow it down, because I have read so many fantastic books this year. I’m going to have to say UNBOXED by Non Pratt (my review graphic is here!) as it was so beautifully moving and it’s been on my mind since I put it down, which was weeks ago. It had some wonderfully unique and original characters. The simple concept of the book was pulled off beautifully, and moved me to tears. Actual tears.

  1. If you could meet any writer – dead or alive – who would it be? And what would you want to know?

I really want to meet Haruki Murakami. I’ve only read about three of his works, and they aren’t my usual genre, but I could honestly read exclusively Murakami books for the rest of my life. His writing is just so beautiful and his books have a tone that I just really resonate with. I got into his work just after he did a UK book tour – gaaah! I don’t know what I would like to know from him, specifically… I just think being in the same room as him would be pretty epic.

  1. What books might we be surprised to find on your shelves?

This is quite hard, because I own such an eclectic mixture of things! YA is what you’ll mainly find on my shelves, but I’d like to think I read quite widely, and I hardly ever cull books so you can see how my tastes have changed over time. Some random non-YA picks I own: Forensics for Dummies, a large collection of 80s Fighting Fantasy editions, and about twenty annuals of The Dandy comic.

  1. How do you organize your personal library?

Ooh, this is a long one to explain. I have two ‘main’ bookshelves in my room which are occupied by YA and classics that I’ve read, in colour order. I have stacks and shelves of books yet to be read. And a few shelves outside of my bedroom, which is where my signed books are, as well as various other books I can’t fit on any other shelves. IF you want a better explanation, plus some visuals… here’s my bookshelf tour post!

  1. What book have you always meant to read and haven’t gotten around to yet? Anything you feel embarrassed never to have read?

THERE ARE SO MANY. I have never read Pride and Prejudice, or many classics at all for that matter. I’ve also abandoned some very popular series and trilogies – mainly because I didn’t have the time and they’re big chunky books – like Dreams of Gods and Monsters, City of Heavenly Fire and Requiem.

  1. Disappointing, overrated, just not good: what book did you feel you were supposed to like but didn’t? Do you remember the last book you put down without finishing?

I recently read The Great Gatsby as prep for A Level English, and I was honestly just so bored while reading it. I wasn’t processing it properly, and it just didn’t capture me. But, with a lot of classic fiction, I usually get more into the story when I’m analysing it in class, so, we’ll see! I don’t actually remember what book I just didn’t finish. I’ve hardly ever DNF’ed books.

  1. What kinds of stories are you drawn to? Any you stay clear of?

At the moment, I’m drawn to fresh and exciting contemporary fiction, predominately LGBT* fiction. I have so much on my to-read list. I’d like to read more widely and diversely. As for books I stay clear of – I just cannot get into books that are traditional romances – there has to bee something really outstanding about it.

  1. If you could require the president to read one book, what would it be?

Considering the current political climate, and the fact that the electoral college will probably stick with their selections – Donald Trump is going to be president. Ugh. UGH. UGH. I could write a thousand page book on my feelings about this.

I think I’ll recommend him Wide Awake by David Levithan, which is about a presidential election where a gay Jewish president is set to be elected. It’s been years since I read this, but from what I remember, it follows a group of diverse youth in a campaign to support this candidate, with a strong sense of community, strength and pride. So, yep, I’d very much like Donald Trump to read this book, partly to show him what America should look like, and partly to show him that he’s gone about everything wrong. And also I think making him read about a gay Jewish president would really hurt his feelings. (thumbs up emoji)

  1. What do you plan to read next?

There is so much on my to-read pile right now, and I’m really indecisive! I have lots of review copies that look great, such as Wide Awake by Angie Stanton and Wing Jones by Katherine Webber. I’m really excited to see what those are like.