just a quick life update!

I – like many other people – got my A-Level results on Thursday and I am happy to say that all the hard work paid off and I achieved more than I needed to get a place at my first choice university.

So this is just a very quick one to say congratulations to everyone who picked up their results and I hope that you all did brilliantly!

But this is also to say that if you didn’t do as well as you hoped, then it is not the end of the world. Exams and grades don’t mean everything and you can still achieve anything you want to. Good luck in the future and seriously, don’t worry too much!

As they say, whatever will be will be!







as of today

As of today, I have had this blog for a year. It has changed since I first started it but then, so have I. This blog has grown with me as I have and I just want to say a huge thank you to everyone that has read of my posts, and an even bigger thank you to the people that have stuck with it from the beginning.

This year has been a really big and exciting year for me and it’s been wonderful to share even parts of that with you all! Here is a short list of some of the best bits about this year.

  • I finished college and I got accepted into my first choice university, I’m going to study Creative Writing and English Literature in September.
  • I went to Rome and it reminded me why I love city breaks, I went to so many amazing places and saw so many amazing things.
  • I actually starting writing properly again, and writing something that I’m actually going to finish!
  • I got even more into slam poetry and actually managed to write my own, it’s not perfect but it is mine and I love it.
  • I got given a camera as a birthday present and have since got into photography, again, I’m not brilliant but I’m having fun! Maybe I’ll put some up in the future and you can all see how not great I am!

But no, this year has been amazing and I just wanted to say thank you! Here’s to many more years!




something a little bit different

This is something a little bit different because I’m not writing about books. But I am going to write about something else that is incredibly important to me.

I re-watched a film recently that I love, I had forgotten quite how much I loved it. Made in Dagenham is an amazing film with a wonderful cast. It’s set in the late 1960s in Britain and follows the story of the women’s strikes at Ford regarding pay equality.

It is a story of strong, real women who fought for gender equality long after Emmeline Pankhurst and her Suffragettes. This is not to say that the work that the Suffragettes did wasn’t crucial because it was, without it women may never have fought for other things like equal pay. But it does show that women’s fights are not over. They weren’t then and they aren’t now. The battle may be different but the war is still the same.

But after watching this film again, I started thinking more about feminism and I decided that I wanted to share my thoughts on it with you.

People laugh at third-wave feminism, saying that it’s ‘man-hating’ and ‘militant’, many people – particularly celebrities – refuse to identify with the label of ‘feminist’ because of these implications. But this just isn’t the case. This may be the case for a tiny minority but the majority of people who fight under the title of feminism want exactly what everyone else wants. Equality. What about that is militant?

The ideas encompassed in third-wave feminism are in fact, the most accepting and diverse. True third-wave feminism is about intersectionality, the inclusion of all women instead of the vile, prevalent ‘white feminism’ of the second wave. Third-wave feminism was designed to include women of colour and LGBTQ+ women. It is also incredibly important for men and non-binary people as one of the main focuses of third-wave feminism is about battling gender roles and expectations which affect everyone, not just straight, white women.

As with any group, there are a few who have taken it to the extremes, those who have taken an almost misandrist approach and those who having been oh-so-lovingly branded TERFs – to stand for trans-exclusionary radical feminists – but these are not the majority and thus, third-wave feminism is still the most accepting and open of all strands of feminism. That doesn’t mean there aren’t still massive issues that need to be fixed, as a white woman I am unable to speak on behalf of women of colour but I am aware that there are still issues surrounding their inclusion and issues of white women speaking over them about problems that only affect them. There are also issues within the community regarding the inclusion of LGBTQ+ women, mostly issues surrounding gender rather than sexuality but that is not to say that there are none.

So, no, I am not going to stand here and tell you that it’s perfect. Because it’s not. But then, nothing is so how about, instead of writing it off because of this, we work together to make it as close to perfect as possible.

Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoyed this something a little bit different. Let me know what you think and maybe I’ll write more like it.









not to be too Austen-tatious…

but novels make me completely, and perfectly, and incandescently happy!

Finally (!) after having it on my to-read list for months, years even (!) I have finally read Pride and Prejudice. It was as incredible as I always knew it would be and I don’t know why it took me so long to finally buy a copy!

I loved the setting, Regency England is one of my favourite periods in English history, the glitz and the glamour of the culture of high society is caught so beautifully by Austen with her vivid descriptions of beautiful houses, beautiful dresses, beautiful people and their beautiful lives. The description of Pemberley are some of my favourites and one can imagine the beauty of it simply from the words of wonder Austen weaves into the narrative

However, whilst the setting and the descriptions are excellent, it is the characters that make Pride and Prejudice such a brilliant novel! The Bennett sisters are all wonderful and, to be perfectly candid, I would struggle to pick a favourite if Elizabeth didn’t soar above so far. Out of the others, a favourite is near impossible because I love them all for their own characters which are all very different. For whilst I love Jane for her solid, steadfast and kindly nature, I also love Lydia for her demeanour which could be called the exact opposite. Mary and her constant feeling of inadequacy covered by bluster and over-confidence struck a cord with me as did Kitty’s constant comparison to Lydia and her constantly being dragged into trouble by the younger sister.

But Elizabeth, Elizabeth Bennett, with her witty turns of phrase and no-nonsense attitude is by far my favourite sister. Her slightly more cynical view of marriage and society coupled with her fierce loyalty, her witticisms and her passionate love for Darcy make her a truly brilliant woman and a wonderful character. She is a strong, independent woman capable of making her own informed, intelligent decisions that is still an excellent role model to young girls.

And Darcy, the hero of our novel, the classically handsome, witty, loyal, kind-hearted, proud, dismissive, oxymoronic Mr Darcy. I loved him, I loved the way he was presented to begin with and how Austen slowly reveals more about him throughout the novel until, like Elizabeth, the reader realises that they had completely misjudged him. This is shown through his change from proud and dismissive man he appears to be at the ball at Netherfield to the kind-hearted, loyal man he is shown to be in the latter part of the novel. A large part of this is shown through his loyalty to his close friend Bingley and how he wishes to help him even though the actions he takes are not necessarily for the best. This makes him feel so much more real because he isn’t perfect and he does make mistakes. But the main thing that made me love Darcy are the scenes in which he talks about or to his younger sister. The clear devotion in everything he says and his utter adoration for her wee what made me see him for the loving, kind-hearted man he is shown to be in the latter parts of the novel.

And the relationship between the two of them is also excellent. I love the way their relationship develops throughout the novel and I love that it is never at the expense of her character. Elizabeth is still the same fiery, antagonistic, independent woman that she begins the novel as. This was uncommon in Regency era literature where most of the women in novels were Janes rather than Elizabeths but that is why Pride and Prejudice has stood the test of time and why it is still as enjoyable now as it was when it was written.

Their relationship is built on them being equal intellectually and morally, if not socially. The equal nature of their characters makes this an excellent portrayal of what a relationship should be like, especially towards the end of the novel. Their teasing, sweet, loyal, loving relationship is honestly wonderful and will lead to a happy mariage. As Elizabeth states towards the end of the novel, she is “happier even than Jane, she only smiles, I laugh“.


secondhand treasures

I am a fan of secondhand anything, I love hunting charity shops and vintage stores for hidden gems. I love that everything you buy has a story already and that you are just adding to an already rich history. This is why one of my favourite things to buy secondhand are books. I love finding secondhand books where someone has scrawled notes on the edges of the pages. I love secondhand books with turned over corners and cracked spines. Splodges of ink and passages underlined. I love seeing the parts that other people loved – or didn’t. I just think that there is something sort of magical about old books with stories upon stories.

Because in a way, you get two. You get the story of the actual book you’re reading but then you also get the story of the previous owner, you get to see how well-loved the book was and how many times they read it. You can see if they felt the same way about the characters as you do, even 20, 30, 50 years apart.

I also love secondhand books because who wouldn’t love to be able to buy a hardback copy of Pride and Prejudice for £1.50? It’s a wonderful way of doing it and if you don’t buy secondhand, then please give it a go!

Here are some of the gems I have found:

Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – £1.50

Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare – £1.50

The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas – £1.00

Antony and Cleopatra by Shakespeare (annotated)£1.00

The Importance of being Earnest and other plays by Oscar Wilde – 50p


Secondhand books are cheap and they’re beautiful. I know that some people prefer buying things new but honestly, buying things secondhand, be it books or clothes or anything not only helps you because the price is so much lower than it would ever be to buy it brand new but it so often also helps other people. Charity shops use the money they get to help others so please, just, give them a chance. You might find something amazing!

Let me know what book bargains you’ve got from buying secondhand in the comments!


I need your help!

I am going off to university in September to study Creative Writing and English Literature and I need some help from you all!

I can only take 5 books because I won’t have space for many more than that so I have narrowed down my favourites list to just ten books and need you to tell me which ones I should take!

  1. Simon vs. The Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertelli
    • pro #1: a fun, easy read
    • pro #2: one of my favourites books to re-read
    • con #1: I’ve already read it at least a hundred times
    • con #2: it won’t look the most intellectual because it’s a YA novel with a bright red cover
  2. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
    • pro #1: one that I would be happy to reread as I find something new every time I do
    • pro #2: it’s a classic so bonus student points for me
    • pro #3: it makes me look intelligent because I studied it at A Level so I can talk about it
    • con #1: again, I have read it loads of times already, at some point I’m likely to run out of new things to find
    • con #2: it’s not the most cheerful of novels
    • con #3: I’ll be studying classics, I might just be a little sick of them
  3. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
    • pro #1: one of the greatest sci-fi novels ever written (don’t fight me on this, it’s true)
    • pro #2: I would look super intellectual again
    • con #1: again… not particularly cheerful
    • con #2: how many times can I read it, really?
  4. And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
    • pro #1: brilliantly written, I absolutely love detective novels
    • pro #2: kind of a classic but also not like full-classic so it’s an easier read
    • con #1: not the best re-readability because once you’ve read it once you know the twist
  5. Harry Potter series by JK Rowling (all seven books)
    • pro #1: it’s one of my favourite series
    • pro #2: fun and easy to read
    • pro #3: excellent re-readability
    • con #1: that is a lot of books and will take up most of the space
    • con #2: like… way too many books
  6. The Hobbit/The Lord of the Rings series by J.R.R Tolkien
    • pro #1: it’s only four books in total so still less than Harry Potter
    • pro #2: excellently written with a brilliant, classic story
    • pro #3: could actually be helpful for my course because I want to write fantasy
    • con #1: four is still most of the amount I can have
  7. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
    • pro #1: I just really love Oscar Wilde
    • pro #2: it’s a classic so bonus points for me
    • pro #3: excellently written and the plot and characters are great
    • pro #4: extremely quotable
    • con #1: will it become dull after too many reads?
    • con #2: will I be pretentious rather than intelligent?
  8. Six Poets: Hardy to Larkin by Alan Bennett
    • pro #1: poetry rather than prose, nice to have a bit of variety
    • pro #2: easily written and hugely enjoyable
    • pro #3: quotes and facts galore
    • con #1: how many times can I read the same poems, really?
    • con #2: the fear of being pretentious
  9. Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur
    • pro #1: again, poetry
    • pro #2: brilliant for when you don’t feel great because she seems to know exactly how you feel
    • pro #3: so re-readable because each one means something different depending on when you read it
    • con #1: literally none, it’s perfect
  10. Pretty Things by Sara Manning
    •  pro #1: easy to read
    • pro #2: super fun and enjoyable
    • con #1: not the most intellectual
    • con #2: as far from a classic as possible
    • con #3: I’ve already read it a hundred times so I do wonder how many more times I can read it

Let me know which five you think I should take and why!

representation is important

Something that has always been important to me is finding novels that do things a little differently, one of the main things that I am always on the hunt for are novels with LGBTQ+ characters, because – say it with me kids – representation is important! So this is the beginning of a list of (mostly YA – they seem to do this pretty well) novels that include (well-represented) LGBT+ characters:

  1. Simon vs The Homo Sapiens Agenda – Becky Albertelli
    • A coming of age story about a gay teenage boy as he tries to navigate young love, coming out and the typical friendship quarrels of teenagers. It includes great lines such as ‘White shouldn’t be the default anymore than straight should be the default. There shouldn’t even be a default.’. 
    • This is one of my favourites because the characters seem so realistic and I absolutely fell in love with Simon and his story. I couldn’t put it down because I was trying desperately to work out who Blue was before Simon did (not exactly difficult, he’s very slow on the uptake!)
    • This novel is also at the top of my list because it not only includes a gay relationship at its heart (that is presented in the sweet and overly-romantic way common for straight couples in YA novels) but one the main characters is a gay POC which is something that is not often found!
    • Also, it has a happy ending! No ‘bury your gays’ trope here! Just good, old-fashioned super cute boyfriends
  2. Song of Achilles – Madeline Miller
    • Gay historical fiction? What more do you want?
    • It tells the story of Achilles and Patroclus before the battle of Troy in the way that Homer was presenting it (read as: gay) unlike the cop-out of the film Troy when Patroclus was made Achilles’ cousin…
    • Excellently written and beautifully presented, if you have any interest in Ancient Greece read this because it’s perfect! The story is perfect, the setting is perfect, the language is perfect… just, please! Read this book!
    • There is character death – if you have a general idea of the story of the Iliad then you’ll know that it’s coming – but it is not because of their sexualities but actually because of war so it’s still not ‘bury your gays’
  3. Pretty Things – Sarra Manning
    • A story of a group of teenagers discovering who they are, their sexualities are not the sole focus but it does play an important role in two of the characters’ lives.
    • Charlie is gay, he spends the novel supporting his friends and trying not to fall in love with straight boys (spoilers: it doesn’t work). Daisy first presents herself as gay but as the novel progresses she discovers that perhaps this label is not the most appropriate. This is actually really important representation because whilst the word bisexual is never actually used to have a character that begins with the label gay but then discovers that their sexuality is a lot more fluid than that is amazing! So it’s great for anyone that has ever questioned their sexuality.
    • The other two characters are straight but they are both incredibly supportive of their friends and they also discover who they are throughout the novel. Particularly Brie, she begins the novel as very much in Charlie’s shadow and ends it centre stage, literally!
  4. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe – Benjamin Alire Sáenz
    • Not actually one I’ve read but one that I have heard nothing but good things about.
    • It is the story of two boys working out who they are and who they want to be. It follows the life of Aristotle, an angry teenager with a brother in prison and Dante who sees the whole world a little differently.
    • It is apparently brilliantly written from Aristotle’s point of view and develops so naturally and so perfectly from a beautiful friendship to a beautiful romantic relationship that one cannot help but adore it.
    • I, for one, cannot wait to read it!


The reason that I have chosen to do this is because this is a topic that is incredibly important to me. I feel that it’s really important to have novels that deal with LGBT+ themes in a mature and cohesive way without always making it the centre of the story. Most of these are YA novels in which the main focus is on the characters discovering themselves but that isn’t all we need. What we need are novels of different genres with LGBT+ characters. Give me gay detectives and non-binary vampire hunters!

And it will happen, but for now we should appreciate the excellently written ones that we do have currently because they’re still brilliant novels with lovable characters even if the main focus is their sexuality.

But it is so important for young, LGBTQ+ kids to see people just like them living lives that aren’t solely based around sexuality or gender identity. Because, I’ve said this before and I’ll say this again, representation is so important!