WHAT I READ APRIL 2019

I’m finally getting round to doing a book review on my blog and I couldn’t be happier. As a college student each month holds something different. One month I might be really busy and behind on work so that I am only able to just get through one book, and other months I might be all caught up (like this month) and read 5 books. It certainly helps take your mind off of things especially since we have exams coming up, and I think it’s a great way to help you relax and I’ve read some amazing books this month that you will 100% get lost in.

So, there’s a biography, Self help book, young adult fiction, fiction/romance and a historical fantasy book. Something for everyone hopefully? A weird variety and surprisingly I didn’t intentionally do that for the purpose of my blog but got them in that order from my book shelve.  I’ve enjoyed reading each one of these books – some more than others, but each one is effective and memorable in its own way. Or maybe I’m just trying to think of all the positives?

This is my first ever book review and hopefully it will not be my last as the amount of books I go through and want to share with you guys is crazy. I aim to read at least 50 pages a day as I normally have a pretty tight schedule but still this is a set goal I love to accomplish and it always pushes me to read more – otherwise I would fall back into the trap of not reading for a few months and forgetting how good books are. This month has honestly been one of the best months for books for myself and I can’t wait to share them with you guys. On that note, let’s get started with the first book…

Misfit by Charli Howard 

Starting with the biography by the amazing Charli Howard. This book explains the struggles the author had to go through to achieve model standards in the fashion industry back when there were no plus size models only 34 inch waist anorexically thin girls who still had to be adjusted in Photoshop to make their bodies appear more ‘perfect’.  It explains her life journey as she battles anxiety and eating disorders all to achieve her dreams of becoming a model. She realizes that the models we see in everyday fashion magazines are even Photoshopped to appear to ‘beauty’s standards’ and as the editors photoshop her pictures she realizes that the magazines can photoshop A LOT but they can’t photoshop her problems away. Charli then decides that she’s suffered enough and no longer wants to count the calories that she’s eating and drops out from her agency where she always felt not good enough as her hips were always an inch or two too big and starts her own body positive movements where there is no size rule to let you in.

It is an uplifting story that contains humor throughout and shares the shameful truth of how the modelling industry used to be. I read it on a flight and it was such a good read although if you suffer with any type of eating disorders or mental illnesses maybe you shouldn’t read this book just yet as it covers a lot of sensitive subjects. Although I find her honesty and openness brave and inspiring – some people may not. It includes a quote at the beginning that I am starting to live by from Eleanor Roosevelt which is ‘No one can make you feel inferior without your consent’ which is a strong message and a oxymoron theme in the book as Charli is continuously letting people bring her down and making her feel inferior until she changes that.

As of course I love fashion and am planning on working in the fashion industry, this book was very interesting to learn about what the modelling side has to go through and the insults models face on a daily that continuously lowers their self esteem to the point of suffering with bulimia and other types of eating disorders. It is not at all as glamorous as we all expect it is. This book has been one of the few biography’s I’ve read and after this I am definitely looking into others, it is definitely worth a read.

Enchantée by Gita Trelease 

How is this not a film??? I seriously don’t know where to start this book was honestly, truly, bloody amazing! I read it while I was on holiday and it made such a great holiday read even though it’s based in France and I was in Tenerife, I still loved every single bit of it and I can’t think of a book I would’ve rather took with me.

Getting into it – this is the historical fantasy. Its set in 1789 in Paris during the French revolution. When a young girl called Camille loses her parents, she’s left to provide for her younger sister and drunken older brother and coming from a family that has nothing, she has no choice but to turn to magic as a way of survival. From starting by turning scrap metals into coins to cheating her way in the big shots of gambling, magic plays a huge part in Camille’s life. We see the theme of love play a big part and a draw is made between two men fighting for Camille’s heart. There’s plot twists throughout and it always keeps you on the edge of your seat wanting to read more. It is beautifully written and includes a handful of french words, where a glossary of the meanings are found at the back to help you out. It all adds to the effect of being in Paris and it is so well written you feel like you’ve lived the story and experienced it yourself.

I’ve never read the same book twice, but lemme tell you if I had to only live with one book for the rest of my life, it would be this one! It is THE best book I have ever read, and I seriously hope that it becomes a movie. Admitting historical fantasy isn’t the section I normally look for in the bookshop and I only stumbled across this book in Waterstones because yes, it had a pretty cover that drew my attention and yes, it said the word magic on it, and I am SO extremely glad I bought it.

The Good Girl’s Guide To Being a D*ck by Alexandra Reinwarth

This is the first self help book I’ve ever read, because let’s be real we never really go into Waterstones with the intention of buying a self help book when we only ever go in to buy a good fiction to read on bus journeys, well the funny bad-ass title stood out to me that much there was no chance that I was leaving it on the shelve. After awkwardly paying at the checkout by a male server who in no doubt was wondering what the hell this book could be about and what I was using it to achieve (boys will just never understand) I immediately started reading it as I stepped out the door.

I’ve never read a self help book before this one and although it was full of humor and had a load of references we can all relate to such as bad friendships and lack of self esteem, after finishing the book it didn’t really change me. Which is what a self help book is meant to do right? Don’t get me wrong it was a good read that I enjoyed and could relate to the majority of it (maybe not the ‘how to look after your kid and not lose your mind’ part as I am only 17) but possibly that is the problem, that I am only 17 and this book was made for an older audience.

It has strategies to conquer bad friendships, getting out of that work do you said you’ll go to but couldn’t think of anything worse (can’t relate) and even the myth of the bikini body – because we should all know by now that a bikini body is just simply a body wearing a bikini, nothing more. I personally don’t struggle with these things although we all doubt ourselves sometimes, and why? Because we’re in a generation where the majority of pictures we see on Instagram are Photoshopped and giving women unrealistic body expectations that not even the model themself can achieve and we only share life’s best moments and not what it’s really like to be us on a daily. Did this book effect my life choices in any way? No. Did it persuade me to become a bit more of a dick? Still no. It was a funny, good read but I’m not sure it did what a self help book is entitled to do despite it being the international bestseller, but maybe it’s just my too young age?

If you’ve read this book, I’d love to hear what you think about it in the comments!

The Definition of us by Sarah Harris 

Another banger. A theme that I’ve noticed that is becoming more popular now is a lot of the characters seem to struggle with a type of mental health illness in a lot of different types of books. We’re in the day and age now where instead of hiding feelings away we’re more open and expressive towards the subject of mental health. This book really highlights that theme and creates each character to have a specific mental health condition that relates to their past experiences.

It involves a group of 4 teenagers who go on a road trip to North Wales to find their well loved therapist who recently moved from their local Therapy Centre for an unknown reason the teenagers have yet to discover. Between the 4 of them, there are 5 mental health conditions, which as you can imagine would be like hell and a lot happens on their half a day journey to Wales including arguments, robberies and drug involvement, the group of friends are willing to do anything to get their old therapist back.

It’s a very refreshing story and gives an insight of what people with different mental health conditions live like on a daily. It portrays through the characters that people are so much more than their diagnosis and it was perfectly written to be more relatable to our age range.

One of the best things about this book is that is has a very honest representation of the diversity of people who suffer with these mental illnesses. It shows again through the characters that you can love chocolate while also suffering with an eating disorder, you can have depression but still have moments where the greatest happiness is felt and you can have autism and still understand everything that’s going on around you and show authentic emotion. Instead of showing stereotypes of these mental illnesses, this book shows the genuine side of what it’s like to live with a mental health condition while taking the characters on a series of adventures across the UK in a graffitied borrowed van. It’s a very good read, especially while you’re travelling.

What Happens in Vegas by Shana Gray 

Lastly is this fiction/romance novel which is (clue’s in the title) set in Vegas. It’s where a group of women take a girls holiday away from their homes in Canada and end up hitting nothing less than the £100,000 jackpot. Since they have all that money to share between them they celebrate in an exclusive club where the main character Bonnie meets a man she later falls for. It’s a pretty simple book where the main character falls in love, there’s an obstacle she has to face in order to be with him, and then they’re together. Sorry if you were planning on reading it and I’ve just ruined it but it was pretty obvious from the beginning.

It was an enjoyable read but there were a few chapters that got slightly boring. I tend to like plot twists and action in fiction novels and unfortunately this had neither. If you do like the traditional romance story as such then this short read story is likely to be for you. The story itself was pretty interesting and it did intrigue you to find out more about what will happen to the characters, but it ended as we all would’ve guessed it too, with them falling in love. Not to say I don’t like a happy ending but it’s just a  bit boring isn’t it really, we want plot twists and arguments and action to keep us reading. Saying all this I did keep reading and the way the author described the situations I did really feel like I was there witnessing everything.

There is a whole collection of books from this range and this one was the first with ‘Meet Me In San Francisco’ being the sequel. Admittingly I’ve just checked the reviews to that book on Amazon and there’s a possibility I might read it as it carries on the story with the same group of girls from this book. It seems pretty intriguing to find out what happens in the future with the couple, and if I do end up reading it, I will be sure to include it in one of my future book reviews.

 

Then we come to an end of my first ever book review. Finally. This has got to be the longest blog post I’ve ever done. I will definitely be making more of these in the future because of how much I’ve enjoyed writing this. If you’ve enjoyed this post and have any book recommendations be sure to let me know in the comments or if you’ve read any of these books already I would love to hear your thoughts on them.

Thank you for reading.

My Instagram – @tjblogs

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