Review: Every Colour of You – Amelia Mandeville

Truthfully, I read this book out of curiosity. I’ve watched the Mandeville Sisters on Youtube for a number of years and have always enjoyed their content. So it was especially lovely when I saw that Amelia had written a book, after watching countless videos on how she wanted to be a writer. After a wave of Youtuber-cum-novelists, it’s refreshing to see someone who has dreamt of this for a long time, not as an extra money spinner when those views are dwindling… (Make of that what you will.)

Every Colour of You is Zoe and Tristan’s story. It’s a love story but not an easy one. Zoe is full of life, Tristan would rather not be living his. Zoe is bursting with the determination to bring the colour back in to Tristan’s life. But love doesn’t always fix everything.

Firstly, the book is published by Little, Brown Book Group which is always a good sign. I don’t think I’ve ever read something by them that I haven’t loved so I was pretty confident with this one.

What I Didn’t Like

At first I wasn’t sure about the premise. It seemed a little too tropey and young adult romance stories aren’t usually my thing. But as the book progressed I enjoyed the characters. It really felt as though Zoe and Tristan were at the heart of the novel.

What I Liked

It’s clear from the off that Mandeville can tell a story. I got major John Green vibes from this which, I think is a great thing. The book was also clever in subtle ways. It was only after finishing that I turned back to the first page and saw something that made me realise how the novel might end. Something that had never occurred to me when I first opened the book. (I’m trying to keep this as spoiler free as possible so sorry if that’s majorly vague!)

I also really liked the portrayal of mental health. As a mental health nurse I often myself getting frustrated with author’s lack of realism but Mandeville handled this really well. I also hope that it will contribute to young people being more open about their mental health. And, allow people to see that it’s okay to be frustrated when someone you love is portraying symptoms of mental illness.

Mandeville can only grow as an author so I’m really excited to see what she puts out next.

Rachel x-x-x

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A Love Like No Other: A Year of Coffee

We all know I’m quite the coffee fan. While I was decluttering my computer I decided to have a little count of all the coffees I went out for and took photos of last year. Let’s just say I could have saved a small fortune if I didn’t have this caffeine hobby…

Coffee makes me happy. I like to drink it alone. I like to drink it with friends. I like that it wakes me up and makes me feel warm. I like the nutty, bitter, smoothness of it. Sometimes I think my body might potentially be more coffee than it is blood but anyway, here’s a selection of some of the big and small moments of last year, all celebrated with a cup of coffee.

 

Rachel x-x-x

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Book Review: How To Stop Time by Matt Haig

Tom Hazard has a dangerous secret. He may look like an ordinary 41-year-old, but owing to a rare condition, he’s been alive for centuries. From Elizabethan England to Jazz Age Paris, from New York to the South Seas, Tom has seen a lot, and now craves an ordinary life.

Always changing his identity to stay alive, Tom has the perfect cover – working as a history teacher at a London comprehensive. Here he can teach the kids about wars and witch hunts as if he’d never witnessed them first-hand. He can try and tame the past that is fast catching up with him. The only thing Tom mustn’t do is fall in love.

I feel as though I start all book reviews like this, but I wasn’t sure if I was going to enjoy this novel. I absolutely loved both Matt’s Reasons To Stay Alive and his previous fiction book, The Humans, but after reading the first few chapters of How To Stop Time, I felt a little bit like I was reading a historical fiction novel, which really isn’t my thing usually.

But I persevered and I loved it so much.

How to Stop Time in essence is a love story, but it’s also so much more than that. Despite being slightly put off at first by the history content, I ended up learning a lot, especially having my memory jogged about things I’d learnt years ago at school. But the part of the story I loved most was the protagonist, Tom. Flawed yet sweet, Tom had an air of someone who had both lived for hundreds of years and was learning how to do life, just like the rest of us.

The novel felt like an experience more than anything else and it’ll definitely be one that I re-read – which is one of the highest accolades from me because I rarely re-read books. I really, truly did not want this book to end and when it did, it left me with so many thoughts about life, love and the complexities of time.

I have so much more to say about this wonderful novel, but really I just want you to read it and love it as much I do.

How To Stop Time is a beautiful, thought-provoking read that will stay with you long after you’ve turned the final page.

Rachel x-x-x

 

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What does community mean anyway?

Something I see thrown around a lot in the blogosphere is this concept of ‘community’, which sadly gets translated to ‘cliques’ more often than it should.

Maybe it’s because I’ve never really fit into a specific community in real life but I find it hard to relate when people say that they don’t belong in the blogging community. As introverted as I am, I like to stand out for who I am. In real life, my life doesn’t fit into one category, so why should my blog?

So when people say that they don’t belong to a community, are they putting that badge on themselves? I know that when I’ve thought I don’t belong to the community of mental health bloggers, I’ve reflected on it and come to the conclusion that it’s probably only me who doesn’t think of myself as a mental health blogger. Just because I’m not being nominated for awards and I’m not in a load of group chats, doesn’t reflect on what I blog about.

Once again, I feel like I’m just rambling, but hopefully someone understands!

It’s never nice to feel as though you’re unwanted and just ask any blogger, they’ve all got a story about feeling left out in the blogging community but I think part of it comes down to the way we’re viewing other bloggers.

Blogging has made me feel more a part of a community than I’ve ever felt in my life. Through school and university I was always an outsider. I was always that person who would rather stay home and read a book than go out to a party but I’ve never had as many friends as I do now. And they really are my friends. I finally have people that I feel comfortable saying that I’ve had a crap day to or being able to talk about things I love like books and musicals because I’ve never had that.

When it feels like everyone around you has closer friendships and fits into the community more than you do, don’t forget that everything is amplified on social media.

People moan and groan about the blogging community being negative and full of cliques but whenever I tweet something less than positive I get so many responses from other bloggers offering their support. We have to stop dwelling on the negative and love the blogging community for what it is.

If you’re a new blogger then join chats and Facebook groups of other bloggers. Engage with people, read their blogs and comment. Everyone’s been that new blogger who feels like they don’t have any friends but blogging is amazing because there’s a wealth of people who feel like you feel. So get stuck in because even if you feel awkward (and I do, 100% of the time), none of it is as scary as real life friendships and real life communities, and you’ve managed life this far!

Rachel x-x-x

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4 Things To Stop Telling Yourself

Sometimes we lack self love because we lack self-confidence. And this lack of self-confidence comes from beliefs we hold about ourselves. Often these beliefs aren’t grounded in anything, yet we continue to hold them and it can severely knock our confidence.

So here are 5 things you need to stop telling yourself TODAY, so that you can have a happier tomorrow.

I am not special.

Yes you are. There is no one on the planet who is just like you so revel in that and make the most of it. Think about the things that make you, you. And if you really struggle to come up with anything, then ask a friend. Ask them what makes you special. Don’t devalue yourself just because you can’t always see how special you are.

I am not worthy of love.

This is an easy trap to fall into. Because, when your confidence is low, it’s easy to think that no one else would love you. But here’s where you can change this. Every day, you can make the choice to love yourself because you are deserving of love. And when you love yourself, other people will be able to see that too.

I am not worthy of happiness.

Just like I said above that everyone is worthy of love, everyone is worthy of happiness too. This thought is maybe the most damaging because it means that you don’t allow happiness to come to you and you actively do things to stop finding happiness.

Stop believing that you’re not worthy of happiness and happiness will flow towards you.

The failure was 100% my fault/ It was nothing to do with me.

I am so guilty of this one.  When you fail something do you take on 100% of the blame, regardless of who was involved? Do you say things like “It’s all my fault,” all of the time? Because I do.

And then, like some kind of witchcraft, when something goes well, it’s magically nothing to do with you?

This is purely irrational thinking, there is nothing else to it. Start recognising the truths in these situations and soon you’ll find that not everything is your fault and that when you succeed, it isn’t a fluke. It’s because of you.

Do you fall victim to these ways of thinking? Let me know in the comments!

Rachel x-x-x

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