Things Change, and That’s Okay?

I’ve been thinking about the past a lot this summer. I don’t know what it is, but I feel like even more than usual I’ve been reminded of memories, of how things used to be, of places I used to go. It’s very strange. And often it makes me wish that I could go back to then.

For example: it’s not that long ago, but I miss the time when I used to write a blog post every 4-5 days. I’m never going to get back to posting that often, I think.  I used to actually write stuff as well. The reality is that…school seems to take up so much of my time? And actually I like spending time on it? I mean, exams really sucked, but in general I enjoy learning.

I miss all that writing. But also I’m trying to accept that nothing is going to be the same forever, and actually a lot of stuff has changed in my life. That’s allowed to happen. I’m allowed to spend time on school or music or just hanging out. I still love this blog, and I’m still excited to write posts, but I don’t want it to become a chore — I want to feel excited about the prospect of writing a post instead of just tired. I don’t want to feel guilty about not posting as often as I used to or no getting as many views/followers/comments as I’d like. Because that’s not fun at all.

I find myself mourning friends who aren’t as close anymore and honestly, you know what — people change! I’ve changed a lot. It’s alright for my friendships to shift. I’m particularly thinking about this as I start 6th form which feels like a BIG new thing in my life; it’s the biggest change in school I’ve had since starting secondary school. IT’S SO WEIRD. I miss my old teachers and classes! But also it’s exciting.

Also, I miss when I like…didn’t think about my gender all the time, I guess. And then it makes me wonder if I’m making it all up and gaslighting myself into thinking I’m not actually queer and I’m just a special snowflake. I hate feeling like that; I usually then go and remind myself of all the other LGBTQ+ out there who are real and do exist.

I DON’T KNOW. I feel like this is quite an uncharacteristic and rambly post, for me. I haven’t written one like this in a while and it’s quite cathartic. I don’t understand what this weird remembering thing is. I get it much more vividly from hearing or tasting things — playing my old clarinet pieces kind of feels like transporting myself back into the past. Maybe because clarinet is separate from everything else. The music just goes into a different part of my brain. Aaah you see what I mean?!?

Anyway, I don’t really have a conclusion planned out, except to say that: things change! It’s scary but I’m trying to accept it! I don’t want to pressure myself to blog! And I hope you have a wonderful day. 🙂

 

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Monthly Mixtape #9: Duende

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hello, it’s Monthly Mixtape time again! Sorry for the delay in both this being published and, well, really any posts being published. Life and starting sixth form have been keeping me busy. From now on, you should probably expect less frequent posting since I don’t think I’ll be able to do as much blogger as I used to. (Though you can maybe expect a forthcoming post on that??)

Anyways! Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be (hopefully) up in the first week of October! And this month’s prompt is…

#7: duende

duende, noun: : the power to attract through personal magnetism and charm

Add or view playlist links HERE

Duende is a Spanish word, and you can read more about its origins and how it’s difficult to strictly define in English here and here! I haven’t managed to make a playlist yet for this month, but I decided that if I tried to do that then this probably wouldn’t be posted until next week, so HERE WE ARE. Please forgive me.

how’s it going for you today? are you back to education (like me)? let’s have a chat!

GCSE Results Day // #evestudies

Coloured pens strewn over a notebook, with the text 'GCSE results day #evestudies'.

Hi everyone! WOW it has been a long time since I sat down to write a post. Everything feels kind of surreal so I guess this just adds to it??

Anyway, if you didn’t know, yesterday was GCSE results day in England (GCSEs being the public exams that I’ve worked on for the last 2 years or so). These were my first set of public exams so it has been an…interesting time, let’s say. By which I mean they were rather scary and difficult. But I’m not actually here to talk about Year 11 or the exams themselves! You can go and read previous #evestudies posts including my experience of Year 11 and advice for those going into it, revision techniques, and a masterpost of GCSE science resources.

Over the summer holidays I didn’t have much opportunity to get stressed about results day and I am SO GLAD. I’d been away on a trip with Guides for most of August which took up all of my brain space! Obviously it was still lurking in the back of my thoughts, but I didn’t start thinking about it loads until I came back and started lying in bed at night stressing that I’d failed everything. Fun times, am I right?

Discussing my worries with friends made me feel less alone since I realised that actually everyone was freaking out, not just me. (Though I was still kind of stressed.) On the morning of results day I stayed in bed for ages hoping to distract myself with books and podcasts. I even ended up going in later than I’d planned haha despite waking up early.

ANYWAY. I’m, like, still really in shock at my results?? I did way better than I was expecting? I’d convinced myself that I’d failed additional maths and I actually got an A which I DO NOT UNDERSTAND AT ALL because the exam was ABSOLUTE HELL. (The answer is that the grade boundaries were extremely low.)

I’d prefer not to share all of my grades publicly on here, but since this blog series has covered a lot of my GCSEs I felt that I should do some kind of conclusion. So I just wanted to say that I’m really happy with my results! I got the top grades in the subjects I’m taking at A-Level which is awesome since a) obviously now I’m allowed to take those subjects next year and b) it makes me feel more confident that I actually have a chance at A-Levels. I’m planning to take Maths, Spanish, History & Latin, and I’m very excited?! Hopefully sixth form won’t be too scary haha.

It feels so strangely anti-climatic to see so many hours of schoolwork boiled down to one piece of paper… It still hasn’t quite sunk in for me that it’s, you know, over. But GCSEs have been hanging over me for so long, and it’s such a relief to finally close this chapter. These new exams have been confusing and stressful but WE MADE IT THROUGH, FOLKS.

If you were also getting results yesterday, I hope you’re happy and even if not I send you internet hugs. It might not feel like it sometimes (and this is certainly something that I need to remind myself of) but exam results are NOT the be all and end all, and you’re still awesome no matter what. ❤

As I said, I’m starting sixth form this year which is all very new for me, so I’m sure you’ll be seeing more posts in this series. A-Levels! Way less subjects! I don’t have to wear uniform anymore! And also lots of other stuff that I’m sure I’ll discover when I get there. I can’t wait to update you all on it. 🙂

The I Love Sleep Tag

A photo of a sleeping cat stretched out with the words 'The I Love Sleep Tag'.

Hi everyone! Elizabeth @ Musings From Neville’s Navel tagged me for this and I am very excited because I do indeed love sleep. Thank you!

What is your routine before going to sleep?

I like routines a lot, and I have a very specific evening routine! In an ideal world, I’d do 30 minutes of music practice from 8pm (I know I should do it earlier when I’m not so tired but what can I say, habits are hard to break), put my phone onto charge downstairs then have a bath or shower around 8:30, and then I read for an hour from 9pm. But usually it ends up being quite a bit later than that haha. During the week I tend to have a bath instead of a shower since my mum prefers them and then she can get in before or after me.

Also, you probably didn’t know this but I’ve had to use lip balm all the time since I was like 7 for some reason?? So, anyway, I always have to put on lip balm before I go to bed.

What do you do when you can’t sleep?

Listen to something on my iPod, normally a sleep relaxation thing, audiobook, or occasionally a more relaxing podcast. Sometimes I put something I’ve already listened to on super quietly so that I can’t hear the words but there’s still a sound and for some reason that helps me.

What is your favourite sleeping position?

On my back…? I don’t know. I also often end up on my side.

What can I wake you up for?

If something really bad happens? If I just need to wake up for some reason? I don’t know, I can’t ever remember having to wake up in the middle of the night.

What time does your alarm clock go off?

7am on schooldays. I actually live pretty close to my school, but I am not good at rushing in the mornings, so.

What time do you go to bed?

I try to go to bed around 10-10:30. No jokes, I actually get super tired beyond about 9pm when all my friends are still awake. Oh well.

Snooze or getting up instantly?

Get up instantly, I think? I mean, I read for like 20 minutes after that. But I’m AWAKE and not dozing.

Do you sleep in on the weekends?

Not really; I still wake up at about 7:30 anyway. But I get more time to chill and not leave for school.

What kind of weird stuff do you do while you are asleep?

I don’t sleepwalk or anything as far as I know, but I do kick the duvet everywhere haha.

How many pillows do you have?

One!

What do you wear to bed?

In the summer, I wear one of my many tie dye t shirts and pyjama shorts, and in the winter I have some very nice fleecy pyjamas.

Do you sleep with or without socks?

Without. When we go camping I wear socks but my feet get very sweaty and I don’t like it much. (But it’s better than cold toes.)

How big is your bed?

I confess that I had to look up bed sizes for this…I think I have a small double? It’s not, like, a full double bed. But you can fit 2 pillows next to each other on it.

The first thing you do when you wake up in the morning is…?

Go to the loo. And then read.

Do you dream every night?

Yup, though I don’t always remember them later.

What dream or nightmare do you remember most clearly?

Dreams are very hard to translate into writing; sometimes I just have very specific images of old dreams I’ve had. (For example one where foxes came into my old house.) (Warning for light horror?) My most recent very memorable nightmare was during exams when I kept dreaming that all my teeth fell out. I can still recall the VERY specific sensation of them crunching in my mouth, and I’ve had that dream a couple of times since. It is Not Good.)

What is your biggest dream?

Um? I don’t know? If this is like, life goals, then I guess just being happy. I DON’T KNOW.

I’m not tagging anyone specifically for this one but please feel free to do it if you so wish! I’m still away without internet at the time this is scheduled, but I’d love to hear about your experiences with sleep. 🙂

The cat in the featured picture is not in fact one of my own, but I thought it was very cute and also a big mood. The photo is by Alexander Possingham on Unsplash.

Monthly Mixtape #8: Dernier cri

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hello, it’s Monthly Mixtape time again! Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of September! And this month’s prompt is…

#7: dernier cri

dernier cri, noun: the very latest fashion

Add or view playlist links HERE

For this playlist, I sort of went with the vibe of LOUD and GLITZY POP which also happens to be a genre I very much enjoy. And I know, I know, another Carly Rae Jepsen song…shall we play a game called ‘how many times can Eve use a Carly Rae Jepsen song in their playlists?’ It’s been like 8 months and I am just still very obsessed with the album Emotion, okay. IT’S SO GOOD.

A face that is covered with glow in the dark paint spots and glitter. The words 'dernier cri' in brush font.

listen on spotify

crazy, classic life – janelle monae
perfect places – lorde
gucci on my body – baby ariel
la hallucinations – carly rae jepsen
hugs not drugs (or both) – brendan maclean
karma – years & years
doesn’t matter – christine and the queens
nobody – mitski

I hope you enjoy this, and do check out playlists made by Evi, Holly, and Shadowriverdaleharley for the last prompt Constellate. Just to let you all know this is a scheduled post at the moment I am away with no access to internet until the 20th of August. So although I appear to be here, in fact this is past me talking to you! You’re engaging in time travel! I can’t wait to listen to your playlists and reply to your comments when I get back. 🙂

YALC 2018 Recap

The words 'YALC 2018 recap by twist in the taile' next to a 'Five Years of YALC' tote bag and a pile of books. The top book is Run, Riot.Hi everyone! Over the last 3 days I’ve been attending YALC (Young Adult Literature Convention) in London and I wanted to share my recap. Before you say EVE, THIS POST IS SO PROMPT: I’m actually going away this evening so I had to write it right now. Nothing like working under a deadline, right?

I’ve been to YALC twice before, but instead of going only on Saturday, this year I went for all 3 days on my own. It was quite a different experience! I don’t know if I’ll go for 3 days next year since I did get pretty tired and I’m an awkward bean so sometimes I didn’t have anyone to talk to. But I did have lots of fun too.

Friday

The spines of the books Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Starfish. An enamel pin with a cactus and a broken heart is in the foreground.

My first signing on DAy 1 was with Non Pratt. I’ve loved Non’s books for AGES and I’d sadly missed her at the last YALC so I was very happy to get mine signed here! Along with an early copy of her new novel Giant Days, I picked up Only Love Can Break Your Heart by Katherine Webber. I actually read it all in one sitting this morning!

Eve and Non Pratt. Eve wears a yellow t shirt that reads 'maybe some people are just meant to be in the same story'.

Next up was the Can we be friends? panel with Alice Oseman, Gayle Forman, and Lauren Price, moderated by David Owen. I’m so glad there was a panel on friendship, since although I enjoy reading romance, my friendships are far more important in my own life and sometimes I feel like I’m doing something wrong for not having an epic romance. (Not every teen falls in love, folks!)

I got my books signed by Alice Oseman and David Owen who drew a cool alien in the front. 🙂 I also picked up a sampler for David’s new book, yay! It sounds so good!

The books Giant Days, Done Dirt Cheap and Run, Riot spread out on a flowery duvet.

After wandering around for a bit, I went to the Where will you be in 5 years? panel with Katherine Woodfine, Non Pratt, Sara Barnard and Sally Green. It was really interesting the about the origins of YALC and the careers of all the authors. On a similar topic, I’d also like to note that this weekend we saw some more statistics showing that the number of author of colours in the UK has decreased since 2006, following findings by CLPE that only 1% of children’s books published in the UK featured a BAME main character. You should read this thread by Wei Ming Kam on Twitter on the situation and writers of colour to look out for in the coming years.

Saturday

Saturday began with a rocky start when I forgot to check the trains and realised one of them wasn’t working so had to improvise with public transport. Note to self for future: ALWAYS CHECK THE TRAINS ARE WORKING.

The first panel I went to was Politics on the Page with Alice Skinner, Karen Gregory, Sarah Shaffi, Tom Pollock, Tomi Adeyemi & Yaba Badoe. This was one of my favourite panels of YALC and I found it very inspiring. I’m now keen to read the books of the other authors who I didn’t already know! I wanted to get my copy of Children of Blood and Bone signed but the queue was really long (which is awesome!) so sadly I didn’t get round to it.The books Far From the Tree and A Closed and Common Orbit. The cover of Far From the Tree has illustrations of falling leaves.

Next was the Amongst the Stars, a panel with Becky Chambers, Lauren James, Samantha Shannon & Sasha Alsberg discussing all things space and sci-fi. *whispers* I actually love sci-fi a lot and I wish I read more sci-fi books.

I bought a whole bunch of books today which you can see above and throughout this post! They are: Giant Days, Only Love Can Break Your Heardt, Starfish, Done Dirt Cheap, Run Riot, Far From the Tree, A Closed and Common Orbit, Floored, and Noteworthy.

Finally, I went to the Loud & Proud panel with Josh Martin, Keris Stainton & Simon James Green which discussed LGBTQ+ representation. I’d have liked to see more discussion of identities beyond gay characters but I did get some good recs.

Sunday

On Sunday it RAINED! Finally! The workshop I’d intended to go to was full, so I went to a panel on travel with Cecilia Vinesse, Clementine Beauvais, Emily Barr & Rutendo Tavengerwei which was super interesting. Then I had lunch and headed off to Real world, real me with Akemi Dawn Bowman, Eve Ainsworth, Holly Bourne, Lisa Williamson & Lydia Ruffles. (Okay, I know this is getting rather factual but trust me, it was good, I’m just tired.) I saw the cover reveal for the Proud anthology which sounds great!

The books Floored and Noteworthy. Floored shows 6 pairs of feet and 1 pair of feet at the side as though lying down. Noteworthy shows a hand holding a microphone.

I also got to meet many online friends like Elm, Helia, Megan and also some wonderful new people! I’m so glad that I got to do this and it was one of the highlights of YALC this year. 🙂 Thanks everyone I met!

Aand that bring me to the end of my YALC recap. I’d also like to point out that there were serious issues with accessibility at YALC (see this thread by @redrocketpanda on twitter for some details) which is completely unacceptable and needs to be improved for next year.

Once more, I’m going away until the 20th without any internet and I won’t be able to reply to any comments, emails or tweets and such. But I do have 2 more posts scheduled, and I look forward to talking to you when I get back!

 

Year 11: My Experience & Advice // #evestudies

Coloured pens strewn over a notebook, with the words '#evestudies Year Eleven my experience and advice'.

Hi everyone! It’s that time of year where school is finishing up for most people here, and I realised that despite posting some general updates, I haven’t actually done another official post in my #evestudies series since before GCSEs. (My last one was in February, so practically AEONS ago.) Before I started Year 11 I was pretty nervous about my first set of public exams, GCSEs, so I thought it might be helpful for some people to give my own experience and advice for making it through. And hopefully it’ll still be interesting to read even if you’re not taking GCSEs haha.

Firstly, though, I would like to emphasise that this is only my experience. There are SO MANY reasons that it may not match yours, and the same is true for my advice; what works for me might not work for you. And that is completely valid.

But to get started with my own experience. Reading back through my posts over the last year is fascinating, and I’m glad that I have this blog as a digital record. As you can see from some of thos older posts, I started the year extremely keen to keep up extra work like doing online Physics lessons and constantly revising vocab. Honestly, I would not recommend that you start revising for GCSEs right from the start of the year. Although some of the languages vocab probably helped a little, by the time the exam season rolled around, I felt that a lot of what I’d revised earlier had faded from my brain and I was forced to return to it again anyway. Instead, I just felt guilty for not completing this ‘extra work’ I had set myself.

First and foremost, I would recommend that, if possible, you try to take care of yourself (whatever form that takes). The first term of Year 11 was pretty similar to Year 10 for me except for officially submitting my English coursework and doing stage management for a play at school. But I sort of had a breakdown towards the end of this term since I was trying to do so many things, and that was REALLY BAD. Probably the worst my mental health has ever been. So trying to keep a balance in your life is really important.

I also found creating good habits and routines really helped me during Year 111. And that refers not only to study habits like completing your homework on time, but also to self-care routines. Personally, I find routines very comforting, and I really enjoy having them. This might not be true for everyone, but I’ve found that sticking to my routines gave me something to anchor to during the stressful revision and exam period where all the days just kind of blended into one long stress. I can tell when my mental health is getting bad because when that happens I start to break my routines. (Not included missing them for special occasions and stuff.)

To give an example from my own life: every Tuesday afternoon, I spend an hour watching TV. Often I find it difficult to sit down and watch an episode of something because I feel like I should be doing something else ‘more productive’ (which is completely not a thing) but making that a routine has helped me a lot. Other little routines I have are reading for half an hour in the evening, going swimming on Sundays, and listening to podcasts as I go to bed. (Does that count as a routine? I don’t know haha. It’s just a nice thing that I like do to.)

I did put in work for my mock exams at school and I found this to be very useful. Particularly for more content-based subjects, I really did use the notes that I made for mock exams during actual GCSE revision, especially my Quizlets since those allowed me to test myself.) However, my revision style did actually change from mocks to later revision; before, I’d just spent all my time making notes, and then I already had them! So I tended to do more self-testing. But if you don’t revise loads for mocks then it’s not at all the end of the world! I just liked to feel prepared.

I’m not going to lie, Easter and the summer term were a frustrating time for me. I’ve previously been very enthusiastic about my school experience, saying that I love learning and each year has been better than the last. Frankly, Year 11 was not my best year yet. Towards the end of the year, I felt as though I wasn’t learning for educational benefit but rather to pass an exam. And I know that’s what I was supposed to be doing, but even as someone who really likes learning, it all feel rather pointless to me. We’d spent 2 years working for what felt like a very small number of exams. (But also, SO MANY EXAMS. SO. GODDAMN. MANY.)

For the actual exam period, timetables are AMAZING. As you can probably tell already, I like to have everything organised and prepared haha. I spent a lot of time figuring out my timetable. At the start of each week I would try to fill in which specific topics I would study during my subject periods. Also, I tried not to dwell on past exams. I thought I was going to enjoy all the hashtags, and I sort of did? But also, once the exam had finished I just wanted to completely erase it from my memory since there wasn’t anything I could do to change it.

Writing about school and exams comes SO easily to me now because I feel like that’s 90% of what I’ve been thinking about for the last 8 months. I don’t think I’ve yet recovered from exams; finishing them was just a bit of an anticlimax. And results day looms next month, which is…yikes. I’m not looking forward to getting my results, but I very much want to gain closure for this chapter of school.

Anyways! I hope you found this post enjoyable in some way. 🙂 I’m thinking about making some more revision posts later in the year — I feel like I should get my results first to see if my revision techniques actually worked haha — so let me know if that’s something you’d be interested in. I was thinking perhaps some subject-specific posts like for modern foreign languages, sciences, and possibly Latin?? (I have a lot of Latin resources, but I know not many people actually take it so.)

have you taken any public exams this year? what was your experience? how are you doing today?

YALC 2018 TBR

A bookshelf with the YALC logo on top and the text '2018 TBR'.

At the end of this month I’m going to be attending the YA book con YALC and I CANNOT WAIT. I had so many wonderful experiences last year and I hope that it will be just as fun. And for a new year, there are new authors with new and exciting books! Honestly, I’m not sure I’ll make it through this TBR before YALC, but we can always hope.

Cover of A Closed and Common Orbit. Two silhouettes looking up at a red and white star-streaked sky.

A Closed and Common Orbit by Becky Chambers I ADORED the first book in this series so shh, please don’t tell anyone I haven’t read this sequel yet. (And I believe the 3rd book is due to come out just before YALC.) Thank you to Becky Chambers for giving me the space gays I deserve!! (Note: after I wrote this post, I read this review on CandidCeillie which points out issues with the book, in particular with the disability rep.)

Cover of Hope is Our Only Wing. Illustration of a yellow wing next to an orange-tinted photo of a person's face looking outwards. The title is in large block letters.

Hope is Our Only Wing by Rutendo Tavengerwei This is set in Zimbabwe! And it sounds excellent!

Cover of Floored. The subtitle reads 'When seven lives collide'. The legs of 6 people wearing shoes at the top and one pair of legs on the side as though fallen over.

Floored by various authors I nabbed a sampler of this at last year’s YALC and found it very intriguing, so I’m keen to read the rest of the story. Also, WHAT A COLLAB?? I’ve never seen a book co-written by this many people so it’s very exciting.

Cover of A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars. A paint-like illustration of a dark skinned figure in the centre, with flames and waves curving around, and a starry night sky above. In the flames there is a ballerina on a white horse, in the waves a boat, and in the sky a yellow bird.

A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars by Yaba Badoe I’ve barely seen anything about this one but it sounds incredible?? The MC Sante is Ghanaian and she has a pet golden eagle and there’s possible some fantastical elements? Also, the cover is beautiful.

Cover of Noah Could Never. A photo of 2 bananas and the title in a crayon font.

Noah Could Never by Simon James Green I just bought this on Kindle and I am very ready. I’m not going to lie, there were some VERY cringey moments in the first book, but I know that it was supposed to be cringe haha, I’m just bad at coping. I saw Simon James Green at an event earlier this year and he made it sound very good.

Cover of The Belles. A glamorous brown-skinned person with flowers in their hair looks back at the camera. The subtitle reads 'the revolution is here' and the title text is disintegrating.

The Belles by Dhonielle Clayton I know I’m super late to this one!! I really want to read it! It feels like I haven’t read a dystopia in absolutely AGES.

Cover of The Hazel Wood. Illustrations of blue leaves and the text 'Stay away from the hazel wood'

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert I knew this one was on the NYT bestseller list but I still don’t really know what it’s about? A spooky forest? Anyway, I’m sad it’s not in the library but it sounds cool.

Cover of Before I Let Go. A photo of ice which is broken at the top. A red glove lies next to the broken ice.

Before I Let Go Marieke Nijkamp  From the blurb, I’m not sure if this will quite be my thing, but I’d really like to give some of Marieke Nijkamp’s work a try!

Cover of Starfish. Drawings of a jellyfish, turtle and small fish over a starry sky.

Starfish I’ve heard great things about this book and once again I’ve been meaning to read it for AGES. It’s actually on sale as an ebook right now if you’re interested! Alas, I think want to buy it in paperback since it’s a) super pretty and b) I love getting books signed.

Cover of How Do You Like Me Now? Illustration of a person with long hair and red lipstick sitting on the floor next to a mobile and coffee cup.

How Do You Like Me Now? by Holly Bourne I very much enjoyed Holly Bourne’s other work so I’d love to read her first adult novel.

OK, in summary I just think ALLL the books sound incredible and exciting. I’m going to YALC for the whole 3 days and I’m not going with any IRL friends so do let me know if you’re going too and would like to meet up. 🙂

have you added any new books to your tbr lately? do you know any of these?

 

Monthly Mixtape #7: Constellate

A cassette tape with the words 'monthly mixtape' in a brush script above and below.

Hi there! I’m back with actual playlists for Monthly Mixtape! Monthly Mixtape is a music feature created by Eve @ Twist in the Taile (that’s me) and Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages. Here’s how it works: each month, we give you a one-word prompt, and you make a playlist. We welcome you to interpret the prompt however you want and with whatever music you’re into.

Please link back to the original Monthly Mixtape prompt whenever you make a playlist. We welcome you to use the title image for your blog post if you wish. You can create a playlist in response to any of the prompts going forward, not just the current months, but you won’t be able to add your link once the new prompt is up. The next Monthly Mixtape will be up in the first week of August! And this month’s prompt is…

#7: constellate

constellate, verb: 1 : to unite in a cluster
2 : to set or adorn with or as if with constellations

Add or view playlist links HERE

It took me a while to think of where I wanted to go with this one, but I’m pleased with the final result — it’s sort of a combination of space-themed songs and songs that make me think of unity. I also had a random craving to listen to Life on Mars so that’s in there, but it’s a bop so WHY NOT. Also, Talk to Me has one of my favourite lyrics, ‘there’s a universe inside your head, constellations are the things you left unsaid’. I think that’s such cool imagery. ANYWAYS.

A starry night sky over a hill with the word 'constellate' in brush script.

listen on spotify / youtube

talk to me – lauren aquilina
us – regina spektor
life on mars – david bowie
somebody else – the 1975
the space tapes – shura
i like that – janelle monáe
science fiction – christine and the queens
give yourself a try – the 1975

I hope you enjoy this, and do check out playlists made by Evi, Holly, and Shadowriverdaleharley for last month’s prompt Hamartia if you’re looking for more. 🙂

The Pride Flag Book Tag

A hand holding up a rainbow pride flag over a clouded sky, with the words 'the pride flag book tag'.

Hi there! It’s almost at the end of Pride Month and I really wanted to write a post to celebrate before June finished. I was inspired by reading May @ Forever and Everly’s Pride Flag Book Tag and I thought that it would be great fun to do this tag — thanks so much for bringing this to my attention! The tag was created by Common Spence on Youtube, with an added prompt for black/brown by May.

  1. red (life) 

a book with a spirited protagonist totally proud of who they are. someone who gives you LIFE!

Cover of Queens of Geek. The title over long pink hair.

I would like to pick Charlie from Queens of Geek! I think she’s awesome and I love that book so much. Not sure what else to say except that. (I’m just getting started with blogging again, please cut me some slack haha.)

 2. orange (healing) 

a book that made you, as the reader, find a deeper meaning or catharsis in your own life

Cover of When the Moon Was Ours by Anna Marie McLemore. Illustration of a silhouette of a water tower at night. Moons hang down from the top of the book. A silhouette of a boy pointing to the sky on the right, and a girl lifting her hand towards him. Illustrations of roses decorate the title text.

 

I know I talk about it ALL the time but When the Moon Was Ours by Anna-Marie McLemore came into my life at a really important time where I was first exploring my gender identity, and although my experience does not align exactly with that of Sam, his story made me feel so seen. I can’t emphasise enough how much of a relief it was to read about what I was experiencing. This is actually one of the only books that’s ever made me cry. Also, it’s just a damn beautiful book and you should all read it.

 3. yellow (sunshine) 

a book that fills you with so much joy it could brighten even your darkest day

Cover of The Summer of Jordi Perez. Photo of a girl with pink hair and sunglasses eating a burger.

I just finished reading The Summer of Jordi Perez (and the Best Burger in Los Angeles) by Amy Spalding and IT WAS SO DARN CUTE. Please give me all the soft f/f rom-coms!! It starred a fat gay girl being happy and awesome in summer! Man, it was just so wonderful.

 4. green (nature) 

a book that is set out of this world—a reality different to our own

Cover of Labyrinth Lost. The silhouette of a figure standing before gates with a skull on.

I picked up Labyrinth Lost by Zoraida Córdova as a during-exams treat and I ended up finishing it in like a day — it was so readable! I didn’t realise it was going to be queer before I started so I was like HECK YEAH. I can’t wait to read the sequel Bruja Born.

 5. blue (peace) 

a book where one of the characters finds peace with a difficult truth

Cover of Wild by Hannah Moskowitz. The title in blue over a photo of a forest.

I admit, I struggled a little to think of a book that fitted this one, but I went with Wild by Hannah Moskowitz. Both the main character and the love interest are bi, and for a lot of the book the MC Zack basically goes running to try and solve his problems. I don’t want to spoil it but I do feel like he finds some peace in his life, of a sort.

 6. purple (spirit) 

a book that deals with LGBT+ themes and religion

Cover of I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. Illustrations of many small people on an orange background. The title in a brush font.

Although of course I love Autoboyography, I thought I’d go with something different — I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman. One of the MCs, Jimmy Kaga-Ricci, is a queer trans guy, and he’s also a Christian. I don’t want to give too much away, but religious imagery does feature quite heavily in here. There are also several other LGBTQ+ characters and the other MC Angel is a Muslim.

7. black/brown (inclusivity) 

a book where one of the characters is a queer character of colour / queer indigenous character

Cover of Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert. The words 'Little & Lion' over a flat line illustration of a palm tree, a magazine, a flower, a coffee cup, and a book.

I’m pretty sure I’ve mentioned Little & Lion by Brandy Colbert here before but I really enjoyed it! The MC Suzette is a black, Jewish bisexual girl which is awesome. I thought the writing style was wonderful and writing this actually makes me want to reread it.

how’s your pride month? did you know about the history of the pride flag? got any lgbtq+ book recs? i would LOVE to hear them!