Playlist: carry on, simon

This might sound completely insane, but…I feel like I haven’t flailed about Rainbow Rowell in a while? Anyway. I AM EXPERIENCING A RENAISSANCE. I still have all of my Carry On feels. Beneath this veneer of silence I am still actually complete trash.

Anyway. I made a dark magic/Baz/angsty wizard playlist (don’t laugh) on my Spotify an absolute age ago and I thought this might be time for all of my music feels to come to use. Because I HAVE A LOT OF FEELS WHEN IT COMES TO CARRY ON. I found it difficult to fit everyone’s stories into one playlist here — because playlist cohesion — so this is mostly a Simon and Baz one. And that is definitely not a gentle foreshadowing for more Carry On playlists… 😉

(Just to let you know, several of these songs contain swearing.)

carry on playlist.jpg
you have to pretend you get an endgame. you have to carry on like you will; otherwise, you can’t carry on at all. (by rainbow rowell)
listen on youtube / spotify

runaway – aurora
creep – radiohead
carry on wayward son – kansas
tectonic – brendan maclean
bloodsport – raleigh ritchie
young & beautiful – lana del rey
flaws – bastille
into my arms – nick cave & the bad seeds

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February Favourites!

February is insanely short. That is a confirmed fact. I mean, I know it’s only one or two days, but…EVERY MONTH FEELS TOO SHORT, DAMMIT. *sniffs* It’s also been a pretty quiet month, to be honest, with the exception of all the book releases over the past week. I did have a rather exciting weekend, though, so continue further on for the hot gossip. 😛

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1. Radio Silence by Alice Oseman This book was probably my most anticipated 2016 release. (I don’t know how that happened? But yeah, it totally did.) It wasn’t a let-down at all! I LOVED IT. It had an amazing fictional podcast and beautiful characters and I really appreciated the message about uni and academia. As someone who generally finds exams quite easy — I mean, obviously I’m grateful for that but I hate that it can be my defining skill. Also: diversity! It has PoC and queer characters, no main romance, ACTUAL BOY-GIRL PLATONIC FRIENDSHIP JEEZ. It’s the only book I’ve ever read with characters (canonically) on the asexuality spectrum.

2. Carry On special editions Um, so…I bought my 4th and 5th copies of Carry On. Whoops. I got the UK paperback and the special colour in edition, which I’m very excited to try out! I don’t know what colour scheme I’m going to use yet, though. DECISIONS DECISIONS.

3. The Art of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson I’m a little torn about this one…I DID ENJOY IT. I mean, it was a self-discovery coming out kind of story. It used a lot of tropes I’d seen before. But I think these books do have worth, and it was a good contemporary self-discovery story. WITH BRITAIN YAY. 🙂

4. Fun Home the musical I haven’t been able to get hold of Alison Bechdel’s graphic novel Fun Home yet — the book this was based on — but I’ve been loving the musical. I love how the story of the three different Alisons (younger, going to college, and reflecting on her past) unfolds at the same time. And it’s the only movie I know of with a queer protagonist, so yay for that!

5. A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab This was another incredibly anticipated release. I thought the White London arc fell a bit flat (it felt like a set-up for the future, to be honest) but I STILL LOVED IT. It was amazing to see these characters and their luscious world grow. I actually love Kell and Rhy and Lila with all of my heart. I CAN’T EVEN OMG. Schwab’s writing was also beautiful, as per usual. In particular I thought the distinction between the different languages and names was fascinating (and very well done).

Stuff from around the internet:

  • I know this is slightly out of nowhere. (I’ve been hiding it up my sleeve for way too long.) But I opened a Redbubble shop! Right now I’m selling some Carry On + Les Mis designs, although I hope to have a few more original ones up as well over the next week or so. 🙂
  • I talked about a great book event I attended discussing Feminism in YA, with Holly Smale, Holly Bourne, CJ Daugherty and Anna James.
  • I talked about the books I think would be better with LGBTQ+ characters. (I’m actually really proud of this! All my headcanoning finally put to some use. :P)
  • I made a Carry On blog on Tumblr (welllbelove). I’m still posting my podfic, and I also made a Baz playlist for the Snowbaz Valentine’s gift exchange! Overall, a lot of Carry On stuff. If you couldn’t tell.
  • Jupe @ smolprince wrote about stereotypes of women, femininity, and internalised sexism.
  • Engie @ Musings From Neville’s Navel shared 10 songs that would make great LGBTQ+ books.

    In the diary:

  • I’ve only got £200 left to fundraise for my Guides trip! I managed to finally get my act together and apply for some grants, which was great. 🙂 (If you’ve missed my mini-updates every month: I’m going on an international trip with Girlguides, and we’re fundraising the entire cost of the trip.)
  • I ACTUALLY PLANNED MY WIP YAY. I had a super long train journey, and…somehow I finished my main outline! It’s crazy, because I’ve always been a complete pantser, but I’m very excited to talk about it some more. 😀
  • I also listened to several musicals on the aforementioned long train journey, including The Phantom of the Opera for the first time! That was fun. *nods*
  • I’m trying to be a bit more politically aware, so I went to a talk by my local MP, who actually said a lot of things I agreed with. Helpfully. (I mean, I guess in particular Britain staying in the EU. Which is kind of the Thing of the moment haha.)
  • I feel like I have SOO many exciting posts to get write over the next few weeks. I’m very excited to share them! Although, um, I kinda need to write them first.

how was your month? did you do anything fun with our extra leap year day? (I KNOW IT WAS A MONDAY. but still.)

7 Things I Would Do If I Met Rainbow Rowell

rainbow rowell books

Okay, so: I LOVE RAINBOW ROWELL’S BOOKS. I have probably recommended a book of hers to you all at some point or another. I mean, objectively, they do have flaws, but I also love them with all my heart. Yeah. Rainbow is, um, probably my favourite author right now.

WHICH IS OBVIOUSLY WHY I NEED TO ATTEND ONE OF HER EVENTS. I am blisteringly aware of the ocean between me and the USA, i.e. where a lot of her tours seem to be. And because I was a complete numpty, I missed her last UK tour! *congratulates self*

Some parts of the internet insist that she has a UK event during March — and, to be fair, I haven’t actually seen any more news since November, but I live in hope. Obviously, because I am going to turn into an awkward flapping chicken during like the one time I will probably ever see her: I decided it would be prudent to make a list of all the things I need to do. LET’S GO! *throws imaginary Pokeball onto grass*

1. Listen to her playlists all the way to the venue

I do this on my train journeys anyway, because I like to be attacked by feels on public transport, but it would be like my own private joke. Ha. Also: RAINBOW HAS THE BEST MUSIC TASTE. Ahem. *coughs*

2. Wear all the merch I possibly can.

I’m assuming this whole thing is going to happen at a book event, so that I will get at least a tiny bit of prep. Of course, I need to be decked out in all my merchandise… Okay, maybe not all of it. Even though I don’t own nearly as much as I’d like. But we can either go with a) Cath’s Carry On t-shirt, b) full or selective elements of my Penny Bunce cosplay as well as c) the Tatty Devine Fangirl necklace I won at YALC (!!). I could wear a flannel shirt like Eleanor? No, okay, Eve. ONE OUTFIT HERE. Calm yourself.

3. Be this gif

admire someone gif

Just. I would make so many flustered hand movements to try and articulate how much I love all the books.

4. Talk to all the other Rainbow Rowell bookworms/Snowflakes

The name for the a Carry On fan is now officially a Snowflake. Hehe. (I think it comes from a mention of Cath visiting Snowflakes forums?) Anyway: flailing is WAY more fun with friends, and I’d love to meet up with fellow enthusiasts! XD

5. Ask a lot of questions about:

a) Diversity in YA What do you think is the next step for diversity in YA? As an author of both adult and YA books, do you feel representation is different in those genres?
b) The Eleanor & Park movie Eek, what’s the current situation!? ❤
c) Carry On locations CAN WE SET UP A SIMON SNOW MERCHANDISE SHOP IN WATFORD? Genuinely. I would happily work in it.

6. Bring my wheelbarrow of books up to be signed

Not my Kindle, though… I wouldn’t actually bring all of my books, because that would take forever and also I don’t think I would actually be allowed. It took me a while to stack up the 13 for the title photo. XD (HOW DID I GET 13 FROM 5 BOOKS DAMMIT.) Hopefully I can get my pretty special editions signed, though!

7. NOT ask what the three words are

I guess it would be nice to know what they meant? But I feel like I’m way less bothered than a lot of people. When I finished the book, that wasn’t the first thing on my mind — and we saw Park’s reaction, so I don’t think it’s anything awful. Plus: Rainbow would never tell us!

Hopefully I will get to actually carry on out this list someday. I am wishing really hard that this list doesn’t seem weird. (Also: I was also talking Carry On with Michelle, An Overthinking Teenager, and Evi, so BLAME THEM.) (Not really. I love you guys. :P)

Which authors would you like to meet? Have you been to any great author events? 🙂

Desert Island Books #1: Carry On by Rainbow Rowell

Welcome to Night Vale Desert Island Books! That is, an unofficial spin-off where instead of choosing my six discs and a book for my desert island trip, I choose the six discs I think you need to actually survive that book choice. Because books are painful. XD

Please ignore that weird fumble right at the start aah I do not have software to edit For the inaugural episode — hopefully the first of a few more? — I chose my six songs for Carry On by Rainbow Rowell. (If you don’t know what Desert Island Discs is, it’s a radio programme where celebrities choose six-now-eight songs and a book they want to take to a desert island. And then talk a lot about their life.) And I have a lot of feelings about Carry On, as, um, I’m sure plenty of you know. I hope you enjoy, and let me know what you think of this: did you enjoy it? Should I continue it? Any suggestions to make? 🙂

October Favourites!

october faves

October is now… Octover. (Hush. Let me quote stupid Tumblr posts in peace.) Still: November! The month of NaNoWriMo! And 2016 is in 2 months! This is so weird!

1. Hamilton *flings open window* I AM NOT THROWING AWAY MY SHOTTT So, everyone on Tumblr was talking about this musical. It sounds like it shouldn’t work — uh huh, a hip-hop opera about the founding fathers of America? I guess? — but IT TOTALLY DOES. It’s awesome. The lyrics, guys. (I think I just really like musicals about dead revolutionaries, full stop. History is always improved by overdramatic singing.)

2. Always Human by walkingnorth I hadn’t really been reading any good webcomics lately… UNTIL I FOUND THIS ONE! And it’s an adorable sci fi thing with girls falling in love and awesome art and asfdjkl did I mention how cute it is. Seriously. Go read it nooow. (I started reading it in summer? But then it got taken down so it could be featured in October. And now it’s updating again, yay!)

3. In Perfect Light by Benjamin Alire Saenz Yep, it’s the author of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Universe… It turns out he has written a bunch of other, seriously awesome books. Like, wow. The best book I’ve read in ages. His writing style from Ari and Dante definitely shows through here too. I mean, I definitely enjoyed that, but I think I liked this one more. I have zero idea why people aren’t all over it because WOW CHARACTERS AND POETIC WRITING DAAAMN. *whispers* I loved it.

4. MCM Comic Con Yes. That is a pack of tea with the Doctor on the front. A HAUL POST IS COMING! But I wore my Penny Bunce cosplay and spent too much money and the world was in its rightful nerdy place. *nods*

5. The Big Lie by Julie Hearn It’s Britain, but if the Nazis had won WW2. Plus political disobedience, queer characters, and awesome writing. ‘Tis good.

6. Carry On by Rainbow Rowell AHAHAHA. No surprise here. My love affair with Watford is no secret. ❤ Carry On was a little different to what I expected — and not perfect, but I totally loved it. ALL MY SMALL MAGES, WHY DO YOU PINE SUCH. *shakes head* (Though, people: Carry On is not Cath’s fanfiction. It’s not designed to be in her style, or in the style of fic.)

7. Oceans by Lauren Aquilina Yep. Lauren’s new EP aah! Her style has definitely grown since her last EP, and I’m so in love with it. 🙂 I also got a SIGNED CD. And a POSTER WITH MY NAME ON IT!! I’m totally cool! not omg Lauren SIGNED MY EP

Stuff from around the internet:

  • This month my top posts were Should We Judge Books By Their Authors?, I Am a Person Too and Poetry: Ashore.
  • It was asexual awareness week! I was hoping to write, like, an actual blog post rather than a few links but… I was pretty disorganised, and life got in the way. You should totally visit the site though, and here is cute comic drawn for last year’s ace awareness week which I think explains asexuality myths nicely. (Sorry, but A does not stand for Allies.)
  • It was the Les Mis 30th Anniversary! I didn’t get tickets to a show or anything, but. There you go. It was on the same day as the Carry On UK release, weirdly. Speaking of:
  • There were a lot of Rainbow Rowell interviews, because, well. CARRY ON WAS RELEASED ASDFJKL
  • There’s going to be a new Solitaire novellaaaa.
  • Evi @ Adventuring Through Pages shared her Raven Cycle character playlists.
  • Okay, I was really bad at reading blogs this months. I’m really sorry. And I’ll probably be bad at it next month too because NaNo. UGHHH.

In the diary:

  • I got a haircut! I don’t normally take selfies, but I thought this one was nice, so: here, my new short hair. 🙂

  • Sooo I started attending a Japanese club at school with my friend. I mean, I’m progressing rather slowly because it’s just one lunchtime a week, but we’re trying to learn some out of school too. (And I might be going to Japan soon! I actually haven’t been back since I left when I was about six, so I am VERy EXCITED OMG.)
  • I went train-hopping, finally — I just ended up riding the Tube until I got to a nice station, and then sat down and did some writing. Okay, I know that sounds like the literal craziest thing ever but I’ve wanted to do that for ages.

If you didn’t see my moany and/or panicked tweets, I’m doing NaNoWriMo this month! Weirdly, this is my third year — even though it still feels so new. I’m hoping to get some decent writing done, but it does mean that I’m probably not going to be around the blogging community as much. I’ll (hopefully) see you guys on the other side, though, hehe. 😉

How was your month? Did you do anything for Halloween? Is anyone else doing NaNoWriMo?

7 Reasons Carry On is Going to Be Awesome

carry on awesome

In case you missed the numerous incidents of fangirling, I’m a really big fan of Rainbow Rowell’s meta-series Simon Snow. It was absolutely CRAZY when she announced that she was writing a real book based on Simon and Baz and all the inhabitants of Watford. Now that the cover and (slightly ominous subtitle) have been announced, I thought it was time to tell you guys all the reasons that Carry On is set up to be the awesomest thing in the universe.

1. Simon and Baz are going to be in love. Obviously, this is a pleasing thing. Who doesn’t want their ship to be canon? 😛 But I’m also really pleased that it wasn’t passed up and relegated to subtext or snippets of Cath’s fanfiction. (See, I speak the truth!) I don’t know, I just feel like some things (coughSherlockcough, however much I love the show) string shippers along a bit.

2. There’s going to be some actual content to write fanfic from. Hurrah! The amount of Simon Snow canon is frankly miserable. Many details have had to be made up by the members of the fandom. Naturally, we’re going to need some fic to sustain us beyond October, and with luck Carry On will boost that a little. (I’m also not too sure if Pegatha is going to be a thing in Carry On, so I need that too.)

3. It shows that genre-hopping is 100% okay. I really have to rack my brain to think of an author who has made such a radical jump as the one from contemporary to fantasy. Rainbow’s said that whilst she reads and watched a lot of fantasy, she’s never written it – it’s a wonderful thing that an established author has the courage to do this!

4. And also that JK Rowling has not patented the ‘magic school’ trope. It’s hard to deny that there are Simon Snow/Harry Potter parallels. They exist. Rainbow ships Drarry. But if you want to take a look at this great post, hopefully you can see that they are different. Rainbow’s said that she just considers it to be straight-up fiction.

5. Plus that authors can do whatever the cheesecake they want with their writing. Carry On is, like, a book from a book within a book. THIS GENRE-SMASHING IS EPIC, GUYS.

6. It’s still a story with it’s roots in the fandom. Whilst Rainbow has said that she’d just like it considered as straight-up fiction, it’s also true that it has some connections with fanfic. After all, that was a big part of Fangirl. Fanfic can sometimes be shunned by people (go read this for why it’s awesome!) and it’s just nice to see a mainstream novel not doing that. Rainbow is a really cool fannish author and….BLEURGH. Simon Snow is a cool fandom to be in.

7. For once, the crazy hopes of the fandom are actually coming true! There was rumour-mongering. There were small hopes. Many people thought it was a little bit doomed. But no! This time, the crazy rumours are actually coming true. Authors, take note. 😉

What, were you doubting my ability to write an entire post on a book not yet published? O YE OF LITTLE FAITH. 😛 Hopefully you are now all sufficiently persuaded to buy and read the wonderful Fangirl, if you haven’t already. And also to pre-order Carry On, because it’s never to early.

Do I spot any fellow Simon Snow fans out there? If so, do feel free to discuss/flail with me. Otherwise: WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR? 😉

Bookish Bingo and Carry On

Bookish bingo

Let’s start with the sane part of this post, shall we?

Bookish Bingo November

I’ve been participating in the Fall/Winter edition of Bookish Bingo, hosted by Great Imaginations. You can find the books that I read in October here! The books that I ticked off this month were these:

Historical: Scarlet by AC Gaughen
Set in New Orleans: Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. It was a re-read, but…does it count? *shrugs*
Horror: The Mist in the Mirror by Susan Hill. I read it for school, and I can now tell you all about the literary devices in the extract ‘The Chapel’. -_-
Red Cover: Walkabout by James Vance Marshall
Snow on Cover: Here’s where it gets confusing. This one is My True Love Gave to Me, edited by Stephanie Perkins. It used to be on a different square, but I replaced it with Winter Town. (I’m in it to win it, okay? :P)
Birds on cover: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Set during Christmastime: Winter Town by Stephen Emond. (This was the one that replaced My True Love Gave to Me!)
Set in space: A Confusion of Princes by Garth Nix. Not my usual fare (it was both my first sci-fi and my first Garth Nis novel) but it was enjoyable nonetheless.
Witches: Burn Mark by Laura Powell

At the moment, I’m reading Black Spring by Alison Croggon (poet and author of that wonderful high fantasy series) and I’m loving it. A lot of GR reviews complain that it’s plagiarised from Wuthering Heights, which it was based on, so if Wuthering Heights is anything like this then I WANT TO READ IT. Except I’ll have to hide it from  my mum, because I have a long-standing vendetta against reading Pride and Prejudice (one of her favourites) and this would undoubtedly compromise my position.


Now, onto the rather more…let’s say, panicked part of today: RAINBOW ROWELL’S NEW BOOK IS GOING TO BE CARRY ON!  Yes, based on Simon Snow in Fangirl! I know that Simon Snow is basically just fake Harry Potter, but I can’t help myself. Plus, there’s going to be a(nother) special edition of Fangirl with an excerpt from it coming out May. It comes in three different colours and includes fan art from various tumblr artists.

yay merida

I already have three editions of Fangirl, but I’m seriously considering increasing that number. Seriously. Such is the life of a book addict.

Have you read any of the books I ticked off this month? What are your thoughts on Carry On? I’d love to know!