Saturday, 30 June 2018

Book Review: Autoboyography

Hey guys! In this week's blog I'm going to be reviewing Christina Lauren's Autoboyography. Christina Lauren is actually the pen name for two authors called Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings who have co-written several novels together.


Autoboyography is about a teen called Tanner who lives in Provo and is finishing college. His best friend, Autumn, convinces him to join the Seminar where they have to write a book within four months. In the previous class, Sebastian, who is now the TA in Tanner's class, wrote a book the semester before and is now writing his second.

Tanner is bisexual and comes from a very accepting family (you'll be see plenty of Pride bumper stickers and PJs from his parents), but since moving from Palo Alto, Tanner's parents have sworn he keeps his sexuality to himself as everyone in the town is Mormon. This includes Sebastian, who Tanner has a crush on.

Soon, Tanner is struggling to write his story without including Sebastian in and his feelings overcome him. Will Tanner's feelings for Sebastian be reciprocated? Or will this go down in flames?


I have so much to say about this book because it's been on my TBR pile for ages. I finally bought it (I'll admit the cover convinced me) and I instantly fell in love with the characters, especially Autumn, who I strongly believe needs her very own book in my opinion. She's so lovable and intriguing.

In my opinion, I didn't really warm to Sebastian but by the end I was totally smitten with the two of them! I enjoyed the plot of the book because it was centered around LGBT characters and creative writing. Although the Seminar didn't seem to play a big part at first, by the end it's the key element that makes this story beautiful. (You'll also love Fujita, the teacher.)

I was dubious about this read at first because there is so much religion within it and since I'm an atheist, I wasn't interested in reading about God or his plans for His Children. But I was pleasantly surprised that the book was written mostly about Sebastian's religion and didn't mock it in any way or try to 'recruit' people. Tanner's mum was brought up LDS and she had bad experiences with her parents and even though she absolutely hates the church, she welcomes Sebastian in with open arms. Also, everyone needs parents like Tanner's. They are so accepting and supportive, yet concerned about their children. It's the perfect balance - not overbearing but just the right amount of worried.

Also, Tanner is such a babe. That's right, I said it. He reminds me of myself (wow, smug) - creative but lacking the inspiration, falls head over heels in love and overthinks way too much. If he was any more confident or needy, he'd be annoying but he's actually the perfect amount of Tanner.

Sebastian's parents aren't open minded but this book doesn't portray them as being 'evil' or 'nasty,' but instead, they are seen as being brought up within such a tight knit, judgmental environment. Christina Lauren doesn't pass judgement on anyone in the book; but it's common sense to let people be themselves and that's what this story is trying to convey.

If you love LGBT+ novels and cheesy gestures, then you'll love this read. It's super easy to read and the characters are just so lovable.

I need to go make a petition for Christina Lauren to write a novel about Autumn Green. Go read this wonderful book now!

Until next time, love Vee x

Saturday, 23 June 2018

The Effect Idols Have On Mental Health

Hey guys. In this week's blog I'm going to be talking about the effect idols have on mental health, both in negative and positive ways. I'll be discussing my idol and how she helped me get through tough times but I will also be talking about the negative effect idols can have on fans.

Mental Health and Magazines

As a lot of campaigns and people have brought up the issue of models in magazines and unhealthy expectations due to airbrushing, I thought I would talk about this as well. I don't read magazines - mainly because I can't stand the amount of ads but also because of the unhealthy diets and "summer body goals" you read in them.

These set negative expectations for young girls and boys and even I have been affected by the airbrushing in magazines - they make you feel like you aren't good enough. These are clever marketing ploys to try to get you to buy a certain product or motivate you to become an unhealthy weight so you can buy that great dress you've been eyeing up in Vogue for months.

These models and magazine editors can cause - if not intentional - teens to feel inadequate and can contribute to mental health issues such as eating disorders, depression or even anxiety. It may be easy to say to someone "Oh, well don't look if it upsets you" but in this world these airbrushed  models and unhealthy diets are everywhere you turn - bus stop ads, online ads, shopping sites, magazines or even posters. These things are everywhere and although some fashion sites show the true bodies of women and men (like Missguided), there are still loads out there airbrushing and making teens and even adults feel guilty about their bodies.

I doubt there will be a time when these ads and body goals disappear, but I hope that you can be strong enough to realize that your body is unique to you and it's capable of amazing things; you don't have to be a size 8 to be "accepted" in society's eyes and you certainly don't need to prove anything to anyone. Be the amazing you you are!

My Role Model

Since I was around 7/8 years old I've been a fan (die hard fan) of Taylor Swift for a number of reasons. I first heard her song "Love Story" in the car park of a local Sainsbury's and when I came home I googled the lyrics to try to find it. Ever since, I've bought all of her albums, had merch bought for me at Christmas and even made my own Instagram fan page (pastel.swift if anyone is interested...).

It wasn't just her lyrics that reeled me in (although they are amazing. Seriously, go listen to All Too Well right now) but her story; she had grown up on a Christmas tree farm and had been bullied at school. She was different from the other kids and came to realize with age that this was a good thing that made her who she is today.

Through the years I've endured depression and severe anxiety where I couldn't even leave the house at one point. If someone had hurt me or I was upset or severely depressed, I'd listen to her music, sing along, let my anger out at the high pitched notes and cried along with the sad love songs. I knew she was always there for me even if she couldn't physically be. Her words stopped me from harming myself and when I wasn't strong enough she would pull me back to reality or sometimes let me live in her fantasies.

There are good role models out there, whether it's your parents, a celebrity or a public figure. I know I will always look up to Taylor because of her words, the way she acts with fans and the way she owns who she is and doesn't care what others think.

After years of crying over missed concert, I've finally bought myself tickets and by the time this is published I will be getting ready for the tour I've always wanted to go on. I can't wait to see my idol live and I hope one day I can thank her for everything she has done for me.

Until next time, love Vee x

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Pride Month - My Story

Hey guys. Happy Pride Month! How are you celebrating?

This blog is going to be a little different this month as I talk about my experiences in the LGBT+ community. I will also be sharing some events that are going on in the UK this year for anyone wanting to celebrate Pride.

My LGBT+ Story

I don't like to put labels on people or myself because I don't believe I should put myself in a box. But I also like having some sort of label there so that I know who I am and can better explain it to people. I hope that makes sense! I'm pansexual which means I'm attracted to people regardless of their gender. I prefer using this label instead of bisexual as that seems to mean you are attracted to both genders. I may have got that wrong, but it makes sense for me to call myself pansexual.

I was never really exposed to the idea that my sexuality was anything but straight; I knew about gay people but it wasn't until I was in my teens and met my partner that I looked into all the different sexualities and genders. I started to experiment and found that I felt more masculine than feminine. I went for a few months buying boy's clothing, cut all my hair off and tried to hide my chest as much as possible.

After a while I started to miss my hair, missed my clothes and thought to myself, what if I'm not trans after all? I then started to think I may be genderfluid. This means that a person feels more masculine than feminine or more feminine than masculine on some days. I found this confusing at first but also read into non-binary. Non-binary means that a person feels like neither gender and dresses how they feel. I believe a part of me is still considering all these labels but for now, I'm going to go with the flow and see how I feel without putting myself in a box.

Feel free to share your LGBT+ stories below!

Pride Events

There are always Pride events going on but June and July are the best times to go - especially since it's Summer! Get your glitter on and dance like no one is watching at these fabulous events going on across the country 💗 See all events here.

If you don't feel comfortable going to Pride yet or you're not out to your family, then try hosting your own Pride event with a few friends. Have people over, order in a pizza and watch your favourite LGBT+ programme.  I hope your Pride Month is amazing, regardless of what you get up to.

That's all for now! See you next week. Love, Vee x

Saturday, 9 June 2018

5 Ways Books Make You Rich

Hi guys. This week's blog is all about how books make us rich and not in the monetary sense of the word. Have a look at the 5 ways books make you rich and add some of your own in the comments if I forget anything.

Knowledge is Power

Books give us knowledge and the power to use words - either for good or bad reasons. As J.K Rowling wrote: "Words are in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it."


We all need comfort, whether it's from family and friends or from characters in books and the stories that authors tell. Books are an invaluable source of comfort for any bookworm and they will always be there for you when you feel alone.


It may be similar to knowledge but strength is absorbed from books and the morals within them. Books give us the strength to stand up to people, to tell someone we love them; to seize the day. To me, that's what a book is all about.

Role Models

Role models are an important part of any book - every person in the world needs to look up to someone, whether that person's fictional or non fictional. Some people look up to Katniss Everdeen for courage whereas others look up to Luna Lovegood for being her authentic, quirky self.


As readers, we often read a book and don't think twice about the author unless they're well known or we want to read more of their work. However, authors are an important part of the world we live in because if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't have stories to brag about on Insta or bookshelves of stories to read when we need someone to be their for us. Authors make us rich by giving us the stories we crave; the stories the world needs.

I hope you enjoyed this list but please feel free to add your own ways that books make you rich. Until next time, Vee x

Wednesday, 6 June 2018

Book Review: Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah

Hey guys! I hope you're all well and enjoying June so far. In this post I'm going to be reviewing Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah which was written by David Levithan and Rachel Cohn. If you've read my blog before you'll know I'm a massive fan of Levitan's and that I met him at the YA Extravaganza at Waterstones in London.

First off, let me just say that I've read Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist which was also co-written by Levithan and Cohn and I was not impressed. David's side of the story was written well as always but I did not enjoy Rachel's writing in the slightest. It was so easy to tell who had written what. I've never seen so much profanity through an entire book.

But this time, I was satisfied with what I was reading and both authors' writing was on point and flowed easily. I bought Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah at the Waterstones event for David to sign and I was dubious about whether this book would be better or worse than Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist. However, I was pleasantly surprised about how much I was getting into this book, even though I don't usually like stories that take place in one night.

Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah takes place at their grandmother's apartment at the Stanwyck where they are hosting their last dinner party before the apartment is sold. Sam and Ilsa are allowed to invite three guests each but mustn't tell each other who. Full of mystery, life lessons and realizations, this book will definitely take you on a whirlwind of emotions and weirdness - especially when you meet Caspian the sock puppet.

I enjoyed meeting the characters as they arrived at the dinner party. I liked the fact David and Rachel crammed so much backstory into the book without the book being dull. There's a lot of information about all the guests to absorb and the way both authors collaborated and made it work was very well done. Even Cohn's character, Ilsa, reminded me of myself; I try to make everyone think I'm such a badass and I have everything figured out but inside I'm really a mess and trying to figure life out.

The fact that Sam's sexual orientation isn't a big deal makes the book even better in my opinion; times are moving on and we should be writing about all genders and sexual orientations without making it the sole premise of books. I know that it's important to have novels that focus on coming out and gender identity, but really, it shows that we are moving on by incorporating them into books without it being the only exciting thing.

Although Ilsa finds something out about herself, the authors do not let this consume the entire plot of the story. There is talk of labels not being important and I think more authors need to take this approach to writing to make teenagers feel less pressure in deciding on what to call their identity or sexual orientation.

I highly recommend this book and it won't take you long to read either. Let me know in the comments if you have read or are planning to read Sam and Ilsa's Last Hurrah and what you thought about it. Until next time, Vee x

Saturday, 2 June 2018

Audiobook Month

Hi there guys, Vee here! June is Audiobook Month and to celebrate it, I wanted to write a blog post for you all. I will be talking about ways to celebrate audiobooks, where to buy them and I'll be asking you your opinion on them.

How to Celebrate Audiobook Month

There are plenty of ways to celebrate Audiobook Month including the obvious: listening to audiobooks. But there are more ways including hosting a "Readathon" with friends or in your own book club. Host an event at your house or at your local library and bring cake and make a day of it. Make sure everyone is interested in the book though!

If you're looking for more of a relaxed way of celebrating the month, then simply listen to audiobooks on your way to work or in your room - it may be a good way to unwind after a hard day.

You could write a blog post, like me, about how you're celebrating Audiobook Month and what your favourites are.

You could host a bookish giveaway on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook where the entrants need to tell you their favourite book and share your post in order to enter. This also boosts your social media traffic - or even blog traffic if you decide to host it on your blog.

Audiobooks Vs Physical Books

I've seen lots of posts about how audiobooks don't count towards reading as you're listening. I think this is why I struggle with them as I always feel like I'm not working towards my reading goal. But ultimately, you are taking the time to listen to them and, as a bonus, it relieves stress. You are reaching your goal because when you finish listening, you have finished that book, regardless of whether you're listening or reading.

I'm more comfortable with reading books the traditional way and I still struggle with reading on my iPad because I'm so used to the physical thing. But Audiobooks are a blessing in so many ways. They aren't too time consuming and you can listen while you're at work or doing chores. Because no one wants to walk into something while they're reading!

I confess I've only listened to a few audiobooks and these are the Series of Unfortunate Events discs which my mum bought me as a child (I still listen to them!). One problem I found as a child (but a blessing to my mum) is that I would always fall asleep and miss a few chapters.

I will always love physical books more than anything but I'm thinking of subscribing to an audiobook app for convenience. This brings me onto my next topic which is...

Audiobook Sites

I'm going to be giving you a brief overview of some audiobook sites that I think you may enjoy perusing!


Scribd is a site you pay to read books and audiobooks on and they offer a free 30 day trial for you to see if you like it . You can cancel this trial at any time. You can browse and read a range of books from contemporary to political, audiobooks and magazines.

If you would like to check out their website, just click here. They also have a really beautiful Instagram feed full of bookish photos and quotes if you want to take a look here.

Similar to Scribd, allows you to have a 30 day free trial and they give you your first book for free. However, after your trial you'll be given one book each month for £7.99 but you can buy additional credits if you want to listen to more.

You can download the app on iOS and Android for free. You can listen to books on your laptop, smartphone or tablet. You can cancel your subscription at any point.


Audible is an Amazon company that has over 200,000 books to choose from. And you get your first book for free, regardless of price.

Audible offers a similar package to and gives you a 30 day free trial and after that it's £7.99 a month. You can cancel this at any time. The app is free to download and the books will be waiting in your library.

Perks include:

  • You get to keep any books even if you cancel your membership
  • You can exchange audiobooks for free
  • Receive 70% off additional audiobooks if you're an exclusive member
  • Members can get unlimited listening to short audio programs  

Let me know in the comments below your opinion on audiobooks and how you'll be celebrating Audiobook Month.

Don't forget to follow my Facebook page and Instagram. Until next time, Vee x