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Hello Carry On fans! I have made a very limited amount of prints of my art work “He said we’d be stars” and I am not sure when or if I will be making more so if you wanna get your hands on it, now is the time (only three left). Also if y’all could reblog this it would really help me out! Thanks! ^^

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I’m honestly so scared for the day I’m “too old” to read YA/ I don’t relate to the characters anymore. I just can’t stand the thought of being older than these incredible characters and the thought that I’ve passed their age - like I don’t want to be 40 and reading them but I love it so so much. You feel?

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MUSIC MONDAYS:

A series where I recommend a book, review it, and create a short playlist to give a sense of what the book is about.

This review may contain spoilers.

This book has a lot of trigger warnings–physical abuse, mental & emotional abuse, self-harm, drug and alcohol abuse, toxic relationships, and depression.


This week’s feature is an emotional handful. Girl in Pieces by Kathleen Glasgow is potentially one of the saddest and most mentally exhausting books I’ve ever read. Charlie, the protagonist, is a teenager who has had the misfortune of being raised in an abusive and neglectful household. Add to this, her personal life beyond her mother’s control isn’t any better. Years of abuse have left her quiet and so full of unsaid emotions that she feels empty at the same time. How can she cope when she feels too full with her emptiness and loneliness? She cuts. 

Like I said, this book is heavy. 

The story begins with Charlie being in a place that attempts to help her, or at least to the point where the fog sort of lifts. The synopsis doesn’t say much about this aspect of the story, but despite Charlie’s heavy experiences, there are moments where other characters offer bits of advice. While Charlie may not be able to process the help and advice being given to her the way we wish her to, I feel that these interactions might be meant more for the reader who may be relating to Charlie’s struggles.

You can’t help but want to guide Charlie as she fights to find a place of calm in her new reality. As a result, it personally hurts every time she makes a decision that you know will only set her back. Part of the pain comes from her acknowledging that what she’s doing is toxic and setting her back in her recovery, yet she still continues down these paths. 

One of the most prominent and problematic aspects of this book (where essentially the true heart of Charlie’s mental health is brought to light) is her relationship with Riley. Not only is the relationship extremely inappropriate, but it is a whole other level of toxic. I found it sort of depressingly interesting how Glasgow manages to show us the parallels of Riley’s situation and Charlie’s own decisions. She shows us that there are various ways of letting an addiction destroy you. Charlie is addicted to Riley because she seeks comfort and the company of someone who can offer her love (or what pretends to be love), and Riley is addicted to everything else and his own self-destruction. 

Some might call this book emotionally manipulative, and I understand that, but for some people situations like these have been/are a reality. It’s important to showcase stories that don’t mirror the happy and naive popular storylines of today. Raw stories, when done well, offer an insight into how others live and handle situations that are sometimes seen as taboo, or aren’t discussed frequently in pop culture. For example, there are several instances in this book where characters pretend to know what Charlie is struggling with, but then belittle her experiences because of her age or appearance. Those moments were so emotionally disturbing because you, as the reader, are privy to Charlie’s experiences.

What I loved that Glasgow did, however, is that despite the disparity in Charlie’s world; despite her belief that everyone leaves and that she will never find love (romantic or familial), Charlie is not alone. She isn’t ignored or left behind. While she professes that she is a watcher of those around her because she is used to shrinking herself down until no one sees her, it is ironic that she’s the one not noticing others notice her. There is an underlying tone of hope in the unreliable narrative that Charlie is telling us and that, to me, is a bit of a silver lining in this book.  

I would recommend this because it explores such important and strong topics without sugar coating anything. If the topics listed above are triggers for you, I would strongly recommend reading more about this book before giving it a shot. Charlie does not have an easy life, or past, and her recovery, or road to attempted recovery, is riddled with potholes. 


My Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Age Recommendation: 16+

Genres: Contemporary, Abuse, Mental Health, Toxic Romance

Add it to your Goodreads here.

See the playlist on Spotify here.


The Playlist & Why I Chose this Music:

1. Take it All by Adele

One of the hard things about this playlist was picking songs that had messages that reflected on Charlie’s life experiences, but also offered some hope. With this song, I’m hoping to showcase Charlie’s toxic relationship with Riley and how, despite her attempts to make her relationship work, she has to realize that sometimes the best thing to do is to just give up what makes her recovery difficult or impossible. 

2. Praying by Kesha

When Charlie is faced with the possibility that healing doesn’t come as easily to others as she once believed, she is forced to understand that everyone needs a little more help than they let on. Kesha’s song, as soon as I heard it again while looking up songs for this playlist, felt like the perfect addition because of its rawness and offered strength. 

3. Bruises by Lewis Capaldi 

I picked this song as a reflection for one of the ghosts that haunts Charlie. Her past is riddled with darkness and pain, but one of her regrets weighs more heavily than others. This past event is like a bruise on her heart. This song is what I imagine I would hear while reading a passage where Charlie is thinking of this friend. 

4. Too Good at Goodbyes by Sam Smith

One of Charlie’s struggles is the concept that she is constantly abandoned by those she loves, or cares for. Sam Smith’s song felt fitting for this message.

5. Pieces by Rob Thomas 

This song, to me, describes a person who is struggling to keep the pieces of a person they love with them. They’re begging someone to not fall apart and shatter. While I read Girl in Pieces, I felt like this was my hope for Charlie. I knew her decisions would not end well for her, or for her healing. I hoped for her and this song feels like it was written specifically for this character. 

6. Million Reasons by Lady Gaga

When I heard this song it made me think of Charlie’s struggle to not self-harm when her emotions became too heavy. As her world slowly crumbles, it’s like everything becomes a new reason for her to fight off her need to hurt herself. 

7. Hurt by Johnny Cash

Trigger warning for this song. This is probably the most obvious song of the lot. This is the one song that played in my head the moment I finished Glasgow’s novel. Cash’s rendition of this song is haunting. But this song doesn’t just work for Charlie, but also for Riley, who seems to always be chasing that next escape from whatever demons he carries. 


Happy reading!

WIP Idea: Dry Pillows
Genre: Young Adult, Coming of Age 
Themes: Father-Son relationships, toxic masculinity 

Jaime has just graduated from college and decided to take a small break before setting off to search for a job. He will be staying at Hayworth Island - his family’s private island - with his dad on their estate for a month. He is going to see his father after 5 years and he has no idea how to tell him he’s asexual. 

Everything changed once Jaime’s mother left his dad for another man. His dad sent him away to an all boys boarding school, and from there he went off the college. Jaime hasn’t seen his brother Jason in 5 years either. And his dad isn’t ready to tell him what happened. Is his brother okay? Where is he? 

Anthony - Jaime’s father - often carries the weight of the entire world on his shoulders. He can’t be the father they want, or else they’ll go soft, and end up like him. Gullible and easily betrayed. Jason got in trouble, but Jaime can’t know that, or else he could break his son’s heart. He can’t know the things Anthony has done to keep the family from tearing itself into pieces. 

Father and son have been keeping secrets for so long, their almost strangers to each other. Jaime doesn’t have the courage to tell his dad about his sexuality and his doubts, Anthony doesn’t have the courage to tell the truth about his brother, or the cruel things that he has done over the years. 


Men often cry themselves to sleep at night, afraid the world will see their tears and presume them to be weak. They lash out, and pretend to feel nothing, so they can be more like ‘men’. The world is running out of dry pillows, and it is killing them from the inside. 

How beautiful is this cover?

I had a look around Gay’s The Word today, which I’ve read is, sadly, the only surviving LGBTQIA+ bookshop in the UK. It was great being around so many fiction and non-fiction queer books all in one place and I discovered so many I want to read! And it didn’t just have gay, lesbian and bi reads, but also sections for other sexualties like asexuality and ace 🏳️‍🌈

Do you ever get really thankful for all the books you’ve read? For all the worlds and stories and characters that have become a part of you? That there’s just this space of nostalgia inside you where you remember plots and twists, love stories and deaths, journeys you’ve taken between the spaces of a page and it just makes your heart swell. It’s part of why I love reading. You always get to carry pieces of those stories with you.

I know that the YA genre has still a ways to go before becoming truly perfect (if that’s even possible) but can we just acknowledge how far it’s come in just a few years? When I first got into it, when I was around 12/13, it was full of books like Twilight, Hush Hush, Vampire Academy, or The Fault in Our Stars: completely white and heterosexual, a lot displaying abusive relationships, misogynistic ideals, and/or racist tropes.

Now some of the most popular young adult novels are about a Black Snow White and a Chinese Cinderella, or women like a bisexual plus-size girl that’s still considered beautiful and badass by everyone who meets her and a brown girl with an incredibly deep backstory that’s usually reserved for white girls. A bisexual black guy with “superpowers” and a disabled boyfriend. We also have lesbian!Cinderella, lesbian!Hades and Persephone, a disabled MENA anti-heroine lead with a black romantic interest, a Chinese dystopian heroine, and another dystopian couple that includes two geniuses: a Native American girl and a Mongolian guy. A series inspired by West-African culture and religion. A reimagining of London where it’s brown/black people ruling. A magical, dystopian society where the heroine is a brown latina.

And that’s just off the top of my head! I’m not even thinking a lot about it! I read like half of those only this year. I KNOW that a lot of them are far from perfect, but do you guys know just how much all of this means?

Young Adult literature is always looked down on because it’s just that thing nerdy teen girls enjoy, and it’s hilarious to make fun of them, but do you know how much more enjoyable and relatable it’s becoming now, for TONS of them? YA lit has become one of the most diverse types of media out there, and despite the very real need for improvement, I’m just so happy to see it get better all the time! ~mod ara

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To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before Aesthetic: Peter Grant Kavinsky

Let’s do it fucking for real, Lara Jean. Let’s go all in. No more contract. No more safety net. You can break my heart. Do whatever you want with it.

@jennyhan

See also: Lara Jean Covey / Peter Kavinsky (Bonus) / Covinsky

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The OFFICIAL TRAILER for The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas popped up on Youtube 25 minutes ago. 

I. CAN’T. WAIT. 

Happy viewing!