The Space Between | Writing Update

Hello, it’s been a while!

If you’ve been around a little while you may have seen me mention a project called Mouse. Mouse was a verse novel I started working on around this time last year when my agoraphobia and depression were at their worst. Well, we’re now only 25 days away from the official publication day of Mouse, now called The Space Between!

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It’s been months but I still can’t quite believe it’s being published, especially by a publisher I adore so much. Little Island Books were my very first choice, my dream publisher, so even the fact that they liked my manuscript still baffles me!

I filled this book with everything that I had. It got me through being housebound with agoraphobia, anxiety and depression. It gave me somewhere to go when I disassociated. It gave me the words to open up to the people in my life about what was happening. Writing this story, Beth’s story, helped me work my way through my own and I am so, so proud of it.

It is also very gay, which makes me very happy.

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I’m so excited, so nervous and so happy that my little book baby will be out in the world soon.

If you’d like to pre-order The Space Between you can do so here or here.

If you want to add it on goodreads, here you go!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 9

Quick, everyone pretend it’s Monday!

Here’s what I read last week, it’s a mixed bag but overall I had a pretty good reading week. I may have even found a new favourite, ooh mysterious…

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Imaginary Fred by Eoin Colfer and Oliver Jeffers

I kicked off my month of Irish reading with a quick illustrated kids book, Imaginary Fred. I’m a recent Eoin Colfer convert having just fallen in love with Artemis Fowl (more on that in a min!) and have always had a deep, deep love for Oliver Jeffers.

Fun fact: Ci and I met him a few years ago and he doodled me a moose, it was an excellent moose.

Pretty much everything about this book had me hugging it to my chest and all but cooing over it. It’s beautiful, a wonderful story with a great message and just so much fun.

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Artemis Fowl: The Graphic Novel by Eoin Colfer and Andrew Donkin

Artemis Fowl was super popular when I was a kid. People in my school read and raved about it, it was always waiting on the shelf on my weekly thursday trip to the library and I knew it was about fairies. So even now I’m still confused as to why the heck I never read the series.

It’s by Irish author (and Laureate na nOg!) extraordinaire Eoin Colfer and set largely in Ireland so it seemed like the perfect addition to my March TBR. I was hyped, confident I would love it and more than ready to jump into Artemis’ world when the deal got even sweeter: I found out that the books have been adapted into graphic novels. If you’ve been reading my blog or subbed to my youtube for a while you’ll probably know I love graphic novels. They’re my favourite things to read and collect and I could ramble about them forever. So of course I immediately dove into the first graphic novel and adored it. It’s fun but never patronising, balances the light-hearted and heart-shattering aspects perfectly and features some gorgeous art and colours. And fairies.

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One by Sarah Crossan

One is written in free verse which has a special place in my heart and on my shelves. I love reading and writing free verse and novels written in that style almost always have an emotional and creative impact on me. But One took it a whole new level.

Grace and Tippi are teenage conjoined twins who are starting public school for the first time and have some big decisions to make. The story is told from Grace’s perspective and her voice is so clear and distinctive that it reads like a conversation with a friend. The book deals with tough family life, terminal illnesses, eating disorders and addiction as well as the difficulty of navigating a crush,the importance of friendship and how people can often be more than they first seem. I laughed, cried (a lot) and felt completely changed by the last page.

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Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

The only non-Irish book I’ve read so far this month was Fangirl, I started it at the end of February and didn’t finish before March 1st.

I have mixed feelings about Fangirl. On one hand it is incredibly relatable, Cath is starting college and her anxiety is definitely getting in the way. All she really wants to do is write Simon Snow fanfic (and her thousands of fans agree) but life has lots to chuck at her.

The book handled mental health relatively well, although I much preferred and was much more invested in another character’s journey as Cath’s mostly faded away after a few chapters. The fanfic sprinkled between chapters was wonderful, so much fun to read that eventually I mostly looked forward to the end of chapters so I could check in on Simon and Baz.

I was sometimes uncomfortable with how much the book relied on a love of Harry Potter (and really bothered by the mention of Harry Potter…why??) and used the nostalgia and love we already have instead of creating it’s own emotional impact. Basically, I finished Fangirl and immediately watched Harry Potter and had a cry about how much of my heart is in Hogwarts. So while Fangirl did illicit an emotional response, it had very little do with the book itself and everything to do with the dredging up of old Potterhead tendencies. Not that I mind, Potterhead for life.

 

What have you been reading?

Meg

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Márta | De Mhí ón Leabhar hÉireann

March | A Month of Irish Books

Fáilte!

Welcome to March! As I’m sure you know St. Patrick’s day is on the 17th of March which means parades, shamrock shakes and permission to break lent for a day (Dairy Milk overdose). For a lot of people it’s an opportunity to throw back a Guinness or ten and get up to some shenanigans but me being me I’ll probably be at home with tea, books and as much Cadbury’s as I can cram into the kitchen cabinets.

I love Ireland and I love being Irish. I love this beautiful country, it’s eclectic and mostly comprehensible accents, riveting history and slightly bonkers folklore. So I will of course be celebrating my country and heritage this month but I’ll be doing it here, on my blog!

I’m dedicating March to reading books by Irish authors, books published in Ireland, books illustrated by Irish artists. If it has an Irish connection, I’m in. I’ve spent the last few weeks planning posts and filling my shelves with a very Irish TBR. I’ll even be reading some books written in Irish, which is going to be quite the challenge seeing as I’m about as rusty as you can get.

I’m really, sincerely excited to jump into March and have a very Irish, very bookish adventure!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 8

Hello everyone! Welcome back to my weekly reading wrap up which I’ve now officially moved to Mondays. This week was a small one book-wise but I did face, battle and defeat the dreaded flu so I’m letting myself off easy!

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The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

Jasmine’s life revolves around her job and her sister so when she finds herself jobless and stuck on garden leave for a year she doesn’t know what to do with herself.

The Year I Met You has a really interesting narrative style and genuinely compelling characters. I loved the focus and deep study of so many different relationships within one life and the profound differences in the impact they each make. As always Cecelia Ahern’s writing is fluid and beautiful and her characters so layered they feel remarkably real.

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Everything Leads to You by Nina Lacour

Emi is finally finishing high high school and can focus on doing what she loves, set design for films. She’s talented, driven and has been given her brother’s apartment for the summer so long as she fulfils his one request: she must do something epic.

I literally just finished Everything Leads To You five minutes ago and I’ve already been struck down by every bookworm’s nemesis, the book hang-over. I adored every page, every character, every twist, every detail of this book and wish there were a thousand more pages. It was one of the first times I’ve ever read a YA book about a lesbian character that wasn’t doom, gloom and oh wow doesn’t coming out suck. Emi’s sexuality is handled perfectly and for the first time I could read about someone like me without feeling too aware of how we’re different. As a total lover of contemporary fiction I’ve always wanted a book that I could fully delve into without the awkward disconnect of ‘yes I’m sure he is dreamy but I just don’t care‘.

Emi’s relationships feel real, her passion almost tangible and her flaws realistic and relate-able. She’s talented but not perfect, gifted but still learning. The book handles tough themes with care and a soft touch, it’s never harsh or too painful but always resonates. It discusses privilege, race and class seamlessly.  I could go on and on forever but I’d hate to spoil it so I’ll leave it at this: this is one of my favourite books I’ve ever read.

What have you been reading? Let me know!

Meg

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Mermaid Thingamabooks

One of my biggest, most consuming fears is a heart-stopping, spine-tingling fear of water. As a kid I loved the sea, for a while we lived on the coast and I was completely infatuated with the ocean. I watched The Little Mermaid (and the sequel which I obsessed over and am now scared to watch in case it sucks) on a loop and dreamed of being brave enough to travel and see all of the weird and wonderful things hiding down there. But as I got older a major fear started growing. I felt it starting and developing, getting bigger and darker. Soon I couldn’t even really look at large bodies of water, boats made me want to throw up and hide under my bed and bridges were completely out of the question. I can’t even watch underwater scenes on screen without my chest starting to cave in on itself. While I’ve been assured that it’s a pretty standard effect of my strange little brand of anxiety I absolutely hate it. Aquariums? Nope. Driving close to a river? Nope. Titanic? Literally shut the hell up oh my gosh.

But besides the shaking and dizziness and chest-caving-in-feeling there is one ocean-related thing that not even the worst panic attack has been able to crack my love for. Mermaids.

I love mermaids. I love the cute ones and the evil ones and the lure-men-to-their-death ones. Mermaids are cool.

I love mermaids so much that I  have a whole wishlist of just mermaid related books. Yep. They range from kids books to YA love stories to mermaid mythology so I thought today I would share some of them with you!

The Tail of Emily Windsnap

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This is the first in a middle-grade series about a girl who has lived most of her life on a boat but never in the water. When she decides to learn to swim she discovers why her mother has kept her from the ocean her whole life. Spoiler alert: she’s a mermaid.

Every Emily Windsnap book is absolutely stunning and they sound like so much fun! I’m determined to read them all, I definitely would have swooned over this series when I was younger.

Mermaids: The Myths, Legends and Lore

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This had the potential to be a total cover buy because the second I saw it I NEEDED it. But it also sounds like a really interesting read that studies the mermaid lore of lots of different cultures.

This one is at the tippy-top of my wishlist!

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Lorali first caught my attention because the character’s names are Lorali and Rory and I am Gimore Girls trash through and through. But it also sounds like a really fun, unique read. Lorali is a mermaid who has washed up on a beach in the UK and found that it isn’t all beauty and fairytales. It promises mermaid royalty, pirates and little bit of punk and that sounds like everything I could ever want in a book.

You can see the rest of my mermaid-y wishlist (all 20!) here!

If you know of any I should add to my list please let me know!

Meg

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What I’ve Been Reading | Week 6 & 7

 

Hi everyone!

It’s been a little while and for that I sincerely apologize. A nasty flu pretty much shut my whole house down for a little while and we were all forced to surrender ourselves to snotty tissues, lemsip and an intense amount of soup. So, since I have two weeks of reading to fill you in on I’m gonna get started!

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BETWEEN THE LINES BY JODI PICOULT AND SAMANTHA VAN LEER

Having finished Between the Lines I feel pretty much the same as I did the last time I mentioned it, it was a cute fluffy read but relied too heavily on tropes. The love interest Oliver had a whole bunch of borderline creepy moments that made me not only uncomfortable but anxious for what the acceptance and romanticism of his behavior would tell younger readers. The end was surprising and clever but a little rushed and definitely had the potential to have much more of an emotional impact. The cute little doodles dotted here and there were a pretty nice touch though.

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HOW HARD CAN LOVE BE BY HOLLY BOURNE

I was pretty desperate to read this once I finished Am I Normal Yet?, which I loved. This one is about Amber who is very tall, a bit more than a bit bitter, drunk a little too often and off to America to see the mother who abandoned her when she needed her the most. I adored this book. I love Amber, I love her friends, I love her perspective and her feminism. I love Holly Bourne’s writing and I love the wit, care and love with which she handles the very real struggles of her characters. My only real issue with Am I Normal Yet? was that the feminism wasn’t as inclusive as it could and should be but I was so happy to see that this installment rectifies that and teaches even more excellent feminist ideology. I really wish these books had been around when I was still in school, I would have learned so much!

GHOST WORLD BY DANIEL CLOWES

During my indiemoviegirl faze I was a big fan of the film adaption of Ghost World. The graphic novel has been sitting on my shelf for a year now so I thought I’d finally give it a go and…it didn’t go well. Actually, that’s an understatement, I hated it. I hated the characterization, the inauthentic teen-girl voice, the writing and the cruelty. The art is nice but it’s the only positive I could find.

EDWARD SCISSORHANDS VOL 2: WHOLE AGAIN BY KATE LETH AND DREW RAUSCH

This one is a whole other story! I loved volume 1, I adore Kate Leth and I full-on swooned over this volume. The writing is on point, the characters are diverse and genuinely interesting, sexuality and gender-expression are casually and perfectly incorporated. I really can’t recommend this run enough.

THE YEAR I MET YOU BY CECELIA AHERN

The Year I Met You is about a woman named Jasmine who has just lost her job, found herself unable to work for a year and about to lose the plot. She’s hurt, frustrated and a little bitter. This is one of Cecelia Ahern’s more reality-based books and while it’s definitely a little slow it’s a captivating and insightful character study full of layered, flawed, diverse and fully realized characters.

TAKE IT AS A COMPLIMENT BY MARIA STOIAN

Take It As A Compliment is one of the best things I’ve read in quite a while. It’s a graphic novel that tells different people’s experiences of sexual harassment and assault. We see people of different gender-identity and sexuality tell their stories and all are given weight and importance, from cat-calling to rape. It’s devastating, harrowing and incredibly powerful. Obviously it comes with trigger warnings galore but if this is something you can read, you should.

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FURIOUSLY HAPPY BY JENNY LAWSON

I started listening to Furiously Happy because lately I’ve feeling a whole lot of furious and not so much happy and I needed something to cheer me up without acting like everything is cheery and peppy and ok. I picked the perfect book. It’s a genuinely funny book about sad things. It’s ruthlessly honest about how difficult and exhausting living with mental illness is but it’s one of the funniest books I’ve ever come across and I’m incredibly glad I found it when I did, it’s been brightening my days so much.

Let me know what you’ve been reading!

Meg

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Bookish Wish List

This morning didn’t exactly go to plan. Instead of productivity and a trip to the secondhand bookstore I ended up with a raging headache, a mini panic attack and a lot of free time. I don’t know about you but when I’m feeling down there’s only one thing to do: waste hours and hours looking at all of the cute stuff I can’t have! Here are some of the adorable bookish things I’ve had heart-eyes for this morning.

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Archive Got the Power Dress | Modcloth

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Mermaid for Each Other Bookends | Modcloth (Photo Credit)

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Bookish Throw Pillows | BookWorm Boutique

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Wall Tapestry | Bookworm Boutique

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The Restricted Section – Harry Potter Inspired Candle | The Melting Library

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Peter Pan Locket | MalteseMagpi

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Unicorns: The Myths, Legends & Lore | Book Depository

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Just Read mug | Evie Seo

Meg

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