I’m Another Year Older! HELP!! // April Monthly Wrap Up

wrapup

I wish I had a way to start these wrap up posts with something other than: “CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS MONTH IS OVER???” but I don’t so…… Can you believe April is over?  I turned another year older on the 12th and I don’t like it one bit πŸ˜‚ 

Unfortunately, despite the fact that April was my birthday month, I bought no physical copies of books this month 😒.  So let’s just jump into what I read!

booksread

I had a very mixed reading month in April. I read a bunch of amazing books, but I also read a few that I had a lot of issues with. I also participated in A Very ARC-ish Readathon where I managed to read 5/7 of the books I mentioned so I’m counting that as a win  πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ I also dedicate to participate last minute in Dewey’s 24 Hour Readathon. It was the first readathon I participated in so I thought I’d do it again. My only plan was to finish Shatter Me which I did, so! I also ended up reading Bone  too so again I’m counting it as a win πŸ™ŒπŸ»

5 Stars

The Upside of Unrequited love, and you

The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli – This was my favourite read of the month and just thinking about it now is making me so happy. I read this on my birthday and I wasn’t in a good head space, but this book helped me feel SO MUCH BETTER. I love Molly to pieces and I relate to her so much. I wish I had this book when I was 16 because it would have made me feel so much more comfortable with my body. This book also mentioned the medication I take and seeing it there without any negative connotations was so good. THERE IS SO MUCH WONDERFUL DIVERSITY IN THIS BOOK. GO READ IT RIGHT NOW!!!!!!! TBH, I think I enjoyed this even more than I enjoyed Simon.

love, & you by Gretchen Gomez – I’m sure everyone knows how much I LOVE THIS. You can see my full review here. Gretchen is such a wonderful person and I’m so happy that she wrote this.

4 Stars

Difficult Women The Girl on the Train Daughters Unto Devils

Difficult Women by Roxane Gay – This was a wonderful short story collection of feminist stories about women that society would often view as “annoying” or as the title states: “difficult”. I really enjoyed this, but there are A LOT of trigger warnings. Especially for rape. I thought there was quiet a bit of slut shaming too, which didn’t sit right.

The Girl on The Train by Paula Hawkins – One of my friends read this last month so I decided to finally get to it and I quite liked it! It definitely wasn’t perfect and it seems a bit strange that I gave this and Strange the Dreamer 4 stars because they’re WORLDS APART but, I read this super quick and I didn’t guess the twist until right before it was revealed. I thought Rachel was a great unreliable narrator.

Daughters Unto Devils by Amy Lukavics – So you all know that I say I NEVER get scared by horror novels….. Well this changed that. This was one of the most unsettling things I’ve ever read. I LOVED IT. I read it at night in the dark and it made the experience so wonderful. This isn’t going to be for everyone, but if you like subtle horror over “jump scare” horror then I definitely recommend it. It is a bit slow and does have an open ending though, but I felt like it worked well. Trigger warnings for: gore, blood, miscarriage 

Bone Gap Strange the Dreamer bone

Bone Gap by Laura Ruby – I finally got around to reading this magical realism and I loved it to pieces. I think I’m in love with Roza. It was a bit slow at times, but that’s to be expected with magical realism. I thought it was so interesting. I need to review this one, so I’ll try and have that up soon!

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – One of the most magical, unique and creative YA Fantasies that I’ve read in a REALLY long time. So incredibly dreamlike, but also super intricate. Took me FOREVER to read, but I loved it. I have a full review here.

bone by Yrsa Daley-Ward – Decided to read this because I grabbed it for free on Kindle. It was a very hard hitting collection of raw and honest poetry and vignettes. Again, lots of trigger warnings though: sexual abuse, homophobia, religion.

3-2 Stars

The Whole of My World Shatter Me (Shatter Me, #1) One Of Us Is Lying

The Roanoke Girls Destroy Me (Shatter Me, #1.5)

The Whole of My World by Nicole Hayes – I read this book because it centered around Australian Football which you all know I’m obsessed with. However, whilst it got some things right it got a lot wrong. Including a relationship between a 15 year old girl and a 30 year old man which made me SUPER uncomfortable. I’m going to write a review for this one where I’ll go into more detail. I’ve heard Nicole Hayes as a newer release out that’s quite good so I’m definitely going to pick that up at some point!

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi – With news of 3 books being added to the series I decided to finally read this and…… it didn’t go too well. There was zero world building and the writing was just so much. I normally love flowery writing, but I feel like this just went too far. I also hated Warner. Oops. TBH, I hated everyone but he was the WORST. I tried to annotate all the time he was non-consensual towards Juliette, but it just got to much. I still don’t know if I’m going to bump this down to 2 stars. The only thing I liked about this was how fast paced it was and the short chapters. Trigger warnings: non consensual touching, possessive & controlling behaviour, suicidal thoughts. 

One of Us is Lying by Karen M. McManus – I was excited for this one, but unfortunately something just didn’t sit right. I felt like it glorified suicide and didn’t really represent bipolar very well either. Of course, I’m not sure about the last one because I don’t have bipolar, but I’ll definitely be pointing out it in more detail when I post my review closer to the release date. I did like one of the female characters, Addy, because she really grows and learns to believe in herself. It was another quick read too.

[β˜…β˜…] The Roanoke Girls by Amy Engel – Oh man. Where do I even start this was this absolute trash fire. I think I’ll save my ranting for my full review which will be up soon. Major trigger warnings for: incest, pedophilia, child abuse, sexual abuse, suicide + I could keep going for DAYS.

[β˜…β˜…] Destroy Me by Tahereh Mafi – Decided to squeeze this in before midnight. It was from Warner’s POV so I hated it . I did feel like the writing was better though and I actually connected with Juliette a little.

me-me-me

I spent most of this month yelling at my TV during football games πŸ˜‚ As I mentioned above it was also my birthday, which I stopped caring about after I turned 21. I didn’t really do anything or get any gifts, which I’m totally fine with!! I got lots of sweet messages from people online and my best friend made me a wonderful playlist and that’s all I needed β™₯

This next paragraph will contain trigger warnings for mental illness and suicide. 

More seriously I’ve been having A LOT of issues with my mental health. I’m sure you all know about 13 Reasons Why and the discussions going on about it. I totally get criticising the show, but I’ve seen way too many people criticise the way others experience their own mental illness. It’s really messed with my head to the point where I’m starting to believe I did/am doing things wrong and that I’m being harmful. A part of me knows this isn’t true, but it’s something I’ve struggled with ever since I was 13. My school told (a suicidal) me that I was just making excuses and being an attention seeker. I’ve been told by my doctor and even the psychologist I saw briefly that my mental illness is very deep-rooted. So you can see why seeing a bunch of people say, discuss and agree that Hannah Baker was overreacting and that people who had similar experiences to her are wrong ect. REALLY got to me.

I am feeling better now and I’m planning on going back to the doctors because if anything it’s made me realise that I’ve been dissociating from my illness for too long and am really not in a good place and I need to do something about getting back on the right track.

End of trigger warnings. 

Most of this month has been spent playing The Sims because I’ve been exhausted. I had an appointment with a job agency this month. It’s required that I attend to receive my benefits and it causes me so much anxiety. I signed up to a new job agency, which is for people with disabilities. The woman who’s my case manager seems quite nice (which is good because at my old job agency the woman was AWFUL and again just accused me of using my mental health as an excuse), but so much was thrown at me I just wanted to crawl into a hole and never come out. I’m hoping that it’ll eventually help me feel ready to start working.

Sorry for being so full on and personal in this section! I just wanted to give you all an idea where my head is at because I’ve been a bit absent here and that’s why. It might happen again whilst I try and work on myself and figure things out. I know everyone will understand though and it means a lot β™₯

music

Unfortunately, the majority of this month music-wise was spent being disappointed by some of my all time favourite bands πŸ˜‚ but I did have a lot of success too! The Maine, in my opinion, released the album of the year. Like always, here’s my favourite songs of the month!!

Thanks to a Twitter thread I listened to A LOT of Australian throwback music this month and of course made a playlist. Australian music from the 00s-10 was THE BEST. This made me feel so nostalgic.

 

theblog

More consistent inconsistency from me this month πŸ˜‚

I wish I could say this month will be better, but…..

sep

Would love to hear your thoughts on any of the books I read this month!

What were some of your favourites from April?

I hope you all had a great February and have an even better March.

 lauren xx.png

Find me: Twitter – Goodreads β€“ society6 – RedBubble

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64 thoughts on “I’m Another Year Older! HELP!! // April Monthly Wrap Up

  1. Girl. Sending you air hugs. Mental Illness is real. Don’t let anyone tell you that you’re being a drama queen. I’m so over that. I couldn’t even listen to people discuss 13 Reasons Why without having a panic attack. I sincerely hope that you start feeling better soon. Good luck with your new job agency.

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  2. Happy belated birthday.Sorry to hear that you’ve had a tough month and I do pray that you’ll feel better soon.Thank you for sharing your personal journey with us.

    Have a wonderful May.Happy reading.Lots of Hugs.

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  3. Sorry to hear it was a rough month. Hopefully May will be better! I wasn’t a huge fan of Shatter Me either. I did not like Warner at ALL. He gets a little better when his backstory is fully developed, but he still left me feeling kind of icky. And normally I like that kind of uptight, well-dressed villain persona. But I did not like him. Minor spoiler alert… as he gets more fully developed, I feel like they totally ignore what a completely PSYCHO he is in the first book. I was like, “But… wait… he… we’re not going to address…? Okay. Sure.”

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    1. Thank you so much β™₯β™₯

      Ahh, it’s so good to hear I’m not alone. Same!! I feel like if he wasn’t so completely creepy towards Juliette 97% of the time I’d love him. I kinda figured it’d be ignored too, sigh. I’m all for redemption arcs, I LOVE them, but they don’t always excuse previous behaviours. I love Tahereh Mafi so I wish I could enjoy this series more D:

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I love her too! Which is why I wished I’d liked the books a little more. I’m all for redemption too, but when reading the arc I was like, “But… This still doesn’t explain why he was LITERALLY PSYCHOTIC in the first book.” But I mean, he’s hot. So I guess we just forget all that. 😩

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          1. Omg it happens all the time. First, every male character is always super hot. (Like have you ever read a Cassandra Clare book? Are any of the male characters EVER described as anything other than objectively super duper hot??) And somehow I’m supposed to forgive their actions because they’re hot. Okay. Sure. Soooo annoying!

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              1. Omg I swear EVERY guy is good looking. Jace, Alec, Magnus, Simon, Jem, Will, Julian… EVERY single one is described as being good looking. And I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder and all that, but they’re all described as being OBJECTIVELY good looking and it gets to a point where it’s just too much.

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  4. FIRST, YOU’VE DONE WONDERFULLY WELL ON THE READING FRONT, LAUREN!!! ❀ So many great books to add to my TBR. I NEED TO GET TO SHATTER ME. Also, more music recommendations? yYES PLEASE. Haha and consistent inconsistency? THAT WAS LEGIT ME LAST YEAR ON HERE. πŸ˜‚

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  5. GIRL I hate how people are policing other people. I wrote a pretty critical review of 13RW but my criticisms were more along the lines of the way they portrayed the suicide scene (which was really upsetting for me to watch) and the fact that I wanted there to be ~more discussion of mental illness. I honestly felt that they left out a lot of what could be said about depression especially and they left it open to a lot of the critiques of Hannah’s behavior that are so upsetting to people with similar experiences.

    I really hope things get better for you soon. Keep in mind that there’s no such thing as “doing mental illness wrong” and that you are wonderful and deserving of happiness. If you ever need to vent about anything, you know where to find me. Sending hugs your way!

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    1. Ah, yeah I definitely understand! I really don’t like the way they’ve gone about things either. I wish more people took your approach though because you can totally criticise the way the show handles things without dragging people with mental illnesses in on it.

      Thank you so much β™₯

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  6. I’m so sorry to hear this has been quite a rough month for you, sending you loads of love and hoping you’ll have a better May ahead ❀
    On reading, I'm so happy you loved The Upside, I am SO impatient to read that one!! πŸ˜€

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  7. Happy (late) Birthday, Lauren!! Sorry to hear it was a tough month though. I’m sending you all of my positive vibes and hope that May is a million times better for you! πŸ’• It looks like you had a pretty solid reading month though. I so need to read Strange the Dreamer and Upside because I’ve heard so many great things. Depending on if I hit a fantasy slump anytime soon I’ll definitely be getting to one or the other soon. Most likely Simon vs and Upside before Strange the Dreamer. 😊

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  8. Oh I’m so sorry you had a bad month Lauren. I almost know the feeling because April was kind of sucky for me as well. Also mental illness is not an easy thing to go through, I haven’t watched 13 Reasons Why and don’t really plan to because I know it’s not going to be a good show for me all in all. I hope you feel better soon, and I really hope May is a better month for you.
    Happy birthday for the 12th though! πŸ™‚
    Also you got through some great books this month as well, I’m so glad to see you enjoyed Strange the Dreamer and Bone Gap, I’m really glad you’re enjoying the magical realism genre and can’t wait to see your review for that book. I need to add The Upside of Unrequited to my to-read list, I’ve heard so many amazing things about it I just need to check it out for myself.
    Great recap, and again i hope May is a much better month for you! πŸ˜€ ❀

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  9. Happy belated birthday Lauren! i’m sorry to hear you’ve been having a rough time & hope that May proves to be a much better month. As a person who struggles with anxiety, depression, and mild OCD…I know there’s no telling how your day will look. I’m sending positive vibes your way πŸ˜‰ I see you read some amazing books though, I’ve been trying so hard to get to Strange the Dreamer. As a fan of Laini’s writing I’m ready for the dreamlike state she puts you in lol. Happy reading in May Lauren <3!

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  10. Happy belated birthday! I turned 21 this month too! (ISN’T IT SCARY?)

    I hope that May turns out better, mental health wise. Even though I haven’t read too much about it, I’ve also been finding all the 13 Reasons Why stuff quite difficult to deal with, especially from people who don’t know how to write about mental health. If you ever need someone to chat to, please don’t hesitate to message. Making sure that you’re ok is the most important thing right now πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you!! Ohhh, I WISH I turned 21 πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ That was quite a while ago for me now. Happy Belated Birthday to you too!!!

      And thanks so much again β™₯β™₯ Yeah, I had to stop reading it too. I really shouldn’t have read any of it, but sometimes I just can’t help myself. I’ve avoided it since though because I don’t need that kinda negativity in my life.

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      1. Oh oops, I thought you said you turned 21! I am clearly getting too excited about April birthdays.

        Definitely. At least you know that it isn’t helping – in my experience, figuring out triggers is always one of the best ways to improve mental health. *hugs*

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        1. Haha, no that’s fine!! I probably could have worded it better, I was just in a total rush when I did this post πŸ˜‚

          Yeah definitely! And I’m trying to focus on the positives which is that it’s really pushed me to try and get back on track with everything instead of ignoring it!!

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  11. I disliked Girl on the train 0.0 I just wanted more blood… yeah I’m weirded out with me too but my brain just demands murdering characters to love thrillers apparently πŸ˜„ lmao!
    I adoredddd Upside seriously I need Reid as my bestfriend so we can wear GoT shirts and discuss all the theories also cookie dough will be consumed (seriously becky’s books need a WARNING: Please have cookie dough on hand before starting label) For shatter me, I never read the novella oops but I loved the flowery writing as a throw back after the trilogy so much because it grows and changes and shows such a new mental state for Jullitte (also I read these when I was younger so who knows how they’ll stand up as a re-read which I want to do soon)

    I tend to distance myself for the 13RW talk just because suicide is such a touchy subject for me and I don’t want to argue with anyone’s opinion on what “they” think equals good enough reasons URG just saying that leaves a nasty taste in my mouth mental health isn’t for others to decide what reason is good enough of not. I’m glad you’re doing whats best for your mental health ❀

    Love you Lauren and happy birthday again, hope you have a great May!

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    1. Haha, no I totally get that πŸ˜‚ It definitely was a lot tamer than what I was expecting.

      Yesssss. How good was it!!!! It’s not often I care for love interests in YA contemporaries tbh, but I absolutely adored Mollie and Reid. I love the message that Becky Albertalli was putting across so much.

      I’ll definitely be interested to see what I think of the rest of the Shatter Me series.

      Thank you!! Yeah, I think I was punishing myself because I knew it would be bad. At least it’s helped me reevaluate though!!!

      β™₯β™₯β™₯β™₯

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  12. I’m sorry to hear April was a rough month for you. You know how I feel about Thirtheen Reasons Why and mental illness in general. I can’t stand when people tell someone they’re attention seekers or they’re “overreacting”. No. Just, no. No one gets to decide what’s hurtful and what’s not. Mentall ilness is real and everyone has different experiences. But I’m glad you’re feeling better now ❀

    On a more positive note, I think you did a good job reading-wise. You've read some great books! πŸ™‚

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  13. Haha, I totally get not wanting to grow older – in my mind I’m still 22 and will stay that way for a long time still πŸ˜‰
    THE UPSIDE OF UNREQUITED! I still haven’t read it but I ordered it and am expecting my bookmail any minute now so I’m super excited! And wow, that’s so amazing that you liked it better than Simon, makes me even more excited because Simon already was the best πŸ™‚
    I’m hoping to read Strange The Dreamer soon, but I’m also strangely intimidated by it, so I keep procrastinating!
    I’m sorry you didn’t enjoy Shatter Me, but I also completely get your thoughts on it. There really is basically no worldbuilding and the writing style can be a bit much. I’d say that the writing style does get a bit ‘easier to digest’ with the next few books, but the worldbuilding stays pretty much non-existant. And Warner – I started loving him in book 2 and 3, but you’re so right about all the non-consensual touching, that’s really not okay.
    I’m sorry you had a rough month mental health wise! People criticising the way other people experience their mental illness is so not okay. Everyone goes through it in their own way and it’s all equally valid and I’m sorry that those criticisms made you feel like you did something wrong. Sending you all the good vibes and know I’m always here if you want to talk or vent about anything!
    Also, I REALLY need to check out The Maine because I loved what I heard so far πŸ™‚

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    1. Yesss same πŸ˜‚

      Ahh, I really hope you enjoy Upside. It was so lovely. I definitely understand the intimation with Strange the Dreamer, there were times were I wasn’t sure how I was going to get through it but it’s definitely worth it πŸ˜€

      I’m definitely interested to see what I think about the rest of the Shatter Me series!!

      Thank you so much β™₯β™₯

      Yesss, definitely πŸ˜€ They are so good!!!!

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  14. Sorry you’ve had a rough month Lauren, I hope May will be better πŸ’—

    Most of the books you read are on my TBR, but I read the upside of unrequited as well this month – it’s good to hear you found the book relatable and that you loved it so much! πŸ˜„

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  15. I’m sure May will be better! I wish you also a belated happy birthday.. I can’t remember if I already wished you one or not but you can’t have too many birthday wishes. I know you don’t like it but we do :-). I still have One Of Us Is Lying to read. I’m sorry to hear this one didn’t really convince you.. I have high hopes for this one though, I like the idea of one of so many people is the bad guy and it’s my mission to suss out who it is :-).

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  16. Happy birthday last month and glad The Upside of Unrequited was good. Same for The Girl on the Train. I’m really looking forward to One of Us Is Lying so I’ll go in with my expectations lowered a bit.

    I’ve seen a lot of the 13 Reasons criticism too and frankly there’s no way for them to accurately depict EVERYONE’s situation or feelings, I’m just glad they’re showing the issues and generating conversations, which need to happen. So in that sense I think they’re doing a good thing. Some may think Hannah overreacted but good Lord the stuff she went through! Not sure you can overreact? Anyway schools often seem to handle this wrong and the show reflects that? Sending supportive thoughts your way!!

    Australian music πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you!! I hope you enjoy One of Us is Lying a little more than I did. It was a really quick read and made me want to keep reading to see how it’d all end.

      Yes, exactly! Everyone experiences these things so differently it’s not going to possible for everyone to relate. I’m just glad it bought some awareness to the impact of people’s words and how to look out for the signs that someone is suicidal because it’s not always obvious.

      So good!!!

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  17. Hope everything is going well Lauren! And happy late birthday! I’m so glad you enjoyed Gretchen’s poetry collection. I follow her and everything but have yet to pick it up. One of my anticipated reads! πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›πŸ’›

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  18. I’m so sorry to hear about your mental health πŸ˜₯
    I heard SO MUCH about 13 reasons why (the TV show) that I’m honestly scared off of every watching it. I don’t think it’ll do any good to my mental health either. Not to mention, hearing what it did to you is just… 😦
    I feel you.
    I always here if you ever need or just want someone to talk to.
    I’ve also been having issues with my own anxiety disorder. A new treat has arrived my way: panic attacks.
    And I’m not doing all to well with them (as expected).
    To hear someone making light on something so serious would be… unimaginable.
    Thank you for sharing (:
    You can do this. You’re strong!

    Ahh, so you didn’t really like Shatter Me?
    That’s a shame ‘^^
    I actually really love this trilogy (now series).
    If it means anything, know that I didn’t really enjoy the first book all that much. Things got… so much better in the second book.
    The second book just made me fall in love with this series.
    So if you ever have the time or feel like it, I still recommend you to try the second book.
    But then again, maybe it really isn’t the series for you…
    Sorry, can’t help but tell people to read books that I loved ^__^

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    1. Thank you, Zoey β™₯β™₯ I’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with your own health issues. It’s so tough, but I believe that we can both get through it!! We just gotta take it one step at time β™₯β™₯

      Ahh, yeah I wasn’t the biggest fan. I’m sorry!!! I think I may have liked it if I read it when I was a lot younger. I’m definitely going to continue the series though so maybe it’ll get better for me??

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  19. There are so many books I’m excited to read on your TBR, especially Daughters unto Devil. I’m sad that you didn’t enjoy One of Us is Lying though, I think I need to lower my expectations then. I heard so much controversy about 13 Reasons Why. As a book, it’s a controversial one yes, but I think when it got to the screen and it become really graphic, people are getting more triggered. As much as I understand the criticism of the show being too graphic and trigerring, I think it’s a really important one as it tackles really important issues. I hope everything will be better soon for you! *hugs* ❀

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  20. I’m so sorry to hear about your personal struggles with mental illness. Some people are really horrible and don’t know what they’re saying or doing. I do hope you continue to express yourself and find the help in the right people. All that aside, you’ve read SOOOOOOO many books it’s crazzzy! If I could read that many, I’d be a crazy happy bookworm. :O Also, happy belated birthday (very late… but hey, better late than nevaaaa’)! πŸ˜€ Hope you have a wonderful month of May though!!! Take care. πŸ˜›

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  21. I think I forgot to say happy birthday, but it’s been over a month so maybe I said it after all πŸ˜‚ In any case, happy belated birthday!!
    I have The Girl on the Train sitting next to my bed, so gonna read that soon πŸ˜› I’m quite curious how I will feel about it cause I haven’t read a thriller in ages!
    Ah too bad you didn’t love One of Us is Lying, it sounds so interesting.

    I hope you will feel better soon Lauren! I’m sorry the discussions around the show affected you so much. ❀

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  22. So sorry I missed this post because of my hiatus lovely. I hope your doing ok, please know you aren’t doing anything wrong with your mental illness. Nobody experiences things the same way, people who criticize that show also forget that despite that it is a show, the story can be very real to someone else who’s experiencing similar issues in their life. Sadly not everybody understands mental health. Please remember you are an amazing, creative person and your mental health does not define you. What your school said to you is horrible and I wish they never did, it’s truly an example of why their needs to be more education about mental health and the stigma which surrounds it.
    I hope you had an amazing birthday. If you need to chat then I am always here. A couple thousand miles away but I can send air hugs! ❀

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