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Buying Books From Charity Shops

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There seems to be a lot of judgement toward those who shop in charity shops, especially from people around my age group. This is something that I don’t understand. Do people not realise how cheap the books are in there?! And a lot of the time, there are some amazing finds, a lot of the time I’m really shocked about what I find.

What inspired this post is my most recent trip to the charity shop to see what books I could discover. I haven’t been for a few months, which is just pure laziness on my end, plus I’ve been a little bit busy with exams, my birthday, and Rome. I brought three books, and they came to £5.50, and I’m really excited to read them.

Book Number 1 – Twilight – £1.50

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I read the Twilight Saga years ago now, but I was only about 11 or 12 years old, so I’ve been meaning to re-read the books and refresh my memory for a few months now. So when I saw the first book in the charity shop for only £1.50, I couldn’t resist.

Book Number 2 – Red Queen – £2.00

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I couldn’t resist this one, either. (When can I resist a good book, though?!) I’ve heard so many people from Bookstagram and the Book Blogging community say how amazing this series is, so I decided quite some time ago I was going to read it. I had planned to wait until I’d finished some more books on my TBR, but seeing it for only £2.00 definitely put a stop to that plan.

Book Number 1 – Matched – £2.00

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My English teacher mentioned this book a while back, and it intrigued me then, but I sort of just… forgot about it. So I’m happy I saw it in the charity shop and brought it because it does look very interesting!

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I’m also going to mention the book my sister brought from the same shop. I dragged her along with me because someone needs to hold my stuff while I browse. She kept nagging at me to hurry up, but she quickly stopped that when I found her this book. Whilst she’s not a big reader, she loves Michael Morpurgo, and has since she was about 8. (She’s 12 now!)

Running Wild – £4.00

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This one was a tiny bit more expensive, but I’m guessing that it’s because it’s a hardback rather than a paperback. As soon as I saw it on the shelf, I knew my sister would want it, and it stopped her whinging, so it was a win-win situation.

So, there it is, my mini book haul from the charity shop. If you don’t already buy books from charity shops, I definitely recommend it. We looked in Waterstones before and it was £7.99 for one book! From the charity shop, I got three books for three pounds less than that!

If you’ve found any amazing finds in charity shops I’d love to hear about them!

_Books&Belle xx

Harry Potter · Tags

The Harry Potter Tag

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Okay, so I was tagged by Britt to do the Harry Potter Tag, which I was very happy about as I’m a massive HP fan so I was pretty sure I’d enjoy doing this tag! On Britt’s post, she explained that Cassie at Zombie Goddess Beauty created this one, so I just wanted to credit her.

The general idea is to answer 18 Harry Potter themed questions, and then tag some fellow Peterhead’s to do the tag, too.

THE QUESTIONS:

1. What house are you in?

Proud Slytherin right here! When I was taking the test on Pottermore I was hoping for either Slytherin or Gryffindor, not that there’s anything wrong with the other houses mind you, I just felt that I’d fit into one of these two quite well, and I wasn’t disappointed with my result.

2. What is your patronus?

A rag doll cat! I was also really happy when I got my patronus on Pottermore, not only because it is really cute, but because I love cats.

3. What is your wand?

Hazel wood, unicorn hair core, 11 ¾” in length, and reasonably supple flexibility is what Pottermore tells me.

4. What would your boggart be?

I expect mine would be the same as Molly Weasley’s. I’m absolutely terrified of losing the ones I love, and I always found her boggart awful.

5. What position would you play in Quidditch?

Seeker, I think. But who knows?! Perhaps that’s another Pottermore test J.K. Rowling could come up with!

6. Would you be a pureblood, half-blood or muggleborn?

So, like Britt who tagged me, and Cassie who created the tag, I’m going to go with your familiarity with the series being the deciding factor for your blood status:

Muggles: People who haven’t seen the movies or read the books

Muggle-borns: People who have only seen the movies

Half-bloods: People who have only read the books

Pure Bloods: People who have read the books and seen the movies

Deatheaters: Pure Bloods that look down on Muggle-borns

So, according to this, I’d be a pureblood.

7. What job would you want to have after graduating Hogwarts?

I’m going to saw an Auror, or at least something to do with magical law, as it’s law I’m interested in in real life, so I expect it would be the same in the Wizarding World.

8. Which of the Deathly Hallows would you choose?

The invisibility cloak, of course.

9. Favourite book?

I hate being asked this because I love every single book. However, if I did have to choose, I’d go with The Goblet of Fire.

10. Least favourite book?

As I said, I love them all, so this doesn’t mean that I don’t like this one, it just means I prefer the others a tad more. Order of Phoenix. It just took me a bit longer to read compared to the rest, it could be the length, I’m not sure. I still love it though!

11. Favourite film?

Again, Goblet of Fire.

12. Least favourite film?

Love them all, but Prisoner of Azkaban.

13. Favourite character?

Hermione Granger, 100000%. I think that she’s a wonderful role model, she teaches girls to be themselves and I think that’s great. There is a whole blog post on my blog about why she is my fictional role model, so you can check that out if you’re interested!

14. Least favourite/most hated character?

I don’t even think I can answer this. There’s plenty of characters I really hate. Dolores Umbridge, because ew. Peter Pettigrew, because he betrayed his friends. Lucius Malfoy, because for several reasons, he was an awful parent, a racist and a pretty selfish character. Cornelius Fudge, for trying to turn a blind eye to something that was so obvious. Bellatrix Lestrange, for torturing Neville’s parents and Hermione, plus murdering Sirius. I just can’t choose one, I’m afraid.

15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

I’m torn between Lupin and Mcgonagall here.

16. Least favourite teacher at Hogwarts?

I’m going to go with Snape. I don’t hate him, but I can’t bring myself to like him, either. I think his cruelty towards his students was unnecessary. Neville was so scared of him, that Snape was his boggart. In my opinion, it’s just not right for a student to be terrified of their teacher. He redeemed himself somewhat, but I he’s still my least favourite teacher.

17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?

I don’t think I do. Could be wrong, though!

18. If you could save one character from the final battle, who would it be?

I’ve considered this before, and have always been stuck between Tonks, Lupin and Fred. Tonks and Lupin because they left a baby behind, and Fred because he was just so young and had so much life ahead of him. After reading Britt’s answer and thinking about it some more, I’d save Fred. Teddy still had family left to raise him, and I think it would break either of their hearts if they survived and their partner didn’t. Fred wasn’t finished in this world, so I’d bring him back. Plus, I imagine it would have been awful for George to loose a twin.

The Questions:

  1. What house are you in?
  2. What is your patronus?
  3. What is your wand?
  4. What would your boggart be?
  5. What position would you play in Quidditch?
  6. Would you be a pure blood, half blood or muggle born?
  7. What job would you want after to have after graduating Hogwarts?
  8. Which of the deathly hallows would you choose?
  9. Favourite book?
  10. Least favourite book?
  11. Favourite film?
  12. Least favourite film?
  13. Favourite character?
  14. Least favourite/most hated character?
  15. Favourite teacher at Hogwarts?
  16. Least favorite teacher at Hogwarts?
  17. Do you have any unpopular opinions about the series?
  18. If you could save one character from the finale battle who would you save?

I Tag:

Raven – The Life Of A Raven

Linda – Linda’s Little Library

Megs – Between The Pages

Bianca – White Brittle Bird

Annina – Blattzirkus

Katie – Queen of Teen Fiction

Maggie – The Caramel Files

Gem and Han – The Queens Of Geekdom

Hannah – A Cup of Wonderland

Sarah Elizabeth – Xpectopatronerd

Jemima – Drinking Books

Simant Verma – Flipping Thru The Pages

I can’t wait to read everyones answers!

-Books&Belle xx

 

 

Reviews

Book Review – Odd & True by Cat Winters (Spoiler Free!)

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Synopsis:

Trudchen grew up hearing Odette’s stories of their monster-slaying mother and a magician’s curse. But now that Tru’s older, she’s starting to wonder if her older sister’s tales were just comforting lies, especially because there’s nothing fantastic about her own life—permanently disabled and in constant pain from childhood polio.

In 1909, after a two-year absence, Od reappears with a suitcase supposedly full of weapons and a promise to rescue Tru from the monsters on their way to attack her. But it’s Od who seems haunted by something. And when the sisters’ search for their mother leads them to a face-off with the Leeds Devil, a nightmarish beast that’s wreaking havoc in the Mid-Atlantic states, Tru discovers the peculiar possibility that she and her sister—despite their dark pasts and ordinary appearances—might, indeed, have magic after all.

Review:

This book was definitely not what I expected it to be, and in this case, that’s a good thing. It took me a few chapters to get into, but after that I was engrossed in the story. The chapters take turns in narrating from Od’s point of view of the past, to Tru’s point of view of the present. I liked this, and thought it was very clever of Cat Winter’s to do. The chapter would end on a mini cliff-hanger, and if you wanted to know what happened next you’d need to read at least two more chapters to find out! I understand that some might find this annoying, but I really liked having an excuse to read even more!

I also love the relationship between Od and Tru. You can see how much they love and care about each other, even though they’ve spent time apart. The way Cat Winters portrays the bond of sisterhood is brilliant, and I couldn’t help but think of my sister and I when I was reading.

The two main characters are written brilliantly, too. I really connected with them, and I loved how Tru didn’t let her disability stop her from doing what she wanted, and how she ignored what others thought of her because of her disability. A lot of the time in YA books, you’ll find that the main characters are next to perfect, or their imperfections are miraculously cured by the end of the book, but it wasn’t the case here, which I thought was amazing. Because what teenager is perfect?

There are also a lot of hard-hitting themes in this book that I really was not expecting, I won’t mention any as this is a spoiler-free review, but I’m glad that Winter’s brought in things that happen in real life and didn’t try and sugarcoat anything.

To conclude my review, I really loved this book and would definitely recommend it. I really like the cover, and the plot line is definitely promising. 4/5 stars overall.

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Thank you to Amulet Books for sending me a copy of Odd & True to review in exchange for an honest review.

Odd & True by Cat Winters (Amulet Books, £12.99).

-Books&Belle xx

Reviews

Book Review – A Stranger In The House by Shari Lapena

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Synopsis:

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door, a new thriller featuring a suspicious accident, a wife who can’t account for herself and unsettling questions that threaten to tear a couple apart.

You come home after a long day at work, excited to have dinner with your beautiful wife.
But when you walk through the door, you quickly realize that she’s not there.
In the kitchen, there is a pot on the stove, and vegetables on the counter, abandoned.
Her cellphone and her purse are still in the house, in the bedroom, exactly where she keeps them.
It looks like she’s left in a blind panic.
You fear the worst, so you call her friends to see if they know where she is.
Then you call the police.
The police tell you that your wife’s been in an accident. They found her in the worst part of town, after she lost control of the car while speeding through the streets. But why would she go to that neighbourhood? And why was she driving so fast? Was she running toward something? Or away from something?
The police think your wife was up to no good.
You refuse to believe it, at first.
Then, as the stories and facts don’t line up, and your wife can’t remember what happened that evening, you start to wonder. You’ve been married for two years and you thought you knew her better than anyone else in the world . . .
. . . but maybe you don’t.

Review:

If you’ve read any of my other reviews, you’ll know that Thrillers are one of my favourite genres, especially ones that you can’t figure out the ending to. The Stranger In The House is definitely one of these. No matter how hard I tried, or how many theories I came up with, I just couldn’t predict the ending! As frustrating as this was, it did make the revelation much better, as I was actually shocked. Shari Lapena keeps her readers hooked, I just had to keep reading so I could unravel what happened as quickly as possible.

I did find the main characters a bit irritating, however. There aren’t very many characters, but several of them made me so angry, but perhaps that was Lapena’s intention? Some of the things that the husband, Tom, does are very questionable, and left me thinking… why would you do that in this situation?! You just wouldn’t. Tom and Karen’s marriage also seems to deteriorate when you’d think they’d stick together and support each other. It’s obviously not real life, though, so I was able to let this go and it didn’t really stop me from enjoying the rest of the book.

Overall, I did really enjoy the book despite not connecting with the characters very well, and was genuinely shocked by the ending. I loved the plot and I think the way that Lapena writes is very engaging. I give it four stars out of five.

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I’d like to thank Penguin Random House UK for a copy of The Stranger In The House in exchange for an honest review.

-Books&Belle xx

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When In Rome…

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So, it was my 18th birthday on Saturday, and because it’s a ‘big’ birthday, my mum paid for me to go to Rome as a present! I went with my friend, and we had an amazing time. We saw so much and loved everything about it. This post isn’t strictly about books, but I wanted to explain why I have been so inactive recently!

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I was obviously very busy exploring Rome, so I didn’t have any time to get any blogging done, unfortunately. I did get to finish reading Odd & True by Cat Winters, though, so the review for that will be up in the next few days! It was really lovely reading it whilst sat on the beach, despite the fact that I felt like I was going to melt!

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Odd & True is an ARC that was sent to me that I was very excited to read, and it didn’t disappoint, but like I said, the review will be up shortly.

Sorry that this has been such a short post, but I only just got back from Rome so I’m shattered!

-Books&Belle xx

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Bookmarks – A Collab Post 

Today’s post is a little different. I tweeted out about a week ago asking if anyone was interested in a collab post, and the lovely Penny at PebblePen.blogspot.com got back to me with a wonderful idea… Free printable bookmarks! It was then decided that we should get some more people on board so that we’d have a range of genres and different bloggers favourite books from their chosen genre. 

The idea was that we’d choose a genre, and then four of our favourite book from that genre would feature on the bookmarks.

I chose Thriller and Fantasy, my two favourite genres. Fantasy was also a choice of Penny’s, so we decided which books would go on that bookmark together.

                 My Printable Bookmarks



I’d like to thank Penny for taking the time to make these bookmarks for me and all of the bloggers involved in this project!

    Here are all of the other bookmarks:


            The other bloggers involved:

Fiction – Bookish Betsy (Betsy) – http://bookishbetsy.wordpress.com 
Classics – Love Serially (Christine) – http://loveserially.wordpress.com 

Poetry – Fables and Tea (Hannah) – http://fablesandteawriting.wordpress.com 

LGBTQIA – Magical Reader (Lori) – https://majesticreadingblog.wordpress.com/ 

Fantasy – Books and Belle (Paige) – https://booksandbelleblog.wordpress.com/ & Pebblepen (Penny) – https://pebblepen.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Magical Realism – The Introverted Book Nerd (Danielle) – https://theintrovertedbooknerd.wordpress.com/ 

Romance – Little thoughts from little people (Eleanor) – …http://littlethoughtsfromlittlepeople.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Sci-fi – Pebblepen (Penny) – https://pebblepen.blogspot.co.uk/ 

Thriller – Books and Belle (Paige) – https://booksandbelleblog.wordpress.com/ 

Historical – The Introverted Book Nerd (Danielle) https://theintrovertedbooknerd.wordpress.com/ & Pebblepen (Penny) – https://booksandbelleblog.wordpress.com/ 

Horror– All the Bright Places Blog (Beth) – http://allthebrightplaces.co.uk 

I’ve read over this post, and not seen any spelling mistakes, but if you spot any please excuse them. I’ve had my nails done today for the first time in 2 years and I’m struggling to type. It’s very annoying!

-Books&Belle xx

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Top Ten Fictional Characters

There are lots of fictional characters that I adore. So many that I can’t even begin to count them, however, in this post I’m going to talk about just 10 of them.

Hermione Granger

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I’ve done a whole blog post about why I love her character, so I won’t say anything more about Hermione!

Feyre Archerson

untitled.pngCredit for this amazing artwork goes to the artist, I can’t make out the signature, so if anyone knows who it is please leave a comment. I’d love to see more of their work! As for Feyre, she’s one of my favourite characters for several reasons. Her strength, her development, her courage, her loyalty. I could go on and on about the things I admire about her!

Klaus Mikaelson

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So, I know that he’s a villain in The Vampire Diaries, and definitely has many flaws, I still love him. If you’ve watched The Originals, you’ll see why.

Caroline Forbes

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Another character from TVD! I like Caroline mostly because you can really see how much she changes for the better throughout the seasons. She also makes me laugh with her sassiness.

Elizabeth Bennet

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Elizabeth Bennet, to me, is a very inspiring character. She didn’t just conform to what was expected of her as a woman in the time that the book is set, instead she is just herself. She’s an admirable character who I’ve loved since reading Pride and Prejudice.

Harry Potter

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How could I not have The Boy Who Lived on this list? Not only is he the main character in my favourite series of books and movies, but he is also a great character. Oh, and it’s his (and J.K. Rowling’s) birthday today, so Happy Birthday! I’d also like to give Ron Weasley a little mention here, can’t leave him out.

Spencer Reid

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Spencer is funny without meaning to be, which makes whatever he’s said even more funny. Plus, have you seen how fast he can read? Super jealous.

Belle

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I love Belle enough to name my blog after her, and have done since I was little and first watched the movie. I had the dress-up dress of hers that according to my parents, I adored. I’ve always been able to relate to Belle, and she’s another character, along with Hermione, who if they were real would definitely be a part of the book blogging community! My love for her grew even more when I watched my favourite actress do her wonderful justice in the live action version.

Rhysand

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Again, credit goes to the artist. If anyone know who said artist is, please leave a comment! I think that anyone who has ever read the ACOTAR series loves Rhys. He’s the opposite of Tamlin, who SUCKS, and he and Feyre compliment eachother so well. He sacrificed SO much for those he loves, and has my respect for it.

Luna Lovegood

hermione and belle.jpgI think that Luna is a great character simply because she doesn’t care what other people think of her. I wish this was a trait I had, and I’m definitely working on it, something that Luna inspired me to do!

Do you have any favourite characters?

-Books&Belle xx

Reviews

Book Review – The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries #1) Spoiler Free!

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Synopsis:

A Love Triangle of Unspeakable Horror…

Elena
Searching for the ultimate thrill, she vowed to have Stefan.

Stefan
Haunted by his tragic past, he struggled to resist her passion.

Damon
Driven by revenge, he hunted the brother who betrayed him.

The terrifying story of two vampire brothers and the beautiful girl torn between them.

Review:

The only thing that made me want to read this series was my love for the TV show adaption of it, the synopsis didn’t intrigue me at all, and the only reason the cover did is because the edition I have has the actors from the show on it, which is something I usually hate.

I found the main character, Elena Gilbert, very annoying and unlikable, she was selfish and didn’t seem to care about any of her friends after Stefan Salvatore came to town. I also didn’t like how arrogant she was, and how she acted when she realised the guy she likes might not like her back. I didn’t really find any of the other characters any better either, Caroline, my absolute favourite character in the show, was weak and needed to be saved, and Stefan just annoyed me with how self-pitying he was.

I disliked the plot, too. I won’t go into it as this is a spoiler-free review, but the plot was boring and there was just so many clichés. I did read all four books, but that’s only because I wanted to give it the chance to get better, and in my opinion, it didn’t. I also felt bad for not reading, as my mum brought them for me for a Christmas present and wanted to know what I thought of them, so me finishing the series was very forced.

Now, I’m not saying that just because I didn’t like it nobody else will, that’s not the case at all. Maybe the reason I didn’t like it is because I was comparing it to the show the whole time? This is the only time I have said this about a book, but I do prefer the show so much more. The show is based loosely off of the books, the only similarities I really see are the supernatural aspects, the love triangle, some of the characters and a tiny bit of the plot.

I do want to put emphasis on the fact that this is my opinion, and others may vary. This series just wasn’t for me, unfortunately.

Overall, I give it 1 star.

untitled.png-Books&Belle xx

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Books From Bookstagram

I reached 6,000 Instagram followers today, which is a massive achievement in my eyes, so I’m very happy! I thought about the different posts I could do in celebration of this, and came up with ‘Books From Bookstagram’. The general idea is that I am going to list a few books that I brought because I saw them on Bookstagram and either liked the look of them, or read great reviews about them.

The ACOTAR series by Sarah J. Maas

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I thought I’d mention this series first, because it is 100% the one I’m most thankful to Bookstagram for helping me to discover. I hadn’t even heard of it before Instagram, and now it’s one of my favourites!  The reviews were great, and I just saw so many other bookworms raving about it that I couldn’t not give it a try.

Everything Everything and The Sun Is Also A Star by Nicola Yoon

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I loved the covers to both of these books, so seeing them in the pretty pictures posted by Bookstagrammers really did encourage me to go and buy them both. I haven’t read The Sun Is Also A Star yet, but I have read Everything Everything and I enjoyed it very much, it was a quick read too, which was nice.

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

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After seeing this, the title intrigued me a little, but I didn’t really plan on buying it. Then, I was browsing on Depop, and I saw someone selling it for only one pound and I recognised it and couldn’t resist!

The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare

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I’ve mentioned this series several times since starting my blog, so I won’t go into it too much. Lots of Bookstagrammers told me how amazing this series was, so I brought it for only 15 pounds in The Works!

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

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I only had to see this one mentioned once to know I wanted it. It seems as if it covers a lot of important issues and I’m excited to read it.

So, there we go, just a few of the books I have brought because of Bookstagram! There are definitely more I have brought, and there’s so many in my ‘saved’ area on IG that I can’t even count them.

For those of you who don’t know, my Instagram is http://www.instagram.com/books.and.belle

-Books&Belle xx

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Poetry Favourites

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So, I love poetry. I love reading it, but I wouldn’t even attempt to write it, as I can assure you it would suck. I find when reading it, a lot of the time you can really feel what the reader was feeling at the time they wrote it. It can be raw, funny, heartbreaking, but I can’t get enough of it. I have three favourite poets who I’m going to talk about in this post.

1. Ari Eastman

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I discovered Ari’s poetry through Twitter, and thank god I did, because I fell in love with it. After reading a few of her poems, I ordered ‘Green Eyes’ and ‘I Promised You I Wouldn’t Write This’. She also has two other books of poems called ‘Everything Sucks, But I’m Still Happy’ and ‘Bloodline’ that I plan to buy sooner or later. Her poems are very personal and when reading them, you feel as if you’re being invited in to share her experiences. The poems are beautiful, and Ari is my favourite poet. Oh, she re-posted one of my pictures once, and it was great. Just thought you should all know that.

2. Amanda Lovelace

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When I was buying Ari Eastman’s poems on Amazon, this one popped up in the recommended section, and the title intrigued me. I loved the idea of poetry about a woman lifting herself up and saving herself, rather than needing someone to fix her. When it arrived in the post, I began reading right away and was not disappointed. The poems were very moving and I’m so happy I discovered them.

3. Rupi Kaur

IMG_4874Rupi Kaur’s work is very well-known, so it was social media that caused me to discover it. I put it on my birthday list last year, and my mum brought it for me, which I was happy about. Her poems are empowering and I definitely recommend them. I can’t wait to read her next collection of poems, ‘The Sun and Her Flowers’ on October 3rd.

-Books&Belle xx