Friends Tag: Sam-o Edition

HELLO.

Today is an exciting day. Today I have a star guest poster… please put your hands together in rapturous applause for none other than S from Charlotte Somewhere’s Blog. For those who haven’t heard of S, he is Charlotte’s son and his opinions are brilliant. Some of his highlights include: S’s thoughts on Harry PotterS does The Greatest Showman tag and 

Today he is here to take on my Friends Tag! I haven’t posted a response to the Friends Tag for a while, so this is a proper treat! 

1. A book you had a problem with: 
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The Christmasaurus by Tom Fletcher because I could not understand it because it talks about too many different complicated things.
 
2. Book or series that ended satisfyingly: 
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Sam Wu is Not Afraid of the Dark by Katie and Kevin Tsang because Sam, Bernard, Zoe, Regina and Stanley got a certificate for being a master of the dark.
3. A firm favourite: 
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Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone because it’s all about a boy that saves everyone from a dark wizard. 
4. A author you can always rely on: 
J. K. Rowling or Roald Dahl. 
5. Book / Series that took a while to grow on you: 
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Sam Wu is Not Afraid of Ghosts by Katie and Kevin Tsang and I did not like that straight away because it was a bit scary but then I loved it. 
6. Like cover but not the story: 
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I Killed Father Christmas by Anthony McGowan and I didn’t like the story because I thought that Father Christmas was actually dead. 
7. Book that’s been on TBR forever: 
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The Fart Powder one (Doctor Procter’s Fart Powder by Jo Nesbo) 
8. LGBT book:
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I have got no idea for this question because it does not always say on books for children who is going to love boys or girls or both, but mummy thinks that I will enjoy The Star Spun Web by Sinead O’Hart which is about a girl who has got a spider and two ladies who love each other and look after the children who don’t have any mums or dads. 

If you’d like to join in the Friends tag (here’s the blog post with all the info) or do it on your own blog PLEASE DO. Let me know and I’m more than happy to host your post!

Happy Friday everyone! Go give Charlotte’s blog a follow because S is an ABSOLUTE winner (and her blog posts are pretty stellar too… but don’t tell her I said that!)

S x 

S4S – Books I Want To Be Written

Morning bookish folk!

How are we all today? Welcome to a new month in the world of #SixforSunday. This month we are taking on Bookish Wishes and we are starting this week with:

Books I want to be written

I mean, besides ALL OF THE BOOKS EVER, here are my choices for today’s prompt:

1. More Melinda Salisbury – SHOCK AND SURPRISE. I KNOW. Guys we all knew this was going to be on my list. I stand by my ‘more Twylla/more Sorrow’ life choice, but also just more Mel would be great cheers.

2. More Sara Barnard – hot off the heels of her YA Book Prize win (yay), there’s loads of people now picking up Sara’s books… I’ve read them all and I need more. Sara knows how to BREAK MY SOUL and still be one of the best people around. So more of that please.

3. More books like Floored – I BLOODY LOVED FLOORED and I loved the concept. A bunch of different authors coming together to write one story from multiple perspectives? YES THANKS. If we could have another one of those sometime that would be wonderful.

4. More MG books with LGBT rep – I read a book recently, a 9-12, that had some amazing LGBTQ+ rep and I WAS THERE FOR IT. I need more of this.

5. More books that are going to break my heart – if you’ve ever read CG Drews books (A Thousand Perfect Notes in particular) you’ll know how HEARTBREAKING it is. I know this sounds like a bizarre request, but my god, I am ALL ABOUT a book that will make me weep. (Cait if you read this… I think you’re great and I need more books please!)

6. More body positive books – having read Jemima Small Versus The Universe (Tamsin Winter) and No Big Deal (Bethany Rutter), I need more books that are body positive. It’s so refreshing to read books where you have fat characters and them actually achieve something… and them not be the brunt of all of the jokes.

So yes. I WANT ALL OF THE BOOKS THANKS.

Thanks for coming to my TEDTalk about all of the books I want. Remember to share yours using the hashtag #SixforSunday! I can’t wait to see what you all want in life!

See you next week!

S x

BOOK BLOG: Brave Molly

Brave Molly: a gorgeous wordless picture book dealing with facing your fears

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“What do you do when no one can see your monsters but you? At first, Molly runs from them. But they follow her down the sidewalk, getting in the way when she tries to make a new friend, popping up unexpectedly out of shadows, and multiplying. Until finally…Molly faces her fears.”

As a teacher who is working in a world where Mental Health is rightfully a conversation that is had more openly than ever before, I am always after stories that I can use as conversation openers. Whether my children relate exactly or not, books are portals to conversations and feelings that can be so so essential to talk about. Brave Molly is yet another book in my library that I think helps to open up that conversation so beautifully. 

When I first opened Brave Molly, I was surprised by the lack of words (we all know I love a wordless picture book) but it is that exact lack of words that makes this book so powerful and so brilliant. When we’re struggling with whatever is coming our way, it’s usually our words that go first. Our emotions stay, our lives have to go on, but we struggle to talk or to give words to the things that is going on. Being a wordless picture book gives this such power and useability (is that even a word?). This book could be used with children from a young age to secondary aged children. 

The story tells of Molly who is at her happiest when she’s indoors: she’s creative, artistic and loves to read. However, as we all know, you can’t spend all of your time inside: the outside world beckons lovingly (but terrifyingly for some people). She’s afraid. Her fear monsters follow her whenever she leaves and goes into the world. Her fear monsters loom in the background like shadows: we can never really get away from our fears, they’re always there… we just have to learn to live with them. Molly’s monsters manage to ruin many a situation she is put in. 

One of my favourite images in the book is when Molly shows that she is in fact a very brave little girl. We ALL fear things. We all struggle with things. Squaring up to them and saying, “You have no power over me” is TERRIFYING, but with the help of our friends and our own selves, we can do it. 

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I really love this. It ticks so many boxes for me. With beautiful illustrations, a powerful message and a good story, this book is one that I can’t wait to use with the children I work with. It’s going to end up being one I use over and over. (If you’re after something along the same vein, Ruby’s Worry is similar, but not entirely the same).

A massive thank you to the publisher, Abrams and Chronicle for sending me this book. You guys are awesome!

S x

 

If you’re happy and you know it, clap your hands…

*clap clap*

Todrick Hall songs. Talking about old TV shows. Spending the day on the beach with my kids. The sunshine. Old photographs. Cringing at some memories. Starbucks Sundays. Making plans with friends. Making plans with myself. Being ok by myself. Texting new people. Texting old faves. Witchy Trio laughs. Being so proud of friends. Knowing I have the most considerate best friends in the world. The excitement about having a new member of the family soon. Half term. Taking time to look after myself. Reading books. Buying new books. Drag Race. Miss Vanjie. Tidying. Finally finding something in the supermarket I’ve been looking for for weeks. Twitter teacher friends. Time. Space. Exciting plans. Going to London to celebrate excellent books. Knowing there’s only 6 weeks of being an NQT life. The things that are coming in the future. Being slightly terrified, but knowing it’s all good. My goddaughters. Having a cry. The seaside. Supportive friends. Picking up whatever books I want and reading them. My kids EMBRACING our ‘Mystery book’. My kids loving books in all of their guises. Excitement for YALC. Basically, all of the bookish things. Always books. 

 

S4S – 2019 books I’m excited for

Guten morgen!

Hello everyone. How are we all? It is now Sunday again… and it’s HALF TERM. WOOOOOOO. I could swear with delight, but I shan’t.

Today, we’re here for #SixforSunday to talk about:

2019 books I haven’t read yet that I’m excited for!

Apart from ALL OF THE BOOKS, I’ve chosen 6 that I’m the MOST excited for/curious about! Let’s get on with it, shall we?

This is such a lush mix of YA and MG.

  1. Return to Wonderland – various authors
    This is an anthology of Alice stories featuring some of my favourite kids authors ever. I can’t wait to get my hands on this!
  2. The Toll – Neal Shusterman
    This is the final of the Scythe trilogy and guys, I NEED IT NOW.
  3. Sofia Valdez – Andrea Beauty
    This is the next book in the Questioneers series and I can’t wait. I adore this series so much. 
  4. Superman – Matt De La Pena
    This may come as a surprise to be on the list, but I’ve read the rest of the books in the DC ICons series and I’ve surprisingly enjoyed them, so I’m curious about this one!
  5. What Magic Is This? – Holly Bourne
    This book sees YA goddess Holly Bourne combine powers with genius publisher Barrington Stoke and I can’t wait. Plus, that cover is EXCEPTIONAL. 
  6. Heartstream – Tom Pollock
    If you’ve not read White Rabbit, Red Wolf, then you MUST. It is INTENSE. I can’t wait to read this book… I’ve seen bits and bobs online about it and I’m VERY much looking forward to it!

Are there more 2019 books I’m excited for? Yes.
Could I keep going? Yes.
Should I? No.

Don’t forget to share your #SixforSunday with me! Use the hashtag on twitter and tag me in (@eenalol). I can’t wait to see what everyone is excited for… I am sure to discover some more books!

S x

#SixforSunday 2019 Prompts Take 2

Hello friends!

How are we all?

As some of you know, I host a weekly tag called #SixforSunday on this blog. The premise is I give you a prompt and you post 6 books that fulfil that tag. I absolutely love it. It’s something I started when I was first blogging and it’s just evolved from there! Now there’s people who join in weekly and it makes my heart SO happy. I love seeing how creative and how unique some of you are with the prompts!

I am here today to share the prompts for the rest of the year. You will find the prompts until the end of June by clicking here, but this post has the prompts for the rest of the year!

July – Summer reads
7th: Books with sunshine on the cover
14th: Books on your Summer TBR
21st: Books and the seaside
28th: Ice cream and book combinations

August – Books and holidays: a match made in heaven!
4th: Perfect pool reads

11th: Fictional places you’d love to go on holiday
18th: Characters you’d go on holiday with
25th: Yellow books

September: Back to school realness
1st: Books you think shuld be studied in school
8th: Books set in schools
15th: Schools you’d love to go to 
22nd: Characters you’d love to be friends with
29th: Books you read at school

October: Autumn feels
6th: Books with leaves on the cover
13th: Books you’d take on an Autumn walk
20th: Autumn coloured books
27th: Witch-y books

November – Winter books
3rd: Books with snow/ice in the title
10th: Books with blue covers
17th: I wanna snuggle with…
24th: Books you’d throw in the fire

December: It’s the most wonderful time of the year!
1st: Books set over Christmas
8th: Books you want to give as gifts
15th: Fireside reads
22nd: All I want for Christmas is…
29th: New year, new books

And there we go! Those prompts will take us all the way to 2020 – INSANE.

If you have any prompts you’d love to do, shout them at me! I’d love you guys to be involved in the prompt creating process.

Massive thank you to ANYONE and EVERYONE who joins in #SixforSunday. Whether you join in every week, or you’ve only joined in once, you make a little blogger very happy! 

S xx

BLOG TOUR: The Path Keeper

Hello lovelies!

Today I am hosting author N J Simmonds taking on Strong Girls in YA as part of the blog tour for her debut novel The Path Keeper.

“What if every coincidence was a tiny miracle? What if our life was already mapped out before birth? What if someone had the power to change the path we were destined to follow?
Ella hates her new life in London, she misses Spain and she’s struggling to get over her past until she meets Zac. He has always loved her but he isn’t meant to be part of Ella’s story. Not this time. Not ever. Little does she know that his secret is the one thing that will tear them apart and will force her to live in a world that no longer makes sense, a world more dangerous than she could ever imagine.
The first in a thrilling new YA fantasy series, The Path Keeper is a tale of passion and secrets, of first loves and second chances, and the invisible threads that bind us. Can love ever be stronger than fate?”

Let’s go!

STRONG GIRLS IN YA

We all love strong girl in books and on screen. From Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman, to Katniss and Zélie, ferocious young women kicking arse and putting bad men in their place.

Except, there’s more than one way to be strong, and it doesn’t always involve shedding blood and high kicks (as much as I’m a huge fan of both too).

The depiction of women in literature has come a long way in the last twenty years, and never more so than in the Young Adult and Fantasy genres. Paving the way for important conversations, and creating role models for young readers, YA has always been in the foreground of strong young characters and formidable girl MCs.

When I started writing The Path Keeper, I wanted a female protagonist who had a voice. A girl that acted like the young women I know, and the young woman I once was. I didn’t know quiet, sullen, polite girls when I was growing up – I knew teens who fought back, who said what they thought and who acted. Sometimes they said too much, sometimes they were too impulsive, but for me that was more real than a simpering girl who needed to be rescued. So that’s how Ella came about – and she’s not the only woman in the series who struggles with her place in society and questions who she is mentally, physically and emotionally.

Strong girl protagonists are everywhere in YA, but they may not be holding a bow and arrow or have lightning shooting out of their fingertips. Here is my list of amazing female writers and their strong YA girls who in turn have helped teens understand themselves, and the world, better.

Let’s start with emotional wellbeing and mental health. This subject means a lot to me as I have had my own degree of ups and downs, and when I was growing up it wasn’t acceptable to admit that you were struggling. I read these books now and wish I could go back to fifteen-year-old Natali and tell her she’s not weird or weak for feeling the way she does, she’s actually totally normal and not alone.

Olive in Holly Bourne’s Are We All Lemmings And Snowflakes is a girl on the edge attending a summer camp with a difference – every attendee is suffering from various mental health issues. The underlying theme of the book is about being kind, but not just to others – girls are used to being told that – but kind to ourselves too. Likewise, Violet in Jennifer Niven’s All The Bright Places meets her love interest Finch on top of a school bell tower as they contemplate suicide. These aren’t easy subjects to broach in a novel targeted for a younger audience, but the girls are strong through their vulnerability – showing the readers that they too have nothing to be ashamed of.

Talking of shame, it’s refreshing to see a growing rise of body-positive female characters in YA. Gone are the days of Bridget Jones counting calories and noting how many pounds she’s gained in her diary – enter Dumplin (Dumplin by Julie Murphy), Eleanor (Eleanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell) and Leah (Leah on the Offbeat, Becky Albertalli). These girls, so strong and powerful they not only appear in the title of their books but also on the covers, never once apologise for who they are and what they look like – in fact, their weight isn’t even the main point of the storylines – there’s no old-hat trope of ‘I was overweight, got thin and got revenge on my bullies’ here. These girls didn’t have to change the way they looked to get what they wanted, how they look doesn’t even come into it, because we love them for who they are.

And it’s not just being seen or understood that makes strong girls in YA so important, it’s also about being heard. Vivian in Jennifer Mathieu’s Moxie fights the feminist fight at her school, and Starr in the award-wining The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas teaches readers about the importance of speaking out about what you believe in. Starr is under pressure from her community, friends and society to keep quiet and not rock the boat – but she goes on to do what teens in real life are finding the strength to do too. From Malala to the pupils of Sandie Hook Elementary School, social media and the press finally want to hear what teens have to say, and books like these are showing them how it’s done.

And finally, there are the young women who have been dealt a shitty life they never asked for. Sadie from Courtney Summer’s harrowing book Sadie is a force to be reckoned with, but she’s no traditional beauty – in fact she has a stutter and doesn’t care what she looks like. And Indigo in Patrice Lawrence’s Indigo Donut is a feisty London girl brought up in the care system. She’s tough and she’s suffered – but she doesn’t need to be rescued. And looking outside of contemporary fiction to teen girls in YA fantasy, Inej from Leigh Bardugo’s Six of Crows, and Sarai, in Laini Taylor’s Strange the Dreamer are perfect examples of delicate girls who are tough as nails and forced to create a family out of the scraps left from their previous lives. Although they are forced to do bad they still remain good – because they don’t let what has happened to them define who they are.

As a proud feminist, as a YA writer, and as a mother to two ferocious, smart and bold daughters, it fills my heart to read books filled with strong girls, as well as having the opportunity to create my own unforgettable characters (wait until you meet Luci in the sequel Son of Secrets).

What makes a strong girl in YA? Not muscle, not money and not magic – what makes a strong girl is fortitude, grounding morals and all the other strong girls surrounding her. Goodbye damsels in distress and pretty girls who just want to be accepted – and hello girls like you, like me, and what the future deserves. Young women kicking arse and fighting the good fight with weapons made not from iron but from hearts, voices and unity.

Stay strong, girls. I see you.

Every blog tour in the blog has a letter. Collect them all to spell out the answer to this competition question: What does Zac get in the sequel SON OF SECRETS that’s very out of character? Prize info and entry details will be posted in The Glass House Glass magazine on release day 28 May 2019. Check out today’s letter and competition graphic below.

Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour so you can enter the competition!

S x

BLOG TOUR: Boot

Boot: a fun and friendly story all about finding yourself!

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“When toy robot, Boot, wakes up at a scrapyard, it has no idea how it got there and why it isn’t with its owner, Beth. Boot is scared but tries to be brave, which is hard when its screen keeps showing a wobbly, worried face. Luckily Boot meets Noke and Red – other ‘advanced’ robots who have learned to survive in secret. With its new friends by its side, Boot is determined to find Beth and the gang set off on a dangerous adventure.”

Very occasionally a book comes along that makes you just SMILE and feel buoyed up by things in life. This book is 100% one of those books. 

Boot tells the story of a robot, who lives in a world where his kind have been replaced by newer, fancier and more up to date models. Boot wakes up in a scrapyard and is very confused. It only has two and a half glitchy memories which don’t really help it to find out where it is, who it is or where it should be. These memories tell it that it was once loved, which means something important to humans. Through these memories, you see that it has once lived a happy life with its human, Beth. It knows instantly that it needs to get back to Beth, but getting out of the scrapyard and across the city with only a glitchy memory and no help is harder than it seems. 

Boot manages to find friends who will help him along the world. Early on in his adventure, Boot realised that it is different. Boot feels emotions and thinks differently to other robots – other robots who just function and don’t think. This makes Boot feel alone, until it meets other robots, and other friends, who are just like Boot is.  

I really loved this story. It was one of those stories that made me smile. It reminded me of the power of friendship, adventure and not giving in, even when things get tough. Boot goes through the story from a very scared and lonely robot, to someone who finds his friends, his family and his purpose: you’ve got to be brave and a special robotto find these things. You can’t beat a good story that will make you laugh, make you feel good about the world and make you appreciate your friends! 

As well as having a gorgeous story, this book has some stellar illustrations. They are SO SO LUSH. I’m a BIG fan of an illustrated book, so Boot ticks off so many boxes for me! 

This book would sit beautifully from Year 2/3 up. It’s a slightly longer chapter book, but it’s such fun.

My Goodreads review reads:

This is fun, friendship and finding yourself. I loved Boot and his bunch of merry robot friends! Imagine waking up one day with only 3 memories and a sense that you need to get home! Boot needs to find his way back to Beth and to himself. I chuckled a lot at this!

Boot was quickly picked up by a few of the children in school and they ADORED it:

“This is a really fun story. I can’t imagine what it would be like to have only a few memories, but Boot shows that you can do anything you put your mind to”

“Stories about robots are funny because they’re not real humans, but Boot is like a human. I’d love to be his friend”

“I loved this story because it was like seeing the future through the eyes of someone really fun and really brave. I would love to be brave like Boot”

Massive massive thank you to the publishers, Hachette Children’s, for sending me a review copy and inviting me onto the blog tour! This book is Boot-iful! Check out the rest of the stops on the blog tour! 

Boot Blog Tour2

S x 

Book Box Club: Purely Books Subscription

Hello! 

How are we all?

Today I’m here to talk about EXCITING book post. We all love book post, don’t we? What if you could treat yourself to book post every month? WELL YOU CAN with Book Box Club!

What is Book Box Club?

Book Box Club is a subscription box and secret society for the bookish folk. Book Box Club have two different subscription options:

Book Box Club Subscription – each month, you will receive a gift-wrapped, brand new, YA book, an invitation to their online book club and a selection of themed goodies to match the book you’ve been sent.

Purely Books Subscription – each month, you’ll receive a featured read and an invitation to their online book group. 

All postage to the UK is free, but Book Box Club do send parcels all around the world (postage costs apply).

Purely Books Subscription

The Purely Books Subscription is perfect for the bookish reader like me: I love books, but I don’t collect a lot of bookish goodies. If you’re a bit like me, then the Purely Book subscription is perfect for you! Regardless of the subscription you choose, you get the same book, so when it comes to the online chat, everyone can share in the bookish chat! 

If you’d like to sign up for a subscription, you can get to Book Box Club’s website HERE and use the code BLOGARMY5 to get a discount on your first Purely Books or Book Box Club subscription. (5% off a three month Purely Books Subscription or month-to-month Book Box Club Subscription).

My Experience

Bold and Brave was the theme for April: I received an email on to say my book was on its way and it arrived 2 days later! What’s that for service! Since it was only a book, it fit through the letterbox (so no hassling your neighbours, no waiting for it and no having to collect it from the post office: perfection!).

My book was wrapped in silver paper and tied with very cute blue and white string. It also came with an envelope with my name on – now that is the kind of personal touch I love! Inside the envelope was an invite to the Clubhouse (which is the book club) on with the details of Bold & Brave book group. In the book group, you get the chance to talk to the author, ask any questions you have and make new friends. New BOOKISH friends… the best kind of friends in my humble opinion!

The book

I was chuffed when I realised what the book was! I have heard so much about this book. I haven’t read anything by Zoe Marriott and this makes me so happy. I know there’s been a lot of controversy around this book, but it’s one of those that I’d like to read. That cover is GORGEOUS too… I mean who wouldn’t want to pick this up? It has REAL shelf appeal! 

You can’t beat a good signed book plate too! *swoon* and look at that print (this is in fact the back of the information about the Clubhouse, dual purpose win!)

I love the idea of a Purely Book subscription. For a reader like me who just wants the books and not the extras that go with it, it’s PROPER perfect. I loved the personalised invite and the themed invite too! I am extremely happy with my experience so far! Keep your eyes peeled for my thoughts on the book club! 

Thank you so much to Libby and Kate for inviting me to be in the Blogger Army! Don’t forget you my discount code! 

Have you subscribed to any book boxes?
Have you read this book?
What kind of books would you love to receive?

Speak soon!

S x 

S4S – 2019 books I want to read

HOLA AMIGOS

How are we all?

How are we getting on with #SixforSunday this month? Has your TBR grown (of course)? Has it shrunk (LOL)? Are you more aware of what’s on it (every book ever)? 

Today, we’re here to talk:

2019 books I want to read

So these are 6 books released this year that I want to read – whether I own them or not. (I probably do, let’s be fair)

want to read

  1. We Won An Island – Charlotte Lo
    I don’t actually own this yet… but I want to. So I shall have to purchase it for myself. I have heard such great things about this! 
  2. On The Come Up – Angie Thomas
    As you have all seen, I haven’t read THUG yet, so I’ll probably have an Angie Thomas duet going on later this year. I went to the Angie Thomas event in Newcastle and she was brilliant. 
  3. King of Scars – Leigh Bardugo
    We all know I am a MASSIVE Kaz Brekker fan, but I haven’t read the Grisha trilogy, so I’m still putting off reading King of Scars til I’ve managed to read them!
  4. The Curses – Laure Eve
    Now, let’s just have a discussion about this cover. It doesn’t match my The Graces cover and I’m SAD. SAD GUYS. Anyway, I loved The Graces and I bought The Curses because I need to know what happens next… I just have not picked it up to read yet.
  5. A Curse So Dark and Lonely – Bridget Kemmerer
    Reasons I want to read this: the cover and it’s a BATB retelling (I think!). Reasons I have not picked it up yet: IT SEEMS SO LONG. 
  6. Five Feet Apart – Rachel Lippincott
    My friend Rachel has been RAVING about this for a few weeks now… so I guess that means it automatically goes onto my TBR pile. I also was at the Simon and Schuster event where they shared the film trailer with us and I don’t think I’m quite ready for this… 

And there we go. Are there MANY other books that could’ve gone on this list? 100%. These were just the first 6 I could think of! 

Don’t forget to share your choices with me. Share them on twitter using #SixforSunday so I can share them with the world! 

Prompts for the rest of the year will be shared next week. I can’t wait for you guys to see them! Some of them are my favourite prompts I’ve ever thought up! Thanks again for joining in and being so lovely. You are all my heroes!

S x