Posted in Book Reviews

A Different Sort of Normal – Abigail Balfe

Disclaimer: The book format in which I am reviewing this, was purchased by myself, with my own money. I was NOT given a copy of The book for this review, and this review is not sponsored. I receive no benefits from the links provided in this review, they are used to cite any sourced information, and to where I purchased it.  As with all of my reviews my thoughts and opinions are all my own.

Book Overview

Book synopsis is taken from the Waterstones website. Waterstones link

The beautiful true story of one girl’s journey growing up autistic – and the challenges she faced in the ‘normal’ world. I’m not like the other children in my class… and that’s an actual scientific FACT. Hi! My name is Abigail, and I’m autistic. But I didn’t know I was autistic until I was an adult-sort-of-person*. This is my true story of growing up in the confusing ‘normal’ world, all the while missing some Very Important Information about myself. There’ll be scary moments involving toilets and crowded trains, heart-warming tales of cats and pianos, and funny memories including my dad and a mysterious tub of ice cream. Along the way you’ll also find some Very Crucial Information about autism. If you’ve ever felt different, out of place, like you don’t fit in… this book is for you. * I’ve never really felt like an actual-adult-person, as you’ll soon discover in this book… Told through the author’s remarkable words, and just as remarkable illustrations, this is the book for those who’ve never felt quite right in the ‘normal’ world. Very important, very funny and very informative – this is the book the world needs right now.

Book Release:

July 2021

Format Reviewed:

Audiobook through Amazon Audible Link here

About The Author:

Biography was taken from Penguin books, image from Abigail’s TwitterLink here Link her

Abigail Balfe (Author, Illustrator) Abigail is a Brighton-based writer, illustrator and creative producer. Original storytelling has always been at the heart of Abigail’s career and she has spent a decade leading social media campaigns for some of the biggest TV & entertainment clients in the world. Abigail also used to perform stand-up comedy and won several tiny trophies for her onstage humour; which involved life-size illustrations, ridiculous songs and rambling stories about her family.

My Review:

A different sort of normal was a fantastic read for me to start 2022 with. I’m neurodivergent, although I don’t have Autism, I do have ADHD. If you are familiar with ADHD, you may or may not know that a lot of ADHD symptoms overlap with autism. – and there aren’t very many books out there with ADHD characters. I’m writing one, maybe one day the world will get to read it if I’m lucky enough. So naturally, books surrounding Autism are the closest I can get, and so far I have to say, this is the best one I’ve read. I Instantly felt a connection with Abigail, her brain ticks like mine, and it’s fantastic!  I’m not within the age demographic of which this book was written (I’m 32.) But I’d recommend it for ND adults too. Lots of the experiences that Abigail discusses with growing up I can strongly relate to, and I wish little me who struggled growing up, had this book to read. I instantly felt like someone else understands me without having to say anything. – even with my phobia of public toilets, and having to use them at school! Abigail is a fresh voice for ND children and adults, as she says, there are thousands of others like us, so we can’t be that strange. Thank you for helping me and lots of others to feel proud of our neurodiverse brains, and helping us being able to see that the positives outweigh the negatives.

Rating:

5 Stars

Posted in Own Projects, Written by me

The Broke Girl’s Reading Journal

My Christmas holiday project landed on my doorstep this morning. The Broke Girl’s Reading Journal is out in the wild, finally. It was just something I made for myself, I’d been browsing online for one for ages, unfortunately, they can be on the expensive side. – which is justified, as a lot of time and work goes into them, and there are some truly stunning ones on the market. Alas, they were a bit out of my penny-pinching budget at the moment.

I decided to create my own. It’s not fancy, but I like it for myself, and it’s practical. Because it is a project that I created with just me in mind, I am charging the absolute minimum that Amazon allows me to charge for it. I would make it cheaper if I could but at the same time I don’t want to comprise the quality of the paper especially as it’s going to be written on.

The journal is accessible not just on Amazon UK, but in most other countries and can be found here 🙂 or by searching Broke Girl’s Reading Journal on Amazon.

If you would like a PDF copy for digital journaling please email: kym@bewitchingreads.com and I will send you a copy free of charge.
You still may need to format it for your chosen device, however. (I’m not sure how digital journalling works)
In exchange for a PDF copy, if you could leave me a review for it I’d be very grateful.

Hope you all had a lovely Christmas, and are keeping safe during the current issue we are all facing.

Kym xoxo

Posted in Own Projects, Writing, Written by me

Thoughts on writing, and a Pair of Pears follow up?

The strange thing about writing is how real the characters you right about become to you.
My brain is convinced pretty much 90% of the time that the characters I write about are real people.
Part of the reason why I can’t let let go of A Pair of Pears is because of how real the story and the people are to me. To me that entire world exists.
Getting very Harry Potter here, but each character I write about is a Horcrux. I will translate this for the muggles, a Horcrux is an object or thing that contains a piece of a wizards soul. Each character, each world, I write about and create contains a piece of my soul.

I mentioned to a friend today, that entering a relationship is something that really doesn’t interest me at all. People get curious as to why I’ve been single since 2018. – I have dated people, but I’m so happy with my own company, and the company of the places  I create in my head, that I don’t get lonely as such. I’m not saying never, one day I might meet a human to who I am particularly fond of in more than a platonic sense. I also may not. I know my worth, I won’t settle.

Feel free to joke here, about the friends in my head. I guess in some way you are right. 

For several years now I’ve been writing a follow up for A Pair of Pears. Not for me, I already know what happens and will happen, but more for the people who have asked, and who continue to ask.
Although I have written things here and there in the last few years. That ship has sailed, I have too many other things that I want to wrote about.

For those interested this is what happens.

Charlie: Charlie attends art school, her focus of gothic horror sells well and she eventually is able to make a living from it, alongside being a part-time art teacher.  She moves to New York. After the book ends, she stays with Willow and Lily, she calls things off with Jackson in their last year of school as they both want different things. – they were however together for a year.

Lily & Willow: Lily moves to London and studies writing. Willow has a freak accident involving a goat and a Ford transit van. Willow is alive, the goat isn’t. She becomes a wheelchair user but is still able to live life happily.
Because of this, Lily moves back home, ends up getting signed to a publisher, buys a house on right in front of the sea.
She’s lucky enough to make enough money to write full-time. She marries a woman that she met while in London. They have both a dog and a cat.

Jackson: Jackson gets married and has 5 children before he’s 25. He works as a self employed musician. He builds his own house, with the help of his dad.

Dylan: Dylan leaves pretty much after the book ends. He’s taken to live in Spain and attends private school. Nobody hears from him again.

Charlie’s grandad: unfortunately passes away 4 weeks after the book ends.

Except for Dylan. All characters remain in contact with each other, and stay friends.

For those interested, in reading A Pair of Pears, my manuscript is currently going through a new edit, with a polish up on some of the writing and formatting. The current version is available below in paperback and on Kindle.

Or you can wait for the next updated versions. 😊

Kindle link

Paperback link

Posted in Uncategorized

It’s been a year… Goodbye 2021

It’s definitely been a year.

It’s been a year to the point that I’ve found it difficult to keep up with writing blog posts. My Instagram account has blown up though! (@bewitchingreadsx)

As most will know I’m currently at university, 2021 was the year I changed my degree, boke my ankle, had two new jobs, started ADHD stimulant medication and had a mental breakdown. 2021 has been utterly awful, and to be honest I’m glad to see the back of it.

2022 will be better. – I’m also hoping blog posts will be back to how they were in 2020, and I hope to actually keep on top of my reviews and blog posts for publishers and to get back to me.

I’m wishing you all a very merry holiday season.

Keep safe, get vaccinated, wear a mask, and wash your hands.

I’ll see you soon!

Love Kym ❤

Posted in Uncategorized

October 2021 – Book Club Box

It’s been a while since I’ve done one of these. If you have been following me for the last couple of years, you’ll know already how much I love Book Box Club.

This Month’s box was all about mermaids! – and it didn’t disappoint.

First up we have our book! Skin of the Sea by Natasha Bowen

Simidele is one of the Mami Wata, mermaids duty-bound to collect the souls of those who die at sea and bless their journeys back home to the Supreme Creator.

But when a living boy is thrown overboard a slave ship, Simi saves his life, going against an ancient decree and bringing terrible danger to the mami wata.

Now Simi must journey to the Supreme Creator to make amends – a journey of vengeful gods, treacherous lands and legendary creatures. If she fails, she risks not just the fate of all Mami Wata, but also the world as she knows it.

Up next!

A lovely hot drinks cup with a mermaid design, accompanied by some mermaid socks, with boobies *childish giggle*. A wooden mermaid pin. – which has already found itself on my pencil case! A mermaid tail pen (again, now lives in my pencil case) AND a bath fizzer, have yet tried the bath fizzer, I’m waiting for the end of the work week.

Absolutely loved October’s box! Can’t wait for November’s!

Sign up to Book Box Club using my link and get 5% off your purchase CLICK HERE