Weekend Whispers: Self-Care & Tips

Weekend Whispers: Self-Care & Tips



I know what you're thinking. Becca is doing another meme on her blog? Yes, but for a good, really good, reason. It occured to me while I was reading my millionth book this week that I don't take enough time to care about me. Or my needs or what I want to do. And I think that a lot of people are in my shoes, too. We care so deeply about others and making our careers, social lives and relationships so bright and beaming that we forget about little old us.
So I've made this new meme, WEEKEND WHISPERS, just for you. For me. For anyone who needs it. Every weekend (or every other, I haven't decided yet) I'll write a blog post about self care, tips and tricks and hopefully some things that will help you to take a moment to breathe and do something for you.

1. Take A Moment

It isn't as simple as it would look. Sometimes it's really hard to get a few moments to yourself in the day to relax. But I can't stress how important this is. You might think that ten minutes in a day isn't enough, but sometimes it's all you need to recharge your system. I like to do this midday on the weekends or before bed in the week. Here's what I do:


Put in your headphones (distracts from noises, blocks out world). Play your favourite instrumental piece of music (something calming and resolute). Lay down (or sit) and close your eyes. Breathe in for four seconds and out for seven. Repeat, repeat, repeat.
You can set a timer on your phone or an egg timer to have a set amount of time, but I take roughly around ten minutes (or more or less if I think I need it).
When you're finished, take a few deep breaths to reintroduce yourself to the world.  Know that your mind is refreshed, your body is recharged and you're calm. 

2. Delete

When your mind is busy, your subconscious always eager to get on social media and keep up with trends, you can start to feel a little deflated. Social Media can have that affect on you hugely. There's competition, the need to keep up, replying to messages...it can get stressful. So once a day, or whenever you feel like it's needed, pretend that you've deleted your accounts. I know, shocker. I'd probably lose it if I had to actually delete them. But if you pretend that social media doesn't exist, that there's no need to tweet or take selfies...you gain something called freedom. Ditch your phone, take a walk outside (while it's still sunny out there) and just be. I know it's hard. I really struggle to do this sometimes but it's so needed! I can't recommend this tip enough. I usually do a two-hour detox from social media around 6-7pm to 8-9pm, just to give myself a breather. I think I'd struggle without that slice of freedom from the social norms. 

3. Vent 

It's debatable, but venting? It's pretty much the only thing that will unload all of that stress that the day can put on you. There's a few ways you can deal with venting. Some people like to write it in their journals, write it on paper and then burn it, tell their troubles to someone in their lives that they can trust and vent to. But the majority of people actually don't vent at all. They keep all that tension pent up in their system and it's bound to unleash on a poor soul who gets on your nerves. The best way to avoid a massive blow-out, is to pick a way to vent. I've tried talking it out but honestly, that only works for me some of the time. I like to write anything that has stressed me on a little notepad (it doesn't matter what it is, just some lined paper and a good pen) and write away my troubles. I don't look back on them (you should never look back on things that have stressed you out because they're bound to return if you do) so they end up in a neat little notepad I can throw out at the end of the year or stash at the back of my desk. 
What's your favourite way to vent? If you have a different suggestion, let me know in the comments or via my Contact Me page! I'm always looking for new ways to unleash your stress responsibly. 

4. Don't be too hard on yourself

Real talk time: I have CFS/ME. If you don't know what it is, that's okay! Not a lot of people do. You can read all about it here. It's basically something that I've had since I was around fourteen years old. It affects my immune system, my whole body and my brain. For the most part, I can live a normal life. But I have severe pain and sometimes memory problems that can push my limits. But within myself, I really want to just be normal. I'm not saying that I'm not "normal" or that anyone with a condition isn't normal. But you know what I mean. I want to be ordinary, live a pain-free life. And sometimes I can be really hard on myself, when in reality, I can take it slow. I can go easy on myself because I'm only human. I know that everyone can feel this way sometimes. Like you've beaten yourself down...but you don't have to be hard on yourself. Trust me. You're doing great. You have people that love you and I promise, if you're going through something, there is brighter things coming for you. Don't be hard on yourself, because you're pretty darn magical.

5. Self care is important

Whether it's painting your nails, watching Netflix, listening to music, baking, reading...self-care is important. You could start a bucket list, lay on the grass and watch the sky, talk to a friend for hours on the phone about old times. Whatever feels to you like taking care of yourself, then that is self-care. It's important to take self-care seriously. It's totally valid to have a hard time doing it, but it's worth it, by making yourself happy. 
To celebrate self-care and putting you first, I'm giving away a self-care kit full of happy items and things that you would love. If you'd like to be in with a chance, just fill in this form below and tell me about you. I can then personalize your self-care kit if you win! This will end in May (around the middle) and is open Internationally. Click HERE to enter.


Happy Saturday. Don't forget to take care of yourself, today.

happy weekend!
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Book Review: "A Thousand Perfect Notes" by C.G.Drews

Book Review: "A Thousand Perfect Notes" by C.G.Drews


Title: A Thousand Perfect Notes
Author: C.G.Drews
Published: June 7th, 2018
Publisher: Orchard Books
Rating: πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I received this ARC in exchange for an impartial review. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

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An emotionally charged story of music, abuse and, ultimately, hope.
Beck hates his life. He hates his violent mother. He hates his home. Most of all, he hates the piano that his mother forces him to play hour after hour, day after day. He will never play as she did before illness ended her career and left her bitter and broken. But Beck is too scared to stand up to his mother, and tell her his true passion, which is composing his own music - because the least suggestion of rebellion on his part ends in violence.
When Beck meets August, a girl full of life, energy and laughter, love begins to awaken within him and he glimpses a way to escape his painful existence. But dare he reach for it?

First Thoughts...


I was so freaking excited to read A Thousand Perfect Notes that I actally asked BKMRK for an ARC. I'm pretty sure I did a happy dance when they said yes! Cait has long been one of the best bloggers I know and her tweets are literally *exactly* how I'm feeling 100% of the time. She just gets it, you know? If you don't know what I'm talking about, check out her perfect tweets right here. 

My Review...


The story in itself is quite unique. Beck is this painfully beautiful character created by Cait, who pretty much hates his life. But more importantly, his evil mother. She's violent and aggressive and makes him play the piano for hours on end until the cycle repeats, and he hates his life over and over again. His mother can no longer seek her own dreams of playing the piano, since illness has struck her career down the drain, but she was once world renowned for her talents. So the energy that she has, that passion for playing, she's forced on her son, Beck. I truly felt for his character, having to suffer in the shadow of his mother. All he wants is to compose his own music, but even the minor mention of doing so is ended with clap-back from his mother, often violently and hurtfully. Throw in the fact that he wants to protect his younger sister from secondhand violence, and you have a reason for Beck to continue the torturous playing over again.
Beck soon meets August (can I just say, I ship these two SO MUCH, it's insane!), a girl with this spark that follows her wherever she goes. She's got this special kind of soul, full of smiles and love and something within her dwells perfectly with Beck. Her family needed more scenes! I truly, truly loved how their kindness was the complete opposite of Beck's family. The more time he spends with August, the spark between them developing into a loving bond, the more he can finally see a future without his Mother's violence ruling his life with an iron fist. The romance is slow-burn, but I mean, that slow-burn could light up fireflies. It's so precious and just effortless.
Overall, A Thousand Perfect Notes is in a word, perfect. Everything boils down to an epic finale and it really surprised me! I didn't see it ending in that way...or that conclusion, but it makes sense. It makes perfect sense. The musically-fueled pain reeled me in, but the healing when Beck met August kept me reading, turning the pages faster than I could blink. I was in awe at just how beautiful Cait has made these characters and made me connect on such a deep level to them, Beck especially. This beauty isn't out until June, but ohmygosh, if you don't read this when it's out: you're missing out on one perfect note of a story (couldn't help the pun). Five cats!





Have you heard of A Thousand Perfect Notes or read it?

What did you think?

Let me know in the comments, on twitter @LittleMemoirs or on Facebook!

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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When Did Book Blogger Become Book Hater?

When Did Book Blogger Become Book Hater?



HELLO THERE...

Real talk: I think I've always wanted to be a Book Blogger. When I was younger, I'd see these fascinating blogs and how they talked about books like they were falling diamonds from the sky and my love for books could actually be like that. But over the years, something has changed. The more that I see book bloggers pop-up (and that's a huge thing, in an age where people are more glued to their phones than their heads in a book), the more that I see people bashing books. 
So the question that I pondered today was: When Did Book Blogger Become Book Hater?
It's a valid statement. I've gone over it in my head countless times, but it's the truth. I see some bloggers - scratch that, they aren't even bloggers. They only give books 1-2 stars and bash writing. News flash: that is not book blogging. The phrase book blogger is meant to be a community that thrives on togetherness, praising of books and constructive criticism. These readers/bloggers have not grasped the line between saying something wasn't right in a book to downright vicious hatred toward the author, publisher and fans of the books. 
Constructive Criticism is something that you learn along the way in Book Blogging. It's the difference between rating a book from 1-5 and noting on why. Sometimes these are called pros and cons. There isn't a "right way" to book blog, and even if you didn't want to review books, and just do a little book talk, that's 100% amazing! And I love blogs, small and big! But the blogs that thrive on low ratings, the ones that seem to spin on a carousel of nit-picking an Authors hard work? That isn't a book blogger. That's a book hater. 
Maybe you don't know you're a book hater. How many books have you rated below 3 stars in the past, say, six months? Is it greater than the amount you've rated 3 or above? Do you only rate books below 3 stars? Maybe it's time for a step-back and a look at your blog, at your preferred reading...I don't know. I don't know what makes a book hater. All I know is that they aren't part of the hard-working and devoted bookish community that I am a part of and love with my whole heart. 
To me, a book blogger is someone who loves books. They read, fall in love with the characters and fangirl when they meet their favourite author, or when they meet someone who loves the same trilogy. They are friendly, easy to talk to and their blogs and full of praise, constructive words and togetherness. I'm not the only one who thinks that. I reached out to a select amount of random readers of my blog (as you may have seen) and 95% of them said they would unfollow or stop reading a blog if they were repetitively destructive. Aren't those facts a little....scary, if you're what's known as a "book hater"? 
All I know is that I love books. I love book bloggers. And I try my hardest to be constructive in the best way possible. Most bloggers I know are like me. They don't believe in all this new hate-to-be-popular malarkey. Do you?

What do you think about this topic?

Let me know in the comments, on twitter @LittleMemoirs or on Facebook!

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Book Review: "The Truth About Alice" by Jennifer Mathieu

Book Review: "The Truth About Alice" by Jennifer Mathieu




Title: The Truth About Alice
Author: Jennifer Mathieu
Published: March 8th, 2018
Publisher: Hodder's Childrens Books
Rating: πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I received this ARC in exchange for an impartial review. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

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From the author of Zoella Book Club book MOXIE comes a startling book about stereotypes, slut shaming and the battle for popularity. 
Everyone knows Alice slept with two guys at one party.But did you know Alice was sexting Brandon when he crashed his car?It's true. Ask ANYBODY.
Rumour has it that Alice Franklin is a slut. It's written all over the 'slut stall' in the girls' bathroom at Healy High for everyone to see. And after star quarterback Brandon Fitzsimmons dies in a car accident, the rumours start to spiral out of control.
In this remarkable novel, four Healy High students - the party girl, the car accident survivor, the ex best friend and the boy next door - tell all they know. 
But exactly what is the truth about Alice? In the end there's only one person to ask: Alice herself.
'Should be required reading for anyone in high school' Bustle


First Thoughts...


I am guilty of not having read MOXIE, but still a huge fan. It stands for everything that I do and why I haven't got around to it...I have no excuse. I'm bookishly guilty! I own a copy that I bought on holiday in Exeter and it's still sitting in my TBR. So when Hodder reached out with The Truth About Alice, I threw myself at the chance. After all, it was published before Moxie, so maybe I could read them back to back? I went in with the highest of hopes and wasn't disappointed.


My Review...


The story starts with a bang. Quite literally the most startling opener I've read in a while. We get pulled into the mystery from the get-go and everything revolves around, you guessed it, Alice Franklin. There's rumors, and then there's downright vicious-meets-huge rumors, which is what Alice has under her belt. It's written in bathroom stalls in the Girls' bathroom, the talk of the School and spirals a web of mystery when Brandon Fitzsimmons, star quarterback, dies in a car accident. People say it's Alice's fault. But is it really? Because no one really knows the truth about Alice (quite like the title) other than Alice, herself. So we start with four tell-all's from four different students at Healy High, who spill their version of the truth and the consequences that lead us down a treacherous path. 
When we finally delve into the heads of the different characters, the truth crawls its way out. I was really taken aback by some of the things Alice's "so called" friends said behind her back, the rumors that they spread without knowing the truth, and the way the town paraded the fallen football star as a hero, despite his poor treatment of women. Whenever we get a story like this, there's always so much going on beneath the surface that it's a sense of relief to delve into the truth and not have this barrier of reader-meets-character. Knowing the outcome of The Truth About Alice (no spoilers, it's *so good* and you need to read it yourself) was like the perfect sheet of ice being shattered by a sledgehammer, truth - or freedom - at last. 
Overall, The Truth About Alice was incredible. I can see why people love Jennifer's novels and I'll definitely be picking up Moxie as soon as I can. There's so much depth and character to this novel, and it's got something for YA and older readers to gain something from. The character development was on point, and in particular Alice. Truly such a remarkable read that I don't want to say too much about for fear of spoiling you all. Do yourselves a favour and go read this ASAP - you'll thank me later. 



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Becca Jayne
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Birthday Month: What's Happening & What You Can Win!

Birthday Month: What's Happening & What You Can Win!




It's officially April (has been for eleven days actually and where have I been? That's a topic for another post) and Springtime has settled in very nicely! It's my birthday month, for my fellow Aries and I, so I thought there's got to be something I can do to celebrate with my blog followers. Because, long story short, you guys are my bookish family: and because you can't be here in person, I want to make sure you can get involved! 
This year, I'll be 22! Where has the time gone? I feel like I only just turned 21, or 18 or even 16...but yet, here we are. Moving faster than I can blink, life speeding by quicker than The Flash. 
I've thought a little about what kind of Giveaway I could do and what I could give my readers. So I came to the conclusion that combining LacunaCandleCo (an epic new Soy Candle Company coming in June!) and a new YA Book with a bonus bookish gift sounded good. 

So if you're interested in winning, all you have to do is Retweet this tweet below and Follow me on Twitter to be in with a chance. All the rules are listed in the tweet below and it's of course, open Internationally! I can't wait to share my birthday with you all. This ends on my ACTUAL birthday, April 17th!
I'm actually reading I Have Lost My Way right now and you can expect a review very soon! It's clearly made an impression on me already to be giving a copy away...

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Do you want Justice...or Anarchy?

Do you want Justice...or Anarchy?




If you read my blog, you'll know a couple months ago I reviewed Renegades by Marissa Meyer - and LOVED it. I remember saying that I loved that it had Superhero vibes that reminded me of some Marvel/DC vigilantes and heroes. So it's no wonder that when I was offered the chance to get involved with Renegades release with Pan Macmillan's Children's books, I was SO READY. 
They sent me two lovely swag packs with ARCs of the book for me and a friend, who I chose as my sister and fellow blogger, Sophie. Today we're talking below about what side WE would choose. Will we choose Justice or Anarchy? Will our opinions be divided? FIND OUT BELOW! 



Featuring Sophie Kate from 23 Review Street. 

Becca: what interests you the most about RENEGADES?
Sophie: I love superheroes in shows like Arrow and The Flash, so I think a book about similar topics sounds interesting and I started reading it as soon as you gave it to me. It's so good. It definitely seems like my cup of tea.

S: when you were reading Renegades, which side were you drawn to?
B: Instinctively, I guess always the Justice because it's the "good" side, but when you understand the "anarchy" side, you see the other side of the argument. I was stuck in the middle when I was reading so picking is going to be really hard! If I had to pick one, I'd have to side with Nova in the Vengeance side, just because I loved her character so much.

B: what about you? Which side would you pick?
S: I think I would pick justice. I can see both sides, but I believe more in getting justice and not revenge, but I can see the other side. But I would pick justice over revenge, I think. 

S: would you be a superhero or a villain? 
B: Obviously a superhero! I don't think I have the nerve to be a villain. Being a superhero is really appealing because you're fighting for the greater good, despite the world. As a villain, you'd just be bad, and fight for everything that's wrong with the world, and we don't need more of that. Plus, who would pick any metahuman over being THE FLASH?! 

B: finally, would you rather be a Renegade or like Nova?
S: Even though it contradicts my answer before, I really liked Nova too, so it's hard to pick since she's not a Renegade. I think I would still pick to be a Renegade like Adrian, though. My answer may change by the time I get to the end of the book though. It always does!!

Click here to tweet your side!

So there you have it! Our opinions may have been different on which side we would have taken, but one thing we agree on is that RENEGADES is amazing! And it's out today! Go and snag a copy of an incredible YA read this April!




happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Guest Post: "Where I Write" by Sophie Cameron (author of "Out Of The Blue")

Guest Post: "Where I Write" by Sophie Cameron (author of "Out Of The Blue")






Title: Out Of The Blue
Author: Sophie Cameron
Published: March 22nd, 2018
Publisher: Macmillian Children's Books
Find the Author: Goodreads 

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Sometimes, I imagine alternate endings to the story: last-minute miracles, touches of magic. I picture how things might have gone, if I wasn’t there. If I’d left just a few minutes later. If I hadn’t been alone. It doesn’t make any difference. One way or another, the crash always comes.
Ten days after Jaya Mackenzie’s mum dies, angels start falling from the sky. Smashing down to earth at extraordinary speeds, wings bent, faces contorted, not a single one has survived.
Hysteria mounting with every Being that drops, Jaya’s father uproots the family to Edinburgh intent on catching one alive. But Jaya can’t stand this obsession and, struggling to make sense of her mother’s sudden death and her own role on that fateful day, she’s determined to stay out of it.
When her best friend disappears and her father’s mania spirals, things hit rock bottom and it’s at that moment something extraordinary happens: An angel lands right at Jaya’s feet, and it’s alive. Finally she is forced to acknowledge just how significant these celestial beings are.
Set against the backdrop of the frenzied Edinburgh festival, OUT OF THE BLUE tackles questions of grief and guilt and fear over who we really are. But it’s also about love and acceptance and finding your place in this world as angels drop out of another.


Where I Write – Sophie Cameron




This is my current writing spot, in my flat in Barcelona. I moved here from Ibiza in January and into this flat just a few weeks ago, so I’m still getting used to it all. So far, I’m liking it a lot – despite being right in the centre of the city it’s really quiet, and the room gets lots of nice light in the mornings. Also, someone across the road is an amazing pianist, and it really adds to the atmosphere when they play. Thanks, anonymous neighbour!

I try to get up early to write here for an hour or so before I start work every morning. I don’t always manage it (I like my bed too much) but I find I usually get my best writing done then. Right now I’m finishing up edits on my second book, but soon I’ll be moving onto drafting book three. There’ll be a hundred times more post-its then!

  





About The Author:
Sophie Cameron is a YA author from the Black Isle, Scotland. Her first novel OUT OF THE BLUE will be published by Macmillan Children's Books / Roaring Brook Press in 2018. She lives with her wife in Spain, where she works as a copywriter and spends her time writing, reading and learning foreign languages.






I don't know about you, but that writing area looks incredible! 

Who else can't wait to read Out of The Blue? It's out TODAY and you can buy it on Amazon or Book Depository, as well as your local bookstores (subject to availability).

Let me know in the comments, on twitter @LittleMemoirs or on Facebook!


happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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Book Review: "In Search Of Us" by Ava Dellaira

Book Review: "In Search Of Us" by Ava Dellaira


Title: In Search Of Us 
Author: Ava Dellaira
Published: March 6th, 2018
Publisher: Hot Key Books
Rating: πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±πŸ±
Find the Author: Goodreads 

Disclosure: I received this ARC on NetGalley in exchange for an impartial review. As always, my reviews are fair and unbiased.

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The author of the beloved Love Letters to the Dead returns with a parallel story of a mother and daughter each at age seventeen. Marilyn's tale recounts the summer she fell in love and set out on her own path. Angie's story is about her search for her unknown father.
This sweeping multi-generational love story introduces readers to mother-and-daughter pair Marilyn and Angie. To seventeen-year-old Angie, who is mixed-race, Marilyn is her hardworking, devoted white single mother. But Marilyn was once young, too. When Marilyn was seventeen, she fell in love with Angie's father, James, who was African-American. But Angie's never met him, and Marilyn has always told her he died before she was born. When Angie discovers evidence of an uncle she's never met she starts to wonder: What if her dad is still alive, too? So she sets off on a journey to find him, hitching a ride to LA from her home in New Mexico with her ex-boyfriend, Sam. Along the way, she uncovers some hard truths about herself, her mother, and what truly happened to her father.

First Thoughts...


I only just recently bought Love Letters To The Dead, Ava's previous novel, but couldn't help requesting this gorgeous book on Netgalley. There was something so entrancing about the synopsis that screamed READ ME, BECCA!

My Review...



The striking thing about In Search Of Us is that I wasn't expecting for it to move me so much. I picked it up thinking it would be a lighter read than it was, and it totally threw me off my game (in an amazing way, somehow.) Angie, our main character in one of the alternate chapters, has never known who her Dad is. She was raised solely by her Mother, Marilyn (who is our other narrator, taking us into the past). See, Angie is mixed-race, something her Mother can't understand, as a white woman. She knows her dad was African-American, but here she is in the middle, not knowing where she fits in. Marilyn never planned to raise Angie alone, this we find out in the past scenes, and tells Angie that her real Dad has passed. But when Angie realizes that her Mother might have been lying, she sets out for a sense of belonging. Angie searches for her family ties in L.A., intertwining to where past-Marilyn meets James - Angie's father.
I loved the mirrors between Angie and young Marilyn. They had so many things in common (that they didn't even realise) and that lay subtly between the lines. I think that the message in In Search of Us is hugely important, especially for mixed-race people who don't look like one/their Parents. Ava handles this with such care and transparency that was so effortless. But with the highs in a story come the lows, like the whirlwind love story of James and Marilyn, leading to disastrous ends between their families. These tie-up scenes toward the end really tugged at my heartstrings and I felt myself poring out emotion onto the pages.
Overall, though it is a moving and heartfelt read, it's more than that: it's modern, important and oh-so-amazing. I love that the lines of the truth toward the end were blurred so that we might not know everything that happened in the past, especially considering every novel isn't meant to be tied-up neatly at the end. This was such a boomerang of a novel, coming out of nowhere and just stealing my heart. While the chapters bounced oddly, I still can't think of anyone I wouldn't recommend this to. I'll be getting a paperback very soon - it's that good. Four-and-a-half, brilliant stars!



What did you think of In Search Of Us?

Let me know in the comments, on twitter @LittleMemoirs or on Facebook!

happy reading!
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Becca Jayne
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[name=Becca Jayne] [img=https://vgy.me/yfdTyy.jpg] [description=I'm Becca, the founder of PrettyLittleMemoirs.com. I blog, write and read as much as I can and you'll probably find me sipping Iced Coffee at a coffee shop or in a bookstore carrying the most books. Let's be friends!] (facebook=http://www.facebook.com/PrettyLittleMemoirs) (twitter=http://www.twitter.com/LittleMemoirs) (instagram=http://www.instagram.com/WhatBeccaRead) (bloglovin=http://www.bloglovin.com/blogs/pretty-little-memoirs-a-young-adult-book-7311865) (pinterest=http://www.pinterest.co.uk/beccajaynexx/)