My contraceptive pill journey…

Hey everyone, a little something different from me today, I’ve had this in my head for ages that I wanted to write about my journey since coming off the contraceptive pill and while I haven’t used this blog for books for a while I did want to use it to share this.

There will be A LOT of TMI in this post and if menstrual cycles creep you out, then you really need to grow up it’s literally a natural bodily function.

For those of you that are still sticking around, it’s a long one!

This should go without saying, but I am not a medical professional and everything within this post is my own experience and is no way meant to replace medical advice.

Here goeeeeeees!

I am now into my 7th month of being contraceptive pill free, after a little over 10 years of being on it.

For a bit of background… I was put on the pill aged 15 after going to my doctor with heavy and painful periods. While the Dr did discuss with us that it was used as contraception my main purpose for taking it was to regulate my cycle and help me with the period pains and heavy flow.

And admittedly, it did help with these issues (more on that below).

Yearly after this I would go to the doctors for a check up of my weight and blood pressure before being described another years dose. My appts were a bit like this…

I do want to say that I never thought I had any issues while I was on the pill, I just thought that everything I was experiencing, mentally and physically, was perfectly normal and just something that everyone with a uterus went through. It’s only been in the last 7 months that I realised how much of this wasn’t normal.

But I’ll write more on that a bit further down…

Early in the pandemic, I started thinking about coming off the pill, but for various reasons, I decided against it. It was mid-way through then when I had a routine check-up and was prescribed another year’s dose, I went on my merry way to the chemist, only to be told that my contraceptive pill was incredibly hard to get hold of and they had no stock (apparently the same company were helping to produce the vaccines sooooo can’t really get arsey about that bit tbh🤷‍♀️).

I called my Dr to explain and without any warning or discussion or plan in place, I was changed to rigevidon. Until this point, I had been on brevinor, and my Dr did assure me that they were much in the same and I would be fine as I hadn’t had any issues in the last 10 years on my current pill…

And there began the worst 5 months of my life.

I experienced some of the worst physical side effects, constant headaches (in the same place consistently and painkillers would make zero difference), constant spots, constant sore boobs, regular nausea, excessive bloating, a change in appetite, alongside mental side effects including depression and extreme mood swings. At one particularly low point, I was having suicidal thoughts.

It was because of this that I decided to come off the pill.

I started with natural cycles, I placed an order and after taking my last pill packet in October and having a withdrawal bleed I started taking my temperature every morning and logging it into the app, along with details about my sex drive, my skin, any pain, and my moods.

I was dubious at first, I’d only ever really known the pill and having regular periods, but natural cycles has changed my life.

It’s encouraged me to read about how my cycle affects my mood, about cervical mucus (and let me tell you, I did not know that you could learn about variation in fertility through your discharge, my life was changed honestly), and just generally more about my cycle and how to treat my body at the different stages of my cycle.

At the grand old age of 26, I finally feel more in control of my cycle and my body.

Now I’m aware this part may be TMI for some people, but I wanted to highlight some of the differences between when I was on the pill and now I’m off the pill soooooo…

Also, side note, I am now obsessed with talking about my menstrual cycle, like I’m not just bringing it up in conversation randomly but I am so much more open about it in general and will not shy away from conversations about it.


Yes my skin was clear and I could skip my withdrawal bleed if I wanted to, but I also had incredible period pains on day 1 and 2, to the point I’d be doubled over (something that my pill was supposed to help alleviate) and the bloating was off the chart and crazily uncomfortable.

The main things, that looking back I should not have let myself suffer with for so long, were intrusive thoughts, an incredibly low sex drive and a lack of emotions. I was numb to everything, I didn’t feel emotions, I felt as though I was behind a brick wall and nothing was coming through.


My skin isn’t overly clear, but it has pushed me to look deeper into my skincare routine and add extra steps – which is only a good thing! I get cramps, sort of a day before my period is due, but that’s it and the bloating is limited, it still happens but it’s manageable and I know my triggers for it.

And I actually feel things… while my emotions were initially all over the place after coming off the pill, they are now way more in line and I actually feel THINGS. I never used to cry, ever, but even TV adverts with puppies and I’m sobbing. It feels bizarre but also, after being so numb for so many years I feel like it’s just my brain releasing everything. Also, my sex drive has increased hugely, I would literally jump my bf’s bones every second of the day if I could lmao.

I just feel like a better person since coming off the pill.

I truly believe that being on the pill for 10 years was affecting my body and mind negatively. I think my body was telling me it was ready to come off and try something new, to give it a break from artificial hormones and just let her be free.

I feel more alive, I feel things, I feel emotions properly, I feel happier, I feel like me.

It’s definitely been a journey and a learning curve and I’m still learning things about myself and the whole process, I’m only 7 months in to being pill free, but I can hand on heart say I would not go back onto the contraceptive pill unless it was life or death and every other available option had been exhausted.

Oh lordy, that was a long one, though not as much TMI as I thought, unless I’m just immune to it lmao.

As I said before, I’m not a doctor and this is not medical advice it’s simply my experiences of being on and now off the contraceptive pill.

I will say if you are considering coming off the pill, go for it. I came off mine midway through a yearly dose, so that I was able to go back onto it if I needed to, I had a back up supply so to speak. But, when tidying out my medication box the other day I finally threw those extra packs away and I am fully embracing the pill free life.

I’m also more than happy to chat about this in more detail so if you have a question don’t feel embarrassed to ask! You can see me on twitter too, if you want to DM instead of leaving a comment, I’m @WhatEmsReadingX

And thank you, if you read the entirety of this post, I know it was long but I needed to get A LOT out of my brain. Thank you, so much.

Em xxx

Five books I’m really glad I read in 2021…

Hi friends and fellow bookworms! I’m back again with something a little bit different, this time I’m giving my list of 5 books I’m really glad I read last year… Without further introduction here they are!

Oopsie Daisy by Iris Morland – This was a JOY to read, I consumed it so quickly so I’m kinda disappointed I didn’t pace myself with it. I am definitely a fan of this author now and am on the hunt for more of her books (once I’m off my book buying ban of course!)

An Elderly Lady Must Not Be Crossed by Helene Tursten – I was incredibly lucky to receive this an ARC but that in no way impacted my enjoyment, that was all completely natural! I don’t think this would have been one I’d pick up in a shop just on the off chance but it was so good and completely worth the read.

Ariadne, I Love You by J Ashley Smith – Another ARC that has made it onto my list is by J Ashley Smith. A tale of the descent into madness that left me feeling haunted and hollow long after I finished reading. One for you if you’re looking for something a little eerie but without the usual fear factor of horror and thriller books.

Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick – I know this has been out forEVER and it’s probably not the best out of the two, but it completely reignited by obsession with Patch and I’m incredibly happy to have gotten my hands on a copy and read it last year!

The Neighbour by London Clarke – The final ARC on this list, and possibly the most frightening of the bunch. I’m not easy to scare with books or films but The Neighbour definitely got under my skin and scared me half to death, I was on the edge of my seat for DAYS after finishing this one.

There are more than likely soooo many other books I could have added to this list, so watch this space for another one later in the year!

Happy reading bookworms! Until next time, Em xxx

3 bookish wishes from the Book Genie!

Hi friends and fellow bookworms! I’m back again with something a little bit different, this time I’m giving my 3 bookish wishes to a Book Genie… I’m hoping if I rub the right book hard enough a genie might pop out and grant me these wishes, we can live in hope!

Wish number one…

For an entire SERIES of books about Percabeth, transitioning into adulthood, college, marriage, children. I WANT ALL OF IT. I need to just have a series of books about their lives, PLEASE.

Wish number two…

For me to forget the Mistborn series so I can go back and read it all over again with a completely fresh mind. I love these books, but sometimes I wish I could go back and reread them without knowing everything and be completely new to the story.

Wish number three…

For all books to be a standard size!!!!! I am sick of hardbacks being different sizes and not fitting on my shelves correctly. My copy of The Da Vinci Code is small and hideous because it doesn’t match the other books by Dan Brown in terms of size. PLEASE just make books a uniform size so everything FITS.

I actually was surprised by how hard it was to think of three bookish wishes, as I didn’t just want to wish for all the time in the world to read books (although that would make a great bonus wish….) Genie’s of the world, if you’re reading this we need a bonus wish!

Let me know what your bookish wishes would be in the comments below.

Happy reading bookworms! Until next time, Em xxx

📚Books I’m adding to my TBR based on StoryGraph recs📚

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! I am sharing something slightly different today, and that is books I’ve added to my TBR based on StoryGraph recs.

I recently signed up to StoryGraph and imported my entire Goodreads library onto there, which definitely helped me get some more personalised recs! And if you haven’t signed up for StoryGraph, why not?! It’s such a good alternative to other platforms AND you get the most amazing graphs based on your reading. I saw them and nearly cried I’m not going to lie to you!

Anyway, this list will likely grow as I have new recs every time I log in, but for the moment here are the ones I’ve added to my TBR – complete with a link to the synopsis.

Game of Life by Belle Brooks (read the synopsis here)

Cheerleading Can Be Murder by Carissa Ann Lynch (read the synopsis here)

Dark Matter by Blake Crouch (read the synopsis here)

Portraits of the Dead by John Nicholl (read the synopsis here)

Children of the Dark by Matthew Revert, Jonathan Janz (read the synopsis here)

Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson (read the synopsis here)

Shunned by Steffanie Holmes (read the synopsis here)

Semblance by Logan Patricks (read the synopsis here) I’ve actually not long purchased this one so it’s going to live on my shelves for months now of course!

If you have read any of these books let me know what you thought in the comments (but no spoilers please and thank you!)

Until next time, Em xxx

Some weird update type thing?!

Hello friends and fellow bookworms! Todays post is a bit random, I just fancied something different on my blog. So I decided to recreate a photo from over a year ago…

I can’t find the original post that I shared the fist picture on, but a bit of background for you!

Picture one was taken in May 2020, it was midway through lockdown and I was kind of bored one day, so I thought what better to do than measure myself against books… (For reference I am 5ft3″ or just about anyway lol) and I kinda thought ehhh if they fall down, what better way to die than being crushed by my books.

The second picture (which is now missing approximately 25 books) was taken in August of 2021, when I decided to see how much my book pile had grown. It had… Drastically.

I am overwhelmed sometimes by the sheer number of books that I own, and honestly I fear having to move them all when I buy my own house. I’m scared they will get damaged or fall and crush me while I’m packing them.

With the extra 25ish books I’m missing I now have two piles that are definitely over 5ft3″ and ya know what, I’m not even sorry! I could be addicted to drugs or gambling, instead I’m addicted to buying books and adding them to my collection and then not reading them for 3 years🙈

There wasn’t really any rhyme or reason to this post, I just wanted to share something a bit different today!

Until next time, Em xxx

📚Why I’m not seeing a numbered reading goal for 2022…📚

Hey friends! And welcome to my blog, or welcome back if you’re a regular visitor. I posted on my twitter a while ago that I wasn’t going to be setting myself a numbered reading goal for 2022 and asked my followers if I should write a thread on it or a blog post. The overwhelming response was blog post, so here we are!

For 2019, 2020 and 2021 I have set myself a Goodreads goal, and for those three years I completed said goal. This year I actually smashed my goal by nearly 200% – I originally set a goal of 40 books and so far I’m on 74 (as of 23.10.21 when I wrote this post).

Last year, I upped my reading goal 3 times because I kept overtaking myself, which I do believe lockdown had some helping hand in, I will admit… There was nothing to do but read, it was like a bookworms dream.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand (sorry I ramble A LOT!)

My reasons for not setting a numbered reading goal next year are:

1 – I’ve recently been informed I’m being promoted at work, which comes with new responsibilities and a new job role. The new job role also requires that I undertake some training, which is a year long and will have an exam at the end. While I will still be putting aside time to read and undertake my other hobbies, I feel the added pressure of a numbered goal for reading would just be too much, even if I set that goal really low.

2 – I’m trying to get my TBR down… I know that’s what everyone is doing, but during lockdown especially, I was rewarding myself for every book I read by buying another 2 or 3, and that was just increasing my TBR by 2 or 3 times every time I finished something, and when I read 101 books in 2020 it’s getting dangerous😬

3 – I want to focus on my NetGalley ratio. I’m incredibly lucky that I have been approved for many ARCs over the last year or so that I’ve had access to NetGalley and I am so grateful for every single publisher that grants my request and I love reading these new books that are being published. But when I have a reading goal, I seem to forget my ratio even exists.

4 – On the same theme, I want to be able to spend time shouting about these new books that I’m getting to access through NetGalley and really bring some attention to them before I just move onto the next one because I’m trying to achieve a goal.

5 – No one is making me set a goal for myself, I don’t have to do it, and I don’t have to put pressure on myself to achieve a numbered goal, for something that is a hobby. I don’t have to take part in a reading goal, it doesn’t make me any less of a reader or make me feel any less involved… I just want to take a step back from the pressure that seeing the number and percentage on Goodreads or Storygraph would force onto me.

And there you have it, my reasoning for not setting myself a numbered reading goal next year! I will still be tracking my reading, sharing reviews and keeping a total of how many books I’ve read but I won’t be comparing that against some random number that I’ve picked for myself.

Of course though if you’re taking part in a reading goal next year, let me know so I can cheer you on from the sidelines!

Until next time, Em xxx

Rating my 2019 TBR list…

Hi guys! I felt like doing something a bit different today and I decided what better than to revisit some of my old posts! The first one I came across was my 2019 TBR which you can read here before you read the rest of this post.

I also want to make it known that I am, in fact, high key embarrassed by that post🙈

Apparently 2019 me thought that “I had a lot of books to read” so let’s all take a second to lol at 2019 me…

2019 = 7 books on my TBR / 2021 = 118 books on my TBR + 36 books on my to buy shelf. Yes, 2019 Em, you had SO MANY BOOKS.

I actually feel a lot embarrassed by myself and how naïve I was thinking that 7 books was a lot! Ahhh, and to think I was overwhelmed by 7 books on my TBR and now I’m just like:

This Is Fine - Download Free 3D model by Laura (@aplut) [0a0d3d3]

Whenever I look at my current TBR…

Be sure to check out my linked post above if you want to feel some second hand embarrassment and for the entirety of this post to make sense!

Until next time, Em xxx

Halloween Song Book Tag!

Hey guys! As it’s October, which is basically Halloween month I’m sharing a Halloween book tag today!

I found it on the blog Adventures with a Side of Espresso, but it was created by booktuber A Beautiful Chaos of Books. She also created a playlist for the tag on Spotify based on the songs included in the tag.

Let us begin…


The Woman In The Water by Kelly Heard. I absolutely loved this book, I couldn’t put it down and it had this eerie vibe that would be perfect for a Halloween read!


The Shining by Stephen King. I have read this book several times and every time it creeps me the fuck out. Honestly.


A recent one I read was The Devil’s Staircase by Helen Fitzgerald, it was a real slog to read and I wish I had stuck with my earlier idea to DNFR it. Also, a special mention for a book called Unnatural which I did DNF, at around 22% but honestly, it felt like 202% through, it was a real drag.


I try not to eat while I’m reading because I don’t want to get anything on my books or my kindle. but I do love a good biscuit or cookie while I’m reading, when I fancy a treat!


Anything by Stephen King, I will re-read his books over and over again during Halloween. And any of the Goosebumps books, they’re perfect for reminding me of Halloween’s gone by!


I absolutely powered my way through Unethical by Marla L Anderson, honestly, it was SO GOOD that I couldn’t put it down. I loved it sooooo much.


Do I need to look any further than the PJO series?!


I am absolutely terrified by fantasy books, I mean there are so many out there? And they’re all really long? And like 10 book series? With worlds entirely crafted by words? And they have maps in the books? There is just a lot to take in and they actually make me feel kind of anxious.


Abra-Cadaver by Matt Drabble. I have never read anything like it before, and I don’t think I ever will again, it was an incredibly clever premise.

Let me know what you think of my answers and any that you would pick for the different song titles!

Until next time, Em xxx


Hey friends! A bonus book tag from me today instead of a book review… Specifically because it’s HALLOWEEN MONTH!!!!! and I wanted to be able to share this tag with you so I’ve swapped it out for a review, anyway, here we go.

I found the All About Halloween Book Tag over on Madame Writer, who credits CatFairy Books as the creator. But it seems that CatFairy Books has taken down their blog. I still wanted to give them credit though as this is a truly brilliant tag!


I’m going to be sooooo unoriginal here and say Halloween 1978.


They aren’t specifically Halloween themed, but I love reading the Goosebumps series around Halloween, the sense of nostalgia they bring to me is second to none and they remind me of when I used to scare myself silly as a child watching them on TV with all the lights off.


The Shining by Stephen King and Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. I know they aren’t set at Halloween but they’re both ones that are perfect for reading with the lights dimmed, fluffy blankets, a hot chocolate and lots of Halloween sweets.


I actually don’t🥺 but my mission for next year is to either buy one or ask my Nan to knit me one (I’m not saying my Nan knits ugly sweaters, but she defo would understand the assignment if that’s what I wanted!)


I love costumes that are based on scary characters or Halloween characters, so like people dressed as Jason or Freddy or Leatherface, oh and I love people who dress like Beetlejuice!!!!


Now I live in the UK where Halloween isn’t as widely celebrated, but I will still be carving my pumpkin and waiting for any trick or treaters, all while watching horror films on repeat and then being too scared to drag my ass up to bed.

We also might be going to scarefest at Alton Towers for my birthday, but that’s a little bit earlier in October so.


We always put the pumpkins outside, to show that we were happy for trick or treaters to knock on our door, and my Mom would take me outside to the end of the path and I’d walk up to my own front door and knock and shout TRICK OR TREAT at my Dad and he would pretend to be shocked that I was out there and then I’d get to pick some sweets out of the bowl, it was so cute.

I also used to go trick or treating a lot around my local neighbourhood and with friends from school and their parents so that was cool too!

And a bonus for you all, I was actually about 8 years old when I watched Scream for the first time, it was one Halloween and me and my friend from primary school had snuck downstairs whilst the adults were watching it and I think that’s what ignited my love for horror films…

Anyway, let me know in the comments what you’re doing for Halloween this year and be sure to share with me your favourite scary movies!

Until next time, Em xxx

Another book tag!

Hello friends I’m here with another book tag which I actually can’t remember or find the official name of, I’m such a bad blogger honestly… But, this is one that has some absolute classic songs on it that I was super excited to take part in!

Today’s post is a tag courtesy of Jemma and Milly – and it’s a nostalgic one. I used to be obsessed with some of these songs (read as still am obsessed with some of these songs lmao)

As always if you want to take part please consider yourself tagged.

What’s My Age Again? – blink 182
What age did you discover your love of reading?
Probably around 7 or 8, I used to love reading in school and around that age was when I started to pick my own books at the library (under my Mom’s watchful eyes!) and would really look forward to visiting the library.

All Star – Smash Mouth
What is your favourite genre?
Thriller, horror or psychological thriller. They are my absolute FAVE.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Deep Blue Something
What is your go to reading snack/drink (or just your favourite)
I don’t really eat or drink while I’m reading but if I am it’s usually a cup of tea and a squares rice krispie bar. They don’t make as much mess as biscuits!

Give It Away – Red Hot Chili Peppers
What book do you ALWAYS recommend to people
At the moment, this is The Pastel Effect by Arly Carmack or usually The Shining by Stephen King, or Red Dragon by Thomas Harris.

…Baby One More Time – Britney Spears
A book or series you have read more than once
Harry Potter, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, the Hannibal series and the Goosebumps horrorland series.

Tearin’ Up My Heart – N’Sync
A book that broke your heart to finish
I absolutely sobbed when I finished Midnight Sun, I’m not sure if it was the emotion of re-reading the entire series in preparation or what but I broke my heart when I finished it 😦

Crush – Jennifer Paige
Who was your first bookish crush
Thinking back probably Draco Malfoy, or Edward Cullen. It’s a toss up between the two who I crushed on first.

Smells Like Teen Spirit – Nirvana
A book that you read as a teen that you still love today
Animal Farm by George Orwell. The older I get the more my opinion on this book changes. We had to read it for our English lit class and then had a GCSE exam based upon it, so at the time I absolutely detested it. But, now I’m older I’m starting to appreciate it more and am thinking of doing a re-read.

Let me know if you’ve read any of the books I’ve spoken about and what you thought of them!

And if you do take part in this tag be sure to let me know so I can check out your post.

Until next time, Em xxx