Some Books From 2016

13 January 2017

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Over summer I read this really good book and I wanted to talk about it on my blog, and I can't remember if I ever did. But then I figured I'd talk about three books I read last year instead, because three books seems like just the right amount. Although just because I'm talking about them doesn't mean they're the best I read from last year, I'm not really sure how I chose these books to feature in this post. Lately I haven't been reading much because I am obsessed with the TV show 'Shameless' but I've almost completely caught up, and once I have my main mode of entertainment will be reading again, probably. At the moment I'm reading 'The Bell Jar' but I always seem to read it when I'm exhausted after college and feeling confused the next time I pick it up because my brain didn't properly read the last chapter.

THE GIRLS - EMMA CLINE

I was completely gripped by this book. The narrator is Evie Boyd, a fourteen year old girl on the cusp of adulthood. Cline navigates through classic teenage issues like rebellion, curiosity and insecurity but its just such a unique book. The story line was really good, I never know how much to give away but it was more than just the story line because Cline just wrote it so well in my opinion. You know how in some books the descriptions seem endless, in this book they're so minimal but make so much sense. Also her descriptions, not necessarily made me uncomfortable but were just so realistic, I don't know how to explain. It is just an amazing book about a girl who is coming of age and ends up involved in a twisted commune and flutters between the present and the past to keep you engaged and gah. Just so well written and such an enticing plot. Read it!

THE VIRGIN SUICIDES 

This book, I didn't find as compelling as 'The Girls'.  I could easily put it down but I like the story line. It is quite bizarre but nice and I really liked the narrative, it was a unique one. It's written in first person, a constant use of 'we' yet are never fully introduced to the narrators but as the novel progresses begin to recognise who they are, but are never individualised which I found so bizarre because how could a book be written in first person yet the narrator have such little individuality! Its about the Libson sisters who, as the title suggests, end up committing suicide. They begin as a normal family, but when the first sister commits suicide their mother is overly protective and the whole family become isolated from the neighbourhood, making them intriguing to the boys who do what they can to find out more about the girl. It is a good book, but I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have the first time. I ended up reading a lot of articles after it which I think definitely helped me like the book more once I realised how many symbols and themes I was blind to before. It is definitely a book I will be rereading. I think that this is a good book to read if you want something with a feminist take, I read a really good article about the concept of the 'male gaze' regarding this book and I just found it so interesting. 

HIGHLY ILLOGICAL BEHAVIOUR
Despite this book handling mental health issues, I personally found it a much lighter read than the other two. Not emotionally but just this one was pretty what you see is what you get, the other two had much more deeper meanings, I could be completely wrong but that is just my opinion. I read Where Things Come Back by the same author and loved it, and when I saw on Sarahs blog (whose book reviews I trust immensely) I just had to get it.  It switches between Soloman and Lisas narrative, I usually like that in a book. Soloman suffers from agoraphobia and Lisa is a psychology student who wants to help Soloman overcome his phobia. I'm not sure how much I can reveal but there is ups and downs in the friendship. Lately a lot of books have a mental health focus, as does this book, and although it all kind of comes back to Solomans agoraphobia, it isn't the main thing about the novel and there is so much more than just mental health. It deals with quite a few issues but in a lighthearted way. I really liked the characters and cared about them a lot, which I find important in books. It was easy and enjoyable and heartwarming and just such a pleasant read. Although there was one part that made me teary and I had to go get a cup of tea to calm down.

I'm never really sure how to write about books on here but, these were good books that I think you should read. Also, my sister is in labour! In my next post I'll be an auntie!

Best Parts of 2016

4 January 2017

2016 Recap
Hello! Happy new year and I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas. I can't believe it's 2017, so much is going to happen this year. I got a levels, university, my sister is having a baby. I would say my 2017 goals, but honestly they're pretty much always the same. Get back into exercise, I'm determined to get strong enough to do at least 5 pull ups. At the moment I can just about do one, how am I meant to hold my niece/nephew with such weak arms! And also to be a regular blogger, in my mind I have a rough plan on how I will do that, whether it works out is another story. Oh another goal is to get good at wearing heels. Adventurous I know, but I am a weakling when it comes to heels but hopefully by the end of this year I will have moved away from the small pair of chunky heels that I always wear.

I thought I would do a round up of 2016, but then figured if it was a roundup it would have to be in chronological order and I have no idea what happened when so I'll do highlights of my year. Wow, it's really hard to pick the first one because I feel like it will be the most significant one but I can't think of  anything anymore and don't want to be judged for whatever I think the best part of 2016 was for me, so I have decided to just dive in.
  • My sister got pregnant.
  • I finally saw Twenty One Pilots in concert, as well as Years and Years and many other great bands.
  • I discovered Honest Burger, possibly my new favourite restaurant, it is very hard to find gluten free onion rings, let alone ones that taste that good!!
  • I got closer with some of my friends and made new ones. It's nice to solidify friendships, and reach the 'best friend' stage.
  • I went to Athens with my college, possibly one of the best trips of my entire life.
  • I met (well technically we met in 2015 but I never really spoke to him) my boyfriend (oh so cringey typing that) Michael and he's pretty cool
  • I went to Reading festival and had an incredible time. To be honest, I think just the summer in general was super fun for me.
  • I sent off my UCAS
  • I discovered some foods and learnt how to make spicy cauliflower. Not that big a deal but oh boy do I love spicy cauliflower
  • I rediscovered how much I love English lit. During first year a-level I hated it, now I can't get enough of it

It is always a constant struggle of mine to find photos. Oh but exciting stuff, maybe not to you but hey ho, I have ordered a planner (after seeing how great Lucys looked). Maybe 2017 will be when I become organised. So far not, but we're only four days in, so it doesn't really count. Also funny stuff whilst looking through pictures, I remember last year new years I took a photo of me kissing my friend on the cheek and, not to brag, but my bone structure looked so good and throughout January to March, I have a bunch of photos of me kissing my friends on their cheeks, attempting to recreate the perfect bone structure photo. It never happened again though. 

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