Friday, 28 September 2018

Monthly Playlist: September

Hello again guys; it feels to be blogging again, today I spent some time taking photos for some upcoming blog posts and I feel like I’ll definitely try to get back into the swing of it but this month has taken a lot out of me, for some reason. Mental health isn’t an easy thing, it’s not something that’s magically fixed and I feel very lucky to say that my life is going well at the moment so there’s no particular reason for why I’ve felt like shit, but it is what it is. I like to be honest with you, so here it is; life is hard and it’s a struggle. That said, soon there’s a new month which is always a good excuse to be more positive in general. I’m sorry that I’m posting this so late in the month, but it’s better late than never in a way. My music is strange as always, with a mix of artists, genres and styles all muddled in somehow. One of things that I love about using an iPod is that I can put my phone away, press shuffle on the iPod and just fall into the music and forgetting about using social media or anything like that. It’s a great way to disconnect and chill out a little bit. It’s starting to get a bit colder now and even though it’s far away, I can’t wait for Christmas time as it’s a great excuse to bring out the cheesiest music there is. Is it just me that loves a good bit of cheese? I hope you’re all well and I’ll see you again very soon! :)

1. One Thing - One Direction
2. Black Magic - Little Mix
3. Swim - Douglas Dare
4. Battlefield - Jordin Sparks 
5. Live or Die - Noah Cyrus & Lil Xan
6. Se Vuelve Loca - CNCO
7. Best Song Ever - One Direction
8. In the Name of Love - Martin Garrix & Bebe Rexha
9. Mi Mala - Mau y Ricky & Karol G
10. What Doesn’t Kill You (Stronger) - Kelly Clarkson
11. Say Amen (Saturday Night) - Panic! At the Disco
12. Ghost - Ella Henderson
13. Like I Did - Leadley
14. Chantaje - Shakira 
15. High Hopes - Panic! At the Disco

Sunday, 16 September 2018

Book Review: Holding Up the Universe

As anyone who has read my blog before will know; I do love Young Adult fiction and so after seeing this one hyped over on bookstagram pages I decided to give it a go .Focussing on two teenagers, Jack and Libby, the story develops as Libby head back into mainstream High School after taking two years out. Once known as America's Fattest Teen, as much as she has lost copious amounts of weight, unfortunately she's still a lot bigger than many of her classmates and so the teasing and name calling doesn't come as a surprise to her, sadly. Thanks to some rather unfortunate peer pressure, Jack gets involved in a nasty fat shaming prank that results in Libby sticking up for herself. In an attempt to not be called a coward by his friends, he ultimately becomes a coward in the eyes of the viewer and of Libby. Both he and Libby find themselves in group counselling together, alongside community service which neither are particularly happy about.

As the novel progresses, you do see their relationship begin to blossom; I liked how there was an initial connection between them that Libby wasn't aware of. It does make you appreciate his character a lot more, as to begin with I wasn't keen on him at all. That being said, there was nothing about this book that massively stood out for me; both Libby and Jack were defined by their conditions, Libby with her weight and Jack with his inability to recognise faces and they never seemed to develop much beyond that, which was a shame as they both had more potential. Of the two, Libby was more relatable due to her insecurities about her weight and looks in general, but at the same time she also seemed a little too confident at times for someone in her situation. Jack came across as a bit of an airhead, a stereotypical popular boy and I didn't feel any warmth for their growing relationship as it seemed quite forced as well as unbelievable at times. It sounds harsh but the whole two broken people falling in love felt a little overdone in this novel, which was disappointing as after reading All The Bright Places by the same author, I was expecting better execution.

Overall, I wasn't enamored with this book. The pace felt very slow, the characters not massively developed and the plot rather ill thought out. It was pretty offensive in terms of content, although the portrayal of Libby was a lot better than I expected, I wanted her to be more than just body image, teenage angst and aggression. This book isn't amazing, it's not the worst book that I've read but it's not the best, either. Niven's writing style is unique and that is what saved this for me; I do genuinely enjoy her style and the way that her text flows from page to page and chapter to chapter. However I do wish that her characters were less one dimensional as having read two of her books now I do feel like there is a formula to her work and that is disappointing. I want to see characters grow and develop, to become more than you expect and that just didn't happen. Jack was particularly uninteresting and selfish, I preferred his little brother which says it all when he's supposed to be a key figure. Based purely on the writing style, I rate this book 3 stars but it isn't one that I'd recommend. As I've said, I'm disappointed.

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