Dear College-Bound Kids: What I’ve Learned From Five Years At University [On Uni Life]

Hi friends! With a lot of people returning or starting their first year at university (some of you call it college) around this time, I thought I would write a post about the lessons I’ve learned from my five years at university. (I know five years isn’t long for some of you; don’t look at me like that, med students.)

I’ve decided to split this post, Dear College-Bounds Kids up into three – I didn’t realize how much I had written until I checked the word count! Today’s post is on Uni Life – or, the more general advice I have to offer about making the most of university. I’ll be doing two other posts, which I’ve already lined up; one will cover On Studying & Assignments, and the other will be Writing Essays (because, I have to say, I write pretty heckin’ good essays).

Read More »

Advertisements

The Memory of Light by Francisco X. Stork – Heartbreaking, hopeful, honest; a rare story about depression and grief

Summary:

Vicky Cruz shouldn’t be alive.

That’s what she thinks, anyway—and why she tried to kill herself. But then she arrives at Lakeview Hospital, where she meets Mona, the live wire; Gabriel, the saint; E.M., always angry; and Dr. Desai, a quiet force. With stories and honesty, kindness and hard work, they push her to reconsider her life before Lakeview, and offer her an acceptance she’s never had.

Yet Vicky’s newfound peace is as fragile as the roses that grow around the hospital. And when a crisis forces the group to split up—sending her back to the life that drove her to suicide—Vicky must find her own courage and strength. She may not have any. She doesn’t know.

Note: suicide will be discussed extensively in my review.

My review:

Often when we read books about mental illness, we follow the trajectory and development of an individual’s experience with mental illness. The Memory of Light offers something a little different; rather than looking at the events preceding a traumatic event or exploring the age-old question of ‘what drives a person to take their own life?’, The Memory of Light explores its aftermath.

Read More »

Book Recs: Invisible Narratives in Historical Fiction

Good morning, good afternoon, or good evening, friends! I hope you are all reading some awesome books. And if you aren’t, well, I hope that I can recommend you some great books in today’s Book Recommendations post!

On the third Monday of every month, I share some Book Recommendations that pertain to a theme! I’ll tell you all a little bit about the book, what I liked about them (because I always only recommend books I have read and liked!), and give you all the links so you can add them to your list of books to read.

Just a quick reminder: I’m currently on hiatus from Twitter and don’t have access to my account (just so I don’t procrastinate)! If you need to contact me, contact me via email or my Instagram.

In my last recap post, I mentioned how I was going to share with you ‘books for your discoursing heart’ and ‘books that will make you laugh’. And whilst I’ll be posting them in September and October respectively, I really wanted to share some historical fiction books that I really liked, but, with a twist. Read More »

The Tiger’s Watch by Julie Ember – Brimming with fantastic ideas but ultimately underdeveloped

Summary:

Sixteen-year-old Tashi has spent their life training as a inhabitor, a soldier who spies and kills using a bonded animal. When the capital falls after a brutal siege, Tashi flees to a remote monastery to hide. But the invading army turns the monastery into a hospital, and Tashi catches the eye of Xian, the regiment’s fearless young commander.

Tashi spies on Xian’s every move. In front of his men, Xian seems dangerous, even sadistic, but Tashi discovers a more vulnerable side of the enemy commander—a side that draws them to Xian.

When their spying unveils that everything they’ve been taught is a lie, Tashi faces an impossible choice: save their country or the boy they’re growing to love. Though Tashi grapples with their decision, their volatile bonded tiger doesn’t question her allegiances. Katala slaughters Xian’s soldiers, leading the enemy to hunt her. But an inhabitor’s bond to their animal is for life—if Katala dies, so will Tashi.

I received a copy from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My review:

For a book that boasts a fantastic premise with very needed representation, I was excited to read this book and I was ready to love it. Unfortunately though, I am sad to say that I was a little disappointed by The Tiger’s Watch. I have such mixed feelings about this book too, but I’ll do my best to articulate them all.

Read More »

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – Cute, shippy, nostalgic… but what else is there?

Summary:

Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Carry On is a ghost story, a love story, a mystery and a melodrama. It has just as much kissing and talking as you’d expect from a Rainbow Rowell story—but far, far more monsters.

My review:

Carry On is the sort of book that either works for you, or it doesn’t. I don’t like to describe books using such rigid polarity, but I’ve never seen it more true for any other book.

For me, I unfortunately fall into the latter category; Carry On did not work for me. I, like a few others, just did not get it. I appreciate what fanfiction does and achieves – such as exploring the plethora of potential and possibilities of a given story and its characters. I tried very hard to understand the appeal of this book, tried very hard to find its merits, but the problem is: fanfiction it may be, but Carry On was just not a good story.

Read More »