Posted in Books

My Heart and Other Black Holes

Wow.

I haven’t picked up a book to read for a while now due to college and work. I bought this book soon after reading Me Before You (if you haven’t read or heard of this book, maybe because you have been living under a rock, why not have a read of my review to see what it’s all about!) and after watching The Danish Girl. I suppose it was only expected that I keep up this streak of heart-wrenching, ball-your-eyes-out literature.

My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga is the heartbreaking tale of two teens – Aysel and Roman – who find themselves in a complicated situation. And trust me, our sort of complicated comes no where near their sort of complicated; Aysel and Roman only meet after promising to end their lives together in a month.

What I find incredibly powerful about this story is how realistic it is. This whole plot could take place a street away from my home, where I work or within my college. It’s an eye opener, not in the sense that the plot is based around real people, but about a real situation becoming all too common in our generation.

I’m going to leave it at that. Trust me, I could write pages and pages on this beautiful piece of literature, but I don’t want to spoil any of it. Put it on your reading list (please!) and let me know what you think!

Posted in Books

Me Before You

Now I haven’t blogged for while, so why shouldn’t my first post in a long time be about a sensational romance?

Written by Jojo Moyes, many have only learnt about the book after its film adaptation – released last week – came to the big screen. I’ll admit, I only decided to read ‘Me Before You’ after weeks of endless excitement from my best friend (a fellow avid book-reader and romanticist). So I purchased the novel, read it over the half term and wept for a couple of days after.

The story revolves around busy-bee and overall optimist Louisa Clarke, who finds her small world come crumbling down around her when she looses her job at a local cafe. In an attempt to pull her life back, she accepts a job working as a daytime carer for a paraplegic. She doesn’t realise she’ll be working for Will Traynor, city-boy and free-spirited soul. She isn’t ready for him to make Louisa’s life a misery to compensate for his living-hell. She doesn’t know how Will will soon turn her small world upside down!

Its hard not to smile as the pair’s relationship blossoms, especially whilst Lou attempts to cheer up Will’s dampened and miserable life (emphasis on attempts!). As a reader, you’re strapped in to Lou’s emotional roller coaster; the joys of small success, like Louisa making Will smile, suddenly twists into the raw exhaustion and fear as the true complications of being paraplegic emerge. But the novel isn’t depressing. Far from it, in fact. The novel brings light and hope to an otherwise saddening situation: being trapped from living life.

If there is one thing everyone should learn from ‘Me Before You’, it is simply that – don’t avoid living life.

Especially in today’s world, its easy to become caught up in the minute and highly unimportant things, make them out to be life-changing, and waste time worrying about them. Its books like Moyes’ that remind us how fragile life is and how easy it is to slip into mainstream life, forgetting the world surrounding us.

So read the book/watch the film or both, reevaluate your life, then live life fully to the tune of the film’s soundtrack (which is also beautiful and highly recommended!). I know I am.

5 Stars – The Clever Owl

Posted in Books

Rain, Rain, Go Away…

PART 1 OF 3

Why is it always raining in Britain? Our weather may be unpredictable but you can bet that there is rain on the horizon. But why is Britain constantly plagued by showers, precipitation and downpours?

Britain – like all other countries – is dominated by air masses. Often, the prevailing wind comes from the west, meaning the air must have travelled across the Atlantic Ocean and collects some of the ocean’s moisture as it does so.

The prevailing wind is the most common/dominant wind direction.

These air masses are referred to as ‘maritime’as they have travelled across waters and are moisture-laden. When this air reaches the west coast of England, it is faced with hills and mountain ranges: Dartmoor, Brecon Beacons, Snowdonia, The Pennines, The Lake District. The air is forced to rise over the hills. As it rises, the air cools and the moisture within condenses, creating water vapour  that eventually forms clouds. Over time, these clouds will release this vapour as precipitation – sleet, snow, hail or rain – before the air is light enough to travel over the hill.

This is the main reason why it is often wetter across the West rather than the East; The Atlantic’s moisture released into the air falls over the hills located along the west coast of The British Isles. This type of rainfall is known as Relief rainfall, and forms the first of three different types of rain we experience in the UK!

Posted in Books

L’environnement

For French-learners everywhere, learning vocabulary about the environment and global issues might not seem top-priority. However, for GCSE French students, it is necessary to learn about ‘les rechauffement de terre’ (Global Warming) and ways to ‘protégér la planète’ (to protect the planet). Here’s some key words to know…

le trou dans la couche d’ozonethe hole in the ozone layer

l’effet de seregreenhouse effect

la pluie acideacid rain

la déforestation/ la déboisementdeforestation

la pollution de… l’air air pollution

… l’eauwater pollution

… la mersea pollution

les combustibles fossilesfossil fuels

charboncoal                              pétrolepetrol                     sans plombunleaded

gaz carboniquecarbon dioxide

 

Posted in Books

A quote from Malala …

From the book, ‘I am Malala – The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban’

“My father told me about a woman who had donated generously to the Taliban while her husband was working abroad. When he came back and found out that she had given away her gold he as furious. One night there was a small explosion in their village and the wife cried. ‘Don’t cry’, said her husband. ‘That is the sound of your earrings and nose studs. Now listen to the sound of your lockets and bangles.’ ”

A very chilling account about the true rise of the Taliban, starting with the turn of the opinions of the locals.

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A quote from Malala…

From the book, ‘I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban’.

“I know he (Ziauddin, Malala’s Father) felt proud at what he had created, a poor boy from that narrow village between the Black and White Mountains. He says, ‘It’s as if you planted a tree and nurtured it – you have the right to sit in its shade’.”

An excellent book to read, especially if you’re interested in politics, education and world affairs.

Posted in Books

The Bunker Diary

Kevin Brooks’ works are not books I tend to read, but when I picked up ‘The Bunker Diary’ at a Bring & Buy sale, the mystery was all too much! The blurb is as follows:

I can’t believe I fell for it. It was still dark when I woke up this morning. As soon as my eyes opened I knew where I was. A low-ceilinged rectangular building made entirely of whitewashed concrete. There are six little rooms along the main corridor. There are no windows. No doors. The lift is the only way in or out. What’s he going to do to me? What am I going to do? If I’m right, the lift will come down in five minutes. It did. Only this time, it wasn’t empty….

The book took me a week to read, which is very speedy for me. It is so GRIPPING!!! The tension Brooks builds through the book keeps you baited for breath and sat at the edge of your seat. It is mysterious and atmospheric – a brilliant, thrilling mystery.

However, it becomes hard to read towards the end. It’s not necessarily hard to understand the language, it’s just a hard-hitting plot. Emotionally, by the end of the book you have been up and down, loop-the-loop, and in reverse: an emotional roller coaster. ‘The Bunker Diary’ is not for the sensitive, as it is dark in the morals and ideas it questions.

The biggest thing for me – as a keen dramatist and writer – is the character ‘Him’. (Yes, that really is what he is referred as, since his real name is unknown) Maybe its the uncertainty of his nature, or the overwhelming power He has over Linus and the inmates. Think Big Brother, only 100 times darker.

Rating: ***   (3/5)