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Saturday, 30 July 2016

I'm back literally a year later! My last post was about the first Suicide Squad trailer which is coming out in four days and I am so excited even though I am most likely seeing it alone. There is also a reason I've been gone so long but I'll explain that in another blog post. Right now, I am going to go through what I read this summer, what I rated it and a spoiler-free review.

Book 1: Just One Day by Gayle Foreman 

Rating: 4/5
This book is about a girl called Allyson who's on a trip around Europe before she goes to university in America. At the end of the tour, she meets a guy called Willem in London who offers to take her to Paris for the day as that was the place she most wanted to go but didn't manage to get there.  It then follows their unconventional adventure in Paris for the day and the events that follow.
My thoughts: I read this book because I'd just finished A-Level's and I didn't want to read anything heavy or YA Fantasy so I found myself delving into a good old YA Romance. There are clich├ęs to the book but I honestly didn't mind them. I loved the setting and how Gayle Foreman managed to accurately portray heartbreak and the life of a uni student who is struggling to come to terms with what they want to do. The characters are very relatable and not overexaggerated. The ending, in my eyes, was very real and I cannot wait to read the sequel. The weird thing about this book is that I found myself rooting for Allyson, not necessarily the love story. It's hard to explain but I guess I wanted her as a character to be happy with herself more than I wanted her to be with the guy. Also if you want to have a love affair with the idea of living in Paris, read this book. I now just want to move there right away.

Book 2: The Diviners by Libba Bray

Rating: 4/5
Set in 1920's America, this book follows the different stories of Diviners living in New York City. Diviners are sort of magical people, people with powers or talents. The "main" character Evie is sent to New York to live with her eccentric uncle after her divining leads her into trouble. When her uncle is asked to help look into a string of murders with a weird connection to the supernatural, they begin to find that they aren't committed by any old human. 
My thoughts: I really liked the setting of this book and I felt like I was reading 5 different books with the amount of characters you have to follow. I feel like it had a slow start and the excitement didn't really pick up until very near the end but I didn't feel like any of the chapters prior to that were unnecessary or boring. I think my favourite characters were Jericho and Memphis just because I felt I could relate to them more than the others. I am a big gin drinker so the amount of gin in this book made me weirdly happy. 

Book 3: The Art Of Being Normal by Lisa Williamson

Rating: 4.5/5
 Following the story of David Piper, a girl stuck inside a boys body, this book explores the thought process and the life of a trans girl. He's endlessly bullied at school and struggles to tell his parents but when he meets Leo Denton, a boy who sticks up for him, he finds himself becoming more confident with who he is and the two become friends.
My thoughts: Oh. My. God. I love this book. I bought this a year ago and have been meaning to read it for such a long time. I went to Pride festival in Lisbon when I was on holiday, came home and saw this on my shelf and thought I should read it. Although I am probably the biggest supporter of LGBTQ+ community, there are still things that this book has made me understand better and change my opinion of. It is seriously an eye opener and an amazing insight into someone's mind you would rarely find in any other book or tv show. I seriously think this book should be a compulsory read in all schools. My only issue is that it's simply written but after work stressing me out for two weeks, I ended up not entirely minding that.

Wow. That's it for the past two months. I know it's probably bad but I've been so jetlagged and I've been on my feet quite a lot so I don't think I've read as much. Hopefully August will be a more prolific reading month. 

Peace Out


Saturday, 18 April 2015
So a couple of weeks ago, I woke up at 4:00 am Saturday morning (straight after finishing for Easter, how unfair?!) to drive down to London for an open day at Greenwich university. Now, ordinarily, we would've got the train BUT this weekend, East Coast stopped its services to London for maintenance. bad luck, huh? So anyway, I went on a three hour roadtrip down to London with my parents and two of my friends (stopping at a service station for a McDonald's breakfast of course)

I don't know why Greenwich appeals to me so much but I guess it's because it's so close to London's centre but not nearly as busy. I also really like the campus of Greenwich, with it being so close to the Cutty Sark, the Maritime Museum and the Royal Observatory. So, I wanted to check out the Uni, which offered Human Resource Management at 300 points entry. If your from anywhere but the UK, you probably won't get what that means so click here to find out if you want. My two friends were doing Psychology so we split up in the morning to go to our subject campuses and then met up in the afternoon to go to Greenwich.

The morning went pretty fast as I was in a 45 minute talk about the university then ran to see my subject teachers and then ran to get an accommodation tour. The talk was really good and opened my eyes to how good the University actually was. I won't go into detail of the stats and figures because there were so many. I also love the campus as it is based around the old navy college in Greenwich where a lot of famous films are shot like Pirates Of The Caribbean, Cinderella and my favourite, Thor 2.

After lunch at Nando's, my friends and I decided to explore Greenwich a bit more. We went up to the Royal Observatory which was a hell of a treck and it turned out we had to pay £12.50 to stand on the line of time thing but the view we got of Greenwich and London from the top was amazing. We then went into the Maritime Museum where I took most of the pictures from this trip. I love this museum so much because the paintings are so pretty. And it was free! We then walked around the market where I got some Thai food and a record and then food a vintage clothes shop where we spent like half an hour crying over the pretty clothes. On the way back to the car, we found a bookshop selling books at 3 for £5 as well as £5 comics so I bought 3 books and a Captain America comic! Overall, I really love the university but I still want to look at more to see if I can get what's best for me!

So that's what we did but I kind of wanted this post to be some sort of advice on open days, what to take and what to look for as well.

1. What To Take.

A big bag - because although when you leave the house with a small-ish bag packed with all the items below, you're always going to want to take leaflets and prospectuses when you're there so you'll need a bit more room

An umbrella -  if where you live is anything like England (or is England) then it's always best to have one. And the outfit I was wearing wasn't a raincoat kind of outfit!

Purse (or wallet) -  for obvious reasons!

Phone - because I can't live without it!

Notepad -  I brought a small one where, at lunch I wrote what I like and dislike about the university and checked off what the university offered on my checklist!

Pencil case - Ordinarily, I would take just a pen, a highlighter and maybe a coloured pen but I was lazy and packed my whole pencil case!

A book - for the journey or for between talks. I took the Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Night-Time as it is one of my favourite books EVER and I saw my friend had started reading it so i wanted to reread it!

A magazine - I don't read fashion magazines much anymore as I usually get Empire now but I can't cancel my Cosmo subscription until October so I thought I'd take that down for the journey!

Top Trumps - if the journey gets boring. Me and my younger brother used to play these all the time on roadtrips and holiday's but stopped as we got older. I got Marvel one's for Christmas and sometimes me and my friends play them in free's. I forgot how fun it was!

Headphones - I can't live without these! I brought both my big black urbanears ones for the journey and my normal white ones for walking around.

Bus-pass and rail card - always handy, even if you don't need it!

Mix-CD - Me and my best-friend make eachother mix-CD's for Christmas and Birthday's made up of our favourite songs. I never listen to anything else in my car but when travelling with my parents, I play it once and then its off! I'll put an 8tracks playlist below of the songs on it!

2. What To Look For.

The Course - obviously you're going to want to make sure the course is right for you. I did this before I went. You need to check that the modules interest you. I assumed all courses would be the same everywhere but they're not. When at the university, talk to the teachers and current students about the course you want to study. Don't be afraid to seek advice, when I went to an open day earlier this year, the teachers were very helpful and even told me that for what I wanted to do, the course there would not suit it.

The Location - the location of the university is important as it determines the campus and layout. If you want good nightlife, cities are usually the best but if you'd prefer a campus university, those are more likely to be in the suburbs or countryside. I'm not sure what I prefer yet so Greenwich was one that was close to London City Centre and had lots of nightlife, but may be difficult to navigate round and the accommodation was further away and more expensive. I'm going to look at Keele which is a campus university, far away from a city so I can determine what layout is best.

The Accommodation - if you can cook then self-catered accommodation is okay but if not you might be stumped. Some universities don't offer catered accommodation so in that case, you'll have to learn how to cook, hope you live with someone that can or find a different university.

The Extra-Cirricular Activities - see if the university you're visiting has the right extra curricular activities for you. For example, I'm a rower so I tend to look for universities with rowing teams or one nearby.

I hope this has been helpful! I'm sorry this is so late, I've been bogged down with last minute coursework :/

Em x

When Is It Okay To Cry?

Sunday, 22 March 2015
So. I know I'm not the only one that bottles up stress and anxiety and anger and then one day, out of the blue, you just collapse and cry for hours. It recently happened to me the other day and I felt a lot better after it, like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I was crying over school stress (the typical sixth former) because I felt like nothing I was learning for my History course was going in and no revision methods were working and none of my notes were organised and my parents were making me get a tutor (which is actually helping) and I felt like I was failing. 

So I just opened the flood gates. 

I sat on my bedroom floor and sobbed. I felt guilty whilst doing it, because I know that it is probably a pointless thing to be crying about and there are people out there with bigger problems than me. It was a horrible feeling at the time but afterwards, I felt like all the stress that had been building up over the past 6 months had just gone So straight afterwards, I went downstairs, got a cup of tea and sat at my laptop until 2am reorganising notes, retyping notes, printing notes and all of that helped me revise at the same time. Admittedly, I probably should've got some sleep but hey, our minds work differently sometimes I guess? Plus it was a friday night and I ended up sleeping till 12 so...
What I'm trying to say is, no matter how wimpy or weak you feel whilst crying over something as stupid as a few notes, afterwards, you will feel better that you did it. I'm not saying cry over everything all the time, and don't force it. But don't keep it in when you really want to, because I bet theres some weirdly scientific reason(s) as to why crying is good for you (oh look I found one).


60's Feeling

Friday, 20 March 2015

If you're like me, you'll understand the struggles of falling in love with so many different styles. This month, I've been loving the 60s style, so on Mother's Day last week I wore this. The picture in the middle is of the dinner we had which was amazing! We went to this restaurant that we've not been to in a while and since the last time we went, it has improved a lot and the food is like michelin star quality. It all looks so pretty! Unfortunately, I'm not confident taking pictures of food in fancy restaurants because I feel weird doing it but it was delicious and beautiful. I promise! It's hard to see exactly what it is I'm wearing so the pictures are below!

Jacket - Topshop, 
Dress - Matalan ( I couldn't find the exact dress as I bought it last year but this shirt was from the same range) 
Shoes - Topshop (here
Let me know what you think of this blogpost! I think in the future, I will try to get better photos of my outfits but I couldn't on this particular day. Sorry! 

The Lesser Emily


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