Saturday, 8 April 2017

Messages of 13 Reasons Why

For the last few days all anyone has spoken about is 13 Reasons Why, and I just finished watching it. To say I'm an emotional wreck right now would be an understatement. The final episode got me SO hard.

13 Reasons Why might possibly be the most important production for a long time. It covers bullying, friendships, mental health, drugs, sex, rape and suicide. And I want everyone to be talking about it for a while to come. The show addresses how you don't know how your actions might affect someone else, how your careless words can knock someone's self esteem or ruin their lives. It really makes you think about all the shitty things people do and say, and why. I've heard people say your high school years are the best of your life, but are they the best when bullying happens in every single school? And often gets pushed aside? How bullying is never solved? Suspending the bully doesn't solve anything. Moving schools will not solve anything because there will always be bullying until humans start being kinder and understand the full impact of our actions.

I read the novel by Jay Asher when I was around 14/15 but until the Netflix series I don't think the honest reality behind the novel hit me. I don't think I fully understood it, yeah high school is a shitty place for everyone at some point, but when I look back after watching this I realise how bad it can get for some. 

I was apprehensive about the series on first impression. I thought it cliche, and at times romanticising mental illness, because Hannah Baker (The main character) commits suicide and leaves 13 tapes as to what lead to her to make that final choice. 13 tapes 'blaming' the people around her, I thought this to be silly, and careless. I can't explain why, it's just the tapes, it feels almost as if it's a massive game of who's next on the list. However, I didn't let my doubt stop watching, and I'm glad I continued. I even begun to like some of the characters, most of them were awful yet accurate depictions of various people you meet in school.

A few things

  • Bryce was vile
  • I felt sympathy for Justin in the end (This doesn't mean he wasn't a complete dick)
  • Clay wound me up with that damn plaster on his forehead, and nearly getting hit by a car on his bike 47373 times
  • Skye's comment about self harm and how it's what you do instead of killing yourself. No. No. 
  • Is Alex ok??? Can someone please tell me
  • Hannah's hair

PSA - Some scenes came with warnings because of their content. Would not recommend watching it if you're going through a hard time or are easily triggered.

The point is, you never know what's going on in someone's life. 

We need to be kinder to everyone around us. We need to let the people we love and care for know that we do actually love them. 

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Lil Book Reviews

Feels ages since I last wrote a blog post, university assignments and travelling and just being generally busy has left me deflated and unenthusiastic about writing here. I've missed it, but hey I'm back!

Some of the things I've been doing in my absence includes learning how to knit. I went to a workshop at uni one evening with my flat mate, it took a while to get to grips with the yarn, the needles and all the movements, casting on and casting off but I completed my first sample. It intended to be a scarf but I made it too wide so it's not long enough. Since then, I've been obsessed with it and watching Youtube tutorials on fancy scarves and hats. It's super therapeutic, it helps my anxiety, calms me and distracts me, allows me to keep my hands busy. It's also rewarding to create something, I can't wait to be wearing something I've made and have people ask me where it's from so I can be all smug I MADE IT MYSELF. My current project is a mustard yellow scarf! I bought some yarn from a site called LoveKnitting, got chunky yarns in mustard yellow, peach and baby blue, all such fantastic quality.

Started going to boxing sessions too, which are amazing. I love it so much already after just 3 sessions. I want to tell everyone about it. It feels great to punch someone, and releases any tension/emotion/negative thoughts I've had. It's also pretty great to feel a part of something. An excellent workout too!

March has been chaos with lots of essays due at the same time, presentations, projects etc etc. But hey, two new hobbies?

As for reading, I haven't found much time for reading for my own pleasure. It's been set texts and books for research and all that degree stuff. (Still can't fathom that I'm doing a degree, it's hard but exciting and new and wonderful.) So the plan is a lil review for both the books I've read recently. They are both young adult novels, I think the next book needs to be something else although this is all worthy research for my own YA novel I'm writing.

First up is Sophie's World by Jostein Gaarder.

I still find myself thinking about this book even though I finished it at the beginning of March. Sophie's World is about a 14 year old girl called Sophie (Obviously) who begins to receive anonymous letters and postcards asking philosophical questions such as "Who are you?" "Where does the world come from?".

She then discovers the person behind the letters; a philosopher called Alberto who intends to educate Sophie on philosophy. She begins the course of philosophy, it is so interesting and complex with information - a lot of the history is covered. It requires time and full concentration to read. You experience the course with Sophie and you will ask yourself many, many questions about the world we live in. You go on surreal adventures with Sophie, everything is all a bit dream-like and at some points I wasn't sure what was real. This book will throw you off balance, especially when you meet Hilde. Sophie receives postcards addressed to someone called Hilde too, who happens to have the same birthday and be the same age. Who is Hilde? Is Sophie real? Is Hilde real? WHAT is going on? The ending blew my mind.

And lastly, the book I've literally just finished is The Rest of Us Just Live Here by Patrick Ness.

Ness' writing has received a lot of praise, this is my first read. Strange things keep happening in Mike's small town, and strange things have been happening for decades. The 'indie kids' that attend his school are weird, everyone in town knows somethings not quite right. There's cops with glowing blue eyes, a zombie deer and death.

I read this fast, it was an easy read! Ness writes mental health issues excellently, Mike has OCD and anxiety and his sister Mel is recovering from anorexia.

"Everyone has something" or something along the lines of that crops us several times in the book, as a YA novel it's an important message showing that everybody has something to deal with, and you won't always will you know about it. People are good at keeping certain devastating aspects of their lives quiet. Serious issues aside, the book is about friendship, growing up, it's funny and has a little smidgen of romance too. I will definitely be reading more of the authors work.

What have you read recently? Any recommendations?