BOOK REVIEW – To all the boys I’ve loved before – Jenny Han

To all the boys I've loved before - Jenny Han

This book has been around for a couple of years. Since 2014 to be exact. Because of the release of the film on Netflix, there has been a new trend around this book. All readers want to read it. So, did I!
I have to say, I was not disappointed. It is a good book and I won’t forgive myself for not finding it sooner. Most of you will have seen the film on Netflix and the book is not that different. I am still going to tell what it’s about.
Lara Jean is a girl in high school she has two sisters, she is the middle child, and a dad. Her mom passed away when she was little. Her neighbour, Josh, is a cute boy who she used to have a crush on. But when her older sister started dating him, she new she couldn’t like him anymore. Lara Jean wrote him a love letter to explain her feelings. To her it was more a goodbye note to release the feelings he had for him. She addressed the note but never sent it. In total she wrote five of those letters. Each to another cute boy she had a crush on. The latest one being Peter Kavinsky.

Somehow her letters get send out to all those boys. Peter K goes to Lara Jean to explain he doesn’t feel the same. But when Josh gets his letter, problems arise. Her sister can not know about the crush she had/has for Josh. So, she did what anyone would do. Right? She full on kisses Peter K in the middle of the school’s hallway. Her idea behind this? To make Josh think she is over him. Peter, who recently broke-up with his girlfriend Genevieve, was a little weirded out by this. But, after thinking about it and after hearing what Gen thought about the kiss, he comes up with a plan. He and Lara Jean will pretend to be boyfriend and girlfriend. Peter can make Gen jealous so they can get back together. Lara Jean can make Josh believe she does not like him anymore. Nothing can go wrong with that, right? RIGHT?

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Well, a lot of things go wrong but those are the fun parts to read. So, if you haven’t seen the film, I am not going to spoil anything. If you’ve seen it you know what I am talking about. Even if you have seen the film, there is more going on in the books for sure!

Maybe even a kiss between Josh and Lara Jean. Maybe. I don’t know…. Maybe not. You should read the book to find out 🙂

The book itself is very easy to read. I read it in a couple of hours. Without pausing. In one sitting. Because it’s that good.

No, but for real, the book is very sweet and funny to read. Lara Jean has a nice, funny and cute personality. She get’s herself in all kinds of situations she does not want to be in. Her reactions are enjoyable to read. It’s one of those books you don’t have to take the time for or keep your focus. Just sit and read and it will be okay. I love those books.

 

 

10 Things about me

10 Things about me

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  1. I love to game. Mostly on the PlayStation. At the moment, I am obsessed with Call of Duty – WW2. But my favourite game of all time will forever be Assassins Creed 🙂
  2. My favourite food is potatoes. Yes, I know. Super weird. But you can do so much with them! Boil them, mash them, stick them in a stew (Comment if you know where that’s from). No, for real, those things are amazing.
  3. If someone asked me to pick a favourite colour, I would have to say grey. And after they tell me that’s not a colour I would have to say I don’t know. I like dark blue, dark green, dark red but also pastel colours. Really, I couldn’t choose. Except for grey. I really like grey. You won’t even believe me if I told you how many grey sweaters I own.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  4. I am a big Eminem fan. Love him. Last year I went to my first concert of him and it was one of the best days of my life. I saw him at the Glasgow summer sessions. Maybe I cried, maybe I didn’t. It was a good day. He performed in Nijmegen, Netherlands not too long ago and I saw him there too.
  5. Edinburgh is one of my favourite cities. Even though, I have only been there twice. It feels so good when I am there. The architecture and the mysterious vibes I get are so cool. In the restaurants there are a lot of vegetarian/vegan options as well which is great!
  6. I am a vegetarian. Have been for two years now. Eventually I want to go vegan. But right now, I keep it at vegetarian. If I can I’ll eat vegan. Just the restriction of not eating it at all makes it difficult for me.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  7. My cat Paris is my everything. Some say it’s an obsession other say it’s cute. I say she is the most beautiful cat in the world with the best personality. Yes, cats have a personality. She is the nicest cat you’ll ever meet. When I get home she’ll greet me, she sleeps in my bed, loves cuddles and enjoys attention.Processed with VSCO with a6 preset
  8. Action films or science fiction films are my favourite. Marvel, Star Wars, war films, supernatural, Sons of Anarchy and many more. I am obsessed with watching films and series. Also like to analyse them. (comment your favourite film or series below!).
  9. The film I loved the most from my childhood has to be Anastasia. I watched that movie all the time. When I was sick at home, when I was happy, sad, tired. Any time, any day. Off course this means I know all the songs by heart. And you bet that I sing along with them.
  10. My favourite animals are all the animals related to cats. But I love lions the most. They have a special place in my heart. Those majestic little bastards are so beautiful. My cat reminds me of a lion so maybe that’s why. I like the Canadian lynx, cheetah, mountain lion and the tigers.

 Travel Diary – Edinburgh

I have been to Edinburgh for two times already. And I’ve fallen in love with the city. I am planning to go again soon. Even study there for a bit as well.

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You can go see Victoria street which is a street build on a street. Sounds weird, I know. But it creates this beautiful medieval image you have to see.

On this road, there are two Harry Potter shops. The Diagon House and the Boy Wizard are the two shops you should see if you are a fan of the boy who lived.

 

On the off chance the weather is nice (for Scotland this means no rain), you should visit the Botanic Gardens of Edinburgh. From Princess street it is 15-18 minutes by bus or half an hour by foot. It’s this big park with botanic gardens inside of it. As a student you can go in for free but else, it is not expensive. The park itself is free for everyone.

Inside the Botanic Gardens you’ll see all kinds of tropical trees, flowers and other plants. There is this one room full of cacti which was my favourite. They did there best to make it as beautiful as they could.

 

Being the Supernatural fan that I am, when I heard of Dean Village I had to go see it. It has no relation with the tv show but I still had to see it.

it is this fairy-tale like village with an amazing architecture. If you go there from Belford Rd. near the Britannia Hotel, you’ll have to walk next to the water of leigh which is a small walk but worth it. Follow this road until you are in the middle of the village. Here you can see the architecture and a little further The Dean Bridge.

 

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Again, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you should go to the City Chambers. No, it is not underground. It is next to the Real Mary King’s Close. Here you can find J. K. Rowling’s handprints on the ground. Yes, I know, pretty cool. If you want, like me, you can check if you have the hands of a writer. Fun fact, mine where an exact match 🙂

 

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The one thing everyone will want to see is, off course, the Edinburgh castle. You will have to pay an entrance fee but, again, worth it. After entering you can join a free guide who will tell you all about the history of the castle. Be sure to go before 1 a.m. At this time the canon will go off to let everyone know it is one o’clock. Be warned, it is LOUD. After the tour you can wander around for yourself and go inside different buildings. Visit the Whiskey shop if you want. Again, worth your money.

My 7 favourite books/book series

My 7 favourite books/book series

Reading is one of my hobbies and books one of my passions. As an English Literature student, I am always busy with books. Trying new ones out or rereading my old favourites.
It is always interesting to me what kind of books other people read in comparison to me. That’s why I want to share to you my 7 favourite books or book series to inspire you. Maybe, you will see one of them in your nearby bookstore and think; ‘Let’s try it out’.

I am going to mention books from very different genres or age targeting. Because, I like a lot of different book genres. Even books that are written for children. So, stay with me. Yes, there will be books in this list that are for children but, hey, even if you are not a child anymore, you can still feel like one from time to time.

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  1. The perks of being a wallflower – Stephen Chbosky

When someone asks me what my favourite book is, and they tell me I can’t say Harry Potter, I tell them it’s this one. Having read it now for at least 4 times, it is one of those books that sticks with you.

The story follows Charlie. A boy who finds it hard to fit in with the rest of the world.
The book exists out of letters Charlie writes to someone, addressed as ‘Dear friend’ which is one of the many things I love about this book. It makes it more personal. It does create some small time jumps but Charlie usually recaps what has happened since the last letter.

Throughout the book you read about sex, drugs, partying, relationships, sexual assault but most importantly depression. The book has a very negative tone. Charlie struggles with the suicide of his best friend, which is the reason he writes these letters in the first place. His mind things in a very strange and peculiar way that feels relatable. There are certain things in life that he just can’t seem to understand.
I must add a trigger warning for this book because it does get very dark. The sexual assault, suicide and the depression are a major part of the book and this can be hard.

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  1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The lighting thief – Rick Riordan

Yes, a child book. I warned you. This book series is amazing, though. Really, I mean it. If you have an interest in Greek mythology than this is the series to read. It exists out of 5 books. Each with there own adventure but also one big storyline that ties them together.
Because it is written for children aged 9 to 12 (I know), the books are easy to read which can be nice, now and then.

Percy Jackson is a boy who has, instead of two human parents, only one. Instead, his father is Poseidon, the God of the sea. Being accused of having stolen the lightning bolt of Zeus, the God of thunder, he must go on a journey to clear his name. With two of his friends, Grover and Annabeth, he goes on a quest to find the real thief, steal back the bolt and return it to Olympus.

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  1. The lucky one – Nicholas Sparks

Everyone knows that Nicholas Sparks creates wonderful love stories. If you haven’t read this one yet, you should. The story is sweet, intense, adventurous and sometimes funny.

If you do not feel like reading this one, you can always watch the film. It’s one of my favourites.

The story begins with Logan Thibault, a marine, during his third tour in Iraq. He finds a photograph of a girl half buried in the sand. One second he wants to throw it away and the next he is bringing it to the base with him. After asking around if the photo belonged to any one, he decides to keep it because no one claimed it. Not soon after, with the photograph in his pocket, he experiences a streak of luck wherever he goes. He realises this after his friend Victor tells him it must be the photograph.

Back home in Colorado he can’t get the girl on the photo out of his mind. He sets out to find her with the only clue already in his hand. After finding her, a vulnerable but strong woman named Elizabeth, he doesn’t immediately tell her why he’s there. He feels an attraction to this divorced mom of a young son. Will this secret tear them apart when she finds out? To who belonged the photo?

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  1. The DaVinci code – Dan Brown

This book… where do I begin. If you like art and conspiracy theories, this is the book to go. It is written from a lot of research but also a lot of theories Brown made up himself.
I hope you already know something about it because it’s very hard to explain. The book itself is well explained so not difficult to read. But there is a lot happening. I’ll try explaining it as best as I can.

The professor Robert Langdon finds himself in a murder investigation that is quite peculiar. Jacques Saunière is murdered and found lying like the ‘Vitruvian man’ of Leonardo DaVinci. Here is where it all starts. Robert and Sophie, Jacques granddaughter, are going on a journey to find the holy grail faster than the group of people behind the murder.

By first following clues that Jacques himself left behind, they follow the trail DaVinci made years ago. Will they find what they where looking for? And if they do, is it what they expected it to be?

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  1. The maze runner – James Dashner

I think a lot of people will have seen the films of these books. Personally, I like the books better. The story is a little different from the films that where made. There is much more going on in the books. Even if you didn’t like the films, give the books a try. You won’t be disappointed.

When I was reading this, every page was a surprise. You would think you knew what was going to happen on the next page but then Dashner would pull a 180ᵒ and completely surprise you.

Thomas wakes up in an elevator that is going up. He has no idea how he got there or where he is. Once the elevator stops and opens he is greeted by a lot of boys staring at him. They tell him he is in a maze and that they are stuck there. Trying to help he does some work around the farm that the made. But there is only one thing he wants to do, go into the maze.

With only boys around it was quite a shock to see a girl come out of the elevator next. They find a note with her that says, ‘she is the last one’.

Thomas feels a connection with her that he can’t understand. When he and the girl, Theresa, figure out they can communicate with each other in their minds, they get close together.

Soon, after her arrival, all goes to hell. They must race against the clock to find a way out of the maze. Before it is too late.

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  1. Dear John – Nicholas Sparks

Another Nicholas Sparks book. I know. But this one is also very beautiful. Sparks is good in finding a way to make a love story more interesting by adding something new and fresh. Something you didn’t expect. The challenges the characters have to deal with are hard but add so much to the story.

The story is about, you guessed it, John. A college dropout who joint the army because he didn’t know what else to do with his life. During summer he visits his father who has Asperger’s syndrome. He also meets a girl, Savannah. They fall in love pretty quick. But John is still enlisted in the army. He will have to go back. This is a challenge for their relationship. To keep in touch, they write letters to each other.

When John’s enlistment is over they can finally enjoy their happiness. But then 9/11 happens and John feels like it is his duty to go back in. Another hard challenge for the relationship. One that maybe is too hard. Will they make it together? Or will the distance tear them apart?

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  1. The Martian – Andy Weir

I have recommended this book to almost everyone I know. Not only is the story good, the main character is so funny. There where many times, almost all the time, I would be laughing out loud for what he said or did. This adds so much to the story which could have been depressing or sad. But by adding the wittiness it is so much more.

Mark Watney is part of the Ares 3 crew who travelled to mars to stay there for a month to do research. When an enormous storm is rising, they are forced to leave. The hurricane is so bad it rips apart a lot of the equipment. In doing this, a loose antenna impales Watney and he is flung out of sight and presumed dead. Because of the danger the rest of the crew can’t wait but must take off. The commander makes a difficult decision.

When Mark wakes up he can’t believe he is not dead. His own blood stopped the air from his suit to get out. He survived. But, now he is the only living thing on Mars. He has to get in contact with NASA, but the radio is broken. Fortunately, Watney is an engineer and solving problems is something he is good at. He finds a way to contact them and let everyone at home know he is alive. But there is another problem. Flying to mars takes a while. He does not have enough food to sustain him for that long. Again, he must solve a problem. Will he survive long enough for NASA to send more supplies? Will he be saved in the end?

I KILL GIANTS – film review

I KILL GIANTS – film review

A film from 2017, made by the producers of Harry Potter, now released on Netflix.

I Kill Giants is a movie about a girl, Barbara Thorson, who is not accepted by the people around her. She is differently dressed and has a big imagination. There are many serious struggles in Barbara’s life. She finds a way to escape from the reality that is her life by creating a fantasy world where her demons are portrayed as giants. Unlike in her real life, she finds ways to outsmart these giants.

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When There is a new girl from the UK, that insist on becoming friends, Barbara finally has someone to share her world with. But, for her, the line between real and fantasy is non-existent. Her friend plays along to let Barbara enjoy what she is doing.

The school psychologist, played by Zoe Saldena, has developed an interest in Barbara and her stories about battling Giants. In their conversations certain subject come to light that have a deep effect on Barbara. Bit by bit, she learns what could be the cause of the development of Barbara trying to be a hero in her own story.

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Later in the film, Barbara’s friend finds out just that. The real monster. Barbara tries to fight it with all she got. Will she succeed? What monsters is Barbara really fighting?

 

It was a Saturday night when I was looking through Netflix to pick out a film to watch. Not wanting anything deep or romantic, I chose this film. The film title gave me the idea it would be a fantasy film about a girl who is misunderstood but in her own way a hero. What I got was a film with a great storyline with many layers. And even though it was the ‘deep’ film I didn’t want to see, I was not disappointed.

There is a lot of symbolism to real life problems that don’t have the awareness it should have. Without spoiling the end of the film, which is the best part, I can only say that this is a film you should put on and watch. Don’t think about it until you are half way in the film.
Let me know what you think of the film!

 

Tips to deal with anxiety

Dealing with anxiety is a daily accurance. It almost never goes away. Because of this, it can sometimes get in the way of your normal day to day activities. Having dealt with anxiety myself for many years, here are a few tips that have helped me on many occasions.

1.
I am starting with the one that has helped me the most and that is downloading an app that helps people with anxiety. This may seem straightforward, but I have had people look at me funny when I tell them I have the app Calm on my phone to help me.
Now, there are a dozen different apps to download and use but Calm is the one I chose. It has many different things to help you. Not only when you have an anxiety attack but also to help you understand and control your anxiety. There are different subjects that it can help you with. For example, stress, focus, self-care or personal growth.

My favourite one is Breathe. This is the one I wanted to talk about. It shows a circle that in turn shows you when to breathe in, hold and breath out again. For me, this has helped a lot during my anxiety attacks.

2.
Anxiety is something that, for the most part, goes on in our heads. So, it can be a good idea to write down any thoughts you have that you think that relate to your anxiety. What I mean by this is that there are moments where you won’t do something because a voice in your head tells you not to. Write this down. This way, you can see what activities, which places or even which people are difficult areas for you. When you know the cause, you can start the process of overcoming your anxiety.

You don’t only have to write about the negative things. One day, you will have ignored that voice in your head and still went to that restaurants with your friends! It may seem as a small win, but you should be very proud of yourself. Write it down in your journal so you can look back at your wins at a later time when things are starting to get bad again.

3.
During an anxiety attack I, for example, want to be alone to catch my breath and calm myself down. Offcourse this will be different from anyone else. But, for the people who are like me in this department, you can take a break from whatever you are doing to calm yourself down. This is something I struggled with for a long time. I would wait until the evening when I was alone to finally deal with the attack. Holding it in is only making it worse. Tell the person, or don’t if you don’t want to, that you need to calm down for a minute.

This one time I was with my niece in the city centre of Edinburgh on a very busy day. When I woke up that day I knew that I was extra sensitive to the things around me which makes the anxiety worse. And sure enough, when I was in the middle of a Primark store, I could take it anymore. I told my niece, who actually knows about my anxiety, that I had to get away from the people for a minute. Luckily, there was a park across the street so we went in the park and sat on the grass. I opened my Calm app and breathed for a couple of minutes.

Now, I know that there aren’t onvenient parks everywhere. I was very lucky for this. But you can go to the bathroom or any other room then the room you are in. And if you are outside then find a quiet spot you can calm down. It is worth it trust me.

After my little breakdown in the park and my breathing exercises I felt so much better. The extra sensitivity was gone, and I could enjoy the day again. It all comes down to either letting yourself have the breakdown or not but calming down after. Try to adjust what I told you to make it the best for you.

4.
Another thing that helps me a lot is reading books, watching shows or films. It is a way of not dealing with your own life for a minute and focus on someone else’s. This is a temporary solution! It will not ‘fix’ your anxiety. But, on stressful days it can help calm you down. I know some people don’t like to read or watch shows and films, but, I am sure that there is something else that can take your mind of the stressful thoughts.

You don’t have to get outdoors either. Unless, all your hobbies are outdoors but then it shouldn’t be a problem for you because you are going to do something you like. Even working out, get your heart rate up, is a good way to lose some stress. Just try it.

5.
I saved the most difficult one for last. It will take a lot of strength and motivation that you may not have at first. Stand infront of a mirror and talk to yourself. Weird, I know. But I am serious. Nothing negative but all positive thig. I want you to tell yourself that you are strong. That you CAN accomplish things. Tell yourself that tomorrow you are going to go to that event you where thinking about bailing on for days now. Do this every day. Stand there for 5-10 minutes hyping yourself up.

Why did I say this is the most difficult one? Because, you have to start believing what you tell yourself. When you tell yourself you are strong, feel strong. When you tell yourself you are an amazing human being, feel amazing. Because you are.

 

I hope I helped, even if it is only one of you. Anxiety can suck. If any of my tips helped you, let me know. Or if you have something that helps that I didn’t mention please let me know as well!

 

What to read this fall!

What to read this fall!

The best feeling in the world is to just grab a cup of tea, lay back and read a good book. It is time to let yourself relax. I looked on my bookshelf and chose five books that I am going to try to read during fall. Will you  take on this challenge with me?

 

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  1. Red Sparrow – Jason Matthews
    I think most of you will already know about the movie that has come out with Jennifer Lawrence called Red Sparrow. What I did not know is that it’s a book as well. Naturally, I must read the book first before watching the movie.For everyone who does not know about this movie/book, it is about State intelligence officer Dominika Egorova. Against her will she is trained to become a ‘sparrow’, a seductress in the service of the bureaucracy of post-Soviet intelligence. She has gotten an assignment. To operate against Nathanel Nash, a CIA-officer who happens to deal with Russian Intelligence. When the two spies collide will it end in a war between spies or in an exciting romance?

 

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  1. Throne of Glass – Sarah J. Maas
    Most of the fantasy lovers out there will probably already have read this. I haven’t, yet, but I sure am excited to read it!The book is about an assassin named Celaena Sardothien. She wants to win her freedom from the ferocious king ruling from his throne of glass. She must defeat twenty-three killers, warriors and thieves in a game to see who is the greatest assassin in the king’s land. Will she win her freedom and be released from prison? When her competitors start dying, Celaena needs to fight for survival rather then freedom.

 

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  1. Fight Club – Chuck Palahniuk
    I think we all know the film where Brad Pitt plays a guy who sells soap and beats some other guys in a basement. It has been a long time that this book has been on my bookshelf unread. Too long, some might say.You follow Jack, an insurance inspector who suffers from insomnia. He wants to escape his boring life. Trying to do so, he meets Tyler, a soap selling charismatic man who has a bizarre way of living life.  Being, that self-improvement is not the way to go. In his rule book it says that self-destruction is the key to the value of life. Together they organize the so called ‘Fight clubs’ where ordinary regular guys beat the crap out of each other with their bare hands. Will this end well?

 

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  1. The hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy – Douglas Adams
    This book makes me very excited for summer. I have wanted to read this for a while now.Arthur Dent’s house gets demolished which does not sound fun at all. But, when the earth follows, the story really begins. The earth has made way for a hyperspace bypass and Arthur is hurtling trough space with his best friend who has just announced to be an alien. The only thing to focus on is this book with two words on it – DON’T PANIC –.

 

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  1. The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger– Stephen King
    Don’t hate me but this will be my first Stephen King book. I know. Incredible.The Gunslinger is now a movie as well. Therefore, people might already know this story. Just in case: the last gunslinger named Roland is looking for the man in black in a world similar to the old west. He stumbles on Jake Chambers, a young boy, and together they continue the quest for the man in black and saving the dark tower.