Friday, 29 May 2015

Read and reviewed: Girl on the Train | Paula Hawkins

Unless you’ve been living under a rock recently, you will have undoubtedly heard the hype surrounding Girl on the Train. I’m usually pretty wary when something is so hyped up because you come to expect so much that it almost becomes impossible for it to meet you’re the huge expectations you’ve placed on it *cough* Fault in their Stars.

Having said that, I just can’t help myself can I, so obviously I bought it anyway and succumbed to the fact I would be kicking myself in a few weeks’ time once I’d finished it.

But actually, it took only two days for me to devour this book because oh my god. This is good.

Rachel gets on the same train and does the same journey each day. Bitter, twisted and extremely dependant on alcohol, she needs this journey to watch what her life could’ve been, what her life was. When something happens to the couple she has been watching day in, day out as she travels past, she just can’t help herself – she has to get involved, she has to know what’s happening. Twists and turns, tears and struggles, the end result is the last thing she could ever have expected.

I often measure how much I enjoyed a book with the time it has taken for me to finish it. I know I’ve enjoyed reading something when I can’t put it down, can’t wait to pick it back up and just cannot go to bed without just reading ‘one more chapter’. If you were a tad disappointed by Gone Girl, you definitely won’t be with Girl on the Train.

One of my absolute bug bears with a book is when it takes me about 237432 pages to actually properly get into the story but not Girl on the Train. With the reader thrown straight into the midst of the main character’s trials and tribulations, I was immediately engrossed in the story. Some people prefer for the story to be told through the eyes of one character throughout, however I quite liked that each chapter was told from a different person’s perspective, with the change in voice adding a different element to the tale.

Fast paced, unsettling and creepy, Girl on the Train is everything you would want from a thriller and more.

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Sunday, 10 May 2015

Stop patronising the left - change can be made

The general election has been and gone and a majority Tory government have been elected.

Many may agree with my grandparent's reaction, 'We're ecstatic, the country has been saved!'.

Many may agree with my reaction, 'NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.'

Whatever you may think or feel, accepting that in a democratic election, a Tory government have been elected is important. It's also pretty necessary too, because, whether we like it or not, it's happened and will continue to happen for the next 5 years. Lucky us.

However this doesn't mean we give up, go home and switch on the Kardashians. I judge no one who votes for another party, different to the one I did (apart from UKIP, consider yourself judged). Coming from a family that all vote Conservative, I hear their views, I respect them but it's ok to disagree. It can often be that it is those too 'shy' to state they vote Conservative because of the 'self righteous' left, that pass the most judgement. Whatever your political standpoint may be, there is never a need to be patronising or undermine another's views. So no, we don't give up, we still have a voice and it can be heard.

Image from Twitter c/o Sam England
The protests held in London yesterday filled me with mixed emotions. I am in full support of expressing your unhappiness with decisions, to protest and campaign for what you believe is right, peacefully. I am aware that this is for the most part, what was happening yesterday however unfortunately, this will not be what is given any attention. To hear of a Women in War memorial being vandalised in the protests yesterday frankly, disgusted me. More than that though, it made me angry and frustrated because if anyone was listening to those yesterday, the disrespectful act of defacing such precious memorial statue, diminishes any effectiveness it may have been having.

For those who scoff at the idea of protesting, remember how you came to be given the opportunity to vote in the first place. Was it the establishment really truly caring about your opinion? No, it came from pressure from campaigners who had had enough.

So the protests of May 9th will now be remembered for the idiots used vandalism as their voice. But I believe these protests are a sign of things to come. I just hope and pray that people realise that change can come from your voice alone.

Violence and vandalism can never be, and will never be, the answer. You can care and make a difference peacefully.

Change can be made. Let's do it.

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

General election ramble

So, the general election is tomorrow. Excited? No? NO? Slap on the wrists for you.

I actually am, albeit slightly hesitant that I'm going to be let down.

This election has made me angry and frustrated, made me laugh, made me (almost) want to cry but it's also made me engage with the issues that are currently facing this country. As someone who is voting for the first time, it's made me realise what I believe in, and the values that I have. I also got to meet Nicola Sturgeon with Sky's SUBC campaign, which was pretty great - I really respect her a lot and it's safe to say she is the only one who seems to have had a good and positive campaign. She actually answered questions that the group of 6 of us asked, taking the time to meet us before the Q&A at Sky and her answers to my questions made the headlines too! She has really cold hands FYI.

Those who know me will be able to vouch for the fact that I enjoy talking(ha!), enjoy debating topics ranging from Kardashians to politics, Taylor Swift's sassiness to sexism but actually, surprisingly, I've learnt to listen. If people have different opinions to me, I now actually listen to their point of view, and even if inwardly I'm imagining how good it would feel to maybe flick them on the forehead really hard, I don't.

This election has been confusing though. I was asked by The Guardian to answer a few questions about the election for a feature they are running tomorrow and the first question completely stumped me.

'Why did you choose to vote for the party you did?'

'Best out of a bad bunch' probably wasn't an acceptable answer was it? But what a sorry state of affairs that that is one of the first things that came to mind. Of course I believe fundamentally, in the values of the party I am going to vote for, but let's not kid ourselves, the choice is paltry. It's so frustrating how unrepresentative parliament is of our society. Even the man that tries his hardest to claim he's 'a man of the people' as he swigs on a pint and smokes a fag, is a privately educated, rich, white male. Yay for diversity.

Next question.

'Have you enjoyed this election'?

I really have. Despite the debates kind of making me want to give up on it altogether and just conform to the idea that young people don't care, I actually have enjoyed it. Not only has this election been the first time I have been eligible to vote, but surely this has been one, if not the, closest election there has perhaps ever been. No one, not even the party leaders, know what is going to happen tomorrow, although I think Ed and Dave can wave goodbye to their dream of winning a majority, in spite of how insistent they are that that's what they aiming for, bless. It's exciting though! And a little scary - the absolute chaos that is about to ensue will just be crazy. Let's just hope UKIP will finally be forgotten.

On a serious note, if you hadn't already realised, I believe voting is fundamentally important. Politics affects us all every single day and by voting, our voices can be heard. If you are registered to,(hang your head even further in shame if you aren't), take the time to go and vote tomorrow. Spoil your ballot, anything, but as Nike says, just do it.

I will be voting tomorrow and I hope you will be too.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

TRAVEL | Alpajarras Mountains and Malaga, Spain

You should never judge a book by it's cover, however when that judgement is rammed down your throat through every media outlet about how parts of Spain are just like 'England abroad', it becomes quite difficult to not steer clear. So when my lecturer at university announced that our course would be going to Malaga, I (ungratefully) let out an inward groan. 

However, it's true - you really should never judge a book by its cover because as it turns out, the media in England can actually be wrong, who knew! 

There for a week, we spent four days 3000 feet up in a beautiful rural village in the Alpajarras, called Laroles. With a population of just over 700, the village is peaceful, quaint and simple, with some of the most incredible views you could ever ask for. With just a couple of shops dotted around here and there, it was so nice to not hear the constant buzz of traffic and people, I swear even the noise the birds made was prettier - no squawking pigeons up in the mountains! 

After four days in Laroles, it was time to travel somewhere slightly different .....

...and after an 3 and half hour coach drive, we arrived in the city centre of Malaga. In my mind, I had conjured an image of a place that had very much altered for the demands of tourists, with everyone speaking English, the typical English breakfast on tap on every corner, but actually, I was very pleasantly surprised.

Not meaning to state the obvious, but it was so...Spanish! I was speaking to a lovely lady we met in her bar, and she was saying that actually, Malaga only becomes significantly aimed towards tourists in a certain area of the city, for a short time per year. She was maybe one of the first people we had met in Malaga that could speak fluent English which was so refreshing, and being the ignorant English person that I am, I found it surprising how few people did! It made me want to come back and start going to a Spanish speaking class which I haven't yet done but I will, maybe...

Tapas from THE best local vegetarian restaurant in Malaga.. Soo good and yes ok, it tasted better than it looks...

Where are you travelling this summer? I need ideas, help!

Charlotte x

Blog design by aleelily designs | Powered by Blogger.