Saturday, 19 August 2017

Summer Reading: All the Bright Places review

One of my absolute favourite parts of summertime is spending copious amounts of time reading; and I mean everything, books, magazines, journals, blogs and articals. Absolutely anything. Despite rationally knowing its good to take a break from studying, I find it so hard during the term time to sit down and focus on reading for pleasure. There's always a tiny little part of me that thinks I should be doing something more 'productive' - whatever that is!

Anyway, I tend to resolve to read more during the summer (as you'll know if you've been with me for a while) but I had exams to sit last summer due to illness during the official examination period. This year, however, I have been delivered the prospect of a fabulous almost care-free summer with plenty of free time and endeavor to spend a lot more time reading so I'm keen to share the highs and the lows of it with you.

The first of my big summer reads was All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven and, having seen a handful of reviews, I had great expectations built up about this book. The novel tells the story of two contrasting characters Violet and Finch, who meet unexpectedly meet on top of their school bell tower with both characters contemplating suicide. We travel with these characters on a journey involving several small road trips as well as their own individual more abstract journeys: Violet and her journey through grief, and Finch's journey through mental illness.

All The Bright Places is gripping from the get-go and I was unable to put the novel down from start to end. I was constantly curious to know what would happen next and shell-shocked to find myself shed a few tears (quite a sight on a sunbed I believe) in the final chapters.

I found that the novel portrayed some important and thought-provoking messages including the idea that you can love someone unconditionally, but you still can't always save them. It also addressed the issue of mental health in a way that is (in my experience) understandable and realistic.

On top of this, I read All the Bright Places whilst on a family holiday and immediately after finishing it, I recommended it to my younger sister who really doesn't enjoy reading. She managed to get through the book in a record-breaking 6 hour time period and was absolutely hooked, then decided she really enjoys reading after all. So thank you Jennifer Niven.

I'll be back soon with some more reviews and some general chat, but in the meantime, keep smiling :)

Kathryn x

Thursday, 20 July 2017

A whole load of possibilities

It's me. I'm back again, but you're forgiven if you've forgotten who I am or what I'm doing here. I've been gone a while but aim to be back here fairly regularly from here on in. In the meantime, I fancied talking a little bit about my exciting summer ahead.

Asides from the usual excessive amounts of time spent in work (at my local leisure centre as a lifeguard, gym instructor, receptionist and swimming teacher), I'm super excitied for my holiday soon and the summer residential camps I'm working on soon afterwards. But most of all I'm excited for the possibilities, the surprises, the spontaneous 30mile cycles alongside local canals and lazy days in the garden. What are you looking forward to most this summer?

Keep smiling,