North Korean defector Yeonmi Park is A 23 year old who has seen her mother raped, crossed the Gobi Desert and watched neighbours disappear. On Monday evening she stood in front of me at Penguin HQ London to tell the story of her life, worried and astonished by the bloggers/vloggers in the room wondering if they would understand the suffering she has gone through and being mind-boggled by the ‘job description’ of these internet people. She answered questions with grace, humour and selflessness. We all have something we bury inside ourselves but Yeonmi decided to sacrifice this. She has shared her story through her book In Order To Live at the cost of her privacy, a luxury she recognises she cannot have as an activist.
Over the last couple of week I’ve had the courtesy of meeting and becoming friends with Melinda Salisbury author of debut novel The Sin Eater’s Daughter. A beautiful, intelligent, kind, Harry Potter obsessed, opinionated feminist – she tries to be scary but I think it is all pretence, she’s a softy really. Strangely enough after my first conversation with Mel, she asked me not to read her book – so I ordered it that evening. For your information this review will contain spoilers.
The wave of popularised feminism-has launched itself on the big screen. Meryl Streep interviewed with Time Out London but her accompanying photoshoot made everything else insignificant. She has been criticised for posing in a t-shirt titled ‘I’d rather be a rebel than a slave’ to promote her latest movie Suffragette. The quote can genuinely be interpreted as reference for slavery and the confederacy. The team who authorised this campaign either choose to ignore the backlash this slogan could bring or didn’t care. I am deeply disappointed in Streep, for someone who can read and understand, how did she not use her own intellect in this situation. Originally the line comes from a speech delivered by Mrs Pankhurst in 1913 who was one of the real-life founders of the Women’s Social and Political Union.
Before I talk about this book: Elizabeth is Missing, it is important to know that dementia is an illness that is close to my heart. I worked very closely with people with dementia for several years and my Nanna suffers with dementia too. My Nanna has been my second parent along with my mum and I lived with them until I was nearly 27. It is vital to know this because this affects the way I read, understood and absorbed Elizabeth is Missing.
I know the prime-hype for these books has passed and despite my reluctant stubbornness I have not escaped, I have been worn down by a friend who compared these books to their replacement for Harry Potter. I see now, why they did that. I also see a lot of other things.
The writing style was elementary but since this was Cassandra Clare’s debut novel I’m going to not comment on the writing because every debut is allow something bad and I’m labelling the writing style to be the thing in this book that made me want to scream – the similes, the god-damn similes.
Wonder by R. J. Palacio is a children’s book which I purchased when it was initially released. However with a to-be-read-pile so extensive I have only in the past month been able to pick this book up, and didn’t put it back down until the final page.
I really like Jodi Picoult. I like how topical she is; how well in tune with humanity she is. However, my friend’s sister spent a summer reading Picoult and she reported back that after a while, she is predictable. If there’s anything I do not like, it is predictability. However, I also like making my mind up for myself so I thought I’d give Picoult’s latest offering a chance!
I don’t usually give into the hype. I’m anti-anything-hype. But this book wore me down. The constant Tweets, sparkly Instagram pictures, raving Booktube videos and book reviews on blogs twisted my hand.
In hindsight, having read this book twice now there are issues. However, my initial read of this book included me, my audiobook, my headphones and a very quiet Mariam sat on the edge of her seat for almost 9 hours wanting to know what would happen next. The pace and building of tension in this book is phenomenal. With a pounding heart, this book had me gripped into oblivion, believing the world created by Victoria Aveyard so clearly.
But then I read the book a second time and it all fell to pieces. I have been stalling for so long to write this review. The hype made this book something it wasn’t and then I rode the wave of hype and got drowned in it. And then I came to surface and the hype had worn off.
Successful Rights Assistant at Penguin Random House and recent graduate Eishar, spoke to me about her experience of finding her way onto the career ladder. Talking about her life, her passion for Publishing and ambition to move forward.
Eishar sincerely and honestly contributed to the first Graduate Profile series rebooted, now with a twist.
This series will be about graduates from a BAME background launching themselves onto career ladder – focusing on the struggles and successes of making themselves known. First in line is, an interview with Eishar.
Instagram is by far my favorite app. Most of the time I try to make a conscious effort to not live behind a lens. To live in the moment but sometimes I do get a little snappy. I am not a photographer but I like editing my pictures even though sometimes it will take me an age to select an image and fiddle with it, it is a calming hobby.