Friday, 29 June 2018

Recent Wrap-up #2


So I've been quite behind on my 'Recent reading wrap-up' series as I said I would upload it every other week, yet here I am four weeks later! I have read a ridiculous amount of books in the past month and I didn't want to post my reviews until I was fully caught up but I'm starting to realise that the is just a bit pointless! So below are a collection of mini reviews of some of the books I've read in the past month, hope you enjoy! 

Bookshop Girl, Chloe Coles

Bookshop Girl follows Paige Turner as she embarks on a mission to save the only bookshop in her town where her and her best friend work. I saw someone link it back to Louise Rennison and I totally agree, it had all the humour and awkwardness of teenage life but also showcased some great friendships. I didn’t love this book, but potentially if I was a young teenager I would. I felt the characters were slightly underdeveloped and the plot a little too simple, but I did really appreciate all the quirks you find out when you work in a bookshop. I read this book so quickly that I’ll definitely pick up the second one in the series. 

Troublemakers, Catherine Barter

Alena lives in East London with her brother and her brother’s boyfriend who have been her guardians since her mother died when she was three. This book was such a fresh new read, the family relationships and dynamics were so interesting and well-written, I struggled to relate, and with the immaturity of the protagonist that I actually wished we knew more about her brother and her brother’s boyfriend! It’s set in East London, which is a place I am obviously very familiar with, which I loved! It’s always great to be able to imagine a real life place when reading a novel. 

Boy Underwater, Adam Baron 

I read this as it is Waterstones Children’s book of the month for June and really enjoyed it. I haven’t read a novel aimed at 9-12 year old’s since I was that age so took a bit of time to adjust but I truthfully recommend this book to customers on a daily basis. It has some great humour and some the plot took me by surprise, I appreciated how it dealt with tougher subjects and made mental health just a normal problem that everyone deals with. This is such a lovely book for young girls and boys. 

Emery lord, Open Road Summer

Emery Lord’s book always do something to me, and this is my favourite of her’s that I have read. The main character was flawed and complicated, the best friend was pure and good-hearted and the love interest was literal swoon worthy and all that I would want in a guy. Lol at me saying that, I’m cringing at myself don’t you worry. But it made me feel things. Made me feel things for old love, new love and barriers being broken. It reminded me of the beauty of being vulnerable, of the fact that however much you plan, your future is unknown, and the fact you don’t know the future, shouldn’t hold you back from going after something you want! This was such a lovely, summer read but that made me feel all types of emotions and really contemplate life. 

The Summer of Us, Cecilia Vinesse

This book meant so much more to me than I thought it would. We follow a group of five friends; Rae, Aubrey, Clara, Jonah and Gabe on their interrailing trip around Europe the summer between the end of high school and beginning of college. It was very much a character based novel over a plot based novel – my favourite. Plus just such a summery read. But it dug deeper as well, it tugged on heartstrings between friends, and that feeling that nothing wil ever be the same once you leave somewhere and the knowledge that you have to learn to live with that, that the future may be scary, and the past may be nostalgic but you have to live in the present. The relationships between all the characters were glorious and well played out, I was rooting for the couples so much! Plus just all the adventures in all the different cities bought me back to my interrailing trip last year – I loved reading about places that I’ve been too! Honestly this book was a dream, a perfect summer adventure filled romantic love and friendship story. If you need a book to escape to, I would definitely recommend this. 

I am now splitting my time between being a bookseller at Waterstones and working at a local pub/restaurant so any spare time I have at the moment is spent reading/ sunbathing in the garden and I'm really okay with that. So I would apologise for the lack of posts but actually, I've just been enjoying settling into my new life back at home and haven't felt the need or worry to post consistently - I'll just post when I can. I've read some really really great books over the past two weeks that I'm excited to share soon!

Hope everyone has a good weekend! I'll be working two 12 hour days - luckily I enjoy both of my jobs! Let me know what books you've recently been reading! Christina xox


Friday, 15 June 2018

What I've learnt about friendships

This year I have learnt how to let go of one-sided friendships. I’ve had lots of different conversations with some of my university friends recently about friendships and what we should do when a friendship isn’t equal, or doesn’t make you happy. Now, I’ve had quite a bumpy ride with friends and friendship groups my whole life really, all I ever wanted to do was please my friends, but sometimes life happens or personality’s clash. Eventually I realised that a friendship needs to be equal and I like to think I’ve learnt what it takes to maintain good relationships with the people who you value the most (obviously I’m only 21 and I am well aware that I don’t know everything about life, but I wanted to share my thoughts of friendship as I move into a different chapter in my life). 

With most of my friendships throughout my life I have been the one who organises things – whether it is an activity or what film we are going to watch. I have a side of me that needs to be in control and organised, and this has flowed into my friendships. However, I’ve found that with me taking control in organising things, sometimes friends stop trying and just wait for me to organise when we meet up, and it hit me in the past six months that I’m fed up of being the only one who ever suggests to do something (which I therefore feel like I’m the only one making an effort in the friendship.) For example, there have been moments in my long term friendships when I decided I’m not going to be the person who texts first, I’m going to wait until they message me, but in reality, that experiment actually is quite sad and has gone with me not speaking to that person for a month or so, then finally giving in and texting with a passive aggressive ‘we haven’t spoken in so long!’ Some of those friendships have continued but others just haven’t; not because something happened, but I gave up trying to push for a friendship that wasn’t natural, or two-sided. Other friendships survive on a text every month, but those are the people who although I don’t speak to them everyday, I just know that they are there. All friendships are different, but this is just a trend I’ve noticed.

At university I often became close with someone through an activity – whether that’s because I saw them weekly in a seminar, or through clubs/work - and once that ended I tried to continue the friendship because I genuinely really wanted to, but sometimes people just don’t reciprocate and after a long while, I just stopped trying. And I’m not saying this to paint myself as a great person or anything, maybe I’m a hypocrite and maybe I never tried with a friend and I was the reason we grew apart. But I am just describing what I have noticed over the past year and what I’ve learnt from it: You have to put in effort for a good, balanced friendship.

I’ve never really properly argued or fallen out with anyone, all my friendships just grow apart because of the way life has taken us. In a sense, it almost feels worse. It’s such a horrible sinking feeling when you realise you’ve grown apart from someone you used to speak to everyday. Some friendships withstand distance and can survive on occasional texts, others just can’t, and that’s okay. Every person you’ve had in your life was there for a reason. 

But what I do preach is that if someone wants to be your friend, they will try – they will make time for you, they will text you, they will care about you – and if they don’t, then go and find someone else because everyone is worthy enough to have a best friend that they can text absolutely anything to. 

I have had this blog post written for about two weeks but was actually quite nervous to post it. I’ve always wanted to write more personal posts on my blog, but have been scared with how much to share and conscious of the people in my life. The topic of friendship is something that has grown incredibly interesting and important for me and I just wanted to share my thoughts. I’d love to know anyone else’s thoughts on one-sided friendships and what it takes to maintain a good friendship. Feel free to drop a comment down below, or tweet me your thoughts!

Thanks so much to Nicole for snapping these fab photo's! 
© StyleStorey

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