Hello World

Talking is hard, so instead I write.

Welcome to my blog. I am Erin (short for Catherine, call me either) and my life is a confusion of books, tea, school and travel. Here is where I review the books, spill the tea and document the travel.

When my head is not stuck in a book, you will find me bullet journalling, practising my cello or travelling. I am heavily influenced by the adventures of my life and am always seeking new ones!

I started this blog because I am an introvert and a creative. Blogging is a good way to channel my thoughts without speaking to people. Speaking can cause a lot of misunderstanding. For me in particular, I tend to get words wrong or be silent in the wrong places. I’m not even going to try and cure my awkwardness because I love to be quiet. Through various social media platforms, I promote positive messages that mean a lot to me, and share my love for literature.

Thank you for stopping by. I will always be writing for those of you that stay!

Taking A Break

Recently, I’ve been trying to hide the struggles of blogging. Posting three times a week can be a strain sometimes. I have been posting just for the sake of posting. Some of my recent posts I am really not happy with but my schedule has required me to post it (I’ve been pushing myself a lot).  Also, being ‘professional’ is not fun. I’ve had to hide from you, my friends, all the problems that have occurred because of being so active. These past few months have been the best my blog has ever seen, and thank you so much for your support! Yet, being successful comes at a price. I have been glued to my iPad when it is really unnecessary. Sometimes a whole day goes by when I haven’t been outside. I disgusted my own problems and I want to put a stop to it.

Bookstagram is one of my new adventures and it has been good so far. Other than the pressure to read more often (which is unavoidable) the community is really safe and I’ve made some new ‘friends’. I enjoy spending time on there but I am very self-critical. My mind is constantly whirring: ‘this is unnecessary’ ‘stop scrolling’ ‘you’re wasting your time’ and I agree with myself, for some parts. I want to put aside 1 hour a day for bookstagram and that’s all. I know it’s very ambitious, but I am a Slytherin after all. In addition, my addiction to books has resulted in less exercise. I need to work on my own fitness and balance between books/health. 

You can probably see where this post is going…

I’m taking a break but for only as long as I need. I want to write up content that I’m 99% happy with, instead of 70%. Hopefully I’ll still be active on Instagram, but I can’t promise anything.

Sorry for the negativity: I thought you might like to know why I won’t be posting for a while.

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Dystopian Fiction & Under-Developed Characters

Have you ever read any dystopian novels?

My most recent delves into Dystopia were 1984 (George Orwell) and Flawed (Cecelia Ahern). I read them both on the same day and they were so different to each other!

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Flawed is Ahern’s debut novel. It was a good retelling of persecution in 50s America. The problem here is that I don’t think that was what the novel was meant to come across as. The idea is that everyone is pure until they do something against the morals of the government. Things like playing music or reading old English literature (similar to the delirium trilogy, if you have read those). If you are caught doing something like that, you will be taken away by the ‘police’. There’s a small, unfair trial before you go through a branding process. If you crime is bad, your brand will be more noticeable to the public. If it is less so, it will be somewhere you can hide it. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but the synopsis sums up the book anyways (I hate blurbs like that).

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The branding is like wearing St David’s star or a white feather. It’s something people look at immediately recognise you as ‘inferior’. These Flawed people have separate seats on buses and different schools. It’s exactly like segregation.

The main protagonist is arrested for helping a Flawed person. You follow her story as she struggles with being imperfect. The characters are not well developed which is what lets me down. If the characters were more interesting, I think this would be a great book. The plot is very good if you separate it from the protagonists!

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I also read 1984, but is there really much to say? It’s an amazing example of literature.

Have you read either of these books? What are you thoughts?

I hope you have a really good day,

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My First Time Reading Rainbow Rowell | Ft. Fangirl & Disappointment

I’m sorry to be pessimistic, but ‘Fangirl’ was a let-down. I enjoyed all the characters (Cath was especially relatable, if we minus the fact she was obsessed with fan-fiction) but the plot wasn’t really there. I don’t personally understand the pressure of having an older, more popular twin. Though, I have read many books which have this concept as the main idea.

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Having the awkward romance situation made it more enjoyable. I feel a tiny bit sorry for Reagan and I also am getting the vibes that Levi is a player. The chemistry between Cath and Levi is undeniable but Reagan surely must have had some connection to have had such long-term relationship with him.

I wasn’t interested in Carry On (Cath’s fan fiction) and I’m so disappointed that Cath, Wren and Levi aren’t in the ‘sequel’. Simon and Baz were an exact recreation of Draco and Harry. It didn’t seem very original.

Should I write in past or present tense for these book reviews? I’m so confused.

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I was disappointed by this book because I’d heard so many good things about it. It was also my first ever time reading Rainbow Rowell. If I went into this with no expectations, I wouldn’t have come out being so disappointed.

Fangirl is a cute and cozy read but there’s no plot to it: a few family mishaps and a little bit of anger. If you are a romantic, this may be for you. However, it was just too cliché for me.


We all have books that let us down and I really want to share these opinions with you. Not every book you pick up is going to be good. Just push through it! Leaving it half-done might mean leaving a good ending (we all know classics have slow starts, but they get better by the end).

Have you ever read Rainbow Rowell? Have you written fan fiction in the past?

I hope you have an amazing day and that no books let you down!

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I Survived Camp!

If all went to plan, I should still be on Scout camp for another three days. However, it was cancelled. I’m going to tell you my adventure in diary format, enjoy!

Disclaimer: I really enjoyed this camp. I know I’m moaning throughout this whole post but weather does impact your mood. It also makes things less convenient.

27th July 

This morning I arrived in the most awful rain. Before I’d even passed the car park (a field) the bottom of my holdall was covered in mud. Not that I minded. At first I thought my bag had enough protection, though I was wrong. the mud and water soaked through the bottom of my bag and coloured my clean white towels brown. Everything in my bag is still damp: clothes, camera. Only the things I am wearing have stayed relatively dry!

Putting up the tents was easy but we had a few mishaps with the inner. There are three tents on our pitch (not including leaders) and, unfortunately, they all have puddles in. I’ve stayed in the mess all afternoon and it looks like we won’t be going out until the opening ceremony.

I’ve just came back from the ceremony. it was so much fun! Lots of good songs and there are 25 countries camping here. The rain stayed away while we walked there but returned as we walked back to the sub-camp.

The leaders are giving us lots of warm drinks because everyone is shivering, teeth-chattering.

28th July

The sun woke me up at 6:20 but didn’t stay for long. Soon there was rain again and some activities are cancelled today. It’s just after breakfast and I’ll be washing the dishes next. It’s nice to take time to write in here though. many of my friends are keeping diaries as well!

We’ve had activities all day and a few emergency cups of tea.  The rain hasn’t left us yet. All of my clothes are getting much damper and we’re not allowed inside the tents until this rain calms down a bit (which it hasn’t since 9:00am).

It’s now 5:00pm and the tents have puddles in them. Nothing is pushing the inner to the outer but I suspect it’s the wind. I’m just staying inside the mess and keeping as warm as I can. It’s getting harder and harder to write with my fingers going numb.

Update: two girls have left our camp. There are nine of us left. It is extremely cold but I’ve got to pull through. Not cleaned my teeth or washed since yesterday morning. The cleaning facilities are porta-showers (which are grim and coated with mud on the bottom) and portaloos. We have no sinks.

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Turtles All The Way Down | Anxiety, OCD & Book Review

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I’ve just finished another John Green book!

I didn’t read the synopsis of Turtles All the Way Down before going into it. I’ve never done this with a book before, but I quite enjoyed being blind. From the first few pages, I gathered that the main protagonist suffered from severe anxiety and OCD. Though I do not understand the conditions much, the book explained as much as I needed to know. This book brings awareness to mental health conditions without glamourising it. The story is told from the standpoint of Aza, an anxious teenager. Lots of people on social media these days talk about their ‘anxiety’. I understand that some people use the platform to express their problems, but sometimes it’s just a self-diagnosis. I think it is very offensive to claim you have a disorder when you don’t. It can often be stress: which is a daily experience for most people (sadly).

Sorry, I just went off on a tangent.

Back to the review: I think that this book is a realistic insight into the mental health issue, though I cannot say for sure. If any of you have anxiety, would you explain it similarly to this book?

The characters were all so well-written. I loved travelling down Aza’s spirals of thoughts. I’m sure that this relates to the cover, with having a downward spiral.

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You may think the title is random, but your question will be answered: why is it called Turtles All The Way Down? It was one of my questions before I even had my hands on it.

The first paragraph begins with Aza eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich. The same ‘flavour’ sandwich is introduced in the middle and the end. Isn’t that brilliant? Green certainly knows his cyclical structures. Good job.

I very happily finished this book in one sitting. I hope to read again, sometime, and discover things that I missed the first time! What about you?

Have you read any of John Green? Do you think you will read TATWD?

 

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