Review: The Night Brother

Hiiiii 😊

So i just finished reading the ‘Night Brother’ by Rosie Garland and oh man, I loved it! It was such a sublime mix of poetic and descriptive language and all set in my beloved home town of Manchester❤ As a Manc I was super invested as soon as I read the ‘set in Manchester’ sentence of the blurb😅

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The Night Brother

It has a Jekyll and Hyde theme that runs throughout, and the book really plays with this in a number of ways – characters, journey’s, day and night. Through the protagonists, Edie and Gnome, the novel goes on winding and difficult journey’s of self discovery and is set in the early 1900’s which helps give, and keep, the air of mystery surrounding the plot. It also allows you to lose yourself in a period set piece of fiction and go back to a time free from the constraints of modernity. Touching upon today’s prevalent issues such as women’s rights, what it means to be a man and gender fluidity, they’re all mixed together with a touch of intrigue, flair and vital importance.

The theme of duality that runs through the entirety of the novel is such an interesting one because we all have different personas depending on who we’re with and the situation we’re in. A lot of people (myself included) probably feel like they are living separate lives sometimes. The novel deals with sexuality and gender fluidity in a way that shows you that you are more and can be more than what you are born into. Edie and Gnome differ in every way, they are complete opposites. But, they need each other. They’re constantly battling against each other for freedom and you do, like with Jekyll and Hyde, get the sense that this could easily be interpreted as someone battling with their inner demons. They desperately yearn for freedom from each other, fighting against their restraints and bonds, but if one of them does win in the end, can they really be whole? To survive one cannot be without the other no matter how hard they try – they are indeed 2 halves of a whole.

Some people might say the ending is anti-climactic, and while I can see where they might be coming from, I have to disagree. The ending, for me, wrapped up the story of the 2 siblings and their arduous journey and provided a sense of comfort. Not just for them, but for us the reader. You become invested in their stories and you really (or I did anyway) want to see them find stability and safety in a world where they would be chewed up and spit out.

I adored reading this and I don’t want to give too much away, but I highly recommend😊

xo

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Review: How to be interesting?

Hello! I hope you’ve all had a lovely Monday😊

I picked this up from the clearance section at my local supermarket for £2! Such a bargain, I love clearance sections😌

The title and red pages drew me to to it and for the price I thought why not. I mean who doesn’t want a step by step guide on how to be interesting? This was a YA read (which I didn’t realise), but on the whole it was an enjoyable, quick and easy going read. It was the overall message that stood out for me, being really relevant for today’s society. So want to be interesting? Well follow these rules and all will be well:

  1. One must be attractive.
  2. One must make friends with attractive people.
  3. One must fall in love with someone forbidden.
  4. One must lose all sight of oneself, get into a huge emotional mess, and break down as a person.

I mean of course we know that there is no step by step guide or miracle that can just poof can make you interesting and appealing to everyone, and like our protagonist finds out, popularity isn’t everything. This novel deals with school social hierachies, the repercussions of social media and technology, and what’s deemed as perfect and ‘interesting’ in a modern and clever way. Starting off as a ‘social experiment’ our main character goes through the motions of being the nobody to the popular girl, to the fallen, to finally coming to terms with her own self worth. It’s your standard coming of age and finding yourself plot, but modernised and for the generation today. It’s not about keeping a journal of thoughts any more, but rather blogging about them online (😉). I felt like it was almost a collision of worlds: the literary and the technological. The main character is desperate to be a writer and holds this passion for writing and literature, which is interwoven with her online blogging and the way social media plays a part in her life.

For young people in this age of social media where everyone and everything looks perfect and ‘interesting,’ it’s hard to differentiate what’s real and what’s not. It’s no wonder that depression, self confidence and low self esteem are at an all time high, and that online bullying is becoming more and more frequent. While sometimes it’s easier said than done to have self confidence, self love is so important and healthy for everyone. You have to love yourself first and foremost and know that you’re important, perfect, and interesting just the way you are.

Be bold. Be brave. Be unstoppable. But most of all be inspired in whatever you do❤

xo

Gotta love a bit of Shakespeare 

Hi!

Look at me writing two blogs within 2 days😊 Fingers crossed this streak continues!

Today I want to talk about Shakespeare…I mean, it’s not as if no-one’s given the man enough of a spotlight right?

I was disillusioned with Shakespeare for so long – mainly because it had been improperly taught to me and forced down my throat from the age of 7 when I couldn’t really comprehend the complexity of his writing. It wasn’t until I was in my final year of University (doing a Shakespeare module I might add) where I fell in love with good ol’ William. My lecturer was so passionate and taught his work in a way that was digestible, understandable and most of all, enjoyable. I finally understood why he was a big deal in the literary world – his prose, poetry, descriptions and language are just sublime.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s a few plays I don’t like ***controversial opinion upcoming*** like Romeo and Juliet (🤤). Why this one you ask? Again I’ve been forced to read, react and perform this since the age of about 10 over and over and over again. I think by the time I was 14 I was so sick of it. I mean once again, don’t get me wrong, I’ll watch Leonardo DiCaprio in all his 90’s cute glory at any given point in the day, but the play itself I just can’t bring myself to enjoy reading. Maybe I need to bite the bullet and give it another go…maybe.

But I will say this about Shakespeare. All his plays are strongly rooted in terms of genre – whether it be tragedy, comedy or history – and his characters are widely flawed, human, and real. That’s what makes his play so memorable and so contemporary at the same time. There’s a reason why he’s stuck in the public mind for over 400 years. His plays, while written in the Elizabethan era, are so adaptable and transferable for any time period or actor.

Coriolanus

Coriolanus is my favourite play of his. It’s classed as a tragedy, but like so many of Shakespeare’s plays there’s overlaps with other genres. It’s so witty (I think anyway), and relatable especially in these recent times. I was lucky enough to see Tom Hiddleston’s performance at the NT which was incredible (and he’s super hot too🙊). Please give it a read if you haven’t!

Ah Shakespeare, you keep on doing your thing❤

xo