Thursday, 28 July 2016

Review: I.D. by Emma Rios

I.D. by Emma Rios

‘Being unhappy with what we are, or have may seem frivolous but it is inherently human’

I.D. is a dystopian tale, analysing perceptions of identity through three characters considering a body transplant as a solution to their problems. The graphic novel itself is quite short at 84 pages and reads much like a short story, honing in on the turbulent times these characters are living in, and the difficult decisions they are making about their future and identities. Their initial meeting is supposed to be brief, a short meeting in a coffee shop to meet the others considering the body transplant; however fate, circumstance, and the universe force them to spend more time together than anticipated.

I.D. begins mid-sentence of the three meeting for the first time. They don’t know the other’s backgrounds, and nor do we. We are introduced to the characters the same way the characters are introduced to each other. As the graphic novel is so short, little is revealed about the characters as the story progresses; however we are presented with a short snippet of their lives and their reasons for considering the body transplant. We’re forced to focus on the characters in that present moment, on the immediacy of their reactions, thoughts and feelings about their planned transplants, rather than extensive character development. It’s an approach that’s true to life, in the sense that you don’t get an automatic backstory for every person you encounter in life, you meet them at a specific time in their life and can only gather what they choose to reveal. It’s an interesting approach and definitely one to make you think.

The characters include Noa, a Trans man, Mike, an ex-convict, and Charlotte, a seemingly bored woman with a history of depression. They’re thrown together through their mutual consideration of the body transplant. Their interactions are humorous, as are their contrasting personalities. Whilst they are only together for a short time, we get a real sense of their personality thought their actions, which is emphasised through Rio’s amazing art and attention to detail.

The entire graphic novel is completed in shades of red. Whilst this is sometimes a little confusing during some of the few action scenes, it works well. The hues of red depict a sense of mystery and urgency, making this graphic novel feel really unique. If there’s one thing I absolutely loved, it’s the layout of this graphic novel. Rios overlays the wider image with smaller and cleverly placed boxes, often in sequences of squares and circles, depicting smaller details, especially facial expressions, through which we learn a lot about the characters. They give little inklings of their personality and inner workings that otherwise go unexpressed.

Whilst this graphic novel does not go into huge detail, it also throws up some questions about the ethics of procedures by big medical corporations and meshes a largely unexplained and unexplored dystopian and sci-fi setting with questions of identity. I.D is a brief but interesting read.

Thanks to NetGalley for providing this book in exchange for an honest review.

Tuesday, 26 July 2016

booktubeathon wrap up!

books gone girl sarah dessen stephen king
The booktubeathon has come to an end. I read a total of three books, a total I am very okay with. It's not the seven I had planned, but when does life ever go according to plan? In fact, I'm pleased to have just finished a single book!

The books I read:
Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
The Yellow Wallpaper (including two other short stories) by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
The Old Nurse's Story (including another short story) by Elizabeth Gaskell

Everything started well, I started reading Saint Anything and got quite a lot read on Monday and Tuesday. Then I stopped reading for a couple of days mid-week (hump day is real + I graduated so that was a thing that happened and took up my time) and then I was hit by the realisation that I’m done with education for reals and spent the next couple of days eating copious amounts of chocolate, no regrets. On the final day, I powered through two short story books and finished Saint Anything, thanks to some twitter sprints, which were so much fun I was sad to have missed all the previous sprints! I will probably share my thoughts in more depth and write some reviews on them later, so keep an eye out for those!

For the reading challenges, I managed to read a book by one of my favourite authors- Saint Anything and a book that’s older than me – both The Yellow Wallpaper and The Nurse’s Tale are applicable! I’m slowly but surely going to continue with reading the books I had planned to read for this readathon. I’m super excited to continue making my way through these books and participating in the booktubeathon has definitely reignited my love for reading! I’m so pleased and excited for all the books to come! The booktubeathon may have come to an end but my reading will continue deep into the night! (and day)

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

20/52 // how I made it to every 9am last semester

52 thoughts is a weekly post featuring some of the messy and honest thoughts running through Rosario's mind. From serious issues, to lighthearted whimsical thoughts, each post is unique and thoughtfully crafted.

Today I'm sharing some secrets. The secrets behind how I made it to every one of my 9ams, on top of a two hour commute. And on top of that, I had another lecture at 10am, a break and then a one hour seminar. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty grueling. Some days (let’s be real, most days) I was super tired and running on less than six hours sleep, but I made it, and made it out alive. Here’s how I did it, and how you can to.

Some things you’ll need: 

An alarm clock, the will to resist the snooze button, determination, motivation, perseverance, preparation, snacks and maybe some coffee or an energy drink (or two)

Motivation – You have to have the determination to do it. My motivation was essentially that I knew I had to stop myself from snowballing into bad habits. I knew if I missed one lecture, I could easily start making excuses for missing subsequent lectures and I didn’t want that to happen. I knew I could snowball easily, so I put in the effort to make it to every single one.

Alarms – DON’T press the snooze button. I know how tempting it is, especially when you’re waking up super early in the winter and it’s still dark outside. In my experience, snoozing just makes me feel even more tired, and makes it so much harder to fully wake up and get going.

Preparation – I feel like a mum saying this but prepare everything the night before. That means planning, preparing, and making your breakfast and lunch the night before, putting everything you need in your bag so you can literally just pick it up and go in the morning, planning what clothes you’re going to wear. Pack it all before you go to sleep so you can get as much rest as possible and so you don’t have to rush around in the morning whilst you’re tired, groggy, and probably sleep deprived. Pack some snacks to keep you going and some music to lift your soul and mood.

Get to sleep early and get ready for your early morning. I know I slipped up a couple of times experienced some regret whilst I was  struggling to stay awake during my lectures and suffering through my day, but I made it out alive.

It’s not all bad though. One of the ultimate perks of being up early is seeing the sunrise. The amalgamations of pinks, oranges, purples and blues never cease to amaze me, it’s always pretty and pretty amazing to witness. After powering through such long days, I’m pretty sure I’m invincible, or at the very least, can do anything I set my mind to.

Monday, 18 July 2016

booktubeathon to be read list 2016!

This year, I've read about four whole books and started but not completed a countless number. Seriously, there have been so many. I miss reading and feeling enthusiastic about books, so I've decided to participate in the Booktubeathon!

The Booktubeathon, is a readathon with challenges, giveaways, twitter sprints and a whole load of other book related goodness, which celebrates books and discussing books on the internet (and also reading as much as possible in a week.) Ariel's video tells you everything you need to know, so check it out if you're interested because let's be honest, Ariel can explain it all better than me!

The readathon runs for a week, starting July 18th and runs to the 24th, and seems like the perfect way to inject some much needed reading into my life. Whilst I don't make booktube videos (or any videos for that matter... yet) I'm a pretty big fan of booktube and seeing all the TBR videos pop up has infected me with booktubeathon fever.

To make things interesting there are some reading challenges, which I of course, am going to try my best to complete. Challenge accepted as the memes would say.

The 2016 Reading Challenges:
1/ Read a book with yellow on the cover.
2/ Read a book only after sunset.
3/ Read a book you discovered through booktube.
4/ Read a book by one of your favourite authors.
5/ Read a book that is older than you.
6/ Read and watch a book-to-movie adaptation.
7/ Read seven books.

My very last minute to be read list for the booktubeathon! 

Cell by Stephen King
This was perhaps my only unread book with yellow on the cover and since it is a horror, what better time to read it than after sunset? Not entirely sure what this book entails, but it has something to do with zombies, and as a bit of a zombie fan, I'm super excited to read this!

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
I remember seeing this series everywhere on booktube, and it definitely persuaded me to give it a chance. It's a young adult fantasy novel and apparently it's amazing!? Hope it lives up to the hype! Also, the author has pink hair. Pink hair you guys. 

Saint Anything by Sarah Dessen
I have been intending to read this book for about a year, so it's got to happen this week. I'm going to read it! Dessen was my fav author growing up so this definitely counts towards a book by one of my favourite authors! 

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn
The hype around this book has died down a bit, so it's time for me to give it a read. I'm also planning on watching the movie adaptation. Don't hate me but I actually really enjoy book to movie adaptations... *hides under a fort of books*

Reasons To Stay Alive by Matt Haig
This book is everywhere. I've read The Humans by Haig and quite liked it so I figured why not give this one ago. I'm expecting a lot of honesty and I am very intrigued. 

The Yellow Wallpaper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
A Penguin Little Black Classic and short story with feminist undertones? Short and meaningful, what's not to like? 

The Old Nurse's Song by Elizabeth Gaskell 
I read North and South last year and absolutely loved it. This Penguin Little Black Classic is definitely older than me, and consists of two gothic fairy tales written in the 1800s. Short stories are definitely a reoccurring theme in this TBR, mostly to get me up to seven books, but also because I've really enjoyed short stories in the past, and they're a nice way to ease yourself back into reading.

And those are the seven books I'm going to be reading! To be honest, whilst I enjoy a challenge, I'm not sure how many books I'll manage to read. I'm graduating next week (eek) and then I have to get back to stressing out about jobs, and you know, figuring out what I'm going to do with my life. #graduateproblems I may not know what I'm doing with my life, but I do know what books I'll be reading next week! 

Are you partipating in the Booktubeathon, leave your TBR videos, posts, or simply a comment below! I love reading TBR posts! Or simply leave me a comment about the next book you're planning on reading! 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

19/52 // The savior that is Animal Crossing Happy Home Designer

52 thoughts is a weekly post featuring some of the messy and honest thoughts running through Rosario's mind. From serious issues, to lighthearted whimsical thoughts, each post is unique and thoughtfully crafted.animal crossing happy home designer on black 3DS nintendo

I've been obsessed with this game recently. Partly because cute little animal clients, partly because I've been ill, and partly because there's a lot of designing.

The game itself is pretty simple. You take on the role as anew employee at Nook's Homes and design homes for animals based on the theme or suggestions they give you. The theme could be a colour, a place, an idea such as a yellow house or a ‘comic artist office’ or somewhere to be ‘surrounded by books’ or a ‘street fair’ etc. They usually include  around two items which are required, but other than that you get complete creative control!

It’s a lot of interior design but you can also design their gardens and choose the plot of land for their house. The landscapes are vast and range from snowy mountain tops to the desert, to the beach. You can even choose plots with rivers and water to make some interesting little gardens..My personal favourite is that you can choose the season! I’m particularly partial to spring because the trees all turn pink!

Each house you design unlocks new items and decorating things related to the theme, gotta catch them all, right!? (sorry, wrong game)  But seriously, part of the obsession I have with this game is to to unlock ALL the objects! I just want all the objects available to the make the cutest little houses.

You can also complete public works projects, including a school, office, restaurant, café and more! You can use anything in your catalogue to design these and you have complete creative control over the design and let me tell you, I’ve spent more time than I want to admit perfecting these projects (so much time)

Using Amiibo cards and the NFC reader, you can import your favourite Animal Crossing characters into the game but I don’t have a card reader so I can’t really say too much. Seems fun though.

And finally, Happy Home Designer totally cured my cold… or rather passed the time as I laid in bed, hoping and praying to feel better soon – it’s a good time killer and a lot of fun. It’s a pretty simple game and doesn’t aim to compete on the same level of house designing as the sims, but it’s a simple way to be creative, have fun, and relax. 

Are you an Animal Crossing fan? What's your favorite game/animal crossing moment?

Monday, 4 July 2016

18/52 // Disappearing, referendums, and pins

52 thoughts is a weekly post featuring some of the messy and honest thoughts running through Rosario's mind. From serious issues, to lighthearted whimsical thoughts, each post is unique and thoughtfully crafted.
pink smoothie with straw and pastel pink bow
For the past ten days, I’ve sort of disappeared. I’m not sure where I’ve gone but I’m pretty sure the EU referendum result knocked all the hope out of me. After the disastrous result, in which 52% of voters, voted for Britain to leave the European Union, I’ve just been going through phases of anger, disappointment, fear, and uncertainty about the future. Not only about the future, but in the here and now. The leave campaign was saturated with xenophobia and racism, and the victory for leave has just seemed to validate racism in the UK. Reported hate crimes have increased fivefold in a week, which is just absolutely terrifying. Especially considering that I live in a very white area, which, judging from the racism I’ve experienced over the years, is quite rife with racist sentiment. I feel uncomfortable and unsafe in my own country.

I’m angry that this is happening, that politicians have allowed racist rhetoric to become normalised, that they have exploited racism and xenophobic rhetoric for their own gain, with complete disregard for the consequences and making life harder and more dangerous for ethnic minorities and anyone who doesn’t fit the bill of ‘white English.’ I'm angry, upset, and scared. 

On top of this, the weather has been awful recently, which no doubt encouraged my hibernation and general dropping off the face of the earth. I’ve only emerged from hibernation to watch some youtube videos, binge watch Ugly Betty (one of the best tv programs EVER), or upload photos to Instagram (check it out!)

And today, this alternately sunny and cloudy Sunday. So far, all I’ve done so far is watch some Ugly Betty, write this blog post and browse Etsy for pins and patches. I’ve been a fan of badges for years so I’m super happy about the boom in popularity! There’s so much choice now and you can find them just about everywhere! It’s even inspired me to (finally) try my hand at embroidery. I guess this is a sprinkle of positivity to counteract all the prior negativity. I think it’s important to discuss important issues, even if they are imbued in negativity, because ignoring them just allows it continue unquestioned.

Peace out xoxo