Wednesday, 27 January 2016

Humans of New York - Review

Hey everyone

Okay so I haven't posted a review in a while because I've been overseas.
I'm not going to talk about that because this is not what this blog is for - for anyone that is interested in knowing about my trip, I will put a link at the bottom of this to my personal blog post about my top 4 Europe experiences so you guys can check it out.

Anyway, review time.
This book is not really my normal style of book to review, but I read it and I just fell in love with it and couldn't bear not to share it with you.
So basically it's a book of photos by a photographer named Brandon Stanton, who started a blog called Humans of New York (link is below).


Since 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton has been capturing New Yorkers and their remarkable stories. The blog he created has touched millions of lives around the world.
Humans of New York is a surprising and moving collection of four hundred of his most beautiful photos, featuring exclusive new portraits and stories.

My Review:

Okay so this is a new one for me, so it's been a bit hard putting my thoughts into words as I'm not used to reviewing and analysing stuff like this.

I will say that I have followed a little bit of the Humans of New York blog before so before picking up this book I was used to Stanton's photography style and I loved it.
But this book was just something else.

It's amazing to me how much emotion and strength can be shown and evoked by just a simple photograph.
And that is how I would describe this book, emotion, strength, love, pain. Just life.

Looking through this collection of photos just inspired me and really made me realise just how strong and incredible the human race truly is.
It's strange, these photos really emphasise the diversity of the human race, but it's one of the few things that I've seen in the last few years that just shows the beauty in this. There is no judgement, no negativity, just beauty. The beauty of the world and of our differences.
It's truly inspiring.

Something else that I really love about this book as well is the captions for the photos, the majority of them have captions and they vary from quotes from the people in the photos, Brandon's story of what happened or how he managed to get the photos, or even just where they were taken.
It's through these that stories are told that otherwise never would be, amazing and incredible stories that, in my opinion, the entire world needs to hear. That's the beauty of this book, to explore and learn about life, about people's lives and the beauty that is hiding in them.

I could not recommend checking this book, or Brandon's blog out enough.
It's just breathtaking and it really will change your perspective on the world!

So usually as my readers will know, I do a favourite quotes section.
Obviously that's kinda hard with this, so I'm just going to share my favourite photo.
This one I did see on Brandon's blog quite a few months ago and have been in love with for a while now, I was so happy to see that it got included in here!

Caption: Seen in Times Square

Thanks for reading guys, I know this is a bit of a change from my normal stuff, and I am currently reading Eleanor and Park, so my next review of that will be back to my normal style, but I'd love to hear what you guys thought of this post and also, if any of you do go and check out Brandon's blog, what your perspective on it all is.

Read fast, die young


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Friday, 1 January 2016

The Last Time We Say Goodbye - Cynthia Hand


The last time Lex was happy was before.
When she had a family that was whole.
A boyfriend she loved.
Friends who didn't look at her like she break down at any moment.

Now she's the girl whose brother killed himself.
And it feels like that's all she'll ever be.
As Lex starts to put her life back together, she tries to block out what happened the night Tyler died. But there's a secret he hasn't told anyone - a text Tyler sent, that could have changed everything.
Lex's brother is gone. But Lex is about to discover that the past doesn't have to define the present.

From New York Times bestselling author Cynthia Hand comes a story of love, loss and learning how to let go.

My Review:

I have honestly been quite nervous about writing this review.
I finished the book last night quite late and it made me sob and cry probably more than any other book or movie ever has in my life.
I just walked around my house for like a half hour trying to come to terms with it, it was so emotional and beautiful and just incredible. For words on a page to make me feel like that, I will never be able to handle how amazing that is.

Okay, so I guess I'll start at the beginning.

I absolutely fell in love with the main character, Lexie, from the first few pages.
Mainly because she was talking about how much she loved an idol of mine, John Nash. For anyone that doesn't know, John Nash was an incredible mathematician who also lived his life with paranoid schizophrenia.
Anyway, this started an incredible mathematical and scientific theme that ran pretty strongly all throughout the book, which I loved.

This book, was quite intelligent, but not in a pompous or arrogant way. It was quite subtly intelligent, for example they have a conversation in the middle of the book about etymology (which is the study of the origin of words) that has quite a strong correlation with what Lexie is experiencing through her choice of words to study.
This is also shown through the choice of words that her best friends also choose.

Another example of this is the sciencey love stuff in the flashbacks to Lex and Stevens' (her ex-boyfriend) relationship.
I don't want to give too much away so I won't say exactly what this entails, but to any science nerd like me, it'll melt your heart.
I'll just put this one quote in here so you guys can see:
"'You look like Euler's equation,' he murmured as he looked me up and down. Nerd translation: Eurler's equation is said to be the most perfect formula ever written. Simple but elegant. Beautiful."

One thing I did love so much was how Lexie grew throughout the book.
Not only how she learnt a bit more to come to terms with the bad things that she couldn't control in her life, but also just learning to accept the way she feels.
I found this really refreshing and I'm so happy that the book ended in such a way that you could really be proud of her, like I almost feel motherly pride when I think about all of the things she had to dealt with and how she did. With her Dad, and Ty (her brother) and Steven. It was inspirational.
That's how connected to the main character the author made me feel, which I thought was just incredible.

Also, I want to emphasise how much I loved, from a psychological point of view, that whilst Lex definitely accepted and let go of the things in her life that hurt her, she didn't forgive everyone.
She just had the power to be able to let that hurt out of her life.
As her psychologist says on page 319:
"Forgiveness is tricky, Alexis, because in the end it's more about you than it is about the person who's being forgiven".

I give The Last Time We Say Goodbye 5/5 stars.

Favourite Quotes:

"It smelled like books, a heady mix of paper and ink and glue, a sweet knowledge"
- Narrator, page 57

"I like that it's derived from a verb. Brave isn't something you are. It's something you do. It comes from action. I appreciate that"
- El, page 70

"The numbers make sense of things. They make order of a disordered world"
- Narrator, page 182

"How can there be such a thing as insanity in a world that's already gone insane?"
- Damian, page 281

"holding a grudge is like drinking poison and then waiting for the other person to die."
- Alexis, page 319

Thanks so much for reading guys!
I just wanted to say that I'm not exactly sure when my next book review will be up as on Wednesday I am going to Europe for 3 weeks.
But I will do my best to have it up for you guys as soon as I can, but it probably won't be until after I get back.

Read fast, die young


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