The Book Club| A Work In Progress

A Work In Progress by Connor Franta 5/5

If ever was a book I would have said I probably wouldn't read this would have been it, alongside Girl Online by Zoella and all the other Youtuber books that are coming out. But something made this different, something made this book stand out above the literary fiction that I was browsing, it may have been the design or the fact that the way Connor writes is so articulate in the first page. What makes all of this more shocking is that I haven't watched his videos all that much, I am still trying to define what the something is that made this book everything I needed to read and read again this summer. I doubt I will ever manage it.

The first thing I want to discuss is the way Connor makes his points about the things he has learnt in his time on this earth, there is the occasionally funny anecdote but mostly it is all real, it is down to earth and thankful for his experiences both good and bad. He seems to have knowledge above his years, he admits that he spent his entire teenage years panicking about how to fit in, but in a way this isn't patronising to his readers. I personally think this comes from him having the understanding that not all his viewers are under the age of 15, there are people, creators, travelers, 9-5ers who engage in his creative visions.

"For the deep thinkers, big dreamers and innovative creators of the world who inspire me."

Throughout the book Connor reflects on how he has come to terms with several things about himself, but the thing that resonated with me was how he struggled to accept that he was creative. The way in which this is displayed throughout the memoir is profound, in that not only is the text beautifully crafted but so is the book alongside every photo integrated with the text. The book says a lot about how Connor has progressed artistically, starting off as a little ruff around the edges to creating flawless creative outputs.

This book has had the most affect on me a book can, except maybe Harry Potter, it has made me think about a whole range of topics from how we interact socially, the internet and the future. Over the next few weeks you will see a few post inspired by some of the thoughts and notes I made reading this book. I am going to make it required reading, for everyone who has read this review. I'm joking you don't have to read it but I will endlessly recommend it.

XO, Miriam

P.S. You can watch Connor's videos here, and follow him on Instagram here.

Jet Pack Blues

//Top - New Look//Skirt - H&M//Tights - TU//Shoes - Debenhams//Belt - Primark//

Meet my not so little sister, I felt it only fair as a made advantage of her wardrobe in my last two style posts to feature her and her personal style in the little corner of the net. It is pretty safe to say her style is generally pretty different to mine, despite us sharing clothes all the time, for one she can walk in heels and therefore can wear those statement chunky books you see in the photos and somehow she takes a feminine skirt and makes it tougher. This probably has something to do with the fact that we have different body shapes and that skirt looks nothing but sweet and girly (in the traditionally sense of the word) on me. Well that and she knows a lot more about style and clothes than I did at her age, dammit!

XO, Miriam 

The Book Club| The Maze Runner Series

The Maze Runner Trilogy by James Dashner 4.5/5

Before I entered into reading this trilogy I had heard and still do hear very mixed reviews about both The Scorch Trials and The Death Cure. But being the person that I was I decided I wanted to read them anyway. I personally loved the whole series and I read it within 3 days, the writing style was engaging and allowed the reader into the protagonist's, Thomas', thoughts while still letting the narrator play no part or have no opinion of the actions taken by the characters. Now this might be controversial but I prefer this series to the Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins mainly because the ending wasn't so 'wishy-washy' it was open. You could take the ending at face value or think about what could happen for hours it just depends how invested in the characters the reader it, to me it makes for very clever writing.

I had very few problems with the books, except I was left wanting a little more information about what Thomas did before the timeline within the books. I have now discovered that there is a prequel book that I might just pick up soon. The concept of the flare was incredibly clever, as it combined both human and natural disasters to create the perfect backdrop to the world in which Thomas and the others try to survive in. This also allowed Dashner to comment on class and how only the rich could prevent the flare from taking over too quickly. The creation of WICKED also allowed him to comment on the use of government resources and money, which I thought was incredibly clever and could possibly be undermining the use of the UN etc. as ways of deciding how money should be used by government.

“Such a display of death - how could it be considered a victory?”

Overall I absolutely loved the series, the use of mystery and fast paced action was always a winner for me even before you add relatable, well developed characters into the mix. I mean naturally I had characters that I despised and ones I loved, and because it is a novel the ones I liked the most died before or went through far more than those I had issues with. Book Logic... I can definitely see me re-reading these at some point in the future.

XO, Miriam

Sliver Clouds with Grey Linings

//Cardigan - GAP//T-Shirt - H&M//Skort - Missguided//Tights - TU//Shoes - My Sisters//

Hooray for being back home for a while and having access to not only to my clothes but my sisters as well. Not only that but no more weird looks from people as I take photos in public, yep I still haven't got used to that. Anyway on to this outfit, as the weather has still decided to be cold despite it being May, I decided to go back to a more Autumnal wardrobe, layering summery pieces with tights and you guessed it knitwear. I haven't worn a skort in a while due to them being generally unflattering but when I discovered this high-waisted gem in my sisters drawers I had to try it on (meaning prance about like a model) Not only did it fit me perfectly The design had enough pattern to standout when almost drowned in this baggy cardigan, which I may or may not have pinched from my mum...

I have almost finished my first year at university and well I don't know what to think, it was so many emotions and experiences that I will never forget and some that I don't want to remember. I would like to think my style has developed but really I have worn mostly jeans and t-shirts and a lot of gym clothes. I have also accepted that there will be days when I will only change in to fresh pyjamas but hey I can't wear pretty things all the time. And I seem to have developed a taste for wearing a lot of black, to the point where my friends don't ask what I am wearing on a night out,because it will be all black everything.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| All I Know Now

All I Know Now by Carrie Hope Fletcher - 4/5

I have been watching Carrie on YouTube for several years now and she is one of the few people who continues to inspire me as well as constantly be positive on camera. So when I had the pile of her book pointed out to me by a Waterstones' member of staff (despite it being at the front of the store...) I picked up ready to read on my train journey the next week. I was not disappointed her positive attitude and relatable nature came through in this book just as well as it does on camera. 

While this book is probably more appropriate for those in secondary school and sixth form college I still gained some advice and plenty of smiles (okay fine laughs) from this book. I read this on public transport so I much have looked like an absolute loon. In terms of the layout and structure of the book I loved the use of 'Acts' instead of parts as it added a Carrie touch, her being an actress and all. While I already knew a few of the stories from Carrie's past from watching her videos there were new ones, ones that made me laugh, ones that had me on the verge of tears and ones that were just plain silly. Unsurprisingly I loved every single one of them, the way she told them and the fact that while some of them were upsetting she used her not so perfect past to shape her advice and use it in a positive way.

Upon finishing this book I had learnt not just more about one of my favourite actress' and Youtuber's lives I have also considered my own life and how I could be more positive and use the past for good rather than to haunt myself occasionally when I remember the embarrassing thing I did in year 8. Not only that but I learnt to ask myself "Does it matter?" when I start to get irritable and down about something that is relatively small in comparison to the worlds problems.

XO, Miriam 

Hopeless Wanderer

//Shirt - H&M//Tank Top - Bench//Shorts - H&M//Shoes - TOMS//

So it would appear that the sun is back, maybe not for good but it means I can start dressing for the summer and reading outside instead of curled up in bed. But most of all I can start wearing my summer clothes without fear of needing that coat or another layer of clothing. Now I know this outfit is nothing special, but I can guarantee I will wear this combo all summer long whether it be dog walking or cooking. And the advantage of the plaid shirt is that it is both a coverup from the sun and gives you warms as the summer evenings spent outside come to an end and you head inside for a cuppa. As with last season I am trying to invest in basics that I can wear not just the season after but for years after. 

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| Ms. Marvel No Normal

Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Illustrated by Adrian Alphona 4/5

This is the first graphic novel/combined comic book I have ever read. And do you know what I felt like this was a great introduction to the genre and the way of story telling, especially as I am familiar with the Marvel universe. This book in particular is a collection of Ms. Marvel comics #1-#5 as well as other content, I picked this up instead of one of the more well known Marvel comic collections because I wanted to read new content and I have heard a lot of great things about this book in particular. So Ms. Marvel follows the story of a girl (Kamala Khan) who wants to be an Avenger, and well she gets her wish.

Definitely my favourite thing about this book is that I could relate to the characters, I saw some of them as the people from my friendship group now as well as other characters being almost identical to my secondary school peers. Not only that the book covers the life of a community that is not entirely white American, they have different standards and belief systems. Kamala explores and tests these but also respects them in a way that any teenager respects their parents and older siblings. I really want the chance to read some more of this series soon, but alas I have exams and several other books I already own to read first.

XO, Miriam

The Book Club| Silas Marner

Silas Marner by George Eliot - 4/5

When I started reading this book for class I was lacking motivation, and began reading it in small chunks, and as a result put it down. But with my exam drawing ever closer I decided to read it in one long readathon, and it turns out his book is actually pretty darn good. Given it was written in the 19th century I was impressed with the range of themes and character depth that I am yet to find with other books written within the realist era. The book tells the story of Silas Marner a man who is removed from his previous society and without a faith who begins a new life in the country village of Raveloe where he struggles with material obsession and becoming part of the community.

From the description it doesn't sound that interesting but why there is not a huge amount of action a lot happens, and I began to see the way George Eliot saw Victorian society, with its class divide, the industrialisation of country towns and the importance of religion or lack there of. I have to admit the only character I was invested in was Silas, but that was mainly due to the other characters acting upon him, which meant I was focused on his reactions as I read. I think that Silas was one of the few genuine characters amongst the community despite that fact he did not become apart of the community until 15 years after he moved there.

Overall I really like the depiction of the changes in Victorian society and the suggestion that you can be spiritual without having a faith. As I personally relate to that as I would say I am a spiritual person rather than a religious one, despite being brought up as a Christian. Not only that the book demonstrated that the community is central to life in the 19th century, as without one Silas draws his only comfort from material gain that when remove leaves him stranded once more in an unknown place. I may have had to read this for my class but I think I might just pick up George Eliot's more well known novel MiddleMarch later this year. 

XO, Miriam