Can We Please Stop Judging People’s Decisions?

It seems like everyone and their mother has an opinion on what I should do once I graduate. So far, none of those opinions have included or required any of my input. And all this unsolicited advice seems to go along the same route- basically everyone wants me to go do postgraduate studies.

Which would be great if a) it was something I wanted to do or even  if b) People would suggest postgraduate studies instead of simply telling me “you should go do Honours”.

I’ve always known that I wanted to be a journalist which is why I chose to major in Journalism. People just seem to ignore that and it is seriously pissing me off. Which brings me to my next issue with postgraduate studies. If I was to study further, I would prefer to do my Honours in English Studies. I would also prefer to study all the way until PhD so that I can lecture in a university-level English classroom. However that is more of a back-up plan than a goal. Like I’ve said so many times since I was twelve, journalism is the career I want. And like people have done so many times since I was twelve, my decision is being ignored.

My question is this, when did society decide what we can and cannot do? I am sick and tired of being considered odd simply because I don’t follow the stereotypes of what society expects us to do. I’ve seen friends complain about how people expect them to marry and have kids. Like postgraduate studies, starting a family is a great idea if it’s what you want. I remember being totally shocked when an old friend got married at the age of twenty. However my shock quickly melted away when I remembered that she always had been the mother of our friend group. Marriage would certainly suit her. However when other people found out (okay I couldn’t resist bragging that I had grown up with someone who was now getting married), I remember someone asking me if she was pregnant.

Last I checked, everyone had a life of their own. Why don’t we all focus on living our own lives instead of dictating how people live theirs? Some people want to get married, some people want to study, some people want to go start their own business. Unless their plans somehow seriously harm you, I really don’t see what the big deal is.

If we all followed the same life path, we would essentially be copies of each other and what would be the fun in that? People need to step back and allow others to do what makes them happy instead of what they think society would have wanted them to do.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover 

It Ends with UsIt Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve yet to read a Colleen Hoover novel that doesn’t leave an impact and this one is no different. In fact I was having a pretty great time with this book and was sucked in until I realised “Wait! This is a Colleen Hoover book. Something has to go wrong and it’s going to hurt when it does.”So I read. And I read. And then the bad thing happened and I cried. I cried because it was nothing that I had expected. Nothing on the internet, the book’s synopsis or even Colleen Hoover’s social media alerted at precisely what the conflict in this book would be. Believe me, the conflict is MAJOR! I understand the importance of not revealing spoilers so I’ll try my best not to (it’s so damn hard not to!). I will however say that this is a book that every woman needs to read. The significance of the words “It Ends With Us” is beautiful.Lily and Ryle have an instant connection when they meet. Despite Ryle’s aversion to relationships the two of them are blissfully happy. Then they’re not. Lily’s first love returns to town and her relationship with Ryle is threatened. Except Lily’s ex isn’t the only risk to both her relationship and happiness.I couldn’t put this book down (except for when Colleen Hoover’s words moved me and then I needed to share them on social media). I cried throughout the last few chapters but I enjoyed them nonetheless. Lastly (and this might be considered a SPOILER SO PROCEED WITH CAUTION), I especially loved that I was able to fall for the villain in this novel. He was flawed but he was an amazing person. I loved that I was able to hate him and love him at the same time. I pitied him but I desperately wanted him gone. I’ve never felt such complex emotions for a fictional character before. I’ve always enjoyed Colleen Hoover’s work but this is a work of art.

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Purchase a copy of It Ends With Us from Readers Warehouse

 

Fiction Friday: Book Review- My Name is Simon (A Rainfall Short Story) by Melissa Delport 

My Name is Simon: A Rainfall Short StoryMy Name is Simon: A Rainfall Short Story by Melissa Delport

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was so eager to read this book that I bought it as soon as I saw it without even bothering to look at the price.
I am a huge fan of Melissa Delport’s writing but “Rainfall” had me sobbing like a baby so I never reviewed it.
Reading “My Name is Simon” however is such a comfort after “Rainfall”.
This isn’t a full novel but Simon’s character and his motivations are shown so well. As much as I hated him it was impossible not to feel for this guy who has had most of his life ripped from him.
I desperately wanted to hate this book (to match my initial hatred of Simon) but I couldn’t.
“My Name is Simon” is incredibly well-written and the book finishes beautifully.

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Life as a Second-Semester Senior 

There’s always been much for me to worry about as a second-semester senior even without actually being a second-semester senior.

I’m supposed to update my resume, start the job search, make a final decision on whether or not I’m pursuing postgraduate studies (and if so, in which of my two majors would I continue studying?). However the day before my 21st birthday, the driver of my liftclub altered my second-semester to-do list. He announced to us that he would be getting a new job and we needed to find new transport. 

Most liftclubs take new members at the beginning of the year so I knew that finding a new liftclub would be difficult. Another thing that worried me was that in my first liftclub, the people delighted in making me miserable. I would even go as far as to say that they were bullies. The end result of their horrid ways was that I left the liftclub as well as my “friends” from high school (Life Lesson: It’s important to know the difference between “friends” and Friends. Sometimes it may take an unpleasant experience to learn the difference but you’ll be better off in the end).

After much searching I did find a liftclub. And boy was it majorly different from both my first liftclub and the second. The people were so friendly I couldn’t help but be suspicious. (So much so that I eventually broke down one day in tears because I had no idea how to respond to them and worried that they would think I was being rude). This liftclub was also huge- with about thirty people. I also no longer needed to wake up at 5AM and was home immediately after my class.

However everything has a downside and for my liftclub the downside is the van. On the first day of campus I opened the van door, only for it to close on me.

On day two, there was a different van with a faulty door that didn’t open unless you put in alot of strength.
I don’t have alot of strength. 

As far as downsides go, these aren’t so bad. It sucks that I’m still so terrified of the people in my new liftclub turning out to be as horrible as the ones in my old liftclub. Especially since these people have been nothing but pleasant to me. However try as I might, I really can’t let go of the past.

Fiction Friday: Book Review- Refuse (Recoil Trilogy #2) by Joanne Macgregor

Refuse (Recoil Trilogy, #2)
Refuse by Joanne Macgregor

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Refuse” picks up instantly after the thrilling cliffhanger in “Recoil”. Jinxy is captured and taken in for questioning. The great thing about this book is that it does eventually provide a recap of the previous book. This is really helpful since I couldn’t really remember precisely what the government’s real agenda was.
Jinxy finds out that her ex-boyfriend’s brother is being held in the same facility that she is and she’s desperate to get him out (she was the one who put him in there in the first place).
To do this she has to get back into the organisation that captured and tortured her. Cam Jinxy stand to go back to the people who think nothing of torturing a child? Will she even be accepted back into an organisation that thinks of her as a traitor to their cause?
This book was such a rollercoaster ride of emotions. I hated some characters with such intensity and I loved other characters with the same intensity. My favourite part of Joanne Macgregor’s writing is that she always creates characters that are well-fleshed out and real. (Honestly I started this series to see more of Macgregor’s great characterisation but stayed for the intriguing plot). The characters in “Refuse” certainly do not disappoint. I especially enjoyed seeing how characters have developed since the first book.
I loved that this book had the same fast-paced action as the first one. Jinxy has so many unique skills that help her throughout the novel. At several points I literally had to put the book down to absorb all the clever things she found or did.
“Refuse” was a wonderful read but again, I strongly believe this is a series that should be binge-read. The book was 50 chapters which I found intimidating at first but at the end I really wanted more.
I think this series is one of the most unique and believable dystopian books around. The issues with the government in this series is something we see everyday.
I strongly recommend this book to anyone who enjoys YA fiction or dystopian novels. Hell, read it even if you don’t like dystopian novels. This is just that great of a read. I found this book impossible to step away from.

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Purchase a copy of Refuse from Readers Warehouse

My Birthday Book Haul (I think I’m done for the month)

This month was really great for me since I purchased signed copies of Lady Midnight and the Creepy Hollow series (which was on sale for R20 EACH!!!). I also found the last Vampire Diaries book and my father bought me the remaining three books pictured above for my birthday.

I also won a Me Before You hamper from Penguin Books South Africa. I don’t have the book though so that’s a mistake that needs to be fixed immediately.

What was your bookhaul for the month?

Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Faerie’s Curse (Creepy Hollow #6) by Rachel Morgan

A Faerie's Curse (Creepy Hollow, #6)A Faerie’s Curse by Rachel  Morgan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I didn’t really want to finish this book because this is the end of Calla’s part of the Creepy Hollow series. At the same time I couldn’t stop reading it. The ending was so dramatic in the previous book that I desperately needed to know what was going to happen.Calla is working on a plan to break Chase out of his mother’s childhood home. Meanwhile the Guild still thinks she and Lord Draven are evil and need to be stopped. Her family is under scrutiny and things just seem to be going from bad to worse.Rachel Morgan did not hold back at all on this novel. I cried so much because how is it possible that one girl could have such bad luck?I found the ending a bit incomplete but I’m betting it’s just going to make the next part of the Creepy Hollow series even more intriguing. This book was romantic and sad, heartbreaking and well-written. I loved seeing Violet and Ryn as more fleshed-out characters and I can’t wait to see what else happens in this world. Creepy Hollow is a great series but as time goes on the Creepy Hollow world seems to get darker and darker which makes for a highly enjoyable read.

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Fiction Friday: Book Review- A Faerie’s Revenge (Creepy Hollow #5) by Rachel Morgan

A Faerie's Revenge (Creepy Hollow, #5)

A Faerie’s Revenge by Rachel  Morgan

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After finding out the truth about the intriguing and mysterious Chase, Calla is determined to forget all about him. She throws herself into her Guardian training. However it’s difficult to forget Chase when he is mentioned in most of her textbooks, he’s a vital part of Creepy Hollow history AND he keeps showing up everywhere. Then, Calla is accused of spreading a disease that rapidly kills the faeries. Left with no other place or person where she can remain safe, Calla is forced to rely on Chase.
I thought this book was far darker than others in the series but I absolutely loved it. For me, the Guild has always represented a place of justice and hope but that changes in this book.
I especially enjoyed seeing Chase again. Unfortunately this book has an ending that left me craving more which proves my theory that Rachel Morgan’s books should probably all be binge-read instead of read one at a time.
This was an excellent read that I highly recommend to fans of fae, fantasy or “A Court of Thorns and Roses”.
This book is a relatively quality read that is interesting with characters that are real and funny.

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4 Reasons Why You Should Consider Applying for an Unpaid Internship

When it comes to internships, few people want to apply for a unpaid one. However an unpaid internship gives you the same experience you would gain from a paid internship. Just, you know…without the money. Here are some of the reasons why you should consider an unpaid internship:

Typing on laptop

1) For the experience: Personally I feel the experience gained from an internship is priceless. (This is obviously because I’m not paying for gas or any kind of bills but anyway). Internships can teach you so much that you never thought you needed to learn. Whether paid or unpaid, experience learned from an internship is ALWAYS valuable.

2) To gain networking contacts: An internship is a great way to make networking contacts for the future. You never know if a person knows someone who may be able to help you in the future.

3) To expand your knowledge of the field: You can learn alot from an internship. For example, when I interned at a local magazine I learnt how magazines worked as well as websites and social media. There’s no predicting how much you may learn in an internship or when you will use this knowledge.

4) To decide whether or not you want to go into that specific field: Interning allows you to see if a certain industry is a good fit for you or not. Taking an active role in the industry is a great way to find out whether or not you want to be a part of it in the future.

Interning without being paid for it may not be your first choice but it has tons of perks that shouldn’t be ignored.

Birthday Book Haul: June/July

My birthday was July 1. Before the day and on it I got some really great reads.

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These books were on sale at Bargain Books.
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I also found this in June during a casual visit to Adams bookstore.

I didn’t really like how long The Vampire Diaries book series was but this was the last book and I needed to know how it all ended.

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