18 June 2018

What I've Been Watching


I have been obsessed with crime documentaries lately and it's become a slightly unhealthy obsession. *Cue lying awake at night thinking someone is about to murder me* But I can't help being fascinated by it all. It does mean I need some light relief afterwards, so I have been binge-watching a few sitcoms and indulging in some good old reality TV - I can't help it, it's my guilty pleasure. There's a real mix of shows here, but I can't recommend them enough!

Evil Genius

Netflix are doing amazing things in the true crime category. Once I had watched one episode of Evil Genius I was entranced and pretty much didn't stop until I had finished. It starts in 2003, when an attempted bank robbery in America made news headlines across the country. But there's more to it - the crime suddenly turns into a very public murder. The man who was killed was a pizza delivery driver who had a bomb attached to his neck, but it wasn't clear if he was coerced into it or he knew the plan all along. This show was really intense and engaging. It's also pretty sinister so I would recommend watching a comedy afterwards!

The Staircase

Just when I thought Evil Genius was good, The Staircase comes along. This show was actually aired back in 2004, but there's been an update to the story which means three new episodes have been added. In 2001, Michael Peterson's wife was found dead at the bottom of a staircase. He claimed she had fallen down the stairs, but the medical examiner ruled she had been beaten to death. Much like Making a Murderer, it goes into the American criminal justice system and why it could be flawed. It goes into detail about the evidence that was found and also how some of it was possibly tampered with. The defence lawyer in this show is amazing and I'm convinced Michael Peterson is innocent. Out of all of these suggestions, I would watch this above anything else - it's so interesting!

The Office

Call me crazy but I had never watched The Office until very recently. I've started with the US version as I've heard it's better, but I'll definitely get around to watching the UK version too. This show is the perfect thing to put on in the background or at the end of a busy day when you want something lighthearted and fun. I don't have much more to say about it because I'm sure everyone has at least heard of it.

The It Crowd

I'm sure I've mentioned it on my blog before, but I'm a big fan of The It Crowd. This month I found myself rewatching it because it gives me such a comforting feeling. I finished it really quickly and was surprised how short the seasons actually are. I wish the show was longer, but I guess all good things must come to an end - there is going to be a US remake though, which I'm a bit skeptical about! If you've never watched this show, I'd highly recommend it - it's so easy to watch and my fave Richard Ayoade is in it.

Love Island

It feels a bit silly putting this here, but I thought I'd mention Love Island. It's genuinely one of my favourite shows - yes it's trashy and at times problematic but it's such a good watch if you take it light heartedly. This year there's actually an Australian version too, so I've been alternating between watching that and the UK one. New Zealand has it's own version, Heartbreak Island, and it's legitimately the most cringe thing I've ever watched! I'll stick to the original show, thanks.


Have you watched any of these?

-Emma
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4 June 2018

May Reads


I'm finally getting round to reading some of my most anticipated books of the year, and it's always interesting to see if they live up to the hype. May was a pretty good reading month for me - all in all the books I read had some dark themes but managed to present important messages. If you've been looking for something new to read, maybe one of these will appeal...

Almost Love by Louise O'Neill
Louise O'Neill is fast becoming one of my favourite authors. Her books explore some incredibly dark topics and are always told in an incredibly realistic, gripping way. Almost Love is about toxic relationships and learning to find worth in yourself. When Sarah starts seeing Matthew, in secret, she gets addicted to being desired by him and believes love is supposed to hurt. She distances herself from her friends and family, and is on the verge of losing her job - slowly she starts sacrificing everything to be with him. I found this book refreshing because we don't see enough unlikeable women in fiction - we're much more accustomed to tolerating male anti-heroes. I think what I like most about Louise O'Neill's books is how she doesn't always present a happy ending, as that's not always real life. Here we have a woman trying to navigate life and her relationships - she may make bad decisions but real people screw up and make mistakes. This book really doesn't sugarcoat love and romance, and I think for that reason it's an important story.

I Was Born For This by Alice Oseman*
Radio Silence became one of my favourite books, so I was thrilled to get my hands on Alice Oseman's latest release. This one is about Angel Rahimi, who is obsessed with a pop-rock trio of teenage boys, The Ark, who are incredibly famous. It also follows the perspective of the group's frontman, Jimmy, who is transgender and suffers from anxiety. The two are unexpectedly thrust together and it turns out they can learn something from each other. This book explores modern teenage life and on the other hand the effect fame can have on someone so young and vulnerable. The themes in Alice Oseman's books are always incredibly fresh and interesting - I loved seeing the perspective of a band member, one that it is rarely portrayed. Diversity in books is also so important, and I love how different religions and genders were represented here. However, I didn't so much enjoy the actual plot line of this because I found it pretty farfetched and too jumbled. I loved the idea of this book more than the actual story, but in saying that I still think it's worth a read as it explores really important and interesting themes.

Honor Code by Kiersi Buckhart*
I love reading books about boarding schools, but this one explores the darker side of those institutions. Starting off like any young adult book, I didn't think there was anything too special about it to start off with, however once the main storyline gets underway I found myself captivated. Starting her first year at Edwards Academy, Sam is determined to work hard in order to get into Harvard, but her dream is sacrificed when something terrible happens to her on campus. I've read a few books about teenagers who are sexually assaulted and silenced, but I found this one was pretty realistic to what would happen to victims in real life (the sad reality). Despite being somewhat mundane at the beginning, it really picked up speed in the second half and had a surprising twist at the end. This story opens up discussion and shows how rape victims are harassed and silenced, and sometimes due to power and privilege, justice isn't served.


*Review Copy

-Emma
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