Wednesday 23 September 2015

Happy Bisexual Visibility Day!

So, I'm still snowed under with work because fitting everything around a personal statement that needs to be in in two days, four hundred characters shorter than it currently is while still conveying everything I want it to, is making me lose the will to live. Still, I need a break, and I thought I'd do a little post. And it's Bisexual Visibility Day (at least for the next three two hours-it took me a long time to write this). I could do a thoughtful post of what I want or don't want in bisexual representation in fiction/the media, or other analyses. But as I'm kind of tired, so here's a few of some of my favourite bisexual (using my definition of characters  "has the ability to be attracted to 1)people of our own gender and 2)people of other genders") I've encountered in books.

Micah and Drystan from Pantomime by Laura Lam (my review here)
They're really intriguing people-we meet them in a circus,  in book two, they're magicians, Drystan's funny, and Micah's genearlly awesome.  Also, their relationship is adorable (if only Laura hadn't done -that- to Aenea!!!)

Kitty and Delilah from Hollow Pike by James Dawson (my review here)
The last time I read Hollow Pike was a few years ago, and my memory is kind of hazy, but I remember loving how  Kitty stands up for herself,  while Delilah is eternally sweet, and they make a brilliant couple.

Professor Lyall from The Parasol Protectorate by Gail Carriger
I think I remember Akeldama saying that Lyall was bi... If he is, he makes this list- werewolf beta who gained a professorship from studying sheep breeding, makes sarcastic remarks and

Magnus Bane from the Infernal Devices/ Mortal Instruments series  by Cassandra Clare
Once again, another character whose sarky comments make me love them. Also, his magic, his adventures, and his fashion sense.

Olivia, Orsino, and Viola from Twelfth Night by William Shakespeare
OK, it's not officially stated, but Orsino does fall for Viola while he believes she's a man, Viola's soliloquy never says she's rejecting Olivia, she just seems to be "argh we're all in love in a A loves B loves C thing", and I don't think  Olivia would have minded too much to have married Viola (believing her to be a man), then later found her a woman, having already fallen in love.

I've also read other books featuring bisexual characters- Far From You, Grasshopper Jungle, Adaptation... I can't make my mind think of them right now- but I wouldn't be putting them on this list because the characters weren't as memorable. And sorry for such a short post! I hope to be able to concentrate on blogging soon... *needs sleep first*

Saturday 5 September 2015

Book Review- This Is Where It Ends by Marieke Nijkamp

Title:   This is Where It Ends

Author:  Marieke Nijkamp
Series:   N/A
Published:    5th January 2016
Length:  292 pages
Source: The #TIWIEUKTour organised by Luna of Luna’s Little Library
Summary :  10:00 a.m.
The principal of Opportunity, Alabama's high school finishes her speech, welcoming the entire student body to a new semester and encouraging them to excel and achieve.

10:02 a.m.
The students get up to leave the auditorium for their next class.

The auditorium doors won't open.

Someone starts shooting.

Told over the span of 54 harrowing minutes from four different perspectives, terror reigns as one student's calculated revenge turns into the ultimate game of survival.

Review: This is the story of a school shooting, told as it happens from the perspectives of the shooter's sister Autumn, Autumn's girlfriend Sylv, Sylv's brother Tom├ís, and the shooter's ex-girlfriend, Claire. 
I wanted to read this because it's an amazing setup, and Marieke is brilliant on Twitter.
This was a would-be-one-sitting-if-life-didnt-get-in-the-way book.  It starts normally, setting up friendships and relationships (quite a few, and it’s a little confusing   because there’s lots of people introduced at the same time but you pick it up as you carry on)  to start with it’s just a normal school day  but after 10.05 it's full on until the end. There's books where you can't stop reading, then there's this.
I liked the multimedia approach, showing tweets, blogs, and texts from those involved and on the outside. The helplessness of everyone on the outside comes through, and I liked the way Marieke showed how tragedy doesn’t just affect those there.
Emotions. All the emotions for everyone. Particularly on page 212 of the proof, where one character slips into the conditional and that’s one of the most heartbreaking parts in the book (there's a few). But everywhere you see characters you know and don't know and fear for them and need to know what's going to happen.
I think the biggest thing about this book for me is how immediate it is. I’m  someone who’s grown up in the UK, where the last school shooting happened in 1996, before I was born, and was followed by pressure groups and the banning of handguns. As a result, when we hear of things like this happening, it’s horrifying and upsetting but you still feel distanced because, despite knowing that this could happen anywhere, living in the UK with its strict gun control laws makes it  harder to imagine a society where there’s the possibility of something like this happening and you practise what to do if it does, despite knowing that this is some people’s reality.
 TIWIE does one of the things I like most about reading contemporary/realistic fiction: make different situations real. The fully diverse cast of victims, survivors, and shooter is developed, and we see their dreams, their experiences, and lives. We see the people involved as people, not just names in a news report, which is, I think, why TIWIE is so hard hitting.

Overall:  Strength 5 tea to one of the most intense books I've ever read.