Love is Love


I’m writing this with a heavy heart, as a lot of people are around the world. You can’t have missed the terrible news that yesterday a gunman entered Pulse nightclub, murdered 49 people and injured 53. Pulse is a club for LGBT people, this was a planned attack on a community and has since been named the worst attack since 9/11 and the deadliest shooting in the United States. I could get into so much in this post, about my anger about the scum that did this, about my anger towards America’s gun laws but I won’t, because the last thing the world needs right now is more hatred. I refuse to think about him, his twisted ideas. Instead I want to know the names of those who died and those whose lives have changed forever.

I watched the coverage from the moment I got up, when I was first aware, to now. There’s still a tab open on my laptop with BBC updates. What I can say though, and something that hasn’t surprised me is the reaction from the LGBT community, because around the world they have stood together, they are mourning but they are strong. People will attempt to dismiss this, to take away from the fact that this was an attack on the community because of who they are, who they love, but they can’t. The LGBT community and all of us allies are going to follow their lead and do what they do best, we’re going to fight back with love and stand united.

fc07286ab26e248feba026f71c9b8c57I’ve never understood ‘homophobia’, which FYI isn’t a real thing, I’ve never understood people hating anyone for who they love. I have friends who are gay, know a lot of people in the LGBT society and you know what, they’re just people. So what if they don’t conform to some bullshit social norm, most of us don’t nowadays anyway! I sat yesterday and just tried to understand, asking my boyfriend why? Why would someone do this to innocent people?

We all need to stand up and be counted now, show our solidarity. Hatred will not silence the wonderful, brilliant community. We must stand up and give support to those affected and to every LGBT person, we need to show them we will do whatever they need so that they can feel safe again. We’ll attend Pride, we’ll write blog posts, we’ll tweet our love, we’ll support them and go against anyone who wants to take away their rights. We will be there for them.

Let’s not shy away from that this attack was. This was an attack on the LGBT community, call it what it WAS, unlike the Sky News presenters this morning.  I write while holding back the tears and thinking about each and every person lost in this tragedy, wishing I was in Orlando, that I could donate blood and that I could help. I will say though that you will not be forgotten, your deaths will not be in vain. I’ll continue to stand with the LGBT community, as I always have, defending their right to love whoever they want to. I stand with you. We’re all human and Love is Love.



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Book Review: The Fever – Megan Abbott


“You spend a long time waiting for life to start – her past year or two filled with all these firsts, everything new and terrifying and significant – and then it does start and you realise it isn’t what you’d expected, or asked for.” 

On a normal day in class Deenie’s best friend Lise has a seizure in the middle of class, at first while everyone is shocked, it is assumed that there is merely something wrong with Lise. When another girl has a seizure not much later shock becomes suspicion and fear. What is happening and why? As more and more girls become victims to a mystery illness a towns panic becomes world wide news. Is any girl safe?

I picked up this book because it sounded interesting a story of a mystery illness and girls being ‘betrayed by their bodies’ and wanted to see how it could be done. That and I’m a sucker for a good thriller, which Fever undoubtedly is. The story by focuses on Deenie, her brother Eli and father Tom. Each has an interesting view about the situation. While Deenie is both terrified and filled with guilt over her friends, Tom is trying to keep a level head as a teacher, while also worrying if his daughter is going to be next. I don’t really know why we see the whole thing through Eli’s perspective, possibly as a more outside perspective? I’m not sure what his viewpoint really does for the novel but it was a nice change from the typical teenage girl.

The novel is dark, creepy and eerie. I found that I didn’t want to but needed to keep reading. I loved the way that Abbott took something that could very well be true as the cause of the illness and manipulate it through media. This made the story feel a lot closer to home, especially for young women of my own age who could think about the what-ifs. The way that the hysteria spreads through media adds a lot to the plot and makes the reader even more curious and desperate to get to the end. The mention of Youtube videos and such were also telling, I don’t know of too many novels who have embraced modern technology in this type of story but Abbott has done so with ease.

While there were quite a few great things about the novel there were also some parts that irritated me. I wasn’t especially keen on the character of Deenie, I didn’t feel like she was someone I could relate too, nor did she really have much of a spark. She just kind of went with whatever was happening and was a little mopey, even in the flashbacks prior to the outbreak. It was because of this that there were points where the novel slowed down considerably, although this didn’t happen often, when it did it really dragged and I got a little frustrated wanting to skip pages.

I was also quite let down by the end of the novel, it felt like it was building up to such great suspense and then was a let down. I can’t go into too much detail without a potential spoiler but the fact that the ending only really delt with one side of the novel upset me. It kind of felt like there was no explanation. For a while I couldn’t decide if this was a great way to end it or not, to question our own beliefs but I really struggled with the sense of loss I felt not really knowing certain things at the end of the novel.

Overall I’m going to give this book 3 stars. While I did enjoy it I think that the ending would stop me from strongly recommending this to my friends. Abbott can clearly write and has a talent for suspense but at times this wavers and we are left with a slightly boring protagonist. A lot of people love this novel but, sadly, it just wasn’t for me.

Review by Chloe Metzger

Book Review: If I Stay – Gayle Foreman


After a fatal car crash that leaves 17 year old Mia barely alive If I Stay lets us follow her as she questions whether to live or die, after being certain she has lost both of her parents. Mia has a choice to make. As she watches her family and friends come to terms with the disaster she has to decide will she stay? Or will she let go into the unknown…

As with many other people I because aware of this novel because of the huge film,although I haven’t seen it. I’d heard good things about the novel and the film looked brilliant. We’re guided through the novel by Mia herself as she struggles to watch the rest of the day unfold. All she can do is watch and listen. Her family, friends and boyfriend are all willing her to come back and it’s up to Mia to decide if that’s enough.

Although I like the idea, the novel didn’t particularly stand out to me. The novel is fairly short and sways between the present and past and gives us a good insight into Mia’s life before the accident. I found it hard to connect to the story, of course it made me sad but I didn’t feel a deep rooted connection to Mia or the characters around her. That said, I did feel an incredible connection in relation to how she felt about her music and the prospect of being a musician and this added to the sense of tragedy. If anything I would have loved more insight into her love of music and her hopes and dreams, although maybe this was intentional.

Forman has ventured into a question that few of us will even consider answering, if I could chose would I live or die? For many of us we would instantly say I’d live, but would we? It makes the reader consider a life without their loved ones and the choices and sacrifices that are made every day. I wouldn’t say that the novel is morbid in that respect but it deals with death in quite a straight forward way, for Mia it appears to be more of an escape. It also raises the question of life after the accident, we have no idea how Mia will be affected by her injuries if she decides to survive. Will she play Cello again? Will her dream of going to Juilliard be snatched away from her as her parents were? Is her younger brother Teddy, who she adores, still alive? As I said it is a novel full of questions and what if situations.

If anything I’d say that the book could have been longer. Although well written, there was so much crammed into the book that at times I felt rushed through. I wanted to know the smaller details, memories and possibly more about more minor characters in the novel to give them a bit more life within the novel. Also what about afterwards? If she decides to die, does she meet her family? If she lives do her dreams come true? I guess to an extent this leaves us to make up our own minds but I wish this was included in the novel.

I give this novel 3 stars ***. I liked the idea and found Mia to be a nice character but failed to interact with her as a person. I also found that I was hungry for more at the end of the novel and felt that it could have had a better ending or more to it maybe? If you’re looking for a shorter read that raises questions then If I Stay may well be for you.

Review by Chloe Metzger