Sunday, 30 April 2017

"Emily": A short story

The other day, while I was doing an English past paper (boring) one of the questions was to write a short story (not so boring) with the title "The Picture". I wrote an okay-ish story, but of course it had to be quite short as I only had 45 minutes to do it, so I kind of had to rush the ending a bit. But a few days later I decided to type it up and polish it off a bit, making it longer and better written. And I thought I might as well share the end result with you guys. It's not the best story I've ever written, but considering I had 45 minutes to come up with the plot and actually write the thing, I guess it's excusable. And it's not the type of thing I usually write (there's no weird supernatural stuff going on in it or any creepy murders, which is basically a first for me). So, here it is.

"Emily"


I found it while I was up in our dusty old attic. It was discarded on the floor, wedged between two cardboard boxes that no-one had touched in years, covered in dust, forgotten. I bent down and picked it up, brushing away the dirt on it with my sleeve. It was a piece of paper, a drawing, obviously made by a very young child; a few stick-people, roughly-drawn trees, a smiling sun. I smiled to myself – this was probably something that I’d drawn when I was younger. My mum must have decided to keep it, and it ended up getting lost up here.

I flipped the piece of paper over – and froze. I frowned in confusion. Written in huge, wobbly, childlike letters were the words “By Emily, age 5”.

Emily. Who was Emily? I didn’t know an Emily… so if this drawing wasn’t mine after all, what was it doing here?

I tucked the picture under my arm, deciding to ask Mum about it. Then I grabbed a blue folder – which was what I Mum had sent me up here to find – switched off the dim lights in the attic, and quickly climbed down the stepladder to the first floor.

I made my way downstairs to the kitchen, where Mum was waiting for me. She smiled. “Oh, you found it, thanks sweetie,” she said, taking the folder from me.

“Mum, look,” I said, holding up the drawing. “I found this.”

I have no idea how I expected her to react. But I certainly didn’t expect her to react the way she did.

All the blood drained from her face, leaving her white as paper. The folder dropped onto the floor with a clatter from her limp hands. For a moment I thought she was about to faint, and I started forwards. “Mum, what’s wrong?”

“Where did you find that?” she asked in a whisper.

“Up in the attic. Mum, what’s going on?”

She didn’t answer, just stared at me and at the drawing. I couldn’t decipher the expression in her wide eyes – fear? Anger? Grief? A mixture of all three? She was starting to scare me. I’d never seen her like this before.

“Who’s Emily?” I asked.

“No-one,” said Mum, still in that whisper. “She’s no-one, Alice.”
“But –”

“I said she’s no-one!” She lunged forwards and snatched the paper out of my hand. “Forget this. Forget Emily. Please?”

There was such despair in her expression that I had no choice but to agree. But I knew there was no way I could forget this. What was Mum hiding from me?

Over the next few days I tried to forget what had happened, but the drawing and Emily and Mum’s reaction stayed at the back of my mind, no matter what I did. I had to know what was going on. I thought about asking Mum again, but I didn’t want a repeat of what she’d acted like before. So I decided I had to ask someone else.

Dad was away on a business trip, so I couldn’t ask him. My grandad – he might know about this. Yes, he and Mum were close – if there was something she was hiding, he’d probably know. So one day, after school, instead of taking the bus home, I took the bus to my grandad’s house.

He looked surprised when he answered the door, but pleased to see me. “Alice, what a lovely surprise, come in,” he said, ushering me inside. “Is everything all right? Does your mum know you’re here?”

“No, she doesn’t,” I replied as we entered the living room. I cleared my throat. “I… I just wanted to ask you something.”

“Of course.” We sat down on the sofa. “What is it, Alice?”

I hesitated. Grandad was looking at me anxiously, his kind, wrinkled face frowning in worry. I’d always felt I could trust him, but right now I was unsure where to start. Haltingly, I started telling him what had happened, how I’d found the picture with the name on the back, and how my mum had reacted.

He was silent for a moment when I’d finished. Then he sighed and rubbed his face wearily. “Well, you were always going to find out eventually. We couldn’t keep it from you forever.”

“Keep what from me?” I asked impatiently.

He looked me straight in the eye. And then he said it. “Emily was your sister, Alice.”

“My… sister?” I stared at him in disbelief. “But I don’t have a sister. I’ve never had a sister.” 

“You did, a long time ago. You had an older sister, at least for a short while.” He sighed heavily. “She died when she was six years old. A car accident. You were just a baby – it’s normal you can’t remember her, and your parents decided it was best not to tell you anything.”

“But…” My mind was spinning. I couldn’t believe this. How could my parents have kept something like this from me for so long?

He seemed to guess my thoughts. “Don’t be angry at your mum and dad. When Emily died, they were almost driven mad by grief. They decided it was better to just… forget her. Get rid of all her things, pretend they only ever had one daughter. That drawing you found is probably the only reminder of Emily that survived.”

I stared down at my hands. They were clenched together in front of me, knuckles white. I tried to imagine what it must have been like to lose a child. “It must have been awful for them,” I said quietly.

Grandad sighed. “It was, for all of us,” he said. “Your mother often told me that the only reason she kept going was because she still had to look after you. And she and your father got divorced a few months after it all happened. Emily’s death split the family apart.” He looked at me, and I thought he looked older than usual. “You’re lucky you can’t remember it, Alice. You’re lucky.”

I still couldn’t quite get my head around it. I’d had a sister. My parents had been keeping this from me all my life. Why hadn’t they ever told me? I could understand them not wanting to tell me while I was younger, but I was fifteen years old. Didn’t they think I could handle it?

“Wait here a moment,” said Grandad, standing up. He left the room, returning a few minutes later holding a piece of paper. He handed it to me, and I saw that it was actually an old photograph, worn and faded. I could see my mum and dad in it, both looking much younger than I ever remembered seeing them. My dad was holding a chubby baby, who I guessed was me as an infant. And there was someone else in the photo; a little girl of around five or six, with round cheeks and fluffy blonde curls, wearing a pink dress and holding my mum’s hand.

“That’s her,” said Grandad, pointing at the little girl. “That’s Emily. I managed to keep this photograph when your parents got rid of everything.” There was a deep sadness in his eyes as he looked down at the photo. “She was the most amazing kid. Kind, sweet, quiet, always cheerful. Always had a smile on her face, no matter what. And she loved wearing dresses and dancing, pretending she was a fairy or a princess.”

A sudden memory resurfaced; when I was younger, my mum always wanted me to wear skirts and dresses, and she signed me up for dance lessons for a couple of terms. I’d resisted: I was always a tomboy who preferred to wear trousers and run around in muddy fields, and I hated anything girly. I remembered overhearing my mum and dad as they sat on the sofa one day, talking quietly together. “She’s not her, Sophie,” my dad was saying gently. “She’ll never be her. You just have to accept it.” They both looked like they were about to cry. My mum hadn’t tried to get me to be girly again after that. Somehow I’d forgotten that memory, but now here it was, clear as day; and I knew that they’d been talking about Emily.

I looked down at the photo again, at the happy, smiling family. I couldn’t tear my eyes away from the curly-haired little girl who had been my sister. What would she be like now if she hadn’t died? It was impossible to imagine.

My Grandad broke my thoughts. “You should get home to your mum. She’ll be wondering what happened to you.”

 I handed him the photograph back, and he walked me to the front door. As I was leaving, he called me back. “Oh, and Alice? Don’t tell your mum that I told you all this. She’ll want to tell you herself when she’s ready.”

I nodded, and left. I still felt like I was in shock. I couldn’t wrap my brain around the fact that my parents had hidden something so huge from me for my whole life. I wanted to be angry at them for keeping it from me, but I knew that that wasn’t fair; I could imagine how painful it must have been for them to lose a child. Could I really blame them?


As I made my way home I wondered how I was going to be able to look my parents in the eye now that I knew this about their past. One thing was for certain – I would never be able to think about my past in the same way again. 




Well, hope you enjoyed this short story. I'd really appreciate comments about it, I want to hear your thoughts!

Stay awesome,

-IndigoSky 

Friday, 28 April 2017

I had a really nice day today; but I'm annoyed because I have no good post ideas

Hey guys, it's IndigoSky, here to talk about... well... I have no idea what I'm going to talk about because I've just completely run out of post ideas, and any post ideas I have are just too complicated to write and I can't be bothered. Arrgh. It's odd how sometimes I have LOADS of awesome ideas (well, I think they're awesome, you know) and sometimes I'm just - blank. NOTHING. Zero. Zilch. Nil. Other words that mean nothing. You get the drift. And I feel like I'm letting this blog kinda slip? Which is odd because I haven't gone that long without posting. I did a review last Monday. But I've gotten like no pageviews in the past three days and I feel like this blog is going down...

Oh, whatever, I'm gonna stop whining and get on with it.

All this week I've just been studying, studying, studying; no change there. Who is the idiot who invented exams, jeez, I hate exams. Anyway, today I met up with a girl from the school I went to waaaaay back in Year 7 (like, three years ago).

Quick explanation: I started secondary school after being home educated for most of my primary education, to see what it was like, but I got really unhappy and left after six months. This was the first time I'd met up with this girl since I'd left the school - in fact, this was the first time I'd met up with anyone from that place - and to be honest I was kinda terrified that: one, I wouldn't recognise her (it's been years, people's faces change, and she told me she'd dyed her hair from ginger to dark brown) and two, that we wouldn't have a thing to say to each other because we barely know one another. But it was all fine, in fact it was really good, we went to a coffee shop and talked about stuff and we weren't all awkward around each other, which was what I was afraid of. It was great to see her again and to chat about my old school and what our lives are like now. Because I hadn't seen her in so long and I didn't really know that much about her, it was a bit like making a new friend. I'm just really glad that it went so well and we really got on, and we're going to meet up again soon.

Apart from that, weeeeelll.... I don't really have much else to say about my life; nothing else of note has happened recently. Just studying. Oh jeez, I hate exams.

I think I'm just going to end this post because I have nothing else to write about today, but I PROMISE I'm going to come up with more interesting stuff for next week. I promise. Ha. Lets see if I actually manage to keep it.

Come on, brain, you've gotta give me something good for this blog...

Stay awesome,

-IndigoSky

Monday, 24 April 2017

Book review: "Dead Time" by Anne Cassidy

I finished reading Dead Time by Anne Cassidy this morning, and you know what that means - time for a review!

Dead Time is about a girl called Rose and her kind-of stepbrother Joshua; five years earlier, when Rose was twelve, her mother and Joshua's father went out on a date and never came home. The police had no idea what happened to them, and the case was closed. At the beginning of the novel, Rose and Joshua are going to meet up for the first time in years, but while Rose is going to meet him, she witnesses the murder of a guy who goes to the same college as her. She ends up getting tangled up in the murder investigation; and then another girl from her college is also killed, and Rose is determined to find who the killer is. At the same time, she's helping Joshua, who is obsessed with trying to find out what happened to their parents and is investigating some leads he found. 

Okay, time to be honest. I didn't really enjoy it.

It promised so much when I first started reading it! Missing people, mysterious murders, dark pasts - YEAH! This is MY kind of novel! But it ended up disappointing me.

I just didn't feel like I was engaged with the story. I didn't feel particularly interested in finding out the answers to the mysteries. I think it was all to do with the way it was written - I didn't like it, I felt like it didn't really flow, somehow? The conversations between the characters felt kind of stilted. There was just something about the way it was written that bothered me, and it really affected my enjoyment of the novel. The actual story wasn't bad; the mysteries were all nice and complex, but I felt like there wasn't enough suspense - if the story had been written differently it could have been so, so much better.

I didn't really connect to Rose, the main character - sometimes I couldn't understand the way she acted; why was she so involved in the murder investigations? And why was she sometimes rude to people for no reason? I just felt like I didn't know what was going through her mind, and I didn't feel connected to her. 

I'm feeling really guilty right now because I hate giving bad reviews about anything, but, well, this is what I thought about this book and there's nothing I can do about it.

So all in all, I didn't enjoy it much, but it could have been a lot better if it had been written differently because the plot was actually quite good.

Well, that's about it for this review. Did anyone else read this book? What did you think about it? Comment and tell me!

On an unrelated subject, yesterday I watched the first episode of the new series of Doctor Who and I thought it was SO GOOD! The Doctor's new companion is AWESOME, seriously, she's so cool! I really want to write something about Doctor Who but I'll probably wait until I've watched all the new episodes, and then review the whole season.

Stay awesome,

-IndigoSky 

Sunday, 23 April 2017

I took my first GCSE exam last Friday! One down, a million to go, yay me

So I guess it's time for a "life update" post, and quite a lot has happened in my life lately, so this should be fun to write.

Firstly, I took my Spanish speaking GCSE exam on Friday!! And it went fine!! *screams with joy* I DID IT I DID IT IT'S OVER, I DON'T HAVE TO WORRY ABOUT IT ANYMORE! I had a really intense week last week, I had to revise what I was going to answer for every single question that might come up in the exam, I honestly thought I was going insane. So many questions, argh. I'm not Google, okay? Stop asking me QUESTIONS. (I told you I went slightly nuts.) I swear I spent all Thursday night dreaming I was revising for the exam, and I'd wake up in the middle of the night thinking Oh jeez, I forgot to prepare an answer for this particular question! Aaaargh. Just kill me. But it's over! I can forget all those answers and just... not think about it anymore! Yay. One exam down, like a gazillion left to go!! I've still got two Spanish exams, writing and listening, and two English language exams. And that's not counting the ones I'm doing next year. But oh well. It's over for the moment.

Yesterday was just exhausting. I had karate in the morning, and wow was it intense, I don't think I've sweated that much in a LONG time. And after that, do you think I was able to go home and spend all the rest of the day mooching on the sofa? Oh hell no. My dance lessons are back on now after the Easter holidays, so after my karate class, I had to rush over to my dance school to get there in time to have lunch in the canteen and get changed. And then of course, I had one hour's worth of ballet dancing. ... I thought my legs were going to drop off. Today my legs are so SORE I can barely move, I've been home all day doing nothing, heh. I think I'm going to have to stop doing karate on Saturday mornings, it's just too tiring, and I do karate on Tuesdays as well anyway.

Well... I don't really know what else to say here. That's pretty much all that's been going on in my life lately. Hmm... I thought I had more stuff to talk about. I don't really feel like writing more, to be honest. I'm so tired after such an intense two days. Maybe I can just go to sleep...

I'll be posting again soon - I've nearly finished the book I'm currently reading so there'll be a review on it coming soon. I've also got a few "witty" posts planned, that I'll write soon. (If I have time. And if I can be bothered.) And you can expect I'll be enthusing over Sanctuary a bit more. (When I'm obsessed with something, my friends, I'm obsessed with it 100%. But you should know that about me by now.)

Stay awesome,

-IndigoSky

Wednesday, 19 April 2017

TV review: "Sanctuary"

Well, after the previous, ahem, slightly intense post, I think it's time for something less real-life-ish and more to do with a fictional world. (Fictional worlds are so, SO much better than real life; you have to agree. Life is such a drag.) Yup, it's review time.

Today I'm going to be fangirling about reviewing my current favourite TV series, Sanctuary. 

DISCLAIMER: I only started watching this series about a week ago, I think I've watched a grand total of around ten episodes, and I missed the first two seasons; so if anything I write is wildly inaccurate, don't blame me please. Feel free to correct me in the comments.

I haven't watched that many episodes, but I'm enjoying it so much so far that I really wanted to write a short post about it, because that's what this blog is for, right? For me to ramble about my obsessions.

So Sanctuary is basically about a team of people who live and work at, um, a Sanctuary, which is a place where "Abnormals" - who are people and creatures with special powers and abilities - can find refuge and care. Apparently there are loads of these Sanctuaries around the world, but the show focuses on the team living at the one in Canada (I think the show is Canadian.) The team consists of: Helen Magnus, who's the head of the Sanctuary Network and is the leader of the team; Henry, who's a technology genius and also happens to be a werewolf; Will, who... okay, I'm not 100% sure what he does exactly, but he's some sort of scientist; Kate, who used to work for an organisation that was against the Sanctuary; and Bigfoot, who is... a bigfoot? Need I explain. They investigate things that have to do with Abnormals, as well as looking after the creatures that live in their Sanctuary.

There's also this backstory going on. Basically, Helen is like a hundred and fifty-something years old, and she used to be part of this team of five scientists who started investigating Abnormals, in like the 19th century, and I guess they were the ones who started the Sanctuary network. This team included Nikola Tesla and a guy called John who became Jack the Ripper. (Messing around with history; I like it.) At some point these five scientists injected themselves with vampire blood, which gave each of them powers; Helen has a prolonged lifespan, which is how she's still alive. Tesla is still alive, too, and he's now sort of part of the team as well. He has some sort of magnetic powers? Oh, and he's a total smart-aleck, incidentally. The John guy is still around too, but I'm not sure why or how or what his deal is.

It strikes me that this review is failing miserably - come on, I barely know what I'm talking about myself, let alone anyone reading this. Why couldn't have waited to review this after watching a few more episodes...? I sure as hell hope they show the first couple of seasons at some point, because I really, really want to know more about what went down in previous episodes. (Unlike the vast majority of people I know I don't have on-demand TV, so I can only watch whatever's on.) Anyway, the review must go on!

I guess I like it because it's sort of a mix between mystery and science fiction - which are basically my two favourite genres. I find it really interesting - lots of intrigue, lots of mysterious stuff, and I love the idea that there are people with powers living amongst us. Admittedly, not all episodes are as good as others; while some have me on the edge of my seat, biting my nails and crying out in frustration whenever it cuts to an ad break, some aren't really that interesting. And some are kinda... confusing? It's a bit like Doctor Who, actually, fun to watch, but boy is it easy to get lost with all that sci-fi stuff.

Something else that varies from episode to episode is the special effects. Um... I'm not sure how to say this. Sometimes the special effects are good, you know? Not ground-breaking stuff, but good. But sometimes... sorry, there's no other way to say it, sometimes the CGI is terrible. Just... terrible. I'm not sure why the quality is so different depending on the episode; I have this theory that they have a low budget, and they spend it all on half the episodes, so in the other half the special effects have to be cheap.

None of this really affects my enjoyment of the show, though; yes, I am hopelessly hooked no matter what. There's no cure for me, is there?

Two words: HELEN MAGNUS. She is so awesome oh my gosh?? She literally knows EVERYTHING; she knows everything there is to know about science and medicine, plus she speaks about a gazillion languages. I guess that's what you get when you live for a hundred and fifty years. Oh, and she can fight like hell. And did I mention she's a really nice person?

Well, that's all I've got. Hope you enjoyed this half-baked mess of a review.

Stay awesome,

-IndigoSky

Sunday, 16 April 2017

Eating disorders and body image: time for some serious subjects

Yo, peeps, what up. (I LIKE TO TRY AND BE COOL, OKAY. Deal with it.)

And happy Easter! To those of you who celebrate Easter. To be honest, I don't really celebrate it myself, as we're not religious in my family. Since my dad's off work we've been doing family stuff these days. Yesterday my dad and I went to the Tall Ships Festival in Greenwich, here in London. It was a little disappointing; there weren't that many ships, the last time we went to the festival a couple of years back there were loads more ships and stuff to do. And today my parents and I went to visit some gardens near us. To be honest we just walked around a lot and it wasn't very interesting, and now my legs hurt a bit which isn't fun. So my Easter weekend hasn't been that amazing. Oh, well, on Friday my friend and I went to the minigolf which is near my house, and that was really fun, I actually won?? That has NEVER happened before, I am rubbish at minigolf.

But this isn't what I want to talk about today. Actually, today I want to talk about a Serious Subject that's been on my mind for a while, but that I never quite knew how to write about.

The Serious Subject I want to talk about is eating disorders and body image. Over the past couple of days I've read a few posts on this subject, and it's kind of inspired me to write some words about it myself.

I started thinking about eating disorders while I was really ill with vertigo and nausea (I know, I know, I've already moaned about it a lot, just bear with me) and I couldn't eat for a whole day due to the simple fact that I couldn't hold anything down for more than a few minutes. Everything that went down just came straight back up again. The following day, while I was in the shower, I swear I'd lost weight - I could feel my ribs more easily and my hip bones were sticking out more than usual. It was gross, if I'm honest, and I was really anxious to feel better so I could start eating properly again and put the weight I'd lost back on. (Now, in retrospect, I wonder if I really DID lose weight or if it was my hypochondria playing up; I am the world's worst hypochondriac.)

At one point, while I was standing in front of the mirror, anxiously checking my ribs, I realised how bloody ironic this was. I basically had the opposite to an eating disorder - I hated that I'd gotten so thin while I was sick and I was really eager to gain some weight. It made me think about all those people who are obsessed with losing weight, who actually stop eating in order to be thinner, and I thought - why would anyone actually choose this? Why would anyone choose to stop eating, not because their digestive system is messed up and they don't have a choice, but because they want to? How could anyone deny their body nourishment simply because they want to be thinner?

I don't understand it. I guess I'm lucky - I've always, always felt very comfortable in my own body and I've never wanted to change myself. Okay, here's the deal - I'm skinny, okay? Well - not skinny, maybe, not compared to some girls I've seen, they look like stick insects gosh darn it. But I like exercising, maybe you could describe my build as athletic? Lean? I eat like a pig, but I never put on much weight. It's just the way my body works - my dad is the same, actually; we have a similar physique. I do try and eat quite healthily, i.e I don't stuff my face with crisps or sweets every time I'm hungry between meals, I eat fruit or some cheese. And I do a reasonable amount of exercise, I enjoy exercise, I feel good after it. But I don't do it because I want to be slim, I do it because I want to be, you know, healthy.

Honestly, the only time you should ever worry about your weight is if you're obese, and your weight is affecting your health. But if you eat a healthy, balanced diet, and you exercise daily, you should be fine.

I always felt really negative towards people with eating disorders. I was always like - there are kids in parts of the world who are dying of starvation because they don't have enough to eat, and you, you live in a place where you always have enough food, and you choose not to eat? You're lucky, luckier that many others, and you're throwing it away for no good reason? But after reading a few accounts of how people battled with eating disorders, it's made me be a little less judgemental. It's a mental illness. It's a mental illness where you believe yourself to be fat, and you're so obsessed with losing weight that you stop eating.

And where does this obsession to be thin come from...? From, well, everywhere. Magazines, adverts, TV shows - everything is constantly telling us that in order to be attractive, we have to be slim. Some people, me included, knows that this is baloney; you can be plump and attractive at the same time. But so, so many people see these images of size-zero models and actors, and they think that they have to look the same. And so they start dieting, and missing out on meals, to try and get the same body type as the aforementioned models and actors.

The idea that some teens are actually damaging their health by not eating properly, and it's all because of the media, makes me so mad I can't even say. It makes me feel so, so angry at these people who encourage this idea that you should be skinny, and anyone who has even the tiniest amount of weight aren't good enough. This has to stop, okay? We need to start teaching our teens that their appearance is completely unimportant. We need to start encouraging people to feel good in their own bodies, no matter what you look like. 

Well, I hope you enjoyed this little rant. What are your opinions on this subject? Comment and let me know.

-IndigoSky

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Exams, exams, exams, I'm so sick of exams jeez

Yo peeps. (This is me trying to be cool, by the way.)

It feels like ages since I last posted anything on here! Like, a nearly whole week?! Where have I been? Well... I've been studying a lot, and I've also started working on a new writing project, which is taking up most of my spare time. But, here I am now! To talk about... hmm... I dunno, I'll come up with something I guess?

Well, something that's been on my mind a lot recently is my upcoming exams. My Spanish speaking exam is coming up next week. NEXT WEEK! I kept thinking, oh, it's not for ages, I have loads of time to prepare... but now suddenly I've realised it's in a few days... *shudders*  Oh well, I've prepared it quite well, I speak fluent Spanish for crying out loud, how bad can it go? My Spanish reading and writing is in May, which isn't that far away, either, and my English exams are in June. I'm mostly worried about my English exams, as I really, really want to do well in them because as you've probably gathered by now, writing is my LIFE, and I'd probably want to go on to study something to do with English language and literature in the future. Thing is, I'm good at creative writing, and blog-writing, but when it comes to any other type of writing, I'm just... not so great, to be honest.

I did an English mock exam between yesterday and today, and it was... okay, I guess? The first exam took me about two and a half hours to complete, it's so long, and I hate sitting still for so long. Though I guess I have to get used to it, because that's what the actual exam is going to be like. I think I did quite well in the first couple of sections I did, but by the time I got to the last one, I was so bored and restless I kind of just wanted to get it over with, and I didn't do so well. Oh, and there was this one question I didn't know how to answer because it made absolutely NO SENSE. I managed to write something down in the end, but I have no idea if I wrote the right thing.

This morning I did the second paper in the exam, and to be honest, I completely wasn't concentrated; my mind kept wandering. I had to analyse a poem. A POEM. Don't get me wrong, I like poems, the particular one that came up in the mock exam was one that I really liked. But the problem is, I like a poem, but I'm not sure WHY I like it, and when it comes to an English exam, that's no good because you have to give "reasons for your opinions". Argh. Whatever, I think managed to write a mildly coherent essay. And the last question was kind of fun; I had to explain what I'd do if I ruled the world. I kinda enjoyed that, though I was disappointed there wasn't a short story question.

To be honest, I'm not really that stressed over my exams. I mean, they're important and everything, but I don't think that if you fail your GCSEs, your life is over. That's the sort of impression that most kids my age seem to have, though, I guess it's what they're told in school. If you fail your GCSEs, you... can retake them in six months. Like, what is so terrible about that? And I've prepared my exams quite well, in my opinion, why should anything bad happen? But then I see all the other kids who are going to take their exams, and they are freaking out big time, and I think - should I be freaking out too? Why aren't I freaking out? Perhaps I'm not taking my exams seriously enough? I have to keep reminding myself that I AM taking them seriously, and I've been studying hard these past few months; I'm doing all I have to do to pass.

I've also been thinking about the exams I'll be taking next year. So far, I've decided:

- Maths
- English literature
- Human biology
- French
- History

I haven't quite decided whether to take my history exam; but I'm going to be learning history for fun really, and if I enjoy it and decide I'll be able to take the exam, then I'll take it.

ARGH I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT EXAMS ANY MORE!! They are such a boring subject, jeez. Why am I even talking about this in the first place?

On a non-exams-related subject, I've recently gotten hooked on a TV show called Sanctuary. I've only watched a few episodes so I can't give much of a review on it, but so far I'm liking what I've watched. It's basically about a team of people who protect and investigate things related to "abnormals", which are basically people and creatures with special powers. I like that it's kind of a mix of science fiction and crime drama, which are basically my two favourite genres.

Right, I was going to write a bit more about this show but I have to go down to dinner, so I don't have enough time. I might write a post about it sometime.

I don't really have much else to talk about really. Exams and Sanctuary, that's pretty much been my life these past few days.

See you.

-IndigoSky

Friday, 7 April 2017

Book review: "Champion" by Marie Lu

Whoa, it feels like ages since I last wrote a book review! I finished the last book in the Legend trilogy last week, but I haven't gotten round to reviewing it until now.

Remember how I said the second book in the trilogy, Prodigy, wasn't that great? (You can see the review here.) Well, I'm pleased to say that Champion, the third and last book, was so good that it totally made up for it. I really, really enjoyed it, I think it was the best out of the three books in the series. Basically, eight months have passed since the end of the end of Prodigy, and the Republic and the Colonies are finally at some sort of peace. The two main characters, Day and June, haven't seen each other in months, each of them busy with their own lives. Oh, also, at the end of the last book Day was told that he was dying because of the experiments that were done on him when he was younger, and he's been having terrible headaches ever since. But everything seems more or less all right, until a plague starts up in the Colonies. The Colonies think that the people from the Republic created the plague (which they've done before) and threaten to declare war on them again if they don't provide a cure. The catch is that the Republic hasn't started the plague, and they have no idea how to create a cure. The only way that they might be able to create a cure is by experimenting on Day's younger brother, Eden, who has had a similar illness before, but of course Day is really against anyone experimenting on his little brother.

I found this book really, really interesting. It had lots of action and suspense, and I could never really guess what was going to happen next. When the Colonies started invading the Republic I was genuinely worried about what was going to happen to the main characters. I was also really scared for Day, I had no idea whether he was going to die or not, sometimes it seemed that he was going to be fine but sometimes I was convinced that he was going to die. I was totally hooked.

This also had some romantic bits, but unlike in the previous book, I didn't feel that they got in the way of the central story; they just added a nice touch.

I found myself really warming up to Eden, Day's brother; he's always been a central part of the story, but up until now we never really got to "meet" him, he was only ever talked about. But in this book we really got to know what he was like, and I liked his character; he's very smart and loves building things, and he has a slightly cheeky side. He's also so, so brave, despite everything that's happened to him, and he was willing to let people experiment on him if it would save others' lives - my heart just totally went out to him.

The ending was just heartbreaking, and I wasn't sure why June acted the way she did, but at least it ended on a hopeful note right at the very end.

All in all, I've really enjoyed reading the Legend trilogy, it's full of plot twists and suspense which is just how I like my books. It's not the greatest series I've ever read - I have a few unanswered questions and some parts were a bit too slow for my taste - but overall I had a lot of fun reading this.

Hope you enjoyed this review, and don't hesitate to tell me your opinions on this series!

-IndigoSky

Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Movie review: "Beauty and The Beast"

Hey guys, guess what - it's review time!

I'm feeling a LOT better than I felt yesterday, my dizziness is almost a thing of the past, YES! You have no idea how good it feels to be able to walk in straight lines instead of stumbling around all over the place cause I felt like I was walking on a freaking moving train. And I feel good enough to be able to try and come up with a coherent movie review. (I THINK I'm able to come up with a coherent movie review. I'm not making any promises.)

Anyway, last Friday, before I got sick during the weekend, my mum and I went into central London for a day out. I'd been studying really hard and we kind of deserved a fun day with no studying. We went to the National Gallery for a bit, had lunch in Leicester Square, then went to the Leicester Square Odeon to watch the new Beauty and The Beast film, which I'll be reviewing now.

Okay... um. Can I be really, really honest here?

I was a bit disappointed by it.

It wasn't BAD. It was okay. But I just didn't really enjoy it much.

It... it just wasn't what I was expecting. I was expecting it to be a more grown-up version of the original fairytalewith deeper characters and a more complex storyline, rather than just a copy of the original animated film but with real people. I'm not really sure why I was expecting that - I guess it's just because it's got real people in it, rather than just animated characters, that made me think it was going to be a different sort of movie. I thought it was going to have more depth, but it didn't really, and it disappointed me a bit.

Well, it did have some added bits: we learn a bit about the Beast's life before he was turned into, you know, a beast, and about Belle's mother who died when Belle was young. But it didn't really have much to do with the story, and it wasn't really well-developed in my opinion. It would have been nice if we'd been told more, if what happened in the past somehow linked to what was happening in the present - that would have made the film more interesting, and again, given it more depth.

I liked the character of Belle, she's kind and strong-willed and she loves to read, and dreams of a more interesting life. But I didn't really connect with her, I sometimes didn't understand her. I felt like the bit where she and the Beast make friends was kind of rushed, one moment they hate each other and the next they're chatting and laughing together - like, whoa, what happened?

The songs were all very well, but it took up a lot of the film and to be honest, I'm not a huge fan of musicals. Suddenly everyone just starts singing, out of the blue? Everyone in the village knows how to sing? And it was all a bit melodramatic, with lots of dramatic scenes, but there wasn't really much to the story.

Which is fine! Because it's a fairytale aimed at little girls! But I was expecting something more.

It wasn't the type of film I like. I like either hilarious comedies, or else thrilling action movies with lots of plot twists. And this film didn't fall into either category. I also like animated kids' films, because part of the enjoyment of watching it is seeing the animations, which are really, really good in some cases. And since this film wasn't animated, I felt it kind of lost something.

I'm feeling guilty now because I feel like I'm giving this a very negative review, and it wasn't BAD - it just wasn't my type of film. I'm not really into musicals, or romance stories, or fairytales, and I like stories that are a bit more complex. If YOU like musicals, romance stories and fairytales then you'll probably enjoy it. The costumes are also pretty good, so if you're into that sort of thing you'll like it.

Have you watched The Beauty and The Beast? What did you think of it? Did you like it? Comment below!

-IndigoSky

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Yesterday was the worst day ever, I was really ill, but I'm better now thank god

Sooo... yesterday was basically the worst day of my life, and let me just tell you why:

I woke up, nice and early, ready for a fun weekend... and I sat up in bed... and the world just started whirling around like crazy. I had really, really bad vertigo, I could barely move without feeling like I was on a wildly unstable boat. This had never happened to me before, I had no idea what the heck was going on. It was completely out of the blue, too - I was feeling fine the day before. I just basically felt really dizzy all the time, especially when I moved my head, or got up or sat down, or basically moved in any way. And I also got really sick - I threw up so many times in a single day it was impossible. I couldn't eat anything all day, I couldn't even hold down water, it was that bad. I felt so, so crappy all day, and in the afternoon my mum called the doctors' because we were both really worried, and we got an appointment at the urgent care centre at a nearby hospital at nine o'clock at night.

So we took a taxi to the hospital, and it wasn't so bad - I'd stopped being sick by then, I'd actually managed to eat a biscuit and drink some water, YAY. And at the hospital we were seen at around 10pm even though our appointment was at 9 - to be honest, it wasn't that awful; I thought we were going to be stuck there until midnight. The doctor checked me up and told me it was nothing serious - probably just a small infection that had affected my ears and stomach. By then I was actually feeling much, much better, I was still a little dizzy but it was nothing compared to how terrible I'd felt that morning.

We took the bus back home, and it was past eleven by then - it was kind of weird going around so late, I'm never out at that time of night. Everything was.... different. So much quieter and emptier. Weird. Also, by then I was so exhausted maybe I was kind of imagining things. I got home, took a quick shower, had something to eat, stayed up a little longer to make sure I wasn't going to be sick again, and then fell into bed and I think I spent all night dreaming about hospitals and doctors.

So, yeah... This has been my weekend so far. Really sucky. I'm feeling a lot better today - I'm still a little bit dizzy and unsteady but I'm WAY better than I was yesterday.

Argh. I really, really hate being ill. It's not just that I feel bad, it's also I HATE spending all day sitting around doing nothing, and that's basically all I've been able to do these past couple of days. I like to DO stuff, and if I can't do anything I just get really bored. Oh well... I guess this will be over soon, eh.

In other, more cheerful news, I planted two peas a few weeks ago, and they grew into pea plants. One of them is really tall:


And look! Look at this!

A PEA POD, IT'S GOT A PEA POD, I'M GOING TO HAVE MY OWN PEAS

Isn't this exciting?? I actually just found another pea pod growing on it too.

The other pea plant has an interesting story. Basically, it's roots broke, I think my cat must have dug it up or something. I thought it was dead, but I replanted it just in case it came back to life. And it did! I put down roots again and kept growing. I mean, it's nowhere near as tall as the other plant, but it'll get there. 

*sobs* I'm so proud of you

Well, that's all I've got for today. I've got a couple of reviews planned, which I'll probably write and publish in the next few days. 

I'm just gonna go lie down for a bit because I'm feeling dizzy again...

Stay awesome!

-IndigoSky