Friday, 28 November 2014

How I save a bad day from ending badly


Bad days happen.

To some people, unfortunately they're very frequent, and to others they come on occasion, but regardless of when or how often they happen, they suck.

So I thought I'd share how I usually try to save a bad day from ending badly.


I like to try and find some way to be productive. Whether that means getting on with whatever work I need to do that's bringing me down, or doing a heap of reading and getting ahead. I feel good when I feel accomplished. So I generally just try and get everything on my to-do list done plus a load more.

Let's talk food/drink. Hot chocolate is a life-saver for me; like, it tastes amazing and it makes me feel warm inside (well duh), but it just makes me feel happier. I love that stuff. Sometimes I will turn to the junk food and just be like if I don't consume some form of chocolate (could be hot chocolate to be fair) right now then I will have a breakdown. But usually I just eat fruit. There's something about fruit that I just find quite comforting, so whereas a lot of people's comfort foods can often make them feel worse, mine usually picks me up. Fruit salad is good because I actually have to prepare it and I find the chopping up stuff part quite relaxing somehow.

If I've had a bad day then I will either want to be left completely alone or I'll crave company of some kind, whether that be spending time with people or just talking on the phone with my mum for a while. Unfortunately there's no in between so sometimes if I'm with people I will just have to leave and get out of wherever I am. And that's an okay thing to do. But sometimes I will want to just be with people, even if we're not talking, just because it can be quite comforting to know that there are people there.

Walking is something that always calms my mood. If I'm really stressed about something, or if I'm feeling really rubbish, the best thing for me to do is drop everything I'm doing and go for a walk for a couple of hours. Sure, when I get back everything I need to do is still there, but I feel like I'm in a much better state to put my mind to it and get it done.

To be honest, the main thing is music. If I'm sad, or in a bad mood, or just feeling down for some reason (equally if I'm happy/in a good mood/feeling good), then I will turn to music, because it is kind of the thing that holds my whole life together (sometimes I wish that was an over-exaggeration but it's just not). A lot of times I listen to songs that will make me feel worse in some way, just because it means when I stop listening I'll go back to the level of bad I was feeling before but it'll feel like it's not quite so bad. I don't know, it seems kind of dumb and backward but it just helps sometimes.


I think that's probably it to be honest.

Although also if it's your sister's birthday so you know there will be cake when you finally get home for the weekend, that'll always leave your day on a high note too (that's today for me, yay).

Is there anything you like to do when you've had a bad day? Or do you go to some of the same things as me?

Until next time.


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Wednesday, 26 November 2014

Nickelback: No Fixed Address - album review


I love this album.

I just love Nickelback, I don't get why there aren't more people who like them, they're great okay. So I thought I'd write a brief review of their new album.

After I first listened to it I just listened to it again straight away. I really love the sound and how the band have stayed very true to their own style of music but equally incorporated other ideas with what could be considered more modern influences.

I really like the album title, 'No Fixed Address.' It just creates this nomadic idea of people who are always on the move, which the band were when they recorded the album, so it all fits together very nicely.

Million Miles an Hour sets the album off in a strong rock style, with the vocals slightly synthesised at points, creating a somewhat futuristic sound, which in a sense introduces the new music in a relevant fashion. 'Insanity is setting in, reality is getting thin' is my favourite line. I've always loved how Chad's voice is so unique and yet you can still hear each word clearly, which is somewhere a lot of artists go wrong and leave you not being able to understand a word they're saying. Great work.

Edge of a Revolution just sounds like such a classic Nickelback song. It's heavy on the electric guitar, with a very strong rhythm section, which is something I love to hear. I really love what they've done with the music video as well, and how it's pretty much a visual representation of the song. They seem to be making a political statement with this song as well, which is something that you probably wouldn't ever expect, but it works really well.

Was listening to What Are You Waiting For? when I was waiting for my train earlier and it was delayed by half an hour, so it felt kind of relevant, because I really was waiting for something (it was really cold too sigh). I really like this song, and I feel like it's got a good message, like, stop waiting and just do what you want. 'Believe in every dream that you've got' and 'don't you wanna spread your wings and fly, don't you really wanna live your life' are my favourite phrases. I think it's such a feel good song about striving for more and believing in yourself enough to do what you want to and get to where you want to be. The instrumentation and choice of rhythms and whatnot all give the song this really determined drive and it fits perfectly with the lyrics.

I think Satellite has to be my favourite song on the album; it's gorgeous and pretty much an example of everything that I love in a song. It's the perfect soft rock ballad and it is so beautiful, I could listen to it all day. I love the piano intro, it's something you wouldn't necessarily expect from Nickelback, and shows how their style has changed a little bit in a few songs, but it does remind me of some of their older ballads, so it's not completely different. I just love it.

Miss You is another great song, the intro makes it sound almost like what most would class as a pop song, but I think it progresses really nicely, building up a bit more in the verses with the drums and whatnot; you feel the beat so well in this one. I like how the vocals are a bit softer in this song, like there are a lot of people who think Chad's voice is a bit rough and aggressive, but you don't really hear that so much in this one; it's a little more mellow.

You can listen to the album on youtube here and if you're into rock or alternative music then you should definitely check it out. Also, you can find it on iTunes here. Wanna see them live so bad ughhhh.

Until next time.


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Tuesday, 25 November 2014

Song of the week #7



'You're Worth It' by Cimorelli is a really important song, and the message is literally everything that matters. Sometimes I think you really need a song like this, and when I first listened to it the other week, it was exactly what I needed to hear. When you feel like you're just completely pointless and worthless, it just really gets to you on occasion, and this is just the song to listen to you if you ever feel like you're not good enough.

I've listened to a few of Cimorelli's other songs before, but until now I've never been notably interested in their music, just listening to them whenever they pop up on my 'what to watch' page on youtube; they're really good though. And with songs like this one, I think they should become more well known, because this song definitely deserves to be heard.

I don't really have much else to say because the song really speaks for itself, but I would certainty recommend giving it a listen, and checking out some of Cimorelli's other songs or covers, which you can find on their youtube channel here or their vevo here.

Until next time.


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Friday, 21 November 2014

All the tall things


Literally why didn't I name my blog all the tall things, that would've been a genius move, I'm so stupid, damn it me, for goodness sake, really missed a trick there.

Anywho.

I'm really quite tall, and so I thought I'd mention some of the pros and cons (and there are quite a lot of cons). So, yeah, here are all the good and bad things that come with notable height (at least in my case).


Pros:

Feeling like a bit of a superhero when someone asks you to reach something on a high shelf for them (especially when it's in a supermarket or a shop where some things really are too high)

Long legs can never really be seen as something negative despite the fact they're easier to trip over; longer strides mean you move quicker, less chance of being late

Easier to spot in a crowd so even if you can't find your friends they can probably find you

In a crowd at a gig, you've got a pretty good chance of actually being able to see

Being considered older, which is sometimes pretty useful; literally from the age of about 12/13 there were people who thought I was 18

Intimidating men that would probably intimidate you if you were shorter

Netball in school was always pretty easy with the height advantage


Cons:

Long legs are probably easier to trip over just because there's more to them

Attract attention more easily ew

Actually having to mind your head when there's a 'mind your head' sign

Also always whacking your head when you stand up from your seat on a bus

Generally just whacking your head

Cute short boys sigh

Finding clothes that actually fit properly and are long enough is nearly impossible

Broad shoulders (all of the sighs)

Sometimes you might actually want to wear heels but you don't want to seem like even more of a giant

You know when people tell you you've gotten really tall since they last saw you? They do it every single time they see me and I can safely say I have not grown

Mirrors are always positioned too low down so you have to crouch to check you don't have food in your teeth

Public transport/cinema/lecture theatre etc seating - there's never enough leg room

Bending down to take a photo with friends (my best friends are both around 5'2)

Hide and seek can be really tough


Are there any other things you like/dislike about being tall? Or maybe about being short? Be sure to let me know :)

Until next time.


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Tuesday, 18 November 2014

FOUR - One Direction: album review


Literally, amazing.

I know a lot of people don't like One Direction basically because of how commercialised they are, but I don't think you can deny that the music's good. Because it's really darn good.

The whole leaking thing happened, like it always seems to (I literally don't understand how people do it????), but the album was officially released on Monday (17th November), and, of course, it's gone straight up the charts. And I'm not surprised in the slightest.

Steal My Girl is one of the catchiest songs ever, I always find myself wanting to yell it, like, it's one of those songs that you just belt out and it feels greaaaaaat. The video for it is also rather entertaining, and just fun, and that's a really nice way to start an album. Kind of can't believe it only got to number three in the charts to be honest, because it's just the kind of song that you wanna hear when the weather's miserable and you need cheering up.


I really love Where Do Broken Hearts Go. It's got some sort of 80s/90s vibe to it that honestly can't get enough. It's like one of the songs you here at a wedding reception when they get the disco going (or is that just me haha????). Also, according to wikipedia, Ruthanne Cunningham wrote on it, and I always seem to love her songs, so it makes sense really. It just feels good.

Can't not mention 18. After listening to the first verse I just knew it was written by Ed Sheeran. I love how his songs are so distinctive, and you can always pick out something he's written. It's really beautiful. I really like how it builds up throughout, and I think it would sound so good live.

Fool's Gold is a pretty, but really sad, nostalgic ballad. Hahah ballads, help. It's such a sad song, and somewhat regretful, but equally not at all. To start of with I almost thought it would be a happy tone, because the acoustic guitar just seemed to have that sound to it, but no. I like how the chorus is sung out with a bit of power to it at the beginning and sounds weaker a little further on; it really reinforces the message of the song.


Night Changes is my favourite song on the album. Have I ever mentioned I'm a complete sucker for a ballad? (well duh). It is so beautiful. I cannot find a single fault in this song, it is completely flawless. I just. Yeah.

Stockholm Syndrome has kind of a similar feel to Where Do Broken Hearts Go, but it's got more of an electro vibe, and I think I'd normally not really like this sort of sound, but it's got an 80s feel to it, and it just works so well. There's so may opportunities to layer up the sound, but they haven't, and I think it was a wise decision, because I feel like more would've been too much. It's great.

Those are definitely my favourite songs on the album, so if you were kind of interested but not wanting to just go listen to the whole album, then these are definitely my most recommended (especially Night Changes, mega sigh (also, I really like Clouds, Act My Age and Once in a Lifetime (and like all of the other songs), but just didn't know what to say about them, and I didn't really want to do a track-by-track, so you should probably just listen to all the songs)).

FOUR is available on iTunes here if you wanna check it out.

I would really love to go and see them on their next tour, can they announce the UK dates soon please ugh. Although I feel like it would be quite manic and a bit scary (but worth it). I just really like how their style is evolving, and although ultimately they are in the pop genre, they're experimenting with different sounds and doing a bit more of the writing themselves.

It's a really great album.

Until next time.


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Saturday, 15 November 2014

Life-shaping quotes


I thought I'd share some of my favourite quotes this week.

All of these have had some sort of influence on me in the past and/or present, and some will probably continue to do so in the future.


'All our words from loose using have lost their edge.' - Ernest Hemingway

'Perhaps one did not want to be loved so much as to be understood.' - George Orwell, 1984

'She always wanted to believe in things.' - Kazuo Ishiguro, Never Let Me Go


'Two roads diverged in a wood, and I- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.' - Robert Frost, The Road Not Taken


'I know I'm good for something, I just haven't found it yet.' - Mayday Parade, Miserable at Best


'Put your heart, mind, and soul into even your smallest acts. This is the secret of success.' - Swami Sivananda

'You must do the things you think you cannot.' - Eleanor Roosevelt

'Grief is like the ocean: it's deep and dark and bigger than all of us. And pain is like a thief in the night. Quiet. Persistent. Unfair. Diminished by time and faith and love.' - Sam, One Tree Hill

'When I was five years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down "happy."  They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life.' - John Lennon


'The flower that blooms in adversity is the rarest and most beautiful of all.' - Walt Disney Company, Mulan


'I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice.' - J. D. Salinger, Catcher in the Rye

'The quieter you become, the more you can hear.' - Ram Dass


What are some quotes that are important to you?

Until next time.


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Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Song of the week #6


My favourite song at the moment is called Waiting for Superman, by Daughtry. And I really do love it. Daughtry are one of my favourite bands, and remind me of a more mellow Nickelback, with front man, Chris Daughtry, having a fairly similar - but perhaps slightly softer - tone to Nickelback's Chad Kroeger. The band have a rock feel to them, but with a little country twang that I think was the thing that got me hooked on them. Literally been listening to them so much for the past two months.

I think of this song as a very warm one, if that makes sense? Like it has a warm feel to it. And we all need a warm song when it's freezing cold outside what with the chilly winter weather being upon us. It's one of those ballads that feels both reassuring and equally devastating, depending on how you feel when you listen to it.

I've got some internal conflict when it comes to lyrics. Part of me really loves them and another part wants it to be made clear that the girl in question can be her own superman, and maybe she's not waiting for a man, but waiting to believe in herself. But I still really like the words to the song, I just don't like the ongoing idea that women need men to save them (because they don't).

The opening of the song just has the softest, prettiest sound to it, and it contrasts with the lyrics to create this sense of something beautifully tragic. And sometimes when I listen to it I do feel like I'm falling apart, and it kind of really sucks when you can relate to lyrics like these ones. The phrase 'if life was a movie then it wouldn't end like this,' hits quite hard, as it really reminds you of how different reality is to the fantasy of film where everything usually ends in happiness or at least some form of equilibrium.

I just really love this song, and thought it was well worth sharing. You can listen to it here if you'd like.

Until next time.


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Saturday, 8 November 2014

Hour-by-hour day in photos #1

Hellooooooo.

I've been back home in the comfort of Oxfordshire for this week and it's been looooovely. My dog and I have spent a lot of time together, more than I have with my friends and family (oops), but I think it was time very well spent.

I thought I'd do a photo post, where I've taken a photo every hour that I've been awake over the course of the day. Coooool.

I think I'm going to do another one of these at some point, but whilst I'm at uni, as it would be interesting (maybe) to see any similarities and differences. Although, I can safely say I don't do the things I've done today everyday lolz.

Hooooope you like it :)

8.51am: fruit salad breakfast, with apple, banana, kiwi and melon


9.50am: preparing the face for the day ft naked palette from urban decay (aka everything important)


10.46am: waiting to leave the house with curls that can't be tamed


11.41am: music during the car journey (x album review)


12.33pm: nearly at our destination of leamington spa

1.21pm: fact of the week at the photography studio where we had some sibling photos taken for mum ('did you know that crabs like to update and change their shells, a bit like we buy a new car or house. they all meet up with other crabs and line up in a row to swap and exchange shells)


2.48pm: much rain as we began the journey home


3.22pm: more car music (slsp ep review and 5sos album review)


4.47pm: cuddles with prince on the dining room floor


5.32pm: the early stages of food shopping before we were met with all of the chocolate; we also saw what seemed like everyone my mum has ever known, which was nice for her to have a little catch up


6.24pm: the bicester village lights are one of my favourite things about christmas


7.13pm: attempting to regain some sort of order to my life by putting dates in my diary and sorting through all my emails


8.02pm: out for dinner with charlie at cabbages and condoms where they do thai food and it's sooooo good


9.56pm: it's also really pretty inside and just has a nice atmosphere


10.59pm: home and having a quick glance through next's christmas catalogue (the socks are great)


11.48pm: finally starting to write this post



Briefly, on another note, it's been a year since my University whaaaaaaaat blog post, how crazy is that. And now I still have no idea what I'm doing but I am at university so I've accomplished something. It feels so weird and surreal, like how has so much changed in a year. I mean, I'm still as indecisive as ever and terrified of the future, but I'm moving forward I guess.

Wowza.

Until next time.


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Wednesday, 5 November 2014

1989 - Taylor Swift: review


Towards the second half of October, I ended up listening to Taylor Swift, probably on a daily basis. And I really liked it. So, after listening to her new album, 1989, which was released last Monday (27th October), I thought I'd write up some of my thoughts on it.

I've never been a massive fan of Taylor Swift in all honesty, I don't know why but I've never really listened to a lot of her stuff, but I've really liked certain songs of her's. However, on this album, I can safely say I genuinely like all of the songs, and it's made me more curious to look back on her previous albums.

I loved the older ones like You Belong With Me and Fifteen, but also the more recent 22 and the likes, but I think she's really upped her game with this album, and just made it fun, which is so nice to hear.

Obviously, one of the standout tracks is Shake It Off, the album's leading single. I think this song is so great and so fun; I love how Taylor's just saying that it really doesn't matter what people say about you, but what matters is how you feel about yourself. And that's a really important message today, and I hope that people pay attention to it.

Blank Space has the best tone to it, I love it. It's probably my favourite on the album (by a good solid mile). It really mocks all of the people who criticise Taylor for who she dates, and kind of lets her make fun of herself too; if she gets in first I guess anything mean anyone else says about her hits a lot less hard. 'You look like my next mistake,' is a great line, and I feel like it's weirdly relatable; like, loads of people can tell they're about to make a mistake and they do it anyway because it feels good for at least a little while. 'Darling I'm a nightmare dressed like a daydream,' is my favourite line though. Just yes.

I really like Wonderland, too, and the way the Alice in Wonderland plot has influenced it. It sounds kind of eerie through the beginning of the first verse and then the beat comes in and really drives the song forward. The way she's compared a relationship to the story of AiW kind of makes a lot of sense, as everything's new and fun but equally incredibly uncertain. 'Life was never worse but never better' is my favourite line.

Bad Blood has a vibe to it that I really like. The sort of chanty chorus sounds really good, and I can imagine it would sound great with a crowd yelling along. 'It's so sad to think about the good times' is a line I really like, and really get, because after someone's done something really bad it makes you kind of regret any nice time you spent with them. The middle eight also sounds so pretty and really brings out Taylor's stunning voice.

I think the whole album has a really distinct tone and all of the songs work really well in sequence. I would say more about each individual song, but I just think that I would repeat the same things and just say how much I love this album over and over. Anyway, I'd recommend checking 1989 out, and be sure to let me know what you think :) What's your favourite song on the album?

1989 on iTunes: here

Until next time.


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Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Hollywood Ending: Punk Ass Kids tour






I went to see Hollywood Ending on Thursday with one of my flatmates (it was her first gig ever!?!??!!!) and I've been so busy between then and now, what with Halloween and then travelling home, bonfire night and seeing all my friends and family (and most importantly, my dog), and also some sort of lovely throat infection (hahahhhh yayyyyy), that I've hardly even had a chance to think about writing a post about it. Golly.

Anywho.

Here it is.

They were fun, oh they really were.

The gig was at Temple in The Institute and it was probably actually the smallest I've ever been too. But it was so fun. And their support acts were good too, in particular the second one, Brad Kavanagh; he had a little bit of a reggae vibe that I loved and his original material sounded really great. He also did a couple of covers, Ed Sheeran's Sing in particular was woooonderful.

Hollywood Ending came on stage dressed for Halloween and left semi-naked, so I can safely say it was an eventful hour or so. They performed a load of songs that everyone knew as well as a couple of covers (which were so good) and some new songs. I loved Punk Ass Kids and can't wait until the ep for that comes out.

I was kind of sad they didn't do She's All That because it's one of my favourites, but they did play Good Time Girl, which was my song of the week a little while ago, and you can check that out here if you'd like to.

But yeahhhh, it was a fun evening and I'd recommend checking the band out if you haven't heard of them before :)

I'll leave a link to them on iTunes here.

Until next time.


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Monday, 3 November 2014

Book review: Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger


After hearing so much about it over the years, I finally got down to reading Salinger's, Catcher in the Rye.

I honestly had no idea what to expect from the novel, but I found it really easy to read, and kind of addicting, constantly wanting to know what would happen over the page. It's definitely worth the read.

Holden Caulfield is a character that I think a lot of people can learn about themselves from. He is a teenage boy, who doesn't know what he wants; this causes so much indecision that at times he just has to be away from other people, and he can't make simple decisions; thus one of the main themes of the novel is alienation. And in this sense, I suppose most people can empathise with him, as nothing's all that easy these days and sometimes it is simpler to just be by yourself, but there are other instances where I feel objection to most of the things he says.

Holden's constant mentioning of the idea of people being 'phony' seems almost ironic. Through half the novel he's lying about his age and his whereabouts; surely this can be seen as highly hypocritical, as in a lot of ways, Holden himself is clearly a phony. And he doesn't care at all about how his actions might cause annoyance to others, only seeing things from his own point of view in most instances.

Another important theme is growing up, and how the adult world can seem so false at times it's almost unbearable to childlike eyes. Holden gets really wound up thinking about Stradlater and Jane together, and in this sense he seems to see it as his roommate having destroyed Jane's innocence and the image of her as he remembers her. Equally, I think that perhaps Holden acts childishly at times, to attempt to distance himself from impending adulthood, as really, he wants to stay in a place where things make sense to him. I think this is why he finds himself so content his younger sister, Phoebe's, company.

There are a few lines and phrases in particular that really spoke to me, and sounded more meaningful than perhaps perceived at first glace.

'I like it when somebody gets excited about something. It's nice.' This is something I can relate to so much. Quite a few times, I've been with people who are talking really passionately about something they love, and it is so nice to hear and see the smile on their face as they speak faster than they can really manage. But in these instances there are often people who call them out because what they're saying is irrelevant to the conversation or whatever, like in this part of the book, and it's just so unnecessary. If someone is clearly really happy to be talking about something, you let them talk about it.

Another phrase that I've thought about far too much is: 'how do you know what you're going to do till you do it?' Literally. This is almost a summary of my whole life. Everyone expects you to have a life plan of some sort these days, but in all honesty I have no idea what I'm doing. And that's something that people seem to look down on and it really annoys me. I think all my friends tend to assume I know what I'm doing all the time, and when I do something it's because I've planned to, as they see me as a thorough thinking person. Which, undeniably, at times I am. But I'm also foolishly impulsive at other times. And a lot of the time, I really don't know what I'm going to do until it's happening. And I don't know why people look down on that so much, because if anything it should be quite refreshing.

Holden suggests that 'Guys that never read books' are boring and I kind of agree, but would probably extend it to people in general. Like, I get that not everyone enjoys reading, and some people actually find it quite difficult; but I just think a book can be so much more than a video game or a film, because your imagination plays much more of a part in reading. And that's quite exciting.

One of my favourite lines in the book is: 'looking for something their own environment couldn't supply them with.' Because I get it. I have no idea what I'm looking for in life, but I know that I didn't find it where I've been, and I might not find it where I am now either. And it kind of sucks, to feel, at a young age, that everything you could hope for, is so far away from you.

The character I found most interesting in the novel, was one that the reader is never properly acquainted with, and just hears about through Holden's admiration for her. Jane Gallagher is portrayed as attractive and respectable, and through Holden's consistent mentioning of her, appears as his ideal companion; and yet at all the points in the book that he seems to want to call her, he never does, putting it down to not being in the mood to. It creates the suggestion that maybe Jane isn't real, and is perhaps just a figment of Holden's imagination, seeming almost too good to be true.

To me, I can see the whole novel being addressed to Holden's brother, Allie, who died before the events of the book unfold. He doesn't actually mention Allie very much, but when he does he always holds a tone of admiration, quite like how he talks of Jane, and you can tell that Holden really cared for him, and misses him. In a way, the novel could show the protagonist reaching out in hope that someone like his brother will talk back to him. The closing line, 'God, I wish you could've been there,' was what really made me think that the story could be talking to Allie, as Holden is watching their younger sister go on the carousel, and that's something that he as a brother loved seeing, and thus knew his younger brother would too. Also, it's mentioned that Holden sometimes talks to Allie earlier on in the novel, and the final line reminded me of it, and, I don't know, I think it kind of makes sense. Like, Holden's rebellion against school and growing up might be because he knows his brother's never going to get any older, and so he wants to remain in that state of youth that reminds him of when Allie was still around.


Have you read Catcher in the Rye? If you have, let me know what you thought of it; was it the classic you expected? Or were you hoping for more?

Until next time.


(p.s. this post has been scheduled for like three weeks lolz; it didn't seem right posting it before now).


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