13 Reasons Why – why it is so special

I am sure a lot of you heard about this title recently, since Netflix dropped the season some time ago. It was based on a book written a couple of years ago and it was first meant to be made into a movie, but thank God it is a series because it has so much going on that I don’t think anyone can catch up in two hours.


What I wanted to talk to you about today is why this show is so special and why you should watch it if you didn’t already. I am not going to mention any spoilers so you are safe to read further.

This show is ab13-reasons-why_0.jpgout a girl named Hannah Baker who was bullied and misunderstood in her high-school. She killed herself and the story actually starts and ends with her suicide. Before she killed herself she made 13 taped explaining the reasons why she killed herself, people who caused her to do so. We are actually following Clay, Hannah’s coworker and let’s say friend, getting the tapes and listening to them one by one and revealing us what has happened in Hannah’s life since she moved to this high-school until her death.  That is all the basic information you need to get the just of this show, now let’s start with what I meant to write today.

So 13 Reasons Why. A show like nothing I have ever seen before. Not only it shows suicide, but also rape, bullying, lying, sexuality and most of all the lost life of a teenager. All topics mentioned in various shows and movies but never like this. It is so raw and real that by watching it you are so aware that this is so real, this is something that is happening right now to someone you don’t know, and something that has happened to someone you know but you have no idea about it.
What I was personally most surprised about was the scene from the last episode. The scene we all knew was going to happen, even you who just have read the short overview I have written above. The scene that shows how Hannah actually killed herself. And I mean really shows it. I have never seen something like that shown anywhere, not in dramas, not in shows with medical or criminal background not anywhere. The act of slitting your wrists sound so scary to most of us, but seeing this scene on my screen I was terrified, I was moved, I was shaken to my core. Seeing Hannah’s obvious pain that she considered the last and ultimate option that she has to take woke me up like a cold shower. I understand why this was made. Any suicidal person who has watched the show and especially that scene would be so shaken that he or she would reconsider everything he or she thought about, including me.
Also a thing about this show that is great is showing how much human interaction and contact is important. And how much people actually affect one another on a everyday basis. Those 13 people Hannah mentions as her reasons, they are not all aware they did something so awful to this girl, most of them don’t even think about their actions once they do them. No body cares, until she is dead. No body but Clay.
Show also to me represents what a lack of communication can do. People often just assume what the other person is thinking, or are too scared to say what they want, resulting in a lot of important things being left unsaid. A lot of problems in everyday life are caused by lack of communication and compassion. This show also presents how people have become number as a result of having technology and hiding behind it. I think that’s the reasons the author choose tapes as a media through which Hannah speaks to people who have hurt her, which is genius when you stop and think about it.
Something very important that was highlighted was that even if you did not say no it doesn’t mean that it isn’t rape, it certainly doesn’t mean that you want it. Consent is a real thing people! Especially when a person isn’t able to say no, or when a person is trying to get away without saying no. Just because you want something or you feel entitled to something it doesn’t mean it is yours to take. This is a real issue, and I guess it isn’t talked about enough since a lot of people have no idea what consent means. It also talks about teenagers pressuring their partners about having sex and the whole slut shaming thing that happens in every highs school around the world. It shows how different an untrue rumour about a girl is treated with an abominable amount of slut shaming, but when it comes to a guy raping it is covered up.
All in all it is an interesting show to watch, but also a really hard one. I really recommend it to everyone and I already talked all my friends into watching it. I haven’t yet heard or read anything negative about the show, but most importantly I couldn’t find something negative about it myself. If you have already watched it or you just started watching it leave your opinion about the show in the comments below!
Thank you for reading and for your attention (this was probably one of my longest post ever), I hope I have at least presented you something interesting to read if nothing else. If I made you want to see this show right away please let me know in the comments as well and mention why exactly!

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Mini MAC collection/haul

This will be just a short post about MAC lipsticks I own! Not really going into a detail review, but rather just some necessary information. 


  1. Rich & Restless – it’s a retro matte liquid lipcolour that is really intensely pigmented and it kind of looks like orange and pink when it’s on. It is not a shade for everyone, but the consistency and lasting of this matt liquid lipstick is amazing. It is not drying and it stays forever, but however there is no way you can put any other product over it because it smudges into a weird-looking thing. If you are not too fond of using more than one lipstick and layering, I definitely recommend you to try these matte lipcolours.

  2. Viva Glam II – the first thing I got from MAC is this beautiful shade. What is really amazing about it not just looking at the not traditional packaging but the red and black combo you can see,  is that every cent from the Viva Glam lipsticks goes to MAC’s AIDS Found. Definitely a perfect nude colour that is not as pinkish as the Velvet Teddy, but still looks great on. This is a satin lipstick which means it is semi-matte, so definitely a perfect starter lipstick!

  3. Velvet Teddy – a shade everyone is crazy about, for a good reason. It is matte and not drying and it doesn’t look that matte because the formula is great, so nourishing and rich. Perfect soft pink colour that goes with every make up look, and looks amazing on all skin tones. Grab it the next time you go to MAC, especially since it is usually sold out.

  4. Sophisto – probably my favourite one. The lustre formula (semi-gloss finish) looks great on. It is shiny and a bit glittery with a hint of purple. If you are beginning to wear purple lipstick this is the one you should start with if you want to go gradually since it’s kind of clear, meaning that it resembles a bit more pigmented purple lip balm (for example Maybelline’s Baby Lips in Electro).

 

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Absolute Truth, For Begginers – interview with the author and review!

Firstly this is my first real book review so have that in mind whilst you read.
Secondly this book is the first LGBT book I have ever read, so I can’t really compare it to any other book from that genre but I kind of think that that is for the best!

This story starts with young Elisa who is unemployed and has a problem with finding a job in her profession (she is an art historian if you are interested). At the begging we see how much she interpreters herself as insignificant, a Nobody – something I think we can all relate to. After a while she lands a job that is not in the circle of her profession. She quickly collects all her things from her small family home and starts working at the Judith Shapiro Foundation whos main face is Judith Shapiro herself, a world famous mathematician and physicist. Well you can imagine that Elisa thinks of Judith as a Somebody, someone important and someone without whom the world will be empty. In some time the two of them become lovers and Elisa finds herself drown to Judith more than she could ever imagine. Judith is a very strange person with lack of emotional intelligence so it’s no surprise when all goes down hill for the unusual pairing.
What happens then? You will have to find that for yourself!

I personally have to admit I absolutely loved this book. And not because I got the opportunity to work with the lovely Katarina West – the author! While I was reading the fabula I was completely sucked in the story, obsessed with every single detail and character. It really offers something for anyone – you have the LGBT element, than mathematics and physics, history of art, self-questioning, love and pain. Katarina has found a formula for a perfect novel. I recommend this book for anyone, especially to those who are interested in LGBT books that aren’t only build on that storyline.


I got the amazing opportunity to interview Katarina and if you are interested in what she has to say (which you quite frankly should be) here are the interview questions and answers:

1. Who is that ONE writer that inspires you to write?
This is like asking a gourmand what is his or her favourite dish! But if I must give just one name, I think it would be Dostoyevsky. I devoured his books as a teenager, and he was the one who made me want to become a writer. This doesn’t mean that I’m a diehard classics or literary fiction fan. I’m reading Sophie Kinsella at this very moment, and loving every sentence of her novel! Suspense and crime novels are also my favourites. So yes, I’m omnivorous when it comes to reading, and most of what I read inspires me to write.

2. Since the book talks about same-sex relationship did you find it hard to write, and why?
Know something? It wasn’t. Quite the contrary, writing about their relationship was spontaneous, almost easy. What’s more, I think it might have been more difficult for me to write a love story between a man and a woman, because contemporary fiction, not to mention the history of literature, simply abounds in great heterosexual love stories. So I might have compared my novel with those famous love stories. Which means that I wouldn’t have said anything of my own. But now I had no examples. I hadn’t read any Lesbian love stories, so I was forging a path of my own.

3. What did you decide on first, the storyline or the title?
Usually the story line. Though my next novel is called The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice, and the title occurred to me about twenty seconds later than the story line.

4. Tell us what makes your book different from others and what makes it stand out!
It’s a love story between two women, and one of these women is a science genius à la Beautiful Mind. Now how common is that in mainstream fiction, even today, in 2015?
5. What is your favourite book/quote?
My motto for today is: What if I fall? Oh, but my darling what if you fly? I found it on Pinterest. I keep it inside my Thousand Tiny Miracle notes.

6. Do you consider yourself a Somebody, Nobody or something in between?
If there’s something of myself in this novel, it is Elisa’s insecurity. I used to be ruthlessly hard with myself, which is something that led me to write my debut novel, Witchcraft Couture. So yeah, I definitely used to think that I was a Nobody. Becoming a mother changed that, because for your own child you’re the greatest Somebody in the entire universe. Nowadays I think that I’m just… you know, Katarina. That’s enough for me.

7. If you could use only 5 words to describe your style of writing what would those words be?
Bubbly, florid and decorous, and stylishly overwritten. Oh no, that was seven words!

8. What is your writing process?
First manuscript version is pure hell. I just want to finish it as soon as possible. During the second and third versions I start to see the contours of the story, the way I had it in my head. After that, comes the fun part. And saying goodbye to your story and characters is difficult.

9. Would you ever consider doing a sequel where we can find out which path has Elisa chosen?
Ha – why not?

10. What is Margot’s deal? Is she jealous that Judith is with Elisa or is she simply that person who likes to meddle in other people’s lives?
Both, I think. She’s the kind of over-confident person who has no difficulties in meddling in other people’s lives. But one of the reason why she acted the way she did was that it irritated her that Judith Shapiro had noticed Elisa.

11. Was it scary writing about math and physics?
Brilliant question. Because it did. During the last editing phase I also worked with a mathematician to correct the science part. That was one of the most fascinating aspects of writing this novel. It was like a borrowing a brain that saw the world from a completely different angle.

12. Does the story have some autobiography details?
Apart from Elisa’s insecurity, there’s her struggle with studies and a doctorate. That comes from my life, because I wrote a PhD and for a period of time even considered an academic career, just like Elisa. Later on I abandoned that dream, again like her. Plus, I can identify with Fanny, her constant worry that she has made mistakes as a mother, and hasn’t been “good enough”. No one tells you that together with parenthood comes that faint nagging feeling, that constant guilt and worry. It’s like the tiny scribble in a contract, those conditions you don’t even bother to read.

13. What inspired you to write this novel?
There are two ways, I think, that novels are born. Either they come to you in a flash of inspiration, and you have the whole plot in your head in a matter of a nanosecond. Or then they just grow slowly within you, and you don’t even know how and why they are being born. Absolute Truth, For Beginners belongs to that latter group.

14. Is there any specific sentence you remember by heart and if there is why is that one so special to you?
“This is only the beginning.” That’s what Elisa says at the end of the novel. It’s the same concept as in Oh, but my darling what if you fly? The words are just different.

15. How do you pick the names of your characters? (Silly question, but I personally find that to be one of the hardest parts.)
And you’re right – because it is hard! I have old telephone directories, and I browse them. I can’t write about a character unless I know his or her name. Or I check names online. Often when a character doesn’t work, I change the name. Elisa was Elisa for most of the time, but her surname changed constantly, from Mori to Fini and then finally, to Mancini.

16. Has Elisa decided not to define her sexuality?
I think she will, later on. But the novel finishes too early to tell what she will choose, and how she will define her sexuality. Which was how I wanted it – I wanted to leave that decision to the reader, to imagine and think how she might grow as a person, and where life might lead her.

17. Can you introduce us to the main character?
She is Elisa, a twenty-something art history graduate, cerebral and perennially insecure. Elisa falls in love with a famous mathematician, Judith Shapiro, who is a science genius in the manner of Stephen Hawking or John Nash. Except that she is a woman. Some readers have, in fact, told me, that the real protagonist of this novel is Judith. One reader even told me that Judith Shapiro appeared in his dreams!

18. Do you already have a plan about your next project?
Yes, it’s a story about angels and destiny and having it all – in your second life. Like said, it’s called The Thousand Tiny Miracles of Living Twice, and it’s coming out in December 2016.

19. Any advice about conquering writer’s block?
Go out for a walk. Study foreign languages. Read, especially outside your own genre. Call friends to laugh and complain about your life. Go to movies. Go to concerts. See an art exhibition. Do manual work. Live. Take a pause from writing, but always give yourself a deadline, as to when you must start writing again.

20. What are three things you can live without?
Television. Big cities. Traffic jams.

21. The book cover looks amazing! Who designed it and how much where you a part of that process?
It’s gorgeous, isn’t it? Andrew Brown from Design for Writers designed it. I helped him as much as I could to visualise Elisa’s world, and then it was up to him to do the rest. I worked with Andrew on the cover of Witchcraft Couture, and it was so beautiful that I just wanted to give him a free hand to do whatever he wanted.

22. Where can we find you and the rest of your work?
If you want to hear about my everyday life in rural Tuscany, come to my blog  or my Facebook fan page  to say hello. I’d love to chat with you! Otherwise, you find all the information about me and my novels on my website !

Now for the fun part!

Cats vs Dogs Dogs, absolutely. Though don’t tell that to my cat, Morgana! She’d get offended.
Ebooks vs Physical copies Ebooks. If it’s, say, a nice art book, then a print version.
Coffee vs Tea Coffee, any time!
Candy vs Fruit Fruit. I’m not a candy person.
Phone vs Laptop Laptop. A writer’s best friend!
Summer vs Winter I’m transforming into a winter person. To my great surprise.
Facebook vs Twitter Both. Is that allowed?
Books vs Movies Books, and not just because I’m a novelist. But usually the original version is better.
Sci-fi vs Documentary Documentary.
Coke vs Pepsi Coke. Though for someone living in Chianti, maybe it should be wine…
Chocolate vs Vanilla Chocolate, chocolate and once more chocolate.
Music vs Dance Music. I’m a rotten dancer.
Left vs Right Left, but don’t ask me why.
Old vs New New. I still stubbornly believe that something wonderful is waiting for us tomorrow.

 

Absolute Truth, For Beginners will be officially published on 15 December, but it will be live on Amazon on 30 November. During the first two weeks of December it is on a special promotion which I have been given a chance to offer you so that you can buy it with only £0.99/$0.99. (The normal price of Absolute Truth is £3.99/$5.99, so there is a difference.)

I am also giving you a chance to get an Amazon eBook copy of the book via Rafflecopter. The giveaway started on the 6th of December and it ends on 31st of December, and as the only entry requirement you have to visit Katarina’s facebook fan page (I have already mentioned)! If you are interested in this giveaway click here – a Rafflecopter giveaway !

Sunday Review: The Pointless Book

This Sunday I am doing something different, a review of a book, more
specifically The Pointless Book.


This is The Pointless Book written by Alfie Deyes better known as PointlessBlog on YouTube. Alfie is a great youtuber whom I have been watching for a long while now and when I had found out he is releasing his book just before I was about to go to London I was over the moon. When I got there I went in the nearest Waterstones to pick it up, and started filling it as soon as I got home. Here you can even see some of the pages I have filled.

I think this idea of a diary is great and fun to fill out since many people (including me) have a hard time writing a proper diary. This way you can randomly open a page or a few when you are bored and have nothing else to do, and just write. I would, however, recommend writing the date somewhere on the page so it really is a diary.
The idea is innovative and practical, also there is a Pointless Book app so you can watch some videos of Alfie doing the challenges in the book himself which I find great. And the price is just fine, might I add.

This is a book for everyone, kids, adults, teenagers, people who watch Alfie’s videos and those who don’t, pretty much for anyone who can read and write.

Rate:5/5


SO GOOD BYE FOR NOW, MY FRIENDS (if anyone is even reading)

Sunday Review: Bourjois Healthy Mix correcting concealer

Today on Sunday Review I am reviewing Bourjois Healthy Mix correcting concealer


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After I used every little drop of my Wake Me Up concealer I thought that I would never find anything like it and I obviously couldn’t repurchase it since there are no place in my country that has Rimmel products.I was so wrong. When I went shopping with my friend I decided to go into the nearest drugstore and pick up a concealer and that’s when I have stumbled upon this one. I bought it and instantly fell in love with it. The consistency of it is amazing, the smallest amount which is possible to take out of the tube is enough to cover my under eye area and every other redness. It also has a beautiful sent because it apparently has some fruit mix (apricot and raspberry) in it. Coverage is amazing and on days when my skin is good I only wear this concealer. When I first saw it I though that it’s extremely small but don’t be fooled by packaging, this tube contains 10 ml and Wake Me Up concealer has only 7 ml.

Only downside is that it is somewhat expensive for a drugstore product, but it’s still affordable enough for me to actually buy it. And I also prefer the Wake Me Up concealer only for its applicator, but this is a close second.

Rate:4/5


SO GOOD BYE FOR NOW, MY FRIENDS (if anyone is even reading)