F.R.I.E.N.D.S – Reunited

If one has been lucky enough, one can with perfect honesty say that some of the best years of one’s life were spent as a student. If not high school then college or university or whatever level of tertiary education one ended up in.

I, for one, can say that my high school years, as wrought with drama as they were, were fun. The years following that, holed up in a building that only allowed me sunlight for a few minutes a day (no guys, it wasn’t prison. Just a really strict boarding school) were years of such love and happiness and stress and tears and craziness and dementia that it can only be described as astounding.

But the best thing about these kinds of experiences has to be the people that you meet.

Friends in general, come in all forms and shapes and sizes. You get those that you have never had a decent one-on-one conversation with but are undoubtedly a part of your group. Those that annoy the heck out of you but have such jaw-droppingly epic moments that they get to stay too.

Those that you go to for only a specific type of advice like adverse medical problems or sickeningly-deep mental issues. Those friends that cuddle up with you on your bed and act like your spouse because ‘you’re aren’t getting any younger and you need practice.’ Those that bring out the child in you and you can have entire conversations involving flipped fingers and stuck out tongues with.

And those friends that you have so much in common with that it only means the two of you will be at complete loggerheads, but when it comes to crying your heart out or needing that one person who is your everything, your best friend, your sibling, the one who somehow just gets you, it’s them.

Coming to terms with reality, it’s obvious that life gets in the way of being a child. You grow up and find jobs and move away and get married. And that leaves little to no time to keep in contact with your amazing people and how then will you keep those lovely deep roots watered?

That’s the great thing about amazing friends. Months you don’t see each other with just a few rays of sunlight in the form of sporadic WhatsApp group messages nurturing that friendship and yet when you get into one room, the time falls away and its laughter and teasing galore.

Ah, the beauty of it all.

Time and time again I have been proven that it’s not about the length of absence in between. Some people just can’t do long-distance conversation (ask my husband) and it’s only this hour or two that you have to rekindle the old days.

Others can chat with you daily and still meeting up has you conversing for hours.

We have been created as creatures that need companionship. It’s not okay for us to wile our days alone and sad. Being introverted is all well and good because it’s not all about partying it up and having 1000 friends on Facebook. It’s about having people that you love and trust in your life to have your back when you need them and whose you will have when they need you.

So when it comes to days of reuniting with old friends, let yourself go. Dress up in uniform and eat everything on the menu and drink funky mocktails and be merry. Share tales and talk about old times but catch up on the new. And if things are not the same, that’s okay too. People change and you’ll find new people who too will become yours.

This thing of companionship is something to be valued. Treasure it.

I know I do.

Yours in drunken happiness

Ayesha Abdullah

The Real World & All It’s Thrills

Eliza and her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

YA fiction

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At first I was a bit hesitant to read this book. I scrolled passed it on ‘Goodreads’ a few times but it didn’t attract my attention enough. Until I saw it on the ‘Best Books of 2017’ list that is, and I decided, “Well, why the heck not? There’s a reason this book has reached the ‘best books’ category so let’s see if it meets up to expectations.”

The reason I was hesitant at first was because, believe it or not, the protagonists’ names mean a lot to me and ‘Eliza’ and ‘Wallace’ just did not cut it. In fact the male protagonist’s name was even a joke in the book itself. But that’s my own problem which I got over very early on in the book.

The book is basically about the lives of teenagers in the 21st century, how they deal (or don’t deal) with life, high school, social interactions and a very huge variable that affects all of our lives today: social media and the internet.

The main protagonist, Eliza, runs a very popular webcomic (Monstrous Sea) anonymously. It’s her everything and she knows it’s going to be her future. However, her parents, being of the ‘older generation’ and not really interested in what she is doing, just don’t get why she would be so uninterested in school and putting all of her hopes on a webcomic. This causes a major rift between them, the whole reason being because they don’t understand her.

Wallace, the new boy, is mute. Well, not really but he has trouble speaking in the presence of people. He’s a huge fan of Monstrous Sea and when Eliza befriends him and slowly starts falling in love with him, it becomes very difficult to continue keeping this huge secret from her new best friend.

Another reason why I decided to give the book a chance was the whole concept of art, the modern way. It was interesting to read about this development and her love for her art was beautiful.

It had me reading to the end  and I was intrigued because it was very relatable to common teenage problems these days. It covered so many different aspects: anxiety, family behavior, romance, suicidal thoughts. All of these things made the book feel more real. It was a book about growth, it was fun and also interesting watching the characters evolve as they learnt about themselves and tried so hard to deal with the problems they knew were problems.

I loved the fact that the fandom life was shown. Yes, very geeky but that’s us. We practically live in the worlds we have created for ourselves with others that understand us.

My conclusion: I felt all of these characters’ emotions and more importantly, I had a good time and wish the ride hadn’t ended so soon.

Do I recommend this book? Yes. All you YA fans, find yourself a copy right now!

Resident Fangirl

Hafsa Umar

Blood Sisters by Jane Corry

Thriller

Anyone who knows me, knows that I am a book lover. I could read for ages, have been reading stories and books and novels since I could string a sentence together.

But giving my opinions on books? They mostly consist of: ‘asdfghjkl!!’ or ‘meh’.

But anyway, here is my go at recommending some great penned words that have been written.

For my first attempt, I have chosen Blood Sisters by Jane Corry.

This is actually unlike the normal books that I read which include romance, fantasy and of course comedy. If someone accuses me of picking up a fanfic here and there I will viciously deny it.

No. Rather this is a thriller which I normally wouldn’t have given a second glance at but just look at this cover. It’s like asking you to lift an eyebrow and ask, okay what? So despite us being told not to judge a book by its cover (ha! What an utter pile of crock!) I’ve got a thumbs up for the pull of this one.

Now to the story.

It’s interesting to say the least. I do not wish to give too much away and it does begin a bit slow but I excused that because the alternating of the chapters between two points of view, one of  a girl in an institute who is clearly brain-damaged,  and another who works in a prison, is very interesting.

This book is so full of twists and turns and betrayals! It had me on the edge of my seat and I may or may not have had whiplash at one point.

Just when you think you have figured things out, bam! Another plot twist. UNTIL THE VERY END!

I am not a fan of horror. Anything that has my heart thumping in fear of death, not anticipation, does not float my boat. But this was a mixture of intrigue and suspense along with a lot to think about. No gore so that was good.

The characters are not well-loved because they are full of flaws that just show how human people actually are and your levels of wanting to slap some of the characters is something best experienced.

I learnt a lot from this book which is always a plus for me because I love having more knowledge about new topics.

If you’re looking for a break from the norm, this book is for you.

And drop us your own review, if you will.

Breaking Away From My Comfort Zone

Ayesha Abdullah