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I am afraid..


A couple of months ago my sisters booked tickets to go see an event at the O2 arena, a popular event which many of you in the UK will know as the Jingle Bell Ball. An annual Christmas concert for music lovers. At the time we were very excited when we received tickets and we were looking forward to what would be (we presumed) a joyous and entertaining evening. However in light of the recent terrorist attacks, I was becoming more unsure of actually attending the event.

For the first time in my life I felt this fear that almost consumed me. I didn’t let it show, nor did I speak about it but inside my mind all I could think about was whether or not I would be safe going to the concert. There were moments when I was tempted to just cancel the whole evening. As it turns out, we did end up going and the experience has taught me a lot about fear itself.

The second we arrived at the O2, I had this deep sense of paranoia that was really quite suffocating. I kept thinking of the Paris attacks and the most recent attack at Leytonstone train station in East London. My mind automatically thought the worst, yet there was nothing in my line of vision to even provoke that sense of fear.

As we walked towards the arena entrance I saw an officer with a guard dog, standing and casually looking over the crowd. His seemingly calm demeanour didn’t hide the stark reality of why exactly he was standing guard over this crowd of strangers.

Our first steps into the arena were halted by employees and officers who scanned us and checked our belongings before letting us through into the dome. Although the security went a long way to reassure me that I would be okay, a part of me was saddened by just how much life has changed. The constant reminder of our lives being in danger is always around us and what hurts most is that no matter how much we say we won’t let fear ruin us or how we’ll go to a certain event to defy terrorists, deep down we’re all subjected to this claustrophobic atmosphere every time we’re reminded of what has happened.

We’re all human. Fear is an emotion that is hard to control, just as any other emotion we might feel. It’s brave to say that we will fight it and carry on as normal but are we really ever normal again? Becoming paranoid at a loud bang or a suspicious package is something almost everyone has probably now been a witness to. Being afraid does not mean I am weak, it does not mean I am a coward or that I will let terrorists win.

It means I’m human. I have the ability to feel and be humane because I’m afraid for myself and others. That’s an emotion we can’t force ourselves to ignore and it’s an emotion that we shouldn’t be ashamed of.

I sang and danced at the Jingle Bell Ball whilst also permanently memorising the closest exits to me and where I would need to run should anything happen. Just because I’m living life doesn’t mean I’ll forget, even for a moment, that my life can change within a second. Keeping calm and carrying on is a good motto in itself but so is learning to deal with your emotions. We can’t control emotions as much as we’d like to, so don’t hide them. Don’t be afraid of fear, instead accept it and accept that it will be a part of you.

This whole experience taught me that fear doesn’t have to be a weakness, it can be a strength. For one, I’ve become more vigilant and if you want to call that paranoia then you can. I’d rather be paranoid than sorry.

The point of this post wasn’t to demoralise any of you but for you to understand that at the end of the day it’s okay to be afraid and that we are better off sharing our vulnerabilities rather than hiding them away where they constantly eat at us. We are sadly living in a time where we have to live amongst monsters who wish to destroy the peace within humanity. They are monsters, who are incapable of feelings and emotions. But we are not, and that’s what makes us different. Our bravery, courage, strength and yes our fear makes us human and as humans we should use our emotions to make this world a better place. I’m not ashamed to say I’m afraid because I know, for me, being scared does not mean that I am not strong and I know that I will never give up without a fight.

Be afraid, be scared, accept fear as a part of yourself because it is fear that will give you the courage, strength and bravery you need to fight against monsters. What makes us different is our ability to feel. Emotions are a powerful part of our body and mind and with that we can create a world where we can eliminate the evil that is incapable of any feeling.

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Precious Thing by Colette McBeth..

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Precious Thing

Blurb:

Remember the person you sat next to on your first day at school? Still your best friend? Or disappeared from your life for good?

Some friendships fizzle out. Rachel and Clara promised theirs would last for ever.

They met when Rachel was the new girl in class and Clara was the friend everyone wanted. Now in their late twenties Rachel has everything while Clara’s life is spiralling further out of control. Then Clara vanishes.

Imagine discovering something about your oldest friend that forces you to question everything you’ve shared together. The truth is always there. But only if you choose to see it.

Review:

sonu's signed book

First of all I’d like to thank the lovely Colette for sending me a signed copy of the book! I was absolutely thrilled to see it in the post, as I’ve heard so much about it. As soon as I received the book, I was immediately hooked and I can honestly say that this is by far the best book I have read this year.

The story revolves around the two protagonists: Rachel and Clara. Two girls who became best-friends when they were young and now in their late-twenties have drifted apart as far as the North and South poles. The story is told in a series of flashbacks, seen from the point of view of our narrator, Rachel. Sometimes the idea of going back and forth can become confusing but Colette delivered it in such an extraordinary way that it added to the suspense of the story and definitely had your brain working at the speed of a train to try and put the pieces of the puzzle together.

The main focal point of the novel is the mystery surrounding Clara’s disappearance. As the reader, we do not actually meet Clara, at first, but we are told about her through Rachel’s flashbacks. How they became friends, how they went onto become best-friends and how eventually they drifted apart. Hints are dropped at various points in the story which suggest why they drifted apart but the full truth isn’t revealed until near the end.

The suspense in the book is immense. It kept me hooked from start to finish. Being a psychological thriller, the story really played with my mind and I began to get irritated with myself for not being able to solve the mystery. Having said that, I was pleased that the mystery remained just that until Colette wanted it to be revealed to us. This tells me what an extraordinary writer and storyteller Colette is. Her writing flowed smoothly throughout and the pace was just right and kept the tension building as I turned over every page. It definitely made the story more enjoyable.

Lies, deception and betrayal are all common themes that run throughout the story and the reader is completely hooked into a trap so cunning, I didn’t see it coming until I was near the end. The story makes you question just how close you are to your own friends and who can you really trust? To what extent would you go in order to help the person you loved or thought you loved? So many questions were arisen and once the answers were revealed, the reader was left shocked to the core.

As for the two best-friends, I’m not sure how I felt about both at the end. Throughout the book I felt sympathy for both but when the truth came to light, I felt a lot of disgust as well. Actions have consequences and unfortunately for both Rachel and Clara, those consequences were dire. Many have said that this book is a thriller. Yes, it most definitely is. It’s a cunningly, sinister thriller that traps you in such a way that it renders you speechless.

Crime/suspense fans, do not miss out on an exceptional novel that will have you questioning everything you have ever believed in. Colette has created a mastermind of a story and what makes it even more amazing is that it’s Colette’s debut. I for one cannot wait to get my hands on Colette’s next books. In the meantime do yourself a favour and pick up a copy, you will not regret it!

Overall Rating: 10/10

If you would like to find out more about Colette’s book and upcoming books, you can do so on her official website. If you would like to find out more about Colette, you can follow her on twitter.

My bookish blog..

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Hi there!

someecard talking about characters

I love reading and I love discovering new books. I’ve decided to do something productive with my passion for reading by now reviewing books myself. My reviews will be honest and hopefully enjoyable! Fair warning though, my favourite genres are romance and crime/thriller fiction, so most likely my reviews will be based upon books of those genres. I already have a previous blog which is basically about me rambling on about random things but if you’re interested, here’s the link: simgillblog.wordpress.com 

I hope you enjoy my reviews and I look forward to hearing from you too! Watch this space for my first few reviews!

Thank you for visiting my blog!