2014

All posts in the 2014 category

The end of an amazing year

Published June 19, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

This is gonna be incredibly cheesy, but It’s all true and I feel like I need to get this off my mind. I guess this is a typical thing people who Study abroad say, but I’ve truly had the most amazing year I could have imagined. 
I’m incredibly  lucky to have experienced this and for being here in the first place. A big thank you to my mum for sending me to England. It had been my dream for years, and to have it come true is unbelievable. 
Also, I was lucky enough to have an amazing host family! I remember I was absolutely terrified when I sat in the theater my first day in England, waiting until I would find my host family. They have been so kind and great this year, so a massive thanks to them for being awesome. 

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I came here, just like everyone else, scared and excited and worried and curious.  We all left a lot behind, but there is safety in the thought of knowing it will be there when we come back. A lot has changed, but all the things that matter are still there, patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for us to come home. But leaving now is different. Sure, we will go back and visit York again, but it’s not the same. This time, we are packing up everything and leaving behind what matters, for good. It wont be there when we get back. Everything will have moved on, because that’s what time does to precious memories. We will never again attend a class at College, or have trouble finding a table to eat at in restaurants because we are such a large group. We wont take another trip to town, which in the begin seemed like it would never end and eventually became a habit. Perhaps we will come back, but not as students and not as people who lived there, but as visitors. We will no longer say we will go home, without meaning Norway. And I will miss that. So much. I’ll miss all the small things and I’ll miss calling England “Home” and meaning it. 

 

I came here, hoping to make friends, but not expecting to meet some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met. I didn’t expect to make such good friends as I have here, let alone find a group of best friends who I knew I could count on, no matter what. Leaving them behind feels awful and wrong and uncomfortably strange, but I know we’ll all walk separate ways tomorrow. Luckily, I can still visit them, but it wont be the same as seeing them every day at college. It wont be easy to just meet up in town and grab a coffee or some lunch.
I’ve been able to be 100% myself this year, and I’ve gotten used to being comfortable with those around me. To think that I’m leaving these amazing people behind makes me sad, but we’ll keep in touch.
Its so strange, because it’s just a year, but one year can really make a difference. You create a whole new life somewhere else within that year, and I think there is something terrifying and beautiful and special about that.
I’ve grown so much, tried and failed and succeeded, I’ve learned new things and faced challenges, and made it out okay. 

I’m not gonna tell you I haven’t faced challenges that have made me doubt myself, consider turning back or wish I had someone to support me, but I’m here to tell you that I have learned to deal with these situations and don’t let fear stop me. I’ve come so far, and although I have yet so far to go, I’m proud. I’m proud of becoming independent and completing this year on my own. I’ve had support, but I stood on my own two feet and there is a very comforting thought in that. I did so much I never thought I would do. Both small things and big things. I mean, I moved far away from my family, where I couldn’t call my mum anymore as soon as I had a problem so she could come fix it. And I went out here and was forced to be independent, to be strong. I made it through the stress of college and exams, and life.
I have set up a completely new life here, and I’m leaving it all behind tomorrow. I’m not ready to leave, and If I could stay for another year, I would. But I do realize it’s time to go home now and finish college, before I’m off to University. I’m leaving so much behind, and I do not think words can express how much I will miss York. York is my home now, just like Norway is. I’ve grown to love this city so much, and the freedom that followed with being here.
I guess I wont just miss my friends and the city, but I’ll miss the person I’ve grown to be here. I’ll miss the person who I am now, in this wonderful city, and I realize I will never be that exact person again. Although I will always have the memories of this year, I’m leaving it behind. And how do you continue after that? I haven’t gotten that figured out yet, and I’m probably gonna feel very lost for a few days.
I guess this quote from Lord of the rings: the return of the King describes it perfectly. I’m sorry, you all know I love my quotes.

«We found ourselves looking upon a familiar sight. We were home. How do you pick up the threads of an old life? How do you go on… when in your heart you begin to understand… there is no going back?»

I have a lot to figure out and a lot of goodbye’s to say tomorrow. I want to thank Kaja, Camilla, Helene, Birte and so many more for being the best friends I could have ever imagined. I’m incredibly sad to leave, but I know it’s time to go home, if only for a year. Who knows where I will go next.

So, I guess this is the end of my Exchange year. It’s been a wonderful journey, and I’m so glad I went. To anyone considering or wishing to go abroad, wherever it is, go. It changes you in unexplainable ways. Don’t let fear stop you. Conquer it. Go abroad.

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Until next time, England.

The last few weeks and The Fault in our stars

Published June 12, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

Sorry for the lack of blogging from me, I’m still alive. I’ve just been busy! I had my very last exam a few days ago, and have now officially survived and finished college. I’m so happy!  I can’t believe I’m leaving York in a week, I’m not ready to go. Let’s summarize the past few weeks!

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Making friends (lets pretend I wasn’t terrified) and sitting in poop. Just my luck.

My Grandfather and Uncle came and visited me for a few days, which was great! I had to be a tour guide and I was shamefully bad at it, but it was fun anyways.

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Unfortunately it rained most of the time.. Oh England. It was good to see my family again!

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Snapchat picture, sorry

Don’t worry, I didn’t get a new tattoo! I would love to, but now is not the right time haha. I got mine touched up, which lasted for about 1 minute but was incredibly painful. My apologies to Kaja, who held my hand.

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Camilla, Kaja and I got these things to plug in our phones, because we saw them and thought they were cute. And because we are cool.

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Went to see The Glass caves for the last time, which was… well.. The band were good, as usual. However, the crowd was awful. We stood at the front, but the people behind us were being crazy and jumping all over us/tackling us/whatever, I’m not sure what they were trying to achieve. It was hard to stand because we constantly got knocked down, and let’s just say it ended in a Panic attack from my side and my friends and I rushing outside. It wasn’t fun, and it’s a shame my last gig in England ended like this. Anyways, we stood in the back at the end and listened to a few songs, and that was nice.

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Been going for a fair few runs with Odie.

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Birte and I

I spent today in Museum gardens with Birte, Anine, Kaja, Helene and Vår, which was nice. Also bought traintickets for Saturday, but I’m stupid and bought them for Friday instead. Luckily my stress was for nothing and changing the date was easy! I need to stop worrying so much, oops.

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Did I need new shoes? No? Can I afford new shoes? No. Are these shoes wearable? Not really. Did I buy them? Yes. They are gorgeous though, just look at them. They are impossible to walk in and slightly too big, so I’ll have to find a solution to that. But otherwise, I love them. I wish myself good luck with getting them back home, I have so much stuff and only two suitcases.

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Kaja and Camilla

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We were at the fan screening of The Fault in our stars, which is one of my all time favorite books. I have been excited for this so long, and I’m glad I got to see it with people who love it as much as I do. We got a pass and a poster, which I somehow have to bring home with me.

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Kaja and I after seeing TFIOS

I don’t want to spoil The Fault in our stars for anyone who hasn’t seen it, so all I’m gonna say is wow. I cried. and I laughed. And I smiled. And I cried some more. It was amazing and I loved it so much. Perfect acting and the actors were just like the characters I imagined when reading the book. It was everything I hoped it would be and more. I’m honestly so impressed with it, and couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. So proud of John Green for achieving this, being a Nerdfighter and all.

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Then we went out for dinner, since It’s probably the last time my group of friends is going out to eat together. That’s an awful thought, haha. We went to an Italian restaurant and I had this amazing pizza.
The next week is gonna be busy, but I’m taking my camera to Comic con so there will be a post about that, and then probably a post about the end of my stay.
I hope you all have a great weekend!

17th of May

Published May 21, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

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June and Camilla

Since the 17th of May is Norwegian day, it had to be celebrated even though I’m in England. Some people from the University had planned an event and invited all the Norwegians from York College along to celebrate. They had ordered Norwegian sausages and candy, and made waffles which was great!

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Birte, Helene and Vår Kristin

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Vår Kristin

We all gathered inside first to eat and talk, before heading outside to the sun. In my experience, it’s always either snowing this day, or it’s lovely like this time.

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Camilla and Kaja being lovely weirdos

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We all sat in a big circle in the grass until we had to move because we were disturbing students on campus. Oops, sorry. Once we moved, we had to move again. So much walking. (not really)

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Helene and Vår Kristin

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Birte and Kaja

We spent a lot of time picking daisies and braiding them into each others hair, because it’s May and sometimes you just have to do that. It looked adorable.

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Camilla with Norwegian flags

There is no 17th of May without Norwegian flags, and luckily some people were prepared. Helene brought two with her. I have no idea where people got them, but it was great.

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Birte

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Kaja

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Vår Kristin

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Anine

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Camilla and I

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Of course, it’s tradition to have games on the 17th of May, and those who had organized this day had not forgotten that. There were “Potato runs” and “bag runs”, and people were really eager to win. It led to quite a few ripped bags.

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Kaja and Helene

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Amalie

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Kaja and Helene

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Camilla

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Kaja and I being weird because that’s what we do

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Birte

We sat here for about an hour, enjoying the sun and waiting until the 17th of May train/parade began to a pub nearby, where the celebration would continue. I do this thing where I always convince myself I never get sunburned (I used to be really tanned, but that’s quite a few years ago), but it turns out never to be true. I used sun block for my tattoo, but that’s it. My arms/shoulders are now a lovely shade of red, as well as my face.

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Kaja

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Amalie, Vår Kristin and Helene

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Kaja

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Helene

The parade was great and included a lot of walking around the giant University (seriously) and singing. A lot of singing. English people must think we were crazy, as there was a massive train of people singing in a foreign language and waving around flags. But that’s how we do it, and if you are gonna celebrate, you might as well do it properly.

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The parade ended in front of a pub, and after being there for a bit Camilla and I left on our (15 minute) adventure to find the bus stop. It proved to be hard for us because we walked in the wrong direction..

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It was a lovely day spent with amazing people, and I’m glad there was a planned event for this day so we could still celebrate, even though we’re all quite far from home.

Birthday celebration

Published May 18, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

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After having my English Literature Exam on the 16th of May, which went surprisingly.. okay, we celebrated Norwegian Day at college. We had Norwegian sausages and cake, and we sang the national anthem! There were Norwegian flags everywhere and loads of the Norwegians got flags painted in their faces, haha. It was great!

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A bunch of my friends and I went out for dinner at a restaurant called Byron for my friend Kaja’s birthday. I want to wish her a very Happy Birthday and I hope she had a nice day/evening 🙂 We gave he our gifts and I made her cry with mine, which I hope is a compliment.

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Food picture, because this burger was sooo nice.

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We went for a walk along the walls of York, which was fun. Not all the way around, as I was wearing heels and my feet were bleeding. Apart from that, it was a nice little adventure.

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Amalie and Kaja being cool

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And then it was an early(ish) night, because Saturday I had to get up early (with that I mean before 12) to meet up at York University to Celebrate the 17th of May, or Norwegian day. There will be a blog about it soon!

Someone’s favorite book character

Published May 9, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

I wrote this short story a few days ago (because I was procrastinating my revision), and although it’s not great or anything I thought I would share it. Enjoy.

Someone’s favorite book character

Evie paced around in her room, a book clutched in her hand and a million notes spread around her. Her messy curls had been thrown into a bun, kept in place by a pencil. Her phone had been chucked to the side, the screen lighting up as it made a loud buzzing sound every so often. Her backpack was placed on her chair, filled to the brim with clothes, socks and underwear.
People were shouting downstairs and it was followed by the slamming off a door. Her parents were fighting again. A car started in the garage below and drove off with a shrieking sound.
«Evie!» Her mother shouted from downstairs.
Evie took a deep breath, trying to force the tears to stop but failing and threw her book on her bed. She wouldn’t be needing that anymore. She ran down the stairs, but before she reached the living room her mother came towards her. Her eye makeup had melted off, thick streaks of black now leading down towards her skin. Her otherwise flawless lipstick had crumbled and had rubbed off onto her teeth.
«Look, there is some food in the fridge. I have to go somewhere for a w-while.. I’ll be back in a few days, I promise.» She said and grabbed her purse from the hook by the door. She fumbled around in it until she found her car keys.
Some situations are so familiar you stop objecting to them. This was one of them. Her parents would fight and her father would take off first, drink in some shady pub and turn up again drunker than ever before a few days later. Her mother would leave only a few minutes after, cursing once she reached her car and racing off to a place Evie didn’t know off. Sometimes she would come back after a few days. Sometimes it would take weeks.
Her mother pushed past her and slammed the front door shut behind her.
Evie was left in a heavy silence and the house seemed to hot, too narrow and small. For a moment, she stood there and stared at the door, tears forming in her eyes and spilling over. Then she pulled herself together, ran upstairs and zipped her bag shut. She threw it over her shoulder and pulled the pencil out of her hair, letting it cascade down her back.
She was on her way to the back door, ready to take off, her revision notes for her upcoming exams forgotten, when the doorbell rang. She froze, uncertain of what to do.
The doorbell rang again, the sound echoing through the hallways. She made an attempt at drying her tears away, but only smudged them down her face. She sighed and with a huff, she walked towards the door. She unlocked it with the spare key and opened the door.
«Hey! I’m so glad I caught you before you left!» A beaming voice said.
Evie was met by a boy about her age, with brown hair down to his narrow shoulders and high cheekbones. He was smiling so broadly his white teeth showed, and his hazel eyes were shimmering with joy. He pushed the door open and stepped inside without an invitation, hugging her with both arms.
Evie frowned and pushed him away, shaking his firm hands of her.
«Excuse me? Who are you?» She said, closing the door further to block him out of the house.
«Oh, how rude of me not to introduce myself. I know you don’t know me because I don’t matter or exist in your world but I’m Milo Taemin.» He said, trying to push past her again.
She blocked him out and shook her head.
«I’m sorry, I have no idea who you are or what you’re talking about. Look, I’m busy and I have to leave now, so if you would excuse me.» Se mumbled, turning away and closing the door with her foot.
He stopped it with his hand and grabbed her arm.
«I JUST WANT YOU TO KNOW YOU ARE MY FAVORITE BOOK CHARACTER AND I KNOW HOW IT ENDS AND I WANNA CHANGE IT!» He shouted.
Evie tried to pull away, but he tightened his grip. He was insane and he was currently trying to force his way into her house. If her parents were home, she could have made one of them deal with this. But of course they weren’t, and she was stuck with some crazy guy talking about books and characters.
«look, I don’t have time for this.» She said, signaling towards the bag.
«I know, that’s why I’m here. Please listen to me, I don’t want anything bad to happen to you.»
Evie shook her head and closed the door behind him.
«Fine, you might as well come in then.» She told him, showing him to the living room.
He smiled at er and took a seat in the large sofa without being invited. Evie dropped down in the opposite chair, watching as he looked around, mouth half open. If her parents knew she let a stranger in the house, she would be grounded for weeks. But they weren’t here, and they would probably never know. Perhaps that’s why she let him come in, because she knew it would annoy her parents. And perhaps thoughts like that had made them fight and eventually leave.
«By the way, I think you are awesome for supporting your best friend the way you did! You made her lasts breaths bearable, and I think that is the best anything could have done for her.»
Evie jumped to her feet and approached him in two large steps. She grabbed the front of his shirt and shook him lightly.
«How do you know that?» She growled.
The corners of his mouth curled into a careful smirk.
«I told you that you were my favorite book character.» He shrugged.
She tightened his grip and he flinched, before meeting her gaze.
«I don’t have a clue what you are talking about. Book character? What kind of world do you live in, a fantasy one?» She said, not expecting an answer.
She forced a laugh, but her mind was running over and he would not trigger any tears from her. She didn’t have time for his madness, she shouldn’t have invited him inside. He could be dangerous.
«Of course I don’t live in a fantasy world, Don’t be silly. It’s more like.. you know.. an alternative universe.» He explained.
She let go of him and stepped back to study his expression. He wasn’t smiling anymore, and he looked very serious.
«an alternative universe? Like in books?» She asked him.
«Yes! Well technically you are in an alternative universe for me, but I guess it’s the other way around for you.» He went silent for a moment to think through what he just said and then shook his head. «Anyways, I don’t have much time. I came here to tell you not to run away because it wont solve anything. Trust me, I’ve seen how running away ends for you and it is not the solution to your problems. I know you have struggled since you lost your best friend, and I admire how well you cope with it while nailing your exams. You’ve done so well and I’m proud of you and you are marvelous, so call someone who wants to sleepover.»
Evie sat down next to him, ignoring the voice in her head that told her to step away, to tell him to go. She had never heard of anyone called Milo, and the things he said made little sense. But he was interesting and she curious, and keeping away for what is new is hard when you’re desperate for a change.
«Tell me more.» She said.
A few years ago, someone had told her never to judge a person before you heard what they had to say. That turned to be brilliant advice, at least for her best friend. Evie would never have made the effort to get to know her if it wasn’t for that advice. Still, it would have saved her an awful lot of pain. She tried to tell herself the memories of what was good and safe and beautiful made up for the sadness, but sometimes that wasn’t enough.
He smiled, the same way he did as when he walked in. Impossible cheerful. His hazel eyes lit up and he leaned towards her.
«A brilliant lady made a book about you and your best friend, and it’s wonderful. I can’t say much because to spoil someone’s life for them is an awful crime, but I can say that there are a lot of people feeling inspired for your desire to help and save people, even though in the end you cannot stop time. You’re wonderful and I think you should know that.»
Evie laughed.
«Thank you, I guess. So you know everything? What exactly happens when I walk out that door with my bag right now?» She questioned, glancing at the door and then at the kitchen counter, where her father had left his phone.
Milo got up, his curls bouncing. He zipped his jacket shut and looked around, finally settling on the clock. He raised an eyebrow and muttered something.
«I can’t tell you. That would ruin the story, would it not?» He winked. «I have to go now, before anyone notices I’m gone. It was truly a pleasure to meet you, and you will always be my favorite book character. Well, except if you do anything ridiculously cruel or stupid, but I might forgive you.»
And with that he was gone. Vanished into thin air, leaving nothing behind but a fading cloud of smoke. She stood there for a moment, dumbfounded, and then took a seat and turned on the TV.

 

A mess of pictures and revision

Published May 7, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

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street performers and musicians in York! It makes the city so much more interesting, and most of them are incredibly talented.

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Leggings from Primark, Blazer and purse from New Look, top from Asos and I have no idea where my necklace or shoes are from.

Nice weather means a happy, although not completely prepared, me. It was so hot! Also I dyed my hair purple, which you can’t see because of the lighting, but it is. I needed a change, and it had been a while since I tried purple.

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I had taken lots of nice pictures with my new camera, but there was something on my lens so yeah, you can imagine the outcome. Awesome. As if that wasn’t enough, I accidentally deleted all the pictures off my phone. Don’t ask.

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Since the weather has actually been decent, It’s made going out for walks with Odie even nicer. I heard it snowed in Norway. Too bad. Well, I might say that, but it’s currently raining here. If it’s still raining tomorrow it’s gonna be awful when I cycle, so I guess I shouldn’t be laughing about snow.

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I always focus way better when I work at coffeeshops, because I don’t get distracted as easily. Which might be strange, but it works for me.

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This is a summary of the past week. I’ve been revising more than I ever have, desperately trying to cram (mostly useless) information in my head. I think I’m covered on most topics of the first unit in Sociology, but don’t get me started on English Literature. Let’s just say that if I pass, it needs celebrating. Also, as a person who can’t handle the slightest amount of stress, this is not good for me. So far, It’s not taken a big toll on me, apart from one breakdown and loss of sleep. I love making mind maps though. They might not be very useful, but it looks great. I’m trying, and miserably failing, to stay positive when it comes to exams. 7 days to go.

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I can’t study without having a break, and Monday means a new Game of thrones episode for me. You might think I don’t get as excited when a new episode comes out because I’ve read the books, but trust me. It’s the highlight of my week. Is that sad? Probably.

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Also, if I don’t update much for these next two weeks I’m sorry, but I have to focus on exams. Expect lots of blogging after that though!

 

Book Review: Two Boys Kissing by David Levithan

Published May 3, 2014 by iwouldlikeacupoftea

I haven’t done a book review on here before and I finished this book a while back, so I thought I would talk about it!

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Two Boys Kissing is a young adult book written by David Levithan. I haven’t read any of his books before, but I enjoyed Will Grayson, Will grayson which he wrote with John Green. It was published the 27th of August.

In the author’s note at the end of the novel David Levithan writes the following:

“On September 18, 2010, college students Matty Daley and Bobby Canciello kissed for thirty-two hours, thirty minutes, and forty-seven seconds (longer than the characters in this book) to break the Guinness World Record for longest continuous kiss. I am just one of many people who were inspired by what they did”.

The story was inspired by what they did.”

It was based on true events, and is about two boys, Craig and Harry, who want to set the world record for the longest kiss. They are no longer a couple, but both care for each other and are facing their own feelings and those of their family as the marathon progresses. The focus is mainly one these two boys, but it follows several stories.
Peter and Neil are a couple with their struggles, while Avery and Ryan have just met and are trying to figure things out.  We also meet Cooper, who is alone and spends most of his time on the internet, but can’t find happiness and is close to giving up.

Harry and Craig face trouble in the form of exhaustion, dehydration and everything else that comes with a kiss that lasts for over a day. In addition, they are met with the judgements (and support) that come with trying to break such a record. This book talks about long term relationships and coming out of them, gender identity, feelings, loneliness and love.

David Levithan has an incredibly unique narrative voice, and that was not any different in this book. It had me confused for a while, but when I figured out who the narrative was, It increased the power of the voice. The novel is narrated by the generation of gay men who passed away from AIDS. It took a while for me to get used to his writing style, but as I said, once I understood his techniques I learned to appreciate it. The way he puts things makes you really think about what he is saying and how, which makes the reading experience very different.

A lot of Young adult books are written just to be written,in my opinion. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing as those books can be great, but this book has a message. It’s a very loud one that can’t be ignored and doesn’t apologize, and therefor the book has been called “preachy.” I do agree with that statement to some extent, as it does have a clear message that comes through strongly on every page, but there is a lot more to it. The message I got from it was that everyone, every gay man deserved to love and be loved, and be able to express it. Two Boys Kissing is about love and how hard it can be at times, but also how splendid and wonderful. It’s about falling in and out of love, about hiding and revealing the truth. It’s about family and friends, and about how their reactions can affect someone.The beautiful and complex language helps to tell this story and adds a lot to it, making it enjoyable and moving to read.
I’ll add some quotes I loved, although there are many more. Look at them whichever way you like and don’t ask me to analyze them for you, I do that enough in English Literature.

“It is very hard to stay alive just for your own sake. It is very hard to stare into day after day without another familiar face staring back. It turns your heart into a purposeless muscle.”

“When you need to hold onto something, you should. Whatever gets you through, take it.”
“Things are not magical because they’ve been conjured for us by some outside force. They are magical because we create them.”
“There is no reason that we should ever be ashamed of our bodies or ashamed of our love.”

Finally, I would recommend this book to everyone. No matter if you are straight, gay, bisexual or whatever else, this book shows you something about situations people have to face. Whether you can relate or not, I think it’s important to read books like this, especially “Two Boys Kissing”, because it makes you understand. It makes you understand what they are going through and that love is just as real, no matter in what form it comes. And I think this is important, because I believe understanding is the key to accepting. Even though the novel only follows them for a few days, all the characters are awfully realistic and their feelings are real and genuine. Their happiness, frustration, fear, loneliness, sadness and love is described in a way which makes it believable the situations of all the boys are different yet have the same basic moral. Also, as a person who is utterly obsessed with quotes, Two boys kissing has some amazing ones. Just saying.
I have never read a book quite like this, and I think everyone should read it, even if you think you can’t relate to the characters because this novel will surprise you in the best way. It teaches you so much about the struggles of gay teenagers.
I had not expected to like the book as much as I did when I picked it up, but it’s worth the hype.

Also, even though it’s hard to pick a favorite, I think the last line of the novel is amazing. Endings are always important and I value last lines, and this did not disappoint.
So, whether you want to read the book immediately or if you have no plans to read it because you think you will hate it, I want you to take one message from it:

“Make more than dust.”
– Two boys Kissing by David Levithan.