When I was a child, I did nothing but read. Okay, that’s not quite true. I also danced and went to school and plated with my friends and spent A LOT of time on Neopets. But I also read. A lot. And then I got older, and somewhere along the way I stopped reading. Not totally, of course. But mostly. Where once I spent evenings lying on my bed, enthralled in a good book, now I spent evenings working on an essay, switching my brain off by watching America’s Next Top Model, or scrolling endlessly through Tumblr. It wasn’t because I didn’t love reading anymore. I did. When I actually managed to force myself to read, I loved it. I loved the feeling of getting sucked into a new world; of losing hours of my day to the pages of a book (or the screen of my Kindle). No, the…

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Let’s not beat around the bush – the representation of women in fiction is often terrible. Like, really terrible. Like, so terrible that sometimes I want to throw things at my telly or chuck my book out of the window. But sometimes – just sometimes – people get it right. Sometimes I watch a film or read a book and there’s a woman presented that is so perfect (and by perfect I mean flawed, and real, and complex, and fantastic) that I kid myself into thinking the patriarchy is over. So today I thought I’d share with you my top five fictional females, in case you need reminding that sometimes the world isn’t totally terrible to women. These women are listed in no particular order, and they are from a mixture of film, television, and books. 1. Jocelyn Fray / Fairchild A few weeks ago I wrote about all the…

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Asking For It by Louise O’Neill is a young adult fiction book set in a small Irish town that tackles the issue of rape culture. It tracks the reactions of the community throughout the year after a teenage girl is raped at a party, covering a range of viewpoints from the victim, to social media, to the press, to the girl’s family. — I’ll start by saying I had high hopes for this book. All the reviews I’ve read online told me it was an important book, so naturally my expectations were high. I was ready to be blown away by fantastic writing, poignant moments, and important messages. And I was – to an extent. The way the novel sets up the story is excellent. It very deliberately provokes certain reactions to the main character (namely that she is asking for it), which in turns forces gut-reactions from you later…

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Holidays have always been when I do most of my reading. As a child, the highlight of my year was going to Waterstones to pick up that summer’s reads – and as an adult, I’m no different. Unless you’re going on a city break, holidays should – in my eyes – be for sleeping, eating, drinking and reading (in whichever order you so desire). My holiday this year was no different, and during my ten days in the south of France I managed to plough my way through nine books. Not bad going I reckon. So today I thought I’d share with you what I read on holiday, partly so I can re-live my holiday vicariously through this blog, and partly to give you, dear readers, some bookish inspiration, should you need it. The Martian by Andy Weir A little while ago – long after all the hype had died…

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As a straight, white, middle class, able-bodied, conventionally attractive woman, I’m pretty well represented. In the world; in movies; and in fiction. Of course, that’s not to say that women like me are always proportionally represented in the media, film, and fiction. It’s also not to say that when they are represented, they’re represented well. But generally speaking, the women I’ve seen in fiction look like me. They behave like me. They feel like me. They’ve had similar life experiences to me. All of which means I’ve never had to think about representation that much. Not on a personal level at least. Sure, I’ve Retweeted my fair share of Jezebel and Huffington Post articles about the lack of female representation in films; and I try periodically to raise awareness of the distinct lack of women of colour in the media – but I’ve never had to read book after book,…

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