Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Graduation Celebrations

Monday July 14th I officially graduated from university. I gained a 2:1 in my degree and now hold a BSc (Hons) Medical Genetics.

Graduation is something I have been looking forward to since I knew I wanted to go to university. Neither of my parents went to uni and so it was a big thing for my family. Knowing the day has been and gone makes me realise just how quickly time can pass.

What I didn’t realise was just how busy graduation would end up being. My ceremony started at 10 o’clock and we were advised to turn up an hour and a half early to pick up our cap and gown. Waking up at 6 and getting myself sorted was a slightly painful experience before heading down to the university and meeting up with friends to get our clothing for the day.

No matter how many smiles are in those pictures let it be known that the cap and gown are actually very uncomfortable. I was surprised when my head started to hurt during the ceremony because of the weight of the mortarboard.

Regardless of how uncomfortable it felt it was pretty awesome to be dressed in a way that Harry Potter must be accustomed to. Falling to pieces from laughter with friends over just how ridiculous it all seemed made it worth it.

Official photographs done and alumni hoodie bought we made our way to the hall ready for the ceremony. Three separate languages, Welsh, English and Latin, a lot of clapping and shaking hands with the vice chancellor made up a two hour ceremony were there were a lot of cheers and tears. We doffed out caps for the alumni address and made our way outside so that we could celebrate being graduates.

The rest of the afternoon was a whirlwind of photographs for the local paper, my college and for friends and family. Tossing caps in the air is actually quite a dangerous but hilarious practice and we got some successful shots. The one thing I am glad about is how close the university is to the beach so we went down onto the sands to get in some pictures at the place where revision, barbeques and friendly games of football occurred.

I got home by two in the afternoon and got straight into pyjamas after having a hectic day. I was surprised by my sister presenting me with a bag full of gifts including crayons and a colouring book, face masks, photo frames and an assortment of other things. I know I am blessed to have a family like mine and would never swap them for anything in the world.

Later in the evening my whole family got together to break fast (as it was Ramadan) and we shared what must have been a ridiculous amount of food and ice cream cake. By the time I crawled into bed I was just grateful to have my head hit the pillow.

So graduation is done and dusted. My undergraduate university career is over and honestly I am a little scared about the future. Right now, I’m just taking each day as it comes.  

Sunday, 13 July 2014

The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith

Title: The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Headline Review
Series: N/A
Service: Bookbridgr
Release Date: 05/01/2012
Pages: 226
Format: E book


Buy || Twitter || Website || Goodreads

Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?

Imagine if she hadn't forgotten the book. Or if there hadn't been traffic on the expressway. Or if she hadn't fumbled for coins for the toll. What if she'd run just that little bit faster and caught the flight she was supposed to be on. Would it have been something else - the weather over the Atlantic or a fault with the plane?

Hadley isn't sure if she believes in destiny or fate but, on what is potentially the worst day of each of their lives, it's the quirks of timing and chance events that mean Hadley meets Oliver…

Set over a 24 hour period, Hadley and Oliver's story will make you believe that true love finds you when you're least expecting it. 

Give us a word…
Why do you say that?

When I got this book I really wasn't sure what to think of it. The title made me think that it would be something I didn't gel with but considering everyone was talking about The geography of you and me, I felt I should give this a shot. 

The statistical probability of love at first sight was actually a rather interesting book. Don't get me wrong, this book is rather fluffy and for an evening where you want a read with a plot that isn't difficult to follow I would say this is perfect.

Hadley is on her way to her father's wedding which is over in London. She misses her flight by four minutes and is forced to take the next one. This small event causes her to meet the English born, Oliver and this is where our story starts. 

They both end up sitting next to each other on the plane and begin a series of short conversations over the seven hour flight. Throughout this, Hadley begins to wonder whether she fancies Oliver and whether he potentially feels the same way about her. After they land, they are separated and the story takes a turn to Hadley and the relationship between her and her father. I was much happier to see that this entire book is not made up of a teen relationship based on 7 hours of getting to know each other. 

The father/daughter relationship is rocky at best and Hadley does not want to be at her father's wedding. Their small interactions and Hadley's memories of when she was younger and nicely put together and I thought her reasoning behind not getting on with her Dad anymore was justifiable. However I did not like the way they patched up their relationship. Just like other aspects in this books I thought it was just a little too rushed. 

Hadley and Oliver obviously find their way back to each other in the end and end up dancing together at her father's wedding reception. Having sorted out the little blips they have suffered along the way there seems to be an unspoken beginning to a relationship occurring and this just didn't sit right with me. So many loose ends got tied up in a book that was set over a 24 hour period.

Although I enjoyed the writing style and the general family issues that got raised, I wasn't crazy about this book so I don't think it will be one I pick up again any time soon.

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Wishlist Wednesday (#2)

If you could be mine - Sara Farzian

Publisher: Algoquin Young Readers
Pages: 247
Publication date: July 1st 2013

Goodreads Blurb: In this stunning debut, a young Iranian American writer pulls back the curtain on one of the most hidden corners of a much talked about culture.

Seventeen year old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They've shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love - Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret - until Nasrin's parents announce that they've arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with the comforts provided by the decent, well to do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively - and openly.

Then Sahar discovers what seems like the perfect solution. In Iran, homosexuality may be a crime, but to be a man trapped in a woman's body is seen as nature's mistake, and sex reassignment is legal and accessible. As a man, Sahar could be the one to marry Nasrin. Sahar will never be able to lobe the one she wants, in the body she wants to be loved in, without risking her life. Is saving her love worth sacrificing her true self?

Why I want to read it: I adore books that tackle cultural and religious aspects. I think I am even more interested in this book because cultural and religious aspects strike close to home. I am very interested to see how the plot plans out and whether or not things turn out alright in the end. I am currently on a hunt to find some more books like this.

Since you asked - Maurene Goo

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Pages: 262
Publication date: June 25th 2013

Goodreads Blurb: No, no one asked, but Holly Kim will tell you what she thinks anyway.

Fifteen year old Holly Kim is the copyeditor for her high school's newspaper. When she accidentally submits an article that rips everyone to shreds, she gets her own column and rants her way through the school year. Can she survive homecoming, mean girl cliques, jocks, secret admirers, Valentine's Day, and other high school embarrassments, all while struggling to balance her family's traditional Korean values?

In this hilarious debut, Maurene Goo takes a fresh look at trying to fit in without conforming to what's considered 'normal' in high school and how to manage parental expectations without losing one's individuality… or being driven insane.

Why I want to read it: If there is anything I remember from comprehensive school, it is just how much gossip gets spread around. I spent five years in a colossal game of chinese whispers that I did not opt into and could not opt out of.I guess this sort of ties in with the book above because once again it has to do with a clash of cultures. On top of that, reading about high school drama is always much better than being involved in it. I'm kind of hoping that this has a bit of a 'Mean Girls' vibe to it. If it does I'm sure it will be an enjoyable read.

The dollhouse asylum - Mary Gray

Publisher: Spencer Hill Press
Pages: 296
Publication date: October 22nd 2013

Goodreads Blurb: A virus that had once been contained has returned, and soon no place will be left untouched by its destruction. But when Cheyenne wakes up in Elysian Fields - a subdivision cut off from the world and its monster-creating virus - she is thrilled to have a chance at survival.

At first, Elysian Fields, with its beautiful houses and manicured lawns, is perfect. Teo Richardson, the older man who stole Cheyenne's heart, built it so they could be together. But when Teo tells Cheyenne there are tests that she and seven other couples must pass to be worthy of salvation, Cheyenne begins to question the perfection of his world.

The people they were before are gone. Cheyenne is now 'Persephone' and each couple has been renamed to reflect they most tragic romances ever told. Everyone is fighting to pass the test, to remain in Elysian Fields. Teo dresses them up, tells them when to move and how to act, and in order to pass the set, they must play along.

If they play it right, then they'll be safe.

But it they play it wrong, they'll die.

Why I want to read it: I'm not sure what to expect from this one. I came across it on goodreads but haven't seen any reviews of it on anyone's blog. The plot intrigues me. It feels like there is a manipulative relationship and a play for power. I'm very interested to see how things play out and also if the whole virus epidemic has more than just a background role to the story. I do enjoy books where there is more to people than the perfect life they set out to show the world. If I was Cheyenne I'd be pretty scared of what Teo is capable of.

Friday, 4 July 2014

June Wrap Up

Hello everyone. There was no May wrap up from me because it was entirely taken up by exams, but here I am for June. Things have been changing in my life so it's about time I gave you guys an update.

Examination season. My exams ran all through May and into June. It was definitely a stressful time, especially with it being the last set of formal exams that I will have to sit. I finished them off by the first week of June. The relief that settled my whole course when we finished was unbelievable. It was nice to just sit in the student union bar and not discuss revision and past paper questions.

What do you expect. I spent nineteen days in utter agony waiting for my results. During this wait I had a meeting with the external examiners. It was weird to think I was talking to people who had seen my answers and who knew what my results were. On the other hand it was nice to be able to give feedback about my course, lecturers and the university in general.

I'm graduating! I received my results at about 1 in the morning. I will officially be graduation with a 2:1 BSc in Medical Genetics. I am absolutely ecstatic to know that three years worth of work at university paid off and I'm now looking forward to the next part of my life. I'm hoping to go on and do a Masters or a PhD so there will be a lot of applications in my life.

Beach bum. So with the rest of the summer ahead of me, I don't have many plans yet. Mostly my days have involved heading down to the beach and spending time with friends and family. It's nice to be worry free and I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the summer is going to contain.


  • We Were Liars - E. Lockhart
  • Soulmates - Holly Bourne
  • The Ocean At The End Of The Lane - Neil Gaiman
  • The Statistical Probability Of Love At First Sight - Jennifer E. Smith
  • Trouble - Non Pratt
Currently reading:

Neverwhere by Neil Gaiman. I've picked this book up a number of times but just never seem to finish it because something has cropped up. So, with my timetable completely free I am going to finish this book!

According to Goodreads I have read 23 out of 50 and am behind by one book. I am really hoping to be ahead by the end of next month.

Hope you all had a good June!