The Cows

The Cows – Dawn O’Porter

For serious though, did anyone expect me to just ignore the opportunity to read Dawn O’Porter’s new book? I loved Paper Aeroplanes SO MUCH and just look at this, just look at the blurb and tell me you aren’t excited? Honestly, the first paragraph was pretty much enough to have me flicking through pages joyously.

COW n.
/ka?/
A piece of meat; born to breed; past its sell-by-date; one of the herd.
Women don’t have to fall into a stereotypes
THE COWS is a powerful novel about three women. In all the noise of modern life, each needs to find their own voice.
It’s about friendship and being female.
It’s bold and brilliant.
It’s searingly perceptive.
It’s about never following the herd.

Have you, like me, been endlessly searching for some good old women’s fiction with feminist undertones? Yes? Well, hold on to your hats cos I think this might be it. I mean, there are moments in this that are a bit… Over the top, but overall this was a well written, topical novel that has feminist themes and enforces the idea that all women are worthy and equal, not just to men, but to each other, in a way that isn’t hard going or text book like.

The Cows presents us with three very different women (one of whom is a blogger, like a super successful one, not someone needlessly shouting into the void like myself) all of whom are struggling with society’s ideas of what their lives should be like based on their gender. We have Tara, the working single mum, who has to deal with being in a male dominated work environment constantly being made to feel guilty about the fact that she has a child to look after and then there’s her daughter, who also makes her feel guilty about wanting to have and enjoying her career, who has an unconsensual video taking of her and how that affects her life. We have Cam, the aforementioned blogger, who has to deal with disdain from her sisters and her mother because her life dream isn’t to settle down and have children but to have experiences and relationships with lots of different people on her own terms and then we have Stella mourning the loss of her sister, desperately wanting to retain her femininity and settle down with a child.

At its core, this is a story about women fighting for things they want and along the way our three main characters have to deal with viral videos, online trolls, relationships with friends, family and lovers and the need for people to be individual and accepting of everyone. It questions feminism and equality by showing deep rooted prejudices, Tara regularly finds herself being put down by the men she works with and then realises that she does this to other women, feeling herself above them without knowing anything about their lives. Cam similarly likes to talk a good game about being a feminist, but inadvertently offends those with different views to her.

The Cows is an addictive, fast paced read that doesn’t hold back on its message. There are a lot of subjects people might find taboo, abortions, sex, periods, that sort of thing and if you are one of those people, probably one to avoid, but if not – you need to grab yourself a copy of this asap.

The Cows is out on 6th April, so get yourself to a book shop!

March round up

March began, as all months should with a bout of randomness. I found myself  going on an impromptu trip to Cardiff (all the best trips to Cardiff are hastily planned tbh) to visit the Doctor Who Experience, which was amazing btw – totally go while you still can. Remember how for the past two year’s I’ve been on the judging panel for the local talent show? Well, this year was no exception and I did a momentous thing in March. You see, there are lots of places I want to visit, but I am perpetually alone, so I came to the conclusion if I want to visit somewhere, I should just go because if I wait around waiting to make friends, I may never get there, so I spent a few days exploring Edinburgh! You can read more about that here. It was with a heavy heart landing to the news from Westminster, but as that (sadly) fake sign says, we will bloody well keep calm and carry on.

What I read this month:

The Subtle Knife – Phillip Pullman
I can’t believe this is my first re read since the first time I read this series! Maybe I should make a more active effort to re read great things every now and again, I’m feeling very nostalgic heading back into Lyra’s world, but also, it seems so much richer to me now I’m older and understand more of the subtleties, getting very excited about the new Dark Materials books, whatever they may be!

The Amber Spyglass – Phillip Pullman
This was always my least favourite of the three and it was just as much a struggle this time around, the thing is, there is so many different strands to this series that I want to read about, Lord Asriel’s plan, Will and Lyra’s story… but there are so many passages dedicated to Mary and the wheeled animals she meets, which I know is important to the ending but still, just like the first time I spent those pages being anxious to get back to everyone else!

Yes Please – Amy Poehler
I ended up in the library the day after international women’s day and nabbed this off the women’s authors display just as it was being taken down. I do love Parks and Recreation and I do often gripe about the fact that I can only watch SNL on YouTube, so I was excited to see this. I did a proper review here (as is fitting for such a fine book.) and can tick another off my list of non fiction reads!

All My Puny Sorrows – Miriam Toews
I’m still debating doing a review of this book because I have a lot of thoughts. So, this is the story of two sisters, one of whom has a seemingly perfect life, but is suffering with manic depression and the other (who narrates the story) having the complete opposite but not dealing with the mental ill health. On the one hand I liked this book because it proved that your circumstances do not equate to your mental well-being, that you can be rich and have a dream job, but still not enough chemicals in your brain and learning about a new culture was interesting, but I didn’t get on with the formatting of the book and I think it would have been more powerful from Elf’s point of view than Yoli’s as Elf was the one suffering. I might re read it…

High Rise – J.G. Ballard
Ngl, I did pick this up in the library because it was the movie tie-in edition (I’ve still not got round t watching it yet, any of you seen it?) and had Tom Hiddleston in a suit on the front… Honestly, I finished it and was a bit like… wtf did I just read? It is basically Lord of the Flies with grown ups. With Lord of the Flies, it was kind of plausible that the events would happen, being children and not spending so long in civilised society, but with this, I’m not entirely sure that a group of people living in an expensive, but badly serviced high rise, would form their own uncivilised society seeing them attack each other and eat dogs and stuff, but there you go. It was still fun though and whiled away the hour I was sat in Edinburgh’s departure lounge.

Hello you, it’s me – various
I was sent this for review, its a collection of letters from people aged 17-24 who have experienced mental health issues writing to their younger selves about the experience and how to survive it. As always with books I’ve been sent, I have reviewed it properly here, but for now, just know that this was an incredibly uplifting collection of stories that showed a lot of strength and I’m adding it to my to buy list for the actual release date.

The Sun is Also a Star – Nicola Yoon
I might do a whole review of this because having finished it, I have so many thoughts… Nicola Yoon is a gifted writer, her narration is engaging and endearing and although the insta love is kinda frustrating, it is an interesting take on the trope trying to use science to explain it, for me the main theme of cultural identity was what cinched it for me, the idea of being more than one culture and how those things coexist and also butt heads is super interesting – recommend me more books like that please!

The Infinite Sea – Rick Yancey
I read the Fifth Wave forever ago (I’ve still not seen the movie though – are you sensing a pattern?) and although the romance got on my nerves a bit, I did love the overall idea, so when I saw the library had a copy of Infinite Sea, I was all over it. The switching of the narrators was a little harder for me to keep up with this time around (it has been a looooong time since I picked up the first book), but now I’m ready for the third one!

The History of Twin Peaks – Mark Frost
I’ve been watching the series this month after my friend recommended it to me, now I’m prepared for the revival! It is genuinely one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen (seriously, there is a woman who tells the future using a log who is just known as the Log Lady). I liked it, but I’m not sure why! The book is made up of dossiers, documents and articles about the various strange goings on in Twin Peaks with cameos from the show’s characters, it’s a fun companion to the series, so do check it out if you’re a fan!

The Cows -Dawn O’Porter
When I was sent a link to Dawn O’Porter’s new book I couldn’t just ignore it! I loved Paper Aeroplanes and while I wasn’t as enamoured with the sequel, The Cows did have me at the introduction! Plus, the cover is super pretty, you can see my full thoughts soon!

Films I watched this month:

You may have noticed if you follow me on twitter, have been keeping up with my Film reviews in 10 tweets or less posts or this video, that I really like films and that I spend a lot of time watching them, so here are all the films (some new, some rewatches) that graced my television this month!

  • How to train your dragon
  • Logan
  • What if
  • School of rock
  • Doctor Strange
  • Star Trek Beyond

TV I watched his month:

  • Riverdale
    This is my new obsession! We must protect Jughead at all costs.
  • Supernatural
  • Twin Peaks
  • Once Upon A Time
  • Iron Fist

My favourite Instagram posts this month:

Hanging at Cardiff Bay doing the Doctor Who Experience today

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still on the birthday bandwagon

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done a judge didnt i? insanely jealous of how talented everyone is hoping to soak up some by osmosis

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when in edinburgh you have to check out the birth place of ya boy hp

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What I did on YouTube this month:

What I loved on YouTube this month:

Ok, first, ya boy Joe made a video every day this month, so check out his channel, Dan and Phil did that thing Nintendo told us not to, but the reactions were funny af, Casey Neistat uploaded this movie WHICH MY GOD WAS EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED, he also uploaded this video about getting help in Somalia and yaaaaas to the vlog making a come back! Amelia Ace made this video about demisexualitywhich was super interesting and watching Emma Blackery take down a certain pos was also pretty great. Also, I can’t not with this Deadpool Beauty and the Beast parody.