As I have mentioned, I now work at the wonderful Social & Personal Weddings magazine. (I’m not biased at all.) More specifically I have grown my baby (no not a real baby) socialandpersonalweddings.ie. This is what I was hired for, so while I have been lucky enough to write, not just for the wedding magazine, but the main Social & Personal magazine, my main goal was helping fill it with content and get it live. It’s been a long, exciting process that taught me a lot, but in particular, being only 22, it’s been interesting working on all things bridal and wedding. As such, it is only natural that I compile a list of questions I’ve been asked repeatedly since I got the job. If you have asked me any of these questions, don’t feel bad. You’re not alone, and you probably asked me ages ago, before it got repetitive.
I recently dove head first into a mad fantasy craze for books. It can be really difficult for me to get back into reading after a long break but if I find something to latch onto, especially a series, I’ll end up doing what I did recently and fly through ten books in two months. But then I was worried it would be difficult for me to switch genre and be gripped as easily as I was before. Enter Emily Gillmor Murphy with her debut novel, You & I.
You & I has been sitting in my wardrobe for a shameful amount of time among a pile of “I’ll get around to reading that” books. But since the clean out to end all cleanouts, I rediscovered it and, for the sake of the writer in me, I decided it must take priority.
When I read the blurb on the back of the book, which talks about the two main characters and a bet, I thought I had guessed the story. I thought the blurb revealed the bet that Tom would take on and the fact that Olive would eventually find out. Much like any romantic comedy you will ever watch, you already expect to have a couple who will fall out and eventually reunite at the end. But as I read beyond what was presented as the obvious plot, I started to realise what the book is really about.
It’s much darker than I expected to be, but in a good way. It explores dark themes and battles that students of that age deal. Among the light-hearted sex-crazed parties and getting dangerously hammered, there were very real inner demons that everyone in the book had to face, not just the main characters. The book was not really about the plot that was explored on the back of the book. It was about the characters themselves, their personal battles and development.
Some would argue that the plot is predictable, but I think only as predictable as any book. You might guess and hope for a particular ending and it’s often delivered. But you have no idea how you’re going to get there and if the so-called “predictable” ending wasn’t given to you, you would probably complain.
For sheer character development and a look into what’s really going on behind people’s masks and beyond closed doors, I couldn’t put this book down and I would say my reading dry spell is well and truly broken.
Blurb of You & I:
Each September, thousands of students walk through the doors of University College and Trinity College, Dublin. This year, Olive and Tom will be among them.
Eighteen-year-old Olive is fresh from the country, and her eyes are opened wide by the big-city goings on of her new friends. When she starts to be pursued by Tom, the scruffy maverick who’s seduced half the girls she’s met, she’s adamant he’s not for her. But when a tragedy befalls her family, it’s Tom who proves her best friend – until that is, she discovers his real motivations.
Tom has never thought further than the next party, the next girl, the next drink. But now, with his own broken family about to cast him off and his social habits spinning out of control, he seems to have destroyed his relationship with Olive. What started out as a stupid dare metamorphoses into something much more serious.
Set against the backdrop of youth on the brink of adulthood, and capturing the contrasts of the haves versus the have-nots, the worldly versus the innocent, Emily Gillmor Murphy’s You & I is an assured debut that will transport readers straight to the rollercoaster experience of growing up and falling in love.
Yesterday, I posted a link on my Facebook profile to sign this petition in a bid for Coca-Cola to pull their sponsorship from the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics in Russia due to their anti-gay laws. I received a genuine argument against this action, where I was asked why should Coke be involved at all when it should be our government’s job to make our opinions known, and all Coke does is sell and unhealthy caffeinated drink. I appreciated the argument. I believe everything should always be questioned to make sure people have the answers. So here’s why I still believe Coca-Cola should pull their sponsorship.
I have developed some divine inspiration to write recently. Any fellow writers will understand the concept of saying “I’m writing a book” when you’re really playing solitaire, drinking, working, studying and pretty much taking part in life while writing your actual novel can often fall by the wayside.
I have recently opened up my mind to the idea that I should really feign a mild interest in major sporting events. Why? Because I am a journalist. I may not want to be a sports journalist but I now realise it’s just as embarrassing not knowing who’s in the All-Ireland Final as it is to admit that you didn’t know there was going to be a bus strike and it’s also embarrassing to admit you didn’t know the Royal Baby was born. (Don’t worry, I knew all of those things when necessary).
Ok, obviously it’s advisable that you have plenty of time to get to a job interview, even if said interview is supposedly informal. I’m a great one for this, I must say. I’ve never been late, more often than not I’ve been half an hour early, which is usually fine; it gives me a chance to find the office, prepare myself, get lost if that happens. However, I have recently discovered some of the downsides to arriving early in certain situations. Continue reading
…and my July recommendation. I know, it didn’t take long for me to miss a month but it’s ok because I’m making it up here. I chose these two from the long list for Blog Awards Ireland so we’re going for the full Irish this month.
One of the few blogs that has had me laugh out loud at every post I’ve read – and that’s only about six of them. I’m going back to read some more soon. It’s a comic-style stream of conscious blog…and it’s hilarious. Complete with actual drawings by Chloe to demonstrate things. The post about unemployment has a picture of a brain that had me in bits.
I swear it’s not because she has the same name as me. Although Jenny is an awesome name. I eagerly await the Coca Cola bottle. Anyway, content aside, the design of this blog is deadly. Content not aside, there’s a little bit of everything, which I like. There are reviews on make-up, books, films music, etc and as a fellow journalism graduate, her musings speak to me too. Well worth a luck.