Not A Typical Teenager: July 2015

Thursday, 30 July 2015

The Mortal Instrument Vs The Infernal Devices

Both The Mortal Instruments, (TMI), and The Infernal Devices (TID), were written by Cassandra Clare. Both of the series' are fantastic, with TID, a series of 3 books, taking place before TMI, a series of 6. If you haven't read these books I highly recommend them, and they can be purchased Here for the first TID book (Clockwork Angel) and Here for the first TMI book (City of Bones). (If you are planning on reading them I suggest you read this afterwards as it may contain some spoilers).

On the left is the TID series. On the right is the first 3 of the TMI series 


General Plot line (Won't be in extreme detail as there is so so much to say about them).

TMI - The way that Clary ends up with Jace and his identity crisis due to the amount of last names he has throughout the books is really good. I love the way that Sebastian/Johnathan  evolves as a character from an ally to an enemy. I also think it was fantastic to have Alec and Magnus end up together as I felt that Alec broke out of a stereotype as a strong male warrior and I think that that was the intention of Alec having a relationship with Magnus. The way that family is portrayed in this novel is also something that could be discussed and really does follow the saying 'the blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb.'

TID -  Loved that these books were set in England and Wales! Thank you so much Cassie, for remembering that Wales exists! For that I am so truly grateful. The fact that Tessa came from America was good as she was just as naive as the reader. The love triangle keeps it all interesting and the way the love triangle resolves itself is perfect. The way that Tessa kills Mortmain is also really creative and I did not see it coming at all. I liked the way that everyone was so young as it really showed how mature and responsible people can be even though they are young.

Best Book of the Series (Obviously this is opinion).

TMI - For me, I think it has to be City of Glass, (which was the third book). I felt that there were a lot of twists in this book that I did not see coming and I felt that the end of the book was so perfect that Cassandra could have left it there and just ended the series there. The way the next books progressed was a massive surprise but City of Glass is my favourite out of the series.

TID - I think my favourite book from this series is Clockwork Princess. I loved the way everything resolved itself. I thought the final battle was incredible, and the book was generally a very good book, especially when on a 4 hour flight. I cried at the end. I was quite literally weeping. I didn't want to see Will die. It was so sad and then Jem swept in with his violin and there were just too many feels.

Will Herondale or Jace Herondale

For me this is the biggest question. I read TMI first and so for a long time, Jace was my favourite fictional love interest. However, I must admit that I preferred Will. I can understand that Jace had been taught not to love and such, but he moved to the institute when he was about 10, and we meet him when he is 17, which means that he has been shown love and could possibly have learned how to love within these 7 years. I have realised since reading TID that I saw how he treated Clary and didn't really pay much attention to how arrogant he was, and I think that would annoy me. Will, however, has valid reason to be horrible for everyone. Will shows his love by being horrible. So (sorry Jace), Will is may favourite Herondale so far (just in case Cassandra whips up another book.

Overall
I think that both books have their own strong points, and it is hard to pick a favourite. But as I do love the historical London location and the entire plot of TID, I think I would have to say that it is my favourite series, but TMI is definitely a close second.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Review: Tanglewood Soprano Ukulele

I recently bought a ukulele, (as some of you may know), and when I was looking around for the best ukulele as a beginner, I wanted to get the best value for money. I wasn't really sure what kind of ukulele I needed either.

Then, I went to see Dodie Clark lie and afterwards, when I spoke to her (ahhhhh!!!), she recommended Tanglewood. I gave it a google and I picked out a soprano ukulele.

If you are going to buy a ukulele as a beginner, do not buy a cheapy £20 uke. I say this for 2 reasons:
1) You have to tune them up over and over again, (more so than any other new instrument).
2) The sound isn't as good and will last you until you learn howto play your first chord, when you will need something better.

My ukulele cost me £68, but has since gone down in price to about £50. I would highly recommend the uke I've got because it stays in tune and makes a pleasant sound with the strings that are originally on it. I know that £50 sounds like a lot for a beginners ukulele, but it will last you a long time and remains suitable even if you become a more addvanced ukulele player. The tuning pegs do become loose every so often, but that is very easily fixed by turning the pegs ever so slightly so that the instrument remains in tune and the peg stays still.

Overall, I would recommend this ukulele to anyone who is thinking about starting to play and going to take it to a reasonable level. It has 15 frets, but is cheaper than a concert ukulele, which only has 3 more frets than this, but can cost up to £20 more.

If you are interested in buying your own ukulele, please click the following link: Tanglewood Tribal Spirit Travel Soprano Ukulele. This link will take you to the amazon page of the ukulele I have. Please take a look.

I hope you have enjoyed my review.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 26 July 2015

A Blog Post About Blogging

I have been blogging now for over a year, and I have to say that it has been fantastic and I have loved doing it. I feel like I can share things will all of my fantastic readers, (like yourself). It's a really awesome feeling; but now I want to connect with you all a little more.

I have had just under 3000 views on my blog, which I am incredibly happy with, but I haven't really spoken to many of my readers; mainly because I just don't know who they are. I feel as if I haven't made enough of an effort to connect with you all and to communicate with you all, because at the end of the day, I don't know what posts you have all liked or not. I have loved writing every post that has gone up onto my blog. But I would like to know which posts you have preferred, whether it be posts about mental health or about friends. I would love to hear your opinion. (Please do so in either the comments, on Twitter or via email, bracesandglasses128@gmail.com).

I really love writing, and I would really like to hear your opinions on my writing. So please do let me know, and perhaps I could actually talk to some of you, (if there are any of you).

If you have made it this far, direct you gaze to the top right-hand corner, type your email in the box and click submit. That way you can receive an email when a new post goes up.

Thank you so much for reading

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Helping People with Mental Health Issues

Depression is a thing. Anxiety is a thing. Nowadays there are young people upon young people who have issues with their mental health; whether this is due to with pressures from school and exams or not is another subject for another day.

As someone who has never suffered with my mental health, I do find it difficult to wrap my head around sometimes. To figure out what it is that makes people feel the way that they do. There have been studies to suggest that it is because of 'sciencey' stuff like hormones or neurons which means that it is totally not the persons fault that they feel the way that they do.

It can get difficult when you talk to someone who has got mental health issues about their mental health issues. You would not believe the amount of times I have heard the phrase "You won't understand" when it comes to mental health. The thing is though, if you don't try to explain your mental health issues to someone you have told about it, they will develop their own stereotype and believe all of the stereotypes they have heard because you won't tell them otherwise.

The negative stigma around mental health issues is something that we can change; but we can only do so by explaining to people what it is. Saying that you have an issues is all well and good. But you can't expect a person who has never suffered with mental health issues to immediately understand all of your problems just from one word or the name of what it is you have been diagnosed with. It takes time and a lot of explanation.

Mental health issues have a very negative stigma around them, and we have the power to change the stereotypes about depression; about anxiety; and about other things that people connect with these words even though they aren't always related ; like self harm. We can change it. Together.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Friday, 17 July 2015

Entrances and Exits

"When one door closes, another door opens;" at least, that is how I have always heard the saying so.

When someone exits your life, you need to remember that everything happens for a reason. You need to know that even though it may be tough in the beginning to have someone leave, but that you can survive it. This doesn't just apply to relationships, but friendships too.

I must say that I think the best way to deal with an exit is to eat. But after you are done comfort eating, confide in some friends; or go and make some new ones.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx

Monday, 6 July 2015

Internet Friends

I have been scrolling through a page on Facebook about Tumblr, and I found a picture which was talking about internet friends and people were basically saying that the don't like it when people say that people over the internet can't be your real friends because they have been there for them so many more times. Wiped their tears away so many more times.

I mean, we have all had the talk about internet safety and things, but I think it is safe to say that we have all made friends over the internet, and mainly in a positive way. This is a good thing because it allows you to learn things about other cultures and how other people all around the world live.

On the other hand, this post did make me feel pretty upset. It seems quite sad that people feel they can only talk to people on the other end of screens rather than people who they can talk to face to face. I personally find it difficult to talk to people over phone/message about serious things or  issues within my life, because all I want more than anything is a cwtch* (*this is a welsh kind of slang word. It means hug, but a cwtch is more meaningful and snuggily). It's nice to have the emotional support as well as the physical gestures you can make to someone who is sad. You can offer them a cookie, a gentle touch of the arm to let them know you are there for them, or a really big cwtch.

I guess more than anything, if you have internet friends you can talk to then that is fantastic; especially if you feel you can talk to them about your issues and times of crisis. But if you don't have someone you can talk to about these issues in person with; try and find someone who can. It may take a while and you may struggle, but give it a chance.

Stay Un-Typical

Ashleigh xxx