Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Review: Clean by Juno Dawson

Hi guys! So last week I posted a review of Melvin Burgess’ Junk. I read that before Clean because Juno referred to that as her inspiration.

About Clean

Clean is centred around Lexi Volkov, the daughter of a wealthy hotel owner who so happens to be spoilt and can get whatever she wants, when she wants. Which essentially means she can also do drugs with her boyfriend Kurt whenever she wants.

However, Nikolai, Lexi’s brother kidnaps her and takes her to a special clinic on an island where she can do the ten step progam to get clean.

She meets a lot of different people (with money) who are there for other addictions such as anorexia and OCD. Lexi needs to decide whether she wants to recover or waste her life away. Her new found friends may just be the answer she needs…

Review

I’ve been to a few events where Lexi has been said to be very confident and commanding. I thought she would be a total bitch – and she is at the start – but really she has a soft centre to her.

She seems to want to hide all her secrets and blames everyone for her mistakes. She doesn’t realise she has a problem until it’s nearly too late.

What I love about this book is the character development of all the addicts. Juno really can get into the mind of an addict and it’s amazing. At times we just want to tell Lexi to put the coke down and step away. But we see her go through the ups and downs all the way to the end.

I warmed to all the addicts at the centre, even Sasha. Everyone has issues but it’s how you deal with them that counts.

I loved the writing and the characters. And obviously the fact it’s set in London. What more could you want?

Have you read Clean? What did you think?

A Trip to Nice

A Trip to Nice

For Oliver’s 21st, Oliver’s parents took us to Nice in France for the weekend.

Day One

We took off to Gatwick at 3am for our flight at 6am. We arrived in Nice around 9am and made our way on the tram to Hotel Brice.

For a while we pottered around the town and had pain au chocolates. It was rainy but it was lovely to explore.

We had some lunch in McDonald’s while it poured down and went back to the hotel for a nap before going out to pizza.

Day Two

Oliver’s birthday! For his birthday I got him basketball tickets for London and his parents got him a lamborghini experience in Monaco.

We went into the Monte Carlo casino and had some lunch in Cafe De Paris before getting the bus back to Nice. We had some delicious hot chocolate and an ice cream to share.

We all got a gift from Oliver’s parents saying we were going to Frankfurt in December to see the Christmas markets!

Until next time, love, Vee x

Living with Anxiety and Depression

I wrote a post quite a while ago about coping with anxiety but I would like to also share a post about what I’m currently going through and maybe, just maybe, someone else is going through the same situation and feelings and this can help you feel less alone.

I have a wonderful partner, a job that’s going to further my career and a supportive family. But all these things don’t stop the anxiety and depression that goes through me on a day to day basis. I don’t always experience it – but it can be a constant feeling throughout the day or a niggling feeling I can’t explain which only makes me MORE anxious.

Anxiety can occur in many different ways in lots of different situations. It could be anything from walking down the street to being in a busy shopping centre.

Going out of the house a few years ago was almost impossible until my partner encouraged me and soon I was visiting him in London and going out alone again. Since then I’m able to walk to work most days (some days I become anxious about walking in case I feel anxious – I know, anxious about being anxious) to work and I’m able to get a train and tube on my own to my partner’s house.

I still can’t set foot in a mall on my own and I become anxious about the smallest things such as calling someone, letting someone down or admitting how I feel.

Some days I struggle to get out of bed because I don’t want to face a stressful day at work or I don’t want to get up out of the safeness of my bed. Having anxiety and depression is like having two people yelling at each other. Anxious me: “Get out of bed! You can’t be late! You are going to feel ill. You’ll never feel better.” Depressive me: “I don’t want to get out of bed. It’s unsafe outside. No one cares anyway.”

The difference now is that I’m able to push myself further than I have before. I’ve just completed a journey through London I didn’t think I would ever be able to do and little accomplishments such as that mean a great deal to someone like me with anxiety.

My advice to you would be to celebrate these little things – in the end they will be the start of you taking big steps. Not every day will be easy, but it’s better to know there are other people going through the same thing as you.

At the moment I struggle to see when I will feel better, more confident in myself again. But it’s there, in the not too distant future. Whether it’s counselling that I need or just encouraging myself in general, I will get there and so will you. This journey may be hard but it’s not impossible. Lots of people think anxiety is something you can’t overcome, that it will be with you for the rest of your life. But that’s not true; we are able to overcome great obstacles in life, including anxiety.

Believing in yourself will be a great resource to you. I know this can be hard when you have anxiety coupled with depression, but I hope one day you see you will be happy, you will overcome these obstacles. And if you can’t see that yet, I can see it for you.

Film Review: Baby Driver

Hello there! In this week’s blog I’m going to be writing a review on the film me and Oli saw the other week called Baby Driver.

Overview

Baby Driver is about a man who has got into debt with a con artist and he has to be the getaway driver for clients. He slowly pays his debt off but once he thinks it’s over, they tell him he has to keep driving.

Baby has tinnitus so he plays music to drown out the ringing. He developed it when his parents died in a car crash.

Baby falls in love with a waitress at the diner his mum used to work at and tries his best to protect her and his disabled foster father.

Review

I wanted to see Baby Driver because it looked action packed and stars Ansel Elgort from The Fault in Our Stars. Ansel’s acting is always good and he didn’t disappoint.

However, I don’t think the plot was well thought out as there were moments where the film lulled and I lost interest.

The best parts of the film are the speeding cars and getaways. They were all entertaining and came with a few surprises.

We see Baby develop a conscious for the victims of the robberies and soon he is committing crimes himself to protect his loved ones. We slowly see him find his way as his feelings develop for Debora (the waitress). However, he kills to protect her and ends up in prison.

We then flash forward to when he is released from prison which felt rushed. I thought the film would perhaps end differently.

The women in the film aren’t given exciting roles; Debora is your typical waitress who dreams of running away with Baby and we only see Debora when Baby pays attention to her. He has to let her down on several occasions to protect her but his foster father ends up hurt instead. No matter what Baby does, people keep getting hurt.

Debora doesn’t seem to have many opinions about anything and by the end of the movie she seemed irrelevant and Baby seems to see her in the same light as his mother – good singer, a waitress, beautiful.

Darling, the only other female character is a typical criminal sitting on the side of her vengeful husband until she dies and Buddy inevitably seeks revenge on Baby.

Overall, I enjoyed the film because of the fast cars and Ansel. The plot, however, wasn’t the best and Buddy makes Baby deaf so his ringing in his ears is now stuck there without music to drown it out.

I’m going to give this film 3.5/5 ✩

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New York

For our anniversary, Oliver took us to New York on a big adventure…

For someone who has only been on a two and a half hour plane journey to Portugal, going on an eight hour flight to New York was more than daunting. Turbulence scares the hell out of me and being in a big machine catapulting across the sky obviously brought out my anxiety.

However, our journey there and back with Norwegian was fairly smooth – even though take off is always the worst! For me, I like to grip on to Oli so hard he has to pull my claws off him!

When we landed it took us over an hour to get through the border and we went on the sky train and subway.

Once we got to Hotel Pennsylvania and checked in to our room, our smoke alarm wouldn’t stop beeping, there was mold on the walls and plug sockets hanging askew off the wall. We requested a change of rooms, exhausted (it was nearly 4am UK time). We were so happy with our new room – you wouldn’t think it was the same hotel!

Day One

On our first proper day we headed to Dunkin’ Donuts for the best hot chocolate ever(!!!) and croissants. After that we went on the subway to Tribeca, where Taylor Swift’s apartment is located. Being a Swiftie, this moment was precious to me. I had stood where she stood, walked where she walked. I just wish she had been there!

After seeing Taylor’s apartment we walked to the Brooklyn Bridge, crossed it and had pizza which was only $7! We came back and walked a very long way to the ferry. We thought it would be cheaper to see the Statue of Liberty from the Staten Island ferry than it would be to go and see it close up! (It’s worth it to just go on the ferry unless you’re desperate to get a close up for those Insta posts! 😉)

After walking from the ferry, we went to Ground Zero. It is such a surreal place. You don’t realise how big and wide the towers were. We went to Times Square to get McDonald’s and went back to the hotel.

Once back at the hotel we relaxed, watching Friends in America(!!!), before going out to Times Square for something to eat. We went to Applebee’s but we were so stuffed from croissants, pizza and McDonald’s that we barely ate. We ended up having giant pretzels afterwards though…

Day 2

On day two we went to the Friends Building and fangirled. Then we walked up to the High Line and along it and saw some good art pieces, including this hilarious piece…

While we were walking across the High Line we saw the Patrouille de France who were doing their first tour of the US. We then walked back to Times Square and saw the Rockefeller Centre. Strolling along at this point, our legs killing us, we went to the Gossip Girl Hotel and Grand Central. I pretty much risked my life to take a photo in the middle of the road of Grand Central.

We then went and saw the Chrysler building and the Empire State building and walked back through 5th Avenue to our hotel. And, of course, like the Instagram oriented person that I am, I decided I wanted a photo of the aesthetic brown Starbucks up several blocks from us. At this point I had already gone past a shop full of puppies in the window (cruel, I know. I wanted to take them all home!) and was eagerly trying to catch a look before Oliver pulled me away.

Once I had taken a photo of Starbucks, I was determined to set foot in Barnes and Noble and to take a picture of it. It is every book worm’s dream! It was at least three floors of beautiful bounded books: contemporary, fiction, non-fiction and the classics where I dragged Oli around looking at all the huge books that couldn’t possibly fit in my suitcase. We then went to TGI Fridays for the first time ever – I hadn’t even eaten anything there in the UK.

Day 3

So, after attempting to go to Ellen’s Stardust Dinner for ice cream several times, we decided to wait again on our last day. We waited before and they told us the electric had cut out when we had been waiting half an hour and the queue was stretching further and further down the block. We were told this even though we could clearly see there were people still in the dinner. So on our last day we queued for about forty-five minutes before they told us they were changing the menu from breakfast to lunch and then they told us half an hour later that a group of school children would be taking up the whole dinner – bear in mind the queue was now stretching around the block. We eventually entered after freezing to death for two hours and sat down to order ice cream, just to be told we couldn’t order it as it was melting. I would not recommend this place at all.

After wasting two precious hours in the city that never sleeps, we were starved and started walking to Columbus Circle and to the mall which had the most expensive cafes inside. So eventually we went to Starbucks and walked through Central Park with a pretzel in hand. This was the coldest day we had had and we walked to Belvedere Castle and then hobbled to the MET (aka Gossip Girl steps). Oliver found it hard to walk after the past few days’ adventures. And then we finally went to another Gossip Girl location – the Museum of the City of New York.

Finally, we took the tube and walked past the New York Public Library to TGI Fridays once again for lunch. This time I had a burger instead of salad and it was honestly the best burger I have ever eaten. After lunch we headed to the Flat Iron building and then made our way back home after grabbing more Dunkin’ Donuts!

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