Unfiltered: I Talk About Lily Collins’ Autobiography

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As some of you may or may not know, I am studying autobiographies and memoirs for my master thesis this year (more precisely, I am working on The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fisher, and Mémoire de Fille by Annie Ernaux). So of course, I have to read more memoirs, more or less similar to those I am studying and one of my latest picks was Unfiltered: No Shame, No Regrets, Just Me by Lily Collins, which was published in 2017. One of my friends was surprised to hear that Lily Collins had already written a (sort of) autobiography, since she is still in her twenties. However, I do believe books like this one are important, because people in their twenties can relate to them and their authors more than to autobiographies written later in one’s life. Of course, people in their sixties, for example, would have more to say in such a book, but this is not necessarily what everyone needs to read, or what everyone can relate to, which is exactly why I enjoyed this book.

I really like Lily Collins as an actress, but I have to admit I didn’t know much about her. Through this book, she opens her heart to the reader. She talks not only about her insecurities, which is something we all have, but also about her mental disorders, which is something that not only speaks to me on many levels, but also should be discussed more because it is often disregarded and misunderstood. Lily Collins went through anorexia and bulimia as well as anxiety, and she depicts it in a very moving, heartwarming way. To be honest, at the end of the book, I felt really hopeful about my future, which is something that doesn’t happen really often these days, and the very reason why I would definitely recommend this book.

Unfiltered is full of anecdotes, wise words and stories about Collins’ life and her family. It is divided in chapters focusing on different aspects of her life and struggles, from when she grew up, til the time she was filming Okja in Korea, which is around the time she finished writing her memoir. It is full of pictures and inspiring words.

Overall, I gave it 4 out of 5 stars, and I definitely think I should reread this one. It’s such a feel-good book, and there are too little of those ♥

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Thoughts on the Blackheath Duology

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I absolutely love books about witches, but I have to admit I don’t read enough of them. I read a few books by Gabriella Lepore, and really enjoyed them, and now I finally picked up some of her work again, and I’m truly glad I did. This duology had been on my TBR for quite some time, and actually the first book also had been on my kindle for a while, but I only just now took the time to read it, and I don’t regret it. I am so busy with work and classes and my thesis these days, it is nice to have some lighter reads as well.

Book 1: Blackheath
Book 2: Blackheath Resurrection
Author: Gabriella Lepore
Genre: YA, Urban Fantasy
Oftomes Publication
My rating: ★★★★☆

The story:

Maggie is an orphan who lives in the small town of Blackheath, sharing a room in a dorm with her best friend Isla. Blackheath seems to be a pretty boring town, and all Maggie ever has to worry about is being on time in class (and maybe her crush on Joel  Tomlinson, who used to be her best friend… Not that she’ll admit it to anyone.)

Suddenly, a new boys shows up at school, and everyone seems to be enticed with him. Except Maggie. Who suddenly finds herself spending more and more time with Joel, after accusing him of being a witch – which he actually is – in front of the entire class.

My opinion:

My apologies for the very bad summary, I didn’t want to give too much away.

Overall the story is simple, but since managed to surprise me in some great ways. It has magic, and well-developed romance. It also deals with the issues of family and friends which is something I always enjoy in books. It’s well-written and it’s a quick read, so I would definitely recommend it.

The duology is told through two different point of views – Joel and Maggie – which really complete each really well in my opinion, and give the reader a broader view on the story. The plot also contains a “chosen one” trope however I absolutely loved how it was dealt with. It seems typical at first (because you know, it’s a trope we have seen pretty much everywhere from Harry Potter to Percy Jackson) but for starters, the story doesn’t evolve about the chosen one which is an interesting twist, and it also shows that family is valuable even more than chosen ones, however messed up your family can be.

Blackheath and its sequel also contains a very interesting redemption arc which surprised me in the best possible way, and great twists until the end. It was definitely an enjoyable read. As soon as I finished the first book, I knew I had to dive into the second one as soon as I could!

As it seems, I am not able to make a proper review these days, so I will just stop there. If you have read this book, I would love to discuss it in the comments!