Writing Samples: Quick Links


Victorian Prison Systems and Homosexuality: An analysis of the crime of homosexuality in Victorian prison systems, through the example of Oscar Wilde and his trials. Delves into the impact of public trials and the overarching questioning of what constitutes cruel and unusual punishment. Written for the course, “The Case of Sherlock Holmes: Race, Gender, and Crime in the British Empire” in May 2017.

Coates and Black Lives Matter & Afropessimism: An analysis of Ta-Nehisi Coates’ “Between the World and Me” and its relation to the Black Lives Matter movement and Afropessimism. Written for the course, “African American Autobiography,” in December 2016.

Social Media’s Impact on Social Justice Movements: A research paper that delves into the positive impact of social media in the mobilization of social justice movements, specifically for young adults–analyzed in relation to the Black Lives Matter movement. Written to fulfill the primary writing requirement, “Reasoning and Writing in the College,” in December 2015.

Creative Writing:

Reunion (February 2017)

Passionate (July 2016)

Gunshot (June 2016)


Twitter: @emdashzhu

LinkedIn: Emily Zhu


Book Review: Dark Places


Started: July 5th, 2016 | Finished: July 20th, 2016

Rating: 3/5

(A very late book review that I just found in my drafts.)

I have mixed feelings about Dark Places, which seems like a trend with Gillian Flynn books.

I’ve read Gone Girl before, the book that propelled her to my attention. And I found that the same things that I didn’t like about Gone Girl also applied to Dark Places. And for me personally, Dark Places also lacked the exciting story that Gone Girl had.

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Book Review: They Both Die at the End

Book Review: They Both Die at the End

“Maybe it’s better to have gotten it right and been happy for one day instead of living a lifetime of wrongs.” (345)

Started: June 11th | Finished: June 16th

Rating: 5/5

This book comes out this September, but I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of it at BookCon (I snagged the last book that they were giving out!). Not only is the cover beautiful, but after reading More Happy Than Not, I knew I had to read They Both Die at the End. The title alone makes me want to read it.

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Buying Books on a Budget

housing-budget-booksA super low quality pic of Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (it doesn’t do it justice)

I will admit it: I have a book buying problem.

There was a time when I was all about E-Readers, when I thought about all the space and money that could be saved because all the books I could ever want to read would be stored on my Kindle.

That time didn’t last very long.

I realized that reading on an E-Reader significantly cut down my attention span, so it took me forever to read books because it very much felt like just staring at another screen to me. I also had a tendency to forget everything I read when the screen shut off. Also, flipping pages was annoying (flipping backwards to try to reacquaint myself with the story, and then having to flip forward again to where I last read was a nightmare). The reading experience was different and it’s just not for me.

So I let myself buy physical books again, which was a good choice because my bookshelf is strong and mighty and it renewed my love for reading that was stinted during the E-Reader era.

And this decision comes with its pros and cons.

Pro: Physical books are amazing and seeing cover art in person cannot compare to seeing it on a tiny screen.

Con: Books are expensive.

Pro: My collection of bookmarks can finally be put to use.

Con: Books are expensive.

It’s for good reason though. Paying money for something that someone put their heart and soul into makes sense, but man, as a broke college student, it really is not boding well for my wallet.

So I’ve learned how to get thrifty when it comes to buying books (quite literally). Here are some places that I like to buy books from that helps me keep costs down, but my library full.

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