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“for angels to fly” // winter reading list + playlist

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Winter. Is. Here. Christmas shopping has begun, the lights have been hung up, it has begun to snow in some places, and in my land of very boring weather, it’s actually slightly cold *impressed face*. I hope you have a cup of hot, steaming coffee or chocolate beside you, ’cause here’s a list of books and songs for you to check out this season while chilling out during the holidays.

READING LIST (basically a list of books that are sure to put you in a winter-y mood if IG wasn’t enough):

(These books are all of different genres; I hope you’ll find at least some you’ll like. Click on the book names to go to their respective Goodreads pages)

1. Comfort and Joy – Kristin Hannah

Very Christmas-y, very sweet. Mostly classified as romance and women’s fiction, Comfort and Joy is a cozy tale about relationships with a hint of magic.

2. The Grisha Trilogy – Leigh Bardugo

A series belonging to the genres of fantasy and romance, Bardugo’s books are a delight to read. The Grishaverse is cold and tumultuous, the central nation Ravka inspired by Russia. Although it is classified as YA, I believe it’s equally appealing to many older readers as well.

3. Landline – Rainbow Rowell

A super cute book based around Christmas, Landline has a rather mixed variety of characters, who are not always likeable, but very real all the same. A must-read for fans of Kristin Hannah, John Green, and Cecelia Ahern.

4. The Gift – Cecelia Ahern

Another book based around Christmas, The Gift is a typical Ahern novel – magical and filled with twists and turns. If you want a book that will truly make you introspect as well as put you in a mood for Christmas, this is perfect.

5. No Ordinary Star trilogy – M.C. Frank

Perfect for fans of Ray Bradbury and/or dystopian novels, M.C. Frank’s trilogy No Ordinary Star is the must-read for this winter. The connection to winter and/or Christmas is something you need to find out from the book 😉 Also, the third and final installment just came out yay! 😀 Here’s my review of the first book of the series (I have reviewed all three books on this blog if you want to check them out). Plus, these books have the most gorgeous covers ever.

6. The Gift of the Magi – O. Henry

This is actually a short story, for all you busy people. You have no excuse for getting out of this one. I promise you won’t regret reading it.

7. Hercule Poirot’s Christmas – Agatha Christie

Where are all my fellow Christie fans? This one is my favourite Christmas-y murder story, not to mention one of my top favourite Poirot mysteries.

8. Devil In Winter – Lisa Kleypas

This book is not for everyone. However, if you like an occasional historical romance as a guilty pleasure, this book is one of my favorites. The hero is one of my all-time favourite anti-heroes, and the story is just so sweet :”) You can read it as a standalone, but I’d recommend reading the entire Wallflowers series for full effect.

9. Wuthering Heights – Emily Bronte

If you haven’t read this book, winter is a good time to wrap yourself up in a blanket and speed through it. And if you have read it, this is the perfect season for a re-read, is it not?

10. Harry Potter series – J.K. Rowling

Yes, yes, most of you Potterheads have probably started reading this again already. After all, what better time to visit Hogwarts than winter? :”) A winter reading list is incomplete without some HP, it seems.

PLAYLIST (songs to remind you of winter):

http://8tracks.com/mixes/8733662/player_v3_universal

“it’s too cold outside, for angels to fly” // winter playlist from Sripurna on 8tracks Radio.

  1. Winter Things – Ariana Grande
  2. The A Team – Ed Sheeran
  3. Fix You – Coldplay
  4. Silent Night – Taylor Swift
  5. Home – Ramin Djawadi (Stark theme from Game of Thrones)
  6. Mary Did You Know – Pentatonix
  7. Come Away to the Water – Maroon 5
  8. More Than This – One Direction
  9. Take Me To Church – Hozier
  10. Hallelujah – Pentatonix / Leonard Cohen
  11. Last Christmas – Ariana Grande / Taylor Swift
  12. All I Want For Christmas Is You – Mariah Carey

I hope you are having a great winter, and Merry Christmas!

-Sreepurna.

 

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Looking for a YA series to read this Christmas? // No Vain Loss by M.C. Frank : Book Review

NO VAIN LOSS (NO ORDINARY STAR #3)


Summary:

A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do.A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive.
A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack.
The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty.
This is the One World.
The year is 2524.

Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic young adult novel in three parts is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace.

Written in three parts, this is the breathtaking story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time.

In No Vain Loss, the world is on the brink of the greatest war humanity has ever known. Lives will be lost. New truths will be revealed.

Review:

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

What I liked:

This series is definitely one of my all-time favorites. I don’t think I have come across a better written young adult series; most of them are either too simplistic, or cheesy, or transparently copying The Hunger Games so that the sales are high. No Ordinary Star on the hand is a fresh story, built on a striking, frozen, cold background (I adore the imagery). The characters are the absolute best. Felix was stupid and adorable and Astra was strong and beautiful and fiery.  The first two parts of the story had already stolen my heart, and quite predictably, I found this installment near perfect. It was an absolutely breathtaking read and I just wanted to read without stopping, and in fact forgot to take notes for writing the review (which is why this review is so messy). The books are each really short, they don’t take much time to finish, hardly a sitting or two. However, M.C. Frank packs a huge amount of emotions, suspense, and sheer beauty in these pages. Not going to lie, the ending made me cry and it was beautiful. When I first finished it, I thought there were quite a lot of loose ends, but I feel like I LIKE how the ending is a little unresolved, giving you space to think.

What I didn’t like:

Not much, but I do wish there was more world-building, because I wanted to know more of the world. However, I don’t think the length and the style of the series would really support more intricate details, so I am happy with how it was all the same.

Overall:

If you are looking for short reads to go with your Christmas-y mood, BUT you don’t want to read something too cheesy or too serious, this. is. perfect. I cannot stress more on how much I adore MC. Frank’s versatile writing style, and I highly recommend this series (and her other books) from the very bottom of my heart.

The fact that the covers of all three book are STUNNING is an added plus.

Happy reading guys!

– Sreepurna.

💜💙

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“like pieces into place”// fall reading list + playlist

21715002631_5a8b4cb481_bWith technically only one more month left of it, autumn is almost over here in the northern hemisphere. Where I live, it won’t make much of a difference. The sun and the rain will fight as usual, and only a slight chill will settle in over the next few months. However, the internet has finally pulled me into its fall-worshipping madness, and truly, I’m going to miss everyone talking about back-to-school, pumpkin spice lattes, Halloween, and seeing photos of brown and orange leaves on people’s Instagram feeds. So here’s a list of books and songs that I always associate with fall, to celebrate the season that I mostly enjoy vicariously.

Fall Reads:

1. The Raven Cycle (Maggie Stiefvater)

2. Dracula (Bram Stoker)

3. A Court of Thorns and Roses (Sarah J. Maas)

4. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)

5. The Evolution of Mara Dyer (Michelle Hodkin)

6. Macbeth (William Shakespeare)

7.Hallowe’en Party (Agatha Christie)

8. Lord of the Rings trilogy (J.R.R Tolkien)

Fall Playlist:

Here’s the link to the 8tracks version of my playlist :http://8tracks.com/mixes/8715936/player_v3_universal

“like pieces into place” // fall playlist from Sripurna on 8tracks Radio.

 

  1. Youth – Daughter
  2. Skinny Love – Birdy
  3. I See Fire – Ed Sheeran
  4. Running With The Wolves – AURORA
  5. Autumn Leaves – Ed Sheeran
  6. All Too Well – Taylor Swift
  7. Wake Me Up When September Ends – Green Day
  8. Run – Snow Patrol
  9. Set Fire To The Rain – Adele
  10. Safe and Sound – Taylor Swift
  11. The Night We Met – Lord Huron

I hope you have the best fall!

Also, if you liked this, please let me know, I’ll make a winter version of this soon then!

~ Sreepurna

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Godblind (The Godblind Trilogy #1)- Anna Stephens ~ Book Review

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Summary:

The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods. Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.

Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.

Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?

Review:

Rating: 4.5/5 stars

Things I loved about this book:

*So we all know that fantasy is basically The Genre right now, whether it’s the Game of Thrones TV show based on the ASOIAF series or the Throne of Glass series popular among young adults. And do I want more of this genre? Hell yes.

*The characters in this series are AMAZING. I especially loved how realistic Rillirin’s character is, how she is not unnaturally strong and bad-ass like your general heroine these days. Her strength comes from within, and it’s quiet, but it’s world-changing. Lesson: You don’t necessarily need to be an athletic, beautiful assassin to be a strong woman.

*THE SHIPS. I really didn’t expect romance in this book, but it was there and it was beautiful and heart-wrenching and soul-shattering. Call me biased, but I am obsessed with the tender little moments in the otherwise dark and grim world of Godblind.

*Honestly, I didn’t really like the book in the beginning, but it kept getting better and the ending just kind of drove me crazy. I need the second book real bad (and that’s when you know the book was worth the read).

Things I didn’t like:

*The beginning was a bit slow paced.

*Some parts were really, really gruesome. (This is probably not a bad thing for everyone, but everyone has a tolerance limit and this almost pushed mine. Also, when it wasn’t like it was necessary to be that gruesome for plot development, only the shock factor I guess.)

*A lot of the story was pretty close to ASOIAF (but that isn’t REALLY a bad thing for me because I love good old Martin’s books).

Overall:

If you like fantasy, and can stomach a bit of gore in books, this debut is a must-read. It is raw and gritty and in fandom-language, “gives you the right feels”. But it’s also intelligent, realistic and thought-provoking. If you are having a boring weekend which needs some spicing up, this is the book you need.

(HarperCollins did a great job with the cover, check it out here )

four-and-a-half-stars

– Sreepurna.

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Chasing The Sun ~ Katy Colins : Book Review

Summary:

Perfect escapism’ – Heat magazine

Georgia Green is on the conveyor belt to happiness.

Live-in boyfriend, perfect career and great friends, it seems like Georgia is only a Tiffany box away from her happily ever after. But when she arrives in Australia for her best friend’s wedding and is faced with the bridezilla from hell, she starts to realise that she might not want the cookie-cutter ending she thought.

What was meant to be a trip full of sunny days at the beach and wedding planning over cocktails, has turned into another problem for her to fix – just like the ones she’d left behind. With hardly any time for her boyfriend, let alone herself, it feels like there is just too much to juggle. It might be time for Georgia to step off the conveyor belt to find the balance in life and see if she really can have it all…

Review:

Rating: 3.5 stars

Katy Collins’ Chasing the Sun is ideal for anyone who wants a short sweet read that takes them places, and is yet finished within an afternoon. It isn’t the best romance novel out there, but it is realistic, unique, and very cute.

Things I didn’t like: 

• Some parts are pretty melodramatic

• There are parts in the book which are kind of dragging and not very relatable.

• Speaking of which, the protagonist, Georgia Green was not the most relatable character. This is mostly because of her age, her disposition, and her rambling thoughts (which you have to read because the story is in first person narrative).

• It read like a travelogue sometimes, and that wasn’t really my thing.

Things I liked: 

The present-day lingo. I read a lot of contemporary novels, but usually people conveniently forget to mention the extreme usage of technology. I love how everything is so NORMAL here, the number of texts and calls, Facetiming, discussing about Instagram hashtags, etc.

• The main romantic relationship is very realistic and healthy. 

• The drama. Oh c’mon we all like a little drama. And when there is a wedding in the story, there is ALWAYS drama.

• The beautiful Australian backdrop. While I don’t enjoy travelogue-style writings, I do enjoy a pretty and unique (relatively?) setting.

• It was really short, the book didn’t feel like a chore, and it’ll put a smile on your face.

Overall: 

This book is perfect if you like chick-lit novels with a little soul-searching and self-discovery mixed with romance and drama. Perhaps it isn’t the deepest story which will stay with yoy for years, but hey, we all love a light read sometimes! 

~ Sreepurna

💛

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How To Read Literature Like A Professor – Thomas C. Foster: Book Review

Summary:

What does it mean when a fictional hero takes a journey? Shares a meal? Gets drenched in a sudden rain shower? Often, there is much more going on in a novel or poem than is readily visible on the surface — a symbol, maybe, that remains elusive, or an unexpected twist on a character — and there’s that sneaking suspicion that the deeper meaning of a literary text keeps escaping you.

In this practical and amusing guide to literature, Thomas C. Foster shows how easy and gratifying it is to unlock those hidden truths, and to discover a world where a road leads to a quest; a shared meal may signify a communion; and rain, whether cleansing or destructive, is never just rain. Ranging from major themes to literary models, narrative devices, and form, How to Read Literature Like a Professor is the perfect companion for making your reading experience more enriching, satisfying, and fun.

Review:

Rating: 5/5 stars

Thomas C. Foster is your friend and favorite professor rolled into one. How To Read Literature Like A Professor solved a lot of my problems, and I can assure you, it will do the same for you, provided you are reading it for the right reasons.

Firstly, I’d like to mention that this book is used in a lot of colleges/high schools as a legit recommended reading. (LUCKY YOU). In my opinion, every English class in high school or an undergraduate year should use this book to make lives easier. I am not even exaggerating.

I am an English major in my 2nd year of college as an undergraduate, and this book helped A LOT (understatement). But that shouldn’t be a surprise, the book seems to have been written exclusively for English majors. Right? Wrong.

How To Read Literature Like A Professor isn’t only for us poor fellows doomed with a lifetime of overanalyzing. We learn all this in class anyway, albeit not in such a clear and fun way. This book is for anyone who reads. Any bibliophile who would like to really understand a book. You don’t need to be studying Literature to know a book, to read a book properly. This guide book of sorts gives you a completely new and enriched insight to literature.

If you are a student of literature, doing your masters or PhD, this might not be very useful to you. Foster mainly explains key concepts and tricks that help you read literature, and fill in the gaps your high school English teacher or college professor should have filled (They never do. They’ll expect you to know all this magically).

Foster uses a lot of examples in this book, but it shouldn’t be a problem, because (a) the examples are from pretty common books and (b) whenever he mentions a book, he explains the plot and other details so that you can understand the context.

Conclusion:

I highly recommend this book to all book lovers who need a little help to get to know books better. Not only is Foster’s writing witty and fresh, it also motivates you to go and read some books and really understand them.

Happy Reading!

~Sreepurna 💖

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Not If I See You First ~ Eric Lindstrom : Book Review

Summary

Parker Grant doesn’t need perfect vision to see right through you. That’s why she created the Rules: Don’t treat her any differently just because she’s blind and never take advantage. There will be no second chances. 

When Scott Kilpatrick, the boy who broke her heart, suddenly reappears at school, Parker knows there’s only one way to react – shun him so hard it hurts. She has enough to deal with already, like trying out for the track team, handing out tough-love advice to her painfully naive classmates and giving herself gold stars for every day she hasn’t cried since her dad’s death. But avoiding her past quickly proves impossible and the more Parker learns about what really happened – both with Scott and her dad – the more she starts to question if things are always as they seem. 

Review: 

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Things I liked about this book:

● The unique quality : There aren’t many books from the POV of a physically challenged teenager, and this was obviously interesting to read. The writing style was cliche but I like this kind of writing, it was quite captivating.

● The side characters: Gold. Somehow I could relate to a lot of side characters here. Weird.

● Certain parts were very realistic. I like how Parker isn’t really a likable character at first. Even as a whole most characters were very real, people you’d actually meet in your own high school.

● I love that this book focuses on Parker’s entire life rather than her love life specifically. The theme of friendship as depicted in this story is definitely worth reading too.

● The advice-giving sessions conducted by Parker. #RealityCheck 😂

Things I didn’t like:

● The ending??! Like what is it with YA contemporary novels and weird endings?

● Scott. I am not sure if I liked him much at all.

Overall:

Comparatively unique YA novel with a well-constructed storyline. I didn’t love the ending, but if you like loose endings where the author leaves things to your own interpretation, this one is for you. Even otherwise, Not If I See You First is worth a read because of its fresh concepts, steady pace and a wonderfully diverse group of characters.

~ Sreepurna

💜

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After The Fire ~ Will Hill : Book Review // A must-read

I finished reading this book ages back, but couldn’t review it because of exams 😦 Anywho..

Summary:

Father John controls everything inside The Fence. And Father John likes rules. Especially about never talking to Outsiders. Because Father John knows the truth. He knows what is right, and what is wrong. He knows what is coming.

 

Moonbeam is starting to doubt, though. She’s starting to see the lies behind Father John’s words. She wants him to be found out.


What if the only way out of the darkness is to light a fire?

Review:
Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

The things I have seen. They’re burned into me, like scars that refuse to fade.”

This book gave me major goosebumps.

When I first started reading this, I had NO idea what it was about. But the writing style was engrossing, so I was hooked. By the time I finished it though, I realised it is SO much more than what I initially imagined it to be.

After The Fire has been published as a YA novel, but I feel like that’s a misleading term, to a point. The main character, Moonbeam, is an young adult, but the themes in this books are something that adult audiences shouldn’t miss either.

The storyline, first of all, is very unique, atleast to me. There are of course many novels about cults, but I haven’t read many, and I am sure not many of them are for such a wide range of readers. I am not going to go into the details of the story, which I know is unhelpful, but I don’t want to give anything away.

I loved Moonbeam’s point of view, and the Before- After chapter style. The story was thoroughly chilling, at times horrifying, and throughout intriguing. I had a lot of questions while reading it, but everything was answered in the end, zero loopholes.

The story also involves psychological treatment of a girl who hasn’t known “normal” in a long long time. I am no psychology student, but I think all the processes and results shown in the book were pretty realistic and genuine. 

As for the other characters, again I can’t go much into details without giving spoilers, so I suggest you should just read the book. 😂 

There were definitely negative things about this book. Mainly, it was silghtly repetitive at parts. But my counter argument is that the repetitiveness was required for full effect, all the detailed descriptions of the horrific crimes going on inside the cult were necessary, to prove the point of the story.

However, I would like to mention, this book doesn’t condemn or criticise any religious practices. It talks about an extremist cult, it ultimately boils down to power and corruption and not religious beliefs. It teaches you how powerful and convincing some people can be and also is a story of survival and recovery.

Overall, this book is highly recommended to readers of any genre. It’s dark and moving and entirely captivating. Thanks to the publishers for sending in an ARC, because I would have missed reading this wonderful book otherwise.

~ Sreepurna

💞

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Waiting for the Beast (Lucifer’s Clock) (Vol. 1) ~ T. Hayden : Book Review 

Summary: 

Angelica is drop dead gorgeous, lives in a sprawling mansion with her two aunts, attends a prestigious private school, is an A student and excels at everything she does effortlessly. She has a great life. That is until her 16th birthday and her family is forced to tell her the truth.Her aunts are actually supernatural beings that have been charged with protecting Angelica from her father, Lucifer. He has put a bounty on Angelica’s head and every creature from the Abyssal Realm a.k.a Hell is looking for her. In addition she has a hot guardian angel that has been assigned to her since birth that she can now see. She is suddenly thrust into a dangerous, magical world. Between dealing with her new identity, a love interest, hiding from her father, and just trying to be a teenager she has to make a decision to run, fight or wait for the darkness to consume her

Review: 

Rating: 3.5/5 stars

I couldn’t put this book down once I started it! It was extremely fast-paced and highly entertaining. And to top it all off, it sent me into this paranormal romance craving, and I went about reading books from that genre all throughout last month. 

Out of all the characters, I believe Michael was my favorite. He is so sweet (not to mention swoon-worthy). I loved how kickass archangel Gabriel is too. The main character, Angelica, is a little naive and juvenile, but that’s realistic if you consider her background and age. Although I disliked Lucifer a lot, perhaps, somewhere the character might have a chance for redemption later in the series? Or maybe not.

The author’s writing style is quite appreciable considering this is her debut novel. I am not very familiar to the Bible, I only read it last year because it was part of my Literature course, but I did not have problem understanding the story because it was all explained quite well. At times the supernatural aspect was a little too overwhelming, but otherwise I enjoyed reading the story a lot.

The romance part of this story was very innocent and sweet, and I can’t wait to know the rest of the story! The ending was perhaps not a straight cliff hanger; but I became so invested in the characters that I need to know whar happens next.

Overall I would recommend Waiting for the Beast to fans of fantasy and paranormal stories. I’d say it’s also appropriate for a YA audience. The author is very talented and the story is fluid and captivating. The plotline is also very unique and fresh!

Get yourself a copy here:

https://www.amazon.com/Waiting-Beast-Lucifers-Clock-1/dp/1500900168/ref=sr_1_1_twi_pap_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1487781088&sr=8-1&keywords=waiting+for+the+beast+book

~ Sreepurna.

💜




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Perfect (Flawed #2) ~ Cecelia Ahern: Book Review // The year-long wait was worth it!

Summary:

Celestine North is Flawed.

Ever since Judge Crevan declared her the number one threat to the public, she has been a ghost, on the run with Carrick, the only person she can trust. 

But Celestine has a secret—one that could bring the entire Flawed system crumbling to the ground. A secret that has already caused countless people to go missing. 

Judge Crevan is gaining the upper hand, and time is running out for Celestine. With tensions building, Celestine must make a choice: save just herself or risk her life to save all Flawed people.

Review:
Rating – ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 1/2 (4.5/5 stars)

This was one of my most anticipated reads of 2017!

The moment I started this book, I got hit by the familiarity of Ahern’s writing style. Flawed was very well-written, but I feel like the writing style was more experimental. However,Perfect started off in a way that’s so typically Cecelia Ahern, it warmed my heart to the very core. Need I gush more about how much I love her writing?

Let’s start with the characters. I adore Celestine and Carrick, but I think this series has really interesting side characters, even the antagonists. I love how, keeping with the spirit of the story, none of the characters are made to seem perfect, or wholly flawed (maybe Judge Crevan though? I HATE HIM). I don’t want to give much away, but there is a character in this book called Lennox, and he is bae. I love what Ahern did with his storyline in the end.Even the really gray and shady characters were interesting to read about, because they had such gripping backstories.

Can we talk about the romance in this book? It satisfied my romancy-hungry heart; BUT I can say for sure that those who don’t like cheesiness will appreciate the story too. There is a love triangle, and though I hate those, it was very very well executed here. I love how Celestine does not merely lose all her feelings for one boy when she falls in love with another. She is conflicted but not in that horrible stringing-you-along way.

This second installment of the duology was perhaps even faster paced than the first. Some parts were horribly shocking, and very emotional. There were chapters which totally changed the whole track unexpectedly, and those were the best.

There were a few tiny details that bugged me though. For example, the plotline was very dependent on the existence of nice people in the world, and Celestine was helped by wayyyyy too many people. There was also this sort of unnecessary stress on symbolism, which gave a nice effect and shine to the story, but was unnecessary all the same.

Overall I thought this series was a really good YA debut. Although the dystopian world is a little overused nowadays, Ahern’s superb storytelling style is unique and worth the read. The series and this book in particular is not only thrilling, it also makes you stop and think about the present world and our obsession with striving to be flawless.

~ Sreepurna

💜 

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The List // Beauty and the Beast Retellings : Readalongs and Reviews (#BATBretellingthoughts)

QOTD: Do you know of any Beauty and The Beast Retellings? Are any of the books I have listed in your TBR?


As promised, here’s the list of Beauty and The Beast retellings that I know of, that I have read or intend to read in the near future.

(Read)

1. Beastly – Alex Flinn: Review coming soon. Also, I intend to watch the movie soon. Because Alex Pettyfer.

2. Lord Of Scoundrels (Scoundrels #3) : Loretta James : Review coming soon. Can be read as a standalone.

3. When Beauty Tamed The Beast (Fairy Tales #2) – Eloisa James : Can be read as a standalone. Review coming soon.

4. A Court Of Thorns And Roses (A Court Of Thorns And Roses #1) – Sarah J. Maas : Who hasn’t read this? I won’t do a normal review, but I might tell you about how this book was a perfect retelling of Beauty and The Beast.

(TBR)

5. Cruel Beauty – Rosamund Hudge : Heard great things. And the cover? Dayum ❤

6. Uprooted – Naomi Novik : Fantasy. And as far I have heard, it has a “whimsical” writing style. Which kinda intimidates me so Idk what to do about this book 😂

7. A Rose In Winter – Kathleen E. Woodiwiss : Historical romance I am guessing? I have read Woodiwiss’ novels before. They are entertaining enough but a bit dragging.

8. Beauty – Robin McKinley : Well, now that’s a direct reference to BATB. We’ll see how the story goes 🙂

9. Hunted – Meagan Spooner : This fantasy (?) novel recently came under the spotlight so I am intrigued.

10. Seven Nights In A Rogue’s Bed (Sons of Sin #1) – Anna Campbell : Obviously this is only for readers like me who don’t mind the (more than) occassional trashy romance. Hey, they are delicious okay? No judging.

So let’s go over the rules again:

If you want to join,

1. Review any of these books / Take a picture of it and post it on Instagram if it’s on your TBR

2. Basically let’s just discuss and fangirl and debate.

3. Tag me in the blogpost or the Insta post.

4. If it’s an Insta post, add #BATBretellingthoughts

OR

You can just read the reviews that’ll be coming soon and comment your thoughts and just like the post 😂 I don’t ask for much 😂😂

Let me know your spoiler free thoughts about any of these books.

~ Sreepurna.

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Welcome, welcome // Beauty and the Beast Retellings: Readalong and Reviews (#BATBretellingthoughts)


I have always, always loved the story of this bookish and peculiar yet pretty girl who is imprisoned by the “beast”, a brute with a seemingly cold heart and how these creatures you assume are beasts are not really the beastly ones.

So when the live-action movie came out, I obviously watched it.

And fell in love with the story all over again.

I did some research and came up with a list of Beauty and The Beast retellings that I wanted to read over this month, and perhaps even over this year. So this series will have reviews of retellings of Beauty and The Beast, one book per post, or more if I decide to do shorter reviews.

There will be books from multiple genres and subgenres, such as high fantasy, historical romance, urban fantasy, etc.

I’ll be really happy if any of you want to join me in reading these. You can read the ones I have on my list, or find some other books like these. OR you can post reviews and/or photos of retellings you have already read before. All you have to do is either post about it on Instagram with the hashtag #BATBretellingthoughts OR make a blog post about it where you add a link to this page so that more people know about this.

I’ll be posting a list of books I plan to read if any of you are interested in this whole thing. I hope you are!

I have already read some retellings, I’ll put up reviews of them pretty soon. And if you know of any such books, please let me know in the comments below!

{Follow me on Instagram: @afterthoughts_ }

(Photo credit: Pinterest)

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The Phoenix Project (The Liberty Box #3) by C.A Gray : Book Review // The perfect finale to the Liberty Box Trilogy

Summary: 

The haven city of Beckenshire has been demolished, and most of the rebels lie beneath the rubble. The few that remain scramble to communicate with the outside world, knowing that if they are to stand a chance in the coming war, they can’t do it alone. In a last ditch effort to grow their ranks, the remaining rebels systematically destroy the repeaters which help to propagate the control center signals. And it’s working: citizens in targeted cities are waking up in droves. But Ben Voltolini will stop at nothing to quell the uprising before it has a chance to get off the ground. And he has one major ace up his sleeve: Kate Brandeis. 

During Kate’s broadcast to the nation, Voltolini unleashed targeted brainwave signals against her, causing her to allow both Jackson MacNamera’s capture, and her own. Now, despite Voltolini’s exquisite wining and dining, she can’t seem to stop the panic attacks. Whom can she trust? What is truth? Is there even such a thing? 

Meanwhile, imprisoned and hopeless, Jackson realizes the depths of his feelings for Kate only after he has already lost her. The incredible self-control upon which he prides himself gets put to the ultimate test when he meets an unlikely ally who just may turn the tide in the rebels’ favor—but only if Jackson can put aside his own bitterness. In this gripping conclusion to The Liberty Box Trilogy, new and surprising alliances are formed, passions run high, and our heroes learn what they are really made of. Do they have what it takes to fight for freedom—even if it means paying the ultimate price?

Review: 

Rating: 4 stars

The second book of this series ended with a perfect cliffhanger, so naturally I was very excited for this book to release, and it was all I dreamt of.

When The Phoenix Project started off, I was quite frustrated, but in a good way. The atmosphere was tense and it was a complete page-turner, I was captivated by how fast the world pulled me into it again. I read the whole thing in one sitting; the thrill and suspense not letting me put the book down at all.

I absolutely adored Jackson in this book. He was so kickass and sweet and just amazing. Sometimes stories like these get a little overwhelming either on the romance part, or on the action. But I love how balanced this series is, it has the perfect dose of everything.

I have admired certain things about this series from the beginning, one being the inclusion and treatment of science. Sci-fi books these days tend to go so off-track, but the author showed great skill while incorporating the science factors in the story, it was not very complicated, but just enough.However, I do wish I could connect a little more to the characters.

I loved how this series ended as well. It was completely satisfactory and didn’t drag on unnecessarily. The Liberty Box trilogy is a definite recommendation for anybody who wants to read a science fiction dystopian series which not only has an original and interesting plotline, but is also very well written.

~ Sreepurna.

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Fragmented Bliss ~ B.J. Rosalind: Book Review // A poetic journey through love, life and healing.

Summary:

A collection of honest musings on the misadventures of life and love, “Fragmented Bliss” embarks readers on a journey to collapse in laughter and tears because that is how galaxies of memories are formed.

Review:

Rating : 4 stars

“People forget that people who can swim drown too”

I generally don’t read poetry collections as a whole, but I am glad I read this one. I was madly in love with B.J. Rosalind’s words from the very first page. Poems can be lyrical, extravagant, full of poetic devices like metaphors and paradoxes, but what struck me about these poems was the sheer honesty in them. It felt like each and every one of them came from the very soul.

None of the writings are very difficult to understand, they are straightforward and impactful, just how I prefer poems to be. I am of course not any expert in poetry, but I believe art is something you need to feel to understand, and I can’t tell you about the technicalities of the poems but I can tell you they made me feel.

My favorite part about the book was the uniqueness of each poem. Even though they are written by one person, the voices and stories felt different and you can see a lot of perspectives, so it is easier to relate to atleast one of them. A lot of the poems are also open-ended, you can interpret them in your own way.

Some of my favorite poems in the collection were Tangled, Elementary School, The Perfect Student, Inevitable, 6 reasons I hate attachments, Four Phases, To Young Girls, etc…… you get the picture? The whole book was pretty amazing, I think I bookmarked most of the pages.

Overall this is a very beautiful debut, and if you are interested in reading poetry or like reading the fantastic ones we see one Tumblr, you should surely give this book a go. I am looking forward to see more of this young author’s work in future.

“Now, go be your own hero.”

Buy this book from Amazon here

~ Sreepurna.

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Dangerous Games ~ Danielle Steel : Book Review // My first Danielle Steel novel!

Summary:

Television correspondent Alix Phillips dodges bullets and breaks rules to bring the most important news to the world from riots in America to protests on the streets of Tehran. With her daughter in college, and working alongside cameraman Ben Chapman, a deeply private ex-Navy SEAL, Alix revels in the risks and whirlwind pace of her work. But her latest assignment puts her at the center of an explosive story that will reshape many lives, including her own: investigating damning allegations involving the vice president of the United States, Tony Clark.

Alix starts with a nationally revered woman who may be the key to exposing frightening secrets. Olympia Foster is the fragile, reclusive widow of America’s most admired senator, who had been destined for the presidency before an assassin’s bullet felled him. Since then, Olympia has found emotional support from Clark, who once wanted her as his wife and now stands as her protector and confidant. When Alix begins to dig deeper, federal agents pick up the trail. Then the threats begin.

As the stakes rise in this dangerous game, Alix needs Ben’s help as never before. And soon they realize they are grappling with an adversary far more sinister than they had imagined.

Review:

Rating: 4/5 stars

I have heard A LOT about Danielle Steel novels, and they keep popping up on my Goodreads Recommendations. However, this was my first time reading one, and I was pretty excited.

The book started off in a both slow as well gripping manner. The narrative was smooth, hence I had to keep reading, however, it took a long time to reach the main incidents in the story. But I guess the character backgrounds were also necessary, hence the delay.

The main plotline was quite interesting and very relevant to current real-life incidents. I won’t say the portrayal of the whole world was very realistic all the time though, and if you forget this is fiction, you might have problems with it. But I read it with the intention of enjoying the book, and so it worked well for me.

My favourite part was how this story seems to be about Alix Phillips, a journalist slash television correspondent, who “dodges bullets”for her career, but ends up being two individuals — Alix and Olympia. They are both very different women, and the character development shown here is remarkable. Olympia, a grieving widow, stuck in a limbo since her husband’s death, isn’t a likable character in the beginning, but Danielle Steel slowly transforms her, infusing strength into her in every page. Alix, a fierce and independent woman, also struggles with her own issues throughout the book.

The language used is really simple but it makes the book an easy read, even for someone like me who does not understand much about politics at all. The romance is sort of half hearted, but it’s good for people who don’t want a mushy read. I also love how there are some parts where the author adds gentle irony to criticise issues, it makes the book funny as well.

The ending was really strange and abrupt, and leaves a scope for a sequel, but I am not sure about that.

Overall an enjoyable read, perfect for lazy weekends, with just the right amount thrill, intrigue, depth and an added sprinkle of romance.

~ Sreepurna.

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COVER REVEAL : Dangerous Games by Danielle Steel (RELEASING TODAY!)

PanMacmillan India is releasing Dangerous Games today!

Danielle Steel is the biggest selling living fiction author in the world

Global sales approaching 1 billion copies

80 titles across 69 countries in 45 languages

No. 1 International bestseller in all formats

 Check out the beautiful cover of her latest book:

Link for Indians interested in buying the book:

https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/1509860665/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=&sr=
Summary:

Dangerous Games is a gripping story of family, ambition and power by bestselling phenomenon, Danielle Steel. 
Alix Phillips is a successful TV news journalist always willing to put herself on the frontline for her job. All that matters is getting the story. 
After great loss in her early life, Alix struggles to let anyone get too close. The only people she has allowed to get close to her are her mother, Isabelle – their bond is so strong that it crosses oceans – and her nineteen-year-old daughter, Faye. And Ben, her friend and cameraman. Neither of them fears death – it’s love that is more terrifying. 
When Alix’s boss suspects a major political scandal in the White House involving the Vice-President, he sends Alix to uncover the truth. This story could blow the corridors of power wide open and this time Alix is feeling the heat. But then she receives some devastating news which helps her to put her life in perspective and find out what is truly important to her. 
For someone who was never scared, Alix now realizes that the time has come to play some very Dangerous Games.
—–

~Sreepurna

💚

P.S: I am so sick I can’t keep my eyes open for too long, so sorry for any typos.

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Before I Fall ~ Lauren Oliver : Book Review // Excitement for movie (released on March 3, 17)

Summary: 

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Review:

Rating: 4 stars

Things I liked:

• The ending. Although the whole story reminded me of other books, the ending was unique and I love the moral.

• Character development. In retrospect, the whole point of the story was character development, and it was beautifully carried out.

• Kent. I was wayyyy more obsessed with this character than I was supposed to be. He was so unique, and so unlike other characters in YA novels.

• The literary references. Like how Sam uses her English class knowledge (page 44, last two lines, for those who have read the book). Also the Biblical allusions, which I missed in the beginning, but it all suddenly clicked near the ending.

• The writing style. It’s very poetic, and I love the basis on which the book has been divided.

Things I didn’t like: 

• It was kind of repetitive. I know that was necessary for the plot, but still.

• I wish this book wasn’t created along the lines of so many other YA novels. So many parts reminded me of If I Stay and Paper Towns. It was like John Green, David Levithan, Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven had a conference and cooked up the idea.

Overall

I am very excited to watch the movie. It looks much better than I imagined. Here’s the trailer if you still haven’t watched it:

https://youtu.be/f5hIJsdIQCc
This book is worth reading if you want a YA novel with a twist and a moral.

~ Sreepurna

💚

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Worldwide (Boy Band#3) ~ Jacqueline E. Smith : Book Review

Summary:

Melissa Parker’s secret is out. 

Now that the entire world knows she’s dating Sam Morneau, Mel suddenly finds herself and her relationship under the intense scrutiny of celebrity gossip bloggers, curious fans, and appropriately concerned family members. 

But then, that’s nothing compared to the other secrets and scandals that plague The Kind of September. In the midst of their long-anticipated world tour, a toxic combination of infidelity and betrayal has left the band and its fan base angry, confused, and ultimately broken. 

No one ever said that life with the world’s most popular boy band was easy, but in spite of everything she’s seen, Mel is still willing to believe that it’s worth it.

REVIEW:

Rating : 4 stars out of 5

This book was possibly my favorite one in the series yet? The story has become SO much more interesting at this point, I NEED to know the rest of it ASAP.

I have always loved the Boy Band characters. Sam is hilarious, Mel is quite funny herself in that awkward way of hers. I love all the boys (even Jesse), but right now let’s just say there is one boy in the band, I am unhappy with *cough* Mr. Bad Choices *cough*

Worldwide provides an even more detailed picture of the negative sides of fame. Even though Sam and Mel try their best to handle things as smoothly as possible, they face a lot of hardships, and this was portrayed VERY realistically, through fan tweets and newspaper article snippets.

Jacqueline E. Smith’s easy going style of writing is something I admire in all of her books. The story always progresses fast and efficiently. I finished this book in one single sitting and loved every second of it. I say this all the time, and will repeat it again- I love how each Boy Band novel ends with us readers NEEDING the next book NOW. It increases my respect for the book every time.

My favorite part of the book though was the chapter intro style. All the Boy Band novel chapters begin with a couple of lines from a song by the fictional band in the series, or by the other musicians mentioned in the book. I love the idea, but Worldwide had the best lyrics out of all the boy band novels. 💕

So if you love music and/or boy bands, cute romances, stories about friendship and love and drama and celebrities — go pick up these books now!

~ Sreepurna.

💚

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Lose Me – M.C. Frank : Review // Did you just say “Darcy, who?” 

Summary:

LOSE ME. by M. C. Frank is a YA/NA novel about acting, kissing, dying and redemption.

Weston Spencer is an English actor, the new social media darling. Just fresh from finishing his hit TV show, THE WATER WARS, the one that made girls all over the planet scream for a glimpse of his dirty-blond hair and emerald eyes, he wants to turn to more serious projects. This fall he is filming FIRST SENTENCES, a modern Pride and Prejudice adaptation, in the picturesque Greek island of Corfu. When not filming, he’s planning to spend his free time with his best friend, Ollie, on his yacht, the L&H. But on the day before shooting starts, a girl almost drowns right in front of his eyes. 

Her name is Ari Demos and she’s a half Greek, kick-ass stunt girl, with a dark secret no one knows -she’s even trying to deny it herself.

Wes dismisses her as too unimportant when he first meets her, but…. but. Turns out she isn’t unimportant. In fact, quite the opposite.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 stars

This book hit me like a truck. My poor heart is still healing from the after-effects. 

First of all, let me tell you a little spoiler-free background of the characters. Wes Spencer is the new love of my life. Umm, he reads. Yes people, our hero READS. You need anything else? No? I figured. As for Ari Demos, half-Greek stunt girl, in the beginning of the book, I thought I wouldn’t relate to her at all. But I had to change my mind later. I usually don’t spend much time thinking about side characters, but Ollie (Weston’s best friend) was another character I absolutely adored. Katia, Ari’s best friend, had a small part in the book, but I have eerie similarities with that character.

M. C Frank’s writing style. Never in my life will I stop admiring it, or grow tired of appreciating it. Even in such an intense book, there were some really funny or sarcastic parts in the narrative, which made the book all the more enjoyable. I loved that there were parts in the story which were told through text messages, journal entries, news articles and Tumblr posts. It added the contemporary feel to the story. There were so many book references, and not only Pride and Prejudice ones. 

There were parts where I felt like the story was going down a predictable road, but ultimately it didn’t. There were so many twists I did not expect. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. That doesn’t mean it did not shatter my heart. All I can say without giving away anything, is that all the emotions in the book were so very realistically portrayed. I did not expect the story to affect me and teach me as much as it did. It brought back memories I don’t like to remember but, well, quoting the book, “I wouldn’t change anything. Not even the pain”. 🙈

The setting for most part of the story is Corfu, and that added in a plus factor for me, because I have always been curious about this island ever since I read My Family And Other Animals. *sheepish smile* 

All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a quality YA contemporary romance. I am completely in love with the story, and I hope you all love it as much as I did!

Preorder it on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01MZD6PIO/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b01mzd6pio
~ Sreepurna.
💜

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Lyrebird – Cecelia Ahern : Book Review

413 pages

Published: November 3, 2016

ISBN13: 9780007501861

Summary: 



Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…

Review:

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars

At this point I have blind faith on Cecelia Ahern. I went into this book knowing that it’d be good, and I obviously wasn’t disappointed.

Ahern’s writing has always had a very lyrical quality to it, and somehow the atmosphere and characters in Lyrebird just enhance this, and give the story a whole lot of added magic.

The concept, as usual, was really unique. Laura, the beautiful mysterious woman Solomon and Bo discover living alone in a mountainous locality, is the lyrebird. She literally can mimic any sound she hears, and tends to do so more when she is upset or anxious. This magical girl is brought to our noisy world and the story shows her transfer from the solitary life in the wilderness to the hustling and bustling city, while she discovers more about life and people.

I loved Laura, and I could relate to Bo, somewhat. I sometimes found Solomon a little weak, though. But somehow these just made them all so real.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. The thing about Cecelia Ahern is that her books don’t fit into any particular genre, and I feel like most people should give her books a try.

If you still aren’t sold, take a look at the cover of the book. And judge it by this cover.

~ Sripurna.

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Carve The Mark : Veronica Roth ~ SPOILER FREE Review // ASDFGHJKL this book ohmygod just so much

Summary :

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.

The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

Review:

Rating: 5 stars

Let me just start with the fact that I wasn’t a Veronica Roth fan after reading Divergent. I loved the series, but not EVERYTHING about it.

BUT THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING.

My favorite genre being sheer, unadulterated romance, I didn’t think I’d like a Sci-Fi book right now. But when I saw that beautiful map of a fictional galaxy on the very first page of Carve The Mark, I was sold.

Akos and Cyra stole my heart completely. Both of them had an amazing amount of character development throughout the book, and (maybe because I am fangirling too hard) I can’t find a flaw in them, or rather, can’t find a flaw that I don’t love and accept.

The pace was perfect, the world-building, which was CRUCIAL in this book, was flawlessly done. The visuals, as in Divergent, are very vivid in this book too. The point where I found out the reason for the name of this book; I think my parents thought I was going crazy the way I was jumping and squealing.

Veronica Roth also has a wonderful way of developing side characters without boring the reader. I want to keep this spoiler free, so that’s all I’ll say about this.

And the ending. We won’t talk about it. Somebody give me information about the next book in this series please.

Overall; I think this is a book you should DEFINITELY read if you are into YA. There’s romance, friendship, family bonding, and a whole new galaxy waiting for you.

And now that I have shown my appreciation, please excuse me while I sit in the corner and stare at the wall till the next book comes out.

~ Sreepurna 💙

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Tiny Pretty Things by Sona Charaipotra & Dhonielle Clayton ~ Book Review // a.k.a the book I severely underestimated.


Summary: 

Gigi, Bette, and June, three top students at an exclusive Manhattan ballet school, have seen their fair share of drama. Free-spirited new girl Gigi just wants to dance—but the very act might kill her. Privileged New Yorker Bette’s desire to escape the shadow of her ballet star sister brings out a dangerous edge in her. And perfectionist June needs to land a lead role this year or her controlling mother will put an end to her dancing dreams forever. When every dancer is both friend and foe, the girls will sacrifice, manipulate, and backstab to be the best of the best.

Review :

Rating: 4.5 stars

I underestimated this book so much.

Out of the three books I received from HarperCollins for review last week, this was the one I was least interested in. Which is why I picked it up first (you know, saving the best for the last and all). I went into it quite blindly, having just skimmed through the back cover summary. All I knew was that it was about a ballet school, and no joke, I just expected lots of YA drama about white girls dressed in tutus (which would be great, but a little cliched).

I was blown away with the diversity in this book, in terms of race and sexual orientation. What I loved more though was that no specific race was specifically victimized and the girls were defined as separate human beings, instead of being cliche portrayals based on skin colour.

I know practically nothing about ballet. But that didn’t really prove to be much of a problem, because the story mainly dealt with the personal lives of the teens, not the technical ballet side of it. The cutthroat competition, desperate moves, it was all so well described, I didn’t need to be a ballet expert to appreciate Tiny Pretty Things.

The characters of this book are really complex and well-formed. I initially loved Gigi the most, but later on I felt like she is the one with the least amount of dimensions. Bette and June have much deeper tones to them, and throughout the course of the story, I started having a neutral opinion about the characters.

I recommend this book to anyone who wants a heavier and more thought provoking young adult novel. The name of the book is terribly misleading, and I am finding it hard to classify into a genre, but this is one eye-opening book that is worth a read.

Somebody please get me the second book in this duology.

~ Sreepurna. 💜

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Backstage (Boy Band #2) – Jacqueline E.  Smith : Book Review 

Summary

Melissa Parker might just be the luckiest girl on the planet. 

She’s just turned twenty-one. 

She’s best friends with The Kind of September. 

And she’s dating Sam Morneau, everyone’s ultimate celebrity crush. Of course, no one is supposed to know about that. 

As it turns out, no one is supposed to know about a lot of things that happen behind the scenes of life with the planet’s most popular boy band. Now, what should be Happily Ever After for Mel and Sam is turning into a series of secrets, manipulation, and potential heartbreak… Just in time for The Kind of September’s world tour.

Review:

Rating : 4/5 stars 

Thanks to the author for providing me with a review copy 💕

Things I liked about this book:

● From the very beginning, Backstage had this aspect of suspense. With the cliffhanger ending of the previous book, the story took a tense turn, and I had to find out what happens next.

The lead couple, Sam and Mel were so cute 💕

● As with the first book, in this one too, I felt really personally invested in the lives of the characters.

● The writing style is simple, sweet and relatable.

● THE ENDING. Jacqueline E. Smith knows exactly where to end her books. I increased the rating by one whole star just because of the ending. It makes you feel like jumping on to the next book ASAP!

Things I didn’t like about the book:

It felt a little cliche at times, and some incidents in the book reminded me of real life celebrities, and unfortunately I am not very fond of those same celebrities and their actions. (Wow that sounded so much meaner than I intended it to be 😓)

Overall:

I feel like people who like to read YA novels about romance and friendship and life problems and who love fangirling over boy bands and celebrities (like I do) should DEFINITELY give this series a go ❤

My review of Book 1:

https://thelonelybooklover.wordpress.com/2016/11/06/review-boy-band-by-jacqueline-e-smith/

~ Sripurna

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No Plain Rebel- M.C. Frank: Review //Goes straight to my Top 5 reads of 2016


No Plain Rebel (No Ordinary Star #2)

M.C. Frank

Summary:

A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix a the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do. 

A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive. 

A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack. 

The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty. 

The year is 2525. 


Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic novel is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace. 

Written in three installments, this is the breathtaking and sensual story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time. 

Immerse yourself into the icy cold world of this scorching hot new novel. 

In No Plain Rebel, Felix finds out the truth. 

Or so he thinks. He’s trying to come to terms with that, as well as with the fact that the Clockmaster’s shack has been discovered by his fellow-soldiers, but he can’t exactly concentrate. The match girl’s fiery curls appear before his eyes every ten seconds, distracting him, and then he starts talking to her in his head. 

Because she’s no longer there. 

The Stadium is looming in the distance. 

It’s ten heartbeats to midnight.


Review:
Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5

This book is magic.

“I hate you back, he tries to say, only his lungs can’t draw in enough air.” 

Things I liked about this book:

Everything. I repeat, EVERYTHING.

Writing reviews is sometimes really frustrating. I just can’t explain how sincere I am about my feelings for this book. It’s so easy not to trust a review. And so difficult to make people believe I mean every word from the bottom of my heart.

M.C. Frank is amazingly talented. I have read her book Ruined before this (https://thelonelybooklover.wordpress.com/2016/09/09/ruined-by-m-c-frank-review-spoiler-free/), it’s a historical romance which I LOVED. I can’t believe the same person can write a dystopian fiction with such ease and make it COMPLETELY different and unique. As I mentioned in my review of book 1 of this series (https://thelonelybooklover.wordpress.com/2016/11/28/no-ordinary-star-part-1-m-c-frank-book-review-this-will-be-short-because-i-need-to-read-the-next-part-now/), I am in awe.

When M.C. Frank describes the freezing cold breeze of the North Pole, you literally shiver. No joke. When she writes of Astra describing Felix holding her, I kid you not, it felt like someone lit a warm cosy fire near my soul.

I stayed up till 2.00 a.m. last night, reading No Plain Rebel and came to the conclusion that it is one of my favorite dystopian novels. I have read many books of this genre, in fact I started finding them quite boring and similar. But ohmygod this series is so good I can literally cry.

I am so emotionally vested in Astra and Felix’s lives, that my heart is in the author’s hands now. I don’t have any idea what can happen in the third book of the series but I am waiting with bated breath to find out.

Things I didn’t like about the book: 

This probably makes me a bad reviewer, but I couldn’t find a single flaw in this book.If you don’t believe me, read the book and show me ONE flaw.

Also:

This is not a sad book per se. And I don’t usually cry after reading books (I did not cry after TFIOS or Nicholas Sparks books). Then why did I tear up while reading No Plain Rebel?

I guess you never know WHAT could be a trigger for someone. You could find something cute, while I could cry buckets over the same story.

Also (this is the last one):

Please read this book. I am not asking as a reviewer. I am asking as a fellow book lover. If you want to read a solid good book which teaches you things and yet want to enjoy it, read this book.

Amazon purchase links: 

No Ordinary Star (Part 1):  https://www.amazon.com/No-Ordinary-Star-M-C-Frank/dp/1518681093

No Plain Rebel (Part 2): https://www.amazon.com/No-Plain-Rebel-Ordinary-Star/dp/1519171994

~Sripurna ❤

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How to motivate yourself to study (10 steps) // Study motivation tips 

I haven’t done a non-book-review post in ages!😂

I am a freshman in college, and my first semester just ended. Can’t motivate yourself to study? Trust me, there is no one more sympathetic than I am. But if your finals are near, and you just CAN’T sit long enough to study, here are some things that can help you to concentrate more, and be more inspired to study.

Comment below if you already use any of these tricks or found this article useful! ^_^

1. Get inspiration! : Studyblr

Studyblr is this community on Tumblr that post pictures and tips and tricks about studying. They post about everything study-related, and I swear this is SO inspiring. When you see other people studying and working hard, it triggers this part of your brain, and makes you go, “Hey, I can do this too!”. If you aren’t on Tumblr, you can search with the same keyword on Google Images or Pinterest.

However, like all things Tumblr, studyblr is also very addictive, and sometimes you just end up wasting a lot of time looking at pictures of other people working instead of getting your own work done. So I’d suggest you do this a while before you start your actual preparations. That way you’ll be inspired, but it won’t take away the crucial hours of the week before the finals.

2. Dress for success 

I am not telling you dress up like you are going to a party, no. Dress comfortably, be relaxed. But sometimes getting too comfortable makes you feel lazy, specially if you already have a habit of falling asleep while studying. So dress a LITTLE less homely, maybe wear a pair of jeans instead of PJs?

3. Search for your study space. 

It doesn’t matter where you study as long  as you can concentrate there. I know everybody says that you shouldn’t study on your bed, but I don’t own a study desk, and my bed is where I get most of my studying done. It’s completely your own decision. You can also try a library or somewhere outdoors if that’s what works for you.

4. Tidy it up!:  Clean your study space

This one is a no-brainer. The moment a desk or your bed is cleaner, you’ll feel more motivated to begin working. So pop those headphones and start cleaning that messy desk before your finals week, and KEEP IT CLEAN.

5. Start planning: Schedule

You don’t need any fancy BuJo (although I am guilty of using a DIY-ed one 🙈 ). Just get a clean piece of paper, decide your study schedule for the day or preferably the whole week. Working with a checklist next to you is VERY motivating and you’ll definitely be more driven to finish your work, and put that tick on your schedule page.


6. Words mean a lot: Inspirational quotes

I used to hate those typical inspirational sayings, but during exams they just make so much sense. By nature I am an unambitious person, and that is VERY detrimental to my studies. These quotes make me want to work harder and achieve something, even if the feeling is temporary.

Tip : You might want to put these quotes somewhere where you’ll see it often. Like maybe as your phone wallpaper?

Check Pinterest for more, but REMEMBER TO GET BACK TO STUDYING.

7. Phone a friend!: Discuss studying with friends

I am against group study because I love my friends and I have too much fun with them to put all that aside and actually study. But, when you aren’t together, it’s easier to change the topic when you are texting. Try texting about studying. Ask them what they are studying now, how much they have completed. Also, if they have any doubt, explain the topic to them, and you’ll be done with your own revision that way.

8. Take what you need

Before sitting down for a study session, take out all that you might need, so that you don’t have to get up again and again to bring over stuff. This decreases distractions. (I feel like making a post about “Things you need for a study session” 😂) (I am on a roll)

9. Keep away distractions

I ALWAYS need my phone to study because I study a LOT of things online (Sparknotes, JSTOR, Wikipedia :p ), so it’s very difficult for me to keep away distractions. I can neither switch off the phone, nor turn off the WiFi. So what I do is turn off notifications for Whatsapp and other apps, and I also close any tabs that might distract me (like Kindle. How many times have you started reading a book when you should be studying?)

10. Be creative : Make your notes pretty 

Don’t spend a lot of time on this. Most people think this is an utter waste of time, my friends have even laughed at my notes, but this works for me. I like being creative and artsy, so decorating my notes is one way to make myself sit with my notebook and read the material. If you are a very studious person who uses up every second to study, or if you are a person who does not study AT ALL and won’t know where to draw the line, I suggest you don’t do this. But it’s fun. And colourful notes help you remember things better.

…………………

However, these are just some tricks that worked for ME. I hope it works for you, but obviously we are all different people and I can’t guarantee you that these tricks will work for sure.

Remember to comment and follow me for more such articles!

~ Sripurna ❤

*All photos used are taken by me. Please use credit in case you use it again.*

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No Ordinary Star (Part 1) – M.C. Frank : Book Review // This will be short because I NEED TO READ THE NEXT PART NOW

Summary :

A soldier is summoned to the North Pole, days before the year changes, told to fix the great Clock for a celebration. He has no idea what to do. 

A girl, hunted for the crime of being born, almost dies out on the ice. She is rescued by the last polar bear left alive. 

A library waits for them both, a library built over a span of a hundred years, forgotten in the basement of an ice shack. 

The world hasn’t known hunger or sickness in hundreds of years. It has also forgotten love and beauty. 

The year is 2525. 


Inspired by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic novel is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace. 


Written in three installments, this is the breathtaking and sensual story of how two unlikely people change the world, and each other, one book at a time. 


Immerse yourself into the icy cold world of this scorching hot new novel.


Review:

Rating : 5/5 

So I have been staring at my computer screen for the last five minutes, thinking about what to write.

Because I don’t think I am capable of writing a review for this book.

I am in awe.

This book isn’t like anything I have ever read before. I closed my Kindle app, and I am looking around and surprisingly THIS world seems surreal now. This tiny book that took me two really short sittings to finish captivated me so much that the STORY seems more real than reality.

Do I even make sense right now?

I COULD write about the storyline right now. But you already have Goodreads and Amazon for that. Or I could write a detailed literary essay, except I haven’t read anything by Bradbury, whose writings inspired this story, so I don’t think I am qualified enough to do that.

All I can say is HOLY HELL THIS BOOK NEEDS MORE HYPE. Because No Ordinary Star has EVERYTHING. It is deep, it is amazingly unique, it has suspense. The world building is perfect, there is no introduction to the world, you just have to keep reading the book to figure things out.The characters are so foreign and yet so natural.

I am fangirling too much right now to write anything more coherent. I hope I could express the effect No Ordinary Star had on me.

Go. Read. It. Whatever your usual genre is. It doesn’t matter.

~Sripurna ❤

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A Torch Against The Night (AEITA #2) ~ Sabaa Tahir : Review

Summary

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.


Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.


But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.


Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Review :

Rating : 4 /5 

Thank you Harper Collins India for the review copy. ❤ 

Okay so don’t kill me. I know EVERYBODY loved this book. And while I admire Tahir’s writing style, the story was just not my type. First of all, I am tired of these brave young things saving the world. It’s too cliche right now,  after the numerous fantasy or dystopian novels we have read about the same topic. Moreover, there wasn’t a single character I could relate to. I respected them all, Laia, Elias, Helene – they are marvellously courageous people, but they aren’t close to my heart. I did not like the path the story took, some actions were unnecessary. Also, somehow Helene started taking up a huge role, shadowing Elias and Laia, and because I didn’t like her from the first book itself, I resented the fact that she took up the limelight. The lack of emotions in the characters also tires me. The AEITA fandom showers love and emotion, but the characters themselves are so stoic, even in the saddest situations. I get that it’s part of who they are, the plot requires them to be this way, but I don’t necessarily like it. 

All this being said, I think this book is WONDERFUL with respect to the writing quality. The sentences are beautifully constructed, and the world-building has been vivid. The language used is so very appropriate with that setting.

There were surprise elements which shocked the hell out of me, and I was moved by many of the scenes. There is a lot of intelligent action in this book. Sabaa Tahir is an amazing author, however, I believe this just isn’t my genre anymore. 

~ Sripurna ❤

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Review: Boy Band by Jacqueline E. Smith


Summary: 

Sam Morneau is Melissa Parker’s best friend. He’s also a member of The Kind of September, basically the hottest boy band on the planet. 

After two and a half years, Mel is all too familiar with the day-to-day occurrences that come with being a member of the band’s inner circle, including hectic schedules, passionate fans, and gossip-mongering celebrity girlfriends. 

Now, with the release of the group’s third album just weeks away, their lives have never been crazier and Mel is doing everything she can to keep up, all the while trying to cope with the ridiculous rumors that follow the band everywhere they go and pretending that she isn’t harboring a secret and hopeless crush on Sam. 

It’s weird enough being in love with your best friend. It’s even weirder when the rest of the world is in love with him, too.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 stars

*Lots of thanks to the author for providing me with the review copies. My review, however, is impartial and unbiased.*

Things I liked about this book:

 This simple YA story took me back to 2 years back when I had started reading this genre. It reminded me of how relatable a YA novel can be. Don’t get me wrong, my best friend/ crush isn’t some celebrity. In fact I don’t have a crush on my best friend at all. But something about Mel’s feelings and attitude is really familiar and realistic.

● Let’s just admit that Sam is awesome ❤

● I love how the whole book stays linked with music. I have read a ton of books about rock stars, and all they do is sing a song in the end of the book to woo the heroine. But in Boy Band, every chapter began with a few lines from one of the band’s songs, and the whole story integrated the musical part of their lives as well the personal parts.

● The characters were so realistic, it really made me wonder about real life boy bands and their lives. It felt like this book was sort of a journal or a documentary for a real boy band!

● The ending! I would have given this book 3.5 stars if not for that ending. I loved it, and I wasn’t expecting it at all, but I highly support it. 😂😂

Things I didn’t like about this book:

I wanted a little more angst and feels, I think.

Overall:

This is a cute and fun YA romance perfect for pre-teens and teens. All the characters– Sam, Mel and the rest of the band and crew are really interesting and have their own dynamic. Also, this is a book where the book summary isn’t misleading at all. If you like the blurb, you’ll love the book. Also this a very short read (all the 3 books in this series are short), so all of you busy teens out there, go ahead and pick this up already.

I wish I could read the 2nd book literally NOW, but I have my finals this month and I don’t think I’ll be able to read it before 23rd November. 😭 But watch this space after that for more 😊

Buy Boy Band on Amazon

~ Sripurna.

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Book Review: With Malice by Eileen Cook

 


Summary: 

Eighteen-year-old Jill Charron wakes up in a hospital room, leg in a cast, stitches in her face and a big blank canvas where the last six weeks should be. She discovers she was involved in a fatal car accident while on a school trip in Italy. A trip she doesn’t even remember taking. She was jetted home by her affluent father in order to receive quality care. Care that includes a lawyer. And a press team. Because maybe the accident…wasn’t an accident.

As the accident makes national headlines, Jill finds herself at the center of a murder investigation. It doesn’t help that the media is portraying her as a sociopath who killed her bubbly best friend, Simone, in a jealous rage. With the evidence mounting against her, there’s only one thing Jill knows for sure: She would never hurt Simone. But what really happened? Questioning who she can trust and what she’s capable of, Jill desperately tries to piece together the events of the past six weeks before she loses her thin hold on her once-perfect life.


Review:

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐ out of 5

Thank you Bloomsbury India for sending a review copy of this book.

Things I liked about this book:

I wanted that ending. I am happy with it. It COULD have been more, but eh, I’ll take it.

YA thrillers are rare. Like, really rare. Hats off to the author for taking up that genre.

I LOVE how they show the outside point of view in the form of police reports, yearbook records, etc. That was smart, and it made the book MUCH better in terms of writing quality.

Things I didn’t like: 

• It had very little overall impact. It’s supposed to a “chilling psychological thriller” (according to the back cover of my copy). The book did not, however, give me enough chills.

I am probably unfairly comparing all thrillers to my favorite ones, but this one just didn’t surprise me enough, you know? I am satisfied with the ending, but I had also predicted it.

And because this is supposed to be a thriller, I can’t reveal much about the plot or characters without giving spoilers. And there lies the trouble of writing reviews :p

Overall: 

It’s a good book, I liked a lot, but it just didn’t live up to the “thriller” status.I didn’t like any of the characters, but I don’t think I was supposed to. But I’ll still urge you to read it, because seriously, how many YA thrillers do you come across?

~ Sripurna.

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“Tanya Tania” by Antara Ganguli : Review 

Tanya Tania

Antara Ganguli


Summary:
“Last night there was a snowstorm that made my window disappear. I woke up gasping at the heater. This is my first letter in three years. First letter since I left Pakistan. First letter since Nusrat. “

Tanya Tania is a story about two young women coming of age in two countries that are coming of age. Tanya Talati in Karachi and Tania Ghosh in Bombay, daughters of college best friends, write to each other of what cannot be said to anyone else: a mother who has gone from quiet to silent, sex that has become a weapon, a servant with unforgettably soft hands and a country beginning to play with religion. When Tanya’s brother receives a kidnapping threat, she sets in motion what no one could have predicted, least of all Tania, who finds herself alone in a forbidden bazaar in Bombay, listening to the sounds of a riot torn city coming closer and closer and closer . . .



Written in letters that span six years, Tanya Tania is a story of what it means to be between childhood and adulthood at a time when two countries are struggling with what it means to be Indian and Pakistani, rich and poor, confident and lonely. A story of love between girls, between families and between countries, Tanya Tania, is, at its heart, a love story about what it means to be human.



Review:

4/5 stars ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thank you Bloomsbury India for sending me a review copy of this book.

Things I liked about this book:

• For the past few years, I have read almost nothing by any Indian author. I have always had a prejudice against them (you can’t blame me, because the prime examples of Indian authors seem to be Chetan Bhagat and Durjoy Dutta, and I have tried readingtheir books. Enough said) . But recently I came across a few other books which totally changed my perspective. Antara Ganguli’s Tanya Tania is one such example.

 Tanya Talati and Tania Ghosh, both were extremely well-constructed and realistic characters.

The concept of a book through letters is something I loved. The only other time I have come across this concept was Cecelia Ahern’s Love Rosie, I had loved it then, I love it now.

Tanya Tania also taught me some parts of the history of our country, about the last decade of the 20th century.

Things I didn’t like about this book:

The ending was sort of anticlimactic. It just wasn’t enough, because the whole book was built towards the ending, but it just fell flat there.

I couldn’t relate to either Tanya or Tania. They were supposed to be normal teenagers I am guessing? But I couldn’t relate.

Overall:

Even though the story falls slightly flat, the writing style and the small and big lessons you learn from this book cannot be ignored. If you ask me whether you should read it, I’d say yes, definitely.

~Sripurna.

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A Thousand Nights by E.K. Johnston: Review

A Thousand Nights

E.K Johnston

Summary:

Lo-Melkhiin killed three hundred girls before he came to her village, looking for a wife. When she sees the dust cloud on the horizon, she knows he has arrived. She knows he will want the loveliest girl: her sister. She vows she will not let her be next.


And so she is taken in her sister’s place, and she believes death will soon follow. Lo-Melkhiin’s court is a dangerous palace filled with pretty things: intricate statues with wretched eyes, exquisite threads to weave the most beautiful garments. She sees everything as if for the last time. But the first sun rises and sets, and she is not dead. Night after night, Lo-Melkhiin comes to her and listens to the stories she tells, and day after day she is awoken by the sunrise. Exploring the palace, she begins to unlock years of fear that have tormented and silenced a kingdom. Lo-Melkhiin was not always a cruel ruler. Something went wrong.


Far away, in their village, her sister is mourning. Through her pain, she calls upon the desert winds, conjuring a subtle unseen magic, and something besides death stirs the air.


Back at the palace, the words she speaks to Lo-Melkhiin every night are given a strange life of their own. Little things, at first: a dress from home, a vision of her sister. With each tale she spins, her power grows. Soon she dreams of bigger, more terrible magic: power enough to save a king, if she can put an end to the rule of a monster.

REVIEW:

2.5 stars

Things I disliked about this book:

I had SUCH HIGH HOPES, but they were mostly shatterd.

First of all, I don’t generally like to compare books, but the first 100 pages of A Thousand Nights felt like they were directly copy-pasted from The Wrath And The Dawn. Which I was fine with, because I LOVE that duology.

But.

Lo-Melkhiin is nowhere near Khalid. *Sirens* *Alarms* *Leave this book now alert*

The ending is so rushed, I had no clue how and what just happened. It just wasn’t worth the read.

Things I liked about this book:

It’s very fast paced, you won’t be able to put it down.

The writing style is fresh and captivating.

The portrayal of the desert and the desert life is beautiful.

Overall:

If you haven’t read The Wrath And The Dawn, then perhaps you might like A Thousand Nights. It’s a short book, so it’s not even going to take up a lot of your time. So give it a go, if you have been meaning to read it.

~ Sripurna.

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Thief Of Hearts Official Teaser!!!!

I am soooo hyped about this book! I love L.H. Cosway’s writing ❤❤

Have a sneak peek at Thief Of Hearts:

Title: Thief of Hearts

Age Group: Adult

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Romantic Suspense

Release Date: October 4, 2016

Goodreads

Preorder links:

iBooks: http://apple.co/2cfSzT4

Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2c1bkMz

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ccqBGY

Nook: http://bit.ly/2c5V5rq

Amazon link to come!

Book Description:

Seduce the teacher.

Meet the cousin.

Make a deal.


Steal the painting.


Andrea Anderson has no clue of the thoughts churning around in the dark and dangerous ex-con’s head as he enters her classroom. In fact, she’s momentarily lost for words. Not in her entire teaching career has she had a student who looked quite like Stu Cross.

A widow at just twenty-eight, love is something Andie hasn’t considered a part of her life for a very long time. However, when lingering touches turn to whispered words and hot, searching stares, she begins to wonder if maybe she should take a leap of faith.

But Stu is in her class for a reason, and it has nothing to do with love. He’s there to burrow his way into her life and repay a debt, otherwise his family will suffer. Andie is the first person to show him true kindness since he left prison, and though he doesn’t want to mislead her, he doesn’t have another choice.

Before long, Stu can’t tell whether or not he’s acting anymore, and his feelings for Andie could throw all of his carefully crafted plans into complete and utter disarray.

**Can be read as a stand alone.

 About the author:

L.H. Cosway lives in Dublin, Ireland. Her inspiration to write comes from music. Her favourite things in life include writing stories, vintage clothing, dark cabaret music, food, musical comedy, and of course, books. She thinks that imperfect people are the most interesting kind. They tell the best stories. L.H. is represented by Louise Fury at The Bent Agency.

Social Media Links:FB: www.facebook.com/LHCosway

Twitter: www.twitter.com/LHCosway

Instagram: www.instagram.com/l.h.cosway

Website: www.lhcoswayauthor.com

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lhcosway13/

@LHCosway @Wordsmithpublicity

Who else is excited?!

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Ruined by M.C.Frank : Review {Spoiler Free}

Ruined

M.C. Frank

The duke of Ashton sits at the Opera at Vauxhall Gardens, bored out of his mind, and plans murder.

He curses the day that brought the little governess, destitute and sad, at his door eight months ago, to upset his careless if a bit meaningless existence. 

How could he have guessed the terrible, evil secrets she was hiding? And now that he knows all, the truth appears wilder, even more despicable than even he could have imagined. He hadn’t counted on losing his heart to her, of course, but he did.

What he doesn’t know is that a tendril of the shadows of madness and sin that followed Beatrice to his door is still out there, looking for something to devour.

The only one who can save him from the darkness is the girl herself, but he knows he’ll never see her again. He who once prided himself on his indifference to other human beings, feels his chest constrict with pain every time he even thinks of her. 

Beatrice, smart, gentle, kind-hearted, lovely.
Ruined. 

A perfect blend of darkness and light, this reverse Regency retelling of Jane Eyre will break your heart as well as uplift it.



REVIEW:

4.5 stars

I want to make something clear, no way am I a biased reviewer here. Whatever I am about to say regarding this book is entirely true.

Moving on.

Ruined is definitely one of my favorite reads this year. This book has EVERYTHING I love:

~An old-fashioned historical romance

~ A retelling (A reverse Regency retelling of Jane Eyre)

~A crazy alpha hero

~ A strong female protagonist

~ Lots of banter

M. C . Frank’s writing style is simply beautiful. Every line is interesting, and I didn’t feel like setting the book down at all. Dominic and Beatrice are the perfect protagonists, the character development is steady, the mystery element is also necessary and engrossing.

There are scenes in this book that are so full of raw emotions, I honestly choked and teared up a little with the feels. Ever since I finished reading the book, I have been re-reading some of those scenes, and I just can’t get enough.

The incidents in this book are vividly described, but the book is fast-paced and the writing style is really smooth. There WERE a few technical problems with some information, but find me romance novel with no mistake.

No spoilers in this review, so I won’t say much else.

But a fair warning, this is a very loose retelling of Jane Eyre. You can’t expect the original. If you just want to read an easier version Jane Eyre, you can go to Cliffnotes or something, no?

And now the reason why it took me so long to write and post this review. Ever since I finished Ruined, I have been re-obsessed (huh? I just invented that) with historical romance novels! I spent this whole week reading as many as I could lay my hands upon! And so I have been delaying the writing of this review for a long time now!

In other words, you should totally read Ruined. Its worth every dime and every second you spend on it.

To buy a copy of Ruined, Click here.

P.S.: Writing this review made me remember the feeeeeels all over again ❤

~ Sripurna

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Shabby Chic Trilogy, Kirsten Fullmer : Review

Book 1 :Shabby Chic At Heart

Tara has always been too engrossed in her work – refurbishing the historical homes in Smithville. She keeps a tight rein on her jobs and her emotions buried, but she’s loosing control of both since that ridiculous city boy investor showed up. 

New in town, Justin is confident that his ultra modern resorts will bring Smithville into the twenty-first century. If only the locals-yokels and their ringleader, the gorgeous and peculiar Tara, would stop interfering. 

With her quirky and protective hometown behind her, will Tara confront Justin and the town’s long buried secrets to take on the financial and emotional risk of a lifetime?

Review

4 stars 

For fans of Robyn Carr and Debbie Macomber, this series is perfect.

Tara is such an amazing protagonist. My inner feminist kept applauding her for her strong beliefs, independence and lack of helpless-heroine syndrome inspite of her circumstances.

Justin was just as perfect for Tara. He is your typical alpha male hero, but without a controlling douchebag. His thought process is often hilarious, just like his reactions to certain “features” of Smithville.

I LOVE that series has third person POV, but still shows the two sides of the story. It’s far more interesting that way, and gives a more complete sort of perspective.

Overall; if you are a fan of small town romance novels, this one is a perfect start.

Buy it on Amazon here.

Also, do check out the cover of the paperback edition. It’s gorgeous.
Book 2: Shabby Chic After All

Julia lost everything while she was ill. Self-conscious and alone, she’s moved to Smithville, determined to hide away in her rundown Victorian house. Little does she know, she can’t hide anything in a small town, including her interest in the deliveryman. 

Resolved to keep his life simple, Chad has his hands full running his delivery business and supporting his adopted family. So why can’t he get that withdrawn city girl, Julia, off his mind? 

Will the eccentric but well-meaning Smithville folk push Julia and Chad to open up, or will the emotional toll drive them both back into seclusion?
 Review 

3 stars

Chad, Chad, Chad. The story was beautiful; but I swear he was all I noticed throughout the book. XD

This book had just the best characters. I loved Bobby, Marge, and LOVED reading more about Tara and Justin.

What I didn’t like though was the predictability (because one book with predictability is okay, but the second book too?).

But like I said before, readers who have read and loved Robyn Carr’s Virgin River, or Susan Mallery’s Fool’s Gold series, you’ll know that such is formula of romance series’, and the homely atmosphere and amazing characters will make it all worth a read.

Buy the book on Amazon here

Book 3: Shabby Chic Forever

Lizzie gave up her stressful job in Boston to embrace her love of all things country in Smithville PA. Her farm, a new job at the spa, and her pet alpacas are a dream come true, if only her meddling, matchmaking, socialite mother would back off. 

Elliot, a successful architect from Washington, DC, designed the new spa, but he certainly hadn’t envisioned the exotic bohemian style manager or her intriguing, demanding mother. Small town antics and his interest in Lizzie extend his visit to Smithville, but will the allure of country life draw him in for good? 

Once again, Smithville’s folk interfere with plans at every turn, forcing Lizzie and Elliot to face their personal dilemmas and each other, head on.

Review

4 stars

This finale to the Shabby Chic Trilogy was just as cute and sweet as the first two books. In fact, I really want more Smithville stories, so a spin off series would be ❤

In this last installment of Shabby Chic, Elliott stole my heary, and so did the Smithville folks. The appearance of the couples from the earlier books added to the “family” feeling.

The only disappointment her, to me, was Lizzie. She had all the wrong reasons for her decisions. But Elliot’s charm made up for everything 😂

Shabby Chic Forever is one last proof in the trilogy of how Kirsten Fullmer perfects the art of pulling you into a fictional world where you feel completely at home, even if its miles apart from where you really exist.

To buy click here.

Anyhow, if you love reading small-town romances, adore alpha heroes with caring sides, and want a heroine who isn’t backboneless, you MUST read this series.

~Sripurna.

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Rau (The Great Love Story Of Bajirao Mastani): Review 

RAU

N.S. INAMDAR

The novel that inspired the award-winning film 


‘My eyes, they rain all the time 
My eyes, they rain all the time 
Till I see him in mine’ 

When Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa, feared by even the mighty Mughals, hears the exquisite Mastani sing, the passion that sparks between them grows quickly into a raging fire. 

The Peshwa defies his orthodox Brahmin heritage, declaring his love openly for the half-Muslim dancer, in the face of fierce opposition. A man way ahead of his time, Bajirao causes outrage when he marries Mastani, bringing her into his home as his second wife. 

N. S. Inamdar’s timeless tale, that has inspired both film and television, brings alive the romance, intrigue and valour of the eighteenth-century Maratha empire. This irresistible novel is one of India’s favourite love stories.



RATING: 3 stars

REVIEW:

I am left with mixed feelings about this book.

Firstly, I’d like to say, anyone who liked the movie Bajirao Mastani should read this book. It’s a more enriched version of the movie (albeit, without Deepika or Ranveer, so you’ll miss them probably 😂😂). But if you liked the movie, there’s a high chance you’ll love the book.

It has action, romance and lots of drama.

But.

There were things I really didn’t like.

No. 1, the writing. Somehow, the writing or perhaps the translation (because the original is in Marathi) fell flat. The words were mechanical, and somewhat forced. Also; this book needs a glossary in the end, to explain the meanings of some Marathi words, which weren’t possible to translate. Being an Indian, I know bits and pieces of Hindi, and that’s the only reason I could still guess the meanings of some words. But I think a glossary would be great.

I hated the characters of this book. Literally loathed them. They are all historical characters, I don’t know how much of the story is authentic, but according to this book, the characters sucked. Big time. I found nothing romantic and tragic about Rau and Mastani’s “love”. Its all shown as something very very superficial.

But the fact remains that this book made me feel a lot of things — anger, hatred, sorrow and sympathy (towards Kashibai, actually). And that’s why I think this book is worty of reading. Because rarely does a book make you ponder so long these days.

To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

~ Sripurna

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The Liberty Box (#1) & The Eden Conspiracy (#2) : Review

ARCs received in exchange of an honest review.

PART 1

The Liberty Box

C.A. Gray 

Kate Brandeis has it all: a famous reporter at the age of twenty-four, she’s the face of the Republic of the Americas. She has a loving fiancé and all the success she could wish for. But when she learns of the death of a long-forgotten friend, her investigations unravel her perfect memories, forcing her to face the fact that she’s been living a lie. 

Jackson MacNamera, trained from a young age in the art of mind control, returns to the Republic for his mother’s funeral. Within a few hours of his arrival, authorities collect Jackson and take him by force to a room ironically called The Liberty Box, where he must choose between surrendering his thoughts to the new Republic, or fleeing for his freedom. 



Kate, bereaved and confused, finds her way to a cave community of refugees, where Jackson seems to offer her an escape from her grief. The two forge an uneasy bond, and in the process Jackson learns that Kate has some insight which may help the hunters in their attempt to free other citizens from the tyranny of the Potentate. Against the expressed wishes of the Council, the hunters plot a series of daring raids, attempting to prove that not only is freedom possible, but that the citizens are not too far gone to desire it. But with the odds so stacked against them, can the refugees succeed in their rescue missions right under the Potentate’s nose?



Rating: 3/5

REVIEW:

The Liberty Box is an unusual book. This dystopian novel is not your Hunger Games or Divergent. The characters here are older (which makes more sense, I mean c’mon, teenagers saving the world? It was becoming quite boring), and you can defintely classify this into the sci-fi genre.

The book begins with a slightly boring prologue, but it picks up pace when the main story begins. Kate isn’t the best protagonist, but she is unique in her own way. At around 19% into the book, Jackson appears, making things much more interesting.

The book ends with a pretty intelligent cliffhanger. Amidst all the action I didn’t expect the twist, but that’s what made me read the next book.

Overall; this a a good enough start to an adult dystopian trilogy. It has action, romance, science, drama, and truthfully, it was quite enjoyable.

PART 2 

The Eden Conspiracy (The Liberty Box #2)

C.A. Gray

Can the truth set you free?

The refugee caves have been destroyed, and most of the refugees are dead. The Potentate now knows of their existence and will stop at nothing to wipe them out completely. He suspects that terrorist Jackson MacNamera is among them, as well as reporter Kate Brandeis’s fiancé, hacker Will Anderson—and probably therefore Kate herself. Now that the Potentate is aware of security threats, most of the strategies the rebels used to get back onto the grid before now no longer work. The Potentate knows the rebels are on foot, and he knows they were at the caves not long ago—they can’t get far.



The remaining rebels, among them Jackson and Kate, have Kate’s fiancé Will to thank for their survival: he arrived back from the dead and in the nick of time, bearing classified information about the Potentate’s plans to expand his influence internationally. But the remaining rebels and the Council cannot agree on whether their top priority should be spreading truth far and wide and freeing as many citizens from government control as possible, knowing that they will likely die in the process—or escaping to New Estonia, in hopes that they might live out the rest of their days in peace.



Kate, meanwhile, finds herself torn: between Jackson and the fiancé she thought she lost, and between the damsel-in-distress she once was, and the rebel she believes she has always been underneath. Whether the other hunters will support her or no, she knows she must use her influence over the people of the Republic to tell them the truth, no matter the cost. But is she strong enough to withstand the government’s lies?



Rating: 3.5/ 5

This book was surprisingly good. I normally find things to become a little boring at the second book of a trilogy, but The Eden Conspiracy was definitely anything but boring.

The twist at the ending of the first book made the second book so much better. Even though these books are from the third person POV, you have alternate chapters from two different perspectives: Jackson’s and Kate’s, making things even better.

The ending of this book too is great, and I can’t wait to read the third book.

To purchase The Liberty Box visit this link.

~Sripurna

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What Lies Between Us : Review

What Lies Between Us

Nayomi Munaweera

288 pages

Pan Macmillan

*ARC provided by publishers in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 STARS

Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors comes the confession of a woman, driven by the demons of her past to commit a single and possibly unforgivable crime.


“The walls of my cell are painted an industrial white, like albumen. They must think the color is soothing. Where I come from it connotes absence, death, unrelenting loneliness.”


In the idyllic hill country of Sri Lanka, a young girl grows up with her loving family; but even in the midst of this paradise, terror lurks in the shadows. When tragedy strikes, she and her mother must seek safety by immigrating to America. There the girl must reinvent herself as an American teenager to survive, with the help of her cousin. Both love and loss fill her life, but even as she assimilates and thrives, the secrets and scars of her past follow her into adulthood. In this new country of freedom, everything she has built begins to crumble around her, and her hold on reality becomes more and more tenuous. When the past and the present collide, she sees no other choice than to commit her unforgivable final act. This is her confession.


REVIEW:

The walls of my cell are painted an industrial white”

Devastating. Disturbing. Mind-boggling.

This twisted tale of a young girl who is wronged, turning into a woman whose shadows of the past force her to commit an unforgivable crime, won’t let you breath for a long time since you keep the book down.

What Lies Between Us is a story filled with a lot of suspense. The brutal honesty in the narrator’s voice just makes it more believable. Its one of those randomly picked books which are surprisingly engrossing.

I was born in Sri Lanka, a green island in the midst of the endless Indian Ocean”

The narrator is a fresh character, and this entire Sri-Lankan background in the story taught me a lot about the culture in that country (which is a lot similar to ours). The author also uses small, seemingly irrelevant stories or tales in the middle of the story, which gives you subtle hints about what MIGHT happen, without revealing much. Munaweera keeps you guessing things till the very last page of the book.

I finished this book in one morning, so fair warning, don’t sit with it unless you have quite a bit of time, because I assure you, you won’t be able to put it down.

Lastly, I’ll warn you again, this book is devastating. It’s dark, so very, very dark. It is going to ruin your perception towards things, disturb your very core with its candor. Read it only if you can handle it.

Thank you Pan Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to review this wonderful book.

~Sripurna

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Review: Eternal Darkness by J.F. Johns

The world is divided between humans and cyborgs. 

Scarlet Lock is neither. 

She is a soldier created to kill on command. But her memory has been erased and when she awakens in a government facility she soon discovers that this new world is a dangerous place, full of government secrets and cruel experiments performed in the name of progress. 

With the help of a group of cyborgs, Scarlet will fight to uncover the truth and transform the future of the new world she now lives in. 

Eternal Darkness is full of suspense, action and romance and will make readers question what it means to be human.


Rating: 4.5 stars

Things I liked about this book:

Eternal Darkness is not really from my genre of books. I have read very few books about cyborgs and dystopian future. But this book captivated my interest, and I just couldn’t let go of the book till I reached the very last page!

 The characters are real. Whether its father figure-like Sam, confusing Madeleine, charming Eric or messed up Andrew, they are all so real and familiar. Every character felt inportant in one way or the other.

Romance angle: I just loved the romance angle of this book!!! The boys, Eric and Andrew, are both so amazing in their own ways, I don’t know who is better. I can’t decide my ship yet, I need the next book NOW!

That ending! Holy mother of Cliffhangers!!!!

This book is everything it claims to be in the blurb. It really had suspense, romance, action- it won’t let you down.

Things I did not like about it:

Its a bit slow paced in the beginning. And I didn’t LOVE Scarlet, the main character. She does go through some character development, so by the ending, she grew on me.

Overall:

If you like cyborg stories, THIS IS YOUR BOOK. If you like dystopian novels, THIS IS ALSO YOUR BOOK. If you have never read sci-fi/ cyborg / dystopia, and you want to try one, yes, READ THIS BOOK ALREADY.

Buy your copy here on Amazon

~Sripurna.

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The Queen Of The Tearling: Review

THE QUEEN OF THE TEARLING 

ERICA JOHANSEN

SUMMARY:

An untested young princess must claim her throne, learn to become a queen, and combat a malevolent sorceress in an epic battle between light and darkness in this spectacular debut—the first novel in a trilogy.


Young Kelsea Raleigh was raised in hiding after the death of her mother, Queen Elyssa, far from the intrigues of the royal Keep and in the care of two devoted servants who pledged their lives to protect her. Growing up in a cottage deep in the woods, Kelsea knows little of her kingdom’s haunted past . . . or that its fate will soon rest in her hands.
Long ago, Kelsea’s forefathers sailed away from a decaying world to establish a new land free of modern technology. Three hundred years later, this feudal society has divided into three fearful nations who pay duties to a fourth: the powerful Mortmesne, ruled by the cunning Red Queen. Now, on Kelsea’s nineteenth birthday, the tattered remnants of the Queen’s Guard—loyal soldiers who protect the throne—have appeared to escort the princess on a perilous journey to the capital to ascend to her rightful place as the new Queen of the Tearling.
Though born of royal blood and in possession of the Tear sapphire, a jewel of immense power and magic, Kelsea has never felt more uncertain of her ability to rule. But the shocking evil she discovers in the heart of her realm will precipitate an act of immense daring, throwing the entire kingdom into turmoil—and unleashing the Red Queen’s vengeance. A cabal of enemies with an array of deadly weapons, from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic, plots to destroy her. But Kelsea is growing in strength and stealth, her steely resolve earning her loyal allies, including the Queen’s Guard, led by the enigmatic Lazarus, and the intriguing outlaw known simply as “the Fetch.”
Kelsea’s quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun. Riddled with mysteries, betrayals, and treacherous battles, Kelsea’s journey is a trial by fire that will either forge a legend . . . or destroy her.



RATING: 3.5 stars

REVIEW:

Things I liked about this book: 

The presence of an unique main character. Kelsea Glynn is not the self-sacrificing Katniss, neither is she the bold and beautiful Celaena Sardothien. She has her own personality, and its a breath of fresh air.

The Tearling world has a new aura to it, which is different from any other book I have read.

Character development is fabulous. Kelsea, the Mace, and even Queen of Mortmesne are all deep characters with lots of shades to them.

Things I didn’t like about this book:

Very slow beginning.

I am a romance-genre person. This book has no romance in it. I know that’s a prejudiced opinion, but I’m making it clear– this is NOT a shortcoming of the book, its just a reason why I personally wasn’t very excited about it.

Okay so I am shallow thay way. Deal with it.

Maybe because I read this just after finishing a Sarah J. Maas book, but I found the writing style of The Queen Of The Tearling quite boring.

Overall:

If you want to read a book with a strong female protagonist, adventure and interesting characters, featuring a fantasy world, and want a break from romance, The Queen Of The Tearling it is.

~ Sripurna.

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Finding Audrey : Review

FINDING AUDREY

Sophie Kinsella

SUMMARY:

An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.
RATING: 💛💛💛💛1/2

REVIEW:

Things I liked about this book:

There is NO boring part in the entire book. Every scene is funny, captivating or realistic.

The characters are amazing. They are real and relatable. Audrey’s mom is like every Mom in this entire planet, I have a cousin brother who is very much like Frank (Audrey’s brother) !

Linus is really nice and understanding, but I like that the romance part does not overshadow the other issues in the book. Audrey isn’t “found” because of Linus, her character development is mostly her own credit (and her psychologist’s, that’s one cool lady).

I tried really hard to go slow with this book because it’s so tiny, but I just couldn’t make myself stop reading!

Finding Audrey cured my mini reading slump.

Things I did not like about the book:

Was it very necessary for Audrey’s Dad to have zero backbone? It’s kind of irritating.

The story behind Audrey’s condition is still kind of hazy. I mean there are enough hints, but exactly what happened?

Overall:

I’d suggest if you are thinking of reading thid book, you should definitely buy a copy and go ahead, read it. It has romance, family bonding, health issues, social issues. And plus, its extremely well-written. I think this is a kind of book everyone will enjoy, irrespective of what genre you prefer usually.

~ Sripurna.

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Review: Cut (Flawless #2) by Emily Duvall

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Cut (Flawless #2)

Emily Duvall

Blurb:

Jessica Cahill is having one perfect night. In six weeks she’ll walk down the aisle and marry her long-time boyfriend. But for tonight, she’s celebrating hard at her bachelorette party. It’s the time of her life until… she takes things too far. 

Brent Harrison is having the worst night of his life. Across town, seven rare diamonds are tucked safely in the vault at his brother’s mansion. These diamonds are special. They hold significance. They belong to the infamous Abbott Tiara. The task should be easy, he should have them by the morning. That’s when everything goes wrong. That’s when he runs into her. 

One tiara 
Seven diamonds 
Sometimes beautiful things come at a cost…

REVIEW:

4 stars

(Review copy provided by author in exchange of honest review)

This book was not what I expected it to be.

I expected a roundabout repetition of the first book, just this time, it was going to be Jessica’s story.

“Of all the women to run into tonight.”

But no.

This book is a proper sequel. The stories continued from the last book (Inclusions) , and all the same characters were there. Like the last book, this one is really well-written too. All over, its such a bittersweet book.

And oh, expect more of the “suspense” that was slightly missing the first book, here.

“A cut determines how light reflects back to the human eye.”

So if you want a fast-paced romantic suspense book with a generous amount of action and character development, then this is your book.

And that’s all I can give away without letting out spoilers.. XD

– Sripurna

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Review: Inclusions (Flawless#1) by Emily Duvall

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Inclusions

Emily Duvall

Synopsis:

When Melanie Cahill turned her back on Luke Harrison seven years ago, she cut ties with him completely. Not once has she checked on what happened to him. Nor does she care. Then her incarcerated brother asks her for an unthinkable favor that puts Melanie directly back in Luke’s path. She needs uncomplicated. She needs easy. Luke has never been either.

Luke hasn’t forgotten about Melanie. He built himself a flawless reputation in the business of selling gemstones. There’s room for few imperfections in his life, including Melanie. He sees through her the second she walks through his door. She wants something from him. If only the attraction didn’t get in the way. If only he could put aside his selfish agenda. Luke puts her in an impossible situation…one that promises their past won’t stay buried.

Review:

4 stars

Review copy provided by author in exchange of honest review

Inclusions is not your typical romantic suspense story with alpha heroes and damsels in distress. Of course there is an alpha hero, and also a distressed heroine, but that’s not where it ends.

The beginning is probably the best part about this book. I started the first page, and I just had to read the rest of the book then and there. Luke and Melanie meeting just amplified the effect.

“I see you still begin your sentences with lies.”

Unlike most romance stories (and trust me because I have read more than enough of them), there is a lot to learn from Inclusions. The whole story revolves around gem-hunting, about which I knew nothing about before reading this book. I also learnt quite a few things about speech therapy for kids.

And that reminds me of one of my favorite things about this book. The addition of Vivian. I am not going to give spoilers by revealing anything about Vivian, but lets just say that everybody’s attitude towards her told me so much about their characters.

My only disappointment was Luke, there were so many parts where I really did not like him. But I guess it was necessary for the character development.

“Once I see the clarity, I know if I want it in my future.”

Summing it up, if you want a short read filled with romance and supense that also teaches you about diamonds, this is your book.

Note: This book has no cliffhanger, but I still suggest you read the next book in the series, because the story doesn’t really end here.

Author’s playlist for Inclusions:

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I would like to thank the author once again for providing me the review copy and playlist of this wonderdul book. ^_^

If you want to buy inclusions on Amazon:

Inclusions @ Amazon

-Sripurna

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Review: Valley Of The Moon by Bronwyn Archer

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Valley of the Moon
by Bronwyn Archer
Publication date: April 13th 2016
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery, Young Adult

Blurb:
There’s just one semester left at the Briar School for Girls in Sonoma, CA. But it will take more than straight As for Lana Goodwin to survive . . .

***
Senior year is not going well for 17-year-old Lana Goodwin. Her father’s vintage car business is about to crash and burn, the nicest (and cutest) teacher at school was fired under a cloud of scandal, and her hot sort-of boyfriend may or may not have something big to hide.

She’s also totally over being the class pauper. It’s bad enough her dad was briefly married to the head of the board—the rich, cruel, impeccably groomed Ramona Crawford. What’s worse is going to school with her vindictive ex-stepsister, who never misses an opportunity to make her life hell. Not ever.

It also happens to be the tenth anniversary of her mother’s suicide. No one knows why Annie Goodwin jumped off the Golden Gate Bridge the day after Christmas. She didn’t leave a note. She wasn’t sick. Even Lana’s father can’t explain it. Ten years later, someone—or something—starts sending her clues about her mother’s past.

Before Lana can escape to college, she finds herself in a life-or-death race to uncover her mother’s long-buried secrets.

Can she claim her birthright before her future and her life are snatched away?

Valley of the Moon is a modern-day fairy tale with some intense themes.


Review copy provided by Xpresso Book Tours in exchange of an honest review.

(Valley Of The Moon has a sequel.)

This book is really difficult to rate. It was interesting to read, but I didnt like Lana, the main character, very much. She seemed to me a quite weak character. Or maybe she’s just nice.

Lana’s friend choices are terrible. I dislike them all and I also wonder why Lana claims to love Eden even though she thinks of her like twice in the entire book.

What pulls you to read this book though is the mystery factor. I still want to read the next book in the series (I am also used to Lana now, so I don’t mind her much right now). I need to know what exactly is happening, need to fill the loopholes.

The blurb doesnt mention it but this book does have some paranormal aspects.

Sometimes it feels like there’s too much going on with the story, but it all somewhat adds up by the end of this book. Also, don’t DNF it at the prologue, the rest of the book is better.

Valley Of The Moon seemed also sort of like a mild retelling of Cinderella. Stepmother, check. Two stepsisters, check. A Prince Charming, I am hoping check, atleast uptil now.

If you are searching for a YA mystery novel with a light romance angle and a massive cliffhanger, give this a go.

-Sripurna.

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Tiger Eyes Review

 

Tiger Eyes

Judy Blume

Davey has never felt so alone in her life. Her father is dead (shot in a holdup) and now her mother is moving the family to New Mexico to try to recover. Climbing in Los Alamos Canyons, Davey meets mysterous Wolf, who seems to understand the rage and fear she feels. Slowly, with Wolf’s help, Davey realizes that she must get on with her life. But when will she be ready to leave the past behind? Will she ever stop hurting?

This was such a “meh” book. Don’t get me wrong, its not BAD as such. The story was typical, a grieving teenager who moves to a new city and meets new people. The ending (kinda *SPOILER*) is kind of bittersweet, but it sort of depressed me. To be honest this reminded me of Sarah Dessen books, except Sarah Dessen has longer books where you ACTUALLY have time to form a bond with the characters.

People who are grieving someone close might be able to relate to Davey and her behaviour, but this book just wasn’t my thing.

-Sripurna.

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The Wrath And The Dawn :Review

First disclaimer: I haven’t read The Rose And The Dagger yet, so I won’t say this is a completely unprejudiced review, because I have no idea who turns into what next.

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The Wrath And The Dawn

Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

Night after night, Shahrzad beguiles Khalid, weaving stories that enchant, ensuring her survival, though she knows each dawn could be her last. But something she never expected begins to happen: Khalid is nothing like what she’d imagined him to be. This monster is a boy with a tormented heart. Incredibly, Shahrzad finds herself falling in love. How is this possible? It’s an unforgivable betrayal. Still, Shahrzad has come to understand all is not as it seems in this palace of marble and stone. She resolves to uncover whatever secrets lurk and, despite her love, be ready to take Khalid’s life as retribution for the many lives he’s stolen. Can their love survive this world of stories and secrets?

Inspired by A Thousand and One Nights, The Wrath and the Dawn is a sumptuous and enthralling read from beginning to end.

Rating: 4.9 stars

Genre: Fantasy, romance, retelling

Cliffhanger: Yes, but the next book is available now. (That’s me urging you to definitely try this duology)

Things I loved about this book:

*Pace: I LOVED the pace. It seems slightly slow in the beginning, but then it picks up a wonderful pace, and you can’t stop reading more of the story.

*Retelling: I havent read A Thousand And One Nights, but I have a fair idea of the story, and I love how its retold with twist here.

*Shahrzad: I generally dislike a lot of well-liked female leads in YA stories (*cough cough*) but I adored Shahrzad. She’s brave, but she has a reason for this. The fact that her courage is driven by vengeance makes the whole thing so much more realistic. I was so tired of heroines who were just genetically inherently brave and amazing and “flawed” (yet flawless). Shahrzad here is unapologetically perfect and amazing (or maybe I am prejudiced).

*Jalal: No spoilers, you’ll meet Jalal after a few chapters into this book. I’ll just say, no matter what the next book holds, uptil now, I really like this dude.

*Khalid: Khalid is the new love of my life. Nowhere in the book does he exude charm, or even “brood” in that typical way of alpha heroes, but you can’t help but love him.

*Khalid: At the end of the day I am a goner for dark alpha heroes with a darker past.

*Khalid : Oh well..

Things I disliked about this book:

*The slow beginning

Overall:

The Wrath and The Dawn is a perfect mixture of adventure, romance, magic, action, and lots of story-telling. It fed my imagination, it pulled me into that world. A lot of reviewers criticise Shahrzad for being weakened by her love for Khalid, and because her sense of “vengeance” is not strong enough. My answer: Did you miss the memo where it said this is a romance? Have you ever read a love story??

Call me a fool, but I believe in all the “love” crap, atleast when its written in a book. :p

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If you are anything like me, go ahead and read this book.

-Sripurna.

P.S: Did I mention I love Khalid?

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Jealous

Yes I am jealous.
Absolutely green with envy.
Jealous of the Sun and the Moon,
Their forever love story.
Jealous of how it seems like Time stops for them.
The Sun and the Moon
Frozen in space
Coexisting since forever.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
I am absolutely green with envy.

Yes I am jealous.
So much, it rips my heart apart.
Jealous of the guitar and its strings,
Their musical, melodious love song.
Jealous of how they always stay together.
The guitar and its strings
Making music, making love
Incomplete without each other.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
I am so jealous, it rips my heart apart.

Yes I am jealous.
Its killing me everyday.
Jealous of the moth and the flame,
Their enigmatic attraction.
Jealous of the undeniable pull.
The moth and the flame
The moth wanting the warmth
The flame wanting the company.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
I am dying everyday.

Yes I am jealous.
Oh so jealous. So much.
Of the grey clouds and green leaves
Of the waves and the palm trees
Of poets and poems.
They can’t touch
But they can see each other all the time.
You and I dont even have that.

-Sripurna.

I would love to hear your opinions. 🙂

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Wait

I realised something today. You’ll always be the one leaving too fast, too soon. I’ll always be the one left behind. You’ll want the adventure, the rugged mountains will call you, the swift streams with crystal water will soothe your wanderlust.

But I’ll wait for you. I’ll be there in the old comfy sofa in the corner of my room. The same room in which you promised me that you’d never leave me alone. The same room you walked away from because your spirit couldn’t be bound.

I’ll be there. I’ll wait.

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Mayhem

He was a shipwreck. Thunder and lightning flashing over stormy angry grey clouds. Cerulean blue waves crashing on rocky cliffs with full force. He was the result of all hell breaking loose, deafening roars, pandemonium. He was the bomb blasts in war zones, blood stains on T-shirts. The ear-splitting sound of Night screaming at Day for not letting him stay with his lover- that was him. He was chaos, the chasm in souls, the breaks in hearts. He used to make everything uncertain, restless. Just like the ocean. Forever chaotic.

And then one day he met the Sky.

Follow me on wattpad: @afterthoughts_writes.

And opinions please :3