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“and then the sun came crashing in” // summer playlist + reading list

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Playlist:

All the songs that remind me of summer. (Scroll down for 8tracks link).

  1. Riptide – Vance Joy
  2. Sand in my shoes – Dido
  3. Rhythm of love – Plain White T’s
  4. Waves – Dean Lewis
  5. Someone New – Hozier
  6. Brighter Than The Sun – Colbie Caillat
  7. Some Nights – Fun
  8. Best Day of My Life – American Authors
  9. Wake Me Up – Avicii
  10. Rude – Magic!
  11. Lush Life – Zara Larsson
  12. Uptown Funk – Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars
  13. Happy – Pharell Williams

Bonus songs: Here Comes The Sun – The Beatles, Barcelona – Ed Sheeran

Here’s this same playlist on 8tracks –

http://8tracks.com/mixes/8733661/player_v3_universal

“and then the sun came crashing in” // summer playlist from Sripurna on 8tracks Radio.

 

Reading List:

Summer mainly feels like YA contemporary novels, but I’ve tried to incorporate some other books as well.

  1. Summer series by Jenny Han – I am not a fan of this series personally, but I don’t think you can exclude this one from a “summer reads list”.
  2. The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater – Henrietta always feels like summer.
  3. We Were Liars by E. Lockhart – Not summer-y in a cheerful sort of way, but more like in a dark way.
  4. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen – Self explanatory
  5. Much Ado About Nothing by William Shakespeare – Of all of Shakespeare’s plays, this one is particularly summer-y.
  6. Firefly Lane by Kristin Hannah – I remember reading this one summer years ago.
  7. The Unexpected Everything by Morgan Matson – I call these books “quality YA”. It had one of my favourite books of all time. And basically all of Matson’s books are very summer-y.
  8. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee – Essentially gives off summer vibes.
  9. I’ll Give You The Sun by Jandy Nelson – Have you seen the name of this book??
  10. Summer Days and Summer Nights edited by Stephanie Perkins – I haven’t read this one, but it is necessarily a collection of twelve short stories in summer.

Hope you guys are having a lovely summer! XO

Sreepurna. ❤

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Rosie Loves Jack by Mel Darbon – Book Review // Strong, heart-wrenching, beautiful, like Rosie.

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Summary:

Rosie loves Jack. Jack loves Rosie. So when they’re split up, Rosie will do anything to find the boy who makes the sun shine in her head. Even run away from home. Even cross London and travel to Brighton alone, though the trains are cancelled and the snow is falling. Even though any girl might find that hard, let alone a girl with Down’s syndrome. See the world through new eyes in this one-in-a-million story about fighting for the freedoms that we often take for granted: independence, tolerance and love.

Review: 

Rating: 4.5 stars / 5

When you see a book written from the point-of-view of a teenage girl with Down’s syndrome, you can have two reactions – happiness to see such a book being written, and scepticism because you aren’t sure how well it will be written. This book is so kind and sweet and well-written, it melted my sceptic heart.

Things I liked:

  • The Down’s Syndrome rep: I had no knowledge about this condition beyond what I studied in Biology, and I am truly thankful to this book for making me see the less clinical and more human side of things. What stood out to me was that ultimately human emotions are the same, whether you are medically considered “normal” or not.
  • Rosie and Jack: When you read this book, it seems to be mostly about Rosie. But then I realised, Rosie would probably disagree. The book is called Rosie Loves Jack, and it took me a while to understand why. In a way, this journey is solely Rosie’s, and when Rosie tells Jack, “You make me strong”, my first reaction was, “Girl, you’re plenty strong just by yourself.” However, maybe discounting the importance of Jack is discounting Rosie’s narrative itself, because that is precisely what she tries to make everyone understand – that broken as Jack is, he makes “the sun shine in her head”, and you can’t dismiss that, can you? [Also, Rose and Jack? Their very names? You have to root for them.]
  • The narration: “See the world through new eyes,” says the back cover of the ARC I received, and indeed Mel Darbon did a magnificient job in showing me the world through Rosie’s innocent and brave eyes.
  • This book had such a realistic mix of good and bad people, it simultaneously scared me and restored my faith in the world? Their were good people, kind people, horrible people, sad people, grey people. A perfect depiction of the human capacity to be evil as well as empathetic.
  • Exposure of double standards: It not only showed the sort of prejudices a girl with Down’s Syndrome or some other health issue has to overcome, but also the double standards society has regarding boys and girls of the same age. There were these subtle examples that were perfectly thrown in, but you’ve got to read the book to find out.
  • Rose Tremayne: In a way, this book is a very typical example of a kind of coming of age story, and I kept thinking about James Joyce’s “Araby” when I was reading it. Rosie doesn’t lose herself, but she learns about how promises can be broken, and sees the darkness in the world. Her courage is inspiring, and she taught me so many things.

Things I didn’t like:

Nothing much. I only thought the pace of the book became a little slow somewhere in the middle, but that was probably because I was impatient to finish it.

Overall:

Rosie Loves Jack is in the same vein such as YA books like Everything, Everything, Made You Up, or When We Collided , and I highly recommend this book to everyone, irrespective of age. Because it doesn’t matter how old you are, Rosie will teach you something.

The book doesn’t release before September 2018, but I suggest you put it in your TBR right now.

Here’s the Goodreads page: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39313720-rosie-loves-jack?ac=1&from_search=true

Thanks Usborne YA for the ARC!

Sreepurna.

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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

💛