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

💞

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.

💜




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

💜 

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.

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.

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.

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.