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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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“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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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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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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“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.