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 💖

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

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

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.