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by the short stories of Ray Bradbury, this futuristic novel is set in a world where Christmas -among other things- is obsolete and a Clock is what keeps the fragile balance of peace.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

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.*

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 ❤

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.

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.

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.

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.