Before I Fall ~ Lauren Oliver : Book Review // Excitement for movie (released on March 3, 17)

Summary: 

For popular high school senior Samantha Kingston, February 12—”Cupid Day”—should be one big party, a day of valentines and roses and the privileges that come with being at the top of the social pyramid. And it is…until she dies in a terrible accident that night.

However, she still wakes up the next morning. In fact, Sam lives the last day of her life seven times, until she realizes that by making even the slightest changes, she may hold more power than she ever imagined.

Review:

Rating: 4 stars

Things I liked:

• The ending. Although the whole story reminded me of other books, the ending was unique and I love the moral.

• Character development. In retrospect, the whole point of the story was character development, and it was beautifully carried out.

• Kent. I was wayyyy more obsessed with this character than I was supposed to be. He was so unique, and so unlike other characters in YA novels.

• The literary references. Like how Sam uses her English class knowledge (page 44, last two lines, for those who have read the book). Also the Biblical allusions, which I missed in the beginning, but it all suddenly clicked near the ending.

• The writing style. It’s very poetic, and I love the basis on which the book has been divided.

Things I didn’t like: 

• It was kind of repetitive. I know that was necessary for the plot, but still.

• I wish this book wasn’t created along the lines of so many other YA novels. So many parts reminded me of If I Stay and Paper Towns. It was like John Green, David Levithan, Jandy Nelson and Jennifer Niven had a conference and cooked up the idea.

Overall

I am very excited to watch the movie. It looks much better than I imagined. Here’s the trailer if you still haven’t watched it:

https://youtu.be/f5hIJsdIQCc
This book is worth reading if you want a YA novel with a twist and a moral.

~ 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

“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.

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

Rau (The Great Love Story Of Bajirao Mastani): Review 

RAU

N.S. INAMDAR

The novel that inspired the award-winning film 


‘My eyes, they rain all the time 
My eyes, they rain all the time 
Till I see him in mine’ 

When Shrimant Bajirao Peshwa, feared by even the mighty Mughals, hears the exquisite Mastani sing, the passion that sparks between them grows quickly into a raging fire. 

The Peshwa defies his orthodox Brahmin heritage, declaring his love openly for the half-Muslim dancer, in the face of fierce opposition. A man way ahead of his time, Bajirao causes outrage when he marries Mastani, bringing her into his home as his second wife. 

N. S. Inamdar’s timeless tale, that has inspired both film and television, brings alive the romance, intrigue and valour of the eighteenth-century Maratha empire. This irresistible novel is one of India’s favourite love stories.



RATING: 3 stars

REVIEW:

I am left with mixed feelings about this book.

Firstly, I’d like to say, anyone who liked the movie Bajirao Mastani should read this book. It’s a more enriched version of the movie (albeit, without Deepika or Ranveer, so you’ll miss them probably 😂😂). But if you liked the movie, there’s a high chance you’ll love the book.

It has action, romance and lots of drama.

But.

There were things I really didn’t like.

No. 1, the writing. Somehow, the writing or perhaps the translation (because the original is in Marathi) fell flat. The words were mechanical, and somewhat forced. Also; this book needs a glossary in the end, to explain the meanings of some Marathi words, which weren’t possible to translate. Being an Indian, I know bits and pieces of Hindi, and that’s the only reason I could still guess the meanings of some words. But I think a glossary would be great.

I hated the characters of this book. Literally loathed them. They are all historical characters, I don’t know how much of the story is authentic, but according to this book, the characters sucked. Big time. I found nothing romantic and tragic about Rau and Mastani’s “love”. Its all shown as something very very superficial.

But the fact remains that this book made me feel a lot of things — anger, hatred, sorrow and sympathy (towards Kashibai, actually). And that’s why I think this book is worty of reading. Because rarely does a book make you ponder so long these days.

To buy the book on Amazon, click here.

~ Sripurna

What Lies Between Us : Review

What Lies Between Us

Nayomi Munaweera

288 pages

Pan Macmillan

*ARC provided by publishers in exchange for an honest review*

Rating: 5 STARS

Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of Island of a Thousand Mirrors comes the confession of a woman, driven by the demons of her past to commit a single and possibly unforgivable crime.


“The walls of my cell are painted an industrial white, like albumen. They must think the color is soothing. Where I come from it connotes absence, death, unrelenting loneliness.”


In the idyllic hill country of Sri Lanka, a young girl grows up with her loving family; but even in the midst of this paradise, terror lurks in the shadows. When tragedy strikes, she and her mother must seek safety by immigrating to America. There the girl must reinvent herself as an American teenager to survive, with the help of her cousin. Both love and loss fill her life, but even as she assimilates and thrives, the secrets and scars of her past follow her into adulthood. In this new country of freedom, everything she has built begins to crumble around her, and her hold on reality becomes more and more tenuous. When the past and the present collide, she sees no other choice than to commit her unforgivable final act. This is her confession.


REVIEW:

The walls of my cell are painted an industrial white”

Devastating. Disturbing. Mind-boggling.

This twisted tale of a young girl who is wronged, turning into a woman whose shadows of the past force her to commit an unforgivable crime, won’t let you breath for a long time since you keep the book down.

What Lies Between Us is a story filled with a lot of suspense. The brutal honesty in the narrator’s voice just makes it more believable. Its one of those randomly picked books which are surprisingly engrossing.

I was born in Sri Lanka, a green island in the midst of the endless Indian Ocean”

The narrator is a fresh character, and this entire Sri-Lankan background in the story taught me a lot about the culture in that country (which is a lot similar to ours). The author also uses small, seemingly irrelevant stories or tales in the middle of the story, which gives you subtle hints about what MIGHT happen, without revealing much. Munaweera keeps you guessing things till the very last page of the book.

I finished this book in one morning, so fair warning, don’t sit with it unless you have quite a bit of time, because I assure you, you won’t be able to put it down.

Lastly, I’ll warn you again, this book is devastating. It’s dark, so very, very dark. It is going to ruin your perception towards things, disturb your very core with its candor. Read it only if you can handle it.

Thank you Pan Macmillan for giving me the opportunity to review this wonderful book.

~Sripurna

Review: Cut (Flawless #2) by Emily Duvall

image

Cut (Flawless #2)

Emily Duvall

Blurb:

Jessica Cahill is having one perfect night. In six weeks she’ll walk down the aisle and marry her long-time boyfriend. But for tonight, she’s celebrating hard at her bachelorette party. It’s the time of her life until… she takes things too far. 

Brent Harrison is having the worst night of his life. Across town, seven rare diamonds are tucked safely in the vault at his brother’s mansion. These diamonds are special. They hold significance. They belong to the infamous Abbott Tiara. The task should be easy, he should have them by the morning. That’s when everything goes wrong. That’s when he runs into her. 

One tiara 
Seven diamonds 
Sometimes beautiful things come at a cost…

REVIEW:

4 stars

(Review copy provided by author in exchange of honest review)

This book was not what I expected it to be.

I expected a roundabout repetition of the first book, just this time, it was going to be Jessica’s story.

“Of all the women to run into tonight.”

But no.

This book is a proper sequel. The stories continued from the last book (Inclusions) , and all the same characters were there. Like the last book, this one is really well-written too. All over, its such a bittersweet book.

And oh, expect more of the “suspense” that was slightly missing the first book, here.

“A cut determines how light reflects back to the human eye.”

So if you want a fast-paced romantic suspense book with a generous amount of action and character development, then this is your book.

And that’s all I can give away without letting out spoilers.. XD

– Sripurna