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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 💖

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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.

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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.

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Carve The Mark : Veronica Roth ~ SPOILER FREE Review // ASDFGHJKL this book ohmygod just so much

Summary :

In a galaxy powered by the current, everyone has a gift.

Cyra is the sister of the brutal tyrant who rules the Shotet people. Cyra’s currentgift gives her pain and power — something her brother exploits, using her to torture his enemies. But Cyra is much more than just a blade in her brother’s hand: she is resilient, quick on her feet, and smarter than he knows.

Akos is the son of a farmer and an oracle from the frozen nation-planet of Thuvhe. Protected by his unusual currentgift, Akos is generous in spirit, and his loyalty to his family is limitless. Once Akos and his brother are captured by enemy Shotet soldiers, Akos is desperate to get this brother out alive — no matter what the cost.

The Akos is thrust into Cyra’s world, and the enmity between their countries and families seems insurmountable. Will they help each other to survive, or will they destroy one another?

Carve the Mark is Veronica Roth’s stunning portrayal of the power of friendship — and love — in a galaxy filled with unexpected gifts.

Review:

Rating: 5 stars

Let me just start with the fact that I wasn’t a Veronica Roth fan after reading Divergent. I loved the series, but not EVERYTHING about it.

BUT THIS BOOK WAS EVERYTHING.

My favorite genre being sheer, unadulterated romance, I didn’t think I’d like a Sci-Fi book right now. But when I saw that beautiful map of a fictional galaxy on the very first page of Carve The Mark, I was sold.

Akos and Cyra stole my heart completely. Both of them had an amazing amount of character development throughout the book, and (maybe because I am fangirling too hard) I can’t find a flaw in them, or rather, can’t find a flaw that I don’t love and accept.

The pace was perfect, the world-building, which was CRUCIAL in this book, was flawlessly done. The visuals, as in Divergent, are very vivid in this book too. The point where I found out the reason for the name of this book; I think my parents thought I was going crazy the way I was jumping and squealing.

Veronica Roth also has a wonderful way of developing side characters without boring the reader. I want to keep this spoiler free, so that’s all I’ll say about this.

And the ending. We won’t talk about it. Somebody give me information about the next book in this series please.

Overall; I think this is a book you should DEFINITELY read if you are into YA. There’s romance, friendship, family bonding, and a whole new galaxy waiting for you.

And now that I have shown my appreciation, please excuse me while I sit in the corner and stare at the wall till the next book comes out.

~ Sreepurna 💙

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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 ❤

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A Torch Against The Night (AEITA #2) ~ Sabaa Tahir : Review

Summary

Elias and Laia are running for their lives. After the events of the Fourth Trial, Martial soldiers hunt the two fugitives as they flee the city of Serra and undertake a perilous journey through the heart of the Empire.


Laia is determined to break into Kauf—the Empire’s most secure and dangerous prison—to save her brother, who is the key to the Scholars’ survival. And Elias is determined to help Laia succeed, even if it means giving up his last chance at freedom.


But dark forces, human and otherworldly, work against Laia and Elias. The pair must fight every step of the way to outsmart their enemies: the bloodthirsty Emperor Marcus, the merciless Commandant, the sadistic Warden of Kauf, and, most heartbreaking of all, Helene—Elias’s former friend and the Empire’s newest Blood Shrike.


Bound to Marcus’s will, Helene faces a torturous mission of her own—one that might destroy her: find the traitor Elias Veturius and the Scholar slave who helped him escape…and kill them both.

Review :

Rating : 4 /5 

Thank you Harper Collins India for the review copy. ❤ 

Okay so don’t kill me. I know EVERYBODY loved this book. And while I admire Tahir’s writing style, the story was just not my type. First of all, I am tired of these brave young things saving the world. It’s too cliche right now,  after the numerous fantasy or dystopian novels we have read about the same topic. Moreover, there wasn’t a single character I could relate to. I respected them all, Laia, Elias, Helene – they are marvellously courageous people, but they aren’t close to my heart. I did not like the path the story took, some actions were unnecessary. Also, somehow Helene started taking up a huge role, shadowing Elias and Laia, and because I didn’t like her from the first book itself, I resented the fact that she took up the limelight. The lack of emotions in the characters also tires me. The AEITA fandom showers love and emotion, but the characters themselves are so stoic, even in the saddest situations. I get that it’s part of who they are, the plot requires them to be this way, but I don’t necessarily like it. 

All this being said, I think this book is WONDERFUL with respect to the writing quality. The sentences are beautifully constructed, and the world-building has been vivid. The language used is so very appropriate with that setting.

There were surprise elements which shocked the hell out of me, and I was moved by many of the scenes. There is a lot of intelligent action in this book. Sabaa Tahir is an amazing author, however, I believe this just isn’t my genre anymore. 

~ Sripurna ❤

ARC Review: Thief Of Hearts (Hearts #5) by L.H.Cosway

Summary

Seduce the teacher.

Meet the cousin.

Make a deal.

Steal the painting.


Andrea Anderson has no clue of the thoughts churning around in the dark and dangerous ex-con’s head as he enters her classroom. In fact, she’s momentarily lost for words. Not in her entire teaching career has she had a student who looked quite like Stu Cross.

A widow at just twenty-eight, love is something Andie hasn’t considered a part of her life for a very long time. However, when lingering touches turn to whispered words and hot, searching stares, she begins to wonder if maybe she should take a leap of faith.

But Stu is in her class for a reason, and it has nothing to do with love. He’s there to burrow his way into her life and repay a debt, otherwise his family will suffer. Andie is the first person to show him true kindness since he left prison, and though he doesn’t want to mislead her, he doesn’t have another choice.

Before long, Stu can’t tell whether or not he’s acting anymore, and his feelings for Andie could throw all of his carefully crafted plans into complete and utter disarray.

REVIEW:


Rating
: 3.5 stars


Thank you Wordsmith Publicity for providing me with the ARC for the review tour.

Things I liked about the book:

• Stu. As usual L.H.Cosway created yet another drool-worthy amaaaazing hero I love 💕

 • Trevor Cross. I want book 6, just to know his story!!!! 

• Heists are always golden.

• I loved the character development for both the protagonists.

• Complicated family matters handled oh-so-well.

• Cosway NEVER writes a cliche story 

Things I didn’t like about the book:

It fell short of the other books in the series. It’s more casual, and less feels.I know this isn’t reason enough, but yeah, I just wanted more from Thief Of Hearts.

Overall

This is still one of favorite series’ so GO AHEAD AND READ IT ALREADY 💞

Read my reviews of the previous books in this series: 

https://thelonelybooklover.wordpress.com/2016/04/12/hearts-series-by-l-h-cosway/

Purchase the book on Amazon: 

https://www.amazon.com/Thief-Hearts-L-H-Cosway-ebook/dp/B01LZDDVFH

~ Sripurna