Welcome, welcome // Beauty and the Beast Retellings: Readalong and Reviews (#BATBretellingthoughts)


I have always, always loved the story of this bookish and peculiar yet pretty girl who is imprisoned by the “beast”, a brute with a seemingly cold heart and how these creatures you assume are beasts are not really the beastly ones.

So when the live-action movie came out, I obviously watched it.

And fell in love with the story all over again.

I did some research and came up with a list of Beauty and The Beast retellings that I wanted to read over this month, and perhaps even over this year. So this series will have reviews of retellings of Beauty and The Beast, one book per post, or more if I decide to do shorter reviews.

There will be books from multiple genres and subgenres, such as high fantasy, historical romance, urban fantasy, etc.

I’ll be really happy if any of you want to join me in reading these. You can read the ones I have on my list, or find some other books like these. OR you can post reviews and/or photos of retellings you have already read before. All you have to do is either post about it on Instagram with the hashtag #BATBretellingthoughts OR make a blog post about it where you add a link to this page so that more people know about this.

I’ll be posting a list of books I plan to read if any of you are interested in this whole thing. I hope you are!

I have already read some retellings, I’ll put up reviews of them pretty soon. And if you know of any such books, please let me know in the comments below!

{Follow me on Instagram: @afterthoughts_ }

(Photo credit: Pinterest)

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.

Dangerous Games ~ Danielle Steel : Book Review // My first Danielle Steel novel!

Summary:

Television correspondent Alix Phillips dodges bullets and breaks rules to bring the most important news to the world from riots in America to protests on the streets of Tehran. With her daughter in college, and working alongside cameraman Ben Chapman, a deeply private ex-Navy SEAL, Alix revels in the risks and whirlwind pace of her work. But her latest assignment puts her at the center of an explosive story that will reshape many lives, including her own: investigating damning allegations involving the vice president of the United States, Tony Clark.

Alix starts with a nationally revered woman who may be the key to exposing frightening secrets. Olympia Foster is the fragile, reclusive widow of America’s most admired senator, who had been destined for the presidency before an assassin’s bullet felled him. Since then, Olympia has found emotional support from Clark, who once wanted her as his wife and now stands as her protector and confidant. When Alix begins to dig deeper, federal agents pick up the trail. Then the threats begin.

As the stakes rise in this dangerous game, Alix needs Ben’s help as never before. And soon they realize they are grappling with an adversary far more sinister than they had imagined.

Review:

Rating: 4/5 stars

I have heard A LOT about Danielle Steel novels, and they keep popping up on my Goodreads Recommendations. However, this was my first time reading one, and I was pretty excited.

The book started off in a both slow as well gripping manner. The narrative was smooth, hence I had to keep reading, however, it took a long time to reach the main incidents in the story. But I guess the character backgrounds were also necessary, hence the delay.

The main plotline was quite interesting and very relevant to current real-life incidents. I won’t say the portrayal of the whole world was very realistic all the time though, and if you forget this is fiction, you might have problems with it. But I read it with the intention of enjoying the book, and so it worked well for me.

My favourite part was how this story seems to be about Alix Phillips, a journalist slash television correspondent, who “dodges bullets”for her career, but ends up being two individuals — Alix and Olympia. They are both very different women, and the character development shown here is remarkable. Olympia, a grieving widow, stuck in a limbo since her husband’s death, isn’t a likable character in the beginning, but Danielle Steel slowly transforms her, infusing strength into her in every page. Alix, a fierce and independent woman, also struggles with her own issues throughout the book.

The language used is really simple but it makes the book an easy read, even for someone like me who does not understand much about politics at all. The romance is sort of half hearted, but it’s good for people who don’t want a mushy read. I also love how there are some parts where the author adds gentle irony to criticise issues, it makes the book funny as well.

The ending was really strange and abrupt, and leaves a scope for a sequel, but I am not sure about that.

Overall an enjoyable read, perfect for lazy weekends, with just the right amount thrill, intrigue, depth and an added sprinkle of romance.

~ Sreepurna.

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

💚

Worldwide (Boy Band#3) ~ Jacqueline E. Smith : Book Review

Summary:

Melissa Parker’s secret is out. 

Now that the entire world knows she’s dating Sam Morneau, Mel suddenly finds herself and her relationship under the intense scrutiny of celebrity gossip bloggers, curious fans, and appropriately concerned family members. 

But then, that’s nothing compared to the other secrets and scandals that plague The Kind of September. In the midst of their long-anticipated world tour, a toxic combination of infidelity and betrayal has left the band and its fan base angry, confused, and ultimately broken. 

No one ever said that life with the world’s most popular boy band was easy, but in spite of everything she’s seen, Mel is still willing to believe that it’s worth it.

REVIEW:

Rating : 4 stars out of 5

This book was possibly my favorite one in the series yet? The story has become SO much more interesting at this point, I NEED to know the rest of it ASAP.

I have always loved the Boy Band characters. Sam is hilarious, Mel is quite funny herself in that awkward way of hers. I love all the boys (even Jesse), but right now let’s just say there is one boy in the band, I am unhappy with *cough* Mr. Bad Choices *cough*

Worldwide provides an even more detailed picture of the negative sides of fame. Even though Sam and Mel try their best to handle things as smoothly as possible, they face a lot of hardships, and this was portrayed VERY realistically, through fan tweets and newspaper article snippets.

Jacqueline E. Smith’s easy going style of writing is something I admire in all of her books. The story always progresses fast and efficiently. I finished this book in one single sitting and loved every second of it. I say this all the time, and will repeat it again- I love how each Boy Band novel ends with us readers NEEDING the next book NOW. It increases my respect for the book every time.

My favorite part of the book though was the chapter intro style. All the Boy Band novel chapters begin with a couple of lines from a song by the fictional band in the series, or by the other musicians mentioned in the book. I love the idea, but Worldwide had the best lyrics out of all the boy band novels. 💕

So if you love music and/or boy bands, cute romances, stories about friendship and love and drama and celebrities — go pick up these books now!

~ Sreepurna.

💚

Lose Me – M.C. Frank : Review // Did you just say “Darcy, who?” 

Summary:

LOSE ME. by M. C. Frank is a YA/NA novel about acting, kissing, dying and redemption.

Weston Spencer is an English actor, the new social media darling. Just fresh from finishing his hit TV show, THE WATER WARS, the one that made girls all over the planet scream for a glimpse of his dirty-blond hair and emerald eyes, he wants to turn to more serious projects. This fall he is filming FIRST SENTENCES, a modern Pride and Prejudice adaptation, in the picturesque Greek island of Corfu. When not filming, he’s planning to spend his free time with his best friend, Ollie, on his yacht, the L&H. But on the day before shooting starts, a girl almost drowns right in front of his eyes. 

Her name is Ari Demos and she’s a half Greek, kick-ass stunt girl, with a dark secret no one knows -she’s even trying to deny it herself.

Wes dismisses her as too unimportant when he first meets her, but…. but. Turns out she isn’t unimportant. In fact, quite the opposite.

Review:

Rating: 4.5 stars

This book hit me like a truck. My poor heart is still healing from the after-effects. 

First of all, let me tell you a little spoiler-free background of the characters. Wes Spencer is the new love of my life. Umm, he reads. Yes people, our hero READS. You need anything else? No? I figured. As for Ari Demos, half-Greek stunt girl, in the beginning of the book, I thought I wouldn’t relate to her at all. But I had to change my mind later. I usually don’t spend much time thinking about side characters, but Ollie (Weston’s best friend) was another character I absolutely adored. Katia, Ari’s best friend, had a small part in the book, but I have eerie similarities with that character.

M. C Frank’s writing style. Never in my life will I stop admiring it, or grow tired of appreciating it. Even in such an intense book, there were some really funny or sarcastic parts in the narrative, which made the book all the more enjoyable. I loved that there were parts in the story which were told through text messages, journal entries, news articles and Tumblr posts. It added the contemporary feel to the story. There were so many book references, and not only Pride and Prejudice ones. 

There were parts where I felt like the story was going down a predictable road, but ultimately it didn’t. There were so many twists I did not expect. I thoroughly enjoyed every page of this book. That doesn’t mean it did not shatter my heart. All I can say without giving away anything, is that all the emotions in the book were so very realistically portrayed. I did not expect the story to affect me and teach me as much as it did. It brought back memories I don’t like to remember but, well, quoting the book, “I wouldn’t change anything. Not even the pain”. 🙈

The setting for most part of the story is Corfu, and that added in a plus factor for me, because I have always been curious about this island ever since I read My Family And Other Animals. *sheepish smile* 

All in all, I recommend this book to anyone who wants to read a quality YA contemporary romance. I am completely in love with the story, and I hope you all love it as much as I did!

Preorder it on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/B01MZD6PIO/ref=dbs_a_w_dp_b01mzd6pio
~ Sreepurna.
💜

Lyrebird – Cecelia Ahern : Book Review

413 pages

Published: November 3, 2016

ISBN13: 9780007501861

Summary: 



Life is in two parts: who you were before you met her, and who you are after.

A documentary crew discover a mysterious young women living alone in the mountains of West Cork. Strikingly beautiful she has an extraordinary talent for mimicry, like the famous Australian Lyrebird. The crew, fascinated, make her the subject of her story, and bestow the nickname upon her.

When they leave, they take Lyrebird with them back to the city. But as she leaves behind her peaceful life to learn about a new world, is she also leaving behind a part of herself? For her new friend Solomon the answer isn’t clear. When you find a rare and precious thing, should you share it – or protect it…

Review:

Rating : ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐/5 stars

At this point I have blind faith on Cecelia Ahern. I went into this book knowing that it’d be good, and I obviously wasn’t disappointed.

Ahern’s writing has always had a very lyrical quality to it, and somehow the atmosphere and characters in Lyrebird just enhance this, and give the story a whole lot of added magic.

The concept, as usual, was really unique. Laura, the beautiful mysterious woman Solomon and Bo discover living alone in a mountainous locality, is the lyrebird. She literally can mimic any sound she hears, and tends to do so more when she is upset or anxious. This magical girl is brought to our noisy world and the story shows her transfer from the solitary life in the wilderness to the hustling and bustling city, while she discovers more about life and people.

I loved Laura, and I could relate to Bo, somewhat. I sometimes found Solomon a little weak, though. But somehow these just made them all so real.

Overall, I would definitely recommend this book. The thing about Cecelia Ahern is that her books don’t fit into any particular genre, and I feel like most people should give her books a try.

If you still aren’t sold, take a look at the cover of the book. And judge it by this cover.

~ Sripurna.