Book Review: We Were Liars

We Were LiarsWe Were Liars by E. Lockhart
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

You’ll either love this story, or hate it. Love the writing style, or despise it. I guarantee you this : this book will take you to your extremities. So you’ll need to buckle up.

Needless to say (you can see my rating after all)… I ADORED this book.

Guess the fact that this is the first book review I’ve written in over a year adds substance to the above statement.

We were liars is… a broken story about a broken girl narrated with broken cadence. And like a sly wink from the author, Cadence is our protagonist with the broken memories and a life torn apart.

Cadence, her two cousins Johnny and Mirren, and their Indian American friend Gat are the Liars, and theirs is a bond that began in Summer Eight (they all are the same age). Every summer, the entire Sinclair family convenes in their family island, and the Liars are reunited. But something went wrong in Summer Fifteen.

Something that Cadence is trying to recall.

But memory can be a bitch.

I’m not going to be spoilerish, and I’m not going to ‘Lie’ as the blurb asks me to. In fact, a piece of advice forget about the blurb and the lies. Delve into a brilliantly imaginative but broken mind. And you’ll find that the narration is such a pleasure.

Whimsical.
Satirical.
Cruel, even.

It dragged me in, and when I resurfaced in the end, I was crying and grinning at the same time.

We Were Liars deserves a five and a resounding applause. E. Lockhart, you brought me back into the reading world. Thank you!

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I Made A Manga(Fox) Downloader!

You must be thinking I’ve forgotten all about this blog 😀 Well that’s hardly the case! I’ve been dying to read some good books, and review them. But duty calls! I’m in my final year of Undergraduate studies, and even though I’m not really working hard on anything, somehow I find myself harried and devoid of free time. That doesn’t help with stress, nuh-uh.

One thing that does keep me calm, however, is the other kind of geek side to me. And so I ended up making a MangaFox Downloader which – you guessed it! – downloads manga chapters for free from the manga-hosting sire, MangaFox.me. And you guessed it right – I’m a Computer Science and Engineering undergrad 😀

You can find the tiny file (only about 20kB) for free here: http://www.4shared.com/file/vlF4bcCK/MangaFox_Downloader.html

The how-to instructions (with screenshots) and more information about this version of the downloader here!
http://bakshree.wordpress.com/2013/10/19/revamped-mangafox-downloader-now-beta-testing/

Why did I go to lengths creating this program?? You can find about those reasons here:
http://bakshree.wordpress.com/2013/08/16/developing-a-project-of-ones-own-manga-downloader/

Since it’s obvious the program might have some bugs, I’d appreciate your feedback… and welcome your support!! So do drop a line! ^_^

Here’s a peek into how it looks like… And yes, I’m a huge Chihayafuru fan 😀

 

Blue Umbrella

It’s Shalini Jena’s XXth birthday (not sure if she wants to reveal her birthday publicly on the internet 😛 ) and I’m finally back on the blog with this song dedicated to her J Hope that crazy girl somehow finds her way here, and likes it ! J Happy Birthday, you woman! 😀

I was skipping down the road when it started pouring
And I scrambled in my bag but it had nothing at all
And there was no shelter nearby

Yeah

And it’s not like I was all alone, with the wind that was blowing
Throngs of people over took me as I just stood by
And I was drenched to the bone

Yeah

With a blue umbrella
You stopped for me, and stood by me
And with the blue umbrella
You walked with me, and I wasn’t lonely at all

 

 

1000 page views before the month ends?

I randomly checked The Book Hog’s stats and saw that I had 696 page views till now . And I’d hit the 700 mark today (probably). So even though it doesn’t mean that 700 people reached my site, it does mean people all over the world cared to come over 🙂 It’s such a happy thought! So I had an idle and ridiculous thought: would the blog hit the thousands page-view mark before it turned a month old?

Maybe it is a ridiculous thought (most probably it is). I have no idea what a respectable traffic for a book blog is. And moreover I haven’t reviewed many books in the first place – so   my posts won’t turn up so frequently in Google searches. So what is a good threshold? Even then, I don’t care. It’s just a fancy, that I’d like to know The Book Hog was accessed a thousand times in its first month of existence 🙂

Can it happen? Well to make sure of that, I sure have to write more reviews 🙂 Yay!

This one seems pretty inspiring 🙂

Ever After is out!!

Thank you folks for keeping visiting and liking my posts even though they became irregular because of exams. (Or truthfully, mangas 😀 )

I get this warm and fuzzy feeling of satisfaction every time I get those notifications… *happy sigh*

However, this post isn’t about me… This is to scream (about 1-2 days late depending upon time zones) that Kim Harrison‘s Ever After is out! The awesome-est Hollows book yet is out there for everyone else to enjoy! YAY!! It’s doubly special for me this time since the book is the first ARC I ever received… 🙂 🙂

Here’s the link to the review I wrote for the ARC: https://thebookhog.wordpress.com/2013/01/01/book-review-ever-after-hollows-11/

This book is just so adorable!! *does a happy dance*

My e-ARC expired 😦 However it just means that I’ll go and get the real deal 🙂 Or since I already know the story should I wait for the mass-market edition?? o.O Any suggestions? Help me out!!

 

Book Review: The Fine Art of Truth or Dare


The Fine Art of Truth or Dare by Melissa Jensen

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Date of finishing: 23rd Jan 2013
Recommended for: NO ONE.

The Fine Art of Truth or Dare

Truth: I found the title very interesting.
Truth: I thought the cover picture was adorable.
Truth: I shouldn’t have read this one. Really.

There is this thing about expectations – when something falls short, it really breaks your heart. This book came very close to breaking my heart – good thing I stop expecting things halfway!

The story started off beautifully. First when Edward Willing was mentioned, I first balked… After all, Twilight has jinxed the name for me and I began thinking why any author would take the risk of naming their protagonist so… And then came this part and I loved it:

Truth: Edward Willing died in 1916.

Na, that doesn’t make me morbid – it just made me think that this story might just get interesting. Especially with all those potentially humorous situations of a Willing Girl.
WRONG.

The hero is Alex-who-is-not-Alexander-but-Alexei. The heroine is scarred (literally and figuratively) and suffers from major complex. And they have no story. This story could have been about growth. This story could have featured the girl taking up a Dare when it actually mattered. This story could have had haunted artists and haunting artists (or that may be just wishful thinking). It unfortunately has none of those.

I have no idea what Alex has to recommend for himself. And the sad thing is that even Ella herself couldn’t answer that one. All we know about him is that he is hot, and 6 ft tall. Is that even a description? I have no idea how he looks like. At least we have some visual cues about Ella – long hair, timid and invisible personality so I figure I’d never really see her face if I ever even tried to imagine her. I just don’t feel like doing that – she’s a huge waste of time. I like the best friends, though, who never really got their own space in this half baked story. I’d like to know what actually went behind Sadie’s voluminous clothes, if Frankie really bounced back every time he failed in love. And ironically, the person I like the best is the scarcely mentioned Daniel, the Frankie’s-twin-gangster-dude.

The only thing realistic about the story was Ella’s family. It was loud, loving and bossy just like every closely knitted family and it was the only thing that kept me going in this story. Because frankly speaking the story really didn’t end up anywhere. Why wasn’t there any plot, dammit?!

What happened about Anna! Why didn’t Sienna’s fiancé/husband get a scene? Why wasn’t Alex given a life, dammit? Why was he the hero? Till the last moment I was hoping the author would change her mind and give Daniel the spotlight, unexpectedly making him the hero! And the most important question – why did Ella exist at all? Because I believe every story comes up for a reason – for the love of a character, for the passion for some plot, or for vengeance or justice. I found no story at all in this one – just dry make-belief conversations.

I suggest you do not read this. Please.

I really do hate negative reviews :/

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Rant: Reason why The Book Hog is so terribly distracted

I opened a book blog and started posting regularly, passionately till one day, suddenly, there was radio silence. What happened? What went wrong?

Here’s the dig, folks: alien abduction. Yep. A manga-loving anime-crazy alien has taken over this innocent person who had never read mangas (and watched anime if they were showing on TV but not really following them). I haven’t been sleeping at nights, staying up to finish the damn series, and then start the next… And waking after noon means DAILY rants from my mom. And not to mention, my exams are going on.

Can I get any freakier?  I mean I watched two whole anime series today! *Kill me somebody*

(Psst: if you’re somebody who knows me personally, do NOT let my family know about this or I’ll let loose the hounds on hell on you 😛 )

Alien abduction, I’m sure. Or is it just the power of anime-world? Na. It’s the power of stories, of fictional worlds, that enthrals me… I just discovered a new medium. Whatever it is, I need to snap out of it… NOW!!!

Please oh please oh please…

New Manga Love: Fullmetal Alchemist

Ladies and gentlemen, I pulled a Columbus and sailed the opposite way – and discovered a whole new world!

Manga: why did I not discover you earlier? All I have left to say right now is: come to mama!

I picked up Fullmetal Alchemist last night (my cousin had insisted I take them from him a long while ago)… and it’s 5:30 am now and I haven’t slept a wink. Nuh-uh. I had watched Fullmetal Alchemist in Animax a long while ago; the only reason I agreed to take this particular series was because I recognised the name. And oh boy, I’m so HOOKED!

North American version cover art

North American version cover art (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I just love the story! The Elric brothers are so connectible (I’m not sure it’s the right word but please excuse my sleep deprived brain). You can’t help but feel for these two boys who tries to get their mother back – and almost die in the process. There is this bond between them that you see right away – the boy in armour, and the boy with limbs of steel. And besides loving those two, I just can’t get enough of the Philosopher Stone  references – I really looked up a lot about that stone when I read the first Harry Potter book *grins*.

It’s beautiful – the artistry, the story. I’m still in the beginning of the story – only about 17 chapters out of 108 covered (I don’t know if there are more: 108 chapters are all I possess) but I’m definitely in love ^_^

(And the adorable quips they have about Al trying to slim down and growing body hair? How CUUTEEE!!! *fan girl squeal* )

Books to anticipate: The Moon and More by Sarah Dessen

The Moon and More
Author: Sarah Dessen
Expected Publication: June 4th 2013

It’s no big secret I’m a huge fan of Sarah Dessen.

It is also an universally acknowledged fact that her last book What Happened To Goodbye was a downer. And what a pity, because it was SUCH a beautiful name and had SUCH a pretty cover. And SUCH an adorable author writing it. 😦

Right now I’m praying really very very desperately that the old Sarah Dessen will be back with this one… What Happened To Goodbye was a disappointment indeed – even Along For The Ride (bashed by many) had been more intense, and since it was the first Dessen book I ever read and found better (aka older) books I had no reason to complain.

But I need the magic back. The magic of Just Listen, the intensity of Lock and Key, the sweetness of The Truth About Forever. And the power of That Summer.

Can I ask for (some not all) that??? Pretty please??

Book Review: Hopeless

Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
My Rating: 6 Stars
TBH Verdict: SuperAwesome
Recommended for: Anyone who can read

hopeless

I’m speechless. Of all the things I had expected… Oh my God, OH MY GOD.

It was beautiful. Heartbreaking. So so beautiful. Hopeless exceeded all my hopes and expectations, after I got the message that this wasn’t going to be another Slammed/Point of Retreat.

Here’s the deal: don’t start reading Hopeless with Will and Lake in your mind. Think Jennifer Echols, think Elizabeth Scott. Think Intense.

Intense is exactly the word Sky uses for Holder, the guy who suddenly enters her life and turns everything upside down. She’s a simple girl (Sky’s as complex as one can be). Sky is a girl who barely knows the outside world. Her adopted mother Karen doesn’t care about technology, public school and many other random vices. Sky is home-schooled, and the only friend she has is her neighbour Six. That’s not where the story starts though.

There is something wrong with Sky: though even she doesn’t realises it. And then Holder enters her life and everything turns upside down. Holder himself has lots of issues, but he makes her come alive. But then there are times when it feels like he’s hiding something. And is the truth worth everything? When there are potential hurts and betrayals lying in that very past, is digging up the truth prudent?

See? Intense.

I’m not sure I put the essence of the book in those words, but I’m still gasping over this one. This isn’t a book about a girl going gaga over a boy. This isn’t a book where a white knight comes to rescue the princess. This story will stab you in the heart, bleed you, and remind you what love is about. I’ll have to give it to you, Ms Hoover, you sure do know how to throw curve-balls. I had a feeling where the plot was going but I thought I was wrong… I could never have the courage to write something like this. You are just amazing, [author:Colleen Hoover|5430144]… And I’m now a big big fan.

I still can’t stop crying though… out of pain for the loss of Hope, out of happiness for the future. This book is worth skipping a night’s sleep, and I’m so glad I stayed up for this…

Updated after an hour or so:

P.S. I just went to stalk Collen’s blog, and boy oh boy, what a gift I found there. ***ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK… MAJOR SPOILER ALERT!!!*** 

The “best first kiss” from Holder’s point of view.