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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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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Book Review : Born in Flames (Born in Flames #1)

I remember what happened when I posted this review on Goodreads. This particular book has a spectacular rating in the site and, let’s face it, has a beautiful cover. But here’s what happened – I hated it. And obviously didn’t mince any words in my honest review. And then one day all of a sudden there was this troller who stalked every reviewer (and there were amazingly quite a few.. I wonder why) in GR who gave this book a negative review and we all had a field day battling those trollers. And I gained a couple of new buddies in Goodreads whose taste I could trust! #Memories 🙂 So here goes:

Born in Flames by Candace Knoebel

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

born-in-flames-finalOne word. C.R.E.E.P.Y.

I covered 27% of the book, but I couldn’t go on. I tried. Honest.

I don’t know what the author was thinking about when she framed plots. First she tells us that 10 yr old Aurora is a dragon. Apparently she’s in some danger so she’s transported to some other place as is a boy. 8 yrs later the story picks up and we learn that a boy and Aurora turned up in a foster home with no memory whatsoever. Coincidence? Na na. Na na. Naaaaaa Na.
(And I don’t consider that a spoiler because it happens IMMEDIATELY when the book starts).

So what displeased me is that it smacked so much of fake-incest. Actually, even a book with incestuous plot line wouldn’t offend me as much. Why go all to all that length at all? Moreover, it’s as if Aurora’s changing her definition of her relationship with Fenn according to her wish. And let me tell you, this Fenn guy is creepy too. These two siblings/friends/whatever are already adults and are cohabiting. Apparently, they are friends. So tell me why does Fenn have roving hands. Do friends keep kissing whatever wounds a girl acquires? Seriously?

The two persons should be sharing 8 yrs of common history – which should have given them a comfort level. If the author did want to insert a romantic element, at least she should have dedicated quite a few pages showing us their compatibility and then progressed into the romantic zone. Kind of justifying them being together. But nope. Almost immediately Fenn invades personal space (Rory darling doesn’t mind/care) and head butts her (or something – I’m so weary of this book I’ve forgotten the details) and la! Rory blushes! No explanation as to why she had an 8-yr-delayed response. Dragons seem to have magnificently slow reflexes. Another proof of inconsistency in their history AND bad writing?? They decide to (highlight to view spoiler)have a NORMAL day out. Gah, what were their days before, abnormal? C’mon, whose normal day out is eating out in 5 star hotels and then go horse riding? Whatever…

And the writing style wasn’t impressive at all. Neither was the content, to-be-honest. The protagonists weren’t convincing (like I told y’all earlier) and then the story wasn’t captivating (as much as I read). There’s this place where we were (view spoiler)[promised danger to Rory as prophesized by a creepy old guy. I waited with bated breath – okay, finally SOME excitement. Well, I got nada. The only excitement I got was Rory realising she could control fire. La la! You told us that in chapter 1, remember?? (hide spoiler)]

Bad read, really. Sorry for the harsh review but I’m really disappointed! The book cover and the blurb were so exciting 😦

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Book Review : Violins of Autumn

Continuing my dig-up-the-old-Goodreads-reviews series, here’s a review of a book I loved 🙂
Violins of AutumnViolins of Autumn by Amy McAuley

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Isn’t that just a beautiful name? And such a beautiful cover. I picked up the book praying – really very hard – that I’ll love the book too. Well, guess what?

Loved the book too!

I can’t say why, exactly, I fell in love with this book. I have read many accounts of the Nazi invasion – both fictional and non fictional. I can’t even say this book really stood out from among them – that honour remains with ‘The Diary of Anne Frank‘. But the glimpse this book offered into young people drafted and expected to serve as spies… was laudable and very convincing. Some joining the war despite a protesting, caring family, some to escape their past. None of them, however, escaping the fact that they WERE, indeed, young. I said I can’t decide why I fell in love with the book, but I can say where:
(highlight to view quote/spoiler)
[But nothing happens. Minutes pass, and still nothing. My relief, pacing in confinement like some caged animal, breaks free. Barely able to think straight, I leave the roadside. My suitcase falls from my hands into the shade of a gnarled apple tree. I crouch with my back against the tree and burst into tears.
I stay several minutes longer than I should. I have to get up. I have to keep going.
I dry my face with a handkerchief, knocking tiny blossom petals free from my hair. Then I continue my journey to Paris, on foot and alone.]

There are no cocky spies running around dodging bullets. There are no feisty protagonists forgetting everything in heat of passion. Adele (She can never be Betty to me) is a beautiful character… So yes, now I have the reason I loved the book – the brilliant characterization and depiction of life then. It must have taken a lot of research…

Fabulous job , Amy McAuley 🙂

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Book Review: Rapture (Fallen #4)

Rapture (Fallen, #4)Rapture by Lauren Kate

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

I have followed the Fallen Series right from the beginning. I really must be out of my mind 😦

I’ve no idea why I suffered through that book, except for closure. I hate leaving a story hanging, and, besides, the cover was deceptive enough >_< ….. It promised a lot of mysterious stuff, but all I ended up with was crap. Damn.

Did I get any answers? Hell, no. Why did Lucinda like Daniel (he sounds like an absolute idiot in this instalment at least), what was that incomplete part where Cam asked Luce if she trusted him, all that random event stuff where it turns out that – (highlight to view spoiler): (Luce apparently is a uber angel and the whole hell/heaven stuff began because of her. Figures, she has to be the everything that matters else there won’t be any story. The author has no sense of moderation it seems… )

And what’s all that “I choose love” about? I was freaking ready to bash them with my laptop. Total waste of time trying to make sense of this book. I braved it for closure; did I get it? Naaa…… nothing more than a raging head ache.

I’d recommend to NOBODY, not even to (especially not to) the most die-hard angel/mythology loving fans…

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Book Review: North and South

North and SouthNorth and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Dear North and South

Ah, sweet sweet book – why did I postpone reading you for so long! For 10 days you remained unread on my shelf, stuck at a mere 12% progress. I admit your length daunted me, but it was more apprehension than anything else. I had loved the TV adaptation, and I feared you would fall short.

And you did not.

I’m so happy, so giddy, that I persevered and finished you today. You’re everything I adore in period books. I love your version of Thornton, Margaret, Mrs Thornton, Mrs Hale so so much better – and that’s really saying something because I adored the TV characters. Though maybe the Higgins character was better shown on-screen – in my opinion at least. Every single character in the book was so lovingly portrayed, so lifelike, I’m still basking in the afterglow.

North and South is a book to be savoured. Being originally a serialised novel, it is slow-paced, but poignant in it’s every sentence. The slow pace itself gives us the opportunity to get familiar with the characters, and cheer on as they grow and mature. We fall in love with them, and enjoy their triumphs, grieve at their loss. We root for them to find happiness, to fall in love, to acknowledge that love.

BBC TV Series: North and South (2004)

BBC TV Series: North and South (2004)

John Thornton and Margaret Hale – behold one of the most passionate couples in the Literary world. It’s a shame they aren’t household names like Elizabeth Bennet and Darcy; I’m grateful to the North and South TV series that introduced this story to me. The ending was rushed a bit – from what I gather, I have the great Mr Charles Dickens (Author Elizabeth Gaskell’s mentor) is to be blamed for it. But this book is worth every page, and I can guarantee Jane Austen fans that they can find an author to obsess over after this book. I have, to be sure.

Verdict: Definitely a 5 star book 🙂

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Book Review: Parallel Visions

Parallel Visions (A Teen Psychic Novel, #1)Parallel Visions by Cheryl Rainfield

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This one felt too short to be called a novel – honestly speaking it would be a novella. But its sweetness makes up for the length.

What would you risk to save your loved one’s life? If the way you could prevent disasters was to send yourself to the face of danger, would you do it? And if you could see visions… does that mean there’s something wrong with you?

The story is meant for a younger audience – early teens probably – and the writing shows. It might have irritated me had not the writing really worked for the story line.

Verdict: 3.5 stars, short and sweet

*Book provided for honest review by NetGalley*

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Book Review: Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

The Sea of TranquilityThe Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

When you think about it, The Sea of Tranquility isn’t actually a sea; just a long stretch of barren land named so with great hopes of hospitality. Just like the Cape of Good Hope is. What you are called isn’t what that matters… It’s what you really are that’s important. The Shakespeare quote about names, and roses, is inevitable but yet so clichéd, I’d rather not use it. So you, my friend, just say it in your mind, and pretend I really typed it here:

“…………………………………” 😀 Tada!

So, back to the point. Nastya’s story is so like the misleadingly named Lunar landform, that the book’s title was perfect.

Her name was Nastya. Does that mean she’s Russian? Does her nationality make any difference? Nastya was a girl broken; she left behind everyone to escape her past. Josh was a boy always left behind; and left broken. When they did meet, of course it wasn’t love at first sight. But they let the other be. And in the process, were for them in return.

Reading about them was like watching someone bake a cake (and I say WATCH because I do not bake…that are tasty. They just turn out to be edible but that’s not the point). It was slow, sometimes arduous, but interesting. A dash thrilling too. You know, a really nice cake on the way – given the whole lot of issues they have, a bittersweet one. It was a ride topsy and turvy, a bundle of emotional turmoil. And I loved every moment of all. What started as a girl’s silent scream and a boy’s deadzone led to an ascent and at the cresceno, the pain was acknowledged… and released.

Emotionally charged and beautifully written, it gets a wholly deserved 5 star rating 🙂

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