The Jackson children (Molly, Peter, Michael and Shirley) are ecstatic. They are moving from their stuffy/ dinky little house to a beautiful warm home...moreThe Jackson children (Molly, Peter, Michael and Shirley) are ecstatic. They are moving from their stuffy/ dinky little house to a beautiful warm home on a green hillside called Red Roofs. Big plans, bigger dreams, loyal help, an loyal new pet and the promise of a glittering future makes the four children work hard, play harder and generally look forward to life with a rosy outlook.
But suddenly their father has to go abroad on work and their mother falls grievously ill. And just when the children are dealing with these unpleasant surprises, they receive some news that leaves them completely at sea and anchorless. Money has suddenly become the biggest crisis of the moment and the young lot have to grow up quickly. Dolls have to be shelved and so do dreams. It's time to get jobs and keep the family together, fed and clothed.
The Family at Red Roofs is a beautifully written tale about how life can hit you with unexpected roadblocks. Whether you sit down on the curb with a woebegone expression or shed your misery and decide to deal with the problem constructively is all up to you. And along the way you learn who your true friends are and where your strengths and weaknesses lie.
For a children's book from an author renowned for creating childhood Shangri-Las, this one has a dollop of realism. While Blyton starts off with her customary optimism and unbelievably happy surroundings, she quickly takes a detour down life's harsher surprises. The siblings, ranging from sensible teenagers Molly and Peter to the mechanical genius Michael to the not-fully-comprehending-but-eager-to-help Shirley fill you with a sense of vicarious pride. Any parents would be proud to have a set of children like the Jackson quartet. And a special shout-out goes to the endearing and fiercely independent but utterly dependable Miss Wren (Jenny Wren) and the young man of few words, Jack Daw (Jackdaw). Two of Blyton's finest supporting cast members, they lend a veneer of hope in troubled times.
I enjoyed reading this book. I truly did. It made me smile, introspect, tear up just a little bit and ultimately, it infused me with the need to be thankful for what we have been blessed with. I couldn't ask for more from a book.(less)
Morgan Sparks and Cam Browne have been best friends since childhood. Morgan, with her laidback attitude towards life and her odd ability to be a spot-...moreMorgan Sparks and Cam Browne have been best friends since childhood. Morgan, with her laidback attitude towards life and her odd ability to be a spot-on psychic, forms a perfect foil for can-do-anything-he-sets-his-mind-to football hero, Cam. They have an easy camaraderie and more than that, they are in a steady and healthy relationship. Nothing seems to rock this love-boat until an odd boy called Pip Merryweather shows up at school.
Suddenly, Cam is acting very weird. He is withdrawn and sad and depressed. And Morgan is scared. Is her perfect boyfriend giving her the much-dreaded heave-ho?
But matters are far more lofty. And unbelievable. Morgan has to deal with a very nasty surprise. Cam is a fairy. A fairy king, to be precise. The night he was born in the OtherWorld, he was a sickly baby and so he was switched with a healthy human infant. But now,the Seelie Court demands the return of their king.
Will Cam and Morgan's love take precedence over this supernatural hoo-ha? What is Pip's role in all this? All this and much more in the short and fairly sweet Fairy Tale.
I liked this book. I liked it in a pleasant "here-have-a-giant-cookie-and-munch-on-it-for-a-little-while" way. I don't have any massive fandom emotions clamouring to break free. And I am perfectly fine with that. Fairy Tale is a straightforward, stand-alone fantasy tale that is perfect to while away a lazy winter afternoon. Morgan is adequately sassy and Cam is well...nice. I have a soft spot for Pip. The ending was a tad unrealistic for me but I guess it wasn't completely unbelievable.
In all : light, frothy and fairly entertaining.(less)
"I sat with Craig and Wayne in Maths today but it was really boring as they kept going on about how low cut Mrs Thomson's top was. I found it difficult to care about the subject, as all tops seem low cut to me if you can see a girl's neck. Unless a girl is wearing a polo neck, I regard her as provocatively dressed."
Yet again, I read a book purely for the word-wielding ability of John Green. If it weren't for the fact that The Fault In Our Stars was penned by His...moreYet again, I read a book purely for the word-wielding ability of John Green. If it weren't for the fact that The Fault In Our Stars was penned by His Royal Nerdfighter ~ JediMaster, I would most probably give it a miss.
See, the thing is...I needhappy endings. I need writing that brims with humour and the promise of a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.I need the absence of seemingly pretentious prose, constant references to despair and hopelessness and death and an emo-road meandering through obscure poetry. For these three factors alone, I have allowed this book to gather dust bunnies on my shelf.
But finally, almost two years after it's release, I read it. And that too, for two reasons:
a) It comes highly recommended by a bunch of Goodreaders whose opinions have always been first-rate. b) John Green
The Fault In Our Stars is, for lack of a more eloquent turn of phrase, a beautiful tragedy. A terminally ill cancer patient, Hazel Grace falls for a recovering young cancer amputee called Augustus (Gus) Waters. The tenuous love story weaves around worried but permissive parents, a twerp of a literary giant, the spectre of ever-present gloom and the exchange of books and fledgling dreams.
While the story is depressing and successful in yanking at the tear-ducts, it redeems itself in spots and places with it's characters. Hazel's beautifully brave and stoic parents, horny and helpless but always endearing Isaac, kind and compassionate Lidewij and even the wearily-irritating Van Houten, all, make a lasting impression.
As for Hazel and Augustus, I had a like-and-tolerate response to their love story. Both are endearing. Hazel with her V for Vendetta Portmanisque similarity and Augustus with his desire to sacrifice his pixelated-self at the altar of a videogame are a readable couple. But their conversations seemed a tad unrealistic. The fraught-with-existential-angst repartee peppered with philosophical asides and monologues on metaphors were a bit tedious to digest. Do normal teens talk like that? Not to dumb down the modern-day brainiacs but really, do normal teenagers speak like a pair of Oxford Scholars toasting their bygone era before a crackling fireplace while also musing over life and it's many fallacies?
In John Green's erudite world, they do.
The twist in the tragedy was painful. And absolutely spot-on in it's entry. The emotional angst goes up by a notch and yet, is somehow more real and believable. For me, the book worked best at this juncture when the dialogues were simple and well, heartfelt. ----
At the end of the day, Mr.Green, as always, is highly HIGHLY quotable. He appeals to the tiny romantic chink in our hearts that we keep so well-hidden by giving Gus and Hazel their very own 'Always' in the form of "Okay"
and let's face it, any girl who values individuality, would turn a pretty shade of beetroot-pink if a guy told her:
Ofcourse, Augustus Waters turned into a gallant hero for me when he went :
There are many more choice gems like these. Some may find them cheesy while others may wallow in the sentiments that the words evoke in them. We bring to each book our own dreams and despairs. The Fault In Our Stars is a perfect shining symbol of that very thought. I leave you with this beautiful passage through the mouth of Augustus Waters and the brilliant mind of John Green :
"She is so beautiful. You don't get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don't get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers."
This is not a review. This is a trip down memory lane or to be more precise, a leisurely stroll through the Department of Mysteries. Walk with me, fello...moreThis is not a review. This is a trip down memory lane or to be more precise, a leisurely stroll through the Department of Mysteries. Walk with me, fellow Potterheads. ---------------
Moment #1 : 'Ministry of Magic?' bellowed Uncle Vernon. 'People like you in government! Oh, this explains everything, everything, no wonder the country's going to the dogs.'
Moment #2 : She seized Dudley by the shoulders and shook him, as though testing to see whether she could hear his soul rattling around inside him.
Moment #3 : She looked the youngest there; she had a pale heart-shaped face, dark twinkling eyes, and short spiky hair that was a violent shade of violet. 'Wotcher, Harry!'
Moment #4 :The Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix may be found at number twelve, Grimmauld Place, London.
Moment #5 :
Moment #6 :
Moment #7 :
Moment #8 :
Moment #9 : "...oh, for heaven's sake, Sirius, Dumbledore said no!"
Moment #10 : The girl gave off an aura of distinct dottiness.
Moment #11 :
Moment #12 : In the Hog's Head
Moment #13 : 'Yeah, the DA's good,' said Ginny. 'Only let's make it stand for Dumbledore's Army, because that's the Ministry's worst fear, isn't it ?'
Moment #14 : 'I'm supporting Gryffindor,' said Luna, pointing unnecessarily at her hat.
Moment #15 :Hagrid's Tale
Moment #16 : 'Well?' Ron said finally, looking up at Harry. 'How was it?' 'Wet,' he said truthfully. Ron made a noise that might have indicated jubilation or disgust, it was hard to tell. 'Because she was crying,' Harry continued heavily. 'Oh,' said Ron, his smile fading slightly. 'Are you that bad at kissing?'
Moment #17 :
Moment #18 : ---------------
Moment #19 : St.Mungo's Hospital
Moment #20 : Christmas on the Closed Ward His mother tottered away, back up the ward, humming to herself. Neville looked around at the others, his expression defiant, as though daring them to laugh, but Harry did not think he'd ever found anything less funny in his life.
Moment #21 : 'Occlumency, Potter. The magical defence of the mind against external penetration.'
Moment #22 : ...and he wondered, with a feeling of great trepidation, what had happened to make Lord Voldemort the happiest he had been in fourteen years.
Moment #23 : ---------------
Moment #24 : The Sneak ---------------
Moment #25 : ---------------
Moment #26 : Snape's Worst Memory ---------------
Moment #27 : ---------------
Moment #28 : ---------------
Moment #29 :
Moment #30 : 'Give her hell from us, Peeves.' And Peeves, who Harry had never seen take an order from a student before, swept his belled hat from his head and sprang to a salute as Fred and George wheeled about to tumultous applause from the students below and sped out of the open front doors into the glorious sunset. ---------------
Moment #31 : GRAWP ---------------
Moment #32 : ---------------
Moment #33 : ---------------
Moment #34 : 'We were all in the DA together,' said Neville quietly. 'It was all supposed to be about fighting You-Know-Who, wasn't it? And this is teh first chance we've got to do something real - or was that all just a game or something?"
Moment #35 : The Department of Mysteries
'It's - it's got your name on,' said Ron.
Moment #36 :
Moment #37 : But some part of him realized, even as he fought to break free from Lupin, that Sirius had never kept him waiting before.
Moment #38 : The Only One He Ever Feared ---------------
Moment #39 : And when the creature spoke, it used Harry's mouth, so that in his agony he felt his jaw move'If death is nothing, Dumbledore, kill the boy...' Let the pain stop, thought Harry...let him kill us...end it, Dumbledore...death is nothing compared to this... And I'll see Sirius again. And as Harry's heart filled with emotion, the creature's coils loosened. ---------------
One freak blizzard. One stranded train. One snowed up mountain town. And three love stories overlapping each other. Three of the most appreciated YA L...moreOne freak blizzard. One stranded train. One snowed up mountain town. And three love stories overlapping each other. Three of the most appreciated YA Lit authors of today get together and put together an alternative Christmas medley of love, cheerleader-inspired hormonal frenzy, emo-romance and teacup pigs.
The stories are sweet and simple and enjoyable in a "let's curl up in a squishy couch and lose ourselves for a while" way. My favourite characters were The Duke (for obvious reasons as I see myself in her), Jubilee for her unique name and her embarrassingly horrifying backstory regarding her parents' arrest, Stuart for his straightforwardness and the host of supporting characters who serve as sparkling tinsel to a tastefully done up Christmas tree.
The story revolves around two teens from Mustang, Texas who have landed up in France for a year, under a Students Abroad Program. Both have completely...moreThe story revolves around two teens from Mustang, Texas who have landed up in France for a year, under a Students Abroad Program. Both have completely different agendas, what with Dana wanting to be well and truly romanced by a French boy and Alex wanting to well and truly slake his hormones with a 'willing-lips' french girl. They sure as hell don't want to end up with each other!
I came across a dog-eared copy of this book in my library and couldn't resist picking it up. I had read it many moons ago and had a vague recollection of enjoying it. This time around, it was just as endearing. Since the story is set in the year 2000, it may seem a tad dated but in a way, it contributes to the simple charm of this book. Moreover, Dana and Alex are infinitely likeable. The story may lack the quirky element of modern-day YA reads but it definitely had it's moments. Pick it up if you want a sweet first-love romance set against the backdrop of France with a guaranteed happy ending.(less)
~ Apophis, the Eqyptian deification of darkness, night and chaos. It hurts like hell that he takes the form of a sincerely scary and freak...more*TEAM Chaos*
~ Apophis, the Eqyptian deification of darkness, night and chaos. It hurts like hell that he takes the form of a sincerely scary and freakishly gigantic snake. ~ Menshikov, the third most powerful Egyptian magician in the world. He is the embodiment of cruelty and is bitterly termed *Vlad, The Inhaler*. He may dress like an ice-cream salesman but all he wants to do is watch the world burn. In like, four days time. ~ A host of minor Gods and rogue magicians who fervently believe that Chaos shall be the New Order of the World.
*TEAM Ma'at/ Order*
~ The bickering but slightly more mature brother-sister team of Carter and Sadie Kane. ~ A griffin with a personality disorder. His response to most calamities is to go "FRE-EEEK!!!" ~ A team of fledgling magicians still undergoing training and unsure of their capabilities. ~ Bes, the God of Dwarves who scares the villains by appearing in nothing more than a Speedo.
The Kane siblings had just won a gruesome round with Set in The Red Pyramid only to discover that the red-skinned God was only the tip of the sand-sculpture. Evil lurks deep in the Duat. Evil that makes Set look like nothing more than a wilful little boy who refuses to eat his greens. Evil in the form of Apophis. Apophis is soon going to break free from his centuries old prison. And when he does so, he will swallow the Sun and plunge the world into darkness and eternal Chaos.
Sadie and Carter have a fighting chance only if they can find Ra, the ancient and powerful Pharaoh of The Gods. Legend has it that only Ra, The Sun God who battled Apophis on a nightly basis has the ability to vanquish the latter. To recall Ra from his retirement, Sadie and Carter need to lay their hands on The Book of Ra( three separate scrolls, hidden in three different, unknown and obviously dangerous locations ).
And so begins the....yes....I’m going to say it.....Rollercoaster Ride! (Thank God for tried and traumatised clichés)
The tale is splendid and packed to the brim with mythology, action, adventure and devious and dastardly plots. All the above elements are welded together with Riordan’s trademark wit. As usual, he makes the ancient Gods approachable and infuses them with foibles and flaws. Obscure myths are woven into an urban fantasy that keeps you turning the pages with growing anxiety. Sadie and Carter are a delightful, snarky brother-sister duo. They are extremely likeable and foolhardy enough to carry the story forward.
As usual, I do what I always do after reading a Riordan book. I go into complete Wiki-Mode and read up on the ancient Gods. I cannot stress enough as to how the author deserves credit for dusting off forgotten stories and repackaging them in a way that retains the essence while giving them a contemporary edge.(less)
Cather (or Cath as she prefers to be called) and Wren are identical twins and die hard fans of the fictional world of Simon Snow. The Simon S...moreSYNOPSIS:
Cather (or Cath as she prefers to be called) and Wren are identical twins and die hard fans of the fictional world of Simon Snow. The Simon Snow franchise is a hugely popular worldwide phenomenon and the twins have done their feverish fangirl bit by collecting Simon Snow memorabilia, rereading the Simon Snow books and more importantly, co-writing reams of Simon Snow fanfiction. In a way, the fandom has helped the girls deal with the fact that their mother left them at a young but impressionable age to be brought up by their lovely, kind, funny, talented but dangerously work-addicted father.
But things are changing. Cath and Wren are headed off to college. Self-assured Wren has grown out of the 'immaturity' of Simon Snow fan-aticism and is ready to move on to bright and sometimes dangerous collegiate experiences. She has also drifted away from her introverted sister; a fact that sticks like a piece of poorly punctuated fanfiction in Cath's emotions.
Cath has resigned herself to happily isolate herself in her dorm room and write more of her imaginative Simon Snow fan-fiction. The fact that her online writing is hugely popular, garnering a million hits, serves as a crutch to shut out the outside world . But knocking bossily and inquisitively on the door are new people waiting to be discovered and be awkward around : Reagan, her super-confident, bolshy new roommate...Levi, Reagan's (boy?)friend who is always around with his easy grin and need to make conversation....Nick, the quintessential hipster lad who co-writes with her and her endearing new writing teacher who has the utmost faith in disbelieving Cath's abilities.
Cath is not ready to face the world and it's expectations. But when has the world every complied with Cath's wishes? ----------------------------
Fangirl is a book that begs....absolutely gets down on it's corduroy encased knees and implores the hidden forces of the cinematic world to translate it into an Indie flick.
In my head, I want geek rock-chick extraordinaireEllen Page to play Cath. And by default, Wren. Ellen Page can breathe life into the perennially grumpy Cath with her dry sass and just as easily, morph into the glamorous, tinged-with-manic-shimmer Wren.
Self-absorbed Nick is easy to peg down. Tuck a paisley scarf into the shirt of any standardized hipster lad and you have the lacking-in-boyfriend-potential Nick.
Reagan shimmers like a dangerous flame. She is gorgeous, blunt, scary and a great friend once she stops scaring the bat-s*** out of you. In essence, she reminded me of Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series. Reagan is an auburn-haired girl but I wanted to go with a cliché :
Levi was a little harder to fathom. He's supposed to be the human equivalent of a friendly golden retriever. Moreover, the author has portrayed him as a not-so-great looking guy with the receding hairline. And yet, this is how he came across: sweet and crinkly-eyed and leaking sunshine from every orifice. Joseph Gordon-Levitt pops into my head. I love Joseph Gordon-Levitt. In a perfect world, Gordon-Levitt would pair up with Ellen Page, fumble along awkwardly, exchange non-cheesy quips with her and make movie magic.
Setting the characters aside, what attracted me to the book was the heavy bow to the Harry Potter fandom. Being a true-blue Potterhead myself and being strongly convinced that the author herself is one too, I loved the way she carved out the bits and pieces of Simon Snow's mythical world. Wondering whether Simon would end up with his deliciously dark nemesis Baz became as important to me as it was to Cath. The tantalizing snippets of the Simon-Baz saga that popped up between chapters was as (infact, more) interesting than Cath's college tryst.
In conclusion, what we get is an instagrammed view of a reclusive young girl's struggles as she tries to fit into college, make peace with love and it's tricky twists, deal with her emotional problems and expend a little part of her fangirl's soul into helping the fictional Simon Snow find a happy ending with his equally fictional but no less enchanting Baz.
Sweet, tart and unabashedly hipster, Fangirl was an enjoyable read.