As unfair as comparison is, I didn't like this one quite as much as Gone Girl. Perhaps it was because it's pretty easy to figure out the killer(s) qui...moreAs unfair as comparison is, I didn't like this one quite as much as Gone Girl. Perhaps it was because it's pretty easy to figure out the killer(s) quite early in the book. Or maybe it was because while Gone Girl evoked a wide range of emotions in me - made me feel sorry for the characters and root for them (except at the end) - all Sharp objects managed to make me feel was a deep, horrifying disgust. I quite loathed all the characters, MC included.
One of the reasons I enjoy Flynn's works is that she brings out the (absolute) worst in the female half of the population, which, in my opinion, is not covered enough in today's literature. The other reason happens to be her beautiful, descriptive writing (she can even have a simple scene of someone taking a bath make your skin crawl).
If reading about the worst of human psyche is your thing, give this a whirl.
There are five things I can say that'll make you want to read this book -
1. It's BRILLIANTLY written by (the always awesome) Jonathan Stroud. 2. It's...moreThere are five things I can say that'll make you want to read this book -
1. It's BRILLIANTLY written by (the always awesome) Jonathan Stroud. 2. It's a deliciously eerie spookfest, just in time for Halloween. 3. Main characters don't fall in love with each other. 4. Speaking of - BEST. CHARACTERS. EVER! 5. It has a sequel (Eep!)(less)
I made the mistake of reading this late into the night and ended up sleeping with my door locked tight.
Ten is a retelling of Agatha Christie's famous...moreI made the mistake of reading this late into the night and ended up sleeping with my door locked tight.
Ten is a retelling of Agatha Christie's famous 'And then there were none' with a YA spin on it (That should make you want to read this book, right there!).
If you haven't read Christie's version (and you really, REALLY should), ten random strangers end up on an island, each of them having been called there by a friend/acquaintance they haven't heard from, in a long time and find themselves mysteriously cut off from the mainland with no way to contact anybody outside the island. To make things much, much worse, someone is killing all of them off, one by one, and since there is no way in or out of the island, it has got to be one of their own. And no one can be trusted. Christie's book, in my opinion, is a masterpiece in the Crime/Mystery literature genre.
McNeil tries to stay as true to the original story as possible. Ten teens end up on an island for a party after they all receive a Facebook invite from someone they all know. Once there, they watch a video which has a creepy message in it for all of them, assuring them of their imminent doom. And before they know it, the power's gone, the telephone's out and one of them is hanging from a noose, dead.
Although the book started off on a very, very shaky start (I almost put down the book after the first couple of chapters), the plot and the writing is deliciously eerie. It creeps up on you much like the mysterious killer in the book and scares the bejesus out of you when you are least expecting it.
BUT, having said that, Ten falls short of the mark because of the poor characterization. The female lead is your typical Mary Sue - shy, whines a lot, completely ordinary with no likeable character traits but still SOMEHOW, inexplicably, manages to grab the attention of the cutest guy in her class, shows spontaneous life-saving skills, out of the blue, when needed the most, etc. etc. McNeil needs to work on her "showing" skills a bit more. She's done a LOT of "telling" in this one.
But all in all, a good, scary novel (it's based on a Christie book, for crying out loud!) Recommended.(less)
If you've ever lost someone you love, perhaps to a long, drawn-out illness, then please, please, read this book. It is heart-breaking, gut-wrenching,...moreIf you've ever lost someone you love, perhaps to a long, drawn-out illness, then please, please, read this book. It is heart-breaking, gut-wrenching, healing and possibly life-changing, all at the same time, and you'll be glad to have read it at the end.(less)
I stayed up till 1 last night to finish this book.
I REGRET NOTHING.
Recently I've taken quite a fancy to fairy tale re-tellings. You can go right ahea...moreI stayed up till 1 last night to finish this book.
I REGRET NOTHING.
Recently I've taken quite a fancy to fairy tale re-tellings. You can go right ahead and blame Gail Carson Levine for that. The Book of Lost things belongs to that genre, albeit a bit LOT more darker.
The book begins by introducing us to 12-year old David who has just lost his mum. He finds out that his dad is getting remarried and pretty soon finds himself with a baby brother, whom he hates on sight. Deep in his depression, he begins to hear voices coming out of the books he and his mum used to read together. That is when he first sees the Crooked Man. One late night, David hears his mum's voice calling out to him, asking him to come rescue her from something horrible. He follows her voice to a hole in the garden wall and ends up in fairy tale land with no way of going back (the hole in the wall closes after he passes through).
And that is when things get nasty.
Immediately after arriving, David runs into the Woodsman (The Red-riding hood one) who rescues him from certain death at the hands of a group of half-human, half-wolf mutants. Now, David has to find his way back by searching for the Book of Lost things with the help of the Woodsman and the brave Knight Roland, while escaping the werewolves and the ever-lurking Crooked Man, who follows him everywhere he goes.
Another novel to have been mistakenly classified as a children's story, the Book of Lost Things, is like a roller-coaster ride inside a scary, haunted house filled with your deepest, darkest nightmares involving live, flesh-eating monsters and blood. LOTS of blood.
BUT, the rest of the book is seriously creepy, though not more so than the villain of the story, the Crooked Man. To say he is a bad, bad man would be the understatement of the millenium in the entire galaxy. He is fiendish, horrifying, diabolical, wicked, cruel, savage, monstrous, malicious, inhuman, infernal...(Freedictionary.com ran out of synonyms here). SERIOUSLY, YOU GUYS, VOLDEMORT'S GOT NOTHING ON THE CROOKED MAN!!
You've been warned.
P.S - The ending is amazing and wonderful and moving and very coming-of-age-y and I CRIED. So shoo, go read it now!["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
Sometimes you come across a book that makes you smack your forehead and go "Why didn't I think of this idea?!". Suffice it to say, for me, this is one...moreSometimes you come across a book that makes you smack your forehead and go "Why didn't I think of this idea?!". Suffice it to say, for me, this is one such book. Now, everybody here has read the Grimm Fairy Tales, yes? Snow-white, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, etc? Ring any bells? While we read the watered-down, sugar-coated versions back in the days, the original Grimm tales were violent, bloody and down-right inappropriate for little kids.
Adam Gidwitz had the brilliant idea to spin a dark tale around Hansel and Gretel, and trace their path through the myriad of gory Grimmm's Fairy Tales. As the author reiterates over and over in the book, this story is NOT for the little ones.
A Tale Dark and Grimm follows the twins' story starting from their birth to the King and Queen of Grimm, soon after which they are beheaded by their father (long story). But no need to worry, they come back to life and run away from home, scandalized at what their parents did to them. That's when they run into the witch with the house made from yummy goodies. After dealing with her (we all know how that ends!), they run away from, and into, one adventure after another, before finally returning back to their Kingdom of Grimm to rescue their people from a deadly dragon.
The book is filled with blood, gore, monsters, cannibals, mutilation, death and even the devil from Hell itself! But don't be put off, the author intersperses an adequate amount of humour in-between all the horror, which makes it for quite a charming read in the end, actually (What's a fairy tale without a happy ending?). It is fascinating the way Gidwitz has managed to insert Hansel and Gretel into many of the familiar fairy tales and find a place for their characters in the story.
Disclaimer: A little suspension on disbelief is required by the reader to read Micro (or any...more3.5 stars out of 5.
This book can be summed up in one gif -
Disclaimer: A little suspension on disbelief is required by the reader to read Micro (or any other MC book, for that matter).
Nanigen is a robotics company which recruits seven graduate students (each from a different field) as part of its research team. Nanigen is light-years ahead in its technology, seeing as how its scientists have come up with a "tensor generator" which is able to shrink humans to micro sizes. Teams have been successfully shrunk and sent into the forests to study micro-organisms, most of which have never even been identified by mankind till now.
As it turns out, the CEO of Nanigen is a bad, bad man. Because of a scandal that one of the graduates uncovers, the CEO, in his rage, shrinks the graduates and abandons them in the forest teeming with predetors of all sizes. The seven of them have to survive against all odds and return back to normal size somehow before the "micro-bends" (a suddenly manifesting disease that causes internal hemorrhaging which eventually leads to death) gets them.
A classic Crichton book. I can honestly say I'll never be able to look at the world around me the same way again. We never usually pay attention to all the tiny creatures in and around us - the millions of bacteria inside us, the pretty butterflies flitting around, the centipedes, millipedes and ants crawling everywhere, the strange unnamed worms or mites we (I) carefully step around - in our day-to-day life but Crichton brings them to attention in a horrifyingly gripping way (I had to put down the book many times because I was too grossed out to continue!). Let me just tell you now - The ants that you see scurrying around minding their own business are NOTHING like the cute and friendly ants you saw in "Honey, I shrunk the kids", when you are their size.
But it's not all bad, too. Crichton also offers us a glimpse into how the world works from the very heart of it. There is one scene in particular where one of the characters plays with a paramecium - that's a protozoan, usually invisible to the naked eye; I thought that was pretty cool :)
Unfortunately, in the end, I was able to give this book only 3.5 stars. For me, the major let down was (view spoiler)[the death of, who was till then, the main character. After that the focus shifts to the secondary characters and, while it is definitely unorthodox, it also felt very clumsy to me - maybe it could have been handled better under a different author. (hide spoiler)]. Also, all the deaths in book felt forced. It's like the characters all died just for the sake of dying - none of the deaths had any purpose.
The ending, as well, fell a bit flat but unlike to the destination, the journey was amazing :) Recommended.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)
I saw the movie before picking up the book. And it was CREEPY! Who'd have thought a kids movie would shake me up so much?! Needless to say, I was eage...moreI saw the movie before picking up the book. And it was CREEPY! Who'd have thought a kids movie would shake me up so much?! Needless to say, I was eager to read the book after it and it didn't disappoint.
This story is about a girl, Coraline, who moves into a old house, divided into four flats, with her parents. She gets bored pretty quickly with the new place, what with her parents being too busy to spend time with her, so she takes to exploring.
She finds a small door which has been walled but can't get in as it is locked and she doesn't have the key. When she meets her neighbours, Ms Spink and Ms. Forcible (retired stage performers) and Mr. Bobo (trains mice to perform circus tricks), they warn her saying she's in great danger and she ought not to go through that door.
But, like any red-blooded kid, she does anyway.
Once there, in the "Other" world, she finds it is a mirror image of her own world, complete with an "Other" mom and dad. Only, these people have buttons for eyes and want her to join them and stay with them forever.
(view spoiler)[When Coraline refuses to exchange her eyes for buttons and runs away, back to her own world, she finds out her parents have been kidnapped by the "Other" mother. So she sets out to rescue them - saving the souls of three ghost children along the way, who, instead of going back to their own world, had decided to stay with the "Other" mother (who had then tricked them and eaten their souls). (hide spoiler)]
I'm surprised this book is classified as a kid's novel, but this is me, speaking as a twenty-something year old; if I try to put myself in a kid's shoes, though, I can see the allure.
Coraline is a fine character. She is just like any other regular kid, nothing more, nothing less; Inquisitive, reckless, scared but yet brave and bored of anything "normal". Gaiman creates a trio of unique, odd-ball characters in the form of Ms. Spink, Ms. Forcible and Mr.Bobo. The "Other" Mother was truly scary - or maybe it was just my imagination fueled by that excellent movie (must watch, BTW)
A good book to read right before bed for those who love a bit of horror every now and then. Four stars for the sheer brilliance of Gaiman's imagination.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>(less)