It's hard to define madness. It's an easy step-over from sanity. I think it happens to everyone, at least once in our lives. Flynn's madness pushes him over, way over the edge. And the whole spiralling-downwards experience is what the book chronicles. There are no minced words, no twists and turns, it's probably the most straight-cut book I've read. Flynn loses his mind and how.
After I read Forbidden, I had an overwhelming urge to connect with the author. The book had such a huge impact on me, I had to tell her. We befriended over Facebook, and yes, if you know her, you would know how she has battled (and still battles) mental illness. She is very vocal about it and I think that's important because nobody really talks about it. A Note of Madness was her debut novel and you get it, you know. You get the fact that the author knows what she is talking about because you get into Flynn's head, ride the highs and lows with him and feel the crippling fear that makes it impossible to go on and do anything, even though the book is written in third person and you're just supposed to feel objective about it.
It's an atmosphere of paranoia. Flynn's, his family's, his friends'. Sometimes you'd want to shut the book, just so you could breathe. It's not an easy read, of course. But it's good, it's really good.
I think the book has a most apt cover. The blackness, the boy at the edge, the title placement - I think it's one of my favourites now....more
Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere has been one of those books that don't quite leave my mind when I'm thinking of books that have stayed with me. S Jandy Nelson's The Sky is Everywhere has been one of those books that don't quite leave my mind when I'm thinking of books that have stayed with me. Sometimes when people debut with such memorable books, most follow-up works don't quite match up. Sometimes that happens. And sometimes that doesn't. Sometimes it only gets better.
Jandy Nelson is a magician. I want to write that across the skies. JANDY NELSON IS A MAGICIAN.
I'll Give You the Sun is the kind of book that made me want to climb out of earth and bring the sun for her, because SoMuchBrilliance. This book is a stunner of a read. The writing is gorgeous, so gorgeous I felt like I was drowning in it. Although, yes, I do admit it might not be the kind of writing that everybody will like. If you didn't like the prose-style of We Were Liars by E. Lockhart, erhm, you should maybe just read a sampler of this to see if it's your thing and go ahead, because if you're going by this review, HOLY YES, I WANTED TO EAT THE BOOK. (This happened with The Sky is Everywhere as well, but it happened double-times with this)
So much of the feels. So much of it that feels isn't even the right word. So much of the feels and this is why:
1. Siblings. Can there pleaaaaaase be more books about siblings? And siblings who aren't trying to kill each other and aren't just hanging around the background scenes just so they could be there but real-life, living, breathing siblings that have that pull which is the thing about siblings anyway (which is also why I loved Imaginary Girls so much *breathes heavily*). Noah and Jude are more like NoahAndJude and Jandy Nelson doesn't just tell you, she shows you how. It's brilliant how she managed the dual perspective throughout the book, giving the two of them such distinct voices that you don't have to go check the chapter head to see whose portion you're reading, yet you just know that these two are two sides of the same coin. Throw brother and sister and love and art and jealousy and guilt and love and more love and you will get NoahAndJude.
2. Family. The family you want to run away from and return to. The family that isn't just the people that are alive but the ones who've died and are still there because you decide if you want to keep them there or let them go. Yup, Jandy Nelson nails that. (PS. For ghosts and other such things that you-don't-really-see-happening-around-you-because-you-don't-notice, I'll Give You the Sun often reads like magic realism and even though it's not the specified genre, I'm starting to think, maybe it is.)
3. Art. 'What is bad for the heart is good for art' is something one of the characters says in the book (I won't say who because I don't want to give away anything), and that is more or less the basis of all great art in this book. It captures the essence of the artist so well, I had to stop for breath (which was difficult, considering that I read most of the book on the metro, on the way to and back from work, and the metro is at that time so crowded that it hardly leaves you space to stand, let alone, stand and read). You get how the description of such art comes from the soul, because the author apparently wrote this book over three years, shutting herself in darkened rooms, with just the light from the laptop giving her company, because things like that come from, I don't know, somewhere within, and when you read or see the book or the sculpture or the painting, you can feel where it comes from.
4. Love. Oh man. The Beatles probably wrote All You Need Is Love for Jandy Nelson to write this book. Love spills from the spine of this book. There is not a single person who hasn't been affected by love here. All kinds of love. ALL KINDS.
5. Romance. I could have clubbed this with Love but there's so much of Love already, I realised this kind of needed highlighting of its own. And What Happens With Noah is probably my favourite Romantic Story of the Year.
6. The Ones Who've Died and are Still Around, Like Really, Because (you remember how Sirius Black said that The Ones That Love Us Never Really leave Us) They Don't Have To Be Ghosts, you see.
7. Metaphors. I like metaphors, okay? Don't judge.
8. Title. I officially think this is the Coolest Title of the Year. I got lost in this book. Like, literally. I can't tell you the number of times I've walked into the wrong metro because of this book. Oh yes.
Just read the book, okay? I don't know what else to say. I'm bursting with words and I feel like I'm coming up short and stupid and I just want everyone in this world to read this book because it's that good. Yes, that good....more
This book shows how innocence gets gunned down. Literally GUNNED DOWN. Kinda like The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, which also, you know, stabs right atThis book shows how innocence gets gunned down. Literally GUNNED DOWN. Kinda like The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas, which also, you know, stabs right at the heart of innocence. Although they are both heartcrushing in different ways.
That title is such an eye-catcher. And that cover really appeals to me. So simplistic and kinda raw....more
Drowning Instinct is one of those books that can't exactly be summed up in a review. But there are certain things I cAlso found on Dreamcatcher's Lair
Drowning Instinct is one of those books that can't exactly be summed up in a review. But there are certain things I can tell you. Like,
--While the book description tells you a few things, it doesn't prepare you with expectations. At least for me, it didn't. Which means, that the experience that Drowning Instinct packs within those pages, may, in plain-speak, blow your mind.
--There's self harm and all kinds of abuse and other twisted things that will take you to dark places and make you squirm and keep you awake at night. And keep you thinking. Thinking is always a good thing, right?
--Surprises. There are lots of them. Sometimes these are small bumpy ones, sometimes they are roller-coaster-plunge worthy-ish. Either way, it's a ride.
--If you have expectations from Jenna Lord, dump them with the garbage. Jenna Lord is not a very reliable narrator. She might also be insane. Mostly though, you won't be able to forget her.
--Even before the threads of the relationship - yes, that forbidden relationship - manifest, you will be saying, oh no no no no no, don't even go there! back off! But then, long past those early scenes, somewhere in the middle of the story you will probably wonder if you said that 'back off' out of concern or jealousy.
--Oftentimes, especially in the latter half of the book, you will think how very twisted Mitch Anderson is and will want to scream What is up with that man?! Sooner or later, that might alternate with Why can't I have that man?! Oh, yes, Mitch Anderson in inexplicably swoon-worthy.
--While the rest of the book will probably keep you in page-flipping-frenzy mode, the last quarter will make you hyperventilate alongside. But be careful. If things get too serious, remember you can't really blame your medical condition on a book.
--Soon you might stop breathing.
--Then, you'll probably experience an overwhelming outpouring of emotions.
--Later, you will be wondering who was to blame. If anyone was to blame. What you condoned and what you disapproved. If you even have the right to. What was right and what went wrong. If you are even in a position to judge. If you can even point a finger at anybody. The dilemma won't really leave you with an answer.
Then again, this story is not only about Jenna and Mr. Anderson. There are several more players, each with their own desperate obsessions, twisted pasts and existence of half-truths. Primarily though, Drowning Instinct is a story that weaves through the lives of broken people looking for something to grasp on to, before they drown in the desolation of their own existence. It is also incredibly brilliant.
It shouldn't come as a surprise that it somersaulted straight up my favourites list....more
I LOVE THIS BOOK WAAAY TOO MUCH TO REVIEW IT. Right from the first to the last sentence. And yeah, that last sentence is my favourite of all last sentI LOVE THIS BOOK WAAAY TOO MUCH TO REVIEW IT. Right from the first to the last sentence. And yeah, that last sentence is my favourite of all last sentences.