Piper Rose, Dani Shapiro and Alexandra Louise De Mille Morrow have been friends from their preschool years. They have kept in touch and over the yearsPiper Rose, Dani Shapiro and Alexandra Louise De Mille Morrow have been friends from their preschool years. They have kept in touch and over the years, as things changed around them, they have been the constants in each other’s life. Now with each of them heading out to college, they decide to walk the legendary pilgrimage from the French Pyrenees to the Spanish city of Santiago. They have been preparing for it for almost a year and feel ready to take it head on. Yet what awaits them on the road is more than some random pilgrims. Will they finish the pilgrimage? And how will the experience change them?
The premise of the story attracted me right from the beginning. Most seventeen year olds are worried about fashion, boys and other agonies of being a teenager. Yet these three friends chose to take the pilgrimage as a way to celebrate their friendship and the step towards college. They knew that it would not be easy and that they would have to rough it out for over a month and yet, they were matured enough to consider it. It was so refreshing to see them take this step towards growing up. In the end, the pilgrimage brought them closer to themselves and in some ways closer to each other. They met a myriad of characters on the way who added to their individual stories and to the story as a whole as well. It was fun to see so many different and unique characters in the plot.
The protagonists, Piper, Dani and Tessa themselves are quite clashing personalities themselves. They each come from different backgrounds and have very different dispositions, yet their friendship is what unites them. Tessa comes from a privileged background and is a hopeless romantic. She loves her grandmother’s love story that played out during the WWII and hopes to find that kind of love for herself. Dani is a shy bookworm who is also struggling to accept the fact that her mother is having another baby, so late in life through IVF. Piper has an outgoing nature that is just a cover for her angst from her broken family. It was interesting to see how each of these three go on a journey of self-discovery and decide to make changes in their own lives as a result of this trip. The author’s narration style is pretty good, especially the way she gave us three POVs of Piper, Dani and Tessa where each voice was distinctive. The characters were well developed and watching them mature through the book was a beautiful experience.
I have thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to all YA lovers. ...more
Seri is a simple Vidari goose girl. All she cares about is taking care of her family and getting married to Rilen in the spring. But when the AthoniteSeri is a simple Vidari goose girl. All she cares about is taking care of her family and getting married to Rilen in the spring. But when the Athonite court arrives, and Seri is given an opportunity to work for an Athonite noblewoman, she goes into the enemy’s castle to earn some money and to spy on the Prince. She soon finds out that the curse of The Blood is real and that the reigning royals are literal monsters who live on blood. When a twist of fate lands Seri and Prince Graeme together – bonds are forged, loyalties are tested and they each have to find a way to make things work.
I liked Seri from the beginning. She comes across this normal village girl who works hard to take care of her family. Her world revolves around her father, sister and her love interest, Rilen. She is pretty much resigned to the life that has been dealt to her. Later in the book though, I was really mad at Seri when she had the chance to get her parents out and up to the castle for a better life, she really dragged her feet. Her father had been sick and could have had a cure and medicines, yet she really did not do much to get them there. She did send for them, though a bit late, but never really followed up on it. It just did not feel right to me that she was enjoying the grandeur of the castle while her family was left behind. Rilen on the other hand came off as a really good guy in the beginning. He seemed to care for Seri and even gave up his daily earning to make sure she and her family had enough food. He also seemed to be an idealistic, who wanted to fight for his freedom from the oppression of the Athonites. But his ideas and fight for freedom took him down the wrong path… I really stopped liking Rilen when he sent Seri back to the castle. Prince Graeme made an ‘okay’ impression on me. He could do more… really more if he wanted to. But I guess after growing up under the expectations, he needed time. I also liked Prince Graeme’s sister, she is such a darling. I wish she had a bigger role to play.
The world building was fascinating. The concept of Athonites and Vidari and their difference in cultures was interesting. Also the concept of mortal and immortals were handles in a different manner. The book has Vampires, yet the word Vampire was never used. I would have liked more details and more history though… Like about the rest of Graeme’s family and even more about Graeme before he came to the Vidari lands. Also, I do understand the author’s need to explore the bond between the two main characters, but I sure wish there was less sex and more talking between the two.
I do not know if there is going to be a sequel, (there is no mention and this book works as a standalone with an acceptable ending) but I hope for more. I would like to know more about how Graeme and Seri end up ruling their people and about Seri’s daughters. I am left wanting more… ...more
This is a book like no other that I have read before. It is so unique at so many levels.
This time around, I am not going to give a summary of the bookThis is a book like no other that I have read before. It is so unique at so many levels.
This time around, I am not going to give a summary of the book in my review, as I fear that – one, I will give out spoilers, and two, I feel that I will not be able to do justice to the book. Instead, all I will say is that the last line of the book blurb, ‘it is a very modern novel about a very modern life’, sums up the book just perfectly.
Let me start with the things that make this book stand out. First of all, there are no chapters in the book. Yes, that’s right. The whole big is just one BIG chapter. Add the author’s informal and friendly narration style, this book feels like a conversation between buddies. Then there’s the matter of the title – not that I expect many people to agree with me on this, but to me it felt like a title of a classic book with heavy content that fire debates and discussion. Well, the second part about heavy content and firing discussions turned out to be true, only this is a modern novel that talks about modern times.
The protagonist is someone who almost demands your hatred and empathy at the same time. His unpretentious and honest narration will draw you in and while some of the things will almost disgust you, some things will bring out your philosophical side. No matter which emotion this book evokes in you the strongest, it will be impossible to deny that it truly reflects the modern society of the 21st century. I absolutely loved the author’s take and his matured interpretation.
From the photo on the cover, it looks like the author is still pretty young. And that impressed me on two levels. Firstly, the quality of his writing and content shows maturity. Secondly because it gives me hope for both for literature world and the world in general.
Mistress of Honour spins the yarns of a tale of love that includes two generations of the same family. First is the story of Potnis and Pansy, who metMistress of Honour spins the yarns of a tale of love that includes two generations of the same family. First is the story of Potnis and Pansy, who met during an Operation. Their love gives birth to Rihana. Advik enters Rihana’s life and changes it completely. But after Potnis and Pansy’s story – Is Rihana ready for a relationship where she will always come second to the country? And what effect will Kabir have on Rihana’s life?
The most important part of this book that shines through is the reflection of the lives of Indian Armed Forces. The lives of the people who serve our nation and their partners are depicted in a beautiful manner. It is a difficult life for both the person in service and for their spouse. For the people in service, they hold their lives in their hands and ready to sacrifice it without a second thought – it cannot be easy to do that. And for the spouses, it is the never ending tension of not knowing whether their partner will come back home that night and always coming in second to the country. The amount of dedication and sacrifice, the service calls for is paramount. Hats off to the people who show that kind of commitment and are ready to sacrifice everything, including their lives. In India, we really need to show our support such people who give up a lot for the service of the country. And this book is a way to give a small glimpse of what they face and what they give up.
I loved the characters as they were very individualistic and each held their own in the story. With two men in the Indian Armed Forces, you would think that they would stand out in the story. But Bhaavna Arora has done a beautiful job in portraying the strong women who stand by their men so that they can serve. Pansy and Rihana are just beautiful and strong characters that show us the sacrifices that a woman makes, however indirect it may be, to help serve the nation. The story was narrated well. Keeping in the difficult parts and yet telling it in a graceful way by balancing the sacrifice and the passion just perfectly. The plot is simple and mostly predictable, yet it did not let me put down the book.
This was an interesting and emotional journey… ...more
Paul R. Hewlett writes chapter books for kids of 7 to 10 years of age. His first book was Lionel and the Golden Rule which introduced Lionel to the woPaul R. Hewlett writes chapter books for kids of 7 to 10 years of age. His first book was Lionel and the Golden Rule which introduced Lionel to the world. I had read and enjoyed the first book quite a bit and so, it was a no-brainer when Paul asked me to read Lionel’s second adventure with Lionel Turns the Other Cheek.
What kid doesn’t like summer camp? Lionel is no exception. He is convinced that he needs to go to the summer camp in order to find out more about his father and when he finds out that Carrie will be going there too, Lionel manages to convince his mother to send him. The summer camp holds so much promise as it would not only mean some time away from his mother and brother, but also more time with Carrie and maybe even find some answers he has been looking for. Lionel arrives at the camp with his Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot only to find out that he will be rooming with the biggest bully around, Tad. Lionel is determined not to let anything, or anyone ruin his experience… Besides he has hi his Three-Toed-Potbellied Walbaun foot to help him out, doesn’t he?
Reading Lionel’s new adventure was as much fun as I was expecting it to be. He is a chubby little cutie pie who managed to charm me through the book. What kid doesn’t make mistakes? The trick is in learning from it and to never repeat it. Lionel, in this book, brings forward the very serious subject of bullying, and more importantly, how to handle it. Some may say that the bullies deserve a tit-for-tat situation, where he gets bullied – to make him understand what it feels like. But does it solve the problem? And what effect does it have on the victim turned bully?
Paul R. Hewlett has produced another appealing piece of fiction that will get the children to not only read, but also take away a valuable lesson from it....more
Oh My God! I cannot believe that this is the debut novel of the author… It is just so good that I was expecting the author a season name in the industOh My God! I cannot believe that this is the debut novel of the author… It is just so good that I was expecting the author a season name in the industry. Instead I find out that this is her debut novel!
Jenna Gray is facing what is every parent’s nightmare. She moves to a remote location on the Welsh coast hoping for a fresh beginning. But memories of that night continues to haunt her and someone from her past is about to catch up with her. She has Ray, the detective on the case, in her corner who will do everything to get justice.
The plot sounds simple enough, but don’t let it fool you. The twists and turns that the novel throws at you are just brilliant. Even I did not see all of them coming and that is saying something. The plot is the strongest point of the novel that is complimented by the author’s language and narration style. The way she portrays settings and characters is vivid and beautiful. It makes the book almost come alive in a readers’ hands. The characters are all very vibrant. I had a love/hate relationship with the protagonist almost till the end. I also loved the way the author included Ray’s personal life in the story instead of keeping it strictly to his professional life. The narration and the multiple POVs in the story let us get close to individual characters and get into their head. The only reason I am not rating it a 5 on 5 stars is that the pace of the book lagged a bit in the middle.
I will be sure to keep an eye out for this author, though I do not know how she can top this book!...more
Kaitlin Shuller is almost a perfect girl. She does everything that is expected from her and more. Always following the rules and always taking care ofKaitlin Shuller is almost a perfect girl. She does everything that is expected from her and more. Always following the rules and always taking care of what others might think. It was all for Carter, the boy she fell for when she was eight. She had since then dreamt of marrying him – the perfect guy, according to her. But real life has other plans which do not match with her dreams. Carter ends up marrying Kaitlin’s sister. As if a broken heart was not enough, Kaitlin has to go through the wedding pretending to be happy!
Beckett Larson has a reputation, one that is exactly opposite of Kaitlin. He is the bad boy that every mother warns their daughter about. Beckett never cared much about what people had to say about him and as such he never went out of his way to prove things either way. He rides out the waves as they come… But when he is accused of cheating and stealing from the business he helped build with his partner, he has had it… Kaitlin and Beckett end up together as they try to drown their sorrows in a couple of drinks that lead the way to a passionate night. But is that is all that is there between those two? From enemies to lovers, they have come a long way. But will that be enough when life throws a curve ball at them?
Beckett was easy to fall for. He is the hottie bad boy that every girl has a thing for. But he also comes with a soft heart and lot of baggage. However, I do not agree to his ‘running away’ whenever there is some misunderstanding or so. It is okay if he doesn’t care what people think of him, but he should at least not take the blame for things he has not done by running away instead of standing up for himself. Kaitlin is a complete masochist… I can understand her wanting to be the good girl and all. But planning her sister’s wedding to the man she loves is a bit too much. Yet she takes it on anyway. They may be perceived as complete opposite of each other, but reality, they are a perfect match. Beckett can show Kaitlin how to loosen up and have a little fun while Kaitlin can show Beckett to calm down and actually care. Both the main characters are flawed and that is why I loved them so much. It is easy to point out what each of them needs to do yet, we see it around and within ourselves – small flaws that turn out to be so difficult to overcome.
The plotline is predictable and you will know every twist that is to come. But the sweet narration and the smooth flow of the story, along with its characters will keep you glued to the book. ...more