This book gets 4 stars only because it's a joyful book to read. Not in the sense of the mood of the book and all, but the ease of reading, the strangeThis book gets 4 stars only because it's a joyful book to read. Not in the sense of the mood of the book and all, but the ease of reading, the strange kind of happy feeling it gives when you read a well written book. The mood is sad, the characters are orphans, and they even get thrown out of their foster homes. But it's some hope that keeps the reader with the book. ...more
Like someone mentioned, one should read this only if one is in a frame of mind for this. This is a sad book, about reality of thousands of women in soLike someone mentioned, one should read this only if one is in a frame of mind for this. This is a sad book, about reality of thousands of women in some parts of the world, and I don't need yet another book to remind nd that. The only reason I picked up p this book is because I was interested in the concept of bacha posh based on an article I read in The Guardian sometime ago. Sadly, this books just touched the concept on the surface and didn't go into what happens to the mental condition of the girls after they are turned back to girls. But then, mental conditions and feelings are a first world problem when basic necessities are not being met. Fairly a decent read, talks about the plight of Afghani women, spans across a century in an alternate narrative way. ...more
If you have to read only one book in an entire year, please let it be this book! A very joyful, insightful read, which made me chuckle and think at thIf you have to read only one book in an entire year, please let it be this book! A very joyful, insightful read, which made me chuckle and think at the same time. ...more
The thoughts of suicide are horrible, definitely. But I've not been a fan of books that glorify teenagers wanting to end their lives. Yes, I've forgotThe thoughts of suicide are horrible, definitely. But I've not been a fan of books that glorify teenagers wanting to end their lives. Yes, I've forgotten how it is to be a teenager and think that every problem on life can be solved with a clear mind, and almost don't recollect how teenagers see life. This is the feeling I got as I finished this book. The feeling of disdain an adult will have when she looks at kids from developed countries dealing with first world problems. But the rational mind knows that this is not a small matter. Depression, suicide and bipolar disorder are serious problems that need to be addressed.
That's not why I have this book 4 stars. It's the narrative - so fresh and easy. It's the build-up of the story, so lovely and youthful. And it's how the book made me feel for a bit, like a 18 year old girl being around someone she totally likes. And that 18 year old girl's yearning to be loved passionately that is fulfilled here. ...more
I've read about Stalin's Russia before, thanks to Rand and Orwell, and have had a fair idea of how life was then. This book taught me about the BalticI've read about Stalin's Russia before, thanks to Rand and Orwell, and have had a fair idea of how life was then. This book taught me about the Baltic story, as heart wrenching as the ones told by Holocaust survivors. These atrocities are not to be spoken even today, and these three countries are free now, without a grudge on the Russians. True, love wins over everything.
This is a very well written book, enough to make you grip at the pages in shiny,and feel for the characters in it. For Lina,Jonas, Elena , Andruis and even Nikolai. For all those twenty million people Stalin killed, and for all those stories unfold. ...more
I liked this book for various reasons. I also didn't like this book for some more reasons. Its just the former list is bigger than the latter.
I love tI liked this book for various reasons. I also didn't like this book for some more reasons. Its just the former list is bigger than the latter.
I love the passion and intensity of feelings shared by the protagonists, all of them - Josh, Nastya and Drew. I liked how the book ends, a lot. I liked the final decision taken by Nastya. I was moved by the words that talk about Nastya's pain. I felt for Josh Bennett and Drew. I didn't like the complicated lives of these American teenagers, for me they felt like first world problems, but then when I was reading a YA book based in the US, I should've expected this. I didn't like the long drab parts of the book talking about Nastya's time at the school. The romantic in me would've liked some more maturity in the relationship shared by Josh and Nastya.
While this list stays on, I noticed that I enjoyed the book. I couldn't keep it down, and I wanted to finish it all in one go. And the narration was good, in most parts. The plot, though predictable to some extent felt like it was well handled....more
After reading 75% of this book over 7 hours yday, all I can say is WOW! am transported back to the early 1800s when life was unfair to the less privilAfter reading 75% of this book over 7 hours yday, all I can say is WOW! am transported back to the early 1800s when life was unfair to the less privileged and women, when racism and sexism was prevalent and living a decent life of choice for a woman wasn't the norm. A very very well written book, with all its subplots, relationships between the various characters, the portrayal of meanness with a chilling as a matter of fact tone... I loved it all. And as I was marveling the work of the author, I was crying for the plight of the slaves and women back then! ...more
Nigeria has fascinated me for the past few years, thanks to Adichie, The other two books of hers have interested me greatly, and I was glad to discoveNigeria has fascinated me for the past few years, thanks to Adichie, The other two books of hers have interested me greatly, and I was glad to discover a different side to Nigeria, the one that is intelligent, rich and prosperous, not the one we are otherwise used to knowing, full of princes wanting to give us money over the internet or the one that we generally put in the same category that we reserve to African countries … that place in our heads that’s reserved for some pity, some shudder and a sigh at a lost continent.
This books does everything to keep up the image of Nigeria Adichie built in my mind so far. I like that fact that the main protagonists in this book are intelligent, well-educated and have normal childhoods. I like the fact that their parents are also educated and are working class. I like it that the children have gone to regular schools and have had rich classmates like the most of us. It makes me feel good, safe that in a land far, far away, people have lived happily, untouched from war, dread and terrorism. It appeals to the optimist in me. I like it a lot.
I love it that the characters are so well etched. That they long to leave their country in search of better lives and have the American dream. It makes me feel that youth has same aspirations no matter where they were born - a dream to travel far away and make something of themselves. It makes me believe that no matter what color we are, we are all the same somewhere deep within. The experiences each of the characters have during their time away from Nigeria are so similar to the experiences immigrants from any country have, like some of them from the lives of people we'd have known. Especially the pandering for the American visa or working odd jobs to fill the stomach, or making it big with blogs or finding someone to marry you so you can get the passport. This made the book very personal to me, that fact that people everywhere have the same immigrant troubles.
I love the narration of this book. I like the fact that I already know what Ifemulu and Obinze have been up to in their lives till the point of narration. I like how each incident in their past lives unravels itself as they are living their present lives… busy getting their hair done, or closing some business deals or visiting their friends. I like it that narration is honest and brazen, true to the characters of the main protagonists. I liked the imaginary lives I've built for both Ifem and The Zed, and they looked very beautiful to me in it, living their prosperous lives not thinking of each other, and slowly leaning towards each other.
This book is a story of two people who never really stopped loving each other. It’s a story of two people who are not together because the Universe didn’t let them be together, and its not either one's fault. It’s a story where instead of pining for each other forever, they carry on with their lives and lead fulfilling lives. It’s a story of hope and nostalgia, appealing to the romantic in me.
It’s a story of how strong or weak women can be, examples of each facet in one of the various characters, be it Aunty Uju or Obinze's mom or Ranyi or Giniko or Kim or Kosi. It appeals to the feminist in me, because Ifem is a strong character, and goes about doing everything she wants, goes out with anyone who fancies her and lives a full life. Yes, she pines for the great love of her life, but she doesn’t let that stop her from living. I like it that Obinze lives a full life but pines for Ifem very strongly, even when he is with her. His strong, calm nature adds to the allure and aura created around him... Who doesn’t like a strong, brooding man pining for a lady love, tell me? :-)
As the book was ending, and I was reading some of the best lines I've ever read about two people being in love, I wanted the book to last. The passion the protagonists feel for each other, the various ways in which they miss each other and the things they do to remember the other person are crazily normal, yet surreal, reminding you of the love they feel for each other , every minute.
And that’s when I realized I was in love. With this book. With Adichie, especially if as the claims go, Ifem is based on her. With the gift of reading for having brought me to this book. And with world, in general for having brought such beautiful books into being. Oh yes, am in love! :)
And I really wish someone made a movie out of this book, for the sheer joy of seeing such strong passion on screen! ...more