Girl vs. Boy Band: The Right Track came in my Bloomsbury Bundle that I won on Instagram. Because it seemed like a short and sweet read, I decided to start with it immediately, and I'm so glad that it actually turned out to be a very short and sweet read that I enjoyed. I do like my share of Middle Grade once in a while, and like any MG book, this one too, was a perfect mix of drama, family, friendship and fun.
This is the story of Lark, whose father is a talented musician, but because he's always on the road and because her mom wants a career for herself, Lark is moved out of Nashville to L.A., where the country girl at heart seems to be getting more homesick each day. A natural at the guitar, songwriting and singing, Lark is terrified of sharing her songs with anyone, let alone performing them. This book follows her journey as a person and a musician and it was really adorable to read, especially her slowly but surely building love life, which was very cute.
Obviously, Lark is the girl in the title, but the boy band mentioned in it didn't disappoint at all. Lark's mother takes a British band called Abbey Road under her wings and she is planning on launching them. That means that Lark is forced to share her house with three annoying, noisy but totally cool and awesome teenage boys. The band members Aidan, Max and Ollie were wonderfully portrayed and both their journey as a band and as individuals was fun to read.
Overall, Girl vs. Boy Band: The Right Track is an adorable read that is very enjoyable as well. Author Harmony Jones has written a very cute book with wonderful characters and an interesting and gripping plot. I'm glad this is a series because I sure am excited to see what happens next. I'd definitely recommend this one to fans of MG and even others, because this book is bound to make a weekend good and memorable....more
I had initially read Hannah Moskowitz's Gone, Gone, Gone, and it was a pretty good book that I still remember sometimes, mainly because the two main characters were very well portrayed, making them unforgettable. The same stands true for Not Otherwise Specified, because even though the story was good, the characterisation was even better. I don't know how she does it, but Hannah creates and writes about characters that stay with you, and that, I feel is very beautiful.
Not Otherwise Specified is the story of Etta from Nebraska who dreams of going to New York or basically anywhere that's not Nebraska. She is a girl with some issues and that makes her real and hence, relatable. She is always herself, although she is trying to figure out exactly who that is. And that is what makes the book a true coming of age story, because in spite of all the important things going on and the important characters standing out, this book is about figuring out oneself while trying to not break down even when it seems like the easy way out.
Like I mentioned before, the side characters in the book stood out really well, as well. So while Etta is the protagonist, her story itself is shaped by everything that goes on around her and everyone around her. Each secondary character moulds themselves perfectly to fit into Etta's story and for that again, I must commend Hannah's beautiful characterisation which really makes the reader feel belonged.
Overall, while are some bits of Not Otherwise Specified that I didn't necessarily like or even understand at sometime, it was still a really different, enjoyable and very good read that I would recommend to fans of young adult LGBT stories that take up the whole coming of age theme. ...more
When I first heard of The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky, I was really interested because even though I have always been curious, I haActual rating- 4.5
When I first heard of The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky, I was really interested because even though I have always been curious, I had never read a book set in Kashmir. The only exposure I had to a fictionalised Kashmir was the recent movie, Fitoor. There was no way I was going to skip this book; and while it took me a long time to get to it and even more time to finish it, it was worth it because this book is exceptionally beautiful. The only disadvantage (or that's what I consider it) is that Manan Kapoor has really set up my expectations for books set in Kashmir, so the similar books that I will read in the future better be just as beautiful.
The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky follows the story of Inayat, her parents, Maqbool and Wahida and her friends, Gul and Aaqib. Every character in the book is very uniquely made and wonderfully portrayed with a slight glimpse from almost every point of view, every once in a while. A true gem of historical fiction, this book gives us a realistic and raw look into the socio-political scenario of Kashmir and more than just that, it tells us what a few people went through because of that. Books like these teach you more than what history textbooks or even Google ever could, because they explicitly show us pain and suffering, something that- although difficult to digest, is very, very real.
For such a young writer, Manan Kapoor is very talented. His writing is beautiful and his storytelling is extremely addictive because I never wanted the book to end. With just one book, the author has already made his way to my auto-read list because I am very much looking forward to anything and everything that he will write next as I'm sure it'll be beautiful. There was a wonderful and very smooth flow to his words- almost similar to Khaled Hosseini, who is one of my most favourite writers, so that's definitely something special. Manan Kapoor is definitely an author to watch out for.
I don't want to get into the story because this is one of those stories that is better read than told. What I can promise is that The Lamentations of a Sombre Sky will leave you feeling a hundred and ten feelings because it is a beautifully sad book that will stay in your heart forever. It is, hands down, one of the best books I have read so far in 2016. Also, not to forget, the book cover is just as beautiful as the story itself, so this is one of those rarities where judging the book by it's cover will actually prove you right, because everything- and trust me- everything about this book is beautiful.
*Note: A copy of this book was provided by the Leadstart Publications in exchange for an honest review. We thank them....more
I have been thinking a lot, and I cannot think of any wo*This review was initially published at The Readdicts Book Blog. For more reviews, go here.
I have been thinking a lot, and I cannot think of any word to describe this book other than beautiful. It was so beautiful. Beautiful characters. Beautiful story. Beautiful writing. Beautiful everything. My Best Friend, Maybe is nothing but beautiful. So very beautiful.
I normally don't read book summaries, and I didn't read the one for this book either. But it showing up every time I went on the Goodreads page of a LGBT book told me everything I needed to know and that was to add the book to my TBR, get it and finally read it. I'm not even going to attempt summarizing the book because, 1) the story is beautifully complicated and 2) I'd rather you read the book. Seriously, I have never read a book about a lesbian that's as beautiful as this one, and I do read my share of the category.
My Best Friend, Maybe was perfectly balanced in terms of all the contrasts it had. While there were times when the book seemed predictable- and I was right about most of my suspicions- the book did take some really unpredictable turns that made it both creepy, mysterious and pretty at the same time because of the way in which it was done. Speaking of mysterious, there was this eerie feeling throughout and it added just the right amount of tension and curiosity.
While this story did appear to be very dramatic at times, I feel the drama was not very overdone because every time something seemed very hard for me to believe or too much, I just put myself in the shoes of the respective characters and that's when it started getting realistic and justifiable. But still, it was full of drama- both good and bad.
I really, really, really like this beautiful, beautiful, beautiful book so much and I don't know what else to say other than the fact that I would highly recommend it. ...more
The premise of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel sounded very promising and interesting. Luckily, it ended up being just like that, as well. WhileThe premise of Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel sounded very promising and interesting. Luckily, it ended up being just like that, as well. While the book mainly dealt with the traumas of a lesbian from an Iranian family, it wasn't just a rant session or an almost autobiographical text, because the story in itself had so much going on that it ended up being more of a family/ school drama, which was so very adorable.
Leila has always been into girls, but coming from a country where people are hanged for not abiding by society's self-made rules, she is afraid if coming out to anyone, let alone her family. The Azadi family was portrayed so well by the author that they seemed just like any normal family one would come across. It's always great to see importance given to family in YA novels, and this wasn't any exception. From the family scenes described in the book to the relationship Leila has with each of them to the way they all react to her sexuality, everything was well done and spot on.
Leila isn't a wallflower or anything, but she isn't the queen of her school either. Her life is going just about fine until Saskia walks into it. From the very beginning, there was something so off about Saskia and she just seemed so wrong, but for the avoidance of spoilers, let's just say that everything turns out really well. Leila's other friends from school, like her family, were portrayed in a very realistic and cool manner. The fact that the story revolved around a school play (again, something so lovely about YA!) was just perfect.
Overall, Tell Me Again How a Crush Should Feel wasn't very unique or anything, but it was such an adorable read that had a bit of everything you'd look for in a YA novel in it. To top it all of, it is a very quick and easy read, thanks to author Sara Farizan's simple writing and intriguing story-telling. A thoroughly enjoyable read, this one is definitely the cutest and least- by no means do I mean to sound rude or offend anyone by using the following word- dramatic book about a lesbian that I have read. ...more
When I take almost a month to finish just one book, it either means that I read it just for the sake of it or that I love it so much that I take my time with it because I don't want it to end and because I don't just want to read the book; I want to devour it. Thankfully, Me Before You falls in the latter category. Who am I kidding? I knew all along that I would end up falling crazily in love with this cute and catastrophic story. My March 2016 was spent with Me Before You and what a journey it has been!
There is nothing about Me Before You that I have to say that hasn't been said before, but let me just get one thing straight- this book isn't really sad. I would say it is rather joyful and cheerful because it's not the destination, but the journey that counts, right? And this was one tear-jerking, yes; but completely colourful and celestial ride. There is so much more to it than what meets the eye. This book is about chances and choices and it shows its philosophical colours in a very mature and muted way. So if you really think about it, it isn't really sad, but just very raw and real.
Yes, it is a huge book, but it is totally worth it. There were absolutely no flaws in author Jojo Moyes' writing, character building and storytelling. Everything was perfect and there is nothing that could have been done better. This book had both laughter and tears and it was shown in the most adorable, gut-wrenching yet heart-warming way possible, making Me Before You a very simple and still sophisticated book, because that writing! That writing was so English, and so beautiful and so perfect.
Without a doubt, I would recommend this book because it teaches you compassion and humanity. At least, that's what it taught me. All those kickass heroines are awesome, but Louisa was the true heroine because in no world can I imagine myself in her selfless and giving shoes. I loved Will the most though because he was true. This book has been a wonderful journey that I was so glad I devoured. ...more
When my friend Ao, over at Aobibliosphere, recommended The Boy in Striped Pyjamas to me and when I read his review for the same, I knew that I had to read the book. Even though I could try to understand why the book has got many negative reviews and why it has been bashed, I really don't care, because to each her/ his own. Besides, for me, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas was somewhat like The Kite Runner meets Between Shades of Gray, and it was a very moving and touching story that had my heart shedding tears.
Fictionalizing history is very difficult because there's always going to be something that is going to offend someone. Bridging the gap between reality and fiction by respecting both is a truly an art, and author John Boyne narrates a resplendent tale of two boys who look at each other as humans first, and don't even bother defining each other based on anything else. While their innocence could be termed as naïveté, why wouldn't nine year-olds behave like nine year-olds? There was so much of depth to Bruno and Shmuel's friendship that it made me want to get them out of the book and hug them tight.
More than just friendship though, The Boy in Striped Pyjamas is about a very difficult and violent period in history. What's told in this glorious tale is the story of two boys and two boys alone, but there's so much more to it than just that. The story is about courage, humanity and hope. Courage to cross the line and greet another as a friend. Humanity towards another human, which is what's expected. And finally hope that one day, everything will be all right.
The Boy in Striped Pyjamas left me in tears and the two young and awe-inspiring boys taught me so much about life in less than 200 pages. John Boyne tells a lovely and heart-breaking story in a very simple manner. The author's writing was incredible, his words flowed so easily and his characterization was very realistic, with flaws and imperfections- just the way it should be. The Boy in Striped Pyjamas will take a few hours to finish, but will stay with the reader for far more than that time. ...more
Author Neeru Iyer's Of Bridges Among Us is a collection oThis review was originally published at The Readdicts Book Blog. For more reviews, go here.
Author Neeru Iyer's Of Bridges Among Us is a collection of ten short stories that focus on exactly what the title says by portraying human emotions in a very subtle yet powerful manner. With short stories, it's either make it or break it; a reader either loves it or hates it. There is absolutely no in between. Luckily for me, albeit the predictability of the stories most of the time, Neeru Iyer's simple writing and sharp storytelling combined beautifully to make for an absolutely amazing collection of wonderful stories that I thoroughly enjoyed.
While all the stories in the collection were really well made, the ones that stood out most for me are Falling Stars, The Girl by the Fourth Window, Moonwalker and She's not Afraid of Spiders. Close to these are also the stories titled A Stranger to Life, The Best Mango and The Reunion. The only stories I wasn't the most fond of were The Other Woman and Fever. But honestly, when more than half the stories end up being so beautiful , two can easily be overlooked and kept aside. My most favourite of them all, however, was Somewhere over the Rainbow.
Neeru Iyer takes up so many themes, emotions and storylines that in one book itself, we go from issues like rape to cheating to LGBT to abuse to separation and so much more. I'm always looking for stories that have character development and heavy substance to them, which is why all these stories left me leaving satisfied. There was something so real and so unique about every story that it made it seem as if a different person was telling each story, and that's where Neeru Iyer's talent really takes centre stage.
Overall, I would definitely recommend Of Bridges Among Us for it is a very beautiful read that will leave the reader in a happy place but at the same time, in a contemplative mood. I just feel like this book really spoke to me, and I adore it when books so that, so this was an instant hit that will remain with me for a long time.
*Note: This book was provided by Neeru Iyer in exchange for an honest review. We thank her for the book....more