Author Rochelle Potkar's The Arithmetic Of Breasts And Other Stories is a very offbeat and interesting collection of short stories that focuses on a series of themes, but ends up being about sexual drives and desires mostly. When I first heard about the book, I assumed that the common theme in all the stories would be the female breast- which is what made it interesting for me, as I have worked on the subject before. It was only when I read the first story that I realised that The Arithmetic of Breasts is just the title of the first story. So while exploitation of the breast wasn't the focus of this collection, it still leans towards feminism, which works well enough for me.
While some of the stories seemed every vague and sometimes incomprehensible to me, the others were absolute hits. Some of my most favourite being- The Arithmetic of Breasts, Dr. Love, The Scent of a Conscience and Our Lovers. These four out of a total of nine stories really struck a chord with me, not just because they ticked all the boxes of some great story-telling on the part of the author, but also because these stories had human emotions and feelings at their core, which made it very raw and real. Some were even uncanny and rather difficult to fathom just because of the intensity of them. But honestly, those are the stories I hunt for, so it was satisfying.
Coming to author Rochelle Potkar's writing, it was very smooth and easy to follow. The language was really well thought of and developed, with as tiny a use of colloquial language as possible, which is again a hit. I can easily see Rochelle's writing next to the feminist giants of the literary world that I have grown to admire and appreciate. I feel that the author's stories and most importantly, her story-telling are both very powerful. Just the way every story was different from the other and was equally gripping at the same time is real work on the author's part.
Overall, there were a few stories in The Arithmetic of Breasts and Other Stories that I don't really care about, but as mentioned before, there are four stories that really stood out for me and that I have carried with me outside of the book. This is a great collection of short stories that really makes sense, has the reader contemplate over common human urges and basically just keep the reader occupied and entertained as well. It's definitely worth a read, or two in case one loves a story so much that it calls for reread or to just read some stories again only to understand them better. ...more
While every single reader has raved about the really cute cover of author Sanjeev Ranjan's Just the Way You Are, I am not the biggest fan of sunshineWhile every single reader has raved about the really cute cover of author Sanjeev Ranjan's Just the Way You Are, I am not the biggest fan of sunshine and romance books, so cute as it may be, the cover barely mattered to me. I read the book as part of the read along that we hosted. I will admit that there was nothing extraordinary about the book, but it was a very quick read, which always stands as a positive for me. The story was simple and sweet, which made it very easy to follow and understand. Albeit lacking major character development that I was hoping for, the protagonist Sameer was portrayed as a decent enough guy who has really seen struggle in life. His life partner Shagun was well portrayed and possessed some quirky qualities. Other than that, the book was really very average. I would recommend Just The Way You Are to romance lovers. Pick this book up over a weekend and you'll enjoy it. The book was very simple, sweet and quick. ...more
It has been a long time since I read a book that was moving and touching, which is why I find myself at a loss for words. If I am to sum up Orphan ofIt has been a long time since I read a book that was moving and touching, which is why I find myself at a loss for words. If I am to sum up Orphan of Islam in two words, I would say that the book is a sad beauty. A sad beauty that made me contemplate about Islam more than what I do on a normal basis. A reflective, deep and raw story, this book has instantly and easily found a place in my heart, right alongside marvels like The Kite Runner and The Almond Tree.
We all know what a brave soul Malala is. What she did, continues to do and will eventually do is admirable. If you like Malala, you will love Mohammed. He was a brave child who went through something that no adult, let alone child, should ever go through. I admired his courage and determination for never once did he accept what was thrown his way without questioning and reasoning- albeit in his own head- why it was being thrown his way. What I admired most about him was his righteousness, even when all his religion and his people gave him was harm and hurt. Never once did I pity this innocent child, but I only respected and valued his spirit throughout the length of the book.
A beautiful story of an innocent child, an imposing religion, two interesting cultures and two idyllic countries, Orphan of Islam is a sad story about impressive character development which is what made the book really amazing for me. There are books in which characters are on the last page just the way they were on the first page. And then there are books like Orphan of Islam that show intense and incredible personal change. Mohammed grew so much as a man and as a human over the span of the book that it was hard yet amazing to believe how the lost child had grown to become such a wonderful man.
What added to the beauty of the book was what I learnt from it as a reader, and that makes me want to genuinely and literally bow down to author Alexander Khan. I really felt like I travelled with Mohammed and that I was a part of his journey. Right from England to Pakistan and back again, I felt like I was living the story, almost feeling it, and when an author manages to do that through his writing, it is simply wonderful. After saying all that I have said, I feel that I am still speechless and I will never be able to convey how beautiful Orphan of Islam really is, and that is a shame, because the simplicity and beauty in Alexander Khan's storytelling demand to be conveyed. ...more
What the hell! That ending was... No. Just, no. For a dark matter addict like me and for a series that has been intriguing and creepy, that ending wasWhat the hell! That ending was... No. Just, no. For a dark matter addict like me and for a series that has been intriguing and creepy, that ending was too full of sunshine and rainbows. So, no.
I have read a few books written by author Lori L. Clark previously, and each one has left me wanting more. The Come Here, Go Away series wasn't any different. A five book series, we have here the story of Tori who went through a rough past and is now a self-defence instructor and does many part-time jobs. She is hired by Ambrose Flynn, hot millionaire who was suspected for the murder of his wife, to teach self-defence to his daughter Rose.
There's no doubt for me now that Lori's writing is really nice. It's simple and has a nice flow that keeps the reader interested. The Come Here, Go Away series goes from Tori's point of view, and it was fun to be in her head. Her strong exterior is clearly a result of some major interior damage. I liked the idea of having a self-defence teacher as the protagonist. It kept the story very entertaining as I hadn't read anything similar before. Tori has her share of awkward moments, and they were amusing. Tori got on my nerves many times as the series progressed as she just seemed very vulnerable and weak for the sketch we got of her personality initially. She meets Ambrose through her instructor Patrick whose character was well done and described throughout.
When Tori meets Ambrose, it was but obvious that something would cook between the two. I didn't like Ambrose all that much. He just seemed like another Christian Grey to me. And the more I read about him, the more my assumption was affirmed. While I was hoping that his character would develop and progress eventually, he just stayed the same. He was a nasty, fake and selfish brat who didn't appeal to me at all. His daughter seemed like a spoiled brat at first, but she was nice enough. Honestly, by the end, Rose was the only sensible character in this series.
Overall, the Come Here, Go Away series was quite interesting and eerie, which is a plus. Tori's relationship with her mother was very well portrayed and stood out the most for me. An intriguing read, it really left me wanting to know more, especially to see where the story was headed every time I finished one part. The epilogue kind of final end which is featured at the end of the box set was honestly the cheesiest, dumbest and most unrealistic end ever, and I just did not like all the unnecessary flare and useless drama. Read as separate books over some intervals, the series manages to pack some punch, but read as a whole series at once (like I did from book two onwards), it wasn't that great.
Having said that, this series was a quick read that was quite decent, and definitely worth one read. ...more
At first, when I began reading Paper Towns, it seemed like it was another Looking for Alaska with a nerd guy and an attractive, popuActual rating- 3.5
At first, when I began reading Paper Towns, it seemed like it was another Looking for Alaska with a nerd guy and an attractive, popular and quirky girl. For about fifty percent of the book, it was just that, except we have no girl. But it's when Paper Towns has barely twenty percent remaining that it really begins to kick and goes on to become this action-packed, comical, almost innocent and philosophically enlightening read. That obviously means that the first eighty percent of the book wasn't all that extraordinary, but it wasn't bad at all because overall, the book was great. Honestly speaking though, only the last twenty percent of the book- which makes up part three or The Vessel- is necessary because that is the part where there's that promised road trip. The rest is just filling pages up to make a novel.
Quentin and Margo know each other since childhood as they are neighbours who end up going to the same school. Their acquaintance doesn't really go anywhere until one night when Margo decides to get into Quentin's window and take him on an adventure. Speaking of love and romance in this novel, it was very typical. And even dumb, if I may say so. But the end was simply superb. It was perfect not just in terms of the friendship and all stuff unspoken between Quentin and Margo but for Quentin and Margo as individuals. Quentin was just a regular guy with regular dreams, which was nice and refreshing. Margo was his opposite. While very unconventional, she did stuff without any reason, and both qualities are admirable. But her absence was more than her presence and that was disappointing. Also, her personality and story lacked depth.
The most fun and interesting aspect of Paper Towns is Quentin's friends, Ben and Radar. They were just so fantastic and fabulous that it was hard not to laugh or at least smile when either or both of them were involved. Ben and Radar were amazing friends who were always there for Quentin whether he needed them or not. It is only for these two awesome guys that I have added another half owl to my rating. It would be really cool to read more about them. In the form of novellas, perhaps? Another really lovely aspect was all the hidden philosophy and thought-provoking stuff that John Green is famous for. Also, the pee jokes! I genuinely appreciate toilet humour, so it was hilarious.
While Paper Towns was not something that can be called a marvel or a masterpiece, it was still a fun read that has many points to contemplate. John Green, once again, tells us a brilliant story of American teenagers who are very intellectual for their age. A nerdy book in its essence, Paper Towns is a nice read that is funny and contemplative all at once, which makes it very unique in some way. The reason I read the book is because I wanted to get to it before the movie, so I hope the movie is decent enough. But again, speaking honestly, a movie can be made with just the last twenty percent of the book. Just saying. ...more
Sheer excitement started running through me when I got to know that Kelley York was writing a new book. An auto-read author for me, Kelley York is one of my most favourite and preferred contemporary writers of our time. So when I got the opportunity to read and review an e-arc of Modern Monsters, I was elated. Obviously, I had expectations from the book, and even though they weren't necessarily met to the absolute last point, the book did exactly what is necessary for me to appreciate a book.
Vic Howard, the protagonist of Modern Monsters, from whose point of view the book goes, was very easy to relate to and I could connect with him so well. He was the awkward and reserved wallflower who had no problem being alone, and who has always been a shadow of his close friend, Brett. When accused of raping his school mate Callie at a famous lake house party, he suddenly becomes the centre of attention. While the whole mystery surrounding the rape was very intriguing and interesting, at some point, I knew who the culprit would be and I was right. This obviousness didn't disappoint me, because it only showed me how engaged and involved I was in the story that I instantly felt part of it. This is what I want a story to do to me in any case- make me feel belonged, and Modern Monsters did that.
While Vic was the epitome of a character created by Kelley York, the story wasn't. There was darkness, there was mystery and there was thrill, but not too intense. When Vic and Callie's closest friend Autumn join hands to solve the mystery behind the rape, the story seemed to focus more on boy meets girl and you know what happens, which was really lovely, but had me slightly disappointed and bored. Also, I found it odd how Autumn immediately trusts Vic, but then again, Vic is genuinely a great and strong guy, which is such a rarity that I adored him. So was Autumn. She was just like autumn: fresh and nice. A nice friendship then turned into a gorgeous slow burn romance, which is again dense in some Young Adult reads, so that was really satisfying and refreshing to read about.
At one point, I stopped comparing Modern Monsters to any previous Kelley York book, and that's when I really started appreciating it. It was something very different, fresh and new. As if it isn't already evident, this book has shown me, once again, how talented Kelley York is in telling stories that leave me feeling. What that is and how that happens, I don't know. What matters the most to me is the fact that I felt that I was part of the story, right there with Vic, Autumn, Callie and Brett. Considering it to be a different read, I thought that Modern Monsters was quite a great read that ended perfectly and brought a smile to my face once I shut it, another aspect that I love and respect about such dazzling, emotional and powerful stories. ...more
I honestly have no idea how I'm going to put down this review, and more importantly, I have no idea what I'm going to put down in this review. All I know is that I'm glad I kept my apprehension, boredom and reluctance aside and decided to ask for a copy of City of Spies, which turned to be exactly the kind of book that I like to read. A book that is brutal, fresh, true and raw. Even though it took me days to start the book and even more days to keep going with it, once I was in it, I was in it. There was no looking back and there was no putting the book down.
City of Spies is the story of one brave, courageous and smart girl whose father is Pakistani and mother is Dutch. Having stayed in Vienna for so long, Aliya and her family consisting of her parents and her older brother and sister, is forced to go to Pakistan for an electricity and water supply project that her father is to guide in his country. All the characters in this book are very well developed and excellently portrayed. Each one stands out and manages to shine even in the presence of others. But the one person who, I feel, is the star of the book, is the servant of the family, Hanif. Now why is that? That's for the reader to find out.
Aliya was portrayed as a normal girl who finds herself facing an identity crisis. Although she wants to adapt to the lifestyle of her fellow American or Western classmates, she still appreciates and even prefers her Pakistani specialities and everything else that makes the country incredible in her own right. She goes on to become a journalist and the entire book goes from her point of view in first person where she recounts her time spent in Pakistan as a school going girl between the arrival of the General to the burning of the American Embassy.
What made City of Spies such an epic read for me was the writing. Author Sorayya Khan has written a book wherein words flow like it's in their nature to just blend and form a prose that's so much like poetry. The writing was crisp, meticulous, spot-on and simply jaw-dropping. I adored every chapter, paragraph, line and word. I was amazed and absolutely mind-blown. The author has written a great book that recounts a lovely story, and that is enough to satisfy me. I don't see any reason why this book doesn't deserve to be read. ...more
Based on my read and to-read shelves, Goodreads kept recommending Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda to me. It wasn't long before I finally took the reBased on my read and to-read shelves, Goodreads kept recommending Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda to me. It wasn't long before I finally took the recommendation seriously and read the book. After having recently read a series of books with predictable plots, Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda came as a pleasant surprise. This was one of those stories that pulled me in immediately. From the very beginning, I felt that I was part of the story and when a book does that, it is bound to be awesome.
Simon is a regular sixteen, soon to be seventeen year old, and he was one of the coolest protagonists ever. He reminded me so much of Charlie from The Perks of Being A Wallflower because of his innocent, sort of awkward and quirky but friendly personality. He really is the kind of person anyone would want to be friends with. I absolutely loved him. He was adorable and what was most admirable was how his family and friends ended up being just as important as he was throughout the book. What a pleasure it was to meet the Spiers and to spend some fun time with Simon's awesome friends and classmates. From the beginning until the very end, this was the wonderful story of Simon coming out and coming of age.
For me, the book itself was something like and between The Perks of Being A Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky meets Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan meets Boy Meets Boy by David Levithan, three books that I absolutely love. The plot was really awesome and the fact that there was a school play involved made it all the more awesome because it's just so wonderful when that happens. Like I said before, as a reader, the story put me right there, with Simon and the gang. The pace was good and the story stayed lovely throughout and ended on a very sweet note.
Author Becky Albertalli has written a cute, funny, emotional and absolutely awesome book. The writing was so pretty that if I could, I would highlight every line from it. Oh, and don't even get me started on all the Harry Potter references. It was the coolest part ever, and I loved every bit of it, from the glasses to the costume to the fanfiction. Nothing can make me fall in love with a book more than having Harry Potter stuff in it. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda was an enjoyable read that put me in a happy and sunshine-like mood, as if having Harry Potter in it wasn't enough....more
Author Melissa Tagg's novella, Three Little Words, is free on Amazon. I've been digging novellas lately, that's how I came across it. And I am glad IAuthor Melissa Tagg's novella, Three Little Words, is free on Amazon. I've been digging novellas lately, that's how I came across it. And I am glad I did. Three Little Words was a very cute and enjoyable story that I devoured in spite of it being a romance, a genre I'm not the most fond of. However, I do enjoy my share of mature and thoughtful Adult Romances here and there, and this one turned out to be super sweet.
Ava lost the love of her life in a skiing accident. A tomboy since childhood, she has always wanted to coach a football team, a passion she isn't able to follow, as a woman. She decides to stop by her school reunion with the hopes of meeting her father figure professor, but ends up bumping into Seth, her classmate and constant email bickering partner, who has opened a new restaurant in his hometown and invites Ava over for the summer.
Ava was a very sweet and different girl. Although she seemed really simple and ordinary at first, I really liked her determination to follow her heart even when it wasn't possible. I also admired her for taking a step ahead, rather than waiting for the man to do it. Seth was just as wonderful as Ava. He was teasing her in the most enjoyable ways, and when together, Ava and Seth seemed really at ease and peace. They were totally meant for each other. Their email and face to face conversations were fun to read.
I also really enjoyed reading about Seth's restaurant, The Red Door, that he started just below his uncle and cousins' apartment. The family was really warm and kind, and that always adds a wonderful touch to novellas. Three Little Words was a very cute read that had a bit of everything ranging from family to friendship, love to hate, bickering to normal discussions, emails to real talk and so much more. The end was super sweet, and I really liked it. I hope to read more books from the Walker Family series sometime. ...more
I had first developed an interest in existentialism when we studied- and no one is going to be surprised by this- Albert Camus' The Stranger in our twI had first developed an interest in existentialism when we studied- and no one is going to be surprised by this- Albert Camus' The Stranger in our twentieth century French literature class. At that time, I just put the word "existential" in the dictionary, hoping it would suffice. No prizes for guessing that it didn't. It was only a little later that I actually bothered looking it up online. During my state (pun intended) of finding out more about the concept and the theory, I came across Introducing books. Having read the same books on Introducing Camus and Introducing Sartre, I knew that Introducing Existentialism would be a quick and knowledgeable read.
I can guarantee that Introducing Existentialism is a very deep, intellectual and knowledgeable read, but it definitely isn't a quick read. Short, yes, but not quick. That is simply because existentialism, contrary to my initial beliefs, is a very complex and complicated concept and theory to understand. I am not going to tell you what existentialism is, because it is not possible to do that with just one reading, of Introducing Existentialism and of existentialism in general. I am not sure if even I know for myself what it really is. All I know is that I don't really have an opinion on it as yet, but it sure is something to contemplate over. It is complex and complicated, but also very interesting.
Coming to the book itself, Introducing Existentialism, unlike two of its counterparts that I previously mentioned, is not as easy a guide to existentialism as it should be. But then again, existentialism in itself isn't, for me at least. It isn't just a philosophical concept, but includes history, science, technology, religion and psychology as well. Deep, I tell you. And at the same time, this book definitely does not serve as an introductory "guide" as it's way above a simple introdcution. I found myself reading a few pages and keeping the book aside just to gather my thoughts and to try and see if I understood what I just read.
To conclude, I can safely say that this book is just an okay introductory guide that requires heaps of supplementary reading and research to fully understand what it is trying to say and maybe even a reread or two. The illustrations are really well done; my favourite being Camus (of course!) and the cafe scenes between de Beauvoir and Sartre. What I did appreciate most about this book is that I suppose I finally understood the reason behind the rift between Camus and Sartre. I must also just mention the interesting front and back cover that show a spilled glass of and an almost full bottle of wine and a neat glass on the table and a half bottle of wine respectively. Funny how it goes front to back rather than reverse which is expected of existentialism. ...more
I admire Laura Lee's poetic and slightly philosophical writing, so when the author contacted me to read her novel, Identity Theft, I didn't see any reason to let it pass. Even though the story seemed like something different coming from the author, I was looking forward to the book and the most important part is that it didn't disappoint at all.
Identity Theft seems like an amalgamation of all those cool chick-lit books I like to read once in a while, but it is much more than just chick-lit or a contemporary for that matter. Even though the book predominantly falls under these two genres, the subtle importance given to basic human personality and the immense involvement of psychology makes me think that there's really much more to the book than just a light read. And perhaps it's exactly all that that makes it a true Laura Lee book.
Identity Theft is the story of three people who find themselves at a crossroads when their identities are mistaken and played with. Blast, whose band name is the same as his stage name, is a sexy British rockstar for whom making music is like breathing and his real self, Ollie, is a simple, sensitive and sweet guy who just wants to lead a normal, ordinary and regular life. Ethan is a very regular, kind of average guy who works for Blast and is given the job of taking care of Blast's social media networking and he takes it upon himself to reply to the tons of fan mail that's sent to Blast, making him wonder what Blast has that he doesn't. Candi is like any other woman- she wants to have a secured and stable life and her huge crush on Blast makes her write to him and she's over the moon when she actually hears back from her most favourite musician.
Each of the three characters have been absolutely well portrayed and their distinct personalities have been explained in detail so much so that the reader even gets to read from each of their point of view in third person, although the pattern in which the reader gets in each of their head isn't really fixed. The writing is very simple and well put down which makes it an easy read.
I consider myself lucky to have read both the endings that Laura Lee came up with for Identity Theft and I know which ending I like more since it's a kind of ending that, even though it doesn't build anything in concrete, it leaves each of the characters with a much needed closure. This book is a very amusing and highly enjoyable read that isn't just something you read and forget because it is made up of various phenomena that open up some serious topics for discussion. For me, in general, it was a journey I took with Blast, Ethan and Candi and I enjoyed every moment I spent with them. ...more