Friday, 16 December 2016

The Book Thief Book Review

The Book ThiefThe Book Thief by Markus Zusak
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

One was a book thief.
The other stole the sky."

The Book Thief is, without a doubt, one of the most unusual books I have ever read . Have patience with me , I am to write this review with careful detail .

There's a big if not an enormously huge hype surrounding this book . I , most unexpectedly , avoid these type of books in usual , not willingly though , sometimes I cant bring myself to read a book with a big hype , it scares me , the amount of high expectations . there is also this unconscious thought " the book doesn't need you (does it ?), it has too many fans , why not linger in the periphery and find some lonely forgotten books to back up ? "
Or ... maybe I simply do not like crowds .
So, when I started reading this book I was pushing myself through the lines , curiosity to know what's so admirable about it overwhelming the bookish Enochlophobia . it was a little hard to get into , maybe because of the constant distraction and the slow pace , but the book slowly would takes hold of your heart and whole being. there is much wistfulness , pain , melancholy and beauty in this novel that when you finish the last page, you’re left in pieces .

When i was a child i read books without discrimination , i read anything and everything . I mean it didn't matter if i was reading a newspaper that I've already read 3 or 4 times before , I've read political books , religional books , children magazines or even user instruction manuals that come with devices . which were all mainly my father's or things that come in handy ,When I had nothing in hand i'd read text books of previous or coming years , history , chemistry , mathematics anything , i was never picky . Like though i wasn't interested in politics , but I'd sit and read and may imagine a whole different content than that in the book , now i open these books and can hardly recognize them .
It was not about understanding as much as about reading because it still means holding a book and enjoying the words rolling in your mouth . That Feeling .
However, my reading had changed , I'm being picky now , i write book requests , i search lists , read synopses , reviews and very carefully chose every next book . An uphill or a slop down I don't know .
Now how does this relate to our book ? What i loved the most about The Book Thief is that it didn't matter to Liesel "what the book was " as much as the act of reading did , she'd read a Grave digging guide , and go on re reading it , and still enjoy it . the mere child she is , who has nothing to do with how graves should be dug .
The whole book has this general theme of an odd subtlety , How the words seem to burn one moment then they'd turn into silent nostalgic ashes , you never know which line will sink or float you , make or mar you. Which would be your next undoing. Zusak had written a story of words, He writes with love and adoration and most important of all with respect to the power of words . Books and words almost have a physical presence in here , it’s a fascinating thing to witness. Words can hurt, and conversely as we find out from The Book Thief; they have the capacity to heal and give way to hope.
A meaningful unit of language / a promise / a short remark, statement, or conversation.
Related words: term, name, expression"

The Book Thief is not a book about the Holocaust in the traditional sense Considering that all of Hitler's power rested on his ability to persuade people through words. however, this book shows how this power may be used to create friendships, preserve life, and ultimately made Liesel more courageous and true to herself . it always abolishes whatever you may think is absolute , It’s not even a book about Jews or Germans and world war II . It is a book about people, "They were French, they were Jews, and they were you." it tells how war can victimize both sides of a battle field , that lines blur and people simply die , I connected to the book because there's always a time and a place were humanity would show cruelty , its never simply "the past" , it would be listed in history under different names but they share similar essence , We have our own wars now going on in the world . People suffer and die, there are rebels, there are reborn Fuhrers , and there are martyrs. these stories seem to share the very same content making the book ageless .

And then the insane concept of having Death be our narrator makes the book quite unique , it may sound ominous but Suzak captures the death voice in poetic human way " I am haunted by humans " ,he has conscience and empathy however unaffecting to his work they might be . Death is not what we might imagine for a mental model of the word , he's a sarcastic voice sometimes with an undeniable sense of humor . and it directs the dialogue to us , the readers , Zusak includes us here , we are no mere observers , we do not linger in the death thoughts , we do not eavesdrop his conversations , he simply addresses us , speaks to us . tells us the story of a little girl that touched his very existence . like a friend telling you a story , one who's eager , indifferent to and unaware of the literary sins (giving away spoilers the greatest of them ) . and for a book to provide its own spoilers is assuredly unusual .
through out the book we get glimpses of our odd narrator
"A REASSURING ANNOUNCEMENT Please, be calm, despite that previous threat. I am all bluster— I am not violent. I am not malicious. I am a result"
"A SMALL PIECE OF TRUTH I do not carry a sickle or scythe. I only wear a hooded black robe when it’s cold. And I don’t have those skull-like facial features you seem to enjoy pinning on me from a distance. You want to know what I truly look like? I’ll help you out. Find yourself a mirror while I continue"

having the story told by a character supposedly detached from humanity is eerily effective. this prospect provides the bird eye view of humanity , and this eerie feeling is due to this exact fact , the humanization of death , it has a strange, out-of-place feeling about it . In aesthetics there's whats called The uncanny valley which is the hypothesis that human replicas that appear almost, but not exactly, like real human beings elicit feelings of eeriness and revulsion among some observers .

The world building was outstanding . not that it had many details but it felt too personal , a single town a single street , I felt like I was a member of the neighborhood. I could picture myself wherever the story was at: the school, courtyard, library, basement, house. The beautiful writing was the factor that made it so . Every sentence felt like it was a painting or an artifact .

At some point near the end , The Book Thief stops being just a greatly written novel , it simply becomes Great . its beautiful and tragic . How it manages wartime , death and such great afflictions and diversities with the humor and the curiosity of the youth , It’s one of those books with the ability to linger in your mind long after the final page .
The amount of the sentimentalism the End holds , this much of intense wrenching crushing and scarring heart ache ! Its an end that would tear your heart apart and rip it open . I couldn't stand reading it in one brave daring go , I had to break through every few minutes console my broken heart , manage the hot tears and then step back into the ocean of feelings that end was .
How brave should you be to step back into an ocean in the middle of a tempest ?

I loved the book wholeheartedly , and not only the book but it's characters , the way they learned to love in the face of great hatred.

I have hated the words
And I have loved them,
And I hope I have made them right.

Liesel Meminger , The Book Thief

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Sunday, 4 December 2016

Passenger Book Review

Passenger (Passenger, #1)Passenger by Alexandra Bracken
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"But she wondered if, in moving outside of the natural flow of time, they had forgotten the most crucial point of life—that it wasn’t meant to be lived for the past, or even the future, but for each present moment. "

Passenger is a scavenger hunt through space and time . a wholesome adventure story . the book is written from the points of view of the two main characters , Etta Spencer and Nicholas Carter . 17 years old Etta is a violin prodigy , from the 2015's New York , she is about to make her debut as a professional violinist when suddenly the night of her debut goes disarray . she encounters some strange events and wakes up somewhere else , and figures , sometime else too . Through this dilemma , on a ship in the middle of the Atlantic She crosses paths with Nicholas, a pirate from 1776 , He's dark-skinned and so experiences all of the societal issues that comes with at the time and he does handle them well . Nicholas hang up on claiming freedom and independence while Etta trying to salvage the life she had , they set out in a journey around the world between different eras looking for something that may change the time line and write a whole new history .
One of these things i admire in novels is when they hold a message , novels should not be written to merely serve as stories , they should hold a message between the lines so like this one do . passenger covers some pretty serious social issues. tells of the role of women in the eighteenth century and how different from that of the twenty first also racism and slavery . and its done in a way that it doesn't seem forced into the story . we get to see how societal issues evolve and change over time.
Etta is an admirable character , she isn't whiny which i really like, though she was a bit extra "badass" at the beginning that at some point it felt fake and unreal but then things changed , she started coming to life few chapters after . Nicholas is a fully fleshed out character where his race is only a part of how he interacts with the world .
Seriously books like this one reinforce my belief that no book should be left unfinished . Because any moment things may change and the book would exceed your expectations . this one did , it fills me with a nice feeling , i love when books do this . I cant elaborate . I mean not like i want books to put me down at the beginning , but for a book to pick itself up is like an extra unconsidered perk .

Generally Time travel maybe confusing but it always is an interesting subject to read a novel about . This novel offers an interesting take on time-travel, particularly as the time-travel within it has so many limitations. in this world one can not cross path with themselves , means if you were somewhere sometime at some point of your life you just cant revisit that year ,the passages are limited for certain times and places and it explains a lot about the concept this book is using . its compelling how through time people who were long dead can still be found in the future sightseeing as they've traveled to these years at some point of their lives , there are traveler and guardians and the whole thing is interesting . I loved the world building as it was so carefully nicely crafted .
The end is cliffhanger(ish) , twisterific , it added an extra layer of tension overall , I am interested to see how things would turn out and i expect more of the next book so Wayfarer would be one of my 2017 anticipated books .

All in all , aside from some minor issues I do like the book , of course it could do with some polishing like there definitely were some slow parts and a moment here and there that didn't feel right but the second half of the book was laudable and the book is worth the read. It just takes a while to get into . Passenger would take you through different times all over the world to America, England, France, Bhutan, Cambodia , Syria , etc . Its an interesting journey , you may want a ticket .

"I’ll be seeing you, in all the old familiar places"

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Saturday, 26 November 2016

Harry Potter and The Half Blood Prince Book Review

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Harry Potter, #6)Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"And now, Harry, let us step out into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure."

**Spoilers Alert .

This is the only Harry Potter Book that I didn't review yet, the sole reason is that the end was marvelous, amazing , that I just didn't wait to write the review and started the deathly hallows instantly . however I loved The Deathly Hallows and didn't wait to write this book's review to express my whole ocean of feelings about it . So, somehow the review was never written , but no damage done because one of the Harry Potter perks is that not even a tiny detail is ever Forgettable .

The story starts as always with the Dursleys . this time Dumbledore has a trip for Harry before he settles in the burrow and then back to Hogwarts . as the events progress Harry is lent a potions book by Professor Slughorn, an old friend of Dumbledore's who they convince to step by their side and eventually teach potions in Hogwarts . in the book Harry finds a number of notes from it's previous owner, which allows Harry to excel in a subject he has never been more than average at. The book is marked "Property of the Half-Blood Prince". Who's this half blood prince , the potions brilliant ? Hermione is slightly suspicious but they have too many other things in mind to bother about it much . Harry is a little affronted by Dumbledore's disinterest in his doubts and fears . anyways soon we'd be introduced to what's called Horcruxes and dive in their mysteries .
I love this book , its fast paced , nothing seems safe anymore , everything is at risk even Hogwarts that has always been the safe haven . its quite dark at places . the flashbacks that tell us about Voldemort's / Tom Riddle's past is so absorbing . I always like to read the stories of the villains , I like to know what lead them to be whatever they are .
Also in this book we can notice that Rowling seems to be trying for more complicated prose and more sophisticated storytelling than each of her previous books . There are plenty of questions left unanswered by the end and We also learn a lot more about the characters, We even see whole other sides of them , maybe change our model thinking about them . Draco Malfoy is one of these .
The final plot twist , which is Dumbledore's killer identity is absolutely unforeseen even shocking {if it's not spoiled for you , off course } and Dumbledore's death overall is devastating , the one who was always been there to solve problems , the background Hero , their savior , the strongest wizards in the world's Death puts everything at stake .
His death is one of the most emotional . The only two deaths that made me actually cry were Dumbledore's and Dobby's . Though I have to admit that if I had the choice to bring one character to life that most definitely would be Fred , but when I say emotional I mean that we had time to cry , to mourn our loss . Fred 's , Sirius's , Lupin's , Tonks's . All these deaths happened in the middle of a battle , in the middle of a sentence we had no time to feel them fully at the time .But Later they'd hurt when Re-reading the books or when thinking about the whole image but while reading You'd feel Dumbledore's and Dobby's the most . At least that's what happened with me .
Yes ! off course Dobby is still alive here , also all the other characters above but I am generally speaking .
All in all , its a Harry Potter Book , That's an enough compliment , I loved it as much as loved all the other books maybe slightly more than few others .
*Peace upon your hearts You who are going to read the deathly Hallows . Get yourselves ready , you'd need self control and tissues , Yes paper tissues you'd need that *

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Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Dark Matter Book Review

Dark MatterDark Matter by Blake Crouch
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"It's terrifying when you consider that every thought we have, every choice we could possibly make, creates a new world."

At some moment I felt like writing a few words review , something like " I won't say a word , Please go find out yourself " Or "Its a book that you'd carry its hangover with you for a life time , if you're ready for the weight of it go read it " but then i couldn't fight it in me to write a review and now I am lost in this mess of rambling thoughts trying to exclude what's only useful for a potential reader .

I'm having this serious type of a book hangover . Its literally the first thing I thought about when I woke up this morning , I even did extra house work today , My mother is quite pleased . I needed something to do while thinking about the book I've just read . Ladies and Gentlemen This book is Great , It blew my mind , I couldn't put it down , its brilliant , exhilarating , suspenseful , heartbreaking and gripping . It hooked me right in the first few lines . This is one of the best book first chapters I've ever read , can you imagine a book that hooks you in the first few lines and never let go of you not for a single moment ! not ever . I finished the book and its still there gripping all the attention I have . I don't know how to say it in other words but I am emotionally drained , and my mind is a continuous buzz .

So , The whole story revolve around the principle of Schrödinger's cat , the superposition , quantum mechanics Copenhagen interpretation and the theory of the Multiverse . It starts with Jason Dessen, a husband , a father , a brilliant atomic physicist who has left behind his ambitions to settle into life as a professor at a small college, sometimes it stings , sometimes he wonders about The what might have been but he is happy and by the end of the day he regrets non of his choices . He lives in brownstone house with his loving family : beautiful artist wife Daniela and teenage son Charlie.

Sent out to meet an old friend and buy ice cream one evening, Jason is abducted and drugged, and He wakes up to find himself in another universe that isn't his own: he’s not married, he has no child, and he now appears to be a rich award-winning physicist . and here starts the universes hopping journey .
This book is character driven you cant but feel for Jason , you understand his choices, your heart would break for him , you experience his desperation, and you cling to his fleeting shreds of hope . At the core , the story is about a man who loved his family too much he traveled the universes to find them , to get them back . It also discusses all outcomes of a thought process that haunts many if not all of us" What might have been " and " the path not taken " which we can figure out first thing in the dedication , the so beautiful dedication : " For anyone who has wondered what their life might look like at the end of the road not taken.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened "

Dark Matter would get your blood pumping, misshapen your vitals , the depth of raw emotion and the packed race-to-the-finish-line thriller written with break-neck speeds interlaced with sophisticated short prose and entangled with pieces of science would hold you captive .

Anyway , Ever happened to you that you finish some book and for a millisecond you wonder how the hell the world is still the same , everybody is still living their routine , hasn't an earth quake happened ? Then reality hits you and you realize how stupid your questions were . The world seems so different for a moment it seems almost impossible its only you who happened to notice .
Well if this ever happens to you , open your Goodreads , give the book five stars , add it to your forever favorite list and lie back , take a deep breath you've just read a Great book .

Seriously , I'm inlove with this book I'd recommend it for any and everyone . You love Sci-Fi or not , as long as you're a human being , Trust me , You'd love this one .

"And maybe I can let go of the sting and resentment of the path not taken, because the path not taken isn’t just the inverse of who I am. "

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Sunday, 20 November 2016

The Yellow Wallpaper Review

The Yellow Wall-PaperThe Yellow Wall-Paper by Charlotte Perkins Gilman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This is a small piece of literature that conveys a great deal .
in few words Charlotte Perkins Gilman had written a story that even so long after it was published is still a subject of further criticism and analysis . to put that much underlying meaning into a short story .

The story opens at the turn of the nineteenth century about an unnamed woman who suffers depression , most likely what is called postpartum depression . her husband John , a physician , decides on taking her in a vacation to a village house for three months as a part of a type of treatment that was used by then called "Resting Cure". The house is nice she declares , but she has a distaste for her bedroom's wall paper , yellow and repulsive as it is . Historically, The Resting Cure was a treatment prescribed specially to women who had a tendency towards hysteria or diagnosed with what is called Neurasthenia . this treatment essentially imprisoned women, isolating them from any Intellectual stimulation, such as reading, writing, drawing or excersing . they were forbidden from social contacts , our narrator is not even allowed to take care of her child . however , this once a brilliant woman who is into writing starts losing her mind , which any sane person would if placed in such an atmosphere . she tried to fight the whole thing by secretly keeping a journal but she soon gave up on it . " I did write for a while in spite of them; but it does exhaust me a good deal — having to be so sly about it, or else meet with heavy opposition." , anyway her mild distaste for the yellow wallpaper of her bedroom turns into obsession , she studies the patterns at first then sees them change day and night . When the wallpaper starts to reveal bars, it shows that she truly feels trapped and subdued. she'd start seeing women behind the bars shaking the pattern trying to free them selves which shows that she has become more mentally unstable. “Sometimes I think there are a great many women behind, and sometimes only one, and she crawls around fast, and her crawling shakes it all over Also as the wallpaper becomes more intricate ". at first she wants them to stop she thinks of stopping them herself but eventually she would try to free them by stripping the walls of the paper . it shows that at first she denies that she is oppressed , she'd like to believe that its all for her own good , she wouldn't want her subconscious telling her otherwise , but it doesn't take her long to start identifying herself with the woman imprisoned in the wallpaper and try to free them .
The symbolism in the story is its powerful point , first there is The Yellow Wallpaper which represents her mind or her sanity , It contains patterns that all contradict one another , change with time and the disfranchised change that is unnoticed by the husband or any other just like the deterioration of her sanity that was totally underestimated .
The room its self which is big comfortable and well furnitured but with barred windows , not being her choice to begin with and to have asked to change it represents her situation . she is trapped into a golden cage and barely can complain .
The room to have been a nursery has to do with the manner in which the narrator is stripped of her autonomy by being treated and seen by her husband as if a baby who needs directing and continued instructions . So the nursery represents the society's treatment of women as juveniles. .

The whole atmosphere of the story is eerie , creepy lets say .The choice of the first person narration and The writing is genius , skilled . I am surprised to have noticed that the writing itself is correlative to the mental status of our narrator , first it starts with long well expressed sentences and as the narrator starts to lose her sanity it fragments and the longer sentences breakdown into shorter ones . I think I am proud of this one little remark which I have Googled and found too many people agreeing with the same observation .

The powerful end in which the narrator declares "I’ve got out at last, in spite of you and Jane." in which the husband finds his wife creeping around the room after having stripped it of the ugly wall paper .
but Then who is Jane ? It is likely that " Jane "is the name of our narrator, who has been restraining herself as much as being restrained by her husband and society and Now she is horribly free of her own efforts to repress her mind and the constraints put on her by others .

Overall , The story sheds the light on both mental illness and the role of a woman in a family in the turn of the nineteenth century . Regardless to the husband intentions which appeared to be totally benign he was causing her harm by the false treatment used by then and generally by considering her incapable of defining her own good .
All in all , this is one of the best short stories I ever read and i may recommend it to anyone who is interested in both subjects i mentioned above .

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Saturday, 19 November 2016

Every Last Word Book Review

Every Last WordEvery Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actaual Rating : 3.5 Stars We seriously need half stars here on Goodreads , maybe they can use stars with O point something to be added to the Rating .


This story is about a sixteen years old Sam. Sam is diagnosed with Purely-Obsessional OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder ) , she is often consumed by intrusive dark thoughts that she can’t turn off. she cant sleep without medications , suffers panic attacks and she has this thing with number 3 , she does every thing in sets of threes .
she is a teenager , she's part of the crazy eights , a popular group , her childhood friends who seem to have some negative energy on her life , more judgemental than supportive . However, Sam’s life is about to change when she finds the Poet’s Corner, when Caroline ,a Girl who appears from the nowhere and becomes her very best friend , lead her there . Poets corner is a secret group of students who gather in a hidden room under the theater sharing their poetry and songs . Sam finds comfort in words and feels more herself in this space .
Most of the poems are heartbreaking , many are touching , they are all simple , teenager poems and that's what they should be , but they are full of the feels , i really loved the last one , the one Sam wrote for Caroline . The book was full of these moments when one's chest would tighten and you'd feel a knot in your stomach .
I really loved Caroline , she was everything Sam needed in a friend , She genuinely cared for her, she showed up when Sam needed her the most and she's fun and quirky with a bit of a sarcastic side . and I loved the notes on the T shirts , Later in the book You'd understand that they all meant something , if you complete the whole the book and go back reading when each note appeared it would make complete sense .
AJ and the other poet's corner members were each unique in their own way .
Anyway , Through out the book sam is in conflict with her inner thoughts and school problems . She deals with doubt and the need to fit in. she has this long journey of character development , or maybe its more of a journey to find one's self , one’s voice. she kind of walk all the way through the turmoil to find her own self in the end of the tunnel . and in all means " knowing thyself is the beginning of all wisdom ".

I think the book is more about a character who happens to have OCD than about OCD itself as a mental disorder , Sam was not her disease. It was inconvenient for her but it didn't define her.
we see how She tries to keep it a secret and she's pretty good at it .
The whole book felt like Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver , the main characters personalities (regardless to the OCD thing ) the writing and everything else , the two main characters even happen to share the same name .

I am slightly allergic to american high school teenagers drama in books if you know what i mean , i cringe at the cheesy moments , the teenagery whatever , when it started to be the total concern of this book i felt upset but then by the end of the book i have to say that i am happy to have met Sam and totally grateful to have read her story .
to get what I mean I'm to tell you the course of my reading . midway through the book I was in a down slop progress line in liking the book , I was kind of mentally rating the book 2 Stars maybe even less , Until the Twist . and i was completely mind blown . I even considered rating it 4 stars , I still feel like it . That plot twist was a huge turn in events , totally unexpected , this my friends, is the ultimate definition of an Epic plot twist . I cant think of a better way to describe it , it caught me off guard . i have to say I never saw that coming , then the events were suddenly gripping and the end wrecked me in the best possible way.

Overall , Its a contemporary more about discovering one's self and the true value of friendship than OCD .

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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Defy Book Review

Defy (Defy, #1)Defy by Sara B. Larson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“True beauty is what lies inside of us, not what the world sees. A beautiful shell that houses a vile soul becomes sullied over time. But an outer shell, imperfect as it may be, that houses a beautiful, shines with that beauty, radiating it for all who have eyes to see.”

This a Dystopian novel about Alexa , a girl who had joined the military with her twin brother disguised as a boy when she was thirteen to avoid some other horrific destiny , Its been ten years since their country had started a war against some other nation and eventually magical elements would be added to the story .

I'm having such a hard time writing this review for multiple reasons, first of all is that I've read it a while ago i can't accurately remember what i felt about it , the second though is that I was a bit disappointed to begin with . i read this according to a rec video of underrated books by Naya Perkins , I love this girl , i usually trust her opinions and she really did love it , I thought I will do as much as she did , i didn't though .
when I paused Naya's video and went to read the synopsis at Goodreads , I added it to my TBR instantly , even read it only a few days after , the synopsis felt quite promising , who would fail to be reminded of Mulan ? , it was really good except for this "thrilling love triangle" bit at the top of it which made me suspicious but I kind of ignored it .
however , it was predictable . the type of dystopian you feel like you've already read before , its familiar because this is the way most dystopian books go , If you've read Throne of Glass or The Study series for example you'd know what to expect here , there wasn't much added. So it didn't stand out and most important of all , It started with a promise and ended with boredom ., though i really appreciate the end because if Alexa ended up a queen with a lame married happily ever after end the rating would have been much lower .
The world building is not that unique , The war between two nations , The evil emperor , The magic and oh yes , The jungle , there's always a jungle for some reason .
The characters and relationships did not strike me as something so well developed , The characters were interesting, but I didn't feel invested in them . Alexa for example was admirable , she disguises her self as a boy , manages to be a royal guards , its claimed that she's the best fighter or so , this Gender bending thing would have been totally interesting if she could pull it off , she was awesome until she started admiring everybody's eyes . How she got away with pretending to be a guy for years is beyond me. Although almost everyone knew she was a girl so obviously she was terrible at it .
I really did like her at the beginning but it just broke off , the character started flattening .
It seems that she doesn't do much mourning in case she has someone's eyes to admire , and I think for " The best fighter" she did much blushing and heart flattering than actually Fighting . I really think the romance took much more space than it should have had , I was totally right to get suspicious at this " thrilling love triangle " in the synopsis , i thought its a high fantasy it wont bother me much , but Oh it did . It turned out there was a whole jungle journey about choosing between brown and blue eyes . I ended up with much eye rolling than I've expected .
Then we would be "So very much shocked" to discover that she has magical powers and and she's the last hope the country has to stop the war , she is the only one who can defeat a big evil sorcerer who is apparently capable of burning an entire army of sorcerers into ashes . But not Alexa. Alexa can stop him Because …. well, because she can .

another thing that bothered me was " the breeding houses" , I read dark books , I don't feel bad because of its mere idea as long as it serves its purpose . I get what the writer wants to tell , its the fantasy that deals with misogynist societies to proves how wrong it is , but instead it felt much unnecessary , the whole thing lacks the factor of being convincing , and if you're not much convinced it hardly means anything . the whole thing was gratuitous.

Lets not harshly judge the book , I mean I've rated Throne of Glass three stars too , but I wasn't acrid on it , It has the very same quality as this book , the writing , the story , the world building and even the annoying love triangle , all the same , if you didn't mind any thing there and you loved it , you'd do love this one , too . Its just that I expected more of this book and anyway expectation Vs reality doesn't always have a pleasing outcome .

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Wednesday, 16 November 2016

A Grief Observed Book Review

A Grief ObservedA Grief Observed by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"but somehow neither his learning nor his experiences had ever prepared him for the combination of both the great love and the great loss which is its counterpoint ."

"And grief still feels like fear. Perhaps, more strictly, like suspense. Or like waiting; just hanging about waiting for something to happen. It gives life a permanently provisional feeling. It doesn’t seem worth starting anything. I can’t settle down. I yawn, I fidget, I smoke too much. Up till this I always had too little time. Now there is nothing but time. Almost pure time, empty successiveness."

A Grief Observed is a powerful record of the thoughts and emotions experienced by C.S. Lewis after his wife's death , it was written not to be published , its a diary in which one of the best writers had poured his mixed feelings and opinions after a shock , its not a memoir , not a look from the present to the grief that the writer once had , this book is a record of the real time , that's why it feels so personal , so touching , it was first published as a Pseudonym and I've read somewhere that Lewis friends had actually recommended it to him to aid him in his sorrow .

what I loved the most about this book is that inspite of the fact that its a book about "Grief" it still felt more thoughtful and profoundly understanding than just sad . as much as a biography of the grief for the loss of a loved one , it is an exploration of faith and love .

I think its really brave and brutally honest of Lewis to step away from pretense and confess all of his doubts, fears and the anger he felt toward God , the way he described his faith to must have always been but a house of cards that got destroyed by a mere blow, after writing many books about faith and being one of the greatest Christian literary figures of the twentieth century .One would definitely not expect him to struggle with doubt. It gives the reader quite an understanding of how fragile a human can be in the state of extreme pain , but then fragile also is more capable of a reform . "Only a real risk tests the reality of a belief."
I was watching an episode of the first season of House MD. TV show when his patient , a sister , Mary Augustien told him "You can't be angry with God and not believe in Him at the same time. No one can." this applies to the story here , By the end of the collection, Lewis ends in quite a different place, a very great journey to have occurred in his heart , Lewis has examined and re-built his faith . so indeed our faith maybe : a house of cards, until God knocks it down and calls us to build a real house on a stronger base .

and like Joy’s last words to the chaplain, Lewis is at peace with God . “Poi si torno all’ eternal fontana,” / " then she returned to the eternal fountain " ends the book. which i just searched and its an Italian quote from Dante. its a powerful way to end a book , even hopeful , he means that things are far greater than just "life" . He interprets that dying is in fact a "returning" or a "continuing" of what has always been.

The important thing is that we do not know. It is not in the realm of proof. It is in the realm of love.


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Saturday, 12 November 2016

Wonder Book Review

WonderWonder by R.J. Palacio
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"whenever you can, you will try to act a little kinder than is necessary—the world really would be a better place. And if you do this, if you act just a little kinder than is necessary, someone else, somewhere, someday, may recognize in you, in every single one of you, the face of God."

Actual Rating : 4.5 Stars

Wonder is about a ten year old August Pullman (Auggie) , a little boy born with a severe facial deformity . He was home_schooled because of his health and several surgeries . until now , he's to start 5th grade , a new school , an ordinary kid with an unusual face .
we read from several POVs including his Family and Friends, all these people who are sharing the journey with Auggie . Its a beautiful story full of compassion and its so well worth the time it takes to read it.

The tribulation little Auggie is being through at such a young age and his positive attitude and shiny personality in response is impressing . one would really feel for Auggie,
a ten years old boy ,through all that, is expected to be whiny ( no judgement , human can turn whiny when its too hard to withstand ) , gloomy , insecure and to push people away from him , but surprisingly , Auggie , the little dude , is such a fine character , too funny , too light-hearted.
He repeated through out the book that he's okay with people staring , he would think " I understand , I would be staring if it was me " , to describe the whole experience of it as if a barely noticed drizzle "I'm used to that by now. I don't let it bother me. It's like when you go outside and it's drizzling a little. You don't put on boots for a drizzle. You don't even open your umbrella. You walk through it and barely notice your hair getting wet." , a ten years old boy thinking this way is too enthralling , you can't but adore him with all of the bit of a heart you have , smart and funny and brave and understanding as he is .

And I really like that as The book starts with august's POV he wont be mentioning a frank description of his face when you’re in his head. He simply mentions “I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.” but then when we got to Via’s section she lays Auggie’s looks on the line. Its makes all characters POVs too real , we can notice how different things seem in people's minds .
The whole story in fact felt real . The way Via felt shadowed by her brother and wanting to keep him a secret in her high school life , yet the way she loves him so much . Other things like jack explaining himself to Julian though he didn't really mean it , the way people are not totally good or bad , What I want to say is that it felt real because they all made mistakes but by the end it came to light that what one sticks to is what defines them , all of this has painted the book with a realistic light , except for the end , which is the sole reason its 4.5 stars instead of solid 5 , it was a bit too bright , though i have to admit that inspite of the logic suggesting this , it still made me all teary while reading it , it was emotionally absorbing .

Wonder is a beautifully written story , it is designed to be read by younger readers so yes it isn't as rich as it could have been otherwise. but its a positive point because it also means that children would have no problem reading it , children books to be served in a simple way is most definitely not a blemish in their structure .

This is a story to teach you about the good that humanity is capable of, the falseness of first impressions , the courage of some people and the way one little boy could win the hearts of so many .

'Greatness,' wrote Beecher, 'lies not in being strong, but in the right using of strength. . . . He is the greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction of his own.

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Thursday, 10 November 2016

My Heart and Other Black Holes Book Review

My Heart and Other Black HolesMy Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

" Music, especially classical music, especially Mozart’s Requiem Mass in D Minor, has kinetic energy. If you listen hard enough, you can hear the violin’s bow trembling above the strings, ready to ignite the notes. To set them in motion. And once the notes are in the air, they collide against one another. They spark. They burst. "

I've been DNFing books for the last month or so , This book did just pull me out of a reading slump .
Its a book about people with broken lives , with the pressing weight of depression squeezing life out of them they have not much left , our two main characters are planning Suiside , but then maybe the universe has other plans , maybe love turns one into a flake , "Maybe flakiness is contagious"and what if "change of heart isn't about flaking out; it's about fighting back " ?

This is a story about finding your way out of a black hole .

Its too honest and the characters , the feels and the descriptions are all raw and authentic , It played in my head like a silent movie , the scattered short conversations said in hushed voices , the in between thoughts whispered too gently . The writer spoke to her readers as if they were made of fragile glass which may shatter if you were too load or too careless .
I love this .
What ever is the massage this book holds ,, whether its the transformative power of love or the understanding it offers of the heart of depression , its so genuinely beautiful .

Also Aysel is fascinated with physics, the lovely school physics and the reference of simple explanations feels really nice .

The writing and the prose are perfect , I couldn't but fall for it , I 'd read anything Jasmine Wagra is writing at the moment when published . The book has a TFIOS(ish) feel to it , I am surprised that in the many times I asked for recommendations of books similar to the fault in our stars none mentioned this one , I had recs like Everything Everything or Before I fall , the thing is while Everything Everything may have a similar story line but it had never felt the same , this book has this deep calculated sense , the wise thoughtful poetic teenagers and an excellent prose which I loved the most in TFIOS , jhon green had wanted too bad for us to understand that his book is not a cancer book , its not the story but the journey through it that matters , if one gets this idea , they'd see the many similarities The Fault in Our Stars and My Heart and Other Black Holes share .

there are many books about depression and suiside , but it’s one thing for a character to say they’re depressed, it’s another to make the reader believe it . The descriptions of depression were spot on , powerful and heartbreaking, and I think this book could help break down some barriers. may really have an impact on someone's life and actually help someone suffering from depression ,it seems to fundamentally understands the weight of it . The moving exploration of isolation, self destruction , weakness and strength, and, ultimately, hope. too much hope , this book is inspirational , There’s a lot of hope than you may initially expect to find in a novel about depression, but that deosn’t mean it’s a “happy” story , because it most definitely is not happy .

One thing is Aysel did have people in her life who were trying to reach out to her before Roman entered into the picture. her mother , Mike and Georgia , even her teachers in the school . I'd have loved if they were involved in the closure she had , because if love has this transformative power , love has many shapes , its not only Romantic love that makes difference , so I would have loved if she could see all of their desperate attempts .

All in all , its a contemporary with such a beautiful name .
How many contemporary I've read and never really liked ? too many .
How many times I was allured into reading a book because of an attractive title and found a weak or maybe a lame content ? still too many .
So, I didn't have high expectations when I started reading ,but then I was surprised to find it too genuinely beautiful .
It felt like a miraculous gift offered by the universe .

"Maybe it’s all relative, not just light and time like Einstein theorized, but everything. Like life can seem awful and unfixable until the universe shifts a little and the observation point is altered, and then suddenly, everything seems more bearable ."

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Friday, 21 October 2016

Harry Potter And The Deathly Hallows Book Review

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Harry Potter, #7)Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Do not pity the dead, Harry. Pity the living, and, above all, those who live without love.”

The seventh book of the Harry Potter series, what else can I say, in my this state of bewilderment , other than is a Masterpiece of the ages.
The innate theme of tragedy rears it’s head here . the loss of characters too dear to our hearts and the continuous hum in the background of "it all ends here" , our journey that lasted too long and has had the best of our hearts would actually end here . you should expect tears , a great deal of heart ache ,emotional breakdown moments , life threatening events with danger breathing down our character's necks. action packed ,violent and deathly battles and a few days sleepwalking hangover in the least of chances, in this incredible groundbreaking finale of the Harry Potter saga .
the Deathly Hallows is one of the greatest fantasy books I have ever read, the characters shine the brightest in this book , it is magnificent to follow the huge character development undergoing, leaving no doubt as to the value of nobility and morality. it pulses with the sense of maturity as much as of bravery inspite of the characters youth and lack of experience , i may quote from A Torch Against the Night that i finished not long ago “Callow is the hope of our youth" .

I am not in the realm of discussing events or writing about what actually happens in the plot , because either you know every moment by heart or you most definitely should discover them yourself , but i am to talk about the wonders and the awes the book offers , about the prodigiousness of this saga , about J. K. Rowling casting a Confundus Charm on every reader of hers to end this book, then to close it whispering to themselves " Woah " .
The themes of true friendship , genuine love and self-sacrifice are so touching , it portrays how false pride ,hunger for power and selfishness always go hand in hand with evil , even in the noblest of characters . i love that Kreacher was the one who led the house elves in their fight in the Hogwarts battle , isn't it one more powerful message of Rowling's books ? that people change if we change our attitude toward them , this series believes in second chances , in true everlasting love , believes that people are actually good at heart .
And even with the final book in the series ,the one where Rowling was unlikely to surprise us, she pulls up her sleeves and writes a most incredible sequel to her previous 6 books , the awaited moment when Harry is expected to step out at forefront of the battle , to kill the Lord Voldmort and survive as he always did with a most unexpected skill, Rowling chooses not to walk down that tried and predictable path . Instead, harry's survival is to be seized this time by the acceptance of his own death , from the bravery not in fighting his way through battles but in the self-sacrifice. she shows again that the power of love is to overcome any other .
It breaks my heart that no sock is efficient to free Dobby from the grasps of death , it breaks my heart that Sirius, Lupin , Tonks and Dumbledore are no more , it breaks my heart that Snape had never showed the best of him , his winningly helplessly genuinely beating heart , it breaks my heart that for George every mirror would ever be the mirror of Ersid .
But, yet, I am to borrow Jhon Green's words " it would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you " . oh,yes . most definitely.
This series means too much to me. maybe i feel like it took me too long to start reading the books , it doesn't even make sense , may be i even feel a little bit ashamed and confused about this fact , but since i was eleven , since that very year in which i watched the first harry potter movie for the first time ever and bought that schoolbag with Harry, Ron and Hermione faces on it , i loved it , I can’t fully articulate it. It just is so special and it feels weird that all these people around the world share my very same passion . I've always loved that world ,but now i do more profoundly , from a place much deeper much more sincere in my heart , i love it still and i will always do .

After all this time?


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Thursday, 13 October 2016

A Torch Against The Night Book Review

A Torch Against the Night (An Ember in the Ashes, #2)A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"When the fear takes over, use the only thing more powerful, more indestructible, to fight it : your spirit."

The thrilling, long-awaited sequel to An Ember in the Ashes is finally in our greedy little hands ,
I loved An Ember In The Ashes. It blew my mind , all I wanted to do was sing its praises from the heavens . and now , finally i had the sequel we’d been promised , this book was one of the few that I most anticipated this year , and most thankfully it didn't put me down . it even survived my decision not to high rate books without much thinking .
I've been rating many books five stars lately , i was wondering if my rating is being glitched , but seems i am only choosing my books extra carefully that i am ending with books that I have no choice but to extremely like and in sequence , with too many five stars .

It is a bloody, painful and haunting work, It describes the heart bristling oppression along with a skin prickling sadism that is bred into some of its characters . like Marcus , the commandant or the Warden , the latter who is shrewd , Yes . but twisted to the extent of damaged beyond repair .
the book picks up exactly from where it ended in the Ember, with Laia and Elias running for their lives and the Commandant on their tails . The stakes are higher in this book because every decision of theirs could affect the future of thousands of lives . there is the genocide of the scholars , the threats of a civil war , Marcus limitless cruelty to strengthen his reign on the crown , politics/hierarchy that governs the darkness that clouds the Empire and the Darin's Whispers scattered on the wind across the country, the Scholar boy, the flicker of hope, the one who knows grave secrets .

One of my favorite aspects was that we got a POV from Helene . She is such a controversial character, pulled in so many directions ,I think we all grew to love her in the first book and I loved learning more about her inner thoughts and conflicts . I couldn’t help but have my heart break for her . every time they tried to "unmake" her , Helene would rise again, stronger and brighter than before. " Cain said : But you, Helene Aquilla, are no swift-burning spark. You are a torch against the night—if you dare to let yourself burn. "
Laia is getting braver , she undergoes a good amount of character development . while Elias is still struggling with the darkness enveloping him, the tormented yet so genuinely human he is, fighting it. He wants to hurt no one regardless of all the pain , , His interrogation at Kauf shows the light that shines within him "
“Always so afraid of the darkness within.” Mamie Rila takes my hands. “Don’t you see? So long as you fight the darkness, you stand in the light. "

i would say that A torch against the night , just like the first book , is Breathtaking , but when reading this word, one would imagine exquisite lands and vividly colored rainbows , which is not the case here . its the type of breathtaking that one's heart would throw itself backward and clung to the bars of their rib cage , it leaves you no time to breathe, no time to heal between one heart-wrenching blow and another . Even slower paced scenes were enveloped in tension which made the entire book a fast read since I couldn’t wait to find out what would happen next . the storyline in general creates an unwavering air of suspense .

But, well , it wasn't flawless . because here comes the romance , i think it was a little bit annoying , kind of cliche .
i have to admit that inspite of my rating , i was feeling bad at some point , and the reason behind that temporary nasty feeling was the love triangle or square or whatever , i mean the worst books pet peeves that i'll never really get used to is love triangles , and by the time we figured it wasn't a love triangle to begin with , it was too late , we've already felt bad .

still , you can see that i have a big heart and i offered the book my forgiveness along with the 5 stars rating , because actually the world building , the plot twists and the writing style all deserved them whole heartedly .

All in all , there are too many dystopian series published, tons of them trying to compete for the attention of people , but when you stumble upon a good one , you're lucky . its such a superb experience .
I will be waiting for the next two books as enthusiastically as I was for this one . and I am hoping that they would be as good , maybe even better , without little glitches that require forgiveness .Preview* :

Now we have the first chapter released !! its awesomeamazingmindblowing !
I can't wait to read the rest of the book *heart aches-chest swells moment*
here is the chapter's link :

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Thursday, 29 September 2016

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions Book Review

What If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical QuestionsWhat If?: Serious Scientific Answers to Absurd Hypothetical Questions by Randall Munroe
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a non-fiction book in which the writer Randall Munroe , former NASA roboticist with a degree in physics , answers hypothetical questions sometimes even absurd "scientifically" , these questions are originally sent to him by readers of his Webcomic, xkcd. to the What if Blog inbox , he uses comics and his writing style is all carefree and uncomplicated with an undeniable sense of humour , the way he addresses his readers and the odd yet gripping science makes the book totally fun !
Believe it or not , there is too much science here , shock waves , bombs and explosions yet he doesn't manage to only excite you , but also to offer you few good chuckles . there were these questions that he actually didn't answer or did with witty cartoons , labelled under " weird and worrying questions " , these are almost always so funny .
these drawing of his in general are always too simple yet all "a picture is worth a thousand words” type .
I really appreciate these type of books that make science entertaining . this journey that starts with an absurd question and ends with a solid scientific answer was always interesting because there is this joy of getting Real answers to rather ridiculous questions , his patience with the answers , the way he examines every thing millisecond by millisecond is amazing !
while reading you will absolutely get what a character Munroe is . because intelligence , patience and sense of humour is a magical mixture .

there's a punch of really interesting questions here , like the global windstorm , the periodic wall of elements , draining the oceans , the soulmates question and the lost immortals , the steak drop , and there are some really weird questions like what happens if there was a mole of mole , or the random sneeze call , there were also the stirring tea and the neutron bullet , I just cant make a pick , they were all awesome !

If you have even a minor inclination for science i guess you'd love this one its a pretty easy read . there's so much love and wonder in enjoying math and you'll have the impression that the writer was merely enjoying him self by right this book . View all my reviews

Tuesday, 27 September 2016

Interstellar Book ( novelization ) Review

InterstellarInterstellar by Greg Keyes
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Cooper gazed down at the Earth once more, Professor Brand’s last words still fresh in his mind. “Do not go gentle into that good night…” He checked with Doyle, who nodded an okay. Then, without any ceremony, he fired the thrusters, and the Endurance began its journey out of Earth’s orbit, and toward the stars. “Rage, rage against the dying of the light. Godspeed, Endurance

I really dont usually go for novelizations , i dont even do this movie-book sequence because as books pave the way for the movies , on the contrary movies literally ruin books for me .

But this story is Marvelous !!, so beautifully incredibly breath taking , and i include both the movie and the book in this description , that its a stark exception .
this bewilderment I got reading or watching or whatever feels like pouring glitter on one's heart , i am walking around stardust hazing my sight , i mean , how am I going to deal with this shinny mess ?!
you stand there outside time , observe the immensity of the universe and how its too vast and indifferent to the dreams and the delusions of man .
this feeling it transfers is outworldly .

and the book here does a great job adding to the story , adding more depth to the characters , little more dialogue and revealing a little bit more of the characters thoughts , like this comparison or deja vu cooper had , its seems as if it was always there but we didn't figure it out , it reflects the feeling that the movie is multi-layered :

“Cooper, yes,” Brand conceded, wearily. “The tiniest possibility of seeing Wolf again excites me. But that doesn’t mean I’m wrong.”

Cooper had a sudden sense of déjà vu, and remembered his conversation with Donald on the porch. “I’m not gonna lie to you, Donald,” he’d said. “Heading out there is what I feel born to do, and it excites me. That doesn’t make it wrong.”

“Honestly, Amelia,” Cooper said gently, “it might."

also the book did as much good job keeping on all the excitement and the action and the intensity of the moments of suspense in the absence of the visuals and background music .

All in all this book is enthralling , I am already a little bit obsessed with the movie , but look at this , we have a book too and it is amazing , very well written with the same breathtaking story .
It didn't even wait on my TBR list , i downloaded the ebook and started reading it as soon as i discovered it existed , so if you've watched the movie , if you like it as much as i do , I think for you this book would be a Great experience .

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Pride And Prejudice Book Review

Pride and PrejudicePride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Actual Rating : 3.5 stars

There is, I believe, in every disposition a tendency to some particular evil—a natural defect, which not even the best education can overcome.”
“And your defect is to hate everybody.”
“And yours,” he replied with a smile, “is willfully to misunderstand them."

I want most importantly to state , before i go criticizing whatever , that Jane Austen is an author who had written something here that has this type of challenging ease , inimitable simplicity in her writing style that seems easily accomplished for the reader , Yet its difficult to be imitated in the fact of things . and that i think is why it has this so big a hype .

though I can think of no other reason , because this *rich arrogant guy likes not rich high spirited girl who then figures he's no arrogant but an introvert whose infact good at heart* is not a new story and its so very repetitive that it cant be the general outline of the story that gave the book this much admiration .

Aside from whatever everybody else thinks of this book , For me , it dragged too much in its first 30 percent that i was yawning my way through it . and this isn't very new to me as it always happened with the movie .

Every time i watched it , i was too annoyed by hypocrisy , by this literature perpetuates female obsession over nonsense and manipulative behavior in relationships , by Mrs. Bennet's behavior , by Darcy being such a snop and Elizabeth being a little dramatic . i would always quit somewhere on Mr. Bingley's departure from Hertfordshire .
I never knew for sure what would happen with these two but few days ago when i decided for the first time ever to finish watching it .
but as i crossed that threshold , all improved , things started to get better , i recognized that the hypocrisy that annoyed me the most was there from the beginning as the book's aim for it to be rejected at the end , that i had misjudged the story and Mr.Darcy and Elizabeth all together .

The end of the story had No loose ends, everything was packed into neat little boxes and squared away. a Hollywood end with couples married happy and rich .
but whatever , even with the fact that i have not such a big inclination for ends like this , i liked this one . because you'd end up recognizing Darcy, Bingley, and Elizabeth all totally throw away marriage matches based on socio-economic equality . as miss Darcy , miss De Brough and Mr. Collins .
we'd realize that we're being set up for a whole novel that beautifully questions the standard attitudes toward marriage and how society associate it with financial advantages .
and there is also the book's underlying theme of the falsehood of basing your opinions of someone on first impression .

So now lets clear this mess , from my jumble of thoughts i can see that ,
its a good book , with a decent dose of comic relief , subtle Romance and admirable main characters .
only two problems made it difficult to connect well to the story :

1-the third person omniscient narrator , the anonymous voice taking the credit of telling us whatever is happening , its not much entertaining . This third person view lends a cold dimension to the novel, in the sense that dialogue and events dominate the story rather than emotions .
thats why i usually prefer first person narrator from multiple POVs .
like For example, we are immediately told all we need to know about Darcy and Wickham at some point and that Elizabeth is judging these two men wrongly . we know nothing of Darcy's perspective but what he have told her in that letter .
and we hardly can say that even with the narrator following Elizabeth we had any better an idea about her inner conflicts .
If we had known , then we could have enjoyed watching her make her mistakes then learn to overcome them , rather than learning from events as she does .
i dont like to be trapped in the reality of things and the outer view of whatever is happening , its much better to let the readers dwell inside the characters heads , that would give them a better chance of connecting to them .

2-the language barrier :
when i felt very bored. It wasn't the fact that Austen had a terrible story line , but rather because its written with Old English it was difficult for me to understand. the sentences that could be beautiful ended up becoming difficult to decipher .
i had this very problem when i used to read Charles dickens novels in my school years , it would take a month or two to read one novel . but i didn't expect it here , maybe because i thought this is no dickens after all and the fact that my English had much improved since then . but still for those whom English is not a first language , Old English would still cause the stories to drag .

so with these two obstacles and a little misjudgment at the beginning , the story didn't go well with me , but still non of these has the nature of being permanent . i think if i read this again , maybe not now , lets say a year or so later i will find a whole new story hidden among the lines . i believe this book is multi-layered , you may find something new every time you re-read it .

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The Enchanted Book Review

The EnchantedThe Enchanted by Rene Denfeld
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"I see the soft-tufted night birds as they drop from the heavens. I see the golden horses as they run deep under the earth, heat flowing like molten metal from their backs. I see where the small men hide with their tiny hammers, and how the flibber-gibbets dance while the oven slowly ticks. The most wonderful enchanted things happen here—the most enchanted things you can imagine. I want to tell you while I still have time, before they close the black curtain and I take my final bow ."

This book must have been written by a Genius . its the best i read this year .
Maybe ... the best i read in many years .
by the time I put it down I was unable to think about anything else. I sleepwalked through the few last hours , my thoughts were enveloped by the book , i am still trapped in that world , in that unnamed inmate on a death row's head .
since i read The first sentence , "This is an enchanted place. Others don't see it, but I do." , with the voice of our narrator echoing in my head , and i was a goner . This is one of the most touching , haunting , enthralling , dark , intense, gut-wrenching , heart-aching , perplexing and dazzling reads that I have experienced in a very long time. a day has past since i finished it and I am still there, in the dungeons , spellbound by the enchantment , completely transfixed , hold still by my own fascination .
its the story of an inmate on the death row with a crime too horrible to be mentioned , unnamed , undescribed , even we have no idea how many years he spent in that dungeon , he seem to have no idea , too but they seem too many that he lost count , mute since the age of 6 , selective mutism they called it , and we rarely catch scant glimpses of him , we are in his head , he tells his emotions and thoughts , his deep feelings : "I remind myself I am not dust, but I should be. I tell myself I am made of the same cells as life itself even if I am a mistake".
he serves as an omniscient narrator so he tells the stories of the other characters : "the lady" an investigator , a mitigation specialist who lived a tough childhood , "the priest" a fallen priest who is burdened by a secret and the weight of his own guilt , "the warden" with his life afflicted by his wife's illness and the painful weight of the fact that she is to perish from his life only soon , "the white haired boy " a two years prison sentenced boy how faces horrific circumstances and York , a fellow prisoner whose death date is fast approaching .
its a magical reality , our narrator imagine things that none other than him can see , blue tufted birds , golden galloping horses running after every execution silver dust coating their path , tiny men with hammers in the walls, and the creepy flibber-gibbets feeding on the warmth of death itself , moaning the pain of their swollen bellies .

The writing left me speechless , Denfled's exquisite writing is like no other , its unique , i never read anything like this before , there's a deep sense of melancholy to her words , Words that don't cuddle you, words that envelope you , i read wide eyed the whole time , i was charmed , surprised that such a book existed , It made me cry , but cry may be not the word , they were mute non painful tears , maybe its that my eyes watered , and for the first time , i never experienced such a thing before , it wasn't sadness or grief or even happiness , i broke into tears fascinated , its fascination .
and there's a first time for everything . here's a one .
the message of the book is " to understand " , people however bad may have their own reasons , even if the reasons are no excuse but still, just if we knew , if we understood , the synopsis says : "Even monsters need peace. Even monsters need a person who truly wants to listen - to hear - so that someday we might find the words that are more than boxes. Then maybe we can stop men like me from happening... "
many of the most horrible criminals are the subject of their society , Can there be redemption for the horrific crimes these condemned men have committed ? is it execution ? can killing those prevent others from being created ? or do we say born ? which is more correct ?
the book tell us the roots of these behaviors , it doesn't justify them , it just get into the root , inspect the whole image .
and there's the other minor message , that "human can persevere inspite of horrific circumstances" these are the author words on her GR profile .
its that the mind has a way of cloaking the things we find most horrific. it uses imagination to rise beyond the purely material to the otherworldly . It can haze the real world around and take you into a different world to escape the most desperate of situations, leaving some of the terror behind .

I've read this book after reading my friend's Puck review that you can read here , thank u puck this is the second book i read depending on your reviews and find amazing .
I'd recommend this to Everyone , though if you cant handle dark reads this is maybe not for you , but still even despite i , myself , am not a fan of dark books , i was charmed , The Enchanted cast its spell on me , i imagine it would be one of these books that always stays with me , a book to leave an impact in one's life .
The end was as i anticipated it was wounding yet beautiful , the sentimentalism it holds , the heavy melancholy and the beautiful message still served the same way , not stumbling upon its last lines , a perfection till the last word .

And I will go as I have hoped to become : forgotten.

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The Madman Book Review

The MadmanThe Madman by Kahlil Gibran
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

thus i became a madman
And I have found both freedom of loneliness and the safety from being understood, for those who understand us enslave something in us.

this book is one of these too dear to my heart , this is another of Gibran books that is labeled as one of my all time favorites , i was writing the quote above and the Arabic form of "for those who understand us enslave something in us" "لأن الذين يُدركون كياننا إنما يستعبدون بعض ما فينا" was playing in my head like an old mantra from years ago , its one of these quotes that shock you when you first read them , then they are unforgettable , a frozen fraction of time , they are suddenly in your mind pockets till forever .
this book is a collection of short parables written with a sardonic tone which is both introspective and easily accessible . its fascinating in how wealthy the book is with meaning that's just hidden beneath the text . take this one as an example :

Once I said to a scarecrow, “You must be tired of standing in this lonely field.”
And he said, “The joy of scaring is a deep and lasting one, and I never tire of it.”
Said I, after a minute of thought, “It is true; for I too have known that joy.”
Said he, “Only those who are stuffed with straw can know it.”
Then I left him, not knowing whether he had complimented or belittled me.
A year passed, during which the scarecrow turned philosopher.
And when I passed by him again I saw two crows building a nest under .

i remember the first time i read this , i didnt get it . i had to re-read it several times to get the hidden meaning and Uncovering it was like figuring out a puzzle . which its solution , if you are curious , is that the scarecrow was feeling power and pride in being something to be feared , but then only those whom inside is stuffed with straw no more would feel this way , and when wisdom filled him years after he figured out that this empty isolation and resentment are the misrepresentation of things . so he made friends with those who he used to scare away , he found company in a lonely field ..
and what a beautiful message it is to be delivered in few word in a simple story as that .

through out the book there's a subject he repeats under several titles , the different perspectives of people and putting one's self in the others shoes , we can see that in The eye , Said a blade of grass and The three ants .
all in all this one book , its words are not to be analysed but rather to be deeply felt in its communication and its inner loneliness .

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Sand And Foam Book Review

Sand and FoamSand and Foam by Kahlil Gibran
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I AM FOREVER walking upon these shores,
Betwixt the sand and the foam,
The high tide will erase my foot-prints,
And the wind will blow away the foam.
But the sea and the shore will remain

this book is one of my first favorites , its one of these books i lost count on how many times I've read , Gibran himself was one of my first favorite writers , he even may have been the first , i read all his books , everyone of his works (Arabic versions) when i was in highschool , and though i loved all his works by then , only two books remained with me , Sand and Foam and The Madman , the second which i am intending on re-reading just after writing this review .
This book is more like a book of quotation, where Gibran writes on many subjects . but , We can also notice an order in its contents, a set of order picks up .
I love the writing style , the way it magically unlocks one's soul , he throws life around his words , there's a sense of an eternal beauty into them .

though its too hard and even unfair to quote only parts of it , to choose some as elites , but still , i may like these the most :

**It was but yesterday I thought myself a fragment quivering without rhythm in the sphere of life.
Now I know that I am the sphere, and all life in rhythmic fragments moves within me.
They say to me in their awakening, "You and the world you live in are but a grain of sand upon the infinite shore of an infinite sea."
And in my dream I say to them, "I am the infinite sea, and all worlds are but grains of sand upon my shore."

**Do not the spirits who dwell in the ether envy man his pain?

**My house says to me, "Do not leave me, for here dwells your past."
And the road says to me, "Come and follow me, for I am your future."
And I say to both my house and the road, "I have no past, nor have I a future. If I stay here, there is a going in my staying; and if I go there is a staying in my going. Only love and death will change all things."

**There is a space between man's imagination and man's attainment that may only be traversed by his longing.

**If winter should say, "Spring is in my heart," who would believe winter?

**How can you sing if your mouth be filled with food?
How shall your hand be raised in blessing if it is filled with gold?

**Only an idiot and a genius break man-made laws; and they are the nearest to the heart of God.

**Oftentimes I have hated in self-defense; but if I were stronger I would not have used such a weapon.

**Your saying to me, "I do not understand you," is praise beyond my worth, and an insult you do not deserve.

**If the Milky Way were not within me how should I have seen it or known it?

**There lies a green field between the scholar and the poet; should the scholar cross it he becomes a wise man; should the poet cross it, he becomes a prophet.

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Stolen Songbird Book Review

Stolen Songbird (The Malediction Trilogy, #1)Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Eyes of blue and hair of fire
Are the keys to your desire.
Angel’s voice and will of steel
Shall force the dark witch to kneel.
Death to bind and bind to break
Sun and moon for all our sake.
Prince of night, daughter of day,
Bound as one the witch they’ll slay.
Same hour they their first breath drew,
On her last, the witch will rue.
Join the two named in this verse
And see the end of the curse "

actual rating : 3.5 stars

This book is such a surprise !
as a beginning i had no expectations at all because i picked it on random *i liked the cover *, then all my hopes watered down ,the beginning wasn't that encouraging , the first 30% of it i kept thinking : thats what you get for choosing on random , a drama queen , a high-school-american-movies type of plots , and an okay world building .
i NEVER expected things to change ! and for sure not that soon ! and not so suddenly like that , i cant even call that a character development because the " development " process requires a gradual approach , cecile just changed , she was suddenly more intelligent , more understanding and surly more grown up .
her determination and bravery later in the book did too much to gain her forgiveness for her mood swings in the beginning ( or things like choosing jewelry and admiring silk gowns only hours after being kidnapped and only for the preparation of a forced marriage ) .
the plot suddenly turned and twisted , and i have to admit that the world building was not " just okay " anymore , it started to expand , things started to clear and others to be added . it ended up creating an awesome world building which is beautifully eerie , an atmospheric fantasy world .
so TBH , the beginning of this book was flat and plain and the characters were vain , but things did get better . and the writing was so good , thats why i didn't abandon the book in its early chapters .
this book has something like an edge in it , slicing it into two , the first not too worthy but to introduce the second , while the second was a page turner , its the reason i am rating it 3.5 stars .

so Between the pages of this tale, you will find a world inhabited by trolls who have a mighty curse placed upon them. a city of silver beauty buried under an enchanted mountain , hidden in the darkness and Filled with political intrigue . there are the half-bloods , breeds of humans and trolls , they are subject of slavery and bad treatment by the full bloods , a big number of full bloods are mutilated and disfigured some of them are insane and others have deadly inherited diseases , for they refused to marry any other than their own blood for ages , but they are powerful , they have the magic that holds the mountain over the city instead of smashing it to dust .
a prophecy says that a human girl of the mentioned descriptions may break the curse , the songbird , the girl with bright blue eyes and red hair and an operatic voice to be bonded by the Elixir de la lune to the heir of Trollus throne , i think this bond thing added a beautiful peace to the story , the whole read emotions thing , many things like the queen of winter whom we still know near to nothing about and the trolls origin were additions to the world building that i liked , i didn't think that it will go that far .
and though trolls were considered evil , and a number of them in fact are , Cecile saw through it .
she believed in the good in them : "They aren’t ugly.” trying to find the right words. “More like beautiful things that have had the misfortune of being broken" .
and this was something both two characters shared , they saw beyond the surface of things
Tristan :“I think it is our nature to believe evil always has an ugly face,” he said, ignoring my question. “Beauty is supposed to be good and kind, and to discover it otherwise is like a betrayal of trust. A violation of the nature of things. "

the side characters were very well written , Marc is kind , caring , burdened by eternal sadness and has strong moral conscience. Vincent and Victoria are light hearted and comic. Anais is intelligent , pragmatic , and a little bit ruthless .. and the villains were well fleshed , Angulem cunning and evil ,while the king drastic and stone hearted
“You see, Cécile, I will break him as many times as I need to in order to make him the heir I need him to be."

Though this book has its cons , much of them concentrated in the first chapters , but i liked the end and the way the story pulled it self up ,
i am off course eager to read the next book and i wish it continues improving with the same pace , if it did , then i am anticipating a better book ..

the coldness of that perfection was softened by anxiety, fear, and hope. Painful, painful hope

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