68#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: THE HATE U GIVE

AUTHOR: ANGIE THOMAS

GENRE: YOUNG-ADULT CONTEMPORARY

STARS: ***

SYNOPSIS: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life.

MY THOUGHTS: I read this book a few weeks back and finally got some time to write down my thoughts on it.
I read the audiobook and still felt that it was going a bit slow for me. The story is about a young(black) girl who was there when a police officer shot her friend to death without any firm accusation. It was rumoured or known to some officers that the boy may be involved in drug dealing. That incident was a shock to Starr. She couldn’t do anything at that moment to help him nor question the police officer. Later, when she was questioned by the poluce she couldn’t convince the investigator that they have wronged her friend and had killed an Innocent boy. How she deals with the cosequence and the way she fought her own battle – is depicted in this story.
The beginning of the story has a pretty steady pace. But it felt like gradually the pace slacked. Few parts of the story was so narrated that it was heartbreaking to read and relate to Starr’s situation. I really like the character of Starr’s mother. Starr has got some issues just like most other teenage kid. Anyhow, it felt like she was just in the wrong situation dealing with something that is just too heavy for her.
I personally felt the Starr was not brave enough at least I wouldn’t have acted the way she did if I was in her situation. It felt like she somehow made her problems more complex. This story deals with a sensitive issue that is very common in certain parts of America. It is a horror if some people are treated in inhuman way. Tye ignorance of tge police officers was just too much to take, their conduct made me infuriated.
So, the author did a great job picking and writing about such relevant subject as youngadult contemporary.
Among the other characters, most annoying was Starr’s father. It felt like the man creates trouble and loves to create them. In some parts, it even seemed like his character was being unnecessary loud.
It was a fine but slow read for me nothing extraordinary even though I was hoping for something different from Starr. So, that part was a disappointment and hence the three stars.

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67#REVIEW

Book Cover

BOOK TITLE: NIMONA

AUTHOR: NOELLE STEVENSON

GENRE: CHILDREN’S WEB COMIC

STARS: *****

REVIEW IS WRITTEN AFTER LISTENING TO THE AUDIOBOOK
IMAGE COURTESY:  http://www.scribd.com

I didn’t read this book but I listened to its audiobook. It was of only 2 hours so I obviously finished it in one go. This was my first time listening to a comic book as an audiobook and I’m really impressed. The voices made the story realistic and with the background music it was so easy to imagine every scene. The character Nimona is actually a mystery. Nimona is a young girl who came to work as a sidekick for Lord Ballestine Blackheart. She claims to be a shapeshifter. Lord Blackheart is a villain but is actually not by heart. He and Nimona make several plans to protect the people from the rules of Law and Enforcement. But things did not go as planned. Goldenloin who was an old friend now enemy of Blackheart worked under the council. He was ordered to capture Nimona. Things started to grow mysterious and one day Nimona disappeared. Will Blackheart be able to find her?
So, as I’ve written before Nimona is a mystery. She says that she got her power of shape shifting from a witch but later in the story, there are some events that proves other wise. It was a pleasure hearing such a great audiobook. The entire script was filled with drama and suspense. I know this a children’s book but simetimes it good to read this kind of books to get out of the reading slump or just boost the reading pace.

66#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: RENEGADES

AITHOR: MARISSA MEYER

GENRE: YOUNG-ADULT, SCIENCE-FICTION

STARS: ****

Nova is living the life of a villain by working for the Anarchist. Her uncle Ace was the leader of the Anarchist when they were the ruling group but after a battle the Renegades took over becoming the hero and things changed in Nova’s life. She lost her parents and baby sister when she was a little girl. She thought that the heroes of Renegades will come to save them when the rogues attacked their apartment but no one came to help. Since then, she has never slept for a single moment. Nova had a special power, she could make anyone fall asleep with the slight touch of hand. She was a prodigy just like many other heroes and villains. On the Renegades day the Anarchists wanted to destroy the rulers of the Renegades and it was all upto Nova, the Nightmare. But the attack didn’t execute successfully. The identity of Anarchists(who were thought to be dormant) was disclosed.
But Nova faced a new thing on the attack, a new prodigy named Sentinal. The Renegades didn’t know about Nightmare(Nova) and Sentinal(who wore the Renegades symbol). So, the Renegades began to think that the Anarchists are gaining power after many years. On the other hand, Anarchists are thinking that Sentinal is a new weapon of Renegades that is still a secret among Renegades head quarter.
In order to break the Renegades from the foundation, Nova is asked to disguise as a new prodigy and get into the Renegades as a trainee. As plan, Nova got selected in the Renegades through audition and became a new prodigy named Insomnia. Now that Nova has access to Renegades HQ, she’s starting to sense a lot more secrecy and complexity behind all the heroic faces. Will she be able to finish off the Renegades as planned or she’ll fall for one of her enemy, a fellow Renegades named Adrian aka the Sentinal.
I overall enjoyed reading this book. The suspense was not always at its peak but there was action from the fast to the last page. I’ve never read any book based on superheroes or villains, mostly enjoyed them in comic books or movies or animated shows. But this book was not totally a disappointment. One good thing about this book is the author didn’t diverge from the true genre ‘ya sci-fi’. Some of the sci-fi plots tend to shift towards romance but this book was not stereotypical. There is more of action than romance. I really liked the character Nova. She’s one of the most genuine female protagonists I’ve read. At first I didn’t like Adrian but as the story unfolded, it turned out to me he wasn’t that bad. But I expected a lot more suspense and plot twists from this book which didn’t happen. I’m also guessing there’s going to be a sequel since this book ended in sort of a cliffhanger! I hope it’ll be better and more thrilling.
Lastly, thanks to the publisher, panmacmillamindia for sending me a. arc of this book.

65#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: CROOKED KINGDOM AUTHOR: LEIGH BARDUGO GENRE: YOUNG-ADULT FANTASY STARA: **** I finally finished reading this book. I don’t know what took me so long, probably my paperback was not flappy enough. I know not a great excuse! To be honest, the first 3 parts of this book was going pretty slow for me but after that the plot became gripping and intense. I won’t repeat the synopsis rather I would keep it short based only on my thoughts on the plots and characters. I love the way Leigh Bardugo has portrayed the crow club as villains but finally giving them an image of some “badass” benevolent gang. Especially Kaz, he has got a soft corner in his heart though he almost never often shows that. Also, this book has the past stories of all the members in details. Though the story was mostly based on saving Wylan from his father, proving Van Eck a criminal and giving Wylan what he deserve, also saving Kuwei since they got him from the Ice court. The last part of the book was mostly entertaining for me or it was unputdownable. In order to complete their mission, the dregs will have to face some unfortunate incidents but I won’t reveal much otherwise that’ll be a spoiler. There is an appearance of a mysterios character. I kind of feel like I need to know more about her, so I was expecting to get something about that character. knowing that this is a duology kind of makes me disappointed.

64#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: LOVE IN LUTYEN’S DELHI

AUTHOR: AMITABH PANDEY

GENRE: ADULT FICTION/ROMANCE

STARS: ***½

Synopsis

A sparkling love story with a difference.
Akriti ‘Akku’ Patel and Sanjay ‘Sanju’ Saran become friends in kindergarten, lovers in college and then hit the real world. With both parents in the civil services, Sanju’s world is one of power, privilege and entitlement. Akku, on the other hand, is brought up by a single mother – a distinguished surgeon widowed very young and an aunt who is a smart and sassy books editor with commitment problems.
Sanju’s mind is in turmoil as he chooses to abandon his youthful plans and, like his parents, looks to the civil services for what he thinks will be a meaningful career. Meanwhile, Akku, armed with a BTech from IIT, is jetting off to sunny California, land of systems design and fun-loving computer geniuses.
Will their love survive the distance? Or will the compulsions of Lutyens’ Delhi stand in the way of their togetherness?

 

This book was a light, fast paced read. I finished it in less than 2 days. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.

This is a story of Akkriti, a young girl who is all very sure about her future. She lives with her single mother Gayathri and her aunt Abha. She had her friend Sanjay as her constant since kindergarten. But as they grow up into adulthood, they starts to realise the differences in their life. Akkriti is an intelligent software engineer where as Sanjay is an aspiring civil service candidate. They have a lot differences in their family backgrounds as well. Akkriti’s fanily is modern and Sanjay’s family is bound in an orthodox culture.

Both of them were so serious about spending their life together leading to a happy ending. But soon everythung started to change when Akkriti went to USA for her internship and Sanjay started his preperation for the IAS examination.

This story deals with the quite obvious family matters of the modern days. It tells one thing that nothing in life is permanent and we must be always prepared to embrace change in our lives and learn to deal with it. This story was quite relatable and the author’s way of telling the story is pretty lucid and interesting.

About the Author

Amitabh Pandey studied economics at St. Stephen’s College and Delhi School of Economics. He taught economics at an undergraduate college of Delhi University and then joined the Indian Railways where he worked for twenty-four years, during the course of which he conceptualized, implemented and managed the railways online ticket reservation system at the IRCTC. In 2007, Amitabh shifted to the private sector and spent five years building business software. He now lives in Noida and writes full-time.

63#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: THE SILENT COMPANIONS

AUTHOR: LAURA PARCELL

GENRE: GOTHIC HORROR

STARS: 4.5/5

This book grabbed my attention because of its stunning cover. And when I read its synopsis, it got me. I’ve never read a gothic thriller/horror novel before so this book was a complete treat to my unread genre.
This is a story of a haunted house rather the elements that are inside the house set in the 1800s.
Elisabeth Bainbridge became a widow only one year after her marriage with Rupert Bainbridge. She was pregnant when Rupert passed away suddenly due to heart attack. So, after Rupert’s demise Elsie(Elisabeth) and Rupert’s cousin Sarah was sent to the Bridge the family house of the Bainbridge in Fayford. The village was far away from the urban influence and the villegers were not very welcoming. Elsie however started feeling uncomfortable from the first night at The Bridge. Strange hissing sounds kept her awake and made her curious. She soon discovered that the source of the noise was from the garret that was remained locked. Anyhow, she convinced herself that the sound was probably from some wild animals making a nest inside the locked room. But within few days, she and Sarah found the garret door open and thought probably the housemaid Mrs Holt has fixed the lock. They couldn’t supress their curiosity and went to explore. The place was untouched and full of dust and had a weird sense of someone’s presence. After a few searching, they found a diary from the 1600s and a wooden figure of a young woman. Later from the Diary Sarah discovered that the wooden figure were called the Companions that was bought for Hetta, her ancestor who was mute. Soon after the discovery of the companion, uncanny things started to happen to the Bridge. Everyone assured Elsie that it was due to the shock from Rupert’s death. But soon that belief changed when other people in house started to see more companions and weird things. They decided to burn the companions since it was becoming very disturbing. But somehow even after burning them, the companions returned. More haunting things started to happen. So, Elsie’s brother Jolyon decided to take his sister back to the city. Soon bad news came from bridge, one servant was found dead. So, Elisa had to go back there and things got more dangerous.
This story was spine chilling, hauntingly amazing and beautifully written. I don’t get spooked by horror stories easily. Moreover, horror is a genre that I enjoy by watching not reading. But this book proved me wrong. It was gripping from the very first page. The last part of the story got me thinking whether this story was a horror one or psychological thriller but now that I’m rethinking about that ending, I’m convinced that it’s a horror and it’s way scarier for weak hearts and imaginative minds.

62#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: VENGEANCE ROAD

AUTHOR: ERIN BOWMAN

GENRE: YOUNG-ADULT FICTION

STARS: *****

This book is my 1st 5 star read of 2018. Vengeance Road as the name suggests is about coping up with vengeance and retribution. Kate Thompson is an eighteen year old girl living with her father with their horses in Prescott. She lost her mother when she was a little girl. Their life was going fine until one day Kate came home to find her dad’s body hanging from a tree on their ground amd their whole house burning down. It took Kate a few moment to realise who was behind this inhuman act- the Rose Ryders. She decided to take revenge and bring same fate to her father’s murderer. She goes out on her mission in search of the gang in disguise of a boy named Nate and starts tracing them. She met the Colton brothers on her way by following the message her father left when he was alive. They made a deal. Along with the Colton brothers Jesse and Will she starts of the search of the murderer in the Wild West. Soon she has to lose her disguise and had to reveal the truth to the boys. They eventually come to know that Rose and his men are behind the gold mine whose map belonged to Kate’s father’s journal. The gang stole her dad’s journal when they murdered him. Kat and the boys sort out a plan to kill Rose. Unfortunately their plan didn’t work out. They had to flee to save their lives. Now, it’s all upto Kate to find out the real truth behind her father’s death and all mystery about the gold mine.
I haven’t read any book like this before. It was fast paced-thrilling and filled with actions. Kate’s character is such a genuine one, it’s obvious to like her. The romane beteeen Kate and Jesse is definitely well executed. There are a few twists but the one in the end is extreme. I was not even ecpecting anything like that to happen. Kate’s feelings were so nicely described, that they felt nothing but real to me. I could easily relate to her character. The change in Jesse’s character was brilliantly portrayed as well. The ending was so good, it made me smile and brought tears at the same time. It’s a must read, if you love suspense-thrill and romance, you’ll enjoy this book.

61#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: LORD EDGWARE DIES

AUTHOR: AGATHA CHRISTIE

GENRE: DETECTIVE

STARS: ****

Not including the synopsis… Here’s a short review:
I’ve read quite a few Poirot stories and very few are as twisted like this one. Even though I could guess the culprit near the end, the story got my undivided attention from the beginning. Also this was my first read of 2018, so I’m glad I started off this year with such a good book. Usually Christie’s books are full with mysteries and suspense and of course murders but 3 murders in one story is definitely something. I love how the author portrays the human mind and the catastrophic action it can do for its own happiness. Even the unexpected of the lot can turn out to be a murderer just to mske way for their own greater good. Moreover when Poirot is in the scenario it’s bound to be interesting and along with him Hastings was there, so there are also pretty funny and sarcasric dialogues between them. Not one of Poirot’s best but I loved everytime when he discloses the murderer’s identity with his explanations like it’s clear as crystal. Akso, it was a fast paced read for me, infact all Christie books are actually, so I really enjoyed it.

60#REVIEW

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BOOK TITLE: CARAVAL

AUTHOR: STEPHANIE GARBER

GENRE: FANTASY

STARS: *****

After a long time I read a book that I really enjoyed. It took e less than 3 days to finish it. Also, I am so glad I purchased this book in hardcover format.
So, Caraval is a story that revolves around two sisters Scarlett and Donatella. Their mother disappeared when they were young and since then their father had never let them get out of their island. Both the sisters used to listen stories from their grandma about the famous game known as Caraval. So they wanted the circus to visit theur land so they could take part in it or get invitation. Scarlett wrote a few letters for years to get an invitation. But they only got an invitation before one week of Scarlett’s wedding. Now that they’re imprisoned on this island due to their father’s syrict rules, they need to find a way to get to Caraval.

Inspite of reading mixed reviews, I bought this book because I loved it’s concept from the blurb and I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint me. The whole plot had several twists and turns, magic, romance and suspense. The author’s way of describing each scene was neat and lucid. It didn’t feel like the story was getting dragged unnecessarily. It was obviously a fast paced read for me and I enjoyed each chapter and scene thoroughly. The game as well as the story may meddle with the reader’s mind but I really enjoyed the concept of Caraval, it’s daring and adventurous.

59#REVIEW

BOOK TITLE: THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTANGEL

AUTHOR: KATHERINE ARDEN

GENRE: RUSSIAN FAIRYTALE, FANTASY

STARS: ****½

Finally got some time to write the review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This is a Russian fairytale and is mostly based during winter. It’s a story about a girl named Vasilisa and her family. She was not like any other common village maiden. She could see spirits, she was brave and craved for freedom. She was special. On the other hand the two brothers Death and Fear want this girl. But Death here is not the devil, Fear is. He wants to break free so he’s growing fear among the village through a priest to grow his strength. The winter is becoming ruthless that never happened before. Now it’s upto Vasilisa to protect her family frim this monstrous cold and the Fear.
What I love about this book is firstly its cover, next is the storytelling. The way the author has portrayed every scene it’s clear to imagine them. This story is dark and revolves around various spirits that are in Russian folklore. I not for a single moment felt that the story was lagging. The character Vasilisa is definitely my favourite. The story has described her growing up into a young woman since her birth. If you’re looking for a fantasy and well gripped winter read, this book can be a good choice.