Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Review: Obsidian (Lux Series: Book One) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

How I Came to Know About this Book: Through Goodreads.

Format of The Book: Ebook (epub version).

Genre: Paranormal Romance/ Young Adult

Length of The Book: 335 pages (for paperback)

A Short Synopsis: Starting over sucks.

When we moved to West Virginia right before my senior year, I'd pretty much resigned myself to thick accents, dodgy internet access, and a whole lot of boring.... until I spotted my hot neighbor, with his looming height and eerie green eyes. Things were looking up.

And then he opened his mouth.

Daemon is infuriating. Arrogant. Stab-worthy. We do not get along. At all. But when a stranger attacks me and Daemon literally freezes time with a wave of his hand, well, something...unexpected happens. 

The hot alien living next door marks me. 

You heard me. Alien. Turns out Daemon and his sister have a galaxy of enemies wanting to steal their abilities, and Daemon's touch has me lit up like the Vegas Strip. The only way I'm getting out of this alive is by sticking close to Daemon until my alien mojo fades. 

If I don't kill him first, that is. (Goodreads Description). 

Characters of The Book: Katy, Her mother, Daemon, Dee, Dawson, Bethany, Lesa, Carissa, Ash, Adam, Andrew, Matthew, Simon.

My Review: Initially it felt like I was reading a carbon copy of Stephanie Meyer’s “Twilight”.  To my disgust, it was all the same.

3 years after the death of Katy’s father, her mom decided that they should move on. And for that they shifted from Florida to West Virginia, just like Bella left Phoenix and went to Forks. Well, reasons may be different but the thing is same. They move to some rarely populated small town and come across some extra-terrestrial creatures! I was annoyed as I wasn’t ready to read a replica of “Twilight”. But the names, both “Lux” and “Obsidian” restrained me from terminating the book midway.

From the beginning it was certain that Daemon wasn’t going to be a vampire- then what was he? I needed the answer, so I kept reading. And I’d say it was worth reading as finding out the truth about them was quite fascinating. The concept of Lux, Luxens, Arum, and Obsidian was fresh and adorable. 
The extraordinary things the Luxens could do were amazing actually. 

But other than that it was so much comparable to "Twilight", IN EVERY RESPECT! Like,

Daemon = Edward (Why not? Apart from belonging to different species (or whatever), they are basically the same.)

Katy = Bella (Do I even need to explain this?)

Dee = Alice (Aren't they alike?)

Luxen = Vampires (of different kinds, but with super powers and all that mysterious behaviours!)

Arum = The "Anti-Cullen" vampires. (The Arums travel in four and the vampires too travel in groups. The Arums seeking revenge for the death of their brethren reminded me of Victoria hunting for Bella to take revenge of James's death! So so similar!!)

And Katy's trace or the glow of light around her whenever she is saved by Daemon from some sort of danger (which is obviously damn frequent) is similar to the vampiric smell Bells carries for hanging out with the bunch of Vampires! Ridiculous!!

Another flaw was the predictability of the story. It was predictably throughout, all the incidents. Towards the end things looked a bit better to my relief and that's why I could complete the book.
Another thing (apart from what is said before) I liked about the book is Katy and Daemon's chemistry. I kind of loved the "Jerk Daemon" and his kick-ass attitude- for me, it was the essence of the story. The oh-they-have-almost-kissed moments were enjoyable and when they finally did kiss, I felt it was worth waiting so long, splendid and romantic. 

Other than that Dee's lively presence kept up the pace of the story. 

And I think if I hadn't read Twilight already, probably I'd have liked it much more.
Actually with the kind of reviews I had seen for this book, the expectation was very high. In that comparison, this was a huge disappointment! 


My Reaction: 

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Review: Ababar Yadi Ichchha Koro (আবার যদি ইচ্ছা কর) by Narayan Sanyal

How I Came to Know About This Book: I got it as a prize in school.

Format of The Book: Paperback

Genre: Biographical Fiction

Length of The Book: 126 pages

A Short Synopsis: It is basically the story of two famous painters, Vincent Van Gogh and Paul Gauguin, but the author describes their lives in Indian background naming them Chandravan Gorg (who was later baptized to Christianity and named Vincent Van Gorg) and Gaganbihari Paul (who would call himself Paul Gauguin). Quite obviously he had to change some of the incidents of the lives of the original painters and add some to make them realistic. 
It is an extremely interesting read from the beginning till the end. Their childhood, how their lives took turn and they decided to become painters-everything is portrayed brilliantly, the narration is simple yet beautiful! Interesting thing is that none of their paintings were sold during their lifetime (though one of Vincent's was sold, he was unaware of it). The last few years of their lives were pretty tragic.

Characters of The Book: Naren (the narrater), Daipayan Lahiri, Chandravan Gorg, Gaganbihari Paul, Batukeshwar Dutta and other subsidiary characters.

My Review: After reading "Biswasghatak" and "Aantarleena" I fell in love with Narayan Sanyal's writings. His versatility, the ease with which he writes about widely varying subject matters left me spellbound. And this book had completely different story line from the other two books I've read, so, as soon as I got the book, I grabbed it and finished reading within an hour or so.

Initially, I wasn't very sure whether I'm going to like this book as much as the previous two since the genre, biographical fiction that is, was not something I prefer reading too much. But once I began reading, I didn't even realize when I was dragged into the story, immersed into the lives of the characters. The way the author has portrayed the lives of the two great painters in Indian, or to be precise, in Bengal's background, it never felt unreal- not a single time.

The best part of the book, for me, was the time Vincent (i.e., Chandravan Gorg) spent in the coaliary (coal mine area). His involvement with the common people there was heart-warming. And after several failures and betrayal he faced, how his will for painting grew eventually was described beautifully. The man whose life is so full of tragedies, died a tragic death as well. And this part of the book left me in tears.

On the contrary, I wasn't much admirable about the life of Paul Gauguin(Ganganbihari Paul). His art forms, paintings(especially the one he draw at the slum was amazing) were no doubt immensely valuable, but I failed to adore him as a person. The facts that he deprived his own family, betrayed his friend Batukeshwar and his wife Sulekha (who happened to save his life when he was almost dead and cheated on her own husband to be with Gauguin), can't be ignored just because he excelled in his art. Or at least, I couldn't ignore those things. Though he died a pathetic and suffering death, I somehow didn't feel much pity for him.

Beyond doubt, this is one of the masterpieces created by Narayan Sanyal and I love this book. I'd definitely recommend it for everybody, even to those readers who doesn't like reading Biographies because I'm sure they'll love it equally as I did.  

(P.S.- I'm not aware of the lives of the two extremely famous painters, hence, my review is purely based on what the book describes about their lives.)


My Reaction:

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Quotes:About Life

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.” 
-Bob Marley

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Review: Paper Towns by John Green

How I came to know about this book: I learnt about it in a group of Goodreads. You can check out the group here.

Format of the book: Ebook (epub version).

Genre: Young Adult/ Contemporary

Length of the Book: 305 pages (for hardcover).

A short synopsis:  Quentin Jacobsen has spent a lifetime loving the magnificently adventurous Margo Roth Spiegelman from afar. So when she cracks open a window and climbs back into his life - dressed like a ninja and summoning him for an ingenious campaign of revenge - he follows.

After their all-nighter ends and a new day breaks, Q arrives at school to discover that Margo, always an enigma, has now become a mystery. But Q soon learns that there are clues - and they're for him. Urged down a disconnected path, the closer Q gets, the less Q sees the girl he thought he knew. (Goodreads Description)

Characters of the book: Quentin Jacobsen or Q, Margo Roth Spiegelman, Ben, Radar, Laecy Becca, Jase, Chuck Parson, Angela, Parents of Q and Margo and a detective.

My Review: 

I started reading this book as part of a group read in Goodreads and so I'd first grant my thanks to the moderators of the group for making me pick up this amazing book.
As soon as I started the book, I fell in love with the plot almost immediately. The book has 3 parts and I'll try to summarize my review in three separate parts.

Part one:
The book features Q as the narrator. This part of the book is absolutely brilliant. It makes you familiar to the characters and describes their life as the students of Senior year in the High School. It  has a funny side as well. Ben being called as Bloody Ben, Radar's crazy obsession with Omnictionary, Chuck Parson as a bully, the bonding of Q, Ben and Radar- everything has separate aspects and are described beautifully.
And to talk about Margo, in-spite of being neighbours, Q and Margo don't hang out together. Q knew Margo loved mysteries from one incident that had taken place when they were 9 years old and thus he says: "Margo always loved mysteries. And in everything that came afterward, I could never stop thinking that maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one."
The night Margo and Q spent together was amusing. Margo and her ways of doing things, I've loved them immensely.

Par two:
As Q believes Margo has left clues for him (before disappearing) to find her, he does everything possible to do that. While progressing in this searching agenda Q discovers and rediscovers Margo and makes out her reason for leaving and somehow Margo's disappearance made Q understand a few things about life, about himself, like :"It's so hard to leave-until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world...Leaving feels too good, once you leave."
But I think this part was a bit too much dragged and thus boring. The searching procedure and the descriptions of Prom night was too long for me (specially because the main story has nothing to do with that directly). Things could have been cut short but well..

P.S.- I even spent a few hours in my college library reading Whitman's "Song of Myself" thinking that I might find some clue about Margo's whereabouts. Unfortunately, I couldn't finish it. :-P

Part three:
This again could be written precisely, I mean the description of each hour wasn't really necessary.
Anyway the end, though a bit depressing, was genuine. Nothing dramatic happens and the characters stick to their own ideas. That is what I love about the book. Somehow I knew Margo couldn't be dead, so in a way it was kinda predictable.
Besides I loved the lucid writing of the author. The portrayal of the characters is beautiful. I learnt a thing that is every person is like himself, and you can't expect others to be like you, everyone has their own ways.

In short, it was an enjoyable read throughout and I recommend it.


My Reaction:

P.S- This is my first book review on this blog, so obviously I'm excited about it. I'd love to hear from you all. Opinions are wholeheartedly welcome. :)