Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Summary :

Susan Beth Pfeffer’s Life as We Knew It enthralled and devastated readers with its brutal but hopeful look at an apocalyptic event–an asteroid hitting the moon, setting off a tailspin of horrific climate changes. Now this harrowing companion novel examines the same events as they unfold in New York City, revealed through the eyes of seventeen-year-old Puerto Rican Alex Morales. When Alex’s parents disappear in the aftermath of tidal waves, he must care for his two younger sisters, even as Manhattan becomes a deadly wasteland, and food and aid dwindle.
With haunting themes of family, faith, personal change, and courage, this powerful new novel explores how a young man takes on unimaginable responsibilities.

My Review :

The Dead And The Gone scared me.. I am serious.It did. Life As We Knew It did that too but the proportion with which this book got me was higher.Set in a metropolitan it gave a sense of what might happen if this scenario arose in future. Apocalyptic novels were never my favorite genre but for this book I make an exception.

Susan Beth Pfeffer makes us realise how ill-equipped we are mentally and resource wise to handle a calamity of this proportion. It was difficult at times to read on. I must have stopped at least 15 times in the course of entire book because it was a painful. Miranda in the first book had similar issues but it was visited in a manner I thought kept us away from the real happenings. Focus was more on her thoughts,but here reality hits directly in the face.

Alex our protagonist is smart , he is resourceful but is that enough? Can he provide for his sisters when the moral values and ethics have gone off the face of earth .When people are plundering dead bodies for money and jewelery to get food in exchange. Can he survive in this world which doesn’t resemble even remotely to the world he remembers having lived in ?

Is that how we are going to survive if such a thing happens?

If you have read the first book then this is a must read for you..If you haven’t, then grab both the books and read them.

Highly Recommended

My Rating : 5 out of 5

I read and reviewed the first two books in the series Lightening Thief and Sea Of Monsters earlier this year. I was too curious and needed to know what happens next so I got the next two books immediately after I finished Sea Of Monsters( very typical of me 🙂 ) For the last installment I had to wait little longer  it released in May 2009 so I had to wait for some time for  it to appear in the book stores here but it was  worth the wait. A finale which I thought was done fantastically.

I have reviewed a part of the series here . I am sure I have not put in spoilers but as you will be seeing the entire series covered at once ,  some extra knowledge is bound to be gained on the way . If you are the obsessive kind who feels you shouldn’t see the dust jacket of second in the series until you have read the first, then please be careful 🙂 I am babbling ..Vey typical of me again 🙂 This going to be a long post ..All the best ..

1Blurb:

What if the gods of Olympus were alive in the 21st Century? What if they still fell in love with mortals and had children who might become great heroes — like Theseus, Jason and Hercules?

What if you were one of those children?

Such is the discovery that launches twelve-year-old Percy Jackson on the most dangerous quest of his life. With the help of a satyr and a daughter of Athena, Percy must journey across the United States to catch a thief who has stolen the original weapon of mass destruction – Zeus’ master bolt. Along the way, he must face a host of mythological enemies determined to stop him. Most of all, he must come to terms with a father he has never known, and an Oracle that has warned him of betrayal by a friend.

My Review  Here

2Blurb:

When Thalia’s tree is mysteriously poisoned, the magical borders of Camp Half-Blood begin to fail. Now Percy and his friends have just days to find the only magic item powerful to save the camp before it is overrun by monsters. The catch: they must sail into the Sea of Monsters to find it. Along the way, Percy must stage a daring rescue operation to save his old friend Grover, and he learns a terrible secret about his own family, which makes him question whether being the son of Poseidon is an honor or a curse. 

My Review Here

3

The Titan’s Curse:

My Review :

My fav in the series , Titan’s Curse was the best in terms of action , emotions and revelations. It showed  Percy to be mature and lot better at his tasks , ok I am exaggerating a little bit 🙂 In this book we get to meet Hunters Of Artemis , and boy do they hate males ! Poor Percy has many things lined up for him from tracking Annabeth who is missing  and Artemis ,while taking all the hostile snide remarks from Zoe Nightshade , next in command to Artemis with whom he is on the mission.I was amazed at the ease with which Rick Riordan mixed known mythological stories with his own . It was perfectly fitting. The modernization of  some of these  tales was fun to read. Nothing jagged , nothing felt out of place.

Many new characters entered though Nico, Bianca , Rachel  .To know who is who you  have got to do lot of reading 🙂 The book’s ending rivals only with that of the final one .

4

The Battle Of The Labyrinth :

My Review :

I felt this book was just a bridge to make it to the final installment. It was like tying up all the loose ends so that the final installment would be lot easier for the reader. One character who stands out in this is Rachel, the girl who can see through the mist .Remember ?  Rachel is a very vital part in Percy’s quest 🙂 much to Annabeth’s annoyance .

The best part of this book was travelling in the labyrinth . A underground world made by Dedalus , which can help reach places faster if you know how to navigate it. Percy as usual has lots going on for himself and along with his friends this time he needs to defend the Camp Half Blood and if possible prevent a War Of The Titans. Remember Pan , the one Grover is always trying to find .. Its time we get to know him a little bit more.

Rick Riordan does a good job at giving us all the necessary material to fit in to the jig saw puzzle. So what are we waiting for ? Let the War begin ..

I thought of including the final installment too but it would be injustice to the book.. The Last Olympian deserves better. It was the finale , The War that could change everything in Percy’s life.. Deserves more space..So a separate review 🙂

If you don’t understand how a woman could both love her sister dearly and want to wring her neck at the same time, then you were probably an only child.  ~Linda Sunshine


True , isn’t it. This is exactly how Courtney feels for her two elder sisters. Norah and Raine  are her older sisters who don’t see each other eye to eye . It been six years since they even saw each other. Now , when Courtney’s longtime boyfriend Lucas proposes to her , she feels the need to have the Cassel family rounded up for her engagement party.She wants to share her joy with her entire family including the prodigal daughter Raine who ruined Norah’s wedding , created a scene and made a decision that changed Courtney’s life for ever. Having them both together  under one roof will be a Herculean task but Courtney knows if she doesn’t try may be they will always be the dysfunctional family she has known all her life. Also may be she needs to get answers for a few questions of her own..

Being the youngest Courtney,  idolizes one ,while she respects the other but she knows bringing them together  is calling for a disaster. Also while taking this step ,she will let open a door to past that has the chance of sucking in her  entire present and wonderful future she has dreamt with Luke into a black hole. Is she ready for it ?

I loved the story. When I say I loved it . I mean it was absolutely great , wonderful, witty , charming , funny , frustratingly  unputdownable (is that a word ? ). Every one of has a known a Norah in our lives , obsessive , bossy , ‘I am always right’ kind,who is caring enough but makes sure you know that she is the one in charge. I can’t say we all would have a Raine among us because she was something different. She kept me guessing all through the book. She is the spontaneous kind.

Courtney’s the best written character in the book , she is an artist , a cello player with a great life and a  wonderful fiancé , but when she decides to invite her sister Raine , her  life starts to crumple in front of her  and if she doesn’t stand up for what she feels is right , she might lose more than she imagined . Megan Crane has written her so well that she comes out completely genuine even with  all her faults and silly mistakes she does along the way.

A book that needs to be read by all those who have a sister just to go back to that phase when you absolutely loathed each other and also by those who don’t have a sister , so that you know how it feels to have one 🙂

Highly Recommended

My Rating 5 out of 5

Persepolis by Marjane Satrapi

Posted: December 3, 2009 in Reviews
Tags: ,

Summary from Goodreads:

Wise, funny, and heartbreaking, Persepolis is Marjane Satrapi’s memoir of growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution. In powerful black-and-white comic strip images, Satrapi tells the story of her life in Tehran from ages six to fourteen, years that saw the overthrow of the Shah’s regime, the triumph of the Islamic Revolution, and the devastating effects of war with Iraq. The intelligent and outspoken only child of committed Marxists and the great-granddaughter of one of Iran’s last emperors, Marjane bears witness to a childhood uniquely entwined with the history of her country.

My Review:

I haven’t read many graphic novels. Just beginning to explore the genre , so I am not sure if there many memoirs in graphic format but I really liked the way this book turned out.

Marjane Satrapi gives us a close update on what happened to common people during the Revolution in Iran. She sees things changing in school , sees her friends  leaving Iran with their families never to return , sees how the gulf war changed all that people believed about humanity .

It is not preachy. It is the chronicle of her growing up years where she is forced to accept rigorous cultural restrictions in the name of religion . We meet her as a little girl who is very vocal about her opinion, about things around her, a trait she keeps for rest of her life.She is  so inquisitive that her parents have to explain things to her which would have been kept from children her age.We realize she is a rebel from the time she asks if can accompany her parents for the demonstration , she isn’t even 10 at that time. Through her we see how Iran changed , how people were forced to hide their beliefs , change their life style even change the way they thought , if they wanted to live or more importantly wanted to keep their families safe .

I was very impressed with the way , narration held my attention. This is definitely not the best book on Gulf War and the revolution but it is one book which should not be missed out. Satrapi’s Persepolis gives a personal touch to all those subjects ,that  the non fiction books just describe in third person.

Highly Recommended

My Rating: 4.5 out of 5

Summary from Goodreads:

When Elspeth Noblin dies of cancer, she leaves her London apartment to her twin nieces, Julia and Valentina. These two American girls never met their English aunt, only knew that their mother, too, was a twin, and Elspeth her sister. Julia and Valentina are semi-normal American teenagers–with seemingly little interest in college, finding jobs, or anything outside their cozy home in the suburbs of Chicago, and with an abnormally intense attachment to one another.

The girls move to Elspeth’s flat, which borders Highgate Cemetery in London. They come to know the building’s other residents. There is Martin, a brilliant and charming crossword puzzle setter suffering from crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder; Marjike, Martin’s devoted but trapped wife; and Robert, Elspeth’s elusive lover, a scholar of the cemetery. As the girls become embroiled in the fraying lives of their aunt’s neighbors, they also discover that much is still alive in Highgate, including–perhaps–their aunt, who can’t seem to leave her old apartment and life behind.

My Views:

I have given it 5 stars rating , but did I absolutely love this book? Let me put it this way , I was sucked into the story from page 1 line 1 , read it all night till wee hours of morning , got scared at a few places , was surprised at few twists , shocked and frustrated as it drew to close and when I finally turned the last page I was mentally exhausted. If a book can do all this to you , I think it would be worth 5 stars don’t you think so?

I think William Styron said “A great book should leave you with many experiences, and slightly exhausted at the end. You live several lives while reading.”  If I take this quote into consideration I think it is  a great book.But this is all subjective.

Getting on with the review :
Audrey Niffenegger’s latest book has a scary theme but a very interesting one. My favorite character from the book would be Obsessive Compulsive Martin. His neurosis gets on to the readers nerves but you will remember him even after the book has ended.

Julia and Valentina , Elspeth’s nieces who inherit her property after Elspeth’s death are so similar to each other in appearance as different are their personalities. I sometimes wonder if authors create this fierce twin and shy twin characters just to pique the interest in readers but this factor always does a lot to the story line.In this story the factor is multiplied two times with two sets of identical twins.

I was shocked literally shocked at the way everything turned out in the end and was so frustrated at some characters that I thought I must have understood the lines wrong while reading sleepless all night , so I even went back few pages to confirm as to what I had read but that’s the way it was. It is a book that will make you sit up and take notice.

When reading this don’t expect another Time Traveller’s wife. It is a very well written book with no hang overs from the author’s earlier work . A word of caution though; you won’t stop reading once you have begun , you might love it or criticise it or hate it  but you will want to finish it in one go 🙂 Trust me I did .

Highly recommended.

My Rating : 5 out of 5