Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

Book :After The Wreck,I Picked Myself Up, Spread My Wings And Flew Away by Joyce Carol Oates

From the dust jacket :

In the raw was how the world felt now. My feelings were raw, my thoughts were raw and hurtful like knife blades. . . . In the blue had been my place to hide, now In the raw there was nowhere to hide.

Jenna Abbott separates her life into two categories: before the wreck and after the wreck. Before the wreck, she was leading a normal life with her mom in suburban New York. After the wreck, Jenna is alone, trying desperately to forget what happened that day on the bridge. She’s determined not to let anyone get close to her—she never wants to feel so broken and fragile again.

Then Jenna meets Crow. He is a powerfully seductive enigma, and Jenna is instantly drawn to him. Crow is able to break down the wall that Jenna has built around her emotions, and she surprises herself by telling him things she hasn’t told anyone else. Can Jenna bring herself to face the memories she’s tried so hard to erase?

My Review:

After reading Joyce Carol Oates’s We Were The Mulvaneys , I wanted to read more of her books. Though I had a lots of choices I picked up this one as it was targeted towards Young Adults. I am getting attracted to YA books lately and also because I had heard that this book goes at an amazing speed . Just because it is a fast read doesn’t make it a light read.

I liked the way Jenna’s feelings were portrayed . The guilt about being alive, thought of having to live with her estranged father and his new family, thoughts of leaving the home she shared with her mom and all the security she felt before the wreck which she sees dwindling away. Jenna’s inner voice was unique. She knows what lies ahead of her and is also head strong about her choices.A quality not very common in teenagers and that too in  the ones who have gone through such a  devastating accident.

Jenna’s attraction towards Crow was given a very mature treatment . Her mistrust for everyone else who isn’t her  and her eventual transition to learning to trust and open up to Crow made it a recommendable book to all YA fans.

I must say I was very surprised (though pleasantly) with the way , she ended the book. Wasn’t something I had expected but still something very honest and real .  I can’t wait to read another book written by Joyce Carol Oates.

Highly recommended

 

If I stay by Gayle Forman

Posted: November 17, 2009 in Reviews
Tags: ,

Summary :

What if you had everything:

A gorgeous boyfriend who was madly in love with you?
Quirky hip parents who totally got you?
A musical talent that could take you anywhere?
What if your biggest problem in life was choosing which path to take?
Follow your first love–music– to New York City?
Or stay with your boyfriend, friends, and family?

What if one day, you went out for a drive…

And in an instant everything changed?

What if suddenly all the other choices were gone?

Except for one–the only one that truly mattered?

What would you do?

A sophisticated, layered, and heart achingly beautiful story about the power of family and friends, the choices we all make—and the ultimate choice Mia commands

Review:

It was quite a while since I read a book which moved me to tears and this book  did just that. Mia was a character I connected  to instantly and the main reason for this was  the beautiful narration by Gayle Forman .There were times when I was reading this I actually pictured Mia going out with her boyfriend Adam , having those jitters playing her cello in front of experts , having a great time with her parents and little brother  and finally seeing all this slipping from her hands right in front of her eyes.

The narration moves alternately between past and present giving a depth to the characters which helps us to understand them better, understand Mia better. It was a very ordinary story told in such a way that I had no other choice but to love it and recommend it every body I know.

Mia , is definitely one of the best central characters I have read this year. She is an unsure teenager at places and in some she is someone who knows what she wants in life. It felt good to see  a girl her age so responsible , when these days YA books show them to be troubled and damaged.

Mia being surrounded by people who love her , people who do everything possible to make her feel that they need her with them , even though they know how difficult it will be for her to pick up from where life as left her shattered. The strength they provide her emotionally and how every person  related to her, lives through the worst phase of their lives while trying to give her hope , not knowing if she is even understanding  them , makes it a must read book. A book about understanding the value of family , love and friendship , more importantly it’s a book  about  having hope of a tomorrow .

Advice : Try reading late at night , so that you won’t be seen crying like a baby.

Highly Recommended

My Rating : 5 out of 5

rilke

We read numerous books in our lifetime but a select few stay in our memory as fresh as it has been read this day itself.  Each of us has these all time favorites . I too have a few and I made an addition to that list when I turned the last page of Rilke’s Letters To A Young Poet.

It’s a slim volume but never go by looks. These 10  letters were Rilke ‘s response to Franz Kappus , a new  recruit to the  military academy in Germany , who had sent his poetry to Rilke to ask for his opinion. The senior poet starts the first letter with his honest opinion and goes on in his subsequent correspondence in to the depths of creativity , imagination and  its utilisation . It’s not just about poetry but also some very important lessons in life that these letters address to. He doesn’t preach , just tells the young man who is seemingly confused and dejected in life due to his failure in the field of poetry , to take heart , to learn new things and try to find satisfaction in his work not for the sake of others but for his inner happiness.

Reading this book is kind of experience in itself and I know I would want to read it again , very soon. Not because I  would have forgotten the matter , but because it has certain things which we constantly need to remind our selves .

I will leave you with a few lines that  I loved :

It is also good to love: because love is difficult. For one human being to love another human being: that is perhaps the most difficult task that has been entrusted to us, the ultimate task, the final test and proof, the work for which all other work is merely preparation. That is why young people, who are beginners in everything, are not yet capable of love: it is something they must learn.

So you mustn’t be frightened, dear Mr. Kappus, if a sadness rises in front of you, larger than any you have ever seen; if an anxiety, like light and cloud-shadows, moves over your hands and over everything you do. You must realize that something is happening to you, that life has not forgotten you, that it holds you in its hand and will not let you fall.

This would make an ideal gift to  students who are just finishing school and are  about to step in to the world . Even other wise this would be a great gift to anyone who loves reading.

Highly recommended.

My rating 5 out of 5

9780373250110

A Fancy Affair Bridal Salon

Forest Hills, Queens

“Did you know that one of your hips is higher than the other?” the seamstress asked me in a totally conversational tone.

“I didn’t,” I said. “I never knew that. But I’m glad you told me.”

The seamstress had the decency to look embarrassed. She ducked her head back down and continued pinning.Perhaps that had been the reason why Blind Dates One, Two and Three hadn’t been interested. It wasn’t the smoking, after all. It was my Hip Issue. And just my luck that Blind Date #4 was with a doctor, whose business it was to notice such deformities.

See Jane Date will speak to singles everywhere. At once warm and witty, this look into the life of 28-year-old assistant editor Jane Gregg, screams, “You are not alone!”

Case in point: See Jane . . .

– Endure two months of bridesmaid hell for her younger cousin’s wedding

– Brilliantly dodge being fixed up with Grammy’s next-door neighbor by fibbing that she, um, already has a boyfriend

– Date . . . like crazy to find one suitable guy to bring to said wedding

Okay, find one suitable guy to love. Was that so much to ask?

 

Review:

If a book can cheer you up and make you laugh and feel good at the end , it was totally worth the time you spent reading it . I loved the book from page 1. I was still laughing when I started this review 🙂

Jane is an assistant editor at Posh trying to make her way towards Associate Editor and in desperate need of a boyfriend because her YOUNGER cousin Dana is getting married and she doesn’t want to be pitied by her family and mocked at by Dana for attending the ceremony without a date.

To make the matters worse her school mate  Natasha (whom she absolutely hates ) is back in her life and Jane has been entrusted the job of editing the memoir that Natasha is writing , a tell-all about her affair with a hot shot movie star. She cannot let Natasha know how pathetic her life is and that she is just an Assistant Editor . But she can do something ? Yes ,of course. She can find a guy , make him her boyfriend and take him to the wedding. Seems easy huh? To do that, she has to date guys and survive the dates. So she dates and she dates and dates big time!!!

From one guy to another , while juggling her work pressures (read Natasha’s memoir ‘not yet started dont know when she will finish the first chapter memior’  ) and being there at her cousin’s pre-wedding events (which seem to be never ending) Jane does it all.To tell u the truth, I didn’t like Jane in the beginning. Not the typical chick lit heroine u connect to instantly or even think about fondly. She was cold, non self assured , distant but as the book progressed and I saw her emerge from her hilarious date sequences and got to know her better I started liking her and pitying her too.

Melissa Senate  brings out humour so well that I was really having a hard time keeping a straight face while reading it. A great take on the social life of a working woman and also today’s dating scene.

Give this book a try. It might surprise you. It surprised me:)

pinkseOk, I  have returned to reviewing books in my usual format now. It’s more fun this way :)Though I might occasionally go back to those quick reviews when I am too far behind in writing reviews. 😉

I love reading YA books , a habit I picked up after I started blogging ,even though I am well past the age for YA .Its a pleasant change as a spacer when I am reading classics or some heavy-duty textual stuff . I had this book with me for quite some time now but it was never picked up but when I finally got to it last month ,I finished it straight in one reading.

Secrets Of My Hollywood Life by Jen Calonita revolves around teen actress Kaitlin who feels that she deserves a chance to see how a normal teenager lives. With the help of her friend Liz Mendes she transforms herself into this totally non glamorous looking British girl and joins Liz’s school. But wait ,it can’t be all that easy. Not the least when you are a major Hollywood celebrity and have rivals who can do anything to spread a wily bit of rumour to shatter your career.

The best part of this book is Kaitlin Burke herself. She comes out as an adorable teenage girl, who loves Star Wars enough to fill her room with memorabilia of the movie but star enough never to reveal it in public ( she is the teen of the year after all !)

Her nemesis Skylar is another character you will enjoy reading about though not in a like able way. She is a total opposite of Kaitlin and can go to any extent to dethrone Kaitlin. Its been a rivalry she has carried on since their first day on the sets of their prime time soap opera Family Affairs ,where both girls play sisters.

Though the other characters like that of her parents are not that well detailed ,it never hampers the story. It is a right mixture of glamour , fun and innocent romance that makes it such a great read. I will have to pick up the sequel to see what happens next.

If you looking for a book to cheer you up and bring a smile on your face ,grab this one.

My Rating : 4 out of 5