Latest Posts

Latest Posts

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Review: Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? by Mindy Kaling [Audiobook]

Release Date: November 1st, 2011
Publisher: Crown Archetype
Rating: YA 18+
Genre/s: Autobiography, Comedy
Pages: 222

Mindy Kaling has lived many lives: the obedient child of immigrant professionals, a timid chubster afraid of her own bike, a Ben Affleck–impersonating Off-Broadway performer and playwright, and, finally, a comedy writer and actress prone to starting fights with her friends and coworkers with the sentence “Can I just say one last thing about this, and then I swear I’ll shut up about it?” 
Perhaps you want to know what Mindy thinks makes a great best friend (someone who will fill your prescription in the middle of the night), or what makes a great guy (one who is aware of all elderly people in any room at any time and acts accordingly), or what is the perfect amount of fame (so famous you can never get convicted of murder in a court of law), or how to maintain a trim figure (you will not find that information in these pages). If so, you’ve come to the right book, mostly!
In Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me?, Mindy invites readers on a tour of her life and her unscientific observations on romance, friendship, and Hollywood, with several conveniently placed stopping points for you to run errands and make phone calls. Mindy Kaling really is just a Girl Next Door—not so much literally anywhere in the continental United States, but definitely if you live in India or Sri Lanka.

This is my first review of an audiobook, and I am so happy that it is of this amazing, hilarious, and heart-felt autobiography by Mindy Kaling! For those of you who are not familiar with Mindy, she was a writer (and actress) of the sitcom The Office (one of my absolute favourite shows), and is the star of her own TV show: The Mindy Project. Since I am a huge fan of both shows, it of course follows that I adore Mindy and her sense of humour. However, going into this book I wasn't sure if her sense of humour would translate to her autobiography, but it so did! I loved getting to experience this book by listening to Mindy narrate it – it made it all the more personal and hilarious.

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (40)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases I can't wait to get my hands on!

                                                     This week's WoW pick is...
Soundless by Richelle Mead
From Richelle Mead, the #1 internationally bestselling author of Vampire Academy and Bloodlines, comes a breathtaking new fantasy steeped in Chinese folklore.

For as long as Fei can remember, there has been no sound in her village, where rocky terrain and frequent avalanches prevent residents from self-sustaining. Fei and her people are at the mercy of a zipline that carries food up the treacherous cliffs from Beiguo, a mysterious faraway kingdom.

When villagers begin to lose their sight, deliveries from the zipline shrink and many go hungry. Fei’s home, the people she loves, and her entire existence is plunged into crisis, under threat of darkness and starvation.

But soon Fei is awoken in the night by a searing noise, and sound becomes her weapon.

Richelle Mead takes readers on a triumphant journey from the peak of Fei’s jagged mountain village to the valley of Beiugo, where a startling truth and an unlikely romance will change her life forever...

Release Date: November 10th, 2015

I am absolutely fascinated by all kinds of ethnic folklore stories, so I hope that this book teaches me a little bit more about Chinese folklore. I have heard great things about Mead's Vampire Academy series, and I hope her fantasy-writing skills carry on to this. I love how different Soundless seems from any other YA book I've read or heard of in terms of a setting and premise, so it already has points for uniqueness in my book!

What are you guys waiting on? I would love to find out and add some more books to my TBR list, so please leave a comment below! :) 

Sunday, 18 October 2015

Review: Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami

Release Date: September 12th, 2000
Publisher: Vintage Books
Rating: YA 18+ 
Genre/s: Romance, Contemporary-Fiction
Pages: 296

This stunning and elegiac novel by the author of the internationally acclaimed Wind-Up Bird Chronicle has sold over 4 million copies in Japan and is now available to American audiences for the first time.  It is sure to be a literary event.

Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before.  Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable.  As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A poignant story of one college student's romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man's first, hopeless, and heroic love.

20 pages into Norwegian Wood, I assuredly and perhaps callously labelled it: a love story. And 20 pages later, I realised just how much I had trivialised this thoughtful masterpiece. Norwegian Wood is so much more than just a love story: it's a reflection of life. It deals not only with the big moments, but the little ones, and how much meaning there is in life that people often don't realise. Murakami conveys this profound message through the genuinely real characters and a beautiful yet artless style of story-telling.

It's truly amazing just how much I could relate to and empathise with the characters of this book, given that their stories are set in the 1960s in Japan. One of the things I loved the most about Norwegian Wood is that it managed to rely mostly on seemingly ordinary characters who live fairly normal lives, and yet there was so much meaning Murakami was able to find in them. The best books, the ones that I connect to the most, are not about extraordinary happenings that are larger than life, they are about beautifully ordinary moments and lives, which convey larger truths about life and allow me to gain a deeper understanding of the world. I was especially able to relate to Toru, the main protagonist of the novel. A 19-year-old University student and avid reader with a mundane life and yet such profound and existential insights, I saw much of myself in him.

As much as I would love to accredit the brilliant writing all to Murakami's genius, the translator Jay Rubin surely plays a significant role as well. Either way, the way this book was written and the fact that some of my favourite passages in the book were describing ordinary events such as a walk in the park, getting a morning cup of coffee, or experiencing a sunset, is testament to the ingenious writing. I am so envious of how Murakami is able to write in a straightforward and to-the-point manner that at the same time is so impactful and beautifully descriptive. I also think that this writing style is what contributed to how much I liked Toru and the other characters, who were normal but also very profound.

However, despite Murakami's ability to find beauty in ordinary things, he also dealt with dark issues such as death and suicide, and the danger of isolation. The depiction of Naoko and her mental illness, and the effects of her inability to communicate with others and overcome the barriers of her mental state, made my heart hurt for her. It is one thing to learn about the science behind mental illnesses, but getting to know and reading about a character and her struggles with her mental illness, opened my eyes to how devastatingly crippling it can be for a person. 

This book definitely does not skirt around these dark matters, and Toru acknowledges that 'Death exists, not as the opposite to, but as a part of life'. This is just one line, but captures how honestly Murakami tackles death and suicide. The characters are not idealists, but nor are they cynical defeatists. Instead, they consistently fluctuate between the two opposites, just as people tend to do in real life. This realistic approach extends to other themes of the novel such as romance. Murakami presents with the romance between Toru and Naoko and between him and Midori as subtle and also full of moments of passion and beauty. 

These past few months I've delved into works in translation, both in school and out of, and reading this book was the first time where I forgot about the fact that it was not originally written in English. Murakami's writing style is certainly not for everyone, and I do think that in order to enjoy it you have to be a certain age or just really mature and thoughtful a person. That being said, I found it so refreshingly real and honest and beautiful, and the stories – absolutely mesmerising. 

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (39)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases I can't wait to get my hands on!

                                                     This week's WoW pick is...
November 9 by Colleen Hoover
Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day of her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Release Date: November 10th, 2015

I am not Hoover's biggest fan as I once was (Hopeless left me with a bitter taste in my mouth), but I can't help but feel excited to read this one! I love stories about writers mainly because of how poetic and sadly tragic they often are. I can't help but be drawn to their ability to think so deeply and thoughtfully, and then express their thoughts so well and with such meaning. Their lives seem more interesting and enhanced and beautiful just because of their ability to romanticise and make even the most ordinary moments profound, so I look forward to getting into this hopefully sweet and beautiful relationship. Fingers crossed this book reminds me to Hoover's great writing once again.

What are you guys waiting on? I would love to find out and add some more books to my TBR list, so please leave a comment below! :) 

Saturday, 3 October 2015

Movie review: Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Unlike most of my experiences with book to movie adaptations, I actually saw the movie before I read the book with Me and Earl and the Dying Girl. I saw the movie last Saturday, and promptly downloaded the ebook the very next day! I'm not going to lie, it was quite a different experience watching the movie first, but I still loved every second of it. 

For one thing, when I read the book I couldn't help but picturing Olivia Cooke and Thomas Mann, and of course the wonderful Nick Offerman. And I actually kind of liked it. I know that one of the main things I love about reading is that I get to picture the characters and their stories in my head. My interpretation is likely different from what someone else will get from the same book and the same stories. That being said, I actually liked having the actors from the movie in my head while I was reading the book. Maybe it's because the actors in the movie were just so well chosen and cast, or maybe it's because the movie was so accurate and I think conveyed the feel of the book so well, but I didn't mind that I saw the movie before I read the book.

But seriously. Whether it was the book or the movie, I LOVED THIS STORY. I think I may even love it more than I loved The Fault in Our Stars, because there was just something about this story that spoke to me more. I still adore John Green and Hazel and Augustus, but I couldn't help but feel that the way this story was told was more honest and raw in its approach. There were so many moments where it could have been cliché and taken the road so many other authors and storytellers have taken when writing about teenage Cancer stories, but I think it was due to Jesse Andrews' writing, which managed to be both funny and sad AT THE SAME TIME (which somehow worked) and the wonderful characters. 

And when I say wonderful I don't mean it in the way I usually would, when I say wonderful I mean completely real and unique. It is so rare for me to find characters who are entirely unique and rare – it's getting to the point where, whenever I meet a new character, I can't help but feel that I've met them or a version of them before. But Greg and Rachel and their interactions are what made the book, or rather, the story, for me personally. When I cried it wasn't SO much because I felt bad for Rachel, (even though I did of course), but it was more being privy to their raw and unabashed emotion and the way it was presented. It so, so perfectly encapsulated being a teenager and falling in love and dealing with death at that age. There were times when I hated Greg but of course it was because I saw so much of myself in him, in the way he dealt with everything.

I don't consider myself an extremely emotional person, but when I get emotional, I really can't hold back. This is going to sound weird, but I love the feeling of getting emotional from a book or movie, and I look forward to those stories that provoke an emotional response from me. I find it very therapeutic and cathartic and it's a great feeling! During Me and Earl and the Dying Girl I got suuuuuuper emotional and wrapped up in the story. There's something that Greg says at the start of the movie (I won't say what it is because I don't want to ruin it for you guys) but later I found out he was lying and it was just a whirlwind of emotions from then on and that was pretty much when I broke down. 

Okay, so I guess this turned into kind of a book/movie/general review of this amazing story but there you go! I know not everyone will get it or appreciate it as much as I did but I still think everyone should give either the book or movie a go. Be warned though, you may just fall in love. 

Here's the trailer for the movie, which I think sums up and explains the story better than I did in this post. 

So that's me done! I can't even watch the trailer without getting emotional guys, seriously. Have you guys read this lovely book or seen the movie? Please do leave a comment below! x

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Waiting on Wednesday (38)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill over at Breaking the Spine. It's to spotlight upcoming releases I can't wait to get my hands on!

                                                     This week's WoW pick is...
It's a Wonderful Death by Sarah J. Schmitt

Seventeen-year-old RJ always gets what she wants. So when her soul is accidentally collected by a distracted Grim Reaper, somebody in the afterlife better figure out a way to send her back from the dead or heads will roll. But in her quest for mortality, she becomes a pawn in a power struggle between an overzealous archangel and Death Himself. The tribunal presents her with two options: she can remain in the lobby, where souls wait to be processed, until her original lifeline expires, or she can replay three moments in her life in an effort to make choices that will result in a future deemed worthy of being saved. It sounds like a no-brainer. She’ll take a walk down memory lane. How hard can changing her future be?

But with each changing moment, RJ’s life begins to unravel, until this self-proclaimed queen bee is a social pariah. She begins to wonder if walking among the living is worth it if she has to spend the next sixty years as an outcast. Too quickly, RJ finds herself back in limbo, her time on Earth once again up for debate.

RJ is a snarky, unapologetic, almost unredeemable, very real girl. Her story is funny and moving, and teens will easily connect with her plight. Prepare to meet the Grim Reaper, who’s cuter than you’d expect; Hawaiian shirt–wearing Death Himself; Saint Peter (who likes to play Cornhole); and Al, the handler for the three-headed hound that guards the gates of Hell. This cast of characters accompanies RJ through her time in the afterlife and will do their best to gently shove her in the right direction.

Release Date: October 6th, 2015

I like to think of myself as someone who is not easily swayed by artsy covers and intriguing titles, but I have to admit that the cover and presentation of this book is one of the reasons I added it to my TBR list. Not that the premise sounds interesting (because it does), but I don't particularly appreciate it when the blurbs on the back of books praise themselves as this one seems to do. Let me find RJ "snarky, unapologetic" and "very real" myself, please! But apart from that tiny annoyance this does seem really cool and fun, and with a unique concept to spring off from.

What are you guys waiting on? I would love to find out and add some more books to my TBR list, so please leave a comment below! :) 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...