To Kill A Mockingbird ll Harper Lee

Name: To Kill A Mockingbird
Author: Harper Lee
Published By: Arrow Books
SeriesStand-alone
Genre: Modern Classic
Rating: ★★★★(4/5)

The unforgettable novel of a childhood in a sleepy Southern town and the crisis of conscience that rocked it, To Kill A Mockingbird became both an instant bestseller and a critical success when it was first published in 1960. It went on to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1961 and was later made into an Academy Award-winning film, also a classic.

Compassionate, dramatic, and deeply moving, To Kill A Mockingbird takes readers to the roots of human behavior – to innocence and experience, kindness and cruelty, love and hatred, humor and pathos. Now with over 18 million copies in print and translated into forty languages, this regional story by a young Alabama woman claims universal appeal. Harper Lee always considered her book to be a simple love story. Today it is regarded as a masterpiece of American literature.

‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ was that one book that always made me look away in shame for never having read it before. It always seemed like one of those ‘must-read’ classics that you can’t really get away from. So finally I hunkered down to read it and I’m really glad to have finally done so. This book is very much a part of our collective understanding and to finally be in on the discussions gave me a huge sense of relief. But that’s just a part of it. This book was brilliant! It was glorious in its discussion of important themes, the exploration of race, class, gender, childhood, small towns, the justice system, the messages it had to share but especially its characters.

This book took me a little while to finally get into but when I finally did, I was invested in the story for the long run. Atticus Finch, in his humility, his life-lessons is someone I would want to strive to be. What he had to share about people and the world with his children and often other adults was truly an eye-opener. There’s so much to take away from this book and I just want people to go ahead and read it. It’s also a completely different experience to read this book as an adult considering many have read it at a younger age. It leaves you with a bucket load to think and rethink about and I think everyone should try and pick it up.

Well Met (Well Met, #1) ll Jen DeLuca

Name: Well Met (Well Met, #1)
Author: Jen DeLuca
Published By: Berkley
SeriesRomance Series
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rating: ★★★ (3.5/5)

All’s faire in love and war for two sworn enemies who indulge in a harmless flirtation in a laugh-out-loud rom-com from debut author, Jen DeLuca.

Emily knew there would be strings attached when she relocated to the small town of Willow Creek, Maryland, for the summer to help her sister recover from an accident, but who could anticipate getting roped into volunteering for the local Renaissance Faire alongside her teenaged niece? Or that the irritating and inscrutable schoolteacher in charge of the volunteers would be so annoying that she finds it impossible to stop thinking about him?

The faire is Simon’s family legacy and from the start he makes clear he doesn’t have time for Emily’s lighthearted approach to life, her oddball Shakespeare conspiracy theories, or her endless suggestions for new acts to shake things up. Yet on the faire grounds he becomes a different person, flirting freely with Emily when she’s in her revealing wench’s costume. But is this attraction real, or just part of the characters they’re portraying?

This summer was only ever supposed to be a pit stop on the way to somewhere else for Emily, but soon she can’t seem to shake the fantasy of establishing something more with Simon, or a permanent home of her own in Willow Creek. 

I am a bit salty about the fact that this book up until the 60-65% mark was going to be a 4 or even a 4.5 star read for me which is a huge deal. I’m not much of a romance reader but in the past few days had been in a mood for it so I kinda just picked it up on my kindle with no idea of what I was going to be hit by. I fell in love with the small town, the Renaissance faire setting in a jiffy. I lived for the banter, the witty remarks and the constant back and forth our main two characters Emily and Simon exchanged. It was so darn charming! Reading this, I also realised how much of a sucker I am for the enemies to lovers trope and the found family trope. I was a 100% sold on the sexual tension between Emily and Simon, the family dynamics and the warm and fuzzy feeling this small town setting gave me…until the previously stated 60-65% mark.

As soon as protagonists actually got together, everything just sort of fizzled out. I’m not sure what it was about the whole actuality of the relationship that didn’t work for me. Suddenly it almost wasn’t fun anymore. A lot of what I felt through the latter portion of the novel was that there was unnecessary, a lot more overblown than it required to be. The angst felt like it was there just for the sake of it and I just was a bit meh about it all by the end of it.

I do think it’s a wildly addictive book and I pretty much flew through it so I do recommend checking it out. It might have sounded like I was mouthing off the book but I honestly really enjoyed it. It was well done for most of it, I enjoyed our protagonist and her love interest and the setting sucked me right in. Despite some let downs in the latter portion, I’m still satisfied with this book and I’m definitely going to be looking out for the next book in this romance series!

Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Signs You’re A Book Lover

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme that was started by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. The topic for this Tuesday was ‘Ten Signs You’re a Book Lover.’

  1. Even if I have a different agenda I’m out for, I don’t hesitate before going into the bookshop that I just spotted on the streets or at the mall. I mean, priorities don’t apply when you’re a book lover, I suppose.
  2. The music that people think I’m listening to on my walks, in the subways, etc. are actually just audiobooks. There’s really no one way to consume books.
  3. My idea of an after-exam reward party is curling up in the bed with some hot/cold beverage and a book or gifting myself a book/books.
  4. My TBR pile is getting out of control but that sequel just came out and there’s no way my TBR pile is stopping me from getting it.
  5. I always carry a book with me without fail. That 2-minute break between lectures I have? Yeah that’s the perfect time to whisk out the book shoved into my backpack.
  6. I have on multiple occasions channeled my inner Harry Potter by using my mobile or some other flashlight to read in the dark when my parents expect me to be asleep.
  7. My birthday gift is usually a book/books or bookish related things which in a way works out better for my friends -laughs-. There’s really no brainstorming required to get me something because i’ll be raving about a particular book for months on end and really trying to drive my point home by being as apparent as can be.
  8. I try to cure my boredom/dislike of one book by picking up another book and the vicious cycle goes on.
  9. By the end of most conversations, somehow I always end up talking about books one way or the other. At this point, it’s not even something I do consciously.
  10. If I’m not talking about books, I’m usually trying to keep my book blog, bookstagram and goodreads afloat. I’m also an english major so even more books to keep my grades afloat! -nervous laughter- It’s uncanny how surrounded I am with bookish related stuff all the time.

Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices #1) ll Cassandra Clare

Name: Clockwork Angel (Infernal Devices, #1)
Author: Cassandra Clare
Published By: Simon And Schuster
SeriesSeries
Genre: YA Fantasy
Rating: ★★★ (3.5/5)

Magic is dangerous—but love is more dangerous still.

When sixteen-year-old Tessa Gray crosses the ocean to find her brother, her destination is England, the time is the reign of Queen Victoria, and something terrifying is waiting for her in London’s Downworld, where vampires, warlocks and other supernatural folk stalk the gaslit streets. Only the Shadowhunters, warriors dedicated to ridding the world of demons, keep order amidst the chaos.

Kidnapped by the mysterious Dark Sisters, members of a secret organization called The Pandemonium Club, Tessa soon learns that she herself is a Downworlder with a rare ability: the power to transform, at will, into another person. What’s more, the Magister, the shadowy figure who runs the Club, will stop at nothing to claim Tessa’s power for his own.

Friendless and hunted, Tessa takes refuge with the Shadowhunters of the London Institute, who swear to find her brother if she will use her power to help them. She soon finds herself fascinated by—and torn between—two best friends: James, whose fragile beauty hides a deadly secret, and blue-eyed Will, whose caustic wit and volatile moods keep everyone in his life at arm’s length…everyone, that is, but Tessa. As their search draws them deep into the heart of an arcane plot that threatens to destroy the Shadowhunters, Tessa realizes that she may need to choose between saving her brother and helping her new friends save the world…and that love may be the most dangerous magic of all.

After binge-buying all three books of ‘The Infernal Devices’ years ago with an intent of actually reading them and being a part of the buzz and then not really following through, I finally took the time out to pick up the first book in the series and i’m pleasantly surprised that actually did enjoy it a fair bit. The Clockwork Angel isn’t revolutionary by any means and it’s definitely not breaking the ground in terms of plot devices used and the progression of the story but something it did quite well were the character relationships and the characters themselves.

I took to Jem from the get go. I really enjoyed his character and do wish we got more of him. His counterpart Will, on the other hand was not my cup of tea. I found him to be superbly arrogant and I know that’s his character and there’s probably some deep, dark secret lurking in his personality but it still doesn’t excuse much of his actions. The other characters especially Charlotte and Henry were really endearing and I did appreciate much of the London institute household. Ignore the wording but you know what I mean. When it comes to our main protagonist, Tessa Gray, I have some mixed feelings. I like that Cassie gave her a subtle strength that more possibly resembles a girl of that time but there were things that she said and did and accused people of were a tad annoying and sometimes even uncalled for. I don’t entirely dislike her nor am I in love with her instead I’d quite like to see where the author takes her character next.

There’s not much to say in terms of the story. I found our antagonist/antagonists to be very underwhelming and expected so much more. The stakes didn’t feel high enough. It was just about okay. It’s the characters’ journey that was far more engaging and the reason I kept reading. Also, I can’t deny the fact that I did fly through it. So despite the few gripes I have, it was ultimately a pretty addictive book and I do plan on going on.

The Chemical Drones ll HashWrite

Name: The Chemical Drones
Author: HashWrite
Published By: Notionpress
Series: Stand-alone
Genre: Children’s Lit
Rating: ★★★★ (4/5)

BOOOM! BANGGG! BOOOM!

When a mischief lands Grade IV at the WonderWiz school in trouble, the Chemical Drones must save the day. Of course, it cannot be done in haste and without a plan. All of Grade IV comes together to hatch a plan.

What follows is a rollercoaster ride—ups and downs, fun, surprises and little miracles. Meet the Chemical Drones on their adventures. Explore WonderWiz and have fun at the Blitz. Find out if the Chemical Drones really save the day. 

In all honesty, I personally believe that writing books for children is one of the toughest things to do. Not only do you have to make it super fun and interesting but you have to also put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and write stories that will tickle their fancy. I think ‘The Chemical Drones’ does just that. It blends together humor, friendship and tackling harsh situations with subtle lessons to be learnt along the way

What really stood out to me was the use of technology to truly depict the children of today. A lot of children’s books tend to keep technology out of their pages when a child is now more adept at using phones, ipads, etc than their parents. Something that I also noticed was while the prose was really easy and simple to follow, the author incorporated some bigger words to help children build their vocabulary along the way. It was both an enjoyable read as well as a sufficiently educational one.

Usually children’s books are also loaded with moral values and lessons that they can take away with them. While that’s all fun and dandy, these books make a point to shove morals down children’s throats. ‘The Chemical Drones’ fortunately takes the time to teach children the value of friendship, to not lose hope in harsher times and to let go of your ego to help others but does so in ways that are subtle without taking away from the essence of the story. Would truly recommend it for younger readers especially between the ages of 6-8. Not only is it tons of fun, our main protagonists Sasha, Raj, Tanny, Debbie and Sam were all very relatable kids and the story was thoroughly enchanting!

Top Ten Tuesday: Classics For Beginners

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl and today’s prompt was ‘Genre Freebie’ which basically meant we could pick any genre of our choosing and build a list around it. I chose Classics because I personally started reading classics about three-four years ago, prior to which I always maintained my distance from it. This was either due to how intimidated I was or because I deemed classics to not be leisure reads. But this isn’t the case any longer and since reading so many wonderful ones, I thought I might recommend a few classics that are great for beginners who are jumping into the world of classics or planning to do so.

1) The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
This is one of my favourite classics of all time and I do recommend it to anyone starting out with classics. The writing is pretty simple to follow, the book is really short and the story will suck you in. There are also a great many adaptations of the book you can check out. I know the adaptation by Baz Luhrmann isn’t the most beloved but I personally had a blast seeing it. It’s somewhat on the longer side but totally worth your time.

2) Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
Usually questions like ‘which your favourite book?’ stump me because there are millions to choose from but if there really was one I had to pick up, it would be Wuthering Heights. If gothic themes tickle your fancy this might be the novel for you but please don’t mistake it for a romance because it’s not. This is a book with vile characters and morally questionable relationships and unreliable narrators but oh, Emily Bronte makes it so good!

3) Northanger Abbey or Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Okay, Jane Austen is a popular place to start and I totally support that. For one, there are ten million (not really but you get the drift) adaptations of her novels and if you’re someone who has a hard time getting into classics, watching the movie or the tv series alongside or after or before reading the novel can be particularly helpful. Northanger Abbey was one of the first classics I read and I fell in love with it immediately. The heroine is hugely relatable and Mr. Tilney is a complete dream and Northanger Abbey is also one of her shorter novels. For Pride and Prejudice, I don’t think I need to explain why. It’s a staple classic and Mr. Darcy has or is at some point been everyone’s fictional boyfriend.

4) Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
I think by this time it’s pretty well-known that Frankenstein was not the monster and was in fact, the creator of the monster but I’d still like reiterate the fact. Frankenstein is gothic horror at it’s finest. There’s so much to uncover in this novel in terms of character morality, broken societies and what in fact makes one a monster. It’s a wonderfully crafted nested story and I really think one of the finest classics ever written.

5) Far From The Madding Crowd by Thomas Hardy
Thomas Hardy’s novel Far From The Madding Crowd sucked me right into the story. It was fun following this larger than life character called Bathsheba Everdene and her three suitors who were all from different classes, walks of life and had wildly different personalities.

6) The Invisible Man by HG Wells
A classic sci-fi novel that’s both short and has a truly enticing storyline to keep you hooked from the very beginning. Also that damned end is crazy when you go back to how the novel even started. It also interestingly echoes some semblance of Frankenstein but we see the scientist here go on a crazy pursuit to apply his experiments on himself instead of getting himself a ‘monster.’ Fascinating stuff.

7) A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
This is a holiday classic that I think everyone and their mothers know about and there’s not much I have to say about it than the fact that it’s wholesome, it brings about the Christmas spirit and I love Dickens. It’s a really short novel unlike what Dickens is known for and while I would like to sneak in a recommendation for ‘A Tale Of Two Cities’ and ‘Great Expectations’, a Christmas carol is perfectly great way to start with the author.

8) Alice In Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
This is a children’s classic that I absolutely fell in love with when we had to read it for class. It’s whimsical, it’s weird, it’s magical and will boggle your head up. In terms of character, most aren’t likeable but that doesn’t make them any less interesting. There’s honestly so much to Alice in Wonderland than what meets the eye and Lewis Caroll brings up so many important discussions that you might have not caught reading the book as kid.

9) The Tenant Of Wildfell Hall by Anne Bronte
Anne Bronte is seriously such an underrated Bronte sister and I don’t know why?! The tenant of wildfell hall was a novel that I thought might not be as good because it doesn’t have the praise and appreciation that the other novels have but man, was I wrong! It was deliciously gothic with perhaps my favourite Bronte heroine and a storyline that at it’s core follows a woman standing up for herself against patriarchy, societal expectations of what a woman can or cannot be and an abusive relationship.

10) And Then There Were None by Agatha Christie
Do I need even say this? It’s terrific, just go read it. And then there were none was such a gripping thriller with an absolutely mind-boggling murder mystery. It had me hooked and I think I might have read it in one sitting. Highly recommend!

Top Ten Tuesday: Spring 2020 TBR

This is my first venture into Top Ten Tuesday hosted by the amazing That Arsty Reader Girl. Today’s topic was Spring 2020 TBR and it seemed like a perfect way to enter TTT. There’s a lot that I want to get done considering my TBR is intimidating as heck but the list below seems like a good place to begin my showdown.

1) To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee
I’m at this point and time possibly the only human in this world who hasn’t read this book. It’s been on my TBR for literal ages and honestly it hurts to say that i’m a tad embarrassed to have never read it before. But this year seems like the year to get through with this one.

2) Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare
Another one that I have been meaning to read for a long while now. I have never read a Cassandra Clare book (Or I sort of have read a couple here and there but that was literal years ago) and kinda of want to dive into her Shadowhunter-verse or whatever it’s called. With all the hype for Chain of Gold I really want to know what’s up and the infernal devices seemed like a good place to start.

3) Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

4) Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

5) Persuasion by Jane Austen
Completing the complete works of Jane Austen is high on my TBR list. If I get through both Persuasion and Mansfield Park I’d have done just that.

6) Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

7) The Girl Of Hawthorne and Glass by Adan Jerreat-Poole
I got this ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review and I’m really looking forward to what the book has to offer. The premise seems super exciting!

8) A Feast For Crows – George RR Martin
One of my major goals for this year is complete the entire ‘A song of ice and fire’ and I think i’m doing pretty alright so far. Here’s hoping I keep up the momentum. Also fingers crossed for The Winds of Winter yelp

9) Norwegian Wood by Haruki Murakami
Once again lemme put you through a shocker and say I have never read a Murakami in my life. Yup, I’m a disgrace. But I really want to change that and Spring seems like a good month to turn things around.

10) Basti by Intizar Husain
This is a part of my reading to do for uni so I need to get it done before exams shower in. I’m a bit scared to dive into this one as I’ve heard it’s dense but wish me luck guys!