Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Verity by Colleen Hoover- Book Review

VerityVerity by Colleen Hoover
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

So I read Verity. It's a good thing to not have a fixed TBR. Anyway, coming to the story, not sure if I should say it was good or okay. The opening was gruesome yet detached, and that set the tone for the rest of the book. I was involved in the story, even thought about it during the sleep. But somewhere towards the end, I began to lose the involvement. Maybe I was looking for a twist, so the ending wasn't a surprise. Or rather I'd say the last chapter. The ending isn't an end. It stops at a place where the author can start a sequel if she wishes to.
It is dark and comes with a lot of trigger warnings. I admire the writing style of Verity's personal story. Lowen, not a much. She sounded like a teenager or someone in the early 20s. I could see traces of the heroine from It Ends With Us in her.
As a writer, I tried to relate to Lowen, but that didn't happen either. She talks about it only in the beginning. Her world seemed to revolve around Jeremy. The characters are all gray, and despite that none of them feel real.
This is a brave attempt. The last chapter is a favorite for the reason that it does talks about the writer's mind and how others don't seem to be able to understand that a writer is different from their writings.
I've read quite graphic stuff before, but it did get boring after a while in this book. It felt as if Hoover was trying to cover the lack of depth in characters by using sex as a diversion tactic.
Another thing that irked me was the abundance of adverbs. (I'm kinda obsessed). But when you read 4 adverbs in a 5-line paragraph at the beginning of the book, it leaves a bad taste. At least as the story progressed, I could focus less on them. Overall, Verity is the only interesting character in the book (and Crew, of course). 3.5- 3.7 stars.

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Sunday, January 26, 2020

Drifting Into the Unknown

What I'm supposed to write about the past decade? The question haunted me long enough after I signed up for the event. Not being the kind to bare my soul, writing about me wasn't appealing. A story sounded great if only my brain could churn something before the deadline. Struggling with a half-written story is bad enough (got less than two days to hope for a miracle). Yikes! 

But I already joined the team, and no way I was going to step back after the event started. At least I had the sense to pick a day halfway through the event.

And... Here we go into the past...

2010 started with yet another canceled exam session (for the third time). It was the year we ended up giving exams for three semesters, organized a college fest, a farewell event for the seniors and a freshers event for the juniors, had an eye-opening experience in the corporate that lasted less than a week and worked on the HR project. Phew! 

The next year gave me an MBA degree and a broken leg. Spending a quarter of a year confined to bed with a cast on the leg was no fun. Ugh! 
The less we talk about 2012, the better. I read loads of books and idled, dabbling in writing, drawing, and did nothing productive. 

From 2013 to 2015, I found a sense of purpose by getting an MA in English Literature via distance mode. Loved studying on my own without attending any classes. The freedom! 
Yet again, the question of what next haunted me. Should I write? What should I write? Can I continue my long-forgotten blog (the same one you're reading now. I revamped it)? Should I do something else? Of course, I continued to read like a maniac and played Criminal Case on Facebook. That's an addictive game, I tell you. 

Let's fast forward again to mid-2016. A chance comment by a neighbor gave me an idea for a blog series. One day, I hope it'll become a book. 

2017 was when things began to come together (or so it seemed back then :/ ). Finding a Writer's group gave me the chance to step into the writing field with determination. The feedback I received on my writing ensured my feet were firmly on the ground. I had a looong way to go. NaNoWriMo was another experience that told me I could indeed complete a novel no matter how horrible the draft reads now. It was my first ever full-length novel! (I'm a short story person)

Grammarly came into my life that year-end and stated with me ever since. The best thing about free versions is that we've got to use our brains to figure out where the errors are and how to clear them. That's when I realized I don't like too many adverbs in the stories. Now, I'm hovering on the edge of becoming an editing freak. Agh! 

2018 and 2019 made me a part of quite a few anthologies. I even published two ebooks- Violets in Hand and The House of Justice on Amazon. Selling them is no small task. Sigh! My minor marketing degree isn't helping (or maybe I'm not putting enough effort)

I've made new friends, stayed in touch with some of the old ones, drifted away from others, and tried my best to keep away from negative people (not easy, as I find them in plenty). 

In between those 'What Should I Do With Life' moments...

Did I mention my cookery YouTube channel in between? Yeah, mom and I cooked, and I made videos and wrote recipes (here). It's pretty dormant now, but I love to cook and bake. Chocolate cake is always welcome (if I don't have to clean up afterward). 

Do you know learning Russian isn't easy? Spanish is interesting and has some words similar to Sanskrit and Telugu. 

Making bookmarks is so much fun! I've loved creating and gifting them to friends. DIYs are a great way to relax.

This year of 2020...

Having a paperback exclusively to my name is the biggest aim. Can I do it before the year ends? That is a question I'd rather answer with some action instead of words. 
After boring you enough with my story, I'd like to thank you for reading this (not so planned) long post. Before you leave, tell me about that one thing you've always wanted to do in 2020.


“This post is a part of ‘DECADE Blog Hop’ #DecadeHop organised by #RRxMM Rashi Roy and Manas Mukul. The Event is sponsored by Glo and co-sponsored by Beyond The BoxWedding ClapThe Colaba Store and Sanity Daily in association with authors Piyusha Vir and Richa S Mukherjee”

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Snowflake Memories

Snow, Winter, Mittens, Snowflake, Cold, Season
Picture credit- Pixabay 

She ran
Across the snow
To catch
A snowflake.

Of Nature
They were,
Her mother said.

Holding one
Her tiny fist
She jumped in joy.

Alas, tears
Spilled into
Empty palms
Staring at her.

How and why
She wondered;
The gift vanished.
Along with her mother.

Monday, January 6, 2020

The Rose

Picture Credit: Pixabay

I found
This rose
Sitting idle there
Among the marigolds

It inclined its head
At me
Regally, expecting
Me to bow down

With a smile
I cut
The stem
And pocket the rose

Walking away
A tune
As the rose pouts.

Saturday, December 28, 2019

More Unfairy Tales by TF Carthick- Book Review

Who doesn’t love fairy tales? The popularity of these age-old tales is evident in the numerous retellings that are being read, appreciated, and bashed all over the world. From high fantasy to erotica to horror, writers retold the tales in various genres.

More Unfairy Tales is no different. Yet, it is super fun and interesting. Five of the famous fairy tales have been turned into ‘unfairy’ tales. Now, it doesn’t mean there are no fairies. The title has been selected with a deeper meaning. These tales show how life can be unfair, and we can do nothing much about it. Or, maybe we can do something. But the course of action we decide finalizes our fate and others.

Don’t jump to conclusions and call this a serious book. I did say it was fun, didn’t I? The stories happen to have an underlying hint of how a single thought and action can cause a huge impact. The writing suits the genre and with subtle humor and mild satire that highlights particular traits of the characters. This adds multiple layers to the unidimensional original witches, fairies, and princesses.

While we see the Point of View of the dwarfs about Snow White, we also see how humans can be stupid, vain, and dangerous.

Have you ever thought why the witch turned the Prince into a Beast? Did you wonder what would have happened if the Beauty said no to the Beast? Well, you don’t have to wonder anymore.

What if Little Red Riding Hood found out that grandma was indeed a wolf? What if the villagers actually hated her because of her red hair?

Did anybody bother to see the evil witch from her perspective in Rapunzel? Why can’t a witch be a good mother? Maybe, she can. Maybe, she is.

Was there a single thing the elves did that did not create a mess? Nope, we know. It’s the same thing all over again. They never seem to learn, do they? To be (un) fair, if they did learn, we wouldn’t have these stories to read.

Overall, more Unfairy Tales is a clean, engaging, and humorous read. Kids, teens, and adults can read and enjoy the book.

I received the book as a gift for winning 'Not a Fairy Tale' contest hosted by Beyond the Box

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Death at Midnight by Manoj Paprikar- Book Review

Death At MidnightDeath At Midnight by Manoj Paprikar
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

*4.5 stars*

Death at Midnight is a small, yet packed thriller that deals with the psychology of people. It's not a psychopath thriller. I'm done with those for a while. This book is about the people around us. The kind we know, see on the telly, or gossip about. I'm going to try and avoid spoilers, so the review will be a bit vague.

One theme that stands out is the pressure on doctors to save a life and the repercussions they face when things go out of their hands. We've seen many instances in the news about families destroying hospitals because their dear ones weren't saved. People are always ready to destroy things that don't belong to them.

Many times, as audiences, we wonder and pass judgment on either party with little or no information. But do we really know what had happened? Do we know what each of them, on either side goes through? No.

This book deals with how one decision, one incident, and one action change the lives of the people connected to it. The writing is neat, clean, and straightforward. You won't find any drama, and that makes this book a hit in my view. When the reader is left to feel the pain of the characters in a simple and no-nonsense manner, it creates more impact.

Visualizing the characters is easy. I could see each one of them talk, move, cry, and think as I read page after page. The first few chapters deal with introducing the characters and establishing their traits. By the time the story is at a high point, we know how they'll react. The author doesn't plan any surprises to throw us off balance. Another plus.

So is there anything I wanted more from the book? Yes. One character I thought would play a prominent role wasn't utilized to her full potential. I wished she was more involved during the later stages of the story. It doesn't take anything away from the story, though.

The ending is positive, assertive, hopeful, and leaves you feeling satisfied. Exactly, the kind of books I like to read. Considering that the author is a doctor himself, it's not surprising that he handled the theme with ease. I finished the book in less than 2 hours.

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If you are looking for a quick weekend read that'll make you think, Death at Midnight by Manoj Paprikar is your book.