October 09, 2015

The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh | A Review

Please welcome my dear friend Aparna, who is here with another new review. This time it is The Wrath and The Dawn by Renee Ahdieh.

Title: The wrath and The Dawn
Author: Renee Ahdiem
Genres: Romance, Y.A, Folktales and folklore, Fantasy
Buy from: Amazon

A sumptuous and epically told love story inspired by A Thousand and One Nights

Every dawn brings horror to a different family in a land ruled by a killer. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, takes a new bride each night only to have her executed at sunrise. So it is a suspicious surprise when sixteen-year-old Shahrzad volunteers to marry Khalid. But she does so with a clever plan to stay alive and exact revenge on the Caliph for the murder of her best friend and countless other girls. Shazi’s wit and will, indeed, get her through to the dawn that no others have seen, but with a catch . . . she’s falling in love with the very boy who killed her dearest friend.

She discovers that the murderous boy-king is not all that he seems and neither are the deaths of so many girls. Shazi is determined to uncover the reason for the murders and to break the cycle once and for all.

Here is the review.

This book is rather hard for me to rate.It started out so well that I was sure this will end up as one of my favourites.The story,the language,the characters,everything was just so perfect.But somewhere along the way,the characters lost their initial charm.I still loved it,still finished it in one setting ,but at the end,what I felt was that it could have been something more.

The author has done an excellent job in creating a story which is so similar,yet completely different from the 'Arabian Nights'.The focus here is not on the tales,but the budding romance between Shahrzad(Shazi) and Khalid.It is portrayed exceptionally well.Yet,by the middle of it,I felt that there was too much romance and little else.Both Shazi and Khalid seemed to have forgotten everything else but each other.Even though completely justified,the transformation of Shazi from a scheming and vindictive girl to a lovesick one was a little hard for me to stomach.But who can object?Amor vincit omnia!

The characterisation of Khalid,the cursed hero is exemplary.His inner struggles and growth is real and palpable to the reader.

The Wrath and the Dawn is a beautiful,seductive romance with an ending that left me gasping and yearning for more.My only complaint is that it didn't deliver as much as it promised.

Rating 3.5/5

September 30, 2015

A Negotiated Marriage by Noelle Adams | A Review

So, the reason I read this book was because I was going to start a very tough classic and I wanted something quick to read before that. And since I am a big fan of arranged marriage trope, I decide to  choose one from the Goodreads list.

Given below are my own unbiased opinions.

Title: A Negotiated Marriage
Author: Noelle Adams
Genre: Romance
Pages: 134
Buy From: Amazon

A USA Today bestseller. 

Sex wasn’t supposed to be part of the deal. 

Three years into a marriage of convenience, Molly’s high-powered CEO husband wants to add a new term to their marriage agreement. Sex—without any messy emotional entanglements. But weekly sex with Luke, despite their carefully negotiated terms, is likely to get messy eventually. 

Content in a mutually beneficial arrangement, Molly isn’t going to fall for Luke the way she fell for an old lover, only to be crushed in the end. She vows to stay strong, no matter how much intimacy develops between them in bed. When her old lover returns, finally wanting a real relationship, Molly has the chance to give her heart to a man who will accept it. 

It’s too bad she now wants to give it to her husband, who has never admitted her heart is what he wants.

I have mixed emotions about the book. On one hand I absolutely adored Luke, but on the other hand I felt that the author had not done a good job on completely removing the veil between the readers and the characters.
On one hand I felt like meh after reading this but on the other hand, some scenes from the book kept replaying itself in my mind. 
I guess it was just one of those books, that felt flat while reading but had many memorable scenes that may make me cherish this book. As I said , it opened a mixed bag of motions.

So, I will make a list of pros and cons and you can decide for yourself, if you want to read ( it was 100 something pages and took me less than two hours. So, you don't have to invest much time in this). 

  • The story starts, not when they enter a fake marriage but three years after it. I love this unique little twist.
  • The characters were well developed. I loved the fact that Molly had her own job and could stand on her own feet even without her billionaire husband's help. She was an independent career woman who did not like taking her husbands money, since she believed she was not in a real marriage.
  •  Luke was adorable.
  • Even though it was told from Molly's point of view, I could understand Luke's perspective too. The author has done a wonderful job on that. It reminded me of Tangled by Emma Chase, where despite being told from the hero's POV, you could understand the heroine's emotions as clear as the sky ( although the hero was not as perceptive as us. Hihi)
  • It was short.
  • It was short, so the author, instead of showing many scenes has told them. Molly says that she is heartbroken about her ex-flame but the past scenes are not really well shown. She says that Luke is shy and charming but its not strongly shown. So many things were told that I felt like I was reading through a detailed summary of the novel.
  • It had potential, so much potential, if only the author had quit writing the novel, as if it was an essay.
  • In the blurb, it says about the returning ex-flame, but that dude just has a few lines utmost. He is just there as an excuse for Molly and Luke to get married, and then again to provide material for the pivotal moment.
  • There was almost no character development of the secondary characters. I understand that the length of the book was a limitation, but it cannot be an excuse, considering the amount of words spent on describing frivolous things. It was like a movie with only two characters but with lots and lots of cameos ( Reminded me of Madonna's song- Bitch I am Madonna, I came to know about the barely 2 second cameos in it, after I saw its parody)
  • The book fell flat to me.

So, My final rating would be 

Rating: 1/5

 Well on second thought I am changing my rating on account of the few memorable scenes.

Final Rating: 2/5

Now I am going to read my classic.

September 27, 2015

Super Sunday- Super Covers#12

Hey, I am back with another Super Cover day.  It was so hard to choose a cover this time. But at the end, the one cover whose details lay in its subtlety caught my eyes. Simple, Elegant and Eye catching. The cover of Magonia by Maria Dahvana Headley is simply beautiful and hence will be featured this Sunday.

Name: Magonia

Author: Maria Dahvana Headley

Genre: Fantasy, Myth and Legends

Pages: 320

Buy from: Amazon

Now let us see what the book is about;

Maria Dahvana Headley's soaring YA debut is a fiercely intelligent, multilayered fantasy where Neil Gaiman's Stardust meets John Green's The Fault in Our Stars in a story about a girl caught between two worlds . . . two races . . . and two destinies.
Aza Ray Boyle is drowning in thin air. Since she was a baby, Aza has suffered from a mysterious lung disease that makes it ever harder for her to breathe, to speak—to live. So when Aza catches a glimpse of a ship in the sky, her family chalks it up to a cruel side effect of her medication. But Aza doesn't think this is a hallucination. She can hear someone on the ship calling her name.
Only her best friend, Jason, listens. Jason, who's always been there. Jason, for whom she might have more-than-friendly feelings. But before Aza can consider that thrilling idea, something goes terribly wrong. Aza is lost to our world—and found, by another. Magonia.
Above the clouds, in a land of trading ships, Aza is not the weak and dying thing she was. In Magonia, she can breathe for the first time. Better, she has immense power—but as she navigates her new life, she discovers that war between Magonia and Earth is coming. In Aza's hands lies fate of the whole of humanity—including the boy who loves her. Where do her loyalties lie?

What do think about the cover. Is it eye catching? Which is your favourite cover.

 Let me know, so that I can feature them here.

September 24, 2015

The Iron King by Julie Kagawa | A Review

This review was written by Aparna,  my dear friend and fellow book reader. She is the one who recommends most of the books I read, books I end up loving. So, I am really happy to have here here as a co-reviewer.
The book she is going to review today is the first in the Iron Fey series, The Iron King by Julie Kagawa.

Name: The Iron King (Book 1 in Iron Fey series)
Author: Julie Kagawa
Genres:Fantasy romance, Urban fantasy-Fae
Buy From: Amazon


Something has always felt slightly off in Meghan's life, ever since her father disappeared before her eyes when she was six. She has never quite fit in at school…or at home. 

When a dark stranger begins watching her from afar and her prankster best friend becomes strangely protective of her, Meghan senses that everything she's known is about to change. But she could never have guessed the truth. 

For Meghan is the daughter of a mythical faery king…and a pawn in a deadly war. Now Meghan will learn just how far she'll go to save someone she cares about, stop a mysterious evil no faery creature dare face…and find love with a young prince who might rather see her dead than let her touch his icy heart.

 You know something is not right when you finish a book and realize that the most interesting character in it is a cat.Especially when you don't even really like cats.

This book is a mess of mixed feelings for me.It is the story of a girl who ventures into faery land to rescue her little brother,where she finds out that (gasp) she is a faery princess.Along the way,she falls headlong into adventures and meets many dangerous magical creatures.

What ruined it for me was the heroine- Meghan.Honestly,are all sixteen-year-olds supposed to be shallow and dumb?Even though she grows a spine occasionally,Meghan has a dangerous tendency to turn into a damsel in distress- a species which I have no patience for.

Her bestie,Puck, is a character with great potential, which sadly the author left unexplored.His fun and carefree nature is addictive but the focus is more on the other guy,Ash.

Ash is the typical YA hero with incredible good looks, fighting skills and a dark past.The chemistry between Ash and Meghan is slow burning and quite well-written.

And of course,Grimalkin!(aka the talking cat).He seemed to be the only one with a head on his shoulders which is capable of sound thought process.
He is cunning,scheming,arrogant,selfish and is generally way cooler than both the heroes of the book.

The book is fast-paced,engrossing and definitely a page turner.The plot,the settings are all good but the characters are not well-rounded and remain rather bland.All in all,The Iron King is a book which keeps you interested long enough to pick up the next book in the series, but not enough to root for the characters themselves.

Rating: 3/5

September 20, 2015

Super Sunday- Super Covers#11

This cover stopped me in my tracks and made me notice. Something about the cover,  the elegant font, the rose petals, the woman not in a gown made this memorable enough for me to remember this book after so much time.

The book is Impervious by Laura Kirwan, the first in the City of Eldrich series.

Name: Impervious
Author: Laura Kirwan
Genre: Fantasy romance, urban fantasy
Buy from: Amazon

Here is what the story is about,

“Why couldn't she get me?” 
“Magic doesn't work on you. You're impervious . . .” 

Meaghan Keele faces menopause with no husband, no kids, and a job she hates. At her brother's request, Meaghan moves from Arizona to Pennsylvania to help care for their dying father, taking over his job as lawyer for the tiny town of Eldrich. 

What Meaghan doesn't know is that law was merely her father's day job. Gateways to magical worlds riddle the forests surrounding Eldrich. Unaffected by magic—impervious—her father spent decades mediating magical disputes and guarding the human world. Without his imposing presence, old enemies are stirring. 

Impervious, like her father, Meaghan soon senses that everyone around her is keeping secrets. A shocking confrontation on her first day of work quickly clues her in to her new reality. Her office manager and her secretary are witches. Jamie, her handsome young assistant, isn't exactly human. Eldrich City Hall is haunted. And Meaghan is expected to take over both of her father's jobs. 

Struggling to accept her destiny, Meaghan is soon drawn into a brutal struggle in another world and a growing attaction to John Smith—exiled king, town drunk, and Jamie's estranged father. 
And she thought life in Eldrich would be dull . . .

This cover is in direct contrast to the last one i posted. Which featured a teenage heroine, with hair of gold( it is part of who she is, can you guess?)and wearing a stunning,shimmering gown. Find out here.

While this cover features a woman and not a girl, with short hair and sensible work clothes. But more than that, it was attention paid to the detail tht made me fall in love. The elegant curves and angles of the font, the carelessly flying rose petals and mysterious forest towards which, she is walking to.
What do you think about the cover? are there any covers you want to see featured here, let me know below.
P.s: This is her second books cover, which is also pretty good.

I love the play of lights here, it gives you a very ethereal feel, doesn't t?

September 17, 2015

Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor| A Review

I have been hearing about this book for a while now, but never had I reached around to reading it. So finally I decided to put all my other books on hold and decided to give it a go ( The fact that my exams were going on and I was in a mood to procrastinate had nothing to do with it). Before plunging into the review, let me give you the basic details about the book.

Title: Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Author: Laini Taylor

Genres: Fantasy romance, Fairytales and Folklore

Pages: 448

Buy from: Amazon

Around the world, black handprints are appearing on doorways, scorched there by winged strangers who have crept through a slit in the sky.

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low.

And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherwordly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious "errands", she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actuallygrows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

When beautiful, haunted Akiva fixes fiery eyes on her in an alley in Marrakesh, the result is blood and starlight, secrets unveiled, and a star-crossed love whose roots drink deep of a violent past. But will Karou live to regret learning the truth about herself?

Laini Taylor's writing has ruined me for everyone else. Sigh.

That said this was an almost five star for me. If I had rated the book halfway through
I would have definitely given it five stars. But after the halfway mark the story dragged a little. I understand the need for the detour, but it slowed the book down and made it lose a star.

I should probably skip reviewing her writing, because it was beautiful and perfect. Not so Shakespearean as to make us pull out our hair in frustration, but poetic enough to make one fall in love. Even though I wanted to devour this book, I forced myself to read slowly. Because I wanted to savour each sentence. see this example.

Now onto the characters. In most books I find that the only the lead characters are well fleshed out. That is not so in this case. Everyone from the Brimstone to Zuzana and even Razgut the fallen was well written. It is very easy to distinguish each one from their speech patterns. And I love Zuzana, we both agree that If there is no chocolate, then It is not breakfast.

The main characters are so unique. From Karou's Blue hair to Akiva's tiger eyes, early in the book itself we get a sense of their uniqueness, and a peek into their mind will only enhance this feeling. I will just summarize in two sentences why you should read Karou's and Akiva's story.

My friend who is a very picky reader, crushes on Akiva.
And I find Karou to be a realistic and mature heroine, not at all irritating ( thank god for that).

So read this story,
For its unique storyline,
for its lovable cast of characters 
for the writing and world building and
for the twist at the end.

Rating: 4/5
P.S: I hate the blurb they have given for the book. I almost didn't read because of it. It makes the book sound very weird and alien. It is different concept but when you read it, it wont feel as weird as the blurb is making it sound.

This books has a lot of different covers, depending on the country. I didn't like the one for India, but this one is awesome. anyone knows which country it belongs to?

March 01, 2015

Super Sunday-Super Covers#10

Super Sunday is back and this time I have another gorgeous cover for you. When I selected this cover, a thought struck my mind. Almost always, I select a book where the heroine is seen in a stunning outfit(ballgown or ninja outfit). What about you? Which are the books covers that attracts you. Leave your thoughts down below.

The book I have chosen this time is Towering by Alex Flinn. It is a modern retelling of Rapunzel and Alex Flinn is the bestselling author of Beastly which had been adapted into a film starring Vanessa Hudgens and Alex Pettyfer.


Name: Towering
Author: Alex Flinn
Genres: Retelling & Adaptations, Paranormal romance
Pages: 304
Publisher: Harper Teen
Buy From: Amazon.com

What the story is about?

New York Times #1 bestselling author Alex Flinn reimagined the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast inBeastly and gave a twist to the story of Sleeping Beauty in A Kiss in Time. Now with her gothic and darkly romantic YA novel Towering, Alex Flinn retells the tale of Rapunzel.
When Rachel was taken to live in a tower by a woman she calls Mama, she was excited. She felt like a princess in a castle. But many years later, Rachel knows her palace is really a prison, and begins to plan her escape. She is encouraged by the speed with which her golden hair has been growing. It's gotten long enough to reach the ground. And she's begun dreaming of a green-eyed man. Could he be out there in the world? Is he coming to save her? Or will she find a way to save herself?

P.S: To keep getting info about more such beauties, you can sign up or follow me on twitter or fb. 
Thanks in advance.