The Queen of The Tearling [Tearling #1] by Erika Johansen: A review

The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1)The Queen of the Tearling by Erika Johansen
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Genre : Fantasy, Magic
Audience: Mature (18+)
Type : Series (Book 1)
My rating: 5 of 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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An incredibly intense fantasy story that is partly coming-of-age and partly magic. It has everything – adventure, thrill, mystery and a beautiful romance.

I loved this book from the first page. I just knew that any book that begins with a nice map was going to be an epic read. And I was right!

This book has all the making of the first book in a series –
1) introduces characters
2) keeps the background of characters a secret (to be revealed in book 2 and 3)
3) sets up the pre-war scenario
4) raises more questions than answers (again, to be revealed in book 2 and 3)
5) has humor

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This was not an easy read. I had to plough through chapters that spoke of some terrible things. It was definitely for mature audiences. The plot kept me at the edge of my seat because it had many unexpected and unpredictable twists. The pacing was a slow-burn. It took its own time to set-up events and introduce characters. I loved the characters especially Carlin and Barty whose characters were developed without even their presence. If that isn’t good writing then I don’t know what is! The story carried an excellent narrative that (despite its slow pace) didn’t bore me at all. There was enough history, background and mystery to keep me engaged.

My Reading Experience:

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Things I liked about the book –

1) The chemistry between Mace and Kelsea
2) The mysterious magic
3) Kelsea’s humour
4) Badass heroine
5) Badass heroine’s love for books
6) Treason (what good is a royal story without treason?)

I would say that after reading the likes of Harry Potter and The Kingkiller Chronicles, I was starved for some good magic fantasy series that isn’t fully YA and The Queen of Tearling was the perfect answer.

The Queen of The Tearling was like taking the first bite of home food after being away for so long. It satiated my hunger of magic, fantasy, historical fiction, medieval times and royalty.

Emma Watson has agreed to do a film series of the same name!! She said this back in 2013. The movie is still under works and I’m hoping it will come out soon. See what she said about this series (I couldn’t agree more)

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The Selection [The Selection #1] by Kiera Cass: A review

The Selection (The Selection, #1)The Selection by Kiera Cass
My rating: 1 of 5 stars
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What a complete rip-off!

I can’t even begin to tell you how much this book plagiarized The Hunger Games – the unwilling girl selected at ‘random’ from different castes; the girl doing this for the family’s sake so that they can have a little more money; the love interest back at home and the royal love interest; the love triangle; the interviews, and the attention to the dress!

I can’t even. No.

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All this book is a pretty cover to look at. Just as shallow as the vicera. I can truly say that the enchanting book cover is all there is to it and I would much rather look at the pretty covers for hours than read another installment of The Selection.

It was such a mistake to pick this up. It’s not at all what I like to read.
Sorry The Selection fans, I am going to pass.

The Hobbit by J.R.R.Tolkein: My journey

The Hobbit (Middle-Earth Universe)The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien
My rating: 4 of 5 stars⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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I’m just happy to have read this book. It has been an honor to read Tolkein’s work. An incredible journey of Bilbo Baggins, the Hobbit and the thirteen dwarves. There can be no greater pleasure than to just read one of the best literary works.

 

Here is my journey –

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White Teeth by Zadie Smith: A review

White TeethWhite Teeth by Zadie Smith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐
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White Teeth is the story of three families – the Jones, the Iqbals and the Chalfens – in post war England. And my, what a story they each have to tell! 
Overall review:
As a reader, you have to give this book some time. It is a slow, SLOW read, but trust me, it gets better.

You see, when I was reading White Teeth, I didn’t feel like reading any other book. It felt like I was somehow cheating on this incredible book somehow, and some part of me was also afraid that Alsana was going to jump out of the pages and scold me. Yes, it was that gripping. And I was completely invested in this tale for as long as I read it.

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In-depth review:
The book starts off with the first generation Jones and the Iqbals and how they come to be good family friends. In the first few chapters, the narrative of Mr.Archie Jones is – how do I put this – quite bland. It was really boring, much like the English with their stoic faces and stiff upper lips. I can understand how many readers would fall off at this point.

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Somehow, I persisted. And boy, am I glad that I did. As we read about their lives, we begin to understand the real problems of immigrants from the Iqbals’ POV. Samad Iqbal! You wacky, sonorous, proud but dirty fascist! Oh, don’t look at me like that. If you read his story, you would say the same of him too. What I loved about White Teeth is that, the entire voice of the book changed when it switched from Archie’s to Iqbal’s narrative. Suddenly, the lines were alive and animated. The parts with Alsana and Iqbal are truly rib-tickling. I could almost recite word for word what Alsana would say. This husband-wife duo were one of the most realistic couples that I’ve ever read.

Some of the laugh-worthy moments are in the beginning of Samad’s narrative. Although I appreciate the heavy dose of humor, I felt like the novel housed all possible jokes on Indians/English. Sometimes, even at the expense of the progress of the story.

Speaking of humor, it was so readily available. The setting was already there. The jokes are already there. All Zadie has to do was juxtapose of the two different worlds of the ruddy English and the grovelling Bangladeshis, to create comedy. Zadie did an excellent job. Her understanding of the many cultures and the human equations in each culture is extraordinary.

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The story was forever branching out into distant arcs, anecdotes and facts. But it was fun. It kept me engaged. Zadie, the storyteller, also knew how to bring the reader’s focus back. So that was good.

 

The thing about White Teeth though, is that there is no real plot. It’s only an account of the lives of the two families in London. It was a fresh take on modern novels. I was growing tired of cliffhangers and villains who threatened to destroy the world. This novel is such a humble hat tip to Dickens and his like. I always love stories which have humor at their heart. In this story, there are so many complications and terrible things that happen to the characters, but Zadie found the funniest perspective in all of them. Kudos!

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I expected more out of Irie because of the mix up in her genes. A great combination of fire and ice in the half-jamaican and half-British girl. But she was a major disappointment. Irie could’ve been much more. I wonder why Zadie didn’t do anything there. Character-wise, Samad stole the show for me. Followed by Alsana. Incredible house wife portrayal.

Overall, White Teeth feels like an unhurried story that goes into many details. A story we can sit and read for days at leisure. A languid slice-of-life tale that helped me understand fascism from the grassroots level.

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The best part about white teeth is that there is no plot per se but you will want to keep reading chapter after chapter to find out what is happening. Kinda like what you’d have in classics like Jane Austen’s or Charles Dickens’ works. So rare to see such work in post modern times where authors use cliffhangers like condoms. Way to go Zadie! Well deserved debut novel award.


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Good Omens by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett: A review

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, WitchGood Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐

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Humorous, Witty and Entertaining. I couldn’t ask for anything more from the dark-humor loving storytellers. I feel honored to have read a book that two incredible writers have penned together. I will go ahead and say that this book deserves to be on the shelves on all those who consider librarians and book enthusiasts.

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Other reviews:

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I don’t love you

If you think love is
trying to change you
then dear, I don’t love you.

Love is allowing you be.

If you think love is
calming your anger
then baby, I don’t love you.

Love is accepting your anger.

If you think love is
getting jealous when you’re with another girl
then darling, I don’t love you.

Love is trusting you.

If you think love is
spending every second of every day, together
then sweetheart, I don’t love you.

Love is giving each other that private space.

If you think love is
rushing to solve your every problem
then honey, I don’t love you.

Love is supporting your ability.

If you think love is
reading your mind
then puppy, I don’t love you.

Love is expressing your thoughts.

If you think love is
knowing every tiny detail about you
then buttercup, I don’t love you.

Love is in the mystery.

If you think love is
total dependence on one another
then sugar, I don’t love you.

Love is independence.

I love you
baby, sugar cake,
honey boo, puppy.

I love your anger
And I love our independence.

I love our ebb
And I love our flow
I love our highs
And I love our lows

I love our secrets
and I love your dreams

I can only love you like me.
I can only love you as me.