[BOOK REVIEW] ”Careful what you ask the wind.” //The Near Witch by V.E. Schwab//

There are no strangers in the town of Near.

Until a stranger arrives. No signs. No warning. He sets foot in this old town full of old people set in their old ways and all of a sudden, the wind shifts it’s course.

Faint voices intertwined with the howling wind – as if lamenting it’s loss of attentive listeners. It wants to tell you a story. A story that’s as old as Near itself. A story of a misunderstood but powerful soul and it’s soul’s thirst for revenge.

Are you willing to listen?

I sat in the front yard – with my back propped up on one of those black chairs that my dad keep with such care, and legs straightened on the other. The wind that started in the rusting leaves found it’s powerful way into my open hair. It felt as if the driving force of the book I was holding in my hands had crawled into my world, and it was just the beginning.

The Near Witch had come.
Or had I gone to meet her?
Was I in the town of Near?
Or was it in me?

Honestly? I don’t even know. All I cared about was the fact that there was this strange music all around me – the wind was singing and the words were compelling. THAT was the power this book held over my mind, even my surroundings.

From the very first page itself, I was left in awe of the way Schwab played tricks on me – her hauntingly lyrical prose and the world she created were so convincing that for the time being, nothing existed other than me, the town of Near, and it’s people.

”Nothing good grows out of fear.”

Fear is a strange thing.

It has the power to make you act in ways you never even contemplated of. But while it may be true for some, others see it as an opportunity to finally let out all those horrible urges that they have been holding on for far too long. And that’s what happens when one by one, the children of this moor bound town start disappearing. People’s ignorance and unwillingness to at least try to understand a point of view that goes against their idea of what’s ”NORMAL” ignites the fire of chaos and fear feeds it until it becomes uncontrollably large and dangerous.

And all of it must come down to that mysterious stranger that ”vanishes in thin air.”
Does he?
Doesn’t he?
How can we know for SURE?!

”He’s a ghost.”

”No such thing as a ghost. He’s a halfling – part man, part crow.”

Rumors and lies start spreading all around and everyone decides to take the course that’s of the least inconvenience to them. And all of this – for what? JUST TO KEEP THEIR OWN PASTS HIDDEN.

Yes. A LOT of happens IN the story, as it goes on. But let me also tell you what happens OUT of it.

You see it’s one thing to follow the characters – especially such strong and determined ones as Lexibut it’s a whole another thing to actually BE them, to lose yourself in their struggles and actions that you experience the same changes that THEY go through. ALL OF THAT is what happens seemingly away from the hustle and bustle of the ongoing plot

because it happens in oneself;
it happens IN THE HEART AND THE MIND.

Lexi was someone who believed in what she did and did what she had ABSOLUTE AND UNWAVERING FAITH IN. She was so in touch with the gifts that the moor – the nature – had bestowed on her that it was a delightful experience to just BE ON THE JOURNEY WITH HER.

The way the whole story is structured and written is additive BEYOND MY EXPECTATIONS!! What started as a love affair with the cover soon made me realize that the TRUE beauty of this book lay deep within it’s heart, in it’s very core – and I could not have been more pleased!

Page after page, I could feel myself becoming more and more emotionally invested in Lexi and Cole’s relationship. Theirs was an attachment that was given time to flourish as naturally as a little rose bud spreading it’s petalled wings delicately and unapologetically FOR ALL TO SEE AND ADMIRE AND FALL IN LOVE WITH IT!

COLE, though! I fell for him. Ached for him. Rooted for him. I did it ALL for him and Lexi. AND OH MY GOD! The more I fell for him, the more I feared that he would be taken away from me! 😦

BUT WAS HE?

WHAT HAPPENED EXACTLY –
To the Near Witch that she had to unleash her wrath upon the village?
To the people of Near who were so rigidly set in their – borderline idiotic – ways?
To Lexi and Cole who were thrown into circumstances they SHOULD NOT have had to deal with so young?
AND ABOVE ALL –

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU ONCE YOU DECIDE TO PICK UP THIS GORGEOUS BOOK?

I’ll let you find all of that out o your own. But, always remember –

“Properly buried.”
“Properly kept.”
“That is the way with witches.”
“And with all things.”

And disrespected bodies often give rise to vengeful bones that lay their roots deep and infect the land with their hatred and anger.

[AROUND THE BLOGOSPHERE] Announcing Your September TBR //

There are soooo many blogs that I ADORE but loving them comes at a price – a delightful price THE INCREASE OF MY TBR PILE AT AN EXPONENTIAL RATE. My fingers shake as I click on their posts because although I know that their reviews will be groundbreaking-ly amazing, they will also force me to add the books to my own list which will complicate things for the already pitiable state of my ARCs. ;p

BUT….that still doesn’t dissuade me from reading them and loving them and then dying under the soul crushing weight of my tbr. AH, WHAT A TIME TO BE ALIVE!

NOT-SO long story short, I have compiled a list of beautifully worded reviews of books (by these awesome bloggers) to read in the month of September! YAYYYY!!!

Take your pick! Take your pick! There are plenty to go around. 😉

REVIEWS

The Symposium by Plato : Lashaan read a Greek classic and we all died because of his review’s profoundness. AHHHH!!! IT WAS SO SO BEAUTIFUL, you guys! I felt like reaching through the screen, grabbing the book and start reading it ASAP! But now, I have to wait for Amazon to deliver my copy instead. NO FAIR!!! 😦

Lobizona by Romina Garber: I recently discovered Cielo’s gorgeous blog and instantly fell in love with her writing. The way she writes reviews is JUST SO ADORABLE, I AM TELLING YOU! And this gorgeous review is THE PERFECT EXAMPLE of that! ❤

MINI REVIEWS – Wilder Girls, American Royals & Laurel Everywhere : Erin writes THE MOST BEAUTIFUL REVIEWS EVER!!! Every time I read her writing, I am like…DAMN! THAT WAS GOOD. Don’t believe me? Give this beauty a read. you’ll see what I am talking about.

A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Roseanne A. Brown : As soon as I saw this review, I knew two things – Princess’ blog is now one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITES + there is no fucking way I can afford to not read this one! ❤

Chaos Vector by Megan E. O’Keefe : Mads is THE SCI-FI QUEEEEEN!!!! When she recommends, YOU LISTEN! And she is head over heels in love with this book, the second in The Protectorate series! AND I AM GOING TO OBEY HER AND START READING THIS SERIES because this review is a masterpiece and I LOVE IT, OKAY? And you gotta love it too!!

The Ashes of London by Andrew Taylor : Proxy shared this absolutely gorgeous book in one of her Friday Firsts post and I instantly fell in love with it. SUCH CHAOTIC BEAUTY! ME LIKEYYY!!!! And you will toooo – just..visit her post and fall in love with it, okie?!

Utopia Avenue by David Mitchell : Although David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas was already on my tbr for this year, it wasn’t until I read Wakizashi’s gorgeous review that I actually got excited for this author’s works! I am not dying to read both Cloud Atlas AND this one AS SOON AS POSSIBLE, all because of this review! Don’t miss it. 😉

The Memory Police by Yōko Ogawa : It was Star’s beautiful review that opened my eyes to even more interesting aspects of this book other than it’s cover (which was what attracted me initially) You are going to get sold on this review I AM TELLING YOU!!! It’s awesome, and the premise of this book? Mind-blowing!

You Had Me At Hola by Alexis Daria : I would not have known about this book had it not been for Priyasha’s review AND I WILL FOREVER BE THANKFUL TO HER – because now I can adorn my shelf with this beauty! AHHHHH!!! YOU GOTTA READ HER REVIEW TO FIND OUT HOW AWESOME THIS STORY IS!

How To Disappear by Gillian McAllister : Stephen writes absolutely amazing reviews, this must be common knowledge right? RIIIIGHT? Because if it isn’t then what the hell are you doing??!?! GO GO READ THIS ONE AND ADD THE BOOK TO YOUR TBR BECAUSE IT SOUNDS AWESOME! Thriller lovers – you DON’T want to miss out on How To Disappear, I am telling you!

Midnight Sun by Stephenie Meyer : I have been waiting for this one to come out for EVERRR!!! And when I read Alexandra’s review, it took EVERY SINGLE FIBRE OF MY BEING TO NOT RUSH OUT THE DOOR AND BUY THE BOOK RIGHT THEN AND THERE! Yep, it was THAT good!

Seven Devils BY Laura Lam and Elizabeth May : A beautiful book made even more so by Octavia’s amazing review! I knew I HAD to read it as soon as I saw the cover and the urgency grew by leaps and bounds when I read this review!

First Touch by Teyla Branton : A fantastic review by Purvasha – one of my new fav bloggers! This seems like one of those hidden gems I probably would not have found out about if it hadn’t been for this amazing blogger. PLEASE GIVE THIS REVIEW ALL THE LOVE! ❤

Every Single Shakespeare Play EVER! : Naemi’s posts are so gorgeously written that I feel like crying EVERY SINGLE TIME I VISIT HER BLOG! And this one is no different. HER ONE LINE REVIEWS of Shakespeare’s plays are so cuuutteee that I DEMAND YOU GO AND READ THEM! ❤

A Thousand Beginnings and Endings by Allen Oh : Oh, Oh, OHHH MY GODD!! I AM SURPRISED THAT ALMOST NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THIS GORGEOUS BOOK! I am glad Kay is though! Her reviews – as most of you already know – are absolutely brilliant and I am so glad she decided to share her thoughts on this beautiful book with all of us., YOU GOTTA READ THIS POST RIGHT NOW!

MINI REVIEWS – Deck Of Omens & With The Fire On High : It’s one of Marie’s reviews! You know what that means right?! It’s full of beautiful graphics and meaningful thoughts. I swear every time I read one of her posts I FALL IN LOVE! She writes some of THE MOST gorgeous reviews everrr!!!!!

The Good For Nothings by Danielle Banas : I am pretty sure I would NOT have known about this one if I hadn’t read livia’s amazing review of it! SERIOUSLY THIS BOOK SOUNDS ALL KINDS OF WEIRD AND AWESOME!!! AND I AM DEFINITELY ADDING IT TO MY TBR! Are you?! 😉

Pride by Ibi Zoboi : Everyone who knows me knows that I am a Pride and Prejudice addict. So NATURALLY I added it to my tbr as soon as I saw it on Amazon. But I am SO FUCKING GLAD I DID NOT BUY IT THEN. Because, according to Kate’s honest and amazing review, this one’s rather MEH! So I’d urge you give Kate’s review a good read before you got for this book, yeah? I included it because you need to know what to avoid as well, OBVIOUSLY! *rolls eyes*

Red, White, and Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston : This book has been stalking me. I see it at least thrice a week on the internet! I AM NOT KIDDING. I was actually excited to read it before it started to feel like it was haunting me or something. But the excitement is back, I am glad to say – ALL BECAUSE OF Gianna’s BEAUTIFUL REVIEW! Thank you so much, hon! I LOVE YOU FOR THIS GORGEOUS POST! ❤

The Grishaverse Trilogy BY Leigh Bardugo : Macey + the written word = ART! I AM NOT KIDDING! She writes so beautifully that I just want to keep reading forever… WHY, MACEY! WHY DID YOU SHORTEN YOUR MUSINGS ON THIS ONE?!?!?! I loved it to pieces! ❤ You guys – GO. READ THIS GORGEOUS POST. Now. PLEASE?

Drowned Country by Emily Tesh : Look at that cover! It’s pretty, right?Not prettier than the review, though! It was very hard to pick only ONE of Lisa’s reviews since I adore every single thing she writes. BUT I AM SO IN LOVE WITH THIS SERIES NOW. I have decided to pick this one up. And you will too as soon as you read this review! ❤

The Night Swim by Megan Goldin : I requested and was rejected for this book. But Tessa wasn’t THANK GOD! At least I got to live the story – even if just a little bit – through her beautiful review! THIS ONE IS A MUST READ, YOU GUYS! And if you don’t believe me, then fine. YOU WILL BE CONVINCED ANYWAY ONCE YOU READ THIS POST. HAHAHAHA!!! *evil laughter*

Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas : I will read any book that our bee queen suggests. And this one sounds like the perfect tear jerker! And E has reviewed it most perfectly. YOU GOTTA READ THIS POST RIGHT NOW!!!!!!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin : Sarah is back with her awesome reviews and I COULDN’T BE HAPPIER!!! This one by the author of The Night Swim seems like THE PERFECT THRILLER with an exciting premise. I am SO SO excited to read this. YOU WILL BE TOO IF YOU’LL JUST DO YOURSELVES A FAVOR AND HEAD OVER TO SARAH’S AMAZING REVIEW, YEAH?! 😉 ❤

The Backstagers vol. 2 by James Tynion IV : I can’t tell you much about this book – I will leave that honor with the royal duchesses of the blogosphere. What I WILL tell you though is that YOU SHOULD NOT MISS OUT ON THIS ONE – it sounds way too much fun!!

The One That Got Away by Egan Hughes : I never knew I would end up loving thrillers SO MUCH! And Jules’ reviews are one of the reasons why! SHE CONSTANTLY RERADS AMAZING, SPINE-CHILLING THRILLERS that make me want to drop everything else! This one was just like that. You’ll know when you read this review. It sounds like a must read! ❤

Star Daughter by Shveta Thakrar : I had been SOOO excited for this one to release. The Book Twitter seemed to be blowing up with anticipation and the gorgeous cover only added to it! And then I read Ahana’s review! DAMNNN!!! I FELL IN LOVEEEE WITH IT! And you will toooo!! Just give it a read. It’s honest and it’s BEAUTIFUL!

A Ruined Girl by Kate Simants : Yeah! AS IF THAT GORGEOUS COVER WASN’T ENTICEMENT ENOUGH! Kelly had to kill us with her review as well!! Honestly, sometimes I feel like you go out of your way to write awesome reviews JUST TO TEASE ME BECAUSE…I JUST…*ugly sobbing* I am…*more ugly sobbing*…I GOTTA READ THIS BOOK!!!!!!!!!

A Declaration of The Rights of Magicians by H.G. Parry : Kat’s reviews are one of my absolute favorites! AND NOW THAT SHE IS OFFICIALLY BACK TO BLOGGING, I am sooo excited to start hoarding ALLLL the books that she recommends – starting with this one. It’s absolutely gorgeous and going by Kat’s wonderful, wonderful review, it’s contents are no less wonderful! Visit the post to find out more! ❤ ❤

An Unreliable Man’ by Jostein Gaarder : I LOVE N’s reviews soo much! They are short, sweet, to-the-point, and beautifully written. She always reviews hidden gems and when I read this post, I knew I had to make time for this book this year! IT SOUNDS UNMISSABLE! Please give this post a read and show N’s amazing review the love it soooo deserves!

Fifty Fifty by Steve Cavanagh : Nicki’s reviews are always a delight to read. They are on point and clearly written. I TRUST HER JUDGEMENT IN BOOKS and so I will be adding this one to my tbr! And if you don’t want to miss out on some amazing reads, you better go and check her review out as well! Just sayin’. 😉

Spill Simmer Falter Wither by Sara Baume : WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN WITH THIS AWESOME BLOGGER? Emer writes her reviews sooo passionately that they never fail to impress me. EVERY SINGLE WORD IN THIS REVIEW IS BRIMMING WITH HER LOVE FOR THIS BOOK AND I AM 10478397567507809248% IN LOVE WITH IT! You better go and check it out for yourselves as well!! ❤

Hinton Hollow Death Trip by Will Carver : Julie is ONE OF MY MOST FAVORITE BLOGGERS EVERRR!!! She is kind, sweet, AND WRITES AMAZING REVIEWSSS!!! A few more and I might have to make a separate list for her recommendations! 😉 This one was just as awesome. The book’s premise is soo interesting and Julie’s awesome review seals the deal!!!!

Night Of The Mannequins by Stephen Graham Jones : Reading this review, I was so angry at myself! WHY THE HELL WASN’T I FOLLOWING Tammy ALREADY?!?!??! This review is BRILLIANT! I LOVE THIS SO SOOO MUCHHH!!!! And you gotta read it tooo!!! I have already the book to my tbr – now it’s YOUR turn. ❤

What If It’s Us by by Becky Albertalli and Adam Silvera : If you guys aren’t already following Poulami THEN WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU WAITING FOR?! She writes THE LOVELIEST REVIEWS EVERRR!!! And this one is the proof – soo cutteee!!!! LOVE IT SO MUCHH! And you will too, I PROMISEEE!!! *heart eyes*

AND NOW FOR SOME AMAZING LISTS!!!! YAYYY!!!

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS | STANDALONE BOOKS EDITION :  Sofii’s blog is the one to visit whenever you want to soothe your eyes BECAUSE HER POSTS ARE ALWAYS THE PRETTIEST! I mean I don’t even know how she does it! DAMNN!!!! And here she is, with another one of beautiful posts FULL OF BOOK RECS! What more can you even waaaaaant??!?!?!?

Deat Endless Streaming Services, Please Aadapt : Gemma is here with her list of beautiful books that you probably did NOT know about! AND YOU ARE GONNA FALL IN LOVE WITH THEM BECAUSE THEY ARE SO SOOO PRETTYYYY!!! *heart eyes* Thank you so much for sharing this wonderful list with us, hon! 🙂

Short, Fun & Easy-to-Read Non-fiction Book Recommendations for Beginners : Do you hate to read Non-Fiction too??!! BECAUSE I DOO!! No. WAIT! I USED TO!!!! Nikita is here with her clever list of pretty non-fics that are sure to entice ANYONE – a fan or not! THESE ARE AWESOMEEE!! You cannot afford to miss out on this post, you guys!

Railhead by Philip Reeve : The amazing Sabrina at Paper Plane Nomad has generously shared with a list of reasons why she adored Railhead and I AM SO SO GLAD SHE DID. Honestly, everything she writes is just…I LOVE IT, OKAY? And you will be missing out if you don’t read this review as soon as you can. READ IT NOW! ❤

Women in SFF – 10 Fav Female Authors : Alex, the writer behind the awesome website – MARTIAN CHRONICLE – has compiled a list of female science fiction authors and I am 100000000% here for it! Added almost all of the books featured in this one. Science ficiton lovers, you better go and check this one out ASAP. ❤

Contemporary Romances you GOTTA read! : This list by Alex features some lesser known but ABSOLUTELY AMAZING romances that YOU JUST CANNOT LET SLIP THROUGH YOUR RADA!!! *furiously adds all of them to my tbr*

Books That Should Be Adapted Into Netflix Shows/Movies : Are you following Hsinju’s Lit Blog yet? Because if you aren’t then you NEED TO CORRECT THAT ASAP! WHY? Well, apart from the fact that Hsinju is one of the sweetest bloggers around? Well, you can just go and read this amazing post listing some of the awesomest Sapphic books that YOU NEED TO READ and the Netflix directors NEED TO ADAPT. 😉

My Favorite Book Covers for Each Color : Allison is here with her minimalistic post featuring GORGEOUS BOOK COVER in (almost) every color!! *heart eyes* And it is JUST TOO PRETTY FOR WORDS. I am sure you are going to find some awesome books for your September TBR in this post! ❤

WOOOHOOO!!! SOOO MANYY AWESOME BOOKS!!! I am so fucking proud of this list! EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THESE REVIEW IS A GEM! So you better read them – you owe it to yourselves – YOU ARE SO SO AWESOME and you deserve beautiful books! 😉 ❤

I really hope you liked this one! I have been compiling these the whole month!

So….which ones are you adding to your tbr?!
Have you already read some of these?
Do you recommend?
Do you wanna add to the list?!

TALK TO MEEE!!

[REVIEW] ”You are a BAD, BAD mother.”//Little Disasters by Sarah Vaughan//

[NOTE: The main character suffers from a serious case of postpartum depression + there are mentions of child abuse. Please keep that in mind before starting the book.]

Once a woman becomes a mother, she is rebornwith her center of life now being her children. Her every waking thought is consumed by anxieties about their well being and her dreams? Filled with hopes for her lovely little ones.

She would do anything to protect them. Anything at all.

And Jess was no different. She was just a mother, trying to protect her childrenfrom those little germs everywhere, from strangers and predators, from unnecessary exertions – but most of all from herself. SHE was her children’s biggest threat, her mental condition irrelevant to anyone else because no one – not even her own husband and her best friend – tried to see past her mask, to actually notice how distressed she had been lately. Everyone pinned it down to her obsession with perfection, her reluctance to place any trust in anyone other than herself. Her anxieties were irrelevant – something shrugged off as overthinking and even a certain kind of childishness.

But what will happen when she’ll be made to choose between protecting one child or keeping her family from falling apart?

What would she do?

SHE will fall apart instead, in her desperate tries to keep her loved ones from harm; to make sure that nobody snatches her children from her. She will break down like never before – subject to people’s scrutinizing eyes, judging stares.

Reading Little Disasters felt like I was thrown into a world where I would NOT have ventured if I knew what I’d be taking on in the long run. Oh my! This book tested my heart’s patience to bear shock way too much. 

A baby has been hurt and her mother is in the line of fire of suspicions from everyone around her. They think the worst of her. 

You are a bad, bad mother.” 

Her thoughts keep playing tricks on her mind and her outer world just reflects more of the same.

And the worst of all? Her best friend – the paediatrician who admits Betsy, Jess’ daughter – is suspicious of her friend as well. Lizthe smart, the quick, the no nonsense doctoris torn between her duties as a friend and her responsibilities as a professional. And the way Sarah has captured her dilemmas is outstanding, worthy of praise. 

I can’t tell you how much I adored the author’s way of weaving a gripping plot around these few but VERY intriguing charactersthe way Liz’s memories entwined with Jess’ present circumstances left me in complete adoration of Sarah’s writing! Not to mention the ease with which she manages the delicate timing of the flashbacks ABSOLUTELY DELIGHTFUL. It added to the grim excitement that surrounded the plot as I flicked page after page, desperate to find out the EXACT relation between these two friends and their circumstancesthe past and the present.

Little Disasters is just as much about motherhood and it’s trials, it’s highs and lows as it is about marriage, the role of a partner, and the need for communication. I was left riddled with a series of scenarios that started and ended with a bold IF ONLY:

If only Jess had shed her fear of being judged and came clean to Ed about her mental state.

If only she hadn’t tried to be so PERFECT and ORGANIZED all the time.

If only Ed had picked up on his wife’s trauma a little bit earlier, and without contempt and horror in his eyes.

When you have lived with someone for more than a decade, you get to know about how they like to do certain things and how best to approach themespecially when they are shelled in and emotionally vulnerable. And the fact that Ed had been too busy with printing money to give his wife and her hard work and struggle at home a good thought was really irritating to me.

But then, so was Jess’ inability to put aside her fears and confess. Much as we’d like them to be, MEN ARE NOT MIND READERS. They usually don’t suspect anything is particularly WRONG unless it’s on a rather HUGE scale OR unless you yourself point them towards the thing that’s been bothering you. We want them to just KNOW but they almost never do. They just tend to train themselves to take things on the face value because its easier and less emotionally taxing to do so. So being OPEN with your partners about what’s been bothering you IS THE BEST THING TO DO.

But of course. for a perfectionist like Jesssomeone who had had a serious case of OCD and Cognitive Personality Disorder (which everyone had been unaware of) – this was difficult to do. And I completely understand! But that doesn’t take away from the fact that this behaviour of hers led her into the extreme circumstances she found herself later onbeing held under suspicions of being the sole cause behind the serious skull fracture of her baby girl.

Her situation made my eyes well up more than once. Her desperation, her sadness, her frustration at not being able to touch her baby girl, to hold her or any of her children was too painful to witness.

Can you imagine? Taking a child away from her mother?

And then the way Liz’s mother’s secrets crept up just in time to escalate the plot and give it even more intensity and meaning left me thrilled AND cold – both at the same time. THE HORROR ON MY FACE WHEN I FOUND ABOUT WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO HER BABY SISTER CLARE WAS BOTH GENUINE AND VERBAL. I couldn’t cope with a revelation like that! 

And now, I let out a deep sigh, as I finally close the book – feeling as if I have physically endured what Jess and Liz mentally went through. And it’s tiring. And yet, as Galadriel said, hope remains for people who are true and brave of heart. Who come face to face with realisation that forgivenessfor yourself AND for others is the only true way to rise above pain and hurt. 

Look, I didn’t know what I was taking on, how emotionally screwed up I will feel, how utterly helpless in the face of Jess’ confusion and frustration, at the thought of a few months old baby lying in the hospital with her head all but cracked open, from the horrible and pitiful secrets that engulfed Liz’ mother’s past AND present

BUT YOU DO.

YOU HAVE A CHOICE! 

Remember, if you do decide to read Little Disasterswhich, despite all the tears and agony, I still 100% recommend keep in mind that you will be thrown amidst an emotional and psychological storm that will leave you feeling helpless.

And the fun part? You will love it nonetheless. Every single second of that suffering. 

SOO??!?! Have you read Little Disasters yet? Did you like it?! SAYY YESS!!!
What’s your favorite book by Sarah Vaughan?
AND MOST IMPORTANTLY – Have I convinced you to read this one?! I hope I have BECAUSE IT IS AWESOMEE! You cannot afford to miss it, I am telling you!

PLEASE DON’T MISS OUT ON THIS ONE?! *puppy dog eyes*

[REVIEW] Portrait of a Passionate, Determined, and Unafraid Governess //Jane Eyre BY Charlotte Brontë//

Reading Jane Eyre was like an agonizing fire to my already ablaze heart.
tumblr_o4gpu8hlmy1tx6xhxo1_500

Even before I opened the book, dear reader, I already knew what these pages held. There was a promise of passion, of struggle, of bravery. And as I began with Jane her journey through her difficult childhood and her challenging life, later on, I was filled with emotions I had only ever reserved for Wuthering Heights.

There is a strange intensity in Charlotte Bronte’s words; I was both inside and outside. I was Jane and she was me. We were one. Her plight was my plight. Her wishes were my wishes. My heart was beating faster and faster as I turned the pages, mad with anticipation for I knew, I knew I was headed towards a most beautiful love. 

Brontë writes in a manner that pulls you into the story. You are there with Jane in the red room, you witness what she witnesses, you feel dread as her heart feels it, you hate who she hates.

Being at the mercy of a writer is most liberating.

You are free of any responsibility thence. You don’t have to do anything but let your gaze fall on the words and let them travel far and true into the deep recesses of your mind, awakening memories that you thought you never had, let them make their way south and tug at your heartstrings like a most insistent child, demanding attention, craving love.

Jane Eyre’s situation, as we begin this story, is most pitiful. You cannot help but feel sorry for her. The oppression she faces is unbearable. Would that I could I’d have snatched that little frightened, beaten girl from these pages and kept her close to me, shushed her and lulled her to a sweet and peaceful sleep. I wanted to do that so badly.

Charlotte Brontë succeeded in making me love her from the very first page and I think that’s a quality these sisters had in common – Emily destroyed me by rendering my heart a passion for her dark hero and his wild lover, and Charlotte gave me Janethis plain and obscure heroine, with her simple tale of woe, with her hopes and dreams and the purest heart.

”No, I was not heroic enough to purchase liberty at the price of caste.”

From the very beginning, if there is one thing we are sure of Jane Eyre is that she knows her mind.

Even as a little girl, when asked whether, if given the chance, she would like to live with her own distant relatives even if they were a bit poor, she declined. Poverty was a degradation in her mind and she did not falter in admitting it.

Her fearless and free-thinking mind painted her in such a vivid image in my mind that I quickly forgot I was reading and began to feel that I was being.

She was never a mere fictional being in my mind. She was a living, breathing personacting out her life in front of my eyes, in my world…or was I in hers? I forget.

tumblr_o65pq68u2n1tqou9go1_500

Having a passionate temper was deemed her fault since childhood. Jane said what she believed to be true, she felt intensely, she was not a rebel without a cause and yet, these propensities were labeled as FAULTS against the good nature of children.

How I would like to ask every pathetic little relative and acquaintance of Mrs. reed, was it a fault?

Being keen is a virtue of the highest order because it’s the people who feel deeply that love intensely and without guile, as Jane did all her life. She was virtuous, brave, and much too modest. Such qualities don’t come often in that combination and regarding them as faults is a crime, a crime which was committed much too frequently against Jane Eyre.

The rigidity of the society Jane was brought up in crept upon her understanding soon enough and yet she never gave up her imagination and wishes of a better life.

BRAVE INDEED.

The school she had been sent to – Lowood Institution – was, to her, an absurd sort of place, although it did provide her the means to better herself, to be able to make a name in society. Still, the teachers’ violent behavior towards these little girls left me horrified and Brontë’s casual tone while describing it all renders it even more chilling, which I guess was the point. In any way, I was invested so much in Jane’s circumstances that I just couldn’t help my emotions. They were flying every which way

FLOGGED. BULLIED. DISTRESSED. Such was Jane’s state in Lowood. But she never gave up. She was the kind who starts rebellions against injustice and cruelty. Her friend Helen Burns’ influence humbled her greatly out of such thoughts to quite an extent.

Still, the fire that burnt in her heart never really died. It just waited for the right ammunition.

”By dying young, I shall escape great sufferings.”

The little girl tiptoed, past her bedtime, into the room of the ill and the dying. Finding her best friend lying therewith an air of finality about her she couldn’t conceal her tears. And neither could I. Jane’s little heart couldn’t bear the thought of Helen being taken away from her forever and I grieved for her most intensely, most painfully.

How could you, Miss Brontë? What sort of witchcraft is this? You make your readers coil and writhe with pain with an ease that would rival God himself! How could you do this to us?
tumblr_p1af009eff1vspd1lo1_500

Reading Jane Eyre was certainly not an easy task. It demanded too much from meemotionally, mentally, physicallyfor I was heavily invested in Jane’s story from the very beginning – so much so that I couldn’t bear the thought of being driven away from her without knowing her whole story.

Jane was a wild soul hidden inside a duty-bound body.

She longed to surmount the blue hills across the fields, she wanted to break free of the meager existence she had been subjected to at Lowood. She wanted to traverse the woods, to get lost in them, to seek the treasures of experience.

She wanted to love and be loved.

That was all she wanted. Such was the wish of her lovely heart. Can’t every single one of us relate to her desire? No matter where we are, what we do, the one thing that we want the one thing our heart always desiresis freedom.

And SHE DID FIND IT. Later rather than sooner but she got to taste it nonetheless. And how could she not anyway? For a person with such a tender heart and such strong mind, it’s hardly a surprise.

”It is in vain to say human beings ought to be satisfied with tranquility: they must have action; they will make it if they cannot find it.”

Jane had always been in a quiet revolt against her circumstances, from the very beginning of her life with Mrs. Reed until the time she went back to Mr. Rochester.

Hers was an unquiet mind and a wandering soul. She could NEVER be contained. Even when she came to work at Thornfield and her situation improved a lot from her previous life, she couldn’t help but feel deprived of all the wondrous people she hadn’t yet met, all the beautiful places she hadn’t yet seen and although hers was a bit of a negative approach, that never stopped her heart from dreaming bigger. Such a combination rendered her intelligent.

”I did not like re-entering Thornfield. To pass its threshold was to stagnation.”

Her first impression of Mr. Rochester was that of someone who had, brought excitement to her stagnant life in those wide and gloomy halls where she was the governess. She longed for activity and for her unfathomable mind, activity, it seemed, had found her at last.

But Jane’s meeting to Mr.Rochester did not strike me as peculiar. It was just the sort of scene a Brontë would want to happen – eerie, mysterious, dark, and a bit exciting. There is not a very striking contrast between the dark and foggy lands that surround Thornfield and the mystical moors where stood the dark abode of Catherine and Heathcliff. And so, the image of their toxic love was kept fresh in my mind even as I followed the events at Thornfield.

Copy of Untitled Design

”The ease of his manner freed me from painful restraint; the friendly frankness, as correct as cordial, with which he treated me, drew me to him. I felt at times, as if he were my relation, rather than my master: yet he was imperious sometimes still; but I did not mind that; I saw it was his way. So happy, so gratified did I become with this new interest added to life, that I ceased to pine after kindred: my thin crescent destiny seemed to enlarge; the blanks of existence were filled up; my bodily health improved; I gathered flesh and strength.”

IN SHORT, dear reader, JANE WAS IN LOVE.

Now, having overcome my faint scruples against the match due to something that the brooding master of Thornfield declared in a rushed conversation, something the lines of – “I am old enough to be your father.”I came to understand how well-matched Jane and Rochester were. Jane was not saint-like. She had desires, she dreamt of better circumstances and she wanted to experience all that life could offer.

A tenacious, wandering and clever mind as hers needed someone just as clever.

Someone who could match her temper, who could understand her silent reproaches and dreamy wonders without the need of words. And she had found such a man in Mr. Rochester. And he, in return, wanted to experience all that he could not during his youth. Hiding a most unpleasant and dark secret, he longed to be in the presence of innocence again, to know the pleasures of an unpolluted mind. And who could have been a better fit than Jane?

Her steady and quick remarks kept him on his toes and his broodiness and mystery fed her imagination in a way no-one else ever could.

It is no coincidence when a man finds himself keen on a girl so inexperienced in the ways of the world. A man loves best when he knows he has something to offer that his partner is not in possession of yet.

In Jane, he found such a partner.

He had made Jane his confidante, sharing with her the tales of his misspent youth, this girl who had no idea how such a world worked (despite being a clever person, her mind was still shielded from the vices of the grown-ups). He did this because it made him feel “needed”, “valued” and not as a master, but as a teacher, as an unwilling friend, as a well-wisher. Of such feelings he had been alienated for so long he had quite forgotten the pleasures that they brought.

Rochester and Jane’s love affair was a mere chance. But then which isn’t? It is chance that threw them in each others’ ways, that’s true enough. At this point, they were still just getting to know each other but it was a most ardent love that made it impossible to stay apart.

Untitled design

Still, this is NOT an account of Mr. Rochester and Jane’s love story, dear reader. But of how Jane dealt with the frequent and distressing blows that life was yet to deal her. Yes, she loved the man, but that’s not the be-all and end off of her story.

It did not begin with Mr. Rochester’s arrival in her life and it certainly doesn’t end with her departure from his gloomy self.

That’s what makes it all the more beautiful. Jane, whose circumstance had made her such a strong womanboth worldly and emotionallywasn’t dependent on anyone to save her from anything. Nothing frightened her as much as being captive. And so she followed her wishes, no matter what and yet had sense enough to not let her character be tarnished by such whimsical fancies as the heart sometimes indulges in.

Her story took a lot out of me. Her journey from being a pitiful (but still not weak) child at Gateshead Hall to being a scared yet determined pupil at Lowood to finding her courage and love in the gloomy and mysterious halls of Thornfield taught me to hope, to be stern where it’s needed, and compassion. 

I have a lot more to say, dear reader, about our heroine and her journey but for now, this will have to do.
laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart Object
Sooo??
What did you think? Have you read Jane Eyre?
Did my review of her character and her story match your reflections, even if just a little bit?
What did you think of her union with Mr. Rochester?

A BOOK REVIEWER’S Prayer + Promise + Warning.

YOU MUST NOT READ MY REVIEWS for I will let my heart judge the words, without any inhibitions.

When I am holding a book, my mind is no longer the master. For it is my belief that once you let too much reason in, it muddies the effect the story has on you on a much deeper level. 

tumblr_okwl8fxnsc1vzaiw8o1_400

Having read a book, I will jump straight into the review with emotions hanging over my head like a sword, threatening to destroy me lest I pour them out on the paper. It pains me to not be able to talk about what I read right away so I will always be very passionate and most insistent while talking about the merits and the faults of a story.

I will not be led by anything other than what my feelings dictate.

There will not be one shred of dishonesty in what I write. Everything will be in strict accordance with the feelings invoked and the thoughts reflected upon during the course of the reading. So you can imagine that it will, sometimes, prove to be a daunting read. And I am okay with that.

When the reader is wholly invested, in a book nothing but a true account of every movement of their mind, owing to the story, will ever give them satisfaction. So that’s what I do. My reviews are much too intense and hold true to only what I thought about the book, not influenced by anyone or anything else. In that way, they will be brutal, and forgiving accordingly.

You must not be in a delusion that you will be told a detailed account of what happened with whom, who did what, and how it all ended for them. No. The only things you will find in my reviews are what moved me, what incited feelings of passionate hate or ardent love, of ignorance and indifference or that of continuous awe. That’s all I can offer you by the medium of my humble writings.

But frankly, why would you want to know anything else anyway?

tumblr_opcflueyyj1w28kico1_500

Isn’t the real reason why we read book reviews to know what the reader FELT about it? Not what happened, but their REACTIONS to the said events? THAT’S the beauty of every single review out there, isn’t it? Their singularity, their originality.

You must not read my reviews for they will be an honest account of my shattering heart and all the reasons behind it.

They will be raw, overflowing with emotions, and you might then be inclined to suppose that I am blind to the faults of the book. I am not but to think so is your choice.

You must not read my reviews because then, you will HAVE to read the book concerned with as much an open heart and suspended belief as I did, to experience, IN IT’S FULLNESS, the story those pages hold.

YOU MUST NOT READ MY REVIEWS IF YOU ARE UNWILLING TO DO THAT.
laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart Object
Such are my thoughts on review writing, how they should be and why a reviewer must NEVER be forced to do otherwise. Doing justice to a book, according to our opinions on it, is all we are required to do and THAT’S ALL WE WILL DO.

EVER.

Magic, Children, and Oldies/ THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey (REVIEW)

White lines run in an artistic fashion (on the cover of the book) to form a slender, wild, yet graceful girl walking around, making her way through the chilly woods with an ease of a fox.

She trots on the snow ️ covered ground delicately, taking care not to disturb the lovely white ground. She carries an ocean in her heart, as blue as her eyes, frozen like the frost on her hair. She is a miracle. She is mundane. Look at her and you see two things, the ORDINARY and the OTHERWORLDY, both combined in such beautiful proportions that you cannot help but reach out your hands to touch her cheeks, caress them. Hug her and hold her close.

Continue reading “Magic, Children, and Oldies/ THE SNOW CHILD by Eowyn Ivey (REVIEW)”

Two loves and TWICE THE HATE// 1+3 Poetry REVIEWS//

”There are cages, and then there are your eyes” AND THEN THERE IS THIS BOOK YOU WON’T FORGET NO MATTER HOW HARD YOU TRIED //I Wore My Blackest Hair//

What it’s like to be an outsider in a country? Yes, that’s what underlies each and every word in this book but even if you have not known that feeling, you can still relate to her words. YOU KNOW WHY? Because in some way or another, we are ALL ALIEN TO THIS WORLD, IN THIS WORLD.

We think we are so smart having split the atom and toured the heavens.

We think we KNOW the world now.

We think we know the person staring at us from behind the shiny, reflective surface of self-discovery – MOCKING US, MIMICKING US.

We are delusional.

Continue reading “Two loves and TWICE THE HATE// 1+3 Poetry REVIEWS//”

This book left me HIGH!!//THE SEA BEAST TAKES A LOVER // REVIEW //

My interest in this book was limited to the title. I was intrigued. I JUST HAD TO READ IT BUT somewhere in my mind I had this feeling that I was going to be disappointed by what I encounter when I saw the email stating that my request for the book had been approved (on Netgalley), I felt giddy with excitement but there was also a hint of sadness – THAT IT’LL BE A BIG-ASS DISAPPOINTMENT.

And let me tell you one thing –

I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO FUCKING WRONG IN MY ENTIRE LIFE (except maybe once, when I was little and thought that if I dug deep enough, I’ll find lava ;p)

Continue reading “This book left me HIGH!!//THE SEA BEAST TAKES A LOVER // REVIEW //”

‘Eh, my little beauty, eh, my beauty’ //WOMEN IN LOVE – D.H. LAWRENCE (REVIEW?)//

READING is the utmost pleasure – that’s true enough.Anyone up for debate on THIS topic, here is my reply to you –

 

giphy9
MARY POPPINS  TO THE RESCUE!! ;P

But sometimes it also serves as a reminder of the acute lack ( of what, exactly? ) in our lives. When I see all those characters so intimately involved in each other’s thoughts and feelings – the inner workings of their minds – I can’t help but feel a sharp sting. It reminds me of all the things that I don’t have in my life yet – all those things that I haven’t experienced. And what’s more – it makes me wonder IF I’ll EVER have it all? And these realizations pave way to skepticism. So, in a way reading is dangerous. It is AS TREACHEROUS AS IT IS PLEASURABLE.

Continue reading “‘Eh, my little beauty, eh, my beauty’ //WOMEN IN LOVE – D.H. LAWRENCE (REVIEW?)//”

Meet the children of their children of their children of their children //REVIEW – Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy//

I was tired from the day’s nothingness. Everything  seemed static. I had accomplished nothing that day. I just spent all those hours thinking about how NORMAL my life had become – devoid of any REAL excitement. NOTHING. And that was when I spotted the book, just lying on my side table.On top of it was a half-finished cup of coffee and a piece of cake. SEE, I WAS THAT TIRED!! I did not even finish my CAKE!!! But I mustered strength enough to pick up the book, dust off the crumbs and finally LOOK AT IT. It’s blue cover – the deep of the sky. A girl sitting with her back to my face. I wondered what she was thinking. I wondered what she might be looking at. AND THEN I READ THE TITLE. LIARS AND SAINTS. 

Continue reading “Meet the children of their children of their children of their children //REVIEW – Liars and Saints by Maile Meloy//”