[COLOR OF THE MONTH] Pink: 10 of THE PRETTIEST Covers EVER!

I judge books. BY THEIR COVER.

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YEP.
YOU HEARD IT RIGHT!

I like pretty books and I cannot lie. I am sorry but I can’t. Far too often have I went to the bookstore with the intention of buying a bunch of eye-candies. If the story turns out awesome? YAYYY! But EVEN IF IT DOESN’T, the books look fucking gorgeous on my shelf AND THAT’S ALWAYS A PLUS! *shrugs*

I am not even guilty about it. Nuh-uh. In fact, I am PROUD AS HELL of all those beautiful (if not so interesting) books adorning my shelf. (Red Queen comes to mind. Heh. xD)

And to celebrate this love of beautiful books (which I am sure ALL OF YOU SHARE AS WELL 😉 ), I am starting a new series on my blog – COLOR OF THE MONTH – where I will post the prettiest book covers with new colors EVERY MONTH!

And we are starting off WITH MY FAVORITE (if a bit cliche) PINKKK!!!

[Note: I haven’t read any of these but I am planning to! <3]

🌸 A Little Something Different by Sandy Hall : Okay, do I even NEED to tell you why this is MY VERY FIRST CHOICE?! I mean LOOK AT IT! JUST LOOOK! It’s just tooo fucking gorgeous for words. Romantic, heartwarming, the RIGHT AMOUNT OF CHEESY – AHH!!! Can’t stop gushing about it! ❤

🌸 Dear Fang, With Love by Rufi Thorpe : This cover matches the story – about High school lovers turned distant parents – beautifully. I can feel the unsaid words, suppressed emotions, depression, trauma, anxiety, estrangement – EVERYTHING. An absolute beauty, wouldn’t you say?

🌸 The Royals by Rachel Hawkins: Okay, from the title itself I can tell that this will be one of those cheesy stories where the girl has no desire to be a princess or something but she is forced to and all. LIKE HOW CAN YOU SAY NO TO SUCH A LAVISH LIFESTYLE?! It will always remain a mystery to me. BUT that doesn’t mean one cannot enjoy such a one-time-read romance from time to time, does it? 😉 If I do end up reading it, I won’t go in with high hopes, that’s for sure. If this book manages to capture my heart, that’ll definitely be a plus BUT EVEN IF IT DOESN’T, it’ll be nice to own such a pretty copy! ❤

🌸 The Awakening by Kate Chopin: Almost ALL of you must have heard about this book, haven’t you? I mean, you MUST have read a review or another floating around the blogosphere. Dealing with female infidelity in an honest-to-god way, there is NO WAY this book could end up being a disappointment. AND WITH A COVER LIKE THAT? NO CHANCE!

🌸 Snow Flower and the Secret Fan by Lisa See: I’d be lying if I were to tell you that the cover captivated me more than the title. There is a certain mysteriousness, a certain complexity to the title of this book that I couldn’t help but add it to my TBR. The cover was definitely a plus and the fact that its Historical Fiction adds to the long list of reasons why I am dying to read this one. BUT OH THE COVER!!! *heart eyes forever*

🌸 The Idiot by Elif Batuman: The sheer simplicity of the cover would capture ANYONE’S heart really. You’d be FORCED TO WANT TO KNOW the contents of the book. Seriously. Just keep looking at it. No, no. Don’t take away your eyes yet. Focus on the pretty background, then the rock, then the title – rushing to the bookstore yet? 😉

🌸 The Bed Moved by Rebecca Schiff: I am sorry but LOOK AT IT! It’s TOO FUCKING INTRIGUING! I know it isn’t all pink but I mean COME ON! How could you NOT want to read it after the first impression like THAT? It’s a collection of horror stories – as you must have guessed by the title and the font and all – and I AM WAY TOO EXCITED to lay my hands on it ASAP!

🌸 A Guide for Murdered Children by Sarah Sparrow: Stephen King says, ‘There is no safe place to read this book.” and I gotta say between the title and the fact that this is a psychological thriller, he is right! The only good that’ll come out of owning it – apart from it looking pretty on your shelf – is that people will stop leaving you in charge of their kids. (insert echo voice) FOREVER. EVER. EVER.

🌸 A Quiet Kind of Thunder by Sara Bernard: When I first saw this cover, I immediately fell in love with it. The way it depicts silent AND chaotic states of mind – both at the same time – perfectly blends with the title. This is a story of quiet yet thunderous love and I have an inkling that I am going to adore every single moment of reading this beauty!

🌸 Queenie by Candice Carty-Williams: ”QUEENIE will have you nodding in recognition, crying in solidarity, and rooting for this unforgettable character every step of the way.” x.X I mean, for a cover as gorgeous, daring, and bold as THAT I am willing to endure ANYTHING! *heart eyes* ❤

SOOO??!??!
Did you like the covers?
Which one’s your favorite?
Have you read any of them?! PLEASE TELLL ME IF YOU HAVE!!
ALSO, what is YOUR favorite colour? ❤
Let’s talk!


[A READER’S LIFE] The Crazy Book-Girl //Things I did as a kid that earned me this title// PART-2

Having had WAY TOO many crazy bookish moments in my childhood, I have been wanting to share this post ever since I wrote the part one. 

My childhood was full on crazyI’d slap someone four years older than me and then get into trouble for that, took a few things too and hid them in a place where nobody could find them and then watched everyone panic – a classic example of this was when I took my aunt’s gold ring and kept it in my room.

In my defense I was only 5 years old and that ring was very fucking shiny – it had a peacock engraved in it. IMAGINE THAT!

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Yeah, so I took it – in innocence – but when she got mad at her own girls, I was afraid of telling her that it wasn’t them, it was me. And so, I didn’t speak out for the next three days – until my mum found it while looking for something in my bag. 

But, hey, THAT’S ANOTHER THING!! 🤷🏻‍♀️ Right now, I just wanna talk about some other things I did as a child that earned me the label I now wear with much pride and respect – “The Crazy Book Girl”

Let’s begin, shall we? 

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Ladies and Gentleman, we are gathered here today to witness the public shaming of this girl – who goes by the name RAIN.

Look at her. Just look. So innocent, isn’t she? Well, don’t be fooled by her little face because behind that innocent smile is the heart of a very heinous criminal who can and WILL destroy everything you hold dearmainly books.

The Local PD, Bookishton

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Yep. They are absolutely fucking right. I did steal someone’s book once. 

Hey, hey, HEYYY! Before you come at me with torches and swords, let me explain dude.

It was the year 2005 and I was merely 9 years old. By that time, I had already fallen head over heels in love with books – those pretty little books hiding those pretty little stories! 

This one time my ”friend” – let’s call her P – brought her recently rand new social science book to school. Okay, I admit that the content wasn’t very exciting but THOSE PAGES – glossy and smooth as butter. HARDCOVER. Pretty drawings. IT WAS THE VERY DEFINITION OF BEAUTY. 

And I was jealous. And SHE FUCKING KNEW IT! That’s why she kept showing it off whole dayy! 

Well, I got mad and decided I wanted that book. And so, when she went to the bathroom – I took the book out and put it in my bag. It wasn’t too big so nobody noticed me doing so.

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The first few moments I felt awesome but it soon converted into guilt. As that feeling started to overpower me, I decided to out it back in her bag but she came back right at that moment and since it was the last period, I couldn’t do it that day! 

When she went home, she must have cried a lot because her new book was missing. AND I FELT AWFUL TOO! And so, the next day – since I usually arrived in class before everyone else – I put the book on the very back seat and sat on my own bench.

The boy who was sitting there noticed the book in the first period, read her name and gave it back to her and that was that.

P, if you are reading this, I HOPE THIS TEACHES YOU NEVER TO FUCKING SHOW OFF! 

NOW GO AWAY. You were a mean bean in the later years and I HATE YOU! 😡

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As a child, I had a LOT of picture books. My mum used to bring me new ones every year from the book fair. IT USED TO BE ONE OF THE MOST ANTICIPATED DAY OF THE YEAR. And then, she used to give them to me at the end of every academic year – in March.

It was a lovely tradition and it helped in cultivating my reading habit. And so, I always prized those books and kept them decorated. With lots of those puffy stickers.

One of those books was titled – ”The Best Classic Fairy Tales’‘ –  It was very pretty orange colored and puffy and it had some of my favorite stories like Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, and Beauty and the Beast.

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I loved it and of course during those first few months of owning it, I would take it to school everyday, not to show it off though LIKE THAT P! 😡 Just to make sure that it’s alright, safe with me. 

I never took it out of my bag in the class. Never except that one time – in the social science period. Our teacher – with her typical short hair and mean eyes – noticed it and took it from me, asking me to give it back at the period’s end.

I waited impatiently for the bell to ring and as soon as it did, I was the first one off my seat and in front of the teacher’s desk. But she decided to troll me instead, saying that she wanted to borrow the book for a day – so that her daughter could read it.

I couldn’t very well refuse her, EXAMS WERE NEAR, worse luck! And so I nodded. 

The next day, however, when she returned the book, I was shocked to see what her daughter had done – torn off ALL OF MY STICKERS, leaving the pages looking ugly with all those white patches. Like this: 😦

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And you know what? She pretended as if that was always the case – as if it was like that when she took it from me in the first place!

LIKE WHAT THE FUCK?! An apology would’ve been nice. 

From that day, I started being rude to that particular teacher and she’d purposefully cut my marks off for the MOST RANDOM MISTAKES.

Oh well.

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Some of you who have read the part one of this post already know that I once beat up a guy for stealing my book. Well, that wasn’t the only bookish beating I executed.

There was one more. Just one. But this one is VERY important and I AM STILL VERY PROUD OF IT. 

I must have been around 11? years old when this happened. You see, I used to sit with this guy from my class in the bus while going back home. He and I used to read comics. The seats used to be really small so we would sit very close to each other and read from the comics – just random cartoons or something, I don’t even remember their names now.

And this other classmate of mine, call him Hasshole, he used to make fun of that. He used to gossip about us, that mean boy gossip you know, it makes me laugh now that I think about it. 

But boy did he cross his limit when he snatched the comic from us this one time and crumpled it (they used to be very thin) and started laughing like the Hasshole he was! 

He shouldn’t have done that. I got so fucking angry that I went to him, pinned him to the back of the bus, and tore his sweater a bit, starting with it’s v neck. You get the idea, yeah?

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He cried and cried until his stop came and unfortunately, it was the same as mine. When his mum, standing there to pick him up, saw this she asked him about it and he told her everything.

She scolded me and took me to my mother, who then scolded me again and I wasn’t allowed to go out to play FOR A WEEK!

 FUCK THAT ”HASSHOLE.” I HATE HIM! 


*SIGH* Well, THAT was a fun ride, wasn’t it? 😉
These are some of THE MOST memorable moments of my childhood, makes them laugh to even think about them now. And I have this vague idea that THESE ARE NOT ALL – maybe I’m forgetting something?!

I GOTTA GO ASK MUMMA!

Until, next time then?

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[A READER’S LIFE] How To Read a Book PROPERLY//My Reading Process//

I know. I know.

WHAT’S SO HARD ABOUT READING ANYWAY?

Open the goddamn book, read the fucking words, pretend to be shocked/moved etc.

RIGHT??!!

Reading is an art. Each step needs to be savored, taken pleasure in. It needs to speak to your soul. Reading a book should incite a change in the deepest level of your being. AND THAT CAN ONLY HAPPEN IF YOU DO IT RIGHT.

Luckily for you, I am here to enlighten you lost souls on how to properly read a book and this I will do by giving you a sneak peek into my own reading process.

Now, it may get a bit intense here but HEY! YOU KNEW WHAT YOU TOOK ON WHEN YOU CLICKED ON THIS POST, YEAH?!

SO NO COMPLAINING and let’s get to it.

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THE WALK

*sigh*

Having finished reading the very last page, I close the book. My mind is still in a haze, unable to process the surroundings I now find myself in.

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Seconds turn into minutes threatening to turn into hours when I snap myself out of a long lost dream, shake my hand off of the last shreds of the world I just left behind in the pages of the beautiful book lying on the bed. It’s a hard decision but a necessary one nonetheless.

I walk over to my bookshelf, admire the general splendor of all the hardbacks and paperbacks, bathe in the quiet reassurance of their utmost beauty and I just keep watching and watching….and watching…

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THE CHOICE

Awe turns into irritation real quick.

Standing in front of my magnificent shelf I become aware of all the brooding eyes staring right into my soul, trying to manipulate me.

EVERY SINGLE OF MY PRIZED POSSESSIONS BEG FOR AN HONEST CONSIDERATION. Making those sweet doleful eyes, crushing my heart.

 

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PICK MEEEE!!!

No wonder it takes me HOURS (sometimes even DAYS) to decide what to read next! But I turn my heart to stone and ignoring all their fictional pleas reach my hand out to rest on a random spine.

YES! THIS IS GOING TO BE MY COMPANION FOR THE NEXT COUPLE OF DAYS.

With a heavy heart, I make my way backback to re-enter a world entirely different from my own.

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THE TRANSITION

Reality as I know it starts to fade away. The world around me crumbles – brick by brick- until it gives way to another dimension.

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Here, I am a captive of the writer’s words. They clutch the insides of my mind and pull me in. No longer am I aware of my previous life. I am living now in the minds of these wonderful, wonderful characterscrazy, flawed, AND MORE HUMAN THAN HUMAN BEINGS THEMSELVES.

Yes. I LIKE IT HERE. Can I stay here forever? CAN I?

I am lost in a world of words and emotions and I DON’T WANT ANYONE TO COME LOOKING.

I FEEL SAFE.
I FEEL LIKE MYSELF.
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THE REVELATION

I have lived a full life here, have loved these new friends that I made just a few hours agoloved them like we’ve been together for eternity. Their laughs, their cries, their hopes and dreams, their fears, their shadowsall etched into my mind as if someone had carved them there with utmost care and precision.

But now these lovely people are about to reach the conclusions to their respective storiesall the hardships they had been subjected to are almost at an end. Their wait is over and the things they want are almost in their grasps.

And while that’s good news for them, it’s distressing to me.

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I will soon have to leave them – leave this beautiful world and all these wonderful people. I have come to love their lives more than my own but now I won’t be privy to the details anymore.

HOW WILL I KNOW IF THEY WERE ALRIGHT TILL THE END? THAT NO DANGER BEFELL THEM AFTER WE PARTED OUR WAYS? HOWWW?!!?!

They will move away into the quiet recesses of their own little worlds, to live their own lives and I will become a mere stranger to themA ONE-SIDED LOVER who will continue to obsess over them for days, months EVEN YEARS TO COME!

I AM UNHAPPY. OH, SO UNHAPPY.

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THE HOPELESSNESS

Here I sit, with a closed book in my hands and tears welling up in my eyes.

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It’s agonizing to watch a worlda world that has made me feel more alive than I have felt in a LONG LONG TIMEfade away into nothingness.

It’s a tearful realization but I keep heart. I have faith because I know that these memories that I have stolen from the neverwhere world will now stay with me forever. Because I know that with a flick of the page I will be transported back to that magical world where everything will STILL BE THE SAME.

AHH!! SUCH A LOVELY PROSPECT.

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THE WALK

*sigh*

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Yes. I am back again, scratching my head, trying to avoid those puppy dog eyes!

GOD HELP ME!
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AND THIS, DEAR READERS, IS HOW YOU PROPERLY READ A BOOK!

*PHEW*

I also hope that all you people who think that reading is nothing but looking at words have changed your perception of it now BECAUSE IT IS HARD WORK!!!

*dies of exhaustion and a broken heart*

Soo..do you have the same reading process as I? What steps would you like to add/take away?!?! LET ME KNOW! I WANNA KNOWWW!!!

[A READER’S LIFE] The Crazy Book-Girl// Things I did as a kid that earned me this title//

Books and Me = inseparable.

For as long as I can remember.

I have loved them, lived in them, sometimes hated them as well BUT WE HAVE NEVER BEEN APART. Even during that phase when I used to despise the very existence of the written word – yeah that did happen to me as a teenager – I still ensured the well-being of all the pretties that adorned my shelf. 

And people noticed that. Called me obsessive.

BUT it’s not like I didn’t find leisure in other things as well! I was not the kind whose nose was stuck in a book every hour of every day. I liked being outdoorsplaying badminton/volleyball with my friends after finishing the homework, running, thinking of world-dominion. (AND WE CAME UP WITH SOME PRETTY CRAZY IDEAS! xD)

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But reading was still one of my FAVORITE things to do. And as my love for it increased, so did the number of extreme and crazy things I used to and I am here to share them with you. ARE YOU READY???!! 😉

(PLEEEEAAAAAASE DONT BE TOO SHOCKED!!!)

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I BEAT UP A GUY ONCE

BECAUSE….

he took one of my books out of my bag during lunchtime when I was out with my friends. IT WAS A JOKE, he said! A JOKE? What about the fucking heart-attack I suffered from when I thought it was lost? Add to it the fact that it was the illustrated collection of fairy tales that mumma had gotten for me as a present!

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I was fuming. THIS TIME HE WENT TOO FAR! So I punched him in the eye REAL HARD and took my book back. Sure, it got me a strict tete-a-tete with the principal, my parents were called, I was scolded A LOTBUT IT WAS ALLLLL WORTH IT!

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THE DINOSAUR BOOK

There were some books in our library that kids below a certain age weren’t allowed to read. And the ENORMOUS and ABSOLUTELY GORGEOUS book about Dinosaurs and how they became extinct belonged to this category.  I saw a guy reading it in the library once and the next time it was our class’ turn, I asked our librarian for it. But upon hearing my request, she made the ugliest face imaginable and said,

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BUT I WAS DETERMINED TO HOLD THAT BEAUTY IN MY HAND NO MATTER WHAT!

So, I called my grandpa and told him all about it. As a kid, he was the one I went to with all my school-related trifles and this incident was no different.

The next day during our English period, I was summoned to the principal office and there he was, my grandpa, talking to her and I KNEW THAT MY DREAM OF READING THAT BOOK WAS GOING TO BE A REALITY REAL SOON because right then and there the principal wrote a note granting me permission to read whatever I book I desired.

 FORM THAT DAY ON, SCHOOL WAS A B0OK HEAVEN FOR ME! ❤

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MY BOOKISH NEEDS ARE ABOVE YOUR CHILDREN’S

My aunt used to have this little copy of Captains Courageous that I was drawn to. It was a very beautiful – faded and soo fucking cute! The very moment I saw it in her house, I knew I had to have it. So, I, doing my best puppy-dog eyes, convinced her to give it to me. I WAS SO THRILLED BY THE FACT THAT IT BELONGED TO ME NOW!  

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Fast forward to two years later. 

One of my cousins, my aunt’s daughters, asked for her mother’s copy of Captains Courageous. I led her into my room where it was proudly sitting on my night-stand. Upon seeing it, she asked me if she could have the book back now that I had already read it. I refused and offered to buy her a new copy but she wanted her mothers’ which was OUT OF THE QUESTION, as far as I was concerned. She cried about it but I DIDN’T BUDGE.

Listen, THAT BOOK BELONGED TO ME NOW. THOSE PAGES HELD THE MEMORIES OF ALL THE TIMES I HAD READ AND RE-READ IT AND THERE WAS NO WAY I WAS GONNA GIVE IT UP.

(YEP! Now that I think about it, the title was well-earned. 😉 )

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart ObjectTAPING THE EDGES
(I still do this.)

Bent corners add to the beauty of used books but they are a blot to the beauty of the new ones. There is nothing I hate more than seeing the perfection of a new book being compromised and my little self used to feet just as keenly about this.

And to tackle this problem of ruined edges, I started taping the edges of all of my paperbacks AS SOON AS I BOUGHT THEM! Sure, it took a bit of time but IT RENDERED THE COVER INDESTRUCTIBLE (at least from rough-handling)!!

 

LOOK AT THEM!

These editions are 10 years old, have been read MANY MANY TIMES and they are still in impressive condition, aren’t they??!!

YEAH, THAT’S THE MAGIC OF TAPING THE FUCKING EDGES! ❤ ❤

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I know. I know.

You must be judging me for some of these. xD BUT WHAT CAN I SAY!???! That’s how I used to roll! And although I don’t make little girls cry anymore, I am not completely unwilling to throw the occasional punch should any threat may befall my precious paperback companions. 😉

BUT ENOUGH ABOUT MEEE!! I WANNA KNOW ABOUT YOUR CRAZY EXPERIENCES TOOOOO!!!
So, let’s talk.

[RE-READING] A Tale as Old as Time – THE BEAUTY and THE BEAST

It was a dark and stormy night.

The ground seemed to shake with an unnatural aversion towards the living. I was at my grandparents’ house for the day. Mumma wanted to go to a book fair and it was really far from where we lived so they decided to make a trip of it and left me with grandpa and grandma. I was 9. I don’t remember much of that night except two thingsthe gods seemed angry, and I wanted to go home. 

Sitting by the little window in my room, I saw as the lightning struck the heavens again and again as if desiring to break it open. I remember imagining angels flying out; I remember imagining my dragon in our backyard, protecting us from it all. 

There was a war in my head –

angels against demons,
light against dark,
thunder against peace,

BEAUTY AGAINST BEAST.

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I was on the dragon’s back now, flying up up up, rain on my face, and my insides in a knot. My head was rested against the dragon’s nape, clutching him as tightly as I could, putting all my faith in him. I knew he won’t let me down. 

And he didn’t.

The next morning, it was sunny again. All the flowers seemed to be blooming with a renewed happiness, swaying side by side in celebration. And I knew we had won the war. 

In the drawing-room were my parents, waiting for me. The house smelled of stories and I when looked around, they were all around me. Mumma had brought me so many books from the fair. Each one was more beautiful than the other. They came with a promise of adventure and I was excited to start my next one. And my mother handed me the most beautiful book I had ever held in my hands – written on its cover in gold was,

THE BEAUTY AND THE BEAST.

I remember being intrigued by the title. And as I let it swirl around in my mind, I was transported back to my dragon’s back. We had had so many adventures together, you see. He was my first best friend. He still is. 

I remember excusing myself and going back to my room and getting lost in this enchanting tale of love and redemptiona tale as old as time.

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BEAUTY.

The youngest of twelve siblings.

She is the heart of this story. And I remember how much I wanted to be like her. Even today, re-reading this beautiful story, I was struck by how much I still want to be her, to have her patience, firmness of character, her strength of mind. 

”She was a perfectly beautiful young creature, her good temper rendered her adorable.”

When the father of this army of sons and daughters was reduced to poverty and the selfish vanity of the daughters came crashing on their heads, it was Beauty who made the best of circumstances.

The hand of fate is cruelest on those who take their fortunes for granted and so most of the merchant’s children were miserable, wretched that the splendor and glory which was theirs had been snatched away from them. But the youngest one, although sad herself, realized soon enough that cursing the gods for their cruel behavior was no way to go through this crisis. She made the best of the circumstances she was in. She did the work that was required of her, without a shred of complaint, no matter how she felt at heart, and soon enough she started deriving real joy from the adversity her family was thrown in.

Who but the kindest and loveliest of souls can be capable of that?

It’s no doubt then that it was Beauty who chance threw in the way of the realization of her wildest dreams. I am in awe, still, of how with the sweetest of disposition she cared for her family.  Even when her sisters were jealous of her positive outlook.

”Every intelligent person, who saw her in her true light, was eager to give her preference over her sisters.”

Is it really a matter of doubt that people regarded Beauty’s firmness of mind and her strength of character as her greatest virtue? Could her sisters truly not see that anyone, who understood the importance of such virtues, could not help by fall in love with this sweet soul?

Real world is harsh, as we are reminded of at the beginning of this story when the merchant loses his place in society and all the suitors who were apparently in love with his herd of daughters soon dissociated themselves from them and scattered away like peas, in hidden places.

And when you are dealt with a firm blow at the hands of fate, it’s not money and beauty that matters. What’s more important is with what disposition you deal with those circumstances? How far are you willing to go without falling? With a smile on your face, just one more day. Your strength is tested in such times as these when you are left alone and nobody, not even the friends who claimed to love you, come to your aid. How you emerge from it is the true test which everyone is subjected to at one point or another in their lifetime. So was Beauty. And she showed real firmness of character by putting on her bravest smile for the sake of her family, the people she loved. 

Beauty is as beauty does.

She was called by this name due to more reasons than just her physical appearance. Although her charms were many, the greatest virtues that rendered her form so lovely and her face so kind was the lack of vanity and jealousy. Pride, is a different issue altogether. Every man has some, as they should. But vanity is a fault and must never be indulged in. A habit of reveling at the nature of circumstances others in is a crime against the pure nature of the heart and it’s this unsaid crime her sisters were accused of. It’s no wonder then that however pretty they were, it was only Beauty who caught the hearts of people.

Her beauty did not diminish with her father’s wealth. If anything, it increased tenfold!

A steadiness of heart and control over mindless excitement – both happy and sad – is a virtue only the most intelligent possess. They don’t become overcome with grief due to loss or overjoyed due to happy circumstances owing to the knowledge of the fact that life is a tide; the highs and the lows are to be expected. They understand that just like the sea is never constant, neither is life. However, bad things may seem to be, they can always turn lovely, and the other way around as well. So, isn’t it just good sense to never indulge in the extremities of our fickle heart?

The Beauty and the Beast reminds us that things can always get better or worse. And we should live our day to day life accordingly, without losing sight of this simple yet powerful truth.

My younger self didn’t draw all of these lessons from the story though. I had finished reading it by the time we set out for home. It was a peculiar feeling really. I had read many many stories before but this one stirred my heart like none of the others did.

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Beauty and Beast’s love was all I could think about.

I remember sitting in the backseat of our car, listening to my parents talk but my mind was elsewhere. All I wanted was to go back to my dragon. He was flying beside our car, making sure we were safe.

I looked at his majestic form and fell in love with him, convinced that I was the beauty and he was the beast.

(That’s all I cared about at that time anyway!)

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So, have you read The Beauty and the Beast in its complete form?
How has your perception of the story changed over the years?
What are your favorite fairy tales? And favorite re-tellings?
What was the first book you ever read?

I WANNA KNOWWW!!

[DISCUSSION] Challenging or Entertaining – Which Ones Should You Be Reading?

When I choose a book to read, that decision is not based solely on whether I want to read something that would inspire thought-provoking questions or not. I simply choose according to my mood.

Sometimes I want the book to take me places, show me lovely things, make me feel like a million bucks. On those particular days, I don’t want it to fucking bombard me with existential questions. I just want to escape. And at these times, novels, for me, are just a means to an end.

On the others, however, I am not content with just reading some fluffy tale of JACK – the rabbit and FLUFFY- the squirrel who had adventures in the Tree Land and in the end everything was happy-happy.

NOPE

Today, I want a glimpse of the ugly side of humanity. I want to read about everything that I didn’t know before. I want the castle of my beliefs blown to rubble with bombs of truth and in their place, I want new ideas planted. I want to know about all the horrors that went down in the history of the world and how they were faced. I want to know about people, their shortcomings – the dirty side of humanity – ALL OF IT.

I want to know it all.

These are the two basic moods which I, as a reader, identify with and which dominate the choices I make while deciding what to read.

It all comes down to what you find rewarding on what day. (But that’s not to say that a book can’t be both challenging and entertaining at the same time)

When I decide to read something that can potentially be described as ”challenging’‘, I don’t take it up because my mind goes –

”Okay, so I’d like to be a pretentious ass clown today and would like everyone around me to feel like failures so let me just get my swag on open this bad boy real quick.”

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NO.

I read it because I WANT  to. Because I think it’d be a rewarding, eye-opening, and mind-boggling experience.
It is as simple as that.

It’s just good ol’ curiosity.

And I think you only ever read something if the plot, or something about the author – this that or the other – sparks curiosity in you. Otherwise no matter what, you won’t even TOUCH the damn thing! And even if you DID, it won’t be as insightful because you will not go through with it BECAUSE you didn’t WANT to read it in the first place.
Because you didn’t think that the rewards of completing it would justify the act of reading the beast itself. 

We don’t read just for the satisfaction of having read a difficult book so we can boast about it, we read it to get something out of it. 

And the books aren’t challenging ME. I am challenging THEM to change my mind, to make my ideas conform to theirs. They might succeed and I’ll become their slave ❤ or I might remain unconvinced.

Either way, it’s not just about reading a complex work, it’s also about how that particular work of fiction gets it’s the point across and if the labor of going page-by-page through a ”challenging” novel for 500+ hours is, FOR YOU, worth the satisfaction and expansion of mind you will experience afterward. (But hey, you read enough of those seemingly complex books and soon they will become your leisure read instead! )

If, on any particular day, the answer to these questions is YES, I go and grab that baby. If, however, I am not feeling up to it though, I read my Katie Fforde and call it a day.

So, in the end, what I’d like to say is this –

Reading is SUCH a diverse hobby, with a number of different ways to go about it. It’s not for anyone else to decide what kind of novels YOU should read. If you feel like going towards the Classics section, then, by all means, KNOCK YOURSELF OUT! But if you feel intimidated and just want to stick with your copy of Harry Potter and The Hobbit (LIKE I FREQUENTLY DO ;)) that’s okay too.

And anyway who the fuck said that the simple ones cannot be challenging enough anyway? Some of the most memorable pieces of fiction I have read have been deceptively minimal. (Think Mister Pip)

So, don’t think it has to be one or the other. IT CAN BE BOTH. Or it can be EITHER ONE. You decide. ❤

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I have still just scratched the surface with this one. What do you think? Do you agree with me? What are your thoughts on it?

[REVIEW] The Cellist of Sarajevo – Steven Galloway// 3 Reasons Why You SHOULD Read it + 1 Why You Shouldn’t

(My spirit is coiled. This is one of the gravest reviews I will write.)

The Cellist of Sarajevo leaves in it’s wake a quiet yet powerful remembrance of the men and women who lived their lives in fear and trembling each day during that 4 year siege, doing their best to survive in a war that seemed to be going on and on like a bottomless and hungry creature emerged from the depths of the most malevolent darkness.

It seemed that it’ll only end with the faded hopes of the people of Sarajevo and their will to fight to survive one more day. The lives they left behind, the friends they lost, the memories they buried and all of it for the sake of becoming strong enough to face the harsh truths of war with enough courage in their hearts to stop themselves from giving in to their wobbly knees.

Because they knew that once fallen, they will never be able to stand up again.

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Sarajevo is a city drenched in blood, fear, and shards of reality and its inhabitants have a story to tell.

It’s a story about a loaf of bread, a bucket of water, a mission to protect and a musician who brought the world around him what they needed the most – a drop of hope.

I will present to you why their story must be read by every single human being who possesses the ability to read and one reason why you should steer clear of this book because …well…I’ll tell you later on.
laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart ObjectK E N A N

When the city you have spent all your life in turns into a graveyard of broken things and dead meat, you start to question if the place you grew up was ever really there or was it just a figment of your imagination?

What do memories mean anyway? What do they stand for? What are memories worth?
Kenan knows. They can buy you a few kilograms of tomatoes and rice and a few apples maybe.

But memories don’t have a significant place in Kenan’s world now. It hurts too much to close his eyes to relive those joyous moments only to be shaken awake by distant firing and falling buildings. He shouldn’t do that, thinking about running his hands through her wife’s honey brown hair, hearing his children’s laughter as they play with their electric car. Those are the things of the past because the war had thinned his wife beyond recognition and about that car? Well, electricity is a guest that visits only once or twice a month and never stays for more than 3.2 minutes.

He has to get water for his family. He has to make that two-hour-long, perilous journey across the city and the river to get all the bottles refilled before the shelling begins again. THAT’S what matters now. THAT’S ALL THAT MATTERS TO HIM.

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A MAN AND HIS BUCKETS

HIS MISSION.

The ONLY one that counts. To keep his family alive. To keep them from dying of thirst. This is his duty. This is what wants and has to do.

And he will. As long as he can. and even beyond.

Because this is a brave man. A man so brave that he admits not wanting to be a soldier. Not wanting to protect his city because nothing represents Sarajevo more to him than his two daughters, his little son and his lovely wife.

Kenan wishes he wasn’t selfish. But in a world where using each other as guinea pigs for the ”men in the hills” is commonplace, what else is there any scope for?

What else can he be?

No, he will be selfish. For himself. For his children. And he will loathe himself for this. But HE WILL CARRY ON because at home there is someone waiting for him.

This journey – one day journey – will leave him a changed man. The shock of witnessing death land and explode inches away from his six immaculately filed and secured water bottles will transform something in him at a deep and almost cathartic level.

He will come to terms with his priorities and will make peace with his life because he has to get up again. to fetch that water.

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart ObjectD R A G A N

With his wife and son safely away from the horrors he witnessed on a daily basis, Dragan is angry.
At everything.
But most of all at himself. Why is it that he couldn’t leave when he had the chance?

He needs to eat. Starving to death is just as bad as dying in the crossfire. Maybe that’s what those snipers waiting in the hills are rooting for? It’s unclear. Maybe we’ll never know what they think. What they feel about all the people they murder?

He needs a loaf of bread. There has never been a more innocent necessity. And yet, war has turned it into luxury. The war that understands only the language of violencethis war that burned countless homes, buried numberless people, burnt numerous stories whose ashes still roam the streets of Sarajevo smelling of burnt paper and with those papers, the stories. This STUPID, STUPID war that’s turning humans into dust for the simple reason of making a statement.

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Yes, Dragan is angry because nothing is as it was, as it should be. Where once used to be fond memories now stand only deserted buildings and in those buildings is a whole lot of nothing. Memories that are long lost now and can never come back again even if, by some miracle, it does go back to the way it was before.

Everything is tainted. With blood and rubble.

But he still needs to get that loaf of bread. It is FREE and he is hungry and there aren’t as many places as the bakery he used to work in left standing now. Is it worth risking his life for though? Maybe. Maybe not.

But Dragan doesn’t careThis siege has made him bitter. It has turned him into a pessimist. He doesn’t believe in things now. He just doesn’t see the point of it all.

Through Dragan we get a full and rare glimpse of fear and disappointment blended immaculately in the hearts of people who actually have to go through the horrors of war. Because it’s not just death that Dragan is afraid of. No. He is far more frightened by the possibility of having to spend his whole life as a captive in his own city. That’s the prospect that is completely unacceptable for him. And it should be. But it gives way to words and actions that would later instill grand amounts of guilt in him.

Behind all his anger and disappointment is FEAR and all it’s different flavors of it and he still doesn’t know how to cope with it. But he will learn, eventually. He must.

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart ObjectA R R O W

She is quick.
She is smart.
She is undeterred.
The men on the hills hate her and so she hates them. She wants each and every single one of them dead. No exceptions. There is nothing complicated about her.

War means that people will be killed and she wants to make sure they die on the right side of the hills surrounding the once-beautiful city of Sarajevo.

Nothing could be simpler.

If only.

War doesn’t only breed terror and loathing, it also breeds self-doubt in the minds of people. One minute they have everything – a loving family,  friends, a life – and the next they are standing with ashes in their hands of everything that they once held dear, everything they were.

What now? What are they now?

For Arrow the simple girl who found joy in every moment and meaning in every act – no matter how little – no longer holds any place in her life as it is now. She knows she must be fast, brutal and unflinching if she is to survive the war. She must be relentless. She must be a weapon. A sniper as skilled as herself can inflict a lot of pain and do a lot of damage to the adversary and so that’s what she will do.

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But her sense of morality and her significance in this war is questioned and challenged when she is given an assignment. She must protect a man. And this she must do for 22 days.

In the process, she must face her past, the girl she used to be. She has to choose and put an end to the dilemma between who she wants to be and who she is.

Arrow needs to remember herself once more. She needs to own her name.

laurels+flowers_0007_Vector Smart ObjectThese three lives.
And on them are dependant dozens more.
How will they find hope again? To keep on carrying on as long as there is breath in their lungs and strength in their legs?

They need to be reminded that the world can be a beautiful place again.

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THE CELLIST

More than five and thirty people stood in the line that day. For a piece of bread to take home with them. Mothers, Wives. Husbands, brothers, granddaughters. Each of them had a single purpose – to make it through the night without an empty stomach.

And then it happened.
A shell landed directly beside them, sending them flying off in each corner, leaving only cries and blood.

The Cellist saw it all.
Saw it happen in front of his own eyes. Saw how several injured with missing limbs and ears were carried off. Witnessed the cruel death of 22 people. And in that tragedy, he found his purpose, his place in the war.

For the next 22 consecutive days, he would play his cello in the street on the site of the blood-bath to honor every single one of those innocent people who lost their lives for a simple desire. He will do that without taking into account the consequences of his actions and what will happen to him.

He won’t care for all that.

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And this simple gesture will awaken in the hearts of all everything that they thought they could never feel or even remember again. He will remind them that they can take away their homes, their loved ones, their will, but they can never take away the goodness that still resides in the city of Sarajevo and which will rise against every adversity.

And when on the last day, at the end of his concert, he will get up, with shaking shoulders and teary eyes, you will know the true meaning of loss in your hearts. You will cry with him. And a part of you will be lost, destroyed the same way his spirit has been tampered with.

I balled like a baby by the end of this book.
And you will too.
There is no way around that.
And in the course of the next few days, you will be randomly reminded of Kenan with his water, Dragan with his friend lying on the street with blood all around her, of Arrow and the sad loss of her own identity.

But by then, you will not be sad for the cellist because you will know that despite the horrors he had witnessed, he managed to light a candle of hope and will in the hearts of them all.

And they will go on.

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If you want to read The Cellist of Sarajevo, read it for Kenan, Dragan, Arrow. They will teach you the true meaning of fear, disappointment, and betrayal and you will grow with them as they will learn to live with it.

But don’t read it for the Cellist. Don’t do that because in only a few pages he will make you fall in love with him and you will always carry that image in your heart – him crying, him playing his cello with his eyes closed and a smile on his face, the sound of his heart shattering as he witnessed the fall of his city.

And that image will haunt you for days to come!

[A READER’S LIFE] 5 TOTALLY Weird Things I do as a Reader, Lover, Dragon of BOOKS

(WARNING – It might get a bit dramatic around here. But hey, that’s just how I roll. 😉 )

Books are paperbound dreams that lift you up, up and above everything you know and everything you like to escape from. Soo pretty, soo beautiful – you just want to admire them and hold them near and never let them go. But they are also the cause of many of those weird quirks that we unintentionally and inevitably form.

And I am here to share them with you.

WHY, you ask?

Well, I don’t know about you guys but it’d do me good to know that I am not the only one who does these crazy-ass things.

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❤ TOUCH-THEM-NOT

I don’t like people going through my shelves. PERIOD

Yes, they can admire those immaculately put, beautifully arranged mighty ones BUT THEY ARE NOT ALLOWED TO TOUCH THEM, TAKE THEM OUT AND START FIDGETING!!! I know, I know, it’s super extreme and hey, I wasn’t like that always, okay?

But something happened once upon a time –

Mumma was showing some distant cousins my books (YEAH THEY WANTED TO SEE THEM BECAUSE ..OBVIOUSLY! *PFFTTTTT*) when one of them wanted to see ”that big, blue one” (and here we are talking about LADY MIDNIGHT by CASSANDRA CLAIRE) She took it out. The little guy held it for a few nanoseconds, got bored, left it lying on my bed and went out. And as she was putting the book back, she totally messed up the corners doing the task in a hurried, haphazard way.

MY. OWN. MOTHER!!

THE BETRAYAL!

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I was NEVER THE SAME AGAIN!!

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❤ PROTECT AND ATTACK

When I was little, me and my little brother used to sleep in the same room. Our study was in the room adjacent and all my books were there.

One day I heard of a break-in in one of our neighbor’s house,
I WAS SOO FREAKED OUT and NEEDLESS TO SAY that from that day on I slept with ALL of my books tucked around my bed because I was afraid that some vicious fuck llama might steal my babies!!!!

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And this is something I still do, by the way.  I NEVER leave my books in the bag whenever I go to stay at my relatives’. I take them out at night, keep them by my bed and the next day, I do it all over again.


SUPER WEIRD, I KNOW!

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❤ TO-READ or NOT-TO-READ

Now, this is the reason behind many of my reading slumps. I get soo sulky after reading a beautiful story that I JUST DON’T WANNA START A NEW BOOK because then all the memories of the one I just finished will be GOONEEE!!!

I feel as if I will lose a part of me. And that’s one of the biggest reasons why I don’t start a new book FOR A REALLY REALLY LONG TIME.

This happened when I first finished reading Harry Potter. I WAS SOO IN LOVEEE WITH EVERYTHING ABOUT THOSE BOOKS THAT I RE-READ THAT SERIES COUNTLESS TIMES before moving on to The Hobbit. and then, what do you know? THE PATTERN REPEATED ITSELF! I was a glutton for them and –

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The most recent example of this though is when I read The Snow Child. That book destroyed mee!!

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❤ FEAR AND LOATHING INSIDE THE T.V. SCREEN

I am sure you guys can DEFINITELY relate with this one.

I am afraid of watching book adaptations. THE FEAR OF DISAPPOINTMENT IS JUST TOO GREAT. Sure, there are some really good ones out there but whenever I find out that the book I read has been or is going to be made into a movie/series, I get so fucking nervous because a part of me believes that it’s just not going to be good enough.

Case in point, Good Omens. The adaptation came out months ago on Amazon Prime but I kept putting it off till now because I DIDN’T WANT O REPLACE MY PERSONAL IMAGE OF ALL THOSE CHARACTERS AND AMAZING SCENES.

But it was FAAAR from being a disappointment, I am telling you! I ABSOLUTELY ADORED THE SERIES!!! ❤

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❤ SHARING IS NOT AN OPTION

Whenever I come across an amazing, heart-wrenching book I don’t want to tell anyone about it. At least not in the beginning.

You see I feel like telling people about it will somehow take the magic away and...then it won’t be as special anymore.

This happened to me recently when I was reading The Night Circus. My friend asked me if I recommended it and I FLAT OUT SAID –

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I know that was a horrendous thing to do but I WAS JUST NOT READY TO SHARE MY LOVE WITH HER.

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❤ OH MY LIBRARY, HOW I LOVE THEE!

Whenever I visit my local library, I AM FILLED WITH ENVY BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT ARE THERE. Like what are you all doing here, you abominable little shits??

THIS LIBRARY IS MINE!
THESE BOOKS ARE MINE!
AND MINE ALONE!

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SO GET YOUR FILTHY LITTLE HANDS OFF THEM YOU ABOMINABLE TWATS!!! 

I mean I could be browsing in a completely different section but if I see someone else in the next one, picking out gorgeous hardbacks and stroking them, I GET SICK TO MY STOMACH! It’s like hey, my future boyfriend might be in there and you are probing him!

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WHAT ABOUT YOU, HUH? Which of these habits are you guilty of? Can you add to my list of weird little quirks that readers have? WHICH ONE DID YOU FIND THE WEIRDEST? Let me know.

[REVIEW] Childhood. Innocence – lost & Found. Friendships. Secrets. And above all – LOVE //When God was a Rabbit – Sarah Winman//

It all started with a need to fill the hole that the last story had left it my heart. I wanted desperately to find something just as engrossing to fill my mind, to distract me once more.

The need was strong and so was the pull that led me to shift aside all of the things on my shelf that crowded this long-forgotten book, hiding away from sight, as if lost in its own story – quite happily too, it seemed. I picked it out, not quite knowing why I had felt the urgency to seek this one out in particular and embossed in light blue halo were words written in white – WHEN GOD WAS A RABBIT, almost as if written by a little child, too excited to pay attention. With that thought, I opened it.

And I never closed it, not willingly anyway.

The promise of a journey deep into innocent, magical hearts and their brave lives. That’s all this book has to offer. As if it isn’t enough?

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Such is the nature of children that a mere flicker of magic, of the great unknown, is enough to draw them to it like a moth to a flame.
They don’t care about the consequences, they just want to make sense of the world around them, they just want to belong. And when none of that comes from the usual corners, they start to seek the same elsewhere. That’s what Elly did in the beginning. The world’s God, it seemed, loved everyone but her. So she decided to find another one. A better one. And she found it in Mr. Golan, their Jewish neighbor. With this new acquaintance started her journey of dreams and disappointments, too early for a child her age. Not to mention that soon Mr. Golan would do something that although Elly won’t be able to understand it then, it would change something in her. Something that she will confide, unwillingly, only with her brother. Something that would come out years later. And it would be okay. But that’s just the beginning of a long, long story.

Elly’s inquisitiveness and her relationship with the new girl Jenny Penny are so, so innocent that my heart went out. For both of them.

A strong relationship between a brother and a sister that became their rock against life’s many blows that were yet to come, witnessing a friend’s dysfunctional family that struck feelings that a young heart should never have been made to feel, forever escaping the truths of their identity and finally made to look them in the eye, beautiful friends found in the most unexpected places  – When God was a Rabbit isn’t just a story where a child’s innocent love and faith makes her pet talk and do things that can only ever happen in dreams, it’s about LOVE and all the different forms that it comes in our lives.

It’s about those sweet and magical years and experiences that have the power to transform our whole lives. And even in the later years when everything just seems so devoid of hope, the flickering memories of those delicious moments lived long ago can be redemptive, therapeutic, to say the least.

”I am here but I am not yours”

When God Was a Rabbit reminds us of the colossal significance of relationships, and their effects on us, on our whole lives – no matter what age they are formed in.

I could tell you all about how Joe dealt with the loss of his lover, how Alfie made peace with his lack of faith and how he regained it. I could tell you about the most unusual relationship between a brother, his sister. Yeah, I could tell you all of that and even more but all I really want you to understand about this novel is that the more you advance through this beautiful story of friendship and relationships and love and betrayal, the more you come to realize that this one of those stories that you have to live to really understand it.

Yes, reading it was like living it. Living through Joe’s ordeals, laughing with Elly and Jenny Penny, getting awestruck by Arthur’s ability to defy even death.

Some stories have so much going on in them owing to their exciting and racy plot that you hardly have enough time to REALLY examine the characters. But When God was a Rabbit is a purely character-driven story.  They will rise, they will fall, they will make you laugh, they will make you cry and by the end, you will leave with a fragment of them quietly tucked inside your hearts.

I have lived through a plethora of different emotions while reading this warm and, if I am being honest, at times shocking novel (in terms of the events that later transpire in the lives of them all) and all I can say is that –

When God Was a Rabbit is not just a novel. It’s an experience.

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And what about you? Have you read When God Was a Rabbit? Do you agree with me? How was your experience of the novel? Who was your favorite character?

[A READER’S LIFE] Beware the SLUMP //Treating a READER’S most-feared disease//

Reading. Reading some more. More reading.
Reading is fun.
Reading is life.
Reading is DOPE. (do people still use that word. though?)

READING ALSO BECOMES A PAIN IN THE ASS SOMETIMES! 

Don’t get me wrong. There is NOTHING I love more than waking up to a box full books just arrived from Amazon but
BUT
BUTTTT…

What to do when you JUST CANNOT MAKE IT WORK?

Well, I have successfully overcome this. Sure it took me a LOOONGGG time but hey, what matters is that I DID IT! And so I am PERFECTLY qualified to share my amazing tips with you as well.

So let’s get to it then!

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TOO FUNNY TO NOT USE!!!! XDXDXDXDXD

Continue reading “[A READER’S LIFE] Beware the SLUMP //Treating a READER’S most-feared disease//”