What I Regret Reading – After By Anna Todd

I’ve mentioned my fabulous app – the one for free, easy-to-read phone ebook app, haven’t I? So when I looked for something new, I was suggested Anna Todd’s ‘After’.

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I generally do not like reading the blurb-y synopsis behind novels, so I dived straight through. What can I say? It was the most wasteful 7 hours of my day, ever! I kept the pages turning because it wasn’t so hard on the eyes, but I think a few grey cells really died among those pages.

When I had to describe this book to my friend I called it a ‘Crossover between Twilight without the vampires, and Fifty shades minus the BDSM’.

Where do I start with what was wrong with this book? I may just have to alter the question to – What was even right in this tragic waste of words?!

Let me still give it a shot while I have some sanity left, eh?

The underlying theme is obviously one of a cliché – The good girl with everything working for her including good grades, a scholarship college admission, and a boy friend, who meets tattooed and pierced quintessential bad boy, and immediately they have the hots for each other though that is disguised as – yes, you guessed it hatred – an evident dislike for each other, which intensifies to sexual attraction in the most weird ways.

I don’t know how dumb the author must be and how stupid the readers for this book to have a series in itself! Besides the cesspit of toxicity that is immature attempts at relationships, underage drinking at frat houses, snobbish kids playing truth and dare, and ****ing around with every person in sight simply because you can , there really isn’t much else

Let’s just get into a few instances of melodrama. What say?

  • The kid with straight A-s joins a college which is about 3 hours from home, and of course, she needs to have a controlling Mom who insists on staying away from her daughter’s tattooed, goth-like roommate. Now I for one understand that that’s how Moms react. When I first met my Guitar Bud who went on to become among my favorite people on this planet, I could see the chagrin on my Mom’s face. Which tattooed guy has ever impressed mothers!? But our lovely lady here not only blows her mother’s concern off every instance but literally breaks ties with her to live with our cranky teenage throb who has serious need rehab level of issues.
  • Our Protagonist initially does not want to go to parties or drink alcohol. Cause good girls don’t do that! Needless to say, she does precisely that! Not once, twice, or thrice, but holy mother of God – every single time, even when she’s not invited !! And of course – she gets drunk, does the whole damsel in distress act and she’s rescued by Mr. Darcy himself – clearly no points for guessing!
  • Every story needs a friend zoned best friend – so we have the best boy to fit this typecast role, and of course, he happens to be the stepbrother of our (anti)hero. 
  • You have your usual sparks flying, can’t keep my hands to myself act, and have to keep making out in the most random places. Yes, we get it. But to show just how volatile this relationship is, the pair keeps having combustible arguments every 7th page – not kidding. (Okay, maintaining track on ebook pages is slightly tricky, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s true!)
  • They are so horribly wrong for each other – they can see it. But it’s just misguided loyalties, hormonal imbalance, and sheer dumbness that have them coming at each other.
  • If you’re reading this book, or even glancing at it, which I took to doing when I realized it was too much crap, you can’t help but realize the value of good old Mills & Boons, Danielle Steele or Sandra Brown – Dear god, how could you ever despise these women! At least they had a tale to tell, and not fill pages with incoherent random words as fillers while the protagonists are actually doing is grind against each other.
  • The author’s language is just cringeworthy. Period.
  • And did I mention the name of this confused, ridiculous specimen of a boy? Hardin! Yeah, exactly. What’s a better name for a novel that’s just high on sex, and nothing but sex! It’s clear the author isn’t fooling anyone. It’s a trashy read through and through and will have you pulling your hair on frustration or make you want to slap the characters terribly. 

After enduring everything, your heart may actually collapse when you get to know this tragedy is only the first in the five-part book series of After!

HOLY MOTHER OF GOD. HOW!?

INDEED, SOME GOODBYES ARE THE SWEETEST!

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#WhatImReading: The Time Traveler’s Wife

This book has been on my wishlist for a really long time but somehow I’d never gotten the opportunity to read it. After finishing two intense books, Sister of My Heart and American Gods, I started the ebook version of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

Reading this makes one fall in love with being in love. How can you not? It’s so simple an emotion and so entwined with life that maybe it’s easy to miss but you have to remember, it’s there!

I absolutely love how the plot weaves in and out of different time zones. And Henry? Oh well. If I had to put him up there in the list of fictional people I’ve fallen in love with, he’s right beside Taariq and Sirius. It doesn’t help that Henry is a librarian! If I had to redo my life again, might I not choose to be the purveyor, peruser and protector of books!?

I was inspired by my friend Nat, who I think keeps going back to The Time Traveler’s Wife, to pick this up and give it a read. I’ve still not finished with it. It’s a paradox. I want to read and I want it to never end…

I love how little Clare and big Henry meet. I Love the romance in the little things which so often we take for granted. It’s funny that it takes an external factor to remind you that all the details are in the little things.

It’s weird how I cannot give you a review of this book and I can just tell you to enjoy the feeling that it leaves you with. So few books have this power of making everything seem pleasant.

If you’re in love and need a reminder of those happy carefree moments, pick this up. If you’ve never been in love, pick this up to know it’s never ever too late. For Whatever it’s worth, need a good book to unwind? Pick this up already!

The Class

I just finished with Erich Segal’s award winnings and popular book – The Class. As with any of Segal’s works, I expected there to be situational conflicts with the protagonist and yet a whole lot of TLC. I wasn’t disappointed but I must say, I expected more.

After having read only 2 other books by Segal, I must admit that what he does is rather smart. There’s not 1 but 5 whole protagonists who share page space in this novel, and once you wait for your readers to be invested in each one’s story, that’s a brilliant way to keep the pages turning!

However, Segal’s characters fail to connect with you emotionally unlike in Doctors. Here, you just passively read the exploits of the different (un) heroes and exalt at their victories or admonish them for infidelities.

Read ‘The Class’ if you want to know more about life behind the wrought iron gates of Harvard.

One of the best lines came about during the end when Segal talks about how all the boys of batch 1954 entered Harvard as rivals and now, for their 25th class reunion, there’s a solidarity that transcends trivial emotions like enmity – Indeed life doesn’t spare even the supposedly most successful ones from its throes.

So long, Happy Reading!

Ten Tantalizing Reads

Hi readers,

I’m departing from the usual rants and observations and copying this from a Facebook Post from a year or two ago. There was a fad going on about ten books that left a lasting impact on you and these are mine. I’ve got to say that it does not follow a serious order and some books are just there because you know, it happened to you at a certain phase and the memories of that phase are stuck with its name, a nostalgia that is not necessarily beautiful, yet a part of you.

1) Harry Potter- J.K. Rowling.
For gifting me three best friends for life, and for making me a part of an alternate reality. And for Sirius. Yes, I believe in Magic.

Backstory: I began the Potter series at a house party when I was in 6th grade. I was a book lover, a nerd and I hated the mention of Potter because a certain friend had painted too vivid a picture. Being cynical since 1992, I was all ‘meh’. Why, I even ended up not understanding bat shit in the movie and returned the Casette (Yep, the VCR was a thing then). But at that bored party, once I read a few pages, there was no going back. #HarryPotterForLife since then and a #SiriusLoyalist too.

2) Inheritance series- Christopher Paolini.
I just loved the world he created. It was beautiful to travel with Saphira and meet Arya and yet remember that Eragon was a mere mortal once.

The Inheritance Cycle has mixed emotions. It started off so well but there was a lull in between. As usual, the movies didn’t do justice. I remember watching it with a group of friends in the theatre and there was absolutely nothing riveting about the adaptation on screen. However, being a part of the fantasy world was amazing.

3) The famous five series- Enid Blyton.
Sincere thanks to this woman. I think I fell in love with reading because of Julian, Anne, Dick, George and Timmy and their (mis) adventures. It’s made me an adventure freak!

I just remember sitting immobile for hours together just so I could be done with one book and go back to library for more. My librarian had to literally slow me down and barred me a few times.  I really wished I had such friends and that I could take off on adventures. To think about it, I guess my quest for wanderlust also took off around this time.

4) Thousand splendid suns- Khaled Hosseini.
For being simply splendid. I did a marathon with this book and it ended in late night tears. Mariam inspired me to write poetry.
For mariam and Tareeq. Love does conquer all.

It was in the 11th or 12th. It was horrible. I was a sobbing mess and I kept telling myself that there had to have been a way to save Mariam. I read this book when I was not doing so well in life. There was a lot of bull shit to rote learn, a feeling of hopelessness, not too many friends I could call mine, and well, the book was a beautiful reminder of hope. 

5) Gone with the Wind- Margaret Mitchell.
I read this way back in 9th grade. Not very pleased with the storyline but Scarlet ‘O Hara’s fierce arrogance has made for some interesting thought process.

In hindsight, I should not have started this book so young. It took me a really really long time to finish and it’s been one of the few books that I have cheated on. (Read two books simultaneously I mean).

6) The Shiva Trilogy- Amish Tripathy.
I just loved the way he broke it down to a message- Good deeds can make a Man God. Shiva’s journey from an ‘uncouth barbarian’ to the ‘Neelkanth’ was quite amazing. And the heartbreak at the end, So sad, yet so serene.

I remember reading this and explaining it to my extended family so fiercely that my Uncle actually was super impressed. This is one series I plan to read and re-read every few years just to understand and appreciate the beauty of life truths.

7) The crystal mask- Katherine Roberts.
I think I loved the exotic names that characters had in addition to the unique storyline.

8) Godfather- Mario Puzo.
“I’ll make him an offer he can’t refuse.”

Nuff said. The mafia bug bit me quite late and while I’m not an ardent fan of Narcos, I like to think that Godfather is still the ultimate in this category.

9) The Alchemist- Paulo Coelho.
It’s self explanatory…………….. And finally…

I am pretty sure I read it in one sitting because I really wanted to find the treasure. Don’t you all?

10) To Kill a Mockingbird- Harper Lee.
It is meticulous narration from a child’s point pf view but it deals with so many complex problems. Well deserved Pulitzer..

 

Every time people ask me what’s my favorite book, I have a couple on my mind but it’s usually To Kill A Mockingbird that I reply. I read this a few times and I feel like I can relate to Atticus and I’m so proud of him. Not planning to read the sequel, sorry.

 

Do tell me what’s your favorite book of all times? May be I should get my hands on new categories and titles! 😀