Blog Tour | Book Spotlight| The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone By Aldrea Johnson

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The Battle for the Four Realms: Dragon Bone
By Aldrea Johnson
Genre: Fantasy/Young Adult/Fiction


 

Siblings Aliedori and Maldar, heirs to the throne of the Southern Realm are attacked by an unseen assailant while camping in The Sacred Forest. Aliedori’s brother Maldar and his golden dragon, Keidrop, are trapped by a powerful binding spell; a spell that leaves Aliedori strangely unaffected. In an attempt to track down their unseen attacker Aliedoqri uses her natural gifts and casts a “Seeker” charm enabling her to pursue a chase to a shadowy figure through the dark woods until he mysteriously disappears without a trace…and the adventure begins!

As the trio sets off in the direction the mysterious figure disappeared they encounter mysterious creatures formed from dark magic, a mage powerful enough to incapacitate dragons and other threats only ever spoken of by the Chronicler.

As they journey East more of the Chronicler’s prediction come true, Aliedori’s destiny lay ahead along with … the battle for the four realms!

About the Author

Aldrea Johnson

I was brought up on stories, tales of adventures of far off places, of princesses in peril and their princes rescuing them, they filled my head and sparked my imagination from an early age. I have very fond memories of “Lloyd Brown” or “Lloydy” as he was known to us children, telling the most wonderful stories. The only time he didn’t stutter was when he was telling stories, I would travel with him to those far off places from the Grimm fairy tales and just around the corner of the “Anansi” stories of Jamaican fables, these were amongst my favourites. By the time I had to swap the Jamaican sunshine for the winter “watery” sun of England at the age of almost eleven years old. My head was already crammed full of stories to accompany me on my very own adventure to far off England.

I may have spent my formative years in the Jamaican countryside with the wild green woods and perfectly clear rivers but I grew up in London. Long winter days and darkened evenings would find me with my head in a book, the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Arabian Nights and closer to home Enid Blyton’s Famous Five were later replaced but not forgotten by Mervyn Peake’s Gormenghast, and Sterling E Lanier’s Hiero’s Journey.

I was a shy introverted child but while at school I was regarded as one of the “cool” kids; I was a real Jamaican with the accent to prove it.  Libraries became my playground; they helped to fuel my imagination where adventure after adventure played out again and again in my head.  I could be anywhere, any place, anytime from my little corner of the local library. I lived in my head; my stories gave me a sense of belonging, they sustained me and now somehow one of my adventures found its way onto the page and is about the be shared with others.

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Excerpt:

After many weeks of travelling, resting for very short periods and only rousing Sibley long enough to feed her, the scruffy, smelly, tired and very dirty band of travellers arrived in the city. Dragon riders visiting the city and seeing it for the first time saw it from the air were spellbound by the majesty and size of the capital. Fengardia lay on the mouth of several large freshwater crystal blue ocean-lakes. They were fed by rivers winding from the snow-capped mountains of Ferran-Gar and springs coming from as far away as Stornvale on the distant side of Broken Hills. The city was flanked on one side by the vast Southern forest and on the other three sides by the fresh waters of the ocean-lakes.

The water was as blue as the sky and stretched out as far as the eyes could see. It disappeared over the horizon and appeared to merge with the skies just before it dropped off the end of the Realm. Boats, commercial and private, large and small, lined the wharf and docks. Their sails were a multitude of colours catching the breeze and dancing their bellowing riot of hues across the bay. The clatter of traders was carried up to them in the air as gifts and offerings for their safe return. Of all the entrances into the city, this was a sight Aliedori loved the most, but it was the one she saw the least. This entrance showed Fengardia off at its best. The ocean-lakes sustained the vast and rich metropolis with fresh water, commerce and fishing. The trading ports bustled with traders and beyond the port, the sandstone and slate roofed buildings of the main city stretched out away from the crystal blue waters to the right and into the green of the forest. Bridges and walkways connected the mainland to an island in the centre of the largest ocean-lake and to the Temple Gardens, a place of worship and pilgrimage for many of the Realmers. A shard of an ancient mountain remained in the centre of the island; sharp, jagged bare rocks on one side while the other side had slopes covered with an abundance of fruit trees, shrubs, plants and wildflowers.

At the base of the slope stood the Temple Gardens and an ancient ruined temple palace said to go back in the mists of time. The temple was once the site of the original palace and home to the first Grand Naturalist, Anterian. The rest of the island disappeared when distant melted water had swelled the lakes, breaking the banks of the individual lakes and they became one large expanse of water to be known as the ocean-lakes. All that had remained on the island was the old palace and temple as a new palace was already established on the knoll overlooking the bay. After the swell, centuries before, all that remained on the island was the temple to the ancestors.

Closer to the forest and land was a turquoise lagoon where the remains of a mountain range jutted out above the water providing a perfect place for swimming. Several peaks had bathing temples and steps cut into the rock to provide access to the lagoon. While others were covered in dense shrubbery and only dragons and dracs traversed them. On land, a bridge linked the main section and oldest part of the town to the palace. The bridge was ornately decorated, carved out of one solid block of white marble to span the narrow inlet. The highly decorative swirls and curves of the solid structure mimicked the ebb, flow and gentle ripple of the ocean-lakes. Each side of the wide bridge was planted with palms and flowers, but the many coloured plants did not distract from the bridge but instead enhanced the purity of the white marble. Above the heads of the people were suspended walkways connecting the mainland to the island and the temple gardens.

On the ground, equally ornate roadways made from red and yellow baked bricks, linked all the outer settlements with the city. High above the city were the dragons’ towers reaching into the sky. Structures of steel, bricks, entangled with vines and trees; the leaders’ magic was used especially to grow the vines and plants that clung to and bound all the towers. They were commercial towers owned by the city merchants and used for dragons and their riders from all across the Realms as trading posts. All across the city, dragon towers housed stables, dwellings for travellers and places to dine, play and even gamble. Many traders came to the city without ever landing on the ground and chose only to see the city from the towers. The central windows in all dragon towers housed the dragon masters and the keepers whose lifelong devotion was tending to the needs of dragons only.

Aliedori never grew tired of seeing her home from the dragon’s eye view. But morning she barely noticed the city below her that still had not risen from its slumber. The palace was built on a large sweeping curve of the bay in the ocean-lakes; on the south side was a spectacular view of the town. Between the palace and lower town lay a lush shallow ravine and the palace, which, like the other buildings in the city, had been built from sand stone and coloured slates.

The main residential area stood closest to the lakes and extended over the water on stilts of living trees, making that part of the palace look like it had grown out of the tree trunks. There had been many, many times when she and Maldar would dive straight from her window or veranda into the crystal blue lake. It was a race to see who could touch the roots first; she was never allowed to cheat by using magic. Maldar always beat her, bobbing back up through the water first, fist raised in triumph and a grin so wide it threatened to blot out the sun. The structure over the water was wooden framed with a wooden floor interspersed with ornately carved blue wooden tiles from the blue wood of the Amelia tree. The walls and beams were also ornately carved with flying dragons, galloping dracs and plant life. The entrance from the water was large enough for guests of the palace arriving by water to moor. On the other side of the palace in the wall of the lower level lay another entrance to the grand hall and garden from the town.

The large scrolled gate was set in a gateway of an ornate arch overrun with ivy, vines and other climbing plants and flowers. Within the walls was an enormous lawn surrounded by fruit trees, herbs, shrubs and edible plants. Beyond the garden was the main building, which consisted of four domed roofs. The domes were covered in green slate interspersed with blue tiles inspired by the natural surroundings of forest and water.

From the dome spires, symmetrical turrets reached up into the sky, gleaming with warmth and magic sparkling from every surface. It was a beautiful place, but it was a fortress all the same; every wall, every stone, every brightly coloured tile was impregnated with magic – but a defence against what? Aliedori had never questioned why the palace, indeed every building needed to have a magical protection. On the far right of the wall close to the forest was the dragon tower that served the palace. The building contained the stables for the dragons and was home to the dragon knights, riders, and the palace’s personal guards.

Wulfgar’s dwelling and apothecary was not part of the main palace but was built in the canopy of several very large and sturdy trees and connected to the palace by walkways to upper and lower levels. The ground was reached by a spiral stairwell carved out of the trunk of an even older tree, which allowed him and his apprentices direct access to their beloved forest to collect herbs and plants. The very ground floor was where sometimes he, but mostly his apprentices, worked in the apothecary freeing him up to see customers. The nearest access to Wulfgar for a dragon rider were the upper terraces and it was into these that Keidrop and her riders landed close to dawn.

The viscous fluid from the Grey had ripened and though Aliedori had managed to rid herself and Maldar of the worst of it by casting and incantation, the smell and stain still clung to them and had even transferred to Waifyn’s clothes and hair. It did not help that Sibley emitted the smell from every pore of her clay-like skin. She remained docile though she had continued to beg for release throughout the long journey. She was taken from Keidrop’s saddle and was carried between Maldar and Waifyn to the physician’s door. The first knock summoned an apprentice, who appeared so quickly it was as if he had been behind the door waiting for just such a summons. He jumped back crying out in fright at the sight of Sibley, almost shutting the door again in their faces. Only Aliedori’s quick reaction prevented the door from slamming. She calmed the apprentice as best she could and instructed him to go and get the physician. In his fright the apprentice forgot all his manners and protocol to rush from the hall and disappear behind a curtained off area. He returned a few seconds later to deposit the basket of herbs and other medicinal paraphernalia on the long waist-high cabinet against one wall and disappeared again. Still flustered, he returned a second time and invited the weary travellers in but kept a close eye on Sibley as he closed the door behind them and disappeared behind the curtains again.

Light footsteps could be heard, then voices, and in a few moments, the physician appeared on the upper level, looking over into the hall. He made an exclamation of surprise and, gripping the rail, vaulted over with feline grace to land perfectly balanced in front of the visitors. Middle age had not robbed the physician of his agility and grace; despite herself, Aliedori smiled as he showed off his skills.

“Intendant… Maldar… Waifyn…” Wulfgar exclaimed, bringing his palms together and inclining his head. He knew Waifyn very well and there was no mistaking his sister’s youngest child. With his head still inclined, Wulfgar said, “Who or what have you brought me at this hour of the morning, children?”

Wulfgar was used to Aliedori and Maldar bringing all kind of strays and the sick to be healed, but this was something new. He had attended Aliedori’s birth and attended Maldar when he was first brought to the palace and had even attended Waifyn as a child. They were young people he had known and loved all their lives, but now his eyes were firmly fixed on Sibley. He would talk to his nephew later; there was much to be said, especially if the rumours were true. He was handfasted to a humankind and it would appear that his nephew intended to do the same.

“What manner of creature is this?” he asked, raising his eyes to the three young people standing before him. Wulfgar was once a great warrior nymph, skilled with the bow as well as the sword. He had chosen to leave his beloved forest home and spent his formative years as a soldier. He had fought in border skirmishes with the Western Realm in defence of the liberty of the Eastern Realm.

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Book Review | Velvet by Sacha Lanvin

Velvet

Title: Velvet
Author: Sacha Lanvin
Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Publisher: Self Published

Publishing date:
Pages: 73

My Rating: 3.5/5 stars

 

*eBook received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synopsis:

Young women are being murdered in France, and it’s up to the talented Commissaire Laurent Lefevre to put a stop to the increasing violence.

In a fast-paced game of cat and mouse the respected Lefevre must match wits against serial killer Lucas Ivan whose nefarious acts terrify the countryside.
While battling his own demons, Lefevre manages to hunt down the cunning Ivan and deliver him to the justice system. Satisfied that the reign of terror is over, the hero retreats from public life to rest and mourn his own painful losses.

But he hasn’t heard the last from Lucas Ivan.

During a deadly freak accident on Christmas Eve the killer escapes from prison, and the exhausted Lefevre must find the courage and strength to try and end Ivan’s bloody career once and for all.


My Take:

I love mystery/thrillers so there was no reason I was going to pass this one up. Although this follows one of the classic storylines of a retired or on vacation famous detective solving the case, this book sure has a lot more going for it. 😀

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The best thing about the book was the actual mystery, the actual case and how everything fell into place. Even though it was obvious to me who the killer was since the person was introduced, which was almost at the beginning; (not going to give that away, read the book 😛 ) the “why” was what kept me hooked in.

In just 73 pages the author managed to put in layer upon layer of twists while also letting the characters have their own stories. I would have loved for this to have been a full fledged novel rather than a novella because after I put it down, I was left wanting for more.

At first I thought that the story would somehow revolve around the Commissaire Laurent Lefevre and the serial killer Lucas Evans because the synopsis talks about them majorly but they are just the beginning tone of the book. I feel that the synopsis doesn’t do justice to the story because the story is much more than that and focuses on entirely a different case. The synopsis seems to be about a complete different book because the story the summary revolves around is not the focus of the book, actually nothing is mentioned about the actual story.

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I do believe that more pages would have done wonders for this book. The author had a different (in a good way) story line, an unique way of murders, interesting and strong characters, nice element of mystery but lacked in plot development. If there were more pages the book could have teased the reader about the killer without giving the killer away. The coincidence or whatever it was that helped seemed a little too obvious.

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The investigation itself wrapped very fast towards the end so it seemed rushed. Many things were unanswered.

For eg-The killer murders one of the victims in the bathroom and the door was locked from the inside and there were on other exits in the bathroom. The victim’s daughter was home. How did the killer get in and how did he get out of the bathroom, why didn’t the victim make any noise? Nothing is answered.

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First murder

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Second murder

It started out being detailed with the first murder and then the amount of details kept decreasing, eventually some of the murders were just mentioned in passing as the book neared the end, the amount

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One of the murders in the end.

of details given in the first murder was leading me to believe this was going to be the only murder, some time was spent even on the victims family, the second murder followed close suite with the details but then there were no detailed descriptions of the other ones. I do believe that the book started out as a novel hence the good amount of details in the beginning but somewhere in the process the author decided to turn it into a novella and cut back on details hence cutting out the actual strength of the story.

The motive of the murder is the only answer you get but you are left with tons of investigative questions. The wrap up should have included how the killer got access to all the victims.

The writing style is good, I liked how the details were worked into the sentence rather than describing the props and then mentioning the scenes.

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Screenshot_2018-09-18-09-14-18-1The book requires a bit more editing, there were a few spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. Like: pause for pulse, what is if something had happened for what is something happened, we for we do to, grief for grieve, swarms for swam, etc.

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The story has something very good going for it, few extra pages, a little proofreading, a little plot development, and a lot of answering can make it a 5 star.


Why would I pick it up?

Image result for detective reading gif cartoonFor a good mystery book that is a quick read.

Book Review | Chennai To Chicago: Memoir of a software engineer by Sriram Ramakrishnan

Chennai To Chicago: Memoir of a software engineer

Title: Chennai To Chicago: Memoir of a software engineer
Author: Sriram Ramakrishnan
Genre: Memoir, Non Fiction
Publisher: Self published

Publishing date: 15th July, 2018
Pages: 308

My Rating: 2.5/5 stars

 

*eBook received from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review*


Synonsis:

Is there anything permanent at all? Anything that I can lean on to in this world? What is life? What am I doing here? Growing up in the 90’s in India, hearing people going to “States” as software engineers, I wondered why people were so crazy about America. Without the internet or the zillion TV channels we have today, I had my own fantasies on “States”. Thanks to a Doordarshan Tamil drama in the 90’s, “Marriage in Washington”, I remember as a teenager sitting in front of the Television religiously every week with a yearning in my throat, “I should go to America someday”. I didn’t know how that would happen, I had not even traveled in an Air Conditioned compartment in a train. But I knew, someday, I will go to America. And that someday arrived in the form of an admit in a US university with 100% scholarship and a monthly stipend. That began my wonderful “coming of age” experiences in the next 10 years of my life, with numerous travels, tribulations and life-changing experiences.


My Take:

This book had potential, it really did. Did it reach its potential? Sadly no.

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This book was more than okay and less than good. The plot is good but the execution is poor.

As you can see from the synopsis, this is author’s travel and soul searching story. When I read the synopsis I wanted to read it, considering I am an engineer and couldn’t care less about it, I felt I could relate to it somehow.

The first half is boring because of how it is written and it doesn’t help with the theme of the soul searching motive of the book, it is just marginally linked to it to have spent that much time spent on it. It feels like page filler at some points. The second half is much much better. The story does progress from being dry to attention grabbing but the problem is that the main baseline of the plot is rushed through. The author uses majority of the book to explain he said, she said, I said, this happened followed by that happened; it is more of telling than showing.

After pages of unnecessary details when I did get to the reason I picked up this book, it seemed like it was going to get better and for a moment it did but then it dipped back to the original, not as bad though.

I feel like the wrong parts of the story have been written in detail, I would have loved to read more about Sriram’s soul searching journey, about the places he went and people he met. The places are mentioned in such quick successions that one cannot appreciate the teachings the places gave the author. Some of it seem forced to make it sound more enlightening, that might be because of the unpolished writing.

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This book is in some serious need of editing and proof reading. To me, if the book is riddled with tons to grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and has lack of punctuation, it automatically makes the experience of reading frustrating. After the first two chapters I just put the book down because I couldn’t go on.

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The starting chapters have lots of conversations and dialogues are one of the most difficult things to write, so it didn’t do the book any favor. Whenever there was a conversation, none of the lines began with a capital letter throughout the book, it had a lot of “yeahs” and was wearing me out.

After few days I picked it back up, reached the part where he struggled with his jobs, that part was really interesting to read about and picked up its pace but it felt more like a diary/journal entry than a memoir.

There are few specific things that kind of bothered me, kind of didn’t like-

  • The chapter on love where you have 2-3 boring conversations (like the example) between Sriram and Madhuri and they clearly are only friends and he talks about how she created a storm in his life by entering his life when she goes back to India and he fails to express his love. In the book Madhuri seems really bland.

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1.5

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Him talking about how popular he was, center of attention and things like that when referring to his past life but the book did not give that vibe and it just felt out of place in places.
  • This line about using Pounds and Miles:

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1.14and then him contradicting himself by using the terms.

Now, 1.15he can be pardoned from his own statement because he actually lives in the West but it did make me laugh. 😛

  • The over usage of “Atithi devo bhava.”In the final part, the actual story part, every event is reasoned with “Atithi devo bhava” when in reality most of the stuff is normal for a lot of people to do so it seemed to me like seeing-a-sign-because-you-want-to-see-one-where-it-isn’t case.

For eg- someone waits with him for half an hour to help him haul a bus at night, Atithi devo bhava… someone takes him to hotels to get him a room on his motorbike, Atithi devo bhava. It can be that but why it doesn’t seem that deep to me is because this is what decent human beings do without caring much about the deep implications. Like the instance when I walked a lady to an auto stand because she was new here, talked to the person, she was going to visit, on the phone, conveyed it to the driver, explained to her at what landmark to get off but on the other hand I don’t like people in my personal space. Atithi or not I want most of them out of my house. Locals help because you are in an unfamiliar place and need help most of the time which loosely would translate to helping guests but not as strong as it is portrayed. Now, I also get that everyone sees things differently but the book isn’t convincing of what its view point is.

Questioning who are these people, why are they helping and concluding every episode with “Atithi devo bhava” is a bit too much and as I said before if it was explored more it wouldn’t have seemed so, because it was rushed, the repetitiveness showed.

  • Another one is the word “bliss.” Every experience that the author experienced is worded with bliss, a quick synonyms search on Google provides with replacement words to spice the text up.
  • Literal translations: (went near her aka the guy was getting close to the girl, who was going behind her aka the guy was courting the girl)
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  • Places where grammatical errors did take away the limelight from really good paragraphs:1.11

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Here are some noteworthy lines from the book- 

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In summary, if the book is well edited, the content is prioritized, and some parts are rewritten then it can do really well. Only the potential stops it from being a 2 star to me.


Why would I pick it up?

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For what the book could have been.

10 Book Recommendations for Beginners

I have been asked to recommend books for beginners on various occassions by people who wish to start reading. There are so many good and easy reads to begin with that I was confused what books to suggest.

Here’s a few that I think many can sit through as a starting book. 😀 😀

1. Any book from the famous five series by Enid Blyton

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Childrens’ Fiction, Middle Grade, Mystery

I have only read one and it was literally the first novel that I ever read. It is a series of children’s adventure novels. It features a group of 4 young children- Julian, Dick, Anne, and Georgina aka George and their dog, Timmy.

Why read? There are 21 books in the series to choose from, you can have your pick based on the setting, as they aren’t dependent on each other you can read any book from the 21 books. The books fall roughly between 200-300 pages so they are not too much or too less for a beginner.

 

2. Chocolate Guitar Momos by Kenny Deori Basumatary

choc gui momosContemporary Romance

This book starts with Joseph who is a young aspiring musician, getting kicked out of a relationship by his third girlfriend. He believes that relationships won’t work unless they are destined to be. So, he decides to track down a girl who smiled at him from across a bus stop eight years ago. The only thing that he remembers is that she was wearing a grey skirt. He knows nothing, not her name, not her address, he doesn’t even remember her face.

Why read? There are so many funny moments in this book, the writing style is raw, it will keep you hooked in, the ending is sad which perfectly balances the light-heartedness going on. It has some really creative insults that will leave you giggling like a kid saying a curse word for the first time. 😛

3. Diary of a young girl- Anne Frank

anne frank

Non- Fiction

Most of us either had a chapter based on this book or on Anne’s father Otto Frank in our English books. In the back of our minds we already have our interests sparked because we are a little familiar with this book, thanks to our academics. It shows a simplistic, individualistic account of a part of the Nazi period of history, not the political, public view but a glimpse in lives of humans who were the most affected by it.

Why read? Because it is in the form of a diary (addressed as Dear Kitty) it is much easier to read as beginners than other books and much meaningful to experience.

4. The fault in our stars by John Green

tfiosYoung Adult, Fiction

The story is narrated by Hazel Grace Lancaster, a 16 year old girl with cancer. Her parents force her to attend a cancer patient support group where she meets and falls in love with 17 year old Augustus Waters, who lost his right leg to cancer and wears a prosthetic. There is an emphasis on metaphors in this book that became a representing feature of the book.

Why read? This book is a beautiful journey, sometimes happy, sometimes sad, The ending is totally unexpected, it took a really sad turn. (Ofcourse) The first book that made me cry. 😛 😛

5. A thousand splendid suns by Khaled Hosseini

1000 splendid sunsFiction

This, despite being fiction, feels real when you read it, maybe because it was somewhere inspired by reality. This book focuses on 2 female characters- Mariam and Laila and their lives and struggles in Afghanistan when taliban was in power.

Why read? This again is an individualistic take on a mass affecting circumstance and event. This book touches various aspects of reality and dynamics of various relations written in a way that keeps a reader reading.

6. Between the lines by Jodi Picoult and Samantha Van Leer

between the linesFairy Tale, Young Adult, Fiction, Fantasy

A 15 year old teenager, Delilah finds this fairy tale in a library and becomes obsessed with it. She is a bookworm and kind of an introvert. The fairy tale is called “Between the lines” and is about Prince Oliver. She has a punky, rock bff who is fun to read about.

Her dad divorced her mom when she was a baby, being lonely she confides her worries to Prince Oliver and guess what… he talks back. To cut a long story short, they fall in love.

Why read? A fairy tale inside a fairy tale. A fresh concept, it is an interesting read and fairy tales are fairly easy to read, most of us have read or been read to.

7. What happened to goodbye by Sarah Dessen

what happened to goodbyeFiction, Young Adult, Contemporary

This book is about the self discovery of a 17 year old girl, named Mclean Sweet. She hates the fact that her parents divorced and her mom married her dad’s favorite basketball team’s new coach, Peter Hamilton. Her dad’s job makes them move a lot, she decides to take on a different persona each time, creating a new name for herself, a new personality, a new Ume page. (similar to a Facebook profile)
On the 4th move, she somehow ends up being herself, she makes a lot of friends and is truly happy but then her secret is revealed and everything starts going downhill.

Why read?  It’s a journey of self discovery written in a very engaging manner. The flow of the story is good, the stories of the supporting characters make Mclean’s story more enjoyable.

8. P.S. I love you by Cecelia Ahern

ps i love youFiction, Romance

This story revolves around Holly and Gerry, a married couple. They are deeply in love but they fight occassionally. Gerry dies suddenly of a brain tumor and Holly realizes how much he means to her and how insignificant their arguments were.
Holly is grief stricken and she withdraws from her friends and family. She loses herself. Then the letters start to arrive. They are from Gerry, each signed at the end with p.s. I love you.

Why read? This is a touching story about love and the strength of true love. This is about being there for the people you love even when the circumstances are not favorable. The curiosity of what each letter contains will keep you reading. You will feel the emotions that Holly goes through and even though this book is 500 pages, I think it is an easy read.
Romances are generally easy reads and the anticipation of Gerry’s next letter will keep you going.

9. Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

amy rogerFiction, Young Adult, Contemporary

The story is about Amy Curry, who is not happy with her life. Her dad died in a car accident and now she has to take a cross-country drive, because her mom decided to move from California to amy roger playlistConnecticut, with Roger who is her mom’s friend’s son. Amy hasn’t seem him in years but the road trip develops a bond between them.

Why read? The story is written in a very nice and visually pleasing format, the narrative is accompanied with scraps from the road such as bills, tickets, playlists, etc.
The book is not just filled with words but as relative visuals too so it will hold a beginner’s attention.

10. Asylum- 13 tales of terror by Matt Drabble

asylumHorror, Fiction

This is a collection of 13 short stories about the residents of Blackwater Heights, a mental health hospital. These 13 tales tie into a single main story regarding Martin Parcell, who is an ex-journalist and wanted to be an author, after a car crash’s injury he is forced to take a custodian’s position is Blackwater Heights.
Martin is deeply troubled as the tales unfold before him and is worried about his own sanity.

Why read? It’s a really well written book, the author knows how to make you feel his words. This book gave me real chills. Being written as short stories, it mentally prepares a beginner to read one more and one more and when all the stories tie into a single story you get the sense of reading a complete novel without the pressure of reading a full fledged novel. I feel like rereading it right now. 😛


These are my recommendations as of now. If you would life to watch it in video format click on the pictures. ( I divided it in 2 parts because I explained it all a bit more aka going on rambling. 😛 )

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10 POPULAR SERIES I HAVEN’T READ

There are tons and tons of book series I haven’t read… unfortunately. I try to read them all but the popular series are usually the ones that get ignored by me. Most of them have been made into movies and TV series.

Today, I thought it would be fun to make me feel sorry for not having read these series as well as sigh at my illogical logic for not having read them.  I might also be able to make sense of what percentage of these is because of peer pressure and the popularity of the series and what series would I actually like reading.

  1. Harry Potter by J.K.Rowling

Everyone and their mothers are shook when I say I haven’t read Harry Potter. Now the reason is the popularity and intense fandom of this series. The fandom is so vast and so firm believers in the Harry Potter world that it intimidates me to kind of form my own opinions. I kind of have read a lot of fan theories and memes… yes, the memes, so I am already biased towards some of the characters and know most of the stuff that happens. That might also be because of the fact that I’ve already watched most of the movies.

  1. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

This book series has always been on the back of my mind, like I want to read it but I am not actively seeking to read it. Like, if I have nothing else I might pick it up. I am going to need external intervention to actually read this series.

  1. The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis

This one is because of the fact that I saw kids go into Narnia through a cupboard on TV as a kid. I never watched the whole movie but for some reason, it has just stayed with me and for the purpose of closure I want to read and watch the series.

  1. A song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin

What is this series about? I don’t know.
Why do I want to read it? I don’t know.

I bet it’s because of the popularity of the author that’s drawing me towards it.

Guess what… it is the series of which Game of Thrones is a part of. Game of Thrones, that thing everyone’s crazy about, people have been forcing me to watch the series more than to read the books. How used to know it as The Game of Thrones series. How dumb is that?

  1. Twilight by Stephenie Meyer

Most of the people love to hate Twilight. It’s one of the series that everyone read and enjoyed when they were a kid but as they grew up they became embarrassed of the fact that they enjoyed it, so now they go out of their ways to tell anyone who would listen, how much they hate this series. I recently found out through a classmate, who is a fan of Twilight, the movies, not the books, she doesn’t read, that twilight fans or fandom is called “Twihards.” I googled it just before writing this blog post and shooting a YouTube video on this topic, the dedicated names to groups of people is really very interesting.

Now, I will just club the sixth and seventh series on my list because they are by the same author.

  1. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare
  2. The Infernal Devices by Cassandra Clare

Have you seen how much every other Booktuber, Book Blogger, and Bookstagrammer loves Cassandra Clare and her writing style. I think people love The Mortal Instruments a bit more than the Infernal Devices. I have read 2 chapters from the first book of The Mortal Instruments i.e. City of Bones and I really liked it so I guess I might pick it up soon enough.

  1. Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan

I feel this is another Harry Potter situation to me, not that strong but somewhere along the lines. It starts off as a children’s book and then is consumed by all adults and honestly I do not lean much towards Mythology, so there’s that.

  1. The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer

Now, this is a retelling of fairy tales and I am interested to read this because… have you seen the covers? They are gorgeous and so interesting. This series to me seems like it rose to fame pretty quick but the hype died down before the whole chronicles was even out. One day it was in every Booktuber’s video and the next day nobody was talking about it. But I really do want to read this.

  1. Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Mass

This series pulls off another Cassandra Clare for me. The same reasons honestly, everyone loves Sarah J. Mass and the Throne of Glass series, so I am tempted to find out what it’s all about.

Here are the 10 popular series that I haven’t read but want to. If you are planning to read or reread any of the series, do let me know so that we can buddy read. You can read me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram or comment on my blog post or on my YouTube video.

Click on the image to watch the video. (Isn’t the thumbnail dramatic? 😛  I laughed when I created it. 😛 )

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Booktube Rebirth and Future Plans

This has been one of the most difficult projects for me because I was way out of my comfort zone. I like making proper beginnings but I do not like sharing things that are private. It has been a rocky few years and I haven’t shared much with anyone so making this video was definitely a challenge. I didn’t know what to say and how much to say… how can you really sum up years of grievances, issues, bouts of depression, anxiety, self hatred, low self confidence and lots of hurt, into a 10 to 20 minutes video?

I still tried, I wrote down the gist because even after deciding to open up, I couldn’t actually share my personal life so overview it was going to be.

I shot the video over a month ago but kept cutting out bits and pieces from it because it seemed to me that I was giving a lot away. I almost cut off half of it, I decided to add clips and leave the editing to that. I wanted it to be as raw as I could keep it, as real and as close to my heart as I could bear to, as much as I wanted to make a proper start and update you guys, making myself uncomfortable and anxious over a video wasn’t worth it.

I decided to upload the video and put it on private. That has stopped me from uploading my other videos. Something clicked in my mind yesterday that made me go, “Why am I not uploading it? I should do it for me and people who support me.”

Then something happened in the late evening that just steeled my resolve to post it. So right now I am uploading it before I lose my nerve. I am going to see my friend off at the airport, (he is going to the United States of America for further studies) right now I am at his place with my other friends on their way here and when this video goes live I will be among people who already know about the video. So, not much anxiousness to deal with, smart right? 😛 😛

Even though I am still a bit uncomfortable with putting the video up because people who know me are sure to ask a ton of questions, that I won’t be answering anyway. I can be a bit more open here because only people who understand me, mostly all strangers, read my blog.

I would like you guys to watch the video and tell me if I have revealed too much about my personal life. Click on the picture to watch the video. ❤ ❤ 

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