QUOTE OF THE DAY!

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” 
― Apple Inc.

Favorite Quotes from TFIOS

Here’s a list of some of the quotes i absolutely loved from the book, “The Fault In Our Stars”. Feel free to share some of your favorite quotes from your favorite books!

 

“You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world…but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices.” 

 

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.” 

 

“I’m a grenade and at some point I’m going to blow up and I would like to minimize the casualties, okay?” 

 

“Much of my life had been devoted to trying not to cry in front of people who loved me, so I knew what Augustus was doing. You clench your teeth. You look up. You tell yourself that if they see you cry, it will hurt them, and you will be nothing but a Sadness in their lives, and you must not become a mere sadness, so you will not cry, and you say all of this to yourself while looking up at the ceiling, and then you swallow even though your throat does not want to close and you look at the person who loves you and smile.” 

 

“But I believe in true love, you know? I don’t believe that everybody gets to keep their eyes or not get sick or whatever, but everybody should have true love, and it should last at least as long as your life does.”

 

“there is no shortage of fault to be found amid our stars” 

 

“Sometimes people don’t understand the promises they’re making when they make them.” 

 

“You say you’re not special because the world doesn’t know about you, but that’s an insult to me. I know about you.” 

 

“You get all these friends just when you don’t need friends anymore.” 

 

“the world wasn’t made for us, we were made for the world” 

 

“Funerals…are for the living.” 

 

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” 

 

“There will come a time when all of us are dead. All of us. There will come a time when there are no human beings remaining to remember that anyone ever existed or that our species ever did anything. There will be no one left to remember Aristotle or Cleopatra, let alone you. Everything that we did and built and wrote and thought and discovered will be forgotten and all of this will have been for naught. Maybe that time is coming soon and maybe it is millions of years away, but even if we survive the collapse of our sun, we will not survive forever. There was time before organisms experienced consciousness, and there will be time after. And if the inevitability of human oblivion worries you, I encourage you to ignore it. God knows that’s what everyone else does.” 

 

“Some infinities are bigger than other infinities.” 

 

“Grief does not change you, Hazel. It reveals you.” 

REVIEW: THE FAULT IN OUR STARS

AUTHOR: John Green

PAGES: 316

RATING: 4.9/5

Do you ever read a book and curse yourself for having read the book not because it is ridiculously stupid or absolutely boring but because it is something you know you will never be able to get out of your mind. Yes, I’m here to talk about a book which I completed in 6 hours and which forced me to run a security investigation on the whereabouts of the author cause I wanted to tell him how much I loved the book. Presenting, The Fault in Our Stars by the ever so lovely JOHN GREEN.

I have a thing for bookmarks; I’m sure most of you have a ‘thing’ for million other things. So yes, this book has two bookmarks; one has ‘okay?’ written on it and the other has, ‘okay’ written. I obviously couldn’t understand what okay signified here but half way through the book, ‘okay’ became the signature word for me. And I’ll tell you why.

Unlike most books that are written on a disease as deadly as Cancer, this one speaks of the psyche cancer patients are usually in and trust me when I say this, it is NOT as you imagined. John Green does this mean little thing where he aims directly at the hearts of its readers and makes sure he hits the bull’s eye. The Fault in Our Stars is anything but disappointing.

GET YOUR TISSUE BOXES READY, FELLAS.

Hazel Grace, the protagonist, who wittingly and intelligently narrates her cancer-driven life, hates going to the cancer support group and accuses a fellow-cancer-survivor-friend of ‘ballessness’. The dark and dry humor in the book is something I really enjoyed and it was surprising and a little embarrassing because here I was laughing at the misery of cancer patients. Well, who said good books are easy to find, eh?  Hazel underwent a number of treatments and her tumor has shrunk which has miraculously brought her a few more years to live. A teenage girl with an intelligence level above average, Hazel, loves reading and her favorite book is, ‘An Imperial Affliction’ which she has read a gazillion times. More like a go-to book whenever she finds herself struggling. (Another reason why I love the book is probably because the protagonist loves reading).

Books so special and rare and yours that advertising your affection feels like a betrayal.” 

Not to forget, she spends most of her free time thinking about death.

HAZEL-Whenever you read a cancer booklet or website or whatever, they always list depression among the side-effects of cancer. But, in fact, depression is not a side effect of cancer. Depression is a side effect of dying. (Cancer is also a side effect of dying. Almost everything is, really”

Because no book is ever complete without a charmingly-handsome guy, Augustus Waters enters the plot. He, too, like Hazel has somehow survived cancer but has a prosthetic leg. Blue-eyed, dark colored hair, well-built and once a basketball player, Waters falls for Hazel the minute he sees her. Pretty Bollywood-ish and predictable, though. The innocence and purity of the relationship between Waters and Hazel has been beautifully depicted, both aware of each other’s illnesses, yet finding each other perfect.

I’m in love with you, and I know that love is just a shout into the void, and that oblivion is inevitable, and that we’re all doomed and that there will come a day when all our labor has been returned to dust, and I know the sun will swallow the only earth we’ll ever have, and I am in love with you.

The story sails smoothly during the first half of the book and you’d be like,’damn, these cancer kids are tough’. Waters likes smoking, yes, you read it right, he likes smoking BUT the only difference is he likes to keep the unlit cigarette between his teeth and not literally light it. A metaphor he uses to show how a thing that can kill does not have the power to kill, if you don’t allow it to possess your body.

“They don’t kill you unless you light them,” he said as Mom arrived at the curb. “And I’ve never lit one. It’s a metaphor, see: You put the killing thing right between your teeth, but you don’t give it the power to do its killing.” 

In short, a total badass, ‘IN YO FACE’ to cigarettes.

The situations that the characters are in and the ways they tackle them is inspiring and at the same time a little unreal.

Without pain, how could we know joy?’ This is an old argument in the field of thinking about suffering and its stupidity and lack of sophistication could be plumbed for centuries but suffice it to say that the existence of broccoli does not, in any way, affect the taste of chocolate.” 

Towards the end, you start getting a weird sicky feeling about the way things are going to stir and you’d be sitting there screaming your lungs out, yelling, ‘WHY WOULD YOU DO THAT, JOHN GREEN, FOR THE SAKE OF HUMANITY, WHY’. The story has a sad ending which is obvious considering the fact that we’re talking about two teenage kids fighting cancer. A heart-breakingly sad, deplorable, joyless, unfortunate and tragic end.

I am not saying the story is one of a kind. It’s just that the characters in this book are characters you will never find in this universe, ever again.

I, for once, would definitely recommend reading this book; you laugh, you cry and yet in between the heartbreak you come for more.

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Transition

Change is inevitable. Change is constant. Well, things change, people change. Everything changes and as much as we dislike change, I feel change is necessary. How would you ever find out things about yourself outside of your comfort zone? It is only when one is forced to act in a different environment, a completely abnormal situation, one realizes one’s idiosyncrasy. . Here, I am not talking about catastrophic life changes that uproot people from their base but daily, simple, unnoticeable novelties that manage to bring to you to a point where everything suddenly seems offbeat. It can be anything ; a slight contrast in your normal routine, a whiff of change in the way you dress up, taking a different route to reach your office, flaunting an unusual hairstyle or even eating something or anything healthy for a change. Yes, it is highly imperative to bring about certain modifications in the way you function. This does not mean you act all crazy and make everyone’s life hell just because you need change in your life. Change is a very broad term which should be understood. If for some reason, the change brought in by you does not suit you, CHANGE IT. Go back to your normal routine and figure out what went wrong. Remember, you are in control of what you do. Undoing it, also, is in your hands. 

Sometimes I feel innovation is synonymous to Change in the sense that change is related to trying out unaccustomed, state-of-the-art, unfamiliar things that result in a distinct you and ultimately a conversion of your thoughts. Innovation, on the other hand, basically means alteration, modernization or bringing about newness in everything you do. All in all, change and innovation are complimentary to each other. 

Now that we’re talking about change, I feel there is an urgent need for me to change to a new, better, less detailed blog. I have been trying to make myself a tumblr from quite some time now and I haven’t been able to get the hang of it. Also, I came across certain podcasts( A blog talking about who a podcaster is and what it is about will be up soon) and surprisingly i’m fascinated by the idea of it. (Just for a change, i’ll try to be more regular around here and keep you guys updated with what’s happening). Later. 

 

BOOKS THAT WENT OTT

images (1)OTT- Over the Top

Apart from the books that eat up your entire soul by its enriching storyline and charismatic characters, there are some books that eat up your brain due to a not-so-promising storyline and equally dull characters. I understand that writing a novel, figuring out the plot and carefully selecting the characters to fit the circumstances without making it over-dramatic and absolutely genuine is NOT easy (No offence, writers). So, I, like many others have stumbled upon some books that we didn’t quite really erm enjoy?  I have been a part of such a sad situation before and trust me when I say this; it is definitely not an experience worth looking forward to. I mean, come on, nothing is perfect. We mess things up and so do the writers (AHEM).  These books failed to make an impression as far as I’m concerned and my reviews, although brief, are solely based on my experience as a reader.  (I might sound a little too blunt but then it’s the disappointment talking).

  • 3 MISTAKES OF MY LIFE: The greatest mistake of my life, probably. If you’re a Chetan Bhagat fan and you’re reading this then please go hide your face somewhere and do not come back. If a movie has to be described in words then it’s a Chetan Bhagat novel.  The movie ‘Kai Po Che’ was quite a success at the box office and Chetan Bhagat’s script writing skill was brought to light. He should just stick to writing movie scripts and that is it. Equally nerve-wracking was his apparently national bestseller ‘One Night at the Call Center’ and ‘Five Point Someone’. He saved himself with his book ‘Two States’ which was without a doubt a Bollywood flick but not as horrendous as his earlier works.  ‘What Young India Wants’ is a book I haven’t read and neither am I planning on reading it. In other news, I’ve heard he is FINALLY writing scripts for Bollywood directors. WAY TO GO BHAGAT!

 

  • THE ZAHIR: Quite carried away by Paulo Coelho’s ingenuity as a writer and his philosophical knowledge that was boldly displayed in his international bestseller ‘Alchemist’, I decided on reading this novel. Little did I know, I was going to be left puzzled and not very sure of where I was heading with the story or if at all I understood the story? This made me reach a conclusion that there was NO storyline. I couldn’t figure out what the whole book was about.  Was the protagonist searching for his wife? ERR. Oh and I haven’t finished reading ‘Veronica Decides to Die’ yet. No more Paulo for the time being.
  • THE ACCOMPLICE: I have no idea how and when I got hold of the book. I also have no idea what Eirrean Corrigan was thinking when she wrote the book. The plot was something that has been written and enacted in movies since time immemorial. Nothing new there. I guess it was more suited to the age group 16-17 since the story and the psyche of the characters was custom made to fall under the teenage years.
  • Oops I fell in love: Before you judge me, I got this book cause’ I really wanted to read a light-hearted story You know the kind of books you prefer reading when you’re taking a break and you want to just lie down and relax on your couch. Well, things never go as planned. It was just another failed Bollywood script. The author, Harsh Snehanshu, didn’t quite nail it. The other day I read a review on his book that said it was a cute love story and that the writing was fresh and humorous. Sorry to burst your bubble, it was anything but cute or humorous or even fresh.

(That’s it for today. I can’t recall any other novel falling under this category as of now)

“The worst memories stick with us, while the nice ones always seem to slip through our fingers”

 

On a brighter side, I’ll be posting a review on ‘The Fountainhead’ shortly which is one of the greatest books written in the history of writing books. Stay tuned!

Have you had any bad experience as a reader? Feel free to share and comment!

REVIEW: RAINWATER

Author: Sandra Brown

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publisher: Simon and Schuster

256 pages

Sometimes you read a book that completely changes the way you think, the way you would normally think. You come a cross a book which effortlessly describes every emotion, every situation in a way you had never imagined. Sandra Brown in her rather unusual novel has given her readers a taste of what it is like to survive in a time where economic depression, prejudice and racial discrimination have had people kill themselves. Rainwater is a book that teaches life lessons learnt the hard way. I have not read any of Sandra Brown’s novels and since it was my first, I was quite intrigued.

The year is 1934 and Ella who is a single mother works day in and out to take care of her ten year old son, Solly. Ella runs a boarding house, earning as much as she can to ensure her son, an autistic child, lives a hassle free life. The behavior and abnormality of Solly is misunderstood since the story is dated back to 1930s where handicaps and oddity were not known of. Solly’s demeanor becomes uncontrollable and there comes a point where you would want to reach out to Ella and help her in any way you can.

Mr.Rainwater is a boarder who comes to stay at Ella’s house. Much to the readers bewilderment, he is diagnosed with terminal cancer and does not have enough time in his hands. It is amazing how Sandra Brown has pictured Mr.Rainwater’s impeccable character in her readers minds. His arrival also marks the beginning of an untold mystery. Even with an illness, he shows great courage and grandeur. In no time, he manages to develop an unnatural bond with Solly. A bond that only the two of them can understand. Ella, surprised by Solly’s show of affection towards Mr.Rainwater comes to realize that there is something about him that is very powerful. They start sharing an intimacy that is unknown to them. Solly, if I may say, unites the two. The other characters have an important part to play and add a sense of closure to the story.

Time does not favor them, situations backfire and you will see the characters struggling through circumstances. Although the ending is extremely shocking and uncalled for, I would definitely recommend reading this piece of fiction. It is not always that you pick up a book which keeps you glued till the very end. I, for once, enjoyed reading every page. It is a perfect blend of  a love story with captivating drama, life events illustrating hazards and cruel dispositions of the earlier time. Highly enthralling and equally devastating, Rainwater is a must read.Image

REVIEW: AND THE MOUNTAINS ECHOED

and-the-mountains-echoed

Author: Khaled Hosseini

Publisher: Bloomsbury

Rating: 4/5

“A story is like a moving train: no matter where you hop onboard, you are bound to reach your destination sooner or later.” 

Reviewing a book written by an author as brilliant as Khaled Hosseini is nothing but narrowing down his hard work and his contributions to storytelling. I really do not intend on judging or giving my views on how he writes or what he should have written. I have been an ardent fan of his work ever since I read ‘A Thousand Splendid Suns’ and no matter what happens I can never forget the experience it gave me. There is an extreme sadness in his work. Everything he writes has an emotional element strongly attached to it that is forever engraved in your heart and you can’t do anything about it. It decides to just stick with you throughout. You don’t read his books because you like to read. You read because you want to and the world will only seem less cruel after you have read his book. If you haven’t read his previous book ‘A thousand Splendid Suns’, I’d recommend you to read it first before you put your hands on his latest novel.

The minute I got hold of the book, I knew I was going to get addicted to it. The story starts with a story.  The tale of Abdullah and Pari who were caught in the web of unforeseen circumstances, forced to live their lives without each other. In this novel, the relationship of a brother and sister has been beautifully narrated. The world seems to crash for Abdullah when his little sister is adopted by a childless albeit wealthy couple. The fear, anguish and anger that Abdullah undergoes when he is separated by his sister will make you cringe. He cries but there isn’t anyone to hear him.  Pari was nurtured by him, brought up by him and had in the course of time become an inseparable part of his life. Fate, as you may say, had other plans (I somehow wanted to read more of Abdullah and Pari’s childhood).  The author has tried to merge in the stories of many other people who were associated with the main characters in different ways. The storyline seemed to go a little hay wire but then it regained its force. Since Khaled Hosseini is a wizard when it comes to writing, one realizes that the words have been written effortlessly. You traverse through different journeys, experience varying emotions and ponder and think and are finally left in awe.

“Gone.
Vanished.
Nothing left.
Nothing said.” 

Half way through the book, you forget about Abdullah and Pari. This doesn’t last much longer as Khaled Hosseini manages to grab your attention to a point where you are completely hooked to the book. The characters are many but their lifestyles are surprisingly very different. You wanderlust to various parts of the world; Afghanistan, Paris and the United States.  From my personal experience I can say that you will have to unwillingly do some other work to get your mind off this book for some time.  In contrast to the popular notion, this book was not as heart breaking as his earlier work but it did leave a very strong impact. It was more of a roller coaster journey having its ups and downs and finally reaching a static point. You are thrilled by the ride and yet you want to try it one more time. That’s Khaled Hosseini for you; He makes his readers hungry. His ingenuity and skill is what makes it worthy of being read.

 

Some of my favorite quotes from the book:

  • “They say, Find a purpose in your life and live it. But, sometimes, it is only after you have lived that you recognize your life had a purpose, and likely one you never had in mind.”
  • “The finger cut, to save the hand.”
  • “It was the kind of love that, sooner or later, cornered you into a choice: either you tore free or you stayed and withstood its rigor even as it squeezed you into something smaller than yourself.”
  • “You say you felt a presence, but I only sensed an absence. A vague pain without a source. I was like a patient who cannot tell the doctor where it hurts; only that it does.”

Cause’ it is never too late to start again.

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall began it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense- Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Few quotes sometimes completely give you the answer you’ve been wanting to hear. Today is over, nothing can be done about it. Forget it. Start again. There’s always room for improvement. Just remember, it’s you who decides what you want to be. Choose wisely.

Wake up, people. Its Friday!

Morning, everyone. Firstly, TGIF . All those people who’ve been planning on partying this whole weekend and also those who have also been planning to get their much needed sleep, hope you get to enjoy your idea of a weekend. Whatever, have fun. I woke up this morning before my alarm could ring and I wasn’t really glad to realize that I still had some time to sleep which is considering how particular I am about sleeping, very abnormal. Nevertheless, college is starting from today after the tiny break ( oh, my alarm just went off) . I think I’m a little excited about college or maybe its the thought of not staying at home which is comforting. Anyways, now that I’ve got my cell phone back after a decade its relatively easier for me to constantly update my blog no matter which part of the city I am. Smartphones, blessing in disguise. The other way round, too. Since my smartphone didn’t turn out to be that smart. . I should be off now cause’ the last thing I want would be not getting attendance. They say,’Time flies when you’re having fun.’ Applies here. Looking forward to reading and writing! Good day!

Confession

“There are two motives for reading a book; one, that you enjoy it; the other, that you can boast about it.”  Bertrand Russell

I have a confession to make. The avid reader in me is dying. It has been quite some time since I haven’t managed to give my undivided attention to reading or reviewing books. Blame it on my I-Will-Do-It-Tomorrow sort of an unhurried disposition or lack of initiative on my part. Time has also been a constant deterrent (Perks of studying in a horribly strict college, whose prior motive is: Drive the students’ bat-shit-crazy). No, honestly, there has been just way too much going on, with the usual ‘I have exams, OMG and I haven’t started studying, OMG” locale and the utmost interest in extra-curricular activities has to the nth degree taken over my life. Okay, this is pretty weird but I don’t even remember the last book I read. I have once again to my utter disappointment started reading Veronika Decides to Die by Paulo Coelho and this is my third attempt at completing it. Sounds more like giving repeated exams and successfully failing at it despite earnest efforts. Not blaming the book, but it does require a lot of patience and a clear, hassle- free mind to read Paulo’s complicated yet logically constructed stories. Oh, the other book that I have been ignoring is the classic Gone With The Wind. This book has been tasting all sorts of dust particles and is probably going to eat some more. However, the good news is. I have managed to recall the last book I had read. It was Rainwater by Sandra Brown, which had me glued to the plot and I fancied reading every word of it! 

Before I completely undergo a transition where the thought of reading makes me doze off, I’ve decided i’ll read atleast ONE book in a week and then post my reviews. It’ll be more like a Weekly Book Challenge. There are a number of books on my bucket list ranging from International and National bestsellers to the books that didn’t quite reach the top charts but had their own intricate and enthralling storyline. I despise reading or choosing to read a book based on its reviews or on recommendations. I make this assertive statement because I have been gravely disappointed at the hype around some (We’ll get back to this later, though). Coming to the point, I am actually looking forward to this reading spree, now that I’m running low on excuses. See you guys later!

She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” ― Louisa May AlcottWork: A Story of Experience