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Stay at home book tag

STUCK AT HOME

THE MOST IMPORTANT WORK YOU WILL EVER DO WILL BE WITHIN THE WALLS OF YOUR OWN HOME

Heyy all! My exams are over!! Which means I’ve got alot of time to work on my blog 🙂 . I saw this post a while ago on theperksofbringnourablog and knew it was something I wanted to do on my blog! So here goes

What are you currently reading?

I think I am gradually falling into a slump because August has not been a great reading month for me. That’s why I’m trying to read alot of light books (one of them being tweet cute) hoping that it would get me back to my regular pace. I’m also working on finishing all the series and standalones I had DNFed in the past and I’m currently halfway way through the red queen series. If you guys are looking for a good dystopian novel, then this is the book for you!

What’s your favourite “can’t leave the house” activity?

It might sound cliche but I’ve been obsessed with cooking lately. Also, my grandma (AKA the COOLEST and the MOST LOVING person to ever exist!) taught me embroidery and that’s all I want to do for the whole day now!! I can’t wait for the embroidery stuff I ordered to reach home because all I’ve been looking on pinterest are different kinds of embroidery designs!

A book you’ve been meaning to read forever?



Fierce fairytales has been on my tbr for as long as I can remember, even before I started being active on goodreads. I don’t know why I haven’t picked it up before but I think I will be reading it sometime in September. I’ve heard so many great things about big magic and it sounds like something that I can learn alot from so I’m really eager to read that too. My little epiphanies – now how do I describe my love for this book (though I haven’t read it)? The story behind how this book was written is itself one of THE most beautiful stories I’ve ever known. I came to know about this book thanks to the movie “The Sky is Pink” (which is based on the story of a girl named Aisha who knew she was going to die) and I’ve been so keen read it ever since. Though the plot sounds really depressing and sad, it is the most positive and inspiring movie I have ever seen.

What are you planning on reading next?

Beach read and The switch has got great reviews and since I’m reading alot of light books lately, those are the books I’ll be picking up next. “I am not your perfect Mexican daughter” is the book chosen for my book club “culturally diverse reads” and I’ll be reading it sometime in September.

One standalone you highly recommend?

Guys, I’ve seriously been promoting this book to everyone I see. This book has such a beautiful writing style! I think I’ll be posting a review of this book sometime so let me save most of my rant for later.

Something you want to do more while being stuck at home?

I really want to work on not procrastinating! I procrastinate so much that its become part of my personality at this point. For example, this post was supposed to be up on my blog yesterday but here I am.👀

Also, I wanted to thank you guys for the love y’all are showing me for my post “when’s the right time?”. That was a completely random rant and I really didn’t expect you guys to like it so much. So THANK YOUU!!

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Murder on the Orient Express

Murder On The Orient Express

“But I know human nature, my friend, and I tell you that, suddenly confronted with the possibility of being tried for murder, the most innocent person will lose his head and do the most absurd things.”

HERCULE POIROT

Summary

Just after midnight, a snowdrift stops the Orient Express in its tracks. The luxurious train is surprisingly full for the time of the year, but by the morning it is one passenger fewer. An American tycoon lies dead in his compartment, stabbed a dozen times, his door locked from the inside.

Isolated and with a killer in their midst, detective Hercule Poirot must identify the murderer—in case he or she decides to strike again.

RATING: 5/5

AUTHOR: Agatha Christie

NUMBER OF PAGES: 256

After a very long time, I read a book that left me completely speechless. What a read it was! The way Agatha Christie was able to weave this intricate of a story while still holding on to the major plot twist at the end is phenomenal. The whole setting and vibr of the book was beautiful. There are no modern day electronics, which results in interrogation and analyzing people’s behaviour, being the only source of investigation which made it even more interesting.

The characters: Well, I can’t talk much about the characters without giving anything away but I was so surprised as to how each person played smart in their own way. The characters are also very diverse belonging to different countries and thus, following different cultures which was very refreshing to read. The way people from two completely different cultures interact with each other, not only educates us about the day to day life in different countries but also let’s us know about the stereotypes prevalent in each country and how one contradicts the other.

The investigation: Another aspect of the book that fascinated me was its clarity. The plot is actually supposed to be really confusing but from the time Poirot began his investigation every single interview and each and every clue was organized in the best possible way. It also made me think that we were alot more put together and responsible when we didn’t have the luxury of technology. Starting from the way a separate compartment was alotted for the investigation till the way each passenger’s behaviour was noted down (even the little things that seems to have got nothing to do with plot) was so clear and helped us in understanding the end.

Hercule Poirot: How can I not talk about this genius of a guy? Nobody can handle a case the way poirot does and no body else could have figured out the history behind the murder.

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when exactly is the ‘right’ time?

when exactly is the ‘right’ time?

THE RIGHT PEOPLE ARE TIMELESS.

Okay, so I’m still reading glass sword and am not even halfway through the book so I couldn’t review it (obviously). So what did I do? I started scrolling through pintrest while feeling extremely guilty about not having anything to post about 🙂 . That’s when I read a quote that sparked the inspiration for this post, so here we are… Now that we are done with the history behind this post, here’s what I wanted to say.

Have you guys ever been in a situation where you have wanted to make an amazing impression on someone but end up completely embarrassing yourself in someway or the other? Yeah, and that continues to haunt you till the day you die (I still cringe about the stuff i did when I was 4. I’m soo not kidding!). All of us, if not always atleast once in a while feel that, “it would have been so much better if I had met this person now and not three years back” or that “If I could just go back in time, and act more strong or sensitive or cool (or whatever, you get my point right?) maybe I wouldn’t find myself in this position. I would be wayy better than I aldready am. Maybe I would have a lot of friends and our squad would be as amazing as the cast of stranger things. Maybe I would have my own reality show with Taylor Swift as my best friend. Maybe I would have developed a whole other identity and would have been an international teen pop sensation. I am actually supposed to be receiving a grammy right now but here I am typing this out only because I was not my best self THAT one day and now THAT one person who cannot influence my life even in the slightest way, hates me. (sorry guys, I have been watching a lot of Hannah Montana lately)”. Raise your hands if you’ve ever done this (I’m talking about the overthinking, not Hannah Montana).

Timing seems to be the invariable third party in all our lives and yet we never stop to consider why we let timing play such a drastic role in our lives. Here’s a simple truth that I think we all need to face up to:

THE PEOPLE WE MEET AT THE WRONG TIME ARE ACTUALLY JUST THE WRONG PEOPLE. You never meet the right people at the wrong time because THE RIGHT PEOPLE ARE TIMELESS. They would be with you even at your worst time without any judgements. They will accept you for who you are and would never make you feel disrespected. Aren’t they the kind of people you should worry about? While reading this if you think of a person (the right kind who makes you smile) let them know how much you value their company. Never ignore the ones who cares about you even when you don’t. Also, do tell me if you watch Hannah Montana, we could be friends 😉

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Red Queen

RED QUEEN

Words can lie, look beyond them

VICTORIA AVEYARD

Summary

In a world tenanted by reds and silvers, the latter taking advantage of their abilities crown themselves ‘lords’ and rule over the reds. The reds while facing immense tyranny are additionally subject to injustice like forced conscription. One such ‘red’ Mare Barrow, an ordinary girl of seventeen, dreads the day she is to be conscripted (a worry shared by reds all around the kingdom) in addition to dealing with problems any teenager would, like insecurity, the feeling of not fitting in, etc. Little does she know that in reality she is anything but ordinary and the things she has in common with anyone in the kingdom is non exisistant….Mare is different. She is unique. She is a red with ability. She is a combination of red and silver but stronger than both. The discovery of her abilities pushes Mare into a world filled with lies and deceit – a world where one wrong step can cause her end…

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Number of pages: 444

Rating: 4/5

The character development: The character development in this book is probably my favourite part about it! When I look back at how Mare and Kilorn were at the start compared to how they are at the end, they seem like two different people but the transition was very gradual and comprehensive. Also, the actions of every single character, regardless of whether they are one of the good guys or bad is explained very well

The plot twists!: Okay, the plot twists in this book are simply mindblowing! There have been parts where I had to reread the same page twice because I really couldn’t believe what had just happened. You know how you feel when you look for a particular thing and it turns out to be right in front of the whole time? Yeah, that’s how it felt when I read the end of this book. The facts are all laid out right in front of us yet we wouldn’t be able to expect the end. Her choice of words is simply wonderful!

The Summerton: Reading about the Summerton gave me alot of the ‘selection’ vibes. May it be the castle or the streets or even the garden, I kept comparing it to the castle in Illea. Also, I really loved the place. I know that its supposed to be a symbol of Mare’s confinement and responsible for the doom of thousands of reds, but excluding the people making the place seem so terrifying, the city of Summerton alone is very beautiful. It has a calming vibe to it (maybe because it gave out ‘selection’ vibes and I felt nostalgic while reading about it)

So I’ve been reading the 12th chapter of glass sword for the past three days :). Its not that I am in a slump, it’s just that I don’t find enough time to read thanks to thousands of pages of notes we are supposed to write. But I am dying to know what would happen because the way red queen ended was…..let’s just say sleep wouldn’t be your priority after finishing the end. Also, my laptop just stopped working and I’m editing this post through my phone while trying to maintain my sanity 🙂

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The smell of other people’s houses

THE SMELL OF OTHER PEOPLE’S HOUSES

It suddenly dawns on me that there is a big difference between feeling tired and being weak.”

BONNIE SUE HITCHCOCK



Summary
A loonngg time ago….
1970, to be precise, there lived four teenagers in Alaska ( i mean, there were a lot more teenagers but the story talks about the four of them, like, duh!) Ruth, with a secret that wouldn’t remain one forever, Alyce wanting to reconcile her childhood with a desire to grow as a dancer, Dora confused between who she is and who she wants to be while trying to escape her past life and Hank, weary of being the responsible elder brother. While attempting to merely survive what they thought was the worst life possible, the four unknowingly become a huge part of each other’s life (though they may never realize it).

Author: Bonnie Sue Hitchcock

Number of pages: 240

Rating: 5/5

The first thing I loved about the book is its characters. I was surprised as to how beautifully each one’s story progressed while focusing equally on the development of the side characters too. There were also so many moments where I had to put the book down and just take in what had happened. Also, the story is set in THE most peaceful place ever and the tranquillity shines through the book. Something I learnt from this book resonates with a paragraph I have read earlier. It is that you don’t know what goes on in anyone’s life but your own and when you mess with one part of a person’s life, you are not messing with just that part. Unfortunately, you cannot be that selective and particular. When you mess with one part of a person’s life, you mess with their entire life.

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The Hate U Give

THE HATE U GIVE

“I can’t change where I come from or what I have been through, so why should I be ashamed of what makes me, me?”

Angie Thomas


Summary
The story follows Starr Carter a sixteen year old girl who got to witness the ruthless murder of her two best friends and the worst part is that such occurrences are considered normal in her community. Torn between her two completely different worlds – the first one being her poor neighborhood prone to violence and the second one, her suburban prep school, where the ways of her neighborhood are not tolerated, Starr is confused as to which one of her two lives she should represent. Should she stay quiet in order to safeguard her reputation, though her voice may cause a difference?


Author: Angie Thomas

Number of pages: 444

Rating: 5/5

In all honesty, The Hate U Give has made me realize how clueless I was, about the existence of racism in our society. Now , I don’t know what it’s like to grow up being a part of an oppressed community but I do know what it’s like to feel like you don’t have a voice or that your voice doesn’t have any importance amongst the others. Though I may sound like a cliche post on tumblr, I want to say that each and every one of our voices do matter and this book has made me realize it (yep, it’s not the pretty looking quote that did the job. Such a shocker). Khalil’s story is something I would always remember along with all the other stories I understood thanks to this book. These protests, rallies and campaigns are not only for the justice of breonna taylor or George floyd but it is the genuine worry, guilt and angst of the society who have realized that we are part of a society where racism is prevalent. We are part of a society where people’s treatment still depends on the colour of their skin. We are part of a society where people would hurt other people or animals for mere entertainment. In other words, we are part of a society that totally lacks kindness and that is scary. I dont know how we all became what we are today but it’s high time we change. I am not talking about taking huge initiatives but start with being kind to the people around you. Help them without expecting anything in return. Make people feel safe, respected and welcome when they talk to you. Stop making them feel inferior and stop hurting people! Change begins with us. Let’s start being the change we have been fighting for. Let’s start being kind.

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FOLKLORE!!!!!

FOLKLORE

Hell was the journey but it brought me heaven

Taylor Swift

Is this post going to be about me fangirling over Taylor Swift for a minute straight? Yes, it is so please do bear with me.

So, after playing ‘Lover’ on repeat for weeks I thought that it is humanly impossible for another album as perfect as this one but here she is!!!!! The lyrics, the aesthetics and of course, the music is pure PERFECTION!!!!! I mean, did you guys listen to illict affairs and betty and exile and my tears ricochet?!!

The ‘folk’ in folklore isn’t so much a statement of purpose with regard to genre because this is her storytelling album. More than the lyrics, I think that it is her music that does all the storytelling. Starting from the 1 till hoax each and every song is so authentic and beautiful. The way she switches the genres is unbelievable!! I really didn’t know she could rock a RnB blue but here she is with exile and speaking of exile the harmonys are soo beautiful that I CAN’T EVEN! You know the feature on spotify that suggests new songs and albums to listen to? Yeah, in my case, spotify has lost hope and given up in trying to make me listen to other albums. When Taylor Swift releases a whole album without any prior notice, listening to them on repeat is the natural thing to do. If you guys haven’t heard folklore yet, please do go listen to it right now and do tell me what’s your favourite song from the album =).

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The overture

THE OVERTURE

Certain qualities, that is, the little things in your character is what defines who you are. They must never be lost

OK, so this is actually happening…
*Takes a deep breath*
Let me start by properly introducing myself. Hi. I’m Shreya – a sixteen year old girl who is still trying to figure out her place in this huge world and wanting to learn as much as possible in the process of doing so. After months and months of debating whether I should or shouldn’t start a blog, here I am.

Before we start, I felt that it would be better if i mention the reason for wanting to start this blog. A few days back while cleaning my room I found my old diary, the one I was obsessed with at the age of thirteen. So what did I do? I started reading it, completely ignoring the stack of books in my cupboard that needed to be sorted out, like the responsible adult I am :). Reading my diary made me realize how much I had learnt since I was thirteen and how much my views on the world had changed. One such example would be, my disregard for food. When I was young, my mom told me that I was fortunate enough to have sufficient food though there were people dying out of hunger. So if I don’t respect the food on my plate and tend to waste it, my creepy neighbour would come home and take me away forever (that thought still gives me the creeps). Since then I never wasted my food. Fast forward to now, when amidst having exams and a lot of other responsibilities, taking time to properly enjoy my food and showing it the respect it deserves is not my first priority. I hardly remember the last time I had a proper breakfast (drinking a glass of milk to convince your mother doesn’t count right?) My disregard for food is something I had developed over the last two years and reading my diary helped me realize it. That’s another reason for starting this blog. There are certain qualities, the little things in your character that defines who you are which should never be lost. I hope that a few years later, this blog would help me realize how I’ve changed and would help me never to lose certain aspects of my character that makes me, me.

So why is this blog on books shreya? Why isn’t it on something else like music or horses?” You may ask and that’s a fair question. Answer: because I love to read (yep, that’s it. Nothing more complicated and no creepy neighbours involved). Books have kept me company during the hardest of times and will continue to do so. Also, I have always wanted to see whether my opinion of a story would change with time. Something I constantly struggle with is choosing what book to read next and a good review has always helped me. So here I am, to tell you my views on the books I read, hoping to ease out your confusion on what to read next and learning a lot in the process.