Our Voice Matters

‘Weakness is treating someone as though they don’t belong to you. Strength is knowing that everyone belongs to themselves.’

-Yaa Gyasi

Today, contemporary literature is gaining massive importance and with that the Young Adult genre is winning hearts of youth, hence, it becomes imperative for writers to talk about long-standing social problems that don’t seem to draw to a close after years of stagnancy. Racism is one such problem that still haunts lives all around the world. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter Movement and the death of innumerable black youth in the USA, Angie Thomas stepped into the world of book writing with her novel The Hate U Give.

The novel begins with a sixteen year-old girl witnessing her friend being shot by a white policeman when they were on their way back home. The novel traces the racist dogma that exists in the so-called developed American society where the life of a white man takes precedence over coloured folks. It traces the journey of a sixteen year old girl who sets out to seek justice for her friend and many other lives that have been erased from the pages of history.

‘We were the people who were not in the papers. We lived in the blank white spaces at the edges of print… We lived in the gaps between the stories.’

-Margaret Atwood

I had heard a lot about this book ever since it was published. Instagram, YouTube was flooded with praises for this book. Every so often, when this building up of hype takes place I often end up feeling disappointed after reading the particular novel. Surprisingly, that didn’t happen with this book. I loved this book; I loved how it talks about the prejudices, injustices existing till date. There was so much of truth in the story she has written, peeling out all the cloaks of sugar-coated ideas and beliefs to reveal the inherent hypocrisy deeply embedded in the system. In my opinion, this is one of the best Young Adult Contemporary books I have read till date, and I would urge authors to write books like The Hate U Give, that will make the youth think and that shall stay with the individual in the years to come. I would suggest all you readers to go ahead and read this book irrespective of any social constructs you identify with.

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Everything Beyond Nothing

Love, a theme or a feeling which has given birth to wonders of literature and shall remain the core of literature for ages and beyond. It amazes readers to find how interestingly authors deal with the indispensable theme by merging it with lesser known situations. One of the most common situations is when one of the protagonists is sick and their future seems bleak. Books like The Fault in Our Stars, Me Before You are a few to suggest with a certain storyline.

Nicola Yoon, an author who stepped into the world of writing with Everything, Everything warmed the hearts of cheesy, mushy, love story fanatics through her debut novel. ‘Everything, Everything’ follows the story of a girl, Madeline Whittier aka Maddy who is suffering from a disease which suggests her being allergic to the world outside her home. She keeps to her home with her caring mother and her loving nurse. She lives her life through her books and the window overlooking her air-filtered bubble of a room. Incidentally, a new family turns up in the house opposite hers and then she discovers the cutest guy she has seen in her life, Olly.

“It made me think that everything was about to arrive- the moment when you know all and everything is decided forever.”

-Jack Kerouac

I was really looking forward to the ending; it kept me at the edge of my seat. I loved the way this book was written. Admittedly, I was enjoying the first two hundred and fifty pages. Unfortunately, I was pretty dissatisfied with the climax and the unprecedented turn of events. Nonetheless, I really liked the illustrations, snippets of conversations attached to the story; they made the reading enjoyable and fun.

READ IT BEFORE THE FILM HITS THE CINEMAS!!!!!!

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Still from the Film 

The Beginning of Unknown



“CHERRy LIPS, CRYSTAL SKIES

I COULD SHoW YOU INCREDIBLE THINGS

STOLEn KISSES, PRETTY LIES

YOU’RE THE KING, BABY,  I’M YOUR

QUeEN FIND OUT WHaT YOU WANT

BE THAT GIRL FOR A MOnTH

WAIT, THE WORST IS YET TO COME....”

-Taylor Swift

 

I have been really excited to write this review as this is the first book I have listened to.  Believe me, it was awkward at the beginning but as the first chapter flew by I got used to it and swam through the voice taking in the penmanship of the author. However, audio books can NEVER surpass paperbacks because reading a book has its own significance!

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Book cover. Photo Credits: Google Images

 

Summer, friendships, family ties, politics, young adult romance, scavenger-hunting, dog-walking, pizzas, ice-creams; doesn’t these sound exciting?  Well, to me, it sure does. And Morgan Matson has wonderfully packed these into one book to make our time a little interesting. The queen of summer contemporary genre has come up with her fourth book The Unexpected Everything which follows the story of Andie, a seventeen-year old, who has everything planned out for the following summer. She intends to intern at a university which gets called off as her father, a Congressman, gets involved in a political conspiracy and all her plans shatters leaving her and her father together in their house for the first time in years. Incidentally, she takes up a job to walk dogs and comes across Clark, the cutest nerd she has ever met in her life. This summer changes her life; she is walking dogs, doing scavenger hunt with her dad, getting too close to a guy who is irresistibly cute and talented.

 

Is this going to last only for this summer or things might take a drastic turn by the end of it?

 

Is the worst yet to come after summer?

 

Pick this book up and read it if you want a light, fun read. I heard the audio book which was narrated by Bailey Carr, she was excellent, she narrated the dialogues of both the male and female characters really nicely and her voice carried the emotions required to express it. Interestingly, Matson has used quite a few emoticons in the book; I would have to appreciate Bailey Carr as she perfectly expressed those emoticons without the slightest disruption in the flow of the story. Surprisingly, this is the first Morgan Matson book I read or heard. I read Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour a few days back and I am currently reading Second Chance Summer (reviews will be up soon). Honestly, I would not say that I loved the book but I did enjoy it. I found the story too predictable. Anyway, I enjoyed the flow of her writing and obviously CLARK.

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A snapshot from one of the conversations in the book. Photo Credits:Google Images

 

 

 

Unforgivable Commitments

“I calmed her fears, and she was calm,

And told her love with virgin pride;”

-Samuel Taylor Coleridge

There are so many bonds and relationships we humans have to commit to, there are so many commitments we have made and we are to make. And with every commitment comes our sense of responsibility and it ought to augment. Sadly, we are not equipped with skills to tackle all our commitments, well, it is even sadder when we aren’t capable of dealing with our most intimate commitments.

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Rosamund Pike as Amy Dune in Gone Girl

It is not very often that you pick up a book, start reading it, enjoy it and shut it down with literally nothing to say. One such book which has left me in such a bizarre state is Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. The thriller begins with Nick Dune finding his wife, Amy Elliott Dune, missing on the morning of their fifth marriage anniversary. An investigation begins, search for Amy begins; but she is nowhere to be found. The policemen doubt Nick, close friends of Amy reveal that she was afraid of him, Amy’s memorandum unravels the status of her marital bond, alarming searches from Nick’s web history has left everyone baffled and there’s a number constantly flashing on Nick’s mobile phone.

Why and where has Amy disappeared?

Or is she dead?

What had been so faulty in their lives?

What is that Nick is hiding?

Is Amy ever going to return?

This book has been written in more than two styles and perspectives. The first perspective is Nick Dune’s and the second perspective is Amy’s, her diary entry which the policemen discover and the other? Well, it is for you to find out! Flynn’s writing is crisp and shaped neatly to leave the reader’s gaping and astonished. However, I was slightly taken aback when she went on to jade the novel with too much descriptions. Nonetheless, the way she presents her characters, good Lord, they are so ridiculously flawed that it will make you question your understanding of your fellow beings.   

Without further ado, rush to your nearest book store or place an order for this book if you haven’t read it yet. DO NOT participate in discussions where this book is being mentioned or watch the trailer of its film adaptation, just STAY AWAY.

“Whatever our struggles and triumphs, however we may suffer them, all too soon they bleed into a wash, just like watery ink on a paper.”

-Arthur Golden

 

Creation and its Creatures

“We do not start as dust. We do not end as dust. We make more than dust.”

-David Leviathan

None of the beings on this planet, be it a human or a plant or an animal are born the way we choose. We cannot make choices of our destiny if one unique destiny has chosen us. We cannot let our opportunity to live trail behind just because we realize that the opportunity was imperfect. All we can do is live and make the best out of it no matter what trains of absurdity we board or have boarded.

R.J. Palacio has magnificently brought into light the life of a ten year old boy, August Pullman, whose facial features are different from what we may imagine, in her book ‘Wonder’. Beautifully, she entails the story of August who is going to begin his middle school, after being home-schooled for years. Being masked from the stereotypical facial features, August’s life is surely not going to be a jolly ride.

Is August going to adjust in his life away from his primary inmates?

Is he at all going to attract friends to giggle with and talk to?

Will August realise the perfection cradling in his so-called imperfection?

Is August a wonder?

R.J. has surely done a wonderful job with the craftsmanship of this art. To begin with, it is exciting to hear the story right from August’s to the minor character’s point of view. Admittedly, the language is simple, sweet and it is highly recommended for all the age groups, both children and adults. There is so much to learn, so much to experience. There is so much of the world we haven’t discovered, there is so much of ourselves we haven’t looked into. There is so much to introspect, so much to think about. Give it a read, I am sure you will love it and realize how simple and important it is to live and let live.

“You’re gonna reach the sky

Fly … Beautiful Child”

-Eurythmics

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Some important characters from the book.