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30 Day Book Challenge — Day 3 |My Favourite Series

I am being so good about this! I’ve already started this post, and it’s only noon. Let’s hope that this zeal continues to last, especially in November, when I have exams. (Is this foreshadowing for bleak times to come, Sindhu? Uh…maybe?)

Okay, my favourite series in life is Harry Potter. In fact, the various books of Harry Potter are my go-to answers for a LOT of these questions. But I won’t mention them. (Except to say that I won’t mention them… Yeah. Logic.) The reason for that is obvious. It’s that it would make things REALLY boring.

Also, I’m assuming here that a series is every story that has more than one book in it, including trilogies. 

Ok, I’ve decided to cheat a bit on this question and name one series which has ended and one which is ongoing which I’ve loved so far because both these are amazing.

I don’t read a lot of series and trilogies because most series and trilogies are fantasy related and that’s usually just not my cup of tea. (Yes yes. The horror! Bring on the brickbats!) OF course, there are a few fantasy authors that I really do like such as Brandon Sanderson, Brent Weeks, etc though I’ve read exactly one trilogy by each of them and no more. I liked the ones I read. Most of the books I read are standalones, most are post-modern books, although I also read a lot of classics, and I like it that way.

Now there’s also this new trend where every trilogy is dystopian young adult and I jumped on the bandwagon for the first couple (Hunger Games and Divergent, basically.) but now they’re just everywhere and the premises are just so strange and they’re a combination of paranormal and dystopian and there’s just not enough focus on the hopelessness of the situation… They’re not even REALLY Dystopian I think. They’re just fantasy novels in different universes.

My favourite genre is in fact, dystopian, which is why I have strong opinions on this subject. A Clockwork Orange, anyone? Now THAT’S a bleak book! Which is as it should be.

Anyway, onto my favourite series/ trilogy that has ended, ie. in which all of the books have already been published:

The winner is… The Gameworld Trilogy by Samit Basu. Now, this is an Indian fantasy series, and it is hilarious, dark, adventuous and completely fabulous. I am in love with both of the main characters, Maya and Kirrin and they are also one of my main ‘ships‘. (Click on that if you don’t know what a ‘ship’ is. What rock have you been living under? Huh? I only found out what the hell it was at the beginning of the year, but whatever.) Maya is one of the most badass female leads in the history of forever. Guys. Guys. Read these. Please. Samit Basu deserves far more love and attention than he gets. It transcends borders. And his world builfding? -Phwoar- That’s the sound my mind made when it was blown. READ THIS. OR FACE MY WRATH.

Now, onto the ongoing series that is my current favourite, or at the very least, my most anticipated series ending-book-release of 2015. This series is somewhat dystopian, I think, and they’re fairytale retellings. They are also set in the future in a world where humans, cyborgs and androids all co-exist. I know right? WHAT! THEY’RE SO GOOD. They’re immaculately thought out, fascinating and familiar and yet, so original at the same time. If you haven’t already guessed what I am talking about, I am talking about the Lunar Chronicles, by Marissa Meyer. The first book, Cinder, is a retelling of Cinderella. The second, Scarlet, is a retelling of Little Red Riding Hood. The Third, Cress, is a retelling of Rapunzel. The third one is my favourite. 🙂 There are two more books due to come out. One is a prequel and one is the final book of the series and I MA DYING TO GET MY HANDS ON THEM. I want to know. I can’t wait to know. Ahhhhhhhhhhh. Yes. Give this series a chance for sure. It may seem formulaic in this day and age because of the dystopian/fantast/sci-fi young adult thing but it’s refreshingly original and amazing.

Also, the opinions expressed about fantasy, etc/, in this post are very personal and I don’t think it’s a comment on the actual quality of the book, but just a comment on what I enjoy reading. I hope i didn’t offend anyone. 🙂

So yes. Until tomorrow,

Hoot.

–Sin

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Breaking Challenges :(

I caved and have had to give a temporary hiatus to the Indian authors thing I was to do this month because all the books I’d wanted to read are so heavy and I had a reading slump and I wasn’t reading ANYTHING so I just picked up a light read to ease me back in; something I was almost certain to like: Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins. I adored the other two books in this companion novel series, though I’m a bit embarrassed to admit that.

They are: Anna and the French Kiss and Lola and the Boy Next Door. Super fun books, both of them.

And John Green liked Anna and the French Kiss. Just sayin’. (Defensive? Who, me?)

Sad hoot.

–Sin

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Em and the Big Hoom | Book Review

The book I’m going to review today is Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto.

I have not written a book review in so long. My previous blog (Yes, I’ve had several blogs that I ground into obscurity every time I emerge from a fresh bout of writer’s block.) was to consist primarily of book reviews and that was its undoing, I think. I read a series of books which overwhelmed me and I just did not know how to review them without spoiling them and without sounding repetitive about how much I love them and then I just stopped reviewing books, and panicked at the thought of reviewing one. This particular doozy took me a full 3 days to write to my satisfaction, and it’s still halting in parts… I’m just going to go ahead and post before I change my mind. In the future, may be I’ll do wrap-ups in the style of booktubers to talk about what I’ve been reading briefly. 

</end typical long winded rant>

In my last post, I had said that I was currently reading this book and that I loved it so far. News Update: I do love it!

Okay, I’m going to be honest with you guys. This is one of the best books I’ve read by an Indian author. Not that I’ve read too many books by Indian authors, but I’m remedying that now.

Anyway, this is also the best book I’ve read representing somebody with a mental illness after The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon. (If you haven’t read it yet, why the hell not?! Go go go. Read it right now. My blog isn’t a quarter as interesting)

I’m not saying that the books are similar; they aren’t—at all— (For starters, they deal with different mental illnesses!) but this book is reminiscent of that one in its kind and balanced approach, which doesn’t sugar-coat the toll mental illness may take on the affected person, and their family, but that also doesn’t demonise the person. In fact, Pinto probably faced a greater challenge doing this because this book wasn’t from the perspective of the person with the mental illness, Imelda Mendes, ‘Em’ to her children, ‘Beloved’ to her husband, but that of her son, from the time he is around 10 years old, to when he is in his early 20’s.

The book consists entirely of remembered conversations between the boy and his family, letters and journal entries written by his mother and his actual thoughts about these which makes for interesting changes in voice throughout the book. I liked that.

It is written retrospectively, and has a hazy, reminiscing quality to it, but at the same time, it truly describes the narrator’s dominant feelings of pity, fear and frustration in equal measure, as well as the suffering he saw his mother go through. In the true style of reminisces, it is written in a non-linear fashion, each story, each incident, weaving together seamlessly, giving an actual glimpse into the claustrophobic one-bedroom house in sweltering 1980’s Mumbai.

My favourite character in the book is the titular Big Hoom, the father, the husband, the family’s rock. He’s a little two-dimensional but reading about him made me feel warm inside.

This book is so honest and uncensored, it broke my heart. The ending soothed and moved me at the same time. I do so love a book that is set in India but that isn’t about India or about living in India… if that makes sense. I also love books about living in India, but I love these more. I actually do so love a well-written book about anything set anywhere, to be honest.

I don’t even know why I need to say this at this point, but I highly recommend this book. Read it. And yes, you can thank me in advance. 😛

Hoot.

–Sin

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My October TBR and a HUGE announcement!

Err… The announcement is coming first. Just roll with it okay? Okay.

Okay, I have an announcement to make to all my numerous (splutter) readers. I will almost certainly be taking up booktubing. I’ve created my channel, I’ve obtained a nice-ish camera. (Dad’s old one) And I’ve readied all my social media accounts… One only minor thing left to do: Record.

I’m very self-conscious, and even though I love books and I love…talking, I’m terrified! I’ll get to it eventually. I’ve set myself a deadline for the end of my holidays, which is Oct 27th so it’s happening. Very soon. THIS MONTH. Gahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

-hyperventilates-

I’ll still keep blogging though, may be even more frequently than usual. Maybe. No promises, unfortunately. (Yes. I know. This is what one wants to hear from a blogger they follow. :P) I’m LOUSY at motivating myself to do anything. I need to work on that. I will. THAT’S a promise.

In other news, I’ve read a lot more books this year than I intended to. My goal for the year was 50 and I’ve read 77…so far. So around March, I decided to make certain months category months, like in March I only read Classics, and in July, I read only non-fiction. It broadened my horizons of reading and made me slow down a little.

My point is, is that October is going to be one of those months. This month I’m only going to read books by authors who are from India or the Indian Sub-continent. I looked through my shelves and I discovered than I have a lot of books by Indian/Pakistani authors that I haven’t read yet so I’ve decided to make a TBR for this month, based on how much I think I can read.

Here it is. (Strictly tentative, okay?)

Em and the Big Hoom by Jerry Pinto (Currently reading and LOVING)

Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra

The Wishmaker by Ali Sethi

Sea of Poppies by Amitav Ghosh

I’m also thinking of buying A Fine Balance by Rohinton Mistry.

I think this is all I can do because I’m also interning and Sacred Games is massive (947 pages)! If anybody has any suggestions, please let me know in the comments.

Thanks!

Hoot.

-Sin