“The silence of the lambs” – book review

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Rating: 4/5

Cher Reader,

When I first read the title of ‘The Silence of the lambs’ I pretty much assumed that it will be a story about deprived females (I don’t know from where I got this idea :P). To say that I was mildly off the point will be an understatement.

It is a thriller fiction authored by Thomas Harris. The book was adapted in a motion picture by the same name which garnered highest number of Oscars and awards at that time.

The protagonist is a young FBI trainee Clarice Strerling who is under training at the Quantico.  She is sent on an errand by Jack Crawford, the head of FBI division (Behavioral Sciences) to question ‘’Dr.Hannibal Lecter’, the celebrated psychologist who is convicted of murdering nine people. What enfolds next is a mind gripping sequence of events which are sure to give you an adrenaline rush.

The character of ‘Hannibal Lecter’ steals away the show. He is that dangerous building, which makes you want to come near and run away, all at the same time. To create such a character, a writer has to be class apart, and Thomas Harris has succeeded to be one. Spending your time and money in this book is going to be one of the best decisions of the week.

If you instantly fall in love with the book follow it up with the T.V series- ‘Hannibal’, it should satiate your hunger (Though I haven’t watched it yet 😛 )

Yours Frankly

Naty

 

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“Watermelon”-Book Review

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Rating: 3.5/5

Cher Reader,

In all honesty, I bought the book merely because its name intrigued me. When I read the title “Watermelon”, my imagination ran wild, guessing what the story might be. Is the book about watermelons or something more substantial? Read on to find out!

Claire is a 29 years old woman, who is abandoned by her husband right after the birth of their child (an angelic baby girl). A new mommy, who doesn’t have a husband at her side, she braves herself to face the world. The protagonist is one hell of a woman; someone who can inspire people to accept who they are and be proud of it.

This book was my first encounter with Marian Keyes’ writing, and I must say that she was nothing short of a surprise. She handles a sensitive plot with great dexterity, weaving humor and inspiration slowly and steadily. The real beauty in the plot was the family. The author has brilliantly captured the essence of a family. How a family argues, fights, pulls each other’s hair but in the end they are the pillars of your life, who will handle your worst and still love you unconditionally.

On the closure, I’ll take away a few points because at times, it feels as if the author has drawled on and on, rambling out of context. Otherwise, “Watermelon” is a dish to at least try once. It’s a touching journey of a woman who picks up the pieces of her life from when she looked like a watermelon (post pregnancy). It is definitely a lesson to never look for a man’s approval, and to realize your worth.

P.S: If you are facing a tough life on your personal front, do give it a read. You might realize that life isn’t that bad with some humor and will at your side!

P.P.S: If you have sisters, then do read it; you will feel a sense of déjà vu many times along the way! 😛

Yours Frankly

Naty

“The sins of the father” – Book review

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RATING : 3.8/5

Cher Reader,

As I was browsing through the novels section of the library, the title of this book caught my attention and tingled my curious nerve (well, what kind of sins the father committed?). Further research told me that the book is the second one in the series “The Clifton Chronicles”. Here is an honest review of my first encounter with Jeffrey Archer’s writing.

The story has a bang on starting which compels you to sit in a comfortable surrounding and immerse yourselves in the book. Harry Clifton, assumes the identity of a man named “Tom Bradshaw” to solve some of his problems, little did he know that a sentence in prison awaits Tom Bradshaw. The author has an impeccable style of turning an ordinary sequence in the book to an extraordinary one.  Harry’s character goes through many transformations and not one of them seems unjustified. His strong will in all adversity leaves an awe inspiring impact on the heart.

Emma, who is the mother of Harry’s child, leaves the safe confinement of her home and begins her search for Harry. She embraces a decision, which might even result in orphaning her child. Jeff’s efforts should be applauded for portraying a women as a strong, sharp and able individual. The parallel stories of Maise (Harry’s mother) and other important characters, serve as a delightful distraction to the reader. Jeff has been quite fair in exploring the life of every character with equal vigor. This kind of fairness is rarely witnessed as the protagonist usually steals the limelight.

In nutshell, the book won’t disappoint you for sure. The only factor which makes you growl a little is the ending. Imagine you are informed that your semester results have been announced, the only catch is, you will know them after a year. Yes! That kind of frustration will engulf you. The cliff hanger at the end will make you curse Jeffery Archer (no offence) yet admire his penmanship.

P.S: If you want an even better reading experience, I suggest you read the prequel “Only Time Will Tell”

Yours Frankly

Naty

“MARLEY AND ME” – BOOK REVIEW

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RATING : 4/5

Cher Reader,

At my college’s book fair, the book cover of “Marley and Me” caught my attention. A heart melting cute dog and Jennifer Aniston, what a combo, right? So after being quite enamoured by the cover, I bought the book for some light reading, and here is my review.

John and Jenny are in the sublime early days of marriage, with not a care in the world. After the author’s wife, ‘Jenny’, fails to take care of a plant, doubts about raising a child begin creeping up in her mind. With the hope of cheering up their lives, they bring home a Labrador pup, whom they affectionately name “Grogan’s Majestic Marley of Churchill”, A.K.A., Marley.

Marley quickly grows into a barrelling, ninety-seven-pound Labrador retriever. He crashes through screen doors, gouges through drywall, flings drool on guests, steals women’s undergarments, and eats nearly everything he can get his mouth around, including couches and fine jewellery. Even obedience school fails to discipline him.

With the passage of time, this big bad boy becomes an integral part of their family. The Grogan family learns to love imperfections!!

I have to say, John Grogan has penned his first biographical novel with conviction. With humor and wit, he comically describes even the most embarrassing adventures with Marley (trust me, being a dog owner myself, I know it’s not easy). The book is an absolutely amazing read, with real life pictures of John Grogan & family and Marley. One thing which I personally enjoyed a lot is the well timed humor. (Well, who doesn’t like a good laugh once in a while?) The novel also has the infamous screen adaptation which has garnered many awards.

P.S: If you are a pet owner/lover, you have to, like compulsorily have to, read this book.

P.P.S: If dogs, their drools or pets in general, creep/gross you out, then I suggest that you give this one a miss.

Yours Frankly

Naty

#1 The Notebook

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RATING : 4.9/5

Cher Reader,

“The Notebook” is one of the very few books which do not need an introduction, and I have to say that a literary piece as beautiful and poignant as “The Notebook” is an honor to read.

The novel is set in the breath-taking backdrop of North Carolina, where Noah Calhoun, a thirty one year old man, works on re-modelling his house, drowned in the memories of the past. Every day, he is haunted by the memories of a summer, 14 years ago, when he experienced a love so deep that it is still etched in his heart, and a bond so strong that he still feels’ her’ in his veins.

Allie Hamilton is the daughter of a high class socialite. To any person, it would appear that she is the happiest person in the world, as she is engaged to the city’s richest and most famous lawyer, has a great family, and a perfect life ahead of her. Little does anyone know of the thunder brewing in her heart. With every passing day nearing her marriage, all she can remember is the passionate love of a summer, 14 years ago. A passion which freed her, a love which tamed her, and a soul which became her.

Nicholas Sparks is nothing but a perfectionist. In ‘The Notebook’, he has penned down a novel inspired by the story of a real life couple, and this makes ‘The Notebook’ even more special. The characters share not just ‘chemistry’, they understand each other even when age, destiny, family, and the universe itself is against them. Noah and Allie are forced to part ways due to the hypocrisies of the society. The author has painted an arresting picture of a fierce fight they take up against all odds.

Yeah! You must be wondering how I forgot about the movie adaptation (Well, I was saving it to be the icing on the cake)! The transcreation is as good as it could possibly be. The protagonists that made the book so special, come alive and make you cry even harder on the screen. The book and its adaptation go hand in hand, just like the characters (Noah and Allie) they represent.

I suggest (read: demand :P) you to read ‘The Notebook’. It will compel you to relive every moment of love you have ever experienced, and restore your faith in the power of true love. (Keep tissues, like many rolls of them right next to you)

Excerpt:

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough…” 
 Noah Calhoun, The Notebook

Yours Frankly

Naty

#2 Paradise

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RATING : 4.8/5

 

Cher Reader,

“Paradise” is a book which will make you make you not ‘sob’, but ‘cry’ really hard (**you have been forewarned **). It is a book about sacrifices, jealousy, heart breaks, but above all, about love – pure unparalleled love.

Judith McNaught has divided the novel into three parts – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It starts with a 14 year old Meredith Bancroft looking at her photographs, where she describes herself as a “flat chested troll with braces” (an intelligent troll nevertheless). Daughter of the millionaire CEO of Bancroft & Company, Meredith is always told about by her controlling father. When we meet her four years down the line, the young chubby troll has blossomed into a stunning, alluring girl. One night, after a particularly heated argument with her father, she meets Matthew Farrell at a country club event. Matthew Farrell (*heart throb alert*) belongs to a society which is in stark contrast to the one Meredith belong to. Even though he has no money, Matt works his ass off to put himself through college. He is everything except rich and elite class. When beauty meets heart throb, sparks flow, and passion roars (and Meredith is knocked up).

Judith McNaught is widely appreciated for the absolute perfection in her portrayal of the characters. In “Paradise”, she has outshined even herself. All 700 pages of the book have been written with absolute sublimity. When Matt and Meredith meet each other after 10 years, both are successful entrepreneurs, but detest each other deeply. Inevitably, Matt and Meredith keep running into each other. The skeletons of the past knock up on their doors, and they are paralyzed by the fact that they might have been punishing each other for someone else’s faults.

McNaught has penned down a heart-warming and brilliant romance. The characters share a stirring and tender relationship. They make you believe that true love has a habit of returning, despite all the odds. Matt and Meredith are surely not perfect individuals, but the way they love, care and protect each other is definitely a hallmark of perfection.

Here is an excerpt (enjoy):

If you’ll kiss me back,” he whispered huskily, brushing his lips along the curve of her jaw, “I’ll make it six million. If you’ll go to bed with me tonight,” he continued, losing himself in the scent of her perfume and the softness of her skin, “I’ll give you the world. But if you’ll move in with me,” he continued, dragging his mouth across her cheek to the corner of her lips, “I’ll do much better than that.” Unable to turn her face farther because his arm was in the way, and unable to turn her body because his body was in the way, Meredith tried to infuse disdain in her voice and simultaneously ignore the arousing touch of his tongue against her ear. “Six million dollars and the whole world!” she said in a slightly shaky voice. “What else could you possibly give me if I move in with you?” “Paradise.”  Lifting his head, Matt took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and forced her to meet his gaze. In an aching, solemn voice he said, “I’ll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want— everything you want. I come with it, of course. It’s a package deal.”
―Matthew Farrell, Paradise

 

Yours Frankly

Naty

 

#3 the fault in our stars

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RATING : 4.7/5

 

Cher Reader,

When I had finished reading the first page of “The Fault in Our stars”, I knew right then and there that this novel was going to change me. And God, had I ever been truer?!

The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, now in her final stage of cancer. On her mother’s behest, she attends a cancer patient’s support group, where she meets a 17-year-old teenage boy named Augustus Walters, who had lost a leg to ‘osteosarcoma’. Augustus came to the group to support his friend Isaac, but instead ends up taking a liking for Hazel. As days pass, Hazel and Augustus bond over Books, games, movies and Cancer. Inevitably, they fall in love.

The author, ‘John Green’, has written a touching literary piece that describes beautifully the life of those who are fighting cancer. What I liked the most about the book was that Green does not make cancer patients appear as pitiful beings. Instead, he has shown the side of them which often goes unperceived – the side where they get up each day knowing that it might be the last one; the side where they laugh out at cancer with their friends and family; the side where they look right into the eyes of their loved ones and say, ”I’ll be fine”, when they themselves are unsure of the statement. “The fault in our stars” is among those fortunate books which have a screen adaptation. The movie brilliantly captures the entire exquisiteness and emotions of the characters, and if I take the liberty of being “bold”, I will even say that it perfectly complements the novel.

Green makes you fall in love with the beauty of imperfections. As you finish the last page, you realise that it takes a hell lot of courage to downplay your pain and fix a smile on your face for the people you love, even when you know that all hope is lost. Hazel and Augustus enjoy a love which most individuals don’t get to feel in their entire life. “The Fault in Our stars” is a book whose every page is a tribute to those who have fought cancer, their families who stood beside them, their friends, and lovers who did not lose hope, no matter what came their way. I say, pick a copy, and let your heart rejoice in the eternity of love captured in these numbered pages

Yours Frankly

Naty