Because I’m feeling too lazy to write about books, here’s Dook to make you feel better…
It was five minutes till midnight hour and my phone alarm went off. I straightened against the side of the building and fumbled to get it out of my jeans to shut off the insistent buzzing. My gloved fingers made this more difficult than usual, but I couldn’t take them off in this cold.
Charm smiled down at me and said, “Is it time for you to go home? At the stroke of midnight like a modern day Cinderella?“
I laughed awkwardly, the warmth I’d found in his arms slowly fading as my mind circled through the consequences of delaying any longer.
“I do have to go,” I told him, still smiling. “My dad isn’t that strict but I have a curfew.”
“Alright,” he said, pulling me closer, he words a warm puff on my cold forehead. “I’ll drop you home. Leave your car here. I’ll pick you up in the morning for classes.” One hand circled my waist while the other pressed into the middle of my back. He held me like he didn’t want to let go. Continue reading
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I read this book two or more years ago and I still have the copy lying about somewhere. Recently I received a copy of Chauhan’s Those Pricey Thakur Girls and decided to at least add this book as “read” on my goodreads shelf.
I remember that I loved the first half. I hadn’t yet read a novel by an Indian author that wasn’t literary and yet boasted competent narrative skills. This author showed her potential from the very first chapter as she set the background for us and let us get a feel for her heroine.
Unfortunately it was like reading…have you ever watched one of those Indian TV serials that are focused on the misunderstandings and misfortunates of two fated-for-each-other people? Recently a lot of them seem to be cropping up and they have meet-cute beginnings and funny incidents and fate intervening to bring them together and so on. Basically every cliche romancelandia has ever invented.
Zoya Factor was like that only with better writing skills and some genuinely funny dialogues.
It was the second half that really disappointed me. Till then suspension of disbelief wasn’t so hard and the protagonist’s silliness, wrong assumptions, bad decisions all seemed endearing. After the halfway mark however my patience was severely tested as all I could feel was embarrassment for the heroine and bewilderment that the hero even liked her, when I couldn’t see a single thing they had in common or a single thing he could admire in her.
She’s textbook for the kind of heroine I could never root for. She wasn’t resourceful, wasn’t capable of independent, un-influenced thought, held stupid prejudices and made frequent and faulty jumps to wrong conclusions.
The hero was a lot more relatable and I felt almost bad for him because I knew he would end up with her. He was a decent guy, with a lot of integrity who just wanted to prove himself and do a good job as a team captain. The fact that he didn’t believe in lucky charms and the efficacy of having a free-loader hanging around his team, making them think that all their wins came from having her around, didn’t make him arrogant and close-minded. It made him a good captain and an intelligent man.
But you know what nearly made me give up the book three-fourths of the way? – That the heroine was so obviously inferior to the smart, capable, pragmatic hero. I know that’s a relationship dynamic often explored in books and movies – bumbling heroine and cynical hero – and it’s supposed to be a yin-yang, she-balances-him thing, but it didn’t work for me in this book. It just didn’t.
So, a week and a half ago I got a pet. He’s a 2-month-old Labrador and when he’s not nipping at my heels with his needle sharp teeth, he’s the sweetest baby ever.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
I’m very happy with this book. Well, not the supernatural parts of it because they almost bordered on the silly, but the rest – the parts where Hauk and Jolie carefully stepped around each other and unexpectedly found a rapport growing between them.
Hauk is a wanted man who has joined an underground group fighting against the corporates who run the world. This world is very reminiscent of ours, only with even more power allotted to the rich and a cult secretly running the world. It’s basically a world where all the conspiracy theorists are right and we’re blind to the subtle manipulations by the rich and powerful, and where governments are puppets in the hands of industrialists and media moguls.
So Hauk is on the run after completion of a particularly important mission and takes refuge with an associate who runs a burlesque club by night and is a desk-jockey by day. He sees Jolie there and is sadly smitten.
Jolie is an heiress and a rebel. She gave up ballet to please her proper parents and now after the death of her beloved grandfather she’s finally doing something she loves and finds exciting (albeit secretly).
After her performance, she ends up having an encounter with Hauk but never really sees him. When she asks his name, he tells her his first name, Wesley and leaves. She remembers his wide shoulders and gentle hands and imagines a handsome stranger.
But Hauk isn’t handsome. He has the kind of face that earns make-up artists their living on horror movie sets. He isn’t just scarred, he’s disfigured.
Soon afterwards Jolie gets kidnapped and Hauk *senses* someone getting attacked and runs back to the rescue. He sees the attackers trying to violate Julie and enters a berserker rage that ends in a lot of blood and a total blackout for Hauk.
The next thing he knows, he’s waking up to Jolie in his bedroom in the secret warrens of the Underlight having carried her there to safety and then refusing to let her go even in sleep. Fortunately his friends were there to ease Jolie’s panic at gaining consciousness in the arms of a blood smeared stranger.
When Jolie asks her rescuer’s name they tell him it’s “Hauk” and after a single glance at his face she’s glad that her first instinct was wrong, he couldn’t possibly be Wesley.
You can’t help but be pleased with the slow development of their relationship. It takes Jolie a while to get used to his horrific face but she’s a sensible heroine and doesn’t want to hurt his feelings the way she quickly realizes it must often have been trampled on by others.
She also chastises herself for immediately associating his disfigurement with evil. A monstrous man, a demon-man.
As the day passes and they talk and work together, they get to know each other, they surprise each other and then suddenly Jolie realises that hours have passed since she’d last noticed the glaring scars and pits on his face and body. She sees his beautiful eyes instead, his unexpected sense of humour and his gentleness.
So yeah, I kinda loved the way this story plays out (and will continue to play out for two more books), but the unfortunate side of this book is that it’s set in an urban fantasy world and the author seems to be severely uncomfortable with magical set ups or cults.
Also, these two keep talking during a break in! A break-in into the damned cult’s head quarter – and by that I mean the cult that runs North America! Who talks this much and this easily while sneaking into a high security building? Seriously.
And did I say the cult scenes were silly? Okay, so there. Loved the character development, loved the relationship building (though the girl needs to ditch her “I don’t believe in monogamy” boyfriend fast, or I might start throwing books at her), and loved that it’ll take Beast/Hauk a while yet to get Beauty/Jolie, but yeah…I wish magic hadn’t been involved.
Amazon link: How Beauty Met the Beast (Tales of the Underlight)
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Girl is a teenage graphic novel artist.
Girl is an outcast in a posh school.
Girl has a best friend.
Girl meets angel pretending to be human.
Girl’s best friend seems of particular interest to angel.
Girl kisses angel.
Girl meets less angelic new girl, cousin to angel hero.
Girl has a very bad day, mean new girl watches in glee.
Girl needs rescue, angel provides.
Girl figures out the truth.
Girl learns that angel came down to earth to help her best friend, but got distracted by her. =D
Girl’s best friend comes to her when things go wrong for her family.
Girl turns to angel, but angel tells girl she can help more than he can.
Girl accepts this and does something brave.
Girl saves the day.
Girl’s angel boyfriend gets a call from powers that be to come back home due to his mucking up.
Girl sad and resigned but with new material for another graphic novel…about an angel.
Cute. I need to go back and read the previous seven issues. The Gabriel/Lucifer arc is pretty canonical, no surprises there, but I liked the heroine, Morning Glory and her love for all things graphic novel. That love can even trump her crush on an angel, and that’s rad. =D
Disclaimer: Netgalley Arc. Short, honest review in exchange for cool free graphic novel.
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
David Finch wrote an essay while taking a writing workshop. It was on his marriage and his struggle with Asperger’s Syndrome. New York Times picked it up and published it on May, 2009, under the Modern Love column.
If you want an idea of what this book deals with or want to gauge how serious or humorous his tone of narrative is, read the article –>http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/17/fas… Part of that article ended up as the first page of the book.
By the time I finished the book I loved David and I loved Kristen. As much work as it must be for Kristen to understand David and help him while he tries to improve their marriage through his own metamorphosis, the woman seriously lucked out. I can’t imagine a husband more in love with his wife and I can’t imagine a wife more supportive and patient (mostly) with her husband. Because David needed a lot of patience and maybe most other women would have done exactly what David feared – give up on him and leave.
But the night David and Kristen realised, five years into a marriage that had fallen apart for reasons they couldn’t grasp, that David had Asperger’s…instead of packing and leaving, Kristen went to bed with a lighter heart, finally understanding why David did so many inexplicable and apparently selfish things. And David sat up deep into the night finally understanding himself.
I know nothing about Asperger’s but if someone had asked me I would have only said that it’s a form of Autism and probably severely impairs the person’s ability to socially interact. I would not have been wrong, but so very far from right. There is so much about Asperger’s I didn’t know and so much I didn’t understand. David is just one case. His autism is relatively mild. There are so many, many cases where the same dysfunctionality manifests itself differently, uniquely.
David Finch’s book humanises it and makes it something other a severe disability that only the unfortunate are born with.
I hope he writes more. Other than the subject of the book which basically covered the first 18 months after his diagnosis, what captured me was how easily he described simple everyday frustrations that even I (a neurotypical) can easily relate to and empathise with. The narrative was light and funny and introspective and never lagged in pace and never lost the rhythm of story-telling.