Thursday, November 28, 2013

Book Review - High

Title: High.
Author: Corey M.P.
Publisher: French Press Publishing.
Year of Publication: 2012.
 Format: E-book.
Genre:Chick Lit, Romance.
    Blurb: Here.

I thought I had washed my hands of Romance/Chicklit.. and then I read High.

My Thoughts
A stressed, workaholic woman leaves her cocoon of routine and embarks on an impetuous trip to find herself sitting in a coffee shop in Montreal. Sonja Fines, the protagonist of the story is yet again buried under her work load while everybody else in her office is making plans for July 4th weekend. On an impulse she misses an important meeting and flies to Montreal. Spontaneity has not been her forte and she is still reeling from the shock when, enter the hero : Chad Miller, a laid back & charismatic chap. Things click between Sonja and Chad and there seems to be an instant chemistry. 
High is one of those chick lit books, which is not high on mush but mostly concentrates on the subtle sides of romance. The author also introduces the readers to Montreal and everything about the place screamed romantic. She doesn't bore the readers with in-depth geographical details, but draws a breathtaking picture on the delicate things in Montreal. The coffee shops, the roads, the people, the French influence. After reading  the book, I have this huge desire to visit Montreal. 

True to the title of the book, its a love story between two caffeine lovers. It also is a book about Sonja's self discovery. She thought she loved her life and job in Manhattan. However, the impulsive trip and her feelings towards Chad makes her realize a lot more about her life. It's a book where girl meets boy and also meets a new side of herself she didn't know existed. The rapport between the characters were very realistic. Conversations had a sense of fluidity to it. It didn't feel forced upon. The readers would feel for the duo. Few scenes were a lil bit on the 'too good to be true' side, but then I can be a cynic. So, we will flow along, yea?
High focused mainly on the small yet huge things in life and love. That's what I loved about it. A feel good, dreamy and easy read. 
P.S: I loved the cover. The brown coffee beans against the yellow background. It reminds me of peaceful early mornings and a nice cup of steaming coffee. The author being a graphic designer, designed the cover.

My Rating:

Friday, November 22, 2013

21 Things I 'knew' about Harry Potter

So, I have entered into the magical land of Hogwarts. Two books down and its like I have known Harry for ages! I can't imagine how you guys felt when you finished reading Book 7.  I am reading as slow as possible, I don't want it to get over! Yes, I am officially a HP fan. :)
I'm currently reading Book 3. I'm yet to unravel lotta things. However without reading any of the books or watching the movies, I did know/assumed a few stuff about The Harry Potter Series, thanks to media in general.

So if you had asked me not too long ago, to list out what I know about Harry Potter.. these would have been my answer. Ofcourse, some of them makes sense now.

1. He is the boy who lived.
2. He has a lightning shaped mark on his forehead.
3. His remaining  family is super rude.
4. He gets accepted in a school called Hogwarts.
5. There is a huge disheveled bearded guy who seems to be Harry's well wisher.
6. There is a 9 3/4 platform involved.
7. Harry has a white owl.
8. There are a whole lot of owls, I want to say dragons?! and other mythical creatures.
9. He becomes friends with Weasley and Hermione. I didn't know the first name of Weasley and the last name of Hermione.
10. There are ghosts involved.
11. There is a kid with blonde hair. Seems to me, he is bad news.
12. Quidditch is a school game which includes a small golden ball with wings and broomsticks.
13. Harry is in Gryffindor house.
14. There seems to be another house called Ravenclaw which is kinda nice/important?! Haven't figured it out yet.
15. Snape is not actually a bad guy ?
16. There is a circle inside a triangle symbol. I don't know what that is. I have a feeling its vital.
17. Edward Cullen makes an appearance.
18. The bad guy is Voldermort and has no nose?!
19. Weasley & Harmione end up together.
20. Somebody significant dies. I don't know who yet. And don't you dare tell me.
21. The last book was made into two movies.

P.S: Please please no spoilers, okie? Okie. :)

After reading Book 1 & 2, I watched the movies. Now every time I read HP, I have the soundtrack playing in my head.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Oh media!
The games you play.
Women with daddy issues are either sluts or are really miserable & crave for affection.
While, Men with mommy issues are sociopaths or serial killers.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Few good things

Almost 2 decades has passed since the first book in the series was published and instantly considered a huge success. I was never interested in the mania widely known as Pottermania. Don't gasp. I know, I'm part of the minority who haven't read Harry Potter.. yet. People told me it was a series not to be missed. They said its the best thing ever! I said Okay and never bothered. Trust me when I say I have no beef against J K Rowling or Harry Potter. Just that, I thought I was too old to read them.

Recently, something in me changed. I got curious. I wanted to know why the whole world, both kids and adults go totally gaga over J.K.Rowling and the boy who lived. There must be a reason, right? So I caved and impulsively bought all the seven books. I obsessively wanted second hand books for 2 reasons. One obviously for the monetary reasons and the other, I dunno.. just wanted to feel the book which was held and read by some awed fan! Hoping to share the same wonder whilst turning the same pages turned by someone before me.

168 pages in, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone has had me hooked. It's like I'm a child again. I don't regret not reading them till now. I guess, everything happens when it has to happen. For me, reading Harry Potter as an adult was the way it was meant to be.

In other news, today is the second birthday of Absolutely Not Sure! It's a happy day for me.
Also, I just noticed this is my 200th post. A  pretty cool coincidence, I must say. :) A huge Thankyou to all my readers and your lovely comments! I remember how excited I was for the First Blogoversery. This year, I have the quiet contentment.  :)

I love this corner of mine. It's all mine, where I can be myself today, wear a mask and be somebody else tomorrow. Here, I am BOTH vulnerable and invincible!

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Just another Fall day

 I love fall colors.
 These were some colors outside my apartment. 
There was a light breeze and the leaves were falling like rain drops. 
It was beautiful.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Book Review - Fahrenheit 451

Title: Fahrenheit 451.
Author:Ray Bradbury.
Publisher: Simon & Schuster.
Year of Publication: 1953
 Format: E-book.
Pages: 249.
Genre: SciFi, Classic, Dystopian, Fantasy.
Blurb: Here.

The genre: dystopia is not uncommon these days. You see them everywhere. Personally speaking, I like reading about a futuristic world where things are drastically different. Anyhow, I was curious as to what the Legends of Literature thought about Dystopia or a futuristic world. That's when I began digging and found a quite a number of books written a whole lotta years back! It didn't take long for this book to catch my attention.

My Thoughts:

 Fahrenheit 451 - The temperature at which book paper catches fire and burns..

That pretty much gives the readers an idea. Fahrenheit 451 is about a time in future where books are meant to be burned. The job of a fireman is not to extinguish fire but to burn books and buildings which host them. Its a time in future where people are obsessed with television, all they talk about are television shows. People drive at alarming speeds, too busy to slow down and notice the world around them. Houses don't have front porches, because people just don't have the time to sit around, interact and relax. People are impatient and always in a hurry. Advertisements are shown on a constant loop so that people don't think. Nobody thinks on their own anymore. Everybody is sort of desensitized.

 "It was a pleasure to burn."
The protagonist, Guy Montag is a fireman who loves his job & has been doing it for a decade. He lives with his heavily medicated wife (Mildred Montag) who spends her time watching television shows(refers to them as family) or has seashell thimble radios plugged in her ears . He has a perfect life until he meets a charismatic young girl Clarisse McClellan who tells him how different the world was a while back. She leaves him in a state of unrest and a bunch of unanswered questions. Suddenly he feels his life to be empty and shallow without any meaning.
Even though the story is set in the future, Bradbury doesn't dwell in elaborating it. He concentrates on the characters. Fahrenheit 451 is about a fireman who goes rogue. He gets curious as to what secrets does books hold, that its illegal to posses them and the sole responsibility of firemen is to burn them. He keeps one of the books. Soon he is hoarding them!

And just like that, his life changes. The hunter becomes hunted. He realizes he is not alone. From there, its a slow road. The ending is just the beginning. The book ends with a sense of hope. I felt the book ended too quickly. Even though I didn't quite like the ending, I feel that it was in a way appropriate with regard to the plot. The writing had a beautiful flow to it. Descriptive, had a feel of poetry in some places. The plot was slow in the beginning, but the pace picked up in the second half.

"Remember, the firemen are rarely necessary. The public itself stopped reading of its own accord."

It is a disturbing book to all book lovers. To think of a world without books is scary! I am amazed at the author's insights and imagiantion. This book was published in 1953 and it says volumes about the culture today. He speaks of a world where people glue themselves to TV shows, plug their ears with headphones, so wrapped up in their own world. Hardly anybody interacts face to face, they are more willing to connect via technology. Who has the time to stop and enjoy nature? Who has the time to open a book and read?  

My Rating:

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Book Review - Carrie

Title: Carrie.
Author: Stephen King.
Publisher: Doubleday.
Year of Publication: 1974.
 Format: Paperback.
Pages: 290.
Genre: Thriller, Horror, Paranormal, Fantasy.
Blurb: Here.

Normally the size of a book doesn't scare me, but something about Stephen King's books: his writing style, his flair of description and ofcourse the size of his books almost always left me intimidated. I tried reading Bag Of Bones. Till date, I haven't finished reading it. Something about it, overwhelmed me and I had almost resigned to the fate that I might never actually enjoy a Stephen King book. I really wanted to read his books, since I really liked almost all of the movies based on his books.
That's when the movie Carrie was released. I had read somehere that it was Mr King's first published book and also Walmart sold it for $5. I knew then, this is going to be the chosen one.
My Thoughts:
I finished reading Carrie a few days ago and I can't bring myself to pick another book..yet. That's how much the book blew my mind! Carrie is King's fist published book and smaller in size when compared to his other works.
Carrie White is an average high school kid who is frequently bullied by her peers. An odd one out who tries hard to fit in and fails. Her mother, Margaret White is a religious fanatic. According to her almost everything is a sin. So much that she has not even educated her daughter about menstruation and calls breasts 'dirty pillows' and only sinned women have them! Locks Carrie up in a closet anytime she feels her daughter has strayed from the path of the almighty.
The story lines opens with Carrie White getting her first period and not knowing what in the world is happening to her. To make things worse she is made fun of by the 'popular kids' by throwing tampons and pads at her. King introduces us to the ring leader among the girls, Chris Hargensen and also another girl from the group, Sue Snell. Sue feels guilty and ashamed for bullying Carrie while Cris feels elated by it. That whole scene was quite cringe worthy. Soon, Carrie realizes that she possesses telekinetic powers which was latent all these years; much to the dismay of her mother, who believes that Carrie is the devil.
Then, there is the  Prom night to which Carrie is asked out by Sue's boyfriend (advised by Sue). It was her way of apologizing to Carrie. Even though Margaret White is against her daughter going, Carrie goes to  the Prom and the inevitable happens: a destructive end to the night.

The whole book  is described from various POVs, news clippings, 'excerpts from books' giving it a very authentic touch. Early on in the book, the readers are given a peek of the climax: that all doesn't end well for anybody. One of the major elements in this book is bullying. Carrie has been the butt of all jokes and had to suffer a whole lot of cruel and demented bullying. It's a strong message to the bullies in the world. Stop Bullying. You might not know how far you have gone. The other disturbing part in the book is obviously the mother. She is clearly a deranged character, a bible thumper. All I could feel was pity for Carrie. She was a stuck in a world where nobody accepted her. She was lonely and had no friends. All she wanted was acceptance from her peers and love from her mother. She got none.
The plot was simple yet intriguing. Appealing and troubling. I loved the way King had given a back story to the mother. The character development of the secondary characters were admirable: Sue Snell (the girl who felt guilty for making fun of Carrie), Chris Hargensen( the girl who wanted to see Carrie humiliated for no particular reason), Billy Nolan (Chris's depraved boyfriend who plays a role in the ultimate catastrophe).
All in all a fantastic read. A story which would remain in your head long after you are done reading.

My Rating:

Friday, November 1, 2013

Movie Picks - October

Not many movies this month. TheBetterHalf got introduced to the magic land of TV series recently. So movies had to take a back seat for some time.

1. Gravity

Movie: Gravity(2013)
Genre: Fantasy,  SciFi, Drama, Thriller
Starring: Sandra Bullock, George Clooney 
Suggested by: Trailers everywhere.
The sunshine: Visually stunning. Watching it in 3D was pretty darn breathtaking. Kudos to the graphic designers! Sandra Bullock was a treat to the eyes too ; toned and just wonderful
The downpour: Sandra Bullock's hair :/ and a whole lot of the movie. If you think about it, there was not much of acting going on. The ending was lightyears away from being remotely realistic.

2. Captain Phillips

Movie: Captain Phillips(2013)
Genre: Thriller, Drama, Biographical
Starring: Tom Hanks, Barkhad Abdi, Max Martini
Suggested by: The trailers
The sunshine: This has got to be one of the best movies to be out, this year. Everything about his movie was top notch and I thought this movie is going to be boring. Boy, was I wrong! Both Tom Hanks and Barkhad Abdi performed very realistically. I thought both of them were neck and neck in their acting. Even though Barkahd is the pirate and the antagonist, the movie shows us their angle too, evoking a sort of empathy for them. All I have to say is You have to see the movie to know how unbelievably good it is. The last twenty minutes is when Tom Hanks just blew my mind. That man knows how to act and I don't say it lightly. It would be an understatement to say the movie is tension filled. 
The downpour:Nothing. Every minute counted.