In the month of Feb (a quick monthly wrap-up)…

I BOUGHT… Wayfarer (Passenger, #2)   I finally used my B&N birthday gift card for this one .. I really liked Passenger, so I thought this would be a good book to acquire.. And I absolutely love the cover ..All the purple hues ❤ ..

I REVIEWEDThe House that Spoke  Lovely writing!! Would recommend it despite some pacing and plot issues.

I READ… A List of Cages  I liked the neurodiversity rep, both dyslexia and ADHD; I never felt like it was forcefully plugged into the story. So props for that. However, I wish I could have raved about this book. If I had to review this one, I would have probably given it 3.5/5. I think I was slightly put off by how much the book relied on the depiction of physical abuse for its plotting, and sort of just neglected everything else. I think a better way to put it is – there really isn’t much happening, really. It is too… cyclic and predictable. But Julian and Adam were so likeable and easy to connect with as MCs, and that’s what saved the book for me. It was enough to bump my ratings to a 4 on GR.

The Sun Is Also a Star  Gaaahh …. ❤ .. This one made an insta-love convert out of me.  Swoonworthylicious ( #ifthatisaword) . An easy 5/5.

Tell Me Something Real (Sort-of-spoilery mention… so skip the next paragraph if you plan on reading the book)

TMSR depicts an MI which is usually used as a dramatic twist in the final pages of a book. This book sort of does it too (and well, I guessed it.. again…), except that it is not at the end of the book. This is probably the first story I have read which deals with the aftermath and ramifications of the revelation on the entire family. So I really appreciated that the author wasn’t tempted to push the *big revelation* to the end and stuck to what she wanted the book to actually be about.

I RECEIVED… Under a Painted Sky  via Shenwei’s giveaway.. (thank you!!) .. Heard so much about this one, so can’t wait to read it!!

I DNF’ed… Into the Darkest Corner   .. I went through more than 1/3rd of the book, but it just didn’t seem to be getting anywhere..

 Nevernight (The Nevernight Chronicle, #1)   I gave up after the first few chapters, but I might try it again sometime in the future.. I think I picked this up at a time when I wanted an “easy read”, but this had a lot of confusing info-dump to keep up with.

 

 

[Mini] (Reviews, book haul and update)

The Kitchen God's Wife by Amy Tan Rating:

Synopsis2Winnie and Helen have kept each others worst secrets for more than fifty years. Now, because she believes she is dying, Helen wants to expose everything. And Winnie angrily determines that she must be the one to tell her daughter, Pearl, about the past—including the terrible truth even Helen does not know. And so begins Winnie’s story of her life on a small island outside Shanghai in the 1920s, and other places in China during World War II, and traces the happy and desperate events that led to Winnie’s coming to America in 1949.

My reviewMost of the immigrant stories I have read are about second-generation American desis, so I loved reading all the intrinsic cultural details of first/second gen Chinese Americans in the Kitchen God’s Wife – both similarities and differences.

A lot of immigrant stories feature and emphasize on the disconnect of the second-gen with their cultural heritage and the consequent tussle with their parents. This book pretty much ticks all the cliche boxes with Pearl not identifying much with her mom’s or extended family’s Chinese roots. I think my problem with this book is the disproportionately large number of pages (more than three-fourths) devoted to Winnie’s life in China. She starts narrating it to Pearl and apart from it coming off as unreal (that she could, as a seventy-five year old woman, remember every little detail so vividly), I also realized I am not a huge fan of such a large chunk of history being told all at once instead of being revealed in phases across the book I wish there were more pages with Pearl’s POV so that we could get a glimpse of how she felt hearing everything her mom has to say. I honestly felt slightly shortchanged because we didn’t get to see enough of how the present-day Pearl-Winnie relationship was affected by the revelations.

The best part of the story were all the women in Winnie’s past life. Each one of them was so remarkable – though conditioned to think and behave in a certain way because of the times they lived in and maybe unjust to one another to favor their own – stood up for each other when times became desperate in the post-war scenario. Wish I could say something for the men too, but most of them were portrayed as weak or evil. Those who weren’t either of them didn’t have much to do in the book.

Another issue I had with the book is that the “suspense” (or whatever little there was of it) was revealed quite early in the book… so the rest of the book was more of a case of “working backwards”. This was the same issue I had with Book Thief too.. and well I have realized, I don’t like this way of structuring the narration.

Despite some issues, I loved the book for not just its cultural insights but also all the historical ones (the book talks about the times in China during the Japanese invasion and it was definitely a learning curve for me .. )

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Furthermore Rating:

Synopsis2A captivating and colorful adventure that reads like a modern day fairy tale, from the bestselling author of the Shatter Me series.

Inspired by her childhood love of books like The Secret Garden and The Chronicles of Narnia, bestselling author Tahereh Mafi crafts a spellbinding new world where color is currency, adventure is inevitable, and friendship is found in the most unexpected places.

There are only three things that matter to twelve-year-old Alice Alexis Queensmeadow: Mother, who wouldn’t miss her; magic and color, which seem to elude her; and Father, who always loved her. The day Father disappears from Ferenwood he takes nothing but a ruler with him. But it’s been almost three years since then, and Alice is determined to find him. She loves her father even more than she loves adventure, and she’s about to embark on one to find the other.

But bringing Father home is no small matter. In order to find him she’ll have to travel through the mythical, dangerous land of Furthermore, where down can be up, paper is alive, and left can be both right and very, very wrong. It will take all of Alice’s wits (and every limb she’s got) to find Father and return home to Ferenwood in one piece. On her quest to find Father, Alice must first find herself—and hold fast to the magic of love in the face of loss.

My reviewWith charming randomness and gorgeous evocative descriptions of magical lands, all  of which masks the slight creepiness and gruesome reality behind the colors, this reads like a children’s fairytale. But the thing with fairytales  is that they are short and end before you start getting tired of make-the-rules-up-as-you-write world-building. But at 450+ pages, Furthermore really tested my patience. I loved the writing but by the 100th pages, I got tired of reading about how the sun was raining, the rainlight was glowing and the landscape was lush with colors. Furthermore could have been a sharper novel with a bit of editing, instead of becoming a fairytale that overstayed its welcome.

The biggest strength of this novel is what Mafi conveyed through her characters – about finding within yourself the courage to accept the way you are instead of expecting the world around you to see you through different lens. I also loved how artistry, creativity and unconventional decisions by the characters are richly rewarded (albeit after a lot of hiccups). It was such a cool nod to real life!

Both Alice and Oliver were believable because they acted their age – they were impulsive, distrustful and lied to each other initially to protect their self-interests; and were generally clueless although their ego prevented them from admitting it.

I was wondering whether this was meant to be a wonderland retelling. But, I saw that Mafi recently clarified that it isn’t. Well, retelling or not, this would make for a lovely movie because it has such a picturesque quality to it.

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Finding Audrey Rating:

Synopsis2An anxiety disorder disrupts fourteen-year-old Audrey’s daily life. She has been making slow but steady progress with Dr. Sarah, but when Audrey meets Linus, her brother’s gaming teammate, she is energized. She connects with him. Audrey can talk through her fears with Linus in a way she’s never been able to do with anyone before. As their friendship deepens and her recovery gains momentum, a sweet romantic connection develops, one that helps not just Audrey but also her entire family.

My reviewI would have probably rated this as 3/5 a year ago but I feel like I have read so many books since then with a much better anxiety rep. So this was kind of cringe-worthy to read.

I love Kinsella’s Shopaholic series which is genuinely full of LOL moments. But I found the author so out of depth here. Most of the attempts at humor fell flat and anxiety issues were handled in a way that felt farcical. The romance didn’t work for me either because I have already read similar budding teen love stories in the past year that had more spark. This was just plain dull.

The only person I could probably relate to was Frank (Audrey’s brother) whose incredulous reaction to what was happening mirrored my feeling too. I feel like this book needed more attention and authenticity devoted to mental health than the video game track, because Frank’s gaming obsession just didn’t go well or add anything to Audrey’s story. The details of what caused Audrey’s health issues to get worse is fuzzy and never cleared up. Heck, I am not saying that I always need details about the triggering condition but if you are partially bringing it up then either do it properly or don’t bring it up at all.

And if you are insisting it is a severe anxiety condition, don’t show the “recovery process” going so smoothly by the end of the book. It just doesn’t work that way.

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As I am travelling to India this month, I will be on a bit of a blogging hiatus till March.. I am too excited (and distracted) about my upcoming trip these days to really sit down and review anything.. but I did manage to read a couple of books recently:

This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity, #1) This was my introduction to Schwab and I loved it!! It was entertaining, but I felt that some parts (when Kate and August were on the run) were kind of tedious to read. I would liked it if that was cut short and more time was spent on making the dystopian part of the world-building more fleshed out and understandable.

Dark Places With this, I have finally finished reading all of Flynn’s books and : Gone Girl > Sharp Objects > Dark Places > The Grownup .. (or I might feel The Grownup>Dark Places later :p )

I also bought a couple of books which were on the library sale:

The Coldest Girl in Coldtown      All the Light We Cannot See

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Since the entire travel time is 24+ hours, I downloaded these books into my overdrive (because I couldn’t decide on one)

13047567      The Impostor Queen (The Impostor Queen, #1)      Into the Darkest Corner

Have y’all read any of these books? Which one of these make for a good flight read? (Psst… had to download the Chaos Walking trilogy because The Knife of Never Letting Go was on hold..)

 

 

 

 

 

Meme

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Whenever I come across a quote I really like when I am reading a book, I have a habit of clicking a pic of the page through my cell. I never understood how to “make use of” all the quotes I collect when I am reading a book. Sometimes I quote a couple in my blog post, and I have recently started tweeting some and sharing a few on my Tumblr. I realized I wasnt completely happy because it just felt so scattered and disorganized.

I thought, why not start a meme just to post all the quotes I loved from a book that I just finished reading? I got this idea from Becky’s blog here.

I have decided to call it “Frame Quotes” because I am going to be … well… “framing the quotes” by putting them all in a single picture. I will mostly be using Photoshop for this. I won’t be doing this for every book, just the books which have some good, perceptive quotes.

Please feel free to join in!  If you do not have Photoshop, you can use any other software like MS Paint, or write it down in a piece of paper and take a picture. Or you can just type. The idea is to “collect” all the quotes you liked from the book in one post.

I would really appreciate it if you could use the Frame Quotes image above and link back to Bookmyopia in your Frame Quotes post. Do drop in a comment with a link to your page. I would love to check out all your quotes!

You can see all my quotes here.

Review Policy

* Note: I am currently not accepting review requests.*

Are you an author or publisher who would like to get their book(s) reviewed? If yes, I would love to get an opportunity to do so!!!

I am open to reviewing books of all kinds and genres except the following:

  • Erotica
  • Comics
  • Non-fiction

Some genres I love:

  • YA
  • Dystopian
  • Multi-generational family dramas
  • Medical/Legal/Psychological thrillers
  • Crime/Murder mysteries
  • Historical fiction

I am open to both e-books (PDFs, .mobi, kindle) and print copies. I will not be accepting audio books. I will not be sharing books without your request or consent.

I will not be accepting books that are part of a series unless it is the first book of the series. Else, I would require copies of the preceding books in the series.

What you can expect from my review:

  • Book cover
  • Goodreads link
  • Ratings (out of 5 stars)
  • Buy links – Amazon hardcover/paperback and kindle (Note: I am part of the Amazon affiliates program)
  • An honest and unbiased review
  • A thank you note to the author/publisher at the end of the review

I will be also promoting the book in the following accounts:

  • Twitter – (@bookmyopia)
  • Tumblr – (bookmyopia.tumblr.com) – Might post an abridged review but I am more likely to share quotes from the book that I liked.
  • Goodreads – (goodreads.com/bookmyopia)
  • Amazon

If you would like me to review your book, please do drop in a mail at bookmyopia@gmail.com with the following information:

  • “Review Request <Book title>” in the subject line
  • Genre
  • A brief synopsis
  • Goodreads and/or Amazon links (if available)

Thank you for considering my blog for review. Looking forward to hearing from you and discovering new books!!

Reviews A-Z – By Author

(Listed in alphabetical order by the author’s last name)

A

Alyaseer, R.I; Alyaseer, A.I – My Trip to Adele

B

Bantwal, Shobhan – The Dowry Bride

Berger, Maya – Luna Tree: The Baby Project

Beverly, Bill – [ARC Review] Dodgers

Bracken, Alexandra – Passenger (Passenger #1)

C

Castleberry, Jen – Cargo (The Reservation Trilogy #1)

Chopra, Zuni – The House that Spoke

Christie, Agatha – A B C Murders

Cook, Robin – Cell

Córdova, Zoraida – Labyrinth Lost (Brooklyn Brujas #1)

Coyle, J.Q. – [ARC Review] The Infinity of You & Me

Crichton, Michael – Congo ,  The Rising Sun

Cosimano, Elle – Holding Smoke

D

Denault, C.L. – Gambit (The Prodigy Chronicles #1)

Derban, S.K. –Uneven Exchange

Donlea, Charlie – Summit Lake

E

F

Flynn, Gillian – Sharp Objects

G

Galbraith, Robert – The Silkworm

Garner, Paula – Phantom Limbs

Gray, Mila – Come back to me (Come back to me #1)

Grisham, John – The Rainmaker

Grossman, Hilary – Plan Bea

H

Hosseini, Khaled – And the Mountains Echoed

Hawkins, Paula –  The Girl on the Train , Into the Water

I

Isley, Camilla – A Sudden Crush , Love Connection (First Comes Love #1)

J

K

Kang, Han – [Mini Reviews] The Vegetarian

Kelly, Tia – Love Is

Kincaid, S.J. – The Diabolic

Kinsella, Sophie – Finding Audrey

Klefstad,  Dan – Shepherd & the Professor

Koppelman, Amy –Hesitation Wounds

L

Lawson, J.W. – Mummy’s Little Angel

Ling, Aya – The Ugly Stepsister (Unfinished Fairy Tales #1)

M

Mafi, Tahereh – Furthermore

Malladi, Amulya – A House for Happy Mothers

Marks, Samantha – A Fatal Family Secret (The Morphosis.me Files, #1)

N

Ness, Patrick – A Monster Calls

Niven, Jennifer – [Mini Reviews]Holding Up the Universe

O

P

Portman, Guy – Symbiosis

Puzo, Mario – The Godfather

Q

R

Rizzo, Theresa – Silent Sentry

Rowling, J.K – Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

S

Scott, Victoria – [Mini Reviews] Titans

Sienkiewicz, Linda K. – In the Context of Love

Singh, Ravinder – Your Dreams Are Mine Now

Spears, Kat – The Boy Who Killed Grant Parker

Stoll, Charles – Enigma

Story, Colleen M. –  Loreena’s Gift

T

Tan, Amy – The Kitchen God’s Wife

Temple, Rosa – Natalie’s Getting Married

Tierney-Bedord, Holly – Surviving Valencia

Tonge, Samantha – Game of Scones (Game of Scones #1)

Trigiani, Adriana – The Shoemaker’s Wife

Tyler, Anne – [ARC Review] Vinegar Girl

U

V

W

Welsch, Ken – Forever Since An Apple

Westerfeld, Scott – Afterworlds

Wunder, Wendy – The Probability of Miracles

X

Y

Yanagihara, Hanya – A Little Life

Yoon, Nicola – [Mini Reviews] Everything Everything

Yun, Jung – [ARC Review] Shelter

Z

Zarins, Kim – [ARC Review]Sometimes We Tell the Truth

Zusak, Markus – The Book Thief

Read Rinse Review ..

Hi, I am Ishita. My earliest memories of reading are flipping through pages of tinkle comics at my grandparents’ home during summer vacations. Since then, books have been a huge part of my childhood. I dont have any favorite genre as such. I am pretty open to reading different themes, ranging from legal and medical thrillers, romance, YA, classics and historical fiction.
I have started this blog to review and share my thoughts about the books I am currently reading. I havent written too many reviews in the past, so I am looking forward to seeing how this goes 🙂

(Trying to get a hang of the templates and UI , will update shortly)