Book Reviews

The Women’s Courtyard (Aangan) by Khadija Mastoor!

The Women’s CourtyardThe Women’s Courtyard by Khadija Mastoor

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

4.5/5 stars.

The book was first published in the Urdu language than later translated.
Has to be the first classic that chugged with such vigor. I couldn’t stop reading it, or thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it. The characters, their lives, the atmosphere, all of it kept calling to me. Even though the story plowed through the dullest part of the independence, and you could practically feel the character’s boredom with the stagnancy of their courtyard as the whole political uproar happened, the story had this way of unfolding that kept me wanting for more, kept me wishing to see it through.
This book is about a family that got disrupted during the political unrest that started around the 1930s in British-ruled-Hindustan. The male cast of the character had a different political view and agenda each. One believed in a two nation’s theory, another just wanted to get rid of the British-Raj, then there was a character (female) who believed that keeping British rule was the best way of surviving. So all of that differing opinions, all of that uncertainty, in a single household. That too, in the shadow of a long history of being elites then suddenly turning poor because of a recently failed independence movement.
Then there were tons of emotion of growing up in such closed-up space. For Aaliya, the main leading lady, it felt to me that this cramped up space didn’t allow her to think her decisions through. To really understand where she stood in the greater picture. What was it that she really wanted. That’s why she ended up the way she did. It was harrowing to read that end.
I picked up this book since it has started to get dramatized in Pakistan’s telly, just wanted to see if it was something I’m willing to be invested on enough to catch up weekly episodes, hadn’t realized that I would fall so madly in love with these characters and story, even though it covers such a small picture of such a big historic event. P.S, can’t wait to see Ahad Raza Mir as Jameel now, as his character is already so close to my heart and I’m already in so much pain for him.
And if anyone is thinking that why did I gave fewer stars if I loved this book this much, then the answer is that even though the name and synopsis suggested it already, when I began reading a pre-partition novel, I was expecting the author to make us see some teeny-tiny amount of struggle the males of that time did. In our country, the literature seems to only focus on females. Other aspects of the picture always get lost.
Still, a highly recommended book that would really shed some light on this really interesting historical period and of a really less talked about after-effect of the World War II. Still, I wish to find some historical literature of pre-partition that would show me the struggles of the men of that time. What happened in the streets? Why did those characters keep visiting Patna or Delhi? What was happening there? From a fictional perspective. Any suggestions would be highly appreciated. 🙂

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

May TBR!

Hey guys, it is that part of the month again. The planning part. Now for the past couple of months, I couldn’t read much. Thanks to the fact that life got awry and also my book-loosing crisis. Yeah, apparently Apple devices don’t properly back up your books and you have to do it manually. I learned it by losing a huge chunk of my collection.

So only now that I am recovering from the sorrow of that loss, I finally got back to reading again. So obviously, this month’s TBR is going to be a little extra ambitious.

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Bookish Academy Awards 2018!

Hey guys,

I’ve been seeing this particular tag floating around the internet for quite a while now, and always thought that it was really exciting. But never had the energy to try this myself. This year though, I have finally decided to give this tag a go.

The tag is about reflecting on the books you have read previous year and give the Emmy awards according to the specified categories but to books. I am not sure whether the books are supposed to be the one I read in 2k17 or the books I’ve read in the last twelve months, starting with March. Since I am so confused, I think I will keep the focus on the last twelve months. So you guys can already see that this is going to be a long post, so without further ado, let’s jump right into the awards.

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

March TBR! (And an apology)

Hey guys,

So it is that time of the month again. Making TBRs are my favorite part of each month, albeit the fact that I am not good at following one through. For the past couple of weeks, I haven’t been able to post anything for my blog, thanks to the fact that my computer was busted and at the store for warranty. Hence, I couldn’t work and my TBR post is also late. For that, I apologize.

Now, with that out of the way, lets get into the exciting TBR.

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

January Wrap-up!

Hey guys!

Today, I am going to talk with you all about my rather shameful wrap-up. A grand total of three books go knocked down my TBR this month.

Now, for the month of January, I had started off pretty great. But near the half of the month, first I couldn’t read for a while because of some study stuff, then the book I picked up turned out to be an invitation to reading slump. I know the last book in this wrap-up will surprise you guys, considering all the raving reviews it gets, but it just wasn’t my piece of the pie. Anywho, without further ado, let us jump right in.

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Top 5 series I want to start in 2018!

Hey guys,

I don’t know about you, but not only is 2018 off to a really good start for me, it also has me really excited. Like, I am not usually a new-year new-me believer, but this year I am really getting more organized and goal-oriented in my life and loving it so far. Hence, I decided to make a goal of reading at least five series, mostly trilogies and get at least half-way through of each one of them during the course of this year. So without further ado, lets jump on the action plan.

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

January TBR!

Hey guys, it’s that time of the month again where I plan my reading goals which I almost never accomplish. But I like making these plans anyway because apparently I just love torturing myself, by failing my goals every month. So without further self-deprecation, let’s jump to my January TBR.

Now, for the month of January, I have a fairly decent TBR and also my reading challenge this year is comparatively small so this might be the year when I don’t follow my tradition of failing a lot, here’s to hoping.

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Wrap-ups and TBRs

December Wrap-up

Hey guys, I feel like it’s been a long time since I have done a proper monthly wrap-up. That is because last few months of 2017 was insane, and I couldn’t get much reading done. There were even whole months when I would end up reading nothing at all. Hence I couldn’t post much in here either.

But December changed that a lot, I ended up getting a decent amount of reading done. And managed to get through a couple of really great books. I managed to finish a total of 4 books this month. So without further ado, let’s jump into the discussion.

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Book Reviews

Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

Elantris (Elantris, #1)Elantris by Brandon Sanderson

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When you accept authority, you must be willing to take responsibility for it at all times– even when you don’t particularly feel like it.

This book was a pleasant surprise, to say the least.
I had once started this book a couple of years ago, back when I wasn’t this much Sanderstruck. And ended up DNFing it after a couple of chapters, maybe that just wasn’t the right time to start it. This time though, I was positively dreading picking this one up, but I was in so deep in Cosmere verse that I needed to finish this book to get to the other, more cooler ones. But maybe because I have been reading so much grand-scaled fantasy so often lately, this book’s subtleness really felt refreshing.
True, this book is really weak compared to Sanderson’s other work, but considering that this was a debut, one can see its author writing masterpieces like Stormlight Archive in the future.
I enjoyed the simple characters in this the most. They weren’t much complex, rather close to flat. But their arcs were really memorable. And as has become a Sanderson tradition, the side-characters really sparked in this book as well. What pleasantly surprised me a lot was the OTP. Sanderson has only written one book purposefully romantic in his career, and I hated that aspect of Warbreaker. I would never have imagined that he was capable of doing this in such a subtle manner, I really loved the little focus it had on Raoden and Sarene. And these characters, particularly Sarene, had such a misfit vibe to them that they really belonged to each other. Although I can see where most of the complaints about Sarene’s character are coming from, I for one really enjoyed finally seeing a character who enjoys politics. Fantasies are in their heart political books, and in all of them, we almost always end up with the main character who hates politics and isn’t good at it. So seeing Sarene who was not only good but also enjoyed manipulating things, felt such a refresher to me.
The most memorable transformation has to be of Hrathen. He is a unique character and I really enjoyed seeing him, although he frustrated me more times than he didn’t, and I rarely cheered for him, but his perspective felt the most eye-opener to read from.
Overall, it is not as grand as other Sanderson works, but Elantris is a little book of quite some import not only in Cosmere verse but in a reader’s life as well. So I would highly recommend reading it, but still, hopes should dick low when entering this book.

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Book Reviews

Keeper by Kim Chance

KeeperKeeper by Kim Chance

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

More like 2.5 stars.
The book had started on such a strong note, I really enjoyed the first quarter. The small-town setting was done really well, the characters intro was done in a way that I really appreciated. The way the power was being introduced, I was honestly really impressed.
But first of all, when the action really started kicking in, instead of feeling that the story is diving in the actual plot, we got almost the second quarter of the book filled with the main-character whining over her sudden powers. I really didn’t like so much emphasis at that, although I wanted for it to be relatable. But at one point, her reaction started feeling too much.
I really liked most of the side-characters though. Maggie was my favorite thing in this whole book and will remain my favorite for a long time. I liked Gareth a lot and his girlfriend whose name I suddenly forgot. Both of them were great to read about.
And I was really loving Tyler’s character too. Which is rare for me, I rarely enjoy a romantic interest in a YA novel, I really liked his character. (view spoiler)
The downward slope was so steep, at one point I had started to count pages to wait for the end. The plot and world are so rich, but the more it drew close to the end, the more I realized it is not being used to its full extent.
This is a debut book by a new author, and I can see a lot of talent and potential here. But still, this book read a lot like an early draft that still needs a lot of edits.
But I am certainly going to keep up if more books come in this series since I think the story is going to take off and get interesting in the next installment if there is any. But this particular one left a lot to be desired.

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