But I Love Him By- Amanda Grace

22# Book Review– ★★☆☆☆ (1.5 Stars)

But I Love Him

By-

Amanda Grace

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This book is seriously not meant for entertainment purposes. It’s more of an informative, insightful read that was…boring. So boring I kept checking how many pages were left. It was awful to get through. I contemplated giving up on several occasions, but completed it anyway. I kept waiting for the book to redeem itself but it never did. Even 1.5 stars is pushing it.

 “I wanted to be his life preserver, the thing that would keep him afloat. Instead, he became my anchor. And I’m tired of drowning.”

Eighteen year old Ann is in love with Connor. She gave up everything—her ambitions, her family, her friends, her hobby—just to be with him. And Connor is in love with her. But sometimes his rage overpowers that. And then he hurts her.

“I should have known when he said ‘You’re so lucky I don’t hit girls,’ that one day he would.”

Mentally.

Psychologically.

Physically.

Emotionally.

“Where’ve you been all my life”

“Waiting for you.”

It’s the kind of love that’s difficult to walk away from. It swallows you whole, spouting out some other version of you, someone you can’t recognize.

“People don’t understand us. They don’t understand me. They think it’s so black and white, that he makes me miserable and that I should be with someone else and that I deserve something else.

But it’s not black and white at all. It’s gray. It’s a never-ending world of gray.

They don’t understand that there is so much to him that they’ll never see. That he only shows to me. They don’t understand that late at night, he tells me how beautiful I am. He tells me all the things he will give me one day, when our problems are over. They don’t understand he would die for me.”

‘But I Love Him’ is a collection of memories that show how Ann encountered the most beautiful feeling in the world, and then simultaneously lost everything that she held dear. Including herself.

“This isn’t love. It’s something broken and ugly. I wanted it so badly I didn’t care what it looked like.”

This book had the potential to be a really emotional read and like, it could really work, you know? But it didn’t.

A distinguishing characteristic about this book is that it’s written in a reverse-chronological order, so like it ends with when Ann meets Conner for the first time. Now, the author clarifies that she did it so that the readers don’t judge her character. She says that there’s usually a distinguishing point in abusive relationships, like when the person is abused for the first time, and if she’d written it in chronological order, the readers would probably be like ‘I would have walked away now’ (and she’s kind of right, you know) so she didn’t want that to happen.

However the reverse chronological order, plus the lack of dialogues and descriptions made it impossible for me as a reader to connect with the characters. And for such emotion-based stories, it’s really important to do just that. So as a result, it ended up being a really boring read. Also, I still judged the character, despite the reverse chronological order. Imagine a book, now remember all the good parts and leave it with filler chapters. That’s how reading this book felt like—like I was reading a bunch of filler chapters.

The writing style was good. This book would be a decent read for someone who wants to know what being in an abusive relationship feels like. I’d give it a 3.5 stars if that’s all I’d wanted. But I’d wanted chills, and tears, and entertainment which I didn’t get. So, sadly it’s a 1.5. I did kinda get teary eyes towards the end when she (oops can’t reveal it that’ll be a spoiler) So, that’s a 1.5 for you!

Read it if you wanna know how it feels to be in an abusive relationship. Otherwise please avoid it, you’ll be disappointed.

November 9 By- Colleen Hoover

21# Book Review– ★★★★☆ (4.5 Stars)

November 9

By-

Colleen Hoover

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So my best friend suggested me to read this book, and honestly, I had been a little sceptical. You can’t be too wary of all those NA Romance Novels out there that spout out the same crap book after book. So yes, I’d been a little hesitant. But thankfully, this book didn’t turn out to be a waste of time. Quite the opposite actually, it was a really entertaining read. It reminded me why writers are such dangerous species and how they can stomp on your heart and play with your feelings using just a bunch of words. What even…

I’d shed a couple of tears by the time I finished reading this book. Surprisingly, the tears were tears of happiness. So surprising, right? Like I’m sure we’ve all come across books that make us bawl our eyes out and clog our noses and just make us realize how sad life can really be. But this, oh this was entirely different. This made me laugh out loud, and wipe my tears as I tried to regain the control of my emotions. If you want to feel content and happy and realize how beautiful love can really be, you definitely need to read this book. It reminds you that sometimes very ordinary people can experience extra-ordinary love. It made me want to fall in love with someone right now and experience all those intense beautiful things. But it also inspired me enough to wait for that kind of love to come along, to settle for nothing less than extra-ordinary.

“I’ve never loved someone I hate so much, and I’ve never hated someone I love so much.”

Ever since the terrible fire that burnt away 30% of her body when she was sixteen, and on her way to becoming a successful actress, Fallon has been insecure. A girl who once loved her appearance and was confident, now hides behind her curtain of hair and clothes that hide her scars. Then on the fateful day of November 9th, she stumbles across Benton Kessler.

“She’s not the kind of girl you choose your battles for. She’s the kind of girl you fight to the death for.”

When Benton Kessler, the so-called writer in the making,  hears Fallon’s asshole-ish father making his insecure daughter feel even more insecure and unworthy, he can’t control himself. So before he can stop himself, he barges in on their conversation, pretending to be Fallon’s “boyfriend”.

“If she’s not careful, I might just fall in love with her. Tonight.”

What starts as a thirty minute fake relationship, extends throughout the day with both of them spending the whole of November 9 together. There’s this undeniable instant connection that is impossible to ignore, and before the day has ended Ben gets to observe the deeply destroyed parts of her soul, her low self esteem and all the insecurities attached with it. But he’s different. Fallon has never come across a guy like him before. Instead of flinching at the sight of her scars and shying away from them, he embraces her for who she is. For the first time in two years she feels beautiful, and wanted.

“He presses his mouth to mine and kisses me with so much emotion, I forget all the things. Everything. I forget where I am. Who I am.”

Before long the day ends, and they have to accept the fact that as much fun it had been, Fallon is moving away to New York. But this connection they had…it’s too good to be true. Too precious to let go of so easily. So they make a pact. That they’ll meet each other every year for the next five years on the same day—November 9, at the same place. Fallon also suggests him to write a book about it—to write a book about those five coming years in which they’ll meet once a year. Between that annual meeting, they’ll have no connection what-so-ever. So they block each other on every social media, and don’t exchange phone numbers. And then they wait, for a whole year.

“But the only thing that makes me sad—the biggest thing—is that I think about you every second of every day and I don’t know how to get over you.”

“Don’t,” I beg her. “Please don’t get over me.”

The idea seems harmless. What’s the worst that could happen?

“Because it’s easy to fall in love, Ben. The hard part comes when you want out.”

Actually, everything.

Okay, first thing, do you have any idea how many beautiful, heart-touching quotes this book has? A lot. Like a lot lot. (You can read them in the Quotes Section of my blog) The book has been written so beautifully. The dialogue work is splendid. It’s absolutely magical. So yes, the writing style is good, like romance novel-worthy good.

Now, about the characters. The female protagonist, Fallon; she just has this…thing about her, you know? That makes it so easy for you to step into her shoes. I don’t know about you, but as a girl, I’ve been insecure about my appearance and my body quite a lot. So, her insecurity and vulnerability is very…believable. You see a part of yourself in her. You can step into her shoes. Despite that, she’s not a cry baby or anything. She’s actually quite spunky and funny and like a really good person. So you don’t get sick of her.

Ah, and what do I say about Benton James Kessler? Reading about Ben was like inhaling a fresh breath of air and I feel so…clean, I don’t even have words to express myself. He was just so refreshing. He was not like those typical book worthy male protagonists that make you swoon but he still was book-worthy. I think that’s because he was…perfect, but in a real, more believable way. Like give me gorgeous billionaires with emotional conflicts and mad bedroom skills any day, but there’s something so…amazing about a normal guy who’s dorky but has this amazing sense of humor and this inner passion, and this humongous capacity to love someone and just be there for them. Someone who is so fucking motivational and says just the right things at the right time. But like he also has his scars and his flaws and his insecurities. And you know, someone who thinks it’s a privilege to be able to love you. You will come to love his character, I promise you.

About the plot: It might seem a little…ordinary and normal during the first eighty page sor so. You know, it might seem kinda predictable and you’ll be like ‘I don’t see anythign special about this novel. It’s…good, but not amazing.’ Give it another couple of pages and you’ll not be able to put this book down. Trust me. It had a lot of romance at the start with hints of humor. But we eventually get the drama we crave oh-so-much! This would be a perfect plot for a RomCom, you know? This really needs to be made into a movie.

Please read this book if you want to get chest pains and feel that your feelings have been manipulated by the author. But most of all, read it to make yourself feel alive and happy (and like a gooey puddle of happiness and tears)

She “loved me” in quotations

She kissed me in bold

I TRIED TO KEEP HER in all caps

She left with an ellipsis . . .

—BENTON JAMES KESSLER

Every Last Word By- Tamara Ireland Stone

20# Book Review– ★★★★☆ (4.5 Stars)

Every Last Word

By-

Tamara Ireland Stone

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Sam is popular, beautiful and part of the ‘Crazy Eights’, the school’s most popular girl gang. But being popular is not all that it’s cut out to be. For example, it’s hard to keep secrets. Sam rages a daily battle with Purely-Obsessional OCD. Her thoughts tend to spiral out of control. She can’t stop thinking, her mind never shuts up. So much so, that she needs sleep medications and antianxiety medications to function properly. She meets up with her psychiatrist Sue every week for therapy.

All Sam really craves is to be normal. She wishes she could speak her mind and be the person she really is. But who is she? She doesn’t know.

Until she stumbles upon ‘The Poet’s Corner’, a hidden room underneath the theatre of the school where a group of people meet twice a week to share their poetries, and consequently, an intimate part of their soul.

Initially reluctant to make her a part of their group, she eventually succeeds in becoming a member of this secret poetry club consisting of kids much like her; kids who are battling with personal and external issues, who just really need an outlet.

And then, her life’s never the same.

“If you could read my mind, you wouldn’t be smiling.” 

“Everyone’s got something. Some people are just better actors than others.”

‘The poems here are silly, heartbreaking, hilarious, sad, and many are absolutely incredible. They are about people who don’t care enough and people who care too much, people you trust and people who turn on you, hating school, loving your friends, seeing the beauty in the world. Sprinkled among them are heavier ones about depression and addiction, self mutilation and various forms of self medication. But most of them are about love. Wanting it. Missing it. Actually being in it.’

‘This is a mistake. He doesn’t like me; he likes the person Caroline turned me into. He thinks I’m a normal girl who swims and writes poetry, but I’m not. I’m obsessed with my thoughts and I can’t sleep and I count in threes. He writes music and wears his heart on his sleeve, and I don’t deserve him.”

‘I like him. I like everything about him. The way he plays. The songs he writes. The things he says. The way he makes me want to speak out, not hold my words inside. That dimple. Those lips. I have to know what they feel like.’

“I didn’t go there looking for you. I went looking for me.” My voice is soft, low, and shaky. “But now, here you are, and somehow, in finding you, I think I’ve found myself.” 

I really liked this book because it was just…beautiful. That’s the only word good enough to describe it. It was really intense, and the characters were very human. It was a beautiful story about self actualization and discovering yourself, with a romantic subplot. It makes you realize that every person has a story. It was really sweet, kinda sad, and hundred percent real. You should definitely give it a read!

The Gallagher Girls Series By- Ally Carter

19# Book Review– ★★★★☆

The Gallagher Girls (6 Book Series)

By-

Ally Carter

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(image courtesy: http://www.beautifulfandoms.com)

So I’m basically writing the review of the whole series. And it’s been ages since this series came out and ended, but I just finished it like thirty minutes ago? Why, you ask? Well, I’d read the first five books out of the six quite early in time. But when the sixth book came out after a year, I decided I needed to read the whole series again, because that’s how the last book would have a proper impact, and well, because I really love this series, like ever since I was in eighth grade I think. But then I got busy and I didn’t get to read the whole thing until today. And now:

WHERE DO I STASH AWAY MY FEELINGS?! Because I know the series ended and I feel so satisfied, but I feel so attached to the characters. I feel like I’ve known them forever. Like I’ve grown up with them. And trust me, you will feel that way too once you read the series. There is some SERIOUS character growth there. Like ‘I-feel-like-a-proud-mom/best friend’ character growth.

*Sigh* where do I begin?

…From the start, I suppose.

So brief description of the series coming right up!

Cameron Ann Morgan is known as the girl who is very good at not being seen. She’s good at blending in. And that’s a good thing too. Because in her school, that’s actually considered a skill. She goes to Gallagher Academy for Exceptional Young Women. And when they say ‘exceptional’, they actually mean it. I mean where else would tenth graders be learning PhD level Physics, 14 different languages, and how to break NSA level encryptions? To the outside world Gallagher Academy is a snooty boarding school for snobby little rich girls. But in reality, it’s a school for spies.

“Women of the Gallagher Academy, who comes here?”
“We are the sisters of Gillian.”
“Why do you come?”
“To learn her skills. Honor her sword. And keep her secrets.”
“To what end do you work?”
“To the cause of justice and light.”
“How long will you strive?”
“For all the days of our lives.”

So, that’s the basic thing—the thing that stays common throughout the series, while the main plot keeps changing. The series begins with a fifteen year old Cameron aka Cammie aka Chameleon who has just begun her sophomore year in the Gallagher Academy. Now, studying in an all girls boarding school has its own set of Pros and Cons

PROS: You don’t have to actually care about your appearance that much since there are no boys to see you (unless you’re into girls)

CONS: The students are deprived in certain departments…like dating and boys.

So, falling in love had never really been on the agenda. But then during a mission/class she’s spotted by a really good looking boy. And that’s saying something because for a girl who’s used to feeling invisible, it’s a big deal to be actually seen. And before she knows it, she’s sneaking out of her school (which is in itself a massive feat since there are cameras and motion detectors at all exits) and going on secret dates with an ordinary boy that knows nothing about her world.

The next few years follow Cameron’s life through the next three years at Gallagher Academy, and her development from a dewy eyed fifteen year old into an eighteen year old lethal spy.

REASONS YOU SHOULD READ THIS SERIES

A LIST BY ME

  • Amazing Characters: The characters are so…realistic. And so likeable (and hateable too) The character growth is tremendous. Like I said, you actually grow up with them. It’s like you grow up from a silly fifteen year old into a mature eighteen year old. You see so many facets of so many characters—the good and the bad, the smart, and the confused. And all the grey areas too. The characters are so…believable, so human.

 

  • Friendship Goals: Two Words: SQUAD GOALS. With an amazing group of best friends, that are not only super talented (we have an actual lethal spy, a scientist, and a really smart and headstrong girl) the friendship shown in the book is actual friendship goals.

 

  • Super Cool Adults: Now usually adults don’t have a very important part in teen fiction novels, and most of the time they are missing. But this book is different. Kinda. See, the adults here are super cool because they are actual spies and they go on these really crazy mission. And sometimes? Sometimes they take the kids along. (Or the kids follow without their knowledge and do their thing *shrugs*)

 

  • Exotic Locations: From a small town in Virginia called Roseville, to Rome, Austria, Ireland, NYC and many more places. Being a spy takes you places. Literally.

 

  • Actual Adrenaline Inducing Action: So many heart stopping action sequences because…spies. And they are written really well too. They are really understandable and it plays like a movie in front of your eyes. It really makes me wonder why this book series hasn’t been made into a TV series yet.

 

  • Swoon-worthy Men: Fictional guys are goals, no kidding. But when those aforementioned fictional guys are physically fit, calculative, brave and really intense spies, they take ‘goals’ to a whole new level. Seriously. Falling in love with them will definitely not be hard (Falling out of love after realizing you have no future with the so called fictional character on the other hand would be…difficult)

 

  • Heart Stopping Plot Twists: The series will mess with your head and make you want to throw your book across the room, then go and grab it again because you really need to know what happens next.

 

  • Writing Style: The Writing Style is actually very quirky full of humor and intense emotions at just the right places. The ‘voice’ is just right, and it’s all very addictive. The dialogue work is really good. The information gets kinda redundant though at the start of every new novel, but it’s only to get the reader acquainted with the series.

So that’s that. I hope I’ve successfully convinced you to at least try the series. The first book might seem kinda childish if you are an eighteen, almost-nineteen year old like me (perfect for those in the 13 to 16 bracket) but the rest of the series get loads better. I’ll leave you with a couple of quotes to help you get a feel of the books:

“I suppose a lot of teenage girls feel invisible sometimes, like they just disappear. Well, that’s me—Cammie the Chameleon. But I’m luckier than most because, at my school, that’s considered cool.
I go to a school for spies.”

 

“Even though Cammie is fluent in fourteen languages and capable of killing a man seven different ways with her bare hands, she has no idea what to do when she meets an ordinary boy who thinks she’s an ordinary girl.” 

 

“You know,’ I whispered, ‘some girls might think it’s creepy having a boy watch them sleep.’
He smirked and pointed to himself. ‘Spy.’
‘Oh.’ I nodded. ‘Right. So you’re a trained Peeping Tom.’”

 

“A Gallagher Girl’s real grades don’t come in pass or fail—they’re measured in life or death.” 

 

“Just so you know Gallagher Girl,’ he whispered softly, ‘I’m going to kiss you now.” 

 

“What is a Gallagher Girl?
She’s a genius, a scientist, a heroine, a spy… a Gallagher Girl is whatever she wants to be.” 

 

“I could have lied. I could have fought. But desperate times call for desperate measures, so I took a chance and called upon a Gallagher Girl’s weapon of last resort. I flirted” 

 

“There’s a boy in my life,’ I told him. ‘He’s a very bad influence.’
Then Zach nodded. ‘Bad boys have a way of doing that. But they’re worth it.””

 

“Tell me Cameron Ann Morgan, what do you want to be when you grow up?”… “Alive.”

Ruthless By- Carolyn Lee Adams

18# Book Review– ★★★★☆ (3.5 Stars)

Ruthless

By-

Carolyn Lee Adams

 “I am Ruthless, and I’m no one to be trifled with.” 

Ruth Carver aka ‘Ruthless’ has been a bad, bad girl. She’s selfish, mean, and ambitious. All of which are wrong in the eyes of Jerry T. Balls the psychopath aka ‘Wolfman’ that has decided to “purify” her.

She wakes up at the back of a old truck. She can’t see anything and her right arm is killing her. Also, there’s hay and goop on top of her, smothering her. Where is she, and how did she get here?

Follow Ruth Carver aka Ruthless’s story as she tries to escape the clutches of a psychotic mass murderer, chasing her through the confusing hilly terrain of blue ridges. It’s an intense game of cat and mouse, where two extremely smart, and determined people try to one-up each other. Jerry has killed and raped six girls before Ruth, and she is determined to not be the seventh. It’s a chase of a lifetime, a matter of life and death; a game each of them is determined to win.

Will she succeed?

‘I am not going to be raped. I’m not going to be murdered. I’m going to bring him to justice so this never happens to anyone else. I’m not going to think like a victim. I’m going to think like a winner. Because that’s what I am. I’m Ruthless, by God, and I need to act like it.’

‘Staring at the forest, I wonder if this is the last thing I will ever see. Is this how the girls felt before they died? Did they feel the noose of inevitability tightening around their necks? Did they give up? I hope they fought. That they never gave up. That they never gave him the satisfaction.’

‘Framed by Rock and tree is a night sky unlike any that has ever been or ever will be. It is too big to understand, but I can’t stop trying to understand it. I want it all. I want to take it all in. Every enormous star, the haze of the Milky Way, the deep blue-black of space, it is vast beyond my ability to reckon. Behnd me the river gurgles as a soundtrack, accompanied by the rustle of the tress. It is beautiful. In this otherworldly moment I am profoundly grateful to be here, to be alone, to experience this thing that no one has ever experienced and that no one else ever will.

Even if I die, I will have known this.’

First thing first, I’ve recently (like for the past few months) have developed an intense addiction to MBTI personality typing, and I’d like to proclaim that Ruth is an INTJ. It was easy for me classify her as one, mainly because I am an INTJ too. To all those who are not familair with the 16 personality types, sorry for the confusion. Ruth is determined, extremely smart, very observant, and has a quick thinking, decisive mind. She is ambitious, and doesn’t let petty things like emotions obstruct her path. Weakness is a word that doesn’t exist in her dictionary.  She’s very independent too. She has proclaimed herself as the supreme bread-winner of her family, who she fondly refers to as “the Carver clan.” She’s a feisty red-head who follows her gut, and does as she pleases. And there’s someone out there who doesn’t like it at all.

Jerry T. Balls has a thing against red-heads, more so against red-heads who are snobby, mean and arrogant. He’s been clean for a while, but the alcohol addiction is aching to return, and his urge to kill, to harm, to hurt someone is growing stronger by the day. Then he comes across Ruth. She is everything he despises in a woman, and he decides to teach her a lesson.

Most of the novel (like 90%) is centered around these two people, mainly Ruth, and their intense game of cat and mouse. It’s quite interesting. It’s not ‘oh my god my heart is racing like crazy’ kind of a chase, more like ‘oh my god what’s going to happen next’ kind of a chase. So yeah, I finished reading it in one sitting. It was a good read, will keep you entertained for a couple of hours. It kind of mellowed down when 75% of the book was done, nevertheless, I’d suggest you to read it. It was mainly a plot-centered novel. But there was character development too. These kind of incidents don’t leave a person without causing some sort of change. The supporting characters were there just to create a sentimental atmosphere, and give the protagonist hope (what are kidnapping stories without friends and families worried sick?)

I must admit I was really impressed by the protagonist’s strong observational skills. Let’s be honest, if anyone else had been in her place, someone less competent, less smart, they’d be, quite literally, dead meat. But Ruth is, for lack of a better word, Ruthless. I liked her character. She was super determined. Her will power was amazingly strong. And those are the qualities everyone needs to survive something like this.

So in short, read it. It might not end up becoming your favorite book. But you’ll sure as hell not hate it.

Prisoner of Night and Fog By-Anne Blankman

17# Book Review– ★★★★★ (4.5 Stars)

Prisoner of Night and Fog

By-

Anne Blankman

Seventeen year old Gretchen Muller lives in Munich during a time when Germany was going through a rough political and economical scenario. The poster child of the National Socialist Society with her beautiful, honey-blonde braided hair, crystal blue eyes, and a Hakenkreuz hanging down her neck, she is Hitler’s favorite pet.

Or so she thinks.

Nine years ago, her father lost her life protecting Hitler’s during a revolutionary march. He has been considered an honorable martyr ever since, and her family receives all the help and support they could ever need from Hitler, and his political party. The Muller family is safe in the city of Munich that is slowly and steadily turning lethal for the Jews.

In the midst of all the political drama and chaos, Gretchen stumbles upon a fearless, and headstrong Jewish reporter Daniel Cohen who reveals a piece of information that threatens to turn her world upside down—her father wasn’t a martyr who sacrificed his life to save Hitler’s; her father was murdered.

In a world full of untrustworthy and dangerous people, Daniel is the only one she can trust. She can’t help the fierce attraction that starts brewing between them. Falling in love with a Jew is something that could get both her, and Daniel killed instantly. But the passion they feel for each other is simply too intense to be ignored.

With Daniel’s help she investigates her father’s mysterious murder, consequently realizing that the world she’s a part of, and the people that she trusts, are dangerous and monstrous. And the people she’d always mistrusted—the Jews, are nothing like Hitler had described them to be. She can feel her world falling apart right in front of her eyes.

Who is the man behind her father’s murder? How long will Daniel and she be able to hide their relationship? Who to trust, who not to? Follow Gretchen and Daniel, as they uncover the murky details of Gretchen’s father’s murder, and Hitler’s dirty past.

“Nothing made sense anymore. The box she had carefully constructed about herself would fall apart. And she didn’t know if she could bear standing out in the open, in the harsh wind, without the comforting warmth of those walls she had built to shut out everything she didn’t like or understand.”

“He was the only one who cared enough. A jew, caring for her. A travesty or a lie, Uncle Dolf would say. It was a miracle.”

“She had thought the boy could fit into a small box of fierceness and determination and loyalty to his ideals, however misguided they were. Now she saw that he couldn’t be contained, or understood, so easily.”

“But when his eyes fastened upon hers, they were so sharp with intelligence and intensity that it took all her self-control not to squirm. He looked at her as if he knew precisely what she thought of him and didn’t care because there were other things that mattered more.”

“She considered the boy beside her. A breeze had kicked up, ruffling the brown strands that escaped from the newsboy cap he was wearing today and hung over his forehead. His clear, dark eyes met hers without hesitation, as though he had nothing to hide. He was nothing like the monster she had been taught about. He was human.”

“She looked up into Daniel’s face, studying its sharp planes, committing each of its features to memory. Not a monster. But a by, blood and muscle and bone real and breathing before her, watching her with those sharp intelligent eyes that saw so much.

She liked him. She cared for him. Ambitious, confident, fierce, clever Daniel.”

“For a moment, he looked at her intently, in a way no one had ever looked at her before. He stood so close she could smell the scents clinging to his skin, soap and oranges and boy, and she heard the nerves in his voice when he said her name, and she knew what he was about to do, and her heart started pounding.

He kissed her.”

“In that instant, she was more aware of Daniel than she had been of anyone in her life: the high cheekbones beneath his olive skin, the flecks of gold in his brown eyes, the tiny shaving nick that meant he had bothered with his appearance for her. His expression was so unlike his usual sarcastic grin she almost didn’t recognize him.”

“Her heart raced. Never had she been so bold. Her mother’s admonition ran through her head—once a girl’s reputation is tarnished, it is tarnished forever—but she threw the warning aside, and let Daniel’s arms come around her back and gently guide her down to the straw mat.”

“You and I are impossible.” she said. 

“No.” Gently, he brushed the hair back from her face. “We are what’s real and true.” 

Okay, first thing first, sorry for all those quotes, but I really, really loved those lines, so I couldn’t not mention them. I’d like to start with saying that Anne Blankman has an amazing writing style. It was a pleasure reading this book. I soaked up all the beautiful words, and sentences, and phrases. They really helped me connect with the protagonist that wouldn’t have been possible otherwise. They were just so beautifully written. Here are some examples.

“She stood on the edge of night, that sliver of gray between darkness and dawn, that razor-thin line separating the first part of her life and whatever lay ahead.”

“For an instant, she was a silver-edged figure in the shadows, then she was nothing more than the whispers of tall grasses and wind.”

“All around them, daylight was slowly dying. Trees clustered tightly together, their interlocking branches and lacy leaves blocking out the fading rays of the orange-pink sunset, enclosing Gretchen and Daniel in a well of shadows.”

“The moment should have felt like a miracle, but it was sad instead., like broken bootlaces, cracked glass, missing buttons on a blouse, everything once whole but now damaged. How could she and Daniel hope to stay together in Munich, that great cauldron of a city whose cobblestone streets were slowly turning the National Socialist colors of brown and red and black?”

Do you understand what I meant? Flawless writing style. Except the excessive use of German words which kind of bothered me initially, I have no complaints. It was a well written book. The characters were realistic (most of them were real!) and relatable.

I absolutely loved Gretchen and her personality. She’s very brave. I loved the fact that she wasn’t vivacious and loud-mouthed and exuberant, yet she was the strong female protagonist we all love reading about. She faced her fears, and trudged through the life that was slowly shattering in front of her eyes. She didn’t give up. Her character development arch was completed. From the timid girl who always listened to her elders, and thought about others before herself, she became a strong girl who stood up for herself and made difficult choices.

I also enjoyed Daniels character, though I wished we’d seen more of him in the book then there already was. He’s so likeable. He’s actually the sort of guy I would want to be with. He’s smart, and headstrong, and believes in his principles, and even stands up for them. He’s fearless, and protective, and observant and caring. I ship Gretchen and Daniel so hard.

The supporting characters were amazing too. They were realistic first of all, and their roles were significant. Their personalities weren’t dull and easily forgettable. I just really liked the fact that all the characters were important in some way or the other, especially Gretchen’s family.

About the plot, I think the story line was unique, and smart. I’d expected a dangerous Germany where Jews are being shipped off to camps to be killed, but it wasn’t like that. It was before Hitler became a ruler. All the same, it did tell us a lot about the political scenario of Germany, and about Hitler himself. The mystery was well plotted, and I loved how they found the clues in the most unlikeliest manners. I kind of knew but didn’t knew who killed her father, so it was fun. I’m just happy there’s another book after this!

I think you all should give it a try! It is a good combination of romance, mystery and history. And it’s a good teen fiction novel as well. I feel inspired!

Until next time, xoxo

Paper Towns By- John Green

16# Book Review– ★★★☆☆ (3.5 Stars)

Paper Towns

By-

John Green

“YOU WILL GO TO THE PAPER TOWNS
AND YOU WILL NEVER COME BACK”

“The way I figure it, everyone gets a miracle. Like, I will probably never be struck by lightening, or win a Nobel Prize, or become the dictator of a small nation in the Pacific Islands, or contract terminal ear cancer, or spontaneously combust. But if you consider all the unlikely things together, at least one of them will probably happen to each of us. I could have seen it rain frogs. I could have stepped foot on Mars. I could have been eaten by a whale. I could have married the Queen of England or survived months at sea. But my miracle was different. My miracle was this: out of all the houses in all the subdivisions in all of Florida, I ended up living next door to Margo Roth Spiegelman.”

“Maybe she loved mysteries so much that she became one.”

“It is so hard to leave—until you leave. And then it is the easiest goddamned thing in the world.”

“It was nice – in the dark and the quiet… and her eyes looking back, like there was something in me worth seeing.”

A John Green novel, I’ve come to realize, is like a long, long journey. The journey has its up and downs, but there are a lot of scenic places to keep you occupied. The journey is the kind that stays with you, because it makes you feel something.  But as interesting as the journey is, your anticipation to reach your destination keeps increasing. But when you finally, finally reach the destination, it turns out to be this shitty mud house. And you realize the journey was so much better. The destination? The destination is crap.

How’s that for metaphors, you metaphor-obsessed nerd?! (refers to John Green)

So basically, that’s a John Green novel for you. I’ve read three of them (The Fault in our Stars, Looking for Alaska and now, Paper Towns) and I totally enjoyed most of the novel. The start was slow but not this-is-so-terrible-let-me-dump-this-book kind. Then around the middle I’m like ‘Hey, I’ enjoying this!’Then you keep on reading, and reading, forgetting time and space (but not food, you cannot forget food) and then just before the climax you’re like “Oh my god, this is so good. I can’t wait for the end!” (Unless of course he kills one of the characters, but even then) Then finally, finally you reach the end. You don’t stop. You read right through it. Then you shut the book and you’re like “the fuck did I just read?! I can’t believe that was the end.” And I don’t mean that in a good way. I mean that in a ‘the-destination-is-a-crappy-mud-house-way’, you feel me?

Why is the end so disappointing? Why is the end so bitterly realistic and raw, and not exactly painful, but…unsatisfying?

‘Paper Towns’ could be a ‘Looking for Alaska’ side book or something. Both the books feature virginal teenage boys who are basically at the end of the social ladders, harboring a massive, hopeless crush on the Queen Bee (who is absolutely unattainable) who they’ve set on a pedestal. She’s weird, and different, mysterious and unpredictable, and there’s something about her that makes you want to be a part of her world, to know her thoughts, to love her.

Then she goes ahead and does something unpredictable and vanishes off the face of the Earth, and the guy decides that it is up to him to find her, and unravel the mystery because his life basically revolves around her (or so it seems) And he spends a considerable amount of time to unravel the mystery, simultaneously discovering loads of life-related philosophies, and babbles/thinks sentences that soon become John Green’s famous quotes.

What I’m trying to say here is, don’t read ‘Paper Towns.’ Go read ‘Looking for Alaska,’ at least the ending makes sense; at least the ending is acceptable. At least you can forgive the Queen Bee for being so unpredictable.  ‘Paper Towns’ is just a beautiful journey that will fill your heart with hope, but you won’t get the extravagant ending you so desperately craved. You’ll feel incomplete, and unsettled. Don’t read this.

So I’m telling you to not read this, but I’ve still given it three stars. Why? Simply because one-star rated books are crap, and you don’t really care what happens to the characters, or the story. But this story is far from that. You end up caring for the characters, and then they disappoint you. You don’t deserve disappointment. You deserve happiness, and satisfaction.

In short, GO READ ‘LOOKING FOR ALASKA.’

(You can find its book review on my blog for further reading)