Monday, 15 February 2016

The One Plus One By Jojo Moyes Plus What's Been Happening So Far...

Image Source: alongabbeyworld

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Back of the Book (Source: Goodreads):

Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’ life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight-in-shining-armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages... maybe ever.

What’s it about?
Jess Thomas is an optimist. Even though her teenage stepson is being bullied and her genius daughter has a one-time shot only to get through a prestigious school which otherwise Jess could not even dream to pay for. Her husband is a no-show except for on Skype.
Ed Nicholls seemed to have everything he ever wanted until one silly mistake cost him just that. Four unlikely people and a dog with their paths converged.

My Review:
I watched this video on Facebook a while back when Finding Audrey had released. It was of Sophie Kinsella and Jojo Moyes. I remember them both talking about their books and how Sophie Kinsella adored Jojo’s work. I knew then that I simply must read her work. I started with The One Plus One as the story really appealed to me. There was promise of humour and really interesting characters in the blurb and that always manages to reel me in.
The book has been written from the point of view of all four characters. Normally, I am not a fan of switching POVs but I really liked it in this book. It was very interesting to see the world from four different, very human points of view. Each character has their own set of very real problems. Problems that cannot be solved that easily. Problems that sometimes you just have to live with. If I had to choose a favourite character, it would be Ed. His straight-faced humour, reluctant kind deed and quiet, strong support was a joy to read about.
The storyline is highly unusual and so very real. I look out for unique plotlines and I certainly got what I wanted from this book. Jojo Moyes paints all their worlds so intricately and with such detail that you get pulled in and you want to know what happens to each one of them. I was rooting for them the whole time. :)
I can happily say that I am a fan of Jojo Moyes’ writing and I’m trying very hard to find a copy of Me Before You. I saw the trailer and I was a pile of mush five seconds into the trailer. I’m sure you all have already seen it. If not, I urge you to watch it as soon as possible.

Favourite Character: Ed Nicholls (As explained above)

Favourite Quotes:

1)      “Because even if the whole world was throwing rocks at you, if you still had your mother or father at your back, you’d be okay. Some deep-rooted part of you would know you were loved. That you deserved to be loved.” (I agree! <3)
2)      “If someone wanted to be with you, after all, they just made it happen.” (Uh yeah!)

In other news, I haven’t been able to keep up with my blog as sincerely as I used to because of work, other work and a lot of other writing. I have been writing a lot of stories on Wattpad and am pleased to say that my stories seem to make people happy. And honestly, that is why I love to write. But I realize that I would love to be able to blog as well as keep up with my stories. Shouldn’t be that difficult, right? I also read another book in the last month that I would really like to review. Soon, soon. :)
If anyone is interested in reading my Wattpad stories, here are the links: Fair warning, they’re both romance. :)

If there are any books that I absolutely must read, please let me know in the comment section. You know the kind of books I like but other genres are certainly welcome. The same applies to movies. I’m a big movie buff. So let me know if there is some cool movie that I may have missed out on.
Gotta go now.
Until the next time, then!

The Perennial Reader :)

Saturday, 19 December 2015

My Life Next Door – Huntley Fitzpatrick

Genre: Young Adult

Back of the Book (Source: Goodreads):
The Garretts are everything the Reeds are not. Loud, messy, affectionate. And every day from her rooftop perch, Samantha Reed wishes she was one of them... until one summer evening, Jase Garrett climbs up next to her and changes everything.
As the two fall fiercely for each other, stumbling through the awkwardness and awesomeness of first love, Jase's family embraces Samantha - even as she keeps him a secret from her own. Then something unthinkable happens, and the bottom drops out of Samantha's world. She's suddenly faced with an impossible decision. Which perfect family will save her? Or is it time she saved herself?
A transporting debut about family, friendship, first romance, and how to be true to one person you love without betraying another.

What’s it about?
While Samantha and Jase are alike in terms of age and ideals, their worlds are completely different. Like two sides of a coin, the fence acts as a wall between them for years until Jase crosses over one day and pulls Samantha into his world. A world, that Samantha falls in love with. Along with Jase too. Then, something happens that leads her to choose sides.

My Review:
I have been meaning to write a review for this book for quite some time now. Well, I’ve been meaning to write here for over a month but have been working on some other writing projects on Wattpad so have been super busy with that. However, I am back and I have a great book to talk about.
I kept finding reviews for this book on various blogs and kept getting suggestions from friends to read it but was unable to do so. Finally, after a long wait I got to read it. And I must say it was worth the wait.
There are a lot of things I like about this book. My favourite thing about it is how the author deals with a wide variety of human emotions at various stages in the book for various characters. Everyone is flawed but has a redeeming side to themselves. Except George. George, according to me, is flawless. The four year old Garrett was aptly described by the protagonist as “a university in himself.” He goes around spouting little gems of knowledge and is already in love with Samantha and has a pet name for her for each of her quirky uniforms. The other characters in the form of Alice, Nan, Tim, Samantha’s mother and sister have been described in detail and I really love that about books.
The main characters Samantha and Jase are well sketched. For some odd reason, before I started the book, I thought Jase would be a goofy character. I was pretty wrong here, guys. He’s calm, sorted and mature beyond his years. He’s one of the sweetest characters I’ve come across in fictionland. Not only does he care about Samantha, he goes out of his way for his family and friends. He believes in the inherent goodness of people. He is totally sigh-worthy!
The storyline is pretty good from start to finish and holds the interest of the reader. The conversations are also free-flowing and well written.
If you’re looking for a YA novel with beautiful first love describing moments, this one is a solid contender. Huntley Fitzpatrick is joining my list of favourite YA authors right alongside Stephanie Perkins.

Favourite Character:
1)      George Garrett(Sorry, Jase :P)
2)      Jase Garrett

Favourite Quote: (How does one not fall in love with George? Like seriously!)
"George gives me a smile, the same dazzling sweet smile as his big brother, although, at this point with green teeth. "I might marry you," he allows, "Do you want a big family?"
I start to cough and feel a hand pat my back.
"George, it's usually better to discuss these kinds of things with your pants on." Jase drops boxer shorts at George's feet, then sets Patsy on the ground next to him.”

Much more later!

The Perennial Reader :)

Monday, 2 November 2015

Why I look for the Chicken Soup Series in Every Bookstore

I went to a book festival yesterday and like any other book lover, had a great time. There were tons of stalls with old books at reduced prices (yes, a total paradise). This is where I found a stack of books of the Chicken Soup series. For anyone who doesn’t know the Chicken Soup series, it is a great series of books that has a collection of real life stories and poems. These stories are sometimes funny, sad and sometimes purely inspirational. There are books for almost every kind of soul: Mother’s soul, daughter’s soul, teenage soul, dog lover’s soul, bride’s soul…
I started reading these books when I was probably a teenager. And I’m grateful for having read them when I did. When I read the Mother’s Soul, I caught a glimpse into the lives of mothers all over the world. There were stories about mothers, being a mother, loving a mother and the unconditional love that a mother has for her little ones even when they’re not so little anymore.
When I read the Teenage Soul, I could see that being a teenager is not always easy. Yes we are young but we are also experiencing so many things for the first time. Reading and knowing about teenagers all over the world going through similar things makes the journey easier.
When I read various books of the Chicken Soup series, I read simple poems that spoke about the importance of never giving up no matter how long a race is and how many times we fall. We win the race just by getting up again. I read a story about how you can change the lives of several people with just one smile. I read the story of a teacher who brought about positive influence in the lives of many of her students. I read several love stories and realized the importance of handwritten love letters, of caring for one another and of being there for each other through thick and thin.
There is a reason I still look out for the Chicken Soup series when I go to the bookstore. I love picking up one of these books at the end of long, hard day and reading refreshing stories about humans all over the world. I like the fact that on this platform, many people come forward to become a writer and share their stories on a global level. I like gathering inspiration from other people’s lives in order to lead my life in a better and more positive way.

Favourite Quotes:
1)      “Get up and win the race!” – The Race
2)      From a child to his mother: “I need a hug. I used up the last one.” – An illustration in one of the books

The Perennial Reader :)

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Only Wheat Not White – Varsha Dixit

Image Source: Goodreads

Genre: Contemporary Indian Romance

Back of the Book (Source: Goodreads)
What if the one you completely love is the one you simply can't! Twenty-six-year-old Eila Sood moves to America to mend fences with her estranged older sister, Sheela. Eila and the rest of the family in India had cut off ties with Sheela after she married Steve Jacobs, 'out of caste, and out of color'. Elia soon realizes that Sheela's marriage is on the rocks. To help pay Sheela's household bills, Eila takes a second part-time job. When she crosses paths with the owner, the handsome Brett Wright or 'blue-eyed ogre' as Elia calls him, he both infuriates and fascinates her. Brett turns out to be her reluctant and unquestionably sarcastic knight in shining armour. As Eila and Brett spend more time together, their liking for each other builds. However, when Brett discovers the true reason for Eila's refusal he storms out of her life, accusing her of being a prejudiced coward. Will Eila find the courage to break stereotypes and embrace her love? Will Brett find solace in the arms of his ex-girlfriend Cate? Will Sheela and Steve divorce? All of these questions and more are answered in Varsha Dixit's latest and humorous love story.

What’s it about?
Eila has come to the US to patch things up between her family and her estranged sister. At every turn, she bumps into the vexing but amazing Brett Wright. She knows why her family cut off ties with her sister. Will she risk the same in the name of true love?

The Review Part:
I picked up Varsha Dixit’s Right Fit Wrong Shoe ages back at an airport as I usually do. I enjoy buying books at the airport and I have found some entertaining reads along the way. Right Fit Wrong Shoe was one as well. Ever since, I have been a fan of Varsha Dixit’s work and I make it a point to keep an eye out for her work. Her romances are adorably cute with lovely characters.
I had read Only Wheat Not White once when it came out and I am reading it again for the second time now. The best part of the book according to me is the conversation between the main characters. It is both funny and witty.
I adore the character of Eila. She is fierce, loving, independent and always ready to help. She goes against the tide to be there for her family and friends. Brett and his irritation around Eila provide for some highly entertaining moments in the book. He also secretly dotes on her which is charming to read. He is definitely a great character to read about.
The story is fun from start to finish with lots of ups and downs not just for the main characters but also for the supporting characters. I am looking forward to reading Varsha Dixit’s next! :D

Favourite Character: Eila and Brett (Both make this story super fun to read. I really can’t pick only one. :P)

Until the next book,

The Perennial Reader J

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Anna and the French Kiss – Stephanie Perkins

Genre: Young Adult

Back of the Book (Source: Goodreads)
Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?

What’s it about?
Anna is shipped off to a fancy French boarding school and she’s not happy. The school also houses British accented, French speaking, American citizen Etienne St.Clair. With a name like that and a charm that wins over everyone within a five mile radius, Etienne may be able to make Anna’s senior year in magical Paris a worthy one. The only problem is he has a girlfriend. L

My Review:
So I found the review of this book on my favourite Young Adult review blog and honestly, the review itself was cute. It didn’t take me long to download the book onto my kindle and excitedly dive into the magical story that is set in Paris. And boy did I like it!
Anna enters SOAP (School of America in Paris) with a less than excited attitude as she has left behind a baby brother, a best friend and a potential boyfriend back home in Atlanta. What does she have to look forward to in Paris where she doesn’t know the language or the people? Right? Wrong! She becomes friends with Meredith easily on the first day. But things become a lot more interesting when she runs into the gorgeous school sweetheart, Etienne St.Clair.
There are several winning aspects to this amazing book. I’ll start with the characters. Anna is sweet, relatable, self-conscious and caring. Etienne St.Clair takes the cake though. He is one of the best characters I have read in the latest list of YA books. Right from his unusual name to his adorable imperfections to his easy charm, it is nearly impossible to not fall in love with him. There are a host of other supporting characters who are all well written. Among them, I really like Meredith and Rashmi. Meredith is really sweet and I can see why anyone would want to be her friend. It takes time for me to warm up to Rashmi but she’s an interesting character with her heart in the right place.
The book has the advantage of a beautiful backdrop of Paris with fascinating encounters all over the city described in enriching detail. The conversations totally won me over. Whether it was in person or in electronic form, I would always have a smile on my face while reading.
Stephanie Perkins’ writing is probably the only thing that is more beautiful than Etienne St.Clair. As a writer myself, I aspire to be able to capture the essence of first love in such an elegant and evocative manner in a book.
I would suggest Anna and the French Kiss to readers of older age groups as well. It is both good writing and a great romance. I have read Lola and the Boy Next Door as well and Stephanie Perkins is easily the latest to join my “PLEASE READ NOW!” list of recommendations.

Favourite Character: Etienne St.Clair (Duh)

Favourite Quote: There are so many. I will make a little list.
1)      “I wish friends held hands more often, like the children I see on the streets sometimes. I'm not sure why we have to grow up and get embarrassed about it.”
2)      I'm a little distracted by this English French American Boy Masterpiece.”
3)      “Is it possible for home to be a person and not a place?”

Onto the next book!

Until it’s done,

The Perennial Reader J

Sunday, 4 October 2015

I met Anuja Chauhan!!!!

You know one of those awesome moments when you get to meet one of your favourite authors? Being The Perennial Reader, I had surprisingly never met any of mine. And then one day I saw a way to remedy that. Anuja Chauhan was the author of the month for Reading Hour in Atta Galatta, Bangalore. I grabbed my best friend and rushed to this fascinating place on the set date.
Now, Anuja Chauhan is one of those authors whose works I recommend to all my friends. You can ask them. If they know me, they would have read her books. :P I have already written an entire post as to why I think her books are awesome and I actually got the chance to tell her this in person. *Pause for jumping around in glee*
The evening began with my friend and I entering this paradise-like place which is both a bookstore and a café. They also hold a number of literary events. Totally my kinda place right?
Andaleeb Wajid, the author of Kite Strings, Blinkers Off, My Brother’s Wedding, among others hosts the Reading Hour every month where she interacts with various authors, latest being Anuja Chauhan.
The event was to begin at 6.30. My friend and I had reached at 6 just so we wouldn’t miss any part of the event with my copies of her books in tow. Who misses such a golden opportunity for an autograph, right??
Anuja Chauhan walked in (my friend and I are star-struck) and greeted the storeowners and Andaleeb Wajid. She sat at a table where people started handing out books for her to sign. My friend and I joined the queue. As soon as she looked up at us when it was our turn, she gave us a big smile and said “Hi!” I think it’s safe to say that both my friend and I began gushing about being huge fans ever since she started writing and that we’re still in love with Dylan Singh Shekhawat. She laughed and said “Thank you so much!” and signed all my copies happily. We also got to pose for photographs with her. :D
We took our seats for the chat session right after. Andaleeb Wajid asked super interesting questions and Anuja Chauhan gave both witty and some hilariously funny answers. It’s so easy to see how she comes up with such great humour in her books. When the audience could ask questions, I mentioned how her books always feature high on my reread list and asked which books appear on her list. She said that it is the highest compliment for an author to be reread and that A Suitable Boy, The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy, Catch 22 and Meg Cabot’s books feature on her list. The audience posed other really interesting questions to which she happily replied.
My friend and I got some more pictures with her at the end of the session and we walked out of the store with stars in our eyes and happiness in our hearts.
Until the next time then,

The Perennial Reader J

Saris and the City – Rekha Waheed

Back of the Book (Source: Goodreads):
Love, lingerie and family loyalties collide in this sexy, sassy tale of chasing success - but at what cost?
When ambitious City analyst Yasmin Yusuf's hope for a traditional 'happy ever after' in the romance stakes is shattered she decides there's only one course of action: get smart, sexy and successful. And what better way to achieve it than by turning around a failing lingerie company? Swept head-first into her glamorous new job by suave private banker Zachary Khan, Yasmin is soon clashing with snobby fashionistas, pedantic accountants, her culturally conservative Bengali family and, worst of all, Hannah Gibbs-Smythson, Zach's indomitable senior advisor. With the odds stacked against her and her attraction to Zach complicating matters even further, the stakes for Yasmin have never been higher... Is she prepared to risk everything for the success she craves?

The Review Part:
This is one of the books that I hold under people’s noses if they ask for a book recommendation (sometimes they don’t even need to ask). It ranks very high on my reread list.
The highlight of this book is certainly the characters. I loved the strength of Yasmin’s character. Her zest for life, her need to keep moving on and not wanting to compromise in any area of life is what makes me keep going back to this book. She has a beautiful family and a strong set of friends. She is smart, sassy and unapologetically herself in every page of the book. She is one of my favourite lead characters ever!
Another stellar character is Zachary Khan. Every once in a while, there comes a character who stands out from the rest and Zach is one of them. He is reason enough for girls to pick up this book without a second thought.
The story is as strong and fun as the lead character. Rekha Waheed gives descriptions of Yasmin’s professional as well as personal worlds in a way that you root for her throughout the book. Refreshing and smartly written conversations between the characters is another reason I adore this book.
If I haven’t mentioned it enough, I totally recommend this book if you’re looking for a great romance novel.

Favourite Character: Zachary Khan ( <3 )

Favourite Quote: “Enjoy being you: not a wannabe younger or innocent you; enjoy being you now.”

I can’t believe it’s been this long. I have been rereading a lot nowadays. So the Rereader section is going to be full again. Do post suggestions in the comments. I’m always on the lookout for a good book. J
Until then,

The Perennial Reader J