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Book review: Aristotle & Dante discover the secrets of the universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

BlurbAristotle and Dante discover the secrets of the universe on Goodreads

My rating: 5/5

Review:

I have read 6 books so far and have reviewed none after ‘Gone girl’. It’s not that I didn’t enjoy reading any of those books or anything, I was just being plain lazy; But this book compelled me to write a review on it as I couldn’t stop recommending it enough to every person I met. Okay, maybe not ‘everyone’. But to every person I discuss books with.
This book was pure perfection!

It doesn’t have magic or any magical creatures. It isn’t a heart wrenching love story. It isn’t set in a dystopian era or a fancy world.  Heck, it doesn’t have much of a plot either!
It’s the story of two friends aged 15 (at the beginning of the book) going through teen hood together & how each of them discover things about themselves and the world around them. The book follows Ari’s (short for Aristotle) perspective on everything about the universe around him (Self-explanatory book title, Duh!)
Why is this book so close to my heart you ask?
Well do you know when you’re so happy that you feel so warm & get a fuzzy feeling  all over your body & mind?
This book brings all those feelings to you.

  Ari Ari Ari
He’s one of the many reasons why I like this book so much. I fell in love with this character so hard.
He’s just a normal 15 year old boy. Okay not completely normal. He’s a little aloof, unsocial & angry (mostly at himself). He doesn’t have many friends & he’s okay with that.  And the friends that he does have, well, let’s just say he’s not too fond of them. He doesn’t mind the solitude though. He constantly keeps thinking. His mind is almost never at peace. I felt like I could personally resonate with his thoughts and character as a whole.
And then one fine day, enters Dante.
Dante is like a splash of color in Ari’s dull black and white life. He’s extremely sweet, witty and most of all, full of life. He gets along with people easily & they find him just as agreeable.
Ari & Dante are as different as chalk and cheese but something between them clicks & they start hanging out together, enjoying each other’s company.
This was different for Ari. Ari never liked anyone’s company & Dante had changed that about him.

The writing style is simple yet so poetic & powerful. The author hardly uses any fancy words but he still manages to captivate the reader’s mind & fills it with innumerable thoughts. It’s such an easy & enjoyable read that you just wouldn’t want to put it down! I absolutely loved the writing style. Each character has its own charm. You fall in love with each one of them slowly but surely. The themes followed in this book are family and friendship. It also focuses on the transition of Ari & Dante from the early teens to the beginning of adulthood. I loved it so much that the I didn’t want it to end 😀
The ending seems a little rushed but it sure doesn’t disappoint. So all is well that ends well I guess 🙂

I would recommend this book to anyone who would want to read a book & at the end be like:

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Book Review: Mahashweta by Sudha Murthy

BlurbMahashweta on Goodreads

My rating: 4/5

Review:

Have you ever finished a book & right after closing it mouthed the words ‘Brilliant’ ? Well, Mahashweta was one such book for me. It made me sit for a while & look at my life in a very positive light.

The story revolves around a young woman named Anupama who is portrayed as the perfect woman in this book. A beauty with brains, good-natured, polite, someone who excels in almost everything she does. Just perfect in all aspects. This is her story. Her story of how she falls in love, her marriage, her almost fairytale life that seems to be falling apart right after she discovers a white patch on her feet which later is revealed to be the early signs of leukoderma, her fight against the disease & the society that shuns people with skin diseases, her acceptance of the disease & life’s circumstances in general.

I love how the author has beautifully managed to tell us such a tragic yet inspiring story of self-acceptance and optimism.
I liked how this is not some sob-story of a woman who breaks down & curses God at every obstacle thrown at her.
But maybe, she was too tolerant towards everything? Maybe she could have spoken out more?
That’s the only reason why I am giving this book a rating of less than 5 stars.

It is a really small read as it is just a 156 page book. The language is easy & understandable. There are many references to hindu mythology & plays but it all somehow becomes a part of the story & fits in perfectly. The postscript made my heart swell 🙂

Final lines for the review: A small book with a beautiful story.

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New day. Same old start.

Some people may find monotony oddly comforting but I find it disturbing. Waking up to a brand new day only to do the same old routine is such a waste of life itself. At least that’s what I think. I have never liked being that person who had fixed time slots for every little thing but sadly, I have turned into one.

I get up, get dressed, go to work (a place where I get no appreciation for what I do & no self-satisfaction either), come home & just go to bed.
If I could, I wouldn’t blink twice before I seize the opportunity to break this lethargic routine & get away from it as far as possible.

It has always been my dream to travel all over the world. Solo or with the one I love, It didn’t matter. I just want to travel. I want to live. I want to experience things I never have before. Take risks. Meet new people. Learn about new cultures. I don’t want to reach a certain age & look back at my life with disappointment.
I want to look back & be able to tell myself that I lived.
I lived life like I wanted to and not how I needed to …

I don’t want society to decide what I am to do with my life. I don’t want anyone else other than me to do that for me.
I don’t know how and when will I be able to fulfill my dreams. Of course, I’ll work towards it rather than just yapping about it on here.

Until then, all I can do is just write my way through it..

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The book that made me love reading

Throughout my childhood, I had read many Nancy drew & Hardy boys’ books but none of them had ever created an impact on me. In those days, reading wasn’t something I was passionate about. My school used to assign one book per child every year, so as to inculcate a reading habit in us. HA! As if that would have done the job.
Reading isn’t something that should be imposed upon you! It comes from within. The eagerness to read a new book. To get completely lost in the alternate universe that the book creates in your mind. It’s a different feeling altogether & no one can make you feel it. Now enough with the emotional blabber. Let me tell you about that one book which made me fall in love with reading.


Years back, while I was cleaning my cabinet, I came across this torn, kid’s adaptation of ‘Pride & Prejudice’.

I thought this cover was better than that of my torn book which doesn't have one. Picture courtesy: Google

I thought this cover was better than that of my torn book which doesn’t have one.
Picture courtesy: Google

I don’t know why & how, I just picked it up and was determined to read it. I guess it was just meant to be, you know? 😀 . Once I started reading it, I never put it down. I read and re-read it several times. I was 12 & had a hard time understanding the language even though it was toned down a bit as it was meant for children. But I never gave up. I was in awe of the era that it was set in. I read the book as if I was living it. Imagining it all around me. I was completely lost & I loved that feeling. The mannerisms of women, chivalry of men, social norms, the grand dance parties/balls.. Just about everything impressed me. The more I read it, the more I started understanding the characters & their personalities. I fell in love with each one of them (okay at least all the lovable ones). I learnt so many things from most of the characters. I tried to include them in this post but I’m such a bad writer that I couldn’t come up with a good way to write it. Yes, I suck!
Now, as for my most favorite character from the book, Mr. Darcy… Well, he holds a special place in my heart. If you think about it, Darcy isn’t your typical romantic hero. It takes time to warm up to this man. I love how Jane Austen has portrayed him like a normal guy and not some unrealistically perfect guy like many chick-lit novels do these days. He is egoistic, proud & has many other faults which makes him just like any other guy. I actually hated him when he gave that speech while proposing Elizabeth. Insulting her family while professing your love for her? What a silly thing to do! But then, aren’t all men silly? 😉 (No hard feelings guys) He was honest though. Gotta give that to him. Oh but my heart did skip a beat when he uttered those famous lines

In vain have I struggled. It will not
do. My feelings will not be repressed.
You must allow me to tell you how
ardently I admire and love you.

Even after all these years, he’s still my No. 1 fictional man ❤
So here it is. The story of my first real book & how I fell in love with reading. What is yours? 🙂