- Elanor and Park, Rainbow Rowell
It’s a YA novel about two misfits, who like any YA protagonists, find love. It’s a brilliant book that deals with many issues. I’d rate it 8/10.
What worked- The plot, the characters, the way conflict has been handled.
What didn’t work- The narrative (I’m not a fan of changing POVs)
- The Psychology of Terrorism, John Horgan
I read it around the time of the attacks in Peshawar and the Je Suis Charlie movement, and the happenings made a lot more sense to me. I’d rate it 8/10.
What worked- The compelling theories, the scope.
What didn’t work- The structure of the book
- The Long Silence, Shashi Deshpande
It’s a beautiful book about what it means to be a woman in a man’s city- about resilience and humanity. I’d rate it 7/10
What worked- The raw honesty, and the characters.
What didn’t work- The negativity.
- The Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism, Rex Hudson
Again, this was read around the aforementioned attacks. I’d rate it 8.5/10
What worked- The case studies, the non-discriminantly explained theories.
What didn’t work- The narrative, the technique.
- A Study in Scarlett, Arthur Conan Doyle
The first story introducing Sherlock Holmes. Rating: 9/10
What worked: The suspense, the mystery, and the unveiling of the crime.
What didn’t work- The narrative, the fact that I’ve already read it- the original as well as versions of it.
- The Lucifer Effect, Philip Zimbardo
This book details The Stanford Prison Experiment and uses the findings to explain what was seen at the Abu Gharib Prison, where the author was an expert witness. Rating: 9/10
What worked: The details, the writing style, the techniques.
What didn’t work: the negativity.
Crying: 🙁 (It was awesome and overwhelming)
- Interpreter of Maladies, Jhumpa Lahiri
A set of short stories surrounding diasporic themes. Rating: 8/10.
What worked: The narratives, how I could identify with most of the conflicts, the variety.
What didn’t work: The pace of some of the stories.
- The Parrot who Wouldn’t talk and other stories, Ruskin Bond
Another set of short stories, which I found lying about my store cupboard.
What worked: The writing style
What didn’t work: It was a children’s book, so although I shouldn’t say it, it was too childish.
- Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
- The Palace of Illusions, Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni.
It’s a retelling of The Mahabharata (an Indian mythological epic ) through the eyes of Panchali. Rating: 9/10
What worked: The POV, the writing style, the characters.
What didn’t work- At some parts, it got too preachy.
- The Duff, Kody Keplinger
Another YA tale about two seemingly misfit teens. This book is so much better than the movie, though!
What worked- I could identify, the plot
What didn’t work- The conflicts, the characters.
- Northanger Abbey, Jane Austen
A 17 year old ‘heroine in training’ who loves Gothic novels and loves the idea of drama.
What worked: Typically Austen.
What didn’t work: Typically Austen.
- Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell
Scarlett O’Hara and her struggle to survive and the will to live is what stood out for me.
What I loved: The storyline, the way I could feel what the author wanted me to feel
What I didn’t like: Scarlett is so annoying. Rhett is so frustrating. “I will think about it tomorrow. Tomorrow is another day”
- A Farewell to Arms, Ernest Hemingway
So much more than a World War I love story.
What worked: It had the effect it was intended to have.
What didn’t work: I’m not a fan of the cold way Hemingway writes.
- All the Bright Places, Jennifer Niven
It’s a story about a popular girl questioning her life and a not-so-popular boy struggling for it.
What worked: I loved the character development, and how the protagonists interacted with each other
What didn’t work: Sometimes, it felt like the characters were caricatures of themselves/what they’re supposed to represent.
- Hyperbole and a Half, Allie Brosh
It’s a brilliant! I read it mainly because it is one of my favourite blogs on the Internet.
What worked: Everything!
What didn’t work: It got over.
- Is Everyone Hanging out without me?, Mindy Kaling
It’s a hilarious collection of essays by the amazing Mindy Kaling.
What worked: Her sense of humor, the stories she shared
What didn’t work: Had to follow Hyperbole and a half.
- The Secret Diary of Lizzie Bennet, Bernie Su.
Adapted by the creators of The Lizzie Bennett Diaries, this is a modern retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in San Francisco.
What worked: The form, the plot, the adaptation, the minor changes new to the book.
What didn’t work: The chemistry wasn’t as sparkling as the web series.
- Mr Darcy’s Diary, Amanda Grange.
A fanfiction-esque diary of Darcy.
What worked: Enough Darcy to last for a while.
What didn’t work: It felt like an adaptation- a bit too forced.
- A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin
In my defence, I’m updated on the TV series (because it’s less time consuming, okay?)
What worked: The writing style stood out for me
What didn’t work: Because I already knew what was going to happen, it was frustrating to see the characters make those mistakes that lead up to their death.
- Royal Wedding (Princess Diaries #11), Meg Cabot
The 11th book in the Princess Diaries series follows Mia aged 28.
What worked: Pop culture references, and the usual thing that works for Princess Diaries. “Leia and Luke.”
What didn’t work: Not enough Michael Moscovitz. It wasn’t as good as the previous books, maybe because Mia has more adult issues
- I am Malala, Malala Yousufzai
This book changed my perspective on what’s important in life, and how blinded I was to the world outside.
What worked: Everything
What didn’t work: It was a pretty difficult read, emotionally. But so worth it
- A Clash of Kings, George R R Martin
Book #2, A Song of Ice and Fire.
What worked and didn’t work: The same as that for GoT.
- Girl Online, Zoe Sugg
An anonymous blogger (goes by the name Girl Online) who meets a mystery boy when her family takes a workation to NYC.
What works: Full of Pop Culture references, “Wiki”, Penny’s brother is a cutie, Brooklyn Boy.
What doesn’t: The plot is kind of predictable.
- A Night to Remember, Walter Lord (Audio)
I heard this is the audio book format
What worked: The speed, the technique, the picturesque writing
What didn’t work: I’m not the biggest fan of audio books, as I learnt.
- Seriously… I’m Kidding, Ellen Degeneres
It’s by Ellen, okay?
What worked: It’s beyond hilarious!
What didn’t work: My parents woke up because I was laughing too hard.
- Howl and Other Poems, Allen Ginsberg
I’d been wanting to read it for a couple of years now. And I don’t think there was a better time to read it than at night, when everyone around me was asleep
What worked: The rawness of Ginsberg’s voice, the hard hitting roughness
What didn’t work: Didn’t understand some of the references.
- Princess in Love, Meg Cabot
The third installment of Princess Diaries, read because I needed more Michael Moscovitz.
What worked: What usually works for Princess Diaries. Also, Michael!
What didn’t work: He loves you, Mia! Good lord, young lady.
- Bridget Jones’ Diary, Helen Fielding
Another reinterpretation of Pride and Prejudice.
What worked; The familiarity of the story, the format
What didn’t work: The style of writing.
- To Kill a Mockingbird, Harper Lee
Again, well. 😛
What worked: The POV, the plotline, the character growth.
What didn’t work: A little less hedonistic pleasure while reading
- Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, J.K.Rowling
WHY DID RON AND HARRY COMPLAIN ABOUT HOMEWORK???
What I liked: The hilarious notes
What I didn’t: The wait for the movie!
Crying:😟 (cuz I’m not a witch)
- Ravan and Eddie, Kiran Nagarkar
This is about two young boys living in a chawl in Bombay, whose fates are intertwined in ways we cannot even imagine.
What I liked: The novelty. The raw truth. The writing style.
What I didn’t like: The plot kept stretching for a bit.
- The Color of Our Sky, Amita Trasi
Two girls who are as different as you can be, are each other’s strength and reason to live years after tragedy hits them.
What I like: The narration, the plot line, the character development
What I didn’t like: Some of the characters annoyed me at some point. But they were supposed to. Like you’re supposed to hate Umbrige.
- On the Road, Jack Kerouac
Been meaning to read this for years! It’s about being on the road, d’uh. But it’s SO MUCH MORE.
What I liked: Kerouac spoke to my caged bird soul
What I didn’t like: I want breaks in books, okay? Also, I thought it would be my new favourite book. But it wasn’t.
- Girl On Tour, Zoe Sugg
It’s a sequel. Had to read, obs.
What I liked: YA! *spoiler* Wiki being happy, finally. *end of spoiler*
What I didn’t like: Less Brooklyn Boy. Too predictable.
- A Work in Progress, Connor Franta
It’s fantastic, it’s a memoir, and I got all the feels. Connor, I really wish I were a guy, and then Troye, you, and I could be gay together.
What I liked: He was so honest, and open, and just awesome! The book was aesthetically pleasing, and looked like his Instagram account. Is there anything this boy can’t do?
What I didn’t like: It got over. Also, within 2 weeks of me finishing the book, he announced the hardcover version. I’m broke, OK?
Crying:😢 (Because I’m SO PROUD)
- Love and Misadventures, Lang Laev
Lang Laev is BRILLIANT. I have to thank my friends for this one. They gifted this for my birthday!
What I liked: Everything. Every poem. Aaaa.
What I didn’t like: Nothing. Seriously. She deserves much more recognition than she already does.
Crying:😥 (Because so beautiful)
- Oedipus the King, Sophocles.
Oedipus. As a Psych and a Literature student, I HAD to read it.
What I liked: Well, the plot was quite nice. And a little creepy, but nice.
What I didn’t like: Not my cup of tea.