Frankenstein by Mary Shelly – Book Review

20190521_202927.pngBelieved to be the 1st attempt at science-fiction, Frankenstein by Mary Shelly is a Gothic novel that starts off with Dr Victor Frankenstein’s creation of a human turned monster and centers around the occurrences that follow this unnatural event.

  1. Title: The book was initially titled Frankenstein: the Modern Prometheus but the subtitle was removed in later publications. This, in my opinion, has contributed to the misconception of the monster being called ‘Frankenstein’ when it was never named in the book. While the original title and subtitle together referred to Dr Frankenstein’s feat of giving life to an amalgam of body parts, usage of the title alone has led to a popular belief that it refers to the monster.  Of course, the adaptations of the novel in the form of movies and plays have played a larger role in doing that.
  2. Writing Style: Personally, I found the writing style to lack flow. The first 100 pages read like Victor Frankenstein was voicing thoughts as they came. This heavily retarded the pace of the book for me. However, the book begins to gain some pace after the 1st 100 pages with the beginning of the monster’s account.
  • Narration: All 3 narrators had the same voice, as pointed out by various critics. This made the book monotonous.
  • Characters: While there were really only 2 main characters, the side characters lacked depth and description. It almost felt like they appeared whenever necessary, to carry the book onward but the reader never got to know much about their stories, background or values.
  1. Themes: Science fiction, Gothic horror, guilt, ambition and its consequences/thirst for glory, the struggle against societal control, the contrast between isolation and society.
  2. Rating: 1/5 stars

Based on:

  • It took me a long, long while to get through
  • Didn’t gain much value from it
  • The story wasn’t absorbing at all
  • The ending fell short of the buildup of the last 124 pages
  • The downfall trope was heavy in Victor Frankenstein’s character
  • Uni-dimensional side characters
  • No description of the process that breathed life into the monster’s body

Frankenstein on Amazon: https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/0007350961/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3638&creative=24630&creativeASIN=0007350961&linkCode=as2&tag=saadia-21&linkId=47ebefad7761b8325867d7883007bd83

~ Saadia

 

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven – Book Review, Themes and Rating | Saadia Peerzada

ee05d628328a957ebe7a2e545cf26e89.jpgAll The Bright Places opens with two distraught teenagers wanting to end their lives. They find themselves atop the bell tower at school at the same time. The story progresses into how they wander together, mediate new highs and lows or fail to, fall in love and above all, see a silver of brightness in each other’s company.

Review: Niven’s profound understanding of mental illness translates into her writing beautifully. The portrayal of depression, both clinical and induced by loss and the ‘high highs’ and the very ‘low lows’ arising from bipolar disorder are written with such poise and honesty that the reader is effectively able to understand these illnesses. The element of dysfunctional family added to the multidimensional nature of the book and touched another lingering social issue.

The character building is so original and moving that you forget that they are fictional for a moment. Finch’s character was beautifully written, his struggle flowed through the words with ease. The writing is poetic and enchanting which is, for me, one of the main reasons that separated this book from the masses

This was one of the 1st and most important books that educated me about the personal struggle with mental illness and reflected my own struggle with it as I read this book during a dark time in life. This book has inspired me to write 2 poems, 1 of which is: https://www.instagram.com/p/Boq8YWKFitj/

I’d recommend this book to everyone. It is alluring and heartbreaking in equal parts and its absolute beauty amazes me every day.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Themes:

  1.  Mental Health & Mental Illness
  2. Exploration of Death
  3. Family
  4. Hope
  5. Exploration

140f3e9e396f4f4f0aaf8700f2091865

Get this book from Amazon: https://amzn.to/2LHRI0I

Other books by the author: https://amzn.to/2HnfNVn – Holding Up the Universe

Jennifer Niven’s website: http://www.jenniferniven.com/ and twitter: https://twitter.com/jenniferniven?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor

Ig: https://www.instagram.com/jenniferniven/?hl=en

~ Saadia

 

 

 

 

Rent Party Jazz by William Miller – Book Review, Themes and Rating.

220216.jpg

Rent Party Jazz is a short book about a young boy Sonny Comeaux and his mother living in New Orleans in poverty and how an empathetic stranger helps them pay rent and stay in their lodgings.

Review: This book represents the conditions of African-Americans in the 1920s and onwards realistically. The elements of optimism, empathy and love within the community made this a heart-warming read. This book, within a few pages, shows how art can bring people together and help us be more hopeful in times of hardship and impending disaster. The illustrations by Charlotte Riley Web are a perfect fit to the story line.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Themes: 

  1.  African-American representation
  2. Poverty
  3. Responsibility
  4. Hope
  5. Community
  6. Empathy
  7. Art (Music)

Grab yourself a copy here:

https://amzn.to/2HoucRj

Or you can listen to it on YouTube:

~ Saadia

Heidi by Johanna Spyri – Book review, Plot Summary, Themes and Rating

49c5f82924fefd4201ff005c8de7ef43.jpg

Heidi is a children’s book written by the Swiss author Johanna Spyri. It was initially published in 2 parts and written in German. It is one the best-selling books ever written about the childhood years of a girl living with her grandfather in the Alps.

Plot Summary: The book opens with Heidi being taken to the Alps to live with her grandfather by her aunt Dete. Dete has cared for Heidi since she was a baby as both of her parents had died under grievous circumstances but now she had a job offer and could no longer take care of her. The villagers are unsettled by this decision as Uncle Alp, Heidi’s grandfather, is known to be resentful and solitary and had renounced religion. However, after some initial reluctance, they form a close bond. Heidi loves living in the mountains and holds the beauty of nature and its vibrant colors close to her heart. She befriends Peter and his grandmother and brings joy to everyone she interacts with by her simple and unaffected behavior.

Aunt Dete appears after having left Heidi for a good while. She comes with the news of having found a job in Frankfurt for Heidi as a companion to a physically-challenged girl, Clara. Dete claims that this experience would be valuable to Heidi as Grandfather hadn’t  sent her to school or church. Heidi’s departure leaves Grandfather and Peter’s grandmother in dismay. In Frankfurt, Heidi learns to love Clara and Clara’s grandmother, who teaches her about the importance of prayer and submission to God. On the other hand, the forbidding Miss Rottenmeier makes Heidi unhappy. She starts missing the mountains quickly and grows more miserable by the day. Phantom occurrences are revealed to be Heidi in a state of sleepwalking because of her homesickness. A kind doctor advises that Heidi must return to the mountains to restore her health.

She returns to the ever-sprightly mountains and its people and brings more light into their lives while gaining happiness herself. Due to Heidi’s words and encouragement, Grandfather returns to religion and they go to Church together. He also renounces his solitary ways and makes peace with the people of the village.

Clara visits the Alps later and is nursed back to color with the help of Grandfather’s hospitality, the nutritious homemade food and the mountain air. She starts getting healthier and stronger by the day. Peter, being envious of her monopolizing Heidi’s time,  causes her wheelchair to break. Surprisingly though, with help from Heidi and Peter, Clara begins to walk. Clara’s father promises Grandfather that he will take care of Heidi when the old man dies.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Review: Heidi is written in a freely flowing, imaginative and well-paced style. The author has successfully portrayed a child’s character as unaffected and simple, yet kind and empathetic. The character building is effective and true to real life. Even though it is a children’s fiction, it can easily and competently be read by people of all ages with immense enjoyment. It stays snug within its genre yet manages to push the boundaries and become something more. This is the reason why it has become the symbol of Swiss folklore around the world and stayed alive for 138+ years. The language is lucid and immersive. The author intermixes humor and important, valuable lessons throughout the second half of the book.

Heidi’s character is relatable to anyone who has experienced homesickness/ lived away from home. Reading about her thought process and unending sympathy is refreshing and rejuvenating.  This book would be perfect for anyone, at anytime. It is incredibly relaxing and great for a weekday afternoon.

Scholastic edition: https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/9352755758/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3638&creative=24630&creativeASIN=9352755758&linkCode=as2&tag=saadia-21&linkId=005328c94c32bd531287aa64c22441ec

 

bdb3d347e62be14beb5956aba73ed559.jpg

Themes: 

  1. The healing power of nature.
  2. Family and relationships.
  3. Empathy
  4. Religion (Christianity)

“I’ll always say my prayers… and if God doesn’t answer them at once I shall know it’s because He’s planning something better for me.”

“The happiest of all things is when an old friend comes and greets us as in former times; the heart is comforted with the assurance that some day everything that we have loved will be given back”

”It’s the sun’s way of saying goodnight to the mountains” he explained. ”He spreads that beautiful light over them so that they won’t forget him till he comes back in the morning.”

~ Saadia

Matilda by Roald Dahl – Book Review, Themes, Rating and Summary

20190504_230532.jpgPlot Summary: Matilda, written by Roald Dahl and illustrated by Quentin Blake tells the story of a very young girl who is an extraordinarily bright kid for her age, quick to learn new things but never appreciated, rather disregarded by her parents. She teaches herself to read by the age of 3 through newspapers and magazines. On finishing the only book in her house, she asks her father to buy her one, to which he sternly refuses. Her father believed in spending his leisure time watching the television and her mother played bingo every afternoon. Matilda sets out by herself to the library and over the course of a few weeks, reads all the children’s books in the library. In the following 6 months, she reads the works of authors like Dickens, Bronte, Austen, Hemingway and George Orwells. All of this happens without her parents’ knowledge who still think that she’s unworthy . She turns to to acts like gluing her father’s hat to his head, hiding a friend’s parrot in the chimney to give the impression of a burglar or a ghost and secretly bleaching her father’s hair, to get revenge on her parents for regarding her with contempt.

On joining kindergarten, Matilda befriends her teacher, Ms Honey, who is astonished by Matilda’s ability to recite tables and read long and complex sentences. She tries to move her into a higher class to guide her within a competition that was up to her cognitive abilities but is refused by the brutish headmistress, Miss Agatha Trunchbull. Miss Honey also tries to talk to Matilda’s parents about her intellectual abilities, but they pay her no heed. Matilda develops a strong bond with Miss Honey and watches as Miss Trunchbull terrorizes her students with over-the-top punishments to prevent parents from believing their children complaining. When Matilda’s friend, Lavender, plays a practical joke on Miss Trunchbull, Matilda uses an sudden, bizarre power of telekinesis to tip the glass of water containing a newt onto Miss Trunchbull.

After Matilda reveals her powers to Miss Honey, Miss Honey reveals that she was raised by an cruel, brutish aunt after the dubious death of her father. Her aunt is revealed to be Miss Trunchbull, who withholds her niece’s inheritance so that Miss Honey has to live in destitution in a shabby, insecure farm cottage. Preparing to extract retribution for Miss Honey, Matilda develops her telekinetic ability by practicing at home. Later, during a lesson that Miss Trunchbull is teaching, Matilda telekinetically raises a piece of chalk to the blackboard and writes on it, acting as the spirit of Miss Honey’s late father and demanding that Miss Trunchbull hand over Miss Honey’s house and wages and leave the area for good.

Miss Trunchbull’s house is later found empty with no sign of where she went. Matilda continues to visit Miss Honey’s now returned house regularly. One day  she finds her parents and her older brother in a hurry, packing to escape from the police, who are after her father for selling stolen cars. Matilda tells them that she wants to live with Miss Honey, to which her parents uninterruptedly agree. Hence, both Matilda and Miss Honey find their happy ending, and the school’s atmosphere improves immensely under Mr. Trilby, the new head of school.

Rating: 4/5 stars

Review:  The book is fast paced which makes it a really fun read. The intricate way of weaving important lessons into a story for children leaves a lasting impression on the reader. The writing style is simple, perfect for new readers. The expressions used by Roald Dahl are hilarious and perfectly fitting at the same time. The character building is masterfully done, the side characters add to the dynamic nature of the book. Every character’s values shine clearly through the writing.

Themes:

  • The child-parent relationship portrayed is much needed and true for many households. Such topics often get sidelined in mainstream literature.
  • Matilda has a small number of people in her life who truly stick by her side, so she is incredibly loyal to the ones that do.
  • The main character of this book is a young girl who is much smarter and kinder than almost all of the characters who are adults. This is an opposite of the usual portrayal of children vs adults.
  • Dahl perfectly shows how family can be found beyond blood as Matilda finds a home with Ms Honey instead of her parents.
  • The focus on value knowledge and learning.
  • Greed leads to a sour end.

Final Thoughts (source: Wikipedia)

“Why does a part of us not want to know what Matilda has become? Somewhere in our heart of hearts we never want Matilda to grow up – we want her to be like Peter Pan, eternally young.” ~ Cressida Cowell

Get this book for Rs 200 https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/0141365463/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3638&creative=24630&creativeASIN=0141365463&linkCode=as2&tag=saadia-21&linkId=01d326d0755b70e1a93cf7bd3ac6bb40

Every Roald Dahl book for Rs 180 each https://www.amazon.in/gp/product/0141371331/ref=as_li_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=3638&creative=24630&creativeASIN=0141371331&linkCode=as2&tag=saadia-21&linkId=ad8480719f1bde1dbbe918d77a28ae49

Quote pic Sources: Pinterest.

~ Crafted with love, always, Saadia.

OCTOBER-NOVEMBER WRAP-UP

Up on my 2nd blog:

15258915_341792086191041_2097474612173471744_n.jpg

I’ve been gone for a while now. 2 months almost. Exams, internet bans and shutdowns can do that to a person. On the brighter side, I am here with an Oct-Nov wrap up. These months have been beyond great for reading and I got done with more books than I’d thought I would. Kudos!

My bookish Instagram: @ollivandersbooks . You won’t regret a visit.

Lets begin. (insert Voldemort voice)

14723641_382601938747197_7011467878029328384_n.jpg

OCTOBER:

  1. Romeo and Juliet,Shakespeare, the graphic novel: This illustrated edition of the play really brought out the magnificent vintage feel of the play. It was kind of short but really aesthetically pleasing.
  2. A Christmas Carol, Charles Dickens: A miser and business man, Scrooge who calls Christmas ‘humbug’ is taught the essence of festivity and giving by the 3 spirits of Christmas. The harbinger of the spirits is Scrooge’s long dead business-partner Marley or rather Marley’s Ghost. A very enjoyable tale, one to remember after years.
  3. Malgudi Schooldays, R.K. Narayan: this book follows young Swaminathan as he ventures through school-life and tends to adopt methods that allow him to skip school. Though highly comical, there is a touch of emotion at the very end. this book can be considered the Indian version of ‘ Diary of a Wimpy Kid’
  4. Hemu, Amar Chitra Katha, comic: This comic tells the tale of a shrewd statesman who uses his cunning means to slowly rise to the place of a King. The son of a grocerer, Hemu designs himself a life he finds pleasure in, not a life of hardship but slowly finds himself to be doomed by his own ways.

15253077_1119033668149665_7726154889964814336_a

OCTOBER RE-READS

Divergent: A dystopian novel following young Tris Prior as she makes the choice that decides the path of her life in a society divided into factions.

Four: the prequel to Divergent, this book follows Tobias Eaton in his struggle to carve out a path in life that never brings him face to face with the horrors of his past.

The Hunger Games: a dystopian novel featuring young adolescents chosen to fight to death for the entertainment of the people living their lavish lives in the capitol.

Catching Fire: The sequel to The Hunger Games, showing the beginnings of a rebellion.

Mockingjay: The last installment in the Hunger Games series shows the breakthrough and aftermath of the rebellion that brings justice to some and destroys others forever.

15258746_1811738222409506_1242507628978896896_n.jpg

NOVEMBER READS

  1. Big Magic, Elizabeth Gilbert: The much celebrated author of ‘Eat Pray Love’ brings forth another HUGE masterpiece in the form of a book about writing books. Amazing lyrical prose and memorable anecdotes crown this book.
  2. A Little Princess, Frances Hodgson Burnett:

    THIS BOOK FOLLOWS YOUNG SARA CREWE, A WISE MINDED GIRL, AS SHE VENTURES FAR FROM HER HOME TO JOIN A SEMINARY IN EUROPE. BEING BROUGHT UP BY A SINGLE FATHER WHO SHOWERS HIS WEALTH ON HIS ONLY DAUGHTER, SARA SOON RISES TO THE LIKES OF A CELEBRITY IN THE SEMINARY. BUT THINGS DO NOT STAY THE SAME AS SHE LEARNS THAT SHE MIGHT NEVER GO HOME AGAIN. 👑
    THIS BOOK SHOWS SARA’S HEROIC BRAVERY IN THE FACE OF ADVERSITY.
    👑
    SET IN VICTORIAN BRITAIN.

NOVEMBER RE-READS

  1. City of Bones
  2. City of Ashes
  3. City of Glass
  4. City of Fallen Angles

The first four books in the Mortal Instruments Series, a young adult Fantasy merging the human , mundane world with the Demonic and Magical one.

15276595_916603011773483_8952962274583117824_n1

~Saadia

Say goodbye to safe and sound

enhanced-1618-1395329750-2 - Copy.jpg

Let us try a few things together :

  1. Living on the wire
  2. Eating good food, the kind that nourishes us
  3. Moving around more, being less stuck up
  4. Connecting with nature
  5. Pampering ourselves more
  6. Praying more
  7. Panicking less
  8. Reading more books
  9. Smiling more (fake it till you make it)
  10. Being more fun, more enthusiastic
  11. Learning to let go
  12. Being tipsy ( non alcoholic type) once in a while and jam out
  13. Travel more
  14. Sing out loud
  15. Live very , very LOUD

~ Saadia

P.s. Do you people want me to do Journal Entries here on my blog. Let me know in the comments 🙂

Life Lessons I learnt from Novels

“Do not pity the dead, Harry, pity the living, and, above all those who live without love.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows 

Apparently the world is not a wish-granting factory. ~ The Fault in our Stars

anigif_mobile_303859094fe3bc4cbec384c886c89cf3-20

“It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

“What a treacherous thing to believe that a person is more than a person.”~ Quentin Jacobsen , Paper towns

That’s the thing about pain – it demands to be felt. ~ The Fault in our Stars

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games

“It is our choices that tell us who we really are, far more than our abilities.” – Albus Dumbledore, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

” She loved mysteries so much that she became one.”~ Quentin Jacobsen, Paper towns

” Of all the hardships that a person has to face, none can be punishing than the simple act of waiting.” , Khaled Hosseini , A Thousand Splendid Suns

” You will never be able to escape from your heart. It is better to listen to what it has to say.” ~ Paulo Coelho , The Alchemist

“People generally see what they look for and hear what they listen for”~ To Kill a Mockingbird

“If you want to know what a man’s like, take a good look at how he treats his inferiors, not his equals.” – Sirius Black, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

b84382db235a014327c7ad9f93507b36~ The Kite Runner

“If I die I still want to be me.” ~ Peeta, The Hunger Games

c5873f3094a27bf0860b16a460184e25 ~ Alice in Wonderland

“You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”
—John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

” Every revolution begins with a spark.” ~ The Hunger Games

The Hunger Games
The Hunger Games