Thursday, 30 July 2015

#3. Update + Reading Challenge 2015 book reviews!



My vacation comes to an end today, tomorrow marks the day for a new school year! Am I excited? I am going to miss the holidays, yes, but I can’t wait to plunge into new law subjects (does that make me a nerd?).I had been worried that I didn’t have time to do some art, even that was rectified! 

So, this is a young version of my brother. I’ve let this sketch go cold many a times before which is why I wouldn’t call this my best work. However, I’m glad I finally got done with it! 


Over to the reviews!

A Pulitzer Prize-winning book: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
 
A book of short stories: Malgudi Days by R.K.Narayan

A book with a love triangle:The Selection by Kiera Cass
A book by a female author: The Elite by Kiera Cass

To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee

 
Harper Lee's coming-of-age tale, To Kill a Mockingbird, is set in the Deep South, and is a searing portrayal of race and prejudice told through the eyes of a little girl. Filled with atmospheric evocations of life in the 1930s and a moral and caring sensibility,To Kill a Mockingbird is both a brilliant rendering of a specific time and place as well as a universal tale of how understanding can triumph over old and evil mindsets.Most of all, To Kill a Mockingbird is a modern-day morality tale of how prejudice must be met, fought and overcome--no matter where it is present or how difficult that task might seem.
http://classiclit.about.com/od/tokillamockingbird/fr/aa_tokill.htm
My god, what a book! I’ve had this book with me for some months now and every time I tried to get around to it I never stepped over page two. And then I watched the first ten minutes of the movie and realized that it had kids in it XD With renewed motivation I set about to reading the book and never could stop. It truly deserves the reputation it has. Six year old Jean Louise Finch aka Scout is the protagonist and seeing things through her eyes gives everything a new perspective. She is a tom boy, quick to lose temper, but smart with things. Being the only girl in a family of two men/boys, her father and brother are the people she looks up to the most. You can see how they influence her character, how she wants to be like Jem and how she tries to inculcate her father’s teachings. What sets her aside is how she views people. Though she is unable to understand why people behave as they do, why they deal with hypocrisy, her innocence and people instinct makes it possible for her to reach them on a different level.
The other character that I loved is Attikus, the father. He is easily a powerful character, even with his simple ways. Without his wife he is left to bring up his children but he does it rather well. He gives them a free rein, allows them to think for themselves but he is always there to correct them and refine them. He has deep rotted principles to which he does justice. I love the kind of respectable, inspiring man that he is. If there was a character I would consider my model, he would one of them.
I want to keep talking about this book, analyze each character. I loved it from start to the end- with all its stories, philosophy, messages, humor and moral.

Malgudi Days by R.K.Narayan

Malgudi Days is a captivating novel comprising three interesting stories based on the life in the small South Indian town of Malgudi, located on the banks of the river Sarayu. Malgudi Days is a novel that revolves around the happenings in a small fictional village named Malgudi, which is located on the banks of the river Sarayu in South India. This book is a collection of 32 short stories that are highly amusing. The remarkable feature of the stories present in this book is that they are all centered around the lives of mere commoners as they go about their daily routine - See more at: http://onlinestore.dcbooks.com/books/malgudi-days#sthash.adhLSePw.dpuf
I’ve been meaning to read this book for a long time now. It is one of India’s popular books that people have been reading for generations. It seemed time I did too.
R K Narayan has created a masterpiece with his Malgudi Days. Each story is unique – they mostly deal with the life of a common man, his struggles, his aspirations, his view of life, his family and his happiness. The writer gives this peek into people’s lives, people who could easily be me or my neighbors. His simplistic writing holds the book together throwing more light on the story rather than the writing itself. Each tale stood out for me, my favorite will always be the first of the collection, called The Astrologer’s Day.

The Selection  series by Kiera Cass


The Selection, The Elite, The One
Book 1- For thirty-five girls, the Selection is the chance of a lifetime. The opportunity to escape the life laid out for them since birth. To be swept up in a world of glittering gowns and priceless jewels. To live in a palace and compete for the heart of gorgeous Prince Maxon.
But for America Singer, being Selected is a nightmare. It means turning her back on her secret love with Aspen, who is a caste below her. Leaving her home to enter a fierce competition for a crown she doesn't want. Living in a palace that is constantly threatened by violent rebel attacks.
Then America meets Prince Maxon. Gradually, she starts to question all the plans she's made for herself—and realizes that the life she's always dreamed of may not compare to a future she never imagined.
Book 2- Is it with Maxon, who could make her life a fairy tale? Or with her first love, Aspen?
Book 3- The time has come for one winner to be crowned.
As the end of the competition approaches, and the threats outside the palace walls grow more vicious, America realizes just how much she stands to lose—and how hard she'll have to fight for the future she wants.  (www.goodreads.com)

The book cover made the girl in me interested and I wanted to see what was behind the pretty cover picture.  I read all three books in a day (yeah, it was quite a feat) so the story sort overwhelmed me (in a good way!). The book is set in a dystopian world where people are divided into classes based on their talent and they are restrained to the work, benefits of the class. America belongs to the class made of people who sing or do art which is not high in the class hierarchy.
I liked the character America, she is someone who can think on her feet and is useful in situations. What makes her likable is that even in the face of luxury, she doesn’t get carried away and tries to remain true to herself. Off all the girls, that is what makes her special and reason Maxon takes to her. She is honest, maybe a tad bit straightforward, and doesn’t let people bully her. She kind of reminds me of Katniss, a girl who adapts to situations.
Maxon v Aspen. I like Aspen for the reason that he goes all out when he does something. He doesn’t stroll around in the middle ground for long and he is honest about what he feels. Maxon is still trying to figure out the world and his place in it. He is slowly overcoming his father’s intimidation and trying to be a better person in America’s eyes. His desire to use his power and influence to make the world a better place  coupled with his charm makes him a character you take to.
Overall, the series was a good. Nothing exceptional but it makes for a relaxing read. Sometimes, that is just what you want!

16 comments:

  1. Ooh I do like the artwork piece! One of my favourites of yours for sure. I also have read To Kill a Mockingbird and I did quite like it, but I would say it isn't one of my favourite books. But it does have a lot of meaning to it and can really be appreciated :) I do want to try the Selection series at one point because I have heard so many good things about it!

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    1. Thanks!
      I liked Scout's perspective the most in the book, she is the reason I love it so. And Attikus. It does have strong messages. You should! It makes a great read!

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  2. Lovely drawing! And the Selection series sounds really interesting! And like you said the covers make me wonder a lot about the story.

    Andreea Catsfika

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    1. Thank you Andreea! The cover got me to try the book!

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  3. That sketch is gorgeous!

    You have read some great books this past month, congrats on reading so many!

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    1. Thank you!
      I did. The reading challenge had helped me find some amazing books!

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  4. I loved The Selection Series for how easy it was to read. It's a quick, fun series to me and sometimes those just hit the right spot :D

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    1. I agree! Sometimes a fun read is what you need!

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  5. A fellow reader who also enjoys drawing, that's great! :D the sketch is so good!! <3
    I read The Selection about a year ago, just read the fourth book that came ago recently. It's a quick, cute series to pass the time, I really enjoyed it :)

    Lipstick and Mocha

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    1. Hi! Welcome to my blog!
      I love pencil sketching! And thank you!
      The Heir, if I remember right! I'm yet to read that.

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  6. The Selection series sounds really interesting, I'd love to read it!

    Bella Pummarola

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  7. Love the way you write and really amazing sketches!! I don't get even a single minute to read these days and I miss it!!

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    1. Hi Charu! It is nice to have you back on my blog!
      And thank you! Ah, I miss those times when life gets too busy for books.

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  8. I finally got around to reading Malgudi Days this July.I have to confess I couldn't actually decide on a favourite! I found all the stories very amusing indeed and at the same point thought provoking with a certain quality of universality attached to them.Really hope to make more time for books.Anyway,I was just going through your blog after so long thought I'd drop by and say hi :P
    P.S I absolutely love the new look of the blog.Cheers!

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    1. Malgudi Days! I'm so glad you enjoyed the book! I agree, there is a underlying profoundness to each story.
      Thank you! :) I try haha.

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