Book Discussion: Looking For Alaska

I just finished reading Looking For Alaska and all I can say is John Green is a magician. I don’t know how he creates such literary magic every single time. The best thing about this man is that he portrays teenagers as real individuals struggling to keep on with their lives, with some real problems (and not just someone trying to figure out what to wear on his or her prom night). This book paints a pen picture, expounding the lives of a group of teenagers.

Miles Halter was new at Culver Creek Boarding school. Tired of being ignored in his previous school (Oh boy, I can absolutely relate to that part), he was hungry for some adventure. Well, he would get his share of adventure, along with heartbreaks and important life lessons, eventually. We get to read the book from his perspective. He had a thing for the beautiful and enigmatic Alaska. Alaska and Margo (Paper Towns reference!!!) were very much alike. Both of them were very much more than just being pretty. Green had sketched them as real people and not just eye candies whose only purpose is to be beautiful and SAY CHEESE!

Miles was awkward, just like any of us. He was not very good at making friends. I personally feel that he and Charlie (of Perks of being a wallflower) were kinda similar. Both were introverts and deep thinkers. They were both bent on discovering something more to life, other than just breathing. Miles sometimes played the role of a mouthpiece for Alaska. He gave words to her unspoken thoughts. They complemented each other. I don’t think that they loved each other in the way conventional lovers do, but they had a thing that would make you go WOW.

The concept of the labyrinth was fabulous. Being alive is beautiful. Dying does not put an end to our suffering. Fighting does. Miles and his friends did the same. Alaska’s death devastated them but they did not give up on life or on themselves and moved on. There is no afterlife. We just make things up as we cannot bear the thought of becoming nothing, someday. Well, that is not something we should be worried about as our “GREAT” will keep us alive in the memory of others, as it happened in Alaska’s case. And being caught in the labyrinth is challenging but also beautiful. I mean, the world is a tough place and it is really hard to preserve our existence, here, but it is also amazing. We are part of the smartest race currently residing on our planet. How cool IS that?

Though the storyline confused the hell out of me at times, I still ship this book. This is Green’s very first book, so this much can be pardoned. All Green-fans assemble fast and drop your thoughts in my comments section. I will be waiting. Bye!

My rating-3.8/5

Fin!

-Debanjana

Book Traveling Thursday #10: Choose a book that deals with war..

It’s time for Book Traveling Thursdays! This meme is created by the wonderful bloggers from Danielle’s Book Blog and The Girl Who Read Too Much. If you want to participate in this meme, you just have to go to the Goodreads group where the weekly themes will be announced at the beginning of each month. I will link the group here. After that, you have to just select a book according to the theme and explain why you chose this book in a blog post. In that post, you also have to choose different covers of the book you select. To be more specific, you have to post the original cover, the covers from you country, your favourite cover, and lastly, your least favourite cover. So, here goes!

Because World Peace Day was two days ago, this week’s theme is to choose a book that deals with war or that takes place during wars. For this, I decided to go for The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini. I am sure most of you are familiar with the book. This is a book that’s beautiful and heartbreaking and a masterpiece. It speaks about war and gives you the naked truth without sugar-coating it. I really, really like this book and would recommend this to anyone. But it is also pretty graphic, so if you are really young or you are uncomfortable about this stuff, don’t read it.

Original Cover:

KR1

So, this cover is okay. It’s good even. But that’s about it. It’s nothing extraordinary.

Cover from my country(India):

KR2

I like this cover more than the original one. Even though it’s very literal. It looks good on my shelf. That’s a pretty bad reason. Sorry! 😛

Favourite Cover:

I really liked the cover on the right because somehow, I think, it manages to capture the essence of the book and the terror of it. The cover on the left, which is the Chinese cover, is really pretty. So, this is me being vain again! But I love these covers a lot.

Least Favourite Cover:

KR5

Okay, so I don’t think I need to elaborate why I dislike this cover. It speaks for itself. So, ya.

Please tell me what you think about these covers and this book. Again, I highly recommend it. This post was me trying to write something after two weeks of going MIA. I am really, really sorry guys! I am really trying to write more. But the exams of this semester are going to start soon and I would just not be able to write anything good until it ends. I hope you guys can be patient. Again, I am really sorry! Until next time then.

Fin!

-Sanchita.

Book Traveling Thursday #9: Choose a book that features your favourite bookish family.

It’s time for Book Traveling Thursdays! This meme is created by the wonderful bloggers from Danielle’s Book Blog and The Girl Who Read Too Much. If you want to participate in this meme, you just have to go to the Goodreads group where the weekly themes will be announced at the beginning of each month. I will link the group here. After that, you have to just select a book according to the theme and explain why you chose this book in a blog post. In that post, you also have to choose different covers of the book you select. To be more specific, you have to post the original cover, the covers from you country, your favourite cover, and lastly, your least favourite cover. So, here goes!

This week’s theme is to choose a book that features your favourite bookish family. Because family matters. For this theme, the most obvious choice was probably Harry Potter for me. Because which family can be as amazing as the Weasley’s right? But, I chose another family instead. I chose the Hall family from If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Family plays a very important part in this book and we get to see a lot of them. By the time the book ended, I fell in love with Mia’s family. They are kind and supportive and loving and amazing in all sorts of ways. They make me want to be a part of their family. And so, I think they are the most fitting choice for this week.

Original Cover:

4374400I really don’t like this cover. I don’t know why the publishers chose this cover but it’s not very attractive, is it? It’s not really good either! I don’t like it.

Cover from my country(India):

6990472 If I stay 1

The right one is obviously the movie cover and I like it. But the left one is, again, unattractive ad unrelated and weird. Also, I have a problem with the blurb on the cover. Why would this book appeal to the fans of Twilight? It’s not that I have a problem with Twilight because I have once loved Twilight with passion and I still respect it. But, I don’t find any similarities between this book and Twilight. That’s all. I prefer the movie cover to the original cover of the book.

Favourite Cover:

if i stay 3 if i stay 4

There were many beautiful covers for this book. But these are the covers that I thought captured the themes of the story and are also very beautiful. The left one is the Hungarian cover and the right one is Indonesian. I loved both of them!

Least Favourite Cover:

Wenn ich bleibe von Gayle Forman

This German cover gives the impression that this is a sweet, summery contemporary where the book is anything but that. This cover gives a wrong impression of this book which I think is offensive. The cover, obviously, in no way relates to the story. This is why I chose this cover as my least favourite.

So, here it is! I must also mention that I love this book and I highly, highly recommend it to those who haven’t already read it. If you have read this book, tell me what you think about it in the comments. Also, comment about the covers of this book. I know we haven’t been very active nowadays. It is because the end-sem exams are coming up and all of us have been catching up on our studies. This is also curbing our reading time. But, we will still try to put out as many posts as we can. Well, that’s all for today! Until next time, then.

Fin!

-Sanchita.

Book Discussion: The Color Purple

The Color Purple, by Alice walker, was first published in the year 1982 and it won the Pulitzer Prize for Literature the following year. Rural Georgia of the 30s provides the backdrop of this powerful novel. Walker has used specific dialects and this helped open another window into the lives of the protagonists, for the readers. The novel is in the form of letters- Celie’s letters to God and her beloved sister, Nettie, and Nettie’s letters to Celie. The novel talks about the terrifying social status that the African-American women had in society.

Celie was this uneducated girl who was raped and beaten innumerable times by the man she called ‘father’. He impregnated her twice and took her children away from her. She was compelled to marry her sister’s boyfriend who married her as he needed someone to take care of his children. Apparently, he needed a maid and not a wife. She lived in a society where she was not even allowed to own her own body as that was also carefully preserved for the ‘man’ (Hello patriarchy, my old friend, I have come to talk with you again). She never knew about her sexual orientation until the arrival of her husband’s ex lover- Shug Avery, as she had no right to explore her sexuality, as well (sounds familiar?). This woman would eventually transform Celie into a whole different and better person. She would change the color of her life from black and white to ‘purple’.

The society where the characters of this novel resided was murky as hell (if something like that exists). Women were ‘given’ to men and they had to ‘mind’ the men so to carry on with their lives. The women who did not ‘mind’ their men were beaten and tortured. Black people were imprisoned for refusing to work for white folks as serving the Whites were their sole and innate duties. The highest social position the tribal women could think about was to become the Chief’s wife as a single woman was of no use to society. No, I kid you not!

A parallel has been drawn between the oppression of the blacks and that of women. Both these practices arise from the power loving mindset where one try reaching the summit by exploiting others. Celie pulled her life together and became an independent woman. She learnt that it was her and only her responsibility to make herself happy and for that she did not need the help of any man or woman. She had to fight tooth and nail with this male chauvinistic society and finally, she nailed it. But why do a woman always have to fight to get what she deserves? How difficult it is to get that men and women are complementary in nature?

My rating- 4.5/5

Fin!

-Debanjana