“The Day of the Triffids” and Venturing Into Apocalyptic Fiction

In this post, I am going to talk about the post-apocalyptic genre as a whole while also talking about the classic “The Day of the Triffids” by John Wyndham. I could have written a book discussion, but I wanted to talk about the genre more than the book. So, let’s get started!

A few days ago, I was watching a video recommending apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic novels in Jen Campbell’s channel. I will link the video here for you. While watching this video, I realized that I’ve never read much of this genre even though I find it incredibly interesting. All the books that Jen and Sanne recommended in the video interested me and I wanted to buy them immediately. I have read a lot of dystopian because the young-adult literature is filled with them. But the only post-apocalyptic books that I remember reading is Station Eleven. If you have read my discussion for this book, you know that I loved it. I started to wonder why this genre is so new to me. And then I realized that I haven’t read many books from the genre because I don’t see much of this genre in the places I go to search for new books. Until recently, all the booktubers I watched or book blogs I read concerned mainly YA. But I am slowly easing myself to lots of different genres including literary fiction. And that is where I found the best books of this genre.

Like I said, I wanted to read all the books from Jen and Sanne’s recommendations. I started with “The Day of the Triffids“. Believe it or not, I’ve never heard of this book before, even though it is a classic. But the premise sounded very interesting to me and I gave it a go. This book hooked me from the start. It is not very long and the language is very easy to read. I am going to link the Goodreads page of this book here so that you can see the synopsis for yourself. As I expected, the story was beautiful. And there is always something happening in the story which makes it easy for you to go through it in one sitting. I didn’t feel that attached to the characters but the situations kept me engaged and interested. It was also really scary sometimes. I think this is also something that interests me a lot about this genre. I really don’t read horror or watch horror movies because I’m really scared by them. But in this genre, the horror is in small doses which is perfect for me. I recently watched 10 Cloverfield Lane which is also a post-apocalyptic movie and it only increased my interest in this genre.

The other thing that attracts me about these books is how messed up they can be. I love books that are incredibly messed up, which is also why Gone Girl is one of my favourite books of all times and why I love psychological thrillers. It interests me to see how far the survival instincts of humans can push them to go and the many ways people can react to the same situation. So many ideologies clash when it’s literally the end of the world and it’s just amazing to see how different authors think about the different ways humans deal with it. These books give a great understanding of the human psyche and I love that.

I would really like to read a lot more of the books in this genre. Of course, I am going to go through the list of recommendations in that video but if you know about some amazing post-apocalyptic or apocalyptic books, please let me know! I would love to read them. Thank you so much for reading this! Please comment if you like to read books of this genre and if you do not, why. Until next time then.

Fin!

-Sanchita.

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Book Discussion: The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August by Claire North.

I bet that most of you haven’t read this book. This one here does not have much hype surrounding it as far as I know. I wouldn’t have found this book either if it hadn’t been for Regan from PeruseProject and thank god for that! This is one of the most unique books that I’ve ever read. This is the book for the second week of Around the World in 52 weeks Challenge. The theme was to read a book from a country other than yours. This book is situated mostly in America, Britain and Russia. So, it fits the theme perfectly. The concept is so unique that I can never even begin to describe what this book is about. So, let’s see the synopsis on Goodreads.

Goodreads Synopsis-

No matter what he does or the decisions he makes, when death comes, Harry always returns to where he began, a child with all the knowledge of a life he has already lived a dozen times before. Nothing ever changes.

Until now.

As Harry nears the end of his eleventh life, a little girl appears at his bedside. ‘I nearly missed you, Doctor August,’ she says. ‘I need to send a message.’

This is the story of what Harry does next, and what he did before, and how he tries to save a past he cannot change and a future he cannot allow.

I don’t even know where to start. I listened to this on audiobook and I would highly recommend it because the narrator is unbelievable. I was deeply engrossed in the story and I never felt like my mind was wandering which happens in case of most audiobooks. The writing is incredibly clever. You know that moment when an author puts stress on certain characters and events and you just know that those are going to play a large part in the story? It never happens here. You never know which character is going to play a bigger role than others. This keeps the mystery of the story and you never know what is going to happen. This story builds to an ending but that doesn’t make the parts before that less important. I never felt anywhere that this part could have been done away with. Each and every part in it is written for a reason. There are long, descriptive passages but they are never boring.

There are a lot of characters in this book. Sometimes, the smaller characters played a big role in the story too, without them knowing it. The story intertwines in such a beautiful way that I am always left in awe of the author. But Harry, the main character, is probably the most unique character I’ve ever read about. He is unexpected. Sometimes, he is selfish, sometimes, selfless. Sometimes, he is brave and caring and the other times, he couldn’t care less. And you can never guess which side of him you’re going to see but you root for him nonetheless. He is so flawed that he is perfect. And the antagonist of the story is another strange individual. I couldn’t hate him no matter how much I tried because Harry couldn’t fully hate him. He is weird and manic but some part of me still admired him.

There are a lot of complicated concepts in this book. When you start the story, I’m sure that you would be confused. I was very confused and wondered every minute where the story was going. I found this aspect of the book very interesting. But when I read some comments on Goodreads, I found out that many people couldn’t get through the first part of the book. If any of you have such difficulty going through it, I would suggest that you push through. Because I think that in the end, it’s going to be worth it.

So, that’s it for today. I recommend this book for its uniqueness. I know that I used this word a lot throughout this post but I couldn’t find any other adjective to describe this book! Anyway, I hope you liked this. Please comment if you’ve already read this book and how you found out about it. Thank you so much for reading! Until next time then!

Fin!

My rating-4.5/5.

My Goodreads rating- 5/5.

-Sanchita.

Book Discussion: Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel

This book was surprising. It was surprising that I decided to buy it as I basically did that on a whim. The story was surprising. The emotions that this book aroused, even more so. This book has amazing reviews on Goodreads but it’s premise didn’t sound that interesting to me. Thank god I finally decided to pick it up. Because trust me, you probably have never read a book quite like this ever in your life.

Goodreads Synopsis

An audacious, darkly glittering novel set in the eerie days of civilization’s collapse, Station Eleven tells the spellbinding story of a Hollywood star, his would-be savior, and a nomadic group of actors roaming the scattered outposts of the Great Lakes region, risking everything for art and humanity.

One snowy night Arthur Leander, a famous actor, has a heart attack onstage during a production of King Lear. Jeevan Chaudhary, a paparazzo-turned-EMT, is in the audience and leaps to his aid. A child actress named Kirsten Raymonde watches in horror as Jeevan performs CPR, pumping Arthur’s chest as the curtain drops, but Arthur is dead. That same night, as Jeevan walks home from the theater, a terrible flu begins to spread. Hospitals are flooded and Jeevan and his brother barricade themselves inside an apartment, watching out the window as cars clog the highways, gunshots ring out, and life disintegrates around them.

Fifteen years later, Kirsten is an actress with the Traveling Symphony. Together, this small troupe moves between the settlements of an altered world, performing Shakespeare and music for scattered communities of survivors. Written on their caravan, and tattooed on Kirsten’s arm is a line from Star Trek: “Because survival is insufficient.” But when they arrive in St. Deborah by the Water, they encounter a violent prophet who digs graves for anyone who dares to leave.

Spanning decades, moving back and forth in time, and vividly depicting life before and after the pandemic, this suspenseful, elegiac novel is rife with beauty. As Arthur falls in and out of love, as Jeevan watches the newscasters say their final good-byes, and as Kirsten finds herself caught in the crosshairs of the prophet, we see the strange twists of fate that connect them all. A novel of art, memory, and ambition, Station Eleven tells a story about the relationships that sustain us, the ephemeral nature of fame, and the beauty of the world as we know it.

This book was recommended by many. And now I am going to recommend this to you guys. The first thing that I want to talk about is how this book highlighted the good parts of humanity. Nowadays, almost all of the book that we read, are about the cruelty, the immorality and the savageness of humans. But this book is just the opposite. It is a story of survival without the negativity that comes with these stories. Though there are a lot of things that may be perceived as cruelty in the story, the writing prevents you from interpreting them in a negative fashion. The story tells you that each and everyone of us are interconnected. It is positive and inspiring. And that makes it unique.

Then there’s the writing style. It’s so beautiful! It is subtle but not too subtle. She has her unique style of writing but it is not ornamental. It doesn’t distract from the story. Also, you can never get ahead of her. Every time you think that you notice something that can later prove to be substantial, she reveals it in the very next chapter and it doesn’t lead up to anything big. That’s another great thing about this book. There’s no “big” thing that the whole story is leading up to. Each and every moment in the story is precious and they add up with the ending to form a beautiful story.

The characters in this are a different story altogether. They are each unique in their own way. And the uniqueness of the characters make it possible for them to make unique decisions which lead to certain events in the story which wouldn’t have happened otherwise. If you have already read the story, you will understand that how certain things come in possession of certain people is purely the result of their own personalities mixed with some coincidences. Jeevan, Arthur, Miranda, Elizabeth, Tyler, Tanya, Kristin, August, Clark and all the other people are playing their parts in their specific way and the result is astonishing.

This is a post-apocalyptic, dystopian novel. And these are so common right now that it is hard to find original content in this genre. And this author managed to do that. I am so in awe of her creativity and her ability to create such a fantastic world. I know this review sounds so heavy and it may even sound pretentious but trust me, when you read the book, you’ll know. It’s so very hard to describe the book! I feel like I would never be able to do justice to the book if I try to describe it or suggest it to someone. But you have seen the synopsis, and if you are even a little bit interested, I request you to take my word for it once and just give it a go. I am sure that it’s going to grip you from the first page and won’t let you go! There are so many things that I have not talked about in this post. In fact, I managed to cover only the bare minimum in this. There are so many themes within this book. I mean, so many Shakespearean themes are used in this and there are so many that I couldn’t even begin to understand! It’s so complex and yet so simple. It’s a book of many contradictions.

Okay. I HAVE to stop now. Otherwise, I am going to keep on rambling and make this post more boring to read than it already is. But please TRY to give this a go. This is the first book I read in 2016 and I’m so glad I did that. Please comment your thoughts if you’ve read this book! I would love to hear them so much! I have so much left to say but I have to stop here now. See you again soon!

Fin!

My rating- 4.5/5.

My Goodreads rating- 5/5.

-Sanchita.

Book Discussion: More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera.

19542841I’m more happy than not. Don’t forget me.” The last words of this book stay with you for a long time. And for me, so will the book. It made me go through so many emotions that I don’t even know where to start. I want to shout out that I would never forget you Aaron. But that won’t be the truth. I am probably going to forget about him after a few years. All I can say is that right now, it’s one of my favorite books ever.

Goodreads Summary-

The Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto — miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Adam Silvera’s extraordinary debut novel offers a unique confrontation of race, class and sexuality during one charged near-future summer in the Bronx.

This is a science fiction slash contemporary book that was released recently. I have heard about the book so much but booktubers Raeleen of padfootandprongs07 and Kat of Katytastic gave such great reviews about this book that I had to pick it up. And I am so happy that I did. I have only read one LGBTQ+ book before and that was “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” which was amazing. When I picked this one up, I didn’t expect it to be as great as the last one. But I loved this book even more. I don’t know what it was about Aaron that made him so lovable but he found a place in my heart. I don’t know if I would be able to describe exactly how amazing this book was but I am going to try. So please bear with me.

The book, as shown in the description, is about a boy named Aaron who is discovering that he is gay. But his neighborhood does not approve of it and so he has to keep it a secret. Adding to these difficulties, he also has to deal with a traumatic past where his father committed suicide in their bathtub and Aaron, too, trying to commit suicide in the aftermath. The story starts with Aaron meeting Thomas and slowly discovering that he is gay. But Aaron also has a girlfriend who have loved and supported him throughout his life. So, as you can understand, there are a lot of complications. The first part of the book deals with all these and reads like any regular contemporary book. But the second part of the book, where the Sci-Fi components come in, is what elevates this book to a whole new level. The Loteo procedure is sort of like the memory-erasing procedure of the movie “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind” but here it is memory altering instead. I can assure you that the twist in this book will leave you astounded. I can’t talk about it much because I don’t want to spoil it for you. But trust me on this, when it comes, you will feel stupid as to why you didn’t see that coming. And the last few pages are emotionally exhausting. I felt so many emotions in those few pages that I couldn’t decide whether I was happy or sad. But ultimately, I guess, I was more happy than not.

Now, it’s time to discuss the characters. Aaron, the protagonist, is the voice of this novel. From the beginning of this story, he is in quest of happiness. As the story ends, you can’t help but wonder if anything that happened to him was fair. Reading these type of books always leave me feeling lucky and content. Lucky because I never have had to face anything that Aaron has experienced. And content because I felt completely satisfied with my life, even if it’s for a few hours. This should be a good time to mention that this book left me in tears of both happiness and grief. If you have read the book, you know what I am talking about. Then there is Thomas. He is to Aaron as Dante was to Aristotle; the adorable, quirky character that we can’t help but fall in love with. The movie-watching moment on Thomas’ roof is my favorite moment in the whole book. The conversations between Thomas and Aaron are a treat to witness too. Genevieve is very relatable as the girl facing unrequited love. I didn’t particularly like any of Aaron’s friends but I did enjoy reading about their moments with Aaron. Another beautiful thing about this book is that the characters are so distinct from one another that you will remember everything about them. The character development that each of them go through is also a thing to notice and marvel at.

All I can say is that please go read the book. I highly recommend it! And if you have read the book, please comment because I really, really, really want to discuss about it with someone. This book is amazing! So don’t wait. Go read it now! I am now going to end this LONG book discussion with a quote from the book that perfectly describes my feelings about reading the book.

Memories: some can be sucker punching, others carry you forward; some stay with you forever, others you forget on your own. You can’t really know which ones you’ll survive if you don’t stay on the battlefield, bad times shooting at you like bullets. But if you’re lucky, you’ll have plenty of good times to shield you.

Fin!

My rating- 5/5.

My Goodreads rating- 5/5.

-Sanchita.