Animal Farm by George Orwell

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Book: Animal Farm

Author: George Orwell

Publication: 17th August 1945

Genre: Classic / Dystopia

Pages: 100 pages

Thoughts: This was a quick fun read with a LOT of depth. Now I say quick and fun but it does not deter from the fact that it was so spot on its almost scary.
What is amazing is that the situations and problems that were in the book still prevail in the real world, after all these years. And we turn a complete blind eye to all that. Or most of it anyway.
Hey if it ain’t happenin’ to us; it ain’t happenin’.
The political aspects were astoundingly perfect, especially in a world where the world is in the hands on a rather unsettling pig of a man. Ironic much?
It was difficult to separate the animals from thinking about them as humans with all the emotions and the brainwashing and the tyranny and the anarchy. But are the humans in today’s world really humane? Do they sense the emotions and the depth of the actions that result in severe consequences that change the way we look at things?
The story was very fast paced and easy to get into. The fable aspect of it was just a bonus. It helped in keeping the tone of the book light, despite the ugly subject it talked about.
George Orwell’s writing is something I really need to get into again. His words invoke a sense of truth that we hide from in our lives. We ignore it and don’t want to think about certain things which need to be exposed. I’ve been told that 1984 would be an excellent read after what has happened. While it doesn’t affect me personally, I feel equally attacked, as do most of the world.
The turmoil inside us is depicted excellently in the book through the animals.
Thoroughly enjoyed the novel. Keep returning to it, reminiscing about the way everything got screwed up one after the other gradually and associating it to real life. Hell is about to break loose.

Quotes: “All animals are equal. But some animals are more equal than others.”

“Man serves the interests of no creature except himself.”

Rating: 5

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Dance Like a Man by Mahesh Dattani | Review

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Name: Dance Like a Man


Author: Mahesh Dattani


Genre: Drama/Play


Pages: 75 pages


Format: Paperback


Publishing Details: 1st January 2006 by Penguin Books


Summary: Jairaj Parekh and his wife Ratna, aging Bharatnatyam dancers, are engaged in finding a substitute mridangam player to accompany their daughter Lata at her performance at a high-profile dance festival. Lata, in the meantime, nervously awaits the meeting between her parents and Viswas, the young man she wishes to marry. When the four meet, and in the conversations and discussions that follow, the fissures in the relationship between Jairaj and Ratna begin to explode into high-strung battles which lead back to their own youth and the tragedy that lies at the heart of their discord. The younger couple have their own issues to contend with: the obvious mismatch between the two sets of parents, the arguments over Lata’s career as a dancer after marriage and most unsettling of all, Lata’s attempt to balance her parents’ ambition with her own needs and desires. A brilliant study of human relationships and weaknesses framed by the age-old battle between tradition and youthful rebellion, Dance Like a Man has been hailed as one of the best works of the dramatic imagination in recent times.


Review: This play may seem very drab in the beginning but there are gems of conflict, repression, dedication, feminism, patriarchy, the love for art, prostitution, politics and much more underlying it.
The characters have different voices and opinions. They view the events unfolding in their own perspective.
Ratna, the mother has been through much grief in the past. But what stays prominent is the jealousy she harbors towards the success of her only daughter, wishing fruitlessly that she had the fame that her daughter was getting.
She not only loses something very important to her blinded by the need for fame, she also feels the same pull now. Its difficult being a mother as well as trying to make a name for yourself in that year in India. Even today, its something that not many achieve. Feminism creeps into the story without making an entrance.
Jairaj, the father has lost his will and desire to dance after the fateful events. Even so, unlike Ratna he is proud of his daughter and all that she has achieved. His relationship with his own father has molded him into the ever-supporting father and even though he hates his old man, he can’t help but remember him.
Lata, the daughter is walking down the path that her parents once set on, and then laid out for her to go on. She’s a strong independent woman who does nor back down from her opinions even if her fiance or anyone else for that matter objects to it.
Viswas played a small role. So no thoughts for him.
Overall, a great play.


Rating:  4

Inside Out Book Tag

Since I am a big fan of Disney and Pixar movies, I thought I’d do this tag. Better late than never! I really enjoyed the movie. The concept was unique and as usual the visuals were absolutely stunning.

This tag was created by Kristina over at Kristina Horner originally. You can find the video here.

Let’s get on with the tag, shall we?


1. Joy – A book that makes you happy or brings you the most joy.

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I had to go with FANGIRL by RAINBOW ROWELL for this one. Actually any of her books really. I get this gooey warm feeling whenever I pick that book up. Plus we can all agree that Cath is like the most relatable character ever.

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2. Disgust – A book that grossed you out the most.

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For this I couldn’t really find any proper answer cause I’ve never really read something utterly revolting. (Except Game of Thrones of course cause the amount of gore tbh)

So I decided to go with HORRID HIGH by PAYAL KAPADIA. The book features rather horrible teachers and rather horrible food. ‘Nuf said.

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3. Fear – A book that scared the crap outta you.

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For this I HAD to go with A MAGIC DARK AND BRIGHT by JENNY ADAMS PERINOVIC.

The book made me stay up all night after reading it because I was afraid some ghost would pop out inside my bedroom in the dark. Freakishly scary. *shivers* Do not be fooled by the pretty cover!

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4. Sadness – A book that made you cry like a baby.

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I’m guessing a lot of people would choose this book. Of course its HARRY POTTER AND THE DEATHLY HALLOWS by J.K.ROWLING! Tell me you didn’t cry during all those painful, miserable, unnecessary deaths! *sobs*

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5. Anger – A book that pissed you off.

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I recently read the first book in this bind up and I was SO disappointed! Every one seemed to love it and I went in with good expectations and BOY WAS I WRONG! I just hated it.

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Drool-Worthy Covers #10

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Name: The Loose Ends List

Author: Carrie Firestone

Publishing Details: June 7th 2016 by Little, Brown Books for Young Readers

Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Travel


Summary:  Seventeen-year-old Maddie O’Neill Levine lives a charmed life, and is primed to spend the perfect pre-college summer with her best friends and young-at-heart socialite grandmother (also Maddie’s closest confidante), tying up high school loose ends. Maddie’s plans change the instant Gram announces that she is terminally ill and has booked the family on a secret “death with dignity” cruise ship so that she can leave the world in her own unconventional way – and give the O’Neill clan an unforgettable summer of dreams-come-true in the process.

Soon, Maddie is on the trip of a lifetime with her over-the-top family. As they travel the globe, Maddie bonds with other passengers and falls for Enzo, who is processing his own grief. But despite the laughter, headiness of first love, and excitement of glamorous destinations, Maddie knows she is on the brink of losing Gram. She struggles to find the strength to say good-bye in a whirlwind summer shaped by love, loss, and the power of forgiveness.


Add it to your Goodreads TBR here!

 

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith | Book Review

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Photo and Summary taken from Goodreads


Title: The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight

Author: Jennifer E. Smith

Publishing Details: Published January 2nd 2012 by Poppy

Pages: 236 pages

Format: Kobo e-reader


Summary: Four minutes changes everything. Hadley Sullivan 17 misses her flight at JFK airport, is late to her father’s second wedding in London with never-met stepmother. Hadley meets the perfect boy. Oliver is British, sits in her row. A long night on the plane passes in a blink, but the two lose track in arrival chaos. Can fate bring them together again?


Review:

Airports. Its always the airports where it either starts or ends.
Two teenagers meet at the airport and share an interesting conversation on their way to London. It definitely was insta-love, which is something I detest. But on the other hand, I really liked the characters separately. Each of them had some characteristics and some family issues which just add in to their dynamics.
When both of them face the things they’d wanted to run from, it broke my heart and warmed it all at once.

Hadley and Oliver end up visiting each other in London, after a flury of other events and things end on a happy note. Which seemed too good to be true, but then the entire story was something I can’t possibly picture to be true. Exaggeration was everywhere, and it felt more like a rom-com/tragic movie than a book.

All in all, simple contemporary read with a couple of cliches and travel and family drama.


Rating: 3


Book Links:

Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson | Book Review

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Title: Second Chance Summer

Author: Morgan Matson

Publishing Details: Published May 8th 2012 by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pages: 482 pages

Format: Kobo e-reader


Summary: Taylor Edwards’ family might not be the closest-knit—everyone is a little too busy and over-scheduled—but for the most part, they get along just fine. Then Taylor’s dad gets devastating news, and her parents decide that the family will spend one last summer all together at their old lake house in the Pocono Mountains.

Crammed into a place much smaller and more rustic than they are used to, they begin to get to know each other again. And Taylor discovers that the people she thought she had left behind haven’t actually gone anywhere. Her former best friend is still around, as is her first boyfriend…and he’s much cuter at seventeen than he was at twelve.

As the summer progresses and the Edwards become more of a family, they’re more aware than ever that they’re battling a ticking clock. Sometimes, though, there is just enough time to get a second chance—with family, with friends, and with love.


Review: This book is just so hyped, even now, after 4 years of publishing which led to me having very very high expectations for it. I’ve never read Morgan Matson books although pretty much all she writes is a big hit.

50% – I’m waiting for something to happen. ANYTHING!
The protagonist, Taylor has no healthy relationship with anyone in the world. We get it. Yet we’re reminded that OVER and OVER again of that and the fact that something really bad happened 5 years ago which changed her life! She was 12 years old. I don’t even remember how I was back then! I don’t understand what could possibly be so terrible to have happened at such a tender age that she just completely changed?! As far as I recalled there was no such traumatic event covered in the book like – suicide, rape, murder, depression? Nothing! Something traumatic does happen, but when she’s 17. Not the same incident.

We’re info dumped about the family and that they visit the Lake house together. But that’s all they do mostly. None of them seems interested in bonding with one another, ignoring each other most of the time, getting annoyed by them, etc. You’d believe that after whatever was happening, they’d do more than just get groceries twice.

I don’t get how Lisa and Henry are still pissed for whatever went down when they were 12. Honestly. Kids don’t hold grudges that long. Henry being her neighbor STILL doesn’t bump into her as often as a normal neighbor would. Its also really irritating how we’re reminded AGAIN and AGAIN that Taylor has no special skills at all and how everyone else is superior that way.

*le sigh*

100% – Now that I know what happened 5 years back, I just feel disappointed. Its so stupid I can’t even. You can’t hate someone for something like this so early in your life. It’s just not how childhood works. Even so, I was so glad things worked out between those three.
The only part I liked about the book was probably the fact that Warren, Taylor’s brother overcame his shyness and was brave enough to face his fears head on with smart decisions, unlike Taylor herself. I feel like her character didn’t much develop throughout, and just did in the last page all of a sudden.

Also, MURPHY! I love him. ❤

*awww*

The book deals with sickness and trauma too. How everyone has a different way of coping with sadness. I especially liked how even though she was not at all close to her mother, who seemed to prefer her sister, in the end it all worked out.

I really liked Henry, and I definitely believe that he deserves much better than Taylor. #NoHate
There’s friendship, loss, family, love, heartbreak. The entire mix needed for a good contemporary. Even so I did not enjoy it as much as other people do. Most of the time I’m not bothered by such tropes, but those were all I could think of during reading this.

I know I’m in the minority here, but I really hope Matson’s other books surprise me and end up on my favorites shelf.


Rating: 3

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2016 Reading Goals

Better late than never!

I read 150 books in 2015, even though a lot were graphic novels. Since its my last year in college along with work, I’m not sure how much I’ll be able to read.

So I put my Goodreads Goal – 100 books.

I really want to finish a series per month, so 12 in total. If I don’t feel like continuing with the same, I might jump on to some other series. Here are the series I’ve chosen as of now:

  • Uglies (1/4 done)
  • A Song of Ice and Fire (hopefully) (1/5 done)
  • Eragon (1/4 done)
  • The Winner’s Curse (1/3 done)
  • The Infernal Devices (0/3 done)
  • Marked (re-read)
  • The Lunar Chronicles (1/5 done)
  • The Raven Boys Quartet (0/4 done)
  • The 5th wave (2/3 done)
  • Half Bad (0/3 done)
  • Daughter of smoke and bone (1/3 done)
  • Lux series (2/5 done)

I’d also like to read more Classics and Literary Fiction novels. I thought I’d do that with the next challenge, cause most of the books will include in both.

The Rory Gilmore Challenge

For those who don’t know what this is, the protagonist from Gilmore Girls is really into reading, and someone made a list of all the books mentioned or seen on the show. There are around 340 in total, but I picked out some I was interested in reading. I’d really like to read at least 15 out of the 25 I picked.

Ze List:

  • Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
  • Carrie by Stephen King
  • The Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
  • Charlotte’s Web by E. B. White
  • A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
  • A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
  • The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood by Rebecca Wells
  • Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde by Robert Louis Stevenson
  • Emma by Jane Austen
  • Everything Is Illuminated by Jonathan Safran Foer
  • Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
  • The God of Small Things by Arundhati Roy
  • The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Hunchback of Notre Dame by Victor Hugo
  • Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott
  • The Metamorphosis by Franz Kafka
  • The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
  • Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
  • Rapunzel by Grimm Brothers
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • The Shining by Stephen King
  • Snow White and Rose Red by Grimm Brothers
  • Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire
  • The Wizard of Oz by Frank L. Baum

 

That’s all folks! What are your goals this new year?