The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

Image via goodreads.com

Read: July 10th, 2011

My Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads blurb:

It’s just a small story really, about among other things: a girl, some words, an accordionist, some fanatical Germans, a Jewish fist-fighter, and quite a lot of thievery. . . .

Set during World War II in Germany, Markus Zusak’s groundbreaking new novel is the story of Liesel Meminger, a foster girl living outside of Munich. Liesel scratches out a meager existence for herself by stealing when she encounters something she can’t resist–books. With the help of her accordion-playing foster father, she learns to read and shares her stolen books with her neighbors during bombing raids as well as with the Jewish man hidden in her basement before he is marched to Dachau.

This is an unforgettable story about the ability of books to feed the soul.
From the Hardcover edition.

My Review:

Today, Sunday the 10th July, around 1:55 AM, I had finished the most beautiful book I’ve ever read. A book, though breathtakingly beautiful, showed mankind at its worst and its best. How? I have no words that could tell you. Maybe the words were there, but they weren’t enough, no amount of them could ever be.I couldn’t find one word that could that could describe the way this book made me feel as I burned through its pages full of life and death and as I read every single word it held so dearly.

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The Magician’s Nephew (The Cronicles of Narnia #1) by C.S Lewis

Cover via Goodreads.com

My Rating: 5 stars

Goodreads Blurb

When Digory and Polly are tricked by Digory’s peculiar Uncle Andrew into becoming part of an experiment, they set off on the adventure of a lifetime. What happens to the children when they touch Uncle Andrew’s magic rings is far beyond anything even the old magician could have imagined.

Hurtled into the Wood between the Worlds, the children soon find that they can enter many worlds through the mysterious pools there. In one world they encounter the evil Queen Jadis, who wreaks havoc in the streets of London when she is accidentally brought back with them. When they finally manage to pull her out of London, unintentionally taking along Uncle Andrew and a coachman with his horse, they find themselves in what will come to be known as the land of Narnia.

My Review

Boy oh boy, was I glad I found The Magician’s Nephew before I began The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe! This book was simply magical! Diggory and Penny’s friendship and curiosity -the kind of curiosity which only children seemed to be blessed with-  was the crucial bit that laid a foundation for the other books in the series. Though how horrid and cowardly (and ridiculously funny in his own way) Diggory’s uncle -the said ”Magician”- might have been, his role was just as important.

Here we learn about how the charming and wonderful world of Narnia came to be! Not forgetting how the White Witch, Queen Jadis, had come to lay her wretched eyes upon it’s bounty. I’m sucked into this magical world with Polly and Diggory, a world filled with love, magic, mystery, beauty beyond imagination and danger, it was certainly an honor to witness the birth of Narnia (my most favourite part), the coronation of it’s very first King and Queen and to be graced with Aslan’s noble presence, an honor I tell you.

I was filled inside with what I felt was the beginning of a rather fierce longing to be there in Narnia, to bask in the warmth of it’s new sun, to laugh and to live amongst it’s people (if I may say so for many of these people seem to have more than a pair of legs amongst other parts), to exist in a world where there were no barriers where the trees, animals and man alike can live together in harmony as a family, my kind of utopia.

I could go on but I shouldn’t, least I give away more than I already have. I highly recommend The Magician’s Nephew to everyone both adults and children, for no one’s too old for magic, adventure, friendship and love.

Goodreads Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/65605.The_Magician’s_Nephew

The Hunger Games by Suzane Collins

Cover via Goodreads.com.

My rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads blurb
In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she is forced to represent her district in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before-and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that weigh survival against humanity and life against love. Acclaimed writer Suzanne Collins, author of the New York Times bestselling The Underland Chronicles, delivers equal parts suspense and philosophy, adventure and romance, in this searing novel set in a future with unsettling parallels to our present.

My review

I can’t believe that I’ve waited so long to read this book! The time wasted seems absurd. When a book keeps me up ’til 2 in the morning, at the edge of my seat, well my bed, makes me ignore being yelled at to turn out the lights and commands my attention it definitely deserves 5 stars at least. The Hunger Games was no exception. I haven’t read a book so captivating since Harry Potter but it doesn’t beat Harry, mind you. This is a diehard Harry Potter fan talking here!

Panem had thirteen districts with the Capitol at the top of things and I emphasize on had. After the districts came together to overthrow the Capitol, District 13 was obliterated and the rest of them were in shambles, well most of them.

Long story short, the Capitol is full of a bunch of greedy power hungry, heartless loonies, with a few exceptions. Body alterations that you wouldn’t believe I mean they take surgeries to look perfect, a few dyes their skin colour, even guys wear make-up as a norm.

To remind everyone of their huge mistake the Capitol punishes everyone by forcing them to give up a boy and a girl from each district to participate in The Hunger Games, where they fight to the death until only one remains. So the people of Panem watch their children die before their eyes. Can you imagine being helpless, having no choice but to give up your kids for slaughter?

Katiness Everdeen ,from District 12, was in a fight for life from the moment she volunteered in her sister’s, Prim,place in the Hunger Games when she was chosen,which was a supprise because the odds were supposed to be in her favour! She leaves whatever comfort she had, her friends, especially Gale, her family and everything she’s known of home.

Peeta Mellark, the baker’s son, is the male tribute for District 12.Once in the only way out was to win. Katiness put her hunting skills to the test, unsure how to treat Peeta’s kindness towards her. I mean one of them will have to end up dead for the other to win. What if it turned out that one of them will die at the other’s hands? Why be so kind? He must be deceiving her, or is he?

In the end what Katiness did had ‘Rebellion’ (ahh!The sweet smell of rebellion!) all over it but she only meant to make the Gamemakers a laughing stock, when it actually made her an enemy of the Capitol. Not good news at all. But it’s not that they weren’t enemies from the start, but now the Capitol has their eyes trained on certain people from District 12.

At this point we know she lives or there wouldn’t be any Catching Fire and she made it to Mockingjay that makes it easier for me to breathe, but I know that the ride to come will leave me breathless!

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Blood Bound (Mercedes Thompson #2) by Patricia Briggs

 

Cover via Goodreads.com

Rating: 5 Stars

Goodreads blurb
Mechanic Mercy Thompson has friends in low places-and in dark ones. And now she owes one of them a favor. Since she can shape-shift at will, she agrees to act as some extra muscle when her vampire friend Stefan goes to deliver a message to another of his kind. 

But this new vampire is hardly ordinary-and neither is the demon inside of him.

The Cover
Would you look at all them tattoos!I was never one for them,uh-uh.But Mercy pulled it off nicely and she has this don’t-mess-wid-me-look!But still … I think the tattoos were a bit too much.

My review
You will find that a majority of this review may consist of my opinion of the supposed love-triangle. Blood Bound was more fast paced than Moon Called.It had me day-dreaming more than I care to admit.I don’t like love-triangles and the one in this series has me almost screaming to Mercy,”Pick one of ‘em already,woman!” Honestly,I’m not sure to say who I prefer Mercy to choose, Adam or Samuel,not that my choice matters because Mercy doesn’t take my advice.

Adam and Mercy had a rather bumpy-smooth relationship, pissing each other off every other day but things visibly change in the previous book.It turns out that Adam had a thing for Mercy for a while now and his feelings came out into the open by the end of Moon Called.Mercy has this attraction towards Adam too but she’s afraid of her reactions towards him and tries to avoid him.He had admitted that it was his alpha power thingy was what was responsible for Mercy feeling that she wanted to submit to him and told her he tries to withdraw that part of him when he’s with her away from the pack, well most of the times.
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The House on Prague Street by Hana Dementz

The cover of The House on Prague Street

Cover via Goodreads.com

Rating:5 Stars

My Review

This story takes place during the second World War in Czechoslovakia where Helen’s, a young girl through whose eyes we witness the heart wrenching events, sunny and care free world comes a-tumbling down when the Western parts of Czechoslovakia, known as the Sudetenland, were tamely handed over to the Nazis.Helen’s German father refused to divorce his Jewish wife despite the pleas of his parents who had disowned him for their marriage.

Czechoslovakia lost its independent status and became a German Protectorate under the German Reich Protector Konstantin von Neurath. So life got tougher on them like it had on the rest of the Jewish population with the passing of demeaning decrees restricting access to transport, goods and services and a whole lot of other things. Helen grew up having everything she once had, the people, places and the things she had loved snatched away from her. The House on Prague Street deeply touched me and would always have a place in my heart.Sad as it may be, it’s a book I’d re-read over again.

It’s one of my favourite World War II novels despite being sad,but grief is rather an unavoidable emotion, especially during such a frightful time caused by the warped beliefs of the self-righteous.

Link: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2566076-the-house-on-prague-street

**Crossed posted from my reviews on goodreads.