We are okay by Nina LaCour – A scintillating read!

You go through life thinking there’s so much you need…

Until you leave with only your phone, your wallet, and a picture of your mother.
Marin hasn’t spoken to anyone from her old life since the day she left everything behind. No one knows the truth about those final weeks. Not even her best friend, Mabel. But even thousands of miles away from the California coast, at college in New York, Marin still feels the pull of the life and tragedy she’s tried to outrun. Now, months later, alone in an emptied dorm for winter break, Marin waits. Mabel is coming to visit, and Marin will be forced to face everything that’s been left unsaid and finally confront the loneliness that has made a home in her heart.

– Book Blurb taken from Goodreads

My Review: 

I was fishing out for a good book on Goodreads for quite some time, but whatever I found prior to We Are Okay was either too boring or uninspiring for my brain buds. I was almost dejected and resolved on taking a hiatus from reading and then voila! I found “We are Okay” by Nina LaCour 😀
Firstly, the main thing that seized my attention regarding this book was obviously its cover – so gorgeous!  And, it’s not just a pretty book I tell you, it has so much to offer to the readers in terms of content in easy and simple words that can be easily comprehended by anybody. The story is masterfully interwoven with poetic semblance and brilliant insight with regard to human reaction to loss and pain that you cannot help but applaud the author for her thoughts. This was my first from Nina LaCour, but decidedly not my last! I will definitely be looking for  more of what she has to offer ’cause boy is she a wordsmith and how! You just have to read it to believe it. 

When it came to the plot, it actually added up as a pleasant surprise to me when it started playing out as it did ’cause I absolutely didn’t expect of what the author really had in mind and where she was going with this novel. Hence, it was better than my expectations!  Both, Marin and Mabel will touch your heart within the short duration of time you are going to pass with them. They’re so adorable, like, genuinely. The character development is excellent and gripping which drives the total plot. 

All in all, it is a scintillating tale of Marin and Mabel as they both discern their opinions of life and loss. I hope you relish it as much as I did! 

I highly recommend to this book if you are going through a phase of pain and loss in life. 

🌹 Happy reading 🌹

Favorite quotations from the book- 

  • I must have shut grief out. Found it in books. Cried over fiction instead of the truth. The truth was unconfined, unadorned. There was no poetic language to it, no yellow butterflies, no epic floods. There wasn’t a town trapped underwater or generations of men with the same name destined to repeat the same mistakes. The truth was vast enough to drown in.- Nina LaCour
  • The most innocent things can call back the most terrible.
  • “I do not mean the difficulty. I do not mean the sex. I mean there are too many failings. Not enough hope. Everything is despair. Everything is suffering. What I mean is don’t be a person who seeks out grief. There is enough of that in life.” – Nina Lacour

The Vanishing Year: Gripping, Edgy and Smart. 🌟🌟🌟

BOOK BLURB TAKEN FROM GOODREADS:


Zoe Whittaker is living a charmed life. She is the beautiful young wife to handsome, charming Wall Street tycoon Henry Whittaker. She is a member of Manhattan’s social elite. She is on the board of one of the city’s most prestigious philanthropic organizations. She has a perfect Tribeca penthouse in the city and a gorgeous lake house in the country. The finest wine, the most up-to-date fashion, and the most luxurious vacations are all at her fingertips.

What no one knows is that five years ago, Zoe’s life was in danger. Back then, Zoe wasn’t Zoe at all. Now her secrets are coming back to haunt her. As the past and present collide, Zoe must decide who she can trust before she—whoever she is—vanishes completely. 

The Vanishing Year combines the classic sophistication of Ruth Rendell and A.S.A. Harrison with the thoroughly modern flair of Jessica Knoll. Told from the point-of-view of a heroine who is as relatable as she is enigmatic, The Vanishing Year is an unforgettable new novel by a rising star of the genre.

 

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My Review: 

A first from Kate Moretti and boy was it good! 😉
The writing is very gripping, I must credit the author for that, it definitely kept me on the edge to find out what the hell is going to happen next!? I felt like I was living a dual life – my real one and the one beautifully hosted by Kate Moretti. It is an engrossing thriller about families and relationships that have too many dirty secrets for their own good, ha-ha! While I was devouring the story, I couldn’t help but notice the slight, although a vivid resemblance to the epic psychological thriller REBECCA.  I’m not complaining because I loved Rebecca and anything mildly inspired by that tale only intrigues me.
The single place where this otherwise mind blowing thriller led me down was that some parts of it were overly described, but then again, maybe it was necessary to create the bond between the protagonist and the readers? Could be! 

Arriving to the twist part, I HATE to make the right guess, but unfortunately here I made the right guess 😓😓 and it happens so that I lost my  “omg what” moment!  

Overall,  it is an interesting book which will keep you on the edge of your seat to jump right to the bottom of matters. Savour it!

Favorite quotes:

Everyone wants to be loved for who they are, even if we keep our true selves locked up and hidden. It’s a nice little fantasy to believe that the right person holds the key and all the things you do not say are just somehow, magically, known.- Kate Moretti

He’s nearly perfect. But is he good?-Kate Moretti

Ideas are infallible, people are not. – Kate Moretti

Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath

I was truly fascinated by the book’s blurb, but I hadn’t a clue why “Bell Jar” could have been used the title of a semi-autobiography. Once I downloaded the PDF copy of Bell Jar and started reading it, I can’t conceive of a better title for this book. 

The dark yet compelling accounts of Sylvia’s life will keep you hooked and stir your emotions gently but powerfully. 

What is crazy? What is insane?  What is genius?  Who are loony? Perhaps we’re all a bit of everything. 

I learnt a good deal about depression and how it can cruelly rob you of your talent. 
The biography explains the true face of mental illness and clinical depression and how it associates itself like a Bell Jar upon a person’s normal thought process blurring the real spirit and any trace of happiness. 

Iam. I am. I am
I am alive breathing and existing. Iam alive breathing and existing. 
I am alive breathing and existing. 

Iam.Iam.Iam

.

Through this book I was introduced to the life of Sylvia and her poems and I am glad that I found out so much about her. Truly a literary mastermind!
Excerpts:


   

My thoughts on Murakami’s Norwegian Wood

 

norwegian wood.jpg

My expectations from Murakami went a notch higher after the impression of what Kafka on the shore left on me but, unfortunately, Norweigan Wood flat lined for me, big time!

I was really looking forward to being cast under the “Murakami spell” by reading this book but all I got was a “Murakami fatigue” :p (But, he still is a great writer undoubtedly). It would be really harsh and foolish of me if I regarded him as boredom inducing writer by judging him for this book alone; because I have heard that some of his other works are pure geniuses. One being Kafka-I can’t stop gushing about this book enough it is almost annoying. 😀

Coming to Norwegian Wood, I sensed that this volume was too disheartening, weird and miserable. I believe that if I had to read any further about Naoko’s time in Ami’s hostel then I guess I myself would have been admitted to the facility lol! *sigh*. On top of that, you see every other character dying just after being familiarized in the book, what the hell? *facepalm* thus the saga of death, gloom, and misery continues without any sign of recovery from the characters which becomes unbearable at a specific point and you are delighted to have reached the end.

There was this one particular character in the book that I grew fond of- Midori Kobayashi. She is very witty, smart and brave I insta-loved her when she entered this deeply depressing novel. Without Midori, I guess I would have given up on this midway so thanks to HER I managed to stay put until the end.

Have you read Norwegian Wood? If yes, don’t forget to tell me how did you like it!

If you are on Goodreads wouldn’t it be lovely for us to catch-up there as well and see which book is giving ultimate the feels? I reckon it’ll be lovely! So, find me there as Anaida Sultana itself.

 

 

Book Review: Kafka On The Shore 

I just finished reading one of the notable works of Haruki Murakami – The Kafka On The Shore and I’m floored. Never has any book brought me a tingling excitement, a sort of internal exhilaration like this one did. Murakami’s ideas, opinions and emotions are majestically carved into simple words which will compel you to think beyond the boundaries of the everyday life. 

He intelligently teases the realms of possibility in each paragraph, but there is nothing absurd or senseless about it. Kafka On The Shore is a fiction which will help you see yourself and the reality you live in a little bit better. I’m absolutely in awe around the way in which all the events are connected so well, despite being too far  away to form a tangible and meaningful connection, but Murakami has done it with so much simplicity that as a reader you’re internally slow clapping for him. 
Each character possesses a different story to tell. The characters developed by him are so mesmerising, it feels almost as though you are actually living their life as well as their story. To me, that is extremely important while reading; to constitute a bond with the people about whom I am reading . In short,  all the people constituting in this story are delightful folks and you just cannot help but love them with all your spirit. 

After completing this book there is a kind of seismic shift in me, my thought process. The window through which I looked at life has definitely been altered for good, of course.  With this book I am taking with me a great deal of life lessons,  stories and adventures which are permanently secured in my private library of fond memories. 
This book is a must read for everyone, whether you like philosophy or not. The elements of metaphysics and the metaphors described enhance the beauty of the literature. I request each one of you to at least give it a try, it is once in a life time kind of a novel.
It is safe to say that Kafka on the shore is my favourite book till date. 

SOME OF MY FAVOURITE EXCERPTS FROM THE BOOK-


 

Book Review: The Twilight Wife

TWILIGHT WIFE by AJ Banner
My Rating: 4 Stars

Genre: Mystery 

Favourite Quotes From The Book:

1.The brain is a mystery,” I say, looking down into my coffee.“Yours is a beautiful mystery.

2.There isn’t any map for recovery, except the one you create for yourself. With time.

Review:

The twilight wife is the book that falls under the category of the mystery genre. Written by AJ Banner, the narrative follows the life of Kyra after a near fatal diving accident at the Deception Pass where the water current is ferocious. After sustaining a near death experience at the Deception Pass Kyra loses four years of memory and is frustrated  by her own inability to trust her brain to make basic decisions about people,  life in general. Kyra has a doting husband who looks after her like she is the only person in the world; he is committed to helping his “wife” to  get her back on track but Kyra is not at ease despite her “husband’s” best efforts. But, why? That’s what this book is all about.

If you have interests in the marine life, this book will absolutely be a delight because there are wonderful descriptions of ocean creatures,  sea shells and beaches throughout the book. The description of the places and people are very vivid and tangible. That’s what I really loved about this book. The plot twist is mind – boggling to say the least. You cannot have seen it coming AT ALL. The author has performed a great job there.
On the whole this a short book with characters that will remain with you; it has beautiful yet lonesome beaches. It is not so dark but definitely keeps you on your toes to find out more about Kyra and her journey to discover the truth.