Spring Cleaning Book Tag

I love doing book tags. Thank you so much – The Green Onion Blog for nominating me for this book tag. I love his blog which is as entertaining as the blog’s name. In addition, we both share the bond of literature. So, do checkout his blog. Also, this tag was created by booktuber Jen @ Book Syrup.

Okay, so now, without wasting any more time let’s dive deep into this book tag and fish for some Q & A 😀

The struggle of getting started: a book/book series that you have struggled to begin because of its size:

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman by Laurence Sterne

This book gave me nightmares 😛 This book is not only thick in its physical appearance but the matter in it has got thick skin too. Thousands of digressions and so less of a story. First of all, it was so hard to begin and then, it was a whole another level of task to continue & finish it.

Cleaning out the closet: a book and/or book series you want to unhaul:

Icebound by Dean Koontz

I couldn’t enjoy this book. This is not my type of novel at all. There was nothing exciting in it for me- Unhaul please!

Opening windows and letting fresh air in: a book that was refreshing:

It’s definitely going to be –

Prey by Michael Crichton

I had seen a couple of sci-fi movies but science fiction as a novel genre never thrilled me. But as soon as I bought this book, it became one of my top favorites. This book was a bundle of joy for me. Crichton is simply amazing at breaking down scientific & technological complexities and presenting it as wrapped in a blanket of adrenaline rush. I just loved it. Another novel I would love to add here would be – The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson.

Washing out sheet stains: a book you wish you could rewrite a certain scene in:

True Blue by David Baldacci

It has a good story line but it becomes a little snoozy in between. I wish I could change its lethargic pace and make its ending a bit more thrilling. If, there would have been less murders, mafia, and goon fights, I would have liked it better.

Throwing out unnecessary knick-knacks: a book in a series that you didn’t feel was necessary:

I am not a series fan, so, I don’t own much. I had only read one series and that was –

The Fey series by Julie Kagawa

and I have nothing to complain about it. I loved it. In fact, I am really hoping that somebody turns it into a movie, it would slay ❤

Polishing the doorknobs: a book that had a clean finish:

Exclusive by Sandra Brown and 1st to Die By James Patterson

I think both of them nailed the endings. These two books are just so perfect. Powerful beginnings, no bumpy rides, no dozing off in between, clean sweep end, and loads of thrill & cliffhangers – everything just so perfect. They keep you on the edge and have just the right amount of stuff that you are looking forward to experience. I recommend these 2 beauties, heavily!

The tiring yet satisfying finish of spring cleaning: a book that was tiring yet satisfying to get through:

I think here I want to mention Dan Brown. You pick any of his novels, there would be a hell lot of running and collecting the piece to solve the puzzle which makes the journey tiring. But the ending comes as a breath of fresh air; satisfying & perfect.

Looking forward to next spring: Tag 5 people you want to do this tag:

The Review Author

Chapterswelove

Truthiskef

Thebayreads

Onceuponaspine

Guest Posts are Welcomed

Here is your chance to feature on Novelacious 😀

What’s up Novelacians?!

I hope you all are in great health. So, I’ve come here to give you some good news. But before that, I heartily thank all our followers for showing Novelacious so much support & love. Okay, so, now, let’s head towards the good news. Since we are receiving good amount of followers day by day, I am giving you an opportunity to promote your blogs/websites by joining us as a guest post writer.

Yes, we are welcoming guest posts by bloggers around the world. Guest posting will give aspiring bloggers a chance to feature on my blog and it is a great way to promote their own blogs/sites. You can join my team for as long as you like, provided that your content is great for my blog. So, I am laying down the rules of guest posting below. Hope I will get some great guest post writers.

Rules to be followed:

  1. This blog is about books & literature, so, you must write your posts accordingly. I am accepting anything from the realm of literature, books and reading. You can submit short stories (fiction/non-fiction), poems, thoughts, book reviews, discussion on any literary topic, books made into movies’ reviews, tv series’ reviews, favorite books and even writing tips for aspiring writers.                                    
  2. You must provide me a snippet before hopping on to write your post.
  3. I won’t publish already published posts.
  4. I’ll need at least 2 posts a month.

P. S. – If, I would like your work, you can be a regular contributor to my blog and I can even offer you an internship with my team.

Thus, these were the rules for guest posting. So, if, you would like to be our guest post writer then, comment below or you can write to us at – novelacious@gmail.com

Stay tuned and happy reading 😀

Cheers! xoxo

Books that Inspire Human Spirit (A Discussion) – Guest Post #2

A guest post by literati Sandy Chin 🙂

I know I had been absent for sometime now due to my academics, so here I am with my next guest post by Sandy Chin. She runs an amazingly informative and extremely vibrant blog – The Olive Beetle. Do stop by her blog to get adrenaline kicking. Now, off you go and read this inspiring article she submitted 🙂

There are many books that remain with us. They live in our memories for different reasons. Often, we recall Roald Dahl with warm feelings of childhood, and recall J.R.R. Tolkien with feelings of other worlds. But today, I am going to talk about books that inspire our human spirit. So, I shall be mentioning two of those books.

The first is The Emperor of All Maladies by Siddhartha Mukherjee. In this book, readers are led through the history of cancer and witness human struggles and triumphs against this pervasive disease. With the humanness of narration, one can’t help but be drawn into this “war against cancer”. One is constantly delighted to find a vaccine alongside the researchers. One celebrates as the vaccine eventually gains success in human trials, albeit only ten years later. Two, one sighs as patients hold on dearly to their lives. Through these centuries of sheer perseverance of researchers, doctors and patients, we gain hope. We learn that hope is borne not out of blind faith, but out of effort – of continuous struggle, perseverance and unity. We may regard such a grave subject with apprehension; yet we must remember that human spirit is formed only through struggle.

The second is Awakenings by late Dr. Oliver Sacks. In this book, readers are led into lives that have been thwarted by the sleeping-sickness epidemic after World War I. Of the millions that fell ill to this encephalitis lethargica, only a small number survived. These patients were admitted to total palliative care institutions, where they lived in frozen states – unmoving, unmotivated – as non-persons. In 1960s, the drug, L-Dopa was introduced and these patients awakened. Finally, after decades, they were able to move, speak and write. They became persons again. However, the miracle was short-lived as many began to suffer side effects such as manic episodes of uncontrollable urges and temper. A few patients decided to be taken off L-Dopa, and receded back into their frozen states. Dr. Sacks recounted these individual experiences with deep reflective intelligence, honesty and compassion. The reader cannot help but be moved by their struggle, triumph and loss. Also, one gains wisdom through Dr. Sacks, in his determination to accommodate the sea of troubles. One learns that human spirit is borne not only through individual struggle, but also through having deep compassion for others.

Okay! So, if, you have any books that you wanna add to this list, then plz do. Also, you are welcome to comment the list of books that left a deep impact on you, in any special way 🙂

Cheers xoxo!

5 Ways to Improve Young Adult Fiction Writing- Guest Post #1

First guest post of the month by writer Michael Blaylock

I am beyond thrilled to feature this awesome guest post by the writer Michael Blaylock. He is the author of supernatural/fantasy novella, Ferryman and runs an amazing website called- Fencingwithink.com 

Let’s head to his post now:

Oooookay. So the Young Adult genre and I have a little bit of love-hate relationship. I love many of the concepts, but hate many of the books.

Why? Simple: terrible writing about interesting ideas with poor execution dressed up in sensationalism.

In my opinion.

Granted, I am not in the YA audience anymore. But unless we’ve decided that the YA audience is stupid and doesn’t deserve good books, we still need standards.

So here are five ideas for making Young Adult fiction better.

Or in some cases, just making it good.

1. No More Dystopias

YA is an audience, not a genre. You can write anything. You can write a YA Western, Historical Fiction, Contemporary, even a Non-Supernatural Romance.

So how about we all agree the bleak future where there world is overrun by war and destruction, then taken over by an evil government that likes to oppress its population and make its children play deadly games to prove themselves has been done to death?

What’s that? You like bleak dystopian future stories? Well, then…

2. Better Dystopias

Hunger Games worked (the first one). Why? Because it thought out its history. War ravaged the world, then the Capital came to power and enslaved the other districts, forcing their children to play a mass-murder game as a constant reminder of their power. It’s simple, yet draws on actual political mindsets and the trend of reality TV.

I read that book only once and remembered the backstory.

In Divergent, the world split into personality factions because…um…I honestly can’t remember after reading the book and watching the movie. And if you say, “They explain it in later books,” well then the first book should have been good enough to keep reading the series.

Concepts are only as good as their execution. How did the world get this way? Why? What effect did it have and why those particular effects? Who benefits from the oppression? And how? And why?

In fact, just ask everything about your story “How?” and “Why?” and you’ll fare much better than even the most popular YA stories. Heck, even some non-YA stories.

3. Lead Characters with Character

Darrow from Red Rising is a Gary Stu. He’s perfect except when the plot needs him to not be. His only real talent is being clever except when he’s not. And yet he’s better than everyone at everything. He’s so amazing that the plot just stagnates because there’s no tension.

And I have no idea who he is. He’s angry, sure, but that’s a reaction, not a personality trait. He’s thrust into extremes and playacting without us ever really getting to know who he is when he’s just being himself. As a result, he’s boring and it’s difficult to relate to him.

Sadly, he is not alone. Too many YA female characters are good at fighting, then suddenly aren’t (usually when there’s a man around). And then they suddenly are again, at the least-believable moment (fake tension). Or have a generically-special trait that makes them unique and important in lieu of actual character development (the chosen one).

If you’re going to make me follow somebody for 350 pages (usually in first person), I need to like them. Give them motivation, personality, comfort zones, history, preferences, all those things that make up an individual. In short, don’t just give them situations, give them character to rub against the situation.

4. Love Stories with Actual Depth (or No Love Stories)

Why does every YA love triangle whittle down to Edward vs. Jacob? One guy is mysterious and sexy, but scary. The other is wonderful and available, but bland. How about a love triangle where each option fits the lead in some unique and reasonable way, rather than rehashing the light-vs-darkness love story?

Or how about a love story without the triangle? You know, like most people? And I don’t mean “love story” as in steamy glances and more blushes than the cosmetics industry. I mean characters growing together, appreciating each other, and helping each other. Preferably without a shirtless scene that’s only there because the author read Fifty Shades of Gray but didn’t want to lose her book contract, so she settled.

Friggin’ underage smut…

And here’s one more crazy idea: what if there was no love story? Or perhaps the love story was in the background? How would that push the book in a new direction? It’s almost like the main character would have to actually grow on their own. Or that they can just be friends with the opposite sex.

Or other messages the YA demographic could really use right now.

5. Goodness Without Gimmicks 

This summarizes everything that makes the YA genre function or fail: what is your story like in the downtime?

When your characters aren’t fighting “The Man,” do they have anything interesting to say? Is the dialogue functional and appropriate for the person speaking it or is it rote blabber we’ve heard before? Do you have a story or just a concept?

I made fun of Divergent before because it was a cool idea, but lacked in execution. It had a nice hierarchy and division of peoples, but couldn’t make me believe it. Many YA stories have neat ideas, whether the end of the world, dragon riders, or love stories. But you can’t write an idea. You can only write a story.

Joel Schumaker took Batman and made him a laughing stock. Christopher Nolan came right after him and made Batman serious. Two creators can take the same premise and one will succeed while the other will fail.

Good writing is more than cool marketing and sensational gimmicks. It’s why Hunger Games is beloved, but Mockingjay disappointed. The first knew what to do with the materials it had, but the final book did not (I’m aware deadlines played into the story, but the result is the same).

A good writer chooses the right words, creates fleshed-out characters, and understands the nuances of subtlety and art. A bad writer only has neat, in-your-face ideas. It might make a lot of money, but in the end it will be laughed at, derided, or forgotten.

Good writing lasts forever.

Worth melting for you…

Coz some people are worth melting for ❤

“Ignorance is bliss”, they say

and I was an ardent follower too.

Surprises never crossed my way,

only, until you decided to woo.

 

Hugging me with all the love was something

which you did then, and still do.

It’s been a year now, of our togetherness

clearly, it was worth melting for you!

 

Perfect in every sense

like an angelic presence you have been.

For me, your passion is so intense

that our love is a kind no one has seen.

World Book Day & Remembering Shakespeare

“A book is a gift you can open again and again.” – Garrison Keillor

Happy World Book Day guys ❤

In this digitally enslaved world, we have lost many of our readers to the technology. Almost everybody prefers to read online or watch movies instead of putting even a little effort in buying & reading a book. So, taking the advantage of this blog; a global platform, I would really want to appeal to people to buy tangible books and read as much as they can. Books are really magical. If, you are a non-reader then please take a pledge this day to read at least 1 book in your free time. Books carry the power to transport you to a land full of bliss. Trust me, once you will read a book, you will get addicted to reading. By buying books, one not only gets the opportunity to submerge her/himself in the ocean of words but also it’s a great way to encourage aspiring writers. So, buy more & more books and allow your life to be changed drastically. Once a reader, always a reader ❤ 🙂

Also, today is the death anniversary of the evergreen William Shakespeare. I would just want to quote one of my favorite Shakespearean quotes –

“We know what we are, but know not what we may be.”

P.S. – Thank you for such a heart warming response for our previous post about guest post writing. We have received and are still receiving huge amount of mails for guest posting. So, I hope, I’d be able to schedule as many guest posts as possible 🙂

10 Upcoming Thriller Novels of 2017 I am Extremely Excited About

Upcoming Thriller delight list 😀

By now, you all must be familiar with my crazy/insane/neurotic (LOL) love for thrillers. I am a die-hard thriller/mystery fan; they are the bread & wine of my life. So, today I will be listing 10 of the upcoming thriller novels of 2017 I am excited AF about. The list includes some of my top favorite novelists like Grisham & Patterson along with some newbies (for me). You can click the pictures and read their synopsis. You can also pre-order these books by clicking on the image and a link will open which will allow you to order. Since I am a pretty huge fan of thrillers, therefore, I have already pre-ordered all of them. So, let’s get started:-

                                                                                     

If, I have missed out any of your upcoming thriller then, do let me know about it via the comments section 🙂

Cheers!

Moonlight Movie Review – Showcasing Black Lives Matter!

Usually, I don’t review movies but I found it to be an extremely influential one (and also, because it won so many awards). So, I thought I should dedicate one post to it. Thus, here are my thoughts on it :-

“At some point, you gotta decide for yourself who you’re going to be. Can’t let nobody make that decision for you.” – Juan to Chiron (Moonlight)

This is the phrase which reverberates throughout the 74th Academy awards winning movie, Moonlight. Lately, you must have seen a lot of Hollywood movies dealing with the theme of searching one’s own identity, exploration of self or going through an identity crisis. But, one thing those movies never portrayed was the journey of self discovery of a character who is socially, culturally and economically marginalized. This is what the director producer of Moonlight, Barry Jenkins beautifully portrays through the cinematic front.

Moonlight, is basically a bildungsroman of an African-American boy called, Chiron. The story is set against the time when there was a crack crisis (drug-dealing) in Miami city. The timeline of this movie is divided into three parts. It begins with Chiron in his early childhood, then his struggling teenage years and finally, concludes with Chiron being a fully grown up man. Audience is served with three broad social questions as soon as the first part sets into motion. The first two obvious questions being the cultural & economical marginalization faced by an African-American in a white man’s land. Third being the question of homosexuality. Chiron is called, “little” at school because of his homosexuality and he has Paula, who has completely failed as a mother due to her obsessive addiction with drugs. The unfortunate part is that he is neither aware of being gay nor has someone to talk about it. Finally, he finds a father-figure in Juan, a drug dealer, who probes Chiron to find his own identity and come to terms with it.

But soon, Juan is also snatched away from Chiron by the hands of death. Then, comes the second phase, where we see Chiron stepping into his teenage years. He is already carrying a ruptured psychology and a mother who is a non-existent entity in his life. He is still bullied for being gay. But, amongst all this, his friend Kevin comes to his rescue. He provides him the familial support and even helps him understand his sexuality. There is a scene where they kiss each other and share some intimate moments on a moonlit beach. Soon this also fades away when Chiron gets arrested for hurting a fellow student.

In the third and final phase, we see Chiron coming out of prison and becoming a dealer of drugs. At this point, he forgives his mother for failing terribly at motherhood and is reunited with Kevin. Although, Kevin is now married to a woman, he expresses his discomfort towards the ways things turned out for him. This shows how most of the black gay men are impelled by the society to confirm to hetero-normative relations. Chiron confesses his love for Kevin and the scene ends with the two embracing each other.

Undoubtedly, it is a must watch movie and Barry Jenkins has done a marvelous job. He has provided a prestigious place in the cinema to explore the potentials & struggles of “Black Lives”.

What are your thoughts on this movie? Have you seen it yet or not? Or are you planning to watch it anytime soon? And do you think I should do movie reviews along with book reviews? Share your opinions in the comments section below.

Cheers! 😀