You Loved Me at My Darkest by Evie Harper

Every once in a while, I browse through the ‘free books for kindle’ section on amazon, which is where I came across this book. The title caught my eye almost instantly. And the cover wasn’t too bad to look at either, it made me curious as well as excited. You Loved Me at My Darkest is the first book of the You Loved Me series by Evie Harper. This book came out on 7 March, 2017 and is Harper’s most famous book out of all the 14 she has written till now.

The story begins with Lily and Sasha Morgan; two Australian sisters traveling to America for a long overdue vacation. It starts out like a good carefree holiday, but soon turns into their biggest nightmare. They’re kidnapped by a rich madman Marco running a sex slave dynasty and separated.

The story mostly revolves around Lily and Jake, one of her kidnappers; they find comfort in each others’ company and fall in love. Jake finds himself torn between his love for Lily and the duty he has to fulfill.

What I really like about this story is that even though, Sasha is hardly a main character, you can’t forget about her while reading the book since Lily’s sisterly concern is always prominent. The urgency in the dialogues show the love and affection the sisters have for one another. Lily does everything she can to plan her sister’s escape even though she knows that if she’s caught, the consequences will be brutal for both of them. The intensity of the brutality and the reality of a sex slave dynasty honestly made me cringe while reading this book. One emotion I felt most vibrantly throughout was anger.

There were parts I couldn’t understand, like how could someone fall in love with their captor? Was it Stockholm syndrome? All these questions however, are answered by the time you finish reading this book. I’ve always believed that a good ending is always better than a happy ending, and this book definitely has a good ending.

I’d give this book a 4/5 rating.

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Welcome to the fascinating world of Anime!

I am a big time anime lover. My life has never been the same after I started watching anime. In this post, I am sharing with you guys why I love anime so much. So, without further ado, let’s get started 🙂

Once upon a time there lived a young boy Ken Kaneki. He was an orphan whose best friend, Hide (pronounced hee-dae) was his whole world. One day he goes on a date with an attractive woman who turns out to be a flesh-eating monster a.k.a. a ghoul who kills Kaneki but gets killed herself after a bunch of metal pipes fall on her. Kaneki’s life is changed forever after her organs are transplanted to him making him a half-ghoul and a half-human. Interesting? Intriguing? Or do you find this story disgusting?

Welcome to the world of anime. Call it whatever you want, but the world of Anime is just plain fascinating, inspiring and crazy to me. Anime has charmed its fans for a long time and it continues to do so. Anime is usually the cartoon (I’d like to think of it as an art form) format of a Japanese manga (a comic). Japan has contributed so much to the world and this is surely one of the most significant contributions. It is written with a story whose subplots usually involve romance, drama, mystery, friendship and fantasy.

What is so special about Anime you may ask. To me it is the subtle story lines and the notorious characters. Villains are loved as much as the heroes are. Everyone is both a villain and a hero at some point in an Anime. These characters explore the gray areas of human behavior in a way no English tv show has ever done ( in my opinion). For example, there is this poignant scene in “Tokyo Ghoul” (the anime I described above) where one of the main characters, Touka, tells a human being who attacks her (something that goes along the lines of this), “why is it wrong for ghouls to exist? Is it our fault that we were born like this? Why should we not be allowed to live when we are not the monsters everyone says we are. We have families too!”. The truth is everyone has so many sides to them that sometimes is best told in the format of a fantasy story. Anime does that for me. It fills my soul and leaves me with a million philosophies at the same time.

The impact of Anime is vast. Anime has globally become a business and an industry on its own. It has also resulted in the formation of cosplay events (where participants dress up like their favorite characters) and anime clubs. Millions of fans fiction and artwork has spawned due to it. Anime is so precious as it is one medium where one can express things as it is. Life, Death, Love, Eroticism, Adventure, Fantasy and other themes are all expressed exactly as it is. The content is not watered down to serve interests. It has something for everyone from a ten-year old to a ninety -year old, Anime may be superficially child-like but it has a depth which consumes your soul before you can realize.

All in all, if you have never explored Anime, you should do so at the earliest. There is clearly more than what meets the eye in this art form. “Arigato Gozaimasu” (Thank you in Japanese) if this article has inspired you to watch it. I will do more analysis on various Anime shows as time goes by so don’t forget to keep watching this space for more.

(P.S. if you are going to watch anime please watch “Death note” as your first. It is a classic and will surely leave you shivering and craving for more).

A Thousand Splendid Suns By Khaled Hosseini

Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan born American novelist who wrote three best-selling books – Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns and And The Mountains Echoed. When I read his books I realized that Khaled Hosseini has a deep understanding of human emotions and relationships which is reflected in his writing.

                                                                   

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“A Thousand Splendid Suns” took me to the middle of Afghanistan and threw me in the turmoil that Afghanistan went through for thirty years. Khaled Hosseini left no stones unturned to describe how women were oppressed by the men who were supposed to be their protectors. But this book is not about how women were treated nor about the ongoing war. It is about the beautiful relationship that formed between two women who were supposed to be hostile towards each other. Mariam and Laila were born in two different generation but shared the same husband. Although Mariam resented Laila but later they became each other’s saviors. Mistreated and abused, Mariam and Laila found solace in each other. And that’s where the beauty of the book lies.

Most of the books only talk about lovers or blood relations but this book dealt with a much more difficult relationship which could not be termed in words. Mariam & Laila were sisters sometimes and sometimes mother and daughter but what bound them together was their love for each other. It is not a romantic novel but it has shown love in a manner that expresses love in a more complex yet better way than any romance novel could. Love in any form even as a memory is the key to survive any harshness that the world puts on us.

This book made me feel angry and disgusted at the world and yet those two women brought happiness and hope, a happiness in the midst of immense sorrow. A happiness that I never thought could be possible in such a situation but Khaled Hosseini showed me that the heart had mysterious ways to find hope of survival.

I would give this book a 5/5 rating and would recommend it to the readers, so that, they themselves could experience the emotions that I have experienced through Hosseini’s writing.

The Man who Fell in Love with his Wife By Paul Burke

Paul Burke is a lesser known novelist and a better known copywriter & screen writer. Before becoming an author, Paul Burke wrote some of Britain’s best-loved TV commercials, including campaigns for Barclaycard, PG Tips, Volkswagen and Budweiser. He is best known for his book – Father Frank and The Man who Fell in Love with his Wife is his third novel.

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“From the moment Father Frank Dempsey’s covetous gaze fell upon Sarah Marshall, he knew that his vow of celibacy was on a life-support machine. Once it became clear that his love was reciprocated, an invisible doctor had come in, coughed politely and switched it off.”

Seldom does a book leave an aftertaste so addictive, it leaves you craving for more. The sequel to “Father Frank” however does that and manages to live up to the glory of its prequel. The Man who Fell in Love with his Wife does an incredible job of giving a fitting end to Father Frank and Sarah Marshall’s love story. A Catholic priest’s celibacy vows end the day he meets his true love. They get married. Life after marriage isn’t as easy as it seems with Frank having to struggle for a job after having been under the church for so long. The story has its background set in England and has an Irish touch to it. The life of an Irish family is described hilariously and is informative in its own ways. His struggles in the world outside the church and his journey on being an actual father to twins are one of the many concepts explored in this book.

This book is very special because it has a rare genre that is usually dominated by very few authors. It is highly underrated and very cleverly put together. The author has woven an impossible yet realistic story at the same time which makes it so hilarious and charming. Be sure to check out this quaint and highly entertaining book. It is definitely worth an afternoon.

I would give this book a 4.5/5 for it’s humor and it’s ability to capture the readers attention till the end. It is definitely a must read. 

Ladies Coupé by Anita Nair

This gem was hiding in my shelf for years and I didn’t notice it. So, when recently, I rearranged my bookshelf, I saw this novel staring at me with puppy eyes as if begging me to read it. And, guess what, I did. And, after finishing Ladies Coupé , I was so angry with myself for not reading this precious possession before! Ladies Coupé by Anita Nair is a book with which dreams are made of.

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Continue reading “Ladies Coupé by Anita Nair”

12 Fantastic Quotes by Haruki Murakami

Haruki Murakami is a name which needs no introduction. But, if you still do not know him then let me tell you that Haruki Murakami is a Japanese writer. His books and stories have been bestsellers in Japan as well as internationally, with his work being translated into 50 languages and selling millions of copies outside his native country. The critical acclaim for his fiction and non-fiction has led to numerous awards, in Japan and internationally. Hence, I bring to you 12 fantastic quotes by Haruki Murakami.

“Unclose your mind. You are not a prisoner. You are a bird in flight, searching the skies for dreams.”

“Our reality is an infinite battle between what happened and what we want to remember.”

“Whatever it is you’re seeking won’t come in the form you’re expecting.”

“Anything and everything looks beautiful when you examine it from a distance.”

“The human heart is like a night bird. Silently waiting for something, and when the time comes, it flies straight toward it.”

“If everything happens the way that you want it to, life will become boring.”

“No matter how far you travel, you can never get away from yourself.”

“It often happens that the most important things in the world begin with trifles.”

“There are ways of dying that don’t end in funerals. Types of death you can’t smell.”

“Spend your money on the things money can buy. Spend your time on the things money can’t buy.”

“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

“Two people can sleep in the same bed and still be alone when they close their eyes.”

“Greatness Lives On The Edge of Destruction”

Will Smith says these inspiring lines in an interview!

I am a big fan of celebrity interviews. In my free time, apart from reading books, I have this habit of watching the interviews of my favorite celebrities. Hence, one such interview is this – Will Smith & his family’s interview with Oprah! I have never seen such an inspiring motivational speaker like Will Smith. I always learn something new, something more motivating, whenever I watch his interviews. He is someone who has a lot to share. His experiences in life has made him such a great person that all of his words are so precious. He is definitely the one for me, whom I look up to. Especially, when I am in distress/struggling to stay positive/ facing hard times, I search for his interviews. Therefore, one day, when my morale was completely annihilated, I watched this interview of his and found these inspiring lines. Will says, “Greatness lives on the edge of destruction” (in regard to his son’s hard training for his movie, Karate Kid) and he explains how you become strong when you survive those hard times. After watching this interview of his, I couldn’t keep these lines off my mind. If today I have a better, positive outlook towards life then I would give a part of credit to him!

Will utters this phrase at 38:00 secs, you can skip directly to this quote or if you like, you can watch the whole interview (it’s about family, relationships and the making of the movie). You can watch it here