Thursday, 25 August 2016

Happy birthday to…

Starting this month, we will be listing out birthdays of some of the Author’s we have read, want to read and have loved. The literary world is a mighty world with names known and unknown, and there might be many writer’s who’s work we may not encounter in an entire lifetime! But hey, lets get wishing already.

Charles Bukowski

One of those Authors born this month , and with whom most of us are acquainted with, mostly due to the memorable quotes brought to us, courtesy THE INTERNET. He happens to be on my TBR for this year. I have heard so much about his unique writing style that I cannot help but love his quotes and look forward to books by him.
We're all going to die, all of us, what a circus! That alone should make us love each other but it doesn't. We are terrorized and flattened by trivialities, we are eaten up by nothing.
                                           ― Charles Bukowski

John Green


An author loved for this contribution to Young-Adult fiction. Green also born in August, is absolutely adorned by the younger bibliophiles in particular. Right from leaving us teary eyed with The fault in our stars to showing us a strange girl, and unusual relationships  in a new light in Finding Alaska, he has given plenty to contemplate on. We sure look forward to all the other books that this young Author will be penning in the course of time.
There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful.
                                             ― John Green, The Fault in Our Stars

Ray Bradbury


Remembered for his books like Farenheit 451 and The Martian Chronicles, he left memorable pieces of writing for book lovers for a long time to come. Yet another book that I have on my shelves waiting to be read is Farenheit 451. Apart from this, many quotes by this Author born in August continue to be food for thought, and will be so for many more years.
You must write every single day of your life... You must lurk in libraries and climb the stacks like ladders to sniff books like perfumes and wear books like hats upon your crazy heads... may you be in love every day for the next 20,000 days. And out of that love, remake a world.
                                                           ― Ray Bradbury
Photo courtesy : Gazala and Veena 

Monday, 22 August 2016

Cinderella by Charles Perrault, illustrated by Arthur Rackham

What can I say that is not already said about fairy tales. We all have grown up with them. Their tellings and retellings have been etched in our minds. My latest new obsession with fairy tales has taken me back to the good old days of fairy tales. As I visit the land once again I hereby bring the refreshed memories of Cinderella. I read an edition available on Amazon. This is a beautiful book authored by Charles Perrault, of course, and illustrated by Arthur Rackham. 

Cover

The cover contains a silhouette illustration by Arthur Rackham. It is a beautiful scene from the story where the fairy god mother is turning the pumpkin into a carriage for the wonderful night at the palace. There are lizards and rats all over. These tiny pretty illustrations depict the characters in the story. This makes a good cover for the fairy tale collections.😍 

Characters

Cinderella is a story of an orphan girl who lives with her stepmother and two step sisters. The girl is very kind and gentle. Her stepmother and stepsisters are hardly family since they often mistreat her and make her do all the chores in the house. The author has refrained from ghastly portraying any character evil. There are also other characters such as the prince, the mice, the lizards etc who help to build the story splendidly.

Content 

Cinderella lives with her stepmother and stepsisters. She is constantly being mistreated in her own house. Quoting one of my friends: 'Cinderella is a horrific story about a rich girl whose evil stepmother forced her to live as though she were a member of the working class.'
There is a twist in the sob worthy life of Cinderella when she hears of this ball that is taking place at the king's palace. The prince has invited all the maidens in the kingdom but Cinderella is not allowed to go. As the night approached Cinderella feels terrible and cries. 
The fairy godmother sees her and magically turns her night into an unforgettable experience.
The story ends with the prince coming to find her and marry her. And of course, they live happily ever after.
The story is magical. It has everything positive about it. It makes you believe in everything nice. 

Language 

The language is very simple. It refrains from too much negativity. The focus is on the magical element of the story which is bewitching. Picking up of small elements like mice and lizards and blending them into the story is exceptional. 

Good points

The illustrations are just beautiful. It makes me want to do another post featuring all the illustrations in the book. The story is a classic by itself. The more you read the story the more you want to read it. The characters want to make you believe in magic and they succeed too. Language is simple yet beautiful. 

Bad points 

Cinderella as a character is often debated to be shallow even when towards the end the author calls her 'as good as she was beautiful'.  

Overall 

It is a classic fairy tale. It is beautiful story. A definite must read. 

Who do I recommend this to 

This is for everyone. Boys, girls, feminists, realists, fantasy fanatics.. Everyone.. Just everyone..

Quotable quotes 

Once upone a time there was a gentleman whose second wife was the proudest and most haughty woman that was ever seen. 
She told Cinderella to lift the sort of the mouse trap a little, and as each mouse came out, she gave a tap with her wand, whereupon it was transformed into a fine horse. And so the six mice made a fine set of six horses of a beautiful mouse-colored dapple grey.
Cinderella, who was as good as she was beautiful, gave her two sisters a home in the palace and that very same day married them off to two great lords of the Court. 

Thursday, 18 August 2016

Sputnik Sweetheart by Haruki Murakami

Written by Haruki Murakami & originally published in Japanese in 1999 and translated by Philip Gabriel in 2001, Sputnik Sweetheart  is my first tryst with this legendary writer who is famous for this unique writing style mostly under the  magical realism category. I do not think it would be fair to call this a review, when we talk about author’s of such repute  because the moment a word like that comes into picture I make myself significant enough to comment on the work of master’s in literature who have set a new milestone that we all reckon with, hence it would be more sensible to call it an experience. So here is my experience, of my first Murakami.


Cover

I received this book as a gift, and it is published by Vintage Books.  It is a simple red jacket, a theme followed by Vintage for most (all?) Murakami titles.It is a graphical representation of a satellite, corresponding to Sputnik- the first satellite to have been placed in the orbit. The title though is interesting, as I reckon it talks about how Sumire’s life revolves around Miu’s, or maybe how K’s life revolves around Sumires, doesn't it intrigue you already?

Characters

The story is all about three characters. Sumire, a young aspiring writer who is oblivious to the world and is engrossed in her odd jobs and her writing attempts to break into the literary world. She has a friend, a companion called K, a young school teacher who is pretty much her only friend and they share the kind of friendship where one can talk about everything at all. K is her go to for answers on life and the like. K is in love with her, Sumire is unaware of it. Miu is a woman Sumire encounters in a wedding, who is 17 years older than her, and Sumire instantly falls in love with her.

Content

The book talks about the bond of friendship shared between K and Sumire. He is her 4 a.m friend, from whom she seeks answers about everything at all. She isn't attracted to anyone in a romantic way but K is in love with her. Sumire is a introvert girl living by herself, oblivious to the fashion, trends and people around her and lost in her own little world that mostly comprises of K and her father. She meets Miu, a Korean woman 17 years older and falls in love with her. As things progress, she is invited by Miu to work for her and Sumire blossoms under her both in terms of professional growth and personally. She soon embarks on a trip with the woman she loves, only to go missing from the remote Greek Island that they head to.
You might just think I’ve revealed it all right here, and what more could be there. Do not be mistaken, this is the mere outline of what the book has in store for you. The deep conversations shared by the friends, the thought process of the author conveyed through the characters and of-course the hint of magic and mystery is so overwhelming that this elaborate description stands to be a mere foundation on which this beautiful story is built.

Language

Written from K’s perspective, the writing is simple and complex just the same. If the translated version is so deep and thought provoking, I can only wonder how much deeper the original book can be.

Good Points

Starting from the title, on the onset it seems absurd, but once you read it the title makes sense – the creativity of the author can be seen right at this point. The number of characters are few, hence you tend to focus your attention on these, and each of them is so well conceived and portrayed, you’d be glad to give your attention to each of them.  Coming to the amazing writing style – you need to read it to know what I mean. The words are simple, the sentences are simple too, but the thought – its not! You delve a little deeper, think some more about it and it opens up a beautiful line of thought. Writing like this needs to be read slowly, sometimes re-reading a few lines a couple of times till your brain can really grasp the depth of what is being conveyed.
Last of all, the plot might just seem ordinary, just another one- sided love story? Just another love triangle kind of thing? Well, again, you need to read it to understand that, that is a mere skeleton to this book. The mystery, the thoughts, the connections are so well conveyed that there is nothing ordinary about this book. The hint of mystery and magic leaves you gaping, it has you ravishing the book real quickly seeking answers to all these questions that have suddenly popped up, and there you are, you almost got to a point where your questions are either answered or leave you disappointed, and just at that moment there is a bang, and you are left wanting more.

Bad Points

None, though I wish it ended differently, I still know that I couldn’t ask for a better termination. Sounds contradicting? That’s exactly what the book does to you.

Overall

I had heard so much about the author, I was elated to have received this amazing book as a gift! How glad I am to have made acquaintance with  a certain Mr. Murakami. The book enslaves its reader, it has you reading it a slow pace, re-reading it and indulging some, and has to hooked to it consuming each page with great urgency, when the author wishes it so. All in all, a very enjoyable and thought provoking read.

Who do I recommend this to ?

Another book that I wish everyone reads  due to its powerful writing. Some one who enjoys books that evoke myriad emotions is sure to like this. An author that I would urge everyone to read.

Quotable Quotes

I dream. Sometimes I think that's the only right thing to do.
So that's how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us--that's snatched right out of our hands--even if we are left completely changed, with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to the end of our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of immeasurable emptiness.
In the world we live in, what we know and what we don't know are like Siamese twins, inseparable, existing in a state of confusion.

The world in books seemed so much more alive to me than anything outside. I could see things I'd never seen before. Books and music were my best friends.
Why do people have to be this lonely? What's the point of it all? Millions of people in this world, all of them yearning, looking to others to satisfy them, yet isolating themselves. Why? Was the earth put here just to nourish human loneliness?

Monday, 15 August 2016

India celebrates 70 years of Independence...

We have freed ourselves from the shackles of the British Raj 70 years ago, and since then India has grown exponentially and will continue to do so for many years to come. With it's shares of ups and downs, with it's shares of success and failure , our beautiful mother land will always remain our most prized possession. Here are 15 quotes reminding us about the significance of freedom, equality and liberation from the most profound thinkers from around the world. 

MAY WE GROW OUT OF PETTY IDEAS OF INJUSTICE, INEQUALITY AND RELIGIOUS CONFLICTS AND GROW INTO THE MOST GLORIOUS COUNTRY, THAT INDIA DESERVES TO BE. HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY




















Photo courtesy : Gazala (click here for more ) 

Friday, 12 August 2016

The Universe Of Us by Lang Leav

My first ever Lang Leav book was a present to me. After a little procrastination I read it. And thus began my love for poetry. I do not call myself a poetry geek. But what I am, is a lover of beautiful words that seem like they are everything you will ever need to hear. It is this love that keeps bringing me back to Lang Leav. The new book by Lang Leav is all about romanticizing the universe of you and me, of us. 

Cover page 

Every book by the author has its own language. On the cover is a beautiful illustration of the author herself. The cover is a shade of pink with cursive white lettering. The cover as usual is simple and elegant. The back cover contains a line from inside the book which says 'he and I collided like two predestined stars and in that brief moment I felt what it was like to be immortal'. Kudos to the publishers 'Andrews Mcmeel Publishing'. 

Content 

We, as humans, are dreamy. We get stuck in the humdrum of life and monotony of surviving but we dream of stars. These stars when stationary form traces of imageries. And when they break we close our eyes for a wish.
We, as humans, have all romanticized the universe. Sun, moon, stars, Jupiter and the space. Lang Leav has revisited the romanticism clung to the universe in her new collection. She has explored the joy of love, the sorrow of loneliness, the vacuum of losing the ones you love; in all different forms. Some poems are deep as the sea and some are just lyrical, overwhelming your heart like a longing. Some of these poems are just rhyming bits, a little childish. 
There are people in the book who are floating in space, around Jupiter, watching the waves of the ocean, wanting to uncover the blanket of stars and accumulate them to quantify the love they have for someone.
There are some, just lines, that make you delve into them like everything in the world can wait. 

Language

The poems are very dreamy, lyrical, as they usually are. They are very simple to understand or they need not be understood. Just enjoyed.

Good points 

The book cover is just beautiful. I plan to pre-order my copy right away. The content is 'out of the universe'. The poems are just brilliant. Some slightly better than the best ones in the book. There is an illustration by the author at the beginning which is, again, beautiful. 

Bad points 

I am having some trouble here. But let me just say, I was expecting more illustrations from the author this time around too. Was a little disappointed here. 

Overall

Lang Leav lives up to all the expectations. This book is just brilliant!

Who do I recommend this to 

This book is for all those who like good writing. For all the dreamy ones!

Pre-order your copy here

Quotable quotes

Choose Love My mother once said to me there are two kinds of men you'll meet. The first will give you the life you want and the second will give you the love you desire. If you're one of the lucky few, you will find both in one person. But if you ever find yourself having to choose between the two, then always choose love.
When
When did you stop caring? he asked.
When did you start noticing? she replied.
Lover's Paradox Tell me that story again - the one where the world ends how it began with a by who loves a girl and a girl who loves a boy. And she is deaf and he is blind and he tells her her loves her over and over and she writes him every day but never hears a thing back.
From 'Time Stands Still' In cemeteries
of memories
our love will lie
in caskets.
My time with he
an eternity -
neither present
nor future
can past it.
From 'All I Ask'
Stay''til our present
slips into the past-
it is all that I ask.
I received this book from the publishers via Netgalley. The thoughts on the book are uninfluenced and my own.

Wednesday, 10 August 2016

We Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

'Gender matters everywhere in the world. And I would like today to ask that we should begin to dream about the plan for a different world. A fairer world. A world of happier men and happier women who are truer to themselves. And this is how to start: we must raise our daughters differently. We must also raise our sons differently.' The book is an adaptation of a TED talk given by the author some time back. She is a men loving, make up wearing, fun and happy feminist. The author has compiled her thoughts on feminism in this short book. It is short but definitely differentiates feminists from pseudo feminists. 

Cover 

The cover art is very simple. It is some pattern with the name and title of the book displayed in bold. This is a good cover to be kept in the shelf. 

Content 

The book contains the talk given by the author on TED. The author touches all the topics which lead to feminism. The need of it today and lack of it ages ago. She also talks about how men have become the standard by which even women are judged. The author throughout makes it clear that men and women are two different genders. But to associate one gender to a chore is unfair. She says,'what if, in raising children, we focus on ability instead of gender? What if we focus on Interest instead of gender?' 
There is also an argument of calling for human rights rather than feminism since feminism is also human right. The author asserts the importance of specificity in the subject. 
Largely the author demands social change from men and women alike. The text is rich in logic and facts. The everyday behavior is well spoken in the talk by the author.

Language 

The language is very clean and to the point. The author does not like beating around the bush and it very evident in the text. There is also a direct addressing of the issues in the book which clears most of the stigma attached to the word 'feminists'. 

Good points 

The book is a great text in feminism. The author has addressed the issue head on. It is rich in observation. It is also a short read on the subject, for those who like to keep to the point. 

Bad points 

The book read more like a talk than a work of literature. It is from a talk on TED but even some change in text was expected. 

Overall 

The book is an excellent read on feminism. Must read for those who are interested in the subject.

Whom do I recommend this to 

This book is for those who want to learn about feminism but also want to be saved from false opportunistic voices. It is a great short read for those who like to keep things short and to the point.

Quotable quotes 

So I decided I would now be a Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men. At some point I was a Happy African Feminist Who Does Not Hate Men And Who Likes To Wear Lip Gloss And High Heels For Herself And Not For Men. 
Our society teaches a woman of certain age who is unmarried to see it as a deep personal failure. While a man at a certain age who is unmarried has not quite come around to making his pick. 
Some people ask, 'why the word feminist? Why not just say you as a believer in human rights, or something like that?' Because that would be dishonest. Feminism is, of course, part of human rights in general- but to choose to use the vague expression human rights is to deny the specific and particular problem of gender. 
For centuries, the world decided human beings into two groups and then proceeded to exclude and oppress one group. It is only fair that the solution to the problem should acknowledge that. 
Culture does not make people. People make culture. If it is true that the full humanity of women is not our culture, then we can and must make it our culture. 
Feminist: a person who believes in the social, political and economic equality of the sexes. 
My own definition of a feminist is a man or a woman who says,'Yes there's a problem with gender as it is today and we must fix it, do better.

Saturday, 6 August 2016

Celebrating the spirit of friendship with 12 quotes

There is something very sacred about the bond of friendship. Friends are said to be the family that we choose. During the course of our lives we make some friends and we lose some. But here is a day to remind us of what our friends mean us.
As we are reminded of the spirit of friendship this weekend here is what literature has to say about friendship. Happy friendship's day!! πŸŽ‰πŸŽˆπŸ’•πŸ’–

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Tudor Kings and Queens by Alex Woolf

The Tudor dynasty has been, probably, the most famous of the Monarchs in the history of England. There are a number of books that have been published which feature this dynasty and yet this one caught my attention. I have read widely about King Henry VIII but not so much about the other Tudors. This one seemed like a perfect book to learn about the other kings and queens in chronological order. A short read of just 128 pages, this book covers all the Monarchs in Tudor dynasty in depth.

Cover page 

The cover page consists of the picture of Henry VIII and Elizabeth I. There are some illustrations on the border and some catchy calligraphy. The typography is beautiful. It gives good idea of the genre it belongs too. It is a great cover which will compel readers to buy a copy for themselves.

Characters 

This is a non fiction book about the Tudor kings and queens. It covers Henry VII, Henry VIII, Edward VI, Mary I and Elizabeth I. 

Content 

Henry VII founds the dynasty and conquers England. But he hardly has time to rule over the kingdom. England is left for King Henry VIII. He is probably the most famous of the monarchs. His regime sees some great changes in the foreign policies and religious structures. But the King is most known for his marriage to Anne Boleyn and over throwing of the Catholic Church for the same. 
The book moves on to King Edward VI and Mary I. Both their reigns were rather short. Mary, also known as Bloody Mary did not do much to win over the people even though she was a pure blood Tudor, which earned her the support of the commoners.
Mary left the throne for Elizabeth I, her step sister and daughter of Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn. Elizabeth reigned over England for over 45 years, eventually with her death ending the Tudor reign over England. The author has done a great job of structuring the chapters and including all the relevant data. The book is heavy on facts but does not make it a boring read. 

Language 

The book is written in simple English making it very easy for anyone who wants to read about the Tudors. Flowery language is kept at bay. The structure of the book makes it even more simpler. It helps in keeping the timeline and understanding the sequence of events better.

Good points 

The book is a short read. It is very concise. Those who want to understand the gist of the Tudor reign are going to love this one. It covers all the Tudor rulers and their reign and keeps it precise. The language is very simple to understand.

Bad points 

The book may seem data heavy at certain places. Some rulers have been given more space in the book than others which might come as a disappointment. But this maybe because of their short rule. Even then.. 

Overall 

Overall, this is an interesting book about the Tudors. It summarizes their reign in short. 

Who do I recommend this to 

I recommend this book to all those who are interested in knowing about the Tudors but want to avoid all the chunky books. Those who like precision in history are going to love this one. 

Quotable quotes

The England Elizabeth inherited was a weak and divided nation, surrounded by enemies. 'She is only a woman, only mistress of half an island,' remarked an admiring Pope Sixtus V, 'and yet she makes herself feared by Spain, by France, by the Empire, by all. She instilled a sense of national pride in her people and became a living symbol of resistance to a foreign threat.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Is there anything better than book hauls? July buys..

Shopping of one kind or another is therapy! But book shopping is the most elevated form of it for me. It’s not just the urge to stock up, the urge to buy… Its the experience- going through rows and rows of books, being lost among hundreds of books, sometimes with a list, and some others with nothing in mind – just seeking a book that somehow beckons me to it. Though I have more unread books than books I’ve already read, every day I come across an author or a book that I come across which has me wanting it!
image (8)
I always like to convince myself that its OK to have a growing pile of unread books. If you ever thought I had no hope to live, or if I myself felt the future is an unseen , uncertain space towards which am floating (which it is )– it’s these unread books that I can hold on to, they are an anchor in the abyss of uncertainties. I wouldn't be exaggerating, if I said that even if I had nothing to live for,  probably I’d just want to live long enough to finish my ever growing pile of unread books…
We at Meraki Post are delighted to be presenting our monthly hauls.We may sometimes buy a lot, and sometimes nothing at all, but every book buying has a story, and this is our little story. We would be delighted to know what have you been buying? What have you been wishing for?
So, my July haul was a little crazy. With The biblio box (our review for the first book subscription box in India)  having “magical realism” as it’s theme for July, I went on to upgrade my box with books by masters in this genre. I know it’s a bit overboard – but I seem to really like shopping based on a certain theme, or a genre or even an author- its a more organised way of buying books, one can stick to a certain series and get all the books that would make for a great set! (yes, covers do really matter to me!)  Hence I got six Gabriel Garcia titles, four Murakami titles – both by the same publishers in order to keep the cover themes in place, along with Square root of Summer  that came in the box. This genre has been a fascination since I read Sputnik Sweetheart (review coming soon), and I cant wait to be reading these!
image (10)
Come July, and there are sales everywhere, and so I picked Sleeping on Jupiter and Night at the Circus at the Landmark store sale! Not a very impressive sale with regards to books, hence it was just these.
Going to the local bookstore had me picking books I had  no plans to, but when I saw these used twentieth edition penguin classics, how could I not buy them!?? Though am slowly getting attuned to classics of this era, I have been wanting these particular editions real bad. Coming to Ham on Rye, and post office – I had to, as Ham on Rye was on the TBR of this year ( find it here) and post office followed by Women (which I already have) are a part of the series.
I have heard so many good things about The Vegetarian that when I saw it, I was torn (are you judging me for my poor self control- are you not ?) . And though I have already read and reviewed The Prophet (read the review here), I had to pick it up again – see the cover? That’s why! The little black classics have been on my to buy for a while now, and as per a lot of bibliophile friends it is better to buy each separately (just the ones you like) than getting the entire set of those- hence begins the little black classics collection. Another Dostoevsky apart from the little black classic has been in my shopping bag, because I have never seen this cover before!
Lastly, I received Life after life from a bibliophile friend. Isn't it amazing how this wonderful thing called reading brings us all together? Not to forget, I got Conversations with Architects from the author Vladimir Belogolovsky when I interviewed him recently! This is the only book that I’ll be reading soon, while all others are packed away to be read eventually.

Wednesday, 20 July 2016

The girls by Emma Cline

Emma Cline’s debut novel- The Girls, claims to be loosely based on the Manson murders, it’s more about the women around him, those attracted to life at the edge of the world. Though the book revolves around the blunt facts of Manson’s crimes, it  reduces him to a pitiful, failed musician named Russell whose only talent is tending to his wilting garden of devotees. Instead of focusing on the cult group or their leader , the novel is about fourteen-year-old Evie Boyd, who’s attracted to and in love with one of the older girls in Russell’s circle. The book has received an overwhelming response, and is considered as one of the finest books in 2016, all for the right reasons!
IMG_3255

Cover

Like the name of the book, the cover has a girl with glasses as the cover. Though its available in two different covers, this is the one I had. It a bold combination of blue and burnt red, with the title and the Author’s name on the glasses. There is something about the cover that has your attention. I can’t decide, if it’s good or bad, but the directness of it, and it’s direct connect to the title had me wanting to know more about the book.

Characters

The book revolves around the life of  fourteen-year-old Evie Boyd, who’s parents have just parted ways. It is set in two different time frames- one where the older Evie is narrating her past, and the other is the time when she is her fourteen year old self. The cult group with whom she spends some time with, and in particular, a girl called Suzanne – who Evie is attracted to are some of the important characters. There is Russel, a musician and the cult leader who has some followers around him, willingly surrendering themselves to him , allured by the strange life he offers are other characters in the book.

Content

Having had a distant relationship with her parents, things go awry when Evie’s parents part ways. A teenager at a threshold of an exciting life that is all  about  love, lust , attraction and drugs finds herself drawn to Suzanne, a strange girl she first observes at a park, and later meets on many occasions. She is drawn to how carefree, and uninhabited she and her friends are, which leads her to join their cult group, a group drawn to the strange ways of Russel – their leader.
With a mother who is lost in her own life, Evie spends her summer exploring the dangerous world on the other side. The lust , drugs, attractions etc are well within her reach and open to her a new side of life that she was unaware of . As the book progresses, Evie – lost in this heady mix of danger and carelessness  makes a mistake and her secret rendezvous comes to an end. Things turn bitter and she realizes that maybe her love for Suzanne will never be returned, and things continue to spiral downwards when this harmless cult resorts to a crime out of desperation and Evie is changed for good.

Language

Told from the perspective of Evie, the writing is simply mind blowing. The way the characters think, the way the reality is portrayed is almost eerie. The Author deserves all the praise she has gotten for the way she peels away the pretentious charade that we all wear and unveils a side we are all unashamed of, but is there nevertheless. The sadistic pleasure that we all indulge in, on hurting someone, the deepest, most shameful, most bitter thoughts are all unraveled with utmost skill. The book is mostly a winner to me due to its writing.

Good Points

The plot itself is unusual. There may be books written on cult groups, the strange life they embark upon,  that draws people to it may be common, but the perspective of a girl who doesn't have a memorable role in it, that’s new. The girl herself may not have made any difference to the group or the movement, but it talks about how it changed her.
The very real and raw writing gets to you. It crawls all over you, almost showing a mirror to it’s reader – showing that you too have this side to you, that is not too pleasant, but is there just below the fancy facade of the good person you claim to be.
The characters are very well developed  and are all very relatable . Especially Evie’s - there is something about her and her life, that everyone can connect to. That lost teenager coming from a broken family, trying to hold onto anyone who would want her and value her is very  understandable.

Bad Points

I don't think I have anything to say here, partly because I am so overwhelmed and blinded by the fantastic plot, characters and writing that I see no flaws, or maybe  there aren't any flaws at all!

Overall

This has been my most favorite read this year, and though there are a few months more for the year to close, something tells me that this will remain a favorite. Quite a stunning debut this!

Who do I recommend it to ?

Everyone!! ALL OF YOU need to read The Girls! (no matter what genre you like, this book has something for you) .

Quotable Quotes

Poor girls. The world fattens them on the promise of love. How badly they need it, and how little most of them ever get…
Death seemed to me like a lobby in a hotel. Some civilized, well lit room that you could easily enter or leave. A boy in town had shot himself in his finished basement after getting caught selling counterfeit raffle tickets. I didn't think of the gore, the wet insides but only the ease of the moment before he pulled the trigger, how clean and winnowed the world must have seemed. All the disappointments, all of regular life with its punishments and indignities made surplus in ordinary motion.
The things I was good at had no real application: addressing letters in bubble letters with smiling creatures on the flap, making sludgy coffee I drank with grave effect, finding a certain  desired song that played on the radio, like a medium scanning for news of the dead.
Living alone was frightening that way. No one to police the spill of yourself, the ways you betrayed your primitive desires. Like a cocoon built around you, made of your own naked proclivities and never tidied into the patterns of actual human life.