Review : Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav.

Title : Sea of Strangers

Author : Lang Leav

Genre : Poetry

Pages : 207

Publisher : Andrews McMeel

Published : 2017

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Synopsis :

Sea of Strangers by Lang Leav picks up from her previous international bestselling books including Love & Misadventure, Lullabies, and The Universe of Us, and sets sail for a grand new adventure.

This completely original collection of poetry and prose will not only delight her avid fans but is sure to capture the imagination of a whole new audience. With the turn of every page, Sea of Strangers invites you to go beyond love and loss to explore themes of self-discovery and empowerment as you navigate your way around the human heart.

My Review :

Sea of Strangers is a culmination of poems by Lang Leav that emphasizes on love, hope and heartbreak.

The best collection of poetry I’ve read till date. The poems being raw and authentic to the core, successfully leaves an imprint on you and makes you yearn for more of Leav’s poetic work.

What is even more delightful to learn is that after the poet wrote the poem “Sea of Strangers”, she met the love of her life : a man who lived across the ocean from her. And she crossed the ocean to be with him. She speaks about this in the introduction of the book.

Now isn’t this enough to make you believe in the power of words? Isn’t this sufficient to make you believe in love as an eternal concept?

The poet has extremely well placed all the poems shuffling between love and heartbreak and healing that crashes with your heart one after another like a tsunami of emotions.

If love had a scent, it would

be seaweed and sandcastles,

on the cusp of November,

and the sigh of your breath

on my sun-kissed skin.

– an excerpt from Sandcastles p87.

Most of the poems are based on the theme of sea, ocean, sandcastles, water and emanate a feeling of bittersweet nostalgia and longing that tugs the heartstrings of the readers.

The poems are delicate and tend to overwhelm you at times.

Definitely craving for more of Lang Leav’s poetry.

Recommended for everyone.

My Rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟/5

About the author :

Lang Leav is an internationally bestselling author and social media sensation. She is the winner of a Qantas Spirit of Youth Award and coveted Churchill Fellowship. Her books continue to top bestseller charts in bookstores worldwide and her collection Lullabies was the 2014 winner of the Goodreads Choice award for poetry.

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Review : I hope my voice doesn’t skip by Alicia Cook.

Book : I hope my voice doesn’t skip.

Author : Alicia Cook

Pages : 141

Genre : Poetry.

Publisher : Andrews McMeel Publishing.

Published : 2018.

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Synopsis :

Bestselling writer and activist Alicia Cook returns with I Hope My Voice Doesn’t Skip, a collection of poetry, prose, and song. The follow-up to Stuff I’ve Been Feeling Lately contains anthem-like poems about relationships, mental health, current social issues, and learning from loss, with the promise that recovery is possible.

The reader’s experience with this unique collection is lifted from the page as Cook has collaborated with a number of up and coming musicians to transform some of her poetry into song. Like her debut book, this one is divided into two parts. Modeled after a vinyl record this time, the collection is separated into the EP record, holding Cook’s shorter poetry, and the LP record, holding Cook’s longer poetry, prose, and songwriting. Together, they form an inspiring collection for all those recovering from something.

My Review :

Powerful and Complete. These were my thoughts after I finally finished “I hope my voice doesn’t skip” or let’s say after “I hope my voice doesn’t skip” wrecked me.

I keep weeds in a vase in my living room.

I feed them water.

I bathe them in sunlight.

A child picked them for me, believing they were flowers.

Whom am I to tell him not all pretty things are worthy of saving, just as not all things worth saving are pretty.

– PRESSED DANDELIONS, p18

I have always been a fan of modern poetry mostly because of the fact that the poems are easy to read and always stays with me for a long time. And this creation of Alicia Cook was no less.

The poems are undeniably beautiful and tragic and tend to linger on your mind long after you finish reading it.

If you ask me what is that makes her stand out from the other poets, I’d say DETAILS. SENTENCES. She’s is brilliant in making you visualise yourself in the situation in her poems and put utmost attention to the minute details.

I only ever noticed wildflowers growing along Interstate 84 when I was in the passenger seat of your car.

– an excerpt from Traffic,Signs p26.

The poet takes us in a lyrical journey through her second poetry collection that is divided into two parts just like a playlist : The EP and The LP. Along with the blissful poems you will also find direct links to her recitations on her page Alicia Cook.

I have listened to Too featuring CAITLIN MAHONEY and trust me I was mesmerized.

If you are in need of some refreshing poetry, you deserve this book.

My Rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟 /5

Review : Night of Happiness by Tabish Khair

Book : Night of Happiness

Author : Tabish Khair

Pages : 100

Genre : Fiction

Publisher : PanMacmillan India

Synopsis : Pragmatic entrepreneur Anil Mehrotra has set up his thriving business empire with the help of his lieutenant, Ahmed, an older man who is different in more ways than one. Quiet and undemanding, Ahmed talks in aphorisms, bothers no one, and always gets the job done. But when one stormy night, Mehrotra discovers an aspect to Ahmed that defies all reason, he is forced to find out more about his trusted aide.
As layers and layers of Ahmed’s history are peeled off, Mehrotra finds himself confronting some deeply unsettling questions. Does Ahmed really have a wife? Does he keep her imprisoned in their flat? Is Ahmed deranged, or is he just making desperate sense of the horrors that afflicted him in the past?

By turns poetic, chilling and heartbreaking, Night of Happiness is an unforgettable novel set in a world without tolerance.

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My Review : Thank you PanMacmillan India for sending a review copy of this wonderful book.

Consisting of just around 100 pages, this book definitely makes you yearn for more of Tabish’s writing.

Set around the 1990-2000’s the book centers around Mr. Mehrotra,a business royale and the mystery and suspense surrounding hia long term aid Ahmed, who is his right hand in business.

The plot is so intriguing till the very end that you will not want to put the book down. The story is exceptionally well developed and the suspense build-up is commendable. The story is quite different from the ones that we come across nowadays.

I was personally very impressed and attracted by the character of Ahmed,which is rather a complicated one according to my perception. I re-read every other major scenes that included him because the character was made to feel so real.

Anil Mehrotra’s character could’ve been better organized with a bit of trivia of his family. I felt that his back story lacked a little and the author could’ve done justice to him,being the protagonist.

The “gazaar ka halwa” scene and the “graveyard” scene will be my most favorite scenes ever written in a book and for these I gave the book and extra star.

My Rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟/5

About the author : Born and educated in Gaya, a small town in Bihar, TABISH KHAIR is the author of various acclaimed works, including the novels, The Bus Stopped, Filming: A Love Story, The Thing About Thugs, How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position and Jihadi Jane (available as Just Another Jihadi Jane outside India), the poetry collections, Where Parallel Lines Meet and Man of Glass and the studies, Babu Fictions and The Gothic, Post colonialism and Otherness and The New Xenophobia. Khair is currently an associate professor at Aarhus University, Denmark and a Lever Hulme guest professor at the School of English, Leeds University, UK. He has won the All India Poetry Prize. His novels have been shortlisted for major prizes, including the Man Asian Literary Prize and the Encore Award and translated into several languages.

Review : The Slut Chronicles :Betrayed by Kritika Sharma

They called me a slut, but I was only an innocent girl looking for happiness and my one true love” – Kritika Sharama: The Slut Chronicles – Betrayed.

Book : THE SLUT CHRONICLES :Betrayed

Author : Kritika Sharma

Pages : 250

Publisher : Kalamos Literary Services

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Synopsis :“What is love, if not a passionate heartbreak?”
Nothing makes Ishana lose her facade except for the word ‘slut’. When someone slut shames her, she smashes his head and becomes headlines again.
She is at the apex of her career but people are not ready to accept her boldness. Her strengths force them to dwell on their own weaknesses. However what no one knows is that her road to success is full of treachery and emotional hell.
Join Ishana as she narrates her story to an oblivious journalist. It is a roller coaster ride full of love, passion, emotions, betrayal and ‘slut shame’.
Are you ready to endure the truth of her life?

My Review : I am grateful for Kalamos Literary Services for providing me with an ARC of this book.

Although the blurb and title of the book got me intrigued I was kind of put off by the cover of the book as it looks a bit too “Bollywood-y” to me.

But I picked up the book as a part of my weekend #24in48readathon and I clocked my personal best reading time of reading 252 pages in 2 and half hours. So, that is a proof of how brilliantly written this book is.

“Slut Chronicles” narrates the journey of Ishana, a celebrity as she recalls her years of teenage and the consequences she faced as a result of slut-shaming.

Ishana, an innocent and much reserved girl is turned heartless by this brutal world in this epic-transformation story. Her character is written with such precision that I am sure you will find a glimpse of your teenage years in her.

The simplicity of her words and a swift and easy flowing storyline is a positive in Kritika’s book. The sole reason I was able to get this book done in an impressive amount of time is that it doesn’t include a single scene that isn’t relevant to the plot(and I adored that).

With a strong and straightforward message that speaks not to back down and give the shamers a taste of their own medicine,Kritika introduces twists upon twists and I couldn’t help myself from flipping through the pages.

The author has done a commendable job in bringing forward a grave aspect of the Indian society in addition to slutshaming i.e domestic abuse by parents. I myself am against this harsh form of parental behavior and am glad to find a book that atleast tries to address it.

Definitely a surprise package, this book is a mustread.

In a nutshell I would call it the literary piece of “Hate Story”.

Absolutely picking up the other books of the author.

My Rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟.1/5

About the author : Kritika Sharma is an author, blogger and Associate Director in Nielsen, India. She is a woman of passion and spirit who believes in possibilities and loves to challenge her own limits by learning something new every day. She has been writing ever since she held a pencil. Writing refreshes her and energises her.
The Slut Chronicles: Betrayed is her fifth book. Previously she has traditionally published four books under her name, ‘Manage your Manager’ (2013), ‘Live-in with a Ghost’ (2015), ‘AbstracTales’ (2017) and Treacherous Desires (2017).