'Snakes in the Meadows' begins with a letter that I felt, for some insane reason, was accusing me of being ignorant and unwilling to take action. It was a personal jibe when I first read it. And I didn’t understand why such a letter was addressed to me. Here’s a couple of lines from the letter: “I can’t believe that you’re unaware of our misery, oblivious of our suffering. And if you indeed don’t know anything, well, you don’t deserve to.”
I was supposed to have reviewed this book a long time ago, but no thanks to circumstances, I’m late in reviewing this wonderful, short book of poetic story-in-verses from author Ankita Singh.
The thing about being a bookworm, book-hoarder, and booklover in general is that beautiful covers pull us in like a moth to flame. And when the story within is as beautiful as the cover promises, a sense of vindication overcomes us – one that we just won’t stop flaunting and saying ‘I told you so!’ Yes, opinions may vary and some other people may get annoyed saying “What a waste of a beautiful cover” and all that. But when it works for you, you just want to hug it and stay that way. 'The Binding' by Bridget Collins is one such book.
The word ‘atonement’ usually means making amends for your actions that have done wrong to a person or people around you. And when a book with this name starts off with a teenager trying to direct a play that she can show off at a family gathering, you wonder why it is named thus. It is only some tens of pages into the book that you read on, becoming horrified with each page as the story progresses and clears the contextual meaning of the title for you.
The movie Raazi starring Alia Bhatt and Vicky Kaushal, that was based on Calling Sehmat came out earlier last year. This is one of those rare occurrences where I watched the movie before I read the book. But the movie had quite a few performances that left my heart bruised. And I had hoped that the book that is based on true events, would do the same for me. But I was really conflicted by the end of the book.
I have been in love with the cover of The Queen of Hearts since the moment I lay eyes on it. Like, look at it! And when it made its way to me, I was ecstatic and fawning over it. I cannot even begin to describe that feeling. It was and still is, that intense, days after I finished reading it. The best part of this obsession, however, was how the author was so responsive. Every time I uploaded a picture of the book and tagged Kimmery Martin, she would respond! The first time she did, I almost fainted. But I’ve recovered ever since.
Before I start off with my thoughts about the story, I’d just like to take a minute and express my love and admiration for this cover. A wonderful gold-tinted combination of black and orange, Circe has one of the most beautiful covers I’ve ever laid eyes on. This might have been one of the reasons why I was actually terrified of starting the book – me being scared that the story wouldn’t actually live up to the beauty of the cover. Another thought that crossed my mind was: What if I unintentionally destroy it?
Nicola Yoon’s The Sun is Also a Star had been doing the rounds of BookTube as well as Bookstagram with quite a few mixed reviews. It was the cover of the book that pulled me in. It is so, so intriguing and beautiful that I figured (like so many other books before and so many other books to come) that I would find out if the cover lives up to the hype. And not to preempt my review or anything but God oh God, was it a good decision!
The publishing industry, especially in India, is one that is fraught with uncertainty. Which book will be accepted? Which will go through the process? Which will be a success? Nobody knows. Not even the people who back them. But when things do click and books become blockbuster hits, there’s no looking back for the author as well as the publishing houses. Because isn’t it what every book-related person lives for? Isn’t it a dream to write, and help a book become a bestseller?
As everyone who’s been following me on BookTube and Bookstagram knows, I fell in love with Markus Zusak’s writing after reading The Book Thief. That book still gives me the chills and makes me want to curl up in a ball and cry. It is because of The Book Thief that I was so goddamn excited about Bridge of Clay when it released. There wasn’t a minute when I didn’t covet that book and when I finally got it, I would sit and stare at it for what felt like ages.