Monday, 30 September 2013

''The Silver Chair'' - Book Review

Author: C. S. Lewis
Published: 1953

Genres: Novel, Adventure, Mystery, Fantasy

Rating: 4 out of 5


The Silver Chair is the fourth book (in publication order) in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Eustace Scrubb, whom we first met in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, is transported, along with his classmate Jill Pole, to Narnia. They are informed that King Caspian, whom the Pevensies helped to come to the throne in ''Prince Caspian'' and with whom Eustace traveled to the end of the world in ''The Voyage of the Dawn Treader'', is now an old man, and he has no heir. He had a son, Prince Rilian, but ten years ago, he had disappeared. Eustace and Jill now have the duty to find the lost prince. Aslan tells Jill some signs which they should follow in order to find the lost prince.

In this book, Eustace and Jill come across a variety of adventures. They come to know how the Prince had disappeared. Their companion in their adventures in Puddleglum, a Marsh-wiggle, a creature with long arms. 

''The Silver Chair'' has many new settings, and some new creatures are introduced. The readers get to know about the Underland. 

Puddleglum was such an interesting character! And I obviously liked Eustace and Jill.

The Silver Chair was such an enchanting, such a magical, such an entertaining novel! I loved it. I loved all of the adventures. My favorite chapter in this book was ''The Queen of the Underland'', because it was such an intense, such a suspenseful chapter! 

4 out of 5

Friday, 27 September 2013

''The Notebook''- Book review

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: 1996

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5


I know I haven't posted a review for more than a whole week! I've been so busy with class tests!

I watched the movie adaptation of The Notebook earlier this year, and liked it. But I didn't like it enough to read the original book as well. But since ''The Notebook'' seems to be the favorite Nicholas Sparks book of most Nicholas Sparks fans, I decided to give it a try.

I liked The Notebook. The love story was really sweet and touching. The relation between the two main characters (Noah and Allie) is very strong and moving. But for me, it will not be a favorite Nicholas Sparks. My favorites are probably A Bend in the Road and Safe Haven.

Noah Calhoun has returned to New Bern after World War II. He keeps himself busy repairing an old house. He is haunted by memories... fourteen years ago, he had fallen in love with Allie, a girl two years younger than him. Allie and Noah's feelings for each other had gradually become very strong. But, Allie's mother had not approved of the relationship, because of their class differences. Allie's mother took Allie away from New Bern (they had come there for the summer).

Fourteen years have passed, but Noah cannot forget Allie. Allie was his first true love. All the letters that he had returned to Allie had remained unanswered.

But then one day, Allie appears... She had known from the newspaper that Noah was repairing the old house, and has come to inform him that she is engaged... But soon, they are haunted by those memories, those feelings of the past. Will Allie be really able to leave Noah and marry Lon? Will she really be able to ignore her past?

I thought that the movie adaptation brought into life the beautiful summer, whereas in the book the summer does not have that much depth. But the book was pretty deep as well. I really liked the last half. It was much more, much more touching than the first half. The horrors of Alzheimer's disease are really explored well. I just loved how Noah tries to help Allie in the last half. Noah's feelings were strong, deep, and really moving.

3 out of 5

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Feature and Follow Friday

                                      Hosted by Parajunkee  and Alison Can Read

Q: Reading Nook Tour: Give us a tour of your favorite reading spots.


My bed has always been my favorite place to read.


My table is also a favorite reading place!



And if the weather is beautiful enough, there is no better place than the balcony!



                                                         Keep in touch!

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Wednesday, 18 September 2013

''Northanger Abbey''- Book Review

Author: Jane Austen
Published: 1817

Genre: Novel, Romance

Rating: 4 out of 5


With Northanger Abbey, I have completed reading all the six novels by Jane Austen. Austen has become one of my favorite authors. Her novels are so charming, witty, brilliant!

I really liked ''Northanger Abbey''.  Not only is it brilliant and enjoyable, it is also one of the wittiest Austen novels. The heroine, Catherine Morland, is the most immature heroine created by Austen.  Elizabeth Bennet is one of the most headstrong heroines I've ever come across. Elinor and Marianne were both sensible. Fanny Price was meek and timid (but not immature like Catherine). Anne Elliot was timid as well. Emma Woodhouse was a little immature. But Catherine, to begin with, is plain silly at the beginning of the novel.

Northanger Abbey was, in fact, the first novel that Austen completed (she completed it in the late 1790s) but it was published posthumously by her brother, in 1817, along with ''Persuasion''. 

We are introduced to Catherine Morland, who has never had the qualities that a heroine should possess. She was a tomboy and took no pleasure in music or painting. But as she grew older, she began to train herself to become a heroine.

When Catherine is seventeen years old, a neighbor, Mrs Allen, invites her to go to Bath with her. Catherine immediately accepts the invitation, hoping that through this visit to Bath, she might find her hero, and a lot of adventures.

In Bath, Catherine and Mrs Allen get bored because they have no acquaintances there. But soon, at a ball, Catherine dances with the charming and handsome Henry Tilney. Gradually, Catherine gets close to Henry, his sister Eleanor, and their father, General Tilney.

Catherine also becomes very good friends with Isabella Thorpe, who is younger sister the sister of her (Catherine's) elder brother's friend. Isabella's brother, John Thorpe, tries to woo Catherine, but the latter dislikes him. 

The Tilneys invite Catherine to travel with them to Northanger Abbey their residence in Gloucestershire.  Catherine, who is an avid reader of Gothic novels, is thrilled after getting the invitation, and immediately accepts the invitation. She expects Northanger Abbey to be a castle full of Gothic horrors and mysteries: old, hidden passages, signs of tortures and mysteries and murders. Catherine comes to draw a parallel between Northanger Abbey and Gothic castles, and begins to think General Tilney as a Gothic villain, a cold-blooded murderer. 

Throughout the novel, Catherine Morland comes across incidents that will eventually help her to find sense, maturity, and love. She is a silly, immature girl at the beginning of the novel. Her actions are really, really funny. Especially, after her arrival in Northanger Abbey, her fantasies about Northanger Abbey being a Gothic castle and General Tilney being a villain, there were so amazing and so very funny! Northanger Abbey often parodies Gothic novels. Especially, ''The Mysteries of Udolpho'' plays an important role. 

''Northanger Abbey'' was definitely an amusing, entertaining and funny read. Catherine Morland is yet another excellent character, immature and funny. Most of the novel was light, though the last chapters did become a little serious. It is not my favorite Austen (Emma is my favorite Austen, followed by Pride & Prejudice), but I really enjoyed reading it.

4 out of 5

Thursday, 12 September 2013

''N or M?''- Book review

Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1941

Genres: Novel, Mystery, Suspense, Adventure, Thriller

Rating: 4 out of 5


N or M? is the first Tommy and Tuppence novel that I read. I absolutely loved the two detectives, Tommy and Tuppence. They were so pleasant, charming characters. Especially Tuppence, who has such a warm personality!

The novel is set during the World War II. Tommy and Tuppence are feeling bored because they have no work to do. But very soon they get a difficult task. Their work is to find an enemy agent. N and M are two enemy agents. One of the agents, or someone in connection with them, is living at the Sans Souci hotel. Therefore, Tommy and Tuppence go to the Sans Souci hotel, with false identities. Tommy stays in the hotel, introducing himself as Mr Meadows. Tuppence introduces herself as a widow, Mrs Blenkenshop.

Anyone, among the guests, can be ''N'' or ''M''. There are several guests: Mrs O Rourke (a scary-looking woman), Miss Minton, Carl von Deinim (a refugee who escaped Nazi persecution),  Major Bletchley, Mr and Mrs Cayley, and Mrs Sprot, who is staying with her little daughter, Betty.  Who, among them, is actually the enemy? 

N or M? was such an exciting, suspenseful thriller! I enjoyed every moment of it! Tommy and Tuppence are wonderful, and Agatha Christie builds up the suspense, the thrilling situations, excellently. 

I loved how the two detectives solve the case, the steps they take, the plans they make, that would lead them towards the identity of the enemy. The characters were developed very well. There were plenty, plenty of clues. The book kept me guessing! The solution to the mystery was really very good.

And the suspense that the novel had! It was excellent. N or M? was definitely a very, very wonderful, really very entertaining, suspenseful mystery.  

4 out of 5

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

''Nights in Rodanthe''- Book Review

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Published: 2002

Genres: Novel, Romance

Rating: 3 out of 5


Adrienne Willis, a sixty-year-old divorced mother of three children, is worried about her daughter, Amanda. Amanda has recently lost her husband, Brent, and remains so depressed that deprives her two sons of their mother's sufficient attention. Therefore, Adrienne decides tell Amanda about her past, a past that may inspire her (Amanda) to learn that she has to move on in life.

Fourteen years ago, Adrienne had been asked by her friend, Jean, to temporarily manage her inn, in Rodanthe (Jean had to go away for a while to attend a wedding). There, Adrienne met Paul Flanner, the only guest who stayed in the hotel while she managed it. Paul Flanner, also a divorcee, was a middle-aged doctor who had come to Rodanthe for some work. He was to go to Ecuador soon, where his estranged son, Mark, lived. He wanted to connect with his son. 

Her recent divorce had left Adrienne bitter and sad. And Paul had always been too much busy, that made him give little attention to his son.

Over the stormy weekend, Adrienne and Paul's friendship grew into deep love, and both learnt from each, learnt from each other a lot. Paul goes away to Ecuador, promising to come back a year later.

Adrienne tells all these to Amanda. But what had actually happened to Paul?

Nights in Rodanthe was a short, enjoyable and moving read. While not having the excellent depth of so many other Sparks novels (Safe Haven, A Bend in the Road, True Believer, The Last Song), this one was a comfortable and enjoyable read. I liked both Adrienne and Paul. I liked how the two helped each other...  Adrienne, for example, was able to get over the bitter divorce.

 The main theme of this novel is moving on in life, a theme that is shared by many other of the author's works.

Overall, it is a gentle, quick, and enjoyable novel.

Monday, 9 September 2013

''Sad Cypress''- Book Review

Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1940

Genres: Novels, Mystery, Suspense

Rating: 3 out of 5


Sad Cypress is the first courtroom drama in Agatha Christie's Hercule Poirot series. In this novel, Elinor Carlisle is accused of murdering Mary Gerrard. All the evidences are against Elinor. It is apparent that only Elinor had the motive and the opportunity of committing the murder. But Peter Lord, a doctor, loves her so deeply that he does not care if she is really innocent or not. He just wants Elinor to be saved from the gallows. For this, he asks Poirot to investigate the case, find evidences that might be used in Elinor's favor. When Poirot starts investigating, he realizes that things are not as simple as they seem to be.
I didn't really love Sad Cypress. I expected more from it, after coming across so many positive reviews. But however, I enjoyed it. I didn't feel boring while reading. The first part, told from Elinor's perspective, was really quite entertaining, deep and even intense at times (Elinor's thoughts were really intense). The second and third parts were well-paced and nice as well. The characters, especially Elinor, were well developed. But it didn't have the suspense that I have found, so far, in Christie's novels (there was a lot of suspense, though, in the first part). The solution of the mystery was okay, I didn't think it was bad. It was a compelling read, but it could have been better with a little more suspense.

Saturday, 7 September 2013

''The Voyage of the Dawn Treader''- Book Review

Author: C. S. Lewis
Published: 1952

Genres: Novel, Fantasy, Mystery, Adventure

Rating: 4 out of 5


Edmund and Lucy are living with some relatives. Their cousin, Eustace, is a nasty boy. One day, Edmund, Lucy and Eustace are transported to Narnia through a painting in the wall of the house! They find themselves in a boat called Dawn Treader. They are reunited with their friend, King Caspian, whom they helped to get his right to the throne, in the previous book of the series, Prince Caspian. King Caspian is sailing towards the east. There are two different aims of this journey. Caspian aims to find the seven friends of his father. Secondly, going towards the east, they plan to travel to the World's End, where nobody has been to before. They believe that Aslan's country might be there. During their travel, they come across many adventures and dangers.

Though just a year has passed in our world, in Narnia three whole years have passed. At first I felt this a little odd, as in the previous book, a thousand years had passed in Narnia though in our world just a year had passed. But later C. S. Lewis explained that you never know how much time has passed in Narnia until you get there.

Only a few characters that appeared in the earlier books appear in this one: Edmund, Lucy, Caspian, Reepicheep, and Aslan. Several new characters are introduced.

I really liked Voyage of the Dawn Treader. So far, the Narnia series has absolutely fascinated me. I must admit that I did feel a bit more homely with the first two books, but this one was splendid as well. I really liked the adventures. You never can guess what the characters will come across! And also there was a suspense as the reader is not sure what they might find at the eastern end of the world. Among the adventures my favorite was the one where Eustace learned his lesson. I also loved the description of the sea people! I liked Ramandu as well.

Friday, 6 September 2013

''Death on the Nile''- Book Review

Author: Agatha Christie
Published: 1937

Genres: Novel, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense 

Rating: 5 out of 5


The first chapter of Agatha Christie's Death on the Nile is a bit confusing. A lot of characters are introduced. A lot of suspense is built up. And the first chapter contributed a great deal to the excellent development of suspense.

I really loved Agatha Christie's ''Death on the Nile''. Not only is it an excellent mystery, but it also has so much emotional intensity. The large cast of characters is so well developed, and the situation, suspense and mystery... oh well, so excellent! The book waits for a long time until the real crimes take place. Within that time, the characters and incidents are developed, they get deep... And that was absolutely necessary for the excellent depth found in the story.

Linnet Ridgeway is a famous, wealthy, beautiful woman. One day her friend Jacqueline de Bellefort comes to her and tells her that her boyfriend, Simon Doyle, is badly in need of a job. Linnet agrees to employ Simon, and within a short time, Linnet and Simon fall in love, and soon they get married. Jacqueline is furious because her best friend and her boyfriend betrayed her...

On their honeymoon, in Egypt, Linnet and Simon come across Jacqueline. It becomes apparent that Jacqueline is following them, to annoy them, to make them uncomfortable, to take revenge. Linnet and Simon decide that they have to get rid of this problem.

Linnet and Simon are traveling on the boat Karnak. Also present in the boat is the famous detective, Hercule Poirot. Linnet and Simon ask Poirot for his help. They ask him to talk to Jacqueline. He does so. Things get rather complicated with several situations... until one midnight, Linnet Doyle is shot dead...

Who could have shot Linnet? Apparently, Jacqueline didn't, because she had alibi. Who could have then murdered her? And from what motive? 

This time, Hercule Poirot is helped by Colonel Race, who is also traveling on the boat. 

Death on the Nile will certainly remain among my favorite Agatha Christie novels! I adored it... I loved it. I loved the way the characters were developed. I loved the way the suspense was developed. I really admired it's depth. I admired how, while Poirot investigates the murder, backgrounds of so many characters are revealed.  And the solution to the mystery was extremely, extremely satisfying as well. The setting was also really wonderful (most of the story is set on the boat, Karnak). I loved how each of the incidents were so cleverly constructed and solved. 

5 out of 5

Thursday, 5 September 2013

I'm back!!!!

I took a short break from blogging because of my exams (though I did publish two reviews during the break). Now that my exams are over, I'm back to reading and blogging!