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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-01-21 08:54
Guest-Blogger Icky Loves the Heck Outta the First Book in the Thursday Next Series by Jasper Fforde






As Icky will tell you later, I browbeat and bullied her into reading this book because I knew how perfect it'd be for her. And what do you know? I was right! Without further ado...







Quite similar to the phenomenon of writer’s block, there is a thing called reader’s block. The symptoms include not being able to read anything despite a burning desire to do so. Anyway, that was what I was suffering from when like a great friend Midu—my office buddy, an awesome writer, and one of the few cool persons I have in my life right now, suggested (made me read it by force) me a book— The Eyre Affair by Jasper Fforde. Since I had no choice, I started reading it.




What I Found


First thing first, I love classics and guess who else share my passion for them? Thursday Next—the protagonist. What started on the basis of mutual interest proved to be an endless romance. There is every kind of awesomeness hidden or sometimes oozing out of the book. Set in an alternative reality, MS. Next’s world has Literatecs who investigate the literary crimes. Surprisingly, there are a huge number of those committed there as well—finally, the criminals have realized what is truly valuable, even if only in the fictional world, but since fiction is where we dwell, it is all good!




The Protagonist


Thursday Next had been previously involved in Crimea—some kind of world war involving England and Russia. However, she left that behind after her brother dies and she drifts apart from the love of her life over a misunderstanding (you have to read the book to find more about it). Now, she is a litertec and things turn quite interesting when a villain from her past decides to visit her present and meddle with something she prizes the most—books!

Since we are on the topic of past and present—her dad is into timey wimey wibbly wobbly stuff—that explains the daughter’s name. He is quite an intriguing character, who keeps visiting her in his own good time, kind of off his hook but brainy as hell—very Ravenclawish!





The Villain


Now Mr. Evil has very clear ideas—loves evil just for the sake of it (money is not bad either). The guy could have done great in his life, had he not favored the dark side so much. However, he still considers himself quite successful. He knows how to do anything, like ANYTHING—can walk through solid materials without being noticed. Interesting, right? He keeps crossing Thursday’s path every now and then.





Other Amazing Stuff


Apart from the good versus evil, there are several interesting theories. The best one being—Let’s get inside a book—LITERALLY! This is what actually grabbed my attention, in the world of Thursday Next, you can move inside a book. I find the idea beautiful¬—it is like when you are really into a book, it allows you to enter it, but this time you can make changes as well!!! You meet the characters and alter the story. Amazing, no? I would love to dive and save Severus Snape any day. Will keep him for me, even if it means a life full of potion making—the things we do for love!

Sorry for that moment of self-indulgence!

Coming back to Thursday’s world, she has a genius scientist uncle who invents all kind of amazing stuff and it is his machine that allows you to travel inside a book. Wait, things are going to turn even more exciting—bookworms—actual creatures that feed off prepositions, fuel the machine. I mean how more cool it can get.




My Verdict


There are several other interesting theories to explore in there. I will be leaving those for you to discover on your own. For me, it had all the things I needed but then again, my book agent (read drug dealer) knows me so well. If you are looking for a book suggestion that will just make your day—be friends with Midu and she will provide you with just the right stuff.

Happy reading!


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review 2016-05-26 06:17
Literally! Also figuratively
Going Dark (The Red Trilogy) - Linda Nagata

Nagata wasn't kidding about the title, Going Dark, boy howdy. It's a military term for dropping under the radar, but here it's also about questioning every living loving thing you might believe in. Going Dark is a drag, a little, as a novel. It's mostly Shelley and Tran and the other guy pointing guns at other people or recuperating, but it's a necessary drag in the service of The Red. Shelley keeps saying, you can never trust the Red, but he does, on a level; he's the godamn Hero of Black Cross. But this is the novel where the rubber hits the road. The end is brutally open, the kind of thing one finds in a complex, ugly world where there are no easy answers. Hoo rah. 

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review 2016-02-07 18:52
Romantically Disturbed
Literally (Romantically) Disturbed #3: Love Poems to Rip Your Heart Out - Ben H. Winters,Adam F. Watkins

With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, I just had to get my hands on this novel. “Love poems to rip your heart out, “now there’s a caption that makes you stop in your tracks. The black-and-white photos that adorned the cover sets the tone for what awaits for you inside. The human heart that sits pooling in its own blood, speared by the feathered arrow, Romantically Disturbed’s cover was beautifully done.   This being a YA nonfiction novel, I thought I could entice some of my fellow students to perhaps fall for some poetic views this Valentine’s Day but I, myself was having a hard time finding something inside these pages to read to them. There is quite a variety inside but perhaps it was my own maturity level that was having a hard time justifying the poems that were written on the pages. I found some of the poems fantastic but then some of them lacked substance. The age of the person reading this book could be anywhere from second grade to middle school based on this information. I found the book confusing as some of the poems were simple and without substance and others had a fantastic story and were intense. As I read some of the poems to a group of sixth graders, some of them were disgusted with it (what I wanted to occur), some saw the poem unfolding and others where lost and I had to try to explain where the author was going with it.


I liked the poem titled The Ring and its illustration. The illustrations grossed me out a bit but it perfectly matches the poem describing a woman whose eyes are set on the ring that her fiancé is giving her. She is deaf to everything he says as her eyes are glued on the beautiful ring.  “This ring, it means forever, so-“and later unfortunately her husband dies and now she comments, “Forever,” she said. “Forever, I know-“and the ring, well she wanted to ring and now, she has it forever! I also liked the poem One Wish. In this poem the genie grants a boy one wish but the boy wasn’t too specific when he made his wish and someone is paying the price for his mistake. The boy… he wants another wish.


I was disappointed in the book as I was hoping to find the poems creepy and eerie and there were only a few that fit into this style for me. The illustrations, the majority of them were fantastic! The illustrations saved the book for me, the black-and-white sketches by Adam Watkins were creepy and detailed and I loved looking at them.   I ended up sharing the illustrations with the sixth graders and they really enjoyed them. Their imaginations were going as I asked them what they saw in them and it would have been a perfect opportunity for them to write their own poems, had we had time. The illustrator using only black, white and grays as he created, casting an terrifying element on the page with fortune-tellers, hearts, humans and zombies, just to mention a few. It’s a book that is definitely worth checking out.


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review 2015-08-24 04:58
Literally Murder (Black Cat Bookshop series, #4)
Literally Murder - Ali Brandon

We need a "meh" emoticon.


I should love this series: cats and bookshops.  It's written fairly well too.  But I don't; it's just not doing anything for me and after 4 books I'm just going to accept that and move on.

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review 2015-05-15 14:14
Quite Literally Barcelona (BiteSize Travel, #5) - Gill Balfour

I am preparing for my first-ever trip to Spain (a business trip to Barcelona, but with a little room for sight-seeing), so I purchased a number of travel books. This was one of them.

I'm not sure how much use it is for someone who has never visited the city, to be honest. The connections to sites and literature were interesting, but I don't feel like I learned much about or got a feel for the city and its geography.

The author lived in the region for several years, according to the notes at the end. This, I think, is part of the problem: she is very familiar and thus presumes that her reader is as well.

Entertaining, but not helpful for a first-time visitor to Barcelona.

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