And yes, you’re looking at the blog formerly known as Dreamcatcher’s Lair.
So now that we are on slightly familiar ground, HELLO.
I know I’ve come up with several apology posts in the past year, but believe me when I say that I hope this will be the last. I reallyreallyreally hope to up my reading list, set my work-in-progress rolling and blogbomb your feed with more posts that won’t necessarily be more fruitless promises to get back to, well, blogbombing.
Ever heard of the quarter-life crisis? I won’t be surprised if you haven’t. Everyone’s so busy angsty-ing up the midlife crisis that nobody gives a damn about that thing that hits you when you’re a twenty-something with a bucket list of things to do before you turn old and then you realise that, wait, you ARE old. You’re so old that in another 3, 4, at most, 5, years your family and relatives – who ironically end up showing some concern only in this aspect of your life – will be expecting you to settle down, which basically means legally binding yourself to another person and, I don’t know, making babies with said person (!) And no, there’s nothing wrong with that (I think) but it’s a most frightening thought when you’re going through an existential crisis and need a lot of figuring out to do.
And that’s a LOT of figuring out to do, really. Like what-am-I-going-to-do-with-my-life, who’s-gonna-give-me-a-job, should-I-be-a-student-forever-and-accumulate-degrees, oh-god-university-is-killing-me-I-should-quit, I-don’t-care-about-the-world-I-should-just-go-backpacking, damn-I-have-no-money kind of figuring out. See, it’s enough to give someone a life spasm. And then, imagine you have all of this figured out and somebody, SOMEBODY, possibly the last person you expected to do so, comes along and breaks your heart. Why didn’t anyone ever mention that heartbreaks are ten times harder in your 20s than they were when you were in high school? And suddenly that entire part of your life with that person becomes a lie, which you have to remove along with all the plans made and goals set and the dreams dreamt around this time, which basically involves just removing a chunk of your life. A chunk. Which also means that you will have to replace that chunk with something else so that it doesn’t end up being this massive gaping hole because that would suck. Like, really.
See. Existential crisis + chunk-removal-from-your-life event = Catastrophic Quarter Life Crisis.
Which is what I had been going through the entire time I was M.I.A. It wasn’t fun in any way. Ever tried falling off a cliff? No, don’t try that. Think it. Think falling off a cliff when you don’t want to fall off a cliff. Think trying to climb back up and falling off again and again. And again. And then when you’ve finally managed to get yourself up there, all bruises and scars of you, imagine a car running you over. Not a pretty picture, is it? The last few months of my life have been pretty much that – one cliff-fall after another, one car crash after another.
While most of the last few months I’ve spent swinging between self-pity and misanthropy, rage and hate and sadness and utter despair, now I actually feel, I don’t know, wiser. Experience does teach you a lot. And when a trunk full of experience flies out of nowhere and lands on your back, at first you wobble with the weight, but then it gets to be okay. You get to be okay. And you realise that you get to be okay because of that trunk, so you can’t really be mad about it, because with the trunk, you grow up.
I feel like I’ve grown up. I’ve grown up at 22. What I had to go through to collect the stuff that makes up the trunk was eventful and despairing and melancholic and ridiculously frustrating and so utterly devastating, but the trunk’s a part of me and that’s fine because it’s stopped being all those sad and not-sad things. It’s like a manual book I can go back to when I’m thinking about what I want and what I don’t want out of my life. It’s like a chance at a fresh start.
That’s what I’ve decided to do. Give myself a fresh start at just everything. Starting with this blog, which now has a new title and tag line. Also, I’ve decided to use my full name, Bidisha, because, what the hell, I like my name.
I know this is a long and rambly post and you’ve had to bear with me the whole long and rambly way, but, hey, thanks for doing that. It’s nice to know that somebody out there, anybody, is listening to you vent. And if life sucks for you right now, believe me it’ll get better. It will. Even if it doesn’t seem so at the moment. You will come out stronger. And grown up.
Hang in there.
I miss laughing with you.
You said you still wanted us to be friends. I couldn’t grudge you that. I still wanted to be in your life some way. Does it make me pathetic that I can’t let you go? Do you feel sorry that I’d hold on to you any which way I can even though I hate myself for it? Does being in close proximity and not being the way we were before kill you like it kills me – or are we just two people with memories?
I try so hard to keep your thoughts away from my mind. But it’s like an ache I can’t get rid of. And you don’t help really. You’re hot and you’re cold and you come and you go and you leave me with hopes only to dash them all with the next silent treatment.
Remember that Taylor Swift song The Story of Us? Granted neither of us were huge fans, but we also reminded ourselves that we’d never be like that song. How ironic is it that that’s exactly where we got stuck –
This is looking like a contest
Of who can act like they care less
Irony over irony. Makes me wonder if all heartbreaks feel the same way. Which is why it feels like some our singing our diary, while some our writing our story.
I wanted to do everything in the world with you. Wake up every morning next to you. Team up for The Amazing Race together. Visit New York. Tell you I loved you on top of the Eiffel Tower.
You wanted that, too. Or that’s what you said.
What happened to all that?
Have you replaced me with her now? Do you dream these dreams with her now? Is it her you have in mind when you read Neruda now?
I hope you don’t find her skin when you turn off the lights.
I hope for a lot of things now. Like maybe you’ll call me tonight. Or perhaps we’ll run into each other tomorrow near that cafe we used to haunt post noon. Or maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow and realise you’re still in love with me and it was lying dormant slumber-like this past month and has now reawakened with new found fervour and you’ll never leave me again. Or even think of it.
Yes, I still hope for some kind of a miracle. Because it’s that hope that really get me going.
I mean, you loved me, right? And it couldn’t really have vanished into the night, could it?
Maybe you’ll find it again.
Maybe you’ll just need time.
Don’t be scared, though. It’s okay if you don’t want to come back. No, I take that back. It won’t be okay. It can’t be okay. But I’ll understand. Like I have tried to understand things when it comes to you.
It’ll break my already broken heart. And it’ll kill me to see you with someone else. But I think I’ll survive. People do live on with broken hearts, don’t they? Another irony of existence. But, yeah, I’ll get by. I think.
So don’t you worry about me. Hope you get from your life all that you want from it.
Maybe we’ll run into each other at Paris – what, five, ten years from now.
Maybe our kids will meet and fall in love. (How weird will that be?)
Maybe you’ll find yourself in a story of mine.
Even if the maybes don’t happen, you’ll always have my heart.
If you’re still reading this blog, I want to hug you. I realise you wouldn’t want to hug back, cos I’ve been a terrible blogger. Erratic posts, months of neglect, you know what I mean. I don’t really have to emphasize. But, YOU – deserve a hug of appreciation.
Chloe’s older sister, Ruby, is the girl everyone looks to and longs for, who can’t be captured or caged. When a night with Ruby’s friends goes horribly wrong and Chloe discovers the dead body of her classmate London Hayes left floating in the reservoir, Chloe is sent away from town and away from Ruby.
But Ruby will do anything to get her sister back, and when Chloe returns to town two years later, deadly surprises await. As Chloe flirts with the truth that Ruby has hidden deeply away, the fragile line between life and death is redrawn by the complex bonds of sisterhood.
With palpable drama and delicious craft, Nova Ren Suma bursts onto the YA scene with the story that everyone will be talking about.
A word about the cover: That hardcover version is the Most. Brilliant. Cover. Ever. Period.
And that paperback below? Hauntingly creepy. But the hardcover wins, hands down.
This is quite possibly the most gorgeous book I’ve owned. I doubt I can be coherent at all while talking about this because, honestly, it blew my mind. Wow. Just WOW.
If you ask me right now which author I so wish I could write like, I’d say Nova Ren Suma in a heartbeat. Not only is the writing oh-so-breathtaking, she blends it in with a story that will sometimes make your heart ache, sometimes put your heart in your mouth and hang on to you even months after you’ve read it (I speak from experience. Yes, it’s been months that I’ve read it. I just didn’t know how to talk about it. Still don’t, but you get what I mean).
This is a story about sisters and obsession, about dead girls and lost towns, sibling love and sacrifice, destruction and resurrection. This is a story about magic. Magic that will make your toes curl yet keep you captivated. This is magic realism at it’s best. The best I’ve read in years.
At it’s heart, Imaginary Girls is a mystery. There’s mystery in every page, in every character, in every action undertaken by a character. Ruby, Chloe’s older sister, is perhaps the biggest mystery, which also makes her the most enticing character of all. Ruby is complex. So complex that sometimes sometimes it’s scary. But she’ll hold you entranced, like she holds Chloe and the rest of the town. Yet in spite of the power she wields, there will never be a time when you even remotely associate her with being bad. That’s the kind of magic Suma crafts with Imaginary Girls. Her characters will make you wonder at their strangeness, yet you get where they are coming from. You might drown in the terror of the situation, yet you’ll have your heartbroken in pages.
It isn’t just the characters. The setting is stunning. I kid you not when I say it’s perhaps the most vividly atmospheric novel I’ve read since Emily Bronte‘s Wuthering Heights. The reservoir which holds a size-able amount of the mystery of Imaginary Girls takes on a life of it’s own. It’s so richly evocative, sometimes I felt myself drowning in it or listening to it breathe in the night, like Chloe did.
Imaginary Girls is the kind of book that is built on paradoxes. Of reality distorted to suit personal interests. The kind of book that manages to be both startlingly beautiful and hair-raisingly disturbing. The kind that makes you wonder what the author feeds on to have come out with such an extraordinary piece of work. The kind that makes you want to give out copies of it to every person you come across just so they can have a piece of its magic too. The kind that makes you pull out your pen or laptop, if only to make you aspire to create something as marvellous.
Do I recommend this? YES, YES AND A THOUSAND TIMES OVER. And then some more.
And just so I can make you a li’l jealous,
|Author signed! See? 😀
(I won this at a giveaway)
Glimpse a little of the magic through the trailer:
How often do you read magic realism?
by Julie Cross
Released: 17th Jan, ’12.
The year is 2009. Nineteen-year-old Jackson Meyer is a normal guy… he’s in college, has a girlfriend… and he can travel back through time. But it’s not like the movies – nothing changes in the present after his jumps, there’s no space-time continuum issues or broken flux capacitors – it’s just harmless fun.
That is… until the day strangers burst in on Jackson and his girlfriend, Holly, and during a struggle with Jackson, Holly is fatally shot. In his panic, Jackson jumps back two years to 2007, but this is not like his previous time jumps. Now he’s stuck in 2007 and can’t get back to the future.
Desperate to somehow return to 2009 to save Holly but unable to return to his rightful year, Jackson settles into 2007 and learns what he can about his abilities.
But it’s not long before the people who shot Holly in 2009 come looking for Jackson in the past, and these “Enemies of Time” will stop at nothing to recruit this powerful young time-traveler. Recruit… or kill him.
Piecing together the clues about his father, the Enemies of Time, and himself, Jackson must decide how far he’s willing to go to save Holly… and possibly the entire world.
A word about the cover: I don’t know why but I really like the floaty-ness of it. (Is that weird?) Also, the photo is a little unusual for what has recently flooded the YA market (read: Sad Girls In Pretty Dresses). It makes me want to give it a second look.
The whole time-traveling shizz appeals to me a lot. I think that’s the coolest possible super-power to have. I mean, what can you not do if you can travel through time? And lets face it: the premise of Tempest is actually very relatable. How many times have we thought if only I could turn back time when we lost a loved one? Me? Tons.
Tempest was a book I wanted to read, ever since I started following Julie’s blog, right after she got her book deal, even before the book became the talking point across blogosphere.
It was..well, inventive. I was uber curious about what was happening and what was going to happen and if Jackson would really be able to save Holly and all those things that could make this book work. Unfortunately, it was also one of those books that you go through a page-flipping-frenzy mode for then promptly forget about (I didn’t forget because I had to do this review, but you get the hint).
My problem mostly was with the characters – a shallow bunch of jerks with some wrong notions about certain things. Case in point: Holly’s roommate is called a feminist – when she is very clearly a misandrist – and is dismissed as being a bitch along the same lines. And what does that imply? That a feminist is very easily a misandrist or that feminists are bitches? Because that’s EXACTLY how it comes across.
Also, Jackson’s reaction on getting to know that Holly is a virgin? He’s worried about her and then goes –
The idea that she might not enjoy this was turning me in the other direction. I couldn’t remember the last time I had been with a virgin, even just messing around. Maybe never.
I mean, DUDE, seriously? Jackson’s seventeen. And he has slept with so many people he doesn’t even remember the last virgin he slept with? (At the same time we get to hear Holly call him ‘deep’. I mean, SERIOUSLY?) I don’t get moralising over books or anything but what really annoys me is Jackson’s attitude here. So is he implying that being a virgin means you’re all uptight and that it probably puts him off? Or is it that because somebody isn’t a virgin it’s okay to mess around with them?
And at the same time he’s actually worried about Holly, huh? Contradictions, contradictions. Conclusively, Jackson ends up being typecast as the seemingly nice guy who is really a jerk underneath. Sadly, no character development there.
I call these characters jerks because there’s no redemption, nowhere in the book do they regret such thoughts or realise what absolute jackasses they really are. All of it is as easily dismissed as it is brought on. Like this very dignified bit:
“I just met this chick last night at my friend’s party. She’s mega hot and a total airhead.” “Exactly your type right?” “Yeah, but only if the flakiness is genuine. Not that pretend-I’m-stupid shit. You know it’s going to bite you in the ass later. Besides, I love messing with people who just don’t get it.”
Waaay. To. Go.
I had issues with Tempest throughout my reading experience of it. Maybe if I leave my own personal beliefs aside, maybe it could work. I mean, I loved the bits Jackson had with his sister Courtney. I think I was mostly in that page-flipping-frenzy mode just so I could get to the parts with/about her. But then, such personal beliefs can’t really be pushed aside. I *am* a feminist and I cannot tolerate sexism and coming from a country where woman’s position in society is a matter of argument every-freaking-day, reading about women being dismissed as easily as toilet paper makes me angry.
Yes, there are good things about the book. Like I said, Courtney. And it moves at breakneck speed inspite of the whole ‘time-line’ thing being highly confusing more often than not. And the last quarter of the book makes you feel a little bad for the main characters sometimes. It’s not a bad book.
But, I don’t know. With all those sexist ideas being dismissed as casual fun, it’s not exactly making it to my list of good books.
Reading is subjective, right?
I know Tempest has/will have it’s fair share of fans (heck, a movie’s been optioned, too!). It’s just that I’m not one of them.
Have you read Tempest? What’s your favourite read on time travel?