In which I talk about the Quarter Life Crisis. Again.

It’s been quiet around here for the longest time — dude, studying for a Masters degree is exhausting and not just because of the many ways in which it leaves you more prone to sleep in the daytime and hunger pangs post-midnight and hey, it’s not cool — but, hello.

So I thought this little blog from this part of the universe was dead and rotting because, really, WHO WOULD EVEN WANT TO READ THIS ANYMORE? (Yeah, I still think that. Sometimes. When I think of the blog, ie). I mean, my last post happened in June, 2013 and here we are in Feb, 2014 (holy shit) and we’re all almost a year older already and everyone’s obviously moved on in their lives from wherever they were last year. Then I realised that I still have some 315 followers, so maybe, maybe someone out there would still want to read this.

So much has changed.
For instance my writing voice has undergone a change. All my narrative voices now belong to twenty-somethings, which is a little overwhelming considering that I’ve spent almost all my life so far writing young adult stuff. Young adults still feature heavily in anything I write but the twenty-somethings take centre-stage. Because, lets face it, at 23, I feel like the twenties have taught me waaaay more than all that I’ve learnt in the rest of the years of my life combined. I used to think being a teenager was hard but heck, nobody warned me about what the twenties would be like – it’s youagainsttheworld hard. And I think this is when you grow into the person you will probably be for the majority of the rest of your life to come (I’m guessing) so everything you do becomes doubly important. And, WHY DOES NOBODY WRITE ABOUT ANY OF THIS? The majority of books I’ve read featuring twenty somethings only talk about a relationship a twenty something has with a particular someone. (Okay, maybe I’m not reading the right books – somebody throw recommendations my way, please?) But, hey, how did it get so easy for them? I thought the quarter life crisis featured the crisis that relationships have been causing our generation, not a relationship. If it was so easy to figure out which relationship will end up defining us, none of us would be hyperventilating so much. Or, okay, maybe that’s just me.

And wait..what about the jobs? Why does nobody write about the scary prospect of landing or not landing a job? Post-university life is like taking a plunge into the Black Hole, hurtling yourself through a corridor which you know only ends in oblivion but which you hope will take you to a roses-and-daisies garden. In reality you just end up somewhere inbetween, although you seem to hit both extremes alternately most times.

The only representation that comes even remotely close to portraying what this quarter-life crisis is like is the HBO tv series Girls. I think. At least the first two seasons were good. The third one’s kinda blah but the reason it has me nodding along to it is because it straight-up shows it as it is. No, relationships aren’t as romantic as the movies make them up to be, even if you have the one that you want. Sex can be awesome and crude at the same time and no, that doesn’t make you part of a porno. Your dream job will in all  probability not be as cracked up to be but that’s okay, you have a job and you would rather do this than anything else, so keep at it. Or quit. Or whatever. Yes, we are selfish and impulsive and scared – sofuckingscared – and most of the time we have no clue about what we are really looking for and to add the cherry on the cake, we are getting old. Oh my god.

Dude. Life is hard.

And it doesn’t get any easier when the world around you is falling apart and you want so hard to make it all right again but you can’t because fucking laws. So I’m talking about India, where two months back the Supreme Court overturned the High Court’s ruling that had de-criminalized homosexuality back in 2009. Basically, after granting every individual the right to love and fuck with consent whoever they want to, my country just reverted back to the stone age and declared that 2.5 million (and that’s just the official estimate) of its population are criminals simply on the basis of who they choose to love. Reaaaally. I thought Russia was crazy but this is loon haven extraordinaire.

Which brings me to this. Watch, if you haven’t already. Norway is the coolest.

If governing bodies start making laws against love, I don’t know what it’s saying about the human race in general. I mean, I get that in spite of our much-spoken-about powers of reasoning, we’re actually pretty stupid, but are we really that cruel? It’s like watching a dystopian world unfold right before you. And we shouldn’t have to deal with something like that. Nobody has to.

So, yes, it’s pretty bleak out there. And here in Delhi there hasn’t even been much of the sun. Which isn’t all that bad (hey, I like it cloudy – but only, weather-wise) but it takes more than three days for my clothes to dry. THREE DAYS. In the meanwhile I’m running out of both clothes and money and very soon *hopefully* I’ll be done with my M.A. as well and then I have noideawhattodo. Oh shit.

The good thing, though, is the fact that I’ve finally found my drive to write again and I quite like the new writing voice and my family and I’ve never gotten along better and even though the world’s a very shitty place sometimes, it also has it’s moments of loveliness like what these people did when they saw this little boy shivering in the cold and that just restores your faith in almost everything. And although some terrible people are running (or hoping to run) the country and messing with the basic fundamental rights of so many people I love there’s still a flickering hope that we could dust off the drivel and change the world to be a better place because even though I’ve blown off all my savings for this month on new books, I’m kinda happy and some 1452kms away in my hometown there’s a beautiful boy who makes me mad but makes me smile more often and it’s cold but I have socks on my feet and college isn’t bad (although I have no idea where I go from here) but hey, I have hopes. I hope you do too. And I hope you never give up on that.

And I hope you listen to her. This is SoKo and I only just found her on Youtube Narnia. She’s French and beautiful and makes me want to curl up and cry happy tears.

And if that’s not your kind, get yourself some Nirvana. It’s Kurt’s birthday 🙂 And I think he still smells like teen spirit.

letter to a once-lover.

Dear Love,

Does it sound weird, calling you that? Does it make you cringe and wish this never reached you? Or are you laughing at the fact that I’m still not over you? Or, maybe, just maybe, it’s making you smile a little. And remember us. I hope it’s making you think of us.
I still think of us. Of the things we did, the plans we made, the dreams we shared. I think of us with every waking moment. And in the quiet of the night, when the rest of the world is slumber-worn, floating in an universe far removed from the one they inhabit during the day, I remember our phone calls – the late calls that made me a night bird, the thought of which still keeps me a night bird. I remember all that we spoke of. There was something about that time post-midnight. Everything seemed brighter, newer, shinier. Everything was…possible. The world was ours. We were infinite. 
Most nights I wait for the phone to ring. And it does. Just not from you. And when it does ring from you, it’s just not that magical hour.
But thank you, for the phone calls. It’s always good to hear your voice and even better when I can almost hear you smiling through your words. Sometimes I admonish myself, for waiting so eagerly for you to call, for trying to hold on to every bit of our conversation, when I know that you only call when you’re bored. And lonely. And not with her.

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.
I try.
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.
Maybe.

But hey.
Even if the maybes don’t happen, you’ll always have my heart.

Always,
Your once-lover.

In Which I Talk About Being An Epic Fail

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.

Thing is, I don’t even have an excuse for this.
I can’t tell you that I’ve been awfully busy or that something terrible happened that kept me away from the virtual world because it’s not true. My life hasn’t been tough. On the contrary it’s been rather pleasant. Except for the fact that I’ve been sick for a week, I’ve been…almost happy. And this isn’t about a week-long illness. This blog-neglect thing has been building up for months now. Almost 6 months into the year and I have an embarrassing number of posts to show for it.
The cause? I’ll get back to you on that when I find out.
All I do know, is that somehow that drive is gone. (Doesn’t it feel like a pity party already?)
I’ve been an erratic blogger, to the point where sometimes the whole blogging thing has started to feel like a chore. When it’s really not. I mean, nobody ever forced me into this thing. Yes, I do have author/publisher review requests waiting for me, but they only send them ‘cos they know I love doing it and I’ve asked for it. Not like I’m being force-fed it.
My reading count has gone down. It’s like I’ve hit the lowest of the lows since I was, I don’t know, 9 years old.  I planned on reading a 100 books this year and instead I’m floundering somewhere in the early 20s when almost half-the-freaking-year is gone.
And writing? I haven’t added anything new to What Was Mine since February and I dare to call myself an aspiring writer. I keep thinking about it and seeing everything unfold in my head like a movie, but somehow, when it comes to putting it into writing, the words have stopped flowing.
It’s like I’ve lost that whole drive to do the things that I loved the most.
And no, it doesn’t even give me the satisfaction of feeling like a tortured artist. No trench-coat-wearing (it’s too freaking hot), cigarette-smoking (allergic), caffeine-drinking (happens, but occasionally) tormented persona for me to fall back on. That romance has flown outta the window. All I do now is watch Supernatural (at least that’s one loved thing I still have immense drive for) and scream-sing along to Aerosmith and Kansas and all those bands that feature on the Supernatural soundtrack and then I think about how cool all their lives are and it makes me feel tremendously sad that I’m freaking-21-years-old and I haven’t even achieved half the things I thought I would by now. And I don’t know, I just can’t even do anything about it because now when I think of distracting myself from thoughts of this ridiculous helplessness I can’t even read or write, instead I Facebook-procrastinate. Like, seriously. What is wrong with me?

It’s like I’ve even stopped trying. Like, earlier there was a certain belief to hold on to. A belief that yeah, all those things that I dream of? Yes, they can come true. But it’s like somebody reached inside me and pulled that belief out, ground it into powder and blew it into the wind and now it’s so far away I can’t even get it back. Like someone put all those dreams and goals in a bag and stamped a big-lettered ‘Cancelled’ over it and now dangles it over my head just to show that no, none of them came true and I’m exactly where I was two years back and maybe this’ll where I’ll be in many more years to come. Just stagnant.
When I think about blogging, getting back into it and it’s cool-dom, I’m left wondering, WHO ON EARTH WILL EVEN WANT TO READ THIS ANYMORE? I mean, there are so many bigger, better, so-much-more-brilliant blogs out there, then why THIS? And then it’s back to Kansas and Aerosmith and Avril’s rendition of Knocking On Heaven’s Door, which all just makes me sad all over again and I don’t even know why.
There are SO many books out there I want to read. And plenty more are coming out. Like Amy Reed’s Crazy, which I’m reading on Netgalley and which has pretty much wrecked my heart even though I’m only halfway in. I just wish I’d find the drive to talk about them again. And need to feel that what I say does matter. Even to one person.
It’s ridiculous. I don’t think I’ve ever moped so publicly. I don’t know what’s wrong with me but I felt the need to just get it out there. I mean, what the heck, at least the blog gets an update. Oh god. I could just ramble on and on and you could be there with your mouse hovering over the ‘unfollow’ button (I know there there isn’t one, that you have to go a long way to get there, but still), unless you’ve done it already, and I wouldn’t know where to stop. You know those frenzies you get into and you don’t know how far they can just go on? Yeah, that.
Not pleasant.
Sigh.
Here’s the thing: I don’t know where I go from here. Like, if I’ve be back to responsible reader/writer/blogger ways. I have no freaking clue. Whether just getting this post out there will magically bring back my drive and all fine things along with it. Heck, I wish it would. And hell yeah, I’m gonna put in some sort of an effort to get things back into their rightful place. No promises, but try I will. I probably owe myself just that much. I think.
Ever found yourself in such a rut?
And just cos you stuck around – if you have – and witnessed this Blog Dance of Pathetico, I’ll reward your eyes with something pleasant. Something waaaaaay more pleasant.
I hope you’re having a good time 🙂

The Hunger Games. OMFG.

Yes. It happened.
I watched. The first show in the city, in the wee hours of the morning.
Did you? Did you? 15+ hours later, I’m still overwhelmed.

And…WOW. It was SO good. The book came alive and there was Katniss with her bow and arrow and the Capitol and – OH SHUCKS, I’M JUST GONNA LIST IT COS I CAN’T HELP IT. (This might get spoiler-ish, so be warned).

  • JENNIFER LAWRENCE. She was born to be Katniss. No exaggeration. How could I EVER doubt her? She was amazing. I can’t imagine anyone else taking her place. Oh God. I think I’m pretty much in love with her. Who cares about the boys – yes, they were delectable, but heck, TEAM KATNISS!
  • The Capitol and it’s clothes. It was like an avant-garde rainbow parade. And holy moly, THOSE EYELASHES.
  • Effie’s appearance reminded me of the Queen of Hearts from Alice In Wonderland. Elizabeth Banks is a delight to watch. I was a little bummed that she wasn’t as despicable as I found her to be in the first book, but, oh well, she’s very watch-worthy.
  • If beards can give you boners, watch out for Seneca Crane’s. His is the shizzle. And that scene with him in the end? Perfection. I wish he didn’t have to die, so I could drool over his beard some more. (WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?*shakes head*)
  • Also, WHO KNEW CATO WOULD BE SUCH HOTNESS? By God, the Witch Mountain kid grew up and how. Major. Swoon. Alert.
  • I was wrong about Josh Hutcherson. He made an adorable Peeta. I wanted to bring him home with me the entire time. And he should go blond permanently.
  • Liam Hemsworth as Gale? STUDMUFFIN. Keep that black hair dye on. You lucky girl, Miley!
  • And no, I’m not going to go into the whole Team thing ‘cos I like both boys but I also think Katniss made the right choice. The only thing that bothered me about the movie is that Real/For show love between Katniss and Peeta didn’t seem to be emphasized upon much. A non-reader of the books could easily miss the fact that Haymitch uttered a couple of words about putting on a ‘show of love’ to  make an impression on the sponsors and the gamemakers. I thought that was a very important aspect of the Katiniss-Peeta relationship – how that Love For Show becomes Love For Reals – so the underplaying of that was a little, um…jarring? If I think of it independent of the book, though – which I can’t, the obsessive fan that I am – I guess it works well.
  • I bawled my eyes out when Rue died. My brother cried, too, I know, although he had his hands over his face. A 15 year old boy crying in the theatre should tell you there was a lot of perfection involved in the shooting of the scene, in spite of the whole thing about the little kid dying being so very, very wrong.
  • The other tributes? I don’t know how many times I have to repeat the word ‘perfection’ in this post. Yes, that. Special toast for the Careers. You’ve gotta agree they’ve got style.
  • District 12 and Katniss’ home. EXACTLY how it should’ve been.
  • Yes, there were a few things I would’ve liked to see. Like, you know, Madge. Even though she’s probably not that important but – she gave Katniss the mockingjay pin! And that had a lot of significance which was kinda lacking in the movie. Umm, yeah. And I thought that President Snow would be more sinister and not look like a dystopian-Dumbledore-with-a-shorter-beard. And Haymitch would be, well…drunker. STILL. It turned out to be a really good movie with a cast of uber-talented actors. And guess, what? I, for one, cannot wait for Catching Fire. (also, that happens to be my favourite book of the series).
So.
Have you watched it yet? Are you going to?

On a drool-worthy note, I’m gonna leave you with a photo of the beautiful cast of tribute when they aren’t at each other’s throats. Psssst, look at that sexy blond in the middle!

In which I come back with news.

Don’t even ask me about that unexplained hiatus.
I have no idea what happened. Or…wait, maybe I do. You know those days when things just start happening and happen so much they just can’t stop? Well, THAT happened. Life did. It turns out that I now find myself knee-deep in a thing I didn’t even see coming, with a Boy who wasn’t even on the List (you know, one that consists of Tom Felton and the Winchester brothers and all those pretty boys on tv) and well, it’s been craaazy. This would’ve kinda made for an interesting high school story, except for the fact that we are both in university. Teehee.

ANYWHO. Enough with the personal talk. Like I said, I have news. Tra-la.

Firstly, guys, guys, guys. Remember that cover contest all of you helped me with? The one where you helped me choose one among several covers I made for Holly Cupala’s Don’t Breathe A Word? Not once but TWICE? Guess what, all your amazing input went into making me win that contest. And this was my first cover contest in, like, ever. THANK YOU! I wish I could send you guys something, all of you, to show how grateful I am for all your help, but, alas, being a poor college student has it’s disadvantages. But, really, if it means anything at all, thank YOU.

So you wanna see what I got?

So that’s a copy of Don’t Breathe A Word and an audio book of Tell Me A Secret and bookmarks and a graphic novel excerpt and um, stickers? Because of you guys, I now own an audio book. My first one ever. I’m not even kidding.
The best part?

Yes, personally signed! Gotta love that. And Holly’s got such nice handwriting, hasn’t she? *cuddles book*

In other news, which you must all be aware of by now, unless you’ve been living under a rock, JK ROWLING HAS A NEW BOOK! (that’s just one of the many links Google will take you to if you simply type in ‘J.K. Rowling’). So we don’t know much about the book, but we know something. We know that:

  • it’s NOT Harry Potter
  • it’s an adult novel
  • it will be published by Little, Brown
  • more details will be revealed later in the year

godimsoexcitedidontevenknowwhattodorightnow*wringshands*itcrazyohmygodohmygodohmygodthequeenofmychildhoodiscomingbackinmyadulthood!

Also, Maureen Johnson (yes, our very own Maureen Johnson) wrote an amazing article in the guardian asking naysayers to dispose their doubts about THE bestselling children’s writer venturing into adult territory. I mean, c’mon, you can’t really expect another Harry Potter, but don’t put her down before you even know what she’s coming up with this time. OH GOD, I’M SO EXCITED. *does jagger dance* (don’t laugh, okay? i know you’re laughing. stop. STOP)

Moving on (ohmyfreakinggodrowlinghasanewnovel!).
*deep breath*
My friend from college, Paro has a new blog! I’ve known her for more than 3 years now and she’s a wonderful person, a lot of fun to talk to and by god, just look at Leafturner Tales! Isn’t it cute? She’s brand, brand new to the blogging world and she’s already gathered some followers (because she’s awesome that way), but it would be wicked cool of you guys to head that way and say ‘hi’. Show her how awesome and nice the blogosphere is 🙂

Random:

(so did the oscars go according to your prediction?)

Also, I came across this one on my aunt’s Facebook profile and it made me smile 😉

and, it’s 25 DAYS TILL THE HUNGER GAMES!
*hyperventilates*
ohgodohgodohgod

The Review Debacle

(I have a lot to say, so bear with me)

This has been going on far too long. I think every year there comes a time when the eternal debate of whether authors/aspiring authors should be book reviewers too comes up. This generally sparks off several more posts regarding reviews (blogger reviews, to be specific) and how positive or negative they should or shouldn’t be. And it’s alright to have these discussions. That’s why we are human beings. We have the power to reason and discuss, test and explore new ideas. And every year we have some very interesting discussions on said topics, which leave us with greater understanding of things, even if our fundamental beliefs remain unchanged.

This time, though, something went wrong. Something spiraled beyond discussions and took on an ugliness of its own – where certain authors ganged up on certain reviewers, certain agents conspired with certain authors to rig the review rating system on Goodreads and Amazon, mudslinging and bitch-slamming in public took place – it’s been one hot mess after another.

And it’s been very, very disappointing. This is NOT the book world as I know it. The book world I’ve grown to love and respect is the one where writers and reviewers and readers co-exist in harmony – occasionally going to tea with the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, engaging in Wildean witty banter, tipping their hats to each other when they gather at book clubs or pen clubs (where they brainstorm ideas. This doesn’t officially exist by that name). There are differences of opinions, yes. As long as there will be people there will be opinions and everyone has a different opinion and everyone’s entitled to it. But this is done with a respect for each other, with the thought that – ‘Yes, I understand that’s what you think about me/about this book and while I don’t necessarily agree with you, I appreciate your thoughts’.

Unfortunately, that’s the ideal. Which obviously, also makes it unreal. The ugly truth of it is that somewhere that line between public and private has been crossed and dirty linen is being washed in full view of the rest of the world.

I mean, look at us. I’m assuming (and rightly so) that we are all literature lovers here. And literature preserves the ideals of humanity. It’s supposed to give us a better understanding of life. Supposed to sensitize us to people and their situations. Of all people, we, readers and lovers of literature should know that jumping at each other’s throats is not the way to go about things. And creators of literature? You should know better.

My biggest dream is to be a published author. I want to hold a book in my hands, which has a shiny new cover and my name on its spine. A book that people will want to read and hopefully, some of them will love a little. Yes, that’s what I really hope happens someday.

But you know what? I was a reader first. It’s my love for reading, for books, that made me want to be a writer. I love talking about them, what they made me and didn’t make me feel. What worked and what didn’t work for me. Would I be reading it again or would I be putting it aside? I like the process of reviewing, evaluating a book and then interacting with fellow readers and getting to know their thoughts on said book.

But when someone tells me that by putting forward my honest thoughts about a book I may as well be killing off my future career as an author, that disappoints me. You’re asking me to choose between my love and my dream. I ask you: WHY? Why does it have to be a choice between either? I understand that the writers of the books I don’t fangirl over might become my colleagues when/if I do get published, so it might get awkward, but whether I deal with it by simply deleting all reviews I’ve written or not, is entirely my decision. If I’m not mistaken, whether or not I become published or not depends entirely on my own merit and not because I may not have liked a book by a fellow author and publicly said so. Unless there’s a conspiracy of some sort brewing in the industry.

Which brings me to a post by a certain very well-respected author that saddened me a great deal. The author made some interesting points but it all boiled down to her perception that book bloggers aren’t real reviewers. That, I vehemently disagree with.

Now, guys.
I understand where she’s coming from. She talks about jerk-fests – personal attacks that come under the guise of reviews. That is wrong. That is just very, very wrong. Yes, we live in a free world (at least most of us do) and we are allowed freedom of speech (at least, till now) but that’s NOT to be exploited. Reviews that go: “Oh jeez, I think this author wrote this book simply to annoy me! She should be locked up in an asylum and that goddamned book should be barbecued!” NO. That is NOT how book reviews should go, no matter how much you hate a book. Be snarky, yes, use funny gifs, have a good laugh – heck, yes, that’s fine – but you cross the line at cruelty and meanness. I get that. And I’m totally against it.

But what I don’t get is the distinction she makes between paid reviews and unpaid ones. Between how real the professional reviews (say, ones that appear in The Guardian and the New York Times and other literary publications) and how not real the unprofessional reviews (say, on Goodreads and book blogs) are. I mean, seriously? That’s like saying that books that don’t win awards aren’t real books.
Blogger reviews are NOT all jerk-fests that take potshots at the author’s personal life. NO. They probably comprise only 2% of the blogosphere. So clubbing every blog reviewer under the ‘jerks’ umbrella is biased and wrong.

The author also says:

Let’s talk about the negative “reviews” that authors have been lashing out at. They often involve animated gifs, swearing, and snark. They’re often quite funny. But here’s the thing, though. When a blogger writes a biased, hilarious, snarky rundown of a book they despised, he/ she is not writing a review. They are writing a post about a book. I’m not saying that bloggers shouldn’t write biased, hilarious, snarky rundowns of books. I’m saying that those rundowns are not reviews. Bloggers who regularly write them cannot expect to garner the same respect and treatment from authors that pro reviewers or non-pro reviewers do. They can’t expect authors to read their posts and learn something from them. And they cannot expect authors to not take it personally. They’ve made it personal. 

Um, hello – WHAT?
So because they are informal, these are not reviews? I don’t get it. How I evaluate is book is entirely up to me. And what’s the deal about these being personal? DUDE, art is personal. Everything about art is personal. There can’t ever be anything such as looking at a book ‘objectively’. I mean, how can it? The way you respond to a book is entirely yours. You and I might love a book but on a deeper level, in almost all probability we love it for very different reasons. EVERY REVIEW IS SUBJECTIVE. It is personal, because it it about how I personally feel about the book. Irrespective of whether or not I mention the ‘I’ in my reviews, it’s omnipresent. It would be ridiculous to suggest otherwise.

I realise it’s very hard to let your book – your sweat and blood and tears – out there and watch other people take a swing at it, but that’s what happens when you go public with your work. If you want the fangirls, you have to accept the non-fangirls as well. You are allowed to be secretly angry with them but don’t lash out at them. Don’t demean the bloggers who are putting forth a thought on your book because of their love of reading, irrespective of which way their opinions might swing. I stumbled upon this blogger’s post while writing this. Go read it. It’s more articulate than I can be at this point.

As for the reviewers, you’re allowed to be honest. You’re allowed your opinions. You’re allowed to like or dislike a book (don’t let anyone threaten you otherwise) but be careful not to turn that dislike into a personal attack. Don’t. Do. That.

Guys. Look at us. We’re Literature lovers. All of us. Lets not indulge in such pettiness. It’s unbecoming and savage and puts Literature to shame.

We are all doing something we love. Bring on the respect, guys. And be a sport.

The Christmas Post

Happy, happy Christmas, that can win us back to the delusions of our childhood days, recall to the old man the pleasures of his youth, and transport the traveler back to his own fireside and quiet home  ~ Charles Dickens


It’s Christmas eve in my part of the world.
Which means I’m full of that giddy joy that accompanies the 24th of Dec. Which also means that I’m so bubbling with, well, feelings, that I don’t quite have the words, for a proper post.

So I’m gonna let other things do the talking.
Like Safe & Sound – the Taylor Swift ft The Civil Wars song from the official The Hunger Games soundtrack. WHO KNEW? I mean, I’d never associate Taylor with HG (c’mon, she’s so sweet and fairy tale-ish, while HG is..well, HG) but..GAH, THIS IS PERFECT.

I can imagine so many instances for this song to be featured. Like, when Katniss tries to console a crying Prim before leaving for the Hunger Games – I don’t remember if there’s such a scene in the book, but if there’s one in the book, and this song is played in the background, it would be so fitting. Or after Rue dies and Katniss sings her a lullaby, this could be the background score – it has such a lullaby-like quality to it. Also, I just know it’s going to rip my heart to shreds. In fact, this song can even fit in when Katniss and Peeta are alone together and Peeta’s certain that he would die. I just this song would be compelling anywhere.
I only, really, hope they actually use the song in the movie. Unlike what was done with Christina Perri’s A Thousand Years from Breaking Dawn (it was part of the official soundtrack but didn’t feature anywhere in the movie).

It’s crazy, but this song just made Christmas a little more perfect 🙂 And if for some reason you are down and sad and lonely, I hope these photos make you smile. Because photos kinda do that.

Don’t tell me that last one didn’t crack you up 😉

My comfort read for this Christmas is Trisha Ashley’s The Magic of Christmas.





In the pretty Lancashire village of Middlemoss, Lizzy is on the verge of leaving her cheating husband, Tom, when tragedy strikes. Luckily she has welcome distraction in the Christmas Pudding Circle, a group of friends swapping seasonal recipes – as well as a rivalry with local cookery writer Nick over who will win Best Mince Pie at the village show… 

Meanwhile, the whole village is gearing up for the annual Boxing Day Mystery Play. But who will play Adam to Lizzy’s Eve? Could it be the handsome and charismatic soap actor Ritch, or could someone closer to home win her heart? Whatever happens, it promises to be a Christmas to remember! 



(And that cover? It’s got sparkly bits all over it!)




Have a great Christmas, blogstars! And make sure you’re under the mistletoe when there’s a smexy boy/girl (whichever you prefer) around 😉


(All photos taken from here)