Eliza and her Monsters #15

Hey Booklovers!

Finally am done reading this book! Whew! I took a reallly looong time to read this book…months I guess. I almost gave up reading it but I was adamant to finish it.

The story is so simple. Eliza mirk is a teenager who has an ordinary high school life with no friends and social life. But online she is lady constellation! The creator of a web comic ‘Monstrous Sea’.

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Monstrous Sea is huge online with fan fiction aplenty. She also makes money through it, enough for college but no one knows her real identity and her offline life is not so glamorous. Her parents and her two brothers love her a lot and they have their typical family conversations and dramas.

In her final year she meets a new kid. Wallace. He is a huge Monstrous Sea fan and writes fanfiction. Soon they get together and she becomes more outgoing and has something else to look forward to other than her webcomics.

I found the book to go on and on forever and found Eliza annoying the first three fourth of the book but she is just another typical teenager who has the same old issues with her social life and family. There are glimpses of her webcomics given in the book and I wasn’t really interested in it.

I really connected with her introversion. Her need to escape. Be someone else. But after a point I was a bit impatient with it. Where as Wallace was a contradiction. He had more layers to him but was unpredictable and strange at the same time.

The book deals with depression, anxiety, social pressure, parental pressure, introversion, awkward romance and everything a teenager goes through in high school. It’s aptly captured and I give the writer credit where it’s due.

Coming back to the story, her online identity is revealed and she has to come to terms with her new fame which not many high schoolers go through. I find it a bit weird how much your “online” life dictates your offline one. She gives it way to much importance but I guess it’s the age. But maybe not? Whats real to me may not be real to you.IMG_20180926_211517.png

I had a hard time reading the first 170 pages but after that I really started caring about Eliza especially after her identity was revealed and how she copes with it. The writer has infused real emotions in this without making it too dramatic. But it’s strange to take this long to like a lead character, right?

I know many have loved this book and with good reason but it’s not a book that I would, given a choice, pick up in the first place.

Bibliogyan rating – Makes for a good YA reading if you are into that genre.

The Woman in the Window #14

Hey Booklovers!

Finally I have finished reading this dump of a book. I am not usually so scathing in my review and believe me am not writing anything harsh as it may sound.

But rarely do I read a book where nothing is happening for the first 200 pages or so in a 427 page book. Am all for reading books with huge page counts. Especially if it’s good I like taking my time to finish it but this book was a slog fest.

Basically the book is about a woman who is suffering from agoraphobia. She stays put in her house and for extra entertainment watches her neighbours or specifically spies on them. From the beginning I had four theories going on in my mind as to what is going on in the book and I was more or less apt.

The woman is Dr. Anna fox, psychologist. She also counsels others suffering from the same online and basically her whole world is controlled online. After been stuck inside for 10 months, a new neighbour settles opposite her building. The Russell’s. They remind her of her own family. But of course nothing is as it seems. After all who can say what goes on in a family huh?

Anna fox is hands down the worst protagonist I have read about this whole year. Her backstory is definitely heartbreaking and made me teary eyed for sure but I find her dependance on alcohol beyond irritating. This is the third female protagonist, after TGOT and TWBU, who is facing hurdles in life as an alcoholic (that I have read). Whats with that? What’s with this pattern?

And the first half of the book is all about her time sitting in her home. Which is fine but I feel it could have have been given lesser attention and page count. This book could have been one fifty pages short in my opinion. I don’t know if the writer is doing this to show off her writing skills or what.

Coming to the plot, once the neighbours settle in, Anna sees something she shouldn’t have and is having a hard time convincing everyone about the truth. So did she really see it or was it hallucinations? Well you can read the book to find out.

Despite the negative start to my review, there are some pros to the book as well. I did find myself rooting for the character in the end despite half heartedly agreeing with the antagonist (which never happens). The writing is funny and heart-wrenching all at once. The character development is engaging and the book does hook you towards the last one fourth. Up to the reader to decide if it’s worth it.

Bibliogyan rating – Tests your patience. For thriller/suspense fans.

Annihilation

Hey Booklovers!

How’s your month going so far? In terms of reading it’s been terrible for me. I haven’t been able to catch up much with both the books am currently reading – Eliza and her Monsters and The woman in the Window. I find them both to be slow and dragging. Not hooking me enough. But for today am back with another movie review!

Yes. It’s a book turned into a movie. Annihilation based on the book of the same name by Jeff Vandermeer. I have reviewed the trilogy under the name Area X on my site. Do check it out here.

Coming back to the movie. I loved it. Purely on the basis of turning books to movies. Usually they fall flat on your face but this one was done tastefully. It wasn’t so much as trying to redo the whole book but taking elements of it and taking a completely different approach to it.

So this is the gist of the movie:

Lena is waiting for her husband Kale who is in the military, he has been gone for an year on a secret mission and she doesn’t know if he will ever come back but he does. Suddenly and literally out of nowhere. But his comeback is short. He suffers seizures and is admitted immediately in the same facility he was working for. This time Lena is interested in working for the facility in hopes of rescuing her husband.

This ‘facility’ is the headquarters of Area X, an unidentified phenomenon that occurred three years ago, situated in the Southern Reach. A team of five women are deployed to enter “The Shimmer” including Lena. What they uncover is the rest of the story.

For someone who has read the books it’s obvious there are a lot of changes. For one, there are no names in the first book and everything has been reinterpreted for visual purposes.

I found the camaraderie so much better between the team members which was sorely missing in the book. (On a side note they reminded me of Ghost Busters in their get up and attire!) Lena is much stronger than she is in the book. Even has military background. They all talk like normal team members are supposed to unlike in the book which is filled with small talk and suspicion.

The book invokes a feeling of dread despite nothing happening in it but the movie felt more calm yet unnerving. That’s the beauty of Area X. There is no mention of a topographic anomaly in the movie (nor the lighthouse keeper), only the lighthouse is important.

The climax was weird, the dance between Lena’s double was creepy and a bit confusing as to what’s going on – at least to me. But the ending was satisfactory, for a lack of better word. It could have been worst but it makes do with what it has.

Overall the movie can be watched even if you haven’t read the book which is awesome and the gist of the book is all in there. Strong performances from the lead Natalie Portman and Oscar Isaacs. The psychologist nailed her character (who is also the team leader) but lacked screen time I guess. I wanted to see more of her. The other three were adequate. The movie is good on its own.

Bibliogyan rating – Must watch for sci-fi fans. Watch it for something new and different.

To All The Boys I have Loved Before – movie

Hey Booklovers! I hope you all are having a great weekend so far!

I just caught up on the new Netflix wave ‘To all the boys I have loved before’ based on the same book written by Jenny Han.

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It’s been weeks since I kept seeing this pop up on all my feeds. I kept dodging it for as long as I could thinking it’s just teenage romcom. I finally let curiosity get the better of me and watched some clips on YouTube. Big Mistake!

I was getting slowly sucked into wanting to watch the movie with every clip I watched. So I decided Friday night am gonna watch this. And boy I wasn’t disappointed.

So the story is about a girl Lara Jean who is starting high school. Her older sister leaves for college and younger starts sixth grade. Our lead is somewhat of a loner and prefers reel romance to the real. She writes letters to those she has a crush on and kinda moves on. Her longest crush has been Josh who by then started dating her older sister. She has a letter for him too. Unfortunately these letters, 5 in total, gets leaked.

One of them ends up with Peter who decides to use this as a way to get back to his ex. Lara Jean agrees hoping to throw Josh off her back and to avoid embarrassing herself.

During this pretend relationship they actually fall in love with one another but are too afraid to tell the other. What happens next is the rest of story.

I found the movie to be really good. Characters are well sketched out and no one sticks out like a sore thumb. Peter is definitely every teenage girls dream boyfriend but there was something missing. Yet their romance was so cute and believable. I loved the bond between the sisters. The whole movie felt very optimistic yet like a fantasy. I guess it’s selling point is that it’s not just attractive to its main target audience. Everything feels fresh, non cheesy and no one is typecast. I haven’t read the book yet but I most definitely will. What about you guys?

The movie definitely felt similar to 80s romcoms such as high fidelity, sixteen candles or even more recent Easy A. Sweet and Simple. But that’s it.

Bibliogyan rating – A cozy weekend watch (a date is an added bonus) Go for it!