Posted in Book Reviews

The Hate U Give – Book + Movie Review

So I finally read one of the most talked about books in the community and it goes without saying that I loved this book! I also watched the movie and decided to do a book-to-movie adaptation post. So bear with me, this is gonna be a tad bit looongg!

You know how there are some books which have out of this world, nerve wracking, pitted with emotions and reality-based plot AND characters or some books which contain an important social message solely exist to equip you with the “world-is-changing-so-things-need-to-change” talk? Imagine reading a book which is BOTH. The Hate U Give is one of those beauties, and every person, teenage or adult, black or white, Muslim or Christian should read it.


The book is based on the Black Lives Matter Movement in America and tells about the situation of the black people living there through the life of a 16-year old girl, Starr Carter, who witnessed the shooting of her unarmed best friend, Khalil.

Sometimes you can do everything right and things will still go wrong. The key is to never stop doing right. “

 

Now I have never seen someone die, or been in a situation where my heart would ache for a loved one like Starr’s did so even though I couldn’t relate to it on a personal level, Angie Thomas’s writing was so raw, authentic and overflowing with real emotions, that it almost felt like Khalil was my best friend! Reading this book was truly a mind-blowing experience. You could almost visualise the grocery story where Starr worked, hear the gunshots in Garden Heights, smell the delicious aroma of Mr.Rueben’s burgers, feel the tension in the air when the cops held Khalil. It made me realise that there are so many problems in this world to which we are oblivious to and I’m glad that people are now writing about it!!! We need to know these issues so we, as people, can make a change.

Another beautiful thing about the book is how light humour, fun and everyday family fanatics have been packed into the dialogues. I loved the banter between Starr’s parents, especially the sassiness of her mom. Like damn son, she was savage! I absolutely LOVED HER. It just makes my heart explode with satisfaction when I see such powerful, witty female characters. It was such a change from the non-existent parents that are usually found in YA novels.

The relationship of Starr with each of her family member was also very dynamic. I loved how her thoughts were written out, what she thought of Seven’s girlfriend, or how Seven would hide her “white-boyfriend-stuff” from their dad, or even cute little Sekani eating up all the bacon. It put a very warm ring to the whole story.

I think I’ll rate the book: 4.5/5

steinfield (9)

Ok, so the thing with reading a book prior to watching it’s movie is that when you’re watching the movie, you’re constantly comparing the entire thing with the book. Like “no they didn’t kiss in the book!” Or “no that’s not how they met!” which can suck at times because it takes away the whole impact that the movie is trying to make. I mean like ofcourse the movie can’t portray emotions like the book does, duh. We can’t read about feelings in a movie, so that part is solely dependant on the actors. And let me tell you, Amandla Stenberg did a brilliant job of an angsty, frustrated black teen who’s continuously shifting between two social identities – the “girl from the hood” and the “cool black Williamson girl”.

The movie is successful in portraying the major themes of the book: police brutality, childhood emotional trauma, importance of the lives of marginalised groups and low-key appreciation of Tupac’s songs (that shit is brilliant, my friend has legit been trying to get me to listen to Tupac and I think now’s the time I do that???) But most of all, what makes this story bat-shit awesome is that it’s a girl being a hero.

Now I know, that lately there have been quite a lot of books/movies with strong female leads but they’re also all some sort of a secret assassin/ninja/hacker who’s fighting with all the evil villains of the world and trying to save that one boyf/parent/friend etc. I mean as much as that’s rad and cool, that shit ain’t real! The Hate U Give, and the way Starr projects her rage and trauma into speaking for her people’s rights, testifying in front of the grand jury is real damn courage!! And really, hats off to the director and the actors for connecting with the emotions of the text and projecting them onto the wide screen!

But. (Ofcourse there is a but…told u this would be long.)

SO MANY PARTS HAVE BEEN SKIPPED AND SO MANY HAVE BEEN ADDED AND I’M NOT OKAY!

  • Where is DeVante?

I think DeVante served a much larger purpose than just being Kenya’s boy-toy. Compared to the book, DeVante has zero appearance in the movie except for a teeny tiny 2-min scene in the beginning. In the book however, we see how DeVante is the one who makes Starr realise why Khalil dealt drugs, whether he a part of the King Lords, and also he’s the one beaten up by the King Lords in the end during the riots and not Seven (as in the movie!)

Also, he makes a good charity case for Uncle Carlos when he takes in DeVante under his roof when the King Lords were after his life. It kinda served as Uncle Carlos’s guilt of trying to makeup for what the police did to Khalil and how he couldn’t do anything at the time.

So I guess I probably would have liked to see DeVante in the movie too, yknow?

 

  • Exchange between Uncle Carlos and Starr 

Book:  Uncle Carlos tells Starr, “I hate that I let myself fall into that mind-set of trying to rationalize his death. And at the end of the day, you don’t kill someone for opening a car door. If you do, you shouldn’t be a cop.”

Movie: Uncle Carlos is basically trying to justify Officer Brian’s actions (the cop who shot at Khalil), by saying that the cops are usually put in a position where they don’t know what to expect from the other person? So whatever he did, he did it to protect himself. However, uncle Carlos did conclude with the note that if it was a white boy instead of Khalil, he wouldn’t have shot him.

I think they twisted around the words a bit to take a more neutral stance and not be bused towards the police? Or else the movie would have been criticised to be more critical towards the police force rather than the message it was trying to put. I mean, yeah uncle Carlos did explain it well so I guess I was sort of indifferent to the change here.

 

  • OHMYGOD THAT END THOUGH! 

 This is a major spoilerrrrrr.

Because.

This part of the movie was my absolute favourite! The directors took the whole “THUG LIFE” (The Hate U Give Little Infants Fucks Everybody) to an entirely new level – an idea that Khalil introduces to Starr on the night he’s killed. It’s the notion that everyone suffers when the children who have been imbued with hate and anger become a menace to society. I don’t want to give the scene away (watch it for yourselves!) but it was the peak of rising emotion and one of the few scenes in Hollywood cinema that I would call ‘iconic’.

 Truly, this addition was my favourite cuz it just makes the message so damn C.L.E.A.R!

So all-in-all, I think good job for the movie.

Totally recommended ✅

But if you can read the book first, do that first! It’s also slightly more humorous than the movie has let on.

That’s my take on the whole adaptation thing guys. I hope you liked this post! Share any thoughts that you guys have on the movie or book. Would love to chat with you!!!

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Posted in Book Reviews

Norwegian Wood – Book Review

Haruki Murakami is my favourite author and Norwegian Wood is my fav book of the year so far. This book was perfection. From the plot and story-line, to the characters and the writing-style, Murakami did everything perfectly. (I’m ignoring the weird sexual tension that circulated most of the characters, though).

My rating: 4.5/5 stars

Continue reading “Norwegian Wood – Book Review”

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Well, this was an interesting read. Can’t say I didn’t enjoy it. It was as fun and intriguing to read as the Sorceror’s Stone and it definitely had two of my favourite scenes ever.

I LOVE THE WORLD-BUILDING. I mean, the whole wizards stuff, Hogwarts, Quidditch…everything I loveeee. LOVE. I just can’t believe I never read these books as a child. Moreover, I’m glad I don’t remember much from the movies either…think that’s why reading these is such a fun-filled ride for me.

Continue reading “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets”

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Book Review: Far from the Tree by Robin Benway

 

Image result for far from the tree

My Rating: 4/5

Am I on a roll here or what? Seriously, this is my fourth book review of the month and the third review in a week. WHAT THE……. I have never ever in my reading life been so efficient and since I’ve been reading my whole life, that kind of sluggishness suffices my entire life.

Jeez, I’m making serious progress here. All too shocked and proud?!

So I’ll quit babbling about my efficiency and before this turns out to be a “me post” , let us get into the reviewing part. Let me start with telling ya’ll THAT OH MY THIS BOOK IS SUPER AMAZING! I LOVE IT. From broken families and nice functional foster families, to

Continue reading “Book Review: Far from the Tree by Robin Benway”

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Book Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga – another unpopular opinion

Image result for here we are now jasmine warga

My Rating: 1/5

Synopsis:

Despite sending him letters ever since she was thirteen, Taliah Abdallat never thought she’d ever really meet Julian Oliver. But one day, while her mother is out of the country, the famed rock star from Staring Into the Abyss shows up on her doorstep. This makes sense – kinda – because Julian Oliver is Taliah’s father, even though her mother would never admit it to her.

Julian asks if Taliah if she will drop everything and go with him to his hometown of Oak Falls, Indiana, to meet his father – her grandfather – who is nearing the end of his life. Taliah, torn between betraying her mother’s trust and meeting the family she has never known, goes.

With her best friend Harlow by her side, Taliah embarks on a three-day journey to find out everything about her ‘father’ and her family. But Julian isn’t the father Taliah always hoped for, and revelations about her mother’s past are seriously shaking her foundation. Through all these new experiences, Taliah will have to find new ways to be true to herself, honoring her past and her future.

Continue reading “Book Review: Here We Are Now by Jasmine Warga – another unpopular opinion”

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The Gilded Cage by Vic James

HEY EVERYONEE!

I *finally* finished Gilded Cage which was actually supposed to be a buddy-read with Victoria during the spring break! (haha yeah which was like 3 months back. Look at me keeping up with my plans)

I don’t even know how Victoria @ Be Careful of Books kept up with me, but seriously she’s the sweetest to do a buddy-read with. It was a lot of fun because we decided to send each other videos whenever something sad or shocking happened. So it was really cool watching each other’s initial reactions! I’m glad to say, that we agreed on a lot of things (YAYY!)

My Review

Rating: 2/5

Attractive cover.
Instant cover buy.

Interesting as hell synopsis.

In modern-day Britain, magic users control everything: wealth, politics, power—and you. If you’re not one of the ultimate one-percenters—the magical elite—you owe them ten years of service. Do those years when you’re old, and you’ll never get through them. Do them young, and you’ll never get over them.

This is the darkly decadent world of Gilded Cage. In its glittering milieu move the all-powerful Jardines and the everyday Hadleys. The families have only one thing in common: Each has three children. But their destinies entwine when one family enters the service of the other. 

Now who wouldn’t want to read something like this, yeah? The first two chapters were grrrrrreat. Good plot-line. I wanted to read more and know more about the characters’ plight. What I found, however, was the introduction of more and more characters as chapters progressed, pointless POV’s which were literally contributing no substance to the story; whatsoever, and a mesh of 10000 conflicts all of which were left unresolved or just abruptly and stupidly solved. 60% of the book was senseless pov’s, i repeat. A LOT OF repetition, and I kid you not, around 50 characters of whom 3 were the only important ones.

Even the main characters all lacked personality except maybe, Silyen, one of the Jardine brother. He was a cruel, heartless Equal but atleast it was clear what he wanted, what his goals were and who he liked or hated. The other people were merely pawns in the story just carrying the plot line forward with no mind or thinking ability of their own. I couldn’t connect to them at alllllll.

The only person I felt a tiny bit of pain for, was Luke, one of the kids in the Hadleys family who was separated from the rest of the family. He was THE ONLY ONE who actually suffered, and see the difference in lives between the Equals and the Normals. His story had action. Unfortunately, we don’t read much of him either.

What we read about, is the annoying slave-girl, Abigail. God!! I wanted to shoot her in the head!!!!
This girl’s family was torn apart, bound to the Equals to serve them, her brother in war-torn conditions in a land far away, and you know what troubles her the most??????

Ugh, Would it be a spoiler if I say so? (Hint: a very very very very forced kick-in-your-crotch-spit-on-your-neck kinda stupid romance)

This girl was crazy.
Idk what thought process Vic James was going through, but there were major contradictions in all of characters’ personality.

The ending was very abrupt. Suddenly wrapped up. And it was very very evident that it ended the way it did, only because the writer wanted to write a sequel. The reason it gets 2 stars, instead of 1 is, bec the start was good, and the last chapter also had some read-able substance. Everything in the middle? *eye-roll*

My Review (1)

My Rating: ★★★

My Thoughts: The world building of this book was really interesting. I loved the mix of fantasy and alternative history. The Equals are essentially a super hero class of people, they have ‘skill’ which are essentially magical powers and therefore are the ruling class. The ordinary people owe the Elites ten years of slavery known as the ‘slave days’ and everyone can chose to serve out their slave days whenever they want, as long as they do them. They say in the book that if you do your slave days too old, you won’t survive them, and if you do them too young you won’t recover from them. They’re pretty damn brutal. The novel starts with the Hadley family parents telling their children that they have signed them all up for their slave days, the parents thought it would be best to do the days all together as a family (I’ll get into that a bit more soon), but when they arrive their son is taken from them to work in Millmoor (one of the most notorious slave camps in the country).

What a cool premise!

The problem I have with it is that despite the fact that the world building was really cool, this is a character driven story and… the characters were a mess.

To start with, there were a lot of them. It became tricky to keep track.

Secondly, they all kind of made stupid choices, all the time. Lets start with the Hadley parents. They signed their kids up for slavery without consulting them!? They talked to their oldest daughter about it, but not the other two kids. It seems like a really terrible thing to spring on them. They’re also really emotionally flat. When their son is taken away they’re just like ‘oh I hope he’s okay and I guess we’ll see him in ten years then’. THIS IS YOUR CHILD. Have an emotion people! And when anything traumatic happens its almost like they don’t notice. Its weird.

Abi is the oldest daughter. She is meant to be the smart one. And holy shit is she an idiot. Before leaving for the slave days she is obsessed with reading romance novels featuring normal people who fall in love with and have an affair with Equals during their slave days. She says ‘oh I would never be stupid enough to expect that’ and then any time an Equal so much as breathes in her direction she’s thinking ‘is this it?’ ‘is he into me?’ ‘oh are we going to fall in love?’. Even when she should be afraid of them she runs TOWARDS Equal men to protect her, totally forgetting that they have her enslaved. It makes no sense! Even when she is repeatedly slapped in the face with the fact that legally, slaves aren’t considered fully human, she insists on believing she is the exception. She does have a bit of a romantic story arc with one of the Equals but I kind of hope it comes to bite her in the ass later in the series.

Luke was my favourite character, he seems to be the most realistic in this family. He sees the slave days as…. slavery and thinks that’s wrong. He’s in Millmoor for most of the book, working in a terrible slave camp where he is pretty brutalised. He is the hero of this story from my view, and though we are meant to be sympathetic to the entire Hadley family, I really only found myself invested in Luke.

The youngest child, Daisy, is only ten. The minimum age requirement for slave days. She ends up a babysitter to an Equal baby and… its real gross. She ends up being really defensive of the Equals and thinks they’re all really good people or misunderstood or something. But I guess she is a little kid. She was the least developed Hadley.

Around their story is the story of a massive political conflict around slave days and Equals and all of it.

I have such mixed feeling about this book.

The whole arc of Equals, Skill, and the politics that is happening in the background is fascinating. Its just these characters…

Its difficult.

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So there’s that, guys! Have you guys read this story?? What did you think of it?

Until then,

Happy Reading!  

Posted in Book Reviews

I finally read Harry Potter and I’m obsessed!

I know, I know you all must be wondering “Whaaat? Who hasn’t read Harry Potter, let alone watch the movies??!” But let me tell you, people like me do exist. Although in a very tiny fraction, but yes we do. And I used to be a very proud non-HarryPotter person going like “Oh well, I haven;t read it so what?? I’m not goong to read it anytime sooner!”

But THEN.

Jim Kay’s illustrations happened. 

Image result for jim kay illustrations harry potter and the sorcerer's stone

LOOK AT THIS COVER!

BETTER YET LOOK AT THESE:

Continue reading “I finally read Harry Potter and I’m obsessed!”

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Book Review: All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Genre: Historical Fiction

Publication Date: 6th May 2014

Awards: Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2015, Goodreads Choice Awards (historical fiction) 2014, Audie Award for Fiction 2015

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I would like to start off this review by giving this book 5 big stars.

⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️

Amazing book! The plot, writing style, characters, the pacing…f*cking awesome.

Image result for all the light we cannot see Plot:

The plot revolves around the events leading upto the World War II. There are two parallel stories taking place at the same time. One in Nazi Germany and the other in Paris, France. Therefore, it is told in alternate POV’s by Werner Pfenning and Marie-Laure respectively.

Werner is a German orphan boy who lives at the orphanage with his younger sister, Jutta. His story starts from the age of 8. His curiosity about how things work, his ability to ask questions and his fearless attitude to try new things wins him a place in the Hitler-Youth Academy. The story shows how he finds a broken radio and then somehow while figuring out how to fix it starts listening to a science broadcast from France. His love for radios, fixing things and science and technology inadvertently shows how deep the connection between technology and the war really was.

Marie-Laure is a daughter of a locksmith of the French National Museum, who lost her sight at the age of six. Her father makes miniature models of the cities she lives in so that she could be better acquainted with the houses and streets. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and the father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel, The Sea of Flames.

The story is told in parts, beginning from 1934-1945, both pre-war and post-war.

The lives of Werner and Marie-Laure intersect in the most surprising and wondrous of ways. Values of love, friendship, compassion and mercy are put to test, showing how war can change people and can sometimes even bring out the good in them.

What I liked especially about this book was, that despite being a historical fiction, it wasn’t targeting only one civilization. We saw bad side of the Germans, but on the other hand, the brutality of the French towards the Germans was also shown. The tyranny and brutality in this book, however, is put into such imaginative, dreamy words that I literally read those lines twice, just to savour the feel of them.

Writing Style:

I am not surprised he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction in 2015. Hell, if he hadn’t won it, I would have died. Seriously. The prose of this book is a work of genius. It has beautiful imagery, employed by metaphors and many scientific references. However, it has some dense literary feels at times due to which one needs a lot of concentration to really get the hang of the book in the beginning. But the way Doerr describes how Marie-Laure sees the world, or how Werner really feels when he realizes the horrors of what the Germans were really doing, or how Frederick acts when he’s disabled is just remarkable and….haunting! It’s haunting because it shows how war tore apart innocent souls of children. Doerr uses really strong phrases which makes you stop and think what he just wrote. Atleast for me, the scenes of the destruction of Saint-Malo, the cease-fire, Marie-Laure hiding in the cupboard came so vividly to me that I had to stop and write those lines down to share with you guys.But that would make this review waaayyyyy too long and half of you wouldn’t even read till the end lol.

Favourite Scene: How Werner and Marie-Laure meet. Although this came waayyyyyy too late in the book, the only incentive which kept me going to read the book, it was such a heart-felt moment. Especially from Marie’s POV because since she was blind, her feelings and sensations were very fervently done.

Do I need to talk about the characters individually?? There’s Marie-Laure and Werner and both of them are really smart and witty. As for the brave part, it goes for every character in a way. Jutta, Werner’s younger sister, Frederick, Werner’s bunk-mate,Volkheimer (The Giant) who is one of the older students at Schulpforta each display a moment of gallantry which leaves you in awe for each one of them.

Overall, I loved this book. I love historical fiction generally, because I feel like it gives you something to learn about. You cannot just read a historical fiction novel and take away nothing from it. Although, it still doesn’t top The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, nevertheless this is one book, I’ll recommend to everyone.

Until next time, guys! 

 

 

Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: Firebird Series – A Thousand Pieces of You and Ten Thousand Skies Above You

Hello all and a very happy new year! This is going to be my very post AND first book review of the year which means the new year just started and I have already crossed off two books off my BTB 2018 list!! Damn son, am I proud of myself! I largely owe this enthusiasm to my food poisoning which got me stuck in bed for 5 days, leaving me at the mercy of books. Hence, taa-daa!

Anyway, this post is going to be long because I have just so many issues and problems to address like ugghhh. So brace yourselves guys!!

a 1000 pieces of youGoodreads Synopsis:

 Marguerite Caine’s physicist parents are known for their groundbreaking achievements. Their most astonishing invention, called the Firebird, allows users to jump into multiple universes—and promises to revolutionize science forever. But then Marguerite’s father is murdered, and the killer—her parent’s handsome, enigmatic assistant Paul— escapes into another dimension before the law can touch him.

Marguerite refuses to let the man who destroyed her family go free. So she races after Paul through different universes, always leaping into another version of herself. But she also meets alternate versions of the people she knows—including Paul, whose life entangles with hers in increasingly familiar ways. Before long she begins to question Paul’s guilt—as well as her own heart. And soon she discovers the truth behind her father’s death is far more sinister than she expected.

This is the first book in the trilogy and judging from the fact that I completed it in a day, it was an absolute delight reading it! Told in an engaging, thrilling and an unpredictable ride of events, this book takes you into different worlds in different era’s. The world-building is super fabulous. It doesn’t seem too wordy or drag, instead you can actually feel the surprise and the confusion that the characters feel. The firebird (which is really just a necklace around the neck) takes us first to a futuristic world of extreme glam and technology, where Margeurite’s parents have passed away and she has been brought up by her rich aunt of the Upper East Side of New York. Things happen, and time travels to Russia where Marge is now Princess Margarita, daughter of a current ruling Russian Tsar, in short, a princess. I liked this world the best, because it gave a lot of background information, introduced characters, and in a way was a very important part of carrying the plot forward. However, there was one thing that happened here which made me dislike Marge instantly and well, after the second book, there was no going back to liking her again. The third world we step into was the Oceanverse, which was the most boring of alllllllll. Okay, important things happened here, wait no, only one important discovery was made here but damn, was this world hella boring!?! Like, it was sad. LIVING UNDER AN OCEAN. Yes, it sounds extremely intriguing and cool, so I thought too when I jumped with the narrator in this dimension, but eww no it sounded like having rotten shrimps and crabs for the rest of your life. Also, stinky fish alert. *gross*

Moving on, this book clearly has a love-triangle which surprisngly isn’t very annoying. It’s the start, characters are figuring out their feelings and it also seems very rationale. There is also sufficient character developement to get you through the first book. You know Margeurite, the daughter of the inventors of the Firebird and also the person who’s head we are in while jumping through dimensions. There are Theo and Paul, the two graduate assistants to Marguerite’s parents. However, obviously there are flaws. But let me address those in a separate spoiler review for this book, yeah? Quite honestly, I can’t wait to get to write about the second book because that book is what this post is majorly about.

My rating: 4/5! First book of the year, clearly a great start!!

Ten Thousand Skies Above You 

Image result for ten thousand skies above you Goodreads Synopsis:

Ever since she used the Firebird, her parents’ invention, to cross into alternate dimensions, Marguerite has caught the attention of enemies who will do anything to force her into helping them dominate the multiverse—even hurting the people she loves. She resists until her boyfriend, Paul, is attacked and his consciousness scattered across multiple dimensions.

Marguerite has no choice but to search for each splinter of Paul’s soul. The hunt sends her racing through a war-torn San Francisco, the criminal underworld of New York City, and a glittering Paris where another Marguerite hides a shocking secret. Each world brings Marguerite one step closer to rescuing Paul. But with each trial she faces, she begins to question the destiny she thought they shared.

Oh brother, this is going to be one unpopular review!

This book is exactly the reason why I’ve never liked reading series, and find it hard to keep myself liking them. They become drag, repetitive and pointless, and ruin even the existential plot which might have actually made sense. Almost 75% of this book is repetition of whatever had already happened in the first book and Marguerite’s conflict between two boys. I was literally screaming my guts out for the girl to just fucking stop. It is only in the last 20% of the book, that ALL OF THE SCI-FI THINGS HAPPEN. Yes, there is a plot twist, a major one too, but it just seems like too much information all crammed down in the last 4 chapters. It is too much to take in, and it would have been better for me to actually read ONLY the last 4 chapters and still get the hang of the entire story. To add to it, there is this whole dumb love triangle which I feel is only there in the story to add teenage drama. It is so over-done. It’s honestly a shame to call this a sci-fi book, because it’s not. It’s a mere YA contemporary with sci-fi and dimension-travelling only serving as a background purpose. The only thing which kept me going is the wonderous way in which Claudia Gray tells about different dimensions. Her world building is on point, and I really enjoyed when characters jumped through time to experience other worlds. The way in which different aspects of each characters’ personalities are explored in these different dimensions is very insightful and in a way, funny to read.

  1. In this book, we explore a teensy weensy part of ancient Rome where Marge is being chased for witchcraft and Paul is a Father at Church.
  2. We move on to a WarVerse where there is apparently a world war going on (maybe WWIII) since Newyork has been destroyed and The Wharf at San Francisco is literally a wharf.
  3. We take another jump from here, to a dimension which is very similar to our current universe. I think It shows 7-8 years from now? Because the ticker tapes at Times Square tells us that Hugh Jackman is an Oscar winner LOLOL (loved this part!)
  4. We then jump into a fourth dimension, the Mafiaverse, where Paul is involved with a highly organized Russian criminal mob. This dimension served no purpose AT ALL, and I think it was only there to add drama to the whole Paul-Margaret thing and make Margaret realise that not all Pauls in all dimensions are the same.
  5. Another jump to the Russiaverse which was mentioned in the first book and a few important revelations were made here. In short, consequences of Marguerite’s actions in the first book. I liked this part because it made the story seem realistic in a way that every action has its consequences.
  6. Then we jump into the very last dimension, the Triadverse which is like a very very advanced version of our world. And I’m talking people living and travelling in skies advanced.

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Moving on to talking about characters, there were just so many issues I had with Marguerite. For starters, the way she kept telling herself how much in love with Paul she was, when she was really in love with just a version of him she didn’t even know. (Idk why, but I have taken an instant dislike to her from the moment she stole away the precious moment of Lieutenant Markov and Princess Margarita in the Russiaverse). In every chapter, she kept reminding herself that she was in love with her Paul, and NOT Lieutenant Markov. As if she needed reminders on whom she really loved.

“Paul’s old-fashioned, elegant phrasing reminds me of Lieutenant Markov, which reminds me of falling in love with Paul in the first place, and now I can’t take it anymore. I have to go home; the journey to save my Paul has to begin.”

” He speaks so formally, sounds so unsure. I’m reminded of Lieutenant Markov, and the way he loved the Grand Duchess Margarita for so long without ever saying a word. I can feel my smile like sunlight on my face.”

“In my mind I hear Lieutenant Markov whisper, Golubka. He called me his little dove as he held me in his arms. I remember him always standing at my door, protecting me, his gray eyes searching mine.”

 Girl, can you bloody stop?! It’s as if she is reminding herself constantly about who she really loves. That just goes onto show how conflicted she is about what she really wants and what a weak personality she has. There was one “Do I love Paul Markov or Lieutenant Markov” line at the start of every chapter, I kid you not.

All she cares about is guys, guys, guys. Her life and the lives of her loved ones are at stake, there is an on-going war, bombs and air-strikes are happening, everyone is running for their lives, and all she notices is how sparks fly when her hand brushes Theo’s hand and how she is “vividly aware of their touch.” Like. Seriously? Is this the time? Also, she is literally a very down-cast, poor weak version of Katniss Everdeen just trying too hard. She clearly has no knowledge whatsoever, and yet every-time she’s tries to be a badass made me bang my head on the wall. She has zero clue about the scientific part of the Firebird. All she knows about it is, that it allows you to travel between dimensions (jeez, really thanks!) and that she is the perfect traveler.

“She puts her head back and let the guys talk science”

“For the next few hours, Theo and Paul get caught up in mega-dense scientific talk, while I drink awful fake coffee and watch them at work.”

Like what really is her purpose in the story?? To act as a perfect traveler and play a major role in the whole love drama? That’s it?

And when the other characters are honest to her about it, telling her that they should have the upper hand during travelling, because they have more knowledge about science, and technically the firebird that they helped invent in the first place, she gets offended! This is even made clear at one point by the mafia Paul when he says, ““You’re insecure,” Paul says flatly. “So you exaggerate your knowledge or emotions to draw attention you think you won’t get otherwise. You have genuine talents, however. If you didn’t, you wouldn’t be willing to put yourself forward. Why they’re not enough for you, I don’t know.”

100/100 points to Paul for this!! I couldn’t help laughing at this. Yet again, “this stung her”. Like damn, how dare did anyone burst her little bubble of superiority, perfection and the illusion of Ms.Know-it-all?

I hate her, I really really hate her. I feel like my list of hated protagonists are going to overflow my list of hated books sometime.

Paul – This book had very little about the ACTUAL Paul Markov, given the fact that his soul was splintered within various dimensions. However, we do get to see these different diverse versions of his character and also *finally* resolve the whole Paul-Marguerite drama.

Theo – I totally root for this dude!!! He is funny, charming, smart, and totally physics-savvy. He isn’t afraid to admit his feelings for Marguerite, and has this very cute, smart way of flirting around with her whilst also respecting Paul’s feelings for her. (totally love a smart flirt!) He is Marguerite’s parents’ assistant who played a major role in the invention of the Firebird Technology. What I don’t understand is, that this book literally tells us that characteristics deeply ingrained in a person always remains constant in different dimensions as well. For e.g.- Marguerite’s love for art and Paul’s link with physics is always seen in different dimensions. But why isn’t Theo ever connected to physics in any of the dimensions??? Why is he always portrayed either as a hopeless lover of Marguerite/teenage boyfriend/ military man in love with her or a care-free pretentious flirt??? That really doesn’t do justice to his character. It’s as if the point of Theo’s existence in other dimensions is solely to prove Marguerite that he isn’t the one. Again, serving a romantic purpose rather than a sci-fi purpose. Moreover, his character is the one taken over by an evil Theo, he has to suffer the repercussions of it, he is the one travelling with Marge to different dimensions to save Paul and yet he is always the one to be thrown down the ditch! If there is one thing I could change about this story, well technically it’s a lot of thing I would change, but still for the sake of this post, if there is going to be one thing, it is to do right by Theo. With a little more insight and development of his character, he could even take Marge’s place as the protagonist.

*sighs* Let me take a deep breathe now. Feel SO good letting my frustration out.

Bottom line: The first book of the series was amazing! The second book…uhh not so much. World building, plot twists is on 100/100 but Marge’s senseless POV, and the story-line over-all got blehh. Am I going to read the 3rd book? Umm, no. But who knows, my ability to pick up trashy books, indecisiveness and cusiosity may consume me and I might, just might, skim the third book.

What do you guys think about this series? Have you read it?