Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – A Review

Strange the Dreamer by Laini Taylor – A Review

TITLE: Strange the Dreamer

AUTHOR: Laini Taylor

PAGE EXTENT: 536

PUBLISHER: Hodder & Stoughton

GENRE: Young Adult Fantasy

MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

The answers await in Weep, but so do more mysteries—including the blue-skinned goddess who appears in Lazlo’s dreams. How did he dream her before he knew she existed? And if all the gods are dead, why does she seem so real?

Welcome to Weep.

“It was impossible, of course. But when did that ever stop any dreamer from dreaming?”

If there’s one word that can summarize this magical gem of a book, it’s HOPE.

Lazlo Strange is an orphan and a librarian who dreams of visiting the enchanting city of Weep. Weep is a utopian city situated halfway across the world which mysteriously cut off contact with the rest of the world a few years ago. Lazlo longs to visit this city whose name was forgotten all of a sudden and replaced by the word “Weep”.

Sarai is a blue-skinned young goddess trapped in a huge metallic angel-shaped structure called the Citadel that looms over the city of Weep, along with four other godspawn Sparrow, Feral, Ruby and Minya, each having their own power.

How do their lives intertwine? Revealing anything beyond this point will taint the magical experience. Discover for yourself! ❤

If there’s one thing I genuinely regret in my life, it’s not picking this book up sooner. I honestly CANNOT believe why I kept putting it off so much. But I’m so glad I finally decided to delve in.

LAINI TAYLOR IS A GODDESS. Her writing style is outright THE BEST writing style I’ve come across. It’s lyrical, whimsical, magical and lush writing. Remember that feeling when you bite into chocolate-dipped strawberries? The chocolate swirls on your tongue as the juicy strawberry infuses its flavor and the two somehow perfectly go together to give you a heavenly experience? THAT is how you feel as you read this book. I read many paragraphs multiple times just to savor Laini’s DELICIOUS writing.

And now, onto the plot. The plotline of this story is very intricate and well-mapped. Even the most minuscule event that happens during the course of the story is accounted for. I sometimes begin to wonder if there is a magical wonderland in Laini’s head in place of a brain haha. HOW, JUST HOW did she come up with this story? It’s outright THE MOST UNIQUE book I’ve ever read.

The world-building and character-building are ON POINT. Laini takes her time to develop the characters and they turn out to be some of the most memorable characters ever. Lazlo and Sarai will stay with you forever, no exaggeration here. There were times when I began craving for a boyfriend like Lazlo, innocent and pure and most importantly, an ardent reader! Laini makes sure you pine for her characters and feel for them like you’ve known them your entire life. See, THAT’s MAGIC RIGHT THERE.

The love story in this book is of the PUREST form. I can’t put all my thoughts into words because trust me, it’s THAT difficult to describe this masterpiece. When you pick up this book, make sure you have Muse of Nightmares at the ready. Book 2 begins immediately where this one left off and you’ll have a major hangover if you don’t pick up Book 2 right away!

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The Gita for Children by Roopa Pai – A Review

The Gita for Children by Roopa Pai – A Review

TITLE: The Gita for Children

AUTHOR: Roopa Pai

PAGE EXTENT: 296

PUBLISHER: Hachette India

GENRE: Middle Grade

MY RATING: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

It’s one of the oldest books in the world and India’s biggest blockbuster bestseller!

– But isn’t it meant only for religious old people?

– But isn’t it very long… and, erm, super difficult to read?

– But isn’t the stuff it talks about way too complex for regular folks to understand?

Prepare to be surprised.

Roopa Pai’s spirited, one-of-a-kind retelling of the epic conversation between Pandava prince Arjuna and his mentor and friend Krishna busts these and other such myths about the Bhagavad Gita. Lucid, thought-provoking and brimming with fun trivia, this book will stay with you long after you have turned the last page.

Why haven’t you read it yet?

Having been a fan of Roopa Pai’s Taranauts series, I went into this book with high expectations. And boy, did it not disappoint! The Gita for Children is a wonderful take on the holy scripture with fun real-life examples and scenarios that will keep you flying through the pages!

I’ve always wanted to read the Gita but never gave it a try because it seemed too philosophical and boring. Being super honest here, haha. But when I found out about this book, I KNEW my time to read the Gita had finally come! I wanted to know everything there is about the magical conversation about Krishna and Arjuna that turned the tides in one of the biggest wars of all time!

If you’re someone who is not at all familiar with Sanskrit terms and are wondering if you’d be able to understand what’s being spoken about in the book, fret not! Pai has elaborately explained EVERYTHING in the book, from seasons to food items! It’s a complete guide to everything you essentially need to know about and in the Gita!

You might be wondering – the title of the book says it’s for children. But I’m an adult. I want to read and understand the Gita but not something that’s intended for children. Worry not, because you’re in for a treat as well! Every concept that is dealt with in the Gita is explained with relatable daily scenarios and circumstances which will not leave a sliver of a doubt!

The Gita has 700 shlokas. It’s too lengthy. I might get bored. If that’s what you think, then that thought ought to go in the trash! This book explains the Gita chapterwise (Adhyayas as they are called in Sanskrit) with much emphasis on the topics discussed by Krishna and a sprinkle of the most famous shlokas in that chapter! See, it’s not boring AT ALL.

Well, how did I forget to mention the beauty that is Roopa Pai’s writing? The conversation between Krishna and Arjuna made my heart swell with joy! I so wanted Krishna to be my bestie too haha. Having been a huge fan of Pai’s quirky hilarious writing style, this came as no surprise to me! It was super impressive to see that writing style incorporated in a book such as this! Trust me, you’re in for a feast!

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Review Policy

Review Policy

Hiya! I am a lover of all things Middle Grade and YA, but I would like to throw light on a few things before accepting a book for review.

Here is a list of genres I accept:

  • Middle Grade (Any sub-genre is okay. I love everything MG!)
  • Young Adult
    • Fantasy
    • Science Fiction
    • Contemporary
    • Romance
    • Books with underlying LGBTQIA+ themes

These are the genres I wouldn’t accept:

  • Horror
  • Mystery Thriller
  • Adult Fiction
  • Non-fiction
  • Picture Books
  • Spiritual
  • Religious
  • Sex and Erotica

I usually post my reviews here on my blog, on Instagram and on Goodreads (click here to check out my Goodreads  account!) I can also post mini-reviews on Amazon and other e-commerce sites if desired. 

I only accept physical copies of books (finished copies or ARCs). I do not accept e-books or Audiobooks as I am not very comfortable with either format. 

Please take into account the fact that I am in medical school at the moment (it can get pretty hectic sometimes!) and I would require 4-6 weeks to post a review for said book. I would also like to mention that I am completely honest with my reviews and if I end up not liking a book, I would not hesitate to state the same. Not every book can appeal to everyone, right?

My reviews are usually interactive and would seem like I am having a conversation with the reader through my review! I find this really useful as I am mostly reviewing MG//YA and my fellow booknerds would definitely not want to read a review written in a critique form. 

 Here is a blueprint of my reviews:

  • Cover
  • Title of the Book
  • Name of the Author
  • Page Count
  • Publisher
  • Genre
  • Source
  • Blurb (from Goodreads)
  • My Star Rating
  • My Thoughts and Opinions

Here is a guide to my ratings:

⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ – ABSOLUTELY FANTABULOUS! Go pick up this book RIGHT NOW! You will NOT regret it!

⭐⭐⭐⭐ – WOW! This is a great book!

⭐⭐⭐ – Good! But it could have been better.

⭐⭐ – Meh. This was so not for me.

⭐ – Ugh. This put me in a reading slump (in a bad sense).

Now we’re all clear! However, if you have any queries or I have missed something out, you can shoot a mail to nachiketa.sr@gmail.com or contact me through the contact form under the Menu. 

Looking forward to reviewing your book!

Cheers!

Know the Blogger!

Know the Blogger!

Hola! I am Nachiketh, a bookstagrammer/blogger from Bangalore, India. I am a doctor-in-the-making who has an uncontrolled love for book and bookish merchandise! Juggling medicine and books can be pretty hard, but guess who has learnt to manage both now? Me!

I love reading Young Adult and Middle Grade novels (though I guess I lean more towards Middle Grade), science fiction and fantasy being my favorite genre! And does the book have a map? Shove it in my face and I will immediately dive into it! I am also a die-hard fan of bookish merchandise and book subscription boxes (The space is running out at my place for both of these haha).

I am a TV-show addict and I am a huge fan of shows like Stranger Things, Game of Thrones and Sherlock (I could go on, but it would fill up the entire page! When I am not reading books (or studying, for that matter) you can find me glued to my laptop binge-watching a show on Netflix or Prime! I am a huge MCU fan (you are one too? Hit me up! Let’s fangirl together!) I am also a huge sucker for animated movies! Believe me when I say I can sing Let It Go from Frozen in seven languages without making a single mistake!

I am unapologetically queer (AF, you can say). Want to brag about book boyfriends all day long? I’m your man! It should be of no surprise here that I LOVE reading books with LGBTQIA+ themes (M/M romances *winks*) 

You can connect with me on Instagram here:

https://instagram.com/thedocreadstoomuch?igshid=imehq9lyijj0

Have a Goodreads account? We can be friends there too! Go add me on Goodreads here:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/62487711-nachiketh-thedocreadstoomuch

You can also mail me at nachiketa.sr@gmail.com

Phew! That was a bucketload of information! I don’t want to hold you back any longer! Feel free to explore my blog!