Book Musings: 6 Young Adult Books Which Changed Me



The Fault in Our Stars by John Green: To be honest, I had avoided reading this story for the longest time just because the hype surrounding the book was just too much to bear. And then Sudeshna read it, and wouldn’t shut up about the book and finally, I ordered the book. I got absorbed into the story of Hazel Grace Lancaster and Augustus Waters…and while I cried buckets, I also realized an important thing: a person is so much more than just what sets a limit on them. The story truly touched my heart and I have watched the movie a couple of times as well. I believe John Green sent out a very important message with this particular tale. And it changed me. For the better.

Favourite Quote: “The world is not a wish granting factory.” – Augustus Waters.

All The Bright Places by Jennifer Niven: I bought this book mainly because of how much it had taken over social media and people wouldn’t stop talking about Finch. It was really the tag line that made me open the book and almost finish the story in a couple of days – “The story of a girl who learns to live from a boy who wants to die.” I believe that is the most heartbreakingly beautiful line that I’ve read in recent times. This particular story just makes you realize you need to be nicer to people. You have no idea what personal demons everyone you meet might be fighting. Just be kind. It honestly doesn’t cost you anything, and gives the other person hope.

Favourite Quote: “You’re all the colours in one at full brightness.” ~ Theodore Finch.

Love Letters to the Dead by Ava Dellaria: Laurel shifts schools following her sister’s untimely death, hoping to escape from it all. Only everything comes back to haunt her, when she slowly begins to write letters to the dead as part of an English assignment that she never hands in. I found it to be a beautiful story about how children often do not know right from wrong, and don’t know who to turn to for help. Parents need to pay more attention to their kids, no matter how full their schedules seem to be.

Favourite Quote: “There is more to life than just being a passenger.”
13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher: The book warns you about containing mature themes, and then you realize that this book is the story of every girl ever caught in the cycle of being a victim to a vicious rumour. The book completely broke my heart, and I could feel the struggle between Hannah and Clay. It’s an entirely horrible feeling when you care about someone, but are unable to save them. And Hannah gives you 13 Reasons Why she did what she did...

Favourite Quote: “A lot of you cared, just not enough.”

Roger and Amy’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson: I actually read Morgan Matson’s second novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, first and I wasn’t too happy about it. But this one really restored my faith in the happily ever after, even after life has screwed you up completely enough times. Complete with road maps and little notes scrawled alongside the main text of the novel, I felt I was on this journey with them. The epic detour was on the epic reads of my life in 2015.

Favourite Quote: “The best discoveries always happened to people who weren’t looking for it.”

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger:  The reason why I loved this book is because it broke the stereotype that the female lead needs to be slender and good looking. Bianca is a little overweight and that’s okay, because even though she struggles with being the Designated Ugly Fat Friend (D.U.F.F.), she embraces who she is and falls in love with the guy she was merely hooking up with. The guy who happens to have gotten under her skin and while we think this is bound to be a trainwreck, this story tells you how people who love each other can survive anything and find their way back again.

Favourite Quote: “No matter where you go, or what you do to distract yourself, reality catches up with you eventually.”

Shows from Childhood that Veronica Thatcher wants to bring back!

Oh, this is such a tough one for me to write…Because, I was an extremely precocious child, and I used to watch more soap operas and fewer cartoons in my childhood. I know, I know, roll your eyes at me. But I was a veritable soap opera junkie in my childhood days.

That being said, I did watch some child-friendly shows too because after all, I was a child. And every child likes cartoons and Disney shows.

My absolute favourite as a child used to be Make Way for Noddy, based on Enid Blyton’s books. I used to live and die for it, no matter how many soap operas I watched. Noddy was a wonderful animated show for preschoolers and toddlers. I learnt a lot from this show because it offered many life-lessons about friendship, compassion, integrity and responsibility. Noddy is extremely kind, compassionate and helpful. He always helps his friends in need, even though sometimes, he may get more than he asked for. For example, when he volunteers to watch Bumpy Dog so Tessie can go away for the day, Noddy learns that there's a tremendous amount of responsibility involved in taking care of a dog. Both lessons -- that it's good to help, and that pets are a lot of work -- are worthwhile ones, and Noddy offers plenty more along the same lines.

The next show that I would love to bring back is Oswald. Oswald is in many ways, similar to Noddy. Oswald is a very gentle, friendly, smart, polite and big-hearted round blue octopus who is always willing to go out of his way to help his friends out. He’s sweet and kind, and children can learn a lot from the mistakes he makes and his virtues. The main message the show conveys is that friendship is the most important thing in life. There are also lessons about some serious issues like freedom, for example, when Oswald captures some fireflies in a jar but at the end, sets them free in the park because he realizes that the fireflies are going to be happy only when they can live their life as free beings.

Another show that I was addicted to in my childhood was Hannah Montana. I think a lot of young girls get where I come from. Hannah Montana, played by Miley Cyrus, was quite the pre-teen and teen idol in those years. Her dynamics and relationships with her father, brother and friends, as well as her inner conflicts and brief romantic entanglements made for a very entertaining show for children who were just entering that pre-teen stage. Yes, Miley Cyrus did transform into a completely different person later on, but the early few seasons of the show were very good and wholesome and had a positive impact on the kids.

Last, but not the least, comes the show with magic, mischief and lessons for young tweens – the very entertaining, and perfect for the creative young minds – Wizards of Waverly Place. This Disney sitcom is about three siblings with secret magical powers. Each episode offers positive messages about responsibility, honesty, and making good decisions, and characters learn from their mistakes. The show comprises of tweens and teens with woes that young viewers will easily relate to. While there's often some mild misbehaving of some sort going on, in the end, important lessons are learned and consequences are faced.

These four were my absolute favourite during my childhood, and I learnt a lot from them. I like to think they had a huge contribution in shaping up my personality and making me the person I am today. Sometimes, I really miss these shows and their simplicity and honesty. It was much better than all the emotionally taxing angst and drama and villainy that is portrayed in soaps. If I could, I would bring them back in a heartbeat. I recommend these shows to all the kids. There are some really important life-lessons and meaningful messages conveyed through these.

Title: A Way Back into Love
Author: Veronica Thatcher
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Notion Press



Blurb:
Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love…well, that makes everything complicated. And when you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.

Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life gets turned upside-down when she realizes she's in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home...to the man she left behind?




                                                https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946641170/

                             eBooks - https://www.amazon.in/dp/B06WRR5FN3

                                                https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06WRR5FN3/


Author Bio:
Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!

Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.

Author Links:


Excerpt:

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.




Release Day Blitz: A Way Back Into Love


~ Release Day Blitz ~
A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher
21st February, 2017



About the Book:

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain.People, irrational. But love… Well, that makes complicates everything complicated. When you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.
Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life is turned upside-down when she realizes she's in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home... to the man she left behind?



Book Links:
Goodreads * Paperback * eBook

Read an Excerpt:

Emily stepped back from him and shook her head. “Oh, you know damn well what I mean. You know what, Derek? I’m done having this conversation with you. I’m so done with this conversation and I’m so done with you,” Emily spat out angrily before brushing past him.

“Emily, wait,” Derek said, catching her by her arm. “Where are you going?”

Emily spun around and gave him a bitter look before looking down at his hand gripping her arm. “Leave my arm,” she said in a low yet threatening voice, “And why do you care where I’m going? It’s none of your business.”

Derek didn’t leave her arm in spite of her warning and said, “Em, you’ve had too many drinks. You can’t drive in this condition. I’ll drop you home.”

Emily jerked her arm free from his grasp and replied in a bitter voice, “Thank you, but no. I’m perfectly capable of getting myself home on my own. I don’t need you to drop me home. Do you get it, Derek Thorpe? I DON’T NEED YOU!” Emily yelled the last words, causing a few people to look their way.


About the Author:
Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!
Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.

Contact the Author:

FB Page * FB Profile * Twitter * Wattpad




Cover Reveal: A Way Back into Love by Veronica Thatcher


~ Cover Reveal ~
A Way Back Into Love by Veronica Thatcher
5th January, 2017



About the Book:

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes, uncertain. People, irrational. But love… Well, that makes complicates everything complicated. When you are caught in a tangled web of secrets, lies, and complex affairs, someone is bound to get burned.
Emily Stevens is a spunky, spirited college girl whose life is turned upside-down when she realizes she's in love with her best friend of fifteen years, Derek Thorpe. As Emily prepares to confess her feelings to Derek, something happens one night which changes her life forever. Five years later, Emily finds herself in Boston, alone and heartbroken. Will she ever be able to forget the past? And what will she find when she returns home... to the man she left behind?




About the Author:
Veronica Thatcher is an exciting new contemporary romance author. Ever since she was very young, she’s dreamed of becoming a doctor when she grew up. While still forging ahead with that, majoring in pre-med in college, she unwittingly stumbled upon a new dream—becoming a published author. Some may call her an introvert or a wallflower, but she has always found she could express herself better in written, rather than spoken, words. However, never in her wildest dreams had she envisioned she would pursue writing as a prospective career, not just a hobby. Her love for writing goes hand-in-hand with her love for a good romance novel—whether it be a feel-good, sweet romance or a dark, suspenseful one. When she’s not studying, reading, or writing, she is usually found blasting her favourite songs, sometimes singing and dancing along to them.  She dabbles in a number of activities, including painting, karate, singing and dancing. She is a huge chocoholic – probably the biggest – and she is an ice-cream junkie too. She considers herself technologically handicapped forever and has no shame in admitting that. She also deems chocolates her boyfriend, Patrick Dempsey the love of her life, and Friends her life!
Her first book, A Way Back Into Love, is slated for release in February 2017, and she hopes readers will enjoy it as much as she enjoyed writing it. You can reach Veronica through Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Wattpad and Gmail.

Contact the Author:
FB Page * FB Profile * Twitter * Wattpad




Book Musings: Never Gone by Anusha Subramanian


This book arrived with many postcards, a bookmark and a note from Namrata di. All the way from Mumbai. She had written that the protagonist in the story had reminded her of me, and that the letters in the story spoke to her. It’s no secret that I love writing letters and if you’re one of my favourite people I have written a letter to you at some point during the course of our friendship.

Never Gone is the story of a group of friends in the eleventh standard, and is an Indian Young Adult novel in the truest sense of the term. I loved how all the characters in the story had been fleshed out. It was wonderful to read about them struggling with their very teenage problems. It reminded me rather painfully of the time when I was in high school and everything around me seemed to be two minutes away from falling apart.

At the heart of all these characters is the protagonist, Ananya. She was born to change the world. I loved the letters she had written to everyone in her life, because they echoed words that the characters really needed to hear. I found a lot of myself in Ananya, and I certainly hope I have been able to change a few worlds as well.

I would recommend people who are on the edge of despair to read this book, because oh, come on! What do you have left to live for if you do not have hope?

Never Gone will make you cry, make you laugh and make you wish you had a second chance at being seventeen again!


Thanks a million times over, Namrata di. You brought one of the nicest reads on 2016 into my life.

Book Musings: What Light by Jay Asher



Jay Asher had impressed me before with his novel 13 Reasons Why and because of it, I had been eagerly waiting for What Light. It did not disappoint me at all. I read the book over this weekend and let me tell you, it’s one of best weekends I’ve had in 2016.

Why put my heart into something fate will only tear apart Christmas morning? Is what haunts Sierra who comes down to California every year from Oregon to sell Christmas trees in the lot. She has always lived two lives and she has always been content with that fact.

But this year turns out to be like no other. Clearly her life in California has begun to eclipse the life back home in Oregon. All because she’s met an amazing boy who finally seems worth the effort. Caleb and Sierra’s relationship is riddled with complications and has a very rocky start.

Even though there are plenty of characters in the story, no one seems to outshine the other. I like how the central focus is never shifted from Sierra and Caleb, and how Christmas plays a huge part in their story. As someone who has always loved Christmas, you can tell that I was mighty pleased with the storyline.

I love Christmassy reads and this one is surely one of my favourite stories now. It will be special to me because I read it at a time when I was beginning to feel restless and hopeless. What a wonderful thing it is, when we find in books the words that our hearts and minds long to hear. Some stories can really change how you have been looking at life.

For me, What Light did precisely that. Maybe I wouldn’t like the story had read the story some other time. Maybe if I read it if I was already full of happiness and hope, I’d be dismissive of it. But because I started the book at a time when it had exactly what I needed to hear, I loved it so much. And I’m pretty sure I have a book hangover now. It’ll be a Christmas miracle if I stop talking about it anytime soon.

This is a must-read novel for anyone who wants to lift up their Christmas spirit and wants to believe that miracles can happen.

I need you to believe in us. - Caleb. 
I think these words will stay with me forever. 

Buy the book here: Amazon 


Review: Metro Diaries 2 by Namrata


About the Book:





Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard - this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.


Goodreads I Amazon





Quotes from Metro Diaries 2:

All the money his parents earned sadly could never buy a moment’s peace for any of them as they kept drifting away like lost constellations into the space. Together they surely were in a way, but light years away in every manner. There was absolutely no connection between them. They just were like every other thing that existed in the universe… the oceans, the sky, the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon. You couldn’t change anything about them even if you didn’t like the way they were. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

You are enough in everything and anything you do in this world. Others are here to serve as a distraction so that they reach their goals before yours and become winners. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

At times in life we always see what we are being shown and not what lies behind that cloak of disguise. We believe all that comes our way without doubting that there could be a trick or maybe just a hallucination. – Charlatan (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Life they say is a like a jigsaw puzzle and we are all like those pieces trying to find where we fit in. – Labour of Love (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Perhaps she had forgotten the thumb rule for survival here. There is nothing called yours here.  No will, no desire, no dreams, no ambitions….nothing. Not even your name. – The Plummet (Metro Diaries Part 2)

What else do you do when you are a teenager? Life seems to be one long party full of fun and frolic with your best friends all around. You just know your world is full of rainbow colours; sweetness of chocolates filling it and abundant beautiful dresses to doll you up.  Love and relationships take a different meaning altogether now making you look at everything around including yourself in newer light. – Love v/s hate (Metro Diaries Part 2)

I always felt I knew what I wanted in life. But today I realized how wrong I was. I was chasing mirages as the reality kept going away from me and now I am left with nothing in hand – Rags to Riches(Metro Diaries Part 2)

People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena (Metro Diaries Part 2)



About the Author:



Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.




Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter



The Review:

I received Namrata Madhira’s Metro Diaries 2 as part of the b00k r3vi3ws tours but unfortunately I couldn’t read it. So I rescheduled my posting dates and ended up reading her book on my flight from Kolkata to Bangalore. And quite honestly, it was not what I had expected at all.
Each of the 20 stories had flavours of their own. I don’t what to give away too much of the amazing tales that is part of Metro Diaries 2. I’ll talk about a select few.

Charlatan – I really liked the story especially because of the epic plot twist. I cannot tell you how happy I felt reading that justice is sometimes served in the most unexpected of ways.
Stain of Love – I was actually crying by the time I finished reading this cute little story. So much so, that the flight attendant got a little alarmed and asked me if everything was alright.

The Cursed Existence – This was another story that struck home and stayed with me for a long, long time.

Child is the father of the man – This story gave me a reality check over the fact that my life is really easy. I shouldn’t spend my time cribbing about it.

Rags & Riches – Very honestly, the entire premise of the story was pretty unexpected. I didn’t think I’d be as drawn to the story as I was. It proved to be a really good read.

The Last Kiss – One of the saddest tales in the collection without a doubt. But one of the writer’s best works too.

In the end, I would advise people to pick up a copy of Metro Diaries 2 because of the different flavours each story has to offer. Some will make you cry, some will leave a smile on your face. Some will twist your heart in agony while others will give you hope that no matter what happens, life always gets a little better in the end. Many congratulations to Namrata di for this amazing little anthology. And many apologies to her too for posting this review so later.

Believe me, Di, if you are reading this, Metro Diaries 2 is one of my many reasons my Bangalore trip has become so very memorable.