Culture Shock: #1

I kept running as fast as I could till I reached the Peninsula. That is how they called it in our days. My days. Year 96 New.

My name is Gar and I come from the Mainland. I was born in the year 80 New. Yes, I was one of the fourth-borns. When the volcano erupted, everyone in the Peninsula was buried more than ten feet deep. My great-grandfather’s generation, People A were the first to be, or exist. I don’t know where we came from, but the legend tells what I just told you. Peninsula, or India as it was called then, had very unstable weather for a few years and it all ended after five years of tumultuous conditions in their year 2014. Four revolutions around the Sun made it possible for the land to become inhabitable and then we came. No one knows from where. It has been slightly less than one hundred years since the time the Peninsula, and everything it had, came to an abrupt stop. People stopped existing mid-breath. Their hearts stopped in the middle of a beat. You took a drag but didn’t get to exhale. Alas, you started, but you couldn’t come. That is what happened. And it terrifies us to think of what will happen if this happens to us. The people of the Mainland.

Family Values? Not so much

Two couples meet in a fancy restaurant in Amsterdam for dinner. They are there to discuss their children. The men are brothers – one of them running for prime minister. As the evening progresses, they talk about their lives. Paul, the narrator keeps going back in time, telling stories that he is reminded of. Serge, the prime ministerial candidate, has his own share of stories. Claire and Babette, the wives of the gentlemen have their own thing going on. Paul tells about the children and their childhood.

The conversation has all the triviality and blandness of any dinner. However, the hollow words disguise the conflict. Between the elaborate description of each food item and the small portions of food – empty part of the plate being more important than the food itself – the conversation takes a very different turn. What started as a simple difference between the lives of these two couples moves on to their sons and the fact that they have done something so irreparable that the consequences might be catastrophic.

I was definitely not impressed by the book. I had huge expectations from the book, but it miserably failed at them. After you have read two-thirds of the story, it becomes fast-paced and slightly more interesting. However, I believe that the storyline had a lot of potential but couldn’t do much with it.

I give it 3 stars.

Gargi

Not a Fangirl

Hi! I’m Gargi, with dark brown hair that mostly look black but look brown in sunlight or in any light. I have brown eyes that always look brown except when they look reddish. I have shoulder-length hair that are parted on the left. I’m on the heavier side but my height sort of makes up for it.

ENOUGH!

Very rarely do books disappoint me. Sadly, this was one of them.

I had really high hopes from the book particularly after having read Eleanor & Park. I guess I picked up this book again after abandoning it since I liked that book a lot.

I don’t think I’ve given any book 2 stars before, but I have my own reasons. I’m not a fangirl. Seldom do I prefer fictional worlds to the real ones. Don’t get me wrong, I like it when I read books and get lost in them, but fantasy has never had it for me. I was pretty excited about the book, starting from the cover to the nerdy protagonist. Even goodreads had pretty nice reviews.

I like the narrative of the novel – but I mostly skipped the fan-fiction. The book just over-emphasised on Levi’s ‘beauty’ and the super-long descriptions of his jaw and air were pretty irritating.

SInce it was fiction based on fanfiction-writing, I’m sure I have to mention that the protagonist Cath was very Mary-Sue -

Gargi

Eleanor & Park – 1

“The first time he’d held her hand, it felt so good that it crowded out all the bad things. It felt better than anything had ever hurt.”

“My girlfriend is sad and quiet and keeps me up all night worrying about her.”

“I miss you, Eleanor. I want to be with you all the time. You’re the smartest girl I’ve ever met, and the funniest, and everything you do surprises me. And I wish I could say that those are the reasons I like you, because that would make me sound like a really evolved human being …‘But I think it’s got as much to do with your hair being red and your hands being soft … and the fact that you smell like homemade birthday cake.”

Read with us

Gargi

Two Misfits

Eleanor & Park, by Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor is the new girl on the school bus – ‘fat’, red haired and dressed up in a weird fashion. Park is the ‘Asian’ kid (American dad + Korean mom) and not thrilled when forced to share a seat with Eleanor.

Bring comics and The Smiths, they start talking to each other and soon become friends. Eleanor comes from a broken family – mom, stepdad and four siblings. Park, the son of a veteran has his own issues.

Rainbow Rowell brings a surprisingly realistic YA novel. It is the best YA to have happened to my life since TFiOS. I read it for our goodreads book club. Join us if you’d like!

4 stars

“Nothing was dirty. With Park.
Nothing could be shameful.
Because Park was the sun, and that was the only way Eleanor could think to explain it.”

I’m reading her other novel Fangirl these days.

Gargi

P.S. I’ll come back with more quotes and images later.