This house of clay and water by Faiqa Mansab

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Genre: Contemporary fiction, Pakistani literature
Year Of Publication: 24th May 2017
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Pages: 270 ( Hardback )
My rating: 4.5/5

Set in the streets of the historical city of Lahore; This House of clay and Water tells the story of it’s three main protagonists – Nida, Bhanggi and Sasha.
Told in alternating POVs , the story transports us into their lives and we come face to face with their hopes, dreams and longings- the emotions they’ve suppressed for far too long. Now threatening to burst at the seams.
As the characters try to come to terms with themselves and try to figure out their identities, we get a glimpse of how religion and societal norms play a part in shaping “who we are” and what is expected of us.

“In our aloneness, our souls had found each other. That was all. How silly to call it anything less
This story isn’t merely about forbidden love.
It’s about the intricacies that bind us together as human beings. How easy it is sometimes to forget that.  Continue reading “This house of clay and water by Faiqa Mansab”

My dream reading nook.

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Recently I was contacted by the people at Arhaus who encouraged me to share my dream reading space with you guys.
A reader spends most of their day curled up with a good book. So, naturally one needs a comfy reading nook that caters to all their reading needs and helps them unwind and relax.
In this post I’m going to share my vision of the perfect reading nook- and hopefully someday I’ll get around to making it come true. *fingers crossed*.
Continue reading “My dream reading nook.”

Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter

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Genre: Young adult, mental illness
Year Of Publication: 1st April 2017
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Pages: 384 ( Paperback )
My rating: 5/5

“……unfortunately words aren’t magic…..Words can’t make Actual Miracles happen.Sometimes words just don’t do anything at all.Sometimes they don’t even matter.”

Rosalind Banks is eleven and suffers from Selective Mutism. She strives to be “normal” so she can stop being “Officially  Weird”- but that’s not an easy thing to do,considering she can’t speak in front of people (whenever she builds up the nerve to do so, her words disappear completely or become a “Massive Muddle” in her head and she can’t seem to make herself speak).

This makes her a social pariah at her new school (Manor High) and she gets bullied -not just verbally but physically as well. Her outrage against the bullies inspires her to start an anonymous blog with the help of her brother; Seb , called “Miss Nobody”.

Thus, begins a journey of vigilante justice and bully-shaming ,but soon things spiral out of control and Miss Nobody seems to be at the centre of it all.

What happens when the moral police becomes an accessory to bullying?
How far is too far when taking matters into your own hands?
And ,is relying on social media an effective way to solve your problems or does it only add to them?

These are some of the important questions raised in this book. Continue reading “Being Miss Nobody by Tamsin Winter”

The Vegetarian by Han Kang

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Genre: Fiction, literary, contemporary
Year Of Publication: 23rd August 2016
Publisher: Hogarth Press
Pages: 188 ( Paperback )
My rating: 5/5

 

“Why, is it such a bad thing to die?”

After an unsettling dream, Yeong-hye decides that she will no longer eat meat.
What follows next is a tale of horrors told from varying perspectives.


“Life is such a strange thing, she thinks, once she has stopped laughing. Even after certain things have happened to them, no matter how awful the experience, people still go on ………. And sometimes they even laugh out loud. And they probably have these same thoughts, too, and when they do it must make them cheerlessly recall all the sadness they’d briefly managed to forget.”

It is very hard for me to form coherent sentences after reading this book- one of the reasons why I’ve been putting off trying to write this review.
Continue reading “The Vegetarian by Han Kang”

What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird

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Genre: Young adult, mystery, contemporary
Year Of Publication: 1st May 2016
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Pages: 406 ( Paperback )
My rating: 2.5/5

“That’s the thing about not being a talker; when you don’t talk that much you listen more. You see the gaps in the conversation.You can read them like the words in a book. I’m really good at doing that because I’m listening all the time. And when you listen, you hear everything. You hear things in the silences, in the sighs, in the blank spaces of the conversation too.”

This is the first book I’ve read about “Selective Mutism” and having no prior knowledge about what it was I decide to search online.
This is what the internet has to say about Selective Mutism:
Selective mutism(SM) is a severe anxiety disorder where a person (who is normally capable of speech) is unable to speak in certain social situations, such as with classmates at school or to relatives they don’t see very often. It usually starts during childhood and, left untreated, can persist into adulthood.It usually co-exists with shyness or social anxiety.


The main character in the book (Tessie) suffers from SM. Being unable to freely talk to people makes her an “ideal listener”.Everyone opens up to her instantly as they feel she is willing to listen to what they have to say and won’t judge them
(*if she can’t talk to you, doesn’t mean she won’t silently judge you -_- ) .

Her SM comes in handy when her sister (Laura) is assaulted and goes in a coma. No one has any clue about what has happened to her – although, all fingers point at her boyfriend (Joe) who was with her at the time when it happened and has been missing since.

Tessie; who’s dealing with her SM, getting bullied at school because of it, and trying not to freak out when her family is falling apart – tries to figure out what happened to her sister. Continue reading “What I Couldn’t Tell You by Faye Bird”

Where The World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean

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Genre: Young adult, historical fiction
Year Of Publication: 1st May 2017
Publisher: Usborne Publishing Ltd
Pages: 336 ( Hardcover)
My rating: 5/5

“Every time a lad came fowling on the St Kilda stacs, he went home less of a boy and more of a man. If he went home at all, that is…”

It is the summer of 1727 and nine boys and three men from Hirta (an island with no trees) find themselves marooned on the “Warrior Stac” (a sea stac in the St Kilda archipelago ;the highest sea stac in Scotland and the British Isles. Originally known as “Stac an Armin”).

They believe the world has ended – the only explanation they can offer for being abandoned with no one to come and fetch them.

Hysteria gradually begins to set in and everyone is struggling to survive in the cold, harsh climate. They become delusional and start hallucinating.Only one boy ensures their sanity in this dire and strenuous time – Quill (short for Quilliam) spins stories out of thin air; doing his best to keep the small group preoccupied so they can take their minds off  their distressing circumstances.

“After the world ends,only music and love will survive”

He tries to restore some semblance of “normality” to their lives but, Quill too is human and soon things begin to get out of hand… Continue reading “Where The World Ends by Geraldine McCaughrean”