Truly Devious, Maureen Johnson, 2018

Title: Truly Devious

Author: Maureen Johnson

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: eBook

Language: English

Pages: 288

Synopsis:

Author Maureen Johnson weaves a tale of murder and mystery in the first book of a new series.

Ellingham Academy is a famous private school in Vermont for the brightest thinkers, inventors, and artists. It was founded by Albert Ellingham, an early twentieth century tycoon, who wanted to make a wonderful place full of riddles, twisting pathways, and gardens. “A place” he said, “where learning is a game.”

Shortly after the school opened, his wife and daughter were kidnapped. The only real clue was a mocking riddle listing methods of murder, signed with the frightening pseudonym, Truly Devious. It became one of the great unsolved crimes of American history.

True-crime aficionado Stevie Bell is set to begin her first year at Ellingham Academy, and she has an ambitious plan: She will solve this cold case. That is, she will solve the case when she gets a grip on her demanding new school life and her housemates: the inventor, the novelist, the actor, the artist, and the jokester. But something strange is happening. Truly Devious makes a surprise return, and death revisits Ellingham Academy. The past has crawled out of its grave. Someone has gotten away with murder.

My review:

Truly Devious is a new YA murder mystery, the first in an upcoming trilogy (I think!) and I am so very glad that I picked it up. After having read the book, I definitely think that I will continue with this series.

Going into this book I never knew it if a part of a series so I expected it to be precise in its own way and that is why I had the thought that perhaps the author has tried to pull the events a bit, and why the pacing felt a bit slow in the beginning and major plot points happened only after about halfway through the book.

Stevie as a character was well made and I am afraid that is something I can only say for her. Nate does require a bit more depth and I hope the author will bring him into the picture more in the sequels. David on the other hand, the love interest (?) was considerably well made. A refreshing change is that this book is not very romance heavy and has only explored a little bit of attraction so far. Although romance, in the long run will not be completely unwelcome.

The world building is truly fascinating. I loved reading about this new-age school with its eclectic students. The brilliance of these students is truly worth noticing. The themes of murder, mystery, thriller as well as the generic ones of familial as well as friendly bonding, personal space and such are well explored in the story.

The dual timeline in the novel is really enjoyable to read. The 1936 plotline read great and it felt like to mysteriesunveiling at the same time. It added a lot of depth to the narrative as a whole and while I was at the edge of my seat wondering who the murderer was, I was left crazy and mad when I ended the book and realized that there is to be a sequel.  There is a game-like feel to the entire novel and I read it in really less time when you consider the fact that my semester is almost ending and I am running pell-mell to keep up during these last few days.

I am very excited for the next book and it is bound to be one of my most anticipated books of 2019!

Verdict:

I quite enjoyed this book and I rate it a 4.5/5 stars.

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

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Winterdream, Chantal Gadoury, 2018

Title: Winter Dream

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Publisher: The Parliament House Press

Format: eBook

Language: English

Pages: 237

Synopsis:

This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse. 
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse? 
For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount. 
But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse? 
Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring? 
Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic. 

My review:

I truly believe that I read Winter Dream at the best possible time of the year – its winter and Christmas is just a couple weeks away. This book really geared me up for the festive season ahead.

As is clear from the synopsis, Winterdream is a retelling of the original Nutcracker story and oh what a retelling! I really enjoyed reading this book and I love that Chantal has such a penchant for creating these amazing retellings of fairytales that we all know.

With her classic elegant style of writing, that is smooth and reads like the classic caramel custard my mother makes this time of the year, Chantal has infused the very spirit of Christmas into the book, or the book has infused the festive spirit into me. Words cannot do this justice. The beginning was a bit slow, I found, but only the pace picked up, I could not put it down. This book really took me very less amount of time to finish – I could hardly put it down once I started reading it, despite that fact that I am going through my last week of classes before winter break and we all know hoe very tiring and hectic that can be.

The world building was amazing – the lush and wonderfully evocative words made it all so very real. Chantal’s words have a vivid imagery that sucks the reader right in. The description of the magical Sugarland, and Winterdream as a whole was magical really – I cannot find enough words to describe it, except say that you should definitely pick it up this December. The character development – be it emotional or mental, was well written and explored, especially in Clara. Everything was natural and smooth flowing – the reader goes along and there are no abrupt jerks in the development of the characters and that really builds a strong structure for the story. The characters have depth to their beings and in this manner the author shows both strength and vulnerability in them.

I read to Tchaikovsky’s music while reading the book and I definitely recommend you all to do that too as it gives you a really magical feelings.

{I received a review without any guarantee of a favorable review. The opinions expressed herein are unbiased and my own.}

Verdict:

I quite enjoyed this book and I rate it a 4/5 stars.

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

Blinding Night, Chantal Gadoury, 2018

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Title: Blinding Night

Author: Chantal Gadoury

Publisher: The Parliament House Press

Format: eBook

Language: English

Pages: 273

Synopsis:

What if you were the missing piece in one of the world’s most epic legends? 
Despite being an art history student, Summer isn’t thrilled to be stuck with her archeologist family all summer in Greece. While the rest of her college friends are posting a million selfies by the pool together, Summer is stuck alone, trying to entertain herself alone in a place where she doesn’t even speak the language.
Upon her arrival to Greece, strange dreams and even stranger shadows seem to haunt Summer, leaving her to ponder the meaning of pomegranate seeds and twisted, darkened faces.
Suddenly, her stay abroad leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of a dark stranger, who claims to be the god, Hades, whom she feels like she knows from another life. In a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, Summer is seduced to the lowest point of Greece where Hades’ lair awaits…the Underworld. Determined to find out who she is and where she belongs in an age-old myth, Summer joins Hades to discover that the secrets about her past life are beyond anything she could have ever imagined.

My review:

Having never really read a Hades and Persephone retelling before, Blinding Night came as a shock – a pleasant, toe-curling, warming shock. Intertwining elements of mythology, fantasy, contemporary issues, love, friendship etc., Blinding Night is a must-read for mythology and romance lovers.

The plot of the novel was one that was really different – what with the author including her own interpretation of the legendary story of the Ruler of the Underworld and the Goddess of Spring, but pleasantly so.

While the plot is really nice, I had a few problems with the characters, mostly Summer. I just found her complaints very irritating at times – she didn’t want to go to Greece, firstly, complaining that she’d rather go where her friends would, and then about the food, and her appearance. Heroines who just disagree when they’re told that they are beautiful really get on my nerves. I’d rather have someone who is happy with her appearance. That is one element in Summer’s personality that really got on my nerves.

Let me tell you about a character that I loved – Morpheus, the God of Dreams. I just loved him and his characteristics. He was the perfect side-character in the book and I loved reading about him.

The other characters were also well made and I am actually eager to see how Demeter will turn out to be in the sequel. Overall, the characters were really three-dimensional and I enjoyed reading about them. The romance scenes were good but I think the progress to them can be a bit smoother; it felt abrupt at times. Nonetheless, the actual moments were really enjoyable to read.  I did finish the book in one seating after all; I suppose that says a lot about my feelings for it.

The themes of love, hate, adapting, loss and the whole star-crossed lovers’ trope that is the foundation to Hades and Persephone is also well-explored.

Verdict:

I quite enjoyed this book and as I rate it a 3.75/5 stars, I wait eagerly for the sequel to come out!

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

Gift of Confidence, Rohit Narang, 2018

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Title: Gift of Confidence

Author: Rohit Narang

Publisher: Partridge India

Format: Paperback

Language: English

Pages: 148

Synopsis:

Everyone, in a family of reputed professionals of the town, has been successful in cracking the World’s toughest exam in their first attempt but Pancham is unable to maintain the legacy. Father is furious at Pancham’s failure. Pancham thinks if he dies, the society won’t trouble his family. Before the thought could take the shape of reality, an affectionate mother calms him down and sends him to the Sikh temple, where he meets a weird looking stranger with whom he takes an emotional roller coaster of conversations. Based on actual events, the story is influenced by the author’s life who refused to believe the crowd and made his path for an unbelievable achievement.

 My review:

Gift of Confidence was an enjoyable read as it was so very realistic in its essence. The plot in itself is something that is common to every student’s life, be it in part or its entirety. The protagonist, along with his troubles was very relatable and his tribulations more so.

The themes of success and hard work resonate throughout the entire story and in its way this story proves to be a very inspiring read. There is however just one mention of suicide that may be a trigger warning for some. The character of Vandit ji was also a very inspiring one as he is the one who really made the difference in Pancham’s life. He is the one who basically lifted Pancham up and delivered him from the hole he had fallen into following his unwelcome result. In that I think it is really relatable- we all have someone who really builds us up and helps us move forward in life and that is really important.

Pancham’s mother was a very lovable and inspiring character too who always had the belief and trust in her son and never failed to make him feel supported. Pancham on the other hand, goes through a great transformation and his metamorphosis is eye-opening. With the right amount of will-power and determination, everything is possible. Pancham really shows that and epitomizes that. His character development is apt, where others’ is not really visible and lack depth.

The story was overall very enjoyable. However, the writing style is too simple and could do with a bit more refinement to it. It is a good work though for beginners to start with, and despite the simple writing style and plot, the story is worth reading.

Verdict:

I quite enjoyed this book and as I rate it a 3/5 stars.

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

 

The Sultanpur Chronicles, Achala Upendran, 2018

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Title: The Sultanpur Chronicles

Author: Achala Upendran

Publisher: Hachette India

Format: Paperback

Language: English

Pages: 360

Synopsis:

Darkness looms over the Sultanpuri Empire… From the freezing mountains of Firozia to the high waves that break on Karizen’s rocky cliffs; from the cities and souks of Dastakar to the djinn-filled Western Desert, the Sultanpuri Empire, a rich collection of kingdoms and states, has lived in peace for over 300 years.

Formed after the end of the Human–Rakshas wars and ruled with an iron hand by the Imperial family, it has reached the pinnacle of influence and prosperity. All of this, though, has come at a price: the restriction of magic among a chosen few, and the banishment of the powerful rakshasas. But when a forbidden spell releases a rakshasi in the empire’s capital city, Sultanpur, the darkness that has been lurking below the surface comes bubbling forth, threatening to plunge the empire into chaos and envelop everything in its murderous embrace…

My review:

The Sultanpur Chronicles opened to a wonderful new fantasy series that I look forward to reading. It is a great convergence of fantasy along with elements of romance, adventure and action, modernity, and so on.

The world building in this book was well done. It was easy for the reader to dive right in. however, personally, it took me some time to do so but I believe that after pulling through for a few chapters, it was really easy to do so. The multiple person point-of-view was welcome as it really gives a number of perspectives to the reader, in a fantasy story. The characters all have their own backstory, which really gives the reader a wider scope to understand the thoughts and actions of the characters. However, the characters require a bit more depth.

The themes of war, hate, friendship, politics as well as adventure and mystery was a good mix in the story and really entertaining. The presence of the multitude of characters does well to giving depth to the story and the magic system is great for the reader to explore. Flying carpets, djinns, magic lamps give a totally Arabian Night-esque vibe to the story, which is not unwelcome. It really makes one feel nostalgic about the story.

There were a few loop ends though throughout when the identity of the nameless characters in certain episodes could not be determined. It is clear that there is to be a sequel and I eagerly look forward to it.

Verdict:

I quite enjoyed this book and as I rate it a 3.5/5 stars, I wait eagerly for the sequel to come out!

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

When Breath Becomes Air, Paul Kalanithi, 2016

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Title: When Breath Becomes Air
Author: Paul Kalanithi
Publisher: @penguinrandomhouse
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 228
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My review:
Firstly a great big thanks to my professor for recommending and lending me this book. It was an experience I will never forget.
#whenbreathbecomesair was a book I cannot say that I simply loved. For my emotions are not settled even now. It was like a tornado, making a mess of my emotions- I laughed, I cried, I rejoiced and I probably will never forget this.
The memoir is an amazing piece of work- not simply because the author was so well informed and was a student of literature itself, but because of his life, his living. The human spirit that strives even in the face of all hardship is evident in this. I rejoiced when he succeeded- his accomplishments were so satisfying for a person like me, and I cried when I found out about the impending death. But this man’s enthusiasm and zeal was amazing to come across.
At times, I felt like I needed to DNF the book; I couldn’t go on, but the wish to see the story to its end drove me on. Death does not imply stagnation after all… I know my thoughts aren’t very well organised but I’m writing this immediately after I’ve finished reading it, when my thoughts are the freshest.
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I’m also doing a collab with @disartisdcraftsstore
@calligraph_it for #december #bulletjournalmonthlylog ! So over the next few days you’ll see my #decemberspread as i prepare for my #university #semester #finals ! You’re welcome to join us!
Also, thanks @dimensanikay for the coffee!
The quote in the spread is by #sarahkaypoetry:
it is December,
and nobody asked
if I was ready…
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#qotd : have you read any such #nonfiction book which left you in tatters?
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#indiaboobookstagram #guwahatiblogger #guwahatibookstagrammers #assambookstagrammers #classics #aestheticbackground #readersofinstagram #writersofinstagram #booklover #doily #crochet #bookstagrammer #university #studying #examtime #studyforexam

It Happens, Because it’s Life, Yashvi Italiya, 2018

 

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Title: It Happens

Author: Yashvi Italiya

Publisher: Educreation Publishing

Format: Paperback

Language: English

Pages: 97

Synopsis:

Compiled with quotes, a few poems and some doodles, this book spreads positivity through negativity. It shows how you can be a leader of your own life and how you cannot have a happy life always but learn to create one when you are not happy. We all come across articles and stories that has a lot of positivity in it. But your efforts in embracing positivity are successful when you start getting motivated by negativity. This book may not help you now, when you are in your senses. But open it when you are going through some bad phases. It includes occurrences of random objects, nature, living beings, etc. that we see and use daily. It teaches how you can learn anything from something as tiny as an ant or as large as an elephant. This book is a reminder that life is still short and it is still not easy. But it can be, if you look at it from different angles. “Life is the prequel of death or say, death is the sequel of life. You have to go through both, anyhow.”

 My review:

It Happens is another one of the quotes collection that seem to have taken the market by storm in the recent literary history. A collection of modern quotes that revolve around self-love and everyday life. The writing style is common to that of Rupi Kaur’s – the prose style that contemporary verses seem to have attained.

One thing that was worth noting in the collection was the streak of positivity that the author has been able to maintain throughout the book. Despite the odds that people face, which the author has written extensively on, she urges to be kinder and to strive on despite the odds. The author propagates the indomitable human spirit that always goes on. In the words of Henley, “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul”.

Verdict:

I liked reading this book and rate it a 3 /5 stars.

 

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

 

 

Ashwatthama’a Redemption: The Rise of Dandak, Gunjan Porwal, 2018

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Title: Ashwatthama’s Redemption: The Rise of Dandak

Author: Gunjan Porwal

Publisher: Om Books International

Format: Paperback

Language: English

Pages: 263

Synopsis:

Over a hundred years after the Mahabharata War, an ancient power threatens to destroy the new Age of Men, by establishing the Age of Terror of the asuras, long believed to be extinct. The only hurdle in its path is Guru Dronacharya’s son, the mighty but accursed warrior Ashwatthama, who lost all his powers following Lord Krishna’s curse, and who unwittingly finds himself drawn into the quest of the lost bow of Lord Rama – the Kodanda.

As ghosts of the distant past return to haunt him, and the line between friends and enemies blurs, Ashwatthama must fight his inner demons to emerge victorious. He undertakes a perilous journey – across the vast plains of the gages, to the snow-capped peaks of the Himavant – where the price of failure is a fate worse than death, and death is a privilege not granted to Ashwatthama.

Is this all part of Lord Krishna’s great plan? Will Ashwatthama be able to regain his lost glory?

My review:

Ashwatthama’s Redemption is a mythological fiction book, and one of the best of its kind. I found in it, a perfect blend of all elements that have the capacity to thrust forward and make popular any book within the genre. Perhaps that explains the amazing ratings that this book has been gathering, and deservedly so.

The entire plot was well planned out and detailed – elaborate in its own scope and leaving the reader intrigued by the ending – there is undoubtedly a sequel coming out. The author has maintained the plot pace very well and it really becomes fast paced towards the end of the book, leading to a crescendo!

The themes again – war, politics, human spirit in the face of doom, friendship, kinship etc., are all very dynamic, as shown in the book and the fiction element with which the author has written this mythological tale is fluent and free-flowing. There were no jerks throughout. It all sounds like it happened, but the best part is that the reader feels like he or she is a part of the adventure. The world building was good, but I admit, could have been better. The inclusion of the map in the beginning was a great idea but perhaps it would have been preferable if the naming had been done in English and not Hindi. The mystery element is also one that needs special mention – the hermeneutic and pro-airetic codes used have truly helped in that regard.

The character created by the author are well made – they are round and multi-dimensional, except the side characters, of course. Their backstories have also been provided which truly adds great depth to any character – another good point that the author has kept in mind, clearly.

The stories and anecdotes that the author puts in, in the middle – the various references to the Mahabharata war and that world, basically, is intriguing and attracts the reader’s attention clearly, for so many of those facts and small details are unknown to the common reader and thus, interesting for them.

The editing and proof-corrections have been well done as well. The cover is nice to look at and really helps the reader to imagine how Ashwatthama may have looked like.

Verdict:

I quite enjoyed this book and as I rate it a 4/5 stars, I wait eagerly for the sequel to come out!

 

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

 

 

 

The Way of the World, William Congreve, 1700

 

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Title: The Way of the World

Author: William Congreve

Publisher: Peacock Books

Format: Paperback

Language: English

Pages: 92

 

Synopsis:

The play is centered on the two lovers Mirabell and Millamant. In order for them to marry and receive Millamant’s full dowry, Mirabell must receive the blessing of Millamant’s aunt, Lady Wishfort. Unfortunately, Lady Wishfort is a very bitter lady who despises Mirabell and wants her own nephew, Sir Wilfull, to wed Millamant.

Another character, Fainall, is having a secret affair with Mrs. Marwood, a friend of Mrs. Fainall’s, who in turn once had an affair with Mirabell.

In the meantime, Mirabell’s servant is married to Foible, Lady Wishfort’s servant. Waitwell pretends to be Sir Rowland and, on Mirabell’s command, tries to trick Lady Wishfort into a false engagement. Above all, all the characters in the play are involved to each other in extra marital affairs in an affected way and pretentious way while Mirabell and Millamant go against the currents of the society.

 

My review:

I needed to read this play for a class in my university and even after reading it more than once, I am quite confused as to what I feel about this book. On the one hand, it is truly funny – the entanglements that all these characters get stuck in, but on the other hand, it is morally degrading – to see the reasons as to why these people get stuck in these dilemmas, more specifically, because of all the deceit, trickery, lying and cheating that they indulge in. So perhaps it is better to consider it a satire on the society of those times, as portrayed by William Congreve, and leave it at that. Or not.

 

If we see this as a love story, we can see that the love shared by the lead couple is not really based on the love they have for each other, but rather, the love for material gain. We can see how willing Millamant, the female lead, becomes to marry someone else other than her lover, since going against her aunt’s wishes and marrying Mirabell, the male lead, would mean that she would not get her inheritance. So basically we see her choosing her money over love. One can call her realistic and pragmatic, someone who understands the realities of life. But I find it debatable. Moreover, in the proviso scene, where these two ‘lovers’ are preparing a pre-nuptial agreement, one can get a definite whiff of how business-like they both treat this whole deal. Where is the love?

 

Mirabell is shown like the reformed womanizer – he has had an affair with Mrs. Fainall (who is Millamant’s cousin!) whom he later gets married to Mr. Fainall, afraid that he might have made her pregnant! Then again, we see Mr. Fainall having an extra-marital affair with a Mrs. Marwood, someone with whom, it has been implied, Mirabell too had an affair once. So it’s really very shady – on the one hand, we may consider Mirabell the refined rake who would make the best husband (don’t they say that refined rakes make the best husbands?) and on the other hand, we can see Mirabell as the incorrigible rake, whose temporary flavour of the month is Millamant. Millamant is also shown as a woman who is confident of the power she has over Mirabell but I honestly found her a total tease at times.

 

The trickery and the deceit and the cheating really made me have second thoughts about the play, but coming back to the point, maybe it isn’t so bad after all.

 

Verdict:

I rate this book a 3/5 stars.

 

About the reviewer

Nayanika Saikia, is one of the foremost book reviewers from the North-east and Assam, and is also an admin for the official India bookstagram page on Instagram. She publishes her own reviews and recommendations for poetry, fiction, non-fiction etc. on her bookstagram account @pretty_little_bibliophile which won the NorthEast Creator Awards 2018, as well as in daily newspapers, online magazines etc.  She can be contacted at nayanikasaikia98@gmail.com .

 

 

 

If Characters from Winter Dream Were Candle Scents (Guest post!)

To say that I love candles is slightly an understatement. I love candles. Even more so – Christmas candles. So much so, I know to avoid the stores around this time of year, because I’ll want to buy them all!

Around the holiday time, many of my favorite scents and flavors become popular. Peppermint, Mocha, Cinnamon, Sugar Cookie – and more. Just the thought of reading a good book in front of a warm fire, while the air is filled with a smooth, rich “Christmas-y” scent – made me wonder if my characters from  Winter Dream were candle scents – what would they be?

And how fun of a post it would be to share with you! Now as you read “Winter Dream,” perhaps you’ll be able to choose your own favorite candle scent, and enjoy some quality “you-time” that you deserve!

 

Clara – Home for the Holidays. Cinnamon and clove, mixed with earthy cedarwood and balsam. This IS my favorite candle, of all time. I burned this scent MANY of times as I wrote “WinterDream.” When I think about the main character of this book, it feels only fitting to give her this candle.

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The Nutcracker: Balsam Forest. The wonderfully clean, wintry fresh scent of a breeze blowing through a thick stand of pines. As a Nutcracker – made of wood – would smell; he would have the scent of a wonderfully, magical forest – fit for a Snow Prince.

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Uncle Drosselmeyer: Magical Frosted Forest. An enchanted place where icy breezes playfully dance through tall, snow-coated pines. Uncle Drosselmeyer is a magical being in the story of “The Nutcracker,” and “WinterDream.” It feels only right to place him with a “magical” candle – but still stays close to the wonders of Christmas and snow. Drosselmeyer plays a key role in the mystery of the WinterDream land – and Clara and the Nutcracker’s story. I’m sure this candle would delight anyone (just as I hope the story does too!)

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Mother Ginger: Frost Gingerbread. Gingerbread freshly frosted—a holiday delight that fills any room with welcome and warmth. It would only be fitting for Mother Ginger to be represented as a warm and welcoming scent – and one that consists of ginger. She’s sure to make anyone feel at home in her inn, just as this scent should too!

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Lady Irina: Icy Blue Spruce: A fresh breath of winter forest—juniper berries, blue spruce, spearmint leaves. Lady Irina is the daughter of the Lord and Lady of Sugarland Forest – so it felt only right to give her too – a candle that had something to do with forests. But in her case, something darker – blue.

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Marzipan: Sugar Frost Christmas. Fresh-baked and topped with creamy vanilla frosting—a delicious holiday treat. I thought this was perfect for Marzipan – who is named after a delightful dessert! She, as a character is sweet and wonderfully kind to Clara upon her arrival to the WinterDream palace.

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And those are my choices for candle scents that I’d associate with my characters in “WinterDream”! Be sure to check out “WinterDream” on November 27th as it waltzes onto bookshelves near you – and of course, stop by Yankee Candle (and/or) check out local candle makers for amazingly wonderful Christmas scents as the holiday season gets underway!

 

(Guest post by the author of Blinding Night, Allerleirauh, Between the Sea and Stars, etc., Chantal Gadoury, on occasion of the upcoming release of her latest book Winter Dream)

Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published “The Songs in Our Hearts” and “The Songs We Remember,” with 48Fourteen Publishing, and “Allerleirauh,” “Between the Sea and Stars,” and “Blinding Night” with Parliament House Press. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she’s not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-’brother’ Taran.

Chantal Gadoury Author

Here’s the synopsis for Winter Dream!

This Christmas Eve… no creature was stirring…
Except, maybe, a mouse.
At long last, can true love break the Nutcracker’s curse?
For Clara Stahlbaum, this Christmas means the end of her youth. A daughter of the aristocracy, Clara is expected to give up her dreams of adventures and the extraordinary for more normal days as the wife of a cruel Viscount.
But when magical Uncle Drosselmeyer returns with his wondrous, dancing contraptions, and one…special gift for Clara, she is beckoned to the land of Winter Dream, where she is thrust into the greatest adventure of her wildest dreams. But will she be able to break the Nutcracker’s curse?
Uncle Drosselmeyer’s apprentice, Anton, is handsome as he is mysterious. But what is it about him Clara finds so alluring?
Winter Dream is a phenomenal retelling of The Nutcracker from the eyes of Clara Stahlbaum with all the magic of the Holiday season. If you loved S. Jae-Jones’ Wintersong, you’ll fall in love with this stunning tale of love, war, redemption, and Christmas magic.

Book Teaser Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LMRGyNtnhZI

 

You can reach her at:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CGadouryAuthor

Blog: http://www.chantalgadoury.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059023.Chantal_Gadoury

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chantalgadouryauthor/

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Gadoury/e/B00MTLD0P0/

Parliament House Press: http://www.parliamenthousepress.com/

Parliament House Press Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theparliamenthouse