Raindropreflections: February 2011

Monday, 28 February 2011

Review- Split by Swati Avasthi

Split by Swati Avasthi Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf, an Imprint of Random House Inc.

Pages: 280

Release Date: 2010


Sixteen-year old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother, Christian, with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind. His mother is still trapped with his dad. And his ex-girlfriend is keeping his secret- for now.

Turns out there are some things you just can’t walk away from.

Swati Avasthi gives us a riveting portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve made the split- how do you begin to live again?

My Opinion

I decided to read Split because I was so impressed with Swati Avasthi’s blog post on The Story Siren a while back. I loved the unpacking boxes analogy, and I just knew that if her blog post was such a work of art, her book must be incredible. And ‘Split’ truly was amazing. It has already won so many awards and I really hope it helps a lot of people out.

I couldn’t put ‘Split’ down for more than a few minutes at a time. It was so horrifying, yet so compelling. Swati Avasthi is a truly gifted writer. Not many people can bring across a subject like this so well, but ‘Split’ showed the chaos and the aftermath of domestic violence in a way that left me deeply moved.

This was a very emotional read. I felt along with the main character Jace all his emotions, his fears, and his struggles. What really shocked me was that Jace’s abusive father was a judge- an educated, respected member of society. It just opened my eyes further past the stereotypes we have of victims and perpetuators of domestic violence.

All in all, ‘Split’ is a moving, emotional book that keeps you enthralled the entire time. I actually had to take a deep breath at the end of the book, sort out my feelings, and accept that what happened in ‘Split’ happens to people in real life. This is the kind of book that changes your perspective on everything in one quick, 280 page blow.

Rating: 5/5. The writing was amazing, the plot kept moving, and it was a quick read. I’m definitely looking forward to more books from Swati Avasthi.

Friday, 25 February 2011

Review- Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley

GhostgirlPublisher: Little, Brown and Company
Pages: 328
Release Date: August 2008

Charlotte Usher feels practically invisible at school, and then one day she really is. Even worse: she’s dead. And all because of a guy and a gummy bear.

In this satirical yet heartfelt novel, Tonya Hurley explores the invisibility we all feel at times and the lengths we’ll go to be seen.

My Opinion
Why didn’t I read this earlier?! When I saw it at the bookstore a year ago, I was totally interested but unfortunately I couldn’t afford my reading habit past a few books at a time. I finally got ‘Ghostgirl’ from the library and read it in a day- I couldn’t put it down.

The characters are sketched out in a way that makes them seem as real as the people you meet at school. And honestly, I recognized a couple of similar-sounding people in the book. It was a different experience to read about Charlotte being invisible to the point that nobody knows her name and just doesn’t see her even when she was alive.

‘Ghostgirl’ was funny; it made me laugh out loud in a few places, and it definitely wasn’t a gloomy, gothic sort of book like I expected- it was a regular high school drama, with a few dead people and an alternate type of reform school within a high school. It’s definitely a great book to read, and I’m hoping to read the rest of the Ghostgirl series soon.

Rating: 4.5/5. The only reason I didn’t give it a five was because the beginning was a bit slow for me. Of course, I saw how it added to the story once I was finished, and I hate to say it, but Charlotte was a lot more interesting when she was dead.

Monday, 21 February 2011

Review- Dramarama by E. Lockhart

All right, my second post, and it’s my very first book review! Here we go.

Publisher: Hyperion Paperbacks New York

Pages: 305

Release Date: 2007


(by me) Sadye is dying to let the Bigness out of her. Her outlet: Wildewood Academy, where prospective Broadway actors prepare by acting in plays, auditioning and taking cool-sounding classes.

The thing is, Sadye and her best friend Demi (who is her gay best friend) have a difference of talent- a big difference. Demi soon becomes the star of every major show while Sadye gets stuck in the worst play (as in the play for mediocre) and no speaking parts in the other plays. Even though she loves being at Wildewoode, she feels behind all the rest of the talented people at the school. Will Sadye find a way to let out the Bigness inside her before she gets consumed by jealousy of the other very talented students at Wildewood?

My Opinion

Three words: I loved it! By reading ‘Dramarama’, I discovered a world I barely knew: the beginnings of a Broadway career. I mean, this is the girl whose theatre exposure consists of singing ‘Tomorrow’ with the choir during our elementary school production of Annie. Yeah, I wished I was the redhead playing the lead, but let’s face it- I have no singing and dancing, not to mention, acting ability.

‘Dramarama’ is like a backstage pass to your favourite show where you can see all the action, the hard work, and the faces of the performers when their back is turned away from their audience. It’s an eye-opening peek at things very few people will experience, and it’s definitely a must-read if you’ve ever wondered how someone can be phenomenal enough at singing, acting, and dancing to make it to Broadway.

Rating: 5/5. Restating the self-created metaphor above, Dramarama was just that backstage pass for me. I love the realistic, flawed characters, the drama (both real-life and in plays) and the transcripts of dialogues, which made conversations even more interesting to read. Drama love for me!

Saturday, 19 February 2011

An Introduction

Wow, my first post. I never actually thought I’d start my very own book blog, least of all one titled ‘Raindrop Reflections’,  but hey, I’m spontaneous. Well, most of the time. My name’s Rida (pronounced the same as Rita) and I’m a proud Canadian girl, but not a major fan of hockey (blame Brother, he made me sick of it) but I do love maple leaves, pancakes, and, well, anything Canadian.

Since this is a book blog, I should talk about the books I’m reading/about to read. I’m a big fan of lists (sorry, the organized mind comes to an annoying few), so here they are:

  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott- I know I’m, uh, a little different in my reading taste, but I wanted to read some classics and ‘enlighten’ and ‘educate’ myself. And it’s probably good practice for English Literature later on. So far, I love it. It’s so sweet and adorable and all that jazz.   
  • Dramarama by E. Lockhart- it’s not recent or anything, but I can’t wait to read this one.
  • Split by Swati Avasthi- heard good things about this lesser-known book.
  • Ghostgirl by Tonya Hurley- I can’t believe I haven’t read this yet! But maybe some others haven’t either…
  • An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. I’ve heard a lot about this author, and it’s my first book from him.
  • Across the Universe by Beth Ravis- I know I got this one post-buzz, but I was really looking forward to reading it and my library finally got it, so happy reading for me.

How about some more lists? Nah, I’ll just write sentences. My favourite books are the Harry Potter series, anything by Randa Abdel-Fattah, Heist Society, the amazing Laurie Halse Anderson books, and the Lightning Thief series. They’re all so good!

I love music- rap, hip-hop, R&B- doesn’t matter unless it’s one those indie bands screaming their heart out and killing my eardrums. Favourite song right now? Hmm. It’s probably ‘I’m Coming Home’ by Diddy, and/or ‘ET’ by Katy Perry.  

So yeah, that’s about it. I’m looking forward to this blogging thing. It sounds like the kind of stuff I do for fun (you know, journal entries and such, only about my thoughts on books). I know I’m going to have a lot of fun blogging and getting my opinion out there- and I hope that you guys will have fun reading my posts :)  


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