I ship Jamie and Brienne from the ASOIAF (A Song of Ice and Fire) series so so much! I haven’t watched the GoT (Game of Thrones) series yet – except for season one – but the character arcs of these two people in the books is one of my favourites.
I tried to depict the scene where Jamie gives his sword to Brienne so that she could save the Stark sisters with a sword that was reforged from Ned Stark’s sword, Ice.
The description of this sword as given in the ASOIAF books:
The sword has black and red ripples through the steel. Its scabbard glitters gold and is decorated with a row of lion’s heads and smoldering red rubies. The pommel has a golden lion’s head with ruby eyes that shine like two red stars.
What’s your OTP? Um, what is an OTP you ask? OTP equals One True Pair/Pairing, meaning your favourite couple in any series or book or fandom. They need not actually be a couple in the story, but in your head, they make a perfect couple.
Based on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, this tech-filled adventure series pits intrepid Mars Patel and his outcast friends against a brilliant, enigmatic billionaire as they race to figure out why kids are disappearing from their school.
Mars Patel’s friend Aurora has disappeared! His teachers are clueless. His mom is stressed out about her jobs. But Mars refuses to give up—after all, his own dad disappeared when Mars was a toddler, before he and Ma moved to Puget Sound from India. Luckily, Mars has a group of loyal friends eager to help—smart Toothpick, strong and stylish JP, and maybe-telepathic Caddie. The clues seem to point toward eccentric tech genius (and Mars’s hero) Oliver Pruitt, whose popular podcast now seems to be commenting on their quest! But when the friends investigate Pruitt’s mysterious, elite school, nothing is as it seems—and anyone could be deceiving them. Slick science, corporate conspiracies, and an endearingly nerdy protagonist make this a fresh, exciting sci-fi adventure.
Interweaving podcast transcripts, instant message threads, emails and newspaper stories, Chari deftly constructs a mystery that is strong in both plot and character. Mars’s friend group is as diverse as their unique abilities, and their teamwork and loyalty are unshakable. Based on the Peabody Award–winning podcast, fans of James Dashner’s The Maze Runner and Stranger Things will clamor for more of Mars Patel. —School Library Journal (starred review).
Sheela Chari is the author of THE UNEXPLAINABLE DISAPPEARANCE OF MARS PATEL, based on the Peabody Award-winning mystery podcast. Her other novels include FINDING MIGHTY, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Children’s Choice Award Finalist; and VANISHED, an APALA Children’s Literature Honor Book, Edgar finalist for best juvenile mystery, and Al’s Book Club Pick on the Today Show. Sheela has degrees from Stanford University, Boston University, and New York University, where she received an MFA in Fiction. She teaches fiction writing at Mercy College and lives with her family in New York.
This book is based on a podcast, sounds fun already? Well, I don’t remember reading a Middle Grade book with an Indian or an Indian-American rep before, so the fact that one of the protagonist- Mars Patel is of Indian ethnicity was so relatable. The use of pronouns and also bullying someone with the wrong pronouns was subtly inserted into the story, but has made a mark. The book is like a fast paced thriller, the kind of which MG kids are sure to enjoy! I really wanted to see more of Mars’ mom, to get to know her. I loved the family dynamic and also the friendships portrayed in the book. Plus, it’s a sci-fi adventure, involving many little drones. I loved the book, can’t wait for the next book in the series!!
About the Show
The Unexplainable Disappearance of Mars Patel is a scripted podcast for middle-grade kids performed by middle-grade kids. It is a fun, high-quality serial mystery that can be described as Goonies meets Spy Kids meets Stranger Things for eight- to twelve-year-olds. It was selected as one of the top fifty podcasts of 2016 by the Guardian, was honored with a Peabody Award, and was nominated for two Webby Awards (Best Audio Drama and Best Sound Design/Original Music Score). The show is enjoyed around the world by kids and adults alike. Check out more about the podcast on www.marspatel.com.
I read Dark Tales as part of a book club. It’s one of the first book clubs that I have participated in – ‘Women In Literature’ club, where we read one book per month by strong women authors. The club is hosted by two lovely women- Aritri and Mridula (@theliquidsunset and @ecstatic_yet_chaotic respectively, on Instagram). Dark Tales was the ‘Book Of The Month’ for July. Had it not been for this club, I don’t think I would ever have read it, looking at its title and the genre. But I’m glad that I did read it.
I have stayed away from watching horror for a very long time now. The last horror or paranormal movie that I remember watching is ‘ When a Stranger Calls’, when I was about 12. My entire teen was a story of ups and downs- except it was mostly downs. I had a really bad spell of low self-esteem, less-confidence, etc. for more than a decade. I only realized that I was suffering from it after I came out of this spell, feeling better than ever. I’ve never before touched a proper horror book in my life- except for some children-horror books. I found myself too weak for this genre. I hated it when horror and psychological thrillers in some way, triggered my worst fears and made me even more self-conscious. But currently, I am in a much peaceful mental space than I have been in the past many years, so i thought about giving this book a try.
Dark Tales is a collection of 17 short stories. Each story brings forth a different element. I won’t say that I really liked all these stories, in fact, I liked very few of these stories for their plot. But the fact that I was able to read this genre, after all, made all the difference for me. The book isn’t a regular spooky kind of horror, to be upfront, except a couple of stories. It’s a very subtle kind of horror- the kind which we see and observe in our everyday life, albeit a bit exaggerated with certain kinds of emotions and plot twists. My review could be biased based on three grounds: I’ve read very few classics, and liked even fewer; this is my first proper horror book; and also I don’t remember reading a collection of short stories like this before.
The author’s portrayal of emotions like fear, anger, etc. is so real that it haunts us even when the story isn’t spooky. It is said that Shirley Jackson, in reality, had lived a very sad and terrible marital life and these feelings did come spilling out very evidently through her stories. It’s as though she wrote a small part of her life in each of her small stories.
In some of the stories like ‘The Good Wife’ and ‘What a Thought’, the author plays with the mind of the reader till the very end and then drops a sudden plot twist. Making us believe in the flow of the plot initially, but ending in quite unexpected manner, like deceiving the reader itself!
Her style of writing changes twice or thrice by the time we reach the final story in the book. There was a case of Unreliable Narrator in the story ‘Paranoia’ wherein the protagonist was being stalked the entire time and we as readers, felt like walking in his shoes. The entire story was on uneven grounds, there was no firm narration to it – making us paranoid about which character to actually trust.
The foreword by Ottessa Moshfegh gives away some spoilers in the very beginning but it also perfectly summarizes and comments upon the stories and the writing style of the writer. This is one of those books where the foreword shouldn’t be missed at any cost. It was very necessary to set up the background, before the readers dive into the book.
My ratings: 4/5 ⭐
If you do decide to pick this book up sometime, it isn’t at all necessary to complete it in one shot. You can read the stories separately as they are completely independent of each other. If you are someone like me who has never ventured into this genre before, but would like to someday – this book is a good one to start with. It has just the right amount of darkness and spookiness for a beginner.
Is there a genre that you always seem to run away from? What do you think about horror stories?
Backstory: I was first introduced to Lang Leav’s poetry about 5 years ago when I came across her Facebook posts. They were so lovely to read. I would read those snippets and could easily relate to them. But then I stopped logging onto Facebook every so often- and after a while, I stopped entirely. Slowly I forgot all about her writings. Years later, one fine day while exploring some books at a local second-hand book stall, I came across her book! It’s an original copy, printed in the US but I got it for such a cheaper deal that it made my day!
This book is divided in three sections; Misadventure, The Circus of Sorrows and Love. The three sections of the book, flows beautifully and perfectly one into the other, forming a story. The writer speaks about beginnings, endings, love, hurt, confusion, trust, betrayal, past, sadness; basically every element within a relationship. She tries to bring positivity even within the hurt. Some of the poems – or should I say, ‘snippets’ – are very raw; instead of relying on false hopes, she states the facts in a very practical manner.
I’ll accept that haven’t read much of poetry, so I do not have a firm ground to compare this book with.
One of the poems in this book that I really loved: It is titled – ‘Some Time Out’
“The time may not be prime for us, though you are a special person. We may be just two different clocks, that do not tock, in unison.”
What is your definition of love? What does love mean to you? Do suggest me some poetry books.
Have you ever participated in any Readathon? I’ve never done it before. But well, I’m participating in one right now, the 24in48 readathon which is an international readathon. Check their site for more details: https://24in48.com/social-landing-page/ you can still sign up now. Prizes will be awarded only for those who sign-up.
The goal of this readathon is to complete 24 hours of reading over the weekend i.e. in these two days- Saturday and Sunday which is 48 hours, we have to read upto 24 hours. The number of books we read, the genre and the type of books that we want to read can be selected by us. Even if we don’t complete the full 24 hours, we still devote our time to reading, right? So that’s a win-win.
I’m currently reading Circe by Madeline Miller. I’ve read numerous reviews about the book but not one negative feedback. So I’ve decided to read it during the readathon.
It’s been so long since I’ve had a casual post like this on my blog. Just to talk with you guys! How is everyone?
Do you read poetry? Do you write poetry ?
I had read the first half of this book, Gitanjali, many years ago; but never finished the book. To those who don’t know, Rabindranath Tagore is greatly revered in India for his writings.
This book, which is basically a collection of his poems, was originally written in Bengali. While reading the first half, I came to a stage where I just couldn’t move forward, not because his writings aren’t good; but because they are so good that I wanted to read them in the original Bengali language. I am of the opinion that some part of the content always gets lost in translation and I didn’t want to miss out on anything. But alas, I’m neither a Bengali nor do I know how to speak/ write Bengali. Conclusion? I’ve never read the second half of it in hopes of learning Bengali first which I never did. But I’m planning to read this book all over again, as part of the 24in48 readathon if I complete Circe first (which I genuinely doubt).
Have you ever came across the translation of a book and felt the need to learn a completely new language because you wanted to read the original copy?
Another poetry book which I’ve wanted to read since a long, long time is Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman.
On other note, I’m so close to 1k followers on my blog! The feeling is surreal. I’m really happy and glad to know that people read and like my writings. Thank you so much for your love. 💕
P.S.: As I publish this post, I’ve officially completed 6 chapters of Circe and clocked in 4.5 hours of the readathon. There’s still time to join in the readathon. It’s super fun! 😋🎉