Book Review : Warcross By Marie Lu

Warcross Book Cover Warcross
Marie Lu
Young Adult Fiction
Penguin
2017
368

For the millions who log in every day, Warcross isn’t just a game—it’s a way of life. The obsession started ten years ago and its fan base now spans the globe, some eager to escape from reality and others hoping to make a profit. Struggling to make ends meet, teenage hacker Emika Chen works as a bounty hunter, tracking down players who bet on the game illegally. But the bounty hunting world is a competitive one, and survival has not been easy. Needing to make some quick cash, Emika takes a risk and hacks into the opening game of the international Warcross Championships—only to accidentally glitch herself into the action and become an overnight sensation.

Convinced she’s going to be arrested, Emika is shocked when instead she gets a call from the game’s creator, the elusive young billionaire Hideo Tanaka, with an irresistible offer. He needs a spy on the inside of this year’s tournament in order to uncover a security problem . . . and he wants Emika for the job. With no time to lose, Emika’s whisked off to Tokyo and thrust into a world of fame and fortune that she’s only dreamed of. But soon her investigation uncovers a sinister plot, with major consequences for the entire Warcross empire.

Book Review : Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia

Eliza and Her Monsters Book Cover Eliza and Her Monsters
Francesca Zappia
Young Adult Fiction
HarperCollins
May 30, 2017
400

Eighteen-year-old Eliza Mirk is the anonymous creator of Monstrous Sea, a wildly popular webcomic, but when a new boy at school tempts her to live a life offline, everything she’s worked for begins to crumble. Scott Westerfeld’s Afterworlds meets Nimona in this novel about art, fandom, and finding the courage to be yourself. Features illustrations by the author throughout. Perfect for readers of Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl, this is the second novel by the acclaimed author of Made You Up. In the real world, Eliza Mirk is shy, weird, smart, and friendless. Online, Eliza is LadyConstellation, the anonymous creator of a popular webcomic called Monstrous Sea. With millions of followers and fans throughout the world, Eliza’s persona is popular. Eliza can’t imagine enjoying the real world as much as she loves her digital community. Then Wallace Warland transfers to her school, and Eliza begins to wonder if a life offline might be worthwhile. But when Eliza’s secret is accidentally shared with the world, everything she’s built—her story, her relationship with Wallace, and even her sanity—begins to fall apart. With pages from Eliza’s webcomic, as well as screenshots from Eliza’s online forums, this uniquely formatted book will appeal to fans of Noelle Stevenson’s Nimona and Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl.

Yay! a book review after a long time. Today, I am going to talk about my latest read, Eliza and Her Monsters, by Francesca Zappia, and why I loved it so much!

Eliza and Her Monsters is a story of a high school senior, Eliza Mirk, who hates school, who is treated as a nobody and all she want to do is draw. Secretly, Eliza is a creator of the famous web comic, Monstrous Sea and has a huge fandom dedicated to her. Her drawings are exceptional and everyone wants to know who the LadyConstellation really is! Eliza does not think she can survive the fact the world knows about who the creator of Monstrous Sea is and prefers being a nobody. And when the new kid at school, Wallace, turns out to be an admirer of LadyConstellation, and one of the most famous fan-fiction writer of Monstrous Sea, and also wants to become Eliza’s friend without knowing her true identity, Eliza’s life takes a turn for good, and Wallace helps her to be drawn out of her shell.

Eliza and Her Monsters is a story of a typical introvert, Eliza, who no one seems to understand. Her parents think she needs help because she constantly locks herself up in her room, online talking to her “friends”, or with her head in her phone, not having too many friends, not behaving as other kids do. She cannot relate to her outgoing, sporty younger brothers, she doesn’t feel like mixing with the rest of the world. For her, her world is online with her fandom, with online friends to talk to and forums to discuss her web comic on. Eliza is very relate-able to any one who ever had to struggle with introvert nature being misinterpreted as a problem.

I loved the book, Eliza and Her Monsters but I had a little problem with her panic attacks. I mean I get that introverts may go under extreme stress in social situation but I have never experienced it to this level, being a introvert myself. But I totally understood the whole “online universe” which helped Eliza with her own identity though an anonymous one. Also I loved how her best friends where both her online friends and still she was very much in touch with them. I myself have made so many friends here online that i can understand that you don’t need to meet people in person really to call them friends!

I would recommend Eliza and Her Monsters to all the YA lovers out there and also to those who want to get a feel of how an introvert’s world might look like especially if you don’t understand introverts!

Have you read this one? What are you all reading? Do let me know!

Book Review : Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

Six of Crows Book Cover Six of Crows
Leigh Bardugo
Juvenile Fiction
Macmillan
September 29, 2015
480

Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price--and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can't pull it off alone... A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can't walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz's crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction--if they don't kill each other first.

 

The Story: 

Six of Crows is based on the same world as that of the Grisha Trilogy series. I have not read that series yet, but basically what I understood about the Grisha is that they are supernatural human possessing special gifts like altering some one’s looks, taking control of some one’s body, and much more. Six of Crows doesn’t tell a story about the Grisha, but it does include them and is set in some places in the Grisha world. Kaz Brekker is a 17 yr old leader of the Dregs, a gang in the city of Ketterdam. He is offered a huge sum for breaking in to the most secure prison, the Ice Court in Fjerda, and getting a scientist out who is making a drug that can enhance the Grisha abilities dangerously. But Kaz needs a group of people he can trust and who are skilled enough to pull this heist off. So the group or the Six of Crows that he gathers are :

  • Inej : A young girl, trained acrobat, who walks without being noticed and can scale any walls with ease.
  • Nina : A Grisha (Heartrender) who joins the quest to save the Grisha from the drug
  • Matthias : A is a former Druskelle from Fjerda. he was caught in another prison in Hellgate, before he is rescued by Kaz and reluctantly joins the quest.
  • Jesper : A sharpshooter, who is part of the Dregs
  • Wylan : Son of the man who hires Kaz for the heist. He is used for his knowledge in demolitions and as a hostage against his father.

The Review :

Six of Crows is told from multiple perceptive, of all six members and some other characters. It is a long story, full of continuous twists and turns, each more shocking than the previous and everything happening at a very fast pace. At times, the reader is treated to a backstory as well, which helps to understand the characters but doesn’t necessarily help the story line at all times. What surprised and enthralled me most was how nothing was predictable in this book. When ever I felt that a particular thing will surely happen, something totally unexpected was thrown at me!

The character development of all main characters was the best. I especially adored Kaz and Inej. Kaz was a completely emotionless and highly witty with mastermind plans up his sleeve, and he has a limp. The only times he did show some emotions involved Inej. Inej is again a very strong character with a difficult past but with a dream to fulfill. I like how Ms. Bardugo hasn’t wasted too much time developing a love story aspect for Kaz and Inej, which would have been distracting to read in this fast paced story. I do ship them like several other readers of this book and I hope the second and final book does have some romance to swoon on.

I did take a hell of time to finish this book, which is not because of the book but because of me not able to dedicated enough time for it each day. Otherwise because of the pace of the story, you can easily finish it in a couple of days even though the book is a little big. It is an engrossing read! I recommend it to all fantasy, thriller genre lovers.

Have you read this? How did you find it? What are you reading currently?

And the blogger returns!

And The Blogger ReturnsFor those who might have been following my blog would be knowing that I had taken a break from blogging two months back. I had a lot of things going on and I just couldn’t find the time to sit and write anything! But now I think, I finally have the time to get back to blogging, or at least I hope so.

What was happening? Like I said, a lot!

  • I was in Pune doing my internship with Dell EMC till June end.
  • I shifted back home to Mumbai at the start of July and then was just trying to reorganize everything (my studies, final submissions, my room, and maybe, my life too)
  • I turned 24 this July. (I’m getting old!)
  • Weight-loss regime (that’s a WIP task)
  • Books and Movies

(more…)

Hiatus

I’m taking a break from the blogging world. I’m not really sure when I’ll come back, since my personal and professional life priorities are keeping me super busy to sit and maintain this blog. 🙁

I will maintain the domain because I truly love this name but I don’t think there will be any blog posts or any other updates at least for a month more.

Tchao till then, blogging world!

How I spent my weekend volunteering at a animal shelter / hostel

Woot… it’s been 2 months since my last post! I have been neglecting Dramatic Soul a lot 🙁 Well, I had many many things to write about but by the time I sat down to right about it I felt like the moment had past long back and it was too late to write about it!

So, about this post: I went to this place called Petsitters situated about 5-10 km away from my office in Pune, with my family on last Saturday. It’s basically a place which provides lodging for dogs, has a few rescued dogs, provide activities for dogs and their owners, and also have puppies up for adoptions at times.I had found about them a few years back through a few school friends and I have been wanting to visit there ever since then. Last month, after my sister’s college exams got over, she contacted the owner of Petsitters and asked if we could come over and see the place and interact with the dogs there. The owner was more than happy to have us over as volunteers, and allowing us to play with and interact with some of her dogs and those of her clients’. So we planned a trip on last weekend.

My parents don’t allow us sisters to keep any pets of any kinds and sizes in the house. My father has the opinion that we won’t be able to bear the loss of the pet and this he says from his own experience of having a pet dog and my mother simply refuses because she will have to take care of the pet completely since she is always at home and my sister and I would leave all responsibility on her when we go out for work or college. But they allow us to make as many stray animal friends as we want and were more than happy to let us volunteer at a place like Petsitters.

When we first arrived there, Shalaka, the owner, asked if we were scared of anything like dogs biting, jumping on you, licking you, etc. which we totally weren’t, except my mom and she decided not to enter the play area and just watch from outside. After saying so, Shalaka let out a gang of 6-7 dogs, most of them from the rescued lot and only a couple of client dogs. When she let them out they all rushed to greet us by jumping on us, 2-3 of them at a time, running around in a frenzied manner. I tired to greet them sitting down on on knee and calling them to me, which was sort of a mistake cause they just dashed into me, with me losing my balance as the dogs tried to lick my face all at once. One of the dogs, Poppy, was the most excited golden retriever I have met in my life. She just wouldn’t stay put! If you sat some where on the blocks around the fence she would run from under your knees with extreme enthusiasm.

Our dad had also entered the play area with us, and my default, my dad usually have all dogs fawning over him even if he did absolutely nothing and there guys were no exception when they fell for his canine magic and gather all around him just to get a pat on their heads!

After playing with the dogs for over an hour or so, we were given the task of grooming a few of the client dogs. They had about 20-25 dogs currently there for lodging and we got to brush about 5 of them… the friendlier ones and those who weren’t afraid of new people.

Our first canine to be groomed was a male golden retriever called Pegasus. Before we entered his kennel he was sit calmly without any great interest of what happened outside his kennel, but once we entered, he was so overjoyed that he came again and again to meet me and my sister by climbing and jumping on us. He had the softest coat ever and was so super friendly and obedient as we tried to brush him down. If I could ever adopt a dog, I would surely get some one like Pegasus.

After Pegasus, we got to groom a few more dogs, a brown Labrador called Yuko,  and a few other dogs whose breeds and names I forgot. There were all kinds of dogs in the hostels like Rottweilers, German Shepherds, even Shih Tzus! We would have loved to play with them all but may be next time 😀

Since there was some time before an activity arranged for the dogs began, we were allowed to spend some time in the kennel of any one dog of our choice from the ones we met. We immediately chose Pegasus who was again jumping with the same excitement after we entered his cage! 😀

We were called after some time for the swimming activity for which some client dogs were also brought in by their owners for an explicit swimming lesson. Bonnie, a lodging dog and Pegasus’s kennel mate was brought out for a swim because she needed it to built her hind leg muscles as she suffered from hip dysplasia. Man, she loved swimming! This dog did not want to move out of the water once she jumped in and swam really beautifully. She also loved to come out of the pool from time to time and spray water on her audience. There were a few Beagles who were brought in for a first time swim and it was fun to watch how the trainers put them in the water with a lease tied to train them to swim. We got to meet and talk to the owners too and all were so extremely proud and happy of their dear canines!

Between all this, Shalaka asked us if we would like to meet some bigger dogs and we readily agreed. That day it was an open day for the dogs were dogs came over with their owners to socialize. Since the inside area near the pool had some really small dogs, a bull mastiff was playing on the outside ground areas with his owner, alone. So we went out to meet him. That dog was huge. He first sniffed us cautiously and after believing that we were not a threat to him he allowed us to pat him, but after few pats he wants to show his appreciation back by climbing on us like the other dogs had. But in Mickey the Bull Mastiff’s case, he weighed about 65 kg and was really heavy to try to do this on us so this owner had to pull him back! 😀 The owner also told us that Mickey was a shy type of a dog who didn’t allow strangers to easily touch him, but he must have realized that we really love dogs and meant him no harm to allow us to pet him! (this was so awesome to get the doggie approval)!

We went back to the pool area where Bonnie was still swimming to her heart’s content. Finally she was pulled out and Shalaka asked us to dry her off since it would be a great cardio exercise for us too! 😀 I have never ever drier a dog and it is really a fun experience to ask a dog to sit down while you rub his body with a huge towel. Bonnie was a sweetie and did not trouble us at all as we rubbed her dry.

We played with the other dogs for some more time and then finally took our leave promising to return and help again, anytime we can!

This was one unforgettable experience for us, that’s for sure!