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Tag : book review

05 Oct 2016

Super Kids and a Very Mad Maud

Miss Peregine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

225 Pages

Published by Quirk Books, Philadelphia


A combination of words and photographs will always combust, in a good way like Iain Thomas’ I Wrote This For You. I thought the title was particularly strange and the first few pages introduce you to strange, better still, peculiar kids. I had to study the photographs and found out that there was more than met my eye. But what other stories do grandfathers tell their kids if not the frightening ones? It is laughable at first, and then murder rages. Jacob Portman is thrown into a web of secrets and therapy and then travel where he finds out that his grandfather was not lying. On this journey, you will meet the big hawk who smokes a pipe, a girl who flies, the boy who jumpstarts the dead and the girl who is embarrassed of her back mouth.


What intrigued me most is the idea of the time loop that kept the peculiars alive. I think it is a stroke of genius. By time loop, I do not in any way mean time travel. You would have to read the book to get a hang of it. I really wonder how the likes of J.K Rowling, C.S Lewis and now Ransom Riggs write like they do. One thing these three have in common is a vivid imagination that allows them create. Haven’t you ever wondered how J.K Rowling created the spells, curses, fantastic beasts in her books? You will meet terms like dwights, ymbrynes and hollowgasts in this book and you will realize that they have come to stay with this generation.

I was very dissatisfied with the end. This is not me suggesting that conflict be resolved at the end of a story, or that happy or tragic endings are the best way to go. It was too open-ended. This does not mean it allowed you come to your own conclusions. It was just an open tunnel and the waves from the sea were all in your face. Alas, there are two sequels: Hollow City and Library of Souls. Problem solved. I will be sure to write a review when I read the sequels.

Elizabeth Is Missing by Emma Healey

243 Pages

Published by Harper Collins


Spoiler Alert: Elizabeth is not missing. I actually thought her hot-tempered son, Peter had killed her. But the damned woman had a stroke.

This book hit close to home for me. Two years leading up to the death of my paternal grandma, she suffered from schizophrenia. It was terrifying, confusing and heartbreaking to watch. One thing I always wondered was what was going on in her head. It could get frustrating for we, her family but I couldn’t imagine how lost and afraid she was that she was losing herself.

Maud is not mad. She has dementia. It wasn’t until the end of the book that I realized that an eighty-two-year-old forgetful woman must have left huge gaps in the story. She must have been told again and again, that her friend Elizabeth was in the hospital but she forgot to tell us. How convenient.


I have a soft spot for parallel universes because of comics and Emma Healey won me over with this. When I reread, having now known Maud, I suspect that the thought that her friend was missing triggered the memories of another event that happened in the 1940s – her sister Sukey went missing and was never found. The story is more Sukey than Elizabeth. This way, Emma Healey presented two conflicts at the same time and didn’t fail to resolve them.

You will like Maud. You will want to give her a hug. You will want to hold her hand and tell her everything was going to be okay. You will want to hide away her the tins of peach slices and organize her little notes so that she wouldn’t feel so lost. You will also want to give Helen, her long-suffering daughter, a pat on the back, because this is all so hard and confusing for her too.

I like the characters. I like the plot. I like the language. You will have to be patient though because you are in the mind of old forgetful Maud, but if you stay with her till the end, you will realize that she is going the right way. It is no wonder that nine publishers were bidding to publish and television rights were sold before the book was released.

05 Oct 2016

Back to Basics

It has been almost two years since I blogged. I decided to take my website down because of the constant tug of war in my heart, my discomfort at putting my personal business on the internet. This affected my writing profoundly and made me put on a persona. That persona has helped write short stories. That persona has helped me finish my first novelette.

Things are better and I think I have a better grasp at handling the treacherous line between privacy and authenticity on the internet. So here I am, back to blogging.
I will, of course bring back some of my old posts, because they are well worth their weight in gold. If you read my blog as of two years ago, you will be very familiar with my Dear Behati series – letters I wrote to my unborn daughter. There is also the In Pleasure We Trust essay, my 21 Lessons at 21 and Heartbreak Chronicles.
I am not sure I have the balls to put up my short stories here. I feel like those stories are not mine; in the sense that I read them and I feel a certain detachment. Simi Oba-Pedro wrote those, not me. I will see where this road leads to, and I will be sure to put up a page for my works of fiction.
The easiest thing to start with is writing book reviews. I read at least four books every week and it is a field day in my head. As a writer myself, I am looking out for the things that interest me: discordant yet seamless plots, simplicity of language, fallible characters, a dark sense of humor and over-reliance on metaphors. As a reader, I simply want to have a really good read and a time-out in my brain. A time-out for me means a break from reality. I wrote reviews about eighteen months ago for a literary platform but I was dropped like a hot potato. It is hard for me to discredit a person’s work. Art forms in my opinion, are the most difficult platform to find coherent expression so people should get something for putting in effort. While that opinion has matured over time, I’m still reluctant to tear down. So, I will try to put my sentiments at bay and constructively criticize. I will also keep it short and simple.
I must mention that my best piece of technology in the world is the Kindle Fire. *drops mic* I have been reading with it for the past four months. Please note that when I’m mentioning the number of pages in my review, it is tailored to a font, margin and line spacing of my choosing. If you are not an avid reader, a book review is not necessarily a plot summary and it will never replace reading the book.
Will I blog about other things? Maybe. Probably. I am in this roller coaster too so till then.