Saturday, 10 October 2015

A new Twilight book from Stephenie Meyer

A new twilight-y book from Stephenie Meyer, the author who changed the face of and opened the doors to young adult genre with her twilight series, is out.
This is something that looked impossible. Steph had time and again said she doesn’t want to visit the world she created anytime soon. But on the tenth anniversary since the time the first twilight book came out, she decided to pull the cat from the hat and announced a complete new [well, or maybe just modified] version of twilight.

A peek in the past...
Back in 2008, the world went frenzy on social media and everywhere else when the news of Meyer working on ‘Midnight Sun’ spread like wildfire. Midnight Sun was supposed to be a full length twilight book narrated from the point of view of Edward. Everybody wanted a piece of it.
But we all know the fiasco. Twelve chapters from the unfinished book got leaked on the internet and pissed Steph off so much that she decided to give up on the book altogether.
So now it wasn’t surprising that Steph maintained a hush-hush to such a far stretched extent that not even insiders and prominent reviewers seemed to know about it. No advance readers copies sent out, no elaborate title and cover reveal. Just the final copies directly turning up on the book shelves worldwide.

For the tenth anniversary...
All those years later, Meyer’s publishers hoped she would give up on her grudge and let Midnight Sun slip through her fingers for the grand anniversary. But she was past it. Instead, she asked them if they would like to have something else. Something a lot more fun.
So when Meyer’s publishers insisted she write a new book in the series, give them some sort of a forward or finish the unfinished book, she decided it was time to shun the haters who haven’t let her live in peace.

Hatred for Twilight...
The most common hatred was targeted to Bella Swan who was ‘a damsel in distress,’ and ‘the worst heroine in the history of literature.’
People also went on to show their contempt for Edward. ‘Wow, now a guy who is impossibly beautiful and sparkles! A perfect female dream. Oh, wait...’
Meyer argued, “Any one surrounded by super heroes is gonna be a 'human' in distress.”
Good point. But what about her obsession with love? As if she has nothing else going on in her life. Her life crashes down when her ‘guy’ leaves. Ridiculous!

“Twilight has always been a story about magic and frenzy and obsession of first love,’ she insisted. "So it would have made no difference if the humans were male and vampires were female." To prove her point, she put that theory to test in this new book.
Although all her arguments made sense, they didn’t stop people from circulating GIFs and creating hundreds of twilight parodies in the form of books, movies, short films and anti-fanfic.

Frustrated with all this, she decided to swap the genders to see if the story changed. Bella [the meek damsel in distress]was now a boy Beau. And the sparkling guy with inhuman powers, Edward, was now Edythe, a girl. She also swapped the genders of every  other character in the book. [Except Charlie, Bella's dad, and mom]
Minus the minor changes that were inevitable when you narrate a story from the perspective of a boy instead of a girl [For example, the narration, words and thoughts are "not nearly so flowery"], majority of the plot remained unchanged.
And for Steph, writing this new book was "not only fun, but very fast and easy."
So in a dual attempt of silencing the haters and giving her Twihard fans a gift on the tenth Twilight anniversary, Stephenie Meyer wrote Life and Death: Twilight Re-imagined. [The book released on 6th October, 2015]

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

My sister’s keeper by Jodi Picoult

 Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate -- a life and a role that she has never challenged...until now.
Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister -- and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable, a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves.

My Thoughts:
Minus all the sub plotlines that dragged the story on, it was a good read. A gripping and different story. Some of the sentences and life theories author presents are enlightening.

Characters are shades of grey and not simply black and white. You end up taking sides but don’t outright hate any character. Except probably the mother. Her favouritism is obvious and no matter how many times she says she loves her daughters equally, you can tell in the heart of heart she simply doesn’t.

Jesse (Anna's brother) who is a lost cause doesn’t play any major role expect be a constant reminder of how ignorant the parents are to their kids other than Kate.

The story jumps from different points of views. We see a total of 7 to 8 perspectives each with their complete back stories which gets overwhelming and annoying in the beginning. Eventually you get used to it. There are also a lot of characters I hoped the writer would do without. Like Seven or Izzy. 

But most of all, I didn’t expect the story to end the way it did. I am not sure if I like the ending. Or if I'm still fully convinced. But for now, I’ll just sit in a corner and grieve over that epic loss that I found a tad bit disturbing.

Ratings: 4 stars
Pages: 423

All in all, I still do highly HIGHLY recommend it.