A King Of Beasts

This is the third book of “Beauty And The Beast” series by Beena Khan. So far I think Beena has become one of the most favorite author of everyone who has read this series because of the efforts she has put in her books, the story, the characters, the scenes, the emotions, the attachments, everything is assembled with perfection in these books. Her books are so addictive and you just don’t want to put them down till you finish. Even though with my busy schedule with office and home, I couldn’t just wait to finish it because I was actually hooked with this book. When you read this book, you come to know how carefully each and everything was attached with the character and how it was maintained throughout the book. The story of Roza and Enzo feels so much real and heartfelt that you feel like living the story. As Beena Khan mentioned in the end that Enzo’s character was one of the hardest to write about, she was so right since the his role is so dark in this book yet you can’t hate him and this actually amazed me because his character did not know how to show love and affection while caring for his family, all he knew was violence. On the other hand, Roza, Kaya and Valerius were the people you just love without any hesitation.

Story started when Enzo’s father was killed and he went to take revenge of his father’s murder from the other ruling mafia family Bratvas. There he kidnapped their three girls, killed their mother and burnt the whole house down right in front of the eldest girl. Enzo’s hatred for that tribe started when his mother was murdered by them and so the hatred started to build up over the time and the reason he was such a traumatic person was the same since he had a rough childhood and it ended way too early than it should have been. The two younger sisters who were kidnapped were kept separately from the eldest one Roza. Enzo saw that Roza would do anything to protect her sisters so he started torturing her in the name of her sisters and Roza would accept anything as long as her sisters were safe and were in front of her eyes. Obviously family comes first for everyone and so it did for Roza and Enzo. Enzo protected his younger brother Valerius, kept his mother’s murder story secret from him so that his childhood is not as damaged as his own was and even kept him away from mob life as well. Enzo’s character was portrayed as if he had to let out every anger and hatred on Roza which was very heartbreaking at every single point.

On the other hand, Roza sacrificed herself in the hope that one day it will change Enzo. She remained a captive and a prisoner as long as she knew her sisters were unharmed and she was seeing them every now and then. At first she tried to harm herself to get rid of her life but it was all in vain and she realized Enzo didn’t want death for her. Instead he wanted her to be his punching bag for life. One day, out of rage, he couldn’t control himself and raped her and that resulted in her pregnancy. Even in that time she was kept in a room for four months and nobody except the caretaker of the house visited her. She was such an innocent soul that she developed affection for Enzo because she thought she will be able to change him and melt his heart. After that she was forced to marry Enzo since he was the father of her child and he was expecting his heir too. He forced her to believe that this is the perfect life and this is how we lead a perfect marriage. He even kept her away from their son and mostly gave him to the nanny and told Roza she is not safe to be around their son and kept a bodyguard for her. She started falling for her bodyguard Kaya because he showed her how to be loved and what is means to be in love.

Keeping the tradition of Beena’s writing style, she revealed a huge secret in the end and honestly I was praying that it has to be like this. This is not a typical cute love story but the romance between Roza and Kaya is so peaceful because she finally got to know the meaning of love and got the life she deserved. My heart literally danced with joy when I saw Roza to feel alive again because it was bleeding to see her suffer and being torn apart at every page. Her life seems so real, it made me think that if I were in her shoes I would have lost my mind in just a week. This was such an intense read to leave you in awe and you don’t want this series to ever end.

My favorite quote from this book was “It wasn’t a battle I could win. I was drawn to him like a moth to a candle
Let me know yours ❤

A Beast So Cold

This is book no. 2 of the “Beauty and The Beast” series by Beena Khan. It is such a huge honor to get an ARC by her personally. I have talked about the writing style of Beena Khan a few times before and with every book I read, my love for her books has increased. By now I am convinced that she is born with this talent of writing such amazing stories that keep you engaged throughout. This series is more addicting than the previous one, maybe because of the different type the story and its characters accordingly. The thing that surprises me is that Beena can create curiosity in romance and I think it’s very difficult for a writer to built inquisitiveness throughout the book. When the first book ended and it revealed the characters’ truth, you think this is the end of the story but as soon as the next book comes there is a new turn in the book and you are amazed by the new story that’s being constructed. All the characters of this book Dahlia, Vlad, Salvi, Miran, are just so… WOW. They all make you hooked with the book. This part was full of surprises, you make scenarios in your head but something startles you in the middle of nowhere.

Book starts when we come to know that Vlad was arrested as a result of Dahlia’s under cover assignment. She couldn’t take him out of her mind because it was obvious in last book that she was falling for him. Even after several months of the previous assignment, she was having flashbacks and somehow she was feeling bad for Vlad but couldn’t express because of her position. On the other side, Vlad had only hatred for Dahlia because of her betrayal. He was shaking off every thought of her as he couldn’t believe what she had done to him. His trust was badly shattered because he shared a part of him with her that he could never share with anyone else. He was becoming more of a beast with the anger boiling inside him. Then Dahlia got to know her next assignment is Salvi Moretti. The plan was to seduce him and get the required information. Salvi was the one who triggered a past sexual assault so Dahlia’s hatred was justifies for him. She made up her mind to take him down at any cost and accepted the assignment. When she was successful in her assignment and got other dons arrested too, she should be feeling accomplished but her heart was restless consistently so she decided to meet Vlad in prison despite Miran forbidden her.

When Dahlia reached the prison, due to a mishap, it broke loose and obviously all the monsters that were kept inside were free. She was in extreme danger but deep down her heart knew one of the monsters will come for her and protect her. But what happened next will break your heart into pieces and was just so unexpected. She was left in a cage with all the dons she got arrested and Vlad refused to shield her and walked away from her. You actually feel your heart getting broken at this and you ache for Dahlia because she was all alone in her assignments and now in this too. Vlad’s hatred was reasonable but his one decision to leave her was unimaginable. There were so many trigger warnings there and only a strong hearted person can read this book further. Story takes turn from here and Dahlia made her life decision and tried to make things. She found out about Salvi’s reality as well and he is not what she was expecting him throughout. Then you see a love triangle emerging and wonder who Dahlia is going to choose. Salvi becomes your favorite villain with all this flaws and charms both and you cannot even help it. Vlad was proven how much Dahlia loved him and you wonder if she regains his trust or not.

This story will give you a roller-coaster ride of emotions throughout. You feel sad, angry, devastated, happy and whatnot in just this one. You feel every single emotion of every character and develop love-hate attachment with everyone at some point. Dahlia’s story feels so realistic with raw spirit. One things that needs to be mentioned here is, this book has a lot darker side than the first part but Beena’s female characters are so strong that you can’t help but admire the beauty of it. Also, believe me, you will fall for the villains more than the hero 😉

My favorite quote from this book was “I looked at him again, and I knew with my whole heart, if given the chance to re-do my past, I would still pick him again
Let me know yours ❤

A Beauty So Cruel

This mind-blowing piece of art is by Beena Khan. She is not just a remarkable author but a sweetest person to be in touch with. Her hard work is shown in her writings and she knows how to take care of her readers. This was her first mafia romance book and tbh mine too. I had never come across dark romance that involves mafia and unions. Though I have watched a couple of movies of this genre but not when it comes to books and let me tell you here, my journey through this book was dumbfounded. It was one of the greatest surprises I have ever come across. Beena’s writing style is just… WOW! The specialty of her books is that when you finish one, you think the story has ended and there is no open end for a sequel but then after some time Beena will surprise you with another part of series and you want to rush to read it to know what is it about, or what is the new turning point in this one and that’s the beauty of connection is her series that I love the most. One of the most appreciable thing I have noticed in her books is that she tries to touch the ground realities of this world, the dark realities that we feel forbidden to talk about. For example; in this one she mentions human trafficking and how women are treated when kidnapped. As these topics are not easy to read about, same is the case for author to write about these, you have to be very careful about the choice of words you use and how much description you are giving to read.

First, let’s talk about Dahlia Hadid, the main character of the book. She is portrayed as the most courageous yet a delicate woman one can ever come across. Her character is “once in a lifetime” kind of woman. As ever, Beena’s female characters are fearless and bold and same was Dahlia. In the start of book, she was at a masquerade ball where she saw Vlad. She was about to leave when she was in an unfortunate situation that she shouldn’t be in and witnessed a murder by people of mafia. To save her life, she presented herself to those mafia men and they took her to their king. The king Vladimir Vitalli was a renowned don and his family was famous for drug dealing, human trafficking and many other underground crimes. He kept her captive in his palace and didn’t let her out of the sight of his men. He tried to protect her from his own men since he knew what kind of cold-hearted people they are. He even punished his right hand Leo for touching her. Dahlia was taken aback by the way he was treating her as if she was the most important person in his life. She knew what kind of a beast he is and yet she was unable to control herself from falling for him. She knew it was not a good idea to fall for his actions towards her but let’s just admit here, girls do fall for the guys who are gentleman towards them even when they can be the most brutal beasts.

Vlad was now the ruling king of one of the five mafia families. He had always known this in his life and he became the same person as anyone else in his family. Yet there was something different in him than his father or other kings of mafia families. Ever since he met Dahlia, he was changing and that was not acceptable for his men and most importantly for his father. His father, on the other hand was a narcissist person and he tried to interfere in Vlad’s business a lot of times. He even didn’t like the idea that Vlad was keeping Dahlia and protecting her so he tried to make a scene in front of him and even though Vlad did not like it, he still kept himself quiet because he was his father. He tried to console Dahlia from time to time and in their meetings you see something burning up between them. He got to know about her past and for the first time he was opening up in front of someone especially a girl. The kind of person Vlad was, the kind of family he belonged to, did not allow him to trust anyone or to let anyone close to him specially a girl. But he was drawn to Dahlia the moment he saw her. The two lonely souls were growing a very strong chemistry between them. Once again his father Enzo betrayed him and sold Dahlia to Salvi Moretti for a huge amount. Vlad could not brace this because he felt that Dahlia was only his and he didn’t want to share her.

There is a twist in the ending that you never expect. Throughout the book, you feel sorry for Dahlia about how she has always spent her life and bad for Vlad about what kind of a human he is, but in reality they both are not what the seem to be. The ending will leave you shocked specially if this is your first ever mafia romance to read. This book will give you chills with the element of suspense that it has. I am already reading book 2 of this Beauty And The Beast series and just can’t wait to finish and jump to third one since the cover is already revealed. I am so proud of Beena Khan and would definitely recommend her books to all my fellow readers.

My favorite quote from the book was “ “Tears don’t belong in those beautiful eyes”. he whispered at me “They’re for those who are broken” his eyes lit up at me.
“And you are anything but that”
” ❤
Let me know about yours.

Boss I Love To Hate

This amazing office romance is my Mia Kayla. This was my first book of her and oh boy… I am so in love with this. Her style was simple and expressive and she made a cliché topic so interesting and humorous. I think it’s a very tough job to make a love story funny and Mia did an amazing job here in this book. Usually when the topic of office romance comes up, the first thing that comes in mind is always negative but in this book writer brought an idea from out of the box and made those two people fall in love who were like opposite poles but standing together at one platform. So this one is definitely an effortless read for everyone and I am pretty sure you will be left in awe. The whole focus in this book was to make everything right in a relationship and who doesn’t love that. The character development was so strong and detailed. In the start, story feels so slow but every character is building each other up. The element of cuteness is so much that you will smile out loud throughout the novel. Believe me it’s one of its own kind of rom-com.

So we met Sonia who is, an independent yet an ordinary woman, working in an amazing firm. She loves her job but not her boss. She was recently dumped by her ex who fell for his colleague. She was still trying to get over this fact and struggling with this. Despite this all, she was maintaining her “hard to get” and “searching for the one” image perfectly. Her character was the perfect blend of self obsessed one day and undermining herself on the other day. So in the start you get confused to which category to put her in. About her boss, she was told not to sleep with him and she was determined that she wouldn’t since she hated him and luckily he didn’t seem to be interested in her either. She hated him so much that she had a poster of him in her house and she used to throw darts on his face to release her frustration of office. Clearly she was looking for a heart and not going for a face and money in any way.

On the other hand Brad, a young owner of the company, an extremely handsome boss, sleeps with every woman in his way. His secretaries were fired for the same reason. He wasn’t much bothered by the fact that Sonia is least interested in him and puts him in his place right there and then. But you all have heard, you fall for someone who is least interested in you. Same happened to Brad and it was unexpected for him as well. This all happened when he used to ask her favors outside the job and in return Sonia, to make her ex jealous, took Brad to a wedding. Their chemistry started heating up from there and Brad started to have the feeling that she is the right type of woman he always wanted in his life. We came to know about Brad’s family life through his brothers and his nieces and how sweet he is to them and family did actually come first for him. He wanted to make Sonia a part of his family and he started working on that. That’s where the cute part came because nothing is more attractive than effort.

This book has the balance for every relationship we humans have in life, friends, family, lovers and enemies *wink wink*. It is based on second change at love and finding the one for yourself in a person you least expect. I personally loved the ending which was perfectly happy just the way we want our lives to be. From start to end this book kept me engaged and didn’t bore me at all. Both characters had their soft side and bold, confident face too. Once the element of hatred was removed, there were showers of love only ❤

My favorite quote from this book was “My heart skipped for him. I didn’t walk when I was with him; I skipped. Can you imagine that? Skipping into his arms because you’re in love? That’s the kind of relationship we had”
Let me know yours.

Last Letter From Your Lover

This incredible piece of romance is by everyone’s favorite Jojo Moyes. Let me tell you why I chose this book. I got to know about author after the movie “Me Before You” and I am pretty sure movie skipped so many details from book but still it is one of those movies I can watch again and again with same excitement. TBH I was scared to read this after watching Me Before You because there was too much pain in the end, but somehow this book left me with happy tears. Even I have enough courage to read Me Before You. So coming towards this novel, Jojo Moyes highlights basic human desires and dreams, when it comes to love of your life, in a character who is apparently very rich and has everything she has desired in life yet her heart is like any other human heart craving for love that it wanted all life. This novel looks inspiring too because in the era of technology we live in, reading about letters and old times when communication was dependent on letters feels more romantic. That wait, and curiosity for the letter from your love gives you chills and one more thing Jojo Moyes books are not typical cliché, they are full of surprises. 50’s and 60’s are captured in this book so beautifully. One hope this book gave was that nothing can put out flames of love even if desired love is forbidden in that era of time.

Story starts slowly when the main character Jennifer is recollecting pieces of her memory puzzle. When Jennifer woke up in hospital after a very tragic accident and lost of memory. She couldn’t recognize her own husband or anything about her marriage, education and social circle. Her husband on the other hand was being very supportive for her and helping her to get back to her normal life as it was before accident. Jennifer felt strange in her own house even with the choice of dresses she owned but not to let her husband down, she was getting along with whatever efforts he was putting even if it was a get together with her old friends. Then one day she found a series of letters addressed to her by someone “B”. She felt some unfamiliar ray of excitement in her and she knew this maybe get her connected with her previous life after all she was bizarre with her lost pieces of puzzle. In her struggle to find out who her lover was, what happened to their love back then, did her husband know about it or not and what is topping her now to find out, somewhere in between she found out what was the reality of her marriage with her husband Laurence. Their glamorous lifestyle was covering up for their unhappy marriage and it didn’t take much longer for it to prove Jennifer.

Forty years later, Ellie a journalist, while working on her newspaper anniversary article found some letters by someone “B” to a woman Jenny. The beauty of words in those letters intoxicated Ellie to find out who they were and what happened to their love. Meanwhile, words of “B” forced her to compare her love life with theirs. Ellie was in a relationship with a married man John and couldn’t help but weigh up his letter with letters of “B”. Ellie was determined to track down these two people from forty years ago and finish their love story in whatever way possible. At last, her efforts were fruitful when she found Jennifer and she told her motive. Jennifer told her story of life, what she was doing now, what choices did she make back then. This all helped Ellie to reflect on her life choices and about John specially. Her career was at the edge of a downfall, her love for John kept on stealing every single thought of a day and she was following the same routine for so long at such a young age. She was convinced that feeling of love should be so strong that you can be ready to risk anything and everything for it.

One thing is for sure, Jojo Moyes knows how to keep readers focused. She wrote a book about time when speaking out loud about feelings and being true to heart for women was not considered appropriate, hence revealing the strong female character. Her stories have life tragedies but still leave such a deep impact on your heart. This book itself is a letter for those who have lost their love on the way but they should know that, in the end, it is only love which can conquer every heart. Very rare books leave you in tears yet satisfied with the ending.

My favorite quote from this book was “When you looked at me with those limitless, deliquescent eyes of yours, I used to wonder what it was you could possibly see in me. Now I know that is a foolish view of love. You and I could no more not love each other than the earth could stop circling the sun.
Let me know yours ❤

The Deepest Cut

Once again Beena Khan did it ❤ After her beautiful book “The Flame Must Burn” I was waiting for this sequel so much and I am so happy to announce this will leave you in awe. You will be left with mixed feelings. My hopes for Beena’s other books are so high after this specially because I can say that I absolutely love her writing style. A good book will get you absorbed in all the scenes, characters, culture and environment and this book definitely does that. The lesson is still the same as it was in the previous book, strong independent woman, understanding parents, family over anything. Her simple yet attractive words make you fall for this series. In this book the main characters Ismat and Dara are younger siblings of Cyrah and Azmi but their story is far more different than theirs. Once again this story highlighted an issue girls from Asian Muslim countries face in the name of honor. But in the end love really conquers all and hatred is defeated.

In the last book Azmi, Cryah’s former fiancé was sent to jail for harassing her and Cyrah was married to her love of life Ryder. Who knew story didn’t end there and Azmi was a typical egoistic man who believed in revenge more than to learn from his own mistakes. Ismat was Cyrah’s younger sister. She was fond of reading novels and Cyrah got her books. Ismat was quoite the opposite of Cyrah. She was a lot bold and outspoken for her age and her blunt character was very much likeable. She finished her high school and wanted to study more but her father wanted her to get married. She finally accepted her fate despite Cyray’s efforts of convincing their father to let her study further. She was presented in front of suitors a couple of times. Then there came a family who looked more religious than theirs. Ismat was presented in front of Emad and his family. At first she was a bit hesitant but the way she spoke to Emad openly not even made herself but her father proud too. She felt that her father has changed a lot since Cyrah was hurt. He had become very polite and more understanding. In fact he even asked Ismat if she likes someone she can marry him but Ismat had no one in life so she agreed for arranged marriage. Emad and Cyrah met a couple of times, though she had concerns with his way of thinking but still she agreed for this marriage. Because of her candid nature, Emad’s mother didn’t like her much and even proved it but Ismat felt that from very start.

Dara was Azmi’s younger brother. Azmi had brainwashed him to take revenge from Cyrah’s family because apparently Cyrah accused him of rape attempt. Dara blindly followed his instructions, stalked Ismat and her whereabouts through a secret agent and tried to meet her. They met at Ismat’s friend’s marriage and there he found out she is quite bold to be a typical girl of Iran. He was even shocked of her audacity to even talk to him. There was something inside him that melted for her but he tried to suppress those feelings since his brother was forcing him to be evil. Azmi asked him to defame Ismat but he couldn’t get himself to do it. But Azmi was so wicked and he sensed that Dara is delaying things so he sent his secret agent to do this. Even in jail he wasn’t learning a lesson to correct his mistakes rather he wanted the worst kind of revenge from Cyrah. He thought he owned Cyrah and it was impossible for her to leave him and now his sister was his to be owned too. After Ismat was smeared, according to plan Dara took her to a mosque and got married to her. But truth has to reveal and you can’t run in the shadow of lie for a long time. When Ismat got to know the reality, the decision she took for love was so brave for her age.

Beena Khan’s books give you a strong message about love, morality and how to be true to yourself. The description of her characters, from physical appearance to their inner beauty is amazing. The chemistry between characters is undeniably beautiful and you fall in love with Dara and Ismat’s story. The strength of female characters is just wow! A girl should be bold enough to stand for what’s right and what’s wrong for her. Parents should always take side of their kids and listen to them before taking actions in the name of honor. Family always comes first rather than social respect. Truly your reputation is only in the hand of God.

My favorite quote from this book is “He had called himself a thorn in her life. But with love, thorn become roses” ❤
Let me know yours.

Once Upon An Eid

This really cute book is a compilation of 15 stories by 15 different voices compiled by two most brilliant authors S. K. Ali and Aisha Saeed. I cannot put into words how each story touched my heart and how much I loved reading it in one-go. This gives us all a message of true Muslim spirit through every story. Stories are short but with deep message. Even if you are a Muslim to read this one, read it during Ramzan near Eid and you will feel like living every single story and you will find out about cultures of other fellow Muslims and their lives around Eid from a different part of world. Eid’s blessings are for everyone and this book portrays in a very cute way how people of different class and background share it with each other. All the stories have one common message about how our Iman should be as pure as crystal. For my non-Muslim readers, you should read it and get to know what Eid is for us and why we celebrate it. Every story has a happy adorable ending and it makes you so peaceful to read. Diverse compilation beautifies this book completely ❤

Let me go through each story quickly in a couple of lines. In the story Perfect, Mandinka culture is elaborated. Cute fights of cousins and excitement on a day before Eid is described in a sweet way. In Yusuf and the Great Big Brownie Mistake, the story of a boy who wants to make brownies is told, a little bit of siblings rivalry but not to a point of fight but overall a simple sweet message was given. Next Kareem Means ‘Generous’, gave the best message and was my most favorite story. It tells how a kid makes a decision and is rewarded for his sacrifice. In Don’ut Break Tradition, story touched my heart since I have seen similar situation at my home too but the overall emotional journey from sadness to happiness left me in awe. In Just Like Chest Armor, a young girl excited to wear hijab was very adorable. A deep emotional rollercoaster which is associated with hijab journey is explained from a view of an 11 year old girl. The wholesome story Gifts explained the practical application of patience which is being taught in Ramzan. The Feast of Sacrifice, though being delightful was straightforward. In Seraj Captures the Moon, journey was so adventurous in a cool way. The Searching for Blue gave a warm feeling about Eid which is the essence. In Creative Fixes, journey of newly converted Muslims was a unique story to learn about culture and social norms. Taste was veryyyy earnest story of kids making feast possible even after all of tragedy. Eid Pictures showed black Muslim community which is usually not heard much and portrayed their powerful culture of Eid. Not Only an Only tells us exactly you’d feel on Eid away from your people and it was eye-opening. Maya Madinah Choose Joy tells us that change happens to everyone and our reactions to change are valid too but it is up to the ones close to us to make us feel alright in times of need. Another beautiful thing to teach kids is to tell stories from Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.W) ‘s life to relate in every situation so that they know what is ethical. Eid and Pink Bubble Gum, Insha’ Allah was a funny and sweet story of long drive family trips. It gave me feeling of my childhood Eid when we used to have these long trips too in which siblings find a way to annoy each other to the fullest and parents would enjoy that.

One of the most admirable thing is the sketches at the start of each chapter, portraying the most happy moment of the story. The targeted audience for this book is kids of middle age, the perfect age for a kid to be taught what is right and what is wrong. But honestly you wish you had this book when you were a kid instead of stories of fairies and princesses. This is the book you can use to tell bedtime stories to your kids since it has ethical and moral lessons all along. Kindness does not have a religion, in short this book teaches us Islamic lesson about kindness.

My favorite quote from this book was “Things you give away make you happier than the things you keep for yourself” ❤
Let me know yours.

It Only Happens In The Movies

This phenomenal novel is by Holly Bourne and my God what an amazing experience it was to read this. Without exaggeration, this is a master piece of Holly. She wrote a very near to reality story about teenage love. She mentioned a particular notion, which is so common everywhere, by putting forth real life situations. I really loved the way she describes what happens in real life love with humor and sensitivity and the title is completely justified with the whole message she tried to give readers. So author wrote an incredible book breaking all the stereotypes and mentioned problems that are avoided in reality in a humorous way. Being a lover of romance movie, I could actually see that how incomplete picture of romance is shown in movies and actually how difficult love is. It really isn’t the matter of one kiss in the rain or snow but there’s a whole other story which we need to see and experience in love and it is not so easy as well.

This story portrayed life of an teenager Audrey who happened to give up on romance at a very young age since she has seen things like breakup, parent’s divorce, betrayal, her father cheating and moving out of the house for a pregnant girlfriend and her elder brother imposing responsibility of their crashing mother on her. She was into acting and she used to like romance genre when everything in her life was normal, when she used to think her parents’ love story is the best in the world. But then reality hit her hard. She has to see her ex in school everyday and pretend everything is normal. She gave up on drama because he and his new girlfriend were taking part in it. Tired of it all, she started a job in cinema where she found Henry. Now Henry wanted to be a film maker passionately and he was already making short films on zombies. At first Audrey shut his flirt off when everyone, including her brother and one of the colleagues, told her to keep him at a distance because he was famous to be a playboy. They became friends, Audrey started helping him in his movie and Henry was falling for her hard and still pretended to be intact.

There came a time when Henry confessed his feelings and asked her out and convinced her to give him a chance and Audrey agreed. The beginning of their relationship is cute and all and you see that’s where most of the movies end when she says YES. But with all the problems in her house she was more disturbed. Her brother kept on telling her to take more care of their mother and she was not doing enough for her. And as for Henry, it seemed like whenever she needed him the most he was not available. She even tried to clear things with his ex who was part of the zombie movie they were shooting but she became mean to her. Then her father broke her heart by demanding to sale the house they were living in and not cared for a second about Audrey and her mother. This led to the biggest drama that her mother created in the house and almost killed herself. She went to her father to talk him out of this but he clearly made a choice to take care of his new family and her stepmother, well she was a typical stepmother after all. In all these problems, Henry was of no help instead he was drunk enough to ruin the concept of love for her once and for all.

The ending of this book gives us the message that not everything ends the way we want it to be. You put yourself in Audrey’s shoes and think what would you do if something like this happens to you. Would you be able to give second chance to someone who betrayed or cheated on you or you will let them go no matter how much you love them? Holly compared beautifully and with hilarity how real life romance, relationships, friendship, betrayal, heartbreak and pain are different from what it has been shown in movies since always. Once in a while, touching the ground of reality is eye-opening and wise. So this novel is having all feminist vibes and true-to-life message with exactly the bits we don’t see in the movies. This YA book is very good for young adults because life is a whole lot different from what we see in movies and what we expect from love. It really only happens in the movies 😉

My favorite quote from this book was “That was the moment a piece of my heart broke off and got thrown into his, where it would lodge forever. Because you always leave a little piece of your heart in whoever you fall in love with.” ❤
Let me know yours 🙂

A Mirrored Life

This master piece is by a Bengali writer Rabisankar Bal. I found his writing style quite different from others in the way he describes stories from the past. At first it is difficult to understand the concept of book but once you get it, you will be amazed by the beauty of it. This book has a story within a story, within a story and all in a very charismatic way of writing. Story is about the life of Rumi and his love for Shams who made Rumi what he is to us now. A very well researched novel and well written, and definitely not leaves readers to bore. In fact, the stories are quite interesting to read especially if someone is interested in the poetry of Rumi and his message of spiritualty. So this is a very through and poetic novel. The main theme of this book is selfless love and union with the ultimate beloved God. You become so touched and mystified while reading this.

The story started when Ibn Battuta was sharing his travel stories to the readers and yes he is the one to narrate the whole stories in this novel. When he was on his way from Tangiers to China, he reached a place called Konya in Turkey where this legendary dervish Rumi was born and lived. This was also the place where the famous “whirling dance” was originated. While Ibn Battuta stayed there, he came to know about different stories about the life of Rumi and his spiritual guide Shams and he was very intrigued to know after a half a century of Rumi’s death why he has such a huge number of people respecting his life and why his poetry is still evergreen. He explored the city more and met a person call Al Mustasimi who was working on the manuscript of Rumi. While he worked on one of the copies of manuscript, he enlightened about Rumi’s life to Ibn Battuta and promised to give the copy to spread it wherever he goes. Then comes the life story of Maulana Rumi and of course his story is incomplete without Shamsuddin Tabrizi (Shams). Shams was considered as a lunatic or mad divine soul at that time since a person not known to spirituality would not understand him. But Rumi knew he was destined to meet Shams and then we explore their relationship and Rumi’s journey from being a Maulana to a whirling dervish.

Rumi and Shams were quite the talk of town in their times because of their platonic relationship and Shams taught him not to be bothered by what people say about him. When Shams left, Rumi felt a void in his life which seemed to be growing bigger with time but the distress was over when they reunited. This made Rumi whirl with rapture and was the most astonishing part of story. Shams proved to be his spiritual mentor, a friend and lover. He taught him that this life is our separation with our love, God and death will unite us to Him. Then the stories of Rumi’s famous disciples Hussam and Sultan Wahad and their terms with Rumi are shared in the novel. Then it explained how Shams groomed Rumi, how the Masnavi, Rumi’s greatest work, came into existence. Battuta also met a young man whose name was one of the 99 names of Allah and he was not aware of that and Battuta asked him to recite Namaz in a middle voice for him. Then he tells the man that the middle path is the one best to adopt in life and is loved by God.

So before digging into Rumi’s poetry, one should read this book as it is a very well researched version of his life along with other books like “The Forty Rules of Love” or “Rumi’s daughter”. Writer used a very bold description of the relationship between Rumi and Shams and made sure you live the era and experience it with your full imagination. He encapsulate layers and layers of knowledge about spirituality narrated by Rumi or Ibn Battuta himself. It is one of those books which will force you to read between the lines and try to find hidden meaning in each story. This novel demands patience to read it but once completed, it’ll be worth it. I would recommend everyone to read it, the messages in it are for everyone to lead a meaningful life.

My favorite quote from this book was “The day our childhood leaves us is the day we will die.
Let me know yours ❤

If I Stay

This really heart touching book is by Gayle Forman. It was my first book of her and as always, my only regret was I saw the movie way before I read this book but as much as I hate to say this, movie seemed better than reading this book. In this book Gayle used a very non-formulaic approach of story telling and created believable characters. A quite moving and thought provoking story which includes life choices like reality. Author captured struggles of a teenager with family loss and personal conflicts and you feel like she compacted deep emotions on each page. The strong passion of her character is really admirable. Though the heaviness of premise, Gayle still provided a pinch of humor in this story. A very sad young adult romance novel that will leave readers awestruck but you feel connected to the story throughout the book.

Story began with a car accident. YES! you are not familiar with characters yet and they are dead. Anyway, it’s a story of a 17 years old Mia who is a passionate cellist and a music enthusiast. One day she along with her parents and baby brother went for a morning drive and they met an accident in which both her parents died and she was in come. This was her ghost or you can say her spirit telling her story throughout and it’s an out of body experience that she was sharing. At first she did not understand what is happening, is she alive or dead just like her parents, then she ran to see her brother and found him in a very critical situation. She saw her relatives gathering and heard them talking but she could not speak to them or they can’t see her. Then she witnessed her best friend and her boyfriend trying to get to her and she runs after them. At first everything seems to be in vein but soon she realizes that her body is alive and struggling between life and death. She got the news of his brother being dead too when her grandparents were talking.

During her stay in hospital she had flashbacks of her past and she was thinking about her future life choices. She had two options, whether to live without family with her grandparents and boyfriend Adam or to simply die and end her physical and mental suffering. Her love for music played a vital role in her choice to stay alive but the loss she had just seen was heavier than anything one could imagine. All of a sudden your whole family is dead, which is pretty tragic for a character who is very caring, loving and sensitive about family. The story becomes moving when Adam her boyfriend, sat next to her body and was begging her to stay and on whichever terms possible made my heart melt for the two of them. Other than him, everyone was tied to that one string of hope that Mia stays alive and they would do their best to take care of her and beautiful thing was Mia was listening to them as well. In between the war of heart and brain, she made up her mind once and for all.

This book will make readers think about everything we take for granted in our lives and how important they become when we are on the verge of losing them . It gives message to the parents that they should at least be open to their kids and talk about all the things that are considered taboo. Kids are parents’ responsibility and parents should talk about adult stuff to kids beforehand and before they get to know or get involved in something which turns out to be dangerous for them. On the critical side, this book becomes boring to read at some points because it’s continuously sad. There is a little bit of humor there when Mia’s parents are involved but all those happy memories eventually become sad since her parents were gone. In the start you feel difficult to connect with characters. The element of romance was barely there as it should be in a young adult romance but over all it was okayish.

My favorite quote from this book was “And that’s just it, isn’t it? That’s how we manage to survive the loss. Because love, it never dies, it never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it.” ❤
Let me know yours 🙂

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