Rare Blood: Featured Review

38310635

Did Not Finish % 32

Rare Blood is a New Adult Paranormal Romance. It is what initially made me accept the ARC of it. However, it hasn’t lived up to my expectations as far as I’ve read it.

The book starts of with a prologue set in the year 1306. It has a mysterious and dark vibe to it, and I loved it. The chapter starts of with first-person narrative of the Main female character, Miranda. She is a young author who got her first break and happens to sign another writing contract as her circumstances called for. The main male character, Tristan, is also simultaneously introduced.

Tristan, he is a conniving Vampire who does anything for his own good and has now taken interest in Miranda. Miranda is a quirky next-door girl, with a lot of attitude that was honestly too much and often went to the annoying-whiny side. Whenever they meet, it’s mostly pointless banter which issues spanning a lot of pages; He wants her to ‘work’ with him willingly – and his way to convince her includes part-harassing-part-bribing, and She would oppose him at every little thing – only to go with his wishes in the very end.

Some issues that stood out to me were: 1) Tristan is a vampire and has lived for hundred-some years, why doesn’t he know the best way to approach her, especially when he has been watching her!? 2) Miranda’s opinions would change so quickly sometimes within the same chapter that she appeared to be bipolar. At first, she would do and say anything to oppose him, yet when she would finally agree, it would be a simple ‘okay’. I felt that contradicted her character a lot and the pacing of it all, felt weird.

Other issues that made me drop it were the overall pacing of events. The plot seemed to drag on forever with no real path of where it’s headed. Also, the chapters would have third-person narrative start abruptly without any sign to where Miranda’s narrative ended and where the other scene began. Some conflicts would be introduced suddenly, while others had no clear end. As for the side characters, I think they were the only strong points of the whole plot, who acted true to their characters.

 

Overall: 2 out of 5 stars.

 

**I received a free copy from Kate Tilton Author Services in exchange for an honest review**

 

Ebba, The First Easter Hare: Featured Review

34865652

Ebba, The First Easter Hare, is well-written for young kids under 12, and a great read just in time for Easter. The chapters are in third-person with interludes of the character’s thoughts in italics.

The story starts off with the introduction to the King of Hares, Stern, and how his empire is in darkness. The author then introduces the main characters, Atta and Hulde. Soon Ebba is born into the dark realm of King Stern. Ebba decides to go on a mission, after she comes across an abandoned bird’s nest. Meanwhile Atta has gone away in search of a Promised Land where the sun shines and where the King’s darkness cannot reach.

I would have liked to see a more proper conclusion to the story; What happens to Hulde? Does Atta return? Where is the Mother Hen? And so on. However, this was a quick and cute read. (Continues to cheer for Ebba even after the book ended).

 

Overall: 3 out of 5 stars

 

**I received a free copy from the author in exchange for an honest review**

 

This Savage Song: Review

This Savage Song

…Plenty of humans were monstrous, and plenty of monsters knew how to play at being human.” ― V.E. Schwab, Vicious

I don’t particularly like reading dystopian-fantasy stories, but this wasn’t bad.
The book is divided into 4 parts. The first two parts involves world building and character development. The other two parts are a fast-paced buildup to the climax followed by a rather soft conclusion.

The conclusion is less impactful than what I had expected, and the open plot-point towards the end of the book just made me sigh. (I mean, really, a new plot point? I get it is for a projected series, but why bait readers!?)

The writing style is easy to follow and visualize, without going overboard with the details nor dragging the story. Though I would have liked to know more about the City of Verity.

Overall, 3.5 over 5 stars, because some aspects were missing overall to make this a perfect-read, which hopefully will be addressed in its sequel novels.

This is my first V.E. Schwab read, and I’m willing to give her other books a try as well.

New to Bollywood?

I’ve been an uber filmy geek, and specifically a Bollywood fan, ever since I was young. If you are new to Indian Movies, or are tired from your local movie choices and willing to venture into new lands, here are my Top 10 Bollywood Movies.

Note: The following are ranked in order of my personal enjoyment. It doesn’t not mean that they are the best in their respective genres neither does it mean that your opinion on the said movie should match mine in any way. 

 

Let’s get started:

 

#10: Hum Tum

This 2004 romantic comedy inspired by ‘When Harry met Sally…” It is funny and adorable, while predictable at times, it’s also the movie you’d want to watch on a girls-only movie night. It follows two seemingly opposite characters and how their dislike towards each other soon changes into friendship and then into love. This title translate to “You and Me”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#9: Aankhen

This 2002 heist thriller was like none other. Three men rob a bank. The plot twist? They are three blind men. This movie has two different endings, both being satisfactory in their own way. While I’m not giving any spoilers, the movie kept me on edge at all times. It’s a must-watch for heist-plot fans like me. The title translates to “Eyes”.

 

#8: Luck

This 2009 action-thriller was adapted from a Spanish Film, Intacto. The film starts of with introducing a bunch of characters and how ‘lucky’ they are. They are gathered to play a game of chance, where the looser would loose his life, and the winner would proceed to the next round. In each round I found myself holding my breath. While the final climax felt a little less impactful, the ending was overall satisfactory.

 

#7: Dhoom 2

This is the second installment in the Dhoom heist thriller-series. While the story is loosely connected to the first installment, it can still be watch independently. It includes fast action, though done a bit over the top, it’s still enjoyable, a romance sequence underlining the main plot, and some (attempt) at comedy. While I’m not a fan of Action-Comedy, the ‘action’ part of the series sell it to me. The title translates to “Blast”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#6: Ae Dil Hai Mushkil

This 2016 Drama movie is centered around a the topic of unreciprocated love. It includes several references from many difference Indian movies, which makes up the light-hearted first-half of the film, so it probably won’t be as funny to a new Bollywood watcher as it would be to someone who understands the source of the references. The second-half of the movie shifts gears and brings the ‘drama’ aspect to it. By the time the movie ends, you sit there with a heavy heart. The title translates to “O Heart, it is difficult”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#5: Veer-Zara

This 2004 Drama movie is considered a modern classic in the genre by its respective fans. The story follows an Indian Pilot and a Pakistani woman. Their journey and struggles are beautifully portrayed, leading up to the final ending scene, where love finally wins. I can safely say, I ugly-cried more than once while watching it. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#4: Main Hoon Na

This 2004 movie encompass almost all genres, from action to comedy and even romance, all the while staying true to the main plot line. It’s great for family movie time or even with friends. The title translates to “I am here”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#3: Jab We Met

This 2007 romantic-comedy was liked by audiences young and old alike. It has palpable romance and good comedy in equal proportions making it a must-watch. The title translates to “When we met”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

#2: Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara

This 2011 drama road film explores friendship. It follows three friends, with very different personalities, on a bachelor road trip across Spain. During the trip, they find courage to overcome personal differences and passion for a new goal to strive for. The title translates to “You won’t get this life again”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 

And finally, my all time favorite:

#1: Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

This 2013 romantic-drama revolves around friendship and relationships. The characters portrayed have relatable personalities and even the issues that rise up, aren’t too far fetched. The friendships shown feel real and will make you nostalgic of your university life. After watching this, you would want to organize a reunion with your squad too. The title translate to “This youth is crazy”. [Watch on Amazon – Affiliate link]

 


There you have it, my Top 10 Bollywood movies. I’ll probably edit this list as new movies add in.

Have you watched any? Let me know your thoughts!

 

🙂 FTK

 

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt.com

 

Big Fish, Small Fish

In the decade of social networking and on-demand living, some businesses may still be suffering, while others find new goals to achieve.

The proverb ‘big fish eats small fish‘ is becoming more relevant than ever. When large organizations go global, they unknowingly wipe out some local businesses in both, their home country and abroad.

 

Who is affected?

Everyone.

From your local farmer’s market, to that indie bookstore around the corner, or perhaps even your neighbor who is a freelancer, or your friend who is a full-time Youtuber.

 

Why are they affected?

When big businesses get bigger, they can easily meet economies of scale  – which means they can produce more for less, which in return translates to better profit margins with reduced prices.

What’s in the mind of an average consumer? Obviously, getting the better deal. Big companies have a quality standard they commit to and if the average consumer can get same (or higher) quality than the local produce at a lower (or same) price, they will take it.

Then what happens if that single average consumer was one of the twenty people who visits (for example) a local flower shop (a small startup)? The shop would see a drop in sales, but it would be slightly recoverable. But if more and more consumers shift, the shop would see a drastic decline in sales, while their expenses remain same (or increase), they are likely to close the shop sooner or later.

 

From experience, I saw two drastic changes around me, that made me write this post.

YouTube: I follow several Youtubers who make content full-time and all what they get is earnings from YouTube Monetization. Last month, they were pledging against the “New Monetization Rules“. I looked those up, and watched their videos where they explained how it would effect them. Basically, YouTube made Monetization only available to the ‘almost popular to very popular’ content creators, while everyone else is left to lick their dust.

Goodreads: This site is great for authors and readers alike, where they can converge and discuss books they like. Recently, as a newly turned author, I posted a giveaway for my book in January. While NetGalley is another great site for having your book available tp readers; but as their packages start from +$200, I decided to stick with Goodreads. Soon enough, Goodreads announced a change in their Giveaway policies. With the newly added price tag of giveaway packages starting from +$120, self-published authors like me and other small publishers, would think twice now to host giveaways.

 

In short.

Big Fish (companies) have money to make huge investments and also to recover lost sales or expenses. Small Fish (local startups, freelancers, etc.) have limited cash and a regular expense, and so they depend highly on those possibly limited sales.

 

How can you, a consumer, help?

All I can say is support local businesses whenever you can. Most times you might not like the quality or the price, but local businesses (artists, freelancers, authors, etc.) are willing to take one extra step for their local clients in the form of unique products, special customer service, or even discounts. Their earnings are often reinvested to provide better product/service, or used as their living expenses. In both cases, it provides an overall benefit to the local society.

 

🙂 FTK

 

Photo Credit: Visual Hunt.com