Tag Archives: book reviews 2014

Unspoken Feelings and Untold Dangers – The Lynburn Legacy and Me – Book Review (2&3/50)

I hope you all bear with me as I’m doing my reviews a little off-sequence.

I found out about The Lynburn Legacy while I was doing research about one of my favorite authors, Sarah Rees Brennan. During the early 2000’s she was known as Maya, one of my favorite fanfiction writers. Since publishing her first book, The Demon’s Lexicon, she has gone on to pen numerous others – leaving her fanfiction writing behind.

The Lynburn Legacy is her 3rd saga following The Demon’s Lexicon trilogy and The Bane Chronicles.

The first book is Unspoken. It is about a young and vivacious journalist-to-be, Kami, who finds out that her imaginary friend isn’t so imaginary after all. Jared, the voice inside her head that has accompanied her growing up, suddenly appears at her school; his emergence coinciding with the return of the town’s most prominent family, the Lynburns. Needless to say, confusion is awry as Kami struggles to make sense of everything, especially who (or what) the Lynburns are.

Though I am not one for YA romance novels, I was intrigued by the new spin on mind-reading that this book introduces. No Bella Swan-like antics here. I was hooked from the start, itching to know the secret of the Lynburns. What’s up with the creepy decor? Is Ash, Jared’s cousin, really who he appears to be? Is Angela, Kami’s devastatingly beautiful but hopelessly lazy bestfriend, the best supporting character ever? Will they ever get around to actually studying? These questions, and more, plagued me and so I just had to finish the book.

While this may not be Brennan’s strongest writing, it’s a fun romp none-the-less. Compared with her Demon’s Lexicon Trilogy, though, I found this book a little on the dragging side. We were intentionally being kept in the dark for so much of the book to the point that there were times where I  was getting annoyed already. Being, admittedly, not a romance kind of gal, I had no interest in the love triangle. I was more into the dynamics among the supporting characters than the Ash-Kami-Jared thing. And knowing how well Sarah can pen a romance, I was sort of disappointed.

What I LOVED about this book was the unique twist on the mind-reading trope. Sarah wrote it in such a way that I wanted a not-so-imaginary friend of my very own. Issues with privacy aside, I would love to have someone who is there for me 24/7 and could relate 100% to what I’m feeling. And, of course, I’d reciprocate that support as well .Why can’t we all have mysterious mental links?

Unspoken’s sequel, Untold, follows the gang after a confrontation with one of the  heads of the Lynburn clan turned Sorry-in-the-Vale on its head. Since I don’t want to give too much away about the reveal in Book 1, I’ll just go on and talk about my feelings as I read this book.

Again, I wasn’t too sold on the whole romance angle – at least not the main romance. There’s a surprising secondary relationship in bloom that I ❤ so much. I’m trying not to post spoilers, so forgive my cryptic-ness.

Unlike Unspoken, Untold didn’t really keep me on the edge of my seat. For a lot of the book, I was quite bored, to be honest. Echoing the sentiments of other readers, I found the book to have too much brooding and angst and not enough action (something I enjoyed in Book 1). I’d say this book suffered from the ills of 2nd books, having the middle book just be a sort of introduction to the final action in the last installment, with little merit on its own.

But Sarah did hook me in the end with a cliffhanger to end all cliffhangers. Suffice it to say, I’ll be staying tuned to the 3 and final installment of the Lynburn Legacy.

Happy New Year! Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me? Book Review (1/50)

Happy New Year everyone! I wanted to kickstart 2014 with a new pet project and that is my “50 books in a year with accompanying review” project. Very self-explanatory title, I think. So, I thought to begin with the book that I started reading the day after Christmas and just finished roughly 5 hours ago. I don’t usually read that slowly (the book is only 200+ pages) but I wanted to savor the book very much.

Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me (And Other Concerns) by Mindy Kaling (4/5 RATING)

I first heard about the book through a FullyBooked email newsletter (yes, those things are actually helpful!). The reason I wanted to read it was solely based on the fact that it was written by Mindy Kaling. She’s a brilliant writer/actor/comedian/awesome person who I learned about through her show The Mindy Project, though most people might know her from her stint on The Office (US).

I love The Mindy Project. Adore, obsessively watch, follow, like, approve, recommend, all that good stuff. It’s super funny and romantic at the same time. I love it for so many reasons that I won’t list them here because this is a book review and not a show review. You should still go watch it when it airs again!

The book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me, is an autobiography of sorts. It regales the readers with Mindy’s experiences growing up as the child of immigrant parents and a struggling writer. No tear-jerking stories here, though, as every short anecdote is filled with the patent Mindy humor. From realizing she loved comedy more than having a clique, to finding herself in college and moving to NYC with her bestfriends, Mindy talks about her funny/awkward/life-changing experiences amidst other “listicles” that make you want to hang out with Ms. Kaling, maybe forever.

I devoured every single page of this book. Not only because it’s a lighthearted, witty and easy read but also because I saw so much of myself in Mindy (and so much of Mindy in me. I hope she doesn’t mind me talking about her like we’re BFFs. I hope she doesn’t mind me wishing for us to become BFFs). I’m not a comedy writer or a child of immigrants, but I feel like I relate to her on almost every level. We’re both a little quirky, a little awkward and a lot just plain confused at a lot of things. I also do Irish exits a lot and contemplate about how my funeral should be arranged.

Aside from our many similarities, I also enjoyed the book because it chronicles how Mindy pursued her passion for comedy and slowly (but surely) made her way to where she wanted to be, not too famous but just famous enough to be important. I found myself exclaiming, “You Go Girl!”, in my head many times throughout the book. She knew what she wanted and she went for it – awkward silences and social norms aside.

One part that I absolutely loved was a brief chapter about how she was treated by stylists. Now that she was somebody, Hollywood was determined to make her fit into the actress mold – a very small one where it’s a requisite that you’re a size zero-one. Mindy was having none of that. She embraced her own body and made Hollywood accept her for who she is, a real woman. Couture gowns made in only sample sizes? Nope, she’s having none of THAT. It’s very uplifting to read about someone like me navigate the waters of the world.

People 2011 – Mindy with fellow comedien Ellie Kemper

This is a book female teens and twenteens should go and read. Mindy is a role model for ambitious young women who want to carve out a little place in the world for themselves.