Falling Through Love by Akif Kichloo | Book Review

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Falling Through Love is a heart-pounding, stomach-dropping, beautiful plunge into experiences of love, longing, and loss.

Falling Through Love submerges readers into Kichloo’s deeply personal yet widely resonant experiences, exploring relationships in their most exposed and honest states. Written in a variety of poetic forms—free verse, rhyme, prose, and visual poetry—Falling Through Love takes the reader on a poignant journey with the writer, about charting one’s own path in life, investigating failure, family dynamics, and love. Looking at life backward and forward simultaneously, this collection brings forth new perspectives on what it means to be alive, to have made mistakes, to have fought for an identity, to have loved and lost and then loved and lost again.

Date Published: November 5, 2019

Date Read: November 7, 2019

Genre: Poetry

Number of Pages: 144 pages

Get your copy here: Amazon | Book Depository| Barnes and Noble

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Fearless, honest, evocative and personal.

Akif Kichloo has proven himself to be a new rising poet to definitely watch out for. I have the pleasure of reading his other work Poems That Lose which I thoroughly enjoyed as well, but Falling Through Love has got to be my favorite book by him. I have witnessed how much his poetry evolved from his very first book up to the latest one. He was more precise, yet never losing his signature charm.

There are few poems here that honestly made me tear up, especially the poem The Absence of Everything. I don’t know why, but it gave me goosebumps. The poem is about a stillborn child and how it somewhat affected the relationship of the parents. It spoke to me as if I have undergone the same ordeal, when in fact I didn’t. And that was what is commendable with this collection of poetry, it has the power to make you feel emotions beyond your own understanding.

Falling Through Love is such a powerful collection revolving around family, parent and child relationship, loss, longing, brokenness, love and the depths of it and so much more. It was coherent yet gave different textures, different flavours. It tackled topics with full of heart, you can notice how personal each of the poems were, yet one couldn’t help but resonate to it as if each poem is also about its reader no matter how different their situation might be. It was personal yet inclusive. It touches you like every good poetry should. It wasn’t a detached piece of writing, it was inviting, with shared joy and even shared grief. A collection like this is hard to come by these days.

Akif Kichloo is now added to my favorite poets list. His work is truly something to watch out for. Lyrical yet concise. Honest and evocative. Fearless and passionate. A book worthy of your precious time.

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there is this tender place
between nothing & everything

now that’s where I see myself;

someone’s something
in the everything of their world.

— Falling Through Love, Akif Kichloo

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Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo | Book Review

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Surrounded by enemies, the once-great nation of Ravka has been torn in two by the Shadow Fold, a swath of near impenetrable darkness crawling with monsters who feast on human flesh. Now its fate may rest on the shoulders of one lonely refugee.

Alina Starkov has never been good at anything. But when her regiment is attacked on the Fold and her best friend is brutally injured, Alina reveals a dormant power that saves his life—a power that could be the key to setting her war-ravaged country free. Wrenched from everything she knows, Alina is whisked away to the royal court to be trained as a member of the Grisha, the magical elite led by the mysterious Darkling.

Yet nothing in this lavish world is what it seems. With darkness looming and an entire kingdom depending on her untamed power, Alina will have to confront the secrets of the Grisha . . . and the secrets of her heart.

Date Published: June 5, 2012

Publisher: Henry Holt and Company

Date Read: October 2019

No. of Pages: 358 pages

Genre: Fantasy

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

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Verdict: Meh

Shadow and Bone, oh my oh my, where do I even begin? First off, this book is really hard to get into. I keep on spacing out, I keep putting it down. 100 pages down and it hadn’t gripped my attention. I just didn’t have it in me to be excited about it. I just wanted to get it over and done with so I can proceed to other books. You know that feeling when you couldn’t wait to rush home, lock yourself in your room and read the night away? Well, I didn’t feel it towards this book. Unconsciously maybe I have high expectations since I have been hearing a lot of buzz surrounding this series and since the cast for the show has been revealed. A part of me felt like I needed to be in the loop with what’s happening in the bookish world. I am easily swayed alright?

Shadow and Bone was a bit anticlimactic. There are so many missed opportunities to make it more solid and impactful. It really had the potential to be more epic, but the narration and world building just isn’t a cut above the rest. I feel like if you’ve been a heavy fantasy reader you would find this book mediocre, I am not a heavy fantasy reader by a long stretch, so that means a lot. Shadow and Bone might be a good start for readers who are branching out to the fantasy genre.

Let’s talk about the characters. I found Alina’s character to be too weak, indecisive, push-over and what have you. It felt like whatever she did outstanding was just an afterthought. It lacked character development, something I crave for in fantasy books. The Darkling on the other hand, is something I want to read more of. I wanted to know more about his backstory and his real name (if that was somehow mentioned and my mind spaced out, forgive me). You gotta admit there is this enigma surrounding his character. The characters in this book didn’t catch my attention. None of them I have rooted for, or none of them appealed so much to me, which proves to be a problem when one reads a fantasy book, You have to be invested at least in the characters for your to have that driving factor to move forward no matter how plain the plot was. So there’s that.

Plot wise, Shadow and Bone was lacklustre. There was so much potential yet it was not fully explored. It fell short in all sense of the word. Like there could have been so much more, so much more. The author could have played with it, say, made it more complex, or gave it more texture. I don’t really know what’s needed for it to be amazing, all I know is I really wanted more from it. I finished the book feeling unsatisfied. I was told it gets better, but I won’t jump immediately on to the next book. I will take a break delving into Siege and Storm. I need to cleanse my palate first. So sorry but the hype was overrated. I would let my disappointment die down, or who knows I might just go ahead and read Six of Crows instead!

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Finished this one two weeks ago and forgot to post my mini review here. So here goes my 2 cents. 2.5⭐️⭐️✨ Verdict: Meh. I’m sorry but this book is really hard to get into. I didn’t have it in me to be excited about it. I just wanted to get it over and done with so I can proceed to other books. Maybe I would just go ahead and read Six of Crows since I have been hearing that it is far greater than this one. We will see about that. Shadow and Bone was a bit anticlimactic. There are so many missed opportunities to make it more solid and impactful. It really had the potential to be more epic, but the narration and world building just isn’t a cut above the rest. I found Alina’s character to be too weak, indecisive, push-over and what have you. It felt like whatever she did outstanding was just an afterthought. It lacked character development, something I crave for in fantasy books. I will take a break delving into Siege and Storm. I need to cleanse my palate first. So sorry but the hype was overrated. ••• Did you like this series? Does it get better? I need the extra push to read Siege and Storm! #ShadowandBone #LeighBardugo

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The Octopus Curse by Salma Farook | Book Review

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Science would have us believe that we are nothing but cell upon cell. I disagree. We are made up of stories. The stories we hear from our mothers, the ones we tell our daughters. The tales we share with sisters and friends. The ones we never say out loud, but are heavy on our minds and run like a fever in our blood.

There are a multitude of great divides between us; race, religion, cultures, the way we dress, the languages we speak, but the stories we tell bridge us together in the universal tongue of smiles, tears, pain and laughter. They remind us that, as women, we’re all chasing similar fairy-tales.

This book is a call to celebrate the bridges, delight in our stories and to focus on the joy in our lives right now, rather than racing behind the happily-ever-after. That will come in it’s own time.

Date Published: November 1, 2019

Date Read: November 1, 2019

Publisher: SeaShell Publications

No. of Pages: 208

Genre: Contemporary Poetry

Get Your Copy Here: Amazon | Book Depository | Barnes & Noble

Ebook copy can be downloaded for free on Amazon until November 5th!

 

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It has been a while since I last read a poetry book, so much so that I crave the feeling it gives me. That feeling of calm, some sense of inner peace that I don’t get from other genres. Poetry is the language within which people are united to share a universal emotion and experience, whatever situation they find themselves in. The Octopus Curse gave the same feeling, same impact.

The Octopus Curse is such a gorgeous book. Aesthetically pleasing. You’ll notice how much effort, art and hard work were put into it. That cover alone will catch your attention. But it isn’t just a book with a pretty face, its contents are amazing as well. I specifically love the correlation of the Octopus to human’s emotions. I like that it has varied topics, most especially the ones about travelling and woman empowerment. The Octopus Curse  is a celebration and acknowledgment, as much as it is bitter reality and unmasked truths. I loved how the author were able to bring out certain topics with ease, not beating around the bush but directly saying what needs to be said, and that is an important attribute of a good poetry book.

The Octopus Curse is a mixture of poems about love, heartbreak, self discovery, woman empowerment, rape culture, immigrants, mothers and so on. While these are some great topics, I would have liked it more if the poems are divided equally into these topics. Giving great emphasis to each. Maybe putting these topics into sections in the book might have warranted a five star rating for me. The Octopus Curse isn’t divided in parts, it was a continuous one with varied topics inserted here and there, but mostly it tackles love and heartbreak. While there is nothing completely wrong with that, I just wish there was more to it. More poems on immigrants and race, more on mothers. I wish it was more well put-together. I wanted to feel and experience the full extent of it and not just fragments. I will be waiting for her next collection as I am sure this poet has all the potential to surpass her current greatness, and I’ll be there to see it!

 

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MIGRANT

“I am the bridge between continents,
The merger of languages,
The fusion of cultures.
I am the reminder that the lines
We once drew between ourselves
Were not meant to be fractures,
But only to show how our borders
Fall together like puzzle pieces”

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THE OCTOPUS CURSE by @salma.farook . SYNOPSIS: Science would have us believe that we are nothing but cell upon cell. I disagree. We are made up of stories. The stories we hear from our mothers, the ones we tell our daughters. The tales we share with sisters and friends. The ones we never say out loud, but are heavy on our minds and run like a fever in our blood. There are a multitude of great divides between us; race, religion, cultures, the way we dress, the languages we speak, but the stories we tell bridge us together in the universal tongue of smiles, tears, pain and laughter. They remind us that, as women, we’re all chasing similar fairy-tales. This book is a call to celebrate the bridges, delight in our stories and to focus on the joy in our lives right now, rather than racing behind the happily-ever-after. That will come in it’s own time. ••• First off, this book is gorgeous! I love how so much art and hard work was put into it! Today it is set to be released in the wild, don’t forget to get a copy! While you sit there, you can download the ebook on Amazon for free until November 5 (link in my bio). Watch out for my review! Happy Book Birthday, Octopus Curse! #poetry #OctopusCurse #SalmaFarook

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