People usually have a tendency to look for a familiar face in the crowd. Or they used to. I don’t know because nowadays all I see on social media is ‘I avoid people’ or ‘I hate people’ themed memes. To be honest I could relate to many of them too. But yet again I am comforted by a familiar face. Why I said this as a preface is that I am going to tell you about my weird or not so weird habit. May be many of you also already have it. If there is a book stack in the movie or the series I am watching, I’ll just pause it and look carefully at the titles to see if there is anything familiar. When I find one I’ll be all glad like unexpectedly running into an old but dear friend. “Oh my god, is that you dear..”
And sometimes if I find books that are on my whether to read it or not list, I’ll definitely read it. Because somehow I am convinced that the book is worth giving a shot since the production people decided to put it up among the others. I conveniently avoids the possibility that the director might have said ‘just bring in some books to fill these shelves to make the character look like a reader’. Instead I create an imaginary scenario where the director give those specific titles to the assistant, to bring in because they are some fine works and he/she want their viewers to know how tasteful the character’s choices are.
See, I told you it is a weird habit. Or not. I don’t know. You tell me. What is you weird habit. And what is your take on books shown in movies? Tell us in the comments.. Ciao Buddies …
Flawed is one of the perfect books Cecelia Ahern has ever written. It’s her first YA (Young Adult ) . Those who don’t know what YA stands for no need to worry. Young Adult is genre of fiction for readers from 12-18. It mainly deals with friendship, first love, relationships, and identity. And Flawed is a combination of all the four. First of all I would like to appreciate Cecelia Ahern for getting out of her comfort zone.
“I am a girl of definitions, of logic, of black and white. Remember this.“
That is all the first chapter says. The novel goes through the perspective of Celestine North and the lines said earlier is by her. That’s enough to deduce her character. She is a model daughter and model student. Her life is picture perfect. She is dating Art Crevan, the son of Judge Crevan. Bosco Crevan is the head judge of a committee named the Guild. Now let me explain you the system of guild. It is a system to inquire and punish people who are accused of being Flawed. The flawed are common citizens who have made moral or ethical mistakes. It’s like a different version of common judicial system. The crimes are different and so are the punishments.
Wanna feel chills on your spine, listen to this. On the first day of trial which is called the naming day, the judges decide whether the accused is flawed or not. If yes, the crimes he/she did is named in public and a brand F is seared on one of the five parts of the person’s body. The branding location depends on the crime.
1. Bad decision – The temple 2. Lying – The tongue 3. Stealing – The right palm 4. Disloyalty towards the Guild – The chest over the heart 5. Stepping out of line with society – The sole of their right foot.
They sear this brand to the body of the people. Don’t think the punishment ends here. Nope. It’s just the beginning. The branding is how it begins. Lives of the flawed people are restricted, controlled and strictly monitored. They lose all their privileges. Whistleblowers are police like figures of Guild, who arrest and control the flawed people. They are authoritarian. Some people are appointed like supervisors to the flawed to do surprise visits and inspection. They make sure the flawed are not wearing their favourite clothes or not eating tasty food. Or they are not outside of the house past curfew time. Basically those monitors make sure that the flawed are not leading a normal or happy life.
Remember Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne. Just like that in here the flawed are asked to wear an arm band with a red letter F on their sleeve so as to identify them in a crowd. No more than two flawed can stand, sit or talk together. They are not allowed to eat what they like or wear their favourite colours. They are not allowed to stay out of the house after 10 pm.
Our girl, Celestine is in full favour of this system, because she believes it is necessary for a flawless future generation. Her mother is a model in high demand and her father is the head of a news channel. She has one younger sister and brother. The perfect family. Her life takes a turn for the worse when she helps an old flawed man on a bus. After that all of a sudden she is the centre of attraction. ‘Judge Crevan’s son’s girlfriend is on trial for a flaw’. The flaw being aiding a flawed person. That’s right, she is on trial for helping an old sick man who happened to be a flawed. She hasn’t done a crime. So she won’t be going to prison. She is just ethically flawed and hence official police and judiciary have nothing to do with her. Here begins the trial of Celestine North and her own conscience. I will narrate the story till this only. Now you should read the book to know what is the punishment for helping a flawed person.
What happens with Celestine changes the life of not just her or her family. But the whole of the flawed community. The peace and order the society had till then is starts break down. Celestine was a person who always followed logic and what happend in her life was illogical to her. (To us, also ). The plot takes place in an unmentioned dystopian society where being flawless is the ultimate goal. The girl who lived her whole life according to definitions is suddenly put in the opposite side of the society.
The thing about this novel is that the language is simple and plain with no embellishments. Such a page turner it is that you can finish it within two days. Also the story is with lots of cliffhanger and exciting events that you’ll find it hard to put down. It begins like any other Cecelia’s novels. But when we meet the Guild, it becomes difficult to not acknowledge the author’s brilliance in coming up with such ideas. Though it is Young adult for teens, I can promise you that adults also will love it. I really feel like telling you what happens next but that’ll be unfair to you. The struggle Celestine faces is the rest of the story. Not just struggles but also threats. It’s kind of obvious what will happen to the guild system. Too many cooks spoil the broth, right?
There is an incident that made me feel anger pulsating through my veins. The woman incharge of Celestine goes through the her diary without her permission. Because apparently a flawed is not allowed to have privacy. Again they are less than humans. God I wanted to punch that sneaky bi***.
(Nope.. Nope.. No violence.. Breath in Breath out…) The one thing I hate to the core is reading someone else’s personal diary. It’s one of the most heinous non-crime crime. Celestine’s life doesn’t end there. Yes her life is changed. She is thrown far away from being perfect. (Read it) There is a limit for her family in helping her. Art (boyfriend) or Juniper (sister) can’t do much. But there are people who can help her. The Flawed.
The novel ends in middle of a crucial situation. The novel became a huge hit within a few days because the plot is such gripping. It’s one of the books which I want to see as a movie. It would be amazing. Let me draw a picture for you. The trailer begins with Celestine celebrating earth day with her family and Judge Crevan. Art and her holding hands and sneaking a kiss. Suddenly sirens and whistleblowers in the background. They drag a woman out of her house infront of everyone. Celestine and family become worried and scared. Art tries to hold her hand to comfort, but she rids the hand and hugs herself nervously. Next scene should be the old man on the bus coughing and collapsing, Celestine carries and supports him. A serious looking Judge Bosco Crevan is zoomed in. People booing and protesting against Celestine, close up of the branding tool. A scared Celestine is looking around. A reporter animatedly talking infront of a crowd. Close up of her family crying, She is running frantically through the jungle, the back shot of a boy talking to Celestine. Again so much running and finally a puzzled Celestine is in the middle of the road at night, with a car stopped right infront of her, the lights blinding her vision and an outline of a woman can be seen.
Alright. may be my version of trailer is so cliche. But then again I am 100% sure this novel would make a superb movie. I could feel what she was going through. I could empathize with her. The book has a sequel titled Perfect which was again such an eventful one. To know the story completely you need to read both. I liked Cecelia even before I read Flawed. But after reading it and Perfect, I am head over heels for her. Read it guys. It’s a simple and plain YA thriller.
If you have read these novels, comment your opinions and reviews. If you liked my review please follow my page. I am just beginner so your feedback will be so much appreciated. Ciao buddies…
I like reading books from a young age. Like when I was a preteen and all. But then somehow I lost the habit and had a dry life till my 16. That’s when I found a novel named I Too had a Love Story by Ravinder Singh. It’s a romantic tragedy in which the girlfriend dies at the end. There, I told you the story now you don’t have to read it and get your hopes up on Ravinder Singh. Because I was so overwhelmed by the novel and it’s climax that I cried inconsolably leading to a not so bad headache. God my eyes were sore that day. I have decided that ‘It’s fixed, from now on Ravinder Singh is my official favourite author’. The second novel came out and I bought that also and read. That time I was like ‘hmm, okay , Maybe not as good as the first one’ Then the third one came out and I scratched off his name from my favourite author and read Chetan Bhagat. There also I was impressed by only one of his works and then I got bored . During my Degree time I was sitting idly in my room and never bothered to hit the college library even for once. I saw a book on my room mate’s table. It had a picture of woman and a man lying on it’s cover and the title said, ‘P. S I Love You‘. (Drum rolls)
Was the book Good? Yeah! Did I love it? Yeah! Did I cry? A lot! Did I find my lost passion of reading? Hell yeah !!
Cecelia Ahern’s writing career began with the publication of P. S I Love You. So did my reading habit. I loved her every single work and I collected and read them twice or even thrice sometime. Her writing makes me feel that a friend is talking to me. I read all her novels and all of them are my favourites. But then again if I have to choose a top five ( there is no way I can shortlist them to two or three) I will put them like this. I won’t rank them, still. 💎 The Time of My Life 💎 The Book of Tomorrow 💎 Flawed & Perfect 💎 How to fall in Love 💎 If You Could See Me Now
I didn’t add P. S I Love You on the list because I thought it was obvious. After finishing Cecelia’s works I read some in Malayalam, my mother tongue. After that I read some of Jodi Picoult’s and John Green’s. Of Course I followed Nicholas Sparks also but soon I lost interest because it’s always the same thread. Boy meets girl, love happens, someone has a fatal disease, conflicts happens, someone with the disease dies. End of story. My favourite work of his is TheGuardian. (Ooh Goosebumps ).
Then I switched my interest into Crime/Mystery/psychological thrillers. But it was limited you know. I meant my reading. I chose Lars Kepler mainly to be blown away by crime thrillers. Among her The Stalker became my favourite. I read the Princess Trilogy by Jean Sasson Still Alice by Lisa Genova. The latter is such an amazing work of which I had written a review already.
I don’t know why I am telling you people all these. But now and then I am like Archimedes when he found his Principle. I am stricken with a sudden thought of book or movie and pour myself out on this page. If you are following me you can expect my doodlings. Most often they won’t be typical reviews or anything. Because who am I to judge an art. It’s more like how I felt about it. So if that’s what you want please do follow my page. If you want me to talk about any of the book just comment, if I have read it already then I will tell you. If I haven’t, I apologize in advance .
‘Your daughter needs a new heart. The only match comes from a murderer. What would you do?’
This is the caption I found on my copy of Change of Heart by Jodi Picoult. I read the caption. Pretty interesting situation. Then I started to read the novel. Man, if only the situation was as simple and straight as the way caption puts it.
June’s husband dies in a car accident from which she and their daughter escapes. She is remarried to a police officer who helped her through the trauma. Five years later she is expecting her and Kurt’s child when he and Elizabeth (her daughter from the first marriage) is shot dead by a carpenter (Shay Bourne) who worked for them.
The child is born with a severe heart condition that affects her life(gee give June a break, right? ). At the age of eleven, Claire is going through a hard phase in dire need of a heart. Let’s just pause there.
With a caption like that, we think the main character is the mother. Well, nope. Draw a word web of sun and she will be one of the many rays that surrounds the circle. And in the circle stands Shay Bourne, the murderer. Exactly. He is the centre of everything (no pun intended). He is the first person in the last 58 years of New Hampshire to receive a death sentence. At the early 20s he is put in the jail to be executed. Somehow it gets delayed, for 11 years. Now strange things start to happen in the jail. The pipe water suddenly turns into wine. A dead bird comes back to life when Shay touches it. He shares a small piece of gum with 7 other inmates and still some it is left. Most importantly, Lucius, the guy in the neighbouring cell gets cured of AIDS leaving no symptom to indicate that he was a severe patient till yesterday. So is officer Smythe’s son. Ring any bells? Turning water into wine, giving life to dead, curing the sick! Quite familiar scenarios, right? Well, what happens in jail never stays in jail. People around came to know about it and they declared Shay Bourne, a convict for double murder, the messiah. But Shay Bourne wants nothing but to be able to donate his heart to Claire Nealon after his execution. Which by the way is not possible if he is executed by lethal injection. Here comes Father Michael as spiritual advisor and Maggie Blooms as his self appointed attorney. They tries to help Shay inorder to help themselves. Another example for there is no selfless good deed. (Again F.R.I.E.N.D.S reference) Father Michael wants to make up for what happened in the past (read the novel, if you want to know what it is. I can’t tell you everything). Maggie wants to remove execution from the penal system.
The novel is not entirely focused on a mother’s dilemma of whether to accept the heart of the perpetrator. It’s much more than that. From the beginning itself we get the feeling that the culprit is given more importance than the victims. Towards the middle we find ourselves on the side of Shay. At one point I was so excited for this Shay guy that I had to smack my own back of the head and say stop cheering for a criminal. As pages turned I was literally confused about Shay. People called him Messiah and Jesus incarnated. We are given so many parallels between the both. But, no. Shay is not Jesus. He is just a man who followed the path of Jesus and worked for the greater good.
About this novel, it gives you a new perspective on religion. TBH this novel was equally informative and entertaining. God, this is why I love reading novels. I don’t know how Judi Picoult come up with such brilliant plots. I would suggest everyone to read this novel Change of Heart. You don’t have to be religious to read and enjoy this book. Coz this one is not about religion but about human and humanity. Then again, we can easily call GOod Deeds GOD. The plot is full of crucial events. Loads of miracles to pull us more into the world of characters . The journey through this novel is more like unravelling the character of Shay Bourne. His character remains mysterious even at the end of the novel. I’ll tell you why.
Claire walks back to life with Shay’s heart beating inside her. She finds that her dog lying motionless. She checks for heartbeat which has already left the body. She calls out for her mother and hugs the dog’s dead body. Now it’s time for the final miracle. When she keeps the dog close to her heart, Dudley’s heart starts to beat again. Dudley is alive again. Okay so may be it’s not a final miracle, it could be the beginning of some new miracles.
Like Kurt Nealon says, people are never who you think they are. Read it guys. It’s really good.
They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. Pretty optimistic and encouraging proverb, right? But what if life gives you lemons but you forget how to make lemonade, or worse fail to spell or even identify lemons. I guess that’s what an early onset of alzheimer’s do to you. Lisa Genova has told the story of Alice Howland, a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and how her picture perfect life gets changed by a neurodegenerative disease. Being a Neuroscientist her career might have helped the author to bring life to the characters in the novel. I read the book some years ago and after that I watched the movie also. The plot is so gripping that here and there you get a lump in your throat. Sometimes while talking about her symptoms and how she feels and how her family feel, we feel like we are nibbling at a lime. It’s sour.
Everyone forget things. Sometimes random things, sometimes important things too.. But what if at one point we look at our parents or best friend cluelessly, trying to figure out who they are. And then all of a sudden you are reminded of who they are, then comes the drowning feeling and pangs of fear. I can’t even imagine how awful they must have felt. Going unrecognised by our beloved is a nightmare for many of us. The movie also is a brilliant depiction. Julienne Moore literally live as Alice Howland. The scenes where she forget the bathroom of her own house and cries, man, it definitely is heartbreaking. (It’s not like I forgot the scene where she fails to recognize her own daughter, but still).I felt like holding her close and comforting her. Thank God her husband John comes and helps her. Both the movie and the book are awesome. No wonder the book was a best seller then and Julianne Moore won an Academy Award for Best Actress at the 87th Academy Awards for her role as Alice Howland. I love this novel, you know. It was like talking to Alice or watching her life and career in it’s peak and then watching things fall apart around her and her not being able to pick it up. Alzheimer’s takes our Alice from her own world where everyone and everything is comforting and familiar and make her walk through some strange land where she finds it difficult to recognize people, place and she has no idea how to get out of there. You didn’t think the choice of name was random, did you? No one dies in this movie or book. But still you feel sad. You see how hard Alice try to keep the disease at bay. Her family tries to change themselves to fit perfectly together with their beloved. They try their best to make things easier for Alice. She is trying her best to remain the same Alice. Memories and knowledge and all other things that made her what she is now, is slipping away through her fingers. She tries to hold on to them in vain. Her words are taken away from her. But she is still Alice, whatever may happen.
The words that come from her revealing how helpless she feels, hit you hard. And it hit you even harder when you realize that, although fiction, this could be true since the person who wrote it, is a neuroscientist, she knows better and it could be real. More lumps in the throat.