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‘Love Story’ by Eric Segal is a famous romance bestseller. Its an unusual love story with bouts of unusual romance coupled with a touch of sadness. It is a short book, almost a novella and can be read in no time.
Oliver Barrett IV is a descendant of a rich, old family and he is a Harvard student who wants to pursue a career in law. Oliver falls in love with an ordinary(read no heritage and poor) girl studying in Radcliffe, Jeniffer Cavilleri. They plan to eventually get married which causes Oliver’s father to disinherit him. After marriage, its difficult to earn money but they pull through. However, a tragedy cuts this pretty love story short.
The good thing about ‘Love Story’ is that Eric Segal does not make the two protagonists fall in love in a cliched manner-like love at first sight or the guy doing the most chivalrous things or making disgusting promises to woo the girl. Its a quick romance with a few swear words thrown in(Its amazing how profanity can be romantic in ‘Love Story’). I have never seen a romantic novel where swear words and insulting each other contributes to building up the love between a girl and a guy!
Its written from a male perspective which I think is rare as most love stories have a woman’s point of view or have a woman as the narrator.
The book’s length is an advantage and a disadvantage simultaneously. On one hand ‘Love Story’ makes for a short read. But it is this short length that doubles up as a disadvantage too because it does not allow depth in the story and in the characters. It almost becomes a breezy, unmoving read because there is not much descriptions about either Oliver’s or Jeniffer’s feelings or their relationship.
Too much use of American slang also creates a casual effect, not a deep one . It feels like it is not a profound love story but rather just an ordinary one. The short length and slang usage contribute in diluting the sadness at the end of the novel.
The last word-‘Love Story’ is no doubt a good romantic read but it is definitely not the best. Its only a one time read!
Its a sweet and cute book which has a touch of hilarity, grief, fun as well as goodness. Holly Kennedy lost her childhood sweetheart and husband, Gerry due to brain tumor. Holly misses him like hell and feels her emotions overwhelming and confusing. She does not know how to live without Gerry. However, she learns to do that through her own understanding, her family and her best friends and a list that Gerry had prepared for Holly.
Its a breezy read, very easygoing(except dome parts where Holly is thoughtful about herself, her life and Gerry) with a light writing style. ‘P.S. I Love You‘ is not very descriptive but it is mostly active and happening with many events occurring in the book. The story is well laid out. It is a tad bit cliched but fortunately it is not about a guy and a girl stereotypically falling in love. Its an emotional story of a widow coping with an immense loss. Despite such a serious issue, the book is surprisingly not very deep, in fact it is light and relaxing. It ends on a positive note which is heartening.
All chick lit fans will love ‘P.S. I Love You‘, they will be delighted in reading the book.
‘Twilight’ by Stephanie Meyer is a huge bestseller all over the world with scores of die-hard fans. I got bitten by this vampire saga when one of my friends told me about the story. I got interested, bought the book and devoured it immediately. ”Twilight’ is the first in the series of four books written by Meyer. It is an extraordinarily different love story with a unique characterization of vampires.
The story is about Isabella Swan, a human, who moves to a town called Forks to live with her dad, Charlie. At Forks High School, she meets Edward Cullen, a vampire, whom she falls,’ unconditionally and irrevocably in love with.’ It then goes on to describe their love story-how they meet, get to know each other and fall deeply in love. However, it is not easy to be in love with a vampire-there are conditions and dangers Bella has to face each time she is with Edward. It is a revelatory book that explores Edward’s world through Bella’s eyes and at each step of the novel there is something new the reader gets to know about Edward and his family.
Its pros are the vivid and detailed descriptions by Meyer which make the story come alive. Secondly, Meyer has not portrayed vampires in a stereotypical way. Instead she has used her imagination to the fullest and given these vampires different traits. It is refreshing to see something that is not heavily influenced by Bram Stoker’s book Dracula. Thirdly the language is appealing, simple, comprehensible and hugely descriptive. It is a complete book and very well written.
The cons of ‘Twilight’ are the lack of importance to Isabella’s character and her constant gushing over Edward. The book can get a tad bit too mushy and overly romantic at times.
MY VERDICT- a thoroughly good read, a complete paisa vasool, the sort of book you simply read for pleasure, for fun and don’t have to break your head over. With 434 pages, ‘Twilight’ is an engaging book and a light read.
P.S. For those who don’t like romantic novels or who prefer vampires to be evil creatures that roam in the dark, ‘Twilight’ may not be the book for you!
‘Great Gatsby‘ by Scott Fitzgerald was not a book I would usually pick to read(although my Junior College teacher did recommend this book). And so I read this book as part of my English Literature class.
What did I think of this book?
Frankly, this book is brilliant and proffers a valuable insight into the America of 1920s’. However, in order to actually understand the myriad symbolism, the nuances and the general feel and brilliance of the book, one probably has to read the book more than once(unless one is an amazing reader who can pick up symbolism on the first read itself). A background knowledge of the author and his circumstances as well as his feelings when writing the book will go a long way in helping the reader understand the general purpose of ‘Great Gatsby‘.
That said, I’ll proceed to the story. As the title suggests its about a man named Jay Gatsby who belongs to the the increasing number of nouveau riche people springing up in the US in the 1920s’, who throws a gazillion grand, elaborate parties in his equally splendid mansion. The narrator is Gatsby’s neighbour Nick Carraway. The story represents the utter degradation of American society and its people by weaving its way through Nick’s perceptions and the love between the enigmatic Gatsby and Nick’s cousin Daisy. Subtly Fitzgerald has conveyed why Gatsby is great and has thus, by doing this, justified the title of the novel.
‘Great Gatsby‘ is replete with symbols such as the ‘green light’ and the ‘valley of ashes.’ It can be seen as a love story or as a comment on the hollowness of the American dream or as a symbolic novel. I see it as a mix of all three. I will refrain from reviewing Fitzgerald’s writing style and the characters. The former because I do not think I am qualified and knowledgeable to do that and the latter because I can write pages and pages of character analysis after having studied the novel so thoroughly. And so many pages on just that one topic can be downright boring!
To conclude I would definitely put ‘Great Gatsby‘ on my ‘must-read’ list because of the story, its representation of the Jazz Age from a completely different angle, an angle where the 1920s’ is not all glamorous but in fact quite superficial and status centered; its writing and its unique symbolism. However the book requires mental effort as understanding its purpose can be difficult(I too understood the book wholly only after our English Literature madam explained it brilliantly). So for those reading for pleasure and time pass, this is not the book for you because without understanding the actual purpose, the story will appear merely ordinary(which it is not).However for the classic literature fans and those with an intellectual bend, ‘Great Gatsby‘ is really great!