‘My name is August. I won’t describe what I look like. Whatever you’re thinking, it’s probably worse.’ A usual middle school life has fights, punches, suspensions, bullying, name-calling, dating, pranks—but when August Pullman a boy who loves ice cream and plays Xbox like any other kid goes to school, we see the true colours of children.
Bad Influence is one of those books that you don’t have much faith in, when you pick it up—but once you’ve gotten past the first five pages, suddenly you’re invested in the characters and the story to such a point that you desperately need to find out what happens next, even if you have a fair idea. And that, in truth, is the book’s real success.
If you like your young adult novel sepia-tinted, then this book is for you. The beautifully detailed cover illustration of lilies in shades of grey, beige and the cleverest touch of red captures the mood of the book. It is a sombre account of twelve year old Evelyn’s journey from Argentina to war-torn England.
Selected Stories By Charles Dickens contains eight of the master’s stories. Primarily known for his novels dealing with the industrial revolution and child labour, this collection reveals what range Dickens had and reminds one (after reading and forgetting his prose in school/college) what a terrific storyteller he is.
Author Shalini Srinivasan certainly has a weird and wonderful imagination. It’s almost as though mere words cannot do justice to the way her thoughts spiral out, creating bizarre characters and new worlds, fabulous realms and fables that might rival the ones found in our own Upanishads.