Book Review- Inferno by Dan Brown

17212231Goodreads Synopsis: In his international blockbusters The Da Vinci Code,Angels & Demons, and The Lost Symbol, Dan Brown masterfully fused history, art, codes, and symbols. In this riveting new thriller, Brown returns to his element and has crafted his highest-stakes novel to date.

In the heart of Italy, Harvard professor of symbology Robert Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centered on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces . . . Dante’s Inferno.

Against this backdrop, Langdon battles a chilling adversary and grapples with an ingenious riddle that pulls him into a landscape of classic art, secret passageways, and futuristic science. Drawing from Dante’s dark epic poem, Langdon races to find answers and decide whom to trust . . . before the world is irrevocably altered.

Inferno broke me out of my slow-paced disinterested reading rut with its fast-paced plot and thankfully short chapters, making it easy to complete within a week despite loads of college work. Having said this, I did however, have a few issues with it.

First off, the descriptive parts of the novel pertaining to architecture and art did come off as a pompous and overly drawn out to fill pages.  The description of Botticelli’s Map of Hell, the Vasari Corridor etc. was tedious in the midst of the plot, serving as roadblocks on a highway.

This was also the first time Dan Brown tried to infuse biologoical and genetic concepts (like that of exponential population growth) into his writing, blending them with pieces of art and literature alike. This unnatural and far-fetched collaboration of science and art did not merge well into a cohesive story line, similar to a preschooler attempting to fit a square block into a triangular hole. They simply do not fit…not in this way at least. I’m not so sure Dante would be impressed with the inculcation of his famous Inferno into this Dan Brown novel.

Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a quick read and something fast-paced, Inferno would serve that purpose.

Rating: 2/5

Binge-Watching is better than Stinge-Watching


I’ve always found it easier to go to the extremes of the spectrum instead of sitting square in the middle of it. I listen to the same song on repeat until I get sick of it and the same goes for food and there are a few regrets there but one thing I do not regret is binge-watching. Call it being immature or being unable to exercise self control but I binge-watch TV shows A LOT.

Being a college student wrapped up with deadlines and assignments at the end of the semester, there isn’t much time to get your head around a really good TV series. When you’ve got time off before your finals, however, binge-watching is back with a bang, filling days that you should be studying with much more entertainment than they should be.

I just finished binge-watching Breaking Bad for the third time and god knows how many times I’ve done the same with Friends. When things get too intense in the drama, comedy acts as a nice little reprieve so at least there is some sort of balance in my binge-viewing.

When I first started watching Breaking Bad it was on an overnight bus ride where I couldn’t sleep. I’d been postponing watching the show for a while and then I thought what the hell and pressed play. That was it. I was hooked from the word go. Suddenly when my laptop battery died I was left on the edge of suspense and what would ultimately lead to a full-fledged addiction to the show. I remember finishing the entire second season in a day.

Some  people think binge-watching is unhealthy because it disrupts your sleep cycle  resulting from the inability to stop watching multiple episodes continuously and it could also potentially lead to obsessions with TV series.

To this I argue that when you focus on one show in particular you can really invest in the plot and the whole world behind it instead of just skimming the surface. It really sticks with you and it can be intense, depending on the show of course.(Plus, I don’t sleep early anyway so I might as well do something with that time, right? )

Infographic: Binge Watching TV

However, my only issue with binge-watching is that you don’t get to watch a TV show evolve over time like I did with Dexter.

What are your thoughts?


City Lights


Paint an expanse of darkness

With specks of sparkling light

That dance like little shards

Burning ever bright

And if you cannot illuminate

At least catch fireflies in a jar

To light the way in needful times

Or maybe keep a few spare stars

But I see other ways to shine down

Light a lamp or billboard sign

Light a candle by the window

And you will know that it is mine

Each one spreads the glow

Till it speckles the dark night

I can see them dancing as I watch

That’s the beauty of city lights


An Open Letter to Potterheads


Dear Potterheads,

We’ve grown up with Harry, Ron and Hermione. We’ve gone to theatres and stood in line at midnight for tickets and copies of the books when they released. We’ve dressed up as the characters for Halloween (I’ve gone as Hermione) and pretended we went to Hogwarts with them. We had Harry Potter birthday cakes and themed parties because that was all the rage when we were seven years old.

Now, here I am at nineteen mourning the end of my favourite series of all time. Sometimes it just hits me that…it’s over. There will be no more books and movies. There may be spin offs surfacing but I won’t love it like the original, of that I’m sure. But one thing I am sure of is that we, the Potterheads, will remain. We’re just as much a part of Harry Potter as Harry Potter is of us. To us, Harry and his friends are immortal. Each one of them has taught us something different. Worth more than a school education, that’s for sure.

We have Harry who taught us to be brave and value our loved ones then Ron who taught us how to laugh and to be loyal. Hermione taught us that intelligence is endearing and Luna taught us that it’s okay to be different. Malfoy taught us that somehow we can fight the pressure to do wrong, that we don’t have to be what people expect us to be. He’s a moral standpoint. Dumbledore taught us not to judge a book by it’s cover and that silver beards that flow to the ground are wicked cool. And Hagrid taught us that it’s okay to bring home dragon eggs from strangers except that it’ll be a whole lot of trouble. But I think Hagrid would definitely say that it’s worth it.

One day younger generations will pick up a copy and read it. For them it will be a classic and we can proudly say we were there for it all.

We lived it and we loved it.


one among you

p.s I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.

I decided to write to one fandom instead of one person for this one 🙂

The Boy with the Blue Eyes


He sees the world through eyes of blue
Sadness overshadows their shade
Wondering whether it is true
That everyone is betrayed

Mother said be careful child
The world is not quite so kind
She told him as she wryly smiled
It’s a place where the blind do not lead the blind

He sees the world through eyes of blue
A ray of hope overshadows their shade
Thinking about the love of his life be true
Her presence making him less afraid

Having met in the orchards green
The sun had settled safely
She looked a vision, unseen
Radiant, beautiful and lovely

He sees the world through eyes of blue
Rage overshadowing their shade
Angry that it was true
Kindness is nothing but a charade

His eyes, an open window

Making him full of hatred

That the world can be so shallow

Devoid of light instead

Boy with the blue eyes
Sees more than you and I ever could
Boy with the blue eyes
Feels more than even he should

For feeling and seeing too much
One day it will be his downfall
Soon, he will no longer be
The boy with the blue eyes at all

Parking Lots

I waited round by the parking lot, leaning against a Range Rover parked on the lowest level. The lights overhead flickered and danced, reminding me of horror films. Thrusting my hand in my coat pocket, I pulled out a pack of cigarettes and a lighter.

Always good for the nerves.

The breeze picked up and the lit flame swayed. Balancing the stick between my lips, I inadvertently thought of all the ‘smoking kills’ adverts. The ones displaying gruesome spew accumulating in lungs of chain smokers.

To hell with them.

I lit it up and took a slow drag, exhaling poisoned air.

“Thought you quit.” A voice reverberated in the empty space, hollow sounding. It was the kind of voice that would do well in those pesky adverts. The kind of voice you’d choose for your conscience because even though it sometimes said the exact things you didn’t want to hear, it at least sounded good. That was Harry’s voice.

“I say that every week.”

“Yeah, you do.” He sighed, standing next to me.

We stood like that for a few minutes, the sound of his shoes scraping in horizontal lines disrupting the silence.

“Everything is fucked.” I muttered.

“What happened?”

“You’re not here anymore.” I stubbed out the cigarette, crushing it under foot. “You don’t nag me about my smoking or any of my other habits… I lost my oldest friend. So I guess, with each cigarette, I’m closer to seeing you. Closer to resuming those talks at 5 am about which shit kicker band we ought to go see next down at the bar because all of them were pretty terrible but the drinks made them sound okay…wow, we used to drink quite a lot. I never thought about it. How many times did we stumble back to our places drunk?”

There was no response. Then I remember he had too many whiskies one night. That was all it took.

The moment of insanity had passed.

I really wished it hadn’t.

The Brutal Honesty Checklist

  1. Ensure you are prepared for this supposed ‘brutal honesty’ you seek because most people say they’d rather someone told them something to their face instead of behind their back but when it actually happens they have no idea what to do. Remember, sticks and stones may break your bones but names will certainly hurt you if you let them.
  2. Make sure the person from whom you expect honesty from is someone whose judgement is sound as opposed to askew. You wouldn’t demand a doctor to critique your essay on communism. At the end of the day, not everyone knows enough to be honest with you and it’s just absurd how we take the wrong people’s critique.
  3. It’s either brutal or honest never both. As Richard J. Needham said, “People who are brutally honest get more satisfaction out of the brutality  than out of the honesty.” People are just waiting to tear you apart. Does that qualify as brutal honesty? No, it does not. Don’t listen to it.

So after you’ve thought about it all, makes more sense to seek constructive criticism instead, doesn’t it?