Reinvention and Second Chances

‘Sometimes you need a second chance, because you weren’t quite ready for the first.’

We all have such moments where we soulfully wish for a second chance, because we weren’t quite alert when the first one knocked at our door. They are awful times when a person truly regrets his/her mistakes for neglecting the first opportunity and is so desperate to prove oneself again, if only they get the second chance.

The Afterlife of Holly Chase by Cynthia Hand is one such book where we appreciate the positive outcomes of second chances. Published on October 24, 2017, this beautiful retelling of Christmas Carol took me by surprise and blew me away with quite an intriguing plot and a fresh, realistic protagonist.

This book starts with the story of a seventeen-year-old girl, Holly Chase who is selfish, rude, and obsessed with wealth and fame. She is least bothered about others and is terribly mean to everyone around her, resembling the character of Ebenezer Scrooge in A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. On Christmas Eve, Holly is visited by the ghosts of her present, past, and future who try to show her how she has grown up to be a spoilt and selfish person. They try to convince her on mending her mean ways, but our dear Holly brushes off the first opportunity and ends up dead. The book continues with the life of Holly Chase after her death, where she works for a top-secret company Project Scrooge as the latest ghost of Christmas Past. This company aims at reforming people who are ill-mannered for the betterment of the world. The story takes us on a beautiful, hilarious journey with the selfish Holly Chase on her road to redemption. Does she actually have a second chance is what the book is about. It is a light read and makes us root for Holly’s happiness even though she is a very selfish, mean person. It was like reading a modern version of A Christmas Carol and I am so very glad that I picked this book up.

I loved the way the book dealt with a serious theme in a subtle, and humorous way. It gives us an insight into how desperate at times we can get for the second chances that is no way round the corner. It amazingly showcases the changes that second chances can bring about, while temporarily hovering around the consequences of a failed first chance. The last page of this book brings a satisfying smile on the reader’s face and definitely changes our perspectives on many minor things that go easily unnoticed in our everyday life.

Please do pick this book up. I assure, you would not regret it. If you have read it already, I would love to hear your thoughts. Also, please do let me know if you think any other book that you have read portrays reinvention and second chances. I would love to hear them all.

Good day to you all!

Oviya Raj

Seven Weird Romantic Relationships From TV and Books

  1. Shiver – Grace and Sam

Shiver is pretty famous and has fans all over the world. I too fell for the hype and picked up the book. As the plot begins, we understand that Grace is in love with a wolf, yellow-eyed wolf – not the pet kind of love, but the romantic type of love that we have for our partners. Seriously? How is that even possible?

Grace eventually finds out that this wolf has a human form too and is called Sam, which paves way for a strong romantic relationship.

If we ignore all the drama involved and just go back to where it all started, it would be really bizarre to think of their relationship. Human and Wolf. Absolutely Weird.

  1. Wuthering heights – Heathcliff and Catherine

Wuthering Heights, a famous classic by Emily Bronte though deals with multiple serious themes, portrays the weird romantic relationship between Heathcliff and Catherine who belong to different social classes. Catherine though is in love with Heathcliff gets married to Edgar because of his wealth and status. On the other hand, Heathcliff tries to avenge the injustice done to him by having a relationship with Edgar’s sister. Bravo! thats maturity.

Evenafter getting married to Edgar, even while bearing his child, Catherine has feelings for Heathcliff.


What does this woman really want? Why would you marry Edgar, if you are serious about Heathcliff? If thats your plan for improving Heathcliff, you gotta be kidding me girl!

  1. Fountain head – Howard Roark and Dominique

The Fountain head revolves around the story of Howard Roark, an individualistic young architect who designs modernist buildings and refuses to compromise with an architectural establishment unwilling to accept innovation. While Howard works in Francon’s granite quarry after being fired from Francon’s architectural firm, he encounters Dominique, Francon’s daughter and has a rough sexual encounter with her. Though Roark and Dominique are attracted to each other, Dominique marries Keating, because in the world she lives Roark is shunned. In the process of persuading clients for Keating, Dominique sleeps with Wynand. Eventually Roark and Wynand start working together. When problem sprouts between them, Wynand publishes a denunciation of Roark. At his trial, Roark is not found guilty. Guess what happened then?

Dominique leaves Wynand for Roark.

I wonder how Roark accepted Dominique after her multiple relationships, which she decides based on wealth quotient. While Roark is an individualist himself filled with ego and integrity, I am quite unsure how these two started a relationship at all with no match in their character. Weird as it is.

  1. Gone Girl – Amy and Nick

Well, I do not have to elaborate much on this. These guys are super famous for their love-hate relationship, or should I say hate-hate relationship. Instead of doing anything silly like getting a divorce and moving on with their own lives, these two force each other to be together inspite of their hatred filled relationship. Amy continues to torture Nick till the end. This is psycho weird and let me not torture you with explanations.

  1. Norwegian Wood – Toru Watanabe and Noako/Midori

In this book, Toru Watanabe reminisces his college life where he develops relationship with two different women, Naoko and Midori.

Watnabe is confused always, as to who he is in love with, since he finds himself drawn to Midori in Naoko’s absence, and then alienates Midori once Naoko is back. In between he meets this middle-aged woman, Reiko whom he seeks for advice on his decision between Naoko and Midori. Once Naoko is dead, Watnabe has sex with Reiko only to conclude that he wants to be with Midori. Is there anything that is less weird here?

  1. The Reader – Michael Berg and Hanna Schmitz

The Reader starts with the illicit relationship between a 15-year-old boy, Michael Berg and 36-year-old woman, Hanna Schmitz. Few years later when Hanna is accused of war crimes in World War II, Michael does not save Hanah from her prison sentence, since he does not want to be caught for his relationship with Hanna when he was a minor. But then, he starts sending her tapes training her to read while she is in prison. Finally, after her death, he visits her grave for the one and final time. Its weird how a small boy falls for a woman of his mother’s age. Then he is being selfish when she needs his help and eventually entertains her during her prison time with his tapes. Like, what’s the point?

But then, human beings are unpredictable with their strange thoughts and emotions.

  1. Twilight – Bella and Jacob

Ah, yes! Perfect pair for the title. This relationship is weird because Bella makes sure to have herself ‘occupied’ with Jacob in the absence of Edward. Throughout the series, there is a brilliant transformation in their relationship. Starting with Book #1, Bella and Jacob are good friends. In Book #2, Jacob fills the gaps Edward has left in Bella’s life. Moving on to Book #3, we have the concept of love triangle, where Bella is with Edward and it is all true divine love between them, and out of nowhere Bella kisses Jacob. Finally in Book #4, Jacob is imprinted by Bella’s daughter and Jacob says, ‘… Look, nothing ever made sense before. You, me, any of it. And now I understand why. ‘

Pretty weird concept of being in love with the mother-in-law till the daughter is born.  A new trend coming up there!


I hope you enjoyed reading the list and had glimpses of weird and dark romances in the fictional world. Let me know if you think anyone else fits in the top 7. I would definitely like to add more weirdo stories to my TBR.

Loads of Bookish love,


7 Best Dark, Twisted Romances in TV and Books

Hello Peeps! Good day to y’all!

We all like romance, well most of us do. Every book we read has tints of romance, at least in its backdrop. While just roses and butterflies come across our minds at the thought of romance, there are characters who take it to the next level and make their stories much of a controversial subject.

Such pairs who have had dark, twisted and weird romantic relationships are listed below. Just the top 7, don’t you worry!


1. Game of Thrones – Cersei and Jamie Lannister

While Game of Thrones portrays incest among many clans, Cersei and Jamie are definite special editions.

We all know that Cersei and Jamie Lannister have an illicit romantic relationship since childhood. Infact, all three children of Cersei are products of their incestuous relationship. Their love is so ‘pure’ that Jamie makes sure to clean up Cersei everytime she is carrying a Baratheon kid inside her.

When Cersie says,’Jamie and I are more than brother and sister, we shared a womb, came into this world together, we belong together,’ it is quite evident that these two do not just have some dark twisted relationship, but they equally have good amount of twisted minds as well.

These two have no limits when it comes to keeping their relationship safe.  They plan murders of anyone who gets on their way, even if it is a kid.  Pretty dark minds.

Harry Potter and the Cursed Child – Voldemort and Bellatrix Lestrange

Though we do not have much details to the relationship of these two in the book, when Delphi reveals about herself being a product of their affair, I couldn’t imagine any relationship that could be more dark and twisted. Lord Voldemort and Bellatrix are two true forms of evil and these two together would have the darkest ambitions and desires on earth. I am grateful I did not have to read much on these guys romancing with their malicious thoughts, ‘coz its enough of a shocker already.

Fifty Shades of Grey – Christian and Anastasia Steele

While there are plenty of Fifty Shades fans out there, I think we all should accept an universal truth, that Christian and Ana do have a dark and very twisted relationship.

First of all, why would any girl in her senses allow herself to be tortured by some psychopath who is obsessed about having Dominant/Submissive relationship, unless and until she has the very same obsession (which is highly unlikely). I do understand that its tempting when some hot guy showers you with supercool Macbook and Audi surprises, not to forget his private jet, but when considering the possibilities of being chained/handcuffed/hanged/hit with belts, I would prefer to keep myself safe with my own second-hand goodies. This guy not just has an elegant playroom to torture you, he also has his own sick rules and makes you sign contracts and NDA on it.

I am just wondering why would Ana even go near this mysterious, selfish, obsessive stalker when she is absolutely sure of being the receptor of pain and suffering.

Oh God, these guys end up marrying each other.

Twilight- Bella and Edward

When I read Fifty shades first, I found it pretty similar to Twilight. An innocent girl who volunteers herself to be tortured by a controlling monster.

Again, which girl in her senses would fall in love with a vampire who badly wants to drink her blood. Not just that, Bella is unhappy with Edward’s controls in place, presents herself to Edward’s family, who are a bunch of vegetarian vampires and is constantly in search of trouble. Why!? I mean, even if he is like super-gorgeous and irresistible, can’t we just look at this hot vampire’s Facebook picture whenever we want and just get over with it. Why risk your life?

Okay, thats why these guys are in the books and me on the other side reading it. I totally get it.

Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street – Sweeney Todd and Mrs. Lovett

Sweeney Todd, the demon barber of Fleet Street includes a romantic sub-plot between Sweeney Todd himself and Mrs. Lovett amidst multiple themes against the backdrop of dark London streets. Sweeney Todd while keeps killing people through his barber shop in upstairs, Mrs. Lovett uses the victim’s flesh to make meat pies and sells them downstairs.

I believe it is pretty extreme to fall for a person who is nothing but a monster (whatever his reasons maybe). Considering the fact that Mrs. Lovett and Sweeney Todd are equally insane, her death in Sweeney’s hands is quite inevitable.

Lolita- Humbert and Dolores

Lolita, a famous novel notable for its controversial subject, deals with the obsession of a middle-aged man, Humbert on a 12-year-old girl, Dolores Haze. The plot revolves around his erotic motives and the steps he takes to have sex with Dolores. Humbert agrees to marry Charlotte, Dolores’ mother for the sake of staying close to Dolores and records his molestation thoughts on a journal. After Charlotte’s timely death, Humbert tricks Dolores to have sex with him and continues to get sexual favours from her, until she escapes from him one day. Till the end, Humbert seems to be totally obsessed and in love with Dolores (aren’t both the same?).

Humbert indeed is ready to commit murders just to stay close to Dolores. Dolores comes across as an ignorant girl who falls for this old man’s tricks. Anyhow, its pretty gross to imagine them together.

This book is filled with a deep, dark subject and Humbert really has a twisted mind, for no one else in the right mind would be so determined so much to molest a 12-year-old girl.

My Absolute Darling – Martin and Turtle

This book portrays a glimmer of hope in the life of a girl who is surviving an abusive father. But why should she even cope up with so much suffering, when she can step out in the first place (she is pretty good with guns). Martin is portrayed as a tough, depraved man who trains his daughter with guns and also abuses her. While one would prefer to escape from such abuse, Turtle withstands everything. Isn’t that what we call love? Though she has these eventual moments of self discovery, that was definitely some dark and twisted relationship between a father and daughter. Ahem!