Saturday, 20 December 2014

Book Review: Butterfly Season

Book: Butterfly Season
Author: Natasha Ahmed
Publisher: Indireads
Price: $3.17 (213 INR)
Pages: 169
Genre: Fiction Novella/ Coming-of-age romance
Blurb:  On her first holiday in six years, Rumi is expecting to relax and unwind. But when she is set up by her long-time friend, she doesn’t shy away from the possibilities. Ahad, a charming, independent, self-made man, captures her imagination, drawing her away from her disapproving sister, Juveria.

Faced with sizzling chemistry and a meeting of the minds, Ahad and Rumi find themselves deep in a relationship that moves forward with growing intensity. But as her desire for the self-assured Ahad grows, Rumi struggles with a decision that will impact the rest of her life.

Confronted by her scandalized sister, a forbidding uncle and a society that frowns on pre-marital intimacy, Rumi has to decide whether to shed her middle-class sensibilities, turning her back on her family, or return to her secluded existence as an unmarried woman in Pakistan.

We follow Rumi from rainy London to a sweltering Karachi, as she tries to take control of her own destiny.
My rating: 4.25/5

My review:

"Butterfly season" is a novella that has surprised me to the core, in a beautiful way. When I started with the book, I expected it to be another romantic tale. However as I started proceeding, I fell in love with the narration style of the author and with the characters of Rumi and Ahad. The title is perfectly chosen for the book and the cover is pretty.

The book deals with two things simultaneously. On one hand, there is the intense love story of Rumi and Ahad. On the other, there is Rumi's journey to self-realization and self-discovery. The story starts on the note where Rumi meets Ahad at a friend's place in London, where she has gone for a vacation. Sparks fly between Rumi and Ahad instantly and they find each other irresistable. As their relationship progresses, Rumi finds herself in a quandary which challenges her long time convictions and throws her in a difficult situation where she can lose her entire family. In the midst of orthodox relatives, overprotective sister and a lover who is somewhat commitment phobic, she finds herself trapped. She languishes between light and darkness for a considerable amount of time untill she decides to walk towards the path of light (read: self-discovery) crushing the darkness.

The chemistry between Rumi and Ahad is scintillating and readers would root for the two of them to come back together. The characters in the book are very believable and each character has a different flavour. The dilemmas and predicaments that the protagonists face are very relatable. Some moments described in the book are so beautiful that you can actually picture those moments. Kudos to the author's narration skills! The instance where Rumi blurts something very hurting to Ahad totally out of confusion and regrets the next second is beautifully described. The Ghazal night at Ahad's friend's place where Ahad takes Rumi and obviously the instance where Rumi sheds all her inhibitions and runs to meet Ahad does not leave your mind after the book ends.

The climax is definitely beautiful. Though it is quite predictable, but the author has managed to make it very interesting. The language used in the book is marvellous, the flow is smooth and it's a treat to read the novella. I literally felt sad when the book ended as I was so engrossed in it.

Recommended to all! It's a superb work by a debut author. The book starts with these soul stirring lines of Jalaluddin Rumi:

Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

You can buy the book from here

Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Book Review: God is a gamer

Book: God is a Gamer
Author: Ravi Subhramanian
Publisher: Penguin Books India
Price: 299
Page: 324

Blurb:  Aditya is an entrepreneur, running his own gaming company. The arrival of a part-time drug dealer and full-time genius named Varun turns Aditya’s struggling company’s fortunes around. However, things are not as they seem. A banker slips from the rooftop of a high-rise building and falls to his death. A finance minister with his heart on his sleeve discovers that he has made some promises which will cost him far too much. An explosion in Washington D.C. leads the FBI to a chase in Mumbai. The investigators begin to plummet down a world where bitcoins are the only meaningful form of currency. Here, everything is governed by the Dark Net, a group of nefarious websites dealing with illegal transactions. In this world, God is a Gamer, martyrs are villains, the hunters become the hunted and the ancient Greeks teach the secrets of assassination. In this new novel, nothing is what it seems.

My Rating: 3/5

My Review: "God is a Gamer" is a crime thriller devised in the global platform. There are plenty of interesting characters in the book starting from investigation agencies of both India and US, political leaders and some banking professionals. 

In the beginning, it was a little boring to read about so many characters who were introduced in a new chapter which spanned over only 3-4 pages. The extra short chapters was quite a turn off for me. I couldn't find myself getting hooked to the book. I couldn't connect with any characters even after finishing the 324 pages book. However as the mystery starts building up, the story starts getting interesting.

There are plenty of twists and turns thrown in teh story at frequent intervals and so you need to be very attentive. But when I couldn't relate to any of the characters, it was slightly tough for me to read the 324 pages book. Another drawback of the book was the climax which was quite cliched. The dots don't connect smoothly and the zigsaw puzzles do not fall rightly in place.

On the positive side, the fresh new concept of bitcoin thriller was the USP of the book. Though we all have heard about the term "Bitcoin", we don't have much knowledge about it. The book definitely sheds light on bitcoins but not too much. It delves on the mystery. The mystery is well crafted making it an interesting read. However so many events happen parallely that it is quite normal for a reader to feel lost if he doesn't pay 100 % attention. Plenty and plenty of dots which gets connected in the end, in an uneven way. The language of the book is easy going and so people can read it at a go.

Overall the book is more of a gaming thriller rather than a bitcoin thriller. The bitcoin thing is mentioned in some parts but the story doesn't revolve totally around bitcoins.It is a good story, the mystery cleverly crafted but not something to be cherished for long.

Despite the murders for virtual money, catchy title and easy language, this book couldn't impress me much. I guess this is not my kind of book. But however people who love to read such type of thrillers would definitely find it interesting.

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Saturday, 18 October 2014

Book Review: Half Girlfriend

Book: Half Girlfriend
Author: Chetan Bhagat
Publisher: Rupa Publication
Price: 176 INR
ISBN: 9788129135728
Blurb: Once upon a time, there was a Bihari boy called Madhav. He fell in love with a rich girl from Delhi called Riya. Madhav didnt speak English well. Riya did. Madhav wanted a relationship. Riya didn't. Riya just wanted friendship. Madhav didn't. Riya suggested a compromise. She agreed to be his half-girlfriend.

From the author of the blockbuster novels Five Point Someone, One Night at the Call Center, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 States and Revolution 2020 comes a simple and beautiful love story that will touch your heart and inspire you to chase your dreams.
My Rating: 2.75/5

My Review:
After you finish reading Half Girlfriend, you will feel that this book is written to be made into a movie. It is like a prepared script which is just on the waiting list to be made into a commercial Bollywood flick.

The book is divided into 3 acts: Delhi, Bihar and New York. In each of these three places, the lead protagonists, Madhav and Riya  meets, separates and meets again. The story begins with Madhav, a guy hailing from a rural place in Bihar who gets admitted to the high-class and posh St Stephen's College through the sports quota. He is a state level basketball player and apart from that, has no brownie points to earn from the ultra cool people of St-Stephens. He can barely speak English but finds himself falling head over heels for a girl called Riya Somani who also plays basketball at Stephens. 

As expected from the blurb, Madhav falls in love with Riya but Riya doesn't want anything more than friendship. On Madhav's push, she agrees to be his half girlfriend: someone who is more than a friend, can spend lots of time together and have affectionate hugs.A chain of incidents takes place from then, separating their roads and merging their paths and separating the half lovers again. 

The Act 3 of the book was totally predictable and dragged beyond limits. You can easily skip the pages in between and read the last few pages to match your prediction. The Act 1 was quite interesting and romantic. The scenes of Madhav and Riya had some immaculate charm. The Act 2 had some twists and turns but seemed quite unreasonable at places. 

It is a book that you can forget an hour after reading it. There is no freshness in the plot apart from the concept of half girlfriend. You can skip plenty of pages in between and yet catch up with the plot as it is so simple. And after finishing the book, you will surely be wondering which Bollywood actor and actress would be roped to play Madhav and Riya.

A one time quick read. Recommended for people who like light hearted fiction. If you are a literary geek, then give it a miss. You can check out Bhagat's other books in the meanwhile as I felt, all his other books are better than this one. 

You can purchase the book from here

Friday, 26 September 2014

Book review : Adultery

Book: Adultery
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: Random House
Price: 299 INR
ISBN: 9788184006094
Blurb:  Linda is in her thirties and is facing a crisis mentally and emotionally. She begins to question the void that was growing in her, the mundane, predictable days of her life. Although her life seemed perfect in everybody’s eyes – a contented marriage, adorable children and a successful career - she feels a keen sense of emptiness and displeasure. But it all drastically changes when she meets a prosperous politician who happens to be her high-school boyfriend from years ago. As Linda revives the passion that was absent in her life, she would have to make a life-altering choice.
My rating: 4/5
My review:  
Being a huge fan of Paulo Coelho, I always expect a lot from his books and I am thankfully never disappointed. However while reading this book, I felt that it is not a book for all. Only those people who are able to introspect while reading, who understand the profound meaning in books and people who are patient should try this book. 
The story starts with the lady, Linda who is strangely unhappy with her more than perfect life. She feels she is slipping gradually into the abyss of depression for no specific reason.  Her husband loves her and she also loves her husband. They have two children and Linda has a lucrative job of a journalist in a leading tabloid of Geneva. Yet she feels her life is dull and captivated in the shackles of monotony. 
In the course of her job, she goes to interview a politician who happens to be her high school boyfriend. When the politician tells her how unhappy he is in his married life, Linda feels that she can see her reflection in him. They indulge in adultery.
However the book is not only about adultery. It is about how fickle a human mind can be. It explains beautifully how an angel and a monster both dwells in a human mind. It is upto you whether the angel/demon will dominate the other. 
A person has to get lost totally in order to discover oneself. The book narrates the tale of Linda's self-discovery after running through pebbles and inferno, commiting deeds she could never imagine in her nightmare.

The narration is wonderful. Readers can feel that they can hear the protagonist talking infront of them. The last few pages of the book is sure to enlighten the readers. The place where Linda goes for paragliding enchants me completely as she feels her soul getting enlightened. The readers may also feel totally lost, just like the protagonist while leafing through the pages of the book. That is perhaps a flaw of the book and so I said that only people who are patient enough should read the book.
It will compel you to introspect and some words of the book wil surely stay with you after you have completed it. . This is actually a book of self-discovery. I really liked it,
You can get the book  here

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Book Review: Private India

Book: Private India
Authors: Ashwin Sanghi and James Patterson
Price: 350 INR
ISBN: 978-0099586395

Blurb: In Mumbai seemingly unconnected people are dying, strangled in a chilling ritual and with strange objects carefully arranged with the corpses.
For Santosh Wagh, head of Private India, the Mumbai branch of the world’s finest investigation agency, it's a race against time to stop the killer striking again.
In a city of over thirteen million, he has his work cut out at the best of times but this case has him battling Mumbai's biggest ganglord and a godman who isn't all he seems.
And then he discovers there may be an even greater danger facing Private India. Hidden in the shadows is someone who could destroy the whole organization along with thousands of innocent Mumbai citizens.

My rating: 4.5/5

My review:

When two great mystery writers collaborate for writing a book, you can be sure that this book will be no ordinary experience. Private India is one such book that you can pick up without having an ounce of doubt.

The attractive cover of the book along with the intriguing blurb tantalizes readers to dive into the book. And as you dive in the book, the very first chapter captivates you.

The story begins with the murder of a doctor, Kanya Jaiyen in Marine Bay Plaza Hotel. The Hotel asks Private India, the biggest investigative agency to solve the case. The team of Private India constitutes of Santosh Wagh: head of Private India, Nisha Gandhe: an attractive investigator, Mubeen: the medical examiner and Hari: the technology geek. ACP Rupesh Desai assists Private India in this case.

Soon, one by one murders of women keeps happening in Mumbai and the object common to their murder is a yellow garrote with which the victims are strangulated to death. The corpses are left with uncanny and dissimilar objects like lotus, rosary, half one rupee coin, doll etc. The objects perplex Santosh Wagh to extremity until he starts connecting the dots and then tries to reach closer to the killer.

The way Private India solves the case is amazingly witty and interesting. Especially the juncture where Santosh Wagh connects the dots (read: uncanny objects) is brilliant. It will surely give the readers an adrenaline rush. Similarly, the way Private India finally traces the killer is amazing. No one can guess who the killer is until they reach towards the end of the book. Readers will suspect many people in between reading the book. The book is marvelously scripted in this regard.

There are some chapters where we find the killer’s soliloquy. Those chapters will give the readers some extra thrill.

The main characters of the book are finely etched. Santosh’s character is sketched with the perfect hues. We see him as a painfully intelligent investigator who has a tormenting past that haunts him every now and then. Santosh Wagh’s intelligence will surely blow the minds of readers. Nisha’s character of a brave and fearless investigator is sketched well too. Same goes for the characters of Hari, Mubeen, Jack Morgan and Rupesh.

Well, the downside of the book is that in the middle of the book, so many characters are introduced that readers may feel a little lost. But that phase doesn't last long, the book quickly grips and engages again. Apart from this, there are no flaws in the book.

Private India is an unputdownable thriller. The pages of the book turn themselves. Highly recommended!
Just a suggestion to readers: Try to read it at a go. That will help you savor this mystery thriller much more!

This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Thursday, 7 August 2014

Book Review: An Audience with Lama

Book : An Audience with Lama
Author: Abhilash
Publisher: Venkatesh Publisher
Price: 100 INR
ISBN: 9789350675

Blurb: In August 2010 the city of Leh was ravaged by a cloud burst. Amidst the destructive facet of mother nature we also witnessed true grit from the survivors. One of the survivors who grappled onto life was Abhilash. He recorded anecdotes and messages of fellow survivors and weaved them into a tantalizing narrative. 

A story that expanses a road trip across the picturesque landscape of Khardung La, laced with mystic spiritualism of Tibet. Aptly titled "AN AUDIENCE WITH LAMA" This piece of biographical fiction coupled with real life events makes a perfect anytime read.

My rating: 3.7/5

My review:  First of all, I must congratulate the author for writing a beautiful book that is a blend of adventure and spirituality. The story begins with ten strangers spending a night on a secluded roof, with apprehension that death may visit them any moment. Leh is galloped by a gigantic flood and destiny brings these ten survivors together. They spend the entire night talking about each other's life, their fears, their flaws and insecurities. When these ten survivors face their demons together, they learn to see their life in a new perspective.

All the characters are different from each other, yet very interesting and relatable. The character that I found the most interesting is the character of Hrijan. The ending is beautiful. Readers will be content when they will finally draw the connection between the prologue and the ending.  The landscapes described in the book will make you fall in love with the places. While leafing through the pages, I literally felt that I have also traveled to Manali, Keylong and Leh with the narrator.

On the downside, some portions of the book were a little dragged. Another drawback that I found in the book is that it becomes difficult to understand who is talking among the ten characters. With proper and frequent change of paragraphs, this problem could have been avoided. 

The author has done a decent job in this book. This book is recommended for people who love spiritual fictions and books on journey of rediscovering oneself.

Saturday, 2 August 2014

Book Review: Metro Diaries - Seventeen LOVE Classics

Book : Metro Diaries-Seventeen LOVE classics
Author: Namrata
Published by: Amazon
Kindle Price: 60 INR

Blurb: From London Society of Poets' Author - Namrata, comes the first book as a collection of urban romance short stories.
Have you loved someone? "Metro Diaries" will revive your innermost feelings and imbibe in you the magic of love.
What happens when Abhimanyu Singh, a champion volley ball player, has to make a choice between his love and his dreams? When an ideal student, a perfect son, and a hardworking employee like Abhimanyu gets the opportunity to build up his career at the cost of his love, does he give up on his dreams for his love or does he sacrifice his love for his career? Read 'Love thy Dreams' and sixteen other heart-throbbing stories...
Touching, amusing and deeply moving, Metro Diaries-Seventeen Love Classics are seventeen tales that will hold you from start till end.

My rating: 4/5

My review: Metro Diaries is a collection of 17 short stories, all of which revolves around the beautiful feeling called love. Every story is sketched in a different color that expresses love. While reading the book, at least one or two stories will surely remind you of some incidents or that special person of your life. The other stories will inspire you, make you smile, cry and wonder about so many facets of love. Here is my take on the 17 stories of this book.

1. Once in a life-time: The perfect story to start the book with. It gives you the feeling that you are in for a romantic dive. This is the story of a girl, Nitya whose failed relationship has made her build walls around her heart which a guy called Ansh successfully breaks by the depth of his love. The words that Ansh tell Nitya touches the heart. Extremely romantic!

2. Then, now and forever: A very soulful story. The letter that Ron's grandpa had written for his grandma years back redefines love for Ron. After reading this story, you will be in smiles.

3. Love thy dreams: This is a story about how a girl supports the guy to pursue his dreams at any cost and at the end, the guy wants to fulfill the dream of marrying the girl.

4.The Wait: A girl falls in love with her best friend but her love remains unrequited and disrespected due to the norms of the society. A different story which has a heartbreaking ending.

5. A secret revealed: This is the story of a girl who fought with her identity all her life until someone showered her with unconditional love. 

6. A promise of a life-time: This is a beautiful love story of two individuals who studied in the same college. Their unspoken love metamorphosed into a relationship after they met on a friend's wedding and the guy finally proposed the girl. A feel-good story that will make you smile and the poem at the end of this story is exceptionally romantic.

7.Will you?: A conversation between a boy and a girl after the boy proposes her. The promises mentioned in this story are heart-warming.

8. Love Beyond Words: One of my favorite story in this book. The letter in this story moved me to tears, Exceptionally written; every word soaked in the magic of love. The quotes of Paulo Coelho are well placed in the story which enhances its magic further.

9. Imperfectly Perfect: Another gem of this book. The approach to this story is very realistic. People often wince when they see a beautiful girl with an average guy and vice versa but love is from the heart and the soul. This thing is beautifully expressed in the story and the metaphor used in the story about a poet and his poem will surely mesmerize the readers.

10. A thing called love: This story captures the pain of unrequited and unanswered love beautifully. This is a story about a girl madly in love with a guy who is cocooned by his dreams.

11. The Sole Soul Mate: Sweetest story of the book. The story is about how Nishani, Sahil's best friend explained him the meaning of soul mates and he realizes that she is his soul mate. The metaphor used is awesome.

12. The Yellowed Diary: Words of a girl dipped in pathos are trapped in her diary. The anguish of the girl is beautifully captured.

13. You, me and love: Another of my favorite story of this book. This story is exceptionally romantic and will make you want to fall in love. The line of this story "No..she isn't my soul mate. She is my soul...the one who keeps me alive." gave me goosebumps.

14. Unlocked: A simple story about how a guy who kept his relationship concealed from all decides to unlock it finally. The poem at the end is beautiful.

15. Memories: Very soulful story. The way memories associated with a photograph has been described brings tears to the eyes.

16. A message of love: The girl in the story finds an anonymous letter inside a book she purchased. That letter made her realize the value of love. Beautiful narration.

17. Her: A simple and sweet story about a boy madly in love with a girl.

The collection of stories in this book is marvelous. Special mention for story no. 8, 9, 11, 12, 13 and 15. Readers won't feel bored even for a second and will yearn to fall in love all over again after reading the stories of this book. There are a few editing glitches in the book which could have been improved. The poems used after most of the stories are the best part of this book. 
Highly recommended for all the romantic souls out there!

Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Book Review: When Only Love Remains

Book: When Only Love Remains
Author: Durjoy Datta
Publisher: Penguin Metro Reads
Price: 175 INR
ISBN: 9780143422648

Blurb: I've imagined this in my head so many times. I've always thought about what I would say; What I would do and how it would all turn out to be. And every time I would remove some detail...

She's a flight attendant—young, bright and living her dream. He's a heartbroken singer on his way to becoming big.

She's an ardent fan of his. He can't imagine why and yet seems to find comfort in her words.

It's the first time they are together and in their hearts both are wishing, hoping and praying that the night would never end. That the time they are spending together lasts and lasts...

In the world of imperfection, there is always someone just right for you.

My Rating: 4/5

My Review:  "When only love remains" is an intense romantic story which portrays the beauty of love and hope marvelously. It is often said that waiting is another name for love and this story captures the pain of waiting with magical deftness.

The story starts with Avanti, a flight attendant whose only respite from an irritating ex boy friend and a troubled childhood are the songs of Devrat. She has been listening to Devrat's songs since the age of 12 and got a strange sort of tranquility in them. Devrat is a struggling singer who is totally oblivious of Avanti's existence. On one fateful day, they meet at one of Devrat's music show and energy flows between them rapidly. They don't run short of words and feels if only they could pause the night forever. Both Devrat and Avanti feels secured and beautiful in each other's presence. The story gets more interesting from that night onward.

The author has brilliantly crafted the emotions of Avanti and Devrat in this book. Even the side characters such as Avanti's father and grandmother's emotions are captured so brilliantly. The character of Avanti is beautifully sketched with the perfect hues. Readers will be bound to fall in love with the character of Avanti. The way Avanti waits and pines for Devrat will move the emotional readers to tears.  The ending of the book is a beautiful surprise that will draw a big smile on the reader's face.

On the downside, people who are not great fan of love stories may find the pace of the book slow. The pace of the book is moderate because the author has given importance in the detailing of every emotions and pain that Avanti and Devrat goes through. There is also a name goof-up where Avanti is written as Avantika. 

This book is highly recommended to people who love reading beautiful love stories. It will make you smile, cry and fall in love. Definitely one of the best works of Durjoy Datta.

Saturday, 12 July 2014

Book Review: The Fault in our Stars

Book: The Fault in our Stars
Author: John Green
Publisher: Penguin
Price: 399 INR
ISBN: 9780141345659

Blurb: Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

My Rating: 5/5 

My Review: Firstly, I really curse myself for having read this book so late. What a gem I was missing! But then, better late than never. Before watching the movie, I resolved to read the book first. And after finishing it about 30 minutes back, I am lost in a whirlpool of emotions. There is this striking pain in my heart which is accompanied with sheer wonderment. "So dawn goes down to the day...Nothing gold can stay." ~This is a quote that talks volumes about the beautiful, delicious and divine love between Hazel and Augustus.
The story begins with Hazel, a terminal cancer patient who is clinically depressed and is clueless about the direction her life is heading. Her life takes a surprising turn when she meets Augustus Waters in a cancer support group. Hazel learns that Augustus is also a fellow cancer survivor. Augustus changes Hazel’s life in a beautiful way and falls madly in love with her. However in the beginning, Hazel tries hard to not fall in love with Augustus as she fears that death may come any moment. She does not want to be grenade and cause more sadness to Augustus. Hazel's recommends her favorite book “ An Imperial Affliction” to Augustus which talks about cancer. Augustus gets fond of the book too and both Hazel and Augustus wishes to know what happened after the book ends as it ends abruptly, mid sentence. Augustus wants to satiate Hazel's curiosity and arranges a trip to Amsterdam so that they can meet the author of “An Imperial Affliction” and talk directly to him about the fate of the characters after the book ends. That trip to Amsterdam changes their life forever.Readers will be bound to fall in love with this couple. Readers would desperately wish that if only the monster called cancer was not constantly against the couple, they could have a perfect, beautiful love story. This book has that magical power to touch the most intrinsic chords of the human heart. John Green has handled such a sensitive subject like cancer survivors falling in love with magical deftness.The book not only narrates the pain of a cancer survivor but celebrates life from every aspect. Green inspires the readers to grab the maximum from their life and celebrate the value of life every single day. 
The book is embellished with beautiful quotes and magical moments.
This is a book that will be liked even by people who has a reading phobia. Recommended to every living soul on the planet.

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Book review~~ Brida

Book: Brida
Author: Paulo Coelho
Publisher: Harper Collins
Price: 350 INR
ISBN: 9780007278596

Blurb of the book: Brida, a young Irish girl, and her quest for knowledge. She has long been interested in various aspects of magic but is searching for something more. Her search leads her to people of great wisdom, who begin to teach Brida about the spiritual world. She meets a wise man who dwells in a forest, who teaches her about overcoming her fears and trusting in the goodness of the world, and a woman who teaches her how to dance to the music of the world, and how to pray to the moon. As Brida seeks her destiny, she struggles to find a balance between her relationships and her desire to become a witch.

This enthralling novel incorporates themes that fans of Paulo Coelho will recognize and treasure. It is a tale of love, passion, mystery, and spirituality from the master storyteller.

My rating: 3.5/5

My review: 

Paulo Coelho is one of my favourite authors and I have found his books "Alchemist" and "Eleven minutes" entrancing and life-changing. Reading the blurb of Brida, I felt it's going to be my next favorite but the book disappointed me a little. Some parts of the book are written beautifully. There are some magical moments in the book when Wicca tells Brida about soul mates, when Brida and the Magus spend time with each other knowing they are each other's soul mates, the story Brida's mother narrates her when Brida asks her if she has ever been in love with two people at the same time. However, there are some complicated parts including the rituals of the Tradition of the Moon which seems to go over our head and which comprise the maximum part of the book. The climax when the Magus tells Brida to go back to Lonis and they part ways did touch my heart. His parting words, "I will always remember you, and you will remember me, just as we will remember the evening, the rain on the windows, and all the things that we'll always have because we cannot possess them" were quite painful. Overall it is an enriching read but quite complicated in some places.

A book that will stay for a very long time in the reader's heart.

You can buy the book online at:

Wednesday, 9 July 2014

Thoughts about the classic book: Rebecca

Blurb of the book: The novel begins in Monte Carlo, where our heroine is swept off her feet by the dashing widower Maxim de Winter and his sudden proposal of marriage. Orphaned and working as a lady's maid, she can barely believe her luck. It is only when they arrive at his massive country estate that she realizes how large a shadow his late wife will cast over their lives--presenting her with a lingering evil that threatens to destroy their marriage from beyond the grave

My thoughts: Very seldom you come across a book which you want to keep on reading. You wish the book never ends. Such was my feeling while reading Rebecca. 
"Last night, I dreamt I went to Manderley yet again"~~The book starts with this sentence and right from the 1st sentence, it keeps you hooked till the end. I had spend about 2 weeks with this book and I could not restrain myself from thinking about it when I was not reading the book. 
Truly, it is the unsurpassed masterpiece of romantic suspense. It's the type of book which is embellished with mystery, suspense and thrill at frequent intervals. The author has narrated the story in the voice of a young innocent girl who gets married to an older and rich man whose wife has died few months back. The narration gives the readers a crystal clear glimpse of the protagonist's mind and heart. 
The best character created by the author was Rebecca who is not in the story physically but her spirit is very much there in every page of the book. The character of the sinister Mrs. Danvers is beautifully sketched too.
The way the mystery unfolds in the story is a beautiful treat for all the suspense-loving readers. It is a perfect book to curl up inside your blanket with a cup of coffee and watching the rain outside at intervals to get drenched in the suspense. I will always cherish these 2 weeks that I had spend with this book. My soul was totally lost in Manderley for the last few days. 
All you suspense loving readers, go grab this classic book. You can get it online at

Friday, 4 July 2014

Book Review: Lost in Pattaya

Book: Lost In Pattaya
Author: Kishore Modak
Publisher: Grapevine India 
Price: 150 INR
ISBN: 9789381841228

Blurb of the book: It is every dad’s nightmare – his little girl goes missing.
For Palash, the sorrow compounds from the incessant replaying of the critical minutes when his ‘Daddy-eye’ faltered, distracted by his own weakness, substance abuse. The loss and the ensuing search sends him spiraling into a divorce and the loss of a steady corporate job. Scouring for his little girl in the brothels of Pattaya he is ensnared in the web of mafia that runs the sex trade of Thailand. When he eventually finds her, will he be able to build back a wasted lifetime, or, is it too late for rescue, for him and his child?

My Rating: 4/5

My take on the book: First of all, thanks to Grapevine for sending this amazing book. The blurb of the book instantly stirred up my interest and the book definitely met my expectations. First of all, writing a story with a very different story line is a challenging task and maintaining the pace of that story throughout the length of 215 pages is even more challenging. However the author has brilliantly succeeded in doing so. The book starts off with a medium pace but after a few pages, it becomes almost impossible to put it down. As the title says, the book revolves around how Li Ya, daughter of Palash gets lost in Pattaya and his frantic search for her thereafter. What may seem to the readers as a case of abduction like Palash actually turns out to be something unbelievable as the book proceeds. As Palash continues his search for Li Ya, he comes across  two interesting characters, Thuy Binh and Miho who plays significant roles in his life. The author has blended adventure, suffering and emotions in the correct proportions. There are some nail-biting adventurous moments in the book that increases the beating of the heart. There are also some beautiful, heart touching moments which will compel the readers to smile in delight. The juncture in the book where Palash meets Li Ya after years when she has ripened to a lady is very touching. Palash's unselfish love for his daughter is endearing. The character of Palash may not appeal to the readers in the beginning of the book but once they are done with the book, they will grow a fondness for this character. The story ends on a touching note which will leave readers with a feeling of contentment. The narration is commendable with excellent usage of words and the pace of the book is fast. The best part of the book is the way it portrays a father's unflinching love and sacrifice for his daughter. 
The book is highly recommended for people who love to read good books.

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Book Review~ The One You Cannot Have

Book: The One You Cannot Have
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Publisher: Westland Publisher
Price: 200 INR
ISBN: 9789383260683

Blurb of the book: How long does it take to heal a broken heart? Can you ever forget that one perfect relationship you had? Anjali knows who she wants, she wants Aman. Aman too knows who he wants, he wants Shruti. Shruti and Aman were once inseparable. Theirs was a love that would last forever and more. Then, out of the blue, Shruti left Aman. A devastated Aman moved abroad in the hope of forgetting Shruti and to heal. Shruti married Rishabh. Now Aman is back in India and looking for a fresh start. But he is still haunted by memories of his love. Can he ever break free from it? His head tells him to move on, to find love with Anjali, but his heart wont listen. No matter what he does, Shrutis shadow looms large. Can there be a happily-ever-after for any of them? A straight-from-the-heart modern-day romance of unrequited love, of complicated relationships and about moving on when you realise that there will always be the one you cannot have.

My rating: 4.8/5

My take on the book: I have been a great fan of Preeti Shenoy and have read all her books earlier which I absolutely loved. "The One You Cannot Have" is a total page turner. The characters of Aman, Shruti and Anjali are so real and relatable. Every reader is bound to connect themselves with either of them. There is a saying that "A sad thing of our life is when we meet someone who means the world to us unless we find out in the end that it was never meant to be and we have to just let it go." This exactly happens for Shruti and Aman, who had such a perfect relationship but were just not meant to be. Fate is too supreme a power and humans have no options but to surrender to it. However, 'let go' and 'move on' are terms which are easier said than done. Aman and Shruti tries hard to keep each other out of their system; Aman burying his neck deep in work and Shruti focusing on her 'happily married life'. Circumstances start changing when a writer, Anjali falls in love with Aman and differences start arising between Shruti and her husband. Finally when Aman closes the chapter of Shruti and gets serious about Anjali, Shruti makes an entry into his life again. The climax of the book is poignant, pragmatic, well-portrayed and is the best part of the book. What embellishes the book beautifully are the magazine articles of Tiara written by Anjali. Those articles are a bonus for the readers who are a fan of Preeti Shenoy's blogposts. This book is an excellent work of Preeti Shenoy and a must-read for anyone who has ever been in a relationship.

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Book Review~ ASURA: Tale of the Vanquished

Book: Asura: Tale of the Vanquished
Author: Anand Neelakantan
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing
Price: 250 INR
ISBN: 978-9381576052

Blurb of the book: The epic tale of victory and defeat… The story of the Ramayana had been told innumerable times. The enthralling story of Rama, the incarnation of God, who slew Ravana, the evil demon of darkness, is known to every Indian. And in the pages of history, as always, it is the version told by the victors, that lives on. The voice of the vanquished remains lost in silence. But what if Ravana and his people had a different story to tell? The story of the Ravanayana had never been told. Asura is the epic tale of the vanquished Asura people, a story that has been cherished by the oppressed outcastes of India for 3000 years. Until now, no Asura has dared to tell the tale. But perhaps the time has come for the dead and the defeated to speak. “For thousands of years, I have been vilified and my death is celebrated year after year in every corner of India. Why? Was it because I challenged the Gods for the sake of my daughter? Was it because I freed a race from the yoke of caste-based Deva rule? You have heard the victor’s tale, the Ramayana. Now hear the Ravanayana, for I am Ravana, the Asura, and my story is the tale of the vanquished.” “I am a non-entity – invisible, powerless and negligible. No epics will ever be written about me. I have suffered both Ravana and Rama – the hero and the villain or the villain and the hero. When the stories of great men are told, my voice maybe too feeble to be heard. Yet, spare me a moment and hear my story, for I am Bhadra, the Asura, and my life is the tale of the loser.” The ancient Asura empire lay shattered into many warring petty kingdoms reeling under the heel of the Devas. In desperation, the Asuras look up to a young saviour – Ravana. Believing that a better world awaits them under Ravana, common men like Bhadra decide to follow the young leader. With a will of iron and a fiery ambition to succeed, Ravana leads his people from victory to victory and carves out a vast empire from the Devas. But even when Ravana succeeds spectacularly, the poor Asuras find that nothing much has changed for them. It is when that Ravana, by one action, changes the history of the world.

My rating: 4/5

My take on the book: Finally I completed reading Asura. I am amazed at the amount of research the author had undertaken to pen down the book. The character of Ravana is very well-sketched with proper shades of his anger, fear, pride and love. Though Ravana is the most popular villain in our Indian mythology, the author has portrayed him as a character who seems more humane than a villain. We empathize with him in certain circumstances rather than hating him. The line in page no 15 uttered in Ravana's voice: "I didn't know then, but I had been born to fulfill someone else's destiny. To allow someone else to become God." fills us up with a curiosity to explore the forthcoming pages. The character of Bhadra is a little exaggerated but the sharp plot compensated for the few monotonous areas. It is indeed very difficult to hold the plot without dropping the firmness of it for a whole 500 pages and the author has more or less succeeded in doing so. Asura is a totally different experience, very unlike from the way we have perceived Ravana from the Ramayana. The ten facets of Ravana described by the author which made him a complete human being and the way his journey from nurturing his ambitions to being a conqueror and lastly to lose everything, is described in the book is indeed praiseworthy.

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