#review 50 Cups of Coffee

Author : Khushnuma Daruwala

Publisher : Penguin Random House India

Publication date : 15 May, 2017

Book length : 224 pages

Language : English

Genre : Non-fiction

Synopsis :

Dating is an undeniably daunting task, especially when you are looking for the real deal to settle down with. So when Dia, a 30-something woman, signs up on a dating website for people looking to get married, she realizes just how delightful, vexing, amusing and befuddling looking for the perfect husband can be. Based on her real-life experiences, this book is not a guide to dating, but rather a delightful collection of meeting potential partners, epiphanies about them and soul-searching questions that will make you see relationships without your rose-tinted glasses of love.

Particularly pertinent to this age of online dating, hilarious, honest and witty, this delicious-as-a-cappuccino book is for all those looking for love, in love or in between. With advice as sage (gained the hard way) as that in He’s Just Not That Into You and scenarios as funny and outrageous as those in Sex and the City, 50 Cups of Coffee is the perfect book to curl up with when a suitable bae is not available.

Rating : 4/5

Review :

I received the book from the author in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

I always tend to avoid non-fictions from the fear of facing acute boredom or feeling agitated over some idea of the writer I do not agree with. But I somehow end up getting my hands on some pretty interesting ones and 50 Cups of Coffee is no exception. The very beginning of the book is filled with promises of enjoyment, refreshment and understanding. It starts with The Where, What, Why of It All where the author skilfully narrates in a casual tone about what made her come up with such a book.So apparently it was her friend, Dia’s constant search for a suitable guy for marrying and the horribly memorable & funny experiences she had while on dates which urges the author to compose the book.

I find the book to be a perfect guide to every possible type of suitorany women is subjected to face in the path of fishing out a good catch. I am impressed how casually and confidently both of the women, the author herself and Dia put forward the importance of an independent woman. Though the book is supposed to be the woes and throes of finding Mr. Right, one can’t help but bring into frontline the necessity of free speech, independence and equality for women.

My favourite chapter in the book is Mamma Mia. Though it sounds kind of edible and delicious of a topic, I say, that is not the case. Moreover, it is based on something rather sugary, one might not but fear for increasing Diabetes. This chapter is about this Puppy-faced Banker Boy, the lady’s date. Though respectable and well-mannered, he has this irritating habit on consulting everything with his mother. Respecting elders is something which comes as breathing in any generous person. But to stay dependent on them is cowardice, lack of self confidence and disturbing. One must always keep in mind, no matter how close parents are, your life’s decisions are completely your own.

I also love the fact that after each chapter, the author leaves a very interesting message and I can’t get enough of all these!! Yess!! What touched my heart was the last message floating in between the heart-shaped steams of the paper coffee.

“Not everyone married is happy.

Not everyone happy is married.”

How very true indeed! The boldness of the author publicly denying the very idea of marriage, pointing out how it perhaps is not her cup of coffee. In India and many, perhaps almost all other countries peopleseem to always glare at a woman and pass pitying remarks upon her on reaching 30 and not being capable enough to find a groom yet. They judge how her selfishness is standing between the wishes of her parents, happiness of her to-be husband and later a child. It saddens me to realise how people even today consider women to be more suited in the household and withstanding every order and disturbance from the man. I find humour, both dry and refreshing at times, pinching and poking over the revolutionary concept of equality and implementation of choice.

Would I recommend the book? If you are in for some laughing, reflecting upon own ideals to understand and breath freely, it’s a good book to read.

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Cover Reveal of TELL TALE

JEFFREY ARCHER RETURNS

WITH A RIVETING COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES!

Nearly a decade after his last volume of short stories was published, Jeffrey Archer returns with his eagerly awaited collection of short stories, Tell Tale, giving us a fascinating, exciting and sometimes poignant insight into the people he has met, the stories he has come across and the countries he has visited during the past ten years.

BLURB :

Find out what happens to the hapless young detective from Naples who travels to an Italian hillside town to find out ‘Who Killed the Mayor?’ and the pretentious schoolboy in ‘The Road to Damascus’, whose discovery of the origins of his father’s wealth changes his life in the most profound way.

Revel in the stories of the woman who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League university during the 1930s in ‘A Gentleman and a Scholar’, and another young woman who thumbs a lift and gets more than she bargained for in ‘A Wasted Hour’.

These wonderfully engaging and always refreshingly original tales prove not only why Archer has been compared to Dahl and Maugham, but why he was described by The Times as ‘probably the greatest storyteller of our age’.

PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR :

‘If there was a Nobel prize for storytelling, Archer would win’ Daily Telegraph

‘The short story has always been Jeffrey Archer’s strong suit and here he grips you quickly, puts you on the scent of a mystery, and moves you towards a charming moment of revelation’ The Scotsman

‘Stylish, witty and constantly entertaining . . . Jeffrey Archer has a natural aptitude for short stories’ The Times

ABOUT THE AUTHOR :

Jeffrey Archer, whose novels and short stories include Kane and Abel, A Prisoner of Birth and Cat O’ Nine Tales, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies.

He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (nineteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries).

The author is married to Dame Mary Archer, and they have two sons, William and James, two grandsons and a granddaughter, and divide their time between homes in London, Cambridge and Mallorca.

#review Second Chance

Author : Dr. Sandeep Jatwa

Publisher : Ebooks2go

Publication date: 5 May, 2017

Book length : 198 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction

Product description :

Shekhar Kapoor is a successful businessman who has never done a decent thing in his entire life. For him it is all about what he can get and how fast he can get it. He goes through life cheating and insulting people, even after he receives a mysterious telephone call from what is called the City of Justice. Ignoring the cryptic warnings, Shekhar continues to live his life as he pleases, until one day, shortly after insulting a beggar in the street, Shekhar crashes his car and is killed. And it is only when he is standing before the Bookkeeper, and being shown where his life had gone wrong, that Shekhar finally understands what life is all about. But is it too late for him? Can he be given another chance, to undo all the wrongs he has done? Or is there a chance that Shekhar Kapoor can find redemption where there had previously been no hope?.

Rating : 3/5

Review :

I received this book from V Influencers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

Shekhar Kapoor, a successful businessman and owner of Aerowalk, has done all the wrong things throughout his life. He is known to be arrogant, money loving, dirty schemer. He is used to get his way with women either by threatening their jobs or pouring out money. Mr. Balraj Kapoor, his father, a man of great personality was the one who had established the business but was now bed ridden, the only signs of survival being the sound of him breathing. Although ever since Shekhar took his father’s place, the company had been increasing and improving, the people working under him suffered his ill treatment. He appointed and promoted people based on extra service than their capabilities. But one must always keep in mind how powerful Karma is. It spares none. And no amount of money could save Shekhar from what happened next. It all started one day withan awkwardly disturbing call from so called the City of Justiceand receives his first warning to drop all misdoings and start afresh. But Shekhar was tooegoistic and ignorant to do so which ended up with him receivingmore warning and more ignorance and then finally an accident. When he opens himself dead and somewhere far from the human civilisation, he is taken to the God of Justice and Bookkeeper; he is made to rememberand rewatch all his wrong doings and punished for that.A long list of sins starting with when Shekhar was sixteen and was driving a car intoxicated. He had ran the car over someone’s leg and on opposing had beaten that poor fellow’s father. And it was only the beginning for the list goes all the way to each and every horrible behaviour –

  • he had demoted a devoted, loyal and responsible person, Kailash, from his work because of unethicalreasons.
  • He used his position to compel women to make physical contact with him.
  • He didn’t promote Unnati Sharma, despite of her deserving it just because he liked her.
  • He had wrongly seized Feetland Shoe Company from Mr. Ashutosh Upadhyay forcing him to lead life like a beggar.
  • He insulted an old female beggar and pointed out she would be of help in reducing the population just by ending her own life.
  • He was sentenced for not serving his father and not fulfilling his although he had thought to do so, he did not do it.
  • He was sentenced for not helping others, for selfish behaviour and for hundreds of other crimes.

By then he had finally understood how monstrous he has been and regretted not realising that sooner. He begged for a second chance which he got only because of the limitless love of his mother. He wakes up to find himself lying in the hospital bed and resolves to correct his every mistake. Initially when he discloses his experience to two of his closest people, one says it’s NDE or Near Death Experience while the other, a doctor dismisses the theory and describes it to be a mental illness.

Will he be able to turn every sin to help for the people? Is yes then how?What was the experience he had gone through in his 2 mins of death? What is NDE really? Do you believed in it’s existence?

I must say the concept of the book was intriguing. Thoughat some point I found it to be rather childish or unnecessarily descriptive, the changes Shekhar went through was quite inspiring. The book pulled out two contrasting characters of the human, one who works hard yet doesn’t get the deserved and the other who woos and pleases the boss to acquire high scores. But then again kamra is always there!

Karma is a very strong word. Some people believe it while some fear. Life is so very delightful to lead when in the bright side of happiness than under the choking covers of wealth.

About the Author :

Dr. Sandeep Jatwa was born in holy city Ujjain and grew up in Dewas, in the state of Madhya Pradesh in India. He is married and still lives in Madhya Pradesh today. Having attained an M.B.B.S. from MGM Medical College, Indore, Sandeep went on to secure a job in medicine and now works at the Government Hospital Sarangpur District Rajgarh. He has an amazing imagination and spends much of his free time dreaming up stories. He has been writing since 2006 and has completed two novels. The first has yet to be published, but his second one, which he self-published and is entitled Second Chance, is an exciting and moralistic tale of how one man comes to realize the error of his greed. In his free time, Sandeep likes to relax and spend time with his family and friends. He is also a food lover and enjoys trying new and exciting dishes. Sandeep’s most urgent wish is to be able to educate children who work in the street and have little opportunity to make something good from their lives. He believes that everyone’s childhood should be awesome, and not a struggle.

#review Murder in Paharganj

D61212C5-E16F-4A99-B94D-CDFD16D9F2F8.jpegAuthor : Kulpreet Yadav

Publisher : Bloomsbury India

Publication date : 10 Oct, 2017

Book length : 278 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction/ Thriller

367B8836-AC0C-4E74-9921-7374593211E6Synopsis :

On a cold December morning, a white woman is found murdered in a cheap hotel in Paharganj, New Delhi.

Vicks Menon, an out-of-work journalist, is tipped off by the hotel’s receptionist and is the first to arrive at the crime scene, where he discovers a lead. It’s the bus ticket used by the dead woman two days earlier. But Vicks is battling personal trouble. He has no money, an alcohol problem, and a nearly broken relationship with Tonya, his estranged live-in partner, a clinical psychologist who specializes in profiling hardened criminals.
Moving in and out of the shadows, Vicks pushes his investigation harder as it takes him from Udaipur to Bangkok. On his side, for resources, he has a nameless intelligence operative, and to read minds, a lover who is beginning to trust him again. But above all, his instinct to stay inches ahead of death will be the key to his survival.
If Vicks lives, this is one story that will change his life forever.

37F97D06-2DC9-4C22-8DD6-F74E5D0C93FA.jpegRating : 4.5/5

Review :

Thanks to the publishers for sending me the book in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

AE15FAC9-2990-4ABD-9AB3-9B676CD4ACD2“THE DEAD WOMAN lay face-up on the bed, her hands at her side.” The very first line of the book is enough to grab the attention of a reader. I, like so many other bibliophiles, have read a large number of story books because of which I have come to notice there are three types of thrillers :

  • The one which creates an atmosphere of thrill and excitement from the very beginning of the book and continues the same till the very end.
  • The one which though seems exciting in the beginning, loses its spark somewhere in the middle without a certainty of bringing it back while nearing the end.
  • The one which although doesn’t seem much of a deal or thrill suddenly punches excitement right into the reader leaving one wanting more.

This book falls in the first category. The very beginning pumps up curiosity over the questions – Who is the dead woman? Why was she killed? And we all know this very well, Curiosity is a boon. It feeds the hunger to know more and more. Murder in Paharganj never gave me a chance to put it down except the times when I really needed to do the necessary daily life things, you know and attending college. The most important characteristic feature of the book is how it highlights present Indian conditions where people are afraid to have faith and belief in the police. It shows how politicians take advantage of the lack of information of common people to insert false ideals and fear in the name of betterment. The book fearlessly points out how due to the ill behaviour of some policemen both in the outside world and also in their own homes, the policemen who try their best to restore justice face mistrust and anger from the common mass.

Everytime I read a good book I am left fascinated by the fact how an author has the power to influence readers through words. We, the commoners, are kept in dark of the clever and dangerous happenings of the ruling powers. We can barely understand the up and down occuping deep inside the country while the only unresting effects brushing our senses are given the name of necessities in the path of  development. This book goes into the depth of these curious, unimaginable, dangerous happening through the eyes and mind of a crime journalist, fired by his boss because of his overpowering habit of drinking. The      urge of getting back both the job and his love who left him tired of his alcoholism, as soon as he gets the wind of a crime taking he runs to the location before the police. He moves fast and hungrily towards the  truth but he ends up inside the Vortex thus he runs for both his life and story. Will he finally be able to locate the killer? What is this Vortex? Will he be able to finally get out of it?  

I am very satisfied with Tonya’s character. Being the girlfriend of the main man of the book, her identity is not stuck to that alone. She was a clinical psychologist working part time at the government run all India Institute of medical science. She has been described as an independent, intelligent, witty and extraordinary woman. She is tough and soft at the very same time. Though talented she is not a flawless human and this fact probably makes the reader understand the realistic character of a human, irrespective of man or woman.

Jamie, on the other hand represents a very important role I believe. It is not unknown to any corner of rhe world how Islam is on several occasions referred to as a violent region and that they promote terrorism and mass killing. What I personally believer and the book also suggests is that it’s not essentially Islam which spreads terror but the powers working underneath it in the name of justice and faith. Young muslims are often misguided by power hungry, wrathful leaders and corrupted believers of region who instead of truly unearthing the fertile riches of a region, it’s wisdom and knowledge, concentrate on destruction and filthy ideals. Jamie i.e, Jalaluddin was one of those young people with passion and patriotism boiling in his veins, blindly believe that whatever his boss would make him believe. He took up different identities in different places just to fulfil his missions. He had become a blind worshipper of preached Islamic faith. He was from Iran has, hiding in India, working on a mission which required him to make Siri Bing fall in love with him only to realise soon the team self was falling in love to. I find it difficult to express the numerical number of emotions that arise with me when I try to understand the gym. This is the author’s extraordinary skill to have painted over canvas of words, a story so bold, so strong, so painful, so aggressive and so realistic.

There is still some more to the story some more to say but I fear the more I speak, the more I might reveal that the contents of the book. This book is something that should be read throughly, thoroughly and one I would not want to give spoilers of.

The storyline is realistic, extraordinary, thrilling, impacting and powerful. The book was very fast pacing. The power of storytelling of the author had that were mesmerising visionary effect. It was as if the fictional characters have been transformed into real life characters. While reading the book I could feel myself going deeper and deeper into it and I could clearly see myself living and experiencing it all, I could see Vicks running here and there for his life, his report, dodging the stalkers, fighting his fear and alcoholism . I could see the dead woman’s body lying still on the bed staring at the ceiling as if she would wake up just the next moment. I could see Tonya’s stress, tension, love for Vicks. The book was a nerve wrecking, mind-boggling, heart pumping experience for me. The suspense the book created with every stepping stone was exciting. It made my heart skip a bit everytime I learned a new fact about the story.

Would I recommend you to read it? Absolutely! Obviously! Like just go and read it now!! I am looking forward to reads more of Vicks Menon’s thrilling adventures in the risky and exciting profession of being a crime journalist. 

4A7DE948-1E60-4FB7-AF35-9812603530B6.jpeg

#review Equations of a Being

img_2159Author : Ashutosh Gupta

Publisher : Notion Press

Publication date : August 8th 2017

Book length :  170 pages

Language : English

Synopsis :

If you have a penchant for both reason and abstractness, this intriguing piece of literature shouldn’t be missed. Equations of a Being beautifully coalesces the author’s thought pieces pertaining to the existential spectrum. Never has there been a book that blended emotions, intellect, and imagination so seamlessly, to celebrate a being in totality.

The author depicts his artistic persuasion, the enriched and disintegrated fragments of his existence, and the conclusions based on his interactions with the physical and abstract elements of life in a compelling and unbridled manner.

It’s a book for the ages that will let you trace the complete trajectory of a being and realize that a being has been and will always be a convergence of his tryst with abstractness, his acceptance of vulnerability, and his surge for virtuosity. (

Rating : 4/5

Review : 

I received the book from the author in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

 “As long as I am writing, I am on the verge of homecoming.”

This is the first line from the author’s book : Equations of a Being- A being who gathered Moss. This is book of a very different genre than what I usually read in daily basis. This book is something which is based on my personal studies of Literature. Though I have never officially taken up the title of a writer, I indulge in writing a lot. So this book has a special value for me. The extract of the book I stated about perfectly describes the mind of every writer. I believe writers do not write just for the sake of it. To a writer who had long suffered, writing is a way of healing. To a writer who has never been able to speak out in front of anyone, writing is a open platform where there are thousands of people ready to lend an ear. To a writer who has never been able to express the overflowing thoughts of the mind, writing is a way of expression where thoughts form shapes. And to every write, tired, drained, depressed and lost in the innumerable turmoils of life,writing is like a safe shelter, it is the verge of homecoming, a path of escape, a quite, peaceful vacation from the extreme pressure of this too-busy world.

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“Time and life don’t fight like warriors on a battlefield. They turn into seducers and each of them seduces to make us forget the other.”

How very true these words are! They say time and tides waits for none. They say life is too short to not enjoy every second of it like there’s no tomorrow. It’s as if existence has become a silent and continuous argument between how to manage time and how to truly live every moment of life. Nowadays, people have become so busy with their works and accomplishments, they slowly and gradually forget the actual meaning of LIVING. They act like machines, going on and on doing exactly what they are supposed to do in order to survive. Then again there are some who try to fight time, they get addicted to not just surviving but making the most of this little life. As the author stated, time and life never fight each other to overpower each other’s existence in humans. They pull us into their seductive charms, quietly and delicately. When time takes over a mind, it lures one to forget the meaning of LIFE. It makes one forget what it means to silently enjoy a steaming cup of coffee staring at the vast stretching sky. When life takes over, it makes one forget the ever moving time, the change of every hour.

“All virtuous ideas deserve the honor of a beautiful language, just like an anonymous beggar deserves true cremation rites upon his death.”

We, humans, are complex creatures whose minds are homes to numerous thoughts and ideas. Throughout our lives we watch, notice, experience different things and our minds and ideals change accordingly – either for the good or bad. The thoughts which are as bold, truthful, honest and CLEAN as the warm blood that flows through our veins deserve to be given the beautiful form of language. It deserves to be penned down in words that when read makes the dormant volcano of a human mind boil and pour out thoughts of sincere beauty. The writer beautifully compares this act of absolute importance to an act of pure humanity. An anonymous beggar sitting curled up in the corner of that busy street  begs for just another day, another chance to live. The by-passers hold every breath the beggar takes in their hands yet they seem not to realize that. Every human, where rich or poor, deserves a proper cremation after death. Though the beggar’s death becomes inevitable, he has the right to receive a proper funeral.

I have so many thoughts based on this book but I feel the scarcity of words to pen them down completely. I have tried as much as I could and as long as the writer does not point out the exact meaning, the works are always open to interpretations.  I feel the scarcity of words to pen them down completely. I have tried as much as I could and as long as the writer does not point out the exact meaning, the works are always open to interpretations.

The book comprises of more and more of such deep thoughts and ideas. One thing I have realized; in this long path of reading numerous books, understanding and experiencing different phases of life and filling pages after pages with my thoughts, a writer had this constant struggle going inside his/her head to try to pen down the experiences and thoughts of the mind yet being unable to find enough words to describe them. That perhaps can better be called as a writer’s agony. I am fascinated by the writer’s thoughts and ideas. The book covers topics of every possible human thoughts and situations. He starts with the path of being an artist, he points out how he fed his thoughts and art to nourish and enrich them. He focuses on life, man and women, their differences, their interdependence, their equality, feminism. He then shifts his flow of thoughts to God, faith, beliefs and worship. At last he comes to the most complex question of life – existence. We all have our own versions to describe it.

What I personally felt about the book is that it is very enlightening and not one of those devouring reads. It needs time to sink in. Not all readers understand every kind of a read. Not every reader can feel every possible kind of a writing. So I suggest that if you are really into deep, spiritual, enlightening, literary reads, this one is a must read. But if  it’s only the interesting, thrilling story you love, this one is not for you. This book is sort of a healing for a lost, distressed soul, a home to the unrest mind. The quality of a book depends on the mindset of the reader. Some might find it be rather a complex, heavy read while some may find it feeding the hungry soul with words of great beauty and deep meanings.

 

 

#review Served with Love

9789352644032Author : Priyanka Menon

Publisher : Harlequin

Publication date : 15 May, 2017

Book length : 176 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction/ Romance

img_2253Synopsis :

Abhimanyu Dev, orphaned early and brought up by a doting grandfather, has his life chalked out. He is forty-two years old and single, and intends to stay that way. And he runs a hotel with all the care he might have devoted to a home. In walks Pakhi, taking charge of the hotel kitchen. A guardian to her niece Abhithi, Pakhi is passionate and opinionated, and focused on the little girl and on work. Abhi and Pakhi rarely see eye to eye. Sparks fly and tempers fray. Yet there are two things that bind them – gourmet meals and their love for Abhithi. The little girl’s affection and innocence draw Abhi out of his shell in a manner he had not anticipated. As for Pakhi, her niece is the very centre of her life. When Abhithi is kidnapped, it brings Abhi and Pakhi together as they follow her trail to Mumbai. Will they find Abhithi and each other in time? Served with Love is a mature romance for a new age.

Rating : 3.5/5

img_2005Review :

I received a copy from the publishers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

As soon as my eyes rested on the book, it’s chocolaty sweet cover and delicious title “Served with Love” gave me that I-should-have-brought-a-pastry-to-eat-while-reading-this-one feeling. Okay it sounds quite strange . . . But guys!! It’s so damn true. Like I couldn’t find anything more suitable to describe it!! The cover gives off that spicy, sweet and bitter vibe of the story-line.

The only reason of me describing so much of the cover is because it sits perfectly in the story. The story has a sweet atmosphere while deep beneath it lies the bitterness of sad incidents and losses. It has that spicy chemistry between the lead characters – Abhimanyu and Pakhi, a prosperous head chef and his sous chef. However we have a supporting actress here!! Pakhi’s little niece, Abhithi, an adorable little human who is a ball of happiness and dearest to her aunt. Together the trio set out on delicious adventures intertwined with the delicate strings of pure love, raw emotions and thrilling trails of life. The never ending love of an aunt is challenged when Pakhi’s past barges into their lives, threatening to take away Abhithi from her and she starts doubting herself as a worthy guardian for the child.

What I loved about the book was the bond between an aunt and niece, the journey of a selfless love. The success of an Indian woman is what attracts me the most. The way how Pakhi portrays a working woman is important. Pakhi is a human who does not stand ill behaviour, who loves her niece more than anything, who is knowledgeable, self-dependent, loving, caring, bright and happy. She has the aura in her that attracts the reader to want to know more about her, to want to be like her.

Abhimanyu on the other hand perfectly plays the role of a stubborn, hot headed, professional guy who believes love is not for him. Whereas, deep within, he is a passionate, food loving, caring and responsible guy.

Abhithi is a little bright soul who binds the two adults together. Though she has been snatched away from her parents through a fatal accident, has been scared forever, Abhithi never forgets to smile. She is a surviving example of hope, happiness, delight and innocence.

Altogether, if you ask me for a recommendation of a light, sweet and bitter read, the one you can enjoy on a rainy day, sitting alone in the balcony over a cup of tea, I would definitely say, “Why don’t you try reading Served with Love?”

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About the Author :

priyanka menon

Priyanka Menon is a romance writer and spoken word poet. Her love for romance novels goes back almost two decades, when she was gifted her first romance novel for clearing her 10th board exams. Priyanka has come a long way since then, having finally written her first book, The One That Got Away (Harlequin). She credits her writing powers to red velvet pastries and white chocolate mochas at Starbucks. This is her second novel. When she is not penning love stories or writing poetry, Priyanka teaches advertising to college students. You can write to her at priyankamenon.author@gmail.com

#review Awaken

27.06_AWAKEN_AK_To Client_V2

Author : Ashok K. Banker

Publisher : Pan Macmillan

Publication date : 13 September 2017

Book length : 192 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction / Fantasy

img_2151Synopsis :

The Haters are coming to destroy all life on Earth. It is not a question of if, but when.

The Brahmaand has already rung the warning bell and the awakening of the Preservers has begun. Kiara unexpectedly finds her skin covered with golden fur and her sense of smell extraordinarily enhanced; Saumya is suddenly able to go from Ahmedabad to New York in just a step; and Sia’s songs have the power to do things she had never imagined possible.

First in the thrilling Shakti Trilogy set in contemporary India, Ashok Banker’s action-packed and brilliantly imagined Awaken introduces our unlikely heroes who must discover and harness their superpowers before they can protect and preserve the Earth from the wrath of a menacing alien invasion.

Rating : 3/5

img_0967Review :

I received this book from the publishers in exchange of an honest and unbiased review.

Before I start taking about the insides of the book, I would like to share how I read all through the book in a day. So the past week of my days was marked by helping parents and idling around. It so happened that our house needed some repair and fresh coats of paint. Thus resulting in me and my parents shifting things from one room to another and then enjoy leisure hours. Then I though why not read something cause that’s the only thing I love doing. I picked up Awaken from my shelf and started reading. Oh boy! what a fast read it was. I finished reading it within an hour or two and was left with the urge to read the next part of it. This wanting is what is expecting from the first book of a series.

Now, back to the inside of the book. The story is penned in three separate parts – the lives of three Indian girls, Kiara, Saumya and Sia. Three different stories that come together at the end.

Kaira, was like any other girl, enjoying her youth and secretly in love with her geeky friend. All was NORMAL except the fact that her mother had passed away leaving with her some little fragments of memories, remembrance of caring touch, and long nights of missing. If that was not enough to take, she one morning wakes up to herself being covered in fur from head to toe and she seems to have no clue what made this happen. Incidents occur one after another. And before she understand what might possibly be happening, she is torn apart from her father, her only family, her crush, dearest friend. What might have happened?

Saumya’s house never felt like home to her. She never could find that comfortable air to breathe in while inside those four walls. Her parents made it quite unbearable for her for she could always hear resentment in their voices while referring to the fact that their only child is a girl. In present time, there are still some regions all over the world where the birth of a girl child is not acceptable. Though every nation has taken every possible step to prevent that, human behavior cannot be changed so easily. In a group of 10 people there are always that secret and unknown no.which do not agree into having a girl child. It’s both hurtful and an insult to humanity. Saumya’s part of story shows that dark side of humans. Then again, one day suddenly, with all her frustrations building up inside and a ever long desire to run away to New York, she found herself lifted from Ahmedabad and placed in New York. She soon realized she had the ability to travel from one place to another in just a few seconds just by imagining the place to reach. She found her little secret method of escaping from her house at times of pain and distress. However, not every happy time leads to a happy ending. As she found herself trapped inside her parents’ house with a strange looking man, all of them anxious of her new powers. The circumstances resulted in her having to run away from them all. What made her run for her life? How did she end up with her powers? Who was the strange looking man? What happened to her in the end? Was she successful in running away?

Sia, a beautiful character indeed, has a unique power of her own, the one she nurtures everyday silently without any expectations of acknowledgement – the power to sing, an ability so strong that she finds peace and a sort of completion of self. However, her life is not as alluring as it seems to be. There are several parts of her being that face hardship. The author also through her portrays the amount of trouble a North-East Indian has to face, adding up to the fact that she is from the Naga clan. The author boldly points out the deadly, cruel and unjustified torture over them. And Sia rises as the hero, unaware of her own ability, just with the desire to sing. When she and her friends fall in the hands of torture, the only thing he can think of doing is singing to ease the pain, her song suddenly appears to be inaudible to the normal human eye and destroys every single soldier who were attacking them unfairly. She bedazzled herself and the others over such supernatural incidents for neither of them had any clue what was happening or what might have led to this. Where from did Sia gain such power? What happened when she began to sing? Did her mother know about it all?

All these questions having put forward to you, is my approach in trying to make you understand how very interesting the book is and how thrilling the answers are. All these three women have a want for independence in them. The book, though is easily present to be a fantasy, has meanings far important and eye opening, lying deep within. The book points out the present society, the ever revolutionary youth and their evolutionary minds. The book pokes a finger at the corruption of power, the lack of understanding, the period of identity crisis of the criticized youth.

The fantasy that the writer weaves with his clean and understandable way of story telling is fascinating, intriguing, emotional and has a depth of sense and responsibility. Although I do not fancy the other two girls much, Sia is a very different person as portrait-ed in the book. When I say I do not fancy the other two much, it’s not because their part of story lacked the air of importance but due to the fact that they lacked their own depth of personality. They did not present themselves as strong characters or truly passionate about something of their own. Sia, though had to face struggle, she always had one passion, that of music and she never forgot to hold onto it. To revolt against the world in the name of gaining independence and wanting their thoughts to be heard is something very different from holding onto something you have faith in and show your independence through your works and speech.

This was my first read by Ashok K. Banker and I am looking forward to reading the next book of the series coming out sometime at the end of this very year.

 

#review You Never Know

img_1990Author : Akash Verma

Publisher : Penguin Random House India

Publication date : 18 Sep, 2017

Book length : 240 pages 

Language: English

Genre : Fiction/ Romance

 

Synopsis :
There will be times when you feel you have the best relationship, ever There will be times when it will be the worst that has happened to you There will be times when you know you are getting into something terrible; something that will not stop till it destroys you And yet . . . You will be pulled into it so inextricably, unstoppably . . . Dhruv knew Anuradha was his true love. So, despite being married with kids, he still went ahead with their affair. He hid it from his wife and his colleagues. He told lies so he could be with her-it was that amazing! But he couldn’t save himself from the dark secret she was keeping. It pulled him into a vortex of danger so deep that he lost all he had. It happened to him and if you think it can’t happen to you-think again.


Rating : 4/5

Review :

The first time I read the blurb, the book gave me that Savdhan India (Beware India) feels. It’s a show which airs negative incidents happening all over India, acted out by different actors to make India aware of the different ways some people can burn down your peaceful, happy life while some can save and at the end of the show the narrator gives a speech on how to stay alert and prevent such incidents. Well, I do not fancy watching such shows but my mom is prone to watching them mainly because I stay long hours outside and watching this she gives me lectures on how to stay safe. Though I scold her for building high tension watching all these, she is a sweetheart.

Now, back to the story. When I first started reading the story, I realized one thing. I was finding the whole idea of falling in love with your own office’s junior while till then you were happily married to a super talented and caring wife, once your girlfriend, and have two children, a little bit disturbing. All right . . . Not little, very much disturbing. But then again I cannot possibly blame the author for thinking of such a story because it happens all the time and is so true.


The story is about how Dhruv, happily married to his once girlfriend – Shalini, falls in love with this new girl in office, Anuradha. From the first moment he saw her he found himself getting drawn towards her; he knew for sure, she was his true love. He fell deeper and deeper into the dark and dangerous game of extra marital affair. He always had this feeling of Anuradha being sad at times. Soon he came to know the reason – her boyfriend had committed suicide, living her all alone and lovelorn. Dhruv couldn’t help but get closer & closer to her. They end up making love and then when problems dawn into his life. If lying to his “beloved” wife and children wasn’t enough, he is blackmailed to bring a secret video which is believed to be with Anuradha. All these leads to Dhruv ending up in the place where Sid, Anuradha’s dead boyfriend, had committed suicide and then he learns of a spine chilling secret which changes their relationship forever. 

Who were the blackmailers? What video were they looking for? Why did Dhruv end up in Sid’s suicide site? What was the secret Dhruv came to know? What happened to their relationship? Lastly, why did he do such injustice to Shalini? 

To uncover all these questions, all you have to do is pick up the book. 

I must say I enjoyed every bit of the book. Though it was disturbing and frustrating at times, I couldn’t just put it down. I had to read on and on till I reached the very end. This whole idea about finding “true love” seems very thoughtful. Maybe Anuradha was that other half of his incomplete wholeness which he had never noticed till meeting her. Maybe that’s why he felt so complete when with her. Then again, was it right? No. To lie to Shalini, to keep her in dark, to make himself understand that he loves both the women, it sounds wrong. Dhruv sounds like that idiotic guy who is bound with his wife out of long familiarity and responsibilities while he is in love with another woman. I would have loved if the author had given a further insight to Shalini’s character and how she understood whatever was happening and how she felt about it. I liked the ending but then again it seems Dhruv was that desperate guy who though showed he felt guilty towards his wife, he really was not at all that much sorry and till the very end all he could think about was Anuradha. 


The writing pattern is skillful and form of story telling, very much attention grabbing. The writer has the great ability to give visual effects to the reader.

I received a copy from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

About the Author :


Akash Verma is an entrepreneur. He is the co-founder of two internet start-ups in the fashion and food sectors. Prior to this, he was in the corporate sector, in organizations such as Coca-Cola, Big FM and Red FM. His work has taken him across the country and he uses this experience to give context to his stories. He has authored three books till now: It Happened That Night, Three Times Loser and A Broken Man. Akash is currently based out of Gurgaon, India. He is also interested cinema, literature, history and travel.

#review The Lost Boy by Greg Ruth

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Author : Greg Ruth

Publisher : Graphix

Publication date : 27 August 2013

Book length : 192 pages

Language : English

Genre : Fiction / Graphic novel

Synopsis :

Some mysteries are too dangerous to leave alone . . .

Nate’s not happy about his family moving to a new house in a new town. After all, nobody asked him if he wanted to move in the first place. But when he discovers a tape recorder and note addressed to him under the floorboards of his bedroom, Nate is thrust into a dark mystery about a boy who went missing many, many years ago. Now, as strange happenings and weird creatures begin to track Nate, he must partner with Tabitha, a local girl, to find out what they want with him. But time is running out, for a powerful force is gathering strength in the woods at the edge of town, and before long Nate and Tabitha will be forced to confront a terrifying foe, and uncover the truth about the Lost Boy.

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Rating : 4/5

Review :

I have never much read graphic novels. To be very much truthful, The Lost Boy is my first proper graphic novel read and I guess I am pretty please with myself for picking it up. Actually it’s not me though who bought the book but my younger brother. I saw the artwork and it was pretty amazing so I gave it a try. And boy! such talented a man the author is. The story-line and artwork, both are awe-striking. Since the graphic is a short read and the synopsis alone gives away the most spoiler free inside idea of the story, I will not go into describing it any further for it might the mysterious atmosphere thus created by the synopsis. I will thus go on complimenting on the book itself.

The story-line is interesting, catchy and well thought. The artwork is . . . EVERYTHING! I literally would give anything to have such skillful hands. I feel I would  have enjoyed the book more if I had been a little younger and thoughts were less complex. But what I experienced was a box full of thoughts forming in my head. The one thought I had after reading (thanks to my overthinking mind) is perhaps that lost boy was not really lost in a different world but inside the darkness of his mind. Perhaps his life background forced him to run away from the ever changing and dominating world where his words were unheard of. The darkness slowly, gradually manifested his mind and instead of using the good of it, he chose to drown in it’s unknown depths. Nate was probably nothing but a medium to cleanse the accumulating layer of anger and rage stuck on the skin of the Lost Boy. The different world was perhaps the hidden society comprising of people who chose to differ from the destructing outside world.

The story made me dive further in the depth of human consciousness. The lost boy, when freed from the ugly form covering him up, it is said that he is found to have remained of the same age as at time of his disappearance. Perhaps it is not his physical age but the mental one that had remained unchanged. For, he was but living in darkness for so long, his mind feeding on rage, hunger of power and dark thoughts, that he had missed out the growing of mental age, the gradual feeling of dawning maturity. He had been till now thriving on the thin string of hope attaching him to the world.

I would like to stop my theories here as I find loss of words to express the rest of my thoughts. But I am satisfied with how much I could write down. Write down in the comments where you approve of my theories or not. Thank you for taking out time enough to read the constant talkativeness of my mind.

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#review Sacrifice 

Author : Ameya Kale

Pulisher : Frog Books

Publication date :  12 Dec, 2016

Book length : 298 pages

Language : English 

Genre : Fiction / Sci-fi


Synopsis :

Henry Ashford works as a top virologist and toxicologist at his office facility. He has a good life in the suburbs; a loving wife and friendly neighbors. Deciding to take some time off, he plans a surprise vacation for him and his wife to Rome. Tragedy strikes as Henry’s life is completely turned around by a series of incidents. Coming face to face with the persons who perpetrated these horrors, he swears revenge and is prepared to fight. Little does he know that what is about to happen will change his life again. Henry is thrown into a spiral of physics, philosophy and history. He begins to uncover secrets. Secrets about the human race. Secrets that are paradigm shifting. The people he is talking to are passionate about only one thing: to save mankind. And apparently, only Henry can do it. But this time, the only way to save mankind is to destroy it first.


Rating : 3.5/5

Review : 

I received a copy from the author in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

The first thing that attracted me was the story line which sounded quite mysterious and interesting. And as I set out on a journey to discover the book, the whole concept, that the author had the capability to think thoroughly and construct precisely, blew my mind. 

The story revolves around Henry Ashford, a top virologist and toxicologist who leads a happy life with his loving wife, Juliette. He has suddenly found his interests circling over architectural history, questioning their origins. He seems to be blissful and contented with his life. While he and Juliette both become excited for their trip to Rome, Henry has not a bit idea how some rapid and drastic incidents will change his life forever. It so happens that one night someone breaks into his house and knocks him unconscious. The next thing he knows – his wife is dead, he doesn’t understand why they were attacked, he is alone now. But what shocks the reader is that he shows indifference to his wife’s death and goes on living his daily life, though at some points of time he misses her truly, he can’t help but reach an understanding with the fact that he is not attached to anyone or any responsibilities anymore. But, not everything ends the way it was supposed to be. The story doesn’t end here. It has just begun.

After two months, that man, his wife’s killer kidnaps him and bring him to an unknown place. There he faces Michael who drops news one after the other on him like atom bombs, destroying and torturing the very core of his senses. First, Michael breaks the news that Henry’s wife is indeed alive!! 

And then comes the moment of bewilderment when he asks Henry just one question which later gives rise to unimaginable theories. The sinple question of – “What if it’s all a lie? ……… “This thing called consciousness.” Michael furthur on proceeds on explaining how the consciousness of we humans is not our own but put into our hears by an outer, superior source. What if the only way to save the human race, an end to all all corruption, pain, disorientation, was by destroying the Humans only??!! If that was not enough Henry is given visual proof! Wanna know how? Why don’t just pick it up already? 

To have been brought into paper from the minds of a young debut novelist, this book is absolutely praiseworthy. The storyline is genius, the reasoning is very intimidating and believing. I do not read Sci-fi as much as other genres but books like these make me realise how much more there is to that one genre and how I absolutely must read them more. 


But I do have a few concerns. This things dropped my rating for the book. The book would have more attracting effect only if the writing style is refined some more. The writing is clean and without errors. But it lacks a bit of that spine chilling, giving goosebumps and thrilling effect. Also I believe the mention of time period in each chapter is very confusing. It would be much more efficient and enjoyable if the time period is mentioned only once in the beginning of that chapter when the present shifts to the past and vise versa. And let the story continue in chapter only to mention of time in it’s change. 

Would I recommend this book? Absolutely. If we don’t encourage such bright minds and amazing ideas, who would? 

About the Author : 


Ameya Kale

The debutant author, Ameya Kale lives with his parents in Pune. An engineering student at Marathwada Mitramandal’s College of Engineering, Pune; Ameya is also working on his next thriller.