Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Tale O'2 by Biranchi N Acharya: a review

Being a blogger myself, I have immense amount of respect for all other fellow bloggers. Irrespective of the genre they blog for and so when I heard about blogger Biranchi N Acharya coming out with his 2nd book, it had me straight away. I didn't know what to expect from the book but what I knew is that if not anything else, the viewpoints would be superbly expressed there. When I had the book Tale 0'12 in my hands, the first thing I did was turn to the blurb.

According to the blurb- Every life event is a story. In fact every moment of our life is part of a story being happened. We always ignore those because we think stories have no connection to real life happenings. But when we read stories or fictions suddenly we connect ourselves to the story line or some of the characters emotionally or otherwise. That's why stories always fascinate us, entertain us & give us some lessons of life. 'Tale O'12' is a collection of twelve stories inspired from real life events written in a fictional narrative. One would definitely connect to the characters of the stories someway or other because all the stories have something that's related to everyone's life.

Rightfully so. Every story that is mentioned in the book has something or the other that is taken from real life and there's another thing that is very much evident on reading the book is the fact that it is written by a blogger. I'll start with the cover of the book. I like the way the title of the book is written and even though in the long run you might get used to the color of the book, at first glance it is too much to take in. And yes, this color is surely one color that I am fond of.

I love the quality of the book. It feels great to hold and the pages are wonderful. The preface of the book gives in how this book took shape and it is good to read it from the author's point of view. The book consists of 12 stories. Each story has a very strong moral backing it up which makes for great reads. I liked the way those points have been turned into stories that appeal to the masses.

Among the points that has been talked about in the book you get politics, religion and a lot of topics in abundance. The narrative is strong and to the point and makes the impact much needed. With every story you would feel that the characters are around you and that is why you would be able to connect to them.

If I have to speak of the cons of the book then I have a lot to say. To begin with, every point of the book felt like it is written by a blogger and these stories make for super blog posts. There are errors in the book. Grammatical ones. The names of the characters seem out of place, a bit too fictional and the dialogues seem a bit too forced. If all these points can be forgiven, this is a really wonderful attempt and for me this is 3.25 out of 5 looking forward to a refined version of the book in the future and wishing luck to the author.

PS- This book is a part of the BlogAdda Book Reviews Programme.

Saturday, 26 November 2016

Colorful notions- the roadtrippers 1.0 by Mohit Goyal: a review

Happy are those who go On a road trip. Super happy are those who go on a road trip with their friends. I love knowing about travel stories and have a lot of traveller buddies. So when I heard about Mohit Goyal's Colorful notions- the roadtrippers 1.0, I couldn't help but get my hands on it. The blurb of the book made me hook to it more. So as I sit and admire the cover of the book which successfully retains the flavor of it, here's the blurb of the book.

Acording to the blurb- Would you give up your high paying job and comfortable personal life to drive ten thousand kilometers across India? Just for fun! Three twenty somethings dare to do just that! While the two boys take turns to drive, the girl gives voice over as they record their entire journey on a handy cam. Ab, Sasha and Unnati are ordinary youngsters, rendered special by the feat they accomplish. As they recount their adventures, I crave to live their journey. They look at each other with a glint in their eyes, as if refurbishing those memories while narrating their spooky time at Bhangarh Fort, strange escapades at Wagah Border and Sundarbans, car breakdowns, wild animals, near death experiences and highway robbers! It's nothing less than crazy. I doubted if I'd ever have the gumption to create such experiences. So I did the next big thing- I penned a book about them, and their roadtrip. Colorful notions is a journey of three young hearts on the Indian terrain and into the inner recesses of their souls, giving a new perspective to relationships, love and life.

To begin with, I would give in to this being a very interesting way of writing the blurb and that surely hooks the readers. Now the cover. Basically in bright blue with sketches of the car and three friends make for a super complementary cover for the book. The book starts off very interestingly and that is why we can carry on with the book.

Having read the whole book now I would say that this book is a traveler's delight. Written in a very on the face narrative, matching the blurb where it really feels like someone is addressing the reader and telling us a story; this book should be read by people who plan on going for a road trip. Coming to the story. The story has it all. Friendship, love, jealousy, food, fun, adventure, horror and comedy. Making this a packed entertainer.

I liked the characters and their formation. They have been well thought of and very similar to real life. The intricacies are well thought of and executed. If I have to speak about the cons of the book then I would say that the book needed finesse. This in its current form is only suitable for the travel loving people but for me, I felt that this could have well been a book for all kinds of readers.

The narration could've been better with plot twists, if possible. Especially since it's fiction. That apart, I don't find any other flaw in the book. Looking forward to more from the author, this book is 3.75 out of 5 for me.

PS-  This book was given to me by The Tales Pensive book reviews  programme.

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

It's not about you by Ratna Vira: a review

The first thing that I felt after seeing Ratna Vira’s latest, It's not about you is that this is going to surpass my expectations. I have a certain affinity toward the color black and since the book is a majority black colored book, it had my attention at first glance. I didn't have to think twice before heading toward the blurb of the book which surely added on to what I felt about book.

According to the blurb- Single mother Samaira juggles her corporate job and Aksh, her teenaged son, even as she defies society, disapproving in-laws and her own family. But when Aksh is found battered and beaten at school, she delves deeper only to discover the murky world of bullying, the secret life of teenagers, and the emotional distance between parents and children. In her pursuit of truth and justice, Samaira ends up challenging the power equations of politics, wealth and influence.
It's not about you is an urgent, contemporary tale that celebrates the persistence of the human spirit to fight against all odds.

I'll continue with what I was mentioning about the cover because this would be one cover that I would be cherishing throughout my life no matter how many books I own. After drooling over the cover when I turned the page and started reading the book there was one thing that I loved and that is the quotes at the beginning of each chapter. Quotes by different famous authors made into one makes this book special. The book starts with the author describing Samaira, what she does and how her life is like. In that very chapter she also mentions how the relationship between Samaira and her son, Aksh is. As you read through, this one chapter gives you a lot that the whole book is dependant upon.

Coming to the characters. One of the good things about the book is the characters and their behaviour. I loved how Samaira’s character has been portrayed in the book along with her children and even her husband. The other characters are also wonderfully etched. One of my favorite characters was maasi ji and trust me on this, you need to read the book to know why do I say so. Each character has a specific role to play. I'll come to the cons of the characters in some time.

Now, the story. I have a lot of things to be said about the story. The story promises to be a very gripping one and knowing about the praises for the author, I had a lot of expectations from the book. The story, to me, was a bit shaky. The point that the author wanted to put forth and the concept was very interesting but I wasn't exactly satisfied with the presentation. There are moments in the book that would stay with you for a long time. While there are moments which you would feel could've been more impactful. The secrets, truths about the relationships are given bare in the book and you might feel that they are real. It might even be something that you dare not speak out loud. Somehow I felt that the focus shifted at places or the author lost track but it didn't disappoint.

The narration was done beautifully and I cannot find a fault in that. The book is a smooth ride and the narration does its best in complementing the story but somewhere down the line, for the target audience, some more quirks would've made this story wonderful. Coming to the cons, I would've loved if some characters were given a bit more highlight. Some, I felt, needed closure while some were not needed. The writer has potential and I felt that a bit more finesse can do wonders. All in all, the book is impactful and can make the readers think. A must read, indeed. I would rate it 4 out of 5.

Friday, 18 November 2016

Skyfire by Aroon Raman: a review

You know what’s the first thing that comes in your mind once you see Aroon Raman’s latest book, Skyfire? That one line by Hindustan Times on the cover that says “India’s answer to Robert Ludlum.” And then you know that no matter what, this book is a must read. Privileged at being one of the very first people who could get their hands on the book, I couldn’t stop myself from liking it after I had my eyes on it for the first time. Upon turning the book, the blurb of course made me want to read the book right away. So before turning on what do I have to say about the book, here is the blurb of the book for you to read.

According to the blurb- May 2012. India is hit by a series of freak weather disturbances and startling epidemics that threaten to bring the country to its knees. At the same time, children are disappearing from the slums in the capital and nobody seems to care. Stumbling upon these strange and seemingly unrelated incidents, journalist Chandrasekhar, historian Meenakshi Pirzada and intelligence operative Syed Ali Hassan start upon a trail that leads them into the drawing rooms of Delhi’s glittering high society before reaching a terrifying climax in Bhutan, where they come face to face with a force of unspeakable power and evil. Bestselling author Aroon Raman’s third novel, Skyfire, is a heart stopping thriller that will chill you to the bone.

Now that you’ve read the blurb I am sure that you are thinking what I was when I first read it. I’ll first talk about the characters. Chandrasekhar, Meenakshi, Hassan; the main protagonists of the novel deal with a spine chilling incident that lead them to places that are shown only in films. I loved the way the author has dealt with the characters and has given them the shape and sturd that they much needed. The intricacies of their relationships, the chemistry, the love and the bonding between the trio is so strong that you cannot help but be jealous of them. That apart, there are many other characters in the book who come and go at their respective times and who bring with themselves the much needed twists and turns in the book.

The story. A typical thriller as you might feel from the blurb, this novel is something that you would not even expect it to be. You can feel that from the beginning that this is not an average thriller that you would read on an everyday basis. The way the “freak weather disturbances” and the sightings that have been described in this book is something that I feel is what the author’s speciality. Being the first ever read of the author by me, this book didn’t disappoint me at all. Is this even imaginable that change in weather and missing children can be interrelated (or related at all?) Aroon Raman in this book shows just that and how wonderfully does he do that. I am not giving up much of the story because that would mean saying a lot of things which I don’t want the readers to be left off from reading.

The narration has been done wonderfully but somewhere down the line I felt that the book has been a bit too fast paced and crisp. After one point, even a few set of readers might feel the end was expected. The details have been written and the experience of reading this book is almost equivalent to that of watching a film but hey! Isn’t that supposed to be what a book should be about? There were no grammatical errors in the book and I felt that having said all the good things, this book could’ve been a bit more stretched which it didn’t. Of course, whenever you have a good book in hand, satisfaction cannot be achieved anyhow and we always expect something or the other. For me, expecting and looking forward to more books from the author, this is 4 out of 5.

PS- This book was given to me a part of the Flipkart Book Reviews Programme.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

The Patient Patient by Tushar Rishi: a review

Cancer. A word that has meant a lot to me. Seeing very close family members suffer in this disease and losing on their fight made me feel that I know a bit of the pain that they go through but that was till the time I had read debut author Tushar Rishi’s bio-fiction, The Patient Patient. One of the most important reasons that made me choose the book was the fact that it is the life story of the author. He has been there, as a patient of bone cancer and has emerged as a fighter. The book is about his fight and yet not a non-fiction. While, authors hide under fiction or write non-fiction books, this book seemed so out of the box that I grabbed it at first chance. One look at the cover and the crab that represents cancer caught my eye. I turned over to the blurb.

According to the blurb- Fifteen going on sixteen, defining career choices await Sameer. To B. Tech, or not to B. Tech: that is the question. Until, that is, the lump on his knee is diagnosed as bone cancer and Sameer embarks on a journey he never imagined for himself. But in the whirlwind of hospital visits, doctors, chemotherapy, cannulas, injections, he discovers family, friends, love and hope. Life as he knew it is transformed for him, while he wanders through the narrow corridors of AIIMS, Delhi, trying to search for meaning in what has happened, his place in the universe, his beliefs and above all, himself. Based on the author’s own life, The Patient Patient is not only a young boy’s tale about cancer, it is also a story of the peculiarities of life, and his attempt to handle it with courage, dignity, and humour.

The prologue of the book didn’t have something that would hook you. No. It could have been just another prologue from just another book. But then you turn to the first chapter and after the fun prologue, you get to see the first line that says, “You have Cancer” and all that you can do as a reader is sit straight and be prepared to face what you are going to read in the book that hasn’t even started. Slowly Rishi, in his debut bio fiction goes on writing what he felt when he was diagnosed with cancer. And not only what he felt but also what people around him felt when he was diagnosed. The vivid details written in such a clean way is sure to touch your heart.

I wouldn’t lie; I have read a lot of books that has cancer as a theme but none that were biographical. This book goes deep and by deep I mean, DEEP and the only reason it feels like so is because this book is a very honestly written one. I read books and so if one is written honestly, I can instantly connect to it and this book was one such. With every page you understand what the author (or shall I say, the protagonist) goes through as his fight with this disease increases by the day. As the blurb itself says, this book is not just a young boy’s tale about cancer but it also is a story of life. Every second chapter in this book has something to take back. What I especially loved is the conversations between his uncle and him which were the source of motivation for him as a person and us, as readers. Not just the disease, the book wonderfully captures the family relations. Of what goes through the close ones of the patient, of what their ordeal is. Of how their relationship grows, matures. Of how they are always there, of how they understand.

This attempt is a very bold one and I shall praise Rishi for going on with it. Writing things just as it is, especially with cancer is tough but the thought behind the book is beautiful. The way that Rishi has handled the book and written the story just as it happened and yet in such a way that readers would love it is something that is commendable. There are poems in the book and the poems, as the book progressed, emerged into being beautiful and motivating. Since this is a bio-fiction, I would not say about the story or the protagonists but what I would say is that Rishi has balanced it perfectly. I would comment only on the writing style here. Even though the fact that the author has perfectly balanced every bit of it, as a reader I felt that there were certain parts that lacked the intensity. The flow was smooth and so, a majority of the book you would end up reading with a lump in your throat. It is commendable to see such a young author writing so maturely and so beautifully. 

It is a guarantee that by the end of the book and even after reading the acknowledgements, you would treasure this book and would also want to refer it to the people that you know. If I have to speak of the cons of the book then I would say that even though the book has been handled with a lot of dignity and honesty, I felt that when we are given a book as such, we would expect at least a bit more of the disease than it has been written. Of course the book is about the journey and not the disease but there are parts in the book where the way the disease affects has been written with such passion and at times, there were blank spaces which could’ve been filled. Apart from that, I have no complaints from the book. Because, there is nothing to complain about. For me, rating this book would be tough but keeping all things in mind, this book would be 4.5 out of 5 for me. I would sign off with loads of love and luck to the debut author for writing more poems and books in the near future.

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Black Suits You by Novoneel Chakraborty: a review


I am speechless right now. It has been an hour since I finished reading the much awaited book of the season, Novoneel Chakraborty’s 8th, Black Suits You and I can still feel my heart beating louder than it ever had and my parched throat. (Did I mention that I did not even touch water for the past 4 hours that I have been reading this?) His last release, Forget me not Stranger (concluding part of the stranger trilogy) had to face a lot of criticism as much as it garnered the love of a few set of readers. His readers clearly were divided into this fine line but I can give it in writing (quite literally so) that this book would again unite them into being one- lovers. The mysterious cover that came up with a tagline during its teasers “You think you know your partner? Think again” more than makes up everybody’s mind into buying this book and the blurb of the book, adds on to the feeling.

According to the blurb- Twenty-seven-year-old Kiyan Roy is the reclusive author of the bestselling erotica trilogy, Handcuffs. When he appears in public for the first time to promote his books, his readers fall in love with his good looks and wit. However, one of them gets too close. Kiyan is followed and seduced by a mysterious girl who pursues him across cities, book events, hotels, luncheons and media interviews. Soon, he becomes obsessed with her and falls for her charms. As Kiyan gets sucked deeper and deeper into this dark and twisted love affair, he is forced to surrender all control. His life and career slowly begin to unravel as this girl lead him down a dangerous path. But is it already too late to rectify his mistakes? Will the path to desire end in doom? Black Suits You is a gripping, fast-paced and clever psychosexual thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.

And it surely stood by what it promised. This clever psychosexual thriller kept me guessing till the end on the edge of my seat. The book, to begin with, is divided into three parts and as often as I have heard the author exclaiming, this book is also about the 3 Act structure that he believes in. Every act brings with itself different twists, turns, answers, questions and with every act ending, you would be more than eager to know what the next act has in store. Disappoint, it will not. Now that I have told you about the 3 acts that are there in the book, let me speak about the cover.

I agree to the part that probably there would be a lot of people who would be disappointed with the cover at first glance because the title says Black Suits You and the cover is in green but trust me on this, if you have read the book only then would you understand why was it so necessary to be what it is. You open the book and then you see the prologue. As I kept on flipping through the pages and rolling on this roller coaster of a book, I had a smile on my face. Or, was it a smirk? I would never know but what I know right now is the fact that I would love to read this book again. "Clever" would be an understatement when this book would be described because the way this has been written, it undeniably has an essence of Novoneel Chakraborty which was missing in his last book. This book is so many questions and answers, all at the same time.

Coming to the narrative and the story. This book has been written with a lot of sincerity and it shows in the way it has come out. You get to read every feeling that the author has wanted to express through the book. The story has twists. Oh wait, TWISTS. In a very typical Novoneel way, the author leads on the reader to think about something totally else while he ends up writing what he wants to write and the surprise quotient for the reader is unmistakable. The literary device that is used in the story is unique and it also makes sure that the reader keeps glued to the story. Since it is a psycho sexual thriller, the book has sex. A lot of it. And the way that the term "psycho sexual thriller" has been used in the book speak volumes. It plays with your mind and I dare say this here, do not believe what you feel or see in this book. It is wonderful to see a narrative which has used "sex" as a major weapon in the book and has yet remained in its boundary, never treading into the cringe worthy genre.

The characters. Ah, the characters! Kiyan Roy, Kashti and Anaysha. I will not say who my favourite was because all of them were such wonderfully layered that it might spoil all the fun. Such well framed characters are the soul of any novel and Black Suits You works because of them. Without them being what they are, this story would have been incomplete. This story is a very limited character story and the book doesn't have more than 10 characters (it is far lesser in number) which make the book all the more worthwhile. The moments that you spend with these characters make you love them, hate them, be sympathetic towards them and be unsympathetic towards them all at the same time. This book is all that people would want to read from mister bestselling author! Given the different small elements and hints that the author has left at different places of the book, it would really be up to the readers to understand them and feel the roller coaster of the book. Eagerly, I would wait on what you think after reading the book.

Coming to the cons of the book I would want to say that since I have been following the works of the author since book 1, this book lacked the one liner quotes that he is famous for. But having said that, there are enough paragraphs that would suit your status and display pictures. Dangerously treading the lines of a few of his earlier books, this book takes a U turn and brings with itself an essence that is its own. I also didn't like the font in which Black Suits You was written. There weren't any grammatical errors in the book and the flow was well maintained all throughout. The end is something that I loved and that is why, I am requesting you, earnestly- DO NOT READ THE LAST PAGE FIRST. Expectations, fulfilled. Satisfaction, achieved. For me, this book would be 4.75 out of 5.

"You came to me wearing a story,
I stripped you bare, making sense.
You teased me with your naked thoughts,

And we make love, intense..."

Thursday, 3 November 2016

Open Eyed Meditations by Shubha Vilas: a review

Shubha Vilas has always been, to me, an inspiration. I have been reading him for a long time now and his Ramayana series always acts as a breath of fresh air for me every year; especially since it comes with a beautiful message handwritten by the author. This time, when I heard about his latest offering, Open Eyed Meditations, how could I have missed it? With this book, the author has attempted to give us a fresh perspective of things that we face in everyday life and that too with the examples taken up from the Ramayana and the Mahabharata. The first thing attracted me towards the book (apart from the title) was the blurb.

According to the back cover- Open eyed Meditations is a beautiful compilation of thoughts wherein each meditation takes you on a journey to the past, bringing a secret herb to heal a problem of the present. A true distillation of ancient wisdom tips for modern lives, this unique self-help book uses the wisdom of the Ramayana and the Mahabharata to solve your everyday problems. Beyond the storyline, something deeper is waiting to be discovered from these ancient texts. This book is an attempt to uncover the hidden layer of wealth that is cleverly packaged within the commonly known storylines.

I usually don’t do this but I would like to tell you that the day I received the book, I was very down and I felt like giving up, crying. I received the book and a smile lit my face as I saw the handwritten message written inside the book. It read, “Dear Sharanya, hoping that every page of this book adds new meaning and depth to your life making it a beautiful meditation. With gratitude and love, yours truly.” And I knew then and there that this book is going to be special. The cover of the book is simple and yet very deep. You would surely get a glimpse of what the book is all about with a look at the cover and then there are 64 chapters in the book which would give you practical wisdom for everyday life.

When I completed the book, I knew that this book would become my new go-to book whenever I am down. It has situations pertaining to every part of our life like friendship, work relations, love affairs etc. The strong voice of the author, who is also a lifestyle coach, with his simplistic writing style makes this book a must read for every person. It is wonderful the way the author has written so much in depth and analysed so much about our everyday life and also our epics- Ramayana and Mahabharata.

At no point of the book would you feel bored. It might not be told as a concrete story but the way the references are given, at no point would you feel that this is not a story that is being told in the book. 64 chapters might have freaked you out? Do not be, because these 64 chapters give you teachings of a lifetime. Everyday questions like, quality or quantity? Can the embarrassment be embraced? What is jealousy? Etc is answered in the book with utmost sincerity and you would feel inspired and enlightened by the end of it. I am sure that whenever you are feeling low in your life, you can come back to the book.

It is always difficult for me to find faults with Shubha Vilas’s books and this book is no different. I would also like to commend the author on the point that he has wonderfully maintained his style of writing in this book. Doesn’t it go without saying that I am looking forward to his next book. For me, this self-help book is a 5 on 5. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 2 November 2016

Black Suits You by Novoneel Chakraborty: a promotional post!

Novoneel Chakraborty is the bestselling author of seven romantic thriller novels. His last novel Forget Me Not, Stranger; the third novel in the Stranger Trilogy debuted at no. 1 on BookScan across India. The second novel in the trilogy, All Yours, Stranger, ranked among the top 5 thriller novels on Amazon India. Novoneel has also written for seven TV shows. Along with his two business partners, Novoneel runs a one-of-a-kind content company Act3 Creations which provides content for films, television and digital media. He lives and works in Mumbai. Black Suits you is his 8th Novel. 

You Think You Know Your Partner? Think Again.
Twenty-seven-year-old Kiyan Roy is the reclusive author of the bestselling erotica trilogy, Handcuffs. When he appears in public for the first time to promote his books, his readers fall in love with his good looks and wit. However, one of them gets too close. Kiyan is followed and seduced by a mysterious girl who pursues him across cities, book events, hotels, luncheons and media interviews. Soon, he becomes obsessed by her and falls for her charms.
As Kiyan gets sucked deeper and deeper into this dark and twisted love affair, he is forced to surrender all control. His life and career slowly begin to unravel as this girl leads him down a dangerous path. But is it already too late to rectify his mistakes? Will the path to desire end in doom? Black Suits You is a gripping, fast-paced and a clever psychosexual thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.

You can order this book from HERE. All pre-orders would be personally signed by the author and do not forget to let me know how did you find the book!