Review of lost and found in Banaras

BLURB:

Banaras celebrates death, but what does it do to the living dead? When three-year-old Brinda is widowed after being married for a few hours, her family refuses to take her back in. Deemed ‘munhoos’, she finds her way to Nirmala Ashram in Banaras where she leads a life of child widow under the watchful eye of Vasanti Bua and her friend, Debi. She and Debi are just another shade of white in the city’s numerous ‘white shadows’ until Sia and Uday return to Banaras. As visitors to the ancient city, they assumed that the unfinished stories of their past were long behind them. Little did they know that Banaras was waiting with its unspent debt and the dishonest voices would find their way back to them in Brinda and Debi. Will Banaras, standing at the crossroads between the ancient and the modern, help them expiate? Will they find what they once lost—love, longing or perhaps nirvana?

MY REVIEW:

A sober read that brings up the lives of innocent widows in Banaras is the story in this book. The book starts off with young Brinda and her brothers playing. Brinda is young, I mean very just that she is 3 years old. The house in the village is gearing up for a major celebration. No you’re wrong if you assume it would be the carnival or temple fest, it’s Brinda’s marriage. Yes, you heard me right, the three year old girl is being married off to an eleven year old boy, Biswaas.

The celebrations take place in a grand manner. Brinda is married to Biswaas who is from another village. So soon after the marriage and feast she is being sent off. Biswaas seemed disinterested right from when the marriage talks were on. Brinda cries her lungs out when she is being sent, but that is how it is in the villages. Upon her arrival she is welcomed by the siblings and her mother in law. Few moments later there is a strong downpour after which there are floods. The entire family except her father in law is lost and she keeps sobbing. When taken back to her village, things are not in their favor and she is marked as a sign of bad omen. Her brother Jhulan takes up an oath to come see her soon.So the father in law who is suffering a deadly ailment is forced to send her to Nirmala ashram run by Vasanti Bua , a home for the widows.

She being the youngest takes time to settle but is close with Debi upon whom there are numerous eye of the landlord for flesh trade. Vasanti Bua, safeguards her from the evil eyes and runs the ashram. Sia who returns to Banaras wants to bring this out to the world and give these young women a better place to live. Uday, a journalist photographer, stumbles upon SIa who then enlightens him the current situation. What happens next? Does Brinda meet her brother, what happened to Biswaas, Does Sia reunite with her love? Who takes over the ashram after Vasanti Bua is the rest of the story.

The author takes the plot in a slow pace and the sufferings of the widows and condition of the ashram is something we worry off. The vocabulary used is simple and easy to understand. It is a slow read and took me a couple of days to finish. I would not say this is a gripping read, but has a different style on its own.

The cover design could have been better. The characterization is done well with few characters playing their part. Nothing is over exaggerated. The narrations with respect to Sia’s life flashback could have been briefed instead of a longer write up.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:232 pages
  • Publisher:Readomania (17 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9385854666
  • ISBN-13:978-9385854668

MY RATINGS:

Title: 4/5

Writing and presentation: 3.5/5

Plot:4/5

Cover: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.75/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mona Verma is an alumni of prestigious Lady Shri Ram College, New Delhi and an award winning author of 6 works of fiction, A Bridge to Nowhere, God is a River, the White Shadow, the Clown of Whitefields and other stories, the Other and Lost and Found in Banaras. She had edited various science journals, self -help books, biographies and is a regular feature writer for online newspapers. She is on board of various Universities as an advisory expert and is much sought as visiting faculty for Creative writing, Haiku and Limericks. She is now a member of FICCI and member of Writers’ meet called for by Governor of Uttarakhand, at Rajbhawan Dehradun. A Paul Harris fellow, she actively volunteers with Interplast, Germany and Rotary International foundation for the treatment of surgical accidents and burns victims. Recently, she has been honored with the executive membership in the Management Committee of Anushruti, a social initiative of IIT, Roorkee for the exemplary work done for the special children at Anushruti. She is also serving as a member of the Academic Review Committee with Anushruti, IIT Roorkee. Presently, she co-owns and runs her firm Disha, an education consultancy and thought leading initiative, which deals with corporate, organizational and faculty/student trainings in schools and Universities. Apart from the above, she has a keen interest in classical music, charcoal sketching, oil painting, photography and travel.

Review of Pyjamas are forgiving #instacuppa #superbloggerchallenge

BLURB:

There sitting on that porch, that light-eyed man, a pitta like me, was my ex-husband and that woman whose inner element I was unaware of, unless bitch is accepted as an undiscovered fourth dosha, was his young wife. In the serene sanctuary of Kerala’s Shanthamaaya spa where food is rationed, sex forbidden and emotions centred, Anshu meets someone familiar and deeply unsettling – her ex-husband. Bittersweet, funny and wise, Pyjamas Are Forgiving confirms Twinkle Khanna as one of our great storytellers.

MY REVIEW:

When Twinkle Khanna made announcements for releasing her third book, it piqued quite a lot of eagerness and interests in her fans and minds of other readers. Since the second book did not do seemingly well, the timing that the release came in, it set the minds of the readers who were expecting a comeback.

The plot begins with the protagonist, Anshu ; a 40 year old divorcee who seeks rejuvenation and is a regular at the Shanthamaaya sthalam, Kerala. No it is not a spa when I meant she sought rejuvenation, it is an Ayurveda Ashram by Dr. Menon where people come in seek of freedom from the doshas that plague them.

Anshu seeks peace from her fast paced life in Mumbai and comes to Kerala seeking peace and tranquility. She signs up for the 28-day rejuvenation program, which holds her a lot of surprises. Among those who signed up, Anshu’s ex-husband Jay and his new wife Shalini are also included. Anshu is in for a roller-coaster ride of innumerable emotions at having to come to terms with her ex’s presence in such close vicinity.

Shalini can be described as everything in opposite to what Anshu is. She is young, flexible, beautiful and thin. It no longer is surprising that Jay fell for her when Anshu was still starting to get used to marriage and its many bizarreness. Anshu’s heart still skips a beat seeing Jay; even though they have been separated for over a decade. After all its her first love so she cannot get over so soon.

All the characters we are introduced in the book are realistic and serve a purpose of their presence.

The writing style as always is filled with wit and humor and it cannot go wrong if I say it is generously present throughout the book. But even then it did not make a strong impact.

The book is a short read but loses the engaging or the intriguing factor somewhere in the middle as it becomes monotonous. At some instances Anshu’s encounters with Jay and the instances handled seemed to lack luster and was becoming repetitive.

The cover of the book is designed so well; in fact, it was one of the factors that pushed me to read the book. But we also know that we shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:256 pages
  • Publisher:Juggernaut (7 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9386228971
  • ISBN-13:978-9386228970

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Twinkle Khanna is one of India’s top-selling writers and the author of two national bestsellers, Mrs Funnybones (winner of a Crossword Book Award 2016) and The Legend of Lakshmi Prasad. She is one of Times of India’s most read columnists and has won numerous awards, including India Today Woman Writer of the Year, Outlook Award for Most Inspiring Woman of the Year and Vogue Opinion Maker of the Year. She is the founder of Mrs Funnybones Movies and in 2018 produced the highly acclaimed film Pad Man. Khanna lives in Mumbai with her family.

This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com , Allaboutthewoman.com and powered by Instacuppa and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Review of Something I never told you #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa

BLURB:

When in love, you tend to take each other for granted, and sometimes, that can cost you a lifetime of togetherness . . . Ronnie knew that his first crush was way out of his league, and yet he pursued and wooed Adira. Shyly and from a distance in the beginning, and more persuasively later. He couldn’t believe it when the beautiful Adira actually began to reciprocate, falling in love with him for his simplicity and honesty.

Slowly, as they get close and comfortable with each other, life takes on another hue. From truly magical it becomes routine. There are fights and then making-up sessions-a clash of egos and doubts.

Things begin to change for the worst.

It is too late. Ronnie and Adira will probably never find their forever after . . .

MY REVIEW:

This book is yet another love story with the usual struggles. Raunak or Ronnie as he prefers to be called falls in love with Adira. Both are from middle class background. The story goes back and forth between the past and present.

Raunak is late for his first day at office and looks to have lost his metro card somewhere in the commotion with the auto wala regarding the fare. On searching around he notices that it is under the dupatta of a beautiful girl who is seated on the staircase talking on her mobile. I know that sounds cliched. On looking at her he realizes that she is not an unknown face but someone he knows very well.

This girl is Adira. Raunka’s maternal grandma has a PG at home, one of whom was Adira. Raunak immediately fell in love, the first day when she came into the place. Raunak hangs out with his cousins or more aptly the only friends he has during weekends, who help Granny with managing things for the house. A few formal hellos were the conversation exchanged between Raunak and Adira. Basically he is very shy to express his liking for her. This is evident in few instances where he buys a silver charm bracelet for her birthday and places a note on it without writing his name, consequence of which some random guy unknown to him in the party claims he was the one who presented it.

Bamm!! Our hero loses his chance. Yet again when Adira falls sick, he gets medicine and makes someone else hand them over to her and she thinks it was Rohit, Raunak’s cousin who took the pain of getting her medicines. Here we go again. At the same timeline, his cousin Piyush falls in love with Tamannah, Adira’s friend, proposes and they are all set for marriage.

Upon the metro train journey Raunak loses track of Adira and ends up late in office; halfway through an important meeting with the clients and his team. But a sign of relief is that through the window he catches a glimpse of Adira is happy that she works for the same company too.

Like a God given chance, Raunak and ADira are on the same team who travel to Melbourne for a client project. That is when they start talking casually. Raunak’s lead helps him understand that he is delaying a decision to go up to and confess his love to Adira.

Raunak decides and proposes, Adira replies saying she needs time to think but he is definitely more than a friend. IN between we have the usual opposition from Adira’s mom refraining her from any male company, she absconds, they meet again at Piyush’s marriage.

What happens to them? Do they reunite is the rest of the story.

The story started off in a good pace and somewhere in the middle that seemed lost. It again regained the pace during the climax. Part of the narration seems to be dragged and things are explained way more in details in the middle which kind of is not engaging.

The vocabulary was good; the narration is clear. Over all is a one-time read and a usual love story. The cover design is too good that makes you want to pick this up. Kudos for that.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:256 pages
  • Publisher:Penguin (14 February 2019)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:0143445901
  • ISBN-13:978-0143445906

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Shravya loves to find hidden stories around her and write novels about them. Formerly a corporate employee, she managed to flee the madness after a few years of boredom to become a full-time writer. She is a sucker for romance and strives to pen down exciting stories. When she is not reading and writing, she is out enjoying nature, playing with her dogs or cooking for her family.

She lives in Melbourne with her family, in a house with a barren backyard and a lifetime’s collection of books.

This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com , Allaboutthewoman.com and powered by Instacuppa and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge is not responsible for any infringement caused.”

Review of Aranghya and Jahar – Bandahar series part I

BLURB:

Evil Sorcerer or Tyrant? Mercenary or Warrior Prince? Songstress or Mythical Nymph? Three Protagonists conjoined by the wrath of a wasteland create an unprecedented history Only one thing stands between an evil sorcerer and his will to destroy a flourishing empire – Shikhanderi’s love for Ishanya Will Shikhanderi’s quest for his identity rock the very foundations of Bandahar? Will Shikhanderi and Ishanya’s love ever see light in the darkness that is Jahar? From a first time writer, comes a thrilling tale of adventure, myth, and fantasy.

MY REVIEW:

The plot involves many characters of whom Mithilesh is the King of Aranghya, part of Bandahar which comprises of seven kingdoms. He has been warned that he would be killed by a golden serpent. And also been warned by the dreamers that he would have to get rid of Kindgom else his entire dynasty would have to be wiped out of history.

Even after having all these thoughts in mind, the King wants to marry of his daughter Princess Binodhini to Prince Vikrant (Prince of Kingdom Dwadesh of Bandahar). But as a twist the prince is in love with Ishanya, the daughter of a sage and is someone who sings well. Her voice is known to be magical with mystical abilities. A love triangle exists between Binodhini, Vikrant and Ishanya.

The book begins with a scene which introduces the main Protagonist Shikanderi. The initial chapters give you an idea about the Kingdoms. There are too many plots involved like the Kind and his destiny, the relationship between the kingdoms, the prince and the princess. There is one more character, Karmachakra involved who wants to invade Bandahar and has ill intentions that he kidnaps women to satisfy his intentions. He is a great sorcerer.

What is the fate of the King Mithilesh, what happens to the kingdoms? Does the serpent kill the King? Does Karmachakra invade the kingdom? Whom does the Princess marry? Do Shikanderi and Ishanya unite is the rest of the story.

The narration seems a bit complicated to understand, but no worries you are provided with a glossary at the end. The too and fro between past and present, too many little plots make it a bit tough to continuously read.

The names of the characters and few serious sequences were worth mentioning.

The books cover shows open sky with some explosions which could have been better for a serious plot like this. But the cover does not reveal what the book actually holds.

Overall the book deserves its place in good one time read list.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Format:Kindle Edition
  • File Size:2347 KB
  • Print Length:147 pages
  • Sold by:Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
  • Language:English
  • ASIN:B07M6GG7GX

MY RATING: Cover: 3.5/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 3.5/5

Overall: 3.5/5

Review of Between you and me

BLURB:

The governance models based on social, constitutional, economic and administrative structure were conceptualised in the nineteenth century or earlier and were executed in the twentieth century. India is our setting, but the problem is universal. This book challenges the existing structures and provokes the youth to think out of the box to combat such challenges.

A young soul trapped in an old body. A ticking clock slower than time. Can this be the ironic destiny of 600 million bright and young Indians? Are we born free and yet trapped by our circumstances? Between You and Me is a conversation that makes the reader ponder about the much-needed transformational changes for the twenty-first century. Why should we get up to act only when we are pushed to the corner? After all, a stitch in time saves nine. Could it be that the parameters of economics, administration, democracy, and social and political constitutions were all ideated and executed for another era? Will tinkering with these institutions help or are fresh ideas needed? Encompassing an extensive discussion and analysis of what comprise our society-government, economy, education, healthcare, science, technology and so on-this book gives the reader a holistic view of India and helps in deriving solution-oriented ideas for a new societal design and structure which will ensure a thriving democracy. It presents the hope and aspiration of an ancient society that wants to break through the colonial legacy and land safely into the future. It is a gripping petition with operating models for redefining the citizen’s role-from the audience to the hero-which, if implemented, would bring societal moksha of peace, power and prosperity.

MY REVIEW:

The author has written in a perspective that will make you think of the most needed transformation modifications for the current trend we live in.

The author makes ourselves question if we are trapped with the circumstances that we come across. He stresses on the need why would we need to take action only when we are put into a situation. He says if we can forecast, why can’t we take steps to counter the situation beforehand.

The book provides new theories for a new structure to thrive in this current democracy. It provides an opportunity for the confidence, trust or hope or whatever we wish to call to amplify an ancient society and to land it safely in future. It provides theories to redefine the role of each citizen; fro not just being a spectator to being a performer. These theories when implemented or put into an action plan would definitely bring a realization of peace, power and prosperity or need I put I tin a better way “MOKSHA” to the society.

The author indulges in conversation about our country’s constitutional system, the pros and cons. He includes the immense length of almost all sectors of the country and deliberates about the different governmental policies that effects those. He brings up facts which are not known to ordinary and educates them about many devious practices used by our leaders: both present and past to fill their reserves.

The two great stories from Mahabharata, the greatest epic that we know of till today is the beginning of the book. He brings up the stories of Karna and Ekalavya two contrast characters in the epic story. He analyses to show the distinction in our ancient country and the shady practices were a standard. He says until we do justice to the eklavyas and karnas in our society we are doomed to fail miserably.

The concepts are so well written and that reflects in the narration of the book. The vocabulary and language is very good and makes it easier for understanding.

I usually do not read nonfiction, but this book is definitely making me change my decision that I should start reading that genre as well.

“I got the book as a part of the review program in Outset .

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:304 pages
  • Publisher:Bloomsbury India (18 September 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9789386826121
  • ISBN-13:978-9386826121
  • ASIN:9386826127

MY RATINGS:

  • Cover: 3.5/5
  • Title: 4/5
  • Writing and Presentation: 4/5
  • Overall: 4/5

About the Author

Atul Khanna is a risk-taking, self-taught entrepreneur who is connecting people, cultures and technology, often ahead of its time. He has built enterprises in manufacturing, engineering, machine vision, life sciences and now education by building an Indian-European knowledge corridor over the years. He lives a quiet, joyous life with his family and friends in Pune, India, and travels to Europe for work.

Review of In love with Simran #superbloggerchallenge #instacuppa

BLURB:

Sanjana’s best friend in college is murdered. She was in love with a business tycoon named Nik Sethi, and Sanjana is certain that he killed her. In an effort to find proof, she decides to get close to him. Good looking and rich, Nik falls in love with Sanjana instantly, but a month later, when he accidentally discovers her real agenda, he throws her out of his life. Determined to nail him, Sanjana’s desperation exceeds all limits when she realizes that she too, like her friend, has fallen in love with a killer. After she escapes an attack one night, Sanjana quits college and goes into hiding. Now her only ambition is to punish the killer and her only weapon is her body. In a last, desperate attempt, she uses herself as bait and pursues her best plan. There are only two options: she becomes a victim or she becomes a victor. Through the story of Sanjana and Nik, In Love with Simran explores the boundaries of the basic instincts of the young: love, sex, trust and survival.

MY REVIEW:

The book starts with a classroom scene wherein the professor asks a question. Simran, a simple down to earth girl comes up with an answer that leaves everyone stunned. She replies that the distance between the moon and back is a kiss. The professor silences the class and proceeds to teaching.

Sanjana is Simran’s bestie. During a break at the canteen, she asks her what made her give the reply to the Professor which is when Simran confesses that she’s fallen in love. Sanjana quickly understands it’s Nik Sethi whom Simran is in love with, which doesn’t seem approving. But since her friend is happy she also joins her happiness. Not knowingthata the happiness is short lived, Sanjana receives call at night stating Simran is at the hospital.

Dropping everything at that instant Sanjana reaches the hospital only to know Simran is at the mortuary. She is surrounded by her family members. Sanjana is astounded and doesn’t know what to say, when she is taken aside by a police officer who introduces himself as inspector Khan, in charge of Simran’s case. He tells her that Simran was pregnant. Sanjana is shattered and immediately collapses on the floor. She then recuperates after two days and leaves the hospital. She is very sure that it was Nik Sethi who was responsible for the murder. She decides to make him feel guilty and confess the murder. She also helps inspector Khan providing vital information and only at a later point comes to know that he is working for Nik.

She decides to intern at a magazine in order to interview Nik and is successful at securing a job and an opportunity to interview Nik even after being refused of an opportunity by his assistants. She decides to encounter him directly sat the gym and ask for time to interview and succeeds. When she reaches his office and he behaves as if nothing happened and wasn’t guilty at all. Instead, he takes a liking for her. She is warned by his PA Ruby to stay out of the way or else she would end up like Simran. This terrorizes her but makes her more firm to believe that Nik is behind the murder. She is being followed by strange people. So she decides to take cover at her mom’s place in Dharamshala for few days prepare herself physically to take on Nik.

Due course of time, after her arrival from Dharamshala, she hires a detective to help her out in this case. The detective helps Sanjana but also saves her from few instances from life threats. While all this is happening Ruby the assistant and Pathan, Nik’s assistant is also being murdered and that too with the same weapon Simran was murdered.

The story takes a series of turns as to who would have committed the crime, there is also an angle accusing Nik’s mom; Rajbala. Sanjana falls for Nik and they both get married. What happens in the end?

Does she find the murderer? Is Nik guilty? Why did he kill three people? Is the rest of the story?

The author has taken the plot in a nail biting sequence as to who would have committed the crime of Nik’s close counterparts. Initially, we also have few alibis which make us suspect who would it be.

What started off as a quest to find the murderer by Sanjana continues in a way that she falls in love with the same guy who killed her friend. This point initially was difficult to accept but at a later point, we do come to know that Nik also has a story to tell. We have only been listening to one half of it.

Sanjana initially was full of rage and wanted to get hold of Nik and make him pay for his crime. The efforts she takes to make him confess and how swifts she wanted to take up a job just to meet him and make him speak are all accolades to her quick thinking.

Nik is smart and quick thinking, He says he deeply loves Simran and is sad that she had to depart soon. But one thing that makes me puzzled is why would he fall for Sanjana, within a short gap of Simran’s demise.

The narration is simple and intriguing to read.

The cover design is perfect and kudos for that.

What looks to be a romantic tale takes a twist.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:224 pages
  • Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (10 January 2019)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:9387022536
  • ISBN-13:978-9387022539

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

One of the leading fiction writers in India, Kulpreet Yadav retired voluntarily from the armed forces to pursue a career in writing in 2014. Now also a motivational speaker, he regularly speaks at schools, colleges, and global corporate brands. Kulpreet’s latest spy novel, Murder in Paharganj, was published in 2017. Winner of “Best Fiction Writer, 2018″, at the Gurgaon Literature Festival, Kulpreet lives in Delhi.

“Note: This article is written as a part of SuperBloggerChallenge2019 conducted by Healthwealthbridge.com,Allaboutthewoman.com and should not be repurposed, republished or used otherwise. The content herein is owned by the blogger. SuperBloggerChallenge2019 is not responsible for any kind of infringement caused.”

Review of Was it love

BLURB:

Leila Rajput is a young girl, struggling with life and relationships, dealing with the trauma of a past life-event. Unaware of her true potential, she has almost given up on life, till she meets this dynamic, near-perfect Vikrant Rao via internet. He identifies her potential and offers her a strange arrangement to be her mentor. He teaches her the basics of life, makes her realize her dreams and helps her in achieving them step by step. Under his guidance, she evolves into a confident and independent woman. They eventually fall in love and Vikrant relocates to her city, where he meets her friend Maya. While he solves Maya’s life conflicts and helps her elope with Shahan, he charges a fee none could ever imagine. Is Vikrant a villain or a victim of greed? Did he truly love Leila or was she just a puppet to reach his next victim? Was it Love? is a story of Leila’s journey through emotions, trials, betrayal and the devil called love.

MY REVIEW:

The book starts with childhood friends Leyla and Maya, on their way to attend an annual party of corporate Inc, which is where Leyla’s boyfriend Vikrant Rao works. Leyla and Maya are now 20, completing MBA and joining the same investment banking company. Maya fumes as she is not okay with Leyla’s rash driving. They end up reaching the party on time. They are received by Vikrant and Shahan(Maya’s boyfriend). Vikrant introduces his beautiful girlfriend to all his colleagues.

Leyla meets Vikrant over the internet( he stays in US), a few years back when she was in college. They started commenting on a blog platform and which in turn bloomed into daily ritual of talking to each other over voice chat. Leyla is insecure and is being mentored by Vikrant to be a better human being and refining her thought process. The mental relationship with Vikrant costs Leyla her relationship with family friend, Avi. He dumps her and she is broken. Vikrant molds and motivates her at this point where she fails in love with him.

They come to a point where they cannot be with each other. Vikrant relocates to Delhi. Leyla makes him meet her friend Maya and offer her some piece of advice since she is in a personal turmoil.

She is in love with Shahan and there would be a religion problem if they come to seek parental consent for marriage. Shahan plans to move to US to pursue executive MBA. Vikrant advises gun to leave and makes a plan for Maya to pursue fashion design in the US so that she and Shahan can elope and live happily together.

Shahan and Maya were delighted on hearing the plan however Leyla is skeptical about it. She somehow notices a change in behavior of Vikrant. Shahan leaves to the US and Maya frequently visits Vikrant to discuss their plans. This goes on for a while until things are uninformed to Leyla and Vikrant starts to ignore her.

Leyla becomes disturbed which is noticed by her boss, Aman. He in turn decides to help her out. Leyla confesses the whole story. Aman, discovers a gruesome truth about Vikrant which leaves her shocking. Aman helps her with the situation and also confesses his love to her.

What happens to Maya? Does she reunite with Shahan? What is the truth about Vikrant? Why does he avoid Leyla and what are his intentions? What happens to Leyla, does she reunite with Vikrant ot she accepts Aman is the rest of the story.

The book is a short read. Initial chapters consist of the chat exchanges between Vikrant and Leyla, which was kind of monotonous. They have poetic exchanges which tends to slows down the pace of the story.

The character of Vikrant is very hard to predict. At one moment he seems to be too pleasing when he talks to Leyla, at a later point he looks to be behaving with a reason to accomplish something else. Leyla on the other hand is gentle, insecure and vulnerable.

The narration is good, except for the dialogues part which could have been minimized. The ending could have been better. I would not term this as a suspense read, since I found that element missing. It was overall a light and a quick read.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback:192 pages
  • Publisher:Srishti Publishers & Distributors; First edition (10 August 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:9789387022300
  • ISBN-13:978-9387022300
  • ASIN:9387022307

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4.4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 3.75/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Neha Sultania belongs to a culturally rich Punjabi family that originally hails from undivided India, now Pakistan. After her post-graduation in Business Administration, she took up banking as her career choice. A creative bent of mind has made her inclination strongly towards storytelling and poetry. Interest in mysteries and mystical nature of the universe has also made her wander into the deep occult sciences, making her a student of Vedic astrology.

Review of the watchmaker and time

BLURB:

Pedro’s love for watches was born out of a strange incident in his childhood. Over the years he has become one of the most renowned watch designers in the world also holding the title, ‘the Maestro of Time’.

One fine day, he gets challenged by his granddaughter on the fundamentals of Time. Unable to answer her innocent questions, he realizes that all his life he had been creating watches but had failed to understand what Time was all about. He gets on to an interesting journey in search for answers.

The journey unfolds with the puzzles of his past guiding him ahead as one after the other his beliefs start getting shattered. Will the puzzles of his past ever let him get to the future? Will he ever find out the true essence of Time? Join this watchmaker in his enriching and thought provoking journey in search of time.

MY REVIEW:

If you are looking for an engaging short read, you must definitely go for this book. Simply one of the best reads I have come across this year. When I initially signed up for review, I thought that the plot would sound very complex and would take a lot of time for me to complete. But the author proved me wrong completely. Would you below I completed the book in 45 minutes.

The book starts with Maria, an eight-year-old looking around a room full of clocks. She is dumbstruck by the collection and is keen to find which clock is new. She is a regular visitor and can find out if anything new is occupied in the room. Right in front of her, we see a 70-year-old man, looking down and working seriously. The man is none other than, Pedro or the “maestro of time’ as he is known. He is Maria’s grandpa and was currently working to fix her watch. He loves to work quietly and when he’s into work, he’s into completely a different world and does not want to be disturbed. His world while working is only him and the clocks.

His work is interfered when Maria, tries to open her purse to look at her new flipbook. That is when it all starts. She starts questioning him on what is time and where is it. Pedro is startled when Maria questions him and makes him realize that all these years he’s been working with watches and he had missed thinking about these.

Pedro receives a phone call from his friend Stuart, post which Pedro and Maria are on their way to see Stuart. Stuart hands over a black box and a letter to Pedro. The letter was from Edward who is Pedro’s opponent counterpart from whom Pedro was expecting a solution to his long-running question in mind. The letter read out that Edward was unable to help and is unaware of any solution that would help Pedro.

When Pedro was a kid, he went out on a trip to Stonehenge with his parents and uncle. Pedro dreams of an old man chasing him and wakes up with a loud cry. That startles uncle Joseph, who ends up crashing the car into a tree. Unnoticed by anyone Pedro realizes they are so close to Stonehenge and he sleeps on the open field when he again sees the old man who gives him a watch. The watch has been running till now when Pedro is 70 years, but the question is how since it does not have a battery or cell.

Pedro meets Reishi, a spiritual man, who gives a word of knowledge to Pedro about calmness and disturbance. It is after this meeting; Pedro decides to go back to Stonehenge to find out answers for the underlying mystery of the watch.

Does he find the answers? Who was the mysterious old man? What is the relationship between what Reishi told Pedro and what he is about to discover?

The narration is just right with the amount of pace that it puts into the reader’s mind. Those cute aeroplane drawings made to explain time concepts make it an additional reason for you to like the book. The editing was fine and the plot was simple and easy to comprehend.

Pedro’s character was thought out well, to have the maturity and knowledge of a seventy-year-old man and the childishness he has when he is around Maria are commendable.

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Paperback: 118 pages
  • Publisher: Embassy Book Distributors; First Edition edition (27 November 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10:9386450984
  • ISBN-13:978-9386450982

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4.5/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Devang Kanavia is a passionate storyteller who ventured into the world of writing with his first book, Best Sellers: Because Everything Is About Selling. A notable speaker and leadership coach, Devang is a versatile author with a perfect blend of science and philosophy. With a lucid and compact style of writing, Devang uses powerful analogies to question the obvious and explore the oblivious while creating page-turners, be it Management or Fiction. In The Watchmaker And Time, he explores one of the most enigmatic subjects, Time, and weaves a delightful and thought-provoking tale unravelling the mystery of Time.

Review of Kaalkoot

BLURB:

January 1944 Holed up in a Himalayan hideout, freedom fighter Manohar Rai has to take a chilling decision – one that could mean life or death for millions of people. His only hope is a mysterious young man, who goes into hiding hours before Manohar is shot dead in cold blood. June 2018 A forgotten legend from the upper reaches of the Himalayas is rearing its ominous head. The world will be brought to its knees. KaalKoot will strike again. Only three people have a clue about the horrors that are about the unfold. The only hope for survival lies buried deep in the remotest corner of Himalayas. But a terrible fate awaits those who seek it. Is it already too late Is KaalKoot – the primordial plague – unstoppable.

MY REVIEW:

This is one book that made me regret my decision. No I did not mean it in a way that I regretted choosing the book. The book’s initial part did not make me glue to it. I read the book taking frequent breaks, but once the plot began racy, the breaks were gone far off and you wouldn’t believe starting I completed the book from part II till the end in one stretch. Such gripping and intriguing was the narration. It made me think what was next or who is next?

The story starts with an introduction to Manohar Rai who keeps a certain information a secret from the government. The story dates back to in the 1940s. But when he suspects that the secret would be sneaked out, he decides to confide it within a youngster. And then there was no information about what was confided and who the youngster was.

Professor Bani and few others are into research about this, gather so much information and a lot of background studies, come to know that the secret that was confided or a weapon that could have possibly been used in the past is to be put in use in the current future. HE along with Professor Hudson, Bavedkar and Steve are aware of it. There is an opponent group headed by Maestro or Doc as he is called; who rediscovered the weapon and is planning an attack with it, to make these professors come out with the secret.

The story starts with a series of disappearances, murders. Sameer is on the verge of losing his relationship with Ananya. This is when she is kidnapped, because she helped out Professor Bavedkar. Sameer tracks the clues left behind and has unknowingly put himself into the quest of solving the mystery of the weapon or “Kaalkoot’ as it’s been known widely.

Damini an agent with ACG, an investigative agency heads this operation guided by her chief. She along with Sameer set out on a journey of mysterious findings from a flashback being told by Professor Bani. Professor Bani, saddened by the sudden disappearance of Bavedkar and demise of Steve, is forced to talk about the ancient history of Kaalkoot.

Together when they plan to set out to rediscover the secrets that the youngster left, Damini is demoted and is cleared from handling the case. But she offers all help to Sameer to accomplish the task.

The British on knowing that the Japanese coming into power might also take over India, plan to destroy the evergreen lands to rubble. And to do this, they used a weapon. People are killed, leaving no evidence of existence. In order to save the richest of literature and artifacts of our nation, the youngster travelled the length and breadth of country and gathered them and secretly hid them in a place that nobody knows. The place also holds another secret, which I am not about to give out and will leave it for you to find out when you read the book.

After much struggles, does Sameer find out the secret hideout, does he discover the treasures of the nation? Does he reunite with Ananya? What happens to Damini and the opponent maestro is the rest of the story.

Though the book starts in slow pace, it gains momentum at the right place. The editing was perfect. I really appreciate the narration style of the author, not giving up the entire secret at one go and making your eagerness drop. Chapter by chapter, the need to find out increases which makes it an interesting need.

The book is divided into parts and in turn into chapters. The chapters also include simultaneous narrations from various scenes, which gives you a complete picture on what is happening is a reaction to the action in one scene.

A well thought out plot, executed perfectly.

I got the book as part of the review program in outset .

BOOK DETAILS:

  • Reading level:12+ years
  • Paperback:343 pages
  • Publisher:TreeShade Books (7 December 2018)
  • Language:English
  • ISBN-10:8193642457
  • ISBN-13:978-8193642450

MY RATINGS:

Cover: 4/5

Title: 4/5

plot: 4.5/5

Writing and Presentation: 4/5

Overall: 4/5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Venkatesh wears many hats. In his roles as private equity investor, executive coach, business leader, entrepreneur and Board member, he has helped businesses thrive and grow. He has spent a significant part of his professional life in the stock markets with Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and JP Morgan and continues to be an avid investor. Venkatesh has been keenly interested in Eastern philosophy and mysticism right from his college days at IIT Delhi and IIM Calcutta. He has found his inspiration to write in rather curious settings – while crawling through war tunnels in Vietnam, coming face-to-face with a bear in the Nilgiris, chancing upon an Indus Valley ruin while on a road trip, listening to “Madhushala,” or just drinking cutting chai by the roadside. He is passionate about self-discovery and the power of stories to inspire and transform.

Review of The ring of Gilly wood

EXCERPT:

‘There he is,’ whispered Vixen. ‘It’s true then,’ said Buck Rabbit. ‘He’s just a small mole,’ said Doe Rabbit. ‘He’s not just a mole,’ said Vixen. A great queen loses a ring. Hundreds of years later a ring slips onto the paw of a young mole. The mole grows to be a wise and trusted leader of Gilly Wood and all the animals that live there. But a great threat is coming. Can one small mole save a whole valley? Mole sets out to do just that with friends he makes along the way and the strange thing on his paw…

Purchase Links
UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ring-Gilly-Wood-Ruth-Banister/dp/178132817X
US – https://www.amazon.com/Ring-Gilly-Wood-Ruth-Banister/dp/178132817X
Author Bio – Ruth was born on a hot August day on a farm in Sussex. Her English teacher once made her write a story about wasps after one landed on her during a lesson. She still hates wasps but she loves writing. Ruth now lives in Kent with her family and their strange dog.
Website – http://www.ruthbanister.com

Author : Ruth Banister

Ruth was born on a hot August day on a farm in Sussex.
Her English teacher once made her write a story about
wasps after one landed on her during a lesson. She still
hates wasps but she loves writing. Ruth now lives in
Kent with her family and their strange dog.
This story was inspired by true events.

MY REVIEW:

The initial chapters have me a feel that the book could be a historic fiction. The story starts of with the queen getting ready to visit the village.

Though she has many shoes that match her attire, the queen is determined to wear her green damask shoes. She gets into the carriage along with Mistress Blanche.

They both ride on the carriage with the queen waving her hands out to the folks who gathered to get a glimpse of the queen. While the queen keeps waving she feels that her ring makes her feel uncomfortable. She immediately gives it to the mistress who puts it into her pouch and secures it tight with a golden cord.

A loose golden thread from the queen’s dress was also cut off and thrown away with a scissors from the same pouch. The queen suddenly startles everyone by stopping her carriage. Rumours spread that the queen is unwell and so on. But it was the beauty of the river that was flowing that made her stop. She wants to drench her feet and enjoy the flow.

After the river episode the queen settles for a meal at the inn in Tilling. She’s tremendously happy and satisfied with the meal that she decides to reward them. The mistress forgets her pouch which caught the eyes of young William James. He takes it as soon as they leave the place. The curiosity of what the purse would contain made him clear the dishes at lightening speed. He examines the content to notice a handful of coins, a gold ring and a pair scissors.The gold ring has a black stone beneath which is a star symbol. He suddenly hears a whisper ‘as above , so below’. Indeed a fortune for him.Not to be noticed by anyone he wraps the purse and places it under an oak tree. Later he falls I’ll, taken care by inn keeper’s daughter, he succumbed to small pox. And the queen’s purse remains a treasure underneath the great oak.

Here comes the entry of mole. Having lost his mom, mole one of the three offsprings of the mother. The mole has the ring from the queen’s purse on his foot. There is also an owl above on the oak tree. They grow up to be good friends. The mole helps other animals on the land when in danger with his ring and the whisper. The land comes to the hands of a real estate millionaire.

That is when the owl makes an appearance in front of Elizabeth, a little girl who helps them win this. The girl gives the owl her lunch bag which has an owl image, a gratitude to which the owl and mole give her a coin from the queen’s purse. That becomes the talk of the town that a school girl discovered an age old coin from the queen’s era.

She understands that mole and owl could talk and they are under serious trouble since their land would soon be a golf court. Meanwhile mole and min ( another female mole from a different field meet, become friends and gibe birth to offsprings).On one of the attempts to save the land ,mole sacrifices his life. She along with Timmy, her classmate make a historic discovery. Do they help min and owl to regain their land. What happens then is the remaining part of the story.

I really loved the cute illustration at the beginning of the chapters. Made me wonder how would the coloured illustration look. Though the book started in a historic notion, I enjoyed reading once mole and owl came into action.

The pace of the plot is apt for the age and I am sure kids are going to love this.

This book review is part of Rachel’s random resources (@rararesources )