Book Review: We Will Meet Again by Tarang Sinha

This book is in-escape-able!
The Blurb:
Paridhi Mathur, dusky, beautiful, and single, is doing everything to keep her academic records high and her love life nil, but lady luck keeps frowning at her.

When she meets Abhigyan Ambastha, rich – devastatingly handsome, intense and sometimes curt, her resolve wavers. Despite regular warnings from her ever-suspicious heart, she inexplicably gets attracted towards him. But she would not let him trespass her soul. 

Why? Is she scared of mendacious face of love her past has inflicted on her? Can Paridhi really trust Abhigyan? Will a blissful breeze of love ever kiss her heart?

A heart-warming saga of dreams and desires, We Will Meet Again promises to make you smile and cry at the same time. Hold on to your hearts before embarking on this roller coaster ride of emotions!

Excerpt:
“Why? Why Paridhi? Why you always misjudge everything about me? I’m sick of it.” He pauses for a second as if to control his anger, and then proceeds, “I have always tried to make you happy. Sometimes, I feel stupid proving myself in front of you for I don’t know what I want to prove! I don’t understand why can’t you trust me?”
He closes his eyes for a second, and then says abruptly. “I love you, Pari. I love you so much! Why don’t you get this simple truth? Is that so difficult? I don’t…just don’t understand what’s wrong with you?” His tone grows irritable. “May I know what churns in your mind, all the time? No seriously,” he confronts.
About The Author:
Tarang Sinha is a freelance writer and editor. She is an avid reader and active Blogger. Her works have been published in magazines like Good Housekeeping India, Child India, Woman’s Era and Alive, and a bestselling anthology “Uff Ye Emotions 2”. 

A science graduate, she holds a Diploma in Creative Writing in English from IGNOU.

‘We Will Meet Again…’ is her first novel.

The Review:                                                        
“The emotion that can break your heart sometimes the very one that heals it.” – Nicholas Spark
First impression lasts for long, if we have a bad experience in a relationship, then it becomes hard to take any such relations positively afterwards. Isn’t it? There is always a fear for the history to repeat itself which makes a person resistant to it, and, hence results into a more suspicious behavior. 
The Reviewer’s Heart…
We will meet again by Tarang Sinha is a remarkable novel which depicts how tragic one’s life could be. The protagonist of the story is Paridhi Mathur, a post graduate student. Her life forced her into so many challenges which although made her strong and independent but also a happiness deprived person. Life, which is generally called a blessing can also be miserable for some, to an extent that they fear to cherish their good times. Paridhi lives with her father, sister and bua and is the eldest daughter of her family. She appears to be an introvert in nature. She is pursuing PG in mass communication and journalism from Delhi. She is a consistent performer in academics and tries her best to keep herself away from any unnecessary relationships. However, she has a best friend named Reet since UG times. Reet is getting married, Paridhi and Mini (her younger sister) manage to convince their father to allow them to attend the marriage in Jalandhar.
Reet’s house, like any other marriage house, is full of lights, colors and flowers. On the arrival day, Paridhi and Mini are also having fun and desserts, however, happiness and Paridhi’s fate doesn’t get along for a long time. She confronts, Abhigyan, the guy she met an accident with, some days back in Delhi when she was going to submit her project to the college in hurry. Every other girl at marriage seems to have a crush on Abhigyan, in fact, Paridhi also admits that he is a handsome guy, in her subconscious, however, she never liked him since the beginning. Abhigyan seems to be a smart and stubborn gentleman. He wants to extend the hand for friendship with Paridhi but for her, he is nothing other than a reason for her stress throughout the marriage. She gets irritated easily in his presence. The more she tries to avoid him, the more she has to face him which makes her annoyed and confused during the whole time spent at Jalandhar.
The reason for Paridhi’s repulsive behavior towards Abhigyan is just not because of the poor first impression created during the accident but it was her terrible past experience in a relationship which made so harsh and hard when it comes to men. 
The story becomes mysterious when Abhigyan appears to be inclined towards Paridhi irrespective of her rude and blunt behavior. Now, the covert is, will Abhigyan be ever able to express his feelings to Paridhi? Will Paridhi be ever able to move on? Will she be ever able to understand Abhigyan’s love for her? In order to unleash the curtains, you need to read this book and I am sure you will never regret reading it. I would like to appreciate the author for her excellent efforts in maintaining the essence of the story till the last page of the book.
  
What I liked?
The setting of the story is so realistic that the reader gets empathetic with the Protagonist and feels fully indulged in the story till the end. The flow of the story is intrigued enough which persuades the reader to imagine beyond the boundaries of the story. All the characters in the story are well-developed and sounds way too real. I admire the character of Abhigyan, a man with high morale and patience. The language used is simple yet sophisticated which accounts to one of the aspects of a worthy novel. 
What I disliked?
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. However, I felt that title could have been more exciting and precise, something which would have better suited the story line.
Why should one read this book?
For all those who are tough-luck and hopeless from their lives, looking for a source of hope and motivation, this book opens a door for you to stay hopeful and await by anticipating every possible twist which might change the definition of your fate. 
Rating:  
Blurb: 4.5/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5
Book Details:
Title: We will meet again
Author: Tarang Sinha
Genre: Mystery
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Gargi Publishers 
Language: English
Pages: 192
Year of Publication: 2016
Price: 180 INR
Buy Paperback: Amazon
Stars… To this in-escape-able read with breeze of love and suspense I give a 4 star rating. Recommended to all
This book was given to me by the Author in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a 4 star rating on Goodreads and Amazon as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Going Underground by L. N. Denison

This book is un-put-down-able!

The Blurb:

The year is 2044. A decree is put into effect that brings about a new era—a revived holocaust against mixed-lineage humans. Being of non-pure blood, Jen Cole has been forced to live under the oppressive government’s radar.

Myron Cutter, Jen’s professed nemesis, one day requests an uneasy alliance with Jen to support conspiracy theorist and rabble-rouser, Oscar Saracen. Incarceration is only the beginning of Jen’s problems when she’s caught conspiring against the government, while Myron is sent to military training by his powerful father as punishment for his part in her deception.

Yet when Jen ends up in the same labour camp as Oscar Saracen, escape becomes palpable as serendipity reunites her with Myron, and hope looms on the horizon. As Jen uncovers treasonous plans, she heads underground—the only safe place for her now, and where she can continue her pursuit of the dark truths enveloping the world she once knew.

Packed with political turbulence and a chilling existence, Going Underground is a hauntingly thrilling journey of a troupe of misfits in a fight to win back their freedoms. December 31, 2046, would be a day to remember. The new Independence Day. But who will win the battle?

Excerpt:

The reason for Lavinia’s hatred towards Jen was unjustified. It wasn’t Jen’s fault that Lavinia had been chased out of her own village, or that she had been ostracised by her family for having a child out of wedlock. When it was brought to light that the father of the child was English, Lavinia was given two choices: she could face the consequences of her actions, or leave the serenity of her village. Lavinia preferred the latter to what was planned for her had she stayed.

Punishments for sinful acts were almost archaic in nature; the sin that Lavinia had committed was punishable by stoning. She preferred to take her chances onthe outside, living in filth and degradation, rather than facing the prospect of a painful death at the hands of people she had thought loved her.

Her brother drove Lavinia as far as North London and left her there with her luggage in one hand and two-year-old Jen in the other. After an agonising journey to the heart of London, they finally made their home under Waterloo Bridge, a temporary stopgap until Lavinia could find work and somewhere a little more suitable to live.

From the moment of their arrival, life would become one big struggle. As the war between England and Scotland escalated, so did the English government’s need to rid itself of the minority groups: namely, people such as Lavinia and the others under the bridge—non-pure bloods, as they were known. Social standing meant nothing, as the people under the bridge had proved. Each one had, at some point, been an integral part of society—at least two had been members.

Parliament before the witch-hunts began, forcing them into hiding. Lists of known non-pure bloods had been posted in all the patrol stations across the Southeast, and one by one they were rounded up and placed into labour camps. There were five such camps, all situated dangerously close to the main battle areas along the North-South divide. Lavinia could count herself lucky—nobody, apart from the people under the bridge, knew that she or Jen existed. So, for a while, they were safe from harm. Lavinia had to learn how not to be so Scottish, trying desperately hard to pick up the English dialect and rid herself of her broad accent. This was a necessity before she could even consider going to look for work. She practised every chance she had, and with anyone who would listen to her.

About The Author:

I’m 44 years of age and live in rural Kent, where I have been for the last 25 years. I have been writing this novel on and off for the past 15 years, I now have something that I can be proud of. It has been tweaked many times over, and it is now where I want it to be. I generally write for fun, poetry and short stories. It is something that I enjoy doing. I am currently writing a post-apocalyptic piece, called Cavers, which is penned for release the middle of next year. That is my ultimate goal.

The Review:

The scenario these days is strange, unforeseen and unheard of. Notwithstanding the proud proclamation of being civilized, developed and sophisticated, we still brood the hatred, repugnance and discrimination about class, creed, race. If we don’t put an end to this insanity, years apart we would be in ground zero, back to point one. Authoress tried to, say, foresee, what will happen after 29 years. The book is an adult fantasy.

The Reader’s Heart…

From now onwards, I would not say that I am not much into fantasy since I have been reading quite a lot of fantasy books lately and Going Underground nailed me. The story revolves around Myron and Jen. The ups and downs in their relation, right from the enemity, to friendship, fights and finally love is an undercurrent of the story. Due to the circumstances, they are dragged into the labor camps arranged by the government to put down the impure blood and the protestors. The cruelties in the camp will make anyone cringe with fear, pain, and repugnance. Finally the join hands with Oscar Saracen, and fight the double standards of the government. Will they succeed?

What I liked?

Authoress has adapted a tight narrative style, which keep up with the storyline. With the right meter of words and imagery, authoress succeeded in engaging the readers till the end of the book. Not even for a second we feel that what we read is fiction. The story has been pulled off with utmost conviction. Lately, I was quite disturbed about an unnecessary surge of erotica in almost all the story with a tinge of romance. But, Going Undeground proves that erotica is not needed to convey the depth of a relation. Thank You Layla for showing a platonic love and a fact that she showed it as that happens in 2044 proves that there are still chances for pure love in future as well. The atrocities in the labor camp remined me of what I read about the way fighters were treated during freedom struggle, emergency, world war and situations alike.

Characters are all crafted well, with required importance to each character at each point of time.

What I disliked?

Even if with a tinge of reality that happened in the past, the cruelties in the labor camp became over the top towards the end, which made the readers tired of the sufferings of the protagonists. Yes, this has happened earlier but it is difficult to even read through.

Why should one read this book?

Do you think that the cast, creed, and race discrimination would surface and engulf us in the future? Do you think that Science would bite us back like a Frankenstein Monster? Do you feel a surge of adrenaline seeing the political double standards? Moreover, Do you love Adult Fantasy? Then you should read this.

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 4/5
Editing: 3/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Going Underground
Author: L. N. Denison
Type: Kindle Edition
Publisher: Createspace
Language: English
Pages: 390
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 0.99 $
Buy on Amazon
Follow on: Goodreads
Follow Author on Twitter | Goodreads

Stars… For this exciting work of fantasy, I would give four stars. Thank you Layla for making me a lover of Adult Fantasy.

Going Underground is an exciting read. It made me a lover of Adult Fantasy. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book! Recommended to all. No second thoughts!

The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and Amazon as I felt nothing less or more than that would be fair.

First Chapter Reveal: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee

Book Details:
Title: Seeking Redemption
Authors: Madhu Vajpayee
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Language: English
Pages: 176
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 199 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads
Follow Author on Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

The Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It’s her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste-based politics. Her path is crossed by two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are going to change her life forever. If it is Aman Sharma who can challenge her ideals, defy her resolves and make her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay Bharti’s sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It’s also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

First Chapter:

Excited to read the book? Order it now: Flipkart | Amazon

Read the review here

#25 Book Review: Postcards From Memory by Samir Satam

This book is a bag full of memories that will mesmerize, as you read them!

The Blurb:

Every moment that passes is not coming back. Yes, there might be moments in future, like the one you just experienced. But it’s not going to be the same again. The one that was, was one like itself. It cannot be replaced. It’s gone… Long gone… Dissolved in this crazy tasting, highly intoxicating drink of life. In an attempt to capture these bits and pieces that keep dissolving to give their distinct flavors to this colorful cocktail, I end up scribbling on my pad. This book is a bouquet of such moments that started with my mindless scribbling and ended up in verses. Sweet, Bitter, Sour, Sublime… Each piece has a taste of its own.

Excerpt:

Last night,
It remained unsaid,
That’s what I regret,
Only if I could have garnered the courage,
To say what I felt,
It might have brought a smile to your face,
Like it once used to…
But again,
The smile part is my assumption…
Poem title: Last Night, Page: 80

About The Author:

Samir Satam,- lives in Bombay where he works as a Software Engineer in one of the multi-national IT companies. He is an avid reader, a serious cinema lover and an individualist by nature. At an early age, he started writing his diary in verses and thus developed his passion for poetry. Postcards from Memory is his first book of poetry.

The Review:

It’s the first time I am reviewing a poetry book, which is easy not at all. In a novel, you go with the flow of events but in a poetry book every time there is a fresh tale, a new scar and an unknown healer. The book title was catchy enough to attract my attention. Being poetic at heart I was curious to read it, thanks to First Step Publishing for providing me a review copy.

The Reviewer’s Heart…

“Poetry is when an emotion has found its thought and the thought has found words.” -Robert Frost

This is exactly I felt reading “Postcards From Memory” by Samir Satam. I liked the opening quote of the book which says, “Life is a large waiting room, Everybody seems to be waiting for something.” It instantly did set my mood to read it further. The book has been divided into ten different segments like; longing, stolen moments, ramblings, love, life and a little nostalgia, a point of view, lost moments, one for the road, flirting with death, temptations and idle mornings. The poet has very artfully brought up the raw emotions that we come across in our day to day or least at some point of our lives. Each of them has a story to tell. I could connect myself to many of his poems and some of them were so ideally tempting that I wish experiencing them. I would love to mention about the poems which I found exceptionally good. In the poem “A Lost Thought”, the protagonist longs to meet his girl and express his feelings. He imagines and prepares himself but as the day progresses, that thought seeps into the corner of his mind. And finally when he meets her in the evening, looking breathtakingly beautiful; he forgets all he had prepared to say. Doesn’t that happen with all of us? We wish to speak but words deny to spill out. “Villain”, talks about the hidden demon within all of us; to which when profess from outside gets evoked but… within a shield of heroism. “Reading”, I could so much resonate to this poem. It is a sweet treat for all the book lovers. “Silent Telephone”, when you end up fighting with your dear one and the ego take its seat in the first place. Grudges is what you hold on and the bond is what you lose on.

What I liked?

The poet has preferred simple language and yet his writing style has an intriguing touch to keep reader’s interest and attention. I liked the variety of themes he chose to write on, that saved the book from a monotonous read. The book cover goes perfect with the book title.

What I disliked?

I wish if only the book could have been edited a little better. Also, I felt the book ended so quickly as I wanted to read more 🙂

Why should one read this book?

If you are planning to read a good poetry book or if you aspire to start writing poems on your own then, this book could inspire you to hold your pen and dig down to your power of imagination. A wonderful read for all the poetry lovers.

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 3.5/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Postcards from Memory
Authors: Samir Satam
Type: Paperback
Publisher: First Step Publishing
Language: English
Pages: 132
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 195 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads
Follow Author on Facebook | Goodreads

Stars… To this inspiring poetry book, I give a four-star rating. Keep writing, Samir!

Postcards From Memory is a bag full of memories that will mesmerize, as you read them!! This book will inspire you to hold your pen and dig down to your power of imagination and write! A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book! Highly recommended to all the Poetry Lovers. No second thoughts!

This book was given to me by the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee

This book is a nice decent read!

The Blurb:

Story of a girl Meera, who is unwittingly drawn into a conflict from where she finds it difficult to emerge unscathed. It’s her journey from being a simple, medical graduate belonging to a middle class family to the uncharted territories of corruption and caste-based politics. Her path is crossed by two men, both compelling yet completely contrasting characters, who are going to change her life forever. If it is Aman Sharma who can challenge her ideals, defy her resolves and make her the person she finally becomes, it is Abhay Bharti’s sublime love which enables her to go through the vicissitudes of life. It’s also the story of her loss as well as triumph against her own demons to find her true self.

Excerpt:

All of them busy cheering their friends and exchanging pleasantries. Optimism was at its peak. She always loved the energy and undying spirit. An announcement was going on for today‟s final dress rehearsal program. Students were advised to segregate according to the degree they were receiving. She proceeded to join the MBBS batch with her friends Priya and Kiran Mala.

MBBS graduates were asked to stand alphabetically. Meera was taking her position when she sensed from the corner of her eye that someone was intensely watching her. Before she knew it, a tall and handsome man, with a whitish complexion, sharp chiseled features and deep dark brown eyes, wearing jeans and sky blue t-shirt was approaching her.

“Can I talk to you for a moment?” He asked her. Meera was perturbed by this sudden intrusion.

“Hi! I am Aman … Dr Aman Sharma, MD Medicine. And I guess you are….” he trailed off.

“I am Meera Mishra. I‟ve just finished my MBBS.” Meera finished the sentence.

“I would like to meet you sometime.” Aman said. There were no preliminary talks, not much introduction, it was simply a command. She, still unable to get a grip over the situation, replied, “I will see.” He then vanished in the crowd as quickly as he had appeared.Her eyes tried to follow him in the auditorium while rehearsal was going on. Aman Sharma had a demeanor, which reflected a kind of aloofness. His face had an arrogant look about it and there was an aura of aristocratic upbringing.

About The Author:

Dr. Madhu Vajpayee,- the writer was born somewhere in those hospital corridors where she has spent the last two decades of her life. Witnessing life at such close quarters pushed her to capture its enigma in her words and slowly it became her passion. After writing several scientific papers and chapters in books, this book is her first step in literary world.

Having done her graduation, MBBS from King Georges Medical University (KGMU), Lucknow she went ahead to pursue her post-graduation, MD from AIIMS, New Delhi. She was a consultant at All India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS), New Delhi having been associated with management of patients living with HIV/AIDS. She is now settled in Melbourne, Australia with her family, where she is devoting most of her time to writing, the passion that she couldn’t pursue earlier because of the demands of medical profession and commitment it requires. When not creating stories, Madhu enjoys reading and travelling.

The Review:

When a country’s political system starts taking a toll on the lives of innocent people. So much, as to nearly threaten all aspirations, opportunities, rights and even peace from their lives. Their only mistake is being a part of that vicious cycle. But then, from a league of common people only, there are revolutionaries too. Who courage to rebel and fight against the system. Has sacrifice been that easy? Yes. Only when your dream and sacrifice are entwined together, adding will and perseverance to it.

Simran’s Desk…

Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee is a deliberately written book in context to social issue which still persists strongly in the roots of contemporary society and that is – a combination of politics and increase in the number of reservation quota for backward class.

The story revolves around Meera Mishra, a charismatic, intelligent, diligent and courageous doctor, who earns her M.B.B.S degree despite all the odds that her family face in terms of financial condition. Her mother constantly probe her to get married in a well-to do family whereas, her father be there to support her during all her ups and downs. He believes in Meera’s capability and encourages her to apply for post-graduation. Aman Sharma, who is pursuing MD in medicine from the same college admire Meera’s beauty and falls in love with her. He starts contacting her and seek ways to meet but Meera being goal oriented ignore him. Though he is arrogant and demanding but gradually, she starts liking and accepts the way he is. Unfortunately, Meera being hard working and intelligent fails to qualify the post-graduation medical entrance exam whereas, her best friends Priya and Kiran Mala who are comparatively less deserving candidates clear the entrance with the help of reservation quota. Meera is surprised and bewildered thinking what destiny holds for her in future and suddenly, her father gets terribly hit by an attack which paralyzes one side of his body. He is the sole earning member in the family. Meera’s younger brother, Raghav is an average student who aspires to study engineering. He doesn’t qualify entrance for a government engineering college but his mother pesters to get him admitted to a private college instead, that are expensive. In parallel to this, the government and the officials such as Prof. Rajaram, Samir Saxena, Rajesh Kumar and Rahul supports increase in number of reservation quota for their own benefits and agenda of winning votes whereas, on the other side, Aman, his father, Dr. Sanjeev and Dr. Abhay Bharti are against it, as they believe the gap between lower and upper castes has been filled and there is no more need of privilege. Meera, even after scoring well in her M.B.B.S doesn’t get to work in her own college which she should have had got it by default. That’s when she realize, the vicious cycle of politics and the system that runs blindly solely for its own benefits.

Will Meera be able to get a job and continue her studies or would be married off to someone? Will her parents would agree Aman- Meera relationship? Will she be able to arrange funds for family and expense for her brother’s higher education? Will Abhay Bharti and other rebellions get justice or will the vicious cycle would get stronger? Read the book to find it out.

What I liked?

The author has well defined all the characters in the story. She has nicely narrated the story and has put almost every aspect of the situation (reality) very wisely. The story goes on more like a debate which I found interesting. The ending is quite justified and has not been hurried.

What I disliked?

Repetition of dialogues and grammatical/spelling errors were a bit irritating. Other than that, I felt the story lacked surprise element and it was a slow read.

Why should one read this book?

Are you too against the reservation system? Have you too been deprived of opportunities because of the ongoing reservation system? If yes, then it’s a book you can relate yourself and realize how deeply it’s affecting so many dreams and lives.

******

Sarav’s Desk…

First of all, a very big congratulation to Madhu Vajypayee for addressing a social issue that’s in the roots of our society – reservation and the politics involved in it. Keep writing and good luck for your future.

How often we read a book on social issues these days? The answer would be a single digit I guess. This book, Seeking Redemption by Madhu Vajpayee, is one of its kinds – a mixture of reservation, privatisation of medical colleges, ugly politics, and the people in power deciding the fate of everything. Just like how it happens in reality. I appreciate Madhu for attempting to write in this genre.

This book had a promising plot, which later got mixed up with too many subplots that diluted the concentration of the book. The first few chapters drew me into the story, made me travel with the characters, only to read a diluted plot. For example, when Meera said YES to Aman, I expected to read a few romantic chapters, but what I offered was a complete let down. When the author wrote about anti-reservation movements, what lacked were the details, the complete setup, and facts to believe it. To be true, I was bit disappointed reading the final few chapters.

The story had its own twists and turns, keeping me hooked till the end, but there was no surprise element. Still, this was a good decent read. I took three hours to complete reading the book and one hour to write this review. If you are against reservation, then read this book to know the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, which the author penned wonderfully.

What I liked?

Only a few people know where to tell and where to show, I believe Madhu has done a decent job in this area. Her impeccable narration is what kept me hooked till the end. The plot and the characters are wonderfully plotted. The quick turn of events, the so-called good-luck factor, are well used in this book. Overall, this is a different decent read!

What I disliked?

Love and romance… the book lacked love and romance in those candid conversations between Meera and Aman, overuse of the words “Reservation” and “Caste”, lack of details or the setup of the subplots, repetition of the dialogues and grammatical errors.

Why should one read this book?

If you are against reservation, then read this book to know the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, which the author wonderfully penned. If you are victim of these ugly politics, for sure you will relate and applaud the author for plotting a decent read!

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Editing: 4/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Seeking Redemption
Authors: Madhu Vajpayee
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Language: English
Pages: 176
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 199 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads
Follow Author on Blog | Twitter | Goodreads

Stars…

Simran, the talented reviewer of our team, gave this book a three-star rating. While Vidhya and I, gave this book a four-star rating, to applaud the author’s brave attempt to write about a social issue that’s in the roots of our society. Keep writing, Madhu!

Seeking Redemption is a decent read! This book is against reservation, highlighting the ugly politics involved in medicine industry, will make you applaud the author for plotting a decent read! A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you hooked till the very end! Highly recommended to all who are against reservation. No second thoughts!

The author has opted for a promotional package and our services. We are glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are from the reviewers heart and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. We have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and we will on FlipKart and Amazon as we felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Humbling And Humility by Rian Nejar

This book shakes the prejudices through a grave, touching, and harmonious background story

Buy on Amazon: Paperback | Paperback

The Blurb:

“Humbling and Humility” is an intense, detailed narrative of an Indian-American father and husband’s struggle with betrayal by his spouse and its consequences upon himself and his children.

Including a critical view of state intervention into domestic discord in families in America, the narrative explores this father’s attempts to mitigate harm and accommodate disruptive life changes in non-violent ways, both in his family and in other families in similar predicaments.

In raw and honest discussions, with no pretense of holding back, the author delves into culture and gender differences, and the many challenges immigrants face in America.

Excerpt:
The wagon rolled out of 4th Ave., and I was grateful to see some sunlight through the tiny window. We stopped at a holding facility in another part of the metropolis, where a young, stocky fellow, no more than a year or two above twenty, with a large black patch of what seemed like dead skin on the underside of one of his forearms, joined me in my side of the dog wagon.

He seemed chatty, and given my brief exposure to sunlight, I conversed with him permanent black skin patch through MRSA gathered from unclothed contact with surfaces inside many jail cells he’d been in. MRSA is a bacterial strain highly resistant to treatment. It is quite common in the holding cells and incarceration facilities of the state. He was hospitalized by the state due to the severity of his bacterial infection. They’d managed to stop it, but not before the starkly visible damage. He seemed dismissive of it, but I wasn’t so sure that I would, at my age that was twice his, survive such bacterial infection.

As we were led into the civic center in Dilbut that housed the courts, through back doors into a holding area, I saw the same cop who’d mocked my request for toiletries at the 4th Ave. intake line. This Hispanic member of law enforcement– from his name, Carillo– seemed to enjoy playing sadistically with the emotions of those in the state’s unrelenting grip, presumed innocent or not. His face had all the refinement of a Halloween mask. It was a face not even a mother could love.
who’d mocked my request for toiletries at the 4th Ave. intake line. This Hispanic member of law enforcement– from his name, Carillo– seemed to enjoy playing sadistically with the emotions of those in the state’s unrelenting grip, presumed innocent or not. His face had all the refinement of a Halloween mask. It was a face not even a mother could love.

In time, an officer came in to inform us that a female judge had put in an appearance, and the sadistic cop changed his slant to discussing how she’d been making bail release determinations. It’s rather redundant to indicate that he worked at raising our hopes, with claims that the judge had, just the past week, let many in arraignment leave without bail, right from the courtroom, on their own recognizance. It is also not hard to now see why those arrested and subjugated by law enforcement refer to them as pigs, which I hardly think stands for ‘people in government service,’ though you may again be forgiven for such a gentle assumption.

A short walk, and a climb up a spiral staircase, led us directly and surprisingly into a courtroom. There, we were all gathered in the jury section, some gloriously attired in overalls of white with wide black stripes, and all with handcuffs on. There was only the judge and two cops present in the room. She went through each person’s situation, setting bail at significant amounts for each and every one of us. Some she would not release at all, and had to resign themselves to going back to the holding facilities or to Waspoia’s tent camps.

About The Author:

Rian Nejar is a mid-60’s child from India. He trained and worked as an engineer in India, lived briefly in the Middle East, and arrived in America in the early 90’s. After a Master’s in electrical engineering in America, he worked as an academic instructor, engineer, entrepreneur, and technical writer over the two decades since. Humbling and Humility (HnH) is the first heartfelt written expression of his varied life experiences. He lives in the Southwest United States, and writes on the social and human condition.

The Review:

Humbling and humility is predominantly an account of author’s take on the eastern and western culture.

The reader’s heart

We have always been complaining that the system in India is dormant and takes forever to reach a decision but Humbling and humility tells us a different story; the repercussions of a fast action. In a context of the humiliation of Indian Diplomat Priyavani, author unravels a dirty world where the facilities to the convicts or presumed guilty are menial. Author shocks the reader with the stories of unhygienic cells, which carries bacterial infections to the inmates of the prison. The protagonist ends up in an intervention center as a result of a bogus complaint filed by his wife. In spite of the sufferings from his spouse, the protagonist is the one who is convicted due to the indiscretion of the legal system and bureaucracy. In an unrelenting effort to make sure that the wrongdoer is punished, innocent people are becoming scapegoats. Protagonist is a first generation immigrant from India, who is struggling to adjust himself in the western culture. The dilemma, pain and frustration of the protagonist is conveyed well to the readers. Surprisingly name of the protagonist or his spouse if not mentioned anywhere in the book; or I missed it. While trying to put to light the inconsistency of marital lives in Western culture, author has portrayed a well to do family of his friends John and Parvathy, which shows that it is not an impossible task to inculcate two cultures but as the protagonist’s counsellor in the intervention center says, the Pendulum keep on swaying and at a point where it stops, things will work out. Protagonist’s life takes a turn when more people enter his life.

What I liked?

The language and craft of the story is solid. It is more of a monologue of the protagonists but yes, there are conversations but in a lesser number. Nevertheless, readers would not be bored. Author is absorbed seamless into the protagonist that at some points, I kept on wondering if I am reading an autobiography. Author touched so many topics, which are matters of concern for the protagonist. Through the stories of people whom the protagonists meet at the intervention center, readers are subject to revelations of unexpected happenings in a system that is considered secured, perfect and spotless. Last but not the least, the book is an eye opener about the misuse of Domestic Violence prevention measures. The editing is also done with finesse.

“Punishment for something I’d done, I can accept, but a beating, just because you are angry, is not okay.”

“This pendulum was not only an unstable system; it was, in the hands of a ruthless and single-minded collection of authorities, a hammer of social injustice and repression.”

What I disliked?

While we are half way through the book, the pace drops a little bit but takes momentum once Giddu, Guddy and Monty come to picture. A wave of anti- female feeling could be felt but it could be the protagonist’s perspective. The book cover design is simple when compared to the gravity of the topic.

Why should one read this book?

To know the sugar coated, quasi-perfectionism of a system which we look up to, one should read this book.

******

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4.5/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 3/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Humbling and Humility
Author: Rian Nejar
Genre: Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Anasim Books
Language: English
Pages: 310
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 933 INR
Buy on Amazon: Paperback | Paperback
Follow on Goodreads:  Book | Author

Stars…

To this enlightening journey of words, I give a four-star rating.

“Humbling and Humility” is a sugar coated, quasi-perfectionism of a system which we look up to, one should read this book. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you hooked till the last page. Highly recommended for all. A must read. No second thoughts!

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book was given to me by author in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

About the Reviewer: Rakhi was born in a small town in Kerala. Born and brought up as a quintessential small town girl, she had always been ambitious and goal-oriented. After her masters in Biotechnology and Business Administration, she joined as an HR recruiter in a consulting firm. Her eight-year-old love life blossomed into marriage in 2010 and she joined her husband's family business. Blessed with two children, she is a full time mother and an author. Her passion for literature made her the author of the poetry collection Un-assuaged- The blossoms of my imaginations. She started writing her blog Outset- Rakhi Jayashankar.

Book Review: Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety

This book weave magic with the sword of words.

The Blurb:

“I knew there was nothing poetic about death. I knew not that the most horrific battles are fought off the battlefield.”

Arjun: The idealist in a non- ideal world; the warrior whose deadliest opponent was his conscience. History forgot his voice, but misquoted his silence.

“My self-esteem originates from me and ends in me. Why does your honor depend on me? Find your own.”

Draupadi: The untamed tigress, the fragrant flame, the unbridled spirit.

“Power does not justify sin. Power is not virtue. Virtue is that which lasts in spite of power.”

Krishn: The enigma whose unique ideology churned the battlefield into a quest for Truth.

The Missile… The Trajectory… The Vision. The trio that makes for the core of Mahabharata. 

This is their saga.

Insightful, visceral and candid

Excerpt:

“Everyone wants to be the best and I don’t mind toiling to ensure my superiority. But the best is always a state of flux, it is a constant endeavor, not a one-time title. I will encounter so many warriors in my lifetime. Each will have his own specialty, finesse and his tutor’s nuances. I have to de-learn, relearn and reinvent myself constantly.

“I am not being self-effacing. I am doing it with a definite purpose. If I get smug, I will stagnate. Why would I do something so cruel to myself?”

I leaned forward,”Let us switch to better topics. The mere mention of Hastinapur makes me gloomy. Duryodhan tried to kill you all so as not to lose Hastinapur. That conflict died without any skirmish and in his favor. Now what is his grief?”

“His grief is that we are still alive.”

“I disagree, Arjun. The feud ended with the division of land. They are in their Hastinapur, we are in our Indraprastha. They are of no consequence anymore.” I gazed from one to another. 

“Your are not merely alive. You are flourishing. Indraprastha does not merely exist. Indraprastha is blindingly prosperous. Inconsequential things have a way of snowballing into vicious problems.” 

Krishn, as always, liked to have the last word.

About The Author:

Dr. Shinde Sweety holds a Doctorate in Medicine, with numerous publications in Indian and International Medical Journals. She is an avid Mahabharata fan and a voracious reader. She loves to day-dream, swim, sketch and learn new languages- currently trying Spanish and Sanskrit. She blogs at “Impractical Dreamer”, where she review books, delves into spirituality and searches for humor in everyday life. She can be contacted at sweetyshinde@hotmail.com

The Review:

For all the Mahabharata lovers- It’s a book that you would cherish getting back to, each time. An enthralling read that will lead you to the wise insights of past, present and future. 

The reader’s heart

I apologize to the author for keeping the review copy for almost six long months. There are so many things I missed out and unfortunately this wonderful book too. Thank you so much Dr. Sweety for being kind and patient with me. Getting back to the review.

Arjun Without A Doubt by Dr. Shinde Sweety, is significantly about three very powerful characters of Mahabharata- Arjun, Krishn and Draupadi. Through this book she has retold the essence of myth and our beliefs attached to it. I appreciate the author for such an excellent and smooth narration. As I started reading, I was moved with the characters right from the very first page. It was beautiful to read from Arjun’s perspective and then Draupadi’s perspective. I especially loved Krishn’s dialogues with light humor and effectiveness; the all time savior. I felt bad for Draupadi for being shared as a common wife among Arjun’s brothers. At the same time I was happy that the love between Arjun and Draupadi didn’t fade but get stronger with each new challenge thrown over. Draupadi, a rare combination of beauty, brain and courage was the most appealing character. For all her life she sacrificed to sacrifice. I was almost in tears reading the reunion part of Draupadi and her sons. There are so many instances in the book that have become close to my heart, I found myself involved and connected it. If someone come and say what’s so hard to tell an old known epic? But wait… this is not just an epic but a work of sheer brilliance. There are some books you read and forget but there are some special books which had kept you hold till the end when you first read them, you feel getting back to them again and again. “Arjun Without a doubt” undoubtedly stands in the latter category.

What I liked?

The author has masterfully worked over the main characters and events with beautiful description. There are many inspiring and awakening quotes in the book. It’s the first time I read a mythological genre and I must say this book has open a way to this particular genre, for me.

* “Don’t underestimate your triumphs. Leave it to the enemy.”

* “Silence too, can be misquoted” 

* “Peace is the first casualty in every ambition.” 

* “I learnt that no matter what names they give you, nothing applies until you wish it to. No insult, no barb yours to bear unless you want it to. Use it, if you want. Make it into a weapon and let it boomerang back to those who uttered it. Just don’t let it overpower your life.”

* “Ask yourself if I’m capable of contradictions, Draupadi.

Some missions succeed only by their spectacular failure. – Krishn”

* “..war doesn’t decide who is right – it just decides who is left.”

What I disliked?

What I disliked in the book was, at a few places I was confused whether the statement was by Draupadi or Arjun. It was a bit irritating to go through the previous lines again but it doesn’t take away the credits for writing a wonderful book.

Why should one read this book?

Whether you are a Mahabharata fan or not, doesn’t matter. I bet you won’t deny in accepting it to be one of the best reads. I won’t say that you “should” read this book. In-spite, I would say, “Must Read It”

******

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 5/5
Excerpt: 5/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Arjun Without A Doubt
Author: Dr. Shinde Sweety
Genre: Mythology/ Epic/ History
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Frog Books
Language: English
Pages: 306
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 195 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on:  Facebook | Goodreads Author Page

Stars…

To this mesmerizing reading ride full of  wisdom and insight with an exceptionally moving narration; I give a four-star rating.

“Arjun Without A Doubt” will stand up to your expectations with an exceptionally moving narration. Main characters of the story appear so real and alive to have you moved along with themselves. This book weave a magic with the sword of words.. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book that will keep you mesmerized for a long time. Highly recommended for all. A must read. No second thoughts!

This book was given to me by author in exchange for an honest review. I am glad to read and review it. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Love Stories Around Us – An Anthology

This book is a good love dose for romantic hearts!

The Blurb:

World is full of love, and stories related to it…. just close your eyes and you will find too many love stories around us.

Have we wondered how these relationships are made? What connects people around the world? What is it that bind us together?

Love, sentiments and feelings keep us linked to each other, till our feelings are alive, our relationships are alive; our love is alive. No one can teach you this emotion, except life. And with every couple, there is a story. Shades brings you few of the love stories around us.

Excerpt:

“Hey”, he smiled, getting up to greet her.

“I’m sorry I am late”, she said, shrugging. “I just, I got caught up with something.”

“This is the least amount of time I’ve spent waiting for you…I don’t mind…”

“Do you… Do you have the papers?”

“Yeah, I do. I haven’t signed them yet, I just, I have to ask, just once more. I can’t forgive myself if I don’t Neha. Can we really not fix this?” ( The Memories by Shravya Gunipudi)

My Review:

A book that will make you fall in love with love stories and wanting you to read more and more because ”true love stories never have endings”. – Richard Bach

The reader’s heart…

Love Stories Around Us published by Shades Publications comprises of twenty-five love stories, penned by twenty-five different writers, inspired by real life incidents. Some of the stories made me teary-eyed, some made me happy and delighted and a few of them disappointed me. I am going to share my favorite picks which I felt were savior to the title of the book.

1) “But… why it has to be you?” by Saravana Kumar Murugan, is a beautiful and a modern love tale of Irene and Shiv. Irene is sure about her love for him but deep inside she wants an answer, “Why only Shiv?”. So, she decides to leave it on their destiny . Shiv, for whom Irene is breath; his life, goes through every possibility to find her amidst all the odds. The story depicts love across the globe, love beyond fate and love conspired by the destiny. I had a wonderful time reading this fast paced story with some interesting twists. You never fail to amaze me with your stories that conveys, “Love is beautiful, love is life and love is what that keeps us alive”.

2) “Love Beyond Rules” by Ankit Jain, revolves around the two passionate lovers, Ankit and Aashi. They work as a team for a leading company in Mumbai. Ankit falls in love with Aashi and soon the Aashified effect takes a toll on his mind. There comes smart tactics that one should follow to impress a girl and I completely envy your ideas, Ankit. I loved every bit of it. From your first meet, tricks to impress her, win her heart to a cute attempt to make Aashi fall in love with Ankit. Amazing!! It was a page- turner read. You said so much about Aashi and now I am tempting to meet her.

3) “Sunaina” by Barun Bajracharya, is a teenage love tale of Siddhartha and Sunaina. Their story starts with a kiss that Sunaina gave Siddhartha in an unconscious state. That incident erupt intense emotions in Sid and he starts liking Sunaina. But, every time she refuses to be friends with Sid. An incident changes everything for good. Sunaina accepts Sid’s friendship but for love, she choose someone else over Sid. A heart warming love story. Enjoyed it to the core. Siddhartha never lose his hopes on Sunaina. And like a sincere lover he is happy to have Sunaina around him though just as a friend. I liked the use of local terms and chirpy- innocent Sid. His imagination at tender age, it all seemed so real.

4) “Memories” by Shravya Gunipudi, is a sensitive story and quite a general issue in today’s time. Neha and Akhil, the made for each couple suddenly realize that there is nothing more left in their marriage and thus, decide to give divorce. Neha is firm on her decision despite knowing it will make their lives worst. She and her friend, Pallavi when start collecting things from room before the separation, each and everything in that place reminds Neha of the beautiful moments she had shared with Akhil and those promises of love. She is in dilemma but restrict herself to be carried away by his memories. Her ego is break when she find Akhil’s longing to be with her and give their marriage a second chance. It’s ending uplifted my mood.

5) “I Am A Killer” by Akash Srivastav, is a story of two childhood friends who get separated by the time but in hearts their love and friendship remain fresh as ever. Ramesh, a contract killer is quite efficient in his job. This time he has to kill a pretty -innocent looking girl, Sanjana who was travelling to Kolhapur. Sanjana’s husband marries her not for the sake of love but to take away her wealth and thus, he appoint Ramesh to make his way simple and clear. The simplicity on Sanjana’s face and sparkle in her eyes push away Ramesh’s intention. Every time he tried killing but ended up saving her. And, a moment come when they realize they are old childhood friends, separated by the destiny but united by hearts. The backstabbing by her husband was shocking for her but having Ramesh at her side, it didn’t last long. The story ends on a happy and justified note.

6) ”Payal, I Promise You…” by Divya R. Bandodkar,  depicts of a love story where a girl is not sure of commitment in relationship. Payal and Atul love each other passionately and know well, they are pairs made in heaven. The root cause of it is, Payal grow up seeing the hardship and failure in her parents’ marriage. Her father being there never stood to support or even love her , he assaulted his wife. And all this while her mother did her upbringing, playing all the possible roles. The sweetest part of this story was, Atul while listening her sad story types a long text message on his phone, he make promises to fulfill all the values which were missing in Payal’s parents’ marriage and send her the message as soon as she leave the place. The simplicity in the story touched my heart.

What I liked?

The book cover is exceptionally beautiful with pink- orange shade and silhouette of couples. Also, the stories in this book spotlight on various aspects of love, relation and friendship rather all mushy stuffs. It was a fresh read.

What I disliked?

I believe, a good editing adds life even to the dumbest of books. The spelling and grammar mistakes in some of the stories were quite irritating. I am sure a bit of editing will turn out this book into a splendid one.

Why should one read this book?

Some of the stories are breathtakingly beautiful but if I talk about a complete book, it doesn’t stand up to my expectations. And I feel, there is a serious need of working on some of the stories and editing the entire manuscript.

Stars…

To this up and down reading ride, I will give this book a four-star rating.

Rating:
Blurb: 4/5
Description: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Editing: 3/5
Book Cover: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Love Stories Around Us – An Anthology
Authors: Atika Srivastava, Saravana Kumar Murugan, Ritika Raj, Anisha Mohata, Rafia Jafri, Debashish Mishra, Nilakshi Pathak, Shravya Gunipudi Divya R. Bandodkar, Vibha Sharma, Elora Rath, Akash Srivastav, Varina Rasquinha, Nidhi, Kavya Shah, Pavitra Singh, Mahesh Sowani, Arjun Bhattacharyya, Biswadeep G. Hazra, Abhilash Patel, Lipsa Padhi, Prakash Guru, Ankit Jain, Barun Bajracharya
Genre: Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Shades Publications
Language: English
Pages: 243
Year of Publication: 2015
Price: 150 INR
Buy Paperback: Flipkart | Amazon
Follow on: Facebook | Goodreads Page

Some of the stories made me teary-eyed, some made me happy and delighted, and a few of them disappointed me and doesn’t stand up to my expectations with careless editing.. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book, a good dose for romantic hearts!

This book was gifted to me by one of its authors. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and Amazon as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Book Review: Lemon Girl by Jyoti Arora

This book is a bold read!

The Blurb:

‘It’s all your fault.’

Mere words these are.

“But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity.”

In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.

She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves , and seduces the one who can never love her.

When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she’s a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can’t rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.

Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has “nowhere else to go” but down.

“When it’s time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it,” says Arsh.

But can love survive, when even the self love dies?

Can love survive when respect is no more?

Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?

Find out in the pages of this brilliantly woven, intense, heart-warming and thought-provoking saga of RISING IN LOVE…

Excerpt:

Though I do believe that target was Kusum, yet the alarm that I rang out was,’Hey, Lemon Girl, watch out!’

The cyclist came up on them just as she swung around towards me. As she swung, her bag of lemons swung along as well and banged into the cyclist. His grin turned into a cry and he sped down to taste dirt. That was good. Fit place for him.
But down too went the lemons as the bag burst and spilled its contents on the road.

For a moment, I was worried about the cyclist, fearing she might get in her head to stamp her foot on his face for trying to collide into her friend. But instead, she whirled up to me.

‘What did you call me?’ she asked.
‘Lemon Girl.’ I should not have grinned as I said that, but some things just can’t be helped.
‘Do I look like a lemon to you?’ she asked.
I looked at her bright lemony tunic and grinned again. Yes, I can go totally out of my head sometimes, grinning at most inappropriate times. That happened to be one of the worst of them.

Her eyes opened wide and glared at me. She probably wanted me to cower down with fear at that glaring look. But that is never my way of dealing with a glare, stare, frown or scowl. Besides, I had lost myself in marvelling at her eyes. I still
wonder if that was because they were big, beautiful and had long eye lashes, or because of the laughter that twinkled in them even when they frowned. Whatever it was, I only know that as they stared at me, I stared back.

‘How dare you stare at me and grin like that?’ she asked.

About the Author:

Jyoti Arora is a Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Her writing achievements include two novels, three blogs, several wins in national level blog competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc.

Jyoti started her professional life as an English tutor. After that, she worked for several years as a freelance writer and content developer. Her work as a freelance writer ranged from beginning level books for kids to re-writing Bollywood based non-fiction and spiritual non-fiction. During her years as a freelance writer, she was engaged with two publishers on long-term projects to abridge English classics. In all, she has abridged more than 30 books.

Jyoti feels that working with English classics has influenced her own writing too. In fact, some reviewers of her first novel also noted the impact of English classics in her tone of writing and mastery of language.

Jyoti’s first novel, Dream’s Sake, was published in 2011 by V&S Publishers. It received great reviews and much appreciation from readers.

She chose to self publish her second novel Lemon Girl as the theme of the book gave her an urgency to see the book published as soon as possible. And also, the advancing reach of the ebooks and retail websites gave her the confidence to take this bold step.

Besides, Jyoti loves technology and couldn’t help but try out this new road of publishing where writers were intended to use wheels of technology to propel themselves forward.

Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt reading, by herself, even before she started going to school. And she considers herself most fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.

However, if books are Jyoti’s first love, and she’s still very devoted to them, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of Jyoti’s blogs is a technological blog called Techn0Treats. In 2011, a post in this blog won her the title of Samsung Mobiler when Samsung made her a part of the team of twenty bloggers chosen from all over India through a blogging competition. In this team of twenty bloggers, she was the only woman and perhaps the only one who had studied literature instead of science. As a Samsung Mobiler, Jyoti acted as the promoter and ambassador of Samsung through her blog.

Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. After that, she continued her studies on her own through correspondence courses. She completed her Board level examination from the Patrachaar Vidyalaya, CBSE. After that she did English (Hons.) from Delhi University. Post that, she went on to do post-graduation in English Literature, and also in Applied Psychology from Annamalai University.

Jyoti Arora is currently living in Ghaziabad, India.

Her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on with her endeavors to make her dreams come true.

My Review:

How can I start this review without praising the author for voicing out against rape and penning down a book that portrays the various faces of society?

Congratulations Jyoti Arora! You have a done a good job! Stay blessed!

The reader’s heart…
The author started the book sinking into the past of the “Lemon Girl”. It sounded so good, to be true. The conversations between Arsh and Nirvi was cute. I loved it so much, but what followed was an unexpected twist at the beginning. Seriously, I was not ready for the twist at such an early stage. It excited me within to read further. I made my mind that it was not going to be a triangular love story, but it turn out to be something else. The image of the “Lemon Girl” got tarnished when I came to know about her relationships. It got me hooked up to the story to know what exactly happened to the “Lemon Girl”. At the start the turn of events sounded okay, but as I progressed, I felt the story was dragged without any reason, and at times, I felt the “six months later” tag was unacceptable. Practically impossible, at least for me, if I was put into such situations. Then came an unexpected twist, most awaited answer from Nirvi, which ignited the reader inside me and made the story glow better. The second set back in the story was unwanted abusing of characters, improper settings and a twist for good at Chapter No. 27. That’s the point I fell in love with the story and “Lemon Girl”. And what followed, was an awesome read!

What I liked?
“Lemon Girl”, the characterisation of Giri, the settings, the final twist.

What I disliked?
Did you feel that I used “Lemon Girl” more than any other words in this review? I felt the same while reading the book.

The chapters between 17 and 27. It could had been better than just bitter experience.

Why should one read this book?
This book, for sure, will tempt the readers and will keep you hooked till the end except for a few chapters in the middle. I must also say the author will make you say “Well, it’s a good read!”, when you reach the last page.

Stars…
It could have been done better, but then that does not take away any of the accolades, I have to give to this awesome book. I give this book a four-star rating.

Rating:
Blurb: 5/5
Characters: 4/5
Writing Style: 3/5
Excerpt: 4/5
Book Cover: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Book Details:
Title: Lemon Girl
Author: Jyoti Arora
Genre: Feminist Fiction
Type: Paperback
Publisher: Self
Language: English
Pages: 170
Year of Publication: 2014
Price: 255 Rs.

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“Lemon Girl” is a bold attempt by the author. This book, is full of twist and turns, and at the end, will make you say, “That’s a good read!” A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Book, A Bold Attempt by the Author, Highly Recommended for all, No Second Thoughts!

This eBook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced. I have given a four-star rating on Goodreads and FlipKart as I felt nothing less than that would be fair.

Contest Review – Blog-a-Ton 53

If Blog-a-Ton can be read as an anthology of short stories written under a common theme, then why not to write a review for the same?

Since I suggested the topic “Chocolate” I would like to review the participating entries as well. I enjoyed reading the posts, l am enjoying writing this review and I hope that you enjoy reading my take on the participating entries of Blog-a-Ton 53. The first of its kind.

This edition is a perfect chocolaty read! 21 participants (I am one of them), 21 beautiful collections of stories and poems, and it is just un-put-down-able.

My Review:

1. Forgiven by Tanaya Nath – The best post of the edition. Tanaya Nath showed that Father’s love will remain same no matter if they are far or near. Tears rolled down my eyes when I completed reading the story. Absolutely loved it. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

2. Raju’s Chocolate by Cifar – Cifar wrote a beautiful poem. Sharing is a good habit and it gives happiness for the receiver and satisfaction for the giver. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

3. Dark is the Devil by Vanderloost – Women should be stronger to handle domestic violence, but in some cases, they are failing like Sandya did. Because of his cruel husband, she lost her beautiful life. A touching write-up. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

4. LIFE OF A CHOCOHOLIC by Sulaiman – This was one of my favorites in this edition. Sulaiman is right. Chocolate makes our life heaven. Eat chocolates daily and enjoy each and every day. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

5. It’s never the last by Yamini – The best and sweetest of all poems. It’s true that chocolate is the best gift and it can uplift the mood any time. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

6. Pappy by The Solitary Writer – The solitary writer narrated the relationship between a Father and a Son beautifully. I prefer reading stories with Happy Endings. I would give a four-star rating to the story.

7. A Toast to Chocolate by Nandini G – Nandini penned down a nice little poem here. As she said hi-fives to chocolates! I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

8. Chocolate by Nandin D – What a tempting poem it was! Enjoyed reading it. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

9. My Love – Chocolate (s) by TheWhiteScape – Even my parents said the same… if you eat chocolates then your teeth will be plucked by the doctors. So I like this post a lot. Thank you so much for sharing the goodness of chocolate. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

10. Express of Love by Naught Authentic – Chocolate is the best way to express the love. The author expressed it with awesome lines. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

11. Bitter by aativas – I can relate to the story. The unsaid past changed the sweet chocolate into bitter one. Expressed wonderfully. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

12. Chocolate Ice Cream by Animesh – What a lovely poem it was, capturing wonderful memories of chocolate ice cream. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

13. Chocodrella by Gunjan – This is so beautiful I was excited and tempted to know what’s next. And finally a chocolate healed her broken heart and replaced the love. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

14. Bittersweet by Harshal – Romantic and lovely poem. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

15. Chocolate by Sharp Little Pencil – The poem tempted me to eat chocolate first and then think of diet. So sweet! I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

16. Chocolate and Me by Ayushi – This poem is so touching. “You are not my weakness, that everyone tries to use” “You are a necessary ingredient, for my soul’s diet.” “A girl with a chocolate is not always approachable” Wow! A fantastic story said in verses. Absolutely loved it! I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

17. I get over the moon with Chocolates by Simran Kaur – It was a yummy poem presented so beautifully. Absolutely loved it. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

18. Living a fantasy by the critics – Suppose a story is said in the form of poetry. ‘Forbidden’ ‘Dreams’ and ‘Chocolate’ combined well in his poem. I really liked it, but long poems are tough to follow. I would give a four-star rating to the poem.

19. Mixed in a chocolate Fantasy by The Cursed Poet – A very different poem. Beautiful, and conveys different emotions. I would give a five-star rating to the poem.

20. Chocolate by Someone is Special – I love this entry by default. What a narration! She wanted to play an interesting game in their life but fate played its game. I want Sarav to write a sequel to the story. I would give a five-star rating to the story.

My Top 5:
1. Someone is Special’s entry Chocolate
2. Simran Kaur’s entry I get over the moon with Chocolates
3. Tanaya Nath’s entry Forgiven
4. Animesh Ganguly’s entry Chocolate Ice Cream and Vanderloos’s entry Dark is the Devil
5. Sulaiman Sait’s entry LIFE OF A CHOCOHOLIC and The White Scape’s entry My Love – Chocolate (s)

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Blog-a-Ton 53 is fantastic. I wish and expect more from Blog-a-Ton 54. Good luck to all the participants. A ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆ Edition, Highly Recommended for all the Chocolaty Stories and Poems Lovers, No Second Thoughts!