Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Book Review: F**k It Is the Answer by John C Parkin

About the book:


Think of a question – any question! (okay, maybe not a question like “what was the name of my physics teacher?”). Then turn to a page, and experience the magic… the magic of F**k It. We all have questions. And the bestselling F**k It books have provided answers to hundreds of thousands of people around the world. The F**k It philosophy – of not worrying so much, of letting go more, of caring less what others think and doing your own thing – has provided answers that work in real life, every day.


In F**k It Is the Answer, John C. Parkin adds another element to the F**k It mix: by inviting you to ask your question, and then turn randomly to a page that offers you a F**k It-style answer, he recruits the magical powers of your own unconscious… or ‘fate’… or ‘spirit’… or whatever it is that seems to guide us to the correct answers when we allow it. So this book is about ‘allowing it’. Just as F**k It is about ‘allowing it’ – relaxing, trusting, going with the flow, and allowing the magic to happen. This book is F**k It Squared: taking the powerful wisdom of F**k It, and then recruiting whatever worldly or unworldly magic it is that makes this work.



Make no mistake though: work it does.



So… ask your question, and turn to a page

Hardcover, 248 pages
Published November 10th 2014 by Hay House, Inc.


About the Author:


John & Gaia have had a huge amount of press coverage over the last few years: mainly for their F**k It books and F**k It Weeks, but also for setting up The Hill That Breathes retreat centre in Italy, which won 'Best European Retreat' in 2011.


More about them here
.
My Review:

"As a guide, say, you ask any question, and open up a random page for the answer, it can be a great resource indeed."
Our generation takes pride in the fact that they couldn't care less. Like, we have become so accustomed to hearing these ubiquitous phrases: so what?, big deal! what have I got to do with it? or the classic, "F**k it"

And this book provides us a way to channel all our energy into f**cking it, not giving a damn, but on a spiritual level. It does not make you feel guilty about being so carefree, instead this particular book tells you how f**k it is the answer to all your problems, questions, nagging doubts.
As it turns out, this is a book in a series of such books where the authors have brought forward the f**k it therapy.
I did not know about it before, and now upon seeing how successfully the whole mechanism is going on, the book begins to make sense. 
The first read made me feel all nauseous and I doubted if it was all just a parody. Sooner rather than later did I realize that this book was in fact re-iterating a strategy so that it becomes a chant for the reader. 
Certainly, the book helped me chant the apparently magical words to get through all questions: whether it be lack of focus, or lack of perspective. F**k it is the answer to all situations according to the book.
Although I haven't be able to comprehend in entirety what logical difference this strategy makes in times of difficulties or dilemmas, I will admit that it is at least a vent to the pent-up emotions.
As a guide, say, you ask any question, and open up a random page for the answer, it can be a great resource indeed.


Disclaimer: I received the review ebook from NetGalley





Monday, 29 December 2014

Book review: A girl's guide to life


About the book:
A Thought Catalog Book

A Girl's Guide to Life is a timeless book of warm and sensible advice for young girls, originally written by a mother for her own eight-year-old daughter. From compassion and empathy through self-expression and creativity, from thoughtfulness and helpfulness and good deeds through gratitude and heartfelt apology, from the incomparable joys of friendship to the importance of learning how and when to say no, this little book offers wise counsel that will be of use for many years to come.

Age Range: 7 - 11 years
Grade Level: 1 - 6
Hardcover: 80 pages
Publisher: Prospecta Press (January 6, 2015)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 1632260204
ISBN-13: 978-1632260208
Product Dimensions: 4.4 x 7 inches

About the author:

Born and raised in Brooklyn, Michelle has lived for many years in Columbus, Ohio, where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing and lives in a century-old house with her husband, the painter Glen Holland, and their good dog, Molly. Their daughter used to live there too, but she is all grown up now. 

My review

"Your life is the reason you should read this book"
This book is simply put, a piece of advice from a mother to a daughter, and although it has been recommended to lower age groups, the relevance of these thoughts never fails to catch you off-guard. The author herself writes in the introduction, "Because here's the thing: even as you grow older, you are going to be the very same person you are now. And no matter how grown-up you become, it never hurts to be reminded of the things that are really important in life."

When I decided to read this book from NetGalley, I had surmised it to be a didactic  sermon on how we should live our lives. I couldn't have gone any more wrong. This is the most heart-warming, comforting string of words ever pulled together that I have read. It is a Thought Catalog Book after all, I should have known better!
The language is lucid, effortless and endearing. Even if you are all grown -up and happy in your zone, the reader is bound to be moved by the rules of the book. It is a book for life. I myself am surprised that a simple writing, adorned with simple illustrations and written in the most simple manner could make me revisit all life lessons I have learnt. 
What makes this book special and worthy of your time is that these are rules to living a fulfilled and more fruitful life, and this book works at the learning stage as well as at the reminder level. We need to be reminded that more than anything in this world, we need to hold on to the inherent goodness in us.

I especially liked the fourth part: All Play and no Work. And how in a precise, succinct two-pages, it reminds us how good it feels to help someone without being asked to.

Since I am always pondering a lot about friendship and the like, I was curious to read what was contained in that section, the last one of all.
And I did get my answers.
I will wait for other books by the author too.

Last words:

Do unto others as you would have others do unto you!

Review copy: Netgalley ebook



Sunday, 21 December 2014

Book Review: Surrogate Author



About the book:
Who is Authdas? I wondered how difficult it is for a woman to be a surrogate mother irrespective of the objective. Writing few books have taught – true Devdas are authors. If authors’ adopt similar concept of surrogacy than book can evolve. We have many examples to quote, Amitabh Bachchan, Shahrukh Khan and others that symbolise the surrogacy of continue doing movie irrespective of critics, and box office result. Authdas is Author das!  Authdas (booklorn -book sick) as Devdas (lovelorn -love sick), whose love is to write a novel, ‘Paro.’ Authdas needs some inspiration to write Paro and if that inspiration was Chandramukhi, how the story would be?

My review:

A writer can certainly be Devdas. And a book, his creation, his art, can certainly be Paro. It is a delightful concept. A great imagination in this plot has been a source of hope. But alas marred by grammatical and other language related drawbacks,  reader fails to relish it. It is a potentially humorous plot, and improvisations by the right person equipped with correct knowledge can do so much good for the book.

The intention with which it has been written is evidently noble, what with the introduction telling us to respect authors, because no author 'gets up one morning and says, 'Let me write a bad novel.'

The analogies and comparisons and similes drawn between the relationship of an author with his book and that of the story of Devdas-Paro-Chandramukhi, were interesting only as long as one could endure the lack of any substantial plot. which is perhaps, in the absence of grammatical accuracy was only aggravated.

One part I liked was where the writer mourns when self-publishing houses screw my life with no editing, proofreading and price it high..." this monologue made me empathize with authors though.








Saturday, 20 December 2014

Author Interview: Shilpa Suraj


Shilpa is an Indian Mills & Boon author. She has written two books: The girl he left behind, and Rescued by Love., and is currently working on her third.

Interview


Well, first things first: How does it feel to be called a Mills & Boon author? How was the journey to becoming one?

It is quite literally a dream come true. I’ve always wanted to write but somehow life kept getting in the way and I never got around to it until I got married and my then new-husband announced that he needed to be based out of Chennai for six months. I decided to take a sabbatical from work and tag along. Finding myself with an unexpected block of free time, I started writing and haven’t stopped since. It’s been an incredible, soul-satisfying journey so far and I fully expect to be typing away even when I’m old and gray and squinting at my laptop.


The novel, Rescued By Love begins with the following sentence; "I'd rather die than marry him", doesn't it sound like an epic start to a romance novel?

From the moment the idea of Rescued by Love took form in my mind, I knew  Naina, my heroine, was going to be feisty, scrappy and full of life despite the fact  that her life was going to be very hard and full of hurdles. So the opening line perfectly encapsulates the drama that is her life and the start of the roller coaster ride that is the rest of the story.

What about the plot? Is it completely a figment of your imagination or have you witnessed perhaps one or more of the characters of the book?

The plot, characters and events of the novel are completely a figment of my imagination. Although, I wouldn’t mind meeting Arjun in real life :)


In my review, I have specially mentioned how I loved the wordplay and the creation of dialogues. How do you manage to keep it all spruced up with puns, and witty replies?

I’m so glad you enjoyed the dialogue and wordplay of the book. Most of it is instinctive and comes naturally to me. I guess to some extent my personality comes into play while I’m writing.

Who better person to answer this: what part do stories play in our lives?

I can’t imagine a world without books and the stories they tell. Nothing gives me more pleasure than turning the page on a good book in eager anticipation of what comes next. Stories open up our imagination, let us explore new worlds, and teach us new lessons, all without having to move from the comfort of our favourite reading spot.

Tell us in less than 20 words, why should people read this book?

Strong protagonists, livewire supporting characters, infectious humour, complex plot twists and soul searing passion. It’s romance at its best!

Check out the author's books :
(for more information, click on the book cover)

      

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Friday, 19 December 2014

Author Spotlight and Interview: Saurabh Garg




Saurabh Garg has authored a murder-mystery with a twist. It has Bollywood, it has pets, it has police at work, it has an investigative journalist, it has life, it has strife. This is how we review it:

A lot of thought, research and plotting has gone into scripting this masterpiece. Honestly, coming from a debut author, this is an expert writing.
(Read full review here)

Interview


Congratulations on getting published. So, tell our readers about that moment of epiphany when you realized that you are going to write this book?

Thank you!

There was no epiphany per se. But, there was this inkling that I had for almost ten years that I want to write a book. And rather than just one blinding flash of lightening striking my head from up above, a lot of things came together to make this book possible.

One was my hectic job. Even though it was as exciting as they come, it was sapping. Two was this short story that I had written that I thought I could extend into a book. Three was this friend who told me that he's starting a business and needs my help. Four was my then-girlfriend who was in Mumbai and wanted me to move to Mumbai. Five was the eternal question, "if not now, then when!"

So these things came together, conspired (as Coelho would say) and made me work on the book!


It has been an observation that everything in the book was quite thoroughly researched: the descriptions of Mumbai, the details about legal system so on and so forth. How tedious was this part?

Very!

But most it was done using two tools - Google and Wikipedia. And it took a lot of time and effort to do so. Plus a lot of bandwidth and coffee. Good to see that people are appreciating it.

Even though it was tedious, I enjoyed it. Probably because I am very curious as an individual. The research for book helped me feed my curiosity.

For my next book, I am currently reading about Navrasa - the nine emotions. And I am reading the Geeta. And about the Bombay of the 70s! Let's see what comes out of this concoction.


How difficult was the writing process? And what was the most exciting part- etching the plot, sketching the characters or proofreading it?

Proofreading. Definitely.

Because while I was sketching the characters, I was, sort of, playing God. I could give all sorts of shades and hues to the characters. I could create good, evil, interesting, boring, funny, drab and all other sort of people. I know there are a lot of things that I can't do in real life. But I could get my characters to do those.

Talking of the plot, t I don't really work on a plot per se. I start with a theme. I work on characters. I think about locations. And then I throw them all together in a blender. And then I let fate decide the outcome. I could get lucky with things and get a pot boiler that everyone wants to read. Or may be get something that even I would be ashamed to put my name to. I work hard and then hope like hell that I get lucky.

Proofreading is boring because you know the story. You can't make changes. You can't add things. You can't twist the story again. You can't play God. All you can do is find your mistakes and cringe over those. You can spot inconsistencies and whine about those. And the mistakes, the typos, the inconsistencies don't seem to end ever. Even after 8943 revisions!


Was there any instance in the novel where you made the story an outlet for your repressed feelings: good or bad?

Haha :) Tough question. You expect me to be honest with this one?

Few things did come from my real experiences. Most characters are inspired by real people - just that I don't really know more of them. For example, Nishant Kapoor is loosely inspired on one of the leading actors of the yesteryears. Rujuta is inspired by a friend's girlfriend. Prakash's bald head is inspired by mine. So on and so forth.

The story, the plot however is original. As they say, correlation to any person dead or alive is purely coincidental.


This one is an off-beat question: Rujuta and Prakash both had a personal story of their own, but the stories were left incomplete. Why the cliffhanger? We get it that the end of the story doesn't mean the end of their lives, but leaving your readers pondering about these facts, you seem to have acquired the status of John Green already!
Jokes apart, will characters from the book ever make a comeback and reprise their role for a sequel of sorts?

Thanks for mentioning John Green and me in the same line. You made my day!

And yeah, a sequel, a reprise may happen. But the characters have to get a case worthy of their time and attention.

I am toying with the idea because a lot of people who've read the book have told me that they want to read more about the characters. So, along with Navrasa, Mumbai in the 70s, I may throw in characters from #tnks back in the blender. Let's see how the story writes itself.


 How does it feel in the post-published phase? where do plan to go from here: probably experimenting with genres or churning more racy reads?

Despite the cliché, trust me, life is still the same. No one has sent me love letters. Or hate mails for that matter. I dont get stopped to ask for autographs. That million-dollar movie deal is still a distant dream. I haven't been invited to give motivational talks. My mother can't remember the name of my first book. #sgMS hasn't responded to my rather public proposal. I haven't been sued by anyone for throwing mud at their legacy.

So, life is still the same.

However a lot of good things have happened. People seem to have liked the book. Lot more than what I had expected. Most readers have been tolerant of typos and grammatical errors. Some have sent letters and I have made few new friends. So, life has been good.

In terms of writing, I am trying to convert the book in to a screenplay. A friend recommended that I write a love story - only because it sells! I may give it a shot. You think I must?

Apart from that I am working on my next. Hope to release it in Nov of 2015. But then, I cant really predict the future. Lets see what's in store in 2015. I am really looking forward to it.

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Monday, 15 December 2014

Book Review: The Nidhi Kapoor Story by Saurabh Garg



About the Book:


Two dogs and a cat are butchered at the home of Nidhi Kapoor, a leading Bollywood actress. Left behind is a mysterious letter threatening Nidhi and her family.

Nishant Kapoor, Nidhi’s father and a superstar of the yesteryears is confined to a retirement facility in the hills. Tormenting him are his recurring dreams of someone trying to hurt him and his family.

A film set where Nidhi Kapoor is shooting for her much anticipated film goes up in flames. Trapped inside are Nidhi and her sister, Payal.

ACP Prakash Mohile is forced to take up the investigation. Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist chronicling the lives of policemen in Mumbai and shadowing Prakash, gets embroiled in the case.

Unwarranted incidents continue to happen and in absence of any real clues or motive, Prakash and Rujuta are forced to dig deeper in the past of the Kapoors. They unknowingly stumble onto a violent tale of lies, betrayal, treachery, infidelity and murder.

Time is running out fast and the unknown assailant is adamant on taking away from Nidhi everything that she holds dear - her career, her home, her reputation, her family and her life. With each move, he seems to be getting close. The answers however continue to elude Prakash and Rujuta.
What is it in their past that Kapoors are hiding from the world?
What grudge does the assailant hold against the Kapoors?
And, can they save Nidhi?

About the Author:


Curious marketeer by the day, Saurabh Garg is a storyteller by the night. The Nidhi Kapoor story is his first full-length story.

Apart from writing, Saurabh is passionate about startups, travel and poker. When he is not working on creating characters and plots for his upcoming stories, he likes to meet and talk to other interesting people and ask them stupid questions that often don't have answers.

Saurabh maintains a very elaborate bucket list. The item on top of his list is to visit every country in the world. So far, he's been to 15.

Originally from Delhi and based out of Mumbai, he went to Delhi university and MDI Gurgaon for his undergrad and postgrad respectively.


My Review:


Without any circumlocution, let me tell the prospective readers: this is the most well-crafted story of the contemporary times. The mystery is huge, yet palatable, the thrill is unvarying and consistent, the plot line is well thought-out. There have been so many points to admire about this book, I am compelled to enumerate them, so not to leave out any.

A lot of thought, research and plotting has gone into scripting this masterpiece. Honestly, coming from a debut author, this is an expert writing.
The characters have been etched with a precision such that their idiosyncrasies and behaviours are believable. Every character has a story. Right from the photojournalist Rujuta to the startlet Nidhi Kapoor.

The descriptions- of the city Mumbai, of the police and journalism profession- have been thoroughly entertaining and so apt. Add to it a cherry on top in the form of spicy bites of Bollywood, and you have the perfect entertaining read.
And then, there's more to it: the pace is so correct, it is a page turner. What else makes it a page-turner? The manner in which it unfolds. It is not a typical chronological sequence that the events follow, rather it unravels pivotal pints at the crucial time. Timing again is apparently a forte of the author. This works to intensify and amplify the thrill with which the reader reads, and then remains glued.
I don't know if it is just me, but I really could not find anything in the book that made it seem like the first book of an author: it could give John Grisham a run for his readers. No, seriously. This novel, only re-instates that the thrillers scene has finally arrived in India.

My Judgement:

It is a page-turner, an entertainer, and a well-crafted plot: all packed in one. Revel in its completeness, go grab your copy now, because you definitely don't want to miss the next bestseller on the block.








I thank the author for providing me with a review copy!
you can also like the facebook page : https://www.facebook.com/TheNidhiKapoorStory 

Sunday, 14 December 2014

Book Discussion: The Diary of a Young Girl

Guest blogger: Kanika Narula

About the book:


Discovered in the attic in which she spent the last years of her life, Anne Frank's remarkable diary has since become a world classic—a powerful reminder of the horrors of war and an eloquent testament to the human spirit.

In 1942, with Nazis occupying Holland, a thirteen-year-old Jewish girl and her family fled their home in Amsterdam and went into hiding. For the next two years, until their whereabouts were betrayed to the Gestapo, they and another family lived cloistered in the "Secret Annexe" of an old office building. Cut off from the outside world, they faced hunger, boredom, the constant cruelties of living in confined quarters, and the ever-present threat of discovery and death.

In her diary Anne Frank recorded vivid impressions of her experiences during this period. By turns thoughtful, moving, and amusing, her account offers a fascinating commentary on human courage and frailty and a compelling self-portrait of a sensitive and spirited young woman whose promise was tragically cut short

Discussion:


Trivia:
The Diary of a Young Girl  is the story of a 13 year old Jewish girl and her family who were forced into hiding by the Nazis during the World War II. Anne Frank’s world famous diary charts the two years of her life from 1942 to1944, when  her family was hiding in Amsterdam to remain protected from German Nazis. The diary begins just before the family retreated into their “Secret  Annexe”.  Anne Frank  recorded mostly her hopes, frustrations, clashes with her parents, and observation of her companions. Its first version, which appeared in 1947, was edited by Anne’s  father, Otto Frank. The Diary of Anne Frank has sold more than 30 million copies and been translated into more than 60 languages. After the Bible, it is the most widely read non-fiction book in the world.

On to the discussion:
The beginning pages of Anne’s diary are fresh and carry in them the obvious thoughts of a girl who has recently acquired teenage. Her entries from 9 July,1942 (Probably the time period they shifted to the hiding)  show a complete despair as far as achieving freedom in the future is concerned.

For instance, in her entry of 29 October, 1943, the reader finds her writing, “Go outside, laugh, and take a breath of fresh air, a voice cries  within me, but I don’t even feel a response any more…..”
Poignant. Heart-breaking.

On 24 December 1943, she writes : “Believe me, if you have been shut up for a year and a half , it can get too much for you some days...  Inspite of all justice and thankfulness, you can't  crush your feelings. Cycling, dancing, whistling, looking into the world, feeling young.... That’s what I long for...I couldn’t  talk about it to anyone, because then I know I should cry. Crying can bring such relief… Then on 3 February, 1944, she words out her anxiety by writing: “I have now reached the stage that I don’t care much whether I live or die. The world will still keep on running without me; what is going to happen will happen, and anyway its no good trying to resist.” Similar expressions  could be noticed in her entries of 12 Feb, 1944 when she writes, “The sun is shining, the sky is a deep blue, there is a lovely breeze and I’m longing- so longing – for everything.” Her ability to still hope for an appropriate ending could be seen as almost vanished  with her write-up of 26 May, 1944 which says: “Again and again, I ask myself, would it not have been better for us all if we had not gone into hiding, and if we were dead now and not going through all this misery……..”


Anne’s unease due to her confinement  in the secret annexe was also accompanied by her gradual detachment from her family members. Her entries in her diary  on certain dates was a testimony to this. For instance, her entry for 7 November, 1942  stated that “ Mummy is frightfully irritable and that always seems to herald unpleasantness for me……I cling to Daddy because it is only through him that I am able to retain the remnant of family feeling…….Mummy and her  failings are something I find harder to bear than anything else……. I don’t know how to keep it all to myself…….I can’t  always to drawing attention to her untidiness, her sarcasm, and her lack of sweetness, neither can I believe that I’m always in the wrong.



While reading the pages of Anne’s diary, one makes incredible discoveries about the various aspects of her personality. Sometimes  she appears to be a confused teenager  bewildered over the nature of sexual problems and failing to understand why people are secretive and tiresome when they talk about such things, while sometimes she declares herself a young girl turning into a strong woman  and claims that she has developed more courage than ever, her feeling for justice is immovable and she is slowly turning into a woman with inward strength and plenty of bravery, while sometimes she takes over the responsibility of delivering political lectures and expresses  her feelings against the deeds of big men, the  politicians….. when she writes: “ I don’t believe that the big men, the politicians and the capitalists alone are guilty of war……The little man is just as guilty…. There’s an urge in people simply to destroy, an urge to kill, to murder and rage, and until all mankind, without exception, undergoes a great change, wars will be waged, everything that has been built up , cultivate, and grown will be destroyed and disfigured, after which mankind will have to begin all over again.”

Anne seemed to have realized somehow that she will be a well-known name in years to come and will always be remembered through her literary talent even if she will not be able to escape the Nazi torture  or successfully survive till the liberation. Her diary that was created with the intention of giving expressions to various types of feelings  she was developing during her stay in the “secret annexe”, not only provides an authentic and explicit picture of what all the Jews must have gone through during Hitler’ rule in Germany but also helps the reader visualize the psychological ups and downs that the Jewish kids must have undergone, millions of kids who were hardly in a position to comprehend  the reason for the  racial discrimination they were suffering.

Few ending words:
“The Diary of a Young Girl” is also  a piece of literary work that has  great historic value, particularly for those  who are eager supporters of “History from Below”, that is, who  believe that  general  literary works that largely talk about political leaders, super-rich commercial classes, major political, social and economic  forces behind the occurrence of some historic events are incapable of supplying a clear and authentic  picture of  the impact any act creates upon the most underrated but at the same time most crucial element of the society-“ the ordinary many  who together constitute a society.”
We all have read some or the other literary works related to the Impact of Nazism on Germany but these works cover nothing more than the rise of Hitler and Nazism in Germany, the atrocities  faced by the “Undesirable communities”, particularly the “Jews” of  whom Hitler was highly insecure and so made them suffer the most. Most of these works discuss the political history of Germany and restrict their writings to the activities of some major leaders but it was this diary written by a young  Jewish girl that brought us close to the miseries faced by the numerous Jews when the hunt against them started in Germany and the extent to which almost the entire Jewish population including millions of children were moved psychologically  by the inhuman atrocities committed upon them.


Saturday, 13 December 2014

Book Review: Womens and Lemons By Janice Walker

About the book:


YOUR TIME IS NOW!! With this book, you will begin YOUR ADVENTURE to live YOUR DREAM... This book was specifically written for YOU, the Quintastic Woman. You are the fantastic woman in your 50s (although it may apply to women in their 40s as well) who has been a trailblazer on life's path up until now. Reading this book will lead you down a path to dig deep inside and bring to your consciousness those long-abandoned passions, ideas, and desires that you have voluntarily relinquished and sacrificed in order to be everything to everybody. You have lived for everyone else up until now. Perhaps for the first time in the 21st Century, this book encourages the Quintastic Woman to give herself permission to feel hope about her future and the unlimited possibilities; she can finally appreciate who she is now, which should motivate her to pursue her dream. As a Quintastic Woman, are you thinking: What's next for me? What am I going to do at this stage in my life? What do I want? What will fulfill me? What can I do now? If you want to enjoy life like you never thought possible at this mature stage, Womens & LemonsTM is for you. Reading this book will affirm you, show you how to appreciate you, and help you to realize how much potential you have at this Quintastic Stage to live your dream; IT'S NOT TOO LATE, YOU CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE! You've made enough lemonade with the lemons that life has thrown at you. Now it's time for you to squeeze the life out of those lemons and enjoy all that life has to offer you, and you deserve that!! Strap on your seatbelt because with Womens & LemonsTM you are in for the ride of your life! (less)


My Review:


This book is an optimistic book. It talks to you. It is meant for the Quintastic woman. Telling you how even after crossing a particular age, you can still be who you want to be.
The book intends to bring in hope to your life. To help you embrace the real you, and to facilitate in a journey of self-exploration. Because, you know, age is just a number. You cannot be confined by the stereotypes. et cetera.
Well, here's the thing: the book scores so well in its intention that the execution is thoroughly unsatisfying in the way it has been presented. 
But, even so, the book serves as the perfect coffee-table companion.

Let me enumerate the good parts for you:

1) The interviews: The author has taken a few interviews of real women. Now, that doesn't seem like a feat, but those interviews do a great deal for the matter of the book.

2) The graphics: These ae what make it better as a coffee table book, rather than a non-fiction read. 

However, the nerdy injections in the form of explanations for using the gramatically wrong word 'womens' and the derivation of Quintastic were a major turn-off.

Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Book Review: Rescued by Love by Shilpa Suraj

About the book:

Paperback
180 pages
Harlequin India: Mills & Boon
MRP: Rs 150

When Naina Ahuja is kidnapped as hostage days before her father, a Supreme Court Chief Justice, must sentence a terrorist, the stakes are very high. Lt Col Arjun Rathore and his team are the only ones who can be trusted with the mission of saving her. 
During their arduous trek back through the hostile terrain of Ladakh, Arjun and Naina spend days in danger of losing their lives - and their hearts. Back in safety, the real world and its very real problems threaten – as do their own perceptions of the differences between them. 
They must separate – but will life rescue their love?


About the author:


Shilpa was a year and a half when she was first introduced to the world of books. Her mother would park her with a picture book on the floor of the kitchen while she finished her cooking for the day. While it’s no longer the kitchen floor, you can still find her tucked away in a cosy nook somewhere with her nose buried in a book. While books in all genres interest her, it was romance that captured her heart. While racing through every romantic fiction book she could beg, borrow or buy, her over active imagination started to work overtime and weave its own stories. Years in the corporate world followed by a stint of entrepreneurship crystallised her belief that all she really wanted to do was give life to the stories bubbling inside of her. She briefly managed to tear herself away from the world of fiction to find her own personal happily ever after and now spends her time happily focusing on the two loves of her life – family and writing romances.

My Review:

The first thing that comes to mind in the aftermath of reading the book is that we just read a sweet feel-good story. 
This is the story, a quintessential Mills and Boon, with a twist. 
Naina, daughter of the Chief Justice of India and Col. Arjun  fall in love with each ither during a rescue mission.  The girl is betrothed to a Fatty politician who she obviously didn't want to marry even before this mission in the first place, the love gives her an added excuse. She says, "Marrying a man you didn't want was bad enough but marrying him when you wanted another would be torture"

But this is dear life, and nothing is less than twisted. There are other problems to look after: a servile mother, a domineering sonavabitch father, principles, the  crooked, intricate concept of honour. 
A leap of 6 months and fates will be decided. This is where you need to pick up the novel and see for yourselves what happens in the story next. Which means that I am asking you to read it. Which further means that this is a novel worth reading.
Character sketches are impeccable: the incorrigible father who would rather not go back on his words lest they backfire than break a marriage. Just like that. This character is crafted meticulously, because sad though it be, such people exist in flesh and bones and arrogance and  much more. And such a character and its obstinacy makes the ending of the novel believable, and satisfying.

M&B novels are supposed to entertain you with romantic descriptions and a surreal boy-meets-girl-falls-in-love plot. This book manages to honour this image so well.
That said, it comes with its set of flaws. For one, it is a quick, fast-paced read. I, who can savour books for hours at stretch finished this book in a couple of hours. Because reader can be kept longing for more. Not more plot, the plot has been done right. Great even. The timings. The setting. The  characters. Everything flows seamlessly into the plot. What reader seeks more of, is the description. Maybe a third person narration can be cited as the culprit but then the reader certainly has a right to know in detail the feelings and emotions of a character s/he has associated himself with for more than a 100 pages. So, we know Naina is getting a roller coaster of emotions, but which ones? THAT is a big question.
I also adore the wordplay within the dialogues, which were, in addition, succinct too. A great effort has gone into them.
 This is where the characters lack. This is where everything gets neutral. The characters' actions will have you nodding in appreciation and not knowing their emotions would have you creasing your lips and forehead, both the things cancelling out to make it a great read, if not a brilliant one.

My Judgement:


When all is said and done, such a novel's gotta be read. 

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