March 30, 2016

Book Review: Love Forever @ Rajpath by Kalpana Mishra

Love Forever @ Rajpath

Author: Kalpana Mishra
Publisher: Srishti Publications
Rating: 3/5

Love needs no season to blossom. Love needs no reason to blossom. Shalini and Kartik, however much they try, fall in the clutches of love and cannot help but drink the love potion. But life is not a cake walk! “Love forever @ Rajpath” offers a potpourri of emotions, drama, commitments, obligations, traditions and love. Set up in a Government Office, this love story will serve as a delight. But wait- is it only a love story? No. This book exposes the deceptive fa├žade of the Zabaria Marriages and qualifies to be an eye opener.

Grab the book to know more.

My opinion
Love Forever @ Rajpath” is a pot boiler with all the essential ingredients of love, trust, traditions, relationships, awareness, sacrifice and realization. The cover of the book is fine but the title is a little ambiguous. I think a subtler title would have served the purpose. The author has successfully maintained the flow but as the reader draws closer to the end of the book, the plot becomes very much predictable. The beginning of the story is engaging but the end could have been better. The typesetting, font (style, size), editing and proof reading are fine (Kudos Srishti Publishers).

The characterization of the protagonists has been done nicely. There is a perfect balance in the roles of the characters and that is reflected all throughout. The narration is lucid and the dialogs are short and crisp. The printing quality is superb and the storyline is engaging.

Overall, a good book with which the readers can relate themselves.

Best wishes to the author!

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Review copy: Courtesy Author Paradise


March 28, 2016

Book Review: Life Mantras by Subrata R. Sahara

Life Mantras

Author: Subrata Roy Sahara
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 4/5

Confucius has correctly said- Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated. It is the mind that bulldozes the person to do what ought not be done. Why make life complicated when the simple solutions are just a thought away? “Life Mantras” is a sincere attempt by Subrata R. Sahara, to throw light on the delicate and hidden threads that hold the life together. It is these threads that need to be cherished and nourished so that they become stronger with each passing day. This is not a tale; this is not a learning; this is not a collection of experiences. Instead, this book offers a simplified and more realistic approach to understand the complexities of life.

Grab this book to read something different.

My opinion
“Life Mantras” is not the usual nonfiction novella. It outlines the secrets of living a happy life, in broad strokes. The title of the book is direct and apt. The cover of the book is subtle and catchy. I would like to compliment the quality offered by Rupa Publication. It is top notch! The author has carefully taken care of the blurb and presented it with utmost precision and care. The font (style, size) is perfect. The layout, content section, division of chapters, and the typesetting is fine.

Coming to the content in the book, the book is magic. For the ones who have a flair for nonfiction books and are open to varied perspectives, this book will definitely be well liked. The author has used lucid and extremely simple language (boon for all people, in general and loss for the ones seeking creative writing). Nevertheless, this book does not leave its readers like a lost ball in high weeds, for it relates to everybody. Some of the chapters that proved out to be excellent were ‘Motivation’, ‘Mood’ and ‘Ego’. They are bound to ring a bell and force the readers to take a trip down the memory lane.

Although the editing and proofreading is fine, I did not quite like the simplicity of language. But this cannot be counted as the drawback. Somewhere, the uncomplicated words forced me to toy with the idea and not ponder.

But all said and done, the book definitely aces the test. Yet another marvelous feat by the author and the concept is worthy of appreciation.

PS: The book might not be liked by everyone because of an entirely different genre.

Best wishes!

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Review copy: Provided by Rupa Publication

March 22, 2016

Book Review: An eye for an eye by Ashutosh Garg

An eye for an eye

Author: Ashutosh Garg
Publisher: Half Baked Beans
Rating: 3.5/5

“An eye for an eye”- a miscellany of emotions ranging from love to hatred. The story revolves around Chand and Shujaat, who have been best friends and hope the same legacy to continue in further generations. But easier said than done- their sons decide against the will of their fathers and become the best of enemies.

Read more here.

March 21, 2016

Book Review: Heart of Bullets by Nikhil Kushwaha

Heart of Bullets

Author: Nikhil Kushwaha
Publisher: Petals Publishers
Rating: 3/5

Life is a cake walk for many but for some it is not feasible to opt for line of least resistance. The ones who fight at the border saving their countrymen, spend a life full of uncertainty. Their family life is limited to few days. And the majority of their precious time is spent with their counterparts, who are more like brothers. ‘Heart of bullets’ is a remarkable feat that portrays the emotional turmoil faced by the soldiers when odds are not in their favor. But the story does not end there. When love gets involved, it makes a botch of the life. Isn’t it? On one hand we have Arpan, the protagonist and an army officer, who thinks straight and has a soft corner for Shradha, on the other hand we have Sam, who is Arpan’s childhood friend cum enemy. He, too, is an army officer. But the tables are turned when we find that Arpan and Sam love the same girl. Sam gets the girl but Arpan’s jealousy takes better of him. How will they both end up? Will Sam and Arpan ever be able to reconcile with each other?

Read on to know more.

My opinion
“The best kind of friendships are the fierce friendships where you aggressively believe in each other, defend each other and think that the other deserves the world.” ‘Heart of bullets’ is a poignant yet fanciful story that revolves around two friends and their love interest. The plot is a pot boiler with all the necessary elements of humour, suspense, spice, romance and patriotism. It is more like a rolling Bollywood movie than a book.

The cover of the book is not catchy. It could have been made better. The blurb misleads a bit. The utter disappointment was the central theme of the story, which was actually love. The reader might assume this one to be a patriotic read but it is not. Yet again, I have come across a mushy love tale with flavours of sacrifice, jealousy and instances from Indian Army. The title of the book is again not apt. It confuses the readers. The quality of print, the font-style and size, the organization and the layout of the book is nice.

Coming to the technicalities of English Language, this book again dissatisfies when editing and proofreading is taken into consideration. Amidst lots of grammatical errors, mistakes in tenses, spelling errors and wrong formation of sentences, the poetic rhythms and quotations stand out. They are deep and offer food for thought. The narration (in first person) is fabulous. The author has successfully projected the characters live. But for the ones, who like to read books instead of watching movies, this book can be a turn off because it seems more like an amalgamation of Bollywood movies like Border, LOC, etc.

Another important point is the lack of emphasis on the expected theme and inclusion of long monologues and descriptions that break the flow of reading. The thickness of the book could have been reduced much. So much writing seemed unnecessary to me. But overall, plotting, coherence and synchronization of scenes was apt and engaging.

Good effort by the author.

PS: Take care of the editing of the manuscript before getting it published.

Best Wishes!

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March 20, 2016

Book Review: Rays and Ripples by Carlos Luis

Rays and Ripples

Author: Carlos Luis
Publisher: Author Ink Publications
Rating: 3.5/5

“Nothing is a waste of time if you use the experience wisely.” ‘Rays and Ripples’ serves experience, learning and the secret to become courteous and honorable- hot on the platter. The book is a collection of short poems and stories, which give a chance to the readers to introspect and change the way of their life. 

Read more here.

Book Review: A thousand unspoken words by Paulami Duttagupta

A Thousand Unspoken Words

Author: Paulami Duttagupta
Publisher: Readomania
Rating: 4/5

“The monster I run from is in me.” ‘A Thousand Unspoken Words’ is all about realizing self-worth and fighting the odds to prove your identity. Set in the Indian backdrop, this is a love story that will leave you wanting for more. The female lead, Tilottama, is an idealist or a visionary to be more precise, who is in love with Musafir, the writer. 

Read more here.

March 14, 2016

Am I normal? Or is it the dreamer within that speaks?

There are times when you feel zoned out. There are times when you feel drifted; when you feel you are a part of their world- the world which you can call your own, the world which gives you a reason big enough to S. T. A. Y.

Yes, this might sound weird. Or it might even sound insane. But it is true. I feel it. Occasionally and often. I feel it. I dream about it. I empathize and I wish not to be drawn out to the stark reality.

It is not like any port in the storm but like the only port in the storm. Even though life is going on perfectly fine, there is a part within that wishes to be unleashed, to be set free and to be left alone to explore. I do not know what that it. Nor am I seeking for answers. I want to live it. Experience it. But is it really feasible to leave aside the life that we have and simultaneously live in a parallel world?
I think it is for I believe and I already do it.

This piece of music lures my mind to think beyond the horizon and introspect.

Book Review: Love Story? Seriously! by Shivi Pandey

Love story? Seriously!

Author: Shivi Pandey
Publisher: Petals Publishers
Rating: 2/5

“Love story? Seriously!” is a squishy love tale that introduces us to Samar, a young, enthusiastic lad who can best be described as a philanderer. The story is full of all the elements of entertainment- drama, love, hatred, lust, relations, decisions and introspection. Samar’s three failed love interests- Surbhi, Samriddhi and Sapna have a really important role in his life. What role do they play? Who does Samar end up with?

Grab your copy to get an insight into Samar’s life and the webbed trajectory that his life follows.

My opinion
‘Love story? Seriously!’ is a delightful love story or may be a normal story, which revolves around the young lover boy, Samar. The title of the book is baffling. It could have been better. The cover page is all right- restrained and subtle. I could not understand the requirement of the first paragraph of the blurb. It is a mere description of sunrise (set). Instead, the summary of the story could have been better. The font is apt and the language is lucid and understandable. I would like to compliment the author’s ability to present this piece of fiction in a language that can be understood by everyone. The organization of content is fine.

The story is fast paced. As the story unfolds, the anticipation level also increases. But the titles of the chapters are not catchy enough. The organization and placement of events in the story is fine. But the climax seemed absurd. I felt as if the urgent need to end the book made the author include the chapter titled ‘It occurred that night (somehow)’. The title is grammatically incorrect too. There is a difference in the usage of happened and occurred. In this case, happened would have sounded more appropriate. The focus on the ‘love-making’ scene and the description of intricate details of the action, drift off the theme to an erotica. The last few chapters could have been penned with more clarity of emotions and more logical (may be off beat) concept. One thing I would like to point out is that it is not important to highlight a cliffhanger with question tags. Even without the questions, the cliffhanger can be exposed to the readers such that they are forced to think again and again about it. I could not relate with the epilogue as well.

Another point I want to highlight is the use of ‘F’ word, which I do not appreciate. Such informal language should be limited to spoken English only. Time and again one can come across Bold and Italics font and the relevance of the same is not easy to figure out.

The book lacks proper editing and proofreading as one can encounter punctuation errors (tenses, wrong use of apostrophe), missing words, wrong formation of sentences- time and again. The author, amidst the events happening in the story, starts talking to himself and simultaneously starts explaining ‘things’ to the readers. That acts as a speed breaker and breaks the flow of reading.

Overall, a good effort by the author!

Best wishes!

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REVIEW COPY: Courtesy Bookaholic and Mr. Shivi Pandey

March 05, 2016

Book Review: Falling in love by Neeraj Mishra

                                                            Falling in love…

Author: Neeraj Mishra
Publisher: Rj Publishers
Rating: 2/5

“Falling in love” is a sweet love tale that is relatable and entertaining. The story revolves around Manav and Sriti, who come in contact by chance (or rather through Internet) and are struck hard by Cupid’s arrow. Manav confesses his love for his lady. But he faces denial from Sriti’s end. What cooks inside Sriti’s mind; we do not know. But that becomes the bane of Manav’s life for he cannot live without her.
Explore ‘falling in love’ and relive the romance of the two protagonists.

My opinion
‘Falling in love…’ is a love tale, which revolves around the two main characters- Manav and Sriti. The title of the book is fine but the three dots confused me. They were not required probably. The cover page is nice- sober and subtle. The initial part of the blurb is apt but the questions posed to ignite the spark of interest in the mind of the reader, are wayward. The font is apt and the language is lucid and understandable. I would like to compliment the author’s ability to present this piece of fiction in a language that can be understood by everyone. The organization of content is fine but the layout of the text on each page does not meet with the standard. The margins have not been used uniformly. The fineness of the cover lies in the fact that the red colour says it all about the feeling associated with the book.

Coming to the acknowledgement, I found some parts really unnecessary and absurd. The author says that ‘we are humans and thus, we are bound to make mistakes’ (referring to the mistakes that might be there in the book). Now, according to me being human does not restrict anyone to consult a good editor and get the corrections done in the manuscript. Right? Saying this actually gives an impression that the lights are on but no one is home.

Next, coming to the linguistic elements- the grammar is awful. And thus, I cannot classify these mistakes as the-mistakes-that-we-are-bound-to-make. The narration is finely tuned and paced.

The plot is gripping but the major drawback lies in the extended content about the online chats, text messages and phone calls, where the protagonists are trying to get acquainted with each other. Here, to be clearer, I would prefer quoting Doris Orens- ‘Not everything that you want to say, needs to be said.’ It is high time that the authors realize that penning down each and every minute detail that is either inspired or adapted from a personal experience, makes the story boring and can result in turning the odds against you. The book is more like a conversation and the story gets lost somewhere there. This book, no doubt, is a quick read and the reason for this is the presence of numerous dialogues.

The plot lacks originality. It is very much predictable and might be liked by the ones who prefer mushy love tales/ college romance/ online chatting. For the ones who are looking for something deep and meaningful, this book might or might not serve the interest.

Another point that I would like to highlight is the abrupt ending of the book. The plot moves at a comfortable pace but suddenly the air sends across happy vibes and the story ends. Also, the last conversation is absolutely vague. I understand the need to end the story on a happy note but the dialogues like ‘you are stupid’, ‘no, you are stupid’, ‘no, you’ and ‘you’, do not suffice for a good ending.

The book lacks proper editing and proofreading as one can encounter punctuation errors (tenses, wrong use of apostrophe), missing words, wrong formation of sentences- time and again. There is frequent use of hindi words, which might act as a turn off for the ones who prefer reading rich literature.

Overall, a good effort by the author!
Best wishes!

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