May 27, 2017

Book Review: The First Trillionaire by Sapna Jha

The First Trillionaire

Author: Sapna Jha
Publisher: AuthorsUpFront
Rating: 3/5

Who doesn’t like the old school stories where a Godmother paves the way to a little girl’s success? ‘The First Trillionaire’ is a novella that offers a chance to relive those old days, for it is based on a character that helps the protagonist materialize her dreams without asking for anything in return. This might sound strange, but the plot has been woven with threads of conspiracy, affection, mystery and love and that adds to the flavor of the story.

Shail, the protagonist, loses her father when she is a child. Her mother, being a single mother, fights many odds to raise her daughter and she takes care not to burn her bridges as her daughter’s future is at stake. The story begins with Shail being held captive by the kidnappers – Bachcha Singh’s gang. The authoress has taken care to present the lady as innocent yet determined. Her quest to free herself from the clutches of the goons complements her prowess to get a government job. Just like all ordinary girls, she dreams of earning well and leading a satisfactory life. She, too, wants her mother to live the life that was meant for her. But the tables are turned when a woman named Olivia offers to transfer her assets worth billions to Shail. Her dreams change. Her desires become impractical (at least for the readers). This being the rising action of the plot, takes the story forward.

There is no doubt in the fact that the plot was refreshing. But yet again the use of Hindi as a medium of conveying the feelings of the characters acted as a turn off for me. The authoress has tried really hard to portray Shail’s hard-bitten past to arouse empathy for the lead character. But at times, the pieces of the jigsaw did not seem to fit in the puzzle properly. Some situations and the connecting responses were impractical like the one when Olivia, the stranger (in the beginning) offers the Shail an opportunity to fulfill her dreams.

The book failed to impress me by its looks; the cover seemed superficial. The lengthy monologues and the presence of so many characters hindered the comfortable reading. The editing is not finely tuned as one can encounter mistakes in the tenses time and again. The story is fast-paced but the page count could have been easily cut short. Irrelevant back stories could have been avoided.

Overall, I appreciate the storyline because it moves on a track other than love. Good effort by the authoress!

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Review Copy: Provided by

May 21, 2017

Book Review: The “I’ve no time to cook” Book by Veena Gidwani

The “I’ve no time to cook” Book
Author: Veena Gidwani
Publisher: Half Baked Beans Publishers
Rating: 3.5/5

Your diet is a bank account. Good food choices are good investments.
~Bethenny Frankel

With the deadlines hovering over our minds, the managers shouting their heads off, the home demanding the most time, we would be fools to not say that life is just a bowl of cherries, isn’t it?  Time is precious and all our ancestors have already implanted this idea in our minds but one thing they forgot to implant is that time for self is precious too. 

Read more here.

May 20, 2017

Book Review: The Book of Indian Dogs by S. Theodore Baskaran

The Book of Indian Dogs
Author: S. Theodore Baskaran
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 3/5

The bond with a true dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth will ever be. 
~Konrad Lorenz

Everybody loves dogs not only because they are adorable but because finding a loyal and true friend like him is equivalent to finding a needle in the haystack. Anything and everything about them is exciting barring their illness and death. And so was this book when it was offered to me. A comprehensive guide to Indian Dog Breeds- who would miss that?

This book doesn’t come with a blurb and the tagline on the cover does the job of describing what might be in store for the readers (might be). As now most of you would have already clicked on the Amazon link to check out the book, you would be already expecting a class act. But the book might come as a disappointment to most dog lovers, for it fails as a reference or as a guide. It majorly talks about the history and the origin of breeds in India. Also, with no proper mention of the means and solutions, the author has simply pointed out the deficiencies in the country and the conventions that are only happening in certain areas.

It would be unfair to appreciate the positives in the book. Though less, the pictures still do a great job. The content about different breeds is interesting because probably we would not have even heard about it. A more comprehensive description would have been better. The language is lucid and the lengthy descriptions sound interesting if you are a Dog Person.

The book is a good read but some sections might not be according to the likes of the dog lovers. Buy at your own risk.

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Review copy: Provided by Rupa Publishers

May 15, 2017

Book Review: The Girl Who Knew Too Much By Vikrant Khanna

The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much
Author: Vikrant Khanna
Publisher: Penguin
Rating: 4/5

Power is all that is needed to conquer our deepest fears. And from where does that power come, you may ask? It comes from within, from our subconscious mind. Akshara, the young twelve-year-old, develops the power to fight her demons after her mother’s death. But the power ruins her, for it transports her to an unreal world, a world where she connects with those who do not belong to her.  

“The Girl Who Knew Too Much’ is a fiction novella published by Penguin with a page count of 213. The book is a breezy read and the fast-paced narration in simple language caters to the interest of all ages. For a young girl to move on after losing her mother is really difficult. The plot of the story revolves around how Akshara meets a stranger, Harry, and connects with him instantly. His story not only makes her happy but also leaves her with a very strong realization.

The first few pages of the book are written in a very simple language and that becomes the part where the readers bond with the characters. Akshara is one character whose essence is felt throughout the story. But Harry is another character who seems distant. His emotions are not palpable. The title of the book is catchy. The glossy cover with a perfect blend of dreamy colours seems perfect. The blurb reveals too much information and the reader can just not ignore but predict the ending. The editing of the book is finely tuned. And the presentation of content in form of different chapters is good. 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 story is new. Unlike the usual mushy love tales, this story explores the dark side of the human mind and explains how uncontrollable it can become once it gains the power. 

Overall, this book is a good read with a gripping plot and might be liked by all ages.

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May 04, 2017

Book Review: The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal

The Four Patriots
Author: Sumit Agarwal
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 3/5

Enthralling, engaging and interesting- this is what comes to your mind when you finish this book. ‘The Four Patriots’ reminds you of the old school movies that portrayed patriotism in youth, say for instance, Rang De Basanti, Nayak, A Wednesday, Lagaan, Dangal, etc. Though some parts in the book might seem a recap of some movies, yet the story is fast paced and coherently knitted.

‘The Four Patriots’ is about four friends who lived their childhood under different circumstances, but destiny brought them together in the field of politics to make the change happen. They set out to be that change and alter the face of the nation. Amidst dirty politics, emotional melodrama and mysterious settings, they decide to raise their voices and take a stand. The lengthy monologues and the overdose of government and political influence might act as a turn-off. Time and again one can come across grammatical errors which reflects poor editing skills. I found the sentence formation baffling because what could be explained in less words was written in long complex sentences.

Lucid language makes the content comprehensible. The relation of the past with the present situation of the characters is commendable. But still there were things that remained questionable. Everything happened so easily like there was no challenge for the protagonists at all. On the other hand, it is important for us, as readers, to realize that fiction itself is supposed to consist of things/ situations that are hypothetical.

Overall, ‘The Four Patriots’ is a good read. The suspense and the execution of the plot will keep the attention of the readers bound. The blurb of the story is apt and very precise. It builds up interest of the readers and forces them to turn the pages of the book. The characterization is perfect. The cover of the book is thrilling. The title is catchy.

Best wishes to the author!

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Review Copy: Courtesy Author Paradise