December 30, 2017

Book Review: Diary of a Snoopy Cat by R. F. Kristi

Diary of a Snoopy Cat
Author: R. F. Kristi
Genre: Children’s book
Publishers: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited

Plot Summary:
‘Diary of a Snoopy Cat’ is a children’s book that narrates the story of a cat called Inca, who is not only curious but also adventurous. She has a detective agency of her own that comprises of pet agents, human agents and a hamster agent too. Unlike the narrative atmosphere, this is more of a journal entry by Inca about her daily escapades. The story leaves a lot of scope for testing the cognitive skills of the children by asking them various questions related to the actions of the cat.

Area A: Text
The text has been organized in simple sentences. Cautiously yet beautifully drafted sentences do not fail to appeal to the children, for they describe the personality of the young cat so aptly. With appropriate subtlety, the authoress has tried to touch the right chord of the young minds by introducing valuable lessons. These lessons on the importance of friendship, importance of being there for others and appreciating the gifts that God has gifted us, appear time and again and the children can be probed to understand their relevance.

The target audience is young children aged between 7-13 years who have well developed auditory senses but take their time to work on their cognitive skills. The vocabulary is simple and elementary. the intelligent humour will lighten the mood and offer them moments of genuine laughter.

Area B: Illustrations
The cover of the book neatly presents the main conflict of the plot. The illustrations (in broad strokes) strike the right chord and will be liked by the children. The primary medium used in illustrations is rough sketching.

Area C: Characterization
The main character of the story is Inca and the most dominant trait that can be identified is her will power to achieve her goal. The central idea and the conflict of the story- the anxiety of Inca to go out and exploit her limits and test her potential- will be relatable. This short story explores the struggles of a young cat and leaves behind an important lesson of life that will be imbibed by the children.


I would give 3 out of 4 stars to the book because of the witty writing style of the author. However, I felt the illustrations could have been better. 

December 17, 2017

Book Review: That’s How it’s Meant to Be by Shilpi Chaklanobis

That’s How it’s Meant to Be
Author: Shilpi Chaklanobis
Publisher: Author Paradise
Rating: 3/5

Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans.
― Allen Saunders

‘That’s how it’s Meant to Be’ is a poignant tale of love. Despite the clichéd plot where a love triangle affects three lives in one go and leaves one wanting for more, this story offers moments of genuine pathos and elaborates on the paraphernalia of a happy life. Love is believed to surpass all emotions and be bellyful to combat any ordeal. Welcome to the real world and the thinking changes, for love is insufficient.  The real world demands more.

In short, the story revolves around a Bengali girl, who has spent her childhood with a lot of friends and with family. Life changes course for her when she leaves the city for higher studies. She meets her opposite (in terms of personality) and falls in love because opposites attract, don’t they? Bound by the chains of apprehension and anxiety, both- Nilanjana and Vikram, abstain from spilling the beans that they love each other. And when they do, it is too late, for Nilanjana has already found a soft corner for Arunabh.

Love triangles are common for us; we have heard and seen many stories based on the same theme. So what makes this book different? The unequivocal expression of love is well set. The narration sets the tone and makes it all sound more real. We can all empathize with the characters and that is what makes this story impactful.

However, yet again the editing acts as an impediment and vexes the reader. Another point that I would like to put forward is that I believe one-worded/ two-worded titles are more cogent. A title like ‘fated’, ‘destined’, etc. would have been better. Here, the authoress should have exploited her creative abilities and presented something more interesting. The cover is too docile in comparison to the content.

Overall, this is a strong, emotional and average piece of fiction which will definitely touch your heart.

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Book Review: A Quest for Spring by Monica Mujumdar Dixit

Author: Monica Mujumdar Dixit
Publisher: Notion Press
Rating: 3/5

Love is an uncanny emotion as it is ever evolving. But this story is not only about love. It is an amalgamation of appropriate amounts of drama, anxiety, love, romance and regret. The story revolves around Raehan and Amolika, two young souls who are subtly struck by cupid during their college days. The commendable character sketch of these ‘round’ characters is worth praising. With an objective atmosphere, the story describes the plethora of pathos in their life. Simple and predictable, the story progresses through a lot of ups and downs that drive the two protagonists apart and then destiny whirls its charmed wand and tries to bring them closer again.

What I liked about this book is the analogy drawn between happy days and the spring season. In that sense, the title makes absolute sense and is apt. However, the cover fails to appeal owing to the way in which 'SPRING' has been printed.

‘A Quest for Spring’ is a simple read. The plot of the story is predictable and is not new to the readers. The narration is lucid and easy to comprehend. The dialogue delivery is fine. But the major problem lies in awful editing that might surely irk the readers. Another problem is the meek character sketch of the side characters; they act like mere caricatures. A little more about them would have balanced the story.

Overall, a good yet simple plot that is comprehensible but clichéd.

Best wishes to the author!

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Book Review: Listen to Your Soul and Heal Your Body of Chronic Diseases by Meirav Harel

Listen to Your Soul and Heal Your Body of Chronic Diseases

Author: Meirav Harel
Publisher: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
Rating: 3/5

It is believed that a healthy mind resides in a healthy body. But have we ever tried this out? ‘Listen to Your Soul’ is a self-improvement book that elaborates on the connection shared by the body and soul. The proverb fits best to summarize the content of the book, for the book aims at making the readers realize the importance of having a happy and contended soul to avoid getting into the clutches of diseases. It takes strong will and self-motivation to refrain from having medicines, enduring the pain and connecting with the soul to find the solution.

‘Listen to Your Soul and Heal Your Body of Chronic Disease: 8 Keys to Self-Heal Your Body & Soul by MeiravHarel’ offers a different outlook on life, for it describes the ways to prevent some of the most serious diseases. These are not the treatment but are based on self-healing. Just like meditation equips one with a stable mind, understanding your body’s language is the key to heal and be happy. The soul speaks a language that is not incomprehensible unless one wants to turn a deaf ear. The author guides the readers to follow their soul, love thyself and learn to be happy.

With a new concept and a perspective, the book might not be accepted by all but to take that call it must be read once. It has the potential to galvanize the mind and aid in self-healing.

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December 10, 2017

Book Review: Phases of Moon: A Poetic Journey of a Girl by Neha Jindal

Phases of Moon: A Poetic Journey of a Girl
Author: Neha Jindal
Publisher: Notion Press

Life is like a train journey- filled with thrill, excitement and apprehension. The crests and troughs are plenty but the blatant truth that the passengers are unaware of the circumstances that might arise during the course of reaching the final destination makes the expedition even more intriguing.

‘Phases of Moon’ is relatable yet the writing style is abecedarian. Simple poems with soothing rhyme scheme highlight the emotional state of each stage of life of a girl. Beginning with the dilettante, the poems progress through the transcendent steps of adolescence, adulthood- leading to maturity. Heart-warming poems that offer moments of genuine heartache make ‘Phases of Moon’ a successful attempt at capturing the true feelings. However, I wished that the stage after marriage should have been included too because unison with another person is not a phase; it is a permanent change which has to be accepted.

The illustrations in the book are beautiful but unfortunately, they do not blend well with the theme. Had it all been done in broad strokes, the poetry would have been more impactful. Editing is a problem here; even in the blurb, unnecessary commas and missing structures leave a negative impression on the readers.

The book has a lot of scope for improvement. But if I were to review the debut effort of the poetess, I would not abstain from appreciating the thought process and mindfulness while writing the poems. Good luck!

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Book Review: You are Meant to Sing by Helane Marie Anderson

You are Meant to Sing
Author: Helane Marie Anderson
Sold By: Amazon Asia-Pacific Holdings Private Limited
Rating: 3/5

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.

~Nelson Mandela

Quoting one of the sayings in the book ‘Human voice is the best instrument of all’, I would begin this review by showing my gratitude to the author for penning down content that not only inspires but also galvanizes the mind to strive in the direction where confidence gets boosted up and morale is spirited.

Avoiding brachylogy, the narrative is eloquent with simple vocabulary yet impressive content. The novella revolves around the struggle most of us face in finding our true inner voice. Everyone knows how to speak but to speak right at the suitable time is what matters the most. Through this book, the author has used personal experience as the key to stimulate the minds of the readers and make them realize the importance of speaking out the mind and voicing out the opinions. Introspective and retrospective, this book offers insight into the dormant side of our personality and provides some very helpful tricks to unlock the potential and also paves the path to self-discovery.

The book is an intriguing read as at times there are opinions that clash with the already established mindset. Thus, open-minded reading is what comes in handy. Go for this book as it has the calibre to help the readers.

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December 06, 2017

Book Review: Invisible Ties by Nadya A. R.

Author: Nadya  A.  R.
Publisher: Rupa Publishers
Rating: 4/5

Women are the epitome of altruism and largesse; they are hard-bitten beings with immense selflessness. But they are taken for granted. ‘Invisible Ties’ explores those imperceptible ties that bind a woman together and give her an identity. With rich, and at times difficult, vocabulary, the story is manoeuvred by its protagonist very well.

A slow read, in the beginning, the story gets more interesting towards the end. With verbose descriptions of the settings and the surrounding, the story wavers quite often, but the astute constitution of Noor’s (protagonist) personality balances it well. The story is set in Pakistan and Singapore per say. Born and brought up in Pakistan, Noor is Daisy’s daughter. Her house reeks of traditions and rituals and thus, when a group of bandits abduct her mother, she follows the command of her family and marries Meekaal Kalim.

The story picks pace as the setting shifts to Singapore. Meekaal, an investment banker, leads a luxurious life and for him the marriage is a namesake. Noor, troubled by the loveless life on a foreign land, finds comfort in studying psychotherapy. She treats her patients and gets interim freedom from her diabolical past but this does start changing her perceptions and beliefs. What comes next is a transformation phase which changes Noor’s destiny. Her acquaintance with her neighbour, Ella and her patient, Jake turns the tables.

The story is a complete pot-boiler as it has all the necessary elements of drama. However, the meek characterization of the sidekicks projects them as mere caricatures and this, in turn, abates the character development. The cover of the book is appealing as there are different ways to look at it. The magic mirror is the only means by which the constraints of the society can be seen. It can also symbolize an eye-opener that liberates Noor from her past and gives her life a new meaning.

Overall, ‘Invisible Ties’ is a brilliant story that offers genuine moments of heartache and throws light on the harsh realities of life. It projects various themes and leaves the last page for the readers to contemplate. This book cannot be understood without the ease of mind and reflective thinking owing to two reasons: one, complicated vocabulary and two, the intricate themes cropping up to be considered earnestly.

Best wishes to the author!
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Book Review: ASTHMA: For the Common Man by Dr. Vikram Vinayek

ASTHMA: For the Common Man
Author: Dr Vikram Vinayek
Publisher: Body & Soul Books (Leadstart)

As any doctor might tell you, the most important step in the treatment of a disease is its correct diagnosis so that a good resolution is more likely. ‘Asthma for the Common Man’ has been written with the same notion in mind. It explores the illness in and out and describes the necessary precautions.

This small handbook (guide) explains the meaning, causes, risks and treatment options for Asthma. The author has presented each and every detail in such a manner that even a layman can understand the basics. Since book deals with the various allergens, prevention of the acute condition, handy measures during an emergency and the correct diagnosis procedure, it proves out to be a good self-help book.

Small and pocket-sized, it is easy to read and understand. Readers can definitely learn how to deal with asthmatic children (even adults) in a vulnerable environment and provide first aid.

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Book Review: Super Couples by Prachi Garg

Author: Prachi Garg
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Rating: 3/5

With ‘Super Couples’, Srishti Publishers have neatly presented freshly brewed content- something different than the usual. It is always galvanizing to read astute stories because they have that element of hope that we all need all the time. With this book, the author has tried to project the strength of the bond shared by two completely different people. Marriage, be it arranged or love, is a sacred bond that connects two individuals spiritually and mentally. But what lies behind the façade of palmy relationship is the constant battle for adjustment and converting one’s differences into strengths.

We often praise the couples who eat together, work together and grow old together. But seldom do we actually believe the mushy idea of companionship. ‘Super Couples’ projects how these super couples have risen from the clichéd mentality and started a life of their own- a life where they change and grow at the beck and call of their destiny. It takes a lot of courage to accept what we have and these couples leave no stone unturned to motivate and inspire the readers.

Written with well-researched information, the lucid language and the exemplary narration connect well with the readers. The stories are true and believable.

Overall, this is a good book that will surely inspire people and change their notions about marriage as a constraint.

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