Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Review: Pitfalls & Parachutes by Durgesh Shastri

Anthology has been in a constant demand this season. Readers have enjoyed a variety in one single book. The genre freedom in anthology has made it for the readers to enjoy all of it at one place. Author Durgesh Shastri in his book "Pitfalls and Parachutes" has penned down an anthology from his own experiences. So will the variety offered in the book suit the taste of the readers? Let's find out.  

Pitfalls and Parachutes is a collection of fifteen short stories. The stories are youthful and lively. Entertainment is at the core of each of the stories. Watch out for exciting endings. A glimpse of the collection: 1. The protagonist's decision to help a lost lady might cost him his job. 2. Television news becomes a reality in the life of Cyrus. 3. Pramanik's reputation is at an all-time low. Someone can make it worse. 4. Can anything other than ragging make one's first day of college hell? 5. Why does an anonymous donation trouble Kanha so much that he hires goons to hurt an old man? 6. Deepak decides to overcome his superstitions; will they leave him so easily? 7. Michael sets out to fulfill his wife's last wish. What's his last wish? 8. Can a kick change somebody's life? 9. Does Sumit land a job in spite of a disastrous interview? No recommendation is entertained. 10. Kanchan has to choose between her lover and husband. Her son holds a dark secret. 11. Rishi has vowed never to fly kites again. What if he breaks it? 12. Valentine's Day and fanatics ultimatum. Will love Blossom?

First look at the title and the cover and a reader won't be able to make out the exact theme of the book. The title is justified as the book progresses on. The cover image is apt to go with the title but it's relevance with the book will be revealed slowly and steadily. The blurb highlights about anthology as the theme of the book and a brief one line description of all the stories. The blurb could have been summarized generally rather than giving one liners about the story. The suspense could have been maintained for the readers. 

There are 15 short stories covering the day to day life, incidents around us and numerous situations and circumstances which can compel a person to think, to react and to stand up for it in their own way. Each story has something or the other to offer to a reader in terms of experience. 

Story No. 1: 

It's a simple twisted story of two people who are together by fate and end up in a dramatic mix up. It's a good story considering the fact that it has a bit of spice in it for the readers. 

Story No. 2: 

Reality being shown on any electronic medium acts as an eye opener for the society most of the times. It's just that somebody has to take the first step. This is what this story is all about. It's an average story with the main catch towards the end. 

Story No. 3: 

When things spiral out of control in a person's life it becomes way too difficult to get it back on track. This is what the story is all about. It's a nice story with a touch of surprise in it. 

Story No. 4: 

This is a story about college life and it's implications and the first hand experiences when it concerns lecturers. It could have been a better story. It's one of the weak links of the book. 

Story No. 5: 

It's a story of beliefs, religion and spiritual connection of a man with a god. The story has an essence of purity in it. It's a wonderful story with quite a surprise for the readers in store. 

Story No. 6: 

The story is about blind superstitions and how people get spoil their lives by following them regularly. It's a funny story and with an abrupt and a happy end to it. 

Story No. 7: 

Some things are just not meant to happen in one's life. This is what the story is all about. It's the wishes and desires which are left incomplete. It's an amazing story with the right mix of emotions in it. 

Story No. 8: 

One should not be stubborn in life at times and listen to the elders too. Some advises work as tonic and a cure for the rest of your life. It's a good story of realization and the feeling of helplessness at the end of it. 

Story No. 9: 

It's the story of frustration and unwanted attention and few assumptions which leads to numerous other outcomes. It's a funny and an unexpected story and keeps the readers engaged. 

Story No. 10: 

One truth can change the lives of many. Destiny sometimes takes a course which is not in anybody's hands. It's a marvelous story with a touch of deceit, happiness, anger and shock and realization. 

Story No. 11: 

Some vows from the past are never meant to be broken. It's the story of staunch determination of a person and then the results of breaking it. It's an average story with not much to excite while reading it. 

Story No. 12:

When it comes to a girl's respect the man who stood up for it is the one who deserves her completely. This is what the story is all about. The story has a moral and a message in it for the society which makes it interesting. 

Story No. 13: 

It's a vivid imagination of the future and when resources will be limited then how would humans adjust to it. The story is a mix of present scenario in the future giving few insights as to what to expect in the coming time. It's not one of those exciting ones in the book. 

Story No. 14: 

It's a story with a lot of unanswered queries at the end. It has twist in it, love and something shocking which will baffle the readers a lot. It can make an intelligent one look silly. It's one of the best stories of the lot. 

Story No. 15: 

The arrogant always take a mighty fall and this is what happens in this story. It's a story of revenge and dignity of a person. It's a very good story considering the narration and the way it has been penned down. 

The stories which I liked the most are story no. 5, 7 ,9, 10, 14 and 15. The weak links of the book are story no. 2,4, 6 and 13. The anthology is a good attempt at observing the day to day happenings around us. Flavor of life is an added charm in the book. 

The book is a decent attempt at penning down an anthology for the readers. It has been balanced out well for the readers to enjoy but few of them might not click with the readers too. It's unraveling various human emotions in different circumstances under one book. 


3 OUT OF 5. 

Monday, October 28, 2013

Review: Love Is Vodka: One Shot Ain't Enough by Amit Shankar

Teenage is a time when a boy or a girl undergoes a lot of changes in the characters. The choices they make for themselves not only affect them but also the people around them too. Author Amit Shankar in his latest offering "Love Is Vodka: One Shot Ain't Enough" has tried to pen down a journey of one such teenager. So is the appropriate message conveyed by the author? Let's find out. 

If love is all about freedom and honest expression then how can one associate it with loyalty?
Being a love child; Moon, the protagonist is anything but a conventional teen. With a leading TV news anchor as her mother, an aspiring entrepreneur as her boy friend, the word LOVE baffles her. The whole idea of having one partner and love being eternal is beyond her comprehension. 
Life turns upside down when she falls for the CEO, who happens to be her mother's boyfriend too. Destiny further complicates things by blessing her with a big time modelling assignment and she becomes famous and popular overnight.
A war starts waging between her head & heart on a lot of issues exposing her to various forms of love online & offline. 
Will she decipher the true meaning of love? Embark on an exhilarating rendezvous with Moon and discover love like never before.

First look at the title and the cover and glimpses of a chick lit novel hovers in the mind of the readers. The cover could have been much better than what it is right now. The title is catchy and the tagline goes with the title very well. The blurb talks about a person and her life's endeavors. The blurb has a lot of questions which will be answered by the end of the book. It's a good blurb giving out less to the readers and keeping the curiosity alive. 

The story is of a young teenager Moon who is raised by her powerful news maker mother Payal Malik single handedly and she is devoid of father's love all the time. Moon makes some choices for herself in life and ends up being the puppet of her mother's decisions and joins an advertising agency as an intern. Her not so happening love life with Ash her current boyfriend leads her to find solace first in the company of Adi whom she meets my chance and then D a.k.a Devil who happens to be the boss of her company and also her mother's best friend. With some startling revelations she gets attracted to D and ends up loving a person 25 years elder to him. After a series of shocking incidents in her life she is left stranded alone and she's again on a crossroad as to tread on which path. Will she be able to correct the wrongs in her life? Will she find love? What will life teach her? This is what the story is all about. 

The depiction of love between mother and daughter and few failed relationships in the first half makes the book worthy of giving a shot. The emotions in the first half binds and holds the plot together. Moon and her teenage melodrama is an apt portrayal of a wavered teenage life and few wrong decisions. The plot is strong in a few parts which is a plus. 

The downside of the book is the start stop narration of few events and sudden shift in the story line in the second half moving on a different path altogether. The end not quite in sync with the complete theme of the story line. Some parts in the book seemed to be rushed off too much and lacked details. It lacked excitement and some surprises in the second half making it duller with every page. 

The book with its catchy title and engaging story line in the  first half is a good prospect but later on takes a journey which is not an ideal set up for the book. It could have been a better prospect but left high and dry towards the end. But the teenage times of Moon speak volumes of how to approach teens in the volatile times. 


3 OUT OF 5

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Review: Ex...A Twisted Love Story By Novoneel Chakraborty

Have you experienced love with equal amount of pleasure and pain? Have you always been loyal towards the person you love the most? Have you been able to carve out a niche for yourself and be someone's pride? There are endless questions to love and it's repercussions and one cant only think of endless possibilities. Author Novoneel Chakraborty in his latest book "Ex...A Twisted Love Story" takes you on a journey for love where nothing is straight as it looks. So is the twisted story magnetic enough? Let's find out.

To get to his heart, she seduced his mind.
What will you do if one day a svelte and sexy girl comes up to you and says she is your ex ? And the only thing you know about her is that you don't know anything about her.
Neel, an aspiring author, meets Nivrita at the Jaipur Literary Festival. Though Nivrita says she is his ex, he remembers nothing and yet everything about her seems to lure him to unravel the mystery she personifies. The more he is drawn to her, the more Neel feels guilty because he is already in a steady relationship with Titiksha, the love of his life.
When Nivrita makes a tempting offer to Neel, which he accepts for his own good, his life slowly begins to spiral out of control while Titiksha starts turning into a stranger until Neel realizes there's much more than his eyes can see and mind can recollect.

First look at the title and the cover and the thing which attracts the most is the tagline beneath the title. It's a twisted love story as suggested by the author which is more than enough to arouse the curiosity pangs of the readers. The title is simple and adds a touch of resemblance to some love stories but that's not the case in this book. The blurb has been kept short and simple and mysterious and talks about a boy's story who is about to encounter some of life's most unaccepted experiences. It's a good blurb considering the story line. 

The story is about Neel who quits his boring bank job and aspires to be an author. He has a perfect love life and is in a live in relationship with Titiksha. One of his visits to Jaipur Literature Festival spells a new angle to his life with the advent of Nivrita who makes a tempting offer to Neel which he is not able resist and fans his dreams of becoming a big author one day. But things start getting complicated with Titiksha and her possible love affair with someone which gradually leads up to the point from where there is no going back. So will he able to salvage his relationship? What is it between Nivrita & Neel? What is in store for him? This is what the story is all about. 

If one word is needed to describe the book it will be "Twisted". It's a book which will catch readers off guard with it's mesmerizing story line and alluring tell tale of Neel and his life. There are surprises ate regular intervals in the book and the command over the narration and vocabulary is fabulous. It's a book which cannot be put down even for a moment for the simplest of the things will make sense later on towards the end.. The emotions of love, betrayal, loneliness, infidelity and perhaps life's problems has been projected in the perfect manner. It has both dark and bright sides of love in one to make the readers dance to it's tunes. 

There are no faults in the book neither there's a dull moment in the book. 

If as a reader you are looking for a love story with a feel of newness and a fresh flavor to it, then without any second thoughts you can pick up the book. The mind of the readers will be churned to a maximum and in the end it'll leave you in a state of trance from where there is no coming back so easily. It mesmerizes, makes you high, makes you jump and shout & cry and in the end leaves you baffled. 


5 OUT OF 5

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Review: Because...Every Raindrop Is A Hope by Sankalp Kohli & Mansi Sharma

Life has been a teacher for all the living beings on earth since the advent of time. Not many have been able to decipher the correct path to lead their life in peace. There's always a turmoil or a phase where you tend to fall out of favor or waiver off in a wrong direction. Author Sankalp Kohli & Mansi Sharma in their debut book "Because...Every Raindrop Is A Hope" have tried to decipher the right mix to live a happy and a peaceful life. So is the book powerful enough to leave an impression on the readers? Let's find out. 

Because... Every Raindrop Is A Hope chronicles the life of Raj as he grapples with love, loss, consequences of wrong choices and his efforts to emerge victorious a midst adversity.
Raj, a small town boy from Kanpur, is a big dreamer, who after a series of twists and turns, ends up at an impasse in life. Because... Every Raindrop Is A Hope portrays his story with a series of nostalgic references about his past mixed with his present. Essentially a love story, the love triangle between Raj, Mahek and Shruti often leads the protagonist to make crucial life changing decisions. Subjected to the cruel realities of life, Raj loses more than he bargained for and ends up paying the price for his carelessness.At his wits end, Raj thinks about giving up when in a serendipitous moment he finds a note from his beloved professor, which tells him not to give up as every raindrop is a hope. Because... Every Raindrop is a Hope deals realistically with the issues of life, love and friendship. Raj’s relationship with his two best friends, Rahul and Rohan, defines a solid part of his identity. The breakdown of his friendship spirals Raj into a life of seclusion and despair. The crowded city of Mumbai offers no solace to Raj as he seems to be destined to walk through its streets in loneliness and agony.
Raj’s life is supposed to act as an inspiration for readers to endure hardships and not give up, as hope will always shine no matter how dark circumstances may be at the moment. Through various instances like love, tests of friendship, politics in college, betrayal, manipulation and survival, the theme of hope is brought out. Mumbai has been described with painstaking detail, making the crowded city a stark background to Raj’s eventual isolation. An element of mysticism is brought in with the mysterious man who guides Raj whenever he veers too far off the right track.

First look at the title and the cover and the highlighted word of the title "Hope" raises a lot of hope in a readers mind. The curiosity to read the book is aroused and the cover image is a cherry on the top of it. The blurb talks about a boy and his struggles to adapt and change according to the life's pace has been mentioned. The blurb could have been cut short a bit. It's unusually lengthy. 

The story revolves around a small town boy from Kanpur i.e Raj and his life's adventures through his eyes as he lives his past and tries to recollect the good and the bad which happened to him in a strange sort of occurrences and took away most of the angel side away from him and made him the devil which he didn't intended to be. His friendship, his love and & his inability to stand up to life's challenges is a best way to realize once own's mistakes. But will he be able to take control of the situation? What will happen to his love life? What will happen to his friends? What will happen to Raj in the end is what is the story is all about. 

The life's important lessons always to keep your head steady and never let ego or arrogance take control of your personality is a pretty strong idea in the book. The emotional turmoil and the struggle to get out of the mess self created by Raj has been beautifully crafted. Friendship & love are high in this story and the message and the impact it leaves on the readers makes it an interesting book for the readers. The simple narration is an added plus to it. 

The downside of the book is no difference in the story line from the other books. The story could have been made more interesting and few things happened or ended out of the blue which is an eye sore. The story in the middle could have been more compelling. 

The book though no different from the others in terms of the story line yet leaves a deep impression on the mind of the readers. The choices you make and the cautious you are towards life, the rich the rewards will be is the important message throughout the book. It lets you relive the good old college days through the eyes of the protagonist and the mistakes which you committed and not realized it that time. 


3 OUT OF 5 

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Review: Nav & The Ninth Universe by Sunny Shandilya

Sci-fi as a genre in the books has been tapped quite often nowadays. It's not the foreign authors who are doing it but the Indian authors have jumped in the fray too. Author Sunny Shandilya in his debut attempt "Nav & The Ninth Universe" has tried to pen down one such sci-fi tale. So is he successful in pulling it off? Let's find out. 

Ever had a feeling that nothing around you is what it looks like. You feel you are dreaming and would soon wake up from your sleep. What would you do if you had the superpowers of invisibility and super fast travel? Nineteen year old Nav's monotonous life turns Topsy-turfy when he comes to know that his father who died ten years ago is actually alive in a parallel universe.He has to race against time unraveling various mysteries starting with his first clue at 'Christ the redeemer' statue in Rio de Janeiro.In his pursuit to find his real mother in nine days, he stumbles upon 'The Clock of Time' and fights humans, super humans, ninjas, mythical creatures, demons, centaurs, mixed breeds. He also meets Kiaraa, a mysterious girl who can control water at will. Witness Nav uncover many lies that the human civilization has been living under, while trying to find his real mother who holds the secret to his destiny.

First look at the title and the cover and one can get the feel of a sci-fi book in making. The cover image is not so impressive and could have been worked upon in a much better manner. The title along with the tagline does justice to the theme. The blurb talks about a person's journey around the world to uncover few things. It could have been a more concealed blurb giving out less about the story. A lot of hints have been dropped in the blurb about the same. 

The story is about a young astro physicist Nav who near his 19th birthday stumbles upon a mystery which changes the entire course of his life. He sets upon a journey where he has to race against time in order to find his mother and father. But his task is not so easy as he has to battle his wits, fears and counter unexpected and dangerous forces who will not only deter him from his mission but also try to scar his life. He finds an able companion in Kiaraa and along with her sets out to uncover a lot of mysteries which will finally lead him back to his family. So will he able to succeed in his mission? What's in store for him? That's what the story is all about. 

The story for a sci-fi is furiously paced and the way events span out in different places and the circumstances leading up to it is a mind blowing experience for the readers. The mystery element in the story is maintained at all times and the narration helps the story along the way. The book is action packed and has a lot of surprises in store for the readers. 

The book lacked detailing at times and some parts happen in a jiffy which doesn't suits the story line. The story could have been made much better towards the end by exaggerating things a little bit. Some vivid details were required instead of  straightforward happenings in the story. The main villain comes a little too late in the book to leave an impact. 

The book is a star in it's genre and has the knack to perform well with the readers. It's to the point which is a drawback at times but it makes up for that with it's pace and spread out story. It has to be absorbed and get soaked with as you turn the pages. 


3 OUT OF 5

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Review: The Pink Smoke by Shomprakash Sinha Roy

Life teaches you a lesson one way or the other. It can leave a long lasting mark on a person's memory. Some things just never fade out of mind. Their after effects are far more severe than some other important issues in life. Author Shomprakash Sinha Roy in his book "The Pink Smoke" has tried to put up a book in form of various life lessons for the readers. So does this book really teaches us something? Let's find out. 

The Pink Smoke is a story set in the backdrop of Bangalore, India. It traces Siddhant Roy's journey as he tries to adapt himself into an alien world of love, lust, addictions and unnerving degrees of friendship. He gets guided by two contrasting elements Saahil, the perpetually high philosopher and Ashish, the sane and balanced advisor. His ambitions and desires duel it out inside his head and his love for Nikita fireball Sen drives him over the edge as he begins experimenting with every social norm, until his world comes crashing down. Will he survive? Will he make it through college or end up picking up the broken pieces of his soul in the sunbathed streets of Bangalore? Read the book, to find out. The story has been placed a midst varying shades of emotions, questions the authenticity of every feeling akin to love.

First look at the title and the cover and the book has an element of difference to it. Though the tagline has love and nicotine involved in it, love being the more common formula and nicotine gives a new angle to the reader's thought process. The blurb talks about a boy's journey from a small town to a big city and the things he learn during that entire lifespan. The blurb could have been more thought provoking as the title and tagline are. 

The story covers the entire journey of Siddhant Roy and his exploits in his college PESIT, Bangalore and life with friends Saahil & Ashish. Gradually his love story too comes in the picture when he meets Nikita Sen and both of them start off a very passionate and intense relationship where all the boundaries of physical intimacy and mental comfort is crossed. But problems galore for Siddhant on both college & love front as he struggles to maintain & sustain the momentum. So will he able to survive his college? Will Nikita be his side in tough times? What will happen to Siddhant in the end? That's what the story is all about. 

The book has a fluidity in narration and the story has a feel of freshness in it when it is being narrated from Siddhant's point of view. His life, his problems, friendship & love it all is an eye opener and a lesson for the readers. His will to stand tall among all the problems is a commendable part in the story. The emotional exchange between characters in the story is one thing to watch out for in the book. 

The downside of the book is lack of a fresh story line. Same old college problems & troubled romance doesn't adds up anything new in the book. The story from Nikita's point of view feels incomplete at times. The excitement and the serious conversations could have been handled much better in the book. The physical intimacy could have been cut down a lot. The end could have been handled much better in the book. The story is too predictable. 

The book is good for hopeless romantics and few life lessons can be picked up too. The story has nothing new and fresh to offer apart from a good narration. The book could have been a much better prospect . It was less intriguing and convincing in the end. 


2 OUT OF 5

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Review: The Indian Tycoon's Marriage Deal by Adite Banerjie

When business is mixed with pleasure it generally spells doom. There are numerous books written on this subject and many movies made too. It has a different flavor to it each time someone narrates a tales related to business and pleasure. Author Adite Banerjie in her book " The Indian Tycoon's Marriage Deal" has tried her hand on creating one such story. So will the story charm the readers? Let's find out. 

Dancing with the enemy, Krish Dev needs to find a bride and quick! With a marriage arranged by his father looming, Krish finds the key to his freedom in Maya Shome, but is this dazzling beauty really all she seems...? Maya has only one thing in mind: revenge. But when the host of the most exclusive high society party asks her to dance what is meant to be an innocent tango it leads to an engagement to Krishher enemys son! Arranging their own marriage could work to their advantageif they can resist mixing business with pleasure!

First look at the title and the cover and it gives a perfect feel of a Mills & Boons in making. The cover image with two young lovers and an eye catchy title to go with it the readers are in for some entertainment in the book. The blurb talks about a business tycoon and his life's dilemmas and his plans to get out of it. The blurb is a quick work and the story's essence has been concealed well to keep the curiosity of the readers at high. 

The story is about Krish Dev son of business tycoon Kamal Kant Dev a.k.a KD who somehow gets hold of his dad's evil plans to solemnize a marriage without his consent with his business rival's daughter to strengthen his position in the market. Krish treads on a different path and goes for a bride hunting on his own and comes across Maya Shome who is an upcoming landscape designer. He throws the bait and gets hold of her and chalks out a plan of his own on which he works out things in his favor. But Maya has a plan of her own? She has revenge in her mind. What happens when two volatile people collide? Will their marriage last long? Who will be the winner among this chaos? Will Maya get what she waited for long. This is what the story is all about. 

When it comes to romance, drama, emotions and mixing business with pleasure the story scores well. It has right amount of ingredients in to keep the readers hooked to it. The story has an element of fluid pace to it and is able to maintain both love & revenge as one till the end. The choice of words to describe few scenes is commendable. The first half is more interesting and gripping with regular encounters of Krish & Maya.

The story is predictable and lacks details which could have made the torrid past of Maya a better prospect. The end is too easy considering the plot of the book. The excitement in the second half is less. Some parts in the story look too plain and simple. 

Overall it's a good story with the bonus of love & revenge in one. It might not turn out to be the most compelling books to read but still it has few elements of its own to make it an interesting prospect for romance readers. 


3 OUT OF 5. 

P.S: The book was received as part of the "Reviewers Programme" on "The Tales Pensieve". 

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Review: The Missing Connection by Ketaki Patwardhan Nirkhi

There have been some books written over the time which leave a mark on the mind of the readers. It's no less than a miracle that happens in front of your eyes. Author Ketaki Patwardhan Nirkhi in her latest book "The Missing Connection" has tried to narrate one such tale which will be etched in the mind of the readers forever. So is it different from the other books out there? Let's find out. 

Dr.Neha Dixit, an anesthetist lives in Mumbai with her loving husband Dr.Ashutosh. Her life is almost perfect, except for two problems. First problem is the nightmares she has had since childhood, the same ones where she hears screams, where she sees blood. Everyone assumes that these nightmares have something to do with her past, but she cannot recollect any such incidence. The other problem is they are childless, despite all efforts, and she’s craving for one. And one fine day, her life takes an unexpected twist…
While working at the hospital, Neha sees a patient, Susan. Neha has the feeling that she has seen this woman somewhere, a sense of Déjà vu. And Susan too keeps staring at her, as if she too reciprocates the same feeling. From that day, suddenly the frequency of her nightmares increases. The hazel brown eyes of Susan start haunting her. Neha goes to the hospital to find out who Susan is…only to find her absconding. And thus begins Neha’s cross country hunt to find Susan and to find out who she really is. And during this hunt, she realizes that Susan too is following her. Who is Susan? Why does she seem familiar? What is her connection to Neha’s nightmares? Why is she following her? Will hypnotic age regression, as suggested by psychiatrist Dr.Ram, help her? As Neha comes closer to finding who Susan really is, she thinks the problem of her nightmares is going to end. What she doesn't know is that she is close to unraveling a horrific secret buried in the past…

First look at the title and the cover and it'll give readers all kinds of goosebumps. Those eyes and that look of the girl on the cover image is enough to heighten the curiosity of the readers. The title leads you to a belief that story is no less than an entertainer. The blurb talks about a person and her life which has led her to some unsolved queries. It's an unusually lengthy blurb. It should have been shorter than it's original length currently. 

The story revolves around Dr. Neha, an anesthetist whose life is in a turmoil because of two things. First her inability to conceive and secondly a recurring dream which haunts her night after night. There is no solution in sight to both of her problems. One day she comes across a patient called Susan in her hospital during her routine check up and that moment is converted into deja vu which leads her to believe that there is some sort of connection between her & Susan. But suddenly Susan disappears from the hospital and from there on it's a large man hunt to uncover the truth behind this all mystery as to who Susan is and how she is related to Neha. What is in store for her at the end? Will she ever be able to get hold of Susan? What fate awaits Neha in the end? This is what the story is all about. 

There's no end to suspense and thrill in this story. It's a perfect recipe for a suspense thriller. The countless twists and turns will make the readers head spin for a lot of time. The surprise which it has in store for everyone will catch many off guard for sure. The ease with which the narration has been handled is commendable. It's a cracker of a plot. The curiosity factor remains high throughout the book. 

The downside of the book is it's editing. Few mistakes in the book and spacing errors are an eye sore at times. Apart from this the story has no faults in it. 

It's not a loose story. All the ends have been tied up carefully in order to maintain the essence and charm of a suspense thriller. It'll fool you, it'll make you toil hard and it'll make you go round and round and then drop you back to where it all started from. All without any realization. It's a story worth all the time and money of the readers. 


4 OUT OF 5   

Review: Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai by Rishi Vohra

Some stories are different from the others. They are penned down in such a manner that it'll leave you dazed for sometime. Author Rishi Vohra in his book "Once Upon The Tracks of Mumbai" has tired his hand on something different for the readers to experience and live through the eyes of it's characters. So is he successful in doing that? Let's find out. 

Autistic. Schizophrenic. Psychotic... 
They use these words to describe Babloo the doctors, his family, his teachers everyone except Vandana. She treats him the way he wants the world to see him. 
Mumbai the city that defines his ultimate desires. Will it allow him the love and normalcy he so craves?
Vandana yearns for a soul mate to rescue her from the confines of the Railway Colony they all live in. Is she looking in the right place?
Rail Man a fearless, real-life hero who succeeds in doing all that Babloo secretly wishes to do is Babloo his inspiration or is it the other way around?
A random twist of fate on Mumbais endless, serpent-like, jangling local train tracks ties all these characters together in a complex weave of love, heartbreak, and courage. 
Babloo draws the reader into his fascinating, heart-rending journey through the twisted, choked lanes of Mumbai, into an open space where he can finally exhale, be born again.

First look at the title and the cover and the readers will fell in love with it. The title being one of those eye catching ones and the cover image having a similar kind of an effect. Three words highlight the blurb and the character involved in the story and there is a lot more to it than meets the eye. It's an unusual but a very good blurb. 

The story is about Babloo Srivastav who is ill and has some illness which has not been ruled out properly by the doctors. He is snubbed by his parents and other colony people too. He is idle, jobless and fancies nothing. He is an introvert but his heart beats for the girl next door Vandana. But with time he is lured into false hopes by Sikander a local business man and his innocence is taken advantage of all the time. A chance incident at Holi changes his perspective towards life and he finds a purpose for himself but at the same time is heart broken too because of an alliance happening without his knowledge. So will he able to resurrect himself? Will people and parents accept him again? Will he able to win Vandana's love? This is what the story is all about. 

The story has a simple yet beautiful narration style to it. The difference maker in the story is Babloo's character and the entire set up around him. He holds the story together till the end. The innocence and simplicity of the story is worth experiencing. The story is slow in pace but easy to soak into according to it's subtle changes all the time. The RAIL MAN part is also an added attraction in it. 

The downside of the book is it's predictable in parts. The end is too simple for the readers liking. There should have been more of Babloo in the latter half as too much importance is given to Vandana & Raghu at times. The predictability had to be kept less in the book in order to maintain the excitement. 

The story though not completely different from other love stories but with a character like Babloo in it who is the change maker. The story is to enjoyed slowly and steadily. It's a no hurry affair and can soothe your nerves. It's' a simple yet never heard story. 


3 OUT OF 5

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Review: Emotional Fool by Selva Ganapathy

Many a times in life people tend to experience few things which leave a long lasting impact on them. It may be good or may be bad. But it's after effects can be felt by that certain person who has undergone it and the people around him too. Author Selva Ganpathy in his debut book "Emotional Fool" has penned down his own life experiences which created an outlook for the future. So what are his life experiences? Let's find out. 

The protagonist, Selva narrates his life story ? his childhood, his upbringing, friends, travels, college life, career and Priya. The story revolves around Priya, his best friend and confidante who he eventually falls in love with & attempts to court. His sensitive nature leads him to take actions that are a typical & abnormal for people around him. What happens when he continues to let his heart rule his head?

First look at the title and it gives a touchy feel to it. The image and it's mirror image are a glimpse of a person who is sad and has undergone some trauma in his life. The blurb talks about the author who is the protagonist of the story too and some things which are going to change his life forever. It's a short and to the point blurb with a question mark in the end which can excite some readers. 

The story is of Selva and his journey of his first job from IIT Delhi, his friends, his active work for AID New Delhi and then his own family problems and the support he garnered and the love and care he distributed in people around him and then his attempts to woo a girl on social networking medium which fails and then finally he comes across Priya where his life takes a turn from where it's either a good or a bad end. Their conversations, their friendship and love for each other will be put to test and the end result will not suit many. What will happen to Selva in the end? Will Priya be there for him forever? What has life in store for both of them? That's what the story is all about. 

The USP of the story is straight forward and simple narration. The second point where it scores is representation of your own life without hiding facts and written with utmost honesty and dedication. The emotions love and friendship and it's after effects are scattered throughout the book. It's a bold step to reveal your own truth in form a book in front of the readers. 

The downside of the book is some grammatical and few spelling mistakes. The story though high on emotions brings nothing fresh in terms of story line and becomes too plain at times. The love and friendship dilemma doesn't have any excitement in it. 

The book is representation of emotions of a person and what he goes through in the end to achieve something out of it. It's a hope against the hope. It can make the readers cry a bit, smile sometimes and can jolt a few emotions too but you won't find anything new in it. It's a true story which makes it an interesting prospect for the readers. So keep your expectations minimum and be Selva's companion in his journey. 


3 OUT OF 5  

Friday, October 11, 2013

Review: Bankerupt by Ravi Subramanian

Banking Thrillers have been the flavor in the Indian writing industry for quite some time now. Few books have turned around the fate of this genre in favor of the writers. Author Ravi Subramanian in his latest book "Bankerupt" tries to take the readers for a ride of their lives based on banks, frauds and scams. So is he successful in weaving one more riveting tale? Let's find out.

A university is an institution for higher education and research. It can also be a place where academic brilliance leads to overinflated egos, bitter politics and finally, murder. Cirisha Narayanan, a professor who has risen meteorically, stumbles upon a cryptic message. Aditya Raisinghania, her banker husband, sets up a highly innovative financial hoax. Her profiteering father harvests Australias largest bird the emu in India. The US elections are on and the debate on gun control has reached a fever pitch. Set in Mumbai, Coimbatore and Boston, Ravi Subramanian creates an impeccably researched world where everyone has a motive to kill. Nothing is as it seems in this cunningly vicious thriller where the plot turns on a dime.

First look at the title and the cover and you can associate the book to a thriller and the author's previous attempts of writing banking thrillers. The title suits the theme of the book. The cover image portrays a man running away from something with a gun and a bag in his hand. It fits perfectly with the book. The blurb talks about two people and two different scenarios where there is a lot going to happen which will end up in a lot of mess. It's a typical thriller blurb not revealing too much of information about the story which sets the tone for the readers. 

The story has two plots in it. First one in which Aditya Raisinghania an investment banker with GB2 bank works across deals for many customers and suddenly is embroiled in a controversy when his old frind Shivinder and a company called Step Up Shoes come to them for loading off their assets. The two best friends hatch a plan and end up making a mess of it. Meanwhile an EMU bird business proposal comes to him and there he meets his future wife Cirisha Narayanan with whom he gets married and settle down. But his father in law fears a lot of problems in his business after sometime and it becomes a cause of worry for him. Meanwhile Cirisha working in MIT comes across some events which changes the entire world around her when her best friend Richard takes some hasty steps and ends up killing himself and a lot of people. A lot of political drama unfolds in the campus when James Deahl & Michael Cordoza two popular academicians with their own personal interests in a few things lead an all out assault and put in danger lives of many people. What is the fate of Cirisha & Aditya in the end? Will the mess from Mumbai to Boston be uncovered? Will Richard & the others get justice? That's what the story is all about. 

It's a classic case of a thriller which goes length and breadth of the continent and takes the readers for a ride of their lives. The number of surprises in the story keeps the readers engaged till the end. The deceptive nature of all the characters is a thing to watch out for in the book. The parallel plots in the story makes the head spin most of the times. The end in particular is very gripping and surprising. It's a delight for thriller readers. The book slow at start and pacy afterwards makes it interesting for the readers with vivid descriptions to go along with. The book has been inspired by a lot of real life events which have been woven into a thriller. 

The downside of the book is the elder Narayanan's tale which loses it's charm and gives a look of an unnecessary entity in the book. His part looked neglected and incomplete towards the end. 

The book once again like the previous thrillers from the author makes a strong case for itself. There's a touch difference to it it's more of an academic thriller than a banking thriller. It's a blend of scams, scandals, powerful political connections, manipulative nature of people, changing loyalties and not to forget the greed and the desire to succeed at any cost. It is edgy, mysterious, bag full of surprises and enough to make a reader dance to it's tunes till the end. 


4 OUT OF 5

Review: Algorithm of Future by Sandeep Sharma

Sci-fi thriller movies is the one about which the world is very much acquainted. Sci-fi thriller in books is a rare entity. Not many writers have attempted to write one. Author Sandeep Sharma in his debut novel "Algorithm of Future" has tried his luck with a sci-fi thriller for the readers. So does it have the thrills and shrills to keep the readers engaged? Let's find out. 

Everything was fine till that plane crash in China. Thats where everything started. Rakesh the youngest Mathematician who can predict the future using his mathematics. Aakash Singh Rathore the greatest Magician and the hypnotist who wants to rule the world. Rahul a friend, a RAW agent or something else? Here mathematics, magic and science will fight to decide the future of this world. Will Rakesh be able to save his family from the fate he himself has predicted? What happened that night from which Rakesh couldnt recover himself from 12 years? This is the story of revenge. This is the story of love. This is the story of friendship. This is Algorithm of Future.

First look at the title and the cover and a lot of readers will confuse it for a mathematics book. But that's not the case. It's a thriller based on mathematics. It's a typical cover image containing numbers and equations. The blurb talks a about a person and his particular set of skills which will help him in save the country. It's a good blurb and can be related to the title and theme of the book. 

The story revolves around a mathematician Rakesh whose life is maths. He develops a unique formula to predict the future actions of the people and ridiculed badly. He is dejected by it and one fine day he gets a call from a magician called Aakash Singh Rathore who proves to be his nemesis. Rahul along with his family lives in a constant fear as Officer Abhay of RAW and Rahul his long lost friend join forces with him in order to neutralize Rathore's threat. So what are Rathore's motives? Will Rakesh be able to stop him? What will he gain and lose out of it? That's what the story is all about. 

It's a thriller story and has thrills of it's own with quite a few surprises present in it from time to time. The story is more convincing in the latter part. The edginess of Rathore and the ever fumbling & confusing Rakesh are in stark contrast which sets the tone for the story. Few surprises and twists are eye catchy in the story. 

The downside of the book is editing. The grammar has gone for a toss in the book which is a huge turn off while reading the story. The algorithm which is the central theme of the book doesn't has any particular explanation to it as to what it is and how it's used to predict the actions of the people. The first half is a dull affair and a lot of things happen out of the blue in the story. 

The book overall had a lot of potential in it but fell flat on expectations courtesy poor grammar and a lot of unexplained parts in it. It has a touch of thrill in it but the sci fi element goes missing. The book needs fine tuning in order to make it an interesting prospect for the readers. 


2 OUT OF 5

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Review: The Curse of That Night by Rochak Bhatnagar

It's a male dominated society. We often here some people brag about it in the public. Since the advent of human race a few minds have indulged in heinous activities which have not only let us down time and again but also put a big question mark on the existence of decent people in the society. Rape is one those crimes which has a long history behind it and has been a topic of discussion and something which has spun out of control in the recent times. Author Rochak Bhatnagar in his latest book "The Curse of That Night" has woven a story of one such girl. So is he successful in conveying the exact message to the audience? Let's find out. 

A fragmented policy and a vitiated public sphere characterise today's India. The question that is making rounds is whether we have become an intolerant nation. Obviously, there can be no simple 'yes' or 'no' to such a question; it all depends on the context in which it is posted.
You can practically get away with the most heinous crimes, be it murder, rape, corruption of the grossest sort, theft, graft, not to speak of the abuse of both law and morality in almost every sphere of life.
Abhijeet Raichand is the highest paid lawyer in Delhi with just one aim in life, to make money. He has a loving fiance Malvika, who supports him in every way. Darsh is an orphan. He was too young when his father died and left him with a responsibility, to take care of his little sister. He used to work as a rag picker and had just one wish, to get the best of education for his sister, Aarti. Everything was going on great until that brutal night. The night when Aarti was gang raped by three men, including Omi Yadav, son of an MLA.
Rape is a crime against human rights and is also violating the victims most cherished of the fundamental rights, the right to life contained in Article 21. And it is rightly said by someone, "While a murderer destroys the physical frame of the victim, a rapist degrades and defiles the soul of a helpless female".
The story revolves around Aarti, Malvika, Abhijeet and Darsh and their struggle to get justice. A corrupt system, political pressure and a lifetime of curse and trauma. Will Aarti get justice? Will those convicts get punishment for this brutal crime? Read on to find out!!

First look at the title and cover and the readers hearts will melt out for the crying soul as the cover image. The title is apt for the theme which is the basis of the story. The blurb talks about few people and their encounters with some people of influence and how one life becomes a matter of utmost importance. It's a very good presentation of the story and it's theme in the blurb. 

The story revolves around Abhijeet Raichand a rich and famous lawyer who has made a name for himself in the city. He falls in love with his intern Malvika and gradually love culminates between them. His brother Rohan has revenge and retribution in his mind. A chance incident brings Darsh & Arti as life saviours for Abhijeet and in return he takes care of them personally. Arti unawares of the cruelty of the world raises her voice against the son of local MLA and is brutally raped in order to satisfy the male ego. It causes a nation wide stir and loyalties and many other lives are turned around during the entire process. Will Arti come out of the closet? Will Abhijeet fight for justice? Will Darsh be able to support her sister till the end? It's a story of good v/s evil. 

The story has a plus point i.e the sensitivity of the theme portraying the injustice happening against the women in real life. The realistic points put across the entire story regarding rape have been well researched. The story has a lot of reality in it especially the second half where it turns out to be a upheaval battle. The narration is quite simple and fluid. It's a good blend of fiction and reality. 

The downside of the book is it's connectivity which is not present in the first half. The plot is weak at start and some details are amiss in the story which gives an incomplete feeling at times. The real life statistics and facts could have been inculcated in a much better manner in the book. 

The book though not an exemplary piece of work but still has enough in it create a sense of awareness in the society as to how to approach the matters of rape and other crimes. It acts like a bucket of water used to awaken the ignorant from the deep slumber. It's no regular romantic saga. It has to be read and thought upon with a serious intent. It's a book with an appeal to maintain the sanctity of the society and respecting women rather than destroying their very existence on earth for satisfying your own personal ego and greed. 


3 OUT OF 5

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Help Me Please (Chapter-5)

 I wore a pink top with blue jeans and waited with bad breath for the clock to strike 12. As soon as it struck 12 Manav texted me and said "Sweetheart after 5 minutes come out". 

As my apartment was on the ground floor it was a bit easy to sneak out. I was worried as well as excited at the same time. 

I tip toed towards the back entrance of my house and saw Manav on his bike at a distance. I opened the door without making noise and then proceeded towards him with my chappals in my hand. 

Manav laughed at the sight when I ran up to him like a little child and then hugged him with the chappals in my hand. 

He giggled and said " Sweetie Pie these chappals are supposed to be worn in the feet". 

I smiled and said " Yes sweetu I'm wearing it". Now please drive us out of here before somebody sees us. 

Aye Aye Madame. 

I hopped on his bike and then as the bike picked up speed I held on to him tight and enjoyed my hair fluttering with the impact of the wind. 

He braked often and the touch of his body with mine sparked currents in my body. I just was engrossed in the moment. 

After driving for 15 minutes he stopped near a secluded spot outside the city with open fields and he parked his bike on one side of the road.

Sweetu what are we doing here? 

Wait baby. Give me a moment. 

He then proceeded towards the field and asked me to shut my eyes. 

I shut my eyes and waited for him for the next couple of minutes. 

Manav what is it? 

Just hold on please. 

I could sense the excitement in his voice. The moon and the stars were bright and making it a perfectly lit night. 

I was standing in the middle of nowhere and suddenly he whispered in my ears, On my mark open your eyes. 

Alright baby. 

1 2 3 Go. 

As soon as I opened my eyes he wrapped a red dupatta around me and ran towards the field and picked up a black jacket and imitated the DDLJ scene and started singing "Tujhe Dekha Toh Ye Jaana Sanam". 

I was in awe completely as he held my hand and we went inside the field and then under the bright light of the moon our lips met for the first time. 

Then out of the excitement he went down on his one knee and said, Will you be mine Simran a.k.a Tanya? 

I blushed hard and with tears in my eyes said yes. He slipped one necklace in my neck out of nowhere and I was surprised with the princess treatment. 

I couldn't hold back my tears and leaped at him with full force as we both fell down in the field and then we made love to each other for the first time. 

I just kept sobbing and crying as he was gentle with me at times and wild too but what made me love him more was the love and care in his eyes which I could see through with my gaze. 

Time just flew by as we lied in each other's arms and felt asleep after a wonderful Valentines Day experience. 

Suddenly there was a commotion and I saw 4 men dragging Manav away from me. My modesty was being challanged by them as they started passing lewd remarks at me. Two of them held Karan at gun point while the other two made way towards me. 

I was completely shocked and tried to ran away from there but they caught hold of me and dragged me by my hair. I had no clothes on and both of them were laughing menacingly drunk. 

My pleas and cries felt on deaf ears as they dragged me to the same spot where Manav & I were lying sometime ago. 

Manav's hands and legs were tied up and his mouth was stuffed with a dirty piece of cloth. He had been slapped and bruised and blood was pouring out of his wounds. 

I pleaded again and again but they were too drunk to register even a single word. 

How come such a hot item has landed up in the fields? said one of them. 

I had by then covered myself with bits and pieces of my clothes but to no avail. 

Sweetheart no need to cry. Don't cover yourself up. We'll take care of you. said another one tauntingly. 

Do not touch me please. Take money and leave me. Please I beg you. I was crying incessantly. 

We don't want money. We want you. said the third one smacking his lips. 

Please. Please leave me alone. Please help somebody. 

Manav please help. 

One of them took out a knife and flashed at Manav. See here you girl if you don't agree to our demands then we'll kill your boyfriend. 

No please don't do it. Leave us please. Please... 

She won't listen like this. Stab him. 

No no. Please don't. 

But it was too late. One of them had stabbed the knife in Manav's thigh and the knife made a deep gashing wound. 

I was horror struck at the sight as the two men approached me like hungry bears. 

I tried to get up but they caught me by my legs and hit me with a gun butt. 

The last I heard was muffled voices of Manav and devilish laughter of the 4 scoundrels. 

(To Be Continued)