Thursday, November 28, 2013

Review: The One You Cannot Have by Preeti Shenoy

Nowadays everything from marriage to relationships have a sense of insecurity in it. Be it the first time you fall in love, the infidelity, the charm of the relationship etc. it all takes a beating with time. Very few of them manage to survive the ordeal. Author Preeti Shenoy in her latest book "The One You Cannot Have" talks about few such relationships which suffer from a similar kind of a fate. So has she been able to catch the essence of modern day relationships? Let's find out. 

How long does it take to heal a broken heart? Can you ever forget that one perfect relationship you had? Anjali knows who she wants, she wants Aman. Aman too knows who he wants, he wants Shruti. Shruti and Aman were once inseparable. Theirs was a love that would last forever and more. Then, out of the blue, Shruti left Aman. A devastated Aman moved abroad in the hope of forgetting Shruti and to heal. Shruti married Rishabh. Now Aman is back in India and looking for a fresh start. But he is still haunted by memories of his love. Can he ever break free from it? His head tells him to move on, to find love with Anjali, but his heart wont listen. No matter what he does, Shrutis shadow looms large. Can there be a happily-ever-after for any of them? A straight-from-the-heart modern-day romance of unrequited love, of complicated relationships and about moving on when you realise that there will always be the one you cannot have.

First look at the title and the cover and the readers will fall in love with it. The beautiful cover image catches the beauty of the whole book with subtle yet vibrant colors. The blurb talks about few people and their equation with each other in life. The excitement might be cut down because of the blurb but it doesn't gives out the whole thing. 

The story is about Aman & Shruti. They were both inseparable and loved each other like mad. But circumstances change and Shruti dumps Aman unceremoniously and moves on to marry Rishabh. Families of Rishabh & Shruti are happy with the alliance. It's been two years now but Aman still can't forgive or forget her memories. He returns back to India and gradually gets attracted to Anjali. But will he succumb to his mother's whims? What does this modern day romance holds for both Aman & Shruti? What will happen to Aman & Anjali? What is in store for Rishabh & Shruti. This is what the story is all about. 

The simple yet compelling narration portraying the modern day relationships pros and cons is a highlight of the book. The shift from the past to the present makes the story all the way more beautiful for the readers to enjoy. There is a lot of real life inspiration while reading this story. It takes you to a high and then drops you down suddenly with it's changes in stances and emotions. 

There's no downside in the book. 

It's a perfect tale woven into fiction and made to look realistic and gives the readers a lot of help in how to handle their relationships and the people they love in real life. It's not just a work of fiction but it's an eye opener for many as sometimes we are too blinded with rage in order to understand the sensitivity of a relationship or a situation. It's a perfect recipe served to the readers by the author. 


4 OUT OF 5

Friday, November 22, 2013

Review: The Himalayan Revelation by Pankaj Misra

If there's no mystery in our history then its not called history. The events which happened in the past and the circumstances leading to them have always intrigued historians and treasure hunters. Kingdoms, empires and their rich heritage and persona have left a lot of things unsaid for the modern day man. The things of the past by far are the most interesting aspect which continues to entice and bedazzle man time and again. Author Pankaj Misra in his debut novel "The Himalayan Revelation" takes readers on a journey which can be remembered for a lifetime. So is this journey glittering just like the others? Let's find out.  

The Himalayan Revelation is a work of fiction but developed using genuine facts from history and modern times. It is a gripping tale of mystery, adventure, romance and international intrigue.
Today Hampi is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. But around 450 years back, this capital of the magnificent Vijayanagar Empire was brutally plundered and devastated. But before it happened, its masters hid a secret. Centuries later, a young couple chance upon an object that holds a secret much more than Hampi had hidden, in a place 2000 miles far north of Hampi - the Himalayas. The Himalayas have something to tell and when they do - two nations become so desperate to get it that they are ready to go to any lengths, even global annihilation.
What happens next is thrill laced, fast paced adventure. Read the book to find out more....

First look at the title and the cover and the readers will get the basic idea behind the book. It's a historical fiction mixed with some real history and some events made up to make it look interesting. The cover image attracts the readers to itself. The blurb talks about an empire which had a rich history but now lies in ruins. But there's more to it than meets the eye. It's a very good blurb giving out absolutely nothing to the readers. 

The story starts off in the present time where Gaurav is on a trip to Leh and wants to explore the natural beauty and bliss of the place. He joins Genesis3D in Bangalore where he gets a wonderful opportunity to showcase his talents. But things don't go as planned and he ends up in one of the oldest monasteries in Leh and gets to meet Thipsey and Kunchen Lama who are the monks in that monastery. It all fascinates him and he leaves with wonderful memories of the place. Back home they get a project to digitize the historical places and their accounts as Meesha comes on board with Natasha for this project and they select Hampi for this. An exploration of Hampi leads to a new mystery and from there on it keeps getting complicated as they stumble upon something which happened 450 years back when Vijayanagar was the threshold of Hampi and a battle which wiped it out from the face of the earth completely. But now intrigued by the developments their journey takes them from Leh to Bangalore to the unexplored confines of Himalaya which have been unknown to man. But it has more to it as Chinese govt. also gets involved in this pursuit and Indian intelligence agencies too put up a brave show to put an end to this mystery. What is there in Hampi for Natasha & Gaurav to discover? Will this project be over? What will China gain out of it? Will two nations be able to prevent a world wide collapse? What has history hidden in it's womb till now and why it becomes cause of concern for various people and organizations? This is what the story is all about. 

Brilliant and captivating are the two words which fit perfectly well for the story. The history mingled with fiction makes it an absolute treat for the readers. The mysteries, historical relevance's, modern day approach and curiosity of the characters makes the story all the more exciting and spiced up. There's not a single dull moment in the back. It's thrilling narration and pacy outlook makes it a lovely dose for the readers. There's hardly any time to catch the breath in this story. The mesmerizing details laden with historical references are the perfect flavor of the book. 

The downside of the book is that the romance angle could have been kept to a minimum. It didn't suit the story. Also Vijayanagar empire's relevance towards the second half drops down a bit which should have been maintained equally like the other relevant things in the plot. 

Overall it's an excellent book in the making for the readers. The fluidity and the detailed narrative and the thrilling action all along makes it a perfect read for the readers. It's a book which can sweep readers off it's feet anytime as there is everything like drama, mystery, history, action, thrills which makes the mood of the readers. As it's said there's no history without mystery. It's a journey which every reader should definitely undertake. 


4 OUT OF 5

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

Review: Touch of Mist by Deepika Muthusamy

Volatile nature of relationships is nothing new in today's world. Petty issues can cause a lot of distrust and uproar in a healthy relationship. The pressure of work and family together is not that easy to handle nowadays. Author Deepika Muthuswamy in her book "Touch of Mist" has penned down one such story on relationships. So is this in sync with the real life scenario? Let's find out. 

Reena was distraught. It seemed unbelievable that she too had succumbed to this rat race of life. The consequences had been dire: a marriage that had broken even before the profundity of those three magical words, I Love You could sink in. Touch of Mist is a glitzy, modern-day love story of two young, sophisticated, IT professionals, Gautham and Reena, who meet by chance, sparks ignite and they fall head over heels in love with each other. They tie the knot and start a new life. But no sooner do they do that that fights erupt and egos clash. The first casualty is love, which plummets and marriage turns miserable; break-up beckons and the relationship dies. Aftermath. Does Reena commit suicide or fall in love with another person? Does she reconcile with her first love Gautham? This story meanders through different emotions that touch the lives of the protagonists such as love, friendship, marriage, heartbreak, grief, anticipation, humor, disgust, joy, fear and ends with a heart-warming credo that Life is to Live.

First look at the title and the cover and both the things won't give an out of place feeling. In fact it's a beautiful cover image to go with a novel. The blurb talks about a woman and her life's woes and what all happens to her during her entire journey. The blurb is a good blurb considering the fact that the book talks about relationship and issues in it. 

The story is of Reena & Gautham two I.T employees who meet by chance, become friends by chance and by chance their love story clicks and culminates into marriage. Reena is a shy woman whereas Gautham is an extrovert personality. They face a few hurdles before marriage when Reena's father fix her her marriage to Sandy one of their known ones. Gautham somehow wins back his love and together they start a new life. But things go haywire from the 1st day after marriage when small fights become big arguments and the trust and compatibility issues crop up. Behaviors and tempers are on a rise and even after a lot of cajoling their mutual friend Kishore nothing seems to get their marriage back on track. So will they be able to get back together? What role Akshitha plays in their lives? What will happen to Reena? What will be the end of this love story? That's what the story is all about. 

The make and break relationships, the instant love stories and the trust issues afterwards are the flavor of the book. This book can be easily related to real life scenarios nowadays where newly weds are at each other's throats for small-small things. The beauty of the story lies in the various aspects covered under this story be it love, nature, emotions like trust, temperament etc. The second half of the book is enthralling and first half holds the charm of the story equally well. 

The downside of the book is editing which goes for a toss towards the end of the book. The character name Akshitha has been goofed up many times, spelling mistakes,grammatical errors made it very shabby towards the end. The end could have been done in a much beautiful manner. It looks quite incomplete and doesn't fits well with the entire story. Translation of regional language words in English should have been there too in the book. 

Overall it's a good experience for the readers and there's a touch of both joy and sorrow in the book. For most part it'll remain on track but will waiver off suddenly. It's a combination of today's relationship plights and a beautiful love story.


3 OUT OF 5

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Review: Aisle Be Damned by Rishi Pipariya

Getting a sneak peek into an industry through a book is a great means. Many untold and unseen aspects are covered through it. Author Rishi Pipariya in his debut novel "Aisle Be Damned" tries to give the readers some first hand experience of aviation industry. So is he successful in becoming a perfect aviation tour guide? Let's find out. 

Swaying hips, praying lips and flying tips!A Hilarious Take on just about Everything Associated with Air Travel.
  • Getting seamlessly upgraded to Business Class.
  • The hows and whys of micromanaging the pilots.
  • Action plans to counter the airlines Technical Snag routine.
  • Sure shot strategies for winning the affections of flight attendants.
  • Awesome icebreakers to start conversations with attractive co-passengers.
  • How smart executives deal with the Walk of Shame to the economy section.
  • How a water bottle dramatically improves flight safety.
  • Breezing through immigration and customs, always making your flight connections and a whole lot more

Rest assured, your flying experience will never be the same again!

First look at the title and the cover and the readers will be confused for a moment. The cover image of a girl matches the tagline of swaying hips and the other words in the tagline gives more of a scandal book incoming. But that's not the case. It's a pretty attractive cover. The blurb talks about air travel and everything related to it. The bullet points are really a help in covering the facts regarding air travel and for the readers too. 

This is no love story. It revolves around all the big and small facts associated with air travel and is kind of a user guide and first hand experiences of the author and some examples to follow it up with for reader's comfort. From the ground level to the sky the author tries to uncover the facts which a normal everyday traveler can't get hold of. It's more of a guide book and that too a handy one for your future travels. 

The narration of the story is fluid and simple. The facts and figures make it more easy to understand the nuances of air travel. The helpful insights and humor is present in parts throughout the book. The first half of the book is captivating. The information relating to each and every aspect of air travel showcases the amount of research and experience that comes into this book. 

The humor element goes missing quite a lot of times in the second half. The book goes dull towards the end. It gives a little dragged feeling in the last few pages. 

The book is a perfect air travel guide for any user who has less experience when it comes to air travelling. The illustrations and real life scenarios make it handy for the people to understand. Humor is there but in bits and pieces. It's a perfect handbook cum guide for first time and frequent air travelers.


3 OUT OF 5

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

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Review: Kashi by Terin Miller

There is only 1 book out of 10 which makes you drool over it for a very long time. At times the everything from the start till the end is just like alcohol which makes people loose their senses and dance their way around in ignorance. Author Terin Miller in his novel "Kashi" has tried his hand on making readers drool over a story churned out of the heart of religion and emotions. So is it a picture perfect novel? Let's find out. 

Kashi is a tale of clashes of cultures, relationship experiments and religious and moral differences in the holiest of Hindu cities, just at the time India's second generation of independence comes to adulthood in the form of Sumita Meetha Sharma.
Meetha Sharma, educated, attractive, worldly, the daughter of a wealthy import-export businessman in the nascent new Indian middle - class, desires to be like her American and other expatriate friends. She chafes at old world ideas of behavior and conformity and longs to be seen as an equal in society. But her desires have consequences she doesn't fully realize, especially for the traditional Hindu musician to whom she was promised when she was 13.
A story of a generation of Indians unlike any that has come before them born in a free and independent country, a country only granted its freedom after much effort and sacrifice by their forebears, a country only granted the opportunity to rise in the world as its former colonial status fades into history.

First look at the cover and the title and it'll leave the readers spell bound. The backdrop and the effect along with the woman in red makes it a mesmerizing experience for the readers. The blurb talks about older India and a woman and various other aspects of India at that time. It's a good blurb but there's a lot more to it than meets the eye. 

The story is narrated by an American John Colson who arrives in Varanasi and is working for the Wire Service. He writes and files articles depicting the culture, values and other things of importance of India. Along this journey he makes some friends in form of Chet Bardus, Rajan, Liz Aven & Meetha Sharma. He is attracted towards Meetha in his first meeting but he is unable to express it. The story moves from the religious city to the pompous of Delhi and then to the picturesque setup of Darjeeling from where there is a lot on stake for Meetha, Liz, Chet & John. It all gets messed up and in the end it leads from incident to another. So will John be able to confess his love to Meetha? What will happen to Liz & Chet? What role Rajan has to play in the story? What will happen at the end of it? That's what the story is all about. 

The uniqueness of the story can be gauged from the fact that it spans over 3 different cities and mesmerizes all throughout. The set up and the characterization and the narration all suits the taste of the readers. The story is not pacy at all. It takes time to grasp the surroundings and the happenings around the characters. The second half is full of confusions and surprises which will make your eyes pop out in amazement. The enchanting experience of Banaras is an added beauty to the whole novel. 

The downside of the book are spelling mistakes occurring at few places. The first half is pretty slow but it could have been spiced up a bit more. 

The book is a mix of love and culture and the rigid old system of 80's in India which made it tough for the people to express themselves. It's not a single person story. It's everyone's story be it John or Meetha or anybody else. It has elements of variety and a freshness in idea which makes it quite different from the others. It's worth going on a ride full of excitement, color, vigor and in the end a tale of love which will leave you with a lot to think about. 


4 OUT OF 5   

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Review: Dinner Date by Ishaan Lalit

A light read is always recommended after the stressful life we read nowadays. Those who are in to reading understand this proposition very well. It makes your mood and sets up the day beautifully. Author Ishaan Lalit in his latest book "Dinner Date" dishes out to you a light read in form of a unique narration. So does it works for the readers? Let's find out.

Sam Thomas, today he is a charming, well-dressed, successful lawyer, but he was not always so. He was a goofy, clueless, awkward young man. The first time a beautiful girl kissed him, he ran away screaming, which led to the rumours that he was gay. When he tried to put the rumours to sleep, he only ended up getting into worse trouble and got beaten up by the schools gymnastics team. Dinner Date is the story of one evening, when Sam recounts his story and tells of how he and his friends, Ram and Rohit, go from one fiasco to another in their law school, from almost getting expelled to meeting his estranged godfather, to falling in love with the Deans daughter. The trio fumbles through all the obstacles comically. Dinner Date is a love caper, set a midst moot courts, law school, politics and family secrets. 

First look at the title and the cover image and readers will fall in love with it. It has a catchy title and the uniqueness of the cover image sets it apart from the other books in the same genre. The brightened up colors enhance the experience for the readers. The blurb talks about a person's life and which way it is headed. The blurb is good considering the title and the look at the image which will tend to confuse the readers at first but everything will be clear at the end of the story. 

The story revolves around Samuel Thomas who is confused since his childhood. His first kiss ends up in a disaster and he gets a sound thrashing for that in the school. But over the years he has become quite a charmer. Now he sit in front of Malika who with him has come on a dinner date and he wants to narrate his story to her. When he goes back to visit his past the memories of Simla Law School from where he graduated with his best friends Ram & Rohit and the love of his life Aditi to the mischievous and casual attitude to his godfather Alex and his altercations with Ravi Ahuja his arch nemesis and from the Aziz Ansari and then growing up to work in one of the biggest law firms of Delhi but there are lot of other things which need his attention in life. What all are these things? Will he be able to hold on to Aditi and his career? Will his friends be there till the end? What will he become: A bad boy or a good boy? That's what the story is all about. 

The slapstick humor, the hilarious goof ups and court room encounters and a messed up college life and confused souls in love and career are all the USP of the story. There's not a dull moment from the start till the end. The first half is a fun filled ride but the second part is a family melodrama and a good one too. Emotions are mixed and mingled up pretty well all throughout the story. The characters most of them have played their part very well in the story. Friendship, love, family & career are the central point of the story. A fluid and a compelling and a unique way of narrating one's own life makes it an interesting prospect. 

Few spelling and grammatical mistakes are there in the book. The court show down could have been enforced more and made compelling in the book. It was little too easy and predictable in Sam's case. 

The uncertain ride is a joy to be on. There are lot of secrets, loads of fun and not to forget Sam Thomas who makes it hilarious for the readers. It won't bore you a bit and at the end you'll feel like all the money spent on it is worth. It's light on the nerves and the mind. 


4 OUT OF 5

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Review: Chapter 11 by Amit Shankar

Corporate giants are a mystery entity. There are lot of things hidden behind the shine and the sheen. Many who have tried to raise their voice against the system have bore the brunt of selfish and ruthless managements. Author Amit Shankar in his latest offering 'Chapter 11" talks about one such organization and one such person who is torn between a lot of things. So will this corporate melodrama create a furor? Let's find out.  

Feeling suffocated within the confines of Udaipur, his past and inconsequential job, Virendra Vikram Singh aspires to be a part of an MNC. However, with dreams having a nasty habit of going haywire, the day he joins his dream company, it files for Chapter Eleven bankruptcy. First of its kind, Chapter Eleven is a bold and honest portrayal of corporate sleaze, dejection, love and self-discovery.

First look at the title and the cover and the readers can get the feel of a corporate set up novel on cards. The tagline is enough to give an overview of what holds in the book. The blurb talks about one person's ambitions and how it shapes up. It's a short blurb but an effective one not giving much about the plot of the book. 

The story revolved around Virendra Vikram Singh a.k.a VVS who works in a shady web company in Udaipur and dreams of working in a big MNC. His dreams are fulfilled when he joins Comm Tech one of the Fortune 500 companies under the wings of Sandy his senior in college and from there on life takes an ugly turn for him. The company files for Chapter 11 i.e Bankruptcy, his love for his wife Rajeswari diminishes and his newly found love in Ambica the charming PR agency flatmate and one help for his friend Harsh lands up in a big time mess. The whole corporate melodrama and restructuring leaves his chances of doing something good in his life goes for a toss as everything runs on a path of bad. So in the end will VVS be able to fulfill his dreams? Will he remain faithful to his wife? What is the future of Comm Tech? What lies in the future for him? This is what the story is all about. 

The story is a perfect recipe for a corporate sleaze and behind the scenes happening in an organization. There's a lot of drama when the company files for bankruptcy, when VVS's dreams are crushed and when loyalties goes for a toss. There's enough meat in the story to keep the readers hooked to it all the time. The strength lies in the fact that the detailing of the whole working of an organization along with fluid narration. There are a few twists and turns too to spice up the story. Emotions run up very high towards the end which is an added attraction. 

The downside of the book is the predictable Ambica's portion towards the end.The Harsh part was not at all required in the book. 

The book is one roller coaster ride for the readers as it takes you from the shady corporate lanes to the topsy turvy personal life of a professional. The book though weak at some places yet promises a lot of thrill and unexpected happenings and portrayal of reality to an extent. It's a fun ride for the readers. 


4 OUT OF 5

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Review: The Mountain of Light by Indu Sundaresan

History has a deep marking engraved on the minds of people. Every story it has in it gives a detailed outline of what happened or what might have happened at that moment of time. What remains of it are the writings and the narratives which has been passed on from one generation to the other. Author Indu Sundaresan in her latest venture "The Mountain of Light" traverses a road which in has a strong bearing on the history of mankind. So is this history alluring enough to quench the thirst of readers? Let's find out. 

By the time Queen Victoria slipped the Kohinoor on her wrist, the gem had traveled around the world, changing hands over the centuries from one ruler to another in Persia, Afghanistan and India. The fascinating story of this 105 carat diamond opens in 1830, when the Indian Maharajah and founder of the Sikh empire, Ranjit Singh, takes possession of the massive jewel that has been passed from man to man, king to king and emperor to emperor, through blood shed and destruction, since the 1200's. When Ranjit Singh dies, four of his sons are slaughtered in wars with the British and the diamond is left to Prince Dalip Singh, a six year old child. The British governor general orders that the mountain of Light be secreted out of India in 1850 and the teenage king Dalip Singh follows the diamond to London to officially present it to the queen as a spoil of the Sikh War. He is feted and petted by the British monarchy for a long while until he realizes that all that Britain gives him cannot make up for the loss of his country and its celebrated diamond. Told in her inimitable trademark style, Indu Sundaresan's The Mountain of Light is a wondrous and historically rich tale, as clear and as dazzling as a diamond itself.

First look at the title and the cover and the court of the king and an attractive title makes it a perfect set up for history buffs. The blurb talks about Kohinoor and it's journey throughout the world and it's impact on the history. It's a good blurb considering the fact that the book is a historical narration. 

The story revolves around Kohinoor diamond how it is passed on from Shah Suja and his wife Wafa Begum when they are imprisoned by Ranjit Singh the king of Punjab and then he goes on to have it in his possession for years before his empire breaks and disintegrates into pieces. The diamond attracts a lot of attention as Britishers end up seeking it from Dalip Singh the youngest heir to the throne of Ranjit Singh and after that how it reaches to Queen Victoria, the queen of England. In the whole process a lot of incidents and happenings revive the old myth and legends surrounding the precious diamond. This is what the story is all about. 

The historical tell tale in the book is marvelous and the freshness in narration and the theme of the book makes it a different offering for the readers. The Punjab empire has his presence felt in the book which is also a new experience for the readers. The absorbing narration and intricate details make it a bonus for the readers to enjoy till it lasts. First part of the book can be strongly related to the theme of the book. 

The downside of the book are certain characters like Emily & Fanny Eden. Their part taking away the story from it's original track. The Kohinoor diamond goes amiss in between chapters which takes the charm away from the story. Few characters could have been done away with very easily.

The story though an enlightening one and with a strong narration has a lot to reveal about the most precious ornament in the history of mankind has some loose ends too. Some parts exciting and some dragged make it a mixture of good and dull moments. But there is a lot to rejoice for history buffs in the book. 


3 OUT OF 5