Saturday, March 29, 2014

Review: Impulse by Reekrit Serai

Anthologies have created a different space for themselves in the literary world and the market. Most of the times love is a common factor which is being worked and twisted to create short but meaningful stories out of it. Author Reekrit Serai in his book "Impulse" has penned down some short stories to stir up the romantic heart inside the readers. So has he been able to get the right mix? Let's find out. 

Impulse is an anthology of stories based on urban and independent characters like a young entrepreneur, an intern and her infatuation towards her boss, a college girl and her love for her classmate. The characters are strong and edgy, but all the stories revolve around one common theme – Love.

First look at the title and the cover and the cover image won't attract much. It could have been done in a better manner. It is a lackluster cover image which doesn't justifies the theme of the book. The title doesn't sums up the entire book but still arouses the curiosity of the readers. The blurb talks about the book and the stories and the common theme which binds them together as one. It's a nice blurb which works fine for an anthology. 

Story No. 1:

A father and son out on a stroll and some pleasantries which don't please the latter result in an awkward situation. An average story which felt incomplete and didn't do justice to the entire setup. It could have been given a more fine touch.

Story No. 2:

A recluse boy and a famous girl and love which is completely one sided and it's implications. It's a predictable story which suddenly waivers off to a track which is not expected. A very predictable plot in the end.

Story No. 3:

A young couple who experienced happiness and love and all the sorrows together. A support for each other. It's an ideal story which gives a cue of how to make life out of joys and sorrows. A touchy story and full of emotions.

Story No. 4:

A young man and his ambitions take him to soaring heights but gradually it catches up with him. A chance encounter with a sadhu changes his life around. A tricky story which has a lot of excitement and eagerness and an unexpected end which leaves readers puzzled. A very good story with all the hype and drama.

Story No. 5:

A story of a young boy and a girl who are helplessly in love with each other. A quirky story but lacks excitement and hardly anything to call it a story. It wasn't required in the book at all.

Story No. 6:

A whirlwind school romance and it's soaring heights but abrupt end makes many wonder about true love's existence. A story with a strong emotional force and a lot of hope and despair together. The story keeps the faith in love alive. A beautiful story.

Story No. 7:

A story of two lovers and their lifelong commitment to each other even after the odds are stacked against them and how it shapes up towards the end. The story starts on a bright note but gradually fades away with a very plain end. The love part is fine but the end is not up to the mark.

Story No. 8

The story is of a young woman who has to face a mob of 1984 riots and alone and she makes a choice which will alter many lives. A painful story with a painful end to it. The story is the blatant truth of what happened at that time with many families.

Story No. 9:

When lust takes over it doesn't sees any boundaries and in turn brings pain and only pain. The story is a most sought topic nowadays and it's a realization that sometimes you need to have some self control on yourself. It's a nice story.

Story No. 10:

A story of revenge in a professional setup and the jealousy factor working overtime. The story is a classic case of corporate rivalry. Though the story doesn't has a perfect end but holds it's own.

Story No. 11:

A story of a woman and a child and the wickedness and the layers of evil hidden beneath all the good. The story is an unusual story which make the readers shudder and shiver even while it is being narrated. A very good story with a touch of newness in it.

Story No. 12:

The story of a married couple and their marital woes and problems which keep on mounting pressure on their relationship. The story is good but it betters out towards the end with an end which comes out of the blues. A puzzling story indeed for the readers.

Story No. 13:

The story is set in the time of partition when there was a lot of hatred for each other and one such man tries to do the stark contrast of what others follow. A story of sacrifice and humanity with sense of understanding towards others. A beautiful narrative with lots of heart and soul.

Story No. 14:

Three stories molded into one and talking about the teachings of life and the self control one must thrust upon themselves. The stories are light and point out adequately towards all the common mistakes made by man but the end gives it a feel of an incomplete narration. Nice stories but more to it would have made it more meaningful. 

Story No. 15: 

The story of a young couple who are having a burden on themselves by living in a dead relationship. The failures far greater than achievements but still the sense of longing and sacrifice lingers on in the minds and gives a reason to survive. The story is filled with sorrows and despairs and makes a lot of sentiments arouse in pain. The story has a touch of affection and lots of love conveyed through some unspoken words. A lovely story. 

Story No. 16: 

A random meet and a chance friendship between two people. Will it culminate into love or will it be a disaster? A modern day story of random flings but genuine feelings, social acceptance and realization and then not caring about the world and let your mind speak on its own. It's a nice story with love written all over it. 

Story No. 17: 

A story of an office crush which is on the right track and hopes are held high when a lot happens on the personal front for a man and his lady luck turns around in a matter of days. But there's a twist in the tale. The story again reeks love and amplifies the word crush which sometimes work and sometimes it doesn't. It's a good story with life moving on as the main motto. 

Story No. 18: 

A writer and a young girl and their chance encounter ends up in a disaster. But life gives them another chance to rekindle that one odd moment which made them crave for each other. A story with a lot of desire and hope and truth and chirpiness and a lot of everything but not love. A perfect story for the readers to read. 

The book contains 18 stories and love is a common theme which makes the book run after all the emotions. A cue has been taken out of a lot of everyday occurrences in households and in normal lives. The stories which make the readers drool over them are 3,4,6,11,13,15. Some stories have depth and some lighten up the excitement and curiosity of the readers. The stories in the latter half fare better. 

The downside of the book is it's start and few stories which feel incomplete. A couple of stories could have been completely done away with. 

All in all the book works as an anthology and love as a theme gives the story a romantic and sometimes a sad touch. The book is noteworthy for it's pleasant feel and other factors such as drama, emotions which are plenty. Not a perfect one with everything striking the right chord but enough to keep the readers entertained and immersed. 


3 OUT OF 5

Friday, March 28, 2014

Review: Life Served Hot by Shomprakash Sinha Roy

Life doesn't gives second chances to all. Not everyone is born with a silver spoon. For some it's a struggle that takes away everything from you and leaves you in tatters. Author Shomprakash Sinha Roy in his latest book "Life Served Hot" takes the readers on a journey which is full of failures and problems. So what new he has to offer? Let's find out. 

Siddhant Roy is back in Bangalore after a really depressing, detained semester. He wants to rebuild his life from scratch without looking back. But he is an engineering student, after all. It never gets easy. He makes a bunch of new friends, who take him on a journey where he crashes into strange apartments, gets drunk and pukes halfway across the city, tries to start an online social network and watches all his efforts fail miserably. He faces denial, acceptance, love and hatred, all in the span of less than a year. He must now make a choice, whether to silently withstand the oppression of his sinister and stubborn college principal, or to risk everything and take his own stand. What will Siddhant do? Life, Served Hot is a coming-of-age story of a young rebel's undying attachment towards his dreams and survival.

First look at the title and the cover and it gives a youth eccentric feel to the book. The colors and the image go well with the book and gives a lot of impetus to the whole idea. The title is catchy and it's exact meaning will be deciphered once the readers are done with the story. The blurb talks about a young man and his endeavors and how he comes out of it. The blurb asks some questions about the character and his approach and hides the appropriate story line which makes the readers curious and excited. 

The story is of Siddhant Roy who is back in Bangalore after a hiatus. His life starts again with a lot of restrictions and a set of new friends. But nothing comes easy to him as interest in studies and focus is in complete tatters. Somehow he tries to manage his personal life and academics but it always turns out to be a mess for him and eventually his laziness and stubborn behavior gives him nightmares. So will he be able to fend off the problems? Will he be able to rediscover himself? Is there another chance waiting for him? That's what the story is all about. 

The kick start to the story sets the tone for something interesting. The whole build up to the story line works as an idea. The struggle and the problems together bind the events and incidents. The narration has conviction and gives some good showdowns to read. Few life lessons are imparted through the protagonist and his life.  

The downside of the book is it's predictable factor and momentum in the story which is gradually lost. The continuous rant of smoke and booze becomes an overdose. The story ends on a low and hara-kiri shouldn't have been done towards the end of the story. 

All in all the narration and struggle holds the story but freshness and scenario lack excitement. The book has some moments but gradually it becomes too monotonous. Some new ideas inculcated in the book could have produced a better result. But overall a boy's struggle is worth reading and learning a lesson from. 


3 OUT OF 5  

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Review: Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton

History has a lot to offer in terms of our ancient culture and traditions. Every country had their own society which gradually led to this day. Author Michael Crichton in his book "Eaters of the Dead" talks about one such kingdom and time which has been lost in time and needs some light to be shed. So is this good enough to ring bells in curious minds? Let's find out. 

In A. D. 922 Ibn Fadlan, the representative of the ruler of Bagdad, City of Peace, crosses the Caspian sea and journeys up the valley of the Volga on a mission to the king of Saqaliba. Before he arrives, he meets with Buliwyf, a powerful Viking chieftain who is summoned by his besieged relatives to the North. Buliwyf must return to Scandinavia and save his countrymen and family from the monsters of the mist. Join them on their stunning adventure to the mysterious land where the day's length does not equal the night's. . . where after sunset the sky burns in streaks of colour. . . . . where Buliwyf and his band of brothers must lock in mortal combat with the dark, hairy brutes who threaten to empty the land.

First look at the title and the cover and history is written all around. The warrior on the cover image and the title point out towards the glorious days of a kingdom and the troubles it had to lay waste on their way to power. The blurb talks about a man and his account of the period which best describes the story. The concealing of the chunk of the story has been done well and curiosity awaits the readers. 

The story is the first hand account of Ibn Fadlan a messenger of peace sent by the king across the seven seas to the land of tribes and unknowns. Their fear and their world different from the others. It's the land of Vikings and the North men. Their customs and rituals far from perfect and orthodox. Their lives spent in fear and brute force. Their families and subjects living under constant subjugation of sacrifice and filth. Strangers and others are not welcome at all. So how does peace prevails and how two kings lock horns for the battle of glory in the land of North Men? Will the Vikings prevail over their bitter rivals?  Will Ibn Faldan live to tell the tale? That's what the story is all about. 

The lock, stock and barrel component of the story is set in the trigger mode. The explosive start and the vivid descriptions from the olden manuscripts is a master stroke in itself. The unknown world of Vikings and North men and the lesser tell tale of their history has been shed some light upon. The book is a witness to a lot of unimaginable and gory events which can make one shiver and shudder. The unspoken world of that time has been given a large amount of space in the book. The book capitalizes on the worldly sources of old times and gives it a maverick touch. 

The downside of the book is it's dull narration towards the end and the lack of explanation of certain events in detail. The book could have been narrated in a wider and a better scope which it completely ignores upto a certain point. It lacks depth which is a sore point. 

All in all for those who have read about Vikings and the North men believe in their customs and riches it's an enlightenment source. The book contains important information regarding the same though with limitations. It's not an all out perfect account of those glorious days but enough to keep readers and their curious buds busy. A tale to relive. 


3 OUT OF 5

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Review: Meet The Strings by Chetan Jaiman

Anthologies are flooding the market and are running the diktat for now. Not all of them click and work with the readers. The monotonous themes have led down quite a many. Author Chetan Jaiman in his book "Meet The Strings" has chosen a path well covered by many in the past. So will be falter or rise above all? Let's find out. 

Since the moment I realized that it's not just the 'corporal of us' which matters, but also the sense and emotions which makes it who we are... I have got more disappointments over hypocrisy and prodigy called happiness. 
Certainly for a larger chunk of people the word 'self esteem' is one of the reason for the fervor on their countenance, but some have lost it in the the shallowness of their pseudo pride, which they called modern living... 
People born and die giving the definitions of life and what it cocoons but nobody has comprehended it in the real terms...
It's actually the question of conscience; nobody is taught morals in class or ethics in the temple, the fight to be a devil or angel in this world starts within and ends within. Nobody wins and nobody loses, nobody makes beyond life anyway. 
What remains is the journey, which we often miss and covet... and that certainly is 'Life'...

First look at the the cover and the title and it's not easy to guess what the book has in store for the readers. The variety of colors as cover image doesn't pin points to something concrete. The cover image could have been made better. The blurb talks about some excerpts taken out of some stories in the book and the choicest words make it interesting for the readers to pick up and go through it for once. 

Story No. 1:

A story of a curious kid who arrives at the door step of an author whose book has created furor in the media and some lives. Will he be able to unravel the truth? Will all his questions be answered? That's what the story is all about. The story has got a good flair to it and the surprises packed in it keeps it interesting till the end. Expect the unexpected when it comes to this one. Editing could have been handled in a better manner though.

Story No. 2:

Sometimes few incidents in life affect a human mind so much that your mind refuses to listen or apprehend to the commands completely. The story has passion, touch and desire and provokes human mind very easily. The story charges up a lot of emotions and brings us back to reality. A powerful story.

Story No. 3:

A story of a young man and some unprecedented events which have overtook his life and mind completely. Some things which are baffling and he is not able to comprehend about them. The story keeps the curiosity alive and makes the readers as what to expect next. Surprised galore and it's a difference maker in the book.

Story No. 4:

The story continues from the previous story with the strange happenings and the circle of life coming to an abrupt halt for a young man. The story ends in a unique manner with contemplation and guess work failing along the way. Previous part was more powerful than this one.

Story No. 5:

Two love stories written across two countries and having different paths and ends which can alter the course of life not only for them but for the others too. The story is a blend of romance and modern day issues in love and relationship and talks about love and it's obstacles. Both the stories are good and the experimentation to combine two in one works. Some mistakes could have been avoided.

Story No. 6:

Two friends and an altercation over a woman and it's repercussions which will haunt one of them for life. The story is gory, different and spine chilling. It has that feel scary factor in to keep the readers awake and jump out of their seats.

Story No. 7:

A story of an old woman and her near encounter with death which results in quite some eyeballs and some gasping moments for her. Again an out of the blue story which leaves the readers gasping for breath and imagination which cannot run wild. An experience in itself.

Story No. 8:

When the mind plays tricks with you it becomes difficult to contemplate what's going to happen next in your life. It's a similar story of a girl who just cannot fathom as to what is good or bad for her. A story where human psyche will fail and a lot will feel uncomfortable after the events unfold. The surrounding mystery and curiousness stays along.

Story No. 9:

A story of a woman giving up to the whims and fancies of the world and then later on suffering both the good and bad of the glitzy and sleazy world. The story has some high octane emotions which are bubbled up and are burst during the conversation. The story gives hope. sheds light and then sinks back into the oblivion altogether. 

Nine stories and the anthology delivers with a lot of stories with different story lines and some tasteful endings. The book has emotions, surprises, drama and a lot of curious things which leave the readers dazed for sometime. The themes are very good and the book doesn't follows one single platform or genre for it's tell tale. It has got momentum and narration is fluent. Most of the stories are out of the box thinking and dealt with command and flair. The book gives a feel of freshness and has a lot of new concepts put into it which works in the whole book. 

The downside of the book is editing and mistakes could have been sorted out properly. Some finishing touches to the book would have done a world of good to the stories.  Conversation between two people in most of the stories is a let down and has been not done in accordance to the standard format. 

All in all the anthology doesn't disappoints at any point of time. The book delivers the goods and everything from love to lust and from good to bad has been covered in one single book. Some blemishes though make it unsavory at times but some surprises in store for the readers make it a noteworthy attempt. A book with a difference. 


3 OUT OF 5

Review: My Glass of Wine by Kiriti Sengupta

Autobiographies often are inspiring and often written in order to reveal some secrets which have been long lost with time. Author Kiriti Sengupta in his own autobiography " My Glass of Wine" offers the readers a experience never seen or undertook. So what's new the novelette has to offer? Let's find out. 

Mention of wine certainly evokes cascading thoughts, gliding ideas and effervescent memories. What more intoxication is there to crave for than reading a good book of heady stuff? Kiriti Sengupta has succeeded in creating that sweet numbness with this crystal goblet of My Glass of Wine. One finds it difficult to define the book for what it is, as the trip gently takes one beyond known realms, silently, steadily and securely. My Glass of Wine is a novelette based on autobiographic poetry.

First look at the title and the cover and readers can find the difference maker present on the cover page itself. A very pulling cover image and a title suiting it completely the novelette takes readers to a different setup where imagination has to be wild and guesses not working. The blurb is no blurb but a small insight about what to expect in the little book. 

The story is about the author himself and talks about his life experiences from his childhood till the present day. Poetic verses form the narration as he goes on to give insight about a lot of facets of life and it's gifts. 
A journey to be followed and cherished by the readers. 

The novelette is very quick to read and offers a different style of narration where poems play a huge part and make it a noteworthy narration. The insights about life and personal experiences are useful for the readers. Some convincing and some pointing towards a newer approach. The unraveling of the author's life sparks interest and conversations are noteworthy. 

The downside of the book is it's compactness. It had to be elaborated bit more to make it a perfect one. Some events finish in haste and leaves a lot to be desired.

All in all the autobiographical poetry works for the readers and some exciting insights offered. The noveletter fulfills the purpose and gives a pleasurable experience of knowing about someone's life in a chirpy manner. A small book of enlightenment and joy. 


3 OUT OF 5 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Review: I am Life by Shraddha Soni

Life is a puzzle which can never be solved. It's a never ending dilemma which can't be put together and figured out. Author Shraddha Soni in her book "I am Life" embarks on a journey of peace and solitude and takes the readers along with her to search and resolve some of their queries. So is there any light in the stiff darkness? Let's find out. 

I am Life is the journey of Siddharth Khanna from India to New York and back to his country. The author describes Siddharth as a lost soul, who is dejected and depressed with how is life is shaping up. In his search for peace and happiness, he embarks on a journey to his motherland. He shuttles from one Ashram to another in Rishikesh, and soon his journey turns out be a soul searching experience. For a person who had never believed in God, Siddharth realizes the importance of God in everyone’s life.

First look at the title and the cover and a lot of users will be in a fix as what to comprehend about the book. The title though a bit self explanatory but the image confuses at the same time. The blurb has been kept short and simple and talks about a man and his journey where he tries to find out few answers about his questions. 

The story is of Siddharth Khanna who is in New York and his personal life is in a complete mess. His wife Rhea and son Neil have left him for good and he is on the verge of going bankrupt. His friend Andrea consoles him and pushes him to undertake a spiritual journey to Rishikesh the holy land where man finds answers to most of their problems and questions. Siddharth sets on the journey and life changes once he reaches there from learning's and teachings. But will Siddharth able to give up the old habits? Will he realize about the existence of god and it's creations? What will happen in the end to him? That's what the story is all about. 

The questions and dilemmas of life and existence of god always remain in question and some light has been shed on these questions with the help of the book. The ease with which some queries have been resolved is notable and some answers are convincing enough to change few perceptions. The book also lights hope among hopeless. 

The downside of the book is it's lack of detailing at times. The problems and their solutions could have been detailed and answered in a more comprehensive manner and few more basic issues of life could have been given space in the book. 

All in all there is no harm in rediscovering some facts and facets of life. It would do more good than harm. The book is not a detailed presentation but still has some magic which can charm the readers. It's a tussle between the mind and the heart and it guides towards the path of the righteousness. A book for many who seek answers. 


3 OUT OF 5

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Review: The Mute Anklet by Radhika Nathan

History has a long set approach about love and romance. It was serene and pure. It all used happen sans the modern technology. Smallest of the gestures meant a lot at that time. Author Radhika Nathan in her book "The Mute Anklet" has penned down one such love story making history as a backdrop. So does it works for the readers? Let's find out. 

It's the 1790s in India. The third Anglo-Mysore War between the kingdom of Mysore and the East India Company is hurtling towards a climax. The British, having captured the Malabar Coast are lurching nervously towards Bangalore. Tipu Sultan is waging a ferocious battle.In this time of intrigue and hostility, the beauteous Uma Brooke an Englishman?s daughter in the care of the maharajah of Mysore is embroiled in a personal conflict of her own. The maharajah wants her to marry Captain Ashton Trevelyan of the British army, a man he takes an immediate liking to. Uma has no desire to hurt her gentle guardian yet, prejudiced by the circumstances of her birth and vociferous about her attachment to India, she cannot conceive of a future with a Briton. Detached Captain Trevelyan on his part, feels compelled to submit to this marriage for reasons that are wholly strategic ? after a failed siege, consenting to the maharajah?s demand is the only way of salvaging the battle. Further complicating the impending wedding is a threat that follows Uma no matter where she goes, what seems to be a case of petty thievery morphs into a desperate, targeted assault.Uma and Captain Trevelyan must not only try defending themselves against the onslaught of history but must also attempt securing their teetering association. Will their relationship ? strained by verbal assaults and reckless sparring, tested by ideologies that clash ? endure? Will Uma overcome her preconceptions and biases and will Ashton past his indifference, find empathy and concern? Most importantly in an era of grand historical crusades, will there be time for the personal? Find out in this captivating novel.

First look at the title and the cover and a lot of readers will fall for the image present. The title is alluring as ever and the image is pure history blend with grace and ethnicity. The blurb talks about two people and their lives during war times and their destiny. It's an usually long blurb which should have been kept short. 

The story is of Uma Brookes and Captain Ashton Trevelyan. Their chance meeting at the former's palace sets tone to unprecedented events and from being enemies to each other gradually at the insistence of the maharaja they tie knots to bring an end to the war. Uma hesitant and reluctant gives up but despises Ashton completely. Ashton realizes he has a task in his hand goes all out to make her comfortable and gain back her trust. But there are some other forces at large and their impending strikes leaves a lot of doubt and confusion. So will love blossom between the two? What are the enemies after? Whose life is in danger and what surprise is there in store for both? That's what the story is all about. 

The historical setup, the war, the vivid descriptions and the essence of pure love and the tussle gives life to the story. The book has the choicest use of vocabulary and is not too complicated. The story runs its course with purity and serenity. The entire scenario fulfills the desires to read an entire version of romance and love. The emotional aspect of the story gives it a slight edge at times. 

The downside of the book is it's predictable nature and loss of momentum towards the second half. The end goes flat and dull and will leave some people high and dry. The romance could have culminated into something beautiful towards the end but the story line deters and loses charm on this particular front. 

All in all the book has the potential to stir up emotions up to an extent but gradually it fizzles out. The grip on the excitement is lost very soon and it becomes a dull affair thereafter. The book is not a complete package but still has some elements of thorough historical approach and old style romance which will be liked by the readers. 


3 OUT OF 5   

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Review: Byculla to Bangkok by S. Hussain Zaidi

Mumbai mafia and it's stories are famous and many of them have been narrated as bed time stories or being passed on from one generation to the other. But not many of them are accurate and true. Most of it based on speculation. Author S Hussain Zaidi in his latest book "Byculla to Bangkok" takes you back in time and lets you relive the time which one can never forget or can be ever erased from history. So is this story worth spending time with?  Let's find out. 

Chota Rajan, Arun Gawli, Ashwin Naik. What is it that made men leading seemingly mundane lives turn into the terrors of the Mumbai Underworld? Organized crime has never had a greater grip anywhere else than in Mumbai towards the end of the twentieth century. This is a book about the unassuming beginnings to what became the crime syndicate.

First look at the title and the cover and the readers can let their imaginations run amok with the imposing and the most ruthless men of all times and their limitless power. The blurb has been kept very short and has been left the readers to discover about the mafia and the unheard stories of 80's and 90's. 

The story starts off from Dagadi Chawl and the rise of Arun Gawli and his empire. His ruthlessness and the various gangs operating in nearby areas and the greed to reach on top and usurp the throne helps him make lesser friends and more enemies. Gradually the war spreads to other areas and see the rise of Chota Rajan, the Naik Gang, Dawood and his D-company and Chota Shakeel and the others. So who will rule Mumbai and who will fill terror and run the mafia raj in Mumbai? Is there a twist in the tale? What role Mumbai Police will play among this mayhem? Will there be an end to this blood and gore? That's what the story is all about. 

The original and accurate account of what happened in Mumbai in 80's and 90's is a story worth reading and listening again and again. The gang wars, the men involved and the larger syndicate of crime and the helpless citizens and law and order in shambles leaves a little to imagination as what would have happened at that time. The vivid description, the inside stories, the first hand narration and the real account of the stories only heard and never proven is a spine chilling experience. The book has a tremendous flow and charged up narration and leaves up to the expectations. From the minutest information to the largest of the pictures everything has been painted and presented with command and flair. 

The downside of the book is pretty predictable end and second half which most of it has been heard or read of. 

All in all the book is an experience of it's kind. Not many have lived to tell the tale of those times but what is there in the book is enough for the readers to let their imaginations do a juggle between the war lords and Mumbai streets. The story is nearly perfect and readers won't get bored at all. It's a story of a lifetime and a daring representation of mafia and it's raj in Mumbai. A book not to be missed or ignored.   


4 OUT OF 5

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Review: Unsatisfied Satisfaactionns by Riitik Babbar

Love is no easy thing to handle. It quietly seeps in to our lives and then make us dance to it's tunes. Sometimes it gives you moments to remember and sometimes it turns out to be a disaster. Author Riitik Babbar in his debut book "Unsatisfied Satisfaactionns" tries his hand on a love story and give it a magician's touch. So has he offered something different to the readers? Let's find out. 

Love sees no boundaries, religion or caste. It just happens and you have no control over your emotions until something external comes and tears you apart from that one special person. Unsatisfied Satisfaactions is the love story of Riitik, an ordinary Punjabi boy who falls in love with a Brahmin girl. From time immemorial caste and religion have been pricking the balloon of love. All you can do ultimately after you are torn apart is see each other happy in your respective lives and feel satisfied.

First look at the cover and the image and the essence of love can be felt around. The cover image could have been done better. The title is catchy but it's main purpose will be deciphered once the story is unveiled. The blurb talks about two people and their love stories and how it charts its course. It's a decent blurb enough to catch the attention and generate interest among romance lovers. 

The story is of Rittik and Niyati. They both are not of the same caste and their chance meeting leads to love blossoming between the two. Their course of journey goes through a roller coaster ride as there are ups and downs which ultimately leads to a turmoil. So will both of them be able to save their love? Who will sacrifice the most? Will their families agree? What's in store for the two innocent lovers? That's what the story is all about. 

The story is a simple narration and sought  some of the major issues in love i.e trust and sacrifice. The story runs on love lines all along and has some good parts in it. The initial half of the book generates more interest and better command. The letter towards the end is one of the very few good things happening in the book. 

The story lacks freshness and the depth to handle such sensitive love issues. The monotonous events and the vivid descriptions of Delhi doesn't adds up to the story line. The predictability factor is too high as the end turns out to be plain. All the characters have not been given detailed space and left out quite soon in the book. 

All in all the book can be enjoyed by romantics but those who have read this genre time and again it won't excite them much. The book lacks sparkling turn around of events and leaves a lot to be desired. It's not a perfect love story presented but has some valued points in it to charm the readers. 


2 OUT OF 5

Friday, March 7, 2014

Review: You, Me n Zindagi by Harpreet Makkar & Aparajita Dutta

Anthologies are becoming the food of life. A mix of experience and newcomers are being put together in order to produce books which answers all the questions of the readers in one place. Author Harpreet Makkar & Aparajita Dutta in their book "You, Me n Zindagi" try to take forward this ever growing chain of anthologies. So what different this anthology has to offer from the others? Let's find out. 

Life, love, friends,relations, everything seems so perfect in a fairy tale, but when it comes to reality, every small thing matters...
But what matters the most are the moments of our life that stay back in our memories for ever...
All of us sail through the crests and troughs of life... we all come across things which are memories soon... you, me n zindagi is a flow of emotions penned down in words... the experience of the contributors from around their own self and acquaintance....

First look at the cover and the title and it reeks of some desi touch to it with romance and other emotions at a high. The book cover has been kept simple and again hints at emotions being focused at throughout. The blurb talks about some life related aspects and other human emotions which are to be found in the book. It's a decent blurb which does justice to the anthology. 

Story No. 1:

A story of a woman and her life which has spiraled out of control and she needs to get hang of the things again. It's a good story with the emotional quotient working fine. Short form of  "and" shouldn't have been used. It doesn't leaves a good impact. The finishing touch is impressive.

Story No. 2:

 A story of past where some unsaid words and feelings are being spilled out in the present day to feel light. It's a story of emotions and realization and with a heavy duty past. It starts off well and gradually becomes predictable. A nice story.

Story No. 3:

A story of two lovers who are truly, deeply and madly in love with each other and circumstances play a crucial role in shaping up their relationship. The story has the choicest of words and exquisite touch to it but it feels incomplete and few editing blemishes take away the charm. The love shown is pure and vocabulary marvelous.

Story No. 4:

A story of a little girl who is a grown up woman now but has suffered a lot of trauma in her childhood and the constant questions which hound her. The story is an average story. It could have been handled in a better manner and lacked flow. Editing was a big let down and conversations were not up to the mark.

Story No. 5:

A story of a married couple and the happiness and the zeal fizzling out and turning into a big marital woe. The story is an apt real life description with some simple yet meaningful conversation. The entire setup is tailor made for people who have troubles in their relationship sometime or the other. A very good story.

Story No. 6:

A story of a girl and a boy who met and fell in love instantly. The story is a simple one and there is nothing extra special in it. The plot is pretty much on the same mundane romantic lines. There are mistakes which could have been avoided.

Story No. 7:

A crime thriller where a dead body is found on the streets and the case is closed without any interrogation. How does everything gets revealed? Who will do justice to the deceased? That's what the story is all about. Initial excitement is there in the story but it becomes predictable and straight forward. Narration is good but more suspense and thrill could have been added in it.

Story No. 8:

A lesson for many in form of what smoking does to people and it's ill-effects. The story has not been handled and edited well enough. The poor narration and mistakes results in an average outcome.

Story No. 9:

A story with a lot of past and lessons of life involved and how circumstances force you to tread on a wrong path. The story would have been better if at all the editing would have been handled in a better manner. The story was nice but lacked depth and emotional connect and felt incomplete.

Story No. 10:

A story of terrorism and politics being played at the behest of some people who don't want to see the country prosper and some faces which wear an invisible mask and leave very little to imagination. The story starts on a positive not and shows a lot of promise. Editing again leaves a lot to be desired as the momentum fizzles out towards the end. 

Story No. 11:

A story of a young man and his chance meeting with a girl on one of his vacations of the hills and then the sudden surge and change of thought process and meaning in his life. The story is good with a lot of humanity in it and a hope that people can take a cue out of it and do the same for the others whenever they get the chance.

Story No. 12:

A story of a married couple and how a minor issue becomes a big fuss and then ends up in a lost cause for many. The story has a good touch of emotions in it and has been scripted wonderfully. The emotions have been managed and spread out well. A lovely story.

The whole book had a very little to cherish and cheer about. Couple of stories managed to script and scrap their way through to the end in a proper manner. The stories which are worth mentioning are story no. 3, 5 and 12. 

The downside of the book is editing which leaves a lot to be desired. Most of the stories suffer from severe editing blemishes which takes away the charm and sense out of them. The raw baked form leaves the readers frustrated and a lot to ponder about. Grammatical mistakes, short forms for words and other errors hampers the progress time and again. 

All in all with an alluring title and a mix of experience and newcomers the book falls flat on expectations. The finesse and flair are missing and most of the times it is found short of enthusiasm and spirit. The book could have been given more attention and  possibly then the outcome would have been better and different. An anthology which suffers severely from basic mistakes and errors. 


2 OUT OF 5

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Review: Life and Promises by Pulkit Gupta & Ila Garg

Sometimes life puts you in a dilemma and it's all about the choices you make for yourselves. You can't have it all is the saying and it applies to each and every human being present on the face of the earth. Compromises are part and parcel of any person's life. Author Pulkit Gupta & Ila Garg in their latest book "Life and Promises" talk about a journey where choices are indeed very difficult and time is testing you. So does the book live up to its promise? Let's find out. 

"Story Of An IITian Turned CA Aspirant"THIS NOVEL TRAVELS ACROSS THE REALMS OF HIS LIFE AND UNFOLDS HIS JOURNEY OF BEING A CA ASPIRANT FROM AN IITIAN, AND ALSO REFLECTS ON THE SNAGS IT BRINGS TO HIS RELATIONSHIPS. Rachit, a young,ambitious boy, hailing from a small town of Western UP, has big dreams. Destiny takes a turn when he attempts to commit suicide and lands up in a hospital bed. There, he bumps into Khushi, a chubby girl with a carefree attitude. She insists Rachit to uncover the pages of his life and tell her what compelled him to take such a drastic step.Rachit starts to narrate his story, seeing no other option. He tells her that he dreamt to be an IITian and even achieved it. Things went well for some days, till that fateful day when Rachit was diagnosed with severe health issues. After a while, already heartbroken, Rachit takes a tough decision. He drops his IIT dream and follows the CA path. In this very process,he overlooks Radhika, a gorgeous Bengali girl, his batch mate as well as his girlfriend.What will happen to the love story of Rachit and Radhika? Will Rachit become a successful professional, and if yes, then at what cost? Does Khushi has a story of her own?

First look at the title and the cover and the the freedom and the happiness of two people and the soothing colors make it all the more exciting. The title itself has a lot of promise and charges up the emotions of the person. The blurb should have been kept short and asks the right set of questions and takes the excitement of the readers to a new high. 

The story is of Rachit who fulfills his dream by hardwork and joins IIT-M. But there are obstacles in his path and some serious repercussions of it. Some difficult choices and life takes a new turn for him. The new life and his love Radhika together they create mayhem as well as bring some stability. But will Rachit be able to survive the onslaught? Will he be able to stand to the test of the time? Will Radhika remain at his side when all of this ends? That's what the story is all about. 

The free flowing story along with career and love hiccups makes the story very interesting. The narration has been kept simple and the book feels heavy on the mind. The emotions have been set and spread well throughout the book. The poetic verses also add a soothing effect to the story line. The surprises thrown in also create impact and binds the story together. The excitement and the inspiration and the helplessness has been reflected and highlighted in a very serene manner. 

The downside of the book are some serious mistakes. One of them with the character name goof up where Khushi has been spelt as Kushi twice. Another one is where the past narration has been narrated into present form which makes it a turn off while reading the story. These mistakes break the tempo and it could have been avoided. 

All in all the book has lots to offer and acts as a self help book and guidance for young readers who on an impulse make hasty decisions and end up doing nothing with their lives. The book acts as a medium of communication between the reader and the narrator. Some more polishing in the narration could have made the story line perfect but the book has remarkable strength in it to impact the thought process of the readers when it comes to career and love.  


3 OUT OF 5

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Review: Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

Thrillers written from the perspective of especially created characters are many. But when two organizations are involved in a showdown it's an all out war. Author Jason Matthews in his book "Red Sparrow" tries to gives the readers a difference bit unique and different from what other books have to offer in this genre. So has he delivered the goods? Let's find out. 

A Russian honey trap agent targets a young CIA operative to uncover a seniorranking mole at the heart of the Russian Intelligence service. Dominika Egorov, former prima ballerina, is sucked into the heart of Putin's Russia, the country she loved, and spat out as the twists and turns of betrayal and counter-betrayal unravel. 
American Nate Nash, idealistic and ambitious, handles the double agent, codenamed MARBLE, considered one of CIA's biggest assets. He needs to keep his identity secret for as long as the mole can keep supplying golden information. 
Will Dominika be able to unmask MARBLE, or will the mission see her faith destroyed in the country she has always passionately defended? 

First look at the title and the cover and it will ask a lot of questions. A mysterious agent with an umbrella on a fogged bridge has a lot to say about the story line. The title is also intriguing and quite a title which can be related to something a thriller. The blurb talks about two people and how their lives are going to get entwined and what will happen after that. It is not a clear indicator and that makes the readers uncomfortable as what to expect from the story but keeps the spirit of the book alive. 

The story is of a CIA agent Nate Nash and ballerina turned sparrow Russian agent Dominika Egorova. When Nash is packed off to Helsinki after a huge blunder Russia takes help of General Egorov who in turn recruits Dominika, trains her and makes her ready for a showdown with CIA. When their paths cross a lot is on the line for both the countries as everything from lives to secrets to national integrity is on stake. So will Dominika be able to deliver the goods? Will Nash be able to decipher the real motive behind the whole setup? What has fate planned for both of them in the end? That's what the story is all about. 

There's a lot of action and political drama and mystery being poured into the story. The CIA & SVR face-off creates a lot of exciting moments. The book has a lot of edginess and blunt narration and a lot of technicalities which has been written with a lot of flair and a very good approach. The two agent face-off is also a noteworthy thing happening in the story. The first half has more excitement in it and keeps the readers busy with action packed sequences and blink and miss events. 

The downside of the book is it's predictability and average end to the story. The importance of the agents has been cut down a lot in the second half which takes the charm away from the book. The end could have been polished a lot better. 

All in all the story has entertainment, operatives, missions, ruthlessness and action packed drama involved in it. The story takes off with a lot of guts and glory but falters time and again after that and the flat out ending leaves a lot to imagination. The book doesn't lives up to the expectations but has the goods to make it exciting for the readers. 


3 OUT OF 5