Books

Tiny Bit Marvelous: Book Review

Author: Dawn French

A Tiny Bit Marvellous

Book Blurb:

This is a poignant novel by Dawn French which is told through the eyes of a mother and her two teenage children. Each chapter is narrated by a different voice, telling the story of a modern family, all living in their own separate bubbles, lurching towards meltdown.

My Review:

To be honest I picked this book up expecting it to be another Marley and Me or something related to a dog. I was disappointed with the way it turned out. This book was nothing to do with a dog really, or even anything for that matter.

Each chapter is on from the POV of different people from a crazy household. The mother and the teenage daughter do not like each other and the son thinks too much of himself. The story does not really go anywhere, it just keeps dragging at the same place.

The character development is a far cry as there is no story development. I was literally forcing the characters to do something already by the time I had reached 50% of the book. The worse part was that each mundane incident was repeated from three, equally boring, point of views. I would understand if the even had been something Earth Shattering…but they are always on lines of “Oh, like, mom, like, you do not understand me.”  Then we read “Oh, she thinks I do not understand her, but I do, I am a child psychologist.” Then we read. “Jolly, they do not understand each other.” This is literally a summary of 30% of the book’s content.

Sadly, I cannot recommend this book to anyone.

 

Books, Harry Potter

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Part one and two): Detailed Review: PART TWO

To watch the spoiler free video review click here.

For part one of this detailed review click here.

Continuing from my previous post, let us get to the characterization of the original trio. A lot of criticism has been done on how the original trio have changed. But I was glad that they changed. The reason being the were seventeen when the last novel was written, now they are in their late twenties. As someone who grew up with them and also being in my late twenties, even I am not the same person that I was when I was seventeen! If they had acted in the same way as they had done in the previous books, I would have been hugely disappointed.

I also liked the fact that they used time turners in this book. It was a major peeve that such a powerful source of magic was only used once in the entire series. Everything that we knew about that was through the theories or the leaks that have been passed down to us via JKR. So it was good to read about it and know for a fact what are the consequences of using time travel and why the use of it is banned or not really appreciated.

What I did not really get about this book was why was Harry’s scar paining? I am not really convinced with the theory given in the book. We already know that his scar was the one thing that connected him to Voldemort. And even with all the time travel, in present day Voldemort is dead. So, I would get if it pained him in the alternate reality wherein Voldemort was alive, I do not get how or why would it hurt him? The reasoning in the book is quite vague and I would have liked it to be explained better.

Another point that was missed was in chamber of secrets, we were told that the polyjuice potion takes months to create. Even at the play’s speed, how was Delphi able to just woop it out? Had she pre planned it? Even if she had, it does not really make sense? How was she able to pre plan what Albus and Scorpius would do? Also, how did they get a part of Ron and Hermione? Harry I get..but the other two? Another point that did not sit right with me was the way they acted when they ran into Hermione, especially Albus. I am sure when Hermione runs into real Ron, she would bring it up. Anyone would. But that scene just does not come up! I mean come on..when your husband acts all weird when he comes to your office, you just don’t write it off. Not even if your husband is Ron!

Also, is it really that easy to enter the Minister of Magic’s office and check out her library? I would think that the office, which is supposedly belonged to the most important witch or wizard would have a little more protection than just opening a door! Not to mention the fact that it was a bit simplistic that Hermione would place the only time turner in the world in her library that anyone can guess. She had solved even more complex puzzle at eleven!

One of the best part of the book (after the starting) was the part where Voldemort wins. The whole reality of the world that we know changed. It was a delight to read.

Another thing was how people used sayings like “O Dumbledore” or “O Potter”. Initially, I did not get it, but by Merlin when I did I had to stop and marvel at the ingeniousness of that.

Also, since this was a play, that had a specific time constraint to it, the plot feels quite rushed. It feels like you are going through the story in some super fast express. If the same thing were in the form of a book, the plot would have been easier and believable than it’s current format.

BUY THE BOOK

 

 

Books

Betwixt Twists and Turns:Book Review

A Potpourri of Short Stories

Author: Mona Mohanty

Betwixt Twists and Turns: A Potpourri of Short Stories

Book Blurb:

Dragonflies are said to be harbingers of rain, but they may be much more for one unsuspecting woman. A household dog finds a reprieve when Grandma comes to stay. A young man stops by an ATM at night and finds himself encountering robbers-and a young woman who may not be what she seems. In Betwixt Twists and Turns, author Mona Mohanty presents a series of short stories born from random thoughts that popped up out of nowhere, overheard bits of conversation, parables of family lore, and anecdotes from friends. These tales come from a variety of viewpoints-an older woman who receives an unexpected telegram, a businessman who encounters what might be a ghost, and various animals sharing their impressions of human life. These stories vividly capture the routine of existence-but with a surprising twist. This collection of short stories set in India features tales with unexpected outcomes from a wide range of perspectives, both human and animal.

My Review:

Thia book pleasantly surprised me. This is an anthology of stories that revolve around the basic hum drum of life, or so you will think till you come to the end. Each story has an end with the most wonderful twists. This book truly is a potpourri of stories as the stories range from love to horror.

One of the favorite stories was written from the point of view of a dog. It was so subtle, that it took me a few paragraphs to realize that the pov was so different.

Each story is quite different than the last, so when you are reading it, you have no idea what would happen next.

On the flipside, I found the twist of two to three stories quite similar in nature and theme.

The writing style was immaculate.  In fact, it was the style coupled with the twists at the end that made the reading this book so enjoyable.

BUY THE BOOKBUY THE BOOK

 

 

Books

Book Review: Love Story

Author: Erich Segal

Book Blurb:

Oliver Barrett IV, a wealthy jock from a stuffy WASP family on his way to a Harvard degree and a career in law . . . Jenny Cavilleri, a sharp-tongued, working-class beauty studying music at Radcliffe . . .

Opposites in nearly every way, Oliver and Jenny are kindred spirits from vastly different worlds. Falling deeply and powerfully, their attraction to one another defies everything they have ever believed—as they share a passion far greater than anything they dreamed possible . . . and explore the wonder of a love that must end too soon.

One of the most adored novels of our time, this is the book that defined a generation—a story of uncompromising devotion, of life as it really is . . . and love that changes everything.

My Review:

I read this book years ago. It is one of those classics that even those who are not that into reading would have come across. Come to think of it, I first came across this book in the Bollywood movie “Mujse Dosti Karoge”. Literally, from the entire movie, I could remember that these people were talking about this book. So, I got the book from the local library and gave it a read. So this review might be clouded by nostalgia. If I read this book again, I will update the review accordingly.

This is a nice, contemporary read. This book was one of the first romances I read, and I remember I was totally drawn to the story line. The characters are so adorable, and the language is so simple, I hardly know anyone who has read it and has not shed a tear or two over it. I certainly shed my fare share of tears over it.

This story is a classic. The rich guy who falls in love with the next door girl that leads to whirlwind of a romance which is then followed by a tragedy. It was, I believe, a pioneer in setting this trope, quite successively though.

The book was quite short, and is indeed one of the best books ever written in this genre. For those of you who are stuck in a rut or are looking for some “good romantic read” be sure to try this one out.

Buy this book

 

 

Books

Love and Other Enhancements: Book Review

Authors: The Fictitious Five: Anuj Kumar , Tanima Kedar,Maliny Mohan , Ishan Dafaria, Akash Deep Gupta

Love and Other Enchantments

Book Blurb:

Short stories are magical. They take you on a walk through the liveliest of alleys, a few resplendent, while others torn between the subdued shades of white and black, to finally melt away, leaving your mind smeared with the most vibrant of hues, like a richly flavoured delicacy dissolving into the hidden recesses of one’s senses, all in a matter of few minutes. The beauty is enhanced further if the theme reflected upon is love, for no feeling has conquered human minds like love in its multifarious forms.

Here we, a group of five writers, knit together by the bond of creativity and a passion for writing, present before you ‘Love And Other Enchantments’ a short story anthology, showcasing fifteen stories that depict, with much ardour, the depth and sheer poignancy of unrequited love.

My Review:

This book is an anthology on Love. It is written by 5 authors, each have written three stories each. The first three stories are from Tanima Kedar.

  • Till Death Do Us Part: I liked this story. The thing that attracted me to this story is how the author manages to convey the love has various unexplained aspects. Sometimes you feel a pull towards someone and you cannot even explain why. This is a story of an intern who reads to a terminally ill patient.
  • Together Forever: This is a story of two star crossed lovers. This story changed tenses in the middle, which changed the tone of the entire story, it also needed some editing as there were quite a few errors. The story line was not that unique.
  • The Diary: This is a story of a newly wed couple whose lives get destroyed when police land up on their door with an arrest warrant. A girl killed herself and has blamed him. Can the wife trust him? Will she be able to get him out of the Jail? This is basically the crux of the story.

The next three stories are by Ishan Dafaria. He writes:

  • Closure: This is a story of a man who longs for a closure after his crush dies. This story had too much descriptions, in terms of narration, that it actually diverted from the story line. A bit more crisp writing could have made this story bit better.
  • Different Things: This story again focused too much on narration. I felt the same thing was repeated multiple times. The crux of the story did not warrant such a lengthy prose.
  • Hatred, Crime and Love: This is a story of a criminal who falls in love with the classic ‘good girl’ trope. The same story of a bad boy who sleeps around with ‘hot’ girls but fall for the ‘good one’. This story could have been better.

The next set of stories are by Akash Deep:

  • The Poem: The story of a couple’s bantering which lead to the development of their relationship. I, personally, found this story’s pace quite slow.
  • Charm of Those Eyes: This story had mystery shrouded in romance. I loved how the author managed to keep the attention of the reader. Every word I read was a revelation that wanted me to know what exactly was going on!
  • The Lake of Love: This is another story, again shroud in mystery, where a young boy is kept awake due to songs sung by a strange man. The boy is so intrigued by this man that he decides to get to know him. This story needed a bit of trimming and had few grammatical errors.

The next set of stories were from Maliny Mohan:

  • At the Bus Stop: This was quite deep and a different story. I liked how the author chose to narrate this story as the reader felt all the emotions of the protagonist.
  • The Revival: While this story was not altogether unique, the narration helped create a sense of camaraderie with what was going on. I especially liked how the author ended this story.
  • He Loves Me Not: This was definitely one of the better stories of this book. Again, the ending was so unexpected, the way the story had started, I had no idea that this would end in the way that it did.

The last set of stories are by Anuj Kumar:

  • So Mad In Love: The story had two different layers. I quite liked how the author had weaved in what we currently see in news out those ‘spiritual gurus’ and their sex scandals vis a vis the feels of those who really believe in God.
  • It’s Not Soothing Everytime: Woa! This story was DARK. One sided love is always written off as something that many feel and you just cannot do anything about it. But what if these one sided love become dangerous? This story had a  dark feel to it even in the initial starting of the story you could feel something was amiss. Great command over the story.
  • Known Unknown: Another story of a one sided love. But this one was on the brighter side. Personally I liked the second one better. In this one the author has merged poems with story line and I liked the idea of using poetry to further your story.

All in all a fast read about shades of Love that you usually do not see or read about.

BUY THIS BOOK

 

 

Books

Devil and The Deadly Peace: Book Review

(Tales of Khaga, #1)

Author: Sindhura Chamala

The Devil and the Deadly Peace (Tales of Khaga, #1)

Book Blurb:

PEACE OR DEATH?

The two great nations of Khaga are on the verge of a bloody war. The survival of Jalika, a neutral kingdom in trade with both, is in jeopardy.

After calling the Devil to his kingdom, the king of Jalika has passed away in the dead of the night. His death, a mere week before the Peace Events when officials from the two nations were to come together to sign a treaty that will exempt Jalika from the war, has set many wheels in motion.

As Jalika prepares for the Peace Events under the new leadership of the prince and his wife, all forces converge under the Devil’s watchful eyes. Will the seventh day rise on Jalika bearing peace or death?

My Review:

TO SEE A SHORT VIDEO REVIEW CLICK HERE

This is a purely fiction book based on the kingdom of Khaga. Two nations are fighting with each other since ages. One great king is successful in bringing peace to the nation by signing a peace treaty. But week before the signing, the king dies of ‘food poisoning’. The council decides to continue with the peace treaty signing, but then it becomes quite clear that there is someone who wants the treaty to not be signed, no matter the cost.

Since this is to be a series, this book sets the tone to the other books that are going to follow. So in this book you get quite a lot of details on how the kingdom looks like, how it works, etc.

The writing is quite simple and this is quite a small book, so it would take maximum two or three days to read it.

From what the author has written, I look forward to reading her next book, which hopefully will take this series to the next level.

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Books

Get One, Bye Two: Book Review

Author: Dhiraj Singh

Get One Bye Two

Book Blurb:

Three strangers on board an ill-fated aircraft miraculously survive a violent crash. The dynamics of God’s physics will catch up with them in a year, warns a sage in the forest.
A year later, fate strikes them once again. But can the three men defy death yet again? Are the universal laws of nature inescapable? What happens to the known and unknown people linked to their destiny? Can goodwill and powerful chemistry between people defeat God’s big scheme? Only time will tell…
Get ready for a spine-chilling ride as you follow the uncanny lives of the three men in the passage of one year. It is bound to set both your heart and mind racing!

My Review:

WATCH THE BRIEF VIDEO REVIEW HERE

Destiny.

Some people believe in it. Some people do not.

What happens when three strangers on the same flight are the only ones that survive the fatal crash?

The plot line is quite fresh. You do not see many stories with such a fresh plot line. The story is written in a way that you keep turning the pages wondering what happen next. The language used is quite simple. It is indeed an art to weave such a complex story in such a short span of time.

I really liked the characterization in the book. Especially the female characters. For those of you who follow my blog know that the main point of issue with me while reading any book is that the author fails to write women and children realistically. In this book, even though the female characters are on the side lines, the author has taken the pains to sketch each of this characters properly. You can actually differentiate between different characters and can see how these characters react to the same stimuli differently. This was one of the best things that I loved about this book.

I also liked the interesting title of the book. It matches perfectly with the story line.

Fast paced, quite gripping book for those who like to read some action.

Buy this book

 

 

 

Books, Harry Potter

Harry Potter and The Cursed Child (Part one and two): Detailed Review: PART ONE

Those of you who want to see the spoiler free video review of this book, can check out the video review here. This is a detailed review which contains spoilers, LOTS OF THEM.

Due to heavy rains, the book reached me later than usual. Those two days were quite tough as everywhere I looked, there it was,staring right at my face. The dreadful reminder that the book was still not in my hands. The struggle was real, VERY REAL. Honestly, I struggled more in those initial two days than all these years. But, all that is behind us now, and we can all safely pretend that I was not acting like this each time I checked out the status of book shipment, every five minutes:

So the first things first, as you open the book, you find yourself drowning in nostalgia as the book quite literally starts from the place the last book ended. It is like all those years of waiting never happened. You find yourself again in those familiar lands of your childhood, and everything is okay again!

From the first part of the play we see that Albus is quite the opposite of Harry. While both were grappling with parent issues, Harry dealing with the loss of his parents and Albus trying his best to live up to the name of his father, we see Albus and Rose are off to Hogwarts. I could clearly see traces of Hermione in Rose who was stressing the importance of sitting in the right place with the right people, as that was how their parents met. So, when Albus and Scorpious Malfoy decide to hang out (much to classic Hermione like disapproval of Rose) and bond over common disapproval of their respective fathers, we get a glimpse of how it would all turn out in the later pages.

Now, we come to know that there is a theory that Scorpious is Voldemort’s child. Which Scorpious says is quite untrue, but come on…a Malfoy and a Potter being friends is something that would raise all eyebrows. They boys dads try their best to dissuade them to not be friends, but that makes their bond even stronger. It was great to read how these two stuck with each other despite everything. Here’s why,

Growing up with Harry Potter, we were always taught that discrimination is wrong. The people who discriminate against others are wrong. But then, these wonderful leanings were forgotten, and we saw people proudly wearing their house symbols on facebook groups or other places and basing the other houses. People who had read the books started looking down on people who had just seen the movies, people who proclaimed that Gryffindors were the best people ever..etc etc. There were memes like these which got many many MANY shares:

There were so many people who discriminated against each other, and I feel, sorting Harry Potter’s son in Slytherin house was the best thing that ever happened. Because now the people who discriminated others based on the houses or who proclaimed to be better because some website (or even worse…themselves) thought they belonged to a ‘better’ house. By this single stroke of genius, all these people will have to take a moment and reflect and maybe, hopefully, understand that Harry Potter was never about looking at others differently, just because they were different than you. It was always about accepting people for who they are.

Now this is already gone on to be too big, so I will stop here, there will be a Part 2 to this soon.

BUY THIS BOOK 

Check out part 2 here

 

 

 

 

 

Books

The Hilly Billy: Book Review

Author: Shivdutt Sharma

The Hill Billy by [Sharma, Shivdutt]

Book Blurb:

A mango ensures the birth of a son…
Ghosts hoot and cackle in a forest…
A tiger strikes terror in the heart of a village…
A boy experiences the first stirrings of desire…

On trips back to his hometown, memories appear, cling, and then fade away like the mist in the Himalayan foothills. Tracing the pangs and pleasures of growing up during the time of missionary schools, wind-up gramophones, hand-pulled designer rickshaws, maharanis in their imitation castles, busty film stars of the black-and-white era – a lone, all-brown boy in an all-white American school comes to grips with his coming of age.

Fast-paced and furiously funny, The Hill Billy zips up the otherwise tranquil, languid, laid-back life in a hill station that hasn’t quite got over the hangover of its British past.

My Book Review:

One of the first things that hits you as you open this book is the style of narration. The way the author tells his story just takes you by surprise. The writing has a quality of polish and panache that you usually come to associate with seasoned novel writers. I was quite literally blown away with the narration style.

The book is a memoir of author’s childhood. In the book he takes you from Silakot, Pakistan, where he was born to the hills of Mussoorie, India. There nostalgia is the book is so prominent, after reading it, even you start missing those slopes and the hills.

The characterization in the book is also class apart. I quite enjoyed how the author introduced a character and then went on to say how this particular character went on to live their lives. Then we are introduced to another character and we see their story. I felt, this unique take on writing kept making each page a page turner. The simplistic, yet beautiful, nature of the book sets it apart from all others.

 

All in all, this is definitely on the the top reads of this year.

Buy this book

Rating:

Cover : 3/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 5/5

Creativity in Story line: 5/5
Character Complexity: 5/5

Narration style: 5/5

Editing: 4.5/5
Overall : 4.5/5

 

Books

Book Review: The Last Bloom

Author: Poulomi Sengupta

Book Blurb:

‘The Last Bloom’ is a story of Priya, her dreams, aspirations and struggles to fit into her new college life and its politics. Priya was ecstatic, as she was admitted to her dream college. All her visions of adventurous rock climbing trips, long night jollification with bosom friends, class bunking in lieu of movie shows, tasting lip smacking street side delicacies with classmates-a new exciting world would now unfold before her! But college is different from Priya’s idyllic dreams. In an environment as opposed to that of school, exposed to an educational system, which is controlled by political unions, will naive Priya be able to survive without any political protection? Caught between the college hero Suvo’s charming words and her acrid tussles with conceited college dropout Vivek, will immature Priya be able to differentiate between cajoling false comrades and brutally honest well-wishers? Often degraded by the skittish Shweta and saved by the blunt rebellious Aashi, will Priya be able to identify her friends and stand up for them, against fierce opposition? As Priya undertakes her journey of self-discovery, will she succumb to her deepseated fears and insecurities or will she survive the ultimate test of time?”

My Review:

This is quite interesting book. It deals with the politics that go on in the college campuses and how it affects the lives of the students.

The protagonist, Priya, is a school topper and chooses to join a reputed college. The college boasted of some prominent alumni, and Priya wanted to study only in this college. Such was her wish that she decided to take up any subject that would ensure her admission. Since Priya had studied from the central board, even when she had scored more marks than the state board students, she was given less priority.

The book deals with various aspects of the education industry. How there is vast difference in the syllabus and the course structure of state and central boards. Even the medium of communication that the student studies in make a difference. How the students who had studied in regional language would make fun of those ‘English speaking’ students, but then due to lack of knowlege of any other language, even Hindi, effects their ability to talk to people of other states.

The book also deals with the campus politics. The author does a phenomenal job going in detail the effect these campus politics does on the student. How, at such a young age, the are given power and how they start to misuse their power. The author even goes in history to tell us why such a system had come into practice and how relevant it is in recent times.

All these details are weaved quite intricately with the main story line.

One of the best things about this book was the character development. It is rare to see such a perfect character development of the protagonist from a first time author. The character of Priya undergoes huge change in her thinking, thus changing her personality and the way she deals with conflicts and people around her is just perfect.

Overall, a really good book that deals with real issues.

Cover : 4/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 4/5

Creativity in Story line: 5/5
Character Complexity: 5/5
Overall : 4.5/5

Buy this book