Monday, March 19, 2018

Dream's sake by Jyoti Arora

11991444No. of pages : 256
Publisher : V& S
Published on : 14 June 2011
Book links : Goodreads Amazon Website
Author links : Goodreads Website Twitter

My review

From what I can see, author Jyoti Arora proves to be different. It is a humiliation to question her talent. I am proclaiming this not because she is a thalassemia patient or because of her flashy post graduate degree in English literature.  If you read her novels like I did, you will know why I am saying this. There are numerous truths which can’t be questioned because they are facts.

All her novels gives a social message that gives a tight slap to today’s people letting them know where they stand. It will make everyone to do some soul search. I bought her first novel after being gifted her last two novels and got a chance to review it.

 Dream’s sake is a novel that describes the life of  Aashi, Abhi, Sid, Priyam and Raj. They all have a past that shook their life (except for Raj) and it haunts them even today. In times of trouble, see which of your relatives or friends stick to your side. They will stick with you and show the world that they support you but the words that come out of their mouth, is it true? Words can lie but actions won’t.

What is the one issue with this world of ours is that many people believe money can buy happiness whether it is swindling other people’s money or creating their own wealth. Once they die, will they take this money with them or bury their money in their grave is a question which they will not answer because they are downright idiots. Some rich people have already enough but they want more. Aashi, Abhi and his sister priyam’s lives gives us a glimpse of the ugly side of some false relatives.

In every family, there is one or two members like these people. Personally, in my own family, there are family members who are like that of Aashi’s and Raj’s mother . When even our parents support our life’s big decision such as marriage and wait for the right time, these relatives or friends think, they have the right to be nosy and make decisions for us and choose our life partner out of selfish reasons.

Their choice of partners characters doesn’t jibe with our own all the time. Will they take responsibility if our life takes a bad turn?. They motivate us to sacrifice our life and make lot of adjustments. False pride and cheap attitudes cloud the minds of some annoying relatives and evil parents like Raj’s mother. If it is true our parents are innocent, relatives/friends plot in wicked ways to use them for their benefit to the maximum.

In Abhi’s and his sister’s case, their relatives thinking was simply gross and intolerable.Their own sibling has died and their niece and nephew are orphaned. If they don’t have the courage to be big hearted, at least people must have dignity. What kind of pleasure will they get by depriving the children of their dead brother’s savings is a thought that will make reader’s blood boil with rage particularly hurting the feelings of their nephew who has just been crippled?

Most of the time, there is neither sincerity nor genuineness in certain relatives or friends. Only secret agenda. Greed and jealousy overpowers all other good things. It can feel like I am bragging, then I will ask, have you read newspapers?. I also feel she has exaggerated a tidbit. 

Sid’s character is adorable but silly. Adultery by parents must be forgiven if they are desperate to mend the bridges. Her mother’s tragic end explains the height of foolishness of young women though his fondness for standing up for what is right is much appreciated. The new revelation will make the readers get angry.

After reading the novel, I am in a complicated position to describe my thoughts about this exceptionally clever story.  Dream’s sake will make you aware of the people around you. It will open your eyes and tell you what kind of person you are and what kind of people those you are talking to.

So you can assume I liked the novel. All the characters are relatable. Personal favorite is Abhi who reminds me of Nick Vujicic except his disability is not that deep. When you read the book, you can’t help getting attracted to his cheerful and positive outlook towards life even when there are innumerable reasons to be pessimistic but his innocence is a put off.

If the author has explored more on Sid and Priyam’s love story, it would have been great. A strong, bold, decent and righteous man is every good woman’s dream. I had goose bumps when Priyam cried in his arms. Then there is Aashi, selfish and impatient, I wanted to hate her but then her past comes in front of my eyes, so it was justifiable and also equally unjustifiable. This is not a happy ending story. 

If you are weak hearted, you might shed some tears and blame the author for such a bad ending. Some readers may feel good people such as Abhi, Priyam, Sid, and Raj don’t exist even if they do they may live in different parts of the world not together. The point is, she has put in all these lovely people in one book as it is a direct attempt to inspire people. She also put the bad people.  If you are super rich, you either be like Mr. Vardhan, Raj or Sid. If you are crippled, learn from Abhi. If you are a home bird be like Priyam.  Aashi is a bad influence.

For certain reasons, what if Mr. Stubbornly righteous Sid and Ms. Enthusiastic dreamer Aashi fell in love with each other by fate and make other people’s life not so hard than it already is. They could teach each other valuable lessons. Aashi feels money gives security whereas Sid though has helluva of money, he loathes it. Sid lives in the present whereas Aashi dreams about the future.   Even if they have lot of fights, their relationship would be lively and interesting.  

Also what if Mr. Perfect Raj and Ms. Sweet Priyam ended up together? I felt like Sid didn’t love her truly as he has seen their friends suffer a lot, he is somehow burdened with responsibility to take care of Priyam. I believed Raj is not a gentleman, then he surprised me. Day and night working in secrecy to save the woman he once loved from making a fatal mistake even knowing she will never love him as he does speaks gentlemanly of him. He is Mr. Perfect not Mr. Wrong as the book asserts in the beginning.

All Priyam can give is unconditional love and affection. Raj will do almost anything if the woman who he is in love with reciprocates his feeling and strangely even if she doesn't.  Of course, every girl in this world earns for a brother like Abhi. He deserves all the good things that the world can offer. We must accept life is not a fairy tale or is it? He has to be criticized for sacrificing much of his life.

It seems the author had a little confusion in deciding who to make a hero. I will argue it is Raj not Abhi as the latter is insanely too good which makes him gullible even after he has the knack for reading people’s mind.

Her writing is up to the mark I would say yet I feel she could have reduced the seriousness. You can feel the myriad of emotions expressed in the book. How much length will you go to make your dream come true? It is wonderful you are on your own. What if your stubbornness and selfishness costs the life of those who openly care for you? It will be too late when you wake up. In spite of the fact your dream can come true on condition it is realisable. You should be straightforward and not lie to those who support you unambiguously. For that, you need to first have lucid concept of goals. This is a moral message the book aims to give.

Rating 4/5

Excerpt one

From the tumult raging in Abhi’s mind emerged a spectre that took him back to his school days. The charming form of Neha appeared before him, in all the freshness of her youth, her smiling countenance so pretty, her eyes so intriguing, even when they had turned away from him. Three years, of what Abhi had thought was love, flashed before him.

Excerpt two

‘Abhi and Sid! Can’t you think of your own self for once, Priyam? You have a life too, don’t you? Don’t you get tired of being tied to them? Get out of their shadow for once, take a fresh breath of life and see what beautiful world awaits you! Raj almost shouted. He tried to tone down the anger in his voice, but he was just too angry to be able to do so.

Excerpt three

'You need not have any fear, Priyam,' Sid said, I may have my father's blood in my veins but I'd die sooner than cause one tear to drop from my wife's eyes,'he declared.

Excerpt four

‘You know, Priyam thinks that Sid and Abhi are the best. Sid thinks so about Priyam and Abhi believes that there’s no one better than Sid and Priyam. You were the only one who thought I  was the best. Please don’t change your mind now. I want to remain best for at least someone in the world!’

Excerpt five

‘ I’m done with dreaming, Abhi.’ A sigh shuddered through her as she detached herself from him and groped her way back to a chair. ‘It’s time I start accepting realities.’

Saturday, March 17, 2018

I want that one by Mala kumar and Soumya Menon

No.of pages : 16
Publisher : Pratham books
Published on : 2015
Book link : Free Kids Books Goodreads
Author link : Goodreads

My review

This book teaches good values to children of all ages. Anil is home as it is holiday. He is troubling his mother who is busy reading. She takes him to shops He asks every product in the shop that is at the bottom like oranges, flowers, samosa, etc. If he picks it, the things at the top will collapse. People tell him to pick the ones from the top, he gets angry. His mother uses her tricks to make him see things clearly. Anil finally learns his lesson.  What did his mother do?

Children can be very stubborn somtimes. We can't blame them. It's their age. At their age, we would have also behaved the same way. An understanding parent will enable the problematic child to be more responsible and reasonable. We need to be strict only when the situation demands for the emotional well being of the child. Curiousity runs deep in children's mind. A good parent will be able to educate the children and also motivate their unquenchable thirst for knowledge if they are capable. Children need to discover stuffs through practical means. The pictures in the book will make the children to interpret the message the author strives to achieve in a substantial way.

Rating  5/5

Saturday, March 10, 2018

The Malhotra Bride by Sundari Venkatraman

36581045No.of pages :222
Kindle Edition published on: February 11, 2014
Published on : December 30, 2017
Published by : Finger Print
Book links : Goodreads Amazon
Author links : Goodreads Twitter Website

My review

Problem with many Indian parents is that they think arranged marriages are the best for their children. I would say they are right in one way but it is completely not true. Why I am saying is, today we can see many couples get married through arranged marriages head to courts for getting a divorce. Why did they go when their marriages were well planned so perfectly? We can’t say love marriage is also best. Both marriages have their own merits and drawbacks. Considering today’s scenario in India, most youngsters attitude towards marriage has changed due to technology and westernization.

The Malhotra Bride starts with our female protagonist, Sunita’s mother telling her daughter they have got her a proposal for marriage. Should she be happy or sad? In India, marriages make grooms more joyful than brides. It is true, isn’t it? Grooms don’t have to separate from their parents in most cases. They have freedom to roam anywhere they want and anytime they want. But girls have their restrictions. Once they get married, their freedom is lost. May be they didn’t have freedom from the start but they enjoyed certain privileges at their parents home.

Once they get married, they have to cook for their new family, bear children for months without complaining, feed them and raise them well apart from taking responsibility to do the household chores. If the woman is also an office goer, no need to say the depression she faces. Three in ten men may have changed for the better in India. Yet, when we consider the overall percentage, it is quite a shocker. Woman lose their freedom after marriage. It is as if they are bought after marriage. Men don’t lose their freedom, they just have to take some responsibility to protect their family. Most of the Indian women can’t go wherever they want whether to meet their school friends or college friends without getting approvals from their in-laws or respective spouses. 

In this novel, the author has spin a tale around marriages happening in rich North Indian families. It’s hard to digest that woman are always helpless yet her truth is brutally honest. Sunita is just 20 years old but she is forced to get into an arranged marriage by her parents. When Sunita meets Akshay after making her grandfather agree to their private meeting, she says to him that she doesn’t want to get married but he somehow tries to convince her . She has portrayed the female protagonist as an innocent, young woman who is under dire predicament by villains (her family members) to be rescued by a hero.

I will say, Sunita is a dumb girl with full of confusions and Akshay is a foolish man with full of confidence. Like her, he is also reluctant to marry at first but after being smitten by her beauty, he changes his mind and uses his charm to win her love. It is very clear, his love is based on lust only. How many days a love based on lust will survive is an answer that everybody knows. Their love is immature is what I feel. On the whole, the narration is too good. The author is a South Indian but she has managed to write a story on North Indian family setting which is admirable.

Rating 3/5

Excerpt one

"Listen to me, little one. I can promise you freedom from your parents. But for that you'll have to marry me. I can't just take you away from them-"
"Hey," Sunita's eyes lit up, "I can always run away."
"Where to?" asked Akshay reasonably, "and do what?"
Sunita's face well. "Sorry I interrupted. Please continue."
"Just for that one condition, " Akshay took off from where he left off, "the wedding ceremony, a change in your name, status and address. After that you are free to choose the kind of life you want to live, your time will be your own, no interference from either me or my parents." His voice was hypnotic, painting an attractive picture of her future.

Excerpt Two

Sunita woke up to find herself on a hospital bed. She jumped up when she remembered what had happened, and ran out of the room into the corridor. Confused about which direction to take, she looked around for a minute. A sob escaped her as she ran towards her right, correctly guessing the direction in which the receptions lay.

Disclaimer I thank Finger Print for giving me a free copy.

Friday, March 09, 2018

Author Interview : Suzanne Lowe


It is always such a great pleasure to meet new and talented writers. Suzanne Lowe is one of them. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree, majoring in Sport Science and has worked as a library assistant, personal trainer and barista.  As I was inspired by her book blurb and bio on Goodreads,  my  curiosity of learning more about her came. Indubitably, she is a motivating person for budding writers like me. She is currently working on her non-fiction book and also on her second book in the Seventeen series. I am happy to have got an opportunity to interact with her.

Me : It's an honor to welcome you on my blog. Tell us a bit about yourself.

Thank you.

Hi, my name is Suzanne Lowe and I am from Perth in Western Australia, in the southern half of the worldI grew up in a small country town in the outback of Australia, am married and have two daughters and a black and cat named Abby. Apart from writing I also love photography and watching sci fi movies.

Me : How did the thought of writing Seventeen occur to you?

Seventeen, came about as I wanted to write a story for young adults, that featured two sisters having to survive in a world, that was suddenly vastly different from one they had grown up in. One without adults or any rules. This was a scenario that my own two teenage daughters would often discuss and theorise about at the dinner table. I wanted to set the story in Australia, somewhere that is quite isolated and a unique setting for most dystopian stories. 

Me :Who was the first reader of your book?

My two daughters as the story is aimed at their age group.

Me :Who are your favorite authors in Science-fiction? 

My favourite authors are John Marsden, Anne Rice and Stephen Donaldson

Me :Since your book is a series, why do you think readers are interested in series?

I think readers enjoy series because they can keep reading what happens to their favourite character in the books. Seventeen is my first novel and I plan to write a follow up with a second book this year. 

Me : Did you face any writer's block while writing your book? 

No. Luckily I knew the story I wanted to tell. I did however have periods of time when I couldn't write due to work and family commitments, so the book did take me longer than I wanted to write.

Me : You are an Australian writer.  In your perspective, who do you think reads more books particularly in your country, youngsters or grownups?

I think in Australia a lot of young people still read books, but I would say they favour ebooks over hard copies.

Me : How much awareness are there about reading books in your country ?

A lot of schools in Australia have reading programs to encourage children to read, so hopefully that continues on to adult hood. As an author it is very difficult to be published in Australia, so that is definitely one thing that could be improved.

Me : You have written a book about two sisters who have to survive the world despite the threat of the deadly virus. Your message for my readers. Will readers enjoy your book?

My message in my novel is that, You have to stand up to bullies. Even if it is not effecting you directly, you can’t just stand by and watch it happen. Also, everyone is capable of a lot more than they think they are. Sometimes you have to force yourself to step outside your comfort zone to realise this.

I think readers will enjoy reading Seventeen, as although it is fiction, it is a scenario that could happen. Also I think it would be interesting for young adults to wonder what they would do if there weren't any adults around. Do they think they would survive? My own daughters  enjoy talking about this scenario.

You can find more about her book on Goodreads Amazon Website.

Thursday, March 08, 2018

Gonefishing India by Suprio Mukherjee

37482929No. of pages : 95
Published on : December 1st, 2017
Published by : Notion Press
Book links : Goodreads Amazon

Author bio 

Over the last four decades, Suprio has been an avid angler and one of the early ones to have adopted the ‘catch and release’ philosophy. An active nature photographer, Suprio has an impressive fresh and salt water catch record. Apart from guiding expeditions in search for trophy-sized fish for filming documentaries, Suprio is always available to share his knowledge with any angler. His knowledge of Indian rivers makes him a sought-after fishing companion in the fast-flowing sub-Himalayan rivers.
Suprio writes on fishing in newspapers and magazines.
He also has over three decades experience in leadership positions in hospitality, healthcare and manufacturing sectors.
My review
"If you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour.If you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn." is a famous proverb. Although it needs some strong evidence, it can be understood in lieu of helping a person in need, if you tell him how to solve the same, he will learn how to be responsible and take ownership of his life without being selfish. In "Gonefishing India", author Suprio Mukheree has shared his practical knowledge about how to catch fishes.
Since his childhood days, he has been invigorated by his family who have instilled the seed to catch fishes. Without doubt, he is a very adventurous person. He has visited many places and has made the readers to use vivid imagination to experience about his fishing encounters.His enthusiasm in catching the fishes are evident in his book. He has inspired many foreign visitors especially in Greece and France. The pictures in the book are eye catchy and size of the fish, he and his team has catched makes a person wonder. This book is like an autobiogrpahy of an angler. If you are planning for a fishing trip, read the book. You will be able to get an idea what are the things you can expect from your fishing trip.
Rating 4/5
Disclaimer  I received the book in exchange for my honest review.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Lemon girl by Jyoti Arora

23588660No. of pages : 168
Published on : November 2014
Book links : Goodreads Amazon  Website
Author links :  Goodreads Website Twitter

My review

There are so many ugly things that are happening in this world. We don’t just stop for a moment and question why it has happened or why it is happening. We are all caught up with our own life, too self-absorbed and we don’t think for a second, why are we like this? Even if we do, we are not fully committed. Why are we selfish? Why are we inconsiderate to other’s feelings? Why are we a monster? Does our heart made of stone?

Author’s dedication

I dedicate this book to every girl and woman who refused to take the blame for other’s faults. Who, even when trodden down, dared to stand up and create a new and better life for herself. I offer this book as a salute to such brave and determined ladies.

Within the heart of every person hides a love story
Just waiting to be told
Come let’s follow the rhythm of these two heartbeats
And unfold the tales they do hold.

This piqued my curiosity. I must confess, when I started reading the book two days ago, I got bored after reading three pages of the novel and quit reading. I was very sure I would hate this book even after loving author Jyoti Arora’s, ‘You came like hope’.  Now I have finished reading the book, she has truly surprised me.

Certain things need to happen. It simply can’t be explained. If our life is always happy, where is the thrill and adventure? We need to learn the lessons it taught in order to get up stronger than before. We are all living in a world of hypocrisy. We don't know why we are here. If the world is full of hypocrisy, what do you call its people? We have to digest this harsh truth.

Some people are too close minded. Some people even after knowing the meaning (finding), ‘True love’ struggle to accept it for selfish reasons. Some parents are too quick to put the blame on their children. Some are understanding friend yet are not true friend. Some are too quick to make a life changing decision without giving a second thought.  We can go on. Which one are we?

What on earth happened to Lemon girl? Why she is behaving like a whore? I have read about women who have had seven boyfriends but seventeen boyfriends? This is such a shock. What happened to the chubby Ms. Righteous who is not afraid to speak her mind? Where she is?

Why she is in a live-in-relationship with a guy she detests who doesn't even bother to know her past or what she likes and what she hates? Why she is behaving like a parrot that nods its head to its master? Why she is worried that she will gain weight and her boyfriend will not like it at the same time allows the goons to play with her body?

I mean, what really happened to the girl who bargained to the vegetable seller with downright bravery and told him he is a robber and made him sell lemons at her rate? Where is lemon girl? Is she lost forever?

This book has a strong social message. Imperfect is the new perfect. Well, that is what I learnt. What did you learn?

Verdict  The book will have a strong impact on the readers but the story is incomplete.

Rating  3.5/5

Excerpt one

‘Nirvi, I hate that dress of yours.’
‘Yes, Sam, I hate it too.’ Though it was my favorite till then.
‘Nirvi, you look great in black. It makes you look thinner.’
‘Yes, Sam.’ That means I look fat in other colors. I must starve myself more. He won’t like me fat.
‘Nirvi, do you really like those songs? They are so boring.’
‘Yes, Sam, I was getting bored with these too,’ though I had loved them since childhood.
‘I am the best.’
‘Yes, Sam, you are, ‘ since he excelled in video games.
‘Oh, Nirvi, you look gorgeous tonight.’
‘All for you, dear,’ since that’s all that he cared for.
‘Nirvi, our country needs us. We must fight corruption.’
Did that mean not warming the pocket of the traffic policemen when caught speeding? But that was a minor trespass. Corruption was where the politicians ate up millions. So, ‘Yes, Sam, you are right. I’m so proud of you.’
‘Nirvi, we must hold a protest,’he declared.
‘Yes, Sam,’ that would be the only protest I make.
Lemon girl bubbled with enthusiasm. What happened to that girl? Arsh, even though he has seen her only once in the vegetable market, he can’t erase the traces of her for four years?

Excerpt two

Whenever I was with Tiya, I always felt sure of everything. But when I was with Nirvi, she somehow made me feel unsure of even me. And though I would rather have it the other way round, yet somehow, the doubts Nirvi produced lasted much longer than the sense of surety Tiya could give.
However, as I drove back home, my heart was full of surety, surety that Tiya was the best for me. Life with her held very sweet and pleasant promises. And I could make sure her happiness never dwindled either. There was no knowing what anyone would do to her. But I was sure I would never hurt her one bit. She was a merry little bird. The world was full of hunters. God had chosen me to protect her. God had chosen me to protect her. God had chosen her to fill my life with happiness and love. End of the story.

Excerpt three

School and my job, a safe place to stay in, that’s all that matters. I am living with respect. And nobody suspects anything here. They call me Miss Prim and Proper. Can you believe it, Arsh? Your Lemon girl is Miss Prim and Proper.
‘What can you know of love anyway, you Miss Prim and Proper?’said Nikita to me today, an hour ago. Just after I dribbled my poison over her.

Excerpt four

‘She lived with….with you? Your father asked, looking at me. You should have seen his eyes at that moment, Nirvi. They hated me. They dreaded me. And yet they were in utter surrender to plead from me any news I might give of his precious lost child.
‘No’ I said at once. ‘I was her neighbour’.
‘Oh, whom did she live with?’
‘With…’I began.
‘With us girls. We lived together. Three girls,’  Tiya replied before I could utter another word.
‘What happened to the boy she ran away with? He left her?’ he asked.
‘No boy, there wasn’t any boy. She didn’t run with any boy,’ Tiya again too over.’ She ran away because……because…’
‘She didn’t want to get married to Ajay?’ your father asked.

Disclaimer I received the book in exhange for my honest review.