Tag Archives: Book reviews

Book Review: Tale Journey – A collection of 21 short stories

The author Kavya Janani approached me for a honest review of her début, and here you go!
First Impression: The first 2 stories were below average and I only frowned upon, while I liked the diction and word choice of the author, the editing was not up to the mark. The frown turned a smile when I read the next 2 stories and apparently, they are my favourite in the whole lot.
Overall Impression: The author has explored many a genres in this collection, While the love stories are a mix of already said stories and a few exploring the real deal of the author with her creative self penning down something beautiful, I was not thoroughly impressed with the thriller lot. I liked the horror stories, it had the necessary kick for the genre. Other genres – humor, family, friendship, and inspirational are all cat on the wall, I can neither categorize it great or lesser.
Rating: 3.5/5
What I loved in this book?
  • Diction
  • A few stories were pretty good and on par – you’re my mobilentine, case of a lucky girl, Christmas eve are my favourites
  • Narration – each story were from different POV and at different locations, and that’s commendable
Frown Factors:
  • Editing
  • Certain word usages were not appropriate to the context, it appeared artificial
  • Unnecessary descriptions at certain parts, especially in the beginning of each story
Having said that, the author has enough potential to stay proud. Writing material indeed, looking forward for more from the author to note the frown factors and to come up with a full-fledged novel. I hope the author chooses a good editor next time.

Encounters by Sumana Khan – Book Review

To start with I loved the cover design, the title and the blurb. The blurb promises a potpourri of stories with different themes. I loved the quality of the book cover and paper; so I was interested to read further.
Disclaimer: Received the paperback version of this book from the publishers – cinnamon teal, via The Book Club, in return for a honest review.

27774874

There are 5 stories, each of a kind!
The first story pulled me into the story, as in, I loved the language, diction and vocabulary instantly. It was beautifully penned, revealing the character step by step – for those who have issues with revealing type of writing should probably read this story. Being 26 and single, I could so relate to Ratna, though having accomplished something mighty but having tagged as a burden for not being married is so on par with what any Indian woman would face. Though the story is bit on the predictable table, I loved the way it was written. Sumana as a writer wins here!
Reminiscence – the second story; is again a good one with minute details that would make one smile.
Happiness clinic – I so love this title; and so was the story. A family tale, it indeed injects fear and makes you introspect.
Best friends forever – A story that is totally different, looks like Sumana’s psychology degree played its part pretty well. A tale on hallucination and super natural stuff! A good read.
Am not a short story reader, but given the language peppered, this collection is on par with excellence. And, given that this is my first read of Sumana’s – am looking forward for more!
Rating: 3.5/5

The Reengineers – Book Review

Received a free paperback copy from the book club in exchange for an honest review, at first, I thought this book might be of a type that talks about the life of an engineering student or so, but the blurb was totally different and with hints that said the book is based on Madras (My place) – I was thrilled to read.
The book starts off with a world building set in the 1990s of Madras right from suprabhatham to details that describe how madras was, but it was indeed a slow read in the start. I skimmed through pages until I hit something relevant and where the book started catching enough speed.

25007832

I loved the language used by the author, good diction throughout and that is one major plus of this book.
The cover and the title are not catchy enough to grab a copy, but the blurb might interest many as it sounds tricky and magical.
The motivation of the characters could have been even stronger, but, nevertheless are good enough to lead the reader in the right direction. More of a self-discovery than anything else that makes the book a one-time read, it had promising fantasy at the right proportions and with a language so good, this book sets on par with excellence stealing away the heart of the reader after a point.
A few quotations are very beautiful and it sails to the depths of life. The book takes a turn from its genre YA or Coming-of-age and goes to the spiritual mode, which is something I don’t trust mostly. Might work for others!
A very good try indeed!
Rating: 3.5/5

A dog eat dog-food world

A title so catchy and cover so intriguing that says upfront it is not just another book. A novella of 95 odd pages that would take not more than an hour to read, that talks a lot about the marketing management. Suresh – an author famous for his humor peppered blog, well, what can you expect from him? A hilarious take on the marketing management!

csuresh_adogeatdogfoodworld

My take on the book:
The prologue is super interesting – it surmises the concept “Out-of-the-box” literally! It makes you think. That ting moment!
Now that the prologue makes you read and just scroll, scroll, and scroll (because I got the eBook from the book club) – tadaa! I finished the book in one go!
For a person like me who struggled and sailed 5 years in IT, where a part of my job description pushed me into pre-sales, marketing, et al. This novella just made me feel so good about quitting that job! Thank you Suresh! *bowing*
Best part of the book is the vocabulary and diction – Mind boggling! Every chapter just transcends to about the business and the characters are just bang on, the way their situations are woven is hilarious. It just fits any business for that matter, it makes one say “Oh! Yeah
Author Suresh has a very unique style, and it suits the satire really well. It is not just pseudo history and marketing management, but there are quotes on life as such which makes you introspect and save it for life.
What I loved in this book?
  • Choice of genre
  • The subject dealt
  • Diction
Rating: 4/5

A Sip of Love and a Sip of Coffee – Book Review

Author Ganga Bharani’s third novel as per records, but this is her first when it comes to Young Adult fiction/Romance.
The novel’s cover looks enticing and the title is so catchy! It is grab worthy, and any who would cross this book in a book store would definitely pick a copy.
As her friend first, I was skeptical about the genre jump and also, asked her to use a pen name instead. I am not a romance or young adult reader, and so, initially I was not so sure if this was a good try for long.

a2bsip2bof2blove2ba2bsip2bof2bcoffee2bbook2bcover

My take on the book:
First and foremost, Ganga Bharani has tried “Interactive Narration” in this young adult novella, a type of narration that is seldom tried in India so I was first impressed with her idea of using it.
The opening scene starts with the school bell, uniforms, black board, and “No enrolled:” and “No Present:” which drew a smile, as it takes the reader back to the school days. It feels so fresh and underpins the nostalgic thoughts.
The novel has three strong characters, “Avanthika, Gowtham and the author” – their goals in the story were very clear, pure, and emotions were so appropriate. The relationship between the characters looks so appropriate and detailed pretty well! Usually, it is pretty difficult to pen a novel with characters age so young or old when compared to the author’s age, Ganga has done a fair job indeed to think over and ponder about the school days!
Unlike her first two novels, the twists and turns are lesser and there are no heart pounding scenes in the novel given the genre but if her aim was to make her readers smile – I would probably say, she did achieve it.
The pace was pretty good – A crisp one indeed, it just took about two hours to complete. It was sweet and perfumed with innocence, having read many mystery and thrillers in the recent past; this was a very different and refreshing take now, re-reading it yet again. The editor(s) need a special mention as well, a fair job!
The dialogues are the best part of this novel; it makes one grin, chuckle, laugh, and what not. Pretty flowery and naive, this novel has the rawness that is actually required, which makes it a delightful read.
I couldn’t spot any negative factors as such, for a person who reads romance seldom, even to complete this book in a go is a big deal. Overall, I loved the refreshing change! I am still a fan of her thriller novellas than romance (Sounds like my manufacturing defect)
I would rate A sip of coffee and a sip of love fairly a 3.5/5
If you love romance, young adult, and a new take of the narrative – grab a copy!

Twists of Fate – Priyanka Naik

Received the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.
First Impression: I loved the blurb, because it reminded me my other two best friends from school days. Apt title, yes! But the cover could have been better. As much as I love the message conveyed using a sand clock – it didn’t fit in the cover as expected. An experienced cover designer – would have been better. This book, based in Mumbai, travelled along with me in Chennai, yet, took me to Mumbai virtually. That’s how enticing the book is! I remember my friend Solomon Manoj recommending this book to me, and then, somehow,  I received the book from the author herself. So I started with good expectations and bang! The book did live up to my expectations
23266896
Overall Impression: Priyanka Naik stands tall with a decent debut with the choice of genre, story, style of writing. I have been reading too many Indian debuts and was bothered, but, with this book, I indeed felt good reading it. Such a heartwarming slice-of-life novel! Kudos! There’s nothing in this book that one might hate but relate.
No matter how old you are now, this story will take you to your teenage and adolescence. You would see yourself with your two best friends posing and enacting the story, I bet!
What I loved in this book?
  • Storyline
  • The way she handled writing three different characters with the distinguishing character sketch
  • Lucid yet good diction peppered language
  • Proper grammar and tight writing
  • Bang on – a proper vein runs right from childhood of the three friends who turn soul-sisters, and go through the usual Indianized pattern life. They fall in love, get married, stick to their career goals, but what twists and turns life throws, and how they handle takes you through their life
Frown factors:
  • For the storyline chosen, the book is a bit lengthier. A bit more scissoring, would have left the best impression
  • Book cover – didn’t impress at all
Definitely an author that Indians can look upon, Priyanka Naik has great talent and am sure she will do great with her upcoming novels because she throws in her heart while writing a novel. Her passion for writing is well portrayed with her debut.
If you’re looking for a heart warming read – let the book be “Twist of Fate”

Right Fit Wrong Shoes – Book Review

Ratings: 2/5
Received this book on behalf of the book club in exchange for an honest review.
First Impression: A novel published by Rupa Publications, I have always loved their paper and cover quality. The title, cover and blurb caught my attention instantly and I predicted a full-fledged chick-lit story.
7859601
Overall Impression: A slice-of-life story, but it didn’t resonate much as it sounded more Bollywood type. For a typical person like me, who doesn’t know Hindi – this book looked like a target oriented one. The characters were a bit clichéd and there were too many characters in the story to keep in mind.
A could-have-been-better kind of a story! Frowned much and hence it took a real long time to complete the book. Lacked pace much and I guess some beta-reading and some ace editing would have done much better!
What did I love about the book?
  • Good language
  • Cover, blurb and the paper quality – without a doubt
  • The chemistry between the characters were good enough
Frown Factors:
A slow read even if the novel is about the right size, it sounded as if its a long book when reading it
Editing should have been better – didn’t expect this from Rupa publications though
Though the story is well narrated and characters were doing good in their parts, it somehow didn’t work with me.
Hindi words throughout slowed down the pace of reading to a great extent, I would request the author to write in English totally to cover the pan India audience as such

Heart of Bullets – Book Review

Received this book from the author in exchange for an honest book review.
First Impression: Apt title and a good cover that makes the book pick-worthy, and the blurb keeps up the promise as expected.
28257534
Overall Impression: Having read Nikhil’s first two books, I see the author taking the right track with this novel as he has explored more about the life of a soldier. I liked the way the story travelled throughout and the insight of the life that a soldier’s life is explored pretty well. It is a deep dive through tough times of loneliness, which makes the read a heart wrenching experience.
However, the love story was not a worthy read as such, and the book is pretty lengthy which makes it a slow read. The pace dropped substantially which made reading the book a tough deal, though small poems peppered all over did help. The story of heart-wrenching emotions turned very Bollywood in the end which was unlikely.
What I love about the book?
  • Poems as usual – a fan of his
  • Details about the army and soldiers
Frown Factors:
  • Editing has gone for a big toss – a good editor would have done wonders to the book.
  • Very lengthy for the plot – a proper editor would have cut down good chunks.
Rating: 2.5/5

An Autograph for Anjali – Book Review

Author Sundari Venkatraman is well known for her Romance, contemporary fiction. I was thrilled when I read the synopsis of AAFA – it turned out to be a suspense sprayed romance. A just another normal family wakes to a murder in the family. Just when the police pitches in for the investigation, the background of the family reveal and finally, the details of the murder, the murderer and what happens next brings AAFA to far end with a hook for the sequel.
28805276
First Impression – Out of all her books, the cover of AAFA is the best. Loved it the very instant and the blurb so intriguing – can one miss this book?
Overall Impression – Am an ardent fan of Mystery and crime thrillers, so it was a bit disappointing to learn that the book falls more on the romance side with a bit touch of suspense in it. For those who have read her previous works will find her magic yet again in this book. It does remind The Madras Affair with the family not doing so well and the sparkling romance.
Characters:
Anjali – A woman who takes her stand after years together to gain back her originality, to do something of her interest, to unwind the romantic self after years. Captures our hearts for sure!
Arjun – Prince charming is an understatement. A guy who says “Go for it” to her mom when she finds new romance and a relationship worth a try
Jayant Mathur – A mere dead body worth being murdered for reasons that are obvious – Having witnessed a few men alike who thinks a woman’s place is in the kitchen, sure deserves death.
Parth Bhardwaj – An author who gives life to the withering leaf Anjali
What I love about this book? – Loved the language, diction, sparkling romance, spine – chilling conversations when Anjali takes her stand. What would a woman do to hear about the multiple-affairs of her husband? – The way she turns her heart to a stone. When she wants to prove a point for her existence with a work that would give life to her ambition, and makes her feel lived than just survive was extremely well put. The son-mother relationship was good where they even discuss about not-so-discussing types
Frown factors: 1) More of investigation would have added more fuel to the mystery 2) As the number of characters are limited – guessing game takes a back seat where the murderer is identified by the reader yet reads through to know the reason 3) Anjali falls sick with depression after 20 odd years of a marital life that’s not so good – this makes room to ponder why did it take so long? Was she happy in the beginning? Etc.. 4) I would have loved the character Arjun even more if he had been in India and still support his mom rather than being exposed to UK lifestyle, sounds a bit clichéd
Rating: 3/5
I would recommend this book to those who like reading a breezy romance with a bit of mystery, and those who would like to hone their language skills.

Love, Again by Sumeetha and Shrruti

Received this book on behalf of the book club in exchange for an honest review.
First Impression – The blurb of the book was intriguing as it spoke about the decisions one makes in life. A double header book with two stories – one by sumeetha titled “These lines of Mehendi” and another by Shrruti titled “A tulip in the desert” I fell in the love with the titles immediately. Though the cover didn’t impress much, the stories did leap my expectation of just another love story to the one much more about reality and life. I should say that the book did live up to the expectations.
25448260
Overall Impression – “These lines of Mehendi” – starts off at a funeral and takes us to the life of Lalitha. The pain of a woman who wants to live her life on her own terms after surviving the trauma. It sure takes a lot to fall in love for the second time with someone who also had a previous hit in life, the pain is brought out beautifully. To get married for the second time where reasons are different than seeking solace with each other, is detailed well. A sure shot story which tears the mask of “Happily ever after”
“A tulip in the desert” – beautiful is an understatement. A common love for Egyptology is something totally new and the author has explored well with more of just love. It has elements of mystery, historical elements, adventure, etc..
Overall a very nice read!
What I loved about the book – 1) Stories beyond just love and happily ever after 2) Core element of the stories 3) Language – lucid and simple
Frown factors – 1) Editing could have been better 2) Diction was a let down, could have been much better 3) Pacing issues – slow at a few areas
Rating – 3/5