Rafflesia: The Banished Princess (Gautam) – Book Review

 Blurb:

“Rafflesia: The Banished Princess”
The curtains draw up. Lights are dimmed. The musical is about to begin. As the beautiful princess descends on stage, the mythical creatures from her kingdom come alive. Flickers of brilliant colours
blaze across as mesmerizing music pulsates from one corner of the theatre to the other. A fairy tale is about to unfold…

As young children, we often come across things that stay in our hearts forever. For Appu, it is a fairy tale about a beautiful princess. He lives with her in a world filled with the magical creatures from her kingdom until the real world beckons. A reluctant Appu steps into it as a striking young man and struggles to find his place.

What follows is an evocative tale of love and loss, friendship, and betrayal, as the story travels through the snow-peaked mountains of Arunachal to the golden deserts of Jaisalmer, the tulip gardens of
Holland to the lush greens of Kerala. Does Appu find what he had set out for? The answer lies in Rafflesia — The Banished Princess because in her story, lay his!”

Book Review

Life is never a fairy tale, reality can be sour yet sweet”

Appu is not someone whom you can call a protagonist, he is an introvert, day dreamer, not-so-smart… someone whom people might tag, useless. Even his wife wishes to leave him, dissolving their marriage. But is he that much of a mob-character?! or does he fit right for the spotlight? Is too much to live in a fantasy land, escaping reality? What does reality hold for Appu? What relation does Rafflesia hold to the story and Appu? Grab a copy to enter the world of Appu and travel along with him on his journey of life where reality and fantasy collide.

I found the story something different, there was a beauty (might be the depressing feel, dark is beautiful too) to it especially the characterisation of Appu, the one who lived in fantasy but was forced out of it; he faltered but he was able to take those small yet powerful steps out of his cocoon to evolve owing to his friendship with Rahul.  The concept is good but the presentation could have been better, the connection of Rafflesia, the fantasy princess, and life of Appu felt a bit forced, it was not very much convincing. The book needs a good editor’s hand too since there was a share of grammatical errors and sentence framing issues in the content.

The writer’s effort to stand out with regards to the title, book cover and concept is to be appreciated and I indeed find potential. I will rate this book 3.5/5 🙂

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Transitions and Beyond (Inderjit Kaur) ~ Book Review

About the Book

Transitions and Beyond helps us recalibrate our focus to align with our long-term objectives and goals thus making problems much easier to deal with and restoring one’s confidence in life. It promises to renew and reform a disordered life so that one can live a complete life with all stagnation removed. One becomes a true adventurer, who now sees life’s miniscule complications as challenges and can begin to transition.

Transitions are the phases that help one grow through adversities transforming one into an individual who will love challenges and convert them into opportunities for a magnificent tomorrow. They are related to psychological and situational parameters and both are equally important to optimize and to manifest a simple tool of transformation into the realm of personal developments to achieve balance in every core area of life.

Transitions and Beyond thus leads us to believe in life and produce a defining path that will reveal who we are and who we are meant to be.

Book Review

Every day is a new beginning, every chance is a scope for change, it is up to us to grab those opportunities and evolve for good!

Transition and Beyond by Inderjit Kaur, the fourth book in her inspirational series named The Living Series tells you about changes, facing the changes and accepting or overcoming them. The book is basically divided into three parts The Change, The Intervention and The Renewal or would like to say Chances, Involvement, and Evolving. The blurb does justice to the book depicting very clearly what to expect.

This nonfictional self-help book will tell you about the importance of change in life, how to accept it or accept yourself changing and finally how can you evolve to be a better version owing to situations and life. The author gives a good share of real life examples that make the book and the content it wants to convoy connect to the readers. The best part of the book is ‘Take Away’ that comes after every chapter, a short reminder of what all you saw in a chapter; some of them will stay with me forever!

There were a few grammatical errors and a few points where the book lost my interest but overall it is a wonderful effort as usual by the author to bring about such a motivational and helping book.

I would love to rate it 4.25/5 🙂 and recommends it to my readers.

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Book Review ~ 37+ Grace Marks… Because life is beyond numbers (Vishal Anand)

Blurb

What happens when you fall in love at first sight? That too in college, which is supposed to be the best time of one’s life. But is it the best place to find love too?

Viraj falls head over heels in love with his classmate Nimisha, who could make boys on campus go crazy. While his friends Punit and Sahil just want to have fun – despite poor mark-sheets, grace marks to pass, and other everyday adventures – Viraj wants more from his life and love.

Life has led Viraj to the edge of a cliff. He has a choice to make – to forget everything and jump, or fight.

What brought him here? An unrequited love, encounters with law, or the dilemma of grace marks? Where does Viraj’s story eventually end?

Welcome to 37 + Grace Marks, Viraj’s journey to discover that there is more to life than marks.

Review

Life lies in simple things, the one who gets competitive fails to see around him and enjoy life, the one who is laid back gets diverted and stagnant getting his vision limited and there again missing out of life.

Viraj is like the most of Indian teenagers, preparing for the competitive exams, getting into a good institute and then on the gust of enjoying the pleasures of life, as per him, takes a low curve ride with regards to many things that is valuable to him. He even gets chaotic with his feelings of love. Thanks to the grace marks, he was able to move on. What exactly is the system of this grace marks? Will he be able to get back on track positively or will fall into more depth? Will he make it?

It is a light-hearted and motivational story that reminds you that it is never too late to give it another shot, it is never enough to stop trying. Viraj is someone who you can relate well and can follow. The author expressed valid thoughts through a simple story.

The writing style and presentation was a bit off to my taste. The story even though engaging is not something different or new. Towards the end, I felt it, to be a bit more dramatic.  But at the end of it, if you are into simple, around-your-town and motivating stories, this is your pick.

I will rate it 4/5 🙂 and would love to recommend it to my readers.

Grab a copy Amazon

A Team of Extraordinary Bastards (Arka Datta) ~ Book Review

A Team of Extraordinary BastardsBlurb:

Arya Sen is destiny’s child, a young boy from Kolkata who is born to be the greatest the Football World has ever seen. The universe never fails to surprise him with good fortunes as he embarks on his journey from Kolkata to all over the world. But, just when he starts to believe that nothing can go wrong for him, everything changes.

Surrounded by loss, darkness, and complete absence of luck, Arya desperately waits for hope. And it appears but from the unlikeliest of places. With the support of his wife April and younger brother Ilan, Arya takes upon him a task that is bigger and more important than all of them. This time, he is up against his greatest friend: Destiny.

Review:

Spring alone does not make life, there will be storm,  heat, wind, rain; that’s how it rolls. A balance of ups and downs, of failures and success’. Arya’s life is no different, he his journey embarked on goodwill and fortune turns dark soon enough. The passionate footballer makes his way through the odds, how will he make till the end or will he? Grab a copy to know more.

The author effectively depicted Arya’s share of life to deliver an inspirational story. It is a difficult task to create the spirit of a game through words than visual but he did it well. The story started on a point of match. The essence of the play makes the book a page-turner and the thoughts delivered through his life strikes you for good. The book makes you believe in your dreams again. The writing style, character frame, and presentation did justice to the book. I loved how engaging and refreshing the read was.

What I felt off about the book is its cover design, it could have been much better. A few portions could have been framed better or could have taken a different turn; just my thought.

I would happily rate this book 4.25/5  🙂 and recommends it to all football and inspirational story lovers.

Book Review ~ Demons in My Mind (Aashish Gupta)

BLURB:

Dakshesh, an old man in Sirubari village suffering from cancer, wishes to be released from the excruciating pain. He requests the villagers to take him to the three monks. They are all intrigued by the legend of the mystical three monks. No one has seen them but only heard stories of miraculous healing they offered.
Knowing that the sick man’s death is imminent, the villagers leave him alone near the Pashupatinath temple hoping that the three monks, if they exist, would embrace him on the holy land. The old man wakes up to the sight of the three monks, but only to know that they are no saints but notorious criminals. What they tell Dakshesh in his last few breaths, shakes his entire perception of humanity and its sins

BOOK REVIEW

One day I chased the problem, Next day, the problem chased me, and kept chasing me forever – becoming  bigger and bigger, collecting the sand of time. Small battles with the mind every day turned into big unceasing wars.                                                                        This book is dedicated to those who are fighting similar wars with the mind. I want to tell them, no one can understand our struggles better than us. This book is a message that you are not alone.                                            ~ Demons In My Mind

Demons in my mind follows the path of a kind soul Dakshesh who wished nothing but an easy death, who is in his sick bed with excruciating pain rethinking what went wrong in his life for such kind of suffering; he believes that The Three Monks will be able to save him from this dilemma. What he expects to be a divine enlightenment turns out to something least expected, after all the face of truth is said to be dirty. The so-called three monks show him the strength of human mind or to be clear, the truth of human life.

It is indeed an outstanding and daring content that the book presented. It explores the darkness of human mind or say, its power; it sketches human life in grey shade. The writing style and presentation stick you to the pages, it is a thought striker and there is a great deal to ponder over from its content. Through the three monks the author presents you three different stories, three different dark tales where a man helplessly falls prey to the chaos of mind and circumstances. it conveys solid points to be reflected or pursue.

The only thing that put me off about it is that it took a great deal of time to frame up things which displeased my impatient soul a bit.

My rating for this book will be 4.5 / 5 😀 Book lovers who would love to read deep and thought provoking content, this is your pick!

Grab your copy from Amazon

The Girl Who Knew Too Much (Vikrant Khanna) ~ Book Review

Blurb:

Can true love bring someone back from the dead?Akshara is left devastated by her mother’s death and spends most of her time in solitude at the local park. One day, as she is sobbing uncontrollably, a young man named Harry approaches her. They become friends and Harry recounts to her a story about the miraculous reunion of a young woman and her dead boyfriend to help ease some of her pain. The story makes Akshara hopeful that she can perhaps see her dead mother again. But she soon realizes that Harry isn’t what he seems to be. Even the characters in his story seem dubious, almost unreal. So what is he hiding? And why? Is there any truth to his story at all?In this darkly suspenseful romance mystery, Akshara is left facing a truth that will make her doubt not just Harry but herself as well . . .

Book Review:

The Girl Who Knew Too Much took me to meet Akshara, her sorrow over her mother’s death. As a kind influence came, Harry with a story to share that could ease her pain. But that story shakes her life and strikes her thought to the extent of even doubting herself. What exactly is Harry up to? And what kind of story is that? Read the book to find more.

I loved the book cover and title of it, they simply made me eager to read it. The subtle humor, mystery and effective writing style along with Akshara’s predicaments attached me to the book. I found the plot line interesting along with its characters and their life. It slowly unfolded layers of thoughts to explore along with Akshara and Harvinder aka Harry. The concept is creative and the presentation is stimulating. The question it puts forward towards its lead character, as well as the reader,  is – “Are you ready to believe?”

It took really slow pace after a session of around 30 pages; that could have been taken care of. Also, the mystery and suspense should have been kept intact; it was a bit predictable.

I will rate this refreshing read 4.25/5 🙂 My fellow readers, do try this one it is interesting 😀

Grab your copy from: Amazon

The Flame of Anahata ~ Book Review

The Flame of Anahata: Love Conquers All... by [Umakanthan, Saranya]Blurb:
“They turned to see his tears of love wiping away her blood of agony…”
Diya throws Suraj’s proposal back in his face, leaving him broken-hearted. Why would she do so when she loved him desperately?
Suraj finds his Guruji unconscious beside a cave clutching the warrior Indrajith’s diary. His heart-rending love story then unfolds. Being trapped in a web of emotions, Indrajith endured the pain of his lost love, hurting himself and trampled Deepali’s hope for his adopted brother… Who was he?
Sealed for centuries and holding the Mann-Parivarthana astra, the cave is besieged by evil now. But all attempts to unlock it go futile. Faced with baffling hints, Suraj’s intelligence is sorely tested. What is the potent power required to break through that Paanch-Dost-Gupha?
THE FLAME OF ANAHATA!
Will the fire of love ever flicker in the hearts of Diya and Suraj?

Review:

“Love conquers the body by embracing it,
conquers the mind by massaging it,
conquers the heart by kissing it,
and conquers the soul by marrying it.
Love conquers all ……”

The Flame of Anahata – Love Conquers all takes you through two different time period with the concept of rebirth. It all starts from Diya turning down Suraj inspite of her love for him, so why exactly did she do that?! The answer remains in the past and it is up to Suraj to face this battle of time.

Re births, mysery and fantasy … all grab my attention in a book quickly and that worked well for this book. I loved how my favourite themes are presented so amazingly in THE FLAME OF ANAHATA. There were a lot of interesting parts to it like the meaning of Anahat, panch gupha, the chakra … a lot of things that made my eyes twinkle 😉 . The plot line and the way the concept of love is presented contributes to the strength of this book and I would like to appreciate the author for pulling out it so well, even though the base material for it is common for a fantasy historic thriller, she was able to add on and blend things to produce something different and outstanding. The reading experience was like that of watching a movie, the words turned into actions in front of my inner eyes.

The only thing that disappointed me is it’s cover design, the anime like girl and the army… I don’t think it worked out well and gives out that seriousness of the plot.

I will rate this book 4.5/5. Book lovers out there, do grab a copy … it is just brilliant!

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About the Author:
Saranya Umakanthan is a software engineer by profession and a two-time university topper. An avid reader, she enjoys playing with words. She loves coffee, books and online shopping. Nothing brings her more contentment than seeing a reader enjoying her book. The fragrance and texture of paperback novels inspire her and she hangs out at bookstores frequently.

Book Review ~ UNNS – The Captivation

Blurb:

“Of course you know about the seven stages of love, but have you ever lived them?” Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim. Lovebirds since adolescence. Bonded by love, separated by circumstances. They part ways only to meet again. But this time, he is on a secret mission… Are they in control of their own destiny, or it is their destiny which is making them dance to its tunes? Only time would answer, as Atharva and Meher unwillingly and unknowingly transcend the seven stages of love. A quintessential tale of love and romance marked beautifully by its own rustic old school charm.

Review:

Atharva and Meher will lead you through out in UNNS as you turn its pages. Those two individuals, how their life gets entangled , broken and  retied over the course of time with the strings of love, duty and responsibilities is what UNNS presents. UNNS unfolds seven stages of love , from attraction to death.

After reading all those cliche , similar romance fiction UNNS took me by surprise it presented me something different, much to my delight. After an initial plain phase, the story gradually gained momentum and took me over a roller-coaster ride of twists and turns. Character Atharva with his professional profile of RAW introduces suspense and thrill to the plot. The stages of love passing over like seasons like how the book co relates will surely impress you. There is a beauty to the Urdu ( I guess ) titles of the seven stages of love. I would like to appreciate the author’s experiment with the thread; he tried to pull in a lot of things to weave them to get a master piece and it succeeded to an extend without being much crowded.

The title and book cover – a bit dull to me, personal opinion there since i felt it failed to make it stand out from usual romance tales, doing justice to the plot…. you know! There were points where it became a bit more than what could be real but yes, anything can happen in life right?!

Overall it was a really interesting read and I would rate it 4.25/5 … If you want a refreshing romantic read do, get a copy! 🙂

Grab your copy from Amazon

About the Author

Brought up in the city of Nawabs, Lucknow, Sapan did B. Tech in Information & Technology from Motilal Nehru National Institute of Technology, Allahabad.He started taking interest in writing on various spiritual and mythological subjects during his college days and his work found place in leading newspapers on many occasions. His profession is engineering but writing is his passion. He connects and finds links of modernization with mythology having keen interest in the same.
Sapan married in the year 2011 and is now the proud father of a toddler. A responsible father, a loving husband, a supportive brother and a caring son, Sapan generates time to write.

The Three Wise Monkeys (Jeet Gian) – Book Review

Blurb:

The trio Amar, Akbar and Anthony had no clue whatsoever about their goddammit indecisive-careers-and-indefinite-struggles.
And that was because they were born with the Peter Pan Syndrome and were simple enough to be tricked by anyone, including their mystifying girlfriends—Meghna, Farah and Sarah.
And as is the fate of all morons, they were drawn into trouble—deep trouble—of hiding crores of rupees of black money in secret offshore companies.

Will their mistake of turning a blind eye to the philosophy of ‘See no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil’ cost them their careers and put them in prison?
Or
Will Lady Luck change their fortunes forever?

Review:

This is my second book from Jeet Gian and once again the plot revolves around CA life, not enginneers 😛 ; The Three Wise Monkeys after The 3-U Turns of My Life, i doubt the author’s liking towards 3 for the title there … 😉 .. So here it is a light read about the trio lead Amar, Akbar and Anthony wrapped in humor with their Peter Pan Syndrome i.e a not so serious psychological state where people are not ready to behave like grown ups but remain childish… You know dil toh baccha hai ji 🙂 Their clueless and laid back life style along with this syndrome takes their life on a roller coaster ride … will they learn their lessons and mature? Well get a copy to know more.

The three monkeys as in the trio keeps it lively throughout the story. The book really makes you laugh out hard; I would say this one is a good tension reliever. It also discuss serious issues of our society like black money, career, CA life , money laundering and so on. The plot is refreshing and funny and i must say writing humor and making readers laugh is a really tough job and Jeet Gian did it effortlessly; guess what it starts from the dedication page itself, its a laughter ride throughout! There are a lot of scenes to crack you up and linger in your mind… say… those that can pop out of nowhere and make you laugh later on in day to day life 😛 ( I myself did that in between my class  😛 after reading the book luckily no one noticed … phew! )  The writing style is impressive, book cover attractive and title does justice. It is a typical entertainment package with a good amount of serious thoughts conveyed. It’s just some parts it felt like dragged and there were a few editing mistakes but those can be ignored.

I will rate this 4.5/5 🙂 and would love to read more from this author. My readers, do grab this one because you know laughter and smiles are good anti-ageing medicine 😉

Grab your copy from: Amazon

P.S: I used a lot of smileys for the review itself, reflecting my experience of reading the book . LOL 😀 !

Book Review – Khan vs Kahn vs Kanh (N S Ravi)

Blurb:

The three Khans, Akbar, Amit and Chris, spelt their surnames differently but the Indian filmgoer still liked them. They were the uncrowned kings and superstars of the Hindi film industry. ‘Uncrowned’ meant there was no clarity about who was better than the other. This confusion was on display from the way they tried to run down each other in private and public.
Baba Ram Karim was everything rolled into one-a philanthropist, businessman, film financier, race horse breeder, educationist and much more. Some called him Don behind his back!
The three superstars indulge in ruckus and childish behaviour during Baba’s famous Iftar party where they were invitees. A furious and unhappy Baba plans retribution and calls it Khan Vs Kahn Vs Kanh.

Review:

Lights… Camera … Action!!! this what came to my mind first when I took Khan vs Kahn vs Kanh to read 😉 it took me to meet 3 khans of Bollywood with spelling difference in their surname. Working in the same field on an equal level and fan following, they were like feathers of the same bird yet so different. Things get interesting when they gets caught up for retribution by the unhappy Baba for their doings.

It was so refreshing to read such a different and new plot line; Khan vs Kahn vs Kanh presents you something entirely distinctive… bored of all the romance and old-wine-in-new-bottles? This is your pick!!! I loved how it explores the bollywood world behind and before the lights and camera… after all bollywood inside happenings are always hot topics. The author succeeded in inculcating that glamorous lifestyle in this book. The brief history of Indian Cinema given is informative as well as interesting. Another highlight is that how each character carries themselves in the plot; it is sketched out well, their individual change and growth according to the happenings of life!

The book cover could have been much-much better and the content is a bit lengthy but overall its an impressive one!

I will rate this 4.75 / 5 😀 . As i said, tired of similar and predictable reads?! This one is your pick!

Grab your copy from: Amazon