Secretly yours – Book Review

I’ve not read any of Vikram Khanna’s previous books and hence, I thought I’d read one. The book is published by Penguin Books Limited and thats the only reason I picked this book. The title was not attractive, I didn’t like the cover as well but one thing that caught my attention was the blurb. I read this book with some basic expectations, but, surprisingly, the book didn’t satisfy the reader in me.
The plot was just another love story of a teenager built with a USP that the guy is capable of mind-reading. What I thought with the blurb and what the book offered was entirely different. There were obvious loopholes in the novel throughout, right from the murder parts to the age of the characters, there were mismatches from page one. The characters and the motivation behind each were not fleshed properly, a bit clumsy here. Could have been better though! 30295759
A penguin published book with editing flaws, mistakes, language, sentence structure errors etc.. So, it was disappointing!
Though cliched, a few parts were smile worthy and dialogues were good enough. Some parts were philosophical though. Not a great read, wouldn’t have picked if not for Penguin.
The sensitive topics should have been handled even better. Overall, I felt that a good plot was clumsified with cliched details.

Scarlet Nights by Mayur Patel – Book Review

First Impression: The title, cover, and the blurb is an instant attraction indeed. Pick-worthy novel with a winning plot. I love psychological thrillers and was so excited to read this book.
The story revolves around Malvika, just another Mumbai based businesswoman who is happy with her life. And, then Margrita happens! Read the novel to know more, because, I seldom spill spoilers.
Scarlet nights is a well-knitted novel, the alignment of scenes-chapters and the twin thread running along is commendable. A nail-biting experience precisely!  Author Mayur has done a great job with respect to the story which demands some brave attempts.
Wow Factors: 
  • Plot
  • Language, and diction
  • Editor has done a good job indeed
  • Fast-paced and well-knit chapters
Rating: 4/5
P.S I received a complimentary e-copy in exchange for a honest review.
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A Thousand Unspoken Words: Book Review

A book that I received some months back, I apologize for the late review. Genre being romance, I expected a girl-meet-boy, fall in love, fight, and get back on track types. Paulami Duttagupta presents a different shade of Romance novel which acutely states “Dude, you’ve read shit. This is romance. Now read on!” A Thousand Unspoken Words does talk a lot, a ride indeed.
The novel feeds my ego because the protogonist Tilottama falls in love with a writer. A writer named Musafir whom she had never met in life but just read his words. Musafir is not just another writer, he bleeds the issues and ends up running away. The way she talks about the author and his words are soothing and I felt so good about that. It is a dream for any author. So, the author Paulami gains a star from me for the setting and characters in here.
The story is based with a strong nerve lined on social and politcal issues which is different and is not dealt much on any romance genre.The characters are etched – Tilottama and Musafir (Riddhimaan) are fleshed beautifully. Both characters are strong and the motivation of their role is very well used. Other characters also look real to me. No hazel eyes, and curly hair type descriptions which makes the novel all the more real.
Language, grammar, diction were good. A decent novel to read. A bit of “tell” than “show” which didn’t really affect my reading spree.
Paulomi is indeed one author whom I expect to do well in the Indian Authors with this novel marking her on par.
If you like reading a novel that’s good and not just girl meet boy story – grab a copy.

 

“Her pout pose resembles a**hole,” he said.

Were there Facebook statuses posted for you without your name? Did your friend who turned an enemy recently post a indirect message? Did they reply that their status is for their cousin’s best friend’s daughter when politely dealt? and those brutally worthless replies and comments to irk you. Oh! Join the club. Read on.
As much as I love the internet for the connect across the world, with almost 2000 friends and 1500 followers, it also introduced me to bullying, with due respect to the internet, I am writing this post on behalf of the millions of youngsters voicing my thoughts on the assault. This post has details collected from various sources, friends and family after a brief discussion on this topic.
Trolling is not just about calling names. It is not about the “Bitch,” or “Bastard,” terms but much more. Because, when swear words are used, many are ready to intervene and say “Boss, not cool!” but when you’re bullied, you deal it alone.
We are all unique in our ways, all of us wear our self-respect on our sleeves and are working towards a goal to achieve. You and your friends are keen about the goals in mind, and the tireless efforts behind. One thing we fail to understand or rather never think about is how we are in the eyes of others. What’s their thoughts about you, and what they imagine you to be?
Most of us fail to understand that it is okay to disagree with the thoughts and opinions of others. None can force another to align their thoughts according to theirs. These days, I find people who accuse others when they get to know that the other is not ready to compromise their ideas. Here starts the dispute!
Let me hazard a guess here about me. To my family and friends, am someone who is passionate about writing. Some close friends are proud of who I am and say to their folks and colleagues that am an author. Feels good right? I thought this is the perspective of the world about me until bullying started. I’ve always participated in various writers and bloggers forums; I still have no clue what makes me so socially active.
She is so desperate to become the talk of the group. She wants to be known as the best author in here,” said one and “Yeah, she’s such an attention seeking whore,” replied the other. I was alarmed to hear this. Folks who don’t know me, whom I’ve never met, and whom I’ve just interacted via social media had this perspective, and this very thought kept running in my mind for the whole day, hurting my self-respect and self-esteem. Unenlightened as I was that it is not over, and I would experience even more.
I kept learning the craft and art of writing; I blogged about it for the AtoZ Challenge that strangers and few bloggers turned friends. One thing led to the other, and now, I’ve conducted three successful writing related workshop in Chennai. While the first was an unpaid gig, the second was paid by the college, and the third was a paid gig with a poster inviting people to pay and attend. Here, the next bullying started.
There was a status without my name that read “You’ve achieved nothing. What do you even know about writing to do a workshop.” while that hurt me to an extent the worst part followed one after the other. A friend who commented on my poster that I am a beautiful soul who helps others also commented on that status that he is extremely annoyed about my workshop, and it is disgusting that I am making money out of it. How foolish was I to see a friend in him, indeed, he was a part of my first workshop. Though they know that am not entitled to take the entire money but only a portion of it, they emphasized and voiced that I am doing it. I wondered why they didn’t raise their voice against vanity publishing which gobbles authors money; I wanted to know why they don’t post about marketing services company which cost a bomb for it can be done at a cheaper rate.
“She asks her friends to post a selfie with her with the tagline ‘With my favorite author,'” read one comment. “With a pout, oh God, when she pouts it looks like the asshole,” said another guy. “No boss, that’s a duck face,” shot another. One after the other, the comments grew and to my surprise, those whom I thought are my friends were not. The bully still continues! And I still continue to grow. Just when this status was posted, I signed my contract for traditional publishing, and I have back to back articles in leading newspapers. No matter what people try to do when you’re destined to grow – you just grow.
These status messages are not even sensible for that matter. When one of my friends responded to the one who spoke ill about an NGO that is functioning well, his status message read “Ignore the illiterates and live happily,” while those who are a part of the NGO are well-learned and are in good position. When commented asking what he means by the term illiterates, he replied that those who annoy him are. One politely asked his address to gift him a dictionary, and boom, they were all blocked. Similarly, when the NGO personnel posted on Facebook calling volunteers to participate, there was another status saying “Am not revealing the NGO name, but, they are using social media as their marketing strategy.” When asked if there’s any government rule that NGO’s should not use social media, again, all were blocked. When they met him in person, he was so spineless to say he didn’t mean them. To post such status on social media is different from facing them in person.
Once when I was going pillion with my dad, A bike was parked in the middle of the road blocking other vehicles from moving. When my father crossed the bike owner, he read the word on the bike’s number plate loud which embarrassed the guy to a greater extent. My father spelled “NAVY,” loudly for all of them around to hear. He summed it all in just one word.
Here are my personal thoughts on Trolling/ cyberbullying/ online bullying:
First, understand that the world we live in is a creepy place. There are people who upload wardrobe malfunctions of a star on youtube. Mind you; they are stars for a reason and the uploaders are just anonymous or xSkatyto2boy16 who are just creepier and filthier to show their face to the world.
Keep this instance always in mind: When there were debates about how did actor Dhanush made it to the national award, and people talking about how he is not the well-deserved, he was selecting his expensive suit for the award function. He went to Bollywood and next he is all set to debut at Hollywood and is famous than other talented folks. And think of what the debaters are doing, you think they’re successful by any mean? a fat NO.
Those who bully are finding their ways to become famous. A few feel powerful when they hurt someone.
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You don’t have to be loud to prove something. You don’t have to throw stones at every dog that barks at you. Facebook and other social media platforms are microcosms.
You know your self-worth, you don’t have to prove it to anyone.
Ignore the mean and spend your time with those who encourage you to be a better version of what you are, because what’s dumber than bullying is to reply to it.
“If you’re insulting people on the internet, you must be ugly on the inside.” — Phil Lester
” If someone hurts you, don’t mind it ever because it is a Law of Nature that the tree that bears the sweetest fruits gets the maximum number of stones.” – Author unknown. Who is going to care if you’re not huge enough to bully? By bullying you, they try to become famous, isn’t it? Have you ever noticed, negative reviews spread faster than positives, and thereby making the reviewer famous? I know of a book marketing person who bullies and pulls the legs of all famous authors on Facebook to market herself.
Never react because that’s what the person who bullies wants from you. Their intention is to get you out of control and kindle your emotions. Your mental peace is important than such unproductive stimulus, isn’t it? Be mindful first and respond politely if required.
You reply to people. You reply to PEOPLE. Not anything else. Those who troll online, insult people online, focus on cyber bullying to become famous are not that. But, you are!
There are various cyberbullying instances of morphed images/ sharing your mobile number to unreliable resource/Sharing your images on unrelated sites and demeaning you. There are cyberbullying cases that lead to suicide attempts and loss of life. It is important to be mindful unless there’s a hole in the boat, It can never drown in the sea. Be that. No amount of negativity can bump your mind if you are confident enough and you know about your self-worth.
I ensured not to give a damn about bullying, this is how my social media icons folder looks like. Everytime I try to access social media, this reminds me that I should not give a fuck about anything that happens on Facebook.
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To sum it up, social media has given umpteen options to keep your profile off from people who will never be happy with you and your achievements, use it wisely!

6 Degrees – Game of Blogs: Book Review

I adore bloggers turned writers; I follow many a bloggers and adore a few. When I first heard about Blogadda and their #CelebrateBlogging campaign, I was thrilled. To know that Blogadda throws a few characters to them asking to knit a story as a team, judges being dignitaries like Ravi Subramanian Sir and Ashwin Sanghi, and to add more spice a few participants are bloggers whom I follow religiously quickened my interest to read this book. And, when Blogadda posted a call for reviews; I grabbed the opportunity. Click here to read about the birth of the concept.

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I don’t want to compare the 3 stories, so am reviewing each one by one.
  1. The Awakening – A sci-fi fiction in a matter of 150 pages. The opening scene was normal, nothing different from usual fiction but the end of the chapter is a good twist which makes you want to read more. At the end of each chapter there is a plot twist knit, and it was interesting. Good characters and detailed motivation behind each. Overall a good story! I follow Preethi Venugopala and she is one of the team members, so my expectations wrt The quality of writing, language, and diction are on par and commendable
Frown factors: The novel “Shows” than “Tell” – very descriptive. The pacing was not levelled; the chapters are slow from the beginning and at the end it picks speed, could have been done better types. The hype that the end of each chapter created didn’t justify the end of the novel.
  1. Entangled Lives – An exotic murder mystery. Very well-done! One of the best reads this year as I love mystery thrillers. The investigation part was handled properly without amiss. Interesting plot twists, one after the other. A real page-turner indeed. Loved the experience of reading this work. Kudos to the team! Am a fan of Srilakshmi’s lovebytes and I follow Sneha, good job! A fast paced novella with fleshy character traits and motivation. One cannot skim through this story; it has a lot of details in every line.
Frown factors: The world-building was a bit confusing in the middle.
  1. Missing – A journey within – The blurb talks about a child gone missing, I was afraid if that would fall under the lines of many thrillers I’ve read so far, surprisingly, it is not. A beautiful tale around LGBT and a man getting raped. The emotions are handled well, a very nice story around the plot with good conflicts knit throughout. Kudos to the team for working on this theme.
Frown factors: The guy’s interest towards another guy, and discovering his sexual orientation was not dealt properly.
Rating: 4/5
I received this book from blogadda for a video and blog review.

The Girl I used to be – April Henry

I was surfing through Goodreads and stumbled upon this book. The cover image was extremely attractive, and I loved the title next. The blurb was super interesting – The novel is about a girl named “Ariel” – her mom was killed and her father is the suspect, but after 14 years they find the jawbone of her father near the same place where her mom was killed and the murder case is re-opened. So if it was not her father, who else? Is the story!
The book was not within my usual budget, so I moved on surfing through a few other books. For 2-3 days the blurb, the cover, and the title kept running in my mind and then, I decided to give it a try.
This book kills you slowly, the pace is slow-medium without a change until you reach 80% of the novel. The story is beautiful – this is just an understatement. The novel deals with quite a lot of details.

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What I loved about the book?
Remorse – The deep regret and extreme guilt of Ariel and the folks around when they learn that her father is not the real murderer is just amazing. The pain is dealt so beautifully! For people who thoroughly hated someone for a reason so wrong, when they learn and wriggle around for taking such a bad decision was indeed knit right.
Olivia – The small girl “Ariel” the protagonist who is actually “Olivia” goes to a foster home post her parent’s death. We all travel along with her from her POV. A deep, strong and unshakeable character indeed!
Scenes – The scene where Olivia recollects how her mom fell down when she was killed, the scene where she walks into her home after fourteen years and recollects the window where she’d hide herself behind the curtains, her foster home memories, and many more were so touching and killed me slowly.
Diction – Fantastic!
A few lines from the novel:
“The air is filled with the trills and chirps of birds, punctuated with the occasional caw of a blue jay.”
The scene where Olivia recollects and explains her mom getting killed by someone – “Her arms slice through the air, windmilling as they do when we put on music and dance in the living room.” … “Then I know it’s raining blood, pock-marking the snow”
Why would I recommend this book?
  • Because the book is something more than what I first thought it would be
  • I love the diction, vocabulary, microscopic details, and sentence structures
  • This novel helps to understand how to knit a slow mystery novel that’s enticing
April Henry is in the list of my favorite authors now, and I bought 2 of her novels now. Would read and review soon!
 

The Secret of God’s Son by Usha Narayanan

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BOOK BLITZ


THE SECRET OF GOD’S SON

by

Usha Narayanan



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Blurb


‘The seas will devour the glorious city of Dwaraka. People will forget your name and your Gita!


May the world perish!

May the world perish!’


<span style=”font-family: georgia, times new roman, serif;”>With this cruel curse on Krishna, Queen Gandhari plunges mankind into the unspeakable evil of the Kali Yuga.</span><br />

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<span style=”font-family: georgia, times new roman, serif;”>It is up to Pradyumna to try and reverse the dire prediction. To journey into terrifying realms, confront Yama and Shiva, and to vanquish the Kali demon. And to do so, he must shed all that holds a mortal back-his arrogance, his fears, his baser instincts . . . He must lead his people out of the swirling vortex of greed, disease and misery.</span><br />

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<span style=”font-family: georgia, times new roman, serif;”>And there is one powerful weapon still — the secret surrounding his origin. Will he uncover it in time to fight off the cataclysm? In the answer lies the destiny of all humanity!</span></div>


Grab your copy @



About the author


USHA NARAYANAN


Usha Narayanan had a successful career in advertising, radio and corporate communications before becoming a full-time writer. She is the author of The Madras Mangler, a suspense thriller, and Love, Lies and Layoffs, a light-hearted office romance. The Secret of God’s Son is the sequel to her bestselling book, Pradyumna: Son of Krishna, which was published in July 2015. 


When she’s not juggling travel, writing and interviews, Usha reads everything from thrillers to romances, provided her cat isn’t fast asleep on her Kindle. She would love to hear from her readers here: author@ushanarayanan.com 


You can stalk her @


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Website | Facebook | Twitter 


Media mentions


Praise for Pradyumna: Son of Krishna


Usha Narayanan has taken a quantum leap . . . to the outright spine-tingling narrative from the leaves of a time before. This book is Indian writing coming of ageFemina


Like the best of our mythological tales, this too, is a multilayered one . . .There is valour, there is cowardice, there is glory, there is shame, there is sex, lies and deceptionThe Hindu


This engrossing tale takes readers on a mythological sagaTimes of India


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Hell to Pay (What Doesn’t Kill You, #7)

First Impression: Interesting title, simple cover design and a blurb that took me three reads to get the glitch. I kick started reading to quench my diction thirst, and yes, it paid off.
Overall Impression: A romantic mystery is indeed one of the hardest, because there are times where I read a few of those sorts where I skipped romance parts and read only the mystery. I always felt that romance in a mystery is speed breakers, but Pamela proved me wrong aligning the scenes on par with excellence.
What did I love about this book?
  • Expect the unexpected type of a story that intrigued me instantly
  • As I said, the diction peppered
  • Strong plot, pace so right and characters so believable
  • Humor trials did work out really well
There are no frown factors as such; I just loved the novel’s pace. It worked out so wonderfully, though initially it is tough to get the glitch, Pamela has done a great job with this novel so that it makes sense even as a standalone. Any who reads this book would want to read the previous set of the series, just like me.
Am just holding enough from spilling the beans about the mystery, it is indeed a must read and I would give 4/5 ratings for this nail-biting novel.

A Road Not Traveled : Book Review

First Impression:
The blurb of this novel was so good that I wanted to try this book, it was on a different lane altogether. The cover so good, and title pretty attractive just makes one flip the pages right away.
Overall Impression:
I was terrified with the choice of names in the beginning, it is pretty unusual for an Indie author to pick names that are not familiar in this region. The author just bags ratings because the concept he deals in this novel is amusing, different, and new. The author’s vision, creativity, and uniqueness would amaze the readers in the first go.

 

What did I like in the book?
  • Concept
  • The underlined motivating and inspiring vision knitted through
  • Humor peppered that makes us giggle at places
  • Characters were fleshed out enough, and just enough that would suit the novel. It was not over done unlike a few novels that I have read. Thanks to Alchem
  • It deals a lot of emotions throughout
Frown Factors:
  • Editing was good, but could have been much better. Grammatical errors and redundant words were disturbing the flow to an extent, but yes, pretty negligible though
Rating: 4/5

Wrong Means Right Ends : Book Review

First Impression: The cover of the novel conveys a confused pair in a trouble, and that matches the blurb. The blurb prompts a question, asking us to read to know what they lead does to get rid of a confusing complication that mushroomed.
Overall Impression: There are different characters, each of a kind which is properly fleshed out in this novel.  This novel makes room for romance and the author has used the space pretty well. A tinge of humor is peppered throughout to lighten the novel, and I would say it did work.
What did I like?
  • This book has fewer errors when compared to the previous release of the author.
  • I was worried about the regional language used in the previous book, and in this book, it has reduced to an extent. Makes the book a better read!
  • Lucid language used throughout – makes it a good read!
Frown Factors:
  • Predictable enough, that makes the reader skim than read
  • Reality takes a miss at some points and drama creeps in
Overall a decent read!
Rating: 3/5

Scribbomaniac!