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Hello!! Welcome to my world :) I am a B.E. student and a self declared Bibliophile. Reading has taken its toll on me and now its time I pen something myself ;) Apart from my love for books, I also love sketching, painting, singing and cooking (Well only for the occasional experiments that i make ;)) Of course, now writing top the above list! This blog is a platform for me to share my thoughts. If you like any of my posts, do stop by and leave a comment :)

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Monday, 26 January 2015

Title: Angelic Beats  

Author: Sarita Singh
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd
ISBN: 978-93-84226-50-3
Number of Pages: 247
Price: 175 [INR]


Blurb on the Book:

Angelic Beats is the story of a boy in his late teens who falls in love with a married woman. Both defy their ages; the woman for her looks and innocence and the boy for his confidence and clarity in life along with integrity. The journey of the boy for his passion also becomes journey of love for both that finally takes them to more meaningful destinations. It unfolds the changing perspective of a young boy and a married woman in various situations of life treading the path of love and success together. How they carry on with love and friendship as a responsibility is quintessence to their journeys.

Love can make one completely blind or it can candle all the darkness in life.

Sometimes destiny becomes the greatest magician. It brings two opposite people, Sahil and Aakanksha, on one platform. Even their personal statuses do not match for one is married and the other single. One is confident about making choices in life, whereas the other is always scared of making a choice. One is always positive, and the other is negative in outlook.

Unlike mathematics, where "+" and "-" always make "-", sometimes in real life, "+" and "-" do make a "+" together.

On the road leading to his passion, he happened to meet the first love of his love too. Before going to the National Defence Academy for the journey to be a commissioned officer in Indian Air Force finally, he introduced "love" in her and his own life and pledged his heart to her. The arrows of Cupid struck her also.

Do their final choices engulf all other relationships like a storm and rage and bleed their self-esteem? Or are they able to carry their choices gracefully through their quest for happiness?

My Review:

The protagonist Sahil is a 19 year old whose dream is to join the Airforce. He  is strong, determined and follows his dream passionately. On his journey to the NDA, he meets Akanksha, who is 24 and married! But this doesn't stop them from falling for each other and the story there after is how they carry on with their lives while nurturing this love of theirs.

Amidst all the odds, Sahil and Akanksha find a way to be each others strength, love providing the necessary support needed. But how long will they be able to carry on this love? Will they be able to face the society and their family?

I liked the positive approach of Sahil towards life. His confidence and his perseverance are something that can inspire you. The story starts well and is fast paced till a certain point but from the middle of the story, the pace slows down and it gets a little boring. While it is interesting to learn about the life at NDA, too much details slows down the story pace and the reader loses interest slightly.

Here are some lines that I liked from the book:

  • Love is never planned nor does it happen for a reason. It just happens.
  • When you are bitten by bug called Love, everything seems perfect.
  • With strength comes clarity of thoughts.
All in all, I felt the book was OK. The language is simple and straight forward. Apart from few additional details which slows down the plot, the story makes a good read.

My Rating2.5/5 stars


Buy @

Meet the Author:

The author, Sarita Singh, is a post-graduate in chemistry with a post-graduate diploma in mass communications. Born and brought up in Panipat, Haryana, she has been married to a doctor and is blessed with a son. The author is a state civil services (allied) officer, who has also taught in various institutions earlier. Reading and writing have always been a part of Sarita Singh who used to write her diary from a very young age. Like many others, she too loves gossiping and enjoying with friends and family as she loves spending time with them. The author believes in a few optimistic thoughts: “I am alright, I am happy where I am now, but I wish to be somewhere else. And I will try for it.”


You can stalk her @
                          

     

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Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Wednesday, 21 January 2015


Title: Canvas of Dreams
Author: Jaya Siva Murthy 
Publisher: Indireads Incorporated
Number of Pages: 102
Price: 119 [INR] on Amazon.in
Genre: Romance
Format: E-book

The Blurb:

Riya seems to have lost everything - the man she loves to another woman, her husband to death and her soul to fear. An unexpected meeting with her first love, Ryan, stirs up long repressed feelings but also allows her to move out of the long shadow of the past. Unburdened, she feels free to pursue her dream of opening an art gallery and the handsome and intriguing artist Rehaan. But memories of her marriage refuse to fade away and then suddenly, Ryan shows up in her life again. Now, Riya must find the courage to reconcile her past and present. For Riya, life is a canvas of dreams. Can she distinguish between reality and fantasy?

My Review:

Riya is an art curator, who goes to Singapore on work. Unexpectedly, she meets Ryan, the love of her life, whom she had lost to another woman years ago. Riya finds that she still has feelings for Ryan and things seem to fall back in place instantly. But before they could go further, reality hits her and she makes an escape; again!

The story is woven around Riya's dreams or rather nightmares. Since the death of her abusive husband, for which she holds herself responsible, these nightmares continue to haunt her every single night. She is terrified and lost. When Rehaan comes to her life, will she be able to accept his love? Will she be able to forget her past and give herself another chance?

The story  portrays the struggle she goes through to let go the past, face her fears and embrace her dreams. The story is about dreams, love and friendship. I loved how the story is woven, showing the soft as well as tough side of Riya at the same time. The language is simple and the flow is smooth. Till the very end, the suspense is well maintained as with whom Riya will end up. Amidst all the confusion in her life, her will to pursue her dreams is praise worthy. I just wish there was a little more about the male protagonist.

Here are some of the lines I liked from the book:

  • Love is complex, like a pani puri. It's hard outside, yet can contain so much. That's a relationship for you. You never know what happens and how, and before you know it, it bloody ends.
  • When life gets tough, you get tougher.
  • It's not about how similar or how different two people are. A relationship is about whether they are able to celebrate and enjoy those similarities and dissimilarities.
All in all, it is a short and refreshing read. I would suggest it to all romance novel lovers.

My Rating3.5/5 Stars



Buy @


Meet the Author:

Jaya Siva Murty is a business writer and social media manager from Visakhapatnam, India. Fascinated with the written word since the age of ten, she would file away her poems and short stories in a secret diary, till some were finally published by ‘Times of India’ and ‘Savvy’. She has written for the Economic Times and now provides India-relevant stories for a Hong Kong based magazine. When she’s not designing content for websites, or writing technical blogs and articles for clients worldwide, she spins yarns with unusual twists and turns through her works of fiction.


Jaya holds a business management degree and has taken creativity lessons at Stanford University. ‘Canvas of Dreams’ is her debut foray into novella writing.



      You can stalk her @
                          

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Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)


Friday, 16 January 2015

Title: The Aryavrata Chronicles, Book 3 - Kurukshetra
Author: Krishna Udayasankar
Publisher: Hachette India
ISBN: 978-93-5009-718-2
Number of Pages: 427
Price: 350 [INR]
Genre: Mythofiction


Blurb on the Cover:

War is upon the realm, but is Aryavrata prepared for what it will bring?

The empire that was Aryavrata fades under the shadow of doom. As a botter struggle ensues to gain control of the divided kingdoms, Krishna Dwaipayana Vyasa of the Firstborn and the Secret Keeper of the Firewrights both watch from the wings as their own blood, their kin, savage and kill on the fields of Kurukshetra. Restraint and reason have deserted the rulers who once protected the land and they manipulate, scheme and destroy with abandon - for victory is all that matters.

At the heart of the storm stands Govinda Shauri, driven by fickle allies and failed kings to the very brink of darkness. He may well be the greatest danger Aryavrata has faced yet, for he is determined to change things forever. Reforging the forsaken realm in the fire of his wrath, he prepares to destroy everything he loves and make the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of one last hope: that humanity will rise, that there will be revolution.

In this spectacular, gripping episode of The Aryavrata Chronicles, Krishna Udayasankar's recreation of the world of the Mahabharata establishes her as a storyteller of formidable power and imagination.

My Review:

The book Kurukshetra is the third and final installment of The Aryavrata Chronicles. The first two books in this trilogy are Govinda and Kaurava. The first book 'Govinda' deals with Govinda's plot to destroy the Fire Wrights and make Dharma (the name of Yudhistira in this trilogy) the emperor of Aryavrata. The second deals with the after math of this; the dice game and the consequences that follow, leading to the big war. The third book, as the name suggests, is about the great war of Kurukshetra.

The story of Mahabharatha, though similar to the epic we have read, is still different in many ways. In the very beginning, the author writes "We are the stories we tell. The Aryavrata Chronicles are neither reinterpretation nor retelling. These stories are a construction of reality based on a completely different set of assumptions" Here, the characters are not divine. They are all ordinary people. There are no miracles; instead the author has given logical explanation to events which were termed miracles.

The story begins with Govinda's peace proposal, which is rejected by Syoddhan (Duryodhan). What follows is the series of events, where both the sides try to form allies with other kings, trying to expand their forces. Though they prepare for the war, there is still hope in everyone that it wouldn't come down to war and the other side would surrender. But when peace proceedings fail, it leads to the great battle.

I was waiting to see what form this war would take, as the author has mortalised all the characters. What would be the war like without the divine astras used during the wars? But by hinting that the arrows were coated with nitre, which caused such massive destruction during war, the author has managed this part brilliantly. The war takes the centre stage of the book and almost 200 pages is devoted to the 18 days war, but never once does the reader loses interest. The author has managed to narrate the whole story with precision keeping the reader engaged throughout.

The author has done justice to almost all characters, without letting just some dominate the whole story. Even Syoddhan has been portrayed as a Just ruler, who fights for what he believes is right - The Divine Order and their way of life. By showing compassion to Abhimanyu during the battle, he wins the hearts of the reader. On the other hand, Dharma fails to do so. Dharma was supposed to be all great but reading this book, one cannot stop themselves from harboring ill feeling s towards him. Reading about his reactions during war councils, his pushing Abhimanyu towards the chakra formation, even when he knew the chances of Abhimanyu returning back safe is almost nil, his behaviour towards Hidimbya and even toward Govinda; they all make you wonder if he is really the same Yudhishtira whose praises are sung with devotion! I didn't like this part of the book where Dharma was downgraded.

One more story line, which I enjoyed was that of Abhimanyu and Uttara. Stuck in a marriage which both weren't happy to begin with, there is a barrier between them which both fight to keep and break at the same time. But eventually, love finds its way. There is particularly one line which Uttara says to Abhimanyu "If a woman is truly your equal, prince, then there is no need to talk about it. The more you spout these declarations and postulates, the more you reveal the truth of the matter - that in your world, women are not equal to men, and so rhetoric to the contrary is required" It speaks volumes about Uttara's courage. One cannot help but feel the pain when Abhimanyu is so brutally killed later in the war.

There are many mytholgical incidents, which Krishna Udayasankar deals with reason. She has managed to give attention to even minute details, to keep the readers in loop as to why things are the way they are. For instance, when describing the war arrangements, she says there were different kitchens in each units and sometimes more than one in each sub unit. This arrangement was to reduce the risk of poisoning the army either accidentally or deliberately. A simple yet effective approach. It was easy to keep up with the story. Her writing is eloquent and engaging; her narration skills exceptional.

Here are a few quotes from the book that I loved:

  • In every story, there are heroes. But it is not always the heroes who move the tale forward or do what needs to be done. There are others and their story is hardly told.
  • True rebellion takes courage of different sorts. True rebellion takes letting go.
  • No one person can save the world. But the fact that we all try, against all odds, is what the world is worth saving for.
  • What amazing creatures we are, to carry this very essence of existence within us. Hope -  the undefined potential of all creation, the power of the creator itself.
  • No one person is the cause for or consequence of all that happens. I am just the tenth man, the threshold, the turn in the tide. I stand here on the shoulders of humanity, a mere instrument of Time.
The book makes a great read. Without miracles and just logical reasons to support the events, it seems more believable. The pace is perfect, slowing down only when need be, without exaggerating anything unnecessary. I will suggest this book to all mythology lovers.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars.

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Title: Rainbow - Shades of Love  

Author: Aman Jassal
Publisher: Teenage Publishers
ISBN: 9788192932422
Number of Pages: 176
Price: 150 [INR]
Genre: Fiction/Romance


Blurb on the Cover:

Love = Sex? Love + Sex = ?? Love - Sex = ??? Sex - Love = ????

This is not a book to teach you about love or how to get a beautiful girl to bed, rather it reveals how bad things can get if  you don't set your priorities right. It's a story about the most explored life aspect 'Love' 'Sex'.

Yuvi, a pleasure seeking boy,falls victim to the same notorious life facet called love. Simran's beauty sweeps him off from his feet and he leaves no stone unturned to seek her special attention.

As he falls in love, he also sleeps around with all the erroneous girls, and when his fate threatens to take his love down, he promises himself to stop all of this and come out of the wreckage... But then, his past deeds come back to his present, and tears his life apart. What follows is an uneasy course of getting his love back on board.

The Story reveals the life of today's youth, their friendships, feelings, priorities, and ineptitude to handle relationships while not forgetting their turmoil between the two critical facets of life: LOVE & SEX.

Love makes the world go round... Or is it Sex? Based on real life experiences and tea time gossips.

My Review:

I received this book from the author in exchange of an honest review. It's always a pleasure to receive a signed copy. Yes! I am crazy about author signed books. Thanks Aman for sending it across.


When I read the blurb, I was under the impression that this book will just revolve around Love and Sex as those are the words stressed so much in the blurb. Though I am not wrong, I have to say, they aren't the only things in the story; it deals with much more.

The very first thing I liked about this book was the dedication which says "Dedicated to the fairer sex". I guess it was a smart choice on part of the author to dedicate this book to the female population; it makes them frown less by the end of the book after learning about all those thoughts of men!

The story revolves around Yuvi and his love life. Everything is normal and boring in his life until Simran appears, whose beauty enthralls him. What started as a bet between him and Sunny, slowly turns into something more serious and before he knows, he is in Love! What more can he ask for when Simran reciprocates his feelings?

But what is a love story without some drama? The story has everything - the girl's brother and cousins who can beat up the guy, opposition from the family, break ups, help from friends. Even if their love withstands all the odds, can it survive when Yuvi cheats on Simran? Will Simran be able to look past his mistakes and forgive him? You will have to read the book to find out that.

The book gives a sneak peek into the life of boys - their thoughts, their friendship and their life at PG. At times, it was fun and at times, it made me shudder. I also liked the idea of naming the chapters with the colors of rainbow and signifying that particular emotion in that chapter.

Though there are plus points, the book has a major drawback - very poor editing! The book looks like it is a draft copy, not the final edited version. There are so many places where editing is required and this results in the reader losing interest! Also, the blurb gives away much of the plot, with little left for the readers to guess. Much of the story was predictable.

Here are a few quotes I liked from the book:
  • Bosses are like clouds; the minute they disappear, the day suddenly gets brighter.
  • Men wouldn't lie as much to the women in their life, if the women didn't ask so many questions.
  • Most people aim at nothing in life and hit it with amazing accuracy
  • When life deals you a rough hand, it's not about how strong you are but how many people out there believe in you. It's the relationships you've built and the trust you've deposited in the goodwill bank which you will cash-on to get that second lease of life.
  • Love is the most beautiful of dreams and the worst of nightmares.
All in all, I would say the book is average. Few efforts in the editing department could have made it better. I suggest this book to romance readers who love a lot of drama in the story.

My Rating3/5 stars

PS: Linking this post to the Write Tribe Pro Blogger Challenge.

Until the next review,
Keep Reading :)

Love,
Swathi :)

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