Thursday, July 31, 2014

The Mystery of Bila Land by Nitish Krishna (Book Review-3.75*/5)!!!

     When you get a 149-pages book from a publisher like Notionpress with not so good quality cover page, what do you expect out of it? Nothing. And if it's from a debutante, you read it just because you have nothing else to read. Having no expectations, I read Nitish Krishna's The Mystery of Bila Land which is first part of the two-book series. The second part is named "Quest for the lost land" and will release later. Now as I am done reading, I can say that this is one of the few books that kept me alive throughout the story and never let me indulge in any thing else than reading the book. I wish if this book could have been of 100 more pages. I am dying to read the 2nd part and check it out if Vibhas finds the lost land again or the search continues. Somewhere, my heart says that he will find and lose it again. Did you see the excitement this book generated in me? I have started predicting the climax of its 2nd part which is yet to release even its synopsis. :-)

 Nitish Krishna has a wonderful power of story-telling. I won't say that he is a great writer but the way he has narrated the story makes you believe each and every part though some of them are totally hypothetical or impossible. He has written this book in a manner that it does not make you use much of your brain to remember the name of the characters and what happened when and why. Also the twists that keeps taking place happens at right time which neither takes the story down nor up. I wished if Nitish would have over-described few parts as it could have become one of those parts that a reader would have mentioned all his life as the best pieces he has ever read.

          Even though this book can be called from the genre of historical fiction but it is better than most of the books releasing these days as an adaptation of mythologies that we have already seen on television or read from great saints of India. The way Bilas are described and the land is mentioned shows how respectfully author has created the plot that assures the essence of the story isn't lost. I also loved the character of Madhav, Shubh and her father's a lot. Every character, even in a 150-pages book, is well-explained and created. You can feel every character's emotion. The climax of the book is something that takes this several levels up and does not let you feel let down even when it has a touch of sadness. That's where I developed respect for the story-telling skill of the author. This is one book I would ask everyone to read if they like reading historical fictions. It's a light read. I give it 3.75*/5. 



Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Secrets and Second Chances by Anita Shirodkar (Book Review-4.25*/5)!!!

      A 307-pages book with beautiful cover page falls in my hand 2 weeks ago titled "Secrets and Second Chances". It's published by Rupa in a way that it looks like one of the classics of old time. Anita Shirodkar has made her debut with this book. I read her sister's novel few weeks ago,"Manhattan Mango" by Madhuri Iyer and gave it 4.5*/5. Hence I had great expectations from this book the same way I had from Ketan Bhagat's book as I love reading Chetan Bhagat. :-) As I am done reading now, I can say that this is one of the most entertaining books I have read in recent times. No, it's not humorous but it's one of those masala movies that we love watching for too many superstars together, party songs and various twists and turns every now and then. 

          Authoress have a very good style of writing that keeps you intrigued with the story. Too many characters do play spoilsport in the beginning but later on, you get adjusted with them and start enjoying the connection everyone have with each other. Every character is totally justified in the book and no one is left abruptly in the middle of the story. The way mother-daughter story is handled in the book is quite new and challenging. It's not one of those stereotypes that you expect. Here, daughter finds out a very big secret about her mother still does not get judgmental and hyper. The way emotions are displayed whenever a fact is revealed reflects a lot about societies in metro cities. 

   Nandita Dharkar is the protagonist of the story. At one time, it's shown as if she is in love with 2 boys and other 2 boys are in love with her. One girl and four boys comes in the story but yet it does not become cheesy. Author has handled the plot very cleverly and kept the interest in the story alive. Generally, when a book is 307 pages thick, you know that it becomes boring and slow-paced at one point of time but it's not the case here. The scenario keeps changing regularly and you are always reading a new scene that's as interesting as anything. There's one thing that I would like to point- With each page, story could have been taken to next level but author decides to keep it at one level itself. Though the last few pages are the best part about the book but still, I wished if with each page right from the 1st page of the book, story could have been taken a level up. But still, book does wonder with you as a reader.

            Everyone wishes to read about the high societies in metro cities and this book is a wonderful opportunity to know about how the upper class reacts to things. A wonderful corporate lifestyle is also discussed. How an ex-boyfriend is treated with no melodrama is another wonderful factor in this story. How knowing the biggest secret kept by a mother is treated also shows how carefully author has written this book. Summarily, I would say that this book belongs in the genre of the movie "Cocktail". If you had loved that movie, you will surely find yourself in this book too. I give this book 4.25*/5. It can surely be enjoyed.



Sunday, July 13, 2014

EX...a twisted love story by Novoneel Chakraborty (Book Review:3.75*/5)!!!

        Novoneel Chakraborty came out with his 4th book, "EX- a twisted love story" on 7th October, 2013. I have finally read it today and I regret that I didn't read it for all these months that the book was in my shelf. The sole reason for postponing this book was its title "EX". I thought it's going to be that typical love story where the protagonist would get confused if he should go back to his ex-partner or move ahead in life and will eventually end up being with the EX. But now when I am done reading this, I am shocked to find that the book belongs to psychological-romantic-revenge thriller. And the author also claims it to be inspired by a true story. If it is, I must say that the book is written very well and holds you right from the beginning to the end.

          It's not easy to write about certain topics keeping Indian readers in mind but it's great that Novoneel managed to show guts by publishing this story. It has all the elements that will surprise and shock you with each page. The suspense has been kept very wonderfully throughout the book that does not make you predict what the climax will be. I had 3-4 versions of my own climax while I was reading the book but the way it has ended has surprised me. Definitely, Novoneel has hit the jackpot with this genre. His writing style has just improved immensely if you compare him with his previous books though they were masterpieces themselves. The way two stories are narrated alternatively is what makes you define Novoneel as a writer who has command on his thoughts and knows how to put in on paper that could manage his readers stay for all the pages that they will turn while reading. 

      The character of Neel is treated very well in spite of it being so dramatic at times. The way he has been defined initially is what makes his character so special for the rest of the book. The description of Jaipur Lit Fest is exciting and interests you as soon as you have just begun with the story. Managing to write about the character of Titiksha would have been another challenge for the author as she has so much wicked things about her to be discussed without making the writer look ugly and dirty with his thoughts. The only drawback that I felt at times while reading the book was its speed. Too much time has been consumed in explaining the nature of the protagonists. It's just the suspense that does not let you put the book aside but I wish the book could have been 50-pages thinner. I wish to give it 4 but I would cut .25 for stretching the story. So it's 3.75/5. This is the 4th time when Novoneel Chakraborty gets the same rating from me. :-) 



Friday, July 11, 2014

Dance to the 7 Tunes of Success to Nishit Lal (Book Review-3.75*/5)!!!

       Whenever I feel like reading a motivational book, I either pick up any one of the Robin Sharma's or Rhonda Byrne's books I have. Very rarely do I even attempt to pick anyone else if I have to read about how to lead a successful and happy life. Similarly, if I have to read something in the same genre or about spirituality, I go for books by Jaico publishing house. And I don't trust Indian authors when it comes to self-help book as they aren't as effective as foreign authors. I don't know how I managed to pick up Nishit Lal's "Dance to the 7 tunes of success". The main reason has been its publisher: Jaico. Cover of the book also says,"Change the world with your standards of excellence". Cover and small size of the book impresses you enough that even if you are not wanting, you will end up purchasing it.

           The writing style of the author is amazing and with each page, he ensures that you learn something about how to look at life. He has used very simple English to ensure that his readers get connected with his message otherwise the purpose for writing this book would have gone unidentified. He gives proper examples, fictitious stories and imaginary situations to make you understand the concept that he's preaching through this ambitious book. As I'm a great Robin Sharma fan, I felt as if author was also inspired by him while writing this book. It looks as if the book is wanna-be version of Robin's books. 

           The 7 tunes of success, according to Nishit Lal's theory, are Passion, Purpose, Productivity, Perception, Possibilities, Practice and Potential. The great thing is that author has not spent the whole chapter in explaining the meaning and intensity of this word, rather, he has spoken about different topics that were related to these tunes. Author hasn't dragged one topic much and made things short to keep the readers interested. I did find few explanations silly but except it, I didn't feel that the book lacked anything. There were some editing mistakes too. May be Jaico will have to work on its 2nd edition properly. I give this book- 3.75/5. You can surely read it as its motivating, inspiring and gives you a wake-up call.



Thursday, July 3, 2014

Cricket Changed My Life by Shamya Dasgupta (Book Review-4*/5)!!!

          What would you expect out of a book that's based on Cricket and specific Cricketers? I am sure you would be expecting summaries on Sachin-Dravid-Ganguly-Laxman-Sehwag's pre-Cricket and Cricket life. But what if the book does not have any of these Cricketers' story? You would be expecting Kohli-Raina-Dhoni-Yuvraj and co. in the book. Right? This is still not the case. That's what Shamya Dasgupta has surprisingly done in his 2nd non-fiction book "Cricket Changed my Life". No, he is not talking about how Cricket changed his life but of the few players that he talks about in the book. The tagline of the book says,"Stories of Hope and Despair from the IPL and elsewhere". The first book by Shamya Dasgupta was based upon Boxing in India. 

         When I picked up this book to read, I was sure that I would get disappointed in the end as who would like to know about the Cricketers who are known only in the First-class Cricket or IPL, in the best case. But now when I am done reading the book, I am surprised with the approach of the author of letting us know about many stars who didn't have the destiny to be in the Indian Cricket Team but they are as good as anybody playing in their times. Though author has a bias towards all these players because of which they are in the book but he makes no restrictions while telling how bad they performed in the seasons when it mattered most for their career. This is what makes reading Shamya through this book an interesting journey. 
     Author hasn't wasted time in describing how these players picked bat or ball for the first time in their life. He directly starts telling us about their average as batsman and bowler in all formats and then let the cricketer himself explain why he isn't where he was supposed to be. Author also allows Cricketers to themselves tell about their childhood, teenage days and how hard it was to take an entry into Cricket. We all have seen likes of Pravin Tambe, Iqbal Abdullah, Stuart Binny, Mandeep Singh and Rajat Bhatia playing IPL matches but did we ever try to know their life and struggle behind it? Never. Such Cricketers are explored in this book which makes you respect each one of them because of the hardships they have gone through but still couldn't achieve what supposed to be their ultimate target.

         Author has also managed to mention Ajit Chandila and Siddharth Trivedi who were wonderful players but caught in the IPL 2013 match-fixing scandal. Author's explanation of why Siddharth Trivedi isn't culprit also looks innocent. It also have mention of Aakash Chopra's life who we have seen commentating and sharing expert advises on Cricket. It also covers players from Nagaland and Himachal Pradesh who have been ignored by the selectors just because they weren't from the cities which develop Cricketers. THE IPL IMPORTS section introduces Ryan Ten Doeschate and Shakib Al Hasan which was a wonderful idea to be put into this book consisting of Indians. 

         Reading this book, you will realize how sad life of a Cricketer is. Someone is not in the team because of his age in spite of good performances, some have lost the chance because of continuous injuries, some could not play in the Indian team in spite of being in India's Top-3 wicket-keepers because they are born in the times when Dhoni is ruling as keeper and some others who are playing Cricket not to enter the Indian team but just because they like playing. I also came to the conclusion that many players are targeting an IPL entry just because they know they can never be in country's cricket team and they need to earn lots of money through Cricket as they know playing the game ONLY. A wonderful attempt by the author which will open your eyes and see IPL with a very different perspective when it's back next year. The cover page of the book is one of the most interesting covers I have seen in recent times. I give this book 4/5. 



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