Write & Watch

Salesh Dipak Fernando

Tag: BOOK REVIEW (Page 1 of 2)

BOOK REVIEW – RANDOMLY ORDERED

 

This review wasn’t on the cards an hour ago.  Picking up Randomly Ordered for reading was an instinctive reaction. For starters, I loved note at the beginning which gave the readers an idea of what to expect. More often than not our working days are filled with set routines. Wake up, Go to Office, Finish the Day’s work, Come back Home and Sleep. It does like a mediocre day to the naked eye.

We seldom pause and reflect on the extraordinary sequence of thoughts that occupy our mind day in and day out.  From the time we wake up to the time we sleep our mind functions like a never-ending maze with each action and reaction resulting in a particular thought process. Randomly ordered amplifies an ordinary day in a person’s life by sprinkling it with extraordinary thoughts.

Randomly ordered is smartly written in the sense it packs in all the necessary elements to keep the readers hooked till the end. There is the Rajini- Illayaraja touch, a brief nostalgic time travel and more importantly it finishes with a flourish. Each Chapter is set in a particular time and my favorite is 1:35 PM. Read the novella and you will know why.

On the flip side the minor editing flaws, especially at the beginning, could have been avoided and a couple more chapters to nullify the huge time jumps would have made it a perfect read.

The author claims it to be an experiment of sorts but I believe it would appeal to everybody. All of us are used to the routine in our daily existence. Randomly Ordered adds a little bit of spice to our ordinary day. It is one of those nice, breezy, harmless reads which will make you feel good.

Pick it up if you love short reads which doesn’t take too much of your time.

 BOOK – RANDOMLY ORDERED

AUTHOR – KARTHIK PASUPATHY 

DREAM IT LIVE IT – BOOK REVIEW

I picked up Dream it Live it because of the title. It’s a very short breezy read which doesn’t stretch your imagination too much. It is a woman’s search for her identity and purpose.

The book starts off on a rant mode which was an unexpected surprise. To be frank it did put me off initially for I have rarely seen a protagonist adapt a negative tone to describe the conflict points. It was supposed to be an inspiring journey of a daughter in law but the tone was a contradiction.

But after a while I began to enjoy the contradiction. The protagonist spares no one, not even her husband and the narrative begins to make sense as you begin to identify yourself with the brutal honesty which prevails till the very end.

Once you begin to comprehend the smaller transformations that happen within the protagonist’s personal space the rants in the beginning begin to make sense. The first trip to Middle East, the struggle with a permanent disease and the way monotony at work paves the way for blogging were nostalgic trips down the memory lane. But the biggest clincher was the name of Harshika’s Blog Initium Novum which means New Beginnings which was the name of my first blog.  I found myself smiling.

The eventual triumph is gratifying but I still believe toning the rant at the beginning and a bit more of her fabulous life after the transformation would have made it perfect. But despite the flaws if you are daughter in law who has been at the receiving end  and if working Mom who shuffles her life between family, work and dreams this book is for you.

Amazon link 

Dream It Live It

STANDING ON AN APPLE BOX – BOOK REVIEW

 

I have reviewed books before but this one’s special. You don’t usually come back after an illness to review a book written by the Superstar’s Daughter. I love anything which gives me a glimpse of the Superstar’s life and that was the sole reason I picked up Standing on an Apple Box.

The book keeps you hooked with it’s simple narration and brevity. Aishwarya picks up the smaller fragments of her celebrity life to show us the pros and cons of being a star daughter. We all make that one common mistake. We place a star on a pedestal and want to have a sneak peek of everything that goes around him. We rarely realize there’s a family around him who go through their own ups and downs. Their insecurities mirror our own in more ways than one.

Her affinity towards coffee and radio and the love she had for her dog despite her inherent apprehensions were so touching and relatable. A funny take on perseverance too left me in splits. Her persistence towards pursuing law which was her passion in whatever way could is something we could all emulate.

I have a favourite passage too “ We are involuntarily teaching our kids that there is something better around every corner and in that process they forget to appreciate the present, Instead we should be telling them to make a choice and stick to it. Understand the value of what you possess. Life will always throw more at you. Know what to pick and what to will make you happy in the long run. Be it food, family, love, career or even cranky cooks”.

On the downside I would have loved to know a bit more about the bonding between the sisters and it did drag a bit towards the end with random inclusions. A few edit flaws too show up but these are minor blemishes in a simple yet heart-warming narration.

Go for it if you love the Superstar. Who doesn’t? This might reveal a different side of the star and his family if you are a fan. Go for it if you love simple narratives filled with real life anecdotes.

PS: Grandparents are desserts indeed!

 

 

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OLEANDER GIRL – BOOK REVIEW

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Oleander Girl – I picked this one up because of the title. I haven’t read One Amazing Thing yet. This is my first attempt at reviewing Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni’s work. After a long time a book left me with mixed emotions.

There’s a legacy that each us carry.  At times it is our only connecting point to a forgotten past. What if fate gives you a chance to re-discover your past? Would you take that gamble to discover your roots or will you embrace your present?  Oleander girl gives you the answers in it’s own unique way.

On the surface the book does seem like a girl’s search for her own identity. But Chitra deftly weaves in various subplots within this journey of self – discovery. Each of the sub-plots have their own implied meaning which is both a plus and a minus for when you have too many deviations from the main plot it almost tires and frustrates as you reader.

The book takes it’s own sweet time to grow on you. I loved the characters and what they stood for.  Each one of them have their own strengths and weaknesses. Even the Oleander girl isn’t perfect. They react to the situations around them in the best possible way. It is this aspect which made me overlook the flaws.

The finishing touch too is impressive as Chitra ties up loose ends with feasible solutions. The pace did bother me at times but the finish was soothing and gratifying. 

Pick this one up if you love a mix of self discovery and romance. This might be the work for you.

 

MAKE IT 2 – A QUESTION OF CHOICES

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Let me start with a candid confession MAKE IT 2 wasn’t an easy book to review.  The book is a mess a sweet, funny, erotic mess. We have all come across triangles before. So what makes this one different?

On the surface it does resemble the usual love triangle we have all come across before.  But for me it was always about the choices and their resulting consequences. It is not often that a reader encounters two strong, independent female characters in a love story.  This uniqueness makes the whole plot work.

We have two women who aren’t afraid to face the consequences of their own choices. The hero fittingly plays second fiddle. A major plus is the tone which is cheesy and erotic throughout. To do so with minimal sex sequences is a commendable feat.

The book is only 150 pages which makes it a light, breezy read.  Make It 2 once again highlights the importance of a good closure. A bad finish can ruin a good plot. On the other hand if the author gives a fitting finale it can make the reader forget all the flaws in the plot.  Sharada Vijay does that with admirable ease.

The only negative is the local lingo. I always believe love stories have universal appeal. Usage of the local language might act as a hindrance when there is a very good chance of reaching readers in different states. Perhaps a page could have been allotted to explain the native terms.  

Pick this one up if you like light, breezy romance with a tiny slice of erotica.

Sharada Vijay – Best Wishes for your next book.

My Rating : 3/5

Amazon Link : http://www.amazon.in/dp/9352063554/

FB Page link : Soul Scribbles

 

I AM 16 I CAN RAPE – IT'S ALL IN THE MIND

 

i am 16

It is not very often that a book has my attention for two full days. I AM 16 I CAN RAPE was like an obsession. I read it again and again to understand the level of impact.  No I am not going to state the obvious. I see way beyond that.

It is a very clever book.  The author bares it all with the title yet the reader is left with no choice but to keep turning the pages again and again. It is like watching a SUPERSTAR in action. A SUPERSTAR who knows his audience. Just when the audience think they have seen it all he stuns them with his final act. I have never been this mesmerized by an Indian Author before.

The author makes the readers look within each of her characters. She makes the readers understand why a character exhibits a certain behaviour. She gives each of her characters unique layers and peels them off one by one for the final reveal. She answers the WHY question with absolute clarity and that’s what makes this book a must read. 

The book reminded me of “THE MAHABHARATA”.  No I am not talking about DRAUPADI here. We all know who the real hero of the story is. It is KRISHNA’s centre stage. The others are playing the role he has assigned for them. 

This book isn’t just about RAPE alone. It is more a study of how different people react to their own environment.  It is a difficult read but an engaging one. Pick this one up if you like thrillers or if you want to understand deeper issues that plague the human mind. 

Kirtida Gautam – Thank you for the book and for renewing my interest in Psychology and my humble apologies for underestimating your potential as an author. But it is something most of us do. We fail to look beyond the surface or to be more appropriate we fail to SEEK. Did I actually apologize or did I leave a clue. Pick the book and find out.

MY RATING – A perfect 5/5

 

 

 

WITHOUT YOU – LOST AND FOUND

 

 

without u

I often wonder why romance is the most preferred genre.  Even upcoming writers prefer romance to give their writing career a head start. Detractors may argue that it is easier to pen a love story. But for an eternal optimist like me romance is always about hope. 

Love stories transport the readers to a magical world filled with hope. Without You does the same with ease. It is your typical lost and found story but what sets Without You apart from the rest is the geography and the detailing.

The description and detailing makes the reader travel with the protagonists and what a travel it is.   It’s a journey the reader would cherish. Another major plus is the stress on the importance of family values right from the very beginning.

On the surface it does look like your regular love story but if the reader is willing to scratch the surface there’s a lovely lesson of forgiveness and I loved the surprise element right towards the very end. Pick up the book to find out what it is.

There are a couple of negatives too. The names have been inter-changed in a couple of places and like all love stories Without You too has a few clichés which could have been avoided.

My Verdict – Pick up the book if you love ROMANCE and TRAVEL.

Rating 3/5

 

TAKE 2 – LOVE BLOSSOMS YET AGAIN

TAKE 2

Take 2 – A beautiful reminder that life is all about taking chances. I loved this book for one simple reason. Ruchi Singh takes a predictable plot and makes it work with her wonderful narrative style.

The first few pages give you an indication of how the story is going to progress. But the urge to turn the pages doesn’t stop. It’s a simple one line plot of how two hesitant personalities find solace in each other. 

The author doesn’t complicate things too much and keeps the tone light and breezy. It is an engaging battle of opposites. The protagonists are surrounded by likeable individuals who add their own colour to proceedings. 

 There’s warmth, friendship and love it’s wonderful cocktail to engage the reader.  And then we have self-centred former husband and the ever jealous colleague who provide the much needed spice towards the very end. 

A major plus is the clear character sketch. Each character in the plot is well defined  Go for it if you are die-hard romantic at heart. This lovely tale might re-affirm your faith in love yet again. It is a wonderful lesson on how to hold the reader’s attention with a simple plot.

My Rating 4/5 

 

 

 

AMONG THE STARS – BRIGHT AND SHINING

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The title fooled me. I picked this gem expecting “happily ever after” instead it gave some interesting ” life lessons.” It’s a very brave attempt. More often than not first time authors play it safe opting for the tried and tested. But here was someone who was willing to experiment with his very first book.

Each story is a puzzle with some clever wordplay which transforms the ordinary plots into an extraordinary assortment . Every end leads to a new beginning. Each of the stories are inter-linked in one way or another.

I think this book should come with a statutory warning ” Only for those who can read between the lines” and I mean it as a compliment. The vocabulary stunned me. There’s a lot of depth and promise within this lovely collection. 

The only negative -it might prove a difficult read for those at the beginning of their reading journey. There were quite a few places where the words could have been simplified.

Nevertheless I would recommend “AMONG THE STARS” to readers who are willing to pick up something different.

MY RATING – 4 STARS 

 

A MINUTE TO DEATH – A SPICY RIDE TO ?

 

 

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Sometimes we begin a journey not knowing our destination.  Along the way we encounter both roses and thorns. But we move forward with hope, with passion towards realizing our dreams. What if the whole journey turns out to be a nightmare? What if the passion that drives you becomes a dangerous obsession?

The plot – A writer and a police officer presented with a straight forward suicide case. Is it really suicide? You have to read the book to find out.

The pace of the book is an obvious plus. It’s barely 115 pages and a brisk read.  There are subtle hints which gain relevance towards the very end.  The bread crumbs serve their purpose. The author puts forth some very hard-hitting questions in the guise of a thriller.

It’s like wearing a mask. Peeling off the mask reveals an entirely different perspective. The success of any thriller depends on the author’s ability to outwit the readers and the book does that admirably well.

There are some glaring edit mistakes which have been rectified in the subsequent edition.  Another negative point was character development.  I felt a few more pages could have been devoted towards presenting the psychology of the characters as a justification of their actions. At times a simple character sketch can help elevate a plot.

But I choose to ignore the few negatives for the message the author wishes to convey.   I leave the readers with a question.  What is the extent to which you will go to get what you want? Will you give up everything you have to fulfill your dreams?

A compelling and thrilling read!

My rating – 4/5

 

 

 

 

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