Leatherback and the strange place by Shubhra Shah

41-UqadKivL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_ (1).jpgI received the book, Leatherback and the strange place by Shubhra Shah, as a review copy from Writer’s Melon and am thankful to Writers Melon and the author for the book.

The blurb:

Leatherback is a hundred and something years old, and finds Queenie, the cat and Loro, the parrot too rowdy! But she likes Sara, who once was the girl with no confidence. How Sara turned her weakness into strength is a story to tell.

One day, Sara’s mother vanishes into thin air! The animals decide to solve the mystery that has left the Seed household frozen. Leatherback and her team decide to investigate the suspects’ houses to look for Lolita.

The secret and the stories that they discover in the houses leave them shocked and startled. But where was Lolita? Who had taken her?

All Leatherback had wanted was a quiet summer, but she had no idea that she was about to enter a whirlwind of mysterious secrets and adventures.

The story:

Leatherback, a hundred plus year old turtle is Tanya’s pet turtle and considers herself as Tanya’s torty mother. But Leatherback has to spend the summer vacations at Tanya’ friend, Sara’s house because Tanya has to go for swimming competitions and pets are not allowed. Leatherback is upset because she does not like Sara’s cat, Queenie and her brother’s parrot, Loro.

But Leatherback adjusts herself and even makes friends with Queenie and starts liking Loro. She even attends the Spellbee with Sara only to comeback and find Sara’s mother missing. She has been kidnapped and Sara’s father is receiving threats.

So what happens next?

My take:

The book has been written from the point of view of Leatherback, the hundred plus year old turtle. And the characters, both human and non-human, are well developed. Sara and the other children are realistic and even the problems, the jealousy and also the friendships between them. The names of the animal characters are very interesting.

The book has been written in simple English which is easy to understand and whenever she has used difficult words, she has given the meaning in the book itself. The illustrations are beautiful and the book has a multitude of activities like jumbled words, join the dots, colour the pictures, the word maze and unscrambling words. There are beautiful poems as well and also there are a lot of facts mentioned as the story proceeds.

The plot is well developed and not did I get bored and also the suspense kept me going chapter after chapter.

I loved the way the author has used the story to convey many values to the children.

I enjoyed the book more as I was reading it along with my kids, alternatively, we would read one chapter, pass the book and then read the next, so we took a longer time finishing the book. And we did the puzzles together and also the Spellbee.

Loved the book, and would recommend it to children and their parents.

Disclaimer: I received a free e-copy of the book from Writer’s Melon in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

 

Across the line by Nayanika Mahtani

unnamed4I received the book Across the line by Nayanika Mahtani as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful them for the same.

The blurb:

A tale of borders and beliefs shaped by the games people play

1947

New Delhi. Cyril Radcliffe’s hands are clammy, partly from the heat but mostly from the enormity of the task assigned. Mopping the sweat off his brow, he picks up his pen, draws a deep breath–and a dark line.

Rawalpindi. A barbaric frenzy of rioters fills the streets, disrupting a game of pithoo between Toshi and her brother, Tarlok, shattering their lives unimaginably.

2008
Rawalpindi
. Cricket-crazy Inaya is sneaking out behind her father’s back for net practice when she discovers that she is not the only one in her family keeping a secret.

New Delhi. Jai accidentally stumbles upon an old, hidden away diary in his kitchen. The date of its last entry: 17 August 1947.

As Jai and Inaya’s unlikely worlds collide, another story unfolds. A story that started with the drawing of a line. A story that shifts the truth in their lives.

The story:

The story starts in 1947 with a reluctant Radcliffe planning of partition between India and Pakistan at the behest of Lord Mountbatten. And what follows is the partition and the riots and bloodbath that come with it. Ten-year-old Toshi Sahni loses her parents and six-year brother Tarlok, leaves her home in Rawalpindi, Pakistan with the help of their Muslim neighbours and reaches Delhi as a refugee with her grandparents. At the same time, in New Delhi, India, the Haiders suffer the same fate and have to move to Rawalpindi with the help of their Hindu servants.

The story moves to 2008, Toshi is now a grandmother and lives in Delhi with her son, Rajan, his wife Arathi and their fourteen-year-old son, Jai. One day, they find a diary with entries written in Urdu, with the last date as 17 August 1947, and a piece of jewellery.

Inaya Haider, a budding cricketer, lives with her father and grandparents in Rawalpindi. Her father wants her to concentrate on her studies, but she qualifies for tape ball tournament in London.

So, Inaya goes to London with her grandparents and Jai, with his grandmother because Arathi is there on a project and the two of them meet and Jai and Inaya cannot stand the sight of each other.

My take:

The story is set in Delhi, Rawalpindi and London and moves from 1947 to 2008 to 2012. The author has used the story to portray many themes, the partition and its effects, cricket and food. She has used the characters to portray the emotions. The story shows how people in the subcontinent are similar to each other in looks, in their dressing up and also eating habits.

The characters are realistic and relatable and I got attached to them as the story moved on. I felt for them, laughed with them and cried with them.

The language is simple and the descriptions of scenes is detailed. I could visualize them vividly. The two instances when the cricket match was described was so detailed that I could see the match before my eyes. She has narrated the story beautifully adding humour here and there.

Though the story movers between the past and the present, I never got lost. Though I felt that the end could have been better.

This book is a must read for teenagers and adults alike, for the younger ones to realise the suffering our forefathers went through and for the adults to realise that how things changed because of a line drawn by someone who did not know what he was drawing.

Highly recommended.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Raising a True Winner: Ignite the best in your child by Tanuja Sodhi

41uDF-51N+L._SX325_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book Raising a True Winner: Ignite the best in your child by Tanuja Sodhi as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Clueless about your parenting prowess?

Does climbing a mountain seem easier to you than bringing up your child?

Seeking sound guidance on how to prepare your child to handle real-life situations?

Look no further!

Tanuja Sodhi, author of the acclaimed book Parenting in the Age of McDonald’s, returns with another invaluable guide to help you be a better parent. Raising a True Winner offers useful and simple-to-follow guidelines on how to bring up a well-rounded child who grows up to be a happy, responsible, and compassionate adult. Its enlightening insights will help you be a super parent, and provide you with:

  • Tips to increase your child’s emotional quotient (EQ) through open-ended conversations
  • Ways of instilling empathy through ‘teachable’ moments
  • Pointers to sharpen intellect through easy brain-drills
  • Ways to practise mindfulness through specific interventions like journaling
  • Essential life-skills to help your child deal with myriad challenges

And much more!

So, get ready to build a rock-solid foundation for your child based on powerful, research-backed strategies. Add this book to your parenting toolkit NOW!

My take:

Spread across ten chapters which cover important aspects of upbringing, this book on parenting covers childhood and various aspects of it with illustrated examples and scenarios. The book also suggests ways for parents to reboot.  The simple tips by the author from her experience over the years are really helpful. She has talked about study time and play time and also the nutrition, which I think would help me most as my kids are now in their teens. Social skills is another chapter which is very important in today’s context.

This book should help all parents to help develop their children emotionally, socially and intellectually. Written in simple language this book is interspersed with examples which are easy to follow.

I would recommend this book to all parents with both young and grown up kids.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

The Incredible Adventures of Mr Cheeks: The Carnival of Hastings by Tazmeen Amna

unnamed8I received the book, The Incredible Adventures of Mr Cheeks: The Carnival of Hastings by Tazmeen Amna, as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful them for the same.

The Blurb:

‘Bunneez cannot seeng,’ the goat said.

‘Not posibaal. Ze nightingales already booked!’

The Annual Carnival of Hastings is fast approaching and Mr Cheeks, a dapper tap-dancing chihuahua; Mr Grey, a grumpy Persian cat who paints; and Hopper, an anxious rabbit who sings, are super excited! All geared up to show their uniqueness, they set out to sign up for the talent shows. But little do they know that in Hastings, everyone has their set roles: only nightingales are allowed to sing and only peacocks can dance. But is that fair? Seeking to bring about a change, the oddballs hatch a risky yet brilliant plan to teach Hastings about free will and the joy of not fitting in. An exciting journey ensues, where the three friends face the challenge of following their heart -even when it isn’t the easiest thing to do.

The story:

Set in the Quaint and charming Village Hastings.

The popular and stylish Mr Cheeks, a chihuahua who loves to tap dance among other things; Mr Grey, a large tabby cat known for his gorgeous fur, grand personality and artistic temperament and Mr Hopper, a bunny who sings and plays the ukulele is an unlikely trio of friends.

This trio wants to participate in the Annual Carnival of Hastings, which is just round the corner. But this village has a Parliament of Owls which says that everyone has a defined role, only nightingales can sing can dance.

So what does the trio do to ascertain that they can display their talent?

Read the book to find out.

My take:

When I was reading this book, I felt that I was a kid who had been sent to the village Hastings to see what is going on. The animal characters are so human, I could just picturise them. The names of the characters have been chosen well. The descriptions of scenes are detailed and the scenes could be easily visualised.

The language is simple and the pace of the story is such that children of all ages would be able to follow it. The illustrations are beautiful. I loved the thought behind the book, that if we decide to do something, we will definitely find a way to do it and also make a success of it.

A MUST READ for kids and adults.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

She dared: Women in Indian Sports by Abhishek Dubey and Sanjeeb Mukherjea

51rIhS2huIL._SX318_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book She dared: Women in Indian Sports by Abhishek Dubey and Sanjeeb Mukherjea as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

These are the stories of leading women of Indian sports, starting with the Golden girls, P.T.Usha, M.D. Valsamma, Shiny Wilson and Vandana Rao, to Ashwini Nachappa, Anju Bobby George, Karnam Malleswari, M.C. Mary Kom, Sania Mirza, Saina Nehwal, P.V. Sindhu, Deepa Malik, Sakshi Malik, Jwala Gutta, Ashwini Ponnappa, Dipa Karmakar, Dutee Chand, Deepika Kumari, Santhi Soundarajan, Hima Das, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu, Rani Rampal, Manu Bhaker, Apurvi Chandela and Anjum Moudgil.

Senior journalists Abhishek Dubai and Sanjeeb Mukherjea travel the length and breadth of the country to bring out stories that have taken shape after a series of conversations with these leading sportspersons over a period of time. The two interact with their family members, support staff and their coaches, and report from ground zero, gathering facts from the most authentic sources to get a first-hand feel of their struggles and undying aspirations.

My take:

I had heard of PT Usha and Shiny Abraham when we were kids. And they were the Indian sportswomen that made us proud. And now we have quite a few of them.

This book is a collection of 15 chapters of Indian sportswomen who made us proud, how they overcame the hurdles and achieved success in what they wanted to. The book has been written in simple English and takes the reader through the struggles these women had to face to get what they wanted.

An encouraging book, She Dared, is one book that should be read by kids and adults alike.

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Darkless by Tanushree Singh

unnamed1I received the book Darkless by Tanushree Singh as a review copy from the publisher and am thankful to them for the same

The blurb:

On a night when the moon shone and the little specks of light danced on the ceiling, Ani lay awake. ‘It’s dark,’ he said.

Everything has turned dark in Ani’s life. Dobby, Nani, friends – he has them all by his side. But he pulls away from them.

Will Ani ever find his way out of the darkness?

My take:

A beautifully written book depicting the bond between a child and his mother. Though the target audience is young kids, but I feel it should be us parents to understand how our children feel about us and we should respect those feelings. The illustrations are beautiful and are presented from Ani’s point of view. This book reminded me of my childhood when my mother had to travel for some family commitments and we would miss her. This book made me realise that when I tell my kids that I have to travel for work and they become sad, I should respect their feelings and not brush them away saying that I have to leave.

A must, must read.

 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Tara and the Talismanic Potion commotion by Ekta Bhatnagar

41oOV-a4ktL._SX340_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book Tara and the Talismanic Potion commotion by Ekta Bhatnagar as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

Tara is a smart, eleven year old girl who loves to read books about magic and adventure. She is bored during her summer vacations as she has already read all her books. So when she meets a good witch in real life, she is ecstatic. On top of that she is now friends with the witch’s cat too. But the witch and the cat are looking for a lost Talisman and believe that Tara or someone that Tara knows has it. This involves Tara in some serious potion making activities and giving those ‘not-so-trustworthy’ potions to her friends and family.

But there are other dangerous creatures as well who want the Talisman badly and they can magically transform anyone into anything! It is now up to Tara to find and get the Talisman to safety before it gets in the wrong hands.

The story:

Eleven year old Tara lives in Delhi with her parents, her grandmother and her dog, Pancake. Summer vacations are on and her father is away on official work, so Tara has to tolerate her mother’s sandwiches and her poopy grandma. And to make matters worse, most of the kids in her society, though they are not her close friends, are away except Sandy and Ryan. And she has finished her quota of books that her mother had bought for her to read.

One day, she is walking her dog when she comes across her neighbour, Mrs Sullivan, who lives with her cat, Mystique and feeds ravens. And she also makes nice potions, because she is a good witch. Mrs Sullivan’s magic globe tells her that either Tara or someone Tara knows has the Talisman that she is looking for.

And thus starts the search for the talisman.

My take:

I loved the story and how it has been written. There is fun and there is a mystery also. There are witches and wizards and also there is a school for them. There are magic potions and how they work on the people.

The characters are realistic and relatable and the language is simple and the story is fast paced. The book took me back to my school days when we used to look for some mystery to solve.

Looking forward to more books by the author.

DISCLAIMER: I received a free copy of the book from the author in exchange of an honest review. I have not received any monetary compensation for the same.

 

Twenty nine going on Thirty by Andaleeb Wajid

51wFtKNZFQL._SX324_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgTwenty nine going on Thirty by Andaleeb Wajid is a cute little story of four girls who are twenty nine going on thirty.

The blurb:

Priya is turning thirty and is overwhelmed. Living in Bengaluru with her best friend, Farida, and working as the social media head of a software firm, she’s feeling the weight of becoming a responsible thirty-year-old. Not just this, she also has to fend off her mother’s persistent queries about when she intends to get married. Things begin to look up when Priya bumps into her charming new neighbour, Ajay. Sparks fly, but she soon finds out that he’s a widower and has some baggage to deal with.

Thankfully, Priya finds moral support in the fact that her friends Farida, Mini and Namrata are approaching the three-O milestone too. Free-spirited Farida, shy Namrata, feisty Mini and Priya are brought together by family drama, boy trouble, and the fast-approaching birthdays. As they navigate love and friendships, they realize there’s a difference between growing up and growing old . . .

The story:

Four women. Four different personalities. Four different backgrounds. Doing different things. They have one thing in common. They are all twenty nine going on thirty.

Priya, works in a software company and her mother wants her to get married soon. Her roommate and best friend, Farida, is an artist who moved with her after her relatives harassed her. Namrata, an intern in Priya’s company, is a fatherless child who lives with her mother at the mercy of her brother and sister-in-law. She is a timid girl who silently observes all that is going around her. Mini, Priya’s colleague, a software engineer who dresses a bit weirdly, is getting over a breakup.

And then there are the boys: Priya’s good looking neighbour, a widower with a five year old daughter; Farida’s childhood crush who is engaged to be married and the office heart-throb. And not to mention Priya’s infuriating boss.

My take:

I read this book at a sweet pace, enjoying every minute of the book. I remember the time when I was turning thirty and my mother was pestering me to get married.

The characters are real, and their problems seem so genuine. Their office stories, their heartbreaks, their family problems and their gossips over tea/ coffee.

The book has small chapters and really moves fast, one moment, I thought, where is the book going and the next moment I was enjoying it so much that I could not keep it down. Though I felt a little lost at the end, a little more closure about the other girls would have made it a bit better.

 

 

Accidentally Ever After by Mariyam Hasnain

51TFeuWF-kL.jpgI received the book Accidentally Ever After by Mariyam Hasnain as an ARC from StoryOrigin and the author and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

A Second Chances Holiday Romance

Vikram Jaysingh doesn’t do one-night stands. And if he ever does, the only thing he cares about is to keep his partner safe from accidental pregnancy.

The woman he meets at the pub is beautiful. Vikram can’t take his hands off her gorgeous curves. Breaking his rule for the mysterious young woman could probably be the biggest mistake of Vikram’s life.

But he doesn’t regret it at all. Except that this time his one-night fling has gotten under his skin. Except that the sultry female disappears the next day without even uttering a word to Vikram.

Would Vikram ever be able to find the mysterious woman he spent a night with?

If yes, would she reciprocate Vikram’s feelings?

What would be the outcome of Vikram breaking his rules for the night?

The story:

Vikram Jaysingh, 27, the only child of his parents, left India for Italy with his mother when his parents separated. Now, he is back in India, and is trying to save his father’s company. Having had his share of flings, Vikram has one rule in life, he does not do one night stands. And while growing up he had one rule, he would never let emotions rule his logical thinking. And then he visits a night club and ends up having a one night stand with girl whose name he does not know and who leaves without telling him. All he knows that the girl’s name starts with N as she has signed her note. He cannot get her out of his mind and feels he knows her from his past.

Natasha has been Vikram’s high school classmate and has been in love with him since then. So, when he left for Italy, she wanted to forget him once and for all and buried herself in books and went on to do her MBA. After her tryst with Vikram, she runs away from home and finds a job as a waitress in a café in Krishnagiri.

Five months later, she meets Vikram, who is in Krishnagiri on business, and he offers her a job.

My take:

The story is simple with a lot of twists and turns. The characters are well developed and the relationship between Keshav and Vikram has been described well. The story moves at a fast pace, but I feel that it could have been edited better and that would make it crisp. The narrative confused me a bit. I liked the characters and wanted to know more about them.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of the book from StoryOrigin in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.

Accidental Husband: An Indian Billionaire Romance by M V Kasi

51LuI46lH4L.jpgI picked up Accidental Husband: An Indian Billionaire Romance by M V Kasi from the Kindle Unlimited Library.

The blurb:

A billionaire farmer. A city bred woman. An accidental marriage. And falling in love…
Priya Shankar‘s life has been planned by her high-achieving mother even before her birth.
Things always went by the rigid plan, except three years ago when Priya had met a gorgeous man during her trip to Vegas. A wild, passionate weekend was followed by an impulsive marriage and a hasty divorce.

And now, on the verge of accepting the proposal from a man hand-picked by her mother, Priya found out that her divorce hadn’t gone through! And that she must make a secretive trip to a small village in India to find the man she had married and have him sign on the divorce papers again.

The problem? Arjun Pratap, her accidental husband, doesn’t want a divorce! And worse, he’s even challenged that within a month, he would change her mind.
With stolen kisses in the wide open fields, adventurous tractor rides and camping under the stars—can she resist the sexy farmer who is determined to use every bit of his wicked charms to make her stay married to him?

ACCIDENTAL HUSBAND is a passionate standalone romance.

The story:

Priya Shankar is the only child of an ambitious single mother who wants to Priya to be as successful as she is. So she plans everything for Priya including her work and her marriage. In Vegas for a meeting, Priya takes a break, and meets Arjun Pratap, and marries him. The marriage is followed by a divorce and Priya manages to keep everything away from her mother.

Now, three years later, Priya’s mother has found a suitable alliance for her and Priya is OK with it because it means her mother would be happy, but she does not bargain for is that the marriage has not been annulled. And for Arjun’s signatures on the dotted line, she has to travel to India from the US as he says he will do it in person.

And once she is in India, she realises that Arjun is a farmer and wants to know more about her and spend time with her. And then if they think that their marriage is a disaster, would he sign on the papers.

My take:

The story is simple and revolves around the main characters. The secondary characters have some role to play in the story. The scenes have been described vividly. The language is simple and the story moves pretty fast.