The light in blackout by Farah Naqvi

31PJMNVEz+L._BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book, The light in blackout by Farah Naqvi, as a review copy from Author’s Channel and am thankful to them for the same.

The blurb:

Alizah’s wonderful childhood that revolved around waking up to the sound of chirping birds, playing under the trees with siblings and friends, watching rabbits run, listening to fairy tales under a moonlit sky is suddenly turned upside down by the knock of an unexpected visitor. She is left shattered by strange shocks and jerks in her body gripped by the cruel paws of epilepsy. This sudden turbulence in her life makes her weak, vulnerable, anxious and unsure of herself, where she finds her future bleak. She struggles with her health condition as she enters college. While her best friend Meera who is all set to soar high, clearing her medical entrance, is pulled down by her own family.

Alizah is determined to chase her career dreams and stand by her best friend when she needs her the most. Will she be strong enough to do it? Will she be able to embrace true love when she finds it in Sahil?

A simple, honest and inspiring story of Alizah will take you on a ride to childhood innocence, family ties, the spark of growing up years, enduring hardship with a smile and finding love in troubled times.

The story:

Alizah, 9, lives with her family in Lucknow. She has a happy childhood and her sister, Amna,14, and brother, Arish ,12, dote on her. She has a best friend, Meera, who lives near her house. Though not an excellent student, she does well in studies and is liked by her teachers. Things are happy happy until she has seizures one day when she is 13. Her parents, siblings and friends try to hide the episode and the illness from her until she has a seizure in school and one of her classmates tells her what happened. And what follows is what her family dreads, Alizah stressed out and scared. This continues until her graduation. Then with the correct treatment, we see a butterfly come out from the cocoon.

During her postgraduation, she meets Sahil, who falls in love with her, but she is unable to commit because of health reasons.

What happens next………..

My take:

The book starts with a prologue which kept me guessing and I had to start the book as soon as I finished it. The author has described Aliza’s life in details from her happy childhood, her traumatic middle years, her happy days and her stressful days.

The book describes through the story, about how people are apprehensive about epilepsy and how wrongly placed their apprehensions are.

The characters are relatable and described well. The author has stressed on the value of relationships- both within the family and outside of it. The book has been written well, but I feel good editing and crisper format would make the book more likable. The language is simple and the detailed story just flows from one page to next.

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

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Grieve with Understanding: We Will Meet Again… by Farzana Sarup

51xZ2OKz5kL._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_I received the book, Grieve with Understanding: We Will Meet Again… by Farzana Sarup, as a review copy and am thankful to her for the same.

The blurb:

God had made up his mind. No one could do anything to cure Mona’s mother. Her cancer had returned aggressively, and all one could do was accept God’s will. Was Mona’s faith being tested, or had God failed her? Was God the creator or a destroyer? Mona gradually began to understand all the answers to her questions as her mother’s soul prepared to journey into the next realm. The spiritual experiences she witnessed during the time assured her that her loved ones would always be with her in spirit and they would reunite once their journey ended.

My take:

I was a little skeptical when I started this book, because this is one topic that is very difficult to handle both as a person and as a reader. So, I was not sure how the author would have handled it as a writer.

The author has used Mona, the protagonist, as a medium to convey her thoughts. Mona is just like one of us. She fights with her mother (I do a lot too), her sibling and blames God for things not happening her way. She lives in India while her mother lives with her younger brother in the US. The author gives us an idea of Mona’s upbringing, her growing up years, her family and her present life. She also gives us an idea as to why she is what she is.

The story is a simple description of the emotions one goes through while seeing a loved one pass on to the other world. The slow process of death and the suffering the patient as well as the family members go through.

This book opened a lot of emotions that one feels when they know that the person they love is suffering from a terminal illness and would succumb to it one day.

Please do read this book, but with the warning, that it would make you cry without even you realising it.

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

Aspire to Inspire: Poems that elevate your speech by Nasreen Variyawa

51c86jSkB0LI received the book Aspire to Inspire: Poems that elevate your speech by  from the author as a review copy. This book is a collection of poems. And I must confess, that this is the first time that I am reviewing a book with poems.

The blurb:

Aspire to Inspire: Poems that elevate your speech is a book full of poems that defy all norms and rules for poetry writing. The authors work is packed with words that rhyme and when read with rhythm, are delightful to the tongue and ears alike. Right from the acknowledgements and dedications at the beginning of the book till the concluding statements at the back of the book, the author has aspired to be lyrical throughout. Written between 2017 and 2018 in Antalya, Turkey, all the poems in the book are simultaneously independent but connected to each other by way of the subject of leadership. Nasreen has always held that Leaders don’t need titles and aren’t necessarily from the corporate world. All people are leaders in whatever they do and so she has written a diverse range of poems that are aimed at inspiring massive action in whatever people want to do or accomplish in their lives.

In Aspire to Inspire: Poems that will elevate your speech, motivational speakers, teachers, trainers and coaches can look forward to 100 poems that can be used at the beginning, middle and concluding parts of presentations. The author has written short but powerful poems on love, leadership, spirituality, strength, abuse, authenticity, financial management, communication, listening, heartbreak and family to name but a few. Whatever the subject, the poems embody the aspect of leading oneself in different aspects of life and living. They teach simple but powerful lessons and reach the point of the subject very quickly. Speakers using them can begin the objective of a speech quickly, make valid points during a speech by breaking the monotony and conclude just as powerfully at the end of a talk.

In an industry overflowing with advice in the form of quotes that are either overused or recycled, Aspire to Inspire: Poems that will elevate your speech is a fresh, innovative and entertaining way to influence an audience, persuade a client or simply lead passionately. The book is a must have for your coffee tables, library shelves, office desks and makes for a thoughtful gift.

My take:

This book is a MUST read. I have not read much poetry nor reviewed much and was a little apprehensive in starting this book, but I must say that these hundred poems are so inspiring that I was hooked to the book. And this book is not to be read once or in one sitting. It can be read poem by poem as and when you want to read it.

And the best part is that the language is simple and can be easily understood.

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

FUN WITH ENGLISH SERIES: Wondrous words by Sonia Mehta

81-Lwx3EflL._AC_UL320_SR248,320_.jpgI received the book Wondrous words by Sonia Mehta as a review copy from the publisher. This is the fifth book of the six book Fun With English Series. It is a series of workbooks that focus on teaching English language concepts through fun and challenging activities. Each book is 46 pages long and the cover mentions that it is for children seven and above.

About the FUN WITH ENGLISH SERIES:

Do idioms intimidate you? Do you find proverbs problematic?

Do you look at words and go, what on earth does that mean?

Is punctuation a pain? Fear not, English can be funny language, but it is actually pretty fun to learn too! The Fun with ENGLISH series focuses on all the strange, silly, unusual and fun things that are part of the English language – you’ll never think of words, proverbs, figures of speech, idioms and punctuation as boring again.

The blurb:

Words, words, words. Words that sound the same and mean different things or mean the same thing but sound different; words that are noises and words that have silent letters…there are just so many different kinds of words in English! This book is jam-packed with fun activities for you to learn and practice using new and interesting words.

My take:

At the beginning of the book, the author has a note for the parents and teachers. In the note to the kids, the author has explained about synonyms, homophones and homographs.

This book has 22 synonyms, 14 homophones and 12 homographs.

And there are activities like matching, choosing the correct answer, crossword, cracking the code, jumbled words, maze, searching for synonyms. finding mistakes, using the correct homophone, word grid, meanings, matching homographs to pictures.

My favourite was homographs.

I would recommend this book to young and old 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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

FUN WITH ENGLISH SERIES: Perfect Punctuation by Sonia Mehta

51GrixFFtQL._SX384_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgI received the book Perfect Punctuation by Sonia Mehta as a review copy from the publisher. This is the second book of the six book Fun With English Series. It is a series of workbooks that focus on teaching English language concepts through fun and challenging activities. Each book is 46 pages long and the cover mentions that it is for children seven and above.

About the FUN WITH ENGLISH SERIES:

Do idioms intimidate you? Do you find proverbs problematic?

Do you look at words and go, what on earth does that mean?

Is punctuation a pain? Fear not, English can be funny language, but it is actually pretty fun to learn too! The Fun with ENGLISH series focuses on all the strange, silly, unusual and fun things that are part of the English language – you’ll never think of words, proverbs, figures of speech, idioms and punctuation as boring again.

The blurb:

Punctuation is just a big word for a lot of little dots and dashes! If you’ve ever been confused by commas, ellipses, full stops and all the rest, get ready to learn how easy they can be. This book is jam-packed with fun activities for you to learn and practice using punctuation.

My take:

At the beginning of the book, the author starts with a note to the parents and children. In her note to the kids, she has briefly described the commonly used eight punctuation marks. Even I did not know what ‘ellipses’ were, I actually used to call them dot, dot, dot!

This is followed by punctuation exercises, choose the correctly punctuated sentences, word grid, matching the name to the punctuation mark, mazes- question mark maze, exclamation mark maze, punctuation quiz, punctuation path, punctuation potpourri, puzzle, crack the code, exclamation word search, unscrambling words, jumbled words and my favourite, hidden marks.

I loved solving the puzzles in the book and would recommend the book to adults and children 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.

Mystery of the Plastic Rings (The Green World) by Sonia Mehta

51bkWC-nsPL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgThe Mystery of the Plastic Rings (The Green World) by Sonia Mehta is the fifth book of The Green World Series published by Puffin. This series of story-cum-activity books for children aims to teach environmental awareness early on. This book has 64 pages and is targeted at children of six years and over. I am thankful to the publisher for providing me a review copy of the book.

MEET THE ECONUTS

Dewy, Woosh, Petals, Pebbles and Waggy call themselves the Econuts because they are simply nuts about ecology and the environment!

Learn all about the many ways in which you can help save Planet Earth in this series of story-and-activity books, aimed at generating ecological awareness through a mix of fiction, puzzles, games, activities and more.

The blurb:

Pebbles finds some plastic rings buried in his garden. He has no idea what they are or where they’ve come from. When Pebbles and the Econuts get together to figure it out, they stumble on something very scary. What do they discover and what do they do about it? Read on to find out.

My take:

The five friends are digging the garden in the backyard of Pebble’s house when they come across a packet with plastic rings in it and a name on it. And they start looking for the person to whom the packet belongs.

The author used beautiful illustrations and different mind games like matching picures and their shadows, colouring, solving mystery, countinfg circles in a picture, finding the odd word, spot the difference, separating garbage, rhyming words, find out hidden words, a maze, a grid and also some space for the child to record the activities done by them called ‘my environment diary’. There are activities like making a newspaper shopping bag, tin can wind chimes, too. She has used the book to make the reader aware of the facts regarding plastics, how we can reuse and recycle things, and also how we can save our trees. The best part of the book is the earth champion stickers.

I loved the book and recommend it to all children and their parents.

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.

We Women Wonder: Dreams, Desires, Struggles & Triumphs by Inderpreet Uppal

51prrQ8cFvLI received We Women Wonder: Dreams, Desires, Struggles & Triumphs by Inderpreet Uppal as a review copy from the author and am thankful to her for the same. Started as 26 posts for the A to Z Challenge years ago, this book deals with issues that we face in our life and have never acknowledged.

The blurb:

“When a woman becomes her own best friend, life is easier.”– Diane Von Furstenberg.
Thoughts, quotes and determination can make a woman stronger, a survivor but she is a winner regardless.

This book is the story of every woman, you might find your reflection too.

A journey into what keeps us women ticking.

What annoys the hell out of us?

What are we women really about?

How does the world see us?

Is the world changing for us or are we just dreaming?

What is our success and what it means to a woman?

We Women Wonder, I often do, don’t you?

My take:

A well researched book written by a woman for a woman. Just today, the radio had a contest for women to tell them as to why cannot wear what they want to wear, and this book deals with many such things.

In simple English, the author has expressed her opinion regarding many issues that we face in our life but have never acknowledged them. She has written in a way that she is talking to the reader and that made me sit up and read every word carefully. It also made me introspect and realise about a lot of things. The chapters are arranged alphabetically and deal with issues pertaining to women. Each chapter ends with a beautiful quote.

She has talked about how she associated being alone in a negative way with women; about how beauty and brains are in a constant battle with each other; and how we can be weighty and wonderful. She talks about how the colour of the skin is important in the Indian society; and how she is happy if someone is standing up for themselves and getting divorced or detached from something that is getting them down. She talks about how people take advantage of us being emotional and tearful; and the importance of friends and that of being healthy and how women are champions of guilt-tripping.

The author also talks about independent being the word for the woman of today; and that we have a life beyond kids too, the best advice is that we should marry only for love. She stresses that to say yes to ourselves, we have to say no to others and stresses on self-awareness.

This book is a must read for all women, would definitely help them introspect as well as encourage them. I for one am going for my health check up tomorrow, as Ms Uppal has mentioned in her book, if I stay healthy, only will my family be healthy and looked after.

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