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.

 

 

The Sinners by Sourabh Mukherjee

The-Sinners_COVER3_Rev9I received the book The Sinners by Sourabh Mukherjee from Writersmelon as a review copy. This book is a thriller set in a corporate world.

The blurb:

Vikram Oberoi is found dead in his penthouse. A few hours ago, his involvement in a sex scandal in NexGen Technologies made headlines across the world.

Who is behind the sinister conspiracy that destroyed Vikram Oberoi, the philandering India Head of NexGen? Rivals within and outside the firm? One of his many jilted lovers or the miffed wife? A mysterious conspirator laying out honey traps to sabotage his plans? Or, is it the ghost of a sinful past that continues to haunt the Oberois?

The Sinners is a fast-paced thriller with a shocking twist that unravels against the backdrop of corporate warfare, illicit relationships and ruthless seduction games.

The story:

The book starts with Vikram Oberoi of NexGen Technologies being found dead in his penthouse. And then the story goes into flashback.

Vikram Oberoi, a much married person, is a womaiser. He is having an affair with his secretary and does not shy away from one-night stands. So when a new girl, Sonal joins the company and catches his eye, he starts an affair with her and even wants to spend his whole life with her.

In the meantime, things are not going on well for the company, as they are losing all their deals to their arch rival. And then things start going bad for Vikram on the personal front as well.

My take:

This thriller revolves around a corporate setting with a lot many characters who keep popping in as the story progresses. Initially, I was a little lost with so many characters coming in but as the story moved further, I started enjoying the story. The plot has been designed in such a way that the suspense keeps building up till the end and I was finding it difficult to guess what provoked Vikram to do what he did.

The language is simple and the story is fast paced. The twists and turns kept me on the edge of my seat till I finished the book. The characters have been developed well and even the secondary characters have a role to play in the story.

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

Tinkling of the Bell before it rings by Sonika Shandilya

51I62Lh25tL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Tinkling of the Bell before it rings by Sonika Shandilya is the author’s debut novel.

The blurb:

We don’t meet people by accident. They are meant to cross our paths for a reason. When Jai met Sakshi, by sheer chance, he couldn’t have imagined he’d one day be visiting Europe with her for a countryside fashiontour. All he heard was the tinkling of a bell somewhere in his heart. When Sakshi met Jai the next time, she barely knew their friendship would run deeper than anything she had ever wishedfor. He is an aspiring police officer and she wants to be a leading designer in the world of fashion. Will their different paths take them to the same destination we call love, or will hurdles change the way love happens? More than that, is love really enough? Join their journey as they find out in the Tinkling of the Bell… Before it Rings.

The story:

Jai Shandilya belongs to a family of police officers. A civil engineer from IIT Delhi, he is at home in Hyderabad after completing his graduation and is on a break before he starts preparing for the Civil Services exams. He works as a DJ at a bar at night. He belongs to a close knit family, his father is an IPS officer and his younger brother is his junior at IIT Delhi.

Sakshi Sharma, a fashion designer lives with her doctor father in Hyderabad while her doctor mother lives in Harvard.

It is at a movie theatre that Jai meets Sakshi as she is in need of a ticket and he has a spare one as his friend Vicky had stood him up. As the movie progressed, so did Jai’s feelings for Sakshi, though he did not know her name. And Jai manages to find her and that too at a boutique where Sakshi is working for a fashion show. So jai joins the boutique as a manager and is assigned to the same show as Sakshi. The fashion how is successful and Sakshi gets a chance to show her talent in Europe and Jai gets a chance to accompany her.

And once they are back, after confessing their feelings to each other, they get into their work, he in his preparations for the Civil Services and she, for the next show.

My take:

The story moves at a slow pace in the beginning, with lots of details regarding the settings and then towards the end, it moves in a fast forward mode.

The characters have been detailed and the relationship between the Shandilyas as well as Sakshi and her father is very warm. The feelings of the characters especially Jai have been described.

The language is simple, but better editing could have helped in both the language as well as in making the story crisper.

The story has parent child love, friendship, sibling love. And the best part is that there is no villain.

 

 

My mute Girlfriend by Himanshu Rai

51Vzl3xtitL._SX327_BO1_204_203_200_I received the book My Mute Girlfriend as a review copy from the author Himanshu Rai. This book is the story of Rohan Verma written in first person from his point of view.

The blurb:

“That day I realized I had lost her forever. I had lost her smile, her friendship, her voice…
But still, somewhere in my heart, I believed her to be my girlfriend. My mute girlfriend.”
Rohan is a telecom professional posted in Meerut and misses his girlfriend from college days, who had stopped interacting with him, without giving any reason. Although she had always stood by his side and her eyes reflected immense love, but she remained his mute girlfriend.

The book opens with an SMS from Vaidehi to Rohan, after five long years. But before he could reply, his mobile gets damaged and he wanders in his memories to narrate a story. About how his girlfriend became his mute girlfriend after the first year of their engineering college.

My Mute Girlfriend is a true romance story of how Rohan unravels the answers to why Vaidehi was mute for so long, and how their life is about to change. But little do they know that the worst is yet to come.

The story:

The book begins with Rohan receiving a text message from Vaidehi and his phone getting destroyed and the efforts he has to make to retrieve her phone number, and the story then goes into flashback and moves back and forth between the past and the present.

Rohan Verma, lives in Sagar in Madhya Pradesh, India with his small family. He has a sister, Shruti. He gets selected for an engineering course and at the time of admission, he ends up taking a course that he was not interested in mainly because the girl ahead of him takes the stream. Thus starts Rohan’s life at the engineering college at Jabalpur. This girl is Vaidehi Sharma, a girl from Jabalpur, who becomes his friend and by the end of the first semester exams, they confess their love to each other.

But once he comes back from visiting Sagar, he realizes that Vaidehi is not talking to him and ignoring him. She goes to the extent of not reacting to his threats.

And this message five years later, when he is working for a telecom company is a bolt from the blue.

My take:

This story is a college romance set in the nineties, when there were telephone booths which we used to make STD calls and also local calls.

The language is simple and the author has described the feelings of the protagonist as well. The character of Vaidehi was not detailed well, because, if she fell in love with Rohan, and Rohan is reminiscing the olden days, he should have more about Vaidehi.

This is not just a love story but also a story of college life, school friendship, college friendship and also sibling relationships to some extent. It talks about infatuations and love. The descriptions are detailed and sometimes this diverted my attention from the story.

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.

At the threshold of love by Namita Sonthalia

51SQRswpFULAt the threshold of love is a book by Namita Sonthalia, a book that talks about friendships and love, set in Bangalore, Goa, Mumbai and Delhi.

The blurb:

They fell in love – unaware that it had happened! But the passion that lay veiled within, would that be enough to re-write their future together?

Ahaana runs an event management company called ‘The Threshold of Love’ with her childhood friend, Ansh. Celebrating love in the lives of her clients, she is unknown to the emotion herself.

Only until business tycoon Ronit Malhotra arrives at her doorstep to get his wedding planned. At first sight, she experiences what weak knees are, but is unable to come to terms with the emotion love.

As fate may have it, Ronit too cannot stay oblivious to Ahaana’s charm and charismatic magnetism. When things spiral out of control, Ahaana meets the fun-loving stranger Soham at her cousin’s wedding. As an arranged marriage is set between them, will true love and passion make way into the inevitable and re-do what destiny has already carved?

Join their roller-coaster journey to find out how the mind and heart are tossed around At the Threshold of Love.

The story:

Ahaana Agarwal, 26, lives in her own magical world. She lives with her parents and younger brother, Krishna, in Bangalore. She runs an Event Management company, The Threshold of Love, with her childhood friend, Ansh, and Mishka. Her mother wants her to get married and settle down but she wants to marry the person whom she loves. Ansh is her best friend and supports her and guides her. He is her pillar of her strength and her brother is her best buddy. She can confide in her father.

Ronit Malhotra, 28, a businessman, approaches Ahaana’s company to plan his wedding. He is a thorough gentleman, down to earth and does not flaunt his wealth. He is taken aback when his fiancé, Taashi refuses to marry him.

Ahaana goes to Mumbai with her family to attend her cousin’s engagement and there she meets Soham Sehgal, 28, whom her parents want her to marry. But, she is not ready to commit yet to Soham. Soham also does not want to be rushed into the engagement, so they decide to give themselves time, to get to know each other before committing.

But Ahaana is not comfortable with Soham, something she shares with Ansh. In the meantime, Ronit and she meet and slowly they realise that they love each other.

But Ahaana realises that Soham is Ronit’s best friend and Ronit comes to know that Ahaana is the girl Soham pines for.

My take:

The cover is beautiful. A simple story of friendship and love, written in a simple language which touches the heart. The plot revolves around a close knit family, friendships, family pressures regarding marriages. The scenes have been described in detail. There are many scenes in the book which most of us have gone through in our lives. The book moves at an even pace and keeps the reader intrigued as to what happens next.

The main pivot of the book is Ahaana and the characters revolve around her. The characters are realistic and have been penned down beautifully and even the secondary characters have an important role to play in the story. The relationships between the characters have been portrayed very well. Be it between Ahaana and her family or that between Ahaana and Ansh.

Her mother is like any normal mother who wants her daughter to settle down and the relationship that Ahaana shares with her father and brother has been portrayed very well. The conversations between the characters have been presented very well.

The narration is unique, sometimes story has been written in first person from Ahaana’s point of view and also from third person point of view when the feelings of other characters have been described.

The best part is that there are two more love stories in the book, moving in the sidelines of the main story.

The editing is where the book needs to be relooked at. I also felt that the author tried to tie the loose ends a bit too quickly at the end.

But overall, the books is simple and leaves a smile on the face of the reader at the end.

My father is a Hero by Nishant Kaushik

415+IkLnZsL._SX329_BO1,204,203,200_.jpgHow far does a parent go for the wellbeing of a child, to see a smile on his child’s face? Sells his ancestral home? relocates to a new place? Gets the child admitted into a prestigious school? …..

My Father is a Hero by Nishant Kaushik is about a single father Vaibhav and his daughter Nisha. I received this book from Writers Melon for a review.

The blurb:

Vaibhav Kulkarni has had few accomplishments worth boasting about in his modest life and career. Yet, his happy universe lies intact in the love and pride his ten-year-old daughter inspires in him. Nisha Kulkarni justifies every reason to be the favourite child of Pune’s premier school-be it her academic brilliance, her exceptional facility with music, or simply her unassuming charm. With his daughter showing promising signs of a stellar success story, Vaibhav has made peace with own unrequited dreams of the past. But when the girl mysteriously starts losing mojo and spirals into despair and seclusion, Vaibhav faces the toughest test of his life as single father – to reclaim his child’s trust and happiness. What distance will a middle-class man with limited means go to show his daughter the merit in believing in a dream? Read this gripping tale of love, courage, and of the emergence of an ordinary man as an extraordinary hero.

The story:

Thirty five year old Vaibhav Kulkarni is a single father, whose wife, Varsha left him, when their daughter was a baby, for her ambitions. They moved to the suburbs of Pune four years ago after selling his ancestral land in Akola, because he wanted Nisha to study in a good school and also because she had fallen in love with the city.

Now, Nisha is ten, tops in her class, is an excellent singer, the apple of her teachers’ eye and her father’s pride. She idolizes pop star Rihanna. Bali is her friend and the only support she has in her class.

Bhandari is his only friend in the city, the one who helps him and understands him. Vaibhav has a large and pure heart. He works as a systems administrator in an IT Company and is bullied by his colleagues. Even though they belong to middle class, he tries to keep his daughter happy.

On her eleventh birthday, Nisha’s friends come for her birthday party. They have a lot of fun. But on the next day, Nisha starts behaving strangely, her marks are not up to the mark, she does not want to sing, she does not want to attend classes. She even answers her father in monosyllables, and is not the chirpy girl anymore.

Vaibhav wants to bring the smile back and leaves no stone unturned to do so.

My take:

The cover is beautiful, a father and his little girl walking with their backs to us. The characters have been developed well. They are realistic and are like people we meet in our real life. The emotional bond between the father and daughter has been described beautifully. The author has described the struggles a middle class single parent has to go through to keep his child happy within his means and sometimes even more than them. He has also described the feelings of a girl in a school where she is made to feel that she does not belong. Their feelings for each other have been well developed. Even characters like Bhandari, Vaibhav’s friend and Bali, Nisha’s friend have been described well.

The story is nice, about the love between a father and his daughter. How he wants to ensure a smile on her face and how she tries to keep him happy. The story has been narrated well. Language is simple and the book is fast paced. The book made me laugh, it made me cry.

There are no details of Varsha except a few lines here and there, I would have loved it if Varsha and Nisha came face to face. The book ended too soon, the ends were still left to be tied up, like how does he pay off the credit card? What happens to his daughter’s result? What about her friends? What about his job?

It is must read for everyone, parents to understand their kids, children to understand the sacrifices their parents make and teachers to understand their students.

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

Logically Stupid that’s Love by Shikha Kumar

51Y6Fcs5EwL.jpgLogically Stupid that’s Love by Shikha Kumar is the second book by the author. Her first one being ‘He fixed the match, she fixed him’.  The story is about Kartik and Sahana.

The Blurb:

Kartik: Yes, I want to be successful, and that’s not a crime. Trust me, I too would have wanted the same as Ms. Stupid, but I can’t toss away my hard-work of years for a girl. We would have had a beautiful love story had she not been my boss’s daughter.
Sahana: I know he’s ambitious and doesn’t know his heart well. But I’m sure one day Mr. Logical will come to my way of thinking, and we’ll have a beautiful life together thereafter.
He flirted with her for five days; she waited for him for five years, only to be shattered irrecoverably one day. Logic seems to be winning the battle, until destiny refuses to move on and adamantly brings them face to face again.
In life’s moments of struggle and comfort, the heart and mind must join hands to combat.
A love story dedicated to the generation that never values what comes easy. Wish a few logics were a little less stupid. But nevertheless…

Logically Stupid, That’s Love.

The Characters:

Kartik Brar, 24, from Amritsar, is doing his MBA (marketing) at IIM, Calcutta, when he applies for a job at a startup named DataMagica, owned by Mr. Ajit Khurana. Kartik is young, ambitious, career-oriented and logical. He wants to make a name for himself, come what may and has no time for anything else. He has a younger brother, Vinayak, Vinny. He has four close friends.

Sahana Khurana, 20, the only daughter Ajit and Alka Khurana, is fun loving. She loves to party and shop with her friends and is not serious about her studies or her career. She is beautiful.

The story:

Kartik sees Sahana at a hotel in Mumbai where she has gone to attend a family wedding and he is there to pick up his car and drive down to Goa on a paid vacation for a few days there before joining his first job at Datamagica. What he has not bargained for is a girl in the back of his car. The girl is none other than Sahana, who has runaway from her parents to escape marriage. They become friends and travel around Goa together. They come back to Mumbai and board the Rajdhani to Delhi and Kartik is shocked when he sees that Ajit is Sahana’s father.

They meet again after two years at an office party and start communicating with each other. Kartik gets busy furthering his career and Sahana gets into MBA at Nagpur. She comes back again to Datamagica to do her internship and her friendship with Kartik blossoms into love. Until one day, Kartik sees Ajit sacking another staff member for looking at Sahana.

Kartik snubs her and breaks her heart. He compensates by becoming a brute and getting involved in his work, becomes the youngest COO and she gets engaged to Rahul. Events lead to Shana joining Datamagica and meeting Kartik every day.

What happens then? Read on and find out.

My take:

The story is simple and there are a lot of emotions that have been dealt with in this story. The characters have been developed in such a way that it was easy for me to picturise them. The supporting characters have an equally important role to play in the story. The conversations between the main characters and that between the other characters have been depicted well.

The language used is simple. The chapters have cute names. The relationship between Kartik, his mother, his brother and his friends, Sahana, her mother, her best friend and her maid has been beautifully depicted.