Tuesday, 15 November 2016

What The Heart Wants

This is the second novella by the author that I have read. The length is approximately 35 pages. And yes, this is different from the first one.

Since it is short, yet again, it becomes difficult for me to actually summarize it since there is an underlying fear that I might give away too many details. The plot revolves around Love. A married man doesn't love his wife. He has found someone else. The who, what next and why can be best answered if you read this.

The language is understandable but yes, this story is meant for people over the age of 18 years. Some relationships are really complex and Layla tries to explore this aspect in this novella of hers. The subject is really sensitive and the narrative does justice to it.

The characters are few but well etched. However, the short length inhibits their parts getting developed completely. The story ends with a cliffhanger, hence, the sequel might bring out their strengths better.

To sum up, if you need a quick read and there is little time, you can read this book at least once. It is a sweet love story that is different from the routine ones.

P.S - I chose to read this book from the recommendations made by Booklover Catlady Publicity and the review is my unbiased opinion.

Tonight Only

Sometimes it is really difficult to rate and review a book that is really short. Yet, I hope to do justice to this story. I read it in one single sitting, it is that short (35 pages in total). Hence, it makes up for a quick read.

The plot is really simple. A girl just out of the Police Academy wanting to have fun before getting serious at work. The contents actually make it suitable for people over 18 years. Remove the profanities and sexual content, you have a really simple story.

Layla writes in a very conversational style. Her descriptions of scenes and places are really vivid. The best part about this story is the twist that is introduced in the end.

There are basically only two main characters out here. If the length of the book had been more, there would have been ample scope to develop them better. The story is way too short for the characters to really shape up.

To sum up, this story is really good because it ends with a cliffhanger. There is more to come as sequels. It makes for a quick read and if you are short of time then try this book out.

P.S - I chose to read this story based on the recommendations by Booklover Catlady Publicity and the views expressed are my unbiased opinions.

Monday, 14 November 2016

Becoming Phoebe

In the process of reading Phoebe becoming herself, I discovered myself. I read it in one session straight.

The story is about determination and self-esteem. It is a journey undertaken by an orphan whose passion for ice hockey makes her chart a path less trodden by girls. The plot revolves around Phoebe and her tryst with ice hockey. For the why, how, when and what, you need to read the story.

Sometimes, life leads us into situations where a stage comes when we feel completely let down. There are moments that draw out the negative emotions of self-pity. Yet, it is during these trying times that strength of character comes to the forefront. It is a strong heart that heals by letting go of a past that haunts and of emotions that hold back. As you read this story, the mind automatically takes you back to those dark moments in your life where many a questions have been left unanswered. 

The game of ice hockey has always been associated with men. In this story, the protagonist wants to break the glass wall by wanting to be a part of a team. By doing so, the author has subtly hinted that life is like a sport and all that one needs to do is play on no matter whatever be the sporting event. The game of hockey played on ice needs lots of concentration, focus, balance and of course, a supportive team. Michael is a master at combining both a game and life so that parallels can be drawn.

The writing is lucid. The language is simple however, there are terms associated with ice hockey that have been liberally used. Some may find this a bit difficult but reading about something new is really interesting. I am not a sports lover yet, the story appealed to me. The imageries that crop up while reading each page are amazing. They make you feel like an invisible friend that the protagonist has. I only wish someday this story gets made into a movie. 

I loved the protagonist. It is Phoebe's story. She makes you laugh, she makes you cry, but above all she re-instills the belief that every cloud has a silver lining. There are other characters as well, but they all lend support to the protagonist so that there is no shift in attention.

To sum up, I simply loved this book. It made me realise that life is worth living and there is hope for better things to come even when surrounded by darkness. It is a must-read. It will pull your heartstrings, force a lump in your throat and at the same time, it will make you shed happy tears. Absolutely awesome.

P.S - I chose to read this book because of the title. This review reflects my unbiased opinion as I re-discovered my strengths while reading it. How about you?

Sunday, 13 November 2016

When The Dragon Roars

When I read the first book in this series, I was intrigued. There were a lot of questions that were left unanswered. So when I did get a chance to read this book, I did not let it go. And to be honest, I was not at all disappointed. This book is even better than the first one. I couldn't help but finish reading it in one sitting. It is unputdownable.

This story is about Starks but also about human struggles. In fact, the most difficult thing to come to terms with is the mistakes we make in our lives. This story is about Stark's journey inwards through introspection and self-realization.

Introspection is not easy, especially when you know that the fault is yours too. The process of acceptance, of understanding the truth, is a personal one. This has been so beautifully brought out in this story. Also, there is a limit to submission and being on the receiving end. Through Starks, the author has subtly hinted that there is a dragon within every person. The onus is on the individual to accept the presence of this dragon and give it the freedom to roar.

Nesly has a way with words. He can make you squirm and feel really uncomfortable with his writing. He will make you empathise yet feel happily sadistic, hate yet love the character of Starks. And the way he narrates this story, you will end up feeling that there a mental movie that is continuously going on in your mind. Lovely imageries that appeal to all senses (though they are all not very pleasant).

As stated earlier, this is Stark's story, yet there are many other characters. Each one has a role to play and that makes their presence vital to the plot. The emotions are raw yet realistic. The characters are as real as can be.

To sum up, if you do not have a weak heart and are ok with violence, then this book is meant for you. It is an awesome read because along with action there is a strong storyline that keeps you engrossed throughout. A definite must-read.

P.S - I chose to read this book based on the recommendations by Booklover Catlady Publicity and the review is an unbiased opinion. The Dragon Roared after the Serpent Bit. What next??? 

Open Home Closed Heart

Libby Cole has been one author whose writings I have been following. I have read all the three books in her Hawaiian Heartbreak Series and this is the last one in the series. While the first three books revolve around Kayla, this gives a peek into the life of Tess, her best friend.

This story too deals with love. It is about how the initial hatred for and anger against a person slowly gets replaced with love. There is attraction, there is passion, but in the end, it is the mutual feelings for each other that matters. This story is about relationships and romance in the true sense of the term.

The story is very simple, in fact, if need be, it can be narrated as a short flash fiction. Yet, what sets it apart is the manner in which it has been narrated. Libby has a distinct writing style and that is what had compelled me to read all her stories. Her stories are not complex but the emotions depicted are. Reading it would make to want to run to the protagonist and give her a hug. It kind of generates empathy, making you want to be a part of the happenings that are going on. The story is for a mature audience yet, Libby has given more emphasis to emotions like love, pain, sorrow. Her writing makes you live through emotions as you keep reading.

There are not many characters and that complicates a writer's task. Yet, Libby has done complete justice to portraying the vulnerabilities, the strengths and weaknesses of all the characters. The complexities in human relations, emotions, drama, are all elements that have been brought out in intricate details.

To sum, I loved the series and there is a tinge of disappointment that it has ended. This story, though a part of the series, runs parallel and that sets it apart from the other three. It is a must-read for all those who believe in the magic of love. It is a key to all the others who have an open home but closed heart. On the whole, an awesome piece of writing.

P.S - I chose to read this book for the writing style of the author and the review is an unbiased opinion. I hope there are more stories to come from this upcoming author.

Friday, 11 November 2016

Bumbling Bea

When it comes to books where children are the protagonists, I make it a point to share the story with my daughters. If they loved listening to it, then it means the story is really awesome.

Bumbling Bea is a story about a little girl and her trials and tribulations in the world of drama. The plot revolves around the emotions and thoughts that occupy a child. I wish I could elaborate further but that would lead to loads of spoilers and that would be like doing injustice to the author. You need to read it to actually experience it.

The writing style is simple and appealing. It is easily understood by children except for a few words that exposes them to a different culture like Kabuki. However, besides being a great read, Deborah ensures that her story constantly generates mental images and tugs at heartstrings. The choice of words used reflect the effort that she must have put in to make this story both child-friendly and adult-friendly.

There are no antagonists in this story. In fact, through this story, Deborah manages to portray human emotions through children. Children are both expressive and innocent. Hence, through their characters Deborah gives a peek into their world and how everything turns out just fine in the end. She brings out subtly that there is a Bumbling Bea in all of us irrespective of our ages. Yet, if the inner child is still alive and kicking, the negativity can be taken care of.

To sum up, this book is an absolute must read if your inner child loves to read. And if you have children, this is an awesome read for them as well. It helps connect you with the kid residing within you.

P.S - Deborah you have a wonderful narrative style and I chose to read your book because of this reason. My review is unbiased and I hope there are more adventures in the life of Bumbling Bea!!!

Tuesday, 8 November 2016

Murder And More

This book promises to deliver exactly as its title. Yes, there is murder and more in the story. It is a mystery novel that is worth reading. I read it in one session straight.

The plot deals with a murder, the trials associated with it, the investigations behind it and of course oodles of suspense. On the other hand, this book deals with human greed, disgruntled yet calculative spouses, infidelity and more. The issues that the story touches upon truly reflects the title in an apt manner.

Gerald has the writing style that is capable of keeping you captivated and hooked on to your seats. The kind of suspense and aura that is trademark for mystery novels has been woven like magic. His narration makes visual imageries pop up in one's head. The only little hitch is a bit of repetition in dialogues that adds a tinge of monotony to an otherwise wonderful book.Instead of following the cliched route, Gerald has taken pains to describe an era gone by. The architectural descriptions, the detailed narration about people living in the sixties are something worth appreciating. It makes a reader feel as if he or she has been exported to the days of the past.

The characters are truly interesting. Each one has a distinct personality that has been well-etched. No where in the story did I feel the irrelevance of a character. The best part is that Gerald recreates the world as it was in the sixties and the people accordingly. This includes habits, food, fashion and the like.

To sum up, this book is fast paced and doesn't bore you at any given point. In fact, you will want to read 'more' after you read about the 'murder'. It is one of those mystery books you would love to have in your collection unless you are a stickler for a perfect book. But then, murder mysteries can never be perfect right?

P.S - I chose to read this book and my opinion is unbiased. Gerald is an awesome writer and the wee bit of glitches would be removed in his next book.

The Homebirth Baby

This is the second book I am reading that has been written by Anita. The best thing about her is that she has neither claimed to be an authority on this subject nor has rejected the role of doctors in childbirth. I have never come across books on homebirth and this is my first one on the subject.

In this book Anita has brought out the importance of homebirth and how a baby can be naturally delivered by a mother in the confines of her home. There is no doubt that all parents want their babies to be born safely. In fact, the examples that have been quoted also help promote homebirth. However, the author has also stated the relevance of a doctor for cases that have complications.

The author is not a doctor, hence, all her efforts had been towards bringing out as much information on the subject as possible. Hence, there are places where the information given may not be enough and the reader would have to research more. Yet, this book is comprehensive, as in, Anita has tried to ensure that all aspects associated with homebirth (which includes handling panicky husbands!) are listed out for the ease of those women who wish to opt for homebirths.

Anita's writing style is simple. She has lucidly explained the hows and whys. She has also not used any technical terms or words that cannot be understood by a layman. Believe you me, it is difficult to write on a subject like this without using high-sounding medical terms.

This book is a handy guide for mothers who are otherwise having no difficulties in their pregnancy. As far as the absence of a star in the rating is concerned. Well, in case of developing and underdeveloped countries, this concept is yet to be exercised by couples. Those who live in certain areas do opt for homebirth but there are a few social evils still prevalent that are associated with it such as female infanticide, infant killing etc. Hence, in such countries, the positive effects of accepting the practice of homebirth is yet to catch up.

To sum up, the book is informative. However, as the author states, she is not an expert and hence there may be a few missing links. Inspite of it, the book is a must read for all would-be mothers because it gives an insight into another option that is available for the birth of their precious bundle of joy.

P.S - Anita, its a great piece of work. I chose to read your book because it appeared interesting and this is my unbiased opinion.

Monday, 10 October 2016

A Thousand Eves

Some books start with a great promise. A Thousand Eves was one such book. The storyline was unique, the concept very different, yet something went wrong somewhere.

The plot revolves around a ship that has only females while all men except one have been eliminated. The one who has been lucky enough to have survived is because he was absent during elimination by virtue of his voyage. I know, it sounds a bit complicated and trust me, it is. This is what can happen when the language used doesn't make sense at some places.

George has a wonderful plot and a different concept, yet the errors that cropped up here and there were a big let down. Though the book is a novella, there were a few characters or situations that could have had a bit more of descriptions. Sometimes, too little information fails to evoke the imageries that are required to get a reader involved.

There are many characters. Luckily, they all have a part in the story. Also, maybe, if George had been a bit more descriptive, the characters could have been comprehended much better. 

To sum up, this book is a one time read. George is a promising author and I am sure, his next piece of writing would ensure that these flaws are taken care of. 

P.S- George, it was a brilliant concept that was let down by lack of descriptions. I am sure the next book would be much better!!!

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Butterfly Blink

Sometimes you really don't need words to put across an idea. Butterfly Blink is one such book that has no words. Yet, it has the power to keep you pondering long after you have kept it aside.

The book is meant for the most avid readers, children, yet, it has universal appeal. The book is filled with butterflies and lovely illustrations throughout. The endeavour of the writer is to encourage creativity and vocabulary building. From an adult's perspective, I found that this book took me back to my childhood. I had always been fond of symbols and signs. To tell you the truth, this book intrigued me. It kept me thinking long after I had finished reading. For me, a butterfly represented childhood and the increasing number of butterflies indicated various facets of my life as a child. It brought back memories, some bitter some sweet.

I cant comment upon Karl's writing style but his illustrations are bright and vivid. The colour adds to the cheerful mood of the book. Also, he has been able to put across various concepts that can be understood by children of all ages. I shared this book with my children. In the end, the interpretations of both my kids as well as mine were absolutely apt for our ages. this book is perfect for all ages.

It is really not easy to pen a book without using words but Karl, hats off for your efforts. Using butterflies and various illustrations associated with them, you have bridged the gap between various ages and stages of life. The real test of a book is that it should have universal appeal and the story should be understood by all. Your book has mass appeal, in fact, even those who have not been privileged enough to have learnt to read and write can imbibe the essence of this book.

To sum, I simply loved this book. Even though there are no words, this book had the power to take me on a journey down my memory lane. At the same time, it helped my children interpret the story in their own ways.

P.S- Karl, awesome picture book. Its a family favourite now!!!

Friday, 7 October 2016

Alchemy: Turning Silver To Gold

Read this sequel "Turning Silver to Gold" as soon as I had finished the first book "A story of perfect murder". Both the books are part of Alchemy series. 

The story starts exactly where it was left unfinished in the previous book. The cliffhanger there does get suitably answered. However, the plot continues to be a continuation of the previous story. Yet again there is a trial. Yet again there is the shift of focus from the past to the present. However, but for the increase in the violence and horror, the plot is a continues repetition of the old. 

Chris is a promising writer. Yet, except for the increase in the graphic content and the increase in the insanity of the anti-hero, the sequel actually fizzles out in comparison with the first. The imageries are gory and horrific. They are definitely disturbing but that is all about it. 

There is one character besides the anti-hero in this story who is worth giving a second thought. That is Lizzie Weston. Sadly, she is not the kind to last in your memory for ever. There is a supposedly evil professor, yet in trying to turn the silver-like plot into gold, he has made not much contribution.

To sum up, this sequel is ok for a single reading. However, the graphic violence, too many characters and the ending may put you off.

P.S- Thank you Maxine and Booklovers Catlady Publicity for giving me this book in exchange of an honest review.

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Alchemy: A Story Of Perfect Murder

This book is the first part of a two book series. If you think Alchemy is all about magic and trying to strike gold etc., well...its that and much more. First things first, this is one book I will never return to. No...there is nothing wrong with the book, but I guess the genre is probably not my cup of tea. Yet, inspite of this fact, there is no denying that I finished both the books back to to back sittings.

The plot of the book is as the name suggests. It is the story of perfect murder. However, in this case it is actually more than one. That notwithstanding, it can be taken to imply the perfect murder of alchemy per se... Anyways, interpretations are the prerogative of the reader. So each one his or her own interpretations.

Chris has a way with words. In fact, the manner in which he writes makes you literally squirm and twitch in your seat. The mood is dark. Even the love story entwined is not one that would give out a happy feeling. So, for all the die-hard romantics, this book is a no-no for you. Read this story for the Gothic yet vivid imageries that this story is capable of conjuring up. There is violence and that has been described in a manner which will definitely give you the creeps. 

There are a lot of characters in this story. However, the anti-hero does end up evoking sympathy in the mind of the reader at times. Yet, he is one character you would really love to hate. The other characters are vital to the plot yet, none actually remains in your afterthoughts in particular.

To sum up, this story of perfect murder did give me a sleepless night. The end had a cliffhanger which made me promptly turn to the sequel. However, yet again, I reiterate, this historical psychological thriller is definitely not for the weak-hearted. I would recommend it to be read only when you are not perturbed with disturbing thoughts late in the night.

P.S- Thank you Maxine and Booklovers Catlady Publicity for introducing me to a genre that was really out of my comfort zone.

Monday, 19 September 2016

The Story Of Lucius Cane

An awesome piece of writing but way too short!!! If only it had been longer, it was a sure shot unputdownable kind of book.

The plot revolves around a vampire who is not into harming humans. Its a different treatment given to typical vampire stories. 

The narrative is gripping. Vanya writing style makes one want to read more but sadly the story ends fast. The choice of words give way to beautiful imageries. The mental pictures are accompanied by sound effects. However, the length of the story is a big spoiler. 

The protagonist is a typical antihero and not the cliched vampire. The other characters, a human and a voice do add on to the suspense, but sadly, their presence makes one wish for bit more descriptions and due to the short length the story ends without elaborations.

To sum up, the story ends with a promise of a sequel. The only major drawback in this story is its length. But for it, the plot has everything it takes to make a bestseller. The book is a quick read, in fact one of the quickest read. There are questions unanswered that would keep lingering in your head once you finish reading. I am sure, the next in this series will help in finding the answers. Do read for the wonderful writing. I guarantee you won't regret it.

P.S - Vanya, I sincerely hope the next in the series is longer. looking forward to reading more about Lucius Kane.

Causality: The Crisis In Zelan

If you mesh science fiction with fantasy you would get a story like Causality. The plot is the quintessential good versus evil. However, the treatment meted out to this story is very different.

The plot revolves around an angel on the run who turns saviour on a mortal planet. There are vampires, dragons and black magicians. There is magic and dark humour. But there is also sufficient violence which makes this book not suitable for all ages. In fact its a mix of two genres and one needs to develop a taste for such writing.

Zam has used simple language while describing familiar celestial beings and magical creatures, However, there are a few scenes wherein which the violence and gore was a bit more for me to handle. Yet, even writing about graphic violence is an art and Zam does have the flair to write in this genre. The narration is gripping once it catches up pace after the first ten percent. It is dark and has elements of horror, supernatural and suspense. As said earlier, the story line is very interesting and the imageries it evokes is extremely vivid. Its like watching a mental movie. The descriptions are praiseworthy.

There are many characters who appear and disappear in this story besides the protagonist and other main characters. Yet, they all do form an integral part of the story. Zam aptly brings out the internal conflicts that one tends to undergo when there is a clash between ideologies and principles. Emotions, especially revenge, anger, frustration, hope, salvation are all well brought out through the characters.

To sum up, if you really want to try a new genre that treats the good versus evil battle in a different manner, you should pick up this book. The three stars are based on my personal reading choice, maybe this book is your kind. Do give it a try.Besides, this book is just the beginning of a gripping series.

P.S- Dear Zam, you are a wonderful writer because your writing forced me to read the story till the last page inspite of the violence. I cant handle violence against children. I am sure your next story in the series would be having something for readers like me as well.

Sunday, 18 September 2016

Chergui's Child

Loved this book. In fact this is the second book by the author that I have read. And yes, there is a complete different treatment. 

The plot explores the bond shared by a mother and her daughter akin to Daughters of the Lake. But the similarity ends there. The essence of this poignant story is the journey a mother undertakes to find her lost child, a child whose existence was kept hidden by her own mother. I wish I could say more but that would mean spoiling a beautiful narrative. Read it to believe it.

Jane's narration is really powerful in this story. She has brought out the yearning of a mother for her lost child in a manner that would tug your heart strings. I cried with the protagonist, I laughed with her and in the end felt really happy for her. The imageries are as powerful as the narrative. It was as if  I was part of a story where I could do nothing except be a mute spectator. Felt really desperate. Hats off to you Jane for a writing that made me be a part of it.

The story belongs to Olivia and her journey of self-discovery, her journey as a mother. Love has lots of variations but the love of a mother for her child surpasses all kinds. Add to it the pain and sense of loss and you have an emotion that is beyond expression in simple language. At the same time, the reasoning put forth by Olivia's mother for hiding the truth has a familiar ring to it. There are many mothers who would do so to protect their unmarried pregnant daughter from societal ridicule. The antagonist in this story is actually circumstances and motives.

To sum up, my journey along with Olivia to find the Chergui's child has been a beautiful reading experience. It is one that I will revert back to when I feel low because it is filled with hope. Hope for a better tomorrow, hope that there is always a silver lining on a dark cloud. A truly must read.

P.S - Jane, loved this story as it helped me embark on a journey of self-discovery as well...way to go girl!!!

Daughters Of The Lake

Families can be complicated and the lesser said about dysfunctional families the better. Yet, in the end, it is families that really matter.

The story revolves around a dysfunctional family of a lady named Madalena living in Switzerland. She has planned a reunion at home with her middle aged children joining in. Why dysfunctional? Because each one has a personal battle to fight. For the what, why and how, you really need to read this book. What really caught my attention was Madalena, the mother.  The story line brings out an important message through her character and that is to live life. Times may be trying and circumstances may change. However, what really matters is the fact that one learns to live. Madalena learns to let go, learns to love and wishes the same for her children.

The language is simple and Jane has beautifully brought out the subtle undercurrents that exist between the siblings. Women are known to be the best example for emotions. Through the daughters and their mother, the author has narrated the twists and turmoils many women feel at various stages of their life. There are imageries but as one reads through, its like being a mute spectator to a family drama that silently unfolds. There are a few moments where there seems to be a disconnect in the narration. It could be my perception. Maybe too many complicated situations and complexities in the lives of the daughters are the reason. However, the surprise twist in the end more than makes up for it.

Though Madalena is not the main protagonist, she is the binding element between her children, especially daughters. As far as the other characters are concerned, they emote, they express feelings and are as human as can be. They may not be like you and me but they have their own persona etched out. Through them Jane has aptly portrayed the strong yet vulnerable side of women of all ages. The bond, the conflicts, the relationship that these women share is the essence of this story.

To sum up, this book is about complexities of human life set amidst the pristine climes of Switzerland. Read this book if you value family relationships. Read it if you believe that all is well that ends well. Read it if you are an optimist who has learnt to let go and believe in happy endings.

P.S - Jane, a really lovely story of family relationships and bonding. Your daughters of the lake took me back to my daughters and reminded me of my role as a daughter as well.

Friday, 2 September 2016

Jonathon Goode, Honorary Witch: The Crystals of Aztlan

The first thing that caught my eye was the title of this book. Men and boys were supposed to be wizards right? How could Jonathan Goode, a boy be an honorary witch? 

The plot is really interesting. Its about a boy and his transformations. The story line shifts between realms of reality and fantasy. And, the transition is so subtle and smooth that the story narration remains unaffected. sometimes, strange things happen when they are least expected and the plot simply reflects this statement. This book takes you on a magical journey.

The narration is fast paced and can keep you engrossed till the end. The writing takes a reader into a world of unicorns, elves, dwarves and centaurs. On the whole, a perfect treat for visualisations. Michael has used a language that is appropriate for children to read this book as well. Hence this book has a universal appeal.

The characters are apt and have a role to play in the story line. They exhibit emotions that any person in their shoes would feel. The protagonist Jonathon is a perfect replica of a young boy who is nervous, curious and courageous.

To sum up, I loved the imageries that this book presented. A book that can be read by the young and old alike. This book promises a sequel.

P.S- Thank you Kim of SBPRA for an interesting book in exchange of an honest review...

Second Nature

It goes without saying that people take refuge in worlds of fantasy whenever they need a break. it is like second nature.

This book is set in an imaginary world where Queens can control elements of Nature and there are antagonists desirous of disrupting the delicate balance. For a start, the concept is unique. At least I have not read a book based on elements till now. Hence for me, the concept was interesting. The story line can be best understood when the book is read. But trust me, there is a little bit for every reader.

Lauren writes from the heart and at times even heart tends to get repetitive. Notwithstanding that, narrative is simple. It has the right blend of fantasy and reality. The terms are not complicated and lucidly explained. Yes, there is no dearth of imageries. As one reads, the story unfolds like a visual movie. 

The characters are well etched. The protagonist and the antagonist have an enigma associated with them. You will love to love and/ or hate whatever the case may be. Though some characters are well defined in comparison to the others, yet, it does not affect the plot or story line much.

To sum up, the book is worth reading for a unique concept. There is a need for fine tuning but this is the author's first book. The best part about this book is that it promises a sequel. Lauren is a promising author. Her subsequent books are bound to take care of the minor issues.

P.S- In case fantasies are your second nature, then this book is a must read. 

Saturday, 27 August 2016


Being a woman myself, it was easy for me to empathize with all the authors. Hats off to the Christopher for putting forth this awesome collection.

This anthology comprises of fifteen essays written by fifteen women from Uganda. Each essay is a reflection of the social fabric of the country and brings out its different facets. A real treat when it comes to understanding a new culture. The best part of these reflections are that they are not isolated, as in, many of the thoughts have a universal appeal. The social surroundings separate the gravity of various issues discussed.

Its not easy to compile an anthology with stories that have a strong emotional content attached to them. Hats off Chris for putting together these beautiful masterpieces. Each story is like a jigsaw puzzle piece and together they make a lovely picture. 

The writings are simple. However, there are issues like sexual abuse, violence, child abuse, and the like, thereby making this book out of reach for children. Yet, ask any woman who reads this and she will be able to truly empathise with the writings. The narration tugs your heart and I had a lump up my throat while I was reading a few pieces. The stories bring out issues that every woman, irrespective of gender, society or country, would have faced at some point of her life.

I cannot pick up favourites because each one evoked an emotion I cannot explain. There was pain, there was dejection, sense of loss, despair. How a simple name can lead to an identity crisis.Yet there was a feel of hope glimmering in the end. Hope for a better life, hope for the future. And, nothing in this world can be lost if hope acts as a guiding light. You would feel like sending only good wishes and pleasant thoughts to all the fifteen women who have shared their stories.

To sum up, this anthology is one collection that I as a reader would love to read again, especially when I am down in the dumps and at crossroads in my life. The stories help in not just bringing out realities of a woman's life, they exude hope for a brighter future.

P.S- Chris, loved this anthology. You helped give me stories to reach out to when I end up reaching the crossroads of my life.


Minor is a memoir of a young teen, the trials and tribulations that she goes through during her growing up years. 

The book is written in the form of a journal and has all the essence that a personal journal is to have. It is candid, brutally honest and shows the emotions that Meghan must have gone through at that phase of life. It is a chronological account of the nineties and those belonging to this era would definitely be able to associate themselves with the songs, the language and the social fabric per se.

Sometimes, penning down one's thoughts and reading them later definitely helps one to emerge stronger and a better person. This is clearly evident from this journal as well. Meghan has bared a part of her soul and it does take lot of courage to do so. In the process, you end up showing your vulnerable side to the world. Kudos to you Meghan for being able to do so.

Teenage and teenache go hand in hand. There are lot of peer pressures to cope up with. The demands of social life, parental expectations, family dynamics, in fact so many associated things. This personal account of the author helps bring out the confusions and confessions that a teenager goes through during her growing up years.

To sum up, the very fact that Meghan has been able to be brutally honest and shared a part of her own life with the readers is commendable. It requires a lot of courage and pluck to do so. If you want to drift back to the nineties or want to understand that wondrous era gone by, do read this.

P.S- Meghan, your journal made me relive my Minor days as well. Loved your candid writings.

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Chasing The Wind

Chasing the Wind (Aspen Valley Book 5) by [Hooton, Hannah]

There are stories that touch the core of your heart. The words reflect a pain that can make you wish you could scream as well. Hannah, I loved the story.

The plot revolves around a couple who are bound yet on the verge of separation by a single word "Loss". Now what the loss is all is something you need to read about else it would truly spoil the beautiful story. Notwithstanding, sometimes, it is this same emotion that finally brings in a ray of hope. Yes, loss tests you, pushes you to the corner and makes you wish you never existed. Yet, this very emotion shows you a little window through which a ray of hope percolates down to your very soul. The story line is beautifully depicted against the backdrop of horses, and all horse lovers will agree, these majestic beasts symbolize life and living it well.

Hannah, kudos to your writing. I don't care what other critics have to say, but you made me live as a part of your story. I felt I was one of the unseen characters before whose very eyes the story unfolds. And non-believers, believe you me, its not an easy task writing about pain and loss. The language is simple, yet it has the power to tug your heart strings. There are actually no imageries cropping up because this story will make you feel it is really happening around you. Simply loved the narrative.

The characters are the best part in this story. It is as if life has been infused into them. They have their flaws yet are lovable. They have their own sets of insecurities yet make the story line seem real. They have their own emotions yet it will make you empathize. Every individual in this story has justified his or her presence. Each one is chasing the wind and chasing it really well.

To sum up, this is a story I will return to when I wish to vent out my pent up emotions. It made me cry, it made me smile, above all, it made me re-appreciate that life was truly worthwhile. All is well that ends well with hope as the guiding light. A true worthy addition to your library.

P.S - Hannah, I loved chasing life's wind as I read your story and finally found my ray of hope in the end as well :-).