Thursday, November 21, 2013

The One You Cannot Have (Book Review)

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Some things are just fated. They may not work out exactly like how you had wanted, but they are meant to happen so you learn to grow.
- Preeti Shenoy, The One You Cannot Have

'Relationships do come with hurt and disappointments. Even the best ones die out and all that remains is the embers that still burn.'

And that's what this book is all about. The embers that burn and somehow makes one feel that there is not going to be a happy ever-after if things don't go the way they once planned. And yet, with time, as impossible as it might seem to be, there does come a time when we find ourselves flowing with the waves of time.

In a brilliantly described and poignant tale of love, longing and emerging victoriously from the cobwebs that settle around us after an unexpected occurrence, the author has crafted the characters of Aman, Shruti, Anjali, Rishabh and all others very well to suit the modern mindsets of today.

There are some things in the book that I really found to be worth mentioning. Some of them are as follows-

1. The Indian family's obsession of completing the family with kids soon after marriage has been dealt with in a comical yet gentle way. The pressures on a woman from all parts of a family after she gets married but is not ready to have a kid, is really well-described.

2. The differences between India and foreign countries (UK here) makes you smile, laugh and at times, even makes you question about the world we live in!

3. The author's love for Bengaluru (I love 'Bangalore' more)and the subtle placement of various places and people are commendable. Also the way in which 'saar' is used instead of 'sir' is enough to make one understand the change in pronunciation and utterance of various words the moment one moves around a bit in India ( Cheers to the variety, cheers to India! )

4. Aman's mother represents so many of today's parents who are so open with their children and are trying their best to be good friends to their children instead of the so-called strict ones! I simply adored her in the story.

5. Mr.Sanjeev Adani's presence as a great humanitarian that one encounters once in a while as one happens to walk on the path of life, is the perfect example of how we as humans can often go wrong when judging people. We often mistake smiles on various lips as eternal happiness when in reality we won't even have a hint of the devils they might be fighting inside them.

It is a book that you just can't place down unless and until you don't reach the last page of it. You can be rest assured that you will have the opportunity to savour some whirlwinds of the heart, the turmoils of the mind,the best decisions of the brain and above all, the perfect story that is always written in advance by destiny!

Preeti Shenoy, yet again, presents the reader with a story that is more than just that. It's a journey that will stay with the reader to remind that there definitely will be someone whom we cannot have, no matter how much we try... But you know what? It's just alright! Yes, that's what we will end up saying after we read the story. After all, can the ever-positive author guide her readers towards a sad end? :)

- Divya Nambiar

P.S. The fact that I got an autographed copy of the novel just made it all the more special to read it as well as to gain more positivity that is a good trait of all her books! ;) 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Harnam Sethi's Journey to Self Discovery (Book Review)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

'Life is meant to be lived and not to be understood.'

If only Harnam Sethi had known this earlier, it would have made him realize it sooner that -
'Being vulnerable is what makes life so beautiful.'

A book that traces the journey of Harnam Sethi- the only child of his parents, a deep thinker ( sometimes too much of that, basically a man in search of a reason for his existence, his life.

What begins as a fast-paced story drags and gets too monotonous in between only to get back on track towards the end but it somehow fails to deliver the essence that it promised to, in the beginning.

There are definitely moments in the journey that provide an insight into one's soul and the very idea of 'living', it's so-called purpose as well as finding that one goal that would make one feel content with his presence in this world.

For those into spiritualism,soul-searching or whatever other term one can think of to categorize those kind of people ( including me)- it can definitely be worth a read but then one should have immense patience to follow Harnam's journey because as one progresses with the story, one can actually imagine the rut he seems to be in ( if not physically, mentally atleast!).

I would really like to appreciate the author for delving into a subject like this but maybe somewhere down the lane, the connection with the audience gets lost only for it to bounce back but unable to hit the bull's eye when it came to leaving the audience spellbound.

What I could not connect with is the sudden enlightenment that he achieves when he experiences 'love'. But then again there were times when I actually smiled at the very situation he was in.He did try to charm the reader in some way or the other.

- Divya Nambiar

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Trust: Betrayed(Trust, #2) - Book Review

Trust: Betrayed (Trust, #2)Trust: Betrayed by Cristiane Serruya
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Trust Betrayed (Part-2 of the Trust Series)

'Widowed were not those alive, but those who were dead.'- Cristiane Serruya

Some secrets are revealed, some hearts broken and many dreams will come true... or atleast they should!

This is a journey worth embarking upon by all adults atleast once, because it has so much more than what is considered to be the staple content in all romantic fictions. It is a tragedy yet a tale of hope, of happiness, regrets and a never-ending suspense and above all, a melancholy that stays with the reader long after the story is over.

Guess it's the author's stint with law as a lawyer who specializes in cases of sexual abuse and violence against children and women has brought immense depth and has provided a strong foundation to this story. It brings to light many of the silent tortures that women often have to deal with and sometimes do get used to it to such an extent that they become addicted to it and it ultimately destroys their lives.

Some might ask- What can possibly be achieved by reading an erotic fiction except for some noxious pleasure to the reader? And to them I say – for once, try not to read the book in a shallow manner and instead venture just a bit deeper. Surely the incidents revealed to the world might not have been conjured up from thin air.

For a 20 year old Indian reader, it did prove to be an eyeball rolling experience once in a while but then on the whole, I was mesmerized by the characters. Sophia, a widow with Gabriela, her daughter, Alistair and Ethan, both fighting their inner devils and changed by the circumstances that life sometimes offers (mind you, it can be so much worse than we think it is possible!) Delve a little deeper and the personality of Tavish can leave you spell-bound. Lachlanne, Alice, Leonard- I could go on and on about all of them. I would gladly give 6-stars for the characterization part alone.

For a so-called philosophical being like me, I did get more and more pulled into the way the world functions, one’s destiny and inner-turmoil, the desperate attempts to flee from one’s own past only to be caught red-handed by some memories thrown onto your face when you least expect them to.

As a reader, one gets the exclusive opportunity to relish picturesque places (only a well-travelled author can present something like this) and regale one’s senses in the exquisite emotions that are Godsend in all human beings which is packed in this book. Don’t forget to read the Part-1 of the book before turning pages of this one (‘Trust’ me- it would be more beautiful that way).

For review of Part-1 of the Trust Series- http://critiquedontcriticize.blogspot...

Time for Pandora’s Box (Part-3 of the Trust Series).

Cristiane, Trust - Encore!

-Divya Nambiar
Trust: A New BeginningTrust: BetrayedTrust: Pandora's BoxThe Modern Man: A philosophical divagation about the evil banality of daily actsCristiane Serruya

View all my reviews