Thursday, October 16, 2014

Half Girlfriend (Book Review)

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

A book that created waves
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even before its release and a book that garnered eyeballs even from the non-readers for a line that was shocking to be read in print at a place and time when worse lines are uttered in almost every street by the roadside romeos at unsuspecting victims, Chetan Bhagat managed to strike a chord with that part of the society that tends to be ignored by many English language authors- the so-called less fluent English knowing readers.

I have read all of his books except What Young India Wants and somehow I found this one shallow in its content and I guess this one was written with a Bollywood adaptation of the same in mind. I wonder if that was the reason for this comparative lack of depth in the tale.

I felt that Madhav's mother's character could have been better described in the 'Chetan Bhagat way'. Was Amrita Singh ( the female actor who played Krish's mother in 2States, an adaptation of his fourth novel) on Bhagat's mind when he wrote about Madhav's mother? I could imagine her acting out her part in this book's film adaptation.

What I liked about the book is its portrayal of Riya (at times). She played Basketball. Wow! She was bold enough to walk out of a relation that was doing her no good and was infact deluging her individuality. The anxieties, emotions and actions that Riya underwent has been well written.

I had read Mr. Bhagat's post during the release of this book which made him an Author and Producer at the same time. I appreciate his rise from a banker to where he has reached now but I wonder if he is ready to play the multiple roles that now await him.

I never liked it when Chetan Bhagat's writing style was criticized because I somehow liked his books no matter what the world had to say but with this book my hopes seem to have suddenly faded.

A MESSAGE FROM A BIT DISAPPOINTED READER: Write with an Author's vision and not a Director's or Producer's. No doubt certain scenes that were originally there in the book might get cut but then maybe it's because it would magically charm just the 'readers' and not the 'viewers'. It's alright if the entire book does not metamorphose into the film but it seems shallow when a film is written down on paper.

-Divya Nambiar

Author: Chetan Bhagat

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Saturday, October 11, 2014

The City of Palaces (Book Review)

The City of PalacesThe City of Palaces by Sujata Massey
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Bengal, 1930. For an Indian reader born in the 1990s, it became a throwback into an era that could only be imagined from the countless tales of the freedom struggle.

This book is a moving account of a young girl who loses her family in a devastating flood and then goes on to explain the way she surged forward through many life-changing tides in her life and finally found her rightful place in a world where she was made to believe she had nothing worthwhile!

Elucidating details of the freedom struggle is unlike the monotonous writings that usually form a part of our History textbooks. This book instead becomes a great way of exactly getting a feel of life in India for a young girl as she embarked upon the journey of life with her instincts and so-called kind looking people. The reader would be delighted to find how inspite of all her ordeals she somehow sails through the journey of life. What is worth noting is the way she carries herself inspite of all that was ready to pull her down and turn her into shreds by revealing a past she ran away from.

The candidness with which the author presents the tale is both heartening as well as heart-wrenching at the same time. There is something about the author that makes her description of Pom poignant and leaves a lasting impact on the minds of the reader.

Pom's journey from being Pom to Kamala Mukherjee is worth a read- a gripping one at that! A must read for all lovers of Indian History!

- Divya Nambiar
Author- Sujata Massey
Other books by the author: Floating Girl by Sujata Massey, The Samurai's Daughter by Sujata Massey, Girl in a Box by Sujata Massey, The Flower Master by Sujata Massey

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