THE SPEAKING GHOST OF RAJPUR


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“As the blurb clearly states: who knows – you might even get to encounter the speaking ghost’ at the very end!” The book looks upon adventure from a philosophical standpoint of pursuing the unknown and what are ghosts but the unknown. It’s literary and philosophical work with an element of suspense.  

The plot – The summer adventures of a group of teenagers. The suspense element in the title is maintained till the very end which helps the reader to overlook the flaws. The plot oscillates from sweet nothings to thriller mode very well. There are parts of the book which will help the reader recall his/her own summer vacations.

Very appropriate cover and fine sketches inside add the charm of the book. All the characters in the book are justified well though their names were quite unique, hence couldn’t connect me that much.

Do pick up this thoughtful piece of literature for intellectual stimulation of your mind.  

My Rating – 4/5

 

 

 

 

THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL – MY FIRST SUPERHERO


 

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How do I explain my obsession towards THE SCARLET PIMPERNEL? He was my first superhero and a vigilante on a mission. I didn’t know who Emma Orczy was when I first read the book. But the plot intrigued me so much that I began to believe the Scarlet Pimpernel was real.

I remember trying to understand the French Revolution just to know if Scarlet Pimpernel really existed. To me French Revolution was yet another boring chapter in the history textbook. But the impression of my first super hero would never fade away.

The plot – The Scarlet Pimpernel rescues his countrymen from the clutches of the French. He wears the mask of a fool. The book was my first introduction to the concept of dual identity

Emmy Orczy narrates the story from Marguerite’s point of view.  Marguerite – his better half who underestimates him and betrays him without knowing his true identity. When the truth is revealed she sets out on a journey to right the wrong which puts her life at risk.

The antagonist Chauvelin is as cunning as a fox and anticipates the hero’s every move. There is one sequence in the book where they meet face to face.  It was so clever and nerve wrecking at the same time.

Long before THE BATMAN and THE SUPERMAN there was the SCARLET PIMPERNEL – MY FIRST SUPER HERO

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN – BOOK REVIEW


 

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How enticing can a train journey be? Almost all of us have been there.  Our eyes decode a thousand images day in and day out as the train moves forward. More often than not we decode those images according to our perception. What if a particular image becomes an irresistible obsession? You look forward to seeing the same image every single day to decode it in a thousand different ways.

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Is it really an obsession or is it the only shot at redemption? Paula Hawkins deftly uses the eyes of a washed up protagonist to give us a gripping insight into the power of perception. She unravels the events one after by the other by luring us into the mind of the protagonist.  

And there’s the power of deception. When you train yourself to think in a certain way you fail to see with the mind’s eye. You deceive yourself to the point of no return. You convince yourself that you are a failure.

Paula Hawkins weaves a interesting web of love, lies, deceit and betrayal which keeps the reader glued till the very end. It’s about her – THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN. But it’s also about us. It’s our journey too – The same journey which tires our mind every day. Is there hope? Or are we doomed to the point of no return? Pick up the book to find out.

If you are into thrillers this is a must read.

My rating – 4/5

Links to buy the book. THE GIRL ON THE TRAIN

 

300 DAYS – BOOK REVIEW


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300 Days – When I picked the book I had absolutely no idea what I was getting into. The page count did startle me at first – 402 pages.  Yes you heard it right. Now that I am done with the book. How do I decode it? Irrespective of my own opinion a pat on the back to the author for a very brave debut. It’s a very gutsy decision to put the entire sequence of events on paper. At times there are compromises when it’s a debut. 

The romance within the pages was raw and real. It brought back memories of the good old days. The biggest strength of the book is it’s ability to make the reader dwell into the dwell into his/her own love story. It will either make the reader travel back in time or re-live the present.

Another major plus is the chemistry and the conflict between the two leaders. I love romances when it focuses solely on the chemistry and conflict between the protagonists without too many subplots or deviations.

The length is both a plus and a minus. It allows the reader to savour each and every moment. On the flip side the conflict drags on and on without any proper resolution. A book should always leave the reader yearning for more. After a certain point I was very desperate for the book to the end. 

The editing is flawed. The words are misplaced and re-typed. To me 300 days was a concept which had great potential and promise. Perhaps better editing would have done the trick.

Does love give you a sense of fulfilment or is there life after love ? How long do you hold on to something which is not yours? Is it even worth the time and effort? At what point do you decide it’s time to let go? Pick up the book to have your answers. If you believe that you have patience and time to sit through the entire sequence of events then 300 days is the book for you.

My Rating 3/5

Best wishes for your next book Bragadeesh Prasanna.

The link to buy the book – 300 Days.

Any suggestions for the next book review on Monday ?

 

 

 

 

 

 

NOW AND FOREVER – BOOK REVIEW


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Is it possible for the same book to evoke two extreme reactions? It happened to me with Now and Forever. I picked up this book for two reasons – The Author’s experience in handling the romance genre and the eternal charm that every love story brings to our daily lives.

My policy is if you feel helpless, you ought to be a source of help to someone else who is helpless”.  This line to me is the essence of the book. The book is a journey of redemption. Two  souls re-ignite their lost passion while helping each other out. The events are deftly sequenced to lure the reader in and make them believe in the old saying “Everything happens for a reason.

There are certain portions of the book which will drown you with love. As a reader those portions leave you yearning for more. And then there are portions which deviate to offer you the mundane. But here too the author succeeds by dressing the cliché sequences with some amazing wordplay yet the language is simple and easy to grasp

For me the book was a tale of two halves. While the love angle and the family bonding left a lasting impression. The other portions of Now and Forever left me in a fix. The intent is very clear to make you feel good without making you think too much and that’s where Meera Shivashankar scores.

Pick up this book if you love the romance genre or if you want to read something light and breezy to make you feel good. Of course we all love to dance in the rain. But sometimes a slight drizzle is just enough to make you feel happy.

Best Wishes for the next book.

My Rating – 3/5

 Link to buy the book. NOW AND FOREVER

Next book Review  – 300 days by Bragadeesh Prasanna on 13/07/2016

 

 

AFTER THE FLOODS – BOOK REVIEW


 

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FLOODS? Don’t fool yourself. It is just not possible. Chennai has always been synonymous with heat for quite a while now. A red hot summer has always been an inseparable part of Chennai. How many times have we yearned for the rain gods as a mode of escapism ?

Perhaps we have all been struck in our own self – obsessed world . December dawned and nature decided to take a subtle but sure shot diversion from it’s usual routine. The next few days were a blur as the residents of Chennai were being pulled in by a wave of despair and destruction.

We were supposed to be down and out. But the city rose up and showed the world how it’s done. There was a never before seen wave of love, hope and compassion. This thread of hope is the essence of book as we have re-lived our experiences in our own unique way.

Each of these stories have their own distinct flavour. There are stories to stir your soul and make you re- think the very purpose of your lives. This chain of realization ties all the stories together. Another big positive is the finishing act. Almost all the stories have a very strong finish. 

The only negative is the mess up with the page numbers which makes re-reading a little too tedious. There are few minor edit flaws as well. I hope these negatives can be rectified in the upcoming editions of the book.

This anthology isn’t just a collection of short stories. It is a celebration of the human spirit. Do pick it up if you love stories filled with hope.  Priced at Rs. 150 it won’t burn your pockets. 

I am in there too with the opening act.

My favourite from the collection – Srilakshmi’s Rains, Dairy Milk Chocolates and Us

Link to buy the book online

AFTER THE FLOODS

 

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Magic Am I a Trick ? – Book Review


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There is a reason why love stories continue to work despite being filled with cliche narrative styles and the same old situations. Every love story is filled with a tiny thread of hope and nostalgia. You either travel back to the sweet memories of the past or you just feel good about how the writer’s thoughts mirror your present bliss.

Are you Magic Am I trick seamlessly mixes both fantasy and realism and makes it work. The plot – An author’s protagonist comes to life. You have to pick the book to find out what happens next.

The author devotes the first few pages to put forth a few impressions from her own life. But the story gains momentum once she shifts into story – telling mode. There are quite a few stand outs in the book. The good and evil connotations within the same person, the insecurities that creep in within a person towards a relationship as age catches up with him/her are all very well narrated. Another thing which impressed me is the author’s belief that life is an unscripted surprise. She holds on to that thought right till the very end.

The major turn off was the male protagonist’s flash back. A story within a story does not gel well with the narrative. There a few edit mistakes which can be corrected in the next edition.  There are a few cliche situations but that is an integral part of attempting something within the romantic genre.

A very good first attempt. Definitely pick it up if you are a fan of the romance genre.

All the best Arpita. Hopefully more experimentation and genre hopping in your future books.

My Rating: 3/5

 

 

READY STEADY EXIT – BOOK REVIEW


 

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I picked up P C Balasubramanian’s READY STEADY EXIT because of my fascination for SUPER RAJNIKANTH.  Having successfully decoded Brand Rajni in his earlier book the author gives us his first work of fiction. This made me all the more curious.

Ready Steady Exit offers a tiny glimpse into the world of startups in a very simple language. The book highlights both the ups and downs of a self – funded venture. Despite the heavy premise the tone is light and keeps us hooked. 

Another major plus is how he blends in the integral elements of the region without too much detailing. I saw flashes of Ravi Subramanian’s style of writing minus the thriller elements. This book is welcome diversion from mundane romances and heavy thrillers.

On the downside the business terminologies might be Greek and Latin for readers who have absolutely no knowledge on how a start up works. 

Pick this one up if you are a passionate soul on the lookout for an opportunity to start out on your own. This book might just be a humorous slice of your life.

It is not every day that you come across a book which explicitly lays out the story in the title. You have to read entire narrative to find out what leads to READY, STEADY and EXIT.

My Rating 3/5

 

SHARADA AND THE MAESTRO’S SYMPHONY


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SHARADA – A lot has been written and re-written about Sharada as a person. I am not sure if I can add anything more.  She’s added so much colour and enthusiasm to my life within a very short span of time.

She often reminds me of Illayaraja’s perfect song. There’s something so magical about a Raja song. It can soothe you, give you hope and fill you with happiness. The genius of Raja is even more obvious when you listen to the same song n number of times. Every time you listen there’s a different feel, flavour and tone to the same song.

Sharada at first glance might come across as another modern day woman with aspirations.  But the more you get to know her you will realize there’s a multi – faceted SUPERSTAR hidden within.  Stand up Comic, RJ and Author and she does a fairly good job in all the three fields. I am not sure many people can do that. Not everybody has the guts to quit a safe regular income job to  follow their passion. She’s done that without regrets

Despite being outrageously talented she’s level headed and speaks from the heart and stands firm in the values  she believes in. She’s my mirror image from the other side. It is very rare to come across people with empathy and honesty. She’s one of them.

Best Wishes for the journey ahead. May the force be with u.

 

 

MAKE IT 2 – A QUESTION OF CHOICES


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Let me start with a candid confession MAKE IT 2 wasn’t an easy book to review.  The book is a mess a sweet, funny, erotic mess. We have all come across triangles before. So what makes this one different?

On the surface it does resemble the usual love triangle we have all come across before.  But for me it was always about the choices and their resulting consequences. It is not often that a reader encounters two strong, independent female characters in a love story.  This uniqueness makes the whole plot work.

We have two women who aren’t afraid to face the consequences of their own choices. The hero fittingly plays second fiddle. A major plus is the tone which is cheesy and erotic throughout. To do so with minimal sex sequences is a commendable feat.

The book is only 150 pages which makes it a light, breezy read.  Make It 2 once again highlights the importance of a good closure. A bad finish can ruin a good plot. On the other hand if the author gives a fitting finale it can make the reader forget all the flaws in the plot.  Sharada Vijay does that with admirable ease.

The only negative is the local lingo. I always believe love stories have universal appeal. Usage of the local language might act as a hindrance when there is a very good chance of reaching readers in different states. Perhaps a page could have been allotted to explain the native terms.  

Pick this one up if you like light, breezy romance with a tiny slice of erotica.

Sharada Vijay – Best Wishes for your next book.

My Rating : 3/5

Amazon Link : http://www.amazon.in/dp/9352063554/

FB Page link : Soul Scribbles