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Wednesday, 20 September 2017
Sick of Being Healthy by Monisha K Gumber

Published Year- 2016
Publication-  Leadstart Publishing Pvt Ltd
Pages- 159
Genre- Fiction
Format-  Paperback/Kindle


                                                           Synopsis

"Tara, a young teenager is blessed with a little bit too much of health for her own good. Desperate to get the guy of her dreams, she ends up playing a very dangerous game- a game that could cost her friendship, her peace of mind and even her life ! Actually that's an exaggeration but yes, she does make some serious blunders in her quest for a perfect body to impress her one true love. Can she do it an d is it all really worth it? 

Welcome to her world and discover her inspiring journey towards real health and happiness, meet her stunning high achiever best friends and her parents who never seem to be satisfied. Let down by her own sister and under constant pressure to do well in studies, she learns how to fight her confidence and self-esteem issues and emerge a winner in the end."


                                                      My Review

No matter how you look there’s always one thing which never leaves your side is- YOU. The book says it all once you are done with it. Book has left no steps unturned in bringing the major issues faced by girls that too when they are “teenagers” . Some years down the line I was too concerned with my skinny body because it made me feel very uneasy among my friend circle, they would tag me with silly names(of’ course back then it hurts me hearing those names) but now  learned how I am important to me and I am not breathing to impress others. So the book was definitely relatable to me. Coming back to the book, Sick of Being Healthy as the title and cover image goes along with the storyline. A teenage girl, whose only love was food and later she turned bitter towards herself and became judgmental. Book is her journey from getting rid of extra muscles on her body to discovering her inner innate quality and capabilities.

Tara, a young teenager who assumed to have everything but at the end of the day she realizes that why people choose Barbie dolls over teddy bear. She thought it’s her weight due to which people tends to ignore her including her parents and crushes. This is the story of most of the teenagers who have decent amount of mass on their bodies and their struggle to get into right frame or their hidden ultimate to get into best slimy dress which is available on lavish stores. Tara story is sometimes funny, it will put you in deep thinking way back to your crush days and will inspires you. Girl who has so much capabilities was centered around her body weight that she almost forget that there is something very hidden and special within her.

Book plot is fast and really very interactive. Loads of illustrations were not less than rib tickling and would made you praise the author’s efforts. Book is guidance to many teenagers. I am again amazed with author’s work, and now  I am wondering that why I didn’t picked the first installment(Sick of Being Healthy) rather jumped on the Dying to Live but I don’t regret I would flaunt this book just I did with the other book of the author. Language was crisp and enjoyable, would make you amaze. The best thing about the book was illustrations and they were damn funny and catchy.

I would recommend this book to everyone because book knows no gender boundaries, no age boundaries. If you are struggling with your weight trauma or you are dwelling with loads of baffled emotions then you gotto go and grab the book right now.

I would rate this amazing, funny and inspiring book 4/5 stars. Can’t wait to read the third installment.

Reviewed by Aditi Srivastava  



Saturday, 9 September 2017
Title: The Disobedient Darkness
Author: Prateek Dubey
Publisher: Frog Books
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 554
Rating: 4/5

Blurb: A man trades his doubts for a unique gift from his daemōn. This puts into motion his metamorphosis; a doubtless mind connecting him with other layers of existence and unravelling some extraordinary latent powers. Using his newfound abilities impetuously for the benefit of others, he inevitably runs into the dark side of goodness. Then, one-day, a moment of violence, a call for justice hurls him into a maelstrom of an extraordinary adventure - a quest for a pitcher of ancient mystic water, hidden deep inside the Himalayas. It is the only known weapon against a sinister supernatural force abducting humans from earth. But an unexpected turn awaits him; the water is nurturing a secret intent that could change the destiny of mankind.

My views:
Cover: White, simple, and serene background with a very suitable font. Though the silhouette of a butterfly, with a sting at its tail and missing antenna-like projections on its head gives it a mysterious touch. Especially the way it's shaded between blue and black. The cover stands alone, in its simplicity and in its complexity and intrigues the reader.

Blurb: Gives away as much is required to pull in a reader. The story seems new, and it seems that the story borders around fantasy genre with a dark touch. Though it also says of some mystical and spiritual contents inside.
Blurb is a huge hit on.

Now coming to the story: it's new, and definitely more than a one-time read.

The plot is nicely interwoven and it is executed with extreme care. The author has shown no hurry in delivering actions, and the pages have turned whenever they should: neither early nor late.

The language is easy, and selection of words is worth appreciating. Dialogues are beautifully done, and characters are seemingly real, as are their problems. Writer talks his way throughout the story through his jumping narratives, while his words creep into your heart for your darkness. At times you'll feel that you've got those gifts from Smoogykuk, and it's you who brought an end to Tunhim.

The butterfly on the cover is a very important symbol to the story and the colour compliments its importance. The setting, and the scenes are very well described. The story moves like a movie.

Kudos to the author for such a beautiful story. Standing close to 550 pages, it still is worth finishing in one sitting.

You ought to pick this book if you are disappointed by college romances and want a different flavour to your read-buds.

Wednesday, 6 September 2017
Title: Rudravan (Whom the gods would destroy, they must first create)
Author: Rahul Rajan
Publisher: Frog Books (www.leadstartcorp.com)
Genre: Fiction (mytho-fantasy)
Pages: 484
Rating: 4/5
Blurb: Rāvan...

The greatest villain of our legends, burnt down every year, reduced to ashes again and again, only to rise anew. His is a cycle of death and rebirth that never ends, a legend that refuses to die. And there is a reason for that.

The tale of Rāvan still screams to be told, to break free of the falsehoods that have buried his truth. But in the vastness of our myths, there are bits and pieces of his legend scattered all around, leading us to the truth of what could well be the greatest unsolved mystery of all time. The truth of Rāvan's life, and his death by a God in mortal flesh…

Rāvan's origin, as the descendant of Lord Brahma, his devotion to Shiva and his conquest of Swarga speak of a great king, stronger and wiser than even the Devas. How then does he succumb to lust, cowardice and finally, foolhardiness?

And what was Rāvan's sin that made his death necessary? The abduction of Sitā was a mere front, for the Rām avatar had been born long before that. Why did Vishnu stand against him, when he was blessed by both Shiva and Brahma? How was Rāvan, blessed with invincibility, defeated so conveniently, by a God in human flesh? Could Rāvan not have thought of that, and prepared against it?

And why did Shiva allow the death of his greatest worshipper, the one he himself had named?

What if the Rāmayan was just a part of a greater story, a cosmic game
of chess between Vishnu and Rāvan? What if our greatest epic is merely the end of a tale that had begun long ago?

My views:
Cover: The most fascinating thing about its cover is the black ground and the image in between. Then comes the title, which is an amalgamation of Rudra and Rāvan... And a very beautiful subtitle that goes byline. The name of the author is written at the bottom in yellow. The fonts on the cover are readable, clear and attractive. One might pick this book after looking at the cover, for it tells pretty much of the mystery it unfolds and holds.

Blurb: Exciting and gripping! It gives away as much as is required to pull a reader. Rāvan, intact, remains the most mysterious villain of Indian mythology... The greatest of all who was given the meanest ending. The blurb is a huge turn-on for a mytho-fantasy lover.

Story: The first page carries a sketch of Rāvana in the iconic Atlas pose... The only difference is he is lifting mountains (Kailash) instead of the planet. The another fascinating thing about this book is the sketches... Every chapter carries one beautiful sketch which summarises the core of the chapter. There is also a map (which can tell you where to look for if you wish to go to Vaikunt)

Here, I won't give away spoilers but I'll tell you what you will find in the book, and what I loved the most. There has been several retellings of the epic but none of them (I read) had ever focussed on the character of Rāvana, save Asura (the book); but this book took the Ramayana to the next level. Making it more from the fight of good vs evil to a very real battle of two gray characters.

The story is cosmo-tic. The battle between light and half darkness, and a battle of survival. This is the most fascinating thing about this book. Instead of showing the story as a 'he-kidnapped-his-wife-so-he-should-be-killed' or 'he-is-evil-so-must-die' type clichéd story... This story went further ahead to show how a battle of survival ended up being the battle of strength. How the beings of light were as responsible as the asuras for the chaos and the unbalance, and how this battle was a sort of revenge... A fight-back!
The characters are nearly woven, descriptions detailed, and scenes beautifully told. You will feel the story going in reels in front of you while reading. Standing close to 500 pages it will not leave you even after it ends. I almost felt like there should have been more... A few more pages... The storytelling is this smooth. And guess what, this is a debut! Kudos to author for such an enthralling story. There are minor grammatical glitches in the book which at one sight are easy to be ignored... The language is fluid, plot nicely woven, and scenes satisfying.

I strongly recommend the book. It's a must have in the book-shelves of a fantasy and a mythology lover. The bibliophiles will love it's presence... And with Amish's series going on... This will kind of give you a parallel journey.


Monday, 4 September 2017
Title: Unrequited Feelings
Author: Kalyani Dandekar
Publisher: Frog Books
(www.leadstartcorp.com)
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 264
Rating: 3/5
Blurb: The story revolves around the teenage friends – Sayali, Kavika, Rishab, Ved, whose lives have turned 360 degrees due to the feelings they harbor for each other. Kavika and Rishab share a bond of fri-enemies, while Ved and Sayali are good friends. Each new advancement in their life cause nothing but troublesome feeling's like jealousy, guilt, lies and betrayals to destroy them and sweep them in a new direction. But this unrequited love has left many pages upturned.
Revealing all faces, will malice take over or will it make all of them reborn? Will they be forgiven or they will be consumed by the darkness of the past?

My views:
Cover: Intimidating! The branches outline a heart which carries the title in it. The tone is pinkish, and gives the cover a romantic touch, though the use of dark shade gives a feeling of uncertainty. Silhouettes of four characters are present on the cover and beneath them lies the land, darkened, on which the name of the author is printed.
The cover is not that special, but still, is simple, symbolic and compliments the story.
(Though it could have been better!)

Blurb: Speaking the truth, the blurb is kind of a turn-off. For various things happen abruptly. I got only the bits and pieces of the information put out there. But it's okay, for if the author felt like doing it, there might have been some reasons.
(Though it should be revised in further editions, if they come!)

Acknowledgment begins with a clichéd remark and the list of people thanked is too, too short (too professional), but still it doesn't feels good.

If you go through the contents, you will see that two chapters bear the same name, save the capitalisation of one letter in the former.

POV: First person narrative. The writer has jumped between Kavika and Rishab for moving the story forward.

Story: The first page wanted me to stop, but as I had committed myself to this book, I had to read it anyhow, and am glad I finished. This is a one time read, and am telling this in the beginning of my review because this needs to be focussed on.
The plot is really good. The actions keep you binded, and there are surprises and twists in the story. But it's the way the story is moved forward, that spoils the show. Actions come off abruptly, out of nowhere, and the dialogues seem unrealistic. Characters, somehow, at times feel real... But still that pull-in feeling is absent. One will need to read some paragraphs again and again to get what the character wants to say. The language is easy, and anybody who has the basic knowledge of English can easily read and comprehend the story. Though I will suggest the author and the publication to go through a re-edit, if the book gets re-printed.
This is a debut book, so all we can do is expect good books from the author in future. Personally, I would like to 'request' the author to read some more, practice some more and then experiment with the genre.
Rest rests in your hands, a one time reading will not disappoint you.