Book Review: Jugnu by Ruchi Singh

jugnu cover

I barely registered the rain or the fact that my dog had come and settled on the bed besides me as I read the book. I was lost in Kasauli. Ruchi Singh has a wonderful way of describing places that is more poetic than prose. I could see the mountains and the sun shining through the trees. I could smell the fresh air. As I said I was lost in the book from the first page itself.

The characters are portrayed brilliantly. I half expected them to come right out of the pages and talk to me. Not just Zayd and Ashima but all the supporting characters as well. Each one of them exhibits a plethora of emotions that you can relate to and empathise with.

Ashima is a single mom… no, she is a single daughter in law, a single bhabhi as well, and the sole bread earner. Her weariness, her loneliness, the conventions that bind and hold her back, Her helpless acceptance of her responsibilities , her anguish of not knowing the fate of her husband who is missing in action in the Kargil war, the endless waiting, the flickering of hope against hope, are  what make Jugnu a book that is a class apart.

Zayd, having faced death in all its gruesomeness at an early age, is mature beyond his years. He fights with his demons and forges his own identity. Out on parole all he wants is peace but finds someone who steals his heart instead.

Ruchi has brought out the discrimination faced by Muslims in India in the book, but she deals with it in a very matter of fact manner. She doesn’t make a hue and cry about it. I liked the fact that she doesn’t get preachy yet brings home her point.

I think this one definitely deserves 5 stars.

For a lovely read in the rains, pick it up from amazon here.

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Book review : 150 brilliant ways to keep young minds fit and fine by Neera Maini Srivastav

book 150I really liked the concept of this book which is “to offer an integrated holistic approach” of wellness to teenagers. It covers all the three aspects of body mind and spirit. Each tip or ideas is covered in just a paragraph or two so it is not heavy reading for a generation that communicates through digital short cuts.

A lot of Neera’s ideas are really good. She talks about sex in a very matter of fact way and encourages responsible healthy relationships. She also offers affirmations at the end of each section.

The two things that struck a discordant note were that some of the ideas were repeated a couple of times. She has said the same thing in different ways.

Also the book is supposed to be for teens yet the illustrations show middle aged to old people.

But overall a good handbook for teens in today’s world.

You can pick up a copy here using the amazon affiliate link.

Book Review: Grow up Messy! by Paromita Goswami

pic messy

Paromita Goswami’s book, “Grow up, Messy!”is about a precocious five year old, Misry.

Misry is a little moppet who captures your heart with her jest for life and falling into trouble.

The book is set not in the world of today’s kids but at a time when owning a television was a huge event; a time when it was safe for a five year old girl to roam around the village by herself. It brought back all the memories of a childhood spent decades ago.

However, though the book is meant for kids, there are parts especially where the parents talk to each other which are too grown up for a 5 or 6 year old kid to understand.

You can pick up the book using my Amazon affiliate link here.

Book Review : Just Me, The Sink And The Pot by Sudesna Ghosh.

 

I must admit the title intrigued me, as did the buzz I had heard about the book. And the book did not fail to deliver what it promised. I couldn’t put it down once I started reading it.

Would I classify it as fiction or non- fiction? It links both worlds and I felt my heart crying a little bit as I read about Pamela’s experiences as a fat girl.

The world is cruel and all the more to those who cannot stand up for themselves. Pamela has learnt very early in life, that ‘fat” girls cannot do a lot of things. They cannot expect to get heart shaped candy on Valentine’s day even in kindergarten. They cannot hope that the object of their crush would even notice them romantically. They cannot hope to be the star in school plays.

When not only classmates but also family join in to ridicule her, Pamela withdraws into a world of her own where she talks to her toys and looks to them for emotional support. She rarely talks to people but her fertile imagination produces all sorts of scenes where she is loved rather than ridiculed.

The only thing I found a little odd was that if she was so obviously overweight and had social and emotional issues, why didn’t her parents do something about it? Why did they wait for so many years before thinking of going to a counsellor? Why could they have not worked with her on her diet and other issues? In the end she is glad because she finally has a family that cares about her talent. Why could she not have a family that simply cared about her?

It just drives home the point that a lot of parents just close their eyes to the issues faced by their kids. They are too scared to tackle their kids head on. They don’t want to admit that their kids have a problem. They can’t accept the fact that their kid might need help. If only we as parents accept our kids with all their flaws and give them unconditional love, will our kids find the strength to face anything that the world throws at them. They won’t need to withdraw into a make-believe world where toys talk to them and give them advice on how to live their lives even at 18.

 

 
JUST ME, THE SINK & THE POT
by
Sudesna Ghosh
 
Blurb
 
Meet Pamela, an overweight girl who’s looking back at her school days. From longing for a Valentine to dealing with a sibling who hates her, Pamela has a lot to deal with. She even has a special bunch of friends at home who she can turn to – but they aren’t the kind of friends you’d expect. Life sucks when you’re fat. Can Pamela ever be happy?
Read an excerpt of the book here…

 
One day a classmate asked me, “Where is your lunch?” I told her that I had already had it and went back to my fake laughter and smiles. The others chatted and laughed while they ate from their tiffin boxes. Some brought samosas or ice cream from outside the gate. My hunger pangs got worse as I saw all the food and smelt the delicious odours around me.
 
The ice cream cart was run by a sweet old man who knew me since I’d started school. He would ask me some days, “Child, you don’t want your favourite orange stick?” I would say no thank you and smile before running away from him and his cart. One day he seemed to be desperate to make me have an ice cream. “Child! Come here and have an ice cream. You don’t have to pay me,” he called out. I smiled, turned around and went to hide in an empty classroom. Two minutes later, I shrieked; the old man had found me. He was carrying a dripping ice cream for me. I started laughing. Then I started running away from him. The old man started running after me!

 

My classmates were shocked. The sports teacher was happy to see me run for the first time – I had never run before because fat moves when you run. Everybody would laugh. The lunch break ended with me accepting the mostly melted orange stick from the kind ice cream man. We were too tired to talk about the whole event. But it did make me a bit popular that year, with the school Yearbook including the story and a picture of me running away from a 6 feet tall man holding an ice cream.

Grab your copy @

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About the author

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sudesna (Sue) Ghosh is a writer based in Kolkata. She was born in the United States and moved to India when she was 9. After completing high school there, she went back to the US for her higher education at the University of Rochester. She has also penned What Would I Tell Her @ 13 and News Now, along with several short stories. When Sudesna isn’t writing, she tries to do her bit for animal welfare.

 

                  

 

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Book Review :250 Story Prompts from Newspaper Headlines: Ideas for your first book of short stories (Vol 1) by Shyamala Shanmugasundaram

imageBeing used to reviewing books that take at least a couple of hours to read, I was at a loss on how to review a book that took me hardly 10 minutes to read.

But then, as a writer and creative writing coach, I tried out a few of the prompts.

I must say, I am impressed. Shyamala has put together an array of prompts that range from everyday incidents to the bizarre. There were some prompts that made me go “Whaaaat? How on earth am I supposed to write on that?” But that was the challenge and it took me out of my comfort zone to push myself and really start thinking.

We also had fun in class, thinking up various endings for the same plot.

The author has obviously taken a lot of trouble to put together these news headlines from various sources.

A book worth buying for writers who are stuck for ideas or someone just starting out on the writing journey and needs direction.

You can pick it up from Amazon through my affiliate link here http://amzn.to/2sFIR1K

Book Review: The Prince’s Special Bride by Devika Fernando

the Prince's special Bride devika Fernand

Marie doesn’t believe in fairytales and needs no handsome prince to rescue her from misery – but everything changes when she falls in love with Crown Prince Christian of Taragonia. When his sister invites Marie to the palace, their lives collide and leave them both fighting their forbidden attraction.
Prince Christian has no place in his life for love or for a woman who doesn’t fit into the royal scheme of things. But vivacious Marie steals his heart and puts all he has lived for at stake. When the media gets wind of their affair, he has to make a difficult decision.
Will the unlikely couple have a chance at a happy ending?

My review:

This is the first time I am reviewing a book by Devika Fernando.  I have always been intrigued by her books, especially the Royal Romance series.

I suppose at heart and we are all looking for our Prince Charming, even as we fight for equality.

Devika has created a perfect blend where this longing for the prince is matched with an equally strong independent streak in the heroine.

Devika has a very easy style of writing that makes it easy to slip into the story.  Her characters are human rather than perfect.  She has a knack for putting things in a way you would like to quote.

“A drawn out concert of colours, the sky flirting with the ocean until it was suffused in its glow.”

“It’s like there is this sword hanging over my head and nobody is willing to acknowledge it much less help me escape from it.”

“Maybe I fooled myself that if I’d do what nobody would expect from me, they’d stop being so sure that I’d do what they did expect from me.”

All in all, I enjoyed reading it, though the book could have been edited better.

You can pick up your copy here using my Amazon afiliate link. It will go well with the rains and a nice cup of tea.

 

Book Review: Finding the Angel by Rubina Ramesh

 


 FINDING THE ANGEL

by
Rubina Ramesh

I thought I’d take a nap. Then I remembered that I had this new book, “Finding the Angel” by Rubina Ramesh. I thought I’d read a bit till I dozed off. One hour later, nap time was over and so was the book.
What struck me was that those of us who love reading romance, always look to the west for our princes. Mills & Boons are packed with princes from mysterious countries. And here finally we have our Prince Charming or should I say Uncharming, right here in India.
Whenever I review a book, I don’t just look at the story and so though the title, “Finding the Angel” felt like more of a mystery, the book is an all and all out love story.
It’s a really quick read and had me gripped because the author has a way of writing that pulls you into the story. Every scene unfolds very realistically. The emotions, the actions of the characters all make you feel as if you were right there in the book itself.
There were places in the book where I really wanted to whack both Prince Aryan and Shefali, one on their heads. Him for being so mean and irritating and her for not whacking him herself.
I am definitely looking forward to more books from Rubina Ramesh.

 
 
Blurb
 
All She wanted was love…
 
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
 
All He wanted was to trust…
 
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
 
All They need is to find The Angel…
 
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft. 
 
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?
 
Grab your copy @
 
Amazon.com.au | Amazon.ca


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About the author

 

Rubina Ramesh is an avid reader, writer, blogger, book reviewer, and marketer. She is the founder of The Book Club, an online book publicity group. Her first literary work was published in her school magazine. It gave her immense pride to see her own name at the bottom of the article. She was about 8 years old at that time. She then went to complete her MBA and after her marriage to her childhood friend, her travel saga started. From The Netherlands to the British Isles she lived her life like an adventure. After a short stint in Malaysia, she finally settled down in the desert state of USA, Arizona. Living with her DH and two human kids and one doggie kid, Rubina has finally started living the life she had always dreamed about – that of a writer.

 

 

 

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