Posted in book reviews

[Book review] Hell! No saints in Paradise by A.K Asif

Goodreads | Amazon.in

Genre: Fiction, fantasy

Number of pages: 356

Published on: 11 August, 2017

Published by: HarpercollinsIndia

Goodreads blurb:

2050, New York. In the aftermath of a gruelling spiritual cleansing quest, Ismael, a Pakistani-American student, enters into an alliance with spiritual beings who send him on a perilous journey of self-discovery. A non-believer, Ismael must return to Pakistan, now in the grip of a brutal fundamentalist government, and gain the trust of his estranged father, a prominent extremist in the Caliphate. To accomplish this, he must pose as a true believer. Will he survive long enough to infiltrate his father’s inner sanctum and complete his mission? Hell! No Saints in Paradise is both biting satire and allegory that takes urban fantasy to dizzying heights.

My take:

So, this is book is one of those stories which had the capability to be a heart-wrenching or life-changing tales. Guess what? Something went miserably wrong which totally spoiled the purpose of the book.

I must admit that the book wasn’t terrible right from the beginning. Actually, it started at a very high note, amazing writing, great descriptions and a lot of hope. But the positive part of the book was extremely short-lived. After I’d been through 1/10th of the book, I was like, “I’m gonna love this book”. Well, you must have known by now that this case was far from being.

I admit, difference in culture must have resulted in my lack of understanding of some of the concepts. But trust me, even if I ignore my lack of understanding of these concepts, this book was pretty confusing. So much so, that the story was not progressing anywhere at all.

After reading hundred or so pages of the book, I felt like there is no story at all. I was just reading the book without caring what exactly is happening. I even did not care what is happening to the protagonist. There were chaos, there was weirdness; but the same could be explained in a sane manner and that could’ve made so much more sense!

The only power this book has is that of the writing style. I must admit that it is impeccable. I mean, I imagine what great book the author can write if the story were strong and characters moderately interesting.

I’d hardly recommend this book to my fellow readers. But those, who are ready to be extremely patient and open to peculiarities may try it out!

My rating: 2/5 ⭐

*I thank writersmelon for providing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.”

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Posted in Blog

[Book review] Trust me not by Ankita Verma Datta

Goodreads |Amazon.in

Genre: fiction, romance, socio-political thriller

Published on: October 15th, 2017

Published by: Jaico publishing house

Number of pages: 384

Goodreads synopsis:

“An excellent account of today’s cut-throat world, told through an intense love story. The complexity of the characters and the story keeps you riveted until the unexpected end.” – Madhur Bhandarkar.

Rising corporate star Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a top-notch PR agency. It is the opportunity of a lifetime. But working with Enigmatic Billionaire Kunaal Kabi was not going to be easy. Even as she develops feelings for him, she is determined to prove herself.

But when an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. Can she retain the credibility of her prominent clients while helping hundreds save their homes? As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections. A no-holds-barred race ensues, blood is drawn and Reeva is trapped in the eye of a political thunderstorm. If she succeeds, powerful people will have much to answer.

My review:

This book has the capability of becoming a cliché Bollywood movie, and a good one!

I know, the two phrases of my statement may look contradictory. But this was require to express my feelings for the book. Trite at times, this book felt refreshing at other times. A normal girl, Reeva, falls in love with Kunaal, who is associated with powerful and dangerous people. In addition to being powerful, is he dangerous, too?

This book has an old charm about it. The storyline is quite simple. It moves forward unambiguously, and keeps the reader hooked up to the book. The writing flows effortlessly, making this book a quick and engaging read.

The distinctiveness of the characters is another quality of the book which makes it stand apart from majority of the Indian fiction books. There is something suspensive about many of them and it keeps the story interesting. 

While there are so many good things about the book, there is also a little romance which doesn’t feel very spontaneous. It felt like these parts were added merely for the sake of adding romance in the book. While the suspense factor was there, the punch at the end still did not feel very powerful to me.

However, I’d recommend this book to all who wish to read politico-fictional book with love thrown into mix. This combination results into a very interesting read!

My rating: 3.5/5 ⭐

*Note: I received this book from bookfever in exchange of an honest review.*

Posted in Blog

Panacea 

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herdalliancewithwords

Hi. Let me start off with a simple question. Have you ever met a person and not perceived? The answer will be no. Human Psychology. Perception is a function of the human brain. Defined as the way in which something is regarded, understood or interpreted. Interpretation. Defined as the act of explaining the meaning of something. Do you not interpret body languages? Yes you do. But what are the standards on which you interpret an action? Your mindset. Defined as the established set of attitudes a person holds. Now we’re all clear with the terms- Perception, Interpretation and Mindset.

In a population of 7 billion humans, the fact that all 7 billion minds would perceive and interpret actions in a billion ways with a billion different mindsets is obvious. And the dominating of all is the Criticism. Human psychology yet again. We’re all critical human beings, unless we choose not…

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Posted in book reviews

[Book review] The Inheritors: Stories of Enduring Success and Innovation by Sonu Bhasin

Goodreads | Amazon.in

Genre: non-fiction, business

Number of pages: 298

Published on: October 18th, 2017

Published by: penguin portfolio

Goodreads synopsis:

Why did Harsh Mariwala leave his family business?
Why did the Burman family quit the day-to-day operations of Dabur?
How did the Dhingras turn a collapsing business into India’s second-largest paint company?
The Inheritors offers a fascinating behind-the-scenes look at what goes on in Marico, Dabur, Keventers, Berger Paints, Select Group, Antara, Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas, Luxor and Motilal Oswal. The book focuses on culture, family politics, ego battles, business rivalries and a lot more. And then, of course, there are the inheritors themselves-some take the businesses to even greater heights while others lead them to doom.
 

My review:

One thing you need to know about this book is that this is not a guide to helo starting your own business. Rather, all it is about is the back stories of what has happened and is happening at some of the leading family businesses in India. Not being a step-by-step guide does not mean that there is nothing to gain by reading this book. On the contrary, these stories contain values like honesty, culture and many more, which shape a person, and eventually the business. Sometimes, many tactics do not work, but sticking to your values makes all the difference. So, this book was a great read for me personally. 

The book contains stories behind big brands like Dabur, Marico, cyril amarchand mangaldas, luxor, which are actually family owned businesses. The title ‘The inheritors’ suggests that the book must be about the 2nd, 3rd or further generations of the owners simply getting the ownership of their family-owned businesses. But this is not the case. Rather, what is shown in this book is that even the inheritors had to pave their way at the top. In many cases, the ‘inheritors’ actually had to begin from scratch. 

The story moves forward in a simple and equivocal manner. The facts and the knowledge provided in this book is very insightful, too. Even though no specific formula of business is taught in the book, there are many values and other small matters written which eventually lead to making huge differences. 

What I learned fron this book is that honesty and ethics play a very important role in businesses too. One must have a clear vision of what one wants to create and where to reach. Hardwork and dedication will be required at every stage. And, thin times may come, but it is important to go with your vision even at those times rather than losing hope. Accept your failure at the earliest so that you can grasp what you’ve learned from it and move on to making bigger things and not repeating those mistakes. 

I’d definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about entrepreneurship, but wants to look at the bigger picture, rather than the theoretical concepts which vary from business to business. 

My rating: 4/5 ⭐

*I thank writersmelon for providing me a review copy in exchange for an honest review.”

Posted in Blog

[Special seven Sunday] classics that I love

Special seven Sunday is a weekly book tag hosted by me. In this, we feature 7 books (or less) which are special to you in some way. 

 You can all participate in it just keeping in mind that you:

1. Link one of my posts in your post so that I can be notified of your participation

2. Add this poster.

And, that’s it!

This week, I’ll share some of the classics I’ve read and loved. They are:

1. Ethan Frome



2. Jane Eyre



3. Anne of green gables



4. Pride and prejudice


5. Animal farm



6. And then there were none



7. Murder on the links

Posted in Blog

Special seven Sunday: re-read books

Special seven Sunday is a weekly book tag hosted by me. In this, we feature 7 books (or less) which are special to you in some way. 

 You can all participate in it just keeping in mind that you:

1. Link one of my posts in your post so that I can be notified of your participation

2. Add this poster.

And, that’s it!

I rarely read any books for more than once. 

Here are the books I’ve read for more than once:

1. Harry Potter and the philosopher’s stone




2. Harry Potter and the chamber of secrets




3. Harry Potter and the goblet of fire


4. One night at the call centre


5. And then there were none


6. Murder on the orient Express



This is it for today!

Posted in book reviews

[Book review] A Life To Die For by Nilay Shah

Goodreads | Amazon.in

Genre: Indian fiction

Number of pages: 344

Published on: October, 2017

Published by: Zorba books

Goodreads synoposis:

‘She doesn’t know who she is.’ The diverse voices emanating from all the corners of Kashwarg are blending into a consensus to create a tune never opined before, ‘Nor does she realise yet what her Baba has caused her to be a victim of.’ ‘But, she will.’ ‘One day, she will adopt this world now a stranger to her as hers.’ ‘The whole of Kashwarg will be the light on her path to her freedom.’ ‘Kashwarg will be ready to be at disagreement with anything there can be, if that is what is demanded of it in this quest to bring her justice.’ 

‘But, what if time comes, when truth unveils itself and there remains nothing to fear but one’s own self? Will Kashwarg be able to protect its stand at such dawn of darkness?’ 

Will you be able to protect your opinions from your own self?

My take:

“Your fate is in the hands of that one single feeling of yours, which has the courage to conquer all the other ones that reside in you.”

This book is focused on a state Kashwarg which is also known as the paradise on earth. Two countries, Siran and Zayakistan, both want to claim the ownership of Kashwarg, while currently it is under Siran. A man keeps a girl captive for sixteen years, and that is the duration after which she is found out by the member of a group working for the independence of Kashwarg. Some people also called them a group of terrorists. How this one small even leads to a chain of events, how what seems initially is actually the opposite of what is concluded.

The writing is a little complex in terms of plot writing. Basically, there are so many view points going on at the same time. Usually, such view points must be separated neatly in order to provide a clear perspective to the reader. But this is exactly what was missing in this book. View points were mixed so often that the reading experience became less pleasing. This thing irritated me a lot. What I feel is that the writer couldn’t carry the complexity of the plot well.

Right from the beginning, the descriptions never were solid enough to provide clear view of what is happening and in what direction the story is heading. It did become slightly better towards the end, which was expected after reading nearly 300 pages, but I still couldn’t get the satisfaction I usually get after having read a book. I just can’t put the story in black and white if someone asked me to do so.

The characters are so far the most sorted part of the book. Even though some of them are also really complex, but this is where the complexity didn’t become a problem while reading the book. The characters sustained my interest for the book and helped me reach towards the end and not stopping in between. 

Overall, the plot and characters were nearly excellent, but what was lacking was the execution, which was below par for me. 

My rating: 3/5 ⭐️

*This Book Review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program and Book Promotions. To know more log on to http://thereaderscosmos.blogspot.in/.*

Posted in book tag, just about books

[Special seven Sunday] completed series’

Special seven Sunday is a weekly book tag hosted by me. In this, we feature 7 books (or less) which are special to you in some way. 

 You can all participate in it just keeping in mind that you:

1. Link one of my posts in your post so that I can be notified of your participation

2. Add this poster.

And, that’s it!

You can view the list of topics of Special seven Sunday here

Since today’s tag is to feature the book series’ I’ve completed, here are they:

1. Harry potter

So, I completed this series around a year ago only. And I’m so glad I did! The awesomeness of this series is known to all, so I don’t need to say anymore.


2. Shiva trilogy

I read this series more than a couple of years ago, and I think I loved everything about it.


3. Anna and the French kiss

This is a really cute romance series. This is the only series I read in one go, without reading any other books in between. 

4. Princess

This is an amazing series about the life of a princess in Saudi Arabia. It is interesting as well as extremely realistic. 

5. Never never

I’m not really sure if I can include it here, as the book was actually published in installments, rather than being called a series. Still, I’ll like to include it here as there were originally three books (now, an integrated book has been published, too). I loved the first book so much that I feel I was even obsessed by it. Even the second part was okaish. But the conclusion is something that left me, and many other readers utterly disappointed!

6. Shades of magic

V.E Schwab is just love! I’d read the book ‘vicious’ by her and I was thrilled by it. I can certainly say that this series didn’t disappoint me at all!
So, six series’ are all I have for today.