‘Me Before You’-Jojo Moyes

 

About the book
Author’s Name Jojo Moyes
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-718-15783-8
Price [INR] 399/-
Pages 481
Main Plot Louisa Clark, simple small town girl, gets employed at Traynors’, as a care giver (carer) for their Quadriplegic son, Will. Louisa and Will’s life take a different turn, their relationship gives a different meaning to the individuals they are in such a manner that at a point nothing matters to them other than each other. Are they in love? Do they take vows to live for each other forever? How does this carer role merge with a partner’s role? Is it even possible for a Quad to live a normal, wedded life love life again? What does Will want? What does Louisa want? Are they looking for the same things from life, once they’ve met each other? What does Louisa’s 7 years’ old boyfriend, Patrick, has to say about them?
No. of Characters 2
Tone of writing  Heart touching, simple yet polished.
Book Review

>A girl of average desires or no desire at all meets a boy with so much life inside him which is not visible to others on the outer.

>The girl has nothing major to do in life other than worrying about balancing the earning of her family against the expenses of them all. The girl belongs to a close knit family, full house and a set of parents who are caring and giving. A sister that is sharp and honest to the core in giving her feedback about her and the strongest supporter the girl has.

>The boy is bounded by situation, willing to end his life, not willing to accept that his ‘that’ life is no more in his hands and that he has something to look forward to live, like that! The boy’s family is filthy rich, wanting to save him but not knowing how to. The boy is in despair, totally drenched in self pitying his life and is full of sarcasm.

>In short, hope meets despair! That’s what I would call the beginning of this book and this meeting of hope with despair results in two new persons, emerging as confident of what they want from their lives and they support each other, even after death does them part!

>It is a story of this girl and this boy; Of wanting to make something out of life and completely destroying one’s life for its uselessness. The story is about thinking beyond your own self, thinking for others’ life and helping them achieve what they want to.

>A completely normal living human creature can also waste his/her own life in doing nothing and not knowing its’ own possibilities and potential and a completely non functional human creature can show you the way to your dreams and also make them happen in real for you!

>How contradictory am I sounding here? But that is the beauty of this novel. Moyes has given it a direction by which you would know what I mean above. Sometimes, having a normal life doesn’t excite us but if someone has a differently able life we tend to plan his/her future in a way that it looks all rosy and nice!

>I don’t know how well could I get the message out of Moyes’ story, but I think it tells you to look for possibilities in life, every life has a meaning, every human being has to give something to someone, it could be courage, love, patience, money, direction, hugs and companionship! This giving is important, everyone of us has a meaning to our lives, a motive to lend something to someone that will make his/her life better.

>I liked the novel, it shows you through two lives which are poles apart and how the poles come together to make a different world altogether!

>Although the other reviews say you would need box of Kleenex while reading it, I didn’t need any, not that the story didn’t reach me, it did but I guess I’m stronger than others 😉 *just saying*

>Jokes apart, I think this novel brought a smile on my face, gave me a food for thought, which I’ve written above and maybe that’s why I wasn’t teary eyed at the end of it!

>Moyes has written lot of other books, this one was my first pick. Would love to explore more of her writings.

 

‘Mirror Image’-Danielle Steel

About the book
Author Danielle Steel
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 9780552141345
Price [INR] 199/-
Pages 524
Main Plot Mirror Image is a story of a pair of motherless twins-Olivia & Victoria. Identical in every which way except the personalities. One is caring, loving and giving and other is ferocious, wild and random. Both are beautiful, slender and catch attention wherever they go. The story is set in 1920s in the US of A. Raised elegantly in riches and comfort, at the age of 20 their lives changes, for good and for bad! Drastic steps are taken, new families are made and yet there is a void that only these two can help fill in for each other. They decide to play mischief for a little while, which they used to as children. Does that mischief fill their void? Where does their mischief take them?
No. of Characters 3
Tone of writing Rich vocabulary & Heart warming.
My take on the book
Review >A small mischief, turns out to be a big life changer, for their husband, their father and Geoffrey, a 10 year old son of their husband!

>The story is emotional, tears at your heart and you feel strongly about characters mentioned.It is like getting involved in the story so much so that it feels like happening in front of you!

>Being a twin is not a joke. An identical twin at that. They are inseparable like one soul two bodies.

>A story of sisterhood, family ties and love! Steel has done a great job at steering the story well from a happy tale to a reality spin and back to happy tale.

>At the end you feel it MUST have a happy ending, you feel that strong urge! And the end is indeed marvelous, quite logical and apt.

>The book runs fast, though it has 500 odd pages but since it is not slow you can finish it even in a day! I would term it as un-put down-able.

>If you are looking for a simple yet intriguing life drama read, this is the book for you. Also, the language used is impressive; you feel great reading such rich vocabulary!

>I normally love Steel’s books. Not that I’ve read her entire collection but so far I’ve 3-4 books and I like the way she writes.

‘Things I Want My Daughters To Know’-Elizabeth Noble

 

About the book
Author Elizabeth Noble
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-0-141-03001-2
Price [INR] 350/-
Pages 438
Main Plot Letters and Journal left for daughters of a deceased mother. Things that the mother wanted to speak to her daughters, to share with them as women, to guide them when they will most need her and she knows she’ll not be there by their side.
No. of Characters 5(+1)
Tone of writing Sounding real life, straight from the heart.
My take on the book
Review >A book that will touch your heart. Will give you idea of something that you would want to do for your daughter(s) when you leave them behind.>A mother’s heart tore open and laid in front of the daughters, separately, to cherish the thoughts and words their mother wanted them to know of.

>The book has passing on of woman wisdom, sharing of girly secrets, revealing of dark life patches, and expressing the deep love that a mother can hold in her heart for her daughters.

>The book will take you through the emotions, you’ll smile, feel sentimental and will make you cry, at least it did this to me, especially towards the end of it, when Mark raises toast for Lisa & Andy!

>It is a simple, written-from-heart book. Noble has crafted all the characters very well and they go absolutely well with the story line.

>I would not say I loved the book, like I’ve read the raving reviews and heard from friends about it, but I would say it is a good book, one should read sometime in her life.

>I also felt that the book could have been organized a little more than it is now. The slicing of chapters and the flow of story could have looked better than this, although this doesn’t mean right now it is crap,eh!

>Nevertheless, a heart warming, mother to daughter, sister to sister and most importantly a woman to woman book!

>Leaving you with the best part of the entire book:

Do not stand at my grave n weep
I’m not there I do not sleep
I’m a thousand winds that blow
I’m the diamond light on snow
I’m the sunlight on the ripened grain
I’m the gently falling autumn rain
When u wake in the morning hush
I’m the swift up lighting rush
Of quite birds in circling light
I’m the soft star at night
Do not stand at my grave and cry
I’m not there I did not die!!!

‘Two Pronouns and a Verb’-Kiran Khalap

About the book
Author Kiran Khalap
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-93-81506-08-0
Price [INR] 295/-
Pages 220
Main Plot Love triangle between friends grown up together, learning to answer questions thrown by life at them and trying to solve the emotional jigsaw that has been created between them by destiny!
No. of Characters 3
Tone of writing Simple
My take on the book
Review >A relationship saga of 3 friends, Dhruv, Arjun and Eva. It has been written in a different pattern; each life in a chapter format. As if each of them are speaking to you about their life journey turn by turn!

 

>Entangled relationships, deep running friendships, sacrifices for each other and questions to answer at a crossroad! Yet is not that complicated to handle, that’s the beauty of it!

 

>Khalap has written the story by heart; it is evident from the feel of his writing.

 

>This is an okay read, not very fancy or intriguing. But you don’t always want to read something deep, right? So when you want to just read and not think too much on the plot, pick this one. A smooth flowing story with simple language and characters those are not larger than life!

 

>Something that stuck with me after I put down the book was this:

“There is no better hormone than self-respect!”

“Every reaction creates Karma, and every suppression of reaction creates disease!!”

‘The Lowland’-Jhumpa Lahiri

 

About the book
Author Jhumpa Lahiri
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-8-184-00386-4
Price [INR] 499/-
Pages 340
Main Plot A story of siblings growing up together, becoming each others’ shadows. A small middle class family touched by destiny’s ups and downs in the lowland of Calcutta (now Kolkata). It is set up in mid 1900s; where Subhash & Udayan grow up as one to only grow apart from each other in their lives.
No. of Characters 4
Tone of writing Literary & Maturely refined.
My take on the book
Review >I’m speechless, quite literally, after finishing it. There are stream of thoughts running in my head, to put them down here, but I’m unable to coherently arrange them.>I liked the book, though I’ve to admit that initially, in fact for almost 50-60 pages I didn’t really get the hang of it. I thought of abandoning the book and pick another one. But something inside me insisted to continue, and continue I did.>The writing is descriptive and reaches you. Lahiri has the knack of taking you to the depth of the story with her words.

>A story of love, betrayal, family and choices that we make in life. How turn of events change so many lives at the same time and a family is destroyed by the hands of destiny. It has all the emotions of all so many relationships, mother-daughter, husband-wife, brothers, sister-in-law and brother-in-law, step father. Midst these relationships, the story has been weaved beautifully!

>It is hard to be a mother, when you are not prepared, when you are drawn to your past, when you are in so much love that death doesn’t mean anything to you, it is hard to be someone else’s wife, to be married to the shadow of your own husband of love. It is hard to imagine that life, to live even when your soul has left you long ago to be with you deceased husband.

>The complications of relationships, the actions that we take in order to iron out the creases of life and how those actions turn out to be lethal at times.

>This story ascertains the fact that you can’t make all situations turn around. Something does go from bad to worse in life and all we are left to do is to accept the fact.

>How love doesn’t know boundaries of life and death. Love is surreal; it happens and stays within the human heart, forever!

>Childhood is the most important part of our lives and we retain all the love and hatred, which is developed in this phase, for eternity!

>There is a touch of political episode, about Naxalbari, in those times that took place in the country. Mention of wars around the world, but it is no way a political novel.

>I’ve to admit that I might not have done a proper justice while writing this review, as I’m falling short of appropriate words to voice my thoughts. I might revisit this review and add to it or modify. But the crux is I liked the book.

‘Intermission’-Nirupama Subramanian

 

 

 About the book
Author Nirupama Subramanian
Picture of the Author  
ISBN 978-93-5029-323-2
Price [INR] 250/-
Pages 271
Main Plot A story of Sarin family, living an urban life in Gurgaon. The dynamics of a 17 years long nuptial knot, spouses who are independent and detached. In the midst of a steadily-but-not-smooth flowing, relationship, enters the heart and it’s whims and fancies stir up everything. It tells you, what you know for sure, that how difficult it is to deal with the whole situation carrying an upper middle class status.
No. of Characters 3
Tone of writing Straight and Simple.
My take on the book
Do I recommend the book? Not really. Though I’ll not reject this book by terming it as ‘not worth reading’.
Review >The story is easy, unfolds quickly without much fuss and like I mentioned above, the tone of writing and choice of words is as simple as unfrozen butter!>A corporate couple,Gayatri and Varun Sarin, in their mid 40s, with an almost-achieved-everything-in-life assumption, come at a juncture where their marriage does not have that ‘spark’ left in it.

>The story is about the couple who in spite of having lavish careers and good family are not happy, typically suburban types!

>The story takes the reader through the ups and downs of the puppy love, marital routines, newly found romance, a dash of adultery, family values, sacrifices and the whole sanctity called marriage!

>Subramanian has picked up a very ‘tried and tested’ plot for a story and has weaved in through the real urban life and its technicalities.

>The book loses its grip in the last leg of the storyline. Though the reader’s imagination is kept on hold for sometime as to what does Sweety Singh decide for herself and Varun Sarin, but the curiosity is killed with the pace becoming a little slower, giving away the signals to the secret easily.

>It felt like the author herself lost the track of that little suspense that came into picture and hence concluded the story plainly.

>The story gives you insight of extra marital affair, the confusions faced in the ‘this’ relationship and that one question at which everything comes to an end in the world-‘Marriage or Adultery?

>It has also shown the glimpses of a liberal women and how lot of them still haven’t realized where their happiness lies and they have their own lives to live too apart from being wife, daughter in law and a mother!

>It raises a question in the reader’s mind; do all marriages look same after ample years of time spent? Is a relationship outside marriage only about physical pleasures? Is there anything like an intellectual connect, an affair of minds, and whether that is even considered to be valid and legitimate outside marriage?

>We all are human beings, poor, rich, middle class, these are all tags given by us in the society to the financial statuses. What about the core of the human being, life? Everyone is made up of same red color liquid, pink flesh and white bones inside, aren’t we? Anyone, under this Sun can fall in love and maybe many a times! Then just be being slotted as not ‘poor’ can make so much of difference in our lives to accept our relationships and our desires out in public? Point to ponder!

>So are family ties important and take over us triumphantly or love has more power to rule above all?

>The book made me ask this to myself and to others: In all the suburabanian chaos, I’m not even sure if people still know the meaning of love? Are we sure we know what exactly it feels like and when to call it as ‘love’ love?

>I must say I loved the name of the book, it is aptly chosen and suits the plot totally!

>The book is average, newness is missing in the line but Subramanian has written it well because the very fact that it is a very common plot the write-up still makes you think for a moment and for that she deserves 3 cheers!

 

‘Those Pricey Thakur Girls’-Anuja Chauhan

About the book

Author

Anuja Chauhan

Picture of the Author

 

ISBN

978-93-5029-602-8

Price [INR]

350/-

Pages

388

Main Plot

A huge Thakur family with all the ups and downs that a normal family goes through. 5 sisters, which are ‘those pricey girls‘, and each one is a distinct character in itself. The story is about family bonding, disputes, hiccups of being all girls’ parents and all boys’ parents, marriage decisions and dash of love and hatred in between. Interestingly, there is a little political wave (Sikh Killing in 1984) added in the flow of family drama and it makes the novel intriguing, that said it doesn’t make it a politics based novel and does not confuse the reader between drama and politics.

No. of Characters

2 (+5)

Tone of writing

It is hilarious, straight forward, raw and very Indian. 
My take on the book

Do I recommend the book?

Yes, for those who want to read drama which is less like fiction but more like real life story. A no brainer, light, hilarious and tension free novel!

Review

>First and foremost, I’ve to mention that I bought this book totally based on its cover, it is intriguing and stunning!

>It is a light read, though a fat book, but will keep your mood light throughout.

>It has emotions,drama and portrays ghar-ghar ki kahani with a pinch of salt and dash of honey.

>Unpredictable, gripping and has crests and troughs of family drama.

>Chauhan has written the script in a fashion where in you can relate to so many things that happen in Indian families.

>Things like sprinkling cold water on the mattress before sleeping in summers. Or a group discussion and debate taking place to decide who would be the ‘would-be’ of one of the girls. Or Sister fights and leg pulling over clothes, boys etc.

>There are places where the author is very bold in using some abusive words but they match the flow of the story and don’t stand out to sound odd. Honestly, when I first encountered the words, I thought how odd, but then when I gave a deep thought, I realized that it suits the entire plot and the usage subtly fits in. 

>Chauhan has good writing skills, it is thoroughly researched and laid in a manner where in it will surely strike connect with the Indian reader.

>I liked the way Chauhan has done detailing of each character of the story and that too in a way that doesn’t seem like an introduction but a neatly weaved in the flow.

>On the other hand, the kids in the story are way to mature and nosey than their age permits. But that may be very typical of large families where in kids grow up before their age.

>The story length could have been shortened.