Thursday, 13 December 2012

I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Title : I've Got Your Number
Author : Sophie Kinsella
Publisher : Random House
Pages : 448
Genre : Chick Lit
My Rating : 9/10
Reviewed For : Random House India



I’ve lost it. :( The only thing in the world I wasn’t supposed to lose. My engagement ring. It’s been in Magnus’s family for three generations. And now the very same day his parents are coming, I’ve lost it. The very same day! Do not hyperventilate, Poppy. Stay positive :) !!

Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry her ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her “happily ever after” begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring in a hotel fire drill but in the panic that follows, her phone is stolen. As she paces shakily around the lobby, she spots an abandoned phone in a trash can. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect!

Well, perfect except that the phone’s owner, businessman Sam Roxton, doesn’t agree. He wants his phone back and doesn’t appreciate Poppy reading his messages and wading into his personal life.

What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other’s lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls, and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents . . . she soon realizes that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.

My Review:

For Chick Lit buffs, Sophie Kinsella is a household name. For me, however, a Sophie Kinsella novel is like my favourite flavour of ice-cream, with which I can just sit back & treat myself to a pleasurable indulgence over & over again!! Kinsella (the pseudonym of British writer Madeleine Wickham) got famous with the best-selling Shopaholic series but apart from that, Sophie has written five stand alone novels, I’ve Got Your Number (IGYN) being the latest of them.
This book is pure, unadulterated chick-lit, starting from its cover to the last word. On the cover, standing out amongst the bright colours, is a Girl with a Cell phone in one hand & a ring above her!! There is also a mysterious guy with trail of alphabets between the girl & the guy. And well, that is really the gist of it.
Poppy Wyatt, our 29-year old protagonist is a free-spirited & charismatic physiotherapist albeit a bit clumsy. After a whirlwind romance of six months, Magnus (tall, handsome & a famous university lecturer) 1 goes down on the knee with his heirloom ring for Poppy. Poppy just cannot believe her luck that after being in the disaster zone as far as the dating scene went; she managed to bag an intellectual Greek God himself!! But then, what’s life if it’s entirely perfect??!! Catastrophe strikes twice as Poppy loses the emerald engagement ring at champagne & cupcakes party with her female friends and then her cell phone too! However she gets a lucky break when she stumbles upon another phone in a nearby trash bin. The phone belongs to the former assistant of Sam Roxton, a handsome & socially aloof executive at a consulting firm. Sam wants the phone back but Poppy convinces Sam to allow her to keep the phone until her ring is found whilst fervently promising to forward his emails & messages. And thence hilarious chaos reigns as Poppy & Sam share a single communication device & their lives get enmeshed.
In this age where high-tech gadgets have become almost a part of our anatomy, the loss of a phone can have disastrous consequences. Sophie Kinsella has used exactly this premise & developed the plot adding her usual trademark humour & wittiness which frankly, just makes this read unputdownable. The best part without doubt is the marathon exchange of texts between Poppy & Sam, the stark contrast between their text replies being inevitable. While Poppy’s texts are gushy with loads of hugs & kisses (xoxo), Sam really is a man of few words (literally!!)
Honestly speaking, when I first read the blurb for IGYN, I feared that Poppy would be a character similar to other Kinsella heroines. But as I read the book, I realised that apart from being endearingly predictable, she was rather different. Poppy is an appealing character, someone that you & I might turn out to be. Struggling with her own insecurities & driven by the need to be accepted by everyone, she turns out to be a people pleaser subconsciously. However, she is vivacious, has an affectionate personality and is extremely burbly whilst being whacky at times. In short, someone whom everyone ends up liking. Sam, on the other hand, is snippy, sharp, stoic & brutally honest!!  Needless to say, a volley of insane & rib-tickling events are triggered as a result of the interaction between Sam & Poppy. Plus, you cannot really blame Poppy for her inquisitiveness as she snoops around in Sam’s phone opening a Pandora’s Box!!
Kinsella has taken two diametrically opposite characters with strong personalities & has developed them as the plot progresses. Both gain a refreshing perspective from each other & realise their own flaws. From being strangers to having something undefined between Sam & Poppy, is the kind of build up that the readers will be rooting for & Kinsella gives them just that but with her own unique spin! The only downside is that a few of the instances seem unreal & a bit over the top but then, Kinsella is known to have heroines who are drama queens. On the whole, this is a light-hearted & warm romantic comedy that will liven up an otherwise drab day. So what are you waiting for??
1. Impressed by the footnotes in Magnus’s book, Poppy tries to include a lot of footnotes throughout the narration whilst her life is on a roller coaster ride. And well, I thought it is a fun concept so even I included one. J

Thursday, 6 December 2012

Untruly Yours by Smita Shetty

Title : Untruly Yours
Author : Smita Shetty
Publisher : Leadstart Publishing
Pages : 146
Genre : Chick Lit
My Rating ; 8/10
Reviewed For : Chicklit Club


To some Natasha Iyer has it all - Living the life of an affluent NRI, wife of a prominent Psychologist and mother to a cheeky 11 year old. However, behind closed doors, cracks are beginning to appear in her seemingly comfortable relationship with her professionally consumed husband, Rakesh. Although Rakesh seems content with his alpha neatness-fetish-melodramatic wife and bright son; Natasha yearns for romance, passion and excitement. Ironically, the Psychologist husband fails to read between the lines and Natasha is left to her own devices to deal with her unresolved emotions.

An unexpected call from India takes her through a journey of self-discovery with her devastatingly handsome work colleague, Steve. She uncovers in some aspects urban India has changed considerably but equally, deep-rooted social issues still prevail in the so called modern, educated, changing society. A chance encounter with her 'blast from the past' - Veer, adds to the emotional rollercoaster ride. Her one-man-woman status of many years has failed to equip her with vital tools to deal with the unanticipated surge of attention from Steve and Veer. As she attempts to master the finer points of courtship, flirtation and seduction; her life spirals out of control. Natasha is compelled to make tough decisions about her love, friendship, marriage and parenthood.

My Review:

On the first impression to any outsider, Natasha’s world seems picture perfect. Like those jumping out from a fairy tale but then as you move closer, you see the kinks in her otherwise impeccable world.
Natasha Iyer, an NRI & married to her college sweetheart is a free spirited soul who tries being a perfect wife, an ideal host & a caring mother. But trying to be everything at once, she feels her real self slipping away!! Engulfed by a wave of loneliness & frustration, she jumps at the first chance that comes her way to escape from the monotony of her marriage, life & other things in general to return to India.

Shuttling between Natasha’s past & present, the author acquaints us with a potpourri of characters in Natasha’s life – from a professionally consumed husband, the Godzilla mommy-in-law, the 11-year old son who is clearly too impertinent for his age to a smokin’ hot colleague at work, her family in India, her BFF – Priti plus not to forget the philandering flirt Veer. Along with keeping the main focus of Natasha, these characters have also been well developed by the author.

The much anticipated homecoming turns out to be a bittersweet journey for her. A part of her craves for stability & another feisty part of her is pulled towards the allure of infidelity. Obviously, juggling between the attentions of the devastatingly handsome males - Steve & Veer, Natasha finds it difficult to stay clear of trouble as she takes the road less travelled. Needless to say, she falters a lot but then as she does find her way round the maze.
This book without doubt gives an insight into an NRI’s musings about contemporary India. With the mommy-in-law still playing the baddie in one’s life to the menial strata of women in society to the simmering issues such as dowry, the author gives a colourful yet thought provoking illustration of life in modern India!!! The author has a writing style that is simplicity redefined. She has churned out a plot & cast that is entirely relatable & that is what makes this read refreshingly honest. The narration tickles your funny bone almost all through the read & yet leaves that thought lingering behind that prods our perspective. Pick it up on a weekend or a journey & you will breeze through the 146 pages of the book without even realising it. My only sorrow was that the author kept it slightly short. With that narration I could go on for another 100 pages!! Kudos to Smita on her debut effort....

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Strawberry Wine by Lee Adams

Title : Strawberry Wine
Author : Lee Adams
Publisher : Brandylane Publishers, Inc. (October, 2012)
Pages : 218
Genre : Chick Lit
My Rating : 7/10
Reviewed For : Chicklit Club


Ten years have passed since Tanya Smith's last summer at Laurel Lake-the summer of Marie. Today Tanya is a confident, successful music promoter-a far cry from the naïve seventeen-year-old who showed up at the lake full of rosy notions of first love, lifelong friendships, and evenings spent sipping strawberry wine on the shore. That September changed everything, and as far as Tanya is concerned, there's no going back. That is, until a mysterious phone call from Marie's lawyer brings Tanya face to face with the past. Suddenly she finds herself returning to Laurel Lake and to everything she left behind there. Will the dark secret that haunts the lake break her heart all over again? Or will Marie's legacy be the key that unlocks the future Tanya gave up on ten long years ago?

My Review:

They say that in order to hold something close to your heart and cherish it for a lifetime, you must lose it first ... that to come back together forever, true love must first break apart...

Tanya Smith, 27, has carved out a successful life as a music promoter in New York. One day she gets a call which immediately transports her to a summer 10 years back, to a time when she met Marie. Tanya would always spend her summers at Laurel Lake with her family. The place was like a second home to her. During one summer, Marie stumbled into her life. From finding confidantes in one another and sipping strawberry wine on the beach to betrayal, heartbreak and a horrible incident, that summer turned out to be the best and yet the worst for both of them. Needless to say it was their last summer at Laurel Lake. Now 10 years later, a phone call drags Tanya back to Laurel Lake and she learns that there exists a link between her and Marie. And now Tanya has to return not only to pick up the pieces of her heart and Marie's life but also to bind them together.

This is a sweet and refreshing read where the story flows seamlessly between the past and present. A point worth mentioning is that the author has drawn on her experience as an organ donor in this book and has portrayed the account of organ donation in an honest yet tender way. It showcases how giving in this instance can be so fulfilling that it fills up the gaps of your life with love and makes you whole again!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

The Bankster by Ravi Subramanian

Title : The Bankster
Author : Ravi Subramanian
Genre : Mystery, Thriller
Publisher : Rupa Publications
Pages : 364
My Rating : 8.5/10
Reviewed For : Blogadda


Bankers build their careers on trust, or so everyone thinks, till a series of murders threaten to destroy the reputation that the Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) has built over the years. Who is behind these killings, and what is their motive? Is the banker at GB2 fast turning into a bankster? Or he was always one?

When Karan Panjabi, press reporter and ex-banker, digs deeper, he realizes that he has stumbled upon a global conspiracy with far reaching ramifications a secret that could not only destroy the bank but also cast a shadow on the entire nation. With only thirty-six hours at his disposal, he must fight the clock and trust no one if he is to stay alive and uncover the truth.

Spinning an intricate web of lies, deceit and treachery, bestselling author Ravi Subramanian, a master storyteller of financial crime and winner of the Golden Quill Readers Choice Award, returns with his most gripping thriller yet.

My review:

Well, to start with this is my first review for Blogadda & when I received a signed copy for review I was absolutely chuffed!! Tearing open the cover (literally!), the first thing that jumped out to me was the cover of this book. It’s throws off an uber sinister vibe depicting our “Bankster” with a briefcase in one hand & a pistol in another standing at what appears to be our own Mumbai’s Queen’s Necklace & with a plane rushing out in the skyline.

Moving on to the author, with three best selling thrillers on banking already in his kitty, Ravi Subramanian continues to keep the readers on the very edge with this Bank lore. To be honest, I have never read Ravi Subramanian before so I did not know what cracker of a plot was awaiting me!! But now after reading this financial thriller, I intend to visit each of his reads...

So the plot kick offs in Angola where a covert CIA agent seals off an arms deal in lieu of blood diamonds. The author then takes us to an episode in the past in Kerala where a resort owner is falsely accused of a crime that he has not committed. Laying down these two brief but essential blocks, the author steers the plot to his home ground – yes you guessed it right!! – The Greater Boston Global Bank (GB2) in Mumbai. At GB2, the author acquaints us not only with the power games (which turn as twisted as the plot proceeds) but also with a sundry of characters. With people in power trying to usurp even more power by manoeuvring each possible opportunity for their own gain while heady & young Relationship Managers trying to climb their way up the corporate ladder by any possible means, GB2 is fast becoming a breeding ground for rivalry & competitions. However, the “who wins it-who loses it” mood at the bank is hampered by a series of murders & it’s long before someone really starts connecting the dots & voila!! A pattern emerges. This is when, Karan Punjabi – the ex-banker, who is now the Financial Editor at The Times of India, steps in & opens up the Pandora’s Box as he unearths the real reasons for the death of GB2 employees.

So basically we have three plots, one with a CIA agent whose work is to strike deals for his agency. Second plot revolves around an aging man’s lone struggle in Devikulum, Kerala against the government. After the horrors of Chernobyl (Russia) & Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant (Japan), Krishna Menon wants the government to come clean on the environmental impacts of a Nuclear Plant set up in Kerala & the measures taken to avoid history repeating in India!! Thirdly, we have the carnage going on at GB2 which, on the face of it, are deemed as suicides. Do you get a connection???? Of course, you didn’t & you aren’t even supposed to & neither did I!! But you have to hand it down to the author for not only weaving these three seemingly disjointed plots together seamlessly but also doing so with an edge. However, the absolute smasher of a plot is written in the last 75 pages of this book, where the hunter becomes the hunted & it is revealed who indeed holds the strings!!

The plot is spanned across diverse locales – from Angola to Kerala to Mumbai to Vienna – and as you dart from one locus to another, you will experience what is known as a rollercoaster of a ride!! Also, each character in the plot is relatable, since the author brings out the most basic human instincts through them. Greed for more power, backstabbing, envy, moral bankruptcy - just to name a few!! The plot can be compared to a big game of chess where you don’t know who is a pawn & who is the king till the end!!

Fortunately I received this book on a Friday & before I knew it I was done with over the weekend!! I never realised how I breezed past the bulk of the book!! And I can say that for non bankers like me, the author provides an interesting insight into the banking world - all neatly packaged & beautifully presented replete with its corporate twists & turns where loyalties keep changing every second. The only point that did not go well with me was that at the end not all the characters were given the right attention which left me kind of unsatiated. But other than that, this book is a Total Blockbuster..oops...a “Bankbuster”...
This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at . Participate now to get free books!


Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Trade Winds to Meluhha by Vasant Dave

Title : Trade Winds to Meluhha
Author : Vasant Dave
Publisher : Vasant Dave (Self Published)
Pages : 329
Genre : Historical Fiction
My Rating : 7.5/10
Reviewed For : Author (


My Review:

From the outset, the one aspect that I found most striking about this novel while reading it was that it was a well researched work. The author has taken the backdrop of a prehistoric setting and used the archaeological evidence available whilst donning a creative cap to paint a story that keeps the reader intrigued. In 1977, an explorer -Thor Heyerdahl undertook a voyage in reed-boat named 'Tigris'. He sailed from Iraq (Mesopotamia) via Oman (Magan) to Pakistan (Indus Valley). The author has started from this point of fact and has worked towards a plot that is fiction. I did not pay attention to the minute technical details since I feel that once you start getting absorbed in the story, these things tend to take a background.

Trade winds to Meluhha is based in the Bronze Age, with the plot spanning across a wide geographical spread  but majorly revolving in Sumeria (Mesopotamia) and Meluhha (Indus Valley). The plot kick starts with a young stable boy Samasin who is falsely accused of murder of a Meluhhan tradesman & then the plot charts Samasin’s adventuristic voyage and his metamorphosis from an innocent boy to a street-smart man. In addition to the adventures, the plot is interspiced with mystery, romance, revenge, heart-break and black market activities. The author has included a map, too, for the reader’s ready reference!!


Samasin works as a stable boy to a wealthy Babylonian named Nergal. On an unfortunate day when Samasin receives a reward for his year long services to the royal family, he also stands witness to the murder of a Meluhhan tradesman. Before dying in Samasin’s lap, the tradesman from the strange land (Meluhha) gives Samasin a bronze fish hook & utters the name “Siwa Saqra” along with a stranger message(in foreign language). This triggers off a chain of events, at the epicentre of which Samasin is sucked like a lone piece of leaf in a hurricane. Samasin, whose only fault was that he was in the wrong place at the wrong time, is falsely accused in the murder of the foreign trader & is captured by Sumerian authorities. However, he manages to escape due to twin unique astronomical events (these events have actually happened in real!!!). After escaping, Samasin sets off on a voyage in search of the elusive Siwa Saqra armed only with the parting relic given to him by the dying man. In his conquest, Samasin is helped by Nergal’s ex-wife-Elati & Captain of a Meluhhan ship – Paravar to escape from Sumeria. During his voyage, he comes across a damoiselle – Velli with whom Samasin falls heads over heels in love at the first sight but the emotion is not reciprocated!! Also along the road, he stumbles across Anu – a Mesopotamian woman with a concealed identity & greater hidden purpose. Samasin has an interesting quest with lots of twists & turns where he falls in love, deals with bandits, goes on treasure hunt, combats with pythons but inspite of all this, Samasin doesn’t give up on his original search for Siwa Saqra.
The author has filled the plot with motley of people. Initially, I was a bit overwhelmed by the vast array of characters but as the plot advanced, I realised that each & every character is important. While reading, I could not help but think of these characters as pawns in the game of chess, however, powerful or insignificant each one is, ultimately they all serve the same purpose of defeating the antagonist!! Also, what I found really helpful was that the author has provided links to each character’s name which leads to an appendix where the character is briefly described.

Another major highlight was the subplots. As I said earlier, there are a lot of characters & each has his/her own story. However, in the end I found that each such story / subplot is like a piece in a big jigsaw puzzle. These subplots are interwoven seamlessly into each other & in the end we finally unravel the main big picture. Also, these characters are relatable in their traits & actions!

The only thing that held me back was the slow pace of the novel. I guess that was essential since Samasin’s voyage takes him through different locales & he interacts with different people but it could have a bit more on the edge. However, it cannot be denied that the author has spun a gripping fictional tale yet taking a meticulous effort at being authentic to the period. As a debut work & so much effort, the author definitely deserves kudos.
About the Author:

Vasant Davé was born in Kenya to immigrant parents from India. He was schooled there under teachers coming from all the races living in East Africa during British rule. He passed Bachelor of Engineering from the University of Bombay and served for 24 years in companies manufacturing electrical and electronic capital goods. For another 8 years, he took up industrial market research contracts from consultants based in Singapore and Hong Kong. He conducted face-to-face and telephonic surveys in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh for multinational end-users such as Siemens, BASF, Henkel, Dow Chemical, AkzoNobel and Linde. His work in Industrial Market Research often took him to remote parts of the country where he could visit nearby archaeological sites too.

His interest in the ancient past of the sub-continent led him to write a historical novel after retirement in 2008. His technical background helped him to understand and apply historical, geographical, environmental and cultural nuances bearing upon the life during 3rd millennium BC, the period in which Trade winds to Meluhha is set.


Monday, 5 November 2012

It's time to rock & roll...

Hello everyone!!!

It's been quite some time (more than a month, to be precise!) since I have blogged. For those who have gone blue in the face holding their breath, waiting for my next post (though I am sure there would be hardly anyone doing that),sincere apologies!! So yes, in between checking out my regular blogs and watching in envy as people religiously blogged daily, weekly or fortnightly & staring at my own blog so hard and willing for some miracle to happen & a post to emerge magically on its own (I was always a fan of Harry Potter!) & oh!! Did I mention the usual mind numbing & exhausting stuff on my plate?? , yes my dear friend, in between all of that I did manage to read some awesome books...yayyyyyyyy!!!!
So with Diwali just around the corner let the festivities begin!!!! So, ladies & gentlemen, get ready...some awesome reviews coming right up!! :-)

Sunday, 30 September 2012

Tender Hooks (aka Duty Free) by Moni Mohsin

Title : Tender Hooks / Duty Free
Author : Moni Mohsin
Publisher : Randon House India / Random House UK, 2011 / 2012
Pages : 256
Genre : Fiction / Chick lit / Satire
My Rating : 9/10
Reviewed For : Chicklit Club
"Duty Free" (originally released as "Tender Hooks") is a follow-up to Moni Mohsin's "The Diary of a Social Butterfly". Honestly, I had not read "The Diary of a Social Butterfly" & I picked up its sequel on a whim!! And after reading the first page, I was bewildered, because the author had written it in a style, that was full of malaprops. Now if you look up for the meaning of "malaprop" in a dictionary, it says - The unintentional misuse of a word by confusion with one that sounds similar. But once you start this book, you will realise that Mohsin has "intentionally" filled the narration with misspellings and used a language that is a cross between English & Urdu. But that, my dear friend, is the most enjoyable part of this novel,undoubtedly. At the beginning, it is a bit difficult to understand, but as you start getting the hang of it, you will clearly fall for it hook, line & sinker...
So meet Butterfly, our unnamed heroine, who is the quintessential privileged class with an absolute preoccupation for designer labels in Lahore, Pakistan. This novel is in the form of diary entries (something which reminds you of Bridget Jones but let me assure you that the similarity ends here) narrating the peppered happenings of her life – from her bore “Oxen” (read: Oxford educated) husband to the overblown kitty parties & wedding season to the fierce competition in her social life. She receives the charge (more like she is emotionally manipulated) from her Aunt Pussy : to quickly find a suitable (read : rich, fair, beautiful, old-family type) match for her hapless cousin Jonkers (who is not exactly marriage material - plain, shy & already divorced) which is ironic since Butterfly’s own marriage is on the rocks. However, taking all this in her stride, Butterfly shinnies her way through the dangerous territories i.e. the Pakistani wedding circuit in search of the right girl from the right “bagground”. What ensues is a series of humorous upshots as she encounters a Smith educated lesbian, fundamentalist parents & drug smuggling families as a potential brides & in-laws. To top it all, our protagonist has to look out for backstabbing frenemies, errant maidservants & beardo weirdos (suicide bombers) who are out to spoil her matrimonial mission.
In a way, Butterfly might remind you of Jane Austen’s Emma - a clueless socialite matchmaker, who believes she can make marriages happen & a man who loves her despite her shallowness. I particularly loved the honest portrayal of the protagonist which made her neither the perfect heroine nor a villain.
Another highlight of this novel is that it is sharply satirical but even with the satire, the book tickles your funny bone. Each chapter begins with headlines from the local newspaper which gives a kaleidoscope view of the social, political, and economic upheaval in Pakistan.  Also, you will laugh out loud at the various nicknames the author uses throughout the narration. Between you, me and the four walls, this is an absolutely witty, funny & thought-provoking romp.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Bombay Mixx by S.L.Lewis

Title : Bombay Mixx
Author : S.L.Lewis
Publisher : Big Bang Books, 2012
Pages : 230
Genre : Fiction / Multicultural Chick lit
My Rating : 7/10
Reviewed For : Chicklit Club

Part one of a two part series, 'Bombay Mixx' is a fresh, chic tale of vibrant Bombay meets alluring Ireland, in this sexy cultural blend! Including breaking sexual boundaries, experiences of the 'secret' side of the London elite and a major family secret which could destroy the Patel family...this book breaks all the women fiction rules!
One lavish celeb-style wedding.
Four friends with very delicate secrets, all hoping to avoid them being exposed.
One of the friend’s unaware that the happy proceedings will be an event to remember, from a simmering secret that no one could have predicted.
With no morals, taboo’s or thought of destroying the special moment or a family, can the Patel’s pull together to get over this life changing revelation from this strange gate crasher and her younger sidekick?

Walking through the door of this countryside mansion, you could be mistaken that you had walked into a rich Moroccan Sheik’s tent. With a Middle Eastern theme, rich colours of deep red, orange and gold; the engagement party filled the entering guests with immediate Eastern promise.

Although she managed to escape the stresses of her current situation, with the constant demands from the dominating bride-to-be, her spoilt sister, Gabrielle, Nita always had her girlfriends Amelia and Anya to pass some of the burden to, along with her new ‘perfect boyfriend’ Yatin.

Nita is 28, half Indian and half Irish, with a down-to-earth, loving personality who is desperate to meet Mr. Right. With a doting father, strong mother and close siblings, Nita has everything she needs until her first relationship ends and she has to move back in with her parents.

Getting the break she so desperately needs, she accepts a job in the city as a secretary and moves into her parent’s apartment in North London and begins to realise the single life is not so bad when you have a cut throat Russian Escort, an eccentric Fashion Buyer and your WAG wannabe sister to welcome you to this new world!

With these wild, drunken nights, enjoying the high life by accepting the invitations to all the fashion after show parties Amelia would arrange each weekend, an affair with your boss and questioning her sexuality with a co-worker, it’s not surprising Nita didn’t see the start of her brother’s and parent’s marriage deteriorating with the arrival of this new mysterious woman! But who was she? Why did she have a strong effect on her father? And how was her brother connected to her immoral revelations?

My Review:
What would you do if you are caught in a whirlwind of betrayals ... would you lose your trust in everyone or would you still hold on and provide unwavering support to your nearest and dearest even in the eye of a storm? This is the  basic premise for “Bombay Mixx”…
Nita is a 28-year-old half-Indian and half-Irish single girl, single because she has been recently cheated on by her long-term boyfriend. So to put some distance between herself & her ex, she takes up a secretarial job in a big stockbroking firm and moves into her parents' apartment where she has an eccentric mix of flat shares which include her spoilt sister Gabrielle, a Russian escort, Anya and a feisty fashion PR, Amelia. In between the wild drunken nights, all the fashion after-show parties and a tumultuous affair with her married boss, Nita has quite a lot on her plate. But then oblivious to her (initially), her brother Renesh's marriage is on the rocks & crumbling around him.. Being closest to his sister, he seeks out Nita's emotional support. Juggling between office, friends & family (not to mention her own personal dilemmas), just when Nita thinks she has reached a lull, a devil from Nita's family's past returns and all hell breaks loose. This is a pacy read yet each character is developed individually, with each of them having their own secrets and insecurities. These sub-plots all add up to fit into the big picture, although some threads seem a bit rushed. Extra-marital affairs, betrayal and sexual boundaries stretched taut are the themes of this book. This is a spicy plot peppered with an unexpected series of twists. There are several unanswered questions at the end which may be cleared up in its sequel. Looking forward for the Part Two…
P.S.: The author is having a Free Two Day Promotion for Bombay Mixx for all Kindle users.. Visit the link below & grab your copy of Bombay Mixx for free :

Sunday, 23 September 2012

The Purple Line by Priyamvada N. Purushotham

Title : The Purple Line
Author : Priyamvada N. Purushotham
Publisher : Harper Collins, 2012
Pages : 226
Genre : Fiction / Women Oriented
My Rating : 9 /10
Reviewed For : The Book Lovers

Priyamvada’s debut novel, The Purple Line, delves into womanhood and explores the significance & intricacies revolving around the elusive “Purple Line” that symbolises Pregnancy....

It’s the era of Star Wars & Tennessee Williams & the place is Madras - 1982 (before it morphed into Chennai), where Mrinalini, a typical teenager, is besotted by poetry & finds solace in the literary world. She breezes past from one vocation to another like a running train as her heart makes journey stops on each. But then puberty hits & the hormonal changes conduced by her pubescence bestir her dormant Tam Brahm genes & in a moment of epiphany, she finally realizes that she wants to be a gynaecologist...Mrinalini then sets on a journey that makes her laugh, cry & teaches her the true meaning of womanhood...

Fast forward to the year 2000, where Mrinalini is now a Gynaecologist with a Masters from London. She returns back to Chennai to set up a clinic in her ancestral home...As a gynaecologist, Mrinalini encounters motley of characters in her patients everyday but six of Mrinalini’s patients instantaneously strike the chord. This is Mrinalini’s story & the story of these six women whose lives are unknowingly linked together like fibres braided in a rope..

First there is Zubeida, a typical burqa clad muslim woman, whose entire existence engulfs everything that encompasses womanhood. Zubeida has four boys & yet she yearns for a girl because she firmly believes that only a girl will be the absolute redemption of her motherhood. Zubeida wants to be that ideal mother for her daughter, a mother that she never had & always craved for. She finds solace in watching movies with her neighbour while pining for a girl but then one incident changes her entire way of existence..

Then there is Megha, wed in a heavily patriarchal Marwadi family where having a son is a quintessential status quo.. Needless to say Megha desperately wants a boy, a boy who will lift her entire state of beingness to a higher stratum.. For Megha, a mother of three daughters, delivering a boy to the family is her only way of achieving salvation but then it she realises that it takes a one broken heart to heal another...

Leela is like a Shakespearean sonnet, who is unblemished & always so perfect that wherever she goes she leaves behind a trail of immaculateness. On an first impression to any outsider, like Mrinalini - Leela’s world would seem picture perfect like those in fairy tales but as you move closer, you would see the cracks in the otherwise impeccable wall...But Leela never let the cracks run deeper & in her quest she never experimented, nor explored and never fell down to fit the pieces of herself back together...

Pooja, the 16 year old falls in love and slides headlong into the tunnel of a painful loneliness. She is bowled over by the Cricket Captain of her school team and ends up being pregnant. She comes to the clinic to abort the child but as she does so she learns to embrace a brave new world...

Tulsi, an art director, has been trying to make a kid with her husband Dhruv for 3 years but without any results. She follows her ovulation cycles meticulously but as she goes on & on the method loses its rhythm and the passion seems to seep out from her unfertile efforts. Tulsi is an artist waiting in the wings and ultimately a time comes when she realises what she truly wants & what she can have.

Anjolie is a performance artist who has the capability to breathe life even into a sleepy consultation room by her mere presence. She is a fading artist who has mastered her emotions & conquered her fears but when her time comes she must know that it takes two sounds to make a heartbeat...

This is a beautifully crafted tale that explores the various convolutions of a female mind and reveals the vulnerability of women along with their dreams. The plot narrates seven different stories including Mrinalini’s own tangled tale of love but they flow seamlessly into one another be it Zubeida’s tale ending on a delicious note or Megha’s desperation for her own selfish interests or the abrupt ending of Leela’s tale. The writing is sensous, vibrant & audacious but not brassy. The Another high point is the aesthetic way in which the author has highlighted realistic stories like teen pregnancy or the unwantedness of a girl child... A must read for every woman!!

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Secrets and Sins by Jaishree Misra

Title : Secrets and Sins
Author : Jaishree Misra
Publisher : Harper Collins, 2010
Pages : 400
Genre : Fiction
My Rating : 8/10
Reviewed For : Chicklit Club
Well for those wondering - Why put up the review for a book that released way back in 2010, the reason goes like this - It's because this was the first book that I reviewed..and happily so!!! I picked up this book from a local library on an impulse (for which I am still thankful!) and after reading the first few pages, I got hooked!!
This book is a part of a three-book deal that the author made with Harper Collins in UK for their Avon imprint that specialises in commercial fiction. As per the author this book is a "study of infidelity" & once you sit down with this one, the book will grip you with its poignance.. 

To start with, the plot basically revolves around Aman Khan & Riva Walia...Aman & Riva, for whom, the ten days at the Cannes film festival, after an estrangement of 15 years, is like escape therapy from their respective troubled marriages. The cover page of this book says "Be careful what you wish for" & I have to say that  their couldn't be a more apt adage for this book..The story starts in Leeds University where Aman & Riva first cross each other & have a brief but passionate affair..
Riva & Aman couldn’t come from more diametrically opposite worlds…Indian born but raised in London-Riva is confident, witty, intelligent, a passionate feminist who would never think twice before protesting against anything unfair while Aman is a handsome freshman from India, a teetotaller who isn’t so streetwise and has his innocence & shyness bordering on aloofness.. And then there is Ben who is head over heels in love with Riva & comes from Riva's own world..Needless to say, Riva chooses reliability & security with the familiar Ben over her passion for Aman who comes from an exotic land. Riva marries Ben while Aman returns back to Mumbai nursing a broken heart…
The plot then moves 15 years ahead in future where Riva is a bestselling & award winning novelist while Aman moves on to become the biggest Bollywood star albeit both are having a tough time in their respective married lives. But an indefinable tug still exists between them & they follow each other’s careers from a distance. So when fate conspires & their worlds collide again at Cannes film festival (where both are invited as jury members) they create a world of illusion for themselves, with renewed passion & love for each other, where fairy tales exist & their deepest wishes come true albeit without the customary happy ending. But when the colourful & romantic journey comes to an end Riva finds herself standing at the same crossroads again where she stood 15 years ago-struggling to make a difficult choice between her husband Ben-whose frustration with himself at failure in professional life has seeped cold bitterness into the warmth of his marriage with Riva & her old flame Aman who himself is married with a kid but has the world to offer at her feet. The plot then revolves around Riva and her emotional roller coaster of a ride when her world takes a full spin & everything that she believed in, cared for & promised changes.   
I especially loved the book for it's vivid yet simple description of how there are secrets in every marriage-even the seemingly happy ones. Jaishree Misra has captured a heartrending  account of how infidelity can be brutal to a relationship of 15 years on one hand while on the other how the same thing can be inevitable, heartbreaking & yet beautiful. Jaishree Misra also gives us an insight into the secondary characters & the adjacent sub-plots so that the storyline doesn't seem uni-dimensional. It makes you wonder about the "other perspective" & not just about the protagonist...
This is a wonderfully crafted tale..all about love, infidelity, the heart break and the ache around it..

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Welcome to my World!!!!!!!!!!!!

So this is it...after reading infinite number of blogs & obsessing over an equal number of them, I finally took the baby step which might be the first of many....Trying to get the hang of things around here...I know you might wonder that its just a new blog but getting that heady feeling that comes when you start something which you have always cherished albeit in unknown waters....
The reason for this blog you ask??? Well, I will be posting my reviews & my take on the books that I have read...Seems like fun..lets hope I have it!!!
So let's get going.......