Eleanor & Park: A Book Review

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Author: Rainbow Rowell

Eleanor & Park

Book Blurb:

Two misfits.
One extraordinary love.

Eleanor… Red hair, wrong clothes. Standing behind him until he turns his head. Lying beside him until he wakes up. Making everyone else seem drabber and flatter and never good enoughEleanor.

Park… He knows she’ll love a song before he plays it for her. He laughs at her jokes before she ever gets to the punch line. There’s a place on his chest, just below his throat, that makes her want to keep promisesPark.

Set over the course of one school year, this is the story of two star-crossed sixteen-year-olds—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try.

My Review:

This book is just AMAZING! I fell in love with the story, the characters and just about everything. There were places where I was covered in so many warm, fuzzy, sweet feelings, I had to put down the kindle and just remind myself that this is happening in the book and not to me, so swooning so much will not make this come real. <3

Both Eleanor and Park are amazing. I have read about thin girls falling for perfect guys, thin girls falling for not so perfect guys, not so perfect thin girls falling for not so perfect guys, even brainy thin girls falling for perfect guys, but this is the first time I read about an overweight girl falling for a thin guy.

This book does so much for body issues. I feel every girl should read this book, for understanding that people can like you and want you even if you do not have the magazine perfect body and branded clothes. It is your thoughts and actions that matter, and the one who likes you truly, will accept you 100%, your eccentrics included.

I loved the way the romance flourished, the awkwardness, and the fact that they bonded over books and music, it was just too perfect for words, it was just so adorable! <3

The character development has just been so amazing, how we come to know both Eleanor and Park as they knew each other. I loved Park’s family (especially his mom).

I am sorry that this is more of a gush fest than a review, but I have so fallen in love with the book, it has created a special place in my heart.

I did not want the book to end like that, could we PLEASE have a sequel? PLEASE???? I want to know what happens, do not end like this, I want to know, I want MORE of Eleanor and Park.

Rainbow: Shades of Love: Book Review

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Author: Aman Jassal

Rainbow - the shades of love

Book Blurb:

Love = Sex? Love+Sex=? Love-Sex=??? Sex-Love=????

This is not a book to teach you about love or how to get a beautiful girl to bed, rather it reveals how bad things can get if you don’t set your priorities right. It’s a story about the most explored life aspect ‘ Love’ ‘Sex’.

YUVI, a pleasure seeking boy, falls victim to the same notorious life facet called love. Simran’s beauty sweeps him off from his feet and he leaves no stone unturned to seek her special attention.

As he falls in love, he also sleeps around with all the erroneous girls, and when his fate threatens to take his love down, he promises himself to stop all of this and come out of the wreckage But then, his past deeds come back to his present, and that tears his life apart. What follows is an uneasy course of getting his love back on board.

The story reveals the life of today’s youth, their friendships, feelings, priorities, and ineptitude to handle relationships while not forgetting their turmoil between the two critical facets of life: LOVE & SEX.

Love makes the world go round Or is it Sex? Based on real life experiences and tea time gossips

My Review:

This is a debut book by Aman Jassal, where the protagonist falls in love with Simran, but is continually unfaithful to her.

Let me start off the review with what I liked about this book:

I liked the way the book ended, I would have been disappointed if it had ended any other way. I believe in the end Simran took the right decision. Unlike other authors, he chooses to give a realistic ending to the story than going for a fictional romanticized one.

The PG setting brought back some fun memories of my PG days.

But, the book had more cons than pros.

Too many spelling mistakes, grammatical errors as well as errors in sentence construction. It seemed like the book had never passed through any editor’s hands. Even the most basic spellings were wrong in many places.

The characters were one dimensional and too stereotypical. The author made many sweeping generalizations like all men talk only of women and beer or all women’s purses are too full of stuff, etc etc. I would have liked to know more about the characters instead of how many women the men thought about, and how women were beautiful.

I do not buy the way Yuvi and Simran meet. I do not think that any girl would be so stupid to fall in love with a stranger, who gets hold of her number and sends her random messages telling her how smitten he is by her. It was just too far fetched.

Though I was intrigued by the concept of using each colour of the rainbow,  I felt the author felt short of justifying it in the story.

(I thank Aman Jassal for sending me the copy of this book)

Good and Evil: Book Review

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Two Sides of The Same Coin

Author: Awdhesh Singh

Good and Evil: Two Sides of the Same Coin

Book Blurb:

Why are people not good? Why do people lie and cheat? Why is there so much corruption in this world? Why is the media filled with only the negative news of crimes, murder and rapes? Is there nothing good that is happening in this world? Why is the present generation most frustrated despite being the beneficiary of the rapid growth of material comforts and prosperity? Why are we bored despite having electronic media to entertain us 24X7, social networking sites to connect us to all our friends and electronic media and internet to help us know everything that is going on in this world?

My Review:

This book presents a very interesting array of Ideas. Just like the other books by the same author, here also very interesting concept is presented in simple English.

The argument of the importance of criminals in the society was surprising, yet, made me think and nod in agreement.

Mr. Singh says that good and evil are not two different entities, but are coexistent, one cannot survive without the other.

An excess of everything, even good, would be detrimental to the society’s growth. A civilized society is better off with equal amount of both good and evil.

Very Interesting concept indeed.

Some of the anecdotes very repeated from the previous books, though, which made it a bit repetitive, but all in all a very good read.

(A big Thank You to Dr. Awdhesh Singh for sending me the copy of the book :) )

Finding Me: A Book Review

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Author: Mischelle Knight

Finding Me: A Decade of Darkness, a Life Reclaimed: A Memoir of the Cleveland Kidnappings

Book Blurb:

Michelle Knight was kidnapped by Ariel Castro and suffered imprisonment and appalling abuse for the next ten years. But it was not until two other girls, Gina Dejesus and Amanda Berry were also trapped in the house that news of the missing girls, all from a close area in Cleveland, Ohio, came out. When they were finally released in 2013,the world at large was shocked. How, in a modern society with high-tech communications, could three teenage girls simply disappear? Michelle tells her gruelling, yet riveting story in honest, clear prose that is difficult to put down.

My View:

I cannot review this book, simply because how can I review experiences of another person?

I had blogged about the Cleaveland kidnappings here, along with Mischelle’s interview.

The book goes into the depth of what went inside what is now dubbed as Ariel Castro’s “House of Horrors” and how one man trapped three girls in a way that no one knew where they went for ten years.

The book has Mischelle’s recollection of how she survived the most horrible things and not giving up even in the most extreme circumstances.

Hers is a story of hope in the face of dispair, courage in the face of extremism and having a will to keep on living even when everything is lost.

God Is A Gamer: Book Review

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Is Revenge a Crime? Author: Ravi Subramanian

God is a Gamer

Book Review:

Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai. Enter Varun, part time drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

My Review:

This book exceeded my expectations. This was the first time I picked up a book by this author, and I must say I was impressed with his writing style.

The language is simple, clear and precise. Off late, too many substandard works are passed off in the guise of catering to “Indian audience”, this book is definitely not one of them. The writing and editing was excellent, not to forget the excellent cover. I really REALLY loved the cover design, the first thought I had when I received this was this will look so good in my shelf!

The story line is initially quite haphazard at first, with many miscellaneous things happening across the world. As the book progresses, you come to know that all the things that has happened are somehow connected.

The chapters in the book are very short. Each scene has been given a separate chapter, which helps in reading faster as well as keeps the interest level high. The book is a mere 230 pages, and so is a quick read. The story kept on switching between past and present and between different places, which might be confusing for some people, but for me, it was an added advantage for me as it did not let me get bored. The fast paced changes kept me turning pages wanting more.

I will not be able to go much into details without giving out the spoilers. But the story line was awesome, the way the author has pieced together a complex puzzle had me guessing the final outcome to the very end. The twist in the final chapter was the icing on the cake, quite unexpected and that made it even a better read on the whole.

The only thing that was a little irksome was that the female characters were too stereotypical, most of the females are weak and either crying, lying or pining for the men in their lives. We know that one female character has brains to be on the team of the best of the best people, but her portrayal throughout the book is how she wants the boy or how short her skirt is. Personally, I would have liked it more if she had a little more meaningful things to say in the story, that would have made the storyline more believable. But when you compare the story line and the book on the whole, this is just a minor blip, not to miss out on reading this story just for this reason. I learnt a lot of IT stuff from this book, so that was an added bonus.

The book has a lot of financial and technical lingo, but the author manages to explain these terms in layman language in the story line itself, without it being too out of the way or preachy. So as a reader, you know what the character is talking about, even if earlier you had no idea about this jargons. I learnt a lot of new concepts from this book.

Do I recommend it? Yes. Pick it up, its fast and a furious read.

Here is one book trailer for God is a gamer: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Disney Princes: Every Girl’s Dream?

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Just like toy store, as you walk into a bookstore, you would find shelves of pretty barbie pink books and other shelves of books with the blues, blacks, greens, reds etc.

If you have not guessed till now, the first shelf is for Girls, and second for Boys. First one contains books like Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Beauty and The Beast, etc, while the second consists of Spiderman, Batman, Carz, Tarzan etc.

Now I do not understand this, as all the books that came in my house were read by both me and bro, be it Rapunzel or Tarzan. Now, as we developed our own tastes, our book preferences differ, but at that time, it was always a competition on who would complete the story faster.

This trend of gender policing books for kids as young as three or four is quite disturbing. Little girls are just left to being princesses waiting for their prince charming, while little boys have a wider range of choices from saving the country to exploring the jungles.

But are these expectations ‘normal’? Who decided that girls like only princesses? And that too, only those who dress “pretty in pink”?

What about a little girl who likes, say, black colour or would like to read about adventure, would she have to shop in boys collection? Since when personal preferences be defined by gender? What does it say about our society if boys as young as four or five starts to be embarrassed to be seen reading anything “girly”? Since when did “girly” become something to be embarrassed about? What is the worst thing that would happen if a boy reads about Cinderella and a girl reads Batman?

I came across this picture on facebook:

Why do we train girls to be dependent on boys, and then crib about how boys have to work hard to provide?

Why cannot we teach girls that they are Heros of their lives, just as boys are heros of theirs? That instead of waiting in the tower for prince charming to rescue them, they can slay the dragons and go on an excellent adventure themselves?

While I am not saying that Princess Books are bad, but I am saying that they should be treated like a genre of kids book, and BOTH girls and guys could read them as well as other books without facing any societal pressure of being called girly or a tomboy.

Are Prince Charmings really all that charming in real life?

Take a look at this video, which shows what would happen if prince charmings were real.

The Bro Code: Book Review

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Author: Barney Stinson, Matt Kuhn

The Bro Code

Book Blurb:

Everyone’s life is governed by an internal code of conduct. Some call it morality. Others call it religion. But Bros in the know call this holy grail the Bro Code.

Historically a spoken tradition passed from one generation to the next, the official code of conduct for Bros appears here in its published form for the first time ever. By upholding the tenets of this sacred and legendary document, any dude can learn to achieve Bro-dom.

My Review:

If you followed the show “How I Met Your Mother”, this book is for you.

The book has all the Bro references that Barney Stinson ever made on the show about the Bro Code. A bro is that special friend who is at your side through all the ups and down of life. And yes, even females can be a “bro”.

The book is quite small and an extremely fast read.

This is for people who see the show and know the kind of character Barney is, and how he evolves through the show. Others would find this to be very sexist as they would not know the context that the particular code was used by Barney. And plus, let’s face it, he was kind of over the top with his Bro-ness, before meeting Robin.

As with Barney, all the Codes are to be taken with a grain of salt.

All in all, an okey-ish one time read.

Here is a video on what you might expect from the book: