Review | Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

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Book : Those Pricey Thakur Girls

Author : Anuja Chauhan

Publishing Year : 2013

Page Count : 400 

Genre : Romance

Format : Paperback

Links : Goodreads || Amazon || Flipkart 

Synopsis : In a sprawling bungalow on New Delhi’s posh Hailey Road, Justice Laxmi Narayan Thakur and his wife Mamta spend their days watching anxiously over their five beautiful (but troublesome) alphabetically named daughters. Anjini, married but an incorrigible flirt; Binodini, very worried about her children’s hissa in the family property; Chandrakanta, who eloped with a foreigner on the eve of her wedding; Eshwari, who is just a little too popular at Modern School, Barakhamba Road; and the Judge’s favourite (though fathers shouldn’t have favourites): the quietly fiery Debjani, champion of all the stray animals on Hailey Road, who reads the English news on DD and clashes constantly with crusading journalist Dylan Singh Shekhawat, he of shining professional credentials but tarnished personal reputation, crushingly dismissive of her state-sponsored propaganda, but always seeking her out with half-sarcastic, half-intrigued dark eyes. Spot-on funny and toe-curlingly sexy, Those Pricey Thakur Girls is rom-com specialist Anuja Chauhan writing at her sparkling best.


The cover of Those Pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan proclaims her to be the only author of popular Indian fiction worth reading. Now, I usually steer clear of populist Indian fiction for the simple reason that they are usually so bad that I can actually feel my intellect going down while reading these books. But this was a highly recommended read from two of my friends so I thought to take a plunge with this one and I was definitely not disappointed.

This book follows an extremely quirky, comedic family. The man of the house is Justice Laxmi Narayan, a retired judge. He lives in Delhi of the late twentieth century with his wife and has five alphabetically named daughters. Yes, you heard that right – alphabetically named. And the fun is just beginning! All of them have completely different personalities but the main story follows Debjani Thakur or Dabbu, as she is called. She has a knack for going for the so-called “loser” things in life. She is our protagonist. And then you have Dylan Singh Shekhawat, our male protagonist. He is introduced to the reader as a character who flirts and goes around with almost any female in the vicinity and you think to yourself that there is nrao way that you can actually end up liking such a character but the author simply proves you wrong. Along with Dylan, there is his complete mix of a Rajput – Christian family who are simple rib tickling.

Going into the story, I knew it better not to expect anything great out of the plot. The best way to describe it’d be to say it is like one of those one time watch Bollywood movies where you know nothing substantial is going to come out of it but you watch it anyways for the fun and laughter associated with it. Anuja Chauhan delivers extremely well on this front. Her writing is quirky, fun and laugh out loud at times. She will make your eyes bulge out with the shock of a few statements that you will end up reading. She has captured the soul of the society of Delhi during those times quite well and all those mentions of the times when Doordarshan was the only television network will make you feel extremely nostalgic.

To wrap this up, if you’re looking for a breezy and funny read then do pick up Those Pricey Thakur Girls. It will give you an incredible glimpse into India of those times and will leave you feeling light. Do pick it up.

RATING : 4/5


Is there anyone who has read this book? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear from you!

Review | Deception Point by Dan Brown

P_20170105_225215_HDR_1.jpgBook : Deception Point

Author : Dan Brown

Publishing Year : 2001

Page Count : 556

Genre : Thriller

Format : Paperback

Goodreads || Amazon || Flipkart

 

Synopsis : When a new NASA satellite spots evidence of an astonishingly rare object buried deep in the Arctic ice, the floundering space agency proclaims a much-needed victory…a victory that has profound implications for U.S. space policy and the impending presidential election. With the Oval Office in the balance, the President dispatches White House Intelligence analyst Rachel Sexton to the Milne Ice Shelf to verify the authenticity of the find. Accompanied by a team of experts, including the charismatic academic Michael Tolland, Rachel uncovers the unthinkable: evidence of scientific trickery — a bold deception that threatens to plunge the world into controversy.

But before Rachel can contact the President, she and Michael are attacked by a deadly team of assassins controlled by a mysterious power broker who will stop at nothing to hide the truth. Fleeing for their lives in an environment as desolate as it is lethal, their only hope for survival is to find out who is behind this masterful ploy. The truth, they will learn, is the most shocking deception of all.


Thriller is one of my absolute favorite genres. There is something mind blowing about reading a good, well researched thriller and for me, Dan Brown is always on the forefront. I’ve read three of his Robert Langdon books and I’ve ended up being awestruck on each occasion.

The plot of this particular book is extremely well executed. It is a sensible mixture of science and technology and casts an honest light on human psychology. It shows the limits to which a person can go to save something in which he/she believes vehemently in and an analysis of the level of deceit portrayed in this book is quite scary. Like all other books of Dan Brown, this book too shows the story unraveling in a parallel method : different incidents happening at the same time in different places. It has an extremely fast paced storyline leaving your mind reeling at the most unseeming places, gripping you from the very first page and making it difficult to put the book down.

In terms of characters, all of them are all multi-layered. Rachel Sexton has turned out to be my least favorite out of all the Dan Brown books that I’ve read. She is the protagonist but unfortunately, it doesn’t seem to be so. She is helpless in most cases and there are only a handful of situations in which she acts as the lead that she, in fact, is. She wouldn’t have been able to do anything if it weren’t for Michael Tolland and Corky Marlinson. They are the real brains. It is all the non-protagonists who actually take all the thunder in this story.

I’d say Deception Point was a fulfilling read. I went into it expecting a page turner and that’s what I got. I’m always in awe of the amount of research that Dan Brown does for a novel and this one also falls into the category. For me, his Robert Langdon novels have set the bar really high and this one falls just a little short of reaching that level. I’d strongly recommend picking up any of his books if you are looking for a mind blowing thriller (preferably, The Da Vinci Code).

RATING : 4/5 

(This is the least that I’ve ever rated a Dan Brown novel.)


Have you read any Dan Brown book? What is your favorite? Do share in the comments. I’d love to know! 

Have a lovely day/night, everyone. ❤

Review | Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

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Book : Mrs Funnybones

Author : Twinkle Khanna 

Publishing Year : 2015

Page Count : 235 

Format : Paperback

Genre : Humour , Non-fiction

Goodreads || Amazon 

Synopsis : Good morning, it’s 6 a.m. and I am wide awake because the man of the house has decided that he needs to perform a series of complex manoeuvres that involve him balancing on his left elbow. When I fell asleep last night, there was a baby lying next to me. Her smelly diaper is still wedged on my head but aside from this rather damp clue, I can’t seem to find her anywhere. I could ask my mother-in-law if she has seen the baby, but she may just tell me that I need to fast on alternate Mondays, and God will deliver the baby back to me . . . Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman—a woman who organizes dinner each evening, even as she goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her Mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s super-hit column, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original voices.


Considering that this book has been written by the daughter of a Bollywood superstar, is herself the wife of another Bollywood superstar and has acted in a few movies in her own time, it was no wonder that this got a LOT of media attention. When this book got published, so much of praise and laurel was showered on it. A part of me always wondered whether it was all because of her being a celebrity or has she actually managed to write something good. After one and a half years of pondering, I finally have the answer.

In the beginning itself Twinkle Khanna dismisses the notion that this book in an autobiography or that she can act. The USP of this book is that she hasn’t written this from the perspective of a celebrity. In this, you’re going to read about her being as ‘normal’ as one can be while belonging to an elite and popular family. She will talk to you from the point of view of a mother with two children who make her run around the clock, a wife to her busy husband, a daughter to her eccentric mother, a shoulder for all her friends and a sincere “bahu” to her mother-in-law. In short, she’ll tell you about what it is like to be a modern working women in our Indian society.

Twinkle Khanna is funny, poignant, amusing, sincere and sarcastic. She is like a breath of fresh air. The best part of this book was that it was such a fast and endearing read. I finished this in one sitting breezing through so many of her life’s incidents. She isn’t laugh out loud funny. She is witty and hella smart. Despite it being a “light read”, she is going to teach you a few things about life, one of which is given below.

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I highly recommend you to read this book. It’ll rejuvenate your brain and soul.

RATING : 5/5


So that was my first read of 2017 and what an incredibly great way to start this year with! With Sherlock returning, new music from Ed Sheeran coming our way and my first read getting a 5/5 rating.. 2017 is doing great. *touchwood*

Here’s to infinite greatness in this year. ❤ 

 

 

 

Colorful Notions: The RoadTrippers 1.0

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Book : Colorful Notions : The Roadtrippers 1.0

Author : Mohit Goyal

Publishing Year : 2016

Page Count : 194

Format : Paperback 

Goodreads || Amazon

 

Synopsis : Would you give up your high-paying job and comfortable personal life to drive ten thousand kilometers across India? Just for fun!

Three twenty-somethings dare to do just that! While the two guys take turns to drive, the girl gives voice-over as they record their entire journey on a handycam.

Ab, Sasha and Unnati are ordinary youngsters, rendered special by the feat they accomplish. As they recount their adventures, I crave to live their journey all the more. They look at each other with a glint in their eyes, as if refurbishing those memories, as they narrate their spooky time at Bhangarh Fort, strange escapades at Wagah Border and Sundarbans, car breakdowns, wild animals, near-death experiences and highway robbers! It’s nothing less than crazy.

I doubted if I’d ever have the gumption to create such experiences. So I did the next best thing – I penned a book about them, and their roadtrip.

Colorful Notions is a journey of three young hearts on the Indian terrain and into the inner recesses of their souls, giving a new perspective to relationships, love and life.

I won this book in a Goodreads giveaway so a huge thank you goes to the author and the publisher. And it is author signed. Woop woop!

As the title of the book suggests, Colorful Notions : The Roadtrippers 1.0, is primarily a book in which the characters go on a road trip which ultimately leads to a journey of self discovery. There is something undeniably exciting about a road trip book/movie done right.

The story at hand is a story of three friends : Abhay, Shashank and Unnati, who are all Delhi born and bred. They venture into a road trip across India and decide to make a documentary out of it. Abhay has had a misguided past. Shashank and Unnati are in a serious relationship. All three of them are not satisfied with the current status of their lives and want to achieve more. After laying all of these foundations, the actual story begins. The plot is really good. Three young people just living it up : that’s a life goal right there. The story line never slows down and there is something new at each turning. The part that wasn’t very relatable for me was this : how easy it was for them. They don’t really have any “travel” problems as such. They always happen to have everything already smoothed out. I travel and I know first hand that travelling can never be such a chilled out affair. And also the whole love triangle side to the story. That was such a Bollywood thing to do.

Next, I’d like to focus on the characters. Abhay, Shashank and Unnati are like most young adults : confused, have messed up priorities and a hunger for the unordinary. Honestly, I didn’t really get all that attached to the characters. I detested Abhay when he went all commando trying to break up the solid relationship of his friends. Shashank was what you call a “good” character. A bit too naive at times but quite the balance that this story needed. Unnati is a largely  sorted out character but there were times when I found her to be extremely dramatic.

I don’t read a lot of contemporary  Indian novels because the quality of writing usually lets me down. But this is not the case here. The writing is well rounded and extremely easy to breeze through. The book is perfect for a light read. Also, it is going to make you feel optimistic about life, in general. I’d totally suggest picking this book up. Definitely a good experience. Waiting for the sequel already!

RATING : 4/5 


Hi, guys! Wrote a book review after a really long time and I hope to continue having your support. This blog is becoming active again, trust me. I love all of you so much. Happy holidays, everyone! 🙂 

Review | All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven

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Book : All the Bright Places

Author : Jennifer Niven

Publishing Year : 2015

Page Count : 378

Format : Paperback

Genre : Young Adult

 Goodreads || Amazon

Synopsis : The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this exhilarating and heart-wrenching love story about a girl who learns to live from a boy who intends to die.


Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.


Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.

When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

This is an intense, gripping novel perfect for fans of Jay Asher, Rainbow Rowell, John Green, Gayle Forman, and Jenny Downham from a talented new voice in YA, Jennifer Niven.

WARNING : This book may trigger thoughts regarding suicide, depression and abuse.

“You make me lovely, and it’s so lovely to be lovely to the one I love.…”

All the Bright Places is one such book that keeps getting mentioned in the book blogosphere and I’ve wanted to read it quite some time because I’ve never read a book that deals with the topic of suicide. I was also intrigued by the cover with all those Post-its. I finally picked up the book last Sunday and was seriously surprised by the story.The synopsis of this book mentions that the story is like The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park. Now, I’ve not read Eleanor and Park but I couldn’t find any similarity with TFIOS except the fact that both of the books are about teenagers who meet and fall in love. I’m mentioning this because I happen to know a few people who didn’t enjoy TFIOS much and that comparison shouldn’t stop anyone from reading this book. I’m finding this particular book a bit difficult to review because there are just so many things that I want to say but I don’t know where to begin. But I’m going to give it a try.

Violet didn’t only lose her sister, Eleanor, in the car accident. She lost herself too. She lost the will to live. She kept a count of days till graduation crossing off each day in the calendar. Theodore.. I don’t even know where to start. Death fascinated him. His head was jam packed with all these strange facts about death and suicide. In the beginning, I expected him to be sort of a “bad boy” character (I don’t know why) but how incredibly wrong was I! As the story progressed, Jennifer Niven made me delve more and more into his mind. Such a different character. I’m not going to write anything more about because if I do, I’ll probably end up spoiling the book for anyone who has not read it yet. So instead I’m going to discuss the writing.

The writing the writing the writing.  OH GOD. Jennifer Niven’s writing is pristine and beautiful and almost poetic. Her words shine with the light from a thousand stars. She made me smile and giggle and squeal out of joy. She also made me cry and cry and cry. I was hoping that maybe everything will be all right. Maybe. Just maybe. But no. She had to shatter all my hopes. There are just so many beautiful lines in this book. My favorite being – “You are all the colors in one, at full brightness.”

I feel like this is an important book because of the topic it deals with : suicide. Theo manages to successfully pinpoint – “Listen, I’m the freak. I’m the weirdo…. Oh, there he goes again, in one of his moods. Moody Finch. Angry Finch. Unpredictable Finch. Crazy Finch. But I’m not a compilation of symptoms. Not a casualty of shitty parents and an even shittier chemical makeup. Not a problem. Not a diagnosis. Not an illness. Not something to be rescued. I’m a person.”  I’ve never been fully able to understand the feeling of utter hopelessness that makes people think about suicide. This book gave me an insight. And for this reason, I think everyone should give this book a chance. It is so much more than just a story.

RATING : 5/5

Have you read the book? What did you think of it? Do tell me in the comments. 🙂

The Maze Runner

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Book : The Maze Runner

Author : James Dashner

Series : The Maze Runner – #1

Publishing Year : 2009

Page Count : 371

Format : Paperback

 

 

Synopsis :

” When the doors of the lift crank open, the only thing Thomas can remember is his first name. But he’s not alone. He’s surrounded by boys who welcome him to the Glade, an encampment at the centre of a bizarre maze.

Like Thomas, the Gladers don’t know why or how they came to be there, or what’s happening to the world outside. All they know is that every morning when the walls slide back, they will risk everything to find out.”

                                                                     

With the movies and everything, The Maze Runner is one such book that keeps coming up during conversations. I’ve been wanting to start with this series for quite some time and I FINALLY read it a few days back. And I was pleasantly surprised with it.

First and foremost, I quite liked the writing. I didn’t find it to be extremely fast paced or anything but it wasn’t slow either. The pace was such that gave me the impression as if all the events were happening in real time. The authors uses weird words like “shuck”and “klunk” in abundance which I was found hard to adjust to when I started with this book but as the story progressed, I found myself getting accustomed to those words. Dystopia is one such genre that truly doesn’t have any limitations and to his credit, James Dashner does a really good world building. The Maze and the life that the Gladers lead is an excellent piece of imagination.

Thomas, Newt and Minho – these are all characters that  I immediately took a liking to. They are all so brave and courageous to the point that sometimes I went like – What the hell?! All of them have been wiped off their memory but they have still been able to build, more or less, a self-sustaining community. The reader can actually sense the confusion that Thomas is going through, just trying to make sense of everything. I also have to mention Chuck. He is just such an endearing character.

All in all, I really enjoyed reading The Maze Runner. Yes, there were a few parts that didn’t make much sense. There were far too many times when Thomas would try to remember something and voila – he remembered it! All of a sudden. I also felt, in terms of the information regarding all the Hows and the Whys, a LOT of it was held back. Maybe that’s what is supposed to bring back the reader. I’ll definitely pick up The Scorch Trials and I hope it will be as good as the first book.

RATING : 4.5/5

Have you read The Maze Runner? What did you think of it? I’d love to hear your opinion. 🙂

 

Revolution 2020 : Love. Corruption. Ambition.

IMG_20160616_191647~2.jpgBook : Revolution 2020

Author : Chetan Bhagat

Publishing Year : 2011

Page Count : 296

Format : Paperback

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis

Once upon a time, in small-town India, there lived two intelligent boys. One wanted to use his intelligence to make money. One wanted to use his intelligence to create a revolution. The problem was, they both loved the same girl. Welcome to Revolution 2020. A story about childhood friends Gopal, Raghav and Aarti who struggle to find success and love in Varanasi. However, it isn’t easy to achieve this in an unfair society that rewards the corrupt. As Gopal gives in to the system, and Raghav fights it, who will win? From the bestselling author of Five Point Someone, One Night @ The Call Center, The Three Mistakes of My Life and 2 States, comes another gripping tale from the heartland of India. Are you ready for the revolution?

I know that most of you haven’t heard of Chetan Bhagat. He is quite a big thing in India but not internationally. I’ve read a few books of his before but I’ve never been impressed as such. His writing his mediocre, at best. The Indian youth, in general, seem to gobble up his books whenever they get published and then they sing misplaced praises about him. Even though this book was published five years back, I never wanted to read it because of my past experiences with his writing. But my elder cousin was insistent that I give it a chance. For lack of anything else to do in this summer break till college starts, I picked it up last night. And boy, was I surprised!

The story is about three childhood friends : Gopal, Raghav and Aarti. Gopal comes from a poor family background, Raghav from a middle class family and Aarti from a rich family. The story is set in the temple city of India – Varanasi. When I saw this city as the setting, I expected it to be an integral part of the story itself. Because Varanasi is a place like that. It has always been portrayed to have its own soul. A soul unlike any other. But I was disappointed in the fact that the city was just there. It didn’t weave itself into the story as I’d have liked to see. The character of Aarti was annoying, at times. I couldn’t see the reason why there was so much fuss about her. And that’s where all my negative thoughts about the book end. Because strip down the book and you’ll get an honest reflection of the way the Indian education system actually is.

Gopal and Raghav both appear for the engineering entrance examinations for getting admission in the prestigious government colleges of  India : the IITs and the NITs. Statistically speaking, the entrance examinations for the Indian Institute of Technology and the National Institute of Technology are two of the most difficult exams to crack worldwide. Even if you put your heart and soul to it, there’s no guarantee that you’ll get a chance. Lakhs and lakhs of students appear for it every year, only a few thousand actually get in. The Indian society is so cranked up that people actually compare a person based on his/her rank in the said exams.When I first started the book, I was surprised to find that I could actually connect with it! When Gopal couldn’t get in, his thought process was something that in a way, resonated within me. The feeling of uselessness, the feeling that what the heck did I do all these years and the shame that comes from disappointing your parents. All because of a rank in an exam.

The author portrays a very honest and picture of the Indian society which is filled with corruption. Our society, at large, has always been like this. If you have enough depth in your pocket, there is not a single door in India that will be left unopened to you. You can do anything. You can get away with anything. As long as you know all the right people. That is the sad truth. And the sadder truth is : there is really nothing much that can be done about it. All of this has been shown in a completely realistic manner. Now, I know, that I haven’t really talked much about the book, in general. That’s because the story in itself has such a truthful ring to it. To all my Indian readers, read this – for it is quite an honest reflection of our society. To all my non-Indian readers, if you ever do come across this book, real it – for it is quite an honest reflection of my country’s society. Maybe there will be a day when “bribe” wouldn’t be one such word that so many of us have to face regularly.

RATING : 4/5