Thursday, January 22, 2015

Book Review #30: The Dreamer

Name: The Dreamer- an unpredictable lover that couldn t say anything
Author: Vivek Jain
No. of Pages: 217
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Frog Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing)
Price: Rs. 125/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
Love does not mean having your mate on your side or does it? Can a guy love a girl in such an unpredictable way that she becomes his soul? Are all these ancient love stories like Romeo and Juliet fake? And if it is not, then can this kind of love happen in today s generation? 

Vivek is a guy with a slight scientific bent of mind, who always tries to perform experiments related to various fields of science. At a school function, he meets a meets a girl Shruti, who becomes his addiction ... his princess, his angel ...Goddess ... the reason for his existence. He falls in love with her at first sight ... handing over his entire life into her hands... 

Somehow, Vivek manages to speak to Shruti ... then follows an addiction about her ... a madness that knows no end. To prove his love for her, he designs a telescope to impress her. But four years later, a tragic change of fate enters their life. Shruti turns volte-face and refuses to even recognise or acknowledge Vivek. What is this story all about? Is destiny playing a game with Vivek? Or is Shruti playing a game with him? Or is there another angle? How will this love story end? Will Vivek win over Shruti ... or will it remain an unfulfilled dream forever?

About the author:
Vivek Jain, 22 years is an engineer. He was brought up in the district, Neemuch in Madhya Pradesh. Apart from writing, the author has a keen interest in conducting experiments related to different fields of science. Gathering knowledge related to space science, psychology, spirituality, and Jainism. He also loves to listen to soft music. His other interests are swimming, acting, cooking, travelling, and being on social network sites like Facebook. Recently, he is working on a science project. The Dreamer, is his debut novel.

Cover: It shows the silhouette of a young boy with outstretched arms, showering flower petals and an image of a girl.

Writing: There are many typos and grammatical mistakes in the book. I feel that the way of writing is quite childish.

Story: The author discloses that this is the story of his life. He falls for a girl when he was in the eleventh standard and the story is of what followed after that.

The book took me back to my own school and college days and made me remember all the boys who were dreaming about some girl or the other. The story is a realistic account of how boys work as a team while one of them chases a girl. It shows how (puppy) love can make or break one's life. I really liked the climax of the story which reveals that things are not always as we see them.

The thing I didn't like about the book is the way of writing. The plot is realistic and one could easily relate to the events. It could have been a great book if it would have been written in an interesting, captivating and involving manner.

I give "The Dreamer" 2 stars on a scale of 5.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Book Review #29: Angelic Beats

Name: Angelic Beats
Author: Sarita Singh
No. of Pages: 247
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Frog Books (An Imprint of Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd.)
Price: Rs. 175/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
Angelic Beats is the story of a boy in his late teens who falls in love with a married woman. Both defy their ages; the woman for her looks and innocence and the boy for his confidence and clarity in life along with integrity. The journey of the boy for his passion also becomes journey of love for both that finally takes them to more meaningful destinations. It unfolds the changing perspective of a young boy and a married woman in various situations of life treading the path of love and success together. How they carry on with love and friendship as a responsibility is quintessence to their journeys.

Love can make one completely blind or it can candle all the darkness in life.

Sometimes destiny becomes the greatest magician. It brings two opposite people, Sahil and Aakanksha, on one platform. Even their personal statuses do not match for one is married and the other single. One is confident about making choices in life, whereas the other is always scared of making a choice. One is always positive, and the other is negative in outlook. 

Unlike mathematics, where + and always make , sometimes in real life, + and do make a + together. 

On the road leading to his passion, he happened to meet the first love of his life too. Before going to the National Defence Academy for the journey to be a commissioned officer in Indian Air Force finally, he introduced love in her and his own life and pledged his heart to her. The arrows of cupid struck her also. 

Do their final choices engulf all other relationships like a storm and rage and bleed their self-esteem? Or are they able to carry their choices gracefully through their quest for happiness?

About the author:
The author, Sarita Singh, is a post-graduate in chemistry with a post-graduate diploma in mass communications. Born and brought up in Panipat, Haryana, she has been married to a doctor and is blessed with a son. The author is a state civil services (allied) officer, who has also taught in various institutions earlier. Reading and writing have always been a part of Sarita Singh who used to write her diary from a very young age. Like many others, she too loves gossiping and enjoying with friends and family as she loves spending time with them. The author believes in a few optimistic thoughts: "I am alright, I am happy where I am now, but I wish to be somewhere else. And I will try for it ."

Cover: It shows an air-force officer along with a fighter plane. 

Writing: Plain English. There are a few typos here and there.

Nineteen year old Saahil, an aspiring air-force officer, falls in love with Aakansha, a twenty-five year old married chemistry professor.

I felt the book lacked emotion. An complicated situation has been treated too casually. There was no scope where the reader could understand the characters and their respective actions. There is nothing dramatic as depicted by the cover. I could not also link the book's title to the story. the story clearly lacks depth and character. In short, you can give this one a pass if you enjoy good writing.

I give "Angelic Beats" 1 stars on a scale of 5.

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Book Review #28: Beneath The Surface

Name: Beneath The Surface
Author: Sherry Duggal
No. of Pages: 99
Genre: Fiction
Price: Rs. 125/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:  
Beneath the Surface is an exploration of a healing journey, taking you right into the world of the central character. The five elements tie everything together, giving way to imagery inspired by Chinese Medicine Philosophy. 

As the protagonist expresses herself through stream of consciousness, emotions come up to the surface. She works through them and they become a part of her being, represented as blood flow. 

Blood imagery highlights the mind body connection as characters come in and out of her life like figments of her imagination. 

Underlying all of this is the central question What is joy? 

She starts by focusing on the external, the physical manifesting as matter. Her mind then takes over.

As mind overcomes matter, emotions continue to push her forward in her learning journey where she finally lets go. 

Mind and matter come together as she realizes that everything she needs is inside of her. Happiness comes from within ... and the process continues.

About the author: 
Sherry Duggal is a naturopathic doctor who is now focusing on her creative side. She has written for prominent magazines such as Darpan Magazine and the Canadian Immigrant Magazine, a branch of the Toronto Star. Her other works are performance oriented. Sherry presented her comedy play Love Therapy at the Masala Mehndi Masti! Festival, the biggest South Asian Festival in North America. One of eight featured writers, her one woman act Epiphany was presented as part of the Pull Festival in Vancouver, B.C. She also presented her play Eve: A Balancing Act at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has also recently performed in New Delhi, India. Sherry was the lead in a feature film called Plus and has worked on a number of short films and music videos, while training at various acting studios in Vancouver, B.C. This is her first book, where she combines her passion of the written word with her knowledge of mind-body medicine.

Cover: The cover is an work of art. To me it depicts a woman in a process of discovering herself in relation to the earth and the elements of nature.

Writing: The author narrates what the life of the protagonist and her feelings in the form of abstract poetry.

The protagonist goes through a abusive relationship, drug and sex abuse, depression and finally emerges out and sees the light. She meets a man who shows her the true meaning of life and love.

I enjoyed most parts of the book. But I also feel the poetic expressions are not consistently appealing. Nonetheless, it is a good piece of work by the debutant author.

I give "Beneath The Surface" 3 stars on a scale of 5.

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Book Review #27: Title is Untitled

Name: Title is Untitled
Author: Santosh Avvanavar, Kundan Srivastava and Raghunath Babu Are
No. of Pages: 142
Genre: Social
Publisher: Hoffen
Price: Rs. 230/-
Published in: 2014

The blurb of the book says:
Rape is a serious crime and it takes courage to reach out and fight for the victims. We must understand they don’t need our sympathy, what they need is our commitment to stand by them. The initiative and courage to do the same as shown by the authors is inspirational. A book that shakes you out of your slumber and pushes you to be the change I would recommend the book as a must read for a safer future. - Kabir Sadanand - Actor, Director, FUGLY (Mumbai)

Love. Lust. Desire. Rape. Anger. Education. Profession. Maladies of life? Title is Untitled helps us into a sneak peek at a unique combination of facts and fiction. Three authors join their heads to weave a book that would hold fact high along with fiction. You knew the statistics, but you didn’t know the paths that lead to the situations we are facing these days. Coupled with adequate dose of humour, Title is Untitled will enhance, enrich and enlighten your knowledge. Come, join hands with us in spreading knowledge and awareness about issues that are plaguing our society now.

Overview of 'Title is Untitled'
To look at things like we’ve never looked at before – we present a unique book of facts blended with fiction to spread more awareness in our society. Facts about various problems in the present urban and rural societies of India are presented wrapped in fiction, like case studies to elaborate them.

Women of our country are often victims to most issues like rape, marital rape, prostitution, child marriage, child trafficking and others. Not to ignore the men who are also victims to women framing them in false cases of impotency and domestic violence. There are eleven chapters presented in this book which deal with different such cases – both men and women – and try to create a little awareness in our educated society.

The first chapter is a classic example of how many women are treated in our country, married off to older men or their own relatives at a very young age, hence deprived of education. Many women like Kamali are sold off in the name of marriage, only to be wronged and raped by their so-called husbands. The next two chapters showcase the myriad lusts and desires of women, only to be avenged later. Cheats and frauds are not gender-biased and this is reflected in ‘Ek Tha Kapoor’. We’d also like to take you back to 1957 in a superb case study of how people were wrongly framed during the freedom movement of India. Many such cases are still pending in the court of law.

The next three chapters provide some humour to the serious reader and let you loosen yourself while you read about relevant issues like Beggary and obtaining fake degrees. All work and no play make Jack a dull boy! Hence the dose of humour for your palate. The last chapter is bound to leave you in tears when you read about Ganga and how she had been trafficked into a brothel like thousands of other teen girls.

The question is – can we do something for them? We can at least be aware of the steps that lead to these sins and spread the awareness. We can try to stop people who sell young girls to brothels. We can stop marital rape in our own homes. Will we do so? Or just read the book and keep it in the shelf with a sigh?

About the author:
Santosh Avvannavar: Santosh started his career as a consultant and Soft Skills Trainer. After his college education from NITK, Surathkal, he worked as a researcher at University of Eindhoven, University of Twente, and Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. He was also the Placement President while working at IISC, Bangalore. He has over twenty-five publications of mostly research documents in national and international journals. He has also authored sixteen conference papers and regularly writes articles for a national and worldwide daily paper. He also works as an advisor for different organizations.

He also dabbles in fiction writing and is the author of Adhuri Prem Kahaniya; Dear Wife, Your Husband is not a Superhero, Second Heart and Get a Job WITHOUT an Interview; Be A B.A.; Surrogate Author. He likes to devote his personal time in writing for a website, namely the Amrita Foundation for HRD ( He has conducted seminars and training sessions for more than 40,000 people in India and abroad over the last seven years.

Kundan Srivastava: Kundan is an engineer by education, Founder of Be In Humanity Foundation, Social Activist, RTI Activist, Columnist, Universal Humanity Awarded (2013), Bihar Pithadhish Purushkaar Awarded (2012). He was born in Raxual, Bihar and is one of Youngest Social Activist from Bihar. Kundan is a Technical Graduate (B-Tech) from Dehradun Institute of Technology, Dehradun and the Top Achievers announced by College Management. He is well known for his role in Social Activist working for humanity cause and crime against Women, RTI Activist and his efforts to bring and awareness the Right to Information (RTI) act. From July 2013, he is a Member of political party, Aam Aadmi Party (AAP).

Raghunath Babu Are: B.E., M.Tech (IISc, Bangalore), Sr. Software Engg, over 5+ year of experience as a Software Engineer at Yahoo! and Microsoft India. An alumnus of IISc, Bangalore.

As you can learn from the overview of the book, the book deals with various social issues like child marriage, rape, beggary, trafficking, etc. in a drama form. There are eleven chapters throwing light on eleven social issues. The writing is plain and simple. The book is a decent effort to create awareness about various problems which still plague our society. But I found the presentation of the issues nothing about ordinary.

I give "Title is Untitled" 2.5 stars on a scale of 5.