Book Review- Secrets, Sins & Struggles by Kamini Kusum

Book Name- Secrets, Sins & Struggles: The Journey of Five Women
Author- Kamini Kusum
Genre- Anthology/ Fiction
Publisher- Zobra Books
Pages- 210
Price- ₹199

BLURB

A collection of five tales,Secrets,Sins & Struggles is about the lives and loves of five women, tracing their long, eventful journeys that are anything but linear.

Meet Pooja, a teenager forced into the flesh trade but determined to escape and get justice. Shrawani who dreams of becoming a bureaucrat despite all the trials life throws her way.

Avni who is torn between her childhood friend and her brand-new boyfriend.

Harsha who is trapped in a loveless arranged marriage while still being haunted by thoughts of her forsaken lover.

Geshna who falls head over heels for a high school sweetheart only to find her own life shrinking to accommodate his.

These stories are about the odds stacked against women in their path to love and success.

They are also about hope that the next turn will lead to the happiness and success they all long for.

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REVIEW

Secrets, Sins, and Struggles by Kamini Kusum is a kind of anthology where author serves us 5 short stories of 5 different women which are going through their sins, struggles and many other elements. This book is perfect feminist book of a kind and inspiring too.

Book Cover shows five different women with different emotions. The cover is appropriate with the book and catches attention of the readers.

Title discloses about the content and is complements well the cover of book. Blurb is short and interesting enough for readers to pick up the book.

Language of this book is simple and easy to comprehend. Narration is done well and makes story reading smooth. Few quotes in the book are worth quoting.

All the five characters are different from each other with different struggles but one thing common in them is, all of them try to change their fate. I loved the way author focuses on the main protagonist in few pages and makes readers involve in the character building.

My sister picked up this book before I could and as I saw her reading this, so engrossed in the pages, I knew it was going to be a fantastic book.

What I didn’t know was that it was also going to be an emotional and a memorable book.

Well since Women’s day is coming soon, I thought I’d pick this book up myself.

What started with a thought provoking intense tale of Pooja, a girl who runs away from her detestable family and gets raped and sold into flesh trade.. Just reading about those incidents made me skin crawl and my stomach turn.

Continuing ahead, I got to experience one poignant story after the other which led to a whirlwind of emotions and thoughts.

Every woman with a unique character, different qualities and flaws was portrayed so beautifully.

The story and their struggle was weaved in such a wonderful way making this book a real page turner.

No it is not a straight on book. It is a bunch of short stories. So even if you don’t like a single one, don’t worry,  there are others which could be more to your liking.

For me, the tale of Avni was an incredible one.

I will not lie and say that I finished it in one sitting. Instead I savoured each story every day, mainly because I didn’t want this to end.

What makes me commend the writer is the fact that she brought diversification in the characters. Not every girl was a single independent feminist, nor they were all uneducated, just looking to get married. There was variety, in stories and in the characterization.

The name ‘Secret, Sins and Struggles’ is totally apt for this roller coaster book and I recommend it to any person looking for a deep, thought-provoking and marvelous book.

 

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Book Review- Should I Fall in Love by Shraddha Khanna

Book Name- Should I… Fall In Love
Author – Shradha khanna
Genre – Romantic Fiction 
Publisher – RIGI PUBLICATIONS
Pages- 142

Blurb-
A story of Fear….. of not finding forever after and questioning your heart. Naina has always been a strong headed, lively and carefree person. She always felt that there was a reason for everything. She believed in love, commitment and sacrifice, but when her three year old relationship crumble down in front of her she lost all the hope in love and marriage forever. With time and help of her friend, Naina starts afresh in a new city with a new job and people around. For the first time in her life she was not looking for love but a deep urge to stand on her own feet made its way in her life. Little did Naina know her life was going to change? Nothing could prepare her for the storm of love in the shape of Nihal, the confident, persistent and handsome guy she met at her boss housewarming party. Read on to know, will Nihal be able to penetrate the cold walls covered around Naina’s heart or her insecurities are more than enough to lead them on different paths in life. A story where thinking that questioning your heart with “Should I”, can stop you from “Falling In Love”

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Review-

Should I Fall In Love is a debut novel by Shraddha Khanna and author has done amazing done with keeping the book close to reality with simple yet intriguing plot and connecting storyline.

Book Title and Cover-  Title is appropriate with the book and creates curiosity about the book. Cover however, is not much attractive and should be improved in the next edition of the book.

Blurb is short and up to mark and gives us hint about the content.

Narration and Editing- Language used in the book is lucid and engages readers with the book. Narration is done in third person and makes a wonderful reading experience.

There are few editing errors in the book which should be corrected in the next edition. Apart from them, book is pretty interesting to read.

Characterization- Main characters, Naina and Nihal are portrayed beautifully with keeping everything close to reality. I liked Naina’s character the most. She is workaholic with dark past and wants to move forward but misses “Love” in her life.

Nihal on the other hand, is a free living, charming, flirtatious guy. The book is about Naina and Nihal and whether they end up together or not.

Plot and Storyline- Plot is simple and realistic and thus predictable most of the times. But the way series of events flow with happy and bumpy ride, readers are bind with the story. It is a perfect romantic book with happy ending.

The plus point about the storyline is Shraddha kept it simple and realistic and thus story is connecting.

Ratings-
Book Cover and Title- 3.5/4
Language and Narration- 3/4
Characterization- 3.5/5
Storyline and Plot- 3/5

Overall Rating- 3/5

All in all, Should I Fall In Love is a sweet engaging tale of love and makes you smile throughout the book. Don’t miss this book if you’re into romantic genre.

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Book Review- The Golden Temple Raj Kiran Atagaraha

Book Name- The Golden Temple

Author- Raj Kiran Atagaraha
Genre- Mukti Genre/Romance Fiction
Publisher- Zobra Publishers
Pages- 164
Price- ₹169

Blurb-

Raj is excited to visit the Golden Temple for the first time. But it’s not just the Guru Granth Sahib whom he meets in Amritsar, there’s someone else waiting for him on the way‒Geet.
A day spent together under the watchful eyes of Waheguru and Geet becomes a teacher for Raj. Neither of them realizes when the discussions on Sikhism end up teaching them secret lessons of love.
It takes Raj a lot of time and courage to profess his love for Geet. But there’s a wall standing in front of his ‘I love you’‒a wall that was built way back in 1984. Desperate to break that wall, Raj returns to the Golden Temple again. Does the Golden Temple really hold any answers for him? Is Waheguru really watching over the two hearts that he had brought together?
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Review-

The Golden Temple is a simple story of love which serves us unique plot and easy going storyline. I loved how Raj revolves his characters and story around Sikhism. This book not only serves good story but also tells us about Sikhism and it’s history and culture. Kudos to the author for this amazing debut.
Book Cover and Title- Book Title is appropriate and gives us hint about the story. Cover is beautiful and further discloses about the story.
Language and Narration- Language is lucid and easy to comprehend. Narration is simple and graceful. Story flows beautifully with the amazing one liners and simple narration. Few one liners in the movie are worth quoting.
Characterization- All the characters in the story are relatable and thus readers will find them connecting to the story. Other Characters are also given importance and they add flavour to the story. All the characters merge well with the plot and sub-plot and makes this book an interesting read.
Also author beautifully uses spirituality to connect with the readers.
Theme- Main theme of the story is Love and different perspective of love. It also covers spirituality and religion which was fun and interesting to read.
Storyline and Plot- This book serves us unusual plot with pinch of spirituality. I loved the way Raj kept the characters and scenes realistic enough to connect with the readers. Story is not so fast and not too slow and flows smoothly with few twists and turns to keep readers bind with the book. Climax was quiet predictable but given storyline and characters it’s still an enjoyable read.
Also this book shows spirituality with other perspective. It also teaches us a thing or two about Sikhism, it’s culture and history.
Likes-
1. Love factor and the simple take of love with much melodrama.
2. Spirituality in the book.
3. Connecting characters.
Dislikes-
1. Few editing errors, apart from that this book is perfect read for romance lovers.
Ratings-
Book Cover and Title- 3.5/5
Language and Narration- 4/5
Characterization- 3/5
Storyline and Plot- 4.5/5
Final Rating- 4/5
Overall, The Golden Temple is simple yet beautiful story of love meshed with spirituality and teaches us about Sikhism and few important morals.

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Book Review- Kissing Circles by Nitin Tewari

Book Name- The Kissing Circles
Aut
hor- Nitin Tewari
Publisher- Invincible Publications
Pages- 315
Price- ₹195

BLURB-

“A boat race. Sounds fun” “Not for me. Oh, but I can be a cheerleader.” No doubt a Toddy effect. “Yeah dude. So Pandey is going to design the next aircraft carrier ship.” “And Bansal, you’re going to brand this into the first Water Olympics.” “And I shall win the race and marry Kala in the most lavish wedding Mevalloor has ever seen” Yeah, welcome to the world of Ordinaries!
In 2007, at the height of the Global IT boom, Manoj Bansal and Rajesh Pandey, two newly-releasedprisoners of Engineering with mediocre grades and a looming IT future, set out for Trivandrum for their Corporate Learning Programme (CLP). Torn between their past miscues and topical aspirations, they hope to find their true calling.Whilst in a confused, depression ridden transitory phase, they soon run into their fellow trainee, Adish Matthew – a Malayali Computer engineer, and a village simpleton Mutthur Sankunni – the no-hope skipper of MaruthiVallam, gearing up for the annual Vallamkali. Bound by a common thread of mediocrity, they shun the modern world’s great expectations and take off on a spree to discover the tranquility of the God’s own country. Until one day…when a Tsunami of mishaps rocks their life, impelling them to join hands and transfigure into the four kissing circles, fighting the most irrelevant battle of our times:
To be or not to be, extraordinary.
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Review-

The Kissing Circles is an amazing debut by Nitin Tewari where author serves us interesting plot with unique narration.
This book binds his readers with the rich vocabulary and multi Point Of View Narration. Though it can be confusing for few pages as the story continues readers will find themselves hooked with the fast paced plot.
All the three characters are developed well and with multi POV narration, readers can relate with them with intensity.
This book is not engineering/IIT love romance tale but it serves beautiful journey of three friends with different nature and characters and their journey. Story  set up is in kerala and author beautifully describes the beauty of Kerala.
Book cover and title are appropriate with the story and demands attention. Blurb is interesting and thus first impression of book attracts readers.
I would rate this book 4/5
Overall, The Kissing Circles is engaging story with beautiful narration and description and pinch of humour.

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Book Review- The Way She Loved by Nitin Kumar

Book Name- The Way She Loved
Author- Nitin Kumar
Genre- Romantic Fiction
Publisher- Notion Press Publishing
Pages- 194
Price- ₹190

Blurb-

Every relationship has ups and downs. But, only those relationships that sustain separation and pain will stand the test of time.

Ayush, a small town boy, falls in love with Arpita who is older than him and already has a boyfriend. After much struggle, he succeeds in getting into a relationship with her. They fall in love but end up going their separate ways.

Ayush is deeply affected by the breakup and is plagued by unanswered questions.
What were the reasons behind Arpita’s change in behavior? Did she really love him? Would he learn to live with the pain?

Does Ayush come to understand The Way She Loved?

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Review-

This is debut novel by Nitin Kumar and it could not be better. The way she loved is wonderful book of True Love and pain where author shows us different perspective of love.

Book Title and Cover- Book Title is apt with the content. It attracts readers. Cover is beautiful and  reminds us of the setting sun.

Language and Narration- Language of the book is simple and easy to comprehend. Narration is okayish and being the debue book of Mr. Kumar, he had done a good job with narration.

There are some editing errors which should be corrected in the second edition of the book.

Characterization- There are two characters in focus, Ayush who is a boy from small town loves Arpita who is elder to her. Author beautifully sketches the small town boy and the love he feels for Arpita. Arpita is complex character and wins our heart in the end of the book.

Storyline and Plot- Storyline is simple with twists and turns to glue the readers. Author artistically shows the human emotions. Plot is not so unique but interesting characters amd lively narration makes this book an interesting one.

Ratings-

Book Cover and Title- 4/5
Language and Narration- 3/5 
Characterization- 3.5/5
Storyline and Plot- 3.5/5

Overall Rating- 3.5/5

All in all The Way She Loved is beautiful story of love, pain and sacrifices. I would recommend this book to all romance fiction lovers.

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Book Review- The Four Patriots by Sumit Agarwal

Book Name- Four Patriots
Author- Sumit Agrawal
Genre- Fiction/ Patriotic Fiction
Publisher- Rupa Publications
Pages- 306
Price- 175

BLURB

Have you ever fallen victim to the system? Felt humiliated and helpless? Have you fought back?
Meet four such patriots: Varun, an NRI software engineer; Salman, CEO of Coffee Moments; Raghav, a virtuous politician and Aditya, an altruistic businessman.
Fate brings these four lives together at a crossroads, pushing these unlikely heroes out of their comfort zones to fight a seemingly unstoppable evil force which wants to hold our country captive. The four companions, who have always had each other’s back, will now come face-to-face with the biggest challenge of their lives—a labyrinthine plot rife with perilous twists and wicked turns. With the nation’s future at stake, will they be able to destroy the Chakravyuh intricately laid down by the enemies of India? Will they come out of it alive?
A story about friendship, faith and courage, replete with romance and patriotism, The Four Patriots is a racy, contemporary thriller sure to give you goose bumps. Pick this book if you do not believe ‘is desh ka kuch nahin ho sakta’; and if you think all is not lost, this is a must-read!

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REVIEW

The Four Patriots is debut novel by Mr. Sumit Agrawal. With his novel, Sumit takes on various social problems like poverty, terrorism, naxalites, political problems. He also suggests the possible solution on them.

I received this book from Rupa Publications in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

Book Title is apt with the content. Cover is eye-catching but could be improved. Blurb is short and further discloses about the content and thus attracts readers to pick up the book.

Language used is very simple yet interesting. Author has amazing narrating skills which i am sure you’ll experience while reading this book. Use of Hindi verses adds to the book and glues readers with this book.

Characterization- All the characters are described artistically without giving full descriptions about everything. I loved the way author handled their personal and social life in the book.

Story is fast paced and flows smoothly. Plot is unique and thus keeps you interested with the book. Twists and turns are woven throughout the plot which stays with you after you finish the book.

Overall The Four Patriots is new age novel which talks about social problems and their possible solutions. I would recommend this novel to Youngsters.

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Book Review- Where The River Parts by Radhika Dogra Swarup

Book Name- Where The River Parts
Authoress- Radhika DograSwarup
Genre- Fiction/Partition Fiction
Publisher- Rupa Publications
Pages- 288
Price- ₹295

BLURB

But these things haven’t happened before. It’s August 1947, the night before India’s independence. It is also the night before Pakistan’s creation and the brutal partition of the two countries.
Asha, a Hindu in a newly created Muslim land, must flee to safety. She carries with her a secret she has kept even from Firoze, her Muslim lover. But Firoze must remain in Pakistan and increasing tensions between the two countries mean the couple can never reunite.
Fifty years later in New York, Asha’s Indian granddaughter falls in love with a Pakistani and Asha and Firoze, meeting again at last, are faced with one more final choice.

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REVIEW

A lot of authors from India and Pakistan have written many books on partition but very few of them manage to touch readers heart without being patriotic and emotional for religion. Where The River Parts is one such book which is not only written beautifully but it stays with you after you’hv completed the book.

Book Title and Cover both are soothing and apt with the content. Both are eye catching and demands attention of readers. Blurb is short yet interesting and forces readers to pick up the book.

Narration is what this book different from other books written on same theme. The way Author describes the horror of partition and emotions of protagonist in different situations touches your heart. Characters are artistically shaped from lover to mother and grandmother. The different shades of protagonist in different roles is beautifully described.

Though plot is not very unique, the narrating skills and gripping storyline glues readers with the book. Author have handled critical situations with delicacy without being biased towards any country and religion.
Climax is unexpectedly beautiful and my favorite scene from this book.

I would recommend this book to everyone who wants to read books on partition fiction.

I received this book from Rupa Publications in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.

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