Review: You are Forever in My Heart by Sanjeev Ranjan

Pages-200
Publisher-Srishti Publishers
ISBN-978-93-87022-12-6

Sanjeev is heart broken and unable to cope with his break up. He is slowly drowning in an abyss of memories. His life is distraught and full of despair.

His black days go on and on, till one day he meets Guarav who advises him to get a grip and learn a new passion. This idea fills him with a sense of purpose and he decides to join a photography class.

There he meets Ruchita, a happy-go-lucky girl who loves life and they become friends. Through Ruchita he meets Shuchi, who is a fan of his work and is undergoing the same trauma as him.

Things become better for both of them as both souls find recluse in each other. Love creeps up their hearts and fills it completely.

Everything is beautiful and fairytale like but then a bundle of letters arrive at his doorstep.
Will Sanjeev finally find love or does destiny have other plans for him?

A semi- autobiographical novel, Ranjan has explored love and its various forms. Though it is inspired by real life events, it comes across as a typical Bollywood movie. There are certain events and lines which tend to get repetitive. You are Forever in My Heart is a sweet love story about a person’s need to love and how love can stitch you up and tear you apart.

Love,

Zoya 😘

My Rating : 3/5 stars

Link to buy the book- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9387022129/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_JGeJAbFHNGRXF

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/review-hell-no-saints-in-paradise-by-a-k-asif/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/gleanings-of-the-road-by-rabindranath-tagore/

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Review: Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar by Kochery C. Shibu

Pages – 284
Publisher – Niyogi Books
ISBN – 978-93-85285-00-4

Nanda, is an engineer from Kerala who goes to a dam construction site in the Dhauladhar to escape his past.

Khusru, a young,handsome Kashmiri displaced from his native village is in Dhauladhar working as a labourer. A pawn in the hands of a terror group that’s working to blow the dam.

Rekha , a doctor, a world famous dancer, is kidnapped on her way to Amaranth to find her true love. Besotted by her kidnapper and savior, she follows Khusru to Dhauladhar.

There are hundreds of workers in the Dhauladhar, each working, giving their blood, sweat and tears to the dam; either hiding something , finding an escape or merely trying to make a living.

The majestic Dhauladhar watches over them, like a silent spectator, neither judging them nor loving them. The range speaks to those who listen, comforts those who need it and rises above all.

Men and Dreams in the Dhauladhar is about these people, the workers and the locals, their dreams, their aspirations and their troubles. About the people trying to incorporate this modernity into their old ways which have let them be at peace with nature and protected in her embrace.

The book describes in great detail, life in the campsite, the dangers people face, their way of life which hold the reader’s attention. On the contrary, it also describes in great detail the working of several machines in the campsite , the ways to operate them and problems which can befall them, where the reader might lose interest.

The technical content of the novel, drawn from the author’s personal experience is informative but did not appeal to me as much.

The characters and their back stories are well built and I personally would love to read so much more about Khusru and Rekha. A warning that I would like to give to readers of the blog is reading this book could make you crave the mountains. The Dhauladhar is inspiring and fills your heart with a yearning to see it and embrace it, shed some tears for its greatness and feel humble in it’s presence.

Love,

Zoya 😘

My Rating : 3/5 stars

Link to buy the book- https://www.amazon.in/dp/9385285009/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_LFeJAbB8N69WH

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/gleanings-of-the-road-by-rabindranath-tagore/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/review-a-word-thrice-uttered-by-parveen-talha/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/travelogue-dubai-day-6-part-i/

Review : 8 hours by Upendra Namburi

Pages : 280
Publisher : Westland Books
ISBN : 9789386850041

Aratrika Reddy has 8 hours to save ARYA- her company. The vultures are swooping in from all sides. Past lovers, ex husbands, maniac billionaires – they want to rip ARYA apart and devour it .

Young, ruthless, unscrupulous, Aratrika is slowly becoming a spitting image of her father whom she hates. He has built ARYA along with Jagannath, his younger brother from nothing but dust and will go to any lengths to control it.

Aratrika needs to save her sprawling empire from falling into the clutches of the vultures and to succeed she will go to any lengths.

It is war and she is determined to win.

Though it’s fast paced , 8 hours does get complicated with too many characters and too many dialogues that sound repetitive. A lot of technical stuff with lack of adequate explanations for the layman as well as rapid fire dialogues laced with double meaning can get difficult to understand for people not familiar with the corporate world.

The book starts off on a promising note but over time it loses it’s edge.

It does however build up a nice, flawed heroine with secrets of her past that well haunt her present. She is fierce and fiery, with a hunger for power and a willingness to fight to the very end.

The story is fast paced and gripping and makes the reader want to find out how Aratrika saves ARYA, if at all.

Love,

Zoya 😘

My Rating – 3/5 stars

Link to buy the book : https://www.amazon.in/dp/9386850044/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_7DeJAb1WPMWS1

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/17/review-hell-no-saints-in-paradise-by-a-k-asif/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/review-the-colours-of-passion-by-sourabh-mukherjee/

Review : Hell! No Saints in Paradise by A.K. Asif

Ismael is a non – believer , settled in New York he ran away from his home at the age of eighteen. He is working on his paper Paradise and Hell : Metaphors in the Making of the Muslim Mind trying to refute their existence in an attempt to merely defeat his father and his obsession with the two. His father , a devout believer had poisoned his childhood with silly stories of the next life – and that’s what Ismael plans to do. To prove beyond doubt that they are merely stories.

He’s brainstorming in a hippie cafe when he meets Petra, a weird girl who questions his theories and puts him into confusion. But she also tells him about a Yage Yoga Center, where the shamans of New York City give people Ayahuasca- a psychedelic brew from Amazon which are believed to give a person new insight into what they want to learn about.

In this weird place , under the influence of the drug and probably hallucinating , Ismael meets Chacha Khidr who instructs him to go back to Pakistan and reconcile with his estranged father who is now a very important member of the Caliphate.

Set in 2050, a fantasy based on Islamic theology, crossing the dimensions of time, space and including beings from all worlds, Hell! No Saints in Paradise is one hell of a ride. It is unputdownable from the very beginning.

A.K. Asif spins a fantastic hero with all too real flaws in Ismael. Though filled with terminology that probably just people in Muslim households are familiar with ( sometimes not even then) Asif has brilliantly managed to explain all of it simply to the reader not forgetting to enrapture his audience with his vivid descriptions.

Imaginative, ambitious, bold and thoroughly enjoyable Asif has spun a wonderful urban fantasy with the right amount of Jinns, Jannat and Jahannum.

Love,
Zoya😘

My Rating : 5/5stars

Link to buy the book : https://www.amazon.in/gp/aw/d/9352770552/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1518857689&sr=8-1&pi=AC_SX118_SY170_FMwebp_QL65&keywords=hell+no+saints+in+paradise

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/11/04/review-the-colours-of-passion-by-sourabh-mukherjee/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/review-genuine-fraud-by-e-lockhart/

Review: Magical Journeys by Biba Britas

Magical Journeys is a children’s book.

Having said that , it tells us adults too some of the things we have forgotten and need to pay attention to.

George, a little boy hears his Grandma’s stories of the Earth and other planets. He is fascinated by the story of the Earth and one night finds himself on a journey to the moon.

He is looking for another place for humans to live as the Earth is sad and dying. His search takes him to the moon, the planets of the Solar System and in fact even to the Sun.

However all of them turn out to be unsuitable for humans. He is dejected but each planet sends gifts of love, determination, knowledge for humans and the Earth, so that humans can become sensitive to the plight of Earth and care for her.

Filled with beautiful illustrations , the book is beautiful as well as informative. It tells kids from a young age the importance of Earth and this awareness will help them look after her. Certain parts are in bold so that the story can be told to or read by younger children on their own.

Magical Journeys is filled with magic, adventure, hope and above all awareness and therefore is a highly recommended book for young children.

Love,

Zoya 😘

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/03/review-genuine-fraud-by-e-lockhart/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2018/02/02/gleanings-of-the-road-by-rabindranath-tagore/

Review : Genuine Fraud by E. Lockhart

Pages : 288

ISBN : 978 14 71407 49 9

Imogen is a runaway heiress, an orphan, a cook and a cheat.

Jule is a fighter, a social chameleon and an athlete.

Imogen and Jule. Jule and Imogen.

Jule and Imogen are best friends. Their secrets belong to each other , their lives are with each other, or so it seems?

Can two people , where one feeds off the wealth of another be friends?

Can two people, where one regards another as a pet be friends?

Genuine Fraud is a fast paced, suspense novel from E. Lockhart and grips the reader right from the beginning.

The story begins in reverse and demands the full attention of the reader. This unusual way of writing however is a double edged sword, because it can get confusing at times.

A Genuine Fraud ( note the oxymoron) is all grey. The protagonist is the anti- hero which comes out to be really refreshing.

As the story proceeds , seemingly harmless and emotionally hurt teens, show their deep secrets and ugly sides. The novel takes a gory turn as one murder follows the other and lies pile up upon more lies.

The book tries to get more layers by comic culture, feminism and popular literature references however it does so quite hurriedly and the objective feels lost.

I’m still trying to figure out the ending, which after all the build up feels rushed. The explanations in the end weren’t enough and leave you messed in the head. But perhaps, that’s exactly what Lockhart intended.

Genuine Fraud is one of those gripping thrillers that catch your attention ( and eye- look at the excellent cover) and hold it. It’s one of those books you finish in one go and one that can be made into a really good movie.

Love,

Zoya 😘

My Rating : 4/5 stars

Link to buy the book : Genuine Fraud https://www.amazon.in/dp/1471407497/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_1iBDAbADDVFWE

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/review-victoria-and-abdul-by-shrabani-basu/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/06/09/travelogue-dubai-day-5-part-ii/

Gleanings of the Road by Rabindranath Tagore

Pages : 224

Publisher : Niyogi Books

ISBN : 978-93-86906-25-0

Rabindranath Tagore, a name we all know. Translated by Somdatta Mandal from the Bengali original Pather Sanchoy, Gleanings of the Road is a travelogue penned by Tagore during his travels to England and the USA. This travelogue provides an insight into Tagore’s perception of the different facets of the Western life and the diverse philosophical issues that cross his mind as he journeys from one continent to another.

One can understand that Tagore was an itinerant traveller, this book gives the reader a more in-depth view of the poet’s perceptions of the different people he meets, the different experiences he encounters while traveling. These travels were undertaken without any instrumental purpose thus, it is very raw and real. The true, unadulterated views of Tagore are published in this book. His urge to travel to other lands out of curiosity, to simply see and speak with humans of a cultural background other than his own speaks volumes of how great and humble a man Tagore was.

Tagore mentions in his book how he wants Eastern and the Western cultures to merge so that each take up the best qualities of the other to give the best result. In no way, is he disregarding the Indian culture but whatever Tagore wrote more than a hundred years ago, the drawbacks of our society, sadly enough they still hold true. This book is a gem and should be cherished by Indians as it urges the reader to be the change our country needs.

Love,

Zoya 😘

My Rating- 4.5/5 stars

Link to buy the book : Gleanings of the Road https://www.amazon.in/dp/9386906252/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_BH0CAbAMAD9HC

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/12/09/review-the-legend-of-kuldhara-by-malathi-ramachamdran/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/12/26/review-a-word-thrice-uttered-by-parveen-talha/

Review: Making of Babaji Inc. by Shravya Bhinder

Pages : 200

Publisher : Black Ink

ISBN : 9788192982212

Making of Babaji Inc. is the debut novel of author Shravya Bhinder. This book is about Billu, a cashier who finds himself in a sticky situation as he has lost a bag containing lakhs of money belonging to a high end customer.

Pammi, his superstitious wife, convinces him to seek the advice of a Babaji she knows. Though he is sceptical about it at first he ultimately gives in. The Babaji however turns out to be a fraud. Billu is left helpless and in debt, the turn of events after this is highly entertaining as he tries to get out of the ruckus. Billu’s journey from the gullies of India to the rich boulevards of America is interesting and hilarious. The book is a funny take on the Godmen of India and how they influence the public.

It also shows the gullibility of the people which makes them easy prey to the Godmen. The blind trust that people put in these so called saints irrespective of their education, without the application of logic is worth pondering over.

My Rating – 3.5/5 stars

Love,

Zoya 😘

Link to buy the book : Making of Babaji Inc. https://www.amazon.in/dp/8192982211/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_fTABAbDY1ZVYQ

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/review-sing-unburied-sing-by-jesmyn-ward/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/travelogue-dubai-day-6-part-i/

Review : If I Had To Tell It Again by Gayatri Prabhu

Pages : 192 

Publisher : Harper Collins India 

ISBN : 978-93-5277-375-6

‘If I had to tell it again’ is a memoir written by Gayatri Prabhu. Since it is someone’s life story it does become quite difficult to review it. The kind of courage it takes to open your heart to the whole world, open to judgment is enormous.

It is a very honest, real, and raw book. People will connect with Prabhu even if they haven’t witnessed these things in their own life.

This book deals with real life problems such as child sexual abuse and mental illnesses. Things  which are taboo and still not talked about or taken seriously in the Indian society. 

While her rich vocabulary and her story captured my heart, the lack of names made it confusing very often. Also, the inclusion of the play was very sudden and breaks the rhythm of the reader. It does require some amount of patience to go through the whole book. 

In ‘If I Had To Tell It Again’ , Prabhu has spilled the deepest secrets of her past, father-daughter issues, marital problems, her clinical depression, the death of her pet. Gayatri has shown immense bravery in writing her life’s story and definitely deserves applause. 

Love, 

Zoya 😘

Rating: 3/5 stars.

Link to but the book : If I Had to Tell It Again: A Memoir https://www.amazon.in/dp/9352773756/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_t7kzAbYMAC0M4

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/review-sing-unburied-sing-by-jesmyn-ward/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/travelogue-dubai-day-6-part-i/

Review : Demi-Gods by Eliza Robertson

Pages : 240

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

ISBN : 978-1-4088-9040-0

Demigods is about nine year old Willa and how her life changed overnight in the summer of 1950 with the arrival of her stepbrothers Kenneth and Patrick.

While Joan, Willa’s older sister pairs up with Kenneth the older of the stepbrothers, Willa is stuck with Patrick. As time passes her relationship takes a different turn and turns out to be a very obsessive and damaging one.

When Willa finally realizes the dangers of her relationship with Patrick, she tries to break free from her chains which yields horrendous results. 

Demigods highlights the gender inequality in the 20th century and the sticky situation in which many women of that time found themselves.

This book deals with a lot of strong topics such as gender, sexuality, mental health, familial issues and power struggles but somewhere among all this, the plot of the book is lost to me.

The book is narrated in short episodes and the tension between the characters is constantly maintained. Her descriptions are very vivid and embroidered with intricate details. 

Robertson’s research is well done but all of this doesn’t manage to save the book. The gaping plotholes in the book,  the loopholes in the backstories of the characters make it very inconsistent. There were not enough explanations given. It made up for quite a bizarre and messed up read. 

 My Rating : 2 ⭐

Love, 

Zoya 😘
Link to buy the book : Demi-Gods https://www.amazon.in/dp/1408890402/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_apa_i_4C3rAbW8XRD59

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/12/02/review-sing-unburied-sing-by-jesmyn-ward/

 https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/11/15/review-victoria-and-abdul-by-shrabani-basu/

https://thebigbiblionaire.wordpress.com/2017/06/19/travelogue-dubai-day-6-part-i/