Me before you by Jojo Moyes

Read my review of Me before You by Jojo Moyes.

The reading of this novel ended with me bawling my eyes out and itching to read it again, thinking maybe there is an alternate ending. Alas this was to no avail and I had to accept the fact that it was what it was. The writer Jojo Moyes forces her readers to believe in all the situations that she creates in this amazing book and makes them reach the point where they find it hard to read, given that their eyes are filled with tears.

This is a love story which shows us the bravery and the effort needed to get our lives back on track after it has been pushed off the course. The book starts somewhere in 2009 where Louisa Clark, a 26 year old, clumsy, happy, working-class girl gets the job as the care taker of the rich, grumpy and witty Mr. Will Traynor. After a tragic accident, he has been left a quadriplegic for two years. It is this condition that puts him in depression and his mother in a desperate need to get him out, hence she hires Louisa.

Lousia- the girl who lives in a windowless room in a sleepy market town, robbed of her confidence to live life. When she finally meets with Will- the once lively man…. they both go through a roller coaster of emotions as they teach each other the parts of life that they both lack respectively.

In this course of the story not only do Lou and Will fall in love with each other but they also bring the reader to fall in love with the purity of their love. Somewhere in between the antics of Louisa, the foreign films they watch and the books they read together we lose ourselves completely and embark upon a journey filled with life lessons, laughter and tears.

I recommend this book to everyone who can get their hands on it.

Book Review – Home by Manju Kapur

Manju Kapur is perhaps one of those few writers in modern India, whose stories can convey and express, some of the most complicated human emotions in a beautiful simplistic prose. Home is another one of Manju Kapur’s masterpieces, others being – Difficult Daughters, A Married Woman, etc. In what has become characteristic Manju Kapur style, Home is a tale which weaves an enchanting tale of survival and hope from a host of complicated and often disturbing themes ad sub- plots.

The narrative of the book is built around the life and experiences of Nisha, the only granddaughter of a traditional, merchant family of Karol Bagh. Although Nisha remains the main protagonist throughout the book, the tale in the story is of more than three generations of the Banwari lal Family. The novel discusses and brings to light a number of issues which continue to exist in “modern India” from caste, sexual harassment, gender discrimination, female education, objectification of women, but the main focus of the novel, in characteristic Manju Kapur style, remains Marriage and family. The sensitivity with which the author captures the stigma of Barrenness and desperation of a child is worth applauding.

The believable characters, with their relatable struggles and dilemmas combined with the eloquence and grace of Kapur’s writing make this novel capable of transporting one back to the 1990s and adds to the charm of a tale which is already fantastic , in its scope and narrative. At the end of the book, one feels connected to each and every character of the novel., and while one does feel disappointed and frustrated at a number of characters and events, there is no “villain” at the end of the novel. Home very accurately captures the very spirit of upper Middle class Delhi while exposing the hypocrisy and confusion of “family values” in modern urban India.

All in all, if you enjoy realistic portrayals of families and characters then this is one book that you should definitely read .

Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult

Are you willing to sacrifice your love for your love? Jodi Picoult deals with the ultimate question of true love and loyalty in the heart-wrenching novel.

Imagine someone you love dearly. Now imagine that this person is sick and dying, and the life he lives is too painful to be worth it. So much so that you know for a fact that this person, if he was well enough to say it, would beg for death himself. Now if you had the choice to grant this…….would you do it? Would you be able to let him die or would you not? And would you be more selfish if you let him go, or if you keep him in that perpetual state of misery because you are too attached to give him up?

Questions like these do not have answers. The reason is that none of us are willing to think about them until we have to. This is what happened in the life of Luke Warren. The man who ran with the wolves (literally). He was an adventurer, too wild to have lived an ordinary life. Ironically though, not these adventures but a car accident put him in a coma one unfortunate night. The real tragedy however is what happens to his family next, as they have to decide whether to let him go off the ventilator or keep him in that vegetative state. Fully aware of the fact that he would never want a life like that, his family still cannot decide if they are ready to let him go.

This brilliant novel is yet another masterpiece by Jodi Picoult where she deals with the ultimate question of true love and loyalty- are you willing to sacrifice your love for your love? This tear-jerking and heart-wrenching novel is sure to leave its readers in a state of emotional trauma and purification.

Hence, I recommend it to everyone who has a strong enough heart. Personally, I fell in love with how well Picoult expressed human feelings and cannot wait to read more of this authors brilliant penmanship.

The Dog who healed a family- Jo Coudert

Can animals bring together and heal human families? What do you think? Read the full review of this amazing book – The dog who healed a family by Jo Coudert

They say soul mates come in all shapes and sizes. Tall, short, fat, skinny and sometimes even with four legs and a furry tail.

‘The dog who healed a family’ is a book of nineteen short stories about our furry friends and how these animals are more like us than we give them credit for.

It is a beautiful book that re-establishes the honest and unconditional relationship we have with our friends from the animal kingdom. It is a relationship that unfortunately we seem to have long forgotten, however these touching short stories remind us and take us right back to it.

Whether it is the story of the dog who brought together a family of adopted children, the talkative parrot who brought new meaning to the life of a widow or that German shepherd who comforted the sick and the lonely, every story in this ‘treasure’ of a book, leaves the reader happy and sad at the same time. Happy because of the love these creatures get into our lives and sad because we realise how ignorant we have become of that love.

I recommend this book to both animal lovers and those of us who are not particularly fond of them so that they become animal lovers too. It is literally impossible for anyone to not to fall in love with both this book and its protagonists.

We live in a world these days that has no time for love and compassion anymore. People have become so busy in their daily races that we have left humanity behind. Stories like these help us stop and look at what is really important and they help us realise the significance of these friends in our lives.

Book Review – Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell

A college going girl who is still inside her fangirl bubble and doesn’t like leaving her room. How she adapts to new lifestyle changes and what all happens? Read everything in my review of the novel Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell.

So, this book revolves around Cath and Wren, two identical twins who were inseparable until they went to college. While Cath still feels dependent on Wren and wants to spend as much time as possible together, Wren feels that it’s time that the two went their separate ways and found people to hang around with. Cath’s an introverted writer who spends most of her time in her room, writing fan-fiction while Wren’s an extrovert who likes to party and get drunk. Both of them had been Simon Snow’s fan but Wren wants to move out of this fangirl bubble while Cath is still inside it.

Since Wren doesn’t wishes to be Cath’s roommate so Cath has a new roomie. Her roommate Reagen, a character I personally loved, is a total badass who couldn’t care less about the world, their friendship is one of the most precious relationships in the book. It may not be the most obvious one, but it’s amazing. Cath initially has a hard time getting out of her room and has absolutely no friends, but as the story proceeds, Cath makes heartfelt connections which made me smile so much throughout. Cath’s an over thinker, she probably over thinks about over thinking if you ask me, but she’s the nicest character. The kind you want to put in a glass box so nobody could hurt her. The relationships portrayed in the book are probably the best part about it, for me at least. And not just the romantic ones, the one between Cath and her father, the one between Cath and Wren, even the non-existing full of resentment relationship Cath had with the mother who abandoned her.

When I started college, I had the same worries as Cath, about not knowing anyone, about being all alone, about what to do and where to go, it’s such an honest, well written story that I can’t help but think about how much I liked it.

That being said, I do feel that sometimes, Cath’s character was just a little too whiney, like a child who refuses to grow up but well, aren’t we all children who just don’t want to grow up either?

I give this book a 4/5.

Those pricey Thakur Girls by Anuja Chauhan

ABCD. These are the first four letters in the alphabet and the first four letters of the charismatic bunch of the four sisters in Anuja Chauhan’s book, “Those Pricey Thakur Girls”. Meet the Thakur girls, Anjini, Binita, Chandralekha and Eshwari. Anjini is the oldest sister who is married,without children, to a boring banker. Binita is the mother to twins and devoted wife to her beloved Vickyji. Debjani is the news reporter on India’s favorite news channel. Eshwari is a schoolgirl.

Anuja Chauhan’s novel may have the words, “Thakur Girls” in it but the story mainly revolves around the love life of Debjani.  Chick lit is a genre explored by many authors but seldom do they make the characters strong and interesting. Chauhan has done that through the portrayal of  these sisters who each have their own raucous persona. Debjani is the news reader for a television channel. She falls for the dashing yet cynical Dylan Singh Shekawat. How their love story blossoms is one aspect of this book.

The author has a surprisingly refreshing style in writing this book. The characters banter and their opinions on everything is hilarious. The book also focuses on the emergency period in India and the perils of  being a journalist.

Each character has its own specialty and they all come together to give it a light yet sassy flavor. This book is well-written and is surely a time-pass activity. Any chick lit fan should read it. I would give it a 3.5/5 as it has scope for a more empowering story yet it fails to do that. It is humorous and entertaining at the same time. Go grab a copy today!

The Help by Kathryn Stockett

21st century. Freedom of speech. Equal human rights. No racism (at least it is frowned upon, anyway!).

Now, rewind a bit and enter the world of Jackson, Mississippi, 1962. A time where black maids raised up white babies, though they weren’t trusted-‘ not to steal the silver’ .

The Help by Kathryn Stockett is an extra ordinary story told by three extra ordinary women, who live in a time they are much ahead of.

The story starts by showing the two very different worlds of ‘The help’ (the colored women) and the ‘jobless, stylish, league ladies’ (the white women) co-existing together in a small town in Mississippi.

The joining link between these two worlds was one of the main protagonists- Miss Skeeter- the white, aspiring writer raised by black maids all her life.

Skeeter always wanted to write something that people really needed to read about. So, in a time where even speaking to a black person was shunned upon, she decided to team up with two black women (Aibileen and Minny) and write about the point of view of ‘the help’.

In this dark, hard hitting tale of the past, Stockett re-explores history with three strong women.

Women, who dared to break the unfair, unspoken rules in search of a truth, they had been questioning their entire lives.

Women who risked their lives to speak out against injustice.

Women who showed us what courage is, and the impact it can have and finally, women who taught us the power of unity and friendship.

Through The Help, Stockett not only changed the lives the people in the book but also those of its readers as it forces one to think about the ignorance we practice on the help around us even today. It forces us to realize that the evil of ‘slavery’ still exists and that it is finally time for us to start changing that.

This deeply moving novel teaches us to ultimately respect everyone and anyone around us irrespective of their class, caste, gender or color.  So it’s a must read for both racists and anti-racists out there, so they can either feel the shame or the pride they deserve.

The Secret of the Nagas by Amish Tripathi

Amish Tripathi is an Indian author, best known for his trilogy – The Shiva TrilogyThe Secret of the Nagas is the second book in the trilogy. He has also written Scion of Ikshvaku and Sita- the warrior of Mithila is his latest venture. With The Shiva Trilogy, Amish Tripathi started a new genre where he took the mythological stories and gave them a human touch, so that, they become more relatable. 

The Secret of the Nagas is a sequel to The Immortals of Meluha and it begins right where the previous book ended. What is really unique about all of Amish Tripathi’s books is how he normalizes all the mythological characters to normal human beings. It makes it so easy for the reader to connect with the story which is not possible when you read Indian mythology. Even Ganesh who was supposed to be made from the ground in the Hindu mythology was given a more realistic reason for his face.. Ganesh and Kali were said to have been born with deformities and had been shunned by their own family. This book is also relevant to the present day issues where people who are different are made to be isolated from others and this arises because of the lack of understanding between them. Just like the Nagas were misunderstood by the people of Meluha.

This book also sends a strong message that evil is not defined by a locality or a particular sect of people but it is inside everyone. Good and evil are just two sides of the same coin. It also addresses how change and freedom is essential for the good-functioning of the society. I think this book not only shows Indian mythology in a new way but also connects it with social issues that are still relevant in today’s society. This book is really good for the young generation as it shows Indian mythology in a way that will interest them.

Give it a read guys!

The Immortals of Meluha by Amish Tripathi

The Immortals of  Meluha is the first book in the series of Shiva Trilogy and it is the first time that Indian Mythology has been written in such a way. Amish Tripathi created a new style of writing where he gave scientific reasons for all the improbable incidents that took place in his books and also has brought up a very deep and complex topic. And, the topic is what is good and what is evil?

When we think about Indian Mythology, we imagine God coming down on Earth and blessing us with miracles but in Amish Tripathi’s books Indian Mythology has been given a twist. This twist has been done to attract the younger generation and the atheists.

Lord Shiva portrayed as God in Indian mythology is given a really humane character in the book.  He was not someone filled with wise sayings but he had a strong character, open to new discoveries, learning through experience and yet sturdy with his beliefs and I believe that even in today’s world that is what is required to bring a change in the world.

One of the worst attributes of human nature is to jump to conclusion and this book made me realize that we should never judge someone else just listening to another person’s perspective. Most of the book talks about how rules and regulations were necessary for proper working of the society without discrimination. While reading I went with the flow and failed to look at the obvious failures in the society of Meluha because how well the society worked but is the proper working of society the important part or is it individual happiness. The later part of the book reveals how freedom affects society. Although there is poverty and no organization but the people are happy because they have freedom and they aren’t bound to some order or duty. We can actually consider the Meluhan society as a Communist society but there was still some lack of equality among the people.

This book leaves us in two crossroads unable to determine good from evil and maybe that’s what a trilogy is supposed to do, i.e., make us wait eagerly for the second book.

You Loved Me at My Darkest by Evie Harper

Every once in a while, I browse through the ‘free books for kindle’ section on amazon, which is where I came across this book. The title caught my eye almost instantly. And the cover wasn’t too bad to look at either, it made me curious as well as excited. You Loved Me at My Darkest is the first book of the You Loved Me series by Evie Harper. This book came out on 7 March, 2017 and is Harper’s most famous book out of all the 14 she has written till now.

The story begins with Lily and Sasha Morgan; two Australian sisters traveling to America for a long overdue vacation. It starts out like a good carefree holiday, but soon turns into their biggest nightmare. They’re kidnapped by a rich madman Marco running a sex slave dynasty and separated.

The story mostly revolves around Lily and Jake, one of her kidnappers; they find comfort in each others’ company and fall in love. Jake finds himself torn between his love for Lily and the duty he has to fulfill.

What I really like about this story is that even though, Sasha is hardly a main character, you can’t forget about her while reading the book since Lily’s sisterly concern is always prominent. The urgency in the dialogues show the love and affection the sisters have for one another. Lily does everything she can to plan her sister’s escape even though she knows that if she’s caught, the consequences will be brutal for both of them. The intensity of the brutality and the reality of a sex slave dynasty honestly made me cringe while reading this book. One emotion I felt most vibrantly throughout was anger.

There were parts I couldn’t understand, like how could someone fall in love with their captor? Was it Stockholm syndrome? All these questions however, are answered by the time you finish reading this book. I’ve always believed that a good ending is always better than a happy ending, and this book definitely has a good ending.

I’d give this book a 4/5 rating.