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.

An Abundance of Katherines – John Green

Here is my review of An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Colin Singleton is a child prodigy. Colin Singleton owns ten thousand dollars from a game show that he won. Colin Singleton only dates girls named Katherine. . Colin Singleton graduated High School as a straight-A student. On his graduation, Colin Singleton got dumped by his 19th Katherine.

An abundance of Katherines is another classic John Green book dealing with typical human emotions at the disastrous, evil age of teenage hood.  In this tale, Green introduces us to a guy called Colin. All his life Colin had been the intelligent kid. His parents were ever-proud of his accomplishments, however after his nineteenth breakup, his life goes haywire. Not only does Colin start getting depressed over his lack of successful relationships, he also starts doubting his future as he realises he is no longer a child prodigy. 

So what can one do, when one reaches a stage of midlife crisis while he is still young? There is only one answer. Road trip. With his ‘Judge Judy-loving best friend’ Colin decides to take a break from everyday life and go to an unknown destination.

Just like your average road trip story, ‘an abundance of Katherines’ is a crazy, wild and funny story full of adventure and fun that the protagonists have. Colin in his journey meets new people and begins to realise his the only way to solve his identity crises would be to come up with a revolutionary mathematical theorem of figuring out if two people can end up together (If that doesn’t spell NERD I don’t know what does!). With this theorem he not only aims at becoming famous and important again but also finally dealing with his relationship issues.

With new paces and friends, Colin manages to get the time to finally deal with his life crisis. Though this story follows Green’s ‘typical’ teenage-misery track, it still does not fail to make us smile and enjoy ourselves. For any Green fan this story is a must read, and for the non-fans, its great first book.

A Murder is Announced by Agatha Christie

The murderer has given an invitation in the newspaper that it is going to murder someone, but actually kills himself. Let’s see how Miss Marple will solve this case!

Hola people!

I hope you must be in good health. In these tough times I can proudly admit that “reading is therapeutic”.

So, I just finished reading another classic from the “Dame” Agatha Christie and Ia m absolutely thrilled to write this review.

I have read books with Mr. Poirot as a detective but had never read one with Miss Marple. And this book – A Murder is Announced” features Miss Marple as the detective.

The book starts with an announcement of a murder. There is an advertisement in the Gazette that a murder is to take place at Little Paddocks (Ms. Letitia Blacklock’s) house at 6:30pm on October 29 and the whole village is invited to see it.

It seems like an odd ad and people think, including Letitia herself, that it’s some kind of a game that somebody had arranged. So, everybody goes at Ms. Blacklock’s place to see what is it. Now, when the clock strikes half past six, all the lights go out, a man with a torch comes and fires thrice. When the lights come back, we get to know that Miss Blackock’s ear is bleeding and this man is lying on the ground dead.

The man turns out to be Rudi Scherz, a Swiss guy working at a hotel. This whole scenario looks a lot confusing and surprising to everybody as who might want to kill Ms. Blacklock and then eventually would shoot himself?

When the sheriffs dig a lil deeper into Ms. Blacklock’s past they get to know that she worked for a tycoon who left all his wealth in her name. The conditions are that she will get the money after the tycoon’s wife dies or if Ms. Blacklock dies first then all the money would go to Pip and Emma, the children of tycoon’s sister.

Miss Marple aids to solve the case and the novel gets all the more interesting by each passing page. Christie make sures that readers find it hard to put the book down.

There are around 20-25 characters and each of them has a vital role to play. The suspense continues till the end and when it is revealed, it comes as a huge surprise.

I would definitely recommend this book to my readers.

My Rating – 5/5

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.

Author of the Day – Guy De Maupassant

In our “Author of the Day” series, our today’s author is Guy de Maupassant. Take a look at his life, his writing style and why is he so popular.

On an ordinary, hot afternoon I found a book titled “Popular French Stories”. It was by an unknown publisher and had a very ordinary looking cover. Peering inside, I found a plethora of stories so strange my fifteen-year old brain couldn’t comprehend it and I put the book down. Years later, I sat down on an ordinary,hot afternoon and read the book again. It was at this point that I stumbled upon Guy De Maupassant and his brilliant brand of realism. One of France’s greatest poets, De Maupassant was the greatest of all French realists.

Guy De Maupassant was born on August 5th ,1850 near Dieppe, France. When Maupassant was 11 , his parents legally separated. His mother was a strong independent woman and she was an influential figure in his life. He was the godson, friend and an apprentice of the great Gustave Flaubert. Flaubert acted as his literary guardian and helped him make his debut in the world of writing. He met Emile Zola and Russian Novelist Ivan Turgenev as well as many others. His two hundred short stories depict the pessimist that he was and his dark, gloomy side. He wrote over three hundred short stories and six novels.

His stories have a cynical air to it. Even though his stories and opinions were based on realism, ultimately he lost his life to madness. He died at the age of 43 in an the private asylum of Esprit Blanche at Passy, in Paris.

Why I love De Maupassant is because his stories are just simply brilliant. They describe human nature in a subtle, indescribable way. Take his first work ‘Boule De Suif”. It revolves around the hypocrisy of human nature and peer pressure. De Maupassant had indeed researched human nature thoroughly.

The way it’s been written is no surprise why this story made De Maupassant instantly famous.

Another favorite of mine, “The Necklace”, is a gem of a story. It revolves around the greed of  human being and what a fake façade can do to a person’s life.

“Useless Beauty” is also another story with a wickedly humorous ending.

Human beings were never made out of sugar, spice and everything nice. They were made imperfect, devious and fickle. His stories are a thorough display of the what makes a human so vulnerable and unpredictable.

Family Ties by Richard Risemberg

Richard Risemberg is a self-published & budding British writer. His genre specializes in exploring and sensitizing human relationships. His novel Family Ties, published in 2016, is divided into three sections. It is a mystery trapped in various complex relationships. One can say that it is quite similar to Khaled Hosseini’s, A Thousand Splendid Sons. As, the former depicts family issues of marriage, love, trust and war, similarly, the latter too showcases family relationships but with a twist of solving up a mystery.

The story opens up with a beautiful description of Lake Helena in Sierra foothills at Los Angeles. The protagonist, Lenny Strasser, a print shop production manager with his landlord and ex-cop friend Red Henshaw arrive here to relax. The narrative and plot of the story is simple yet complex. A Mexican couple Ray and Julia follow them and interestingly, the reason behind this action is not cited. Then, its revealed that landlord Red is missing. Lenny with his relative Uncle Angle, his friend Clarence and Mrs. Williamson, wife of retired cop Mae Belle Williamson investigate about the incident. The mystery begins its journey with the revelation of Red’s whereabouts along with Connie, another person surrounded by the mystery in a dying state. The novel ends in unraveling of a double mystery.

Thus, I rate this novel 5/5. To me, reading this novel was an exciting and overwhelming experience. The narrative technique developed a superb interest in me such that it made me curious to know what next now.

Till the last page of the novel, my heart beat had remained heightened. When I reached the moment that stated double mystery, it swayed me with many questions in my mind. Who kidnapped Red? Is it a personal revenge of someone? Will Lenny be able to save him? Will Lenny succeed in exposing the culprit? What if Red dies? Will the mystery be revealed? If yes, how? Thus, to witness the climax, the novel is must a read.

Moreover, the presentation of the novel in its mysterious form attracted my attention to explore what the mystery Is all about. Therefore, to conclude, the novel title is apt as it highlights the relationship of bondage, love, trust, faith and happiness. The author through mysterious ways has beautifully described the importance of these strong emotional concepts in a person’s life.

You can reach out to Richard Risemberg at

rickrise@earthlink.net
323-428-4669
crowtreebooks.com

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.