Sunday, August 29, 2021

Review- The Isapuram Tales by Anita Satyajit

Book 1- The Chameleon Effects and Other Stories

Book 2- Lights, Camera, Action and Other Stories 

  BOOK SUMMARY:

Book 2- 

"Opposite game?" asked Diya. This sounded interesting. She was always interested in new games. So much fun!

Diya loves her family and friends, hates home-work, has a vivid imagination, gets into trouble, and thinks elders don't understand children! She is also super curious about everything. When her head and heart start buzzing with doubts or confusions, Diya heads straight to Baba for answers. After all, Baba is a spiritual teacher, the most respected man in Isapuram.

Lights, Camera, Action and other stories is a book about intuition, emotions, friendships, life and death. These short stories are based on the everyday lives of Diya, her friends, and their interactions with Baba.

What are the invisible ears? What happens when Diya misunderstands Biju? Can Diya understand how to deal with anger? Read the book to know more!




Release date: July 15th 2020 and January 31st 2020

REVIEW: 

What a joy it is to read children’s books!

Author Anita Satyajit has truly created something heartwarming and enjoyable with her Isapuram Tales, stories packed with fun and some important life lessons. The kind of wisdom shared in this wonderful collection of short stories is something that takes years and years to understand. To have put it in a manner that is comfortable, easy and interesting for children is something Anita has excelled at. Even for adults like me, the two books in Isapuram Tales were a walk down memory lane, providing me a good couple of hours of escape from reality but in its beautiful way, telling me all about reality itself. Not a dull moment even once, the stories in this collection are packed with love, laughter, wisdom, lessons and friendship.

Diya, like any kid, is a curious cat and wants to know all about the world. Luckily for her, the mystic Baba is her neighbour and is more than happy to impart his wisdom to the young minds. Baba’s character really stood out and was well done, in the sense that he seemed like someone we would all like to meet and know. Diya herself was a spark of positive and hopeful energy. With lessons about almost all the important things in life, explained in a way that is not only easy to understand, but also intriguing to read about, packed with some teasing and an easygoing adult-child friendship, Diya and Baba made for an amazing duo.

The best part about buying these books is that the proceeds will go to charity, which speaks volumes about the author. I would highly recommend these books not just for the cause which is resin enough honestly, but these stories are gems that I see children cherishing and finding a home in.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Anita Satyajit in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Review- The People Tree by Beetashok Chatterjee

  BOOK SUMMARY:

Do you want to read stories that will take you to places all over this country and to faraway lands? Do you also want to read stories that will take you back in time—decades, even centuries? Then you must taste the fruit of The People Tree. Here are fourteen stories for you, a veritable potpourri of tales, each different from the other in style and substance. From the Khalistan insurgency in Punjab to a glimpse of the Mumbai underworld. From a doomed love affair in Hyderabad to a mature gay relationship. From a lifelong friendship formed in unusual circumstances to the pangs of a schoolboy crush to robbing an art museum there is something in this collection for everybody. And more. Love, loss, survival, lust, deception, greed Beetashok Chatterjee has covered them all. And more. 


Release date: July 1st 2021
Published by: Readomania
Page numbers: 192

REVIEW: 

Author Beetashok Chatterjee’s second book, The People Tree - the first being Driftwood - is a collection of fourteen short stories. Firstly, the title of this collection is so apt and creative, just like it’s cover. For a book to have a catchy title and an attractive cover is already a huge plus. To add to it, however, the contents of this book are also brilliant, which is the cherry on the cake, making The People Tree a must read.

While one story talks about a mature homosexual relationship, another talks about the relation between parents and children. Then there are stories about the Khalistan insurgence in Punjab and the 9/11 tragedy. Then there’s a story about heartbreak, one about gambling and another about a love that ended too soon. And these are only few of them. There are many more brilliant stories that are bound to keep the reader engrossed, escaping reality for a while.

All the stories in this collection take the reader on a journey that explores the entire plethora of human emotions in a manner that is relatable, simple and heartwarming. Written in a language that is crisp, easygoing and flawless makes the book even better. The only drawback with this collection is that it is too short. Author Beetashok Chatterjee’s storytelling and writing are such that they make the reader want more. There’s something truly captivating about them.

Overall, The People Tree is a lovely and brilliant collection that I see myself going back to at some point and highly recommend to all readers.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Readomania in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Review- Beautiful Mess by Yuktha Asrani

  BOOK SUMMARY:

Whoever said you can’t have your cake and eat it too, had yet to meet Chirag Malhotra. Born into wealth and fame, Chirag has a life many could only dream of. Constantly on a winning streak with the ladies, Chirag is the most sought-after bachelor in Delhi. The unexpected strikes and Chirag is smitten from the moment a curly-haired hot mess steps out of a plane. Kajol is completely off-limits, but the sparks between them can melt glaciers.

Kajol Kapoor is down in the dumps, living a hard life in New York City. But a surprise thrown her way turns her life topsy-turvy. It just so happens that Kajol needs a favour and Chirag is more than happy to oblige. Chirag is her best friend’s brother. He is the one-man Kajol truly wants but knows she can’t have. She hopes to mask her insane attraction for him just like she had been doing in the past. As Kajol gets to know the real Chirag, she discovers there is more to the man behind the fat bank account and the Casanova image.

Would she complete her project with her heart intact, or would she give into temptation?


Release date: July 16th 2021
Published by: Self-published
Page numbers: 306

REVIEW: 

After reading and enjoying author Yuktha Asrani’s first novel, Handcuffed to Love, the sweet story of Saanvi and Sean, I was pretty excited to read her new one, Beautiful Mess. This book is the love story of Kajol and Chirag, Saanvi’s best friend and brother. The two obviously made an appearance in the first book, which- when I look back now- was just the right amount of tease for readers to be intrigued by their chemistry.

Kajol is going through a rough patch when the news of her grandmother leaving her all property hits here out of nowhere. Keen on making something of this situation, she decides to travel to Delhi from New York to work on turning the house into a BnB, with the help of her best friend’s Saanvi’s brother, Chirag. From the sweet to the sizzling scenes, Kajol ans Chirag are an instant hit. Their story is full of everything that makes a romance novel work.

Not as good as Handcuffed to Love, Beautiful Mess, in its own way, is a beautiful story of two wonderful people who take us through their amazing journey. While the book was slightly slow paced, all that was happening kind of made up for it by keeping the reader curious about what would follow. Not the biggest fan of romances, this one took me a while to finish and managed to keep me entertained. It was a good escape from reality!

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Yuktha Asrani in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Saturday, July 31, 2021

Review- Love Thy Neighbour... Caught by Dimple Somji

 BOOK SUMMARY:

At the risk of sounding clichéd, we all want the same thing as the generations before us — love. And here’s a little secret — no generation ever knows what they want till they have it or have just lost it. Everyone is looking for the same thing: a deep and fulfilling relationship. No one can deny that the term “love” has completely changed definitions and meanings during the millennial generation. Love Thy Neighbour…Caught! is an innocent and untainted view of what love is and was Before Millennials and the transition of relationship between the spouses After Millennials! It is a poetic rendition of the journey of love and her beloved in the era of 1999- a love story without cellphones. This is a journey of two souls who have grown up together, living each day with utmost love, gratitude and neighbourliness (pun intended) for each other. It will journey you down to another place and time, when people Lived, not just existed. When couples fell asleep in the comfort of arms and not in the blue light of television playing Netflix. There are anecdotes from a personal love story spanning across a period of 20 years- a love that was modern enough to survive the times but old fashioned enough to last forever. It brings out love in its purest form – a love that survived all odds of an inter-caste marriage. A Hindu girl married a Muslim boy on the day of Christmas! Get a glimpse into the life of this rom com that will leave you inspired to believe in the magic of love, reveal secrets of a solid relationship and fill you with hope to write our own perfectly flawed love story! Through this debut book, the author is keen to keep her inbox and heart open, for you to share your love, your ambiguity about love and reach out for relationship advice. Come lose yourself in her world.


Release date: July 20th 2021
Published by: Self Publishing
Page numbers: 130

REVIEW: 

A Hindu girl and a Muslim boy falling in love and getting married on Christmas sounded like a dramatic, fun and intriguing premise. When Dimple Somji sent me a copy of her book, it came with an adorable hand written note and a candy, which I thought was very touching and heartwarming. Little did I know that the book would be somewhat the same.

Love Thy Neighbour… Caught is Dimple’s real life love story with her husband Alnesh, which she decided to pen down and publish as a gift. It’s very much evident throughout the book which spans from anecdotes to poems to pictures that all of this comes from the heart. In a simple language, the errors in which were way to overlook, Dimple takes us with her on her journey of love and life, which is wonderful.

This surely is a one of its kind book that could be the best gift anyone could for. Imagine your lover dedicating an entire book to your story! A short, simple, quick and sweet read, it took me barely two hours to finish this one which was a much needed break from reality. If looked at as a personal gift or recollection of memories, this one is sure to bring a smile to your face. The best part about Love Thy Neighbour… Caught is the little glimpses of hope and life lessons that come with it.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Dimple Somji in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.






Monday, July 26, 2021

Cover Reveal- Twilight's Temptation by Shilpa Suraj

 

 






The ace photographer and the supermodel, they should have been a match made in heaven. Instead, they fought like the demons of hell. 

Complicated, surly, and sexy, Manav Apte was probably the only photographer who resented his muse. From the day he’d seen her, there had been no other. Unfortunately, she was the one woman he could never have. 

Passionate, talented, and gorgeous, Diana Severes refused to give the temperamental ass behind the camera the satisfaction of knowing he got under her skin. It was, however, impossible not to notice him or his glowering disapproval that trailed her everywhere she went. 

Their dislike and distrust of each other is legendary in the fashion industry and yet, the sparks that fly when they come together for work are enough to light the sets on fire. 

Will the Golden Girl of India’s fashion scene be able to see beyond his hatred to the love he’s desperately trying to mask? And will the country’s most talented photographer realise that his true talent lies not in what he views through his lens but what he sees through the filter of his heart?


About the Author:




Shilpa Suraj wears many hats - corporate drone, homemaker, mother to a fabulous toddler and author.

An avid reader with an overactive imagination, Shilpa has weaved stories in her head since she was a child. Her previous stints at Google, in an ad agency and as an entrepreneur provide colour to her present day stories, both fiction and non-fiction.






Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter




Review- Seeds to Stars by Raunak Mhetre

  BOOK SUMMARY:

Seeds to stars is a collection of poems, a concoction of thoughts put into beautiful verses ready to tickle the reader’s mind.

It’s divided into four sections with poems which have something on offer for every type of reader.

It has beautiful general poems, love and related thoughts, engaging and hard hitting poems and stories revolving around the sky.

It’s a trip through my mind you need to take.


Release date: June 4th 2021
Published by: Notion Press
Page numbers: 202

REVIEW: 

When I first got to know that my student for a while Raunak has written a collection of poetry, I was quite looking forward to it, and the writer was kind to send me a copy of the book. As someone who is slowly getting into poetry, I was genuinely curious to know what this collection would hold and I must say that I was quite impressed.

A collection of poetry, this book is systematically divided into four parts: Beautiful general poems, Love and related thoughts, Engaging and hard hitting poems and Cosmos and stories beyond. While each part is unique in its own way, I found the second and third parts to be extremely well thought of and expressed. Raunak’s writing, even with its simpleness or perhaps exactly because of that, manages to touch the right chord.

Seeds to Stars is straight from the heart with poems that are simple and relatable. These are the kind of poems that make you feel comfortable and connected with others, solving the purpose of sharing words. Definitely a poet to look out for, Raunak has heaps of potential and there’s quite a bunch to look forward to from him.

To pack in so much emotion in one collection itself is quite a feat which Raunak has nailed quite well. If you are also trying to get into poetry, this one is surely a great read to start with.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Raunak Mhetre in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.



Review- Her Prince Charming by Sundari Venkatraman

  BOOK SUMMARY:

It’s instantaneous attraction when Tanuja Bhatia from Delhi meets Raj Malhotra from Bombay at the Bombay Central Station.

The mutual attraction soon blossoms into love over the next couple of meetings.

Tanuja and her simple father fail to see the crisis brewing in their own home. Her not-so-nice stepmother Gurinder is totally against the idea of Tanuja meeting her Prince Charming which would make her step-sister Harpreet seriously envious. By the way, Harpreet’s main aim in life is to simply make her half-sister miserable.

While Raj’s parents and Tanuja’s father try to arrange a marriage between the two with a help of a mutual friend, the evil stepmother comes up with a plan of her own—to marry her stepdaughter off to Sonu, a good-for-nothing idiot.

Can Her Prince Charming lift Tanuja out of this life of drudgery and boredom and give her the happiness she deserves?

*A prequel to THE MALHOTRA BRIDE
 


Release date: March 2019
Published by: Flaming Ink

REVIEW: 

Not a fan of romances, I had been seeing but not really wanting to read author Sundari Venkatraman’s books through Rubina Ramesh’s work for years now. When I started following and interacting with the author on Instagram and got to know how wonderful she is, I was curious to give her romances a go. Sundari ma’am was kind to offer me a copy of Her Prince Charming, which turned out to be a really good read that I devoured in two days.

A classical romance set in Delhi and Bombay of 1970s, Her Prince Charming is the story of Tanuja, a beautiful girl who is mistreated by her stepmother and stepsisters. She then meets Raj Malhotra, the two fall in love and the rest, as they say, is history. A Cinderella like romance, I really enjoyed going back in time with this one. It was amazing to sit back and read about love the way I grew up knowing about it. There was something truly endearing about this story that made a non romance lover like me smile.

Although there are quite a few instances in the book that would be considered problematic in today’s day and age, for the time it is set in, Her Prince Charming, above anything else, is a really good story and does its job wonderfully of helping the reader escape reality for a while. A sweet story with characters that make it both relatable and fun, I loved going back in time the most with this book.

The small details like food, places in the two cities and clothes did not go unnoticed and added so much charm and beauty to this story. Author Sundari Venkatraman’s writing is simple and beautiful, just like her. I really enjoyed this book and am looking forward to reading- surprise surprise- more romances from her.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Sundari Venkataraman in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Review- Unburied: A Collection of Queer Dark Stories by Rebecca Rowland

  BOOK SUMMARY:

An asteroid miner recovering from an accident learns that the cure might be scarier than the trauma. A man discovers a mirror in an antiques shop that allows its gazers to climb inside and visit paradise. A teenager is haunted by the memory of a strange boy who appeared in his bedroom when he was a child. A future pandemic survivor is forced to make a terrible sacrifice in order to save the world's gay male population. A cult survivor sees a man who reminds him of someone from the past and begins to lose a bit of his hard-earned control. An entity that exhibits characteristics of both angel and vampire tells its peculiar story to an anonymous confessor and potential lover in the shadows of an LGBTQ club.

  Silent film actresses who haunt a Hollywood Hills mansion, mysterious beings who lurk in the closet, and witches who may or may not live under the bed: these and many other dark fiction entities from this twisted box of curiosities come together to serve the reader a cornucopia of chilling horror, sci-fi terror, and dark fantasy. In a bloody twist on the antiquated trope of "burying the gays,” sixteen established and award-winning genre fiction scribes from around the globe, including Felice Picano (Lambda Award nominee and co-founder of The Violet Quill), Greg Herren (Lambda Award winner and co-founder of the Saints and Sinners Literary Festival), Daniel M. Jaffe (Rainbow Award and American Fiction Prize finalist), and Thomas Kearnes (2019 Lambda Award nominee), put forth a dazzling array of creature features, shadow fables, and dreadful delusions spotlighting LGBTQ+ characters. 

  Prepare to unearth your deepest nightmares.


Release date: June 1st 2021
Published by: Dark Ink
Page numbers: 280

REVIEW: 

A collection of queer dark fiction sounded right up my alley and super intriguing. To top it all of, Unburied is a collection of short stories that are just the perfect length and still manage to pack in heaps of action, which works perfectly. From supernatural, psychological, science fiction and paranormal horror to dark fantasy to ghost stories to psychological thrillers, this collection has something for all taste buds and each story is unique, spooky and shudder in its own way.

While it took me a while to really get into the collection as a whole, there are many stories that I know are going to stay with me for a long time to come. I did consider mentioning them, only to realise it’s more than half of them, so I will let the titles pass. The reason I picked up this book is because it has a not so surprisingly astonishing short story by my all time favourite writer, Azzurra Nox.

Overall, this collection is packed with engrossing and spine-chilling stories that are so well written and narrated that you will definitely want more. If you’re into horror and psychological thrillers, this is the perfect book for you. To come up with a horror stories collection that is queer only is a brilliant idea and in this case, it was executed astoundingly.

Another point worth mentioning is that this collection is really an eye-opener in a way in that it takes up serious issues like domestic violence in same sex relationships and mental illnesses in manner that’s implicit but still makes one ponder and in turn, probably serving its purpose in the first place.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Rebecca Rowland in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.






Sunday, July 04, 2021

Release Blitz- Loving You by Andaleeb Wajid

 

 


Hamza Ali is ready to get married, fall in love and live happily ever after. The only problem is, he's about to marry one woman but falls in love with another... So how will he find his happily ever after?


After watching his brother's disastrous love marriage fall to pieces, Hamza decides that the only marriage for him is an arranged one. In Mahrukh, his family finds him the perfect bride. But while Mahrukh may be the perfect bride, it's her divorced aunt Noorain who is the perfect woman for him.
Noorain Alam has never loved or been loved. Until the day her niece gets engaged to a man who is completely out of her reach and yet, he's everything she never knew she wanted.
Blindsided by the strength of emotion they feel for each other, Noorain and Hamza find themselves in a battle for their happiness. But will love win? Or will family and duty stand in its way?




Book Links:
Goodreads * Amazon.in * Amazon.com



Read an Excerpt from Loving You


Noorain Alam was annoyed. She was in fact hopping mad. But she kept a smile on her face as she said goodbye to her employees Kamala and Mona who would be locking up the boutique after she left. She glanced at herself in the full-length mirror in the foyer once and shrugged. She didn’t really care what she looked like but she knew that she had to be at least presentable or she wouldn’t hear the end of it.  

For Haniya Apa, being presentable meant wearing at least half a kilo of gold. Noorain shuddered as she thought of her gold jewellery lying in her locker in the bank. It would stay there forever if she had anything to do with it. She left the boutique and got into her car and took a deep breath as she glanced down at herself once more. 

The long peacock blue kaftan type kurta that she had paired with white leggings was stylish but if Haniya Apa’s in-laws were at home, that meant they would certainly look down at her and make faces. She was just going to have to deal with it, she thought as she started the car. 

What’s the big hurry in getting Mahrukh married anyway, she thought. They could easily wait for another two years at least. The girl just finished her studies last year. Who gets married at 22 for god’s sakes? 

Dumb chicks like herself who got steamrolled into doing what parents wanted, she thought. They got married so early. She rolled her eyes when she remembered her own ill-fated and short marriage that took place right after her 21st birthday. 

She switched on some music and tried to keep all the negative thoughts at bay. Tonight, she was going to talk to Mahrukh and ask her if this was what she really wanted. 

Let them do what they want. It’s none of your business.

She shushed the thought away. No. It was her duty to ensure that her niece was happy. That she wasn’t being forced into something she didn’t want. There had been no one looking out for her when she got married 8 years ago. And when she had got divorced, everyone was ready to blame her for it. 

Mahrukh and she had been like siblings, rather than aunt and niece, but in the past few years, there had been a distance between them. Noorain wondered if it was because of her father’s family who didn’t like her at all. Had they influenced her to stay away from her? Still, she was going to try her best and reconnect with her, she decided. 

She reached home soon enough and drove the car inside the basement parking. Maybe if she lingered a little, she would catch the tail end of the visit. But then, even if the boys’ side who had come to see Mahrukh left, she would still have to contend with Haniya Apa’s in-laws who would have turned up in full strength. 

Oh, what the hell, she thought irritably as she got down from the car and made her way to the lift. She wondered if she would have time to hop into her own apartment and quickly shower but decided against it. Better to just face the firing squad right away. 

Minutes later, she entered the apartment and looked around quickly. There were no men here, which meant that Arshad Bhaijan must have taken them to his office. So that left the ladies who had come to see Mahrukh. Warily, she walked into one of the inner living rooms and stopped at the threshold.

She could almost feel her skin break out into hives when she saw the number of women there, all dressed in iridescent colours. Smiling, she stepped inside and several women stiffened. To her credit, Haniya Apa welcomed her inside. If she had so much as flinched, she knew that Noorain would never step inside her home again. 

‘This is my younger sister, Noorain,’ she said, leading her to two women who were seated on the sofa. Noorain tried to hide her surprise when she saw them. They were not dressed in flashy colours and neither were they dripping with jewellery. The older woman looked at her, eyes wide and she smiled. The younger woman was very pretty and she too smiled at her. 

‘Sit, talk to them while I get Mahrukh,’ Haniya Apa said to her. 

‘You sure about that?’ Noorain asked through the side of her mouth. 

Haniya Apa rolled her eyes and walked away briskly, and two of her relatives got up from their sofas and followed her outside. Noorain sat down, not sure what to say or talk to Mahrukh’s potential in-laws. Small talk was the bane of her life. 

‘Are you married, beta?’ the older woman asked. Great. 

There was a slight embarrassed cough from the other sofa. God. These people behaved like a divorced woman was something to be ashamed about. 

‘No, Aunty,’ Noorain replied. ‘I was. But I’m not any longer.’

The younger woman looked at her in surprise even as the older woman’s eyes widened as she understood what that meant. ‘I’m Ghazal,’ she said. 

‘What a pretty name,’ Noorain remarked with a smile on her face. She liked this girl for some reason. There was something very pleasant and non-judgmental about her demeanour.

‘Noorain is a pretty name too,’ Ghazal said. 

‘In school, I used to get teased a lot,’ Noorain said with a smile. ‘I contemplated changing my name almost every month, back then whenever I heard kids sing Noorain, Noorain, go away, come again another day.’

Ghazal grinned and was about to say something when Haniya Apa had returned, this time with Mahrukh in tow. Noorain looked at her niece, a little exasperated. Mahrukh was pretty and had delicate features but was easily swayed and didn’t have enough determination or grit. 

Right now, one of Haniya Apa’s relatives was holding her back in such a way that her head was bent low. Anger surged through Noorain but she controlled herself as the woman led Mahrukh towards the sofa and helped her sit down. Mahrukh was dressed in a royal pink ghagra with a deep green trim. She looked like a bride already, especially with all the jewellery. 

Noorain stepped away from there, even as introductions were made, although Mahrukh was expected to act like she was a mannequin. Ghazal bent low and tried to talk to her but Mahrukh just replied with a shake of her head or she nodded. 

Ghazal and her mother-in-law exchanged a look with each other and smiled and Noorain knew then, that there was no way they would reject Mahrukh. She probably ticked all their mental checkboxes. But she looked forward to meeting Ghazal again, she realised, when after sometime Mahrukh was led away, back like a sweet little lamb to the slaughter. 

Noorain lingered near the door, when Arwa who was Haniya Apa’s sister-in-law turned to her. ‘Don’t get too friendly with them, okay? We don’t want to spoil our family’s reputation unnecessarily.’

Bristling, Noorain straightened up but decided not to retort. Most of the women in Haniya Apa’s family couldn’t bear the sight of her. Not only was she divorced, she was also an independent woman and she didn’t look like she needed any man in her life. What’s more, before their father passed away, he had gifted Noorain an apartment of her own in this building. So she had her own place as well. 

She was a far cry from the other women who seemed to enjoy being simpering and helpless, letting their men take care of them. 

She was snapped out of her uncharitable thoughts when Ghazal turned to her as they were leaving. ‘It was nice meeting you,’ she said. 

‘Same here,’ Noorain replied, beaming at her. ‘I have a boutique on Wheeler Road. Maybe you’d like to come and visit?’

‘Oh I’d love to. But I hope you’re open on the weekends? I have work during the week,’ Ghazal replied. 

Noorain was surprised. Ghazal worked? She had an actual job? 

‘Yes, we’re open on weekends too,’ she said warmly, as she pulled out a business card from her handbag and handed it to her. She could sense the judgmental looks from women like Arwa and the others, and ignoring them, she smiled at Ghazal. ‘I hope to see you soon!’


About the Author:


Andaleeb Wajid is the author of 27 published novels and she writes across different genres such as romance, YA and horror. Her horror novel It Waits was shortlisted at Mami Word to Screen 2017 and her Young Adult series, The Tamanna Trilogy has been optioned for screen by a reputed production house. Andaleeb's novel When She Went Away was shortlisted for The Hindu Young World Prize in 2017. Andaleeb is a hybrid author who has self-published more than 10 novels in the past two years.

Andaleeb on the Web:
Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Newsletter






Saturday, July 03, 2021

Review: That's True, I Love Her by Priyanka M.A. Singh

 BOOK SUMMARY:

Hardly anyone ever understood where they will find love and what face will it carry. That’s True, I Love Her, the deal is a modern love story tale takes you from the heart of Hyderabad all the way to Thailand where Ammara is trying very hard to forget her boyfriend. Little does she know that after coming back to India, her life will never be the same.

That’s True, I Love Her will leave you wanting more when Ammara will realize her true sexual nature.

Spread across three novels and 2 different countries, That’s True, I Love Her tells the story of love, LGBT constraints in India, and how strong love is all you need to fight against all odds.


Release date: August 1st 2020
Published by: Kalamos Literary Services LLP

REVIEW: 

Coming across a female/ female romance by an Indian author had me sigh in relief as it’s often the L part of LGBTQIA+ that gets ignored. While the book cover isn’t exactly impressive, just knowing that it’s something refreshing was enough, which is the reason why I decided to pick up That’s True, I Love Her.

While there were many recurring errors in the language, author Priyanka M. A. Singh’s writing is easy to follow and understand, which automatically makes it accessible to a wider audience and that’s a huge advantage because it comes with a really simple message and that is: love is love. The story itself seemed to focus more on a holiday that the protagonist goes on, rather than the development of a same sex couple relationship, which wasn’t undesirable. A deeper look into the ways of the heart would have been better.

The standout in this book was the portrayal of a few other relationships, like the one between the main character and her parents and her friends Abraham and Shekhar, which, as a same sex relationship, was extremely well done. The scenes from a holiday in Thailand brought back many memories of the gorgeous country, which is always a plus.

Not exactly a unique or even great read, That’s True, I Love Her comes with the promise of more, so that’s definitely something to look forward to. An easy quick read, this book has to be applauded for talking about love in the simplest manner, just the way it should be.




Review: Catch Me 'Cause I'm Falling by Rathnakumar Raghunath

 BOOK SUMMARY:

Catch Me 'Cause I'm Falling
Digital Pride Series by Rathnakumar Raghunath


Lately, everything was making Abhi cry. He was kicked out of class for showing up drunk. His parents were getting a divorce. And to make matters worse, Shray, his boyfriend of two years, told him it was over between them.

From Rathnakumar Raghunath, the author of Elevator, comes a new piece of Flash Fiction just in time for Pride Month.


Release date: June 25th 2021
Page numbers: 9

REVIEW: 

With relatable characters, simple yet brilliant writing and a story that’s emotional and adorable, Catch Me ‘Cause I’m Falling by Rathnakumar Raghunath is a quick read that is guaranteed to leave you feeling warm and hopeful.




Review: Retrouve-moi ce soir (Meet Me Tonight) by Florian Parent

BOOK SUMMARY:

Une romance science-fiction moderne.

Et si rêver était la plus belle chose qu'ils avaient à vivre ? Une histoire d'amour hors du temps qui dépasse les frontières du rêve et les barrières de leur confinement.

Lior est un jeune Californien qui consomme l’amour en swipant sur son smartphone, à la recherche du coup de foudre. Suite à la pandémie du Covid-19, il décide de partir avec ses amis au Lake Tahoe le temps du confinement.

Quelques semaines plus tard, un midi, Lior leur raconte un rêve très étrange qu’il a fait. Étrange dans le sens beaucoup trop réaliste. Dans son rêve, il rencontre Julian, un homme brun et très séduisant. Une rencontre digne d’un film. Le genre de rencontre dont il fantasme depuis toujours, et bien plus excitante qu’un match sur une application dans la vraie vie. Mais, malgré son excitation, son réveil mit fin à son rêve et à sa romance avec Julian.

Ce qu’il ne sait pas encore, c’est que ce rêve n’est que le début d’une longue histoire.


Release date: March 2021

REVIEW: 

When I first came across Retrouve-moi ce soir, I was quite intrigued by the whole idea of a French novel set in San Francisco during the COVID-19 global lockdown of 2020. Author Florian Parent was kind to offer me a copy of his book, which I read in French but to make the review accessible to the majority of you, it’s going to be in English.

The pandemic and the lockdown which followed have been quite a rollercoaster for almost all of us, which is what made this book a relatable and heartwarming one. There was a sense of reassurance in knowing that although we all live in different parts of the world, emotionally, we’re all more or less the same and we go through similar experiences which connect us in a way even technology can’t.

Divided into three parts, the first two parts of Retrouve-moi ce soir are dedicated to a third person narration from the points of view of our protagonists Lior and Dorian, who dream of meeting their soulmate in a manner that seems real and super adorable. In the last part of the book, and this is where the science fiction aspect which I was apprehensive about, comes into the picture in the simplest, most brilliant manner. From confusion regarding lockdown announcements to work from home scenes to trying to make the most of the quarantine period to online sessions to experimenting with cooking and yoga, there was so much in this book that brought back memories of 2020- the nice ones, mind you. 

Florian Parent, with his true to life characters, endearing storytelling and impressive writing, has managed to create a lovely space for this book not only on the shelves of readers but in their hearts as well. An adorable, heartwarming and simply great read, Retrouve-moi ce soir is written in a simple, straightforward manner that left me with a smile on my face and a peaceful warmth in my heart.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Florian Parent in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Saturday, May 22, 2021

Review- The Woman Who Saved My Life by Himanshu Goel

 The Woman Who Saved My Life on Goodreads



Release date: May 11th 2021

REVIEW: 

Having previously read Himanshu Goel’s A Rational Boy in Love, I was quite looking forward to reading more from the writer. I had found his A Rational Boy in Love to be simple yet profound and relatable yet otherworldly all at once. His latest, The Woman Who Saved My Life was just as lovely as his previous work- if not more, and that consistency itself is worth applauding.

Not an unique story by any means, The Woman Who Saved My Life is told in a manner that’s quite unique and intriguing. Using poetry to tell an entire story is quite a feat that the young writer has nailed brilliantly. This is the book that gives you a warm and cozy feeling. In spite of taking up the delicate topic of suicide, the book leaves you feeling content, with a ray of hope.

Within barely 150 pages that would take an average reader hardly an hour or so to finish the book, Himanshu Goel has managed to pack in emotions, nostalgia, dreams, love and hope in this lovely read. And all this with words that are not just easy to follow but absolutely astounding to read, The Woman Who Saved My Life is a great read.

Definitely a promising young writer, Himanshu Goel’s poetry has managed to find a place in my heart and hopefully the next that’s to come from him will be just as superb.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Himanshu Goel in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Review- The Panipuri Crimes by SB Akshobhya

 BOOK SUMMARY:

The young and driven Sagar Bansal leads a team of six on the path of a digital adventure. His plan is to put the humble cane-panipuri vendor, found in every other street in a metropolitan city, on a digital platform.
As they gear up to launch an app to sell panipuri, the cloud of risk looms large. All five entrepreneurs who earlier ventured into the business had died in road accidents. But all that is overlooked and forgotten in the excitement of the team reaching the verge of a VC funding.
Is the death of all five entrepreneurs a coincidence? Can Sagar and his team overcome the odds? Why are the ordinary vendors dying one after another like a pack of cards?
The Panipuri Crimes is a thrilling story weaving together the world of entrepreneurship and struggle, love and other demons, and the murky world of crime.
 


Release date: April 12th 2021
Published by: Srishti Publishers and Distributors
Page numbers: 208

REVIEW: 

An interesting title for a murder mystery, The Panipuri Crimes combines two things that I’m not too fond of. It did sound like it would be a good read, as it’s the story of a bunch of young engineers who wish to put the panipuri we find on every street on a digital platform. The interesting fact is that everyone before them who had tried to do something similar was murdered under mysterious circumstances.

I found it difficult to relate to a bunch of things in The Panipuri Crimes, from the plot to the language to the characters. It took me a while to understand what was going on but barely a few pages to know who the person behind the crimes could be and still, I feel confused after reading the book which is why I don’t think I can explain exactly what I read. The language for me, was unnecessarily complicated. Had either the plot or the language been much simpler, I would have actually found the book to be engrossing. Coming to the characters, while each one stood out in their own way, I could not relate to any of them and I didn’t find them particularly interesting. There were too many of them and it lead to even more confusion, as if the plot’s confusion wasn’t enough.

I think the problem here is that I don’t have an engineering and corporate background so almost everything was a blur for me. As a reader, I want to know about things that I’m not aware of, not run away from them. Had everything in this book been broken down and portrayed in more relatable terms, I would have enjoyed it. I bet there are readers out there who will thoroughly enjoy this book, but it clearly didn’t do anything for me.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Srishti Publishers and Distributors in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.




Thursday, May 06, 2021

Review- Ithalar Tea Party by Akshath Jaganmohan

  BOOK SUMMARY:

On 11 August 1950, Constable Selvam and the other policemen from the quaint little town of Ithalar in the Nilgiris, find the dead body of Anderson Quill, the owner of the English Ithalar Tea Estate.
The workers of the estate are acting mysteriously. They do not seem to care that their wages would be disturbed by the death of the unheired owner of the estate.
Selvam searches the history of the estate and finds the numerous enemies Anderson Quill had, making the case more difficult by the hour.
The killer, too, works tirelessly to give Selvam clues to get caught. Nobody knows why.
But the biggest mystery is yet to be revealed. Selvam hears one name which gives him the creeps, repeatedly. Velavan
 


Release date: January 4th 2021
Published by: Readen Publishing
Page numbers: 240

REVIEW: 

Not super inclined towards picking up murder mysteries, the sole reason I decided to give Ithalar Tea Party a go is because it’s written by a 13 year old and because I hope that, somewhere, via The Readdicts, readers are able to know about this gem of a book.

I have no idea when was the last time I finished reading a book in a day. This book was truly unputdownable. I was hooked right from the first chapter and couldn’t wait at all to see what would happen next. Written in the simplest yet most detailed and meticulous manner that doesn’t get boring even once, this book is fast paced, action packed and truly engrossing.

When the owner of the Ithalar Tea Estate, Anderson Quill, is found dead in his house, inspector Selvam sets out on a mission to find the killer which ends up being one awesome adventure full of mystery and amazing storytelling.

Author Akshath Jaganmohan’s writing is so mature that it had me in awe throughout. Had I not known anything about him, I would never have guessed that it’s written by someone so young. The thorough background information and attention to detail is worth applauding and makes the book extremely interesting.

A tale that takes the reader back in time, keeps them on the edge of their seat, perfectly balances narratives from two different times simultaneously, has some pretty good and well developed characters, is easy to follow and packed with immaculate cultural and historical references, I would highly encourage you to pick up Ithalar Tea Party as it’s a super duper great read.

*Note: A copy of this book was provided by Akshath Jaganmohan in exchange for an honest review. We thank them.