Monday, March 26, 2012

Book Review - It's Always Been You


Genre: Romance/ Fiction

Publisher: Mahaveer

“IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU” is the first novel by Kritika Malhotra. Set during school times, the story starts with a breakup of the protagonist, Maully, with her boyfriend. As expected, Maully is sad and broken, but she decides to move on, with the encouragement of her friends. Very soon, she spots a handsome lad, Keyur, and instantly gets attracted towards him. But, Keyur is in love with Neha, despite their breakup. Keyur requests Maully to pretend to be his girlfriend, for just one day, so that he can make Neha jealous. Maully reluctantly agrees, and they both meet Neha, who comes along with Viraj. Keyur’s plan works, and Neha is jealous to see Keyur and Maully together. Ultimately, Keyur and Neha confess their love for each other, and are together again. Meanwhile, Viraj spots Maully, and gets attracted towards her. One fine day Viraj proposes to Maully, to which she agrees. The story slowly moves forward, coursing through the school practicals, the board exams, IIT preparations, farewell parties, few sex scenes, thus strengthening the love between Maully and Viraj. School ends, and Maully and Viraj take admissions in different colleges. While the lovers get separated, the friends get united, as Keyur takes admission in the same university (Delhi University) in which Maully is. From here, Maully’s attraction towards Keyur and distance from Viraj increases. Finally, a stage comes in Maully’s life when she is in a dilemma to choose between Keyur and Viraj. Now, I leave the details of the climax for the readers. Read the book, and find out.

As a first time writer, Kritika Malhotra has done an okay job. She picked up the concept of “school-college-love-breakup-chiclit”, a tried and tested one, which is already successful with Indian readers, and did fair justice to her story. Maully’s character is well sketched, and few scenes have been written brilliantly. I personally liked the long message (full of slangs) which Maully, in anger and frustration, sends to Viraj, after she finds out something bad about him. It reminded me of Kareena’s dialogue from the movie Jab We Met, but Maully’s dialogue proves far more powerful. The climax of the book is well thought, and well written. As I said earlier, the character of Maully has been sketched very well – her expressions, her thoughts, her feelings, her dilemma, her frustration, and her love are very well expressed. Not to forget, the poems in the book are really good. Lastly, the editing is decent (not flawless though, but still better than many other books).

Now the weak points…

Lack of fresh ideas is damaging Indian readership quality! Every second book, I pick up, is about “college-love-breakup-heartache-chiclit”. Fiction gives writers a freedom – a freedom to explore new ideas, a freedom to write much more than just an everyday-lifestyle-love-breakup chiclit.

Coming to the weak points of this book… The story offers nothing new, and the narration is weak, especially during the first half of the book. There is hardly any spark in the love story of Maully and Viraj, or Maully and Keyur. Unnecessary sex scenes, between the school going couple, may not be liked by all. I maybe sounding orthodox; I am not against the love making scenes. But scenes should justify the situation and romance. Moreover, I don’t know how many would love to read about school practicals, farewells, exams, admissions and ragging. Avid readers may/might/will get bored. I appreciate the writer for using numerous complex words, highlighting her strong control over the language, but what is the use if a layman has to consult a dictionary every now and then? As a writer, we should write for the readers. One more thing, which I want to point out, is the lack of punctuation. Consider the difference:-

“How are you finding NC tattoo girl?” 

“How are you finding NC, tattoo girl?”

The comma, after NC, conveys that the question is being asked to someone referred as 'tattoo girl'.

Punctuations play an important role in literature, but most Indian writers tend to skip them.

And lastly, I didn’t expect the writer to use Durjoy Datta’s style of writing. I am hugely disappointed. The ease with which Durjoy writes his love making scenes in his stories is commendable, though I do not support his usage of slangs (f**k, a$$hole) in literature. Modern/ Young writers are just blindly following the trend set up by Bhagat and Datta.

Overall, Kritika Malhotra’s “IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU” is sweet, but could have been better. Being a first time writer, she has done a decent job. She has potential. Few scenes are well written, Maully’s character is adorable, poems are good, but everything else is disappointing. I am going with a generous and motivating 3 out of 5 stars for Kritika Malhotra’s “IT’S ALWAYS BEEN YOU”.

Verdict: One time read. It is Sweet, but lacks the punch!!!

Upcomin book by Nikhil Mukhija - You & Me... & Our Relationship...

You & Me... & our Relationship... is the upcoming book by Nikhil Mukhija.

In Nikhil's own words: -

This book is meant for those dreaming of igniting the spark of love in the Girl or Guy of their dreams; those ‘turtle-ing’ (progressing but slow) around their relationship; those who are confused whether it's the right move, right pace or the right way to proceed and those who are missing the charm in their relationship. Offering an insight into Love, Crush, and Infatuation and with psychology assisting you,This book gives you an insight into how a person perceives love and what causes attraction between a girl and a guy.



Doesn't matter if you are an Office Going Guy or a 13 Year Old teenager...

Doesn't matter whether you are a male or a female...

In the era where packing matters more than the substance itself...

Neither is it a Fictional Story nor is it a Hypothesis...

It is a theory that will rewrite the script of your love life forever!!!

Enough of ‘be yourself’ cliché, now its time to be, what ‘they’ want you to be.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Book Review - If It's Not Forever

“IF IT’S NOT FOREVER ”  ... it’s CERTAINLY not Love....

Genre: Romance/Fiction

Publishers: Grapevine

“IF IT’S NOT FOREVER” is a Romance/Fiction novel, penned by best-selling authors Nikita Singh and Durjoy Datta. It is the story of Deb, a writer cum publisher, whose life takes a dramatic turn when he miraculously escapes a powerful blast in New Delhi. He escapes unhurt, but he is emotionally weakened. He realizes that life is too short, and one should not shy away from confessing his/her true feelings. Still scarred and haunted by the tragic incident, he visits the blast site and finds a half-burnt diary – a diary written by someone, with initials RD, who, possibly, died in the blast. He reads the diary, and realises that they are the unspoken words of RD, who loved Ragini truly, but ‘somehow’ never mustered enough courage to convey his feelings.  Deb takes up the responsibility and a journey, to convey the ‘final’ words of RD to his true love, Ragini. But the road is not easy. The last few pages of the diary are burnt, and Deb has very limited clues.

Avantika - Deb’s true love, Shrey – Deb’s best friend, and Tiya – Shrey’s girl friend join him on this journey to unravel the unsolved and unspoken love story of RD. Their journey takes them to different cities, as they slowly put together the pieces of RD’s love story. But, will they be able to solve the mystery of RD’s story? Will they be able to find Ragini, the true love of RD? Who is RD? Is he really dead? You will get all the answers, after reading this book. I don’t want to spoil the magic by revealing the details of the story and the climax.

Now the REVIEW!!! 

Nikita Singh and Durjoy Datta, being the expert writers, have done a fantastic job. The story is intriguing, right from the word go. The characters of Deb, Avantika, Shrey and Tiya are beautifully sketched. The writers have done full justice to the supporting characters like – Piyush, Nivedita, Sumi, RD and Ragini. The story starts on a strong note, and continues effortlessly till the end. The scenes, the dialogues, the expressions and the emotions are perfectly expressed. The language is typical Nikita-Durjoy style, which I generally don’t prefer. But in this book, the way the characters have been written, few slangs here and there don’t do any harm. The humor is witty, and will make you smile and laugh. The emotional scenes are well written, and will make you sad (weak-hearts may cry). As a reader, you will smile and laugh on Shrey’s and Deb’s witty dialogues, and the inner pain of Deb and RD will make you sad as well. Avantika’s character is adorable and Tiya is sweet. My favourite chapter is the one in which Deb meets Nivedita, RD’s sister.

The only negative, which I felt, is too much reference about sex, in the first half of the book. It, momentarily, diverts the reader from the main story line, which otherwise is very captivating.

In a nut shell, “IF IT’S NOT FOREVER” is Nikita Singh’s and Durjoy Datta’s best work till date. The story is strong, the characters are adorable and powerful, and stay with you long after you have finished reading the book. The book is fast paced, and offers lot many moments to remember. I am going with 4 out of 5 stars for Nikita Singh’s and Durjoy Datta’s “IF IT’S NOT FOREVER”. 

Love is beautiful...
Love is strong...
It flows...
Like a romantic song...

It makes you believe
To face the odds, rise above
But, if it’s not FOREVER...
(Sorry for the stupid poem...)

Verdict: A Sure Shot Best Seller!!!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Book Review : Few Things Left Unsaid


Genre: Romance/Fiction

Publishers: Srishti

“FEW THINGS LEFT UNSAID” is the first novel by Mr. Sudeep Nagarkar. It is the story of Aditya, who does not know what he wants in his life. He hates engineering, but ends up taking admission in an engineering college, just because his parents want him to be an engineer. His search for his perfect girl ends when he meets Riya, a beautiful girl, and one of his classmates. One fine day, he proposes to her, to which she agrees. They bunk classes, go on multiple dates, enjoy their newly found love, and their bonding strengthens. And then, the “not so” unexpected happens. One of them starts taking the other for granted, then the regular fights and patch ups, and finally the BREAK UP!!! I will leave the answer to the question “Will they be together again?” for the readers.

Well this is the gist of the 231 page story, and as I said earlier, this book conveys very FEW THINGS. The title of the book promises a lot, and the book has received an overwhelming response (a National Best Seller and 4+ rating on But when I read the “hook” of the book, I knew what was in my hands. One of the lines, in the hook (back side of the book), is “FROLOCKING WITH HIS CARRIER”. I guess, the author meant, “FROLICKING WITH HIS CAREER”. But few mistakes can happen... few!!!

Let’s begin with some positives. The last 1/4th part of the book is impressive. As a reader, you tend to feel sorry for Aditya. The climax, though predictable, is well written, and there is no ending. In fact, Sudeep Nagarkar has left the scope for the sequel. So, the readers who have loved this book, this is good news for you. I am sure; the sequel will be out soon. Few moments, in the love story of Riya and Aditya, are sweet and adorable. This book will appeal only to love-breakup-heartache college going “chiclit” lovers. They will not feel disappointed.

Now the negatives... Very very poorly written and edited book. There are innumerable grammatical and spelling mistakes. I always blame the editors/publishers for this, but, I think, it is the responsibility of writers as well to write “somewhat” correct English. The story, itself, offers nothing new. The same love-breakup-heartache college story, with repetitive scenes and cheesy dialogues (my Bachcha, my Bachchu, my Jaan...).  The descriptions are poor as well. Just by saying over and over again, that she was looking beautiful, will not make the character beautiful. Readers cannot imagine the characters, unless and until the writers don’t describe them. The ragging scene in which Aditya French-kisses his class-mate (Nikita), is indigestible and totally unnecessary. First of all, Nikita raises no objection, in French-kissing a stranger (Aditya), and secondly, such kind of ragging does not happen in college campuses (anything can happen in hostels, but in campuses???!!! I doubt!!)

In a nut shell, after reading the story, I realized that the author had very few things to convey. The entire story could have been conveyed in less than 230 pages. The scenes are repetitive, and the reader tends to feel bored. The story offers nothing fresh, and the HINGLISH dialogues spoil the magic. The unnecessary usage of “F**k” word is also a letdown.

On the whole, Sudeep Nagarkar’s “FEW THINGS LEFT UNSAID” is an okay first attempt. The story offers nothing new, for the readers of good books. Readers, who like college-going chiclits may/will like this book. The book’s pace is slow, and it offers very few good moments. I am going with 2 out of 5 stars for Sudeep Nagarkar’s “FEW THINGS LEFT UNSAID”.

Verdict:  A National Best Seller... but a Letdown, as the story conveys very FEW THINGS.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book Review - The Immortals of Meluha


Genre: Mythology/ Fiction

“THE IMMORTALS OF MELUHA” is the first novel by Amish, and is the first book of Shiva Trilogy. Set in 1900 BC, it’s a fascinating story of an extraordinary man, Shiva, who eventually turns into a MAHADEV (God of Gods). Shiva, a man with uncommon gifts, is the tribal leader in Mount Kailash. But, his destiny takes him to a “near perfect” empire of Meluha, the land of Suryavanshis. The Suryavanshis are constantly being troubled and attacked by Chandravanshis. To make the matters worse, the Chandravanshis have the support of the “Nagas”, the sinister race of deformed human beings with astonishing martial skills. The only hope for Suryavanshis is Neelkanth, a Legend, for whom they have been waiting for hundred years. Their hope turns into the reality, when they find their Neelkanth in Shiva, who promises to be the saviour of Meluha.  Under the expert leadership of Shiva, the Suryavanshis plan to attack the Chandravanshis. Amid some conspiracies, terrorist attacks and brutal battles, Shiva finds his soul-mate in Sati, the princess of Meluha. Now it is up to Shiva to overcome his inner torments, and destroy the “so called” evil.

Well, this is just the gist of a 400 page mythological saga. First thing first, “The Immortals of Meluha” is NOT a Shivpuran. So those who are expecting to learn about the Lord Shiva, will be disappointed. Amish has picked up the mythological characters and fascinatingly blended them into a fictional story. But, what a story it is!!! It’s MAGNIFICANT!!! It’s 400 page of sheer brilliance. Every scene is so well written, be it the fearsome battle scenes, or the sweet love story of Sati and Shiva.

Amish, being the first time author, has done an outstanding job. Right from imagining the story, the characters, the events, the places, the descriptions, and blending them with mythological characters of Shiva, Sati and Daksha, Amish has announced his strong arrival. Today, when most Indian authors are blindly following the spineless love-breakup “desi-chiclits”, I truly applaud Amish for his first book. Scripting your first book, with 400 pages, needs guts and confidence.

Now the few negatives... The story is set in 1900 BC, but the usage of certain words, like “Dammit, Oh Hell” should have been avoided. I personally believe, no one would have used such words 4000 years ago. Secondly, some of the concepts described in this book, may baffle the readers, e.g. the explanation of the word “Aum”, or the concept of Saptrishis, the name of certain places (like Rajasthan).  But as I said, this is not a Shivpuran, and the readers, who are expecting the “real” mythological Lord Shiva story, will be disappointed.

To sum up, Amish’s “THE IMMORTALS OF MELUHA” is a near-perfect book. It will keep you engaged, it will keep you mesmerized, and it will make you chant “Har Har Mahadev”. I am going with 4 out of 5 stars and two thumbs up for Amish’s “THE IMMORTALS OF MELUHA”.

Verdict: “THE IMMORTALS OF MELUHA” is ENGAGING and FASCINATING, and contains some DARING IDEAS... This Book should and must be read by ALL!!! I am right away ordering the next book in the trilogy.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012



Genre: Romance Fiction

“I’M HEARTLESS” is the first novel by Mr. Vinit K. Bansal. It is the story of Viren, a day dreamer, who dreams that one day he will definitely find his true love (or Pari, as he fondly calls her).  One fine day, he finally finds his Pari, when he falls in love with Rashi, who ‘quite unsurprisingly’ treats him as ‘just a good friend’.  He expresses his strong and true love to Rashi, makes many sacrifices for her, but she continues to treat him like a normal friend. Amidst all this, Viren ignores the true love of Manasi, who is Rashi’s best friend. He ridicules Manasi, ignores her often, but she remains honest and true to him. Viren, instead, waits endlessly for Rashi, and one fine day, Rashi informs him that she in a relationship with Pratap. Viren is heartbroken, and starts behaving like a hopeless loser. At this stage, Manasi takes care of him, and ‘quite unsurprisingly’ they become very close. But, Viren is not the same guy any more. He has lost all his faith over love and relationships. He treats his relationship with Manasi, very casually. There comes a stage, when he becomes total ignorant, mad, psycho, and even gets involved with another girl – Neetika. His life takes a serious turn when Manasi gets to know the truth about him, and his wrong doings. She leaves him, forever!  Years fly by, and Viren realizes that Manasi was the real “Pari” , who he always ignored, and also used as per his needs. He realizes his mistakes and sins, and expresses his “real confessions”, before attempting suicide.

As a first time writer, Vinit K. Bansal has done a good job, and I really liked the way he has penned the character of Viren. It looks very real, and many people can easily relate to him. The second half of the book flows superbly, especially from the scene when Manasi starts taking care of Viren. The book contains many words that may prompt readers to consult a dictionary. But, Vinit has used them aptly. There are certain instances, in other books, where authors have used complex words without knowing the exact meaning and usage. The climax of the book is very good, very engrossing, makes you feel sad as well, and is very well written. Clap Clap Clap!

Enough of Appreciations!!!  

The first half of the book, literally, drags. It is slow, very slow in fact, and most of the scenes are not properly connected to each other. That is the stage, when the reader tends to lose patience. But, as I said earlier, the story kicks off superbly well post “interval”.

The plot, on the whole, is very predictable; in fact, the prologue will tell you the gist of the story. There are many editorial mistakes, for which I will not blame the author. I want to appeal to all the publishers out here, please take care of editorial mistakes. They make a good book, look bad! And lastly, the usage of certain words will force a layman to refer a dictionary every now and then. Usage of complex English words is acceptable, maybe in descriptions etc. But, I personally believe, we don’t use complex English words in normal communication. So such words should be avoided, while writing the dialogues.

On the whole, Vinit K. Bansal’s “I’M HEARTLESS” is a good (yet, not perfect) book. As this is Vinit’s first book, he has done a good job. He has potential, and is here to stay. I am going with 3 out of 5 stars for Vinit K. Bansal’s “I’M HEARTLESS”.

Verdict: Read it. Be Patient with the first half. You will definitely love the second half, because it’s an HONEST CONFESSION.