BOOK TITLE: CROOKED KINGDOM AUTHOR: LEIGH BARDUGO GENRE: YOUNG-ADULT FANTASY STARA: **** I finally finished reading this book. I don’t know what took me so long, probably my paperback was not flappy enough. I know not a great excuse! To be honest, the first 3 parts of this book was going pretty slow for me but after that the plot became gripping and intense. I won’t repeat the synopsis rather I would keep it short based only on my thoughts on the plots and characters. I love the way Leigh Bardugo has portrayed the crow club as villains but finally giving them an image of some “badass” benevolent gang. Especially Kaz, he has got a soft corner in his heart though he almost never often shows that. Also, this book has the past stories of all the members in details. Though the story was mostly based on saving Wylan from his father, proving Van Eck a criminal and giving Wylan what he deserve, also saving Kuwei since they got him from the Ice court. The last part of the book was mostly entertaining for me or it was unputdownable. In order to complete their mission, the dregs will have to face some unfortunate incidents but I won’t reveal much otherwise that’ll be a spoiler. There is an appearance of a mysterios character. I kind of feel like I need to know more about her, so I was expecting to get something about that character. knowing that this is a duology kind of makes me disappointed.
BOOK TITLE: LOVE IN LUTYEN’S DELHI
AUTHOR: AMITABH PANDEY
GENRE: ADULT FICTION/ROMANCE
A sparkling love story with a difference.
Akriti ‘Akku’ Patel and Sanjay ‘Sanju’ Saran become friends in kindergarten, lovers in college and then hit the real world. With both parents in the civil services, Sanju’s world is one of power, privilege and entitlement. Akku, on the other hand, is brought up by a single mother – a distinguished surgeon widowed very young and an aunt who is a smart and sassy books editor with commitment problems.
Sanju’s mind is in turmoil as he chooses to abandon his youthful plans and, like his parents, looks to the civil services for what he thinks will be a meaningful career. Meanwhile, Akku, armed with a BTech from IIT, is jetting off to sunny California, land of systems design and fun-loving computer geniuses.
Will their love survive the distance? Or will the compulsions of Lutyens’ Delhi stand in the way of their togetherness?
This book was a light, fast paced read. I finished it in less than 2 days. Thanks to the publisher for sending me a review copy.
This is a story of Akkriti, a young girl who is all very sure about her future. She lives with her single mother Gayathri and her aunt Abha. She had her friend Sanjay as her constant since kindergarten. But as they grow up into adulthood, they starts to realise the differences in their life. Akkriti is an intelligent software engineer where as Sanjay is an aspiring civil service candidate. They have a lot differences in their family backgrounds as well. Akkriti’s fanily is modern and Sanjay’s family is bound in an orthodox culture.
Both of them were so serious about spending their life together leading to a happy ending. But soon everythung started to change when Akkriti went to USA for her internship and Sanjay started his preperation for the IAS examination.
This story deals with the quite obvious family matters of the modern days. It tells one thing that nothing in life is permanent and we must be always prepared to embrace change in our lives and learn to deal with it. This story was quite relatable and the author’s way of telling the story is pretty lucid and interesting.
About the Author
Amitabh Pandey studied economics at St. Stephen’s College and Delhi School of Economics. He taught economics at an undergraduate college of Delhi University and then joined the Indian Railways where he worked for twenty-four years, during the course of which he conceptualized, implemented and managed the railways online ticket reservation system at the IRCTC. In 2007, Amitabh shifted to the private sector and spent five years building business software. He now lives in Noida and writes full-time.
BOOK TITLE: THE SILENT COMPANIONS
AUTHOR: LAURA PARCELL
GENRE: GOTHIC HORROR
This book grabbed my attention because of its stunning cover. And when I read its synopsis, it got me. I’ve never read a gothic thriller/horror novel before so this book was a complete treat to my unread genre.
This is a story of a haunted house rather the elements that are inside the house set in the 1800s.
Elisabeth Bainbridge became a widow only one year after her marriage with Rupert Bainbridge. She was pregnant when Rupert passed away suddenly due to heart attack. So, after Rupert’s demise Elsie(Elisabeth) and Rupert’s cousin Sarah was sent to the Bridge the family house of the Bainbridge in Fayford. The village was far away from the urban influence and the villegers were not very welcoming. Elsie however started feeling uncomfortable from the first night at The Bridge. Strange hissing sounds kept her awake and made her curious. She soon discovered that the source of the noise was from the garret that was remained locked. Anyhow, she convinced herself that the sound was probably from some wild animals making a nest inside the locked room. But within few days, she and Sarah found the garret door open and thought probably the housemaid Mrs Holt has fixed the lock. They couldn’t supress their curiosity and went to explore. The place was untouched and full of dust and had a weird sense of someone’s presence. After a few searching, they found a diary from the 1600s and a wooden figure of a young woman. Later from the Diary Sarah discovered that the wooden figure were called the Companions that was bought for Hetta, her ancestor who was mute. Soon after the discovery of the companion, uncanny things started to happen to the Bridge. Everyone assured Elsie that it was due to the shock from Rupert’s death. But soon that belief changed when other people in house started to see more companions and weird things. They decided to burn the companions since it was becoming very disturbing. But somehow even after burning them, the companions returned. More haunting things started to happen. So, Elsie’s brother Jolyon decided to take his sister back to the city. Soon bad news came from bridge, one servant was found dead. So, Elisa had to go back there and things got more dangerous.
This story was spine chilling, hauntingly amazing and beautifully written. I don’t get spooked by horror stories easily. Moreover, horror is a genre that I enjoy by watching not reading. But this book proved me wrong. It was gripping from the very first page. The last part of the story got me thinking whether this story was a horror one or psychological thriller but now that I’m rethinking about that ending, I’m convinced that it’s a horror and it’s way scarier for weak hearts and imaginative minds.
BOOK TITLE: VENGEANCE ROAD
AUTHOR: ERIN BOWMAN
GENRE: YOUNG-ADULT FICTION
This book is my 1st 5 star read of 2018. Vengeance Road as the name suggests is about coping up with vengeance and retribution. Kate Thompson is an eighteen year old girl living with her father with their horses in Prescott. She lost her mother when she was a little girl. Their life was going fine until one day Kate came home to find her dad’s body hanging from a tree on their ground amd their whole house burning down. It took Kate a few moment to realise who was behind this inhuman act- the Rose Ryders. She decided to take revenge and bring same fate to her father’s murderer. She goes out on her mission in search of the gang in disguise of a boy named Nate and starts tracing them. She met the Colton brothers on her way by following the message her father left when he was alive. They made a deal. Along with the Colton brothers Jesse and Will she starts of the search of the murderer in the Wild West. Soon she has to lose her disguise and had to reveal the truth to the boys. They eventually come to know that Rose and his men are behind the gold mine whose map belonged to Kate’s father’s journal. The gang stole her dad’s journal when they murdered him. Kat and the boys sort out a plan to kill Rose. Unfortunately their plan didn’t work out. They had to flee to save their lives. Now, it’s all upto Kate to find out the real truth behind her father’s death and all mystery about the gold mine.
I haven’t read any book like this before. It was fast paced-thrilling and filled with actions. Kate’s character is such a genuine one, it’s obvious to like her. The romane beteeen Kate and Jesse is definitely well executed. There are a few twists but the one in the end is extreme. I was not even ecpecting anything like that to happen. Kate’s feelings were so nicely described, that they felt nothing but real to me. I could easily relate to her character. The change in Jesse’s character was brilliantly portrayed as well. The ending was so good, it made me smile and brought tears at the same time. It’s a must read, if you love suspense-thrill and romance, you’ll enjoy this book.
BOOK TITLE: LORD EDGWARE DIES
AUTHOR: AGATHA CHRISTIE
Not including the synopsis… Here’s a short review:
I’ve read quite a few Poirot stories and very few are as twisted like this one. Even though I could guess the culprit near the end, the story got my undivided attention from the beginning. Also this was my first read of 2018, so I’m glad I started off this year with such a good book. Usually Christie’s books are full with mysteries and suspense and of course murders but 3 murders in one story is definitely something. I love how the author portrays the human mind and the catastrophic action it can do for its own happiness. Even the unexpected of the lot can turn out to be a murderer just to mske way for their own greater good. Moreover when Poirot is in the scenario it’s bound to be interesting and along with him Hastings was there, so there are also pretty funny and sarcasric dialogues between them. Not one of Poirot’s best but I loved everytime when he discloses the murderer’s identity with his explanations like it’s clear as crystal. Akso, it was a fast paced read for me, infact all Christie books are actually, so I really enjoyed it.
BOOK TITLE: CARAVAL
AUTHOR: STEPHANIE GARBER
After a long time I read a book that I really enjoyed. It took e less than 3 days to finish it. Also, I am so glad I purchased this book in hardcover format.
So, Caraval is a story that revolves around two sisters Scarlett and Donatella. Their mother disappeared when they were young and since then their father had never let them get out of their island. Both the sisters used to listen stories from their grandma about the famous game known as Caraval. So they wanted the circus to visit theur land so they could take part in it or get invitation. Scarlett wrote a few letters for years to get an invitation. But they only got an invitation before one week of Scarlett’s wedding. Now that they’re imprisoned on this island due to their father’s syrict rules, they need to find a way to get to Caraval.
Inspite of reading mixed reviews, I bought this book because I loved it’s concept from the blurb and I’m so glad that it didn’t disappoint me. The whole plot had several twists and turns, magic, romance and suspense. The author’s way of describing each scene was neat and lucid. It didn’t feel like the story was getting dragged unnecessarily. It was obviously a fast paced read for me and I enjoyed each chapter and scene thoroughly. The game as well as the story may meddle with the reader’s mind but I really enjoyed the concept of Caraval, it’s daring and adventurous.
BOOK TITLE: THE BEAR AND THE NIGHTANGEL
AUTHOR: KATHERINE ARDEN
GENRE: RUSSIAN FAIRYTALE, FANTASY
Finally got some time to write the review. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. This is a Russian fairytale and is mostly based during winter. It’s a story about a girl named Vasilisa and her family. She was not like any other common village maiden. She could see spirits, she was brave and craved for freedom. She was special. On the other hand the two brothers Death and Fear want this girl. But Death here is not the devil, Fear is. He wants to break free so he’s growing fear among the village through a priest to grow his strength. The winter is becoming ruthless that never happened before. Now it’s upto Vasilisa to protect her family frim this monstrous cold and the Fear.
What I love about this book is firstly its cover, next is the storytelling. The way the author has portrayed every scene it’s clear to imagine them. This story is dark and revolves around various spirits that are in Russian folklore. I not for a single moment felt that the story was lagging. The character Vasilisa is definitely my favourite. The story has described her growing up into a young woman since her birth. If you’re looking for a fantasy and well gripped winter read, this book can be a good choice.
JEFFREY ARCHER RETURNS
WITH A RIVETING COLLECTION OF SHORT STORIES!
Nearly a decade after his last volume of short stories was published, Jeffrey Archer returns with his eagerly awaited collection of short stories, Tell Tale, giving us a fascinating, exciting and sometimes poignant insight into the people he has met, the stories he has come across and the countries he has visited during the past ten years.
Find out what happens to the hapless young detective from Naples who travels to an Italian hillside town to find out ‘Who Killed the Mayor?’ and the pretentious schoolboy in ‘The Road to Damascus’, whose discovery of the origins of his father’s wealth changes his life in the most profound way.
Revel in the stories of the woman who dares to challenge the men at her Ivy League university during the 1930s in ‘A Gentleman and a Scholar’, and another young woman who thumbs a lift and gets more than she bargained for in ‘A Wasted Hour’.
These wonderfully engaging and always refreshingly original tales prove not only why Archer has been compared to Dahl and Maugham, but why he was described by The Timesas ‘probably the greatest storyteller of our age’.
PRAISE FOR THE AUTHOR
‘If there was a Nobel prize for storytelling, Archer would win’ Daily Telegraph
‘The short story has always been Jeffrey Archer’s strong suit and here he grips you quickly, puts you on the scent of a mystery, and moves you towards a charming moment of revelation’ The Scotsman
‘Stylish, witty and constantly entertaining . . . Jeffrey Archer has a natural aptitude for short stories’ The Times
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jeffrey Archer, whose novels and short stories include Kane and Abel,A Prisoner of Birth and Cat O’ Nine Tales, has topped the bestseller lists around the world, with sales of over 275 million copies.
He is the only author ever to have been a number one bestseller in fiction (nineteen times), short stories (four times) and non-fiction (The Prison Diaries).
The author is married to Dame Mary Archer, and they have two sons, William and James, two grandsons and a granddaughter, and divide their time between homes in London, Cambridge and Mallorca.
BOOK TITLE: REMNANTS OF A SEPARATION
AUTHOR: ANCHAL MALHOTRA
GENRE: HISTORICAL NON FICTION
First of all I would like to thank the publisher for sending me this book and giving me an opportunity to read a book of such a different genre. I don’t read much of Historical non fictions but this book gave so much idea about my country’s past from a different perspective.
This is not just a book, this is a treasure of memories.
We who are enjoying our lives in the free India know very less about the struggle of freedom moreover the struggle to thrive during partition. This book has real stories which touches heart and bring tears.
This book has a collection of eighteen short incidents, some of them are related to author herself. She on behalf of her research work has been to several families who has experienced the partition.
The stories are told keeping either some artifacts in point of view as in kitchenware, photographs, heirlooms, books, poems, many more or past memories that have seen and lived through the partition.
It was a great experience reading this book. We hardly get to know the stories of people who have seen the partition and the small incidents that may have no historical significance but has drawn a deep line in their memories.
I would recomend this book to all history lovers, readers who want to know about people and their past.
I won’t consider this book to be fast paced one since I rarely read non fiction but I was able to finish it within 10 days in my busy schedule of university. The stories are definitely intriguing and are very distinct from one another.
BOOK TITLE: FLAME IN THE MIST
AUTHOR: RENEE AHDIEH
GENRE: YOUNG ADULT FANTASY, RETELLING
I finished this book last week and it was a different kind of read for me. This book is a retellingbof the disney movie Mulan. Since I haven’t seen Mulan, I could do any comparison. At the beginning the story went with a fast pace but later it was lagging so overall it was a medium paced read for me. It was filpee with action scenes and a female character as the only protagonist, her name was Mariko Hattori.
This story is about Mariko and her choices, her freedom. When she’ll join the Black clan at first without her agreement disguised as a boy she never knew that she’ll be a part of them one day.
I felt like this story could have been more gripping and it lacked some charm and suspense but otherwise was a fine retelling and gave a lot of Samurai and Japan vibes