Thursday, November 8, 2012

Book review- We need to talk about Kevin

This is definitely not the book you can take as a light read. It is simply one of those books that haunt you and is simply disturbing. Told in a series of letters by Eva to her husband Franklin, the book dissects the relationship of the parents with their first born Kevin. Kevin, just days before his sixteenth birthday kills 7 of his school mates, an English teacher and one of the cafeteria workers.

Told in a series of flashbacks, Eva recounts each of the incidents from Kevin's conception till he is a teenager. Even as a baby, Kevin refuses to bond with his mother right from the moment he is born, favouring his ever doting father. Was Kevin simply born wicked or was it his mother's indifference to him that made him who he is today? Whether Eva's description can be vouched on or whether Kevin is who he is because of the lack of his mother's love and care is left to the reader's imagination.

Throughout the book, we find various shocking and cruel things that seems to give Kevin his pleasure. We are also introduced to Kevin's sister - Celia whom Eva dotes on. Kevin seems to induce an almost sadistic pleasure on his family members including his Mom & sister.

There are some major twists towards the end of the book but you have to read it to find out! A must read for not only all parents but to those who keep wondering the root cause of evils that are so prevalent in today's world. Do give this one a read even if you don't belong to either of the above category, as this one is thought provoking for all.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Goat days by Benyamin

Goat days is a novel based on real life events by Benyamin that is translated from Malayalam by Joseph Koyippally. The book has received the Kerala Sahita Academy award for its original work. Though it is a fiction, it is based on the real happenings of Najeeb, an immigrant who came with high hopes and dreams to work in Saudi.
Leaving behind a mother and a pregnant wife- Sainu, Najeeb boards the plane to Saudi from Bombay in the hopes of realising his dreams. He is a resident of Karruvatta and like thousands of Malayalis hopes to make it big in Saudi Arabia.
But what waits for him is a horrible surprise. Made to live the life of a shepherd, in a desert where there is not even human company to even talk to, other than the Arbab or his sponsor who is cruel in his ways of treating both Najeeb and the animals, he takes solace in the company of the goats, sheeps & camels he herds. In short, he lives a Goat's life. He talks to them,  names them based on real life characters in his village in order to maintain his sanity.He considers them as his true brothers as they even save his life in certain situations.
Giving a vivid description of all the tortures that he has to undergo in order to save himself and finally escape the vast Desert, the narrative can be easily related to. Undergoing the painful torturesfor more than three and a half hours without being able to contact his family once during this time, Najeeb proves that hope & faith would eventually take you home.
I definitely recommend it. It is one of those books which stay with you & haunt you for days to come.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Book review- I've got your Number by Sophie Kinsella

Poppy Wyatt has lost her engagement ring given to her by her fiance Magnus, and what could be worse, she has lost her phone on the same day as well. The ring that has been in Magnus's family for three generations. As she searches for her ring in the hotel that she lost it, she finds a phone abandoned in a bin. Well, now she can leave a number at the hotel reception in case they do find her ring. There just seems to be a small problem though, the phone's owner, Sam Roxton seems to think otherwise. The phone belongs to his ex- secretary and he needs the phone back. ASAP.

Somehow, Poppy manages to convince him to keep the phone just for a little while longer, that she will return it as soon as she finds her ring and not only that, she would forward all the messages and call details to him. Juggling wedding preparations, surviving her scrutinizing in laws as well as hiding her left hand from them  and handling Sam's PA work seems to take its toll on Poppy.

But keeping another person's phone certainly proves to be entertaining as there are some messages, personal and official that Poppy couldn't resist replying to. Like the message from Sam's Dad, who seems to be missing his son or the bossy girlfriend Willow, who Sam seems to be avoiding and also the long number of colleagues who seem to value Sam's opinion a lot. So Poppy decides to take matters into her own hands and replies to some of these emails as Sam, the result which turns out to be hilarious and definitely tickles the laughter bone in you.

Sophie Kinsella keeps the readers expectations high as with her previous works and this one will not fail to disappoint them. It is a good light read which definitely takes you into Poppy's world and would lift your spirits. Go for this one and its bound to give you a few good laughs! 

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Book review- One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

The book, like the title indicates is absolutely amazing. I have no other words for it. When I opened the book last night, I was planning on reading just a few pages before bed. But boy, was I wrong. Not only did the book keep me fully engrossed, I found myself reading the book until the end into early hours of morning. Yes, the the book is simply beautifully written and makes it easy for the reader to connect to each of the characters in it.

The book has a total of 9 characters trapped in a visa office of an Indian consulate in an American city due to an earthquake. Not knowing if they will be rescued or they would be able to rescue as they are trapped inside the broken down building, they have no option but to stay together and hope for the best. The 9 people are as different from each other as chalk and cheese. In order to survive the trauma and because they have no other option but to wait, they start telling each other stories. Stories about 'One Amazing thing' that has happened in their lives.

We see Uma - an Indian- American student who is confused about her parents' decision of moving to India after 20 years, Tariq - a young muslim who considered America as his country, angry at himself and everyone around him due to the happenings on 9/11, Jiang & Lily- the Chinese woman & her granddaughter, Mr Mangalam & Malathi- the visa officer & his secretary who are having issues among themselves, Cameron- an African American ex- soldier haunted by his past and finally a married couple- Mr & Mrs Pritchett who must both face the ghosts of their past.

Jiang surprises everyone by narrating the first story, of how she reached America and about her first love- an Indian man named Mohit. Malathi, the secretary working at the visa office, tells everyone her story of transcending from working at a beauty parlour and the secret lives of the high society ladies who visited the saloon & her life changing decisions she took while working there. Tariq, tells the story of his parents and how much the date 9/11 changed their lives and also about the one mysterious girl in his life- Farah. Lily- the confused and gifted teen tells about her brother, who opened the doors of the beautiful world of magic for her. Mr Pritchett narrates about his neglected childhood and how he found solace in the world of numbers. Mrs Pritchett, whose life was changed by a stranger she saw helping his wife remove her coat. Cameron, the soldier who is haunted still due to his dark past and his lost love. Mr Mangalam, his journey from the small town boy to the wealthy husband of Naina, who has tied him to her even though they are in different countries and his bitterness towards her. And finally, Uma, though in love with an American, finds herself wondering what is in store for her future once she goes to India to be with her parents.

The novel stresses on the magic of story telling and its powers. Of how we can find redemption even in the darkest of times. Each individual story is unique of its own and it switches between the past stories and the present one where the 9 people are united as though by some unknown fate.

The story is definitely not one to be missed. Do give this one a read and you will be hooked on to this book just like how I was. I would say a 5 on 5!!!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book review - The statistical probability of love at First sight

When I ordered this book online, I was expecting a thick fat book which I could read for few days and finish. But I was a little disappointed when it appeared that it was not 'Fat' like I wanted. But all the more, the  synopsis made me want to read this book ASAP. I also just loved the Book jacket! I know I know, we should not judge a book by its cover, but this book can be judged by its cover as it is just as pretty in the inside as well as out.

The book starts off as Hadley, the 17 year old reaches the Airport only to realize that she has missed her Flight by just 4 minutes. She is the protagonist and the book emphasis the importance of minutes and even seconds in our lives. She is supposed to go to London for her Father's marriage and it is with great reluctance from her Mother's side that she decides to meet the woman who her Father has decided to get married to.

But little does she know that Fate has other things in store for her. It is at the Airport that she meets the cute Oliver. Immediately they start talking when Oliver helps her at the Airport and she can't hide her delight when  she finds that have got almost adjacent seats. Hers is A & his C. As luck could have it, they end up travelling 7 hours side by side and Hadley finds herself revealing more about herself to this stranger she met just few hours back.

The book spans over 24 hours & it just this 1 day that changes Hadley's life. The imperfect relationship with her Father, her frustrations, fears & hopes are shown very well & though it is a young adult romance, I thoroughly enjoyed reading this one. Do give this one a read if you are a true romantic at heart as it has all the ingredients for a sweet story. This is one which makes us see a fairy tale even in our daily lives. 

Book review- Riot by Shashi Tharoor

Who killed Priscilla Hart? This is the question that is thrown into the readers' minds by Shashi Tharoor right from the start of the novel. Priscilla is the 24 year old American student whose work brings her to Zaligarh, a small town in Uttar Pradesh. Riot receives its rightful title from the Hindu Muslim riot which has been witnessed in India during 1989.

But more than concentrating only on the reasons for the Riot, Shashi Tharoor weaves in it a beautiful love story as well. Was Priscilla murdered by chance or was it a deliberate one by someone? These questions rush through our minds while reading the book. Priscilla comes to India for the project of educating women on Family planning. Is her death the outcome of an enraged Husband?

Lakshaman is the main character in the book other than Priscilla, the District Magistrate. What starts off as simply an affair evolves into something deeper, changing the lives of all around them.

Shashi Tharoor writes beautifully, from the point of all the characters involved in the Riot. From Priscilla's scarp book to Lakshman's journal to the conversation between her parents who are divorced and who come one last time to India to see the place where their daughter has lived her last few days.

Was she simply at the wrong place at the wrong time? "We are where we are at the only time we have. Perhaps its where we are meant to be". This is my most favourite line from the book and it still stays with me even after closing the last few pages. This book is certain to create an emotional disturbance somewhere in the corners of your heart.

I would definitely reccomend this one for all. It may not be a light read, but it it is one definitely worth reading. This is the only book of Shashi Tharoor that I have read and it leaves me wanting to read his other works as well. Definitely a must read for all and it promises to make you see the riots happening all over India in a new light.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Just Because....

Oh My God.... I really can't imagine I went this long without Blogging!!! It literally feels like surviving on hot water during summer. Okay, maybe that part was a teeny weeny bit exaggerated, but so what?! I did miss writing. But definitely not reading. I found myself the time to read a book whenever I could lay my hands on one. And yes, I am a very contented person in that perspective :) Sooo many good books out there and my thrist is unquenchable... More on that later though... For now I am happy being a contented person just writing her heart out after what feels like years... So, Adios until next time!!!
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