Don’t You Cry – Book Review


Title: Don’t You Cry

Author: Mary Kubica

Rating: 5/5

Review:

Mary Kubica at her brilliant storytelling yet again! I loved her previous books “Good Girl” and “Pretty Baby”! She’s my new favorite author.

I was fortunate enough to grab a signed copy of “Don’t you cry” at Target recently. 

An engrossing, intriguing and suspenseful read! It captivated me right from the beginning. 
Quinn discovers that her room mate Esther Vaughan had suddenly disappeared through the fire exit. After rummaging her personal belongings, she discovers a letter addressed to “My Dearest”, signed EV. There are several other surprising events that unfolds- A girl calling Esther’s number in response to ad that Esther had posted looking for a new room-mate, a guy turning up at her apartment informing Quinn that Esther had requested for changing of locks, an affidavit saying Esther is now Jane, pile of shredded letters, etc. Quinn feels that Esther is trying to get rid of her and is looking for new room mate. She feels betrayed and backstabbed. The plot deepens when Quinn discovers few more letters addressed to My dearest- signed EV, and also appalling story of Kelsey, Esther’s previous room mate before Quinn, who had died of peanut allergy/poisoning for which Esther was blamed. Quinn begins to shiver thinking if Esther is plotting to kill her too? 

In a parallel story , a mysterious woman appears in quiet coffee shop where 18 year old Alex works as a dishwasher. Alex was abandoned by his mother and lived with his alcoholic father who sold Alex’s personal trophies and belongings for booze. Alex is working multiple jobs to make ends meet. Alex is now captivated to this mysterious woman and follows her everywhere like shadow – right from the coffee shop, to the beach, to the haunted house which is believed to be haunted by a 5 yr old girl Genevieve, who  had died of drowning in her bath tub, whilst her mother was tending to her baby sister.

The plot is full of surprise twists and turns. It’s a delightful read! As the story progressed, I found myself going back and re-reading the letters as they actually meant something else!

The Palace of Illusions – Book Review


Title: The Palace of Illusions

Author: Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni

Rating: 4/5

Review:

One of the greatest epic of all time- Mahabharata told from Draupadi’s perspective. How her birth had a prophecy that she will change the course of history, she will marry five husbands, become queen of queens, own the palace of illusions, lead a glorious life, but will lose her fortune because of her ego, pride, impatience, arrogance and anger that will lead to the greatest war in the history; which will lead to the death of her own children, brother and other loved ones, kill millions of people and render women homeless, helpless and as widows. A war in which the brothers, cousins, father, son, uncle and grandfather will fight against one another for the quest of power and supreme existence.

How she feels when her father uses her as a pawn at swayamwar to get her married to Arjun, only to gain his ally to fulfill his vengeance against Drona.

How she longed to find love and compassion after wedding, that was foiled by manipulative Kunti who made her to be shared by all her five sons; thus making Arjun not completely love her. She easily sees through Arjun’s frustration blaming her, when she is married off to his other brothers. The anguish, frustration she feels when vyasa blesses her to bed with one brother each year and go to the next one as a virgin, every new year.

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21 Books that I read in 2015

All thanks to my neighborhood book club meets and Goodreads Reading Challenge that I had signed up for in 2015, I was able to complete reading 21 books!! Yay!

This post is an entry for Indiblogger’s Indispire “Books I read in 2015” Challenge

 

Here is the list of Books that I read in 2015 along with my ratings and reviews:

img_3476Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Rating: 4/5

Review: here

 

yes-please

Title: Yes Please

Author: Amy Poehler

Rating: 3/5

Review: here

 

Pretty Baby

Title: Pretty Baby

Author: Mary Kubica

Rating: 5/5

Review: here

 

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The Martian- Book Review

img_3476Title: The Martian

Author: Andy Weir

Rating: 4/5

Review: One hell of “edge of your seat” read about the only survivor on Mars- Mark Watney, who was left behind by his Ares 3 crew when they forcefully evacuated the site on account of severe dust storm. With the next NASA mission arriving in next four years and his food supplies lasting for just 180 days, Watney, a botanist & mechanical engineer, is forced to grow his own food on Mars. He begins to grow potatoes on Mars by using his own dump as manure and producing water from hydrazine(where he almost blows up himself). He keeps a log of his daily activities hoping that someone would discover it after his death. He repairs and uses Ares 3’s rover and drives for three weeks to the Pathfinder lander and brings it back to the Hab to communicate with the earth.

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Yes Please! – Book Review

Title: Yes Please

Author: Amy Poehler

Rating: 3/5

Review: Apparently, this being Amy Poehler’s debut autobiography had received all the raving reviews, and also was part of my book club’s  chosen book. In this book, Amy keeps you rolling with laughter to her satirical jibes, as she reminisces her early days of struggles during her life as a stage comedian, her journey to NYC that made her BIG on Saturday night live, her friendships with Seth Meyers and Tina Fey, her pregnancy, her delivery, her baby, her family and relationships. If you are fan of Amy, you better read this book!

Mrs Funny Bones- Book Review

img_3373Title: Mrs Funny Bones

Author: Twinkle Khanna

Rating: 2/5

Review: 

Extremely overrated book which includes bombastic English words and amateur writing. A self-proclaimed humorist who takes a dig at everything Indian starting from joint families, Punjabi traditions, mothers-in-law, Raksha bandhan, Kurva chauth etc. She tries to give a sarcastic touch to everything but fails miserably! She should stick to writing columns in TOI than authoring books!

P.S: Buy this book if you just want to improve your vocabulary!

 

Pretty Baby – Book Review

Title: Pretty Baby

Author: Mary Kubica

Rating: 5/5

Review: If you love her first novel “Good Girl”, you will definitely love this novel too!

Heidi Wood, a charitable woman one day finds a homeless teenager, Willow with a baby at the train station. She feels really sorry for Willow and the baby and follows them everywhere to know about their whereabouts. She even pursues Willow to come home with her so that she can take care of them. She succeeds in bringing them home, to her shocking husband and daughter. They disapprove Willow and her baby and speculate that she might be a criminal. Heidi takes care of the baby and tends to it as if her own. Heidi has her own history of miscarriage and unable to bear the second child. She gets all nostalgic and paranoid about this baby. She even drives Willow out of her house and keeps the baby herself. In the parallel story, actually Willow was sexually abused by her foster father, who had given away her baby sister for adoption, whose adoptive parents later had their own second child. To avenge this, Willow had kidnapped the adoptive parents’ second child. The adoptive parents go searching for their missing baby and finally finds it with Heidi. Heidi on the other hand needs psychological counselling to let go of her dark past of miscarriage and her possessiveness to the baby that is not her own!

Reconstructing Amelia- Book Review

Title: Reconstructing Amelia

Author: Kimberly McCreight

Rating: 4/5

Review:

A psychological thriller about an extremely intelligent, high achiever Amelia, who is accused of plagiarizing on here English paper and committing suicide by falling off her school’s roof! Her mother Kate, who is a litigation lawyer blames herself and her busy career for her daughter’s death, until she receives an anonymous text saying “She didn’t jump”! 

Kate sets out on a wild goose chase procuring immense support from lieutenant Lew sifting through her daughter’s texts, emails and Facebook activities to discover the shocking dark truths about her daughter’s last days of life and people mysteriously involved in her death!

Captivating plot that will give you goosebumps questioning your parental skills and a drive to introspect “how well you know your own child”!

  

IAM Malala – Book Review

Title: IAM Malala

Author: Malala Youzufzai

Rating: 4/5

Review:

Inspiring story of a courageous girl who stood for what she believed in, where she recounts the events that unfolded in her life before and after the advent of Taliban in her peaceful hometown in Swat valley; numerous atrocities committed by Taliban; political instability in Pakistan during the reign of Nawaz Shariff, Benezir Bhutto, Pervez Musharaf and Asif Zardari; how their hometown was destroyed by coming under crossfire between Pakistan army and Taliban; how they were driven away from their own valley and lived as refugees in various cities of Pakistan; her longing and immense love for books and education; how she strived to make education available for all girls, her philanthropic work, her persistent fight to denounce terrorism and wrongdoings of taliban, LET, Pakistan government and army; and her efforts to bring peace back into her valley, and Pakistan in general, by being vocal in her inspirational speeches, peaceful demonstrations and rallies, her blog and tv interviews.

She is a fearless 15 year old girl who stood by her principles and morals and took the taliban’s bullet head on.
Even after she miraculously recovered the tragedy, she still continued her work for global peace and girls’ education by opening many schools and providing free education.

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HYPERBOLE & A HALF – Book Review

51wAAzcD2uL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Title: Hyperbole and a Half

Author: Allie Brosh

Rating: 1/5

Review: I ordered this book on amazon having read raving reviews about it by Microsoft stalwart, Mr Bill Gates. Needlessly to say, I am extremely disappointed with this book.

Absolutely immature and childish writing and narration. Save you money and give this memoir a miss!!

 

KANE & ABEL – Book Review

KATitle: Kane & Abel

Author: Jeffery Archer

Rating: 4/5

Review:

Engrossing read about the story of two men Kane and Abel born on the same day in two opposite parts of the world- one to a powerful Boston millionaire and the other being adopted by poor polish family.
These two men are driven by their aspirations, money and fame, hunger for power and dreams to establish their own empires that they leave no stone un-turned to destroy each other, by pursuing their vendetta against each other for more than thirty years, hurting everyone and everything they love in this pursuit; only to realize at the end that one of them had selflessly helped the other one anonymously during his time of crisis.

Outliers- Book Review

Title: Outliers

Author: Malcolm Gladwell

Rating: 5/5

Review:

A delightful read where Malcom relates statistical evidences and studies to prove that some people are successful not only because of their personal traits, intelligence or ambition, but, also, because they had an opportunity to be exposed to special privileges and opportunities to which others weren’t fortunate enough to experience.

He provides various scenarios and examples of:

1) how 10,000 hours of practice is required to make a person expert at something

2) how Bill Gates, Bill Joy had exposure to the first personal computers at their school/college which made them pro at computing.

3) how age cut off limit provides demarcation of star hockey, basketball players born before fall

4) why Korea had major plane crashes and they flipped things around

5) why Asians are ace at math

And many more. 

 

GRAY MOUNTAIN – Book Review

Title: Gray Mountain

Author: John Grisham

Rating: 2/5

Review:

Being an ardent fan of John Grisham, I found this to be a totally disappointing read.
Talks to length about coal mining industry and their illegal strip mining activities, which involves seizing lands illegally, blowing up mountains and reducing them to flat lands; causing environmental hazards like contamination of underground water leading to cancerous deaths, miners suffering from black lung disease due to prolonged exposure of coal dust and other illegal activities of denying claims to the coal miners and general population who have been suffering due to these unlawful mining activities.
The book was overwhelming with several other cases running in parallel.
Slow, boring and dry read with abrupt ending!

The Lowland- Book Review

IMG_9403Title: The Lowland

Author: Jhumpa Lahiri

Rating: 5/5

Review:

“The Lowland” by #JhumpaLahiri A captivating story of two brothers Subhash and Udayan set in the 1960s during the rise of naxalite movement in West Bengal. Even though Subhash and Udayan resemble each other, they have conflicting personalities. Subhash is silent and subdued; while Udayan is rebellious and demanding. Udayan is against the agrarian culture and is attracted by egalitarian ideologies. He becomes deeply drawn and becomes active member of the uprising naxalite movement and CPIM in Calcutta. Subhash on the other hand, leaves to US for his further studies.

Tragedy strikes their family, when Udayan is killed by paramilitary forces, in front of his parents and pregnant wife Gowri, for his involvement in naxalite movement.Subhash visits India trying to pick up ramshackle pieces of the tragedy that just ripped their family apart. He feels sorry for Gowri and entrusts himself with the responsibility of providing her a good life, by marrying her.

Back in Rhode Island, USA, Subhash selflessly strives his best to provide a great life to Gowri, and her new born daughter Bela, only to be abandoned selfishly by ungrateful Gowri to take up a teaching job in California.

Story emphasizes on Subhash’s sacrifice and selfless life which revolved around providing a great life to woman, who was his brother’s wife; a daughter and grand-daughter who weren’t his.

The Good Girl- Book Review

IMG_9391Title: The Good Girl

Author: Mary Kubica

Rating: 5/5

Review:

Intense than “Gone Girl”.

A fast paced story of kidnapping gone wrong; as narrated by victim’s mother, cop and the kidnapper himself!

Unexpected turn of events with motives being met, but at the cost of innocent being a “pawn in the game”!