Posted in 3 stars, Book reviews

How I Became a Farmer’s Wife by Yashodhara Lal

39704956.jpgGenre: Fiction/ Non-Fiction

Date Published: April 19, 2018

Pages: 328

Source: Harper Collins India Review Copy

Goodreads Synopsis: Mild-mannered Vijay is the perfect good Indian husband – responsible and predictable. Well, at least he was, until he decided to turn Farmer! Vijay’s unsuspecting wife Yashodhara is caught off guard when, tired of the rigours of city life, he actually rents land and starts dairy farming! As if Yash didn’t have enough going on already, what with her high-octane job, three children and multiple careers. As Vijay dives deeper into his quirky hobby, the family is plucked out of their comfortable life in the steel-and-chrome high-rises of Gurgaon, and thrown headfirst into a startlingly unfamiliar world – complete with cows and crops, multiple dogs and eccentric farmhands, a shrewd landlady and the occasional rogue snake. Will these earnest but insulated city-dwellers be able to battle the various difficulties that come with living a farmer’s life? A laugh-out-loud romp that’ll leave you wanting more!

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My View: For someone who thinks forever before picking up a book by an Indian author, it took me seconds to decide I wanted my hands on this one. The premise, by itself, was so interesting. And I am glad to point out the book did not disappoint. For a person who loves anything to do with gardens and plants, this was a delight!

I had no idea how hard it was to be a farmer but well, Yashodhara has unraveled it all in this very funny, quick read. The hilarious dialogues and witty comments make this an enjoyable read.

The book draws a parallel between three generations, their actions, and reactions, all of which create a funny scene and you find yourself nodding your head to how it relates to the people around you.

The book never gets boring and you find yourself turning page after page and miss it all when the book finishes.

If you are a wannabe farmer or are trying to discourage someone from stepping into farming, this just might be the book you are looking for. 😉

3/5 stars – I liked it.
3 stars

Author Bio:

Yashodhara Lal’s USP is in taking the ordinary and making it hilarious. She graduated from IIM-Bangalore in 2002 and has over 12 years of experience in the Marketing Domain across two large corporations in FMCG and media. She lives in Gurgaon with her husband Vijay, and the three small children they call Peanut, Pickle and Papad – all of whom never fail to provide her with material for her entertaining blog at

‘Just Married, Please Excuse’ is her first book. ‘Sorting Out Sid’ is her latest work of fiction.

Thank you, Harper Collins India for the review copy. All views expressed are my own and unbiased.


Posted in 3 stars, Book reviews

Where’d You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple

13526165.jpgGenre: Fiction

Date Published: August 14, 2012

Pages: 330

Source: Online Library – Audiobook

Goodreads Synopsis:

A compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

Bernadette Fox is notorious. To her Microsoft-guru husband, she’s a fearlessly opinionated partner; to fellow private-school mothers in Seattle, she’s a disgrace; to design mavens, she’s a revolutionary architect, and to 15-year-old Bee, she is a best friend and, simply, Mom.

Then Bernadette disappears. It began when Bee aced her report card and claimed her promised reward: a family trip to Antarctica. But Bernadette’s intensifying allergy to Seattle – and people in general – has made her so agoraphobic that a virtual assistant in India now runs her most basic errands. A trip to the end of the earth is problematic.

To find her mother, Bee compiles email messages, official documents, secret correspondence – creating a compulsively readable and touching novel about misplaced genius and a mother and daughter’s role in an absurd world.

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My View: I kept hearing about how funny this book was. It was years before I finally picked it up. Was it as humorous as everyone thought it to be? Not for me. The main character, Bernadette is insane. Insanely funny? Not really.

I wouldn’t say I didn’t enjoy this book. But going by the recommendations, not as much as I should have.

I did like the characters for their eccentricity and the plot for its uniqueness. However, as the story advanced, it started losing my attention and I just wanted to get it over with. I would say the first half is interesting while the latter is so-so.

It’s okay for a one time read. It takes more to make me laugh so perhaps I am an anomaly. You may give it a try and see if it tingles your funny bone.

3/5 stars – I liked it.
3 stars

Author Bio:

Maria Semple’s first novel, This One is Mine, was set in Los Angeles, where she also wrote for television shows including Arrested Development, Mad About You, and Ellen. She escaped from Los Angeles and lives with her family in Seattle, where her second novel takes place.

Posted in 3 stars, Book reviews

The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas

34530151.jpgGenre: Young Adult

Date Published: February 28, 2017

Pages: 438

Source: Penguin Random House Review Copy

Goodreads Synopsis: Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter moves between two worlds: the poor neighborhood where she lives and the fancy suburban prep school she attends. The uneasy balance between these worlds is shattered when Starr witnesses the fatal shooting of her childhood best friend Khalil at the hands of a police officer. Khalil was unarmed.

Soon afterward, his death is a national headline. Some are calling him a thug, maybe even a drug dealer and a gangbanger. Protesters are taking to the streets in Khalil’s name. Some cops and the local drug lord try to intimidate Starr and her family. What everyone wants to know is: what really went down that night? And the only person alive who can answer that is Starr.

But what Starr does or does not say could upend her community. It could also endanger her life. 

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My View: I kept hearing about this book on and on. So much so that as a Secret Santa last year, I gifted this book to my giftee even without having read it! So imagine my pleasure when my request to review this book was approved.

And there I had it. This beautiful book in my very hands. I kept saving it for later because I wasn’t sure I was ready for this awesomeness yet.

And then I began reading. I finished it in 2-3 weekdays. It isn’t a kind of book that will go for a slow read.

The subject matter is sensitive and I did get to know about so many of these incidents when I read through the author’s notes and googled one incident after another, apalled at the racism, the unfairness of it all.

However, as much as I am impressed with the subject matter and agree that a book on this topic needed to be written, I can’t say it lived upto the hype for me. I went in expecting amazing and ended up with an above average book. I think the problem lay in my not being the target audience. I should have let YAs stick to this instead.

One thing that kept getting in the way of my liking this book better was the 16 year old Starr who refused to behave as a 16 year old, more like 10 maybe. I acknowledge that this might have to do with cultural differences but I am not so sure about that. I wish she acted her age and then maybe my head could wrap itself around it.

I hope this book starts up the much needed conversation and helps people be more fair in their behavior and not look at everyone from racism tinted glasses.

If you like lots of drama, this would be right up your alley!

3/5 stars – I liked it.
3 stars

Author Bio:

Angie Thomas was born, raised, and still resides in Jackson, Mississippi as indicated by her accent. She is a former teen rapper whose greatest accomplishment was an article about her in Right-On Magazine with a picture included. She holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Belhaven University and an unofficial degree in Hip Hop. She can also still rap if needed. She is an inaugural winner of the Walter Dean Meyers Grant 2015, awarded by We Need Diverse Books. Her debut novel, The Hate U Give, was acquired by Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in a 13-house auction and will be published in spring 2017. Film rights have been optioned by Fox 2000 with George Tillman attached to direct and Hunger Games actress Amandla Stenberg set to star.

Thank you, Penguin Random House for the review copy. All views expressed are my own and unbiased.

Posted in 3 stars, Book reviews

Auroville: Dream and Reality: An Anthology by Akash Kapur

39286244.jpgGenre: Non-Fiction

Date Published: January 17, 2018

Pages: 256

Source: Penguin Random House Review Copy

Goodreads Synopsis: Auroville has a reputation as a cosmopolitan, spiritual township, but it remains an enigma to outside observers. What is life really like in the community? What do its residents believe in, and what are they aspiring toward? This anthology of writing from the community, edited by a long-time resident and representing forty-odd authors from around the world, seeks to shed light not only on Auroville’s ideals but also on its lived reality. The polyphonic narratives in this eclectic collection-including fiction, essays, poetry and drama-capture something of the dreams, hopes, disappointments and sheer hard work that make up this complex, layered and constantly evolving place.

Enlivened by cartoons and accompanied by rare archival photographs, Auroville: Dream and Reality is a view from the inside of this remarkable experiment in communal and intentional living.

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My View: Auroville. I had no idea this was a community in itself until a couple of years back. I only knew it as a tourist destination near Pondicherry and that I wasn’t able to visit it on my last visit to Pondicherry a few years ago. However, this book! There was a reason I asked to read and review it. I was intrigued by this whole community in itself. And technology be damned, I am just not the kind of person to google to satisfy her curiosity. Give me a book any day and I am happy. Especially this being an anthology helped.

The book unravels Auroville like I believe has never been done before. From where it all began to why and how, to what has actually turned up, it’s a journey in itself over the years. The anthology gives a plethora of information, lived experiences, pictures to feast your eyes on, and a deeper knowledge of Auroville, its inhabitants, their relationships with others, Auroville, and themselves.

The book is not merely all essays but also prose, poetry, even cartoons. There are love stories with sad endings and relationships that began and those that broke. There is the mission, the dream behind Auroville and the reality that it is, today. The book is raw, replete with truth, hiding nothing, being the way it is.

‘Auroville: Dream and Reality’ has quenched my thirst for walking in its labyrinths of passages and unveiling it like a new bride. I do wish to step into this world of its own, someday. Never to stay but always to visit and see it with my own eyes.

Akash Kapur has done a brilliant job collecting the material for this book. No wonder it has taken him 10 years to do it! But it’s all worth it. A must read for those interested in the magic and mystery of the place called Auroville where people from 45 countries reside together in a jumble of languages but aspiring to abide by the Mother’s mission.

3/5 stars – I liked it
3 stars

Author Bio: 

Akash Kapur is an Indo-American journalist and author. He is the author of a non-fiction book titled India Becoming, which was selected by The New Yorker and The New Republic as a Best Book of 2012; by Newsweek as one of its three Must Reads on Modern India; and by the New York Times Book Review as an “Editors’ Choice.” The book was short listed for the Shakti Bhatt prize, and an episode from the book was also excerpted in The New Yorker magazine.

Thanks to Penguin Random House for the review copy. All opinions expressed are my own and unbiased.

Posted in 3 stars, Book reviews

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

11505797Genre: Romance

Date Published: May 26, 2011

Pages: 319

Source: Owned Paperback

Goodreads Synopsis: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

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My View: I finished reading this book on December 3, 2017. It’s more than 5 months past. There’s a reason I didn’t write a review then. I couldn’t. This book set off so many things in me. There’s a reason I am writing this review today, on this very precise day. Suffice it to say, this book undid me. Not because it was beautiful or because it was disastrous or because it was both. Even without reading this book, for a challenge last year in one of my GR groups, I had to read a book with a title that described my current relationship status and as a joke (or maybe not), I chose this book’s title. At that time, I didn’t realize how close this book would hit the reality. Let me stop being morose and talk about the book instead.

Abby and Maddox. Do I love them? I don’t. Do I hate them? I don’t. Are they crazy? They are. Is their relationship doomed? Maybe. Maybe not. Do I feel for them? I do. I do. I do.

People have loved this book, hated it, slammed it completely. And if I didn’t know better, I would have flung it across the wall too. But I know. I know. And I couldn’t put it down. Not because of the disaster that their relationship was but because I knew what was going to happen. And I waited. In watch, I waited. And it happened. And then it didn’t.

I don’t think I am able to be completely objective about this book. It caught my attention for the first half for a reason and didn’t in the second half, for a reason too. I don’t think being objective is possible. Will I be reading it again? Maybe. Maybe not. Will I be continuing with the series? I won’t.

Should you read it? Maybe. Don’t go looking for reason or sanity. Think of the characters as fools. As people are in love. Or when they know Cupid is going to strike. All reason fails them. They can’t think straight. They follow their heart. That’s all they do.

So should you read it? Do. If you aren’t scared of disastrous relationships. If you like flinging books on the wall. If you like your heart broken over and over again. You get the point.

3/5 stars – I liked it
3 stars

Author Bio:


Jamie McGuire was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She attended Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma, and Autry Technology Center where she graduated with a degree in Radiography.

Jamie paved the way for the New Adult genre with the international bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Her follow-up novel, Walking Disaster, debuted at #1 on the New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestseller lists in all four categories. Beautiful Oblivion, book one of the Maddox Brothers series, also topped the New York Times bestseller list, debuting at #1. In 2015, books two and three of the Maddox Brothers series, Beautiful Redemption and Beautiful Sacrifice, respectively, also topped the New York Times, as well as a Beautiful series novella, Something Beautiful. In 2016, Beautiful Burn made an appearance on the New York Times and USA Today, and was also named iBooks’ Romance Book of the Year. The same year, A Beautiful Funeral also topped the New York Times bestseller list.

Novels also written by Jamie McGuire include: apocalyptic thriller and 2014 UtopYA Best Dystopian Book of the Year, Red Hill; the Providence series, a young adult paranormal romance trilogy; Apolonia, a dark sci-fi romance; and several novellas, including A Beautiful Wedding, Among Monsters, Happenstance: A Novella Series, and Sins of the Innocent.

Jamie is the first indie author in history to strike a print deal with retail giant Wal-Mart. Her self-published novel, Beautiful Redemption hit Wal-Mart shelves in September, 2015.

Jamie lives in Steamboat Springs, Colorado with her husband, Jeff, and their three children.

Find Jamie at or on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, and Instagram..

Posted in 3 stars, Book reviews

Tantra by Adi

17612202Goodreads Summary: Anu is a leather wearing, no-nonsense professional guardian with a reputation for killing the most dangerous vampires in New York City. But when her enemies murder the one person she truly cared about, all she wants is vengeance. The only clue points to New Delhi, so Anu puts in for a job transfer.

In India, she finds more than she expected. For one thing, her fellow operatives have made a truce with the vampires. For another, it’s way too hot to wear leather.

At first, it seems Anu’s biggest challenge will be evading the nice boys her aunt wants her to marry. But when children start disappearing, she discovers forces older and darker than anything she’s faced before. All of Delhi is in danger, especially the sexy stranger who sets Anu’s pulse racing.

To prepare for the coming battle, Anu must overcome her personal demons and put aside years of training. This time, her most powerful weapon will come from her mind, not her weapons belt.

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My View: The book cover and the beginning reminded me of Legend. However, the similarities ended just a few pages into it.

I had this sort of love-hate relationship with this book. I loved the way it started. ‘A vampire read by an Indian author, one of its firsts. And a wow female character at that. This looks like a great read’ was what I was thinking. But well, my happiness didn’t last long.

The vampires gave way to saints, the stake gave way to astras and the book went downhill for me. ‘Alas’, I wondered. ‘If only the book had stuck to vampires and vampire hunters’.

The book also had some uncanny resemblance to Crewel but it is nowhere as good.

But wait, didn’t I say I had a love-hate relationship? Where did the love go then?

Well, I loved the mature writing that scarcely (I have to sadly admit) graces the pages of an Indian authored book. I loved the humor and ended up smiling and laughing out aloud so many times. I really liked the mature characters and the main character of Anu packs a punch, just love her! The chemistry between the characters, be it harmless flirtation, friendly hugs or sparkling sizzlers was just wow.

What I didn’t like was too much Indian-ization of the book which truly wasn’t necessary and would have made a great story without it. Too much of astras, mind-boggling theories and some amount of repetition didn’t go down well with me.

Will I be looking out for the second book in the series? Probably yes, because I see potential in the author. The plot may not have been great but the writing certainly was.

Overall, a great attempt at his first book. But I was left wanting for so much more. A good read, I would say.

3/5 stars – I liked it. download (8)

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Posted in Book reviews

Forgiving Trinity by Liz Reinhardt

Title: Forgiving Trinity
Author: Liz Reinhardt
Published: December 2011
Pages: 194

Goodreads Summary: At seventeen, Trinity McCabe has already made enough mistakes to fill a lifetime. Especially the one where she got high, drove a car, and almost killed a dog. And then let her friend Aidan take the blame.

She’s clean now and desperate to fix the messes she’s made, but first she’s going to have to get out of her pajamas.

As Trinity struggles to stop sleepwalking through life, she faces the painful, tingling sensation of waking up. It’s sometimes embarrassing (she really didn’t want to have lunch with Aidan’s mom), sometimes terrifying (group therapy is beyond intimidating), and sometimes, amazingly enough, pretty romantic (who’d have though Aidan would be such a great kisser?)

Trin is lucky, though—luckier than she deserves, she’s sure—and she doesn’t travel this road alone. Her family, her therapist, and her new friends are all pulling for her. And it turns out, some of them have made pretty big mistakes, too.

But before she can embrace her new life completely, Trinity has to be forgiven by the one person who is holding out the hardest: herself. It’s not easy changing everything, especially when you don’t think you deserve a second chance. Trinity might make an even bigger mess of things before she figures that out.

When the smoke clears on her latest disaster, will anyone still be standing there?

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My Views: Hmm…this is a different kind of a book. It’s about things that matter and things that don’t. It’s about life, the mistakes one makes and how to overcome them.

The book is a little slow to start with, picks up pace in the middle and ends up slowly. However, this may be the best approach for this kind of a book, where things need to be laid out slowly into the open.

I really liked the way the relationships are shown in this book. It’s so beautiful, heart-touching at times and at others, so fragile. I loved Christian and Ruth, such amazing characters. The easy, heart- felt banter makes you smile and ponder about relationships in your own life.

I also liked the way the psychologist is portrayed in this book unlike the negative light they are often painted in.

The way in which this book is written by the author blogging and getting votes for what happens in the next chapter is both a novel and fascinating concept.

I think that sometimes the situations were stretched a bit more than was required and it could be because I love thrillers so much that the slowness frustrated me at times.

In all, this is a good book for understanding addiction and learning ways to cope up when things get tough.

3/5 stars – I liked it.

Posted in Book reviews

Slide by Jill Hathaway

Title: Slide #1
Author: Jill Hathaway
Reading level: Ages 14 and up
Hardcover: 256 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: March 27, 2012
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0062077902
Source: My Book Shelf

Goodreads Summary: Vee Bell is certain of one irrefutable truth—her sister’s friend Sophie didn’t kill herself. She was murdered.

Vee knows this because she was there. Everyone believes Vee is narcoleptic, but she doesn’t actually fall asleep during these episodes: When she passes out, she slides into somebody else’s mind and experiences the world through that person’s eyes. She’s slid into her sister as she cheated on a math test, into a teacher sneaking a drink before class. She learned the worst about a supposed “friend” when she slid into her during a school dance. But nothing could have prepared Vee for what happens one October night when she slides into the mind of someone holding a bloody knife, standing over Sophie’s slashed body.

Vee desperately wishes she could share her secret, but who would believe her? It sounds so crazy that she can’t bring herself to tell her best friend, Rollins, let alone the police. Even if she could confide in Rollins, he has been acting off lately, more distant, especially now that she’s been spending more time with Zane.

Enmeshed in a terrifying web of secrets, lies, and danger and with no one to turn to, Vee must find a way to unmask the killer before he or she strikes again.

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My Views: First off, I love the cover. It totally captured me!

I was hooked to this book within the first few pages, so much so that I didn’t want to sleep before I finish reading it. It was simply mind-blowing.

The concept is novel and not too paranormal to veer me away from it. I wanted to know what would happen next. The writing is simple and crisp. The characters nicely etched out. And kudos to the author for the concept.

Till mid-length, the book is amazing and I thought it would be taking a place in my favorites shelf, but that was not to be. After the first half, the book went downhill for me. There was too much going on, a few inconsistencies or lapses here and there. I like my mysteries sharp and clean. And though this one kept me guessing till a fairly good point, the mystery didn’t do it for me. It raised too many questions that couldn’t be answered by the book.

The book was so good to begin with and it just frustrates me that the mystery wasn’t good enough in the end. This book had the beginnings of a really good book but in the end it turned out to be just average for me. However, since this is the author’s first book, I find it to be a good enough start and would love to read her future books.

3/5 stars – I liked it.