Daughter of the Pirate King – book review

Author : Tricia Levenseller

Publisher : Feiwel & Friends, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers

Pub Date: February 2017

Source : Own copy

Get the book from Amazon.in

Book Blurb

If you want something done right . . .28116719

When the ruthless pirate king learns of a legendary treasure map hidden on an enemy ship, his daughter, Alosa, knows there’s only one pirate for the job—herself. Leaving behind her beloved ship and crew, Alosa deliberately facilitates her own kidnapping to ensure her passage on the ship, confident in her ability to overcome any obstacle. After all, who’s going to suspect a seventeen-year-old girl locked in a cell? Then she meets the (surprisingly perceptive and unfairly attractive) first mate, Riden, who is charged with finding out all her secrets. Now it’s down to a battle of wits and will . . . . Can Alosa find the map and escape before Riden figures out her plan?

Oh I loved this book and finished it in a SINGLE day!!! Yep, I’m excited about that because its been such a long time that I finished a book on the same day.

This is the first pirate based book I’ve read and it being about a female pirate is even more amazing. Alosa is such a kickass character and even though the book is a dead giveaway that its gonna be about a female protagonist, it was much more amazeballs to read it. I loved the magical elements that were infused in it (I’m not giving them away) and how they stuck well with the story and its sequel which is gonna be released next year (long wait!!).

Image result for gif free female pirate

Two things that kept gnawing at me – one was the age of the characters. How can 17 year old pirates be this sassy and strong and confident. When I was 17, I didn’t even know what I wanted to do with my life. The other thing is – Alosa’s manipulation technique. That was kinda against the whole feministic thing that was going on, you know, showing her as all powerful, unrelenting and then bammm!!  she manipulates using sex.

But seriously, I love this book and give 4.5 stars !

If you haven’t read this book, please drop everything and just go read it!..

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When Dimple Met Rishi – Book review

Author : Sandhya Menon

Publisher : Hodder & Stoughton, an imprint of Hachette

Pub Date: May 2017

Source : Part of August book box

Get the book from Amazon.in

Book Blurb

Meet Dimple.

Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech world domination. 28458598

Meet Rishi.

He’s rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she’s got other plans…

Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But when opposites clash, love works even harder to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

As joyfully refreshing as Rainbow Rowell, Jenny Han and Nicola Yoon, When Dimple Met Rishi is a frothy, funny contemporary romance told from the dual perspectives of two Indian American protagonists. While Dimple is fighting her family traditions, Rishi couldn’t be happier to follow in the footsteps of his parents – could sparks fly between this odd couple, or is this matchmaking attempt doomed to fail?

My Thoughts:

One line review – Cute YA contemporary romance that is sure to keep you busy for the day.

Let me just say I had too many eye-rolls at the beginning of the book where I felt few Indian traditions were overdone. I thought I was not going to like it, and I started judging too much. But after a few pages in, the book was mushy and cute and I started liking it.

I still cant accept the fact that 18 year olds are asked to choose life partners. Yeah, in some village in India, you can believe it is still happening. But not in the US of A. That one gave me a hard time believing it. And that too Rishi was the one who was kinda interested in that approach was even more unbelievable. Trust me, guys that young, do not have marriage in their mind.

But I was glad that the story was not completely about how Rishi is throwing himself at Dimple’s feet and instead about how she falls for him. I loved how Dimple was portrayed as bold and passionate. And how she urges Rishi to give in to his passion. And yes, parents decide your career path in India (mostly!) and Rishi’s life was a perfect example of how some parents steer you towards their unfinished dreams.

Apart from certain clichés, the book is certainly likeable. My rating 3 stars 🙂

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October Unboxing – Books N Beyond Box

Ever since I discovered(?!) book boxes exist in India, I make it a point to get one each month. And Books n Beyond Box has been a favorite now, I do buy from the others but notice how I write a review only for this 😛 Coz its that gooood 😀

The October theme was “Femme Fatale Kicking Arse since Eons” (that’s a mouthful :P)

I have vouched for this box enough times already on Instagram and here, so its enough to say i loved this month’s box. So off to the box contents…

🌟The BOTM is Wonder Woman Warbringer, book 1 from the DC icons series. We do know WW is a kick ass character and there were THREE more items – a Funko, the Wonder Woman patch (instant love!) and a Original (!!!!!) DC comic – based on the character.
🌟And honouring someone from the classics , it was none other than Jane Austen – a bookish pendant that looks vintage-y and gives you all the Victorian vibes…
🌟A spells coaster honoring the greatest witch of her time , Hermione Granger.
🌟 Inej Ghafa Quote designed by my favourite @kitaabee.keera (Check her on Instagram!!)
🌟 A book badge inspired by Arya Stark !
🌟 A t-shirt Quoting from Sarah J Maas book , the queen of YA Fantasy.
🌟annnnnnd Wreck This Journal by author/illustrator Keri Smith – sure to put you off of social media for a while and give work to the right part of your brain
🌟 All in all put together by our Wonder Woman Papiya, the curator of Books n Beyond box.

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IMG_5171  I’m having so much fun with Wreck this Journal but you can hardly call it as ‘wrecking’ :P.

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Bookstagrammin’ ?

So are you a bookstagrammer**, if yes, I would love to Follow you.

**This is a rare case – If you wonder what is bookstagram, my dear reader, its nothing but Instagramming books and everything bookish. I’m thinking why it hasn’t been added to the Oxford Dictionary yet ?!

So yeah, if you are a famous bookstagrammer with several K followers or just a newbie, drop me your Insta user name in the comments and i’ll follow you back. 🙂

My user name is @sweety_1009.

#instagrammathula_vaadi_vazhuvom!!

(translated as “Come, lets live in the world of Instagram” , a line from a popular Tamil song :P)

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hashtag bibliophile 😛

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Candles burning Trust

I’ve shopped online like for the last 6+years?! and never ever felt cheated or disappointed with recent disasters. If you don’t know I’m always active on Instagram and any bookish merch launches in India, I always make a point to give it a try.

India doesn’t have bookish candle shops , the only source for them is via book boxes or Etsy shops. While Book boxes outsource them from global shops, buying directly from the Etsy or individual’s shop online does burn a huge hole in your pockets, because of the enormous shipping.

So when this particular candle shop opened up on Instagram, people went gaga over it and the labels were all so cool and tins looked pretty much like the ones we drool over on Instagram. I joined the part a lil bit late, after seeing other Indian bookstagrammer’s reactions and reviews. Call me skeptical :/

So i ordered just one.. one candle from this “shop”. I think I placed the order towards the end of May?! There was frequent story updates that the postal service is down, the individual was sick, was busy etc etc all reasons pointing towards delay of sending the package.

But at the same time, the ‘reps’ posted pictures of new labels, new products from the shop which only made me more angry. After several followups and apologies, i finally got it sometime in July. I liked how the candle looked but never tried burning it 😛

I resolved not to buy anymore but when do I ever learn my lessons. I ordered two ‘limited edition’ candles this time and its been more than a month and a half, and i’m still waiting for them to show up.

This time the story goes like.. It was already shipped but to my old address and when i checked at the old place, the security swears that I did not receive any mail. I wasn’t even notified when the order was shipped. No tracking ids.

If you want to thrive in your business, make your customers happy. I hate giving bad reviews, but in this case, I heard similar complaints from other Indian bookstagrammers and I just can’t keep quiet.

I heard that the candle store is now launching their own subscription box. Nope, not ordering , not even giving a try.

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The Windfall – Book review

Author : Diksha Basu

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing India

Pub Date: June 2017

Source : Review copy provided by the Publishers (Thank you!)

Get the book from Amazon.in

Book Blurb

For the past thirty years, Mr. and Mrs. Jha’s lives have been defined by cramped spaces, cut corners, gossipy neighbors, and the small dramas of stolen yoga pants and stale marriages. They thought they’d settled comfortably into their golden years, pleased with their son’s acceptance into an American business school. But then Mr. Jha comes into an enormous and unexpected sum of money, and moves his wife from their housing complex in East Delhi to the super-rich side of town, where he becomes eager to fit in as a man of status: skinny ties, hired guards, shoe-polishing machines, and all.
The move sets off a chain of events that rock their neighbors, their marriage, and their son, who is struggling to keep a lid on his romantic dilemmas and slipping grades, and brings unintended consequences, ultimately forcing the Jha family to reckon with what really matters

Mr.Jha experiences a lucky windfall when his website brings him a huge sum of money and with it a quick turnaround in his life. Living in the shadows of his Uncle’s house his early days of life are unsuccessful and he manages to buy a small apartment in East Delhi. Mrs.Jha manages the household with her husband’s salary and works for a nonprofit organization helping artisans. Their only son Rupak is sent to one of the rich kids schools in Delhi where he always feels like an outsider.

Now in his fifties, Mr.Jha has his lucky breakthrough and a chance to start over in life. He begins by moving over to a posh neighborhood in Gurgaon, lavishly spending on the house and sending his son to the United States to pursue his MBA.

Rupak is a confused youngster who is still coming to terms with the sudden change in lifestyle and his parents decision to move to Gurgaon. He flunks in studies and has an American girlfriend, who he pictures to have the typical American sitcom character’s life and never pays attention to her in real life.

Mrs.Jha is forever in the middle, not knowing how to embrace the rich life and worries about every unwanted expense her husband makes but always proud of his hard work.

The book follows the life of the Jhas and those around them and how East Delhi meets Gurgaon in a funny way.

Mr.Chopra, the show-off neighbor of the Jhas in Gurgaon, does everything to impress people of his wealth and to prove his status. He takes pride in introducing his 28-year old son who he still supports financially because he simply can.

After the move to Gurgaon, there is a constant battle for status between the Chopras and Jhas to show off and Mr.Jha feels that it is totally necessary to keep up with his neighbors.

The book was so much fun to read and you can easily relate to the characters because we meet these kinda people in real life. The struggle to fit in and keeping up is a contant battle in all our lives and this book was very realistic. Its amusing to read how the rich struggle to spend money, the emphasis here, is on the spend and not on the money 😀 They really can’t figure out how to spend everything they have 😛

The book did put into light in a rather subtle way certain things in our society like the life of a widow, the scrutiny she has to undergo for every penny she spends or even just living her life. Widow remarriage especially a suggestion for online dating sites/matrimony sites for divorced & widows was good. Also, thrown in as a matter of fact was, how Rupak knows all about his father’s work but nothing about his mother’s. The understated sad truth about the majority of married women who give up career to concentrate on family.

Overall, this book was fulfilling and not once I thought it was a typical made for Bollywood kinda script. It was funny and without exaggerations.

My rating is 5/5 stars.

P.S. Hi !!

P.P.S  Sorry for disappearing for a while

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Who Me, Poor – Book review

Author : Gayatri Jayaraman

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing India

Pub Date: July 2017

Source : Review copy provided by the Publishers (Thank you!)

Get the book from Amazon.in

Book Blurb

The characteristics and reasons for urban poverty are manifold and seem to repeat across class structures: migration, culture shock, real estate costs and unrealistic expectations of city life, a lack of financial education, corporate cultures that perpetuate stereotypical workforces, a glamourised entrepreneurial culture that focuses on icons of spending instead of struggle, and economically and politically, the rise of the cashless credit economy and the demise of the thrift economy and its conservative icons.
Who me, Poor?: How India's youth are living in urban poverty to make it big
The book will use the case studies of young Indians, typically in their first or second jobs, migrants to major Indian metros, living in these conditions. The reasons for the poverty they experience are varied, and influenced by the industries they work for, their family backgrounds, other financial obligations, social stratas, and peer groups. There are so far, no studies available for this in India, and is a rising phenomenon in the US where it has been called ‘poverty with no name’. Gayatri’s short piece on the Urban Poor crossed 1.1 million views on Buzzfeed – the highest number for any Indian feature article to date

My Thoughts

Before heading to the review, I should point out that I’m not a big fan of Non-fiction and I have tried to give an honest review as much as possible.

The book is divided into four parts – Who are the Poor, Why do they spend, Brand I, Go for Broke. Each of these sections have several anecdotes and examples that are related to the titles. For example, the first section – ‘who me, poor’ has stories of people struggling to fit in, carve their niche, and in the process spend a lot of money to get attention and to build networks and survive. The story of the fashionista who skipped meals just because she needed money to live in the ‘happening’ place in the city and wear designer clothes shook me. The reason we spend is mostly attributed to the fact that a successful career depends on spending beyond our earnings. I’ve been working for the past 4 years, living away from home and I know what peer pressure, the easy money and the city life can turn you into.

The part about credit cards and EMI’s was like a wakeup call because I’m guilty of buying expensive stuff and paying excessive financial charges. And like me, there will be others, a huge mass of them. I felt like this book was meant for this crowd, (the ones who spend on something that to most parents would look unnecessary) to create an awareness, to make them understand that impressions can be made without the need for spending more than they can afford.

A must read, especially for youngsters who have just started out with their first jobs.

My rating is 3.5/5

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