The Windfall – Book review

Author : Diksha Basu

Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing India

Pub Date: June 2017

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

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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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Tell Me Three Things – Book Review

Author : Julie Buxbaum

Publisher : Delacorte Press

Pub Date: 05 April 2016

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb :

Everything about Jessie is wrong. At least, that’s what it feels like during her first week of junior year at her new ultra-intimidating prep school in Los Angeles. Tell Me Three ThingsJust when she’s thinking about hightailing it back to Chicago, she gets an email from a person calling themselves Somebody/Nobody (SN for short), offering to help her navigate the wilds of Wood Valley High School. Is it an elaborate hoax? Or can she rely on SN for some much-needed help?

It’s been barely two years since her mother’s death, and because her father eloped with a woman he met online, Jessie has been forced to move across the country to live with her stepmonster and her pretentious teenage son.

In a leap of faith—or an act of complete desperation—Jessie begins to rely on SN, and SN quickly becomes her lifeline and closest ally. Jessie can’t help wanting to meet SN in person. But are some mysteries better left unsolved?

Julie Buxbaum mixes comedy and tragedy, love and loss, pain and elation, in her debut YA novel filled with characters who will come to feel like friends.

My Thoughts

I love a good contemporary and this book just made it to my favorite list of contemporaries. A dead parent, a gay character, a love triangle – everything i usually get bore of in YA books. But this book was neatly written, nothing too much of all these things, just a little dash of them.

Moodboard

I loved the writing, the way Jessie n SN email/IM each other. The identity was really very obvious and that would have turned me off too usually but not this book.  What can i say, i'm seriously bitten by this one ❤

The one most important thing I loved was… how beautifully they portrayed the loss of a loved one, how each one was dealing with the grief. Not just concentrating on Jessie, but her step mom, her step brother Theo, here dad and finally Ethan (I love that name!!) And how they are trying to mend relationships with one another.

Fav quote:

There's nothing lonelier than a hand on a glass.. Maybe because it's so rarely reciprocated.

Tell me three things:

1)I love this book

2)I'm definitely reading all Julie Buxbaum books

3)My rating is 5/5 😀

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The One – Book review

Author : John Marrs

Publisher : Random House UK

Pub Date: 25 May 2017

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb

How far would you go to find THE ONE?
One simple mouth swab is all it takes. A quick DNA test to find your perfect partner – the one you’re genetically made for.The One
A decade after scientists discover everyone has a gene they share with just one other person, millions have taken the test, desperate to find true love. Now, five more people meet their Match. But even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking – and deadlier – than others…
A psychological thriller with a difference, this is a truly unique novel which is guaranteed to keep you on the edge of your seat.

My Thoughts

I will try hard not to include spoilers in my review.

I really liked this book and to my surprise I was not able to guess many things like i usually do while reading a thriller. Actually there’s a killer in this book, but it is revealed in the beginning so that’s not what I meant about guessing. The story actually follows five different people who in some way or the other have registered with the ‘Match Your DNA’ service that promises to find the person’s soulmate by genetic match.

So there are these 5 different narrations all of them told in third person and almost all the chapter gives you a surprise or shock. And in no way I could outguess them. I did , a very few but those were really obvious ones. Just when you think that like you are able to follow the story and predict how its gonna end, there will come another twist 😛

Out of all the five, I liked the serial killer’s story. I was able to guess that one’s ending 😀

There were some typos here and there but the writing was good. I’m not much into descriptive explanations and this book was crisp and didn’t go much into the details unnecessarily. I don’t want to reveal much about the characters but you will enjoy reading about them.

I highly recommend this book if you are looking for one with so many twists and turns.

My rating 5 stars 🙂

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Always and Forever, Lara Jean – Book Review

Author : Jenny Han

Publisher : Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Pub Date: 02 May 2017

Source : Own copy

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Book Blurb :

Lara Jean’s letter-writing days aren’t over in this surprise follow-up to the New York Always and Forever, Lara Jean (To All the Boys I've Loved Before, #3)Times bestselling To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before and P.S. I Still Love You. Lara Jean is having the best senior year a girl could ever hope for. She is head over heels in love with her boyfriend, Peter; her dad’s finally getting remarried to their next door neighbor, Ms. Rothschild; and Margot’s coming home for the summer just in time for the wedding. But change is looming on the horizon. And while Lara Jean is having fun and keeping busy helping plan her father’s wedding, she can’t ignore the big life decisions she has to make. Most pressingly, where she wants to go to college and what that means for her relationship with Peter. She watched her sister Margot go through these growing pains. Now Lara Jean’s the one who’ll be graduating high school and leaving for college and leaving her family-and possibly the boy she loves-behind. When your heart and your head are saying two different things, which one should you listen to?

My thoughts :

This is the last book of the To all the boys trilogy. You have to read the first two before starting this one.

This book kept me on my edge!!! Throughout the book I kept wondering whether Lara Jean and Peter Kavinsky are going to break up. I mean I was ready to break down and melt down into a puddle. Having read other Trilogies of Jenny Han, and remembering what a wreck it made me (I still feel sorry for Reeve Tabatsky from the Burn for Burn trilogy ;_( )

So while i was expecting the worst and was kinda prepared for it, I should say I loved this book. It didnt seem like a fitting  end to a series, the second book was more like it. But still, it felt like a nice long epilogue for what happens next in happily ever after.

It’s all about nostalgia, fear of the future and never leaving loved ones yet at the same time carving your niche!!

Kitty was and will always be my favorite of the Song Sisters, she is smart, witty, has great fashion sense and makes things funnier and happier.

Peter Kavinsky is bae and I loved the way he loves Lara Jean ❤ He is perfectly imperfect, a guy who learns to braid his girlfriend’s hair, who wants to surprise her in the sweetest ways possible but feels down when they turn out otherwise. ‘He is such a boy!”

I never like Margot and this book was the same for me, she is my least favorite Song sister. This journey of Lara Jean’s life is definitely a sweet, funny and cutesy story. And oh my god that ending!

My rating is ofcourse 5 stars 🙂

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Zenn Diagram – Book Review

Author: Wendy Brant

Publisher: Kids Can Press

Pub Date: 04 Apr 2017

Source : I received this eARC  from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Book Blurb

Eva Walker is a seventeen-year-old math genius. And if that doesn’t do wonders for her popularity, there’s another thing that makes it even worse: when she touches another person or anything that belongs to them — from clothes to textbooks to cell phones — she sees a vision of their emotions. She can read a person’s fears and anxieties, their secrets and loves … and what they have yet to learn about calculus.

This is helpful for her work as a math tutor, but it means she can never get close to people. Eva avoids touching anyone and everyone. People think it’s because she’s a clean freak — with the emphasis on freak — but it’s all she can do to protect herself from other people’s issues. Then one day a new student walks into Eva’s life. His jacket gives off so much emotional trauma that she falls to the floor. Eva is instantly drawn to Zenn, a handsome and soulful artist who also has a troubled home life, and her feelings only grow when she realizes that she can touch Zenn’s skin without having visions. But when she discovers the history that links them, the truth threatens to tear the two apart. Zenn Diagram, Wendy Brant’s sparkling debut novel, offers an irresistible combination of math and romance, with just a hint of the paranormal. Readers will swoon over Zenn and connect instantly with Eva, the most fully drawn prodigy in teen fiction today.

My thoughts:

Where can I start or how do I describe, this book was incredible. So intense!! And to think it’s the debut novel for Wendy Brant!

As you might have read from the blurb, Eva has this “power” that allows her to look into people’s emotions simply by touching them or their things.

I get these glimpses into people – the insecurities and struggles that make them who they are – but only a bit at a time..

She and her parents do not understand why and how she gets to see those visions – she calls them as fractals. After years of trying to understand its cause, she has given up therapy and decides that she will restrain herself from touching people and will invent the cure for it herself by getting into neuroscience research.

Thus continues her life, with only one best friend and cute quadruplet siblings and helps her parents with them. As she is extremely good in math, she volunteers to tutor the jocks in her school and saves them from failing the subject, thereby ensuring they can stay in their teams. When she has to tutor Zenn Bennett, she mistakenly touches his army jacket and gets a hell load of dark visions and is intrigued what sort of fractals they are.

They run into each other often and Eva finds herself attracted to him. Zenn is an incredible artist and Eva finds some of his work similar to the visions that she gets. So why is she getting fractals from his jacket and not from him. How is he able to put those fractals into art.  What is this connection that keeps pulling them towards each other and how the truth affects their lives is what follows later.

I loved the writing style and the idea of the fractals. Initially i was not able to connect with Eva because she comes out as a egotistical geek who thinks “C” grades are so much beneath her. But once the story gets moving, I could see how much her character evolves into a selfless person. Zenn… well he is tall, dark and handsome and is full of dark secrets that haunt him and responsibilities that overbear him. Another notable character is Eva’s mom. The fractals she gets from her mother was confusing but later we are told the reason for it and I get it. But that cannot justify her behavior in the latter part of the book.

Eva and Zenn’s chemistry …

This book is definitely a must read 🙂 Its easily a 5/5 for me.

Get this book from Amazon

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Memories of May – Book review

Author : Juliet Madison

Publisher : Escape Publishing

Pub Date : 05 May 2017

Source : I received this eARC  from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Book Blurb

They say that truth is stranger than fiction, but in Tarrin’s Bay, she’s about to find that love is stronger than time…

How gorgeous is this cover!! 

By day, single mother Olivia Chevalier runs the family’s bookstore and raises her nine-year-old daughter. By night, she escapes into a world of fiction where there is excitement, romance, and happy endings.
Both of her roles are endlessly rewarding, but Olivia’s life has not been without challenges, hard work, and disappointment. So when enigmatic travel writer Joel Foster walks into her bookstore – and her life – with his mantras of trying new things and taking risks, Olivia knows that nothing will change. But when a family dilemma surfaces, Olivia is compelled to enroll in Joel’s writing course to tell the story of her grandmother’s life. With each new day and each new page, Olivia discovers secrets about her family and truths about herself, and finds herself yearning to rewrite the story she has planned and seek a life as intriguing as fiction.

Olivia Chevalier’s close circle is a really small circle that includes her daughter, her mother and grandmother. She has very few friends, a bookstore -passed on from the family – to run and a nine year old daughter to tend to. The last few years of her life is nothing but busy and her life is little (make it big) short of excitement or adventurous. Her 90-year old grandmother, Mrs.May’s health takes a turn and she is forced to moved to a semi-dependent nursing home to spend the last few moths of her life. Olivia is quite attached to her grandmother, as she is sort of an inspiration to her, running the book store for three generations now. Joel Foster, a successful author who has written his memoir of surviving the wilderness -One more Breath, is in Tarrin’s Bay offering a short writing course that will help wannabe-authors in fulfilling their dream book. A chance encounter with Olivia, and Joel thinks she is “absolutely adorable, but so.. plain”.

With her grandmother’s health deteriorating, Olivia decides to write a book on her and in a spur-of-the-moment decision, enrolls in Joel’s class. Joel urges his students to think differently and and requests Olivia to start doing everyday mundane things in a different way, beginning with her food choices. As she tries to get her grandmother talk about her early life, she learns that Mrs.May had a secret admirer before her grandfather and is intrigued by the tales she shares. William, the not-so secret admirer, is sort of a dreamer, who wants to have exciting adventures and wishes to go beyond Tarrin’s Bay. The book moves to how Mrs.May became Mrs.Chevalier and book-worthy moments that Joel forces Olivia into.

Like a bucket list, but a book-worthy moments list. If you were writing your memoir, what things could you say that you’d done?

This is such a sweet book and I loved every page of it. The responsibilities of being a single parent and being a great one at that, deprives Olivia of all her 20’s and she is now in her 30’s with nothing exciting to share to her future grand kids. To rectify this, she agrees on Joel’s challenges and goes on a motorbike, a plane, paragliding and camping.

Her fear and excitement in doing things she normally doesn’t do is catchy and makes one be engrossed , thinking what would be Joel’s next challenge to her.

The very first lines of the book had me hooked.

If Olivia Chevalier’s head hadn’t been stuck in a book, she would….

I loved how Joel and Olivia start off – not insta-love, but being friends, teasing each other, flirting, getting to know each other , she through his book and he through observing her in class and their exclusive Friday lunch dates. Their texting gave me a smile, and nowhere in the book did i feel “Eww” it was cute and sweet all the way till the end.

A different closeness.. A mutual understanding and respect. He was looking for home, she’d been hidden away at home for too long. And somewhere in the middle, they had crossed paths, or collided, more like it

The love between William and May was tender and  Mrs.May remembers him through his incredibly beautiful letters and the books she read, which pushes her to keep a bookstore. Had the book ended with finding William, it would have been too much cliche. But it didn’t and this what makes me like it even more.

I think I could go on and on.. but I guess you get my point. Go Read this book.Now!

My rating would be 5/5, because I was never bored and I did not regret choosing this book. If anything, it brought back sweet memories of my own grandmother, who loved to talk non-stop about her dead husband, like a love-sick teenager.

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Attachments – Book review

Attachments is my second Rainbow Rowell book and the first one was Fangirl. I didn’t like Fangirl as much as I wanted to, but the hype for this book was totally lost on me. 😦

 

I had since avoided Rainbow Rowell, but decided to take a chance with this book. I’m glad I did 🙂

Book blurb

“Hi, I’m the guy who reads your e-mail, and also, I love you . . . “8909152

Beth Fremont and Jennifer Scribner-Snyder know that somebody is monitoring their work e-mail. (Everybody in the newsroom knows. It’s company policy.) But they can’t quite bring themselves to take it seriously. They go on sending each other endless and endlessly hilarious e-mails, discussing every aspect of their personal lives.
Meanwhile, Lincoln O’Neill can’t believe this is his job now- reading other people’s e-mail. When he applied to be “internet security officer,” he pictured himself building firewalls and crushing hackers- not writing up a report every time a sports reporter forwards a dirty joke.
When Lincoln comes across Beth’s and Jennifer’s messages, he knows he should turn them in. But he can’t help being entertained-and captivated-by their stories.

By the time Lincoln realizes he’s falling for Beth, it’s way too late to introduce himself.
What would he say . . . ?

This plot is set in 1999 when computers and Internet and Y2K were a new thing when it comes to publishing houses and newspapers. Beth Fremont and her friend Jennifer Scribner-Snyder are working for a newspaper as film critic and copy editor respectively. This is the dawn of internet and email security and their newspaper is the last one to join the world wide web and so they have security concerns about their employees surfing net, playing online or sending personal emails. So they hire someone for internet security and that someone is Lincoln O’Neill who has forever been a student, moved back to his childhood home to live with his mother after a bad breakup. Lincoln gets to read all emails flagged by the security system and Beth and Jen’s emails back to back in a day flag enough alerts that he starts reading them.

Slowly, Lincoln gets to know them through their email and eventually falls for one of them. But he can’t go and talk to her because he is guilty of reading their day to day conversations. He doesn’t even know who the girl is, but falls for her wit and sense and is caught in a compromising situation where he has to reveal his identity if he wants to talk to her.

This is so beautifully written, that i forgive Rowell for Fangirl 😛

I love the emails between Beth and Jennifer. But most of all i loved Lincoln’s mom. She just stole my heart ❤ For someone who is being criticized throughout the book to be insensitive or possessive, she turns out to be more deep and considerate.

“You were this little kitten, and you cried if i set you down even for a second. I dont know how i managed to ever take a shower or make dinner. I dont think i did. I was afraid to hold you too close to the stove..Why do you think I can remember that,” she asked, “when you can’t? Why does nature do that to us? Those were the most important years of my life, and you can’t even remember them. You can’t understand why it is so hard for me to hand you off to someone else.”

There’s so much to talk about Lincoln too..How much he is affected by his breakup and the loneliness he is subjected to. So the breach of privacy is like his personal sunshine to him and he cant just stop himself because he needs it. It sorta becomes a little fun when Beth is crushing on the cute guy in office who is actually Lincoln himself.

There are moments when you can’t believe something wonderful is happening. And there are moments when your entire consciousness is filled with absolutely something wonderful that is happening.

Do give this book a try. My rating is 5/5 because i was not bored, i loved the flow and loved Lincoln’s mom 😉

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