Book Review: Bombay Brides

Photographs can be deceptive


Book Title: Bombay Brides

Author: Esther David 

ISBN-10: 9352779452

ISBN-13: 978-9352779451

Publisher: HarperCollins

Format: Paperback

Pages: 216

Blurb: When Juliet and Romiel get married and relocate to Israel, they rent out their Apartment 107 in Ahmedabad’s Shalom India Housing Society to Jews. Each character who inhabits the house has a story to tell: about run-ins with the other residents, the diminishing community of Jews, cross-cultural conflicts, and the difficulty of choosing between India and Israel. Prophet Elijah, whom the Bene Israel Jews of western India believe in, plays an important role in their lives, appearing at critical or amusing moments and wreaking havoc with his mischief, but ensuring that ultimately peace prevails. Bombay Brides – as most Jewish men of Ahmedabad are married to women from Mumbai – is drawn from Jewish homes in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kochi, Kolkata and Alibaug. This is a story about home, heritage, rites, rituals, roots and what it means to be one of the last surviving members of a community in a vast multi-cultural country like India.

My Review: 4.5/5

Review: ‘Bombay brides’ is a collection of stories from the lives of women staying in the Shalom India Housing Society. The author has done a remarkable work with increased focus on the minority community-Jews. There are varied things which can be learnt about the lifestyle of Jews, their dining habits, their women and the Prophet Elijah. Inter-caste or inter-religion marriage is still a taboo in the Jewish community, maybe you would figure out why through the pages of their plot. A great fact about the novel is, there is nothing called as a boredom element in the plot.

The story has vivid characters in every chapter, be it Juliet who eloped and married Rahul (Romiel) or Myra, the mysterious lady, or even Georgia. The character like Ruby was quite strange, who could predict dreams seen by people. The character which I disliked in the story was Moses, who was weird in his own way. He ruined a woman’s life by subjecting her to give up her hobby and neglected the talent in her.

There are few instances in the story which indicate that making love is essential for couples to bond in this society. This is a very strong message blown out there for the relationships falling apart and misconduct of women in the society. The other essential message thrown out to the society is the importance of developing the interest within. These interests help you in defining your motive in life, even if you are abandoned in life… there is someone you can look upon in life, and i.e. You.

I have loved reading this book to the fullest, it helped me guiding through the lifestyle of Jews in our society. However, there is a sad ending to the book as it is pictured in Israel for its leg. It breaks my heart to read through the last few lines of the Bombay Brides.

“But then all love stories have a twist”

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Thank you HarperCollins for the wonderful copy 🙂 

Book Review: Once Upon A Genie

A perfect match, but not a love story

Book Title: Once Upon A Genie

Author: Durriya Kapasi

Publisher: Half Baked Beans

Format: Kindle


Pages: 183

Blurb: Daisy had no idea what was in store for her when she uncovered the priceless reward concealed in a miscellaneous bottle; a super sexy genie that would pull the rugs below her feet.

Khalil Muwahid, the genie owed Daisy his gratitude for freeing him from the trap. He generously asked her for three wishes without holding any grudges against her. Gradually there was a strong connection between them, the bond of love.

Also, the rules of Djinn world were amended for their love, where Daisy wasn’t supposed to ask for the third wish since they could be together, everlastingly.

BUT on the horns of Dilemma, Darren, Daisy’s best friend’s life was at threat. Does she use the last wish to save Darren? Or does she save her love?

My Rating: 3.5/5

Review: The story is one of the simple with the climax quite predictable. I must compliment the author for using simplified language and phrases in the course of the story. The plot is about the girl, Daisy who lost her grandmother and became a part of the misconduct her grandmother was responsible for. Daisy’s grandmother was an expert in witch craft; however her wrong spell led to bottling of a genie for some time. With the death of her grandmother, the gift bottle belonged to Daisy as a part of her grandmother’s last wish. The genie seems unconventional in the story, with a perfect built and on point romance stances. In the beginning, his presence startled Daisy, but with the passage of time, she acquainted herself with his presence all around. The story took turns with the course of wishes being granted to Daisy by the genie.

“A perfect match, but not a love story!” 

I failed to believe a romantic relationship between people of two different worlds. Well, I reminded myself that it’s all work of fiction and I should live in the world of fiction. The author has played really well with the characters, such as Darren who is Daisy’s best friend, Daisy’s mom, Jessica and even for that matter Thomas.

A number of thoughts play in mind every time, the genie kissed Daisy…. To find out more about the love between two different creatures you must grab your copy. There is more to be unleashed with the upcoming three wishes granted to Daisy by her genie. There is more to the relationship of a mother and daughter in the plot. There are some of the lengthy reference scenes described in the plot which were the only thing that I disliked about the plot. However, on an average the plot did well and would continue engaging its readers further. Every time, I read something involving a genie, I crave to have one of those from the Aladdin times. 

“Goodbyes are only for those who love with their eyes, because for those who love with their heart and soul, there is no such thing as separation.”

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Book Review: Chronicles of Kali

Words are born out of thoughts

Book Title: Chronicles of Kali: The Secret Book Of Asurs

Author: Prithvi Raj Banerjee

Publisher: Vishwakarma Publications

Format: Paperback

ISBN-10: 9386455862

ISBN-13: 978-9386455864

Pages: 240

Blurb: A fantasy/fiction novel that lures the reader into a parallel world of ferocious Subterranean Asurs plotting and planning to enslave the entire human race. Kali the protagonist, a regular teenager, soon learns of her supernatural abilities after which her life gets swept up in a whirlwind of cosmic adventure along with her companions; an ageless comrade, an unsuspectingmother and an enlightened master who help in fulfilling her destiny. The journey unfolds some thrilling mysteries across geographies; from the city of Angels – Los Angeles to our very own ancient Varanasi. An interesting read that cleverly clubs together history, adventure, and fantasy.

My Rating: 3/5


The cover of the book is fabulous, which had attracted me in the first place. The story is a combination of mythology and fictional world. The plot began with the high note about the protagonist Kali, who has been blessed with super powers. The exciting journey of Kali has been divided in four major parts. The plot has been pictured with a start where Pat is seen talking to the trees of the neighbourhood. The background built is mesmerizing, where the author Pat requires a new plot for her novel and decides to visit India. In India, she meets the master Vyas, and every meeting changed her perspective about life and demons.

The things I liked about the book are the strong definition of each character. Every character has some super powers of building conversation with strange characters such as animals and trees. There is drama in every chapter which helps in connecting the dots. However, in few parts, the story jumps between past and present which was a bit confusing to me as a reader. The beginning of the book kept me glued to the plot. The quest for the new book took Pat to India. The next part of the novel with the reference to immortal characters confused me. I believe the plot became plateau by the end of the part 3. Part 4 is more of the gist kind of the sub-division for the book. There are a lot of questions which would arise in your mind over the course of the plot.
So how did Kali get those powers….What did she do with them? To know the answers to these questions do read the story.

The language is simple and easy to read. However, there were quite a few typographical and language errors in the book.

Some lines from the book:

“Words are born out of thoughts”
“Very few people to free themselves from the acorn armour”
“Don’t let your thoughts control you by playing silly tricks”
“….one cannot be silent in hate“
“Thoughts that made life miserable”

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Thank you Vinfluencers for the review copy 🙂 🙂 

Book Review: The Unceremonius Revenge

Book Title: The Unceremonius Revenge

Author: Arpit Shrivastava

Format: Paperback

Pages: 145

Publisher: Half Baked Beans


Blurb: The story is about Aditya Thakur, a humble, ambitious man who very well knew how to speak his mind and about the love of his life, Alisha who was able to understand his deepest feelings. The story deals with the fact that love does not necessarily have a fairy tale ending. It’s about two people who are each other’s caretakers, secret keepers, partners in crime and best friends. They were leading a happy life until Achraj entered their life. Achraj, the spoiled son of Kesua’s Mayor, who could go to any lengths to satisfy his ego. This is not any other love story, it shows the true meaning of life that includes sacrifices, hardships, pain, courage, guilt and not just happily ever after. It’s a tale of love, malevolence, revenge, anticipation, and Acceptance.

My rating: 4/5

Review: The plot is a political drama, about rivalry between a common man and a man with powers, only to be misused. The story begins from a small incident at a college, driving Aditya and Alisha close to each other fortunately. There are incidences of marriage proposals and career decisions which bring them closer along with the acceptance of their families. The plot takes toll with the political suspense coming in with the beginning of rivalry between Acharaj Singh and Aditya. The characters have been portrayed very well by the author. The characters have been marked in their territory of action, with blooming friendship between Ashu (Aditya’s brother) and Alisha, love blooming between the couple and tales of togetherness between mother-in-law (Triveni) and Alisha. The story however takes a disheartening toll when Acharaj avenges his insult by raping Alisha barging into Aditya’s home drunk. The plot continues at a moderate pace, where there is sadness in the backdrop with a defeated Aditya and withered soul of Alisha. Aditya emerges as one of the strongest characters in the plot as the story progresses.

The author has a well-defined, simple writing style which makes it as one of the easy reads for the readers. The plot is a moderate pace with no story boarding involved in the write-ups. The characters are well-defined and help in providing a strong backbone to the novel.
Yes, there is a lot to explore about the rivalry between the Mayor’s son and Aditya. There is a lot to unleash about their lives in Kesua.

Some lines from the book:
“a sacred friendship blooming between them.”
“Your ego might be the end of you, mark my words.”

Reading a lot of books make you realize the life lessons that our parents teach us. ‘Never utter something hurtful to anyone.’ The time may pass-by but the words would always linger around, making them miserable about themselves. Curses remains around just like Karma. The same feeling Aditya experienced when Alisha left him forever.

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Thank you Half Baked Beans for the review copy! 🙂 

Book Review: The Wages of Life

Book Title: The Wages of Life 

Author: Vikram Kapoor

Publisher: Srishti Publishers & Distributors

Format: Paperback 

ISBN-10: 8188575305

ISBN-13: 978-8188575305

Pages: 237 

Blurb: The Hindu nationalist movement, Mahatma Gandhi’s assassination, a Seattle-based computer engineer and a Perry Mason novel are just some of the threads woven into the tapestry of this story. Meticulously researched, The Wages of Life interweaves India’s past and present to tell a story that blends fact and fiction, while retaining all the elements of a classic mystery—an intricate plot, unfolding through a fast-paced narrative, leading to an unexpected climax.

My Rating: 4/5

Review: The novel is a politically influenced book, which throws light on the events starting from the partition of India Pakistan to the murder conspiracy of Mahatma Gandhi. With the light on the book cover, I assumed it to be one of the self-help books. But with the part one of the book, I realized that the book is more about the political scenario existing in India.

The story is about Ravi Malhotra who is residing in the United States and lost his mother six months. Ravi lost touch with his family while While working hard for the green card and citizenship in America. His father was upset that Ravi didn’t come to attend the last rites of his mother. His father was continuously denying his request to come to America and stay with him. One fine day his father decided to stay and visit him in America, Ravi is happy and excited to bring his father with him. Hence he boarded a flight to Delhi. His flight landed on time and he was waiting for his father to pick him up, but couldn’t see him around. Instead, a friend of his father came to pick up him and gave him the most horrifying news about his father’s death in the road accident. It was too much for him to take at the instant.
Is the sudden death of his father is actually a road accident, not any conspiracy?

The book talks about the Hindu Muslim concept prevailing in India. It hasn’t changed much for the country I suppose. People still fight in the country on communal grounds. The truth has been described about why people in the country shouted slogan of “Let Gandhi Die”. The book also throws light about the RSS, and there has been a lot of research done on the subject by the author. I must say, the author has done one of the courageous work of his life, by writing about the controversial assassination of this country. 

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Thank you WritersMelon for the review copy

Book Review: Ashwatthama’s Redemption

Power begets Power

Book Title: Ashwatthama’s Redemption- The Rise of Dandak

Author: Gunjan Porwal

Publisher: Om Books International

Format: Paperback

Pages: 264

ISBN-10: 9352766350

ISBN-13: 978-9352766352

Blurb: Over a hundred years after the Mahabharata War, an ancient power threatens to destroy the new Age of Men, by establishing the Age of Terror of the asuras, long believed to be extinct. the only hurdle in its path is Guru Dronacharya’s son, the mighty but accursed warrior Ashwatthama, who lost all his powers following Lord Krishna’s curse and who unwittingly finds himself drawn into the quest of the lost bow of Lord Rama, the Kodanda. As ghosts of the distant past return to haunt him and the line between friends and enemies blurs, Ashwatthama must fight his inner demons to emerge victorious. He undertakes a perilous journey—across the vast plains of the Ganges, to the snow-capped peaks of the Himavant where the price of failure is a fate worse than death and death is a privilege not granted to Ashwatthama.

Is this all part of Lord Krishna’s great plan? Will Ashwatthama be able to regain his lost glory?

My Rating: 4/5

Review: The plot dates back to the Mahabharata, which means it is not just a fictional story. The plot is a well-versed and well-research work by the author. We have been listening to the stories of Mahabharata and Ramayana since our childhood days. There are some myths that we believed and some of it that we didn’t agree to. I am glad I was a part of the review process for such a masterpiece by the author. The characters are taken from the Mahabharata, and as the name suggests ‘Ashwatthama’ is the main character around which the plot revolves. There are other characters in the story, Rana Pratap Singh (Prince of Avanti), Valari (General of Avanti Army), Vikramsana, Guru Apasmitra, Urmila, Yeti and others. There are so many characters in the story which forced me to make a flow chart to study the background plot. There is a mention of Krishna’s curse on Ashwatthama, however the story revolves around the assassination of Asura King Dandak. There is a correlation between the Mahabharata and Ramayana, with the mention of the famous bow ‘Kodanda’ which killed Ravana. The plot involves the conquest for the search of Kodanda to avenge the asuras. There is no story boarding involved in the plot which makes the read faster with the story’s pace. However, the chapter ‘Ashwatthama’s Redemption’ is the best chapter, which consists of the conversation between a son (Ashwatthama) and his father (Dronacharya). The life lesson imparted by Dronacharya as a father helps in guiding him towards his goals. The plot has a lot more to offer to the readers in form of life lessons as well as hidden connection between the mythological eras.

Some of the favourite lines from the book:

“He was not a villain, not a hero”
“Second chances are important for redemption”
“Evil can only be defeated by determination and self-belief”
“War was best fought from a position of strength”
“Life plays strange games with every individual. Unless you connect the dots, everything seems meaningless.”

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Thank you WritersMelon for the review copy 🙂 

Book Review: Once Upon An IAS Exam

“Don’t ever give up on your strength.” 

Book Title: Once Upon an IAS Exam

Author: K. Vijayakarthikeyan

ISBN-10: 9353045959

ISBN-13: 978-9353045951

Publisher: Rupa Publications India

Format: Paperback

Pages: 142

Blurb: Set in the time of 2009 , the protagonist, Vishy ,a graduate in mechanical engineering, fails to clear his attempt for giving the toughest exam of our country – IAS . But with the statement from his father ‘You haven’t failed. Your success is delayed’ he gathers the will to attempt again but this time with the help of A Coaching centre,
From there his journey starts to find an appropriate coaching centre under budget to making friends there,giving class tests, making notes and the side his love story cooking with Rithika.

So the question is whether he will make it to being An IAS officer moreover firstly clearly the exams? Read the book to find out .

My Rating: 4/5

Review: The plot is a simple one where the story revolves around the coaching centres of Public Service exams. The story is about a failed IAS aspirant Vishy, who never lost hope in himself. The plot describes about some boastful aspirants. It also describes about the business of coaching centers in Chennai. It is very difficult to make out which is the best coaching center around for guiding students. After Vishy joins one of the coaching centers, the story picked up pace with different characters such as Vinod, Deepti, Mandhan, Ashok and many others coming into play. With the mention of classes, the plot takes us back to the coaching days where each one would have dreamt of achieving something unique in life. The plot revolves around the life of a student who aspires to become an IAS officer, along with a bunch of friends with same ambition but a different optional subject in mind. Another side of the plot takes us to the romantic aspect in Vishy’s life. Rithika, his childhood friend and best friend has been one of the supporting characters in the plot. She is the best girlfriend an IAS aspirant would have ever asked for. There are various sacrifices that a person makes in life, an IAS aspirant also makes those sacrifices… but Rithika made few sacrifices just for her boyfriend. The plot is quite simple with short descriptions of scenarios and conclusions. There is less of drama involved in the plot, which makes the reading simpler. The plot revolves around the IAS exam and the preparations… including the classes, lectures, boastful teachers, encouraging teachers, interviews and MS Dhoni. Yes, MS Dhoni, a key character in the story of the qualifying IAS aspirant. I believe it is one of the great short read describing the journey of Vishy from a student to the IAS officer.

Some lines from the book:

“Dress or appearance does not matter, boss, but efforts do.”

“Money will mask every tear in the world.”

“Cricket has solutions to even the most complex problems of life.”

“Don’t ever give up on your strength.” 

“Never do the same thing over and over again and expect a different result.”

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