BOOK REVIEW: THE DIARY ON THE FIFTH FLOOR

Book: The Diary on the Fifth Floor

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Author: Raisha Lalwani

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 164 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I received a copy of “The Diary on the Fifth Floor” by Raisha Lalwani in exchange for an honest review.

The story is about Savannah, a young woman who visits Dr. Rama Berry, a psychiatrist, whose clinic is located on the fifth floor. Initially, Savannah consults Dr. Berry under false pretences. However, the doctor sees through her deception.

Savannah leaves her diary with Dr. Berry. This diary contains her innermost thoughts. There are several stories and incidents narrated by her in the diary.

There is a deep, underlying message in the book. Seeking psychiatric treatment is considered to be a social stigma in our society even today. Are the stories and incidents written by Savannah in her diary real? Did they actually happen to Savannah herself? Will Dr. Berry be able to help her? What is actually wrong with Savannah? These are just some of the questions that arise while reading the book.

“The Diary on the Fifth Floor” is an extremely interesting story that is worth reading.

BOOK REVIEW: SIN IS THE NEW LOVE

Book: Sin is the New Love

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Author: Abir Mukherjee

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 210 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I was kindly provided with a copy of this book by the author Abir Mukherjee.

Ahi Chatterjee is a lovely young woman whose father is the Director General of the Kolkata Police. Ahi has started her own publishing house Ankur along with her best friend Samim.

Ahi is thrilled to receive a manuscript from her favourite author Devang Awasthi. The difficulty is that Devang Awasthi passed away two months before Ahi received the manuscript.

Once Ahi delves into the manuscript, she realises that it is an account of the writer’s life, right from his abusive childhood up to his adulthood and old age. Various crimes committed by Devang Awasthi are narrated in the manuscript.

Ahi realises that the contents of the manuscript are extremely explosive. Determined to publish it, Ahi heads to Delhi in order to get written permission from one of Devang Awasthi’s family members for publication.

In Delhi, Ahi encounters Maya, Devang’s second wife, Dhruv, his spoilt son and Hari, his faithful servant. However, she is soon seeped into a quicksand of crime and intrigue.

Ahi meets and falls in love with ACP Abhimanyu Rathore and also learns some horrific secrets about her own past. Will Ahi be able to find out who is sending her mysterious messages? Was Devang Awasthi’s death a murder or a suicide? The reader will have to read the story to find out.

Sin is the New Love is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers.

BOOK REVIEW: ASHWATTHAMA’S REDEMPTION THE RISE OF DANDAK

Book: Ashwatthama’s Redemption The Rise of Dandak

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Author: Gunjan Porwal

Genre: Mythology, Fiction

Published by: Om Books International

Number of pages: 263 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Gunjan Porwal provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ashwatthama of course is a well-known figure in Indian mythology. A great warrior and an immortal, he is remembered for being cursed by Lord Krishna.

The story is set in the time period 100 years after the Kurukshetra War. Ashwatthama, who has been reduced to a shadow of his former self is living the life of a nomad in the forest. At the same time, strange occurrences are taking place at the southern border of the kingdom of Avanti. This leads King Vikramsena, the king of Surparaka, a kingdom in the Western Ghats and Rana, the prince of Avanti to team up. They suspect that the evil sorcerer Dandak is in the process of getting resurrected. Only a divine weapon can kill Dandak.

Accordingly, Vikram, Rana and Ashwatthama, embark on a quest to the mountains to retrieve the Kodanda, the bow of Lord Rama that killed Ravana.

Their quest takes them through the kingdom of Hastinapur, where they are welcomed by Janamejaya, the great grandson of the Pandavas. The three warriors are joined on their quest by Urmila, the princess of Indraprastha and the great granddaughter of Karna.

Their quest is fraught with many dangers. Though they manage to retrieve the Kodanda, this is just the beginning of their troubles as the “asuras” are on the attack. Will Ashwatthama and his friends be able to stop the rise of Dandak?

The action in the book is extremely fast-paced. The entire story is littered with many fascinating little-known facts and details about the Kurukshetra War.

I highly recommend “Ashwatthama’s Redemption”, as an extremely interesting story that has left me awaiting the sequel!

BOOK REVIEW: SECRET DIARY OF AN INCURABLE ROMANTIC

Book: Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic

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Author: Chitrangada Mukherjee

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Fingerprint Publishing

Number of pages: 278 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book by the author Chitrangada Mukherjee in exchange for an honest review.

The story is about Madhu (Madhubala), whose husband has died recently after only a year of marriage. Madhu now lives with her elderly mother-in-law and teaches Social Science in a school.

The story is witty, hilarious, extremely interesting and poignant at the same time. Though Madhu misses her husband intensely, she is still portrayed as a woman with normal needs and desires. She takes solace in alcohol and a fling with a colleague.

Madhu’s workplace, i.e. the school, is extremely well depicted with interesting descriptions of the staffroom, her bitchy colleagues, the pushy parents and the demanding principal.

I also loved the characters of Madhu’s parents and her mother-in-law Lalitaji as well as her best friend Pintu.

On the whole, the story is extremely modern and accurately shows the dynamics of relationships today. Will there be a happy ending for Madhu? The reader needs to read the story to find out.

I highly recommend ‘Secret Diary of an Incurable Romantic’ to readers as a real page-turner of a novel!

 

BOOK REVIEW: THE FULL CIRCLE

Book: The Full Circle

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Author: Namrata Gupta

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 122 pages

My Rating: 3.5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Namrata Gupta provided me with a copy of her book in exchange for an honest review.

The story is about Aditya, an avid traveller who is unable to stay in one place for long. However, he meets Zinnia, when he visits Darjeeling and finds himself drawn to her.

Zinnia has an extremely unhappy home life and Aditya initially feels sorry for her. However, they later become friends and end up falling in love.

However, there is a secret about Zinnia’s parents and her past and Aditya is determined to uncover it. Will he be able to uncover the secret before it is too late?

I recommend this book to readers who enjoy reading romance fiction especially those who like some suspense thrown into the story.

BOOK REVIEW: LOST WITHOUT HER

Book: Lost Without Her

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Author: Pournima Navani

Genre: Crime Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 224 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I have received a review copy of “Lost Without Her” by Pournima Navani in exchange for an honest review.

First of all, I would like to commend the author for having the courage to tackle such a difficult subject. We read about such horrific incidents involving young children almost on a daily basis.

The story is set in the sleepy town of Marsti in the state of Tamil Nadu. One quiet afternoon, Samantha George, the six-year old daughter of Inspector Anthony George, is abducted. Though there is an extensive search for her, only her body is found, that too showing evidence of a violent assault.

Inspector Tony, who recently lost his wife, now struggles to come to terms with his daughter’s violent death. However, he is determined that her death should not go unpunished. He launches an investigation into her abduction and death. Even though he is suspended from the police for his unstable behaviour, he continues with his hunt for Samantha’s rapist and killer assisted by some loyal friends and colleagues.

Tony discovers that the town of Marsti contains a lot of dirty secrets which come out as Tony digs deeper to uncover the truth. Tony also finds a connection to a similar crime committed many years ago. This leads him to suspect that there is a serial killer on the loose and takes him across Chennai, Bangalore and Tiruchirappalli. Will Tony be able to catch the killer on time before another young child becomes a victim?

The tension in the story is built up wonderfully. I recommend this book to readers as it is an engrossing, interesting and taut thriller that will keep you guessing till the end.

BOOK REVIEW: THE SUM OF ALL MY PARTS

Book: The Sum of all my Parts

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Author: Andaleeb Wajid

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Amaryllis

Number of pages: 287 pages

My Rating: 5/5

MY REVIEW: I was provided with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The story is about Mariam, an elderly lady living in Vellore, who is teaching four young women how to crochet.

Though Mariam is extremely critical at times about the crochet work of her four pupils, at the same time, she develops a fondness for each one of them.

The four young women are: Nimra, who is bullied constantly by her stepmother, Arifa, whose husband is away in Dubai, Amreen who is unable to get pregnant and Shaista who is going through an unwanted pregnancy.

In and around the design of each crochet pattern, each young woman’s story, along with her emotions and frustrations are depicted. Mariam, also has her own fascinating love story that she shares with her four pupils.

Mariam’s love story is told in an extremely interesting manner in the form of flashbacks.

All the women try to find a solution to their individual problems while creating an elaborate crochet pattern on a bedspread for Mariam’s granddaughter Faiza.

The author has woven a compelling tale and has beautifully depicted each character and her emotions.

I highly recommend “The Sum of All My Parts”, as a highly enthralling and interesting tale that will touch the heart of every reader!