BOOK REVIEW: DEAD TO THEM

Book: Dead to Them tempImageForSave

Author: Smita Bhattacharya

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: StoryMirror

Number of pages: 268 pages

My Rating: 5/5

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

“Dead to Them” is an intriguing suspense thriller with so many sub-plots that it is extremely difficult to review the book without giving away the story!

Moira Madhwa is a single woman who lives alone and works as a management consultant in Mumbai. When she has not been seen or heard from in several days, her colleagues and friends attempt to trace her whereabouts.

On the work front, there is her boss Himanshu, her colleague Kartik who appears to have had a complicated equation with Moira and her colleague Kavya who seems to be genuinely concerned about her.

Among her friends, we have Misha who is pregnant, her husband Piyush and Avni who is madly in love with her boyfriend Ashish. There are a lot of undercurrents and subtle tensions among her friends as well as colleagues.

The story is also partly told in flashbacks from Moira’s point of view.

As the search for Moira continues, it becomes clear that nothing is what it appears on the surface. The end of the story, is extremely unexpected and was surely nothing that I anticipated!

I highly recommend “Dead to Them”, as a highly enthralling and intriguing suspense thriller that will keep the reader guessing till the very end!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Smita Bhattacharya is a management consultant who lives in Mumbai. She can be followed on Instagram @smitabe

BOOK REVIEW: TRICKSTER

Book: Trickster    tempImageForSave

Author: Vinaya Bhagat

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Harper Black

Number of pages: 335 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story begins when Diya’s parents are killed by the “Chakwa” in what appears to be a car crash. Diya continues to live in her parents’ house but it appears that a mysterious entity is out to get Diya as well. Diya remembers her father telling her a story in childhood about the “Chakwa”, i.e. a trickster who can take any form he desires, animal or human.

Though Diya was told that her parents had no family, she receives a letter from India from her father’s relatives inviting her to visit them. Diya flies to India in order to find out more about her family.

She is warmly welcomed by Sunny Varghese and his family and learns that they were her father’s adoptive family. Sunny’s son Ronnie becomes a special friend to her specially when mysterious events continue to take place and deaths keep happening.

Diya meets her grandfather and much of her father’s family history becomes known to her. She then tries to find her mother’s family.

It is apparent to Diya that someone is trying to kill her, but is it the “Chakwa” or is it a human killer?

Diya manages to find her mother’s relatives and spends some days with them. It is when she is staying there that more supernatural events take place.

The story is definitely very interesting. The author has skilfully built up the climax in a way that the reader is wondering who the real “Chakwa” is. It is only at the very end that the identity of the “Chakwa” is revealed. I recommend “Trickster” as an extremely gripping suspense thriller.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vinaya Bhagat is an IT professional and author. She can be followed on Facebook and on Instagram as Vinaya Bhagat.

BOOK REVIEW: LOVE OF MY LIFE

Book: Love of my LifetempImageForSave.JPG

Author: Rohit Sharma

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Brosis Publishers

Number of pages: 274 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: The author Rohit Sharma provided me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

The story begins with a lawyer Vaishnavi Pandit waiting to meet a convict in Tihar Prison. The convict is none other than ex-Major Virat Singh Rajput, an army hero, who has confessed to his crimes.

Vaishnavi is on a mission to help Virat, mainly because she is desperate to win this case. But she also feels that Virat is innocent of the crimes that he is accused of. She convinces Virat to tell her about his romance with Pratishtha, i.e. the love of his life.

The story is told mainly in flashback, about how Virat and Pratishtha fall in love and get engaged. At the same time, Virat being in the National Security Guard (NSG) plays a heroic role in the Mumbai attacks of November 2008.

Pratishtha is recovering from a break-up with a rich playboy called Kabir but realises Virat’s worth and reciprocates his love. After they get engaged, the future seems to be extremely rosy. But when Virat returns from a mission to Guwahati, he is told that Pratishtha has disappeared.

The police treat Pratishtha’s case with indifference so Virat takes it upon himself to track down and give justice to Pratishtha’s kidnappers.

The character of Virat Singh Rajput is finely drawn as a heroic and loyal army officer and his loyalty and love for Pratishtha are really touching.

There is also a mysterious benefactor who keeps urging Vaishnavi to help Virat by proving his innocence in court.

The story ends with a thrilling criminal trial. Does Vaishnavi succeed in freeing Virat? What happened to Pratishtha? To get the answers, you must read the book, “Love of My Life.”

The story is definitely gripping and worth a read.

The book is available on Amazon.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Rohit Sharma is a writer and motivational speaker. He can be followed on Facebook at facebook.com/Author.Rohit and on Instagram @author.rohit

BOOK REVIEW: LIFE IS FUNNY

Book: Life is Funny   tempImageForSave

Author: Arun

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 132 pages

My Rating: 2.5/5

MY REVIEW: The author Arun provided me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

The story is about a young man Arjun Kapoor (not the Bollywood actor) who is bored with his job. He gathers his college friends into joining him on a vacation to Goa.

The story deals with his preparations for the trip, his flight to Goa and his stay there with his friends.

Their vacation sounds like every other young man’s vacation to Goa, they drink, go to clubs, check out women and drive around on bikes and go to the beach.

Arjun is the type of person who tries to find humour in every situation. The most interesting point in the story takes place when he meets an Israeli girl Christina. He teaches Christina to meditate and they exchange stories about their life experiences. However, after that, they do not stay in touch.

The story ends with Arjun and his friends leaving Goa and going back to their routine lives.

I found the story lacking in any exciting moments. “Life is Funny” is a book that is nothing out of the ordinary.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Arun is currently working in the R & D wing of a food based MNC. He is deeply interested in meditation. He can be followed on Instagram @seekeroffreedom

BOOK REVIEW: TRUST ME NOT

Book: Trust Me Not         tempImageForSave

Author: Ankita Verma Datta

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Jaico Books

Number of pages: 376 pages

My Rating: 5/5

BOOK SUMMARY: Reeva Rai is offered a prestigious position in a PR agency. When an activist friend turns to her for help with a real-estate scam, Reeva has to make a high-stakes choice. As she digs deeper to find solutions, a nefarious scheme unravels with unexpected connections.

MY REVIEW: I have received a review copy of “Trust Me Not” by Ankita Verma Datta from Writersmelon in exchange for an honest review.

The story has multiple plots and sub-plots as well as numerous characters. I will attempt to review the book without giving away too much of the plot!

Reeva Rai is a beautiful young woman who works in an advertising agency. While attending a wedding with her family, she meets a handsome and wealthy bachelor Kunaal Kabi. Sparks fly between them and Kunaal takes her number but fails to call Reeva for weeks.

At the same wedding, Reeva is introduced by Kunaal to Mr. Rishi Uttur, an honest politician and the president of Jagrut Bharat Party (JBP). The wedding is taking place between two members of the Thapar and Jaiswal families. The fathers of the groom and the bride, i.e. Mr. Ramcharan Jaiswal and Mr. Dindayal Thapar have arranged this alliance for business purposes.

Jaiswal and Thapar approach Rishi Uttur through Kunaal to get certain land released that has been earmarked for Garib Griha Pravesh Yojana. However, Rishi Uttur refuses to get involved in such a dishonest scheme, thereby earning the enmity of Jaiswal and Thapar.

A new colleague Shalini Ray joins Reeva’s advertising agency. Reeva finds her very cold to work with. Reeva is on good terms with Nihaal, the creative director of the agency.

Their boss Mr. Sehgal plans to form a new sub-division in their company and offers Reeva the job of Assistant Vice President and accompanying perks. It turns out that Jaiswal and Thapar are also the clients of the agency where Reeva works. Reeva is dismayed when she learns that Kunaal is joining the agency as Vice President.

In the meantime, Jaiswal and Thapar hire a mysterious person called the Fixer who operates through his assistant Manek Vir. Their ulterior motive is to bring down Rishi Uttur.

We are introduced to yet another character in the story, a social activist called Nandita Sahay. Trouble brews when Nandita decides to stand for elections as an independent candidate. Reeva, Nihaal and Shalini join Nandita in her struggle to save Navdeep Complex, a building inhabited by poor families that is scheduled to be taken down.

Arunabh Roy, a fiery journalist is another character in this story. He is manipulated by Jaiswal and Thapar to report negatively against Rishi Uttur and his party.

Events progress in the book at a rapid pace and the suspense keeps building. Who is the Fixer? Will Reeva and Kunaal’s relationship succeed? Will Nandita succeed in her election campaign? These are some of the questions that build up in the reader’s mind while reading the book.

I recommend this book to readers as it is an engrossing, interesting and taut story that will keep you guessing till the end.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Ankita Verma Datta spent more than a decade in the advertising industry before starting her own communications consultancy. This is her debut novel. She can be reached on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ankitavermadatta/ and on Twiter at @ankita_reflects

BOOK REVIEW: NICE MEN FINISH LAST

Book: Nice Men Finish Last              tempImageForSave

Author: Pravesh Vir Siddhu

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Pblishing

Number of pages: 216 pages

My Rating: 3/5

MY REVIEW: The author Pravesh Vir Siddhu provided me with a copy of his book in exchange for an honest review.

The hero of the story is Nandu, a genuinely nice guy, who is studying to be a dentist. He has a break up with his girlfriend and is also badly beaten up in the bargain.

Nandu is then influenced by his friend Sattu to become a womaniser in order to get over his girlfriend. Nandu tries it for a while and is successful at it too. However, once Nandu is through with college and is working as a lecturer, he finds himself falling in love with one of the students, Tanishq.

Nandu is back to being a nice guy again in his relationship with Tanishq but things go wrong and he finds himself out of a job and evicted from his apartment. Nandu moves to Canada for higher studies after having a last-minute reconciliation with Tanishq at the airport.

In Canada, Nandu has to juggle with his academics and his long distance relationship with Tanishq. Does he fail or succeed?

While reading the story, I could not help but sympathise with Nandu. While I actively disliked Tanishq’s character. The story is extremely relevant to modern relationships and worth a read.

The book is available on Amazon and in select bookstores.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pravesh Vir Siddhu is a dentist who is currently living in Toronto, Canada. He can be followed on Instagram @praveshvirsiddhu

PRODUCT REVIEW: XAF’S BATH & BODY (SOAPS)

This is a continuation of my review of the lovely Xafira Mendonsa’s amazing hand crafted soaps. Today I am going to review two more of her soaps.

The first soap that I have tried is called Orange & Honey. The soap contains orange peels and orange essential oils, which are useful in dealing with stress, depression and insomnia. The soap also contains honey which helps in keeping the skin hydrated. This soap is suitable for all skin types.

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The second soap is an interesting one: Calamine with Vitamin E! Calamine is the main ingredient in calamine lotion and is used an anti-itching agent. The soap also contains Vitamin E and Mint Essential Oils. This soap is particularly suitable for those with itchy skin. You will see a reduction of marks in your skin with regular usage of this soap.

The best part about these soaps is that they are free of artificial foaming agents (detergents), parabens, alcohol, petroleum and artificial preservatives.

I would definitely recommend these soaps to everyone. Though they are pricy, (each soap costs Rs. 250/), they are definitely long lasting and of excellent quality. Xafira lives in Mumbai and can be contacted on 9821735666 or on 9967586929. She can be followed on her Instagram account Creativity with Taste. She is also available on Facebook as Xaf’s Bath and Body.