BOOK REVIEW: ENDURER

Book: Endurer

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Author: Kapil Raj

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Write India Publishers

Number of pages: 216 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story is certainly different from anything that I have read so far. It deals with the pertinent question of rape.

Palak is a beautiful young woman studying in college. She is leading a fun life of drinking, partying and even drugs with her group of friends. While stoic Rohin in her group of friends appears to be attracted to her, Palak herself is interested in another friend Jahan.

Palak’s life takes a turn for the worse when she attends a rave party with her friends. She wakes up the next morning with no recollection of the previous night. But the battered condition of her body tells her that something serious and unpleasant has happened to her. She faces further humiliation when there is a sex video of her and Rohin doing the rounds.

Rohin takes Palak to his home town in order to get away from the gossip and speculation. Palak goes through a tremendous ordeal as she struggles to come to terms with what has happened to her.

Will Rohin be able to find out what actually transpired on the night of the party? Will Palak be able to heal? The author has beautifully depicted Palak’s thoughts, feelings and emotions in the story.

I recommend this book to readers as value for money.

BOOK REVIEW: THE TIMES WE LIVE IN

Book: The Times We Live In

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Author: Madhav Thapar

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 195 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story has characters from the author’s previous book, A Friend Like Karna, playing a role in the story. However, for this story, the author has weaved an elaborate plot with characters based in the United States, England, India and Pakistan. The story also goes back and forth in time, from 1947 up to the present day. Moreover, there are numerous sub-plots in the story. I will endeavour to review the book without giving away any of the suspense of the story!

Girdhari Lal Mehta’s family attempts to cross the border from Pakistan into India at the time of Partition, with the assistance of his close friend Sarfaraz Khan, the Inspector General of Police. However, Girdhari Lal’s family is killed en route with the exception of his two children Sushma and Jai Prakash.

The main characters in the story are the progeny of Sarfaraz Khan and Girdhari Lal. The RAW officer Shashank Puri also plays a pivotal role in the story. Morever, there is a deadly assassin codenamed Cobra whose identity is unknown.

The thriller is action packed and taut with various twists and turns. The identity of Cobra is not revealed until the very end and comes as a major surprise.

A fast paced thriller that is definitely worth reading!

BOOK REVIEW: A FRIEND LIKE KARNA

Book: A Friend Like Karna

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Author: Madhav Thapar

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 161 pages

My Rating: 5/5

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

The story is set in modern times but readers familiar with the Indian epic The Mahabharata can certainly draw the analogy between the epic and this thriller.

The story is about two of India’s elite families, the Desais and the Sahnis. Veer Singhi, the central character works for Pranav Desai, a media baron and his spoiled son Jay. Veer considers Pranav Desai to be his godfather and benefactor and is extremely loyal to him and Jay.

On the other side, the Sahni family comprises of Pran Sahni, his widowed daughter Aditi, her three sons Mridul, Vidit and Varun as well as Aditi’s maternal uncle Vidur.

The Sahnis decide to take out a contract on Pranav Desai which is partially successful. Veer on behalf of the Desais, decides to retaliate.

The story has all the ingredients of a potboiler with suspense, passion and betrayal all being part of the story. The lovely Nisha Kapoor adds to the glamour of the plot and plays an important role as she is engaged to Vidit and in love with Veer.

The story races to a climax with Veer’s parentage being part of the mystery. I just wish that the ending was different!

A Friend Like Karna is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers.

BOOK REVIEW: SCARS DO HEAL

Book: Scars Do Heal

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Author: Shilpa Menon

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 328 pages

My Rating: 3/5

MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of “Scars Do Heal” by Shilpa Menon in exchange for an honest review.

The main character in the story is Sonal Kapoor, who lives in London with her aged mother and runs a florist shop. Sonal moved from India to England several years ago, in order to escape from a traumatic incident. This incident has left her very disturbed and she is unable to trust a man.

A chance encounter with a handsome stranger in the grocery store leads her to dropping her belongings. The handsome stranger cares to track her down and return them to her. He is Dr. Ryan Percy, a cardiovascular surgeon.

Ryan is drawn to her and wants to get to know her better. Sonal tries to push him away but Ryan proves to be too charming to resist. He courts her in an extremely romantic fairy tale fashion until she too reciprocates his feelings.

It turns out that Ryan is also recovering from past wounds. Sonal opens up to him about her past as well. However, just when everything seems to be going on well, a ghost from Sonal’s past returns to haunt her.

All the characters in the story are portrayed very well and the reader will keep turning the pages to find out if Sonal and Ryan’s love story has a happy ending.

BOOK REVIEW: FOR THE SAKE OF LOVE

Book: For the Sake of Love

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Author: Anamika Mishra

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Westland Books

Number of pages: 171 pages

My Rating: 4/5

MY REVIEW: I received a copy of “For the Sake of Love” by Anamika Mishra in exchange for an honest review.

There are two parallel romances in this book, one is a love story that spans over decades. This story is beautifully depicted in the form of letters written by David to Jasmine. But is David’s love unrequited? Why has Jasmine never replied to any of his letters?

Twisha Khanna is the creative head of a travel magazine. Young, pretty and practical, she doesn’t believe in the notion of romantic love. She is sent by her travel magazine to Shimla on an assignment for a month, accompanied by her colleague Bobby.

In Shimla, Twisha and Bobby discover David’s letters to Jasmine. Fascinated by the letters, Twisha and Bobby track down David. They undertake to find out what happened to Jasmine and why she never answered any of David’s letters. They are aided in their search by David’s grandson Alex.

While they try to track down Jasmine, Twisha and Alex find themselves drawn to each other. But neither of them believe in the concept of love.

Whether they succeed in finding Jasmine and whether both the love stories have a happy ending, is obviously part of the suspense of the story and should not be revealed by me!

“For the Sake of Love” is a romance that will certainly appeal to readers who love that particular genre.

BOOK REVIEW: ONCE UPON AN IAS EXAM

Book: Once Upon an IAS Exam

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Author: K. Vijayakarthikeyan

Genre: Fiction

Published by: Rupa Publications

Number of pages: 138 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story is about Vishy, a young man from Chennai. Vishy qualified as a Mechanical Engineer but now dreams of becoming an IAS officer. In order to fulfil his dream, he needs to clear the UPSC exams.

After failing on his first attempt, Vishy now joins coaching classes to help him prepare for his next attempt. Vishy is now helped along his journey by his parents, his friend and love interest Rithika, his friends and teachers of his coaching classes.

The story brings to life the numerous pressures faced by the aspirants to attempt to clear the UPSC exams, one of India’s toughest exams. Will Vishy be able to withstand the pressure and crack the UPSC? The reader needs to read the book to find out.

If you are looking for a breezy and light read, I will certainly recommend this book to you. People of all ages can certainly understand and enjoy the book.

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.