BOOK REVIEW: STRAIGHT TO NORMAL

Book: Straight to Normal

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Author: Sharif D. Rangnekar

Genre: Non-Fiction, Autobiography, LGBT

Number of pages: 222 pages

My Rating: 5/5

 

MY REVIEW: I received a review copy of ‘Straight to Normal’ from the author in exchange for an honest review.

The book is an autobiography of the author’s life, describing his family and childhood in Mumbai, then Kolkata and finally Delhi. The author has vividly described his struggles with academics, his excess weight and how his family and he struggled to cope with the untimely loss of his father.

He was vaguely aware that there was something different about him as far as his interest in women was concerned but due to the lack of available information during that period, he could not easily figure out that he was not inclined to be attracted towards women but rather towards his own gender.

The process through which the author comes to terms with his sexuality and the support received by him from his family and close friends is wonderfully depicted by him.

I found it extremely endearing that the author has placed so much emphasis on his objective of finding true love. He has been extremely candid in talking about regarding his failed relationships, crushes and various disappointments in life, as indeed a true autobiography should be.

The book is extremely interesting and thought provoking. I am sure that it took a lot of courage and determination on the author’s part to make sure that it was published. I hope that this book serves the purpose of dispelling the prejudices still held by many towards the gay community. I believe that everyone will definitely benefit from reading this book.

BOOK REVIEW: SPIRITS OF TIME BEYOND A MYSTERIOUS JOURNEY

Book: Spirits of Time Beyond a Mysterious Journey

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Author: Madhuparna Suman

Genre: Thriller, Fiction, Fantasy, Supernatural

Published by: Notion Press

Number of pages: 213 pages

My Rating: 3/5

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

The story begins with describing Neel and Nandini, a young married couple who lead a hectic and fast paced life. In order to take a break from their routine, they decide to go on a holiday. They finalise Georgia as their vacation destination.

Once they reach Georgia, Nandini has a strange incident in the hotel bathroom but otherwise they have a great time exploring the country.

The trouble begins when they visit Growley Palace. While exploring the palace, Neel and Nandini get separated. Nandini wanders into a garden and spots a tree with only one big apple on it. Tempted, she takes a bite out of the apple and falls into a deep sleep.

In order to save his wife, Neel has to face an angry ghost who is set on getting revenge. The story goes back into the past at this point while Neel hears about the castle’s history and the ghost’s motive for revenge.

The question that arises here is that will Neel manage to vanquish the ghost and rescue Nandini? The reader needs to read the story to find that out.

BOOK REVIEW: LOVE IS FOR LIFE & BEYOND

Book: Love is for Life & Beyond

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Author: Yashwant Kanodia

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Srishti Publishers

Number of pages: 212 pages

My Rating: 3/5

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

The story is about Nikhil who has been friends with Shanaya since they were children. Shanaya confesses her feelings for him and Nikhil realises that he reciprocates them. They begin dating and everything seems to fine.

Nikhil is accepted in a college in Germany to do his master’s but nobly decides not to go as his mother has been diagnosed with cancer. He joins the family business instead. Apparently his mother makes a full recovery but no mention is made in the story again about Nikhil pursuing his further education.

Nikhil gets very busy with work and Shanaya appears to be extremely free as she has issues with Nikhil not spending enough time with her. These problems don’t stop them from having a very graphically depicted sexual encounter in which Nikhil extremely irresponsibly tells Shanaya that he is not carrying any protection to which Shanaya is equally irresponsible in assuring him that she will take the pill!

Despite this however, their problems continue and Nikhil discovers something about Shanaya that leads him to break up with her. A lot of melodrama takes place after the break up and Shanaya assures him that she will ‘prove’ her love for him in a couple of years.

Time passes and Nikhil is still unable to forget about Shanaya. Even though he meets Ridhima, he feels that he still loves Shanaya. Will he be able to forgive her and get back together with her?

Of course the question that arose to me while I was reading the book was that when Nikhil was so sure of his feelings for Shanaya, then why didn’t he just tell his family about her and make it official between them, especially as he was settled in the family business and she was an old friend of his? That would have taken care of the problem of him not being able to spend time with Shanaya.

I’m sure that the reader will have his or her own questions while reading the book.

BOOK REVIEW: SWITCH IN TIME

Book: Switch in Time

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Author: Rajesh Shankaran

Genre: Thriller, Fiction

Published by: GJ Group

Number of pages: 314 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

Lallan Ajmera, a business tycoon, suddenly announces that the beautiful Kamsin Ahlawat is his successor and will take over his business empire. Everyone is aghast at his announcement, particularly those closest to him, his wife Arati Devi aka AD, his son Mrigank and daughter-in-law Neeti and his second in command Ajay Parashar. They suspect that Kamsin has a hold over Lallan and Ajay and Mrigank in particular are determined to find out what it is.

In the meantime, Lallan’s business rival Rasheshwar Jatia is found murdered in a seedy hotel. Inspector Bushra Khokhar is assigned to the case. Though Bushra struggles to cope as a single mother, she is still determined to solve this murder mystery.

How is the murder of Rasheshwar Jatia connected to Lallan Ajmera? Will Inspector Bushra Khokhar be able to unravel the mystery before any more murders take place?

The reader will have to read the story to find out.

‘Switch in Time’ is an extremely enjoyable suspense thriller and I recommend it to readers.

BOOK REVIEW: SOMETHING I NEVER TOLD YOU

Book: Something I Never Told You

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Author: Shravya Bhinder

Genre: Romance Fiction

Published by: Penguin Random House

Number of pages: 225 pages

My Rating: 3/5

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

The story is told in the first person by Raunak, aka Ronnie. He has been in love with Adira ever since she came to stay as a paying guest at his grandmother’s house. However, he is too shy to say anything to her. He even gifts her an expensive bracelet on her birthday but is too tongue tied to take credit for it.

Adira comes into Raunak’s life once again when she starts work in the same office as him, as a trainee. Fate plays a role in bringing them closer when they are chosen as a team to work in Australia for a while. Raunak’s manager, Rajbir also encourages Raunak to talk to Adira about his feelings for her.

Adira and Raunak do come closer in Australia but Raunak’s jealousies and insecurities drive them apart. Adira comes into his life once again and things go well for a while before problems faced by any couple come between them again.

Is there a happy ending in store for Raunak and Adira? Or will their relationship never work out?

Something I Never Told You is recommended as a modern love story that will appeal to lovers of romance novels.

BOOK REVIEW: THE CASE OF BLACK MAGIC MURDERS IN MUMBAI

Book: The Case of Black Magic Murders in Mumbai

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Author: Shilpa Jain

Genre: Crime, Thriller, Fiction

Published by: Bulbosa Services

Number of pages: 206 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The story is about ‘tantrics’ and black magic as is evident from the title. An ‘aghori’ learns that one can become immortal by offering sacrifices to all the ‘mahavidyas’. His guru refuses to let him follow that immoral path but the disciple kills his guru and embarks on his quest to achieve immortality.

Inspector Tanvi Yadav and her team are assigned to the case when Pari, the young daughter of a wealthy family is supposedly kidnapped by a ‘tantric.’ Tanvi suspects that Pari’s abduction may be part of a bigger plot.

Subsequently, a series of abductions start to take place in the city of Mumbai in which all the victims are young girls. The bodies of the victims are subsequently found murdered in the most gruesome ways.

Tanvi is determined to nab the person responsible for these brutal murders before more girls are killed. She is assisted by her able team and her love interest, the forensic expert, Dr. Abram Sheriff.

There is also an interesting sub-plot in which there is a burqa-clad killer on the loose who targets men who have committed crimes.

Does Tanvi succeed in catching the tantric responsible for all this bloodshed? What secret is Tanvi hiding? Who is the burqa killer?

The reader needs to read the book to find out.

I recommend this book to readers as a fast paced crime thriller.

BOOK REVIEW: DECEPTIONS OF TOMORROW

Book: Deceptions of Tomorrow

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Author: Kumar L.

Genre: Science Fiction, Short Stories

Published by: Red Knight Books

Number of pages: 70 pages

My Rating: 4/5

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

The book comprises of 11 short stories. These stories are all based on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), black holes and time travel.

I was introduced to Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics by way of this book. Many of the stories in this book are based on the Three Laws.

So what are the stories in the book all about? They range from topics as diverse as the thief who steals a star, a robot couple who long for their own child, a time travel zealot who decides to travel back in time to kill his grandfathers in order to solve the time travel paradox and a fun excursion to a black hole that goes wrong.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading these science fiction stories and that too from an Indian author! You do not have to be a lover of science fiction to enjoy this book. I am sure that every reader will enjoy reading this book. I recommend this book as interesting and convenient to carry along on a journey.