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review SPOILER ALERT! 2014-11-14 07:04
Fade into Red by Reshma K. Barshikar

Thanks to the authoress Reshma K Barshikar for having sent across the book in exchange for an honest review. I have been waiting to review this ever since I started reading.

It is a lovely book based on the life story of an independent woman who is passionate about art history and is a banker by profession. She thinks her life is just perfect with the perfect job and the perfect set of people around, until she embarks on a journey which takes her to Tuscany for a deal as part of her job but it completely changes her life for good. This book gives you a Devil wears Prada or a Sophie Kinsella book feeling which is again reassured by the cover page of the book which is lovely and it also has a handsome hero in it.

The story is about Ayra who is sent to Tuscany to help a client buy a vineyard in Tuscany  and she leaves to Tuscany the same day she gets engaged to her childhood friend Karthik who is a very endearing character in the book. For quite a while I thought the climax made me sympathize with Karthik. There she guides the Malhotras in checking with various vineyards along with Ishaan Malhotra who is the main head honcho in this vineyard acquiring stint and Celio, the expert in wine making process. The descriptions in Tuscany about the nature as well as the wine making process is probably the best and my personal favorite parts of the book. I had never thought that it would get me really interested in the whole wine-making process, but I was totally glued when these things were described in the book. It also compelled me to google so much about wine. The authoress has really done a fine job here.

Then the story of course deals a bit about finding the true calling, friendship, following one’s passion, office politics and stuff which was quite predictable. But at the end, it was totally a surprise for me that Ayra didn’t choose to go with Ishaan but there is a hint of possibility in that last sentence which can give an opening to a sequel to follows this(Barshikar, are you listening?!!!!). It is quite difficult to choose a particular genre for it like romance, woman fiction. So I would put it into Chick-Lit. Yes, it falls in that category. There are many endearing supporting characters in the book of whom Narina was my personal favorite being Ayra’s best and ever-willing-to-help friend. Her parents, Aunt Ramya, Celio, Kartik all these characters bring out the best in the story.

I would give it a three out of five stars and would recommend it to all those who are fans of this genre. Its a fairly familiar themed novel yet delicious just like the vanilla icecream. If Reshma K Barshikar chooses to write a sequel to this one, I definitely don’t mind relishing it too :)

Source: loadstoread.wordpress.com/2014/11/14/fade-into-red-by-reshma-k-barshikar
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review 2014-09-30 12:36
Together Tea by Marjan Kamali

The authoress of the book Marjan Kamali was born to Iranian parents in Turkey. This is the first book I'm reading of an Iranian author and I thoroughly enjoyed reading every tiny bit of Iran mentioned in the book. Well, there are a lot of themes interwoven together. Through a mother-daughter relationship, the author tries to describe the history of Iran, the revolution, pre-revolution, post-revolution societal changes, freedom of women,  chasing your dreams and finding true happiness, and the dichotomy that lies in the character's hearts about where they truly belong to. There is a romantic subplot too but not very capturing.

Darya's is an immgrant who has shifted to United States during the Revolution with her husband Parviz in order to provide better lives to her three children-Hooman, Kavyon and Mina. Though she would want to go back to Iran any given time having struggled in US to adapt to its fast paced life, she knows the difficulties she would have to face there and also is quite skeptical to return. Her life comprises of her job, taking care of kids, her math club and finding the right husband for her daughter Mina for her twenty-fifth birthday. 

Mina is an MBA student whose true love lies in art. She is willing to take it up as a profesion but succumbing to parental pressure, she sticks to her MBA classes. In her mid-sem vacation she decides to make a trip to Iran to find the true Iran her mother boasts of. Her character is very endearing and through her trip with her mother, she realises and connects more with her mother. Her trip gets more cherishable with each passing moment as she learns to respect her Iranian roots and values, culture, tradition and history and when she meets her family after a gap of fifteen years after having fled to America when Iran was taken over by the revolutionists.

All is not the great in the book though. The romantic subplot of Mina with a stranger during her trip in Iran was unnecessary. Even the subplot of Darya's crush in one of the classes didn't add much to the plot. The description about places like Persepolis and other places at Iran could have been more elaborate. The section that talks of Revolution that took place in Iran and the society and rules that changed is my personal favorite.

I have read many books on immigrant experiences by various author who really struggle to keep your interest for long. But Marjan Kamali has done a great job with her debut book and  not one percent of the book feels like a sore moment. looking forward to read more by the author.

Rating:3/5(It is good and one-time read)

Source: loadstoread.wordpress.com/2014/09/30/together-tea-by-marjan-kamali
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review 2014-08-21 18:14
The Unwanted Shadow by Bhaskarrya Deka

Title : The Unwanted Shadow
Author : Bhaskarrya Deka

I won this book as a part of giveaway on Goodreads and I’m happy to be reviewing it. This book is written by a young debutante author and considering that Mr. Deka has done quite a good job.

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It is a very short book of roughly about 170 pages and can be read in one goal. The theme of the book changes from fiction to thriller to psychology to murder mystery all too fast. I am personally not a fan of these shifting genres and I would like it if they are part of different books and not stuffed all into one.

The book starts of with the story of Mohan who is from a small town in Assam who dreams big of going to Delhi for his further studies. The first half of the book is quite slow paced defining the intricate details of Mohan’s parents and siblings. Later it describes his student life and love story woven around the college premises and this doesn’t contribute much to the larger scheme of things. Also he meets his wife and then everything moves on frequently when suddenly there is a murder and Mohan moves to prison. The prison life is described in detail here. Yes! The theme keeps shifting like crazy and then Mohan is put into an infirmary where again lives of mentally affected people are given. There are two murders in the story. The intention behind the first one is quite convincing. But the second one was a little too much to digest. The plot failed to impress me in that part.

The cover page looks quite interesting and in the course of the story you realize the importance of two people in the book and the title seems just apt. If a Bollywood movie can be made out of this book, I can totally imagine Salman Khan playing such a kind of saviour like role. But for a debutante author, I appreciate him taking the plunnge to describe issue like child abuse in his first novel. The language used in the book is better than most of the IIT, IIM pass-out authors and you can surely spare a day for readng this out. I would give it a 3 on 5 stars for the effort of the author in his first book.

Rating: 3/5(You can surely give it a chance but you won’t miss out on anything if you skip it.)

Source: loadstoread.wordpress.com/2014/08/21/the-unwanted-shadow-by-bhaskarrya-deka
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review 2014-06-17 14:52
New Math is Murder by Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa

Title: New Math is Murder

Author: Jo-Ann Lamon Reccoppa

I got the copy of the book on an online ebook site Pixel of Ink. I don't follow the rule "Don't judge the book by its cover". Nice cover pages do attract me a lot. I have a lot of unread books in my Kindle, but this book's cover page tempted me to read this.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00029]

The book falls in mystery genre bit a bit of funny statements thrown in here and there. The story revolves around the life of Colleen Caruso, a journalist who has a lot of problems in her personal life. Her husband who has an extra marital affair is about to divorce her without leaving much of finance for sustaining. She writes low profile columns on the paper like some restaurant reviews, memorial or fundraiser events for a living.

One day she decides to go on a jog and trips over a dead body which happens to be that of Colleen's daughter, Sara's algebra teacher Jason Whitley. This adds more trouble to her life. What happens later is a complete mysterious detective adventure for Colleen when her newspaper editor Ken Rhodes asks her to cover up the story on a regular basis in order to get more advertisers and readers for the newspaper.

During this assignment, she goes through a lot of trouble herself when she gets hit in a supermarket, her car sinks by the bay, her house is burglarized. Little does she know that her life is in danger too. At some point she plans to give up writing about the column in the newspaper but gets back to do it to prove someone innocent which is revealed in the middle of the book.

The suspects of the story are the Jason Whitley's colleagues in the school who are competing for the award they are nominated for the best teacher category, his wife, his ex-lover, principal of the school, his current lover. There are totally 3 extra marital affairs which made me wonder about the sanctity of marriage. Also strange thing is that all the teachers including the principal of the school were from the same batch in the same school which was a little too much to comprehend.

But it was totally a page-turner.  There is also an unspoken friendship/relationship between Ken Rhodes and Colleen Caruso about which nothing much has been explored in this part of the series. The climax also came as a bit of surprise not for the killer but for the reason behind the murder. Saying more about the book would be revealing too much. Its a cozy weekend read. I would definitely want to read another book of the author if it comes up any time soon.

Ratings: 3/5 (Liked it)

Source: loadstoread.wordpress.com/2014/06/05/new-math-is-murder-by-jo-ann-lamon-reccoppa
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