Category: Books I Read and Reviewed!

Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah – Book Review

Hello all!

I am back with another book review! Wow! I really have got into a habit of reviewing books, but then when will I finish my book? 😏😏

The book that I finished yesterday – in line with my “complete in two days” habit – was Winter Garden by Kristin Hannah.


Blurb:

Meredith and Nina Whitson are as different as sisters can be. One stayed at home to raise her children and manage the family apple orchard; the other followed a dream and travelled the world to become a famous photo journalist. But when their beloved father falls I’ll, these two estranged women will find themselves together again, standing alongside their cold, disapproving mother, Anya, who even now offers no comfort to her daughters. On his deathbed, their father extracts one last promise from the women in his life.

It begins with a story that is unlike anything the sisters have heard before – a captivating, mysterious love story that spans sixty-five years and moves from frozen, war-torn Leningrad to modern-day Alaska. The vividly imagined tale brings these three women together in a way that none of them could have expected. Meredith and Nina will finally learn the secret of their mother’s past and uncover a truth so terrible it will shake the foundations of their family and change who they think they are. 

Mesmerizing from the first page to last, Winter Garden is an evocative, heartbreaking novel that navigates the enduring links between past and present and the layered landscape of the human heart. 

Review:

Wow! Just a big WOW!!! 

After I finished the book and turned over the cover of the book, I was left gazing in the space before my eyes. That’s the effect this book had on me! I couldn’t speak or think anything.

The story starts with two girls Meredith and Nina trying everything to catch their mother’s attention. They desire their mother’s love, which they have always missed. Their father is the one who tells them that their mother really doesn’t despise them. He assures his girls that their mother loves them, which the girls find hard to believe

Their life passes on. Meredith is a mother of two young girls while Nina is a famous photographer. Years later they are forced to come together when their father falls extremely ill. On his deathbed, the father takes promises from all the three women in life. Why does he want them to give their mother another chance? Though she doesn’t seem to ask for one. He tells them just one thing, to ask their mother to complete the fairy tale which she used to tell them when they were children.

What promises were those that bring the women, who are aloof to each other come together again? So close that they reach Alaska! What is the reason that the mother, Anya, has been like an ice queen to her own daughters? Why does she not feel cold? Why is she always in the garden though it is extremely cold? Why is the Winter Garden so important to her?
The story is bound to leave you speechless. As the story proceeded, lumps rose in my throat and I was happy to have selected to read this book!

A special thanks for the book goes to Josh! You should have a look at his blog and his latest post about his short film titled Positive! Congratulations buddy!! Waiting for the red carpet invite from you soon! 😂😂

Do read it my dear friends and you will surely love it!

This one gets a 5/5 score from me! A lovely book to read, a new experience and expressions that will leave you mesmerized!

Lots of love…

Syeda 

Calling for submissions for Anthology! #poetry #shortstories

Hello all! 

I am back after an unintended break. Some issues that cropped up regarding work and spouse health had kept me extremely busy. Soon will be up with a book review, but today I’m here to announce about an anthology!

This is open to all writers out there. Even international poets and authors can send in their entries. There are no hidden charges, for it is a genuine way to make dreams come true. 

Do send in your entries. Kindly spread the word so that all of us who dream and aspire to get published might just see it happen for real. 

P.S. Yours truly in involved in this, so friends let the entries come in abundantly!! 😉😍 Waiting to read your work!!

Lots of love and best wishes!

Syeda

Another Tale of Two Cities by Ezhuth Aani – Book Review

Hi all! 

I am back with another book review. So here it goes!

The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.

Blurb:

Fourteen thirty one is the year remembered for the martyrdom of Joan of Arc. But another landmark event was unfolding in a future French colony. Cambodia was a cultural cauldron of Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism. The largest metropolis of the preindustrial era was also facing a climate change calamity.

The story unfolds in fifteenth century Cambodia and travels to China, Sri Lanka, India and the Middle East, as Princes Adithya and Mahendra set out to seek help for their beleaguered country. Will the splendid twin cities of Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom survive? Who wins the heart of Mandagini, the warrior princess?

Review:

The cover is really intriguing. The reflection of the city and the hues do pull the reader towards it. 

The reader is taken into a world centuries ago, and the turmoils of the two princes, Adithya and Mahendra. Their dedication and patriotism towards the country is what makes them do the unimaginable and unbelievable. They are ready to face the impossible for the welfare of their motherland. And that’s what makes the story go ahead.

The tasks and missions they undertake for the people, their kings and their countries involves the voyages, the quests and the revelations of many things. The story tries to describe everything in detail -a lot of imagery in place. 

The storyline is set in Cambodia yet all the regions and the happenings of the world over are discussed and narrated. The characters are strong and described in detail. There are many minor characters fulfilling the needs of the story. 

I would give the book a 3.75/5. 

On the whole, the story kept me involved. A good read if someone is interested in the historical fiction genre. The reason it fall 0.25 short from the 4 is the extreme detailed description of things. As a reader, I find it a little difficult to follow the story if too much information is there, for it makes me restless for the story to move ahead! Kind of deviates me from the main storyline.

You can order the book from here on Amazon.

So that’s about it!

Lots of love and best wishes!

Syeda

Unns – The Captivation – Book Review

Hi all!

I am back on the review track. This week I was busy in my assignments. Finally when I was done with them, I could take some time out to read. So, here comes the review!!
The book is provided by Arudhaa Club in exchange for a genuine review.


Blurb
:

“Of course you know about the seven stages of love – but have you ever lived them?”

Atharva Rathod and Meher Qasim.

Lovebirds since adolescence. Bonded by love, separated by circumstances. They part ways only to meet again. But this time, he is on a secret mission…

Are they in control of their own destiny, or is it destiny which is making them dance to its tunes? Only time would answer, as Atharva and Meher unwillingly and unknowingly transcend the seven stages of love.

A quintessential tale of love and romance marked beautifully by its own rustic old school charm.

About the author:

Sapan Saxena is a software engineer by profession and an author by choice. Born in the city of nawabs, Lucknow, he earned his Engineering degree from MNNIT Allahabad. Sapan started writing when he was coding for a complex algorithm and found that a fictional story would at least make some sense.

Currently based in Nashua, New Hampshire, he is the author of the highly acclaimed FINDERS KEEPERS. Unns – The Captivation is his 2nd attempt at writing fiction.

Review:

A cover that makes you gear up as though you are plunging into a love story. Just my thoughts when I saw the cover of the book. 

Atharva is a simple, decent guy who has a different perspective towards everything in life. Meher is an ambitious and confused girl. She had an adamant personality while he is the patient one. Two contrasting people and as they say, opposites attract each other. So we have Unns – The Captivation.

The story starts slowly with the school days of Atharva and Meher, their meeting and falling in love. Little snippets of love, talks of romance and promises made, only to be broken later, are what follow as their love grows. The turn comes when Meher makes a decision and the world turns over for the male protagonist. 

Years pass by and Meher comes walking into Atharva’s life again. Is life giving their love another chance? Is the love he has kept in him, his power or his weakness? Why after so many years? 

The second half of the book, the part after he has grown up into a man, that’s where the story got me hooked and after that there was no way I could keep it down again. The story moved from here on as a thriller. 

Unbelievable and unexpected! 

Though I found it a little slow in the beginning, the latter part kept me intrigued with each turning page. What you don’t think could happen, happens! What you won’t believe, happens! What you weren’t ready for, happens! On the whole a well written story, woven well with the real world crisis we countrymen face. While Atharva is a well crafted character, after all he is the protagonist, the character of Meher is left like a mystery! Meher comes and goes. She appears and vanishes. A totally mysterious persona! Her character is left to the reader’s imagination and thoughts.

Rating: I would give it 4 stars …. for keeping me intrigued and lost in the enigma of Atharva! 😄

So that’s about it! The book is really one to pick if you are looking for a thriller+romance+suspense+drama package! Order it here on Amazon.

Keep reading! Keep sharing! Keep smiling!

Lots of love!

Syeda

Because Every Raindrop is a Hope by Mansi Sharma and Sankalp Kohli – Book Review!

Hi all! How is everyone doing? Missed me? 😄😂

Well have had some busy busy days, with school work dominating my schedule. Haven’t been able to write or read much these days! Life sometimes goes for a toss.😮

Anyway, me back here with a new review. Do check it out.

The book I will be reviewing here for you all is ‘Because Every Raindrop is a Hope’ by Mansi Sharma and Sankalp Kohli

The book is provided by Arudha Club in exchange for a genuine review.


Blurb: 

Caught in the turmoil of Underrated Love and an Overrated Infatuation, Raj today is at the cross road of life, where every road ahead leads to nothing but a Dead-end.

A thwarted soul with the guilt of not having been forgiven by Mahek, his frustration leads him to seclusion.

With no ray of hope, just when Raj is about to give up on life, a note, ‘Never give up Raj. . . Because. . . Every Raindrop is a Hope’ brings Raj face to face with his own self.

Why Love that makes Life beautiful, turns into Satan? Why friendship one fine say loses all its meaning? Why on the crowded roads of Mumbai city, Raj finds himself walking all alone?

Will Raj challenge life and fight back with the sword  of Hope or will he take the easy way out by succumbing to arduous tests of time.

Review:

The story talks about Raj and the ups and downs in his life. The misconception that most people have, when they think they know love. The story is about the man who is blessed with true love but does he recognize it? 

Does true love really exist? If so, how do we know when it happens? The story does try to cater to these questions. It is about a protagonist who is not all positive or goody-good man. It is about a man who has real life issues, regrets, heartbreak, friends, rivalry, distrust, and ego. Neither is he all bad. He is just human. That’s what I liked in the story!

The characters well written and the narration is also smooth. Yet I feel the character of Mahek could have been treated better. On the whole a good simple story for the young adults.

I would give it a 3.5/5.

You can order it here Amazon

Take care my dear friends!

Lots of love and best wishes!

Syeda 😘😘

A Thousand Dreams Within Me Softly Burn by Sahil Sood – ARC/Book Review

Hello friends!!

Back with another review. Now this one is special. Why? Well ’cause of many reasons.

**A new author got wings to his dream of publishing his book.

**A very supportive team of the publishing house.

**A different story.

**I was one of the few to receive the ARC! 😄😁

So, here is the review of the book titled A Thousand Dreams Within Me Softly Burn by Sahil Sood. 

Here is the cover:

(Totally love the hues on it! 😍😍)

Blurb:

Siddharth, a middle aged school teacher, struggling with an unfinished manuscript leads a solitary existence in a remote village in Shimla.

Gautam, a twenty two year old writer, burning with a desperate longing for romance, finds solace in Siddharth’s old essay on Thumri and spends years in search of him.

Phil, a young Jewish traveler from Missouri, beset by a difficult alliance with his Christian girlfriend in the face of orthodoxy, travels around the world and meets Siddharth at a cafe in Manali.

The answer to their longings resides in Siddharth’s letters and manuscript – the silent witnesses of the fate of two men and their love for each other.

A Thousand Dreams Within Me Softly Burn explores the depth of love and the power of writing that helps the human soul triumph over loneliness, alienation and shame.

Review:

The story revolves around the protagonist Siddharth and the events of his life – the present and the past. The way his life has moved, the highs and lows he faces, all the incidents decide the course of his life. 

The letters in the story provide us the inside view of the character and an insight to the society and the cultural aspect of the country and the people around. The different people Siddharth meets play various roles to mould him into the kind of person he becomes. 

Gautam and Phil add the present and future angle to the story. Their coming into Siddharth’s life helps him get rid of his anxieties and worries and clears his opinion about what he will do in the future. They come to show him the way he needs to travel. Knowingly or unknowingly, they are able to give direction to his aimless, goalless life.

Why is Siddharth always alone?

Why does love seem to elude him?

Why are people so apprehensive and things regarded as a curse or a taboo?

Do know these things do read it! 

The language is lucid and clear. The story moves smoothly, increasing the curiosity and providing the answers to the questions. The characters are well created. The story starts unraveling itself as you keep reading and that’s what keeps the reader intrigued. 

A well crafted story embedded with the richness and essence of the classics. Revealing to the reader the metamorphosis of the character and his journey till he is at peace with himself and the world around him. Indeed an amazing work by Sahil Sood. Hope the writer keeps writing!

Best wishes for him and the team behind it!

Important links:

Preorders available on Amazon. The book will be released on 24th January 2017.

 Paperback

 Hardback 

 EBook 

Lots of best wishes to the author and the publishing house.

Stay blessed and happy! Keep writing and reading!

Love!

Syeda