Book Review: Red Queen

 

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Title:  Red Queen

Author: Victoria Aveyard

Pages: 383 pages

Publication: HarperTeen

Plot: This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

Fearful of Mare’s potential, the Silvers hide her in plain view, declaring her a long-lost Silver princess, now engaged to a Silver prince. Despite knowing that one misstep would mean her death, Mare works silently to help the Red Guard, a militant resistance group, and bring down the Silver regime.

But this is a world of betrayal and lies, and Mare has entered a dangerous dance – Reds against Silvers, prince against prince, and Mare against her own heart

Favourite Quote: “Words can lie. See beyond them.”

This book was on my to-be-read list since the time the book won the Goodreads Choice Award 2015 for the Debut Goodread Aurhor. I finally got around and finished the book in three days. With so much of violence, betrayal, plots twists and death of loved one, it was truly an intense read.

The world is divided in red and silver blood. The Silver’s are the royals with super powers and the Red’s are the commoners who serve the royals. Our protagonist Mare is a Red girl trying to make a living by stealing in the market. She lives with her family in a Red village with her parents and sister, while her brothers are sent off to fight the war for Silver’s. With turn of events Mare finds herself a place in the Silver palace and the story picks up.

With the world divided in royals with superpowers and mistreated commoners, and the protagonist being a downtrodden, the book holds resemblance to many books and movies. I have to admit that the plot is not totally unique but what keeps the reader going is the writing style. The way the book unfolds is quite captivating.

The revelation towards the end was a major twist and I can’t wait to read the sequel ‘Glass Sword’. The movie rights of the book have been bought by Universal Pictures and I would love to watch the motion film.

Ratings: 4/5

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Book Review: Chergui’s Child

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Title:  Chergui’s Child

Author: Jane Riddell

Pages: 278 pages

Plot: Thirty-something Olivia is recovering from a traumatic event five years earlier, when she is summoned to the bedside of her dying aunt, Dorothy. Shortly afterwards, she learns that her aunt has left her a large sum of money. She also receives a letter with a startling revelation. From Morocco to London to the south of France, this is the story of one woman’s journey to make her life whole again.

After Olivia’s beloved aunt’s death, she receives a startling letter from her aunt with some sum of money. After reading the revelations in the letter a lot of unattended emotions and questions come to life. The book is about Olivia’s pursuit to find answers. With Olivia on the quest to know the truth, the readers too will dawn upon a quest with her, feeling an urge to know the truth.

Our protagonist Olivia is has a complex character. She has been through a lot in life at so many different levels. She comes across as a confident, in charge of her life kind of a person at the start of the book, but as the narration progresses, her flaws and psychological concerns come to life. All the characters are flawed in some way and the author has backed it up with an explanation, making the book even more realistic.

Emotions are very well depicted throughout. I specially loved the way author described the various locations in France. I wanted to travel with the characters myself. The book is described from two perspectives. The present time narration is from Olivia’s perspective and the flashbacks are narrated from a third person’s point of view. This adds a remarkable essence to the writing.

All in all the book is an emotionally captivating read. In the end, the book will leave you with a hopeful feeling.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

Book Review: Kissing Katie

Title:  Kissing Katie

Author: L.T. Kelly

Publisher: Resplendence Publishing, LLC

Pages: 223 pages

Plot: Iraq war widow Katie Simmons hasn’t considered giving love another chance since the devastating loss of her husband. She’s happy sharing her love with her six-year-old daughter, Jessica. What more could she want from life?
Evan Waters is headed for the big time. He’s plowing his time, money and energy into recording Spires’ debut album. Following on in his British rock legend father’s footsteps, he has big shoes to fill, a mission made more difficult by his alcoholic mother.
When Katie and Evan meet on the London Underground, she denies his advances. Evan must find a way to demolish the walls she’s built around her heart. But even if he’s successful, will he be able to provide her with the commitment she deserves and still fulfill his ambitions?

The book revolves around Katie, who is an Iraq war widow living in London with her six year old daughter, Jessica. She works as housekeeping in a hotel and volunteers as a care center every week. After the devastating death of her husband Lee, Katie has refused to give love another chance, until her encounter with Evan Waters.

Evan Waters is a charming young man from States, nearly a decade younger to Katie, a struggling band artist, headed to be a rockstar, with mother issues. He has come down to London with his band to record an album and that’s where he meets Katie. They encounter each other at an underground Tube station and Evan from that very moment falls for Katie. Katie tries to resist and Evan never gives up. There are lots of ups and downs, cute moments, devastating struggles of past that come to light as the story proceeds.

I liked most of the characters. I simply loved the way Katie’s character was portrayed with strong ethics and values. Nothing mattered to her more than her daughter, not even her own happiness. Evan’s character was charming and I kept rooting for Evan throughout the book. What really took away the show was the twist at the end. It was totally unexpected and interesting way to end the book.

It was an interesting, easy to read book. It will surely not disappoint you.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

 

Book Review: Give It Back

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Title:  Give it Back

Author: Danielle Esplin

Publisher: Mira Books

Plot: This novel follows three characters: Lorraine, Lexy, and Ella.

Lorraine:

Not long ago, Lorraine lost her husband to another woman. She thought that was the worst thing that could happen to her, but soon she realizes it’s just the beginning of an everlasting nightmare.

Lexy:

Lexy, an au pair from London, moves to Seattle to help Lorraine with her infant son. But she didn’t come for the child…she came for something else.

Ella:

When Ella receives a call from her sister, Lorraine, who begs her to leave San Diego to spend time with her, she decides to take a few days off from work to visit her. Frightened to see how much Lorraine has weakened since her diagnosis eight months ago, she packs a bag and heads to Seattle with a foreboding feeling that this might be the last time she sees Lorraine.

But on her way to the airport, she learns that something shocking has happened since she last spoke with Lorraine and now. To make matters worse, once Ella arrives in Seattle, Lorraine’s story keeps changing, making Ella question how reliable her sister really is.

Soon Ella is entangled in a mysterious investigation, and more so, in the lives of everyone involved. She realizes not only that she won’t go home anytime soon but also that she’ll never look at others the same way she did before.

About the Aurthor: I’m from South Africa, and moved to Seattle, Washington, in January 2015. I’m 22 years old and I’m trying to live my dream by writing! My home language is Afrikaans, but I’m writing in English. This has been an amazing journey, and I would love for you to be a part of it!

The book is a psychological thriller based mainly in Seattle. I am trying hard not to disclose the plot, so I will tell you all a little about the plot and more about my comments on the book, consciously trying not to slip in any spoilers.

The book is written from three different people’s point of view. Lorraine who is a single mother, diagnosed with cancer, Lexy who is the Au pair employed by Lorraine and Ella, Lorraine’s sister who has come down to Seattle to visit her sister. Two people go missing and the investigation revolves around it. As the investigation proceeds shocking revelations come to light.

After a long time I read a book that kept me guessing until the end. Every time I thought I am close to guessing the mystery, I failed. The characters are very well built. Even though I was not able to relate to a few characters, I was able to understand their personalities well. The story is narrated in the past as well as present and this adds an interesting flavor to the narration. The turn of events are very well carved.  I was hooked to the book from the start trying to get to the end as soon as I could.

The book will be published on April 15th 2016 and I strongly recommend this book to all the readers who are in for a book which keeps you on the edge of the seat throughout. I will definitely watch out for more books by this author.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending an ARC of the book for an honest review.

 

Book Review: Conversation Skills for the Ultimate Professional

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Title:  Conversation Skills for the Ultimate Professional

Author: Dan Blaze

Publisher: Smashwords Edition

About the author: Dan Blaze has been involved in the art of sales and relationship management for over 16 years, having performed various aspects of sales including cold-calling, direct-selling, and independent sales and marketing.The Suadela Mercury Co was established for the purpose of providing independent services in sales and lead-generation Having dedicated several years to the pursuit of knowledge, and the experience to use that knowledge in real-life situations, Mr. Blaze, and The Suadela Mercury Co. now aim to share that knowledge with aspiring sales professionals throughout Canada, U.S. and the world.

Plot: Conversation Skills: For The Ultimate Professional is the second in the Master Sales Manual series of books. A no non-sense and direct approach to the psychology of conversation, with over one hundred tips to improve your conversation skills, your relationships, and your life.

Learn how to to say the right thing in the right way at the right time… Or not say anything at all. Gain a detailed understanding of communication skills. Learn how communication errors occur and how to avoid them. Capture your listener’s attention. Create rapport and build relationships. And make your conversations more interesting.

We all know that effective communication plays a very important role in our lives. With so many mediums of communication and the ever reducing attention span, we all at one point in time have realized that getting yourself heard in this noisy world is a task, let alone receiving a completely undivided attention. Conversation skill for the ultimate professional by Dan Blaze aims at providing the readers with more than one hundred tips to improve one’s communication skills.

This book is second in the master sales manual series of books. Being a marketing professional myself, I took this opportunity to review the book and brush up my conversation skills. The book gives an in depth knowledge about various conversational skills in various situations. The book provides an overall outlook, right from initiating an effective conversation, maintaining the conversation, improving the basic conversation skills, dealing with difficult people to creative conversation.
What I really liked about the book is the pen and the book bullet which appears time and again. The notes mentioned under the bullets are author’s attempt to jump outside the script and speak with the readers directly. Another thing that I liked about the book is the quotes by famous personalities mentioned in a box in between the chapters. It at times breaks the monotony.

I wish there were more examples and case studies mentioned along with the technical explanation. It is easier to relate and absorb the point that the author is trying to make. Haven said that I did learn a lot of technical jargon from the book that will help me at the professional end. I would recommend this book to whoever feels the need to improve their conversations skills, professionally and personally.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: – Thanks to the author for sending a copy of the book for an honest review.

 

Book Review: Never Never Part Three

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Title:  Never Never Part 3

Author: Colleen Hoover & Tarryn Fisher

Publisher: Hoover Ink

Genre: Thriller, Romance

Length:  92 pages (Kindle Edition)

Plot: New York Times bestselling authors Colleen Hoover and Tarryn Fisher are back with the much-anticipated final installment in the Never Never novella series.
Together, Silas Nash and Charlize Wynwood must look deeper into the past to find out who they were and who they want to be. With time ticking down, the couple are in a race to find the answers they need before they lose everything. Can they regain what they once had? And will it restore who they once were?

Favorite Quote: “Fate is a magnetic pull of our souls toward the people, places, and things we belong with”

Never Never part 1 & 2 had built a great hype amongst the readers. I was eagerly awaiting the third part. I rejoiced the moment when I heard the announcement of the book being published. The first two parts had built a great amount of excitement and speculation. I literally was cursing the publication house for dividing the book in three parts. Let me tell you, I had a lot of expectations from the final book and it was a disappointment in a lot of ways.

The book picks up from the exact spot where the last book ended. (The way the last book ended was really cruel on the readers :P) The book is short and seemed too rushed towards the ending. The writing style of this book is pretty similar to the previous two books which is a good thing.

I wasn’t completely convinced with the justification given by the authors for the memory loss. What about the clues found in the first two parts? The mystery trail was more interesting then the suspense itself. I was expecting a sensible, more convincing and an elaborate explanation. Apart from that, in the first two parts the moments shared between Silas and Chalrie made me go ‘awwwwww’. Personally for me, the third part lacked the same chemistry. I was looking forward for some more heartwarming moments.

The novella series seemed a bit stretched. I still don’t understand the reason for prolonging the book into three parts. One or at the most two would have sufficed the need. If you have read the first two parts and need some sort of a closure only then will I recommend this book to you.

Ratings: 2.5/5 (</3)