Book Review: Truly Madly Guilty

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Title:  Truly Madly Guilty

Author:  Liane Moriarty

Pages: 415 pages

Plot: Six responsible adults. Three cute kids. One small dog. It’s just a normal weekend. What could possibly go wrong?

Sam and Clementine have a wonderful, albeit, busy life: they have two little girls, Sam has just started a new dream job, and Clementine, a cellist, is busy preparing for the audition of a lifetime. If there’s anything they can count on, it’s each other.

Clementine and Erika are each other’s oldest friends. A single look between them can convey an entire conversation. But theirs is a complicated relationship, so when Erika mentions a last minute invitation to a barbecue with her neighbors, Tiffany and Vid, Clementine and Sam don’t hesitate. Having Tiffany and Vid’s larger than life personalities there will be a welcome respite.

Two months later, it won’t stop raining, and Clementine and Sam can’t stop asking themselves the question: What if we hadn’t gone?

In Truly Madly Guilty, Liane Moriarty takes on the foundations of our lives: marriage, sex, parenthood, and friendship. She shows how guilt can expose the fault lines in the most seemingly strong relationships, how what we don’t say can be more powerful than what we do, and how sometimes it is the most innocent of moments that can do the greatest harm.

Favorite Quote: “There is no special protection when you cross that invisible line from your ordinary life to that parallel world where tragedies happen. It happens just like this. You don’t become someone else. You’re still exactly the same. Everything around you still smells and looks and feels exactly the same.”

Thoughts:  Truly Madly Guilty, won the 2016 Goodreads Choice Awards in the Fiction category. I have read a few books by Liane Moriarty and they were pretty interesting so I decided to give this book a read.

This book is about an incidence that takes place, out of the blue which changes the course of life for three families. Who thought a simple BBQ would turn into a fateful event disrupting the normal lives of three families and will leave their marriage, friendship, survival at stake? Will they be able to cope up? Revive? Get back to being normal? Read the book to find out.

The story maneuvered between two months after the BBQ and the day of the BBQ. The mystery is well built but I felt that the revelation didn’t live upto the mark. I was quite a bit disappointed by it since I was anticipating a breath stopping, sharp gasping suspense. The story did seem a little stretched and could have kept the interest of the reader higher with a tighter edit.

There are three couples Sam and Clementine, Erika and Oliver, Vid and Tiffany whose POVs are clearly dissected. Understanding each character and their thoughts, feelings and behivour was effortless. I especially loved Erika’s character and her complicated friendship with Clementine. I really liked the characterization and also the fact that wherever relevant the odd behavioral habits of the individuals were backed up with a psychosocial explanation.

Over all the narration is the strength of the book, there are a few high moments but the story line could have been better.

Ratings: 3/5

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Book Review: The Paris Effect

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Title:  The Paris Effect

Author:  K.S.R. Burns

 Pages: 264 pages

Plot: Friendship, loss and a tantalizing trip to Paris in this highly praised #1 Amazon Best Seller!

Amy and Kat had planned a secret trip to Paris. Even Amy’s husband wouldn’t know about it. But when Amy loses Kat to cancer, she knows the plan is gone forever. Or is it?

Guided by memories of her friend and dissatisfaction with her own calorie-counting life in Phoenix, Amy sneaks off to Paris while her husband is away on a business trip. Once there, she’s robbed, stalked, arrested and almost kidnapped. Worse, she finds that all her problems have come right along with her.

Through her adventures, laced with luscious descriptions of food and Paris, Amy learns that often in life, love and friendship, nothing is exactly as it seems. Grab a croissant and settle in for a decidedly non-touristy trip to the City of Light.

‘The Paris Effect’ is a story of self discovery and second chances. The story is narrated from our protagonist Amy’s point of view. The book starts of when Amy is home from her best friend, Kat’s funeral and all she wants to do is eat to her heart’s content but is reminded of her self-made diet rules. She is in her late twenties, with eating disorders, married to William who is obsessed with numbers. Amy had always been fascinated with Paris. It is like her wonderland. Kat and Amy make a plan to visit Paris secretly without anyone’s knowledge, even Amy’s husbands. Demises of Kat due to a prolonged illness, leaves Amy heartbroken and after quite a lot of resistance, Amy decides to visit the city of lights by herself.

Amy at first is very skeptical and conscious about spending time alone in Paris, she even contemplates this to be a bad idea until she meets certain Parisians and decides to be spontaneous and live life for once. Amy’s character seems very timid and skeptical at the beginning but various experiences in Paris change her life. She discovers a lot about herself and her close ones. Shocking revelations are made which prove to be a turning point in Amy’s life.

A lot of French was used in the book, some phrases explained in English and few were to be self explained or assumed by the actions. For someone like me who doesn’t know anything apart from ‘Bonjour’ in French, I felt like I missed out on a few things. Inspite of that I liked the narration and was able to connect with Amy, most of the times. But I found her and even Willam to be very selfish and I am even surprised that they managed to remain married for so long. There was no particular character I really liked but the story as a whole is quite interesting.

Ratings: 3/5

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

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Title: Letters for Scarlet

Author:  Julie C. Gardner

Pages: 272 pages

Plot: Pain can take a lifetime to heal, but hope lasts even longer…

Corie Harper is twenty-eight years old when she is first visited by a ghost—in the form of a graduation letter she forgot she wrote. Although she spent a decade burying that desperate girl and her regrets, each page resurrects the past, dragging Corie back to a time when all she craved was Scarlet Hinden’s friendship and Tuck Slater’s heart. But she couldn’t keep them both and keep her word.

Scarlet is haunted in her own way, by memories of Corie and of a night that left her wishing she were dead. But Scarlet is not only alive, she’s carrying new life: a baby she never wanted and is terrified to have. Convinced she would be a disastrous mother, she questions whether or not she deserves the love of any man. Especially the father of her child.

“Letters for Scarlet” traces one friendship from deep roots to branches torn by broken promises and loss.

Letters for Scarlet is a women’s fiction novel which brings out the elements of friendship, love, wrecked trust and past mysteries. The book is narrated from two point of views of Corie and Sacrlet; two ex best friends, our main leads. Corie is a school teacher, with a suppressed dream of becoming a writer. She is married to Tuck, a childhood friend of both Corie and Scarlet. Scarlet is a successful lawyer with serious trust issues. The trio; Corie, Scarlet and Tuck were joint by the hip in their early days until the day when Scarlet finds out that Corie and Tucker have feelings for each other and their friendship goes down the drain from there.

Can you imagine wanting to share so much with your best friend and not being able to? Corie feels exactly like that and finds herself guilty for the entire situation. So she starts pouring her heart out by writing letters to Scarlet, which she never posts.

There is a beauty in imperfection of each and every character. They are complex and flawed, making it easy for the reader to empathize with them. Inspite of being transported to the past from time to time, the flow of the book is pretty smooth. The story beyond the final page is open to one’s imagination unless the author decides to come up with a sequel.

This book is poignant tale about friendship that will keep you intrude until the end.

Ratings: 4/5

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

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Book Review: Hello, My Love! (Between Two Worlds #1)

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Title:  Hello, My Love! (Between Two Worlds #1)

Author:  E. Journey

Pages: 330 pages

Plot: A modern-day pastiche of Jane Austen novels. Elise is a bright, beautiful law student, focused on a career and distrustful of men. She butts heads with Greg, an alpha male haunted by past relationships.
Heartache and the specter of revenge. Unable to deny their feelings, they spend a night together. A jilted fiancée exacts revenge and forces them to face who they are and what they really want.
A love tale of this day. A delicious romance with a literary slant and spiced with a twist of whodunit, this escapist fare also takes us into the inner life (thoughts, hopes, and doubts) of the main protagonists as they contend with realities that often face couples in compelling relationships—revenge of a jilted lover, past relationships, abortion, career choices, reactions of friends and relatives.

Hello, My Love is the first book in ‘Between Two Worlds’ series by author E.Journey.  It is a modern day romance novel which progresses to become a whodunit towards the end.Elise and Greg are our main leads. Elise is a 23 year old, quick witted law student, with a mind of her own. Greg is a 32 year old online business billionaire with a reputation of a playboy. Greg is also a client and friend of Elise’s father who frequently visits dinner parties at Harvelson residence.  Greg fell for Elise the moment he laid his eyes upon her. Over the years they develop a friendship and a comfort level. Both of them feel for each other but neither of them admits to it until two days before Greg’s wedding with Lori, a beautiful, seductive gold digger. The story picks up from here on.

The narration is from a third person’s perspective, making it easy for the reader to understand each character with ease. The story is fast paced and narrated over the years. It begins with friendship turned into passion and eventually into love. It is interesting to see the characters grow over the years.

This book is a contemporary modern day romance tale with light mystery, betrayal and a happy ending.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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

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Book Review- Fighting for Tara

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Title:  Fighting for Tara

Author: Sunanda J. Chatterjee

Pages: 310 pages

Plot: “I have no use for a baby girl. Get rid of her tonight!” He towered over her as she cringed in fear.

But Hansa, a thirteen-year-old child-bride in rural India, refuses to remain a victim of the oppressive society where a female child is an unwanted burden. Instead of drowning her baby, Hansa escapes from her village with three-month-old Tara.

Hansa soon discovers that life as a teenage mother is fraught with danger. But a single lie opens the door to a promising opportunity far from home.

Just seven years later, Hansa finds herself fighting for Tara’s life once more, this time in an American court, with a woman she calls ‘Mother.’

Will the lie upon which Hansa built her life, defeat its own purpose? How can she succeed when no one believes the truth?

A story of two mothers, two daughters and a fight to save a child, Fighting for Tara explores the depth of love and motherhood.

Favorite Quote: “What if happiness is a choice?”

This book is about a child bride Hansa, married of to a man thrice here age who dies leaving Hansa and his baby girl at the mercy of his brother Baldev. To protect her baby Tara, Hansa flees away from her hometown Dharni, to start a new life. After facing traumatic experiences, Hansa and Tara end up being adopted by nurturing parents Anne and Liam. The story starts from a small village in Rajasthan and navigates to San Francisco.

It is sad to see that in today’s age where women are hitting new milestones every day, customs like child marriages, female feticides, etc still prevail in our country. The author has done a great job highlighting this issue. I loved the way Hansa’s character was empowered. A strong, willfully determined woman, ready to go lengths to save her daughter. It’s true that motherhood is accompanied by the vigor to shield the child from any danger. The essence of motherhood is captured phenomenally well in both Hansa’s and Anne’s characters.  The story was heartwarming and fast paced. I simply love the books that bring out the female strength and determination and this was definitely one of them. The writing was simple and easy flowing. The book was such a page turner.

I would recommend this book to those who are looking out for a heartwarming story with a strong female protagonist.

Ratings- 5/5

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

About the Author: Freelance author, blogger, and ex-Indian Air Force physician Sunanda Joshi Chatterjee completed her graduate studies in Los Angeles, where she is a practicing pathologist. While medicine is her profession, writing is her passion. When she’s not at the microscope making diagnoses, she loves to write fiction. Her life experiences have taught her that no matter how different people are, their desires, fears, and challenges remain the same.

Her themes include romantic sagas, family dramas, immigrant experience, women’s issues, medicine, and spirituality. She loves extraordinary love stories and heartwarming tales of duty and passion. Her short stories have appeared in short-story.net and induswomanwriting.com.

She grew up in Bhilai, India, and lives in Arcadia, California with her husband and two wonderful children. In her free time, she paints, reads, sings, goes on long walks, and binge-watches TV crime dramas.


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Book Review: Metro Diaries -2

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Title:  Metro Diaries -2

Author: Namrata

Pages: 146 pages

Plot: Live life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard – this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now

Favorite Quote: People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena

Metro Diaries 2 is a collection of 20 short stories about life. Each story depicts a different perspective of life, leaving you with heartache. With each story I was enforced to introspect life in a special way. These stories left me with a feeling of living more while we have the time to do so, rebounding from the setbacks, putting yourself in others shoes.

The narration is so simple and well written. The flow was gradual, story after story. If I have to pick my favorites, they would definitely be ‘The Keepsake’ which made me believe that good still exists in the world, ‘The Rare Sight’ and ‘A Pinch of Love’ which ensure that there is an upside to everything, we just have to look. But I seriously wished that the book ended with a happier story.

This is the second book by Namrata in the Metro Diaries series. The first one was about love classics. I haven’t read the first book yet, but after reading this one, I am surely going to lay my hands on Metro Diaries.

If you are looking for a quick read that will make you redefine the meaning of life than this one is for you!

Ratings: 4/5

About the Author:  Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.

Contact the Author:

Website * Facebook * Twitter

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