Book Review: Finding the Angel

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Title:  Finding the Angel

Author: Rubina Ramesh

Pages: 139 pages

Plot: All She wanted was love…
Shefali is a die-hard romantic. Having lost her parents at a very tender age, she is in search of a place which she can call home. Her passion for Art lands her a job as an art curator to the famous artifacts of the Ranaut Dynasty. When she meets the scion, Aryan Ranaut, she feels that her dream might come true until…
All He wanted was to trust…
Living the life of a modern day Prince is no easy task for the young and dashing Aryan Ranaut. Having lost his father to a rapacious woman, Aryan has severe trust issues. But upon meeting Shefali, he feels he could let down his guard. Until…
All They need is to find The Angel…
Just as Aryan realizes his love for Shefali, one of the most precious artifacts, The Angel, goes missing from the Ranaut collection. All fingers point towards Shefali—more so because she leaves the palace without telling anyone on the very night of the theft.
Finding the Angel is a story where duty clashes with love and lack of trust overrides passion. Under these circumstances, can The Angel bring the star-crossed lovers together?

Thoughts:  “Finding the Angel” is a novel by Rubina Ramesh, the founding member of The Book Club. And there was no chance that I would miss reading this book.

‘The Angel’ mentioned in the title is a rare artifact that goes missing from the Ranuat Dynasty home and the entire plot revolves around finding it, with a passionate love story between a love stuck art curator and an arrogant prince running parallel. Shefali is an art curator by profession who has lost her parents at an early age. She is a person driven by love. A modern day prince, Aryan Ranuat is a charming, womanizer who is arrogant and has major trust issues due to his father. Both are damaged in their own ways. The flames spark between them from the minute they meet but as fate has it they can’t be together, neither can they be apart.

The passion shared between the leads clearly comes across to the reader. I loved how courageous and bold Shefali’s character was. More than the suspense the love story made an impact on me. The book was correctly paced with no pointless descriptions. It was crisp and to the point. The narration manoeuvred between past and the present. I wouldn’t say that the transition was seamless. It was confusing at few points but after reading a bit more the time of incidence taking place became clear.

I loved the story and I personally think that it would make a great Bollywood movie. Once I started the book, it was very difficult to put it aside. I would recommend this book those on the watch out for a royal love story with a suspense angle to it.

Ratings: 4/5

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

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Un-boxing- ‘Go Get It, Girl’Fab Bag Mar’17

This month I received my Fab bag by 3rd of March which made me very happy. The theme for this month was ‘Go Get It, Girl’ since International Women’s Day was round the corner. The March 17 Fab Bag has everything a girl needs to take on the world! This bag had more products than the previous two bags I received. This is my third bag and I simply love this entire concept of receiving new products every month!

I received this bronze orange color criss-cross textured bag which looked very sturdy. It has a carrying hoop on one end. Team Fab Bag had given an option to choose from a previous bag or the new March bag which was not unveiled. I went ahead with the new March bag because I like the element of surprise it brings with it and I was not at all disappointed.

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This bag contained 6 products. The products I received were:

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  • Seduction Las Vegas Lipstick 06 Nude Love- (Full size): Rs.180/- The shade of the lipstick was offered to choose and I went ahead and selected the shade Nude Love. I wanted something that would work for a regular work day. I liked the shade and it is enriched with Vitamin E, nourishing the lips when applied, making it perfect for daily us.                                                                                                                               Nail laquer
  • Sugar Tip Tap Toe Nail Lacquer Matte in shade 07 Carpe Crème (Full size) Rs.199/- I have started using the brand Sugar after I subscribed to the Fab Bag. Sugar has launched their range on nail lacquers in 17 shades. The shade I received was 07 Crape Crème and I simply loved it. It lasted on my nails without chipping for a week.  I am going to purchase more shades from this range. IMG-20170326-WA0003
  • Kronokare Flower Powder Face Toner – 55ml- This is a brand that I haven’t tried in the past. This toner claims to be made of distilled flower water and has purifying properties of lavender. It reduces the size of the pores and enhances the glow. This was a deluxe sized product and I am yet to try this.                            Shower Gel
  • Moha Herbal Shower Gel- 30ml- This shower gel is Aloe Vera based, infused with neem and tea tree to enhance the effects on application. It aims at detoxifying the skin and also has antiseptic qualities to prevent any sort of infections. This product is perfect for this month’s bag since the heat is setting in. This again was a deluxe sized sample product.                                          Sun Block.jpg
  • Ayorma SPF 40 Sun Block- 10g- Sun block is important for anyone living in the tropical region.  This product is infused with SPF 40 offering protection from the sun. It also claims to reduce melanin production and minimize skin imperfection offering a flawless skin.  Think it is quite similar to BB cream but the main purpose of this product is to offer sun blocking.  It was a little dry for my skin so I had to mix it with a moisturizer while application.Concealer
  • Lollipops Paris Anti Cernes Concealer-Light Beige- This product is something that I really didn’t appreciate receiving as much. I had already received the concealer in my last bag which was much better than this brand. This was a liquid concealer with SPF 15 and Vitamin E. The product I received looked a bit tampered with. I tried this product but it was too dry and cakey. I don’t think I am not going to use this again and my bag could do without this product.

 In all, I received 6 products in my March 17 Fab Bag, out of which my favorite products were the Sugar Nail Laquer Matte and the Moha Herbal Shower Gel.

Fab Bag* costs Rs 1599 for a 3 month subscription! BUY ONLINE

Un-boxing- ‘The Pucker Up’ Fab Bag Feb’17

I have recently subscribed to the Fab Bag for a year. I was contemplating whether to review it on the blog or not. But then I though why not? There is no harm in adding a flavor to the blog, right 😉

I have already received the Jan’17 Fab Bag and I was quite happy with it. Those who follow me on Instagram must have seen a glimpse of it. I received the Feb’17 Pucker Up Fab Bag last week.

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The products came in a cute white pouch imprinted with pink and purple lips and lipsticks. Getting the hint from the bag it was quite clear that this bag will be a lip product heavy one. Let’s see each product one by one.

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  • Sugar Liquid Lipstick Smudge Me Not 06 Tangerine Queen (Orange Coral) Full size (Rs.499) -Sugar cosmetics launched their new range of liquid lipsticks. I received an email from Fabbag to choose a shade of my preference and I went with Tangerine Queen (Orange Coral) since I have very few shades in orange. This clearly was my favorite product from the Feb Fab Bag. This liquid lipstick lasted long and also settled well. But if your lips tend to dry easily I would recommend using this with a non tinted lip balm.

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  • Matra Holistic Lip Care in Kiwi- Full size (Rs.199) I am a lip balm hoarder and this was a new brand for me to try. I received the Kiwi variant. This product is 100% natural and also infused with SPF, offering protection from sun. The product is barely tinted. It has a nice fruity scent to it. It is not the best in its range but worth a try.

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  • Just Herbs Lively Clean Honey Exfoliating Facial Cleansing Gel- 50ml (Rs.230) This is a honey based for face exfoliation and cleansing from “Just Herbs” It is gentle on the skin and smells great too. I love natural products, especially for the face since they are gentle on the skin. After usage my skin felt refreshed and cleansed. This is not a full size product but 50 ml will easily last a month, two months if used twice a week.

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  • Makeup Revolution the Matte Effect Concealer Stick- (Rs 550) I received this shade in MC 1. The concealer stick is smooth on the skin and settles easily. Though I thought it was a bit dry. I tried using both by direct application from the stick and by dabbing it on a brush and preferred the later one.

Over all I quite liked my Feb Fab bag and I would give is 3.5 stars. You can subscribe to the Fab Bag here

 

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: Out of the Box Awakening

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Title:  Out of the Box Awakening

Author:  Jennifer Theriot

Pages: 366 pages

Plot: Olivia is a good woman, a good mother, a good wife. She’s got it made. She doesn’t want anything to change.

Of course, it does…
Swept from her perfect paper-doll life in Houston, Olivia finds herself in Chicago, alone, betrayed, and far from home. Soon everything she thought she knew about herself and her life will be challenged. She has only courage, love, and her passion for music to carry her through the maelstrom—or draw her further in.

Ash is the man who has everything—everything except healing from the losses of a lifetime. His only peace lies in the sweet flow of music pouring from his guitar
What happens when the married woman and the handsome widower are thrown together by fate?

Out of the Box Awakening is a story of shared passion and shared joy. Jennifer Theriot has written a compelling book about what happens when two people find new life and new love for themselves and for those around them.

Out of the Box Awakening is the first book in this series. The main purpose of these books is to make women realize that in order to find happiness, sometimes you have to step outside of your comfort zone. Never be afraid to express your feelings and never, for one minute, think that the right man— your knight in shining armor— won’t come along.

Our protagonist Olivia is in her fifties looking at starting a new life with Ash Harper. Both Olivia and Ash have had a bad marriage and finally find each other to be their soul mates. But this is just the beginning. They have issues of the past to deal with.

Unlike most of the romance novels I have read, this one has a matured elderly couple as the lead. For me this book is more of a power packed family drama with lots of ups and downs, highs and lows, laughter and cries. The friendship bit of it is well highlighted with Todd and Olivia. The book emphasizes on the fact that the unresolved issues of the past can cause trouble in your present life. That is exactly what happens to Olivia and Ash. The story is about how they overcome these issues and have the will to keep moving forward.

Spoiler Alert: It would have been more appealing if the thriller segment towards the end would not be a mere dream, or it should have been completely eliminated.

Never the less, the romance was refreshing and the novel was an enjoyable read.

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: Inspiring Anusha

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Title:  Inspiring Anusha

Author:  M.L. Sawyer

Pages: 79 pages

Plot: Mara Loughlin is a depressed and struggling songwriter. After being abandoned by her boyfriend and receiving scathing reviews on her latest work, she embarks on a soul-searching journey to India for inspiration.

On a train tour through the Indian countryside, she meets Nirav, a kind and charismatic India native who teaches Mara, whom he affectionately calls Anusha, about culture, passion, and love.

Inspiring Anusha is an Indian/American romance novel. Our protagonist Mara is a depressed soul, a struggling songwriter and has been recently dumped by her boyfriend. She is deeply moved by the music of an Indian sitar player and decides to undertake a soul searching trip to India.  Little did she know that she will meet her soul- mate, Nirav on this journey.

I liked the plot of the book where a depressed soul is trying to find herself and embarks a journey towards inspiration. The plot reminded me of Eat, Pray, Love.  The reuniting of soul mates was quite evident but the inspiration bit didn’t come across very well. I was expecting a little more emphasis to be given to the ‘seeking inspiration from India’ bit. The plot had great potential but the weaving of the story could have been better. I didn’t feel emotionally connected to the characters since the story was just touched upon.I understand that it was meant to be a quick read but an addition for a few pages focusing on the inspiration would have built a connect with the reader and taken it to another level.

I would recommend this book to those who are looking for a romance novel that can be read it one sitting.

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- 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: Norwegian Wood

 

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Title:  Norwegian Wood

Author: Haruki Murakami

Pages: 389 pages

Plot: Toru, a quiet and preternaturally serious young college student in Tokyo, is devoted to Naoko, a beautiful and introspective young woman, but their mutual passion is marked by the tragic death of their best friend years before. Toru begins to adapt to campus life and the loneliness and isolation he faces there, but Naoko finds the pressures and responsibilities of life unbearable. As she retreats further into her own world, Toru finds himself reaching out to others and drawn to a fiercely independent and sexually liberated young woman.

A poignant story of one college student’s romantic coming-of-age, Norwegian Wood takes us to that distant place of a young man’s first, hopeless, and heroic love.

Favorite Quote: Letters are just pieces of paper, burn them and what stays in your heart will stay; keep them, and what vanishes will vanish.

I had heard a lot about this book and I finally picked it up. Let me start by telling you that this is one of the most melancholic book I have every read in my life. The story is nothing extraordinary infact it is quite predictable. But what really makes it interesting is the writing. It just flows like poetry.

Toru, is the protagonist and the book is narrated from his point of view. He is a sensitive guy who understands people and sees them for who they really are. But he can’t open up about his personal life to anyone. At times I felt he is not ready to accept his problems himself.  Naoko is a beautiful, fragile, depressed girl, who is trying to recover after witnessing suicide of her childhood boyfriend/ best friend and her elder sister.  She has never been normal ever since. Reiko, wise, broken woman who is scared to step out in the outside world and is happy in her world created at the sanatorium. And finally Midori who has seen more hurt than she deserves at her age. She is a survivor, fiercely independent and outspoken.

The ending was left to interpretation. Spoiler Alert: – I would have assumed that Toru committed suicide too and he is reaching out to Midori to rescue him if it was not for the beginning where the story is narrated by him 20 years from that time. I believe in happy endings and I chose to believe that the cycle of action of committing suicide and people reacting to it by being depressed and committing suicide themselves was finally broken.

The best part about the book is that the experiences and the journey of life that we see from Toru’s view. I would recommend this book to whoever is up for an emotionally traumatic read.

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book Review: The Other Half Lives

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Title:  The Other Half Lives

Author: Sophie Hannah

Pages: 560 pages

Plot: Ruth Bussey knows what it means to be in the wrong – and to be wronged. She once did something she regrets, and was punished excessively for it. Now Ruth is trying to rebuild her life and has found a love she doesn’t believe she deserves. Aidan Seed is a passionate, intense man who has also been damaged by his past. Desperate to connect with the woman he loves, he confides his secret: he killed a woman called Mary Trelease. Through her shock, Ruth recognizes the name. And when she’s realized why it’s familiar, her fear and revulsion deepen. The Mary Trelease that Ruth knows is very much alive…

Favorite Quote: Make decisions based on hope, not fear.

Let me start by mentioning that Sophie Hannah is a UK based, internationally bestselling writer of psychological crime fiction and now I know why. ‘The other half lives’ is a dark psychological mystery novel filled with jaw dropping suspense.  This book is title ‘The dead lie down’ in the US.

Like the other books from the Spilling CID series, detectives Charlie Zailer and Simon Waterhouse are trying to investigate a murder which may or may not have happened. The story mainly revolves around Ruth Bussey, Adian Seed, Mary Trelease. Ruth is recovering from a setback of the past when she meets Adian Seed a picture-framer and both of them fall in love. Mary Trelease is a painter with her own set of damages. The story is a little confusing at start but its picks up when the police finds out that Mary Trelease is alive. I did feel that the book could be wrapped up in 350 pages.

The narration of the story mainly switches between the third person, Ruth Bussey and Charlie Zailer. The story is very well weaved, narrated and plotted with a strong characterization. I was not able to guess until the end what is going to happen next. The plot clearly highlights the fact that circumstances can move people to state of mental imbalance in an irrevocable way.

I especially liked the choice of the title ‘The other half lives’. I would strongly recommend this book to psychological mystery loves who don’t mind reading big books!

Ratings: 4/5

 

 

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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