Book Review: Encounters of a Fat Bride

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Title: Encounters of a Fat Bride

Author: Samah Visaria

Pages: 159 pages

Plot: Madhurima Pandey is twenty-five, single, and gradually coming to terms with the annoying ‘you’re next’ nudges from family and friends. But soon they realize that chances of finding a groom for her are slim-mainly because she’s not. At 93 kilos, she knows she isn’t the ideal weight for marriage, even if her family believes she’s the ideal age.
Despite her reservations, the hunt begins, and so does a spree of rejections until Harsh comes along. Madhu cannot believe that a boy with no obvious flaws has agreed to marry her. Low self-esteem makes her suspect he’s either impotent or a homosexual, but she doesn’t turn down the proposal immediately.
A negligible period of courtship and a hurried engagement follow. But does Madhurima really find her happily-ever-after? Or are there more surprises in store?
Jovial, witty and unapologetically honest, Madhurima Pandey’s story of struggle and survival in the run-up to her D-Day gives you a refreshingly new take on the big fat Indian wedding.

Thoughts: In ‘Encounters of a Fat Bride’ we follow Madurima Pandey, our twenty-five year old protagonist whose family is looking for a groom for her in a typical arrange marriage set up. Madhurima is well educated and independent but not really an “ideal” bride as per the society because she weight 93 kgs. While her friends are having fairytale weddings, she is facing several rejections due to her weight. This causes a serious damage to her self esteem. The story revolves around Madhurima’s struggle to find a groom until the day of her wedding. Even the chapters are titled as a countdown to the wedding.

The book unveils from Madhurima’s perspective. Her sarcasm, anecdotes and take on things add an essence to the story. The flow of the book is seamless and the language is simple. The characters are quite relatable and realistic.  The gamut of arrange marriage and its effects are very well portrayed. I finished reading the entire book in a day. I was eager to find out who and how does Madhurima marry.

The book is a lighthearted, funny read that addresses the issues like body shaming, concept of arrange marriage, dowry, etc in a way that it appeals the reader and also highlights these issue.

Ratings: 4/5

PS: Thank you to the author for giving me a copy of the book for an honest review.

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Unboxing- ‘The Colour Drama’ Fab Bag July’17

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Hey Wanderers, we need bright colours to lift up the mood in this gloomy weather and that’s exactly what the July’ 17 Fab Bag aims at doing.  My Colour Drama July Fab Bag came in a bright pop pink colour on the very first day of the month. I simply loved the bag. The colour is so perfect for the weather.

This month’s bag contained four products:

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  • Sugar it’s a-pout time! Vivid Lipstick – 10 True Oxblood: Rs 599/- The shade of the lipstick was up for choice and I went ahead with this Burgundy Red shade. The lipstick is creamy and spreads evenly on the lips giving it a matte finish. It is highly pigmented and provides great coverage. There are six more shades in this range. I have been flaunting this shade more often than the others ever since I got it. I am definitely going to try the other shades from this range.

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  • Kronokare Hydrate The Hair Shampoo: Rs.165 for 55ml- This is my first time trying this brand. This came with a little brochure of the new shampoo range with a discount of Rs 200/-.    It is a travel size product and I will be carrying it with me this month on my vacation. It is a hydrating hair shampoo with natural extracts of Bergamot, Grapefruit and Orange plus it is silicone and mineral free.  It claims to rejuvenate the lost shine and silky touch.

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  • Just Herbs Herb Enriched Skin Tint: Rs.385/- for 15g– This product is for someone who wants a ‘no make-up’ look.   This skin tint offers UV protection, moisturizes the skin and also provides coverage to some extent.  It is light on the skin, making it a perfect product for daily use and to carry around in your bag.

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  • Tvakh Fruit Enzyme Alcohol Free Toner: Rs.160/- for 50ml- This is an alcohol and sulphate free fruit toner. This is ideally the best part about it. I avoid using toners with alcohol and this one is just perfect for every skin type. It reduces the pores and leaves the skin feeling fresh and hydrated. This is perfect for sensitive skin also since it is a natural product

 

This month’s Fab Bag is thoughtfully curated keeping in mind the necessities of the season. I have no complains and I am very happy with all the products, service and the bag itself.  The total value of the bag is around Rs 1309/-. You can buy it here.

Book Review: The Spy

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Title: The Spy

Author: Paulo Coelho

Page: 208 pages

Plot: In his new novel, Paulo Coelho, best-selling author of The Alchemist and Adultery, brings to life one of history’s most enigmatic women: Mata Hari.

HER ONLY CRIME WAS TO BE AN INDEPENDENT WOMAN

When Mata Hari arrived in Paris she was penniless. Within months she was the most celebrated woman in the city.

As a dancer, she shocked and delighted audiences; as a courtesan, she bewitched the era’s richest and most powerful men.

But as paranoia consumed a country at war, Mata Hari’s lifestyle brought her under suspicion. In 1917, she was arrested in her hotel room on the Champs Elysees, and accused of espionage.

Told in Mata Hari’s voice through her final letter, The Spy is the unforgettable story of a woman who dared to defy convention and who paid the ultimate price.

Thoughts:   The Spy is based on the life of Margaretha Zelle, famously known as Mata Hari an exotic dancer who bewitched the most influential men of her time. The book is a historical fiction based during the World War 1.

As a child, Margaretha Zelle was abused by her school principal. She got married to an Indonesian solider and escaped from her home town. Soon she realized that her husband was an abusive man and she tried to put up with it for a few years but after a point she left him and their daughter behind to find solitude in Paris. In Paris she started a life as an exotic oriental dancer and in no time gained popularity amongst the Parisans for both wrong and the right reasons. Soon her lifestyle brought her into suspicion and she was charged of being a double agent and arrested by the French in 1917.

The opening of the book is with a bang on a very crucial note where Mata Hari is being executed by a firing squad and she refuses to wear a mask and faces her death in the eye. Mata Hari is a tale of a woman who dared to defy the conventional norms of the society and had to pay the price for it. There are many books written on Mata Hari but what sets this book apart is the format of the writing. It is written as a letter from Mata Hari to her lawyer and a reply from her lawyer to her. We feel Mata Hari’s pain, enthusiasm, passion, shame, courage, numbness all of it. The author has taken creative leverage and added his own version of fiction to the real story to make the book interesting.

If you like Paulo Coelho’s book and historical fiction do give this book a shot!

Ratings: 3.5/5

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Book Review: The Corner Office

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Title: The Corner Office

Author: Katerina Baker

Page: 180 pages

Plot: Tara Johnson’s sacrifices are about to pay off: a senior executive at thirty-five at a Fortune 500 company, she’s one of the two finalists in line for a Managing Director position. Unfortunately, her rival of fifteen years, the charming, infuriating Richard Boyd, is just as qualified, and unlike her, he’s willing to cross pretty much every line to get what he wants.

Of all the things Tara stored in the attic to make it to the top, it’s her personal life she misses the most. That is, until she starts a steamy affair with sex god Aidan, her direct report. Interoffice relationships with a subordinate can mean the end of a career, and when Richard finds out, it’s the perfect opportunity to take his high-heeled nemesis out, especially since he’s still nursing a grudge against Tara for rejecting him years ago.

But Tara’s increasingly domineering lover has his own dark secrets, endangering more than just her career. As her liaison spirals out of control, salvation will come from the man she always thought she hated, and perhaps the only one to truly understand

Thoughts:  ‘Corner Office’ is a contemporary romance novel revolving mainly around Tara Johnson, a thirty five year old, ambitious senior executive, running for the position of a Managing Director at a Fortune 500 company. She has given it her all, ignored her personal life and relationships to reach where she is. But she is not the only one aspiring to be the Managing Director. Richard Boyd, a fellow senior executive, a rival of Tara’s since fifteen years is ready to give it all to become the MD. He is a charmer and he pretty much gets whoever, whatever he wants with much ease. The rivalry and the constant bickering between Tara and Richard is quite a lot of fun to read. Tara has always been a rule abider until the day Adian, joins her team and she gets into a steamy affair with him. This is against the office policy and the story picks up from here on.

Tara’s character is much likable from the beginning itself. I like her go getter spirit, the way she is focused yet when it comes to her mother she leaves everything behind and attends to her needs, even the tiniest ones and the way she inspires her fellow women employees at Women’s Network. Richard’s character is the one that you will strongly dislike at the beginning but fall in love with towards the end. Adian’s behavior was a bit ambiguous and hence the course of his actions was not justified well. His character seemed to change drastically in a short time. I really didn’t understand why such a strong person like Tara did not put him in his place sooner. Towards the end I really wanted to know who gets the corner office and how. Hopefully there will be sequel.

The story is narrated from Tara’s point of view. The writing is smooth and apart from the romance, the premise also offers a lot of corporate politics, stalking, blackmailing, etc. I quite liked the book. It was a quick read. I wish the author good luck for her book release and I definitely look forward to reading more books from her.

Ratings: 3.5/5

PS: The book releases on 23rd June, 2017.  I would like to thank the author and the publication for sending me the ARC via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

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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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