Book Review – Seeds of Hatred by Christian Nadeau

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BOOK COVER BLURB
As a former assassin, a man on the run for years, Marac survived taking on odd jobs, living on society’s fringe, never putting down roots for fear of having to run again. Until he’s hired to steal a trinket from the Brotherhood.
Newly graduated, Soren is ready to shoulder the responsibities that come with an officer’s commission. Serving in the Brotherhood of Khanbis a privilege, one that he abandoned everything for. But when an Angel calls on him, he knows his first assignment is more than it seems to be.
As a Lightbearer, gifted with the power to shape light to her will, Alex lived a sheltered life in Tyranor’s monastery. Should the Brotherhood find out what she was, they’d kill her, but the monastery is underground, safely hidden from their prying eyes.
Then It all comes crashing down. A terrible game is played, and when the powerful move, pawns are doomed to be sacrificed.
Are they?

PLOT
The story basically revolves around these three people, as mentioned in the book blurb, but it isn’t just limited to that. As the book started I thought- “So only these character’s point of view is used.” And I was wrong.
There are many short paragraphs (basically they’re sections) which change the point of views some times. And they didn’t confuse me at all. Now I haven’t read many fantasy books and I know the struggle to literally get into the book. And the start seems to be the most difficult part because all the characters are getting introduced. (AND THIS BOOK HAD 80+ CHARACTERS) And so when I started reading it flowed smoothly. I understood what was going on. No unnecessary action sequence to throw me off. The whole book was crisp, up to the point and just the best example for why we really should concentrate on editing more.
(The author ‘Christian Nadeau” himself told me that the original draft was 320k words and he edited to make it 180k and still it’s a lot of words.)
So plot wise, I’m impressed. There are like different factions made up – Brotherhood, Lightbearers, Darkbearers, Fey, Thrall, Revenants, etc. And they all had their own reasons to start a war. Some were trying to stop it and some were in favour it. It just was a mix of opinions and egos.
But the book ends in a CLIFFHANGER. I seriously thought the war was going to take place in this book but IT DIDN’T. And it’s okay no hard feelings (though I screamed a little inside because I wanted to KNOW MORE) *deep breaths* And seriously does any war just start like that? No it doesn’t. Hence the book was REALISTIC.

CHARACTERS
Now this is what I call a ‘strong character’ book. Every character was well thought out. But there was this minor problem. I thought about how the characters, which I repeat were 80+ could have been cut short a little. Because somehow the author named every soldier and every slave and I know it could’ve been hard on him too. But that’s just creative criticism.
I couldn’t actually write about each and every character there is but I can assure it will be like Game of Thrones level characters in a single book (and I haven’t even read Game of Thrones, so don’t quote me on that!)

WRITING
The writing was sharp and not too much description but just enough to make you know what was really happening. And I can’t just write anything more about it because by now you would’ve known that I love this book! (Not forgetting that it ends in a cliffhanger!) *runs away to sob again*

MY REVIEW
Overall just because it was huge to read and took me almost 10 days of my life I would give it 5 stars. No. that wasn’t the real reason. The real reason being that I haven’t read a good from a very long time (like 6 months) and reading was a fresh experience for me.

You’ll LIKE it if:

  • You like a fantasy world based novel
  • You like a book with a truck load of characters
  • You like a book that’s well thought
  • You want to really not want to miss out on a great book
  • You want to read a series

You’ll NOT LIKE it if:

  • You want a light read
  • You don’t like too many characters
  • You don’t want to read a series

*The author provided me a copy and it in now way affects what I think and my review*

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Friday Art #16- I made a journal from an old book

I hated a book. I’m not going to take names here so don’t ask. I dislike other books but I hated this one. And I am too connected to books (both as a book with a story written in them and also books as in a collection of page binded together.) And so I couldn’t let the book go. I couldn’t sell it for money which was so much less than it’s actual worth. The time and effort the author took to write it.

And so I decided to just use it. Creatively.

And I decided to make a journal out of it. It is an advantage that I can paint and journal in a bounded book. No need of buying another expensive journal.

So here’s the first thing I painted after I got this idea. Wish me luck!😉

You can track my progress with this journal on my Instagram account: @vrushalipathak

Friday Art #14 – A rose

Hey! I’m starting to post this again.

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In other news I started to write my novel again and I plan on finishing it this time. For those of you who don’t know about it, I started writing it in July 2016 but I couldn’t figure out how to continue the story. But I’m back writing it and I’ll probably do a post about it soon.

Till then…

Have a happy Friday!

P.S. Do tell me how do you like the rose!

Book Review- Somewhere in the shallow sea by Dennis Macaraeg

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BOOK COVER BLURB

In this suspenseful thriller, two lovers are in a race against all odds in the jungles of the Philippines to save their kidnapped friend.

Somewhere in the shallow sea will test characters’ development in order to outwit the man who is after the scientific compound they brought as ransom.

PLOT

The whole plot of this book can be summarized in two paragraphs which are given in the book cover blurb. They are so apt for this book and there is nothing extra or that’s not relevant. This is a short, crisp and adventure-filled book.

Two lovers who were separated a few years ago unite again to save a person who is kidnapped by a Philippines local don in exchange for a compound that’s supposed to save the species of fish from extinction.

CHARACTERS

There are mainly three characters: the two lovers – Danny and Helen and Helen’s cousin and Danny’s best friend, Blake who gets kidnapped.

This is told from Danny’s point of view and I loved that he took the right decisions all the time and anyone could relate to him.

Helen is a strong woman who doesn’t need anyone to take care of her and she is brave enough to travel all around Philippines to find her cousin.

WRITING STYLE

The writing style was what stands out in this novel. His writing was so fluid and the totally complementary to the novel and the story.

There was one thing that requires special mention here. The plot is written and plotted in such a great way. This story requires fast paced adventures where the two main characters travel around the country, taking help from people and arranging the money to be paid as ransom. But the plot is not always fast, it slows down a bit in the middle but the flow isn’t disturbed at all.

MY REVIEW

You’ll like it if:

  • If you like adventure novels
  • You like well plotted and well-paced novels
  • You are looking for something short and simple yet very complex

You’ll not like it if:

  • You don’t like short reads
  • You don’t like the adventure genre

I’ll give it a 5/5 stars.

*This book was provided to me from the author in exchange for a honest review.*

You can view it on Goodreads and Amazon.

 

DISCUSSION #2- What is the secret of successful writing?

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This is my second discussion post where I ponder upon some questions and I seek the answers from you.

You can check out my first discussion post where I ask you whether you like coincidences in books here. 

This week I am thinking about- What is the secret of successful writing?

We all write something every day, whether be it emails, letters or blog posts. We all have a different writing style, different vocabulary and different tone to write.

Everyone has different writing methods and attitudes. To some writing is a daily chore, and to some it is a deep mysterious art, to others a painful affliction. For some writing flows fast and confidently; others agonise over every word they think of. For some writing is the result of a planned process, a thoughtful process after thinking about every little detail; others think it as a ‘spur of the moment thing’ and jump in heedlessly, leaving the polishing for later. Some write to make a living, some write for enjoyment. Some write from experience, some from imagination and the rest after painfully researching.

There are many professionals and all have their own writing style. That’s what defines them. Many people have different views about how a ‘Successful Writing’ piece should be.

I’m going to see the various types and then we’ll discuss what you think works the most.

Firstly, there are those who need a creative inspiration or a particular mood, like George Eliot, to write effectively. They in times suffer from what is called a ‘writer’s block’. Either the inspiration dries up or they cannot settle down to the tasks, even after getting abundant ideas. To put it another way, the problem is either what to write or how to write.

Others are extremely unromantic about the ‘business of writing’ as they would call it.They work regularly keeping a tight schedule for everyday and following it diligently. They treat creating a literary masterpiece no different than drafting legal contracts or even insurance claims.

Nicholas Monsarrat, author of The Cruel Sea, apparently used to work a regular nine-hour day in his study, starting at 6 a.m. the Italian novelist Alberto Moravia would spend three hours at his writing desk each day, between 7:30 and 10:30 a.m.

Some authors need absolute privacy and silence to concentrate properly. The French novelist Marcel Proust had to seclude himself in a cork-lined room before he could settle into a creative working mood. Others need the daily hustle and bustle of life to inspire their masterpieces.

Some authors write extremely quickly and fluently. Dr Johnson completed his short novel Rasselusin the space of a single week. Balzac could write 200 pages a week when the need arose; so too the French novelist Stendhal. Others could write with excruciating slowness: another great 19-century novelist, Gustave Flaubert, often managed no more than two pages a week- sometimes only a single page. His classic novel Madame Bovary took him five years of painful full-time writing.

Some authors, such as Anthony Burgees or the late A.P.J. Taylor, happily draft original material directly on a typewriter or word processor. Others, such as Roald Dahl and Fay Weldon, Iris Murdoch and Athol Fugard, seem to need the feel of a pencil or pen in the hand, as if there were some mystical connection between the moving hand and the creative mind.

And one more thing, in the great divide between business-like ‘craftsmen’ author and moody ‘artistic’ authors, the everyday writer, in my opinion, should come down on the business-like approach. The creative ‘once-my-mood-gets-better’ writer may produce greater poetry or deeper novels, but in everyday writing it falls flat.

Of all business-like authors, Anthony Trollope’s daily routine remains the best known and the most impressive. For most of his writing life, he had a full-time job as a civil servant with the Post Office and his enormous output of over 60 books was the product of his leisure hours. Along with his busy life, he found 15 to 20 hours a week for his writing. Day after day, year and year, he would sit at his desk between 5:30 and 8:30 in the morning , writing 1000 words an hour after planning each novel thoroughly.

Business-like such authors may be, they are not always without superstitions. Melvyn Bragg insists on writing for a Monday morning writing the first word for a new novel. The 19- century French novelist Honore de Balzac insisted on having an unripe apple on his desk, and Alexandre Dumas, creator of The Three Musketeers, would always write bedsocks while writing whereas Roald Dahl favours large yellow notepads.

So the question is- All these writers differ so widely in their working methods, what guidance can we derive from them?

Perhaps, I think, to take writing seriously, and to work intensely at getting it right- that is expressing your thoughts as clearly and accurately as possible.

What do you think? Do you write fast- or take your time in plotting everything? Do you treat writing as a business or as an art? Do you believe in superstitions while writing? If yes, then do tell!

 

 

Book Review – The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven

BOOK COVER BLURB

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The creature had reared up in its true form, a frozen man-sized explosion of pink custard like stuff. It wobbled and shook. Big bubbles formed and popped on its skin, belching out words.

‘Fresh!’ it burped, ‘Fresh meat! Fresh meat!’

‘Whatever,’ said Jack – and sighed. Yep, he thought.

Gang up on the new guy. In some ways, when it came down to it, Hell was really pretty predictable…

PLOT

The main story revolves around 3 kids and a demon loose from Hell known as the ‘Scourge’. The story starts with 2 boys Jack and Charlie where Charlie is the dominant one and Jack simply hangs around with him. After a conversation with a mysterious stranger Charlie is chosen to be the leader of a gang that protects the Earth from the Scourge aka the demon from Hell. Now a weird black tattoo comes to life under Charlie’s skin and it is all unknown what it really is.

They both meet Esme, a girl who’s being training her whole life to fight the Scourge (because her father was a fighter too!). And when she comes to know that Charlie is the new leader she is very angry.

The story moves forward and there are many revelations about the story and the characters. At last this is a story about bravery, friendship, good over evil and most importantly how the side character of Jack turns into the hero of the story.

CHARACTERS

The characters were so awesome and so true! I mean they were all the way they should have been – witty and childish. The character of Jack was the most awesome of them all because he always had these little sarcastic comments that always made me giggle.

Charlie was purely – ugh I can’t even say because that’ll ruin the book for you. Esme was the most graceful fighter of all the female characters of all. She was brave and wasn’t scared of whatever the circumstances were. There are some things I so want to tell you but I can’t! (They are all spoilers!)

And how could I forget the characters of Scourge and God himself! And let me tell you that God really is a kind and sarcastic person! Well portrayed!

WRITING STYLE

The writing style was the most unique of all the books I’ve ever read!

Just look at all the fonts and the things that the author did to make the reader know the alterations in the tone and voice of a certain character.

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And also the fighting sequences requires a special mention because they were described so beautifully that it felt like a little movie playing inside my head.

MY REVIEW

I would happily give this 5/5 stars. Sometimes I think I’m giving too many stars to book but they’re all such a little thing of happiness that I can’t even..

You’ll like it if:

  • You like a little action in books
  • You want to read more about the concept of Heaven and Hell

You’ll not like it if:

  • You don’t like books with a little action in them
  • You don’t like children as main characters

Book Review- Second Spring by Sandhya Jane

BOOK COVER BLURB

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This is Avantika’s heartfelt journey through love and life…

As a smart, successful, thirty-eight-year-old single mother, Avantika seemingly has it all: a great career as a seasoned banking professional, respect and admiration from her peers as an able leader, fulfillment as a mother, and so many other things.

What is it, then, that drives her towards Rohan, a man six years her junior? He’s a man who ideally would not occupy much room in Avantiks’s otherwise sorted mind space.

She has told herself she has no time fore love. Then, why does she make the choices she makes? Is it the sameness and banality of everyday existence? Is it the emotional vacuum? A need to relive life? A feeling that life as she truly lived and felt is passing her by?

However, as she struggles with her feelings, Avantika and Rohan part ways…only yo meet again. To what end? Why does Rohan want her back..and why now? So many questions! Very few answers!

Avantika’s journey is as spiritual as it is emotional. Can love give second chances? Join Avantika in the twists and turns of her story, through her ponderings over the mysteries and vagaries of the word “love”, the complexities of human relationships, and the reassessment of all the values she had held dear…

PLOT

The basic plot of the story is the stereotypical relationship of a older woman and a younger man. In India, it is seen to be not acceptable and hence the inner turmoils of Avantika, both as a mother and as a thinker of what the society will think, is portrayed beautifully. When I read the book I found myself in the shoes of Avantika and I thought about what a girl should do in these circumstances. It made me think about things that I don’t usually think. This as a awesome job in the ‘story’ department.

CHARACTERS

The book skips between the point of view of Avantika and Rohan an both the characters were written very well. I could read and know which character was telling there side of story because the character’s voice were up to the point.

I liked Rohan from the start because he was a caring and good natured (did I mentioned very good looking?) person and he almost did the correct things for all the right reasons. I almost thought his decisions in the novel were correct and anyone would have done the same thing.

Whereas Avantika,  especially in the second half of the book lost somewhere. I connected with her in the first half well and good but as the second half started I felt like she was doing so many things wrong. Like for example (This is not a spoiler because I’m just mentioning the book cover blurb here) when Rohan and Avantika part ways, Avantika becomes an almost ascetic as she turns into this spiritual person which really seems awkward. Not because I didn’t want her to be spiritual or I have any hate for the people who are ascetics but because the turn as so fast that I didn’t really believed it.

Sure, the author hinted on her being a spiritual person from the beginning but the whole concept just didn’t please me.

WRITING STYLE

The writing style was good for this novel. With simple words used the author did a good job with the different character voices. The dialogues were so swoon-worthy and I wanted more of the dialogues between the main characters without them being shy most of the time (I get it, they were shy but I wanted them to talk more too!)

Also the ending!!! OHMYFJFHVJ!! What was that! I’m trying really hard not to give any spoilers but what was that? I swear I didn’t see that coming in ages! And that made me happy because half the time I predict what’s going to happen in the books and I’m left getting disappointed because I guessed it. But reading this book ending was like walking into a wall straight on. I had to reread the lines again and again because I literally thought I was dreaming! And IU imagined the author smiling at me and saying “Nope. You’re not dreaming, my girl. You just had a book attack*. And you’ll be fine soon.**”

 

*I invented this word. It is a mix of a heart attack because of a book. TADDDAAA! Book attack!

**This translates to- “No you’ll never be fine. You’ll spend days thinking about this and then you’ll probably faint after thinking about it some more.”

MY REVIEW

You’ll like it if:

  • 1) You enjoy a light romance
  • 2) You are looking for a short novel with an emotion of feels
  • 3) You are looking for an adventure. Then I’ll suggest you read this. Probably better to read the ending than go bungee jumping!

You’ll not like it if:

  • 1) If you prefer a serious read
  • 2) If you don’t like romance
  • 3) If you have a weak heart because that ENDING!!

 

Book Review- Hart Broken (#1) by Annie Arcane [The Best Romantic Book Ever!!]

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BOOK BLURB

Mickey Hart doesn’t do one-night stands. Until she wakes up in a luxury penthouse. With nothing but a t-shirt. And no idea who it belongs to.

Enter Cale Windermere. Driven. Ambitious. Successful. And so gorgeous he could’ve walked straight out of a romance novel…

Except I can’t walk.

Not that it ever stops me from getting what I want.

And I want her.

Even if she’s keeping secrets.

That could tear me to f*cking shreds.

PLOT

First of let me tell you, you would not expect the story to be what it is. I thought of this as a “bad-boy-good-girl” story in which the bad boy is on a wheelchair. But oh no no…you don’t want to underestimate the story. As soon as the story starts I have a clear view of what is going on and who is who.

There are two main characters (there will be as it is a romantic story so..) Cale and Mickey. Mickey finds herself in someone’s bed but she doesn’t know where she is but then it turns out to be the most unexpected place- a condo of a very rich handsome man named Cale. I loved him! And that’s probably an understatement. He is such a gentleman and absolutely not a bad boy and after reading this I thought about how boring it is to read about main characters as bad boys. They should be courteous and just good at heart. His introduction is also epic (Haha!)

“Cale Windermere.”, he said, sticking out his hand.

“C-Cale?”

“Yeah. Like the leafy green, just take off the K and replace with a C.”

Then we meet Mickey who is a simple girl who has some problems. (Don’t wait for more I’m not going to tell any spoilers. Go read the book!) And the author Annie Arcane wrote in an interview that the character of Mickey is exactly like her. And after reading this I too think that she is like me. I too have that problem (Hint: It’s not a disease. It’s just is a thing. I really don’t want to give any spoilers) And the story revolves around how they both overcome their own problems- Cale’s accident which leaves him on the wheelchair and Mickey’s problem.

CHARACTERS

The characters are the best thing that happened with this book. I mean it! The characters are so real that after the book all I wanted to do was have all the characters as my friends (except Ashley. Those who have read this book will know why.)

I’ve already told you about Mickey and Cale. Melinda, or Mel is Mickey’s best friend and so sweet and her boyfriend Jason is so funny! Both Mel and Mickey are always making him work so much!

There are more characters which just add good things to the book.

WRITING STYLE

Now talking about the writing style is what is making me smile here. The writing is so sarcastic and witty and hilarious. The book shifts between the point of views of Mickey and Cale and I enjoyed them both so much. God, I can’t stop gushing about Cale. And Annie Arcane wrote the struggles and problems of a wheelchair-bound person so correctly that half the time I was feeling so bad for Cale.

The best thing about this book are the dialogues. I always stress upon the importance of dialogues in any fiction book. Give me a bad story but just make the dialogues so awesome that I may not be able to put it down and this was just exactly I would’ve wanted.

MY REVIEW

You’ll like it if:

  • If you’re a human and if you’re not welcome on the Earth, Mr. Alien!
  • If you want another Book Boyfriend to top your list!
  • If you’re a romance book lover and you want another book to devour
  • If you’re not a romance lover, you’ll love this (see me!)

 

You’ll not like it if:

  • As I said you’re not human
  • If you don’t read then I think there is no chance to make you read (though I’ll try my best to make you read till you cry and finally read it and then we’ll cry together for different reasons altogether. ;P

And after all this if you have to think about what I’m going to rate it then…

So I’m going to give it…

*drum roll please*

5/5 stars!!!

A special mention:

I normally don’t do this but this is a special case. The author Annie Arcane requested to read this book and even if I was reluctant at first to even read it (because it is a romance novel and I don’t normally do romantic!) but I’m so so glad I accepted it and here I am constantly thinking about the book (Cale to be more specific!) And the I loved the author both as a writer and even more as a person. She’s so funny even in real life and I couldn’t contain myself not to email her about every little thing. And she was more than kind to reply to every one of them.

And I think when a book is so good, you try to make people read it and want that be such a successful book. And so this is the first time that I’m doing this and I hope that this continues in future as well, I going to recommend this to everyone and I really really hope that you read it. If you love reading give this book and the author a little love and appreciation.

August Book Haul and my Blogiversary!

Hey everybody!

I completed one year of blogging and I would thank you all for staying and reading what I write. I wouldn’t have believed for even one second that I would’ve got more than 400 followers here and so many friends!

And WordPress was great enough to send a little notification.

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“Sometimes I think I have too many books.

But then I remember there’s no such thing!”

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I have a huge haul to share! I got 10 books! I’ll be linking their GoodReads page and you can access that by clicking on their title.

The first two books I got were I got physical copies and an ebook from the author.

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  1. Xan and Ink by Zak Zyz
  2. Hart Broken by Annie Arcane
  3. The Last Burning of New London by Danielle Myers

The next 3 books I won in a GoodReads giveaway! Looks like I was very lucky this month!

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  1. Here be Dragons by Mohit Uppal
  2. Horsemen of Old by Krishnarjun Bhattacharya
  3. Indiot by Ana Spoke

The next 4 I borrowed from my cousin and so technicallt they’ll be with me for quite some time.

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  1. The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
  2. The Black Tattoo by Sam Enthoven
  3. The Somnambulist by Essie Fox
  4. Break no Bone by Kathy Reichs

So these were the list of books that I got this month and seeing these I don’t think I’ll be so lucky every month.

 

Book Review- No safe zone by Adite Banerjie

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BOOK COVER BLURB

London-based activist Qiara Rana is devastated when investigations begin against Sameera Khan, her upright mentor at Girls Rock!, a small but reputed not-for-profit organization. She will do anything to save them from ruin. Even if it means visiting the city that still makes her heart bleed. But within a few hours of landing in New Delhi, she is being chased by a gunman and is a suspect in the murder of a high-profile businessman. The only person she can turn to for help is the man who stood her up ten years ago.

On a mission to bust an international women’s trafficking ring, Intelligence Bureau officer Kabir Shorey runs slam bang into the girl who has tormented his dreams. He is determined to protect her, but can he save himself from the all-consuming passion that flares up between them all over again?

As the past and present collide, old secrets are ripped away. Treading the fine lines between safety and danger, truth and lies, love and betrayal, Qiara and Kabir discover that in life there is no safe zone.

PLOT

I liked the plot. I dived into this book considering it to be the same romantic Indian novel but I was wrong. And I’m happy I was wrong. The plot was simple yet it was complex in the way it was written.

A company is wrongly accused of something they didn’t do and so Qiara goes on a mission to protect that company. In the way, she meets Kabir, who loved each other before but some circumstances which are unveiled later in the book. And then they start fighting with each other but they have to work together and so they remain angry with each other, ignoring the feelings that they still have for each other.

With their mission unfolding many truths began unfolding which test their love and trust.

Overall the plot was good keeping in mind the length of the book which is not that big. Had it been a little longer the story would have been complicated a little more but for this it was absolutely perfect.

CHARACTERS

The characters of Qiara and Kabor were so complete together. They were complementary and their banter was what I loved the most. The more they stayed with each other, the more they grew closer. And even if they denied their feelings for each other they still had feelings for each other. I mean who are they kidding! And they were believable to the point they seemed real. The dialogues they had were also great making me want a 100 pages more of their conversations and fights.

WRITING STYLE

The writing style was very good. I had fun reading this book as the characters had their own individual voices and they never seemed like a figment of anyone’s imagination. The best part of this book was that I started the book and within the second page I knew what was going on rather than struggling for the storyline. There are many books which are so confusing in the start, the authors try to keep the reader guessing but this was not like that. It was straightforward which was a good thing for this kind of book.

MY REVIEW

All in all, the expectations I had were absolutely fulfilled because I thought of it as another romance novel that was too much and would seem unreal but it was absolutely not the case with it. I would recommend this to anyone who would love a light romance-action-comedy novel and anyone who is interested in reading an Indian novel.

I would give it 4.5/5 just for the fact that I wanted it to be a little bit more lengthy but it ended a little too early!

*I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway and all the opinions in this review are honest.*