Saturday, February 22, 2014

#60 : Love is Vodka A Shot Ain't Enough by Amit Shankar : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Love is Vodka A Shot Ain’t Enough

ISBN:  9788192535449

AUTHOR: Amit Shankar

GENRE: Fiction – Chic Lit


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani  

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The writer sent us his books for review. We thank him for it.

SUMMARY: If love is all about freedom and honest expression then how can one associate it with loyalty?

Being a love child; Moon, the protagonist is anything but a conventional teen. With a leading TV news anchor as her mother, an aspiring entrepreneur as her boy friend, the word LOVE baffles her. The whole idea of having one partner and love being eternal is beyond her comprehension. 

Life turns upside down when she falls for the CEO, who happens to be her mother's boyfriend too. Destiny further complicates things by blessing her with a big time modelling assignment and she becomes famous and popular overnight.

A war starts waging between her head & heart on a lot of issues exposing her to various forms of love online & offline. 

Will she decipher the true meaning of love? Embark on an exhilarating rendezvous with Moon and discover love like never before.


This book was initially supposed to be reviewed as a part of the #Womanifesto  campaign that we ran during the December month. Somehow our plans went awry. Finally, I got to review it now.

The protagonist, Moon,is a lanky teenager who is trying to wade through the difficult phase of every girl’s life - teenage. She is love child and yearns for that emotional support like every other child with a single parent who is busy making a career. She ends up falling for a man who is way too old for her. Things go wrong and they part ways. She then moves on to finally find the love of her life.

The summary really intrigued me. The war between the head and heart is always a complex one which can leave any individual thoroughly exhausted. But the writer has portrayed his protagonist to be resilient enough to wade through that battle. There are parts of the story (I can’t elaborate, Avoiding Spoilers!) which are highly emotional and underlines a fact that even a resilient person can get emotional in difficult times.

The characterisation of the protagonist, Moon was good, but I thought it sort of lacked that conviction of a confused teenager trying to figure out life. Moreover, I don’t think teenage is as horrible as the writer portrays in his story. Yes, being a teenage girl isn’t easy but it’s not rocket science either. (Been there done that!)

The story line seemed sensible until the climax. I felt the writer rushed to finish the book off. One thing that absolutely put me off was that whole Lokpal protest scenario. Come on! A model who doesn’t even reads the newspapers to know about it campaigns for it. Seriously, I don’t think anything of that sort happened with the actual Lokpal campaign.

The other thing that I found rather annoying was a fact that the writer made it sound as though men are smack in the center of a female teenager’s life. All Moon (our protagonist) could think about was her boyfriend or some other male friend or that “Oh- I- Am- A-Perfect-Man” CEO. I agree it’s all about boys during that phase of life, but then, it’s the hormones at play. In fact, there is much more than boys to a teenage girl’s life (Again. This is a personal experience).

The cover of the book was beautiful. I loved that pink colour and the stockings picture. The title is perfect well – Seriously for the trouble we women folk land into. one shot of Vodka isn’t enough to drown it all!
The writing was simple and neat.  

Overall, the book was “okay” and left me feeling a bit disappointed.

VERDICT: Neither good nor bad.

RATING: 3 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: loner, drifter, coffee lover, great cook, an avid music buff who is inspired by classic rock, blues, metal and jazz. loves to strum his guitar.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback & Digital.

PRICE: Rs.108 (Paperback)

Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

#59 : The Korean Word For Butterfly by James Zerdnt : A Review


BOOK TITLE: The Korean Word For Butterfly

ISBN:  1483997472

AUTHOR:  James Zerndt

GENRE: Fiction


FORMAT: Digital


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK:   A Part of the Virtual Author Book tours.

Set against the backdrop of the 2002 World Cup and rising anti-American sentiment due to a deadly accident involving two young Korean girls and a U.S. tank, The Korean Word For Butterfly is told from three alternating points-of-view:

Billie, the young wanna-be poet looking for adventure with her boyfriend who soon finds herself questioning her decision to travel so far from the comforts of American life;

Moon, the ex K-pop band manager who now works at the English school struggling to maintain his sobriety in hopes of getting his family back;

And Yun-ji , a secretary at the school whose new feelings of resentment toward Americans may lead her to do something she never would have imagined possible. 

The Korean Word For Butterfly is a story about the choices we make and why we make them. 

It is a story, ultimately, about the power of love and redemption.

*The author would like to note that this book deals, in part, with abortion. It tries, as best it can, to explore the issue with compassion rather than judgement.*

Korea is one country that I personally haven’t read about . To me it’s just another country where people look alike – No offense but the Mongolian facial structure is rather confusing.

Of course, the mobile phone maker, Samsung has literally brought Korea into the global limelight for all the right reasons.

Korea, Abortion, Anti- American sentiment – What more reason do I really need to pick the book up?

The book overall was a different experience. I found the narration a bit unconventional. The writer sort of switched tenses and the characterisation had one major element – Sorrow – which made all characters look virtually the same. But as the story progressed the dimensions of the characters could be identified.

I loved the way the writer portrayed heavy emotions and touched upon the really sensitive topic of abortion. He beautifully highlighted a fact that it’s our choices that defines the person that we are. 

One thing that could have been better was the characterisation. Yun-ji, Billie and Moon were rather strong, this made others sort of fade out.

The other thing that sort of made me uncomfortable was the tense change. Initially I struggled to read Moon’s story line, but then I realised why that was needed – Moon is a non-native English speaker. Hence the change in tense sort of was used to highlight that.

To sum it up – it was a different read for me. The book can make you truly emotional. Definitely not for the faint hearted.

VERDICT: A unique book. An eye opener for those who have no clue about Korea. But, pick it up only if you can handle heavy and raw emotions.

RATING: 4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: James Zerndt lives in Portland, Oregon, with his wife and son. His poetry has appeared in The Oregonian, and his fiction has most recently appeared in Gray's Sporting Journal and SWINK magazine. He recieved an MFA in Writing from Pacific University and is extremely fond of gummy bears and rain.

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Kindle & Paperback

PRICE: Rs. 185


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Sunday, February 16, 2014

#58 : When Shall We Meet Again? by Abhimanyu Rajarajan : A Review


BOOK TITLE: When Shall We Meet Again?

ISBN: 9789383271962

AUTHOR:  Abhimanyu Rajarajan

GENRE: Fiction - Romance


FORMAT: Digital


REVIEW BY: ShreeJanani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The writer sent us a review copy. We thank him for it.

 What happens ?...when a software billionaire finds his company’s attrition rate scaling new heights? …when a programming de-bugger meets his ‘break-up” girl after 5 years? …When a revered Swamiji is asked to become a corporate trainer of an IT company?... when a cheerful flirt proposes to a girl who is yet to recover from a relationship shattered by infidelity?... when a college couple gets into a tent in an inebriated state during picnic? when a software Team leader is physically assaulted by her lover in front of her colleagues? …when a drunkard father meets his estranged daughters after a decade? … …when a pervert manager cajoles a new recruit to his private cottage? …when a doting couple’s aborted child enters the body of a Sadhu? … when a lonely girl is lying in bed fully intoxicated and at the mercy of a famished lecher? What happens?..... Passion, Love, Philosophy, Perversion, Thrill, Drama and Wit …..”When shall we meet again?” has a bit of everything….A IT industry romance thriller with lots of life's philosophy thrown in...

Romance yet again! Given that my take on romance changed after reading plenty of beautiful books, I decided to go ahead and read this book. Thankfully, I don’t regret my decision at all.

I have a soft spot for writers from my city. After all there are not many of that lot. This particular writer obviously is a hardcore Chennaite and has portrayed the beauty of the city – The lush Anna University campus and the beautiful foliage of Theosophical society.

Moving on to the important part – The story line. The summary was a bit misleading. I was expecting “a miracle worker” swamiji who would “use his powers to cure people”. Alas! there came this super cool practical and logical swamiji. Initially the characters were a bit confusing. But as the story progressed, things cleared up.
The writer has done a commendable job in handling multiple story lines belonging to each character. The shift of times lines were also smooth and easy to follow. But more than the story line, the emotions were over powering. There was a practical connect thanks to realistic and heavy emotions – love, hurt, anger, sorrow, disappointment, helplessness and joy.

One character that is worth the mention is sawmiji. The concept of brining in a swamiji into a romance genre of sorts may sound rather absurd. But the writer made a brilliant decision to do that in the form of a corporate trainer. After all, swamijis handling corporate aren’t unheard.

It’s again obvious that the writer has some insight about the functioning of IT companies, their organisational culture  and the usual “corporate training programs”.

My only complaint – the editing could have been a wee bit better.
Overall, the book was neat, logical and practical.

VERDICT: Go ahead pick it up. It might even change your perspective of life and love.

RATING: 4 on 5

Born in a small village near the temple town Kumbakonam, Abhimanyu Rajarajan carries with him the traditional mythological traces passed on by centuries of customs. Doted as an only son, he adores togetherness. As his family shifted to Chennai, Abhimanyu had his schooling there. The metropolitan city had its own urban flavour and the unique speed and thrill of Chennai has had a cascading influence on him. Always a seeker of truth and knowledge beyond the mask of apparent life, Abhimanyu has not let his Engineering and Management degrees come in the way of understanding what true life is all about. His characters seem to come out of his books in search of this truth. His debut novel “When Shall We Meet Again” , published in November 2013, is a romance thriller with philosophical interludes, and has won admiring reviews and is already an Amazon bestseller as ebook. Abhimanyu works for a public sector Fortune 500 Company, and thanks to his job, he has travelled extensively and has met too many weird people to deliver a range of characters in his books. He is married and has two adoring daughters. He can be contacted at

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Kindle & Paperback

PRICE: Rs.99


Note : This review was first posted in 
Readers' Muse


Monday, February 10, 2014

#57 : The 13th Prophet : A Short Story by T.Lucas Earle - A Review


BOOK TITLE: The 13thProphet


AUTHOR:  T.Lucas Earle

GENRE: Fiction - Dystopian



SERIES / STANDALONE: Standalone – Short Story

REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The writer sent us a review copy. We thank the writer for the same!

SUMMARY :  Mulligan Burke, an over-the-hill P.I. who has forsaken the evils of Personality implants, is brought back from Alaska to investigate the murder of one of the Prophets. The Prophets inhabit the highest position of the social hierarchy - they dictate fashion trends. Fashion, in this instance, encompasses much more than clothing. And, as Burke discovers, being fashionable is something to die - or kill - for.


Short stories haven’t virtually become distinct these days.  Novellas have taken over. Isn’t it a bit appalling?! It’s obvious that no writer wants risk their reputation by writing a short story which is akin to a double edged sword.

Short stories, according to me are double edge swords. If they are well written they tend to make the reader want more. If they are poorly written, the whole purpose of short story is lost.

The writer has clearly managed to walk over that sword with ease. The story was perfect, with the perfect climax and clear flow of thoughts.
Initially I felt a bit lost but as the plot progressed, things were a bit clearer. The plot was air tight. The strength of the story would be the logical reasoning behind the plot.

I really didn’t have any complaints with this story.

The writer’s script reading/writing experience is evident from his style of narration.

Dystopian fiction has become an overrated genre. But the thankfully the writer saved me the pain of reading some hyper artificial senseless material.

VERDICT: Why not?! It’s a quick quirky read!

RATING: 4 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: T. Lucas Earle is a writer and filmmaker. T. Lucas has a degree in Film Production from Emerson College, and currently works as a script reader in LA. His stories have been published in Electric Spec and The Colored Lens. T. Lucas also writes two blogs and reviews television pilots for Blogcritics. His dark comedy, Abduction, was premiered in the 2013 LA Shorts Film Fest.


PRICE: Rs.59 (For Kindle)


Note : This review was first posted in 
Readers' Muse

Sunday, February 2, 2014

#56 : Love @ Airforce by Gaurav Sharma : A Review

                                                Buy Love @ Air Force: Book

BOOK TITLE: Love @ Airforce
ISBN: 1630416282
AUTHOR: Gaurav Sharma
GENRE: Fiction - Romance
REVIEW BY: Shree Janani
HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: The Readers Cosmos Review Program
SUMMARY : The violent romance of the Fighter planes with the clouds in sky… the pulchritudinous Officers walking around arrogantly… the runway with the logo constituted by the concentric tricolored circles in the background… is the spectacle meets our eyes at the feeble mention of the Air Force but there is more about the Air Force besides these…
Air Force and love – A combination that is enticing even for a romance hater. But the mushy impractical “oh I am so in love” simply gets on my nerves.
Thankfully this book was nothing like that – yet the writer managed to portray love so beautifully. What surprised me more was a fact that the writer is a mathematician. Aren’t mathematicians supposed to be the serious nerd boring types? My lesson learnt – Never judge a man by his profession!
For someone who is ignorant about the whole system of armed forces, the book proved to be an eye-opener. Every other profession has its own “power structure”, but the misconception that I had is this – all people in the armed forces choose that profession for serving the nation, how can there possibly be a power struggle? Guess it’s the same everywhere. Not getting carried away or entangled by this power struggle lies in our hands – A point well made by the writer in this book.
What I loved:
The practical and mature romance – People commit blunders, not all love stories have a happy ending and most importantly, one must move on.
The story proved inspirational in certain parts – Inspiration to move on, inspiration to maintain that self-confidence no matter how many rotten eggs life throws at you!
And the most important message – Kindling that lost love. Our lives have become mechanical; the feeling of being in love has become a rarity. We need to walk that extra mile to make sure that beautiful emotion of being in love isn’t lost – This is exactly what the book taught me.
The poem in the book was beautiful. The writer was thoughtful enough to add English translations!
I really don’t have any complaints with this book!
In short the book left me feeling a bit overwhelmed. The combination of power struggle amongst uniformed men and broken love proved really successful.
VERDICT: A well written piece of practical and mature romance which certainly impacts a reader. Go for it!
RATING: 4 on 5
A Mathematics teacher, Gaurav Sharma has been writing poems since he was eight. He trisects the age of his passion into cricket, mathematics and writing. As a school boy, he was madly in love with cricket, then, mathematics became his passion and lately the writer in him grew restless. Lunacy for his dreams, he claims, has helped him being a published writer. As a writer, he doesn’t want to be just a storyteller but yearns to create a stir.
PRICE: Rs. 135
This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to

Note : This review was first posted in 
Readers' Muse