Sunday, April 27, 2014

#65 : Just Kidding....Yours Destiny by Anirban Das : A Review

                                            Just Kidding... Yours, Destiny

BOOK TITLE: Just Kidding…..Yours Destiny

ISBN: 9383808039

AUTHOR: Anirban Das

GENRE: Fiction


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani  

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

SUMMARY: Anirban Das is making his book debut with Just Kidding Yours, Destiny. The implied essence of the story is about making choices, their consequences and the role of destiny. The plot is a simple story, revolving around the complicated life of Kunal Roy. Ambitious Kunal is living the great Indian dream, having purchased a house in Mumbai, driving an expensive car and striving to earn pots of money. Having slogged for donkeys years in the same company, Kunal believes that he is a star employee in his company. He is determined to reach the top with a simple mantra - hard work and dedication. Kunals seemingly planned life and ambitions turn awry with the sudden acquisition of his company and an abrasive new boss who puts Kunal to the sword. Kunals life is further turned upside down with the entry of a company rookie, Shristi, compelling him to change his world view and his lifes priorities. Is Shristi for real or is she an illusion? And who is the real Kunal? Undergoing upheavals in both professional and personal life, Kunal looks to jettison his ambitions by embarking on a journey of self discovery in an attempt to regain his lost identity and a semblance of control. This book aspires to strike a chord with the readers, engage and entertain them. It has been written from the heart, in a manner, which is characteristic of the authors writing style. The story has been set in a typical Indian urban backdrop but the emotions enunciated, would transcend country barriers


Whenever an Indian writer approaches us for reviews we never say no. It’s my country and I wish to encourage writing in my country!  Though there are a lot of wannabies inspired by a particular writer who according to me isn’t worth to be a literary inspiration, yet writing off young writers and being judgemental is not fair. Thus I decided to go ahead and pick this book.

The summary talks of making choices and destiny. Destiny has increasingly become every other writer’s choice of theme. Anirban’s book is no different.

So what really made the book stand out? Narration. That’s it. Just the narration with footnotes.

The ending was predictable after a certain part of the story, till that particular turning point I was expecting the typical Bollywood kind “All is well” climax. Then again, like every other writer who centres his/ her plot on destiny invariably go in for a “different” (read sad) ending unlike the B-Wood ending! This book is no different.

The characterisations were realistic to some extent! I loved Shristi’s characterisation. I’ve always sort of wanted to be that bold girl who could roam around in a Bullet (Someday I will for sure! Working on it tirelessly).

Thankfully the writing was at least clean; else I wouldn’t have been able to complete the book. The narration was good sans the overdose of drama that one normally finds in a typical “destiny” book. The one thing that certainly deserves a mention are the foot notes. They really made my day. They were point blank hilarious!

The other thing that certainly needs to be lauded is the cover art. It quite justifies that title of the book. Loved the vibrant Blue & Yellow colors.

Though the writer began well, he sort of messed up midway. It was almost like he was thoroughly lost and confused as to how to end the book.

Overall, for a neat attempt by a rookie who obviously needs to work on plotline cohesiveness though he sure is witty and humorous.

VERDICT: Just another book. Could be skipped or could be read. Go for it if you want to just laugh!

RATING: 3 on 5

 Ignoring his childhood aspiration of becoming a sportsman, Anirban Das obtained a degree in mechanical engineering and followed it up with a post graduation in Advertising. He worked with an Indian automobile conglomerate, before quitting his job to pursue his MBA. Anirban loves to read, travel, listening to music. And forgot to mention, writing too! He flirted briefly with singing but decided against pursuing it, in larger public interest. What he does not enjoy is cooking, notwithstanding consistent prodding by family members. Anirban can be reached at

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback & Kindle.

PRICE:  Rs. 176 (Kindle)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Saturday, April 26, 2014

#64 : Love and Lokpal by Pooja Wanpal : A Review


BOOK TITLE: Love & Lokpal

ISBN: 9789332421332

AUTHOR: Pooja Wanpal

GENRE: Fiction - Romance


FORMAT: Paperback


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Giveaway by The Readaddicts

Shlok Kulkarni, an architect by day and an Assassin's creed junkie by night is being bombarded with eligible girls by his matchmaking mama. In a bid to escape her and maybe check out a few hot girls while he’s at it, Shlok flees to Delhi, where a massive protest for the Lokpal Bill has been building up.

Kaveri Gokhale has been searching for a cause her whole life. When the winds of the Lokpal blow through the country, she eagerly catches the next train to Delhi to witness history.

When Shlok runs into Kaveri at Jantar Mantar, the sparks are undeniable. As their relationship blossoms, Kaveri discovers a dark secret that leaves her devastated . . . and endangers the fate of billion others. Will Shlok and Kaveri’s love wither or will it withstand the uncertainties of the corrupt politics? Can love truly conquer all ideologies?

The summary talks about love conquering ideologies and uncertainties of corrupt politics. Politics and love is always a powerful combination, a rather successful one when used correctly. Thus I was expecting a power packed storyline and ended up feeling a disappointed. May be my expectations were quite high. After all the writer is a rookie and is obviously taking baby steps.

I liked the characterisation of shlok but the character of Kaveri lacked that conviction of a political science student. A political science student just doesn’t go and join a protest without thinking how it actually might end. Moreover a political science student in my personal experience has that uncanny ability to understand and unmask the true face of a politician. Kaveri falling for that politician’s ruse annoyed me.

The “lokpal bill” has become a household term these days. Courtesy : Dissection of the bill by media. The writer obviously has based her story upon these dissection reports. Thus there is nothing special about this whole lokpal bill in the book. Or to be a bit blunt, weaving the story around Anna hazarae’s fast and the Lokpal didn't help in causing any ripples.

Thankfully the writing was clean and the language was simple. The writer I fell is capable of wonders but some has restricted herself.
Overall, I was disappointed. Hope Pooja does a better job in next book.

VERDICT: A light read not to be taken too seriously.

RATING: 3 on 5

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Pooja Wanpal is an avid reader, writer and trekker. She is currently studying economics at Fergusson College, Pune. She is also the author of the book, 'Love and Lokpal' which was released in June 2013. Her blog can be found at

EDITIONS AVAILABLE: Paperback, Kindle.

PRICE: Rs.95 (Paperback)


Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse

Thursday, April 24, 2014

#63 : Sherlock Holmes in Japan by Vasudev Murthy : A Review

BOOK TITLE: Sherlock Holmes in Japan

ISBN: 9350296691

AUTHOR: Vasudev Murthy writing as Akira Yamashita

GENRE: Fiction – Mystery


FORMAT: Paper Back


REVIEW BY: Shree Janani

HOW I GOT THIS BOOK: Won it as a part of #RCHCGiveAway


Sherlock Holmes solves his biggest case yet in this seriocomic Missing Years novel 1893: King Kamehameha III of Hawaii declares Sovereignty Restoration Day ... Tension grows between China and Japan over Korea ... The Bengal Famine worsens ... The senior priest at Kinkaku-ji temple is found dead in mysterious circumstances Dr John H. Watson receives a strange letter from Yokohama. The quiet, distinguished Mr Hashimoto is murdered inside a closed room on a voyage from Liverpool to Bombay. In the opium dens of Shanghai and in the back alleys of Tokyo, sinister men hatch evil plots. Professor Moriarty stalks the world, drawing up a map for worldwide dominion. Only one man can outwit the diabolical Professor Moriarty. Only one man can save the world. And that man has survived Reichenbach Falls. In a seriocomic Missing Years novel that radically ups the ante, Sherlock Holmes and Dr John H. Watson find their match in more than one man (or indeed, woman). A thrilling chase that will leave you breathless


Sherlock Holmes! What I can say more? It’s the “it” book for me, the timeless piece of classic that I have loved reading since I was a child. That one book apart from Harry Potter series that won’t bore me no matter how many times I re-read.

I was happily enjoying my vacation in Mysore when my co-blogger excitedly rang me up and told me I had won this book as a part of the #RCHCGiveAway. I couldn’t wait to get back home and start reading it. Though I was a bit unsure if this writer could create the same magic as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle did.To my complete surprise I felt like I was reading Doyle’s work. Though, in my opinion if I were the writer I wouldn’t want my readers to feel that they are reading the original writer’s work for very obvious reasons. Nevertheless, the writer’s effort is thoroughly laudable.

The story picks off from “The Final Problem” where Holmes is believed to be dead after the tussle with Professor Moriarty. The writer has managed to give a really logical explaination for Holme’s survival. Having never read “His last Bow” ( I didn’t really want to read it that soon! Never managed to complete the entire set of stories. ) this book seemed perfectly chronological to me.

The writer really sounded like Sir Doyle in major parts of the book, though at times it sort of deviated. The writing was simply beautiful.

The plot line was cohesive without any logical blunders. The book managed to keep me totally hooked and left me wanting for more. One thing that was a wee bit amiss was that the writer made Moriarty sound a little less evil. Come on! Moriarty is “the” perfect and logical villain for me before Voldy came along!

The writer obviously knows (or has studied) Japanese culture. I loved the way Japanese characters were used in the beginning of each chapter.

The foreword certainly deserves a mention. The foreword has been written by Calvert Markham, treasurer, Sherlock Holmes Society of London. The foreword has been written with such a passion that it amazed me that such a society even exists. Wish I would complete reading Sir Doyle’s entire works soon and relocate to London.(For those who are struggling to pick me a gift, you might as well take a pointer from the previous line) 

Overall it’s a fabulous piece of work that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. Thank you Mr.Murthy for writing such a brilliant book.

VERDICT: It’s Sherlock Holmes!  Come on! You have to read it!

RATING: 5 on 5

 Vasudev Murthy is a writer, Indian classical violinist and management consultant. He lives in Bangalore with his wife, two children, five dogs and a collection of musical instruments.


PRICE: Rs.350


P.S: The Review might be biased as I am die hard fan of Sherlock Holmes Series.

P.P.S: If you haven't realized it yet from this font, may god save you :P 

Note : This review was first posted in Readers' Muse