Monday, April 28, 2014

#BookReview: The PM's 'Wishlist' by JK Sachin

On the jacket:

 This is a fictional story of how Sharan Karan, a newly elected Prime Minister of India chooses to introduce his ‘wishlist’ to the nation. Is his arrival destined and is he the much awaited man-of-destiny that India needs ?

The book makes an attempt to understand the psyche and aspirations of the people of India and perhaps verbalises once again the great Indian dream – of taking India back to the pinnacle of prosperity and to its days of golden prosperity. Sharan Karan charms his followers by his words and actions and makes it possible to believe that the road to becoming a superpower is not a mirage. The key to unlock India’s potential can be made even if the original key has been misplaced.

This book dwells on the hard reality that India faces and conveys with a set of brave solutions and seemingly utopian but extremely practical solutions, that India can accelerate its march towards prosperity speedily .The people of India are running out of patience and practices of yesterday are going to be inadequate to secure desired outcomes of the future.

This book covers sound economic and political fundamentals and imperatives in a racy, fictional format and it is difficult to disbelieve, after reading the book, that India can be an economic superpower soon. The journey was not supposed to be easy but powerful elements within the country are plotting so that Sharan Karan loses his job or his life and in no particular order. Does Sharan Karan succeed in selling his ‘ wishlist’ to the nation ? Find out for yourself in this amazingly simple book that simplifies and demystifies complex economics and International politics.

JK Sachin is a clever story teller who can place suggestions, concepts, stories and narratives on nation building, economics and politics in a racy, fictional format.

This book is surely a must-read for anyone who is remotely interested in the Indian political scene whether as a participant or as an observer. The book makes an attempt to understand the compulsions of law makers and the efforts that have to go in for actions to be visible to the people.

The book stays away from taking sides or endorsing political ideology or parties and that makes the book unique and impartial. Working towards uplifting the country and working on Sharan Karan’s `wishlist’ is possible irrespective of your political affiliations because the Indian dream belongs to all Indians. The book has a lesson for politicians, rulers, administrators of any country for that matter because sound economics and populism can be friends, well; this is what Sharan Karan believes.

It is extremely likely that the book will be read by current and future Prime Ministers of India and it would be a good idea to read this book before they do.


Review:

A political saga, The PM's Wishlist will hit you hard and force you to think (if you already aren't) about what kind of a leader do we really need. A fearless one? A strong one?

Very intelligent writing, in the form a fantasy plot; I say fantasy because, well...look around. The choices we have for the future PM aren't very ideal. In his book, JK Sachin has envisioned an India where the PM (Sharan Karan) is the an ideal candidate, who is strong, bold and there for all the right reasons.

I am not much of a fan of political dramas but The PM's Wishlist was quite an interesting read. A fiction which one can hope to run into a reality. A very commendable job for a debut writer, this book is also a good case study of how an ideal PM should be. Very through provoking, an engrossing political thriller.
Taxes, girl child, national security etc are extensively discussed in the book.

Rating: ****/5

[This is a PR request review. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

#AuthorInterview : Aditya Magal

Almost eighty thousand people follow him on twitter. There, he is @Jhunjhunwala, and the account is a parody. All these years, we have read his wit in the form of tweets or his blog entries, without knowing who he really was. His book How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing releases on May 9, and I found it to be an absolute laugh riot. Before you pick up the book (which you should, I'd say), and experience some rib-tickling laughter, here we are in conversation with author Aditya Magal:
 
Congratulations! The book releases in a few days! Nervous?  
Thank you! And yes, nervous. ‘ Petrified’ would be more like it!
Please tell our readers a bit about you? About Aditya Magal! Those of us who are from twitter, are more acquainted with @Jhunjhunwala, would love to know about the brain behind this laugh riot! 
The biggest laugh riot is my bank balance :-/. Apart from that I’m an ordinary guy, very happy and very lucky to engage with people online and have fun with them cracking silly jokes. India makes me happy and sad so I try to entertain people with that in mind!
How did @Jhunjhunwala come into being? I know it was a social experiment of sorts to begin with, but am curious to know how did the journey progress, and when did the thought to turn it into a book germinate?  
@jhunjhunwala was the extension of the blog ‘The Secret Journal of Rakesh Jhunjhunwala’ and the handle started in 2009. Since then, I’ve tried to make people laugh. At times I’ve succeeded and many times I have failed but I’ve had fun doing it and that’s what makes the journey rewarding – the fact that I can have fun online with people generous enough to read my nonsense!
The book came about in the closing months of 2012 where the idea was to put the ‘Jhunjhunwala’ character from the blog and twitter in a story situation. An exploration of that led the thought to germinate and with time a book to fruition.
Please tell our readers a bit about the book? 
How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing’ is the story of two men. One, a freakishly egotistical but fun loving billionaire who has worked honestly to become rich and another, an entrepreneur who is struggling to reach the top strata of financial independence. He does this by selling Nothing – emptiness which we struggle our whole lives to obtain without stopping a moment to think why we are actually struggling for the same. The story deals with contrasting values in people and takes a funny look at human nature through the spectrum of making money. 
Tell us something about your struggle with getting published. We have a fair idea that it isn’t a cake walk. But how was the real deal for you?
Most publishers did not want to take a chance on a blogger who had been clawing in one corner of the internet for almost five years. However, I was fortunate to have two publishers express an interest in my manuscript and extremely lucky to have Random House give me the support and guidance required to write a funny debut novel.
As an individual you are already famous, been featured in so many publications and written in as many. But this is your debut as an author of a full-fledged book. Different? Difficult?  
A completely testing experience. It required a different mindset and a very structured and disciplined approach. Since I had been preparing for this for a long time I knew what the struggle entailed. Writing humour is also not easy, as they say ‘making someone cry is easy. making someone laugh is very hard’. So, a debut novel almost 400 pages long and funny has been a challenge – physically and mentally. But, most importantly it has also been fun and a learning experience so I am grateful for it.
What next? Another new genre maybe? 
Absolutely! Poetry, short stories, comic books! Whatever I try, I hope the readers like it.
Who do you read, who are your favourites? 
RK Narayan, Goscinny and Uderzo, Roald Dahl, Agatha Christie, Conan Doyle, Charles Dickens, Oscar Wilde, Haruki Murakami, Stan Lee, Jerome K Jerome, Tolkien, Rowling, Mark Twain and simply many many many more!
Too many authors mushrooming over the Indian literary scene of late. More authors than readers, maybe. Does that disturb you as a writer? Or would you say, genuine readers would dig out a worthy book from anywhere? 
I really don’t know. I’ve just written my first book so I’m not an expert on gauging the scene but I think in my own experience, the writers who have influenced me the most have always been the ones that have been able to communicate with me through their words. I guess readers look for such writers to hold sway over them during the course of their lives.
Any to-dos for wannabe authors?
Absolutely none!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

#BookReview : A Breath of Frost (The Lovegrove Legacy #1) by Alyxandra Harvey

On the jacket:

In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their family lineage of witchcraft when a binding spell is broken, allowing their individual magical powers to manifest. Now, beyond the manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, an alluring underworld available only to those with power is revealed to the cousins. By claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the underworld.  Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young debutante witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders…because she keeps finding the bodies.  Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed…or even worse, before their new gifts are stripped away?

Review:

This was my first read of Alyxandra Harvey and I am more or less a YA genre novice. When I was a YA, we either read kiddy books or grownup books. So, while I am no more a YA, I like to read books written for them once in a while. Fun to read.

A story set in high society historical London, A Breath Of Frost has everything one needs in an entertaining book. A whodunit that involves murder, magic, mystery, romance, witches and warlocks, just about everything. Our girl Emma is basically bored with the high society parties and looking for some excitement which she finds when one day she accidently breaks open her mother's perfume bottle. The bottle holds some secret which opens the gate to underworld, the land of the wicked creatures who are not dead. Emma wanted excitement and she got it. But did she really want this!

 The plot has a lot of characters, yet one doesn't get confused. Harvey has created a wonderful story including so many varied elements and weaving an unique plot with a lot of attention to detail. A very nice read.

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for Bloomsbury India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#BookReview : How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing by Aditya Magal

On the jacket:

An entrepreneur's dreams of success are stepped on when a billionaire he approaches for funding shoos him away with a meager 1 Lakh. Fuelled by his desire for revenge, the entrepreneur sets up a large scale manufacturing set up and manufactures the greatest product ever devised: nothing! His marketing skills help land investments by the hundreds, from the regretful billionaire to the deep-pockets of Indian politicians. However, his ride to success is cut short as another company claims that he has infringed on their ideas. In this spoof on success, Aditya Magal spares no one, and his writing captures the humour and absurdity of India. His book portrays humorous visions of everyone from Ishant Sharma to Rakhi Sawant to Rahul Gandhi to Kapil Sibal.

Review:

One day a week ago, I got a mail telling me about How To Become A Billionaire By Selling Nothing (#HTBABBSN) by Aditya Magal. Here, I got to know the author is the same guy who is behind the famous twitter handle @JhunJhunWala. I had never followed this handle, purely out of awe. It was some 72K+ followers, Wow! I was aware of the quality of tweets which were churned from this handle, but only after I got this mail did I realise that it is a parody account. Oh fun! 

#HTBAMBSN is about a man who made billions out of nothing. Well, that the title itself suggests. But who makes these billions? JhunJhunwala himself?

The book begins with JhunJhunWala introducing himself. And introduce himself, does he! If there is a superlative to exaggeration, this man is it! Yet, he is not obnoxious. JhunJhunWala is the awesomest, richest and the greatest person there ever was. He is the king of Dalal Street. Think of the most influential person ever, and he is a nobody when compared to JhunJhunWala. Everything about this man scream of style and money. He is full of himself and completely unapologetic about it. He is fat. Like faaaaaat, but firmly believes he is the sexiest ever. People worship him - literally.

One day JhunJhunWala is approached by a man Ramakant Shastri, to invest in his entrepreneurial venture to sell - nothing. That doesn't happen and Shastri is sent packing with some money for his mental treatment. Few weeks later, our man JhunJhunWala finds out that he has been conned and that Shastri has used that money to ensure JhunJhunWala buys stakes in his (Shastri's) firm. A firm which sells nothing. Share prices skyrocket as soon as it is known that JhunJhunWalahas shown interest in this company. JhunJhunWala wants revenge and here starts all the drama!

Enough about the story, what I want to stress on is how effortlessly hilarious this book is. Almost every line has kept me in splits. There is a dig at almost about every situation our country has (and is) stuck in and every personality one can think of. Magal has cleverly peppered the book with the ironies of our lives, but in such a way that you will be laughing wholeheartedly. 

Amidst all his larger than life, exaggerated image, we can still relate to JhunJhunWala in some ways. What takes the cake is the International JhunJhunWala Anthem song. I have laughed so much while reading a book, after ages. I would say you too should read this book - share an adventure with JhunJhunWala and have a good heart laugh which will stretch over 375 pages.

Rating: *****/5
   
[This review is for Random House India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Monday, April 21, 2014

#BookReview : The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V. Reddy

On the jacket:

The Vigil and Other Stories 

'Delusions' has Rohit, an actor par excellence, slipping into different characters even when he is not supposed to be acting. Devika, his fiercely loving wife, finds an unorthodox way to draw him out of his delusions. 

In 'The Square', three successful painters hold an impromptu contest with their friend, who is unknown and a recluse. The result is expected or is it? 

'The Vigil' is about Naina, a young expectant mother, who is also a very busy professional. She makes all arrangements for the birth of her child but finds she has missed out on something very vital. Is it too late to make amends? 

'A Lifetime' is about the choices Tara makes when she falls in love under the ominous shadow of honour killing. Can she live with her choice? 

Fifteen stories, myriad emotions, diverse characters, milieus, situations make The Vigil and other stories a compelling read.

Review:

If you have been following my book reviews, you would already know that I love short stories. I believe it's very difficult to write a story in a few pages and if it has been done successfully, it is more commendable than writing sagas, in my opinion. Luckily, I am yet to encounter a book of short stories which made me rethink this opinion. The Vigil and Other Stories by Gita V Reddy is yet another book with some amazing short stories. 

Fifteen stories with different themes and storylines, all set in different timezones, this book makes for a collection of stories which takes you to one lifetime, brings you back and takes you to a totally new one in the next story. 

I read parts of this book during a road trip. At one point, while we were driving over some ghats, my husband quized, "Isn't it amazing how monkeys are always seen wherever there is a Hanuman temple?" And from here, we idly went on to talk about the Ramayana and the conversation rested on Rama's injustice towards Sita. The same night, I read Sita's Lives. This story was an echo of my own mind, and was also so significant in today's time and situation. My favourite story, it tore my heart and I had keep the book aside, to pick it up the next morning again. 

I loved Reddy's style of writing. So effortless, so smooth. And every plot is so earthy, so honest. Every story isn't the best, but the good thing is that they are evenly placed in sequence. This isn't the kind of book you would take to bed and have a nice time with. This is a book of which snippets and incidents will stay in your mind and make you think, haunt you. 

Rating: ****/5

[This book review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. To get free books log on to thereaderscosmos.blogspot.com]

#BookReview : Be Careful What You Wish For (The Clifton Chronicles #4) by Jeffrey Archer

On the jacket:

When Harry and Emma Clifton hear about their son Sebastian's car accident, they rush to the hospital unsure whether it was their son who died or his best friend Bruno. Meanwhile, Don Pedro schemes to install Major Alex Fisher into Ross Buchanan's seat as the chairman of the Barrington Shipping Company, a seat that Emma desires following Buchanan's forced retirement. The Barrington family firm is threatened by Pedro's intentions just as the firm stands to build its new luxury liner, the MV Buckingham. In London, Harry and Emma's adopted daughter finds love in the Slade Academy of Art. However all delight at the news of the wedding vanishes when an old friend, Lady Virgina Fenwick, appears. Events take a turn when a hitherto unknown Yorkshireman, Cedric Hardcastle, takes a place in the board of Barrington's firm, changing the lives of both families.

Review:

The year long wait finally got over and I got my hands on the fourth book of the Clifton Chronicles by on of my favourite authors, Jeffery Archer. The first time I read him, I was in the ninth standard, and the book was Kane & Abel. I still remember being so awed and starstruck by how the book was written. I had just gone to the tenth, and had to hurry through the book, because - study! I remember, I reread Kane & Abel after my boards and this started my love affair with Lord Archer. Pretty late in life, I know. Nevertheless!
I will first talk about what I didn't like about Be Careful What You Wish For. The wait!! Waited for year, got sucked into a mindblowing plot, and now, again! Wait for 2015! I know it's unjust to expect the next book so soon, but the impractical, book lover side to my mind hate waiting. But mind and I, wait we shall!

With this fourth rendition off The Clifton Chronicles, Archer has only reaffirmed - Who is the boss! At a time, when childhood remains just a memory, reading your favourite writers from more than a decade ago, and feeling the same emotions of exhilaration and excitement - is priceless. While most of my childhood favourites have either stopped writing, are no more or haven't been able to maintain the standard of writing, Lord Archer stands firm!

With an engaging title like Be Careful What You Wish For, Archer has brought about a whole new twist (and more) in this plot. Harry Clifton gets a call from his wife, telling him his son has died in a car accident only to find Sebastian alive and his friend Bruno dead. Bruno's father Pedro Martinez, who is full of hatred for the Cliftons (if you haven't read the previous three books, you should) is now more enraged because Sebastian was supposed to die in this accident and not his own son. Madder at the Clifton's than before, he wants revenge and this time his target is the hundred years old shipping company owned by the Barringtons. 

Sebastian heals slowly and starts working with Cedric Hardcastle who is the Chairman of the Farthings Bank. Hardcastle plays an important role in this story and even assists Sebastian in his plans against Martinez. While retaining a lot of old characters, Archer has introduced a few new ones and these form the core of this 387 pager. Some good guys and some bad, bad guys out there to serve revenge as it should be served - cold! A page turner, for me it was difficult to stay away from this book until I finished it.

Old Jack was missed. Hardcastle was molded on similar lines but, didn't fit the bill, in my opinion. There did seem a few parts amiss, but I am guessing all will fall in the place with the next editions coming out and the chronicle being complete. I'd need to read the entire chronicle together, once all the books are released!

Rating: *****/5

[This review is for Pan Macmillan India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

#BookReview : A Newlywed’s Adventures in Married Land by Shweta Ganesh Kumar


On the jacket:


“Dependent!!?”  Mythili and Siddharth realize that being newlywed in a foreign country is very different from being passionately in love, long-distance.  She has just moved to the Philippines to be with the love of her life and new husband, Siddharth. After being a hard-as-nails reporter who covered crime stories of the goriest kind, Mythili is now just a ‘dependent’. On top of that, unemployment, encounters with expat-wives and culture shock leave her feeling like she has fallen down a rabbit hole. Will their love survive, or will she become just another unhappily married expatriate wife?  Will this real life Alice ever embrace her Wonderland?

Review:

 Before I begin talking about what's in the book, let me tell you this is the author's adaptation of Alice In Wonderful. How cool is that, right!! It being one of my favourite tales ever, it's adaptation took my fancy immediately. A story about Mythili and Siddharth, albeit with author Shweta Kumar's own twist to it.

Mythili and Siddharth are newly weds and are in a new land. Everything is new for Mythili - husband, country, surroundings. And this start her adventures. Manila is a strange city for her and so is everything in her new life. 

I loved Mythili, she is so one of us! While expats will identify more with her situation, any married woman would be able to identify as well and remember her own newlywed days! A laugh riot, some moments of love and some not, the story is set in the time where Mythili and Siddharth's relationship is also tested. This book is absolute love!

Rating: ****/5

[This review is for IndiReads. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.] 

#BookReview : The Avatari by Raghu Srinivasan

On the jacket:

A Mythical Kingdom: Legend has it that only those chosen by destiny can gain entry into Shambhala, the mythical kingdom believed to hold the ancient wisdom that humanity will need to resurrect itself from the inevitable apocalypse. They are the Avatari.  An Ancient Artefact: When Henry Ashton, a retired British Army officer settled in the Yorkshire dales, receives a letter from a monk entreating him to prevent a hidden treasure stolen from a Laotian monastery from being misused, he finds himself honour-bound to respond. Assisted by a retired Gurkha Sergeant, a high-strung mathematician from Oxford with a Shambhala fixation of her own and an American mercenary on the CIAs hit list, Ashtons mission leads to an ancient map that dates back to the time of the great Mongol, Kublai Khan.  A Secret that Must Not be Revealed: The group follows the trail, risking the perils of the inhospitable deserts of Ladakh, turmoil in Pakistan and the rugged mountains of Northern Afghanistan, where the Afghan War is at its height. But they are up against a deadly adversary with seemingly unlimited resources, who will stop at nothing to get possession of the anicent secret a secret that, if revealed, could threaten the very fabric of human civilization.

Review:

Of late, I have read some brilliant thrillers by Indian authors. Having grown up with a healthy appetite for thrillers, finding authors closer home has a different kind of thrill. Raghu Srinivasan’s The Avatari didn't disappoint.

A strong story line, knit into a well formed plot and clear cut, well-defined characters sums up for a good read that this book is. Henry Ashton, a retired British Army office gets a very odd request from a monk of a Laotian monastery, to find a hidden treasure. The treasure is a secret in a sacred mountain somewhere in Tibet.  

A very well-knit plot which keeps the reader engrossed, so engrossed that it comes as a surprise. I would expect such precision from a seasoned author, say, someone like Ludlum. Very few authors have the kind of style which makes readers come back to reading Indian authors again and Srinivasan is definitely one such author.

Rating: ****.5/5

[This review is for Hachette India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]
 

Monday, April 14, 2014

#AuthorInterview : Andaleeb Wajid

She is a pretty well-known name when it comes to Indian authors of the present age. Having books like Kite Strings, My Brother's Wedding, Blinkers Off and the very new More Than Just Biryani in her kitty, Andaleeb Wajid has ventured into a new genre. Her book No Time For Goodbyes, first of the The Tamanna Trilogy releases today. I read it recently and found it unputdownable, though I am very much an adult.  In conversation with author Andaleeb Wajid on her new release:



Congratulations on venturing into a new genre altogether, that too for Young Adults, the age group which is probably the most difficult to please. How, and why? 

Thank you! I really enjoyed writing for Young Adults. The reason I chose it is because I'm constantly looking for things that excite me as a writer and this really appealed. I've always felt very connected to the younger generation (although they may not consider it that way) but in my head I'm always seventeen. So that helps! 

Having made your mark as an author for grownups, was this a challenge to first convince your mind and then to write a book for YAs?

Not at all. I enjoy reading Young Adult fiction too. Most writers want to write what they like reading and so this was no different. 

How high was the anxiety? As much as your very first book, or somewhat better?

Anxiety about writing the book was pretty high because this was the first time I was attempting a trilogy. I already knew I wanted to write three books and I had to figure out how the story would move forward across all three, while still sustaining interest for the reader.

Tell us something about your struggle with getting published. We have a fair idea that it isn’t a cake walk. But how was the real deal for you?

Getting published was a very difficult process for my first book Kite Strings. I started looking for publishers in 2006 and finally found someone willing to publish my book in 2009. Even then, things never really took off the way a writer dreams and I realised that I had to stop waiting for them to happen and just go on writing. Shortly thereafter I published three more books with varying levels of success and now I'm here with No Time For Goodbyes which is the first book of The Tamanna Trilogy.

Please tell our readers a bit about No Time For Goodbyes.

No Time for Goodbyes is a story about Tamanna, a young girl who time travels to the past, when her mother is a teenager. All this happens accidentally with the help of a polaroid photograph that she finds at home. Now she's stuck in the past and she wants to get back to her time but she doesn't know how. It doesn't help that she falls in love with a charming and sweet chap, Manoj, who is her mother's neighbour in the 80s.

Any brickbats which really hurt, yet? 

Not really. Been lucky that way so far! Not that I haven't received any negative reviews but I try not to obsess over them (I'm lying!). Anyhow, the best thing is to just move on because every reader is entitled to their own opinion.

How and when did you decide to be a published author? Was it always a plan, or did you start thinking on the lines when you thought you had a plot with you.

I've been writing from the time I was 10 years old. Never really decided about being a published author. I have written plenty of short stories for children for a children's supplement and a book seemed the next natural thing to do. The plot of my first book was pretty haywire in my head but seemed to come together once I started writing it down. 

Is it difficult to write with a full time mother? How did you divide time between writing and everything else?

I treat writing like a full-time job. I work very hard at it. The mothering part is a bit easier because my kids are quite grown up now and when they head to school, my time is entirely my own. The rest just falls in place thanks to a very supportive family.

What next? Another new genre maybe?

The second book of The Tamanna Trilogy will be published in a few months. It's called Back in Time. As for taking up a new genre, I still want to do YA but with a fantasy theme. Let's see!

Who do you read, who are your favourites?

I read a lot of stuff, whatever comes my way. Romance, Young Adult, Crime Fiction and Literary Fiction at times as well. Favourite writers would be – Marian Keyes, J. K Rowling, Martha Grimes, Agatha Christie, Jhumpa Lahiri, P.D James, Joanna Harris to name a few.

People pass snide remarks saying anyone can be an author now. Does this perception affect writers in any way?

I'm not sure about others but the way I function as a writer is to put myself in a bubble. Maybe it annoys me, but I try not to let it affect me as a writer. I just do what I do best. Write on.

Any to-dos for wannabe authors?

A disturbing trend I've seen happening these days is that there are lots of people who want to write, but no one really wants to read. Believe me, one cannot exist without the other. At least not in a way that will satisfy your creative urges. In order to be a good writer, you have to be a reader too. It's one of the most important tools of the trade. So read as much as you can. The writing will come if it's meant to come.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

#BookReview: No Time For Goodbyes by Andaleeb Wajid

On the jacket:
 
2012, Bangalore. Sixteen-year-old Tamanna finds an old Polaroid photograph in the attic and stumbles into her mothers past.
 
It is 1982. Tamanna finds herself in her grandmother's house where her mom seems to be younger than she is. She also meets her grandmother, aunts and Manoj, her mothers charming neighbour. Manoj's granddad is a scientist working on time-travel but he seems pretty clueless about getting Tamanna back to the present. Even as Manoj helps Tamanna sort out the mess that she's in, they fall hopelessly in love. How will the impossible attraction ever work if Tamanna has to return?

A delicious romance, No Time for Goodbyes is tender, irresistible and unforgettable all at once
 
Review:
 
No Time For Goodbyes is about our regular 16-year-old girl Tamanna, staying in Bangalore with her family. She has a younger sister with whom she shares her room, and in her opinion since she has nothing in common with anyone in the family, she is probably adopted. One afternoon, while looking for a quiet place to read, she went to sit in the store room, which she liked to call the attic. A while later, her mother calls and she gets up to go when she finds an old polaroid picture of three girls and a boy. She recognises one of the girls to be her mother.
 
When Tamanna goes downstairs to see where her mother was calling her from, she feels strange. Then she realises the house is different and things weren't where they usually are in her own house. Slowly, she realises she is in her Ajji's house, in her mother's childhood home where her grandmother stays with her three daughters. Tamanna meets her mother, who was then younger than what she herself was right then. She also meets her mother's neighbour Manoj, on whom oddly for her, her mother has a crush and she herself was falling in love with.
 
Tamanna was in the past. In 1982. She's seemingly gone to the past through the photograph which she saw. Hereon, I would love to write what happens, how it's depicted and what I felt but it would be a sin to reveal the contents. Wajid has a very easy flowing style of writing, and is very easy to connect to. The fact that Tamanna met her mother, as she was 30 years ago, was an odd thought. For a moment, even I wondered how it would have been to meet my own mother, when she was a teenager - and know about her dreams, aspirations, crushes etc. Quite a nice thought, actually. I specially loved the bits where Bangalore of 1982 and Bangalore of 2012 are described and compared. Very smoothly done, actually made one wonder - Oh! There were no computers in 1982? or Oh maaan! She told him about the World Cup win of 1983!
 
So Tamanna is 30 years in the past where she meets a whole bunch of people and even falls in love. Does she get stuck there? Or does she manage to get back to the present. All I can say is, that the end is not what you might be expecting.
 
A fresh plot in a book for young adults, this is also Wajid's first for this genre despite her being an established author in her own rights. A very well-written book, I would say. Well edited, tight plot and with well defined characters, No Time For Goodbyes takes you through time travel, with a nice, warm feeling that will stay in your hearts throughout the time you read the book.
 
Rating: ****.5/5
 
[This review is for Bloomsbury India. The opinions are strictly my own and not been written under any obligation.]
 
 
 


#BookReview: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness by Arundhati Roy

On the jacket: The Ministry of Utmost Happiness  takes us on an intimate journey of many years across the Indian subcontinent, from t...