Cross Connection by Preety Praveen – Review

Romance has become a regular genre in India and many authors tend to begin their writing journey with the same. However, only a few novels are able to offer entertainment, something beyond to be remembered by the readers and something really meaningful. One such novel that was published in 2019, towards the end, recently attracted my attention and I read it. Cross Connection, written by Preety Praveen, an author and a poet, is about, more or less, a campus love story that goes beyond the campus and also promises a next episode of the same story in the form of a new novel. Though it might sound similar when you hear campus, love story and a couple, the novel is different in nature, tone and content.

Cross Connection, the title, aptly justifies the storyline of the novel. A girl from Punjab and a boy from Kerala, different cultural and social backgrounds, different aims and ambitions and even attitudes, however, the couple comes together (though in weird situations after initial confusions, anger and feuds). This coming together of Simar, the female protagonist and Naveen, the male protagonist, is the meat of the story that one needs to find out… and believe me, the novel gives you every reason to read it. While recapitulating her own story (and her husband’s), the novelist has been very vocal, honest and straightforward about the events, sequence of episodes, and the results. Though a little bit of fictional environment is necessary for any novel to be able to contain the readers, the novel still smells realism in plenty and you will find that.

Preety’s style and the narrative that she has used have been simple, straightforward and a little hurried. She seems to walk the readers through the episodes of her life at the campus as a medical undergraduate quickly. However, after the entry of emotions, the story walks at a normal pace and readers will enjoy it. Though the novel has been written in a third-person narrative, it seems that Simar is narrating the story herself because it is written more from the female protagonist’s perspective.

Cross Connection entertains the readers, no doubt. It does not bring unnecessary sensuality to the fore in order to keep the readers excited and indulged. It is a clean tale of a love story that is born out of emotions and continues to be so. Family, society, her, his, their and our perspectives are involved as the love story furthers towards union and a kind of seriousness is always there amid fun and entertainment. Thus, it can be said that the novel offers something to every kind of reader – women readers will like to know about emotions that overpower when you fall in love, men would like to know how did the man from Kerala, who lost his father at an early age, manage to introduce the love of his life to his mother, youths would like to know the funny episodes on the campus that bring these protagonists together. A packed piece of contemporary fiction!

You can get a copy of Cross Connection from Amazon: click here to buy

 

Review by Anand for The Book Blog

Retrace Love by Malini Amaladoss – Review

It is very important to note that recent trends in Indian English fiction point in two major directions – mythology and romance. Mythology has become a safe playground for quick-earned success for many novelists and newbies are not afraid to try their hands. At the same time, romance has become a very safe route to easy debuts and quickly widening readership. However, do most of the authors succeed? Does the trick always work? I guess no and you can easily find it out when you recall the names of the famous authors… there are very few. Nevertheless, there are many impressive authors who mark their wonderful presence with emphatic and impressive writing – and such authors, very few in numbers, must be pointed out and appreciated. One such author is Malini Amaladoss and her debut romance novel, Retrace Love, is a book that shows signs of promise and longevity rather than quickly visible threads of short-lasting romance with no permanence in the theme. In this article, I will review Retrace Love for the readers of The Book Blog.

In short, Retrace Love is the story of four major characters, ambitious and animated, very much from the real-life with a few exceptions and all impressive. Tina and Meghna, the two friends, find their passionate and true love in Ray and Neil, respectively. It all goes well until Ray and Tina separate over some issues and Neil’s marriage with Meghna fails because of one’s extreme sexual desires and communication gap between the husband and the wife. Life takes quick turns and they all separate from each other to meet in very different circumstances. Most of the story takes place in the memories of Tina and the readers will be taken to places very quickly as the story moves back and forth, here to there and all happens quickly enough to keep the readers thrilled.

Malini Amaladoss, as an author, has kept her language very simple and communicative. She talks to her audience mostly from Tina’s point of view as this is a novel written in the first-person narrative. Tina and Meghna tell their stories to the readers, and Tina enjoys the larger piece of the cake. Readers will like the way characters grow in life, develop in thoughts and mature in an overall perspective. Unlike most of the romantic writings by Indian authors, Malini hasn’t zoomed on the sexual descriptions in that explicit and perverse manner. Her descriptions of sexual encounters between Ray and Tina, Meghna and Neil are sophisticated and well-placed and the readers will rather enjoy it compared to what they do with the details by Chetan Bhagat and Durjoy…

To cut things short and to give you my final verdict about Retrace Love, the debut novel by Malini Amaladoss, I would say it without any hesitation that it would be a great experience for the readers who want to read something different in the romance genre. Malini Amaladoss has walked those extra miles to bring to you a story that offers you love, romance, regret, repentance and also, to an extent, redemption… Malini has created a full circle in her first romance novel and I am sure it will be worth a read… do get a copy and enjoy your time!

Buy the novel from Amazon India – click here

 

Review by Alka for The Book Blog

 

Mamta Kashyap brings An Unusual Honeymoon for the readers – a recommendation

When we are almost on the verge of seeing a horrible (almost) year off, it’s the time that we recollect some of the best gems that we read in these days of anxiety and offer the same to the readers who might enjoy. And doing so, we begin by offering our casual readers of Indian English fiction a light-humour penned by Mamta Kashyap, An Unusual Honeymoon. The novel has already been praised by the noted literary platforms in India and also by many readers on different book rating websites like Amazon and Goodreads. I also enjoyed reading it and I am sure that it will impress the readers with entertainment quotient, an area in which it can match the colours of typical Bollywood entertainers very easily.

An Unusual Honeymoon is about different helpless situations that life throws at us and we can merely be a mute spectator or take part in the game and become a professional player who can identify where the opportunities are. Mahashweta, the protagonist, as well as the narrator of this novel, is among the latter ones and she enjoys riding her fortune and even adversaries. She falls out of a plain of marriage that she barely boarded and lands into the soup of another that she barely knew anything about. However, she plays situations rather well and keeps encashing her chances. The novel is all about HER… Mahashweta’s ambitions, ideas, plans, vision and fate. A one-woman-show…

The novel might entertain the readers who don’t want to sit longer with the same title. One-evening readers, the bedroom readers or even one-holiday-one-book kind of readers who want something fast to begin, develop and even finish in the same breath. If you are one of those readers, Mamta Kashyap’s work will certainly keep you entertained and indulged for a single day. After that, you might either forget the fun or ask yourself some serious questions that the novel might introduce you to – why is marriage such a big event in the life of women? Why do women mostly have to compromise when it comes to choosing between ambition and their marriage? Why cannot a man (still) choose cooking as a respectable career choice in India? And a few others… in patches.

I have not gone into the technicalities of the fiction writing skills of the author. This recommendation is based on the storyline and the overview of the work. As it has been written in a first-person narrative, you might notice a certain tilt or bias towards the protagonist. Well, that is something which a reader can easily manage… isn’t that? If you match the profile of the fiction, you will certainly enjoy the show… all the best!

 

An opinion/recommendation piece by Madhav for The Book Blog

One Day in December | Book Review | Josie Silver

One Day in December is a novel that executes a love story in a very different way compared to the modern love stories that we often read in the novels by our contemporary authors in India and other countries. Though it is contemporary in all the ways you can expect it to be, it is a love story that does not only move swiftly to halts and stops but also keeps the readers engaged, indulged and intrigued. Here is my review of One Day in December by Josie Silver.

We believe it or not but destiny plays its games in life more often than we might expect it to do. Something unforgettable happens with us that we can never forget even after many attempts of doing so deliberately… and many would agree that love is a feeling that strikes us when we are expecting it the least. Falling in love at the very first sight is an experience that we often read, watch or listen. However, when it happens with someone, the experiences and feelings are more than simply being amazing.  Without any second opinion, it is the best feeling in the world a person can feel. I would like to write about a romantic novel ‘One Day in December’ by Josie Silver. It is a very compassionate love story that takes care of the nuances of pure love with certain fictional adventures that you may love. And this is the reason that many leading Indian book review sites, as well as global platforms, have praised the novel for its simplicity and intriguing tale of love.

Stroy and Plot:
This is not a casual love story which feeds upon online dating websites. Laurie, the leading female character often thinks that love at first sight can happen in the movie only, not in real life. But one day in December she saw a man, sitting at a bus window and something magical happened to her and she thought he is the man she was looking for. She tries to find her at every bus stop for a year but she could not. Because destiny needs something else. On a Christmas party, her friend Sarah introduced his boyfriend Jack to Laurie, the man Laurie was looking for a year.
With these things, the story goes on. They have to face ten years of friendship, heartbreaks, joy, sorrows and many more things. The love trilogy goes on and the story becomes more interesting and gripping as the chapters pass and pages keep turning. The novelist has added a fitting conclusion at the end which will make the journey through various ups and downs, for the readers, worthwhile.

Critical Analysis:
One Day in December is more than a simple love story. It is the journey of Sarah, Jack and Laurie and their love, friendship, feelings and unrequired circumstances. The story has been told from the perspectives of Laurie and Jack. The language is pretty simple and it can connect with the readers easily. The story never becomes monotonous and always provides excitement to the readers and most of you will certainly be interested in knowing what will happen next. And this is something that many Indian authors might want to adopt from the work by Josie Silver. However, the first-person narration can be boring for some readers. There is too much of talk only by the two major characters Laurie and jack.
What I found most interesting in the novel is simplicity and a sophisticated way of telling the story. Despite being a modern romance fiction, the book never talks about cheap romance. It touches the emotions of every reader whether you are romantic or not but it will be felt by your heart. This book is addictive; the more you read the more you want to finish it.

Conclusion:
It is a really nice tale of three young people who have found themselves in a very special situation. It has little bit of everything: friendship, loss, grief, new beginnings, forgiveness, heartache, and love. For all those who want to read romantic novels, this is the tale they were waiting for. This is the novel that might let the readers know that there is a possibility of a novel being sophisticated, composed and more than thrill-pill when it comes to writing romance fiction. You can get a copy of this novel in Kindle format from Amazon India and read it right away:

Buy the book – click here to buy the novel now 

Review by Amit for The Book Blog

I also slept with Rashmi Verma – Review

Indian English fiction, in recent years, has never been bereaved of erotic fiction. Be it the mainstream version of it or be it the implicit version of it, erotic fiction has been in the market – in this or that form. Recently, an author has published a book with a very expressive and maybe explicit title – I also slept with Rashmi Verma. The readers who have read it have expressed mixed opinions about the book. And from those opinions, two things are pretty apparent – the book has a limited audience and it lacks depth other than being exciting and erotic and having a varying conclusion that shifts the pattern. However, it’s time for my review of the book and I will share what I felt about it.

I also slept with Rashmi Verma cover review

I also slept with Rashmi Verma is a short erotic novel that takes about 2-3 hours to finish if you are an aggressive reader. However, it might take 5-6 hours if you read it casually and go slow. It has a very limited set of characters, the people living in a management institution hostel. Of them, Rashmi Verma is the lead, dominating and a character who represents strength, feminism and narrative-shift in erotic fiction. Otherwise, we only find male characters dominating the scene in erotic novels – some big names in the field of erotic fiction also do it. This Rashmi Verma is a character who takes things casually and lightly. She is not afraid of having intimate relationships with many boys and she doesn’t give a hoot about it. The plot of this novel drives on her.

Other characters are only supportive – Peanut John, Motu, Ani and Raizada. However, out of these characters, Motu is the one who is narrating the novel and he becomes important because he is emotionally, not only physically, involved in this novel. Ani is the one who represents the campus culture – smoking, weeds, wine and giving no ‘fuck’ to anything that comes his way.

Well, the novel is full of excitement very well within the narrative’s boundaries. You will come to know about characters and their inclination as you read the novel. They represent a typical campus atmosphere that is filled with excitement, smoke and sex. There are instances of intimacy as well as absurdity. However, the novel could be a little more accommodating and broader to ensure that aspects of it could come to the fore for the readers to analyse.

The author of I also slept with Rashmi Verma is Love Thon and he has kept himself behind his pen-name. He has tried to shift the narrative from man to woman and has let Rashmi Verma take the proceedings of the novel on herself. She is dominating right from the beginning to the end of the novel. So, this is an aspect of it that the readers will probably like. And rest, you can read the novel and find yourself what’s inside it. A short, exciting and to an extent a humorous tale awaits you before it ends with something different and a twist. If you love reading erotic novels, you should go for it.

You can get a copy of this novel from Amazon India in Kindle format. Link:

Buy the novel – click here

review by Amit for The Book Blog

Little Maryam by Hamid Baig – review

Little Maryam has an exciting start (otherwise) which gives us a rather wrong impression of the personality of the central character, Dr Saadiq Haider. He behaves in a hurried and rough way with the lady, who is a journalist, Anne Miller. Even after she requests, the Nobel Prize winner doctor does not agree to talk to her even off the mic. However, his fear of flying compels Saadiq to agree on a deal offered by the lady journalist and open up about his past. And there, the central story of the novel starts.

Little Maryam appears to be a romance at the beginning as we find two characters caring for each other and gradually falling in love with each other – Maryam, the girl and Saadiq, the boy. The villain part is played by the difference between the wealth accumulation of their parents – Maryam is the daughter of a rich Indian army colonel and Saadiq is the son of a poor gardener who works in the garden of colonel. Still, love knows no boundaries and it started. Before anything could further, tragedy takes over the youthful love and Saadiq finds himself behind the bars and Maryam is married to someone else. Even before coming out of the jail, Saadiq also loses his father, Haji. And we get to know from the updated version of Saadiq that he is returning to India from the USA to meet Maryam once again. Maryam is said to be in a hospital as she met an accident. The first part can be assumed to end here and the second part, which is present, is even more exciting and full of unexpected twists.

Without going into the content of the book, let me tell my readers what I liked about the novel. The novel has a beautiful story – once you read it until the page count is over, you will be full of emotions! Hamid Baig, the author, has created a web of events which does not let the readers be dried of emotion for a moment. The one-sided love of Saadiq, his hesitation, the consultation with his father and finally, the first kiss of his life on Maryam’s birthday… everything is described beautifully and in a plain and simple language.

Another exciting thing in the novel is the way the story has been told. Unlike most of the debut novels where the authors cannot manage the momentum for long, Little Maryam will not let you put the Kindle reader or the physical book aside and claim – ‘the same boring jargon!’

Yes, at times, you might feel a little awe-struck when you see Saadiq achieving fame and money in his life – winning the Nobel Prize and getting to work in one of the most prestigious institutes of the world in the USA – and all this from a forcible joint caricature of broken pieces of a man! However, that might be the essential part of the novel because the author had to show to which extent love can take you.

And let me assure the readers that this is a novel which can certainly be finished within hours. It moves very fast and there are no brakes on the flow. If you are a regular reader of fiction, you will see the differences yourself. In short, Little Maryam is a novel which can entertain the readers on odd as well as even days!

Get your copy of the novel from the link below:

Little Maryam by Hamid Baig – Amazon India – buy now