Life is What You Make It


Life is What You Make It is a national bestseller written by an Indian author Preeti Shenoy. Yes, the author who has made a name for herself, especially for her romantic novels which portray a different class of romance. However, this time, she came up with something even better than her standards and delivered a motivational sermon (a sort of) through the story of a courageous girl who overcomes the adverse scenario around her and veers the life from darkness to light.

Storywise, this is something about a feministic tint. In this book, she has narrated about a girl named Ankita who used to be brilliant at her studies as well as any task she used to take up. However, as usually happens in bollywood, hollywood and books, there came a drastic turn which simply changed the course of her whole life! She lost the person she loved the most! Amidst all these, her parents tried to persuade her by almost burning her past!

Could anything be done to relieve a person who has just lost the closest one? Ankita too was uncurable! She lost her reading and learning abilities. Moreover, she landed herself in a severe depression where she used to cut her wrist to find relief…
She thought that the pain she got by cutting herself is real than the phantom pain…

Six months later, depression made her a patient in a mental health hospital. It was a slow progress out there.

In a nutshell, life took away all the things that mattered to her the most but she fought back to get it all. And most importantly, she achieved it!

Life is What You Make It is a story of courage, determination and growing up as a person to mature and mature for the best. This shows us life can take a different path than what you have planned. At the same time, it also tells us that we can always get the life back to its original course! It tells us about faith, belief and perseverance.

This is a story of love, hope and how determination can overcome even destiny… In short, Life is What You Make It is a nice book by the author Preeti Shenoy that one should read.

Post_Script: The usual boyfriend girlfriend drab can be seen on several instances. However, it does seldom take out what the book offers overall. 

Review contributed by ISHA JAIN

The Girl of My Dreams

Like him or hate him, an author that Durjoy Dutta is, you cannot simply ignore him. Like others have their reason to ignore the literature produced by authors like Durjoy, I have a little soft corner for them. Anyone can produce literature and literature of any kind… being a big fan of Durjoy Dutta, I bought this one too, The Girl of My Dreams, as soon as it appeared for sale. When it’s about young adult romance, he certainly is a wonderful romantic writer. The suspense and the pinch of thrill his books have, those always keep the reader hooked till the end. As usual, it’s always a love story but so different, so passionate that we kind of live with the characters till the time we finish reading the book. You might also get to have some illusive memories of the characters for some time even after your read. Thus the hangover of his portrayals takes a lot of time to subside and when it does you start waiting for the next one. Like at present I am waiting for ‘The boy who loved’ which is due to release in May 2017. His books are a feast for the lovers of Romance genre.

This time this romantic novelist has tried his hands at a suspense thriller. His attempt at this genre change from romance to romance thriller has turned out fruitful. Daman, the protagonist of the story after returning from a coma, wakes up every day due to a nightmare involving a car crash in which he sees himself with a girl named Shreyasi. (Is this girl the girl of ‘my dreams’?)

Daman starts writing blogs with Shreyasi as his muse and love. This is a kind of usual approach that any author with his sense of perception of literature would like to ascribe to the characters he creates. Durjoy does the same. The readers start loving them as a couple and he gains a good fan following. Daman, who is enjoying the wonder ride, has a real-life love interest as well. However, she is a girl named Avni. Now Avni is jealous of the fact that Daman is getting all the name and fame with this mysterious character named Shreyasi. She persuades Daman to introduce herself in his blogs but the audience reacts adversely. Daman finds himself being threatened by some girl to take a stand against the odds going around in his life.

What could happen next? How could the fancy author who has done (in)justice to his love and otherwise… would come out of this daytime nightmare?

To experience the thrill of this suspense get your copy and read!!!!!

The One You Cannot Have

The One You Cannot Have by Preeti Shenoy is a wonderful modern day love tale. Preeti, as a writer, is gifted; have no doubts about this! She is a kind of constant love-stories-teller who has been producing novels based on the theme of love. The way she brings out her characters is so real. It leads to a kind of magical impression and you can say that the reader seems to be in the nostalgia of the book even after completing it. The emotions so well portrayed that you can just feel them closer to you. For her language, Preeti writes so clear; she does not fall behind to the (supposes) basics of writing which say that ‘hide behind metaphors’. The reader is able to comprehend whatever she writes.

As usual, there is a love story in The One You Cannot Have. The love story discusses a couple. This time, it goes with Aman and Shruti. The story of Aman and Shruti is a common but lovable story. Both of them are inseparable and madly in love. But as always, Shruti’s parents are against her marrying Aman because of some health issues of his mother. Shruti is then married to Rishabh. A devastated Aman settles in the UK. After two years he comes back to India. But is not able to forget Shruti. A beautiful girl Anjali falls in love with him but to no avail. Shruti’s image is too high in Aman’s life to hide.

Shruti too lands up after being tortured by her husband and in-laws for various issues including his past relation with Aman.
Aman and Shruti have a future together or they settle in their own world…for that one has to read the novel.

Critically, the tale is the same but tell-tale is what makes this story beautiful. The readers need to read the novel to understand what happens with Preeti’s characters. I have enjoyed reading the novel for its simple narration and a beautiful craft. This is not a book for those who look for ‘class’ in fiction. To be frank, modern fiction gives lesser value to the classical notions and goes ahead to ‘serve’ a readymade cooked food. The days of collecting items and baking them for a perfect cake-party have gone! Read at your own risk – if you love simple romance and love novels, that’s there for you! Otherwise, settle with Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Happy reading guys!

The Mayor of Casterbridge

Certainly, you find very few like Thomas Hardy when it comes to the novels in the late twentieth century. His novels are quite moving ones. One of them is The Mayor of Casterbridge. This surely is a masterpiece of Victorian literature! Major themes in the novel are that of remorse and a kind of redemption, if you may say so. Before I read this novel I did not know that character plays such an important role in deciding our fate. But as shown through the protagonist of the novel, our actions largely come out of our character. Being human, very often we do things that we later regret. The Mayor of Casterbridge revolves around such a man called Michael Henchard. This Henchard perhaps does the most notorious thing that a character in a fiction could do – he sells his wife!

The novel is surely about this character – as it bears a subtitle ‘Life and Death of a Man of Character’. However, what did Hardy mean by this subtitle play (full of irony till the beginning) we only get to know once we read the novel completely.

This is an intriguing novel with so many characters who appear, disappear and reappear without any prior notice by Thomas Hardy, the novelist. This fifteen-day-moon nature of the characters is quite unique in writing and it affects the story very much. The readers are always alert to find out what may come next. The characters Susan, Lucetta and Newson are the characters with this distinctive feature bestowed upon them by the author.

The plot us straight yet with so many complications as it progresses. The father is not the father – the daughter is not the daughter and no love is constant in the Casterbridge that Hardy has created in this novel. The Mayor of Casterbridge, per say, seems no man of moral at all…

This is one of the novels which go on to become almost immortal! It attracts you with so many reasons to read yet you cannot write them on paper or tell them exactly to any one. This one, I will say, is far better than the novels which claim to be ‘classic’. Hardy had a habit of doing something unusual and he did it in so many of his writings. The story of Michael Henchard will give you so many feelings – to support him, to abuse him, to hate him, to be kind to him and so many…

At last, a successful novel which a reader must read to understand how objective the life is towards poor humanity!

Monsoon Minds

Monsoon Minds

The collection of short stories by Ravi Nambiar, Monsoon Minds is a book which will prove to be something out of the usual league to the readers. There are eighteen short stories in the book and the page count runs up to 151 pages. Each story is readily eager to enchant and encircle the minds of the readers as they go through it. The book opens with the story of Sugadamma, an old lady in the village. Talking objectively, this is a story about the death of a lady. However, there is a huge difference between a death in the village and a death in the city – there is a void in at one place and there is no difference at another.

Moving ahead in the book, readers come to know of an imaginary village called Bhavli. Bhavli is surely an inspiration which the author draws from R. K. Narayan’s Malgudi as Ravi has himself suggested in an interview for Author Interviews. Bhavli is featured in most of the short stories. Monsoon Minds, as the blurb suggests, offers you a ride into the ‘deep emotions’ of the characters who are from rural India in the southern part of the country. This is very true once you read the stories.

There is no complaint to make about the content of the book as the author delivers what he promises. The stories like An Old Love Story, By The Waves, A Mother and Her Son and so many others will offer you emotional reads which will surely make you think – make you think possibly by taking an objective stand.

In short, the stories are recollections and recapitulation of small and big events in a rural India which is quite different from the noises in the city as well as the artificial city life which only focuses on just being alive aside from the life which needs emotional bonding. The breakaway from towns; the ‘relocation’ of the narrative into the village and the way the stories are told, everything will provide the readers a definite source of calm and composed pleasure. There is no usual spice even in the short stories depicting love. A Case of Certainty offers a love affair between people from different backgrounds and as usually happens, the family members are protesting. However, the law takes its ‘right’ course and upholds the marriage. An Old Love Story gives the message of a moving life because there is no use stopping by and seeing the waves. Either swim or go back and do your work!

Monsoon Minds by Ravi Nambiar is a must read for those who want to read good books and give their senses a break from the drab. The readers can read the book in sections – one story now and another later. Throughout the book, I hope they will enjoy the read.

Wuthering Heights

Wuthering Heights is not just a book – it’s passion; it’s rage; it’s desire; it’s revenge; it’s love; it’s hatred… it’s what not! Emily Bronte didn’t know perhaps when she had written this book that it’d go on to become immortal and making her an infamous author as well. There are the people who like it and there are also the people who don’t like it. Whatever be the case, Wuthering Heights is never out of reach of the circle which remains abuzz round the clock.

Emily Bronte has presented a mixed bag in the form of her only novel to the critics. ‘Wuthering Heights’ has different appeal to different readers. Feminists and Marxists, especially, have too much interest in the novel, or, to be frank, only in some of the characters of the novel. Heathcliff remains the interest of many, at last, because he cannot appeal to a certain section. Heathcliff is made of some different metal which does not let him rest at one instance. His restlessness, hitherto, could not be captured in any single frame of theories and scholars often end in a messy quarrel over his position. Likewise, the characters of Catherine and Isabella are also the centre of debates and multitude nature of assumptions.

Themes, as such in the novel, are many. Aspiration, passion and a reaction to being the one who is left oblivion can be, in my terms, said to be the major ones. Heathcliff’s revenge against Edgar can be said of being a romantically jealous nature, however. While the novel has been received warmly in the hands of modern readers, the early reviews of the novel were mixed in nature. Somehow, even now, the readers don’t fail to see the devastating form of humanity crawling in the novel. There are very fewer instances of ‘healthy’ imagery in the novel – maybe it’s the case because Emily Bronte would have decided to bring a totally different form of narrative – an imaginative one and if so was the case, she has almost succeeded.

Before I put a rest against my case, I would like to point out that the novel is often dodged upon the readers – more often by the readers who read the novel Wuthering Heights themselves under someone else’s influence. A modern reader, as I think, is less thought to find something in the novel except horrific imagery and a sense of restlessness! There is imagination, no doubt, but the novel lacks something which we call permanence. More than this, I would say that The Pilgrim’s Progress would appeal to a general reader in any age…

At last, without taking away something from Emily’s credit, I admit that I personally enjoyed reading the book. I will not say, though, that a reader must go through this book. This is the decision that the readers are to make themselves after reading the first chapter.