When Dimple Met Rishi, Sandhya Menon – Book Review

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Title: When Dimple Met Rishi
Author: Sandhya Menon
Genre: Contemporary, Young Adult, Romance
Release Date: May 30, 2017
Length: 378 pages
(total of 56 chapters + a ‘one month later’ part)

Synopsis

Meet Dimple- Her main aim in life is to escape her traditional parents, get to university and begin her plan for tech-world domination.
Meet Rishi- He’s rich, good-looking and a hopeless romantic. His parents think Dimple is the perfect match for him, but she’s got other plans . . .
Dimple and Rishi may think they have each other figured out. But sometimes when opposites clash, love works even harder to prove itself in the most unexpected ways.

1st sentence

Dimple couldn’t stop smiling. It was like two invisible puppeteers, standing stage left and stage right, were yanking on strings to lift up the corners of her mouth.
Okay, or maybe something less creepy. The point was, the urge to grin felt irresistible.

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What— The whole guy seeking a relationship and a girl who’s not even thinking about getting in one intrigues me, so I had to read this.

The cover — The cover is gorgeous, with a sneak peek of Dimple’s face, and the henna, giving you the Indian vibes and the color orange which always looks great in book covers.

My thoughts

What a fun and enjoyable book this is. I couldn’t stop grinning at all of the sweet moments, and getting serious whenever they’d discuss stuff about dreams and marriage that felt very relatable and real.

Both Dimple and Rishi are such strong characters despite being controlled by their parents and traditions. Rishi, respects the rules set in his life and tries to follow them to please his family but he also has his own mind and thoughts, and I LOVED his character so much, I mean he’s the perfect guy to befriend and marry, he’s funny, goofy, chivalrous, easygoing and humble. And Dimple, she defies all of what she’s supposed to be doing as ‘a girl’ and fights to get what she needs. I totally understood her and how being with a guy was the last thing on her mind, she just wanted to focus on what will help her to get the career she wants so even though she gave Rishi such a hard time whenever she felt that he might be in the way of her dreams I totally get her actions. Still, it doesn’t mean that I didn’t feel sad for Rishi who’s hopelessly in love with her.

Over the time they spent working on her project (developing an application. Super cool!) they both influenced each other in a good way and changed for the better. He got the courage to pursue his true passion in art and she slowly got to be convinced that she can love someone without it being an obstacle to all what she’s set to achieve in life.

I liked how the author alternated the perspectives between both Dimple and Rishi, so a part will end from Dimple’s point of view and then we’ll see what Rishi is thinking about at that same moment soon after.
I was reading the name of some characters in the book (like Ashish, Rishi’s brother) in my head in a certain way and not until later in the book was the right pronunciation mentioned so I wish that is was stated earlier to avoid having the first expected pronunciation stuck in my head.

Overall

A cute read about accepting love when it feels right and family relationships. Oh, and there’s some Bollywood dances too.               5/5 stars

“Ah , maybe it’s time to take a break anyway,” she said, the annoyance in her eyes dimming. That was something he’d been noticing more — that he was able to soften her, to rub out those hard edges of hers, when he smiled. The thought made him deliriously happy, mostly because he hadn’t thought it possible for Dimple’s hard edges to be softened at all, let alone that he’d be the one to accomplish it.

 

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The Sign of Four, Arthur Conan Doyle – Book Review

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Title
: The Sign of Four

Author: Arthur Conan Doyle
Genre: Mystery, Crime, Classic
Order in series: Book # 2 in a series
Release Date: February 1890
Length: 127 pages
(total of 12 chapters)

Synopsis

The Sign of Four is one of Sherlock Holmes’s great adventures, a tale of ‘an injured lady, half a million in treasure, a black cannibal, and a wooden-legged ruffian’.
In the yellow fog of London, a young woman comes to 221b Baker Street with the strange tale of a missing father and the mysterious pearls she is sent anonymously each year. Holmes and Watson are soon swept up in an international puzzle of murder, millions and madness that could cost them their lives.

1st sentence

Sherlock Holmes took his bottle from the corner of the mantelpiece, and his hypodermic syringe from its neat morocco case.

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What— To continue with the series and read another case that Sherlock Holmes solves.

The cover — Another beautiful Penguin English Library book. I always love seeing the color orange and black together.

My thoughts

So this is the second novel written by Doyle giving us yet another intriguing mystery with a secret that goes 10 years back. There’s a lot of people involved in the stolen treasures, threats, and a secret giver of pearls so, I won’t write in details of what I thought of the story ’cause it’ll take a while, plus, I don’t wanna ruin the feeling of suspense for anyone who might be reading this (though I may have written a few spoilers in my other reviews before, but I won’t do it here).

I will only say that I loved Sherlock’s ways in getting the information he needs from the people he’s talking to without them knowing that they just gave away something very important. Oh, and we’re also introduced to Mary, the lady Watson proposes to (see, I can’t help it. I had to add a spoiler).

Now, I remember reading articles about how people don’t like that Arthur Conan Doyle uses racism in his books. I see what they’re talking about -especially in this book- but I’m telling myself that perhaps at his time it was totally normal to write racist descriptions of characters form certain places. I guess they didn’t know any better, what can I say?!

Overall

Full of secrets fit for a suspenseful story.     5/5 stars

‘It is of the first importance,’ he cried, ‘not to allow your judgement to be biased by personal qualities. A client is to me a mere unit, a factor in a problem. The emotional qualities are antagonistic to clear reasoning. I assure you that the most winning woman I ever knew was hanged for poisoning three little children for their insurance-money, and the most repellent man of my acquaintance is a philanthropist who has spent nearly a quarter of a million upon the London poor.’
‘In this case, however -‘
‘I never make exceptions. An exception disproves the rule.’

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Peter Pan, J.M. Barrie – Book Review

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Title: Peter Pan
Author: J.M. Barrie
Genre: classic, fantasy, children’s book
Release Date: 1911
Length:  207 pages
(total of 17 titled chapters)

Synopsis

Peter Pan and Tinkerbell lead the three Darling children over the rooftops of London and away to Neverland – the island where the lost boys play. Magic and mischief is in the air but if villainous Captain Hook has his way, before long someone will be swimming with the crocodiles…

1st sentence

All children, except one, grow up.

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What — The Disney movie is one of the many cartoons I grew up with and then in 2004 I fell in love with Finding Neverland (a movie that I still consider as one of my favorites) so that’s why I’m curious to read J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan.

The cover — This Puffin Clothbound Classic is so dream-like that reminds you of Neverland. I love the small size of this book, and the starry endpapers. I also own and read Treasure Island in this edition.

My thoughts

A beautiful children’s book about a conceited but lovable boy called Peter Pan, even though he’s such a show off I felt like he just wanted a hug which I would love to have given him even though he’ll forget it soon after. Had I not seen the movie before I think I would’ve felt the story was ridiculous at first (like when the kids’ nanny is introduced as being a dog like it’s the most normal thing ever was written in a silly way but since we already know Nana and know how she looks like I got to enjoy the book more. And also the whole Peter losing his shadow and trying to find it. Imagine reading this with no background of the story, it would seem ridiculous to you too, right?) so like I said, I think both the movie and book go hand in hand. Watch it first to get introduced to the magical world created by the author and then read the book to experience it differently in paper.

The storytelling is told in a very simple and fun way. J.M. Barrie would talk to the reader when the story shifts from Neverland to London and he also gives us the option to choose an interesting story to tell us about, which of course he ended up choosing one and left us wondering what the details of the other stories could have been.

Oh, and in the book they always refer to Neverland with a ‘the’ before it, so it’s the Neverland, they never called it just Neverland, always the Neverland.
And I still feel sorry for Wendy for being so mature when she’s supposed to be just a kid, she ended up acting like a mother figure to many kids, and she was enjoying that. And then you have Tinker Bell, who’s such a child in her attitude and jealousy.

I would’ve liked to know more about Neverland (or the Neverland) and the ways of life and growing up there but I guess if the writer were to write more about Neverland it would take a big volume for him to create a more elaborate world.

Overall          

A nice tale with many adventures with Captain Hook; the Lost Boys; Tiger Lily; the mermaids; Wendy, John, and Michael Darling; Tinker bell and Peter Pan himself.        4/5 stars

Every child is affected thus the first time he is treated unfairly. All he thinks he has a right to when he comes to you to be yours is fairness. After you have been unfair to him he will love you again, but he will never afterwards be quite the same boy. No one ever gets over the first unfairness; no one except Peter. He often met it, but he always forgot it. I suppose that was the real difference between him and all the rest.

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The Summer Seaside Kitchen, Jenny Colgan – Book Review

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Title
: The Summer Seaside Kitchen
Author: Jenny Colgan
Genre: contemporary, romance, chick lit
Release Date: February 9, 2017
Length: 408 pages
(total of 53 chapters)

Synopsis

Flora is definitely, absolutely sure that escaping from the quiet Scottish village where she grew up to the noise and hustle of the big city was the right choice. Mure is a place where everyone has known her all her life, and no one will let her forget the past. In the city, she can be anonymous, ambitious and indulge herself in her hopeless crush on her gorgeous boss, Joel.
When a new client demands Flora’s presence on Mure, she’s suddenly swept back into life with her brothers (all strapping, loud and seemingly incapable of basic housework) and her father. As Flora indulges her new-found love of cooking and breathes life into the dusty little pink-fronted kitchen on the harbour, she’s also going to have to come to terms with past mistakes – and work out exactly where her future lies . . .

1st sentence

If you have ever flown into London – I did originally type ‘You know when you fly into London?’ and then I thought, well, that might be a bit presumptuous, like hey-ho, here I am flying about all the time, whereas the reality is I’ve always bought the cheapie discount flight that meant I had to get up at 4:30 a.m. and therefore didn’t sleep at all the night before in case I missed the alarm and actually it ended up costing me more to get to the airport at an ungodly hour and then pour overpriced coffee down myself than it would have done just to buy a sensibly timed flight in the first place . . . but anyway.

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What— After loving Jenny’s description of Paris in The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in Paris I decided to give her newest book a try, especially since it’s set in Scotland (Note: the island described in the book is fictional but the author was inspired by the Northern parts of Scotland she visited).

The cover — I really REALLY hate the color yellow, so I can’t say that I like the cover and also it really irritates me when there’s an ad printed on the cover of a book -at least let it be a sticker so I can try to remove it- The seashell helped to hide it in the pictures I took.
I don’t know why but the ink in a few pages were a bit faded.

My thoughts

What I like about Jenny’s novels is that the focus of her books are always about a lady in her late twenties/ early thirties lost in life who eventually finds the right place she should be in, a place that lets her shine and feel like she belongs. 
The feeling of knowing that you’re in the wrong place and hoping you’ll find what will give you a purpose in life is something that I go through everyday so it feels nice to read stories where the protagonist actually gets to find the situation that suits her the most.

The Summer Seaside Kitchen was a nice read. Getting to see the effect of Flora’s return to her hometown after being away for a long time was entertaining and how her cooking helped her to become closer with her father, and three brothers and even with her sweet niece.
There’s also Joel, a guy who’s so accustomed to the life of a busy city trying to appreciate the other side of living in a quiet town and putting business aside for a bit and even slowly falling for a girl that’s not his type at all, that managed to break the wall he’s built around him. 

There is one love-line that kept me from loving the book and that is the relationship between one of Flora’s brother Fintan, with Colton, Joel’s client.  It was very disturbing to me for many reasons that made me dislike the book a little. 
It just felt like the author was trying so hard to add diversity to the book that it felt too forced and made it take up so much of the story.

Overall          

Worth a read once. Not that memorable, but I liked certain plot lines.     3/5 stars

They’d been thoroughly checked over and the shop was full to the brim with scones and cakes; Mrs Laird’s bread and Fintan’s cheese; warm pasties, and pies glistening with fruit. Looking at it, Flora couldn’t suppress an incredible feeling of pride as to what they’d accomplished in a few short weeks. She quelled the thought immediately. But this wasn’t just pushing paper about or running to help the lawyers, or filing or sitting in front of the computer. This felt, for the first time, as though she’d actually built something. Made something that was useful, and beautiful. It was a very unfamiliar feeling.

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Robinson Crusoe, Daniel Defoe – Book Review

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Title
: Robinson Crusoe

Author: Daniel Defoe
Genre: classic, historical fiction, adventure
Release Date: April 25, 1719
Length: 301 pages
(no chapters)

Synopsis

Regarded as the first English novel, Robinson Crusoe is a work that goes to the heart of human existence. Told through the journal of Crusoe, the sole survivor of a shipwreck, it chronicles his daily battle to stay alive on a desert island, where his greatest struggle is with solitude — until a single footprint appears in the sand. 
Vividly depicting an individual’s psychological development from terrified survivor to master of man and nature, Defoe created one of the most enduring, universal myths in literature.

1st sentence

I was born in the year 1632, in the city of York, of a good family, tho’ not of that country, my father being a foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull: He got a good estate by merchandise, and leaving off his trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my mother, whose relations were named Robinson, a very good family in that country, and from whom I was call’d Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual corruption of words in England, we are now call’d, nay we call our selves, and write our name Crusoe, and so my companions always call’d me.

What made me get it and thoughts on the cover

What— The stunning cover. And to collect even more of the Penguin English Library. 

The cover — Beautiful tree leaves that gives the cover an almost 3D effect with a nice shade of green and of course the book is so easy to hold.

My thoughts

That’s one long first sentence, don’t you think? The period took a while to show up.

Very rarely do I buy books knowing that I’d never read them. That’s what happened upon purchasing Robinson Crusoe, I got it just for the beautiful cover, and decided not to read it since all people around me who’ve read this said that it’s very draggy and boring and that it basically sucks.
One day, I was looking at it in the middle of one of the stacks in my room and thought: “Why not pick it up and read just 3 pages each day, if it’s really bad I won’t torture myself by reading it all at once”. Of course, the first 3 pages ended up being 25 and the next 3 pages ended up being 75…, so let’s just say that I read it fast. Why? Because I liked it.

This book is about the journey of a young man who wants an adventure, he doesn’t want to work a normal job, he wants something different. He goes through many endeavors, some take him downhill while others make him flourish until he gets himself marooned in an island all alone. On the island, the first few years take up most of the book’s length. Is it detailed? Yes, but I liked reading all the details about how he felt and how he managed to survive and keep himself sane. The other twenty-something years on the island passed by faster with a new companion to keep him company -Friday, and later on a lot more, all this passes by faster but it still kept me entertained. Then the years that occurred out of the island passed by even faster.

I really loved reading through all the changes that Robinson went through throughout the book, the way he viewed his bad luck as a blessing and how he came to start to believe in God and Faith was very touching.
There’s also a lot of beautiful lines to ponder over.

It was really difficult to read with no chapters because I usually like to stop my day’s read at the end of a chapter but here I would stop anywhere and every time I continued reading I kept on feeling like it’s one endless chapter (so it was a new experience). Also, the lack of dialogues was different since in the majority of the book it’s just Robinson with his thoughts and chores. A lot of new stuff that may have made me enjoy it more.

Overall          

A thought-provoking book. If you don’t mind detailed writing, you should try reading this. Oh and don’t try to improve your spelling by reading this novel, I don’t know why but lots of words were spelled so differently back then and there’s lots of contractions and viz.        5/5 stars

I learn’d to look more upon the bright side of my condition, and less upon the dark side; and to consider what I enjoy’d, rather than what I wanted; and this gave me sometimes such secret comforts, that I cannot express them; and which I take notice of here, to put those discontented people in mind of it, who cannot enjoy comfortably what God has given them; because they see, and covet something that he has not given them: All our discontents about what we want, appeared to me, to spring from the want of thankfulness for what we have.

 

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