Category: Books

The Stranger Trilogy – Novoneel Chakraborty (Book Review)


Marry me, Stranger
I’m Rivanah Bannerjee, a young and independent girl living alone in Mumbai. My parents love me, my boyfriend adores me and I have a great job. But here’s the thing -my life is in danger. Someone’s been following me around, watching my every move, trying to get control over my life. At first, I thought it was a silly prank to gain my attention. My roomie suggested he must be a secret admirer. Is he? What he doesn’t know is the police have set a trap to nab him. Soon I’ll know if its simply a lovers obsession or there is more to it. BTW, I call him Stranger.
Enough 4 me to lay my hands on the book…
All Yours, Stranger25841792
For those of you who don’t know me yet, I’m Rivanah Bannerjee, a Kolkatan trying to find her footing in Mumbai. Even though I’m currently in a relationship with a great guy, I can’t help but miss my ex-boyfriend despite knowing that he cheated on me. But that’s the least of my worries. The stranger has gone missing since the police tried to nab him unsuccessfully. Where is he? What does he want from me? Why did he come into my life in the first place? Will he ever contact me again? These and many more questions continue to torment me every day. I’m desperate for the stranger to come back to me knowing fully well that he may destroy me forever. But then that’s the sexiest thing I have ever known about someone.
29351209Forget me not, Stranger
I m Rivanah Bannerjee 23 F Mumbai. Some of you might already know how my life is on a razor edge. Those of you who don t just know this I may be killed soon . . . by the Stranger. I don’t know who or what he is, a ghost a person or a figment of my imagination? All I know is he isn’t just one thing, he is sexy and scary terrific and terrifying. What I don’t understand is why a young harmless girl like me who works in a big city stays away from her parents and has a screwed-up love life would be of any interest to him. Unless there is something about my own story that I do not know. In the hotly anticipated final installment of the Stranger trilogy, Rivanah will learn the answers to her many questions What is it that binds her to the dead Hiya? Who is the Stranger? Why has he been following her all this while? leading to an intense breathtaking climax.
I began reading the book. This is what I thought after I came to the end…

780 pages, 3 novels and 3 days later after having read all three parts of the ‘Stranger Trilogy’ did I FINALLY get to know who the stranger was. The author, Novoneel Chakraborty really keeps the reader wondering who it (the stranger) could be and the mystery that surrounds her and the stranger – connections and all.

One word – Phew!

After having read his first novel ‘that kiss in the rain’ a really really long time back (which was simply wow! btw) The stranger trilogy was a whole different genre that the author ventured into. I was very skeptical about purchasing the book at first, but after having finished all the 3 parts, I’m glad I did. He has done a great job. This guy had got some serious writing talent. Great going buddy!

As anxious as Rivanah (the main character in the novel) was to find out who the stranger was, I was equally waiting to reach to ‘that page’ where the revelation would be made. It was not until I completed 780 pages (over 3 books) to eventually get there.
I’m not sure why I always end up liking the main girl lead character in any book I read, but as messed up as Rivanah’s life gets over the course of the story, I like her a little more as I kept reading. There’s really no boring part in the book, it just keeps you going as a reader to know more & more.

However that said, I did not like a couple of things, which may be the author could improve on, firstly his language skills which need improvement (better sentence construction, phrase usage etc) it was good but can definitely be better and of course the intimate scenes between characters, could be explained or written in a more passionate/erotic/sensual manner. It felt more like ‘rough sex’ than ‘passionate sex’

The plot was wonderful and so was the story flow, keeping the reader engaged after every turn of the page. There were many characters which were fitted well at different junctions in the story which was really good. Character portrayals were to the ‘T’.
I would not to be able to point out a certain kind of category who would enjoy reading this book, but for anyone who enjoys a little mystery, a little love and a good read will have a great time reading the ‘stranger trilogy’.

Not sure the titles or the book covers quite matched up to the contents of the story but well… it’s the story that matters most, covers & pictures can always change.

I’ll give it a 3.5/5 rating. Overall happy with the purchase.

The Crunch Factor – How did I like the book?

The CRUNCH Factor by Andaleeb Wajid

Was the book crunchy enough to deserve a 5 star rating?

Not for me at least, a maximum of from my side.


Love comes in all tastes and spices!

Twenty-six-year-old Aliya loves almost everything to do with food – eating it, styling it, photographing it. But while her career as a food photographer is on track, her personal life is entirely derailed. Determined to move out of her parents’ house, she agrees to marry Kamaal, the hot owner of the trendy new restaurant in town. But why does she feel like she’s waded into a bowl of bland khichri? Where’s the papad, dammit? Where’s the crunch factor?

Then, on the day of her engagement, she finds out that the celebrated chef at Kamaal’s restaurant is none other than Sameer, an old crush from her younger days. Aliya cannot believe that, even a decade later, he’s still as hot as jalapeno poppers and as charming as cheesecake, and that she’s as attracted to him as she was all those years ago.

What is Aliya to do now? Should she go ahead with the wedding and settle for a Milky Bar-like relationship with Kamaal, or should she choose rocky road pie and explore her possibilities with Sameer?

Going by the name of the book, you’d think the story would be crunchy enough all the way through to the end. I wouldn’t say it lacked the crunchy factor, for it can be found at different places in the book but I’d put this book more as a salad dressing to the actual meal.

What else? The book is good, good attempt made at writing out a good story and moves at a fast pace throughout. Though I will say, I was very very disappointing with the ending. I’m not sure it deserved that kind of an ending.

A One Time Read. Not sure if one will be able to relate to the characters too much, unless of course you like photography or are a foodie or basically food is your thing. It is kind of a mix bag of what you get when you read the book, so go ahead and read it.

IDEAL reading situations (i) during journeys (ii) when you have nothing else better to do (iii) sitting at a restaurant waiting for someone to turn up

When I see your face – A Novella (by Devika Fernando)

This is the first time I’ve ever come across a Sri Lankan author and was simply curious about her writing style, in to the many Indian authors books I’ve read. I was really happy, I didn’t have to wait too long (the normal..ordering for the book..waiting..and then reading) but got a glimpse of her novella ‘When I see your face’ on e-book, on subscribing to her website. [FYI: Also my first time I’ve ever read an e-book] and glad it was of such a wonderful story writer.

I have read romance through the minds of different authors, while all of them have different ways of expressing emotions, Devika has her own style which I feel has a lot of deep meaning but put across very subtly right across her book. She does not overdo the romance bit, but there’s enough in the air to capture the feeling.

I guess you can tell how well a writer writes by the choice of words and the expressions used. I liked her writing style, for someone who writes only romance novels, she’ll surely get better (or maybe she already has) ‘When I see your face’ being her debut writing piece, she’s written a lot more since then.

Coming to this book in particular, the characters and the setting were well placed out and moved well around the story (reminded me of a Nicholas Sparks movie for a minute which I love so much – ‘Safe Haven’, yup that’s it) The story captures the interest of the reader..and when I finally did come to the end of it..I did not want it to end and was searching the file (e-book) for some mistake that could have been made and not having published the rest of the story. Alas! It was the end..

Devika, going by this book – I am sure I would want to read more from you. I’ve visited Sri Lanka, a wonderful place with equally wonderful people. Devika being Sri Lankan (okay Half Sri Lankan – I’m sure that’s the better half) she’d weave out wonderful stories too.

Devika has it in her to make it BIG in the literary world, to be right there among the best.

‘When I see your Face’ is an out-and-out romance book [you have been warned]

Devika said that I have an exotic name (nobody’s actually said that-until now) as for her, she’s got a special writing talent, I’d take that over having an exotic name – anytime! And why is that I come across all the female authors who are pretty BUT married??

Spending money on..?

Books obviously!

Books are food for the mind

                    you didn’t know that!!?

Though, I still haven’t read too many books by International authors (something my sister keeps on telling me to do) some of the upcoming Indian authors have really stepped up, in terms of their language skills and story telling abilities to bring out a pleasurable experience for the reader (..and by this I do not mean Indian authors like Chetan Bhagat or Durjoy Dutta or even Nikita Singh) There are a few more that joins this list..

Going book shopping is easy for me.. all that needs to happen is, I just have to accidentally fall on a link that directs me to a website like Flipkart or Amazon..and BAM! I’ll end up purchasing a few books, or if not, at least reading reviews of various books online & making a list of which books to next have in my shopping bag. That said, books have become more expensive of late, from the books that were priced in the mid 100’s are now easily 270+. I don’t mind paying, if at the end of reading the book, it brings a smile to my face and I am satisfied to have read something different… then its worth every rupee I’ve spend on it.

I’ve got 4 books placed on order, should be receiving the same by next week or so, the names of which are:

  • Man of Her Match – Sakshama Puri Dhariwal (I had really enjoyed her first book, she’s one serious talented writer. Good language, wit, humor..her book has everything in it) 
  • Those Pricey Thakur Girls – Anuja Chauhan (Another very talented Indian author. Read so many good reviews about this particular author) This will be my first read of the author.
  • The Crunch Factor Andaleeb Wajid (Purchased primarily based on reviews read-this book could be unpredictable, lets see how it goes)
  • Trouble Has a New NameAdite Banerjie (An out-an-out romance book. Great reviews floating around the Internet for this book and I love the occasional love story-who doesn’t)

So as you can see, I have a methodical way I look for books. (In this case) I have chosen 2 books that I will most certainly enjoy reading, 1 book which could be that ‘book-to-take-a-chance-on’ (maybe good, maybe not so good) and one out-and-out love story. I’d probably throw in a horror book in there too, but I work around a certain book budget – so there’s always a next time for that.

Actually, I don’t go so much by the name of the book, but by the reviews and the synopsis that’s printed behind the book. Then there are certain authors who write really well..I’ll go for them too. It’s only after a well searched out selection, will I buy the best, isn’t that what we all do?

I can’t see myself purchasing clothes, shoes or even a cap for that matter, unless of course it is REALLY necessary.
Books on the other hand..I am always looking for one.

“There is never a correct pose or a correct place to read a book”

Half Girlfriend – Movie v/s Book,204,203,200_.jpg?resize=124%2C189What can you really expect from a name like that, it is a guaranteed FLOP – Book or Movie. Chetan Bhagat needs to stop writing novels with immediate effect.

Save the people of India from reading your crap Mr Bhagat (the latest I’ve seen is that malayalis have been reading his books – looks like a win-win situation there [one side gets to learn English and the other side the author gets to improve his sales])

I’m not sure, which one is worse! I always felt Chetan Bhagat was on the terms of his stories, by far ‘Half Girlfriend’ being his worst. Worse still, making a film out of it, Bollywood has already its share of some really silly films, adding one more to it isn’t required.

Moreover, why chose Shradha Kapoor for the role of ‘Riya’? she’s talented enough to get better scripts and act in better movies. You got to feel sad for her, for being chosen for such a role and worse still, she saying yes to it. As for Arjun Kapoor, he suits the role of Madhav Jha perfectly (no one can act as a better loser than him!) I can see no better actor in Bollywood suited for Chetan Bhagat’s male characters.

Its almost a month later, that I’ve watched the film and I’m glad I didn’t watch it in a theater-it certainly would have been a waste!

Chetan Bhagat might have been a talented story writer in his initial years, but seriously – maybe now it’s time he try something different.. maybe a hand at cooking or something


Reading was never my thing..until one evening in Thrissur (A town in Kerala) I walked into a book shop as I was going for my evening walk. I never looked back..I started with reading books from Indian authors, I still read them..but I now read the likes of Paulo Coelho, Nicholas Sparks and others…

Below, a part of my small collection..only 133 books so far..n counting






Of course, the books I read now are more of a serious nature..the pictures of books you see are what I have read over the past 6 years or so.

Among the Indian authors, Preeti Shenoy, Sachin Garg are good reads. Chetan Bhagat’s stories..well we all know what to expect. Durjoy Datta’s books were good initially, looks like he has run out of steam. There are many others I have not read..I will.. one book at a time 🙂


A connection in the making..maybe!?

Time Period: Roughly 21 minutes7637836552_fb1a6b1b85

Location: Crossword Bookstore

Temperature: Cool to Chilling

Browsing books at my favorite section in a bookstore – Fiction, Indian and International. The stories I always enjoy reading, Nicholas Sparks one of my favorite authors. A bookstore is my second home, I can spend hours in one. I think I am the only one at the bookstore. Looking around, on the opposite side, she is flipping through the pages of a novel …to me she is just a stranger.

We are busy doing our own thing. No, I don’t need to speak to her, I told myself, she is just another person, a book lover I suppose as I opened the novel I had been holding in my hand now for the past 7 minutes and began reading. I couldn’t read much as after every second sentence I read, I had the urge to look up at the opposite direction. She seems engrossed in reading that novel. Why do I bother? I tried to look engrossed in my novel too with one eye on her. She’s fiddling with her phone while she holds the book in her hand. Is she waiting for someone to call? Is she thinking what I am thinking? Yeah ryt! like she has no other better things to do, I tell myself. I look at her again, this time she looks too and our eyes meet. No, I don’t smile neither does she.

Am I just going to let this moment pass by? What would it hurt to ask her name? Damn! I have this opportunity to meet someone and I have the whole space and time to myself, we were only surrounded by books. Were the books trying to tell me something? We go about doing our own business, maybe she wants to talk too…or maybe she’s waiting for me to make the first move. She seems so busy, I don’t want to bother her but then that’s bothering me. I want to initiate a conversation, who knows I might never see her again.connection

Do we really have a connection? What is it that is driving me to talk to her? I am hardly 5 lines into the novel, for some odd reason, I am trying very hard to establish a connection with the bespectacled girl, the stranger, the only other person in the bookstore, now on the other side. I stand there a few more seconds thinking to myself, have I met this person before? We share another moment where both our eyes meet.

Should I go or should I stay? How difficult is it to make a simple decision like that?

Have you ever bumped into a complete stranger and felt a connection?

But before I know it, she begins to walk away towards the door

“Hey” I say softly, she stops to turn back running her fingers through her hair

I walk towards her “Hi, I’m Savio”

…she smiles

Naughty MEN

Among many things I love doing, one of them is definitely reading. If you want a fun read, a book naughty-men-275x275-imadaf2vmaymeqa9that you could finish in an hour or two..catch hold of this one, More than passing away your time doing nothing, this book will certainly bring a smile on your face by the time you have finished it.
It’s called ‘Naughty Men’… I’ll tell you a secret, I bought it solely looking at the picture 😛

Found this review I wrote for the same, sometime ago, sharing it will all those who love to read an entertaining book. Not very high in terms of language, a simple pleasant read…a simple story that maybe some guys would associate with and a guaranteed laugh to the girls 🙂


Naughty Men by Siddharth Narayan

Personal Feedback: This book is definitely right up there as a ‘good-feel-factor’ book. Beautifully written, loved the flow – and moreover a book that will have you in fits of laughter all the way through. I read this book in 3 hours flat, it’s a book you would not want to put down-till you have finished the entire story. From scenes of the Nunu, the Narayan Swamy episodes to the lines of Rajnikant conversations, loved it all.

A strong recommendation to all book lovers, to grab your copy of ‘Naughty Men’. It is a highly addictive story, and somewhere down the line, guys of all ages will relate to this book. The ladies will equally enjoy the book. Am lucky enough to have spotted this book on the middle shelf of a book store in Bangalore, immediately bought it and finished it off in no time.

There are a few parts that will have you in almost uncontrollable laughter, one such are the conversations with Karan and the ‘Baby Detective Agency’ and Baby Sir. Would not want to divulge much on the story. Just go ahead and have a read, and I am sure this is one book you will not have regrets on purchase.

Good Language, great story line and moreover the purpose of Siddharth entertaining his readers through his book – FULFILLED! Way to go bro! Great piece of work.

About the Author Siddharth : He lives and works in Bangalore. Naughty Men is his first book, and going by his success we hope to see many many more books from him.