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Child of Paradise: Listen to your dreams, Pratibha R DH, 2017

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Publisher: Flugel Publishing House
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Pages: 340
Blurb:
Life takes an unexpected turn when Tia meets the boy whom she secretly had a crush on all through her school years. Not only does Ron steal her heart but he seems equally besotted in a true blue sense of the word. Tia’s friends who had always known about her infatuation are more than thrilled as Ron is absolutely a girl’s dream come true – a stunner with a heart of gold.
Everything seemed just so perfect and it looked like the universe finally heard her wishes…if not for one person who didn’t want her to be with Ron. And it was none other than the person Tia loved most in the world – Rianna, her sister. The bizzare part of it all was that Rianna was no longer alive! Tia was continuously haunted by dreams of her sister who kept warning her off Ron.
Her sister’s case being closed off by the police as suicide was something that had left Tia deeply perturbed even years after her passing away. As Tia follows her instincts and tries to solve the mystery surrounding her sister’s death she comes up with evidence that might just open up a can of worms and shatter her whole family.
Will she be able to fulfil her sister’s last wish? Will she make the right choice between love and justice? This story is a journey of corporate ambition, greed, lust and betrayal. A paranormal crime novel that will take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions and family drama while at the same time leave you twitching to unearth the mystery of a death, unresolved.
My Review:
Child of Paradise was quite an interesting read and I have never read a paranormal crime fiction of this type before. The author has obviously done quite a lot of research before writing this book and it is evident from the first chapter itself- from the medical stuff to the psychic/spiritual ones. That was commendable in itself.
The plot of the novel has been well laid out and it is clear from the different twists and turns we come across as we keep on flipping the pages. Different forms of the novel such as an epistolary, a bildungsroman, and also, of course, social novel, could be seen. The framing devices, though a few, used by the author through the use of the emails, text messages and letters, works really well and binds the story together. We also see the mental growth of not only the protagonist but also of the dead sister herself. The social aspects that the reader brought in through the different conversations, meetings in the story as well as the work lifestyle were very well portrayed, keeping in mind the real situation in India. The themes of love- familial, platonic as well as romantic; friendship, and mystery were very well planned out. The writing was beautiful and very well edited and I hardly found even a single grammar/editing error. The way of writing was also very relatable and the author could incite laughter from me as I read the funny interactions among the characters in the novel. The events are also very nostalgic at parts without being monotonous.
The characters were well formed and the author has taken pains to make them as believable as possible- they are round, displaying a number of emotions for a number of various situations around various people. The relatability that the reader can share with the characters in the book is very high as well. The author has also subtly invoked the image of the independent women, one that I love.
The one thing that I didn’t like was the introduction of so many characters because it made me very confused. Frankly, I was lucky since I always sort of take notes or make family trees when I read a book. The cover was nice in a simple sort of way, but there is much scope for it, especially the spine of the book. I honestly have no other issue beyond these.
Verdict:
This book was a great read, and I really enjoyed it a lot. Definitely recommend for fans of thrillers, mystery and romance books. Would rate it as a 13+ book and I personally shall be picking up again. I rate this a 5/5 stars.

You are still the one, Nancy Prajapati, 2018

You Are Still The One is a story of love, but it is also a story of hope and how time is the best healer. I would like to thank the author for giving me a review copy of this book; it was a great favour.
This is a book of hope and sacrifice, of courage and heartbreak, and most importantly of family and friendship. We see our protagonist Ali, undergo a great mental and social development and as such, in this regard, I will term You Are Still The One as an epistolary novel. We see him grow up just like every other kid, except that a tragedy befalls his family and changes him drastically. It is his situation for many days. However, it is only friendship that pulls him out of that shell he had pulled close over himself. In Shruti, we find the epitome of grace and innocence, and it is her efforts primarily that help Ali in his growth process. The other characters we see are that of Vishal, a doctor by the day and a writer at night, his wife Sushmita, Shruti’s sister Aparna and so on.
The plot was very well developed. The framing specifically, was great and helped to relay the story in a more realistic and relatable manner for the reader. I honestly really loved it. We see Vishal firstly and through him we are told the stories by Ali, with his diary, then Shruti’s own story through the letters. We also see Aparna’s story and the overall effect of this intricate framing is poignant and raw. The plot also showed the different themes of love, friendship, family and how each of them so greatly affects our lives every day.
This book also touches upon various aspects of our day-to-day lives. I am truly happy with the way Nancy Prajapati has shown the women- some work, some are housewives while some juggle both worlds- and are none the less for it. Women have been shown in a very realistic manner. I personally saw my own relatives in a few of the characters. It has also touched upon some important negative aspects as well- like that of inter-religion marriage, the institution which we can say to be one of the major issues even today in modern life. The way how people are still reacting against it is not at all shocking (because it’s ‘normal’) but it shouldn’t have to be that. Moreover, when Aparna related to her mother that she was having troubles in her marriage, her mother’s advice was to just ‘have a kid!’. These are very shocking things, despite the fact that it’s an advice that has been advised for a long time.
The one thing that I did not like about this book was the editing. I think it could have been a lot better. Like another book I have recently reviewed, I find that this one too is lacking on that front. I would definitely recommend the writer to use beta-readers to proofread their books before publishing. Keeping all of that in mind, I rate this book a 4/5 stars.