The Rape Trial by Bidisha Ghosal was a quick read for me! I read it in just two days and I really liked it. . With a gripping narrative, this book revolves a lot around rape, and rape culture and the surrounding factors like the repercussions of rape for a woman versus a man, the societal standards (often hypocritical), as well as power play, the political and the personal, etc. . The book reads really fast also! However, I felt that at a few points there were some loopholes and a round of editing could have been done. Overlooking that, the writing style and overall narrative of the author is really well executed. . The book also talks about the justice system and lays bare and opens discussion on whether it is wise for the common man to take justice into their hands or to leave it to the law (especially when the law is not effective) and such. The characters are also developed throughout the story and their depth well portrayed. I like the relations among all the characters. Moreover, the psychological aspect is an important one here. . This was quite an interesting read. I rate it 3.75/5 stars!
“Meet Siddhartha, a good lawyer but a bad human.
Meet Rahul, a good human but a bad doctor.
And meet Shuchi, a good human, and an exceptionally well doctor.
Shuchi tries to make a good human out of Siddhartha and a good doctor out of Rahul, but a bomb blast transforms their lives.
Read this revolutionary tale to know how Siddhartha will get a unique PIL passed in the courtroom and Rahul will perform a life-changing surgery, to save the girl they love.”
In the plot, there is a great mixture among the different aspects of thrill, romance, friendship etc. The love triangle like I have said before, is engaging. The story at the end becomes almost tragic and while completely captivating. At its heart, I feel that this book is a romance, with a distinct impression of it being an epistolary novel as well.
The characters were very well built. In Siddharth, we see a ruthless winning machine- a lawyer who intends to win his cases by hook or by crook, most often the ones which are not perhaps on the legal side. It is only towards the end that we understand his childhood as a factor that drove this need for such power and hunger. He perhaps never knew that there was something apart from winning as well- until he met the heroine of our story. On the other hand, Rahul is a carefree young fellow who returns from the USA after getting his medical dree and joins the hospital where our heroine works, back home in India. Shuchi, the heroine in question, is portrayed as a dynamic force throughout the story- whose actions and views greatly determine how the story goes indirectly, as she greatly affects directly, the ways of the people around her, specifically Siddharth and Rahul. We see the classic trope of the love triangle in this novel and I cannot say that I didn’t like it.
The problems however that I had with the story are firstly the cover; I do not think it portrayed the idea well. Other than that, I truly believe that the editing was rushed through, so much so that I was frustrated and skipped over a few bits. I would really suggest the author to use a beta-reader and then a subsequent editing process after that so as to attain a refined nature about his future works. I also feel that the dialogues should have a bit more a editing done to them, other than that the overall dialogue aspect can be worked on. Keeping in mind all of these, I rate it a 4/5 stars.
A heart-wrenching tale of love, loss and the haunting grip a cruel past can have on the present lives of people, Allerleirauh is a beautiful tale, more specifically a Grimms’ Fairytale retelling.
It took me just a few hours to complete this- I was enraptured since I started with the Prologue and I could not keep it down. The author has beautifully created the plotline and then made her characters real and touching. In the center, we have Princess Aurelia and her transfiguration starting from the beginning till the end was very gradual and poignant. Her character as a whole was, I feel, well sculpted and the author has been able to portray the rawness in her understanding and actions after the horrifying event which destroys her soul.
The other characters were also very greatly depicted. I have truly come to dislike the king of Tranen, Lord Haven, while completely falling in love with Lord Crestwood, Klaus, and Aurelia. Myriah and Adelais were supportive mother-figures and we could see the love behind their actions. It was a stark contrast between people who showed their love through gifts and words and those who showed it through their actions. The disillusionment in there itself, is profound, just like Aurelia discovers later on in the story. Chantal Gadoury has beautifully tried to send the message that no matter how bad some people might be, there are others who are infinitely good and that we should not judge others based on any ill experiences we might have had.
When it comes to the plot, I felt like it was a bit fast-paced in the first part, and comparatively slower in the second. Perhaps it was intended in that way, but nonetheless, I liked the overall flow of the story. The themes that have been portrayed are also very relatable in modern times- that of love, friendship and sexual harassment, the healing and so on. It gave me the chills- this soulful tale of disillusionment and love. Another light theme here, like in most fairytales, is that of the fashion element, which I really loved, being a fashionista myself. The three special gowns were superb! (If you want to know what I am talking about, I would definitely recommend getting your hands on this book ASAP!)
I rate this a 5/5 stars for touching my heart- its light, and warm and beautiful and yet at the same time, it’s so dark, and soul-wrenching!
Before I begin, I have to state how very lucky I was to have got this amazing opportunity to interact with this author, and how grateful I am to him for having given me a copy of Letters to my Son for review. During our entire interaction, (and not just for the interview), Mr. Murugan has been a very delightful person to talk to and share various tit-bits of information. So, without further ado, here goes our interview session, carried out over the internet. An Interview with Mr. Saravana Kumar Murugan, author of the bestselling Coffee Date and Letters to my Son. (17 May 2018)
Where did the inspiration for Letters to my Son come from?
[Sarav]: First of all, a heartfelt thanks to you, Nayanika. It’s a pleasure to be interviewed by you. ‘Letters to My Son’ is all about love. The inspiration comes from my dreams. I am a big dreamer. I am also a good listener. I listen to conversations and I take inspiration from them. So, dreams, people and places I visit inspire me to write. And inspirations alone do not help; my biggest support system is my wife and mother. They shower unlimited love and support me to write better.
(Here’s my review of the book: Letters to my Son, Saravana Kumar Murugan, 2018)
How long did it take you to write it?
[Sarav]: Don’t be surprised if I say I wrote Letters to My Son in a week and Coffee Date in eleven nights and 1 Saturday and 1 Sunday. I write at a decent speed. Last year I wrote 10,000 words in 24 hours during the NaNoWriMo month- my best till date.
Did you always imagine you’d be a writer? Has it been a lifelong dream or something that just happened?
[Sarav]: To be honest, I started writing during my teenage. I started penning down poems and later wrote short stories and books. Writing is a passion and getting a book published is a dream. I am glad I am able to accomplish my dreams and follow my passion.
What’s your favorite book and character? Has it, in any way affected your life or even you, as a person- your outlook and perspective etc.?
[Sarav]: On any given day, I can read “The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks”. Such is the love for the book. Of course, my favorites characters are Noah from The Notebook, Jason Bourne from Bourne Trilogy, and Harry Potter & Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series. No- I’m what I am.
Of course, the most obvious question- any advice for young upcoming writers- from the writing itself to publishing?
[Sarav]: Write, read and rewrite, because only practice can make you perfect. When you write, do listen to your heart, as it will help you write heart-touching stories instead of mere bestsellers.
Can you please give us a short summary of other books of yours (for those of us who have loved your writing and are hungry for more)?
[Sarav]: That’s a nice question. Usually, people ask about future works blindly even if the author is not a debutant author. I do not think if I can be able to provide a summary of all books, but I love the list of the ones I am associated with. Coffee Date: The Real Taste of Love – a romantic dosage of love. Sixteen and Half: an exotic collection of short stories on various genres. Love and Honey: a tiny collection of poems on lost love and painful tears. The Writer’s Dream: From Draft to Bestseller – a self-help book. Shade of Life book series (Editor): Anthology series of short stories and poems. Contributing author of several anthologies including “Uff Ye Emotions 2”, “Timeless Love”, “A Little Chorus of Love”, among others.
Any future upcoming books we should keep a lookout for?
[Sarav]: Of course! Not just one… you can expect three books (Coffee Reads) in the month of May and June. I am supposed to complete the book “Are You Game” on a controversial topic by the end of April. However, due to professional commitments, I was not able to complete the book. I am working on it and I am hoping to get it published soon. It’s of the genre “Social Cause” and “Romance”. The other books I am working falls under the genre Self Help titled The Writer’s Dream: The Lifeline. (Book 2 of Writing Series) and the other is of genre “Romance” titled “Yet Another Love Story”.
About the Author
Saravana Kumar Murugan goes with the pen name Someone is Special and Sarav. He is the author of the bestselling romantic novel, Coffee Date: The Real Taste of Love and the heart-warming book on father’s love, Letters to My Son. He has also written an exotic collection of short stories, Sixteen and Half, a tiny collection of poems on lost love and painful tears, Love and Honey, and a self-help book, The Writer’s Dream: From Draft to Bestseller. He is also the editor of Shades of Life series and a contributing author of several anthologies including “Uff Ye Emotions 2”, “Timeless Love”, “A Little Chorus of Love”, among others. He writes under a pen name “Someone is Special” at “Few Miles– shortlisted as one of the Top 12 Creative Blogs of India in 2014”, and the winner of more than 25 creative writing contests. Born and raised in Chennai, Sarav lives in Bangalore, where does project management for an MNC. In nine years of IT life, he worked at a customer site in London, UK for a year and at a customer site in Hamburg, Germany for three years. Currently, he is performing the role of Windows 10 Deployment Project Manager for a farming customer. Contact the Author
Social Media Platforms @IAMSARAVOFFICIAL (Facebook, Instagram, Goodreads)
It’s been a while since I’ve read this book, so pardon me if I might omit some facts about it. When I first bought it, I had no idea that it was a part of a trilogy and so I had bought only this. Otherwise, I could have definitely bought all three. But nonetheless, I remember that I loved this book so much that immediately after reading it, I wanted the get on to the next. It was my bad luck that I couldn’t get my hands on it. And so it has been till today. And stupid me, it is only now while I’m writing this that the thought comes to my mind- I could have just looked for the pdf!
Before I speak more on Dreamless, I’d like to point out that the second book is Dreamless, and the third in Goddess.
Helen is our beautiful heroine, a young 17-year-old, living with her father in Nantucket. She’s the usual (so not!) islander, 5’11”, and shy and awkward. An average teenager, until one day when this new boy comes to her school. He’s irrevocably the most “beautiful boy” she has ever seen in her life, and the next thing she knows, she’s attacked him!
Lucas’s family is very realistically portrayed and I feel that it’s so much relatable to ours. There are squabbles all the time, but at the end no matter what, family sticks together. Overall, I rate this a 4/5 stars and only wish someone would buy me Dreamless and Goddess.
The Ramayana is one of the two most famous Sanskrit epics of India. It’s an affirmative epic and set in the Treta Yuga. It basically follows the eldest prince of Kosala kingdom- Rama, and his familial life. Other characters are Laxmana (brother), Sita (wife), Dasharatha (father), Kaikeyi(one of the three wives of the king), and also, Ravana (demon king of Lanka).
This is one of the largest ancient epics in world literature. Ascribed to the sage Valmiki, the Ramayana is also considered to be the AdiKavya or the first poem. As an Indian myself, I have grown up hearing stories of the Ramayana from my grandparents, parents and other elders in general. The story, apart from the usual entertainment aspect, also teaches life values etc. in Rama himself, we see an idealistic character, and while many people find faults within him, I for one, do not particularly hate him. His fault perhaps was placing his own countrymen above his own as well as his family members’ personal wants and choices.
There is also politics here- so much so that a crowned prince is sent to exile for 14 years. It has fantasy as well as mythological elements as well; demons, witches, divine weapons, giants etc. abound in this grand epic.
I have been reading the translated version of this epic for some time now, and I’ve been loving it. This Ramesh Menon translated version is as close as you can get to the original one. I would definitely recommend you all to give it a read before you pick up any retellings. And when you finally pick it up, do make sure to keep a pen and paper with you, so that you can write who the people are. There are just so many characters, that a person who has been newly introduced to it may be confused!
While writing this article, I was looking up some relevant facts about the epic and I came across this: “Sing his love, sing his praise, Rama set his wife ablaze. Got her home, kicked her out, to allay his people’s doubt. Rama’s wise, Rama’s just, Rama does what Rama must. Duty first, Sita last, Rama’s reign is unsurpassed,” – Luv & Kush, an excerpt of lyrics from Nina Paley’s Sita Sings The Blues.
If you finish it and like it, and are looking for something similar, I would definitely recommend you to give these books a read:
The Scion of Ikshvaku by Amish Tripathi.
Sita: The warrior of Mithila by Amish Tripathi.
Asura: Tale of the vanquished by Anand Neelakantan.
Sita: an illustrated retelling of Ramayana by Devdutt Pattanaik.
Four brides for four brothers by Devdutt Pattanaik.
Bhoomija: Sita by Anand Neelakantan.
At the moment, I can’t remember anything else but comment below if you do. Do tell me how you found reading that book.
I shall be hosting a giveaway on my Instagram account soon, since I’m fast approaching my one year anniversary. Make sure you follow me @pretty_little_bibliophile on Instagram as well as this blog, to get a chance at winning some amazing things!