Friday, May 31, 2019

Book Review - Wake Up, Life is Calling by Preeti Shenoy

This is my second book by Preeti Shenoy. The first one I read was "Love a Little Stronger" that was a wonderful light read. I enjoyed the humor, emotion and feeling shared in those stories. And Preeti is one of the bestselling authors of India, so I didn't want to lose the chance to read the next book by her which was a sequel to "Life is What You Make It", again a national bestseller. I happily accepted the review copy in exchange for an honest review.

Book Blurb
Ankita has fought a mental disorder, been through hell, and survived two suicide attempts. Now in Mumbai, surrounded by her loving and supportive parents, everything seems idyllic. She is not on medication. She is in a college she loves, studying her dream subject: Creative Writing. At last leading a ‘normal life’, she immerses herself in every bit of it.
Underneath the surface, however, there is trouble brewing. A book she discovers in her college library draws her in, consumes her and sends her into a terrifying darkness that twists and tears her apart. To make matters worse, a past boyfriend resurfaces, throwing her into further turmoil.
Can she escape her thoughts? Will Ankita survive the ordeal a second time around? What does life have in store for her?
Preeti Shenoy’s compelling sequel to the iconic bestseller Life is What You Make It chronicles the resilience of the human mind and the immense power of positive thinking. The gripping narrative demonstrates with gentle wisdom how by changing our thoughts, we can change our life itself.
"Wake Up, Life Is Calling" is a story of Ankita. She had troubled past. She recently came back from a mental asylum, she was admitted there due to Bipolar Disorder. Her parents were her biggest supporters. The story started when she joined the course of creative writing. She made 2 friends from her class and started living normally. Her phone-friend/school friend or I would say her long-distance boyfriend suddenly entered her life. She was annoyingly enjoying her life when something unexpected happened to her which brought back troubling memories back to her. The last third of the book shows her struggle from the phase.

Frankly speaking, I found the book is inline or may be inspired by "Veronika Decides to Die" by Paulo. Don't get angry with me but I was not able to finish "Veronika...". Somehow I was getting too many negative vibes from that book. Something like that happened to me when I was going through the phase of Ankita's struggle. The reason I sailed through was limited options and 15 hours journey. Also, Indian background helped me to go through. Once I was done through 2nd third, I was enjoying the book. And before I know, I reached the last section. Yes I finished the whole book in one day (6-7 hours)

My observations
  1. Though the book is written with good intention and motivation in mind, for people in depression I would advise either finish the book (if you start) or skip it. If you leave it in low of Ankita's character you may get more depressed. 
  2. The book is written for mature people with the proper thought process.
  3. To make sure, the seriousness of the subject won't affect the reading pace, Preeti has used simple language and straight storytelling.
  4. I haven't read part 1, if you want to read it first then do it. It will be helpful.
  5. Nice and colorful cover design.
  6. I didn't like Parul's behavior in the climax, the way she was portrayed in the beginning I thought she would be mature enough to support Ankita.
I know many people said good words about the book, I felt depressed (even though I was not depressed at all) while reading the book. And that's why I am not able to give more than 3.5

Talking about the ratings
  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Concept - 3/5
  3. Characters - 3/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Thursday, May 30, 2019

7 steps to publish your books on Notion Press' Xpress Publishing Platform

We have been book blogging and reviewing for the last 3 years. We were really curious when we found 1 out of 2 debut Indian authors publishing with Notion Press. We wanted to know why so many authors prefer Notion Press over other self-publishing firms. Later on, while discussing with many of those authors we came to know about the service provided by Notion Press. They were really happy with Notion Press' fast service and they recommended it to their friends. But it seems Notion Press was not satisfied with their pace so they came up with a completely new platform which they are calling it "Xpress Publishing". 

Around three months back I received Notion Press promotional mail for "Xpress Publishing", I checked details of their service. I was impressed by the same. The platform has 7 steps to design your book, all you need is your content nothing else. I wanted to try out the platform, so I wrote 5 short stories and got ready to check how to move ahead. 

7 steps to publish your books on Xpress Publishing
  1. Book Format - You can literary select each and every aspect of look & feel factor of the book. Format, Genre, Page Size, Color, Language, Cover, etc. Apart from English, Hindi & Tamil, they have recently started 7 more languages in beta mode for regional authors.
  2. Title Information - Here you need to provide all the information that comes on the front & back cover. Like Title, Subtitle, Blurb, Author information, etc.
  3. Interior Design - Here you have to upload the actual text of your book. They provide 3 options: Create Online - Where you can write and format your text on their platform. Upload Print - ready file - Here they provide word format to you. That can make your work easy to format content offline. Expert Design - This is a customized service to the paid user to bring completely professional output. Don't worry if you are technical savvy first two options can also give you professional look.
  4. Cover Design - Just like Interior Design for cover design also they provide the same 3 options. 
  5. Select Distribution - Here they provide an option to the author to select how they would like their book to channelize. They have "Only notion press" option and "all major platform" option. For "all major platform" they scrutinize your work and if you are eligible they will also provide ISBN free of cost to you.
  6. Set Pricing - Based on the book you designed, they will give all the pricing information along with royalty you will get from a different platform. You can set price of your book.
  7. Send for Review - This is a final step where you can visualize the complete book and send it for review. 
Check out the platform at Notion Press

Don't worry you don't need to write down above steps, they have provided much more details than I have given above. You will feel like someone is personally guiding you on how to create your book. At each step, you will get video references as well.

Overall I found it really helpful for a debut author. If you don't believe me, you can check the book I published in 1 hour on Notion Press. Just look at the cover, I have prepared the cover on their site. They provide all types of required resources readily available. Links of the book I published

Amazon -
Flipkart -
Notion Press -

Monday, May 20, 2019

Book Review - Revenants The Odyssey Home by Scott Kauffman

Once again we are back with another review which was postponed for more than 2 years now. During last year Diwali house cleaning, when I got 'Revenants: The Odyssey Home" by Scott Kauffman, I first checked how did the book ended up in our shelf. After going through emails, I found out that Vishnu had received this book almost 2 years back (March 2017) directly from author in exchange for an honest review, the book then transferred to me for review. So dear Scott we apologize for the delay. The culprit was not the book but circumstances, I was in the middle of exams & practicals when this book arrived, so it was shelved by my mother and I forgot about it.

Book Blurb
A grief-stricken candy-striper serving in a VA hospital following her brother's death in Viet Nam struggles to return home an anonymous veteran of the Great War against the skullduggery of a congressman who not only controls the hospital as part of his small-town fiefdom but knows the name of her veteran. A name if revealed would end his political ambitions and his fifty-year marriage. In its retelling of Odysseus' journey, Revenants casts a flickering candle upon the charon toll exacted not only from the families of those who fail to return home but of those who do. 

".Revenants will not fade quickly as less substantial novels do but will resonate in the reader's heart and mind for years to come."-Mark Spencer, Dean, School of Arts and Humanities, Professor of Creative Writing, Master of Fine Arts Program, University of Arkansas at Monticello. 
Coming to the book, it is the story of a family (rather a sister) of a war martyr. Her world was shattered when she heard the news about his brother's death in the Vietnam war. It took her time to get back to normal. She got a second chance as a nurse in a hospital. She met many war victims in the hospital, which had changed her perspective towards war victims. She decided to make a lifelong mission to improve the situation of such people. She also found a mysterious person admitted on the 9th floor, she took the task of locating his history and family. But things won't be as simple as she thought. Check the book to know more.

Most of the readers talked about the slow pace at the beginning of the book, but I felt that has created a platform for coming chapters. The author has wonderfully covered various aspects of war victims. Not just victims themselves but what happened to the people who they left behind. The mystery that was created around the hidden room and patient staying in that room, has bound normal (thriller) reader to this emotional journey. The main character of the story is Besty and she was portrayed nicely.

Overall a good read, one can give it a try if they want to read something new once in a while. Talking about ratings
  1. Cover - 4/5
  2. Character - 4/5
  3. Content - 3/5
  4. Overall - 3.5/5
Book can be found at Amazon India & Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Sunday, May 19, 2019

Book Discussion with Aditya KV - Author of Daitya Diaries

Today we have Aditya KV with us to discuss his book Daitya Diaries with us.

Do tell us about your educational & professional background?
I am Fellow of Cornell Alliance for Science and also hold  PGD in Management. Currently I am working with a Production house developing scripts but previously in my corporate stint I was largely into communications consulting specializing in the fields of Science and technology.
What were you like at school/college apart from studies?
I was an avid debater and my debates were fueled by the plethora of books I ended up reading. I spent an inordinate amount of time out of classes working on obscure projects which might never see the light of the day.School years were probably the time I was usually locked up in the library and had an unhealthy obsession with history.
Do you read much and if so who are your favorite authors? Which author inspire you the most?
I read quite a bit. My most favorite author has been Alexandre Dumas. Count of Monte Cristo has been an inspiration and will always be the go to book for me to understand the baser human emotion of rage. Even the Character of Vaira had been modeled on Edmond Dantes from the book.
When did you start writing?
This was not very long ago, I started writing about 4 years back in 2015. I ended up working on a treatment for a film script and that pretty much put me on track to write my first book
When did you decide to become a writer?
Being a book worm, I always wondered how it would be to see my own name in print. It has been a lifelong dream but It took me years to gather the courage and focus to sit down and write the story I wanted to. I kept postponing it telling myself I needed more research but I think I was simply lay or even worse I was afraid of how the book would turn out.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I would,like continue enjoy writing. The process is tedious and enjoyable but I hope someday I dont find it only tedious. I think the biggest ambition would be to keep enjoying the process.
Do you have a special time to write, or how is your day structured to accommodate your writing?
I am a nocturnal creature and you would find me at late night coffee shops across Hyderabad writing away till early mornings. Yes, my day does get affected but nowadays, writing is taking the priority.
Is this your debut work?
Yes, Daitya Diaries is my debut work to be published, sometime back I did write a series called the K project for a site. That was a quite hit with Mythology fans.
What genre are your books?
I write a mixture of Hindu Mythology and world History, Someone asked me to describe my book once and I said it is when Lord Indra Meets Genghis Khan and they do meet in the book. I have to clarify here that I write only fiction and nothing I write needs to be taken too seriously. It is for entertainment only.

Can you describe your current book in few lines? What’s it about?
Daitya Diaries is an amalgamation of world history and Hindu mythology with a tale of revenge thrown into the mix. It brings forth unknown characters in the mythological space which are so obscure that they have been forgotten. It is an ode to the pagan mythology across the globe. It also subscribes to the idea of humanism, which is also a tenet in Hindusim and puts man as the someone who can achieve beyond the potential of just being a pawn in the cosmic verse Somehow I believe the idea “ I am just human” to be more of a compliment than an insult. Though through the book you are following the life of a principal character, we interweave through time and space of world history this gives the audience a glimpse into world history through the lenses of Hindu mythology.
Give us an insight into your main character(s)
The key character here is Mallikarjun/Vaira. A simple small town tour guide who is wronged. The key element of his story arc is the metamorphosis of the man who has to travel through hell. As the simple world he built for himself crumbles he transforms him into a machine of vengeance. He is a broken man seeking justice for the fate that has been dealt to him.
Where did you get idea for this book?
I have been a huge fan of Marvel and DC comics. Though we had much more entertaining storylines with complex characters and brilliant villains. Hindu mythology never really made it into pop culture. Daitya Diaries is an attempt to bridge the gap, this is pop culture mythology which can be turned into a universe.
How much research did you do for this book?
Travel, for the first 5 years of my career, I used to take long leaves from my work and travel across the country. I have gathered obscure stories of village deities and alternative storytelling. From Varanasi to Kamakhya. This was for writing Daitya Diaries as a 4 part series. The storyline formed in my head over these years and as characters fell into place, it was matter of referring back to my research from these places.
Who is your favorite character in your book and why?
Other than the main characters, Thakshaka is probably my most favorite, his story in a way mirrors that of Vaira, a broken man who sought vengeance and failed at it. A great king among the Nagas reduced to nothing. Even if we go by the cannon of Mahabharata, Thakshaka is one of the most complex characters in play. How he loses his entire family, sees a kingdom built on his home and finally does get revenge on the Pandavas but at a great cost. It is a character with a lot of grey areas and in a way is boon to the author.
Who is your least favorite character and why?
None actually, all the characters have been crafted with care. I don’t think there has been a single arc which I felt burdened writing.
What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?
The pace and the mood are the hardest to maintain, since the book is written over a prolonged period of time, if I end up losing the momentum, it becomes harder to gain it back for myself. Consistency is lost and that affects the flow of the story.
Release date. 
Feb 2019
What are you working on at the minute?
I am currently working on an independent film and a couple of webseries, I have taken to script writing full time recently and it has been a rewarding experience. 
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Keep writing, it is the toughest job on the planet, especially when you are yet to be published.

Meet Varun Sayal - The Author of Demons of Time

We came in contact with Varun Sayal when he had published his first book Time Crawlers. We loved those short stories and during his interview for that book, Varun told us about his future project. After a year he returned with a bang, "Demons of Time: Race to the 7th Sunset". Those who have missed it can check it from below links
  1. Review of Time Crawlers
  2. Interview for Time Crawlers
  3. Review of Demons of Time
In his first interview, you can find the background of Varun and how he started writing. 

Varun without wasting much time lets discuss about your latest book. What is it about? Can you brief us about it?
Demons of Time is a fast-paced science fiction thriller story which follows the arc of a time-traveling hero, Tej, who fights to avert an apocalypse. Though, he has only seven days before all is lost. This book lays the foundation stone for Time Travelers series where I plan to unravel stories about time-demons, time-readers, necromancers, and aliens.
The idea of time travelling is new in Indian Literature. How did you conceptualize it? How many efforts you have given after it?
I have grown up on a heavy dose of fantasy stories from Indian scriptures, so my imagination muscle got a good workout since childhood. I was also a big Doctor Who fan and devoured those YA books in high school. That is where the time travel bug hit me. But for my own writing, I wanted to conceptualize Time Travel in a way which is very different from the usual notion of folks using a time-machine. That concept is over-done in western literature. My notion of time travel is based on biological evolution and genetic transfer of these powers, which is what I bought out in this novel.
If you get an offer of making either movie or series based on the book? Which one will you select? Why?
I really wish that happens, because I would definitely go with a series. Plainly because TV series have a way of engaging audiences for long intervals of time. Even with movies, you can see the excitement among the masses when sequels are announced, which is again in a way serializing a movie. Marvel universe, for example, has engaged fans over years because of series of back to back flicks.
You have finished books with mystery. If you are planning for series how many parts you have thought about?
For now, I have envisioned this series as a trilogy, but I don’t take that as a hard constraint. Readers have given a lot of love to Book # 1, if I see similar engagement with the next two upcoming books, I will write for as long as possible. The characters I have built are strong, they have their unique personalities, voices and their own story arcs. I am even inclined to write spin-off series with characters such as Rudrakshini Devi, the Queen of necromancers.
Any interesting things you would like to share about the book?
The main arc of the story is loosely inspired by the story of Takshak Naag in Indian scriptures who had only seven days to kill a king. He does so to fulfill the curse given by a sage. You can also find references of twin demon brothers which is a recurrent theme in Hindu mythology. But the story itself largely takes place in the modern world with back and forth into distant past.

Monday, May 13, 2019

Book Review - Deceptions of Tomorrow: Electrifying Tales of Science Fiction: Robots, Black Holes & Time Travel

I have recently joined FewGoodReads and before that, I followed their reviews for a long time. Kumar L was mentioned in multiple book posts in the past by Vishnu. His book series Captain Anara made me look for his other books. So when Vishnu offered me "Deceptions of Tomorrow: Electrifying Tales of Science Fiction: Robots, Black Holes & Time Travel" for the review, I simply grabbed the opportunity. Light in size and language it gave company to beginners like me.

Book Blurb
Human rights for robots! Time travel chaos! Black holes at the centre of our galaxy! These stories will entertain you, opening your mind to the possibilities of science and the future. 

As Artificial Intelligence evolve with time, will we face a robot revolution? If it becomes possible to travel through time, what will be the result? Will we be able to change the past? And, of course, black holes – those barely understood, never seen, immensely powerful entities – can we harness their power for good or evil? 
Understand Asimov’s Three Laws of Robotics, and read stories about the impact of these laws on the society of the future. 
These laws aim to protect humans from robots. But what about the rights of the robots and other ‘Artificial Intelligence’ which humans will create in the future? Do they deserve, and should they be eligible for the same rights as humans? 
Till now I have read very few books. None of them was short stories collection. Longer books and multiple characters demand efforts from the reader and as I said earlier I am new so short stories gave me warm feelings, like they knew I need to take small steps at a time. I can read these stories without much stress, as each of them is independent. They say your first-time experience is always memorable. So was the case with me in short stories. This will book keep in mind for years to come.

Good points about the book
  • Very light read. Just 50-60 pages
  • Easy language usage
  • Good for beginners
I would give 3 out of 5 to Kumar

Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Book Review - Ganesha: An Afro-Asian story

Ganesha had a special place in my heart, There are two reasons for the same.
  1. First time I have reviewed a manuscript. Yes, I have read it as manuscript and second time as a published work. So I am going to remember it as the first manuscript reviewing
  2. I have read closely 250 fictions/novels in my life. (You may find numbers less,  but I started it since 2016). I haven't read such a detailed book around animal life with an animal as the protagonist.

Book blurb
On the trail of Ganesha, the Afro-Asian ele-calf, born by a quirk of fate and in the most improbable of circumstances in the wilds of East Africa in 1943. Then begins his journey to the Southern wilds of India and his fight for survival in those new wilds.
Born on the same day as Ganesha, in a rural hamlet of Southern India is Maari, who goes on to become one of the most dreaded poachers India has ever known.
And know how their fates inevitably cross over the decades during which there are profound changes in both the political and ecological landscape of India.
Ganesha is a unique story. In a normal novel, there is a human protagonist, supporting characters, an antagonist. (Sometimes pets as supporting characters). In Ganesh, an elephant named Ganesha is our protagonist. His herd-brother "One-Eyed" and head mahout are major supporting characters. And tuskless-Dundubhi is an antagonist of the story. Ganesha is shown as a crossbreed of Asian & African elephants. He was born in Africa in the wild. Due to a tragedy, all members of his herd died. He was transported to the Indian subcontinent. Here he met his heard-friend or I would say sworn-brother One-Eyed. When they reached the age they got separated from his maternal herd and joined a male elephant. During that time they first time met tuskless-Dundubhi. Later on due to Dundubhi they got captured and did some commendable tasks. Apart from them, there is one human character is also narrated in the book who was shown similar to Veerappan. Read the book to know more.

Frankly speaking, I am completely flat. The book is a brilliant piece of work. The author has done a wonderful job of providing animal world information of so many animal families be it elephant, lion, tiger, snake, python, dogs and many more. At the same time, he has shown the cruelty of human nature which has affected wildlife drastically sending many of wildlife into extinction. While reading the book you will feel like watch Discovery or National Geographic Wildlife shows.

Talking about the ratings
  1. Cover - 3/5
  2. Concept- 4.5/5
  3. Character - 4.5/5
  4. Content - 4/5
  5. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon India & Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Friday, May 3, 2019

Book Review - The Kingdom of Copper by S.A. Chakraborty

I have heard a lot about "The City of Brass" and I also knew about the release of the sequel "Kingdom of Copper". But I was not aware that the review copy of the same will reach to us. I would like to thank Harper Collins India for the same. Frankly speaking, I had my reservations for this book, when I was offered a review copy in exchange for an honest review. There were two reasons for my reservations
  1. I haven't read the first part. Many reviewers recommended to read it.
  2. I have relatively fewer books on reading shelf by a foreign author. This was more of a personal phobia which anyway I wanted to get away from.

The chance of not having/reading any part didn't look good. And nobody was/is going to stop me if I want to read part-1 with/before/after part 2. So, at last, I said yes.

When I received the copy in my hand, I knew I didn't get any normal book, it was a special one. With 650+ pages the book is longest in my 2019 portfolio. And not a single slow page.

Many reviewers and bloggers have given plot details so I won't focus much on that. But I cannot just ignore it as well. The story started around 5 years after the first part. By then Nahri was married to Muntadhir (Ali's brother), heir to the kingdom. Her marriage was more of a political alliance. Her power as a magical healer had given her some hope. She wanted to redevelop a hospital where she can bring non-magical healers as well. Together she wanted to work for the betterment of the citizens. Otherwise, Ali banished prince, who was constantly under radar of assassin, started utilizing his new power of locating water. He again got in the mission of Nahri. Lastly, Dara, a Djinn, who was shown killed in part one, was brought back to world/life. He was forced to assist Manizheh to reclaim the throne of Daevabad. Read the book to know more.

You may say this is a short plot then why 650+ pages? Well, my friends, great stories won't go alone, it is a group of multiple small-big stories written with a central theme and direction that makes it great. Same way book is covering so many aspects that its usage of 650+ pages is justified.

My observations
  1. Hazzy cover. I thought I got a misprinted cover book. But this edition cover (checked online) are the same hazzy. I am not sure about the reason behind it.
  2. For me, the language was obstruction initially not due to heavy or too much literary prowess. But due to my habit of reading Indian authors majorly.
  3. A medium paced story.
  4. A wonderful way of showing the characters' journey through the oppressive environment.
  5. Language usage is adequate for seasonal & light readers.
  6. Details full with the violent and abusive scene, not recommended for 16 below.
  7. Wonderful conceptualization of magic, djinn, tribe and all.
  8. Though shown as a fictional story, many things can be related to today's world scenario perfect. Like racism, oppression, caste/tribe conflicts.
Overall a must read for seasonals. Recommended read for occasional as well. Ratings
  1. Cover - 3.5/5
  2. Concept - 4.5/5
  3. Character - 4.5/5
  4. Content - 4.5/5
  5. Overall - 4.25/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Flipkart
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

8 Reasons Why You Should Read Ashok & The Nine Unknown by Anshul Dupare

Yellow background and 9 faces on the cover made me check the book page when I got the mail. As if the cover was not enough the title "Ashok and The Nine Unknown" gave me confidence on the book further. I have more than 15 works (some independent and some series) on Ashoka. Half of them are around 9 mysterious knowledge holders. Majority of them are related to supernatural powers. I liked such a book, so I said yes for this book within a few minutes. Though I took around 2 months time to read the book & another month to finish the review, it was an awesome read. I feel that should have read it earlier.

Book Blurb
"You know what, the best revenge will be watching you failing to achieve your dreams. Do what you can, Ashok. The game has just begun!"
Ashok wandered amidst the corpses, helplessly, looking like a dead man walking among the dead. The wailing of people who had lost their loved ones on the battlefield cut into his soul and it was then that he heard a cry for help.
As realization of the devastation of war seeped in, Ashok decided to dedicate his life towards the betterment of society and try his best to prevent any destruction of life. Realizing he could not do so single-handedly, Ashok created a secret society comprising nine chosen members, who were known as the ‘Nine Unknown’, to help preserve knowledge that, in the wrong hands, could be used to destroy humanity.
Little did Ashok know that the safekeeping of such knowledge had a high price to it; that shadows walk amidst us and that sometimes our actions unspool unimaginable consequences.
The first of two volumes, this book has the power to transform your idea of reality!
Talking about the plot, the story started with the after-war scene of Kalinga. Amidst dead bodies, Ashoka realized what he had done for his ambition of becoming Chakravartin Samrat of whole Bharatvarsha. He knew he could not undo what was done, but he could try to avoid similar incidents in the future. So he took the help of his minister Radhagupta and created an order of 9 knowledgeable (which are unknown for the normal world). There were some sorcerers who wanted to obtain this information/ knowledge for a darker purpose. Read the book to know more.

Unlike the current trend, where authors create a treasure hunt kind of plot related to historic and/or mythological incidents, Anshul has created historical fiction. The book contains some part of dark magic and supernatural, which makes the story more interesting. Talking about my observations
  • Awesome cover art
  • Nice plot and conceptualization
  • Good use of conspiracy theory
  • Good characterization
  • Liked linking of various steps Ashoka had taken after the war of Kalinga
  • Medium to fast paced story
  • Language level was medium. No issues for seasonal readers. Maybe challenging for English beginners
  • Book finished at a high tempo, I will definitely wait for the sequel in the series.
All and all a good book, which can give you company for 2-3 days.

  1. Cover - 4.5/5
  2. Concept - 4.25/5
  3. Characters - 3.75/5
  4. Overall - 4/5
Book can be found at Amazon & Kindle
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Book Review - Riding by Cassia Cassitas

Before I start let me apologize to the author for extending review for so long. Actually, I have read a few road trips & trekking related awesome books 2 years back. I liked the genre and then I saw this book in Goodreads giveaway. So I participated in the contest. I got the copy in exchange for an honest review, but somehow book was shifted to a lonely place called "Back Shelf". Determined to finish all our pending work, we started giving equal priority to older review copies as well. And here we are to discuss the book "Riding"

Book Blurb
Amidst real events and landscapes, men and women like us wander the cities we inhabit, rehearsing happier lives in the pages of this motivational novel. From each one, destiny took a part to make them perfect.
When he is born, AndrĂ© propels his mother’s life in a new direction, shifting her focus away from her professional aspirations. His father, an executive who organizes Olympic competitions around the world and doesn’t know when to come back home, strives to make him a worldly citizen. Cycling, his life acquires purpose: becoming an Olympic para-athlete.
Together with his friends, he experiences disappointments and new beginnings. A doctor that builds robots, the daughter of a lonely teenager, and a retired athlete teach André how to overcome his limits and live his dream.
Set in Curitiba with breaks in Los Angeles, Seoul, Johannesburg and Soweto, Barcelona, ​​Atlanta, Sydney, Athens, Beijing and London, the narrative ends in 2012, in Rio de Janeiro.
As a tribute to all those who choose to sign the next episodes of their lives, this book is about overcoming one’s self amid achievements, obstacles, love and heroism, written behind the scenes of life.
Yes as the blurb suggests, the story is about a para-athlete Andre Propels. The protagonist of our story is born to a family where both parents were working with Olympic executions, so they kept moving from one city to another. But when Andre was affected by Polio and lost both of his legs, his mother took the call of being a full-time mother. She didn't want his son to have a life of crippled. Then starts challenging the story of Andre and how he overcame his disability and through his hard work achieve something which is not possible even with a person without disabilities. Read the book to know more. I hope I haven't revealed much.

Strong points about the book
  • The book is written in a dual style, you may consider this as a sports fiction or a travelogue. If you are a fan of even one genre the book is good for you. 
  • Coming to narration style author's writing style is a little bit poetic. It may be difficult at points if you are new to English. 
  • Family values. Elizabeth & Mario (Andre's parents) were portrayed with an emotional brush. By Elizabeth, you will feel how the mother goes through the difficult times of a family and how her sacrifice made the family as one in time of need. On another side, Mario also understands the family value and his unavailability towards family chores at a time can be sensed while reading the book.
  • Motivational part. Which shows the success of Andre to everyone who thinks things could have been better with them.
Overall a serious read. Will required efforts from readers at the same time will provide a good source of inspiration after reading it.

  1. Cover - 4
  2. Content - 4
  3. Characters - 5
  4. Overall - 4
Book can be found at Amazon India & Amazon USA
Review from other readers can be found at GoodReads