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Book Review: Six Degrees by BlogAdda

Six Degrees by Various Authors, (Edited by BlogAdda)

 
Six Degrees by BlogAdda
Title: Six Degrees
Author: Various Authors
Paperback: 422 pages
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing and BlogAdda.Com (2015)
Genre: Young Adult/Adult
Read: Paperback
Stars: ★★★★☆
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

As part of their #CelebrateBlogging initiative, BlogAdda.com, ran the first edition of Game of Blogs in September 2014. Five characters and their descriptions were provided. The objective was to write a fictional story revolving around these characters. Bloggers came together as teams and after three rounds filled with its own set of twists and turns, three stories made it to the end.

The three stories in this book are a fascinating example of how one set of characters can have interesting lives with completely different dimensions. Six Degrees is a result of how collaboration can truly breed creativity in the modern day world of connected living.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks to BlogAdda for offering me this book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Simple and pleasing.

Paper and font: Easy to read font, thin paper 🙁

Readability, language: Easy on the mind.

Why did I choose this book: This is a rather unique book, a collaborative effort of many bloggers, each story written by 10 people together.

Many months ago BlogAdda ran an activity called Game of Blogs. Teams of Bloggers were created and all teams was given the same set of characters and rules to create a story. These are the best three stories selected by a panel of judges.

The title isn’t clear at first glance and after reading my guess is that it relates to Six degrees of separation between the characters, stories and the storytellers. The cover is covered with a crowd of various types of smiley faces. A predominantly black and white cover with the title in blue. The colours make for a cover that is simple and pleasing to the eye. The blurb is to the point and explains the creation and objective behind the book.

All three plots were new to me and, so different from each other, they took me by surprise. One a sci-fi, second a murder mystery and the third a thriller-romance with LGBT characters! ❤️

Set in present day, all three stories have Mumbai and Delhi as the setting with Mumbai being the main stage. The cities are used well to support and push the stories forward.

The character set is mostly the same for all three stories, there’s Shekhar Dutta, Tara Dutta, Roohi Dutta, Jennifer Joseph, Cyrus Daruwalla and Arya Ahuja. Across stories these characters have some things about them that are the same, like Shekhar, Tara and Roohi are a family, Roohi is a little girl, Jennifer is a photographer, Cyrus a Law student,… But in each story the characters are also different and it’s was fascinating to see the same characters being different in each story. There were also supporting characters, but they were not common to all.

When I started out I wondered about the writing and my enjoyment of it but my fears in this case were baseless. Even though the writing style keeps changing through the book, between stories and in each story (expected with a large team of writers), the glue holds and it held my attention through out.

Each of the stories is written well but my favourite was the first because the plot was unexpected, the writing crisp and there were no sappy scenes. The last one was slow and melodramatic but I did like it too. It’s the in-between story that didn’t fit my bill, with lots of psycho poetry. But I did really like the Inspector Java character and the climax. I didn’t see that one coming.

With shortish stories, there aren’t many subplots and none that are unneeded. Each story builds well to the climax but once or twice I felt the drag and caught myself checking how many pages were left. There was also the goof up with Inspector Java, who’s brother-in-law is discussed at the beginning of the story but towards the end he’s declared single and a romance is broached.

All said and done, this book is a keeper for multiple reasons. As a blogger, it’s a matter of pride at the work of other bloggers. Then there’s the collaboration of over 30 people in the writing of this book. And lastly the fact that the stories themselves are a good read.

I recommend Six Degrees if you are looking for a hatke light & easy read, it’s refreshingly different [sorry for the cliché 😀 ]. Suitable for all ages except maybe young kids.

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US

The Authors:

 
BlogAdda (Editor), Anmol Rawat, Preethi Venugopala, Soumyaa Verma, Tina Basu, Ashutosh Bhandari, Paresh Godhwani, Prerna Maynil , Ramanathan P, Shoumik De, Srilakshmi I, Sneha Bhattacharjee, Hemant, Shamim Rizwana, Nirav Thakker, Tushar Mangl, Ritu Pandey, Sharon D Souza, Oindrila De, Anupriya Mishra, Vaisakhi Mishra, Tinu Menachary, Gauri Kamath, Ritesh Agarwal, Aayan Banerjee, Raghu Chaitanya.

Compulsory Text: 6 Degrees is India’s first book published through collaborative blogging, written completely by bloggers for the Game of Blogs activity at BlogAdda. Know more about Game of Blogs here. You can buy 6 Degrees: Game of Blogs if you liked the review. 🙂
 

June 21, 2016   4 Comments

Book Review: The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian

 


Title: The Bestseller She Wrote
Author: Ravi Subramanian
Paperback: 391 pages
Publisher: Westland (October 28th 2015)
Genre: Romance
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart

 

Summary:

(Goodreads)

He was a bestseller She wanted him to make her one.

Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor life is straight out of a modern man’s fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak.

Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author.

What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained?

Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protege.

The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.

 

My Review:

Note: Thanks BlogAdda and Ravi Subramanian for offering me this book to read and review 🙂

Cover: Bright and Conspicuous

Paper and font: Easy on the eyes!

Readability, language: Easy on the mind!

Why did I choose this book: I was offered this book by Blogadda. Since this was a deviation from Subramanian’s standard writing fare, it caught my fancy.

Shreya wants to be a bestselling author and she will do anything it takes to get that, even destroy a marriage as she comes between Maya and Aditya. But will Bestselling Author Aditya Kapoor be used and abused or can he save his marriage. Shreya can get all she wants without this destruction so why is she doing this? The answers the climax. 😉

The end justifies the title; it’s appropriate and it caught my interest. The cover is bright and conspicuous, it’s one you can’t ignore. As for the blurb, it’s succinct and simple.

I haven’t come across a plot quite like this one before, a story of blind ambition and it’s repercussions, while also dealing with betrayal. At a lot of points I found myself thinking I knew what would come next but Subramanian surprised me repeatedly.

Set in present day Mumbai, the author has woven the city well in his story and the city is always present in the shadows. He has also woven in a lot of pot-shots and truths about the publishing industry. There were a lot of places where I found myself laughing when I made the connection to real life and many a place I was shaking my head at the sad publishing truths.

The book has a large character set, but they all play important roles in the story and take it forward. Aditya, Maya and Shreya are sketched well. I found myself doing exactly what the author wanted, feeling for Maya, hating Shreya while admiring her guts and feeling both love and hate for Aditya. The only character who left me disturbed was Sanjay, his involvement has me still confused; I can’t find them but there seem to be loose-ends there.

The story is well laid out, though the pace slows down a bit and gets draggy toward the end. Almost as if the author was implementing his advice from the book on words per book. The story builds up well toward the climax and takes you by surprise. All loops are tied up though the Sanjay threads are a little twisted and knotted up for me, his plot didn’t sit too well in the jigsaw for me.

I enjoyed Subramanian’s style of writing, his snide remarks and tongue-in-cheek sense of humour. His Hinglish (which I particularly loved) is simple and easy to read and I didn’t once have to reach out for a dictionary, which was refreshingly nice!

Not just a story of blind ambition and betrayal, The Bestseller She Wrote is also the current state of India’s publishing industry – from author antics to emotional blackmail, Facebook fiascos to newspaper scandals, anything goes and it’s all in the book. For YA and above. Recommended if you are looking for a fast mindless read!

Buy On: Amazon India | Amazon US | Flipkart

About the Author:

Ravi Subramanian is an alumnus of IIM Bangalore and author of seven previous commercial novels. Having been a banker himself, he has a unique insight into the industry he writes about.
Ravi lives in Mumbai with his wife, Dharini and daughter Anusha.

Author Links:
WebsiteGoodreadsTwitterFacebook

😛 Compulsory Text: I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

 

December 29, 2015   No Comments

Friday Review: God is a Gamer by Ravi Subramanian

Title: God is a Gamer
Author: Anurag Anand
Paperback: 324 pages
Publisher: Penguin Books India (September 12th 2014)
Genre: Fiction
Read: Paperback
Stars: ***/5
Buy On: Amazon | Flipkart – eBook/Paperback

Summary: (Goodreads)
Aditya runs a gaming company that is struggling to break even. A banker slips off a highrise building, plunging to her death. The finance minister has made some promises that he is finding hard to keep. The LTTE has unleashed terror in America that sends the FBI on a wild goose chase, bringing them to Mumbai.
Enter Varun, parttime drug dealer and fulltime genius. He turns around the gaming company before disaster strikes. Meanwhile, the investigators plunge headlong into the shady world of bitcoins and the Dark Net, websites that only exist for illegal transactions—drugs, sex and money. God Is a Gamer culminates in a stunning climax where money means nothing, assassination is taught by the ancient Greeks, and nothing is as it seems.

My Review:

Note: This review is a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

Cover: Eye-catchy!

Paper and font: Ebony on Ivory!

Readability, language: Easy on the Mind.

Why did I choose this book: A book on bit coins sounded interesting, so I thought ‘why not’.

A simple email scam sets off an avalanche of scams, murders and complications. A US Senator is assassinated, an ATM heist is pulled off, a bank is put in jeopardy, a virus is released, virtual money is stolen, a bank chairman is murdered, and there is more. How all of this ties in, is what God is a Gamer is all about.

When I first came across the book, I remember the name striking me as an interesting name. Having read the book, now, I don’t see a connection between the title and story. The cover though well done is a typical thriller cover, not unlike the Dan Brown’s and Tom Clancy’s. The blurb is very unsatisfactory. It has more praise for the author than info on the story. And the little that is said, is said in such a convoluted manner that it muddles more than intrigues.

I have to concede that the plot is new and yet… I felt the plot was just too thick, Subramanian has packed the story with so many twists and sub-plots that after a while I was all lost. There was so much happening and the story was told in bits as it unfolds across the world in various peoples lives.

The story spans across countries but centers mostly around Mumbai and Washington DC. Subramanian’s descriptions of the cities are quite bang on, especially Goa and its hot spots. Yet some how it all feels disjointed.

The story is packed with characters, so many that sometimes I forgot who was who. I couldn’t figure out who was the hero or heroine even at the end of it all. There were just so much happening to so many people.

I took a day off to read the book and sat glued to it through the day. Thinking back it wasn’t because the story was that gripping but rather because it was all so complicated that I really wanted to get to the end and see how Subramanian tied it all up. The story is like a magicians knot, complicated, tied up, twisted and convoluted but one jerk by the magician and it all straightens out.

Subramanian hops about all over as he tells the story in small bits as it unfolds. This did make for difficult reading as I tried to parallel process all he was saying. Added to this were the intimate scenes with somehow felt out of place to me, almost like the author had to meet a target and so put them in there. The language though is simple and easy, the pace good too.

If my review seems all muddled, it’s because the book left me all muddled. There is just so much happening. I’m not sure if so many sub-plots were needed. There is just one too many a scam. A thriller doesn’t have to be so complicated, does it?

The cover carries the text ‘Is revenge a crime?’. This doesn’t make sense until you read the last four pages. Subramanian makes complex complicated knots on a storyline through the book and tries to untangle with a flourish at the end. Well, he did manage untangle them and explain it all, but was there a flourish, that is debatable.

A book for YA and above. Over all a good book if you don’t intend to use your mind while reading it.

About the Author:
An alumnus of IIM Bangalore, Ravi Subramanian is a banker who has used his industry knowledge to write five bestselling novels. He lives in Mumbai with his wife and daughter. See his other books on his website – www.authorravis.com.

Buy On: Amazon | Flipkart – eBook/Paperback

October 31, 2014   No Comments