Ripples of my Reflections

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Category: BOOK REVIEWS

Book Review: Into the water

Paula Hawkins had me hooked with her debut novel The girl on the train. That’s what made me pick this book. Well, that and some reviews I read. I would give it to the author for using the same narrative style in two consecutive books and still managing to keep the readers on tether hooks. While reading The girl on the train, I couldn’t help but read a bit ahead as I was unable to contain myself. Thankfully, the narrative style didn’t spoil it for me. So, I was extra careful not to read ahead with this book. I wanted the suspense to build up in the way Paula had intended and it did. However, when I reached the end I should say I was disappointed a little. Some things may have gone over my head, but I expected more.

Highs:

~ Narration. Succinct and clear, Paula has done it again with so much ease.

~ Keeping the plot progressing. There’s not a page where I felt the story to be stagnant. It kept building on and on. The scenes that were built with every page were all leading to something. It felt like you are getting close to finishing a jigsaw puzzle with every page.

~ Characters in the plot. The variety in thinking, behavior, and interpretations helped the thriller novel to throw the readers off the hook whenever and wherever needed.

Lows:

~ The last piece of puzzle still doesn’t give that much meaning to the picture once it fits. It does complete the plot and hence the story but doesn’t do anything beyond that. Maybe I am wrong in comparing this with The girl on the train where the last piece of the puzzle gave the story an entirely different twist.

~ Some gaping holes that come with a story built on the interpretations of different characters. I could have gone easy on this if the ending had given me the clarity I wanted.

My verdict:

I was hoping for a 5 star book but I would only go as far as 3 stars for this one. Blame it on the high expectations or comparative mindset with The girl on the train, but that’s as much as I can say.

Until later ūüôā

Book Review: The Confession

Book: The Confession
Author: John Grisham
Genre: Thriller
No. of pages: 418
My rating: 5/5

An innocent man is about to be executed.
Only a guilty man can save him.

I had this book lying around for a long time, never knowing why I didn’t pick it up. On an impulsive day and in a reading frenzy, I picked this up and found myself racing through the pages. I finished it in 2 days and it was absolutely worth the experience. I like crime and legal thrillers but sometimes find them placing disturbing images in my mind. The Confession did have such disturbing scenarios but I would say Grisham has used it sparingly only to support the plot and explain the context.

This is a book in which John Grisham is at what he does best, a legal thriller. Keith, a lutheran minister is unwillingly pulled into a race against time to save an innocent man from death penalty. Will he succeed? And then there are men like Travis Boyette who are hardened criminals who lie, change their minds like switching shirts, and never change. However, only Travis Boyette can save the innocent Donte Drumm from death penalty for a murder that Donte did not commit. Travis chooses Keith as his solution and pulls him into a roller coaster ride.

Does Keith succeed in saving Donte? Does Travis change and feel remorse? Who helps the duo in their race to Donte? There are so many characters involved and so many questions that arise. But Grisham deals with all of them deftly. The book is gripping to the point where the plot decides what Donte’s fate is and then from there, it takes a much more legal and a social view of what happens due to a wrongful conviction. What is at stake? So many people involved in a wrongful conviction, in so many ways. Are they able to live with it? Do they regret or are they worried only about saving themselves? The book offers closure on all these aspects.

As the plot grew, I encountered one too many characters but it did not have a tiring effect. The characters were unique and held different threads of the story together. I cannot blame Grisham for going into detail about some of the characters, we need it to understand how extreme humans can get. The gripping fact that what happens will happen shook me when Grisham threw the bombshell more than halfway through the book and my first reaction was that of being let down. But in his own style Grisham took the story forward and made me realize and accept that no matter what happens, life goes on. There are also places where the book strongly portrays the injustice of life in itself and how cruel people and time can get.

The only thread left till the last page is whether death penalty should be legal. There is another thread of whether death penalty is right or wrong. But that debate will go on even beyond the pages of this book.

Until later ūüôā

P.S: A version of this review is also posted on Goodreads.

The Krishna Key – Review

As I had mentioned in my earlier post, of late, I find myself interested in mythology. ¬†That’s the main reason I signed up for this book. Well, over to the review..

Image Courtesy: http://www.infoaboutbooks.com

Ashwin Sanghi has done a good job delivering a gripping book to the audience. Again. Having read his Chanakya’s Chant, I can say that much. This book is of the same genre under which Dan Brown’s books fall. Thriller? Yes. Worth a buy? Yes. Unique? Ummm.. I have to say no. It is just that though a book can be of the same genre with various best-sellers but when it has striking similarities that remind you of some other book at every turn, you tend to lose¬†forget the author’s touch. It happens.

Let me elaborate:

The main characters in The Krishna Key:

1. The protagonist : Ravi Mohan Saini

2. The female counter-part (helping the protagonist as he tries to unmask the antagonist) : Priya

3. The tough police officer who is honest (no doubt there) but mistakes the protagonist due to evidences leading up to him : Radhika Singh

4. Then there is always the CBI ūüėČ : Sunil Garg

5.¬†Antagonist: Taarak Vakil (His name also has a Dan Brown’s touch. Read the book to know more about this hint :P)

Ravi Mohan is on the run to prove that he is innocent and at the same time to decipher a seemingly-impossible set of clues to uncover a great mythological truth and at the same time to protect it.

Now, answer me? Too many similarities with Da Vinci Code? Yes. That’s what disturbed me the most about this book. Then again, I cannot just blow off Ashwin Sanghi’s effort by saying he has done a Dan Brown toned down to Indian tastes. He has done a great job in weaving the plot so that it keeps up with the pace. The book has twists and turns wherever necessary. Necessary in the sense that which is needed to keep the audience hooked. Nothing in excess and nothing in short.

I loved the way how certain explanations were re-quoted to bring in the emphasis and realization because otherwise, readers tend to miss certain awesome realizations since it has a lot of information to take in.

Also, i should appreciate the efforts of the author who has succeeded in presenting the right form of Indian mythology to the world. We all know that India was the source of knowledge for many unbelievable technologies/findings. But, how much do we really know? How much do we realize? Do we really grasp what a mother lode of knowledge and intellect we had so many years ago? And how that has all forgotten over times and now we sit here calling ourselves a developing country.

I applaud this book in the fact that it succeeds in making the readers scoot over to¬†Google¬†to check facts about our history that we never bothered to know more about. That in itself a big achievement for the book. It has made it’s point. So here is my rating, I would say it is a good book, worth a buy, worth reading more than once, but not one of it’s kind.

Until later ūüôā

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at BlogAdda.com. Participate now to get free books!

"2 States"- Transported me to a different state!

With Xmas holidays making me idler,I started out with “2 states” by Chetan¬†Bhagat,today afternoon. Not to say,I read the book really fast (as I usually do) and I am done¬†with it in approximately¬†4 hours.It was a very good reading experience after a long time.Of late, I had been out of the reading habit for unknown reasons.Reading this book, rekindled the passion in me. The thing I love the most in Chetan¬†Bhagat’s¬†novels is his style. The casual journey through the story gives you the feel of a pleasant tour down the country-side. And you don’t feel like you are reading something that’s new to you. It’s all the same thing we stumble on everyday,yet pictured in a different way. The concept of¬† united India and love marriage in India instills some real thinking in the minds of the readers.To those who still stick to state,caste,creed,money,complexion statuses while arranging marriages, the book strikes with a perfect question-“What more do you need when there are two hearts in perfect understanding?” Indeed, matching of hearts of not only the couple but also their parents is a vital issue and¬† it has been very well portrayed. Moreover this book shows that love is not a cakewalk and¬† what true love requires. Also, what India needs, at present, is united¬†hearts¬† than wars over every single reason people can think of. The book is as good as the previous three by the same author and is unique in its own way. Hats off to Chetan.