Wednesday 29 April 2015

Review of the book - Liberation Bangladesh - 1971

The process of reading and reviewing is quite a complicated issue! I feel it is a skill that I will slowly master….well, I say this because as a reviewer I read different genres of books - some I personally like while others I get drawn into as I turn each page. The most difficult part though is to look at things critically and talk about the things I like and things I don’t in a manner that appeals to the reader, as well as the writer. Phew! The last few months have been quite a roller-coaster ride and that is why I took a break from all this as I felt that things were getting into a pattern and I was getting too absorbed into it. This review is an effort to create a fresh perspective on the entire process of reading a book and talking about it….

Name of the Book - Liberation Bangladesh -1971

Edited by - Major General Dhruv C Katoch
                   Lt Col Quazi Sajjad Ali Zahir

Published by - Bloomsbury India

Price - Rs. 499


“Liberation: 1971 is a collection of first-hand accounts by soldiers fought in the world of liberation. Published for the first time and narrated with disarming candour and honesty, the book highlights the achievements of the Armed Forces and the Mukti Bahini, as well as the heroic sacrifices of East Pakistan that together brought an end to the tyranny and genocide of the Pakistan establishment and gave birth to a new nation: Bangladesh. How can any nation not be proud of soldiers such as these? Their saga of courage, valour, suffering and pain must never be forgotten, if we are to preserve our freedom and our way of life. A compelling read for young and old alike.”

What makes the book interesting?

As you can see above, the cover is appealing and immediately draws your attention to the topics covered by the stories in the book. The book has been well-conceptualized and that is apparent from the contents page itself; since it breaks down the stories into various sections which keep the stories woven together and provide a flow from one section to the next. The sections are: Section 1 - Resistance, Section 2 - Stories from the 13 day War, Section 3 - The Paratroopers, Section 4 - Air and Naval operations and Section 5 - Surrender and after. The preface is detailed and offers an insight into the reasons behind writing this book, the terrible things that happened in the 1971 war and ends by appreciating the efforts of all the people who made the book possible. The pictures of officers and soldiers on the battlefield and the author profile at the end adds that personal touch to the book as the reader is able to see and read about the people who actually experienced this war and were responsible for creating a new nation called Bangladesh!

What I personally liked about the book -

When I began the book I was unsure about whether I wanted to read about the war and the atrocities that accompany it. Then I remembered that my mother had mentioned something about this war when we were younger and I spoke to her about it. She told me what she remembered and then I decided to read about it myself….I knew that one day I would like to tell my son and the children I teach about how difficult and painful a war can be.

The stories are interesting and provide a first-hand account of the war. It talks about how important teamwork is, how people are willing to sacrifice their lives for their country, how cruel some people can be, the conditions that accompany the war, how one has to keep moving forward despite the loss of family and friends and how important courage is. While reading the stories I have felt tears roll down my cheeks, at times I have held the book tighter feeling helpless and at others I have rejoiced when the enemy was defeated.

In the end, I would like to say that I agree with the statement made above - “A compelling read for young and old alike.” This book will make your realize that freedom comes with a price…a very expensive price!

The book is available on -


If you want me to review your book or would like to be featured on my blog, please send me a mail at
Looking forward to your mails :)

Thursday 16 April 2015

Review of "When Only Love Remains" by Durjoy Dutta

Name of the Book - When Only Love Remains
Author - Durjoy Dutta
Publishers - Penguin Books India
Price - 175


I’ve always imagined this in my head so many times.

I have always thought about what I would say; what I would do; and how it would all turn out to be.

And everytime I would remove some detail…

She is a flight attendant - Young, bright and living her dreams. He is a heartbroken singer on his way to becoming big.

She’s an ardent fan of his. He can’t imagine why and yet seems to find comfort in her words.

It’s the first time they are together and in their hearts both are wishing, hoping and praying that the night never ends. That the time they are spending together lasts and lasts…

In the world of imperfection, there is always someone just right for you.

My Verdict …

For the last few months, I have been reading a lot. The books that I have read have ranged from fiction to non-fiction and covered topics from romance, self-help and war etc. Last week while browsing through the vast collection of books in Crossword, I chanced up Durjoy Dutta’s book “When only love remains” and I decided to buy it. There were three reasons I did so - First, I liked the cover - Simple and classy! Second, it had been a long time since I had read a simple, mushy love story and Third, I wanted to know what made Durjoy Dutta a best-selling author. Well! I am happy I picked up the book!

When I first began reading the book, I wasn’t sure where the author was taking the story. Half way through, I waited for the twist and when it came I was happy it did. I liked the simple story-telling way employed by the author; no big words, no fancy language, no long sentences…just short and sweet lines. I may be a little biased here, but the fact that Devrat, the protagonist is from Kolkata, a place very close to my heart that the book started appealing to me even more.

Love is selfless and this book proclaims that aloud. In a world where everything is based on materialistic things, this book comes as a breath of fresh air. I like the fact that Devrat follows his heart, that Avanti is depicted as a chatterbox, fashion conscious girl who is very much in love, that her father is trying to make amends for the past and that Devrat’s parents support his decision. The end makes you sit up and believe that love does have the power to make things right. All in all, this book is a simple, well-woven heart-wrenching love story told by a young author who knows how to write.

Twitter - @durjoydutta               


If you would like me to review your book, please mail me at
Looking forward to hearing from you!                                              


Sunday 12 April 2015

Review of "Lemon Girl" by Jyoti Arora

          Name of the Book - Lemon Girl
          Author - Jyoti Arora
          Price - Rs.131


'It's all your fault.'
Mere words these are.
"But words can possess a shadow invincible enough to rob even a soul of its eternity."

In a society that finds it easier to mark sins of a victim than the culprit, Nirvi is a young girl punishing herself for the faults she did not do and avenging her hurts by defeating her own truth.

She is scared of her future, and ashamed of her past. She is failing herself, and knows it. She has had a long line of boyfriends, and hated them all. She detests the guy she is living with, runs away from the one she loves, and seduces the one who can never love her.

When Arsh first sees Nirvi, she's a free and frank girl in whose eyes sparkle the lemony zest of life. The next time he sees her, she is a voiceless doll draped in clothes that cover her body less and shroud her soul more. And Arsh can't rest till he finds out what made Nirvi give up her own real self.

Nirvi knows she is dragging herself on a path from which there can be no recovery. Can her spirit survive the treacherous downfall? Or is the pull of fear and push of desperation just too strong to withstand for a girl who believes she has "nowhere else to go" but down.

"When it's time for you to fall in love, even a lemon can become the cause of it," says Arsh.
But can love survive, when even the self-love dies?
Can love survive when respect is no more?
Does true love have the power to revive a dying soul?

Find out in the pages of this brilliantly woven, intense, heart-warming and thought-provoking saga of RISING IN LOVE...

What I liked about the Book -

As I writer, I like writing about women’s issues, I feel it is important to give a voice to the countless women who suffer just because they think that what they are going through is their destiny. I chose to review “Lemon Girl” because I liked what was written in the blurb. The method the author has used to speak about the trials and tribulations of a young girl who punishes herself for no fault of hers....The way the protagonist deals with her own conscience and how an old memory keeps her going and believing in herself and her strengths.

Jyoti Arora has written an engaging story that keeps the reader captivated till the end. The chapters in the story have been kept at a good length which helps the story flow from one page too another; there isn’t too little information and neither too much! The two main characters in the novel – Nirvi and Arsh are real; their friendship deep and their feelings for each other strong.

I especially liked that way Jyoti had shown the struggle that all of us face; the fear of dealing with our own demons. The mention of Rishikesh immediately has a calming effect on the soul and that is when you know that Nirvi will now find peace and come to terms with her past. The way she discovers herself, the feelings she goes through have been expressed well by the author. Apart from Arsh, the other characters may have been briefly mentioned, but have an important part in shaping the whole story.

What could have been better -

The language used is simple and yet expresses everything well! While reading the story, I came across a few grammatical errors which stopped the flow of the story and proved to be little painful as I had to go back and reread the last sentence again to understand the context better. Maybe another round of proofreading would help keep the flow of the story intact! I also feel that the author could have used another image for the cover. Something which would have expressed the conflict that Nirvi was going through better!  Of course, it goes without saying that this is a personal choice,  and as it happens you can't  please everyone in life :)!

I would like to end by wishing Jyoti a great future. Looking forward to reading many more good stories from you! :)

Links -

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Guest Post by Jyoti Arora - Author of "Lemon Girl"

In her guest post, author Jyoti Arora talks about her book “Lemon Girl,” the reason she chose the title and why she decided to self-publish her second novel. Read on to know more…

What’s in a name?

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” said William Shakespeare.

And yet, are names really so inconsequential? If they were, parents wouldn’t worry their minds for months to find a perfect name for their child and authors wouldn’t worry for as long and just as hard to find the perfect title for their book.

As my first novel Dream’s Sake was traditionally published, I had little control over its title, but as I decided to self-publish my second book, choosing a perfect name was entirely my responsibility. And I chose to call it LEMON GIRL….

And since Lemon Girl released, I have been asked often about how I came to decide such a weird sounding name for such a serious book. But the good thing is that many readers have written to me saying that they understood the relevance of the title upon reading the book. Some have even said that there couldn’t have been a better title for this book. At the same time, some people have called it a funny name, but such comments have so far come from only those who had not yet read the book. One such person actually told me that Lemon Girl was a title more fit for a comic book than a book based on such a serious issue.

Not that I minded this comment. In my on-going love affair with books, comics decidedly occupy the pride of place of being my first love. And even though I may have grown over that first crush, I can’t in good faith accept that I still don’t secretly adore them!
But I digress. So, getting back to the title of the book, do I regret having selected Lemon Girl as the title of my second novel?
The answer is, not at all!
I won’t say that there couldn’t have been a better title for my book. After all, there’s no limit to imagination and possibilities, but I love the title Lemon Girl. I love its uniqueness and its catchy sound and the curiosity that it generates in the readers’ mind. As whimsical as Lemon Girl might sound, I did not select it because of a whim or fancy. I am well aware of the importance of a good title for a book.

Yes, a good title is as important for a book as a good cover. Of course, traditionally published authors can’t have a total control on the covers and titles of their books. Publishers often have more say in naming a book. And I have heard of publishers who actually name their books based on numerological consideration rather than relevance to the story! But not being familiar with the precepts of numerology, here’s what I personally think are important considerations for choosing a book title.
First of all, the title should sound good and intriguing. A reader should feel curious about the book just by hearing its title. The world of books is too full of competition now. And if my Facebook friend list is any indication, then India has far more writers now than readers! And if that’s true, you can well imagine the competition we writers are facing. Well, the book’s title can serve as a very useful tool to make the book stand out from the rest.
However, interest value of the title must not be allowed to compromise its relevance to the book. Even the best sounding title will lose its value if the reader is left wondering at its relevance to the story of the book. My novel’s title Lemon Girl may sound unusual, but it has a very marked and symbolic relevance in the book and actually plays a major role in the story. And that is why several readers have told me that there couldn’t have been a more apt title for the book.

These days, I’m seeing many books that bear titles that sound more like sentences. I won’t say they are wrong. People have different choices and some may perhaps like them better than smaller titles, but I find them very cumbersome. If the author or the reader has to use an acronym for the title of the book; than that’s a sure sign that the title is too long for comfort. It is ironical that at a time when the readers prefer shorter books, the titles of the books are getting longer and longer.
Titles of the books can’t be copyrighted. That means more than one book can have similar titles. However, if a writer takes the liberty to copy an already famous title like Harry Potter or Da Vinci Code, it will do more harm than good and might even affect the writer’s reputation adversely. So, while it is not always possible for writers to be sure that their book’s title is unique, one must resist the temptation of using an already famous title or one that sounds too blatantly similar to it.
Similar blatant and unjustified use of celebrity names must also be avoided. One can name a book Madhuri Dixit – the Diva if the book is about Madhuri Dixit. But it will certainly be wrong if a writer names a book Madhuri Dixit’s Style Tips when the tips in the book come from the Madhuri Dixit of the writer’s neighbourhood beauty salon rather than the Bollywood star.

That said, let me tell you how I decided the title Lemon Girl.
Well, I had not yet started writing my book at that time. I was only mentally weighing various ideas about it and trying to plan out its story. In short, procrastinating and pushing the task of writing to another and another day. Just as I’m busy doing with my third novel!

But anyway, I was also wondering what I should call the book. I was thinking of listing out possible names and then using whichever would seem most suitable once the book was complete. I knew that I wanted a short name; one that would draw attention. And I wanted it to reflect the real character of the heroine. Well, the heroine Nirvi in my book is a girl full of spirit and laughter. She’s fresh and innocent, full of tangy retorts. At least till she is made to face the bitter realities of the world! These bitter realities then make her discard her real self and turn into a voiceless and submissive doll. But her real and honest self is not quite so easy to put down or forget. I somehow ended up thinking of lemons when I thought more about Nirvi’s real personality - Her freshness, her spirit, her tangy wit. Some of that made the words Lemon Girl to light up in my mind. And I decided then and there that Lemon Girl was going to be the title of my next book. I did not bother to think of any other name after that. Instead, I concentrated on weaving the title into the fabric of the story till it became an integral part of the book.

The theme of Lemon Girl is very current. So I decided to self-publish it instead of waiting for months and years to get a positive nod from a publisher. And so, I was able to use the name that I had selected. And thankfully, responses from the readers and reviewers are giving me sufficient proof that it was a fortunate and delicious choice.

About the Author

Jyoti Arora is a Post Graduate in English Literature and Applied Psychology. Her writing achievements include two novels, three blogs, several wins in national and international level blog competitions, over five years of freelance writing experience, developing books for kids and abridging 24 famous English novels like Jane Eyre, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn etc.

Jyoti's first novel, Dream's Sake, was published in 2011 by V&S Publishers. It received great reviews and much appreciation from readers. Her second novel Lemon Girl released in November, 2015 and has been winning much love from all readers and reviewers.

Books have always been Jyoti’s best friends. In fact, books so fascinated her from early childhood that she learnt reading, by herself, even before she started going to school. And she considers herself most fortunate that she is able to pursue her dream of being a novelist and work at what she loves best.

However, if books are Jyoti’s first love, and she’s still very devoted to them, the thrilling and steadily advancing world of technology also fascinates her. As a result, one of Jyoti’s blog is a technological blog called Techn0Treats. In 2011, a post in this blog won her the title of Samsung Mobiler when Samsung made her a part of the team of twenty bloggers chosen from all over India through a blogging competition. In this team of twenty bloggers, she was the only woman and perhaps the only one who had studied literature instead of science. As a Samsung Mobiler, Jyoti acted as the promoter and ambassador of Samsung on her blog.

Jyoti is a patient of Thalassemia Major which forced her to stop going to school after class seventh. After that, she continued her studies on her own through correspondence courses. Her zest to overcome her medical problems and zeal to achieve success keeps her striving on to make her dreams come true.

Links -

Twitter: Jy0tiAr0ra
Free download of first 12 chapters of Lemon Girl:

Contact me at if you want to be featured on my blog or would like me to review your book!