Stories are Magical by Abhirup Dhar

“Habits can be changed but not one’s nature”

Author: Abhirup Dhar

Publisher: Hawakal Publishers

Pages: 176

I received the book as a part of The Book Genie review program

My Review: 🌟🌟🌟/5

It is an anthology of six short stories-

  1. And Love Happened With Her Again
  2. Once Upon a Ghost
  3. Woof
  4. A Walk Through Memory Lane
  5. The Reunion
  6. Two Plans And A Murder

These are based on various topics ranging from love, hatred, friendship, jealousy and revenge. The intricate human relationships has been explored throughout the book. How something done in a state of anger and agony can cost you a lifetime of happiness is well portrayed. Through his stories the author has pointed out the various phases of a relationship and the importance of understanding and acceptance to live a happy life.

My favourite story from the collection is ‘Woof’ which has been written from the point of view of a dog whose life revolves around his master’s happiness. I also liked the last story ‘Two Plans and a Murder’ which is a suspense thriller. Also ‘Once Upon a Ghost’ was quite a fun read where the ghost take his revenge on a train journey. Overall the book is a light hearted breezy read though some of the plots were quite predictable according to me. The language used is simple and easily understandable. Stories are fast paced and each can be finished within half an hour. So if you are a beginner looking for some short stories to start with then you can give this book a go.

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Finding Utopia by Ruhee Advani

“Isn’t it love and freedom that everyone craves deep down?”

#blurb: Finding Utopia is a one act play that revolves around the life of a young girl Jiya who is on the verge of graduating from college. It explores her inner life as she struggles with demons and wrestles with her fears, confusions and insecurities. The play follows her from her graduation party where she meets a young boy, a stranger, Arjun. What happens after that night is a heartwarming tale of how Jiya finds herself and discovers beliefs that make her feel on top of the world. Along the way she falls in love but does everything work out like she wants it to? Has she truly found utopia?Enjoy a deep and profound conversation as together Jiya and Arjun delve into the mysteries of life, the world and the universe. Discover for yourself answers that might just make you feel on top of the world too.

Author: Ruhee Advani

Publisher: Wordit Content Design & Editing Services Private Limited

Pages: 53

I received a copy of the book through The Book Genie review program

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟/5

It is a one act play revolving around Jiya who is trying to find answers to some unanswered questions which will help her gain inner peace. While she was out partying with her friends before graduation she meets Arjun and pours her heart out to him. Without even knowing his name she tells him about all her insecurities and fears which are disturbing her. Arun understands her feelings and comforts her telling to believe in God and life would be simple. He points out that nobody in this world is without flaws and answers to all our questions lie within us. We just need to keep faith in God and everything will fall in place. But after the party she is unable to find Arjun and she did not even know his name. Will Arjun’s word be helpful to Jiya?Will Jiya be able to find Arjun? Will she able to find to find eternal happiness?

The book is a short and easy read which can be finished within an hour. The language used is simple and easily understandable. Though Jiya seems to be little whiny and is not the girl I would root for but the questions she asks about life are relevant and many of us at some point of time have had such thoughts. The book motivates you and guides you to preach self love. We need to accept ourselves as we are which will eventually lead to peace and happiness. Also the book portrays that sometimes you can fel more connected to a stranger than your close friends. Maybe they have gone through the same phase so they can understand you better and guide you through the right part. Thus if you are up for a light quick read then go for this book.

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The Girl On The Train by Paula Hawkins

The holes in your life are permanent. You have to grow around them, like tree roots around concrete; you mould yourself through the gaps.

#blurb: Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…”

Author: Paula Hawkins

Publisher: Random House

Pages: 416

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟/5

The book is written from the point of view of three women Rachel, Megan and Anna whose lives are somehow interconnected. The story starts off with Rachel who travels everyday on a train and during the course of her journey sees a couple living close to her previous house where her ex husband Tom now lives with his new wife Anna. Rachel names the couple Jess and Jason while in reality they are Megan and Scott. Rachel kind of gets obsessed with the couple and always wonders about their life. But everything turns upside down when Rachel sees the picture of Megan in newspaper stating that she is missing. Rachel feels that she should tell Scott about a different man whom she saw with Megan from the train and starts getting involved in the case. Drastic change of events takes place which leads to hatred, jealousy and bloodshed. Where is Megan? Did Scott kill her? Does Tom and Anna has something to do with her disappearance? And most importantly Rachel was there in the neighbourhood the night Megan disappeared but has faint memories of the night as she was drunk. So the question is – Did Rachel do anything to Megan because of her obsessiveness? Pick up the book to discover the ultimate truth.

The story seems monotonous in the beginning but soon picks up its pace. Though it is gripping but seems dragged at several places. The characters are well casted and the various facets of their intricately bound relationships keeps you hooked till the end. If you are looking for a decent psychological thriller to begin with then you can surely pick up this book. But as a regular reader of mystery and thriller I kind of guessed the ending. Overall the book is good but I don’t agree with the fact that it is the next Gone Girl. Again it is my opinion and if you feel otherwise I totally respect yours.

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Done With Her by Chirasree Bose

“Love doesn’t lead to obsession.Lust does”

#blurb: A gripping tale of love, lust, obsession and murder. It’s a kick in the guts. Love that’s raw, lust that’s insane and obsession that’s frantically irresistible. Twists will keep you on the edge while the truth will stab at your subconscious. Avesh Mathur, a techie stumbles upon the enchanting and sultry Spreeha at work. Every man in his office wants to have her. But he is struck with horror. She happens to resemble a girl from his past. The past that he’d do anything to keep under wraps. Spreeha lives next door to Avesh. She watches him furtively day and night even though she has a lover. He intrigues her, however, she’s not done with her lover. She wants them both because they remind her of someone. What tragedy awaits Avesh? Is the girl he’s madly falling for as beautiful on the inside as on the outside? Will he finally have to face the frightening truth that he’s been stashing for two years?

Author: Chirasree Bose

Publisher: Evincepub Publishing

Pages: 98

I received a copy of the book through The Book Genie Review Program

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟/5

The book revolves around five main characters Avesh, Spreeha, Chanda, Vrijen and Dheeraj. Spreeha is a girl working in Avesh’s company who resembles another girl named Chanda from his dark past. Avesh is shocked by the resemblance but Vrijen who works in HR in the same company assures him that Spreeha is not Chanda as he did background check before hiring her. Avesh gets distressed when he finds out that Spreeha is his neighbor but despite the fear he starts getting attracted to her. What he does not know is that a shocking turn of events is going to destroy his life forever. Moreover his friends Vrijen and Dheeraj also won’t be spared. Who is Chanda? What is the dark past? Why is Avesh afraid of Spreeha’s resemblance to Chanda?

It is a short, fast paced read and can be finished within an hour. The story is engrossing and keeps you interested till the end. There are small twists and turns which will amaze you. The language used is simple and easily understandable. The thing which I liked most about the book is that it conveys a social message to all the women out there; we need to raise our voice and fight back against the wrong. Also it talks about love and relationships and points out how love can be boundless and immortal. So if you are starting out on reading thrillers you can give this book a go.

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Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

Fear is a phoenix. You can watch it burn a thousand times and still it will return

#blurb: Kaz Brekker and his crew of deadly outcasts have just pulled off a heist so daring even they didn’t think they’d survive. But instead of divvying up a fat reward, they’re right back to fighting for their lives.

Double-crossed and badly weakened, the crew is low on resources, allies, and hope. As powerful forces from around the world descend on Ketterdam to root out the secrets of the dangerous drug known as jurda parem, old rivals and new enemies emerge to challenge Kaz’s cunning and test the team’s fragile loyalties.

A war will be waged on the city’s dark and twisting streets – a battle for revenge and redemption that will decide the fate of the Grisha world.

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Pages: 560

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Kaz Brekker is back with his gang in the sequel of Six of Crows to take revenge from Jan Van Eck for cheating on them. He does not pay Kaz the money he has promised and instead captures one of their gang members. But what he doesn’t know is that tricking Kaz would only bring his devastation. Also Nina is suffering from the after effects of jurda parem and trying her best to get back to normal life. Moreover Jesper’s father is in town to find about the whereabouts of his son. Adding to that Kaz’s arch nemesis Pekka Rollins is after his life. Will Kaz be able to defeat everyone? Will they able to get the money? Will they survive this deadly war? Grab the book to find out.

This book is another marvelous work of Leigh Bardugo. If you liked Six of Crows then you are definitely going to love this book. Some shocking secrets and background stories about Wylan and Jesper are revealed in this book. You are going to get answers to all your answered questions. Six of crows was all about stealing and completing the impossible heist whereas this book deals with the repercussions of that mission. There are more twists and turns which is going to blow your mind. You can’t appreciate Kaz Brekker enough. His masterstrikes are going to leave you dumbfounded. The amalgamation of thrill and emotions makes it all the more enthralling. I totally fell in love with him in this book and the chemistry he shares with Inej is alluring. I wish this duology never ended.I highly recommend it to all the lovers of YA fantasy out there. The books won’t disappoint you.

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The Heist Artist by Vish Dhamija

“Memories sometimes leave behind indelible marks that can haunt a person for a lifetime”

#blurb: Vagh Pratap Singh aka the Captain is a conman extraordinaire. From transporting illegal merchandise and stealing cars to breaking safes, he’s done it all. But now, in his fortieth year, he’s ready to retire. So when Udham Kumar, a crooked politician from Uttar Pradesh, commissions the Captain to track down and steal Poppy Flowers, a Vincent van Gogh’s painting that has been smuggled into India after it went missing in a museum in Egypt in 2010, the Captain knows that he’s found his last, and biggest case. But the painting is now in possession of a dangerous gangster, and the Captain is being followed by Udham Kumar’s ruthless associates, greedy for both money and power. As the odds against him begin to stack up, the Captain realizes that his last heist might not be as easy as he’d imagined.

Author: Vish Dhamija

Publisher: HarperCollins India

Pages: 272

I received a copy of the book through The Book Genie Review Program

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

Vagh Pratap Singh aka Captain is a wanted conman who has mastered the art of disguise. Delhi police has caught him multiple times but he always gets released due to lack of evidence. When a corrupt politician Udhham Kumar learns about Captain, he decides to put him on the job of stealing a renowned Vincent van Gogh painting called Poppy Flowers. He is going to sell it for 200 million dollars and pay Captain 10 million. It is going to be the biggest heist Captain has ever attempted and if he pulled it off then he can spend the rest of his life enjoying his wealth. But Captain does not know that Uddham Kumar is not a man to be trusted. He has something dreadful planned for Captain once he gets hold of the painting. But the story won’t stop there. Captain is not a fool who can be tricked. He has always been two steps ahead of Udhham Kumar. Will the heist be successful? Will Captain be able to steal the painting? Grab the book to find out.

It is a fast paced thriller and can be finished off in a single sitting. The plot is intriguing and keeps you hooked till the end. There are lots of twists which are going to amaze you. As the story unfolds the revelations will leave you stunned. The characters are well casted and the language used is easy and understandable. There is an essence of art and history in the story which is really appreciable. I loved Captain’s character which is so well written. He is witty, clever and hard to catch. If you are a sucker for thrillers then this book is definitely going to be an enjoyable read. Once you pick up the book you won’t be able to put it down unless and until you know how it is going to end. I would definitely recommend this book to everyone out there. Get ready for an action packed ride.

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Six Of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

“No Mourners, No Funerals”

#blurb: Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker is offered a chance at a deadly heist: break into the Ice Court – a military stronghold that has never been breached – and retrieve a hostage whose knowledge could change Grisha magic forever. To succeed would mean rich beyond his wildest dreams – but he can’t pull it off alone. A convict with a thirst for revenge. A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager. A runaway with a privileged past. A spy known as the Wraith. A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums. A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes. Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Together they might just be unstoppable if they don’t kill each other first.

Author: Leigh Bardugo

Publisher: Orion Children’s Books

Pages: 512

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My Review: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟/5

The book revolves around six main characters Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper and Wylan each holding a dark past with secrets of their own. Kaz Brekker, a thief and conman who has mastered the art of trickery is appointed to pull off an impossible heist , the reward for which is thirty million kruge. He has to steal Bo Yul-Bayur, the man who knows the formula of jurda parem from the most well protected safe in the world. Kaz could not let go off the money and so he assembled a specialized team of six to sail off to Fjerda to infiltrate the impenetrable Ice Court. Though Kaz Brekker appears to be tough but underneath he is just a boy who loves and cares for his gang members especially Inej. His love for Inej is unexplainable . Everyone believes him to be cruel, ruthless, cunning, limping bastard of the barrel, but what they don’t know is circumstances have made him the way he is. Will they be able to pull of this heist? Will everyone be able to return alive from the Ice Court? What are their stories? Grab the book to find out.

The book is brilliantly written and I don’t have enough words to explain how great the story is. Ranging from love, hatred, jealousy, humour, mystery, death it contains all the elements which are needed to make a book unputdownable. The book is full packed with action and thrill which keeps you hooked till the last. The characters are so well casted with a background story for each of them which makes it all the more enthralling. There are lots and lots of twists and turns which keeps you guessing till the end. The book is like a roller coaster ride where you don’t know what is going to happen in the next turn. Shocking secrets and unimaginable backstories make you fall for the book more and more. The bold and lovable characters won’t disappoint you once. Though it is very difficult to chose,but my favourite has to be Inej;the wraith, the spider, the spy. She is strong, bold and a fighter with a soft corner for Kaz. I totally ship for Kaz and Inej and can’t wait to find out what happens next in the sequel. All the hype surrounding the book is totally for real and if you have not read it yet then you are definitely missing out on something great. Grishaverse is going to stay with me for a long time and I am absolutely looking forward to read the other books.

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