The Gift

Author: Danielle Steel

Publisher: Corgi Books

Genre: Fiction, Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


The story begins with a happy-go-lucky American family, the Whittaker’s. After ten years of Tommy, John and Liz have Annie. Annie is five now.

Parallel is the story of a completely different family. A pig-headed father, an equally boorish brother, a submissive mother, and a sparkling brilliant young girl with full of wit and intelligence, who got herself pregnant at a prom night.

Maribeth, the young struggling teenager is put in a convent, until she gives away the child she is bearing. But, Maribeth runs away, employing herself at a local highway restaurant. Due to an unexpected and major loss, the Whittaker’s family is torn up apart since Christmas. Since then Tommy have had been a regular visitor at the local highway restaurant. At this juncture, the two vibrant and young teenagers get to know each other, and gradually become friends.

Later, Tommy learns about her pregnancy and what comes further, is a comfort the strangers provide.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • It is a story of hope and positivity. The protagonists’ are just sixteen yet hopeful. It’s been a good read. I’ve been emotionally attached to all the characters from chapter one. The death of a five year old, got me tears. a sixteen year old pregnant girl abandoned by his family, made me numb. She gave high lessons on positivity and hope.
  • The synopsis gives zero detail on what you’re about to be getting into.
  • Maribeth is rational and has the best self-control and, selflessness.
  • The friendship and budding romance is cute.

book picture

The story puts ahead two core lessons for the reader:

  • There is a reason for everyone who enters your life, and there is also a reason for their leaving.
  • Not everyone is meant to be part your life forever, but some are only there to bring a ‘gift’.

There are no guarantees in life, only promises and whispers.

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Minuscules

Author: Priyanka Bhatt

Publisher: Notion Press

Genre: Micro Fiction

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


  • The book is filled with one-liners, poems, micro tales and short stories.
  • It touches varied nooks like love, hurt, fear, scars, happiness, horror, social issues and violence.
  • Plainly conveys feelings without much characterization.
  • The author has penned her pain and sentiments which the reader can easily sympathies with.
  • The book has spice of all emotions.
  • An hour long read.

Caraval

Author: Stephanie Garber

Publisher: Flatiron Publishers

Genre: Fantasy, YA, Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️.5


For years, Scarlett Dragna writes a series of letters to Legend, the Master of the Caraval. The story begins when he finally writes back.

Scarlett and Donatella are daughters of Governor Dragna, who is extremely brutal to his daughters. His cruelty seems to know no bounds and he takes satisfaction in tormenting his daughters. After the escape of their mother, the sisters are looked after by their grandparents. They’ve grown up hearing stories of Caraval and the Caraval Master, Legend.

After years of wait, the Legend responds offering her three tickets to the Caraval just as she is engaged to be married. She takes the tickets to Donatella and finds her with a sailor, Julian.

Scarlett thinks they should skip the Caraval as her marriage is approaching. But Donatella and Julian have a different plan. They drug Scarlett!

Scarlett next wakes up in a raft with Julian, heading to the Caraval Island.

Thereafter, nothing is what it seems. They are caught is a magical and mysterious world. Appearances are not what they seem and even time moves differently.


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NUTs and BOLTs

  • It is set in a mysterious carnival kinda island, with weird tunnels, magical shops, rooms that grow and shrink with emotions and doors that change direction.
  • Julian is a great character. He is rugged, tough, bold, and hilarious; deliver meaningful dialogues and play a deeper role.
  • There is some romance, but that takes a back seat in this magical world.
  • The story holds the attention and keeps the reader guessing. The moment everything seems figured out, something else would happen, making the reader question everything again.

A funny thing happens when people feel as if they are paying less for something than they ought, suddenly the worth goes down.

Distrust has become her first response.

Pride and Prejudice

Author: Jane Austen

Publisher: Amazon Classic

Genre: Classic Literature, Fiction, Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Mrs. Bennet is desperate to see all her five daughters married to secure the family’s future happiness and security, as on their father’s death, the house would be inherited by a distant cousin.

The rich young gentlemen cause great stir in the village of Longbourn, the village where the Bennets’ reside. On one such fancy evening, Mr. Bingley is taken with Jane, the eldest and beautiful Bennet sister. While Mr. Darcy on his first encounter with the clever Elizabeth, is less pleased. However, on the subsequent meets he finds himself increasingly attracted to Elizabeth’s charm and intelligence.

Meanwhile, the Bennet girls become friendly with the militia officers, is where they meet Mr. Wickham. Wickham has an inclination towards Elizabeth. He narrates on how Mr. Darcy cheated him out an inheritance.

Earlier in the winter, Mr. Bingley and Mr. Darcy leave for London. Mr. Collin, the cousin announces his engagement with Elizabeth’s friend.

People alter so much, that there is always something new to observe on them for ever.

In spring, as promised Elizabeth visits Charlotte, her friend’s place. One day there, Mr. Darcy makes a shocking proposal of marriage, which Elizabeth bluntly refuses. She blames him for steering Mr. Bingley away from Jane and, ill-treating Mr. Wickham.  Mr. Darcy leaves that moment, later sending a letter to Elizabeth.

The letter causes Elizabeth to reevaluate her feelings for Mr. Darcy.

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NUTs and BOLTs

  • The depiction of the social background, makes it easier to understand and relate to the character.
  • It is dialogue driven.
  • The desperation of marriage of hunt is serious & seriously shown.

P.S. i’m unable to get the NUTs and BOLTs 😖

Just one thing: sit with a dictionary. 😂

We all love to instruct, though we can teach only what is not worth knowing.

Two Leaves And A Bud

Author : M.A Chacko

Publisher: The Write Place

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️


The Keralian author, M.A Chacko shares insights on the Syrian Catholic Culture of Kerala, via three stories.   The stories depict the inheritance of the Syrian Catholic Culture from decades ago to the present day. And yet each story is speaks differently.

The Faithful Husband stars Seby, a true Sunday Christian, who has acquired a great deal of land from his forefathers and contrives to retain the land using many mean and ill ways. The labor class working for him and other landlords amalgamate to form a Communist Party, to fight for the rightful rights of the labor class and against the atrocities of the landlords.

Two Leaves And A Bud is the title of the second story of the book. The protagonist is a young Catholic boy from Kerala. This young fellow does not intend to inherit the generation long process of stepping into the field of agriculture. Rather, he steps out in the city of dreams, Mumbai. He begins as a masonry laborer. Years later being a sole constructor of his own hotel. In that facade of period, the author showcases the relationship between the landlords and the labor class.

The third story, The Holiday talks about ethics, politics, religion and culture of Kerala and Goa. The protagonist, Raymond is a government servant. On his day off, he aimlessly wanders around the town. On his route, he encounters a good number acquaintances from his earlier days. They greet each other and a conversation on issues of contemporary society.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • The book is a compilation of three stories with a common plot.
  • The common plot: The Syrian Catholic Community of Kerala & the sociopolitical conditions that prevail even today.
  • The stories are too detailed at times, way too much than the plot requires.
  • The drift between the landlords & the labor class, giving rise to the Communist Party is well focused and detailed.
  • The end to the stories is abrupt, yet complete.
  • The author has portrayed each character differently.
  • The book is a bit monotonous as all the three stories have a similar kinda plot. And somewhere there is repetition.
  • On a funnier note, the last story appeared to me like the climax fighting scene of a Bollywood movie wherein the hero is fighting with the villain boys, one after the other. 😅

 

Thank you WritersMelon for the copy.

Every Breath

Author: Nicholas Sparks

Publisher: Hachette India

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️


Tru Walls – forty two year old man works at a reserve in Zimbabwe. Divorced with a child. Hope Anderson – thirty six year old, is currently at her parent’s cottage on the Sunset Beach. She is here to attend her friend’s wedding without her boyfriend. She works as a trauma nurse at ER and, is unmarried, without children.

The book also revolves around a mailbox, ‘Kindred Spirit’. It is an open mailbox. People freely drop letters in to those they cannot write or a get a letter to, for reasons. Hope and Tru connect and reconnect at this beautiful set-up.

The novel begins with an envelope that arrives for Tru. It contains two plane tickets, an old photograph and, a written note sent by his biological father whom he has never met. He is summoned for a short trip to North Carolina to meet him and learn about his mother. Alongside, Hope Anderson is at her parent’s cottage at the Sunset Beach, North Carolina. She is unsure on where her life is going. She is in a relationship which isn’t progressing or making her happy. Her father is critically ill. The two strangers quickly fall in love. Separate ways in a week’s time because of some immense complications. They live on the opposites sides of the world, inhabit ting different lives.

Winston Chruchill once described worry as thin stream of fear trickling through the mind that, if encouraged, cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.


NUTs and BOLTs

  • I picked this up because it is Nicholas Spark’s book and I’ve read and enjoyed many of his books.
  • The writing is beautiful and detailed. The characters have depth with their histories. That’s Spark’s world – you live the character through his words.
  • The sequences featuring Tru’s life in Africa are enchanting. It really makes the reader stand there, among the wild animals.
  • The magical five days of instant love on the beach in North Carolina didn’t capture my heart. The flow of the story in the last hundred pages made me drift along.

Real romance is spontaneous, unpredictable and can be as simple as listening to a man read a love letter found in a lone;y mailbox.

  • It is also a story of family love, of choices and consequences.

Veronika Decides To Die

Author: Paulo Coelho

Publisher: HarperCollinsPublishers India

Genre: Psychological Fiction

Ratings: ⭐️⭐️


  • After she takes an overdose of sleeping pills, Veronika wakes up in a mental asylum and the remainder of the book is a series of interactions between Veronika and the inhabitants of the asylum.
  • The author, Paulo Coelho himself makes an appearance at the beginning of the book to tell that the book is based on his real incidences.
  • The book describes the behavior of some mentally ill people, but fails at depicting the characters. It is very general, superficial with little insight.
  • A depressing read.

There is always a gap between intention and action.

No one can judge. Each person knows the extent of their suffering, or the total absence of meaning in their lives.

The happier people can be, the unhappier they are.