31 July 2016

Review #497: Lying in Wait by Liz Nugent

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Things come apart so easily when they have been held together with lies.”

----Dorothy Allison

Liz Nugent, an Irish author, has once again captivated the readers' hearts and minds with her new dark psychological thriller, Lying in Wait that revolves around a upper-class reputed family of three, where the parents commit a murder of a prostitute and bury her in their large back garden, and the mother of the family would do anything to protect her innocent son, and the son might do anything to make the dead girl's family feel better.

29 July 2016

Review #496: Autofocus by Lauren Gibaldi

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

----Ansel Adams

Lauren Gibaldi, an American author, pens a sweet yet poignant YA contemporary novel, Autofocus that revolves around a young girl trying to find the story about her birth mother for a special family related photography assignment, and in her quest, she goes back to her best friend for help but success doesn't always comes easily thereby landing her up into the way of more challenges that is often romantic and at times heart breakingly painful.

27 July 2016

Review #495: The Square Root of Summer by Harriet Reuter Hapgood

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

“Yes, and imagine a world where there were no hypothetical situations.”

----Jasper Fforde

Harriet Reuter Hapgood, an English author, pens a heart-touching yet an analytical debut young adult book, The Square Root of Summer that revolves around a teenage girl who has gone through a lot of grief in her life and right when she is suffering from the heart break of last summer, her long time ago ex-friend cum ex-neighbor lands up in her life, with more love life drama, that forces this young lady to jump from one timeline of her past to another to make a connection and revelation of her definition about life and complicated relationships.

26 July 2016

Review #494: Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The possession of knowledge does not kill the sense of wonder and mystery. There is always more mystery.”

----Anaïs Nin

Laura Lippman, an American bestselling author, pens an intriguing thriller in her new book, Wilde Lake that unfolds the story of the first female attorney of her county, who earns her first murder case, that looks like an easy win to her, but underneath the simple mystery lies a mind-blowing truth that will take this woman back to her childhood days when her only friend was her elder brother, who was once convicted of a murder but later cleared by the jury, that draws a close similarity to her recent case.

24 July 2016

Review #493: Stasi Child (Karin Müller, #1) by David Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Cheating was a concept both foreign and integral to the fighting of wars.”

----Tom Clancy

David Young, an American author, has penned a riveting German thriller in his debut book, Stasi Child which is the first book in the Karin Müller series. This series welcomes an exciting and brave new female detective chief inspector or in German, an oberleutnant who is a married yet career-minded woman, assigned on the case when a teenage girl's mutilated body is found near The Wall in East Berlin in the 1970s, that leads her and her junior subordinate, Comrade Tilsner, to the edge of The Wall, Berlin's corrupt politics and an isolated teenage reformatory handled by then government.

Review #492: The Good Muslim (Bangla Desh #2) by Tahmima Anam

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Suffering is a gift. In it is hidden mercy.”


Tahmima Anam, an award-wining Bangladeshi author, has penned a soul touching and a highly poignant historical fiction surrounding a family torn between the after-effects of war, politics and family love in her book, The Good Muslim which is the second book in her Bangladesh series. This story opens with the daughter who goes into exile for seven long years to study medicine and to open up her own practice as a doctor, returning back to her hometown where her old mother is still waiting for her and her ex-soldier brother is vouching towards the narrow philosophy of his religion's preaching, thereby creating a gap stronger than their years of distance between the brother and the sister.

21 July 2016

Review #491: Faking It (The Intern, #2) by Gabrielle Tozer

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you can not fool all of the people all of the time.”

----Abraham Lincoln

Gabrielle Tozer, an Australian author, has penned an entertaining and heart-touching sequel to her award-winning book, The Intern called, Faking It where the young adult protagonist, Josie Browning, fakes her way up the ladder to success in her new writing job with new friends and colleagues, while she has a perfect life that can make any girl envy of her, yet she lies, thereby forcing her to stand on the verge of sing her perfect and simple life.

20 July 2016

Review #490: The Death House by Sarah Pinborough

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“Hate looks like everybody else until it smiles”

----Tahereh Mafi

Sarah Pinborough, an English-born horror writer, has penned a gripping and dark young adult thriller, The Death House that revolves around a thirteen year old boy who has been whisked away from his family after a negative blood test into The Death House, where he will be observed under the care of some nurses for any sign of sickness which will decide his fate whether he will or will not be taken to the sanatorium, the ultimate end.

19 July 2016

Review #489: Black Water Lilies by Michel Bussi

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Everyone discusses my art and pretends to understand, as if it were necessary to understand, when it is simply necessary to love.”

----Claude Monet

Michel Bussi, a French award-winning author, has penned a gut-wrenching and extremely intriguing crime thriller, Nympheas Noirs that has been translated into English by Shaun Whiteside and the English title is called, Black Water Lilies. The mystery revolves around a rich doctor's murder that occurred near Monet's famous garden in Giverny, that leads the detective to stumble upon the most beautiful woman of the village, while in the background, a little girl is trying to follow on the footsteps on Claude Monet to recreate his famous water lilies painting, and also an old female widow is managing pretty well to unfold the puzzling mystery with the help of her dog.

18 July 2016

Review #488: Sarong Party Girls: A Novel by Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Maybe our girlfriends are our soulmates and guys are just people to have fun with.”

----Candace Bushnell

Cheryl Lu-Lien Tan, a Singaporean author, pens a hilarious and entertaining chick-lit novel, Sarong Party Girls: A Novel that narrates the story of four SPGs (Sarong Party Girls) who are in their late twenties and decides that it is time to get married to some rich Ang Moh guys to rise up the ladder of social status in their society. Narrated in typical Singaporean English, this book is an absolute funny jay ride through glittery parties, one-night stands, dating hot Ang Mohs, designer apparels and shoes in Singapore.

14 July 2016

Review #487: The Memory Box by Eva Lesko Natiello

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“The advantage of a bad memory is that one enjoys several times the same good things for the first time.”

----Friedrich Nietzsche

Eva Lesko Natiello, an award winning American author, has penned a gripping yet poignant psychological thriller in her debut book, The Memory Box that revolves around a mid-aged housewife with two daughters, who one day, decides to Google her name, that results in the tragic news of her sister's death and that too 6 years ago but this housewife can recall no memory of her sister dying, later more googling results up in even more terrifying and shocking revelations, that this housewife has no memory of ever happening in her life.

13 July 2016

Author Q&A Session #82: With Tabish Khair

Hello and Welcome dear readers,

Its been such a good day for me. Hope your days are going great. It's been a while since I've used this space to talk about daily nonsense about my life, well, there's not much to divulge about life, but I'm here today with an amazingly and extremely inspiring author, whose book is making noise in the literary world.

Let's welcome Tabish Khair with open hearts into this forum, where he is here to discuss about his new book, Jihadi Jane with me. So without wasting any more second, let's chat with his talented author about his new book, his life as an author and anything and everything bookish.

Keep scrolling and stay tuned...

Read the review of Jihadi Jane

Review #486: What's a Girl Gotta Do? (Normal #3) by Holly Bourne

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“When a man gives his opinion, he's a man. When a woman gives her opinion, she's a bitch.”

----Bette Davis

Holly Bourne, an English bestselling author, pens an incredibly funny, enlightening yet powerful young adult novel, What's a Girl Gotta Do? which is the third book in the Normal series. This series welcomes Lottie, the teenage feminist heroine, who has started a spinster club with her best friends, is now eyeing for Cambridge admission while making a name for her video blog where she shames and trolls those who doesn't know how to respect women, but things get bit murky in a long run.

12 July 2016

Review #485: The House That Jack Built (Lars Winkler #1) by Jakob Melander

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“All men make mistakes, but a good man yields when he knows his course is wrong, and repairs the evil. The only crime is pride.”


Jakob Melander, a Danish author, has penned a gripping and nail-biting pot-boiler in his new Scandinavian thriller, The House That Jack Built that introduces yet another new complex, tough and dedicated detective, Lars Winkler, and this is the first book in the Lars Winkler series. The city of Copenhagen is left by a dangerous killer who is choosing innocent prostitutes as his victims, and Lars is assigned on this case, but the professional life scene is not that good for Lars, as his wife has left him for his boss.

11 July 2016

Review #484: The House at the Edge of Night by Catherine Banner

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The island is ours. Here, in some way, we are young forever.”

----E. Lockhart

Catherine Banner, an English author, pens a breathtaking yet poignant tale about an Italian family saga spun over a century and through three generations in an unknown island in her debut book, The House at the Edge of Night that revolves around the life of a doctor who after completing his studies in Florence, travels off to an Italian island, where he sets up his practice and eventually he also grows his own family through generations by buying the old house at the edge of the island where he opens a bar and runs it with the help of his wife. This book basically unfolds the stories of the people living on this island, thereby narrating the story of this island as a whole, which goes through war and many changes from the year 1914 to 2009.

10 July 2016

Review #483: Jihadi Jane by Tabish Khair

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"Terrorism has no nationality or religion."

----Vladimir Putin

Tabish Khair, an India author, pens an extraordinary and brutally honest story about terrorism and Islam religion in his new book, Jihadi Jane that unfolds the story of a British Muslim woman who follows her best friend to the unknown and terrorism-gripped lands in Syria as this friend wants to get married to a jihadi man, in order to honor herself in the name of her religion and her holy god, Allah.

8 July 2016

Review #482: Under the Harrow by Flynn Berry

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”

----C.S. Lewis

Flynn Berry, an American author, pens a gripping debut psychological thriller, Under the Harrow that unfolds the tale of a sister who finds her elder sister brutally murdered in her house, who then decides to investigate her sister's murder in order to give justice, but this sister is not a huge believer in police's modus operandi and therefore she must find the killer with or without the help of the local authority.

7 July 2016

Review #481: The Gods of Tango by Carolina De Robertis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"The Argentine tango is very special to me because it's full of sensuality. The chemistry between the man and woman is absolutely stunning. "

----Gilles Marini

Carolina De Robertis, an Uruguayan author, pens a heart-touching and extremely poignant historical fiction in her new book, The Gods of Tango that unfolds the story of a young Italian woman who after finding out that her newly wed husband is dead, she decides to play tango music by dressing up as a man among the world of men in Argentina, but that leads her to a lot of unseen troubles where her sexuality and her sexual desires confuse her.


Arriving in Buenos Aires in 1913, with only a suitcase and her father’s cherished violin to her name, seventeen-year-old Leda is shocked to find that the husband she has travelled across an ocean to reach is dead. Unable to return home, alone, and on the brink of destitution, she finds herself seduced by the tango, the dance that underscores every aspect of life in her new city. Knowing that she can never play in public as a woman, Leda disguises herself as a young man to join a troupe of musicians. In the illicit, scandalous world of brothels and cabarets, the line between Leda and her disguise begins to blur, and forbidden longings that she has long kept suppressed are realized for the first time. Powerfully sensual, The Gods of Tango is an erotically charged story of music, passion, and the quest for an authentic life against the odds.

17-year old Leda has married her cousin, Dante by stand-in, who lives and works in Buenos Aires. After the wedding, Leda travels from her rural hometown in Italy to reach her husband in Argentina, only to find out that he has been shot dead in a workers' protest rally and that she has become a widow. There is no option to return back to her dreadful life back in Italy thus Leda decides to disguise herself as a man with the help of Dante's clothes o play Tango music with her father's violin that he sent with her as a gift for Dante. Thus Leda, a.k.a., Dante embarks on a path that is not traveled by women in Argentina at a time when women wither served the indoor household works or served as a prostitute outdoors. Leda also joins a group of musicians who earn their name and reputation by playing tango music in various cabarets and hotels. But Leda/Dante often confused her inner desires and her self-identity when she was asked to accompany other men to the brothels. Can she survive herself as a he and with a he's desires?

Firstly, I must comment on the book's scintillating cover image which aptly captures the flavor and the portrait of Tango as in dance form strikingly which instantly allured my mind and arrested me to open the book and read it. The story from the very first page, captivated my mind and my soul and kept me engaged till the very end, although, at times, I felt bit bored with the same kind of events occurring more than once or with too much details about tango and its importance rather than depicting the hardships of a woman during the early 20th century in Argentina, in depth.

The author's writing is extremely aesthetic that will immediately grasp the literary fiction aficionados minds, that is laced with proper emotions that too holds the power to move the readers deeply. The narrative is not only inspired from and depicts the local dialect of Argentina but also vividly syncs with the musical notes of tango that will instantly fill the readers' minds with this exotic and foot tapping music. In short, the dialogues are free flowing and extremely riveting enough to keep the readers glued. Now the pacing is very much slow, and it seems the story progresses at a snail's pace with lots of unimportant descriptions and detailings without which the story could also have been easily comprehended by the readers.

The characters from this book are very much well developed and are painted with enough realism, especially the characters are very much layered with their flaws, cultural differences, gender differences and with empathy. The central character, Leda, is a very much honest character whose authentic and determined demeanor takes her to new heights and new places and the readers will experience those through her minds' eyes and her deep thoughts. Leda cannot be an epitome but she can stand out as a diamond in the rough as she camouflages herself as a man in a world where women are treated with zero respect, and her journey through this risky world is not only intimidating but also encouraging enough to make the readers realize her struggles thereby rooting for her till the very end. The supporting characters are also very well etched out and are portrayed them as interesting and true to their soul.

The sex or rather say the physical intimacy plays an integral role in this story just like the tango. Leda in her man self as Dante goes through tons of love affairs with women and the sex scenes between Leda and those women are carefully and smartly depicted with enough passion and heat to give wet dreams to the readers, and not even for once the author made Leda vulnerable in the eyes of those women and that what really amazed me and left me astounded with the intensity and the confidence Leda played along with those women.

The backdrop of this story is vividly portrayed through the canvas where the author brings alive the crowded streets of Buenos Aires alive with the lively chatter in the dark alleys or the stench of sex in the brothels or with the humdrum of daily chores in those shared houses where the immigrants lived or with the sensual or delightful music of tango flowed from those glittering and high class cabarets or with the history of then time or with the strikingly landscapes of a city. in short, the readers are in for a treat as they will be immediately transported to this exotic city through the eloquent and rhyming words of the author.

In a nutshell, this is an intriguing story with a soul-touching story line about a woman surviving with music and love in a man's world.

Verdict: On a long, cold afternoon, this enticing book can easily comfort and charm a reader's mind and soul along with a cup of hot coffee or tea.

Verdict: Thanks to the author, Carolina De Robertis and her publishers, for giving me the opportunity to read and review this book.

Author Info:
Carolina De Robertis is the author of Perla and The Invisible Mountain, which was an international bestseller translated into fifteen languages, the recipient of Italy’s Rhegium Julii Prize, and a Best Book of 2009 according to the San Francisco Chronicle, O, The Oprah Magazine, and BookList. She is the translator of Alejandro Zambra’s Bonsai, which was just made into a feature film, and Roberto Ampuero’s internationally bestselling The Neruda Case. De Robertis has been awarded a 2012 fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.
De Robertis grew up in a Uruguayan family that immigrated to England, Switzerland, and California. Prior to completing her first book, she worked in women’s rights organizations for ten years, on issues ranging from rape to immigration. She lives in Oakland, California, where she is currently elbow-deep in writing her third novel, which explores migration, sexual frontiers, and the tango’s Old Guard in early twentieth century South America.
Visit her here

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6 July 2016

Review #480: Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge by Paul Krueger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"Never trust any complicated cocktail that remains perfectly clear until the last ingredient goes in, and then immediately clouds."

----Terry Pratchett

Paul Krueger, an American author, pens an incredibly exciting and gripping young adult fantasy tale in his new book, Last Call at the Nightshade Lounge that unfolds the story of a young female college graduate goes back to her home city where she starts working as a bartender for her long time friend's bar, with little idea that the bartenders as well as her friend are actually involved in protecting the city from deadly demons with the magical powers of cocktails.

5 July 2016

Review #479: Unbecoming by Jenny Downham

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

“To care for those who once cared for us is one of the highest honors.”

----Tia Walker

Jenny Downham, a British novelist, pens an incredibly honest family drama surrounding three generations of women in her new young adult book, Unbecoming that narrates the story of a young teenager who had no idea that she had a grandmother, until the day when her grandmother comes to live with her and her mum, who it seems never ever talked about her, thus opening the floodgates to some painful memories both in the grandmother's as well as in the teenager's mother's past that they have buried deep under piles of happy memories.

Review #478: Ambushed by Nayanika Mahtani

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

"When a man wants to murder a tiger he calls it sport; when a tiger wants to murder him he calls it ferocity."

----George Bernard Shaw

Nayanika Mahtani, an India author, has penned an incredibly thrilling and heart-touching adventure story that includes tigers in her debut book, Ambushed where the author weaves a tale about a young girl who takes a summer vacation holiday trip on a Himalayan tiger reserve where the gadget freak young girl had little idea that this holiday is going to change her life forever as an exciting and dangerous adventure awaits her in the dense, dark forest of Himalayas.

4 July 2016

Review #477: Bonjour Tristesse by Françoise Sagan, Irene Ash (Translator)

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

"L’amour fait les plus grandes douceurs et les plus sensibles infortunes de la vie."

English translation: "Love makes the greatest pleasures and most sensitive misfortunes of life."

----Madeleine de Scudery

Françoise Sagan, an award-winning French novelist, has created an uproar in the French literary world as well as in the French community, with her debut novel, Bonjour Tristesse that has been translated into English by Irene Ash, after its crazy popularity and scandal, that earned Sagan a reputable spot in the literary world. Sagan was barely eighteen when she published her first novel featuring a teenage girl flying away freely with love, physical intimacy, carelessness, promiscuity and other such immoral acts, on the pretext of her father's engagement with rather young mistresses.

3 July 2016

Review #476: The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

To be a tennis champion, you have to be inflexible. You have to be stubborn. You have to be arrogant. You have to be selfish and self-absorbed. Kind of tunnel vision almost.

----Chris Evert

Lauren Weisberger, the New York Times bestselling author, is back with a glamours yet entertaining contemporary story of a female pro tennis player in her new book, The Singles Game where the author weaves the journey of a tennis player who after undergoing a nasty injury in her life-changing Wimbledon Open, decides that she needs to get back to her game thereby hiring a brutal, no-nonsense and strict yet popular coach that not only changes her game but also alters her personal life.

Review #475: The House of Wives by Simon Choa-Johnston

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“The thing about opium is that it makes pain or difficulty unimaginable.”

----Sebastian Faulks

Simon Choa-Johnston, a Canadian author, pens a heart-touching yet intense historical fiction, The House of Wives that narrates the story of three human souls, all connected by the trade and the aura of opium, where an opium merchant gets so blinded by the hunger to be a successful businessman that he drags the two most important people of his life into it, thus irking up a crossfire between those two individuals, until they all find peace to live together.

1 July 2016

Review #474: The Searcher (Ben Webster #3) by Christopher Morgan Jones

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“You could be the perfect spy. All you need is a cause.”

----John le Carré

Christopher Morgan Jones, an English author, has penned an incredibly thrilling crime fiction in his latest book, The Searcher which is the third book in the Ben Webster series. In this book, the author weaves a tale where the main hero of his stories goes missing and his intelligence firm partner faces a hell lot of troubles from the police to surrender his friend who is accused of so many felonies, and his partner must find him out before trouble comes knocking at their doorstep, and little did he knew, that he has to risk his own life to search him in the deadly mountains bordered and inhabited by Russian criminals.