Dancing with Demons: A Book Club Review

Changing the house is such a pain. If you forget to change one of your delivery address, your book will go to your past house, which is now someone else’s home, and then you have to retrace your steps to find that one book. That’s what I had to do to reach this book. After 10 days of dithering and follow-up of the courier office I finally got the book to read.

I would not have selected this book, but then I saw the cover which said “Soon to be made into Bollywood movie”. And I was hooked. I mean I don’t want to watch the movie first and then read the book. That’s the most boring thing to do in the world.

My decision was right or wrong I can’t say as in all honesty, the book was okay types. Not too good, not too bad. Like that mild coffee that could wake you up, but then that’s its only purpose. The book is okay. I have heard many people telling me that they were riveted by the book; I wasn’t, but then I wasn’t bored either.

 

DANCING WITH DEMONS
by
Nidhie Sharma
 
 
 
Blurb
 
Karan Pratap Singh is on the brink of winning the Amateur Boxing Championship, when in a moment, he loses it all. His fall from glory seems fuelled by ruthless arrogance and an out-of-control anger management problem. That, however is just symptomatic of a deeper issue. Buried under layers of his fractured subconscious lies a childhood secret he cannot come to terms with.
 
Sonia Kapoor is a beautiful, volatile young woman with a secret that torments her at night but a secret that she feels no guilt for.
 
When fate throws Karan and Sonia together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir up trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. But, is redemption possible without forgiveness?
 
Dancing with Demons is a fast-paced action drama of love, loss and resurrection.
 
Grab your copy @
 
What I liked

1) Boxing Background: There are many books which explore sports, but this was my first book which explored boxing as the sport. I am not a boxing person, but then the book took me to those rings and made me see the passion of boxing from the authors’ eyes. I guess this was the best thing for me in the book.

2) Fast Pace: The book is quite fast-paced. It zooms on without giving you time to get bored. That was another good point about the book. I felt I was on a mild adventure ride.

What I didn’t like

1) Universal StoryTelling Style: I sometimes feel I just should give up. This style is not going to appeal me, at least not in Indian authors. The book started off beautifully without any head-jumps, and then by third chapter it became jumble of head-jumps. I was left wondering why the author decided Universal POV style.

2) Lack of Chemistry: The book lacks chemistry. Everything happens or is read in the eyes. The two protagonist do not talk to each other much in the book, yet they end up falling in love with each. Not only that, they wait for each other too when one is going through difficult times.  If I ever encountered a person whose past I don’t know, I would probably like to talk first. The chemistry, if there, is not developed in the book.

3) Meh Suspense: I cannot reveal it as that will spoil the book for you, but the suspense of the story did not really grip me. The author maintained the suspense about the story for a long time, which in my opinion, was not really needed. The suspense did not add anything to the story except for some pretty words and sentences. (I guess that was the purpose.)
Overall Opinion

As I said, the book was okay for me. I won’t read it again, that’s sure, but while reading, it transported me to the boxing world. Probably it wasn’t my cup of tea because all my friends have LOVED the book (Yes, loved in capitals). Sometime it happens, right? You cannot feel what others are feeling for the book.

For me, book was a pleasurable one time read. It could have been so much more (there’s a lot of potential there), but it isn’t. For now, it is the story of the boxer who is trying to redeem himself.

Three Stars
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
The Book Club introduces Nidhie Sharma and asked a few questions, the details of which can be found on the link. I liked that she is a filmmaker and a novelist and she is able to juggle between the two arts of storytelling. She described her book as the following:
‘Dancing with Demons’ is a gripping romance drama set against the backdrop of combat sports in India. It is the story of two fallen souls who must vanquish their inner demons to become the people they were destined to be. When the story begins, Karan Pratap Singh, an  angst-ridden boxer and the mysterious and volatile Sonia Kapoor are angry and emotionally damaged by their pasts and when fate throws them together in Mumbai, their personal demons and pasts collide and stir trouble in their fragile and uncertain present. “It was some night. Thunder and lightning playing, chasing one another like two furtive, carefree lovers, oblivious to the havoc they were wrecking. Sonia put her hand out of the window as the bus started to hurtle down the highway, to Mumbai. A sliver of lightning fell on the trees just ahead of them, setting a normal bush on fire. Then thunder roared again… Perhaps this was an appropriate setting for what was to follow…two tumultuous lives on a head-on collision course.”
This book explores if redemption is possible without forgiveness and also delves into the depth and unsaid connection that Karan and Sonia have with each other. In fact, Sonia’s poems in the novel throw light not only on self-love and forgiveness but also on the passionate and intense relationship that these two anti-heroes share.
“I know I’m not easy to love
On somedays there’s no God above
And maybe it’s a messed up world
Into which we have been hurled
And maybe I remind you of you
So Love yourself darling, to love me too”
Overcoming one’s limitations or demons is essential in order to fulfill one’s true potential. That is the real core of this story. The good thing is, millions of people find a way to battle and overcome their inner demons. So there is hope for everyone and ‘Dancing with Demons’ is about that hope. It’s about the light at the end of the tunnel.
This novel is a fast-paced story of love, loss and resurrection for both Karan and Sonia.  
 
 
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Color Me Rich: A Book Club Review

Sometimes, I wonder if my blog will forget me too if I forget it for so many days? But sadly my reason this time has been very valid. I have been going through the “being-sick” phase where the disease after disease (nothing major, but a litany of minor diseases) followed me. Today was the day when I entered my own kitchen after a month. I was in shock myself when I saw the dates unchanged in my kitchen calendar. So, let me wave a tentative hello.

The good thing about being sick is that I have read A LOT. And this indeed calls for capitalization. I could not concentrate on writing(half the time wasn’t allowed to even touch the laptop after office) but reading was my solace along with the pen and paper. So, I have a lot to talk about. And I will like to start this as quickly as possible.

I will start with the review of the books pending with me. The first in the list is the book I got from Book Club– Color Me Rich. I am more than a month late in this (sigh!).

 

Color Me Rich 

by 

Mohan Deep 
Blurb 
A sensitive love story of a handsome and talented struggling painter Akash Saigal. What happens when he marries an extremely rich and beautiful artist and art investor Zenobia Taraporevala?
What grabbed my attention in the book was the author and the colourful portfolio the author has. You can read all about it in the About the Author section. But I was indeed interested in the story. Another thing which captured me was the news article on which the story was based. My father has a habit of discussing news over phone or at home (random news) and a dead body of an artist has been found. My father had told me that artists are crazy, and I should cure my artistic craziness. (I believe all fathers are like this, no?) So when I heard that the story has been compared to that case, I did want to know what the book is going to talk about.
I read the book in single sitting. It’s a thin book and a very fast paced one. I did like the book and enjoyed it.
Things I liked
  1. Mix of the languages: This should be read as warning as well. But I loved that the story had the touch of local language. More than that, I liked that author did not distract the readers by explaining the meaning of each and everything. This might have been the complaint of many readers, but I loved that author embraced the localness of the book. I am not against the descriptions, but it irritates me to no end when I have to read the meaning of the words and sentences when it can be plainly guessed from the context. I hate this in other non-Indian language usage as well.
  2. Storyline: The way the story has been written is quite gripping. I did not feel like keeping the book while reading it, and that explains the engaging nature of the story for me.
Things I did not like
  1. Character Development: The author gave a lot of attention to the context and the little details, but he forgot to develop the characters. The pacing was so fast that I could hardly associate with the character. There is a character in the story of Suma. I wanted to love her, empathize with her, but I did not feel anything for her. Same goes for the main characters of the story. I wished to spend some more time with them and to get acquainted with them in a better manner.
  2.  Chemistry: This point is associated with the past point, but I did not enjoy the chemistry between the characters. The motive is dependent upon the characters’ chemistry– their love and hatred. But I was not able to tune in with the chemistry of the characters.

Overall Opinion

Despite all the faults, the book is entertaining in nature. It is a perfect one time read with the right pacing and the right thickness. And the book does not try to imitate the Western world but is happy in its own Indian-ness.  The book gets three stars from my side.

Three Stars

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or grab this book free at #KindleUnlimited 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mohan Deep, is an Indian author, painter and Feng Shui Master. Mohan Deep is the author of ‘The Mystery and Mystique of Madhubala’ (1996), ‘It’s My Life’ (Novel) (1997), ‘Simply Scandalous: Meena Kumari’ (1998), ‘Eurekha!’ – an unauthorized biography of Rekha. (1999), ‘Four Options’ (2000), ‘Feng Shui for the Bold & Beautiful, the Rich and Famous’ (2001) and ‘Nehru and the Tantrik Woman’ (2002). After a sabbatical of a decade, during which he touched upon the lives of people as a Feng Shui Master, he was back with The Five Foolish Virgins( 2013). Mohan Deep is arguably the only Indian author to write what is often described as controversial, unauthorized star biographies in India. Columnist-journalist and former editor of ‘Illustrated Weekly of India’, Khushwant Singh called him ‘a truly gifted gossip writer’. “The maverick writer”, like columnist-reviewer-poetess.
Tara Patel described him has also been called William Goldman of Bollywood’s stars (By Behram Contractor, the Editor of Afternoon Despatch & Courier) (Source) Kitty Kelly of India (By R K Bajaj, the Editor of ‘The Daily’). Interestingly, almost every book he has wrote/penned has invited controversies for its bold content.

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Breach- A Book Club Book Review

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When this book was put for review, I was told that this is the book by the woman who leads Mills & Boons in India. Of course, since I live under the rock, I had never heard about the author Amrita Chaudhary. The only reason I picked up the book was I wanted to know was how a famous publisher writes and why was the whole Indian reading community knew about her except me (I already told the reason for this. I live under the rock! :P) And the book didn’t disappoint me. I planned to read one hour daily, but once I started reading, I was so engrossed in the book that I couldn’t keep it down. I finally rested my eyes  when I finally finished the book i.e. after five and a half hour of reading.

Book Summary

Breach is about the cyber security crime. It starts with Acel which is ready to file the patent for cancer-curing drug in the market. The data and all the details are taking place under the observant eye of Uday Veer in India. But everything goes haywire when some data gets corrupted and the whole Indian team is blamed for their ineptness. The book is about the search for the culprit through the maze of masked online identities. Introduced are a range of characters from teenagers to the local goons who are either the party to cyber crime or victim to cyber crime.

What I liked

1) The Intricacy of the Cyber Crime: That was the first thing that pulled me. I am an engineer but I am not tech savvy in the field of software or hardware or internet general. My knowledge is pretty basic when it comes to the online things. That’s why I enjoyed reading all the things that were shown. I am not sure how much of that can really happen (I do think that most of it can happen!) but it was interesting and a bit fearing to read about all the cyber crime thing.

2) Characters : I think this was the strongest part of the book for me. There were quite a number of characters in the story, but none of them was painted white or black. They were neither good, nor bad. I actually sympathized with all the villains and shook my head at some stupidity of the heroes.

3) Teenagers: The teenager characters of Raghu and Madhu deserve a special mention here. I absolutely adored their story. I don’t have any reasons for it, but these two were my favorite characters in the story.

What I Disliked

1) Small Errors: The book was quite well-edited but still I found some small errors in it. I would not have mentioned these anywhere else, but this is a publisher-written book. At least this book should have been error-free, although I wonder if there really are error-free books.

2) Too many characters in the beginning: There were just too many characters introduced in the story in the initial chapters. This made the beginning a bit slow, but the story finally caught the pace in the middle.

Overall Summary: It was an interesting book. I usually don’t enjoy thrillers too much, but this book was fun. A good read after a long time.

My Rating:

Four Stars

Meet the Author

Amrita Verma Chowdhury is the author of Faking It, an art crime thriller about fake modern and contemporary Indian art.
She holds engineering degrees from IIT Kanpur and UC Berkeley, where she was a Jane Lewis Fellow, and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon (Tepper Business School). Her work as an engineer in Silicon Valley led to seven US patents for semi-conductor fabrication – something to show for those bad-haired days. She has done Strategy Consulting and Board Effectiveness work in the US and Australia and has spent long nights fitting five-syllable words inside two-by-two squares. She has worked in the rarefied bastions of Ivy League education bringing together ideas and people. She currently works in publishing.
She lives in Mumbai with her husband Sumit, their two children Shoumik and Aishani, and an assortment of pets including a cocker spaniel, a guinea pig and two turtles. She loves travelling, baking cupcakes with her daughter and hearing from her readers.
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