I took up the Brunch Book Challenge by Hindustan Times Brunch (@HTBrunch) on twitter last month. The main reason I did so is because I tend to buy a lot of books and end up reading fanfiction online instead of the books. I have accumulated about 20+ books that I still haven’t touched, so when this year I saw the HTBrunch tweet, I wondered why not? This year they have set a goal of 30 books, so I decided to do short reviews of 5 books at a time. Here are the first five.
1. Fangirl ~ Rainbow Rowell
The protagonist in this book is a teenager named Cath whose life undergoes a change when she moves to college. Her twin, Wren decides that she doesn’t want to be her roommate anymore. So now Cather is stuck in a new city, with a new roommate who she barely talks to, and doesn’t find enough time to write fan-fictions for her online fans because of the weight of her ‘real-life’ studies. For the first few chapters Cath is a character a fangirl can relate to, but after a while the book tends to get boring. There’s no character development or difference in her thinking. She doesn’t step out of her comfort zone which drags throughout the book.
Did I mention, the fandom Cath follows is very similar to HP universe? A very Drarry version. +.5 for that! 😉
2. From Here To Paternity ~ Matt Dunn
This book is the first of its kind that I’ve read – A man worrying about this biological clock ticking. Will Jackson is desperate to be a father, so desperate that he doesn’t even care about who the mother is or what role she plays in their child’s life. The highlights of this book for me would be Will’s best friend Tom & Barbara’s relationship. They’re the perfect couple with twins, great jobs (Tom as an actor is more fun than life-coach Will) and an amazing relationship. Overall the book felt rushed as Will moved from checking out former classmates online, internet dating to even putting himself up on ebay.
I got this book on friendsofbooks.com for a second hand price, which I would recommend to people.
3. Around India In 80 Trains ~ Monisha Rajesh
I have had this book in my Kindle library for a long time now, but I never got to crossing the first chapter, so when I took up this challenge I knew I had to read this one. Monisha takes us on a tour across India in 80 trains along with her companion ‘Passepartout’, inspired by the Jules Verne book. The book gives an in depth look at Indians and their culture. She talks about her fellow passengers, their lifestyle, places they visit, the history and culture behind them. Monisha has written about her interactions with all types of people from over friendly south indians (Tamilians, I think) who try to inquire what caste she belongs to, to foreigners she meets on the Rajdhani. There are parts in the book that make me furious, but as a reader I have tried to understand her work. Monisha’s restlessness and irritation with the journey are clearly visible in the book, which I’m pretty sure any person with such an agenda would be but unfortunatley they get to the reader too. Her honesty and eagerness to continue her journey even though her companion is a pain in the a**e is very inspiring. I don’t think I would have the courage to continue after, say about 15-20 train rides. Also, I did visit her blog while reading and saw pictures from her journey. They do speak quite a lot for the book itself. You can check it out here.
4. Half Love Half Arranged ~ Itisha Peerbhoy
Rhea is an almost 30-year-old, fat virgin who is suddenly plunged into the Dehli Marriage market by her full on loud punjabi mother. Cocoji, as she is fondly called by her husband, has a social circles to worry about and thinks Rhea might end up like Bubbles Auntie, her best friend who is unmarried and wears outrageous clothes. So much so that she signs her daughter up for arranged rishtas, eventually through an agent.
In come the guys, Vyash, Jay, Monty, Sid & Arf each with their own emotional baggage. One’s a divorcee who can’t stop talking about his ex, a foreign return who wants to find an Indian bride, another a ‘KEWL’ guy who also has a habit of stealing & finally a best guy friend whom she ends up having feelings for, even if he may not be the one. I’m pretty sure each of these type of men are all around us in the modern society. Rhea goes from man to man, trying to find out which one is her soul mate.
Itisha Peerbhoy has managed to keep readers in laughing fits from the first chapter itself. Cocoji and Rhea’s best friend, Tish have some of the wittiest lines. Rhea and her friends group sound like they only get together to escape their own lives. There were a few awkward moments like Cocoji mentioning that Monty aka Mazher ate mutton and pork. err, Muslims don’t eat pork, but I’m just going to pass it as Cocojis ignorance. 😛 Also, who calls a Mazher *that sounds so dreamy once you picturize him* a ‘Monty’? How does one react when their sister starts dating their lousy exes sibling? Why are all married women so cranky? Also when you go for vipasanna do they really feed you so little? How are you supposed to meditate?
5. Once Upon A Crush ~ Kiran Manral
Rayna De is an almost 30 year old single woman stuck at a corporate job with a devil of a boss, an old friend who seeks refuge with her to run away from her marriage & absolutely no love life. Rayna’s parents want her to get married, (see the repetitive theme in the books I’ve been picking) Rayna however, has a crush on her colleague Deven who the author compares to Benedict Cumberbatch *dreamy eyes*. Compared to the earlier book, I think Kiran has explained the problems faced by unmarried women in India in a better manner. The book isn’t overdramatic or serious, but highly relatable, at some points it sounds like that juicy piece of gossip that your neighhbour told you about the one unmarried girl in your society. It a was overall a nice and humorous read that keeps you engaged till the end.
I got this book online on Newshunt for a discounted rate of Rs 49.