Fifty Shades Darker Novel Review: The novel might not intrigue you but this review might.

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Even after the terrible start to series I decided to read Fifty Shades because I thought there was some mystery in the novel and I had to know what happened to Anastasia.  I try not to admit it, but it was also the fun factor which reeled me in.

To be quite literal with this one, Salman Khan wouldn’t beat people this many times, Jason Statham wouldn’t fire as many bullets in a movie as the number of times Grey and Ana have sex.

Bad writing style made me a little dizzy, as at least giving this novel a bad rating will rejuvenate me. This novel was as bad as its predecessor, Fifty Shades of Grey. It was still a fast read, don’t get me wrong, but badass Grey was lacking in the novel, maybe because he didn’t get to tie up Ana as much as he wanted.

The novel starts where the prequel left off, Ana dashing out of his playroom. The twitching palm of Christian Grey continues to twitch, but doesn’t get the necessary fuel (spanking, that is).

The dialogues and the phrases used are unintentionally funny, like the very first sentence:

“He’s come back. Mommy’s asleep or she’s sick again.” You really can’t help but laugh at it. And we begin with a prologue of Christian Grey having a nightmare regarding his childhood memory. It’s kind of awkward when you’re faced with, “You are one fucked up bitch”, six times in a row on the very first page.

We catch up with Ana, where now she is working as an Assistant at SIP publishing House. After a lot of whining of the likes of, “Have I really broken up with Christian Grey?”, “Is it really over between us?” and shit. Christian swoops in at the first opportunity with yet another proposition, and well, Ana is back into relationship with him. A lot happens between the pages, none of which is truly intriguing and the book ends with Ana saying yes to Christian’s marriage proposal after having sex or before. I don’t exactly remember. They have sex many times, you’ve got to understand.

Sex scenes are very insipid, more precisely, their content. Christian flashes Ana a look, Ana bites her lower lip, his eyes darken (I think he has an eye problem) and says, “You’re biting your lip again” (Oh God! Like she didn’t know), everything south of Ana’s waist paralyses under his gaze, some undressing ensues, he establishes that she looks beautiful or beguiling, he kisses, sucks, nips, licks and Ana, who has been passive, all of a sudden explodes. Seriously, this woman needs to improve her track record.

The worst moment after sex is, Christian always up on top of Ana after his release and Ana looses consciousness after orgasm!!? Christian elevates from “fucking” to “love making” which is kind of soothing as it does the much needed romantic ambience to the wane looking novel, Christian looses his rage-inducing, all domineering look all of a sudden.

EL James’ understanding of discussion is that, if they’re into an argument, Christian Grey gazes at Ana, she’s disarmed, when he touches her, she melts and when he has sex with her, and the discussion is over.

What’s more is, they have sex after every few pages. I mean, you’re going to make them have sex, at least have the courtesy to describe it in a better way. I was literally left with the same stuff to read for at least 15 times. My God! Think about the poor souls who’re still chaste, they might get turned off, forever.  EL James has dealt with the whole story in a tacky way and what’s worse is the poor execution. This isn’t even a love story, when it’s brimming with just the carnal pleasure.

You know what’s nauseous? Ana whining about how she has spent the past week. In one scene she’s like,

Christian: “Stay with me a moment. Taylor wants us to wait while the crowd disperses.”

Ana: (thinks) Oh.

Christian: “I think that fireworks display probably aged him a hundred years.”

Ana: “Doesn’t he like fireworks?”

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I’m like, “WTF did you just say?” Funniest part is when,

“Christian gazes down at me fondly and shakes his head but doesn’t elaborate.”

Christian be like, “Oh honey, if you weren’t so hot and hadn’t said yes, I’d be taking you in Charlie Tango (helicopter) and push you from above.”

The incident at the rear end of the novel with Elena was unnecessary and could have been avoided, doing no harm to the story. (Assuming that there was room for that “harm”.) EL James got caught up in the execution by accommodating thrilling moment to conjure a perfect moment.

The twist, more precisely, the clandestine at the end seems another poor archetypal effort to fill up the void. The theme for the next novel seems clear from the end of this novel.

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As a result of all of the above, all I have for EL James is no obeisance as a writer.

My Rating: 1/5.

Word Count: 
“Oh my” – 47
“Crap” – 36
“Jeez” – 84
“Holy (shit/fuck/crap/hell/cow/moses)” – 124
“Whoa” – 30
“Gasp” – 44
“Gasps” – 17
“Sharp Intake of Breath” – 5
“Murmur” – 91
“Murmurs” – 194
“Whisper” – 140
“Whispers” – 113
“Mutter” – 71
“Mutters” – 48
“Fifty” – 95
“Lip” – 47
“Inner goddess” – 58
“Subconscious” – 59

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50 Shades Of Grey Novel Review

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When a novel is classified under a certain genre you start reading it, expecting it to be exactly that. But as far as 50 Shades of Grey and EL James are concerned, the said rule doesn’t apply to them. But then again, EL James didn’t really bother herself with the writing much, as long as sex lingered in the pages of this so called roamance-erotic novel.

When Anastasia Steele conducts the interview of the multi-millionaire Christian Grey, she gets smitten with his ruggedly handsome looks and gets fascinated by him. Christian Grey’s stalking skills allow him to find Ana and offer her an agreement and she falls for his arrangement. But as she spends more time (for lack of a better word) with Christian Grey, she learns that he is tormented by his past. As the novel reaches it’s climax, because of lack of understanding and for the need to have more, Ana finally breaks up with him.

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If you’re not familiar with the basic concepts of BDSM, the events in the novel may appear bizzare. However, the most pivotal aspect of the novel is not exhibited properly in the novel that is, of course the language. Any and every novel, irrespective of what the content is or for whom it’s intended to, demands a certain caliber writing. As we dive in to read the pages of this particular novel, you come across the manner of language that is incongruous, incoherent and repetitive. And that is not just bound to the kind of language but also to the content involved.

Most of the romantic novels always eloquently describe the sensual interactions between the protagonists and Fifty Shades of Grey wasn’t an exception. But when it got to a level when there was nothing else but those two engaging in coitus time after time, regardless to say, it was creepy, monotonus and in a way verbose, almost as if EL James had nothing else other than their sexual encounters to show for.

There were just a few moments, that got me going. Ana’s persistant efforts to show Christian that he could open up to her and her little negotiations to pry the information out of him, these and a couple more moments piqued my interest.

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The creepy agreement instead of a free flow love story was a big let down for me. Why is it bad? Because, its just a fancy name for prostitution, except the fact that she wasn’t getting paid in money. But apart from that, it curbed a good setting which the novel got at the inception and of course restrained the characters to have any romantic involvement with each other. It was utterly unromantic (I don’t know who suggested 50 Shades be classified as a romantic novel) and more about carnal pleasures.

The Last Word:

I want to see Christian and Ana have a normal relationship in the sequels, but somehow I know Christian is going to f**k, not make love, which is the least romantic and the most repelling thing for me. Though there’s so much bad in the novel, the mystery is still eating me up and I’d still give it a go, as long as it doesn’t creep me out.

My Rating: 1.5/5

Angels and Demons Novel Review

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I didn’t quite like the Angels and Demons the way I expected to. But that’s all right, when you read all about how Illuminati symbols are engraved on the chest of the cardinals and then executed using the same element of science. Robert Langdon has to stop these four killings and a bomb (antimatter) which is ticking, somewhere concealed in the Vatican City, by following an intricate trail using his expertise in symbology.

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A mystery-thriller, but it’s more than just your ordinary detective stories. It has one of the good old, Science vs. Religion debates to offer. This novel demands to be looked at seriously because, the setting of the novel accentuates the accomplishments and failures, the strong points and flaws of both, the science and the religion. As far as India and Hinduism is concerned, each individual needs to strictly follow some of the proud creeds mentioned in this notable work by Dan Brown.

The novel is gripping and well acclaimed by the readers around the world and the content and the virtuoso of the author speak for it. Apart from the mystery which is the major feature of this novel, I did find the few moments between Robert and Vittoria quite intriguing. Dan has quite adroitly explored the personality of Robert Langdon, which adds up to make the novel more captivating.

The Last Word:

Dan has surely written a robust mystery-thriller, but we also need to ruminate on the essence of the religion before we overlook its importance. Quite a cliffhanger, protruding most mystery-thrillers, because of the addition of symbology, the killings, Illuminati, Camerlengo’s character and the amalgamation of science and religion. The only flaw I realized was the length of the novel. It could have been less.

My Rating: 4.5/5

If It’s Not Forever, it’s not love Novel Review: The love of the dead guy.

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Delhi was struck by an unexpected bomb blast which exploded in the vicinity of the high court in late 2011. It killed several people and destroyed several lives. In the memory of those hapless children, women and men, Durjoy Datta and Nikita Singh teamed up to write a romantic novel. This novel inundates from time to time the life of a person, who narrates the incidents.

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The authors have tried to bring out the story as a semi-travelling romantic story, with bits of unnecessary elements diffused at some parts of the book. The main character is Deb, the story being narrated by him. So it necessarily points out to the novel, mostly being written by Durjoy at large. There are not going to be any big spoilers in the review, for I would want the read to read the book with novelty. As it starts off, Deb is caught in the middle of a blast besetting a heap of people. He wakes up to see love and concern in the eyes of his girlfriend, Avantika.  He suddenly is bogged down when he picks up a half burnt diary, from the scene and is held by only one thought; to get the story of the dead guy from the diary to his lover. And he goes on a road trip with his buddy, Shrey with only few leads to his dispatch. He’s left with no choice but to tell Avantika, Shrey and his newly met girlfriend, Tiya; the truth. Soon, they uncover the mystery about the dead guy and are dumbfound by what they learn.

It goes without saying that, there’s a lot of love-making and sexual talks which is to be inferred from the genre. But thankfully, that ends with the first half. You wouldn’t believe how horrible it reads when Deb is narrating the story. I mean, he’s just a lustful guy. He talks about love at one point, says something nice and appends it with a sexual comment. I think that was the most awful and abhorrent aspect of the novel along with a use of lot of spontaneous comments and phrases created apathy. Everything literally narrows down to intercourse with this guy. But what made me stick to the novel was the enigma and curiosity to find out what happens next.

The Final Word:

Whatever the reason may be, I am not repelled by this novel. In fact, I’ve come to like it. Though don’t expect much from this amateur writing style. I thought, at some point, Chetan Bhagat might have been able to do something more if he wrote this one. But that doesn’t take away the novelty of a bland created by Durjoy and Nikita, by infusing it with a thriller touch. Also, look out for the climax, actually two of’em. The climax singlehandedly made up for the disgusting and sexual comments.

The storytelling was what kept me going though, something could’ve been done about the perspective of Deb towards women. One wouldn’t know what Durjoy and Nikita garnered about the case or the diary, but they convert an atrocious act into a memorable romantic story.

cover page of if it's not forever it's not love by durjoy datta

My Rating: 3/5.

Between Shades Of Gray Review: Contemplative, Full Of Research & A Must Read

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Was it harder to die or harder to be the one to who survived?

When I came across this book for the first time, I thought it’d be just another romantic novels with the protagonist being seperated by her father, literally trafficked into slavery. What I thought would be a silly romance, with a kid immersed in her drawings, turned out to be exactly opposite.

So this is what really happens in the book. At the initial stage of WWII, the Soviet Union invades various Baltic states of  Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In 1941, Lina, along with her mother and little brother, are captured and bu train cars taken to various places. Held as prisoners for 25 years and treated as filthy pigs, thousands of people work very hard in excruciating circumstances to get a one time ration, which doesn’t even fill their bellies. The struggle, the behaviour and the injustice pointed towards these people has been documented in this novel.

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Between Shades Of Gray isn’t a total work of fiction. A similar, rather worse or even intense and turbulent times were seen by the civilians. Ruta Sepetys interviewed them and collected a lot of information in Lithuania. Her epilogue and acknowledgement speaks for itself. What is very intriguing is, the whole coverage of the story happens through the eyes of Lina, the 15 year old girl. The story is very sad, set in harsh times, but very beautiful at the same time.

I was particularly amused by the part where Andrius scribbles a few sentences on the pages of the copy of Dombey and Son. Another notable conversation of Lina was, when her father explains that, as the kite goes higher and higher in the sky so do the people when they die. Their spirit soars up in the blue sky and that they are always watching. And then Lina’s brother says, “Maybe Grandma found the kite.”

The Final Word:

Ruta Sepetys tells the tale of an entourage going through innumerable perils and how they strive to survive at every edge, maintaining unity at all times. Though it’s an inviting story to read, it is written in a manner which fails to hit the nerves most of the times. It comes of as a very light material describing much patrifying and difficult moments.

Another deficiency I felt in Between Shades Of Gray was that, it was a petty book. A lot more should have been covered. Watching the world through the eyes of a little girl somewhat makes the intensity of the book. Having said that, I think this is a work to be read by every reader.

My Rating: 4/5

The Cuckoo’s Calling Review: A murder in the snow

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It’s about time we faced J.K. Rowling or Robert Galbraith, in the form of Cormoran Strike, private detective, ex-army, with a bad leg blown off in a war in Afghanistan. Does that ring a bell? Of course, it does. It’s like private dective has be one of those FBI, CIA or army guys. Apart from this colossal similarity, this novel doesn’t contain anything which could be said to be a formulaic musing.

With the instalment of The Cuckoo’s Calling, the author seems have created a character which is very close to the way Sherlock Holmes or Dr. Cal Lightman would solve a crime. Only differences would be the gamut of techniques & time taken up in the investigation.

thThe storyline is when Lula Landry falls to her death, her brother John Bristow hires a private detective to catch the killer. Now, while everyone including the police believes that it was a suicide, John remains firm on his belief that it was indeed a murder at all times. Cormoran Strike has to investigate the alleged murder, when the trail’s already got cold. An impossible murder, with no lead tailing beyond dead ends, will it hamper the investigation or will Strike be able to crack the case?

The whole story has been endowed with great characterization. The plot and the sub-plots stand out with just as much admiration from the reader as for the knack of description. Although, it does seem to deluge its way in the first three hundred pages. That’s when the author brings out a gloomy side of Strike. It doesn’t linger for a long time. This part of the novel, epitomizes with the aura created in True Detective. It is much like by the book investigation, in depth but it sets a sturdy base for the novel.

The second half, after about three hundred pages, the book picks up pace and enthrals the reader. It’s from that point, that the anticipation soars up and isuddenly changes it’s gear.This half is more like Castle, but with no punch lines that puts a glee on the face. Strike mostly keeps every bit of evidence to himself, not showing off what he’s got, very contemplative in case he’s tipping off anything to the murderer.

The Final Word:

Robert Galbraith has got very good understanding of the role of different characters and their mindset, shifting through the dialogues of every person and writing them in the form of third person. It is very difficult thing to do, writing in that fashion. It is believed to be very turbulent, but he pulls it off very pragmatically. Though his description might nag you but the cliffhanger will bring out the better of it. The first half may seem a tidbit tedious, the latter makes up for it. The Cuckoo’s Calling is a terrific, gripping and absorbing novel.

My Rating: 4/5.

To Kill A Mockingbird Review: Fear of childhood; a friend, coming of age.

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“You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… Until you climb inside of his skin and walk around in it.”

While reading this novel, the best thing you could possibly do is to relate the character of Atticus Finch to your parents. Atticus stands for the principles, for the seeing the best in others and to exude that quality to that person. The plot may give away things like hypocrisy, it may be an inter-racial rape case told by Jean Louise and Jem Finch, but it’ll baffle you with its rich details, vivid depiction, the storytelling, and enlighten you of the life of people from Maycomb County. A place where opinion of colored people doesn’t matter, where the white’s rule; and fears of a man, behind a door haunts the living breath of folks of Maycomb.  A creation, which is only accounted in the lives of people from 1900’s.
There’s no need to reveal the plot for you. What makes the plot so significant is the sublime storytelling. The laymen language used from the sands of Alabama, the unique sense of humor, which triggers exactly where the need be and to top it all off, the eyes of a kid used as the window to perceive it all. Harper Lee has written this audacious book, and with a great eye for minute details, that you start dreaming, when you’d wander the streets of your village next morning becoming Scout(Jean Louise) with Jem and Dill.

Maverick- The goodies are too many, you won’t find the gaffes. The key has been the character development, right from the start. Jean Louise with her brother is seen roaming the county and the initial meetup with Dill has mind blowing. The entire coverage from Atticus’s appreciation and recognition of the world and people in it, hits heart. Calpurnia’s motherly touch, tending to the kids and Aunt Alexendra’s disciplinary actions, act as a crucible for them.
Written through a child’s perspective, it opens a way for the grown-ups to peek into a child’s mind and see the Maycomb County from 1940’s. This novel is an epitome of innocence that shows on a child’s face.

Towards the end, a few pages had a smidgen of emotion. Harper Lee seemed like she was crying through every word she was writing, after Tom was dead.
A classic, this good, should be placed in every persons bookshelf. It indeed is a very palpable novel with a cluster of incidents which touch the heart.
If you’re to read this gem, watch out for the ending. Last few pages are quite symbolic.

You can’t be serious being dissatisfied with it. It deserves a 5/5.