Dear John

Quick Data

Author: Nicholas Sparks

ISBN: 978-0-7515-4046-8

Price: 295 INR

Website:http://www.nicholassparks.com/

‘Dear John’ is a narrative by the character John Tyree, who joined the army to get away from his reclusive father[or so he thinks] and straighten out his life.. It’a a story about John and Savannah who fall in love at the first sight.

Army changes John’s life for better..he has been raised by an almost non-receptive father to which over a period of time John could not relate with.He is not great at studies and is unsure about his future..that is when he finally decides to enlist in the military and do something about his life.

On his first leave from the army he meets Savannah at the beach-she is beautiful and smart and something about her clicks John which initally even he isn’t aware of…only thing he realizes is that he likes her and would want to know more about her. On the other hand Savannah too reciprocates the same feelings and within no time they become friends…John spends his entire leave with Savannah and they get to know each other pretty well…by the end of the leave both of them realize that it’s nothing but love between them and they make promises to each other about future….only thing that bothers Savannah is that John is in the army and based in Germany..she has to wait until he comes back again-discharged from the army job.

With promises to write and call, they say goodbye until John’s next army leave.

John’s days and nights pass with a countdown to the day when he will be with Savannah forever. In between he gets his second leave and they decide to spend sometime with Savannah’s parents as well and then remaining leave with John’s father. Everything goes well in that duration except that John feels Savannah has changed a bit..or may be she is naturally busy in her work by then..or may be it’s John’s fears that are working on his mind…he didn’t know which is the actual reason but he sure knew that something has changed…just something !

This time when John is back to the army base…something happens…the uneventful 9/11. And it sure changes everything in their lives too.

Sparks has written about the love which is deep,out of this world and that aches. It’s an easy and quick read. With less complicated characters and straight narration. Though what I felt was the love that has been talked about in the story is too-good-to-be-true types. Somewhere in the middle of it..specially when the story reaches a point where John feels that something has changed-the further story becomes predictable…there are no twists and turns.

It’s a quick read if you are travelling or at the beach..it’s a nice read for those who like sappy romantic a girl-meets-the-boy love stories.

My rating for this book is 2*

The shadow of the wind

shadow-of-the-wind

Quick Data

Author: Carlos Ruiz Zafon

ISBN: 978-0-7538-2025-4

Price: 350 INR

The shadow of the wind  is the story-set up in post-Civil War Barcelona- of a young boy-Daniel-, whose life changes forever when he comes across a rare book written by an obscure author-Julian Carax- who disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

Daniel likes the book so much that he reads it in one go and is impressed with the way Carax has written the story. Something about that novel ignites the curiosity about the author and Daniel is all set to find Carax’s whereabouts. When he asks his father-a bookshop owner himself and other book dealers and shop owners about the author, nobody claims to have heard about the person Daniel is mentioning.

As Daniel grows, the mystery of Carax’s life grows too…Daniel hears that someone is desperately searching for all the copies of Carax’s books and destroying them to ashes. This piece of information deepens Daniel’s curiosity and he is determined to find Carax anyhow ! While on his way to solve the mystery, Daniel meets characters who seem to be coming out of Carax’s books.

So,does Daniel reach to the end of the maze ? Does he ever find Carax ? Does Carax even exist ? Questions like these would pop in your mind as you would progress in the novel. I bought this book on hunch like most of the times I do!The Shadow of the Wind according to me does not fall into any specific genre. It is a story about books, love, friendship, fate, commitment and jealousy.  The moment you think that you’ve almost solved the jig saw puzzle, that the author has presented, there would be another piece out of the puzzle that will be thrown at you…the characters appear real and you are made to think about them and the mysterious story that engulfs them all. At times it frightens you and sometimes it will surprise you. Like Daniel you without knowing start solving the puzzle..the mystery..the author Julian Carax ! The write-up is lovely.Carlos has done  justice to the thriller !

It’s one of those books which you would not want to put down before you reach the end.

My rating for this book is 5*

Almost Single

Quick Data

Author: Advaita Kala

ISBN: 978-81-7223-655-7

Price: 195 INR

Excerpt from the the back of the book as it is:

‘My name is Aisha Bhatia; I am twenty-nine years old and single. I work as a Guest Relations Manager at the Grand Orchid Hotel. I dine at luxury hotels and stay in five-stars during my travels; I can name old and new wines with great élan, and can tell my cheeses apart. I tolerate my job, hate my boss, and bond big-time with my friends, while routinely suffering from umbilical cord whiplash. I don’t really care for my vital stat at the moment, and I don’t have a cute/funny nickname either. Hence this introduction: it stinks, but it sticks. In fact, sometimes I think there should be support groups like the AA out there for people like me….’

Ironically this book didn’t reach my heart…may be because this was a wrong pick for me since I don’t usually read chick lit..or may be the book is not that great..whatever that is my rating for this book is not more than 2

Though the story goes quiet straight without much frills and zig-zags…which is a plus point I guess…the author writes well only if she could attempt writing some other stuff may be !

Three Cups of Tea

…by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin.

Three Cups of Tea

A year ago a conversation with a colleague drifted to us discussing books. And while on that, he mentioned about this book – Three Cups of Tea – and told me that it is a must read. Since then it’s been in the back of my mind that I need to pick this up, but then somehow I kept forgetting about it every time I went to a bookstore or ordered books online. Until three months ago…it suddenly struck me that I still haven’t gotten around to reading it, so I ordered it right away…and I couldn’t wait to receive the same.

I started reading the book the day it arrived at my doorsteps. And I must tell you, I am very glad to have read this one.

Three Cups of Tea is the story about mountaineer Greg Mortenson…after an unsuccessful attempt at climbing the K2 peak, he loses his way during his descent, wanders off to a nearby village and is overwhelmed by the villagers’ generosity. During the next few days at the village, he notices their school’- an open area with children sitting on sand and using sticks as pen / pencil and the floor as the notebook. Owing to their hospitality, he promises them that he would come back and build them a proper school.

And he does.

After going through a million hurdles to save all the money he needs, he returns to the village to keep up his promise. The book walks us through everything…from how he sleeps in his car so he can save on rent to how he manages to acquire funds to how he loses his love to how he tackles the language barriers to how he handles the post 9/11 challenges…all these hardships to see his selfless dream – to provide education for the children in the some of the most remote parts of the world – come true.

Mortenson, who started off to work on one promise to one village to build one school, now has more than 130 schools to his credit. He is now the executive director of the Central Asia Institute.

This book does more than provide a good read. It is an inspirational journey all the way. It teaches one how determination can go a long way and can endure any hardship…all we need is focus on goals and we can be sure to gain the strength to overcome any obstacle along the way. And the book also spreads so much positivity and selflessness. It is amazing to know that in today’s materialistic world there are people like Mortenson who are willing to go way out of their line to help the needy.

So, overall, definitely a story you don’t want to miss. A worthwhile read. Highly recommended.

My rating: 4*.

*for the rating scale, click here.