Monday, October 12, 2015

Manhattan Mango

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Title: Manhattan Mango
Author: Madhuri Iyer
Genre: Fiction
Pages: 280
Publisher: Fingerprint Publishing
ISBN-13: 9788172345129

Rating: 4/5

This book was on my to-read list for a long time. The title caught my eye for two reasons. Firstly, it was about Manhattan. Secondly, the "mango" in the tittle suggested that it would be a sweet Indian-ish story. I was sold! I had to finish the books that I had already started, so I waited. The summary of the book enticed me enough and I knew this was going to be one good read. 

The story is about the lives of three friends. Neel, Shankar and Shri  live and work in Manhattan who have shared a beautiful friendship right from their college days back in India. They are the Indians but love the American way of life. One rainy day they meet Shefali, who is from an affluent family and she joins the group. Soon Shefali and Neel are a pair. Vivian, a Chinese girl, is Shankar's colleague whom he begins dating. The addition of the girls to the "Ganpat Gang" results in them becoming close knit buddies. On the other hand, Shri has a secret that he rather not speak of but it is only matter of time when the beans are spilled. Shankar's mother and grandmother arrive from India and when they find out about Vivian, all hell breaks loose. Shefali and Neel call is quits due to Neel's weakness for women, followed by some pretty nasty implications for Neel. Meanwhile, Shri's parents push him to get married and after some thinking and re thinking, he decides to tell them the truth. A couple of characters like Ryan and Dr. Natasha enter the story to add to the drama. That brings us to the climax of the story where there is a heap of trouble to be sorted. 

I know I haven't really revealed details but consider it crucial and would want to find out on your own while reading. The bottom line of the story is friendship and it is beautifully expressed by the author. Realistic events that we all can easily relate to, the Indianess of it all, the confusions and frustrations of the twenties something people, everything is believable. The writing is simple and the narration flowy. Nothing too complicated but keeps you hooked on till the very end. When I turned the last page, I was like, "wow! That was a good one!" Altogether, a breezy read.

I would sum it all up in three words. Smooth, engaging and unputdownable. 

World's Best Boyfriend

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Title: World's Best Boyfriend
Author: Durjoy Dutta
Genre: Fiction, Romance
Pages: 296
Publisher: Penguin Metro Reads
ISBN-13: 9780143424635

Rating: 3.5/5

Durjoy Dutta has authored many books, all in the romance genre. This is the first time I read his book. The crux of the story is right there in the title. See the word "worst" scratched and "best" written instead? That pretty much sums up the entire story.

To quote from the book - "Hate is a four letter word and so is love. And, sometimes people can't tell the difference." Aranya and Dhruv begin as friends. He looks past her vitiligo condition and accepts her whereas she tries to fill in the gaping void of loneliness in his life. Moving on wards as lovers in school, an unexpected incident breaks them apart. The incident brings out the helplessness in them but turns out rather nasty and destroys their relationship. So much so, that they hate each other, unforgivably. It leaves Dhruv brash and brazen whereas Aranya strives to excel in her academics to subdue her physical imperfections. When they meet again in college, all they want to do is hurt and turn the other to dust. But their "hate" relationship takes a turn when Dhruv, unexpectedly, saves Aranya from being caught during examinations and also when Professor Raghuvir (the college casanova), comes into the picture with Aranya.

I hate giving out spoilers, especially for readers who are yet to read the book. Not that its a big mystery what happens in the end. So, all I'm going to say is that the story has a few of those heart melting and heart wrenching moments. The narrative is really smooth and engaging, for a sweet story line as this. The story contains romance, drama, hatred, tears. Everything a romantic story should have. The author has beautifully woven the story with expressions and some of them are quite interesting. Tugs at your heartstrings and makes you think about matters of the heart.

Overall, I liked the book. It is a light, romantic read. It is one of those books that do not overflow with tangling emotions. Recommended for everyone. The young can relate to the mixed feelings and romance whereas the old can let out a deep sigh and reminisce the romantic experiences from college days!

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