Book Musings: Never Gone by Anusha Subramanian


This book arrived with many postcards, a bookmark and a note from Namrata di. All the way from Mumbai. She had written that the protagonist in the story had reminded her of me, and that the letters in the story spoke to her. It’s no secret that I love writing letters and if you’re one of my favourite people I have written a letter to you at some point during the course of our friendship.

Never Gone is the story of a group of friends in the eleventh standard, and is an Indian Young Adult novel in the truest sense of the term. I loved how all the characters in the story had been fleshed out. It was wonderful to read about them struggling with their very teenage problems. It reminded me rather painfully of the time when I was in high school and everything around me seemed to be two minutes away from falling apart.

At the heart of all these characters is the protagonist, Ananya. She was born to change the world. I loved the letters she had written to everyone in her life, because they echoed words that the characters really needed to hear. I found a lot of myself in Ananya, and I certainly hope I have been able to change a few worlds as well.

I would recommend people who are on the edge of despair to read this book, because oh, come on! What do you have left to live for if you do not have hope?

Never Gone will make you cry, make you laugh and make you wish you had a second chance at being seventeen again!


Thanks a million times over, Namrata di. You brought one of the nicest reads on 2016 into my life.

Book Musings: What Light by Jay Asher



Jay Asher had impressed me before with his novel 13 Reasons Why and because of it, I had been eagerly waiting for What Light. It did not disappoint me at all. I read the book over this weekend and let me tell you, it’s one of best weekends I’ve had in 2016.

Why put my heart into something fate will only tear apart Christmas morning? Is what haunts Sierra who comes down to California every year from Oregon to sell Christmas trees in the lot. She has always lived two lives and she has always been content with that fact.

But this year turns out to be like no other. Clearly her life in California has begun to eclipse the life back home in Oregon. All because she’s met an amazing boy who finally seems worth the effort. Caleb and Sierra’s relationship is riddled with complications and has a very rocky start.

Even though there are plenty of characters in the story, no one seems to outshine the other. I like how the central focus is never shifted from Sierra and Caleb, and how Christmas plays a huge part in their story. As someone who has always loved Christmas, you can tell that I was mighty pleased with the storyline.

I love Christmassy reads and this one is surely one of my favourite stories now. It will be special to me because I read it at a time when I was beginning to feel restless and hopeless. What a wonderful thing it is, when we find in books the words that our hearts and minds long to hear. Some stories can really change how you have been looking at life.

For me, What Light did precisely that. Maybe I wouldn’t like the story had read the story some other time. Maybe if I read it if I was already full of happiness and hope, I’d be dismissive of it. But because I started the book at a time when it had exactly what I needed to hear, I loved it so much. And I’m pretty sure I have a book hangover now. It’ll be a Christmas miracle if I stop talking about it anytime soon.

This is a must-read novel for anyone who wants to lift up their Christmas spirit and wants to believe that miracles can happen.

I need you to believe in us. - Caleb. 
I think these words will stay with me forever. 

Buy the book here: Amazon 


Review: Metro Diaries 2 by Namrata


About the Book:





Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard - this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.


Goodreads I Amazon





Quotes from Metro Diaries 2:

All the money his parents earned sadly could never buy a moment’s peace for any of them as they kept drifting away like lost constellations into the space. Together they surely were in a way, but light years away in every manner. There was absolutely no connection between them. They just were like every other thing that existed in the universe… the oceans, the sky, the earth, the stars, the sun and the moon. You couldn’t change anything about them even if you didn’t like the way they were. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

You are enough in everything and anything you do in this world. Others are here to serve as a distraction so that they reach their goals before yours and become winners. – The Last Kiss (Metro Diaries Part 2)

At times in life we always see what we are being shown and not what lies behind that cloak of disguise. We believe all that comes our way without doubting that there could be a trick or maybe just a hallucination. – Charlatan (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Life they say is a like a jigsaw puzzle and we are all like those pieces trying to find where we fit in. – Labour of Love (Metro Diaries Part 2)

Perhaps she had forgotten the thumb rule for survival here. There is nothing called yours here.  No will, no desire, no dreams, no ambitions….nothing. Not even your name. – The Plummet (Metro Diaries Part 2)

What else do you do when you are a teenager? Life seems to be one long party full of fun and frolic with your best friends all around. You just know your world is full of rainbow colours; sweetness of chocolates filling it and abundant beautiful dresses to doll you up.  Love and relationships take a different meaning altogether now making you look at everything around including yourself in newer light. – Love v/s hate (Metro Diaries Part 2)

I always felt I knew what I wanted in life. But today I realized how wrong I was. I was chasing mirages as the reality kept going away from me and now I am left with nothing in hand – Rags to Riches(Metro Diaries Part 2)

People make memories and then reach a phase where memories make people! – Mou Athena (Metro Diaries Part 2)



About the Author:



Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.




Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter



The Review:

I received Namrata Madhira’s Metro Diaries 2 as part of the b00k r3vi3ws tours but unfortunately I couldn’t read it. So I rescheduled my posting dates and ended up reading her book on my flight from Kolkata to Bangalore. And quite honestly, it was not what I had expected at all.
Each of the 20 stories had flavours of their own. I don’t what to give away too much of the amazing tales that is part of Metro Diaries 2. I’ll talk about a select few.

Charlatan – I really liked the story especially because of the epic plot twist. I cannot tell you how happy I felt reading that justice is sometimes served in the most unexpected of ways.
Stain of Love – I was actually crying by the time I finished reading this cute little story. So much so, that the flight attendant got a little alarmed and asked me if everything was alright.

The Cursed Existence – This was another story that struck home and stayed with me for a long, long time.

Child is the father of the man – This story gave me a reality check over the fact that my life is really easy. I shouldn’t spend my time cribbing about it.

Rags & Riches – Very honestly, the entire premise of the story was pretty unexpected. I didn’t think I’d be as drawn to the story as I was. It proved to be a really good read.

The Last Kiss – One of the saddest tales in the collection without a doubt. But one of the writer’s best works too.

In the end, I would advise people to pick up a copy of Metro Diaries 2 because of the different flavours each story has to offer. Some will make you cry, some will leave a smile on your face. Some will twist your heart in agony while others will give you hope that no matter what happens, life always gets a little better in the end. Many congratulations to Namrata di for this amazing little anthology. And many apologies to her too for posting this review so later.

Believe me, Di, if you are reading this, Metro Diaries 2 is one of my many reasons my Bangalore trip has become so very memorable.



Book Musings: 8 Life Hacks to SNEAK in EXTRA READING Time

Artwork: Souradeep Ghosh
You might read the title and go, “But why 8?” Because I am a writer and writers are weird. It’s our birthright, really. Or maybe it is because I cannot think of 10 ways, so make your peace with the 8 ways that I can offer you.

1. Carry your book with you all the time. 

This basically means having to invest in a larger handbag than the dainty little purses that you might have bought to take with you to parties. But c’mon people, are you really going to talk to people or will go straight to a corner and settle down with your book?

2. Learn to turn the pages of your book with the same hand that is holding the book!  

If you have take the metro to work like I have to on a daily basis, you have to be very, very optimistic to hope you’re going to get a place to settle down and read your book. My metro journey lasts for a solid 16 minutes and since I am a pretty fast reader, I decided to utilise that time to read. But since I am standing most of time, I taught myself to turn the pages of the book, with the same hand in which I’m holding it. For as you know, my other hand is too busy steadying me from falling over on my face!

3. Invest in a Kindle or a Nook Book. 

I am probably going to get a lot of hate for saying this but you should really buy a Kindle or a Nook Book or whatever eReader that catches your eye. You can actually carry around more than one book in them and they’re superior convenient to bring along. I mean, if it’s acceptable to bring your laptop everywhere, why not an eReader?

4. Download Reading Apps to your Phone. 

But if you just have to go to a party where bringing your big handbag or your eReader is going to be frowned upon, and you cannot fit the latest paperback into it...just download a reading app to your phone. I have the Kindle App on my phone and whenever I’m bored at parties, I just sit back and read the stories on my phone. 

5. Go to bed an hour early. 

Make yourself go to bed an hour early, just this one extra hour to get some reading done. It will feel all strange and weird at first but I can promise you that it will soon feel like a normal routine if you keep at the habit. 

6. Don’t go home straight after work. 

This might be one of my more terrible ideas but I have done it a couple of times, and it’s relaxing. Instead of going home from work take a detour and enter a quiet cafe. (One that doesn’t have teenagers talking loudly about their relationship problems, preferred.) Order a cup of coffee or tea, sit and read your book. 

7. Get everything done the night before and wake up early.

Don’t do this if you’re already staying up late to finish a book. But if you go to bed early, wake up early and once you get everything done – you’ll find a little time to just sneak in a chapter or two. Another way to be sure that you will get time in the morning to read is if you keep all your work ready the night before. Like, pick out your outfit, the shoes, the jewellery, make sure your lunch is packed and you bag is packed too.  

8. Make your Thank God It’s Saturday night an epic reading night.

Don’t keep any work for Saturday night. Instead stack up on snacks, and keep your to-be-read pile ready...and dig in. It’s a bookworm’s party...of one.

And there you have it. 8 life hacks to make sure you’re on top of your to-be-read pile...now excuse me, while I go and get some reading done! Also, on that note here's a sneak peek of my Bangalore Book Loot (the post for which would be up on my blog over this weekend!): 

Picture by: ME :) The Book Dragon!


Release Day Blitz: Metro Diaries 2 by Namrata


About the Book:





Give life another chance. Laugh a little longer. let go of your past. Hold onto what you love. In short LIVE rather than just exist!

Some told, some untold, some heard and some unheard - this collection of stories will make you look at life in a different light and make you ponder over its definition of it till now.


Goodreads I Amazon






Reviews for Metro Diaries 1:

After touching your hearts with 'Metro Diaries - Love Classics' she is back now with stories that will redefine life for you!

The stories in Metro Diaries - Love Classics are free from any trappings of youthful slang and fashionable language stunts. These young adults are speaking to the readers with Namrata’s maturity shining through, and Namrata’s ideas of love. - Sakshi Nanda 

The language is fairly pleasant to read and the elaborate discussions between characters in each story must have taken a lot of work – because the most difficult job of all authors is to bring out human emotions in proper words. Thankfully, Namrata has concentrated upon it very well! - Dhivya Balaji


About the Author:


Namrata is A Lost Wanderer who loves travelling the length and breadth of the world. A published author in various anthologies and magazines she enjoys capturing the magic of life in her words. She is forever in pursuit of a new country and a new story.




Contact the Author:
Website * Facebook * Twitter



Book Review: When We Collided by Emery Lord

When We Collided
Emery Lord
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA
Amazon | Amazon Kindle
Price: Rs 350 


ABOUT THE BOOK: 

Seventeen year old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, his whole life, and only one thing has ever changed: his father used to be alive, and now he's not. Now Jonah must numbly take care of his family as they reel from their tragedy. Cue next change: Vivi Alexander, new girl in town. Vivi is in love with life. A gorgeous and unfiltered hurricane of thoughts and feelings. She seems like she's from another planet as she transforms Jonah's family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide ...A fierce and beautiful love story with a difference, When We Collided will thrill fans of All the Bright Places and I'll Give You the Sun.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: 

Emery Lord is the author of Open Road Summer and The Start of Me and You. She lives in a pink row house in Cincinnati, with a husband, two rescue dogs, and a closet full of impractical shoes. www.emerylord.com Twitter: @emerylord

THE REVIEW:

I bought this book a long time ago but I didn’t start reading it until this Sunday morning. It’s literally been minutes since I finished the book and I decided that I had to write a review for it right away! Because this book deserves ALL the attention it has been getting and then some more.
Emery Lord has created a brilliant world in Verona Cove where the lives of Vivi Alexanders and Jonah Daniels collides. I loved the tagline for the novel, right from the start, ‘Can you fall in love when you’re falling apart?’

Emery takes the issue of mental health head on, and leaves no stone unturned as she tried to tell a simple story without leaving out all the difficult parts. It’s pretty obvious from the start that Vivi has bipolar disorder even though it’s spelled out much later into the story. At the onset, it would seem that Jonah is the one who is grieving.

But depression and grief often borrow each other’s masks and you will never know which is which, until someone comes along and helps you. Sometimes, it’s important to ask for the help yourself.
This story was heartwarming and it doesn’t really hurt you and cut you up like other realistically depicted stories. What it does it give you hope. Hope for a better life, for a new tomorrow. Hope that this isn’t how good as it gets. There’s more, there’s always more – only if you’re willing to fight for it.

Favourite Quote 
The I loved the vibrant characters in Emery Lord’s novel. Especially the six Daniels siblings, who are in their own right, amazing and do not feel like borrowed characters. They all fit their purpose, and in the middle is Jonah, trying his very best to make it all work. To survive one fucking, god awful, never ending year. I have been through some pretty rough days and I know how dark the darkest of places can get. But one thing I’ve learned, no one can help you unless you help yourself.

Maybe that’s why some days when we don’t have the energy to jump out of bed, we should roll out and hit the floor really hard. Maybe taking that leap would hurt us. But not taking that leap of faith will hurt us even more. You know?

I love how people are finally talking about mental health and the YA community especially, has taken it upon themselves to spread more awareness about the matter. I’m just so glad that When We Collided is a wonderful addition to the ever growing collection, and also to my ever growing collection of books as well.

Don’t miss out on this book. I promise, you won’t regret it.




Book Review: Playlist for the Dead by Michelle Falkoff


Book Summary:

There was a party. There was a fight. The next morning, Sam’s best friend, Hayden, was dead. And all he left Sam was a playlist of songs and a suicide note: For Sam—listen and you’ll understand. To figure out what happened, Sam has to rely on the playlist and his own memory. But the more he listens, the more he realizes that his memory isn’t as reliable as he thought. And it might only be by taking out his earbuds and opening his eyes to the people around him that he’ll finally be able to piece together his best friend’s story. And maybe have a chance to change his own.
Part mystery, part love story, and part coming-of-age tale in the vein of The Perks of Being a Wallflower and The Spectacular Now, Michelle Falkoff’s debut novel is an honest and gut-wrenching first novel about loss, rage, and what if feels like to outgrow a friendship that’s always defined you—and the struggle to redefine yourself.
Author: 
Michelle Falkoff is also the author of Playlist for the Dead. Her fiction and reviews have been published in ZYZZYVA, DoubleTake, and the Harvard Review, among other places. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and currently serves as director of communication and legal reasoning at Northwestern University School of Law. Visit her online at www.michellefalkoff.com.

The Review:

I ordered this book as it kept turning up on my “based on your browsing history” section on Amazon. No, it wasn’t because I was researching thoroughly depressing books or books about mental health. It was because I read a lot of Young Adult novels and this particular book was on a 32% discount. So I took a chance and I bought it.

While I loved the back and forth narration of the story, and getting thoroughly involved with Sam and Hayden’s lives, I was a little disappointed to not get all the answers that was burning me up. But I realized what the author, Michelle Falkoff was driving at. That bad things happen to the best of us and some of us learn to live with it, some of us explode and some of us come through. There is no explanation as to who decides to go down which road. And in real, there are no answers. It’s only fiction that every single thing needs to make perfect sense.

I know a lot readers have complained about how the story does not delve deeper into the lives of the characters, how there is no real character development. In fact when I down to type this post, a part of me was pretty disappointed by the book and wanted to write about that. But the other part of me, the one who knows that life can flip you over like a pancake whenever it wants without any further notice and flip back just as well, knows that’s exactly what Playlist for the Dead was aiming for.

That it’s okay to not have all the answers. It’s okay to begrudgingly accept the hand that’s been dealt by Fate. It’s okay to not know your little world like the back of your hand. Sometimes when things happen we’re left to grasp at straws. We could look for the needle in the haystack but we have no idea what the stupid needle looks like in the first place! And that’s exactly how Sam feels when his best friend Hayden kills himself. Even though they had been each other’s best friends, they had kept their own set of secrets which ultimately lead to the events of the novel. What Sam has been left with is a playlist of songs which claims he would understand what was going on in Hayden’s head.

But this playlist is the needle. Sam has no idea what to make of the songs, but readers such as myself get introduced to quite a few amazing tracks and artists in the process. I cannot say I enjoyed reading the book because teen suicides are not something to enjoy. But I liked how the issue has been handled and this book is more for the friend left affected by a friend’s suicide. It won’t help teenagers who are already at risk. But would help their friends identify them if they are at risk.


In a nutshell, this book tried a unique take on an age-old problem. It’s definitely worth checking out.

Rating:


Book Blast: The Conspiracy at Meru by Shatrujeet Nath



The Conspiracy at Meru (Vikramaditya Veergatha # 2)



VICTORY IS TEMPORARY. THE BATTLE IS ETERNAL.

Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine have fought valiantly to repel the rampaging hordes from Devaloka and Patala – but Avanti has been brought to its knees. Ujjayini lies battered its citizens are scared and morale is badly shaken. Meanwhile, the barbaric Hunas and Sakas are gathering on the horizon and cracks are emerging between the allied kingdoms of Sindhuvarta.

The only silver lining is that the deadly Halahala is safe. For now.

Bent on vengeance, Indra is already scheming to destroy Vikramaditya, while Shukracharya has a plan that can spell the doom for the Guardians of the Halahala. How long can the human army hold out against the ferocity and cunning of the devas and asuras? And will Vikramaditya’s love for his queen come in the way of his promise to Shiva?




The deadly Halahala, the all-devouring poison churned from the depths of the White Lake by the devas and asuras, was swallowed by Shiva to save the universe from extinction.
But was the Halahala truly destroyed?
A small portion still remains – a weapon powerful enough to guarantee victory to whoever possesses it. And both asuras and devas, locked in battle for supremacy, will stop at nothing to claim it.
As the forces of Devaloka and Patala, led by Indra and Shukracharya, plot to possess the Halahala, Shiva turns to mankind to guard it from their murderous clutches. It is now up to Samrat Vikramaditya and his Council of Nine to quell the supernatural hordes – and prevent the universe from tumbling into chaos!
A sweeping tale of honour and courage in the face of infinite danger, greed and deceit, The Guardians of the Halahala is a fantastical journey into a time of myth and legend.

About the Author
Door-to-door salesman, copywriter, business journalist & assistant editor at The Economic Times; Shatrujeet Nath was all this before he took to writing fiction full-time. He debuted with The Karachi Deception in 2013, followed by The Guardians of the Halahala and The Conspiracy at Meru, the first two books in the Vikramaditya Veergatha series. At present, he is writing volume three of the series. Shatrujeet lives in Mumbai, but spends much of his time in the fantasy worlds of his stories.



Also by the Author:
(Click On the Cover for More Details)

This feature is powered by b00k r3vi3w Tours


Book Musings: Comfort Reads

I have talked a lot about comfort reads. I think I’ve asked every single reader friend of mine what their comfort reads are...and mostly they’ve stared at me with a blank expression. That’s probably because I made up the term. But the feeling towards a comfort read is universal.



Comfort Read: A book you keep going back to, again and again, especially when your whole life turns upside down.

I have had two comfort reads from my childhood: The Room on the Roof by Ruskin Bond and Daddy-Long-Legs by Jean Webster. I go back both these stories because despite whatever might be going on in my life, they give me the strength to hope for a better tomorrow. At the core, both stories are about orphans who are trying to find their place in the world. They both share the sentiment that they crawled out on to the surface of the world but they don’t truly belong to it.



Rusty’s friend Kishen helps him realize that if he feels as though he belongs nowhere, it could also mean “you belong everywhere.” That is one beautiful way of looking at things. And I used that very situation when I talked about my novella, When Our Worlds Collide’s Zayn Banerjee’s feeling of rootless. Akriti tells him the same thing, citing The Room on the Roof as an example. When you grow up shuffling through cities it is difficult to feel connected to one place. As opposed to that, when you grow up and stay in the same place forever, your roots are so deeply buried into the ground that it hurts to even dream about leaving the familiarity behind. It is during this time when you’re at war with yourself that these very books give you something to hold on to.

A classmate of mine had gifted me the copy of Daddy-Long-Legs that I own. I say classmate because I don’t think we were ever friends. In fact, I don’t think I made any real friends till I was quite old. But this book is special because it’s one of the only things the classmate had ever given me, and sadly we can never be friends now because she’s no longer here on Earth with us. But I’ll always be thankful to her for gifting me the story of Judy Abbott and her Daddy-Long-Legs. I was fifteen when I read that story (already into the world of Harry Potter), and I could relate to Judy so much. Not the fact that she was an orphan but the fact that she felt that she didn’t belong to the world and that she was struggling to be a writer.

I identified with Judy’s love for writing and her constant realisations that she wasn’t good enough to be one. In the end, of course, through hard work and determination, she became a wonderful little author and she found her happily ever after. The thing her story taught me was that sometimes happy ever afters don’t get handed to you. Sometimes, you need to go after it with a club.

So, what are the books you turn to when you’re down? What’s the one book that you just have to read every single year? Let me know! Maybe I’ll have a new comfort read added to my list based on your suggestions.

Book Review: 13 Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Book Name: 13 Reasons Why

Author Name: Jay Asher

Publisher Name: Razorbill

No. of Pages: 336

Year of Publication: 2011

Book Buy Links: Amazon|Kindle|



About The Book:

Thirteen Reasons Why is a young-adult fiction novel about a guy named Clay Jensen who discovers that he was one of the thirteen reasons why his classmate and crush, Hannah Baker, committed suicide.
The book begins with Clay getting home from school one day to find a package on his porch that is addressed to him from an anonymous person. He opens it and finds a shoe box with seven cassettes recorded by Hannah, in which she reveals names of all the people and the reasons for her suicide. From the cassettes, Clay gets to know and feel the pain Hannah that went through. he finds out how, unintentionally, a bunch of people including himself led to her taking her own life.
About The Author:

Jay Asher is a 39-year old famous American author who is popular for his teen novels. He went to college in Cuesta Community College, where he wrote two children's books for a class called Children's Literature Appreciation. These were his first attempts at writing and though he had decided to become an elementary school teacher, he later made up his mind to become a professional writer.
A few of the books he has authored and coauthored are the Future of Us, Positive: A Memoir, Love in Progress, Brighton Beach Murder and Gay Experiences 4 Short Stories, 4 Plays. Jay Asher has been married to Joan Marie since 2002.

Author’s Social Media Links: Twitter|Blog




Review:

I read 13 Reasons Why a long time ago and never really got around to reviewing the book. This was mainly because I have just been too caught up with my own little world, trying to come up with the perfect story. When I reminded that no story is actually perfect. And with every story I read, I seem to lose a piece of my soul. I don’t quite remember how to stumbled across the YA genre but it’s a genre I can never outgrow. Even if I pick up novels targeted at adults, I will always keep coming back to this genre.

If I remember correctly I read 13 Reasons Why almost two years ago, when I first got my Nook Book and I decided that I simply had to binge watch the novels that had been suggested by my fellow bookworm, Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay.

I loved the concept of using a cassette player because that was something which we’d grown up with. Somehow the whole impact of story would have been lost had Hannah tried to record podcasts. I loved how the whole story takes place over the course of one night and in that one night, Clay’s perspective of the classmate on whom he had had harbored a crush is completely destroyed and build back up again.

The book reinforces the idea that it is very easy to kick someone when they’re already down and that to group together and bully someone isn’t an act of bravery. It’s an act of completely cowardice. It touches upon important subjects such as teen suicide and how one of the leading factors of this decision is peer pressure and bullying: both mental and physical.
It is a very well told tale and it has been picked up my Netflix to be made into a 13-episode series. Given that it is called, 13 Reasons Why, I’m very excited to see it. Aren’t you?
In case you have not read this book yet, do pick it up! You don’t be disappointed but you will be heartbroken for quite some time.



The Reading Habits Book Tag

I was tagged by BHAKTI MOTTA of My world, My Words for this book tag and now I’m finally getting around to completing it! J



1. Do you have a certain place at home for reading?

I usually read in my bed, surrounded by my cats and listening to gentle music. These days it’s a lot of Owl City and Ed Sheeran.

2. Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Whichever I find first! :P

3. Can you just stop reading or do you have to stop after a chapter/ a certain amount of pages?

I can just stop reading. When you live with cats, you learn to function in ways you never thought was possible!

4. Do you eat or drink while reading?

I drink tea while reading. Or milkshakes or hot chocolate. I cannot eat and read at the same time for some joy.

5. Multitasking: Music or TV while reading?

Music is complimentary. TV is distracting. Because the book is always playing a movie inside your head.

6. One book at a time or several at once?

One book at a time…but I can literally read books back-to-back with just half an hour of breathing space.

7. Reading at home or everywhere?

Everywhere.

8. Reading out loud or silently in your head?

Silently in my head. Unless it’s something I’m writing. Then I read it out loud.

9. Do you read ahead or even skip pages?

I skip the parts that put me to sleep.

10. Breaking the spine or keeping it like new?

If I like the book, I tend to re-read it several times and end up breaking the spine.

11. Do you write in your books?

Ummm. No. It reminds me too much of school.

12. Who do you tag?


No one. Because no one ever attempts the tags…if you want to do it, let me know and I’ll tag you. 

Promo post: My Last Love Story



About the Book:
Perfect for fans of Jojo Moyes’s, Me Before You, My Last Love Story is a heartbreakingly romantic tale about the complexities of trauma and whether love can right a wrong.

I, Simeen Desai, am tired of making lemonade with the lemons life has handed me.

Love is meant to heal wounds.
Love was meant to make my world sparkle and spin.
Love has ripped my life apart and shattered my soul. 

I love my husband, and he loves me.
But Nirvaan is dying.
I love my husband. I want to make him happy.
But he is asking for the impossible. 

I don’t want a baby.
I don’t want to make nice with Zayaan.
I don’t want another chance at another love story. 




Book Links:

Playlist

Dear Reader, music and mood goes together—for most people, I think. Every novel I write has its own playlist, which would be a combination of songs that I listen to on repeat to set the right mood for the scene, or, the song could simply be the latest hit on the charts that got stuck in my head. Here are the songs I listened to the most while writing My Last Love Story. It’s a short list, as this book really did not need external factors to get me in the “write” mood. ;) Enjoy!

Tum Hi Ho from - movie Ashiqui 2


Sunn Raha Hai Na Tu – movie Ashiqui 2


Baby Don’t Lie – Gwen Stefani




Read an Excerpt:


Dear Readers, thank you for coming along on the My Last Love Story Blog Tour. Here’s an excerpt to enjoy.

ONE

“Love is a dish best served naked.”
As a child, those oft-quoted words of my father would have me rolling my eyes and pretending to gag at what I’d imagined was my parents’ precursor to a certain physical act. 
At thirty, I’d long ago realized that getting naked wasn’t a euphemism for sex. 
Neither was love.
It wasn’t my father wording the meme just now but my husband. Nirvaan considered himself a great wit, a New Age philosopher. On the best of days, he was, much like Daddy had been. On the worst days, he was my tormentor. 
“What do you think, Dr. Archer? Interesting enough tagline for a vlog? What about ‘Baby in a Petri Dish’?” Nirvaan persisted in eliciting a response from the doctor and/or me for his ad hoc comedy, which we’d been ignoring for several minutes now.
I wanted to glare at him, beg him to shut up, or demand that he wait in the doctor’s office like he should’ve done, like a normal husband would have. Khodai knows why he’d insisted on holding my hand through this preliminary checkup. Nothing of import would happen today—if it did at all. But I couldn’t perform any such communication, not with my eyes and mouth squeezed shut while I suffered through a series of uncomfortable twinges along my nether regions. 
I lay flat on my back on a spongy clinic bed sheeted with paper already wrinkled and half torn. Legs drawn up and spread apart, my heels dug punishingly into cold iron stirrups to allow my gynecologist’s clever fingers to reach inside my womb and check if everything was A-OK in there. We’d already funneled through the Pap test and stomach and chest checks. Like them, this test, too, was going swell in light of Dr. Archer’s approving happy hums. 
“Excellent, Mrs. Desai. All parts are where they should be,” he joked only as a doctor could.
I shuddered out the breath I’d been holding, as the feeling of being stretched left my body. Nirvaan squeezed my hand and planted a smacking kiss on my forehead. I opened my eyes and focused on his beaming upside-down ones. His eyelids barely grew lashes anymore—I’d counted twenty-seven in total just last week—the effect of years of chemotherapy. For a second, my gaze blurred, my heart wavered, and I almost cried. 
What are we doing, Nirvaan? What in Khodai’s name were we starting?
Nirvaan stroked my hair, his pitch-black pupils steady and knowing and oh-so stubborn. Then, his face rose to the stark white ceiling, and all I saw was the green-and-blue mesh of his gingham shirt—the overlapping threads, the crisscross weaves, a pattern without end. 
Life is what you make it, child. It was another one of my father’s truisms.
Swallowing the questions twirling on my tongue, I refocused my mind on why we were here. I’d promised Nirvaan we’d try for a baby if he agreed to another round of cancer-blasting treatments. I’d bartered for a few more months of my husband’s life. He’d bartered for immortality through our child.
Dr. Archer rolled away from between my legs to the computer station. He snapped off and disposed of the latex gloves. Then, he began typing notes in near-soundless staccato clicks. Though the examination was finished, I knew better than to sit up until he gave me leave. I’d been here before, done this before—two years ago when Nirvaan had been in remission and the idea of having a baby had wormed its way into his head. We’d tried the most basic procedures then, whatever our medical coverage had allowed. We hadn’t been desperate yet to use our own money, which we shouldn’t be touching even now. We needed every penny we had for emergencies and alternative treatments, but try budging my husband once he’d made up his mind.
“I’m a businessman, Simi. I only pour money into a sure thing,” he rebuked when I argued.
I brought my legs together, manufacturing what poise and modesty I could, and pulled the sea-green hospital gown bunched beneath my bottom across my half-naked body. I refused to look at my husband as I wriggled about, positive his expression would be pregnant with irony, if not fully smirking. And kudos to him for not jumping in to help me like I would have. 
The tables had turned on us today. For the past five years, it’d been Nirvaan thrashing about on hospital beds, trying in vain to find relief and comfort, modesty or release. Nirvaan had been poked, prodded, sliced, and bled as he battled aggressive non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. I’d been the stoic spectator, the supportive wife, the incompetent nurse, the ineffectual lover. 
And now? What role would I play now?
As always, thinking about our life left me feeling even more naked than I was in the open-fronted robe. I turned my face to the wall, my eyes stinging, as fear and frustration bubbled to the surface. Flesh-toned posters of laughing babies, pregnant mothers, and love-struck fathers hung from the bluish walls. Side by side were the more educative ones of human anatomy, vivisected and whole. The test-tube-like exam room of Monterey Bay Fertility Clinic was decorated in true California beach colors—sea-foam walls, sandy floors, pearl-pink curtains, and furniture—bringing the outdoors in. If the decor was meant to be homey, it wasn’t having such an effect on me. This room, like this town and even this country, was not my natural habitat, and I felt out of my element in it. 
I’d lived in California for seven years now, ever since my marriage, and I still didn’t think of it as home, not like Nirvaan did. Home for me was India. And no matter the dark memories it held, home would always be Surat.
“All done.” Dr. Archer pushed the computer trolley away and stood up. “You can get dressed, Mrs. Desai. Take your time. Use whatever supplies you need. We’ll wait for you in my office,” he said, smiling. 
Finally, I can cover myself, I thought. Gooseflesh had erupted across my skin due to the near frigid clinic temperatures doctors tortured their patients with—like a patient didn’t have enough to suffer already. Medical facilities maintained cool indoor temperatures to deter inveterate germs from contaminating the premises and so its vast flotilla of equipment didn’t fry. I knew that. But knowing it still didn’t inspire any warm feelings in me for the “throng of professional sadists with a god complex.” I quoted my husband there. 
Nirvaan captured my attention with a pat on my head. “See you soon, baby,” he said, following the doctor out of the room. 
I scooted off the bed as soon as the door shut behind them. My hair tumbled down my face and shoulders at my jerky movements. I smoothed it back with shaking hands. Long, wavy, and a deep chestnut shade, my hair was my crowning glory, my one and only feature that was lush and arresting. Nirvaan loved my hair. I wasn’t to cut it or even braid it in his presence, and so it often got hopelessly knotted. 
I shrugged off the clinic gown, balled it up, and placed it on the bed. I wiped myself again and again with antiseptic wipes, baby wipes, and paper towels until the tissues came away stain-free. I didn’t feel light-headed. I didn’t allow myself to freak. I concentrated on the flow of my breaths and the pounding of my heart until they both slowed to normal. 
It was okay. I was not walking out with a gift-wrapped baby in tow. Not today. No reason to freak out.
I reached for my clothes and slipped on my underwear. They were beige with tiny white hearts on them—Victoria’s Secret lingerie Nirvaan had leered and whistled at this morning. 
Such a silly man. Typical Nirvaan, I corrected, twisting my lips. 
Even after dressing in red-wash jeans and a full-sleeved sweater, I shivered. My womb still felt invaded and odd. As I stepped into my red patent leather pumps, an unused Petri dish sitting on the workstation countertop caught my eye. 
The trigger for Nirvaan’s impromptu comedy, perhaps? 
Despite major misgivings about the Hitleresque direction my life had taken, humor got the better of me, and I grinned. 
Silly, silly Nirvaan. Baby in a Petri dish, indeed.


About the Author:


Falguni Kothari is an internationally bestselling hybrid author and an amateur Latin and Ballroom dance silver medalist with a background in Indian Classical dance. She writes in a variety of genres sewn together by the colorful threads of her South Asian heritage and expat experiences. When not writing or dancing, she fools around on all manner of social media, and loves to connect with her readers. My Last Love Story is her fourth novel.







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