The Alchemist

The AlchemistThe Alchemist was written by Paulo Coelho. He was born in Brazil and has become one of the most famous writers in the world.

The Alchemist is a magical story of a boy named Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd who travels in search of a treasure. The boy was kind-hearted and loved to travel. So he decided to become a shepherd. He started his journey with his sheep. He got to know about a hidden treasure in Egyptian pyramids. He encountered a lot of disappointments and he decided that he would never again believe in dreams. But he was inspired by many people during his search for the treasure to reach his destination, a king, a merchant, an Englishman and an alchemist. He was discouraged by many things during his journey, but he overcame all the problems with confidence, hard work and dedication. At last he reached his destination.

It is an inspiring story that tells us that each one should have a dream driven life and destination. Driven by this dream we should go in search of our destination. If we are passionate enough to work to achieve our dream, the whole universe will conspire to help us achieve it.

This book was a tremendous inspiration for me. I am confident now that I can create my destiny if I start working hard to achieve my dream.

Archana Tommy





If it’s not forever

If it's not foreverDurjoy Data is an Indian author graduated from Delhi College of Engineering and had his PGDBM in marketing from Management Development Institute. He has founded Grapevine India Publishers.

Nikita Singh, the co author, graduated in Pharmacy in June 2012 and relocated to Ranchi. She currently works as an editor at Grapevine, India and continues to be a prolific writer.

At the beginning the author gets into the details of a real incident which had taken place in Delhi High Court a bomb blast in September,2011 from which  this story “if it’s not forever” is loosely inspired.

It’s the story of Deb, a writer cum publisher, whose life changes dramatically. He was amongst the people when the blast took place but miraculously escaped . After that incident he turned out to be emotionally weak with the unforgettable images of people dead and haunting thoughts. He revisited the blast site and founded a half-burnt diary which was written by someone  with RD as initials ,who was possibly  dead. He realized that it was the unspoken words of a dead man who never confessed his love to Ragini (the girl he truly loved). Deb strangely felt that it was his responsibility to tell Ragini about RD. when Deb and Shrey were on a road trip, Avantika and Tiya unknowingly join them. Will   everybody meet Ragini? Is RD really dead? Where will all of them end up?

The story evokes a lot of emotions like sadness, love, importance of life, determination, true love, anger, and shock. Overall the novel is worth reading.

Vishnupriya N



Vampire Diaries – The Awakening

Vampire Diaries - The AwakeningLisa Jane Smith who was professionally known as L.J.Smith  was born on 4th September 1965 in Fort Lauderdale,Florida. She is an American author of the Young Adult literature.Her books contain the elements of genres about the super natural, horror, science fiction/fantasy and romance.Her books such as “THE VAMPIRE DIARIES” and the “NIGHT WORLD” series have been in the NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING and have been nominated for FAVORITE BOOK awards.

The opening pages of this volume depict Elena, the heroine of this story who has returned home after her European vacation. She is a golden-haired girl and a leader who is quiet determined. Stephen on the other hand is a hero and a mysterious new boy who joined high school in that year. Elena gets attracted to him. She employs different strategies to get his attention but fails. The awakening ends with a moral touch that Elena cannot get everything in life.  

There is a superficial similarity between Stephenie Meyer’s  Twilight and L.J.Smith’s awakening. It explains the same story saying that a girl meets a vampire boy who is totally attractive and posh and falls in love with him. Overall, The Awakening lacks the lush of romanticism of Twilight.

I liked the story of “The Awakening” because of the characters and wild woods, the old graveyard, the Wickery Bridge, and the ruined Fells church which added colour to the story.





Last Man in Tower

Last Man in TowerLast man in tower, yet another novel from the Man booker prize winning author of ‘The White Tiger’, Aravind Adiga. It is set up in the modern Mumbai. Written in 2011 and published by Harper Collins Publishers (Noida), Last man in tower is a tale of an old, retired teacher Mr. Yogesh Murthy and his fight with a builder, with his neighbours and the society at large.

 It is the story of an old man and his right to freedom. The plot revolves around the people of the Vishram society. It is the story of one man refusing to leave his home in the face of property development.  The author has used simple language. He has clearly and smartly described the way in which Masterji’s arrogant and uncompromising attitude costs him his life. He is killed by his own neighbours of more than 2 decades. But frankly speaking he was right in his decision to not vacate his home because of his sentimental attachment to it. It was the home in which he had spent his whole life with his family and it was the home in which his wife and his daughter breathed their last breath.

Thus we see that how law and justice and not Masterji being murdered in the novel. Just like his first novel ‘The White Tiger’, Aravind Adiga has also ended the story of Last man in Tower with a crime, with a murder. Somewhere or the other I feel that Adiga tries to link prosperity and development with crimes. He tries to prove in both his novels (I haven’t read the third one-‘Between the assassinations’, so am not sure about its ending) that without taking the wrong path, a man can never become rich. According to Adiga, a man must indulge in some sort of illegal and immoral activity to earn name, fame and rupees.

As a youngster reading this book I feel that Adiga has failed to add some “masala” in the story to entertain the readers. Nevertheless, the book is a complete package of emotions, corruption, crime and money. It is quite a good book and I would rate it at 3.5 out of 5. J J





Folk Tales from India

Folk Tales From IndiaFolktales from  India is an enchanting  collection of one hundred and eight tales translated from twenty two different languages, selected and edited by A.K Ramanujan. To break the monotony of reading the same kind of story, the tales are arranged in eleven cyclic sessions with each consisting of eight to eleven tales.

Delicate floral motives and small sketches not only break the monotony but also add colourful life to the collection. The narrator Ramanujan illustrates the heterogeneity of Indian society and its oral folklore tradition. He has collected tales of different regions which fall into seven basic catalogues male, female family centered, concerning fate, the super natural, humorous, and animal tales. The tales contain rich variety of human emotions, close family ties and childhood fantasies. The characters in tales like prince disguised as beggar, talking animals, rogue, story tellers, wise counselors, foolish kings, Brahmins, old women, merchant all of these inhabit a fabulous world, yet one firmly grounded in everyday life. The tales does not contain any comments or notes by the narrator which allows the readers to feel the folk tales without interruption . This is a must read one for all generation.



The Sands of Time

The Sands of TimeSidney Sheldon was an Oscar-winning writer who became world famous for his later career as a writer of best-selling novels. At his best, Mr. Sheldon was considered a master storyteller whose novels were known for their meticulous research, swift pacing, lush settings and cliffhanging chapters.

Set in Spain the story talks of the revolutionary times in Spain history where war between the rebels and the government takes place and state of unrest and violence prevails. Four nuns of a Cistercian convent there finds their fates mixed with those of a group of terrorists (freedom fighters) led by Jaime Mairo and the story is all about their fates in the end.

It has been entertaining read throughout. The book can be described as a true novel with mixed feelings and emotions throughout and as the title aptly describes, events and feelings and their change with time.
A problem I had noticed was that each character had a flashback to him/her and it becomes difficult to match the characters with their flashback as the story progresses.

There have been wonderful situations in the book which creates all kinds of feelings and conflicts in your mind and it has all the drama and romance required of a novel too.

Akshatha Shastry S



Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit

Jeeves & the Feudal SpiritJeeves and the feudal Spirit, written by Pelham Greenville Wodehouse, a British humorist and a novelist whose body of work includes poems, plays, short stories, lyrics and various pieces of journalism. His style of writing is an intriguing blend of London Club room slang and sophisticated drawing room English. His vast career of almost seventy years earned him a Knighthood from the British Empire. An annual prize-The Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse- is given to the foremost comic writers, which as the name suggests acknowledges the author as well as propagates his style of writing.

Jeeves and the feudal spirit is the seventh installment of the hilarious novels featuring Bertram Wooster and his Valet Jeeves. Written and based in the early 1900’s it is set partly in London pre-war, and post industrialization, a blissful time for the aristocrats.

The author does not leave out any opportunity to create a funny situation, always leading to an entertaining climax where everything seems to go wrong thus ensuing hilarity. Although this does not reflect the actual war time situation the writer experienced, his intent is to distract his readers from the gloomy reality.

Like all Wodehouse stories, it guarantees light even in the darkest hours. And the assured happy ending is the defining feature which gives the reader a fairytale like experience, making it all the more memorable.

The book neither relates to any current issues nor does it raise any enlightening questions but what it does ensure, is to have you rolling the floor laughing. The unique combination of the wit and the lovable obliviousness of the protagonist make Bertie Wooster a character one can relate to. Jeeves on the other hand is inseparable from his master, solving all his seemingly difficult problems. Written in the third person the story gives the reader a sense of belonging in the otherwise stiff upper lip London society.

Jeeves and the feudal spirit is a definite ‘should read’ for readers of all ages, even though old British humour is an acquired taste, it does leave a lingering sense of happiness in ones mind. Recommended for all who require a little sunlight and warmth in their lives.

Suhitha Bysani