The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish – A book review

The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish – A book review

As soon as I had the chance, I jumped at the chance of reading The Justice when I heard it was a book based on a true survivor of rape and sexual abuse. Did it work for me? You have to read my book review of The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish to know more.

About The Justice

The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish book review

Book Name: The Justice

Author: Nikhil Khasnabish

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Ime Borah, Zumur, Pranati and Pinto, Uddipan

Setting: Assam, India

Disclaimer: The review was commissioned by the author and it has not changed my opinion on the book any manner.

Plot Summary of The Justice

Ime Borah has had a sheltered and happy life. A parents who loved her, supportive friends and a fiancé who can’t wait to marry her.

But her whole life changes when she is raped by two men. Her parents do not let her out of their sight or their house and her best friend broke up with her. Most importantly, Ime decides to call off her wedding because she knows “she is stained”.

Her area’s local vigilante group, Save Women Society, take it upon themselves to find her rapists. Does justice prevail? Do the culprits get captured? Does she get her life back forms the rest of The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish.

Book review of The Justice

The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish is a fast paced, short book that can be read in an hour or so. It is written in an Indianized English and is filled with phrases like “cut the call”.

To be honest, I spent a lot of time thinking if it was just me or it was normal to feel grated by that but I have been called a snob. So take my warning with a pinch of salt.

But one thing that actually annoyed me was Ime’s constant beratement of herself and considering herself stained because she is raped. While I understand that the rape victims may do that, I could feel that it was overdone.

I know I maybe overreacting (or underreacting, I have not decided which yet), but this has theme has been on the Indian mass media and literature for far too long. It is high time we put an end to it.

I liked some of the background stories of the side characters like Sirco-ji. But after a point, these became a white noise as there were too many to recount.

I wished I saw more of Uddipan, instead of just hearing from Ime to understand about their relationship better. Like most parts of the book, I had go by the author’s narrative telling, instead of him showing it.

What worked for me

  • I loved hearing about the stories of other side characters from Assam, a state that I have a soft corner for.
  • Many people I know, may love reading the localized/Indianized version of English.

What may have been better

  • There were many instances of telling instead of showing. And that bothered with the narrative.
  • I hated the victim shaming and treating being raped as a stain and considering the victim worthless after that.

Content warning

Brutal rape, mentions of stalking and raping the victims, Victim shaming and considering being raped an indelible stain, cases of “men writing women”.

Bottom line

The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish is a short book that you can finish in a sitting. Read it if you are looking for an “Indian writing in English” book.

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The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish – A book review

Boy Who Steals Houses, The by CG Drew – A book review

I seriously don’t know why and how had I not read this book earlier. I loved the author’s debut book A Thousand Perfect Notes, and I absolutely adore Cait’s (the author) blog. So what’s my verdict on this one? Read my book review on The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drew to find out.

Boy Who Steals Houses book cover

About The Boy Who Steals Houses

Book Name: The Boy Who Steals Houses

Author: C G Drew

Genre: Fiction – RomanceYoung adult

Characters: Sam and Avery Lou, Moxie, Jack, Jeremy De Lainey

Plot Summary of The Boy Who Steals Houses

15 year old Sam Lou is a homeless teenager, who breaks into empty houses just to find somewhere safe to sleep. He and his older brother Avery have been on the run for sometime now.

All through his life, Sam has been the adult and takes care of Avery, who is on the Autism spectrum. When all the adults in their family fail, Sam had to grow up too quickly and all he ever wanted was a safe home where he belonged with Avery.

But when Avery falls into a bad crowd, Sam is left all alone to fend himself. When he breaks into an “empty house” he realizes what he has been missing all these days.

Does he have to choose between feeling belonged to a family and Avery? If yes, what would he choose? You might have to read The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drew to know more.

Book review of The Boy Who Steals Houses

This book will break your heart. Do not come at me when you are a mess trying not to cry – but in a good way.

I absolutely adored every character and I wanted to protect Sam and Avery from any harm ever. And there will be a warm and sunshine-y place for the DeLaineys in my heart forever.

I was a bit worried about how The Boy Who Steals Houses would ever stand up to the expectations that C G Drew had created after her fantastic debut A Thousand Perfect Notes. But the author has proved her worth and it does more than expected.

This book is not too long and I finished in two short sittings. I can understand that it was written for a younger audience but that fact didn’t reduce the pleasure I had reading the book.

What worked for me

  • The characters. I love how fleshed out each of them were and I loved them all.
  • I love the world building and the lyrical writing. C G Drew proves that she is YA writer we all have to watch out for.
  • Though written for a younger audience, The Boy Who Steals Houses will work for all ages well.
  • It is an own voice book and the author herself is on the Autism spectrum. And I think it shows.

What may have been better


Content warning

Child abuse and Parental negligence, death of parent, ablest terms

Bottom line

The Boy Who Steals Houses by C G Drew is easily one of the favorite books of the year. Pick it up if you are looking some heart warming characters right away.

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The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish – A book review

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert – A book review

It has been a while since I have loved a book unconditionally and I am glad that I heeded to everyone raving about Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert. Go on to read my book review to see what worked for me.

About Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a life, Chloe Brown book review cover

Book Name: Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Author: Talia Hibbert

Genre: Fiction – Romance

Characters: Chloe Brown, Redford “Red” Morgan

Setting: Nottinghamshire, England, The UK

Plot Summary of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Chloe Brown just had a close brush with death which made her reassess her life choices. She moves out of her loving family home and “get a life”. She makes a list of things that she wants to do, whatever her chronic pain and fibromyalgia might allow her to do.

Redford “Red” Morgan is done with all the posh and society life in London, and content with being a building superintendent and painting for himself. He is hurt and hesitant to let in anyone, especially those remind him of his ex.

When they two meet, they dislike each other almost immediately. They dislike what the other embodies and do not hesitate to show their disapproval.

Does Chloe get a life and do they give each other a chance form the rest of the story in Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert.

Book review of Get a Life, Chloe Brown

Get a Life, Chloe Brown is my first Talia Hibbert book and I enjoyed every page of it.

Chloe is an absolute delight to read about. She loves her family but is mildly annoyed that they are over protective. She understands her health issues and her shortcomings. But instead of letting it define her, she understands what works and what doesn’t for her.

Reading how harmful an emotionally abusive relationship can be, from a male’s point of view was eye opening. Seeing how it changed Red was heartbreaking and so well written and he has become one of my favorite fictional male leads in a long time.

I loved how the author made her characters equally vulnerable and strong. Most of adult romances make one of their leads strong and the other vulnerable, and they become codependent. But neither of them do that in Get a Life, Chloe Brown.

I can’t wait to read about the Brown sisters in Talia Hibbert’s other books.

What worked for me

  • Both Red and Chloe have strong personalities and they are both hurt. I loved how independent, yet vulnerable they both were.
  • Talia Hibbert’s witty writing had me laughing loud at so many places. And she was as sensitive and respectful when she handled the emotional issues. She will definitely be one of my favorite authors of the year!
  • Representation matters. I do not have chronic illness, nor do I fall into any other category that these characters represent. But I have so many people on the Bookstagram and from the blogging world who say they felt represented.

What may have been better


Content warning

Chronic pain and fibromyalgia, Emotional abuse and gaslighting, PG sexual content

Bottom line

Get a Life, Chloe Brown by Talia Hibbert is a well written contemporary romance with wonderful characters that will stay with you even after you finish reading it. Plus one for the diverse (fat, Black) representations!

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The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish – A book review

Sadie by Courtney Summers- A book review

How do you choose between an engaging plot and a compelling writing, if you can have only one of them? Tough call, right? Welcome to my hell and with that thought in your mind let us review Sadie by Courtney Summers.

About the book

Cover Sadie by Courtney Summers

Book Name: Sadie

Author: Courtney Summers

Genre: Fiction – Thriller, Young Adult

Characters: Sadie and Mattie Hunter

Setting: ColoradoThe USA

The plot

Sadie and Mattie knew what it is to be left to fend for themselves, and as an elder sister Sadie had always been hard Mattie to protect her from the world as she knew it. But when Mattie is found dead and no one would help them, Sadie had to take things in her own hands in finding out who did that to her.

But then Sadie went missing too. The consensus was she went chasing her sister’s killer and no one knows anything about it.

Now, over a year after Mattie’s body was found, West McCray is hosting an investigative reporting podcast called The Girls and attempts to solve the case of Mattie’s death (and finding Sadie) by following Sadie’s journey.

Where does this investigation unearth? Did Sadie find the killer? Does it ends well for the team and Sadie? Well, you will have to read Sadie by Courtney Summers to know more.

My initial thoughts

The book Sadie follows two narratives – the podcast by West McCray in the present day (which hooked me in right from the minute go) and Sadie’s point of view, which didn’t work for me.

Sure there were a lot of sad things happening and there are characters that are super interesting. But somehow I never felt engrossed in Sadie’s narrative nor it impacted me, as much as it should have.

Do not get me wrong, the plot itself was just interesting and predictable. And I am ok with that, but the point that the storyline was not engaging me emotionally was a huge let down for me.

But the author’s compelling writing style kept me involved until the end. Talking of the ending, it may not work for all, some may feel disappointed even, but for me worked so well.

What I loved the most about Sadie was the characters, that were well developed and had so much depth. Be it Sadie’s stuttering and her intense need to be protective of her sister, or Mattie’s naivete or hopefulness, made me root for their turbulent relationship.

Sadie deals with hard and intense subjects like sexual abuse, pedophilia and child pornography, abandonment and neglect by parents. But Ms Summers has done a great job in keeping it still appropriate for a young adult audience (well, the upper limits of YA/NA) as well as adults.

What worked for me

  • I loved Summers’ compelling and readable writing style.
  • The characters and their detailing were perfect. I loved the multi faceted characters.
  • One more round of applause for not making it gory with details about the rape/murder/pedophilia issues, given that its YA or NA audience.
  • Despite that it might have been hit or miss, I personally loved the ending. In fact, I would have been disappointed if it would have ended any other way, having read the current ending.

What may have been better

  • I wish the storyline was more engaging and emotionally involving me.

Bottom line

If you are looking a young/new adult thriller with an interesting premise, Sadie might be a good pick. Just heed to the warning about the subject matter, especially if you are younger by age and heart.

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The Justice by Nikhil Khasnabish – A book review

Normal People by Sally Rooney – A book review

Have you read a book that makes you an emotional fur ball and then climaxes with an open ending? Do you love or hate such a book? Let us talk about Normal People by Sally Rooney, shall we?

About the book

Normal People By Sally Rooney Book cover

Book Name: Normal People

Author: Sally Rooney

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Marienne and Alan, and their mother Denise Sheridan , Connel and Lorrainne

Setting: Ireland

The plot

Normal People begins with Marianne and Connell as teenagers who are from different social backgrounds attending the same school. Connell’s mother works in Marianne’s mansion. Connell is kind of the popular jock at school while Marianne is ostracized and is rather invisible.

They begin a sexual relationship but later puts an end to it, because Connell doesn’t want his friends to know about it. When they enter University, their roles reverse. Now Marianne’s intelligence and wit wins her friends while Connell feels so out of it and gradually slips into depression.

Their on/off romance continues and they lean on each other time and again, whatever their romantic entanglements were then. Did they end up with each other forms the rest of Normal People by Sally Rooney.

My initial thoughts

As I was saying earlier, Normal People made an emotional wreck of me. I rarely get affected so much by a book that I had to stop take catch a few breathes while I am reading. This book did that to me.

The plot as such is not anything that we have not read earlier nor very intriguing. But it is the writing and characters that made me come back for more, repeatedly. The protagonists felt so real that made me reach out to an old time friend, just to ask if they were doing fine. We all were normal people, once.

Flawed characters that are deep and emotionally broken? Sign me up. Her penchant towards self destruction and his gradual slipping into depression hurt me viscerally.

The only issue I had was not being able to understand why Marienne’s family hated her so much or some kind of background about it. Every time she felt unworthy and mistook abuse as love based on her family, especially the men, my heart broke.

I loved the social commentary parts in the book as much as inner thoughts of the characters.

What worked for me

  • CHARACTERS. Such deep, flawed and real characters.
  • I love plot-less plots, if you get what I mean. Character and angst driven plots are the best and Rooney did a great job at that.
  • This might be a make or break thing, but for me, the open ending seemed like a perfect finish to Normal People.

What may have been better

  • I wanted to know more about Marienne’s family and their treatment towards her. How and why would they?
  • Some readers may have an issue with the style of Rooney’s writing. Trust me you will get used to it in a bit.

Bottom line

If you are interested to read a character driven plot that will affect you emotionally, Normal People should be your pick. Normal People by Sally Rooney deserves all the praise and accolades it has been getting. I am definitely reading more from Rooney in future.

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