Book review: Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Book review: Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Have you ever wished that you got a sign from the universe regarding a decision or how the things would go? I know I have. While you might believe in astrology and zodiac signs or not, but I am sure getting these signs would make life lot more simpler right? Kalyani gets such a foresighted friend to guide her through the turbulent times of her life, in Bend Your Knees Do Your Best. Intrigued? Read on.

About the book

Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Book Name: Bend Your Knees Do Your Best

Author:  Kalyani

Genre: Fiction – Drama

Characters: Kalyani, Hiranya, Viji, Gautam

Setting: Bangalore, India

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


Kalyani has almost everything that the woman of her age can only dream of from her life – financial security,  parents who have finally made peace with her idea of being single for live and more than all a good career. She has a long standing friendship with the demon king Hiranyakashyap, a mentor and a guide to her God less life.  Bend Your Knees Do Your Best follows Kalyani’s quest to attain her dream, flavored with office drama and politics.

Her life plan goes for a toss when she was handed over the list of people she has to lay off. She faces the prospect of being laid off, her stomach cramps that threatens to be cancerous and her goal to buy a house in Bangalore seems more distant than ever. And to top it all, she suspects ‘a friend’ is sending her daily psychic gyans to solve her mid life crisis.

Bend Your Knees Do Your Best deals with a plot that any person who has worked in the corporate world would relate to. Despite the lighter and snarky note that the writer has chosen to tread through, Bend Your Knees Do Your Best delves into serious topics and asks the reader several soul searching questions.

Things that worked for me

  • I loved the nick names Kalyani had for her colleagues based on their characteristics and how they all tied up at the  end. 
  • I totally dug the relationship between Kalyani, Hiranya and God. I think most of my favorite quotes from this part. 

Things that didn’t work for me

  • While I loved the writing in most places and it had me chuckling or rolling my eyes at the typical Indian mentality, getting through the 500+ pages was hard especially the parts where the protagonist seemed to over think and ramble on.
  • Of course the witty lines helped greatly but on the whole a stricter editing would have made Bend Your Knees Do Your Best so much better than what it is already.

Bottom – line

If you are one is us who have ‘Monday Blues’ and dread walking into your work place every morning, then Bend Your Knees Do Your Best is a book that will get you to chuckle out aloud.

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Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

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Do you suffer from Monday Blues? How do you chase them off? Have you read any such books? Let us chat!

Book review: Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Review Shots: A cocktail of travelogue, dystopian thriller and a dash of geekiness

You all know I turned out fairly ‘nice’ on Santa’s meter this festive season. But I realized there are quite a number of books that I have accumulated under the ‘to-be-reviewed’ shelf and I finally decided that it is high time I caught up with them.

And since it seems like a Herculean task, I have come up with a way around – bite-size reviews. In this month’s review shots, I have three books that I read sometime in the mid of 2016. Don’t judge me, I was in a blogging slump then.

Book Name: Fast Cars & Fidgety Feet

Author: Rishad Saam Mehta

Genre: Non-Fiction – Travel

Review Shots

Everybody has a dream job. Yes, sadly Netflixing and eating potato chips on the couch is not a job. But what if on a random day, an ad for your dream job lands on your lap, figuratively, what would you do? Would you drop everything and apply it? Or chicken out. That was just a rhetorical question, do not answer.

That’s what exactly happened to the author when he found an advertisement in a newspaper for a job in the automobile magazine. He now lives his dream by keeping up with his interest in driving cars and feet that wanted to travel all around the world. Fast Cars & Fidgety Feet is a nonfiction written by Rishad telling us tales of his misadventures while traveling around the world. There are a few funny anecdotes that you might enjoy.

Final thought: Perfect for a Sunday afternoon read.

Recommended to: Travel book aficionados

Book Name: Dvarca

Author: Madhav Mathur

Genre: Fiction – Dystopian, thriller

Review Shots

Setting: India

As it says on its back over, this book can be the perfect mix of ‘1984 and Meluha series’. Dvarca is a dystopian fiction set in the 22nd century where the Indian nation is governed by a single religion called Navmarg. The State watches every move of the citizens, controlling their schedules including their sleep and food habits. It chooses their life partner, when and how to procreate as well. And anyone who didn’t fall in line was considered outcasts and stranded without benefits. Reminds you a bit of the Handmaid’s tale eh?

Oh, everything is not so gloomy, erm.. as long as you are not outcasts, most things work perfectly in the nation though. Each person is given a task according to their ability, the children are trained at what was required for their chosen lives. The nation represents what could be achieved with a great leader with a vision. Dvarca might be a little difficult to get into initially but it gets gripping as it can be. Be warned of the cliffhanger though.

Final thought: A dystopian nightmare.

Recommended to: Indian mythology lovers

Book Name: The Geek’s Guide to Dating

Author: Eric Smith

Genre: Non Fiction

Review Shots

The Geek’s Guide to Dating is targeted at a particular audience which unfortunately is not me and that brought the fun a notch down for me. Now that we got out of the way, this book is quite a hoot to read. Okay, let me break it up to you – dating is no rocket science and you might have heard all these advice earlier elsewhere. Even if some of the geek jokes went over your head, as it did for me, it was still funny.

Also, you should be ready to overlook the fact that the book addressed only geeky guys seeking girls, geeky or otherwise. See why I am never gonna be the correct audience?

Final thought: A quirky entertainer.

Recommended to: Geeky men; people who need a laugh.

Let us chat

Have you read any of these books? Should I continue doing shots, I mean these review shots, or should stick to the lengthier formats? Let me know in the comments section.

Book review: Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Book review: Second Chance

Why are some people rude to people without thinking twice? Do they realize the effects of their actions on others’ lives? Do they know they are hurting, belittling and may even pushing the other person to the edge?

And most of importantly, would they change their behavior towards other people if they were given a Second Chance?

About the book

Second Chance

Book Name: Second Chance

Author: Sandeep Jatwa

Genre: Fiction – Drama; Paranormal

Characters: Shekhar Kappor, Unnati Sharma, Manohar, Kailash

Setting: India

Disclaimer: Thanks to V Influencers for sending me the free copy of the Kindle edition in exchange of an honest review.


The story begins with Shekhar Kapoor, a business tycoon and the owner of Aerowalk Shoes receiving a strange telephone call from ‘the city of justice’ warning him to change his behavior and to be a better person. He ignores it presuming it was a prank call and continues to live his life.

Shekhar Kapoor is the stereotypical businessman who would do anything to get whatever he wishes for. He holds a grudge against his paralyzed father for decades now. He does everything to make sure the lives of people he doesn’t like a hell and promotes men who praise him and women who sleep with him. Yes, our protagonist is a petty, arrogant, disrespectful and obnoxious guy.

Back to the plot, he receives two more warnings and when he disregards them, he meets with an accident and dies (!!). The book is called Second Chance for a reason, that is what he exactly gets but not without being a taught a lesson or two. Was it enough to change him? And if it was, does he change for good or worse? Read Second Chance to know more.

My initial thoughts

By far, Second Chance is my quickest read of 2017 and it took me an hour and a little more to finish it, thanks to the simple narrative style of Dr. Sandeep Jatwa. The book reminded me a lot of the movie Anniyan (Tamil) / Aparichat (Hindi), which explains a lot about the punishments one would receive in Hell, after your Judgment Day according to Hindu Mythology.

Things that didn’t work for me

Again the writing style irritated me to the core. The sheer number of grammatical errors and the literal translation of the Indian slang into English made me cringe. The characters were all one dimensional and flat, and none of them ever developed until the end.

Things that worked for me

  • Despite the above-mentioned problems I had with the book, the story had me sucked in.
  • Not that it was unpredictable but I just wanted to know how it turned out for Shekhar.
  • The moral lessons were spot on and the lesson about Karma was growing stronger, (some may consider this a spoiler) except that Shekhar ends the story saying “Why can’t we do the right thing in the wrong way?”. Erm.. so the Second Chance did not work? Or has it?

My thoughts in general

This is not part of my critical view of the writing or the characters as such, but I feel the need to say these things as an angry reader. I did not even mind the cardboard cut characters, but the portrayal of the female characters, even the flat ones. There are about five women in the story.

One is introduced as a airhead, who sleeps with someone and gets a promotion after being in the company for a week. Another employee who is ‘pretty’ but ditched by her fiancé when she becomes bald temporarily, due to a surgery.

The same female was enraged when she is passed on for a promotion that she very well deserves but gives up her career to take care of her fiancé’s bed ridden father. I mean ‘okay, it is her right and all’ but it bothers me how all the women had to be reduced being ‘pretty’ ‘docile’ and ‘beautiful’ repeatedly. There is more to us.

Maybe am just being overtly sensitive. (I AM NOT)

Bottom – line

Anyway, if you are up for a story that has a good balance between suspense and moral lessons, that has a simple narrative Second Chance should be your pick.

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Second chance

Let us chat

Have you read this one? Do you feel offended by such card board cut characters or you are okay as long as the story works? Let us talk.

Book review: Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Book review: Recycled Love

What is the worst thing that could happen to you while traveling abroad? Dan Palmer and his group of tourists see them all when they travel across India. The story takes us through the beautiful country along the story line. Read Recycled love to join the journey with them.

Book Name: Recycled love
Author: George Henry
Genre: Fiction – Thriller;
Characters: Dan and Duncan Palmer, Charlene O’Neill, Shira and Cruella Jacobs, Dipak Kapoor,Tshering
Setting: India, Nepal

A group of multinational tourists takes a trip around Northern India and Nepal with a local tour operator named Loki. Dan Palmer, a middle-aged Canadian doctor quickly hits off with Karen, a popular author from Australia. He is also attracted to the sexy bombshell Shira and her fiery cousin Charlie who are traveling with their aunt Cruella.

In Mumbai Superintendent of Police, Mr. Kapoor is investigating the deaths of the Koepkes and suspects that the killer is traveling with the above-mentioned group. The plot intensifies when Kapoor falls for Dan, while he is interested in Charlie.

Dan realizes no one is what they seem to be and there is more than one person who is trying to kill. Is it someone from his dark past or is it someone from the group? Is he even the target or just a pawn in the much bigger picture?

A brilliant premise and tightly wound plot line make reading Recycled love a thrill ride. Dan Palmer’s character is quite the alpha male who attracts the attention of not only all the female characters but also the male ones. He is caring, broken and macho and a man fleeing for his life.

The other characters are also well written, though most of them were unlikable. Especially the lead Charlie who was annoying and I tried to feel sorry for Dan but failed. Maybe he did deserve it for trying to ‘date’ an emotionally disturbed young lady barely out of her teens. But then I should care enough for either of these characters, which I couldn’t.

I liked Karen, Duncan and a bit for Shira. I loved the repartee between Karen and Dan. The story behind Dan’s leaving Canada could have been stronger. The relationship Kapoor and Dan was quite a change from the usual gay love stories that we see in fiction, though it came out a tad too filmy for my liking.

Is there such a thing called too many subplots in a story? YES there is. Many authors fail to realize these. While I may not be able to tell how many is too many, but having a subplot for every character you meet will definitely be exhausting to the reader, especially in a 400+page novel.

The book could use a lot of editing and proofreading. There were several typographical errors, words missing and even issues with continuity. There were times when it became a little confusing as to whose voice we were reading. Out of nowhere Dan’s thoughts and Charlie’s thoughts get mixed up. And also, it becomes kinda frustrating to read ‘bang bang’ (to indicate the gun has been fired) after the first ten times.

I love trying new books and new authors, especially indie authors. So thanks to George Henry for letting me read his book in return for a review. If you want to read a fast paced action book, Recycled love could be your choice.

Book review: Bend Your Knees & Do Your Best

Book review: Waterboarding

What happens if you lose a few of your memories, that you wanted to forget anyway? Is it worth knowing a few that have left you, all over again? Would it be worth it this time? Bragadeesh Prasanna tries to help us answer these questions through his new novel Waterboarding.

Waterboarding is personally close to me as does its author. I have read the book about three times even before it hit the editor’s desk, as a beta reader. This review is not gonna be biased in any sense, so here we go.