#1 The Notebook

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RATING : 4.9/5

Cher Reader,

“The Notebook” is one of the very few books which do not need an introduction, and I have to say that a literary piece as beautiful and poignant as “The Notebook” is an honor to read.

The novel is set in the breath-taking backdrop of North Carolina, where Noah Calhoun, a thirty one year old man, works on re-modelling his house, drowned in the memories of the past. Every day, he is haunted by the memories of a summer, 14 years ago, when he experienced a love so deep that it is still etched in his heart, and a bond so strong that he still feels’ her’ in his veins.

Allie Hamilton is the daughter of a high class socialite. To any person, it would appear that she is the happiest person in the world, as she is engaged to the city’s richest and most famous lawyer, has a great family, and a perfect life ahead of her. Little does anyone know of the thunder brewing in her heart. With every passing day nearing her marriage, all she can remember is the passionate love of a summer, 14 years ago. A passion which freed her, a love which tamed her, and a soul which became her.

Nicholas Sparks is nothing but a perfectionist. In ‘The Notebook’, he has penned down a novel inspired by the story of a real life couple, and this makes ‘The Notebook’ even more special. The characters share not just ‘chemistry’, they understand each other even when age, destiny, family, and the universe itself is against them. Noah and Allie are forced to part ways due to the hypocrisies of the society. The author has painted an arresting picture of a fierce fight they take up against all odds.

Yeah! You must be wondering how I forgot about the movie adaptation (Well, I was saving it to be the icing on the cake)! The transcreation is as good as it could possibly be. The protagonists that made the book so special, come alive and make you cry even harder on the screen. The book and its adaptation go hand in hand, just like the characters (Noah and Allie) they represent.

I suggest (read: demand :P) you to read ‘The Notebook’. It will compel you to relive every moment of love you have ever experienced, and restore your faith in the power of true love. (Keep tissues, like many rolls of them right next to you)

Excerpt:

I am nothing special, of this I am sure. I am a common man with common thoughts and I’ve led a common life. There are no monuments dedicated to me and my name will soon be forgotten, but I’ve loved another with all my heart and soul, and to me, this has always been enough…” 
 Noah Calhoun, The Notebook

Yours Frankly

Naty

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#2 Paradise

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RATING : 4.8/5

 

Cher Reader,

“Paradise” is a book which will make you make you not ‘sob’, but ‘cry’ really hard (**you have been forewarned **). It is a book about sacrifices, jealousy, heart breaks, but above all, about love – pure unparalleled love.

Judith McNaught has divided the novel into three parts – childhood, adolescence, and adulthood. It starts with a 14 year old Meredith Bancroft looking at her photographs, where she describes herself as a “flat chested troll with braces” (an intelligent troll nevertheless). Daughter of the millionaire CEO of Bancroft & Company, Meredith is always told about by her controlling father. When we meet her four years down the line, the young chubby troll has blossomed into a stunning, alluring girl. One night, after a particularly heated argument with her father, she meets Matthew Farrell at a country club event. Matthew Farrell (*heart throb alert*) belongs to a society which is in stark contrast to the one Meredith belong to. Even though he has no money, Matt works his ass off to put himself through college. He is everything except rich and elite class. When beauty meets heart throb, sparks flow, and passion roars (and Meredith is knocked up).

Judith McNaught is widely appreciated for the absolute perfection in her portrayal of the characters. In “Paradise”, she has outshined even herself. All 700 pages of the book have been written with absolute sublimity. When Matt and Meredith meet each other after 10 years, both are successful entrepreneurs, but detest each other deeply. Inevitably, Matt and Meredith keep running into each other. The skeletons of the past knock up on their doors, and they are paralyzed by the fact that they might have been punishing each other for someone else’s faults.

McNaught has penned down a heart-warming and brilliant romance. The characters share a stirring and tender relationship. They make you believe that true love has a habit of returning, despite all the odds. Matt and Meredith are surely not perfect individuals, but the way they love, care and protect each other is definitely a hallmark of perfection.

Here is an excerpt (enjoy):

If you’ll kiss me back,” he whispered huskily, brushing his lips along the curve of her jaw, “I’ll make it six million. If you’ll go to bed with me tonight,” he continued, losing himself in the scent of her perfume and the softness of her skin, “I’ll give you the world. But if you’ll move in with me,” he continued, dragging his mouth across her cheek to the corner of her lips, “I’ll do much better than that.” Unable to turn her face farther because his arm was in the way, and unable to turn her body because his body was in the way, Meredith tried to infuse disdain in her voice and simultaneously ignore the arousing touch of his tongue against her ear. “Six million dollars and the whole world!” she said in a slightly shaky voice. “What else could you possibly give me if I move in with you?” “Paradise.”  Lifting his head, Matt took her chin between his thumb and forefinger and forced her to meet his gaze. In an aching, solemn voice he said, “I’ll give you paradise on a gold platter. Anything you want— everything you want. I come with it, of course. It’s a package deal.”
―Matthew Farrell, Paradise

 

Yours Frankly

Naty

 

#3 the fault in our stars

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RATING : 4.7/5

 

Cher Reader,

When I had finished reading the first page of “The Fault in Our stars”, I knew right then and there that this novel was going to change me. And God, had I ever been truer?!

The story is narrated by a sixteen-year-old cancer patient named Hazel Grace Lancaster, now in her final stage of cancer. On her mother’s behest, she attends a cancer patient’s support group, where she meets a 17-year-old teenage boy named Augustus Walters, who had lost a leg to ‘osteosarcoma’. Augustus came to the group to support his friend Isaac, but instead ends up taking a liking for Hazel. As days pass, Hazel and Augustus bond over Books, games, movies and Cancer. Inevitably, they fall in love.

The author, ‘John Green’, has written a touching literary piece that describes beautifully the life of those who are fighting cancer. What I liked the most about the book was that Green does not make cancer patients appear as pitiful beings. Instead, he has shown the side of them which often goes unperceived – the side where they get up each day knowing that it might be the last one; the side where they laugh out at cancer with their friends and family; the side where they look right into the eyes of their loved ones and say, ”I’ll be fine”, when they themselves are unsure of the statement. “The fault in our stars” is among those fortunate books which have a screen adaptation. The movie brilliantly captures the entire exquisiteness and emotions of the characters, and if I take the liberty of being “bold”, I will even say that it perfectly complements the novel.

Green makes you fall in love with the beauty of imperfections. As you finish the last page, you realise that it takes a hell lot of courage to downplay your pain and fix a smile on your face for the people you love, even when you know that all hope is lost. Hazel and Augustus enjoy a love which most individuals don’t get to feel in their entire life. “The Fault in Our stars” is a book whose every page is a tribute to those who have fought cancer, their families who stood beside them, their friends, and lovers who did not lose hope, no matter what came their way. I say, pick a copy, and let your heart rejoice in the eternity of love captured in these numbered pages

Yours Frankly

Naty

#4 Nobody’s baby but mine

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RATING : 4.6/5

 

Cher Reader,

When I completed “Nobody’s Baby but mine”, it felt like Christmas. It is not every day that you read a romantic novel which leaves you in tears, not because it is extremely sentimental, but because of all the uncontrollable laughter it induces in you along the way!

Dr. Jane Darlington, a 34 years old Physicist, yearns for a baby with all her heart. A lonesome genius who had completed her Ph.D. by the time she was twenty years, she has only two goals. First, she does not want the same lonely and sad childhood for her baby which she had had simply because of her extraordinary mind. Secondly, she can go to any length to get pregnant. So, she starts a hunt for a special guy- one who would help her accomplish this mission, and one who would love to exercise his muscles more than his brain. Weird, isn’t it?

Cal Bonner, the Chicago Star’s brilliant quarterback, seems like the perfect candidate. Little does Dr.Jane know that Cal Bonner is much more than just a ‘boner'(pun-intended)! He is not one to be used and abandoned by a baby-crazed genius. One attribute for which I would definitely praise Susan Elizabeth Phillips is that she is, hands down, one of the best ‘humor romance fiction’ (Romedy) writers you will ever come across. The entire novel is laced with fun and quick witted humour. Another fact which takes away brownie points for “Nobody Baby’s but Mine” is the poignant secondary love story of Cal’s parents- Jim and Amber. Phillips paints a vivid image of the characters as lively, delightful and relatable individuals. Cal and Jane are stubborn, immature, hot-tempered and proud at times, but underneath all that bravado, are two people who are passionate about their dreams, need love & companionship, and most importantly, are good human beings.

“Nobody’s Baby but Mine” is a heart-warming story which is not about love at first sight. It is about the kind of love which develops with time, and once fully grown, nurtures life forever with its protective shade and loving fruits.

Yours Frankly

Naty

#5 perfect

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RATING : 4.4/5

Cher Reader,

Before I even start reviewing Perfect, I would like to share something with you. When I read the first page of Perfect, my clock said 11:00 P.M, and when I was done, it read 5:00 A.M. The fact that this book stole my sleep (like literally) is something I will never forget.

‘Julie Smith’, a petite eleven year old orphan who lives on roads, abandoned by her birth parents and rejected by two sets of adoptive parents, is finally taken into foster care by the Mathinson family. This family gives a beguiled green-eyed angel another chance at life, and in turn, the girl (Julie Mathinson) vows to make her family proud, to erase her soiled past, and to be ‘perfect’.

‘Zack Benedict’ is a multimillionaire Hollywood heartthrob who is accused of murdering his wife. After having served two years as a model prisoner and earning the privileges of a trustee, he manages to escape from Amarillo prison. With the entire American police on his tail, he tries to find a safe refuge and ends up taking a hitchhike with Julie Mathison. He takes her hostage in mountains of Colorado.

During the time they spend together, Zack and Julie eventually develop a strong connection, which soon turns into a havoc wreaking love affair. When Julie returns to her home, the entire FBI is at her doorsteps, asking for Zack Benedict’s whereabouts. Torn between her love for Zack and her belief in justice, she is forced to pick a side- to either be with the law, or against it.

‘Judith Macnaught’ has woven this story not by mere words, but by heart-warming emotions. She has described every scene with great impeccability. At one point in this novel, you feel like a part of the characters’ lives and hope to set everything right for them. The love that Zack and Julie share is so pure that I can guarantee that you will sigh in their sadness, weep in their sorrow, laugh in their joy and dance in their love. They will touch your heart from the very first page and will stay with you till time immemorial. This novel is a must read, simply because it will show you what it feels like to cherish and to be cherished; to love and to be loved.

P.S- I sincerely do hope with all my heart that someday, this beautiful story will find its way to screen.

P.P.S- Do keep a box of tissues right by your side.

Yours Frankly

Naty

 

 

 

#6 A knight in shining armour

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RATING : 4.2/5

 

Cher Reader,

Once you finish reading “A knight in shining armour”, you will be compelled by a strong desire to hook yourself up on the internet and find anything, like seriously anything else written by Jude Devereaux.

Dougless Montgomery is a simple elementary school teacher. The Montgomerys are all brilliant, rich, and afraid of nothing, but Dougless is an exception to her family. She is intimidated by her glorious relatives and has her self-esteem as thin as a paper. To add misery to her life, she somehow falls for the wrong guy, every single time. Dougless (courtesy to her sucky choice in guys), is left weeping all alone in a church over the tomb of Nicholas Stafford. Lost in her sorrow and asking God to send a Knight in shining armour, she somehow pulls Nicholas Stafford, Earl of Thornwyck, back from the 16th century to the 20th century.

Devereaux has a knack for transporting you in time along with Nicholas and Dougless. With every page you read, you will be compelled to check your surroundings for ominous signs of time travel (:D :D). Nicholas Stafford was sentenced to death for treason to the Queen. On time travelling 400 hundred years ahead, he studies the past and tries to find proof of his innocence through history. A man of amazingly seductive looks and a rakish personality, he stumbles clueless and innocently around the 20thcentury. Deveraux prolifically binds the story of two different eras together. Not even once will she give away too much or too less about the story. The relation between Nicholas & Dougless is one of ‘friends’, ‘confidants’, and ‘lovers’. Jude Devereaux explores beautifully how true love makes people much better than they are, how it completes a person in ways that are beyond imagination.

You might ask yourself, “What is the point of reading a love story that involves time travel? Modern-day long distance relationships are hard to sustain, and here, characters are doing it over different eras. This shit just does not happen dude!” To you, I say, may be, all we need is a Knight in shining armour, a man who would fight this world and rescue us. Go ahead and listen to your heart for once- “A knight in shining armour” will restore your faith in immortal love. If anything ever goes wrong in your life, this book will become a friend to reassure you, that someday, everything will make sense.

Yours Frankly

Naty

 

 

#7 fifty shades of grey

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RATING : 4/5

 

Cher Reader,

Let me tell you something very frankly- this novel has been interpreted as sexist, feminist, etc., etc., by many people, but I am not one of them. 50 Shades of Grey is a beautiful and moving love story. It will touch your heart and stay with you forever.

Anastasia Steele(Ana), a gorgeous 21 year old literature student in the final year of graduation, gets ready one ordinary morning to do a passing favour to her roommate, also her best friend. Little does she know what fate has in store for her. A hopeless romantic, she dreams of a ‘hearts and flowers guy’ who would sweep her off her feet one day.

Christian Grey is a 27 year old American multibillionaire who is the CEO of Grey Enterprises. He is mind bogglingly rich, insanely attractive, and very aggressive in his profession. Well known for his raw magnetic sensuality, he reflects the personality of greek god Adonis. Even though he is perceived by the world as ‘the man who has everything’, he has a ‘dark’ side to him- a side so ‘dark’ that light fails to brighten it, a side so ‘hidden’ that nobody ever suspects it.

When Christian Grey meets Anastasia Steele, all hell breaks loose. They are attracted to each other like fire to moth (**really smoking hot sex alert**). E.L James has artistically captured the roller coaster of emotions that Ana feels in the enigmatic presence of ‘Mr.Grey’. Control freak Christian Grey is at a loss, as a modest Anastasia Steele shakes the very foundation of his life.

The author makes you fall in love with the characters, despite all their blatant flaws. This novel leaves you in tears for the choices two people in love have to make. Every guy deserves an Ana, who would be his haven, peace and paradise, and every girl deserves a Christian, who would love her, spoil her, and most importantly, respect her. Christian & Anastasia share an ‘innocently honest’ relationship and lay bare their every demon in front of each other. With every page you turn, you fall a little more in love with them. They make you think that every person comes with baggage; just make sure that you end up with someone who would help you unpack.

Go ahead and pick up a copy of 50 shades of grey. You won’t be disappointed! After all, Mr.Grey “Aims to please”.

Yours Frankly

Naty