Monday, May 20, 2013

Wedding Night

Wedding Night
by Sophie Kinsella

Paperback, Large Print, 400 pages
Published on:  April 25th 2013
Publisher:  Bantam Press 
ISBN: 9780593070154

Blurb:  Lottie just knows that her boyfriend is going to propose during lunch at one of London’s fanciest restaurants. But when his big question involves a trip abroad, not a trip down the aisle, she’s completely crushed. So when Ben, an old flame, calls her out of the blue and reminds Lottie of their pact to get married if they were both still single at thirty, she jumps at the chance. No formal dates—just a quick march to the altar and a honeymoon on Ikonos, the sun-drenched Greek island where they first met years ago.
Their family and friends are horrified. Fliss, Lottie’s older sister, knows that Lottie can be impulsive—but surely this is her worst decision yet. And Ben’s colleague Lorcan fears that this hasty marriage will ruin his friend’s career. To keep Lottie and Ben from making a terrible mistake, Fliss concocts an elaborate scheme to sabotage their wedding night. As she and Lorcan jet off to Ikonos in pursuit, Lottie and Ben are in for a honeymoon to remember, for better . . . or worse.

Sophie Kinsella being on the top of the list of my most favourite authors, I was more than dying to read her latest release, Wedding Night. I had been excitedly waiting for it since May last year when I heard that Kinsella was penning down yet another book called Wedding Night.

The book starts when one of our protags, Lottie is with her four year long boyfriend Richard in a restaurant anticipating a proposal that Richard is supposedly going to make. Sadly, it doesn’t turn out to be anything of the kind for Lottie and thus with the inevitable breakup of the couple, Lottie is shattered.

On the other hand, Lottie’s sister- Fliss, is in the middle of a bitter divorce with Daniel which is also making her seven year old son, Noah, suffer a great deal.

When the crestfallen Lottie suddenly has an encounter with her first love from fifteen years ago, and decides on the spur of the moment to get married to him asap, Fliss is alarmed. Fearing it to be one of Lottie’s Unfortunate Choices, and that  Lottie would end up in the same situation as hers, Fliss is hell bent on getting their ‘annulment’ done, by keeping Lottie and Ben from consummating their marriage at their honeymoon and of course keep them from having a Wedding Night.

The most wonderful thing about the book is the new idea of the three POVs that Kinsella has used for the first time in her writings. We are mainly told the story from both Lottie and Fliss’s POV, and at just a couple of times Arthur has his POV too. And the concept is amazing.

The troubles Fliss puts Ben and Lottie in on their honeymoon are hilarious, ludicrous and saddening at the same time. Kinsella has maintained her standards and has given us yet another fantastic read.

The thing about Kinsella is that she is real in her writing. There is hardly anything in her novels that you feel is unrealistic. The way she pulls the whole thing together is always worth kudos. And with all the belly laughs she gives you, she’d be gripping you to her book with all your emotions. And Wedding Night is no different.

But, there was a slight shift in her writing style this time in Wedding Night. There seemed to be a merger of her writing as Sophie Kinsella and Madeleine Wickham. This made me a little edgy at times. The book lags a little behind in humour compared to her predecessors. There weren’t many moments when I burst out laughing as I read through the text. Comparatively, I’ve Got Your Number was a step ahead in this regard and from the plot POV.

There isn’t much going on about in the book apart from Ben and Lottie being desperate to make out and Fliss trying to stop them from doing it. And then there’s another subplot of Fliss’s bitterness about her divorce, but that doesn’t have a great heat to it either.

It in no way means that Kinsella ha even a bit lost her creativity. She keeps on surprising you with a billion things, especially towards the second half of the book and you’d absolutely be on tenterhooks. She just keeps you guessing and guessing about the characters’ next move.

Lorcan, Ben’s best friend, was my most favourite character. And even though she was caring, Fliss was a Bitch.

The thing that disappointed me a little is that there were some loose ends to the end of the novel which should have been tied. I wanted to know what would happen of Lorcan and Fliss. About Lottie and Richard. About Nico’s special package at the honeymoon suite. Many things. But, we get to know nothing of them.

To sum it up, Wedding Night is quirky, humorous, breezy, emotional and an entertaining read. You will feel Lottie and Richard’s pain after the heartbreak, would worry as Fliss gets worried about her kin (and at times hate her for it), and will be as frustrated as Ben and Lottie when they don’t get to have their so-longed-for Wedding Night on their honeymoon. And reading between the lines, you will smile and giggle and laugh.

It is a must read for all the Kinsella fans, but they shouldn’t expect anything better than what they had in IGYN. And for people who haven’t read Kinsella yet, they should start their summer breaks with Wedding Night in their hands and getting introduced to the incredible writer on the coming weekends. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The Lost Symbol

The Lost Symbol 
by Dan Brown

Paperback, 670 pages
Series: Robert Langdon #3
Published on:  September 15th, 2009
Publisher:  Bantam Books
ISBN:  9780593054277

Blurb: Famed Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon answers an unexpected summons to appear at the U.S. Capitol Building. His planned lecture is interrupted when a disturbing object—artfully encoded with five symbols—is discovered in the building. Langdon recognizes in the find an ancient invitation into a lost world of esoteric, potentially dangerous wisdom. When his mentor Peter Solomon—a longstanding Mason and beloved philanthropist—is kidnapped, Langdon realizes that the only way to save Solomon is to accept the mystical invitation and plunge headlong into a clandestine world of Masonic secrets, hidden history, and one inconceivable truth . . . all under the watchful eye of Dan Brown's most terrifying villain to date. Set within the hidden chambers, tunnels, and temples of Washington, D.C., The Lost Symbol is an intelligent, lightning-paced story with surprises at every turn--Brown's most exciting novel yet.

The Lost Symbol has been my first ever encounter with Dan Brown. I haven’t been a great reader of mysteries or thrillers ever. It is embarrassing to admit that I have read only a couple of books which were allegedly mysteries written by allegedly Indian authors. Even though I read them, it wasn’t out of choice.  And I naturally began to despise the genre.  But I am lucky to have read The Lost Symbol, for it has been one of the most intriguing reading experiences that i have had. It has made me a fan of mystery and thrillers.

The story starts with the protagonist of the novel, Professor Robert Langdon getting a voicemail on an early Sunday morning from the assistant of his long old friend and mentor Peter Solomon- a historian, a philanthropist and a Mason. The message is an invitation to Washington for a special lecture at the US Capitol Building the very night. As Langdon wastes a Sunday and puts all the efforts in reaching the Capitol for the lecture, what meets his eyes is definitely not what he’d been expecting.
While I read the prologue to the book, I felt utterly bored. It brought back the bitter taste of the so-called mysteries I had read earlier. But as I was past a couple of chapters, the book was completely engaging. The short and crisp chapters make The Lost Symbol exceptionally lucid, interesting and gripping.

The best thing that I loved about the book was the intermittent dozes of information that Brows equips us with.  It is characteristic of Brown’s all novels taken together and thus it doesn’t make The Lost Symbol different. But for the first time Dan Brown reader like me, it is an absolute treat.

For me, The Lost Symbol was a mix of inspiration, fiction, mystery and non fictional genres. It is a full time entertainment for anybody who reads it. When the people say that Dan Brown is awesome, they aren’t even a bit wrong at it.

Out of all the characters in the books, Robert Langdon and Katherine Solomon- the couple of our book- were the ones I liked the best. Robert Langdon is just my type of character. He takes no bull from anyone. The best thing about him is that he listens to everyone with utmost patience and sincerity but he doesn’t let them affect his ideologies. He is a character I won’t get tired of reading about ever.

Next is Katherine. The fifty year old still at the epoch of her beauty and cleverness. The grey eyed  Noetic scientist is worth taking a wonderful notice of in the book.
Despite the book being splendidly splendid, there are certain things that I didn’t like about Brown’s The Lost Symbol.

Emotions are his Achilles heel. Yes, I know he is writing a mystery and the book is about Masons and everything, but I believe the basic purpose of reading a book is getting an emotional experience and the emotions can be of any kind. But sadly, there are hardly any I could conjure up while leafing through the book.

Brown also seems all praise for the Masons, though not too explicitly. But you can understand as you read the book that he is time and time again trying to convince us that they aren’t as bad the people they are professed to be. I secretly wondered if he was a Mason too...

Last is his maddening use of italics.

Also, though a amazingly popular writer with exceptional stories and gripping plots, it is saddening again when I say that he is a little unpolished at his writing skills. The creation part that he does is brilliant hands down, but handing over his creations to beautiful words is what he has not been able to do.

Nonetheless, for anyone who hasn’t read Dan Brown, especially out of prejudice against him like I had they must, must and must shun it and grab his The Lost Symbol as soon as possible. It is as important for a book lover to have read Dan Brown as it is to have read Stephanie Meyer or J K Rowling. I mean it when I say that it is equally important.

For me, I am now in the cult who would look out for his next book  INFERNO, which would be released soon this month.  

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