Book Review: Operation Superstar by Yamini Pustake Bhalerao

I have been quite fortunate to get a chance to connect with and collaborate with Juggernaut.

I was given a free copy of this book, published by them in exchange for an honest review. Read on to know my thoughts.

About the Book:

(Taken from the blurb mentioned on the app)

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Bollywood superstar Junaid Kapoor is in deep trouble. Ex-wife Neha is not happy with the alimony settlement. She is threatening to release photographs of JK with his mystery lover.

Operation Superstar by Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is exclusively available on www.juggernaut.in

My Thoughts:

This book is around 60 pages and is a very quick read. The story revolves around Junaid Kapoor, a Bollywood superstar, recently divorced and trying to ensure that his wife doesn’t release some photographs that she has of him with his mystery lover. The story jumps right in with Junaid meeting our protagonist, the lady who will make all this go away and ensure that his ex-wife has nothing to threaten him with.

The story is written in the typical style of a Bollywood film, but is lacking in substance. For a short story, it is thorough, but there is not enough information anywhere about any of the characters. The author’s style of writing is good and flows well, but the characters are not developed enough. Everything just seems to happen and fall into place so easily. Quite frankly, however good you are, things are not this easy in reality. This put me off the book a little and was the reason that I did not enjoy it a lot.

Overall, this can be read while taking a break from work or having a bite to eat. It has some elements of entertainment that will keep the reader momentarily entertained.

Book Review: Scrappy Little Nobody by Anna Kendrick

About the Book:

Scrappy Little Nobody

A collection of humorous autobiographical essays by the Academy Award-nominated actress and star of Up in the Air and Pitch Perfect.

Even before she made a name for herself on the silver screen starring in films like Pitch Perfect, Up in the Air, Twilight, and Into the Woods, Anna Kendrick was unusually small, weird, and “10 percent defiant.”

At the ripe age of thirteen, she had already resolved to “keep the crazy inside my head where it belonged. Forever. But here’s the thing about crazy: It. Wants. Out.” In Scrappy Little Nobody, she invites readers inside her brain, sharing extraordinary and charmingly ordinary stories with candor and winningly wry observations.

With her razor-sharp wit, Anna recounts the absurdities she’s experienced on her way to and from the heart of pop culture as only she can—from her unusual path to the performing arts (Vanilla Ice and baggy neon pants may have played a role) to her double life as a middle-school student who also starred on Broadway to her initial “dating experiments” (including only liking boys who didn’t like her back) to reviewing a binder full of butt doubles to her struggle to live like an adult woman instead of a perpetual “man-child.”

Enter Anna’s world and follow her rise from “scrappy little nobody” to somebody who dazzles on the stage, the screen, and now the page—with an electric, singular voice, at once familiar and surprising, sharp and sweet, funny and serious (well, not that serious).

My Thoughts:

Anna Kendrick is honest and open about her thoughts and opinions. She refuses to hide what she thinks. She takes us into her mind and shows us the difficulty of trying to keep the crazy in! 😛

She highlights the journey towards becoming an actor and reaching where she is today. In her rather quirky, different way she gives us glimpses into various incidents in her life. She extols the world of cinema as well as theater and throws the doors open to us. She takes us into her world and shows us how that world is. It’s not all easy and she effortlessly brings out the differences to us.

From starting off with theater and auditioning for them to landing a role in small films and working her way up to larger films, Anna tells us what it was like to struggle and the determination and perseverance it took. I appreciate her humility and sincerity in openly stating that sometimes fame can get to the head or at times one may feel like giving up, but she keeps a photo of her 3 year old self as a reminder to trudge on.

Anna gives us a glimpse into the film fraternity and shares with us, through anecdotes and humorous thoughts, the behind the scenes. The feeling of walking down the red carpet, of presenting an award, of acting with some of the bigger stars. It’s all there for us to read. Throw in a few photographs of some life events and she has us hooked.

Without giving away too much about the content of this book, I think this is worth a read. It will open the eyes of the reader to some form of reality with respect to the film fraternity as well as leave us in splits.

Book Review: Mrs Funnybones by Twinkle Khanna

About the Book:

Mrs Funnybones

Good morning, it’s 6 a.m. and I am wide awake because the man of the house has decided that he needs to perform a series of complex manoeuvres that involve him balancing on his left elbow. When I fell asleep last night, there was a baby lying next to me. Her smelly diaper is still wedged on my head but aside from this rather damp clue, I can’t seem to find her anywhere. I could ask my mother-in-law if she has seen the baby, but she may just tell me that I need to fast on alternate Mondays, and God will deliver the baby back to me . . . Full of wit and delicious observations, Mrs Funnybones captures the life of the modern Indian woman—a woman who organizes dinner each evening, even as she goes to work all day, who runs her own life but has to listen to her Mummyji, who worries about her weight and the state of the country. Based on Twinkle Khanna’s super-hit column, Mrs Funnybones marks the debut of one of our funniest, most original voices.

My Thoughts:

Oh my God! I definitely died of laughter!

This book will have you hooked and in splits from page 1. ‘She’s just like you and a lot like me,’ is the tagline mentioned on the cover of the book. I must admit that there is a lot in this book that I cannot relate to but have enjoyed due to the author’s self-deprecating humor, witty one liners and her colorful opinions on everything.

Each chapter, rather ingeniously labelled by a letter of the alphabet, talks about some aspect of the author’s life, her experiences, or the experiences of people around her. Narrated in her signature style, most of the incidents are mundane day to day activities. The author talks about her children, her life as a mother, the humor she derives behind the choice of her name, incidents at work among many other things. She also talks of how a person’s outlook of life changes once they have children but most of the points are based on her opinions.

An overall fun read, that can be finished in just one sitting as once started, there is definitely no putting this book down.

Book Review: The Nidhi Kapoor Story

About the Book:

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Nidhi Kapoor is a very successful, second-generation film star. She is the daughter of the great Nishant Kapoor, who came out of nowhere to become the first real superstar in the 80s.

The day before she is to start shooting for her much anticipated film, she comes home to discover her beloved pets killed mercilessly. Apart from the mangled dead bodies, the unknown assailant has left behind a letter threatening Nidhi, Nishant and their family.

ACP Prakash Mohile of the Mumbai Police is summoned to investigate the case. He asks Rujuta Singh, a photojournalist working on a photo-essay on Mumbai Police, to come along.

In the absence of any clues, Prakash and Rujuta are forced to dig into the past of Bollywood’s first family. Unknowingly, they stumble upon a violent tale of lies, betrayal, treachery, infidelity and even murder at Kapoors.

Little did they know that the murder of pets was going to be the first in a long sequence of attacks on Nidhi. The unknown assailant is adamant on taking away from Nidhi everything she holds dear – her family, her parental home, her career, her reputation and her life.

My Thoughts:

This book falls into the category of a psychological thriller. It highlights the various events in the life of an actor who was the star of Bollywood. Nishant Kapoor starts off as a poor boy looking to make it big and ends up as the star of Bollywood. The author goes into detail about the trials he faces and how his life changes. The story is set at a time when Nidhi, Nishant’s second daughter is at the peak of her acting career. The police are called in when her pets are found dead in the house and then follow what looks like sabotage.

As the investigation is on, we are introduced to two major characters apart from the people in the Kapoor’s family; ACP Prakash Mohile, an uptight person who takes his work seriously and has a wonderful track record, and a journalist, Rujuta, who tags along while working on her assignment on the police department. These two characters have been sketched really well by the author and are quite strong. The journalist is inspiring in many ways and shows that being a woman is no hindrance to what you want to do in life. Her aunt, who makes a small appearance in the story plays a pivotal role towards the end.

The Kapoor household consists of Nidhi, her older sister and their mother’s brother as well as Nishant who is brought back into the picture later on. The authors spins a sinister web of murder, betrayal, love and slowly reveals a plot that will keep the reader enthralled. As the investigation continues, the deeper they dig into the past, the more the truth about Nishant’s personality and his family comes to light. The climax of the story is brilliantly written with a good ending.

However, though the author manages to tie up most of the loose ends and neatly close the plot, there are a few things that remain unanswered. These however do not deviate from the fact that this is a well written story and will be enjoyed by those who love a good mystery or psych thriller.

I would like to thank the author for giving me this opportunity to read and review his book!