Posted in Books

Book Review: The Secret Wish List, by Preeti Shenoy

About the author:
Preeti Shenoy is an author and artist. She believes life is the biggest teacher. She is an avid blogger, whose poetry has also been published. This book is her fourth published work.

My thoughts on the book:
There are some books which can be finished very quickly. They’re not heavy to read, and would keep your interest in the storyline because of that lightness. Preeti Shenoy’s fourth book is quite similar to her third book in that respect, for I found both to be easy-reading. In a time when love stories are coming out dime-a-dozen in the market, we find ourselves wishing for something to pull us in with a different outlook, rather than what has been put before. This book read more like the script of a TV serial than a novel.

Diksha, who looks back at what her life was like when she was 16, and an innocent crush (or was it love) turned into something more. She was not once allowed to speak when her parents admonished her. She was pulled out of the school, and then married when she was young. The story returns to the present, where she’s in a much clichéd “housewife” role, with a child and a husband who’s the quite “traditional” or “old-school” man, and has chained her to many rules while he himself is “career-focused” and not having time for her or her son or even his mother when it comes to that. Diksha begins to break out of her “shell” and encouraged by her cousin Vibha, she makes a wishlist and begins to do things she’s always wanted to do. She reconnects with her old friends, begins to break rules and become outgoing.

What I liked in the book is that the language and the narration are simple and hold you, which is what a good novel should do. The protagonist’s character is well explored and to an extent, we are moved by her sorrows. It’s a refreshing change to see the mother-in-law in a supportive role. The best thing about the book however is the cover page, which is very appealing.

What I didn’t like in the story is predictability. It’s very similar in an overall outlook compared to her previous novel. Once again, the husband of the protagonist is put as the career chasing guy and the woman is the helpless “damsel in distress”. Once again, the past returns to save the future. When a certain phrase comes into the picture, you know exactly where it’s going to end, and yes, it ends that way. I think believability matters a lot at times, and you can’t quite believe the person who encourages you to get out of the shell would then say that you shouldn’t have. What I would have liked is to see the protagonist manage the future on her own. After all, if Diksha can “almost singlehandedly raise her child” without the loving support of her husband for nearly fifteen years, you’d think she can continue to do so without depending on the past, especially with a supportive mother-in-law by her side. Also, I could notice grammatical and typo errors quite often, and definitely more than I find to be dismissive.

Closing thoughts: If you want a light-read to keep you company during a travel of 3 or 4 hours, go ahead. The book won’t let you down. Overall, for me, this is a one-time read.

Rated a 6/10
Rated a 6/10

Book details:
Title: The Secret Wish List
Author: Preeti Shenoy
ISBN: 978-93-82618-18-8
Genre: Romance
Publishers: Westland
Price: Rs. 175


The book was borrowed for reading from the local library. This is not a paid review.
The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with Indian Quills Reading Challenge at Tales Pensieve.

(March 27th, 2013)

Posted in Books

Book Review: Tea for two and a piece of cake, by Preeti Shenoy

About the author:
Preeti Shenoy is an author and artist based in Bangalore, India. She is the author of the books “34 Bubblegums and Candies” and “Life is what you make it”. This book is her third published work. She has also been part of the Sulekha Book series, with her poetry being published as part of that collection.

The book in a nutshell:
The story is about a girl, Nisha who leads a simple life, nothing perfect in it. She’s single, plump and plain looking. All that changes when her name is pulled out of a draw to go to an important function. There, she meets, and falls in love with Samir Sharma, who is a senior partner at another firm. The chance meeting doesn’t go that well on one count, as she ends up losing her job. But other things do go her way. Her luck changes and she’s invited by Samir to on an even more important tour. After her return, her personal life gets an even harder hit. Samir comes to the rescue again. They get married, and she thinks their life is going happily. Their lives are blessed with two children, a daughter first and then a son. Nisha becomes a devoted mother.

After eight years of married life, she one day finds a letter from Samir saying it isn’t working out. He offers to give her the money to take care of the children. Overnight, she has to make changes in her life. She moves out of her house, finds a new place to stay. She finds support in her old friend Akash who tries to help her out. Akash helps her to start a new career, and her new neighbor, a lovely lady Mrs. B also gives that career a push. Is that enough to help her rebuild her life and her status in society?

What I liked in the book:
It’s a light read, a simple love story that flows quickly and is narrated in a simple language as well. There are parts that make you smile. I liked the character of Akash, who brings some excitement into the story once he comes. The cover design is nice too.

What I didn’t like:
The book is too predictable. I’d have loved it if the character of Mrs. B was done in a little more detail and brought out to the fore. That being said, only Nisha’s character seems to have got the complete attention and the other character sketches somewhat fall by the wayside. It’s quite hard to imagine that Samir, who falls in love with, and becomes a part of many positive changes to Nisha’s life in a very short period of time (and he wanted to do it) can get so grouchy so quickly. The reason for that change is also very fickle, unbelievable; as is the ending.

Closing thoughts:
It’s a decent read. I guess quite a few women might be able to relate to the plot. If you really like romance stories, then you’ll find it to be a page turner, even with the predictability. I wouldn’t say it’s just a one-time read, it’s got enough to hold you a second or third time, as long as you put some time between the reads. It’s a good book, but it could’ve been a whole lot better.

Rated a 6/10
Rated a 6/10

Book details:
Title: Tea for two and a piece of cake
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Genre: Romance
ISBN: 9788184002799
Publishers: Random House India
Price: INR. 125


The book is a personal copy. The opinions expressed in the review are my own, and remain unbiased and uninfluenced.

Shared with the First Reads challenge at b00k r3vi3ws and Indian Quills at Tales Pensieve.

(March 18th, 2013)