Three in a row – book review


I can proudly and quite unashamedly proclaim that I’m a sucker for chick-lit and romance (er, novels, that is).

A friend was leaving on vacation, and very sweetly offered me two of her novels, that I grabbed outright.

So first, I read ‘The Notebook’ by Nicholas Sparks. I was not expecting much more than a light and refreshing read, and I have to say it proved to be more than that. It was a typically quick read, replete with romance and emotions, suspense and drama. All in all, quite an enjoyable book. Leaves one wanting to either fall in love, or envelope someone special in a bear-hug, and never let go.

****Spoiler alert**** I wonder if this Bollywood movie was made AFTER or BEFORE the book was released?!!!

Rating: 3/5

Then I grabbed ‘A Walk to Remember‘. I was expecting to see the same amount of mush in this book, but very interestingly, I found a lot of humour instead. (Now, if I’m a sucker for romance, then I’m an even bigger sucker for humour :-)) The author does warn you in the prologue. He says, the book will first make you laugh, then cry. I wholly agree. You will have more than a few laughs in the first half of the book, and even the second half, despite being sad, is extremely sweet. The book reminds one of the innocence and freshness of youth :-)

Rating: 3.5/5 (enjoyed the humour)

And yesterday, I happened to get another book from the library. I had reserved ‘Atlas Shrugged‘ after reading a FB message by Rakesh (and loads of comments from our usual comment monsters :lol:) and I THOUGHT I was going to collect this book, but happened to bring home ‘Dear John’ instead.

Now, I confess felt very slightly bored, at the beginning of the book. However, it rapidly picked up pace, and I found myself, wanting to finish it before the day ended. And I did :-) (Kind courtesy: Little brat who very sweetly decided to keep himself occupied with winding his microphone around his hands and legs!!!!)

The synopsis of the book certainly does not do justice to the plot. This is not the usual ‘love story’.

For one, the characters in the book have been etched so beautifully, that you feel their love, their anxiety and their pain. They are very real.

Secondly, it gives one a glimpse into the ugly face of War, and how troops deputed in war zones actually spend their life. One actually ponders about the futility of it all.

And third, the book is not just about the love between a man and a woman, but also about the delicate relationship between a father and son. I loved the way this was brought out, in a very subtle and tender way.

To me, the character that stands out the MOST, is one that is mentioned neither on the back-cover nor the website. It is that of the Father of the protagonist. He is a simple, good man, who lives his life exactly the same way each day, but is a terrible social misfit. The father suffers from autism, and the way he reaches out to his son, in his own unique manner, twists and wrings your heart!!

Every character is true to life, and in those couple of hours spent on reading the book, one actually understands WHY each character takes the decisions he/she does, and how it seems both logical yet sad.

You must read the book, to FEEL what this is about.

I loved it, and I think it has made me more understanding of how a developmental problem can affect the lives of the person and his/her family and loved ones.

A note of caution : .This is a heart-wrenching book. It left me incredibly sad and dejected, wondering why life cannot be more simple. So, please save this for a long weekend, where you can recover and bounce back to your happy self :-) before the week begins again.

Rating: 4/5 (Exquisite characterisation)

Something I found to be a common undercurrent in all three books, was the almost naive, but constant emphasis on ‘true and ever-lasting love‘ (assuming, there is such a thing!).

I also liked the fact that the author managed to keep the ‘hero’ and ‘heroine’ from not jumping into bed, at the drop of a hat (or anything else for that matter). I understand that can be quite a put-off for a Mills & Boon fan :twisted: :lol: but it made ‘love‘ seem more special. Old-fashioned, perhaps. But ‘sacred‘ nevertheless.

As for the language and quality of writing, I was not expecting much, being ‘romance’ and ‘chick-lit’ and all. And neither am I into reading ‘difficult’ books (aka, I can’t understand them :razz: I’d much rather read a simple easily understandable sentence, rather than a paragraph full of words that contain 4 or more syllables! :lol: So yes, the language was simple, engrossing, and made all the books an entertaining read.

I just happened to find this link on Youtube.

So, if any of you happen to be die-hard romantics, do grab a copy and a bunch of tissues.

Happy Sunday, folks.

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40 thoughts on “Three in a row – book review

  1. I can definitely recommend Atlas Shrugged.
    I do hope to read it some day, Parul. When I think it might be a heavy read, I tend to put it off :-)
    Others I haven’t read so I can’t say. But Dear John shounds interesting. I may grab that one on my next trip to the library.
    These three are all pretty light reads, Parul, you can complete them in a couple of hours each, I hope you grab a copy sometime. Sometimes, its nice to feel the mush ;-)

  2. Three wonderful books in a row… cool indeed!
    Yeah, those are my ‘achievements’ these days :-( :-)
    Dear John is on my Must Read List… have heard a lot abt this one!!
    Its very good, but it does leave one depressed!!
    Atlas Shrugged is simply awesome! Leaves you with profound thoughts and perspectives! Have you read The Fountainhead??
    Oh yes, I’ve read the Fountainhead, but not yet managed the courage to pick up Atlas Shrugged. Sometime soon, maybe :-)

  3. I’ve seen the movie A walk to remember……
    it’s been one of the best movies i’ve ever watched….hope the book is as good!
    I’d never heard of it until now, Ash, thanks for telling :-)

  4. I read The Notebook — and while it does leave one feeling special for being “loved” and being “able to love”, it was tooooo mush-mush for me. I’m just not that type :D
    He he, I agree it was too much mush :-) Nauseating, at times, I understand :razz: But I’m glad it had a happy ending, rather than a pragmatic sad one :-)

  5. Wow! I’ve just ordered The Notebook and A walk to remember, looking forward to get hold of the other recommendations soon :razz: :razz:
    You did? Wow!!! I hope you enjoy them now CB, I don’t want to feel guilty :razz: about recommending the books!!

  6. Too much Mush. Not my kind of reading :-/ And yes, I’ll surely pick up atlas shrugged next after the comment monster recommendations :P
    Ah I can imagine!!!!!!!

  7. I’am a die heart nicholas sparks fan… I have read walk to remember and simply loved it… You must also read “The Wedding” , its sequel of notebook… you can also try the last song… :)
    I simply love all his books that I have read so far….
    You are too :-) :-) I haven’t read the other books, Tan, but am quite keen on doing it now :-) as long as they don’t leave me feeling all sad :-(

  8. Well I saw the movie dear john and it was pretty good watch. Oh you saw it? I can’t wait to see it now that I’ve read the book!
    Not very good with books me so cant say anything. He he he!
    you have agreat sunday tooooo Danke :-)

  9. And I hv nt read any of these :P Will grab the 1st and the 2nd soon ;)

    Old-fashioned, perhaps. But ‘sacred‘ nevertheless. – He he, well said Pal :D
    :razz: Not the third one Swar?

  10. I loved all these books, Pals :) same pinch :) Nicholas Sparks, I keep an eye out for his latest releases and pick them up alomst as soon as they get released. And he has not done a book for a while now :(
    He he, same pinch no back pinch :lol: Why hasn’t he done a book recently? Not fair huh!! I have to go online and reserve all his other books now ;-) One of the benefits of our libraries no? :-)

  11. The post title “Three in a row” dusted my memory that I have to complete a 4 year pending book “Three men in a boat” :P Thanks!
    Ohhhhh that is my all time favourite!! How could you keep it pending for that long?!!!

  12. Btw, why RED?!!!!!!!!!! :P The color is S.T.R.I.K.I.N.G
    he he, just wanted to get out of the boring white and grey shades :-)
    P.S I think my wife would enjoy all this 3 novels, so going to add to my book queue list. :)
    Danger zone, LR, like Dee said above, women generally grow out of reading mushy books once they realise the truth about marriage ;-) ;-) :lol:

  13. I used to be a die hard mills and boons person! Then I grew out of them, once I saw wht marriage does to such notions of love! LOL! But yeah, I see these books sometimes and wonder if I shd grab one to read! I doubt I’d be able to take the stuff, but who knows without trying it first?!
    He he, I’m with you on that :-) I think you’ll be able to read the stuff, as long as you can forget about it once you close the book ;-)

  14. wow! 3 books in that short a time?!! I’m filing a case for making me feel guilty.. Its over 45 days, and am still reading one book. ok, to get a break from this one, i read a terrible crap (will post a review) and regret it.. so back to continue the other.. confused? ok never mind.. am not reading enuff. period!

  15. I love all the ones you have mentioned, especially Notebook.. U Me n Hum was a copy of two movies: Notebook and 50 first dates.. You cant imagine Bollywood directors to come up with something original :) They know only to copy :P

  16. though how much i hate nicholas spark (i have some unintentional hate) and ayn rand ( godess) being read by you one after another…i will admire the common link u have found between them

    i never visualized atlas shrugged as a love story…it was more of disarrayed emotions captured….and lovely reviews….though havent read walk to remember and could not complete ‘the notebook’ the movies were still a bit heart fluttering :)

  17. Nicholas Sparks.. his books are nice, romantic, damn sweet but sad …. :)

    Have u read Judi picoult? i like her books, but again most are about kids, and slightly depressing….

    Currenlty reading 9lives by Dalrymple and last train to Alcatrez- both are damn interesting.. :D

  18. ‘The notebook’, I remember to have seen the movie in English, is this the one? I liked the movie. Nowadays, I don’t seem to read much, I used to read a lot until a few years back! I still like romantic movies, though!

  19. Atlas Shrugged – Have read it many a times, when I had all the time in the world. ;)
    Interesting books and reviews – my daughter had noted them all – she is a Nicholas Sparks fan…. :) :)

    I think I’ll try to get that last one….for sure. :)

  20. Recently saw the movie version of ‘The notebook’ in English and liked it ….and If ‘U, me aur hum’ is “inspired” from ‘The Notebook’ then I must say a very bad ‘interpretation’…
    ‘Atlas Shrugged’ is in my reading list too… but nowadays not able to find time for long books…

  21. A die hard Spark fan, have collected all his novels written so far,
    my first and best so far is “notebook” followed by “message in bottle” and “walk to remember”.
    Loved the post here
    currently reading Richard Bach : bridge across forever , a must read

  22. I loved Nicholas Spark ..but stopped,because he made me cry..haven’t read Dear John..must try it.
    BTW,why no new posts?where are you?Everything OK,na?

  23. I am intimidated by books like Atlas Shrugged and The Fountainhead. A bit too heavy for me. Do watch the movie A Walk to Remember. It’s worth watching.

  24. Oh wow!! I love nicholas sparks’ books! I have read Notebook and The walk to remember. Yes…I am a die hard romantic!! I liked both these books and the movie version too!! Haven’t read the third one…need to read this too!!

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