Notes on a Scandal by Zoe Heller [Book Review]

Notes on a Scandal.jpgTitle : Notes on a Scandal

Author : Zoe Heller

ISBN : 9780141029061

Publisher : Penguin UK

Genre : Nonfiction

Pages : 256

Source : Self

Rating : 4 Stars

Been wanting to read this book for a very long time.! Notes on a Scandal is a heart-wrenching read.

The story revolves around one Miss Sheba, who has an illicit affair with one of her pupils in the school she works in. The Book is narrated by her friend Barbara, a middle-aged woman who befriends Sheba after she joins the school.

I like how in the story ‘relationships’ are handled delicately, as they should be. How sometimes, people in relationships take things for granted, how they don’t realise what they have until they lose it and pay the price for it. The story also talks about ‘betrayal’ of friendship.

The story had a rather sad ending and makes you wish things had turned out differently. A lot of “coulda shoulda and woulda”.

It also touches certain topics like ‘loneliness’, ‘sexual frustration’ and ‘jealousy’. Which have been subtly incorporated in the narration by the author.

All in all, Notes on a Scandal is a really good read but has a rather sad ending and makes you wish things had turned out differently.

Buy yourself a copy of the book here: Notes on a Scandal

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Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik [Book Review]

514pg6W7kCL.jpgTitle : Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged

Author : Ayisha Malik

ISBN : 9781785770036

Publisher : Twenty7

Genre : Chic lit

Pages : 456

Source : Publisher

Rating : 4 Stars

Sofia Khan is not obliged is a fresh and feisty romantic comedy on Muslim dating.  The protagonist Sofia Khan, a strong-willed and flawed Muslim woman, works for a publication in London. She refuses to marry her fiancé who’s expecting her to stay with his parents but has a ‘hole in the wall’ situation, which is basically a hole in the wall between the two houses.

Sofia narrates the entire incident to her bosses at work and is asked to write a book on Muslim dating! Sofia is skeptical at first but after the initial advance, decides to take it up. Sofia starts writing the book and has inspiration flying in from her family, friends and the people she meets from dating sites. What comes later forms the rest of the plot.

Sofia Khan is not Obliged is a debut novel by Ayisha Malik and for a debut it is pretty exceptional. The book has been called the Bridget Jones of Muslim dating and I must admit I found a lot of similarities. The book is written in a very informal and chatty style and is laid out in a diary/journal format with dates which makes it a fast-read.

What I loved most about the book, apart from the fact that it has a universal appeal and not just Muslim readers, is the portrayal of Muslim women and their lifestyles which aren’t stereotypical at all, in fact it is quite the opposite. The book kind of changes the preconceived notions or expectations people have about Muslim woman and Muslim dating. It is shown in the way Sofia chooses to wear a hijab, though her family never forces it on her. In fact Sofia’s mother would like it if she removed it.

Sofia is portrayed as a fearless and courageous woman, who has a sarcastic wit and prays five times a day. She is rather bored when people are surprised she wears a hijab. The secondary characters (Sofia’s family and friends) are rather vibrant and diverse.

The book is a light read! It is sharp, intelligent and is jammed with witty humor and a few laugh-out-loud moments. The tone of the book is pretty balanced between serious, romantic and funny and it has a good and satisfactory ending! Although the book is often referred to as a ‘chic lit’ it is much more than that.

Although the book is mostly character-drive and is engaging throughout, the plot could have been presented in a more condensed format. Having said that, the book is light hearted and refreshing. I’d highly recommend this. The author has announced the release of its sequel next year which is quite exciting!

Buy yourself a copy here.

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The Singles Game by Lauren Weisberger [Book Review]

The Singles Game - Lauren Weisberger.JPGTitle : The Singles Game

Author : Lauren Weisberger

ISBN : 9781476778211

Publisher : HarperCollins India

Genre : Chic Lit

Pages : 418

Source : Publisher

Rating : 5 stars

First off, a hearty thanks to the publisher HarperCollins for sending the Booktrack team this book. In “The Singles Game”, Lauren Weisberger, the author of the best selling Devil Wears Prada, dives into the world of the highly competitive tennis.

The book revolves around a tennis player, Charlie (short for Charlotte), who’s in her twenties. Charlie, determined to move ahead and make a name for herself, makes a pact with the brutal tennis coach Todd Feltner. Todd agrees to coach Charlie and in the process gives her a complete image makeover, transforming the good-girl into a warrior princess.

Under Todd’s rigorous training and guidance, Charlie excels at every match and starts getting famous. She gets endorsements from big brands and interviews on worlds biggest magazines. Charlie finds herself slowly being drifted into a world of Hollywood celebs, private parties and stylists.

The media goes wild for Charlie and as a result Charlie finds herself catapulted into a world of scandals, secret dates and heartbreaks. There comes a point when she realizes that all this fame comes at a very high price and that she is not herself anymore and wonders if the real her is still inside.

Charlie reaches a point where she has to make a hard choice and this forms the rest of the plot.

Weisberger’s narration is witty, funny and intriguing! This is the first book of hers that I am reading, but from what I have heard about her books, she delves mostly on topics like fame, success, profession, professional politics, fashion, celebrities and the like.

I must say I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book, it kept me hooked till the end. I couldn’t wait to find out how it ends and it did not disappoint! What’s more? I could relate so much to this book and I am sure a lot of you can. I’m definitely going to pick another book by the author. Meanwhile, I’d highly recommend this book. It’s an easy read.

Buy a copy for yourself from Amazon here.

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