Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Nischala's Blog-o-Review : Book - The Secret Wishlist BY Preeti Shenoy

Name of Book : The Secret Wishlist
Author : Preeti Shenoy
Category : Fiction
Price : Rs.175/- 
Pages : 256 
Publisher : Westland
Publishing Year : 2012
ISBN : 978-93-82618-18-8

Book Synopsis
The book is a story of love, hope, passions, dreams, friendship and life.
The book revolves around the story of Diksha who falls in love at a young age. New and First love, passion, excitement and a high of emotions compels her to "KISS" the boy she loves - and that one KISS changes her life forever. It takes her away from her friends and the boy she loves, and compels her to make choices to "conform" to the "accepted norms of society" and to "live up to the expectations of her parents"..
She gets married, becomes a mother... And life move on several years...
Until something happens and she is compelled to re-look at her own life and the choices.. And she compiles "A Secret Wishlist".. which enables her to (re-) discover herself, her life, her emotions, her priorities... basically Her TRUE SELF...

What I liked about the Book?
* Excellent Story telling skills - I read the book in one sitting in a span of 3.5 hours (And trust me! For a working mother - That is a HUGE DEAL!! Simply because I usually don't get such BIG CHUNKS of time to myself)
* Story is very real. Something which anyone can relate to (especially if you are a woman.. And I guess more so if you're a married Indian woman)
* Easy to read
* If you're a woman in your 30's - It will definitely take you down memory lane to re-live your school days, childhood friendships, fun times, silly laughs, cheap thrills, excitement.. etc (May be it does the same to men and people in other age groups as well - But I am speaking of myself here!)
* Also a lot of sections of book compel you to think, reflect and introspect about your own life - especially the choices you made and also the way you'd like to live in future
* I also liked that Preeti ends with a page asking the reader to come up with your on "WISHLIST" - Basically a list of things that you would like to do in the future. I guess one does not really need to read a book to come up with a "WISHLIST", But if you draw your WISHLIST after you read the book - I think you are in the "right emotional state" to write up your list (The book touches deep basic human emotions within you)- And I personally think that your SECRET WISHLIST should be drawn from your heart!
 * I personally really liked Preeti's acknowledgement page. Especially that she always acknowledges and appreciates the support of her family [Husband Satish, kids (Atul and Purvi) and and her cute doggie (Lostris)]- And I know from personal experience that a writer definitely needs support from family to write! I also loved that she always thanks her staff and blog readers

Book Ruminations
As a reader, I surely wanted the book to end on a happy note.. And so it did.

But I continued to mull over the book for a few days after I read it...   In my view, Diskha (or the main protagonist of the book) had a few things which went well for her:
(1) A past which included a great life-long friend
(2) A love lost with whom she shared a special kiss
(3) The courage to draw up her SECRET WISHLIST
(4) Supporting ecosystem to fulfill her SECRET WISHLIST
(5) Her old love was still in love with her, AVAILABLE and was willing to accept her in spite of everything

I can't help but wonder..
* What about the real-world Diksha's who really don't have a past which included friendships? And I personally know of so many such women

* What about the real-world Diksha's who have never really experienced TRUE LOVE, who've never had that FIRST KISS? And I personally know of so many such women

* What about the real-world Diksha's who don't have the courage to draw up that SECRET WISHLIST? And I personally know of so many such women

* What about the real-world Diksha's who don't have the supporting ecosystem to fulfill their SECRET WISHLISTS? And I personally know of so many such women

* What about the real-world Diksha's whose so called "old-loves" moved on - Married, Found someone else, ended up with a terminal illness, died? And I personally know of so many such women

Just can't help wonder, what about all those real-world Diksha's? What would or could happen to them?

Nischala's Final Ratings
Story: A+
Writing Style : A+
Characters : A+ (Real and Believable)
Editing : A 
Pace : A (A bit slow in some places for my taste)
Message and Take-away : A+ (Positive and Powerful)
Return on Money Invested : For Rs 130 (The price I paid when I bought it online), it is worth every Rupee. It is almost like watching a movie and I think even movie tickets cost so much these days, not to mention the additional cost [time & effort] of driving to the movie hall, pop-corn, etc (Trust me! You don't need pop-corn to finish this book ;)
Return on Time Invested :  Infinite - If a book (and an author) can take you down memory lane, make you think, make you feel and make you dream - It is well worth your time! Full marks to the book and author
Preeti's Magic Formula : A lot of love, laced with a dose of friendship, dollops of dreams, loads of human emotions, a pinch of creativity all weaved into a wonderful story with a positive and powerful take-away makes it a wonderful read!
Overall Rating : A+ and a "Tiara Crown".. And yes! You should read the book

Nischala's Prediction :  "The Secret Wishlist" will inspire a movie (say Bollywood? or Hollywood?) some day in the future.. It has all elements of a block-buster HIT movie :). [Note: The only crucial part would be getting the casting right as the movie would be a "women-centric" movie. In my personal opinion, if this is a Bollywood movie then either Vidya Balan or Kajol will be able to carry off this role. And if Hollywood, I think Julia Roberts or Catherine Zeta Jones would be able to potray the character well - Again wishful thinking :)]
And Preeti if this book goes on to inspire a movie, then I predicted it here on my blog :)

For a preview of upcoming Book Reviews, check Nischala's BookShelf for 2013. I plan to post a review once a month.

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  1. :) Supreb :) even I loved the book :)

  2. Hi Nischala, Wonderful review.
    I found your book ruminations most interesting.
    I too like the acknowledgement page since my name appears there and even though I feel that Preeti is being very generous with her thanks:).
    I would say that as a man I found it equally engrossing and applicable.
    But most of all I loved who you would cast as actors. Vidya Balan in this role would rock. So would Catherine Zeta Jones (both are favourites of mine too). Now the only question is whether we make an English movie first and then it gets copied in to Hindi or vice versa.
    Cheers. Satish

    1. Thank Satish.. Well I think you and your family deserve every bit of the THANK YOU.. I don't know you personally, but from what I read on Preeti's blog / FB page - I am sure you play a great supporting role to enable her to write, else I doubt if it would have been feasible.. I think you are being very humble here.

      As an active blogger, I can definitely say that it requires support and some sacrifices on the personal front, so I guess a book must be no less.

      Well I guess basic human emotions are the same (Be it for a man / woman) - so in that sense, I am sure the book has a universal appeal.. Its just that some of the thoughts and emotions may be more specific to what women typically tend to endure, and of course the dynamics of a marriage (and the power equations) varies between couples. So yes, I am sure it will resonate with a lot more people

      Well, I honestly think it will inspire a movie.. Hollywood / Bollywood - Both would be equally cool... :)

      Have a great day. Nischala

  3. Awesome review of a wonderful book!