There are so many things I love about being a professional book reviewer. Of course, the biggest one is the joy of reading. I also love being exposed to new talents and some of them are really worth looking forward to. By reading the debut book (or second book in some cases), I often feel that the author is going to stay here for long. Of course, being a bestseller or writing for a long time doesn’t guarantee quality. But, the potential of the author is often seen in his/her earlier work itself. Some of them then chose to keep the tempo as is, and, some decide to go with the market flow. We cannot say what is right and what is wrong, as the writer needs to be compensated with money too.
Recently I got a chance to read a fantastic book named To Cappuccino with Love with the tagline A lot does happen over coffee… by debutante author Roopa Prabhakar. I like the way in which the author has mentioned the tagline on an inner page: “A lot
can does happen over coffee…”. The logic she used to pick the famous tagline for a coffee shop chain and twisted it, is amusing :).
|Book Title||:||To Cappuccino with Love
A lot does happen over coffee…
|Publisher||:||Self Publishing (November 30, 2019)|
|# of Pages||:||
1215 KB; 93 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters||:||9|
Let us take a look at the book cover.
Being the entry point to the fictional world explored within, a book cover is responsible for making the first impression of the book. And, more often than not it plays a vital role in a remarkable number of book purchase and/or reading decisions. Of course, we cannot judge a book solely based on the book cover, and we must not, but, the impact of the book (in both positive and negative aspects) is something you cannot ignore.
The title says it all, right? The book title is written in coffee-brown color and tagline in light green color. The book is about a love story blossom over the coffee dates. So, having a cup of coffee releasing its aroma though hot vapors, is expected on the cover page. You can see two cups of coffee (both in different colors). The hands of a boy and a girl in an entangled position expresses the warmth of the meeting quite interestingly. The author has preferred light background rather than using cheerful colors, and that looks fine.
Overall, the cover goes in sync with the book title and the story explored within. It is descent and moderately attractive.
Let us take a bird’s eye view of the story. I will try to avoid as many spoilers as possible in the subsequent sections, however, please read with a consent that some of them are inevitable.
Maya is a happy-go-lucky girl. She was grown up in a healthy family environment. Her parents were protective but never interfering. She was free to do what she wants, within certain boundaries, of course. Like any other family, her parents also have started hunting for a suitable groom for her. With her consent. Maya is a coffee lover and she has no filter (she speaks her mind, often without thinking).
Karan is the first candidate she got a chance to meet. Karan is healthy, intelligent and mature for his age. He is very clear in his mind. Just to keep the family’s expectations in a check, Maya decided to meet Karan at a coffee shop rather than at home. And, that too alone. Karan and his family have no objection to that. They meet at a CCD.
Pooja is the best friend of Maya. She is recently engaged with Raghav aka Rags. They complement each other. Raghav is possibly the best choice for Pooja. Pooja’s growing up was quite contrary to that of Maya.
What happened in their lives from the point forward is explored in the book interestingly. And, over the course, you meet Maya’s parents, Pooja’s parents, Aniket (Mr. Yogi) and many other characters. CCD and Starbucks keep appearing in each of the 9 chapters.
Views And Reviews:
The book comes with a unique concept that will be admired mainly by coffee lovers. The name of the chapters includes at least one coffee type. And, more importantly, it goes in sync with the story.
Reading the book reminded me of “Kimball Ravenswood” – a famous book by Madhu Rye – a popular Gujarati author. You may not know him or heard about him, but let me share two references which will remind you of the book. Kimball Ravenswood was first adopted as a Hindi TV Serial named “Mr. Yogi” where Mohan Gokhle played the role of the protagonist.
By the way, Aniket – one of the characters of the book – is also referred to as “Mr. Yogi” in the book (though, in a totally different context.
The story was later adapted in the form of a film named “What’s Your Rashee” by famous director Ashutosh Govarikar starring Harman Baveja and Priyanka Chopra in lead roles.
The book has its own aspects of course. And, the most prominent is the way it weaved “coffee” in the story. I can say that “coffee” and “coffee shops” are two important characters in the book. More importantly, it is not looked forcefully infused at any stage, it is weaved pretty nicely.
I found the characters are developed pretty well in the book. They are not perfect, they all have their vulnerabilities, and that makes them real. For example, Maya is a happy-go-lucky ambitious girl, but she doesn’t have a filter, she speaks before she thinks. The way she implemented her experiments, it is no surprise that some of them go wrong.
Karan is the most sorted out person, humble, intelligent and genuine. He, afraid of losing what he considered precious, often hesitate taking an initiative. He, on the other hand, stands like a rock with his friends when needed. Pooja had seen the ugly side of a marriage, and thus she is hesitant in going ahead with the genuine most relationship. Her hypothetical thinking makes her suffer along with her loved one. There is one hardworking fellow, who has a bipolar personality. One fellow is very calm and composed and follows the instructions of his Gurus which you consider “too much”. Every relationship is unique in its way and one has to deal in his/her own way, based on the circumstances. The book has some perfect characters who are like guides. For example, the parents of Maya. Overall, I can re-iterate that the author has thoughtfully brought the characters from society and make them part of her book.
One problem we see with the romantic, love-story oriented books, is the way cuss words and adulteries are explored. Maybe some readers find it amusing and love to go with and the author has to think about the market also. But, it definitely affects the quality of the book. I like the fact that “To Cappuccino with Love” is quite clean in that sense. It is a genuinely written love story.
The book has some fantastic lines which elaborate on the internal dilemma of the characters without using too many words. Here is an example:
My life has been so perfect; will marriage be my waterloo?
Probably, every person (logical and thoughtful, of course) has gone through such thoughts in his/her life at least once.
I like the way Maya’s parents are introduced.
She had lucked out big time when it come to parents.
Maya knew that her parents keenly observed what was happening in her life, their apparent nonchalance did not fool her, the boundaries were clearly drawn but she had never felt the need to push them.
This is the ideal family environment. I also like the way the changing persona is talked about in the book. When you find someone complimenting and completing you, it is obvious that the joy is reflected in your persona also. The author beautifully says:
The wild Pooja had turned into a Bollywood heroine overnight.
I also like the way the author talked about outer appearances.
The grungy looking girl had disappeared and in her place was a smart and sophisticated woman.
Of course, outer looks are not everything, but they surely register your first impression to others. And when you are too conscious, actually, you are ruining out the things. That is why it is said the being natural and comfortable makes your persona better.
She had liked his picture, he seemed relaxed and at ease with himself unlike the cheesy poses that the other boys were into.
The author has paid attention on minute details. Especially, the psychological stuff. More often than not, we found the lovers behave rebel against their elders. There are very few love stories where you see love birds understand the point of view of their elders. It is rare to see the mention of “How difficult it is for parents to find the life partner for their child?” This book is a rare exception in that sense. One of the prime characters, tells the following:
I’m sure even our parents didn’t think they’ll have to look out for us, trying to find a partner for your child must be very stressful.
The book has some nice word plays. Here is an example:
She contemplated on canceling her meeting with Karan but decided to bite the bullet.
Some lines in the book represents the human behavior in convincing manner and conveys an important message at the same time.
… hoping that focusing on other people’s problems would take her mind off her own.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
… that sorting yourself out is more important than pissing off your parents…
All the book chapters have a tagline. All of them represent a different type of coffee and even the essence of the chapter is summarized well in those taglines. Here is one of them, which I like:
Please grant me coffee to change the things I can and Yoga to accept the things I can’t
The author has used some interesting phrases in the book, eg: “kindred spirits”. It makes the book good at literary qualities and will amuse reading buffs too.
At the same time, I see that there are many sentences that end without a “.” (full stop). There is a problem with ” (Quotes), especially the ending one. We see a leading space before that. And some quotes appear on the next line (just only “, as they are separated from the last word with a space).
I also found that some lines require better proofreading. For example, there is one place where you can see “and and”. At a place “Starbucks joint” is referred as “Stars buck joint”. Like many other Indian authors, Roopa also has used the word “anyways”. Some sentences could have been written better. Eg:
Wake up sleepy-head, I have some news from you”…
(should be “for you” not “from you”).
Of course, there are many other attributes of the book which are worth talking about, but they will contain spoilers, so let us not talk about them. By now, you must have got a fair idea about the content of the book in terms of quality and style. If simple books interest you then you should go for this one.
Overall, I found this book quite an interesting read. It is genuinely written, no abusive stuff, no cuss words, straight forward story. It has some good literary attributes too. If you are a coffee-lover, you will enjoy reading it even more.
Around 8 out of 10.
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- Buy Book From Amazon US – Paperback
- Buy Book From Amazon US – Kindle EBook
Over To You:
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