Cake Review: CakeZone, Madhapur

Food is one of the greatest pleasures in life. It is no secret that I enjoy food and I am pretty sure that you can relate or know someone who can relate, as you read this post. Why else would you want to know about this bakery, right? 😛

But I am not JUST a food lover.  I also have a humongous, gigantic, massive sweet tooth (As you can tell from my cheeks) and when CakeZone reached out to me for a cake review, I was absolutely delighted. Knowing I had a cake box waiting for me at home in my refrigerator was enough motivation to help me get through my long and boring day.

So, let’s just cut the story and get to the mouth-watering part, alright?

The Outside

My first analysis was of the packaging. I wanted to see how much effort this place put into its boxes. So, that was the first thing I did. Maybe I have seen the best of the best in Hyderabad, or perhaps I am difficult to please when it comes to art and beauty… but the cake box was a huge letdown.

It was just that square box we’ve been seeing from childhood. Plain and boring. Also, it was yellow, of which I am not a fan. Here’s my suggestion to the management. Please try and spruce up your packaging because as shallow and silly as it sounds, appearance really does add a LOT to the marketing strategy. People are attracted to beautiful things and your job is half done when you invest in the outside because that is what people see first.

Make it fancy, make it your own individual style, make it colourful… but mostly, make it stand out.

Rating: 1/5

The Cake

Obviously, this is the most important part. I got a Red Velvet cake because though I have tasted multiple of these before,  I wanted to know what the craze was all about. To be honest, I am not a fan of this flavour which is why I will not mention my opinion alone in this review but will conglomerate the opinions of six other people who tasted this cake (mostly Red Velvet lovers).

Appearance:

On the outside, the cake looked very beautiful. Extra points for that. What lacked in the box, definitely made up in terms of how the cake looked. In a combination of red and white, it glistened within, utterly scrumptious and delightful in the simplest way. I almost didn’t want to cut it.

Rating: 4/5 

Texture:

The moment I put the knife on the cake, it sliced through beautifully, feeling so soft and filled with moisture, just like it should be. It didn’t fall apart, it didn’t crumble and it stayed perfectly intact. The icing remained fluffy and the layers within were beautiful. Overall, it was picturesque.

Rating: 4/5

Taste:

This is obviously the most important factor of a cake. First, the pros. It melted in the mouth the moment I tasted it. It was moist and fluffy. That is one of the best things about a cake.  I thoroughly enjoyed the experience. However, coming to the cons, I found it highly scented. I didn’t like the taste of the artificial flavour. It also had a strong sense of coconut in it which just didn’t seem right to me.

However, I know that  I can’t base a review of a bakery on just one cake, so I inquired from my friends who have been here and they only had good things to say. Their most delicious cakes are supposed to be the Black Forest and the Chocolate cakes. They sell 1/2 kg and 1 kg cakes for which are customization as per requirement is done. That is the best part. Your cake is tailor-made for you.

Price

I was going through the menu to check the prices out. There are multiple other bakeries that are priced lower than this one and I will say that the price is definitely on the higher side. However, given the customization aspect and the quick delivery, it definitely deserves a try.

Overall

I will recommend this place for you to give it a shot. The cakes are fresh and high in quality.
Here is the address:

Plot 588, Sri Sai Nilayam,
14-15, 100 Feet Road,
Swamy Ayyappa Society,
Jaihind Enclave,
Madhapur,
Hyderabad

 

CakeZone Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

If you would like a review of any kind, mail me at shravya.gunipudi@gmail.com

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Book Review: Transitions and Beyond (4) by Inderjit Kaur

I just read Transitions and Beyond (4) by Inderjit Kaur.
While I was expecting it to be like yet another self-help book, it proved to be so much more than just that. Here is what I thought…

BOOK COVER:

I wasn’t very sure what to make of it at first. I found it utterly confusing and weird. But then upon trying to analyse it, I liked how it shows a piece of a puzzle, a direction moving across a cracked path and growth among rubble. It sent many motivational messages to me though I wished it could be represented in a more attractive way.

Cover Rating – 3 / 5

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

The title is perfect. It’s apt for the subject which is about change from a disorganized and haphazard way of living. It also promises of teaching something more than just that. I liked how it sounds.

Title Rating – 4.5 / 5

Theme

The main focus of this novel is how the right way you transition from your existing way of life can drastically change how success comes to you. It speaks about structure, modification and dedication, all of which are essential to be able to move forward from an unclear future. There is immense positive feeling that one derives from the way the author has portrayed these lessons.

Additionally, in order to make it more catchy and memorable, the lessons and motivational guides are split into modules. This is another strong point which makes implementation quick and easy. to elaborate, there are a total of three modules. The first is ‘The Change’ which speaks about exactly that. It highlights some very valuable points about how a person develops a patterned way of living which needs to be altered to succeed. The second is ‘Interventions’ which is more of a self-analysis about the present and the progress. This is the one that contains the most depth and philosophical teaching. Lastly, we have ‘Revive and Renewal’ which is like a refresh button to your own life. It is acceptance, understanding and tolerance.

What really struck a chord with me in my personal life is how the concept of change and stress merge into one another. This was something I could relate to very well. The knowledge derived may not be completely new, but it is, to the most extent, quite catchy and read-worthy. That is the strength of this work.

The writing style is simple, to the point and lacks any major grammatical errors.

Rating – 4 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

Though the information is probably something we’ve thought about every now and then, the presentation is excellent and I found the book worth my while. I would recommend this to someone grappling with life or struggling to strike a chord with difference.

Final Rating: 4 / 5

Verdict: Recommended!

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Book Review: Principles of Success by Roopleen

I just read Principles of Success by Roopleen.
In an ocean of fiction, this self-help book shines through.

BOOK COVER:

I like how refreshingly different the cover is, with the title written in a tilted fashion to represent the steps of success. That is how I deciphered this cover, and I really found it innovative. Hats off for this aspect.

Cover Rating – 4.5 / 5

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

Given that this is a non-fiction, I am not going to rate the title the way I usually do the rest. I found this one apt to the subject and it complimented the author’s intentions perfectly.

Title Rating – 5/5

Theme

To keep it simple, this book highlights the fourteen steps that one needs to take in order to achieve success. Each of these principles is divided into chapters, making this read very effective. I found it quite engaging and since I don’t have the time to complete a book in one go, I was able to read a couple of chapters at a time and still retain the depth of the content. For this reason, I applaud the author. She ensured that each of the steps is clearly distinguished so the reading from a previous session doesn’t go in vain.

Additionally, in order to make it more catchy and memorable, the lessons and motivational guides are split into bullet points. This is another strong point which makes implementation quick and easy.

What really struck a chord with me in my personal life is how the concept of happiness and success merge into one another. This was something I could relate to very well because I’ve often struggled with these two components of life. Somehow, this read eased that stress for me.

The writing style is simple, to the point and lacks any major grammatical errors.

Rating – 5 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

Though the information isn’t all brand new and is probably something we’ve thought about every now and then, the presentation is excellent and I found the book worth my while.

Final Rating: 5 / 5

Verdict: Definitely Recommended!

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Book Review: Psycon by Varun T

I just read Psycon by Varun Tejwani. What started with apprehension ended with amazement.
Here is what I thought.

BOOK COVER:

I love how the cover has an element of suspense and mystery to it. Darkness is the most intriguing factor and upon first look, it develops in readers a sense of curiosity. Good job on being able to do that.

Cover Rating – 4 / 5

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

The title is a conglomeration of what I presume as psychological and a con based story. It is unique and unlike any other I’ve seen. I like the build it presents of the story,  leading to a variety of guesses about the plot.

Title Rating – 4 / 5

PLOT

This novel falls broadly into the genre of a Political Thriller which revolves around the  IT department, black money and corruption. It builds slowly yet steadily into a massive tale of gripping suspense. It falls rightly into the thriller category as the author has beautifully woven a serious masterpiece.

The infusion of ‘Satyameva Jayate’ with ridiculed patriotism and the intervention of CBI are commendable, to say the least. The story revolves around Prateek and Yashwardhan who constitute ‘Psycon’ in an attempt to get involved in the ruling party’s regime and con their way out with massive wealth.

The writing style is strong with a good sense of language and grammar. It is an easy ready and will keep you hooked till the end. The plot compliments the author’s sense of satire.

Rating – 4.5 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

If you are into a thriller of its best kind, then Psycon is the book for you. Pick it up, give it a shot and you are sure to be enthralled. This will be an excellent addition on your shelf. I guarantee it.

It is available both as an e-book as well as paperback and the best part is that whatever royalty the author makes from this book gets donated to the Prime Minister’s National Relief Fund.

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Final Rating: 4.5 / 5

Verdict: Recommended!

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Book Review: The Moon in the Sun

I just read The Moon in the Sun by Sanjay Kumar Singh and found it quite refreshing.
Here is what I thought.

BOOK COVER:

I loved the symolism of the novel though I did not find it to be very attractive.  However, the plus points are the strength and the vibe that resonates from it.

Cover Rating – 3 / 5

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

My only complaint is that I found the title quite long and difficult to remember. It comes with a byline ‘A novel in the poetry of love, life, soul and wildlife’. I really like how it all sounds though I thought it could have been shortened a bit. The main title is witty, catchy and quite mesmerizing.

Title Rating – 4/5

PLOT

The book is a lot different from most that I’ve read which is why I will definitely give it brownie points. The author is clearly fascinated by the natural aspects of livelihood which shines through the book. The main plot centers on how the protagonist finds his oneness with nature and wildlife.

What really moved me was the interception of the tiger in this person’s life and their similarities which was the underlying factor of the novel. It is incredibly difficult to portray these aspects but the author has done a very good job. It is obvious that he put his heart into it.

Rating – 4.5 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

The book is a pleasurable read with interesting scenarios and moving scenes. Do opt for it if you are a nature lover or if you would love to discover how much it affects our lives.

Final Rating: 4 / 5

Verdict: Recommended!

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Book Review: Once Upon a Time in College by Gumlat Maio

I just read Once Upon a Time in College by Gumlat Maio.
Here is what I thought.

BOOK COVER:

The cover is simple, elegant and catchy. The characters on the cover are extremely cute and I thought it was witty of the author to use illustrative images rather than real people. It gives a more lively, fun vibe.

Cover Rating – 4 / 5

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

Given that the plot is centering around the emotions and the vibrations of college life, I will say that it is best suited. The title ‘Once Upon a Time in College’ has been written inventively on the cover which adds to the attraction factor.

However, the title did not catch my attention as it didn’t justify the beauty of the plot completely.

Title Rating – 3.5/5

PLOT

The genre is romance and also contains dashes of humour within, but it allows the plot to go deeper that that as well. The credit goes to the author for being able to entwine emotions with depth and a touch of philosophy as well. The main characters ‘Gaam’ and ‘Sonam’ have been portrayed very well. I love the characterization of both these protagonists though my personal favourite of the two is Sonam.

The plot traverses in and around romance while highlighting very important features of college such as the relationship between a senior and a junior, how stress from peers can cause repercussions, the mentality of a college student and the result of impulsive decisions. Now all this concludes on quite a philosophical note, teaching us not one but many lessons along the way.

It was an enjoyable read. The writing style is great with minimal errors and the plot in interesting.

Rating – 4 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

Anyone who is in the peak of their college lives or would like to relive their varied aspects should definitely read this book for nostalgia and relativity.

Final Rating: 4 / 5
Verdict: Recommended!

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Book Review: The Highway Man by J. Alchem

Usually, when I hear about a book of short stories,  it is usually a collection of 12 – 15 stories. But with this one, I was surprised. It only consisted of three stories and was a pretty short read. So, I’m going to center my review in a detailed manner around these.

Firstly, the synopsis. I was quite disappointed with this mainly because of the grammatical errors. It didn’t manage to capture my attention. But nevertheless, I will add here that the book did hold more surprises than the synopsis did. I would suggest for the author to get a couple of expert opinions before rolling out the synopsis of his next books as that is what draws attention of the readers.

 

 

Second, the cover. This is entirely to each his own which is why I won’t say much but though it was classy, I wasn’t thoroughly impressed. I generally look for two factors – how catchy the cover is and how it connects to the plot. I wish the author chose something like a blend or an abstract form for his cover.

Now, the plot. There are a total of three stories. ‘Catherine‘ shows a side of love that deals with mindless obsession of an author with  a physician. What’s beautiful about this story is how the  author dealt with the ending of the plot. I personally found it quite entertaining and that is the steal of this story.

Sidzy, for a day‘ is a story  between a ‘very much in love’ couple who go out of their way to express their feelings for one another. This was the weak link in the book for me and I personally did not enjoy this story though I am very sure that a lot of people did. However, I did love how the author vividly described the romance between the two characters.

Finally, ‘The Highway Man‘. I heard a lot about how this was the best story of the book and given that the title of the entire book revolves around this one, I was eager to find out. It’s about a widower who copes with life as a single father. I thought it was touching and very moving. The author’s writing style really shone through.

Overall, it was a short and enjoyable read. I definitely recommend it. A special mention to the ‘acknowledgements’ section of this book – It is unlike anything I’ve read before. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Cover Rating – 3.5 / 5
Plot Rating – 4 / 5
Title Rating – 3 / 5

Overall Rating – 4 / 5

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Book Review: Karma by Kevin Missal

I just read Karma by Kevin Missal and found it quite thrilling.

The book cover was fantastic and had an eerie feel to it. It has the vibe of a horror film which made it even more appealing to me. I love the colour combination and the feel of it. Coming to the title,  I have to say it was bang on to the plot. Short, catchy and intriguing. It had all the right elements to it. Also, I have to mention, this being an ‘instaread’, which basically means it’s much smaller than the usual novel, I definitely was excited because I’ve never seen anything quite like it… A tiny book with so much of depth to it. Great job on that.

 

 

Now, the main plot. The blurb behind the book is excellent. It’s very short and creates a lovely anticipatory feeling.  It is a very engaging read about a widower who begins to see his dead wife. What follows is a series of events, twists and lessons that unravel a rather complicated mess. The book leaves you feeling content, yet with a hint of a doubt in your mind, which seems like what the author intended to do with his story.  The writing style is good, the flow is constant and I wasn’t bored anywhere. Another factor to take into consideration is how the author cleverly inter-played a few of our societal issues today, in a caste-based as well as legal mix-and-match. This fits well with the theme.

Overall, it was an enjoyable read, one that takes less than an hour to complete. Definitely money’s worth. I recommend it.

 

Cover: 4/5
Title: 5/5
Plot: 4.5/5
Overall: 4.5/5

Book Review: Twenty Twenty – A Race Against Time by Anuraag Srivastava

I just read Twenty Twenty – A Race Against Time by Anuraag Srivastava.
Here is what I thought.

 

BOOK COVER:

I personally did not like the book cover. It just didn’t seem like a lot of effort was put into it. It is unoriginal and bland. Sadly, this just did not work for me.

Cover Rating – 2.5 / 5

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

The title is perfect for the plot and the story. I felt that it fit well with the essence of the novel. Time is always something that we have no control over. It slips out of our grasp before we even know it. That justifies the plot as well as the title quite well.

Title Rating – 5/5

PLOT

The genre is Thriller, which is very evident both from the cover and the title. However, there is so much more to the story than just that. The story revolves around two siblings who find themselves caught in a seemingly impossible situation where they have just twenty days to relieve themselves from their own stressful adventure.

The part I loved most about this book is that it has two female protagonists, both portrayed as powerful and sophisticated women who are able to hold their ground. It revolves around the troubles they face, the manipulations they have at the center of their hands and the relationships that are tethering at the edge of breaking points. It is very admirable to see that the author has been able to portray a side to women that isn’t really acceptable within the Indian Society. These two sisters do everything that a man does and gets away with – be it sex, power and even redemption.

It was an enjoyable read. The writing style is very good and the book is quite fast paced.

Rating – 5 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

Definite recommendation from my end. Worthy of reading and will linger with you for a long time.

Final Rating: 4 / 5
Verdict: Recommended!

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Book Review: Sick of Being Healthy by Monisha K. Gumber

I just read ‘Sick of Being Healthy’ by Monisha K. Gumber and it was a joyous experience. Here is what I thought.

BOOK COVER:

I love the book cover. It’s bright, it’s elegant and it portrays the essence of the theme perfectly.

Cover Rating – 4 / 5

 

TITLE JUSTIFICATION:

When I first read ‘Dying to Live’ by the same author, I was fascinated by the title and quite honestly, that was the main reason for my wanting to read this book. I LOVE the way the author uses wordplay in her titles.

Title Rating – 5/5

PLOT

 

This plot is very personal to me as weight issues are something I’ve dealt with my whole life. I could find a couple of relate-worthy instances within the book which drew me in completely. The novel deals with a chubby teenager who is self-conscious about her appearance and this stops her from getting what she wants. It revolves around the troubles she faces academically, peer pressure , anxiety, depression and unrealistic aspirations.

The story is about loving yourself from within and accepting yourself for who you are. It’s a big boost to a lot of people and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever been put down for the way they look. It is filled with illustrations, screen grabs and images.

Love the book.

Rating – 5 / 5

OVERALL IMPRESSION:

A wonderful read, and a definite recommendation from me.

Final Rating: 5 / 5
Verdict: Recommended for Teens!

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