Author : Madhuri Varma
Pages : 192
Publisher : Sanbun
Genre : Romance/ Drama
Cover : 4/5
Title : 4/5
Blurb : 3.5/5
Story : 3/5
Theme : 4/5
Overall : 3.5/5
The story revolves around the lives of four friends- Sakshi, Revathi, Aditya and Ryan. Narrated by Sakshi, the book traces their intertwined journeys from teenage to adulthood- their relationships and the phases they go through. Sakshi and revathi have been very good friends since childhood, while Aditya has always been Sakshi’s best friend. The story starts when the four are in 9th standard and their feelings for each other undergo transitions- sakshi and aditya start to realise that their relationship is a bond deeper than just friendship, while Ryan has developed feelings for Revathi.
The book explores how their relationships develop over time, and how Ryan and revathi’s love has to go through the trying tests of society, because of Ryan and Revathi being from two different religions.
The book is a refreshingly different take on the much discussed love-v/s-religion issue, while at the same time being a charming romance.
THE APPRECIABLE ASPECTS :
- The main areas where the book scores are-
- The charming innocence of the story
- The simple narrative style
- Extremely relatable situations
- Endearing characters (sakshi, aditya, revathi, Ryan, etc.)
- Pace is maintained throughout
- Smooth transitions from one phase to another
- The use of simple communicative language
- Eye-catching cover
THE LETDOWNS :
The areas where the book disappoints or the aspects that could have been improved are:
- The narration seems sometimes extremely hurried. Incidents are well chronicled, but emotions do not come across very well.
- Repetitive use of certain phrases limits the narration to a certain line of thought.
- A more expansive use of vocabulary would have inspired more interest.
- Certain characters, like Jake, Sanjana, Nicole and Natasha have not been very deftly sketched, leaving a lot to the reader’s imagination.
- The love v/s religion issue could have been explored in greater depth.
- At times, the story loses contact with the reader, failing to convey the characters’ feelings accurately.
The title and the cover page had made me expect something entirely different- a boy and a girl who have to break free of the shackles of religion and society to consummate their love for each other. The issue does come up towards the end, but for the greater part of the book, the religion aspect lies dormant. So although the love stories of Ryan-Reva and Sakshi-Aditya are extremely endearing and their relationships dealt with extremely sensitively, the reader does keep wondering when the religion issue will be taken up.
One thing about the book that is really praiseworthy is the almost child-like innocence of the story and narration. Not once does the writer lose the charming innocence of the characters or the pristine relationships. The simplicity of the situations is what makes the reader love the story- the writer does not bring in unnecessary complications. Another thing that I loved was the instant connection with the lives of Sakshi and her friends. Any person who has gone through teenage or is still a teenager will be able to instantly relate with the situations that are woven into the story, and that is what makes it so endearing. It could really have been a real life story from around us- that makes it realistic.
Sakshi and Reva’s friendship has been depicted beautifully, but most of the other relationships (like that of Sakshi and Natasha) are described hazily. At some points, too much seems to be happening, and too little emotion conveyed. However, the pace of the story guarantees to keep you involved till the end.
Over-all, the book is extremely charming, in a very sweet manner, but somehow left me feeling dissatisfied- my interest level would have been raised a notch higher if the religion issue had been completely exploited. Without that the book tends to remain, for a greater part, simply a love story, albeit a very sincere and beautiful one at that. Not a must read, but definitely a good read!
Reviewed By Vanya Nigam