Book Review: The Shadow of Darkness by Priyanka Baranwal

Book: The Shadow of Darkness

Author: Priyanka Baranwal

Publisher: Pothi

Genre: ‘Strong’ Romance – strength of character and strength of bonds

In One Line: Love conquers all the past ills that has happened in one’s life

Continue reading


Book Review: Quarter Life Crisis by Anshuk Attri

Book: Quarter Life Crisis

Author: Anshuk Attri

Publisher: publishing

Genre: The ‘romance’ of life

In One Line: The trials and tribulations of life revealed in 299 pages

Characterisation: The protagonists of this story, Prachur and Neera have been characterised well. They have ample flesh and blood and one can imagine what they are like. His aside, what I liked was that even the side characters like the friends and the parents have been given personality enough to make them believable. As I read he book, the one I developed the greatest fondness for was Prachur’s sister. She was the right combination of modernity and tradition, emotions and logic, and sternness and softness.

Language: It is an easy to read book with some cliched lines and quite a few punches punched in throughout the book. One that made me smile came right on the first page – “All things considered, this campus probably would not find a place in the Architectural Digest, but to me, it was my second home.” And here is a special applause to the author for keeping sexual descriptions to the bear minimum even though the story is about pregnancy before marriage!

Plot SettingThe first half is set in an engineering college in Chandigarh and the second in Shimla. While the two names have been used adequately, the hill town’s description is a tad more. However, I would have liked to get more visual appeal through descriptions, about where the plot is set because the more vividly a reader can imagine the situation, the deeper he can get into the story.

Book Cover Art: Quite frankly I did not understand the cover (although the colours did add some funk that goes with the catchy title). What was the cover? Two cloud bursts of thought from the brain – that’s my interpretation. For all those of you who have read the book, I would like to know your opinion.

How’s the Title: So do we assume that one lives for a 100 and hence quarter is 25? Or do we assume that one lives for 80 and thus 20 becomes the quarter? I don’t think the book is about ‘quarter life’. It is about life. It is about crisis, for sure, though. And it is about dealing with it. While the title sounds catchy, it’s not completely in sync with the story line though. Plus, there are some other books in the market with the very same title. I feel, had the author, added a tagline, it would have given it more identity.

Is The Blurb Catchy: The blurb will go it’s trick on readers who like reading college romances. The issue is, this book has much more depth than a normal college drama. Harping a bit on how the protagonist matures and deals with the downs would get the author some more market.

Learning From The Story: A romance can be written without sexual descriptions. I have written one myself and I know how tough that is.

Areas Of Improvement: Everything together, i think that the books is a good package. The only aspect that I would mention as an AOI is the book cover and the addition of a tagline to the title.

What Is ‘Said By Not Saying’: Changes, at times, scare us so much that we land up doing stupid things. As the protagonist says, “I would much rather memorise the lines I was supposed to say, than try to figure out my place in this universe.” But, that doesn’t happen. We should be prepared for changes and when that happens, we should try and find the new path that we want to walk on.

My Reaction When I Finally Closed The Book:    

You might like to read:


Book Review: Sita’s Sister by Kavita Kane

Sita's Sister Kavita Kane

Book: Sita’s Sister

Author: Kavita Kane

Publisher: Rupa Publications Private Limited

Genre: ‘Epic’ Mythological Romance

In One Line:  The untold love between Urmila and Lakshman – revealed!

Note: When the story is based the Ramayana, it is difficult to do a book review in the traditional format. After all, I can’t really be commenting on ‘plot setting’ and judging if Mithila and Ayodhya have been amply described or not! Not much can be said about ‘characterisation’ either because that has already been done eons ago. 

What Kavita does in this book is to use her artistic license to create a picture about a character who has often been overlooked. So, most of my comment for this review would hover around her style and consequently questions that one asks once the read is over. 

Continue reading