From the very first pages of this novel, I was captivated by the opening that skillfully introduced us to the protagonist, Sharad, and his world. The author S Mukesh Rao‘s approach of building a connection with the narrator before delving into the details was a brilliant choice, allowing the readers to feel intimately acquainted with the protagonist. The engaging situation of Sharad’s planned proposal to Navya added excitement and set the mood for the story’s unfolding. It was an opening that left me eager to flip to the next page, which, in my opinion, is precisely what a good beginning should achieve.
Sharad, the main character, emerges as a multifaceted individual with a penchant for deep thinking and observation. Throughout the story, it’s fascinating to witness his confidence evolve. The author’s portrayal of Sharad’s overthinking tendencies and his internal conflicts, such as his thoughts on Tiya after the Facebook incident, added depth to his character, making him incredibly relatable.
While Sharad takes the spotlight, Tiya plays a crucial role in the story, serving as a strong and well-intentioned match for our protagonist. Her unexpected backstory with her ex added a heart-wrenching twist to the narrative, making her character all the more multidimensional and relatable.
The pace of the story remained remarkably clear, even with its timeline jumps. The transitions between different years, months, and ages were seamlessly integrated, thanks to the author’s effective use of narrator-breaks.
The casual and relatable tone of the narrative, combined with the perfect balance of humor and darkness, made for an engaging reading experience. I particularly appreciated how the topic of rejection was handled, especially the witty and light-hearted conversation during their hike. It was one of my favorite scenes.
The story contains adult themes but doesn’t require trigger warnings for an adult audience. The dialogue writing felt natural, with distinct voices for each character. The banter between Sharad and the people in his life added relatability to his character, and the conversation with the taxi driver, woven into the story, was a notable highlight.
In conclusion, this novel is a heartfelt exploration of personal growth, love, and the complexities of relationships. With well-developed characters, a thoughtfully structured plot, and engaging writing, it’s a story that resonates on multiple levels.
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