Sara and Karthik never really manage to see eye-to-eye. They’re quite stereotypically different from each other – while he’s charming, and loves springing surprises, Sara often comes across as too confident in her skin, almost to the point of being rude, and prefers doing things her way. And yet, they find themselves crossing paths, brutally, destructively, over and over. Across seasons and years. Learning and re-learning the same lessons, and ignoring them. Because isn’t love always meant to be?
Genre: Fiction/Contemporary Romance
Format: Kindle eBook/Paperback
- Kindle eBook: 160 INR/$4.00
- Paperback (available only in India): 269 INR
My Ratings: 4.7/5
This was such a refreshing take and read, which had elements of a traditional romance, and yet was so different and unique, which makes the book a must-read.
A simple and sweet, yet unconventional love story.
What I liked about the book:
–> How it traverses between the past and present, making the journey of both the protagonists, allowing character development as well as creating excitement and curiosity in the reader.
–> Sara’s character is very relatable for me as my journey to becoming a writer is more or less the same (minus the Karthik part)
–> The way all the characters have been described right from their physical appearance to their personality/behavioral traits.
–> It doesn’t have a conventional ‘happy ending’ that we’re used to.
–> The lovemaking scene between Sara and Karthik and especially where it happens!! (for a bookworm and writer like me, this is a dream date)
–> Despite being a female author, Shreya has done a fabulous job of writing from the male protagonist PoV.
–> The whole episode of Sara’s discovering Emma’s bookstore, her job stint there (which kind of made me jealous and also wish I had a job like that!!) the story of how the bookstore came to be
–> It describes Bombay/Mumbai (and my favorite cafe Candies) in such a charming way.
–> One can easily visualize the story/book being turned into a movie/web series.
What I did not like about the book:
–> I wish there was more space to other characters (like Rohan, Aunt Priya, Nidhi, just to name a few)
–> I have mixed feelings about the climax and how the story/characters’ actions make cheating/adultery seem completely acceptable.
–> There were bits about the story that felt incomplete (like what happened between Karthik and Akansha, how did Sara and Pranav fall in love and what is their relationship like, etc)
—> If there was one thing Andheri seemed to be full of, it was these daring pigeons who absolutely didn’t give two hoots about all the humans occupying the area. It was their territory, and they owned it. Trespassers were routinely bombarded with little presents while passing under ledges and trees. Just one of the many things you learnt to be aware about in the glorious gutter of a city, Mumbai.
—> Funny how we don’t register some things until they hamper our lives. Well, someone’s life.
—> Mumbai had an air of reckless abandon about it, and I felt drawn to it despite my best resolve.
—> Hers was a cramped yet artistically done up apartment (cozy is the word we use here in Mumbai)
—> A hot chocolate and that quiet corner table never hurt when there were words floating around, waiting to be grabbed, words that I had to get down on paper before they disappeared.
—> A coffee shop was, after all, modern India’s arranged match-making spot.
—> Let’s admit, fiction is way more interesting than real life in most cases.
—> I sometimes wondered how that would feel, to be universally liked by people.
—> I mean five years is an entire generation gap.
—> That seemed to be the easiest way forward. Complete denial.
—> Drains were being cleaned, repair work hastened to be completed before June. Apparently once the clouds started to wreak havoc, there wasn’t much the city could do except cower under the rains for the next four months – and call it the spirit of the city.
—> Everything in the world can be made alright with hot chocolate.
—> My poems always had me standing strong, standing alone.
—> There’s something about the moon, it makes everything so much more ethereal. And it makes you do stupid things.
—> Maybe love isn’t enough?
—> It’s the only thing that calms me down. When all hell is breaking loose around me and inside my head, I write. It’s like, all the chaos just flows out mixed in with the ink on those pages, and somehow life just seems better, you know? Like poetry simplifies things. I really don’t know what I would be, if not a writer.
—> It’s then I realized that there was a comfort in talking to strangers which could never be found in those close to ourselves, those who cared. There was a sense of freedom in finally letting go and being who you were most comfortable being, because you knew you really couldn’t care less, because tomorrow, all this would be gone. There was a relief in having no expectations, of offering no explanations, and in just being.
—> Mumbai at night was by far my favourite– the quieter, less crowded, more vibrant Mumbai. The Mumbai of secrets, of hushed rendezvous, of nights spent under the stars.
—> There’s something beautiful about not being able to feel your face in the cold winter winds. About not ever wanting to get out of the warm fuzzy embrace of our blankets. About hope being this faraway point of light, with nothing to do but endure, and believe.
—> It’s cruel how life plays little jokes on you, masked as coincidences.
—> This is what rich people must feel like all the time.Privileged.
—> Bandra had its own old-world charm – with a mix of cultures, religions, the filthy rich and the slums – it was something I’d never experienced anywhere else. As cars honked at each other, impatient people running to make it to offices on time, for once, I just ambled through the traffic, a slight spring in my step. There was something liberating about not having a plan, about not having anywhere to be and to just walk around. The world just seemed calmer.
—> Candies, a seemingly hidden but absolutely monstrous bakery in the middle of the hustle-bustle of Bandra. I remembered the wonder I had felt the first time I’d entered Candies. It seemed like a small closed restaurant, with multiple food and bakery items displayed at a very busy counter, with a crowd of people shouting out their orders at the same time – chaos, was the word that came to mind. But then, if you continued up the stairs, this seemingly innocuous café suddenly opened up onto an outdoor terrace with eccentric furniture put together to form seating – and then another one – and another. I really believed that Candies was in fact a maze of terraces and seating areas. You always find a new one, each time you come.
—> It’s weird how people were just not used to people sitting somewhere alone. Thanks for making it weird, world.
—> If there was one thing I could trust about this city, it was that the streets would always be alive, bustling with people living their lives, one day at a time, over and over again. There was a rhythm to their depression, a clockwork discarding of emotions and feelings – the only way the people of this city could possibly make it from one miserable day of living to the next.
—> At around 8 p.m., I turned the last page, feeling an emptiness right in the pit of my stomach like a sudden hole that felt like nothing in the world could replace it – and like the purpose of my life was to fill it up somehow, anyhow.
—> We were back to watching seven women clamour for the attention of one man, who really wasn’t that amazing to begin with – but reality TV wasn’t famous for making sense.
—> Women tend to be attracted to musicians while they play. It’s some weird kind of karmic law.
—> Two weeks is a lifetime when you know you’re with the right person.
—> I thought about my life, my embarrassing encounters, and these silly teenage feelings – and somehow felt ashamed of how my generation had defined love – an addiction rather than a source of strength.
—> I realized my easiest writing came from observing people around me,
—> I pulled out Pride & Prejudice and decided to settle in for the evening with the book I always had a love-hate relationship with. Damn you, Darcy.
—> Funny how privilege and money could buy you wanderlust.
—> I like stars. They seem full of possibility, you know? Like how even from far away, I know we’d all be looking at the same stars, sometimes at the same time. There’s something beautiful about that. Even if the star is dead.
—> It had to be done. Better now than later. Later always hurts so much more.
—> The more miserable I felt, the easier it became to write.
—> As I entered the coffee shop at the Marriott, I looked around, confused for a bit. There was something about five-star hotels that unnerved me, though I could never quite place my finger on it. It was almost as if I felt this constant pressure to act rich, like I belonged, even when I was far from it. As I walked across the lobby, I couldn’t help but feel that the entire hotel staff was looking at me, judging me, knowing that I really couldn’t afford to be there.
—> Your Mom likes to pretend that things that make her uncomfortable don’t exist.
—> Let me be reborn. Let me know that the pain isn’t forever. That life can be beautiful and warm. That flowers can blossom in broken unkempt grounds. That after every winter, there will be spring, no matter what.
—> We’re all broken in our own ways.
—> I met her at a bar, ironically. Who knew real romances could actually start that way?
—> We made love in the hurried manner of old lovers meeting after waging wars. We made love in the comfort of searching for treasure even as the map along our skin was etched into our memories from years before. We made love like it was the first time, with the same eagerness, the same amount of nervousness, the not-knowing where this was going, but the relief that finally, after everything, at least for this moment, we were together.
—> There’s no one way of loving or one love. It doesn’t get halved when we share it, it just grows and grows – as long as we remember to love ourselves.
—> The night had turned a dark purple, and the moon hid behind the greying clouds. Every once in a while, a star would twinkle, playing hide and seek with the world without realizing that they were stuck years apart, where one would cease to exist by the time the other saw its light. The sea sparkled with tiny diamonds as it tried to engulf the sand, hoping to wash away any remnants of the day, promising the rocks each time it left, wait for my return, however far I go, I’ll always come back for you. And yet the rocks, gleaming under the moonlight, wept for all the lives and memories washed away each time they met. Under the starlit sky.
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