Bookish Witch

Araina’s Always and Forever: A Second Chance Romance with the Magic of First Love by Esha Pandey

Book blurb:

Araina is back at her cottage in Nainital after a gap of ten years to celebrate New Year’s Eve. She has carefully avoided anything that reminds her of Abhimanyu, the guy she was head over heels in love with, the guy who broke her heart, ten years back. But on her very first day, she runs into him and realizes she is still not over him.
What follows is a rollercoaster of emotions. Abhimanyu is as handsome as she remembered him to be, and he melts her insides with just a smile.
Araina is hurt and angry, but Abhimanyu is determined to seek forgiveness and make her his.
Will she give in?
Does she still love him enough?
Will there be an ‘Always and Forver?
Do Abhimanyu and Araina seize their second chance at love? Read Araina’s Always and Forever to find out.

Genre: Flash Fiction/ Romantic Comedy

Pages: 58

Format: Kindle eBook

Price: 49 INR/$0.99

My ratings: 4.2/5

Araina and Abhimanyu had a fairy tale romance during their teens and early adulthood. But things turned sour due to an incident and they moved on, not keeping in touching or seeing each other for 10 years. A chance meeting at their favorite hill station brings forth a rush of nostalgia for both. Will they give each other and their bygone romance another chance? Esha Pandey: Books

A love story about rekindling old love and giving second chances.

What I liked about the book:
–> Araina’s character introduction, her dry yet relatable sense of humor, and the way she talks about herself.
(As someone in my early 30s, this was hilarious and relatable at the same time). Also, loved the first-person narrative and PoVs from both protagonists.
–> The build-up to what actually went wrong between Ariana and Abhimanyu.
–> The smooth weaving between the past and the present.
–> The conspiracy between those who care about Ariana and Abhimanyu to bring them together again.
–> The way it brings in the lockdown and how it turns out to be a blessing a disguise for the two protagonists.
–> It leaves many unanswered questions and loose ends giving the reader hope that there might be a prequel or sequel to hang on to in the future.
–> The whole story gives out a lot of feelings of hope and optimism and the most important message of realizing what is important in our lives (which as the author mentions has been a result of the Corona pandemic)

What I did not like about the book:
–> It was predictable at most levels.
–> The secondary characters were given very less spotlight, especially Arjun and Abhimanyu’s Dadi.
–> A lot of things are left up to the reader to figure out.

Quotable quotes:
–>I am a 90s kid, my needs and wants were basic, yet I fought for everything like my life depended on it.
–>We did almost everything we were told not to do by my parents.
Booze… done
–> I wasn’t unfit or anything. I am a smoking hot girl for my age. Am I being pompous? Okay, I will tone it down. I am fit, well-endowed, and beautiful at five feet six and fifty-six kilograms with shoulder-length hair.
–> I said hello with my eyebrows. Yes! You can do that. It’s a thing. You pull them up, make an arch and look at the person. It counts as hello.
–> I never thought I would make it, yet, here I was.
–> Whatever I had learnt in my growth in the last ten years was to never react immediately to a situation. Some distance from any particular problem lessens the damage one could by reacting instantly.
–>Oh God don’t let me get raped. This was a fear that almost all Delhi girls lived with.
–> Sometimes feelings are greater than heartbreaks.
–>”I have always known what is going on in your life but I have never interfered because it’s your path, you have to take it.”
–> Everything was exactly as I remembered it to be, yet everything was different.

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