Friday, 9 December 2016

Book Review - Secretly Yours

Author - Vikrant Khanna
Publisher - Penguin
Genre - Fiction
Price - Rs. 175

First Impressions

Having read Vikrant's last book Love Last Forever, I picked up this book expecting a romantic story. However, the lady looking in the mirror hinted at something mysterious. Since I avoid reading the back cover blurb, the mere mention of "What if you could read the mind of the person you love?" got me enthusiastic and curious. 

After all, who wouldn't want to read the mind of his/her love ;) Of course, little did I know it's much complicated than it appears. 

My View
Sometimes, it takes one event to rephrase the story of our life. For Sahil, it was the death of his mother at the time of the birth and subsequently, his father's suicide. Though technically, he was not to be blamed for their deaths, yet the people around him ensured he carried the burden of guilt throughout his life. His grandmother left no occasion to rub in the guilt. The helplessness, agony, irritation and sadness transformed Sahil into a rebel. He found solace in music, writing and often vented out his anger in the form of self inflicted injuries. 

Little did Sahil know that another turning point awaited his boring life. Love blesses his life in the form of young and beautiful Tanya. Smitten by her beauty and personality, Sahil soon opens up his life to her over coffee dates and Tanya becomes his friend, philosopher and guide. However, the series of events that followed next shouted at something beyond the pretty face. The gruesome murders in Simla by serial killer,  the tension in the air, the arrival of Tanya's mysterious friends began to concern Sahil. Like a knot, the more he tried to solve the mystery, the more complex it seemed. The more he tried to find about the sad bone in Tanya's life, the more she seemed to slip out of his reach. Still, he couldn't deny the fact that Tanya brought balance and positivity to his life. She was the "know it all" types who would often counsel Sahil about having a positive outlook towards life. 

Indeed Sahil was destiny's chosen child. As if the stress wasn't enough to handle, the accident further shattered his life. But life, like a true roller coaster ride throws a surprise. When Sahil rises from coma, he discovered he could now read people's minds! And the reader in me marvelled at the liberty fiction writers take! 

Seems Vikrant wanted to throw some more surprises at the readers. So, in come the revenants or "people back from the dead" and the story takes its flight of supernatural! while many readers lost interest at this point, I actually got hooked on to the story. Vikrant impresses us by steering away from the cliched romantic stories and instead experiments with thrill, crime and supernatural. 

What really kept me hooked on at this point was the seamless shifting of gears to supernatural. Whether Sahil and Anya's love finally saw a happy ending, or whether the cycle of murders finally ceased is for the readers to read and find. But, the story here makes one ponder about karma and the true purpose of life. The same Sahil, who took his life as a punishment, learnt to count his blessings and cherish the beauty of life and relationships. The book also gives a very strong message against suicide. 

When I finished reading the last page, I really loved the fact that the book ends up going beyond just a story. It gives a positive message about looking at the glass half full, and not cribbing about the empty half.

Thumbs Up

Crisp narration, sans drags or redundant characters
What matters is not the years in life, but the perspective towards life and the book beautifully conveys this message. It makes one think about Karma and the purpose of our life.
Amazing combination of romance, emotions, drama, supernatural, thrill and crime in one story.
And now, my favourite lines from the book -

"Love isn't a decision, love isn't even a choice and love certainly can't be based on conditions. It's a breathing, living being that seeps into our lives, spreads and gradually takes full control of it. It brings immense joy and sorrow in equal measure, but once infected by it, we can never be the same again."

"Apologies have an expiry date. If you wait long they lose their magic."

About the author
Vikrant Khanna is a captain in the merchant navy. He is the bestselling author of When Life Tricked Me and Love Lasts Forever. Apart from writing, he is fond of composing songs and playing the guitar. He lives in New Delhi.

I received a copy of the book from the author for an honest review.

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