WRITING STYLE: 4/5
Forsaken by Desire by S. Shekhar is a romance, with the right amount of drama and passion mixed with it. In the first glance, the summary is enticing. However, the genre of romance has matured to such a point that one must infuse something new, something unique, something different to keep the reader engaged. People want a little more than the typical Boy Meets Girl – they want the romance of a kind the world hasn’t seen before. In this respect, Forsaken by Desire failed to really stand out. It’s fairly predictable and the plot points are considerably weak, giving away the ending. However, I’m sure that hardcore romance novel fans will still enjoy the story.
The book starts with the life of the Megha Sethi in present-day Delhi. Here, we are introduced to her character, her relations with her family and a little bit of what the future holds for her. I must say, the beginning was a bit hazy. I found myself turning back pages to put a finger on the several names and relations that had been thrown at me all at once. Soon enough, the book moves on to the male protagonist, the handsome and broody Nikhil Tandon. Again a smattering of characters and lives here and there – but once you familiarize yourself with the characters and their dynamics, you will find yourself easing in with the story.
Forsaken by Desire starts on a melancholic note, with Megha’s pitiable life. The tone remains the same way, paired with an array of emotions. You start feeling for Megha very soon, hoping against hope she doesn’t have to marry Andy Sharma, the pompous jerk her father plans to marry her off to. The protagonist is not perfect – and that’s good, it really is, because who wants to read the story of an unrealistic life? She is shown as a sad, frustrated, suffering woman – which the character needs. But here’s my argument – this gets annoying very quickly. Megha might be this way as a person, but an author needs to how to keep the reader engaged and interested. Even though the book isn’t from Megha’s point of view, the story plays out mainly from her perspective. And that makes reading this book difficult because she is constantly whining. The narrative could perhaps be better off with a lot less of Megha’s internal monologue. This is something of a flaw that I personally experienced – it may well not be so for other readers.
What I truly applaud about this book is the writing style. It is gorgeously written – just the right words, the right adjectives, the right dialogues. The romance isn’t too cheesy, and yet it delivers the perfect amount of butterfly-in-the-tummy moments. Some romance books ruin it all for me with their unrealistic dialogues and bad timing, but not this one. In being a romance novel, it has done its job. It was quite refreshing to read some genuinely well-written romance. Moreover, the writing was more than sound even in other aspects – such as technical details about Nikhil’s business or Megha’s mother’s will. You won’t find yourself confused by the technical aspects as it is explained well. As you go along, the writing sparks just the right amount of curiosity. It will make you get to know the characters and like them slowly. There are sympathy and emotion in the writing, evident in the fact that I often felt for Megha.
However, I must say this is where my love for Forsaken by Desire ends. The plot is already predictable: boy and girl break up because of a faultless misunderstanding, boy meets girl again – but ridden by misunderstanding, misunderstanding in cleared, boy and girl fall in love again. There seems to be nothing new in the plot and hence, one will enjoy the cliché. It’s completely fine to have a predictable plot, this is not my biggest problem with the plot. My problem is how much it stretched at the end. We all know what’s going to happen, but the reader is riddled with unnecessary obstacles and details. By the end, you just want the whining to end and the book to come to a close already. In the middle, there is drama that will indulge you. The dynamic between the characters and the chemistry between the protagonists keeps you hooked. There is no doubt about it. But once you get past this stage, there is nothing but a slow drag in the story, a story whose ending we can all predict.
The review of Forsaken by Desire was a little confusing to write because the book established itself differently with me in different aspects. If the plot and concision matter greatly to you, I won’t suggest this book to you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for a strong, emotional read with powerful writing, this is the perfect book for you. One of my favourite lines is the following: “She was only, truly alive with Nikhil.” There is no doubt this book captures the idea of love and portrays it sufficiently well. Great for a relaxing afternoon, this book is a gripping and emotional rollercoaster.
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