WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
I get it why the saying “don’t judge a book by its cover” is one of the most popular one. Its universal and applies not to just one but almost all categories – people, products, movies, hotels, and most important of all – books.
One look at the cover and you might decide to never pick up Heart Quake for a read but that would be where you go wrong. The book has a pretty decent story to tell. Read on to know my thoughts about it.
What to expect?
The book is typically a romance however it isn’t one of those overly cheesy and cringe-worthy romances that leave you irritated. What sets Heart Quake apart is its unique setting in the aftermath of the Bhuj earthquake.
Also, unlike its many Indian counterparts Heart Quake isn’t about “love at first sight”; instead it tells us the story of a love rekindling after 10 years of separation.
What is the story like?
It is the year 2001 and the city of Bhuj in Gujarat has suffered one of the worst earthquakes ever. In the aftermath of the quake, as rescue efforts are still under way and the city is plagued by chaos and mismanagement, there arrive multiple teams of doctors, nurses and rescue personnel.
Sonal Patel a nurse by profession comes to Bhuj looking for her missing friend. Because rescue work is tough and also unorganized, she decides to join a medical camp and try and look for her friend during her free hours.
Tejas Desai is a doctor who recently inaugurated his ambitious multi-specialty hospital in Jaipur. He comes to Bhuj to render social service and also to kick-start his hospital with a never-heard-of-before initiative. He decides to take a decent number of patients with him to his speciality hospital and give them world-class treatment there.
Tejas and Sonal thus arrive in Bhuj because of entirely different reasons but unknown to them fate has something else planned for them.
Once very much in love, they separated almost a decade ago because of their egos, misunderstanding and life, in general, led them to different paths. Now almost a decade later their paths collide.
Who is to say what will happen to this duo? Will they fall apart again or will they remember their good old days and get back together? Is it a love waiting to be rekindled? Or is it a love meant to turn into animosity?
How good are the characters?
I like how Ishita Deshmukh pens the love story of two thirty-year-olds. Their love isn’t the puppy love that readers often read about. The characters never had their happily-ever-after in their twenties.
Both Sonal and Tejas failed in love and spent a considerable amount of time away from each other. Their love is more realistic, practical and relatable. Not all love stories are meant to be fulfilled and who is to tell which is better – living a marriage devoid of passion or still pining for that one true love.
Sonal and Tejas both present to us the other side of love and that is why I enjoyed their characters. There are many other characters too and all of them have what it takes to be a memorable character. Be it the bossy and interfering Maasi or the cunning Dr. Brijesh, be it the lost in love Neelam or the fiercly loyal duty-bound officer Nilkant.
Let’s talk about the writing style
The author makes use of some excellent subplots to create an aura of mystery and intrigue throughout the book. I would have certainly loved it if more time and space were given to the mysterious deaths and the illegal racket angle.
I certainly admire the creativity and vivid imagination of the author to have thought of such an intricate plot.
What I did not like, however, was the lack of finesse and maturity in the writing. It felt like the narration failed to match the demands of such an intriguing and complex plot. Since it is the author’s debut work, with time her writing is bound to bloom and mature and I will certainly look forward to her next book.
Was the climax good?
The climax was pretty predictable. It is difficult to pen a romance with an unpredictable climax. Mostly it has only two possible outcomes and the narrative easily gives away the climax. I quite understand that but in Heart Quake what was particularly lacking was a moving and emotional climax.
Predictable climaxes can be written in quite unpredictable ways but that surely wasn’t the case in this book. In simpler words, the ending failed to move me as a reader.
It all boils down to entertainment
The book starts on a very interesting note, maintains the pace until the middle where it kind of slows down. I loved how there were a multitude of characters and side plots but there was a kind of predictability in Tejas and Sonal’s story (the romance angle) which failed to impress me.
The final verdict
Heart Quake is a decent one-time read which has a unique story in an equally unique setting, however, in terms of pace and entertainment quotient, the book seems a little lacking. I would have loved it if Heart Quake had a little more surprise towards the end.
Pick Heart Quake if
- If you enjoy romantic dramas.
- If you want to relish a romance which is much different from what Indian authors usually write.
Skip Heart Quake if
- If you don’t like romances.
- If you don’t like slow reads.
- If you are looking for an adventurous and highly passionate romance.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Heart Quake by Ishita Deshmukh from the link below.