WRITING STYLE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2.5/5
My first impressions of Thorns of Love were great. One look at the cover and I was totally in for the long haul. The blurb looked equally interesting as well and hence I happily picked it up. The book gave me Gently Falls the Bakula kind of vibes. For those of you who haven’t heard of it, Gently Falls the Bakula is a really captivating novel by Sudha Murty, who is one of my favourite Indian authors.
Read on to know my thoughts on Thorns of Love and why you should or should not pick this book up.
Readability, cover, styling, font and page quality
I read Thorns of Love on kindle where the font style and font size doesn’t make much of a difference as it is easily adjustable. So, as far as Kindle is concerned, this book is quite readable. Further, I absolutely love the cover of the book. It is beautiful, symbolic and just gorgeous.
The story as it goes
Eliza is a dark-skinned Christian girl from Kerala. Her family includes her younger sister Sarah, her parents and her grandmothers. She is loved by her dad and sister but her mom often neglects her. She is frequently compared to her more beautiful sibling, Sarah. Her father dotes on her and allows her to pursue her studies and career according to her wishes.
It is in her college that she comes across James, her English professor. James is an unprofessional teacher and he often depends upon Eliza to do his work. As a result of his charming personality and his sugar-coated words, Eliza finds herself falling in love with him. Soon, James too, confesses his feelings for her but their love story is simply not meant to be.
James, as it turns out, is a serial player and he often relies on his honeyed words and magnetic personality to enchant young women. So, what will Eliza do? Will she be able to uncover the true nature of James? Will she be able to save herself from his evil snare? To know more about Eliza’s story, you will have to read Thorns of Love yourself.
How good are the characters?
The characters in the book, though not amazing, are good. The main characters of Eliza and James evoke different emotions in the reader. When it comes to James, his character is well developed. He is evil, selfish, an opportunist and doesn’t care for anyone but himself. He is the perfect villain – a great combination of charm and evil.
When it comes to Eliza, I have mixed feelings. Eliza is foolish and stupid, naïve and immature. She is also selfish, as, throughout the book, she is seen ignoring the people who really care for her. She is stupidly in love with James, and despite all the good things that she could have had in life, she decides to pursue the forbidden path. I do feel pity for her, as sometimes it is easy to get carried away in love.
Overall, though, one major emotion that I feel towards both the characters of James and Eliza is hatred. This is good, because as a reader when you feel something for the characters, it means that the author has done her job well. She has created characters who are relatable to the reader and in whose story the reader is invested.
Talking about the other characters in Thorns of Love, it is the minor characters in this story that really touched my heart. I loved Eliza’s father. He is the father anybody would die for. He is always there for Eliza through her thick and thin and, even though he belongs to an orthodox family, he always makes sure that Eliza gets what she wants.
Another hidden gem is Ragav. He is probably one character who deserves all the happiness in the world but sadly, he is hugely undermined in this book. I would have loved to see more of Ragav and probably less of James but that was just not the case.
What about the author’s writing style?
Thorns of Love starts on an interesting note. The story takes us to a beautiful hillside area in Kerala and the scenery is described vividly. We are introduced to a woman who returns to her motherland after having lived a decade abroad. I like the way the story is told in both past and present. This change of time period adds the necessary spice.
If I talk about the plot, there isn’t much to speak of. The book is lengthy and dull. There isn’t much happening in terms of plot and the dialogues and events become monotonous after some time. Thorns of Love tells us a story that is dragged a lot and the book loses pace easily.
What I liked about Beena Sunil’s writing style is that she is easily able to make her characters relatable. She very vividly creates emotional scenes which are always a pleasure to read. Through her story, she is able to impart an important lesson to all youngsters – that of staying away from the clutches of evil love. The extramarital affair is also well integrated into the story and helps to break the monotony.
Was the climax worth it?
The climax, quite surprisingly, was worth all the effort it took me as a reader to get to it. It gave a befitting end to the story and was easily the best part of the book.
What could have been better?
There are many things that are left to be desired in the book. For starters, there is the issue with poor editing and grammatical errors. There are simply too many of them to be ignored.
There is also an issue of language. The writing is simple and the language is easy, which is a good thing, as it helps the reader course through the book effortlessly. However, the book could have used the polished touch of an editor’s wand. In other words, the writing needs a little polishing.
Another thing that could have been better was the length of the book. Since there wasn’t much in terms of action in the story, the repetitive and dramatic episodes could have been cut short. Thorns of Love, as it turns out, is unnecessarily long and tiring.
Let’s talk about the entertainment quotient?
In the end, this entire review boils down to this one parameter – entertainment. This book tells us a decent story and has some good characters to look forward to but, it doesn’t deliver in terms of entertainment quotient.
Pick this book if
Go for Thorns of Love if you are someone who often gets played at love. This book will be a solid life lesson to those who are often tricked into unhappy relationships. Through the medium of this story, the author lists out all the signs to look for, in order to identify a toxic relationship, while also telling you the do’s and don’ts of love.
Skip this book if
I would suggest my readers to skip this book if they cannot stand grammatical errors and poor editing. It will also be better to avoid the book if one doesn’t enjoy repetitive reads.
Can’t wait to read it, buy your copy of Thorns of Love from the link below.