WRITING STYLE: 3/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
When I first saw the cover of You Raise Me Up and read its blurb, I wasn’t really excited. The cover was totally unappealing and even the blurb didn’t do much to incite my interest. I was expecting a dull and boring read ahead and that was probably why it took me such a long time to pick this book up. They say never judge a book by its cover and I couldn’t have been more wrong about the whole thing. Read on to know why.
You Raise Me Up can be termed as a contemporary adult fiction with a mix of romance and drama. It has both of these in decent doses and at no point of time, the book can be called a cheesy read; something which I am not particularly fond of.
What is the story all about?
You Raise Me Up is the story of Aalok Sharma who has a chance encounter with a young and vivacious girl, Priyanka Mehra and falls in love with her. Their love story, however, is not as simple as it seems. There is more to it than what meets the eye and Aalok has to first deal with his inner demons before he can commit himself totally to Priyanka.
How is the Plot?
The plot is pretty straightforward. The story traces Aalok and his life. There aren’t any subplots in the book which leaves a lot to be desired. There are, however, changes in the timeline. The plot shifts from the present to flashback to the present again. This is a welcome break from the otherwise monotonous plot.
Are the Characters good?
The central characters of Aalok, Priyanka and Tanvi are good. They are all quite relatable and hence a connection is easily established with the reader. Aalok is a clueless youngster who goes on to become a successful accountant. His character may provide inspiration to many readers who are currently feeling unsure about their future. Other characters like Isha and Sheetal though, ordinary, bring about the necessary entertainment.
What about the Writing Style?
Arjun Hemmady’s writing style is decent. There is a lot of scope for betterment, though. While there aren’t many areas to find fault with You Raise Me Up, few things could have done better. Arjun’s narratives are mostly conversation based. In a way, it is good because it makes the book a fast read but it doesn’t add much “literary” value to the book. I liked the way the author is able to portray the dilemma of Aalok accurately.
Is the Climax good?
The climax of the book can be best described as decent. It is neither unpredictable nor easily guessable. It takes some time for the reader to understand the final outcome. In the end, it does give a befitting end to the story of Aalok, Priyanka and Tanvi.
Overall, You Raise Me Up is a decent story which addresses many issues associated with the youth today – confusion, cluelessness, marriage, betrayal, work-life balance etc. The book though good, fails to outshine many other similar works which I have read in recent years. In the end, it doesn’t offer anything unique.
What did I Enjoy?
I enjoyed the simplicity and the innocence of the love that bloomed between Aalok and Priyanka. I also liked the way the story turned out to be much better than what I had initially expected it to be. Further, women characters were portrayed as strong, dynamic and very un-stereotypical. The women in You Raise Me Up don’t just blink their eyes and blush – they practice Boxing, ride Harley Davidsons and punch eve teasers in their faces. They are simply awesome!
What I did not like
The worst thing about the book was its length. An otherwise easy and short story was dragged up to 360+ pages. There were a number of mundane and uninteresting conversations which unnecessarily added to the book’s length and were best if removed completely from the book.
What could have been Better?
I would have loved it if the book had a few subplots and some more twists and turns in the main plot. The character introductions could also have been better. Also, the number of pages could have been reduced.
Who should Pick it?
Readers who prefer simple and easy reads.
Readers who enjoy contemporary adult fictions/metro reads.
Readers who read only a few books a year (because then the book won’t appear similar/repetitive)
Who should Skip it?
Readers who are looking for literary reads.
Readers who don’t like the usual boy meets girl stuff.
Can’t wait to read it? Grab your copy at the link below.