Book Review: She Stood By Me

Author Tarun Vikash |Publisher Goya Publishing |Genre Romance | Page Count 179

She Stood by Me is the debut book of Tarun Vikash. It is a fictional love story of a young couple who are madly in love with each other. Like every love story, it has romance, emotions, drama and the barriers posed by society. The book cover is gorgeous and the tagline ‘Love is not a relationship’ piqued my curiosity.

It is the tale of Aparna and Abhishek. Aparna is an ambitious upper-middle-class girl. She is focused on making a successful career and has no time for love. Abhishek is a lower-middle-class guy who falls in love with Aparna at first sight.  But he is unable to communicate his feelings because of his shy nature. His friends Manish and Nidhi play a pivotal role in bringing both of them together. Their love story begins on a sweet note but reality hits when they move to different cities to follow their career. It’s not easy to sustain a long-distance relationship and that too, for four long years. They couldn’t meet often which leads to misunderstandings and chaos. Eventually, when they decide to get married, they face opposition from their families. What has the future in store for them? Will their love stand the test of time?  Read the book to know about the struggles faced by a young couple in love.

The book portrays a typical love story in the Indian context with family opposition and social pressure. Love marriages are still a big deal in India and I am sure most of the youngsters in love will relate to the challenges faced by Abhishek & Aparna. The problem with the story is that it’s too predictable. It started off well with Abhishek leaving for the hospital and on the way, narrating his story to the driver. It created curiosity in me. I was eager to know what had happened to Abhishek’s lady love. Why was she in a hospital? I expected an intense love story but the story fizzled out soon and turned out to be quite clichéd. It had nothing new to offer.

It’s a love story but somehow it failed to portray the emotions and passion of the couple who is much in love. Character development could have been better. Some parts were quite cheesy and made the protagonists look like idiots. Abhishek always has a problem when Aparna dresses up in trendy clothes or skirts. And though Aparna doesn’t like it when Abhishek behaves like this, she ends up dressing exactly the way Abhishek wants her to. This was weird considering Aparna is an ambitious and modern girl.

The story is slow-paced and unnecessarily stretched. Some chapters are quite long which seem to drag needlessly. It starts to get tedious after a while. This could have been prevented by better editing. The language is simple and easy to understand. The book is written in a conversational style. The endless conversations & monologues made it seem as if I was reading Abhishek’s daily journal. A better narration with some in-depth emotions would have left a long-lasting impact on readers.

As a debutant author, Tarun Vikash has done a decent job, but he definitely has the potential to weave a much better story. The book cover is beautiful and the print quality is really good. You can give this book a shot if you are a beginner or if you are interested in clichéd romances with usual drama and family problems. I would not recommend this book to mature and voracious readers.

P.S. I received the copy of the book from the author in exchange for an honest review.

©2021 Shaloo Walia All rights reserved

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