By Mru Natu
I always wanted to read a Preeti Shenoy book. And I am glad I picked up this light and quick read. The book begins with a journal entry in Puja’s book. The chapters switch between narratives by Arush and Puja. There are also two chapters, one in the beginning and one in the end by Chaitra, Puja’s mom.
I loved reading Chaitra’s perspective towards the end of the book. As a mother to a kid myself, I could relate to the dilemma women face when juggling family and work. “At what stage in a child’s life can a mother pursue her own dreams, her own career?” she asks. I loved that on her return to Kochi towards the end, it was her mother Puja hugged first.
Another bit I loved in the book was the fun banter between Puja and Arush. It made me smile when reading. The author’s daughter Purvi has also done a few illustrations in the book. Although they all face backward, they are beautiful. The story is fast-paced, relatable, and bitter-sweet.
I loved the description of the view that the author gave about the view from Puja’s balcony, but I would’ve loved some more details of it. The book touches on several themes lightly, like that of Indian parenting and the pressure from Indian parents, the loopholes in the Indian judicial system, the importance of friendship, and family ties.
Our View on the Cover:
The cover has fairy lights in a glass jar with a rich brown background. It’s a pretty cover that will be memorable because of its attractive picture. But I prefer to see author names in a smaller font than shown on this cover.
Puja, Arush, Puja’s mom, Puja’s dad, Puja’s sister
For starters, the author never elaborated in detail about the beauty of Kochi and its beaches. The Eddakkal caves’ beauty that all the teenagers trek to was summarized in a couple of blog statements. A paragraph about their beauty would have added to the story’s allure. In my opinion, the descriptive narration would have added and enhanced the beauty of this romance novel. And would also have described India beyond just thugs, crowds and shabbiness. Also, some unrealistic twists have been added to spice up the story – Bollywood style. But that doesn’t take away from the enjoyable experience of the book.
Who can read:
I recommend this book to young adult romance readers looking for a clean, simple love story and a quick read. Even some travel junkies might find this a useful read for exploring some untouched destinations in India.
Our final verdict:
This is a story of typical, rebellious teenagers with a mind of their own, facing typical Indian parental pressures about education, government systems and the works. The story is mushy, but it’s not an unforgettable saga. Preeti Shenoy has many more books you can better explore to appreciate her writing.
|Title||When Love Came Calling|
|The Asian Review Rating||6.5 out of 10|