25 November, 2016

#BookReview :: All Signs Lead Back to You by Aniesha Brahma

2013.
As the final bell for the day rang on their last day in school, Diya Rai, had a chill run down her spine. The chill of not knowing what the future holds for her and her high school sweetheart, Ashwin Chowdhury.
So she does a preemptive strike.
She dumps him before he can hurt her.

2015.
Two years later, Ashwin and Diya, cross paths. Each holds grudges, feelings and only one half of the story that completes them.
Told from alternating points of view, through a non-linear timeline, this is the story about first love, second chances and ALL the SIGNS THAT LEAD BACK TO YOU.

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The thing about Aniesha Brahma’s books is that you can pick them up knowing that it would be a ‘feel good’ story in there. All Signs Lead Back to You is certainly so.

Diya and Ashwin were high school sweethearts. On their final day, Diya dumps Ashwin fearing that he would break up with her to start his college life afresh. Couple of years later their paths cross again. Both of them have new people in their lives in form of friends and love interests, yet there is a tug that they keep feeling towards each other. Their ‘high school romance’ had met an abrupt end and as such there are unanswered questions, unfinished business and certain grudges that they have held on to. What happens when they finally not only confront each other but also themselves about those feelings that were crushed?

The characters in the book are all very relatable. It is not only the protagonists that you understand and feel for, it is also the other cast of characters that you feel connected to. In fact, I found Diya irritating and childish for her age at times, but her new best friend Nina was the one I loved the most in the book. Nina contributed a lot to the plot and to Diya’s character along with Diya and Ashwin’s relationship. She is certainly a girl I would love to have on my corner. Then there is Diya’s mother – a character I would have loved to read and know more about. As for the chemistry between Ashwin and Diya, I loved the fact that in some ways they really connected with each other. When you think about high school romance or the commercial campus love stories, most of them feel very hollow when it comes to the relationship itself because in most cases we are told that the characters ‘in love’ share a connection but we don’t really see or feel it. That is the difference between Ashwin and Diya’s story from so many other stories. Despite the clash between their personalities, they do connect at many levels and as a reader you can feel that connection over all the drama that surrounds them. 

Another thing that I loved about this book is the fact that even though this can be categorized as a romance, that is not the only focus of the plot. The dynamics between the protagonists, their love interests, their friends and family as a whole is what makes this story what it is. Some things a messy and some things are crystal clear; a fresh pair of eyes makes a difference to an age old relationship; a family member influences how you react to a third person. That is what real life is like and this story is a slice of reality molded into fiction.

I wished for the story to go on long after I turned the last page for two reasons. Of course, I did not really want the story to end and because I wanted to know more. And if you are wondering whether Ashwin and Diya ended up together… You have to read the book to find out!


Review Copy received from the Author

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