Reviewed by Nimue and Swarnali
From the book cover :
Twenty-one year old Larissa Chakroborty (better known as Jasmine) has been forced into the company of her parents' friends' son, twenty-five year old Tanveer Bhattacharya (aka Veer) ever since she was thirteen and he was seventeen.
Jasmine found herself slowly getting drawn towards this teenage boy and harbours an unrequited crush on him, long after he disappears from her life in order to pursue a college degree.
Eight years later Veer returns. and makes her a rather strange proposal. He wants her to pretend that they're in love and would eventually settle down in life, for he wishes to avoid tying the knot with a girl of his parents' choice.
The constant ego battle between the two, the love-hate relationship, break ups and realisations is what The Secret Proposal is all about, wherein love would eventually find a way.
Is it enough to get your long time love to be in a 'pretense relationship' with you?
Does one grand gesture convince you that you've found your knight in shining armour? And why is it that when you have someone, you don't want them… and when you lose them, you want them back?
Nimue Says :
First thing , I totally liked the personalized note that Aniesha added to the book before sending it to me. Thanks ! I loved the gesture.
Can you ever not fall in love with some one who lets ypu be who you are and still likes you ? Well , love is a hard feeling to accept , express and more so , convince the other person.
Jasmine is your usual girl who has forever been in love with Veer and yet he can't like all of him. He is sure arrogant and has a terrible sense of humor as per Jasmine but only she knows he is also caring , respectful and oh so charming forever. Both Jasmine and Veer love coming together even if as an arrangement or "the secret proposal" but both fail to hold on to the connect. And from there is one mis-event after another till the sweet reunion in the end.
The book is a fairly engaging read and entertains not just with the love story but the festival life of Kolkatta comes so vividly alive. I loved reading about all the pujo days and the wedding ceremonies and the way Kolkatta celebrates. A plus it is to the book and shows the beautiful observation skills of the author.
The writing is easy but not casual. The storyline connects the reader to Veer's and Jasmine's thoughts and intentions though Veer is such a confused character. I absolutely loved Meghan , the best friend character. What would we do without friends like her ?
The flaws / the minor negatives if I must point out here would be Jasmine fainting so much !! Was it 3 times or 4 ?? And totally not cool when there were 2 guys fighting for her !! Plus she is kinda too stubborn in her ways at times when she is avoiding Veer. Ok, not so much uncalled but I so wanted to hold her and give her some sense. A few scenes look dragged but they are tied well thankfully.
The book is fun.
Do try it any day for some smiles.
And oh , don't forget to check the poetry in the Preface ! Its absolutely wonderful.
Nimue's Rating : 3.5/5
Swarnali Speaks :
First of all, I would really thank Aniesha for the personal note she added on the first page. Gestures like these make the reading experience better :)
Coming to the book, the cover is really pretty and the picture prepares us for the fairy tale romance world that we are about to enter as we read the book. As you can read from the back cover of the book, this is the story of Larrisa a.k.a. Jasmine and her childhood crush Tanveer a.k.a Veer.
For starters, almost everyone would identify with the protagonist of the book, Larrisa for we've all had our shares of crushes, those innocent stares, the light-headed feeling when your crush looks back at you and smiles, the unending daydreams and what not. I don’t have a particular love for romances, but this book was a pleasant change from the same old stereotyped campus romance tales that I’m tired of reading. Another thing that I particularly liked was the absence of grammatical errors. I didn't notice any in the book (I don’t remember having come across typographical errors either but I’m not very sure about that). The language is simple and lucid and the story flows smoothly. I loved the narration where the author describes the festivity and mirth that envelops the City of Joy, Kolkata and its inhabitants during Durga Pujo. The celebrations and ceremonies are immaculately described.
Of all the characters mentioned in the book, I loved Larrisa’s best buddy Meghan a.k.a MM the most. She is the perfect best friend who is always there to help Jasmine and fixes all the mess ups she does. Everyone needs a bestie like her :D Veer is the very handsome knight in shining armour that our heroine has been crushing after since she was a teenager. He is omnipresent and arrives at the right moments to save our damsel in distress.
A few things I didn't like much in the book were the repeated use of phrases like “bridal style”, and “chocolate brown eyes”. The novel seemed to be filled with parties of all kinds happening over and over throughout the course of the book. Larissa seems to be too weak, fainting multiple times.
Apart from these minor glitches, the book is a really pleasant read, perfect for those days when you want to just sit down and relax with a light breezy book. A really good debut novel. If you are a chick-lit fan, you'll really like this one. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series (with Meghan as the protagonist) that Aniesha is planning to write next.
Swarnali's Rating : 3 / 5
Other details :
Price : 125
(Author requested Review )