The book in a nutshell:
A collection of love stories, 31 of them from 27 different authors, compiled by Sneh Thakur.
My thoughts on the book:
So this is a love story anthology, right? What’s the most important ingredient to a love story? Well yeah, it is love. That ingredient appears to be mostly missing here.
When I started the read with the first story, “Written in the stars”, I knew the ending. It’s right there in the title. Put two and two together, and you know where the story is headed. OK fine, corny as the idea was, you’d think there was more about the lovely couple and their relationship. But no, that story was more about the protagonist and his obsession with “the stars”. Till the last page of the story, the damsel doesn’t enter the scenario. With love supposedly involved, you’d be forgiven if you think the guy was dating the astrologer.
With the standard set so high (no, I’m not talking literally), I thought some of the other stories would be better. Sad to say, the trip didn’t fare that well. The story “Rishta” was mostly, if not completely about parental argument and arranged relationships. The story “For Convenience’s Sake” had the ex lover’s sister blasting the protagonist guy for being him. “Making out” (yes, you can interpret literally to know the essence of the story) was more about the guy’s past than the kissing. Moving on, “Coffee” ended with a bitter taste in the mouth. “The Girl Who Was Too Loud” was just too one-note, not about love but of raw sex perhaps.
A few stories save the book from being totally down. Not coz of a love factor, but coz of difference in ideas maybe. I enjoyed “High Time” coz though it was quite a lot about arranged marriages, with the “dekhan dekhai” ceremony, and the parental blackmailing of the protagonist, the story had a humorous touch to it, and it showed there is another side to things. The story “Twisted” was one that had a twist, but the ending wasn’t as believable. “Beyond Reasonable Doubt” was perhaps the best in the book.
Overall, the book has more of these direct stories. Direct tone in love stories doesn’t work that well. The few stories that do work, and are enjoyable, don’t do enough to counter the effect of the not-so-enjoyable stories. I give this a 2.5 from 5.
Title: Urban Shots – The Love Collection
Editor: Sneh Thakur
Genre: Anthology / Love stories
Publishers: Westland + Grey Oak
Price: INR. 199
Rating: 2.5 Stars
Reviewed by Leo
Shared with Indian Quills Reading Challenge