Author: Preethi Venugopala
When Ananya, a bubbly twenty-year-old engineering student, reaches her Grandmother’s house in Sreepuram on a month long vacation, romance is the last thing on her mind. However, she meets Dr. Arjun there and falls head over heels in love.
As it often happens, the path of true love never runs smooth. Circumstances force them apart even though they were madly in love. She becomes a victim of depression. When everything fails to return her to normalcy, help arrives from an unexpected source. Will she ever find happiness again? Will time allow her heart to heal and forget Arjun? What indeed is true love? What is that strange secret that locks all the circumstances together?
Travel with Ananya to the picturesque Sreepuram, face the chaos of Bengaluru, and relish the warmth of magical Dubai in this heartwarming tale of love, betrayal, friendship, and miracles (Via. Goodreads)
My Take: ‘Without you’ starts with raving description of the little town called Sreepuram that gives you a crystal picture of how an Indian village actually feels and looks like. Ananya, the protagonist is all about her friends, Engineering and grandma when she visits the place for holidays. She seems like the 20 year old she is make out to be- Child-like presence, love for art and a secret crush that she nurtures for her cousin’s friend- Arjun. And quiet unlike the romances out there- theirs actually blossoms pretty early in the book. And that kind of makes my interest waver but as I progressed with the story, I was reminded of a typical Bollywood movie where Love is taboo in households and mother-in-law is the vamp that breaks hearts with a vicious smile.
Arjun is the ‘Greek God’ kind of looks. His South Indian roots makes him a dish in compared to other boys Ananya has met in her life. He is a doctor (now that makes him the most eligible boy on town) and works in the village hospital. He is kind, sweet and has all the combination of a marriage material. It’s no wonder that Ananya falls hard for him- praying that he loves her back. And when it happens things begin to look good.
The ghost from the past is another aspect I loved about the book. As a series of mishaps progresses, separation of lover makes you just want to skip a few pages. But if you do, there are some chapters that you have to go back to.
What’s good about the book?
The innocence of true love is maintained throughout and though Ananya’s insane scribblings to an invisible Arjun seem like a besotted fools paradise, you can feel for her. Thos book has tried to relate to several young hearts out there.
The quotes that begin with each chapter are simply wonderful. It not only gives you a synopsis about the chapter in two lines but also make you want to highlight them as you go along. You also get to reestablish yourselves to various writers and poets. My favourite one is:
“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
Wine The Pooh
What’s dull about the book?
What gives this novel a flaring cutting-edge is it’s use of language. It’s flowery, undistorted and sometimes feels like a translated script in English. The comedy in the few pages with Tom (her friend) seems forced and you just want to get to the bottom of the entire novel. The ‘chameleon’ mother of Arjun, is again, confusing at times. She apologies to Ananya yet again she starts to arrange Arjun’s match with another girl. I feel as if she has gone past the age where anyone actually wants to listen to her.
It’s the writer’s debut novel and she has tried to capture all the emotions of first true love. it happens to everyone- it’s happened to me and you will only be left with positive feelings about that one whom you always felt safe with.