Friday, December 18, 2015

#BookReview: The Bestseller She Wrote by Ravi Subramanian

On the jacket:

He was a bestseller She wanted him to make her one. Paperback king, Aditya Kapoor life is straight out of a modern man's fantasy. His literary stardom is perfectly balanced by a loving wife and a spectacular career. With everything he touches turning to gold, Aditya is on a winning streak. Shreya Kaushik is a student with a heart full of ambition. Young, beautiful and reckless, Shreya speaks her mind and obsessively chases after what she wants. And what she wants is to be a bestselling author. What happens when their worlds collide? Is it possible to love two people at the same time? Can real ambition come in the way of blind passion? Can trust once broken, be regained? Master storyteller Ravi Subramanian, delves into the glitzy world of bestsellers and uncovers a risky dalliance between a superstar novelist and his alluring protege. The Bestseller She Wrote is a combustible cocktail of love, betrayal and redemption.


I have been reading Ravi Subramaniam from the time he wrote his first book and quite like him. He is probably the only Indian author of recent times I have read all the books of. When I heard that he is trying his hand in a new genre of writing, I was highly impressed. It being a romantic thriller, made it more interesting. Moreover, when men write romance, I pay attention. The emotions are different and a totally new approach can be seen from how women approach romance. Well, that is my personal opinion. Nevertheless, when I picked up The Bestseller She Wrote, it was with a lot of expectations.
As the blurb suggests, the novel revolves around Aditya, Shreya and Maya. Aditya is a banker with an MNC, who is also India's most celebrated writer. He attends important boardroom meetings during the day and writes bestsellers at night. When he goes to give a talk at his Alma Matar, one student dares to cut him short and accuse him to making a commodity out of a book which is an insult to the book and the hard work behind it. Egos clash, though not for long. A friendship is formed after Shreya reads Aditya's book and becomes a fan.
As fate would have it (with a little help from Aditya's friend), Shreya joined Aditya's bank as a trainee. What started off as a casual friendship, turned into flirting, and before Aditya knew, he was cheating his family for an illicit affair with someone much younger to him.
Aditya has it all. A succefful banker, a celebrated author, a lovely wife, a great son, a flat stomach despite not working out and being a banker - what else could one want. He was perfect on paper. But he was a cheat. As is the thing with cheating and lying, they start of as harmless but turn into something evil. To cut the story short, Aditya's wife Maya finds out about the affair, throws him out, almost dies, still doesn't forgive him and all this while Shreya had turned into a conniving girlfriend who was blackmailing him. Suspense builds up and what happens next is a question one keeps asking at the turn of every page.
The book that Shreya wrote had gathered my interest. The publisher, at one point, tells Aditya she thinks that the same draft had been sent to her before and she’d read it earlier. One wonders if there is some mystery behind it. The title of the book and Shreya’s behavior around it, piqued my curiosity. But that angle was not dwelt into later.
What I really liked was how much potential the climax had. The book is definitely a page turn. Ravi’s style of writing is flawless and he is no doubt a good story teller. He managed to create an antagonist out of his protagonist and bring him back to being the good guy again.
These very things also didn’t work for me. The story’s climax was gold. It had so much potential. But, in my opinion, it fell flat. The actual antagonist’s character didn’t really have any negative shades. Of course, it is a thriller and the antagonist needs to be revealed only in the end, but even in flashback, not much was shown. I was half expecting that Sanjay and Maya were in it together, but was pretty disappointed to see I was wrong. Ravi is a good writer. And frankly, I expected new characters from him. Not characters who are influenced by real life celebrated authors, or what was even worse in my opinion, real life characters, editors, being a part of the plot. The plot is a work of fiction; it’s nice if the characters are too.
I am a picky reader, the editor in me dissects the content while I read. So what bothered me, might not bother a lot of readers, of course. If you are planning to read a decent thriller, have a few hours to spare and are looking for a light read, you’ll like The Bestseller She Wrote. Because, one needs to know what happens when an author becomes a characters in someone else’s story.

Rating: ***.5/5

I am reviewing ‘The Bestseller She Wrote’ by Ravi Subramanian as a part of the biggest Book Review Program for Indian Bloggers. Participate now to get free books!

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