Without being a spoiler, I keep the rest of the story sealed in my mind and share with you my review in a few words.
The backdrop: Half of the story is set in Gorakhpur, India; some parts in a village of India and the rest of it is in the New York. Like the last Neelam’s book I had read, this book also portrays some of the common problems of Indian society which relates to the corrupt systems, good people forced to support evil by the means of terror, parents imposing their views and dreams upon their children, greed for money and a lot more.
Who would like reading: This book again would be loved by the teenagers. The book doesn’t provide food for serious readers. It’s just a story which one can enjoy while a journey or during past times (And hey! don’t we need such books in our lives? :D). The story perfectly makes a script for a Bollywood movie, rather a decent movie (let me tell you, I would go to watch it too :P)
The best thing I found: Of course, the story is simple but the theme it is based on is the one which one can connect with. In our lives, we tend to fall into situations where we find no undo buttons to correct our mistakes and we need to live with the consequences of the past forever. Sometimes, it remains with us as a deep scar in our minds and sometimes, in some materialistic form. In this story we see how Avantika gives herself a new chance in her life. With her love, courage and determination she even helps Aryan (her first love) to get out of the muck of depression and hopelessness. Perhaps, life gives us the chance to choose a better life. It depends on us whether we could wisely choose the better path or keep burying our feet into the ditch of darkness.
What you may not like: As a reader, I personally don’t like stories based on total coincidences. It happened in this one. A complete half of the story proceeds due the coincidence which occurred. And I won’t be talking about what exactly was it because there lies the mystery of the book. (Wink! Wink!)
What you would like: The heroic depiction of a woman. Avantika is a character which everyone should like. The story speaks a lot about women sentiments, her courage to fight the odd, her gift of loving selflessly and fight as vehemently for justice as her male counterparts in the society.
About the author: Neelam Saxena Chandra is an engineer by profession and works with Indian Railways. Neelam has been awarded for her works by Gulzarji in a Poetry Contest organized by American Society, by Children Book Trust in 2009, and by Ministry of Railways (Premchand Puraskar). She has also received the Rabindranath Tagore International award for poetry. If you wish to read more about Neelam, you may find her on Wikipedia.