Though I am not a big fan of Indian romance novels, every once in a while I see myself picking one with the hope that maybe I might just like it. I personally did not really like the cover of I Shall Always Love You. But I still picked it because the blurb of the book interested me. The book promised romance, mystery and suspense so I was instantly drawn to it. The book is fast-paced, action-packed and partly predictable so it is quite an enjoyable ride. However, after reaching the peak, the book plateaus and then drops in the end. I finished this quick-read in just one sitting and here is what I feel about it.
I Shall Always Love You by Shilpa Jain
Publisher: Srishti Publishers and Distributors
Shiv Sanyal is a celebrated artist. When he meets an enigmatic woman, he creates a sculpture of her, his masterpiece. He is shocked when he is publicly humiliated for copying a Khajuraho figurine that looks just like this mysterious woman. He decides to visit Khajuraho to unveil the truth. Stumbling upon revelations and facts long hidden, he discovers his connection to the glorious past of Khajuraho. Unexpected events in Khajuraho and Mumbai force him and his friends to go on a quest to find a hidden treasure with clues in a missing Khajuraho sculpture. They travel across India and visit various ancient temples to find clues leading to the treasure. What is this treasure? Who is compelling them to seek it? Who is Shiv’s friend and who is his enemy? How has the universe woven the lives of his friends into his life? I Shall Always Love You is a thrilling tale of love that never dies, treasures that lay buried, and truths that go deeper than the seas.
(Blurb as on the back cover.)
I LIKE I Shall Always Love You Because,
…the first half of the book was interesting. The book starts with Shiv’s current life and then delves into his past life which explains a lot of aspects related to this life. Shiv’s past has a huge influence on his present which shapes his story. I really enjoyed reading his past story as it was far better than the other half of the book.
…I liked Shiv’s character a lot. Shiv is hard-working, sincere and honest. His character is well-drawn and developed to make him likable but with a clear sense of reality to it. He basically is a very righteous hero but that does not make him ‘too good to be true’. He has his flaws and moments of weakness but knows how to rise from it which is why I find him so appealing.
…author Shilpa Jain’s writing is smooth and easy to read. The book deals with art and history and she creates vivid images of the past with her simple words.
I Do NOT Like I Shall Always Love You Because,
…the second-half of the book felt half-baked and rushed. The first-half generates curiosity but the second-half fails to keep up the level of interest. I especially disliked how Saloni and Arjun’s story was dealt with. I liked the two characters individually and was waiting for their story to kick-start but the way the two characters are handled is disappointing. I think Saloni and Arjun deserved a better storyline.
…the climax was a big let-down. Had I not liked the first half of the book as much as I did, I would not have minded the climax the book offers. But I enjoyed the first-half a lot and was hoping for an exciting ending. Sadly, the ending was not as good as I was expecting it to be. I found it to be too shallow when it could have had a much deeper and meaningful ending. After all the drama in the first half, the story could have been concluded in a more satisfying way.
Final View: The highlight of this book is its different storyline. Despite the cheesy title and a shoddy cover, the book does not follow the conventional romance path. It gives you well-rounded characters and a decently enjoyable plot.
You can check out Amazon.in for a discount on this book.
**This book is a free PR copy sent by the publisher in exchange for my honest review.