Don’t judge a book by its cover. The saying is all the more relevant with the book holding on to love. The impression left back by the title is that it would be a love story with some lovemaking sequences and expected twists that tag them as cliche. But holding on to love proves the saying right. Never judge a book by its cover or title for that matter.
The title, Holding On to Life, gives an impression of a cliched romance story. The book cover doesn’t help too. While the reader indulges in the book, slowly it starts dawning that the prejudice fails. It is indeed the tale of Ashu and Disha’s love but it is not their love story. The author has exploited every possibility of a powerful plot. While reading I was doubtful if it is indeed his story.
When the story becomes the protagonist:
The book is uplifted by a powerful and painful story backed with lucid narration. The author has proven the point that incomprehensible language and complex sentences are not needed to make a book interesting or literarily valuable. The narrative is simple yet above average. Ashu is devastated by the demise of his father. The pain he feels is justified by the strained connection he had with his father. When Disha comes to his life, the author has portrayed it without dramatic terminologies and filmy theatrics. To establish a strong romantic connection without the overused formula is not easy as it piques the risk factor. The author succeeded in this feat. This is one of the instances when we realize the real talent.
Passive learning about Character:
The characters take a back seat when the plot is unparalleled. Nonetheless, the author has given ample space for the characters to develop, and hence the readers wouldn’t miss seeing the sequences where the characters are not directly present.
Painful and realistic but:
Ashu’s illness and its impact on the family is painful for the readers. The narration is realistic and relatable. Nonetheless, the impact of the plot wanes towards the climax. The climax was predictable butt the USP that the author held through the plot covered up for the cold climax.