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Book Review – The One You Cannot Have by Preeti Shenoy

I have known about Preeti Shenoy since a long, long time. Her book – “Life is what you make it” is a bestseller in most online sites. However, inexplicably I refrained from reading her until a week back. I was looking for a nice, mature read, so I thought about sampling the best book of Ms. Shenoy. This one seemed to have the best rating. Having read the likes of Ravinder Singh, Chetan Bhagat, Sudeep Nagarkar, and Durjoy Datta and not liking a few books by the acclaimed writers (although I Too Had a Love Story by Ravinder was quite emotional in the end, and Till the Last Breath by Durjoy was brilliant in every way), I wondered what Preeti had in store for me.

Nowadays, as soon as I flip through a few pages, I recognize the class of the author. Preeti Shenoy has class. Her writing is brilliant and lucid, better than the writers mentioned above. She does repeat words like ‘heck’ and ‘darn’ and the f word more often that you would like, but it’s still alright and not overused. You will find simplicity but not in the juvenile kind of way you find in most Commercial Indian Authors’ works. Frequently, you’ll find stylishly constructed sentences, too. She is a writer worth emulating. Not just the language – the plot is also intriguing. The characters are well etched out and are still lingering in my mind. They are neither totally black nor white, which is always good. The descriptions of ambiance are also satisfactory. The emotions of the lead characters are expressed beautifully. Although it never moved me to tears, I could feel their emotions (their guilt, anger, shock, happiness etc.) throughout the book. The majority of the book is predictable, but still the story captures your attention till the very end. The mails exchanged between the characters are also wonderfully written. SMS Lingo is never used in the text messages that characters share which is commendable. There is a slight sprinkling of Hinglish (which I personally don’t appreciate), but it’s usage is minimal which is okay. Painful memories of the past are skillfully portrayed.

All in all, a wonderful, tightly-knit book. Kudos to Preeti Shenoy. 4.5 stars. I look forward to reading more of her stuff. She’s a popular author. And it’s not surprising. Cheers!

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