Disclaimer: I received a free PDF of this book from the author and The Book Club in exchange for an honest review. The views expressed herein are solely my own, and there has been no monetary compensation involved.
As an avid romance reader, I’ve read countless novels about bad guys and good girls and good guys and good girls. But there hasn’t been much focus on what would happen if a good guy and bad girl fell in love with each other. Probably because of that, but I find stories on this theme intriguing. Anything that goes on to establish that people should be given a chance to change and correct themselves gets my vote. And that there was why I decided that I’d review That Same Old Love. In fact, I even asked as much to Manya, the author of this beautifully written story, and here’s what she had to say.
Every time I read a romance novel, I am amazed at how so many stories can be written within the same framework or structure that most romance novels. Like I’ve said this in quite a few of my reviews before, it is the little moments in the story and the characters that bring about the uniqueness. Manya’s Mahi is that the uniqueness in the novel.
Mahi is certainly not your conventional romance novel heroine. Contradictorily, in fact, Mahi’s favorite thing in the world to do is pester her lesser fortunate classmates (because they choose not to be her friends) and juniors-especially a certain Samrat and his younger sister Ananya. With her extremely good looking boyfriend Sidhu by her side, Mahi thinks that the world should be bowing its head to her in reverence. Times change and Mahi becomes the tormented. How she picks up the pieces that her life breaks into is what the story is all about.
The story is well-told, subtly emphasizing the changes in Mahi’s personality over a course of almost two decades. All that Mahi goes through after she is married and packed off to the US is monumental and could have been written in words that would move the reader and make sure that a drop or two of tears is certainly shed. But the author moves the story forward keeping with the essence of Mahi’s character—strong, shying away from her vulnerabilities, which is really commendable.
I loved how Mahi’s journey has been portrayed, especially her changing relationship with the very people she made life hell for, while she battles her own past, first as the tormentor and then as the tormented. With Mahi’s life and experiences, Manya also, very subtly, tries to bring to light what things like domestic violence, preference to the male child no matter how good the girl is can affect how someone’s personality is shaped. While Manya has kept this very quiet, without being too preachy, I thought a little more attention to these issues would have been good for connecting readers better to Mahi’s character.
The pace of the story is even and the language and vocabulary used are good. Except for a few editing oversights, the book is definitely worth a read. More because it reinstates your belief in the fact that second chances come to those who are determined to make the most of them.
I give this book a 4/5.