Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.
When She Smiled is a perfect for a one day, light read and the narrative description of the content by the author is quite attractive. This ability would keep any reader interested into the book.
The plot revolves around Mrityunjoy Roy or Joy, a fifteen year old Bengali boy who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla. While his family is completely academically oriented, he wants something more. Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind-boggling smile. As fate would have it, she joins his Physics tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self discovery.
The book engulfs a lot of topics regarding teenage days of one’s life, relationship values to be learned at that age, and of course the scenic beauty that the author has tried to indulge in his own words which I found beatific.
The characterisation expressed in the book is surreal, it had a great affect on me. Creating imaginary puppets easily and elucidating them in one’s own is an idle component a reader look forwards too before picking any book and this book offers you that.
There are few nudges from Bollywood movies but it did not work out for me, though at the same time I understand the fact that one can be slightly influenced by Bollywood, grown up and living in India but I found that quite blunt.
It’s an impressive book, debut, and Ritoban certainly has potential. I am looking forward on reading his next work.
3.5 out of 5!
About the Author: Ritoban Chakrabarti
He is an entrepreneur who ran an internet marketing company for five years, before trying his hand at writing. His first novel, When She Smiled, a coming-of-age fiction released in 2014. He is an avid traveller, and believes in a life without boundaries.