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My Rating - 3 out of 5 stars
Published by - Goya Publishing
Genre - Romance Fiction
Publishing year - 2019
Language - English
ISBN - 978-93-88951-86-9
Pages - 174

She Stood By Me by Tarun Vikash

My Review - 

She Stood by Me is a romance fiction and debut book of Tarun Vikash. The subtitle "Love is not a relationship" is intriguing, and in a deep sense, it tells us that it is a lifelong commitment. The cover page and blurb give an idea about the story, but it is a journey, that as a reader, we enjoy a lot.

Plot - This is a tale of Aparna and Abhishek. A boy who is shy and madly in love, while the girl has no idea about it. Two friends, Manish and Nidhi who helped them to avow their love. Their love story begins with a sweet note, but soon reality smacks them. First, they went to different cities to study, and then the job. It was hard for them to sustain a long-distance relationship. They didn't often meet, which leads to further chaos. They decide to tie the knot, but their parents want something else. 

The story portrays a hardcore Indian family with a relative's drama and social pressure. Love marriages are still a big deal in India. No matter whatever the situation is, Aparna and Abhishek stand with each other. If you ever love someone or deal with wedding drama, then you can connect with every single character. 

The fear when parents knew about your affair, the naughty friends who create more trouble, but in the end, support you in every possible way. The relatives and parents' worry about what they will think or say are narrated very well. The story is written by male POV; that's why I felt that Tarun Vikash didn't do justice with Aparna's character in many places. 

For example, girls always late, they bicker so much, they took a lot of time getting ready, they look more suitable in saree, and "if Aparna wore a jeans-top, I would not allow her to talk to my mother on video calling." In one place, the author mentions that Abhishek's mother is not a narrow-minded person, but she likes a girl in a certain way. These are a few things I don't like about this book. 

What I like - the language is lucid without any syntactic errors. The narration is steady and fast-paced. Being a debutant, Tarun Vikash did a good job, but he can compose a tale way better than this. This is a simple love story of middle-class people, and the stuff that I mentioned earlier is their actuality somehow. The struggle is authentic when it comes to love marriage, so if you're looking for some light romance novels, pick this one. Recommended to newbies. 

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