Against All Odds: Jazz Singh (Day 1 of the review challenge)

Happy Friday wonderful readers; if you haven’t seen, today is the first day of the slightly brave or rather ambitious ten day review challenge. Set by Suze and Susie at Lavender likes, loves, finds & dreams and Reviewed the book respectively the two came up with the idea to set a challenge of picking a number of reviews to attempt in the ten days and sticking to it. The idea came from the two having a backlog of reviews to write up of books that had already been read that just need a little bit of time being written up and posted. My want to take part comes from my desire to push my ability to review quickly but at the same quality. I have spoken about this recently but the time that it takes me to review a book is rather lengthy and I want to push myself to change this. Today’s review is of a novella written by Jazz Singh, a lovely little read that I’m very excited to bring to you; enjoy!

On a rainy night, Sanjana and Abhimanyu meet in the most unromantic of conditions. She’s wet, muddy and is almost run over by him, while he accuses her of trying to scam money from him. After an acrimonious exchange, each hopes never to set eyes on the other again. But fate has other plans for them… As they meet again, and yet again, Abhimanyu finds himself admiring Sanjana’s spirit and obvious talent. Before he knows it, he’s head-over-heels in love with her. It’s the perfect modern fairytale–business tycoon falls for struggling designer from nowhere–but then his mother enters the picture. She makes it Swarovski crystal clear that Sanjana has no place in her son’s life. The two break apart until their worlds collide yet again; another accident, in another time and place. Will they come together this time, against all odds?

So as you can see the story mainly revolves around the storyline of two people destined to be apart due to their class and cultural differences. Set mainly in the busy, bustling city of Delhi the story starts with our main female protagonist finding herself under the wheels of a rather smart car. The budding interior designer finds herself face to face with the sultry, slightly arrogant and menacing Abhimanyu. Helping her to her feet she shrugs off his requests to take her to the hospital and instead decides to take the injury (a hairline fracture) into her own hands. Currently in the middle of her biggest assignment yet our female lead finds herself constantly crossing paths with the sultry Abhimanyu. Is there more than a work connection between these two? Was it fate that brought them together? All will be revealed.

In terms of positives the two main characters are very well built up in terms of character profiling. Sanjana is gusty, determined and very ambitious. She tends to shrug off the constraints of society and refuses to give into conventions of beauty such as make-up and expensive clothing and it really is a breath of fresh air. Abhimanyu is the polar opposite; cool and collected he radiates importance and prowess. His sense of class and dignity makes the contrast between the two even more distinct. The relationship is built up over a long period of time so it feels genuine and realistic which I liked. I thought the addition of family finding it difficult to accept someone of a different class slightly clichéd but handled well and it helped to bring supporting characters to the forefront. Additionally the swapping between languages helps to really transport the reader to this new environment which I thought was a lovely touch.

A couple of critical points; firstly it all felt a little too nice. The two do sustain their relationship through a number of adversities but I wanted more. The family don’t get involved enough and I think it is because Abhimanyu is so aloof as a character you don’t really feel like his family were ever really going to make it that difficult for their blossoming relationship. Adding to this, the fact that Sanjana disappears for a year is overlooked. Blink and she’s gone and then back again. I think if you’re going to put in a significant time period you need to really make a meal of it and give it some reasoning to be included. I also thought the story was missing a couple of sub-plots; something to interweave and draw the reader’s attention. Although a short book there was room for another plot-line potentially looking at Sanjana’s friend Palak. In terms of writing style it’s very good not only snappy and well written in terms of dialogue but the pace is perfect; it’s gentle but moves along to keep the reader engaged. I think the author could have played more with the scents and smells; make us feel the new environment not just imagine it.

Overall this is a lovely little story; I felt that the novel needed an alternative plot-line to help create suspense and give the story more content and more room to play around with. I understand that the author was playing with the main characters budding career and her independence but it wasn’t enough to stand on its own as a plot-line for me. I may seem a little over critical however overall I really did enjoy reading this gentle story and can’t wait to see more from this author.

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