April 19, 2017

Book Review: You Raise Me Up by Arjum Hemmady

Author: Arjun Hemmady
Publisher: Frog Books
Rating: 3/5

There are phases in life when everything seems to fall apart. There are things that cannot be protected from the storms and simply need to be broken off. But there are high chances that some amazingly beautiful things might fill in the gap and life would be back on the four wheels. ‘You Raise Me Up’ reminds me of a book that I once read ‘Tamanna’. The book is based on the introspection and decision-making skills. But unfortunately the former is not at all comparable to the latter. Where Tamanna portrayed mature love (situations being similar), You Raise Me Up is more about teenage romance.

‘You Raise Me Up’ is a story about a confused Aalok, who is a Chartered Accountant by profession. Reading between the lines, I think the author has tried to relieve the pressure in the lives of CA students by presenting them a fictitious account of love. The blurb is not only short but also fails to give a clear picture about the story. The story has nothing new in store for the readers, for it begins with the clich├ęd Girl-meets-boy concept and ends in Happily-ever-after. Aalok is a mess because his mind is in a conflict- the conflict to choose between Priyanka and Tanvi. Before you put on your thinking caps, let me tell you that the story is not that simple. Aalok meets Priyanka on a flight, but Tanvi has been (or was) an integral part of his life for long.

With strong characterization and smooth plot, the author’s writing skills come in focus and they are good. Lucid narration, good grammar/ vocabulary and a breezy reading are perks that this book offers. There is a reason why I called the love in this story as immature love. Having learned his lessons, Aalok is a character who should know the outcome of pedaling with both legs in different boats. But contrary to this assumption, the author inclined the focus on the intimacy between the protagonists.

“When a man is in love he endures more than at other times, he submits to everything” –Friedrich Nietzsche

The title of the book is baffling and can misguide the readers. The insipid cover and short blurb are not catchy at all. Special appreciation for the author’s ability to bring out the emotional turmoil and making the readers empathize with Aalok.

The story is fast paced. The initial few pages are stretched a bit. But gradually the readers can keep up with the flow of the story. One thing that can deter the readers from completing this book is the lack of action in it. The central theme of varied emotions might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Today, where everyone is looking for something exciting and thrilling to read, this plot might just end up being the cake not worth the candle.

Best wishes to the author!

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