Your Love Was All I Had! by Kaushal Kumar Jha is a nice little college love story that will keep readers’ eyes glued to the pages. The book has all the essential ingredients of a love story – hero and heroine, difficulties surrounding their love and a satisfying ending. In other words, the novel has the basic framework that will hold any romantic novel together. As is the case with a number of other romantic novels, the book is a small, light and easy to read. However, while the book did not disappoint me, I found the book too simplistic and formulaic. I am not denying the fact that all romance novels have certain things in common. I also believe that at certain level almost all romantic novels are formulaic. In fact, all the genres are formulaic in some way or the other. And, yes, I do not represent each and every reader. But, for me, the main task of any author writing a romantic story is not to throw a story that fits in a certain formula but either to reinvent the formula or modify the basic recipe.
The story in this book revolves around a north Indian boy Rahul, who lands up in Mumbai to study in one of the well-known medical colleges of India. In Mumbai, he meets Riya, chases her and finally falls in love with her. Their relationship is running smoothly until opposition starts to emerge from both of their families. What happens next forms the rest of the story-line. Have you heard or read or seen a similar story-line earlier? Most likely, you have. And, this is what I meant by a formulaic story. This is simply another college love story, which offers nothing new.
Let us turn our attention to other aspects of this book. The characters of this book have been sketched well. The two main protagonists of this novel Rahul (the hero) and Riya (the heroine) are not only believable, but also leave an impression on you. By introducing weaknesses and vulnerabilities in these two characters, the author has created these characters authentic. In effect, the fears, flaws and helplessness of these two characters make readers develop a bond with these two. The chemistry between these two has also been portrayed adroitly. This chemistry takes the story forward smoothly. Though the story has been narrated from Rahul’s point of view, the inclusion of Riya’s point of view could have added a different charm to the story-line. The author has also depicted both personal and situational conflicts in the story skillfully; the emotional scenes could have been improved though.
The book also covers many aspects of a student living in a hostel like ragging and friendship. The incidents of ragging described in this book might take you back to your own hostel (if you have faced ragging in a hostel).
Overall, this book is not a bad read at all and will be liked by teenagers, hostelites and medical students.
Note: I received my copy of this book free from the author via Goodreads’ First Reads program.