Tuesday, October 18, 2016

(Book Review) Yashodhara Lal's When Love Finds You

Yashodhara Lal's last book, There's Something About You, was the first book that I read as part of a book reviewing program I signed up for last year. I loved it and it really changed my perspective on Indian chick-lit. So when I was offered the chance to read and review her latest, I signed up quickly.

It was a ten-day wait to receive the book, presumably due to all the festivals we've been having lately. But once I received the book (thankfully on a Friday night), it took me just a few hours to read it, despite having a very demanding toddler at home. (The fact that it was the weekend helped.)

Before I begin, let me just get this off my chest quickly - I didn't enjoy this book as much as the last one. Sure, it's a good read and unputdownable and all that, but it doesn't have the wit and sparkle of the last book.

Lal presents us with a really dislikable protagonist - Natasha Patnaik is a 35-year-old Vice-President of Sales at an HR software company. She's extremely ambitious and a tough boss, very sure that she has to be doubly hard on her team to overcome their resistance to having a female boss. She's single, and not sure if she wants to mingle. She clearly has health and body image issues (though she doesn't seem to realize it).

Unfortunately for her, all the sacrifices she has made for her career don't seem to be enough. Her boss feels that she needs to develop her "people skills" and brings in an extra layer between him and her - a business head who seems to be all style and show, but who is supposed to mentor her.

Throw in a hot new colleague at work, a crochety old neighbour and a sexy gym instructor, and you've got everything you need for a riveting few hours.

You'll enjoy the book if you don't expect much more than your usual romantic potboiler. Personally, I had high expectations thanks to her last book, but this one doesn't quite match up.

All of Natasha's troubles are over by the end of the book. But there's no clear reason why.

(Possible spoilers begin)

Yes, she finally decides to deal with her past, but why? Yes, she suddenly becomes a manager the team loves performing for, but why? Yes, the guy she likes falls in love with her too, but why?

(Possible spoilers end)

Other peeves, while we're on the subject. Natasha introduces herself to her new boss in the first half of the book as an IIMC alum. In the second half of the book, she says she did her MBA from FMS. WTF.

And my major peeve from the last book holds true for this one as well - the cover. Dayamn, that is one terrible cover. And let's not even talk about the title, which is so generic it must have come from some Random Romantic Title Generating Machine. 

Overall, general timepass read that your brain cells can sleep through.
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