*NOTE: A review copy of the book was provided in exchange for an honest review. I thank the author, and the publisher for the copy.*
Love happens when you least expect it…
Sameer is a Steve Jobs fan, a consultant at an investment bank, and a confused soul looking for love. As he moves cities to study and work, he falls in and out of love,but fails to find the one person who belongs with him. In comes Shagun, whom he marries. But he leaves the very next day for Switzerland…to start a dream Job. In the meantime, Shagun starts reading his diary! What does she find in there?
Will this spell the end of their marriage? With Sameer not around to defend himself,what is the future of their relationship?
Just the Way You Are is a humorous, heart-warming story about one man’s quest for true love.
“ Think that the arrow has already hit its target. You only need to see it happening.”
Just the Way You Are,by Sanjeev Ranjan, is a humourous, heart wrenching love story about Shagun and Sameer.
Although 95% of the novel focuses on Sameer, it still manages to keep the attention of the reader. As an Indian Young Adult contemporary novel it manages to touch upon a lot of very valid events that are happening and need to be addressed today. It is a short, quick read of about 200 pages and it was a delight.
On the night of their wedding, Sameer gets a job offer to go to Switzerland. This job has been his dream, but due to shortage of staff/maybe urgency of work he is supposed to join as soon as possible. It hasn’t even been 24 hours into their wedding and he already has to leave everything and go abroad for work. Shagun, on the other hand is shown as an understanding, docile, simple woman who understands his dreams and encourages him to go.
While packing for his trip, Shagun comes across his diary. It is from here that the novel picks up its tempo. The diary takes us through heartbreaks and the utter loneliness, with some absolutely hilarious moments, that Sameer had felt before meeting Shagun. Even though I wanted more from Shagun, and not through Sameer but her own point of view, she was still a very like-able character.
Sameer had a major transformation through the novel, and doing that in less than 250 pages is great art, and requires talent. Sameer starts as a stuck-up, obsessed with following the dating-norm sort of guy. That guy did not appeal to me, like at all. However, through the course of the journey that we take with Sameer we see him mature into a man who is proud of his family, his friends and his relationships.
“You know how the Bihar Government works.”
More than the characters, I liked how Sanjeev Rajan uses tropes to talk about important things – he touches on politics in Bihar, unemployment and the need for jobs, the work ethic in most good companies
which is just deteriorating, he talks about marriage and the amount of money that one wastes. Mother –son relationship is analysed in a beautiful way, and so are places like the orphanage, the rituals relating to arranged marriages in India and so on.
The only slight issue that I had with the novel was, one , lack of a female voice. And second, the young Sameer was too harsh on women and saw every girl with the same lens. The bits about make-up made me uncomfortable because make-up is a choice that women make for their own self. It has absolutely nothing to do with impressing guys or wooing them.
Although, Apart from this, it was a funny,perfect, light, summer read.
Overall, I would definitely recommend this.