I received When Our Worlds Collide by Aniesha Brahma as a gift from the author. She has mentioned somewhere that this is her first novella. Having read her previous books, The Guitar Girl and The Secret Proposal earlier, I could not help myself and immediately said a yes when Bookr3vi3ws asked me if I would like to review it. So for this book, I have not only the author but also Debdatta of Bookr3vi3ws to thank.
The Blurb (from Goodreads):
Akriti has led a pretty much sheltered life.
Zayn has been shuttled from city to city when he was growing up.
She is comfortable watching her life from the sidelines.
He wants to feel rooted to a place he can call ‘home’.
They meet each other quite by chance.
And both seize the chance to be someone they both need in their lives:
For Zayn, it’s a ‘Partner-In-Crime’.
For Akriti, someone who just knows how to be there for her…
When their worlds collide,
It is not what either of them expected it to be.
Zayn has a steady girlfriend. And Akriti has a crush on him.
What happens when these two become friends?
The biggest adventure of their lives? Or the road to heartbreak?
What happens when two completely different people collide?
Do they become friends? Or, is their friendship doomed from the start?
‘When Our Worlds Collide’ is the story of two twenty-three-year olds, Who are finally growing up and finding their feet in the world.
A tale of friendship and love, crushes and betrayals, messes and second chances,
Marriage and divorce… and the elusive happily ever after!
The story starts with a prologue dated 2002, when thirteen year old Akriti is upset over her parents’ divorcing and is not performing well at school. She has no friends and her only friend has also betrayed her. Thirteen year old Zayn Banerjee, is upset because they are moving again as his father is in a job where they have to move every two years. He has just started to make friends but has to leave again. He is intrigued by his name and also asks his parents about it.
Chapter one, 2006, they both are seventeen year olds. Akriti has moved to a new school because her mother wants her to be there, though she is homesick for her previous one, where she meets Nimmi. She also sees Zayn, a boy with no hand eye coordination who gets hit by a ball in the basketball court and much to her anguish, she cannot help him, as they would have done in her old school, because the bell for the next period has rung.
Now, 2013, Akriti, 23, has finished her masters and is working in her mother’s café (her mother had converted the ground floor of the house into a café) and though there is not much footfall, the café still manages itself. She is yet to decide what she wants to do- run the café or ‘something else’. Ayoub, younger to her by 2 years, preparing for his masters, also helps her out in the café. He is her only friend.
Suddenlyshe bumps into Nimmi and Zayn celebrating five years of togetherness at her café. Then, Nimmi comes and asks her to become friends with Zayn as he has no friends in Kolkata. Akriti already has a secret crush on him, of which only Ayoub is aware and she agrees reluctantly. They become friends, meet at the Poetry Slam, go for drives, try to complete his bucket list of things to be done before he leaves for his PhD. Both of them are different beings and he helps her find herself.
The story is beautiful and the way it has been presented is more beautiful. The way of introducing the characters is unique. The language is simple and the flow is good. It is a fast paced book which can be read in 2 hours flat. The prologue introduces the characters and the story moves as a first person narrative from Akriti’s perspective. All the characters have been given importance in the story, be it the main characters or even the supporting ones, all were equally important. The bunch of teenagers, her step brother and even Suzanna, the lady who organizes Poetry Slams and even the bartender Surbhi.
The author has shown Akriti to be a strong girl who stands up to her parents. I simply loved that part. She has taken us through her childhood, teens and now the twenties. The way she has written the story, I could feel for Akriti and had tears in my eyes thinking of a thirteen year old going through so much in life. That actually explains why she is, what she is.
The quotes at the beginning of the chapters and the poems in between are also pertinent to the story. The cover is beautiful.
A must read for everyone.
Book Source: The author