Book Review : When She Smiled


Image Courtesy: Flipkart

Blurb View: 

Roy is a fifteen year old Bengali who has spent the last ten years of his life growing up in Shimla, India. While his family is completely academically oriented, he wants something more. Finally he meets Akanksha in school, who turns his world upside down with her gorgeous looks and mind boggling smile. As fate would have it, she joins his tuition, and thus begins the torrid year of puppy love, romance, heartbreak, tragedy, and self discovery. Set among the scenic Shivalik hills of Shimla when mobile phones and internet were non-existent, this is a story of how an average young teenager comes to terms with his destiny.


Since I grew up in the nineties, much like Ritoban Chakrabarti, I’m nostalgic about that mobile phone and internet-free era. So I didn’t hesitate to grab the opportunity of accepting an ARC. When you are approached by a young enthusiastic and confident author, it doesn’t take much to be convinced.

However (and I hate to use this word), Ritoban disappointed me with his fare. The story is simple, set in a beautiful landscape, and yet the nuances have been squandered. What matters for a novel is the beginning and the climax. Ritoban has nailed the latter but the former wasn’t very impressive.

cbp1The lamentations of our protagonist Mrityunjoy about both his schools tended to be a bit boring. I thought the story would spice up with the entry of the heroine.

While the premise showed promise, the writing wavered towards our veritable Indian English. While grammar and syntax faltered a lot, Ritoban should have been careful about editing, but I’d received an ARC, so can’t complain much. The story had potential, but lacked the killer instinct that would take it through the readers’ psyche.

I wish Ritoban would rectify the minimal errors and write a better story next time, because he can.

My Rating: 2.75/5

Image Courtesy: Google

Image Courtesy: Google

About the Author:

Ritoban is an entrepreneur who ran an internet marketing company for five years, before trying his hand at writing. His first novel, When She Smiled, a coming-of-age fiction released in 2014. He is an avid traveller, and believes in a life without boundaries.
You can connect with him at Ritoban dot com

Book Details: 

Language: English,  Genre: Fiction/Romance

Author(s): Ritoban Chakrabarti

Publisher: Notion Press, Year Published: 2015

Binding: Paperback, Edition: First, Pages: 225

ISBN-13: 9789384878252

Buy from Amazon

This review is also shared with the First Reads Challenge at b00kr3vi3ws and The Indian Quills Reading Challenge at The Tales Pensieve

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