Kabir follows the most beautiful girl he has ever seen into a mall. But there are gunshots and screams as terrorists storm inside after fleeing an operation gone wrong. Kabir and Diya find themselves trapped, along with other hostages. The terrorists make their demands and announce that until they are met, one person will die every hour. The situation begins to spiral out of control.
Held hostage by fate, looking death in the face, it could be Kabir and Diya’s last chance at love. But, as they watch time run out, it turns out both of them are hiding secrets. Secrets that make their love even more impossible.
I was provided a copy of this book by Penguin India in exchange of an honest review
“A house of stars where the door is open for everyone. Where the rooms are filled with love. And the roof is a sky full of stars. Each one holding a wish.”
Set against an unusual backdrop, the plot follows the story of Kabir and Diya who are stuck inside a mall due to a terrorist attack. As the story progresses we’re introduced to the many secrets that both of them have been hiding along with the story of their common link- a person whom they both love.
The book was incredibly fast-paced and easy to read. I finished it in two sittings. The suspense revolving around the backstory, as well as the future of both characters, kept me on the edge of my seat. The plot twists were amazing, I had not been anticipating any of that. One thing that stood out to me was how the author used this love story to send a bigger message about how religious identities, if not given adequate space to be expressed and if not given proper safeguards and respect to the satisfaction of the community by the government, can take dangerous forms and be a threat to humanity. I loved this aspect of the book. There were other similar yet subtle messages about hope, humanity, and non-violence, which in my opinion, fit really well with the contemporary issues of modern India.
I really liked the characters especially Kabir. And since the book is told by the perspective of both Diya and Kabir, every other chapter had a distinct voice, which made the reading experience more enjoyable. The conversations between the two main characters were amusing yet realistic. I adored how they coped with the whole situation by making a little imaginary getaway of their own to escape the misery and fear that had dangerously surrounded them. I can totally see this book being converted into a Bollywood movie since the tone that the book followed was very similar to that of Bollywood movies. So if you’re into filmy stuff, you should totally pick up this book.
Going to be honest, the romantic elements of this book were too cringy for my taste. I felt no such connection between the characters and the characters themselves felt underdeveloped. Some of the dialogues were extremely cliche and felt as if they were borrowed from a very bad Dharma Productions movie. Since I am not a fan of love at first sight, and since this book has that element, it obviously bothered me a little. The writing, for the most part, was bland and lacking effective emotions to have a sufficient impact on its audience. The book as a whole could have been more stretched out and developed. Nonetheless, House of stars by Keya Ghosh can be best described as a one time read which finds a decent position between a mind-boggling amazing read and an extremely abysmal one.
Lastly, I’d like to thank Penguin India for providing me a copy of the book and blessing us with amazing reads.