#BookReview: All Signs Lead Back to You, Aniesha Brahma

When Diya thought of her ‘preemptive strike’ on Ashwin, it did not occur to her that some things are meant to be and they do not stay in the past. Ashwin Chowdhury and Diya Rai were an ‘item’ until Diya called off their relationship on the last day at school. But well, things end, don’t they? Apparently, they do not: more so, if the heart has felt the heat of the emotions.
In 2015, when Ashwin and Diya bumped into each other at a college fest, things had changed and yet, deep down, they had not. They had company and the calm surface hinted towards the chaos that lurked at a distant corner. Through the course of the next 135 pages, stupidity and reading between the lines gave way to a beautiful story.
The Pros:
  •  The relatable elements of the book, including stalking on social media, the mingling of circles, the tits and bits of certain places made the read cozier. Normally, this would be something I would prefer reading in a span of 4-5 hours instead of days, owing to the level of familiarity of the book.
  • The tone oozes with positivity every now and then. Even in the darkest of times, there is a hint of hope that asks you to hold on and not give up. I found a few quotes for myself. WhatsApp status sorted for the next 4-5 months.
  • The book does not paint a rosy picture. Every character is a shade of gray. Every character is fighting its own battles. Diya is constantly building walls around herself. Nina is chirpy, over-the-top but an excellent friend. She cracked me up so many times. Ashwin is trying to hold on to his grudges, not let love rule his actions.
  • The true beauty of this story is the end where Diya and Ashwin choose to stay friends. Friendships remain undermined until date. We live in a society, where exes’ choosing to remain friends is met with raised eyebrows but sometimes, some people are worth keeping in your life, even if you choose to not let them stay what they meant before you screwed up. That is again, including embracing people just the way they are, big takeaways from the book.
The Cons:
  • The plot is predictable. Moreover, when there is a tweak at the very end of the story, there has to be something that grips you to the story in the initial part, perhaps with the introduction of the characters or the turn of events. That, for me, would have contributed to the hangover, something that makes a reader hold on to the book.
  • The protagonists taking turns at narrating the story was both a hit and a miss. While at places, it rendered some perspective into the character, there were times when it did nothing. Identifying those points and then switching perspectives would certainly make it a lot easier to keep track of who is talking.
Final verdict: 
A sweet, hopeful attempt at documenting that friendship is selfless and irrespective of the turn of events, true friends will stay back. A light read that would put some ignored aspects of life into perspective without making you realize that you are doing all the thinking.

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