“When you love someone deeply, you take a leap of faith. The person you love may or may not love you back. But that’s the risk you take.” ~~ Adite Banerjie (Destiny’s Girl)
There are only two reasons I picked this book after getting burned by my first Indian Indie author book – Scorpio Superstar (pure torture).
1: Once the author had contacted me to review one of her books and it’s published by Mills and Boon. So when I saw her book, different one, in the Kindle Unlimited, I thought, why not let’s try it.
2: ‘Destiny’s Girl’ was published before by Mills and Boon under another name. If I remember correctly, their venture seems to have ended in a disaster. No surprise there, with the kind of horror stories they were publishing.
Anyways, let’s find out more about Destiny’s Girl….
Genre: Contemporary Romance.
Main Characters: Maya Shome, Krish Dev.
‘Destiny’s Girl by Adite Banerjie’ ~~ Synopsis:
Krish is in desperate need to get married before his father tries to force him to marry someone he doesn’t want to. He has already found a few candidates for the position of his wife. But he’s unsure about getting into any arrangement when he has no strong feelings for any of the candidates.
How the charade would work or how they would be able to tolerate each other?
That’s when he once again sees Maya and Krish begins to wonder if he could execute his plan to fool his father with Maya’s help. If not love, then at least he feels attracted to her and that’s enough for him. So he asks his assistant to send Maya an invite to his father’s birthday celebration and finds everything about her and her background.
Maya’s not sure of what to make of the invite she get to KD’s party. The one thing is for sure the invite is her ticket to meet the man who destroyed her life. After losing her family, all Maya wants is revenge and a way to destroy KD.
That’s when Krish’s proposal comes on the platter out of the blue. One moment Maya is thinking how to get revenge and the next moment the perfect opportunity presents itself.
The only catch is she would have to marry the enemy’s son to get what she wants. Maya doesn’t want to, but she knows she would not get another chance to get the proof she needs.
OK, I have read this same formula so many times and a lot of times I have had no problems with it. But here I do have some problems.
1: To use or not to use exclamation marks that is the biggest question along with how many are too many.
Too many exclamation marks don’t successfully show emotions. If you need 6 exclamation marks in just 3 paragraphs, then there’s something wrong.
Also, the overuse or rather abuse, of exclamation marks, to get your point across makes for a cringe worthy read. Exclamation marks cannot do the writer’s work that is to add emotions and make the story interesting.
Unsure amateur writers use too many of exclamation marks to highlight emotions and make their point. Good writers are not dependent on exclamation marks to add emotions.
I should have taken the cue from the blurb. Who uses two exclamation marks in barely a 150 word synopsis?
2: Too many POVs:
So it seems the author tried her hands at the ‘Third Person Omniscient POV’ and failed spectacularly to make the transitions seamlessly.
Why oh why? What’s wrong with the ‘Third Person Limited’ that’s so common and famous in Romance Genre? Why try something you have no mastery over in public and torture public (read: readers) as well?
In ‘Destiny’s Girl’ one moment you’re in Maya’s head, then suddenly Krish is thinking and feeling something and then there’s Krish’s father’s thoughts as well.
What a mess! It destroyed the flow of the story, something ‘Third Person Omniscient POV’ is known to do when used by most of the authors.
These days, we have a heroine and hero’s POVs and if there’s a need we’d have the secondary characters POVs as well. It saves us from the confusion that comes with the shifting POVs or head-hopping as its better known, within a paragraph.
Then there’s a curious case of Krish getting Maya thoroughly investigated. He certainly doesn’t get his money’s worth. I couldn’t digest that the detective Krish hired finds nothing in Maya’s background.
A good detective would have found her father’s past association with Krish’s family business. If not, then the said detective should consider closing his shop. I just couldn’t digest all that followed. This character behaves like a rich idiot.
3: The Contract:
Let’s dissect the famous Mills and Boon arc – The Marriage Contract. Firstly, let’s be clear about one thing, no matter what you believe, the fact at present, as per the ‘Hindu Marriage Act’, is that marriage contracts have no legal standing.
Because marriages, in India, are based on the idea that it’s scared & continues in the 21st century and if it’s scared then…connect the rest of the dots I have said enough.
So a contract like that would probably come under the Indian Contract act, which could be challenged under certain conditions. Mind you, the law has many loopholes.
All of it took barely two minutes to search on Google. Yet, if the author wanted to explore this angle, then she should have come up with something believable. She could have. The whole scenario is a sign of poorly done research and then thoughtlessly incorporating a popular trope that’s a misfit.
In my opinion the tropes like this one, at least, should loosely fit the laws of the country of origin of the characters, if it’s not a paranormal fiction. If one is taking liberties, then maybe the author should consider adding a disclaimer claiming she took major liberties in portraying certain Indian laws.
Then there’s another weird angle: Krish wants someone who would keep their marriage a secret from her family. While he would introduce her as his wife to his family – yet another strange angle that makes no sense.
How do you keep a billionaire’s marriage under wraps, especially the kind who lands in the newspapers sometimes? And fictional billionaires are usually notorious for landing in tabloids for some reason.
It’s neither explained, nor explored. Why it’s mentioned in the first place? How this idiotic character is going to keep his marriage under wraps when he belongs to a high-profile family? When the news would leak, then bride’s parents would know as well. No?
In this case, Maya’s parents would never know because they are conveniently dead. Good for them as what follows is a sorry mess. This was the author’s first book. I hope it wasn’t a first for whoever edited it because the editor did a choppy job of first editing and then not telling the author to tie the loose ends. There are a few loose ends that need tying up for the story to make sense.
I’m guessing someone in Krish’s position would know all about the status of the marriage contract in the Indian context and would get the thorough background check. At the risk of repeating myself, the idiot, apparently, gets a thorough background check report.
In the beginning I found the dialogues too familiar and flat. Then I was like they sound like just another Mills and Boon novel. You have read them so much that they are nothing but cliché. Krish’s flirting style leaves a lot to be desired. If that’s how he flirts then at that rate it would take his character a few hundred years to become a Casanova the author wants him to become.
Maya’s character, talks in exclamation marks. I didn’t understand her strangeness at all. One moment she’s marking boundaries and the next moment falling for Krish as if she’s a split personality. Or maybe it’s the lack of properly developed characters and the plot – a must if you want to weave a story worth reading.
Not once I believed she want revenge. She wants revenge yet she’s so passive that she doesn’t even know her next move. If she did, she would have come up with a better plan than that of Krish’s or might have known about his plan. Anyone who wants revenge is usually wise enough to have at least one rough plan. What a sorry tale of revenge!
Where is to start on the lack of character development? Just read, if you have the courage to destroy your time and money, and discover the flat characters yourself. The characters themselves have no knowledge of who they are; maybe they forgot to tell the author.
I would also love to know when Maya learned to tango, when it’s mentioned that she mostly avoided her rich friends’ company while studying with them. Nowhere, it’s mentioned she’s interested in anything other than landscaping (read: hiding in the background waiting for the revenge opportunity to fall into her lap).
Maybe the tango was added to remind us of that horrible shampoo ad that was shot & advertised in the same year as this book was first published. Just because it worked for them doesn’t mean it’d work for everyone. Or maybe it would have if done right?
KD – the villain’s instant change of heart in the end, seems to have come straight from one of the 70s or 80s melodramatic movies, where everyone had to come around before ‘The End’ was plastered onscreen. It was a must for the villain to be either dead, behind bars or, of course, repentant of his misdeeds & then fading into the background. Something that looked highly fake then and still does.
Now come to think of it, the whole thing about making Krish’s father a villain, having a hand in the destruction of the heroine’s family, was one of the famous ideas for the movies back in the day. As per the author’s note in the end, the next in line to get their story is Natasha and Rohan.
Maybe that’s why you would have the displeasure of being in Rohan’s head just before the end. The sudden POV change left me feeling confused and displeased.
Unfortunately, neither seems like interesting characters. Natasha comes across as an annoying teenager and Rohan just another yes man barely making an impression. Who is he anyways? Who wants to read about another set of flat characters?
‘Destiny’s Girl’ is yet another case of: You Cannot Edit Your Own Copy. Get an editor, the one with the skills and experience to do so. Not your fellow authors or beta readers, who flatters till you forget that you need to hone your craft to almost perfection whether you believe in perfection or not.
The story needs to be rewritten at least twice and maybe then the author would see all the loose ends. The loose ends need to be ironed out.
I keep saying and I repeat: Readers don’t like to read first drafts and don’t fall in love with them like their creators.
But it seems the Indian self-publishers have decided to waste readers’ time with their unedited manuscripts that are also horrifying uninteresting and cheap imitation of Mills and Boons. The one reason that’s going for the ‘Destiny’s Girl’ is the author’s writing style, which is mildly interesting.
I’m hoping, it would only get better and not lose its appeal (due to bad editor or no editing) now that the author has jumped into the Indie bandwagon. I find it sad that the authors who seem to know how to write a good Romance, writes only one book and leaves the scene.
Anyways, it’s not all wasted time. I used to think that reading these kinds of crappy Romance novels wasted my time, not anymore.
Here Are Some Lessons From Crappy Novels:
1: You learn what not to write, which is as important as knowing what to write.
Remember, this quote, whenever you read a crappy Romance novel (the last sentence is the most important):
“Accept what life offers you and try to drink from every cup. All wines should be tasted; some should only be sipped but with others, drink the whole bottle. You can only know a good wine if you have first tasted a bad one.” ~~ Paulo Coelho’s (Book: Brida)
Only after reading this quote I realized that I probably didn’t waste my time reading nonsense.
2: Bring your own audience to fool the real audience (Very Important).
Meaning: Be friends with desperate and mediocre authors in the same boat as you. It never hurts to have a couple of unethical bloggers (who’re as desperate & as bad a writer as you), who could write you fake five-star reviews on Amazon & Goodreads.
Also, these people must have their own blogs so if no else wants to promote your crappy first drafts on their blogs, don’t worry, your author friends would do it. Do remember you’re to return the favor. Both sites are filled with these authors’ fellow unethical author friends, writing fake five star reviews for each other.
I’m guessing this trick probably works one time. I don’t know about others, but once a writer lands on a reader’s blacklist then there’s no getting out of it. If you ever come across these authors’ interviews, then you’d wonder how they could not differentiate between a good & bad writing.
They don’t hesitate to drop the names of the most famous author’s as their favorite author. As if only reading famous authors, is the ticket to writing good novels. I would like to know what they learned from their favorite authors? You know the kind of authors whose books you read and find out that they are not just telling an interesting story, but they seem to know how to weave that story too. Then you wonder ‘How could you improve your own writing style?’
Also, you could spend your entire life reading and yet not know how to write one engaging story. Maybe these authors should read new age Romance novels and ditch so-called classics and trying to emulate it.
3: Never ever edit your first draft or hire an editor and upload it as is. You are the next J.K Rowling or maybe Stephen King or Bella Andre. People are just waiting to read a story that’s making no sense.
4: Have a beautiful book cover because stories worth reading and remembering are all about attractive covers.
Disclaimer: I was trying to be contrary. Not everything I have written above is either ethical or worth following. I most disagree with 2nd and 3rd points.
But most of this unethical behavior is prevalent in the self-publishing scene, not just among Indian Indie authors and seems to be working. I don’t know for how long it works, maybe till most readers have decided not to read that particular author. Hopefully by then these authors have fleeced enough money to either retire from writing or hire a professional writer.
Hit or Miss: Miss.
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