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Posts Tagged ‘Sara Naveed’

I was excited when I discovered that Sara Naveed’s new book ‘All of My Heart‘ had come out. It took me a while to get started but I finally started reading it yesterday and finished reading it today.

Rehaan is a photographic artist who is based out of London. In his spare time he drives for Uber because it makes him relaxed and happy. One day when he is driving, he gets a new customer. But when he sees her, he realizes that he knows her – her name is Zynah. Rehaan’s thoughts go back to a time eleven years ago when he was living in Lahore with his parents and he was in school. He describes how he met Zynah in school and how it was love at first sight. But Rehaan and Zynah being from different parts of the social spectrum, they didn’t talk much but there was an arms-length warmth that they exhibited towards each other. How this changed across time and how they became close friends and and how their relationship evolved, how they lost touch with each other and how they found each other again in London is described in the story. Then the book takes the story forward and describes what happens after Rehaan and Zynah meet again. At one point the narrative shifts from Rehaan’s point of view to Zynah’s and we get to see the events of the story through both their viewpoints.

I think the whole book can be divided into two parts. The first part which describes the events which happen in Lahore, and the second part which describes the story which happens in London. I loved both the parts. The first part is a beautiful story of friendship and love and the main characters go through emotional highs and lows and upheavals, which readers of romance fiction love. In the second part, the story kicks to a higher gear and it is amazing to read. It asks some very important questions on life, love, family which is very relevant in the South Asian context today, when society is in flux, with modernity trying to pull young people into the future and tradition trying to hold them back. This book depicts beautifully what happens when this emotional struggle takes place inside the hearts of a few individuals and within a few families. There is a huge surprise which is revealed in the second part, which is the core of this struggle, but I can’t and I won’t tell you anything, not even a whiff – you have to read the story and find it out for yourself.

I loved most of the major characters in the story, especially Rehaan and Zynah. Their characters are beautifully sculpted – beautiful and imperfect and passionate and human. Sara Naveed continues her love affair with the letter ‘Z’, by naming her heroine Zynah – in her first novel ‘Undying Affinity‘, her heroine is called Zarish. I loved some of the minor characters too. There is one scene in which Rehaan is in bad shape emotionally, and he comes downstairs and his roommate’s girlfriend Avantika asks him if he wants some coffee, and then sits with him while they talk and he pours out his heart and she shares her insights on life and love. It is one of the most beautiful scenes in the book and though Avantika comes only in a few scenes, she is one of my favourite characters.

So what do I think about ‘All of My Heart‘ when compared to Sara Naveed’s earlier two books, ‘Undying Affinity‘ and ‘Our Story Ends Here‘? I loved all three in different ways, because they are different kinds of love stories. I will always have a soft corner for ‘Our Story Ends Here‘ because it was the first Sara Naveed book I read. But I loved ‘All of My Heart’ too. It is a beautiful love story and the second part is so amazing because it makes us contemplate and introspect on the nature of love. There are also beautiful descriptions of London in the book, and it is almost like a guided tour covering the popular and less familiar parts, and they transport the reader to this beautiful city. And the book’s cover – isn’t that breathtakingly beautiful?

Sara Naveed has sometimes been called the Queen of Pakistani romance fiction and this book shows why. I read the book in one breath and now I can’t wait to read her next book.

Have you read ‘All of My Heart‘ by Sara Naveed? What do you think about it?

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I read Sara Naveed’s second book ‘Our Story Ends Here‘ last year and liked it very much. A few months back Sara Naveed’s first book ‘Undying Affinity‘ was reissued again in a second edition. I was finally able to read it this week.

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Zarish is twenty two years old. She is doing her masters at the university. She is good at her studies. She also loves hanging out with her friends. Haroon is her best friend. Zarish loves him like a friend, platonically. Haroon secretly loves her, romantically. One day Zarish is spending time with her friends at the mall when she accidentally bumps into a tall, handsome stranger. Food spills on her clothes. Heated words are exchanged. Zarish takes her revenge later. But the next day she notices that the tall, handsome stranger walks into the university. She is stunned and doesn’t know who he is and doesn’t know what to do. Who is he? Is he a fellow student? Is he going to be in Zarish’s class? Or, more interestingly, is he a teacher? Is he going to be teaching Zarish’s class? As lovers of romance, isn’t that what we want? What is going to happen when Zarish and this handsome stranger bump into each other again? Are they going to hate each other? Are they going to be attracted towards each other? Are the sparks going to fly? The answers to these questions form the rest of the book.

I enjoyed reading ‘Undying Affinity‘. The story is fast-paced and makes one want to turn the page to find out what happens next. Sara Naveed’s prose is spare and moves along the plot nicely – every word and sentence moves the plot forward or builds a character or sets up a scene. There are no redundant sentences and long-winding descriptions. The initial pages move at a fast pace, while setting up the story and the characters, and then the book moves slowly when the love story starts flowering, and then three-fourths into the book, the story gains pace again as surprises are revealed, twists happen in the tale, and the story hurtles into its climax. I loved the way the story changes pace across the book, depending on the story arc and the mood, like a beautiful complex piece of classical music. I also loved the way all the intricate story strands are woven together in the end into a beautiful, satisfying ending.

It is hard to resist comparing ‘Undying Affinity’ with Sara Naveed’s second book, ‘Our Story Ends Here‘. I don’t know which one I like more – both are love stories and both are very different. There are beautiful descriptions of the Swat valley in ‘Our Story Ends Here‘, but outside of that, both stories are nice, beautiful reads.

If you like romance novels and love stories, do try this one. And also ‘Our Story Ends Here‘. I can’t wait to find out what Sara Naveed is going to come up with next.

Have you read Sara Naveed’s ‘Undying Affinity‘? What do you think about it?

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The story told in Sara Naveed’sOur Story Ends Here‘  goes like this. Mehar is graduating from college. She and her friends plan to take a final carefree trip, to the beautiful Swat valley, before they enter the next phase of their lives. Mehar is going to get married soon. Sarmad is a terrorist. He has been an orphan since a young age and he has been brought up by a man who believes in violence to get things done. Sarmad leaves on a mission with some of his fellow terrorists. Mehar’s bus has an accident and she is thrown out of the bus. Sarmad who is there on the scene interrupts his mission and saves her. And their very different worlds collide. As luck would have it, they have to spend the next few days together at a kind stranger’s home while Mehar recuperates. And something happens there – something beautiful and their hearts are drawn towards each other.

What happens between Mehar and Sarmad? Do they reveal their true feelings towards each other? What happens to Sarmad’s mission? Is any real relationship possible between Mehar and Sarmad because of their very different backgrounds? You have to read the book to find out.

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I loved ‘Our Story Ends Here‘. It is a beautiful love story. The way Mehar and Sarmad develop feelings for each other is depicted very delicately and beautifully. The book also depicts Pakistani culture wonderfully – the relationship between parents and children, the food, the clothes, the music, the beautiful weddings, the beauty of nature – I loved that aspect of the book. There were many places where the Urdu version of the English sentence tried leaping out of the page – for example, ‘There’s noor on your face‘ and ‘There were old memories attached to her presence.’ My favourite one was this :

She : I’ve not found love in you. I’ve found life in you.
He : And I have found my heaven in you.

I tried imagining how it would sound in Urdu and it was incredibly beautiful.

The story has some interesting revelations towards the end followed by a huge surprise, which I didn’t see coming. And the ending – I can’t tell you about any of these things. I can’t even tell you whether they are happy or sad. You should read and find out yourself.

I loved ‘Our Story Ends Here.’ If you are a romantic like me and like reading love stories, you will love this. I can’t wait to find out what Sara Naveed comes up with next.

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