Sunday, 1 March 2015

Book Review #30 : The Many Lives of Ruby Iyer

Author: Laxmi Hariharan
Genre: Fiction
Publisher: Jacaranda
Release Date: 2014
Pages: 302

When Ruby Iyer's best friend is kidnapped by the despotic Dr Kamini Braganza, she will do anything to rescue him. Anything, including taking the help of the mysterious Vikram Roy, a cop-turned-rogue on a mission to save Bombay. The city needs all the help it can get, and these two are the only thing standing between its total destruction by Dr Braganza's teen army. As Bombay falls apart around them, will Ruby be able to save her friend and the city? Will she finally discover her place in a city where she has never managed to fit in? And what about her growing feelings for Vikram?

The blurb gives you ample hints. The story is about a young girl fighting not only the outside world but also all her inner conflicts and demons.

Bombay is the backdrop. The author paints Ruby's Bombay beautifully by describing every street, bus stop, railway station as it is; along with the malls, five star hotels, skyscrapers, etc. The intent of the writer is also to acquaint the readers how to live in Bombay, a place with an assorted culture.

What I like best about Laxmi’s writing is her powerful and unique voice, a voice that drags you into Ruby’s world. The author uses first person writing, giving us direct access to Ruby mind, you can taste her emotions displaying the ill effects of a neglected childhood. It’s refreshing to have a strong woman at the centre of a book set in India.

Despite being like any other angry teenager, who is fighting her parents, the society and the world at every step of the way, Ruby is unique. Her uniqueness is the strength of her character. She is a girl with a clear understanding of right from wrong, and a conviction which she will follow through, even to the point of jumping into the sea to save a total stranger.

Laxmi Hariharan blends culture, youth, emotion and life in one brilliant novel. She has poured her heart and soul into this book. As a young adult read, this book tests one thing - friendship.

A fast paced thriller is what this book promises to be and not one single dull moment in the entire book. It leaves  the reader wanting for more from this series. It is UN-put-down-able to put it simply. And when I did finish it, I was simply at a loss for words.

Vikram is another interesting character, at first he seems aloof and it's difficult to figure him out, but as the story progresses you learn more and more about him and his feelings. Finally is Dr B. and least said the better, she is one evil piece of work.

There were so many aspects of the book that had me hooked-the neatly woven storyline, the wonderfully narrated turns of events and the crisp narration. The story is peppered with twists and turns, stunning action scenes, intense romantic moments, unexpected events, some great surprises. This is what made this suspense thriller a classic for me.

The book is full of action, mystery, magic, love, friendship! A breathless book, action pings off every other page! Lively, refreshing, seamless storytelling.

What makes a suspense thriller classic is the main treasure of this story, it is thoroughly unpredictable yet the flow of the story is never distorted. Just read the book and discover how a thriller can thrill you.

If you are looking for a strong female character, this is a must read. The day Bollywood decides to make a ‘Heroine’ movie in the back drop of Bombay, Ruby Iyer shall be the place to start. There is every element in the story to be turned into a fine movie!

Ratings: 4.5/5
P.S: This review is for The Readdicts


  1. I'm halfway through this book.. and it's surprisingly good.. :)

    1. I love such books where female characters are the main element :D

  2. Thanks Aayesha for this lovely review. I have just completed Vikram's story - The First Life of Vikram Roy, hope you'll read that too :)

    1. It was entirely my pleasure, Laxmi :)
      I'll surely read that too!


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