8 July 2022 | By: Writing Buddha

The Imperfect Deception: A Slow Burn Second Chance Romance by Shalini Ranjan (Book Review: 3.75*/5)

2011th BLOG POST

15th Book of 2022


When I started reading books around a decade back, I was in college and loved the new love stories that were releasing back-to-back by many IIT pass-out authors. Later on, I lost interest in the love genre and moved to other non-fictions or mythological fiction but I still end up picking up exciting book by any Indian author from the same genre whom I have never read before. Hence, this time I picked up a book named “The Imperfection Deception” written by Shalini Ranjan which is probably her 3rd release. This 264-pages book also has a tagline that says “A slow burn second chance romance” – it attracted me enough to choose it from the unlimited list of books that Amazon recommends.


This is not a typical love story but it has many layers to it. As you keep on reading, you identify that the two main characters just can’t get together so easily even when they keep on falling for each other at times. Every time they feel that everything is going to settle for them, author brings up in a twist which takes the story further for us to explore and know what and when will the moment arrive when both the characters will finally stop fighting their inner demons as well as external factors that keep on impacting their crawling romance.


Shalini has very successfully crafted this story which seems like a marathon divided into many laps – where every lap is like a piece of relay race – as exciting as the previous one. Her writing prowess can be felt as you will want to finish the story in a single sitting which is what I did. It has been a long time since I have read 250+ pages within 12 hours which this book has made it easier for me to achieve. The book is one of the interesting page-turners I have read in 2022. The book has released just in June and I am glad that I got my hands upon it quite early. Shalini’s command over the language is very good which is rare to find with the new Indian authors who get their book published through their own efforts.


I am glad to find how she was able to narrate a story in a manner where certain important facts are kept hidden without affecting our reading experience. The way she discloses and reveals certain flashbacks in the italic fonts just changes every thing in the story and as a reader, you jump on your seat and pace up your reading speed to know what will happen next with these new revelations that have taken place. Reading this book, I regularly felt as if I am watching some web-series which is getting interesting with each chapter and phase. Even when the book ends, there’s a relaxation that I am finally done with the story but you still wish that the story shouldn’t have ended. I don’t think there’s anything more to say about author’s storytelling skills than this.


I liked how Shalini didn’t give a feminist tone to her female characters who are actually very strong and determined in the book. She didn’t speak lowly of men in her story which is what many female authors do to state that women are stronger and better than men. Even when the book talks about failed marriages and unloving engaged couples, she ensures that she shows both sides of the story and tells confidently what went wrong from both the people involved in the relationship. It is very mature of Shalini to get onto this path rather than easy one to woo the newly woke feminist crowd.


How parenting is such an important aspect in modern society where a child deserves both the parents equally is very nicely portrayed. Parental alienation is a very big issue in our Indian system which is not spoken much in the society but I am glad authoress was able to throw a good amount of light even on this topic. This is quite a daring story, I must say. Similarly, author gives a very nice perspective on life on how to unapologetically live your life rather than regularly pissing yourself in regret and self-pity because of few big mistakes you make in life. Through her protagonists, she is able to display how they accept their wrongs but still keep moving on in their life dealing with new set of challenges.


Talking about the drawbacks – I must say that the book’s publishing quality – size, font, spacing etc. could have been better. The cover page could have been more exciting considering the multiple layers the story and its character had. The book could have been cut short by almost 25% for sure as there comes a time when you don’t want to read every expression or reaction of characters between the conversations. Hence, you have to fight the temptation of skipping sentences in between. I felt pre-climax and climax part was quite dragged and it wasn’t needed to be so lengthy. It just starts testing your patience by then.


Overall, this is a nice exciting read. Just because of the last 50 pages i.e. pre-climax which added unwanted pages to the book – I am deducting 0.25 stars and hence my rating is 3.75* out of 5 otherwise I definitely wanted to rate this book nothing less than 4 stars. Looking forward to reading more books from Shalini Ranjan now.






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