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Stars and reviewers: The only reason I took away one star is because 5 star reviews are viewed with suspicion.

Vested interests / Fellow author/ Free reviewer copy/ Friend disguised as reviewer?

I confess to ALL of the above. However, my admiration is genuine.

When I find protagonists I root for, begin to feel concerned for, when they pull me into their world, when they transcend from mere alphabets into characters and when they linger in mind long after the last page ends – I declare it an author’s success.

Premise: A carefree girl’s journey from a horrendous experience to self loathing to self realization and liberty.  Lemon Girl: Digital Ebook

Nirvi – joyous, fresh and citrusy as her namesake – transforms by a numbing personal tragedy. Her quest for ‘acceptance’ by jerk Sam & his family, his friends, by total male strangers- makes her behavior range from slutty to sublime (I pushed down them down a cliff. They regained footing, but I was the one who descended deeper)

Until she finds her truest peace in art; in the two friends who value the deep hidden true Lemon girl; and with the discovery that she is neither victim nor culprit.

Arsh – Self deprecating (Sprains can happen to even the mightiest guys), witty(Sisters are not supposed to have boyfriends) wise (Nirvi was like the candle on dinner table- every gleam of her light consumed her own being). He is often the catalyst Nirvi needs to rise from the ashes.

Supporting characters: Very often, an author forgets to nurture them in the zest to focus on protagonists. However Tiya (delicate yet strong, deeply hurt yet not martyred), Mr Giri (calm yet ruffled), Mrs Pratibha (prudish yet pliant) – all come alive.

Nirvi’s parents are kept blurred across many pages, yet their trauma comes through when Arsh & Tiya visit them. It is like a bandage ripped off to  see searing, ghastly wounds beneath.

Author’s Forte:

1. Powerful character sketches

2. Unexpected twists where reader expects a cliché (Mr Giri & absentee wife)

3. Deftly interwoven relations – heartwarming ones like Arsh-Tiya with Nirvi’s parents, sickening ones like Sam-Nirvi, Shikha-Nirvi and ‘it’s complicated’ ones like Nirvi-Partibha.

4. One liners – He remained silent staring at me, but looking into himself.

5. Visual writing i.e words which evokes images, like His face was firm but I could see his heart shrinking back with alarm.

Pages : 148

Versions: Paperback and e-book

Author blog: http://jyotiarora.wordpress.com/

Website: http://jyotiarora.com/

Verdict: I am immensely glad I stumbled across Lemon Girl. It’s a discovery of not just a superb write, but also a superb writer.

As Nirvi earned her art exhibition , so does Jyoti Arora earn her 4 stars. Thumbs up!