Book Review - Once Upon a Crush (Kiran Manral)

Title: Once Upon A Crush
Author: Kiran Manral
Genre: Fiction (Romantic Comedy)
Published by: Jufic Books, 2014
No. of pages: 224
Cover price: Rs. 195

The cover design of Once Upon a Crush with slightly smudged heart and red-coloured lipstick, sets the mood for the fun, light-hearted pleasure that this book is.
The red and gold cover is playful - the lipstick, the heart, the smudge and the colour.

Rayna De is the main protagonist of Once Upon a Crush. She's independent, about to turn 30 and has not love life. Her parents are after her to get married.
She has a crush on Deven Ahuja - Rayna compares him to Edward Cullen and Mr Darcy. Oh, and he has cheekbones comparable to Benedict Cumberbatch.

The stage is thus set for the emotions and the insecurities of being attracted, of getting to know someone. The hesitation of not asking a question frankly, and then looking for answers in gestures and random statements.
And especially our minds making mountains out of every molehill of gesture, statement and even silence.
The choice of not marrying, yet the insecurities of being alone.

I had just read the first couple of pages when I knew I would enjoy reading this one.

I was hooked when I read Chronicles of Narnia and Lord of the Rings mentioned in the same sentence. Harry Potter, Alice in Wonderland, Fifty Shades of Grey, Phantom, When Harry Met Sally, Twilight Saga, and many more make this book a reader's delight. Even the Queen of political incorrectness, sarcasm and outspokenness, Aunty Acid finds a place.

Rayna's day-nightmares make for great mental visuals - her shriveling ovaries and open pores on her face spouting geysers of oil.
So do her day-dreams - wanting to feed her boss bit by bit to very hungry crocs.

I wish there were more about Pixie in the book. Pixie is Rayna De's friend. Obviously I can't tell you much about her, as I don't want to fill up this review with spoilers. As the book ends, it left me wanting to know Pixie better, I want to know her story now - more about her past, and a lot about her future.
May I suggest to the author a sequel with Pixie as the protagonist. Tentative title 'Once Upon a Marriage' - depending on what path Pixie chose for her life.

The way the author plays with words is fascinating.
After reading this book, I find my head telling me to 'Carpe the Diem' instead of simply telling me to 'stop lazing around'.
The book is great for easy reading with lots of humour thrown in.

There is not a moment of boredom reading this book. The story may not throw up any great surprises, but the words are strikingly expressive.
There's a serious risk of having a smile on your face while reading this book and thus, attracting questioning stares.

Fun Quotes from Once Upon a Crush

About the Author
Kiran Manral has worked with some of the leading media houses in India as a features writer and journalist. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published in 2012. She lives with her family in Mumbai and puts her current job definition down as school gate mom.


  1. Good review. Quotes from the book are interesting.

    1. Thanks. I have always loved marking favourite lines when reading a book.
      It comes in handy now that I write book reviews :)

  2. Thank you. So glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I did enjoy it. And your comment here means a lot. Special thanks...

  3. This review made me relive the fun I had reading Once Upon Crush!

    1. Thanks Dipali. And yes, Once Upon a Crush is a fun read...

  4. You have reviewed this beautifully. Sounds interesting, I might pick it up.

  5. Nice review Nimi. The mention of quotes from the book is a nice idea and a nice touch to the review :)

    1. Thanks a lot. And since I love marking my favourite lines while reading a book, I wanted to add those as quotes in the review :)


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