Author: Anusha Subramaniam
Publication Date: September 7th 2016
Publisher: Penguin Random House India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: Penguin Random House India (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Flipkart || Snapdeal || Infibeam
Blurb Description: Siddharth and Veera have a connection they refuse to acknowledge. There is more to Kavya than her snooty social-butterfly act. Mahir is the heartbroken heartbreaker. Aslesha has built all her friendships on a foundation of lies. Nikhil has spent his entire life learning how to shut people out. All Aakash wants is a second chance. And then there's Ananya. The one who was born to raise hell and change the world.
“You broke my heart but made sure that I didn’t cut myself on the pieces. You left me feeling lonely but made sure that I was never alone.”
But what if isn’t?
What if you couldn’t say all the things you wanted to say to someone and make the apologies you wanted to make? What if your time was up?
Told in seven alternating viewpoints of teenagers in the same social group, dealing with the death of one of their own, Never Gone is the Indian YA Contemporary you’ve been waiting for.
Truth be told, I went into this book with little to no expectations. I’d tried other debut Indian authors trying to recreate Indian School Life, and they’d failed. And Anusha Subramaniam, managed to surprise me in the SECOND CHAPTER.
There were so many things I loved about this book, especially the emphasis it put on friendship and doing things in the NOW, not waiting for an unpredictable future. I adored the road trip to the beach house and the wedding and of course, finishing all the items on their friend’s bucket list. There were a lot of times when I was reminded of my school days (they’re not that long ago, only a couple of months but still) and it felt very spot on to what different teenagers face in their lives.
My favourite thing about Never Gone was Aakash and Ananya, and the dynamic between them. I loved this friendship turned something more and all the stories we heard were either swoony or hilarious and I loved them ALL.
There were a few things that annoyed me a little, like:
a) The dialogue was so awkward in some parts
‘MAHIR!’ Niharika (predictably) shrieked. ‘You watch. I will make your last year at school hell. No one will speak to you. You do not want to cross me!’
That it made me want to cringe. In a book exploring some pretty deep stuff, some of it seemed superficial, unneeded and artificial. Then again, for a sixteen year old author, this was a pretty good book.
b) The Ending, after a pretty realistic book was so perfectly rounded out, with a new love interest for EVERYBODY, and everyone professing undying love to each other made me want to roll my eyes. After a fairly realistic book, this UNREALISTIC fairy tale like ending was a little off-putting.
In a nutshell, Never Gone is a beautiful story of friendship, first love and moving on that you should definitely pick up! 3.75 stars!
One of the country's youngest published authors, Anusha Subramanian was only twelve when she wrote her first book, Heirs of Catriona. Her hobbies include reading, binge watching television shows and writing, of course. Why wait for someone else to do it when you can write your own fairy tale, right? You can connect with her on twitter @AnushaS_.
What was the last diverse contemporary novel you read? What is your favourite romance trope in contemporary novels - the best friend/ the bad boy/ the nerd and the popular girl or the manic pixie dreamgirl?
I can't wait to hear your thoughts and preferences!