All Drama, No Queen by Andaleeb Wajid
Publication Date : April 19th 2021
Publisher : Penguin eBury Press
Genre : Romance
Pages : 240
Farida’s parents passed away in an accident when she was twelve. And for years, she’s had to fend off Reshma Phuppu, a distant relative plotting to gain control of her parents’ house in Bangalore. When all the drama gets too much, she runs away to stay with her best friend, Priya. Farida deeply feels the absence of a family, and only has memories of her distant cousin, Irshad. She’s had a crush on him since she was a twelve-year-old, but they lost contact when her parents died. Nearly two decades later, Priya’s boyfriend, Ajay, serendipitously finds Irshad.
Now, Irshad is a doctor and lives in Mumbai. Farida is thrilled to reconnect with him, but is disappointed when she learns that he’s engaged to another woman. But as Irshad and Farida meet and reminisce, it becomes hard to deny their deep bond. As things get more complicated between Farida, Irshad and his fiancée, Shagufta, Farida must find a way to deal with all the drama in her life.
*** Disclaimer : This review is powered by Blogchatter Book Review Program. I received this book from the publisher as a part of Blogchatter review program, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to publisher and Blogchatter. ***
All Drama, No Queen was fun and dramatic romance that revolved around Farida’s life and her love story. It was about family, friendship, love, disappointments, heartbreak, and trust.
Writing was lucid, fun, and gripping. I finished this book in one sitting, it was that fast paced and short. Story was set in Bangalore and was written in first person narrative from Farida’s POV.
Plot was interesting. It started with Irshad staying at Farida’s house, recovering from attack by Farida’s distant aunt, who was living at her house until Irshad and Farida found the house papers and kicked her out, and ended her reign of terror in Farida’s life. But then another unexpected trouble entered, Irshad’s fiancé, Shagufta who had instant dislike towards Farida. It gets even more complicated with their feelings for each other. Farida never felt for anyone like she did for Irshad but he was engaged now. Staying under same roof was making it hard to accept it for her. Despite her friend Priya’s many warnings, she wanted to do all in her power to make Irshad realise she is not just his distant cousin but a grown woman whom he could choose over Shagufta.
It was interesting to see if she could make him see her feelings, what would Irshad do once he realised he too had feelings for her, and how much more dramatic this was going to be before they end up together.
This was continuation of previous book Twenty-nine Going on Thirty by the author. First paragraph of synopsis is, I think, a snippet of what happened in previous book which I realised later and that’s the reason I was little confused at the beginning, as things happened so sudden without any explanation. I didn’t know how Irshad was in Bangalore if he worked in Mumbai, why he was beaten and how his fiancé suddenly appeared out of nowhere. But I could figure out what might have happened as story progressed and it became clearer in middle of the book. So, in way it can be read standalone but I don’t advice that.
Characters were realistic, relatable and flawed, especially Farida and Irshad. In my opinion both Farida and Irshad were a bit immature for their age.
Farida was lovely, quirky artist and amazing friend. I loved how she colour combined her clothes based on her mood. But I do think her ability to think straight was questionable. First with Irshad and later with trouble came knocking at her door. What I loved most about her was her feelings and attachment for her parents and the house they left behind. I felt for her on reading her past, how she lost her parents and how her life has been ever since. She sure deserved happiness after all she had gone through. Her development was good. I liked how she realised her mistakes.
Irshad was caring, broody and handsome paediatric doctor. I can’t say much about him as I think I don’t know him that much (reason 1 why to read previous book first) and I didn’t like him after what did to Farida.
I loved Farida’s best friend Priya. I could relate to her as our opinions and mind worked in similar way. She was mature, loyal, sensible and I loved her protective nature. Her concerns for Farida were genuine.
Other friends from previous book were also mentioned but as I haven’t read previous book, I couldn’t say how I felt about them as here they appeared briefly. (another reason to read previous book first)
Best part of the book was Farida’s past life and things she discovered in diary. Romance was okay. I still don’t understand why Irshad was in denial of his feelings. But some scenes sure added tension and some were funny, while some were lovely specially that last one before the end.
There were few Hindi words but not too many so I was okay with it. Twist and turns were good. I could see some of them coming. Climax was tense with everything happened. End was a bit rushed but feel good happily ever after.
Main thing I didn’t like was immaturity of both Farida and Irshad and I couldn’t buy whatever happened in terms of romance in last 30% of the book. I mean I loved everything but I wish there was more. I sure felt like Priya, Farida forgave Irshad too easily and then it was too rushed. And I do think, legally Irshad could fight back for his job reference. All I’m saying is it didn’t convince me with their situation and what they decided in the end.
Overall, All Drama, No Queen was simple, entertaining, relaxing, and dramatic romance, very much like Bollywood movies. If you have read previous book by author and have enjoyed it, want fast paced read, with bit of fun, emotions and lots of drama, I recommend this book.
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