I’m back with another book review for The Book Files and the book of the day is : Wild Card by Asfiya Rehman from Half Baked Beans Publications.
I was sent a review copy by the publishers in exchange for an honest review.
Wild Card kicks off with Karan Mehrotra, a budding tennis player who has just won a tennis championship and finally has things looking up for him. He has his beloved Riya by his side, he’s soon to be a father and his rankings are climbing with each passing match. Destiny flips the coin and he lands bereft of nothing in his court except his daughter, Roshni. Walking away and shutting out everything from the tennis world that might remind him of Riya and his past, he devotes his time to care for Roshni and mourn Riya’s death. When one fine day, Roshni finally breaks through his wall of defense, he finally understands that moving on and accepting his life is the only way to be happy, for his daughter and himself. Thus begins the journey of a father, reaching for his dreams with his daughter as his guiding light.
I have to say that I haven’t read many sports themed novels and my expectations for it were a little low since this is a debut novel and also about a theme I’m not familiar with but this turned out way better than I had previously expected. The story weaves out different relationships and emotions into one, combining love, friendship, trust, determination and encouragement in such a beautiful manner that leaves you feeling warm and fuzzy. Since this is a debut novel, there are a few grammatical glitches here and there which are negligible because the story more than makes up for it. The roles of Roshni and Vikram, Karan’s best friend, are beautifully portrayed and written but I felt as if Karan’s character could have shown more depth. With such a tragic back story and so much to hope and look forward to, I had hoped to see more emotion in him rather than being just a lost father. It did hurt me personally though, when he was blamed for Riya’s death by her parents and it angered me to see them play no part in their granddaughter’s life. The author hit so many right notes of emotions, be it anguish, anger, love, dejection or even hope that it was impossible to not be a part of the story. It’s a story full of hope and resurrection of vigour lost a long time ago. Overall, I was beyond pleased and a little teary eyed by the time I finished it. If this is just a debut.novel, I’m eager to see what else Asfiya Rehman comes up with.
Overall rating : 🌟 🌟 🌟 🌟
✔ Characters : 8/10 ( The characters showed a lot of strength and detail but in my opinion, we got to see quite less of Karan Mehrotra as an individual and more of as a struggling father. No doubt that the story had to be about it, I would have loved it more if there was more Karan than just Papa.
✔Writing Style : 7/10 (The story is written in simple and easy words with hindi catchphrases thrown in here and there without making it overly Indianized. Great vocabulary and use of conversations but the grammatical glitches have forced it down to a 7.
✔ Storyline : 9/10 (If you take away the grammatical issues and focus just on the fact that Wild Card is a struggling father’s story and his journey to realise his dreams with his daughter as his cheering squad, it’s a story worth a stunner 9 out of 10. The restraint to not make it a sob fest on every page shows great strength in Asfiya Rehman’s writing style!
In the end, I think it’s a great read for a cold winter month when the only source of warmth is a story such as this, heartwarming and uplifting!
That’s all guys!
Happy Reading !