Author: Praveen Asthana Release Date: December 20, 2014 Series: None Genre: Fiction | Mystery | Suspense | Thriller | Supernatural Edition: Paperback Pages: 313 Publisher: Double Wood Press Source: Author (Thanks a lot Praveen!) ISBN NO.: 9780692367445 Buy it here: Amazon
A young woman comes to Hollywood to escape her past. She finds work in a vintage clothing store that sells clothes used in the movies. One day she discovers a way to transfer human character through these vintage clothes, and she uses this ability to transform from a lonely, insecure young woman to a glamorous heartbreaker. But she also discovers that with the good comes the bad as character flaws are transferred too. She begins to worry: what if one of the vintage clothes she has sold to some unsuspecting customer had been previously worn by a deeply troubled soul? One day her fears become crystallized—intrigued by a man who comes asking about a beautiful scarlet dress she has recently sold, she looks into its history and discovers a secret that terrifies her. So begins a quest to find the scarlet dress complicated by a budding romance and the threads of her past, which intervene like trip wires. Emotions run high, and in the background the quickening drumbeat of the race to find the scarlet dress, potent as a loose, loaded weapon.
The plot of this book is refreshingly unique. It revolves around the lead, Genevieve, who has a quixotic knowledge of old Hollywood (the black and white era.) She is a simple girl who loves daydreaming about heroes and heroines. She loves them and lives her life constantly comparing and imagining each situation in terms of movies and it’s actors.
The main story line of the book is about transference (as Genevieve calls it) but the sub-stories or the side-stories are so engrossing that the book makes for an excellent read. It has so much going on that it’ll keep you engaged from start to end.
The research done by author for this book is truly commendable as far as I’m concerned, but I’m sure that the people who loved the black and white movies will have a time of their life!
One more thing that surprised me was that the author of the book is a guy. I mean I already knew it but while reading the book I literally forgot that it was not written by a female (I’ll elaborate it more in the ‘writing’ section.)
I really enjoyed reading about the lives of big time actresses and actors from the golden era, not to forget the dirty little secrets. I enjoyed the back stories of all the characters specially of the lead. it was so heart breaking that I really felt helpless at times.
The elements of surprise are an added bonus.
The characters in this book are well thought out and well-developed. The best one being the lead, Genevieve. She has such a beautifully developed personality that it’s hard to believe that a male has developed it. This reminds me Sidney Sheldon’s female characters. Genie has low confidence and continuously doubts herself, these traits give her character a realistic touch.
I even liked the character of Gretchen. She is such a free spirited, happy-go-lucky and care-a-damn young girl that you’ll really, really like her, inspite of her being a big bitch. That’s the type of characterisation I really like, kind of like salt and sugar.
There was a lot of romance in this book, or I should say there was a lot of longing for a romantic relationship in this book. The main reason behind all of Genevieve’s actions was to find a lover. The relationships explored in this book were pretty good and quite interesting.
Praveen’s writing is really subtle and effective. It’s simple and lets the reader focus only on the story without getting too judgemental about the writing style. It went and simple and compliments the book perfectly.
He has done a tremendous job in Even though the book is in third person, the voice and feelings and reactions of the lead character (a female) were voiced so perfectly that it’s really hard to believe that a guy wrote it. Praveen has written this book perfectly.
I liked the beginning of the book as it started off with a murder. It intrigued me enough to get me rolling with the book at 11:00 in the night (my supposed bedtime!) The pace was great in the first chapter but it got a bit slow after that.
The ending was really sweet. It was neither over the top dramatic nor boring, but a sweet and simple ending. In sync with the pace of the book.
The blurb says it all! It’s quite frank and sums up the story completely, giving away enough to make a reader want to read the book.
I like the cover art. It emphasis on the two most important themes of the book: 1) a woman and 2) the scarlet dress.
Opening Line: –
Highlights: Unique plot.
Final Thoughts: A pleasant read.
Heena Rathore P.
My name is Heena and I’m a freelance writer, blogger and a book-reviewer (and soon-to-be author.)
I’m an introvert, thinker, neat freak (cleanliness OCD), hardcore idealist, fitness junkie, music fanatic, compulsive reader, self-assertive, opinionated, dog lover and an atheist.
The Reading Bud is my brain-child and is a huge part of my life. I love reading and reviewing. What started as a hobby has become my passion.
Read more about me here.