Review of Only If

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Stephanie Elizabeth
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Review of Only If

Post by Stephanie Elizabeth »

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Only If" by Pramod Joshi.]
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2 out of 4 stars
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When Bali and Charlene meet through mutual friends, there are instant fireworks. Bali is attracted to her beauty and career-driven goals, and Charlene adores Bali's exotic looks and loving nature. Charlene is reasonably confident she can balance work and romance despite a burgeoning career in fashion. That is, of course, until a sought-after position becomes available for her in New York.

Bali is saddened by the news but believes in his heart that their love can survive the distance. But can it? His parents are busy planning for Sadhana's trip from India to Toronto. They believe it is time for Bali to settle down and marry within their culture. At first, Bali is annoyed by his parents' meddling. His heart belongs to Charlene, and he resents Sadhana's impending arrival. But as Charlene's career becomes more demanding and their conversations are few and far between, Bali finds himself drawn to Sadhana's beauty and willingness to make him feel special.

Time is ticking, and soon Sadhana will have to return to India. Who will Bali choose?

Only If by Pramod Joshi is a realistic portrayal of both the beauty and the peril of love. The book is told from the third-person perspective and mostly follows the main characters—Bali, Charlene, and Sadhana. Readers experience the challenges that can arise when two people from different cultures try to build a life together.

I wanted to love this book; I really did. It had the ingredients necessary to cook up an all-encompassing romance—diverse characters, chemistry, and a complicated love triangle. But unfortunately, it fell short of delivering a story that kept me engaged. It was challenging to endure, from the distracting typos and grammatical errors to the faulty transitions. For example, in one instance, Charlene had an important discussion with the dean of her school, and then suddenly, she was on the train, conversing with her friend. More detail needed to be paid to the changing of scenes so the reader isn't left scratching their head.

The most bothersome quality was the lack of professional editing. The biggest offenders were hyphenating words that didn't need to be, like "quadruple bi-pass" and "bed-room," and incorrect spelling. It would have made for a more pleasurable reading experience if these issues were rectified.

Despite the book's shortcomings, I enjoyed the storyline and the love triangle between the characters. While the writing was choppy and, at times, challenging to follow, the characters' emotions shone through. Charlene and Bali's complicated but passionate relationship was believable, and I felt their collective loneliness when they were forced to live apart. Also, Sadhana's confusion in regards to Bali's intentions was well-executed. With that being said, I have chosen to give the book a rating of two out of four stars. It would benefit from several more rounds of editing and careful attention to detail to secure a higher score, but the character development was its redeeming quality.

Only If might appeal to readers who enjoy unconventional love stories with an emphasis on culture. I wouldn't recommend the book to those who want a steamy romance story or readers unwilling to overlook poor editing, as this book is riddled with errors.

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Only If
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Ruthwriter
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Post by Ruthwriter »

The story of love is highly intriguing. sometimes we find ourselves in a dilemma. I will love to know who Bali chooses. great review
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Chimereucheya O
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Post by Chimereucheya O »

I am not a fan of romance novels but things like this make want to know more. Nice review.
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Chinenye Achilike
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Post by Chinenye Achilike »

Relationships involving people from different cultures can be challenging and quite confusing. I wonder who Bali eventually chose.
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