Monday, January 4, 2016

Until You Came Along by Kshitij

Until You Came Along

Genre: YA Romance

Number of pages: 350

Word Count: 92000-94000

Book Description:

People never change; they only become more or less of who they really are…

Just as mysteriously as Alyssa appeared in Estella’s life she disappeared. Who was Alyssa, really?  For all their years of friendship in college, Estella has no idea why Alyssa left without saying goodbye after graduation.  Now, after all these years, Alyssa leaves a recording on Estella’s voicemail –an RSVP to their college reunion! Trembling with delight and dread, Estella has only one question:  Why?

Alyssa has been searching for something all her life—her future. She believes in nothing but success and winning. Manipulative, wilful, emotionally cold is the best way she can describe herself.  To the world and her college mates, she’s glamorous, confident and has life on a silver platter—men dream of having her and women dream of being her!  But Alyssa is blind to everything except success…

until she meets Kurt, a dreamy exchange student, who challenges everything she believes, while his touch runs through her body like the sweetest flame, making her want things she knows she shouldn’t have!  Kurt wants her heart and that’s the one thing Alyssa can’t give him.

Through seven years of silence, Estella and Alyssa discover life is ever changing—just as their perception of themselves…yet, how could they ever know tragedy and joy are from the same tears of life? 

As Kurt slipped from her sight, she thought what he probably wanted from her. Her philosophy was that the world is just a large barter market where everyone has something to exchange and everything has a price. Every heart, emotion, and beauty has a price tag. People have to be mean to survive. And, Alyssa believed, she was the same. She was rich and beautiful, and hence surrounded by a crowd, followed by many. Kurt had told her she was beautiful countless times in one night.
It would be different if she wasn’t so pretty and popular. No one would have come to save her. There were a myriad of poor and ugly people, and nobody asked them their opinion. Nobody cared whether they lived or died. Nobody looked at them like people looked at her. Nobody sang them a song or tried to make them feel special. This disparity made the world a competitive place—a place of trade, where people try to get what they could afford. Everyone had a market value, defined by her or his capabilities, looks, bank balance, etc. And as we grew up, we learned to sell ourselves, settling for the best deal. This world ran on a ruthless principle. Everything might be insensitive but pragmatic. She would move up the ladder, leaving everyone behind—everyone who couldn’t match her in value.
Alyssa let her head fall forward and she slumped in her chair. Eventually, I’d leave everyone behind. I’d be lonely. I’d be happy. People pretend they don’t want anything from me, but that’s the biggest joke of the century. What does Kurt want from me? Being with me would increase his value. He’d be recognized. People would know him because he’s seeing me. Kurt was no different, and he was doing just the same—looking for the best deal. Trying to be a winner. But I could do way better than him. Yes, that’s how the beautiful people think the people with abundance of pride, money, looks, and social status. Ordinary people settle for anything, any emotions, any hand that makes an offer toward them. They’re so deep in misery and poverty that most of them never try to create a value for themselves. The way she looked at the world, everything seemed so unsettling and demanding, and although she was used to this kind of life, she hated it. Hated it as much as ever. She knew it. Estella knew it. And now Kurt knows it.
Alyssa shook her head, trying to erase the stream of perplexing thoughts that were taking her nowhere. Thoughts that were nothing but depressing. That’s why she hated thinking, because, to her, thinking was depressing, remembering was depressing, memories were depressing. She realized whenever Kurt left her alone, she became clouded by those downbeat thoughts. It had started to happen more and more after her accident—the accident that had shattered her normal routine. She couldn’t dance, couldn’t drive, couldn’t flirt, couldn’t participate in competitions, and, worst of all, she had to depend on others.
            She was relieved to see Kurt returning with the old guitar, wearing a nervous smile as if he was facing the biggest exam of his life. Her own smile came back, replacing those gloomy thoughts.

About the Author:

Kshitij lives in New Delhi. He has written books in various genres. Classic literature novels, movies and culture have been his source of inspiration. Although he graduated with a business degree, the word ‘ART’ holds a special place his heart. When not writing, he can be found learning about history, food, and people for his new book.

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