To say that ‘Miles Apart’ is an undercooked dish of a chef who held the kitchen knife for the first time will be an overstatement. Pratichi Sanaye may be a debut author, but she has been in the creative space for quite a while, which is why Miles Apart turned out to be much of a disappointment. The book is a half-baked story with careless mistakes sprinkled all over it. Here’s my review of the novel, which is among the least likeable ones I’ve ever read.
Plot Summary Miles Apart
Miles Apart is a love story marred by infidelity, toxic relationships, and all the cliched romantic bits one can imagine. Shruti, a young creative professional, is in an abusive relationship with Raghav, a “spoilt rich brat”. In fact, Raghav happens to be so spoilt that the entire novel appears to be a Raghav-bashing rant. Nonetheless, Shruti and her friends set out to find Shruti’s best friend from college, Simran. Shruti and Simran are not on talking terms because Shruti cheated on her best friend. And the entire story is about Shruti trying to win over Simran again. Their hunt takes them to Himachal Pradesh, where they meet Ayush.
The novel’s setting jumps between Mumbai, Mussoorie, and occasionally, Seattle. Shruti runs into Ayush, her saviour from her toxic relationship, and who shows her light in times of darkness. Almost forgetting Simran, Shruti and Ayush set on an ‘adventurous’ journey. For the following few pages, the author overly emphasizes carnal desires, something that I thought was unnecessary for the central plot. Even though Miles Apart is her debut novel, the author doesn’t hesitate from going all guns blazing on the sexual display. It is raw but somewhat unreal. That’s until Simran predictably comes back in Shruti’s life in cliché Bollywood style. The erotica turns into a long slug of mellow drama right until the end.
At the very end, the story turns outright silly. The climax is nonsensical, with absolutely no regard for the readers’ intellect. Either the climax could well be a last-minute addition – I don’t know, but it just doesn’t connect. Raghav suddenly disappears from the story, and the author doesn’t bother telling the readers what happened to the cynic brute. In the end, everyone gets married to persons they love, and the wild ad weird story gets a happy ending. All in all, Miles Apart is a flop Bollywood story that could do with ‘n’ number of reworks.
What I didn’t Like About Miles Apart
A novel can have a bad story, but it turns out just fine if they have strong characters. It’s either that or a solid plot that drives a novel. Miles Apart has messed up on both fronts. Every character, be it the central ones like Shruti, Simran, Ayush, or Raghav, or the sidekicks like Wahab or Kirti, appears to be synthetic. Not one of them could be real. I was born and brought up in Mumbai and I know how ugly or beautiful the Mumbaikars can be. I have never come across such characters in my life, and I have seen a lot of people!
Similarly, I was not too fond of the over-bashing of Raghav. For a big part of the novel, it felt more like a book criticizing the ‘spoilt rich lad with no regard for anything or anyone rather than a book about lost love and friendship. The author never missed finding an opportunity to bash Raghav, even when the man had no connection to the scene whatsoever. Likewise, I did not like the ultra-opulent life the disturbed characters lived. Life doesn’t work that way!
Raghav’s dad is supposedly so rich that he can blackmail a female teacher into sleeping with him, plant a hidden camera in a professor’s private quarters and then blackmail him, and even kill somebody. Even if Raghav beats the hell out of a bartender, his father can miraculously save him by sending the bartender abroad. Does this even make sense?
What I Hated About Miles Apart
Having a weak plot or shallow characters is commonplace for debut authors, and that’s fine. What isn’t is the lack of sufficient proofreading of the novel. Miles Apart is filled with unacceptable mistakes. Ayush addressed Shruti as Simran in one instance, much before Simran was introduced. I noticed similar mistakes on multiple occasions. Likewise, the novel was heavily under-edited, in the sense that there were missing parts of the story with almost no explanations whatsoever.
A while ago, I reviewed The Lost DNA 2050 by Kava Kamz, which in my opinion, lacked detailing. The novel was Kava’s debut work, and I still enjoyed it. That’s because I could overlook the flaws in the novel as I saw sincere efforts and no careless mistakes in editing or proofreading. I cannot say the same about Miles Apart. For instance, what happened to Ayush’s father trying to ravage Simran? Or if Ayush’s mother passed away and father fled abroad, whom did he call on his wedding? The novel had multiple such mistakes that the author could have easily avoided with a couple of extra edits.
Languages & Readability
The language used in the Miles Apart is too formal for my liking. The author makes use of passive voice a lot, and I think it hampers the overall readability of the novel. Moreover, switching narration from first person to third person in the latter half of the novel was a miss more than a hit. I would’ve preferred reading the novel only from Shruti’s perspective. In the end, I couldn’t empathize with any of the characters, which can also be attributed to the writing style. Overall, it is tough to recommend Miles Apart unless you’re looking for some raw erotica.
Noman is a literature student, news analyst, and content creator. When not writing news and other content for clients, he likes to read novels and talk about them. Born and raised in a ghetto of Mumbai, he is vocal about the social issues facing the slums and his community. Noman is the co-founder of Bombay Reads, a platform where he likes to write and discuss books.