Title: The Name of Red (Red #1)
Author: Beena Khan
My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐1/2
Type: Can be read as standalone. Next book is available if you want to know what happens next
Genre: Contemporary Romance Fiction
Primary Characters: Kabir & Elif
Narration: Limited third Party
This book is author Beena Khan’s debut novel. This book started out great. Post 1st chapter I was so glued to it. It was liking having a conversation with your dream partner. However, post 1st half it got dragged and it was too much angst, drama and tragedy for my taste.
Book starts with a woman entering the bar, sitting alone, reading and drinking. Everyone notices her due to her striking red dress. Since she doesn’t speak to any one and keeps coming to the same bar every day, people call her “Red”. Then one day a secret admirer of her leaves a book and along with the Note. This book & notes exchange continues for a while until she discovers that her secret admirer is Kabir, who own that bar.
Bookish conversation between Red and Kabir in the first half is wonderful. I fell in love with main protagonists in the first half. Elif being bold, blunt, strong, beautiful and independent with Kabir being shy and kindhearted is refreshing to read. I loved the way they bonded over books and shared interests rather than just physical attraction. This book got me more intrigued of Elif Shafak’s work along with several other books which are in my TBR. Loved knowing about some popular books which I had never heard before.
For me book started toppling post first half. There were many repetitive words and phrases which makes it feel tedious and overtly accentuated. I would have ignored the repetitive words and phrase if not for too much angst, trauma and tragedy in second half. Due to this Red looked more vulnerable, sadder & dependable rather than her compelling character in first half. Narration style had too many up’s and downs. Loved Aryan for being a faithful and wonderful friend. I couldn’t predict about Nadia due to her limited entry in book. Samar seemed rude; hope we see more depth to his character in coming books.
Overall, author has immense potential & definitely a variety read with wonderful beginning.
I voluntarily read an ARC of this book in exchange for honest review.
Source – Courtesy of Author/Publisher.
Blurb as per Good reads
It was a rainy, winter night when Kabir saw her for the first time.
A mysterious woman in that red dress seeking shelter came inside the restaurant he was busy working in—primarily the bar.
Night after night, drink after drink, she comes back to the same spot.
Hundreds of men try to speak with her daily, but she dismisses them.
She’s always reading, always surrounded by books and booze.
She’s not looking for love.
He’s never met anyone like her before.
He didn’t want to disturb her peace.
And, he didn’t want to be her next reject.
So, he decided to leave her books anonymously with notes in them.
He just didn’t expect to get caught so soon.
“Not your average love story.”
Two strangers on the same path. Survivors. Companions. They will be each other’s salvation.
The Name of Red is the story of two strangers, two different personalities who meet on a winter, rainy night who challenge each other. They have a connection which blossoms into a friendship due to their fondness of books. But they both have secrets that can bind them together or threaten their newfound relationship forever. This is Kabir’s and Red’s story, book#1 of the duology.