Thursday 6 October 2016

#BookLysis of 'Promise Me A Million Times' (Book Review: 4.6/5*)

Blog post: 153

Review (Booklysis): 26

Day: 1473

I don’t read already published reviews of the books which are added to my bookshelf. 'Promise Me A Million Times' was added to my bookshelf even a month before its launch. This book is an exception because one of my author friend and an avid commenter on my blog Mr. Pankaj Giri sir asked me to read his review of this novel. He is a consistent visitor and probably a first commenter of my reviews from so long, so I couldn’t deny his request. I read his blog post and I already got to know how interesting this book would be. I ordered the book from an online store Amazon at a very next moment, but delivery of this book was delayed to me due to some technical issue by local courier service office and continue holidays. In the process of an inquiry of my delayed product, I communicated with several customer care executives of related online store as well as courier service. I believe that “whatever happens, happens for the best.” (Jo bhi hota hain, achchhe ke liye hota hain). As a result of our communication; surprisingly, I got one very good friend Shammi Shahid who works in Amazon as a customer care executive.

Keshav Aneel’s debut novel, 'Promise Me A Million Times' is the third book published by Srishti Publishers which is being analyzed on my BookLysis. And I would like to proudly mention that the novel has already hit the Bestseller chart and around 2000 copies of this novel’s first edition have already been sold within the short span of two months.

  • Also read my BookLysis of Srishti’s titles:

  1. It Doesn’t Hurt To Be Nice by Amisha Sethi (4.15/5*, 8 Comments | Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)
  2. You are the Best Wife  by Ajay K Pandey (5/5*, 17 Comments | Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)


Cover of Promise Me A Million Times (Source:

Promising Cover and Title:

A shadow of a young couple’s kissing moment under a tree looks romantic. Orange paper birds and their white shadows resemble real flying birds. White stars can also be spotted on the upper corner of the book cover. Huge buildings can be noticed nearby. Bluish background colour looks awesome and attracts readers to pick the book.

‘Promise Me A Million Times’ is a lovely title which can tend you to pick up this novel and read. The title suits its storyline and reveals its meaning in the fourteenth chapter.  Fonts and design of author’s name Keshav Aneel are really catchy. Overall Merril Anil has done a wonderful cover designing to this novel.

Literary Language and Unique Writing Style:

The language of ‘Promise Me A Million Times' is not very simple. But I am sure that this book will add so many new words to the vocabulary of readers. Author Keshav Aneel has a good command over the literary language. He prefers compound and complex sentences. Though the novel is written by an Indian author, he uses a combination of British and Indian English without a single regional Indian (Hindi) word in the novel. The author uses the first person narrative technique to narrate the story. Expressions and emotions of each and every character and each scene are magnificently scribbled by the author. In short, one won’t believe that 'Promise Me A Million Times' is a debut novel of the author. Keshav Aneel’s dedication and hard work of setting, characters and language illuminates in this novel.

Fictitious Setting:

The story and the plot of ‘Promise Me A Million Times’ is developed in fictitious locations like Lugaaar, Etiole, Chaste city, Matrix Grand Arena, Bratten and Grane. All the locations described in the novel belongs to abroad but they are the creations of author’s imagination; however, each and every location is described like a live place.

Promising Characters:

All characters of the novel belong to western culture and Christianity like what we read in British or American literature. Charlie is the male protagonist of the novel whose soul narrates the story as the first person. Charlie’s life and some fictitious incidents like passion for writing, his misfortunes and loss of data saved in his laptop relates to my true life. Aster Elice Rembert is the female protagonist and a doctor by profession. Aster’s positive attitude towards life motivates readers. Both the protagonists Charlie and Aster are my favourite characters. Edwin aka Ed is Charlie’s best friend and more like a brother who wishes to become a best actor of a movie. Jonathan Samuels aka Johnny (who works in a publishing company), Max, Benoit Right, Eugene Left, Laura, Claire and Jessica are Charlie’s friends while William, Isabella and Monty Pebbles are ex-classmates of Aster. Monty plays the role of antagonist in this novel. There are some more memorable characters like an old lady, Mr. Perks, Albert Ferguson, Robert Smith (a publishing agent) and the bakery owner Tommy .

Plot and Storyline:

The story starts with the friendship of Charlie, Edwin, and his friends. True friendship is an important aspect of the story. Charlie’s opinion on friendship really touched my heart and I would like to quote his sentence - “When we aren’t capable enough to defeat the afflictions of our friends, we must at least choose to not let them stand alone in its face. Okay, maybe it won’t lessen their pain, but it surely gives them that much needed help to survive. And that’s what the most important things really is. That’s what life really is.” A first half of the novel is really amazing. Some chapters of this book will make you laugh out loud. Charlie’s making up after sleep about the word ‘every day’ is amazing. The first interaction between Charlie and his dream girl is outstanding. First telephonic communication between Charlie and Aster is just adorable. I like Robert’s viewpoint on true love - “Two people don’t fall in love to seek a comfortable life. It isn’t a game of lottery where you are testing your luck. People fall in love to be earnestly guarded during the worst of times. And the most beautiful part about it is that lovers don’t seek any guarantee from each other for satisfying them in bed or getting them all the luxuries which they themselves aren’t capable enough to have. Love is the assurance that even if death stands in front of you, your loved one will hold you and love you until you gasp your last breath.”

The story of 'Promise Me A Million Times' remarks a sarcastic but direct comment on the so called ‘love’ of today’s generation. A story narrated to Charlie by Aster remarks on the glimpse of inhuman activities in hospitals. Readers might relate their girlfriends to the character of Aster. Max comments on the dark reality of people mocking at rape victims - “The reality is, people mock at girls who have been raped. Sympathy is not shown to lessen her pain, but to quench this insatiable spirit of enquiry. Consequently, a girl first suffers at the hand of a rapist then by the questions of the society.” The story also positively comments on two people in the same profession getting married to each other. Author elegantly adds a girl’s molestation scene in the twelfth chapter. Beautifully described scene of an argument between Charlie and Monty comments on the irony of rich versus poor. Charlie’s letter sent to Monty really touches my heart. An old lady gives an example of water into a bottle to a young boy and that is an extreme motivation for the readers. Aster’s letter sent to Charlie really inspires me to resume my writing. She defines the term ‘impossibility’ to Charlie - “Impossibility is just a blasphemy that survives in exhausted human minds, Charlie. It is simply a hostile disorder planted by excuses. It puts limitation to excellence of the imagination. It truncates the power of love. Life means to see beyond the boundaries of possibility. That knack is what differentiates miracles from mere happenings.” She tells all budding writers and to be authors like Charlie - “You don’t have to live enough to write. Rather, you must feel to write. When you sit down the next time and discern that you cannot pen down anything,ask yourself: what is my life all about, and what has managed to touch the deepest extremity of my heart? Most importantly, don’t try to make things special. Just keep them true and simple. And then you will realize how incredibly your words will weave magic that will wonderfully impact each person who reads it.” End of the twelfth chapter gives a simple and loud message: “Respect girls, they are meant to be treated well. The who does deserves to be called a man.” Charlie gives a positive message to help victims as a responsible citizen instead of being an irresponsible viewer.

Benoit’s story of quitting tea and his emotions, feelings and sentiments for his girlfriend Jessica are really heart touching. Ninth chapter touched me so much and I lack words to share my feelings after finishing the chapter. I would like to quote a paragraph written by Charlie for his debut book ‘The Crumbled Gender’ - “A girl is not a trophy to be won. The beauty she possesses isn’t a product to be consumed. The sacrifices she makes aren't brainless. The kindness she exhibits is no subject of pranks. She is delicate. She is sensitive. She takes all the violence and abuses. Not because she is intimidated by anyone’s outburst. But she is patiently waiting for her love to get noticed. She is an ocean of benevolence. She will care for us even when we don’t reciprocate. Let’s treat her well. She never asks for it. She deserves it.” Charlie’s imaginations and painful nights spent in the memories of his loved one deeply touches my heart and commemorates me my past. Charlie’s expressions after his debut book getting published are described gracefully.

A scene of people dying to see a glimpse of living legend Albert Ferguson performing live reminds me similar crazy fans’ enthusiasm to see a glimpse of Bollywood superstar Salman Khan in his recent MIET, Gondia visit on 9th February 2016. I can feel Charlie’s fictitious pain of losing a laptop after I really lost all data from my laptop due to attack by a ransomware CERBER3. ‘Promise Me A Million Times’, is an art of fiction but I feel like Aster asks me and not Charlie that “what is (was) more important: your (my) life or (my) writing?” Of course my LIFE! Thank you KeshavAneel sir for this eye opening motivational character like Aster.

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Fight or action scene in the eighth chapter is portrayed elegantly. Aster asks a serious question on behalf of all girls, “What wrong have we girls done? Are we so heinous that we have to be brutally dealt with? Don’t we have a heart? Don’t we feel the pain? Only because we are delicate, does it give licence to boys to overpower girls and fulfill their animal like desires.” A narration of a brutally described girl’s molestation scene and Aster’s sarcastic comments gives me goosebumps. I would also like to remark Charlie’s point of view about the reason behind such immoral activities- “The reason why these activities were on the rise was because people were focusing on becoming good engineers, clever business tycoons, efficient doctors, acclaimed writers, genius mathematicians, but no one was bothered about becoming a good human being. And since the element of morality has taken a back seat in our everyday system, things weren’t meant to get any better. Then on the other hand we had nations swamped with weapons, building an army, being diplomatic, working to be superpowers, but who wants to consolidate on making civilized citizens? None.”

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The second half of the book shock readers with so many unexpected twists and increases excitement of an enthralling read. The last chapter of the novel is incredible. Author elegantly adds a scene of terrorists’ attack in the hotel which tend readers to relate with 26/11. The first part of this chapter is really exceptional. Don’t expect me to reveal the climax but I must tell you that the climax of this novel is unpredictable and thrills you with goosebumps. If you have questions like whether Charlie and Aster get married or not? What happens in their love story? Does Edwin achieve his dream to become the best actor? Then you must read this novel.

  • You might also like:

  1. Hidden Husband by Shikha Kaul (4.5/5*, 26 Comments | Amazon | Kindle | Flipkart)
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Promising Quotes from the book:

  1. “It’s never the reason of your pain or its magnitude that determines whether it can be shared or not. It’s the compassion and security you feel in someone’s company that makes do so.”
  2. “When we were kids, we wanted to quickly grow up, and now when we are adults, we wish to be kids again.”
  3. “When a person has fallen down and they say that they fear to get up, they don’t necessarily mean it. They might just mean that they want the most loving hand to defeat their fear.”
  4. “Being an artist or a writer isn’t only about finding fun in our imaginative work built in an unreal world. It was more about taking that gift thankfully while working towards changing the world into a better place.”
  5. “It feels like dying when you have to return to the point from where you had started with a billion hopes and dreams, and even worse to find no courage to re-start because time has prudently tailored you to believe that you won’t ever reach the finish line.”
  6. “Time and terror have one thing in common; when they aim for you, they are strictly merciless.”
  7. “It’s tough to argue with a man who has fallen in love.”
  8. “You know, it’s tough to survive without love, without anyone telling you that you mean the world to them, and that you really do matter. But then, what hurts you even more is when you learn that the person who once cared for you, is humiliated by who you really are. You feel like you should have never met them and you wish you could go back in time and erase them out of your brain, out of your memories, out of your heart and start everything all over again.”
  9. “Love is an inexplicable remedy. People who fall in love, never fail.”
  10. “Love is sacrificing, without letting the world know about it.”
  11. “A girl doesn’t want to be with a guy who is rich, she wants to be with a man who is perfect at heart – one who is honest, who genuinely cares for her, one who loves her wrinkled face as much as he admires her youthful smile.”

Minor Drawbacks:

I feel that Srishti Publishers could have been used better quality pages to print the novel. Srishti Publisher’s twitter handle @Srishtipub is misspelled as @Srishtipup on the back cover of the novel. Though there are not so many major drawbacks in the storyline and plot of ‘Promise Me A Million Times’, I have found some minor punctuation errors left in the novel by the typesetters and editors of the book. Of course a reader can ignore these minor drawbacks but I am noticing those punctuation errors to make corrections and to make next edition of the novel error-free. There is a full stop (.) missing in the end of some sentences on page numbers 18, 37, 40, 56, 64, 96, 121 and 131. There is a single opening inverted comma (‘) at a place of double opening inverted comma (“) in the beginning of some sentences with the direct speech on page numbers 68, 87 and 115. Double opening inverted mark is missing in a direct speech sentence on page no. 121.

Reviewer’s Opinion about Promise Me A Million Times:

"I feel that first three chapters are written in a slow pace, so those chapters might not engage readers with the storyline until first 30 pages. But trust me, I didn’t feel to put the book down even once after starting to read the fourth chapter in which the storyline picks up a grip. An interesting thing about this novel is this book does not only points out social issues like women molestation but also remarks the different reasons behind social harmony. The novel motivates readers with the positive messages and positive opinions of victims as well as protagonists. Short chapters along with western characters and fictitious imaginary locations keep readers engaged with the unique storyline of this novel. I have mucked the whole book as my favourite.

'Promise Me A Million Times' is one of the perfect stories of dreams, friendship, struggles, will, love, romance, action, emotions, drama, suspense, thrills, twists and everything needed for a perfect entertainment; so, I won’t wonder if any filmmaker adopts this story to make a blockbuster movie."

Rating in my BookLysis:

I am rating 4.6 on the scale of 5 stars to Promise Me A Million Times by KeshavAneel. I recommend you to must read this novel if you wish to read a fresh story with literary aspects.

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Blurb of ‘Promise Me A Million Times’

Believing that life always gives us a second chance is a too bookish thought. Because sometimes, by the time we finally realize our faults and true potential, but time would have changed dramatically.

Like a couple of migratory birds, both Charlie and Edwin leave everything back in their village and settle for a new life in the big city. For Edwin, it was where he was going to chase his dreams of becoming an actor; but for Charlie, it was just another place to be with his only friend, to help him accomplish his dreams.

However, life seemed to have different plans as it throws Charlie in Aster’s way, who was silently walking through instabilities of her own destiny. He could have never guessed, but he was in an absolute unthoughtful phase of profoundness, which was going to last forever.

Promise me a Million Times is a story of dreams, friendship, struggles and a will to make you for every loss with love by your side.

About the Author


Author Keshav Aneel (Source:

KeshavAneel is a young marketing professional, who chose to take the route of his heart, ending his brief stint in corporate soon after completing his studies in Business Administration. He immersed himself in honing his creative side and now reveals in it. A University Gold Medalist in debate and an affluent public speaker, he is a poet at heart and an avid traveler, in love with the blue sky side of life.







First Published by

Srishti Publishers & Distributors in 2016


© Keshav Aneel, 2016







Cover Design

Merril Anil (FB | Twitter | Blog)


Fiction (Romance)


168 (excluding cover)


Rs. 175

Review Typesetting

Rajesh D. Hajare & 

Ankit Kumar

Review Proofreading

Janci Rani

Review Editing

Rajesh D. Hajare

Reviewed by

© Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH)

Rating on BookLysis



  • This is my personal and honest opinion about the novel Promise Me A Million Times by Keshav Aneel and your views about the same book may vary.
  • Some quotations are used in this BookLysis from the novel Promise Me A Million Times with prior written permission from the author Keshav Aneel.
  • ©All Rights Reserved. | Rajesh D. Hajare (RDH Sir) asserts the moral right to be identified as the reviewer of this review (BookLysis) of the novel Promise Me A Million Times.
  • No part of this review (BookLysis) can be republished as it is or with modification on any other blog without prior written permission by the reviewer RDH Sir.

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  1. a wonderful review for a wonderful book - one of the best, excellently written, and purest romantic fiction of the decade. It's not for nothing that Rajesh calls his reviews 'Booklysis'. He does such a detailed analysis of the books. the amount of hard work that he does to scrutinize the book is worth appreciating. he's the most hardworking reviewer in our book industry, by far. Not only that he even promotes the books he reviews, either on his Facebook wall or in other book's reviews in comparison. this is something unique that he had brought to the field of reviewing. I wish him all the best and may he grow more and more and get more success and popularity. :)


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Rajesh D. Hajare (RDHSir)
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