Divine by Shivan Sirdy
Published: October 30, 2020
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Shivan Sirdy makes his debut with Divine, which he says is a mix of fantasy and real life. He recently got his depression under control and has found writing is a great outlet for him. He looks forward to writing more novels in the future.
“You are divine. God is watching over you, nothing can kill you, and God has bigger plans for you.”
Rai is depressed. He is struggling to find meaning in his life. Until he sees his beautiful neighbor, then he feels a stirring within him, and he starts finding reasons to talk to her. She ends up being kidnapped by a known dangerous man, so Rai knows what he must do.
This book was weird. Not bad, but strange. The first half of the book reads like a fiction story, but then it shifts to almost a memoir. I’m not sure how I feel about that.
The dialogue was awkward. The way Rai and Leya talk to each other was just weird. The internal conversation Rai had was also bizarre. It’s clear he struggled with mental health issues, but he didn’t do anything to try to make it better.
After a while, he researched and diagnosed himself with some mental health issues, He met with a psychologist to confirm, but then he didn’t take the medications that could have helped balance the chemicals in his brain.
I don’t know how I feel about this book. It wasn’t bad, and it was relatively well written. The author has talent, and he needs to continue writing and developing his craft.
The storyline was decent. The transition was a tad awkward and honestly didn’t make a lot of sense, but it was also slightly predictable. My biggest concern was with how mental illness was discussed. While I understand in the beginning, trying to figure out mental health can be scary and difficult, seeing a doctor and asking for help is never a sign of weakness.
Depression and anxiety are chemical imbalances in the brain, so medication can help “even” out the emotions we feel. Toward the end of the novel, the tone changed from negative, scared, and unwilling to empowered and determined to help others. So there is a complete arc within this book.
There is a lot of symbolism used, which is pretty ambitious for a debut writer, but it was well done. The cat, The Rabbit, represented fear and mistrust of others. The relationship with his mom was much more defined and discussed compared to Rai’s other family members.
Overall, this is a promising debut. And the author wrote about what he knows. He used his struggles to show that there is healing and that safety and security can be found on the other side of fear.
This was a complex novel, and in a lot of ways, the author did a great job weaving his complexities into his words. While this isn’t a novel I will read again, I wouldn’t discourage someone who wanted to give it a go.
Find Divine by Shivan Sirdy on Amazon. This title is available on Kindle Unlimited.