Book Review #6: The DEViant, by Shankar Padmanaban.

Book name: The DEViant

Author: Shankar Padmanaban
Published by: Frog Books
Pages: 278
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult

The DEViant is the debut novel of Shankar Padmanaban, published by Frog Books, an imprint of Leadstart Corp, and is of 278 pages in length.
Congratulations to the author, first of all, on his debut. The language is simple and easy to read for the average readers.
The book follows the life journey of the protagonist, Sam, as he travels back and forth different cities for various things. Having the elements of a typical young adult story, the instances given in the book were quite relatable.

1. Despite being the debut, the language and the flow of content were quite smooth. Kudos to the author and the editor for doing a great job with it.
2. At a lot of points, the description of the places Sam goes to are given in such details that you’ll as though you’re reading a biography.
3. 278 pages for a debut can be quite tiring, but here too, the author has excelled, as there are very few dull instances in the story.
4. The cover, the title, and the blurb are all intriguing.

1. Time and again, I found typographical errors at some places in the book.
2. The title seems odd, given the content of the story.
3. The blurb is misleading, too. As Dev Aryan isn’t a villain. In fact, there are no antagonists here, at all.
4. I hate cliffhanger endings. And the Epilogue has a big cliffhanger to it!

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Book Review: The DEViant by Shankar S.Padmanaban

Book Name: The DEViant

Author: Shankar S.Padmanaban

Publisher: Leadstart Publishing

Pages: 278

About the author: 

Shankar S.Padmanaban was born in Tiruppur, ‘The Knitwear Capital of India’ and now currently resides in Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He is a Mechanical Engineering graduate, currently working in an Automotive MNC. He’s an avid reader of Indian fiction novels. In college, apart from the hefty engineering assignments he wrote, he discovered his passion for writing short stories and articles. He’s also a fond traveller and an adventure freak and loves exploring new places. Apart from writing and travelling, he collects stamps. His collection of stamps dats way back to 1960’s. He also plays chess and is a die-hard foodie.


Sam had everything one could ask for:
• A shining board exam result
• Great apartment in Chennai with super cool flatmates
• The most amazing group of friends
• The perfect boy-next-door charm
• And, a magical dream of love to chase

(Re)Enter Jenny: the girl who had unknowingly changed Sam’s life years ago. ‘The Angel’, Sam used to call her when he didn’t know her. Now that Jenny struggles with her doomed destiny, will Sam be able to help her out?

Two steps away from entering the realm of their own ‘happily ever after’, Sam and Jenny’s lives get caught in a conflux of passion and betrayal – otherwise known as Dev Aryan. How many will survive the storm?

Shuttling between Chennai, Tiruppur, Coimbatore and Bengaluru, Sam narrates his story of unlikely and unparalleled friendships. Revisit the classrooms of uncomplicated love and scribble songs of undying companionship in the side margins of notebooks with Sam’s story of engaging vividity that is continually illuminated by the pyrotechnics of curiosity, candour, and wit.


When I began reading this book, I had this feeling of nostalgia clinging to me right from the word ‘go’. The story is set closer to home, which made me familiar with everything written in it. Shankar weaves a beautiful concoction of friendship and love that would enthrall you till the end. You can easily reminisce to your school and college days, as the narration is thoroughly captivating.

The story is all about a character named Sam S.Prathik. He narrates from his perspective of his friendships, love, happiness, failure, rejection and heartbreaks. Though the title of the book is The DEViant (which pertains to another character named Dev Aryan), it is Sam’s life which takes up almost 200 pages of the book. But the ultimate impact is left by Dev Aryan, who with his minimal page presence finds himself a place in every reader’s heart. The female character Jenny is portrayed as a bold & independent woman. She actually turns out to be a role-model and an angel in the lives of the two protagonists. Shankar has depicted her as the catalyst of the story. She drives the plot with her deferential presence. The other characters of the story – Shalyn, Nihal, Varun, Abhay, Vignesh, Madav and Athrika are given equal importance and each of their characterization has depth in them.

Above all the characters, it is Shankar’s narration that makes the story endearing to read. He vividly explains each and every scene, almost paints a picture of it. His approach of showing, rather than telling, works to a great extent. Although the entire story is an emotional drama in itself, you can never miss the tongue-in-cheek dialogues and some tense moments. Just when you think that the plot is about to turn routine, Shankar introduces a major twist and an unexpected setback for the character Sam. And, another aspect which I loved is, there were no mushy scenes or overload of booze (as seen in most of the young adult fiction out there). The plot was clean & fresh, even the romantic scenes were natural. The climax was mindblowing, I must say. It wasn’t cliched and had a touch of reality to it.

There were no visible flaws in the book. Being a debut novel, it is surprising that the book has come out with utmost perfection. The diction of the author is appreciable, though some words might need a dictionary for the casual reader.:-)

Summing up, The DEViant is a must-read for those who think that Indian young adult fiction is nothing but crap. Here comes a book with such finesse that would make you feel along with it!

Rating: 4.5/5

Click here to get this book.

Authors can contact me for book reviews here: Review Request


Kavya Janani.U

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The DEViant – A Review


The DEViant is a story spun around friendship, love, betrayal, and life as it is. Shankar has bewitched the book so that it keeps the reader in its grasp until the very last page is flipped and the words have finished telling us their story. As if that were not sufficient, he has further enchanted it in a way that the story and the characters keep playing in the reader’s mind long after the book has been put aside.


The story is about a boy called Sam who hails from Tirupur, the cotton capital of the country, who comes to Chennai with ambitions galore. He befriends Nihal and Shalyn at the coaching center he enrolls in for his engineering entrance exams. Shalyn’s cousin, Jenny, a face from Sam’s past proves to be an enigma. An enigma Sam cracks and discovers a friendship that redefines loyalty. The story takes new turns every now and then and traverses unexpected paths. There enters yet another conundrum in Sam and Jenny’s lives in the form of Dev Aryan. Their lives enter a kaleidoscope after Dev makes his grand entry. Sam is forced to choose between friends in order to prove his loyalty.

Shankar has done justice to the description of places and people. If you have been to Chennai or Tirupur, the places he describes automatically run at the back of your mind and you relate to the story better. The book is a good read save for a couple of spoilers. One, the author has used profanity that seems a bit stuffed into sentences. Most sentences could do without them. Second would be the grammatical and typographical errors sprinkled occasionally which can be overlooked while you are absorbed in the story.

What I liked best is how well the title describes the story, which one will realise only after the book is read from cover to cover. For a debut, Shankar has proved to be a gifted storyteller and is capable of enthralling us with many more stories in the coming future. We wish him all the best for his upcoming works and look forward to devouring them with the same fervour.

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