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Book review of Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashta

Never the Butterfly

Neelam Sharma
Author: Ankur Ashta


You know, often life has this uncanny ability to throw a curveball at us. We may not understand it instantaneously but it is surely time and the constant change that is permanent and makes us accept them and move on better than before. And Never the Butterfly is one such book that takes you closer to what you may have felt in life at some point in time.

Maybe a rush of emotions makes you want to go back to that particular instance, re-live it, understand its depth fully, and dive into it to peruse what it is that is exactly triggering and cataclysmically bringing about that instance, which, in spite of being YA, is not your usual everyday college romance but depicts the other side of it, the deeper and more intense one.

Like a coin that never has a single side to it, even romance, especially young college romance, has multiple vantage points, and Never the Butterfly is one such book that explores these multiple POVs.

Sometimes in life, we are simply hounded by our very own thoughts and emotions, the former threatening to push us deeper into the vicious abyss of whys and why-nots. In such a scenario, we usually need to pause, take a moment to gather ourselves, re-align our chain of reasoning, and proceed accordingly. That is what we always do, right? I mean, that is the usual course one takes.

And yet, as I read Never the Butterfly by Ankur Ashti, I completely felt as if I could place myself at some place amidst the characters, experiencing what they were going through, cruising alongside them as they proceeded onward with the twists life offered them, dodging its curve balls satisfactorily. Mohan, too, was that one character who represented us in this manner. Yes, acceptance and rejection are two diverse facets of life, yet we know and understand that they both are an ultimate reality in anyone’s life, and we cannot simply avoid them or run from them.

Mohan, who had been through a heartbreak, felt like he was living in the life of a guy next door; the entire process, the bittersweet memories attached to his experiences in love and friendship, felt like it was straight out of a guy next door’s life. We all might have a friend like Burkha, who is that one friend who stands tall always for us, through thick and thin. 

You know there are several books which have this college kinda feel to them. I especially enjoy reading them since they get me back to a place and time when life was still innocuous, and sweet and there was a lot of simplicity still existing in us, our relationships, our friendships. This one too, manages to join those, what with the entire college-like vibe this one exudes, taking me back to good ol’ memory lanes, making me nostalgic. But with unexpected hues that signify the true elation and melancholy of love, Yes, one may feel at a point in life that they have truly found their love of life, but it may not be the case. 

This one is written from Mohan’s point of view. It elucidates how Mohan meets Aaradhya and Saanjh, falls in and out of love with them, and the journey of heartbreak that ensues thereafter.

Coming to the story, I must say it is well written, as the light banter every now and then, often associated with the golden years, aka college life, makes for an indulging read. Ankur has plotted the characters pretty well, paying reasonable attention to the finer details that make for an enjoyable read. Mohan is a guy anyone might have happened to meet in the course of their lives. Yes, it is true that the simplest and most everyday kinds of characters are what make stories closer to you. Saanjh, too, is someone I’d say whose perception I eventually agreed with, why she chose to do what she eventually did at the end, the choice she made.

Aaradhya’s character, too, had a different nuance attached to it, one that initially did not appear so vividly but later on made its appearance felt and how.

Yes, that reminiscence was worth it indeed! Delving into this one was a therapy of sorts of the soul-wo chai ki tapri wali college-like feel, the whole fun we used to be having back then, the fights, the whole student stuff, bas kuch assume karke life jeena, I mean wasn’t all that so cute? And yet, as we have all grown up and moved on with life, choosing what we wish to be, and where we eventually come to land, we all have come a long way, acknowledging that “flutter”, deciding and choosing if we want the butterfly. That is what life is all about, isn’t it, trying to fathom if we want to go along with the butterfly or simply follow its stride, its flutter.

Hmm, now I get why he named the title “Never the Butterfly”, a metaphorical ode to the accurate perception and vantage of the characters in this one.


A great read, pick this one up if you want to revisit your old college kind of vibes and delve deeper into the nuances of love and related emotions. A good effort at writing, the language is great and the story holds you captivated with its fresh charm throughout.

So, hope you guys liked my thoughts on this one. Stay tuned with us right here at Booxoul for the best in the field of entertainment, lifestyle, food, fun, finance, education, travel, tech and gadgets as well as all things bookish.

Adios Amigos!

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