The darker side of life finds less expression in literary writing as the darker aspects may be disturbing to many minds. But that does not mean that reality can be denied as it exists the way it is, irrespective of its acceptance or not. “Stabbed” by Shambhavi Singh is one of the few books that bear this impression where the author boldly talks about the time of life when everything goes upside down and all plans go haywire. In that sense, the book appears to be strongly inspired by reality with which the readers would be able to relate easily. Although the book is not exceptionally long, yet the content it covers has a lot of depth.
Singh’s “Stabbed” has a cover that matches the title quite accurately. It gives an idea to the readers that the content that is to follow would have the ripple effects of the title, and the cover corresponds to the plot. The book begins in a conventional manner where the routine life of any teenager is shown. But the ominous effect is also seen in the words that her parents are given and the air that the author creates from the beginning. Although the author is silent about it, the readers get a strong hint of the story going some other way from their expectations and predictions and are quickly prepared by the author for the events that follow.
“Stabbed” as a title baffles the readers initially, but to understand its relevance, one has it read through till the end. Through Sarah’s life, Singh tries to show the life of an average teenage girl who has to go through miseries that can not be given words but her desire to find the truth and the efforts she makes to unveil it are the aspects that win the hearts of the readers. Through her character, the author shows that determination and resilience can help a person get through any situation and also find answers to all questions that might trouble them. She faces uncomfortable and unfortunate times, but her attitude towards life gives a clear message to be hopeful and optimistic at all times. At the same time, the conditions that this character faces could be the story of any person.
Through “Stabbed,” the author Shambhavi Singh talks about the degraded psychological condition of human beings, the after-effects of gruesome actions, the extent to which the sufferers are affected, the long-term implications on their lives, how one incident can change the whole life of a person, and the vulnerability of a teenage mind. All these things are observed in the story through the life of Sarah, which is both symbolic and representative of the lives of many. The readers have all their sympathies for her from the beginning, but they have an equal set of questions just like her. Along with Sarah, they too become the investigators of the mystery that the author has in store. Singh pulls different strings and leaves it to the readers to join the dots and solve the puzzle that has its foundation in the beginning. While there isn’t a direct usage of the flashback technique, it still finds expression through the narratives of different characters.
The readers who have an interest in reading books bearing the effects of psychology, its impact on lives, impressions of reality, suspense, intriguing mystery, and also become investigators with the characters would find “Stabbed” catching their fascination. While there is a plot that unfolds swiftly, the author also uses elements that provoke the imagination strongly and transport the readers to a different world. In her book of fewer than 150 pages, the author packs it up with action and reaction at a place to give the readers time to ponder and also stay involved throughout. Therefore, this book is suggested to all the readers who have a primary interest in reading fiction work and see the universe that Shambhavi Singh creates in “Stabbed.”