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Once Upon A Crush: 1 Paperback – 1 June 2014

3.5 out of 5 stars 22 ratings

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Product description

About the Author

Kiran Manral has worked with some of the leading media houses in India as a features writer and journalist. Her debut novel, The Reluctant Detective, was published in 2012. She lives with her family in Mumbai and puts her current job definition down as school gate mom.

Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ Leadstart Publishing Private Limited; First edition (1 June 2014)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • Paperback ‏ : ‎ 224 pages
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 9382473912
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-9382473916
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 227 g
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 12.7 x 1.45 x 20.32 cm
  • Customer Reviews:
    3.5 out of 5 stars 22 ratings

About the author

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Kiran Manral is an award winning Indian author, TEDx Speaker, columnist, mentor and feminist. She has written books across genres in both fiction and nonfiction. Her books include The Reluctant Detective, Once Upon A Crush, All Aboard, Karmic Kids, A Boy’s Guide to Growing Up, The Face at the Window and Saving Maya. She has authored a short series called True Love Stories for Juggernaut. She also has published short stories in various magazines, in acclaimed anthologies like Have A Safe Journey and Boo as well on online apps like Juggernaut. A short story by her has been selected for inclusion in the The Best Asian Speculative Fiction anthology to be published by Kitaab, Singapore.

Her nonfiction book, Karmic Kids: The Story of Parenting Nobody Told You, was listed amongst the top five books on parenting by Indian authors in 2015 by the Sunday Guardian. One review called her the “Bombeck of Bombay.” The Face at the Window, released in 2016, was listed amongst the top 30 books written by women authors in 2016 by The Ladies Finger, as among the must read books by contemporary women authors by BuzzingBubs and received much critical acclaim. The Times of India stated that “Manral may have very well pioneered the "Himalayan Gothic" genre” with this book.

In 2013, she was awarded the Young Environmentalist’s Women Achievers Award, and in 2016, the WOW, Women of Worth awards for Creative Writing. She was among the six women authors shortlisted for the Femina Women Awards for Literature in 2017. The Indian Council of UN Relations (ICUNR) supported by the Ministry for Women and Child Development, Government of India, awarded her the International Women’s Day Award 2018 for excellence in the field of writing.

An ex-journalist, she currently writes a column on feminism at, and has been a columnist on sexuality at DNA, on gender issues with Tehelka and on parenting at She was also on the planning board of the Kumaon Literary Festival, a mentor with Sheroes and an advisor on the Board of Literature Studio, Delhi. She has co-curated Festivelle 2016 and is the co-curator of Women Writer’s Fest by which has editions in Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore and Kolkata. She has been a speaker and a panelist at most of the leading literature festivals in India, as well as at educational institutions and conferences. She is also considered a social media influencer.

She was part of the core founding team of Child Sexual Abuse Awareness Month and Violence Against Women Awareness Month, two social media initiatives that ran for four years. She also initiated India Helps, a volunteer network to help disaster victims which worked on the rehabilitation of 26/11 attack victims. She is the anchor for the monthly talk series, Bombaywaali, from and a mentor with Vital Voices Global Walk 2017.

She lives in Mumbai with her family including ‘the brat’.

Customer reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
3.5 out of 5
22 global ratings

Top reviews from India

Reviewed in India on 8 June 2014
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Reviewed in India on 13 January 2017
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Reviewed in India on 15 May 2018
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Reviewed in India on 10 October 2016
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Reviewed in India on 11 January 2015
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Reviewed in India on 28 December 2015
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Reviewed in India on 2 October 2019
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3.0 out of 5 stars The perfect chic-flick material!
By Kanika Arora on 2 October 2019
Once upon a crush as the title itself is evidence of a yet another clichéd lovable romantic tale by Kiran Manral. The book’s storyline resonates with many independent working women living in another city different from their native ones to make a mark in a society majorly run by the patriarchs.

This is a story of a woman, Rayna De, the female protagonist, originally from Kolkata, working hard to earn her bread and butter in Mumbai, almost thirty, far beyond the marriageable age; as the society perceives it with no love interest around her, reeling her way through life (as most of us know how it is).

The story starts with Pixie aka Madhu Agarwal, who is Rayna’s best friend, her confidant, her partner in crime, her soul sister, decides to pay her a visit for a few days as she wants to take a break from this non-stop search for a perspective boy for her to get married to by her parents.

Rayna’s frustration about Aparajita (the evil boss woman), the indifferent and rude behaviour towards Rayna and the confused state of mind of a budding crush on a superior from another department, Deven Ahuja, simmers down a bit with the news of Pixie’s arrival. Her visit gives the two of them (Rayna & Pixie) many opportunities to rejoice moments of being socially active and not think about the problems at hand (at least that’s what they thought).

Rayna’s confusion increases further when the parents want her to meet a boy, Sudhendu Bose aka Sid, with a fancy job at a fund management firm settled in a classy home in one of the posh gated societies of South Mumbai. Sid is well mannered, chivalrous, he is the perfect definition of an eligible boy for marriage; every parent’s desire.

All of Rayna’s unanswered questions are answered as the story progresses further. Will she take any step and talk to Aparajita about her evilness? Pixie’s spending time with her will resolve anything? Should she for once without being fidgety around Deven, reveal about her huge crush on him? Will she listen to her heart or her parent’s heart to choose her life partner?

Once Upon A Crush is a book under the genre of Contemporary Fiction with 224 pages in total. I found the writing style of the Author, Kiran Manral, to be very imaginative and full with descriptions of the characters in detail. You would find various Hollywood famous movie references whilst you are engrossed in the story which makes it all the more interesting if you are a movie buff as I am.
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Top reviews from other countries

4.0 out of 5 stars fun and contemporary read is the author's self-deprecating humour (as ...
Reviewed in the United States on 11 April 2016
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1.0 out of 5 stars I love Kiran Manral
Reviewed in the United States on 13 August 2014
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Summer read
Reviewed in the United States on 28 May 2014
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Dipali Taneja
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a fun time
Reviewed in the United States on 6 June 2014
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3.0 out of 5 stars Nice romantic read
Reviewed in the United States on 25 May 2014
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