April 19, 2017

Book Review: Teenage Diaries by Saurabh Sharma

Author: Saurabh Sharma
Publisher: Leadstart Publications
Rating: 2.5/5

‘I have had playmates, I have had companions; in my days of childhood, in my joyful school-days - All, all are gone, the old familiar faces.’
 ~Charles Lamb

We have all had our share of happiness during our school days. Who doesn’t remember the gossip periods, naming the teacher, the PT periods, first crushes, eagerness to wear coloured clothes on special days, distributing candies to our friends, the illogical fights, baseless arguments, punishments, sharing food with everyone! And to be able to relive those memories will definitely make us grin like a Cheshire cat. But the thought of not meeting the old friends and not being able to get back our childhood days makes the heart sink.

'Teenage Diaries' has all the necessary elements of a Bollywood Drama- love, relationship, friendship, betrayal, death, disappointment. It is, indeed, a rollercoaster ride of emotions. The protagonist is Ghanshyam, who is a pessimistic realist. To give him company and to complement his personality, we have Vikram, the opposite. The author has taken care in introducing the characters properly at regular intervals so that their roles do not get lost within 319 pages.

When I first read the blurb of ‘Teenage Diaries’, I was thrilled to bits. Not only was I ready to relive the old days, but also to cherish the memories. But I was utterly disappointed when I read the first chapter. The uninteresting narration and the description of life when Ghanshyam was a little baby were boring. It was only after the first chapter that the story started making sense. A more impactful first chapter would have done the trick. Another thing I disliked was the use of language. I cannot refrain but write about the generation gap between the children of 1990s and the children of the 21st century. Where on one hand there are certain instances in the book that force me to rethink of my childhood, the language used and the desperate attempt to incorporate the western slangs into the conversations, puts me in the black mood, for we never used that kind of language. For example, “Don’t bullshit me.”

The author has neglected the use of proper punctuation, for example, on the back cover (blurb) the sentence goes like this: “Wait, what the hell am I asking you to do with deadlines to catch on!?” I cannot help but be disappointed at such misuse of punctuation marks. Another point about the book is the frequent use of Hindi words like ‘yaar’. Also, the inclusion of the intimate romantic scene makes it more like a Chetan Bhagat Novella. And having read bountiful novellas of this genre, this one failed to impress me.

Overall, this book is not a must-keep. But it might be liked by the CB lovers, for it offers a similar storyline with a different flavor.

Best wishes to the author!

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Review Copy: Courtesy Author Paradise

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