Saturday, April 23, 2011

Review: I'm Not Twenty-Four, I've Been Nineteen For Four Years

Book Details:

Author: Sachin Garg
Publisher: Srishti Publishers

Description: I'm not 24.. is story of Saumya, Malappa & Shubhro which should have been a love triangle but wasn't. The three of them,coming from different worlds, are thrown into a fourth world called Karnataka. But it is not virgin beaches or exotic dancers that await them. They are to be welcomed by blood, riots, violet bosses and cut limbs. Will Saumya survive her job in the middle of nowhere? Will Malappa s superiority help him survive or become the cause of his downfall? Will Shubhro prove that a heart of gold can survive through Marijuana smoke and Beer rich blood?

My Review: This coming of age story centers around Saumya, a MDI graduate, who because of her unfortunate unisex name has been given a job in a steel factory in the middle of nowhere. The story is narrated by Saumya and tells us about what happens to her after she leaves the safe confines of college and goes out to the big bad world. It tells us of the experiences of a typical Delhiite who is sent to live in a very small town. The story is also supported by characters like Amit, a nerd who happens to get placed in the same company as Saumya, Malappa, a cool dude who works in the steel factory and Shubro, a nomad with whom Saumya falls in love. 

This is Sachin Garg's second book, his first being 'A Sunny Shady Life' which I have not yet read. Sachin is yet another MBA grad who has discovered his literary powers and has decided to pen down stories revolving around life in colleges. I'm not twenty four...., is a good story and fast paced but, I thought that Sachin did not sound natural writing from the female protagonists' perspective. Saumya is depicted as a man's idea of a typical girl, who is only interested in fashion, dates and her girly pals. Her idea of preparing for a new job is to shop for the highest available stilletoes and tight formal pants. In short, it seems that Sachin has seen Legally Blonde one too many times and decided that all girls are just like Elle Woods! However, he gets points for the fact that he has tried to turn the character around and shows her coming of age as towards the end when she moves towards more important things in life. 

The characters are well-etched, Saumya is the Indian version of a dumb blonde ( however, she manages to land a cushy job with a hefty pay package... a little strange), Malappa is depicted as a rebel, who is so smart, he gives an infereriority complex to his boss, but is unfortunately killed in the latter part of the book( He at times almost gives off gay vibes towards Shubro). Shubro is the nomad who does not stay in any one place for more than 90 days and is soaked in marijuana and alcohol, however, is actually on a mission to improve lives. He is the best character in the book, complex and well-etched, which proves my point that Sachin writes better in a male voice. He is depicted as Saumya's one true love, who leaves her afterwards. However, he leaves a way for her to find him and understand him better.

All in all it is an OK read, something light to read between heavy stuff. I love the cover though! I rate it a 2.5/5.   I read it as a part of my 2011 South Asian Challenge, 100+ Reading Challenge, 2011.

Rating: 2.5/5 

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