I picked up reading as a hobby very late in my life. It was only during the last year of my graduation that I took to reading ardently. When I did start taking reading seriously, I often wondered why there were so few Indian authors in the commercial fiction genre. Keep in mind this was 15 years back. The last decade to my delight has seen a surge in this number and has brought a revolution in the reading demographics of our country. People relate to Indian fiction more than the western ones and the youth is able to pick books for the sheer fun of reading a story that they can relate to. A high percentage of these books by the new age authors are essentially love stories and every novel brings a new aspect of love to the table.
One of the latest addition to the riot of romantic colours is the new book by Divya Ratan and Rohan Kachalia, ‘The 23rd Girl’
Title- The 23rd girl
Author- Divya Ratan and Rohan Kachalia
Publisher- Half Baked Beans
Genre- Fiction/ Love
My thoughts –
When I read this book as a mother of two boys, I tend to fantasise what kind of young men they will grow up to be. Will they be as confident and charming as Rashv? Will they take their studies with similar seriousness as Rashv? As I continue reading this new book on the shelves, many questions plague my curious mind when a new aspect of teenage behaviour is introduced in the book. We have all experienced this in either our teenage or youth and I am sure it will remain the same even when my boys grow up. Do you remember that one time in your life in school or college when your life seemed to have come to a stand-still because your hormones played a havoc with your heart and you could only focused on that one person who you thought to be ‘The One’? This is exactly what happens with Rashv. It took bad academic results to get Rashv back to his senses and he decides to bounce back with a boom.
But how? Suddenly he finds himself in a unique situation where his life revolves around number 23. A series of unbelievable coincidences around the number 23 and heartbreak, put Rashv on a love path that he consciously carves for himself. He falls in and out of relationships waiting for the right girl who will align with his number 23 theory and make his life a living heaven.
And then comes in Roohi. Rashv falls head over heels in love with her and is disheartened when he figures that she does not fit into his number 23 philosophy. Though not unheard of in real life, an amalgamation of romance with superstition has been presented in a very interesting way in ‘The 23rd Girl’.
The plot runs smoothly as Rashv’s character evolves from a stout yet bright student into a sauve, well chiselled young professional. Also, the life events and emotions of this young man are very realistic and relatable by anyone in the same age group. The only problem I had while I traversed through Rashv’s life was that at some places the events elapse in a rush. I would not mind a little more insight into Rashv’s life with some more aspects of how the number 23 became an integral part of his life after he discovers the same.
Yet, I must admit that the book was entertaining and kept me hooked till the end. If you are suffering from reader’s block because the last book you read was ‘heavy stuff’, this light-hearted romcom fiction is a good way to overcome the same.
My verdict –
Apart from the limitation that the plot progresses in a jiffy, I found the book to be a delightful read for all age groups who enjoy romcom genre.
For the plot – 4/5
For the writing style – 3/5
P.S. – For someone like me who binge reads Mills & Boons that mostly present romance from the female lead’s perspective, this book is a fresh breath of air as it brings about a man’s view of romance.
At any stage in life, one is likely to set their heart and mind on one or a set or notions. They transform into beliefs and sometimes go a step ahead and become superstitions. This, of course, is backed by enough coincidence to force you into believing so. But for how long do you stick on to it? Have you ever been through a tug of war between what you believe and what you want? Who won in the end?