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Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Book Review - I'm not Twenty Four

I was recently involved in a parent volunteering exercise at D's school which involved grading the book reviews done by 10th Std students. Little did I know that I would be moaning and groaning over my own review within a few weeks of being the all powerful examiner ;).

First of all, a big thanks to BlogAdda for sending me this book through their book review program. I felt really thrilled to be chosen, and received the book at my doorstep soon after getting their first mail intimation. Here's the vibrant looking book cover:

The introduction of the book says:
"There are two types of stories. One, where you sit up and say ‘this is so me.’ Second, when a story takes you to a world you would hardly believe actually exists. This story is the latter. Of a Delhi girl who lands in a village in the middle of nowhere."

Although the world as described by the author definitely seems unreal in many ways, there are lots of instances in the books that most readers would identify with and that definitely makes the book a nice read. All of us would tend to nod our head at hearing about the guy who pours a litre of mustard oil on his head for grooming, or about the training program at the starting of a new job :).

The author Sachin Garg has an easy writing style which we can easily identify with, and the book is written in the first person. That itself makes it unusual - for a male author to write in a female voice :). He has done a good characterization of Saumya, and of the people she is surrounded by in the book. 

The book starts off sounding like a typical chick-flick but reveals many layers as you keep reading on. The protagonist Saumya is a typical Delhi girl who loves her malls, short skirts and friends. One of her foremost thoughts on getting a job is to lose that last bit of weight and look good in her formal attire :). Much to her surprize her first posting is in a small village in Northern Karnataka. Her first reactions on hearing of her posting and how she deals with this turnaround in her way of life form the rest of the book.

She meets people like Malappa, a smart colleague, when she learns that first impressions resulting from on-the-surface details like having an accent don't mean everything. She experiences the uncertainties that come out having a unisexual name, meets the local populace of the village who live in such difficult circumstances as compared to herself, and we wonder if this seemingly shallow city girl will find the strength to deal with the new challenges her work life seems to throw at her at every turn.

At a point when she has to decide whether to continue in her new job, she meets Shubhro who is different from anyone she has ever known before. On the surface he seems to be like any other "hippie" character, but does he have another hidden side? Does he change her viewpoint? Does she continue in her job? Read the book to know the rest of her journey !

On the whole, I would definitely recommend this book as a good example of contemporary Indian writing. The author does a good job of mixing fiction with real-life-like experiences and uses scenes from our villages and corporate townships that many of us may have experienced at some time or the other.

Sachin is an Engineer from Delhi College of Engineering (DCE) and did his MBA from MDI, Gurgaon. Apart from books, he has a keen interest in strength training activities and travelling. In 2011, he quit his day job to start his own venture in print media.

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books!


  1. hey the book sounds interesting..seems like a fast-paced one..the one I prefer..nice description..will get hold of it sometime..

  2. Hey Uma, yes it was a nice read ! Have updated the review as I realized I was not meeting the minimum word count that was required.

    Maybe I could lend you my copy at our future meeting :).

  3. After a long time I have started reading again. There was a time you could not find me without two books on me ( in case I finished one on a bus) but with kids and life I stopped.

    It has been fun to start reading again and seeing recos like this helps.

    I like how you kept the suspense :)

    Keep writing !!

  4. Thanks Mallika :) Recently volunteered for a book review exercise, and had to check if the students had kept to the "rules" one of which was keeping the suspense, so i definitely made sure to do that!

    I know how it's difficult to hold on to that reading habit, glad that you're back at it. Even now I find it difficult to let go of a book when I'm reading something, and you can imagine what condition that leaves my house in ;).