One of the perks of being a professional book reviewer is getting exposed to new talents. Everyone starts their journey from a small step, but, often that small step is evident enough to show the conviction and courage of the person.
Recently we got a chance to read a book named That Thing About You” by debutante author Mayank Chandna who writes under the pen name – Abhaidev.
The book is provided by the author, but as always, the review is unbiased and uninfluenced by all means.
|Book Title||:||That Thing About You|
|Author||:||Mayank Chandna (ABhaidev)|
|Publishers||:||Write India Publishers (2 June 2019)|
|# of Pages||:||
1485 KB 498 (Kindle EBook)
|# of Chapters||:||19|
Spread over 19 chapters, the book explores a story of self-discovery. The title of the book quite significantly conveys the same.
A book cover plays an important role in making the first impresion of the same. I strongly believe in the fact that a book should not be judged by its cover only. It is the story within that matters. However, one cannot deny the influence of a book cover in reading and/or purchase decisions.
The cover page of this book uses a minimalistic theme with balanced contrast between the elements. The beige background which blends a little into the lighter version of the same color in the center. The logos are printed in red and the title is written in little brownish red. The author name is mentioned in dark grey. In terms of readability, the cover page is good. Two hands facing opposite directions tells a lot about the story within. Of course, you will get to know about it while reading the book. The black string binding them looks artificial, though.
Overall, a moderately good cover page which is readable and conveys the theme of the book quite effectively. But it is not super impressive.
The first chapter starts with a discussion between a young and an old fellow sitting somewhere far. Not on the earth. The place is unknown to mankind and thus remain unknown to the readers also. They decide a plan and you will find a reference to it nowhere in the book. So, is it written arbitrarily? Well, a bird’s eye view of the story cannot answer all the queries :).
We meet Subodh and Ishaan. Both of them shares a flat and working in the same company. Their personalities are in almost contrast to each other! Ishaan is a well mannered and mature person who passes the “acceptability” test of almost all aspects of society. Subodh is a happy-go-lucky guy who seems has refused to grow up. He is considered an immature person by almost everyone he comes in touch with. Of course, he reaches office on time (a little late), does his work with sincerity and completes it on time. He hasn’t taken a single leave till date! He doesn’t socialize much.
He is not well organized in his living place also. Ishaan takes care of most of the things needed to run a house. Be it bring utensils, vegetables or paying bills, Ishaan does it as he found that there is no point telling the same to his bike lover flatmate Subodh.
Sneha is one of their colleagues. She is a good friend of Subodh and Subodh developed feelings of love for her. She, however, considers him just a friend. It was Sneha’s conversation with one of her friends overheard by Subodh, which made his life upside down.
People usually can take rejection or ignorance form anyone but from the person, he/she has special feelings for. Sneha considering him immature is something Subodh cannot accept.
So, will he take violent revenge as we see in the modern day movies or got news about some insane psychopath doing in such situations? Or will he take “Devdas” path to destruct himself? Or will he get reliable support to come out of this tragic situation?
The book is not for everyone. It is for those who read with attention. Of course, you can enjoy the story by reading it in a time-pass manner as well; but, you will miss the essence of the story them.
While it is the first book by the author, but most of the readers don’t care for the fact. They want something with a substance for their money. The question is, whether the book passes the test in those aspects? The short answer is yes.
This book is quite relevant to current times when movies like “Arjun Reddy” or “Kabir Singh” gets a good response from the audience. Love is a very pure and pious phenomenon. If you get it from the person you wish, you are probably one of the luckiest persons. But, destructing yourself when rejected is not an answer. Remember, your life is not only yours, there are people associated with you. And, a single wrong decision from you can make their lives a living hell.
The book passes an important message. One to introspect his/herself for the situation he/she is in. Blaming others or confining yourself within a self-created box, is not a solution. You need to try to be better version of yourself and come out of the situation. That is the only way to move ahead.
We must appreciate the author for choosing such an important subject for the debut work.
The book, however, never lets you feel that you are hearing a sermon or a lecture on anything. That is the USP of the book in my opinion.
The way, the lives of youngsters living in a mega city is explored is quite realistic. The working style of a firm in the IT industry is elaborated in a realistic manner too. No character is absolute black or white in this book. All of them have shades of grey. And, it makes them more real. Actually, everyone has his/her own philosophy of life and a version of the truth, so what we find wrong might be considered as a right by the other person.
The way the characters of Subodh and Ishan are developed is interesting. It will remind you of some of your classmates or roommates for sure. Some situations in the book are filmy though. And, yes, we all love to explore the fantasy world and enjoy the same.
The book has some fantastic lines which you will enjoy reading.
I can’t be sure about the intensity of the experience, as is a subjective matter. Some people feel more deeply than others even with less exposure.
Some lines require adjectives to remain correct grammatically and convey the message they are intended to; especially for the regular readers.
You see, people are hard to predict.
Sometimes, you get a valuable lesson to learn from a person you might be thinking high about. The book has one such incident:
See, it was so easy. Pottery is just like love. One needs to be patient and soft
Also, the incident when Subodh gets an ancient key from a shopkeeper plays a significant role in the story. This incident will help you connect many dots which you will otherwise miss.
The philosophies explored in the book are quite interesting:
If everything is predestined, what’s the fun in that? Humans must surprise the almighty at times.
The author remains thoughtful in choosing words rightly. For example:
Krishna is her favorite manifestation of God
The author could have been settled with “Krishna is her favorite God”. But, the above-mentioned line actually reflects the theory of superior-being in Hindu way of living more accurately.
And, it is not that the author cares only for that. Here is another interesting paragraph which links to the modern world as well.
He noticed that apart from the painting of Mona Lisa, he had seen that strange smile somewhere else too. For a while, he struggled to find an analogy for it, but then he realized that the smile that the old man gave resembled that of gurus when their followers ask them profound philosophical questions.
And here is something that everyone should remember:
None of us is perfect. One doesn’t need a person to be perfect so as to fall in love with. People fall in love with each other accepting each other’s quirkiness and imperfections.
Kalpna is the most interesting character in the book. But telling more about her will give away spoilers and I want to avoid doing that :).
Of course, the story needs a better connect with the first and last chapters and appearances of those characters. For an average regular reader, it would have been better to connect the dots in that case.
Overall, a nice book which explores an interesting story which bridges modern real world with fictional paranormal world. The story moves ahead by giving some important life lessons.
Around 7.5 to 8 out of 10.
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