This book came to me all the way from America 🙂 sent by a very dear friend as we were (still are) in a phase called “How to deal with and understand a teenager”. With my kiddo almost about to be a teenager, I got quite a few recommendations from the parents who’ve been there done that already. And this was one of the outstanding books on the subject I must say. All thanks to my friend, who ordered and sent it from USA as it was way too expensive (technically beyond my budget) and what a delightful read it turned out to be. Going by the cover and the blurb, I would have definitely kept it in the category “Books that I judge by cover and discard” as it sounded totally like a book written with a typical crowd of recently out of Jr college kids but it was so much more as I am sure it will help those youngsters who are confused about their future, career, love life, family, friends, psych and so much more. Even for a middle aged person like me with a growing kid and already a grown up confused cousin at home, it made so much more sense to me. I remember a few months back, I had posted something similar on Facebook, asking my more learned friends for advice on the same theme and this book came highly recommended. I got 2-3 more similar books but those I am yet to read, now that I have read this and loved it big time, I am totally eager to read them too ASAP which will further help me become a better parent I guess. Also, if you are a sucker for books and a filmy freak like me on top, this is a must must read as it satisfies both the audience in one shot. This is another of those books which convince me on the theory that you can take an Indian out of India but you can take India out of an Indian :). If you read the book, you will smile on that.
The entire book and story is written in first person as if the Author, the story teller is writing letters to her favorite Movie Directors sharing her own thoughts with them as her own life goes through a roller coaster ride of sorts. Story revolves around 30 days in the life of Twinkle Mehta (Jr High), 16 years of age, all she wants to do in life is to make movies to bring people closer to each other. The fantastic coming of age story if you ask me. In the mere 30 days, how life changes upside down for her and what important lessons she learns (and we do too with her) makes up for one heck of a fantastic read I must say. She writers letters, rather diary notes to her favorite Directors (Sofia Coppola, Nora Ephron, Mira Nair and so many more). A typical teenager, who is big time in love with Neil (totally one sided) and as she come across his twin Sahil, who is exactly his look-alike yet so much different in real, the story takes twist and a terrific turn. It does becomes very predictable and has cliche written all over the story yet the way it is done with so much heart in it that it just kept me glued to it almost throughout the 320 pages. Not for one moment I felt like I was reading quite a thick book but I felt as if someone has picked my own life’s story in form of a book all the way from America. Typical Indian joint family with their own struggles, the only teenage daughter, who feels her parents don’t care about her, they have no time for her. The only respite in her life is her old Granny who has her own whims and fancies, watch out for the lovely Dog they have and how it represents so much especially to Granny :), I totally loved it. She is almost invisible in school with no friends to fall back on, how Sahil comes in her life like a fresh breath of air and changes it upside down is the story all about. She is torn between the two feelings, to be loved by someone or to keep dreaming of someone she wants to love. And how it all shatters for her or falls in place is why you should read the book for.
Initially as I started reading it, I thought the chick language will turn me off gradually and the way it is written in Diary entries (dated and timed), plus in email communications and even in texts, but it just keeps getting so much better that I couldn’t keep it down. One of the best teenage love stories I will say that I read in a long long time. One thing that confused me at time was, it felt like she was taking her diary everywhere she went as the entire book is written in “present tense” and yet no one even once mentioned to her that “What’s that diary you are carrying with you?”. Also, the movie that she makes with the help of her best buddies and how it all turns out had a big huge smile on my face. You’ve got to read the story to know which movie they remake, from what time and how in the end it turns out, although the final outcome is too far fetched but I will give a benefit of doubt to Sandhya Menon taking it all with a pinch of salt just because hat it is a work of fiction and the lesson in learning is way too good and heart-touching.
Have you read “From Twinkle, with Love” or her other work. Now I am keen to get her earlier book too and give it a read at the earliest. My next on the same subject is going to be “Tara Road” by Maeve Binchy. Have you read that?
PS: I love its front and back cover both. On front we have Twinkle with her film camera in a close up shot and on the back there is a cute picture of Sahil and Twinkle sitting together.