Book Review: Eighteen – The End of Innocence
We are termed as the Y generation. Science and technology has progressed and reached a level where nobody can function without Internet. Like every coin has two sides, this definitely has it’s own share of cons. Teenagers are feeling lonely. Relationships have become futile. Intrigued to know about their day to day issues, I decided to read this one.
Raghu, like most of the teenagers has a circle of friends who he is attached to. They have fun together and also fall into various difficulties. But all of them support each other through thick and thin and that is the beauty of their friendship. Aadi, is his closest buddy out of all of them. Raghu, then meets Shalini whom he falls in love with. They start dating very soon. Whether all of them together are able to solve all the difficulties they get into and get a direction in their respective lives, is the story of Eighteen:The End of Innocence.
Firstly I want to mention that the cover page has been designed really well. It captures the essence of the storyline pertinently. The characters of Raghu and Shalini have been carved out well. They have not only been written as any teenage lovers but have also been projected maturedly when required. The camaraderie between Aadi and Raghu has come out well, as well. The sincerity and honesty of their friendship comes across to the reader very evidently. The way, all the characters support each other, makes you yearn for such friendships. The final call that Raghu and Shalini take for their relationship was surprising but a delightful one.The author has given a very realistic treatment to it.
There are many characters in this narrative. I was not very impressed with the way they were all introduced. It was very confusing. Initially, one wants to keep a track but then as it gets difficult, the reader tends to skim through and read more about the main protagonists – Raghu, Aadi and Shalini. Kudos to the author for being brave enough to highlight the grave complexities that teenagers face these days, but I was not very happy with the way the solutions of those problems were put up. They were too simple. In my opinion, if it was this simple these would not have been problems in the first place. The solutions should have been more mature but I wish the guilts, the repercussions that the characters face could have been more stringent.
This being a book on teenagers, I comprehend the kind of audience the author wants to reach out to and therefore it is well taken that the the writing is very breezy. But the constant hindi connotations put me off completely. Not only words but there are sentences also in hindi which kind of break the flow and imagery for me as a reader. The chapters are very concise. For some readers it works, but for a reader like me it breaks the continuity. I feel a book becomes interesting when at the end of every chapter, there is a certain curiosity to read the next one. Sadly none of the chapters evoked that curiosity fir me. The initial chapters make for a very dreary read. It only picks up after the love story begins. The book has been written from all the three protagonists perspective. But Shalini and Aadi’s perspective comes at the fag end. Also when one reads from Aadi’s perspective, it feels repetitive because most of the story had unfolded, and his feelings were very evident earlier.
Sudham has done a very good job by not only highlighting one issue but a series of issues that teenagers face these days. Premarital sex, drinking and driving, confusions regarding one’s future – the story woven around all these has a lot of potential and would have been true to its form if the editing was to the T. Also the book would have made for a brilliant read if the contriteness was severe.
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