Sunday, August 31, 2008

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan - You are Here

It is a dream situation. Girl writes a blog. Girl catches attention of publishers (Penguin for gods sake). Girl gets a book contract. Hey that is one situation I would love to be a part of. It has happened to a couple of girls (Sonia Felaro , Meenakshi Maadhavan) and I would not mind being a part of the hoo haah going on about chiclet .. errrr chick-lit.

I happened to be in a bookshop on Saturday evening and as the store manager was chasing me around and asking if I needed help, I set him to look for Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan's book You are Here. After a bit of rummaging, he found it. The price was reasonable, Rs.199/- so I took it.

I started the book and felt a bit let down. After a preamble that seemed a bit high flying, we got down to the business of Arshi trying to shock conservative readers by admitting to a few vices, namely, drinking, smoking, having sex, some bra talk. Hey girl, been there, done that.

However, the story settles down soon enough and we get to know that Arshi is on a re-bound and has just met a gorgeous guy in a pool party. He aint perfect, but is great. Only Arshi does not know where she stands with him. In the meantime, her friends, Topsy, Esha and Deeksha are coping with issues of their own. Topsy belongs to a conservative Hindu family and is in a clandestine relationship with a nice muslim boy, Fardeen, which is the mother of all NO NO's. Esha is obsessing about Akshay and it is obvious to all he is not really that into her. Deeksha is blissfully on her way to getting married to a gorgeous Canadian guy.

So what is the problem? Problem is that Arshi is not happy about where she is. She has this feeling that she should be doing something else, being with someone else. How she comes to terms with her situation is what this book is all about.

I would not call it the perfect book. There are too many digressions, that really take you away from the story and make you forget where you were. Right in the begining, one minute Arshi is wondering what to wear at a pool party, the next minute the story goes off tangent with Arshi reminiscencing about something else. It happens two or three times. She has repeated the phrase - "rolling of eyes" a bit too often.

If she had stuck to the story, and cut out the meanderings, it would have been much better. After a few initial descriptions of lingerie, probably offered up to pander to male curiosity or maybe female approval (yeah-it-happens-to-me-too), she stopped, thankfully. Despite claims of being slutt-ish, she does not really see so much action, often stopping at making out, which is more 16 than 25.

I liked the way she wound the book up, it was refreshing. It wasnt all fairy tale-ish with the handsome prince riding in, but it was with an admission that fuck-wittage happens to the fuck-witee.

Which is true.


Smita said...

:D started reading the book today only. Thats why have skipped half your review. But will be back with my thoughts as soon as am through. Btw the book isn't getting good reviews. And i second you kash my blog too catches the fancy of some publisher ;) and yes this girls article gets published in mumbai mirror

Oxy said...

ah!!! and that is why I avoid these chic-lits (chick-shits actually). Without offending you or the followers of them, they write nothing extra-ordinary & out of context. All of these chick-lit writers carry a HUGE hangover of each other and shit out the same with different style.

Talking of sex, drinks, personal-life-fucking-drama, clueless future, disturbing past, thinking they are different-from-lot but have couple of equally confused friends with similar life-fucking story attached to each of them and so on and so forth.. That's all chick-lits offer.

avdi said...

Smita - the book is not brilliant.. but not simplistic either.

Oxy - Isnt life like that? we have been following brat-lit all over lives for crying out loud. What would you call Tom Jones but brat-lit? What's david fucking copperfeild?

In the end the stories are always the same :(

couchpapaya said...

hey avdi - was terribly interested in the book after avidly following the author's blog .... if the writing style is the same it must have been an easy read if nothing else ! loved the review, as usual !!!

avdi said...

couch.. i feel the blog is better. but the writing style is good. She never tries to sound too smart, which is good. and the book is better than soooo many of similar books. Its definately an easy read.

WhatsInAName said...

Maybe just the type of book in between two heavy ones!
As for catching the eye of some publisher, :), I wish that for you, soon enough. I will be one of the first to buy it :)

Oxy said...

yea right!!! but I do see the trend changing yet few hold onto the formula and these are the ones who are celebrated.

Karun said...

Honestly, Have to get down to details to your taste of book to comment on this.

I have never picked such a book in life, so read your blog half-heartedly.

I truly don't know if i will ever shelf this in my cupboard but few lines above made me **grin**

Will watch out your next take.

couchpapaya said...

avdi, pls pick up an award waiting for u on my blog ...

Vinz aka Vinu said...

i wonder why these blog-author-turned writers are more focussing on flings, one night stands, sex, and all... its becoming a trend i guess..!!

avdi said...

Hi Vinu.. Meenakshi's blog got popular because she spoke about her personal life, so I guess she focussed her book on the same thing. Sex does sell you know!

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