Teenage Diaries: The Days That Were by Saurabh Sharma My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Teenage Diaries: The Days That Were

It’s rare when a book becomes a person and starts talking to you. It’s even rarer when you start heeding this ‘book-person’ more than you do real people! For most part, it was like a conversation; like GK and I were friends forever and he was telling me one of his crazy stories yet again. I’m glad I came across this book.

For me, being able to say that is really refreshing in a way that it’s not my genre. I generally don’t go for YA. I started reading itself with this in the first place, but was soon perpetuated with the same ideas and notions being hurled in my face in the same predictable fashion. The problem with the contemporary Indian authors of this genre is that they try too hard to impress. As a reader, I feel like calling them out and yell, “Back off! I get it…I get it, damn it!” (I am offending so many people right now!) But hey, that’s just my opinion.

So, what did Saurabh do different? Was the story one in a million? Probably not. Was the idea out of the box? Definitely not. What was it then? Well, the story-telling was one in a million. The approach was out of the box. The characters living the story were very likable and the circumstances were unique. A book becomes great not so much for the story as for the unraveling of it. Tell me if you don’t agree!

I was apprehensive though, in the beginning. To be very honest, I read the first two words of the very first chapter and closed the book, not to touch it again for days. I was expecting the same mushy drama. I have been so overwrought with ‘these kinds of stories’ that I could not imagine a way this one could redeem itself. I was wrong. This book certainly gave me something to look forward to everyday. As the pages started to dwindle, I did not want it to end. Why would I? I was living ludicrous misadventures with GK and his goofy crew, ‘bromancing’, crushing, falling in love, falling out, ‘sexcapading’, sneaking out, dueling and always finding myself in some or the other scrapes. But, it was not just a pointless madness conjured up by some stoner after a couple of joints. It was friendship, love, respect and ambitions infused in each and every word. The book in itself was something to get high on.

It is an easy read, kind of a mental spa! You would be smiling guiltily for most part of it. From the entry of Armaan in the tale, I knew he was going to die. He did die apparently. But, then, he squeezes GK’s hands. And, I’m like, “Cool! We are not doing it. We are past killing favourite characters, (how bollywood-ish! You just pray & Viola, ‘deathbound’ people spring to life, Tch!) I’m so happy!(Harps playing)” And then, out of nowhere, he dies. And, I’m like, “I knew it, I told you as soon as the rich kid walked in. (Why did you kill him, Saurabh? You could have killed me instead! Swears. Sobfest. Violins playing.) Well, I learnt to give my ‘involuntarily perpetual judging’ a break, that’s for sure. You got me, Author! Hands down.

Also, a quick shout out to the designers! Nice cover.

So, finally, why should you read this book? Because, why not! Why should you not read this book? Because your taste sucks, that’s why! Just read it already. 😉

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