Book: Confessions of a List maniac
Author: Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan
Rating: * * * *
Peer pressure, boy obsession, friendship issues, family trouble… Sound familiar? That’s all a part of a normal teenage girl’s life! This is what the book is all about. The novel is written in the form of a diary and the writer, Layla calls it a notebook version of a blog.
Layla starts the diary by introducing her best friend Suze, her other friends and loving family. She’s a girl next door who likes shopping, fights with her brother who she also adores, hangs out with friends and wonders how it would be like to have a boyfriend. She is a little blurry about right and wrong like every other teenager and makes the common mistakes. Curious about popularity, she goes to an all night party where her life takes a turn when the most popular boy of her school asks her out. A chance meeting with a guy called Akash and fallout with her best friend makes her realize that popularity is not all that it is hyped to be. The question that faces her is should she be with someone who promises fame or someone she truly likes. The book makes you wonder what you would do in such a situation.
Layla makes crazy, interesting lists and is a list maniac to the extent that she even makes a list of why she likes lists! She is also artistic and describes some really innovative though unusual paintings. Her interactions with her brother are described really well. Where on the one hand he considers his younger sister a “manipulative brat”, he also looks out for Layla and is ready to break up with his girlfriend for her.
Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan has done a great job with the book. It is light and breezy, never having a dull point. Madhavan’s writing is witty and straight forward, perfectly describing teenage feelings. The excitement of the first date, Layla’s first meeting with Akash and the survey she conducts on Love at first sight are some well crafted and cleverly written scenes. It stands out from the other Indian author books because of its simple and refreshing storyline and no use of typical Indian words out of nowhere. It doesn’t have what I call the “Chetan Bhagat inspired college romance” story that is so often seen these days. It sort of reminded me of Meg Cabot and coming from a Cabot fan, that’s a great compliment.
A good read for a lazy summer afternoon when you are not in the mood for something serious.