Book Review: That's My Story - Vinay Mashalkar


Falling in love is a beautiful thing, that's the first line of the blurb of this book and this gives you hope.... but then this book, which is supposedly a feel-good love story, ISN'T.  Although I'm not a big fan of romance, I signed up for reviewing this book, purely because it’s February, and since my real life doesn't have much romance, I might aswell read some to get into the Valentines mood. So did I succeed? Not even a little bit! 

That's My Story is simple love story. Its about a boy seeing a girl, and falling in love with her, the typical family issues that every single Indian romance writer needs to include, the other woman, the predictable "twists and turns" and finally, the happily ever after. I may be biased, but when I read a love story, I expect it to have some novelty. Don't get me wrong, I have nothing against a feel good love story, but then there is only so much predictability a person can tolerate till they throw the book at a wall. Did I do it? Well, I threw it on the bed (a couple of times) because I frankly I couldn’t take the sugary sweetness in the book anymore.

Onto the characters, you have your blue eyed boy, Vikram, who is the most optimistic person I’ve ever seen…who works in the IT industry. He sees a girl from his window, one fine day and without any valid reason. He says that its her “overall charismatic personality” that attracts him. Well, I somehow cannot understand how you can see a person’s personality from a distance. I always thought you’d have to actually interact with them to comment on their personality. Oh well, I figured everyone has their own way of expressing themselves. As you move further along, the book starts throwing extremely inappropriate words to express different situations. There is a sentence which rather made me laugh….it replaces subconsciously with unconsciously. Honestly, imagine reading a sentence that implies you need to be unconscious to feel the joy in life. There are quite a few instances where I felt that the writer, at a loss for appropriate adjectives, simply typed a similar sounding word, hoping it would mean something in the vicinity of what he is trying to express. It is shocking how such books manage to get through the editor’s desk at the publishing house. I would understand if it was just one or two such mistakes, but there are so many grammatical, syntactical as well as plain literary mistakes, I cannot help but get annoyed and frustrated. If you read to improve your language, this book will not help, but rather ruin it. I understand use of colloquial dialects in parts, but then you cannot keep writing a novel, the way you would narrate a story to your friends. It simply makes the reader disgusted.

Apart from the atrocious writing, another problem is the one-dimensional characters. I cannot help but feel that the characters needed fleshing out a bit more. The girl works as a CA in an MNC and the boy works in IT. That’s it. That’s all you know about their professional life. Seeing as he is narrating the story, you’d think that any young man in the current world, would have some professional ambitions. The whole purpose of his life is to simply make this girl happy. While this is good for dreamy fiction, seeing as the writer tries to imply that it’s a story that is plausible, you can’t help but feel that it’s grossly inaccurate. I honestly kept waiting for a little more connect to the characters, but simply didn’t get it. What is an attempt to show how much the narrator loves the girl, turns into a rather terrible portrayal of a girl who practically runs the boy’s life with her whims and demands. Of course, you have the other girl who is in love with the very boy because he is so dedicated to the heroine. Honestly, what self respecting girl will stay in love with a boy she knows she will never get? But yes, again, we are expected to believe it all under the premise that’ love is like that only’.

Everybody wants to be the next Chetan Bhagat these days....that's what you feel when you read this book. I'm afraid that Mr. Bhagat managed to gain popularity purely because of the novelty factor of his first novel, armed with rather decent (correct English understood by common people) writing skills. This book, I’m afraid to say has neither of the above traits. It says that Mr. Vinay Mashalkar is an Engineer and this is his first attempt at writing. Well, frankly, you can tell that’s the case without the explicit mention of the same. I would not recommend this book and I suggest if you wish to read his books, you wait till the writer manages to hone his writing as well as story telling skills. There’s nothing new here, except a few bad errors in writing “The English” as the writer would call it.

Name: That’s My Story
Author: Vinay Mashalkar
Publisher: Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd

My Rating: 1/5

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