Book: The 23rd Girl
The 23rd Girl is a quirky story about a young man named, Rashv. A roly-poly, mamma’s boy, Rashv is the usual college kid going weak in the knees each time he encounters a pretty girl. He gets his heart broken a few times before accidentally discovering a connection with the number 23. He gets obsessed with the number theory to such an extent, he allows it to exert power over everything, including his love life.
I have often heard about this obsession people have with numbers, letters of the alphabet and what not. Call it superstition, call it obsession, but, the truth remains that such theories become a part of people’s lives, controlling every aspect of their lives. People go to extremes to incorporate the theories into their lives, often leaving others baffled by their behaviour. And, this is what we find in the story of Rashv who is completely under the spell of the number. Feelings don’t matter to him, the importance of the number does.
The plot of the story is unusual and therefore quite intriguing. You really want to know how much our boy Rashv is in the grasp of this number theory. His character has been etched quite like the Mr. Nobody who toils to turn life around to become the Mr. Dynamic in his later life. The story will resonate with the youth quite easily. College life, fashion, friends, love and heartbreak, academics, all of it caters to the college-going crowd. The female characters have been painted very well, too. They have a firm head over their shoulders and not only know what they want in life, but also how to achieve it. Very much like the girls of today!
The language is immaculate and the narration has an easy flow to it. Episodes in Rashv’s life have a proper beginning and an end to them, which is gravely missed in many a romances churned out these days. There’s a sensible progression to the story, which is often missing in books by debutants. Certain lines about love and heartbreak struck a chord and I am sure many of us will be able to relate to these. I particularly appreciated the words used to describe the heart’s pitiful condition on being carelessly handled by the one it beats for.
However, there were particular instances in the book that made me feel otherwise. For example, the story does get off to a slow start. You will have to turn quite a many pages to get a grip on it and get immersed into it. Certain scenes seem superfluous and lengthen the story. I found hues of Mills and Boons here and there and wished the style had been more original. The mamma’s-boy-scenes seem unnecessary at places as do Rashv’s everyday activities written about in agonising detail. Certain dialogues also seem out of place in a college kid’s vocabulary. But, all of that can be ignored for the simple reason that this is a debut novel by Divya and Rohan.
It will make for an easy read for youngsters, for it’s about the youth and, therefore, for the youth. Oldies like me might not get enthralled by the story for the simple reason that by now we all know what love is really all about! Don’t we?
Kudos to Divya and Rohan for collaborating on this book. They have a bright future as fiction writers. Wishing them the very best for their future endeavours!