Book Review: Arranged Love (Parul Mittal)
Book: Arranged Love
Author: Parul A. Mittal
Publisher: Penguine Metro Reads
No. of Pages: 256
“Hey do you something about chick-lit novels?” texted a friend of mine.
“Chick lit: Chick lit is genre fiction within women's fiction which addresses issues of modern women often humorously and lightheartedly, ” I forwarded her this web-definition.“What else do I need to keep in mind before reading one?” She texted back.“Feel Like a Girl!” I replied with excessive use of :biggrin smilies.
I haven’t told her that I’m reading one right now. And how hard I tried to focus; I couldn’t stop myself from wondering about the hidden secrets being told in the story. So here I have another light romantic chick lit fiction, ‘Arranged Love’ by Ms. Parul A. Mittal, an IIT-Delhi graduate and Master’s in Computer Science from UMich, Ann Arbor. She has twelve years of rich experience in the corporate world and now she is running an e-venture called RivoKids. Its the second book by Ms. Mittal and comes with a tagline “Can it get more complicated?”.
Let us find out how complicated it is.
Suhaani is enjoying her independent status in the US and her sexy Indian American boyfriend, when suddenly she loses her job to the recession. And she's forced to move back to India where her father has selected a boy for her from his guitar class.Suhaani doesn’t know how to tell her Internet-savvy dad and Farmville-addict mother that she's not interested in an arranged match, especially to an IITian. She decides to dislike the guy.Except that he's not too thrilled about her either.Even when they end up working together, Suhaani decides she will not fall for this guy.But before she can turn him down, he rejects her!
First I would like to tell about cover jacket. Flashy yellow background and red heart symbols with many icons of the e - world are screaming loudly that the book is for Facebook-generation (Ones who know Facebook as the only way to socialize, 16-to-28 especially), and is able to register the attention of the readers. Back blurb is well written and gives a faint idea of the story. And later I found that the faintest idea I got, is the actual story!
The story revolves around Suhaani, the protagonist, her half-American boyfriend Jay, her family, and her arranged suitor Deepak, the IIT guy. Suhaani hates IITians because of a bitter experience related to an IIT guy in her past. And when she saw Deepak’s picture forwarded by her father, she hated him instantly. And considered him as a closed chapter. But destiny had something else in mind and she lost her job due to recession, and was forced to come back to India. And to complicate her life, she joined a company, iTrot.com, and Deepak was her manager!
Before I could start reading, the first thing that irked me was font-size. It’s smaller than the usual size, and considering my good-habit of reading in low light it was really troublesome. It seems to be kept intentionally to reduce the number of pages (232 pages), while same pages could have been reduced by keeping the chapter titles in the same margins. However good page quality is a plus point, and made up for the font size.
Ms. Mittal’s narration is not what most people expect from an IITian author. Her narration is simple, plain, but with vivid details. Every movement registers in your mind effortlessly, and that’s the beauty of the language. Sometimes it was a little irritating to read too-much detailing that sounds like explanation to every action. Some parts are self explanatory, and could have been the best parts if kept like that, but an explanation below them spoiled the mood a bit. Ms. Mittal has used first-person narrative for ‘Arranged Love’, and since it has a female protagonist; it was hard for me to imagine everything. But I liked the way characters are crafted to justify the context they appeared. Apart from Suhaani, I liked Tanu and Deep’s character, while Suhaani boyfriend Jay was quite like Ashutosh of movie Jab We Met (Clueless and Useless). (PSST: Remember I’m a boy, reading a story written from a girl’s perspective)
A well edited book makes up for everything, and 'Arranged Love' scores nine in ten in the editing department. No noticeable spelling or grammar mistakes, but a few punctuation errors, rest is just good. Ms. Mittal’s sense of humor is overflowing in this novel, and some of the incidences are so common that I couldn’t stop imagining the person who’d been in the same situation. Whenever the narration seems to be dull, a punch is being delivered to force me to turn the page to read next. I’ve read quite a lot books that start with a moving narration and becomes dull chapter-after-chapter, but Ms. Mittal has maintained the same pace throughout the two-hundred-thirty-two-pages! This makes it one sitting read. Even if you are reading it in parts, there is nothing to worry about, just flip back a page or two and you are back to the track.
Enough of goods, time for some bad.
- Page 32: Suhaani claimed to be a systematic person who followed a step-by-step approach after a thorough analysis. But on page 62, while comparing herself to her mother, she suddenly became a cluttered, careless and go-with-the flow girl. How?
- Page 82: Suhaani was to learn the meaning of a term KS, but its meaning is explained right there. It spoiled the moment when she learned the meaning of it on page 131 and the incidence on page 126.
- Chapter 20, Page 203: Could have been the best chapter if it hasn’t broken the First-Person narration. I still have no clue how Suhaani heard the minute details of the conversion between Rohan and Tanu, while she was performing on stage?
- Metaphors and anglicized pronunciation of some words made the dialogs funny in most places, but their use in narrations is irritating and gives no space to reader’s imaginations.
To sum up my review, I would say that Ms. Mittal has done a good job with ‘Arranged Love’ and the book has potential to reach readers’ hearts. She chose a perfect plot and incorporated Facebook as a character itself, which makes it generalized to a whole generation. Out of all characters I liked Tanu’s character, while Suhaani’s Farmville addict mother and Sex-Addict friend Neha were in my Hit-List (Ignore their appearance at everywhere). The book is light to read, and is not much complicated, but it would be hard for male readers to connect with the story. So I will suggest it to any girls of age 16 to 30, and to boys who are suffering from “You don’t understand me” Syndrome, if you know what I mean.
I’m sure Ms. Mittal would write another novel soon, so I give her my best wishes in advance.
Happy Reading :)