PLOT: 4/5
CLIMAX: 4.5/5

My Musings

One of the best ways to beat a reading slump is to read something light, cozy, and fun. Whenever faced with such a question, I usually recommend contemporary foreign fiction to voracious and intermediate readers and contemporary Indian writing to beginners. But this time around, I found a book that will appeal to a wide range of readers – from beginners to voracious, every type of reader is bound to enjoy the wholesome entertainment that the book serves.

Read on to know about my thoughts on Gayatri Chandrasekharan’s Bangalored and why I recommend it to all chick-lit and contemporary romance lovers.

First Impressions

While the image on the cover perfectly captures the essence of the story, I did not find it exciting enough to lure readers. It is certainly not in tune with the current trends in book cover design. The blurb reads just like another contemporary Indian fiction. And that’s a shame because once you bite in, there is no going back. The book is unbelievably good, and both the cover and the blurb fail to do justice to it.

The title is something, though. It is quirky, catchy, and uniquely curious. There is a reason why the book is titled Bangalored, and that reason is as good as the book itself.

What to expect?

Expect a contemporary romance fiction that is a class apart from other cliché Indian romances that are flooding the market these days. Expect a cozy, comfortable, and feel-good read. Expect a book that is full of fun, laughter, and all things romantic. Expect a love story with a twist. Finally, expect a book with characters that you cannot help but fall in love with.

Who can read?

The book makes use of rich and eloquent language that would appeal to a wide variety of readers. Though it won’t be a fly-through read for a beginner, it will help them hone their English language skills. As for regular and voracious readers, they can easily pick it up.

The story as it goes

James Rutherford, the lonesome, somewhat aloof, English gentleman, with impeccable dressing and perfectly charming manners, is on a work-related trip to India. He doesn’t plan to stay for long. Get in, get things done, and fly back to England – that is what his plans for India look like. Except, plans rarely work.

He expects to encounter work issues and cross-cultural struggles but what truly bowls him over is a quirky, bold, and opinionated Indian girl – Radha Iyer. To cut things short, James ends up getting ‘Bangalored’ by her.

But Radha is as charmed with this slightly stand-offish English gentleman as much as he is smitten with her. 

Will their corporate association turn into a romantic one?

How soon would the sparks fly?

Can they overcome their time, distance, and cultural barrier?

Are they destined to be together?

Find out more in Gayatri Chandrasekaran’s Bangalored.

Let’s talk about the plot

There isn’t much happening in the plot but with romances like these, it’s the best this way. The play is on the anticipation and the slow burn rather than plot twist at the end of every chapter. 

How good are the characters?

Watch out, girls. James Rutherford is the new Mr. Darcy in town. Hopeless romantics like me cannot help but fall in love with him. He manages to take over your heart, slowly but surely. Even Radha, for that matter, is a character who stays with you for a long time. You cannot help but marvel at her quirky nature and witty comebacks. She is a woman with the perfect one-liners. She has an opinion on everything, and she always has the last word. Her feisty, fiery self is perfectly complemented by James’s calm demeanor and good humor. 

What did I like?

The many references to popular culture (be it food, movies, or books) tastefully woven into the narrative is one major selling point for me. The romance works like magic. It is slow, at times painfully so. But the overall effect is rather intoxicating. One cannot help but go back into one’s own past and relive those magical moments. The romance is heady and intense but in an unconventional way. It plays a lot on slow anticipation, and that’s what I love the most. 

What makes it truly special?

One thing that makes the book truly stand apart is the author’s love for the city of Bangalore that is reflected in her writing. Bangalore is not just a setting here, but a feeling, a character, a mood. Anyone who has ever lived and loved Bangalore would find the book to be a delightful read. For those uninitiated in the ways and charms of the city, they would suddenly find themselves mesmerized by the idea of it. Such is its beauty, perfectly preserved in these two hundred-odd pages.

What could have been better?

The cover could have been more in tune with the current trends in book cover designs. Just open any latest contemporary fiction list, and you would know what I mean.

Is the climax good?

The climax, to a large extent, is unpredictable. And that’s a rarity when it comes to contemporary chick-lit feel-good romances. Kudos to the author for giving Bangalored a truly hatke ending. 

It all boils down to entertainment

There is no dearth of entertainment in the book. It is served in giant dollops and generous doses. Every page brings something witty, something funny, something romantic to the reader – and that’s where the USP of the book lies.

The final verdict

Just go for it!

Pick the book if

  • You are looking for a short and cozy read, perfect for a Saturday evening or a lazy Sunday afternoon.
  • You love contemporary romances.
  • You enjoy books by Sophie Kinsella, Meg Cabot, etc.
  • You are looking for a witty, fun, romantic, and humorous read.
  • You are looking for a five-star entertainer.

Skip the book

  • Only if you don’t like chick-lit and romance.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of Bangalored using the link below.