WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“He wanted her to be his romantic novel, to allow him to turn the pages to know the depth of her thoughts. But she happened to be a thriller, always keeping him on the edge and haunting him because he never knew what was coming next.” – Sudeep Nagarkar, She Friend-Zoned My Love
I cannot say that I am the biggest Sudeep Nagarkar fan out there but yes, it’s true that I do enjoy his stories. She Friend-Zoned My Love will be my 4th book by Sudeep Nagarkar. The previous ones that I have read and reviewed include Our Story Needs No Filter, You’re Trending in My Dreams and, Sorry, You’re Not My Type.
What is the storyline?
Apurv is a youngster who has never been lucky when it comes to getting a girlfriend. Otherwise charming and instantly likeable, he fails miserably when it comes to relationships. He often relies on his poetry and writing skills to score himself a girl because according to him girls are attracted to those who wield the pen.
Amyra is a beautiful young girl who is the apple of everyone’s eyes. Boys want to be her boyfriend and girls want to be her best friend. But Amyra is a mystery. Nobody knows what goes on in her mind and what is it that she really wants. But this doesn’t stop Apurv to try every trick in the book to make Amyra fall in love with him.
Sia is fat and because of this, she suffers from a severe inferiority complex. This self-loathing combined with nasty body shaming by her classmates lands Sia in severe depression. To make matters worse, even her parents contently bicker about her weight and about her inclinations towards fashion designing as a career choice.
Ritwik is Sia and Apurv’s best friend and is often the most dependable guy in the group. This story revolves around the ever-changing group dynamics between these four people and is centred around issues that plague every college goer – relationships, career, lost love, broken friendships and, general cluelessness.
What about the writing style?
Sudeep, as always, makes use of a simple language. In order to establish a connection with his young readers, he relies on a semi-formal and partly-slang language which works really well given all the characters in this book are teenagers.
I also liked the way Sudeep has made good use of poetry intermixing it with the narration wherever required. It just adds another dimension to his storytelling abilities and is a much better way of expressing emotions and pain.
Even though a major part of the book is written in a conversational style, it doesn’t seem awkward or out of place. Good time and effort have been given to expressing the mental dilemmas faced by most characters and this complements the conversational style narrative really well.
Another thing that I like about Sudeep’s last two novels is that he has taken inspiration from the latest events gripping our country and flawlessly assimilated them in his stories. In Our Story Needs No Filter it was the JNU’s Kanhaiya Kumar incident while in She Friend-Zoned My Love it is the Blue Whale Game which plays an integral part in the story of a central character.
How good are the characters?
There are 4 main characters in this book – Amyra, Apurv, Sia and Ritwik. On one hand, I enjoy the characters of Ritwik and Amyra, while on the other, Sia and Apurv don’t impress me much. This might be because they (Sia and Apurv) are often clueless, confused, irritated and unmindful of other’s feelings. There are many times when they act weird and selfish for reasons that are best known to them.
Amyra is an interesting character though. I like how she always has this aura of mystery and intrigue about her. Towards the end, it is her character that brings an interesting twist to the story.
What about the climax?
The climax of She Friend-Zoned My Love takes a surprising turn in the end. The book ends on a completely different note than what was expected. The reader does get an inkling of the fact that there is something missing but the exact nature of this missing piece is only revealed towards the end. Also, the reason for Amyra friend-zoning Apurv’s love is quite different from what one would assume it to be. I suppose, in this way the climax can be termed as unpredictable and befitting.
What did I like?
I like how Sudeep, very subtly, tries to bring about a change in the mindset of his readers. Sia, an important character is always body shamed because she is fat. Sudeep, however, gives her an important role in this book along with a handsome boyfriend who values her more than her body. It is this breaking away from the stereotypical characters which I admire the most. Books of today need to reflect the realities of the world. It is high time that writers need to relax the standards and notions of beauty and I am glad to say that Sudeep is leading the bandwagon.
What did I not like?
The blurb and the title don’t truly reflect what is inside the book. When I read the blurb, my first impression of She Friend-Zoned My Love was remarkably different from what the story is actually all about. While reading the blurb one gets the notion that the book is just another cliché love story when it is clearly much more than that. In addition to that, the blurb also omits some key characters. The book is not only the story of Amyra and Apurv (mentioned in the blurb) but equally of Sia and Ritwik (missing from the blurb).
Final Verdict and the entertainment quotient
In the end, the entertainment quotient of the book is enough for me to recommend this book to lovers of college romances. She Friend-Zoned My Love is an excellent way for you to pass a lazy Sunday afternoon or a lonely Saturday night. It addresses many issues which youngsters face when it comes to college, school, first love, break-up and friendships and because of this, it will be relatable to the readers who choose to pick it.
Pick She Friend-Zoned My Love if
Readers should go for this book –
- If they enjoy a simple story of friendship and love more so if they are in school or college.
- If they want to read an easy, quick and entertaining read.
Skip She Friend-Zoned My Love if
Readers would do good to refrain from this book –
- If they don’t particularly enjoy college romances.
- If they are looking for a purely literary read. This book is meant for the people who tend to read classics and literary fictions.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of She Friend-Zoned My Love using the link below.