WRITING STYLE: 2.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 2/5
In the mood for some good chick-lit, I logged into Flipkart to browse through the genre. What I came across was a catchy and suggestively Page3-scandalous-sort title Stilettos in the Newsroom. I decided to order it right away and thanks to Flipkart the book arrived real soon. As I got down to reading, expecting some scam, scoop and masala, I found none. The book is by a debut author – Rashmi Kumar – who is a journalist by profession. She writes the story of “Radhika Kanetkar” or Rad Kat, which she amusingly imagines herself being addressed as. Now, Radhika is a newbie in the Pune office of a newspaper and as she begins to move with her life and career, with her own fair share of occasional ups and downs, roadblocks and bumps in place, she discovers that life is not so simple after all and things don’t fall in place until you make them to and it is then she finally stumbles upon her love interest. And that’s very much all of it.
On a positive note, Stilettos in the Newsroom offers you something fresh in terms of life from a journalists’ point of view and this is definitely a welcome change from all those IIMs and IITs graduate-turned authors and their corporate tales. The narration is kept simple and is mostly in a conversation style which is easy to understand, informal and catchy. What I particularly liked was the way in which each chapter ends with a journalism rule, which very much describes the essence of the chapter. Altogether what the book offers is a light and easy read, read it on a 2-hour flight or on lazy Sunday afternoon, when there is nothing else to occupy you and when you don’t want to engage your mental faculties. The characters Radhika, Sushmita and Veronica are interesting and will keep you cheery and all smiles.
Now, with the negatives; firstly you will be disappointed because the content does not do justice to the chick-lit-type cover and a scandalously catchy title. If you trust me, you will set your expectation right and then proceed to read. If not, well, disappointment is just waiting around the corner. After all, that promise of a Page 3 & Journalism scoop-type-thingy what the book really turns out to be is the musings of any confused and immature modern day Indian girl whose life is just as chaotic and screwed as any of ours can be. A girl who, like any of us is constantly torn between work & pleasure, between career & love interests, and between her girlfriends and boyfriends. Also, for the lovers of chick-lit, the book fails to offer any romance, there is no love story but only confusion induced dating and flirting.
Stilettos in the Newsroom has no well-defined plot and sub-plots, all that you may find are entries in a journal. The climax too is not very promising and quite predictable and uninteresting. Inadequate proof-reading is a major setback for the audience and they will find a number of errors like “her voice trails of” instead of “her voice trails off” and so on. Also, an interesting thing about the narration is that the journalism rules which are listed at the end of each chapter are just normal rules for a modern day confused Indian girl and thus have nothing to do with journalism. If classified as just survival rules or rules for a modern girl, it would have served the purpose better. For instance, “Journalism Rule Number 11: Take good food breaks to calm your senses” and “Journalism Rule Number 9: Nah… No rules. Heart knows none!”, as you can see have nothing to do with Journalism. Finally, I hope that the next time Rashmi decides to write a novel, she will work on these areas and come out with a great book. Till then we just have to wait and see.