WRITING STYLE: 3.5/5
ENTERTAINMENT QUOTIENT: 3.5/5
“The best kind of love is the one that results in the profoundest level of melancholy. Longing for someone whom you have never been with or desiring someone, who, for some reason, can’t ever be yours, are the kinds of pain that must be embraced and endured. It’s a privilege to feel sad because of love. For it means the love has served its purpose.”
– Abhaidev, That Thing About You
It’s not every day that I read books about love, life, and destiny but recent days have seen me reading quite a lot of such books. Some of them, as usual, were quite predictable, however, there was one particular book that managed to pleasantly surprise me.
Read on to know more about the book, That Thing About You by Abhaidev and to know about my thoughts on it.
What to expect?
Expect a book that tells you a simple yet profound story about love and life. Expect a book that can also be termed as mildly inspirational. Expect a book that is written in an easy-breezy style.
Also, expect a book that has a bit of magical realism in it and finally expect a book that can easily be read in a matter of a few hours.
Who can read?
Since the book is written in a very simple language and an easy-breezy manner it can be read by just any type of reader. Beginner level readers will especially find it interesting because they will be able to flow through the text very easily.
Let’s talk about the storyline
Subodh is an IT professional who lives in Mumbai. He is a tad immature and irresponsible as he likes to shun responsibilities that come his way. Somewhere deep down, he is still holding on to his childhood and refuses to acknowledge the fact that he is a fully grown adult.
At the age of 27 years, he doesn’t have a lot to boast of. Maybe he knows what he is lacking in or maybe he doesn’t –nobody can tell because nobody really knows what goes on in that mind of his. When he is turned down by the girl he is in love with, he ends up feeling dejected and depressed.
But all that changes when he mysteriously starts talking to a girl who seems to know everything about him; even the deepest of his fears and secrets. Very soon his life is thrown into a whirlpool of events as he seeks in vain to unravel the real identity of this mysterious woman.
What happens later is for you to know when you read this book yourself.
A simple plot
That Thing About You has a plot that doesn’t offer much in terms of action and excitement. Things move rather slowly in the book and that is something quite obvious throughout the 240 odd pages. Adding a few more twists here and there would have made the book a lot more interesting. It feels that the plot does not live up to the excitement that the blurb of the book creates in the mind of the reader.
How good is the writing style?
My thoughts on the author’s writing style are a mixed bunch. I loved how simple the narration was and how uncomplicated the story went and yet I hoped for something more in terms of the plot. The surprise element was there but I felt it wasn’t enough.
While it starts on a very interesting note, the steam soon cools off and we are left with unmet expectations that the rest of the book will recreate the magic that its first few chapters conjured.
I also did not like how the book is stretched too far. Too many repeated conversations make the messages (that the book intends to send) redundant and that is what happened with That Thing About You.
Are the characters good enough?
There aren’t many characters to speak of but in this case, the quality more than makes up for the quantity. Subodh as the main character is naïve, innocent and unpretentious. Devoid of guile, he manages to quickly impress the reader.
The suspense laced character of the anonymous woman is also created with careful thought. It is she who gives that defining edge to an otherwise simple story.
Other characters are impressive too but they aren’t as integral to the story as Subodh and the mysterious woman are.
Let’s talk about the climax
The climax of That Thing About You is yet another place where the book scores well. It manages to connect all the dots well and bring together the entire story in an effortless manner. It is a kind of conclusion that I would love reading all over again.
It all boils down to the entertainment quotient
That Thing About You does not lack in entertainment. Yes, it slows down in pace at times and makes the reader wonder about where the story is going. But with an honest to heart writing, unpretentious characters, simple narration and a mild dose of mystery, it manages to generate enough interest for the reader to turn pages after pages.
What did I like?
What I love about That Thing About You is the honesty with which it is written and the way it speaks right to the heart. There are some books that seem superficial and fake, but this one felt just the opposite.
What could have been better?
I would have loved it if the book had something more to offer in terms of the plot. The plot was quite simple and most of the pages were filled with mundane and often repeated conversions that didn’t do much to take the story forward. The story itself was inspiring but had the book been crisper and the narration swifter, That Thing About You could have been a much more engaging read.
In the end
In the end, the book does have a certain charm that manages to keep the reader hooked on to it. There is a little air of mystery that surrounds the life of Subodh and that is enough to keep the reader turning pages after pages.
Can be read as a onetime read.
Pick it up if
- You like magical realism.
- You like stories about life and love.
- You don’t mind a slow but moving read.
- You enjoy fiction that inspires you in life.
Skip it if
- You don’t like books that sometimes tend to get slow and tedious.
- You don’t like books that have a generous dose of musings and philosophy.
- You are looking for a fast-paced read.
- You are looking for a 5-star entertainer.
Can’t wait to read it? Buy your copy of That Thing About You using the link below.