Oct 15, 2011
Live from London by Parinda Joshi
Let me confess, I'm self-professed chic-lit fan...Smita Jain, Advaita Kala, Sophie Kinsella, Rachel Gibson, Marian Keyes...these are the authors, I turn to when I'm down and feeling dirty. Over the years novels like Undomestic Goddess, Almost Single, Not Another Bad Date, The Girlfriend Curse, Krishna Konfessions, Remember Me have shaped what I expect from my female leads. Young, restless, sometimes utterly clueless but strong willed, someone who has been kicked by life...but someone who has a vision to change her life... that’s how I want to see the lead in a good chic-lit. Unfortunately, Nishi in Live from London is none of those...
She's 20 something girl with no future plans, no aims and absolutely no ambition. She represents the part of youth that is happy to lounge at home with parents, spending their money, enjoying life without a thought of their future of a sense of their responsibilities. She's a student of literary arts but all you see her doing, is organising parties with her three best friends Riya, Sarah and Zac. Who also seem equally aimless. Though there is no mention of anything else in her life...we do understand that there is one constant in her life... Music. Even though Nishi is trained in Classical Music AND guitar...she seems equally aimless to care about those too. Through her dazed partying days, she lands up on the stage for Briton's Got Talent. Where... Let me borrow from the back cover of the novel.... she experiences a humiliating ordeal...post which she decides to intern at a Record Label company. Where she meets a godfather like figure, Mr. Fredrick...and an international recording artist with funny name, Nick Navjot Chapman...with whom she has a steamy affair, and then life throws her back to India.
Now that I'm writing this, I realised what my problem with the book is...Its the back cover of the book. The back cover excerpt ends with "Then the unthinkable happens and she finds herself back in India trying to build a fresh life in a country she vaguely remembers. Will she be able to move on forgetting her past, or are there more surprises waiting for her?" In my opinion, the back cover is written and designed by someone who's very savvy with words. This person knows how to glamorise an otherwise mundane novel to something sales-worthy. After reading through this back cover, you expect a novel full of quirky little goofups and the triumphant victory of the heroin. At the end of the novel, all you get is disappointment.
The plot idea for LFL is good enough. And there are several places where one feels like it could have developed more. There are missed opportunities for humour, missed opportunities for character development; a few more for plot development. And as mentioned earlier, the back cover is misleading....
I hope that this is Parinda Joshi's first novel. Coz the language is naive and she needs to work extensively on plot development. She also needs to find a reviewer who'll be frank and honest rather than being supportive. There are a lot of threads in the story, which have the potential to develop some interesting sub-plots. But LFL leaves a lot of things hanging. There are literally no closures, no ends in the novel. When it finally finishes, you are left with a distinct feeling of incompleteness. It leaves you wishing for more...
So, my recommendations... it's a novel, which does nothing for you. There are some decent events, some not so funny humour attempts, some missed chances of quirky mishaps... If you have not read a decent chic-lit before, OR if you are looking for something to read instead of newspaper while you are in loo... Live from London, might suit your reading needs. But if u have ever laid your hands on any of Little Black Dress books... DON'T pick this one up, unless you WANT to be disappointed.
Rating: Ohh I'm tempted to say I'm in a real foul mood post reading LFL... but if I'm really honest... no matter how disappointing it was to read, it must have taken efforts from the writer and her team to get this novel out. So, the rating is for that effort... I'm gonna give it 1 and 1/2 out of 5. And hope that Parinda Joshi does a better job in her novel... All the best to her and the team.
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