Book Review- Blemishing The Odds


By Harish Penumarthi

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This is a beautiful love story of teen love. End of review.

Image result for blemishing the odds
Wish I could stop writing and close this review here – writing anything more seems a sacrilege, almost – especially for such a lovely story, that tugs at your heart strings, that takes you on a roller-coaster ride, a story of two imperfect individuals, a story of, at first, one-sided love blossoming into something substantial. It is also a sublime story of struggle, of a wayward boy, of a repeat failure, of a bad son, and of crippling life problems.

This is the story of two people – Raghav & Trisha. That said, it is told from the perspective of Raghav, who is the opposite of Trisha in everything and everyway. Trisha is studious, while Raghav is, shall we say, 1/Studious, the reciprocal of studious. Frankly, Raghav is a boy with no redeeming qualities that I can relate to, as an individual. He is irritating, interested only in playing {not sports, just paying}, with no interests and a total lack  of direction in life. Fine, he is too young for such esoteric things like “direction”, but the total waywardness that he displays is sad. Enter Trisha.

No, don’t get your hopes up. He doesn’t improve due to Trisha. His school performance does improve – but that is not studying – he is still not interested in the least in anything remotely resembling books. If anything, things only get worse. Would you allow your daughter or your student to be anywhere near a wayward clown as Raghav? I don’t think so. Well, neither did the rest of the characters in the school. Thankfully, the author doesn’t dwell too much on this angle, concentrating on the school aspects. Life goes on for our pair, despite small hiccups.

What happens to turn this wayward misguided child into something else? Two things, or rather three. Trisha, Basketball… and a brutal shock.  And it is from the Basketball angle that the story picks up pace, acquiring a different life, picking up its pace remarkably, with remarkable development of Raghav becoming visible, teaching us readers a lesson as well; there is no such thing as no redeeming quality. This is a different Raghav we are seeing here. But studies – well, now lets not get too excited shall we?

The chappie is still not interested {state that in Bold Italicized Capitals} in studies, or anything remotely close to it. Well, that’s not such a good thing, is it now? Fine – don’t be a topper. But at least pass with decent enough marks, that is all.  All through this, the love story continues; no melodrama, no needless fights, disagreements. Trisha is the one good thing that is a constant in Mr Wayward’s life. You cant help but think, pichhle janm ke punya honge Raghav ke! So what happens to change Mr Wayward? Read the book for that – this is the best part of the book, as the swift turn in the story brings a tear to your eyes in more than one place, but not tears of sorrow; tears of emotion, and of feeling….

The book is a slow read to start with, with lots of detailing and background filling. This frankly isn’t a waste; it helped in building the main characters of the story. That said, Trisha required a lot more filling out; that would have both filled out the book,  as well as made it far more riveting. Raghav as a character is very well developed, with clear and consistent, bold lines and firm development. The character remains “within character” throughout; and the change, when it comes, is also in keeping with the overall character.  The only jarring tone is the use of swear-words, which seemed out of character. Docked half a star for the use of bad words.

The pace of the book is neither too slow, nor too fast. The language is easy, and the book is filled with loads of emotion, making a fun read that tugs at your heart strings in many, many ways. It takes you through their lives, and makes you smile, laugh and cry at various events, statements, twists and turns. The book has some strategically placed witty one-liners that keep your smile going throughout.  The turnaround, and the fighting spirit displayed by Raghav are sheer class, and will bring a tear to your eye. All in all, this is a good read for a journey or on travel; rated 3.5 stars out of 5; minus 0.5 star for bad words = 3 star rating!

{To the author - if you are reading this; for the follow-up second part, please be sure not to use swear words.  We writers have a responsibility toward society, and have to lead by example. I am not giving a 4-star rating only due to this}

Image Credits - Google Image Search


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