Book Title: Quarter Life Crisis
Author: Anshuk Attri
Total Number of Pages: 304
Publisher: Maple Press
Publication Date: 1 April 2017
Genre: Fiction / Coming of Age / Romance
I am Prachur, a twenty-three year old guy from Shimla and I want to tell you my story. I don’t claim that my life is particularly worth reading, especially the first twentyone years. But things did become interesting by the time I came to finish my degree in engineering. At the time I was like every other guy of my age — pretentious and clueless about my future. I loathed the very idea of a mundane job. I felt that my lack of clarity about my future was my biggest problem. Imagine what I felt when I found out that Neera, my girlfriend, was pregnant! Quarter life Crisis is the story of my coming of age and my quest for happiness.
REVIEWED BY SOHINEE DEY
Another college romance on the block! Except that this has more of a concerning consequence. Having a baby out of wedlock is still a taboo in India so, I was quite interested to know how the author managed to write a story on such a topic which still is greeted with raised eyebrows.
Quarter Life Crisis is exactly what it sounds like. Prachur, the male protagonist is your typical boy-next-door who gets reminded how much of a reckless and irresponsible person he is. Even when his near and dear ones try to reign him in, breathing down his neck almost 24 hours, that doesn’t stop him from taking a puff of the cigarette, downing bottles of alcohol (not exactly an alcoholic) and at times indulging in marijuana with his friends. Prachur, an engineering student has lost his track and is now wavering is sideward directions and hangs out with “wrong” group of people. He is type of boy your parents would warn you not to hang out with. No, I am not talking of a ‘college bad boy’. He is the kind that can be bad company for you if you’re aiming for straight As.
The backdrop of the story though is set in the engineering college in the first premise, later it shifts to Shimla. Prachur though is negligent with his life, he somehow manages to form a relationship with Neera who otherwise is completely opposite to him. Neera is sketched to be more of a mature and career oriented person. She knows what she wants in her life and works hard to achieve her goals. On the other hand, Prachur lacks direction in his life, he is like a lost kid in a candy store where there are too many options but he is confused which one to choose. Oh he loves to write though. He takes a seat probably in the last row, spends his time penning poems and stories during the classes. Neera approves and supports him in this case.
Now this is where the crisis strikes. This duo still haven’t finished their college is when Neera finds out she is pregnant! Yes, and our careless boy Prachur finds that he is about to be a father. Decision time guys, while Neera is sure that she wants to keep the baby and will figure out everything eventually, Prachur again comes up with his insensitive remark that his foolhardy brain would suggest; he asks Neera to abort the baby because they are too young to be parents according to him. Thankfully, Neera doesn’t side with his decision. At first they are tentative to tell their parents but when they do, Prachur’s parents are more welcoming of their decision than Neera’s parents. In this time, Prachur’s sister, Innaya turns out to be a supportive characters and plays a very important part in their lives. A brief separation between the protagonists are seen but in the end everything turns out good.
Prachur’s character isn’t exactly a likeable character. At times, I wanted to smack him and other times slap him to bring him to his senses. But, I suppose, his character was meant to be written that way. He had to be careless and misguided. Neera is a strong character. Even though the main protagonist is Prachur, Neera was the one who stole the show with her thoughtfulness. Innaya is also a strong supporting character. For a coming of age novel, the narration works fine. It has that informal tone to it. The scenes were well described.
Neera’s character was well-developed but for me, Prachur’s sudden transformation from careless to an attentive and meticulous person was too quick. He just changed suddenly. That was one thing which could have been better. His character should have been developed gradually. Another thing I felt is Prachur’s parents were too quick to accept Neera having the baby and they didn’t even break a sweat. I doubt an Indian family would be so welcoming to the idea of getting pregnant out of wedlock. The dialogues at times felt mechanical, that is, devoid of emotions. Neera’s parents’ reaction was more believable. The cover didn’t exactly do justice to the book.
Overall, it’s a good attempt by the author to create a story based on a topic which is seen as a taboo in our country.
MY FINAL VERDICT
Frankly, the beginning was interesting but then somewhere around the middle the story starts to lag a bit.
The whole college romance thing isn’t exactly original because there are tons of books out there catering to this particular genre. However, the concept was something new. Also, the characters and their regular college and family scenes are relatable.
If you are looking for a light read, you can give it a go. Even though this book has 304 pages, the chapters are short so it doesn’t feel that you’re reading a lot.
Book Cover: ⭐⭐⭐
Book Title: ⭐⭐⭐.5
Writing Style: ⭐⭐⭐
Language and Vocabulary: ⭐⭐⭐
Grammar and Punctuation: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
POESY IN CHRYSALIS RATING: ⭐⭐⭐ / ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
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