Monday, April 17, 2017

Teenage Diaries - Book Review

Teenage Diaries
By Saurabh Sharma
Review By Ila Garg

Teenage Diaries, a novel by Saurabh Sharma, is published by Leadstart Publishing Pvt. Ltd. The cover is a glimpse into the life of all teenagers; what they think and how they function. Thus, it is not only impressive but quite apt at the same time. The tagline – the days that were – gives it a tinge of nostalgia and at once, the readers will be reminded of their own days as a teenager.

Being born in a middle class family has its own perks and limitations. The biggest perk is that one will be able to complete his engineering and MBA and the biggest limitation is that one will have to complete his engineering and MBA. Saurabh Sharma, being a middle-class boy from Baroda, did his engineering from NIT, Allahabad and MBA from NMIMS, Mumbai. Currently an Associate Director at Flipkart, in his free time, he loves to write, play tennis and strum guitar. His debut novel is a tribute to some of the truly amazing friendships that he has developed over the years. His penchant for storytelling has led to his witty writing style, which has got rave reviews from across. He is currently staying in Bangalore with his wife. He is currently giving finishing touches to his second novel, which will be a sequel to Teenage Diaries. You can reach out to him on Facebook, via mail at or via twitter @Storybazsaurabh.

The blurb reads as, “How about bunking the next class and rushing to the cricket field and while you are at it, planting a bomb in the toilet?” Wait, what the hell am I asking you to do with deadlines to catch on!? But allow me to take you down the forgotten memory lanes and remind you of the times when… 
You had a fit of breathlessness in front of your crush,
When FLAMES said marriage, you couldn’t help but blush. 
Blank calls played Morse codes,
Two meant – you missed her loads. 
You were clumsy as shit, because her presence was sublime,
But after your break-up, crying became your favorite pastime. 
You bunked the classes and said - 'Let the studies rot!'
But you never missed Kiran ma'am's class, ‘coz she was pretty hot! ;) 
Cricket brought you glory,
And planting a bomb in school changed your story. 
Life screwed you over and killed your spirit,
But you’re glad that you anyway did it. 
Told from the eyes of an Indian middle-class teenager, this story will make you wonder what you would have done if you were named Ghanshyam and were born a pessimistic nerd, while your optimistic best friend believed in unicorns and utopia! And to add to your woes, what if you fell in love with the most beautiful girl of your school? Wouldn’t you then wait for a miracle to happen?”

Teenage Diaries is a beautiful story that would take you all back to your teenage days; the days when only ‘fun’ was the motive and we had no such thing as ‘responsibility’ to think about!

Ghanshyam, who is the protagonist of the novel is a simple Indian middle-class teenager. He is the one who takes us along in this journey of life as a teenager. Some other characters are Tanya, Vikram, Rahul, Aneya, Rishabh, Aakash, Armaan, Sneha, Sandy and Pallavi. Together, they all become an integral part of this story. Many of the readers would be able to relate with these characters or would be reminded of their friends who might have been similar of them.

The focal point of the book is how a teenager who is named Ghanshyam deals with the reactions that others give him for his outdated name. Ghanshyam is a nerd who is a pessimist but his best friend is a total opposite. Yes, this is quite relatable too. Opposites attract; they gel well together. So, Ghanshyam’s best friend believes in all good things; unicorns and utopia. Laced with incidents of seeking freedom, trying that first kiss, drinking with friends, partying, enjoying life, playing pranks, bunking classes, etc. this book has something for each one of us, something that will remind us of those long forgotten days.

The lucidity of the story is commendable. Saurabh Sharma has done a good job as a debutant. The language is kept simple and easy to comprehend for the readers. The only thing that could have been better is maybe he could have avoided using so many dialects and slangs; it wasn’t required as it makes the narration look out of place.

How Ghanshyam deals with his life as a teenager, what reactions does he get for his name, how he falls for the most beautiful girl in the school and what he does in this context, will he be able to impress her or will she never acknowledge his presence are some of the many reasons why you will keep turning the pages to find out what happens in Teenage Diaries.

It’s a light read, especially during travel it can be a good companion. I wish Saurabh Sharma all the best for his future endeavours.

Ratings: 3.5/5

Buying Link: Amazon

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