I Don't Wear Sunscreen, by Kavipriya Moorthy

3:38:00 PM

When it comes to fiction, I have read (and sometimes written) stories that tend to border the extreme. But it is the idea of a plot being true to life that sometimes appeals to the reader in me. The book became known to me for completely different reasons, but after reading the blurb, it was the plot that piqued my curiosity, and made me download it.

Laksha’s life seems easy at first. She has the little things that matter – good friends, a loving family, dreams that make her stand out from the group and an enthusiasm to do well in life. That desire makes her excel, and helps her to convince her family to let her pursue further studies in a different city. But there are obstacles thrown in her way which test her mettle.

On first look, the plot seems to indicate the tried and tested route – a character whose life is going smoothly, a twist that brings the problem into her life and a happy ending. Thankfully, the plot has enough smaller plots in it that it is not as direct as that. And I loved the happy ending, which did not go the usual route, and brought a smile as I read it. One thing that I didn’t like was that the plot feels like it rushes through. When a plot is as true to life, I felt that a little detailing might have helped make it better.

The characters in this book felt quite different, in a good way. The main character Laksha has been done justice, I felt, as it needed to be, but the character of the mother is more memorable. She’s strong, trustworthy, adamant, and she has a lot of belief in her daughter. I wanted to read more about her. In contrast, Laksha’s father, while as loving as her mother, is the more worried of the two, which was nice to see. There are very few prominent male characters in this book, I feel. At times, I got confused between two of them, Sai and Prabhu for a reason that another character, Pallavi, stated.

The book is a small one, and does engage me as a reader from the start to the end. And yes, it is a quick read, which I finished in a couple of hours. However, I felt that the editing could have been far better than it is. The casual tone of the dialogues, as told between two friends or teenagers, is a plus point, because when with friends, that would be how we talk, without looking at grammar or tense. However, the same casual tone through the book feels out of place.

Did I enjoy reading the story? Yes. Was I totally wow-ed by it? No. There are aspects of the book that can be fine tuned, and help it to become better. I rate it 3 stars out of 5.

Reviewed by Vinay Leo R.
Source: Own Copy

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