Technically , the first I-didn’t-like-the-book review is up on Goodreads. The barometer was that it would have to be from someone I didn’t know personally and it wouldn’t talk about a single redeeming feature of the book. People who know you are never 100% honest when it comes to such endeavours, and often end up saying luke-warmy-I-loved-it thingees ( which btw are fun to read on a day when you are feeling like the world is out to get you ).
Strangely, I didn’t feel like I was the worst writer on earth when I read the review – just disappointed that someone had been disappointed after parting with hard-earned cash. I just left a message saying I would do better in the next book. Infact , I am motivated to do better in the next book 🙂 I know we can’t please everyone and that reviews are never to be taken too seriously , but I want to take this seriously because I really want to be a better writer- both for my sake as well as my reader’s.
Anyway,here’s the review( and several others that have come in since the last time I posted)..
“It is still a mystery if Anu found her way to do what she loved to, was becoming an entrepreneur her discovery into life or her passion for books? The book started off with a storyline where in Anu would find her inner calling or what she is passionate about doing, but I felt the end was not powerful enough or resonate what she actually wanted to do. Expected a little more fire in the book !.”
Review by Sarada Sukhavanan on Goodreads
Rating : 3/5
“An easily flowing narrative of Sri Anu Prabha, a Chennai-based married girl who is uncertain about what she is doing with her life and decides to do something about it and finally does it.
After Indian writing in English came of age a few years back, South Indian writing in English is coming to the fore with the works of authors like Bhargavi. It is certainly interesting to read works with familiar locales, regional sentiments and local slang.
A very insightful book in which the protagonist expresses herself very honestly. I could relate very well with Anu and her experiences.
Sometimes humorous, sometimes serious and sometimes very deeply philosophical, the book makes me want to read more of the author.
Waiting for more…”
Review by Menaka Sankaralingam on Goodreads
Rating : 4/5
The book has been written in first person and that makes it all the more relatable. I loved the gift voucher she receives from her husband, actually a very novel idea. Her checklist for a Tam-Brahm wedding was very fascinating and important.
The only negative I felt was use of abbreviations, some understandable and some not.
If you want to enjoy and laugh on a leisurely weekend, this is the book for you.
Review by Arti of Metro Reader. Read the entire review here
and on Goodreads.
Rating : 4/5
Posted on Goodreads.com
At the outset, let’s get one thing out of the way. A love story and numerous scenes featuring physical intimacy have become the staple of the chick-lit genre. I guess one tends to expect them too. But herein lies the strength of the book – it doesn’t have these. The protagonist Anu, is married (she loves the husband very much, so there’s none of the predictable ‘devilishly handsome ex-boyfriend showing up suddenly’ plot point usually employed in such cases).
The Crossover Year is a story about all the changes and transformations that take place in Anu’s life over a year. It also just so happens to be the year she turns 30, but thankfully, the author does not burden the story with too much of that angst. Anu is married to a wonderful man, so all the changes happen mainly in her work and social life. It explores a very real situation of young smart career women trying to cope with life and society when they can no longer be defined by their work. And it’s written effortlessly with just the right balance of humour and insight.
In short, this book is about Anu learning to cope with her job situation, celebrate herself, take chances and trust herself as she explores the unknown beyond the big 3-0.
As a resident myself, I loved the whole ‘Madras’ness of the story, the insights and idiosyncracies that we locals smirk self-effacingly about and outsiders find downmarket or just plain silly. Spencer Plaza. Sandwiches outside Alsa Mall. Tamil mega serials.
Personally, I’m looking forward to Bhargavi’s next book – every female character in this book has the possibility of having a novel of her own. Maybe one friend’s love story, maybe her neighbours life after separation, maybe another friend’s coming out of the closet.
The author has carved a niche where there’s more to chicklit than just love and lust. However, my suggestion to her is that if she’s steering clear of the love-sex-infidelity route, she could consider increasing the stakes to create greater conflict while keeping her unique effervescent writerly voice intact!