In the straight 6 hours, I completed reading the debut book of Akshay Chitre named "Urban Love". It's 228-pages novel published by Notion Press. Considering the name and cover page, I wasn't expecting book to be any more than ordinary but now it seems as if the book has made this weekend of mine. It's that cheerful and delighting. The book is based in Mumbai and being a Mumbaikar myself, I enjoyed reading the story of 3 girls fighting with life, friendship, emotions and struggle right from the first page to last. All the characters made up by Akshay seems to be real and therefore, the connect with the story happens in the initial stage itself. That's where Akshay already wins his readers. Except the climax, you can relate with almost everything that's written in this book in the form of story.
Urban Love is a beautiful story based on 3 girl friends. Though not all of them having their base in Mumbai but still they get friends with each other quite comfortably. Then one of them reveals a secret about her past which shocks other two. Later on, the same friend becomes one who keeps changing men for sex every night. Then, another friend knows about a boy liking her but still keeps urging for arranged marriage as she is scared she will disappoint her father if she goes against his concepts. And the main protagonist of this book falls in love and gets in a messed up situation as she was already dating someone since few weeks. What happens with them is what excites a reader to know and therefore this book turns out to be a perfect page turner.
Akshay Chitre has used a wonderful language and narration to tell his story in the form of a full-fledged novel. Being a male and writing in voice of a girl and not only about that one girl but about other two also is one of the toughest job which he made very very easy to look in the eyes of reader. The way he began speaking the story in first few pages and how he took it to climax without making the plot look directionless is another good thing about this book. The characters that he used in the book- regulars, special appearances and even the cameos justified their role properly. Even the pace of the book never slows down at any point of time which keeps the story interesting throughout.
Talking about drawbacks I would say that the only low point in the book comes when distance occurs between all three of them. The relationship between Meghna and Jay becomes boring after a point of time as nothing new happens and author keeps repeating the same scene again and again. Similarly, I didn't like the flashback parts written in italic as it is discussed more than required. Also, Vikram's sudden exit and no appearance until climax is another disappointment. Some cliche dialogues like "You made me fall in love with love" also turns off some times. Author tries to maintain a balance in climax by making it look realistic still dramatic but fails. I wished if Anusha's revelation to her father could have been written little more beautifully. But summarily, the book is definitely a good read. The urban audience will definitely connect with it whereas small town guys might get drunk in shock of what happens in cities like Mumbai. Haha! The book ends with a perfect epilogue. It was 3.75* material in first half but the little drop in 2nd half brings it to 3.5* out of 5 from my side. You can surely grab it!
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