A Lot Like Love... A Li'l Like Chocolate

by Sumrit Shahi

Read this in about 4 minutes

I picked this book up after reading Alias Grace. I wanted to read something quick and light. It is unlike any book I have read before. Not in a good way.

Cover: A Lot Like Love... A Li'l Like Chocolate

Cover page

I received a revised edition of the book. The cover is great, done up in style. There is an adventurous couple on a hilltop watching the sunrise/sunset. It does not relate to the event inside the book however, I guess the point is to show two people in love. It is a great graphic art.

Characters

It is the story of Shadab and Arnika. They are school sweethearts who are madly and deeply in love with each other. There is nothing else that describes them better. By that, I mean there is no such thing as character development in the book. There two teenagers high on hormones without any grace. It just makes you dislike each of them for no specific reason. They are cute but nothing about them actually stands out.

Content

Arnika shifts to a school in Chandigarh from Gurgaon. She walks into the principal’s office and meets the love of her life. It is a classic first meet up situation. From the time they meet they are madly attracted to each other, physically first and then emotionally. Shadab plays out to the typical protective boyfriend and Arnika, a damsel in distress. Then comes College. They have to go separate ways. They promise to stay in touch and give long distance relationship a shot but they epically fail at it.

The content is as cold as the description above, save for a few snarky sentences thrown here and there with some very cheesy moments that describe the teenage relationship. There is not a moment in the book where you are waiting to find out what happens next, since everything is already well laid out for you. You know exactly what will happen at the next step. I remained unimpressed by the content until I finished the book.

Language

The language is as dull as the content. Some authors use the colloquial language well enough to give a tinge of desi-pan to the book but the author here has bombed that too here. There are words like ‘Gandhi Green’ to describe money and ‘mammoth gang-bang’ to describe chirping of birds! Needless to say, this book surpasses all the descriptions you may have heard of before and all in a terrible way. Each sentence in the book was a strain to read.

Here are some more examples:

Chicks struggling to become hens. With short skirts, seeming to be sponsored by bikini manufacturing companies; skirts, long enough by courtesy, divulging more than they intend to hide.

She’s dreaming of Shadab being there with her. When she goes sightseeing. When she goes to this coffee shop which rapes cappuccino like no one else can.

A quick scan around the wind of memories unzip him to give him a dirty blowjob.

Now, it is not as if I have never read words like ‘gang-bang’, or ‘rape’ or ‘blowjob’ in books before but someone could use them with such literary disgrace was never thought of.

There is a triggered increase in the way the young generation uses the word ‘rape’ generously in their everyday talk but I do find it offensive. Anyone should. A man, woman, gay, straight… any Homo sapien should. I do not appreciate any form of media or communication that undermines the word in any way. It means what it means. If there is any chance that we pick up our language from the kind of book we read and the movies we watch, I suggest one keeps away from this book.

Good points

The cover page is great! That is probably the only thing.

Bad points

The characters did not seem to have any depth in them. These are just two regular teenagers high on hormones. The content is predictable all the way. The script is heard-of a million times before you read the book itself. I usually call the language dull but here it was repellent. Towards the end, I read the book two pages at a time to finish it.

Overall

The book did give me a literary break that I was seeking but after reading this, I immediately wanted to jump over to a better-written book. This book is a bad memory now.

Whom do I recommend this to

No one. Not only because I find it offensive, but also because it does not possess any literary skill. It will do you no good. And that’s why, even though we didn’t DNF it, there’s no “Buy the book”. Let’s not have a difference of opinion there.

Veena Choudhary

An avid reader and history fanatic.

Mumbai, MH merakipost.com