ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Anurag Garg is an engineering graduate from BVCOE, New Delhi. Random thoughts, eligible to be put together in the form of a story, dragged him to his destiny, and he finally found his forte in writing. He finds himself close to nature and believes in creating circles of love and service around him. He lives in New Delhi and works in the IT industry.

Gunjan Narang, an aspiring educationist, was born in Delhi. She embraces reading and writing as her escape from the real world as well as a window to it. She wishes to explore the unexplored places of the world and write about the fast-evaporating everyday life of people.

REVIEW

…who the hell knows what the word “love” really means?

The book presents a candid narration by a lovestruck, spellbound guy, Aarav, who confesses every last detail of his love story to his drunkard friends on a New Year night. The story is about his first love, Anamika, a cute Bengali girl that turned his world upside down. The story is a feel-good innocent romance of two very different characters and swiftly moves with them as they understand the pangs and pleasures of first love, while battling with the situations that life has placed them in. The book also talks about the influence of the so-called “Modern Society” and peer pressure on one’s life.

The writing is simple and the language readable, devoid of any complexities. The characters are extremely relatable to any Indian, especially Delhiites, and leave a long-lasting impression on the reader. The story moves a bit slowly in the first half, but picks up the pace as we venture into the past in the second half. The interconnectivity sometimes feels a bit rough, but is compensated in full by the genuineness of the plot. At first, the story seems a bit too dull and perhaps even exhausting, but it soon becomes a lot more enjoyable after a couple of pages.

Excerpt from 'A Half-Baked Love Story' by Anurag Garg and Gunjan Narang

Aarav is introduced to us as a typical spoiled kid – one who believes in multiple flings, is carefree, has loads of attitude along with similar friends to get drunk with. But as the story unfolds, and we dive into his past, the impression we have of him takes a U-turn. We see him as a sweet and emotional kid who is smitten by Anamika. As the story progresses, and the two come closer, we see the innocence of teenage love, its sweet gestures, harmless lies, never-ending problems and the love that blossoms amidst.

The story is written in such a way that it appeals to the heart of all readers – old and young alike, all of them reminiscing about their own teenage days and relating their own experiences with those presented throughout the story. The plot, the environment, the emotions and the events are so realistic that it seems like we’re listening to the story of a friend rather than reading a book. Aarav’s life makes us laugh, smile, cry and feel his pain in an amazingly elementary way. It is a beautiful tale of love, loss and longing. The hard choice of letting the loved ones go for their happiness is also gracefully portrayed.

The book also raises several thought-provoking questions. The story is of a kid who battles for his affection in an indifferent public that is controlled by rank contrasts, individual judgements and what-neighbours-will-say guardians. It delineates the battle today’s youth faces to exhibit their perspective before their folks. On a less pressing note, the change in our perception of Aarav’s character encourages us not to judge someone when we’re unaware of what they have been through.

Ameya Rating:
3.4/5

In a nutshell, A Half-Baked Love Story tells us an innocent love story while taking us on an emotional walk down the memory lane, making us recall our summer love days. Scoring a decent 3.4 out of 5, it is a good read for an empty evening and is definitely recommended to both teenagers and adults. While the social messages in the book are hidden a bit too deep, don’t let that deter you from enjoying this bittersweet love story.

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