ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Chetan Bhagat is an IIM-A graduate and an investment-banker-turned-author. He quit his successful banking career for the love of writing. He has 6 blockbuster novels to his credit, some of which have been adapted into well-known Bollywood movies. Five Point Someone, One Night @ the Call Centre, The 3 Mistakes of My Life, 2 States: The Story of My Marriage, and Revolution 2020 are some of his previous works.
Tiny bumps in time shape our lives, even though we spend hours trying to make long-term plans.
Half Girlfriend is a fairly simple and straightforward love story written in trademark Chetan Bhagat style. The 260-page paperback novel makes for a quick and interesting read.
The story basically revolves around Madhav and Riya. Both of them belong to completely opposite strata of the society. Madhav is a simple boy from Bihar, whereas Riya is a rich, Delhi-based girl. They meet at the basketball court of Delhi’s renowned St. Stephen’s College and instantly become close friends.
Madhav loves Riya but she friendzones him, and starts treating him as her best friend instead. Frustrated with his unwarranted advances, Riya leaves him and gets married to her childhood friend. Madhav, meanwhile, goes back to his village to help his mother run the local school. As the story proceeds, the author takes the readers through the trials and tribulations that their on-and-off relationship experiences over the course of the plot.
The story is heart-warming with plenty of twists and turns embedded in the plot. The characterization is fairly impressive, too. Each character is important to the plot and almost speaks to the reader. Madhav’s monumental effort to track Riya down in New York is exciting, to say the least.
As Chetan Bhagat has aptly put it, “Don’t quit. It’ll happen one day.” Whether Madhav is persistent enough and whether he succeeds in tracing Riya is what the final part of the novel is all about.
Half Girlfriend merits a respectable 3-star score from Ameya. The language is simple and enjoyable. As with all Chetan Bhagat novels, the book has been penned down in a colloquial and conversational language. Apart from the love story, the author also throws light on some of the social evils prevalent in our society, such as illiteracy, red tape, domestic violence, Indians’ manic obsession with the English language, etc.
That said, the plot suffers from some serious drawbacks. Madhav initially sets a bad example as he stalks Riya, in spite of her refusing to have anything to do with him. The language, while simple, comes across as crass at times. The plot mostly reminds the readers of a Bollywood screenplay, as though the book was always meant to be adapted to the big screen. In fact, it eventually comes as no surprise that, in true Bollywood style, – SPOILER ALERT – the heroine falls back into the hero’s arms at the end.
All in all, this one is a must-read for those who like reading lighthearted books that can be easily read in a single sitting. If you are someone who prefers serious reading, then this book is probably not your cup of tea.
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