Amreekandesi is a story of so many Fresh off the Boat Indians (FOBs) and their crisis induced by cultural and many other shocks. Akhil Arora – the I-will-prove-myself side of every Indian boy and Jaspreet (aka Jassi aka Jazzminator aka Jazz) – the self obsessed mad over girls part of every Indian boy are in the great nation of the United States of America aka Amreeka living the American dream.
The story started off struggling with narration style – which kept getting in the way. The writing was distracting.
Till midway the book was rushing past everything. A love story, which was built over pages, wrapped up it’s asking out (or as they called it ‘propose’) moment in just a paragraph. Many such brilliant moments were missed out in the rush.
The second half of book had more mature (but still unstable) narrative style’s’ and some interesting twist of events. It goes from being just another story to something remarkable. The story of two brokenhearted / worried young lovers was touching and a had new perspetive to it.
And then it became a Bollywood drama! *facepalm* Rakhi totally got her Karan & Arjun back. You will know what I mean when Akhil reaches Kolkata.
Climax was an overdone trying-to-play-safe wrap-up which left me somewhere between disappointed; yet over-satisfied by a Bollywood flick.
At random points, the book will make you laugh (literally) with witty one liners. They are hidden in there like landmines. Sometimes you will just meh at the cliche Russell Peteres joke.
Everything (dialogues, narrative style, direction and events etc.) fluctuates from being childish, unrealistic, touching, witty, wow-ing and then off to Bollywood drama. Characters were good – realistic, palpable but almost non-evolving till the climax. Except for Jassi’s character – that guy’s part is very well done.
It felt like eating at an Indian wedding – you put a little bit of everything to eat, mix it into an unrecognizable mess. Some bites you will love and some will make you go – meh. But you will still fill your stomach.
A confused mix of over and under-attempt. Don’t expect much from this book. Ever. Or you will be disappointed. Fun read if you’re bored or traveling. And a nostalgic read if you’re an FOB. Annoying if you care about storytelling as much as you care about the story.
PS: Would love to see Atulya Mahajan writing more (and better). Because he can. The dude is seriously funny.
PPS: Impressed to see an Indian book typeset really well in Platino Linotype!