By Rupa Gulab. Grade: A
I always felt there was a dearth of good chick-lit authors in India, but this book put all my fears to rest. It’s one of the best chick-lit I’ve read in ages!
Girls aren’t really made of sugar and spice and everything nice. Well, perhaps some girls are, but those are certainly not the girls you’ll meet in ‘I Kissed a Frog’ – a collection of wacky short stories, tongue-in-cheek diaries and not so grim twenty-first century fairy tales that turn love and friendship inside out and upside down.
You’ll find it all here: getting even with exes, changes in male-female dynamics, crazy diet wars, besties turning into worsties, dark humour, light comedy and the startling discovery that Prince Charming may not be your pitcher of beer. Young, fun and feminist, ‘I Kissed a Frog’ is just what a girl needs to chase the blues away.
It took me less than three days to completely finish it, because the book is a very breezy read. Since it consists of short stories, it was a very quick read.
The title is awesome, and very befitting. What warmed me up to the novel, however, was definitely the blurb: It’s wacky and a delight to read, and I could already sense that’s what I would get on the inside too, and I was not disappointed at all!
As I’ve mentioned before, the book is a collection of short stories. It’s divided into three parts. The first part is ‘Love and other four letter words’, and the title pretty much sold it to me, even before I started reading. It’s witty, which is the exact tone of the stories in this part. It has four short stories, and they are all very decent reads. The second part is about Friendship, and it had five stories. I enjoyed them all, more so because of the pacing, which, as I’ve mentioned is quite fast. The third part of the book had eight stories with illustrations. This was probably my least favourite part of the book, but it was still quite funny all the same.
I liked all the stories. The main attraction of the book is the fact that the author manages to deal with some very sensitive topics in a very lighthearted manner. The stories are extremely funny, and will surely make you laugh. The vibe of the book is hilarious, and the portrayal of women is different – a very welcome change from what Indian authors usually write.
If I had to point out something I did not like, I guess it would be the impracticality. It’s all a little too exaggerated at times; it tends to grate on the nerves sometimes, but it’s tolerable. Another thing would be the fact that the lead characters are often not very likeable. I know I said I liked the portrayal of women, but just like the stories, the characters are also exaggerated sometimes, to the point that the protagonists didn’t seem like protagonists. I don’t mean as in I want perfect and flawless characters, because flawed characters usually make for the best stories, but even then, they have to be likeable! Their motivations were often beyond comprehension; I suppose some of that was because of the nature of the stories– they were short stories, after all, so character development could obviously not be as extensive as I am used to. In the limited space the author had, she did a commendable job.
Over all, my verdict is exactly what the blurb says– this book is just what a girl needs to chase the blues away. Although, beware, it might not be everyone’s cup of tea. If you’re prepared for some seriously crazy characters, and are ready to read of the not-so-sati-savitris, only then should you pick this book up. Definitely recommended to anyone who’s looking for light reading!