Can A Girl And A Boy Be…Just Friends? by Sumrit Shahi is a breezy read that will remind the readers of their high school days.
In this book, the author tenderly dealt with the question that we all might have pondered on, at some point in our lives. Young people, especially teenagers find it hard to distinguish between love and friendship. They often find it confusing to differentiate between platonic love and romantic love. Therefore, this book will appeal to young people just for the curiosity to know the answer “Can a girl and a boy be just friends?”. The author has chosen a befitting title for the book.
There are two stories in the book: one of Aryan and Boza and the other of Tanie and Sumer. It can be understood that the author, Sumrit Shahi had deliberately narrated two stories, in order to present the perspective of a boy and a girl when it comes to the confusion between love and friendship. Two strangers, Aryan and Tanie meet at the airport and bond over MUN (Model United Nations conference) and Chandigarh. When Aryan tells her his story that deals with his best friend, teenage love and MUN, Tanie finds a startling resemblance to her own story. This makes her share her story with Aryan. She also finds an uncanny similarity of Aryan with her best friend, Sumer. Although the two stories have nothing new to offer, the way the author has narrated the stories will delight many readers. There is no such well-defined plot in the two stories. Both the stories talk about two best friends and their love interests. At some point, the best friends realize that they are perhaps more than friends, but they have a not-so- happy ending. As Aryan and Tanie are sailing in the same boat, they understand each other and somehow, help each other figure out what to do next. The open-ended climax of the book may be disappointing to some readers as it doesn’t provide a clear answer to the question that prevails in the book.
However, most readers, especially teenagers will find the characters of the book extremely relatable and here is where the author doesn’t miss a beat.
The writing is lucid and engaging. The use of poetry is delightful. However, the lack of a well- sketched plot makes it an average read. People who are looking for a light read can pick it up. It will make them nostalgic about their high school days, crushes and friendships. It’s the kind of book that one can enjoy while travelling.
Reviewed by : Purba Chakraborty
Author(s): Sumrit Shahi
Publisher: Rupa Publications
Release: August 2017
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