Skip to main content

The 23rd Girl. Book Review.

Book: The 23rd Girl

Authors:  Divya Ratan & Rohan Kachalia

Genre: Romance

Format:  Paperback

 The 23rd Girl is a quirky story about a young man named, Rashv. A roly-poly, mamma's boy, Rashv is the usual college kid going weak in the knees each time he encounters a pretty girl. He gets his heart broken a few times before accidentally discovering a connection with the number 23.  He gets obsessed with the number theory to such an extent, he allows it to exert power over everything, including his love life.

 I have often heard about this obsession people have with numbers, letters of the alphabet and what not. Call it superstition, call it obsession, but, the truth remains that such theories become a part of people's lives, controlling every aspect of their lives. People go to extremes to incorporate the theories into their lives, often leaving others baffled by their behaviour. And, this is what we find in the story of Rashv who is completely under the spell of the number. Feelings don't matter to him, the importance of the number does.

 The plot of the story is unusual and therefore quite intriguing. You really want to know how much our boy Rashv is in the grasp of this number theory.  His character has been etched quite like the Mr. Nobody who toils to turn life around to become the Mr. Dynamic in his later life. The story will resonate with the youth quite easily. College life,  fashion, friends, love and heartbreak, academics, all of it caters to the college-going crowd. The female characters have been painted very well, too.  They have a firm head over their shoulders and not only know what they want in life, but also how to achieve it. Very much like the girls of today!

The language is immaculate and the narration has an easy flow to it. Episodes in Rashv's life have a proper beginning and an end to them, which is gravely missed in many a romances churned out these days. There's a sensible progression to the story, which is often missing in books by debutants. Certain lines about love and heartbreak struck a chord and I am sure many of us will be able to relate to these.  I particularly appreciated the words used to describe the heart's pitiful condition on being carelessly handled by the one it beats for.

However, there were particular instances in the book that made me feel otherwise. For example, the story does get off to a slow start.  You will have to turn quite a many pages to get a grip on it and get immersed into it. Certain scenes seem superfluous and lengthen the story.  I found hues of Mills and Boons here and there and wished the style had been more original. The mamma's-boy-scenes seem unnecessary at places as do Rashv's everyday activities written about in agonising detail. Certain dialogues also seem out of place in a college kid's vocabulary. But, all of that can be ignored for the simple reason that this is a debut novel by Divya and Rohan.

It will make for an easy read for youngsters, for it's about the youth and, therefore, for the youth. Oldies like me might not get enthralled by the story for the simple reason that by now we all know what love is really all about! Don't we?

Kudos to Divya and Rohan for collaborating on this book. They have a bright future as fiction writers. Wishing them the very best for their future endeavours!


  1. Thanks for letting your readers know about this book. Not the genre I'm into these days but maybe when I am, I can pick this up.

    1. Yes, Nabanita, I feel that only if and when we are in that mood can we read certain genres..

  2. Thanks for the detailed review Shilpa. Rohan and Divya's book is on my reading list too and now I am looking forward to read it.

  3. Loved reading the review, Shilpa.
    I've just started reading this book, thanks for the helpful and honest pointers.

    1. It was a good experience reading this debut novel, DA!

  4. Sounds intriguing!

    Interesting to me (as an author) what you say about the dialogue seeming not to match a college kid's vocabulary. I once turned in a page of dialogue for a playwrighting class assignment, only to be told it wasn't "realistic." The problem with that was, I'd been a bit lazy and took down what my roommate and I had chatted about the night before. It was not only "realistic," it was REAL. Which, normally, is a bad way to go - "real" often involves a lot of useless filler and crutch words like, "So, um, well, you know, the other night I was, like, well you know how it goes..." and you MUST cut those (for the most part) to move the story along. Readers don't want "real." But it's interesting to me; people can be very different, yet there's this sense that characters should reflect some sort of "everyman" sometimes, in order to be believable.

    1. You are so right, Holly! It's not just these filler words but also the way some things are spoken, and the level of maturity in speaking those words - all of it reflects the person's age, and if both these don't match, it does feel out of place! And, that's what I found a tad irksome as I read the book.

      Thank you for the visit and for your detailed comment on the topic. :)

  5. Now that's an interesting concept about number 23. Sounds like a fun and breezy read.

    1. Yes, Raj! It was quite a fun read!

  6. A light read indeed and that was a great review... Shall pick it up soon...

    1. Thank you, Ramya! :) Do give it a try!

  7. I got the book today..hope to finish it in a couple of days...loved your review

  8. Thanks for the well written review dear Shilpa - and the tip:-) The heart-love and heartache part made me curious... well done !!


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

On love and attachments.

Learning to live without the person whom we loved more than our life is one of the toughest things we humans experience during our life.
Almost every moment of our day we spend in their shadows, enveloped in their love; we don't even realise when they became an extension of our selves. We come to accept them along with their flaws, their peculiarities, which often have the potential to drain us of our patience. Yet, we love them, unconditionally, at times wondering how we survived before they entered our world. Often, we also wonder how we will ever survive after they leave our world.

The human mind is such.  Its ability to give birth to a thought and then mull over it however unpleasant it may be, is quite baffling! We realise we stand to lose our sanity if we don't get rid of that negative thought; we understand how important it is to live in the moment and enjoy it with the loved ones we fear losing someday, yet we keep worrying ourselves to death about what would happen t…

A pleasant surprise.

Life does that. Springs surprises when you are least expecting any. And  you are left baffled, overwhelmed, ecstatic, and, surprised, too! You find it unbelievable that such a thing could happen with you. And, it takes a lot of probing and analysing to finally accept that something this unimaginable could happen to you, too!

              The above emotions are  what I went through when I received a message from the Manager of Baggout that my blog had been selected as one of the 15 best love and relationships blogs in India. I must have read the message 5 times and still found it unbelievable. In fact, I thought someone was playing a prank. I made enquiries, tried finding out all about Baggout and went back to where I was - in a state of utter disbelief! Call it low self esteem if you wish, but I wondered how  anyone could find my one and a half year old blog worthy of any such mention.

        The feeling was  good, nay, great. But, unless I saw it all in black and w…

You are The Man!

I admit, I am late in discussing this event, but did you watch the controversial 'Koffee with Karan' episode, two weeks ago? The one where the ubertalented Kangana Ranaut and Saif Ali Khan were Karan Johar's guests on his famous couch, sipping coffee along with him? Did you notice Kangana's confidence and her sassiness?   Do you remember her repartees, her jibes, her ripostes that were well-aimed at Mr. Johar? How fearlessly she spoke her mind without mincing words! And, she was in conversation with one of the Big Daddies of Bollywood.

I confess, I am an admirer of Ms. Ranaut, and I was blown away by her candour. The fact that she gave two hoots about diplomacy, and about the men in power in the hindi film industry,  shows how self-assured she is. She wasn't born into the industry, with a silver spoon; she entered the industry as an "outsider", who, despite being written off by the industry bigwigs, worked her way up the very competitive ladder, right to…