Teenage/Young adult/New adult/Middle Grade whatever category it falls under, I rarely read stories with teenagers or characters barely out of their teenage years. It’s just that I find their situations overwhelming when I sub consciously compare their emotions with my own teenage years. Today teenagers are experiencing a whole lot more of life than we did at the turn of the century.
However, some of the teenage stories I’ve read have turned out to be fun and light hearted. So when the lovely folks at Penguin Random House India sent me a copy of Never Gone by the youngest published Indian author, I thought might as well read it and get the curiosity outta my mind. So here’s what I thought about Never Gone.
Title: Never Gone
Author: Anusha Subramanian
Publisher: Penguin Random House India.
Siddharth and Veera have a connection they refuse to acknowledge.
There is more to Kavya than her snooty social-butterfly act.
Mahir is the heartbroken heartbreaker.
Aslesha has built all her friendships on a foundation of lies.
Nikhil has spent his entire life learning how to shut people out.
All Aakash wants is a second chance. And then there’s Ananya. The one who was born to raise hell and change the world…
The story is about a group of Class 11 students and some of them happen to be childhood friends. It is about these friends living like normal teenagers, having all the typical experiences, the difference being soon they face the added experience of coming to terms with loosing one of their group mate. The setting in the story for me was clichéd and at times felt like been there done that. However, I did have many fun, light hearted moments while reading what the characters went through.
Their friendship and interpersonal equations were cute, intense at times and made up of string emotional connections. The friends go through everything from first crushes, loves and heartbreaks to betrayals and loss of friendly warmth amongst one another at some point or another.
There are 8 friends in the story Ananya, Veera, Kavya, Aslesha, Siddharth, Nikhil, Akash and Mahir, trust me at times it felt like watching a multi starrer RomCom. However the chapters are well presented and in a manner that you have a good grip on what’s happening with all of them. What always throws me off or perhaps make it difficult to enjoy teenage stories is the intensity of their emotions. Like in this story, how they love like the world was ending tomorrow and handled loss and grief in a way, maturity which will put an adult to shame. I did have plenty laugh out loud moments, even shed a few tears. The characters especially of Nikhil is my favorite and others too were impressive.
Never gone is a teenage story of friendship full of camaraderie, drama, touches of sensitivity and admirable innocent maturity of the friends. It is a quick read and perfect for a weekend or travel accompaniment read.
Book buy links: Amazon India
One of the country’s youngest published authors, Anusha Subramanian was only twelve when she wrote her first book, Heirs of Catriona. Her hobbies include reading, binge watching television shows and writing, of course. Why wait for someone else to do it when you can write your own fairy tale, right?
You can connect with her on Twitter
Reviewed by Bharti