I received the book It must’ve been something he wrote by Nikita Deshpande as a review copy from Hachette India and would like to thank the author and the publisher for the same. This book is the story of a and a set in Delhi.
When obsessive book – lover (ahem, book snob) Amruta- Ruta- Adarkar arrives in Delhi to work as a marketing executive for Parker – Hailey’s Publishing, she learns that the world of books is not as cozy as she’d imagined. Her eccentric taskmaster of a boss expects marketing miracles to happen on shoestring budgets and in record time, and surviving the job (and the city) means she’ll have to master the local art of jugaad really fast. Worst of all, she’s stuck being a publicist for Jishnu Guha, protein – shake lover, serial selfie – taker and bestselling author of seven cheesy romance novels, the kind she wouldn’t be caught dead reading.
As Ruta struggles between work and life in a new city, she finds, much to her annoyance, that she needs Jishnu’s help more than she cares to admit. But with her own parents getting a divorce, can Ruta dare to fall in love, especially with someone who’s so impossibly different?
Amruta Adarkar, Ruta, 22, the daughter of two chefs, belongs to a family where name matching is a ritual, what with names like Atul, Anil, Asha, Ashleysha, Ashwini, Aniket, Anita……. and the list goes on. Her parents are on the verge of divorce. After majoring in English literature, she has moved to Delhi and lives with her aunt Sona, in Chittaranjan Park. She works as a marketing executive for Parker-Hailey Publishing in Gurgaon. Mukhtar Hassan, Head of Marketing and consumer Insight is her boss, Rahil is the Marketing Manager and Arjun Manoharan is her colleague. Also at the publishing house is Jyo, a senior commissioning editor and Ruta’s best friend.
She is given the task of promoting the book of a new author, Kali Chaudhry, at a very low budget and also the book of Rob Godling. And to top it all, she is given the job to publicise the new box-set of Jishnu Guha’s books. Jishnu is an Indian author who writes no brainers and romantic fiction and she does not like the stuff he writes. He thinks because she has studied English literature, she is so stuck up. But both of them love Jessa James Gordon and Harry Porter.
She has to assist Rahil at the Udaipur Lit fest in promoting books of both new authors and egoistic ones. She has to fight her demons and she has to stand up for herself. And to top it all, she has to become the scapegoat of her seniors.
And in her personal life, she is still overcoming the fact that her first crush is married, is developing a crush for her colleague and has to pose with her parents at a family function as if nothing has happened.
So what happens to Ruta, her professional life and her personal life????
The cover is an instant pick me up what with a cup of coffee, spectacles, binder, pencil, pen, paper clips and books. The girl sitting on the couch with an ancient phone by her side reminds me of my younger days when we would sit in the drawing room with our story books and the wired phone close to us lest we waste our time rushing to it, in case it rings. The book has been written in first person from the point of view of Amruta.
The story is simple and has been written beautifully. The language is simple and funny. She has used phrases which kept me in splits. The beginning of the book is such that once I picked it up, I just could not put it down. Her use of hindi words in sentences has made it all the more funny. She has used spellings to describe the pronunciation of various words used by the characters like perents for parents.
The characters have been developed with a lot of care. Amruta is someone all of us will be able to relate to because she has qualities of people we meet. She is sweet, she is witty, she is friendly, and she is someone we can count on. I loved her and her sense of humour. The friendship between Amruta and Jyo is very cute. Jishnu is the typical hero author whom young girls worship, what with gelled hair and muscles.
The descriptions of places and things are vivid, be it streets of Delhi, places in Udaipur or even clothes. For example, she has described hair like bristles on an Oral B toothbrush, and Amruta bursts bubbles in a bubble wrap in a proper order. And the little girl being wrapped koala style around her mother’s waist.
The author has touched on topics like use of social websites to promote books, which is actually a double edged-sword, the relationship between editors and authors, the equation between publishers and authors. She has also discussed the influence of ecommerce on book buyers.
This book is a must read for budding authors, publishers, editors and even people in marketing.
Waiting for a sequel…..
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of the book from the publisher in return for my honest review. I have NOT received any monetary compensation for the same.