Book review: It’s your move, wordfreak!

It’s your move, wordfreak!
by Falguni Kothari

From the blurb
“Wordfreak and Worddiva hit it off right from their first online Scrabble game. Playing game after game every night leads to fun and flirty chats and a cerebral attraction so potent that it sizzles the broadband connection between them. The Scrabble-crazy duo cultivate their perfect relationship a virtual one. A bond where the past doesn t matter and neither do their names. A bond forged by cheesy words and raucous laughs.

But this simple and uncomplicated equation is shaken when Alisha Menon, parental-divorce survivor and successful divorce lawyer meets Aryan Save-the-Planet Chawla on a blind date. As reality intrudes on their online idyll, the rules of the game change forever. Soon, the two realise that some words cannot be taken lightly.

Can the real Wordfreak and Worddiva spell love in capital letters or is the game of life a deal-breaker for them?” 

I wanted to read this book, because, come on!  A blooming romance over scrabble? Aren’t you curious to know how the author pulls THAT off? To my disappointment, the book starts off with the aforementioned blind-date between the protagonists.. I was looking forward to sparks flying over scrabble and I had imagined a whole other premise for the book because the cover reads that way (don’t you think so?), but alas, it didn’t turn out to be so. Anyhoo, the copy that I got had the pages mixed up and I didn’t get to read the first few chapters after their initial “awkward” encounter, but I could follow the story.

The first half of the book concentrates on how the realtionship between Alisha and Aryan builds up, with both of them meeting the other’s families which include Aryan’s brother like uncle Sameer, called uncle Sam, a chilled out fellow, his paternal grandmother, who knows Aryan even better than himself, Alisha’s strict, but warm,  headmistress mum Savitri, and their mentor Madhuri Tandon, or MT as they refer to her. This part is pleasant.. the usual elements of a chick-lit thrown in with hints to a deep dark secret side of Aryan..

The second half deals with how Aryan and Alisha’s relationship falls apart when a situation occurs and the unraveling of Aryan’s secret. I’m not going to spoil it for you, but I felt the build up to be too much for what it actually turned out to be. In the end, as with all chick-lit, all is right.I think that where the book falls flat is the building up of the characters. I couldn’t connect to them and somehow they felt two dimensional. The plot is solid, but the execution could have been much, much better. I cannot help but compare it to a Sophie Kinsella novel, her stories have the same elements, but even if you hate shopping, you connect and empathize and revel in the stories in the shopaholic series. Wordfreak, I believe, has a sequel in the offing too. I hope that the author manages to do justice to her plot next time around.

I know what I said may not have sounded very positive, but that’s only because I expected a bit much from this book. The writing is neat, not many frills and not like the run-of-the-mill new Indian books either (and thank god for THAT). Over all It’s your move, wordfreak! makes for a casual summer read.
 I’d give it two stars on five.

Sadhana Chaturvedula

I read a lot, and write a bit. Journalism, publishing, consumer tech, The Guide and signing up on social networks which I then proceed to never use are some of my passions.

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