Monday, September 30, 2013

Review: The Backbenchers: 3 Days of Summer (The Backbenchers, #3) by Sidharth Oberoi

School romance was rekindled with this series long back. A pang of jealousy, changing stances towards each other, love and fun times of school were the essence of the first two parts. Author Sidharth Oberoi in his third installment "The Backbenchers: 3 Days of Summer" tries to bring the characters on the same page with a wild adventure trip. So is he successful in continuing with the tradition of successful backbencher series? Let's find out. 

Ananya has never been to Summer camp before, and that's exactly what school seems to be offering this time. And not just that- they are offered the chance to undergo a hands-on workshop with India's leading authority on digital photography.  Natasha - eager to rediscover herself, signs up too. The boys join in on the fun, and the expedition is led by a young, vibrant new teacher. They come across two new pals- A dusky-brainy-nerdy-rebel girl from Ooty and an up-top performer from Doon.
But things never are what they appear to be- and it soon turns out that their teacher has her own hidden agenda behind the workshop. An eccentric genius photographer tries to play the kids against each other and they find themselves square in the face of danger, in a tropical rainforest, nonetheless. In the midst of that action, Yuvraj and Ananya cross a new threshold in their relationship. Will it last?
Will they prove their mettle when their ability to work as a team is questioned?
Join the unbeatable, indomitable backbenchers in a trip right across the country, and gaze into the wild - through their docile, yet remarkably vivid lenses.

First look at the title and the cover and glimpses of the previous two parts of backbencher series is there in the readers mind. Those who have gone through the first two parts can easily relate it to the third installment. The blurb talks about the same old characters but with a twist of some trip in it. The blurb is definitely good enough to increase the curiosity of the readers with glimpses of the old self. 

The story starts off in Presidency Convent the main location in the previous two installments and most of the characters reprising their roles i.e Ananya, Yuvraj, Natasha & Shreya and introduction of new characters like the dynamic Mitali Roy the teacher, Abhinav the by from Doon, the angry Sanjib Desai & not to forget Natasha Nambiar the crush of Abhinav. They all set out for a photography course stint advertised by Sanib Desai in the jungles of Tamil Nadu as location and Mitali Roy to lead the way. Little they know about the past between Sanjib & Mitali and once they come to know of it they become extra cautious in their approach. The photography course gradually turns out to be a nightmare for some of them as Sanjib tricks them in to the jungles with some own personal agenda and revenge on Mitali. Does his antics pay off in the end? Will the children be able to ward off the threat looming large at their heads? Will Mitali be able to forget the old scars? That's what the story is all about. 

This time the story is more of an adventure and exposure to outside world for the young kids of the story.The adventure keeps things interesting and curiosity levels high in the book. The personal rivalry of Mitali & Sanjib is the most sought parts of the book. A few moments of rage and fury and smartness are worth reading. 

The downside of the book is lack of some bold narration in the story. It's plain and predictable. The story becomes a personal vendetta neglecting characters like Yuvraj & Ananya. A lot more could have been done to avoid such feeble attempt at weaving a story around young kids. Lack of excitement in the first half is pretty evident most of the times. 

The book though the third in the series and an attempt to be different from the rest two is somewhat successful but leaves highly disappointed when it comes to expectations and change in the styles of writing from the previous two books. The book can be read to keep the continuation alive for the readers who have gone through the first two parts. It's not one of the best attempts. 


2 OUT OF 5

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