Confessions Of A Listmaniac – Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan

Meenakshi Reddy Madhavan is a graduate of English Literature from LSR, Delhi and has worked as a journalist for many years. She writes under the pseudonym eM on the hugely popular blog, The Compulsive Confessor. Although her first book, a semi-autobiography, You Are Here might have disappointed ardent reader’s of her blog, her second book, Confessions Of A Listmaniac does not disappoint.

This is a young adult book about Layla, an ordinary 17-year-old who loves to make lists and even though journal writing is considered ‘retro’ in this day and age of the internet, she decides to give it a try and re-create the whole blog thing in a book. She has always been on the fringes of popularity and wonders what it would be like to be a part of the ‘in’ crowd, like her older brother, who she adores.

Like any other typical upper middle class teenager in a cosmopolitan city with liberal parents, Layla loves hanging out with her best friend, tries out the world of online friendships, and wonders what it would be like to have a boy friend and go to all night parties. When suddenly, one day, the most popular boy in school takes a fancy to her, she finds herself thrown into the world she always longed to be a part of. A chance encounter with a cute diplomat’s son an major
fight with her best-friend make Layla question her new life.

“Was being popular all that it was cracked up to be?”

It’s a fairly simple and straight forward coming of age story. Madhavan’s writing is lucid and witty and she does a good job of delivering a simple story with style. She stands out because of this, among the new generation of Indian authors churning out books by the dozens because of what I’d like to call “The Chetan Bhagat effect.”

Any parent or adult looking to delve into what teenagers of today are like can get a glimpse through this book. It’s a perfect light, summer read when you’re too hot and bothered to take up a bulky book, and makes for a safe-bet gift for that adolescent sister or cousin’s birthday for which you have no idea what to get them.

All in all, even though it is a bit clichéd, but clichés exist for a good reason I suppose, this book leaves you satisfied, with a couple of hours, well spent. I’d give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Sadhana Chathurvedula