I love debut novels. They’re special. They have to be. After all they’ve remained in the author’s mind long enough and persistently enough to egg her/him to get down to writing them, right? Of course there have been times when I’ve got stuck with really bad apples – incorrect English, the hugest turn off, or amateur writing.. but the risk is worth taking.
That was what made me want to read this one and I’m glad I did.
‘Men on my Mind’ is nothing if not true to its name. The book traces the adventures of an Indian girl who grows up with… well …. men on her mind since the tender age of 7. From a dreamy pre-teen inspired by M&Bs struggling with her first crush, she grows into a self assured woman gamely trying out all kinds of men for size. She makes her way from Mumbai to Panchagani, Delhi and New York with bits of New Zealand, Fiji and China thrown in for good measure. On she soldiers, always with a BFF by her side for where’s the fun if you don’t have a girl friend to share stories of your sexapades with?
She juggles more than one relationship at a time and takes on one night stands without a scruple. As she says.. ‘What’s the bloody problem anyway? Conscience-shmonscience.’ There really are plenty of men around and ‘I’ve never been able to turn down handsome and rich men’, is her candid confession.
However, ‘The One’ remains elusive. The perfect hunk has a squeaky voice, the perfect boyfreind’s a pathetic kisser, the urbane older man turns out to be a lech, the dapper gentleman has a pigsty of a home, the sexy biker’s an anger maniac, the soulful pianist ends up two-timing her,… sigh! Students, lawyers, violin players, prospective Nobel laureates, photographers, restaurateurs, bar tenders, she tries them all only to discover that it really isn’t easy to find the man of her dreams.
The book is a hilarious take on men and relationships. Here’s a heroine who turns the male-female stereotype on its head. She treats her encounters with men with the flamboyance and casualness generally attributed to men in their dealings with women. Oh she wants true love but she’s fine occupying herself while The One comes along.
The book certainly is a pacey, well written read peppered with hilarious situations and diversely interesting characters.
However, my problem with it is that there are just too many men. Towards the end it gets a bit tiresome and the end itself is a tiny bit of a letdown. I spotted a few editing errors too. Also, there were some sequences that didn’t seem to go anywhere (like the plain Jane episode). Of course since I read there’s a trilogy in the offing, we can hope it will come together and maybe the end is not ‘The End’.
Other than that ‘Men on my mind’ delivers all what it promises. It’s gutsy, sexy, provocative and very very funny. If you’re looking for something light and fun, this is the book to pick up