‘Love@facebook’ is the debut novel of the young Indian authoress Nikita Singh and she has definitely made a huge impression with her very first book. As the title gives it away, this book chronicles a love story set in a social networking site in the internet-dominated 21st century world.
Personally, I share a sweet but extremely short memory with the book coz I was through it in just a few hours. I picked up the book (from my collections) at around 11:45 pm, read the info given on the back cover (I always do that first), scanned through introductory acknowledgement and launched myself into chapter 1 (numbered as chat 1). I read the first line and I was hooked. I have read over hundred books in the past 8 years (including 50 in the year 2005) but never before has a book got me hooked right from line 1 (not even Harry Potter). I read and read and read till my eyes dried up and the clock showed 2:45 am. By the time, I had already finished 70% of the book (the book is not quite voluminous with barely 208 pages of large print).
I thought that I would finish it up the next night (I don’t read during the daytime as a general rule) but I proved myself wrong and also broke my self-made rule by running over it in the morning before, in between, and after my breakfast. So, in a matter of 12 hours, I had swallowed the whole book (and also slept 7 hours in between; yes I am talented).
The protagonist of the novel is a 19-year old chic girl (yep, pretty much like the ones we have out here) called Vatsala Rathore who develops a huge crush on a MTV VJ Ron. She sends him a friend request on fb, he accepts, she likes & comments on all his oomphy photos, she messages him tirelessly, and finally he replies. In the weeks that follow, the two have on-and-off conversations through chats, and her crush takes the demoniacal shape of obsession. She becomes his virtual stalker and begins to worship him as a God (mind you, she is not a lovey dovey sort of a girl but has her girlie ego and panache; it’s just that all these go for a toss in his case).
Oh, and did I tell you that meanwhile her best friend Ankit (her best real, non-fb friend) loves her the way Snape loved Lily. He even proposes her a few times but she always turns him down since she doesn’t believe in the concept of love.
In the climax, she finds herself in a dilemma. She has to choose between a virtual VJ Ron whom she has a huge crush on and a real Ankit who has always been by her side.
‘Love@facebook’ is a breezy book which takes no effort on your mind and can be read even if you are not in the mood to read any book. Actually, I was supposed to read ‘A Walk to Remember’ and ‘To Kill a Mocking Bird’ which my nerdy bookworm friend (remember, I had made mention of this friend during my ‘Life of Pi’ review) has so generously lent to me. But I had taken a 15-day sabbatical from book-reading and thought I would break the hiatus with a light read before launching into heavy books or classics. So, ‘love@fb’ happened and it couldn’t have been timed any better.
Overall, it is an excellent read and the author has weaved every line with so much wit that a smile will never leave your face. Sample this: “He’s getting hyper. Do something. I made my best lost puppy face and said in a low, scared tone, ‘I don’t know yet.’ His expression changed almost instantaneously. It worked. I’m a genius.”
PS- The book's cover page (see above) is just perfect too.