A quick review about a book that I started reading purely on a friend's recommendation and that I was only too happy about reading an e-book version of. For, if I had had bought this book, I would've rued having spent good money on a book so sad.
'How Opal Mehta...' is the story of, well, Opal Mehta and how her entire life spins around getting admission into Harvard. Her parents have drilled into her the idea that the sole reason for her existence is to get into Harvard. They have formulated what they call the HOWGIH (How Opal Will Get Into Harvard) plan which includes cello lessons, welding lessons (these for recreation!!), math camps etc. Problem is, the child has become such a geek that the Dean of Admissions at Harvard asks her to 'go get a life'. How Opal and her parents struggle to find out what 'get a life' means forms the basis of the rest of the book.
Frankly, I liked the way the book began. Opal had nerdy written all over her character (in tense situations, she starts reciting prime numbers in her head so as to calm herself down). Moreover, the contrast between her and the easy-going free spirit Valerie 'call me Val' Marks in the first chapter is brilliantly funny.
Unfortunately, the book loses its sheen thereafter. The military precision with which Opal's parents proceed to try and get her a life is fun, but the idea is repeated too often.
I kept getting a feeling that I was reading the script of a very bad Hollywood teen-college movie where the protagonist is lost and confused about her identity. It was getting way too cliched and I hence, I decided to chuck reading the rest of the book.
Of course, there's the matter of plagiarism against the book, but the book in itself is too immature for me to comment on that issue. I would've overlooked the plagiarism bit if the book would've maintained my interest, but it did not. What ultimately matters to me is whether a book (fiction) entertains or not. Sadly, 'How Opal Mehta...' could not build on the expectations built in the first chapter.
Book Rating: 1.5 out of 5