Book Review: It’s your move, Wordfreak! by Falguni Kothari


It’s your move, Wordfreak!
Author: Falguni Kothari
ISBN: 978-8129119377

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It’s your move, Wordfreak!, by Falguni Kothari is a typical Mills-n-Boon-style contemporary love story, based on the highly clichéd concept of online dating. The only *new* element in the story, perhaps, was that the author used the current fad of online gaming in place of the usual chat rooms and dating sites.

Blurb from It’s your move, Wordfreak!:

Wordfreak and Worddiva hit it off right from their first online Scrabble game. Playing game after game every night leads to fun and flirty chats and a cerebral attraction so potent that it sizzles the broadband connection between them. The Scrabble-crazy duo cultivate their perfect relationship—a virtual one. A bond where the past doesn’t matter and neither do their names. A bond forged by cheesy words and raucous laughs.

But this simple and uncomplicated equation is shaken when Alisha Menon, parental-divorce survivor and successful divorce lawyer meets Aryan “Save-the-Planet” Chawla on a blind date. As reality intrudes on their online idyll, the rules of the game change forever. Soon, the two realise that some words cannot be taken lightly.

Can the real Wordfreak and Worddiva spell love in capital letters or is the game of life a deal-breaker for them?

The plot:

The blurb led me to believe that the story will contain some intellectually stimulating word battles over an online board of scrabble. However, that was not the case. It’s your move, Wordfreak! begins with a blind date between the two lead characters, Alisha Menon and Aryan Rajaram Chawla, after apparently five months of online scrabble games. That last bit is provided as mere "background info" in the book. (Disappointing?)

After that first blind date, it's all "standard formula" packaging -- good looking characters, glamorous work profiles, love at first sight, loads of mush and sex, dash of humor, more sex, ghosts from the past, fights, male ego, and did I say sex? In short, your regular teenage romance "love-hate-love" kind of story.

The characters:

Alisha Menon (or Worddiva) is a successful divorce lawyer based in Mumbai. Tall, dark and slim, she looks fragile, though comes across as a mentally strong and dependable person. She's a practical, no-frills woman, who is not too fond of dressing-up and partying. Aryan Rajaram Chawla (a.k.a Wordfreak) is just the opposite. He's a Page-3 celebrity architect who builds eco-friendly "green" homes for other Page-3 celebrities in Mumbai! He's tall, fair and handsome, and is a complete "fashionista"! Both are rich. Both have "the hots" for each other. Both have unresolved past issues that disrupt their rosy relationship. How they leave their pasts behind is what the book is about.

It’s your move, Wordfreak! is an extremely mushy book with a totally predictable storyline. All the characters in the story are so 'goody-goody' that I was reminded of Rajshri productions' movies! (Remember Dulhan wahi jo piya man bhaye, Hum aapke hain kaun, Hum saath saath hain?)

That being said, the characters do come across well. The "fight" mode of strong-headed Alisha and the "flight" mode of not-so-strong Aryan. The effervescent shopaholic Diya (Alisha's best friend) and the wise perceptive Nanu (Aryan's grandmother). Falguni Kothari shows a plausible grasp of human behavior and the various dynamics of relationships.

Writing style was smooth, easy and witty, though it felt a little under-utilized. Maybe the plot was just too simple for her writing potential.

Also, the copy I received had really poor paper quality, so that the print was showing through the sheets.

My rating: 2.5 out of 5. It’s your move, Wordfreak!, by Falguni Kothari, may appeal to teenage girls or to Indian adults who've just started reading English fiction. I found it really difficult to complete the book.

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Disclaimer: This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at I received a free copy of this book for reviewing, but that has, in no way, affected my rating and opinions.

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Want to Add Something?

Shilpa Garg said...

I quite liked the plot... a new one!!
But as you found it difficult to complete it... I better stay away from it... finishing such books, where you lose interest is an herculean task!!

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Well it was very predictable. I had to write the review, so was forced to complete it. Plus I was expecting more of their initial courtship over scrabble games. The blurb about the book conveyed that impression. But there was hardly any scrabble, hardly any flirting. :(

umashankar said...

I have read reviews of the book before but you have put things in perspective. The quality of both authoring and publishing seems to be headed to the gutters. Commendable analysis.

Chicky a.k.a. Kaddu said...

Hi umashankar. Surprisingly, the editing of this book was still much better than what is usually seen in books by Indian authors. All in all, I do believe that the author has a lot more potential, if only she tries to break free from the "standard formula" plots.

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