Title: The Best Couple Ever
Author: Novoneel Chakraborty
Publisher: India Penguin Metro Reads
My GoodReads Rating:
When the book begins, we meet married couple Ashwamedha Chauhaan and Sama Akhtar. They reminisce about the first time they met and then rant about social media and those who are addicted to it. Ashwamedha tells his wife, and us, about three couples who have an informal competition going on between them. The winner will be the couple whose photos, posted on social media, elicit the highest number of likes and comments.
These three couples include married couples Kashvi and Dr Parth, and Dhriti and Satyam, and live-in couple Sanisha and Adhik.
The stories of these three couples are traced over a period of eight months from March to October 2018.
The Prologue piqued my interest, promising intrigue. But the style of writing could have done with improvement.
"You weren’t the duel you seemed to be. You were a magnanimous war I was up against." Cringeworthy.
Ashwamedha and Sama reminisce about the first time they met. But the whole recollection is awkward and detailed, with both characters recounting details for our benefit. Far from the best way to do this.
Sama knows very little about social media. In today’s era, I found it hard to believe that an educated woman would be so clueless about how social media works.
There is a lot of Indian English, with marriage routinely used as a synonym for wedding. The word, lingerie, is used incorrectly. Irk, a verb, is used here as a noun.
Ashwamedha and Sama are positioned outside this world, severely critiquing the addiction. But the truth is that only Kashvi and Dhriti are Instagram influencers, addicted to social media. The three males and Sanisha have no such addiction.
Ashwamedha keeps harping on a question, What is your idea of happiness?, randomly judging others based on their responses. We have no idea why this is so, and what purpose the question serves.
I appreciated the author’s attempts to critique the world of social media where ‘heroes’ are adored merely for posting photographs that everyone knows are heavily edited. The plot itself was loose and poorly constructed, and there were several sex scenes that were crass and gratuitous.
I will neither read this author again, nor recommend his work to anyone.