Indireads, $2.25, ISBN 978-1-927826-19-5
Contemporary Romance, 2013
The TBR Challenge this month is up to me, so I’d go homegrown and choose a romance featuring Asian characters. Or Indians, in the case of Arti Arlene Martyris’s Facebook Pyar. “Pyar” means “love” in Hindi, by the way.
This one covers five months in the lives of our hero Prateek Singh and our heroine Gunjan Rath. Prateek has always wanted to be in love, while Gunjan seeks romance while chaffing under the pressure of being a responsible big sister. They meet on Facebook, and their flirtation soon takes off beyond merely “Like” and “Reply”. Can love blossom between these two college kids?
Yes, they are college kids, which isn’t usually so bad. But unlike a typical new adult story where everyone is a drug-addicted rape survivor riding on a tattooed bad boy’s Maserati, the two characters here are pretty wholesome on the whole. Unfortunately, wholesomeness also comes with plenty of childish, petulant behavior. You have to really appreciate a big amount of kiddy behavior here.
For example, Gunjan messaged Prateek her concern, and he decides that she clearly doesn’t care for him because if she does, she would have called him. Naturally, he doesn’t say anything, because, I suppose, if she loves him, she would be able to read his mind too, like she’s Jean Grey or something. These two are talking about how the other person is “someone special” who is “unlike anyone else” they have ever met, when all I see in this story is these two clumsily offering one another coffee (using an image) on Facebook. If this is what gets those two kids’ hormones all raging like that, I pray they never discover hook-up apps – they may not survive the hormonal holocaust that will ensue. Are we sure these kids are in college and not, say, twelve?
I have a strong feeling that a reader will find Facebook Pyar either charming, with all those childish “innocent” antics of the two love-struck dolts, or too childish to bring anything but non-stop cringe. I tried to be one of that first group of readers, but eventually I can’t take it. It also doesn’t help that these two speak like pretentious twats who have wandered in here from a literary role, and the author has a laborious writing style of dumping unnecessary exposition all over the place. When it comes to the second one, I mean, do I need to know that Prateek types “www.facebook.com” to go to, er, Facebook? Times like this, I feel like the author is just putting down words to meet some kind of word count.
Anyway, no pyar here, just naapasand.