The Adventures of Stoob: Mismatch Mayhem

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REVIEW

The Adventures of Stoob: Mismatch Mayhem

By : Lubaina Bandukwala  /  2017

The Adventures of Stoob: Mismatch Mayhem

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The Adventures of Stoob: Mismatch Mayhem
Author:
Samit Basu
Illustrator:
Sunaina Coelho
120 pages
English
Rs 195.00
ISBN: 978-8129135919
Rupa Publications, 
2016
Tags : 
Adventure,
First Love,
Friends,
Growing Up,
Holiday,
Humour,
Overall Rating : 
8
Story/Content : 
4
Illustration : 
4
Language : 
4
Design : 
4

“Her name was—well still is, I suppose—Mala Kapoor, which is like an aunty type name but all aunties start young, according to Science. And there is nothing aunty-like in the way she dropped into my life and captured my heart.”

It is lines like this that should warn you not to read this book in public spaces. You are quite likely to attract alien-alert-type looks when you make snorting sounds or exhibit shaking shoulders. It is just not possible to go through this book without laughing out loud.

Twelve-year old Stoob is not enjoying his holiday in Thailand. And that’s because a series of unfortunate events related to his first love has made him Cynical and Hardened to the Joys of Life.

Stoob’s first ever crush has caused havoc in his life. He’s suddenly trying to be someone he’s not in the desperate attempt to Impress the One. His close circle of friends is asunder—his best friend Rehan is suddenly his rival, and Ishani refuses to take sides. And, worst of all, he’s gone and done the silliest thing, the consequences of which could be so bad that just thinking about it is ruining his holiday.

Basu’s account of an almost-teenager at a milestone moment in his life is an insightful look at growing up and becoming who you are. The wry humour skilfully conveys the angst of trying to fit into someone else’s notion of cool and the vulnerability that comes with it. Who am I really? How well do I know my friends? How well do they know me? What is real? What is made up in my head? Such are the concerns of personality trying to come into its own. And, in today’s world, this is a concern amplified by the ease with which misleading digital personas can be created. “Maybe it’s a good thing that Mala doesn’t know me that well yet. Seriously, our romance, which will be an all-time-legendary romance, would be doomed without the Internet,” quips our wise twelve-year-old hero.

Stoob’s voice is authentic and will surely connect with ten- to twelve-year-olds. Especially since this first-person narrative is a very enjoyable read. Sunaina Coelho’s illustrations are wonderfully imaginative and exaggerated, mirroring the extremes of a tween’s imagination.

A fun read, best as I mentioned, not read in public.

Lubaina Bandukwala is a writer, editor and creator of children’s literature events. She curates Children’s Literature at the Kala Ghoda Arts Festival, Mumbai, and has founded Peek a Book, a children’s literature festival in Hyderabad.

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