7 September 2021 | By: Writing Buddha

The Year That Wasn’t: The Diary of a 14-year old by Brisha Jain (Book Review: 4*/5) !!!

1963rd BLOG POST

30th Book of 2021

 


There are so many lockdown and pandemic related books releasing these days that I doubt even picking them. Still, I went ahead and ordered Brisha Jain’s book named “The Year That Wasn’t” which also has the tagline of “The Diary of a 14-year old”. Imagine, the author is just 14 years old and she has managed to write a 230 pages full-fledged novel which is almost a non-fictional piece of work. I remember reading Anne Frank’s book a long time ago which was also written in a diary format when she was trapped as a Jewish victim of the Holocaust. This book is almost similar in its execution where the 14-year-old girl is speaking of her life during the times when Coronavirus was a virus spreading in a country away from her home and gradually, it travels all the way to her country as well as home too.

 

The book is based upon the Year 2020 hence the diary entry starts from 1st January 2020 and ends on 31st December 2020. I liked how authoress had a positive tone throughout the book while talking about many things that happened during the pandemic. She has maintained the dignity of a good national citizen while speaking of critical subjects without trying to be too opinionated. I had presumed that the book would be kind of a woke-attempt but no, it is so pure that you can understand the author as a person too. Through her writing, I feel that Brisha stays just next door and I know her well. And the way she has written things precisely and beautifully, I would want to keep talking to her about what’s happening around and what she thinks of them. I am speaking of all such personal emotions because of her maturity and knowledge which are evident in every word and sentence.

 

I liked how she added the Covid statistics in the end of every entry because she understands that readers might not relate with the exact phase she is trying to describe. That’s a good inclusion. Every time she talks about Indian Prime Minister and his speeches during pandemic, the respect with which she refers him is something the adults should learn as we see people on Twitter and Facebook abusing the National Leader. She talks about every point that he had made during that phase right from announcing Janta Curfew to extension of lockdown to making India aatmanirbhar etc. Brisha also gives Book Recommendations regularly in her entries and all the books she mentions are not fairy tales but the ones which can make teenage children grow sensibly. It tells from where she has got the intellectual dimension from – GOOD BOOKS!

 

The author also talks about many other events and concerns which happened during this period such as Galwan valley attacks, migrant workers case, vaccination progress, online classes, Tablighi Jamat incident etc. The way she has ensured that she covers every aspect that she went through and experienced during this tough phase makes it a wonderful reading experience as you relate with most of them as everyone has gone through the same. Nowhere does she try to go over the top to explain things as the author knows that everyone has been through the same pain hence doing anything not required will make the attempt sound fake. This is another skill that she possesses at the age of 14 which will help her write and communicate better in her life later.

 

Overall, this book is a very good narration of the period all of us don’t want to remember but the way this book has been represented makes you go down the memory lane with a hope that everything will get better as you turn every page. I liked how author has closed the book speaking of arrival of 2nd wave by when she had accepted life to be improving. That chapter really made me feel for her and all of us. I would suggest all of you to gift this to your children as they are really going to get a perspective on life – how to see things positively even when everything around you are collapsing horribly. I give this book 4 stars out of 5. I wish Brisha Jain a very good future as a writer.


PURCHASE THE BOOK HERE

 

Thanks.

 

WRITING BUDDHA 



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