Book Review- The Girl In Room 105 by Chetan Bhagat
-By Soul Sword-
The Girl in Room 105 is Chetan Bhagat’s latest novel. This novel is the author’s first attempt at a thriller and it proved to be an interesting read.
The story revolves around Keshav (a faculty at a Coaching Centre) who is unable to move on from his ex-girlfriend Zara. Meanwhile, Zara starts dating Raghu after their break-up. Keshav gets a message from Zara on the eve of her birthday, asking to meet at her hostel room (room 105) to rekindle their relationship. An elated Keshav goes over to the girl’s hostel to wish her in person, only to find her murdered. What follows is how Keshav (along with his colleague Saurabh) sets off on a mission to find out Zara’s murderer. Keshav, having dated Zara for over 3 years, discovers aspects of her life that come as a revelation to both him and the reader.
The way the author has shaped up the mystery is commendable. Zara grows from a model student and lover to this shady character who gives us the creeps at times. I was amazed by Keshav’s determination in finding out the murderer. The fact that Zara had wanted to reunite with him right before she was killed, fuels his obsession over finding the killer.
The language in the book uses local slangs and is unnecessarily vulgar at some points. It does help one visualise the situation though. None of the characters in the book are likeable or leave an impression on the reader as they are flawed in more than one aspect.
Despite this, what kept me hooked is the story-telling which was impressive (though one can guess who the killer is). The story always had something new to offer with every chapter. It is rare for a book to keep one interested despite having bland characters as leads and this novel did just that.
The Girl in Room 105 has a way of bringing forth sensitive issues like religion and terrorism in a humorous way. Though the novel doesn’t go in-depth about the sensitive issues, it does give us a picture of their prevalence in the current society. Chetan Bhagat has done a great job in incorporating humour in the most serious situations. There are a lot of points in the story where we can’t help but laugh at the plight of the characters. For instance, Keshav and his friend barge into anyone’s house just because they suspect them. I was surprised that despite their reckless (and funny) acts throughout the book Keshav and Saurabh weren’t imprisoned or killed as a consequence. The thriller is definitely a page-turner.
Personally, I am not fond of Chetan Bhagat’s romance novels and character depictions. The same goes here with the romance plot in The Girl in Room 105 too. What interested me in this book was that it is a thriller and it’s concept called ‘unlove’. I was curious to find out what it was all about. The final chapters of the book set this novel apart from the author’s previous works. The author’s promise of “An unlove story” has been delivered in a beautiful way. The part where Keshav comes to terms (unlove as Chetan Bhagat puts it) with his ‘love for Zara’ is well-written.
Content warning: Readers sensitive to storylines with cheating/infidelity should refrain from reading this novel.
‘The Girl in Room 105’ is a light-hearted thriller with a humorous twist. It maintains its pace throughout and is entertaining. The entire book can be read in less than half a day, which is another reason why it should be given a try.
I give this book a rating of 3.9/5
The book’s trailer can be watched here.
The book can be purchased from here.