When I first started reading “The Helpline”, a question kept running in my mind: Why would an author choose suicide as a subject to write a novel? There are varied perspectives about suicides and each person has a distinct, pre-set idea about suicides. Keeping this in mind, I started reading the book to see what the author had to say about it.

The story is about Samir Masand, a 20 year old, residing in Mumbai, who has suicidal tendencies. It is about his growing up years, his bitter-sweet relationship with Riya, his friendhip with Neha, his dreams about becoming a writer. It is all this and much more. It is about his conversations with Rachael, a worker at the helpline, who is trying to reason out the logic for his suicidal tendencies. It is about Samir’s guilt stricken mind that plays games with him. It is about failure and it is about rising above the failures.

The storyline is interesting and simple. The writing is decent. But, the editing could have been crispy. After the first few chapters, there is a considerable amount of editing glitches in form of typos. Also, at some places, there are conversations that have present and past tense mixed up that creates a lack of flow. I wish the editing could be better.

Coming to the book and how I like it : I like the book. It is a good attempt on the workings of the brains of suicidal teenagers and gauging their thoughts. It keeps one wondering how our human minds work. It makes us realize how vulnerable we can get when we fall into certain situations. It shows us the importance of having control over our minds. It shows us how to rise above our failures. It shows us how we are stronger than we think. Overall, a thought provoking novel that certainly makes one think about the vulnerability of a human mind.

If I have to rate the book, I would give it 3.75 out of 5 stars. I wish the editing did justice to this book!

Rating : 3.75 out of 5.

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