Title: Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors
Author: Aravind Jayan
Pages: 208 Pages
Publisher: Serpent’s Tail
It is a day of triumph for Appa and Amma, who have driven home a shiny new Honda Civic to show off to their neighbours in Blue Hills housing colony. But their eldest son Sreenath is behaving strangely, and it soon becomes clear why: a secretly filmed video of Sreenath and his girlfriend Anita has been posted to a porn site, and nearly everyone they know has seen it. The ensuing war – with Sreenath and Anita on one side and their families on the other – becomes a news sensation, emblematic of a wider generational struggle.
The novel is narrated by Sreenath’s younger brother, who is twenty years old and eager to escape his hometown and embrace his brother’s rebellious spirit. But to keep his family together he will have to compromise his integrity and, in doing so, bring buried tensions between him and his brother to the surface. Full of dark comedy and insight about Indian society, shame and the online generation, this is a poignant story about now told by a narrator who will beguile and surprise you.
I don’t know what I was expecting when I picked up Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors. I think based on the title and cover I was expecting a lighthearted YA book and since I never read blurbs (I know, I know…) I was in for a bit of a shock.
The story is about a teen couple who (like Ronseal – it does what it says on the tin) have fun outdoors. A little too much fun, you know what I’m sayin’?
All of this is normal for a set-up of a novel but when you factor in geographic location and the culture of the two teenagers (Anita and Sreenath) you begin to understand the impact of their actions.
Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors in an eye-opening look at cultural traditions and modern day youth sometimes clash and the wider impact and implications that follow. It is, at times, uncomfortable to watch the disintegration of the families and you cannot help get frustrated that neither side (young or old) can appreciate the others perspective.
Overall, it is hard to say I enjoyed the books that was so fraught with drama but it was engaging and the juxtaposition of culture values with modernity was an interesting take.
Teen Couple Have Fun Outdoors by Aravind Jayan is available now.
For more information regarding Serpent’s Tail (@serpentstail) please visit www.serpentstail.com.