Saturday, 2 January 2016

I don't wear sunscreen by Kavipriya Moorthy: Book Review

Two girls being friends since childhood is a unique relationship. They would hold hands while walking on the road; they would feel jealous when the other gets closer to a new acquaintance and they can't blurt their hearts out better to anybody else.

There hasn't been a formal proposal yet between the boy and the girl. But their relationship is apparently heading a romantic way. They know that it's only a matter of time before the ice gets broken and they are relishing the best phase of their love story. 

All of a sudden, after a train journey, the would-be boyfriend becomes a question mark, the job that she's been dedicated to, slips away and eventually, the best friend walks away from her life. To add to her misery, she is confused without the missing links which she suspects to be connecting the circumstances. And she ends up in a neurotic state. 

I don't wear Sunscreen is a fast-paced tale of Lakshya which carries, till its last page, emotions and suspense of  a myriad of things that could happen to a young Indian girl.

Lakshya and Pallavi are school girls of Chennai who value their friendship highly. They share their career aspirations and whole-heartedly wish well for the other. However, after schooling, when Lakshya travels to Mumbai for higher education, their friendship falls a trap to the distance and separation. Further, when Lakshya meets Sai, a quirky relationship blooms between the two while Pallavi is moved to the background of her life. Nevertheless, at a point when Lakshya is confused about Sai's behaviour, she seeks Pallavi's guidance again. And that's where the plot takes a kind of twist that no reader could have ever anticipated.


The plot is a bonus for the readers. Out of the several books on love and friendship, this one will stand apart because what started about love and friendship extended to trust, betrayal, family, parenting, suspense, courage and the list is huge.


There are only a few characters in the plot; Lakshya is the main one throughout while Pallavi, Sai, Lakhshya's mother take the secondary roles at appropriate sections. The characterization of Lakshya is strong for the reader can realistically connect with her emotions. Lakshya's mom is another profoundly developed character whose assertiveness and sarcasm will give no clue of her gang-rape past. However, at a few places when she knowingly ignores to take concern of her daughter, she gets depicted as a cold mother in the reader's mind though probably the author wanted to make her a strong parent. Surprisingly, though Pallavi's role is significant in the tale, it is apparent that the building of this character has taken a back seat.


Readers cannot put the book down without forming an opinion of the narration, mainly because of the fact that author Kavipriya has imbibed a unique style of narration. Having not impersonated other styles is certainly laudable for a debut author. Here are my opinions about the narration:

  • The style is liberally casual and more conversational than formal or bookish. To some readers, it could be interesting while to others it might not seem suitable for a book of a weighty subject. So it depends on the individual reader to accept the style or not. Having said that it must be noted that the potential for the plot to become a movie is great. 
  • The pace of narration is good in the sense that the reader might never have to get impatient. There's no part which is draggy. In fact, there are places where the narration could have slowed down to help the reader to sync in with the plot, a little more.
  • The flow and depth in narration seemed brilliant at a few places while jumbled at other places. While a conversation of great importance is going on, the next paragraph suddenly drifts to a description of something trivial. At a few places, the readers can directly dive into Lakshya's mind and heart while at other places the connection to the plot and characters seemed shallow. 
  • The suspense created in the plot is one of its kind. From the time, Lakshya goes missing from the train, the reading interest picks up to several folds. Mind it, what one would expect to have happened to her doesn't actually happen! And letting out the scoop, one after the other without narrating straight-forwardly but leaving the readers to guess on their own was admirable. To mention specifically, the revelation of Prabhu on the last page marks the author's skill. But on the darker side, the lack of straight forward narration would make the readers sweat-out in going back and forth the pages to discover the links. This lone factor of clarity in the main events could have made it a satisfactory read. Specifically, scenes of Pallavi travelling to Goa, Pallavi picking Sai's call, Lakshya rescuing Priyanka could have been described in detail. 

Essence and Excerpts

What a person becomes with the effect of falling in love and what the same person becomes of, after betrayal are brought out well. Life values that are often quoted in the book are notable. When Lakshya almost loses everything in life except her parents, the thought process she undergoes about life's broad philosophies are warm reads. An excerpt from the book:

".......there will come a moment when you will be forced to stand for your rights and make one single move that will pull you into the world of success. Seize the moment and grow, that's all you can do and that's why you are born." (Page 77)

I don't wear sunscreen can offer a new kind of reading experience. And a brand new story! For a debut book, author Kavipriya has done well. As a reader, I will definitely look forward to her next book.

Reviewed for the Author

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book as a complimentary copy from the author in exchange for a honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. 

Title: I don't wear sunscreen
Author: Kavipriya Moorthy
Publisher: Notion Press
Pages: 97

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About the Book

For Laksha, life is a gift wrapped in red ribbon. But that's all shattered when she falls for a misogamist. His ambivalence and vacillation always keeps her at bay, turning her into a neurotic. She gets betrayed by the most credible, loses her job, feels devastated and dejected as incidents crowd upon her corrupting her naiveté. 

Enigmas unfold revealing every glitch. Who will clear her blurred skies? What invigorates her career and life? Will she ever forgive her beloved? And how will Laksha survive? 

The story also revolves around her rapport with Pallavi, a childhood friend and the relationship she has with her silver-tongued mom. Focusing on how experiences change perception of little things, this contemporary tale gives a better meaning to friendships, relationships, solitude, pain, compassion and success. 

More often than not, Life drags you down to the adversities and thrusts outward to shine. It is your grit that truly matters when you reach rock bottom, and left with no choice other than to pick yourself up and leap forward, however arduous it may be!

About the Author

Kavipriya Moorthy is a Chennai based business analyst and a guest writer. A thorough ambivert and a pampered southpaw, she possesses a flair for carving creative ideas. She runs a blog that talks about professional ethics:, and scribbles her prancing thoughts at She also writes for various blogs, e-magazines and has contributed to anthologies titled “Cupid Calls” and “Melody of Life”. When at leisure, she loves to drive alone, ending up at Amethyst and other relaxed coffee shops in Chennai to rejuvenate herself. She marks her debut with the novel “I don’t wear Sunscreen”