By Melissa Fernandes,

Teenage life is a bridge from childhood to adulthood and defines the beginning of a roller-coaster ride of life. Peer pressure is probably one of the biggest challenges. I recently came across a book called ‘You’re Not Alone’ by ‘Nityasya Belapurkar’ who is a 16-year-old girl who has narrated 14 stories relating to real life incidents in this book. This book engrossed me right from the first story as every story surprises you with teenage issues through the lives of 14 girls. The stories are placed at a girl’s school in Mumbai that tell us about teenage life and difficulties faced by teenagers. These stories are somehow are intertwined as the fourteen protagonists find a connection between them that was otherwise left unnoticed. Commencing with an introduction on the personality of the characters, the book narrates the stories expanding more on the personality of these fourteen girls. Each one of them has a unique story to tell which are emotive and unpredictable. With humour, suspense and shock some stories sweep you off your feet while some force you to think and brood over certain issues. The book leaves you in suspense as each story ends without a conclusion which appears only at the end of all fourteen stories. Told from the perspective of a teenager, the story is written in simple language and involves ‘teenage lingo’. Issues like teenage pregnancy, relationships, teenage from broken homes and abusive parents, mother-child relationships and a lot more are discussed. My preferred story among all the others was the one where this girl who loses her father and soon turns hostile, even to her mother’s emotions and drowns into a world of her own. This story beautifully explains the relationship between the father and daughter as it’s brilliantly expressed.

After reading this book, I thought of speaking to the author as it was out of my imagination that someone could spill all these stories out as the book claims to be a narration of real life stories. “These stories are everyday life scenarios that unfurled when I was in school. I drew inspiration from my peer group, friends and other human relationships. This book has got a lot to do with simple teenage issues and after witnessing fourteen different stories and putting them down, I thought its best to publish it. I just felt that there was a need to tell a story and hence came up with this book,” says Nityasya Belapurkar who is now 17 years old.

What more caught my notice is that teenage issues are talked about every time but this is the first time I came across a book that wrote about teenage issues and was written by a teenager who has more understanding of the issues. Hats off to such young talents!!


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