Skip to main content

The Crossover Year by Bhargavi Bhalachandran

I've known Bhargavi through her blog  and liked her-straight-from-the-heart posts laced with a wry humour. So, when she published her book The Crossover Year recently, I wanted to lay my hands on it. While, I'd have liked to changed the end a bit, I did enjoy the book on the whole.

The book is about Anuprabha, who holds a MBA and works in a multinational bank but is dissatisfied at work. She wants to find her true calling before she turns three zero and dreads the consequences of quitting a dream job and treading on paths that are less travelled. 

The course of events where she quits her job and is faced with situations that she'd not accounted for when she dreamt of re-creating her life is laced with good humour and pace.

Whether she truly finds her calling in the end is for you to find out.

What worked: I loved the way the main protagonist was sketched. Her confusion of staying in the rat-race, when her heart is truly not, her being a closet feminist,of not being able to put her foot down despite being pushed to the wall at the work-place, her feeling of being let down when her judgment of people misses the mark, all of these varied emotions have been sketched very well truly making Anu a girl-next-door character; one you can relate to very easily. The other characters in the story also seem to be lifted from real-life situations- neither black or white but having several shades in between. The strong point of the book is that the events in Anu's life, the way she connects with the sub-characters, and her thought process is very rooted to real-life. You can definitely exclaim at many points through the book, 'hey, that's me!' or 'that's my life!'

What didn't quite work: It took me an initial few pages to get me hooked to the book after which the plot gathers momentum. The final phase where you expect a fitting closure somehow left me wanting for more in some ways; the all's well in the end conclusion came a little rushed perhaps? The bit where Anu takes part in a contest definitely had me in splits, but I found the aftermath of the event a tad unrealistic. Probably that's just me and an author is after all allowed to take some liberties with his/her creation. Also I did find some minor loopholes in the narration barring all of which I really liked and enjoyed the book. It's definitely a feel-good-book that has its elements of drama, humour and goodness.

My rating: 3.5/5
Publication: Alchemy publishers
Available on: Amazon:


  1. A balanced review mentioning both plus and minus points.The final rating impels me to buy the book.Wish you had indicated the price and number of pages.

    1. KP sir, it's about 250 pages and costs Rs.150. Do get a copy, you'll enjoy it especially for the chennai tidbits that it is spiced with :-)

  2. Thanks for your review , Uma. :)

    1. Here's to many more books and success, Bhargavi :-)

  3. Nice Review Uma. The plot sounds interesting .. I am marking this to read ..

  4. Uma, when are you writing one? I just read some of your 55-ers posts and while reading each one of them I felt like I was reading an excerpt from a novel!

    1. haaaw, Radhika, you make me blush with such generous words...thank you!!!
      I want to try my hand at short stories, but really feel quite lost even before I've begun :-0


Post a Comment

Would love to hear from you :-)
Also, please click the subscribe by Email link below the comment form to get follow-up comments to your inbox..

Popular posts from this blog

An irrational dream

Pazhaniraja Elangovan trudged his way up the small slope on his rusty bicycle, a hand-me-down from one of his rare kind-hearted clients. A package, a heavy brown carton lay tied to the backseat with several ropes. The chains creaked as he pedaled harder on the slope.

Sweat trickled down his shiny brown face. Tiny buds of fresh acne dotted his forehead and chin area that was also beginning to sprout hair.

"Pazhani, don't keep loitering out in the hot sun," his Amma often chided him gently.

Pazhaniraja would dismiss his Amma's plea with silence.

She had suffered enough bringing him up single-handedly but was still worldly naive. What did she know about managing a part-time job as a local delivery boy, a night school, and a full-time dream? thought Pazhani irritatedly but also controlled his tongue.

His dream. Yes, he dreamed of owning his own business someday and making lots of money. He had many ideas but needed time to work on them.

Today, he thought excitedly. Wedn…

Bhutan: The last leg of our journey at Paro and a round up

Did you read the last post about how we made it to the top of the Takstang Monastery? If not, please do go back and read it.
Before I continue, here's a check-list that will come in handy for travelers.
Things to keep in mind while visiting the Taktsang or the Tiger's Nest Monastery 
1. You are supposed to be fully clothed while visiting this one or any other monastery/temple or Dzong in Bhutan. Which means you cannot wear short skirts, shorts, capris or the likes. Even your hands must be covered, so choose a full or three-fourth sleeved suit, top or shirt. Alternatively, you can wear a jacket or shrug.
2. Use of photography/video is prohibited in the inner sanctum of all temples and monasteries. At the Tiger's Nest, you have to surrender your backpacks with mobiles outside with the security. There are no lockers but like I said earlier, it's absolutely safe even without the lockers.
3. Wear a good quality and comfortable pair of sports shoes if you're trekking to …

The fault in our stares #100-wordfiction

He offered to walk her to the station. She sensed his well-toned arm within the suede jacket brushing against her slender, bare one as they tried to match their uneven strides. He leaned in suddenly towards her ear to whisper something. Her tensed muscles relaxed even as her full-throated laughter echoed through the dimly-lit streets. As the wind teased, his hands enveloped her from behind draping the jacket over her.

Despite enjoying the pleasant company, she felt at unease. She instinctively knew they weren't alone that night.

The judgemental stares turned into full-blown gossip by the time she came home.

100-word fiction story written for a prompt "The fault in our stares" at the BarAThon second edition.