Book Title: The Midnight Years
Author: Jane De Suza & Sangita Unni
About the Authors:
Jane De Suza’s books have hit both award and bestselling lists. These include Flyaway Boy, When the World Went Dark, the SuperZero series, Uncool, Happily Never After, and The Spy Who Lost Her Head. She is a management graduate from XLRI, creative director across advertising agencies, a columnist with a national daily, and currently lives in Singapore with her family.
Sangita Unni is a psychologist who lives in Bengaluru and has been a practising counsellor for over a decade. She is the director of Lyftly India and has launched Lyftly Minds, an app that promotes holistic emotional wellness focused on the youth of our country. She is an avid trekker, diver, founder of Nair’s Kitchen, and full-time mother to her three young adult sons and a beautiful indie dog.
About the Book:
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One night is all it takes. A party turns into a nightmare for four teenagers. Alisha guards a secret that will shatter those who know her. Sharad is crushed under his family’s expectations. Good little Ruhi makes a single mistake that will come back to haunt her. And AK is let down disastrously by those he trusts the most. As they struggle through this pitch-black time in their lives, they must make life-changing choices that could hurl them backward or help them claw towards the light.
Young adult books have always been my favourite, and reading them often makes the mind tuned to the present times. YA books of any country teach us many things. For a decade, there have been many books that not only talk about the fun and frolic the teenager lives have but also the most critical aspect of mental health. Fortunately, many Indian authors whom I always vouch for have been focusing on the issues that an individual faces when gets struck at the early age of adulthood. The unfortunate thing is that they mute themselves as they fear no one can listen to their voices. Thus, they resort to those who listen to them but fail to see the unexpected harm sometimes.
We see several situations see today in the news or in our neighbourhood where the victims and convicts are very young people. Some cases involve young adults under the influence of alcohol and narcotics. Instead of reaching to the parents or the family, these youngsters reach out to strangers for help. Neither their teachers nor their classmates know what is happening in their minds and how is their thought processes shaping up. This creates an alarming situation for sure. The psycho therapists’ job has sprung up of all the professions, and every school or college or the premier institute has one dedicated doctor. Sadly, our country is yet to develop here.
Now, the book, The Midnight Years by Jane De Suza and Sangita Unni, is a story of four young adults who come from different fabrics of society, each trying to prove their best amongst the crowd. There is this incredible writing where we see or read or rather hear the voices of these teens. We as readers get to travel with them and understand their fears, insecurities and voices. These characters talk about their desires, dreams and aspirations. In the same umbrella, we can see these teens aiming to live the lives of others. The writing is novel and it is quite new.
Reading the book often questioned where, as a society are we going wrong? In the name of false status and to prove ourselves to those who do not matter to us in life, we often forget the reality. It is high time that we need to focus more on these muted voices. With simple yet Gen X vocabulary, sensible narration and Talk Space that talks about the dears and questions the teenagers have and who can resonate with the characters of Sharad, Ruhi, AK and Alisha, this book is highly recommended.
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