“It’s not the coronavirus alone that’s novel!” writes a 14-year-old debut author Brisha Jain in her book, The year that wasn’t. The book is a reminiscent of everything that went wrong in 2020 and the little good that happened to us all.

In the preface of the book, Jain maintains that she is “a self-appointed representative of Indian teenagers” and this book is her attempt at showing the world “how it (the pandemic) upended our lives, why it is important for us and how we now see our future.” With that as our preamble we dive into the diary entries by Jain starting from 1st January, 2020.

Jain has titled every entry as per it’s significance. And though these aren’t daily updates but these are enough updates that will help us delve into the mindset of the teenager. With these entries I got a glimpse of an informed, prudent, and a responsible citizen that Jain is growing up to be. An empath. A researcher. A learner. She not only takes us through the happenings in the world but shows us exactly how it impacted her and her family. And more importantly her solutions to the problems that Covid – 19 flung at us all, especially at the lesser privileged section; these solutions will certainly blow your mind. She did, she does, all she can, in the simplest way to help the Indians fight the deadly disease. Right from starting to help her Guitar teacher operate Skype to starting hobby classes to launching a website and an NGO to help the covid infected patients, she has done it all!

When one reads into her words keenly you see a woman observing things for what they are. Her vision, especially when it comes to politics, is quite clear. And in my opinion, every teenager ought to have a positive outlook when it comes to understanding the workings of the government. Having said that, I also see a cinephile who loves to sing out loud Ilahi or One direction songs with her friends, and who worries about the health of Mr. Bachchan. As also the one who knows which entertainment news ought to be paid more attention to and which one needs to be ignored.

I have always been in love with diary entry format of storytelling. And this book, The year that wasn’t, took me through all the strongest and the mildest emotion that 2020 was about.

Many congratulations to the author on making such an impressive debut and my best wishes for her future endeavours.

To buy the book, pls click – https://amzn.to/38Uq2hY

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