3 out of 4 stars
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IIa is a 17-year-old girl who found herself desirous of Ali Zafar when she was fifteen. The reason is not far-fetched; Ali Zafar is a celebrity singer and songwriter that commands lots of admiration and attention on social media, and Ila had made him her pop idol.
Over time, Ila's affection towards Ali Zafar has escalated into obsession, as the thought of him becomes her sleeping and waking thought.
Precisely, it has been two years since she made him the object of her obsession, but nothing seems to improve towards her dream for Ali Zafar. And her mom, Veena, noticed that if she continues with her state of Erotomania, she's liable to make mistakes that could spread to every area of her life, just as it was in her case back in her teenage years. Hence, Veena tried her best to get her only daughter, Ila, to have a changed mindset toward love feelings so that she would be able to distinguish between the true love feelings and mere admiration that she believes is a norm in the adolescent stage of teenagers.
As Veena tries her maternal best—giving orders and setting rules in the house—Ila attributes her mummy's stern behavior to the fact that she is missing Pops, who no longer stays with her.
So, she's going to orchestrate an online date for her mummy and see how the tension would fade out; hence, the mission tagged 'operation mom.'
While Veena tried to get Ila cleared of her Erotomania condition, Ila, on the other hand, thought she needed to help her mother get over a certain psychological problem. Hence, who holds a misconception of the other? Veena or Ila?
Operation Mom by Reenita Malhotra Hora is a fictional story of the drama that ensued between Ila and Veena, as both fought to have the upper hand in their opinion of the conception of love.
I will love to read this book over again because of its qualities—thrilling, suspenseful, educative, and enlightening. The suspenseful and relatable quality of the book comes out from the art with which the author tells the story of Ila. The story was told from the perspective of the main character, Ila, and this made the story sound realistic beyond the work of fiction. I was able to feel for Ila as she finds it difficult to have her ways under the lookout of her stern mother. I felt for her as her personality flaws keep crossing her way, preventing her from getting what her heart wants in love. From the naive characteristics she ensued, she teaches the teens that, though there is no problem in admiring celebrities, being filled with obsession as a high school teenager, stalking a celebrity is detrimental to success. And this is an instance of the book's educational quality.
The thrilling quality of the book comes from the choice of words of each character and the dramatic scenes of verbal attacks between Ila and her mother. In most scenes, I found myself grinning while reading the book. For example, I was thrilled as I read where Ila used an idiom to reject her mother's opinion of her about her obsessive tendency toward Ali Zafar. Also, it is hilarious reading through the scenes where Ila, Dev, and Deepali exchange friendly conversation while they go about their mission of operation mom, browsing various dating sites.
Conversely, I don't like how the author uses abbreviations without explaining what they could stand for; for example, BFF, BO, etc. These abbreviations are spread almost everywhere in the book, and they alter my enjoyment of the book a bit, as I struggled with understanding their full meaning to connect them with events in the story. Hence, I'll rate the book 3 out of 4 stars.
The book is professionally edited, as I could only find two grammar errors in it. I loved that the author pours a breeze of romance into the book, and it doesn't go deep. This made me recommend the book to a wide range of readers, including teenagers and adults. The book is set in India, and some terms represent Indian culture. Hence, Indian audiences would resonate more with the book. Though, the general audience with the ability to read in English will also enjoy the book.
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