Title: 18 Via Teen
Author: Shreyasi Rhittika Phukon
Publisher: Dream House Publications
Shreyasi Rhittika Phukon has devotedly captured the nuances of life among teenagers in eighteen of her stories compiled under the title ‘18 via teen.’ Apprehension, dilemma, aspiration and hope are major themes. Few of the stories even talk of foundation for self-esteem and refusal to be defined by stigma. She has aptly avoided cute-speak, all the while conveying genuine feeling and the deeper complexity and contradictions of life as it is lived. Her observations approach a certain kind of profundity.
Starting each story with a meaningful quote is a time tested way of catching the reader’s attention. Phukon has done justice to this practice. The sentiment behind each story is quite similar: be yourself. In the writer’s own words, the stories she has penned down enumerate the various phases of a teen and the hopes, aspirations, apprehensions, ambiguity, insecurity, dilemma, restlessness and sensitiveness, associated with each phase. Each story vividly depicts the psychological aspects of a teenage girl/boy and how the intuition helps her/his to overcome the hurdles one after another, which in teen makes her/his matured.
There are some minor hiccups though. The cover of the book does nothing to attract potential readers. Secondly, the editing could have been better. But I won’t hold these against the author as it is her debut. We learn from our mistakes. I’m sure she’ll do the same.
I’d like to end the review with a positive note. The readers will find some good motivation from the stories if they are willing to get out the sieve.
Shreyasi Rhittika Phukon lives in Jorhat, Assam. She holds a bachelor’s degree. She has contributed her writings in few anthologies and magazines. Also initiated an anthology “A Phase Unknown Women- A Tribute” and the book has been awarded the “Best Anthology Award 2014”. She is also the winner of “Aagaman Tejasvani Samman 2014” by Sanmati Publishers and distributors. She also works as M.D. for an e-magazine named Novelist Magazine. Currently she is pursuing her Masters from Guwahati University.