Book Review: My Name is Cinnamon

My Name is Cinnamon – book cover

Book: My Name is Cinnamon (Hay House 2022)

Author: Vikas Prakash Joshi

Genre: Young Adult Fiction

Review copy: Provided by the Author

Available at:

Recommended: Must Read

A colorful yet touching story of an Indian teenager

My Name is Cinnamon by Vikas Prakash Joshi is a young adult novel on a sensitive theme. The story refreshingly starts with a football match and childhood fun and frolic. It slowly courses through the harsher travails of destiny. Cinnamon, or Roshan, is a lanky and dreamy teenager, who is puzzled by questions about his identity. He keeps filing them “away in his ‘Questions to ask later’ folder” until the need to know the answers overwhelms him.

Amidst pranks and banter with friends to woes and worries of academics, we get an engaging story of adolescence. It’s also a story about the charms and struggles of parenting. There are insights into Bengali culture, particularly food, and Marathi daily life. No Indian tale is complete without the quintessential train journey, an uncomfortable bus ride, and quirky neighbors and relatives. In this story, Kolkata emerges in all its beauty and uniqueness, and so does a quaint township in the Indian hinterlands.

The book reminds us of adventures written by beloved Indian writers like RK Narayan, Sudha Murthy, and Ruskin Bond. The drawings and caricatures add another flavor to the book. Even with all the colorful narration, I felt the book needed some editing that could have endowed it with a more literary appeal. For me, some incidents were predictable despite the humor, drama, and pace. However, the book makes its mark in the genre of young adult fiction and holds the promise of a sequel or even a graphical or serial novella about Cinnamon, our teenage protagonist.

My Name is Cinnamon has wholesome messaging around the touching topic of adoption. Books for Indian children are always a treat and it’s great to read one that bundles up positive social ideas and lesser-known information. You can grab a copy to capture the nostalgia of being a teenager and to learn whether Cinnamon gets the answers he has been seeking. In the end, you will definitely walk away with some inspiring and useful information that raises awareness and makes the book a worthwhile read.

Additional links shared by the author:

Interview in Greece:

Interview in The Hindu:

Interview by TEQ Book Club:

Interview in Pune Mirror:

International School of Kenya: Following dreams challenging

About the Book:

Author: Aneesha Shewani

I am just ME … a soul streaming across constellations, over eons of turbulent changes and tranquil noises, perturbed by the visions that engulf me and ruffled by the oft complacence that challenges the change. Yet, I must travel further across the galaxies, in search of the ultimate metamorphosis. Until then, I sojourn in this life, engrossed in my earthly callings of a wife, mother, professional, writer, dreamer, and seeker. On this blog you will find a spectrum of fiction, poetry, reviews, thoughts, snippets, inspiration, experiences, voices, concerns, excerpts, and everything that the soul has gathered in her fold, over years of reading, searching, finding, losing, and discovering. I regularly indulge in various creative pursuits, like crochet, experimental cooking, reading, and writing, and I hold a managerial/editorial role in a financial services organization with a global footprint. For a long time, social media hijacked my personal writing space, as I was sharing more on Facebook and writing Tweet-sized poetry on Twitter. Social media is instant but temporary gratification. Ultimately, a writer needs their own space, and personal blogging provides that space. I had started a blog more than a decade ago but all things need to be infused with new life, emerge in a new avatar, and so it is with my new blog space. Let your love and encouragement pour into Blue Pen Strokes. Check out Aneesha Shewani (@felinemusings) 

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