Book: My Name is Cinnamon (Hay House 2022)
Author: Vikas Prakash Joshi
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Review copy: Provided by the Author
Available at: Amazon.in
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: https://eatdessertfirstgreece.com/2021/08/21/vikas-prakash-joshi/
Interview in The Hindu: https://bit.ly/3lmDFwT
Interview by TEQ Book Club: https://bit.ly/3DUwE0s
Interview in Pune Mirror: https://bit.ly/3yMIR4R
International School of Kenya: Following dreams challenging
About the Book: noisyvision.org/2021/10/28/my-name-is-cinnamon-a-book-by-Vikas-prakash-joshi/