Title: I’m Not A Retard!
Author: Rajashree Anand
One of the crucial issues prevailing in the twenty first century is Cyber bullying. Misuse of social media and cell phones to harass people are contributing to an alarming number of cases which at times even lead to suicide. “I’m Not A Retard” focuses on the problem of cyber bullying and how it can affect the victims. It’s a simple story that is actually a source of awareness of cyber crimes soaring for everyone.
Blurb: Tormented by a group of cyber-bullies in Smithsonian College, Katya Mishra reaches out to Tara Ghosh. Her appeal is marked “spam” by the journalist, who’s caught in her own world of choices: career, family and newfound love. Matters were also getting worse in South Hall for Ralph Archer who was already a victim of ‘a host of hate-pages on FB’. Can each of them find solutions to their problems and solve those of others?
“I’m Not a Retard!” seeks to make people aware of the downsides of this newly-found medium of expression and is the voice of silent rebellion from the many students and adults faced by instances of cyber-bullying in their lives.
Through an interplay of narrative voices, the reader is taken on a voyage, experiencing the twists and turns of characters who meander through the complex intricacies and ironic shortcomings of the cyber-world.
My View: At first glance, the unusual title and attractive cover grabbed my attention towards it. The short and catchy blurb made me more likely to want to read it. These three elements gives a slightly intriguing scenario.
The book comprises of different stories of different people amalgamated in a certain way. The instances from a school and college are elucidated in the book. The story is composed of various difficulties faced by the teachers and students. However, the matter of concern remains the same i.e. the cons of cyber world.
There are compelling characters in the book which contain a little bit of us. The day to day problems and worries are illustrated in a interesting manner. Such as the bewilderment of perceived career-related choices, peer pressure, the expectations parents have for their kids and several frequent human feelings and emotions.
The plot is well crafted. It emphasizes on the severe consequences of digital persecution on the youth. It expounds how cyber bullying is linked to depression in teenagers. Moreover, it results into public humiliation, emotional and mental breakdown, insecurity and despair. The author brings out the problem along with the solutions to it. How people can reach out for help and share their stories is also delineated in the book. I liked how the author has improvised this issue in such a riveting way.
The author adopted a pleasant and simple writing style. The sensitive issue of dealing with cyber crimes has been well presented.
The story is divided into four parts. It’s a fast paced book with a number of questions going through the reader’s mind. Although, the beginning doesn’t give the idea of the plot and it may seem indistinct. Indeed, the climax is powerful which instills a sense of understanding related to the drawbacks of internet and social media world.
It’s a fresh script with a strong subject. I would like to congratulate the author for drawing attention to a serious predicament in the present era.
Altogether, it’s a entertaining story with a message to be cautious of cyber bullies. Recommended to everyone out there!
Reviewer: Shivani Chauhan