Beyond School : Review

IndiBlogger Badge
Book Cover : In high Resolution :)

Book : Beyond School
Author :Chitra Anand
Category : Fiction
Published By : Leadstart Publishing, Frog Books
Year : 2014
Price : Rs 124
Pages : 201
Book Cover : Apt
ISBN -10: 9383562404
ISBN-13: 978-9383562404

Ratings : 4/5

From a plethora of books, there are only a handful few which grips us, right from the first paragraph.

'Beyond School' does this effortlessly. In fact, 'Effortless' is the word synonymous for it but considering that the author might have issues over the word which claim(though it does not) her hard efforts to be effortless, spontaneous seems better :)

The author deserves accolades for her style of spontaneous and natural writing.
She not only showcases the life of her protagonist Shail - a 17 years old but, of each and every character in the book. She had made a mere glimpse into their lives far richer than verbose chapters after chapters churned out by her contemporaries. A remarkable feat.

 Beyond School centres upon the weeks leading up to 17 year-old Shail's final board exams, as his world becomes a pressure cooker and the weight of exams sends him fleeing  rebelliously in the other direction.
Along with Shail's journey from boyhood to manhood, beyond School vividly weaves between the narratives if four main characters,seamlessly uniting the past and the present of Shail and his mentor Gladys, in a story that is honest, funny, heartbreaking and ultimately incredibly human.

I was not exactly raring to read about a 17 years old's secret, conflict, girlfriend stress, a desire to be in Manchester United... and all that jazz. But, the first chapter caught me off- guard. It was different, deep and sets the tone for the rest of the book. 
It made the reader realise that 'Beyond School' is going to be an emotional and understanding journey with less words and more undercurrents.

In a book divided into 36 chapters and of 200 pages, the author has dealt with almost every issue under the sun from Board exams - a BIG thing in an average Indian kid's life, 
the girl-friend - the indispensable yet most suppressed topic in the life of the same person,
the issue of mobile phones and gadget usage , 
the lack of communication between child and parents,
the IMPORTANCE and role of a mentor teacher
changing social norms,
generation gap,
need of understanding by parents 
The anxieties of parents, the pressures of teens and many more topics...

Is breezy and seamless as the story moves from one character to another.The writing is simple, spontaneous, easy to read yet not colloquial which makes it a better.

needs special mention as there are lots of them considering the page-count! And yet, the author managed to make them so honest, in-depth versions of them, with each having a story of his/her own which is told, without your even realising it. 

 Very cunningly the reader is dragged into their lives on pretext of  chapters named Ma, Dad,Father Spy... so  you feel as if you are reading about Shail's Ma, Shail's dad while in reality, you are getting the slice of life from Urmila and Sushil Abhyankar's life!
The book captures the contradictions of teen-student's life in a nutshell.

One - Its a book written with sensitivity ... Every word exudes sensitivity, softness,towards children, conflicts,desires,the fragility of life,dreams and relationships.
Second - It deals with the psychological aspect of every action with utmost clarity and stresses upon not to be judgemental.
Third- Urmila's reaction and subsequent decision regarding messages with sexual overtones,between Shail and Shruti. 
Fourth - Shail realises Aaron's Dad loved him - it was just a different way. 
Glady's Father. A character who stood out shining amid other grey and white ones. A worker, operating gear-making machines at Premier Automobiles for livelihood, who wanted to name her daughter Nargis, he was father-genius, father-brave and father-best a blessing! He is immortalized here. Not only Glady's, he is my HERO too.

Its a MUST READ book for parents and children ALIKE ...which makes it for ALL.

Chitra Anand was born in Mumbai. She is a postgraduate in Physics with an Education degree and Beyond School is her first novel inspired by her journey as an educator. To know more about her visit her SITE

PS.sst On page 14, Shail's mother is introduced as 'dark but beautiful' which I thought ought to be 'dark and beautiful' and as the author was introducing her to the readers,I could not see it as a character's impression. Though its fine, still I mulled over it ..

Copies Available at all online stores:

Know More Inside Stories, Connect with The Author:
Twitter: @chtranand

Read the book? Write a review on Goodreads:

"This review is a part of The Readers Cosmos Book Review Program. For details log on to"
Get the Book and its Review - 

Goodreads  Amazon Flipcart


  1. Short and sweet review Kokila... Very effective! I would definitely read the book one day... TC! Keep smiling :) Happy writing!

    1. Yeah Sindhu.. its a good n simple book - a term which can't be bestowed on many others.Thanks for your positive words and am glad you feel like reading it ... wishes for the festive week dear :)

  2. Hello Kokila, this really does sound like a wonderful story. I so enjoyed your review, thank you. I hope your weekend is going well, Barbara x

    1. Thanks dear for the lovely wishes .Am glad you liked the review :)

    2. I really did Kokila, thank you. I hope your weekend is going well. :-)

  3. Thanks Kokila for sharing your experience of this book with us. The way you're talking about it generates a deep curiosity to know about the character Shail. I'm always fascinated about the psychology behind the human behaviour especially in term of relationship with others. Thanks for showing the opportunity to introspect through this book. Have a nice festive week ahead! :)

    1. Thanks Ravish for your thoughts.. I hope the book will meet the standards I have made you to think it is ! though I am sure it certainly had some interesting characters and a simple and effective narration. Thanks for your wishes and BEeeeelated wishes to you too :)

  4. I wouldn't have ever picked up the book (and I am being frank here) but then your review has given me a reason to. The first chapter impression has my hopes high. Definitely going to read this one! Thanks for sharing :)

    1. Hey Shanx.. Its always a big welcome to get frank n honest friends like you here ! And Its me who is apprehensive if you'll feel the same about it .... Anyway I am sure it IS a nice book :) Thanks for the frank lines :P :)

  5. Short and precise review Kokila. I had to miss the review invitation for this one as I'm reading some huge ones ( 400+ pages ) these days ( review will come up soon :-P ) but after seeing your rating and review, I think it was a great miss :-( .

    BTW, I agree with the 'dark but beautiful' part... !

    1. Hi Maniparna ... apologies dear to you, in fact All for being a late replier...
      And Thanks for the sweet words :) By now I guess you would have finished the thick one ... so am going to read your review as its something I always LOVE to do :D
      And yes I knew you would agree with the 'dark but beautiful'... as we are the ones who read too much , even, between the lines :P :)

  6. This sounds like a very interesting book Kokila, an area which was untapped and something which was very much needed :).. Quite interested to pick the book now :)

    1. Hwy Vinay... hope you enjoyed the Famous Dassara of your beautiful green city ..... Am glad it sounds interesting to you as you are a person who will analyse its underlying emotions even better than me. :) Thanks Vinay.

    2. Thank you Kokila :). That is indeed very kind of you to say so :)... I have a lot of reading to catch up on . Hopefully the next couple of months will be good reading . And yea hoping to see more of you.


    3. V+ !!
      Innovative ! can't help commenting dears .... Its pleasing and gladdening to know you both :)
      Only K :)


  8. This is not the genre I read but you have certainly intrigued me with this review!! Thanks a lot.

    1. Hey, Whatsup !! Glad to see you dear .... thanks you read it despite not being of your style of reading ... Thanks again :)

    2. ofcourse :) your blog is still my style of reading :P

  9. Another interesting review written by you, Kokila. I enjoyed reading it. As for the book, it is on my 'to-read list' now :)

    1. Thanks a lot Nimi.... have a lot of catching up to do .. am so happy you liked it .. am eagerly waiting for your review of it :)

  10. I haven't read this book yet. But after reading this review I'll surely get one. I am a college student and I can really understand what a student is made to go through in our country in the name of exams.

    1. Ha HA Rajat ... can completely relate with you :) yup you might like it as
      1 - it is short n breezy
      2- it asks parents to understand the relationships of their kids who are not kids anymore..
      3- stresses that life and decisions made at this phase are important .
      Wishes n welcome to the space here... keep in touch :)

  11. Thanks for the review.. I do buy random books regularly, and that is always fun, as I dont know what am I getting into... Looking forward to getting this.

    1. Yeah rajesh I agree with you on that surprise factor as I too do the same most of the time... Thanks for the appreciative words and hope you like the book too. welcome in the sunshine :)

  12. Its interesting

  13. Good review done on the book Kokila.

    1. Glad you liked it Indrani... Thanks for the visit friend :)

  14. Seems interesting. The review looks very professional too.

  15. Nice review, Kokila :)
    Interestingly presented.

    1. Hwdy Anita ! Thanks dear... Glad you liked the presentation :)


Your views make this blog work ...Thanks a lot. :)