Title: Enter Title Here
Author: Rahul Kanakia
Publication date: August 2nd 2016
Number of pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.
Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.
What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.
But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.
Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)
Enter Title Here shook me up, and not in a bad way. The main character Reshma isn’t exactly a protagonist. She is a dedicated high school senior who has her heart set on being the best, graduating on top, and getting into Stanford. This means working the school system to her advantage, pulling lawsuits on the school because of racism charges when she doesn’t get high enough grades, and blackmailing girls into being her friends. She’s the antihero of the year, ladies and gentlemen.
“I’m not a sympathetic main character. My quirks are not lovable. I am not clumsy. I am not overwhelmed by life. I am not unlucky in love.”
While I didn’t really like Reshma, she was easy to relate to—in a sense. I’ve been in the position of needing to get a good grade, and it becomes a bit of a compulsion; perhaps not to Reshma’s level, but pretty up there. Reshma keeps going, keeps trying to create friend relationships out of people she doesn’t like, all for the sake of writing a novel that might get represented by a literary agent. When the novel ends up getting rejected from the agency, Reshma continues to document her life and the messes she has made.
The only real setback was it felt like there was no climax in the book. I read until the end, and didn’t feel satisfied or truly connected with the story. Occasionally the dialogue felt choppy, but if you put it in perspective of a strict student copying down all her conversations, I’m sure contractions aren’t that big of a deal. It was an enjoyable read none the less.