Vishal Sah, the author of First love matters so does the second, is described as hugely inspired by the work of Durjoy Dutta and Chetan Bhagat. This description gives you an idea as to what to expect (and what not to expect) in the novel First love matters so does the second.
This is story of Vishal, his first love Vedika and second love Shreya. His cousin Ananya and his best friend Shaurya are his classmates in his school. So is Myra, who is Shaurya’s love interest. Vishal’s love for Vedika is unreciprocated because she is seeing Arnav. When in junior college, he meets Shreya. Both of them fall in love with each other. Vishal graduates from high school to junior college and then degree college. There he meets Vedika again. His proximity with Vedika creates a rift with Shreya and finally Shreya breaks up with him. Vishal falls terribly ill. He has cancer. He dies, leaving behind a book containing the story of his life which is published by Shaurya.
The characterization, the writing style is hugely inspired from Chetan Bhagat. Yet, surprisingly, except for the mistakes in the second half, the novel has come up very well. It certainly entertains.
The second half is marred with many mistakes. Shaurya appears three times for NDA-SSB within a span of few days. NDA doesn’t conduct exams that frequently. How could Vishal’s classmates take up the medical entrance a year before and become his seniors at medical college? It is not the case that Vishal takes a year off to prepare for the entrance. The following line on page 77 is grammatically incorrect “ I had been about to consult a doctor, but then had gotten so busy in the paperwork for my admission in college that I had forgotten all about it.”
Dr Mehra asking so many questions relating to medical science for the first year students that too in his second lecture and Vishal’s first lecture (He had skipped first lecture) is not believable. When Vishal is in his twelfth class, Shreya is in her tenth standard. Then how does she pass twelfth class, when Vishal is still in first year of medicine? On page number 87, 110 and many other places whether is misspelt as weather.
The novel though written in first person towards the end unintentionally and mistakenly alternates between first person and third person. That creates confusion. Read the following lines. “It felt so impossible to express what it felt I when you knew you are about to die and you couldn’t do anything about it” Page 95. “This time I too couldn’t control his emotions and cried.” Page 110. He held Shreya’s hand for some more time and then asked Shaurya and Myra to come near. The word refuge is wrongly written as refuse in the following line on page 105 “Shaurya, on the other side, sought refuse in anger.”
The second half is borrowed from Five point someone, but is not developed, wrapped up in the last few pages. This left over of Chetan’s Five Point someone required good editing. It is ironical that the author thanks his editor Shriya Garg for her editing job.
If this novel was devoid of the mistakes mentioned above, it would have definitely made a good read.