Book Reviews

Red Card – Book Review

  • Author: Kautuk Srivastava
  • Reading level: 12+ years
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin (16 November 2018)
  • Language: English


When Rishabh Bala reaches the tenth standard, life takes a turn for the complicated. The bewildered boy feels the pressure of the looming board exams and finds himself, hopelessly-and hormonally-in love. But what he yearns for most is a victory on the field: at least one trophy with his beloved school football team.

Set in the suburban Thane of 2006, here is a coming-of-age story that runs unique as it does familiar. Hopscotching from distracted classrooms and tired tutorials to triumphs and tragedies on muddy grounds, this is the journey of Rishabh and his friends from peak puberty to the cusp of manhood.

My Review

In a long time, I read a book which is young adult fiction and still managed to convince my heart that Yay! I loved it. Red Card by Kautuk Srivastava is undoubtedly one of my best reads of this year and I am gonna recommend it to all.

Teenage is a delicate age when a child undergoes a wide array of changes – both physically and emotionally. There is a surge of passion coursing through young veins, aspirations high enough which sound lame to their parents, zeal for a thing they love, and a lot more which the book successfully explores. Through the characters which are in their teen years, the author attempts to bring out the beauty of being in an important phase of one’s life.

Rishabh Bala is a formidable and dedicated player of the football team of his school. He is accompanied by his best friend Puro who is the captain of the team. The tenth graders are crazy for the sport which shows up when they tactfully convince their parents to send them for the practice. They have board exams to tackle and no coach to train them when by the grace of God, they get one – Noorani. The coach makes use of his abrasive tone to bring the best out of a team he wants. He symbolizes a teacher we need in our lives to guide us, reprimand us, punish us, and ultimately save us! While there are football tournaments to handle, Rishabh has her lady love Tamanna breaking his heart which affects his game. Additionally, there are parents setting high expectations from students which compels them to work harder and smarter!

With passion, love, lies, heartbreaks, friendships, Red Card is a coming of age story representing the true picture of a typical teenager. With a deft narrative woven with witty, sassy language and loads of humor and puns, I surely enjoyed the ride thoroughly. A very fine character sketch is being drawn for each individual. The qualities have been attributed to them intelligently. Moreover, the characters with their distinct set of problems felt so lively and relatable. Their dialogues, their conversations – all are written meticulously leaving no loopholes. All credits to the amazing narration.

Though Football is at its core, the book does deal with myriad issues of life. Though it is about children, the lesson of not giving up it teaches can be very well applied to everyone. The complete plot is well designed with a lucid writing style and smooth flow of the central theme. It is a telling account of kids who live with million dreams and find a way even in the dark to achieve the silver lining.



4 thoughts on “Red Card – Book Review

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