No Marshmallows, Just Term Papers
How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life
by Kaavya Viswanathan
A novel full of unexpected plots oozing out a lot of positive energy. Opal Mehta is a Harvard aspirant. More so, her family believes she is destined to get into Harvard. Nothing can go wrong as 'The Mehta’s' have ultra-carefully planned every course of HOWGIH (How Opal Mehta will get into Harvard) ever since the family shifted from Chennai to the land of opportunities-America. Opal chooses Physics, Community activities, debate participation, Vice President of Student Council to partying as against most Woodcliff seniors. Tagged officially the NERDO of Woodcliff, Opal faces the worst nightmare of her life time when Dean Anderson asks her "what do you do for fun Opal?" at the Admissions interview. Stumped and blank Opal returns only to be given a second chance in form of Regular admissions interview in January. The novel takes on a hilarious route hereafter, with HOWGAL (How Opal Mehta will get a life) coming into existence. Opal dutifully follows every step under this new scheme including watch in The O.C, The Desperate Housewives and reading rather scanning every page of Vogue and other top rated fashion mages. After a series of initial hiccups, Opal finds herself among the ever popular 'Haute Bichez' of Woodcliff thus achieving the top goal of HOWGAL- get popular. The story takes a real fast pace with Opal finding her true love in Sean a counsel student. All goes well... but then during a house party which Opal throws to get 'wild', the unexpected happens. Opal's Blackberry lands with Priscilla one of the HBz. Bad as ever they expose Opal to the entire of Woodcliff. Lost and hurt Opal is isolated from everyone including her parents. Kali, her cousin rather a misfit of the Mehta clan happens to inspire Opal with her 'I live life my way-attitude'. Then there’s transition and transformation. On a pre-interview visit to Harvard, Opal meets people who live their original...