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Book Review; Red Card by Kautuk Shrivastava

About the Book
One team. One year. Everything to lose.
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 Take on the Book
Red card, a word which is synonyms to the football game and surely something which is clearly a familiar term to every football enthusiast. Written by Kautuk and published by Penguin publisher, Red Card took me down the memory lane to the times when I was in high school. The book is a coming-of-age tale of a boy named Rishabh Bala who is bewildered and is going through all round of peer and social pressure like every 10th std student are likely to undergo. He is serious and a little eccentric, however, apart from finding himself hopelessly and hormonally in love, he is on his quest to bring fame and glory by winning a football tournament and bring a trophy for the school.  From distracted classrooms to tired tutorials of tragedies on muddy grounds, the book is about Rishabh and his companions on their journey to achieve greater heights despite the many obstacles which comes their way. 
Set in the backdrop of Mumbai, Thane, this book is quite relatable with some of the characters introduced to us. It narrates the tale of how a school football team come across many challenges as they set on a journey to be victorious in the field- from having to convince people to join the team, to finding a new coach to guide them in the game, and fighting hard on how to really make the team win in the big game and so on. The passion and perseverance of the team as described by the author gave me a warm feeling about the entire story line. From failure to working on towards a victorious game, Red card is a full fiction about sports which every football fans will enjoy the read. 
The author has successfully created a mixed atmosphere for those who are past their teenage life to those who are feeling the peer pressure right now and trying hard to juggle everything, from finding love to following their passion for something which they really want.
The narration on 'determination' shown to us by the character is absorbing and impressive. As I said, I am a football enthusiast, so reading the book with some relevant reference only made it interesting and engrossing. However, for those people who have no clue about the said sport may find it irrelevant and boring. 
Do pick a copy to re-visit the old times of your school days, through the eye of Rishabh Bala along with his scrappy football team Abhay Purohit, Abel Floyd Thottapalli, Rakshit Dave, and more. Find out the challenges they face and how they worked their ways out through passion and teamwork.

Book Details
Title: Red Card
Author: Kautuk Shrivastava
Reading level: 12+ years
Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Penguin (16 November 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0143441957
ISBN-13: 978-0143441953
My Rating: 4/5


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