Half Girlfriend by Chetan Bhagat – Full Review by Stri!

2 hours – two uninterrupted hours was the time it took me to complete the 260 pages “Half-Girlfriend” novel by Chetan Bhagat. I was one of the many readers who pre-ordered the book, exactly the next minute Chetan Bhagat announced it officially. Why? Curiosity. As Chetan says, I don’t remember him as a person who did this, I miss him when one year passes without his book. Let’s cut the small talk and get on to the real review.
What I perceived? I thought this book would something about friends-with-benefits or no-strings-attached type, which is now popularly trending. However, it is the exact opposite. This is a tale of first love.

Plot: Most of you would be aware of the book back synopsis; however, to brief it up again: Madhav, a bihari guy with no English fluency falls for Riya, a high-class Delhi girl. He proposes her to be his girlfriend (read as propose to make love), she says no. But, yeah wait, she accepts to be his half-girlfriend. When people might think it is friends-with-benefits, it is the opposite lovers-without-benefits. Cool move, lady!

What happens next? Arrrgh, the male ego in Madhav gets hurt, and he along with his so-called love guru friends realize that Madhav fucking her is the only way of making her his. Enter Madhav, who was not-so-high-class with his boner into Riya’s bed. The smart girl (did I say you they were just 18 years old in the story?) pushes him away, and he ends up abusing her with his typical Bihari slang. Boom, the girl goes out. Boy chase the girl. After a prolonged ‘Sorry-No need of your sorry’ scene, Rhea gives her wedding invitation to Madhav. Guess who is she marrying, London groom (American grooms have become too mainstreamed, you see), Rohan bhaiyya. Yeah, she used to call him bhaiya back then, even tied Rakhi. But, screw that, he is rich, so let them get married. Here ends Act 1.

Act 2 starts in Bihar, Madhav ditches HSBC job paying him bloody-50K rupees/month (I wonder who pays so much to a B.A Sociology grad), to improve his village in Bihar. Hey, did I mention he is a prince? Yes, this guy is a broke prince. Long story short, he develops his mother’s school and tries to give peech in English. “Yeah, no girl, but I nailed in English, you see.” But, his English is still pathetic that he goes to spoken English class in Patna. Enter Riya… Boom… After this if I reveal, it will be spoilers.

Hey, there is an Act 3 in New york! 😛

What’s wow?
1. Simple language, as always – CB and his idea of making everyone read.
2. Cheeky lines – Although sexist at places, his dialogues are realistic and humorous – a rare combo.
3. At last, no steamy sex or scandal – Yeah, there isn’t any.

What’s oops?
1. Predictable – Enough said.
2. There were few instances were the story was toooooo dragging. Especially the Bill Gates part, the search for Riya, etc.
3. Climax – typical ending.
4. Same narration style as in R2020. Kinda got repetitive.

Do I recommend? Yes, it is Chetan Bhagat, you need to read. Love his books or hate his books, you can’t ignore them.

Rating: 2.5/5

Verdict: Half girlfriend – A full predictable story with typical CB ingredients.

One-liner: A simple tale of a low-class boy, high-class girl romance in CB’s style.

Bonus: This will definitely make a Bollywood blockbuster, for this can be an awesome script for B-wood movies without even a change in the screenplay.




  1. Chetan sir( hope u don’t mind adding sir to u) ..m a biggest fan of u…yaa i know their are many.I have read all your books.My favourite among all your book is ”Revolution 2020” and ”3 Mistake of my life”..this novels ate something that connects our heart….that matches to a youngster day to day life….i have a lots of hope that ur book ”half girlfriend” will again bring one revolution on CB style but….m very sorry that it fails to connect….it doesn’t touch much.it seems like reading a script of a bollywood movie with lots of bollywoddy masala….it seems it is being written with the motive of creating anothet blockbuster in bollywood after 2 states not for ur fans..who wants u to write that could touch thiet heart as done by revolution 2020 and 3 mistake of my life.hope u will think about it…..waiting for ur nxt novel..


  2. Want to point out a mistake.
    Page 202 –
    Journal Entry – 11 June 2008
    “A Whatsapp message flashed in the notifications.”

    Whatsapp was initially released in 2009 so how come it happened in 2008


  3. This is a pretty decent review. Nevertheless I feel you have missed some subtle sub themes in the story. There are some social messages delivered so subtly that they could be easily missed. The real reason why she avoids making love with Madhav & the reason she despises her dad. Importance of education. How women are women’s biggest enemies.
    Also one big satire is the scene where Madhav is crowned as prince. I kinda feel that’s CB’s way of mocking Rahul Gandhi and Sonia Gandhi. If what I feel is true then it’s a clever narration by Chetan.


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