Revolution 2020 by Chetan Bhagat This work is considered exceptional by our editorial staff.

February 1, 2013
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As a young Indian in the first world, I realize that I am often unaware of much of India's reality: the education system -- which I have noticed is often more exam-based and focused in the academic direction, as opposed to the emphasis placed on extracurricular activities and athletics in the US, the corruption -- which inevitably lies beneath a few government and business ventures, the historic culture and religious value of old Indian cities such as Varanasi, and the family structure -- the pride with which a child makes the choices and follows the path laid out for his life by his parents, whether it be marriage or career, and the respect with which Indian adults place their complete trust in their family.

Needless to say, I've been privy to very little of India's true culture first-hand, and besides the brief vacations I take to my mother country every year or two, novels are my greatest window into the lives and culture of my fellow Indians.

Chetan Bhagat's Revolution 2020 took me on an in-depth journey into one of the most sacred cities of India, and the lives of three young Indians -- Gopal, Raghav, and Aarti -- through whose lives I was able to understand some of the wants and needs, hardships and obstacles faced by contemporary India's young middle class. I accompanied the three while they labored over IIT admissions exams as students, fell in love, and faced the choice of whether or not to join the country's widespread corruption -- realizing the consequences of attempting to change the system. As I read about the bias of the system towards those willing to bend their morals, the consequences of India's tightly-knit family structure, and the desire to make a name for one's self in a country of over a billion people, I saw the India that I live across the world from, through the eyes of a local -- and I am confident that you will too.

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