Book Review: Videotape by Adib Zaini


by Adib Zaini 

A group of high school kids that have been friends since childhood took it upon themselves the task of finding the culprit behind the videotape that caused their life to change. While before this all their biggest worry was losing to their friends in video games, this time their biggest worry is not trying to get caught while investigating a crime that involves their senior.

From the beginning we are introduced to the main character, Razak, who comes from a dysfunctional family. Later on we are introduced to his group of friends that all have stories of their own. I became really invested in Razak’s life as I followed his day at home all the way through school. He became a memorable character for his actions and compassion despite his backstory.

While the title of this book is Videotape, the author never really explored the origin, the purpose or the story behind the criminal responsible for the videotape. The last two chapters of the book was when the story focused more on the videotape and the criminal itself so it was a bit disappointing as it felt rushed and abrupt. Yet, it still left a lot of questions unanswered.

Why was there a videotape in the first place? Why was it left in the store room? What’s the significance of the ear that he felt the need to cut it off? Who was his accomplice? What was his intention?

Nevertheless, I felt the main character made up for the lack of story line on the criminal because in the end I didn’t care much about the videotape anymore.

The pacing of the story kind of dragged on Razak’s personal life but I enjoyed following his experience with his first relationship and enjoyed his banters with his group of friends. Maybe it’s just the high school nostalgia factor that’s tugging my heart a bit.

This is a good book for a quick and easy read, but be warned, if you are looking for a mysterious thriller then you will be disappointed.

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