The first time I encountered Dapo Ojo, it was on Seun Odukoya’s blog.
To say I fell in love with the character would be a mild way of putting it. Dapo was exciting, intriguing, annoying and fun. With Yemisi, I felt like I’d found a kindred spirit- someone who shared a few similarities with me. Mope, I liked. Mope was the friend I deeply cared about who had gotten hurt by love and still didn’t give up on it. In Yemisi’s mum, I saw bits of my mum. That effusiveness was totally relatable.
So after meeting these people on the blog, I finally got another chance to meet them properly again in the book Saving Dapo written by the very same Seun Odukoya.
In the book Saving Dapo, you find characters you can connect to and relate with. The characters are real and come alive not just in your head but also in your heart.
We all know one someone (friend, sibling, acquaintance) who has loved probably just once and has been unable to totally let go and move on. That’s Dapo. Someone who is seemingly surrounded by so much darkness to the point he finds it comforting. You want to bring them out of their shell, you want to help them heal, you want to make them happy again…
We all have that one friend who cares about us selflessly to the point that they would risk getting hurt just to see us happy. So they go ahead and do all sorts of crazy stuff simply because they care. That’s Yemisi. The girl goes and asks Dapo out. In a public place! And you people think I’m crazy. But that’s by the way.
There’s also Remi. All these mysterious guys who are all shades of trouble. Like you meet them and you know you should run but there’s this pull you can’t resist. Sometimes they turn out to be good for you, at other times… Well, go and read the book.
Then there’s Yemisi’s mum. If she’s not your mother, she’s your friend’s mother. Exciting, bubbly, full of life, always prying and sometimes a pain but you love her all the same.
There’s Toke, loyal best friend and business partner. Really great chic.
The major characters in this book excited me. A whole lot. And I think the simple reason that happened is what I had earlier stated; the characters are real. They are me, they are you, they are people you know.
The interactions, the conversations, they are not exactly everyday occurrences but you can connect to them.
The thing about the writer is, he has a way with words. They simply obey him.
So you would probably read ten pages straight and not realize that you haven’t blinked once.
Ok. Maybe I exaggerate. But you get the picture. This book will hold you down.
The central theme is love. But not by your usual definition. You want to know what I mean by that? Pick up the book for yourself. There is the theme of friendship. Seun really played about with that a lot. And I liked it a lot. It made me realize that friendship is a crucial ingredient in love. You cannot separate the two. You absolutely can’t! Then there are the more subtle themes of faith, forgiveness, ambition, passion…
There’s actually quite a lot going on yeah, but not too much that you’re distracted or lost. The book also has some illustrations which I liked.
I guess the only thing that did not work for me was the lack of closure for some of the characters.
Like Mope. As she didn’t get married, what now happened to her? It just felt like there’s a whole new story out there waiting to be told.
And Dapo, was he really saved at the end of the day? That’s one question I really cannot answer.
Anyways, it is 350 pages of excitement. And I assure you, you will thank me when you’re done.
And if you think it doesn’t get better, check out the CD with the soundtracks. When I listened to the songs, I was like, this Seun ehn, shebi he wants to finish somebody?
There are about six tracks but my favourite 3 are Dapo’s Nocturne because it’s purely instrumental and has a classical feel to it. (I have a thing for classical music), after that is Love Story because the lyrics blew my mind!!!! I am not even joking. I had to hit Seun up immediately and let him know. The lyrics were awesome!!! And the music was beautiful as well. And finally, Ore because it had this romantic feel to it that made you want to fall in love with your best friend. Dope stuff.
So kudos to the writer and if you haven’t picked up your copy, please do so.
The book is available at Terra Kulture, in Victoria Island, Glendora Bookstore at the Ikeja City Mall and Patabah Bookstore at the Adeniran Ogunsanya Mall in Surulere.
Per adventure you’re not in Lagos and would like a copy of the book, please indicate in the comment section as well and we’ll find a way to reach you.
And if you have gotten the book and read it, please leave your thoughts in the comments section. Let us know how the book made you feel, what you feel the author did not do well enough and what not.
Seun Odukoya (the author) blogs at www.seunodukoya.wordpress.com and tweets from the handle @seunodukoya. He’s an amazing person and the stories he tells will leave a mark with you. You don’t have to take my word for it. Check him out for yourself and you’ll see
Have a good evening.