Winner, Young Adult Romance
Winnie Mehta had thought she had found her soulmate - after all, their fate was written in the stars, predicted by a pandit that she would meet the one before her 18th birthday. Raj met every qualification - but when she catches him cheating on her, she doesn't know what to think. Now forced to work with her ex to head the film festival (and fighting for the position of lead for her film school application), Winnie has enough on her plate without worrying about stupid boys, stupid prophesies, stupid soulmates… Enter Dev Khanna, a fellow film geek who may or may not be more charming than she thought. He challenged her to look beyond her horoscope to find a destiny that made her happy...but would choosing Dev mean turning her back on the surefire future she had always known?
Overall, I did enjoy this book. The Bollywood references (though quite heavy at times) were enjoyable to read and reference, and I loved the tribute to Winnie's indian culture. The idea of prophecies and soulmates is also something that really appeals to me, so I loved that this was also something of importance in the book and not brushed over as "old-school." I will say that Winnie's obsession with boys, despite labeling herself as a "different girl" can get tiresome. Otherwise, a light-hearted and fun book (though admittedly very cheesy).
Even though this book is very bright and fun to read, for some people who aren't too big on Bollywood or the cheesiest romance, they may find it a little difficult to get through. I wouldn't read it more than once, though I would definitely recommend at least picking it up at some point in your life. It's a perfect book to read to unwind before bedtime and get sucked into the dramatic world of a Bollywood life.
My So-Called Bollywood Life, by Nisha Sharma, is a novel about Winnie Mehta, a film geek who loves bollywood movies. This book takes place in America. Her parents were told by a priest that she and her soulmate would meet before her 18th birthday, and that he would have many certain characteristics, such as having his first name start with r and him giving Winnie a silver bracelet. When her boyfriend, Raj, cheats on her, Winnie is devastated. She and her family thought that he was the one that would be Winnie’s soulmate. In a fit of anger, Winnie breaks into Raj’s room and steals all the gifts she had gotten him, and she buries them all. After being caught, Winnie has to pay Raj back, so she ends up taking a part time job to get the money.
I liked this book. As a bollywood lover myself, I loved the little references to my favorite movies! It is very rare to see an indian protagonist in most American literature, so that was also very refreshing. I loved being able to relate to the main character on a cultural level. I also liked how there were Indian cultures and traditions in the book: from prayer parties to pandits (indian priests) and astrology. It was also refreshing to see a book where the main character doesn’t try to go against her cultures and values that she was taught. In many movies and books, indian characters rebel against their parents or their culture, but for many indian american youth- like myself- that is not how we react towards our culture. The book shows the audience indian culture in a respectful way, which is something I appreciate.
A great fun read where Winnie (and her family) are convinced that the fortune offered by the family priest are going to come true, so of course mayhem ensues when her boyfriend Raj dumps her, and Winnie has a wild year at school. The Bollywood hook is really interesting and it's neat to read about a modern Indian family. You won't be disappointed!
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