I received this book for free from Crown Books for Young Readers in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.My So-Called Bollywood Life by Nisha Sharma
Published by Crown Books for Young Readers on May 15th, 2018
Genres: Rom Com, YA
Source: Crown Books for Young Readers
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Winnie Mehta was never really convinced that Raj was her soulmate, but their love was written in the stars. Literally, a pandit predicted Winnie would find the love of her life before her 18th birthday, and Raj meets all of the qualifications. Which is why Winnie is shocked to return from her summer at film camp to find her boyfriend of three years hooking up with Jenny Dickens. Worse, Raj is crowned chair of the student film festival, a spot Winnie was counting on for her film school applications. As a self-proclaimed Bollywood expert, Winnie knows this is not how her perfect ending is scripted.
Then there’s Dev, a fellow film geek, and one of the few people Winnie can count on to help her reclaim control of her story. Dev is smart charming, and challenges Winnie to look beyond her horoscope to find someone she’d pick for herself. But does falling for Dev mean giving up on her prophecy, and her chance to live happily ever after? To get her Bollywood-like life on track, Winnie will need a little bit of help from fate, family, and of course, a Bollywood movie star.
Like an expertly choreographed Bollywood dance scene, Nisha Sharma’s off-beat love story dazzles in the lime light.
Two books out in a year with Indian MCs who aspire to be filmmakers? Is this a sign I should drop everything and become a filmmaker? Stay tuned to find out. Obviously this book isn’t about ~my~ so-called bollywood life but it is about Winnie Mehta’s so-called bollywood life.
My So-Called Bollywood Life basically reads like a bollywood film and I didn’t mind it ONE LITTLE BIT. There is a love triangle, lots of angst, kismet, a heroine with tons of dreams, and even a bollywood dance number.
Winnie has always thought Raj was her soulmate, after all, she’s been told her entirely life that their love is written in the stars, but when he suddenly breaks up with her and starts dating Jenny Dickens, Winnie is more than a little mad. That’s only just the beginning though and breaking up with a popular boy is never easy.
We meet Winnie as she tries to steal back bollywood movies she gave Raj and while that isn’t her finest moment, she has PLENTY of them. For starters, she is incredibly passionate and driven. She has goals and she isn’t gonna let some stupid boy trample all over them. She is also really loyal to her friends and family. BUT she is also imperfect and sometimes a little dense when it comes to the people she loves and adores. The best part about this book is how natural her flaws feel. Sometimes Winnie can be incredibly frustrating but no human being is perfect and Winnie definitely felt imperfectly perfect.
My So-Called Bollywood Life has some of the best relationships written in YA too. AND NOT JUST THE ROMANCE. I love Winnie’s BFFL, Bridget. I love that Bridget supports Winnie but is NEVER EVER EVER afraid to call her out on her bullshit. It is so refreshing and really adds another dimension to their relationship. I love Winnie’s relationship with her fam and obviously I love her grandma. I think that even when Winnie struggles with her family and their expectations of her sometimes, I also love that together they are so wonderfully hilarious and supportive of one another.
AND OF COURSE, the romance. So I mentioned a love triangle and for those who hate love triangles, I wouldn’t worry too much. There is some angst but tbh, Winnie is over a certain ex who keeps trying to win her back. She just needs to figure out that another certain someone is the one for her. So. Not the spoil anything but Dev is great. Wow. I’ve basically said that about everyone in this book. I cannot actually think of anyone I don’t really like? (BESIDES JENNY) Not even Raj, who has his own issues and gets a minor arc. But yes. Dev. He is clearly head over heels for Winnie but what gets me most about him is that he takes his time getting to re-know Winnie and her interests. I love that he is her friend first and gives her the time and space she needs. And really, I just love him because he is great.
Anyway, if you cannot stand angsty or occasionally dense MCs, My So-Called Bollywood Life is definitely not for you. However, if you are a lover of rom-coms this book is absolutely for you and you should get on it. My review sucks but the book doesn’t SO PLEASE JUST READ THE GODDAMN BOOK. It will be worth every single minute you spend on it.
4 Hot Espressos
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So glad to see this book getting some love. I adored it! It was cute and fun, Winnie’s family was awesome, and I loved that it was set in parts of NJ I am well acquainted with (I could actually walk to Oak Tree Road).