I am in love with this cover! I completely read a book based on a cover and this one called to me so loudly. Those colors pop beautifully and I can imagine in a bookstore they would do so even more. I’m a huge Sonali Dev fan from her first book, which I’ve talked about a ton here, so I was excited to see a Bollywood YA book like this. I’m so happy to say this book completely lived up to what I wanted.
Winnie is a High School senior obsessed with all films, but particularly knowledgeable in Bollywood films because she’s grown up in that culture. She is that rare person who knows exactly what she wants to do with her life – something in film for sure. She never wavers from that even though everyone around her certainly wants her to. The book opens with her boyfriend of forever, Raj, and Winnie breaking up and throwing her life into some chaos. Fate and destiny had said they were meant to be and if that isn’t going to happen…then what is?
I’m not a Bollywood movie watcher but after reading this book I have a list of movies that I NEED to watch! Even though I didn’t have those references down I did not feel like I was missing out on anything. I loved how passionate Winnie was about movies, the scenes where she and her father joked about movies and her mother was exasperated with them for going on and on were some of my favorites because it felt so specifically right to me. Like a snapshot of a family that had those exact conversations.
I really liked Dev and the encouragement he provided to Winnie. The side characters in general were all very strong which are always important to me. Her best friend was great because there were arguments but not over the top, and that felt very real to me. I loved her grandmother and parents as well. There were 2 side characters I was not a fan of and I know we weren’t supposed to be. The advisor of the film club was super frustrating for me. He was there to provide some tension but I was literally yelling at my book – WHY ARE YOU STILL VENTING TO HIM!? I also wasn’t a huge fan of Raj’s new girlfriend Jenny as she felt a little too… 1-note to me.
“As much as I love Bollywood damsels in distress, I don’t need saving. I’m my own hero.”
Overall I loved this book. I loved reading a YA book with diverse characters and have been seeing so much more of this in the YA genre particularly. I hope this continues and grows in the adult genres as well.
Rating: 4.5 Stars
Title: My So-Called Bollywood Life
Author: Nisha Sharma
Release Date: May 15th, 2018