Nisha Sharma’s debut novel is undoubtedly going to grab many readers’ attention. With its vivacious characters and thrilling plot, MY SO-CALLED BOLLYWOOD LIFE is certainly not one that’ll disappoint!
My So-Called Bollywood Life is a young-adult rom-com about Vaneeta Mehta, better known as Winnie Mehta, a soon-to-be film critic and lover of Bollywood movies who lost her soul-mate, Raj, and now has to navigate her feelings for Raj Shah and a new face, Dev Khanna.
Are you in the mood for the perfect summer contemporary? Light, fun, and fluffy that you’ll for sure want to take with you to the beach? Have I found the book for you!
My So-Called Bollywood Life is a breath of fresh air in the YA world. It is the utter definition of a rom-com. YA Contemporary is my favorite genre and I have read a good amount of rom-coms over my reading life. But almost all of them have this one element that keeps them from being 100% a ball of cotton candy. This book is definitely 101% a ball of cotton candy, sprinkled with incredible snark, family dynamics, and Bollywood. And Indian food. I’m still drooling.
Winnie was such a strong and fierce main character, she kind of reminded me of myself at times. Her determination and how she always went for what she wanted was extremely inspiring. I also adored how much of a leader she was and how hard she fought. Plus, her relationship with her parents was so fun to read and it really showcased the differences between American and Indian households.
As I said, the family dynamics were awfully stunning, and let me not forget Nani, cause she was so freaking hilarious and sometimes even reminded me of my grandma. All of the characters had a purpose, no one felt like a human plot device, not even the side characters. Bridget was the superstar best friend, whose caring and loving self I fell in love with, and Henry was the most emo of them all and I ain’t mad. Raj and Dev had such contrasting personalities, the love triangle worked perfectly. Yes, there is a love triangle, and yes, it is perfection and no one can tell me otherwise.
I don’t want too say much as I don’t want to spoil the book, but I will say I thought Raj was pretty inconsiderate and unfair and was a huge jerk, though he gets a tiny bit better towards the end. He was simply unbearable. But, Dev. Wow. I swooned hard and I’m not ashamed in the slightest. He was charming, kind, and flirtatious. I’m still recovering from his beautiful gaze.
I’ve got to admit, I don’t think I’ve ever read a YA romance with such a good plot. Genuinely. I was at the edge of my seat the entire time, and the love triangle had me reeling to no end. All the little twist and turns, I didn’t know it was humanly possible for a contemporary to do that. Well, it’s got Bollywood in the title, so… If you’re not into books with a LOT of drama, you should probably steer away cause this one has plenty.
The pacing was astonishing, there was always something going on, and it was pretty fast-paced, which is sure to keep many engaged.
I have a lot of trouble connecting with books written in third person POV, but it was so easy to connect to Sharma’s writing. I’m kind of emotional about it. It was super easy to read and made the book even more of a delight than it already was. This beautiful, descriptive prose is not one I’ll forget soon.
If you were a fan of When Dimple Met Rishi by Sandhya Menon, or are one of those people who disliked it, My So-Called Bollywood Life has all the elements of your favorite contemporary/the hyped contemporary you wanted to love. Plus, it’s got an Indian love triangle, a love prophecy, plenty of edible Indian delicacies, family dynamics to die for, and one of the most swoony romances of the year. Let’s not forget the Bollywood movie references. There are plenty.
If this novel where a girl gets dumped by her boyfriend and she starts falling in love with someone else but then her ex regrets all his life decisions and wants her back (which, for the record, is my favorite trope of all time and had never seen in any young adult book ever) doesn’t get hyped, I’m suing everything and everyone. Read it, I command you.
RATING: 5 OUT OF 5 STARS
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.