Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She’s even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.
When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya’s entire life changes.
Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American.
As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path.
The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.
Release Date: May 15th, 2015
Thank you especially to Curiosity Quills for reaching out to me about taking part in the blog tour! Make sure you check out the full list of participating blogs!
What I liked:
-the Indian protagonist. Heck yeah, diversity!
-the descriptions of Indian culture. Nithya attends a Indian wedding near the beginning of the book, and it was cool to read about all the traditions involved. Granted, I was just picturing the wedding in Bend it Like Beckham the entire time, but still! It was well written and described enough that you could visualize what was going on.
-the characters (for the most part). While Nithya occasionally got on my nerves (see what I didn’t like below), the supporting cast was great: Sophia and Luca, James (and his family), even Nithya’s parents and younger sister.
-this quote (I relate to it so much, especially at this point in my life):
“Life is a blank slate. It can be geared toward one goal, with a narrow focus and tunnel vision, and then the world steps in. It can hit you like a brick wall or it can touch you like feather, but from that moment, you are never the same[…]But for now, every time I consider a path, whether it is old or new, a new road sprouts up from the one I am traveling on. They are parallel, perpendicular, loopy, and zigzaggy, and hilly, but they are taking me where I need to go. Where I’m meant to be.”
-there were quite a few relatable moments throughout the story, in terms of the pressure you feel in school, and the hopeless feeling when your dreams fall through (which is why the above quote resonated with me so much)
What I didn’t like:
-every so often, Nithya annoyed me. She was very realistic and relatable, but, being human, she also had her flaws. While it made her relationship with James more “real” (i.e. not perfect), it was also grating at times.
-I ended up backing their relationship, but I honestly didn’t feel it at first. I actually thought Nithya had more chemistry with the Indian guy, Nishanth, but I could tell which direction that was going in.
Sidenote: I assumed that, since the book was NA (new adult) and not YA (young adult), it would avoid a love triangle. I was wrong. It apparently happens even in NA (I don’t have anything against love triangles, per se, I just figured once your characters hit 20+ it stopped being a thing).
-the synopsis makes it seem like Nithya gets into all sorts of danger (specifically the line “When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya’s entire life changes“) but it wasn’t as bad as I expected. Please understand, I’m not belittling her experience or taking away from the seriousness of what happened to her, but when you say “collision course with danger”, I automatically think drugs/kidnapping/ransom.
This book read like a cross between Bend it Like Beckham and My Big Fat Greek Wedding, and it was definitely interesting to read the descriptions and think about the differences between cultures. I’ll admit that I was pretty grumpy last week so maybe I would have enjoyed it more if I was in a better frame of mind, but it was still a cute summer read.
To celebrate, Annika Sharma is hosting a Rafflecopter giveaway in which one lucky person will win a $25 Starbucks Gift Card, in honor of characters Nithya and James’ first date! Enter for a chance to win:
About The Author:
Annika Sharma was born in India and moved to the United States (Pennsylvania!) when she was a baby. Annika was a daydreamer from day one, always coming up with stories and games of pretend that seemed real. She was a serious journal-writer from fifth grade to college and wrote dramatic scenes for stories often, inspired by soap operas she watched in summers off from school.
Eventually, when the time for college came around, Annika’s parents encouraged her to pursue journalism. Convinced she couldn’t make a living from writing, Annika disagreed. After five years, two degrees, two minors, working with children, being a dancer teacher, and creating a two-and-a-half page resume in college that had interests so all-over-the-place that even she couldn’t make sense of it, Annika finally decided her parents were right. Writing was where her heart was, all along.
In the month before graduate school, the idea Annika had in mind for years finally poured out in the form of the novel, The Rearranged Life. Annika began editing in earnest after she finished her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, landing Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group as an agent. Three months later, she had a book deal with Curiosity Quills.
In her spare time, Annika loves spending time with her family and friends, often indulging in the three S’s: Starbucks, shopping and superhero movies. As a chocolate lover and general all-around vegetarian foodie, Annika also adores cooking.