My So-Called Bollywood Life was a book full of dazzling colors, tons of Bollywood references, and plenty of romance. It’s a book that becomes almost self-reflexive – turning into the epic plot of a movie itself.
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.
So this is a straight up book about finding or losing love. And that’s part of why I liked it. My So-Called Bollywood Life was cute and fluffy, but at the same time it tackled questions of fate and destiny. Winnie is such an endearing character who you can empathize with.
Can’t you remember a time you were so convinced something was destiny and it turned out to be a hollow paper cut-out? That moment when the rug is pulled out from underneath your feet? I can remember those days almost like they were yesterday.
Winnie feels (felt) that way about destiny and now faced with the bitter truth that our happily ever might not be real, but is instead a pumpkin, Winnie has to figure out if she truly believes in destiny anymore. Can we fight the stars?
At the same time, when we are so busy chasing our destiny, we might not even notice if it’s caught up to us. We often have this path we think will give us happiness – but do we try to force things to make them work or let our heart show the way?
While Winnie won me over, what I also loved were the family dynamics. Winnie is a firestorm and I love her. She has an arsenal of Bollywood movies, tons of determination, and passion even if she feels like her world is crumbled around her feet. It was great to see a family, and especially one with a grandmother, who were loving and supportive. Even if they were side characters, they felt so lively and colorful. The family dynamics are phenomenal and it makes you both laugh and swoon.
There were so many lovely touches to the book such as the film reviews at the beginning of each chapter and the appendix with all the films mentioned in the book. This book is full of surprises and it is an entertaining and heart warming read. Check out My So-Called Bollywood Life on Goodreads.