Serena Singh Flips the Script is a charming story about self-discovery and standing up for ourselves. It’s a story about fighting for what we want, despite what society’s expectations. About the importance of friendship and letting people in. Keep reading this book review to find out my full thoughts!
Serena Singh is tired of everyone telling her what she should want–and she is ready to prove to her mother, her sister, and the aunties in her community that a woman does not need domestic bliss to have a happy life.
Things are going according to plan for Serena. She’s smart, confident, and just got a kick-ass new job at a top advertising firm in Washington, D.C. Even before her younger sister gets married in a big, traditional wedding, Serena knows her own dreams don’t include marriage or children. But with her mother constantly encouraging her to be more like her sister, Serena can’t understand why her parents refuse to recognize that she and her sister want completely different experiences out of life.
A new friendship with her co-worker, Ainsley, comes as a breath of fresh air, challenging Serena’s long-held beliefs about the importance of self-reliance. She’s been so focused on career success that she’s let all of her hobbies and close friendships fall by the wayside. As Serena reconnects with her family and friends–including her ex-boyfriend–she learns letting people in can make her happier than standing all on her own.
(Disclaimer: I received this book from Netgalley. This has not impacted my review which is unbiased and honest.)
TW: racism, domestic abuse
In so many vulnerable ways, Serena Singh Flips the Script was so utterly relatable. Amidst a culture that seems to push marriage and children, Serena doesn’t want any of that. She feels that as soon as her friends get married and have children, they lose time for their friendships. While they’d all be there for her in an emergency, she’s talking about all the moments in between. So many things that Serena was saying, made so much sense. We live in a culture that, in some ways, seems to devalue female friendships.
Themes of Friendship and Family
That tells us that that our lives, once we become parents should revolve around only our family and partner. By the way, I’m just speaking about what I’ve witnessed from the media messaging! And everyone is entitled to their own opinions and priorities, but I have also been both the guilty one and the one being left in the cold when my friend got a partner. You know that friend where you only hear from them when they need you or if they’re single they suddenly remember your existence?
But even if you don’t agree with Serena, I think we can all empathize with how awful it feels to be left behind. To value a relationship and have a person seemingly forget us and the memories we shared. Throughout the book, Serena has to figure out not only how to find new friends, but how to be a good friend. As someone who isn’t sure how to find friends as an adult, I empathize with her quest so much!
Professional Ambition and Dreams
Serena Singh Flips the Script is also a story about the pressures of being a professional woman of color. Not only the racism and sexism against them, but also the ways in which their work is taken away from them. How difficult is is to admit we need help in this world of hyper productivity, no rooms for errors, and the drive for success. It’s difficult to balance these pieces of our lives and dreams. An added element I loved was to read chapters of Serena’s mother’s POV. About the struggles she underwent with her own move and assimilation.
Serena Singh Flips the Script is about Serena realizing truths she never could see before. About her realizing that relationships are these complex, fragile, two way streets. How we need to own up to our mistakes and find out if we can make amends. That we have the power to craft new relationships. To right the past and re-write the script.