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The Rearranged Life by Annika Sharma
Will Publish May 15, 2015
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So. A small confession – I’m only halfway through with the book but I think I have read enough to write a review. I have to say, so far this book was exceeded my expectations and have certainly opened my eyes to the Indian culture. Recently, I’ve had a really bad ex-roommate situation – she was from India and was loud, dirty, rude, inconsiderate, used my stuff and was possibly the closest thing to a roommate from hell. So I was very interested to see if it was a cultural thing that made her so incompatible to my American upbringing or if it was just simply her and this was where this book came into play. The answer to this so far is both yes and no. Yes, a lot of her…qualities, shall I say, were certainly cultural – the loudness for one, how she ate and made dinner very late (and thus setting off the fire alarm every single time she cooked), her need to speak with her family every night and her parents every weekend, and other things. However, at the same time, a lot of her problems were just herself. So, to sum it up, I certainly learned quite a lot about the Indian culture from reading this novel.
The Rearranged Life is a very charming and likable book. Nithya is a very interesting character – she’s friendly, amicable and delightful. She’s also brilliant with her studies. At the same time though, she has to deal with her family’s expectation for her to have an arranged marriage. For me, this is something I cannot fathom even though I’m Asian American but my parents and my grandparents never had an arranged marriage despite the fact that this was something practiced in Asian cultures previously. However, while this is something I will never face, I can also see the positive side to it especially after reading this novel. So I was quite glad to see Nithya going through her choices with a reasonable mind rather than jumping into something or whining about anything. Honestly, I really liked her and would totally not mind her being my Indian roommate.
James, the American, and Nishanth, the family friend’s son, are both great guys. However, I can certainly see the appeal with James especially with those oh so green eyes. There’s not much I can say too much on either males since I’m not finished with the book; however, from what I have read so far, I honestly think Nithya has a tough choice to make.
One aspect that I found interesting in this novel is how family is so important to new adults. It was always something that got factored in to whatever decision Nithya came across. For me, yes, family is important but my own life is also equally as important and they would support whatever I choose rather than me having to think about what my parents would want before deciding for myself. Also, I really liked the writing style of this novel – it’s endearing, sweet and incredibly real and I think that Annika did a great job in touching on a tricky subject.
Overall, I definitely recommend this book as this book can and will relate to anyone.