My So-Called Bollywood Life
The hero of the story, Winnie, encounters many roadblocks in her senior year. Her film-club advisor prohibits her from planning the yearly film festival. She faces mounting pressure in submitting her college applications. Worst of all, her boyfriend, Raj, who is supposed to be her soulmate, cheats on her. Winnie breaks into his house, buries all of the gifts she ever gave him, and then is caught, forcing her to add a job to her list of extracurriculars to pay him back.
My So-Called Bollywood Life plays out like a Bollywood movie, full of twists, villains, secret plots, and love triangles. The book offers a glimpse into the life of an Indian American family, where nosy aunties hold prayer parties and mothers retain pandits to read star charts and predict the future. Rather than show resistance to familial traditions and Hindu beliefs, Winnie loves and embraces them, which is refreshing and also educational.
If you are at all familiar with Bollywood movies, this book will be a delight. The narrative points out all of the ways the films are utterly corny and ridiculous while the entire book is structured like a Bollywood movie, complete with the suggestion of a raucous musical number starring Shah Rukh Khan at the end. Having only seen two Bollywood movies in my entire life (Ashoka and Lagaan, in case you were wondering), My So-Called Bollywood Life reinvigorated my curiosity. Thankfully, all of the movies that were referenced in the book were listed in a tidy appendix.
My So-Called Bollywood Life will give Indian teens a heroine with whom they can relate and everyone else will have a glimpse into desi culture and an introduction to a movie industry they might not explore otherwise.
Chris Hayden has been working at City Book Review since 2012, so that makes him the keeper of knowledge. He manages the office and book reviewers (all 200 of them!), which is no small feat. If you’re looking at the book reviews here, you’re seeing them because he sent the books out for review. Without him, this place would fall apart, because no one else in the office knows how to use the postage machine. Two words: job security.
|Page Count||304 pages|
|Publisher||Crown Books for Young Readers|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|