Tuesday, 8 March 2016

The Rearranged Life (Book Review)

Hi there!

Title: The Rearranged Life
Author: Annika Sharma
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Published Date: 15th May 2015
Rating: 3 Stars

*Thanks to the publisher for the review copy*

 Synopsis: 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.

Review: The Rearranged Life was one I eagerly wanted to read because of my own personal interest in culture. I love everything to do with it – so knowing there was a novel out there where the main character is Hindu and abides by the Indian culture and falls for an American boy who she is worried her parents won’t accept… it had me eager to want to try it! The cover is gorgeous and I had heard a lot of good things about it as well. What did I have to lose?


I’m glad to say that I managed to enjoy this book well enough. It didn’t dive as deep as I was looking for, but it was a nice light hearted novel that was enjoyable while a good insight to some cultural issues people do have to deal with these days as well.

I really liked Nithya, who is the main character. Her name is beautiful, and the truth is that I saw a lot of myself reflected in her. Her tendency to be very ambitious and to strive for a single goal and give it her all… that’s so me. But then she starts to question if she can really reach those ambitions and throughout this novel she faces a lot of personal obstacles regarding her outlook and management of life. And then on top of all that she falls in love with a boy outside of the whole arranged marriage side of things – as if she didn’t already have enough on her plate already.


James was a nice love interest, but I felt like we never really dived into his character with enough depth for me to be completely sucked in. I felt like that with the majority of the characters really – even when it came to the lovely, bouncy, roommate Sophia and also her boyfriend. We get to know about them and their situation but I never felt too deeply for them. I didn’t mind really – it was fun to read about them, but I don’t think they made a very lasting impression. 

Another character I wanted more of was Nishanth! He was the Indian possible love interest. There wasn’t really a love triangle, but he did want Nithya’s heart if she wanted to try and date someone within her culture. He seemed to really come and go. When she was with her family he would pop up, but as soon as she went he was back to being non existant. I felt like she traded one for the other and we never saw them together. I would’ve liked the complication of having him and James in the same room just once!

The Indian culture was depicted perfectly, as far as I know about it. I’ve read a lot about it now, and I have a few friends who are Indian so that is where I am gathering my understanding from. I loved the descriptions of food, of weddings and all that involved it as well.

Sometimes the writing style lent a little on telling instead of showing, but that was simply another thing that I didn’t mind. Because in the end, I rather enjoyed reading this one. It was fun, I flew through it in only a day and the ending left me content and satisfied. I’m not sure if I will reread it in the future, but I know it’s one I won’t regret having made the time for.

Links: Goodreads and Amazon!

New Video! I need to get better at remembering to add these to posts. Here's one from two weeks back, about writing. 


Olivia’s Question: Have you ever faced a moment in life when you truly didn’t know which path to take?


Olivia-Savannah x

22 comments:

  1. 'Have you ever faced a moment in life when you truly didn't know which path to take?' Oh my God, I wouldn't know where to *start* answering that question. Give it a few years, I'm sure you'll feel similarly. ;)

    It's awesome to see a book that's so entirely based in another culture and diversity :) and I'm glad you enjoyed it.

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    1. I'm pretty sure I will and that most people go through a moment like that as well! It's always nice to have something new there :)

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  2. I think all arranged marriage concepts are fascinating. Especially, in this century. I love reading about different cultures and it's practices. Even the heart breaking ones.

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    1. A lot of people believe the traditions of arranged marriage are outdated but they have since updated the system! And yes, I find it so intriguing as well.

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  3. Sorry it didn't go as deep as you'd hoped, but glad to hear that you still enjoyed

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    1. It didn't go too deep, but it was still a lot of fun to read and I flew through it in a day!

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  4. Sounds like you enjoyed the book although it could have added more detail.
    Have you ever faced a moment in life when you truly didn’t know which path to take? It seems that when these moments happen, they all happen at once causing a lot of frustration.
    @dino0726 from 
    FictionZeal - Impartial, Straightforward Fiction Book Reviews

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    1. Yes. And the main character here had an onslaught of them all at once! Quite a lot to deal with :3

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  5. When reading your review I was reminded of Bend It Like Beckham. It’s a light romanctic comedy sport film about an Indian girl “Jess” who loved playing football (soccer). But of course she had to face a few obstacles because of her culture in order to play. And the unfairness that she couldn’t play because she was a girl. Especially when she wasn’t interested in shopping, boys, make-up or being a proper girl.

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    1. I have seen the movie Bend it like Beckham and I know where you are getting the similarities from! I know they do share a few. ;)

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  6. [Smiles ] Hmm. I have never heard of Annika Sharma.

    Thank you for bringing a new author to my attention and for another great book review!

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    1. She told me on twitter she has a surprise up her sleeve for us! I am looking forward to finding out what it could possibly be.

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  7. Don't you just love it when you read a book that you love so much you don't care to pay attention to all its imperfections? This one sounds like a great way to learn about another culture as well.

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    1. I do love those moments! And yes, it really is :3

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  8. I don't think I know which path to take pretty much everyday but I trust God and I trust my common sense and I keep it moving.

    Tika reviewed this some time ago and rather enjoyed it. I do appreciate reads with culture but this one is not for me.

    Nice review though!

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    1. You know? I do the same <3

      It's always good to learn about different cultures in different ways! Books being one of them ;)

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  9. Sorry it didn't delve as deep as you wanted but happy it appealed to you when it came to culture.

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    1. The culture side of things were done so well!

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  10. Everyone has crossroads in life. Those defining moments, which could bring you to the comforts of paved paths, or the unknown paths made by you. These choices come up throughout our lifetime. The one thing is, even if the path you choose turned out to be the wrong one, don't let it be a regret. Make it a lesson.

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    1. They can be so difficult to choose between they do come along, I'm sure. I think those crossroads need to be faced and handled carefully.

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  11. I hadn't heard of this one. It sounds like a good read. Great review!

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  12. Hope you decide to pick it up at some point!

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