A quietly satisfying read–and such a neat cover 🙂
The Rearranged Life 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…
Oh, the opening page to this one is a killer–it grabbed me right away and kept me turning the pages.
Fortunately, things got a lot less intense, but the story still had me gripped–I rushed through my schoolwork just so I could have some uninterrupted hours of reading without the guilt of work hanging over my head!
The Rearranged Life was a satisfying read. I loved Nithya’s voice and the driven way she attacks her schoolwork and plans for medical school. Her love for and devotion to her family and her respect for her culture made her a great character. The description of how she felt when she realized that she’d forgotten to do a chem assignment on that first day? Yeah, we could have been separated at birth. I know that feeling, even though I’d never describe it in such scientific terms 😉
Watching Nithya navigate her world–a senior in college, trying to get into the medical school of her choice; a product of Indian culture living on an American campus; a girl torn between the first guy she’s had real feelings for and the responsibility she feels toward her family and their traditions–was such a pleasure. You could really feel all the different directions her life and those she loved were pulling her in. She had some hard choices to make, and watching her struggle with them made for such a good read.
Though Nithya does have two love interests here–her green-eyed rescuer, James, and Nishanth, the son of her parents’ old friends–her story isn’t one of those annoying YA/NA love triangles that drives me so batty. Even I felt torn at times–Nishanth is such a nice guy, and fits into her life so well, after all (I thought, even as a tiny voice in my head kept wailing, but…but..James!) Regardless, her romance is only a part of the story, as she is trying to figure out her place in a life after Penn State. What does she want? What options can she let herself consider?
You’ll have to read it yourself to find out. 🙂
I really enjoyed this glimpse into the Indian-American world–the descriptions of the wedding Nithya attended were expecially fantastic! I am looking forward to seeing what Ms. Sharma writes next.
Rating: 4 stars / A-
I received a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.
Annika Sharma was born in New Delhi and brought up in the United States, where she moved with her parents as a baby. A proud alum, she graduated from Penn State University with dual degrees in Biobehavioral Health and Neuro-Psychology, and minors in Biology and Human Development and Family Studies. She received her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education before pursuing her dreams of becoming a writer, landing her agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group while daylighting as a preschool teacher. The Rearranged Life, her first novel, was written in the month before graduate school.
Annika, a Gryffindor and Scorpio, spends much of her time dreaming of adventure, working on her next book, going on Starbucks runs with family and friends, shopping online and watching superhero movies.
The Rearranged Life will be hitting shelves on May 15th, 2015, published by Curiosity Quills Press.