This book…. OMGGGGG this book !!!!!!!!!!!! I had to restrain myself from bursting into giggles every ten seconds. This book is hilarious throughout, with lots of cheese and OTT melodrama like a typical KJo movie and I loved every single word.
“People love the movies because of the romance, the emotion, and the passion the characters feel. You get sweaty palms, a clenched stomach, a pounding chest. It’s easy to get swept up in the magic as long as you have a flexible suspension of belief.”
Winnie is a hard-core movie buff with a Hindi movie review blog, who wants to do Film Studies at NYU Tisch and pursue a career as a film critic. She (alongwith her parents) also believe in a prediction made by a Panditji in her childhood about meeting her soulmate whose name starts with ‘R’ before her eighteenth birthday. But, when a few months before the D-day, her long time boyfriend Raj breaks up and she starts feeling something for Dev, she has to choose between believing in kismet or wanting to make her own destiny.
“I’m thinking that I need to come to terms with destiny being something that I can actually control. It’s not magical and it’s not something that can be predicted.”
Winnie is a normal teenager who is angry and devastated by her breakup and confused about wanting to be with Dev (especially when Raj starts pursuing her again) but through it all, she is strong in her convictions, knows what she wants from her future and never lets anyone change her mind. Her parents and nani are some of the best parental characters I’ve ever read. They might be slightly pushy, maybe even embarrass her a little in front of others, but they love her unconditionally and fully support her in her choices without pressuring her. I loved the idea of Indian parents not worried that their kid didn’t want to be an engineer or a doctor. They are also traditional, slightly superstitious but still progressive in their ideas and I admired them a lot.
“Don’t give me that American ‘but Mom’ attitude. You’re Indian. You face this drama. It’s in your dhadkan, your heartbeat.” “And like every other Indian,” Nani said with a twinkle in her eye, “you create some more drama as a distraction.”
Dev may look like a bad boy but he is the sweetest guy ever and so so precious *swoons*. Though Dev and Winnie’s relationship felt a little insta-lovey, I totally got swept up in it and was rooting for them from the get-go. Every single one of their dates is very very cute and I always wanted more. Raj is probably an okay guy but I didn’t like him from the moment he told Winnie that her career choices were silly and she should grow up and go to college with him. I could never warm up to him after that, and he probably only redeemed himself slightly towards the end when he helped resolve some misunderstandings. Bridget is Winnie’s BFFL (Best Freaking Friend for Life) and their mutual admiration society of 80’s movies and Jane Austen was very endearing.
Winnie laughed. “Love you more than Shah Rukh Khan, Bridge.” “Love you more than Colin Firth.”
However, for me, what makes this book so wonderful is that for the first time ever, I saw a part of myself on the page. Winnie’s obsession with Hindi movies, her love for their romanticism, songs and dances, SRK – all felt like a reflection of myself. The writing is also very light hearted with so many funny moments making the whole reading experience very enjoyable and entertaining. SRK showing up in Winnie’s dreams and giving her advice on her love life through his iconic movie dialogues was hysterical. The Hindi movie references are spot-on and the snippets from Winnie’s review blog about the most notable movies of the last two decades are a highlight.
“Are you for real?” he said, his death grip loosening. “Like Salman Khan’s criminal record.”
This is a very typical and predictable high school romance if you go by the plot, but the humorous writing and the completely filmi aesthetic make this one of the most funniest books I have ever read. Definitely recommend for readers of YA rom-coms but this is a must read for all lovers of SRK and Bollywood.
Special LOL spoilery moments from the book:
- Winnie’s favorite swear word – “Holy baby Shahrukh”
- Referring to the iconic Bachchan starrer Deewar as “that Wall movie”
- Every single translation of SRK’s most famous dialogues
- “Pigeon, go, go, go, pigeon, go, go, go” – remember that song?
- Dream Winnie running in a “sarson ka khet” and falling into the arms of SRK
- Nani and her mom making food for the film festival because no movie experience is complete without samosas
- Dev performing a Bollywood dance routine with a whole set of background dancers to impress Winnie (even though he hates dancing… isn’t he the best!!!!)
“The world may sit in the front row –“, “But Indians sit in the back,” she said with a laugh. “Or people who know that’s how you get the whole picture.”
PS: Thank you to Crown Books and Netgalley for kindly providing me the Advance Copy for this book. All opinions expressed here are solely mine and unbiased.