THE REARRANGED LIFE by Annika Sharma
Genre: Interracial, Contemporary Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Release: May 15, 2015
Cover Artist: Eugene Teplitsky
Find Online: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads
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.
Annika Sharma was born in India and moved to the United States (Pennsylvania!) when she was a baby. Annika was a daydreamer from day one, always coming up with stories and games of pretend that seemed real. She was a serious journal-writer from fifth grade to college and wrote dramatic scenes for stories often, inspired by soap operas she watched in summers off from school.
Eventually, when the time for college came around, Annika’s parents encouraged her to pursue journalism. Convinced she couldn’t make a living from writing, Annika disagreed. After five years, two degrees, two minors, working with children, being a dancer teacher, and creating a two-and-a-half page resume in college that had interests so all-over-the-place that even she couldn’t make sense of it, Annika finally decided her parents were right. Writing was where her heart was, all along.
In the month before graduate school, the idea Annika had in mind for years finally poured out in the form of the novel, The Rearranged Life. Annika began editing in earnest after she finished her Master’s degree in Early Childhood Special Education, landing Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group as an agent. Three months later, she had a book deal with Curiosity Quills.
In her spare time, Annika loves spending time with her family and friends, often indulging in the three S’s: Starbucks, shopping and superhero movies. As a chocolate lover and general all-around vegetarian foodie, Annika also adores cooking.
Great opening! I'm very interested in the Indian culture and love reading books that help me discover what it is like to have connections there. I've read many books about the prearranged marriages for Indian girls, and the way they are forced to marry strangers (or their father's friends or cousins), almost as if it is only a business deal to the family. Reading those kind of books, always make me happy to be a Canadian, where I can make my own choices, without being forced into family obligations or following traditional religious beliefs.
Thank goodness, The Rearranged Life is more about Nithya's discovery about herself, her values, her family loyalty, her career choices, her priorities in life and how she struggles with trying to find a soft balance between her Indian culture and her American culture. Her family seems supportive, even though they are pushing for her to marry an Indian boy, instead of anyone else on the planet. It's easy to to see the views of everyone involved in this story, and understand why there are so many difficult decisions. It's hard to please everyone, and sometimes, it is hard to see the clear path in pleasing yourself.
Annika Sharma did an amazing job with showing us both sides of the coin. There are so many decisions in life, especially for a young girl with a full life ahead of her. Are there actual right answers to these questions? Do you follow your head... or do you follow your heart?
You MUST read this book, in order to find out what one girl decided, that ended up changing her life FOREVER.
My Rating: 5 out 5 Stars
(because I love reading about people dealing with hard life decisions and watching them discover solutions).
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