Sunday, January 11, 2009

Born Confused

I have to admit, I was disappointed by this book. I actually listened to it on CD. Mostly. After 8 of the 12 CDs I actually started skipping tracks, and then I actually skipped an entire CD. And the truth was, I hadn't really missed anything.

Tanuja Desai Hidier's novel began great. Dimple Lala, an Indian teenager living in New Jersey, is just about to turn 17 and has always been in the shadow of her beautiful, skinny blond best friend Gwyn. Not that Dimple usually seems to mind. She worships Gwyn and sees all of her wonderful characteristics. But then of course, boys get involved. Dimple's parents try to set her up with a "suitable Indian boy," Karsh, and in an act of teen rebellion against her parents, she tells Gwyn she would never date him. So when Gwyn meets him and thinks Dimple doesn't like him, she turns on her charm. When Dimple starts to see Karsh in a new light, it throws off her relationship with Gwyn and all sorts of drama ensues.

Here is my problem with this story. Dimple was not wholly real for me. She has some spot on reactions and emotions and mistakes and realizations. But she would go off on these crazy full-of-imagry tangents that were so not like a seventeen year old that I just couldn't believe her. She was a little too insightful...her search for identity seemed a little too focused. I related to Dimple so much during some scenes that I thought, "wow, the author could have taken her thoughts right out of my teenage brain." And other times I thought Dimple sounded like a 35 year old psychologist. I liked her, but I didn't believe her. She did have a love of photography which was fun to read about. I skipped most of the disks 10 and 11 of 12 but like how the story ended. Predictable but a good ending. Maybe it would have been better to read than listen to.

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