REVIEW: Wake Up, Girl! by Niharika Jindal

Title: Wake Up, Girl!
Author: Niharika Jindal
Publication Date: November 10th 2018
Publisher: Bloomsbury India
Part of a Series?: No, A Standalone
I Got A Copy Through: The Author (THANK YOU!)
Buy Links: Amazon IN || Google Books || 
Blurb Description: Naina is back from America, after four years of living on her own. A natural rebel, she has had some fairly life-altering experiences which Mum and Dad would not approve of at all if they get to know. But will her spirit and her stand be enough to fight the forces of parental pressure and heckling aunties baying for her nuptials?
Back in the bosom of her conservative family, Naina cannot even begin to imagine the turn her life is going to take. It's wedding season, and she must now be married. Because every self-respecting upper-middle-class family in India do that, right? Marriage at the 'right age' to the 'right family'…whether she likes it or not.
Naina's worst nightmares are about to come true. What hits her within a week of being at home completely changes her world and her life as she embarks on a journey that will define her and provide her an education that only life can. 
Ayaan, Rohan, Akshay, Shiven. Who will it be? Will she even have a shot at romance, being with someone she loves, irrespective of his caste, respectability or bank balance? She will have to summon all the chutzpah within to fight for herself. For her notions of love and living. 
Will she succeed? Like a chrysalis unfolding, will Naina, too, emerge with her wings unscathed?

I’ve been reading and loving books by Indian authors recently and so when I got the offer to read Wake up, girl! by Niharika Jindal, I jumped. It sounded like the perfect blend of romantic-comedy and an Indian girl’s journey towards feminism and finding herself and I WENT IN VERY EXCITED.
 
I started reading this book over a month ago, and 36 pages later, I was already a little taken aback. The main character, Naina was QUITE immature and I wasn’t feeling the book, so I put it down.

After a few weeks, during which I deviated and read a few other books, I thought “why not give this another chance?” and picked up Wake Up, Girl again two days ago. While I managed to finish it, and the book did get better, I was still expecting something more.

MY THOUGHTS:

1.       WHO REFERS TO THEIR OWN ‘INNER VOICE’ AS A SEPARATE PERSON?
This was probably one of the more annoying things about the book when Naina, the MC, kept agreeing or disagreeing with her ‘Inner Voice.’ It just rubbed me the wrong way, and I couldn’t look at her as a mature protagonist after.

2.       THE DIALOGUE WAS SO AWKWARD
Whether it was best friends or boyfriends, the dialogue could have been more refined. There was no flow, all small talk and I wish this was better written.

3.       EVERYTHING WAS A DRAMATIC CONFRONTATION
After page 36, almost every scene was this DRAMATIC CONFRONTATION. In fact, I’ll just call it over-the-top Bollywood melodrama. I CRAVE any kind of TWISTS/ DRAMA in books but the entire book doesn’t have to be just drama?

4.       I LIKED THE PROTAGONISTS JOURNEY
Whatever said and done, I LOVED that Naina finally stood up for herself and her journey throughout the years. I liked the she found herself in London and learnt to stand up for herself in the workplace as well.

5.       THE PARENTS WERE CRAZY
I’m sure that Naina’s parents accurately represent some Indian parents (and here I thank fate/ God/ the stars that my parents are so laid back) but OH WOW THEY WERE CRAZY. They didn’t hear a single word of what their daughter was screaming at them, said ‘yes’ to an arranged marriage before they could ask their daughter and REFUSED to listen when she said she didn’t know the boy and went to far as to believe that ‘marriage would teach her how to behave’ and ‘we already said yes, how can we say no because our daughter, the person who is to be married, does not consent?’ AND GOT HER ENGAGED IN TWO DAYS. #ModelParenting


All in all, I guess I’m just not a huge fan of melodramatic romantic-comedies. I can see how this book will be very inspiring to Indian girls, but the melodrama and the unrealistic parents just made me like the books less. Borrow it from a friend/ library!

Media for author Niharika JindalNiharika Jindal is a 26-year-old writer from Ahmedabad. After spending four years studying Psychology in Claremont McKenna College, California, she returned to India clueless about what to do next. She started out with a few stints in HR, during which time she met her husband on a coffee date, and it was love at first sight.

After many drives and dinner dates, Niharika is happily married. However, her fairy tale was cut short when she developed a chronic back condition-which she has been battling ever since. Constantly pestered by family and friends to do something in order to take her mind off the pain, Niharika's saving grace came in the form of reading, her favourite childhood pastime. She decided to give writing a shot. Penning Wake Up, girl! has been the most pleasurable experience, and made her realize her true passion in life.