The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev

There are some books which make you laugh and some books which make you cry. And yet there are some which leave a mark that you remember them for a long long time. the-bollywood-bride is her second book and is the story of Ria Parkar, Bollywood’s favourite Ice Princess and Vikram Jathar, her childhood friend, her love, her betrayal and the deep bond they shared.

I would like to thank Netgalley for a review copy.

The Blurb (from Amazon.com):

Ria Parkar is Bollywood’s favorite Ice Princess–beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof–until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin’s wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar.

Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria’s exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love–until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it’s taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she’s been guarding for everyone else’s benefit–and a chance to stop acting and start living.

Rich with details of modern Indian-American life, here is a warm, sexy, and witty story of love, family, and the difficult choices that arise in the name of both.

The story:

Ria Parkar was only eight when her father sent her to a boarding school in Panchgani from Pune and from there to Chicago in summer vacations, to live with her aunt. In school, she is known as ‘the girl who came from insanity’ and feels that for her Baba, she is ‘the girl he wished they hadn’t made’. She meets Nikhil, her cousin and they become very close. Vikram is Nikhil’s cousin and the three of them have many childhood escapades together. Her life in her aunt’s house is happy. Then, she and Vikram fall in love, a secret only Nikhil knows, and are forced by circumstances to stay apart. Then, she is eighteen and he, twenty one. She moves back to Mumbai to keep her promise to her dying father. She has kept her life in Mumbai hidden from her relatives in Chicago but talks to her aunt almost every other day.

Now, ten years later, she is Bollywood’s favorite Ice Princess–beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof. One day, in an unguarded moment, a paparazzi notices her standing on the ledge and threatens to expose her. And at the same moment, she receives a call from Nikhil inviting her to his wedding and she travels to Chicago for her cousin’s wedding and also to escape from the threatened scandal. But, she is scared to come face to face with Vikram Jathar, the one she loved and left.

My take:

I loved the story a lot especially, the way the characters have been developed. They are lifelike and I had no trouble at all in visualizing them. I remained in the plot of the story for days after I finished the book. The book has all the ingredients, romance, betrayal, suspense, sibling love, relationships, and everything that we come across in day to day life. The relationships between the characters have been wonderfully depicted. I don’t remember crying so much while reading a book or even for that matter while watching a movie as I did with this one. As I sit to write a review, Ria’s childhood brings tears to my eyes once again.

The plot is simple and has been portrayed beautifully by the author. The language is simple and the flow is good, though it takes about 50 pages to get a hang of the book and then it is unputdownable.

A must read.

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