By: Sonya Lalli
Published Year: 2019
Publisher: Berkley Books
Amazon Barnes & Noble
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This in no way shape or form influenced my opinion of this book.
Summary (Provided by Goodreads): One devoted modern girl + a meddlesome, traditional grandmother = a heartwarming multicultural romantic comedy about finding love where you least expect it
Raina Anand may have finally given in to family pressure and agreed to let her grandmother play matchmaker, but that doesn't mean she has to like it--or that she has to play by the rules. Nani always took Raina's side when she tried to push past the traditional expectations of their tight-knit Indian-immigrant community, but now she's ambushing Raina with a list of suitable bachelors. Is it too much to ask for a little space? Besides, what Nani doesn't know won't hurt her...
As Raina's life spirals into a parade of Nani-approved bachelors and disastrous blind dates, she must find a way out of this modern-day arranged-marriage trap without shattering her beloved grandmother's dreams.
I was completely sucked in by the cover of this book. I am a sucker for the cartoony covers. Something about them just makes the book seem so happy and positive and I love reading those types of books. I also have been trying to read more books by diverse authors, so I was excited when I received the offer to review this book.
What I thought
Raina just turned 29 and her Nani wants her to get married. Being a Bengali family, her Nani setting her up is along the lines of arranged marriage. Raina describes it as the modern arranged marriage where the parents pick the boys, the girls go on the dates, and if they like each other, they’re pretty much engaged. While Raina agrees to this, it’s not truly what she wants. She’s still in love with her ex and is hoping that he will come back into her life.
I loved Raina’s Nani. She is everything. I love the list of people that she makes for Raina with the comments on each guy. Later in the story (without giving too much away), she shows how progressive she is and how open she is to a lot of the cultural norms being challenged. While she is in no way perfect, I loved reading about her love and care for her granddaughter.
Raina on the other hand was a bit hit or miss for me. I understand a lot of her difficulty with the expectations of her culture, but she was a pretty shitty friend and granddaughter a lot of the times. I don’t fault her too much because I know that it’s realistic, but it was still frustrating to read. Watching her sabotage her first few dates was irritating.
The book as a whole wasn’t exactly what I expected. I thought it was going to follow the list and going on dates a little more, but she flies through that pretty quickly. She then gets herself into a bit of a situation that is very obviously going to blow up in her face and that made me sick to my stomach. The story is also fairly predictable but still enjoyable.
The story itself isn’t the strongest that I’ve read, but the characters make it worth it. The insight into the modern Indian dating culture was also interesting. I liked the dynamics and seeing how she managed the expectations thrust upon her.