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Reviewed in India on 14 February 2021
This is the most egotistical, annoying and self-obsessed memoir ever. The writing is like an attention-seeking teenager writing an essay for mid-term exams. The content is neither interesting nor inspiring. It is so bland and putdown-able that the best thing about this memoir was the cover (as cliched as it may sound). The author appears far more interesting in late night shows than this book where she is trying to bare her real self out. I kept reading it hoping I would get some genuine insights. Considering this was a memoir of a former beauty pageant winner and an actress, I was not expecting a lot out of it. But, it failed me on all aspects - honesty (nothing has been revealed other than what anyone who has seen a bunch of her interviews does not know), inspiration (her mom came across as someone deserving a memoir more than her) and humor (not a single funny line or encounter).
There were few good things though - her production company and how it is encouraging local talent deserves an applause and seems like a step in the right direction. The chapter on grief is deeply personal and worth a read - it could have been far better if a mature author with depth and better writing skills wrote it.
Writing this review to ensure others don't spend a penny on this extremely stupid string of essays of a self-obsessed, pseudo-smart and over-confident woman who should have learnt something about writing before publishing a novel and selling it at such high prices. I am sure this will add another achievement to the list of nonsensical achievements listed by her in the book (since when did investing in a company become entrepreneurship). It is being marketed beautifully and might become a best-seller soon; a fact I should not complain about considering how I fell in the trap. The world needs better memoirs on women of substance who actually achieved things and have something meaningful to offer when they speak about their lives. Even the UNICEF bits are contrived and seem like someone is suffering from do-some-philathropy-to-be-kind-syndrome (and her husband thinking she has a sense of purpose because she is with UNICEF was laughable- we all wish it was that easy). It is almost hypocritical to just visit a few slums for UNICEF while spending crores of money and showing off all the excess in getting the longest veil in the world (again extremely self-obsessed). I do not mean to say that rich people should not spend their money but gloating over all the excess at her wedding while harping on about voicing her concerns for the downtrodden seems like an extremely confused soul.
My biggest gripe is the writing style - it is childish, tries too hard to be sassy (using hashtags in a book as if twitter was not enough) and lacks coherence. There are too many arcs which were never explained later like her relationship with her brother. The dialogues do not seem spontaneous and it appears like the author could not recall the real situation and has used fillers everywhere. The book seemed more like a handbook/guide to educate fellow Americans on indian culture than an autobiography. For example, a paragraph explaining how we address our relatives in India and unwanted explanation on Indian wedding ceremonies. I felt there was no real content and the book had to be filled with such fluff to sell it globally in the name of love for our own culture. Sadly, anyone who wants to learn about indian culture can read online or google it without buying this book. Stay away at all cost. You can see her chats on youtube to get the exact same information for free and without crying for a refund later.