Book Review: Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier

April 24, 2014 Blog, Book Reviews 0

I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Born Confused by Tanuja Desai HidierBorn Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Published by Scholastic Paperbacks on Apr 29 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
Pages: 512
Source: NetGalley
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A new paperback edition of the cross-cultural comedy about finding your place in America . . . and finding your heart wherever, from an amazing new young author.

Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. She's spent her whole life resisting her parents' traditions. But now she's turning seventeen and things are more complicated than ever. She's still recovering from a year-old break-up and her best friend isn't around the way she used to be. Then, to make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course, it doesn't go well . . . until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web of words and music. Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue.

This is a story about finding yourself, finding your friends, finding love, and finding your culture -- sometimes where you least expect it.


my thoughts done

Just when you thought it was safe to read and was all pink bubbly and cutesy, all hell breaks loose!

I really like how this started. I was curious about Dimple Lala right away and her narration of this is beautiful, albeit a bit wordy. But she is just an amazing gal going through what all of us do at at least one point in our lives, figuring out who the frock she is! (Frock may now be my new fav go to non curse word!)

Just turning 17 her family is in a world over their heads. The fact that they had also moved to America from India makes them doubt all of their decisions for their daughter. She is not Indian but she is also not American. Makes for some difficult situations for the entire family and friends. But Dimple gets through her crazy life just like all teenagers do, by chugging right along. She has a tenacity and strength, even when she’s down and feels like she’s being kicked in the teeth.

There were some parts of the plot that I felt were a little long and then there are some excruciating points that Dimple has to get through. She finds herself feeling betrayed and I can see why! Gwyn was another main character who went through all of the ups and downs with Dimple but sadly I couldn’t find myself loving Gwyn. More often than not I wondered what type of friend would put Dimple into the situations she does! My feeling for her is like a love hate relationship!

Other than feeling a bit wordy the plot was contagious. Mostly sweet with some dark, learning spots for both Dimple and Gwyn. I want to say I loved every word but man is Dimple a wordy girl. Kind of ironic for me since I am as well…

Need something a bit different and cultural? Pick this one up!

the author

TANUJA DESAI HIDIER is a writer/ musician based in London, via NYC.

Her first novel, BORN CONFUSED–the first ever South Asian American coming-of-age story–was a Larry King pick of the week, an American Library Association BBYA book of the year (and still on its top ten Popular Paperbacks list), and a Sunday Times (Times of London) book of the week. The book has been translated into Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Italian, German, and various South Asian languages, and was recently exhibited at the Queens Museum of Art as part of the Her Stories: Fifteen Years of the South Asian Women’s Creative Collective exhibition. Tanuja has adapted BORN CONFUSED into a screenplay.

Set largely in the context of New York City’s bhangra/Asian Underground club scene, BORN CONFUSED follows Indian-American heroine Dimple Lala through a summer that turns her world on its head. The heart of BORN CONFUSED  is about learning how to bring two cultures together without falling apart yourself in the process. The book takes its title from ABCD, or American Born Confused Desi, a term used to describe these second and third generation South Asians who are supposedly “confused” about where their roots lie—and on one level is a journey towards clarity, turning that C for Confused into a C for Creative.

This theme figures prominently in Tanuja’s other work as well. She wrote and directed the award-winning short film The Test. Her short stories have been included in numerous anthologies, including the London Writers/Waterstones anthology, Sixteen: Stories About That Sweet and Bitter Birthday, Big City Lit’s celebration of a decade of Asian-American writing, Friends: Stories About New Friends, Old Friends, and Unexpectedly True Friends,, Daunt Bookstore’s Short Story Anthology, The Lisa Libraries Collection, and Desilicious: South Asian Erotic Writing, the latter for which she was featured on BBC1’s program Desi DNA. – From Tanuja’s website


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