Thursday, April 22, 2010

Throwback Thursday: Indie Girl

Indie Girl by Kavita Daswani 2007
Simon and Schuster/Simon Pulse

Rating: 3/5

IQ "In our house, we woke up every morning to bhajans-devotional Hindi songs. And my dad, no matter how late it was or how tired he felt, would end his day listening to something from his own boyhood in India, a lyrical and melancholy raga or an enduring classic from an old Bollywood film. These were the songs my parents grew up with and even though the bulk of my days were filled with MTV hits, those same days were bookended by songs that were nostalgic and soulful, linking my youth to that of my parents." Indie pg. 97

Indira (Indie) Konkipuddi is obsessed with fashion. Not just the wearing of the clothes but how the fashion industry operates, who decides what's hot and what's not. Her dream is to be a fashion reporter and the best way to do this is to get an internship with Celebrity Style magazine. This her favorite magazine and it excels in fashion reporting, plus the founder of the magazine, Aarlyn Taylor is Indie's role model. Indie meets Aaralyn at her school's career day talk and volunteers to babysit Aaralyn's two-year-old son (Kyle). Never mind that she knows very little about toddlers, she needs that internship! Soon Indie finds out that Celebrity Style is in financial trouble and that a famous Hollywood acrress is having her wedding dress made in India. This is big news and Indie is sure that if she shares this with Aaralyn, Aarlyn will see her as more than just the babysitter. However, the world of fashion is full of surprises, good and bad.

This is a cute and frustrating story. I've never been a fan of young professionals taking all the verbal abuse that their monster bosses give them. I think at a certain point, you should have too much self-respect to constantly take being torn down. as a result, I didn't understand why Indie continuously bent over backwards to help Aaralyn as it became pretty clear how she was going to treat her. I just wanted Indie to stand up for herself sooner than she did. Also, the ending was a bit unbelievable and it felt as if something was missing. Indie Girl ended right when I didn't want it to end. SPOILER/Highlight to Read: Aaralyn's change of heart was too sudden. I wasn't expecting it at all, in fact I was hoping that Indie would tell her off and quit and Aaralyn would remain a jerk. And to end with Indie going to India? That was the part of the story that I was looking forward to reading the most! Furthermore, the romance interest seemed to be just thrown in there for convince. The story could have moved on quite well, without the help of a guy. He didn't add anything to the story and I only halfway understood why Indie was attracted to him.

I did like that Indie was so determined. She knew what she wanted and she would stop at nothing to get it. I thought her volunteering to babysit the son of the editor in chief of Celebrity Style was realistic (I can easily imagine myself doing the same thing to get closer to someone who can offer me something I want). I also liked that Indie was so proud of her Indian culture. She didn't try to hide it and while she had a few embarrassing encounters, she wasn't ashamed to be Indian. She acknowledges that she may not be "the ideal Indian daughter" who always makes her parents happy, but she tries. Another thing that I enjoyed was that the parents weren't useless in the novel. They made Indie think through their advice, warnings and actions. I thought it was interesting that Indie's mom didn't wear saris, she wore jeans and oversized t-shirts. She never pressured Indie to celebrate any part of their Indian culture that she didn't want to. Therefore, Indie doesn't feel confused or too out of step with her traditional parents. Her father is also fairly modern (or American I guess you could say) and is open to new ideas. I think this is part of the reason as to why Indie embraces her Indian culture, she follows the Indian customs she loves and doesn't worry about the ones that bother her. Another one of my favorite parts of Indie Girl was reading about the emerging fashion scene in India.

Indie Girl is a fluffy, cheerful story about following your dreams and learning to stand up for yourself. The characters aren't especially well developed, but the involved parents and evil boss are a bit more fleshed out and since they really effect Indie that's ok. The romantic interest needed to have some more depth though. This story is low on action and can be a bit baffling but it's not meant to be deep and it's simply fun. Fans of chick lit will particularly enjoy this book.

Throwback Thursday was created by Taste Life Twice (they've been sadly MIA lately). In this meme I read books that I may have missed growing up, from 2007 or earlier.


  1. Everytime I thought Indira was going to say enough and she didn't I wanted to scream. The ending mad me want to scream some more.

  2. This sounds like a book I might enjoy but I hate the whole evil boss thing. I couldn't stand The Devil Wears Prada because of it. I do want to read some more books for the South Asian Authors Challenge so I may give this a try anyway. Good review!

  3. While I would never allow myself to be verbally abused over and over again by a boss, I do think that there are those who for the sake of doing what they love, or advancing their ambitions accept it as part of the package. This does sound like it might be an interesting read. I was especially surprised at the parental acceptance of loose cultural tradition. This seems a little unbelievable. Great review. Thanks!

    Also thanks for bringing me new titles all the time. I love stopping by to see what you are reading or what you are waiting to read.

  4. I hate to say this, but that's how entry-level jobs are in the celebrity/fashion/PR world. I've been there, done that and it's not a lie. It makes sense, though, because so many people are interested in those career fields but supply (open positions) don't meet demand. So the way they're treated causes a high turnover rate and fleshes out those who don't have a thick skin and aren't willing to take the low pay and intense hours. Great review Ari!

  5. I haven't read this one, but The Village Bride of Beverly Hills made me scream (I'm with Doret here), and put me off Daswani for ever. I found the characterization non-existent, and her references to India consisted solely of easy-to-market cliches. I get that these are fun/fluffy books, but that doesn't excuse an author from having to put in *some* effort to be original.

  6. I love the cover! :)

  7. It's too bad the book doesn't have more substance because it had so much potential. The cover is gorgeous.

  8. @Doret-Oh me too! I almsot threw the book across the room because of how passive Indie was, but decided this book did not deserve such horrible treatment.

    @Christina-Give it a try. I'd be interested to read your thoughts on it. I don't mind the evil boss thing, as long as the evil boss doesn't get away with being evil the whole time.

    @Jan-I agree and I would do the same to further my own ambitions, you do have to take some stuff to a certain degree. But I also think part of it, is that bosses want you to stand up to them so that they can see you are not just a doormat. Or maybe not. Aww thank you! I love sharing what I'm reading and spreading the word about upcoming titles :)

    @Kris-True, you definitely need thick skin (I want to go into politics and thick skin is needed for that), but I also think you have to stand up for yourself. Thanks!

    @Niranjana-I was thinking of trying one of her adult fictions, but I can't take much more screaming or getting angry at a book that is supposed to be light and fun. I agree, but I would say Indie Girl is somewhat original: an Indian girl who wants to go into fashion with parents who are laid back about cultural traditions. I do think that this book could have been more original.

    @Nathalie-Oh me too! I should mention that in the review.

    @Bermudaonion-Indie Girl had such potential and seemed rather original. But alas,the characterization was weak and uninteresting. I love the cover =)


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