The Rearranged Life: Blog Tour + Review -- A Breath Of Fresh Air

The Rearranged Life | Annika Sharma
Release Date: May 15, 2015 | Curiosity Quills Press
Genre(s): New Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 268
Edition: Kindle (E-ARC)
Source: InkSlinger PR
Buy Now: Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Rating:



Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She's even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.

When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya's entire life changes.

Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American.

As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path.

The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.
I received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

 Finding the perfect New Adult novel is like searching for a needle in a haystack.
Well readers, that needle has been found . . .

Where Have You Been All My Life?


I honestly don't think I can put into coherent words how much I loved this story. It was completely different from any other NA novel I've ever read, and I'm so proud of the author for finally doing my favorite genre some justice. Annika Sharma shows us that bad-mysterious-sex-driven-boys, naive-boy-crazy-girls, and cliche plots/twists, aren't aspects that DEFINE new adult. I take a low bow before I come up to air kiss her cheeks, all to show my gratitude for her ability to rip and stomp those typical routes to dust.

The Rearranged Life, to sum it up in a nut shell, is a marvelous story. It's both strong and utterly realistic, gracefully touching the topics of love, family, friendships, culture, and a pleasant surprise, education. Even with my favorite books from this genre, I've experienced a lost in connection due to naive characters and or absurd situations/scenes, but finally we have a book that scores straight 10's all across the board. A story that not only reaches out to me, but to all young & older adults in the universe.

Nithya, the girl you bring home to mama, was a perfect example of what female characters in our literature today should be. Not only was she Indian, an ethnicity that's not typically done in our lit, but she was strong, admirable, funny, and incredibly intelligent. It was such a pleasure reading from her lovely perspective, and things couldn't have gotten any better . . . until James steps on the scene.

Apparently, I Have A Thing For St.Clairs


Besides Jessup Mason from The Mason List,  James St.Clair is definitely my favorite NA book boyfriend. Having saving Nithya twice, once from failing a chemistry test, and the other from being sexually assaulted, I thought of him as a nerdier version of Batman. From those moments forward, I knew I would love his protective nature. But don't think of that jealous-asshole type we're used to, nope James was every bit of an adoring man. He was genuine, smart, sarcastic, compassionate . . the list could seriously go on and on.
Not to mention he didn't smell like woods . . or the outdoors . .  just fresh soap and cologne. (thank god)

Even though I enjoyed the amazing relationship that blossomed between Nithya and James, my favorite aspects of this story were ones we don't typically come across in this genre. Annika beautifully tackled topics us human beings encounter in our every day lives.

CULTURAL DIFFERENCES

In Nithya's Indian culture, they have " semi-arranged marriages. " Her parents pick a boy for her to date, in this case a guy named Nishanth, and if they hit it off, a relationship, then hopefully a wedding would ensue. Of course this ended up being a HUGE problem, because also in her culture, it's a bit frowned upon to date outside of your ethnicity. James being American was a no-no from the start, but with Nit's growing feelings for him, it was an on-going struggle of listening to her heart, or being loyal to her family and their practices.

FAMILY & FRIENDS

With the differences between race, culture, beliefs, etc, I knew that family and friends would play a big part in this story. I loved how tight knit both Nithya, and James were with both of their families, even when things got a bit hot in the kitchen. After the explosive confession left Nithya's family upset and extremely disappointed, I was truly happy to see that our secondary characters served as amazing friends and support systems! James along with Sophia, Nit's roommate/bestfriend, and Luca, Sophia's boyfriend/Jame's roommate, (whew that was alot lol) were there to support and to help pick up the pieces.

EDUCATION

I was sooo surprised to see that education played such a large role in this story! In most NA novels with a college setting, the characters go to class and study, but it tends to fade into the background after a few chapters in. Once a love interest or relationship is introduced, then you sort of FORGET that they're even in school, besides the occasional, " I sit next to him/her in class, I live across the hall from him/her, I bumped into him/her in the hallway " scenarios.

What I loved the most about this, was our characters (ALL OF THEM) did NOT play when it came to their studies. James, majoring in Bio engineering, Crime, and Law, was just as serious as Nithya, our doctor-to-be when it came to graduating. There were plenty of scenes where they were ACTUALLY studying, going to classes, really learning people! I adored the fact that they were so damn focused, and even though a relationship ended up forming between the two, they didn't let it deter them from the bigger picture . . getting that ED-CHU-MA-CATION!



Lord knows I rambled enough, but seriously guys, there's nothing more satisfying than a book that exceeds your expectations. I've been reading the same ole', same ole' from NA, so don't fault me for being a bit chatty and excited lol! The Rearranged Life proved to be a strong contender alongside our veteran NA books. The story discussed things that probably come as a second thought to most, and amazingly managed to steer clear from what is already being done. The characters weren't fictional, but were humans just like us, living between the pages. Nithya, a beautiful, lively soul. James, a respectful, stimulating, gentleman. I adored everything about these two, from their union, to their cute ass dialog. They challenged each other, had MEANINGFUL conversations, and did I mention they didn't have sex? Like AT ALL, and to be honest, it wasn't missed.

If you're looking for a cute read that focuses heavily on family, friends, love, self-discoveryculture, and education, all things that truly MATTER in our world today, then The Rearranged Life will be your next obsession.