Autoboyography by Christina Lauren
Synopsis: Three years ago, Tanner Scott’s family relocated from California to Utah, a move that nudged the bisexual teen temporarily back into the closet. Now, with one semester of high school to go, and no obstacles between him and out-of-state college freedom, Tanner plans to coast through his remaining classes and clear out of Utah.
But when his best friend Autumn dares him to take Provo High’s prestigious Seminar—where honor roll students diligently toil to draft a book in a semester—Tanner can’t resist going against his better judgment and having a go, if only to prove to Autumn how silly the whole thing is. Writing a book in four months sounds simple. Four months is an eternity.
It turns out, Tanner is only partly right: four months is a long time. After all, it takes only one second for him to notice Sebastian Brother, the Mormon prodigy who sold his own Seminar novel the year before and who now mentors the class. And it takes less than a month for Tanner to fall completely in love with him.
Autoboyography is a moving story about falling in love and being true to yourself. It is told from Tanner’s perspective and we get a glimpse of his progressive family and Sebastian’s regressive family, on the other hand. There are themes of family dynamics, friendships and first loves in this book. The book tackles religious prejudices and narrow-mindedness very well. I also loved the fact that the authors have done their research well, as there are citations at the end of the book, which shows that the content related to religion and facts are correct. The story is heartfelt and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it.
If you loved Red, White and Royal Blue by Casey Mcquiston, you will adore this book!
2. A Match Made In Mehendi by Nandini Bajpai
Synopsis: Fifteen-year-old Simran “Simi” Sangha comes from a long line of Indian vichole-matchmakers-with a rich history for helping parents find good matches for their grown children. When Simi accidentally sets up her cousin and a soon-to-be lawyer, her family is thrilled that she has the “gift.”
But Simi is an artist, and she doesn’t want to have anything to do with relationships, helicopter parents, and family drama. That is, until she realizes this might be just the thing to improve her and her best friend Noah’s social status. Armed with her family’s ancient guide to finding love, Simi starts a matchmaking service-via an app, of course.
But when she helps connect a wallflower of a girl with the star of the boys’ soccer team, she turns the high school hierarchy topsy-turvy, soon making herself public enemy number one.
I haven’t ever read a book about an NRI(Non-Resident Indian) family living outside India. This was my first glimpse into the life of an Indian-American (fictional) family living in the US and I must say I found it very sweet. The references of Bollywood, Indian food like the masala chai and samosas, I found it all very endearing. I also loved that our protagonist is an artist.
One thing that disappointed me was the false message that the book’s synopsis sends. I really expected the school hierarchy to be turned upside down by the app, which doesn’t really happen, guys. Yes, people who have never spoken to each other are connected via the app, due to their shared interests, but the wallflower girl that the synopsis mentions is another soccer player and not a girl who hardly speaks to anyone, and is way below in the school hierarchy, which is what I expected, to be honest. And it’s not a spoiler either, so no need to worry.
Anyway, the book is engrossing and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. It is a cute and heartwarming story of a girl trying to navigate her sudden fame in high school and her own artistic interests and love life. I would totally recommend this book.