Y’all. There are two kinds of bad books, the bad ones and then the BAD ones. This novel by Lalli is one of the BAD ones.
Flashback to two weeks ago to me saying to myself, self, let’s switch up our reading. We need more diversity, we need representation, we need to read about people and cultures that aren’t like us. Which is part of the reason I felt so betrayed by Lalli.
Raina is a modern working woman who’s grandmother wants her to get married. So Grandma makes a list of dudes who are acceptable for her to marry and is like, go on dates with them and pick one to marry. Which sucks for Raina because she doesn’t want to get married right now. But instead of setting boundaries or explaining to her Grandmother that she wants to find her own man, SHE PRETENDS TO BE GAY.
Now, I don’t come from a traditional Indian family. I am not saying that I understand that level of pressure. But I am saying that pretending to be gay to avoid another issue is invalidating to the LGBTQ community and extremely problematic.
I won’t continue because I am not a part of the LGBTQ community and don’t want to speak for them, but I can point out how this is harmful for another character in the book. A young man in the Indian community comes out to Raina and he tells her that he only had the courage because of Raina’s steps first. It doesn’t go great for him. It seems like Lalli knew how problematic and did it anyway.
On top of that, the pacing was slow, it wasn’t funny, and it painted the Indian community poorly. Also Raina was a huge jerk to her cousin. And her best friend who was actually a lesbian. And the guy she ends up having a crush on is way too good for her.
Legit this book is a 0/10. Do not read.