Feb 20, 2011

Life is What You Make It - Book Review

Author-Preeti Shenoy
Publishers-Srishti Publishers

Life is what you make it is Preeti Shenoy’s second book. Her first book, 34 Bubblegums and Candies is a lighthearted book about the journey called life and the bittersweet experiences that we get out of it. It’s delightful and it’s peppy. Her second book however, is in a totally different league.

Life is what you make it is a story about Ankita Sharma, a regular college kid. Her life is like that of any youngster, revolving around her friends, studies, with a few romantic swings thrown in as well ! She is smart, intelligent and very sure of what she wants out of her life. Life for her couldn’t be better. Suddenly and totally unexpectedly her life is thrown out of gear as starts showing symptoms of a mental illness and is finally diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder. What follows is a gripping tale of how a mental disorder turns a young girl’s life topsy turvy and how she manages to come out the abysmal depths of her depression and fights tooth and nail to regain her sanity and her hold over life. This book is about growing up, not only physically but mentally and emotionally, by redefining your beliefs, your opinion about life and emerging out of a life threatening incident as not only a stronger but a far more insightful person.

There are two things that stand out about this book. One is the unusual but very sensitive topic that Preeti has chosen to write about. Almost all the books that we read now days are either chic lits, or books about college life (I am sick of Books about life in IITs and management institutes! ) or about the corporate jungle. Preeti has dared to go off the beaten track to write about a topic few people know anything about, let alone would care to write about. The second thing that actually makes this book such a good read is the way Preeti has written it. The topic could have been dealt in a cold clinical manner or in an over emotional rambling way that would just make the reader pity Ankita and shed tears. Preeti however, has dealt with the issue in a very sensitive and perceptive manner without being over dramatic. In the first part of the book, She takes us through Ankita’s life as a college student with the usual escapades and happenings that gives us that `been there done that` feeling and brings a smile to our lips. But Preeti truly comes into her own as a writer in the second half of the book when Ankita goes through an emotional roller coaster thanks to Bipolar Disorder. Preeti has described the fears, agonies, frustration and pain that Ankita goes through in a very touching yet realistic manner that moves you beyond words and leaves you totally numb. The narration is simple, yet extremely eloquent. Words flow easily and lucidly and do a much better job in portraying feelings and emotions than complicated or intricate sentences would have done. Life is what you make it is that rare blend of emotions, sensitivity and excellent writing that makes Preeti a class apart from the other writers that we see these days.

This is a very intense book. A book that moves and inspires you immensely and makes you realize that life can change at any moment and within the happy, carefree and supposedly balanced individuals that we see every day a mental illness can rear its ugly head at any time. This is also a highly inspiring tale of determination, courage and a tribute to the indomitable spirit within each one of us.
My Rating:4/5


  1. Loved her choice of topic! Will pick this up for sure.

  2. Sounds interesting...will pick it up.

  3. Tht's quite a topic to write about! I read a review of this in another blog too.
    If two different ppl can like the same "out-of-box" book, then it must be really good ;)

  4. @swaram,Alka,Scorpia - yes it is a very interesting read !

  5. I second you in that choice of topic!! I too am fed up of IIT and IIM stories, I'm glad this book is really different. Will try to get a copy when I am in India.

  6. That's a quick review on preeti's book! I too wanted to grab and read this! Your review is very positive and inviting !!

  7. @writerzblock - yes it is a very refreshign change from the stuff doled out these days !
    @Vaish - Thanks, its a good book !

  8. Thanks for this review Ruchira. I had imagined this to be a book about how to live a positive life, but good to know it deals with something that needs to be talked about more than it is.

  9. @IHM - glad you liked it IHM,yes its a very different book.

  10. Thank you so much for a marvellous review.
    Much appreciate. Have truly SLOGGED for this book, and it wasn't easy writing it at all.
    Thanks again.
    Warmest regards

  11. @Preeti-My Pleasure! I am a rather fussy reader but I truly enjoyed your book and I guess that reflects in the review :)

  12. it sounds good !!

    Jai HO mangalmay ho

  13. This one is on my list. I liked her first book too.

  14. Must be an enjoyable read Life Is What You Make It by Preeti Shenoy. loved the way you wrote it. I find your review very genuine and original, this book is going in by "to read" list.

  15. i loved reading the book...
    i really njoy reading anything about life..
    i had got an english project 2 write a book review on any novel..
    one of mah frndz suggested dis book n i read it..i bet u i loved it so much dat if i start writing my views n opinions it wud end up bcuming another novel :P..i had decided to write the book review of dis on my own bt still i choose to give a reading on the online reviews...i ll surely share my project wrk n mah review wid all of u...nt dat damn good at English,cant use typical vocabulary but a simple review by just ME is a must juz in a few days



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