Born Confused Review by Simran B.
Plot Summary: Dimple Lala is just a 17 year old girl in New Jersey, struggling with the one question we all face during these teenager times. Who am I? She is caught in between two different worlds, trying to find the perfect balance and harmony between them. She feels as she is too Indian for the Americans, and not Indian enough for her own heritage. As the book progresses, Dimple realizes that it doesn’t have to be an either-or choice. She understands that she can be both, and discovers the balance she was once looking for. She understands that she doesn’t have to be embarrassed to express her Indian culture, and realizes that being different is perfectly fine.
Along side with the issue of trying to discover who you are, Born Confused deals with the issue of trying to live up to your parents’ expectations. This issue is a crucial part of the book, as at the beginning Dimple fails to understand what her parents truly want of her. Albeit, as the book continues on, Dimple develops a closer relationship with her parents, and realizes they are not all that different from her, and can surprisingly relate to what she is going through.
At the same time, the books hits on the issue of maintaining relationships, as Gwyn, Dimple’s best friend suddenly just assumes that Dimple has a perfect life, due to still having parents that are still together and love each other, and as to having an intact family. However, Gwyn fails to see that while this is true, all of this does not equal to a perfect life. As I mentioned before, Dimple is going through some tough times of her own, such as the “identity quest” to discover who she actually is and how she fits inside this world. This issue of maintaining relationships, and the way that Gwyn suddenly jumps to the conclusion of Dimple having a perfect life, is a fantastic way to incorporate the message of “things aren’t always what they seem, especially if you are looking in from the outside”.
Now, while there are several other key points in the book, these are only three of them. (After all, how can I tell you the others? That would just be spoiling the book for you! You’ll have to read the book to find out the rest!)
Overall, Born Confused is a wonderful book of a typical teenage struggling with several issues in her life and trying to deal with them all. While the book is a bit lengthy (500 pgs), and takes a while to take off, it is filled with enriching detail, and is one that will keep teenagers engaged. Once the book takes off, you will definitely get hooked, and will just want to keep reading! Now, what are you waiting for? Go ahead, grab this book of the shelves, and start reading!
*A side note* While reading this book, keep your mind open, and be prepared for the unexpected!