ARC Review || Unwanted Girl by M.K. Schiller

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– Genre : New-Adult/Adult Contemporary –

– Expected Publication Date : 19th January, 2016 –

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|| BLURB ||

Recovering addict Nick Dorsey finds solace in his regimented life. That is until he meets Shyla Metha. Something about the shy Indian beauty who delivers take-out to his Greenwich Village loft inspires the reclusive writer. And when Shyla reveals her desire to write a book of her own, he agrees to help her. The tale of a young Indian girl growing up against a landscape of brutal choices isn’t Nick’s usual territory, but something about the story, and the beautiful storyteller, draws him in deep.

Shyla is drawn to Nick, but she never imagines falling for him. Like Nick, Shyla hails from a village, too…a rural village in India. They have nothing in common, yet he makes her feel alive for the first time in her life. She is not ready for their journey to end, but the plans she’s made cannot be broken…not even by him. Can they find a way to rewrite the next chapter?

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|| REVIEW ||

Spoiler : No

I received an ARC of the book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

So I’ll start with listing the two main reasons I have been wanting to read this particular book for a while now.

— Firstly, because M.K. Schiller is the author of one of my very favorite contemporary romance novels, The Do-Over and I love her writing. ❤

— Secondly, I am Indian, and when I read that this book had an actual Indian heroine with an actual Indian rural background, instead of the normal Indian-American heroines I’ve read before a couple of times, I knew I had to read this book! So yeah, I was really looking to Unwanted Girl and M.K. Schiller, surely did not disappoint. I really enjoyed the book. I was a little bit skeptical about how the author would be able to combine a serious topic like gendercide with romance, because it sort of seems to be an an unlikely combination, but Schiller managed to do it pretty well. 🙂

Now in the book we had Nick as the hero, who was a writer, living as a recluse. He carried the burden of his past when he was a meth-addict and blamed himself for an incident that changed his life and forced him to overcome his addiction. He lives a life without really living it and simply goes through the days without feeling anything.

Then there was our heroine, Shyla Metha – which I would like to correct is actually Mehta because there is no Indian surname called ‘Metha’ – who came from a remote village in India and was studying in America on student’s visa. She worked at a little eatery near Nick’s home and had been delivering sandwiches to Nick for a year. She was a shy, reserved and sweet girl and it took her a long time to even speak a few words to Nick.

Both Nick and Shyla were intrigued by each other and gradually formed a friendship. It was then that Shyla revealed her desire to write a book to Nick and asked him to help her though it. So together, they started the journey of writing a story, where Shyla narrated the story and Nick gave words and expressions to the writing. They were drawn to each other but hesitated to do anything about it since they belonged to two very different worlds and Shyla had plans to return to India after her graduation, which was only a few months away. But finally their deep feelings overcame the hesitation and they decided to be together as long as they could.

As I said before, I really enjoyed the book. It was fast paced, interesting, emotional and I couldn’t put it down. I also loved the characters. They felt real and pretty refreshing because like most books, this wasn’t about opposites attract, rather the two characters shared a lot of similar traits . I was a little miffed by Shyla st times because she kind of seemed a bit too tenacious at times but we come to know about her reasons at the end, so then we realize why she was…the way she was.

I love Schiller’s way of story-telling because it simply draws you in until you feel like the characters are a part of your life. I also really liked how after the first few chapters, the chapters kind of alternated between Nick and Shyla’s present account and the story they were writing, Asha’s Story. Honestly, at first I though it would be boring and annoying, like, you’re really engaged into what’s happening between Nick and Shyla and suddenly in the next chapter you have to read Asha’s story. But it was not at all the case. In fact, Asha’s story was so compelling, there were moments I wanted to read her story more that our main characters….so yeah, there wasn’t a single dull moment in the book, for me at least.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the amount of research Schiller seems to have done for this book because there were a lot about the Rural Indian society, culture, names, customs, rituals, etc in the story and there were also a couple of tales about this Indian god and goddesses. I was really happy that majority of the details were accurate. However, I did find some errors, so I have to point them out –

(1) There were some errors in the names of the characters – As I mentioned about Metha actually being Mehta. Then Asha’s husband’s name was Aditi which is not a name for males in India. It is a name for females. And her brother-in-law’s name was Mukash, but the correct name should be Mukesh.

(2) In the book it was written that in Asha’s wedding, the bride and the groom took FOUR rounds around the holy fire to signify their tie to each other. But in any Indian marriage, the bride and groom take SEVEN rounds around the holy fire as their seven vows to each other.

So apart from these main errors, the details were mostly correct, I guess. There were also a few spelling errors here and there, which I hope will be corrected in the final print.

And lastly, the twist that comes in the end….Now I have a read a few other reviews of this book and a couple of them said that they found the plot twist predictable. I’ll have to be honest here – I did not anticipate it. I really didn’t. So the twist at the end totally shocked me, but i loved it!

Thus,  Unwanted Girl by M.K. Schiller was a fantastic read and I enjoyed every bit.

My rating : ★★★★.25

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