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Book Review--> Fashionably Yours by Swati Sharma

Title and Author: Fashionably Yours by Swati Sharma
No. of Pages: 253 Pages
Publication Date: Harlequin India (1 November 2014)
Language: English
Genre: Chick Lit, Contemporary Romance, Indian Writing, Desi Romance

Book Review:
Fashionably Yours is Swati Sharma's debut novel and narrates the story of Maya, a small town girl with big dreams. She wants to become a successful fashion writer for the top fashion magazine, Glamorous in the glitzy city of Mumbai. Against the social expectations, she embarks on her journey to realize her dreams and faces many misadventures along the way including her not so smooth love ride with a man who makes her heart flutter. 
Will Maya be able to prove everyone wrong and realize her dreams? 
Will she get her fairytale happily-ever-after with the man she loves?
What challenges will she have to face to get her perfect life?

I absolutely adored the cover. It is catchy and instantly attracts the readers' attention. The blurb is intriguing and forms an image of a normal middle class Indian girl trying to fight her way into the glamorous world of fashion. Both the cover and blurb will attract the readers loving chick lit and romance towards this book.

The plot idea is pretty conventional but Swati is able to make the idea her own. I loved the opening scenes of the book which relate the typical life in the small towns in India complete with the nosy neighbours, gossipy women and the chit chat that revolves around the latest daily soaps on TV! The unsaid expectation of the society for girls to simply fall into its predefined mold and the general distaste that people show towards women or girls who want more from their lives is beautifully protrayed by Swati. Maya is expected to marry a guy and settle down comfortably but when she wants to pursue her ambitions in another city, she is looked down upon and her mother is subtly warned by the other women of the damage to their image in the society if this happens. How sad is this attitude!
The middle part of the book lags a little and the story seems like it has lost its direction but then the author brings it back on course during the later half and all is well! :)

Swati's writing style is simple and engaging. She is able to create a mental picture of the scenes in the minds of the readers. The only let down for me was the excessive use of slang. I think the correct impact could also have been made without the usage of slang so much. This is just my personal opinion. The characters and story telling lacked a little polish but seeing as how this is the author's first attempt at story telling, I cant help but feel impressed. She is talented and no doubt will improve with each subsequent book.

The characterization is expertly done. Maya plays the rebellious small town girl well but her transition once she reaches Mumbai sometimes made me grit my teeth in exasperation. She is always complaining. I was also not able to understand why she was always broke. People from middle class families usually know the value of money but Maya cant help buying a much too expensive perfume even when she knows she cant afford it. In some ways, I could connect with her but generally she was just a girl I could not seem to relate to. 

Aryan's character, on the other hand, had me enchanted. He is handsome, sexy and well balanced in his approach. The bickering between him and Maya was entertaining and made me smile. Maya's best friend Anu is just like Maya and not someone I could connect to. However, her friendship and care for her friend touched my heart and made me see her in a new light.

I loved reading about Maya's adventures with her obnoxious and demanding boss, her less than stellar life in Mumbai which is completely different from her expectations, her mounting credit card bills and her anxiety at being in love with a hunk and confused why he is interested in a less than curvy, non sexy girl like her! Add a huge dollop of drama, emotional scenes, the eccentric quirks of characters and you have Fashionably Yours in a nutshell. 

All in all, Fashionably Yours is a story that will entertain and have you smiling while reading it. I look forward to reading more from Swati in the future and wish her the very best. 4 out of 5 to Fashionably Yours and recommended to all chick lit lovers.

I received the book from the author, Swati Sharma and the publishers, Harlequin India and I am very thankful to them. The above review is my honest and unbiased opinion and in no way influenced.

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