Enter Title Here – Rahul Kanakia

Oh my goodness, this book was so incredibly TWISTED. Reshma is an unlikeable anti-hero, and yet I can somehow… identify with her? I’ve been a study machine most of my life, although I’ve definitely angled to be a “perfect” time and time again. I know how much it means to WIN over everything else, although I don’t see myself stooping to her levels of immorality. She winds up in a place I never would have expected (great third solution), which is almost better than anything else that could’ve become of her. I would still like to see where she ends up in a few years though.

Synopsis

I’m your protagonist—Reshma Kapoor—and if you have the free time to read this book, then you’re probably nothing like me.

Reshma is a college counselor’s dream. She’s the top-ranked senior at her ultra-competitive Silicon Valley high school, with a spotless academic record and a long roster of extracurriculars. But there are plenty of perfect students in the country, and if Reshma wants to get into Stanford, and into med school after that, she needs the hook to beat them all.

What’s a habitual over-achiever to do? Land herself a literary agent, of course. Which is exactly what Reshma does after agent Linda Montrose spots an article she wrote for Huffington Post. Linda wants to represent Reshma, and, with her new agent’s help scoring a book deal, Reshma knows she’ll finally have the key to Stanford.

But she’s convinced no one would want to read a novel about a study machine like her. To make herself a more relatable protagonist, she must start doing all the regular American girl stuff she normally ignores. For starters, she has to make a friend, then get a boyfriend. And she’s already planned the perfect ending: after struggling for three hundred pages with her own perfectionism, Reshma will learn that meaningful relationships can be more important than success—a character arc librarians and critics alike will enjoy.

Of course, even with a mastermind like Reshma in charge, things can’t always go as planned. And when the valedictorian spot begins to slip from her grasp, she’ll have to decide just how far she’ll go for that satisfying ending. (Note: It’s pretty far.)

Review

Oh my goodness, this book was so incredibly TWISTED. Reshma is an unlikeable anti-hero, and yet I can somehow… identify with her? I’ve been a study machine most of my life, although I’ve definitely angled to be a “perfect” time and time again. I know how much it means to WIN over everything else, although I don’t see myself stooping to her levels of immorality. She winds up in a place I never would have expected (great third solution), which is almost better than anything else that could’ve become of her. I would still like to see where she ends up in a few years though.

The other characters were also portrayed realistically, yet somewhat ridiculously (such as Dr. Wasserman, for example). I loved George and Alex — they are flawed yet amazing characters. And don’t we all know a Chelsea? Her composure is admirable.

I found the Aakash storyline hilarious, just because both of them were so researched. It’s like they were performing a play!

The story also hit on a lot of racial truths. Some people might be uncomfortable whenever race is brought up where they don’t see it, but racial minorities see the race aspect every time. Being a model-minority Asian means having to be 10x better to get to the same place. And yes, the rules keep changing to the point that intangibles are more important than anything else (I never realized that before!). So how do merit-based grinders succeed, when the system now allows for subtle (or blatant) racism? I also laughed at the point of there being just four acceptable jobs (lawyer, doctor, ibanker, or tech enthusiast) — in this day and age, it’s so true! I like how Ms. Ratcliffe was misguided to think that Reshma’s parents were the driving force behind her mania.

Overall, a lot of cynical truths from a crazy protagonist. Sometimes it’s a tough pill to swallow, but always a good time to read. Huge fan!

Related Reading

  • Something in Between – Melissa de la Cruz
  • Winning – Lara Deloza
  • The New Guy (And Other Senior Year Distractions) – Amy Spalding
  • Don’t Ever Change – M. Beth Bloom

Rating: 5/5

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