Heat Factor: Kisses only
Character Chemistry: It is obviously destiny because they like the same kind of ice cream.
Plot: Winnie thought her ex was her destiny, but now she doesn’t. Shenanigans ensue.
Overall: I was having a blast until supposedly responsible adults told this high schooler to put her college plans in jeopardy for a boy.
Winnie is a high-achieving teenager in New Jersey who is obsessed with Bollywood films. She watches movies to bond with her family, to get through emotional times, and just because she loves them. She also uses them as points of reference when processing her daily life. And dreams about Shah Rukh Khan on the regular.
In short, Winnie is a highly entertaining heroine. I would probably find her absolutely exhausting in real life, but then again, I would probably find my high school self exhausting in real life right now. She was definitely fun to read about, though. And I really enjoyed all of the movie references. And not just the Shah Rukh Khan fever dreams! Sharma also includes a mini-review from Winnie’s perspective at the beginning of each chapter, and I was all about it.
Our story follows Winnie through the fall of her senior year of high school. She has just broken up with her boyfriend of three years – even though her family’s pandit has made a prediction about Winnie’s future that indicates that Raj is The One. Winnie, however, was increasingly unhappy with her relationship with Raj, and is also having some Pants Feels for Dev – so what does that mean about destiny? Does she have a choice in the matter? Should she follow her heart, or do what seems to be right on paper even if it feels wrong in her gut?
I was really invested in Winnie’s journey as she figures all of this out, because these questions are central to the human condition. That is, until the last bit of the book, when she doesn’t immediately support Dev by taking an action that she feels would jeopardize her chances of admission at NYU, and everyone reams her out for it, because her boyfriend is more important than college. There is definitely an element of her needing to act with integrity, but the whole “put your life on hold for a high school boyfriend” thing was frankly jarring for me. Even if said high school boyfriend is written in the stars as the love of your life.
Winnie, I am here from your future to tell you: stick with Shah Rukh.
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