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Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. She's spent her whole life resisting her parents' traditions. But now she's turning seventeen and things are more complicated than ever. She's still recovering from a year-old break-up,and her best friend isn't around the way she used to be. Then, to make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course, it doesn't go well...until Dimple goes to a club and finds him spinning a magical web of words and music. Suddenly the suitable boy is suitable because of his sheer unsuitability. Complications ensue.
This is a story about finding yourself, finding your friends, finding love, and finding your culture--sometimes where you least expect it.
My thoughts: This book has had a permanent spot on my shelf since one of my best friends gave me a copy my sophomore year of high school. (I don’t even want to admit how long ago that was.) I pick this up for a re-read at least once a year. Even though, on the surface, there aren’t many similarities between the main character, Dimple, and myself, I feel so connected with Dimple and her story.
I think one of the reasons I connected so well with Dimple was because of her love of photography. I’m a photographer by trade, but even I was blown away by Dimple’s passion for photography and how it guided so much in her life. The reader really gets to see the real Dimple when she is behind her lens.
While the book is “aimed” at YA readers (the story takes place during the summer between Dimple’s junior and senior years of high school), the story, writing, and themes are complex enough that much more mature readers will be captivated. The cast of characters (Dimple, Gwen, Karsh, Kavita) are engaging and fascinating.
Every time I finish Born Confused, I have a great desire to pick up my camera, head to New York and find a South Asian club. It leaves me curious about other cultures, and wishing I had a bit more of one myself. The story is comforting and thought provoking at the same time, and is one of my very favorite “coming of age” novels.
Originally published in 2002, Born Confused is being reprinted and has a new cover! The new edition will be released in April 2014. I’m so excited to get another copy to replace my worn out copy!