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Book Review: Born Confused
Author: Tanuja Hidier

Manaswini Garimella

Born Confused
Author: Tanuja Desai Hidier
Reading Level: Young Adult

Born Confused, written by Tanuja Hidier is a novel about the Identity Crisis of an Indian American teenage girl growing up in America. Dimple Lala, a senior in High School would like nothing better than to be exactly like her best friend Gwyn, white, blonde and beautiful, with a boyfriend, a family that lets her do anything and seemingly endless freedom.

After Dimple and Gwyn meet Karsh, however, an Indian American boy in College, things begin to change. Karsh is the son of Dimple’s mother’s best friend, and what her parents deem a suitable match for her. After a disastrous first meeting, she convinces herself that she doesn’t like him and watches as Gwyn falls in love with him. She tries to keep on accommodating for them, and struggles within herself against what she knows is true: that she loves Karsh as well.

Throughout the novel, we see the ways in which Karsh forces Dimple to rethink and reevaluate all the people in her life and come to terms with them and by the end we see that she is not so confused anymore. All through, we see Dimple’s life in pictures captured by her trusty camera, Chica Tikka, which acts as a metaphor for the way people see things: though the picture is always the same, everybody notices different elements in it.

I would recommend this book to people in their early teens, especially those who have sometimes felt confused about who they are. Tanuja Hidier deals with the issues that many teens from other cultures growing up here face, with simple but eloquent language. Her writing style did not appeal to me personally but it serves as a good read for young adults.

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