Unfinished – Book by Priyanka Chopra Jonas

I am a huge admirer of Priyanka Chopra. I was eagerly awaiting the chance to read her memoir, Unfinished, and now that I did, I am more in awe of her.

The book starts with her childhood memories and what it was like growing up with parents who treated her as an individual who has an equal say. Priyanka recounts a story when she asked her father, why her name was not on the house name plate. Any other adult would have dismissed it as a child’s zid, but her father thought on it and said, “You are right. You live in this house too. Your name should be on it.”

She credits her career to her parents, who shuttled between their hospital commitments and moved around the world with her so that she could flourish. And her brother who kick-started the whole thing by sending her nomination to Miss India without even informing her.

Miss India World 2000

Priyanka says that she is an amalgamation of the East and the West. She grew up and lived in different cities in India, moved to the US for high school, came back and became a Bollywood star and eventually transitioned into Hollywood.

She believes that we shouldn’t strive to fit into a mold of society-approved-standards. That infact, our difference is our strength. It is what makes us stand out & more importantly, it is what makes us , “us”

She also believes that we should have a go at every opportunity that comes our way. And not just try it for fun, but invest our 100% in it. If it works, it will pay off dividends. If not, then what’s the worst that will happen? Whatever might be the failure, it will not be for lack of effort.

This has been her strategy for her entire career. She entered the Miss India contest, while studying for her XIIth boards. She took up film offers and prepped herself for every role that came along her way. Sometimes, some opportunities tanked, like her music career which didn’t really take off – but as she says, it wasn’t for lack of effort.

Priyanka also showcases how important it is to swallow the pride pill & not shy away from starting at the bottom; which is what she did when she established her career in the US.

Quantico billboard in the US

I enjoyed reading about how Nick “slided” into her DMs to their big fat Chopra Jonas wedding festivities and the infinite trains.

At Met Gala 2017
At their wedding 😍

I loved all the anecdotes about her parents – especially the one when her father painstakingly wrote and re-wrote the words for her tattoo even when he was unable to hold a pen in his hands.

The stories about her parents’ days in the Army & her own experiences as UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador were heartening.

Priyanka being awarded the Padma Shri in 2016

Priyanka Chopra has always been an inspiration for me, and will continue to be, because, she’s not quite “finished” yet!!

Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour

Amy’s mom has moved to Connecticut. And now, she must follow suit. Her mother also needs her to drive their car. But Amy hasn’t sat behind the wheel since that fateful accident. So, her mother asks a family friend, Roger, to drive Amy home. She also has the entire itinerary planned for them to reach in 4 days but Amy & Roger decide to take a quick “little” detour which turns into this epic book!!

I loved reading this book!

When they say, it’s not about the destination but the journey, this book sort of proves it is true. On this road trip, Amy goes through an entire journey of re-discovering herself and coming to terms with grief, that when she finally pulls into that rest station at Connecticut, she is ready to move on.

As a central character, I liked Amy. The way she thinks – feels – it’s how any normal teen girl would. Her thoughts are very real and that makes her believable.

Amy has resented that her family’s life was always very “boringly settled.” It was only after her father’s death when they hit rock bottom, she realizes how blessed they were in their boring routine. She also talks about how much we take what we have for granted and always assume that things will stay that way.

Even when there is reflection, there is no gloom in the tone of this book and that is what works in this favor. There are emotions that are lightly dusted with good conversations and a game of 20 Questions.

I knew America was huge but I never realized how huge it exactly is. Starting from California, as Amy and Roger cross various borders to the East Coast, there is not only a change in scenery, the weather and the time zones but the culture changes too. Now, I may never get a chance to visit America, but this book sure gave me the opportunity to experience it.

The road trip isn’t described like a fancy ZNMD vacay. The author also talks about how uncomfortable it is to be sitting on your butt for 5-6 hours, the lonely stretches of road that can get scary if your car is to breakdown & of course the lodging and dining takes a hit if you are travelling on a tight budget.

One more thing I liked about this book was all the scrapbook pages in which Amy journals their trip & as someone who loves to do a bit of scrapbooking herself, I enjoyed reading her pages and picking up ideas.

If you are planning on taking a summer trip, this book is something you should pack along!!

​I Heart Series, xoxo

Good books always manage to find you when you are not looking out to read anything. And then when you come to know that that particular book is part of a series, would you not hunt them all down?

Author Lindsey Kelk was inspired to write her first book of this series after returning from a holiday to New York City to her home in London and being unable to get over post-vacation blues. She immediately decided that it would be a series of books, each taking in different cities.

Angela is a fun character – she’s flawed in so many ways yet hilarious all the way. And the easy breezy writing of Kelk makes Angela’s journey sound really like The Adventures of Angela that they are meant to be.

I love how she brings about the essence of each city; almost like the city is a person in itself ( Although strictly speaking, the last two books focus only on Angela).

I heart New York

Angela Clark busts her fiancée cheating on her at her best friend’s wedding. Wanting to put as much space as possible between her and the pain, she boards a plane and takes off to the first destination that comes in her mind – NYC. Here, she befriends Jenny Lopez (not the movie one).

A makeover and a Marc Jacobs satchel later –  Angela moves in with Jenny , is dating two incredibly hot men at the same time and is blogging about her life for a living on the website of TheLook.com. But is New York really her home or is she just running away from her real home?

It’s impossible not to fall in love with New York when it is described through Angela’s eyes. New York is a city where people come to become something new. While reading the book you feel the highs and lows that Angela is going through. If you ever felt like you needed a new beginning sometimes, you will heart this book!!

I heart Hollywood

The glitz of LA is well captured in this one. And if you thought looking good and hanging out with a celeb on a Hollywood weekend was glam, Angela is here to tell you otherwise.

Angela’s magazine is sending her to Hollywood to interview the British heartthrob James Jacobs. But this adventure sparks off new heartaches and headaches for Angela. Can she convince her editor and her boyfriend , Alex,  that all that is printed on newspapers is not as it appears?

I heart Paris

The City of Love is calling… Alex has offered Angela a romantic getaway and Belle magazine has offered an article. But right upon landing at Charles de Gaulle Airport, Angela has a bunch of problems up her sleeve. With her old life in London just a train away, fate is tempting Angela…

All those who have lived away from home and feel that need for a quick home visit just to feel better again will relate to this. Adulting is not the most comfortable ride and Angela’s Parisian adventures tell us just that.

I heart Vegas

 

Angela is out of savings, out of work and in danger of potentially being thrown out of the country. And La Lopez’s solution to all of this is – a weekend getaway in Vegas. And what happens in Vegas……

I liked how the author points out that people have been just using this city as an excuse to explain away their behavior. Vegas toh ainvayi badnaam hai. 

 

 

I heart London

 

The time has come to return home and face all the music. Albeit reluctantly, Angela comes home to her besides-their-minds-with-worry parents, a confused ex, a battle of besties and an impending marriage.

 

 

 

I heart Christmas

 

Christmas is Angela’s most favorite season. And it is all set to be ruined!!! Can Angela bring back her festive spirit?

 

 

 

 

I heart Forever

 

With this book, we reach to the end of the series. Read to find how Angela’s story settles down in the Big Apple.

 

 

 

There are two more supplementary short stories in this series, which need to be read to catch up with Jenny’s life.

Jenny Lopez has a Bad Week(read after I heart Paris)

Jenny Lopez saves Christmas (read after I heart Christmas)

I absolutely ❤️ this series!!!