Published by Berkley on February 16, 2021
Genres: Women's fiction
Also by this author: A Holly Jolly Diwali
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
About Serena Singh Flips the Script
Sonya Lalli’s book Serena Singh Flips the Script is an own voices story told from two points of view. Serena is successful, single, and feels fulfilled. But she misses friendships. Her friends, including her younger sister, are at different places. They’re focusing on relationships and children. Serena doesn’t want those.
She wants female friendships. So she decides to go on some friendship dates. The dates end with hilarious and usually disastrous results – the sex club bit had me laughing out loud.
We explore her mother Sandeep’s story in flashbacks. We see how Serena’s parents worked hard as Indian immigrants, to provide for Serena and her sister. And we learn where the strain in her relationship with her father started.
My thoughts about Serena Singh Flips the Script
I adored this story that focuses on women, their relationships, and what fulfills them. Serena is strong, driven, likable, and even relatable. As an aunt, I loved that Serena could be excited about her younger sister’s wedding and her friends’ children. She shares in their joys without wanting that exact thing herself.
Serena starts a new job – her dream job actually and loves it. She’s crushed when her staff members ignore her overtures of friendship. Then she finds a new friend in Ainsley, another manager at the firm.
She starts dating – the photographer she met at her sister’s wedding. She also runs into her ex and they agree to try being friends. Serena negotiating what sort of behavior is acceptable for friends was hilarious.
Warm and leisurely-paced, Serena Singh Flips the Script focuses on female strength and determination. Sonya Lalli shows how the threads of her characters’ lives weave or sometimes tangle together. Serena juggles her own expectations, those of her family, cultural expectations, and society’s. She finds fulfillment from herself and her own successes. She discovers that she can’t stay inside herself and still make the connections she craves.
With Sandeep, we get a different perspective. She’s a South Asian woman with strong ties to her culture even after moving to the USA. Although Serena feels cringey at times about Sandeep – the clothes she wears, her food choices or her behavior – we see that Sandeep too is strong in a different way.
This book is marketed as a romance but it’s far more of a women’s fiction. Exploring the ties of friendship and family. How women support and encourage one another. So no scorching hot sex scenes here.
CW: There’s some past domestic violence and frank talk about it.
Serena Singh Flips the Script by Sonya Lalli draws you in. It’s heartwarming relationship fiction charm featuring plenty of wit.
Thank you Berkley and NetGalley for the ARC.