Book Review: “Life is what you make it” by Preeti Shenoy

Life is what you make it – Well, to start with this is really one of those books which makes you restless if you don’t finish it in continuation! I started reading this book last weekend but then due to lots of other commitments both at office and home front, I could not get time to pick it back. And trust me, every night when I missed to read the book I kept on thinking about Ankita and what exactly would have happened to her perfect life which ended her being into a mental hospital? Initial few pages portrayed her life going on a smooth path – a nice student life in one of the most reputed colleges and a nice personal life with all the love from her boyfriend… Then how come she is meeting this psychiatrist described at the start of the story? Thank God, I finally got the chance to pick it up this Saturday and all the curiosity ensured that I didn’t keep the book down without finishing it completely.

As I do with my reviews, I don’t prefer to reveal much of the story or scenes from any book / movie in the interest who are yet to read / watch it. So, here goes just the brief summary of what this book is all about – It’s is the story of a young gal Ankita Sharma who is confident, smart, ambitious and is moving ahead in her life in the desired direction. The book starts with her first exposure to college life, her long distance love relationship, her changing personality in an all girls’ college, her encounter with new friends and relationship swings like most of the girls of her age. Life is going good till she realizes that God has made some other plans for her. Ankita’s life turns topsy-turvy when she is diagnosed with a mental illness. The second half of the book very sensitively deals with her anger, fear, pain and her struggle to overcome the odds of her life. What seems to be an easy, breezy read in the beginning actually turns out to be an intense and captivating story by the end.

Personally speaking, I really loved the book and it fared far better than I expected it to be. Reason for expecting it to be a general read was mainly the sentence on the cover of the book – “A story of love, hope and how determination can overcome destiny”. I assumed it to be like most of these urban English fiction these days i.e., simple love story with general highs and lows of life. But this book is much more than just another love story. More than anything else, I liked the narration of this story. Be it the joy or fun of Ankita or her strife to regain her life, almost every aspect has been presented in a simple yet gripping way. There were moments when I got so engrossed with Ankita’s pain that I actually ended up googling “bipolar disorder” in order to understand this disease better. From words to the plot, everything held my attention from start to end. As per author’s one the tweets, this book has been declared as national bestseller now. Well, it definitely deserves to be one! Overall, a very interesting read and a book which I surely recommend.

Book Details:
Title: Life is what you make it
Price: Rs. 100 (Available at discounted rates online – Flipkart, Infibeam)
Number of Pages: 209
Author: Preeti Shenoy
Like the book at: Facebook

This review is a part of the Book Reviews Program at Participate now to get free books! Thank you BlogAdda for sending me this book for review.


  1. Renu

    I am also eagar to read it now..presently reading University of success..

  2. KParthasarathi

    A very good review triggering a desire to read the book.Thanks

  3. Abhishek

    Hmm.. sounds interesting. But I won't be checking it soon because already bought a Wodehouse collection and another book titled 'Foreign Correspondent: 50 years of covering south asia'.

    BTW one funny thing happened. I said I bought Wodehouse and my father-in-law heard 'Goodhouse' and added a 'Keeping' to it!

  4. Rhett

    Happy that people who can write well and make proper sentences are churning out bestsellers, hopefully they can become the face of Indian writing in English, drowning one Chetan in their laughter…

  5. Jack


    You have convinced me to read it.

    Take care

  6. stacy@singlemom

    True! "Life is what you make it, so let's make it right! "

  7. Rahul

    I have been through the highs and lows of bipolar disorder today.

    Well, not technically.

    Preeti Shenoy's second book, a full length fiction called "Life is what you make it" is the story of Ankita Sharma, a young girl (my age in fact!) from a middle class Indian family. She's beautiful, she's talented and she knows it.
    Then life takes a turn for he worse.

    Yes, you've heard it before. The typical drama.
    Except it is not. It is anything but.
    It is a story about finding oneself and not having to force upon yourself the baggage of new age gung ho forced positivity. It speaks the truth.

    Preeti has managed to show us through this story that life is not always butterflies and roses, even for the apparently "lucky" ones: and she has not made a pretense of an unreal out of the blue happy ending.
    It's about the process of a girl next door faced with an extraordinary situation.

    In many ways it answers back to the society that we are raised in. Ankita's multiple love interests, her inability to respond, her often dreaded "belittling" of love, her decisions to drop out of a prestigious college, her admission in a "mental health" facility and the ultimate phoenix like rise from the ashes to pursue what lies true to her heart speak out loud that a person can go through hell and in Ankita's words "proudly live to tell the tale."
    They all tell us one thing: it is a person's own life and what they make it is in their hands. even when faced with a seemingly impossible situation; albeit with the right kind of help.

    Preeti has dealt with a real issue in a very real manner. Mental health is real. It exists and making it a taboo only accentuates the problem. She tells us that pretty girls who have it all can have a disease of the mind as much as they can have a road accident. They can also deal with it if given the right kind of support.

    I only have to say that a hundred bucks is nothing for a read like this. Generally books from young, new authors are considered light "metro" reads. While I will refrain from estimating it's literary value (which is a matter of personal choice anyway), I will go out on a limb and say that this is what new age classics are made of. A real issue, characters we can relate to, a very practical yet emotional approach.

  8. Amit Sharma

    I liked the starting and the way author created the suspense. I kept guessing the reason and was proved wrong at the end. Its very well written and is also a lesson for people who try to commit suicide. It tells you how important is your life and its very easy to enjoy it.
    All depend on you how you move forward. There will be situations in your life when you are highly frustrated but its all part of life. In book she got the doctor but in real life you get someone and you dont even realize to thank her for saving your life.
    Author described the kind of pain in stomach, its very much similar to a guilt feel or a kind of frustration which we feel when things are not in our favor or when some betray us or even you betray someone for a selfless reason.
    I liked the way author portrays the feeling of a person to damage her body to get rid of the mental pain.
    Its a must read. Hats off to Preeti Shenoy

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *