Life Is What You Make It By Preeti Shenoy

When you look at the cover of this book, you may get a feeling it’s a self improvement book. It’s actually a tale of love ( multiple ), youth, friendship, romance…. everything that can remind you of your youth, and then there is pain, longing, gloom, and death…. but finally there is recovery, rediscovering oneself and ‘making life what you want it to be like.

The story is about a girl during the 80s, and her adventurous ways of finding love. The story reminds the young generation how different was the world of 1980s, without messages, mobiles and internet. How guys and gals used to wait for their sweetheart’s letter and their costly phone-calls.

Once I asked my english teacher that why in this age of telecommunication and internet are we made to write letters in exams?? She answered, though I don’t remember what she said, but I remember one of my favourite lessons, She said ‘ The feeling that the handwritten letter and the crafted words give and the emotions that they convey cannot be felt by digital messages’.
‘So true’ I thought, remembering the time when I had learned writing post card for the first time when I was some 10-11 years old and I wrote a post card to my grandfather in my not so good handwriting, though it was the last post card I wrote except in examinations.




The plot is about a girl who is very bright in studies, and has a schoolmate as boyfriend, who becomes an IITian after she has to move to Kerala because of her father’s transfer. There she gets into an all girls college but is wooed by a guy from a rival college. she starts forgetting about his old boyfriend. Later on she secures admission in a very good college in Mumbai, but his boyfriend wants her to stay in Kerala, she disagrees, blinded by the ambition and charm of Mumbai. Her boyfriend is found drowned and drunk a day later. She tries to get over the incident and moves to Mumbai to pursue her MBA, she discovers a new world, new friends. She becomes a workaholic, she starts loving studies, she starts making notes and studying late nights and sometimes not sleeping for many days, she starts loving jogging, because of this she becomes thin and lifeless. she starts behaving in weird manner. During all this this time she finds a new boyfriend, after some days she feels some kind of fear, a fear she couldn’t identify, but it’s there. She gets into depression, she becomes afraid of going out, meeting people, she stops going to college, meantime her parents catch hold of her love letters, burn them and scold her. She feels like a living corpse, she loses the ability to even read. She is taken to numerous hospitals but is diagnosed in a wrong manner. Later she attempts suicide, but is saved by her dad. Finally she is shifted to some national mental institute in bangalore where she is to be left alone by her parents. She is diagnosed with bipolar disorder, gradually she is treated with medicines and shock therapy, and then she is made to rehabilitate by doing creative things like drawing and reading. Slowly she gets her ability to read back and is later discharged from hospital and this changes the way she thought about her life, she realises that an MBA from a good college and a job was not the only thing that can make your life, ‘LIFE IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT’

The plot may give you the idea of a hindi feature film, but the depth and feel of the story is appreciable. While reading the part where depression grips the protagonist made me emotional. The pain that has been conveyed through words is magical. The climax gives you a feeling of satisfaction and inspiration and doesn’t leave the reader to ‘guess what happened’ situations.

A very good read. No cheesy stuff, just some romance and a believable story which doesn’t exploit the word ‘fiction’. A national best-seller and true to its name book, recommended for one and all.

Rating:::::::4/5 stars

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