It took me a while to decide on which book to recommend as my first choice because I understand, not everybody shares the same taste as me. I particularly enjoyed reading love stories when I was young; I started enjoying other genres as I grew up. After thinking for a while I chose an unconventional Indian author which I’m sure most of you haven’t heard of. She writes in simple language and is very straight in her storylines but she has the ability to convey the emotions and inspiration in every story she writes.

“Life is what you make it” by Preeti Shenoy is my first recommendation. I know the title is a little cliché and sounds like a self-help book but It’s not! The book starts as a predictable young adult romance by an Indian author but if you bear to surpass the first few chapters, you’ll enter an unexpected place. Our protagonist Ankita is young, smart, good looking and has everything at her feet. It is her journey from an all girls college in Cochin to a mental asylum in Bangalore and her life beyond. How did she end up in an asylum? What went wrong? The answers in the details of the story as you read.

It is generally believed that non-fictional books are for entertainment only but I find that books like this one have the tendency to open up our minds, to different possibilities and perspectives. It was published in 2011 and was surely ahead of its time to talk about the issues of mental illnesses or mental health for that matter. It’s a story of love, hope and determination to overcome just about every challenge that comes the way. It’s just that here, she fights herself.

The story also is followed by a sequel named “Wake up, Life is calling”, however, I would not recommend that as it is not as impactful as this one. Do read “Life is what you make it”.

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