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The Reluctant Debutante — by Vibha Batra

Publisher: Vishwakarma Publications
Price: Rs. 220 INR(paperback)
ISBN: 978–9388424608
Buy here: https://amzn.to/30ADBgf

Sanya Grewal’s all set to attend Debutante International — the most glamorous social event of the year — when she ends up fracturing her foot.

She can either forget all about her childhood dream or convince her twin sister Tanya to take her place and bask in reflected glory. Alas! Tanya’s so not interested. Besides, she’s got a secret, one that could tarnish her family’s name and nix their debutante dreams.

Very reluctantly, Tanya agrees to help her sister out and zips off to France. Everything seems to be going well when Tanya’s cover gets blown. Will Tanya make her sister’s dream come true, make her father proud, make friends and maybe even find true love? Or will it all blow up in her face?

About the author:

Vibha Batra is an author, advertising consultant, poet, lyricist, translator, 
travel writer, playwright, translator and columnist. Her published books include: 
Ludhiana to London, Glitter and Gloss, The Activist and The Capitalist, Sweet Sixteen (Yeah, 
Right!), Seventeen and Done (You Bet!), Eighteen and Wiser (Not Quite!,) Ishaavaasya 
Upanishad: Knowledge and Action, Tongue-in-cheek, A Twist of Lime and Family Crossword. 
She has also contributed short stories and poems to several anthologies.

My take on the book:

Sanya and Tanya the identical twin sisters, who are like chalk and cheese otherwise, have no clue about the upcoming storm in their life. Sanya is getting ready to participate in Debutante International(DI), which she perceives as a fun event rather than a beauty contest. As life would have its way with giving unexpected shocks, few days before Sanya was supposed to leave for the event, she fractures her leg and is advised bed rest. But Sanya is in mood to give up in the last minute. Thus springs an idea in Sanya’s mind to instead send Tanya to the contest, as Tanya can replace her and take advantage of being identical twins.

Sanya was chosen for DI as she was a fabulous piano player, pretty social and an all round favorite of family and friends. Tanya on the other hand is a nerd and a complete opposite of her sister. Tanya ends up being the reluctant debutante after much emotional push by Sanya, but is an identical face enough to replace her sister and step into her shoes? What does Tanya face in the two weeks at the DI trying to live someone else’s life forms the rest of the story.

The story blurb seems to give away a major chunk of the suspense only till the reader starts on this journey of Tanya to find that there is more to her than replacing her sister. It is about a young girl gathering herself together and facing the challenges of life when thrown in the middle of unexpected circumstances. Of course the story is not about serious life problems, however, the author tries to explore multiple issues faced by young people which seem silly on the surface but might be plaguing the person in question. The book also tries to squash the general opinion about kids from privileged and rich families that life comes as a served plate for them, while they might have their own struggles.

If some logical aspects like how both the sisters can have same voice and ascent and one of them being able to exactly mimic the other can be ignored, then this is a complete fun ride. If you are looking for a light fun read, this is the one for you, as the dialogues are wrapped with sarcasm, wit and humor, especially Tanya’s conversations and those of her inner self.

My rating: