Top critical review
3.0 out of 5 starsIntergenerational journeys of self-discovery
Reviewed in Canada 🇨🇦 on November 25, 2022
The Vibrant Years is a new book by author Sonali Dev that sounded like a fun, RomCom read that features the bond between intergenerational women and a long-held secret. The story sounded compelling, and I was in the mood for a lighter read. It is an Amazon First Reads pick that is published by Mindy Kaling's Mindy's Book Studio imprint.
This is a story about three generations of women in an East Indian American family that illustrates the ups and downs and issues they face in their lives. Within this story, Dev weaves East Indian cultural references and important issues such as gender discrimination and the social and cultural expectations that women face. But what stood out for me the most was the wonderful support Bindu, Aly and Cullie provide each other as they weather their own personal journeys of self-discovery.
The premise intrigued me, but the storytelling fell short for me. The dating antics of these three women played less of a role than I anticipated, and these romantic aspects felt glossed over while I found Bindu's secrets from her past to be melodramatic and lackluster. The story soon took on a repetitive feel and I didn't find it humorous or as emotional as I had hoped, giving it more of a Contemporary Fiction feel than a RomCom.
I appreciate the inclusion of important social issues that impact women, particularly BIPOC women, and I loved the intergenerational support Bindu, Aly and Cullie give each other but, in the end, this was just an okay read for me.
I read this book as part of the Amazon First Reads program.