Serena Singh Flips the Script is the newest novel by Indian-Canadian author Sonya Lalli. This is the first book I've read by Sonya and I was impressed!
Serena is an independent, bad ass Brown woman who has just landed the job of her dreams. At 36, she isn't married, has no children, and is ready to kill it in her new role at a top advertising firm in Washington. Despite her success, Serena is struggling with feeling lonely since all of her friends have married and had children, now including her younger sister Natasha. Despite having a new boyfriend, Serena doesn't want her only option on a Friday night to be hanging out with him. As she meets a bold new friend named Ainsley and connects with her ex, her world slowly begins to feel full again— but unless she can fully open up to those around her Serena's new found fullness might not last.
Serena Singh Flips the Script is a romantic comedy, and as someone who doesn't often read this genre, there were so many things I admired about the book.
Sonya Lalli broke a lot of stereotypes/ tropes with this book. It's not often we see a diverse set of characters star in this particular genre (they're often the best friend or something along that line). Indian characters are often given "nerdy roles" but Serena was the exact opposite. She is a bold character, and what I really loved is how much she constantly defied cultural norms. From her relationship choices to the tattoo on her neck, Serena was very relatable as we live in a time when many of our are breaking conventions of the past.
Although Serena wasn't a typical Indian girl archetype, she was still very much in touch with her culture. She often referred to Indian foods she enjoyed and in scenes with her parents it was noted she spoke Punjabi with them. The other references to Indian culture such as clothing were weaved in and italicized throughout the book, bringing attention to the words that may not be familiar to every reader. I personally liked this, as it highlighted the cultural references.
The best part of the book for me was that the ultimate romance wasn't between Serena and one of the male characters (although there is definitely a good bit of it!) but Serena and Ainsley, who ultimately becomes her best friend. I really loved this because I find that positive, supportive, female friendships aren't often highlighted. Serena and Ainsley were fun, successful, loving women who found comfort and genuine connection in one another. We all need friendships like that in our lives, and the two women truly represented that.
Overall, I enjoyed this book from start to finish. There were many moments I could relate to as well as moments that made me laugh.
Serena Singh definitely flipped the script!
My rating: ★★★★★