Nithya, a vivacious, intelligent and driven college senior has always known what she has wanted: a successful career in medicine and the love of her family. She's even come to terms with the idea of an arranged marriage, a tradition her conservative Indian family has held up for thousands of years.
When a night of partying puts her on a collision course with danger, Nithya's entire life changes.
Enter James St. Clair, the smart, challenging and heartbreakingly handsome American.
As Nithya and James fall in love, she questions the future she and her parents have always planned. Now, Nithya has a choice to make: become a doctor and a good Indian bride, or step away from her family and centuries of culture to forge her own path.
The decision she comes to takes her on a journey that transforms how she sees her future, her relationships with loved ones, and how she learns to put herself back together when even her best-laid plans fall apart.
- The Adventure—Angels and Airwaves: the entire crazy first day Nithya meets James. The lyrics, “And here we go, life’s waiting to begin,” are a great way to start the story.
- Don’t Stop the Music—Rihanna: The party where Nithya and James run into a not-so-great situation.
- Pehli Nazar Mein—from the Bollywood movie, Race: when Nithya goes to the wedding and meets Nishanth.
- Desi Girl—from the Bollywood movie, Dostana: the wedding reception where Nithya and Nishanth hit it off and she feels the pull of her Indian culture. The lyrics talk about how there’s nothing like a desi (South Asian) girl…and considering how Indian and wonderful Nithya feels that night, it applies.
- Dark Blue—Jack’s Mannequin: Dates with James—particularly laser tagging! Such an upbeat and fun song.
- Love Story—Taylor Swift: Nithya’s first kiss. The song talks about Romeo and Juliet and parental restrictions…Nithya and James’ entire story!
- Broken—Lifehouse: James finds out. The lyrics to this song are beautiful!
- Bleeding Love—Leona Lewis: When Nithya has to make a choice between Nishanth and James.
- All We Are—OneRepublic: “I’m all in.” This is actually James and Nithya’s official song!
- Straightjacket Feeling—The All-American Rejects: Medical school decisions.
- Hear You Me—Jimmy Eat World: the conflict between Nithya and her parents.
- Down—Jay Sean: the club scene. Another mix of East and West, since Jay Sean is an British-Indian artist who has a history of beautiful Indian songs and hip-hop…a mix of both the cultures.
- American Living—Rascal Flatts: Visiting James’ family.
- Marching On—OneRepublic: Nithya’s conversation with her dad.
I’m Yours—Jason Mraz: Closing of the book
Annika Sharma was born in New Delhi and brought up in the United States, where she moved with her parents as a baby. A proud alum, she graduated from Penn State University with dual degrees in Biobehavioral Health and Neuro-Psychology, and minors in Biology and Human Development and Family Studies. She received her Master's degree in Early Childhood Special Education before pursuing her dreams of becoming a writer, landing her agent Stacey Donaghy of Donaghy Literary Group while daylighting as a preschool teacher. The Rearranged Life, her first novel, was written in the month before graduate school.
Annika, a Gryffindor and Scorpio, spends much of her time dreaming of adventure, working on her next book, going on Starbucks runs with family and friends, shopping online and watching superhero movies.
The Rearranged Life, will be hitting shelves on May 15th, 2015, published by Curiosity Quills Press.