Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier | DNF Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier | DNF Book ReviewBombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier
Series: Born Confused #2
Published by Scholastic Inc. on August 26th 2014
Genres: Young Adult, Social Issues, Adolescence, Love & Romance, Family, General
Pages: 560
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
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Dimple Lala thought that growing up would give her all the answers, but instead she has more questions than ever. Her boyfriend is distant, her classmates are predictable, and a blue mood has settled around the edges of everything she does. It’s time for a change, and a change is just what Dimple is going to get — of scenery, of cultures, of mind. She thinks she’s heading to Bombay for a family wedding — but really she is plunging into the unexpected, the unmapped, and the uncontrollable. The land of her parents and ancestors has a lot to reveal to her — for every choice we make can crescendo into a jour¬ney, every ending can turn into a beginning, and each person we meet can show us something new about ourselves. Tanuja Desai Hidier’s BORN CONFUSED gave voice to a new multicultural generation. Now, Bombay Blues explores everything this generation faces today, with a heady mix of uncertainty and determination, despair and inspiration, haunting loss and revelatory love. *"Many readers may not persevere; those that do may stall out with the multiple false endings as Dimple stutter-stops her way to an ending—but, tragically, they’ll be missing out." KIRKUS, starred review Author Bio Tanuja Desai Hidier is the critically acclaimed author of the groundbreaking novels Bombay Blues and Born Confused, which was named an ALA Best Book for Young Adults and hailed by Entertainment Weekly and Rolling Stone as one of the best YA novels of all time. Born and raised in the USA, Tanuja is a writer/singer-songwriter now based in London. For more about Born Confused and Bombay Blues, as well as her “booktrack” albums of original songs to accompany them, please visit

Why’d I Pick Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier To Read?

Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier is a book I read based on nostalgia. How many of you are nostalgic about books you read in high school for fun? (I won’t lie, I also get nostalgic about assigned reading!) One book I read in high school was Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier. I remember being mesmerized by the pink cover and this being a time when YA was really on the verge. These were the days when Sarah Dessen wasn’t quite the big name she is now and Laurie Halse Anderson had just reached critical acclaim for Speak – yes, I am old, can you tell? Anyways, I picked up Born Confused after wandering the shelves because the cover spoke to me, and at that time I was reading a lot of books about non white people, despite being a person who is quite white.

In short, I loved Born Confused. I devoured it in like a day. After, I began looking for other books by Hidier but they just weren’t there. Now, nearly ten years after reading Born Confused, Bombay Blues hit my reading stack. And, goodness, I was filled to the brim with nostalgia and excitement, however, like usual, nostalgia had me a bit snowed. I now wonder if maybe I remember Born Confused as being better than it actually was.

What’s The Story Here?

Hidier’s Bombay Blues is a follow up to Born Confused. It takes place just after Dimple is in college and still dating Karsh.Dimple and Karsh go with her parents to India, to Bombay, for the wedding of Dimple’s cousin Sangita. While there, Dimple and Karsh stay in a hotel. Dimple works on her photography hoping to capture the real Bombay whereas Karsh hopes his American success as a DJ will crossover to Bombay. Dimple and Karsh find themselves at odd with each other, and from the part that I read, they each discover some truths about themselves. Really, they grow apart.

How Long Did I Last?

Pg. 298 or 54%

Why Did I DNF?

The writing style in Bombay Blues is a sort that just does not appeal to me anymore. I do not like saying this, but it just felt like a slog. It is written in sort of a beat poetry style but without the poetry. There’s just constant imagery, which okay, I like a lot of the time, but this time, eh. It wasn’t working for me. I felt like this book was so confusing and just, not what I am into anymore. It got to the point where I was more excited thinking about other books to read than I was about getting back into Bombay Blues.

I also felt let down by the romance. I really had rooted for certain characters in Born Confused and so the turn of events in Bombay Blues really disappointed me.

Is There Anyone Who This Book Would Appeal To?

  • People who are really into DIFFERENT literary styles
  • Hipsters
  • Anyone who has questioned their cultural identity
  • People who like stories of travel

Other Reviews of Bombay Blues by Tanuja Desai Hidier:

The Young Folks – “I did, however, admire the author’s ability to depict a battle between cultures.

MuggleNet – “I particularly appreciate Hidier’s nuanced treatment of Dimple’s relationship with Bombay and her Indian relatives.

Randomly Reading – “Hidier holds the reader spellbound as she perfectly catches all the tensions, all the confusions, all the jealousies, all the happiness that make up a novel about family, friendships, relationships, identity.

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April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. 300 pages in was only 54%?! I love sinking into a deliciously fat book, but I’ve discovered there are few authors who can pull off 600, 700, 800+ page novels.

    I’ve come across the first book multiple times and have been intrigued. It’s a shame this one was such a letdown – though I know how it goes when nostalgia hits hard.

  2. This is actually so sad. I’ve never heard of these books, but there is nothing more disappointing than revisiting something you loved only to not like it. This is a really good DNF review, though! I like how you clearly state why you didn’t finish it rather than just ranting!