Review: Life is What You Make it by Preeti Shenoy

December 23, 2013

Author: Preeti Shenoy
Publisher: Srishti Publishers
Year: 2011
ISBN: 9789380349305
Rating: ★★★★☆
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Life is What You Make it is a fictional best seller by author Preeti Shenoy. The book is the story of Ankita Sharma, a girl in her twenties. It focuses attention on a little known disease- Bipolar disorder. 

The plot is set in the 80s and moves across two cities. Being a bright student, she got admitted into one of South India’s best colleges. What follows is a series of events, love affairs, pranks, and studies that is instrumental for every college going student. But Ankita’s life soon turns topsy-turvy when she is diagnosed with a mental illness- she develops Bipolar Disorder.

It is the story of Ankita’s illness and her fight with it. It’s a story of will power and establishes that even destiny can be overcome by determination. It’s a story of love and hope.

“This is frightening, this world without words, this world of darkness and void. I don’t want to be here anymore. I want to make it stop..  To be trapped like this in one’s own body is a fate worse than death. With death, at least there is an end. Here, the suffering is endless.”


The book opens in the mental hospital, so that the readers’ curiosity is aroused from page one. The conflict faced by her while choosing between career and love is common to every youngster; the story is very close to reality. The book illustrates the innocent ambitions of youngsters and how at one point, they seem so important that we are ready to give up everything to achieve them. All the characters are well portrayed, with none of them given more or less space than required.

The writing style is simple yet thought provoking. The book is light and breezy in the beginning but becomes more intense and captivating towards the end. It also gives readers an insight on bipolar disorder, which is not a very well known disease.


The book confuses the reader as to what caused the psychological disease that Ankita was suffering from. I wish that part could have been better portrayed, as it was a little overstretched and boring. But that is just a matter of few pages, and after that, the book moves on at a fast pace.


All in all, Preeti Shenoy has worked wonders with this book! She has woven a beautiful and emotional story. She has carefully portrayed the emotions of people who are mentally affected and society’s behaviour towards them. These people are human beings too, and they also require love and compassion like any other individual.

It’s a simple read, but still very moving and inspiring. At the end of the story, you will surely feel positive vibes rising within you. The best part of the book is that it has so much to offer in just 200 pages. A perfect weekend read. Go, get it!

Check out author Preeti Shenoy on her website and Twitter. Also, see our interviews (2012 and 2013) with her, as well as our review of one of her other books. 

Pratibha Jain
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Pratibha Jain

Editor and Writer at IndiaBookStore
Having an insatiable appetite for books, she is always loading her shelves with more books than she can read. An irregular blogger, she loves to google about anything and everything. Apart from reading and writing, she enjoys solitude and poetry and when time permits her textbooks on finance!
Pratibha Jain
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