There’s so much awesomeness in this post today (mostly because I have the wonderful Sona Charaipotra guest posting!) and I’m so excited to share it all with you!
I don’t want to keep you for too long, but we have a bookish playlist, my review, and tons of gushing about this YA solo debut romcom! Onwards!
A Symptoms of a Heartbreak Bookish Playlist by Sona Charaipotra
Hey guys! I’m so very excited to celebrate the launch of my solo debut, Symptoms of a Heartbreak, with you this week!
The book, pitched as Doogie Howser, M.D. meets The Mindy Project, is about 16-year-old Girl Genius Saira Sehgal, the youngest doctor in the United States, as she navigates an oncology internship at the Princeton hospital where her overbearing mom is on the board, and falls in love with one of her patients, Link, a teen who has cancer.
He also happens to be a musician and wannabe rockstar, and music, like nothing else, sets the mood (for writing, and for life). So I definitely had fun making up the playlist for this book – a fun mix of old school alternative, EMO and Bollywood tunes. Here it is YouTube form (with some favorite lyrics!) – so you can check out the awesome videos for the Bollywood tunes, of course.
“Hands Down,” by Dashboard Confessional
“My hopes are so high,
That your kiss might kill me.
So won’t you kill me,
So I die happy.…”
Fun fact: I was actually at this MTV Unplugged recording! It was amazing. Also: this song reminds me of my first date with my love, Navdeep.
“Ho Gaya Hai Tujko Toh Pyar Sajna,” from Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Just watch the whole movie. You won’t regret it.
“Nazm, Nazm,” from Barielly Ki Barfi
This song is about the poetry of first love, even when you haven’t quite figured out if you’re there yet.
“Everlong (Acoustic),” by the FooFighters
“And I wonder
When I sing along with you
If everything could ever feel this real forever
If anything could ever be this good again
The only thing I’ll ever ask of you
You got to promise not to stop when I say when
“Again,” by Lenny Kravitz
“All of my life
Where have you been
I wonder if I’ll ever see you again”
“Solah Baras Ki Baali Umar,” from Ek Dujhe Ke Liye
This song is about the first glimmer (and oh, the drama!) of first love, at all of 16. Yup.
“Until I Fall Away,” by the Gin Blossoms
“My fear, pretend
That I’ll never be in love again
It’s real… to me
But not like these fools and not like this scene
I won’t… find
Or have it within the time
If it’s all rusted and faded in the spot where we fell
Where I thought I’d left behind
It’s loose now but we could try”
Symptoms of a Heartbreak is a romantic comedy starring sixteen-year-old Saira—Girl Genius and the youngest doctor in America as she navigates first love, family, friendships, and her first internship.
Two worlds meet—oncology in medicine and working as an intern in a hospital as well as teenage life—in this novel, and Charaipotra melds these together into a unique and individual novel.
I liked how Charaipotra really incorporated a lot of different elements of Saira’s life into this novel.
This was honestly the highlight because I found Saira’s story to be really well rounded. It wasn’t just romance or just working as a doctor or just struggling with friendship, but it was all three and so much more.
She’s juggling a lot and I loved reading this. I know it’s advertised as a romantic comedy, but in truth, there’s a lot more to it than just that, which I loved.
I especially found that the contrast of going to an internship as a real doctor and Saira still struggling to learn to drive was a really great dynamic and it kind of revealed how she was struggling with still growing up while doing all these mature themes. I love how it really gave off this vibe that “yes, teenagers are mature but they also struggle with all their responsibilities and growing up at the same time.”
It was a really unique dynamic that I haven’t really seen explored before, and I feel like Charaipotra did a good job of using a more extreme example—being a Girl Genius—with the teenage responsibilities to show the parallels between this and teens’ normal lives.
I’m honestly kind of undecided on the relationship.
This is where I’m a little conflicted, because to get right to it: Saira has a relationship with a patient at her hospital.
It’s not necessarily her patient (kind of) and they are the same age, but I still felt like this dynamic could have used more . . . clarification? Time away from each other? I feel like it didn’t dissuade the idea that doctor x patient relationships are bad, and although Saira went through a lot of loopholes, it wasn’t my favorite part of this novel.
I guess I just wanted Charaipotra to really emphasize how doctor and patient relationships, even with someone who isn’t technically your patient, is a tricky dynamic that frequently has power imbalances, and should be something carefully considered.
So yeah, I’m a bit undecided but I did think there were places this could have been improved a bit.
Overall it’s a fun book!
The Girl Genius part required some imaginative thinking on the side of the reader, but if you’re okay with this and want something cute and lighthearted, I’d definitely recommend you take a moment and check this out!
It’s got a cute story and a really good sort of slice into juggling teen life. I love how it used the doctor internship as a more extreme version of teenage responsibilities, and overall I had a positive reading experience!
The youngest doctor in America, an Indian-American teen makes her rounds―and falls head over heels―in the contemporary romantic comedy Symptoms of a Heartbreak.
Fresh from med school, sixteen-year-old medical prodigy Saira arrives for her first day at her new job: treating children with cancer. She’s always had to balance family and friendships with her celebrity as the Girl Genius―but she’s never had to prove herself to skeptical adult co-workers while adjusting to real life-and-death stakes. And working in the same hospital as her mother certainly isn’t making things any easier.
But life gets complicated when Saira finds herself falling in love with a patient: a cute teen boy who’s been diagnosed with cancer. And when she risks her brand new career to try to improve his chances, it could cost her everything.
It turns out “heartbreak” is the one thing she still doesn’t know how to treat.
In her solo debut, Sona Charaipotra brings us a compelling #ownvoices protagonist who’s not afraid to chase what she wants. Symptoms of a Heartbreak goes from romantic comedy highs to tearjerker lows and is the ultimate cure-all for young adult readers needing an infusion of something heartfelt.
Content Warnings: cancer, death from cancer, doctor/patient relationship
The author of the upcoming Symptoms of a Heartbreak, Sona Charaipotra is not a doctor — much to her pediatrician parents’ chagrin. They were really hoping she’d grow up to take over their practice one day. Instead, she became a writer, working first as a celebrity reporter at People (where she interviewed Neil Patrick Harris and asked him about his Doogie days) and (the dearly departed) TeenPeople magazines, and contributing to publications from the New York Times to TeenVogue. These days, she spends a lot of time poking plot holes in her favorite teen TV shows, like Riverdale — for work of course. She’s the co-founder of CAKE Literary, a boutique book packaging company with a decidedly diverse bent, and the co-author of the YA dance dramas Tiny Pretty Things series and the forthcoming Rumor Game. She’s also a proud We Need Diverse Books team member. Find her on the web at SonaCharaipotra.com, or on Twitter @sona_c.
Thank you to Cake Literary for sending me an advance reader’s copy from their givevaway!
Plus, we have a whole blog tour going on! Already, we’ve seen . . .
✨ 8 Must-Watch Bollywood Movies (And Where to Find Them), According to Saira Sehgal (and her Dad!) from Symptoms of a Heartbreak from Sara @ The YA Book Traveler
✨ An Interview with Sona AND Gorgeous Wallpapers from Jen @ Pop Goes the Reader!
✨ A Bookish Symptoms of a Heartbreak Playlist & Review from me! (You are here!)
✨ You should look forward to something exciting from Mish @ Chasing Faerytales on July 1st!
Keep an eye out for all of these!