Born Confused
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Born Confused

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,989 ratings  ·  259 reviews
Tanuja Desai Hidier's fantastically acclaimed cross-cultural debut comes to PUSH!

Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. Her parents are from India, and she's spent her whole life resisting their traditions. Then suddenly she gets to high school and everything Indian is trendy. To make matters worse, her parents arrange for her to meet a "suitable boy." Of course it doesn'...more
Paperback, 512 pages
Published July 1st 2003 by Scholastic Paperbacks (first published October 1st 2002)
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  • Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier
    Born Confused
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    Release date: Apr 29, 2014
    Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. She's spent her whole life resisting her parents' traditions. But now she's turning seventeen and things are m…more
    Giveaway dates: Apr 22 - Apr 29, 2014
    20 copies available, 107 people requesting
    Countries available: US
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    Born Confused by Tanuja Desai HidierInterpreter of Maladies by Jhumpa LahiriUntruly Yours by Smita ShettyThe Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee DivakaruniDone With Men by Shuchi Singh Kalra
    Desi Chick Lit
    1st out of 137 books — 183 voters
    Kira-Kira by Cynthia KadohataA Step from Heaven by An NaBorn Confused by Tanuja Desai HidierGirl in Translation by Jean KwokFalling From Grace by S.L. Naeole
    Best Asian-American teen fiction
    3rd out of 91 books — 120 voters


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    Community Reviews

    (showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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    Dolores
    This book is a rare treat, in that it presents the life of a typical American teenager with an atypical life, is honest, but doesn't stoop to cliches and stereotypes to tell its tale. This is the story of Dimple Lala, a young woman, born and raised in New Jersey of Indian immigrant parents, who is turning 17 at the beginning of summer. Dimple rejects her parents old-world culture and wants to be an All-American girl, but everyone else sees her as Indian. For her parents, Dimple getting drunk onc...more
    Briynne
    So many aspects of this book were excellent. The main character, Dimple, is wonderful and well-drawn. Her parents are so adorable and honestly portrayed, you want to put them in your pocket. The "Indian thing" is handled with grace; it's an actual exploration of what it means to belong to an ethnicity outside of its place of origin rather than a trite "I feel weird, people look different than me" sort of story. I thought Gwen was a hateful, awful person, but she was interesting and held my atten...more
    Kricket
    this book is so good that kaavya viswanathan lifted entire passages of it for her book "how opal mehta got kissed, got wild, and got a life," and when i read the latter i actually recognized where they were from.
    Jennie
    Jan 02, 2008 Jennie rated it 5 of 5 stars Recommends it for: anyone
    Shelves: yaliterature
    Plot: Dimple Lala is one confused 17 year-old. She's always wanted to be like her friend Gwyn, who is pretty, blonde and seems to have it all. Dimple's family is Indian and they attempt to set her up with a suitable boy. At first Dimple doesn't want this suitable boy, but once her friend Gwyn becomes interested in him, Dimple has a change of heart. This novel is about Dimple's journey to understand her Indian background as well as how her American side mix together to form her identity.

    Evaluatio...more
    Yoonmee
    I'm torn as to how I feel about this book. First off, please read Briynne's reviews of this book on here. She does a great job of expressing some of my thoughts about the book.

    When I first picked this up, I got into it and enjoyed reading it but maybe about 1/3 of the way through the story just felt incredibly drawn out. I can understand Dimple's identity crisis and teenage angst regarding, well, being a teenager and also being an Asian American teenager, but most of the time I wanted to shake D...more
    Melody
    Jan 19, 2013 Melody rated it 5 of 5 stars
    Recommended to Melody by: Manda
    I adored this book. It started a little rough for me, Hidier's exuberant restretching unforming rebubbling of the language was abrupt. But once I dove in, let the words into my ear, let them bounce and scintillate and dance, then I was wholly present. Straightforward, age-old plot made very fresh here. Everyone in this book does some growing in very believable, sometimes painful ways. I loved the glimpse into both the Indian culture of Dimple's parents, and the hybrid dynamic culture of Dimple's...more
    saadia k
    I really, really, really wanted to like this book. And, in some ways, I really did. In fact, though I had been trudging through its 500 pages for days and days, when I finally finished it late last night, I found myself feeling melancholy that it was actually over. It was a bittersweet farewell--almost like breaking up with someone you were like, sooooo totally into initally, but who quickly (as soon as the rush of pink to your cheeks wore away) began to bore you with all their incessant monolog...more
    Sarah
    There's something about this book.

    I first read it in eight grade, and when I did, I didn't like it. I am not entirely sure why. Maybe it was the format or the style. I doubt it had to do with the characters or the plot-line. Either way, I didn't like it. But once I finished it, it stuck with me. Some conversation would remind me of it, or such. It has stuck with me for the past three years.

    So, since it was so unforgettable, I decided to give it another go.

    This time I liked it a lot, but it was...more
    Lakshmi
    This was billed as the "first South Asian American Young Adult Novel" Aimed at teens, so it's a quick and light read. I felt like I really related to it more from the South Asian American college student perspective...a lot of college student identity politics that I could totally relate to...fun to read about the dj "scene" in NY...something I always wanted to experience as a 20 something, but never really got a chance to. I liked the relationship between the narrator and her parents...that it...more
    Tellulah Darling
    3.5 stars

    There was a lot to like about this book. I really enjoyed Dimple's voice as our protagonist, and Hidier did an amazing job at bringing this world to life. When we're in the club or Dimple is lost to her photography, I too, was completely immersed and right there with her. I also really liked that at its heart, beyond being about identity, this book was about love. Romantic, platonic, familial and self. I think there were some wonderful messages for readers to absorb but done in a way th...more
    Brigid *Flying Kick-a-pow!*
    i liked this book. it's maybe a little too long, but it's good. there were just a few parts that didn't make a lot of sense, especially one odd scene involving drugs. but i recommend it.
    Emily Howard
    One of those books that I don't quite like entirely, but that is long enough that I felt attached to it by the end. It's a little flat and angst-driven.
    Arminzerella
    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
    Christy
    Dimple is a teenage Indian girl raised in America by parents who emigrated from India. She’s a typical American teenager who resents being “different” and thinks her parents are clueless and boring. She has a best friend who is the American Dream (blonde, blue-eyed, popular, outgoing), but Dimple mostly feels like an afterthought. After a night behaving “unsuitably”, her parents decide to fix her up with a “suitable” Indian boy, planning on marrying her off. Dimple, of course, wants nothing to d...more
    Annalee Schnebele
    I don't really know what I think of this book. On one hand, the not punctuating dialog correctly really, really irritated me. And sometimes the story was hard to follow and a little confusing; if this was intentional to mirror Dimple's confusion with her life - then rock on, if not, run-on-sentences are not always our friends. I did enjoy the romantic portion of the plot, but it seemed like there were WAY too many themes running through this novel. It seemed like everything sort of focused aroun...more
    Uzma S.
    I loved this book so much because it was relevant to my life. Her family was similar to mine because it seemed as if they lost their culture but they had it all bottled up inside. Dimple Lala, was an Indian girl trying to find herself and her culture. Her bestfriend, Gwyn, a typical blonde took Dimples suitable boy away and she found out she liked him when she noticed how unsuitable he was when he spent time with Gwyn. Everything had worked out by the end of the story. When I finished reading it...more
    Melinda
    This book is about an teenage girl whose parents immigrated to the U.S. from India. The girl wants to fit in with her American teenage friends but is constantly reminded of her Indian heritage by the color of her skin and her parents who maintain their Indian customs.

    While I generally enjoy this genre of novel (Indian culture meets America), I found this book very tiresome to read. The dialogue didn't sound natural and for my taste there was way too much descriptive prose and not enough action....more
     Soph...*Lock&Key*
    This book had some interesting bits. But some of it was rather boring as well. It is hard to say whether I liked it or not, because when I think about it I only like certain aspects of it. I liked the culture references in this book the fact that she is Indian makes the story a lot more real and enjoyable. I also liked the story line, the writing style was also good, but.................it was a tad ramble some parts of this book went on forever, and the bits that I wanted to take longer were sh...more
    Joanna Sickels
    Born Confused by Tanuja Desai Hidier follows the life of Dimple Lala who is part American and part Indian (India). She doesn’t know whether to call herself American or Indian. She and her best friend Gwyn are lovers of photography and enjoy taking pictures of the school.
    This book was a pleasure to read, being that the main protagonist is not the Hollywood stereotype or the spitting image of a perfect model. Dimple is somewhat overweight and has self-confidence issues, which helps the everyday p...more
    Elena
    Born Confused is an inspiring novel about a girl trying to find herself. Dimple Lala is stuck between two cultures, Indian and American, and never feels like she is enough of either. Then to complicate things, her parents decide to set up an arranged marriage with a "suitable boy." The suitable boy is exactly what Dimple expects him to be--until she sees him DJing magic at a party in an amazing club called HotPot. The descriptions in this book are nothing short of magnificent, and they drag you...more
    Tasha
    I quit reading this book because I was looking for a good cultural read, but the girl was a bit preoccupied with sex. I flipped further into the book to see if she abandoned her best friend who was a bad influence and obsessed with boys, but found they were still pursuing the same course. It wasn't the cultural read I was seeking.

    Instead I'm now reading "Does My Head Look Big In This?" Which is about a Australian Muslim girl who has decided to wear the hijab (head covering) full-time. I'm enjoyi...more
    Christina  Torretta
    Just when you thought it was safe to read and was all pink bubbly and cutesy, all hell breaks loose!

    I really like how this started. I was curious about Dimple Lala right away and her narration of this is beautiful, albeit a bit wordy. But she is just an amazing gal going through what all of us do at at least one point in our lives, figuring out who the frock she is! (Frock may now be my new fav go to non curse word!)

    Just turning 17 her family is in a world over their heads. The fact that they ha...more
    Jennifer Clausen-greene
    Wonderful book of a typical American teenager who wants to be heard, seen, free from parental restrictions and "normal." I was really worried that this book might harbor inside alot to typical stereotypes, but I was wrong. The book focuses on the story of Dimple Lala, American born but with deep Indian roots that her family expects her to hold onto. Dimple Lala is the typical confused 17-year-old girl from Jersey that is obsessed with her weight and the boy she broke up with. The story focuses o...more
    Isis
    I would like to thank NetGalley and Push for granting me the opportunity to read eARC in exchange for an honest review. Though I received this e-book for free that in no way impacts my review. I give this book 3.5 stars, but only 3 stars in review (as only whole numbers are accepted) until I see if the typographical errors are corrected in the finished copy.

    Tanuja Desai Hidier's fantastically acclaimed cross-cultural debut comes to PUSH!

    Dimple Lala doesn't know what to think. Her parents are fro
    ...more
    Florence
    What can I say? I first read this book my sophomore year of high school, and I've read it at least four more times since then, with a year or so in between every time I've read it. And I've grown to love it even more with every time that I read it. Even though I'm not Indian, I love the Indian culture and I was excited to read more about it. I was worried that it would have some references that would make it hard to relate to, but I found myself relating a lot to Dimple in more ways than I thoug...more
    Hena
    I don't think many have heard of this book. I saw it for $5 in Borders, had heard bout it from a friend and got it - and man what a surprise. The book is a bit too fat but its a fast read, Desai really knows how to pull you in and connect with the main character. Its one of those coming-of-age stories. Give it a go folks!
    Jazmin
    "Born Confused" is a novel that anyone can relate to- particularly anyone who has ever felt like an outsider or just wanted to fit in.

    In Dimple we find a kindred spirit. Her journey from confused teen searching for her identity to young woman coming into her own and beginning to understand and to appreciate the life and culture that have always surrounded her as well as the family and friends who support and love her is one that will resound with many.

    I now have a new book to add to my short li...more
    Lyle
    Jan 23, 2008 Lyle rated it 1 of 5 stars Recommends it for: no one
    I used to work as a library aid in high school and this book fucking sucked. A waste of shelf-space. It is probably one of the most superficial thing I've ever read.
    Jessica Lewis
    One of my absolute favourite books ever. This is now my third copy of the book... once in high school I lent it to a math teacher, but I went to university and never saw her again. She never put it back in my mailbox like she said she would. Then years later I was talking about how much I loved it, and a friend bought it for me. Then another friend borrowed it and lost it and then got me a new one.... basically, I can't NOT have this book. Every once in a while I'll read it again. I still wish t...more
    Hannah
    Dimple Lala is turning seventeen. She comes from a family steeped in culture and tradition, but she was raised in America where her best friend is tall, blonde and everything she is not so tradition has little place in her life. Dimple has watched as her best friend, Gwyn, has gotten anything she wanted over the years. She wants to be like Gwyn, but all Dimple has is her beloved camera (Chica Tikka is its name and she uses it to communicate with her grandfather in India since neither can underst...more
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    “You must live every moment of your life in such a way that if you had to live it over and over again till infinity, this would be a good thing.” 27 likes
    “They say in the east you love the person you marry and in the west you marry the person you love. But maybe it's a lot simpler than that. Maybe you just love the person you love.” 24 likes
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