Author Priyanka Chopra Jonas | Publisher Penguin Random House | Originally Published 9 February 2021 | Genre Memoir | Page Count 256
I was excited when I heard the news that Priyanka Chopra Jonas was coming out with a memoir. Priyanka, who has excelled in almost everything she did..a successful actor, producer, singer, UNICEF goodwill ambassador and now a published author too! Priyanka Chopra Jonas is a name that needs no introduction. She won the Miss World title in 2000 and successfully built a career in Bollywood before going global with American TV series Quantico. With sheer hard work and determination, Priyanka has carved a space of her own. I am not a huge Priyanka Chopra fan but I admire for all her accomplishments. From bringing home the Miss World title to making a name for herself in Hollywood, she has achieved a lot.
Unfinished gives the readers a brief story of Priyanka Chopra Jonas’s life and how she became the successful independent woman she is today. We learn about her early years, her experience in boarding school and later studying in America, her Miss World journey, her acting career, her relationship with her parents and extended family, her going global with Quantico, her marriage to Nick Jonas and her philanthropic work.
Some parts of the book are quite interesting while some are just average. I enjoyed reading about Priyanka’s childhood and growing up years. She has written about her experience of being sent to a hostel at a young age in detail. As a child, she felt as if she was sent there as a punishment and her pain & loneliness really broke my heart. She also discusses facing racism and bullying while studying in America and how it affected her confidence and self esteem. The way she has written about the effects of bullying on a child’s psychology is praiseworthy. She also mentions how people used to make fun of her dark skin and how as a child, she used to be conscious of her skin colour.
The thing I liked the most about the book is the chemistry between Priyanka and her parents. She not only beautifully portrays her relationship with her parents but also acknowledges the support of her extended family. She shares and incredible bond with her extended family and expresses her gratitude for their love and support at every step.
Priyanka was very close to her father. She writes in detail about the grief of losing her father and the depression that followed. She not only talks about her loss and grief but also admits her mistake in not going for any therapy during that dark phase of her life.
I listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Priyanka herself. I absolutely loved the narration and it made the listening experience very enjoyable.
And now coming to the things which could have been better in the book…
Priyanka frequently refers to herself as a small-town girl who makes it big despite the obstacles. But she was a privileged kid. Both her parents were doctors in the Indian Army. She has lived in some of the best cities in India and studied in some of the best schools. She spent three years at an elite boarding school and later she shifted to the USA and had a global exposure. So she definitely is not a small-town girl. There is nothing wrong with being privileged but the problem lies in the way she presents herself as a girl from a small town who makes it big on her own.
I was really keen to read about Priyanka’s Miss World journey but it was a bit disappointing. She makes it seem too easy as if luck and chance had more to do with her win rather than her own hard work. And the biggest disappointment of the book is her silver screen journey. She has written so less about her Bollywood journey. She hasn’t spilled any beans. Apart from mentioning a couple of bad experiences with a Director and a Producer, and some good deeds from the film fraternity, there is no other vital information about her journey in the Hindi film industry.
Priyanka talks about some derogatory remarks from a producer and a director. She talks about how she walks out of those projects but she still hasn’t the courage to take names. If a well-established actress like her doesn’t have the courage to raise her voice against those in the film industry who treat women like a commodity then how can we expect things to change?
The chapter describing her courtship and subsequent marriage with Nick Jonas is really adorable. But there is nothing new written here apart from what we already know from the magazines, the internet, and her interviews. And this is the main problem with this book. The whole book has nothing new to offer. Whatever she has mentioned in the book, we already know.
Priyanka says that she is a very private person and she is keeping some things to herself especially with her relationship. If you are not willing to open about your life then why write a memoir? Memoirs should be honest, straight forward and deep enough to give us a glimpse of who you really are. ‘Unfinished’ is none of that. It’s neither intriguing nor inspiring. It seems like a perfectly curated book to create a certain image of Priyanka… a PR exercise for her global audience.
It was an okayish book for me. I didn’t dislike it but it wasn’t a WOW book for me either. You can go for this book if you are a Priyanka Chopra fan. For others, there are plenty of better memoirs available you can invest your time and money in.
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