By Sajni Patel
Pub date: February 14, 2023
Genres: romance, contemporary
Unwilling to yield to familial expectations, an aspiring screenwriter attempts to pursue her dreams during an unforgettable night of chaos in this hilarious and heartfelt novel by Sajni Patel.
Isha Patel is the black sheep of the family. She doesn’t have a “prestigious” degree or a “real” career, and her parents never fail to remind her. But that’s okay because she commiserates with her cousin, best friend, and fellow outcast, Rohan.
When Isha has a breakthrough getting her script in front of producers, it doesn’t go according to plan. Instead of letting her dreams fall through the cracks, Rohan convinces her to snag a pitch session with an Austinite high-profile celeb: the one and only Matthew McConaughey, who also happened to be her professor at the University of Texas years ago—he has to remember her, right?
Chasing Matthew McConaughey isn’t easy. Isha needs a drink or two to muster up courage, and she gets a little help from the cutest bartender she’s ever encountered. But when the search for the esteemed actor turns into a night of hijinks and unexpected—albeit fun—chaos, everything falls apart. Isha’s dreams seem farther than ever, but she soon realizes who she really needs to face and that her future may just be alright, alright, alright.
“Isha, Unscripted” by Sajni Patel is a delightful and engrossing read that explores the tensions between familial expectations and personal aspirations. The story centers around Isha Patel, a young woman who feels like the black sheep of her family, as she strives to make it in the competitive world of screenwriting. Despite her parents’ disapproval, Isha remains undaunted, determined to follow her dreams and prove her worth. Her journey to self-discovery is filled with twists and turns, leading her on an unforgettable adventure that challenges her perceptions and reveals her inner strength.
The novel’s plot is driven by a chance encounter with the charismatic and enigmatic Matthew McConaughey, who Isha hopes to impress with her script. However, when her plans go awry, Isha is forced to improvise, embarking on a wild goose chase across Austin with the help of a charming bartender and her cousin, Rohan. The night takes on a life of its own as Isha and her companions find themselves caught up in a series of hilarious and unexpected mishaps that test their limits and bring them closer together.
What sets “Isha, Unscripted” apart is the authenticity and relatability of its characters. Isha is a flawed and complex protagonist who grapples with insecurities and self-doubt, yet remains endearing and likable throughout. Rohan is equally engaging, providing a strong counterpoint to Isha’s doubts and fears. The secondary characters, including the bartender and McConaughey himself, are also well-drawn and add depth to the story.
The novel is also notable for its seamless blend of humor and heart. Patel’s witty prose and clever dialogue provide ample laughs, while her insights into the human condition are both poignant and uplifting. She captures the struggles and joys of pursuing one’s passions with sensitivity and grace, making “Isha, Unscripted” a powerful and resonant read for anyone who has ever felt the pressure of societal expectations.
Ultimately, “Isha, Unscripted” is an exceptional novel that deserves to be read widely. Patel’s deft storytelling and compelling characters make this a standout entry in the contemporary romance genre. If you’re looking for a fun and uplifting read that will leave you feeling inspired and hopeful, “Isha, Unscripted” is the book for you.
Review: 3.5 / 4 stars
About the Author
Sajni Patel is an award-winning author of women’s fiction and young adult books, drawing on her experiences growing up in Texas, an inexplicable knack for romance and comedy, and the recently resurfaced dark side of fantastical things. Her works have appeared on numerous Best of the Year and Must Read lists from Cosmo, Oprah Magazine, Teen Vogue, Apple Books, Audiofile, Tribeza, Austin Woman’s Magazine, NBC, The Insider, PopSugar, Buzzfeed, and many others.