Book Reviews

Beauty Queens of Bishan| Akshita Nanda

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Genre: Contemporary, Fiction, Chic Lit

Date Published: Oct 2019

Format: Paperback

Pages: 348 pages

Date Started:  2 Jan 2020

Date Finished: 7 Jan 2020

Goodreads rating: 3.75/5

My rating: 3.5/5

Source: Times Reads

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Disclaimer: I received this book from Times Reads in return for my honest review.

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In the clash of beauty parlours, who will take the crown?

In Bishan, the busiest suburb of Singapore, thirteen small beauty parlours co-exist quietly, offering haircuts, bikini waxes and facials at no-nonsense prices. All that changes when a swanky new salon opens. D’Asthetique (Beauty is Skin Deep) is run by April Chua, the stylist to the stars.

April’s plan for Bishan includes controlling her competitors through a new society, NAILSO (Neighbourhood Alliance of Independent Lifestyle Operators). The only person who dares protest is chubby Gurpreet Kaur, owner of Monty Beauty Spa (Beauty from Within. Fourth Wax Free).

Both have clients in the upcoming Grand  Glam Singapore Beauty contest. Will April’s shoo-in Candy Kang prove yet again why she is Singapore’s sweetheart? Or will Gurpreet’s client, Tara Chopra, prove a star on stage as well as in court?

The winner will determine the leader of NAILSO; the loser will never be able to show her facials again. Can there be only one beauty queen of Bishan?

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This was such an easy read. Though the alternating point of views between Gurpreet, April, Candy and Tara can be a bit confusing, it was a fun and light book to read.

The story is set in 2017 in Singapore – you get to experience the multi-racial culture. Singapore, being just about seven hours away from Kuala Lumpur, the culture is very similar. Nanda has captured the culture through her writing beautifully.

Everyone is pretty much family. An elderly person is always, aunty/uncle, grandma/grandpa, sister/brother. This book was so relatable in terms of slang used. Furthermore, the diversity of this book is something that needs applause. Just like Malaysia, Singapore is a multiracial and multicultural country and I love that it centres on every culture. 

You will be spoilt for drama with this book. There are all sorts of drama within the 348 pages of this book. 

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I really loved the diversity and inclusiveness Nanda showed in this book. She nailed the slangs in the right places and it wasn’t overused. She encaptured the Singapore culture beautifully.

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Though the writing was easy to get into, the alternating chapters kinda confused me here and there; thus making the reading process slower than I expected it to be. Hey! I liked the storyline. It was fun, hip and capturing. It’s just that it felt like there were too many voices at one go that it felt a bit too much?

Also, as much as I enjoyed this book, I can’t say it’ll be a story that would stay close to my heart or something that I would remember.

Nevertheless, I suggest you guys read this book and be the judge for yourselves. I believe that no one reads the same book though, the title could be the same.

This book is available in all good bookstores, go get your hands on a copy.

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