• Monika Satote

Book Review : 'Something' by Shoilee Banerjee

We, as humans, have evolved a lot. We have discovered new ways to do things, to make our lives easier and whatnot. Unfortunately, we understand machines better than humans, and that's where the problem starts. There are so many misbeliefs about the human mind, precisely, the health of it, mental health. The stigma attached to it has killed many lives. This stigma forces people to avoid seeking help. It can get dangerous, and even suicidal. 'Something' by Shoilee Banerjee is the book that addresses these issues and how worse they can get.

This is a brave and heartbreaking story of Aleeya, an Indian girl living in Boston with her remarkably affluent parents. Being famous doctors, her parents are always occupied. So much so that Aleeya sees them rarely. Aleeya is a talented girl. She always gets A’s in all of her tests and outshines in everything at school. Her parents want her to get into Harvard but she, on the other hand, finds solace in Music. She wants to be a singer. She secretly goes to the Boston subway to sing because she wants her talent to be noticed and appreciated. She is always afraid that someone will find out and her parents will ground her.

This book takes us on Aleeya's journey to achieve her dreams. The journey that isn't easy. Aleeya goes through substance addiction, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, heartbreaks and tremendous pain. Her parents find out about her addiction and warn her that she will be grounded. Her friendships and relationships fall apart. Things keep happening, and Aleeya gets lost. With no support at all, she keeps thinking that there is no point in living. She talks to herself and reminds herself that everyone left her because she was falling apart.

She forced herself to think about her life. She couldn’t imagine herself in the future. Let alone surviving into the next morning. To her, the burden of existing had become too much for her to justify and she lacked purpose in any thought or movement.

She decides to take help and finds a therapist, but that does not work as per her. She makes her way out through this, but how is the beauty of this book. Aleeya’s healing process in this book is so so beautiful. I cannot even describe in words. I shall not.

She decided she wouldn't thank the ocean for teaching her to swim - she'd thank herself. Because while she could not control the way the tide moved all the time, she was learning how to live when the water wouldn't sit still.

The first half of this book was exciting but slow-paced. The usual school drama, hangovers, and parties. But the second half impressed me, I would say, moved me. Every word was worth reading and crying for. It is difficult to write about the destructive and devastating things. You have to make readers feel what character is going through, and Shoilee has done a brilliant job with this. My heart ached a lot for Aleeya. I felt her pain. I even wrote notes to her. That is how well developed Aleeya's character is. You grow with her. You heal with her.

This book focuses on teenage issues, mental health, issues between parents and children, toxic friendships and relationships, passion killing and much more. Anyone went through such lonely and tough times will relate to this story. I would recommend this book, but there are some triggering topics like suicide and self-harm. So, find a suitable time and correct phase of your life to read this. But read this.


This book gives hope that you are not alone, and life is worth living. Things shall pass, and you will find ways.


Buy this book here.


Goodreads