Book Review: “What Would You Do To Save The World?” by Ira Travedi

Warning: If you have not read “What Would You Do To Save The World?” by Ira Travedi, do not read this review unless you don’t mind spoilers or already read the book.

I’m back with another book review, and this time it’s “What Would You Do To Save The World?” by Ira Travedi. Here’s a summary so we know what it’s about:

Riya has always had a secret ambition—winning the coveted Miss Indian Beauty crown. It’s Riya’s chance to turn fantasy into reality. The Miss Indian Beauty contest could well be her ticket to instant fame and success. After all, she’s good-looking, intelligent, confident and, most importantly, tall—how difficult could it be? But Riya is in for a dose of reality, as she soon finds herself in the company of twenty-two gorgeous girls, under house arrest in a five-star hotel in Mumbai for a rigorous training session that will test them all to their limits. With each girl’s eyes set on the crown, the mood is emotionally charged and the atmosphere intense, exhilarating, vicious and explosive all at once. “What Would You Do to Save the World?” is a delightfully entertaining first novel which reveals the dust behind the diamonds, the tears behind the plastic smiles, and dishes the dirt on what really goes on behind the scenes of a beauty pageant.”

When I picked up the book, I was thinking it would be really funny to read. Beauty pageant types of plots I’ve read in the past are generally packed with humour, drama, and maybe some catfights. I was hoping for interesting characters among the contestants for the beauty pageant!

Unfortunately, I was wrong. This book bored me to the point that I didn’t bother finishing it. It read like the summary of one recalling her past history in a beauty pageant, (and granted, that’s what the book is about) but retold with as little expression as possible.

There was no interesting drama. There were no interesting characters, either. Even the main protagonist, Riya, didn’t stand out to me. There was nothing remotely interesting about the characters regarding their friendships, other relationships, or just the characters individually. Everything just felt incredibly flat.

All of the pageant and what goes into the contestants becoming Miss Indian Beauty was very detailed, and it did show what it was like to be training for such a title, which I found faintly interesting (and it does help that the author herself participated in such a contest in the past), but the details themselves also bored me. Even when they were describing the outfits that the contestants had to wear throughout the contest, I was bored (even “Material Girls” does a better job of writing interesting outfits into being!). Despite my lack of knowledge regarding beauty pageants, I found myself not really being excited or interested in any of the knowledge presented as of what goes behind the scenes.

Overall, I’m rating this book 0 out of 5 stars for the lack of a plot, no memorable characters, and the whole ambiance of the book being boring overall. Even if one likes the concept of beauty pageants in literature, this book just isn’t the right cup of tea to try.

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