Book reviews Desi Reading

You People by Nikita Lalwani

You People by Nikita Lalwani-Cover

About the Book- You People

The Pizzeria Vesuvio looks like any other Italian restaurant in London – with a few small differences. The chefs who make the pizza fiorentinas are Sri Lankan, and half the kitchen staff are illegal immigrants.

At the centre is Tuli, the restaurant’s charismatic proprietor and resident Robin Hood, who promises to help anyone in need. Welsh nineteen-year-old Nia, haunted by her troubled past, is running from her family. Shan, having fled the Sri Lankan civil war, is desperate to find his.

But when Tuli’s guidance leads them all into dangerous territory, and the extent of his mysterious operation unravels, each is faced with an impossible moral choice.

In a world where the law is against you, how far would you be willing to lie for a chance to live?

Goodreads Page

The book is a bit heavy and struggle, and not everyone’s cup of tea. It is bursting at the seams with emotions. Every character in the book is dissected, turned inside out throughout the book. 

Read on for our review of the book

Our Review of You People

I had the book on audiobook and even on audiobook, I had a bit of struggle immersing myself completely into the book. You people are a pretty intense and dark story and it takes a bit of effort from the readers. One thing we have to admit is the character study and the physiological aspect of the book. The book takes those two elements pretty seriously. On some end, that is also why there is a bit of struggle with the book. The plot developments come a bit like an afterthought, as something that tags along.

No matter what, the book scores in bringing out the psyche and emotional pulls of each character. Emotions run pretty raw and intensely throughout the book. One of the best things about the book is that it opens your eyes to a lot of social issues. The book was a learning curve for me with it throwing such a powerful narration about the plight of Sri Lankan refugees who are putting everything in line to just …live. Until this book, I had no idea about how bad it was or the level of the havoc it had done. 

Now Let me address the issue that I had with the book. My major struggle was with the narration and storytelling technique. While I felt that the author was genius in being able to evoke such strong emotions from readers towards all the characters in the book, I also felt that perhaps too much attention went into that part. The actual story doesn’t move at all except for revolving around monologues, inner turmoils and backstories. Due to this, the narration technique felt a bit choppy. You got to see some developments in the plot between the emotional verbatim. So it kind of feels more than a struggle to keep your focus on the plot.

While I want to say that all the emotional dissections feel like you are sitting at a therapist’s couch listening to your patient’s struggle, I also understand that maybe the whole point of the book was that only. To bring focus on the characters and their characteristics. But unfortunately, that is not what I enjoy in large quantities. It would not have been probably that bad if the core plot had a bit more essence and work being done to it because then it wouldn’t have felt so heavy. But maybe if as a reader, you would like to understand and experience characters deeply, then this is perfect


You People is a bit heavy and struggle, and not everyone’s cup of tea. It is bursting at the seams with emotions. Every character in the book is dissected, turned inside out throughout the book. So that makes the book a whole lot intense and heavy. It felt more of a character study but if you like that aspect in the book, then this would be perfect. But I would have preferred a bit more story, plot developments and a little less heavy on the emotional struggles or at least it was balanced out with fast-moving plot developments.

Squirrel Rating

Squirrel Rating- 3 Stars

Book Recommendations
1. Still Mine by Amy Stuart
2. The Silence of Bones by June Hur

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