Book Reviews

The Subtweet

“Unlike many artists, she had never considered herself a mere vessel for the muse, or a
medium, or even a parent. Her songs weren’t her “babies”. Her songs were her.”
The Subtweet is a book that really touched my heart. It spins a beautiful narrative of
friendships, trust, brown women and music that simply pulls you in. The writing is so
fluid and easy to follow that it took every ounce of my will power to put this book down
even for a second. Vivek Shraya’s writing is so powerful, I can almost feel the music
radiating off the pages in waves.
The story is told by Neela who is closed off, wary of the world and somewhat of a
perfectionist, as well as Rukmini who is bold, experimental, tech-savvy and a friendly
personality in general. Both of them formed such an uncanny duo but one I was
immediately rooting was. It was beautiful to watch their friendship flourish despite the
unbalanced dynamics with Rukmini seeking Neela’s respect as an artist and Neela
feeling that the world appreciated her art only in Rukmini’s hands.
“What was it about whiteness that seemed to elicit an infinite spring of faith and second
chances?”

I feel that everything in this book hit me to my core and reflected aspects of our lives,
especially my life as a brown woman more than I ever expected it to. It really made me
reflect over music and ownership as well as relationships in life. This book raises so
many important questions revolving around the topics of artists and music and brown
people leaning into their ethnicity or appeasing white-people; it all left my mind reeling.
I think in certain parts the narrative was a mess of thoughts but I really and truly loved
that the most. If you’re someone who appreciates any form of art, especially music and
likes to read about friendships and relationships then this is certainly the book for you.

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