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‘Unfinished’ by Priyanka Chopra Jonas on Audible: intrigue, tears and giggles on tap

Priyanka Chopra Jonas with her book ‘Unfinished’   | Photo Credit: Priyanka Chopra Jonas / Instagram

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Would any first-person Priyanka Chopra Jonas experience be a Priyanka Chopra Jonas experience without a little bit of goofiness or, to be honest, the occasional cringe moment? Unfinished, Chopra Jonas’ 2020 memoir, is an offering of intrigue, tears and giggles on tap.

I have not dipped as much into audiobooks because I love my mind to wander as I read. But in the cases of memoirs, I’ll grant that leeway of being guided through someone else’s journey purely by their voice. In the case of the Audible version of Unfinished, I went in as not exactly the biggest fan of Chopra Jonas, and I would be lying if I claim I came out of it converted entirely.

However, what I did gain was a great deal of respect and empathy for a woman who works hard to make the most of two cultures – Indian and the West – instead of dividing herself between them. As someone who has struggled with global identity and not knowing exactly where I ‘fit’, I understood Chopra Jonas’ confusion over the Indian-West cultural convergences.

I listened to Unfinished right on the heels of Chopra Jonas’ interview on Oprah Winfrey’s Super Soul series. The Internet is currently littered with criticism and memes of Chopra Jonas’ ‘blind statements’ from the said interview, during which she said, “I grew up in a convent school. I was aware of Christianity. My dad used to sing in a mosque, I was aware of Islam. I grew up in a Hindu family, I was aware of that.” So naturally, I went into the experience with a little hesitation.

While the written book Unfinished entails much of Chopra Jonas’ career and personal successes, the audiobook experience adds a layer of personability that does draw empathy. Narrated in her trademark husky voice, it is an intimate experience and there are moments it is tough to press ‘stop’ for the day.

Vulnerabilities and strengths

It is easy to forget the horrors of the pageant industry, but Chopra Jonas is smart to balance the high-pressure realities and the gratitude for the trajectory it offered her. Transformational aspects such as dental and style makeovers, dietary shifts, and an accent transition, were described and an eye-opener on how much these girls go through.

One of the most profound parts is the longing in her voice as she remembers her father who was her biggest cheerleader, her grandmother who was a steady force in her Mumbai family home. As she speaks of Nick Jonas and their love story, one can almost hear her blush through the audiobook.

Some may look at Chopra Jonas’ revelling in her success as braggadocious, but in her voice, one can discern how hard she had to work for success, and one that we cannot attribute to nepotism. Unfinished is an unapologetic tribute to how hard Chopra Jonas worked and continues to work in contentious Hollywood but how she thrives in it, and I found myself counting my blessings.

In eight and a half hours, Chopra Jonas holds the listener’s hand as she walks them through her life, exposing her vulnerabilities and celebrating her strengths in equal measures of dedication. If you are planning to listen to the audiobook, divide your time up by chapters. There is a lot of replay value in the audiobook version of Unfinished, purely because it feels so much more intimate and you cannot help but feel as though you play Chopra Jonas’ confidante.

Priyanka Chopra Jonas’ audiobook ‘Unfinished’ is available on Audible.

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Printable version | May 16, 2021 8:42:19 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/entertainment/unfinished-audible-audiobook-review-priyanka-chopra-jonas-laughs-tears-intrigue/article34280856.ece

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