If You See Me, Don't Say Hi

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi is a delicious mix of short stories written by Neel Patel from multiple perspectives of Indian American young adults. In each of the stories, Patel writes from the perspective of brown people who are heterosexual female, a gay male, a married woman experiencing deep grief, a White American male involved with a gay Indian man, while leading us to think about race( and otherness) in America.

Discussing the stereotypes of Indian-American people as they relate to parental expectations and prejudices, racism in school, sex and marriage and relationship expectations, sexism, success, the author moves us slowly in the direction of blowing up those stereotypes. Perhaps...

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Somewhere between 4.5 and 5 stars, so I'm rounding up.

With his debut story collection, If You See Me, Don't Say Hi, Neel Patel serves notice that he is a talent to be reckoned with. The 11 stories in this collection are packed with emotion and turn people's perceptions and stereotypes of most Indian Americans on their ear.

Some of the characters in these stories follow traditional paths, while others are anything but traditional—they're Facebook-stalking exes or creating schemes to facilitate booty calls. But in each of these stories, the characters face moments of truth, and often need to make a split-second decision which could have significant ramifications. These...

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I love writing short stories but funnily enough I only really started reading them this past decade. I don’t know why I used to avoid the genre because I feel it showcases a writer’s talent in a way that can sometimes get submerged in a novel.

Anyway, Neel Patel’s début collection, If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi, does a great job showcasing his talent: he’s an exceptional writer. Each story contains gem upon gem of wonderful insights into human nature, culture, and relationships. All shrouded with a backdrop of Indian culture and heritage.

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi has stories of deception, arranged marriages, mixed marriages, same sex relationships, divorce, unrequited love, to name just...

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I do not normally gravitate towards short story collections, but the title of the book and its cover intrigued me. Within the first few pages, I was hooked and knew I found a new author whose work I will seek out the instant it becomes available. "If You See Me, Don't Say Hi" has eleven concise stories, roughly about 20 pages each, which highlights various present-day platonic, familial, and romantic relationships between an array of characters. The book would definitely not be classified as a thriller, but each story is a page turner which perfectly mirrors the twists, turns, and laughs that life seems to always bring. Patel perfectly encapsulates everyday emotions of love...

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A deeply moving collection of short stories from multiple perspectives of Indian American young adults. The author writes from the identity of a heterosexual female, a gay male, a married woman experiencing deep grief, a White American male involved with a gay Indian man. In each of these stories, Patel gently caresses the stereotypes familiar to Indians in America and then blows them up: parental expectations and prejudices, racism in school, sex and marriage and relationship expectations, sexism, money and achievement, mental illness. In the last pair of stories, Patel tells a dual-perspective story of a star-crossed relationship damaged by prejudice and vicious gossip.

As an Indian...

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All of the stories have a common underlying motif--love/romance/infatuation/relationships. The setting is modern day United States and the protagonists are people of Indian origin. The protagonists are of varying sexes/orientations. They're telling stories about their relationships and lives in modern day America, the one with Facebook and Insta, text messages, dating sites, etc. Nothing wild about the theme here.

The writing itself is captivating and I think Patel can write a good novel. The most exciting part about the stories was that they compel you to read further! Even if you feel that eventually you are going to find this story frivolous, you are eager to know what happens!
...

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If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi marks the entrance of a brilliant new talent to the literary world. These deeply moving stories are unlike anything I have read, and it is lucky for readers that we finally live in a time where stories of queer, interesting, flawed and multi-dimensional people of color are being published. I look forward to reading everything Neel Patel writes.”
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A testament to Indian Americans' experiences, Patel describes both male and female vignettes that are both illuminating and sometimes tragic. Employing both Midwestern Illinois settings and international (Kenya, for instance), the scope of the plot is wide. I enjoyed many of the stories, but none of them were particularly heart warming; if you're looking for something uplifting, this is not the book for you. If you're looking for something true, insightful, and eyeopening, this is the book for you. 
A true book about culture and the interrelations of life in spite of it, Patel's book is a solid read.
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Patel’s stories are fever dreams. They quietly steep into your consciousness. Get enmeshed in reality. It’s only when you’re recounting these stories over dinner that something tips askance. You’re forced to remember that these experiences didn’t really happen to a friend, or to a friend of a friend, but to a character in a book you inhaled in a single sitting one night last week. So fast it almost didn’t happen.

If You See Me, Don’t Say Hi is a world of cruel watchfulness. Peopled with characters who study the happiness of other people from the safety of their rooms. From news delivered by wedding invitations and Facebook updates. They pity their pity, wait for fights that don’t happen...

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Neel Patel's collection of short stories—stories about living and loving as a brown person in America—rewards readers who like to get straight to the good stuff.

Chilled out on the couch, screen in my face, it took three sentences into the first story to get me hooked. I read this in two long, quick sessions, each story unfolding in a series of emotional roller coasters.

From one night stands to first loves to surviving brutal family gossip, there's a lot of ground covered in just 224 pages. I appreciate the blunt, emotionally heavy tone sustained throughout the book, though I longed to be swept up more fully within each narrative.

Though not perfect, this is a solid debut...

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If You See Me, Don't Say Hi by Neel Patel, was a very well written book. Not really my type of book but I would read it again given the opportunity. All of the characters were written very well. I would recommend this book to my friends and I am thankful for the friend that told me about this book.
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LOVE LOVE LOVE! This book gives you so many sides to so many different life expierences. You get a chance to step out of your shoes and live through other people’s expierences. A HUGE eye opener. I highly recommended! People need to take time out of their day and to recognize how others live. Life isn’t perfect and this novel reflects so many emotions. Very enjoyable!
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