It's funny, I couldn't tell if I hated this novel or if I loved it. After thinking about it. I decided that the parts that I enjoyed outweighed the parts that I hated enough to be able to recommend it to other readers, Rani Patel is your basic 16 year old, she struggles with self image, boys, parental relations etc. However there are many layers to her, and many layers to her story. I did enjoy the mix of languages (Gujurati, Hindi, Hawaiin, pidgin, and hip hop terminology) and learning about the tumult happening in Hawaii in the 90s. I also LOVED reading her raps, they were unbelievable, such beautiful slam poetry. And it was nice to revisit an era (the 90s) I remember well, with pop culture references and the soundtrack that went along with it. (I know also play music in the 'boombox of my mind')
This is a great book for immigrants or children of immigrants (or anyone, really). Rani lives in two worlds: the world of young surfers in Hawaii and the world of her conservative Indian parents. She rebels against her sexist, unfaithful father and struggles to support her mother as they both discover their strength as independent women. Rani channels her pain by writing raps. She is a truly admirable protagonist and she serves as a positive role model for young women seeking self discovery.
This book was recently reviewed in Cleaver Magazine: http://www.cleavermagazine.com/rani-patel-in-full-effect-a-young-adult-novel-by-sonia-patel-reviewed-by-kristie-gadson/.
It sounds like great stuff.
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