Wednesday, June 1, 2011
Rating: 4/5 Stars
Summary: If Nina Khan were to rate herself on the unofficial Pakistani prestige point system – the one she’s sure all the aunties and uncles use to determine the most attractive marriage prospects for their children – her scoring might go something like this:
+2 points for getting excellent grades
–3 points for failing to live up to expectations set by genius older sister
+4 points for dutifully obeying parents and never, ever going to parties, no matter how antisocial that makes her seem to everyone at Deer Hook High
–1 point for harboring secret jealousy of her best friends, who are allowed to date like normal teenagers
+2 points for never drinking an alcoholic beverage
–10 points for obsessing about Asher Richelli, who talks to Nina like she’s not a freak at all, even though he knows that she has a disturbing line of hair running down her back In this wryly funny debut novel, the smart, sassy, and utterly lovable Nina Khan tackles friends, family, and love, and learns that it’s possible to embrace two very different cultures – even if things can get a little bit, well, hairy. (From Goodreads.com)
So, I thought this book was about a girl who turned into a skunk-like creature. You know, like those books where the character turns into a mermaid or a fairy or something. I thought that this was a really unusual thing to turn into, so I've been trying to find a copy of this book for forever. But once I got it and started reading it, it turns out it's actually about a Pakistani girl and her conservative Muslim family and their life in a small town. Whatddya know?
This book really taught me a lot about the Muslim culture and lifestyle. I had no idea they were so traditional! They even still arrange the marriages for the girls! I never knew. I did enjoy reading about the main character's life because my life in the complete opposite. I've been raised super duper liberal and encouraged to do anything I want to, and Nina and her family were the complete opposite. Although this was not one of those books where the main character wants to rebel and ditch her lifestyle. Nina was loyal to her family and her religion the whole book. Also, Nina's personality was the complete opposite of mine. She was so hesitant to do everything, and she was shy and kind of bitchy to some people some of the time. I was shouting in my head to her "JUST DO IT ALREADY STOP BEING SO TIMID". But I know a lot of people could relate to her because many people are really shy, especially those who read often.
I really did enjoy reading this book, and I think others should read it too, because the Muslim religion is so misunderstood in these times. Also, it was a cute coming-of-age novel. You should pick this one up if you see it at your library.